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Wednesday, June 18, 2008 01:39 am

Letters to the Editor

Untitled Document We welcome letters. Please include your full name, address, and telephone number. We edit all letters. Send them to Letters, Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705; fax 217-753-3958; e-mail editor@illinoistimes.com.
WISHFUL THINKING ABOUT OBAMA
I simply had to laugh out loud at the lack of journalistic integrity in the article decrying how the shift to big media will bring us the lack of journalistic integrity. In “Who’ll unplug Big Media?” [Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols, June 5], the authors whine that “big media” throw journalistic values out the window while reaping big profits. 
The blame is to be placed, of course, right at the feet of the fanatical Bushies and the Republican-controlled FCC who run Washington and, oh yes, buried at the end of the article is the mention that the Clinton administration was involved in the same activity. Praise the thinking man, the Democrats have rejected the Clintons and of course the populist Obama is the solution — we know that because he wants change and the savvy enlightened people working for him have the moral policies, whoops, I mean enlightened ethical policies to make that change. Of course McChesney and Nichols have the facts because they represent traditional journalism.
What McChesney and Nichols conveniently overlook is, these “savvy” Obama advisors seeking political change are former FCC staffers acting with the support of Democrats Reed Hundt and William Kennard, both former FCC chairmen appointed by the Clintons. All are now heavily involved in private equity investment in new telecom companies and all are seeking to shut down the traditional telecom providers. Hundt’s insider access to Kennard, the first minority FCC chairman, gained him the wireless spectrum for his failed wireless company Frontline. Currently a new deal, named M2Z, is being pushed by two Democratic congressmen. M2Z is headed by former Clinton/Bush-era FCC Wireless Bureau chief and minority John Muleta, who wants the feds to turn over the new spectrum to create a free family-friendly nationwide Internet service supported by advertising dollars. Funny how this lines up perfectly with Obama’s telecom policy. One of Obama’s chief policy advisors, Karen Kornbluh (former FCC staffer and advisor to U.S. Sen. John Kerry), was a member of the Hundt/Kennard staffers and is a likely choice for FCC chairman, but Julius Genachowski, an old Obama college chum is at the center of his telecom policy. Genachowski was legal advisor to both Hundt and Kennard and is tied to Barry Diller’s media company. And who ran telecom policy for the Clintons? Al Gore, who is now tied to private-equity “green” investments with this group of Obama advisors. 
Now the not-so-surprising news is that the Clinton-era telecom staffers have abandoned Hillary, raised tons of money for Obama and are now positioning themselves to reap gigantic profits by undercutting the traditional telecom and media companies with wireless-Internet companies. And yes, none of them are registered Washington lobbyists. McChesney and Nichols ought to concentrate on facts and less on wishful thinking. The only change coming in Washington is the money trail.
Mike Duvall
Professor of communication
University of Illinois at Springfield Springfield
WE MUST HOLD BUSH ACCOUNTABLE
If the opportunity to impeach President George W. Bush has passed, so has the chance to repudiate hijacking the country’s civil, military, and economic resources by our highest elected officials through deliberate deception. Phase II of the prewar Iraq intelligence report provides the most definitive statement to date that the administration’s public statements and policy actions contradicted available intelligence or relied on unsubstantiated claims. All the U.S. soldiers’ and Iraqi civilians’ lives lost, billions of dollars spent, slipping status of the U.S. in the world, a failing economy — is the president going to escape a formal trial for deceiving the public and Congress, misdirecting the military, and subsequently contributing to all these problems? Mismanagement is not criminal, but co-opting national services and risking lives through deliberate misrepresentation qualifies heartily. U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, R-Missouri, a member of the Intelligence Committee, gave examples in his dissent of other public figures making faulty claims similar to those of the administration. Good company doesn’t substantiate innocence, especially when the architects of the deceptions relied upon are clearly identifiable.
The new political season is already here, and most seem content to ignore these revelations for promises of honest and just governance by the next administration. But if this president skips out of the White House unshackled by his crimes, we have no assurance against future hijackings by singular visionaries willing to sacrifice the country’s resources, values, and well-being.
Daymon Kiliman
Springfield


DON’T FORGET LANPHIER HIGH I agree with Fletcher Farrar’s column about replacing Springfield High School on the west side of Springfield [“Reporter at Large,” May 29]. Shouldn’t we try to keep the Beaux Arts façade? As a north-ender, I’d like some money spent to put air conditioning in Lanphier and also give them a stage.
Evelyn White Springfield
OPEN ANWR TO DRILLING We need to increase our domestic oil production and lessen our reliance on dangerous foreign sources. Energy conservation alone doesn’t solve our energy needs; it just postpones it for a short while. Drilling in ANWR would help because it would be one of the largest oil fields discovered in the world in the past 40 years. What’s being proposed is to open only a small fraction, only 8 percent of ANWR, for exploration. And all exploration areas are not drilled in. Technologies like horizontal drilling, 3-D seismic mapping, and ice roads minimizing the drilling footprint to only 2,000 acres out of the 19 million acres of ANWR, or one-ten-thousandth of 1 percent! This region is a treeless arctic desert with almost no wildlife during its nine-month winters. Oil development will not endanger any species. America needs to drill for oil in ANWR.
Kim Rogalin Naperville
FACTOR IN TRANSPORTATION COSTS Fletcher Farrar’s editorial on “Building the new Springfield High School” [May 29] was a refreshing look at Springfield’s development. Many of the reasons given in the article and by other readers in later issues of Illinois Times on utilizing the existing Springfield High campus are quite valid. I would add another — transportation in the coming decade will make suburban-style campuses too expensive to get to. Today, SHS students have alternative transportation to school. Many can actually walk through neighborhoods with real sidewalks and traffic signals. Most of the SMTD bus routes make a special effort to make the Springfield High campus a regular stop. With rising gas prices, rising automobile prices, and stagnant wages putting automobiles farther and farther out of the reach of most high-school aged kids, one has to ask: how would students get to the new campus out west? The costs of operating the school bus fleet in this city is already have a crushing impact on school budgets. Will parents have to make special drop-off arrangements with their own hectic schedules and increased driving costs to get students to school? We should be looking for ways to consolidate and unify city services, not spread them out to the edges of the city where only a minority of upper-income families can easily access those services.
The development of the old SHS campus should be part of a complete revitalization of the downtown area, not simply as a way to beautify but also as a part of our overall effort to rethink our energy and transportation networks as we face this new world of rising costs. Chet Brandt Springfield
TIME TO PARK YOUR SUV For the last couple of decades, global warming has been a growing problem, yet it seems as if a lot of people, especially Americans, are ignoring the issues and are doing little to help. As Americans, we make up roughly 5 percent of the world’s population, yet we contribute 25 percent of the world’s emissions. We complain about gas prices and we still buy SUVs and Hummers, knowing full well that they cost a lot of money to fill and use up a lot of gas. It’s time for people to start waking up and realizing that some of the choices we are making are not helping, and, in some cases, only making things worse.
There is a Native American proverb that states, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” Not only are people not conscious of the fact that they do not own the world and its resources, but we “children” of America need to start making some changes on how things are done. Pia Laipert Algonquin
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