Letters to the Editor 7/5/18
In response to “State’s top Lincoln expert on shelf” (Illinois Times, June 28, by Bruce Rushton): James Cornelius has spent over 10 years as the Lincoln curator at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
The 2012 “incident” occurred while working with then-director Eileen Mackevich. James spoke up while others bit their tongues, rolled their eyes or complained out of her hearing.
I worked with James Cornelius for 10 years and respected his intellect, people skills and work ethic. Unfortunately, he doesn’t suffer fools gladly. He speaks up when he sees a problem. The current agenda to run the ALPL using NARA presidential library guidelines eliminates options that James feels a library should provide. He speaks for the patrons and the services they aren’t receiving.
A friend said, “What’s with James? Why doesn’t he roll over and play along like a good state employee?” He can’t. He’s not that type of person. He has integrity. As this game continues, there is no Lincoln expert at the ALPL and that’s a loss for everyone. What are patrons/researchers being told about his absence? Not the truth, because that’s still under wraps.
KILLING BAD LAWS
I have just read Larry Golden’s June 28 Illinois Times Guestwork titled “Where have all the flowers gone? When will we ever learn?.”
First off, Larry’s comparison to the internment of Japanese on the West Coast seems unwarranted. This was a time of war and post-Pearl Harbor. Paranoia was rampant. Germans were also incarcerated on the East Coast, but there are very few historical references to that story.
Second, the writer’s comments on his family fleeing persecution are also not on point because immigration was open-ended and legal. My grandfather on my dad’s side came to the United States to avoid being drafted into the Prussian army.
Third, the United States has two embassies and nine consulates in Mexico where persons and families under fear of persecution can request asylum in the United States.
Fourth, when I was in Israel our tour guide (who has a doctorate in political science) and I had some raucous discussions after over-imbibing on wine. He scoffed at our illegal immigration problem. “We do not have this problem because we built a wall and enforce our borders. We have to or we will die,” he said.
The quickest way to kill bad laws is to enforce them. Our immigration policy is the best example.
REPURPOSE HISTORIC BUILDINGS
If we didn’t know better, we might think that demolition contractors have one powerful lobby around Springfield government. Of course, there is no such demo contractors lobby, but how then to explain the steady OK’s by the City Council for those contractors to raze historic or architecturally-worthwhile buildings year after year, decade after decade? And now the demo contractors are rubbing their hands in anticipation as calls ring out for the destruction of the structurally sound, attractive and reusable Downtown YMCA. For once, couldn’t the city look first to urge an owner to offer a worthwhile building with a history of service to the community for recycling before turning it over for demolition?
Save Old Springfield