Letters to the editor

Offering solutionsfor Ivy Lane

A young man who had driven off the end of Ivy Lane into the ravine on Nov. 14 came to our house immediately afterward in total shock. He was lucky to be alive.

There have been complaints from us and our neighbors to the city, regarding the trash including beer bottles, cigarette butts, condoms and fast food wrappers left by young people who were parked at the dead end of the street. Also we have complained of the traffic going up and down, usually too fast, at all times of the day and night. So far, no effective action has been taken.

Knowing what we do, a hillside fire or a young man's death is not acceptable. A simple chain across the road after the last driveway and before the two undeveloped lots and a "No Parking" sign might solve the problem.

Rosemary Maitland

Questioning a leader's knowledge

With the release of the new National Intelligence Estimate regarding the "nucular" status of Iran, we once again face the ineradicable, troublesome question "What didn't the President know, and when didn't he know it?"

Which is worse? A president who repeatedly lies to the nation with respect to matters of grave importance, or one who is simply so egregiously incompetent as to not require that his subordinates keep him in the loop on a daily basis?

Upon further brief reflection, it occurs that perhaps the questions are not mutually exclusive.

Richard Browne

Debate over military's blacks

Two recent letters (Dec. 5) take issue with the Tidings' view concerning the racial makeup and casualty rates of the American military (Army). Both employ a misleading ratio of American casualties, comparing black casualties to the total black American population &

surely the appropriate ratio is only to the black male, military age or working age population.

As for the "disproportionately poor" claim, it would appear that this too is correct. The poorest sections of the country, the South Atlantic and West South Central states, provide a disproportionate 40 percent of all recruits. As for African-Americans, in 1999 they were 20 percent of the enlisted ranks, and because they have a higher retention rate, they made up 22.5 percent of all enlisted personnel. (Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire, 2004.) As an Army report nicely puts it: "Although the force is diverse, it is not an exact replica of the society as a whole. The military life is more attractive to some members of society than to others." Most recruits come from families that are "poor" by any statistical standard except the absurdly out-of-whack American official definition.

An all-volunteer military is antithetical to democratic society: of all the burdens of citizenship, military duty is one that most clearly must be equitably shared by all.

Gerald Cavanaugh

Support forfreedom of press

I urge you to support S. 2332 to help preserve freedom of the press. One of the scariest things happening these days is control of the press as a few mega-corporations scramble to monopolize all our major and local news. Liberty depends on freedom of the press. We need access to unbiased information in order to make fair decisions. When information is controlled, so are we. We must halt and dismantle monopoly ownership of the news and bring back the independent journalist. S. 2332 is a good step towards taking back the press. Please support it.

Eileen Renno

Protect press from consolidation

It's discouraging to see the same news with the same slant on practically every commercial television station. Most Americans have not learned to be discriminating about their news sources anyway, but the lack of availability of a variety of viewpoints exacerbates the problem. The attempt by the FCC Chairman Martin to further consolidate media ownership is part of the flow of power and wealth to those who already control most of it, and should be resisted. Senate bill S. 2332 would require a full 90 day comment period before changing FCC rules and would require protections for localism and diversity of ownership. Please support it.

Jack Seybold

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