Letters To A Smalltown Weekly

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Location: Gualala, California, United States

Alice and I love our life on the Northern California coast and welcome friends and family to enjoy it with us.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

"No Namecalling" Writer Calls Me "Hatemonger"

Saturday, November 10, 2001

(These and many other stories and articles can be found on my main blog, Strong As An Ox And Nearly As Smart)

Alice and I just returned from over two weeks in Kaua’i, and one of the first things I did was catch up on local activities by reading through the last three weeks of the ICO. I noticed in the September 21 ICO that a Mr. Lippman commented on my September 14 letter and ended by stating that “it is important for us to respect one another, hear each other out, and avoid ‘ad hominem’ arguments.” Earlier in his letter Mr. Lippman, who I never recall meeting, correctly mentioned that in the instance of air travel security that I support racial profiling. He also correctly stated that racial profiling would not protect us from the clean-cut Anglo racists among us who bomb churches. He then noted that a highly likely source of irrational violence is our subpopulation of hatemongers, and then identified me as one of them. Mr. Lippman, I am judgmental, and conservative, and a Republican, support School Choice, and am not politically correct (although political correctness is a form of judgmentalism), but I am not a hatemonger. Mr. Lippman, you then went on to purportedly read my mind, by saying that I would applaud an attack on an Indian Sikh. Mr. Lippman, you are a hypocrite, and you would do well to heed the advice you gave us all in your letter. It is intellectually dishonest, and a personal insult to me, to be called a hatemonger by you and for you to say that I would applaud bigoted violence. Do you frequently assign such low motives and attitudes to people about whom you are totally ignorant? Do you fall back on the bigot’s nostrum, “I know what people like you think.”Mr. Silverstein then instructs me on freedom and what it means to be an American. Mr. Silverstein, I served in the United States Air Force, first in the enlisted ranks and then as an officer, for over 21 years to protect our freedoms. One of the freedoms I took an oath to defend was the freedom from attack “from enemies both foreign and domestic.” I did not take an oath to protect the freedom of those who are not United States citizens at the price of our security. Although I was retired six years when the Gulf War started, I placed myself on a voluntary Air Force recall roster in the hopes that I would be called up instead of someone with a young family. Alice still hasn’t forgiven me for exposing myself to possible danger and a certain drastic cut in pay. However, Mr. Silverstein, I believe that turning a blind eye to the terrorist threats from individuals who are not American citizens takes freedom from those of us who are.In the September 28 ICO, Ms. Bullamore applauded Mr. Lippman and Mr. Silverstein, and noted erroneously that I am a member of the Point Arena School Board. Ms. Bullamore, the reason you did not meet me at the October 4 board meeting which, from your implied concerns I assume you attended, is that I am not yet a board member. Actually, Alice and I were unopposed for two positions on the board, and we both will begin our service soon. I applaud Ms. Bullamore’s suggestion that more of us should be attending school board meetings, and I heartily endorse it. As a graduate of both Point Arena Elementary and High Schools (1949-1960), I am keenly interested in helping both schools because I know that improving education in our public schools is the most valuable thing we can do to improve the lives of minority children and children from poor families. It worked for me, and Alice is a volunteer tutor who has worked tirelessly and invested a substantial sum of her time and our own money to improve the reading skills of several children. So Ms. Bullamore, we welcome your concern and your participation, and I am sure that you and others equally concerned will participate actively in school board and other volunteer programs. Maybe you or someone else will even oppose us for election.