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Letters To The Editor


The colonel was right I concur with Col. W.L. Brooks (“Bogus hero a media contrivance,” Letters, June 14) completely, especially when remembering all the people I know who served in Vietnam. Marc Ramsey Spokane

O’Grady candid about hero status

After all the good feelings that have come from Capt. Scott O’Grady’s rescue, it is sad that some people won’t allow themselves to share in the joy.

Retired Col. W.L. Brooks (Letters, June 14) is mad because no one applauded him for his heroics in Vietnam, and his anger is justified. My father served in the Marine Corps. in Vietnam and received two Purple Hearts. No one ever threw him a parade or asked for an interview. We all know that the Vietnam vets never got the recognition and thanks they deserved. That’s why it was so heartwarming to see so many Vietnam veterans work together after Desert Storm to insure that the young men who served in the Persian Gulf got the hero’s welcome that they, themselves, never got.

These veterans realized an important truth: by celebrating others’ accomplishments, it in no way diminishes their own contributions of the past but rather passes the torch to the next generation of valiant patriots.

If Col. Brooks listened to any of the interviews given by Capt. O’Grady, he would know that the last thing O’Grady wants to be considered is a hero for simply doing his duty. He thanked not only God, but the Survival School staff at Fairchild Air Force Base, the Marines and just about everyone else. He has been nothing but humble and grateful for the second chance he has gotten to live.

This senior officer could learn from this junior officer. Nikki Alley Spokane

Political hay is being made

I am sick to death of all the publicity for Capt. Scott O’Grady. The political aspects of this makes me want to puke.

Where was Slick Willie when pilots were going down everyday in Vietnam? Not one of them got treated like a hero, while Slick Willie was in London organizing protests against the United States.

I think Capt. O’Grady is having a lot of political hay made over the fact that he was shot down and survived, God bless him, but he should be considered anything but a hero.

The real heroes are the guys who went in and saved him. Ted Theodore Medical Lake

A little slack is in order

So, retired Col. W.L. Brooks writes a sour grapes letter because he is bitter over the press coverage given to Capt. Capt. O’Grady (June 14). I wonder what Col. Brooks knows about this incident to cause him to say that Capt. O’Grady screwed up by being shot down in Bosnia.

Col. Brooks claims he was shot down three times in Vietnam and didn’t make the newspapers. He must have screwed up three times. Come on, we know the press always blows this sort of thing way out of proportion, but give Capt. O’Grady a break. Why not give God a little credit?

Capt. O’Grady admitted that he was a poor student while at Fairchild Air Force Base Survival School. Americans need some good news once in a while. Besides, it doesn’t hurt the Air Force, Fairchild Air Force Base or Spokane. Max W. Gerber, former captain, USMC Spokane


This Californian slowed down

Mr. Sulzle, I feel the need to answer your letter (“Our streets: Love ‘em or leave ‘em,” June 13) and let you know that not all your friends from California are upset by the way you drive in Spokane.

Having lived in California all my life, I was used to driving too fast. We lived our lives always in a hurry. When we get in too much of a hurry, we often forget the other people on the road, which causes a lot of rude behavior.

Since I have moved to Spokane, I have learned to drive slower, live a slower pace and take time to enjoy the beautiful birds, silly groundhogs and smell the flowers. Like all others who visit California, I now find that driving there is a scary experience.

Please continue your polite and considerate driving. Helen Biggers Spokane


Paper promoted homosexuality

Nice job, Spokesman-Review, in the promotion of the homosexual lifestyle.

That big color picture depicting our youth on the front page (Region, June 12) sets a fine example. Our young people should be adventurous and they should be thinking about the gay lifestyle. If they already know for sure where their sexual preferences lay, they should advertise and promote it.

Never mind that a person’s sexual conduct is a personal thing that is not done in view of anyone else. Let’s flaunt it and promote it. Never mind, that a stable, wholesome family of mom, dad and the kids is the backbone of a good society. The term for today is “personal gratification.” You know, if it feels good, do it. And if you haven’t tried it, don’t knock it.

Right on, Spokesman-Review. Dick McInerney Spokane

Reporting a key problem for Chase

As a teacher at Chase Middle School, I was disappointed but not surprised at Carla Johnson’s article of June 10 (“Glover principal replacing Lake at troubled Chase”). We at Chase have become accustomed to her irresponsible journalism.

As an educator, however, I remained positive and hopeful that she would eventually show that she was indeed a responsible journalist. Too bad. I did have hope for you. Your constant misquoting and taking statements out of context undoubtedly will continue. What is not going to continue is the strong administrative team of Principal Rodger Lake and Assistant Principal Dianne Fields. Carla Johnson can take some responsibility for that.

Miss Olzendam deserves what Mr. Lake and Miss Fields did not get: a fair shake and total support. I welcome Miss Olzendam and hope that Carla will back off and let Chase show what we really have. We have a strong staff dedicated to educating our students. We have great students. We have had and will continue to have a great administrative team here. We do great things for and with our students. We love our students and we work very hard.

To Mr. Lake and Miss Fields, I will miss you. Thank you for all you have done for Chase and will continue to do for the students you work with. Thank you for the opportunity to work for you at Chase. One word of advice: Don’t leave a forwarding address. Maybe Carla Johnson won’t be able to find you. Sharon E. Lipton Spokane

Editor’s note: The Spokesman-Review stands by all of Carla Johnson’s reporting on the problems at Chase Middle School.

Film’s violence appropriate

This is in response to Nathan Mauger’s critique of the action movie, “Braveheart,” which has “no historical value” (June 7): Do your research. This happened.

William Wallace was a Scottish patriot who fought for independence against the Norman King, Edward I. He was a brilliant, brave man who fought against overwhelming odds and was finally betrayed, captured, tortured and beheaded.

This movie is violent, but only because those were the events that took place. It was a violent age and this movie is a story of the events leading up to Scotland’s independence from England. Ever watch a Sly Stallone movie? That’s violence for the sake of violence.

Braveheart is history. It’s in any encyclopedia or any book dealing with 13th century Scottish or English history. Look it up.

I recommend that if you want to see a great movie about a true patriot who loved freedom and his country, see “Braveheart,” but let young children go see “Casper.” Jennifer Davis Newport


Insults, inflammation for all comers

Regarding (staff cartoonist) Milt Priggee’s depiction of Congress riding a horse and shooting Indians (June 11): How can you print “cartoons” like this day after day and continue to live with yourselves?

From depictions of hunters as drunken, gun totin’ fools to religious folk as intolerant bigots, to members of Congress as murdering cowboys, his cartoons continue to insult and inflame. There have been so many, I can’t remember them all.

You give the reason, “We are just trying to promote discussion.” What kind of reason is that? The Aryan Nations, KKK and every high school newspaper in the country uses that reason. You are hurting people, not promoting discussion.

His images are hurtful - a 550-pound bomb going off in your face every morning. You write editorials all the time decrying the “hateful” images from certain groups, but what about these sorts of images? What really galls me is your hypocrisy.

You print these horrible images, year after year, offending everyone. You don’t retract, don’t apologize, no matter who you have hurt. I can remember one instance when Priggee was new. Duane Hagadone complained, and you apologized. I guess when it’s a fellow publisher type, you draw the line, or is it that he can affect your income and the other people can’t?

I am disgusted that I have a hometown newspaper that continues to print the terrible things Priggee draws. Stuart Lowe Veradale

‘Stupid people’ in good company

(Staff cartoonist) Milt Priggee has given readers of The Spokesman-Review a lesson in indoctrination, with his cartoon of June 13. He mixes the logical with the absurd in order to make the absurd logical.

To equate firearms owners with drunken drivers is quite a stretch. If “Only stupid people buy and keep guns,” then I am proud to be counted among them, along with Bill Clinton, George Bush, Charlton Heston, Pam Roach and most of our friends and neighbors. Cherie Graves Newport, Wash.

What is Priggee’s position anyway?

If (staff cartoonist Milt) Priggee is the editor, or on the editorial board of The Spokesman-Review, we can understand you allowing him to do the kind of cartoons like the one in the June 13 paper.

Otherwise, we wonder how these are getting by someone on the board. If these kinds of cartoons continue in The Review, I know we will drop our subscription. Bruce and Dianne Higgens Coeur d’Alene

Attack on gun owners uncalled for

I take the strongest possible exception to (staff cartoonist) Milt Priggee’s cartoon of June 13, which attacks firearm owners by depicting an adult teaching a child that “only a stupid person drinks and drives” and “only a stupid person buys and keeps a gun.”

This odious comparison fails both in logic and in taste.

I subscribe to your paper, and like many responsible subscribers, I believe in the right to own a firearm. I don’t believe in the kind of name calling Priggee employs so freely and I can’t imagine why you condone such irresponsible conduct.

In the past, I have read explanations in your paper advancing the notion that immoderate political cartoons are intended to stimulate thought and are not necessarily intended to represent the precise editorial opinion of the paper. In my view, such caveats are simply an attempt to “have your cake and eat it too.” By taking such an ignoble position, you are able to have your views widely distributed but avoid accepting responsibility for them.

If you agree with Priggee, that a large portion of your readership is stupid, then have the courage to stand up and say so. If you don’t, then do something about Priggee.

I don’t believe in censorship, but I do believe in manners and in taste. Over the past couple of years, Priggee has had major lapses of both, more and more frequently.

It’s your paper and he is your responsibility. R.H. Heimann Jr. Coeur d’Alene

‘I think he’s losing it again’

Hey, Mr. Editor, please check on (staff cartoonist Milt) Priggee; he worries me. I think he’s losing it again.

Just when I thought you took my advice to send him for some cartoonist rehab counseling, he begins showing the same symptoms.

Priggee’s “Don’t legislate, educate” cartoon (June 13) is far too nebulous. It’s as though he woke up in the dark of the night with what he thought was a great idea, scribbled out the cartoon on his art pad he keeps on his wooden box night stand, fell back asleep and forgot to review it the next day before submitting it. And to compound the problem, you must have reviewed and approved it before your first cup of coffee.

Obviously, Priggee equates laws against drinking and driving with gun control laws. His blurry-eyed cartoon logic is flawed, though. Now, everyone who drives a car, owns it, leases it, borrows it or steals it, but drives it drunk or sober. His analogy totally falls apart when he suggests that it is stupid to buy a gun and keep it.

Conversely, he has to be suggesting that we also educate or legislate buying a car, but don’t keep it. His second cartoon should really say, “Only a stupid person drinks while shooting a gun.”

Whether one believes in legislating gun control, education about guns, or both, keep a teaching credential out of Priggee’s hands. Ken Van Buskirk Spokane

Pens don’t annoy; cartoonists annoy

Staff cartoonist Milt Priggee didn’t finish his thoughts on his “Don’t legislate, educate” cartoon (June 13). He forgot several worthy additions:

Only a stupid person thinks for himself; the government knows best. Only a stupid person reads; Priggee has all the answers. Only a stupid person works; living off others is easier. Or perhaps, only a stupid person learns; ignorance is cool.

Sarcasm aside, to equate an illegal and irresponsible act committed by an uncaring individual with the purchase of an inanimate object makes no sense, which is typical of Milt Priggee. Many things enable people to maim or kill, from baseball bats to missiles.

Remember, any tool can be misused, including a drawing pen. Vince Martinez Spokane

Guess what’s mightier than a pen

(Staff cartoonist Milt) Priggee’s cartoon this morning (June 13), which says “Only a stupid person buys and keeps a gun,” should be captioned, “Only a stupid person intentionally insults someone who is wellarmed.” Tom Oldershaw Spokane

Tags: Letters