Observer forum: Letters to editor

In response to “The Good Guys (us?) versus ‘Them'” (July 7 Viewpoint):

Stoeckel shows bias

he criticizes in others

Steve Stoeckel brings back some memories – I can still hear Daffy Duck saying, “Messerschmidts, a whole MESS of Messerschmidts” – and he makes a good point about dehumanizing our foes.

But by introducing critics of McClatchy's Guantanamo series with the word “predictably,” he reveals his own personal “they”: the unenlightened masses who don't share his sensibilities about Guantanamo and who would agree with the vice president's vow to use “any means at our disposal.”

I can only wonder how those people would be portrayed in a cartoon drawn by Mr. Stoeckel.

Patrick M. Dennis


Caricatures irrelevant –

we had war to fight

I thank God that Americans in the 1940s were more concerned about the vicious and unprovoked Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor than they were about a caricature in a cartoon.

To those who worry we're being conditioned to fear terrorists, I say, in the words of Col. Nathan Jessep (Jack Nicholson), “You can't handle the truth!”

And, yes, I do think we're still the “Good Guys.”

Bill Grandy


In response to “How far should you go to save your pet?” (July 6):

Spending on pets keeps

food from hungry people

At a time when countless people all over the world are dying of starvation and poverty, the idea of spending thousands of dollars on pets is deplorable.

Do pet owners not know people are suffering, or do they just turn a cold shoulder to it?

Adam Turner


In response to “Are you smarter than a new citizen?” (July 4 Viewpoint):

Emancipation Proclamation

laden with misconception

Even the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continues to promulgate the myth that slaves were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Emancipation Proclamation freed only those slaves residing in territory “in rebellion against the United States.” Slaves were still permitted in slaveholding border states, since Lincoln didn't want to aggravate them into leaving the Union. Slaves were also permitted in areas of Virginia and Louisiana controlled by Union forces.

Nevertheless, the Emancipation Proclamation did reframe the war's cause from a states rights' issue, allowing Lincoln to claim the moral high ground of abolishing slavery.

Slavery was finally abolished in the U.S. by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

Roger Van Tassel

Mint Hill

Daughter and I had fun

taking citizenship quiz

Thank you for printing this citizenship quiz.

My 11-year-old daughter is starting to read some sections of the paper, including the Opinion pages. She was thrilled to find a page-long quiz reviewing things she had learned in school last year.

We had fun with it and learned a few things too!

Amy Delmas


In response to “Myrick, Dole turning illegals into scapegoats” (July 6 Forum):

Don't weaken our system

to accommodate illegals

As an American born of Hispanic heritage, I'm in no way offended by the efforts of Rep. Myrick and Sen. Dole to fight illegal immigration.

Far too many Americans have been victimized by violent illegal aliens. We must make it harder for illegal aliens to reside in the United States.

In our country, law and order is still something to cherish. Why should we change our rules for a segment of the Hispanic population that seeks to violate them?

Lee Anthony Nieves


In response to “Treat the disease, yes – but also treat the patient” (July 8):

View from PA: Doctors

wed to technology

Karen Garloch eloquently describes how U.S. health care focuses on treating diseases with technology, not on asking questions, taking proper histories or investigating underlying causes.

As a physician assistant I seek out alternatives for treating patients themselves rather than their diseases.

Under the current model, however, we constantly order unnecessary and costly tests, and we practice defensive medicine to stave off malpractice lawyers.

Patients often ask me to place them on a drug to help them lose weight or lower cholesterol. But when I ask if they would rather do it the right way with aerobic exercise and proper nutrition, overwhelmingly they say yes.

Mary Dore


In response to “Longer trucks get Senate OK” (June 18):

Longer trucks meet

smaller cars? Uh-oh

The proposal to allow longer and wider truck rigs on N.C. primary highways is disturbing.

The cost of gasoline is already putting smaller vehicles on the highway.

To place the public in even more danger in the event of a truck-automobile collision is unconscionable.

Robert L. Burkey

Seven Devils

In response to “People who know Doug can't help but know recycling” (June 18):

Leland's story captures

reality of hard work

Excellent story about the Mooresville Transfer Station!

Elizabeth Leland not only stressed the importance of recycling, but also noted the conditions under which lots of people work in this hot weather. My hat is off to all of them, especially sanitation workers everywhere.

Thelma C. Fox


In response to “Harding High wasn't among city's ‘roughest'” (June 20 Forum):

View from Myers Park:

Harding WAS ‘roughest'

Harding High was the roughest school in Charlotte.

Remember the near riot at Memorial Stadium when Myers Park beat Harding for the first time? The Harding players cleared the bench and attacked us.

I'll never forget sitting in my '52 Ford with friends at Honey's Drive-In when five guys in burgundy jackets with silver H's approached, started throwing punches and yelling for us to get back to “your side of town.”

Hey, Tommy Tomlinson, no apologies needed!

Jim Devine

Indian Land, S.C.

In response to “Conservative without compromise Jesse Helms: 1921-2008” (July 5):

Will Kennedy, Clinton

get such harsh coverage?

I hope that when Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton or any of your other amoral liberals die, you print an obituary just as blunt and accusatory as the one on Jesse Helms.

John Osmar

Carolina Beach

Democrats, too, had

Helms on their side

My wife's father was a disabled Korean War veteran. One day he asked me, “Who does a Yellow Dog Democrat call to get his disability check fixed?”

Then he handed me a letter from Sen. Helms' office advising him the matter had been resolved.

Todd Watson


The longer they live,

the better they look?

As I read all the glowing tributes to Sen. Helms, I'm reminded of a John Huston line from the 1974 movie “Chinatown”: “Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.”

Jack Matthews