"Why don't you ever print letters?" A reader asked recently.
That's a surprisingly hard question to answer. Few bother to write, sadly; and of the e-mail we do receive, much of it contains nothing relating to the Monitor at all. An example:
THE SCIENTIFIC SELECTION OF POLITICAL CANDIDATES Advertise widely for applicants for political office. Use rigorous tests,including psychological evaluation, to select the best applicant for the political group for the position of political office. Rep. Car- olyn McCarthy was put in office by an antigun-violence group. So there is no reason why your group cannot do the same. LINK? See URL: www.cnct.com/home/jbloch
(I haven't visited the site mentioned, by the way; I'm afraid to. Something about that "LINK?" written in capital letters intimidates me.)
A great deal of the rest of our mailbox is filled with plain ol' hate mail -- or flames -- about particular articles. The angry letter by Mr. Hollows regarding Fortuna Alliance (printed below) is fairly typical of this kind of message.
There are also lots of PR announcements, which I'll discuss in the next issue's letter section. Some of those are quite... interesting, to say the least.
But the desired dialog between readers about the articles we publish has never materialized. Starting this issue, we make another change; letters are now in the "free" section of the newspaper, where anyone can read them. We encourage everyone to write, even those who aren't Monitor subscribers. This could be the liveliest section of the newspaper -- if you'll help.
All correspondence should be sent to email@example.com. We reserve the right to edit letters as needed.
Flooding Linked to Development, Researcher Says
Great flooding story. This is just the kind of thing that's needed to urban governments take notice of what they're doing with land deals (it should certainly make developers take notice, once lawsuits start being filed...) Am filing it for future reference.
U.S. "Drug War" Against Zapatistas
In my adult lifetime, everytime the United States becomes involved in the civil strife in any country, it has always been on the wrong side. And when this happens, it is always washed over by some sort of hogwash... like in the case of Mexico, trying to convince the population of the U.S. that we are only trying to stop the flow of evil drugs into the U.S.
If the government would just come out and say, "we think that the economic security of our country depends on bolstering the inhumane government of (pick your country)," I would not feel so insulted by their actions and verbiage.
The FTC has you hoodwinked too, eh? How much did it cost them?
Tony Hollows, a fortuna alliance member
Our latest communique left the impression that a settlement is at hand and although not stating as such implied that we would be "vindicated." Do you have any further news in regards to this case?
Jeff Elliott responds: Investigative reporter Paul DeArmond is following the case closely and an update will soon appear in the Albion Monitor.
Prison Labor Boon for Employers, Report Says
.... I am a senior at a UC and am interested in writing about convict labor for my thesis. I think convict labor is echoing of slavery and i think it is disgusting that most of the people doing time in prison are there because of society's inequaltities. Now they are being forced to work for corporate america? Not suprising, but disgusting nevertheless.
1997 in Review editorial
I went to Albion and saw your reference to Vince Foster as "right wing crap". I assume you think that only right wingers are interested in how this man died. If you read the Christopher Ruddy investigative journalism, and you still think it was suicide, then you probably believe in the Easter Bunny too. If you are going to succeed as a real journalist, and I do wish you luck, you'd better keep your work objective. Did you read Foster's speech at U of Ark just a couple of weeks before he died, that part where he indicated it was time for him to speak out. Who had most to lose by allowing him to speak out? I think of myself as "progressive" also, by the way, but I will not allow myself to dismiss everything that looks bad for Hillary or Bill as "right wing crap".
Jeff Elliott responds: Thank you for your thoughtful remarks. Your argument, however, displays several logical errors. First is shifting the burden of proof; no one can prove a negative. As there are no witnesses, it's impossible to show that Mr. Foster DIDN'T commit suicide.
Also, your assumptions of my faith in Mr. Bunny might be called "ignoratio elenchi" -- claiming that an argument supports a particular conclusion when it actually has nothing to do with that conclusion. But for your information, yes, I do.
I would also suggest that you reread that editorial if you believe I "dismiss everything that looks bad for Hillary or Bill." The section that you fault is titled, "White House for Sale." There I point out that there are REAL scandals -- illegal fundraising and influence peddling activities committed by the Clinton Administration. While (probably) not impeachable offenses, these are some of the dirtiest activities since the Teapot Dome scandal.
Finally, thank you for your good wishes on my career as a " real journalist." I'm sure you'll be happy to know I've published hundreds of articles dating back to 1972 (my investigative features have even appeared in conservative journals such as National Review and Reason). Reprints appear in at least six textbooks, and still other articles are used in journalism and other college courses.
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