I read daily the "YOUR OPINIONS" section in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to try to keep my finger on the pulse of local residents. I’m struck how many are based on incorrect facts, which are either quoted or the truel facts omitted. Looking at some letters published this past week (01/02/2011) are illustrative. First, the Mayfair wilding of teenagers gets the attention of some writers, all of whom ignore the race of the majority of the participants. That’s not too surprising, since all the MJS’s news stories on the incident refused to identify the race of the majority as black. But then, neither did the Wauwatosa Police Report. Did you find it strange that a State Statute, effective January 1, 2011, requires police departments to fully document all traffic stops to include the race of a car’s occupants, but the Wauwatosa Police refused to do so in this wilding incident. To his credit, columnist Eugene Kane, made such identification immediately. Apparently the MJS and the Wauwatosa Police Department want to treat us all as juveniles, not mature enough to be able to handle all the facts. The Nanny State has arrived at your local newspaper and police station.
We have another reader deploring the cancellation of the $850 billion plan to construct a high-speed (?) rail line between Milwaukee and Madison. The writer compares this action to the loss of Milwaukee to Chicago becoming "the center for railroad trunk lines in the 1850's and 60's." I surmise that a casual look at a map makes it obvious that it made no sense for Milwaukee to assume that roll. Located some 100 miles north of the south border of Lake Michigan, all railroad trunk lines coming from the east and west would either require a railroad bridge over Lake Michigan or a detour through Chicago. If you were a railroad tycoon, which route would you choose?
Another letter writer demands that Congress close "GITMO, a symbol of torture." No solution as to where to house the very dangerous terrorists still in GITMO was forthcoming. Does the writer want to house them in the United States or release them in the US or elsewhere in the world so that they can resume terrorist activities? The "symbol of torture" is certainly subject to definition. My own definition of torture is any treatment that leaves the recipient with permanent physical or mental disabilities. I am unable to confirm that any GITMO inmate’s condition met that definition. Certainly some of the actions produced information that forestalled terrorist activity and saved many American lives.
To get away from letter writing, I found that the most interesting item in the MJS this week was the replacement of the likeable (I’m told) but ultra-liberal O. Ricardo Pimentel as Editorial Page Editor with the (hopefully) more balanced David Haynes, Deputy Editor. I had an inkling that ORP was losing either his grip or interest – or both. My evidence was the regular publication on the MJS Editorial Page of conservative editorial cartoonist, Michael Ramirez. Normally, ORP would never permit even a hint of conservative thought to appear on his pages. So let’s wish him well as a new MJS liberal columnist since he is stuck in Milwaukee based on his solemn vow never to return to his home state of Arizona as long as Arizona’s laws call for the deportation of illegal aliens. Concomitantly, we can all look forward to David Haynes’ stated approach to provide a wide range of views in the future.