Social and Political Commentary

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Reading & Writing

... If you're going to write an editorial, make it balanced.

by Len Dalton

Any time the normal person reads or writes, the material involved should be of a balanced character. This allows the reader to have or to issue a qualified opinion. All too often the effort, instead, becomes ordinary ax grinding and propagandizing at the expense of the reader and at the expense of the writer's credibility. There always seems to be that fateful image of debit and credit with words. To your writer, lopsided views are unfair and certainly unworthy of a good writer.

In a recent "Mirror" article our new President gets clobbered for not having changed the world after having been in office all of three months! If changing the world is expected after three months, for goodness sake, what do they expect of the President after four years?

The writer tells us that President Bush has dismally failed to block the manufacture  of 'cop killer' bullets. Gee, I didn't know there were "non-cop killer" bullets.

Next the President is taken to task for not having eliminated homelessness. How he is expected to accomplish that is a mystery to me and not explained by the writer. Lots of homeless people are homeless by choice! Even with places like The Pine Street Inn they still want to remain outside and anonymous in society. Naturally, others otherwise in harms way should be looked after. Perhaps that is what the writer had in mind. Again, no explanation.

Mention, for the purpose of trashing our new President, of the revival of "The Cold War" in the further development of the "Star Wars" technology and in cooling our relationship with North Korea, serves no good. "Star Wars" technology cools the potential of aggression by enemies. The Clinton administration received millions of dollars from Chinese interests and, as a result, jeopardized American interests by securing ports at the Panama Canal on both the Atlantic and the Pacific sides. China now has more influence there than does the United States. Clinton also secured a base for the Chinese at Long Beach, California. Terrific! Whatever President Bush does to change that is definitely in our interests and a step in the right direction.

Of course, Bush is not selling time in the Lincoln bedroom to benefit the Republican Party as Clinton often did to profit the Democratic Party. Playing ball with the North Koreans? Great call! North Korea is an absolute political slum; its people, in constant threat of famine, are powerless to make any change. Clinton offered the North Koreans three nuclear power plants for an agreement that they would not develop nuclear weapons. In the absence of any measure of supervision, who could tell what they were doing? I expect the writer would fault Bush for rescinding that offer. Not me! Asian countries have a history of treachery and it can be expected that will not change. The United States cannot assume that it will. A glimpse at the Chinese mentality can be seen in the recent Hainan Island incident. Our aircraft was over international waters and was approached by two Chinese jet fighters. One Chinese fighter was flown by a known "hot dogger," a term applied to an irresponsible pilot. He mistakenly guessed his relation with the American aircraft, hit it, and lost his life. He was at fault, not the Americans. Never the less, the Americans were held hostage when they called a "MAYDAY" and made it to a military airport on Hainan. The paranoid Chinese detained the Americans and violated the security of American interests by boarding the aircraft. If Bush retaliates, is he to be condemned for this as well? I think not.

The writer mentions that the Chinese execute people at a rate higher than those in Bush's State of Texas. May I mention that most of these executions are of drug dealers? In Asian countries where the death penalty is applied for drug dealing, there is little or no drug problem. Drugs are brutal. Drugs are life threatening. Obviously, efforts to this time in this country to stop the drug trade have not worked. Asian countries know what works.

The words you see here are the "other" side. In the future I hope both sides will come forth to qualify articles to profit our readers.  Thanks.

To review Jackie Wattenberg's article, click here

April 13, 2001


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