My Turn: Venting it's not just for the left anymore

Posted: Monday, August 27, 2001

Here is some advice for pro-business crusaders Kappler, Johnson and Skinner, and cheerleader-publisher Smith. It comes from that greatest of anti-Communist crusaders, Richard M. Nixon:

"[I]f someone charges that there are 58 Communists in the State Department," Nixon warned in Six Crises, "he is at once attacked on the exact number and on the fine distinction between Communists and security risks. The tactic of exaggeration and the deliberate 'fishing expedition' does, to be sure, attract public attention to the problem. But it also tends to undermine the effort to develop an effective program for weeding out the actual security risks .... The best tactic in the face of suspicion from a large segment of the press and public is to be certain you can prove every statement you make about Communist activities."

In the quibbling pinko spirit against which Nixon warned, then, let me ask the crusaders and their cheerleading publisher for some proof.

What and when, exactly, was Juneau's "(official) community response," to quote Kappler and Johnson, or "official community response," to quote publisher Smith, saying, "no to timber?" Hasn't the Assembly generally supported timber development?

What and when, exactly, was our "official community response" saying, "no to mining?" What I remember about Echo Bay was not a community "no," but years and years of community dithering, with Echo Bay itself finally pulling the plug.

What and when, exactly, was our "official community response" saying, "no to a road?" Wasn't the vote last fall only an advisory vote?

Perhaps the problem is that publisher Smith has overstated what Kappler and Johnson actually said. They put parentheses around the word "official" in "official community response," perhaps only indicating weird grammar, but perhaps indicating some uncertainty about how "official" the community response they perceived actually had been. Whatever their uncertainty, though, it hasn't daunted publisher Smith. He has elevated standard community kvetching to an official "No!", and I look forward (with some skepticism) to his producing facts to support his statements. If the right facts aren't forthcoming, exaggerator-publisher Smith, Richard M. Nixon says, "Shame on you."

Meanwhile, let me ask crusader Skinner to let us know exactly what "antics and face-making" Assembly member Pillifant has been engaging in "anytime she disagrees with someone." Have she and Assembly member Wheeler done anything else "rude" besides make faces and cast votes? Why did Mr. Skinner wholly withhold even the slightest specifics about either Assembly member's voting record? We are a little short of damning facts here. Did they vote against the Pledge of Allegiance? Steal Mr. Skinner's parking space? Set a bag of dog poop on fire on his front porch?

Perhaps all this "venting" has been "therapeutic" for publisher Smith, but I thought it was the "liberal camp" that was supposed to waste Juneau's collective time with gratuitous, factually questionable whining.

Oh, yeah, the capital move. In 1096 Count Emich of Leisingen, Volkmar and Gottschalk, all leaders of German Crusader bands, decided that the best way to show moral solidarity in the Crusades was to start out by massacring as many Jews as they could in Germany. So they did, but it didn't work. None of their Crusaders even made it through Hungary, let alone to Jerusalem.

Mark Regan is a 26-year resident of Juneau.

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