Letters

Wounded Knee

Hey, nice job on "Old Sport." You captured a lot of what I've felt over the years. I tore my left ACL, totally, when I was 33. For 10 years, it was depressing as hell not playing sports. I gained 40 useless pounds, too. Then I had my left knee properly fixed (I love orthopods and modern surgery!), with a cadaver bit as my new ACL. After lots of rehab, I took up tennis again. And, to this day, it's like a second childhood. It's sweet. Sure, I still love to win, and I play as hard as a 53-year-old can. But win or lose, I really enjoy tennis just about every time I play. I related especially well to your comments about craftiness replacing physical ability as one ages — it has to! Again, nice article.

— Gary Shepherd
Tampa

Check Your Agendas

I am an independent voter. I choose on character history, not party. I am a disabled vet who served under Bill Clinton, no pun intended. I am a father and a husband. I'm unemployed and have never earned over $35,000 a year. I believe in freedom for all, even those I disagree with. I am an American.

The author is right about there being problems in the media but wrong in the source. It is my opinion that NBC, ABC, CBS and a majority of print, to include the Weekly Planet, are liberal. The so-called "Bush-bashing" has been non-stop and brutal. I know, "if the shoe fits." The problem is that it doesn't always. So let's look at some facts and not reduce ourselves to name-calling (redneck, dumb ass, etc.) like children.

1. Many people object to the war in Iraq. Great, more power to you, but if Bosnia, Somalia, Yugoslavia didn't have you this pissed off, it's not the war.

2. Have a war and you'll have collateral damage, a euphemism for many civilians killed. Contrast the number of civilians killed in the Belgrade air campaign. Once again, if you're not pissed about those deaths, it's not the loss of civilian life that's bugging you.

3. WMDs. It's too simple. He had them, we and the Russians helped build it up. He used them. He stockpiled them — see any previous U.N. report from 1991 to 2003. Did Bush lie about Saddam having WMDs? No. Did he lie about knowing where they were? Yes. Now, boys and girls, for the real question: What the fuck happened to them?! No one can answer that for certain, and it scares the crap out of me.

4. Halliburton. How many companies in the world can muster the same resources? How many contracts were issued under the Clinton administration's wars? Take into account the scope of the work.

5. Michael Moore. It is amazing that a non-candidate should cause so much controversy in an election. I love this country. That being said, I would warn against using Mr. Moore as a source of information, only because many of his statements have been refuted, some by the likes of Dick Clark (former staffer, not Bandstand).

Americans, it's time to leave this "yellow journalism" once again. I have a hint for you. Both liberals and conservatives are pushing agendas — their "truths" if you will. Look for facts and compare them because the odds are that someone has omitted a fact to help their own truth.

— Eric Hankins
Lutz

War Stories

Your article was about the sorriest piece of journalism, if you can call it that, that I have ever read in a newspaper. You even use pictures of Marine choppers to try and enhance your self-serving story. You're obviously a wimp, trying to make yourself look good, and know nothing about combat. A bronze star with no "V"? They gave those to people who never heard a shot fired. (Mine do have "V"s.) Air medals? Everybody got those, just for flying around, including me. As for Kerry, any jerk would pull someone out of the water. Practically his whole crew thinks he was/is an asshole. I was a young Marine officer in Viet Nam, with some real combat experience, and some real personal decorations, but forget about that. Real heroes never talk about themselves; they don't have to. I also was the notification officer on four occasions in San Diego, after my war ended, and handled it a lot better than your sorry ass.

— John Schwartz, Lt. Col., USMCE Ret. Member, Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry
Tampa

Clarification

In "One Man's Terrorist …" (Aug. 4-10), John Sugg stated that local dailies failed to report on a March ruling by Federal District Judge James Moody in the Sami Al-Arian case, a decision that required the government to prove the defendants intended to further criminal actions by illegal organizations. Sugg says he should have been more precise in his wording — that The Tampa Tribune did not report on the ruling at the time, and the St. Petersburg Times referred to the decision in the second-to-last paragraph of a lengthy analysis of the case. Moody reaffirmed his decision this week, a development reported on Aug. 6 by both dailies.

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