Letters to the Editor
Here are some of the latest and most interesting letters to the editors of local newspapers from the community.
Note: while we only post intelligent, informed letters, they do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the county or party.
Greetings -- My name is Jeff Rice and I hope what follows will be of assistance to those who wish to speak out in a public forum, but not sure how to do so. I began submitting letters to area newspapers as far back as the presidency of Ronald Reagan. There wasn’t any guideline to follow except for my desire to speak out so I sat down and started writing.
As the years passed I learned how to comply to the requirements of area newspapers. Basically it’s a 250 word limit and common sense after that...no profanity. Time between letters is 30 days before another can be submitted.
While my interests lie in political topics, people write about numerous items of interest they want others to read.
Letters can be drafted by hand and submitted via mail, or written on computer and sent electronically. Newspapers encourage citizens to write and they provide the ‘how to’ information on their opinion page.
Some papers call the writer for verification and some do not. My experience is the Dispatch/Argus always calls, while the QC Times does not, especially if they know you have written them previously.
The above publications have their own web sites, thus letters are published online as well as in print which mean your words reach far and wide across our nation. Now it’s time for the nuts and bolts so here goes. Shakespeare wrote, “brevity is the soul of wit.”
Once your first draft is completed, it’s time for the final touch. My suggestion is to sit down and get what you want to say off your chest...no matter how many words you write. Don’t worry about word count until you have set in print everything you want to express. Most of the time writers discover they have exceeded the word limit, so now the editing process begins.
With word processors, it’s easy to keep track by clicking onto ‘tools’ and seeing your word count. Here’s where saying the most in the fewest words count, making your letter capture the readers attention. This is where writers will delete sentences or entire paragraphs. Maybe move them around to a different place for maximum impact.
When writing it is helpful to use a dictionary and/or thesaurus in order to avoid using repeated words. If you follow the above guidelines, you are well on your way to making an impact to fellow citizens. Questions let me know. Jeff Rice
Feature Letter to the Editor
Why hide adult march involvement?
Eugene Mattecheck Jr., Moline
Dispatch Argus - April 16th, 2018
March 20th, under the guise of memorializing lost souls and promoting safety, select parents, teachers, and administrators facilitated school walkouts. March 24th, adults and students attended nationally sponsored "March For Our Lives" (MFOL) rallies. Media fostered the narrative that these events were student-led/organized.
That didn't strike me as true. The chartered buses, venue reservations, and parade permits were arranged and financed by adult-led organizations holding anti-gun views. I pondered, "Where'd the money come from? Who set up the nationwide Facebook templates? Why hide the adult involvement? Are the children just props?"
The Washington, D.C. (MFOL) rally was promoted as a spontaneous, nonpartisan movement of students concerned about school safety. That illusion was soon dispelled as inspiring eulogies devolved into anti-gun, anti-NRA and anti-Republican screeds.
That said, our First Amendment guarantees their right to organize, rally and speak. It's also the press' right to be deceitful.
While watching those events, the obscure, Leninesque phrase, "useful idiots" popped into my mind. Defined in Wikipedia: "'Useful idiots' is a derogatory term for persons perceived as propagandists for a cause, the goals of which they're not fully aware; who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause. "Thankfully, there's nobody like that in this "student-led" movement. Nobody with an agenda. No propagandists; no attention Hoggs; no opportunistic advocacy groups; no Bi-Money influence. Just idealistic kids whose opinions and recommendations are based on a thorough understanding of world history, existing firearms regulations, and our Constitution. My faith in mankind has been restored.