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I wonder if people are aware that the Associate Press (AP) has a monopoly on national and international media news in America, and what that means.I often search the Internet for news, and in what struck me as a rare act of political courage, the Governor of Illinois stood up to the Bank of America.The bank suspended credit from Republic Windows & Doors in Chicago, forcing a layoff of 240 workers without pay, despite having just received its own federal bailout of $25 billion. The governor responded to the injustice by stopping the Bank of America from doing business with any department of the State of Illinois. Rods courage led to a BoA loan of $1.4 million to Republic so that 200 of the workers, the ones who had protested, were paid $7,000 each for wages due.Not to condone Chicago political maneuvers, but is it just a sad coincidence that the day after the governors brave announcement, Rod Blagojevich was ordered shackled and jailed by an FBI special agent? The AP alluded to him as moral-less for a series of Mayor Daley-style pay for play allegations. Seems most all see him as a scumbag now.If we are to make any progress from the chasm of the past eight years, it will take many similar acts against powerful agencies. These interests will ruthlessly discredit anyone who stands against them. For perspective, I try to remember what a sage once said, Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.John HoffmannCarbondale

For your information, James Blatter, the U.S. is allied with several Middle Eastern nations where Sharia Law is practiced; Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Qatar. Saddam Hussein prevented Sharia Law from being practiced in Iraq, but thanks to the U.S. invasion, Sharia has been implemented by the new Iraqi government.I wasnt defending the Hamas government or their laws. I was proposing the idea people living under a brutal forty-two year occupation, an 18-month blockade and now aerial and ground attacks, might understandably feel angry and vengeful.You ask if I can actually imply that individuals who have their own government are equally as broken and destroyed as people put into camps designed for their execution and dissolution. Yes, I can. The people of Gaza have been starved, denied medicine, denied fuel for electricity, their economy has been destroyed, they have no aircraft, tanks, anti-aircraft guns, or military forces with which to defend themselves. They cant even send their women and children to safety outside of Gaza because Israel has them penned in like animals for the slaughter.Israel is not allowing international reporters to enter Gaza, so we dont know anything other than what Israel tells us, and what leaks out from the people trapped there. Fortunately, some brave souls from the international community have been able to get into Gaza by boat. You can read their reports at the Free Gaza web site.Israel says the military attack on the people of Gaza is necessary to keep Israelis safe, but a Hamas spokesman said, The Zionists have legitimized the killing of their children by killing our children. They have legitimized the killing of their people all over the world by killing our people. Because of Israels massacre of innocent Muslim men, women, and children, Israelis are even more at risk, and so are Jews the world over. That includes my husband, my in-laws, and my many Jewish friends.This insanity must stop. Please call or write your government representatives and President-elect Obama to demand U.S. support for an immediate cease-fire.Sue GrayCarbondale

I thought I was through writing letters to the editor. But what I heard today on TV, a song about President-elect Obama, made me write again. A bucket of slop and they played it at least twice (I heard that many times). I didnt think you could get lower than a snakes belly, but there are maggots in a rotten Republican Party. If you will stand for that and still say you are a Republican, then there is no hope for you. The news on TV should tell their names, but no one will own up to say such a vulgar thing, and the Republicans will cover it up. The Democrats are not the greatest, but if they ever wrote something like that song, I would no longer be a Democrat.Mildred BaumliCarbondale



It looks like perennially-confused letter writer, Sue Gray, is at it again. Is there any reason to take her seriously anymore?She resumes firing her salvos at Israel, verbally, for its present campaign against Hamas, even as Islamic terrorists continually do so, literally. And again, she is sadly in error, pointing her finger at the wrong party. Gosh, what else is new?Of course, Sue doesn’t mention Israel has endured daily, deadly rocket attacks upon its civilians for seven years now, at the hands of radicals who refuse to even recognize its existence.Nor will she admit that Israel, wanting to demonstrate its sincerity in seeking peace, willingly withdrew from Gaza, so Palestinians could live there exclusively, hopefully peacefully. And what did it receive in return? More accurate and lethal storms of rockets from its restive, racist neighbors.Israel will make a foolish and tragic error, if it yields up the West Bank and Golan Heights as well, as it has indicated it may. Our present government, as well as the incoming one, must cease encouraging it to do so, to prevent further destruction.It has finally had enough of its citizens being routinely murdered for years (and in this latest truce violation by Hamas), and who but the most extreme among us can blame them?Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaida and similar miscreants have not the slightest desire to live in peace with Israel or any of us in the West. And some, including radical sympathizer Peter Larrowe, are so blinded by their strange ideology they can’t even see it (or refuse to).John HerbstBattlement Mesa


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