Get over it
I am writing in response to Douglas Cotant's "Trax rules need to be enforced" [Letters, May 19, City Weekly]. Where to begin? If I understand Mr. Cotant correctly, he would like to declare military rule because a few scofflaws are smoking and skateboarding at Trax stations. Really? Has he even thought about this? This is not Nazi Germany. What does he propose the armed enforcers do when they find someone skateboarding on a platform? Oh, my! He probably wants them summarily shot. I think Mr. Cotant needs to man up. These things are not the end of the world.
The Stan Rosenzweig opinion piece "The Draft" [May 19, City Weekly] touches on several important issues, but skirts a couple more. Rosenzweig worries that Utah Senator Mike Lee is grandstanding over inconsequential issues: women in combat (women are already fighting and doing just fine), and potential resurrection of the military draft (the draft is outmoded and won't come back).
First, a small fact correction: The earliest American military draft came during the Civil War, not WWI. Lincoln had to move an army to New York City to put down the mass protests there. That was when America was still a republic. Republican theory says people should believe in a war strongly enough that they would volunteer for it, or else they should not be forced to fight.
A military draft places a large standing army at the disposal of the U.S. president. Since the Korean War, presidents have started foreign wars at their own pleasure in disregard of law and long democratic tradition. Issue No. 1: Why should women or men be forced into a situation where the people they want to defend have no say so in the nation's war policies?
Issue No. 2: What do the non-stop foreign wars started unilaterally by the U.S. executive branch have to do with protecting the homeland? The homeland has not been invaded by a foreign government for over 200 years, since 1812. Our current foreign conflicts seem to encourage a great deal of anger against our people and government and thus accomplish the opposite of protection. Perhaps 9/11 would not have happened if we had not stationed so many U.S. troops on Arab soil.
I wonder how you and I would feel about Salt Lake City parks housing Chinese infantry and tanks in order to help ensure Chinese-style democracy in our fair city?
Dear John, thanks once again for enlightening readers and sharing your past (some of my past, too) ["All Pride Aside," June 2, City Weekly]. I knew Burt also, but I didn't meet him until junior high school, and didn't really get to know him until high school. If you recall, there was a group of us kids who didn't quite fit in with the majority of the other kids, like sports guys, and scholars. We were in art and music classes. Burt was one of the members of our loosely defined group. He was a very special person that shined brightly in any situation, even the bad ones. I lost track of him after high school, but never forgot him.
I am saddened to hear of his passing, but I knew he must have lead a troubled life.
Never stop writing, my friend, we all need your input.