August 22, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Aug. 22, 2013


---- — Dismantle rail line

TO THE EDITOR: Using common sense is a big step in the right direction when debating the usefulness of the Old Forge/Lake Placid railroad track system.

This system was resurrected back in the ‘70s with no viable use in sight; it fell into disrepair only to be touted once again as the future of travel in the Adirondacks.

Enough nostalgia; it is time to consider more than a few train buffs. Become realistic. It is time to dismantle the rails between Old Forge and Lake Placid and make it a trail for everyone to use, not the few people that will ride it once at a designated time for an amount of money, but for the adventurous and not so adventurous travelers that will use it year round. It just makes sense.


Old Forge


Rhetorical misdirections

TO THE EDITOR: Serial tree waster and publisher of the North Countryman, perhaps emboldened by recent setbacks in civil rights, saw fit to opine on race in an embarrassingly myopic, “I own it so I can” vanity piece.

Complex and delicate, it’s an issue best avoided, especially if hamstrung by a lack of historical or contemporaneous subtext, insight or empathy, as evidenced by his recent realization that “many still do not feel they are treated equally in our society, especially in the judicial and law-enforcement systems in our nation.”

Flummoxed by that concept, the author cobbled together some “what-ifs” and numerous time-worm Republican dog-whistle code words and tropes — classic rhetorical misdirections used to disparage cultures, marginalize minorities, blame victims and invoke fear and loathing.

Disguises for things found when old, spent white men open their vaults of bad dreams: hatred, the bitter smell of skins they’ve shed and memories of dark deeds from times past.

The author proffered a solution consisting mainly of young black men altering societal perceptions of them through behavorial changes coupled with a pro-active, evolving government. Problematic, when one political party constantly spews bilious invective, aggressively pursues regressive legislation, provides safe haven for bigots and then mocks minority outrage.

Instead of rap music and imagery, one might have considered de-industrialization; corporate outsourcing; governmental apathy regarding housing, education and jobs; racist drug wars; racial profiling; unequal application of laws; voter suppression; and lax gun laws.

The election of a black president wasn’t the dawning of a post-racial America but the awakening of racist elements and the intensification of efforts to maintain a fading white dominance.

Not surprisingly, Republicans cynically politicized and attempted to capitalize on festering societal schisms and roll back decades of progress, again.


Rouses Point