Letters to the Pilot

Monday, March 24, 2003

Unfair attack on Rep. King's character


I am referencing an editorial that was printed in The Storm Lake Times on Wednesday, March 5, and entitled, "The King of Kiron." It appeared to me the editor was attempting to denigrate the character of 5th District Congressman Steve King.

The congressman was chastised for referring to anti-war protesters as un-American and anti-American. Steve King respects the rights of people to protest peacefully. But he does object to, as I do, the anti-American and un-American inflammatory rhetoric and the vandalism that has been witnessed at some of the protests. A prime example of anti-American and un-American tactics used by protesters was the destruction of a 9/l l memorial erected along a fence line on private property in Wittier, Calif. In addition to destroying the memorial, they ripped up dozens of flags and burned them. What good American wouldn't take issue with such despicable behavior?

Some of the protest marches, campus teach-ins, classroom walkouts and flag burning reminds one of the anti-Vietnam era. Hardcore Communist and pro-Communist organizations engineered many of those protests. No doubt remnants and derivatives of that mindset still exist in our society today in addition to the Islamic radicalism. They have one goal in mind - and that is to create as much havoc as possible in an effort to bring the United States down. We would be foolish to think they would not take advantage of this moment in time.

There are many legitimate reasons on the minds of people who may want to protest the conflict with Iraq. The destruction of a 9/l l memorial built in the memory of loved ones who lost their lives in that abominable act of inhumanity is totally unacceptable, un-American, and should anger the spirit of all patriotic Americans.

The editor labeled Congressman King as an anti-Vietnam protester because he did not enlist in the military service and tote an M-16. He alleges the congressman was too busy partying at Northwest Missouri State. That is a "sorry" and unfounded allegation. Steve King was registered with the Selective Service System and was subject to being called for military service the same as any other registrant. He has the utmost respect and admiration for those men and women who have served, and who are serving in our Armed Forces today in defense of the freedom we enjoy and cherish as Americans.

I was in college at the time of that war and in the inactive reserves of the U.S. Army. I did not reenlist. Therefore I must have been a Vietnam War protester in view of the rationale for the charge fired at the congressman.

Yes, Congressman King is the author of the English Language Unity Act of 2003. He clearly stated his reasons for introducing the bill. I recently read an opinion poll that indicated over 90 percent of the respondents favored English as the official language of the United States. Mr. Opinion conducted the poll. The bill in no way prohibits people from communicating in other languages. To infer that Steve King has a fear of Mexicans and the sole purpose of the legislation is to impose that fear on others is a boldfaced, untruthful and deceitful fabrication. It certainly does not coincide with Webster's definition of the truth. One might think there is an ulterior motive for making such a statement.

It is refreshing to have another voice in the U.S. House of Representatives that believes in the precepts on which this great country was founded and is willing to stand up for them.

Jim Treat,

Storm Lake

Lessons from history


I would like to see the intelligence Mr. Palecek is basing his opinions on [Letters to the Editor, March 18 Pilot-Tribune]. If he doesn't have his own Intelligence Agency he must have actually traveled to Iraq. Maybe he has even been to Bosnia, Israel and even Haiti? He may have been in Poland when Germany invaded and slaughtered many of my Grandmother's townspeople in the late 30's. He must have then seen my Grandmother's neighbors and friends loaded on train cars to be shipped like cattle to death camps. In 1939 Mr. Palecek must have been in China when the Japanese killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people with chemical and biological weapons merely as a test. He then must have traveled to London during the height of V2 rocket strikes from Germany and helped pull dead bodies from the rubble of London's destroyed buildings. He must have been in Bosnia when the opposing forces took over his town and forced him and his family out of their home to live and die in the streets. After doing all of this he must have gone in to Somalia and witnessed how warring tribes killed and mutilated for power. He must be a survivor of a bus bombing in Israel or even a scud missile launch from Iraq.

According to his letter he is an authority on REAL danger so he must have seen it firsthand. Right? He knows what a real threat is - just as all of the history listed above was not a threat to us. Mr. Palecek, I am saving my pity for you and those like you.

Dan Sokolowski,

Storm Lake

Community support for youth tourneys


The Storm Lake Tornado Athletic Booster Club annual Youth Basketball Tournaments held Feb. 22 and March 1 were a huge success. Over 900 boys and girls from northwest Iowa played in over 150 games. Good sportsmanship and fun were evident in all of the games.

Participation in organized sports teaches kids team work, discipline, fair play, leadership and other life skills. Volunteer coaches, officials, time keepers, score keepers and concession stand workers gave countless hours and served as role models for our student athletes. I am proud of everyone who helped with these tournaments for the sportsmanship, volunteerism and community spirit they demonstrated and taught our student athletes by their example.

Of course this event could not have been possible without the support of the Storm Lake Community Schools and Saint Mary's administrations as well as Community Education for making the facilities available. Custodial staff at all the buildings went through a lot of extra work getting the gyms ready and then back in shape for school on the following Mondays. Individual benefactors and business sponsors helped make the tournaments safe and fun for all.

On behalf of the Storm Lake Tornado Athletic Booster Club I would like to thank everyone who played a role in making the tournaments successful. It was a huge undertaking but a great event for the student athletes and for that I am grateful. These tournaments are another fine example of what makes Storm Lake a wonderful place to live. Todd Erskine, Storm Lake Tornado

Athletic Booster Club President