Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for Aug. 8

They have an obvious electoral agenda

I am the first vice chairman of the St. Clair County Republican Party. I have conservative values and support candidates for elected office who share those values. I guess that makes me a “partisan” of sorts.

I truly wish the local activists associated with the liberal “Indivisible” movement would show their true colors and be just as transparent about their political agenda.

Case in point: A person associated with this liberal activist group accosted Congressman Mike Bost while he was visiting the MotoMart in Cahokia the other day. He interjected while Congressman Bost was being interviewed by a local TV station to ask him why he voted for “legislation that will kill my wife.”

The absurd premise of the question aside, it would have been more heartfelt had this man not been on a public “Indivisible” Facebook forum moments before the incident asking his fellow activists for suggested questions he could lob at Bost to try and make him look bad in front of the cameras. Seriously.

Despite their claim that they are a group of “concerned citizens” who “just want to speak with their Congressman,” these are political partisans have an obvious electoral agenda. I’ve been involved in politics for years. I’m familiar with the tactics. The self-righteous “concerned citizen” schtick is getting pretty old.

Barbara Viviano, O’Fallon

Bost can play the victim, but not a hurt constituent

Chris Baker, of Waterloo, finally got the chance to corner Illinois 12th District Congressman Slippery Mike Bost in Cahokia. Baker was worried about health insurance for his wife’s pre-existing condition.

Bost said, “This is a sad reflection of the politicized world we live in, where trained political activists (Bost-speak for regular citizens joining together to voice their opinions) plot to score political points on camera rather than have an honest give-and-take on the issues. I’ve said all along that I need to hear from those who disagree with me, but there are more effective ways to do so than ambushing interviews and disrupting public events.”

If this were a public event, is Bost saying Baker can’t talk to him while a camera is running? At any point has Bost ever held an unscripted public forum on the most meaningful legislation in a generation? Bost voted the party line on a bill that only garnered 17 percent approval. So it’s OK for Bost to play the victim, but not a voter who would be hurt by his support of legislation?

Bost said, “The best way to talk to my constituents is one on one.”

“No, it’s not,” Baker said. “The best way to talk to them is where there is a public record where we can hear what it is that you have to say and we can point back to it and point out to you that you are going back on your word.”

Chris, that sure sounds right to me! Unless you believe politicians don’t lie?

Michael Sweeney, Caseyville

Let Molina vent his frustration at flawed team spirit

I take umbrage with Todd Eschman’s criticism of Yadier Molina. He would deny Molina the right to point out an obvious flaw in the current Cardinals team ethos. Under the Tony Larussa/Jose Oquendo regime, strict adherence to sound fundamentals was encouraged, even demanded. But with Mike Matheney’s “laissez-faire” system, the team has lost its edge. Matheney’s team (inherited from Larussa) performed well! However, as the Matheney’s philosophy permeated the team, performance has declined. Since Oquendo’s departure from the field and the team, this decline has accelerated. To deny Molina the ability to publicly point this out and vent his frustration is untenable. The fact that Matheney (with no managerial/coaching experience) was appointed manager instead of Oquendo shows that upper management has a pro-Matheney bias that has led to our less-than-stellar performance.

William Stone, Belleville

Gen. John Kelly might be just what the doctor ordered

The jury hasn’t even been seated yet, and the appointment of Gen. John Kelly as White House Chief of Staff has already drawn the mainstream media’s dire analysis of the president’s pick.

A recent McClatchy article in the BND was illustrative. In it reporters related that then Gen. Kelly excluded the civilian media from military ceremonies and privately called a female reporter an “a-hole” because she disrespected his troops. The media fumed at the slights and the perceived attack on one of their own.

It’s not clear if most in the military community would agree. Surely Kelly wasn’t the source of the name-calling illustration so it was “leaked” information. If the source was a fellow Marine it was probably offered with delight. It could be seen simply as an example of Kelly’s lack of gender bias.

The article further noted that Kelly had received President Donald Trump’s “highest compliment,” characterizing him as a “tough guy.” In recent presidential tweets Kelly was called “a Great American, Great Leader, and true star of my Administration.”

Not sure why the cherry-picking press didn’t choose the riper fruit.

They downplayed Kelly’s execution “with military precision” of Trump’s policies while Homeland Security Secretary. They were disappointed that Kelly was not a “moderating influence” on the administration, as if he were hired for that.

Despite the media’s pessimism, Kelly might be just what the doctor ordered.

Bill Malec, O’Fallon

Some positivity amid all the negative comments

With all the negative comments and back biting in the Sound Off section, I would like to make a positive comment. When I take my dog to the groomer on State Street in O’Fallon, I pass by the beautiful gardens planted at the east end of that street. I don’t know who plants all those flowers, but everything is beautiful. I make it a point to always go by there. God bless you all who maintain, and I will continue to enjoy it.

June Boggy, Summerfield

Reverse the damage to the ocean by going vegan

According to a new report released by Mighty, a global environmental organization, the meat industry is responsible for the biggest “dead zone” ever measured in the Gulf of Mexico.

This dead zone, which is the size of New Jersey, was created by streams and rivers carrying animal excrement and fertilizer — that is used to grow crops for farmed animals — from factory farms to the sea, where the extra nitrogen causes algae populations to skyrocket, leaving little oxygen for other life forms. Mighty’s research shows that major meat suppliers are responsible for the highest levels of manure and fertilizer pollution.

This is cause for concern, but there is one simple thing each of us can do to help reverse the damage: Go vegan. A study by Princeton University found that a shift away from meat production — as well as Americans’ adoption of a plant-based diet — would dramatically reduce the amount of nitrogen in the Gulf to levels that would make the dead zone “small or non-existent.”

For more information about adopting an environmentally-friendly lifestyle, and to order a free vegan starter kit, please visit www.peta.org.

Amy Elizabeth, PETA Foundation