lLetters to the editor - Part 2

February 01, 2004

A greater injustice

To the editor:

Ever consider the injustices of our nation to particular groups of people? Blacks and American Indians were treated like sub-humans and even like animals. Blacks were considered slaves, and Indians savages.

Both were exploited for financial gain - blacks for their labor and Indians for their land. Blacks cried out and great men like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King championed their cause. Indians haven't been so fortunate. They are still crying out. They are still exploited and not much has been done to help them.

Many are still slaves to poverty and "fire water" addiction. Sad as that is and terrible, as is our legacy of inhuman treatment of blacks and Indians, there's a third group of people that we have exploited even more. We have slain them like we did the huge American buffalo herds of the old West, and profited from our selfish and irresponsible lust for pleasure without responsibility.


Who is this group, this group of humans who unlike the blacks and Indians, cannot raise their voices in pain or protest? They are tiny humans, victims of the grossest injustice of our modern intellectually enlightened society. They are routinely slain for profit and convenience while growing in their otherwise secure homes. Mercilessly slain before they can take the breath that is necessary to utter a scream.

Can we not see the similarity of the injustices we have caused these three groups of humans? Can we not? And, if we see, what will we do?

Richard Happel Jr.
Waynesboro, Pa.

Say it's so, for Shoeless Joe

To the editor:

We've all heard a lot recently about yet another attempt to allow Pete Rose, baseball's career hits leader, to be elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Many make the argument, and to an extent I agree, that Rose deserves to be in the Hall because of what he accomplished on the baseball field during his career as a player. There is no doubt that "Charlie Hustle" was one of the most exciting players to ever play the game. Everyone seems to have an opinion on whether or not Pete deserves to be allowed in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. I, however, would like to offer a new wrinkle.

If the baseball gods allow Pete to go into the Hall of Fame because of his exploits on the field, then, as part of the deal, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, an outfielder for the Chicago White Sox in the late 1900s, should also be allowed into the Hall. Joe Jackson was also banned from baseball by then-commissioner Kennesaw "Mountain" Landis for his part in the 1919 "Black-Sox" scandal where the American League Champion White Sox players, disgruntled because of their treatment at the hands of White Sox owner Charles Comiskey, fell easy prey to organized gambling and were convinced to throw the series to their National League opponents, the Cincinnati Reds.

Jackson, who was barely literate, was convinced by some of his teammates to go along with the plot. However, all baseball historians agree that Jackson did nothing on the field to limit his playing ability. In fact, Jackson hit .375 in that series, played flawlessly in the field and never accepted a dime of the "payoff" money. Moreover, Joe deserves to be in the Hall of Fame because of his career statistics: A lifetime batting average of .356 (third best in history), and a .518 slugging percentage. The only reason he is not in the Hall is because of the scandal.

So, if Major League Baseball allows a confessed gambling addict who bet on his own team while he was its manager into its most hallowed shrine, then surely they will allow Jackson, who unknowingly was manipulated by gambling thugs and other, more ruthless teammates, into Cooperstown.

John C. Costopoulos

Rein in Reese

To the editor:

In his Jan. 23 column "War on terror is too broad," Charley Reese showed himself as too narrowly, and too consistently anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and even anti-American.

Reese chooses, from everything in the world there is to choose from, to call Israel "ruthless" and goes on to say "we" (meaning Americans) have "declared a global jihad against terrorists everywhere in the world."

Speaking of jihad in a more respectful tone, he describes the Palestinian terror group Islamic Jihad, along with Hamas, as having never attacked America.

Perhaps it's a matter of semantics, but these Palestinian murder groups have killed many American citizens in Israel. It's true enough that fellow Arabs, even Palestinians, and internationals have also been killed in these attacks, but to my mind, this senseless blind targeting makes an even stronger case for dealing with these mass murderers. Despite repeated horrific attacks, Palestinian terrorists have gotten, so far, a virtual "bye" in America's worldwide war on terror and all those who support terror announced after 9/11. This is hard to explain.

Some cynics would say that although the people killed by Palestinian terrorists were American citizens, many also happened to be Jewish, and that, somehow, made a difference.

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