The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Saturday, February 15, 2003


It's Saturday, so the Mercury News prints extra-big helpings of reader-created lunacy. First we see evidence of the increasingly tenuous grip on reality possessed by the anti-war left:


WITH all the fear-mongering by the Bush administration, it is easy for people to lose sight of the facts about the U.N. weapons inspections in Iraq. The majority of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were destroyed in 1996, leaving only a small amount for the inspectors to find now. As chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said, given enough time, we will be able to disarm Iraq, although it would be faster with more cooperation from Sadaam Hussein.

Are we really willing to face 500,000 casualties, as estimated by the U.N., plus all the psychological damage, material destruction, and disruption of people's lives to fight a war no one wants and many think is wrong? Or could we wait until the inspectors have had time to root out the few remaining weapons?

Yes, Iraq is being deceitful, but let's show the patience of maturity and make the best decision in terms of human lives, culture and health of the planet on which we live.

Hope Raymond
Palo Alto


It's amazing that Raymond thinks that the inspectors can magically find and neutralize all dangerous weapons in a country twice the size of Idaho. What does she think the inspection process is, a game of Zelda? "I know there's one more chemical warhead on this level. Have we checked the Laundry Pool of Basra?"

And I love her casualty estimate of 500,000. My estimate for the number of casualties is 5,658,329. My methodology for this estimate was to turn on my calculator and bang on keys at random. It's probably just as valid as whatever process was used by the folks at the UN.

Brilliant letter number two was on the issue of whether San Jose should have given employees a day off to celebrate Cesar Chavez' birthday. The assessor complained that the holiday would interfere with his assessment schedule, prompting this letter (from which I quote one paragraph):


Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone objected to the establishment of a Cesar Chavez holiday for county workers at this time, saying the loss of a day's work would jeopardize completion of the county's assessment roll (Opinion, Feb. 11). Given the County Board of Supervisors' vote to approve the holiday, it is evident that Stone now has his marching orders. But he shouldn't be disheartened! Instead, in the spirit of true leadership, he should seize the opportunity to infuse his office staff with an ardent dedication to the worthwhile cause of closing the assessment roll on time.


Great. The Mercury News is printing letters from Stakhanovites.


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