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Name calling?
By Joe Branco


June 21, 2005

Wow, it took you almost three weeks to come up with your powerfully compelling letter. It was worth the wait.

Let's see in your first sentence you accuse me of impolite negatism (not really a word but you probably meant negativism). I presume that you are saying that in comparison to Mr. Hoff's cheerful optimism and warm embrace of humanity, right? Or were you referencing the polite and positive tone of your own correspondence? Either way, I think you missed the point. On the contrary, my letter was very positive and optimistic. Positive means you are for something, negative means you are against something. If I were arguing against the bridge I would be using positive statements such as "preserving the unspoiled view of Gravina Island" or "relying on our traditional ties to the sea for transportation". Do you get it? People like you and Mr. Hoff spend so much energy harping on the negative when a positive argument or two goes so much further. Still in your first sentence you point out my "ignorance of rights of opinion in your non-informed decision". What? You really lost m!
e on that one. What decision did I make? To disagree with Mr. Hoff? I thought that was within the "rights of opinion" or have I once again demonstrated my "ignorance of rights of opinion"? You are probably right, I am ignorant of your perception of the rights of opinion. I think it demands that I can only agree with Mr. Hoff's opinion. Did I finally get it right?

Let's jump to the bottom of your letter and work backward to the beginning. First, of course I dare! The only fact in Mr. Hoff's writings are summarized by his own admission at the bottom of each of his submissions that "this is my opinion". He does not cite facts and I am certain that you have never bothered to research the claims he makes. You take them on blind faith because you want to. That is okay. It is human nature to presume that things that sound like facts from people more educated must therefore, be facts. I am not surprised he impresses you with his "facts".

The fact that Don Hoff does not live in Ketchikan is very germaine to this issue. The bridge does not affect Mr. Hoff in any manner. He does not ever have to take the ferry to or from the airport. He simply drives around Hixson, Tennessee on roads paid for, wastefully, with my tax dollars. His home is in Tennessee. He may have grown up in Ketchikan and may have fond memories but he has chosen to forego that in favor of his new home.

As to the name calling issue, I strongly suspect that you have probably never read a single letter by Mr. Hoff. If you did then you would realize that over the past two years Mr. Hoff has engaged in personal attacks at every step. He is, in fact, a bigoted curmudgeon. That is not name calling it is fact stating. Mr. Hoff engages in PERSONAL attacks with every letter. But I am certain that you chose to ignore that because your are busy cheering his opinion. You are entitled to your opinion, you are entitled to cheer his opinion, and you are by all means entitled to disagree with me. But don't be so foolish as to believe that he hasn't been the harbinger of racism in this issue.

I have never denied Mr. Hoff the right to his opinion and I have an absolute belief in his right to ethnic pride. If the entire Pennock Island is a collection of random gravesites then I would advocate moving the graves to a sacred site prior to the building of the bridge with a demonstration for the sanctity of the remains. But the bridge should still be built. See what a positive compromise we can arrive at when we dialogue.

Joe Branco
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Related Viewpoint:

letter Stick to the issues By Myra Callahan - Ketchikan, AK - USA



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