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God’s Country; Lord Jim, Not Obi-wan Kenobi; Education That Builds On Students’ Strengths; Journalist or Rabble-Rouser?


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

God’s Country

Southward, ho! That seems to be the cry today among so many of our friends and relatives who are fleeing the lush, rolling hills of Western Massachusetts to escape the life-sucking ensnarements that are the defining features of large cities and states where the Democrat Party is solidly in control. The column last week by Tom Vannah (“Tour de Pioneer Valley,” July 11) set my mind to wonder about the deep-seated intrinsic cost of fleeing this Marxist haven to live in the more “pleasurable” southern states of tumbleweed, scorpions, diamondback rattlesnakes and one-hundred-plus degree temperatures.

Here we have four unique, well-defined seasons and each month has a way of dazzling the senses. Consider August, when the nights are cooler, the harvest is in and the flower gardens are in full bloom. Or January, when you snuggle by a warm wood stove reading a book while sipping a clove-laced cup of apple cider as the wind-driven snow swirls around your windows. Southward, ho? Nah, Democrat/Marxist haven notwithstanding, give me Western Massachusetts and the comforting canopy of towering maples, the green rolling hills and the occasional slash of rain against the face, all of which have a way of whispering sweet music to the soul. God is good!

 

Lord Jim, Not Obi-wan Kenobi

There is an egregious error in your review of Lawrence of Arabia (CinemaDope, July 11). The title role is not played by Alec Guinness, as you state. It was played by Peter O’Toole.

Question. What kind of film critic does not know that it was Peter O’Toole (not Alec Guinness) that played T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence Of Arabia? Answer: The kind that works for the Valley Advocate. I miss Roger Ebert.

Education That Builds On Students’ Strengths

I wish every middle schooler could have an education like the one described in Maureen Turner’s story about Four Winds School in Gill (“Children, Not Trains,” July 4, 2013). Our son was lucky enough to go to Four Winds for three years and it set the course for the rest of his education. He was diagnosed with dyslexia in second grade, and it seemed that his education after that focused on that weakness. At Four Winds, they tossed aside the IEP (special education plan) and focused on his strengths. What a difference that made! He is now about to start his third year of college and continues to take responsibility for his learning.

Journalist or Rabble-Rouser?

In response to Eric Lindholm’s recent letter (“A Conservative in the Mix?”, July 4, 2013): journalism should not be about partisan rhetoric; journalism is about telling the truth. It’s about a commitment to telling people how things really are, not one group’s “spin” on the truth. If your intent is to “use your venomous pen to strike down liberals with savage ferocity,” please do it somewhere else. Eric, if you want a forum to share your personal opinion, get a blog. Don’t drag the last newspaper with any integrity through the mud with your silly and selfish grabs at attention. Until you can show you’re committed to the truth and above common rabble-rousing, why should the Advocate publish your work? Why should anyone even give you the time of day? And by the way, engineering is a scientific pursuit, not a capitalistic one.

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