Peace and explosions
Ruth Conniff's reflection on the 40th anniversary of the Sterling Hall bombing ("Blowing Up the Peace Movement," 8/20/10) demands comment. Conniff tells us that Howard Zinn noted that the anti-Vietnam War movement was overwhelmingly peaceful, and that the Sterling Hall bombing was the exception. But Zinn and numerous other peace notables spoke at length on behalf of Karl Armstrong during the sentencing phase of his trial. Sterling Hall was only exceptional due to the fact that someone died as an unintentional result.
A central contention of the column - that some long-term repercussions of Sterling Hall rippling across time still affect a "muted and unsure" peace movement - is dubious. Prior to the launching of the U.S. attack on Afghanistan in October 2001, some 10,000 marched in Madison in the largest peace demonstration since Vietnam. The vast majority present that day, if asked, would not have had a clue regarding Army Math, Robert Fassnacht or what did or didn't happen to the peace movement back then.
None of the above
After reading your article "Walker, Neumann Differ in Key Ways" (8/27/10), I would like to suggest that there be a box on the ballot labeled "none of the above." If this is what money will buy, the voters of Wisconsin are in big trouble.
It is hard to believe that anyone [running for governor] would want to repeal the statewide smoking ban. Further reading showed their cowardice at presenting even a muddled idea of property tax reform.
Al Crosser, Blanchardville
Coach is country
I've never been a big Bret Bielema fan, and I realize that's partly because of the deference our local media gives UW football. Your cover story "Bret's Badgers" (8/27/10) got to the bottom of two big issues: that Barry Alvarez appointed Bielema head coach with Chancellor Wiley's approval, and that Coach's "Michigan State Meltdown" made his reputation as a stand-up guy with his players.
I like my sports reporters fearless and my football coaches pissed off. As Vic Feuerherd's interesting and revealing story made clear, Coach is country, and that's cool.