Didn't like the column
Bill Lueders' opinion column "Voting for their ideals" (10/24/08) was an opportunity to delve into the conflict between voting for what one believes in and voting against what one abhors. While the interviews were insightful, Lueders wasted this opportunity with baseless assertions.
He claimed Ralph Nader "has consistently shown he's more interested in promoting himself than building a third party." Presumably, Lueders buys the argument that Nader's independent candidacies prove egomania, because in doing so he abandoned Green Party-building.
The Greens, however, are as much to blame as Nader for their separation in 2004. Many Greens didn't want Nader after 2000 and preferred to run a safe-state strategy, avoiding states where they might "take" votes from Kerry. And so Nader pursued a 50-state strategy as an independent, because losing votes is the only public pressure the major parties feel through their corporate buffers.
Then Lueders declared that if alternative contenders ever won, "They'd betray their supporters just as surely and twice as fast as any major party candidate." Betray them for what? They aren't taking the legalized corporate bribes, so where's the incentive to betray the people who elected them?
Rolf Lindgren [a former local and state Libertarian Party official quoted in the column] currently has no official standing in the Libertarian Party of this state or Dane County. He does not represent our views, particularly on 9/11, and most economic policy, including increasing government control of health care, regulation of Wall Street, etc.
We are the party of social and economic freedoms with minimal government force.
Stuart Seffern, chair, Dane County Libertarian Party
Dead trees, angry man
Regarding your article about the death of the giant burr oak trees on Willow Lane (Watchdog, "Oaks croak, City of Madison blamed," 10/17/08):
The city annexed this area in the early 1970s but never extended sewer to the three older houses. The neighbors, who needed more water for their pool, could have gotten this from the east and included my residence, Link House. But they ignored my offers to share costs.
I proposed an alternate route, which would have preserved Willow Lane and saved taxpayers at least $75,000. The city made excuses and distorted facts to exclude my cheaper route.
I consulted with Ald. Paul Skidmore, who agreed with me on the historical significance of Willow Lane. At the final hearing in June 2004, he was quiet as a mouse, and Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, once an environmentalist, cut me off after three minutes.
In my opinion, it's tragic when power and influence can trump common sense. Come to my street and view the consequences. They speak for themselves.
Cut the stereotypes
I enjoyed reading "Return of the pop star" (10/24/08), about Jane Wiedlin. However, I was frustrated by the Maple Bluff reference: "McCain/Palin signs bobbed and glowed...." The fact is that Obama signs outnumber McCain ones. Suggesting Maple Bluff is not progressive is untrue and irritating, but my real gripe is with stereotypes like this in general.
While it's true that certain sections of our population tend to live in certain areas, I wish we wouldn't manufacture information to further confine people to their respective area.
Jennifer Lukas, Maple Bluff