TUESDAY’S LETTERS: ESOPs, What Young People Read Online, Editor With Son Going to Iraq Not a ‘Coward’

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By: E&P Staff

In today’s letters, a clarification about the ESOPs in Peoria and Milwaukee, thoughts on the people who call an editor a coward for saying he doesn’t want his soldier son to go to Iraq, and a question of what young people are really reading online.

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ESOPs in Milwaukee, Peoria Didn’t ‘Fail’

Your otherwise excellent article says the ESOP at the Peoria paper and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel “failed.” If you and I started a business that did so well the only way one of us could buy the other out was to sell the company, would you say we failed?

The Peoria paper sold because their stock price went up so fast that that was the most logical way to handle the repurchase obligation. A lot of employees made a lot of money.

Journal Communications was never an ESOP. Employees have owned the company since the 1930’s (before there were ESOPs) through direct purchases of shares. The company went public a couple of years ago because its stock price had done so well. Is a successful IPO a failure of an employee ownership plan? The analysts feeding you this garbage would never say that about anything else.

Corey Rosen
Executive Director
National Center for Employee Ownership
Oakland, Calif.

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What Are Young People Really Reading Online?

Yes, the younger folks are reading newspapers more online, but which newspapers? For example, my son, who is 32, lives in San Francisco and reads the New York Times online every day and does not take the local newspaper. Inasmuch as The New York Times is the most widely read newspaper online, it begs the question: Is the increase in online readership among younger readers migrating to “national” newspapers, at the expense of the local metro dailies? What does the research say about that?

Stephen Rose
Chairman
Sun Publications

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Editor With son to Iraq Not a ‘Coward’

I understand Matt Dowd’s feelings as his son is about to be deployed to Iraq. A disabled veteran of World War II, and as someone who shared hospital space with Vietnam wounded in the 1960s, I promised my wife that I would never allow my young son to serve in the hellhole that South Asian country had become. As was Vietnam, Iraq is a political war mismanaged at a cost of thousands of American lives. It is not worth fighting for.

Anyone who calls Matt Dowd a coward either (a) has never served in war; (b) has no son or of-age daughter who might be conned into joining in such an ill-advised venture; or (c) is a political idiot who equates opposition to the war in Iraq with disloyalty to a commander in chief who (d) has never visited the incoming dead at Dover airfield; (e) has never evinced any feeling of sorrow when the list of dead and wounded is announced; (f) dodged service in Nam by hiding out in the Texas-Georgia air guard; (f) waited six weeks before venturing out of the White House up the street a few miles to see for himself the shoddy, shameful under which returned wounded veterans of Iraq were being treated at Walter Reed Hospital.

Thank the Good Lord that Matt Dowd has spoken out about Iraq and about the disasterously incompetent leadership that has bled the United States of so many young lives and bankrupted the country.

Wes Pedersen
Chevy Chase, Md.

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Echoes of Somalia?

Why doesn’t The Mainstream News Media remind their viewers how the Republicans, back in 1993, were all voting and demanding that Clinton get our troops out of Somilia after “Blackhawk Down” happened?

So lets see; 18 soldiers get killed in Somalia and Republicans say we have
to get out of there immediately. But when 2,440+ soldiers get killed in
Iraq after FOUR PLUS Years, Republicans say we have to stay in Iraq until
all our soldiers are dead! After all, Six-Deferment-Cheney says we can’t
“Cut And Run”! Go Figure!

Tom Wieliczka
Windsor Locks, Conn.

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