{ letters }

We enjoy mail—who doesn't?—and appreciate your correspondence. Please send us letters. And photos, good golly photos. We will print anything.

Letters to The New Yinzer should be sent electronically to letters@newyinzer.com or physically through the USPS to: The New Yinzer, 315 Gross Street, Apartment Three, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15224.


From: Chris Dietzel
Sent: Thu 9 Jan 03
Subject: This is My Home, Where We Kill People for a Living

I was very discouraged when I read B. Clifford's article about Northern Virginia and its defense contractor business. Clifford could not get simple geography correct (i.e., Crystal City is the North Eastern most tip of Arlington, not the 'Southern Portion' as he claims. A resident since age 2 should know this and at the least, he may want someone to run a fact check from now on (For everyone's information, he also reported Crystal City to be the "'poorer' portion of Arlington", when in fact, the roughly 5 x 18 city block area is actually the wealthiest, most expensive portion of Arlington. If he can not get such a basic fact correct, he had no chance of reporting correctly on more sophisticated ideas.

He creates the idea that "With war pending in Iraq", there is an increase in traffic, bustle, etc. This is simply not true. There is the same amount of traffic there has always been. It is the beginning of a long line of falsehoods created by the author to validate his position, and it is a sad attempt at strenthening his argument.

He states, "the defense contracting industry designs and manufactures anything the DoD hints it may want". This is also not true. Contractors will endlessly bid against each other for what they think the government may want, but they will never spend the money on research and development without the prior finanicial commitment of a government branch.

Next, the author states "the industry exists, essentially, to kill people". This is a matter of opinion, and one that is highly arguable and short-sided. The rest of this article is purposeless because the author abandons the notion that his idea is in fact only an opinion and bases the rest of the article around this "fact". If he has taken half the social studies classes he asserts he has taken, he would realize the driving factor for the industry of defense contracting is finanical. The government pretends it is to "defend America" but that is as simple as saying the Civil War was about Slavery, in which Slavery was actually a secondary cause. Defense contractors do not lobby for war, as he claims. It is another falsehood written by Clifford to somehow add validity to his short-sided opinions.

Next, Clifford, in what is now becoming an endless string of errors, implies that "it is no mistake that the defense contracting industry is based so close to the Alexandria, VA home of Virginia's senior senator, John Warner." Even a monkey could understand the concept that obviously Warner has to live close to D.C, because he works there. Under Clifford's rationalle, if Warner moved to Richmond, all the defense contractors would move all of their headquarters to Richmond. That is, for lack of a better term, just plain stupid. The government contractor he references most often: SAIC, isn't even headquartered near D.C, they are based out of San Diego. Please have someone proof-read his writing from now on.

I don't have the patience to discuss the rest of his article because it continues on the assertion that contractors are killers. In college, I wrote for the school newspaper and I made up just about every story and all the facts to go along with them. Unless Clifford did the same thing, or maybe this is one of those April Fools Day joke articles (in January?), but other than those two excuses, I'd seriously consider sending out an apology for his error-filled, poorly written, terribly reasoned article. And at least don't make that your main story next time, it's not a fair representation of the quality material you usually produce.


[Editors' note: Due to an editing oversight, B. Clifford's piece appeared to make the claim that most defense contracting companies are headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area, when this is not the case. We regret the error, which has since been corrected. The New Yinzer and B. Clifford stand proudly behind all other facts, opinions, and presentations of argument in the piece, which has to date been endorsed by at least one retired member of the defense industry.]


From: Brooke E Layman
Sent: Fri 10 Jan 03
Subject: new yinzer helps all

The first [sic] article in issue 18, "The Metronome", is amazing! It's like something told me to read it because I would relate to it or something. We are all scared aren't we! I know I am. What a great story. Anyway, I just thought I would let you know that your lovely little mag has achieved a sense of wholeness in this soon to be avid reader! Thanks.

Brooke E. Layman
Policy Processing Dept.
Gillingham & Associates, Inc.

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