A little praise for print

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On Thursday night, Aug. 7, a well-known (frequent) caller to VOCM’s Nightline with weekly host Darrell Power called The Telegram “a rag.”

I’d like to say to  the caller that I, like others, prefer The People’s Paper rather than the useless babble of talk radio that has just about consumed all prime time broadcasting on VOCM.

The written word is so much more valued. In the weekend issue, Saturday, Aug. 9, The Telegram, in recognition Aug. 4th’s commemoration of the 100th year since the start of the First World War, featured a detailed history lesson (for me anyway) about war and all its ramifications.

Five of The Telegram’s regular columnists (namely: Russell Wangersky, Pam Frampton, Ed Smith, Gwynne Dwyer and Lana Payne) wrote on the subject from different perspectives. All this in one issue.

Russell Wangersky’s “War is not glorious” addressed the politics of war including the (jingoistic) comments of Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Aug. 4. Wangersky’s piece was poignant and disturbing. It was an essay I clipped for future reference.

Pam Frampton’s “War stories: then and now” addressed the shabby and shameful way our war vets were/are being treated by what she calls “officialdom.”

Her case studies taken from First World War soldier’s files on The Rooms website are gut-wrenching.

Perhaps the most disturbing comment was at the end when Frampton wrote: “A hundred years later, and we’re still making our veterans and their families wage battle with bureaucracy.”

Ed Smith wrote eloquently about man’s inhumanity to man.

In his column “Prepare the Ark” he wrote: “How bad were they at all? At the same time, when one looks back over the long and agonizing history of man’s inhumanity to man, surely the days of Noah could not have been worse than what they have been since.”

He continued: “The atrocities committed under the ‘incentives’ of religious and political strife, even in our own lifetime, are too great to contemplate without becoming totally mindsick, gutsick and heartsick.”

Finally, Lana Payne brought us up to date about the current conflict in the Middle East.

I found Payne’s column, titled “Is a just peace possible?” insightful and disturbing, focusing on the impossible situation — the very dangerous war between Israel and Hamas.

I have to wonder after reading all of these columns if the world is on the verge, (God forbid) of another world war?

In conclusion, I ask our “Nightline” caller if this incredible amount of information, valuable insights into war — all found in just one issue of The People’s Paper, The Telegram — is the credible worthwhile work of brilliant and award-winning writers who pride themselves in working for “a rag of a newspaper?”

I don’t think so. Those unchallenged comments on VOCM’s “Nightline” were cheap and out of order, in my view.

 

Bill Westcott, Clarke’s Beach

Organizations: The Rooms

Geographic location: Middle East, Israel

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