Letters to the Editor
YOUR ARTICLE ("The Ultimate Controversy," Cover Story, May 9) was way too nice to Crazy Frank. Ultimate is a beautiful sport where all skill levels can have a great time playing, the only people who don't enjoy the game are those who are incapable of basic polite human interaction.
The Spirit of the Game is why I play Ultimate, I am a competitive athlete and I love to play hard, but I am also capable of communicating with other people. I have never met Frank, but he is one of the few bad apples that ruin things for other people. He is correct that if you are a total asshole and that much of an egomaniac you will not do well in the Ultimate community. However, the amazing proliferation of the sport among young people is a testament to its popularity as it is currently played and organized. If Dischoops or Goaltimate was as great as people with a vested interest in its growth claim, then more people would play.
Your article has gotten national recognition because Frank posted it on Google's rec.sport.disc where he routinely annoys Ultimate players, and I think my sentiments accurately reflect what most Ultimate players feel. Frank needs professional help, I feel bad for him and he relishes any attention, especially negative attention.
Kevin Stout, Eugene, Ore.
'No Sir, I Am Not Going'
RE: "Beyond Tillman" (Cover Story, June 13). We must start to realize that if a soldier or Marine has become disillusioned with the mission, if they do not believe anymore in what they are asked to do or keep doing, then they have in their hands the power to prevent this war going on and on ad nauseam. Regardless of what rights they might have signed away in their enlistment papers, this is not the Soviet Union in 1942 fighting the Nazis where any Red Army soldier who did not advance into the fire of the enemy would have faced the same fire from the political commissars to their rear. Any of our soldiers, Guardsmen or Marines who have made the choice to board that plane have chosen to support this war no matter what their person feeling or beliefs might be. If I am correct in assuming that the majority of our troops in Iraq now or soon to deploy there do not fervently believe in the mission, then they have a right to say, "No, Sir, I am not going." That person might be forced to face court-martial like Lt. Ehren Watadah and might even be forced to serve time in a military prison. If, however, enough soldiers, Guardsmen or Marines uttered the same "No, Sir, I am not going," then the very top-heavy system built by the U.S. Military machine would be toppled to earth because there is simply no mechanism in place to counter such a popular mass vote of no confidence from within the ranks. The Military Courts system couldn't process the numbers, the stockades couldn't hold them and there is not a damn thing Bush, Cheney, Gates, Pace or Patraeous could do about it.
To all Americans who love their nation and feel that they are witnessing it nearing a fatal plunge as our megalomaniacal president drives us at full speed ever closer to the abyss: Let our service men and women know that they have your support to begin refusing to go to Iraq any longer. Tell those who are there at present that they will still be honored as heroes if they choose to refuse their orders to stay. Also tell your sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins or friends that to enlist or to re-enlist now is going to help this machine to continue to grind young bodies into pulp.
The right wing is going to scream that we aren't "supporting our troops," which is the new mantra they toss our way after "remember 9/11." To them I say: How can you better support the troops than by trying to preserve their lives, their bodies, their sanity and the happiness of their families. Ask them how sending our troops on multiple overly extended deployments without the best equipment or vehicles and then bringing them back to woefully inadequate care for their physical and mental health "supports" them instead? Kind of think you'll get a bunch of sputtering and blowing from them, but not much else.
Michael Dunatov, Mt. Vernon, Wash.
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