Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Patriotism STILL the Last Refuge of Wal-Mart Haters

Regular Palousitics readers may remember Kelly Turk's inane letter to the editor back in February impugning the patriotism of Pullman Wal-Mart supporters, particularly those that have served their country:
What if it’s not good for Pullman?

The Wal-Mart issue has nothing to do with the right wing versus the left wing, or the intelligentsia vs. the, well whatever the opposite of intelligentsia is. The local businesses that would suffer due to a Wal-Mart opening seem to be forgotten by the city and the chamber. Is the chamber supporting the businesses that would suffer, that have supported the chamber all these years?

A World War II veteran brings up the issue of the location of Wal-Mart to the cemetery due to veterans buried there. That’s reason to not build a Wal-Mart here. We need to support our troops. What message does this send? My great-granddad was the blacksmith in Uniontown and many of my relatives are buried there in the cemetery. Don’t get me started as to how I would feel if Wal-Mart wanted to go in next to their resting places.

I traveled this great country of ours for 18 months, 68,000 miles, and 42 states through the back roads and the interstates. I can tell you the towns suffer a loss of identity you wouldn’t believe when the super Wal-Mart goes in. No study needed, you can look for yourself. Do we value cheap merchandise more than good factory jobs? Supporting Wal- Mart is ending American jobs because they are sent overseas.

To those groups that say, “Wal-Mart will be good for Pullman.” I ask, “What if it’s not?” If the supporters are so sure, then put up a bond that will help people that can’t make a living or whose good paying jobs end if the Wal-Mart goes in. Who among the Wal-Mart supporters will take personal responsibility if existing businesses and workers suffer due to Wal-Mart? Blogs are cheap.

Kelly Turk, Pullman
Mr. Turk regurgitated that letter for another insulting attack in today's Daily News:

Don’t ruin cemetery’s serenity

The Daily News article about Barry Hart, the cemetery sexton, “A Peace among the deceased,” brought up a couple of concerns with me. Hart states, “As time has gone by, it has become more popular (the cemetery).

People will come out here and sit and get comfort from being close to a loved one, or just to think.” Now there is a push to put a Wal-Mart parking lot next to the cemetery. Is that OK with all the supporters of Wal-Mart? Is nothing sacred but the dollar bill you save?

Over Memorial Day, my wife and I took our 8-year-old daughter to the Pullman Cemetery to show and explain to her what Memorial Day, other than being a vacation day, is about, thanking the soldiers that have died for our freedom. There were veterans there placing flags on the graves of soldiers from all the wars, and families were placing flowers and flags on the graves of their loved ones. It was very peaceful, and moving. Our daughter understood what all this meant.

The serenity of the cemetery was a big part of the effect on her. Doesn’t it bother the Wal-Mart supporters that this will be gone? Isn’t it disrespectful to treat our deceased neighbors and soldiers this way? I can’t imagine grieving over a loved one next to traffic and bright lights.

Destroying the serenity of the cemetery with a Wal-Mart is bad enough. The disrespect it shows our war dead is appalling. If you have a “support our troops” ribbon on your vehicle, and want the giant Wal-Mart next to the cemetery, please take it off. Better yet, reconsider your support of a Wal-Mart next to the cemetery. Show some respect. We can put it someplace else, like Mars.

Kelly Turk
Mr. Turk must consider the loved ones and veterans buried in the Oddfellows Cemetery on Sunnyside Hill to be less worthy of regard than those buried in the Pullman City Cemetery. If not, then where is his outrage over the close proximity of the Pullman School District Bus Garage next to that cemetery, just 15 feet or so away from some of the headstones? How about the Whitman County Rural Fire District 12 station? I'll bet it gets a bit noisy when there's a fire. Or better yet, the noise and crowds every 4th of July from Sunnyside Park, when hundreds get off the buses and walk over the grave sites?

I wonder if Mr. Turk's extensive travels took him to Arlington Cemetery, our nation's most hallowed repose for veterans. Does he realize that Arlington Cemetery is smack dab in the middle of a major metropolitan area, surrounded by interstate highways, an above-ground subway line, and office buildings and lies right in the flight path of Reagan Aiport? Again, where's the outrage?

Perhaps the veterans who fought for our freedoms might care more about free enterprise, free speech, and individual rights than Mr. Turk's elitist personal agenda against Wal-Mart.

One of the biggest reasons I am anxious to have our new Wal-Mart is that we won't have to endure any more intolerant insults from pompous asses like Turk.

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April E. Coggins said...

As we have all seen, heard and read this past year, the anti-Wal-Marters will do and say absolutely ANYTHING to try and stop Wal-Mart. It's insulting when they assume that we the public are so stupid as to believe whatever they throw out for our consumption. And at this point in the game, why do they bother except to further divide themselves from the town? Judge Frazier is not going to be swayed by their illogical arguments that have nothing to do with the MDNS or SEPA appeal.

However, I am inspired to go out and buy a Support Our Troops magnetic sticker and a blank sticker which I can write "I support Wal-Mart".

Am I the only one that finds it a little creepy that Mr. Turk would take his eight year old daughter to a graveyard for the purpose of exposing her to the sadness of death and destruction of war? Shouldn't eight year olds still be free of those worries? Oh well, I guess the propoganda can't start too soon.

The Possum said...

^ Depends. If you want to expose your child to real life and the real life dangers she may face if this country continues in the direction its going, showing her those who REALLY died for her freedom (and not right wing political posturing) may be the best thing to happen.

April E. Coggins said...

Well Possum, I think it's still too early an age for such realities. They still believe in Santa Claus at eight. Anyway, wouldn't it have been more appropriate to have taken his daughter to the Veteran's War Memorial on Main Street? But of course the Memorial is only next to a future office building, and not a future Wal-Mart Supercenter. Hardly fitting for Mr. Turks posturing.