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Opinion

Here we go again. It's time for yet another baseless, nonsensical attack on Congressman Gary Ackerman. Mr. Alan Hirsch, in his letter to this paper which appeared in the Jan. 11 edition, takes issue with an article that appeared the previous week about Congressman Ackerman. The article was about the annual holiday party hosted by the Congressman at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. It did not pretend to be a political treatise to cover any significant political issues, it was merely about a party.

Mr. Hirsch claims to have read and reread the article several times and finds no "facts" or support for the statements made therein. I read and reread that article too, Mr. Hirsch, and I cannot understand what you are talking about. Clearly with his comments the Congressman was expressing what a lot of us are feeling, that while some of us had a great year in 2006, we must not forget those who sacrificed in support of a foreign policy by the current administration that has led us down the wrong path. He talked about how Democrats are working hard to change things, but we have a lot of work to do. Sounds like a clear and lucid statement to me.

In his letter, Mr. Hirsch writes what he calls "10 direct Ackerman quotes from the story" and challenges anyone to tell him their significance. What a neat device, taking snippets of as little as three words at a time and then stating they don't make sense. When I read your quotes, they make little sense, that's true, but when I read the article from which you quote, they do make sense. Your entire letter is nonsense Mr. Hirsch. You complained that the Port News wasted 15 inches of space that was "devoid of any information whatsoever," then you wrote a letter that used another 10 inches of space to say one simple thing, you don't like Congressman Ackerman. We get the message, again.

Please understand, I am not writing this letter to defend Congressman Ackerman. The Congressman is an experienced public servant, an intelligent and articulate man who does not need me to defend his statements or beliefs. I am writing this letter because I have become tired, indeed bone weary, of reading such letters written by a small group of people in this town who seem to think that they, and they alone, have the ability and obligation to tell the rest of us what to believe and how to think. I just think it's past time that someone make it clear that there are differing opinions out here in the dark. And I'll write again, when another letter appears that tells us what to think.

Roy Coniglio


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