Letters to the Editor — March 15, 2023

Knowledge is prevention

Adherents of the neo-Nazi Atomwaffen (atom bomb) group plan to knock our lights out — electricity for our residences, schools, businesses, medical facilities, government buildings.

Electrical substations in rural areas are especially susceptible to sabotage since protecting them sufficiently is problematic. The June 2022 attack on Morton, Wa., is an example (“FBI warns of neo-Nazi plots as attacks on Northwest power grid spike,” opb.org, Jan. 19). Why strike there? Lewis County, one of the most conservative, is susceptible to disinformation, which causes intolerance, trepidation, hatred and violent behavior.

Targeting rural, conservative areas with zealous propaganda is a strategy of fascists to create a base of recruits.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security warn that white supremacist groups aim to cause chaos, spark a race war, commit assassinations, and create white ethno-states by undermining our infrastructure (“What motivated the Pacific Northwest substation attacks?”, Seattle Times, Dec. 30, 2022).

Ten legislators from various state governments had been found to belong to the Oath Keepers (“Breaching the Mainstream,” irehr.org) — whose group members committed seditious conspiracy for the Jan. 6 insurrection. Many others follow right-wing extremist groups on Facebook.

Allowing prejudicial ideas and actions to seize our community can plunge us into a spiraling shock of authoritarianism. Avoiding awareness or hushing up allows aggressors to dominate our personal, political and public lives.

If you suspect, see, or know of individuals planning to wreck electrical infrastructure in our area and state, give the FBI a tip or call 9-1-1. Prevention switches on the light bulb.

Gayle Brauner

Port Angeles

Déjà vu, revisited …

As an older guy, I remember a time when fictional literature was a product of the author’s imagination and, perhaps, his philosophy and, therefore, it wasn’t subject to re-writing, re-interpretation, and/or revision in order to avoid “discomforting” sensitive readers with “uncomfortable” commentary.

But that seems to have changed because it now appears that there is a movement to rewrite historical literature to ensure that no one nowhere no how has their feelings hurt.

For instance, the Roald Dahl books are now subject to after-the-fact censoring whereby, for instance, Augustus Gloop of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is no longer “fat” but, now, referred to as “enormous” and the Oompa-Loompas are now “small people” instead of “small men.” Hundreds of similar changes may be found throughout Dahl’s many books. (npr.org, telegraph.co.uk)

Other children’s books have been earmarked for revision as well. For instance, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn have been re-edited to remove certain racial epithets no longer deemed appropriate in today’s literature.

Many of these “improvements” are the suggestions of “sensitivity readers” employed by Inclusive Minds, describing itself as “a collective for people who are passionate about inclusion, diversity, equality, and accessibility in children’s literature and are committed to changing the face of children’s books.”

Seems to me that Inclusive Minds would have felt completely at home in George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth and assigned the task of changing historical records to reflect current events/ideas and where “nothing exists save an endless present.”

Looks like 1984 all over again …

Dick Pilling

Port Angeles