Letters to the Editor

Posted: Sunday, June 03, 2001

Letters to the Editor

Wrong questions won't yield right answers

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers."

-- "Gravity's Rainbow" by Thomas Pynchon

Our Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, the mayor and our state Legislature are all talking about the wrong questions. They have us asking where the prison should be, what the economic benefits will be, how much it will cost.

The right questions are philosophical: Do we want to expand our borough powers and responsibilities to include prisons? Do we have the authority in our charter to run a prison? Do we want to finance this venture?

The borough assembly wants to do a feasibility study rather than address the fundamental questions, as if this will negate the need to ever examine their motives.

I'll bet that Hitler also did a feasibility study before exterminating 6 million Jews:

Removal of the Jews would create openings for lots of jobs for Aryans;

Building and maintaining the crematoriums would boost the building trades;

Farmers would benefit selling food to the camps;

The Jews would provide cheap slave labor until too weak to work;

The vacated homes of Jews would provide extra housing.

All the Jews' possessions could be confiscated and sold to help the war effort.

By his feasibility study, I'm sure that Hitler was able to conclude that extermination was a desirable and worthwhile pursuit.

Feasibility studies are not necessarily needed to determine whether a plan is good or bad. The right questions need to be answered first.

Vicki Pate


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