Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Who has the hidden agenda?


I wanted to share some thoughts on last week’s letter by Mike Denker and the commentary by Ryan Cook.

Our First Amendment right to free speech is a double-edged sword, allowing Americans to say or write thoughtful things – but also hateful, ignorant and even idiotic things. Ranting (“us(ing) bombastic language”) and raving (“talk(ing) wildly as in a delirium”) often incorporate the tactics of character assassination and bullying.

In his commentary, Cook characterizes individuals on a government committee who conduct their business in public as “these people” with “their hidden agendas.” What is a members-only Facebook group if not a “these people” with “their hidden agendas?” Managing this members-only “rant and rave” site is completely at odds with Cook’s claim of “working together for the benefit of the town.” After all, most of the town is excluded from the conversation.

Getting back to Denker’s letter, isn’t it preferable to resolve our differences and solve our problems through inclusive, thoughtful, civil discourse, rather than ranting and raving? A public discussion about civility is extremely timely, given a President who came to power by ranting, raving, bullying and character assassination.

Nancy Berland


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