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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Minions - you're free!

Another glimpse into the Bizarro World
(A version of this letter was published in the Westerly Sun)
By Will Collette

I don’t know what’s worse in the Westerly Sun's May 4 “There are two sides to every story” letter by Donna Chambers – that she revealed that I have superpowers, or that she uncovered my secret identity.

At least she didn't tell the world I was born on the planet Krypton.

But she did tell our corner of the world that I use my superpowers to persuade and control a legion of minions, inspire a revolt against the enlightened leadership of Charlestown, manipulate the Westerly Sun and commit all manner of foul deeds.

In today’s political world, there are all sorts of supervillains. In Donna Chambers’ Bizarro world, the most evil supervillains are those who disagree with her, using facts, documents, meticulous analysis and persuasive arguments to point out that many of her cherished Charlestown Citizens Alliance campaigns are based on a tissue of lies and self-serving propaganda.

How unfair, how unsporting to use research and rationality to challenge the CCA orthodoxy.

Yes, Ms. Chambers is upset at me. I did, after all, challenge her work on the Charter review committee which produced proposals that were roundly criticized by most of the town department and town commission heads.

I did challenge her hero, Council member Dan Slattery for his vicious campaign of character assassination ("Kill Bill") against our former Town Administrator and Slattery’s campaign to overturn the town’s long-standing plan for managing Ninigret Park.

I also used research and rationality to challenge Ms. Chambers’s other tenet of faith – that all wind energy is evil. Certainly the Whalerock industrial wind-farm project that stirred Ms. Chambers to become a town fixture was a bad project. However, her leap of faith from being a NIMBY opponent of a bad local project to becoming an anti-wind fanatic deserves to be examined on its merits.

Yes, yes, I know. That’s not playing fair. In Charlestown, challenging a person’s political beliefs, especially if it’s belief in the infallibility of the CCA, is treated like an insult to their religion. Mea culpa.

Finally, I have this to say to all those persons – my minions – whom Ms. Chambers thinks I hold in sway: I release you. Please, go forth and speak your own minds. Don’t pay any attention to what I write in Progressive Charlestown. Don’t read any documents that challenge the CCA orthodoxy.

Follow Ms. Chambers’s example and make up your own facts. And of course, write them all down – all of them – and send them to the editors of the Sun. You’ll be glad you did.