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I have been reading letters-to-the-editor of newspapers for over fifty years now and never, ever have I read a more sordid, sarcastic, pessimistic letter than the one published last week by Kimball Shinkoskey of Woods Cross, UT.

Is Shinkoskey really serious?

He is the epitome of cynicism at its worst. Mr. Shinkoskey claims that American traditions are “messed up.”

To debunk him point-by-point:

Shinkoskey is critical of TV crime mysteries. Personally, I’m not a fan of TV crime stories either, but there are people who find it recreational. There is nothing wrong with that form of entertainment.

He has the gall to characterize Fourth of July celebrations as “plastic patriotism.” Tragically, pride of the U.S.A. is passé among many liberal elites. There is nothing plastic about celebrating the birthday of our exceptionally fine nation. Two-hundred forty-five years ago brave, inspirational men placed their lives on the line with possible executions or other severe punishment from the British. They are all heroes in my book.

Romance from a male is “buying lifetime service” from a woman. How bland and unromantic is his take on that sweet and sensitive issue?

Here’s a real gem from Shinkoskey: He questions whether graveside flowers is “expressing remorse at being wayward children.” A normal person views graveside flowers as honoring and respecting sacrifices from our many ancestors and veterans who fought for our freedom in past wars.

I’m grateful that so many people have an outlook that’s notably more optimistic with a sense of gratitude and humility.

Bob Ziel