Writer’s ignorance about Crystal River Valley shines brightly

I refer to the Jan. 4 letter to the editor by William Brown, “The Straw Man Cometh.” The Straw Man logical fallacy occurs when a person ignores the actual issue being debated and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of the opposing position that is easier to rebut.

The title of Brown’s letter is a deliberate backhanded slap at the people of the Crystal River Valley. Brown’s letter if nothing else is a short but eloquent “character bashing” critique directed at the “NIMBY-landed-naysayers (supported by the self-hating misanthropes of the so-called environmental movement).”

Wow, how unflatteringly profound.

If one is able to navigate the labyrinth of Brown’s $20 dollar words — words such as “naysayers,” which translates to somebody who speaks against something, especially somebody who habitually expresses contrary opinions; and “misanthropes,” which translates to such flattering synonyms as pessimists, recluses, loners, malcontents and cynics — then one could conclude that Brown’s rhetoric is nothing more than veiled insults. The people of the Crystal River Valley are not as “thin-skinned” as Brown would like to believe, but we will stand up for our integrity and credibility.

Don’t know this man, have never met him, but it is painfully obvious by his statements that he has no regard for the people of the Crystal River Valley. Brown’s letter indicates that he lives in Carbondale, and if this is accurate, then he has no dog in this fight. I live in the Crystal River Valley. Brown states, “Gas-lighting the problem-solvers and pragmatists by whining about how the discussion is happening rather than what the issues are is typical of those who have no better ground to stake out.” The ground to stake out for many in the Crystal River Valley is literal, not figurative. The people of the Crystal River Valley are good people who understand the issues and are genuinely concerned about the impact of a trail through the valley and yes, through their private property.

If this derogatory and defamatory commentary is typical of Brown, then I suspect that he is the only one playing in his “sandbox.”

Philip Gaylord