Criticism in opinion column was appalling | Letter to the editor

Posted 9/8/21

I’m appalled that you would find Bill Mann’s column, “Thanks, Spreadnecks” fit to print.

We need to tread very carefully here. The marginalization and demonizing of a group …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Criticism in opinion column was appalling | Letter to the editor


I’m appalled that you would find Bill Mann’s column, “Thanks, Spreadnecks” fit to print.

We need to tread very carefully here. The marginalization and demonizing of a group of people is at the heart of all of our historical moral failings.

This kind of talk is what incites violence.

I’ll hold you and Mr. Mann personally responsible for any local violence that could very possibly happen as a result of your journalistic and editorial bad judgement.

You have an opportunity to create a space for meaningful dialogue at a time when it is desperately needed. Instead you choose name-calling and turn a blind eye to human beings who are exercising their right to informed consent and privacy. It’s a damn shame.

Stacey McCarthy


14 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Marge Samuelson

You hold Bill Mann responsible for violence, most logical people blame the people who will not get vaccinated, and keep spreading this virus. Until people understand that they are making others sick and killing them, it's just going to get worse. Mr. Mann voiced what many of us feel, frustrated and disgusted by these spreaders.

Wednesday, September 8
Larry Kallenberger

Marge said it better than I can. Anger and possible violence seems to be the tactics of the anti maskers/anti-vaxxers. I have lung disease and until we obtain the participation of the self described freedom loving patriots I have to live with the fear that your lack of responsibility could put me at greater risk. Walking into Henerys the other day two guys without masks coming out looked at me with my mask and breathing oxygen. One of them looked at me and said”you can tell who the patriots are-they are the ones not wearing masks”. Excuse me! I am a disabled combat veteran and having risked my life for your freedom I didn’t do it for people who act like teenagers upset about their parents curfew. Your love of personal freedom is a selfish motive since it keeps the pandemic humming without an end in sight. It is tempting to just let the anti maskers/vaxxers live(or die) with the consequences of their actions. The problem is your selfish devotion to yourself and your immature interpretation of what freedom means is causing the rest of us risk. The reason school age children are masking up is not the government. It is those of you who are throwing hissy fits over the only real solution we have. Help us out by doing your part to keep everyone safe by receiving the vaccine.

Wednesday, September 8
Anne K. Port Townsend

Vaccinated people still catch the virus and still SPREAD the virus.

Wednesday, September 8
Justin Hale

If a person is vaccinated how are they put at risk by the unvaccinated? Remember not all non-vaccinated have the virus, and even if they do have the virus aren't the vaccinated protected by the vaccine they took? Then there are the "breakthrough" cases, so even if you are vaccinated you could still be a spreader. How many of the vaccinated are tested regularly, like weekly, to be sure they are not carrying the virus? precious few I bet.

Once again it's "us vs. them", like we don't have enough of that already.

Wednesday, September 8
Marjorie B.

Yes, Anne K., this is the part I also still don't quite understand even though I'm reading articles every day about covid.

If me, being vaccinated, can still spread covid, how am I helping OTHER people by being vaccinated? I can still catch it and I can still spread it. . WHAT AM I MISSING? I must be dense,I guess.

Wednesday, September 8
Sky Hardesty Thompson

Marge you are so wrong. Sorry, but you are. Why post an opinion without doing any research beyond listening to MSM propaganda, etc. This COVID vaccine is a massive cash cow and they are going to milk it until they run out of the original vaccine. Here is the proof with sources:

1. The vaccine wasn't designed to prevent spreading of the virus. Just like the flu shots. The original COVID virus is out of circulation at this point and we are dealing with the Delta variant which isn't protected by the vaccine or current boosters.


2. "Knuckle Draggers is a highly racist term.


Thursday, September 9
Dage Corvish

Jefferson County has about 70% of the population fully vaccinated, compared to about 60% statewide, and 53% nationally.

There seems to be a less than 1% chance of breakthrough cases*, which generally are milder cases, though still not pleasant. This means that for JC, we could reasonably expect around 220 breakthrough cases of the approx 22000 vaccinated citizens -- except our fully vaccinated percentage is higher than the national average, so our chance of encountering an infectious situation are lower. The more people we get vaccinated, the lower our Covid exposure chances, and the better we protect people like the five who died Wednesday and the children who are not yet eligible for vaccinations. Delta is infecting more young people than earlier variants.

The five who died recently were older with compromised immune systems -- weak immune systems which did not develop the full protectiveness normally provided by the vaccine, thus the recommendations for booster shots for immunocompromised folks**.

*Obviously some breakthrough cases will be asymptomatic and those few who are won't know they have the virus. Even though it is very few, perhaps you, you might ask yourself if you want to be unknowingly infecting others. Mask up in crowds of strangers.

**Not all immunocompromised are old, for those of you who think 'they're old, who cares?' I'm old.*** My wife is immunocompromised. I care enough to find good information from reliable sources (none of them on Youtube or Facebook).

***Not to imply you should care about me in particular, but all your fellow travelers, even Rubber Chicken who is still spouting the same nonsense, but he is a troll anyway so feel free to make an exception in its case.

Thursday, September 9
Larry Kallenberger

When you ask if you are dense I suspect you are being cute but just in case. I hear the simple argument all the time. If you are vaccinated and I am not why do you care if I am unvaccinated. Here is why we care. A majority of us and a large majority of us here in Jefferson County are working together to get to the point where the virus(yes it is still the same virus and all viruses try to survive by changing) is starved of people that are easy to infect and we have defeated it. Some of you like to throw out simple sounding arguments that are too simple. Being logical requires rigorous attempts to find the truth. The way that is done is to start with the most likely answer and if or when it proves not to be true you move on to less likely answers until you find the real answer. The dilemma conspiracy theorists face is that you skip past all likely answers and jump at something remotely possible. Then the radio hosts and book authors that cater to your interests develop theories that are far removed from being likely. You want the rest of us who greatly outnumber you to go to that illogical place and argue with you about it. It has become a thing to provide citations from your so called experts. Most of these are provided to you by people wanting clicks on their sites or wanting listeners to increase their ratings or readers to sell their books. Your desire is that we treat your fabricated arguments with random citations by little known and untested thinkers as if they stand on the same stage with the truth. Throughout human history those involved in radical social engineering operate on the notion that an untruth is just as effective as a truth in justifying actions. There is great truth in the old saying that a lie can be halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on. What we need to remember is that untruths don’t o last for all that long. Let’s take smart electric meters as an example. Some of you went all in about the dangers smart meters would bring to our lives. You pressured friends and neighbors to sign petitions and convinced each other that Kevin Street(electric manager at PUD) was a tool of the meter manufacturers and sellers and you ran him off. All the man was doing was presenting widely known facts about why the entire nation was using them. You caused quite a stir and you got the attention you wanted. Here is what the happened when the morning light came up. A tiny fraction of the people who signed your petitions actually opted out of smart meters when given the chance and Mr Street has returned as the Executive Director of our excellent PUD. That was predictable because it is what happened everywhere else in the country. Some of you found isolated examples of a small number of places that didn’t implement their use. You squirm out of these things because we live busy lives and forgive and forget what you said and did. It reminds me of the many religious leaders who predict the end of the world on a date certain with a great deal of passion supported by their circle of believers and when it doesn’t happen they move on to another date or disappear from the scene. The truth will get its boots on and we will eventually bring the virus to a natural conclusion. You will have delayed that conclusion but you won’t be able to stop it. Reason and truth will triumph in the long game of human survival because most of us will want to find the truth about what is real and what is not. That is how we evolved and survived as a species. You throw your outrage and disappointment in the world you live in at us and want us to follow you down these rabbit holes which are the only places you make sense. After you throw your bombs you then shout that the rest of us are required to accept your illusions as legitimate concerns. You hope that the fog of the war you tried to start will confuse us or cause us to lose our sense of common purpose in favor of your wild assertions. It is important for the rest of us to remind ourselves that reason will eventually prevail. Unfortunately millions of people will be ill and far too many will die before we get our boots on and defeat your loud assertions and eventually the virus. It is a slow process because most of us want to be fair and open minded and many hope that you can be persuaded to vaccinate yourself by the rest of us being respectful and listening to what you say. Here is what I suggest to many of you. Slip away from your crowd and protect yourself in a discrete way so that when the morning light appears you will be alive and so will the people you love. Do the same thing you did with smart meters and yell and scream if you must but don’t opt out of a life saving vaccine. Even as you try to get us to keep you company as you descend into your rabbit hole I sincerely hope that when the morning light comes you will still be here. You owe nothing to the people inciting you. They will happily let you follow them down their rabbit hole with no escape. Slip away and quietly be vaccinated. They will never know and you will feel better about yourself when the dust finally settles and our lives return to a new normal.

Thursday, September 9
Richard Hefley

"If a person is vaccinated how are they put at risk by the unvaccinated?"

It is about probabilities and the larger population, not single individuals.

1st - not everyone who wants to be vaccinated can be for various reasons, typically medial. Choosing to remain UNVAXXED increases the risk of spreading the disease to people who don't have the choice.

2. The medical infrastructure; beds, oxygen, doctors and nurses, is on the verge of collapse across the country because of the massive influx of UNVAXXED patients.

3. People with other medical conditions, such as cancer, are not getting treatments because hospitals are over-whelmed with UNVAXXED Covid patients.

4. By keeping the virus rapidly spreading among UNVAXXED people, they are ensuring that it continues to rapidly mutate into forms that are deadlier as well as vaccine resistant. This is the root of the reason the initial question "why get vaccinated when it can still spread" can even be asked; with the original forms of covid it was very unlikely. This new and improved delta variant has made the pandemic exponentially worse, and that can largely be laid at the feet of the UNVAXXED. Now they are hoping to see what lies at the end of the Greek alphabet?

I cannot find a single good reason for refusing to get vaccinated.

I can find innumerable reasons for getting the vaccine.

Thursday, September 9
Richard Hefley

These stories and threads need to be monitored and commented on by qualified medical personnel to answer questions and, hopefully, dispel myths.

Thursday, September 9

This letter was about the chosen style in which Mr. Mann and the Leader aired Mr. Mann's concerns. Mr. Mann is back to the work of speculating on Jeopardy hosting as is his specialty. With no clarification on his style and subject last week that many found to be less than helpful. He may only see the number of comments as a win for his column. Not personal. He chose to publish a them and us piece that many see as only that.

One of the commenters here came into my business on a couple of occasions prior to vaccinations being available with such a droopy mask on that it was no mask. I had to keep moving away to keep any distance. He was unaware. Is he now?

We have, since re opening in June 2020 run hepa and plasma filtered air. We do keep clean surfaces and direct all visitors to ask for assistance in handling things. Our mask policy was never changed even when some followed Gov. lead and went without masks. No, a mask does not kill my spirit.

If it is less that perfect I will take the increased odds in my favor.

We now have a new wave of folks who barge in and don't listen to input saying "we're vaccinated", not understanding the limitations of that. Many prior to newest mask mandates had droopy mask syndrome in all its variations. Vaccinated and non. We don't ask or care. Follow our protocol when in our space. Many people simply are not that aware. Many. Masks in and out of pockets defeat the purpose and spread potential virus all over the user. An inconvenient truth.

Who can say what percentage of the current up spike in cases are from vaccinated and careless? The unvaccinated are conveniently grouped by Mr. Mann and others to shoulder all the blame. I can only manage my space and now have added greeting outside and advising of policies before allowing anyone in who often are unaware of dysfunctional masks or don't care any more because they are vaccinated.

The first weekend of this policy sales were way up. No issues with the vaccinated and careless. What would the situation be locally and nationally if similar guidelines were followed? Of course some would find this oppressive. As with any action taken. Locally Main Street did some feel good posters and is silent except for parklets hanging baskets and the like.

So we are given the magic bullet. Simple answers never are. Do get vaccinated if that makes sense to you. Seems it does lessen symptoms. It may cause some to spread more and variants go with that. I stand to be corrected as always. Not using the term knuckle dragger or Spreadneck would help in any clarification.

Do get vaccinated if you crunch all the varied data and decide to. Do not be part of the instant cure culture that wants a pill at the doctor and keeps on doing unhealthy things. This is a little local paper. No one here will change the big picture. We do reflect as our own little petri dish different ideas, trust of Government and Big Pharma, and our individual common sense. Or lack of it.

I believe there are unvaccinated people being very careful that spread covid less than vaccinated without any cares. Information has changed since vaccinations started and will continue to. On my personal front we do what we can. So far it seems to work. Consistency is lacking in so many areas. Some airlines are now looking at the fact that all masks are not always even masks and not all equally protective. Complicated.

Many of the folks I meet on the front lines daily want a magic shot that fixes all and some to blame for what they may be at least partially responsible for.

Again, the tone and style of Mr. Mann's little diddy polarizes and fixes complex blame on cliche' figures.

History shows where that who will be the next Jeopardy host? Too much to process here.

Thursday, September 9
Tom Camfield

“Just because you have a thought, it doesn’t mean you know how to think.”

That comment is sort of presented without elaboration in this past week’s “Mann Overboard” column—and it is a better place than most from which to kick off current controversial conservation about the coronavirus pandemic.

I think I’ll continue to get my medical opinions from those in the medical profession who have kept me chugging along well into my 93rd year. My first recollection here in Port Townsend is Dr. Francis Delaney pulling a stick out of my eye around 1933—and he probably oversaw my smallpox vaccination not a lot later when I later went into first grade.

You name it and my battered body has seen it back to pre-penicillin times and involving at least four major hospitals. A few pneumonias, a few scars, a truncated lung, the after-effects of a major stroke . . . No man or woman with time on his/her hands and no medical knowledge of medical matters has yet been the one to sew up the wounds or tell how to do it.

So for a bit longer I’ll just stick with masks and shots—and stay off the streets.

Friday, September 10
Josephine Conger

Nicely stated, Tom Camfield. Let's leave the science and medicine to those that are qualified. I too will personally stick with masks and vaccines, since that is what my doctor along with countless virologists/MDs recommend.

Hopefully anyone with common sense will ignore the blow-hards and self appointed officiants; especially, those that think 70's rock lyrics are a guiding principle to life.

4 days ago


The "blow-hard and self appointed officiant" that started this exploration into how different people process information is Bill Mann, and the Leader who published what is to many divisive hate speech.

Josephine- "I may make you feel, but I can't make you think" is an observation. Not a "guiding principal to life".

Josephine- In that vein we see stadiums packed with unmasked screaming and cheering folk, allegedly vaccinated who will spread Covid at a rate we will soon see. Vaccinated spread and get Covid at the same rate as unvaccinated.

Josephine- Bill Mann did not clarify or retract his blame to unvaccinated "Spreadnecks' , and it seems some support this easy mind set. The unvaccinated who cannot attend these events or restaurants here will be blamed.

Josephine- Forget the original source of this sentence. I may make you (and others) feel but I can't make you think. You can distort at will, and build on that.

Bill Mann and others conveniently blame a group that is slower to trust Big Pharma and Big Government. There is only one way and it is his way.

If you re read what I say, it is....... Do get vaccinated if you crunch all the varied data and decide to. Do not be part of the instant cure culture that wants a pill at the doctor and keeps on doing unhealthy things.

We are about to spike perhaps as never seen before. It seems to me it is purposeful. It seems to me mostly due to vaccinated folk who don't really think all that much about what they are a part of doing. I always say I stand to be corrected. Bill Mann didn't. Who is a blow hard? Are you, distorting what myself and others just ask to be included in the conversation?

I always say I stand to be corrected. Not distorted.

By the way, I'm pro mask, cautious vax. Is there room for grey in your black and white world? When hate speech, no matter how popular with some rises up, I was taught to stand up to it. Too many don't. Lets clarify one more time Josephine- Do get vaccinated if you crunch all the varied data and decide to. That is thinking. Or follow because it feels safer. Go to the big game and out to eat after.

If I were engineering a spread of covid I would get the vaccinated to do it by the stadium full as is being done now., and blame the unvaccinated. If this sounds like a blow hard, read and compare to Bill Mann's blame filled hate speech filled diddy.

My other little song for these times and how some are reacting is Under Pressure. "This is ourselves, under pressure". Another observation, not a guiding principal to life.

Think. For. Yourself. Or not. Thanks to another commenter for this link to help you think.

2 days ago