CULTIVATING LIBERALISM
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The Letter-Writer Surprised
(Gabriel Metsu, 1629-1667)

 

 

Letters

 

 

In response to "The Death of Protest," March 21

Although I agree with your article, the difference between Viet Nam and Iraq attitudes toward the war is the draft. There are very few people in this country actually affected by this war. Both my son and daughter-in-law have been deployed and my daughter-in-law is due back in '07, yet everyone I talk to (unfortunately even my own circle of friends), don't seem to care much. Even though polls show a growing distaste for the war, I think it's more of an intellectual rather than a gut distaste. Until more people have to sacrifice for this misadventure, the streets will be clear of protesters.

David Brower
Colorado Springs, CO


In response to "The Death of Protest," March 21

I don’t think democracy is dead at all. I think its more the realization of the fact that people are tired of misguided blow-hards who have nothing better to do than break windows and scream about nonesense, eg “Bush = Hitler” or “Number 1 Terrorist”; what foolishness! And then, when these morons are ignored based on these universally incorporated notions of lunacy, all of a sudden it is an attack on your democratic rights; who are you kidding!? Our government is supposed to alter the course of action based on the uneducated and often times ignorant positions of several hundred wackos who refuse to shower?

These protest sections are perfectly fine and totally within our democratic principles, which I must say you ignore. There’s pleanty of room in the mud-puddle for you to attract the media; you can even bring your own flags to burn and rejoice at the destruction of paper-mache figurines of those whom you feel embody evil: George, Dick and of course the Eternal Jew. I am sure you’ll be out en masse in 2008 as was the case in 2000 and 2004, and my prediction is that you’ll be upset at this forthcoming result. but I also hope you do continue to protest because every time I see one of these “demonstrations” my faith in my decisions is rejuvinated, no matter how dismal the future looks: I voted for George, I orginally supported the war, I attended AIPAC, I’m Jewish and I know I love America-> something I cannot
say for you.
Ben Woodfern


In response to "The Death of Protest," March 21

Our rights to speak, assemble and petition went out the window with the "Free Speech Zone" during the presidential campaign. Thanks for addressing the curtailment of our rights to express grievances.

Dan Arrasmith
Hickory, NC


In response to "The Death of Protest," March 21

Re your latest on the dying of democracy, so many people have been expressing fears of fascism, it's in the air, in literature, etc. I have always seen fascism as a range, not a state, and the U.S. has always been a mix of a police-state and democratic elements in my view (my undergraduate and graduate focus was democratic theory and practice). The current erosion of civil liberties was happening under the Clinton administration as well as the Bush administration. I remember being stunned at the use of racketeering laws to routinely seize property of citizens. In some places, the police just seized what they wanted, under pretext. And the American South did not have a democracy until the mid-1960's.

We had a KKK totalitarian state in the South that never died out -- remaining white supremacist elements were part of the reason for the disenfranchisement of Blacks in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. Even now, I am stunned at the media attention given at any small "Islamic" terrorism when there's so much more white supremacist terrorism damaging property and people in the U.S., Australia, and Europe. It's not given any spotlight. I get the SPLC hate-watch alerts. However, given all this, there are still some democratic elements and forces at work in the U.S. How do we fan these flames, given overall cultural exhaustion from battling the mix of Keystone Cop/dictatorial-style of leadership in American govt. today and the dearth of challenge in the mainstream media? I work long hours and don't have much time for activism. Or much energy at this point after burning out during 2 presidential campaigns. I think many activists are like me.

However, at the same time, I am seeing much activism at local levels in Orange County, at least. I am going to copy this to an activist friend of mine. I have been re-reading Dr. King for inspiration -- especially his "Where do we go from Here." He says the Universe bends towards justice and I agree -- although I wonder why the Civil Rights Movement has not continued morphing into more high-profile democratic movements in the U.S. It's not as if the Voting Rights Act was the end-all. What do you think we ought to focus our limited time/energy on as we continue our recovery from 2 presidential election traumas and continued shocks from the political world. Amazingly, my life is so stress-free and peaceful, even with a huge workload, except for knowing what is happening in American politics. Thanks so much for your part and thanks to Tipper Davidson for keeping an uncontrolled media in the mainstream on the East Coast. Best,

JD
Florida


In response to "The Death of Protest," March 21

I read the NYT story on the 2002 police treatment of protesters and my blood boiled, both for the actions themselves and for the blithe manner in which the Times reported the story. Thanks so much for your piece today describing the ' Red Square ' America that Bush has given us.

Patrick Love


In response to "America's War on Immigrants," March 14:

You are right that there is rise in racism and xenophobia,however you are equating opposition to illegal immigration to racism which is flatout wrong.

Illegal immigeration is hurting the middle class and the poor tremondously.
They are finding themselves workin for less and less or forced out completely like what
is happening in the coustruction industry where most jobs are going for
illegal immigrants who work for much less and with no benefits.
Couple this with offshore manufacturing and automationa and we are
having a gradually vanishing middle class, labor unions and upward
mobility for the poor.
It is a myth that illegals takes the jobs that nobody wants. No job
is rejected no matter what it is if it pays a living wage with adequate
benefits.
 
Adel Hanna
Austin,  Texas

In response to "America's War on Immigrants," March 14:

You have it backwards, sir. In the USA, there are immigrants from every nation and every religion, they are free to live where they wish, do any business they wish, become citizens, vote, practice the religion of their choice even if it was not the one they were born to. They can speak out in public, in the press. They can do anything I can do as a natural born citizen except be President. Now look at the UAE and tell me it is acceptable to call a nation like ours racist in comparison. Are you saying to be non racist we have to have racist friends? I do not understand your point at all. We treat Muslims coming here just like anyone else, except of course the Bush administration's methods of sweeping people into detention for being Arab. Yes, the administration did that, not the public. That was racist stuff. And it set the tone, only a fool would think it would have no effect.

The UAE is rich beyond compare. But have they used that money to reach out to the allies it claims in the west? If I was one of three pals of the Taliban and wanted to do American business, I would know I had work to do and bridges to build. The UAE seems to think they are above all of that and can simply give orders and make threats. That will not fly.

What you are seeing is nothing but the fruits of hubris, vanity, and entitelment. 

It is impossible to get folks to believe that we can not trust the 82 year old woman in line at the airport being stripped of her shoes but we can trust one of three governments to support the Taliban, who harbored terrorists that killed our fellows. The UAE supported those who gave comfort to the planners of 9-11 Bush says that makes them the enemy in one speech and then castigates his consituents as xenophobes for not giving them keys to the ports. Yeah, the answer is that Americans are racist. That makes sense. It is not incompetant politics or jingoistic rhetoric from Bush it is a flaw in the American people. Can't see it, not at all.

This is an issue that requires a mature and non partisan outlook. If you are for the deal, blame those who killed it before it ever made the headlines, arrogant principles of the deal the Administration, and the Emeraties. It is that simple. All of that poisonous rhetoric, all of those pumped up claims about Iraq, all of those arrests and searches, all that stuff made the scene in which the port deal died. Anyone with a brain would have seen it coming long, long, before it hit the headlines. Bush says damn fourth amendment to the constitution because we can't trust our own people, but we can trust the UAE hame of Bin Laden money laundry. Does that make sense to you? Can't you see why the Americans simply would not stand for this? We are being stripped of civil rights our fathers fought for, but the Emerateis can be trusted. Cant trust our own, but we trust them? Come on! Grow up! Our fathers died for this country. But yeah, wiretaps for all Americans, business deals for all Emerateis. Maybe just pick the one you like most, the deal or the taps, but a world that needs warantless wiretaps is not safe enough to give the ports to the UAE. 

The American people owe the UAE nothing. Respect and trust are earned not demanded. That is the real world. Money don't buy everything, its true. As the song said. The other song that fits is for Bush to sing, the deal would be done "If I Only Had a Brain".

DG


In response to "America's War on Immigrants," March 14:

Your article, "The Fear of Terrorism Become a convenient Excuse for Racism," misses the point when it attempts to couple Khalid Muhammad with national, international strategies specifically orchestrated to marginalize, demonize, and isolate. Muhammad's ravings clearly were symptomatic of a person without perspective, but in no way reflected deliberation, strategic bend, or modus operendi to implement his rhetoric. In short, all he could hope to acheive was name-calling and self-deception in the belief he was empowering the powerless. Contrast this with the power of the state, such comparisons become non-sensical. The state with all due diligence is in a position to not only deceive but to shape perception. The power of the state can be utilized in such a way logic is turned upside down whereby " the insane is perceived as sane and the sane insane." Exposing duplicity, in its many nuisances, is such an intricate fete many have opted to acquiesce with the powerful, in effect carrying the torch of disinformation.and injustice. Accepting such platitudes of deceit is no easy accomplishment. Is it realistic to credit a man without the visability, machinery, or punctilio with the same capabilites?
Moving large numbers of people to accept an agreed upon version of reality has( never was) in Mr. Muhammad's grasp.What he articulated was the frustration,alienation shared by many in the Afrikan-American community. Eventhough some of his wording was ill-advised, he attempted to engage in parable ensuring the uneducated understood he shared their pain. The state by comparison crafts its message so as to stroke white fears, prejudices,and hatreds. To my knowledge, the government as an entity, has never been singled out as some type of anomaly. The perception that the state is just lends a kind of credibility where questioning it is unthinkable for many. Little wonder brown people, your words, are summarily dismissed as bagabonds, lunatics, manaical creatures threatening the American Dream. Where are the multitude of voices resisting such characterizations? I maintain it is easy to critique Khalid Muhammad because we can deny the need for historical analysis. Conversely, it is more difficult to analyze the state because of history and the role we play in perpetuating injustice and de-humanization. 

In response to "America's War on Immigrants," March 14:

The reasons for many of these problems you are noticing is a direct result of of the  "blatant lying" of you left wing loonies that can't bring yourself to admit when something is "good" if a Republican is involved. The economy is not OK, it's roaring. The 93,000 figure on the Muslim's and/or Arab's were individuals that had not complied with the rules of their visas and were requested to do so voluntarily. 

    It's too bad malcontents like you,who probably were not smart enough to get a degree in the sciences, had to settle for less and are extremely jealous of successful people!
        
Have a Nice Day,
Dwayne Akin


Responses to the January 10 column about what economic numbers don't tell us:

 

The underlying cause of differing interpretations of economic success—which you point out in your piece—lies, I think, in the falseness of economic indicators. GDP growth isn’t necessarily a positive for many people; change in interest rates dont control the economy etc.

The Economics of Innocent Fraud, a recent essay in book form by JKGalbraith articulates this well...in case you haven’t read it.

I believe that eventually economics will be viewed as the alchemy of our time.

Frank Colbourne.


I just read your article “What Numbers Aren’t Saying About the Economy Most Live In”, and could not agree more with your observations. Since resigning from a government job with decent pay in summer 2002 I have not been able to find a job even remotely approaching it’s modest salary of $35,000 with benefits. I have literally applied to hundreds and hundreds of openings, and have moved to three different cities in different states. It doesn’t matter where I go, I can’t find work. I am rapidly going through my savings. I have two Bachelor degrees, but that doesn’t mean anything to employers it seems. I go to career support groups and there are people with Maser’s degrees, old folks, young adults in their 20’s or 30’s...and all are finding the job market to be terrible. And even though we are all unemployed and stressed out about it, it IS validating to see and hear other people stuck in the same miserable boat.

And, like you mention, the newspapers are harsh, insulting and totally ignoring the plight of millions of underemployed, homeless, or ‘working poor’ Americans with their endless articles spouting off about the so-called “wonders of the robust recovery”, the “ever so low unemployment figures”, blah blah blah. What a bunch of lies! The nation’s major newspapers like the WSJ or NYT are pure propaganda for the business elite as far as I’m concerned. It’s very embittering to read their crappy articles that deliberately ignore the yawning gap between rich and poor. I think journalists today cannot write the truth about the terrible job market because they risk losing their jobs if they do speak the truth.

I came across your article on the ‘Common Dreams’ website, which is one of a few websites I trust for accurate and relevant news articles such as yours. These are terrible times we live in when our newspapers have turned their backs on the people and ignore this ongoing national unemployment crisis.

SH



Letters responding to "The Sham of Homeland Security," Jan. 4, 2006

 

I couldn't agree with you more. I'm the "new" Homeland Security Coordinator (8 weeks) for the State of Missouri. I come from a rural Ozark background, although the last 35 years I've been out in the "make believe" world we find ourserves in. I appreciate your common sense perspective....

Paul H. Fennewald
Homeland Security Coordinator
Missouri Office of Homeland Security


Nice to see somebody questioning the profiteering without safety, as well as comparing workplace injuries to the terror toll. If you're interested, here's a piece I did a few years ago on the theme: http://www.metrotimes.com/editorial/story.asp?id=5076

Michael Jackman
Copy Editor
Metro Times/Detroit


I grew up in W. Va. Most of my relatives and friends seemed to work timber or in the mines. That was the only good paying work, and if you complained they had a hundred people to take your place. You signed on when you were young and felt bulletproof, and by the time you saw and knew the dangers it was all you knew how to do. In a way those miners were trapped before they walked into the mine that day. Notice that not one miner would speak to the press during the vigil? All they would say is the Co. said not to talk to the press.

But in the mist of all the speculation and blame game your clear insight hit the nail on the head. Until any miner can walk out of an unsafe mine and knowing that he won’t be fired and can still feed his family next week. Until any safety inspector can shut down a mine (with out fear of ending his career) till the problem is corrected. Until the Co. bosses know they will be held accountable. It will keep happening. As a West (by God) Virginian, I thank you for really getting a handle on this problem and speaking out.

Curt Campbell


you r a stupid leftist idiot. [sic.]

Allen Garner
Humble, Texas


I appreciated your article “The Sham of Homeland Security: A West Virginia Tragedy”. I have called West Virginia home since the 1980s. My husband and children were all born there. We moved to Ohio 8 yrs ago to try to make a better living, but WV is still “home”. This past week my heart has been breaking as I see familiar faces and hear familiar names on national TV.

In the late 80s I was a newspaper reporter (one of two!) at the Record-Delta in Buckhannon, WV. Several times I wrote articles on the mines and their many safety regulations (and infractions). I think your article is right on target when it comes to the money games that keep safety regulations from being followed, but there is more to it than that.

Every time you turn on the lights or microwave a cup of water you are creating a demand for more coal to be dug—and when you dig for coal, a flammable substance, you dig up a Pandora’s box of environmentally unsafe substances in the form of gases, dusts, acid drainage, to name a few. It’s not that mine safety regulations aren’t being followed: Coal mining itself is inherently dangerous. It’s not just the greedy money grubbers in D.C. who are guilty. We all are. Our demand for an easy, flip-the-switch, push-a-button, throw-it-out kind of life has the have-nots all over this earth risking their lives in mines, in factories, in jobs that don’t pay enough to feed their families—so that Americans can live with electricity, confortable temperatures in their homes, Easy-Mac, pretty hair, etc. As long as there are coal mines there will be deaths in the coal mines. There isn’t any way to make them safe.

So go ahead and point fingers at Washington. You’ve got a point. But think about it the next time you turn on a light.

Ellen Thomas
W.Va.


Part of the problem is that the media conspired to make sure Americans missed the point of 9/11, which was an attack, not on the US itself or our culture, but the mechanisms of world “trade” and its Pentagon enforcement arm.  This should be made plainer in writing about Al Queda and 9/11.

Also, analyses of Al Queda by non-ideologues reveal it to be a fairly loose knit collection of various groups, hardly an organization, even if Uncle Osama has so bucks to finance a few of them.

So we’re not exactly out of danger, but we should at least suspect at this point that Osama is a one-trick pony.  And while various intelligence agencies no doubt have a microphone up the tookus of every Muslim immigrant in the US, another point rarely made is that they had every bit of information they needed with the powers they had at the time to make the bust prior to 9/11, but dropped the ball due to the sheer corruption of their work by bureacracy that made drug war busts more important than paying attention, and ideology that kept them focused on antiwar activism and other forms of protest.

We need to keep hammering these points home.  I recently attended an NBA game and was appalled at the rabid cheering during and after the Star Spangled Banner was sung.  And it was not the “play ball” cheering I was used to hearing, it was a blind, and perhaps desperate, patriotic display.

Considering the cost of an NBA ticket, perhaps the class of people who can afford to attend such events are more patriotic than average, but even at that it is clear that they never got the information they needed to make them question such rabid, blind patriotism.

Jim Cronin
Portland, OR  


Especially enjoyed the “latent, obscene desire to shine in time of crisis, to extract heroism out of the rubble” (apologies for paraphrasing).

Yes, I think you hit the nail on the head there!  Those words helped me to get a little closer to understanding what really lies behind the “rabid patriotism” and blind vengeance so prevalent in American society today.  We are unworthy!  We have met the enemy, and it is us!  We have no idea where we are going as a society, and absolutely no idea how we got to the place we find ourselves in today!  We have lost our moral compass!  Perhaps we have an unsettling feeling, a desire to be whole and wholesome again, to wake up, to recreate ourselves as the Americans we believe we once were, and could be again!  Perhaps we feel that many years of self indulgence and waste, of vanity and ever-growing arrogance, of all-consuming greed and a lack of concern for the less privileged, have finally robbed us of our “Americanism”?  We want to be good.  We want the world to love us.  We hate it when those ingrates criticize us!  But, whatever we do, it just seems to get worse!  Who was it that said “Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels”?  We have become scoundrels; rabidly patriotic scoundrels.  And we know it.  We just can’t figure out how the heck to correct the situation.  We don’t know what to believe anymore.  We have a Democratic Party that cowers in a corner while some of the most outrageous scandals in American history appear on our TV screens – and are promptly forgotten.  Today at least a hundred more Iraqi people died, shedding their blood alongside five U.S soldiers.  Who cares?  When and how can this insanity end?  What have we become?  I fear that it may be possible for us to regress even further into this abyss of ignorance, self hate and anger.  Where do we go from here?

Michael A. Hill                 


Enough to make my flesh crawl. But it is the truth. We are headed for oblivion because of unconcern , disinterest,  greed and corruption.

Richard Smith.


Well thought out exigesis of the huge cottage industry spawned from the hulking Homeland Security apparatus.  And none of it will keep us any safer. Meanwhile, the Bush administration and his puppets in Congress keep gutting programs that actually do keep Americans safer.  What will it take before the dots are connected?

 Al Krulick

Theatre/Cultural Arts Director
Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando


Very pointed article. would not terrorists look at the allocation of funds amongst cities and if inclined select the least protected cities to attack? why waste efforts on high profile/well protected targets. Let’s reallocate all of these funds to develop and implement an expedited exit strategy which includes real peace efforts for the people of Iraq and a safe return of our youthful armies to their families as soon as practicable. Let’s all work to end this occupation and end the war. While we mourn the innocent miners in WV, what about the innocent war victims and their families in Iraq? Don’t they deserve our sympathy in their time of death? Why don’t we visit their mosques and interview them, show their faces, show the bodies of our youthful casualties, show  the bloodshed juxtaposed with the evil war profiteers? There is ample muck for our muckrakers-but we need more: more intense,  more graphic revelations of the evil of it all, and more integrity in the press/media.. Our humanity cannot survive under the growing mound of lies and deceit. Where are the men and women of God? The pulpits have been hijacked!    

Fred Grygiel


Would you take your security-industrial analogy further, and envision a day where most mining/manufacturing jobs exist only in developing countries, and the American miners/manufacturers, like those in WV this week, are all employed in both public and private security jobs? We aren't losing people, and manufacturing proletariat jobs are vanishing. That could be destabilizing, so replace those jobs with more proletariat jobs in security. It's a relatively clean industry compared to manufacturing. It tracks the economy's shift toward services over production of goods. It even allows more concentrated human environments, which we know are more resource-friendly. I say all that tongue-in-cheek, but to the extent there is corporate control of the political-economy, won't this reflect the long run trend?

D.F.


Last year I attended a large political event and had my Swiss Army Knife confiscated by Homeland Security. I looked down into a giant box-full of hundreds of sharp objects, which the very important looking security guy told me would soon be placed under a crusher and destroyed. Yeah sure. With several pawn shops down the street and that handy-dandy EBAY close by, I'm going to believe that?? Anyway, thanks for connecting some of the dots. Now if we can just get that Dot-head and his Dot-cons out of office, maybe our country can begin to move forward. I'm not holding my breath

Melinda Rose

Kudos for your column astutely pointing out the relevance of the Sago (predictable and preventable) disaster in the context of deregulation and illusory "security."

The other day, Sago became a killing field. Yet, there's no outrage and few complaints that the employer was allowed to kill workers without true remorse (tho' it was CEO Hatfield's "worst day of his life"). Short of workplace death is a daily terror of working in physically unsafe work environments. (Mega-investor buyout king Ross who created ICG in 2004 appeared on CNN and made the false claim that "inspectors are on-site daily at the mine," implying that MSHA inspectors are there, despite having only 4 inspectors (I think) to cover all U.S. mines.) Family members of the victims tell of the ever-present fear each miner experienced daily, choosing to work to support their families in a world that presented no real alternatives. Our work at the Workplace Bullying & Trauma Institute is about dangerous work environments of a psychological nature. The founder of the international movement, in Sweden in the 1980's, spoke of "psychological terrorization" at work. We knew if we spoke of terror, we would have been ridiculed when we began our work in 1998. So it is "Workplace Bullying" that afflicts 1 in 6 U.S. workers daily.

There is rising awareness backed by research. We get good press. Dateline NBC will feature our work sometime in January. But you can imagine the difficulty we have proposing legislation state-by-state in the current political climate where pro-corporate agendas trump human costs and even lives. We, too, see West Virginia as ground zero, a litmus test for the public's tolerance and acceptance of however corporate spinmeisters distract us from the industry's lethal negligence.

http://bullyinginstitute.org for research and education on the topic
http://bullybusters.org
for tracking legal reform progress
http://workdoctor.com
to see what employers could and should do about psychological violence at work

Gary Namie, Ph.D.
WBTI



Letters in response to the "Iraq, Ourselves" column that ran in the Dec. 15 editions of the News-Journal:

 

I enjoy your commentaries from my perch on the opposite side of the world. I think you’d enjoy my perspective, surrounded by people who genuinely like and admire Americans but detest America. They are perplexed; how can such nice, intelligent, helpful and kind-hearted people do such nasty, stupid, destructive and vicious things? How can they choose such a leader? Of course I can mumble in embarrassment about the corporate media and the fact that no one imagined that the President would lie so blatantly, but I’m as perplexed as they and far more distressed. It’s good that there are a lot of people like you, articulate voices of reason and truth. As I tell my students, that is the real America. Keep it up and remember that, as Dr King reminded us, light overcomes darkness.

 Dr. B.C., Nepal


Gimme a break! A so-called holy book with a main chapter devoted to the "Spoils of War" isn't merely oxymoronic, it's moronic. Perhaps that's why the moron and barbarian Bush keeps extolling Islam as a "religion of peace" - his kind of peace.

G.T., Canada


Sir,

     Have you actually read the Koran or are you just repeating the repetitions of repetitions of the left assuring us that Islam is a "religion of peace"? Back in my early college days in the late 80s, long before it was fashionable to blather on about "peace loving muslims" I had to read the Koran for a political science class. Crack the cover and read all about beheadings and opression and wife beating and institutionalized rape.
     If you have spent any time in a supposedly civilized muslim country, you will see the curious phenomenon of the guest worker, virtual slaves imported from other muslim countries to do the work in rich muslim countries. A specific verse in the Koran (Sura 70:29, the Ladders) allows employers to rape their guest worker employees.
 
those who guard their private parts, 30 except for their wives or the (slave girls) whom their right hands possess, for they are not to be blamed
 
The legalized rape of female guest workers is well entrenched in the most "civilized" muslim countries. I have always pitied the poor housemaids who do not know this is the case. To my knowledge there has never been a successful prosecution of such a crime, though some maids commit suicide rather than endure this treatment.
 
Of course we could go around and around about beheading of one's enemies, slaughter of entire villages by the armies of Mohammed, but from someone who has read the book to someone who hasn't, there isn't much point. The Koran is a book of evil and brutality. There is quite a bit of that in the Old testament, too. However, we do not base our society on a book such as that (if we did, homosexuals would be beheaded in the US, just like they are in muslim countries, instead of starring in bad TV sitcoms).
 
I do not justify an wrongdoing the US does, and I truly hope I do not get a third tour in the evil middle east. I personally hope they all kill each other and be done with it so we have no reason to interact with the "religion of peace" and its adherents.
 
Bottom line, the Koran is a barbaric book and a billion people take it literally and use it to guide their actions.
 
Respectfully,
Mike, an army officer just back from Baghdad.

In light of the controversy over the issue of habeas corpus and the related decision to hold individuals in custody without charge, due to whatever classification the Department of Justice can utilize to justify their detention, I am reminded of Prime Minister Churchill’s thoughts on the issue of how long the executive branch of Great Britain’s government would retain the power to suspend habeas corpus and to hold individuals without charge.  In the appendices to the fifth of his six volume work of the history of his involvement in World War II, titled Closing of the Ring, Mr. Churchill published a number of his letters to the appropriate minister of government that detailed his thoughts of how to return the power to hold people without charge back to the House of Commons and whether it was time to start releasing people who had been deemed dangerous to the war effort.  The year was 1943, and the fascist governments had not yet been defeated.  Nonetheless, Mr. Churchill felt it time to prepare Great Britain for its return to the values that set his government apart from that of its enemies.  I believe you would find these letters interesting reading.

 R.M.W.


It is a shame that your obvious writing talent is encumbered by such a warped mind, but what should we expect from the News-Journal but very worst of liberal venom?

K.C., Florida


[...] It takes guts, these days, in the world of the faux patriots and their perversion of American principle, to say what is so apparent to me and millions of others. Every day, when I open the paper (The Oregonian), I shake my head and mutter and obscenity. What new abuses? What new indignity from this White House and its lap-dog Congress? yesterday it was spying. The day before, a defense of torture. The day before, a funding bill designed to trim the deficit by limiting programs for the least-privileged among us. The day before, a denial of rendition and offshore torture, despite EU findings of fact that it has indeed happened. The day before, ...

S.W., Washington State


[...] You strike right to the heart of this matter -- which is the total decay of the true heart of America, and the world in proportion with America's vast influence. Even when I very-first heard people speaking out publically against torture, I became scared. I knew that if they had to actually STATE rationalizations against torture, that it was a very ominous sign for the state of things. Your columns are richly-written and show a slightly more transcendent vision than the rest. Thanks again! Yours,

D.A.C., US


Just finished reading the above excellent article online in the "Information Clearing House." i agree completely with your synopsis about how america has descended into a hellish nightmare of its own making. The article should be required reading for the Bush WH. i doubt that will happen, since the usual suspects in the neo-con world are again up to their tricks, trying to incite another illegal war against Iran. Case in point: Last night, the History Channel showed one of the most skillful pieces of propaganda i've ever seen, entitled, "IRAN-The Next Iraq?" They did an excellent job of cherry picking the facts to support their unabashed enthusiasm for another blood bath. There are way too many falsehoods to outline in this letter, so i urge you to catch a viewing of this manipulative piece of media. Will comment on one of their misleading items: One of the so-called Iranian experts interviewed was Kenneth Pollack, who played stenographer for the Bush White House when he wrote "The Threatening Storm." As you know, that book helped increase the clamor to illegally invade Iraq; A clamor based on lies. The show doesn't mention that or the fact that Pollack is a fellow at the neo con inspired Brookings Institution. Please try and watch the show. Just be sure to keep pen and paper handy to help document all the lies. There are way too many to try and remember.

G.B., Missouri

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