Letters to the Editor

Patriot Blues

I'm proud to be a good American. I'm proud to stand with my president as he stands with all oppressed peoples of this planet wherever they may be no matter what the rest of the world thinks because, "Freedom is on the march." Besides, I don't think for a moment that people of other nations overwhelmingly despise us or fear us, as is so often put forth.

True, an American supporting such distasteful yet necessary tasks as elective invasions; massive bombings; killing multiples of tens of thousands of innocents; using extraordinary renditions; and calling the Geneva convention obsolete can be controversial. I admit that.

But America has borne those burdens gracefully. We've stayed strong, retained a mantle of decency, and suffered through without forfeiting any of our own humanity. It's an undeniable testament to our exceptionality as a people. Yes, "The trumpet of freedom has been sounded." We are dispensing "universal freedom &emdash; freedom granted by a higher being."

So, as for doubts about what we're doing, I have none. Though I must in all honesty confess &emdash; as patriotic as I am &emdash; even I at times become fearful. Sometimes late in the night &emdash; and this is what frightens me &emdash; I succumb to unwanted, unpatriotic, thoughts.

At those times I catch myself asking, how many innocents will die before we've set the entire world free? And, how many people must we bomb before the survivors learn to love us as we love them? I also ask &emdash; only on fear-laden nights, I assure you &emdash; if vast numbers of nations do now so despise America, doesn't that mean we have a long plodding (bombing) path lying yet ahead? Won't it be war forever?

I, of course, want my president to know that any such nocturnal indiscretions are but rare, meaningless, musings brought on by moments of timidity. They mean nothing. That's why I feel I should be forgiven them. Plus, if it helps guarantee my absolution, I pray he will also recognize that during the daylight hours, I myself do broadcast &emdash; ever so loudly &emdash; how proud I am of what he's doing. For I am, as can readily be seen, a good American. Your less than perfect patriot,

Robert Feathers
Del Rio, Texas


Reel Spinning


Telly Davidson, in the article "'Fahrenheit 9/11' Won Bush the Election" [3/15/05 TPP], failed to cite any evidence or testimonials of people who had seen this movie and were swayed by it to vote for George W. Bush.

Which exit polls showed this? Does this writer personally know lots of voters who watched Fahrenheit 9/11 and were so bowled over by it that they chose the incumbent on Nov. 2?

Did Davidson consult any of the volunteers who set up voter registration tables outside the theaters where Fahrenheit 9/11 was shown, to get their feedback on comments made by new registrants regarding which presidential candidate they planned to vote for?

If anything, the publicity regarding the movie kept all the Republicans-in-denial (the RIDs) out of the theaters but busy bad-mouthing it anyway to anyone who would listen and gullibly believe them.

It seems as though Davidson wants to manufacture consent with this entertainment story. In all fairness, that is what Michael Moore attempted to do, also, with his film &emdash; which he chose not to have included in the Academy Awards "documentary" category. I trust readers of The Progressive Populist are savvy enough to distinguish opinion and reel-spinning from reality.

Evelyn Roehl
Seattle, Wash.


US Lags EU


I see that the US and the [European Union] have the same GDP so why don't we have the same quality of life? Why do the Europeans have health care for all, university education for all, high-speed rail service, quality retirement, strong unions, guaranteed four or five weeks vacation (some areas forbid firing of employees) and where welfare state is pointed to with pride?

Could it be that here 10% or less (wealthy and corporations) own and control 90% or more of the domestic product, the country, even the alleged civil servants (politicians)?

Alas, with a mean-spirited one-party system kept in place with preprogrammed voting the interests of the majority will never be served.

John Culkin
St. Petersburg, Fla.


Try Tea


The AATP (The All American Tea Party) was established by all those who have at least one critical thinking brain cell still functioning.

The foundation of the AATP will be spirituality, truth, justice and the American Way and whose goals will be the total reform of America's governmental, political, legal, tax and corporate systems.

The AATP believes that the following Constitutional Amendments should be passed: 1) If the federal government declares war or a police action against any other nation, then all federal employees' children and grandchildren between the ages of 18 and 26 will be the first to be drafted. The next ones to be drafted will be all those children between the ages of 18 and 26 whose parents income is over $200,000 and the next group whose parents make over $50,000. All children whose parents make under $50,000 will not be drafted; 2) The Equal Rights Amendment; 3) Any religious organization in America that is actively involved in politics will be taxed; 4) America will not allow the researching, producing or storing of any chemical or biological weapons; 5) No one will be allowed to poison with chemicals the earth, air or waters; 6) America will not sell any military weapons to any other nation; 7) No one will be allowed to sue anyone else; 8) The only weapon a citizen will be allowed to have will be a hunting rifle; 9) All federal programs will be fully funded by the federal government. ...

If the U.S. Government does not pass these amendments and reforms within 10 years than the state of California will secede from the union.

Connie Frankowiak
Julian, Calif.


Whose Government?


Ever since the 2004 presidential election, TPP has been alive with hand-wringing about what the Democrats did wrong in the election. The truth is that the American people got just the kind of president they want. The only two criteria for president in the 21st century are that the candidate gets no more sex than the average citizen and is not smarter than the average citizen. That narrows the field to George W. Bush and Homer Simpson.

But, I digress from my initial thought. Has no one noticed that both Al Gore in 2000, and then John Kerry in 2004 really put on little more than a polite presence? The Democrats didn't do anything "wrong." They did exactly as they were supposed to do. The Democratic Party has been corrupted by money from the same corporations as the Republican Party. The same strings are attached to that money. Only the strategy is different. The money-prescribed role for the Dems is simply to campaign hard enough to keep a third party from being successful, but not hard enough to actually win the election. After all, if the Democrats were to win, some of their constituents might expect them to stand up to Corporate America and support democratic ideals. We wouldn't want that to happen, now, would we?

It would be lovely if we could form a democracy in this country instead of the fascist state which now exists. But short of an armed revolution, I have no idea how Americans could forge that kind of government. Do you?

Bill Doerr
Cincinnati, Ohio


Respect Prog Christians


As a former resident of Rogers, Ark., I feel an urge to comment on the letter of Joy Mumford in the 3/15/05 issue.

So that every one will understand where I am coming from I proclaim myself to be a non-church-attending agnostic and a near life-long Democrat. I voted Republican in the 1952 election. It took me a while to free myself from the influence of my Republican father.

During my association with the Democratic Party in Benton County, Ark., I worked with a number of self-proclaimed evangelical Christians that were hard working members of the Democratic organization.

My brother was a regular church attendee and he was also chairman of his Democratic county central committee in South Dakota. His wife is an Episcopal priest and a Democrat. I also have a cousin who is a retired Methodist minister and a Democrat.

While I may not share much theologically with the above people we seem to all agree with the principles of the Democratic Party and hope for better showings in future elections. I learned long ago that people can not be stereotyped by their religion, gender, ethnic background or any other characteristic. Each is an individual who should be judged on his or her own merits (or de-merits), whichever applies.

I believe I can understand how Ms. Mumford feels because people of my beliefs receive the same rhetoric from the other side. The Jerry Falwells and the like are the loudmouths of the Christian faith and as a result attract the most attention, thus the tendency to toss all Christians in the same bag. Stay with us, Joy, we still love you!

Harlan Moore
Medford Ore.


Charity 'Left Behind'


My letter is in response to that of Joy Mumford, Rogers, Ark., in the 3/15/05 edition. I share Joy's opinion, in that the actions of the "religious right" run counter to my reading of the Gospel that instructs Christians to care for the least of those among us, and to be peacemakers. Somehow, the message of the Sermon on the Mount was "Left Behind" when the religious right decided their political positions.

Thankfully, I have found an organization, Sojourners, that matches my Christian beliefs with how I view the responsibilities of our government. Their website is sojo.net. Their magazine editor, Jim Wallis, has a new book that reached #4 on the New York Times bestseller list: God's Politics, Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It. I feel that Joy and most of my fellow Christian progressives would find considerable hope and solace in researching these resources.

Ken Engelhart
Marshfield, Wis.


Neo-English Initiative

Following the successful launch of the euro in the majority of EU states, to facilitate future US presidential elections, the European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will become the official language of the EU.

As part of the negotiations Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phased plan which will introduce what will be known as "Neo-English."

In the first year "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly this will make sivil servants jump with joy. 

The hard "c" will also be dropped in favor of "k". This should klear up konfusion and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with the "f". This will make words like "fotograf" 20% shorter.

In the third year publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. 

Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent "e"s in the language is disgrasful and they should be don away with.

By the fourth year peopl wil be reseptiv to further steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v". 

During the fifz year ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters. 

After zis fifz yar, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi to undrstand ech ozer. ZE DREM VIL FINALI HAV KUM TRU AND ZEN WE VIL TAK OVA ZE VORLD

Giampaolo Curreri
San Francisco, Kalif.


Minimum Respect


Congress has never been reluctant to vote pay raises for themselves. Why are Republicans always fighting proposals to raise the minimum wage for Americans at the bottom of the economic totem pole?

James Bird
Lumberton, N.J.


Hard Sell


President Bush is busy trying to sell his Social Security privatization scheme. He is trying to scare us with a made-up crisis, urging us to hurry, "this is our last chance."

This is classic high-pressure sales: Make up a crisis, proclaim an emergency and say "this is your last chance to buy, hurry."

Be wary. Take a second look. This is deception.

Bush talks like we'll all be winners with his privatized Social Security. There have to be losers in order to have winners, many more losers than winners. With Bush's privatized Social Security we will all lose.

Call your local Republican representative and ask them why they want to destroy Social Security.

Dan Lavielle
Seattle, Wash.




In the 3/15/05 TPP Letters, the name of Rudy Hazucha, of Seniors for a Progressive Society, was misspelled. Email rhaz@insightbb.com.


We're Moving


The Progressive Populist is moving to new offices in Manchaca, Texas (just south of Austin). Our new address will be PO Box 819, Manchaca, TX 78652.

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