Letters to the Editor:


Praise for "Sugar Coating"

Fantastic article, like all the ones I have read from your writer. Sadly, the Republicans will try to smear everyone...even Mickey Mouse, that is why the country is so divided. Those that support Bush regardless....have forgotten that their loyalty should be towards AMERICA. I have always been interested in politics and have never seen more nauseating politics as what is coming out of the White House and Republicans, led by Tom "Da Lie"....but, do hope and pray that our people will realize that our future is at stake and will not be blind party sheep in the voting booth.

Jocelyn Llubere
Ms. Llubere, who votes as an Independent, writes from Miami, Fla.
Our Taxes Have Skyrocketed--Thanks to George Bush

"Bridge toll goes up one dollar," the headlines read. Now we have to pay one dollar more just to cross the freaking bridge?

"Local school bonds pass," says the news. Great. Now every house in town coughs up $100 a year more to educate our kids.

"FBI asks police to step up local patrols," said the radio this morning. How is this paid for? How do you think? More local taxes.

"Sales tax goes up" is followed by "Property tax increase" and "State income tax rate change announced." Not to mention all the interest on the two trillion dollars worth of loans we cosigned so that Bush could purchase The Easy Life for Enron, Halliburton and Carlyle.

George Bush claims that he has lowered our taxes? Bull dookie! He just serves them up to us in a different form. Sure we get $400 back from the IRS. And then we pay thousands more at the pump, in health care costs and wage loss.

And factor in the sad fact that WE are the ones who pay most of the taxes now. Corporations no longer help us out. In 1950, U.S. corporations paid 40% of all taxes (and despite this so-called tax burden, business and commerce flourished too. For them, the right to do business in a healthy American economy was worth every cent!) Now corporations only pay SEVEN PERCENT. And guess who pays the rest? You. Me. The bus driver. The small farmer. The postman. The night clerk at the convenience store.

What can we do? For starters, let's balance the federal budget. How? We could start by not buying the things that we don't need. For instance, let's stop squandering 60% of our income on buying overpriced, falsely-advertised designer wars.

Jane Stillwater
Berkeley, Calif.
Heroes or Scoundrels?

Here are the names of the nine nitwit Congress-critters who requested United Nations monitors for this November's presidential election:

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Tex.

Julia Carson, D-NY

Jerrold Nadler, D-NY

Edolphus Towns, D-NY

Joseph Crowley, D-NY

Carolyn B. Maloney, D-NY

Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz.

Corrine Brown, D-Fla.

Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md.

Danny K. Davis, D-Ill.

Michael M. Honda, D-Calif.

Staff of the
Charleston Voice

South Carolina
"Open Letter from a Canadian" Continues to Rile Readers

This is in response to McDougall's "Open Letter to America from a Canadian," posted in 2002.

I realize that the letter was written a while ago, but I only just found it. I only wish he would read this, for this is how I respond to his letter:

I am an American, proud of it, too. After reading your disgusting attempt at criticizing my country, I'm all the more proud. My first response to your letter was shock, and then do you know what I did? I laughed. I laughed at your one-sided, ignorant comments. None of your points have actual facts to back then up. Our country was attacked. Were we supposed to sit back and say "Oh well?" Over our dead bodies. America has been a world leader for 200 years. . . we must be doing something right. No offense to Canada, for I have immense respect for Canada, but if you're so much better, why is it that immigrants aren't fleeing to your borders by the thousands? Furthermore, you are not American, you don't live in America, you don't see what goes on inside the country. If you hate us so much, why do concern yourself so in writing to us? If you won't show us respect, even in your criticism, why should we take the time to show you respect? In my experience, heated letters and remarks such as yours only imply deep jealousy.

Sir, I am American, and what my country means to its people can never be known or even fathomed by you. Right now, I am watching a special on troops in Iraq. America (with a few exceptions) will defend those boys and what they are doing until the day we die. They are America's finest, and they are fighting for a great cause. I'm sorry if you cannot understand this.

I give thanks to those in your country who do support us. They are the Canadians that need to be recognized--even those who don't agree with us, but not you, sir, for you are ignorant, naive, and biased. May Americans take your words with a grain of salt and promptly forget them; they mean nothing to us.

God Bless America.

Erin Poole
Cheers to John and John

John Kerry made a good, presidential-level decision in selecting a strong, mainstream Democrat for his Vice President candidate. Compare Bush's non-decision of four years ago when his organization tasked Dick Cheney to find a VP candidate and Cheney chose himself. It turns out that Cheney chose himself to actually run the government.

Sincerely,
Bruce Joffe
Piedmont, CA
Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo: prisoners or kidnapped men?

In Abu Ghraib and in Guantanamo, hundreds of men are being deprived of liberty and kept under involuntary restraint, confinement, and custody. As far as we all know, they are nor being formally prosecuted.

Are they prisoners?

Are they kidnapped men?

Leonardo Rodrigo
In "A Lonely Vigil"

Lauren Goodsmith dismissed the ONE Washington figure who cared enough to speak at the vigil at all with a single mention as an afterthought.

Tell me is it a wonder nobody speaks? You, the press, those we count on to be informed ignore the hearts, the souls, the love that IS given. You should be ashamed. I know I'm ashamed of you.

Sincerely
Dee Lichtenberger
Editor's Note: The author reports that Dennis Kucinich, to whom Ms. Lichtenberger refers, did not follow through on his announced strong involvement with this event, but only made a very brief appearance.
Beware of False Economic Picture

One picture is NOT necessarily worth a thousand words. Currently many newspaper editorials are painting a rosy picture of our nation's so-called economic recovery. They point to the increase of manufacturing and the Federal Reserve's .25-percent raise of the interest rate. Don't be fooled.

In truth, the US debt rose in billions, mostly due to the cost of the war in Iraq, and it is questionable whether either country is in a positive recovery. In addition, along with other indicators, the jobless rate in America continues to increase, the auto industry is still showing a weak market, and thousands have lost their homes in foreclosures. While most Americans are suffering economically, special interests are raking in huge profits.

Americans must not be blinded by the political smokescreens courtesy of the Bush administration. How can a platform of war spending and tax cuts succeed for any nation? In four years the current administration has failed the American people and has left our children with a legacy of a war initiated on lies.

Peter Stern
Driftwood, TX
Libertarians Against the Bill of Rights

Dear Editor:

Alexander Hamilton was unfortunately correct when he warned that the Bill of Rights was not only unnecessary, but also dangerous, because it might lead the historically ignorant to believe that their only rights were those granted by the federal government. The Constitution strictly limited the federal government to specified powers such that it could not violate the rights of individuals, including those listed in the first ten Amendments to the Constitution. Thanks to federally-funded education, people now incorrectly believe that their rights are limited those listed in the Bill of Rights, freeing the federal government to expand well beyond its constitutional limits to become our master.

FEDERALIST No. 84:

"I go further and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights."

Sincerely,
Bill Holmes

Carlsbad, Calif.
Mr. Holmes describes himself as a Libertarian.

"Major Kudos"

Major kudos to David Flores for his outstanding movie review: "Here's Why You Should Go See 'Fahrenheit 9-11'" (6-28-04)."Fahrenheit 9-11" is a good movie to see but not an easy movie to watch. I had to bite my tongue hard and look away to keep from crying like a baby (seeing and hearing mothers scream in outrage when their children are killed and maimed by made in U.S.A. bombs does this to me, even though I cannot understand their language). This is the only movie I have ever seen where the theater was packed on a weekday afternoon and where there was a standing ovation at the end. Thank you: Michael Moore.

Best regards,
Kirk Muse
Mesa, Ariz.
"Cheney Disrespects All of Us"

When Senator Patrick Leahy challenged the Vice President on the excessive no-bid contracts that the Bush-Cheney administration has given to Halliburton Corp, regardless of its history cheating and overcharging our government, Cheney told Leahy to "go f*** himself." Senator Leahy's questions represent the concern of all of us taxpayers, since we're the ones who pay for those contracts. Cheney's arrogant blow-off disrespects all of us.

Sincerely,
Bruce Joffe
Piedmont, Calif.
"Love Your Work"

Just found your site. I'm not a person that has all the good stuff to hand but am busy trying to find the "truth" out here on the internet. Anyway, love your work. My sentiments exactly. Can't wait until Nov. 2, 2004.

Suzanne Savage
Starving People in the "Land of Milk and Honey"

With all the debate recently for amending the United States Constitution in favor of recognizing marriage as a union between a man and woman, perhaps a more appropriate amendment should guarantee each citizen of the United States the right to food, clothing, shelter and medical care. Poverty is defined as the condition of being poor or lacking the necessary means of support to live or meet needs. Today we read of enormous corporate tax breaks, outsourcing of jobs overseas and outrageous salaries "earned" by athletes/entertainers. More recently came the revelation of the $200 billion dollars spent by the U.S. on the war in Iraq. In the meantime, the number of those in poverty continues to increase. The Bible's Old Testament often makes references to the promised land flowing with milk and honey. All one has to do in this country is take a trip to the grocery story or department store and bear witness to the fact that if any place comes close to exhibiting the characteristics of "the promised land", this country is it. Yet somehow we are still unable to meet the four basic needs every citizen has. Some would argue that this proposal is an extension of Socialism/Communism. Nothing could be further from the truth. Socialism/Communism is a political or economic theory in which community members own all property, resources, and the means of production, and control the distribution of goods. No one is suggesting the replacement of Capitalism; an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned, and prices are chiefly determined by open competition in a free market. What is being suggested is that in this land of surplus "milk and honey", there is absolutely no reason why the four basic needs of every U.S. citizen cannot be met. Some would argue that food stamps, thrift stores, public housing and medicaid already meet these needs but in the words of President John F. Kennedy, "this country is divided between those who have never had it so good and those who know we can do better". I think we can do better.

Resolved, it shall be the right of every United States citizen (in order to further guarantee the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) to receive food, clothing, shelter and medical care that is adequate to meet their basic needs.

Joe Bialek
Cleveland, Ohio
"It's my party and I'll cry if I want to"

Don't look around for a great party, at least in politics, because you're going to be disappointed. GOP, Democrat, Libertine...all may be defined in two words: $pecial intere$t$. If there's no direct cash return on an activity, policy, legislation, or action, the party is over.

As for starting a new political party, one that will do what's best for the majority--sorry, save the cost of your party invitations. Political "parties" don't work for Americans any more, mostly due to wealthy special interests who buy "parties" outright. Anyway, how long before the new "party" evolves until it's just like one of the others? These days it's all a cash and carry business.

American democracy is being killed by special interest contributors and their wealthy lobbyists. Laws must be passed, paralleling those regulating pesticides, to control all the parasites that ruin our nation. How? Place and enforce intelligent, realistic restraints on special interests by limiting campaign contributions, and return the election focus on issues, not "$,$$$,$$$".

Peter Stern
Driftwood, TX
The National Debt: Reagan's True Legacy

The media and government have been talking about Ronald Reagan's legacy. Part of his legacy is the huge increases in government debts. The '' national '' debt is over 7 trillion dollars, and increases by a billion dollars a day. There are over 290 million citizens in our country. If every American were to each send $10,000 to the government, it would not be enough to cover half of this debt. If the president and Congress really want to honor Ronald Reagan's legacy, then they will do something about the government debt (besides increasing it).

Chuck Mann
Greensboro, NC
In Defense of the "Heroes of the Left"

I'm not sure I entirely agree with Scott Loughrey's assessment in his argument "Beware the Heroes of the Left", about Amy Goodman and the rest, but I don't regularly listen to her show. Although they are all provocative lefties, they still have some establishment ties, so we shouldn't expect them to be anarchists; however, in respect to 9/11 I think it goes deeper. There is still a lot of confusion as to the contributing and proximate causes of this largest attack against U.S. interests yet. However, though the size and the spectacular nature seems to place this incident in a different context, it is really just an extreme example of the fact that we are making many enemies in the world by supporting the wrong people and wrong regimes. I have no doubt that the CIA is doing things in our name that are far worse than anything leaked out yet. Their people can keep secrets at least as well as the Skull & Bones society. We as a society need far more information on what our military and CIA do for the trillions of dollars they receive. Congress has become far too meek in its oversight role and people have to demand that their representatives reign back in these rogue agencies. I hope the 9/11 commission sheds some light and, at the very least, is not a whitewash job like so many previous commissions. So far, it looks like there is some chance they will uncover some of the truths the administration would like to hide. But I don't see these liberals Scott excoriates as even unconscious shills for the establishment. They are not a naive bunch. They just need more facts and need to hear from all sides. I'm reading The Exception to the Rulers and I was reminded of the fact that the Bushies redacted about 8,000 pages of the 12,000 page report submitted by Saddam in compliance with U.N. Resolutions. No one made too big a fuss about this, but everyone knows it is to protect the rulers and their corporate servants (or is it the other way around?). Everyone should be making a big stink about this--there is no way 8000 pages is all top secret information the disclosure of which would be a great boon to our enemies. And what ever happened to Tarik Aziz? My guess is that he has a lot of beans to spill and that both he and Saddam may never see the courtroom in Iraq.

J. Russell Tyldesley
A WAR CRIMINAL???

In Loughrey's article, he called General Clark a WAR CRIMINAL? Gen. Clark stopped a real war criminal--Slobodan Milosovic. If I had any questions about the "slant" of your piece, this remark erased all doubt. Shameful.

A. Kemler
NY
ED. NOTE: Mr. Loughrey made that statement because Gen. Clark countenanced the use of Depleted Uranium during the Balkan conflict.
Praise for Palast

Many, many thanks to The Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel for printing Greg Palast. Certainly, this is not something we will ever see on any of the TV news channels--the source from which most Americans get their news. And so far I have not seen Palast reprinted in any of the major newspapers. Palast is poison to our mainstream media. You are to be richly commended for practicing fairness and balance in journalism. My hat is off to you. Keep up the good work!

Maryellen Lake Becket
Mass.
In Praise of Canadian "Truthtellers"

I concur with the words of the Canadian who wrote an open letter to the American people. My message to this person is to remember, "Talk about your country, there's really no such thing for me. The whole world, the whole world is one big family." Those lyrics are from a Carlos Santana song. Praise be to the tellers of truth. "Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again."--MLK Jr.

Gary M. Nelson
What Really Happened to Nick Berg?

Thank you for publishing William Hughes' well-written article ("Father of Nick Berg Blasts Bush-Cheney Administration"). Sadly, the so-called national media have treated this whole case with the usual intelligence community "massage." This information supports what I have strongly suspected all along as to what really happened to Nick Berg. This incredibly "sad" case had all of the usual psy-ops trappings. And Mr. Berg eloquently points those details out. The comment (astute observation) Mr. Berg made about the "USA PATRIOT" Act is 100% factual from our perspective. Our own legal case against some of the same perpetrators was stopped under the 1947 US National Security Act in open court in 1993. We continue our efforts to "blow our feeble whistle" to this very day. Again, thank you from our hearts.

Respectfully,
Mark (Phillips) & Cathy (O'Brien)
More Praise for Hughes' Article on Berg

I have been reading the same on various internet sites. Thank you so much for publishing your article. Are we above such actions? I don't think so.

Very sincerely,
Carole Jones
Mountain View, CA
Howard Student: Rice Is Not True to Her People

Hi, I would just like to say that I too agree with the article about Dr. Rice's lack of interaction in the African-American community. It is really sad that when I think of prominent black women I honestly don't think of her. I guess she hasn't appeared to be affected by "our" concerns and/or issues, and that is such a shame. Reading all of her accomplishments I see none that I can really applaud. It is so terrible in this day and age that we as professional African-Americans still can't seem to get it.....We must educate, encourage, and train our own children and young adults in order for them to understand their worth...and she does not seem to be doing that in my opinion.

Latisha Martin
Ms. Martin attends Howard University.
Want to talk about great Republican presidents?

No, NOT Ronald Reagan. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, our 34th president, was born in Texas and held office from 1953 to 1961. He was supreme commander of our WWII armed forces. After our victory and as our president, he worked to relieve the stresses of the "Cold War" and implemented a treaty that brought a truce between North and South Korea. Former President Eisenhower would "turn over in his grave" if he saw the current Republican Party's platform and how the Bush administration ineptly performs its responsibilities to the people of the United States.

Peter Stern
Driftwood, TX
Land of the Free? Not Anymore

Kudos to Ward Reilly for his outstanding column: "Free Speech Zones in the USA?". I'd like to add that it looks like Reilly just thought he lived in a free country. It looks like the Bush/Cheney/Haliburton Administration have other ideas regarding free speech, freedom, justice, and other noble sounding words.

Sure glad we live in a country with a huge statue called the "Statue of Liberty."

Best regards,
Kirk Muse
Mesa, AZ
Yet Another Reply to the Canadian's "Open Letter to America"

I'll keep this short, just because i think Mr. Robert Davis has already stated so eloquently the somewhat miss guided ideas or Mr. McDougall. I just had a few questions about particular areas that he commented on. In relation to Israel's receiving our support through arms and money, I just want to know what he is doing to solve the issue. He complains like a spoiled child watching his sister getting a new toy. Would he like us to supply both sides? Then, instead of getting it over with, both sides have abilities to kill mass amounts of people? Or would he rather we just sit back on the fence like he is doing. I think that if he is going to complain about how we accomplish something, then he should give a try at fixing it himself. At least we are trying to accomplish something.

And our "disastrous 30-year-folly"--aka the War on Drugs--stops millions of pounds of cocaine, marijuana and other drugs from entering America. We are attempting to solve our problems, and not just watch them grow and fester. As for Monsanto buying up the world's water supplies and taking the world's vegetation, I'm wondering if he speaks as a person who comes from where he can find no water to drink anywhere? Can he not find a cabbage or something here or there that he can feed himself with? I didn't realize that Canada was so poverty-stricken as to be completely devoid of water, although its borders have oceans on 3 sides. Perhaps he needs something like a plant that can make drinkable water out of the ocean. O wait, there are already places like those--Go figure! I'm sure that he wouldn't have much of a problem going to the local store and buying some good bottled water, if he can find it no where else. While he's there, he should stop by the produce section and pick up a cabbage.

Now, genetically altered food: there's an issue for you. In fact, people in America have been debating it since it originated. I do believe that many tests were done on it long before any of it ever ended up in a super market. I also don't recall anyone ever making me take any food that I didn't want. Perhaps McDougall was just seeing some poor person being offered genetically altered food, altered so that more could be produced, so more people could be fed.

Our national debt that we could never repay, yes that was our own doing, but, since it was our own doing, why should a person foreign to our country be standing outside pointing fingers and crying like a loon "sucker, sucker, sucker!" Our government has perhaps not always risen to help other peoples in need, but neither has any other country in the world, including Canada. Not to say anything bad about Canada because I wouldn't want to drop down to this level, but how can he complain about us when we have canceled millions, even billions of dollars in war reparations owed us by other countries from BOTH of the world wars. We can not be expected to come to everybody's aid every time they have a problem. People complain that only when it's in our own interests we come to the aid of others. Often, this is the case. Does it bother me that we help some but leave others out to dry? Yes. Do i feel that it's wrong? No. It would be wrong if we promised to help everyone, and then didn't. It would be wrong if we told them we would help them, but we didn't. If everyone in the world expected America to come lick their wounds every time they get a scrape, our country would become worn out. So we help those who can benefit us, and we help the rest when we can.

After reading his words, I find that Mr. Mcdougall IS politically aware, but has committed the same crime as SOME, not all, of the higher ups in our own government, the crime of overlooking some evidence to focus on certain areas to support his case. Mr. McDougall was obviously not happy with America before he found out all of this, because surely in his quest for all of this anti-american sentiment he found issues that were good about us as well, but I find nothing that sounds even remotely supportive of us in his entire letter. Perhaps if he continues in his quest for knowledge, he will run across our outreach programs to help the starving children in areas of the world where there is no decent food to eat nor water to drink. Maybe, when he finds out about these programs, he will see if there is a way that he could help. But, more likely than not, he will look for any holes where someone is making money off of the program. Like "those farmers whose pocketbooks grow with every bit of food you dirty scum send over there!"

Mr. McDougall, I respect your opinion as an individual, but I have to say, you are very lucky that we have the very Constitution you have scorned, the one which promotes FREEDOM OF SPEECH or I would not have ever seen this article, it would never have even been commented about by our news stations, and who knows what might have happened to you by now. So goodbye for now, Mr. Mcdougall: I pray for you and your nation, and that you will maybe someday warm up to your neighbors with their Southern hospitality.

Jon Barendse
Holland, Michigan
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This story was published on July 26, 2004.