What an incredible smorgasbord of mind and soul food there is in this selection of letters! Our readers prove that there's no doubt about it - we are the party of inclusiveness, deep thinking, and deep feeling.
Busting Out: Oil Barons, Reaching Out to Right, Cheney's Power Bill
What an incredible smorgasbord of mind and soul food there is in this selection of letters! Thanks to all of you who wrote and those who read what has been written!
Thoughts on Corporate Greed
BARONS TO EMPERORS
Just read your latest article [Fight to the Death]. Crystal clear except that there is always the other side, who even though less than sane have purposes other than self destruction- to which we are not privy. Your comparison between us and the the rest of world probably is the most likely end result, but what the usurping powers have in mind is different and will likely handicap the rest of the world as well. Namely that they will manipulate their governments and economies from a position of power. If we NEED something else than fossil fuels, the same chains will be attached as with current aid objectives to the Third World.(Bush's "benevolent" grants not loans proposals included). A Mad Hatter scheme to keep Americans entertained and dumb while we brain drain neutralized third world talent as harmless drones is not so far-fetched as convenient to the need to keep our populace weak and other nations weaker still.
The "utopia" that is pervertedly offered by the promise of prosperity from free market corporate power over all life on this planet is obviously as illusory-or a sham- as the Marxist workers' paradise. Yet there are enough immediate carrots to lead desperate nations far away from freedom and democracy. In short, were W-Cheney to succeed even in part, the vision of ruin would be more widespread and universal than you envision. The growing awareness that "business as usual" on this planet is not viable anymore means a fight for survival- not just for democracy. No one, not even bottom line corporate conservatives can afford to be led by the nose by the worst elements of the human race that are actually setting the fires while blocking the exits.
What shoddy thinking guides Cheney through his last days? Money he can't spend? Power without title or a future? Unforeseeable but obviously catastrophic results? Faith in what God, in service of of whom does he make this dark sacrifice every day?
DRAGGING THE PLANET DOWN WITH ARROGANCE
I read your article in Dem.com with great interest and sadness. I agree totally with the contents of your article. 2 selfish and self-centered men have been allowed by 5 Supreme Court Injustices to run our country to the ground and drag the planet down with their arrogance.
You expressed what thousands of us feel. And by expressing our feelings, and writing and talking about it, more and more people will know about this and perhaps something can be done before they destroy us all.
It was the saddest day of our lives when Bush stole the presidency from Gore, who is our President. What a difference that would have made. We must all do our part to get rid of this evil. Thanks for writing about it so we can all read in agreement.
DRILL AWAY - THERE AIN'T NOTHIN' LEFT!
Good to see your excellent analysis of the Bush energy boondoggle. One part of the story has received very little notice. Dave Chandler, of earthside.com & earthside.residentbush, told me about the real danger in the Bush Policies -- no matter what we do, we can't drill our way out of the looming crisis.
The U.S. of A. is the most drilled country on earth -- we are swiss cheese from a petroleum exploration standpoint. And this swiss cheese metaphor contains the real reason we can't drill our way out of the problem -- it ain't there.
The big plays, the Spindle Top's, the Prudhoe Bay's, have all been found -- what's left is small, isolated fields that will deplete quickly. The ONLY way to save our selves is with conservation, renewables, and more efficient technologies.
Oil & Gas will have to developed, but this should not -- and need not -- be at the expense of wilderness, the environment, and other strategies.
The Oil age is drawing to a close -- we need to plan now for the alternate future -- or we really will have a crisis.
Reaching Out to the Right, Finding Common Ground
BRINGING GOODNESS AND LOVE AND RECIPROCITY WITHOUT THE RELIGIOUS BAGGAGE
Dear Cheryl Seal,
You have discovered the secret: there are a lot more really decent folks who are conservative -- in a good way, but uninformed by the folks who should be informing them, but who are trapped inside the Beltway, (would be a cliche if it were not true.)
Let me try something out on you: The people who want the 10 Commandments put up in the schoolhouses are right--in a way. If what is meant is, "My views of religion are the only right ones and you go you-know-where if you don't agree", why, obviously it's hard. But if what they're trying to cry out and say is, "Goodness and love and reciprocity must be part of school!" and that it should be ex- as well as implicit, then you've got common ground.
The most encouraging thing that happened this past few years is when the people kept supporting Clinton during the Lewinsky, excuse me, Ken Starr business. The people knew, but DC couldn't figure it out. One time on Washington Week in Review, Gwen Ifell wondered why Clinton's numbers stayed up. "Maybe we know things that they don't." she said. What she had lost sight of is what common sense cried out: "It's not fair!"
Keep hold of those thoughts. All the old sayings, such as Love makes the world go round, are true.
Yours Tom Blandy
Your letter got me thinking...You are right - I don't think anyone - religious, agnostic, or atheist - has any problem with the essence of the Commandments. The fact that they have come to be synonymous with religious intolerance is not the fault of the writings themselves. So, how could we reach a compromise on this sensitive issue, so that the conservatives who believe strongly that, as you say, "goodness and love and reciprocity" be a part of our schools' theme without injecting religion? How's this for an alternative: initiating a program posting the Golden Rule in public buildings? There is a version of the Golden Rule - Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You - in every known religion, and it has also been paraphrased by agnostic and atheistic philosophers. In essence, it sums up the Ten Commandments, and yet is totally multi-cultural, multi-belief. Schools could have fun with this, posters with the Muslim version, with the Judaic version, African tribal versions, etc., each colorfully capturing the flavor of the culture as well as the "Rule." Something to think about!
Thanks for a thought-provoking letter.
All the Best, Cheryl Seal
A READER IN MUCH PAIN FROM INTOLERANCE FROM RIGHT
I agree that there is a great deal of misinformation out there among the right-wing. I don't see that changing. They are all frightened little absolutists in a scary world of shadowed ambiguity. They do not have the sophistication that experience and education brings. That will not change in our competitive society where it's more important to tear the competition down rather than working together for the common good. Used to be you could appeal to the better angels of people but that is no longer the case. This society is on the verge of losing it. It's time the liberal wing developed their tactics and fight back in the war of rhetoric.
I am gay and I don't have any use for any of them. I know how they are. I despise them.
Response Dear S. L.
I can well imagine what you have experienced in LA as a gay man. Unfortunately, the scars that hate crimes and intolerant, ignorant behavior inflict after a while make it difficult to separate the truly evil folks from those who are simply uninformed or frightened of change or the unknown (as most conservatives tend to be). But please don't give up - there are a lot more good guys than bad guys out there. As Tom above points out, most Americans wanted no part of the Clinton bashing. But a tiny number of very loud, very aggressive rightwingers can make as much noise and do as much damage a barbarian army. Our hearts go out to you! You may be heartened by the next letter, from a very conservative reader who made a heartening effort to reach across the "boundary."
Keep the faith!
REFLECTIONS FROM A CONSERVATIVE
I enjoyed our discussion. I agree with your corporate villain theory[the real evil lays not to the left or right, but is embodied in powerful corporations]. It is certainly disheartening. The older I get the more I realize how gapped we are as a society. Election time was disappointing. However, I try very hard to remain optomistic. That, many times, is a struggle. I do believe much of this problem can be traced to the human nature theories of existence. Are we greedy by nature, are we "bad" by nature? I was reading a Time magazine article a while back concerning the "The End of Earth" (or something like that). I found myself fascinated by the scientific theories of the Big Bang and the ultimate end of the universe. I know, bear with me, much of the theories of anti- gravity, dark matter...etc.... were a bit over my head, but I thought of the creatures that inhabit this planet. The power to destroy the planet 7 times over, the constant fighting, struggles. They had this timeline of existence, will we make it that far? How self indulged we have become....I certainly agree with your last email. I am afraid this "machine" has been set in motion, nuclear warheads, the religious and spiritual fighting, the distrust. Who knows? At any rate, it seems we agree to disagree on some points, however I deeply respect your points of view. I am right with you regarding the corporate empire. What is the solution?
A Reader on the Right
Cheney's Power Bill
FOR ELDERLY, POWER BILL MAY MEAN LIFE AND DEATH
I know, in particular, a woman in her 80's who, in "death valley" here in Oklahoma (with 2 weeks of temperaturs over 100 degrees), has to turn her air conditioner off at night to afford her utility bills since her drug bills take up most of her income (social security). Would that she, or the 86 year old woman who had her electricity cut off for nonpayment of her debt to them and who died from the heat, could send their bills to someone elses! Betty Hubbard
CUTTING TO THE CHASE
Dear Sirs et Mesdames,
I've known white-trash like Cheney and that Texas Trash all my life. The Bible calls people like them scum....luceo non uro...
HEARTBREAKING CONTRAST TO CHENEY'S PRIVILEDGED LIFESTYLE
HI, I am writing re. the Vice President requesting that Navy funds pay for his electric bills. I am the wife of a retired sailor, during his years in the Navy he busted his bum for this Country. He often worked 20+ hour days and missed much of the infancy of our children. We lived paycheck to paycheck (like most enlisted families) and stuck it out because he had strong feelings that it 'was worth it''.
Now he is out of the Navy and suffering from many disablities due to his time in the service, including cancer. He is entitled to VA benifits but in order to keep the budget in line for every doller he collects from the VA he looses a dollar from his pension. We also still need to pay full price for SBP (survivor benifit plan) so that our children and I can receive a portion of his pension when he dies.
He is unable to work and money is so tight I could not afford to take the kids to the dentist (there is no paid dental for military families) and the cheapo plan (that we pay for) does not even come close to covering the cost.
Then to hear the megga rich cheapo feels he can't afford his electric bills really steams me!!!! Rather than pay his bills we should take better care of those on active duty and those who served in the past. I sure wish someone would pay our light bill it is much lower and we can afford it much less than old money bags can.
FORMER NAVY MAN HAS NO USE FOR CHEAP CHENEY
To Whom it may concern: I think the Navy ought to kick Cheney out---regardless of who pays the electric bill. He certainly brings DIS-honor to the home. We'll need to make sure the place is fumigated after he's gone.
EX U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class
The Public Cause Network