(March 1, 2004)
Regarding Ralph Nader, the lib-labs, and the Democrats
To the Editor:
Spokespersons for Barbara Boxer this week announced that she has rejected Gavin Newsom's issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples on state law legal grounds, and added that she believes the sanctity of marriage should be restricted to a "man and a woman." This just in from our beloved redwood hot tub, Marin County, ultra liberal, compassionate female, Democratic California Senator.
Was it not so long ago our other Bay Area liberal democratic compassionate female senator announced it would be a good idea for all foreign student visa holders to be hunted down, pulled out of university, and immediately deported if they seemed in anyway terrorist suspicious? Perhaps she was inspired by her husband to make hamburger out of the Bill of Rights. It seems a lucrative trade.
I understand one of the main reasons same sex marriage rights is even an issue right now is that even in states where civil union laws allow gay couples the same legal privileges and protections as marriage, they are denied them by the federal government, due to a little something called the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by Mr. "I feel your pain" democrat, William Jefferson Clinton. You'll remember Mr. Clinton as the man who also brought all us good democrats NAFTA, the WTO, the Welfare Reform Act, Most Favored Nation status for China, not to mention all the precursors to the Patriot Act, heightening federal and state law enforcement surveillance, investigative, search and seizure powers.
Super Tuesday is coming and democratic candidates are crisscrossing the golden state. I saw them on television debating Thursday night. I don't remember an original or morally significant statement from either the two front running candidates, which is why I find objections from friends of mine with Ralph Nader getting into the race totally incomprehensible. Which democrat's chances is he threatening? Al Sharpton? Dennis Kucinich? (Perhaps I would just vote for any candidate who promised to put Larry King in an ICBM missile and fire him into the sun.)
A new child just came to our home. He is small and fragile and innocent. Sometimes I sit with him and read the newspaper in the morning. He's content and happy to watch the light change, to hear the birds sing or the rain fall outside. To me, that's what is beautiful about him. I dream at night, week after week, about doing the same thing, from a hammock somewhere, hanging in the shade, fragile and innocent, content to listen to the birds, or the surf, or the wind, and watch the light change. I dream of a place where I could become so lost in time, so far from these stories I read in the paper, day after day, year after year. But it is impossible for me. I am too hardened by the cynicism of our age. I'm not so concerned for what world we will be handing over to this child when time comes -- I'm nowhere near that occupation of thought. It's for myself I'm worried, that I don't care anymore, that I don't expect morality from our political leaders any deeper or more sincere than the nearest corporate bank account.
I can barely stand the mention in our house anymore of whatever new appalling crime the Bush administration is perpetrating on working class families of this broken country. I am sick with the poison of greed. My heart is too much a sack of broken stones anymore to think better of our politicians, either side of the aisle.
Al Sharpton made clear Thursday night that it made no difference what his personal opinion of gay marriage was, that in the eyes of the constitution, all citizens were entitled, by unalienable, self evident right, to the privileges of total equality, and that unless we were to hold these human beings outside the fold of the rest of the human beings in this society, it wasn't his business, the business of the federal government or the Democratic Party who the hell people chose to go to bed with at night -- so long as we all had jobs to go to in the morning. Agree or disagree, that is a policy of moral conviction, taken from a studied understanding of the Constitution. I challenge anyone to recite anything like that from either our current Democratic presidential front runners, or our Democratic elected officials in Washington D.C.
But I will be voting on Tuesday, for Mr. Sharpton or Mr. Kucinich, since Mr. Dean, whom I supported originally for terrifying the DNC, seems to have shrunk now from the national stage. Someone mentioned to me recently it would be nice if Mr. Kerry could manage to co-opt more actual issue stands from Sharpton and Kucinich based on moral conviction rather than policy wonk focus groups. Because, I suppose, it would add substance to his veil of "electability." Of course, moral conviction is more difficult to "co-opt" than the tone of week to week campaign strategy, which is why in November I may return again to Mr. Nader, or whoever else is crying out against these homogenous political machines.
Oakland, California, USA - February 29, 2004
Regarding Phil Rockstroh's A Poison Pen Letter To Our Apostle Of Perpetual Psychosis, Brother Mel Gibson
To the Editor:
What's with the "pious" Mel Gibson, stuff? Why are you down on him?
Some town, some state, USA - February 16, 2004
To the Editor:
There's nothing so refreshing as a good, scurrilous attack upon the sanctimonious likes of Mel Gibson. In this case, provided by Phil Rockstroh, and many thanks. Perhaps he can supply us with reviews of past and future cinematic efforts by this "phony-philmmaker."
Now what did the Pope purportedly say about this "religious" movie...?
Medford, Oregon, USA - February 20, 2004
Regarding Philip Greenspan's Keep Protesting (April 2003)
To the Editor:
Please forward to Philip Greenspan.
Just a short note to thank you and say how much I have appreciated your articles on Swans. I marched in protest on February 15, 2003, and was later encouraged by your article in April entitled "Keep Protesting." Now after reading Ed Herman on Diana Johnstone's book about the Yugoslav 'humanitarian intervention' hypocrisies I came across your archive of other articles.
Today is a day for truthseeking. I fear that you, and others like you, are voices crying in the wilderness. But my intellect and heart tell me that those are the voices the people need to hear, and I will join my own voice to them.
With very best wishes
Estoril, Portugal - February 25, 2004
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