Letters for March 10, 2005

Hooked by NASCAR
Re “Bush didn’t lie” (RN&R, Right Hook, March 3)

Michael Lafferty is a jackass.

I don’t usually call people names in print, but in this case, I simply can’t help myself. There’s just no other way to put it. The man is a jackass.

To be fair, Lafferty isn’t alone. The entire Right Wing has “lost touch with reality,” as Jeff Gannon would say.

George Bush said, “I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe—I believe what I believe is right.”

Our own Jim Gibbons recently stated that anyone who believes the President’s inauguration was excessive must be communist. He also declared, “I say we tell those liberal, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippie, tie-dyed liberals to go make their movies and their music and whine somewhere else!” Additionally, Gibbons lamented the fact that he and his ilk had not bought Iraq War protesters tickets to Iraq to be human shields.

The proverbial cake, however, must be taken by Lafferty who, in his most recent column, made the murky, mystifying and befuddled assertion that NASCAR viewers are morally superior to spectators of other kinds of sports.

The man’s a jackass.

Paul Stockton
via e-mail

Protect freedom of speech
There’s been a lot of talk in the press lately about how one activist organization, the Parents Television Council, is trying to dictate television standards for the rest of the country by encouraging its members to file complaints with the FCC. It seems that the press believes that the hundreds of thousands of complaints filed by outraged citizens over the rampant raunch on television somehow don’t count simply because the complainant belongs to an organized group.

If the networks put an FCC complaint form on their Web sites or if they flashed the FCC’s phone number across the screen between shows, there would be a flood of complaints.

But the number of complaints filed and where they’re coming from shouldn’t matter. Whether we’re talking about one complaint or one million, it all boils down to one issue: Are networks breaking the law by showing indecent content?

F. L. Louver

Social Security is secure
The Social Security system has a sound investment system already. When there are more taxes going in than benefits going out, the Social Security Administration buys Treasury Bills with the excess, with a rollover for Treasury bills already purchased. This makes our tax dollars do double duty. By allowing privatization, the new Social Security will cause taxes to increase and lose stability. Remember, “trickle down economic recovery” was tried during the Reagan administration, and it trickled like a dog on a fire hydrant!

Kevin Johnson
via e-mail

Short but sweet
Funding increases in education are critical for the future of our nation. Uneducated teachers, politicians, general workforce and military will lead to U.S. destruction.

Cynthia Nesbitt

Was journalist targeted?
The incident in which newly freed hostage, Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, came to be attacked and her rescuer, Nicola Calipari, killed, is following a familiar scenario. The U.S. military claims that the car was speeding, warnings were given, and they fired into the engine block to stop it. We are told that nobody knew that Sgrena had been rescued and taken to the airport.

The three survivors in the car, Sgrena, the driver and a wounded intelligence officer tell a different story. They claim that the appropriate authorities had been notified, that it was raining, which limited travel on the bad roads to a maximum of 30 mph; they had already passed several checkpoints where they were identified by U.S. military; and there was no checkpoint when they were shot, about 700 yards from the airport. A bright light was shone at the car, and then immediately 400 or more rounds were fired at them. When an investigation was called for by the Italian government, the military has “lost” the evidence, the car!

So far, I’ve heard “witnesses” trotted out to testify that the Baghdad airport road is indeed very dangerous and used by insurgents, which supposedly excuses our military firing indiscriminately at anything that moves. The predictable outcome will be that there will be a half-hearted “investigation” following which a low-level grunt will receive a court martial and a slap on the wrist, and the media will then conveniently forget the whole thing. A whitewash. Surprise!

Ben Adams
Culver City, Calif.