Revolutionary spirit survives
Re: Jack Lessenberry’s column, “We must get out of Iraq — now” (Metro Times, Nov. 17), I couldn’t agree more. People seem to have forgotten that there was a time back, oh, about 200 years ago when Britain was attempting to be the occupiers in our land. All they wanted was to show us how, if we just listened to them and did things their way, life would be so much better for us. Did we listen? Of course not. And neither should the people of Iraq. We do not belong there. Period. I for one want our government to know this and I want to let the people of Iraq know that contrary to what they are seeing and being told, a lot of us here do not support this mess. —John Bow, Birmingham
You break it, you buy it
I like Jack Lessenberry’s idea of getting out of Iraq — now. I just don’t see how that would be possible. We have dug a hole and found it filled with quicksand. Why would the United Nations take Iraq off our hands, especially in lieu of Crazy George’s refusal to listen to anyone else up to this point?
This is a president who can’t think of one mistake he has ever made. Is he going to admit to a screw-up so huge that he’s going to beg for help from the rest of the world? I don’t think so.
And what about the people of Iraq (maybe two or three) who want us to stay and get their country up and running again? We’ve gone in there and almost leveled the place, contaminated the water, emptied the hospitals of supplies and have caused thousands of innocents to lose their lives. Don’t we have a duty to try and make things right? How we can do that, I have no idea, but I think we owe it to ourselves and the Iraqis to try. —Jean Barnard, Sterling Heights
In the shameless tradition of Hanoi Jane Fonda comes al Jazeera Jack Lessenberry. While I count on Jack to deliver the liberal party line, his column putting ski-masked butchers on the moral high ground demonstrates the cumulative effect of three-martini lunches on the brain. Is al Zarqawi Jack’s choice for an Iraqi Pol Pot? I think Jack needs to stay closer to home as in “Detroit, the rotting black ghetto.” And I think Metro Times needs a sharp-minded conservative columnist, because maybe — just maybe — you may have readers who would enjoy a counterpoint. —Wayne Isbell, Redford, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anger is an energy
Re: Joel Beckett’s article “Dear angry Left” (Metro Times, Nov. 17), you’re damn right, Mr. Beckett. I’m angry to have a president whose loyalty resides with the corporation and the elite few in this country. George W. Bush has turned a record surplus into record debts. I’m angry to know that kids in this country are going to bed at night hungry. I’m angry to think of parents having to choose between taking their kids to the doctor or sitting at home hoping the illness will pass. I’m upset that old people have to worry about going to jail if they try to get cheaper drugs in Canada. I’m upset that a president and members of his party will use a national tragedy as a political tool. And I’m upset because guys my age are being killed in a country that didn’t pose a threat to us while the vice president’s old company is making a healthy profit. Mr. Beckett, before you type out your RNC talking points, you and the Republican Party should take a good look at yourselves before labeling someone else. —John Conner, Detroit
I applaud all high school teachers for the important, thankless jobs they do. At the same time, as a former teacher myself, I know the kind of influence they have over young minds. It is for this reason that I feel it is necessary to help your students (and readers of your article) to know that your well-articulated reasoning is riddled with basic logical fallacies, enabling it to sound convincing but too porous to hold water.
Fallacy 1: Anecdotal evidence. You characterize those who hate Bush as irrational based on “more than one conversation” you had with Democrats. Talking to two or three people hardly enables you to make assumptions about the millions who hate Bush.
Fallacy 2: Unsupported assertion. You say conservatives hated Clinton but still gave him deserved respect. Historical fact does not support this assertion. Republicans spent $70 million to prove Clinton lied about having an affair (compared to $15 million spent on the 9/11 commission and nothing on Bush’s military record), then impeached him. Their opposition to his political appointments were tenfold over that which the Democrats put up over Bush’s appointments. This is just the beginning of proof of the unrelenting hatred of Clinton. Your students may not remember the Clinton years, but most of the country does.
Fallacy 3: Falsehood offered as truth. You say “thinking people tune out” when Bush is compared to Hitler, implying that Bush supporters are thinking people. Facts have shown that the more intelligence a person has, the more likely that person supported Kerry. As one study showed, the 10 states with the highest average IQ are all “blue” states; the 10 states with the lowest average IQ are all “red” states.
Fallacy 4: The shortcomings of one indicate the strengths of another. You assert in two successive sentences that the election lacked honest discussion of foreign policy and that Kerry’s foreign policy proposals were inadequate. Somehow the presidential debates, especially the first one entirely based on foreign policy and widely considered a Kerry victory, is discounted. Your implication is that since Kerry’s “plans” were inadequate, Bush’s must therefore be adequate. One does not logically follow the other. It is more logical to assume that if Kerry’s policies were inadequate, and he defeated Bush in a debate about those policies, Bush’s must have been more inadequate.
Fallacy 5: Changing standards. You say that needed thoughtful discussion cannot be had as long as Democrats are more interested in belittling Bush. Yet, in the same article, you characterize the Democrats as “irrational” and “childish.” You belittle your opposition while criticizing them for belittling Bush.
I hope you are truly open to honest discussion. If so, your students and your readers should be exposed to views other than your own.—Christopher Schneider, Hamtramck, email@example.com
Not prickly at all
Thanks for Fred Mills’ killer review of our Cactus CDs (Metro Times, Oct. 27). I’m glad you get it. I just released a new CD with Pat Travers and we just got back from Europe. Boy, I signed a lot of Cactus albums and CDs. We played Willie Dixon’s “Evil” on this Travers-Appice tour. People love it. So, again, thanks for the cool review. —Carmine Appice, Encino, Calif.
Our reviewer skips class
Clare Pfieiffer Ramsey’s review of “Vera Drake” (Metro Times, Nov. 3) was on point save for that fact that it missed what is perhaps the central issue of the film: the difference between socio-economic classes, not only in postwar England where the film was set but one that can easily be extrapolated to reflect the United States today.
Notice that Vera Drake’s family and friends all seemed to be much happier, more caring, and more moral than people for whom she worked. And, most importantly (especially in light of recent electoral activity in this country), the rich have and no doubt always will have access to desired proper medical treatment regardless of its nature. Vera was a victim of a system that preferentially cares for the haves, leaving the less fortunate to have need to seek care outside the system with its incumbent increased risks for both the patient and the practitioner. —Randle Samuels, Hartland
Republican not-talking points
Re: “Playing hardball at the ballot box” (Metro Times, Nov. 17), if Mr. Owens is going to continue to write editorials in your publication, you should at least ask him to get his facts right.
I spent many hours training volunteer Republican poll challengers before Election Day and I can assure everyone that the most important instruction they were provided was this: Never speak to a voter under any circumstances. We have heard all of these false accusations about Republican poll challengers before. We do not instruct poll challengers to intimidate voters. We are only there to make sure the election laws are being followed properly. If you are properly registered to vote and you are voting at the precinct you are assigned to, then you should not worry about. This article just spews lies and quotes left-wing radical groups like Moveon.org. Nothing would make me happier than to see an educated electorate, the more education they get, the more they will vote Republican. —Tom Stroup, Redford, firstname.lastname@example.orgSend comments to email@example.com
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