Letters to the Editor

Gets a bang out of ID

Re: “The deity’s advocate” (Metro Times, Nov. 2), it was amusing to read about the attempted defense of “intelligent design” by Richard “Feiger made a monkey out of me” Thompson. The only reason why real scientists bother to argue against ID is because it has been thrust in where it does not belong — the public school science classroom — through political, not scientific, processes. Anyone who is willing to speak honestly will say that ID is Christian creationism, cosmetically disguised to make the state-church separation argument more difficult.

Thompson’s funniest line was “Einstein thought the Big Bang was wrong because it didn’t fit his metaphysics, but he was the one who was wrong.” Einstein’s (wrong) metaphysics was the “steady-state” model of the universe, derived from the church’s (wrong) belief that the universe was unchanging and eternal! —Lee Helms, Rochester Hills


ID as a function of IQ

In a way, Richard Thompson is a living argument against the theory of evolution. I agree with him when he says he doesn’t believe his ancestor was a monkey.

After all, I’ve seen monkeys and apes who were far more intelligent than this man. —Kathy Handyside, Southgate


Dogma trumps science

I wish to commend Gordy Slack for his interesting article pertaining to the intelligent design controversy.

I find it amazing, in the year 2005, that surveys indicate more people subscribe to the ancient biblical version of Genesis, written by individuals who knew nothing of the sciences, than subscribe to the well-established concept of evolution to account for the diversity of species. No wonder America is losing its educational supremacy to foreign rivals who emphasize scientific education rather than religious dogma. The incessant demand of the religious zealots to masquerade religion as science is disturbing and has dire consequences for the future of our country. —Dennis G. Vatsis, West Bloomfield


Don’t praise, organize

Is what’s going on in the media a conspiracy? Or just part of the continuing oversimplification of everything to the level of a TV movie?

What I’m referring to is this presentation of Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat as some kind of spontaneous event. I don’t understand why this is happening. The united, courageous and intelligently designed planned action of many people, including Ms. Parks, has been reduced to a momentary decision by her not to give up her seat. Will somebody please speak up in the media so we don’t lose history again to a legend? People should know what it took so we’ll know what it’ll take to continue the movement. —Wendell Watkins, Detroit


Media miss the point

I am a 65-year-old African-American, and, as a native Detroiter, share the lament of Rosa Parks’ passing, and also admired the courage she exhibited on that fateful day in Montgomery.

Yet, I am a little more than disturbed at the way Detroit’s primarily African-American community has embraced her residency here and has nearly “canonized” her.

Surely what she did was courageous, but no more so than the hundreds (and thousands) of people who were in that struggle on the streets and in meeting rooms. An untold numbers of celebrities and ordinary folk sustained beatings, hosings, jail time, and, yes, were even murdered for their determined activism.

Lest we forget Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Viola Liuzzo and scores more?

It seems to me that the over-the-top media coverage of Ms. Parks’ ascent has obfuscated some of the really important issues regarding civil rights at this moment.

All of the gallant people that gave of themselves in the civil rights movement believed that they did accomplish something and that people would remain vigilant about those rights. But the fact of the matter is that the White House and Congress have systematically cut the threads of the safety net in social and economic programs. Witness the assaults upon affirmative action, Head Start and college loan programs and “fairness” in our airwaves.

The struggle for civil rights never ends and, point in fact, we did not overcome! We now have more than two generations that don’t have a clue about the exigencies of that struggle — and I believe church, school and community groups should constantly teach about it, particularly if they have an African-American constituency.

It is only in this way that we will be able to once again make people proactive about the social, economic and political inequities in our communities. —Kenn Cox, Detroit


Did Dubya know?

Re: “Bush’s Watergate” (Metro Times, Nov. 2), while Jack Lessenberry made some excellent points about the Plame leak scandal, he, like just about everyone else in the media, continues to tiptoe around something that should be obvious: the possibility that Bush ordered or approved the Plame leak.

Though Karl Rove is considered by many pundits to be the source of the leak, we must remember that Bush and Rove are joined at the hip. Is Bush vindictive enough to go after Joseph Wilson for exposing his lie about Iraq seeking yellowcake uranium from Niger? I wouldn’t put it past him. On the other hand, if it was Rove’s idea to out Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA agent, would he get Bush’s OK first? It appears likely.

Since exposing an undercover CIA agent is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, Bush ordering or approving the Plame leak would be an impeachable offense. Those who avoid bringing up this possibility remind me of the people who didn’t believe that Nixon ordered the Watergate cover-up. —Dave Hornstein, Southfield


Why not believe the worst?

RE: “Why the levee broke” (Metro Times, Oct. 26), do I believe that our federal government would systematically plan an act that would benefit their selected friends without regard to human life? Hell yeah! Why not? Is it not the same government that would jail senior citizens for getting cheaper life-saving drugs from Canada, cause the unnecessary death of several thousand people on a fake war on weapons of mass destruction, steal an election, and is a part of a history of government-supported murder of millions of black people, through the slave trade and lynching. Need I go on?

According to my brother, who has lived in New Orleans for more than 25 years, the story of the deliberate breaking of the levees to “best” redirect the flood waters is not a new one for New Orleans’ natives, both black and white. I trust and respect the elders and eyewitnesses over the media. Why don’t Mr. Owens and his friend? Why trust the same government-controlled media brainwashers who have us believing Americans and our opinions are more important than the truth and other people of the world?

I don’t care if you dislike Farrakhan or Peter Rabbit. The truth is the truth. Mass murderers thrive when the truth is ignored and common people do nothing. Is Hurricane Katrina our era’s big mistake that led to unnecessary death? Yes. Count the bodies, black and white. Trace the money and in a few months just note the color and gender of the beneficiaries. Maybe then you will see how New Orleans was repopulated not by accident but a continuation of our unfortunate mentally ill, white supremacist history. —Trisha Hankins, Detroit


Up on the farm

I just wanted to thank Jack Lessenberry for his fantastic article about SASHA farm (“Speaking for the voiceless,” Metro Times, Oct. 26). It truly is a magical place and you can’t help but change your attitude toward “farm” animals once you visit. Helping out is indeed very hard work, but the benefits overwhelm the shortcomings. —Lorna Ste. Marie, Dearborn


Pot and kettle?

I find it ironic that Jack Lessenberry chose to comment on an ad that ran in The Michigan Citizen, Oct. 16 (“Speaking for the voiceless,” Metro Times, Oct. 26). I might accept his criticism if Metro Times did not generate a significant portion of its ad revenue from the sex trade. “Erotic Encounters,” “Insatiable Exotic Beautiful Black Females,” and “Barbie Dolls” can all be found in the Metro Times. It is well-documented that the porn and escort industry is directly related to the violence and degradation of women.

Lessenberry thinks we want him to clean lavatories with Freman Hendrix at the Manoogian mansion? This shows Lessenberrry’s fundamental lack of understanding and disregard for the community on which he reports.

In fact, the press should stick to the issues. Anyone who is familiar with The Michigan Citizen knows how we have scrutinized the record of Kilpatrick. We are sickened at the lack of reporting on Hendrix. Hendrix’s loan story involves public officials, revolving lines of credit, city contractors, condominiums in Florida and unanswered questions.

Every citizen has the right to make an informed decision. The responsibility of the press is to enable that process, not question the advertising policies of their competitors. —Catherine Kelly, co-publisher, The Michigan Citizen, Detroit


Look to Atlanta

Detroit today is not the city that the late Honorable Coleman A. Young served from 1974 to 1994. It is like comparing apples and oranges — and Kilpatrick attempts to liken himself to Young is crazy.

Instead compare his administration and actions to a current counterpart of today, Atlanta’s Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Franklin, a black lady, had never held an elective office prior to her inauguration in 2002, the same time that Kilpatrick became Detroit’s mayor.

Immediately she cut her own salary by $40,000, cut the mayoral staff by 50 percent, recalled nonessential city-owned cars, cell phones and credit cards, froze job vacancies, initiated city audits, and even had to raise some taxes— difficult but necessary actions needed to erase Atlanta’s $82 million deficit. Kilpatrick did none of the above. Today, Atlanta has a surplus. Detroit sank deeper in debt.

Atlanta, like Detroit, was riddled with problems and debts, but instead took risky but positive actions that have translated into some positive results.

Frankly, it’s pathetic to see a strong black man playing up to its citizens in a childlike manner. Detroit, the poorest big city in America, demands sacrifices and actions to better the lives of its citizens. Time is up for this “play as you learn on the job” mayor. —Josephine Huyghe, Detroit


Kudos for arts reporting

I’m not one to write letters-to-editors generally, but I have been so impressed with Rebecca Mazzei’s articles, I felt compelled to write. The political columns in Metro Times often irritate, bore, or make me want to tear my hair out, but I always look forward to Rebecca’s articles.

As a transplanted Canadian who arrived some two years ago (an artist, incidentally), I have had a keen interest in learning about the arts in Detroit and Michigan since moving here. I have found Mazzei’s columns to be refreshingly astute yet easy to digest, wide-ranging in their scope, informative, and down-to-earth — unlike most arts writing or editorializing these days.

Thank you, Rebecca! I have no doubt I’m not the only appreciative reader out here. Keep up the great work. —Pamela Kaufmann, Ferndale

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