Thanks for your excellent publication. The "Photo Op" illustrated feature by Carol Lay and Tom Tomorrow's "This Modern World" (September 11) were two of the most poignant pieces of political satire I have seen in quite some time. A couple weeks earlier, the Bruce Springsteen/Steve Earle article ("The God And The Infidel," by Don Hazen, September 28) was a fair and informative assessment of the recent work of two of this country's most significant and relevant artistic voices. Kudos to Creative Loafing and its staff for having the initiative and the chutzpah to provide this "alternative" view of current events.
The objective observer can hardly deny that George W. Bush has shamelessly exploited the events of 9/11 to further his narrow ideological agenda. The stifling of dissent and the curtailing of long-accepted freedoms (some would say the basis of our democracy) are central to this radical agenda. The losers in this new world order are the American people.
Satire sometimes hits close to home -- that's when it is most effective. CL will almost certainly take a lot of abuse for the timing and content, particularly of "Photo Op." But let's be honest: Had CL done a similar feature satirizing Bill Clinton, it would have been lauded.
-- Michael D. Evans, Huntersville
I just read Lucy Perkin's "Pride And Prejudice" column (September 4), and though I'd like to think I understood it correctly, I must've missed something. She says that conservatives are "generally people that look down on women who work outside the home" and would like to "return to a time when black folks are lynched regularly"! And all of this she writes in an article declaring how she vows to stop making "snap judgements" about people? Lucy, at what point do you intend to actually implement this new policy?
-- David L. Bisese, Huntersville
Don't Keep On Truckin'
A new threat to our Queen City's roadways has emerged: the uber-aggressive pickup truck owner. I used to think the worst drivers on the road were the SUV drivers. Oh, don't get me wrong, they're still as bad as ever, but the "New Breed" of "tough" trucks is even worse. They cut in front of you, go way too fast, ride one inch off your rear bumper at all times, and generally endanger the lives of others. You have to laugh at the names of these behemoths: Tundra. Yukon (Yeah, I know, it's an SUV). Frontier. Keep in mind these leviathans' names indicate where we'll have to drill to keep these guys supplied with gas.
Anyway, I digress. The pickup truck drivers (and SUV drivers are not immune) usually think they're doing their part to be "patriotic" by flying the convenient stick-on American flags on the rear tailgate. How about being considerate to your fellow Americans and stop driving like a jerk? I fully support your American right to drive whatever you choose, regardless of how much gas it wastes. But do us all a favor: Slow it down (you won't waste so much gas) and quit the flippin' tailgating!
-- Michael Perry, Charlotte
Bush As Thick As A Tree
During the 2000 presidential campaign, the Bush campaign received millions of dollars in contributions from the logging industry. It was obviously money well spent, since -- just like their energy plan -- the Bush Administration's recently unveiled "Healthy Forests Initiative" was written to benefit their friends in the resource extractive industries.
The Bush Administration's sugar coating and spin-doctoring aside, their proposal to suspend America's environmental laws and eliminate meaningful public participation should be viewed as nothing less than a transparent attempt to increase commercial logging in our national forests -- their stated goal since day one.
In fact, Bush's initiative is similar to the 1995 "logging without laws" Salvage Rider, which the Washington Post called "arguably the worst piece of public lands legislation ever." Under the Salvage Rider -- with environmental laws suspended and public participation effectively eliminated -- enough trees were cut to fill log trucks lined up for over 6,800 miles!
While the environmental community is rightfully opposed to the "logging without laws" approach favored by the Bush Administration, we continue to support a common sense, scientifically based approach to protect communities from fire and restore the ecological integrity of America's national forests.
In fact, for nearly two years, the environmental community has worked together with forest practitioners and community forestry groups to draft a set of Restoration Principles to promote ecological forest restoration and guide the implementation of sound restoration policies and projects on national forests.
As equal owners of America's national forests, how they are managed is up to us. Ask yourself, should we suspend our environmental laws and limit public participation to increase commercial logging? Or should we move forward with a common sense approach that will protect communities and put local people to work restoring our national forests?
-- Matthew Koehler, Native Forest Network, Missoula, MT