Hyperhypocrite Tara Servatius wants us old folks to feel sorry that she may break her back paying for our Social Security, Medicare and potential new drug benefit ("Robbing Us Blind," July 30). I don't. Not long ago we had an administration that tried to solve that problem by running budget surpluses and paying down the national debt so that we would have the borrowing capacity when the baby boomers retired. I don't recall Tara supporting that effort. Instead she preferred a different approach that has turned out to be the most profligate in the last 60 years.
-- Fred Marsh, Charlotte
Civil Marriage For All
Lucy Perkins raised some interesting points in her article on gay marriage ("Who Gives A Rippage?," July 23). However, it is reasonable to expect resistance in America where the adult generations were raised with the definition of family being a father, a mother, and children. Recent statistics on traditional marriage are disheartening when at least 50 percent are expected to fail. I submit that is not the union, nor the institution, that is the cause, but rather the parties.
There are no statistics to support the idea that gay marriages will last longer and be more abounding. That is a poor assumption on Perkins' part. I think most CL readers already get that she is a pseudo-liberal.
Whether or not they will admit it, I think that Americans who deeply value the religious aspect of marriage over the civil are inclined to group gay marriage alongside polygamy, pedophilia, and other heinous acts. This reaction is stemmed by fear and ignorance.
Legally I cannot find reason that a civil marriage should not be granted to protect gay married people's rights for property, mortgages, and benefits -- and, of course, divorce. Although, I do think that they should be subjected to extremely rigorous background checks before having or adopting children. Many fear that allowing gay marriages will result in an onslaught of marriages done solely for the purpose of novelty and blur the lines between protection and privacy. As the old adage goes: "anything worth having is worth waiting for."
-- Nicole Henderson Auger, Charlotte
A Beastly Practice
Disturbing would be an understatement after reading Sam Boykin's article on circus elephants ("Circus's Animal Policies Faulted," July 23). Our country, as civilized as we may assume it has become, enables animal abusers, both by turning a blind eye and not enacting laws that protect exotic animals on a federal level.
The practice described in the article is known as "The Crush" in Thailand. It is a demeaning, abusive and sickening practice that is meant to "crush" the spirit of the elephant and make them submissive.
Coming away from your article left me feeling ill. What can people do to stop this? Who is spearheading the campaign? Who can I write or call to stop this barbaric practice?
-- Jill W. Roberts, Tryon, NC
Evolution Is Propaganda
One quick comment about "Weapons of Mass Stupidity" (by Hal Crowther, June 4). The author writes: "What hope, a cynical friend teased me, for a country where 70 percent believe in angels, 60 percent believe in literal, biblical, blazing Armageddon, and more than half reject Charles Darwin? He didn't need to add that creationists, science-annihilating cretins, have now recruited President Bush, who assures fundamentalists he "has doubts' about evolution."
Evolution is a lot like the propaganda we get from our media. People in positions of power act like it's truth, but the rest of us know it's nothing but untruths and propaganda.
-- Charles Gaefke, Pittsburgh, PA
Bush A Darwinist?
I have just read Hal Crowther's article on Bush and Fox News. It was a thoughtful essay exposing government and corporate (corporate government) use of crude propaganda. I too, share the frustration of Flaubert and Crowther at the parade of stupidity.
I take issue only with one point. The perceived majority stupidity of the American population is not because they are supposed creationists. In fact, Bush foreign policy appears to be based more on Darwinism than any form of Christian belief. Bush policy (or should we say Perle and/or "neoCon policy") is based on the idea of the rule of brute force, the survival of the fittest.
As observed by writer Thom Hartmann (http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0316-08.htm), the Bush administration's policy has striking parallels with Nazi Germany. Nazi policy is historically aligned with Darwinism, despite its appeals to fundamentalist Christianity on the basis of "patriotism" and "divine callings" etc. etc. Nazism borrowed its Darwinist theories on racial purity from late 19th, early 20th century American and British racial hygiene policies, as practiced in Virginia and other places where mass sterilization of certain segments of the population took place.
Hitler, like Bush, said "the right things" to the religious leaders of the day, yet he proved to be a total liar.
-- Mel Cameron, Australia
First Family Scandals
Hal Crowther's excellent essay re Dubya and the dumbing down of the media was a public service.
I must point out one important deficit: George 41 did not "serve with distinction" in WW2. It's come to light that when his plane was shot and damaged, he bailed out, leaving his two crew members to perish. No one in the entire dynasty is free from some grave matters of life and death. Dubya's wife, prior to marrying him to get her out of this matter, while drunk drove her car through a stop-signed street and killed an innocent victim.
The family's scandals are too numerous to detail here; Internet resources can reveal them. What matters most is the family history of "by death do we prosper," going back to the Walkers' drug-dealing and Prescott, et. al., money laundering for the Nazis before, during, and after WW2, where they really made out like bandits.
Should we thank God that Dubya's a KKKristian of the Skull & Bones persuasion? I think not.
-- Joseph Fasciani
It's Just Us, Folks
After reading Hal Crowther's article "Weapons Of Mass Stupidity," it is striking that he would indicate "This faint last hope will be tested in the presidential election of 2004."
As if the bumbling Big government Left would do anything to save our Freedom better than the bumbling Big government Right. Can't you see that there is an increasing number in this country that are for "None of the above" and wouldn't even vote. I thought your article was the same old tripe I had read for eight years about Komrade Klinton that came from the right. Your drivel is not any better.
When it comes to justice - remember, there is Just Us.
-- Michael Eisch, Black Creek, WI