Perhaps Cara DeGette needs a prejudice-checker to go along with her spell-checker.
DeGette's Feb. 5 Public Eye attempts to portray Focus on the Family as the catalyst and the drive behind the public outrage over the growing indecency in what is supposed to be family-appropriate entertainment. (I may as well add that trying to portray this solely as a problem with a single mammary exposure is trivializing the overall issue. With that one dance move, Ms. Jackson merely became a poster child for a far greater problem.)
The public outcry over the Super Bowl halftime show heartens me. Our culture really does have a line we are unwilling to cross.
Some newspaper editors may want to sneer at that phenomenon, and they may want to place "blame" (if one wants to call it that) at the feet of Focus on the Family, but I'm not willing to pretend this is anything other than an expression of the conscience underlying our society as a whole, and a healthy conscience at that.
Phone calls were flooding CBS and local stations all across the country long before Focus on the Family (or any other organization) piped up in the public arena. Focus on the Family merely reflects the mainstream, and frequently the Public Eye column shows how far from the mainstream is the liberal counter-moral message.
-- Joe Oppelt
Joke's on us
Joke's on us
Yes, I must say that I'm shocked to say the least about the Super Bowl halftime show but not for the reasons that you have been hearing on the news.
I, like many of my friends, watched the Super Bowl in its entirety and didn't know anything was wrong until the next day when I was bombarded with senseless media coverage about an event that was equally as insignificant as Ben and Jen's breakup.
The rest of the civilized world must be getting a good laugh not seen since the Clinton era about how we are totally freaked out about a breast. It makes us look like complete morons with nothing better to do with our time.
Have the Christian conservatives succeeded in brainwashing us to believe that seeing a nipple for a split second will warp our children's values for life? What's next, the halftime show brought to you by Focus on the Family?
In our present state of affairs in this country, we have terrorism issues to deal with, a quickly increasing deficit, a huge homeless population, troops dying every day overseas, unsolved murders and wondering who will be the next president, but all we are fixated on is a breast. To top it off, the FCC is going to launch a taxpayer-funded probe into the matter. Who knows how much that will cost?
I guess the joke's on us as a nation until we take our heads out of our posteriors and learn to differentiate what's important and what's not.
-- Keith Badgett
I listened in amazement last Monday morning to conservatives getting in a tizzy about Janet Jackson's breast being exposed on national television.
What amazes me the most was the way these people get offended by a woman's breast on television, yet show no shock at the offenses committed by our commander in chief.
Innocent civilians have been bombed; hundreds of our soldiers still are dying; the president blatantly lied about reasons to go to war and destroy a nation; thousands of jobs are being sent to other countries, thereby destroying our economy for good; millions are unemployed with no hope for a turnaround; Bush enacted the anti-rave proliferation act (which, in essence, says that if a person in a nightclub or concert venue has been arrested for drugs that the owner of said establishment will be charged); the president has personally alienated our country from the rest of the world; and instead of allocating money to where it should go, he insists on spending billions to explore Mars.
And yet the conservatives whine that our culture is being tarnished by Janet Jackson's breast appearing onscreen during a celebration of violence known as the Super Bowl.
The same people who thought that Clinton's sexual escapades were more important than public policy or running the country have again come out of the woodworks. When are these ninnies going to set their priorities straight and stop thinking about sex (or restriction of sex) and join the rest of the world and evolve?
-- Ian Welling
Janet Jackson's breast was clearly more than Federal Communication Commission Chairman Michael Powell could handle.
He immediately launched an investigation to discover how a breast found itself bouncing around his airwaves, which are usually reserved for gratuitous acts of violence and the corporate reconstruction of our reality. How many millions of our tax dollars is Mr. Powell going to squander on his hunt for the cause behind the outing of one of Janet's top agents? Maybe he could hire Kenneth Starr to sniff around Janet's drawers for oh, lets say $50 million or so.
Does Mr. Powell really imagine that Americans are depraved enough to see the glimpse of a mammary gland as more dangerous to the welfare of the United States than Mr. Powell's own recent efforts to dismantle our First Amendment rights? The damage done to the people by his weakening of the already insufficient limits on media monopolies is far more pernicious than Janet's televised anatomy lesson could ever be.
-- David Singelyn
Warner Springs, Calif.
Please, two words and a concern about the Janet Jackson uni-breast publicity stunt ... Toby Keith. He's the country singer. When he performed his anti-terrorism anthem, "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" at a similar halftime venue in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, I was equally offended, and I've heard nary a peep from the NFL over that one.
Do they condone his expression of public promotion and lyrics that suggest retribution is best served the cowboy way? Perhaps they think Mr. Keith, and the rest of America he so boldly speaks for, should put a boot up Miss Jackson's (posterior) for being such a naughty girl.
After all, as Mr. Keith claims, it's the American way.
-- Malcolm Allyn
The real oligarchs
Bias in the Independent -- Say it ain't so!
This is in response to John Hazlehurst's column, headlined "The new oligarchs," in the Feb. 5 Outsider.
John, John, John, as usual your anti-Republican bias is showing. You'd better cover it up. Did you not think someone would check on you? You stated, "According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy in Washington, the top 1 percent of taxpayers reported an average income of $1.1 million a year. That's about a million people. To that million, add another million folks with multimillion-dollar net worths who reported less than a million in income."
Then you make the great leap to "These are the folks who, overwhelmingly, fund Republican campaigns." My, aren't we footloose and fancy free with our facts -- oops I mean opinions.
According to opensecrets.org, an excellent independent organization that tracks political contributions for all parties:
1. There were 724 organizations that gave $100,000 or more in soft money based on data released by the FEC on 6/9/2003.
2. The top three soft money donors, defined as being made by individuals associated with that company as well as official company contributions, are as follows:
Saban Capital Group -- Total $9,2809,000 to Democrats, $0.00 to Republicans
Newsweb Corp -- Total $7,390,000 to Democrats, $0.00 to Republicans
Shangri-La Entertainment -- Total $6,700,000 to Democrats, $0.00 to Republicans
If you check your sources, mine and others', you will find that by far the largest amount of soft money is donated to Democrats rather than to Republicans. The truth is your so-called "new oligarchs" are the Democrats!
In closing let me add that while I know that your column falls into the humorous, quasi- reporting, quasi-editorial, quasi-Jayson Blair of the New York Times category, I would hope that your readers know to check up on you. Bias is a wonderful thing unless you are caught using it!
-- Lynn Feldmann
I just have to say that the article about ex-gays in your Jan. 29 issue really opened my eyes.
One thing I know is that many people judge because of fear and ignorance. I am not excluded in that category. I have studied "faiths" from evolution to paganism. You name it; I have probably done some research on the matter. But homosexuality was not one of them.
Being Christian by choice, I did not understand the lifestyle and many show icons tend to do more harm than not to that lifestyle. But those articles bring a sense of realism and core humanity to a choice I never understood.
Thanks to you and to the gentleman that wrote the article, my ignorance is disarmed and now maybe I can help speak life into others that fear what they don't understand. Thank you!
-- Shannon Klinkbeil
Via the Internet
Love, not government
Can it be that the whole gay marriage issue and marriage generally is an unrecognized entanglement of church and state?
It seems to me that marriage, properly speaking, is a religious sacrament and it should only be recognized by one's church. The state should have no power to say what is or is not a marriage. As for the state, their business should only be recognizing civil unions -- be they same sex or different sex. In short, the state should not be in the business of recognizing religious sacraments at all.
If we take the separation of church and state to heart, the whole issue of gay marriage would go away as a legal matter. There would be fairness and symmetry under the law as all would be treated equally despite their sexual orientation and marriage would remain what it is -- a religious sacrament. (Individual churches and denominations can of course debate all they want about whether or not a same-sex union should be recognized as a marriage.)
-- Phillip Young
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney seems to be in need of a history lesson.
His comment in reference to the decision to allow gay marriages in his state, "We've heard from the court but not from the people. The people of Massachusetts should not be excluded from a decision as fundamental to our society as the definition of marriage," could not be more ridiculous. Whose society? Why, heterosexual society! You know, the real citizens?
Could that comment be more exclusive?
Just for fun, let's change a couple words in his statement and look at it again:
"The people of Mississippi should not be excluded from a decision as fundamental to our society as the preservation of white-only schools."
I'm referring, of course, to school desegregation. Whose society are we speaking of here? Why, white America! You know, the real citizens?
Does Gov. Romney think that the people's opinion should have entered into that decision as well? I am a Caucasian who was born in Mississippi and who lived there for the first 33 years of my life.
I was a child when desegregation occurred. I guarantee you that if the people in my home state got their say in the matter back then, there would have been no integration of schools, no African-American voters, and no blacks marrying whites for many years to come.
When it comes to discrimination, the will of the people be damned. Not allowing two adults to marry because they don't fit the mold that (we've been told) society deems acceptable is mind-bogglingly wrong, as is deciding such things by popular vote.
It is my prediction that some day statements like Gov. Romney's will go down in history as being as hateful and asinine as the image of George Wallace blocking the entryway to the University of Alabama when African-Americans were admitted as students. Isn't it time for politicians to quit looking for the next vote and start doing what's right?
-- Sally Wilhite
Big Honkin' Fed Up Hetero