Bliss, the book
Each year about this time, I pick up the Indy and go into shock for a minute or two. Last week's cover story was just a joke, right? Please say it was just your annual April Fool's Day joke. Otherwise, I'll have to tell you that the Independent is the fool for letting Kathryn Eastburn just walk away with only a cover story without helping those of us who read Domestic Bliss faithfully to fully understand why!?!
Also, I hope Kathryn knows that for every letter she receives, there are dozens of other readers, like me, who don't find the time but would like to tell her how much they enjoy her writing. When does Bliss, the book, come out?
Diana R. Rhodes
Editor's note: While Domestic Bliss is no longer running in the Independent, Kathryn Eastburn's valuable contributions will continue to appear in the newspaper.
While one can never be sure this time of year, after all, last week's "Scrat catch fever" could have been an April Fool's review of the movie Ice Age: The Meltdown. I will assume that Scott Renshaw was serious in his rather nasty review.
I went with my wife and 4-year-old to see the movie last Sunday for the first showing of the day, and the theater was packed with parents and their children. While Scrat was a very entertaining little critter, and I would say his antics did result in a good amount of laughter from young and old alike, the rest of the movie got just as much laughter from the audience.
Perhaps Renshaw should have left his politics at the ticket counter when he went to see the movie. After all, this is a movie that is targeted at the young, with enough adult humor so parents don't slit their wrists after the 75th viewing on DVD. His idea that "the sequel is a celebration of the kind of unconventional families that don't fit the red-state profile" shows that he was looking for a deep meaning that simply wasn't going to be there.
He also whines, "Ultimately, Meltdown isn't particularly interesting. It not only lacks a genuine antagonist (while climate change may be scary to grown-up liberals, abstract concepts make poor Happy Meal toys) but compelling character development as well."
Often, I ask people if they were watching the same movie as me. In this case, I wonder if Renshaw was having flashbacks to The Day After Tomorrow. My family and I found The Meltdown quite good for a kids' movie. I wonder what demographic Renshaw thought the movie was directed at.
Rising to the top
Ari LeVaux is my new hero!!! Thank you so much for publishing his article, "Utter fetish," in the March 23 edition!
Kudos to Ari for bringing attention to the anti-milk commercial that was censored from national television. If more people knew how the milk industry operated (torturing and laming cows, rippingnewborn calves away from their mothers, the blood, pus and feces found in milk products, etc.), I am sure they would choose alternatives, such as soy milk and cheese.
Thanksto Mr. LeVaux's article, more people will be aware. Again, my appreciationto your fine publication, and keep up the good work!
Carol L. Scherbarth
A standing O
Sour grapes ... the new anti-industry. In response to the March 23 story on Mary Kay ("Code pink," cover), perhaps you should contact a negative PR firm, hire a young leftist film major from New York University and produce a mockumentary on how Mary Kay is an imperialist, corporate cabal bent on conquest of the female psyche.
You could call it "Mary Kay ... Cosmetic McCarthyism," or better yet, the "Pink Holocaust"! You'll get a standing O at Sundance! Netflix rentals will ensue. Make sure you send me a royalty check, though.
I've been told that there is an Australian saying: "You have to cut down the tall poppies." In other words, anyone who dares to poke his head above the crowd must be attacked, denigrated and brought down to the common level.
I don't know whether this Tall Poppy Syndrome, as it is called, is really typical of Australian culture but it is a widespread trend in American culture.
via the Internet
To the point
Regarding "Code Pink":
Brave and right to the point. I had always wondered about Mary Kay, and this was so well-written and very, very informative. Thank you so much. Way to go!
via the Internet
Colorado's ban on public smoking will cause all the bars to go bankrupt, just as similar bans caused everyone to stop flying in airplanes, riding in buses, shopping in malls and eating in restaurants.
Seriously, all this hysteria by the bar and liquor industry is just tobacco-lobby propaganda. They've used the same tactics in every other locality where such bans have been proposed, but despite all the hysteria, nothing really happened once those bans were imposed.
Perhaps the influx of people who could not previously go to the bars because of the smoke made up for those so weak-willed that they couldn't stand to be without smoke in their lungs. Perhaps some people even cut down or quit smoking.
This isn't about "smokers' rights." Your right to swing your fist stops at my face. Your right to smoke stops at my lungs.
While we're at it
Since this nation seems to have gone on a lawmaking bender of sorts, I would like to now add to the brew. I just finished viewing an episode of "Mythbusters" on The Discovery Channel, and it seemsthey have proven that driving while talking on a cell phone is just as dangerous as drinking alcohol and driving.
Now thatyou have the info, you know what to do: Make it illegal! I would personally appreciate itif the penalties for cell phone abuse mirrored those for DUI.
There are some things people just don't see coming until it hits them. As illegal immigration increases, services that we have come to expect from our civic leaders diminish,as the tax base disappears. How, you ask?
The underground economy results in the loss of tax revenue to the city, county, state and federal governments.
The causes are many, but here is one way that it came about. In the '60s and early '70s, people demanded higher wages for services rendered. Higher costs to consumers meant higher wages. And so on.
Now enter the illegal workers, with lower costs for services rendered, but no insurance on quality of work. And we, the consumer, now demand a $10,000 quality job at a $1,000 price tag. And, yes, there are jobs out there that some people won't do, because who would want to landscape a yard in The Broadmoor neighborhood for $6 an hour, or do housekeeping at a hotel for minimum wage, when the cost of living now requires almost $15 to $20 an hour?
Yes, we are a land of immigrants; but most of us were legal immigrants when our forefathers arrived. The amnesty proposal that is being asked for is just a rehash of the amnesty bill President Reagan signed into law in the '80s for the farm workers. Why should an American worker be laid off just so an employer can hire a guest worker?
To the economists, I ask: Why should the United States support the economies of two sovereign nations,Mexico and Cuba? U.S. dollars earned here are sent to the families back home to pay for the illegal migration of more illegal workers.
Dave N. Johnston
Fort Bliss, Texas
When it comes to illegal immigration, the Democrats and Republicans are doing nothing more than posturing. To stop illegal immigration, make it a criminal act (jail time, not "fines") to hire illegal immigrants.
Kick the habit
A United Nations report warns that 17 percent of the planet's population (or 1.1 billion people) lack access to safe drinking water, and 40 percent (2.6 billion) lack basic sanitation. This accounts for the loss of 1.6 million lives annually.
Essential to life itself, water is also a key resource in agriculture and manufacturing industries. Serious conflicts over shared water supplies have arisen between neighboring countries. It won't be long before water replaces oil as a root cause of international conflict and terrorism.
Between 70 and 80 percent of all available water is used to grow animal feed crops and to process animal carcasses. Most of America's surface waterways are used as sewers for runoff from feed crops and animal factories.
Concerns for world peace and protection of aquatic habitats are rapidly joining traditional concerns for consumer health and animal welfare as compelling reasons for kicking the meat habit in favor of vegetables, fruits and grains.
By the numbers
More than 2,300 U.S. military personnel have died in Iraq, and according to a report in The Lancet medical journal, 100,000 or more Iraqi civilians. More than 16,000 U.S. troops have been wounded, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been wounded or traumatized by chronic violence and insecurity.
Even as these numbers continue to grow, the Bush administration has requested an additional $65 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is in addition to funds previously allocated to the war, which already amount to $2,250 for every U.S. household.
We cannot continue to fund failed policies. The cost in dollars and lives is too high. Congress should reject further funding for the war and focus on bringing the troops home.
The idea that the Bush administration would even consider selling off our national parks and forests, land that belongs to the American people and is not the government's to sell anyway, makes me sick to my stomach.
Perhaps I should just expect any corrupt, divisive and illegal scheme this administration conjures up to fraudulently bilk the American people so that they can fund their illegal wars. Bush and his boys remind me of what was going on in Germany in the late '30s under Hitler, and I expect to see a growing number of people being arrested who openly speak out against them.
But I truthfully don't see the American public tolerating their rights being stripped away by an ignorant and careless dictatorship very much longer. Can we really just stand by as our country is being sent into bankruptcy in the interests of the privileged few? And how much longer can we tolerate the chauvinistic brand of ultra-conservativism that is being shoved down our throats?
We might need another plan: sky-high energy prices, big business writing federal regulations,pre-emptive war based upon faultyintelligence, expanded imminent domain reach,unrestrictive eavesdropping on phone and e-mail conversations ... it all comes down to trust in our leaders.
Let's ask a Native American howfar to trustthe United States government.