With the death of former President Gerald Ford, let us not forget two very important actions from the man. 1.) He gave an unconditional pardon to a man most considered a serial felon. 2.) He was the last surviving member of what was, arguably, the most corrupt commission to ever whitewash a murder.
Ford was the man on the Warren Commission that flogged the "magic bullet" theory regarding the John F. Kennedy assassination. I know it is shocking bad form to speak ill of the dead, but, if the truth is ill, well, it was paid for in advance on credit. So be it.
Leave Dobson alone
I just read your article about James Dobson and his commentary on the new movie Happy Feet ("The animation of James Dobson," Public Eye, Dec. 21).
First of all, leave the whole situation with SpongeBob alone. It would be in your best interest to leave old, and extremely misinformed, news to be just that. The comments Dr. Dobson made about the whole controversy were taken completely out of context, and his real concern in that matter was the organization that was using cartoons to advance a clearly pro-gay agenda to impressionable elementary students. As a public elementary school teacher, I take this very personally.
From what I recall about the conversation (in its entirety) with Michael Medved, they were showing basic concerns that there could be a hidden agenda lying beneath the surface of the movie. This type of suspicion is not surprising considering that, many times, the secular progressive movement has employed this type of camouflage as one of their (your) tactics.
If you want to smear a public figure such as Dr. Dobson, you will not get very far. He does not hide his agenda and keeps his motives completely above-board.
David E. Sheehan
The debt situation ("The loan rangers," cover story, Dec. 7) is very scary. Those in deep debt are more than in denial. They are terminal. They are like the person with cancer who is in denial until, suddenly, they die. Is this what is in store for governments around the world? Aren't they just as much in denial as the poor sods in the article? The truth will not set them free, it will kill them. Nobody seems to have a plan to solve the problem.
Upper Kedron, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
To Dwayne Schultz ("Love, share and help," Letters, Dec. 28):
Get your facts straight before you ask a dumb question like, "What are you, Mr. Douglas Bruce, doing to assist your fellow man?"
Douglas Bruce donates his entire yearly county commissioner's salary to charity, and that's not peanuts get it?
And to all you out there who constantly attack Douglas Bruce: He's the best that ever happened to Colorado Springs. Without him, you'd be knee-deep in taxes.
Dan Goor's response to Cynthia Lang regarding the appearance of Ambassador Afif Safieh ("No comparison," Letters, Dec. 28) requires some corrections.
Goor claims that Safieh is not an ambassador because he does not represent a sovereign state. He is the officially appointed head of the Palestinian Mission in Washington, and prior to that was Palestinian Ambassador to the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the Holy See at the Vatican (he is a Catholic Christian).
He commands immense respect internationally and has always been a voice of moderation, reconciliation and peace. He serves President Abbas and the Palestinian people (who have been under military occupation for 40 years), both Muslim and Christian, Fatah and Hamas, with distinction.
Goor insists that Hamas is "determined to destroy Israel ..." The only voices consistently reported in the U.S. media are those of minority extremists, so it's understandable that many in the U.S. believe that all Palestinians want to destroy Israel. That position was publicly denounced by Yassir Arafat in 1988.
"Anti-Israel" sentiments that are expressed by Palestinian politicians are statements calling for the end of Israel's present brutal occupation of the Palestinians. The occupation gives rise to Palestinian resistance. In other times and places in history, we have called those who resist occupation "freedom fighters." And lest we forget, Golda Meier, former Israeli prime minister, stated to the world that "there is no Palestine" much less that it has a right to exist.
Goor lauds Israel as "one of the most truly representative democracies on the planet." Israel is a representative democracy only for her Jewish citizens. Arab Israelis live as second-class citizens in Israel and, as such, are denied access to many government services, freedom of movement, and other basic rights.
All true democracies strive to make no distinction among their citizens on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, etc. That is the meaning of democracy. Israel will be a true democracy when she behaves similarly toward the non-Jews within her borders and takes seriously the human and civil rights of the Palestinians under occupation.
The real hypocrites
In response to Shannon Parker's letter to the editor ("High hypocrisy," Dec. 7), as well as others who have written similar themes, I think liberals are the true hypocrites. She recites the worn-out Alfred Kinsey mantra of 10 percent of the population being gay. Unfortunately for the revisionists, it's still 2 to 3 percent of the population.
Secondly, it is evident from the various Independent columns, as well as Ms. Parker's, that since Pastor Ted Haggard's downfall, much of the response has been over the issue of homosexuality. Because of Pastor Ted's long-term dalliance with a male homosexual, the gay community is pushing its agenda with new vigor and resolve. The banter has been to want this dismissed minister to "accept his dark side" and "embrace" his supposed gay inclinations. On the other hand, it could well be that this mindset is a betrayal of the teachings and sexual doctrine of gay activism.
Does anyone remember Hollywood's lesbian dream couple, Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres? Suddenly, Anne leaves Ellen and marries, God forbid, a man. She even bears his child. Some said, "She obviously wasn't a true lesbian." Others said, "No, she is a classic bisexual." Why all the confusion? In almost every national homosexual organization they rally around the following orientations: gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals.
Because of this, why are the media and the opponents of evangelical Christianity and traditional conservatism so quick to label Pastor Ted as a closet homosexual now exposed? What happened to bisexualism? It sounds like discrimination toward another form of sexual orientation to me.
Pastor Ted has been married for over 28 years and has sired five children, but his struggle and confusion can't be with bisexuality, according to the "gay radar" of the homosexual community and armchair leftists. Why not?
Not the solution
The president vainly believes that killing Saddam Hussein will boost his sagging approval ratings and bring back a wave of patriotic fervor. A thug was put to death, but what did this really accomplish? Was this a crowning achievement for the fledgling "democracy" we have installed in Iraq? Is it acceptable to invade a sovereign nation under false pretense and ever-changing rationale, then depose and kill its leader, portraying it as a step toward regional peace? Saddam's death sentence was not handed down by the Iraqi kangaroo court. It was related to his decision to trade oil in euros instead of dollars.
Our reckless president is directly responsible for many thousands of dead: your children, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors and thousands of Iraqi citizens ... oops, collateral damage. He is proposing to send thousands more into the meat grinder to accomplish exactly nothing. Our mere presence in Iraq is fomenting more and more violence. There will be no resolution until we are gone, leaving the Iraqis to hammer out their own peace.
Mitigating the disaster we have created is not "cut and run," but the only prudent step available to us. Of course, I'm not confident that "prudence" is a word the president understands.
We're the insurgents
How many more people are going to be killed as a result of President Bush's obstinate policy of continued and expanded occupation in Iraq? There is no combined body of terrorism to fight, there are no victories, and the Iraqis are further away from democracy than they were before. We're just part of the insurgency and tribal wars. In fact, we're now supporting one of the tribes. How does this promote democracy? Millions of Iraqis, the ones who could, have fled their country. Shouldn't this tell us something? We need to get out, too. Now!