Bush isn't well
The more I listen to George W. Bush's speeches, the more concerned I become about his mental health. He is not well! He is completely out of touch with the amount of damage and suffering he has caused, how his actions are perceived by the rest of the world and with the contradictions between his words and reality.
When Alberto Gonzales finally resigned, the only reason Bushcould find for his departure was that his name had been dragged through the mud by the media. How about his actions lying to Congress, politicizing the Justice Department, eliminating ourcivil rights and torturing prisoners at Guantanamo? Might Gonzales' actual deeds have had something to do with why he was on the hot seat?
Bush wants to clothe all his actions with noble purposes, on par with Thomas Jefferson or one of the nation's founding fathers! This is, quite simply, delusional thinking. Noone knows how to clean up the mess we've made in Iraq, or how to get outhonorably.
I just hope the media and the public have the good sense to resist Bush's escalating, hostile rhetoric toward Iran before he leads us into another foreign-policy nightmare.
It's just sex
"A wary welcome" (Cover story, Sept. 13) was packed with interesting information, but I was particularly struck by Tonja Olive's comment, "Porn is a fantasy, often a violent fantasy, that reinforces women as sexual objects." It is pretty clear that Olive has not been involved with this industry at all.
I have covered the porn industry for more than two years, writing for Adult Video News, XBIZ, Boink, SexHerald and others. I have interviewed porn stars, been to movie shoots and reviewed more than 200 of these "violent" media products.
Yes, there is some violent porn and "rape fantasy," a small percentage of the 12,904 films produced in 2006. In fact, one of the industry's challenges is that its product has become boring. We only see the usual plastic stars doing the same thing over and over. Can we see violence and ennui in the same film? I doubt it.
For the subset that does involve violent porn (e.g. Max Hardcore), many magazines will not review their films simply because they do not want to carry actual or simulated violence.
The work at the studio also is not violent or demeaning. I was on the set of a film directed by Joe Gallant, famous for porn that pushes the envelope. He was quite careful when dealing with his female star. He would ask what she would and would not do, reinforcing this throughout the shoot. "Are you OK with this? If not, please let me know." The women are in charge in porn. They decide what they will do and with whom they will work.
Porn may have its problems, but violence certainly is not among them.
The Great Porn Debate ("Cock fight," cover story, Sept. 13) sounds like a lot of horse patooey to me. How can so much space be taken up by one of the lamest non-issues around? Porn? No other nation I've visited or lived in (Barbados, Switzerland, Trinidad, Guyana, Germany, etc.) makes such a huge deal out of exposed naked breasts and "fur" or males and females "getting it on."
As for addiction: Please, don't make me laugh. American morons and meatheads in the dime-store psych business are inventing "addictions" faster than ever in global history. Before you know it, everyone will have an "addiction" to something. What total blatherskite, and for what? To make money off dupes and fools.
It isn't even a religious issue, though zealots have tried incessantly to drag more boobs to "salvation" and more coins into the realm. Nowhere is porn or its analog even remotely alluded to in the Bible, despite the fact that primitive "porno" cave art had been around since the Neolithic Age. We see no reference to "images of depravity" or whatever.
Engendering a debate around porn is like fomenting one around smoking or drinking. Someone is always going to do it, and there'll always be cockamamie explanations for why people do it. For example, smokers are supposed to have "arrested oral development," and the latest bilge on porn obsession is that it's the province of sorry males "who were never breast-fed!" Please!
There are a million serious issues around, like how to implement a real national health-care system for every citizen. How about a debate about the benefits of socialized health care as opposed to capitalist, for-profit perfidy?
I notice that Joel Hefley has joined the chorus of those lobbying to keep Cheyenne Mountain Air Station open ("Mountain battle on the Hill," News, Sept. 13). If this line of reasoning prevails, I can think of a half-dozen other agencies that could make a similar claim for maximum security.
We could see a new kind of mining boom. There are a number of Front Range mountains waiting to be hollowed out to host these essential agencies. Then we would hear from those who would argue that it would be cheaper to build big bunkers deep underground instead.
To solve the local problem, they could excavate a huge underground bunker at Peterson Air Force Base to house the Cheyenne Mountain operation to keep it safe from the jihadists. We could even revive the old nuclear-survival bunker ideas for the individual homeowner.
With 12 million to 20 million illegal immigrants coming into this country, our farmers are lamenting the shortage of farm laborers ("Help wanted," News, Aug. 23)? How can this be? And they cannot find enough workers? With 12 million or more, there should be plenty.
President Bush says these are jobs Americans will not take. The truth is, these are jobs Mexicans do not want to take. There are visa programs that allow farmers to bring in farm workers from Mexico, but most of them do not want to pay the bus fare to their farms and return fare. The problem has always been these farm jobs last from 30 to 40 days, and then they are out of work.
So these illegal immigrants are not taking the farm jobs. They are taking jobs that should belong to Americans, such as building industry, factory jobs and jobs on our highways. These are jobs that Americans will do.
Irwin "Bill" MacLeod
We're all immigrants
Illegal immigration is a volatile issue today. People are quick to jump to conclusions, and politicians are writing laws that aren't for the best. For an issue this important, we need to talk it out.
Some people call "illegal" immigrants criminals, hence the "illegal." They break our laws, right? How dare they come to America? But there are other issues besides the strangeness of that.
Immigrants, legal or not, are usually just refugees of economic policies initiated by the United States. "Free trade" agreements, such as NAFTA and CAFTA, took away 1.6 million jobs in Mexico between 2000 and 2005. They help big corporations reach wider markets, make bigger profits, and force indigenous farmers to compete in local markets with cheap, mass-produced, corporate crops.
Another argument made against illegal immigrants is that they take jobs away from American citizens. Immigrants don't cause joblessness. Corporate downsizing, outsourcing and the all-powerful military-industrial complex do. Immigrants don't cause crime and instability, either. Poverty and the increasing gap between rich and poor do.
Guest-worker programs are not the answer. These only benefit bosses who want a constant source of cheap, exploitable labor. Helping to improve conditions in the countries from which immigrants come is a start, but it's about time we realize that America is and has always been a country of immigrants.
Senior, Palmer High School
News flash: Rev. Pedigo Renounces Old Testament?
In his angry rant trying to defend Christianity as being the religion of love ("Wrong to criticize," Letters, Sept. 6), Rev. Tom Pedigo conveniently failed to mention the horrific butchery of the Old Testament, such as Deuteronomy 13:6-11.
Let me summarize: "If your ... brother ... son or daughter ... wife you love ... or closest friend ... entices you, saying: "Let us go and serve other gods' ... Show him no pity ... Do not spare him or shield him. ... You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death."
As a religious leader who claims some knowledge of Christianity, how can Pedigo accuse a critic of historical revisionism while forgetting to acknowledge the savagery sanctioned in his own sacred texts? Is the Bible no longer inerrant? If Pedigo has in fact renounced the Old Testament and all its cruelty, perhaps he should give the same opportunity to followers of Islam and ask them which sections of the Koran they would like to conveniently ignore.
Perhaps we all should read Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris to get an understanding of how religious conflict is inevitable when adherents refuse to critically examine their religious teachings.
Right vs. left
In his letter "Liberal harvest" (Sept. 6), Scott Graves makes his argument in the usual conservative vacuum, devoid of any real supporting facts and propped up solely with the premise that he is one of the brave conservative warriors, defending small-government ideals against us godless, socialist liberals. The resulting diatribe is bizarre and cruel.
It's bizarre because he speaks as if American history was written last year. Does he really think protests against this current war are the first time that the left has found its neck under the jackboot? Tell that to anti-war protesters during Vietnam. Tell that to the civil-rights marchers. Throughout American history, the right has seen its sacred duty under God to stop those pesky lefties and their dangerous, subversive ideas, like peace and equality. Seems to me conservative means conserving the status quo.
His letter is cruel because he obviously enjoys when someone else gets what is deserved, in his estimation. We are, unfortunately, a nation where the powerful suppress dissent with brute force. The fact that he takes glee when this happens to someone of different political stripes reveals the dark side of the conservative mindset.
Speaking of compassionate conservatives, how about that bunch in the White House? They've given Big Brother's police more power than ever to spy on citizens, and have thumbed their nose at any need for congressional oversight, leaving the extent of the wiretapping and surveillance a secret. Conservative voices of outrage have been few and feeble at best.
Scott, you need a new shtick. I can turn on any episode of Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly and hear the exact same B.S.