Today's Daily Pulse is the letters to the editor version, just like very Tuesday. As I noted yesterday, I have now created a new Daily Pulse
blog, and am looking for contributors. One thing I am hoping for is somebody who will do a daily (or close to it) column on LTEs. Already, it includes the regular Daily Pulse, a survey of editorials from around the country, with progressive commentary, a daily pundit page, and an Add Your Own column for your local paper and TV. For more, please go to the end, where I describe the project and needs in some detail.
In the meantime, enjoy The Daily Pulse: Letters Tuesday Editor.
Republicans have created an incredible alliance of the very wealthy and the very religious. But the curious thing is, only the wealthy really get what they want- tax cuts shifting the burden to the working and middle classes, and business deregulation creating greater profit at the expense of the employee. The very religious, often working class people hurt the most by what their "allies" get, receive very little other than promises and stump speeches. Further, even if they do get what they want, legislated Christianity and strict fundamentalist "morality," they will find it does them very little good in this life, and can only hope that their imposition of one version of "morality" over others earns them a better life next time.
Class struggle alert
To the editor -- We, the people, are involved in a class struggle of massive kind. The author, Jared Diamond in his book, "Guns, Germs and Steel," call it "kleptocracis," "transferring net wealth from commoners to the upper class." We understand this for those who profit, but does the working man and woman tend to vote contrary to their own best interest? ...
HARRY E. MITCHELL
Hey, folks, there's a war on
Republicans never seem to tire of comparing Hussein to Hitler, and Iraq to Germany. There is one HUGE difference. In World War II, we were all asked to sacrifice, to bear the burden together. In this war, the poor bear the greatest burden under arms, and here at home the tax cuts flow, the corporate profits rise, and oil, the single biggest financial boon to the enemy, gets a huge boost in the new energy bill. It's like sending subsidies to I.G. Farben and Messershmidt in World War II, then wondering how to stop them from killing Jews and building airplanes.
Another boondoggle, the president signed an energy bill that does absolutely nothing at this time to help the nation. We have a war that is every bit as serious as World War II, in fact counting from Sept. 11, 2001, it has already lasted longer than World War II. ...
The Republicans have been in charge; they control the presidency, the Senate, the House of Representatives and have a majority in the Supreme Court and they do nothing to control the cost of oil or possible out of control inflation. ...
In the meantime the Democratic congressmen and senators sit on their hands like the three monkeys that "See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil." ...
We need to look back in time to World War II to see what a real patriotic president, congressmen and senators of both parties did to fight and win World War II. ...
A slogan during World War II was: Don't you guys know there's a war on?
This letter writer says it's time for Cal Thomas to retire. Thomas isn't senile, he's dishonest. He is little more than a mouthpiece for Republican propaganda. We, as a nation, are subject to an amazing amount of propaganda under this President. Sure, there has always been some, but the willingness of many conservative columnists to fall in line and carry the water is nothing short of disgusting. They will write anything, no matter how false, to support Bush, knowing full well that in today's "news" environment, "both sides" get heard, even if one is blatantly false.
It is high time that you retire old man Cal Thomas from your editorial pages. His memory is slipping, a charitable interpretation. In his Aug. 16, 2005, column he states, truthfully, that Vietnam is communist and the Vietnamese did not attack America on Sept. 11, nor are they infiltrating the United States to destroy us.
He implies that the Iraqis attacked us on Sept. 11 and are infiltrating our country. That is news to everyone. As I remember, the crews that flew the jetliners into the twin World Trade Center towers were mostly Saudis, sons of one of our allies. President Bush waged war on Iraq because he claimed it had weapons of mass destruction. None were found. ...
As the "paper of record" for the Interior, you do not live up to your claims by publishing blatant lies.
Santa Maria Times
Here is an interesting point of view- thank big oil for the "blessings" they have brought us. I certainly feel blessed. I feel blessed every day my little boy coughs from asthma. I feel blessed every day the ice caps recede. I feel blessed every time an Islamicist terrorist murders innocent people with bombs bought by oil money. I feel blessed whenever a gigantic tanker leaks, destroying the environment and killing thousands of animals. Oh, I feel blessed all right. Don't you?
Oil companies doing the work
It is easy to be angry and try to blame some far-away big oil when the gas pump extracts $90 from your pocket when filling up a vehicle. However, it does not create a solution to attack a false target. ...
Rather than write against big oil, a recent letter writer should light a candle and support alternative-energy sources, nuclear power, ethanol, perhaps walk more and be thankful that big oil has brought so many blessings to so many for so long. He can also buy stock in an oil company and share in their profits.
David E. Baskett
Boca Raton News
This writer points out how condescending many are toward Cindy Sheehan, arguing she has "the right" to speak her mind, implying that she can talk all she wants, but she's not telling the truth. The truth is simple- there is no good reason to be in Iraq, and there is no good reason for Americans to die. When the new Iraqi Constitution is passed, this will become clear, for (a) the Sunnis won't accept it, and civil war will begin, (b) any rights it grants are limited by "morality," making them meaningless in the face of religious police, and (c) the result, when it is over, will be a fundamentalist Islamic state far more dangerous to the US than Iraq under Hussein.
Bush Won't Face Truth
It seems that no one wants to face the truth about our being in Iraq (which is terribly unclear) but would rather attack her than face the truth.
More propaganda. Go to your state's health administration web site. If you live in a red state, I bet you will find that it discusses birth control, and says condoms "don't prevent all STDs." Then it lists HPV as a disease they don't prevent, without telling you what it is- creating the impression, by including it in the same paragraph or even sentence as "HIV," that it is some dread disease. In fact, it is a virus that does not appear to cause any particular disease, though its presence MIGHT have a link to future cervical cancer. The religious moralists are spreading this misleading information to push their "abstinence only" agenda, even though it is alarmingly unsuccessful.
Condoms reduce STD risks
As a former resident of Jasper County, and a graduate of the Oblong Community School system, I am writing to express my displeasure and bewilderment about the patently misleading comments made by Registered Nurse Debbi Lowrance in the article dated 7/27/05 "Abstinence still key to CRADLE." ...
Ms. Lowrance would have people believe that there is no prevention provided by any other forms of birth control-- when she conveniently chooses to not discuss condoms, which can reduce the transmission of several forms of STDs. ...
I would have expected a health care professional to be better informed, as such a lack of knowledge in this day and age is not only reprehensible, but borders on incompetent. Incompetence on issues regarding the health of the citizenry of Crawford County is something we simply cannot afford.
Jason L. Geiger
The Times Record
This writer does a marvelous job of distinguishing between "the troops" and "the war." We can celebrate the heroism of individuals without applauding a war with no justification. The writer also takes Thomas Sowell to task for another invalid comparison to World War II. That comparison is utterly fallacious. If you don't agree, just think about the draft, rationing, Rosie the Riveter, and other things essential to an understanding of World War II. Ask yourself if we would have attacked Spain after Germany declared war, because they, too, were fascist and were easier to attack. Ask yourself how FDR would have reacted if Harry Hopkins outed an OSS agent in political revenge.
Sowell urged propaganda
... But to think we can make the Iraq war something it is not by celebrating individual acts is ludicrous. The soldier who sacrificed his life to save his comrades was indeed a hero. Deeply human responses -- in contrast to, for instance, the inhumanity at Abu Ghraib -- are more than ever to be celebrated and cherished. As for equating the war in Iraq with World War II, concrete enemies are so much simpler! Since Hitler, Stalin, Communism, we've been hard pressed to create an enemy.
No amount of propaganda -- and that is exactly what Mr. Sowell is urging -- can wipe out the "enemies" that created this "war on terrorism." We had our heads in the sand when we created the situation in Iraq. Putting the blame on news reporting is not only intellectually pathetic, but terrifying. ...
The Times Record
A hidden part of "No Child Left Behind" is a requirement that schools give personal information about OUR children to the military recruiters. And where do you think they will be going, the tony suburbs? Yeah, right. According to this writer, there is even a mandatory "Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery," which by its name seems to be something geared toward telling our children "you should be in the military." What's next? Will NCLB require school uniforms, perhaps black shorts, brown shirts, a little leather strap, and a tie?
Leave my child alone
Many parents of high school young people might not be aware that schools that receive No Child Left Behind federal funds are required to make available to the military personal information concerning all high school students. ...
There are legal ways of opting out of what many consider this invasion of privacy. These will be spelled out for all those interested during a "Leave My Child Alone" meeting ...
Topics covered will include opting out of the federal funding mandate to report student names and opting out of the mandatory Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery given in the 10th grade. Registering for conscientious objection -- preparation for which takes time, thought and action -- will also be discussed. All parents, students and interested public are invited to attend.
James B. Mitchell
The attacks on Cindy Sheehan have gotten very personal, and very strident. But they all miss a simple point- we can support the troops and not the war. Every single reason given for the war, including "freedom," given the proposed Iraqi "constitution," have turned to filth in our hands, and yet Americans continue to die. It is really that simple, and no argument otherwise rings true.
Don't presume to define `liberals'
Congrats to Harry Mallory on his use of a thesaurus, but he, like others who attack Cindy Sheehan fail to see the point. Cindy has said from the start that she wants the president to tell her what "noble cause" her son died for. Does Mallory think that the way to honor fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism is by more soldiers and innocent people dying? ...
We don't confuse supporting our troops with supporting the president and his war-mongering friends. We are against this war because it was fabricated and sold to the American people as a necessity to fight the war on terror. We are against this war because it is an ignominy to all those who have died, at home and abroad. ...
Roman Guenther Jr.
My goal is to expand the concept significantly, while still focusing on "the pulse" of the nation outside the titans of the media.
In '04, I think those paying attention to only national news missed just how strident the localities were on certain issues. I know that on election day, when I drove from Indianapolis to Dayton, I had no idea just how many anti-gay marriage yard signs I would see. The Corporate Media just didn't capture the breadth or depth of the underlying "morales" fight until after the election. The local letters to the editor and editorials, however, did.
Right now, what I envision is a blog that allows comments, but not diaries. The idea is simple- to focus on news and editorials, and not turn it into a diary fest, which would eventually just look like a pale imitation of what is already out there. So far, ideas for regular contributors are:
1. The Daily Pulse- random survey of editorials, with snippet quotes and commentary.
2. Letters- a SEPARATE random survey of LTEs, with snippet quotes and commentary.
3. Columns- a third survey, this time of local columnists.
I would love to include a cartoon round-up, but there's really no good way to republish cartoons and have fair use, because you have to publish the whole thing for it to make sense. If somebody wanted to do comments and links, I guess that would work, but it probably wouldn't be much fun.
- News summary- how is the local media running the national news? Same idea as above, but from the front and national pages of papers other than the NYTimes, Wall St. Journal, etc.
- Ditto TV and radio, if possible, though perhaps not.
- The Pulse of the World- same idea as the Daily Pulse, but from papers outside the US- how they view what is going on here, and how they view what is going on world-wide.
- Original opinion columns- but not on the news, rather on how the News is handling the news. Why is stem cell research still showing up every week in the LTEs, even though the Corporate Media hasn't mentioned them in a month? How much of the local editorial page is taken up by religion? Is religion a driving force on front pages? That sort of thing.
- Blog round ups. This might be similar to the Dauo Report, but perhaps it would look to more local blogs, as well.
So I'm looking for a couple of things. Obviously, first I would take any and all advice to make this work, and to keep it from being redundant. I don't think it would imitate Media Matters, because it is not the corporate media, and at least attempts to be random in what it selects, if not the included commentary.
Second, contributors. Is anybody interested in being a regular "columnist," and taking on one of the above, alone, or in tandem with others.
Third, viewers. Is it something you might find interesting, informative?
Fourth, ideas. Keeping in mind the goal, to take the pulse of the country, rather than the corporate media, what else should be included?
So, any takers?