Take America Back -- Do you want your country back? Since 2000, our country has been handed over to large, corrupt corporations. Here is a short list of what our appointed leader has done with his tenure.
Bush's answer to forest fire protection: If there are no trees there are no forest fires. Who benefits? Large corporations like Boise Cascade. Bush's answer to our loss of the natural world: Set environmental laws back 30 years. Who benefits? Large corporations. Bush's economic stimulus plan: Give billions of dollars in tax cuts to the crooks who've stolen our money. Who benefits? Large corporations. Bush's answer to the war on terror: Spend hundreds of billions of dollars blowing up a country that has never had anything to do with a terrorist attack on the U.S. Who benefits? Large corporations like GE and Halliburton.
Folks, there are only 529 days until the next presidential election, so we need to come together and try and get rid of President Bush.
I joined others who feel like it is time to take back our America at Howard Dean's Meet-up. I learned Dean cares about Americans; he wants us all to have health care; he wants to balance the budget, but mostly he wants the people to take back the White House. If you care about your country and our future, visit deanforamerica.com and join us for the next meet-up.
Dear F.C.C. Chairman Powell -- You will soon vote on whether or not to finalize the proposed new regulations regarding media ownership. Undoubtedly, your vote will break the tie, since we pretty much know how the four members of the current FCC Commission are going to cast their ballots.
It is imperative that rules [against] cross-ownership in particular markets be totally eliminated. In fact, the sooner we move towards a singular type of ownership for all media, the sooner the hard-right American dream of global domination can continue.
As the Freedom of Information Act is making waves, isn't it just great that our current administration is sealing most of our President's dark secrets away at some library in Crawford, Texas? Who cares about DUI's, snorting cocaine (he probably didn't inhale anyway) and going AWOL from the rigorous pressures of the Air National Guard in Texas? The important thing, we are told, is that all that is the past and we have to make sure that the confidence in his leadership to power-broker a new era is given a fair chance to succeed.
To allow free speech and commentary on issues like these are likely to divide our great nation even further. And with our Attorney General John Ashcroft and his wire-tapping and surveillance of everyday citizens, we will finally be held to standards that even some of our elected officials cannot meet. Media consolidation serves another purpose here, too. Even if the Patriot Act II doesn't pass Congress, the full scope of Act I have yet to be completely implemented. Sometimes to debate and discuss issues can simply be a waste of time and energy. We shouldn't have to read and listen about people disappearing or folks being rounded up because of some silly suspicion. After all, we shouldn't have to worry about the "sun setting" on our Constitution and our civil rights.
Media consolidation will help serve this purpose of protecting us from ourselves. There are lots of other reasons that have already been brought forth to ease restrictions on ownership, such as reduced costs and improved efficiencies. But I'm sure you have already heard those arguments -- if, from no one else, the paid lobbyists representing those positions.
Robert B. Conway
Alive and Kicking -- Since 1991 -- On behalf of the Spokane Marketplace Board of Directors, and current core vendors, I wish to extend our combined wishes of appreciation to all of our customers and vendors who have remained supportive throughout our four moves since we began at Riverside and Division in 1991.
During these past twelve-plus years, hundreds of you have volunteered. Many of you contributed materials, supplies and thousands of dollars, and nearly 900 of you purchased the tiles. Our goal is to duplicate the tiles, which were affixed to the floor at the Riverside location.
We are especially grateful to the Park Board for recent approval to enter into a lease with us for an indoor-outdoor section of the Central Park Maintenance site at 809 N. Washington.
Last summer we submitted a proposal of interest to the North Bank Committee and the Riverfront Park Committee, which held meetings and discussions with Park Department staff and Park Board Committee Members to develop a lease. As with all negotiations, we encountered some "bumpy" areas requiring additional attention, and though the lease may not be perfect, it is one we cooperatively developed and mutually support.
We invite the community to envision with us the gathering of farmers, artisans, food vendors and musicians from the greater Inland Northwest, bringing their products directly to patrons in a beautiful park setting along the Spokane River.
Your continued support sustains us, and we welcome you to join us in our pursuit of a revitalized Spokane Marketplace. Please call 509-456-0100 if you wish to volunteer or be a vendor!
Director, Spokane Marketplace
Editor's Note: On 4/24/03, The Inlander published an unsigned letter that was written by someone in the military in support of the war in Iraq ("Not Brainwashed"). Although we almost never publish unsigned letters, we felt it was important to have his viewpoint expressed, and using his name was against military policy. We did establish his identity prior to publishing his letter. The letter below is a response to that letter and our decision to publish it.
No Unsigned Letters! -- What a gutsy "Letters to the Editor" policy you employ, publishing wimpy prattle from folk who desire to have their monikers withheld. Every time I rattle off some public comment, I guarantee as an adjunct college teacher, as an artist and as a journalist, the heat gets hot in my kitchen.
Let's get things straight. Many of us opposing the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Becthel-GE-GM-Exxon-et al. invasion of Iraq come from some deep intellectual, worldly, and hands-on experiences that shape our knowledge of how America works and how the international theater knows us as a country and a people.
I've worked with the military as an instructor and as a civilian contractor, teaching communication skills to the Army. I have been around the military as a dependent all of my pre-adult life. My father was a 32-year professional soldier in the Air Force and then Army with tours of duty in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts and with the battle scars and medals to prove it.
So, this Fairchild Air Force Base person who penned the letter (but didn't have the guts to sign it) is to me a real disgust in our American system of rights and privileges, and his paranoia or lack of pride in his words bespeak the kind of soldier brainwashing he rails against.
Some of us "anti-war protesters" (I'm more than that when I question my government) would like to obliterate all testosterone-laced armies of the despotic rulers that subjugate children, civilians, cultures and ecologies for their lust of power, money, drugs, military might, and corporate prostitution. I wanted to have Bush and his insiders debate openly their specific agenda - blueprinted months before Operation Dysentery-Cluster Bombs broke out. It's an agenda that does involve oil, but not just Iraq's oil fields; one that is stewed in a bizarre born-again religious superiority; one that is slanted to facilitate globalization of more of the developing and repressed world, one that has nothing to do with human rights or social justice.
So, I too see more to this "war" than Bush eyeing a small part of the world's oil supply. And at least I sign my name.
Manifest Destiny -- I just finished reading "Onward Christian Soldiers" (5/22/03), and I couldn't help but be alarmed at the tenacity with which the Christian Right would tackle such a daunting and dangerous pursuit. Then I considered the individual groups embarking upon this mission: Southern Baptists and Evangelicals. These sects, as the "Johnny Come Lately" of the world's religious circuit, without the benefit of a history-based tradition, must find other justifications for this coveted legitimacy.
It seems that they are blindly attempting to replace tradition with members to justify their legitimacy. I wouldn't find this "proselytizing their way to legitimacy" so abhorrent if they weren't doing so under the aegis of the United States of America and if they weren't doing so at the cost of the aboriginal religion and culture.
Top Turkey -- The primary criteria I use to judge a movie critic is: Can I tell from the review whether or not I would like to see the movie? By this measure, Ed Symkus is at the top of my list of favorites. After reading a Symkus review, I can easily decide whether I would enjoy the movie -- in that nearly every opinion he puts forth is wrong.
You might argue that movie reviews are inherently subjective, and any attempt to determine the right or wrong of the thing is ultimately fruitless, and you would be correct. But it's also true that these subjective opinions are not plucked randomly from the ether: statistically speaking, it can't be mere chance that the views he puts to paper are so consistently and diametrically opposed to my own.
It is therefore this reader's opinion, offered with full awareness of the subjective nature thereof, that Symkus be rated a turkey.
Remembering Clinton -- I read Donald Clegg's commentary, "If It Was Good Enough for Clinton" (5/22/03), about Bush. Now here's my commentary. Let's get some things straight about Donald's beloved Clinton.
1. Dick Morris (advisor for Clinton) warned him about the terrorist bombing and FBI Jack Cloonan notified Clinton in 1998 about Osama bin Laden; Clinton decided not to attack. Clinton's response: "At the time I didn't think he had the capacity for 9/11 -- I take full responsibility for it."
2. The CIA confirmed that Clinton helped Saddam illegally sell oil.
3. Clinton and Gore asked China in 1998 to sign lucrative deals with Enron including receiving trips and government candy doled by Enron to President Clinton.
4. The Clinton administration traded and sold ADV U.S. military missile technology to China while denying funding to U.S. anti-missile systems that can counter the ballistic missile threat. It was Bush who cancelled the ABM Treaty.
5. The economy began to move into a serious recession "as" Clinton was leaving Washington. As usual, Bush is the clean-up guy in all of Clinton's little mess-ups.
Finally, to these whiney Democratic babies still yelling "foul" and "illegal election": Remember, we now have decency, integrity and honor in the White House with Bush. This independent voter looks forward to four more years with a real President who stands up to Saddam and brings peace to Iraq. God bless President Bush.
One-Fifth is all It Takes -- In "Quotes & amp; Notes," (5/22/03) you mistakenly wrote, "more than half of Americans voted for somebody besides George Bush."
Although it's true that most Americans who voted did not vote for George Bush (52.1 percent voted for someone else), far less than half of Americans actually voted.
According to the U.S. census data, the population of the United States in 2000 was 281,421,906. The Federal Election Commission reported that President Bush received 50,456,002 votes (17.9 percent of Americans), while Al Gore received 50,999,897 votes (18.1 percent), and the remaining candidates received a combined 3,949,201 votes (1.4 percent). Remember, many Americans cannot vote (e.g. prisoners, children, etc.), many who are eligible choose not to register, and even those who are registered to vote often don't. The result: Less than one in five Americans voted for President Bush.