Saturday, September 20, 2008

Debatable Opinions; Letters to the Editor

(originally published by OpEdNews)

As I virtually move around The FUSA by state in alphabetical order, trying to find letters to the editor that are, indeed, debatable, I come to Arkansas.

However, one can imagine my anxiety about looking in Arkansas for a letter to the editor of a print/online newspaper. When many of us think about Arkansas, we think about the “uncle daddy” jokes and the word “redneck”. I confess to being a person who’s made such stereotypical remarks in the past.

Consequently, I had the offense ready to go. I knew that I would find a letter to shred to pieces.

As an aside, I’d like to make a couple of points about looking around the country for letters to the editor.

First, I really don’t know which newspapers are the most read newspapers in most states.

As a guide, I use LISTS: Sanjeev.NET List of wonderful things. This site seems to have the newspapers in any given state listed in, if no other manner, order of popularity.

Secondly, to put it mildly, I imagine that people have found much of what I’ve written “debatable”. My goal isn’t necessarily to find letters with which I strongly disagree, although, if I continue with this search, my suspicion is that I will utilize such letters most often.

This column will no doubt be longer than the past couple of columns. Before I get into what was written in the letter to the editor, I think that it’s import for me to explain my political leaning and my thoughts about what happened on September 11, 2001. There is another issue, the American flag, which I should address as well before revealing the content of the letter.

I don’t think it would be a surprise to anyone who’s ever read anything I’ve written that I lean to the left. I’m a Progressive and I’m proud of it.

On the other hand, I was born and raised in The United States of America and that means much more to me than being a Progressive.

I’m what’s called a Truther. A Truther is a person who finds it difficult to believe the story that The Regime and the corporate media have given us about who was behind what happened on September 11, 2001. There are degrees of Truthers. Some think that they know exactly what alternatively happened on 9/11 and others merely want a new, fair investigation into the tragedy of September 11, 2001.

We want an investigation in which no members of the investigation team are tied to The Regime in any way. The example that comes to mind is Philip Zelikow. Zelikow was the executive director of the 9-11 Commission. Before that, Zelikow served on the team that helped The Bush Administration, a misnomer for The Regime, transition into the White House. Many people see this as a definite conflict of interest.

There of course should be no one on the committee who would describe himself or herself as a 9/11 Truther, either. Fair is fair and that’s what many of us want, a fair investigation.

We want an investigation in which all who are called to testify are forced, in one way or another, to do so. Not only are they forced to testify, but they are forced to testify in public and under oath.

We want an investigation into this horrendous mass murder to start by asking the question, “Who did it?”, as most murder investigations do. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but no one should be innocent and exempt from ever being proven guilty.
Truthers are as appalled and saddened at what happened on 9/11 as those who believe the official narrative. I don’t think any of us were born with the intention of hating George Bush, which, because of our questioning, we’ve been accused of. However, if we were to have the kind of investigation described above and found that our government was in no way complicit in planning the events of 9/11 nor did it know what was going to happen on that day, but simply ignored it, I’d be happier than if the opposite was proven. I no more want to know that the American Government would do such a thing than anyone else.

I felt it necessary to write the long introduction because one can imagine how pumped up a Progressive reporter might become if he sees a letter entitled “Do Americans forget so easily” in an Arkansas newspaper, The Lanoke Democrat, part of The Cabot Star Herald group. Even more provocative was the first sentence of the letter which reads, “As I was driving through Lonoke this morning, Sept. 11, 2008, I was very disappointed that NO businesses in Lonoke had their U.S. flags out on display.” I was ready and continued to read.

The writer went on to reveal that she was physically distanced from what happened in New York, Washington DC and Shanksville, PA on that day. She didn’t know anyone who was killed or injured and she didn’t even know anyone who knew someone who was killed or injured on that day.

The writer admonished Americans to put the flag out on Memorial Day and on The Fourth of July as well.

I can only assume, and you know what they say about assuming, that this woman places fierce importance on the American flag. In this regard, I find myself disagreeing with her for the most part.

To many people, the American flag does represent The United States of America and the principles of The United States of America. Unfortunately, The Regime has polarized Americans so much that some now use it to represent The Former United States of America as well. The principles of The FUSA are not the same as the principles of The USA.

Nonetheless, no matter what it represents, the flag is an attractively decorated piece of cloth. If Americans are in the midst of a catastrophic event, we can collect as many of those pieces of cloth as we can possibly find as quickly as we can collect them, place them in one gargantuan pile and they will not ward off the catastrophe. It is a piece of cloth.

Further, if some see it as representing those who have succeeded in turning The United States of America into The Former United States of America, they certainly don’t see it as representing them. In many of these cases, people have chosen to deface the flag, most often by burning it. I see this as making the statement, “This flag does not represent me anymore” or “This flag has begun to represent principles that are so abhorrent, violent and inhumane that it should not be seen as a representative of people who want peace and cooperation among all of the earth’s inhabitants”. That’s a right that Americans should have. It’s not surprising, though, that those who want to take that right away are the reasons why some feel that the flag should be defaced in the first place.

Thus, it may come as a surprise that I ultimately find this letter to be positive. I apologize for ever having stereotyped citizens who live in the southern part of this nation. It was never fair to do so and it isn’t fair now. In fact, stereotyping is possibly one of the most unfair ways that we can treat each other. From the unfairness of stereotyping evolves other unfair treatment in such areas as hiring and housing.

What makes this letter positive to me is that there is no mention of Arabs or “Liberals” or the gall of those who put forth an alternative explanation for what happened on 9/11. Putting the issue of the importance of the flag aside, this letter was truly a dressing down of those Americans who’ve forgotten the pain and suffering of people who either died or were severely injured on September 11, 2001 or those who lost loved ones on that day.
I once thought, “What American can forget what happened on September 11, 2001?”

The writer of this letter, however, has given me pause to reconsider that question.
Certainly, The Front Man tried to play it down almost immediately by telling Americans to “go shopping” after the tragedy took place. Many Americans may not take the memory of 9/11 more seriously because their president defamed that memory with his out of hand remark.

However, the last three sentences of this letter may, unfortunately, say it all and I just may agree with the writer.

“It’s reported that other countries think Americans are self-centered; I wonder why. Sooo sad. So, so sad.”

<a href="">Are Americans more, just as, or less self-centered than non-Americans?</a> | <a href="">BuzzDash polls</a>

<a href="">Think most Americans have put the events of 9/11 out of their minds?</a> | <a href="">BuzzDash polls</a>

To friendship,

“Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.” - Thomas H. Huxley

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