In “Democracy and Distaste” (February 24), you were completely correct on some levels: censoring speech is despicable. But you failed to address the glorification of American-style “democracy.” Furthermore, you failed to understand the issues at stake with that Danish cartoon.
What is democracy? It is a type of government in which citizens can have an effect on the political apparatus. Do you think Americans are free? Do you think this is democracy? Who really runs this country anyway? More important, what are their interests?
About the cartoon: way to bulk together militant nationalism and fundamentalist Islam. The violent protests have less to do with a fucking cartoon and more to do with the fact that the West (mostly the United States) is screwing Muslims and has been for quite some time. It’s time to wake up and realize that if you keep poking someone in the eye, they are eventually going to punch you in the face.
It’s time American citizens wake up and realize that the US isn’t some benevolent father just trying to keep people in line. We are sketchy old Uncle Sam, who stuffs his mattress with stolen money and holds a cocked gun beneath his pillow.
In “I Stand By What I Said” (February 24), Harvey Silverglate has it exactly right. President Summers was doomed once he bowed to his critics’ demands for greater “sensitivity.” PC sensitivity now trumps academic freedoms of speech and thought at all levels of American education. We’re producing a bunch of self-serving crybabies instead of independent, tough-minded freethinkers.
Lee S. Kreindler Professor of Law
Harvard Law School
Big Bad Oprah
I think your staff totally missed the point made by Ann Crews Melton and Molly Williams (Letters, February 24). Yes, the Oprah cover was based on Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman, but you did not address their concerns. For a paper that seems to hop on everyone else for being racist or sexist or for portraying minorities unfairly, you succeeded in doing it twice. I wonder if you have any minorities on staff who might’ve said, “You know, that’s not a good idea; let’s try a different cover.”
Your staff should take note.
Though the shooting incident involving Vice-President Dick Cheney certainly deserves much attention, what really caught my interest was Mr. Cheney’s personal health-care program. Here’s a man who argues against affordable health care for all our citizens, and all the while he travels every step with a personal medical team and a private ambulance. Here’s a man who knows there are about 46 million uninsured people in this country — about 14 million of whom are children — and so many millions more who are underinsured. Yet he’ll argue for raping our tax dollars to pay off corporations and millionaires like himself.
Now the really serious question is, should we, the taxpayers, pay for Cheney’s personal medical staff and private ambulance? Can anyone imagine how much healthier our people would be if all health-care plans included a personal medical staff and private ambulance? But what we will continue to get from the Cheney clan will be more cuts to the everyday-person programs and more funneling of our tax dollars to the wealthiest and biggest corporations.
I say that if we, the taxpayers, are providing these expensive medical services to the vice-president, we should stop it immediately — for at least some little bit of justice and fair play.
President, CWA Local 1365
In “Ship Without a Rudder” (March 3), Steve Kerrigan was misidentified. He is Tom Reilly’s current chief of staff. Also, the correct spelling of Reilly adviser Will Keyser’s employer is Hill Holliday.