Letters for November 7, 2002
And so does Jim: First, I would like to thank New Times for Rebecca Gleaves' October 24 story, "Ollie Rides Again." As an old skater out of retirement 1.5 years, it was nice to see someone actually get the complete story about Alan Gelfand and "The Ollie"! I like the way you put eastern skaters into perspective throughout skate history. Well stated!
Thank you again for putting this piece of skate history into words for younger readers.
He is a real Turkey: Bob Norman's October 24 column, "Wexler's Travels," was cloaked in the writer's leftist view of the Middle East, Turkey, and those poor, scared, little Arab countries with so much terror in their hearts at the thought of Israel having a strategic relationship with Turkey.
I wonder why such strategic accommodations between the Jewish state of Israel and Turkey strike such abject fear into the House of Saud, or Syria, or Iraq, or Iran, or Yemen, or Sudan, etc., or in any one of the other monarchist and/or despotic and/or dictatorial Arab tyrannies in the Middle East?
In my opinion, Mr. Norman is definitely contemptuous. I believe most recently it was Saddam who gassed the Kurds, not the Turks. And like it or not, Kurdish terrorism has been a fact of life in Turkey for some time. But what the heck: It's leftist, so it's got to be OK. Right?
What about the Turks... they, like all countries with any history, most definitely have some dirty laundry, but in the current times, they offer more of a pragmatic and practical basis for change and progress than any of their Arab neighbors.
For example, let's take Sudan... that lovely little country that still practices slavery. In the Sudan, the unelected Khartoum Islamist government in the north in the last decade-plus (at least since it overthrew the legitimate representative government in 1989) has prosecuted a "Holy War" against Christians in the south that has killed thousands. I guess that doesn't register on Mr. Norman's anti-Israel "genocide barometer."
I don't like Robert Wexler's politics. No, to be more accurate, I generally detest his positions on just about everything. I think he's just short of being a Socialist, and not by much. I think he is a political opportunist who will overlook malfeasance in office and outright lies if it is the party line and if by looking the other way, it will further his own political career. I don't vote for the man. I think he lives in La La land somewhere beyond Pluto when it comes to a whole raft of issues that have real effects on our lives, prosperity, and our survival as citizens in a free and independent country.
In this case, he just happens to be right on the need to eliminate regimes like Saddam's and organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, the Islamic Jihad, etc., before they can obtain the weapons and resources to come and kill us all... including people like Bob Norman.
I am not a Jew. I am an Episcopalian. I come from a mixed background of German, Hungarian, French, and Irish ancestry. My grandparents were immigrants.
The Holocaust should have taught us something. If you don't speak up against the haters early and often, there won't be anybody left to speak up for you after the haters finish with the Jews, the Gypsies, the mentally ill, etc. Take your pick.
Robert T. Beck
via the Internet
Try congress for treason... cuz the criticism of Norman is trying: Thank you, God! There is a journalist in this country that has the balls to say what Bob Norman did in "Hawking for Israel" (September 26). I read the article and can honestly say that he is not only a brave journalist but "a true American." Thank you for standing up for your country. For campaign donations of $100,000, these politicians are willing to send young men and women, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters to war. Is that all American lives are worth to these congressmen? They should be tried for treason. Everything that they are is a result of what this country has given them, yet they have the audacity to serve the interests of Israel. Because of that one little country, the whole fucking region is in disarray. There is no peace for the Jews, the Arabs, the Americans, or the rest of the world.
Bob has been attacked in the papers, and lies have been spread about him. He has been branded as anti-Semitic. But he should remember one thing: The base of a strong character is sticking to what you believe in, no matter how tough it gets. I am not anti-Jewish at all, and I am sure Bob is not. But we must stand for what is right in the world.
Name withheld by request
via the Internet
Jeff blows... or at least, he failed math: Let's see... Leif Garrett is 40 years old, so that would make his original fan base a few years younger, say age 35 to 38 or so ("Leif Blower," Jeff Stratton, September 19). Someone ought to tell Mr. Stratton that women generally don't go through menopause at that young of an age. Someone who feels the need to write an intro as nasty, negative, and generally as misinformed as Mr. Stratton did must be seething with jealousy. The image of a fat, middle-aged dude, sitting at his PC in the middle of the night, scratching his hairy beer gut came to mind when I tried to conjure up this alleged "writer." What's the matter, Mr. Stratton -- were all the teenage girls ignoring you and your nerdy, pimply faced friends back in the '70s while they all drooled over Leif and Shaun? Or probably more likely, you had visions of being a star in a rock band yourself; but no, you're sitting in your cave, watching life pass you by, hurling insults at guys who are making their dreams come true.
Strouse is a louse... and an insensitive one at that: Is New Times so devoid of compassion and taste that it chose to run what can only be described as a blatant ploy to offend people for the sake of readership? While other companies were more concerned with honoring the memory of those who died than running advertisements, New Times stayed true to form and saw it as an opportunity to stir up controversy. What a sad state of affairs when the only thing you can do to get people to pick up the paper is to offend.
I fail to see the humor in your September 11 "satire" ("The Terrorists' Real Plan," September 12). I don't know that referring to a young woman's sadness at losing her fiancé could be considered "September 11-inspired drivel." This may have invoked a slight chuckle in March, but to run something that offensive on the day when millions of people are mourning a loss shows a real lack of humanity. Thousands of people lost their loved ones, their homes, their jobs, and their sense of freedom one year ago. What did you lose, Mr. Strouse? The wound is still too fresh for you to be pouring the proverbial salt into it. There was an election coming up. Why not satirize that?
Congratulations also on taking what I'm sure was supposed to be a heartfelt display of sympathy to those of us who suffered a loss on September 11 and draining it of all meaning. The placement of that ad was quite a faux pas. I suppose we should read between the lines and know that while New Times is recognizing the families who suffered a loss, it really doesn't care to hear any more about it.
I hesitate to write this letter because I know it only plays into your plan to attract attention. What's that old saying: "There's no bad publicity"? I have to say, however, that you've gone too far this time. No wonder your "wife" thinks you're an "incompetant jackass." I'm sure she's not alone.
via the Internet
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