Andisheh Nouraee: I enjoy hearing the point of view of an open-minded, educated Muslim woman (News & Views, Don't Panic). The media makes us think all Muslims hate America. If I was a Muslim, I would hate America, not because of our democratic society, but because of a lack of it. Our government tells the world we are for our people, when in reality we are for the party.
For the first time in my life, I was petrified of my government from the last election. I feared if the president lost, he would refuse to leave office. They would have justified it by saying we are at war.
I do not trust my government anymore. Any and all wars are for money (oil), not to help the people. If they are helped that is a by-product. I am hoping one day to see someone run for office that states and signs a legal document that they will work for the people first and foremost, will not take any money or gifts from any group (lobbyists, corporations, speaking engagements, etc.) or that person will forfeit all their personal assets, along with a resignation from office. If one person runs on this platform, maybe it will catch on.
- S. Wall, Sarasota, Fla.
Editor's note: Though he appreciates being called open-minded, Andisheh Nouraee is neither Muslim nor female. He is, however, one of the few men we know who can both wrap a turban and neatly apply eyeliner.
I have been reading Don't Panic (News & Views) for over a year now and wanted to say thanks for keeping us abreast of what is really going on with this war. I appreciate your willingness to say what others will not. You provide "real" information with balance and a healthy cynicism.
I also appreciate your humor embedded in seemingly innocuous comments. Those of us who think that this war in not only unjust, but insane, thank you.
My cousin was killed in Iraq in April. He was 25 years old and engaged to be married. It was his second tour and he was soon to return. I have fought against this war from the very beginning, but when it hits home, it takes your angst to another level. It is really difficult living as part of an evil empire.
- Maisha I. Handy, Atlanta
I think you have taken that quote from Luke 19:27 out of context (Humbug Square, "What, no Jesus?" June 9). The passage you quote is part of a parable that involves a nobleman who goes to another country to receive the power to rule. His people rebel against his authority in his absence. When the ruler returns, the ruler gives the command that you quote.
So while Jesus does actually say the words you quote, he is repeating the words of this fictional ruler. Jesus is not encouraging his followers to round up the unbelievers and kill them. If that were the case, we would have right-wing zealots using that quote all the time to justify all sorts of horrendous acts (such as the abuses against prisoners at Gitmo and in Iraq).
- David Morgan, Bridgeville, Pa.
Loathe the column
I felt obligated to comment on David Stahl's work.
When I read essays with neo-con mind-sets, I am struck with one reoccurring question: Are the writers bright people who know that many of their arguments are nonsense but they write these things to convince the ignorant masses, or do they actually believe it?
Mr. Stahl writes in "Intolerant about intolerance" (Creative Loathing, June 9), "Burning the American flag is OK, but flushing the Quran isn't. Go figure." It is offered as demonstration that liberals are confused about tolerance. If, however, you take a moment to think about the sentence, you see that there is really no contradiction at all. Burning the flag is acceptable because as liberals we respect and tolerate a diversity of opinion. We liberals think flushing the Quran is bad behavior because we respect a diversity of people and are tolerant of other people's religious rights. If we are intolerant at all, it is of torture. I don't see any inconsistency. I would say that liberals fall on the right side of each of those issues.
I don't know Mr. Stahl at all, but I assume he falls into one of the above categories.
As such, I don't see the point of the Creative Loathing column. I hear more than enough of this stuff in the mainstream media. Please, leave us our respite.
- Dr. Robert Soloway, Decatur
Regarding David Stahl's juvenile diatribe about "shaken" liberals grasping at straws (Creative Loathing, "Wishful thinking," June 2): He assumes liberals are making a big noise about the obvious comparisons between Revenge of the Sith and revenge of the Republicans because we need to grasp straws somewhere to make our case.
In fact, like the absolutist black/white mentality conservatives espouse, we just call it like we see it. They are just annoyed because the shoe fits.
Yes, George Lucas wrote the original outline during the Nixon/Vietnam era. But he also stated in his latest interview how saddened he was to see history repeating itself so as his fable of a "Republic" turning into an "Empire" is even more relevant now.
Stahl's point that we are "reeling from the impact" of being "really and truly crushed" in the last election is typical ditto speak.
A vote of 48 percent vs. 51 percent does not a crush make (read: mandate). And what we are reeling from is the impact of watching 51 percent of our republic vote away our liberty ... "to thunderous applause."
- Paul Sanchez, Lawrenceville
Looking to the future
Thanks for your profile of the Atlanta Time Machine website and perspectives on the past and future of our fair city ("The Atlanta Time Machine," May 26). Many people, myself included, share the despair that Doug Monroe expressed over the landmarks and atmosphere that have been lost, as well as the many historic buildings that are currently threatened by redevelopment. Historic preservation is a noble goal, especially in a place with such a complex history and short memory as Atlanta.
I want to urge mouthpieces like CL to balance their advocacy on this issue, however. James Kunstler, in his book The City in Mind, which includes an engaging study on Atlanta, offers a fresh perspective on redevelopment that I think Atlantans would do well to heed. He argues that, although we can't be blamed for having been traumatized by so much of the 20th-century's urban development, interstates, and ugly buildings and all, we must not lose confidence in our ability to create new, beautiful and engaging environments.
This means that we can't be satisfied with lamenting the loss of the golden days. We have to encourage and advocate more appropriate zoning and design standards, and encourage and applaud new investment, especially downtown. While Atlantans should preserve their history, a city with so many development and infrastructure challenges (like a desperate need for commuter transit options) must pick its battles and take an active role in writing a new history for the city we love.
- Angela Scobey, Atlanta
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