Americans want to know why Bush didn't heed warnings of imminent terrorism -- eloquently illustrated by the fact that on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, the only defense of the nation's 3,618,770 square miles of airspace was provided by eight National Guard fighter jets -- which weren't even in the air.
Every day there are new revelations for those who care to pay attention. Unfortunately, the mainstream media are alternately slumbering or fearful of the administration's ire -- hell, to find solid criticism of Bush's Middle East policy, you have to read the online versions of the Israeli press what you can't find in the New York Times, Washington Post or, for that matter, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Bush has packed his team with Enron alums and other proponents of corporate terrorism. More than a few criminals -- Elliott Abrams, Otto Reich and John Poindexter, for a start -- hold high posts in the government.
And then there's the wholesale meltdown of corporate America. Hundreds of billions of dollars in workers' hard-earned savings and small investors' nest eggs have evaporated while the brigand CEOs walked away with piles of loot. Bush's call for a crackdown on corporate thieves is perceived by most Americans (62 percent, to be exact) for what it is -- bullshit. Show us the pinstripes turning into jailhouse stripes. What execs and their accountants have been forced to trade their Rolexes for handcuffs?
And Bush has lied. He horribly deceived America over what he knew prior to 9-11. Most recently, he has amassed multiple mendacities over his sleazy insider sale of $848,560 in Harken Energy stock -- a dump that preceded by only a few days the tanking of the company's value. Like with Enron's "Kenny Boy" Lay, Bush scooted with the cash while the employees and little-guy investors were robbed. Dick Cheney was sued last week by the conservative Judicial Watch for fraudulent financial practices when he headed Halliburton Inc.
It goes on and on.
Two weeks ago, I called Bush a tyrant and urged his resignation. That was a mistake -- it would make Cheney, already the de facto boss of the dim bulb in the Oval Office, president. So, assuming that Cheney isn't soon forced to join Spiro Agnew in the elite club of deposed and corrupt vice presidents, my call should have been for a total end to the Bush administration.
The return volleys from readers -- hundreds of e-mails and letters -- have been (pardon the hyperbole) unprecedented and probably a record for both me and Creative Loafing. And -- let's acknowledge that those who agree with me will believe this, those who think I'm an agent of the Axis of Evil won't -- about 95 percent of the responses have sided with me.
Here's a sampling.
Wow -- what a powerful commentary! I was just looking for such an editorial piece -- one that would reflect the REAL state of the nation on this Independence Day 2002. Luckily, I have just found it in your "The Declaration of Independence ... from Dubya"!
It is refreshing to be exposed to such honesty in the media these days (I'm still mourning the loss of TV's "Politically Incorrect" with Bill Maher!).
On behalf of those of us who AREN'T hypnotized by the "spinsanity" that usually passes as journalism in the United States of America, let me just say "Right on!," "Amen!" and "Thanks a million!"
-- Tony Hammock, Atlanta
I hope you don't get dragged away in the night by the new thought police for being "unpatriotic." You've done a fabulous job of pinpointing the greatest evils of the current administration, and in doing so committed an incredibly patriotic act by using your still-intact freedoms. Long live freedom of speech and freedom of the press!
-- Julie Booth, Atlanta
I just read your piece "The Declaration of Independence ... from Dubya." You capture my feelings exactly, if more eloquently than I usually manage. My one minor quibble is that I believe we need to stop referring to a "mainstream" media and call it what it is, the corporate media.
I shall pass along your words to the many I know who feel as you do.
-- Jeri Chonle, Seattle, Wash.
Bravo! No one has yet said it better! Your testament to the abuses of George II was certainly worth the read. You have phrased almost perfectly the sentiments expressed by numerous Americans.
The simple fact is, if citizens don't act soon, any notion of rights we may have will be left as mere residue on the memory; ghosts of our former republic. However, as Americans try to stand and grouse their dissent, they're labeled as heretics by the government.
One of the most beautiful elements of our nation, of this idea of freedom that we've for so long embraced, was the fact that everyone was entitled to protection and equal treatment, even those who sought to destroy that nation. If an individual did not agree, then it was their every right to disagree. Now, to rise against the official sanitized opinion of the federal government is to risk incarceration.
-- Tony Montcalm, Douglasville
Beautiful piece! I think it's incumbent upon whites (and I'm assuming you are) to take these kinds of courageous stands to right this nation's wrongs, or the nation is truly doomed. (Any other racial group uttering these sentiments, they're just whining or bitter or whatever.) You and your ilk -- the courageous few -- are the true patriots, because you want to see this country live up to those lofty ideals in that famous document.
-- Lee Haven, Stone Mountain
I realize that as a writer for Creative Loafing, that you are not required to make even a paltry attempt at being objective, but you go too far with this last piece. We have an electoral college system for presidential elections. Under certain circumstances, it is not necessary for a candidate to win an overall majority. This was designed to prevent large states and cities from canceling out the votes of sparse rural areas. Or, in other words, to keep large concentrations of liberal assholes like yourself in California, New York, and apparently Atlanta, from running away with every election.
If I were a logic or debate instructor, I would red-line the majority of your piece with the annotation "ad hominem" attack.
Since you like ad hominem attacks so much, this is for you: Why don't you move to Texas? So you and Molly Ivins can sit around all day licking each others' poopers and complaining how unfair it is that Al Gore isn't president.
Fuck you and hope you get a tumor in your ass,
-- Bret Bryon, Marietta
Great column on the usurper and evildoer at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
I was Creative Loafing's first news editor and after a career in journalism in Atlanta, I found myself teaching English in South Central Los Angeles.
The difference as I see it, between 1776 and now, is the somnolent silence of the press and citizenry of the present nation. Bush and his corporate/military junta post far more threat to "lives, fortunes and sacred honor" of Americans than did the hapless George III. And yet there's this red herring of the War on Terrorism that silences debate more fully than any British soldier's bayonet and musket.
The press is whipped into shape to support this failed rich kid and the oil-egarchy and their intent on turning the U.S.A. into a dictatorial gorilla at war with the world and its own people. Where are the voices of outrage we once counted on in the press? The Edward R. Murrows, H.L. Menckens, "muckrakers" and Woodward-Bernsteins? Silenced by corporate media interests.
Dissent gives comfort to the enemy. Protest becomes terrorism. That's the mantra.
You, brave lad, read up on your Thomas Paine, Jefferson and Sam Adams (the revolutionary, not the overpriced beer). And be fierce in the face of the brickbats and howls of "traitor" sure to come your way. Play the patriot till the end.
-- Boyd Lewis, Altadena, Calif.
Your cover story "The Declaration of Independence ... From Dubya" is one of the slimiest pieces of garbage I've laid eyes on in a long time.
-- John C. Sullivan, Suwanee
It is time that you and your hate-filled liberal friends accept the fact that it may be decades before your side regains the White House. Get over it!
-- James Lyle, Clearwater, Fla.
At the end of your eloquent essay, you wrote, Mr. Bush, for the good of the nation: Resign. To which I would append, if I were a religious person (which I am not and no Act of the Supreme Congress can make me one), AMEN.
-- Linda Ann Wheeler Hilton, Buckeye, Ariz.
Don't we get the government we deserve when the public, still reeling in shock, doesn't really understand what patriotism is all about as it wraps itself in the flag and in apathy, giving astronomical approval ratings to those responsible for the implementation of a police state, all the while the mainstream media give this administration a pass, no matter what?
-- Joel Petty, Memphis, Tenn.
I don't suppose this column will be getting you a job at The Washington Post. How refreshing to read such a candid portrayal of the boy king and his ongoing destruction of the Constitution, and Planet Earth. Zell Miller won't be happy with Creative Loafing.
-- Terri Takahashi, Denver, Colo.
I feel so assured that "progressive" (aka left-wing liberal) thinkers such as yourself are now protecting the documents that define us as a nation. It seems just like yesterday that another left winger by the name of Al Gore was explaining to the nation that the Constitution is a living document subject to changes in interpretation as the nation matures, or as liberal programs require. Conservatives in the past were the ones who quoted the country's founders. Hell, the very nature of conservatism is the rejection of ideas that stray from the original intent of the Constitution.
It does my heart good to see someone as obviously distant from the ideals of a free America as you are, rabidly defending the freedoms that Americans are naturally born to. I actually get a nice chuckle from the reversal of position. Although, I suspect that it is a temporary position as long as it is necessary to use to disagree with everything President Bush stands behind and represents. It also indicates that George the Tyrant (your name, not mine) is actually doing a pretty good job. The measure of success is the viciousness by which you "progressives" attack. Beautiful!
-- Tim Rusk, Atlanta
How incredibly articulate. I think I love you -- in a manly, tree-hugging kinda way. Is that wrong?
-- Dave Smith, Joliet, Ill.
Outstanding commentary ("Declaration of Independence"). This unelected fool has convinced himself that he was "chosen" for this job by both God and the people. We couldn't have appointed a much worse person than the spoiled little rich kid.
-- Ken Scruggs, San Diego, Calif.
"Wow -- it's so good to read words that I know I WANT to say, but just didn't know HOW to say them.
There are so many people out here who feel this way.
So, thanks, John.
You're a brave and wise soul.
-- Jude Camwell, Syracuse, N.Y.
Let me just say your article about our new dictator is absolutely wonderful and amazingly written! If only people would pull their heads out of their asses (or his) and read things like this, or heaven forbid do their own research, maybe we would not be headed down the nightmarish road that we are. Thank you for having the courage, intelligence and wit to write such a great article, even in the face of being prosecuted as a terrorist in this "new America." And please know there are so many of us out here that do agree and worry with you about the fate of our country and the futures of our children.
-- Greta Wilson, Atlanta
I have read Creative Loafing for years, yet until you started writing for CL, I never felt the urge to say something. You are a shining light. All of the "Patriot Games" articles (especially what you wrote), were so on the money. I wish that everyone in America could read your words. Maybe the truth would set them free.
-- Steven Hill, Stone Mountain
It takes courage to call our corrupt fascist figurehead what he is -- the murdering tool of the fossil-fuel elite -- but I, for one, am glad you did. Your article may begin to blow the dust off the eyes of a populace distracted with media manufactured terrorist threats. A "besieged" mentality sells newspapers and keeps the peoples' eyes off the sweetheart deals being cut in the smoke-filled rooms. Journalism of this nature is patriotism at its best, and asserting the right of the governed to overthrow the evil-minded despots who lie, steal and imprison us for have the intellect to dissent is the first step in taking back this nation.
-- Steve Fortuna, Atlanta
I see you still can't get a job at a real newspaper, huh fucko?
-- Gino Sierra, Tampa, Fla.
Senior Editor John Sugg, a paragon of modesty, says he scores knockouts every week "because my heart is pure and my cause is just." He can be reached at 404-614-1241 or at email@example.com.
Not surprising at all.. Most of America is a sprawling-strip mall dotted-suburbia speckled-freeway.
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