Letters to the Editor - Half-truth November 13 2003

I am the state coordinator for the Kucinich campaign. I grabbed the latest copy of Creative Loafing at my college, Georgia Tech, and was thrilled to see an article on labor and the Democratic Party (“Trading truth for lies,” Nov. 6), but was disappointed after finishing it.

I agree with you on several points. It is time for labor to wake up and pay attention to which Democrat or which candidate is best for them. And I am surprised that many are choosing Gephardt over Kucinich, who I think is the true “labor candidate.”

Kucinich — who on his first day in the Oval Office proposes to repeal both NAFTA and the WTO — has one of the highest voting records of any candidate running, according to the AFL-CIO. You can view his exact stances at www.kucinich.us.

The part of the article that I have the biggest problem with, however, is a small comment about U.S. Sen. John Edwards. To quote your article: “The message should be jobs, jobs, jobs, says Krause, a self-described Republican. ‘Why don’t we stick to what we’re doing best, which is we have great universities, great formation of human capital, a lot of money dedicated to research and development, people really getting trained to do things better, to think, to have ideas, to develop ideas?’

“Only one candidate, thus far, has come up with a plan to make such investments. U.S. Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., promises to pay for the first year of college education for every American teenager at the state school of his or her choice.”

You must have forgotten to research all of the candidates. Kucinich has repeatedly called for canceling Bush’s tax cuts to pay for universal, four-year public college education, and also cutting 15 percent of the Department of Defense’s budget to pay for universal Pre-K.

I hope you correct your misstatements in an article about Dennis Kucinich, because I would expect this sort of biased, inaccurate reporting in the AJC, not Creative Loafing.

-- Tim Atkins, Atlanta

Free is better?br>This is a really good piece (“Trading truth for lies,” Nov. 6). I hope the prospects for environmental and worker-protection provisions in future trade negotiations are not as bleak as Kevin Griffis thinks they are. But he almost certainly knows more about this than I do.

How come I pay to subscribe to Newsweek and the New Republic, but Creative Loafing — which is free — has political analysis on par with New Republic and beats the hell out of Newsweek?

-- Michel Phillips, Smyrna

There is a choice
?Kevin Griffis apparently has not fully researched the candidates (“Trading truth for lies,” Nov. 6). Dennis Kucinich was the first Democrat to oppose NAFTA, FTAA and WTO agreements, and still does. Nowhere were Kucinich and his position on global trade agreements mentioned. To talk about trade agreements, all the candidates and their positions, as well as the economic “experts from afar,” should be represented.

Also stated was John Edwards being the only candidate that would fund for college. ERRONEOUS! Kucinich has always had a plan for education from pre-K through college. It has been part of his platform from day one. Kucinich is a union member. He belongs to the I.A.T.S.E. Union, part of the AFL-CIO Brotherhood. From my research, none of the other candidates are union members. How can a union not endorse one of its own members?

The U.S. needs a president! One who works with its people. We, as a nation, have traded our founding principles for a fistful of dollars. Not being principled enough to stand for freedom and justice for all, we will swallow any harebrained scheme the “experts” want to ramrod as good business. Joseph Stiglitz might want to find a mundane job and attempt to live on the wages and non-benefits we do today — when we have them, that is. He’d be singing a way different tune.

-- B.J. Doucet, Hogansville, ?
?Georgia regional office manager for Kucinich in 2004

Raising the bar?
Thank you for offering such a cogent and compassionate analysis (“Trading truth for lies,” Nov. 6). Great work! I don’t know if it will “sink in” to the intended audience (the Democratic candidates) but it remains, in my view, a fine contribution to raising the level of public debate.

-- Frank Sullivan, Padova, Italy

Heil Kennedy
?Wow, Sugg’s latest column (Fishwrapper, “The boys from Kennebunkport,” Oct. 30) has extrapolated guilt by association to its highest level! But since you liberals fraudulently consider yourselves “fair,” let’s swing that stick toward the left as well. Ever read of Daddy Joseph Kennedy’s support of the IRA? Yes, the same Irish Republican Army with a well-documented association to the Nazi Party, a partnership born of a vain hope to throw off British rule. One might write about The Boys From Hyannisport with equivalent credibility.

Therefore, are we to now assume Ted Kennedy is guilty of fascism via inherited genetics? Of course not. And therein lies the absurdity of the latest witch-hunt against Bush. Anybody who ever did business with Germany in the ’30s will have his descendants politically smeared forever? I hope the desperation of partisan pundits hasn’t really become this pathetically petty.

History is always worth a close study. But the tactic of redefining responsibility to current individuals through the concept of retroactive guilt is abhorrent, intellectually shoddy and endemic to liberal politics. For no one is guilty for the “sins of their fathers.”

-- Bob West, Atlanta

Book ‘em
?I enjoyed Fishwrapper, “The boys from Kennebunkport” (Oct. 30). I am baffled by the complete lack of backbone on the part of many lawmakers and law-enforcers in this country, who have unfortunately opted out of their constitutional duties, which is to uphold and enforce the Constitution/law.

I firmly believe that a group of dedicated lawyers and investigators could indict and prosecute the current resident of the White House and many of his cabinet through the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act of 1971. More evidence and patterns of corruption emerge on a weekly basis. I have personally asked U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich to make this part of his platform, since he ceaselessly calls Bush a liar. And I asked him to put teeth into his accusations, and actually file charges against Bush and his enterprise. It can be done, and it must be done.

-- Peter Phippen, New London, N.H.

Core values
?Imagine a university that has as its sole purpose the education of its students, and its president fires an employee who has nothing to do with this core purpose (The Weekly Scalawag, Nov. 6). Imagine people who didn’t even attend this university organizing a mob to get the president who dared fire this employee because of his importance to the tangential realm of the football team. Imagine Georgia’s reputation around the world when they fire a president because the athletic director — who has an incredibly cushy deal regarding his own discretionary fund for renovations to a free house that comes with all utilities paid — is more important than the academic reputation a former football school has managed to attain under this horrible president.

As a graduate of Vanderbilt, I know we will never compete for the SEC championship, much less a national ranking. However, the value of my degree is not diminished by the failures of our football team — nor do I think it would be enhanced if we were to sweep the SEC and defeat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

Imagine that.

-- Richard Redmon, Greensboro, N.C.

Can’t we get along?
?(In response to Fishwrapper, “Bach off, you NPR scum,” Oct. 23): The atlantapublic radio.com website compares WABE’s schedule with San Francisco’s KQED, Boston’s WBUR, Miami’s WLRN, Seattle’s KUOW and Chicago’s WBEZ. Only WABE runs classical music during the day. Yet this is a disingenuous comparison. Each of these cities is blessed with separate classical music stations: KDFC in San Francisco, WCRB in Boston, WKAT in Miami, KING in Seattle, and WFMT in Chicago. Apart from brief early-morning blocks on Georgia Tech’s WREK and a Sunday spot of Georgia State’s WRAS, the only source for classical music in Atlanta is WABE.

Your implication that WABE and Cox have a shared interest in blocking out NPR talk during the day is unconvincing. There are several talk stations in town. Doesn’t John Sugg himself regularly visit one?

I’m not surprised that a strident editorialist prefers talk. Sugg seems content to simply dismiss the music entirely. As he acknowledges in his article, Atlanta’s FM dial is maxed out. There’s no room for both a classical music station and a NPR-leaning station. As a fan of both music and serious news and information, I appreciate WABE’s difficult attempt to balance both functions. A community- oriented radio station can’t appeal to everyone equally at all times. Perhaps my more talk-obsessed friends could satiate their need by striking up conversations while listening to intellectually stimulating music.

Can’t we all just get along?

-- Brian Bannon, Atlanta