Speaking Up

To the Editor,

You went right off the chart with Dave Devine's "Look Out America" (September 5). Mr. Devine states that a "middle-class, well-educated Jordanian said last fall of our unflinching support for Israel, "I think maybe 95 percent of Arabs are not sorry for what happened in the United States. There are 1.5 billion Muslims and 15 million Jews, yet they have us under their feet."

Was this "middle-class, well-educated Jordanian" educated, as many Arab and most Palestinian children are today, to hate all Jews, to deny the existence of a Jewish state and to "martyr" themselves to eliminate it?

Why are there only 15 million Jews? Is it perhaps because 6 million of them, and the potential for millions more descendants, were murdered 60 years ago by a regime that taught its citizens to hate them and deny their right to exist?

"Yet they have us under their feet." A tiny democratic nation, the size of New Jersey, has control over more than 50 Arab and Muslim states? These same states keep the United Nations General Assembly from making resolutions to specifically condemn any Arab terrorist organizations, while there have been more than 1,000 resolutions condemning Israel. Even the European community will not condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization.

In response to the comment about our unflinching support for Israel, I conclude with this famous quote: "In Germany, they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."

--Dale M. Levinsky

What If...?

To the Editor,

I read with great delight Connie Tuttle's column "Imagine" (September 5) and found myself indeed imagining the results of her utopian ideas. Anyone who has been on the planet for more than a week already knows the answers to these questions:

What if ... We never took up arms against any nation? The Nazis would control Europe, and instead of millions of people killed in concentration camps, we would have hundreds of millions murdered. Saddam Hussein would control the Middle East, where he could use chemical weapons on many more people than he already has. China/North Korea would control Asia. But what would we care?

What if... We removed all the homeless from the street and put them to work? A significant percentage of the homeless have chosen that lifestyle. The last time we removed people from their chosen lifestyle and made them work when they did not want to, we called it slavery.

What if... We made a massive government effort to educate our children? The last time the government made a massive effort in education, we got the Department of Education. With hundreds of billions of dollars unaccounted for, twice as many teachers for relatively the same number of students, math, science and reading scores have actually declined.

When we remove billions from defense spending, and are no longer able to even defend our own borders, I imagine there wouldn't be many people left to take advantage of all those wonderful government programs.

Imagine the possibilities!

--Jim Metras

Swingers Don't Read Danehy

To the Editor,

Tom Danehy is an incredibly inept columnist whose rants are usually unable to hold my interest for more than a paragraph or two. His "Boring Guy" style tends to trudge the middle road; thus it is never really amusing nor offending. But Tom, you can pat yourself on the back because you have really pissed me off.

So you "feel absolutely no sympathy for Damon and Brenda Van Dam," two parents who had their daughter kidnapped from their home to be raped and murdered by a pedophile neighbor ("The Bell Tolls," September 19)? You justify your pathetic lack of compassion by the fact that they led a "swinger lifestyle" with other consenting adults. Most couples have to cheat and lie to each other, but the "irresponsible and slutty" Van Dams had an open, honest relationship.

You rage about "the impregnable drug den, designed to keep out flesh and blood." Tom, they locked the garage to smoke pot away from the kids! Whether or not you agree with the lifestyle they led, you have dug a new basement in the bottom of the barrel. Let's insult parents of murdered children, won't that be a hoot. Better yet, get paid for it. You really make me sick.

Danielle Van Dam was murdered by a severely twisted and evil man. Not by pot-smoking swingers It would have happened to any child unfortunate enough to live next door to him. My sympathy goes out to the Van Dam family, but fortunately, like most people who pick up the The Weekly, they won't even read your column.

--Jesse Stanley

Sex, Drugs and Danehy

To the Editor,

Having suffered dozens of articles showcasing Tom Danehy's typical brand of ignorance, I'm no stranger to intellectual masochism. I'm a believer in facing the ugly and disgusting things in the world and not simply burying my head in the sand. Needless to say, Tom Danehy belongs to that ugly and disgusting category. Certainly, it's not a controversial conclusion after considering his latest opus of intolerance and cultural chauvinism ("The Bell Tolls," September 19). After all, the man is proud of not having any sympathy for parents whose child was recently raped and killed since they don't share the same values as he.

Perhaps Tom Danehy doesn't lock his bedroom door when he has sex with his wife (making it an impenetrable fortress from his own flesh and blood) but some of us do. Admittedly, this is an irrelevant idea. Tom Danehy doesn't do dirty things like sex, and never has. His children were a product of divine conception. Oh, but that's completely different from locking a door so that your children don't inhale that evil dope smoke. Yes, marijuana, infinitely more evil than any religious or political institution. More evil than cultural dogmas or intolerance, weed is even more evil than bombing thousands of Arab civilians.

Why is it so evil? Perhaps because it kills as many brain cells as eating lettuce, and a bit less than taking aspirin. Perhaps because, when smoked, it scars your lungs and makes you prone to infections. Perhaps because it's a "gateway drug" to stronger psychedelics, perhaps because it's not as successful at creating "gateways" to heroin and cocaine as alcohol is. Perhaps because it may enhance sexual feeling. Ah-ha! That's it! That must seem entirely disgusting to Danehys everywhere. Sex? Only to be enjoyed during the attempt at conceiving your first child with your husband or wife. Future conception attempts must not produce pleasure, lest ye be setting a bad example for your child.

Apparently we're all supposed to teach our children that life is miserable and the world unforgiving, like Tom Danehy. Teaching our children that those who don't conform to our WASPish values are sinners and inferior to us--that is apparently good parenting. The idea that a swinging couple that occasionally smokes marijuana may still be able to love and care for their children does not compute in Tom's limited reality construct--and I'm not foolish enough to believe it ever will. He actually jokes about them being happy about their child's rape and murder--that they can get back to their sinful ways without the burden of a child. He actually jokes about this, and just because they don't live life with a Tom Danehy stamp of approval. And he teaches his children that such joking is positive and enlightened--and he thinks himself a better parent for it.

Monogamy, and perhaps serial polygamy (the marriage-divorce-marriage-divorce pattern that most Americans are very familiar with) are the only acceptable options for a couple with children. (It's disgusting enough to stray from these sex rules when you don't have children.) And why? Maybe because some sex-rules-obsessed volcano god says so. Maybe because some church somewhere says so, maybe simply because Tom Danehy says so. In Tom's world, cultures throughout history that didn't conform to this ideal were sinful and dirty and, first and foremost, wrong. In his world, missionaries did these people some divine favor in teaching them about the deviance of sex. Regardless of the epidemic rise of fatherless children in these cultures, and (as is attached with any sexophobic worldview) of misogyny--in Tom's world, it's all for the better. The means justify the ends. And he thinks himself a better parent for it.

--Robert Guard

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