Ward Way Off
It is amusing to see people using the First Amendment to defend kooks like Ward Churchill. The argument that all speech must be protected, whether we agree with it or not, seems to apply only to left-wing activists. Conservative talk show hosts Laura Schlesinger and Michael Savage had their respective television shows cancelled after making comments that offended gay activists. Conservative feminist Phyllis Schlafly is met with protests at every college she visits because she tells students that American women are not oppressed and speaks out against a gender-neutral society. Left-wing professors like Churchill never stood up to defend any of them.
While we do have a right to free speech, that does not give us a right to every platform, nor does it mean that we always have something worth hearing. After all, nobody writes articles defending the KKK's right of speech, saying that even if we don't agree with their message we can still learn from them.
We recently moved a monument out of Julia Davis Park to thwart Fred Phelps' attempts at speech. Perhaps we should apply the free speech argument fairly to both sides and move the Ten Commandments back to the park and invite Fred Phelps to give us a lecture on homosexuality. If it is so good for us to hear that workers killed during 9/11 were "little Eichman's" then it must be equally as good to hear about Matthew Shepard going to Hell.
Hooray for Hybrids
Sara Beitia's excellent article (BW, "Hybrid Technology", Feb. 16, 2005) paints a realistic picture of the pros and cons of the current state of hybrid technology. Endorsement by federal and state governments is a step in the right direction, but here's another idea: adoption of Green Market principles (see the Rocky Mountain Institute's online book available at www.oilendgame.org). These principles among others include a system of fees and rebates to purchasers of more efficient hybrid vehicles paid for by purchasers of less efficient vehicles; paying less for insurance based on gas purchases; a federal/state program to retire older model vehicles; and a shift of $1.5 billion in oil company subsidies to the private sector for programs to save petroleum.
He supported the war in Vietnam, believes his gay daughter should have civil rights, yet was a draft dodger and doesn't believe in gay marriage. A cowardly flip flopping Democrat? No, it was Dick (The Flick) Cheney, war lover.
He supported the war in Vietnam and he attacked his political opponents as weak hypocrites that change with the wind and have no moral fiber, yet he is an obsessive gambler that claims his vice is hurting no one but himself. That's the same argument pot smokers and prostitutes use. Nope! Meet Bill (Hard Eight) Bennett, Reagan-era hypocrite who was a founder of "family values" politics and neatly avoided the draft while calling Clinton a draft dodger.
They said we are a corrupt, sinful society and that New York got what it deserved on September 11, 2001. You may think they're some spineless, liberal, terrorist-loving apologists that hate America? Meet Pat (The Thumb Screw) Robertson and Jerry (The Inquisitor) Falwell, real "family value" guys.
He's had three wives, a drug addiction who supported the war in Vietnam. A sex-addicted, liberal hedonist? Nope; it's Rush (The Hush) Limbaugh, who neatly dodged the draft while calling Clinton a draft dodger, and claims exclusive control of "family values."
He's had three wives and smoked pot in the sixties. A latte-sipping, Subaru-driving, veggie-eating commie coward? Nope, it's Newt(The Hoot) Gingrich, who ran for Congress as a "family values" conservative and supported the war in Vietnam while avoiding the draft and calling Clinton a draft dodger.
He tried to throw a president out of office for lying about sex, yet he defended his own adultery as nothing more than a "youthful indiscretion" at age 40! Another liberal apologist for sex, drugs, and rock and roll? Nope. It's conservative Illinois congressman Henry (The Big Ride) Hyde who ran for congress several times as a "family values" conservative, supported the war in Vietnam while calling Clinton a draft dodger while, you guessed it, he dodged the draft.
He attacked Mr. Clinton as an immoral adulterous lefty, yet had extramarital affairs himself. A weak baby-killing liberal? No, it was Dan (The Psycho Man) Burton, right-wing reactionary from Indiana that loves "family values" and war yet never served. (You guessed it; he is a Clintonesque draft dodger.)
I could go on but my fingers are tired! As Bill Cope says, they neither deserve the respect they demand, nor have they ever shown it to their political opponents.
-Chris Morris, Caldwell