Letters from our readers

22 December 2004

On “The Bernard Kerik saga: the war on terror and the rise of the political underworld”

Good article; thanks. What really kills me is this: I’m just a housewife sitting here in Oklahoma and when Bush announced Kerik would be his nominee, immediately I knew that was the nuttiest thing yet. I didn’t know any of the things that have since been revealed, but I knew Kerik didn’t have the experience to manage 22 departments. It is absolutely impossible that Bush and all the rest didn’t know this stuff. I think it’s time everyone stopped saying Bush is dumb or doesn’t understand or doesn’t care. It’s much worse. He is a traitor who is deliberately working against the American people. We had better wake up. The good thing that may come of this: Giuliani may be toast. Let’s hope. I disagree with one thing you wrote—the affairs and morality issues do matter because that’s what Bush wants to be known for, yet he invites scum to the White House and nominates lowlifes like Kerik. Don’t forget the Rock at the GOP 2000 convention, Gov. “Ahnold.” These are people the Falwells of the world condemn in their sermons, yet they overlook it if Bush welcomes them. It’s time we called him on this. PH

17 December 2004
Oklahoma

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You say Bernie Kerik is unqualified to be Bush’s secretary of Homeland Security, but I think you underestimate him. After all, you go on to show that he’s an utterly corrupt, amoral fascist. So I ask you: what more qualifications could he possibly need?

DB
17 December 2004

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Your piece says more to me about the Bernard Kerik episode than anything else I have read on the subject. Your quotes from Marx are totally relevant, as are your comments on why Kerik is Bush’s kind of guy. Four more years of the Bush gang are as absurd as they are unlikely. I don’t think he can last that long. Thank you for your trenchant commentary.

CJ
17 December
Falmouth, Massachusetts

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Dear Bill,

Great article. If I may offer a little addition to your superb article: Giuliani’s career was in the dumpster because this and other antics were too much even for jaded New Yorkers. His only contribution to the nation’s tragedy was to appear every day, on schedule, and deliver a few thousand patriotic words crafted by a platoon of hack speechwriters. A 10-year-old kid could read them. The police, firemen and ironworkers sure must have enjoyed this political windbag who never got his hands dirty in his life, calling them heroes. I am sure that they resented this self-serving interruption in their vital work. This is how Republican “heroes” are manufactured. Kerik ran the corrections department prison at Rikers Island like a concentration camp. The inmates were forced to perform tasks solely for the benefit of the Rethuglican Party. This, of course, is how the Nazis got their start. The only thing missing was the motto above the gates, “Arbeit macht frei.” Thanks again, and please keep up the good work. God bless the truth tellers. You guys are pure gold.

CK
17 December 2004
Titusville, Florida

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On “An New York City parable: Pale Male, the red-tailed hawk”

I really enjoyed your article. One of the best of the hundreds I’ve been reading.

MW
18 December 2004

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Thanks for your excellent article describing the drama surrounding Pale Male in New York. I am reminded of a comment made by a radio announcer on a listener-supported station a few days ago who mused that if the president of the United States announced that pet dogs would be drafted and flown to Iraq for a special assignment of indefinite duration, there would be an immediate uproar from pet owners all over America who would refuse to let their pets go. But if a draft were to be instituted tomorrow, parents would resign themselves to the “patriotic duty” that is the price of living in a so-called free country and do nothing. Articles like yours help to put things in their proper perspective. Nothing compares to the arrogance of the rich.

GC
18 December 2004
Oakland, California

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Thanks for writing what needed to be written. I was having the same thoughts recently after viewing several stories in the news about the forced homelessness of a couple of red-tailed hawks. I am as concerned about the welfare of nature as any other environmentally concerned citizen but am concerned that there is a complete lack of priorities going on here. Luckily, I live in a rural area where I see nature up close and have had the opportunity on a daily basis to watch red-tailed hawks circling in the sky unhindered by anything except for the occasional cranky crow. I suppose I can understand how caught up people of such a huge city such as New York can become having such limited occasions to watch these birds in action. Still, I wondered, where is all the compassion for the underfed, the homeless and those in need? It is easy to solve the problem of a couple of “homeless” birds. Birds, I might add, that would have moved on to some other suitable nesting spot had this issue not been resolved. The real fear for the bird-watchers was not having the birds to watch any longer.

How many news items do we expect to see in the corporate press this winter concerning the plight of homeless people? I don’t expect many—if any at all. Doesn’t it just make us all warm inside to see how the plight of the birds was resolved. It’s just so Christmas! Don’t lower you eyes to the pavement. There, you’ll see something distasteful and unsolvable in a capitalist system.

DB
18 December 2004
Greenburg, Pennsylvania

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Thank you for this beautiful article. I have been amazed about this for days as people call it a wake-up call to the mayor, I have been wondering how many of the near 38,000 homeless people were passed by on the way to the pale male rallies.

DB
16 December

On “Anticommunism run amok: the life of Senator Pat McCarran”

Thanks for this book review—I printed out to read. I am researching the 1950s for a book on the witch-hunts. An earlier biography of McCarran was just hero-worship fluff. Thanks again for your work

AT
20 December 2004
Philadelphia

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