To the Editor:
I could not believe all the people bellyaching and whining about your article on "Scary White Guys" (SWGs) in the July 12 issue. Speaking as a white male -- albeit not SWG -- give me a freakin' break!
First, let's make sure we exclude all normal white males from the get-go. They are often as exploited in this capitalist-commercial society as blacks, Native Americans or anyone else. (Please read Stiffed by Susan Faludi, William Morrow, 1999.) It's even worse in their case, because they've been brainjacked and propagandized by the media to believe those of color are their enemies against whom they must fight for resources. Instead of making common cause with their brother and fighting the real enemy -- the system which elevates the SWG to supreme positions.
Fortunately for me, I escaped most of the detritus as a normal white guy, since I lived in a black- governed nation in the West Indies for 20 years. What I saw impressed me with the fact that when blacks are given the reins of power they don't abuse them. I saw, on the whole, a far more civil and communitarian society and culture than the rabid and cancerous "individualist" monstrosity I behold in the U.S.
Make no mistake; the SWG is a nemesis and a cancer on the globe. He started out by committing genocide against the native peoples of this country, just as earlier Columbus decimated the Arawaks to the tune of 15 million eventually dead. (See, by the way James Loewen's book Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, Free Press, 1995, on the scale of Columbus' depredations which are not taught.)
Later a SWG named Adolph Hitler gassed 6 million Jews and slaughtered many others he regarded as "defectives" as well. Another SWG named Stalin killed over 25 million and outdid him. No blacks or Native Americans, from the beginning of history ever committed such a scale of atrocity.
Beyond the atrocity issue, SWGs have turned this particular culture and nation into a dog-eat-dog Darwinian jungle with every person out for himself. They've done this through the captivating screed of a besotted individualism, where no one is accountable to anyone else. And then they scratch their butts and wonder why kids have no "morals."
They're doing it now again by pitting Gen-Xers against their elders over this Social Security issue. They seem to foment hatred, discord and implement inequality wherever they are. No wonder, as Loewen notes, as far back as the 17th to 18th centuries, poor whites joined their black brothers (mainly runaway slaves) and escaped the burgeoning white colonial society whenever they could. They joined groups like the Seminoles in Florida, where they could partake of far greater communality and equality, rather than being regarded as exploitable commercial fodder and indentured servants.
So, let these guys stop whining. It wasn't you the article was against anyway, so don't irrationally extrapolate and generalize. It was about really poisonous and toxic creeps, like Bush and Cheney, who are well on their way to steering this country and the world toward final oblivion -- unless they are stopped by enough NSWGs (non-scary white guys) in common cause with people of color.
-- Phil Stahl
Much ado about SWGs
To the Editor:
Golly, for a minute there I took you seriously and thought that such a thing as "Scary White Guys" might actually exist ("The 13 Scariest White Guys in America," July 12).
Now, clearly, there have, in the past, been such a "rare breed" -- Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, King George III, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great -- history is replete with examples of "Scary White Guys." Come to think of it, history is also replete with examples of "Scary Other-Than-White Guys" -- Pol Pot, Mao Tse-Tung, Adi Amin ("dinner, anyone?"), Augusto Pinochet (well, he's sort of white), Saddam Hussein (who is definitely not white); the list goes on and on.
I, for one, however, cannot possibly take serious your assertion that the likes of George Dubya, John Ashcroft, Colin Powell ("the least scariest of all" -- and he's not even a white), Roger Clemens (a baseball pitcher?), or any of the current crop of Republicans in power are even remotely comparable in scariness to the aforementioned butchers of history. Perhaps you are just sore-loser Democrats trying to paint any conservative with a broad brush as somehow being a malevolent creature from the Abyss. Of course, I'm sure a sizable percentage of your readership takes your articles quite literally ... say, for instance, those darlings who sleep on the grass in Acacia Park, worn out after a long day of scholarly pursuits ... .
-- Daryl Hykel
Thanks for the lift
To the Editor:
How lovely to see a well-written, positive article on Quaker parrots living in the world ("Hillside parrots becoming stars of bird world," July 19). As someone who shares her life with a Quaker, I know of the charm, reliance and frustration they offer to people who come in contact with them.
The affection this neighborhood feels for its special residents is as rewarding to read about, as it is for these humans to experience the joy of being close to wild creatures living their lives in a different element.
Kudos to Bob Campbell and the humans of East Costilla.
Thanks for a great, uplifting story.
-- Ellen Feinstein Krueger
Needed: conservation reminder labels
To the Editor:
Is a conservation reminder label on consumer products too much to ask from our government and manufacturers?
A huge number of consumer conservation actions that could save massive amounts of resources are being overlooked or forgotten. Mandatory product labeling that promotes responsible environmental operation and disposal is sorely and urgently needed on almost every consumer and business product we buy. Many of these conservation actions would take very little effort by the consumer and be cheap for the manufacturer to deploy.
Even if the federal government is too chicken to do so, such labels could be mandated by law at our city level. (This generalized environmental label would not be a trade barrier because it would be information that would apply generally to all versions of such a product, regardless of manufacturers.)
Here is an example where a simple conservation label would save millions of kilowatt hours of energy in the United States: Cleaning dusty refrigerator coils and creating an unobstructed free flow of air around these refrigerator coils can decrease its energy consumption by a third. These and other simple tips could be on an information label along the inside of the door joint or in the food storage area.
Simple conservation actions are often overlooked or not known by the consumer. Even when this info is in the operating manuals, many owners and operators of appliances and other consumer products don't read it. However, proper labeling would be available to inform multiple users of products.
Every consumer product from automobiles to zippaflichies -- for Christ's sake -- should have these conservation information labels to help the concerned consumer protect our planet home.
-- Stele Ely
What's wrong with this picture?
To the Editor:
A short article appeared in the July 25 Denver Post in which rocker Alanis Morissette blasted the music industry's emphasis on sales above all else. In a public speech, Morissette claimed, "Many of the most widely respected artists of the last 30 years would be dropped from their record labels in today's current climate."
The state of the music industry seems to be a reflection of the state of most industry in the United States. Emphasis on sales above all else is, in reality, emphasis on profit above all else. Just look at major industries such as auto, oil, and financial companies such as banks and insurance companies just to name a few. They "need" to make hundreds of millions in profit each quarter, just to keep their stock prices up. In times of an economic slowdown, it becomes all too evident the lengths top management will go to in order to do this: Thousands of people lose their jobs, services are cut back, salaries are lowered, benefits cut and so on.
As a reward for all of this, if indeed stock prices do remain high, the same top management and CEOs who triggered all of this, get bonuses in the millions ... bonuses above their high salaries, that is. If you question this, get on the Internet and do a search of CEO's salaries; it's public information. The motto of this small group would seem to be; "Why give everyone plenty, when some of us could have so very much more." To borrow an old phrase, what's wrong with this picture?
-- Stuart Atkinson