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Letters for the week of Dec. 14…

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Another anti-Coulter reader

Hi Brian.

Look, every now and then I scan thoroughly through YES! Weekly and of late it is becoming apparent that the effort to keep your editorial pages politically ‘balanced’ needs some recalibrating. It wouldn’t take much time or effort. Just cancel Ann Coulter’s franchised column and replace with a genuine ‘conservative’ of the rational, classical bent, one intent on preserving our ideals of justice for all ‘— not to be confused with its distant dysfunctional cousin, ‘neo-conservatism.’ Pre-emptive, perpetual war against people who have not offended us is not a tenet of conservatism.

Writer-lawyer-provocateur-blonde’ Coulter has become glaringly unhinged over the last five years. From her’ emergence’ into the neo-con media arena as a female attack dog seething at Bill Clinton’s scandalous behavior and outright lies,’ she has’ concretized into a frantic, extreme partisan caricature;’ contrary facts ricochet’ off her like 50 cal. bullets.

‘“New idea for abortion party: aid the enemy’” … was that her title or yours? After trying to translate that, I read on down in amazement at her audacious neo-con’ blurring of facts and bald faced lies. A real whopper: ‘“As we now know, Saddam Hussein was working with Al-Qaida and was trying to acquire long-range missiles from North Korea and enriched uranium from Niger.’” Did I miss something in all the recent exposure of the neo-con fabrication’ of those ‘facts’ as pretext to war?

She makes comparison to the Vietnam War and how ‘“the enemy’” observed and took encouragement from our domestic peace movement. So what? Is that’ supposed to add legitimacy to either that or the present’ unjust and misguided invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation?’ The only question to be asked is: ‘“Is this conflict benefiting anyone other’ than’ corporations and opportunistic sectarian factions?’” If not, we need to be out tomorrow.

The last two paragraphs of her column are actually disgraceful and worthy of reprimand from any publication still carrying her product. Ignoring any mention of’ how the recent Congressional vote on whether we should pull troops out of Iraq was manipulated by the GOP, she charges Democrats with ‘“giving aid and comfort to the enemy. There is no plausible explanation for the Democrats’ behavior other than that they long to see US troops shot, humiliated, and driven from the field of battle’… these people are not only traitors, they are gutless traitors.’”

This accusation is a little headstrong coming from someone who probably never did any uniformed service to her country at all, directing it at men who did. This seems so typical of present day ‘hawks.’

With the tide of opinion clearly shifting, it’s time to’ consider hanging this harridan out to dry. Please find voices who can add thoughtful reasoning and care to’ subjects that are of profound significance to our future and the world’s.

Jack Stone

Hardcore band venue

Hi, my name is Jason Stone. I play in a band that you reported on in the ‘“10 best’” in the Nov. 30 issue. I do vocals for Perfection In Simplicity. In the article it says, ‘“Their list of gigs has just a single entry: something at a skatepark in K-Vegas.’” That skatepark, is actually a music venue on certian weekends. Creation Skatepark is actually a really cool, up-and-coming place for local and national hardcore bands to show their stuff. They booked us by finding us on myspace.com just as you did. We’ve actually played there a few times. You should check them out and possibly do an article on the venue. I personally invite you out to the Dec. 16 show. There are five bands on the ticket. You should check it out. Definately check out the skatepark.myspace.com/creationskatepark.

Thanks for the review. For whatever it’s worth.

Jason Stone

Greensboro

Thanks from Channel Red

Hello all,

We at Channel Red want to thank you all for your support for Red Hot Christmas 2005. With all of your efforts, the event was an amazing success.

Mike Baker, development director from Triad Health Project had this to say about the event:

‘“We want you both to know how ‘Wow’d’ we were at Red Hot Christmas, and how much we truly are grateful for your support and encouragement of THP. HIV/AIDS is not an ‘“easy sell’” to the public when asking for financial support. Everyone wants to cure cancer, birth defects, etc. But our need sometimes comes with ‘— shall we say, less than enthusiastic response from some members of our community. Your energy and efforts with RHChristmas proved how we can bring a very diverse community together to celebrate the lives of those we love and transform their ordeals into a little less of a burden ‘— even if it was just for one evening.’”

That statement in itself made that event totally worth while. We all DID make a difference in our community and for that, you should be proud.

Thanks again for all of your support.

Stay tuned…

John Ruth

Greensboro

Servals and sheriffs

Jordan,

To set the record straight [‘“Cat on the run: Banned exotic African cat turns up again in Greensboro’”; Dec. 7; by Jordan Green], servals are allowed in Davidson County under certain permitting conditions. The Health Department has nothing to do with animal control or the animal control ordinance dealing with exotics. This is exclusively a sherriff’s department issue.

The list of prohibited versus regulated animals can be found on the Davidson County web site:’ co.davidson.nc.us. Click on the Animal Shelter link on the main page and the link to the lists and ordinance are at the bottom of the page.

Thanks.

John E Hendren

Lexington

The writer is the environmental health supervisor for Davidson County.

Editor’s note: The story states that servals are illegal in Davidson County, based on the word of Vince Dodge, a program specialist for the Davidson County Health Department. Dodge is quoted as saying: ‘“Cats of that nature are not allowed in Davidson County. We don’t allow them at the county fair. Permitting is required if you’re even going to travel through the county with one. The sheriff needs to know, and I do believe the Health Department needs to know.’”

Dustin’s mom says thanks

Hi Amy

I’m Dustin’s Mom. I’ve just finished reading the article you wrote [‘“Hot, Hot Heat brings it on a cold, cold night’”; Nov. 30, 2005; by Amy Kingsley] about the boys and it’s so nice to have you write more about my son than the rest. Usually it’s all about Steve. I really appreciate the nice words.

Dustin is 29 and has played the guitar since his early teen years. He sat in his room for hours and practiced the same notes over and over. He is self-taught and doesn’t read music’… so I think it’s quite an accomplishment for him. Steve and Dustin have been friends for about 12 years. They have shared various houses from time to time and have played in numerous bands. Paul came into the picture soon after. Then of course they just found Luke ‘— he is such a nice guy. I have met him a couple of times and love his very dry humor. I try and go to their gigs when they are close by. I’ve seen them play in Victoria, Vancouver and Seattle.

Dustin usually is the quiet one, but not always. He doesn’t usually say much during interviews. Paul and Steve like that part and do it well. I guess he saves it all for the stage.

Once again, thanks for the great interview!

Chris Stewart

Vancouver, BC

Kudos from filmmaker

Jordan,

I want to send you many thanks for the article you wrote in this week’s paper [‘“Indie filmmaker sees vast potential in home state, hometown’”; Dec. 7, 2005; by Jordan Green]. I was really so grateful for the many kind things you said about me. I am very flattered that you took an interest to my story and I really loved what you wrote. Thank you, thank you! And, for the record, you might be one of the few journalists ever to accurately quote and fact check! It was such a great read.

Thanks!

Marcy McKenzie

New York City

Parental notification is a bad law

Headline of editorial: ‘“A parent’s rights? Abortion notification for under 18s is before the Court’”; Dec. 7.

No one disputes the idea that parents want to be involved in their teens’ lives. And in fact most teens do involve their parents in decisions like these. But those who don’t have real reasons not to ‘— abuse, history of families violence, fear of disappointment. Parental notification laws actually are harmful to teens.

Any parent knows that teens won’t talk to them just because the government says they should. No law can mandate families to communicate. They just don’t work.

The best way to protect our daughters is to begin talking to them at an early age about abstinence and responsible sexual behavior. We should be focusing on prevention and creating an atmosphere where our sons and daughters feel free to come to us about anything.

Studies have shown that teens will delay medical care if they are faced with parental notification laws. That’s why every medical association recently came out against a parental notification initiative in California. These laws could force vulnerable teens who simply can’t talk to their parents to take matters into their own hands or go out of state.

I guess the bottom line for me is that I would want my kids to come to me, but if that couldn’t happen for whatever reason, I’d want them to be safe and have access to safe medical care. My teen’s safety is more important than my desire to be informed.

Ana Sandoval

Sacramento, Calif.

ed. note: the author of the communications director of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.

Residual guilt from abortion

At the age of 17, I had an abortion. It was 1978 and Roe v. Wade had been legal five years.

When I left the clinic that day words like, ‘“It’s just tissue,’” ‘“It’s like pulling a tooth,’” played over and over in my mind and heart as I left the clinic that day. Shortly after that visit, the power of suggestion would play a major role in my decision.

One summer morning, I walked into the clinic’… and waited what seemed like an eternity’….

Then my name was called.

All of a sudden I heard the sound of a generator, and within seconds I was experiencing some of the excruciating pain of my life, so painful that I passed out, and when I awoke, I was covered in sweat, as if I had taken as shower; and when I looked down blood was everywhere.

For the next three days I bled so heavily, I could not function.

For the first time a kind of shame came over me that I had never known before, and for the first time in my life I wished I had died upon that abortion table.

Tissue? I now know that my child was between 12 and 14 weeks and had a brain, fingers and toes, and could feel pain.

Like pulling a tooth? Physically I have never been the same.

Just because abortion is legal does not mean that there is not a price to pay within your own body, heart and soul.

I have since then forgiven myself and others, but I will forever live with the memory of that abortion. No one will be able to fix that for me.

Abortion is not a quick-fix solution.

It’s a life-long regret, with life-long consequences.

We owe it to the young people of this country and their parents, to give them all the information before they make such an invasive procedure to their body.

Cynthia Carney

Jenks, Okla.

ed. note: the author is affiliated with Operation Outcry, an anti-abortion group.

Marine author tells his side

Headline of Article: ‘“Ex-Marine admits to embellishing claims of atrocities in Iraq’”; Nov. 30,; by Jordan Green.

First I would like to say that the person who wrote this article did not try very hard to contact me. By the content of his article, I can tell he did not want my side. However, I am giving it to you now’….

My name is Jimmy Massey and I am a 12-year veteran of the Marine Corps. I served as staff sergeant of a sniper platoon during the invasion of Iraq. For 20 months since my return, I’ve publicly confessed that my platoon and I killed unarmed civilians. No one from the Marine Corps ever disputed my claim. In December 2004, MSNBC interviewed Pentagon Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Douglas Powell who said, ‘“We’re not saying he’s lying, but his perception of what the situation was in relation to the rules of engagement, and what was justified, is different than ours.’”

But now that my autobiography, Kill, Kill, Kill, has been published in France, is about to be published in Spain and is being considered for publication in the US, a reporter who was embedded in my 1,200 man battalion, Ron Harris, is questioning the veracity of my claims.

On Nov. 5, he published an article entitled, ‘“Is Jimmy Massey telling the truth about Iraq?’” in the St Louis Post Dispatch. Appearing on CNN the next day, he falsely claimed he was at the incidents and called me a liar. I am no liar, and I can prove that Mr. Harris is the one who is lying: Mr. Harris did not see anything because he wasn’t there. I was a platoon sergeant in Weapons Company. Mr. Harris was embedded with Lima Company as all his articles prove. I only met him once in Iraq.

Jeff Schmerker, a reporter for a North Carolina newspaper, the Mountaineer, interviewed Harris last summer. Mr. Harris told him he did not witness the events I was describing. Mr. Harris, according to the Mountaineer is now denying that interview ever took place.

Mr. Harris claimed on CNN no reporter ever interviewed my platoon members. That’s another lie. CNN’s investigator Henry Shuster, Reese Erlich, Danish reporter Kenan Seeberg and co-author Natasha Saulnier ‘— to name only a few ‘— interviewed my platoon members. My editor would not have published the book if he hadn’t recorded testimonies confirming the killing of innocent civilians by my platoon.

Ryan McFarland confirmed the killing of demonstrators. Andrew Howard, who now has nightmares, admitted that, ‘“Civilians get in the way. Yes, there were civilian casualties, women and children as well. Yes, that was at the checkpoint where all the stuff happened.’” Jeffrey Fowler also did: ‘“Jimmy was just as much a part of what we were doing [killing civilians]. We were assuming they were terrorists. There were no explosives but it’s highly probable there could have been weapons. We were all pissed off [at shooting women and children]. Nobody was doing it on purpose.’” And Seeberg, who writes for the Ekstra Bladet, got this memorable quote from Brad Gaumont: ‘“Iraqis had it coming. They’re scumbags anyway.’”

Jimmy Massey

Waynesville

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