Friday, February 24, 2006

A team Spotty . . .

Lotsa good letters today (Friday) in the Strib. A team Spotty is awarded for these three letters, the first one is the “letter of the day.”
In the middle of World War II, his country locked in a real war with a real "evil empire," British Prime Minister Winston Churchill wrote in a telegram:

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgement of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government."

George W. Bush was not yet born when Churchill wrote those words, but for once he seems to have taken a lesson from history. From the wrong side. His "war on terrorism," which will probably see victory about the same time as we win the wars on drugs and crime, promises to construct the foundation of a new totalitarian government.


Here’s a letter picking up on something missed in Spot’s commenting on Katie’s last column.
Thanks to Star Tribune's Katherine Kersten for a rare moment of honesty about the way Republicans think. In response to DFL criticisms of the TV ads run by Minnesota Families United, Kersten says in her Feb. 23 column: "The DFL isn't bothering to present its version of the facts in an ad of its own."

There are facts: like scientific facts and the facts on the ground in Iraq -- where we are on the verge of civil war. And then there is the Republican "version" of the facts. In total honesty Kersten can ask: Why can't DFLers just make up their own version of the facts, too?


And finally, one that addresses the fruits of five-years of fear-mongering.
Is the xenophobic response to the ports plan racist? Clearly. But what can our government expect? Politicians on both sides have spent five years creating this racism in order to scare the American people into voting not with their brains, but with their fear. Specific language has been systematically used by our president, his adviser and some in the opposition party to erode the lines of delineation between a few really bad apples and all Arabs.

We see results of this effort in letters decrying media bias in favor of Muslims, or blurring "opposition" and "treason." Local Muslims tell us that this effect has, in fact, come home to roost. As television ads remind us, it's easy to use language that may not be completely honest in a persuasive way to accomplish your goals. Just don't blame anyone else when it comes back to bite you.



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