Thursday, January 10, 2002
PCMC takes direction from its own 11 local member organizations-after discussion and some semblance of consensus, an inefficient way to operate but very democratic, and not subject to control from groups with hidden agendas as implied by the letter-writer.
The United States has chosen the strategy of war, but is it effective against terrorism? Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network remain. War has led to death from starvation, exposure, and bombs, for thousands of Afghan children, women, and other innocents, increasing the outrage against us already felt in the Muslim world.
Wanting to be secure from terrorism, we should follow all sensible measures-right down to inspecting shoes at airports. And we should continue to vigorously investigate and try those who appear to have participated in the September 11 attack or who plot further attacks. Since the terrorists and their plans came from more than one nation, we must continue to strengthen our bonds with other countries and gain their cooperation. We should draw back from war, from military tribunals that do not offer due process and safeguards of our traditional U.S. court system, and from limiting our own freedoms and civil liberties.
Another strategy, instead of war, still available to us, is negotiation and diplomacy, following international laws and treaty protocols such as the Montreal Sabotage Convention that criminalizes the destruction of civilian aircraft while in service or the Terrorist Bombing Convention.
Frances Payne Adler and I have written an article for the Peace Coalition listing 12 strategies instead of war for the terrorist crisis. You may obtain a copy by writing to P.C.M.C., P.O. Box 1851, Monterey, CA 93942.
--JOYCE VANDEVERE, MONTEREY
Burleson Sounds Like A Childish Bully
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." This is the response used by children to brutish bullies taunting them. Brian Burleson''s letter last week may even verge on slander. What could be a better way than peacefully solving problems? I don''t feel that bombing and planting land mines will ever solve problems, and in fact will cause serious situations. I have just read that a group of Catholic leaders (not bishops) issued a statement on 12/19 declaring Washington''s war on terrorism morally unjustifiable and called for new teaching to replace teachings that justify war. Maybe Burleson could make a study on the local churches response to this criminal act that is being called a war.
--DARBY MOSS WORTH, WILPF MEMBER, CARMEL
No Ragers at First Night
[Aaron] Birk''s article on partying for New Year''s Eve, he stated that "there is plenty of action happening in Monterey besides the fireworks and raging mob that are part of First Night." If ever there was a gross mis-description of First Night, this was it. For years, this event has brought together singles, marrieds and families of all ages. They have strolled peacefully down Alvarado, Calle Principal and the downtown streets without incident. Raging mob? Where does Mr. Birk come from? I think he owes an apology to the readership of the Weekly, in fact, to the whole community for his intemperate remarks.
--ERLING LAGERHOLM, CARMEL
Putting the Christ Back in New Year''s
I wish to protest the Christian pop band at the Labyrinth at First Night 2002. It was tasteless and offensive to be subjected to religious indoctrination at an event that was supposed to be secular and all-inclusive. It essentially ruined the whole experience for me-an experience that was supposed to instill a sense of hope after the tragic events of 2001.
Indeed, there are many of us who do not find "hope" in the Christian message, which has been used as a rationale for more wars, persecutions, witch burnings and genocides that one could enumerate in a thousand letters. It is fair to say that more people have been tortured and murdered in the name of Jesus of Nazareth than in the names of every tyrant, conqueror and dictator in human history combined.
Finally, it is lamentable that the incidents of 9/11/2001 seem to have brought out the very worst in people: patriotism, nationalism and god-ism of the very worst sort are now the norm, even for many people who previously considered themselves progressive and enlightened. If I have any hope for the year 2002 it is that such people recover their senses of reality and proportion, and that those who have never had such senses develop them before 2002 turns into 1984.
--PETER HUGHES, MONTEREY
Sons of Castroville
I thoroughly enjoyed your article on the local band, InBalance. The Weekly continues to do great work in identifying and promoting local talent.
However, I must point out a glaring error in the article. These four talented young men are graduates of North Monterey County High School, not Monterey High. I know all four musicians and am proud to say that I believe their alma mater provided much support and training for their musical careers. NMCHS has an outstanding Performing Arts Department!
Congratulations to InBalance and continued success to our four terrific graduates.
--STEVE HIRT, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL, NORTH MONTEREY COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL, CASTROVILLE
Blow Up Your TV
Two threats to American democracy. Bin Laden and the Taliban, have been an obvious threat to American democracy in recent months. Military campaigns have basically eliminated that threat. There is an additional threat to democracy that Americans would do well to be more aware of. We now have national news media that are dedicated to magnifying fear and amplifying the Bush administration PR line. News media have traditionally emphasized the negative. This has been taken to a new level in the aftermath of September 11. As an experiment, significantly reduce (or eliminate) the time that you spend watching televised news and reading mainstream newspapers and newsmagazines. Notice whether this has any effect on your mood and your ability to think for yourself.
--JERRY FALLENBERG, MARINA
Speak Your Mind
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