Rick's Colors Don't Run
Gee, Paul, I can't understand why a four-panel cartoon about Hiroshima would make you hit the ceiling [Letters, "Gone to Canada," by Paul Allen, August 24], but let me make a few comments, anyway.

The reason pointy-headed intellectuals (and especially liberal/leftist PHIs) agonize about the A-bomb and its use is that the Manhattan Project was run mainly by liberal/leftist pointy-headed intellectuals (go see the flick The Day After Trinity). When you get down to it, the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki wasn't the most horrible use of air power in WW II, since more people died during the firebombing of Tokyo, and the firebombing of Dresden was probably more of an atrocity since that city had no military significance.

Let me say your justifications for Hiroshima were lame. The USS Arizona was avenged when the U.S. Navy blew the Japanese navy out of the water. The Bataan Death March led to the hanging of a number of Japanese military officials as war criminals. The U.S. Navy favored blockade, and the U.S. Air Corps favored bombing Japan flat as a way to get to VJ Day. And the comparing of 1995 to 1945 is generally called the study of history, Mr. Allen. Universities do it all the time.

The most disturbing thing about your letter, Paul, is your assumption that American patriotism consists of nothing more than doing what you're told, and saluting. Well, me, Thoreau and Lincoln say the most American form of patriotism is serving your country with your conscience. That's why I protested the Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf War. It's my patriotic duty to try to change my country's foreign policy if I disagree with it, especially if I think such a policy is pissing away the American people. That's the type of person I am, Mr. Allen.

Rick Potthoff

Gutsy Liberal Fights Back
I am so tired of the knee-jerk, fuzzy-headed, meat-eating, belt-wearing, tree-chopping, reactionary bias of some of your readers that I want to scream! I refer specifically to the letter of Paul Allen [August 24], in which he paints all liberals with the same brush and assumes quite wrongly that all liberals were opposed to dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and were in favor of the Japanese who directed the Bataan Death March, the rape of Nanking and other heinous crimes against humanity.

It is clear to me after 64 years of life that my liberal philosophy is correct. War is wrong. It is wrong for Japanese, Germans, Americans and Brits. But no one has ever shown me how a country can avoid it, especially when attacked! In a perfect world we could solve all our problems peacefully. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Given the fact that we must defend ourselves, then we had the right to use whatever weapon we had at our disposal.

Blood was spilled so that all of us have a right to spout our beliefs, no matter how stupid or idiotic they may be to others. I know several people who went to Canada and they are alive with children today, probably because they did. If they had not, the knee-jerk patriots of the '70s would have sent them to their almost certain death in a war that had nothing to do with saving the world for democracy.

Don't jerk your knee and then accuse me of doing the same thing when obviously I do not!

To live in this country and be a "gutsy" liberal is to constantly put up with the really gutless who have not the courage to think rationally for themselves and then use name-calling against those who do not parrot their views. Please, gimme a break!

Pat Gandy

Mr. Natural
I want to thank you for the article on the local Democratic Party chairman [News, "Party Pooper," by Brian Wallstin, August 24]. I was pleased about your reporting of the successful resolution of our internal discussions. And your accurate description of me as one who "does not kiss butt" matches my goal, and is in keeping with the requests by many of the participants at our Friday morning breakfast discussions, to instead "kick butt" against the enemy of the Democratic Party and the people: right-wing zealot Republicans.

While I might disagree with some of the characterizations and viewpoints expressed by anonymous critics, I have always encouraged diverse and candid discussions on the direction of the Party. But I must point out that I do not wear "wool-blend" suits -- my suits are all 100 percent wool!

The Harris County Democratic Party will continue to fight for the ideals of quality education, a clean environment, good jobs, safety for our families, tolerance and individual respect. We will continue to meet, plan and perform fundraising, campaign schools, candidate recruitment and media events.

David M. Mincberg
Chairman, Harris County Democratic Party

Editor's reply: We're sure that you've got Republicans quaking in their 100 percent wool suits.

Another Proud American
Thanks so much for including in your Picks column [August 10] the reading of Kaufman & Hart's Once in a Lifetime featuring members of the cast of Miss Saigon. The reading however, was not presented by those cast members, nor by the talented Houston actors who participated in the performance. It was produced by The American Project, which was made abundantly clear in our press release but was nowhere mentioned in your notice.

The American Project, formed in New York in 1993 by Kathryn Morath, Karen Davidov and myself, is an independent theater company devoted to shedding light on largely neglected works in the canon of theatrical literature: great American plays. Once in a Lifetime was the inaugural presentation in "The American Project On the Road," by which the project seeks to bring its work to cities across the country by joining cast members of touring shows with local actors to illuminate the distinctive voice of American playwrights whose works are rarely produced on a professional level. The performance of Once in a Lifetime was a huge success, not only for The American Project (and for the Barnes & Noble Bookstore where the reading took place), but was a treat for the audience as well.

Thom Sesma
Artistic director, The American Project

Editor's reply: The release from which the Press got its information came from Barnes & Noble, not The American Project.

Another Paranoid American
I have concerns about your article "Among the Paranoid" [by Randall Patterson, July 27]. I had met with the Houston Press reporter at the radio station and witnessed the events described in the first 13 paragraphs. I explained to the reporter that I had been spending much time checking out the concerns of the activists and militia members present, and I made it very clear that there was ample evidence to prove cause for concern. Despite my efforts, you titled your article "Among the Paranoid" to suggest these concerned Americans have irrational or unwarranted suspicions. It appears to me that either the reporter was deliberately trying to write hype and sensationalism or he just didn't stop and think about what the evidence proves is going on. I understand that many of the topics quoted in the article sound outrageous, but if you spend the months of research necessary to weed through the evidence you will find that most of the outrageous statements have a basis in fact or law. I really do not appreciate articles that ignore the evidence of government wrongdoing, but rather focus on what then appears to be a misplaced response: suspicion of government.

There are good reasons why militias are forming and if you want to print those reasons as you see them, I'm sure you'll be welcome. But if you're going to send a reporter to write a bunch of hype at the expense of good citizens when there are serious concerns to deal with, we'll have better things to do with our time. I hope you'll understand and be useful and not just entertaining next time.

Robert F. Valdez

Crazy, Misleading World
Isn't This Modern World [by Tom Tomorrow] in the August 24 issue a little misleading about Mr. Newt? I'm not criticizing the Press or anything like that, it's just that Tom should have put Congressman Reynolds up there instead of Mr. Newt, since Mel is the one who screwed that girl.

If Jon Matthews gives favorable reviews about your paper, then I'm for sure going to read it, minus the odd classifieds, of course. Y'all can put the story better than the Chronicle any day.

Name withheld by request

Editor's reply: Odd classifieds? You ought to look at the Chronicle's sometime.


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