Hats off to Jack Lessenberry for his column, "What Memorial Day should mean" (Metro Times, June 1). It is the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
A valid concern of mine is whether we, the people, are courageous enough to face this stark reality. Our government’s arrogance and greed have caused harm to countless innocent people around the world; and as a democracy, we the people are indirectly responsible.
If we don’t get control of this situation, the arrogance and greed of those who control this great country of ours will wipe out any conscience and good will remaining and eventually destroy the foundation of this nation, just like it has throughout the history of mankind.
The question we should be asking ourselves is how much longer can we afford standing by while the democratic ideals of our forefathers fall victim to our ignorance and our false pride? —Rima Meroueh, Dearborn
Patriots for peace
Kudos to Mr. Lessenberry for a rare criticism of the horrendous foreign policy of the Republican Party. He is right in pointing out that we do need the United Nations and international cooperation to prevent future conflicts and really liberate our brothers and sisters around the world from poverty, war and oppression.
Honoring our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day does not entail blind support for questionable foreign policy. Contrary to the rhetoric we are bombarded with daily, it is quite possible to oppose neo-conservative foreign policy and be a patriotic American. —Tarek Baydoun, Dearborn
A tolerant reader
I have tolerantly read Comrade Jack Lessenberry’s radical leftist America-is-always-wrong rantings, but when he insinuates that we deserved the attacks of 9/11, as he did in his column of June 1, this middle-right NRA member is deeply offended.
America is far from perfect and Middle Easterners "in bombed-out huts" may deeply resent her leadership in prosperity and freedom. I am not sacrificing either to ameliorate the feelings of some of the most backward people on earth.
Democracy, freedom and economic prosperity are the best defense against 9/11-type terrorists. If Lessenberry and his ilk don’t learn this soon, "we may be in big trouble." —Joseph Corlett, Lake Orion, firstname.lastname@example.org
Plan for the future
Mr. Lessenberry: I enjoyed reading your article about Memorial Day. The "fanatics who hate international cooperation" in this country need to think a little more long term. Even the most right-wing nutcase needs to realize that even though the United States is for now the only 800-pound gorilla in the world, very soon China will catch up both economically and militarily and soon thereafter pass the United States by. We must help the United Nations to be stronger and continue to establish international modes of behavior. If not, some day in the not too distant future when China becomes a 1,000-pound gorilla, at first Asia and then the world will be forced to play by Chinese rules. It is in our national interest and the best interest of the world as a whole to make the UN more efficient and international cooperation more binding. —Don Haffner, Beverly Hills, email@example.com
Don’t forget TV and radio
Jack Lessenberry states in his article, "One cheer for the Free Press" (Metro Times, May 25), that over 843,000 out of 895,000 people in Detroit don’t read the the Free Press. Come on, Jack. There are radio and television news and they both cover the same subjects as the printed press. —Ella Withers, Detroit
Praise for critic
Re: Gerry Craig’s "Mighty real" (Metro Times, May 25), what a wonderful review and a delight to read! It’s so refreshing to read a reviewer that allows herself to be enthusiastic, (especially when it’s about my work)! Thank you so much for putting yourself out so openly as you did, mentioning your skepticism of representation and then being willing to look hard at another kind of work and find things in it; that takes a certain kind of courage and I really appreciate it. I realized when I started painting these paintings that a lot of people were going to have problems with them, myself included, initially. But there was some charge there for me and I’ve been interested ever since in what they (the paintings) tell me, about innerness — inner glamour and excess and smelliness. You got it! —Julie Heffernan, New York, N.Y., firstname.lastname@example.org
Perricone fires blanks
Re: "All in favor of praying & packing?" (Metro Times, June 1), MCRGO’s Executive Director Chuck Perricone says the Million Mom Marchers are off the mark. "They ought to be focusing on why there are so many illegal guns on the street."
Baloney, shutting down the black market for guns is a critical component of the gun-control movement. And pro-gun groups like the NRA and MCRGO obstruct efforts every step of the way. Last year, the gun lobby forced through legislation to weaken the ATF and FBI’s oversight of gun dealers and restrict these agencies’ ability to investigate rogue dealers. This year the gun lobby plans to pass legislation that will grant civil immunity to dealers and manufacturers — even when it was their reckless business practices that put a gun in a criminal’s hand. And of course the gun lobby continues to oppose closing the gun show loophole, which enables criminals to buy guns without a background check.
To get guns out of the hands of criminals, we must crack down on those segments of the distribution channel that permit guns to flow into the black market. And it’s only the gun-control movement that has proposals on the table. The gun activists seem to only want to prosecute the shooter. A remedy that is sadly too little, too late once someone’s been shot. —Beth Martin, Grosse Pointe FarmsSend comments to email@example.com