We all fall down
Re: "Juan's World" (Metro Times, Feb. 22), it stunned me to learn that Cole's "worst-case" scenario of the Middle East crisis doesn't mention anything about the role of other nations in its outcome.
The United States and Israel make no secret of intentions to take action against Iran, which could easily start a war. Iran poses at least as much threat to our Middle East oil supply as Iraq, and is obviously ready for war nations do not make Holocaust-denial taunts if they aren't prepared for the consequences. Our irresolute army in Iraq is right between Israel and Iran.
China and Russia both have major investments in Iran. China recently signed a $100 billion deal with Iran and Russia is funding their nuclear plant. Both will take umbrage to a U.S.-Israel attack based on familiar speculation about WMD capability.
Iran could sabotage a U.S. oil pipeline more easily than Iraq, and if such an event would plunge America into depression, as Cole suggests, that will leave China creditor to a great deal of trade debt based on the U.S. dollar very angry.
China will listen when Russia explains to them how the global banking system has taken advantage of the East, and the connection between the World Bank, the neocon policymakers and Israel itself.
With economic devastation from the oil supply cut and the crippling of our forces in Iraq, we cannot be sure we can win a war with Iran. We've thrown in all of our chips our forces, dollars, allies and resources. We cannot afford to make rash moves. A new depression is not the worst possible outcome. A fallen empire can be quite worse. Adam de Angeli, Ann Arbor
Reading into it
The cover photo of University of Michigan multiculturalist professor Juan Cole is so revealing. His white tie symbolizes surrender, i.e. his subconscious desire to see Uncle Sam bending over and receiving the prophet Muhammad's scimitar. Martin Yanosek, St. Clair Shores
Think of Americans abroad
Re: Jack Lessenberry's article "Time for a press with a spine" (Metro Times, Feb. 8), I feel Jack is not being realistic about this whole issue. Though I agree that the press can be the most effective means to address issues, but only if used effectively and responsibly.
If Jack truly thinks that by republishing a cartoon that has incited violence around the world is going to make him and others that do it some kind of great media heroes, Jack should take into account the multitudes of Americans living around the world Americans that aren't in a cushy office in the confines of their own country.
Maybe Jack himself should live among these thousands of Americans overseas Americans that would have just one more reason to fear for their lives. I think Jack should reconsider just how brave and heroic he would be for this!
Free press is, I believe, the most important of our constitutional rights. As such, our greatest freedom must be used responsibly. James A. Najjar, Livonia
Don't shift burden to poor
Mr. Jack Lessenberry: While, like you, Mr. Lessenberry, I wouldn't consider myself a big fan of Republicans, it seems that L. Brooks Patterson does have a good idea. We should repeal the single business tax ("How do we save our economy?" Metro Times, Feb. 15).
I work with business owners and decision makers in the state. It may be true that the tax perhaps keeps jobs from the state. This I accept, though I have never heard anyone in business say they aren't hiring someone because it would cost too much. If sales are there, they will hire people to make those sales happen.
The real issue is taxes and your solution to replacing the lost tax revenue is regressive. I am a believer that there should be only one tax, a tax on income with a negative tax for the poor. If you make it, you pay it. If you don't, because you have lost your job, you shouldn't have to pay taxes on the things you need for your children, like a home for them to sleep in and clothes on their backs.
As for sales tax, the poor can ill afford 5 percent of their income to give to a state government that is helping them less and less.
But, thanks for supporting the repeal of the single business tax. It gives you more credibility with me that you are an independent thinking liberal. Morris E. Hagerman, Huntington Woods
Grazed and amused
In the frenzy of Super Bowl week, I nearly missed what easily is the most sideways honor ever bestowed upon me: Being called a moron (albeit namelessly) by a columnist who comes courtesy of about 10 pages of call-girl ads every week ("Granholm's halftime show," Metro Times, Feb. 1).
I can only be amused. He reminds me of the kind of "price of everything, value of nothing" twerp who, time and circumstance permitting, would have pulled Jesus aside and asked him cynically (how else?) when he planned to stop bumming around with the rabble and do something with his life. Todd Steven Kindred, Garden City
Loves Cat Power
Re: Ben Blackwell's review of Cat Power's The Greatest, ("Memphis ninny," Spun, Metro Times, Jan. 25), I find it audacious that Blackwell would wish depression upon anyone to satisfy his own selfish desires. It gives the impression that he never actually listened to Cat Power's CD. The tone of the lyrics that of wistful resignation is unchanged from any of her earlier efforts. What really reveals his superficial understanding of the album lies in his statements that "the songs all share similar arrangements and tones" "Empty Shell" and "Islands" are country songs, though "Hate" is done solo on electric guitar (and wouldn't sound out-of-place on "Moon Pix") and that "it feels like Marshall set out to write a Memphis soul record." Chan's piano and guitar playing are very prominent, and the musicians embellish the songs, not overpower them. Trust me, it'll never be played on WJLB. It's all too bad, as I generally appreciate Ben's insights, even when I don't necessarily agree with him. Don Handy, Mount Clemens
Erratum: Last week's News Hit ("Part-time lovers," Metro Times, Feb. 22) incorrectly described the Macomb County Commission budget committee meeting as a closed-door session. The open-door budget meeting immediately followed a special, closed-door executive session.Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org