The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Jeff Martinek Letter 8/31/04

To Editors of The Joplin Globe:

The Globe’s article on the Republican National Convention (“Protests Punctuate Sightseeing”) relied on extremely partisan accounts and managed to invoke every ugly stereotype about both New Yorkers and those who protest against the Bush administration.

The largely peaceful demonstration of an estimated half million citizens against a Republican Convention they see as cynically exploiting the 911 tragedy is described as “a stinking riot” and a “vulgar display.” And Missouri Republican Senator Kit Bond is allowed a smug final quote implying that he expected to be attacked for wearing an “I Love America” shirt.

The message was clear and it hewed to every tired cliché about “red state” patriotism, humility, and decency and “blue state” vulgarity, disloyalty, and degeneracy.

But The Globe went even further, leveling the literally incendiary charge (uncorroborated by even conservative news organizations like Fox News and the New York Post) that “Some protesters scaled the flagpole of a . . . hotel, grabbed its American flag and set it on fire.”

This depiction of New York and its residents as dirty, un-American voluptuaries, recalls past Republican slurs, including Richard Nixon’s taped remark calling it a “goddamn” city of “Jews and Catholics and blacks and Puerto Ricans” which “maybe . . . shouldn’t survive,” or Barry Goldwater’s suggestion that “this country would be better off if we could just saw off the Eastern Seaboard and let it float out to sea,” or Ann Coulter’s despicable claim that her “only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.”

Is it any wonder that New Yorkers object to laying out $300 million and seeing their lives severely disrupted by party and a President that has ignored and abused them----only to turn around exploit their suffering for political gain?


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