These posts are either "jump pages" for my weblog or posts-in-process that will eventually appear there. For what it's worth, here's an archive of these random bits. The picture to the left is by a famous comic book artist.
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Dear Robert Jensen,
I'm writing to thank you for the articles and essays you've written in the aftermath of 9/11. I live and work in the New York metro area and saw the North Tower collapse from a friend's window. The kneejerk calls for revenge and abrogation of international law in the immediate aftermath were appalling, and I took comfort in your brave words. Having lived in Texas for many years, I know such phrases aren't uttered without a price. These are hard times for progressives (and libertarians). The quick "success" of the Afghan bombing campaign made the left seem like doubters and naysayers, and I find myself abandoned on all sides by people I'm usually in accord with. Jacob Weisberg in Slate writes that "there is no antiwar movement"; Christopher Hitchens adroitly paints progressives as unrealistic ninnies that don't live in the real world. Susan Sontag's New Yorker piece (which I recently reread, and which seems quite sane and moderate) is routinely held up as a "traitorous" screed. As I believe you've said, it's difficult to formulate an alternative to the Bush/Pentagon plan that speaks to people. I've argued that it's a police matter, to be pursued through increased intelligence and economic pressure on our Saudi "allies," but that usually falls on deaf ears. I'm not a pacifist, but neither am I in favor of rolling out our huge military machine, across sovereign borders, every time we get angry or scared. I think William Safire's view that we can "civilize" the world at gunpoint is naive--talk about a ninny who doesn't live in the real world! That's precisely why 9/11 happened! Anyway, thanks again, and keep up the good work.
Best, Tom Moody
Dear Maureen Dowd,
Your column today contains a risible suggestion: "Maybe if Mr. Bush brings Rudy Giuliani in as the new cabinet officer, he can work magic." Frank Rich said much the same thing yesterday. I'd like to remind you that this is the same Giuliani who built the city's $13 million "command bunker" on the 23rd floor of 7 World Trade Center, equipped with fuel tanks that exploded and toppled the building. Does his post-9/11 "leadership" really erase this act of stupidity and hubris, which put the entire city at risk? I'd just as soon not have him operating at the national level, thanks.
Best, Tom Moody
Dear Frank Rich,
Your column today contains a risible suggestion: "Instead of creating a new organizational chart, Mr. Bush might have enlisted one man to hose down our security bureaucracy: Rudolph Giuliani." Are you talking about the man who built the city's $13 million "command bunker" on the 23rd floor of 7 World Trade Center? Equipped with fuel tanks that exploded and toppled the building? Oh, yes, it'd be great to have him in charge on a national level.
Best, Tom Moody
Dear Michael Getler [WaPo Ombudsman]:
Dana Milbank's article on George Bush's Ohio State commencent address really crosses the line between objective reporting and administration propaganda. The long list of Bush's "intellectual influences" is obvious p.r. flack puffery: it should have been pared down (or--is this too much to ask?--supported with some examples of where those thinkers' ideas appear in the former C-student's speech). More disturbing is the omission of the school's threats to arrest students for protesting, and the actual arrest of a "silent protestor," which have been documented elsewhere. Milbank creates the impression that Bush has broad popular support, but that means nothing if it's coerced. In terms of sheer newsworthiness, the "turn your back on Bush" campaign organized by the students --an unpaid, grassroots effort--is a far more compelling "story hook" than Bush's so-called journey to popularity. The former took guts and belief; the latter was conferred on Bush by tragic circumstances (which, it's looking more and more like, he actively or negligently brought into being).
Sincerely, Tom Moody
I've been looking at your site regularly and enjoy your alerts regarding conspicuous media prostitution. I stopped watching TV news years ago because I got tired of watching blowdried heads read government press releases. I voted for Gore, but I have no illusions about Clinton/Gore's addiction to corporate money. I always treat my friends who voted for Nader with the utmost respect, as ideological comrades-in-arms. I'm writing to say: Please stick to what you're good at, which is rooting out media complicity with government policy. Give Ralph a rest, OK??? The response by his campaign manager was reasonable and civilized. I stopped reading your reply because the tone was so nasty.
All the best, Tom Moody