Letters to the Editor 

Feel the love!


I’ve always enjoyed reading your articles, but what’s up with “Apocalypse Now?” Good gravy, buddy, your guy didn’t win. Plain and simple.

“A greater trauma than 9/11?” Explain that journalistic rhetoric to the thousands of relatives and friends of those deceased in New York, D.C., Pennsylvania, and abroad in Afghanistan.

You sound bitter, cynical, and -- ready for this -- lacking conviction. For the proclaimed crusader who now predicts a drop in advertising with the Red States coming on strong, you are thankful that you work on salary and not on commission?

Furthermore, you are done with the Bush-bashing because, quite frankly, you are “tired of writing that stuff?” What kind of journalist are you? A few ten-cent words, a leftist view because, well, that’s what journalists are supposed to do, and an “end of democracy” article because your guy didn’t win the big one?

Life, human beings, our government, and certainly our president are not perfect, but we live in the best country in the world, and we are doing the best we can. Can we do better? Yes.

Can we work harder towards a country without a discriminatory attitude towards sexual orientation, religion, and race? Yes. Are we perfect in America? No.

The majority of this country voted differently than your opinion -- deal with that and quit complaining about what you don’t have. Stop griping about what the government should provide, and start thanking “whatever” (meaning God, the stars, Buddha, or whatever got you to where you are at. You didn’t do it on your own wise Jedi) for providing you with what you do have.

It’s not perfect, but you are provided with some fundamental freedoms to say and print what you feel, and to work as hard as you can for that salary that is not impacted by advertising dollars or political majority opinion.

Not a verbatim quote, but a butchered paraphrase from Martin Garbus -- famed ACLU lawyer who is Jewish, lost most of his family in the Holocaust, and still defended the Nazis who marched in Skokie, Illinois, in the ‘70s -- “Let them be heard, because these idiots speak and the masses then hear how ridiculous they are.”

Keep speaking Jim. In your article, you speak of how censored the country will become, how we are all on a clandestine train for Auschwitz part two, and professors and African-Americans are destined for the gas chamber due to Bush's victory.

You write well, and you and your family have fortuned well in this country. Stop roaring to hear yourself roar, and start being more positive in your thinking, writing, and public communication. You will endure this presidency, and the next, and the next.

And, no, this is not my country and not yours, THIS IS OUR COUNTRY. We can disagree, but don’t flush the whole ideology down the toilet because your guy didn’t win. Democracy and freedom will prevail in this country, whether it's Kerry, or Bush, or Jim, or Doug.

Douglas J. Hurley


Zealots divide the nation


“Apocalypse Now?” I hope not, but it was a good article.

Years ago I was pretty much apolitical. Didn’t follow things that closely.

Didn’t consider myself Republican or Democrat.

But I dare say that with the advent of conservative talk radio I became more politically aware. When they started to label liberals, or basically anyone who didn’t think like them, as "un-American" and "unpatriotic" among some of the nicer comments, I went "Whoa! Wait a minute! They’re talking about me."

I was radicalized. I began to refer to myself with the dreaded, oft avoided, "L" word. That’s right! Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! And damn proud of it!

I admit I was disappointed with the election outcome, but it wasn’t a

surprise. I knew John Kerry wasn’t the one.

Kerry has the charisma of a rock, and Bush has the intelligence of one. But all joking aside, Bush, while not the sharpest tool in the shed, isn’t an idiot. He has surrounded himself with some very sharp people, the mark of a good manager.

It’s stupid to think that all conservatives are the same as it is to think all liberals are. There are many nuances.

But it’s the zealots I’m concerned about. Zealots, regardless of ilk, concern me for they are generally close-minded, intolerant, hateful people. I’m concerned about those who want to turn back the hands of time.

People talk about, and some long for, the “good old days.” But many forget that the “good old days” weren’t so good for some people, or for the environment.

Does anyone remember segregation, a woman’s place being in the kitchen, or what Savannah smelled like in the sixties?

The election is finally over. We lost.

Confederate veteran Sam Watkins wrote, “America has no north, no south, no east, no west. The sun rises over the hills and sets over the mountains, the compass just points up and down, and we can laugh now at the absurd notion of there being a north and a south. We are one and undivided.”

Are we one and undivided? For the next 80 years that followed the Civil War, the Fourth of July would not be celebrated in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Ben Bishop


Four more years of hell


Bravo for your editorial, “Apocalypse Now?”

So who might the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse be but Rove, Cheney, Bush and Wolfie? Yet they are storming out of the West, not the East.

Still, the time appears ever closer: the time fundamentalist Christians can’t seem to wait for, that moment of rapture when those saved ones are wrapped up and blissfully lifted to Heaven.

Yes, that time appears ever closer now that they’ve got their heaven-sent president: George W. Bush, the right one for bringing on apocalypse now.

Bush has used the values ruse to the hilt to tilt the election his way, aligning himself with evangelicals who came out in droves just as Karl Rove calculated. Gay marriage and abortion took precedence over the burning issues of: a pre-emptive war in Iraq instigated on trumped-up and falsified intelligence; a stagnant economy along with a dwindling job market save for the minimum wage type jobs; an unjust tax system, one that favors the super-wealthy over the working class; unpunished corporate theft and swindling; and most important, unchecked pollution of the environment along with denial of global warming -- inexorable threats to our very life on the planet.

The presidential election hinged on Bush’s selling fear along with his telling evangelicals what they wanted to hear. “Moral values” -- how every ironic, too, since in the Bush regime we have what may well be the most corrupt leadership America has ever suffered through.

Now we are on the fast track to fascism: the straight marriage of opposites, government with incorporated business. And now we face four more years, yes, four more years of hell.

Will Strong


Not a Nazi


Regarding the recent column “Apocalypse Now?”:

A quick question for you. Since Kerry “easily” won Chatham County by

the enormous margin of 51 percent vs. 49 percent, how do you explain the vote for Amendment 1 (banning gay marriage) of 72 percent vs 28 percent? Those totals seem to tell me that there were quite a few Kerry voters that were voting for Amendment 1. Are they “Nazis” like us good, ol'' white conservatives?

Your piece smacks of sour grapes. Although you differ from me in your views I usually enjoyed reading your articles. However, this time wasn't one of those.

Your stretching to make the comparison of Nazi policies to the beliefs of white Christians, of which I am one, is frankly offensive. Maybe you can return to a less hyperbolic style for your upcoming pieces.

William S. Linton


‘Good ol’ days’ -- for who?


I usually read your politically directed commentaries with complete agreement, usually followed by a gleeful, “You tell 'em.” However, I have one point from your latest editorial “Apocalypse Now” to address.

We are roughly the same age, and you recall growing up in a “live-and-let-live” America. I however, do not.

In an affluent Southern suburb, I was taunted and damned for being Jewish. When arriving on the first day of fifth grade (in public school), I was confronted by not only the classroom collection of New Testaments, but also by a half hour of Bible study.

My parents led a successful fight to have both removed, leaving me even more popular with peers, teachers and administration as well.

The fact is that we won that battle, but the war was, and continues to be, hardly over.

I can only hope that you are incorrect in predicting a reversal of whatever tolerance currently exists. Please remember that moving forwards is a slow process, one that we must not abandon regardless of any political administration.

Heather Szatmary


As bad as Fishman


I was very disappointed in your article “Apocalypse Now?” This ranks with Molly Ivins and Jane Fishman’s anti- government bashing. I will no longer be reading Connect which I used to enjoy.

James Anderson


The few, the proud, the blue


Thank you for your "Apocalypse Now?" editorial. You summed up all of our post-election feelings: outrage, fears, consolations, and all the existential reexaminations.

It feels good to hear such a passionate, wonderfully articulate voice. It's great to live in that “thin blue line.”

Tomasz Warchol


Board members must go


Three: the number of elected adults that could cause the entire Chatham County school system to lose its accreditation.

1500: the number of seniors who could lose the chance to win the HOPE scholarship should the Chatham County school system fail to retain its accreditation.

The numbers don't seem to match up, do they? It is amazingly irresponsible for three board members to jeopardize the future of so many students. Their actions can only be described as a pure abuse of power.

These school board members were elected to represent their constituencies. In no uncertain terms, they failed. Instead of putting the welfare of the students first, they chose to pursue a path of self gratification. Interfering in the school system for personal reasons is one of the last actions any constituent would expect a board member to take.

Even more reprehensible is the response of the individual members to the allegations in January. These people deliberately lied to the people of Savannah.

“She said she was ‘totally confident’ that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools will be satisfied with the board's response to Allen's allegations of poor governance, and no investigation will be warranted.” (Savannah Morning News).

Not only was SACS not satisfied with the response, but an investigation was warranted. Additionally, the investigation that was supposedly not warranted turned up enough information to put the school system on probation.

It appears the school board members have been caught in their own lies. How is it then that they continue to sit as members and the man who worked for them was pressured into resignation?

They effectively lost $350,000 in an apparent attempt to find a scapegoat. Maybe Superintendent O’ Sullivan was not the best candidate for resignation.

As a student at The University of Georgia on the HOPE scholarship, I realize how important this situation is for everyone. It angers me immensely to see what the indiscretions of three board members could possibly do.

The bottom line is these members did not represent their constituencies properly and need to go. As a recent high school graduate with future graduates in mind I see one clear course of action: the resignation of the board members in question.

Bryan Schivera



Homeless like me


I read your article on being poverty stricken (“You Don’t Want to Go There” by Jim Morekis) and I would like you to be aware that although your reenactment comes close and your article speaks the truth, until you are thrust into the woods in a tent from nothing more than sheer disaster of mother nature, i.e., hurricane in Florida, going from a house, cars, job to nothing except the clothes on your back and the last of your money to a tent in the woods, you don’t know what it’s like.

If you honestly want people to understand and if you yourself truly want to see what a family put into a homeless situation is all about, my husband and I will give you a honest look at what homelessness can be all about.

Since our oak tree at camp does not include a phone line, the only possible way to contact us is thru Staff Zone on 80 in Garden City. I am there every morning at 5:30 a.m. to attempt to get work for the day.

Laura H. Sherwood



Looking for Mr. Kenney


Your article on this year’s Telfair Art Fair was very interesting (“Savannah’s Showcase” by Linda Sickler).

I was particularly moved by the story of Marcus Kenney. His modesty much impressed me.

Like a humble craftsman, whittling on his back porch, he says he never thought the Telfair Art Fair (“the work there is all high-quality”) was an option for the likes of him.

But his wife, ever solicitous of his self-esteem, encouraged him to enter last year and, lo and behold, he won the Best in Show Award, fulfilling the American Dream of the simple man:

“That was the first show I had ever done anywhere. It worked out for me last year.”

Is this the same Marcus Kenney who has shown in practically every gallery in Savannah over the last few years, who was included in the Georgia Triennial at the Telfair in February 2003, who has shown in Atlanta and Charleston and who knows where else?

Will the real Marcus Kenney please stand up?

George Petrakis





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