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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona • Page 42

Arizona Republici
Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

The Arizona Republic SATURDAY, JULY 3, 2004 B7 opinions OTHER VIEWS LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Tahrenheit 911': Moore or less? a MiHjinaiy8 JOHN KERRY, AND I APPROVED THIS MOVIE The right to say what we want According to the great educator John Dewey, "The method of democracy is to bring conflicts out into the open where their special claims can be seen and appraised, where they can be discussed and judged." Fahrenheit 911 is a reflection of the liberty we Americans are so fortunate to enjoy. Democracy is fundamentally based on the First Amendment, and unless we. as Amprirans un I in imiiiiMi i Michael Moore IS MIND Of AL-QMrA sions, but I also doubt anyone will walk away without some new political insights and Moore provides many insights to consider. I would recommend viewing Fahrenheit 91 1 for everyone who plans on voting this fall, and for everyone who plans on commenting about the movie or Michael Moore's ideas in the future. Jeff Kahler, Phoenix Journalists intimidated by Bush, Cheney In his article Sunday, "Pied piper or bully? Moore ruffles critics," Republic writer Bill Muller takes exception to Michael Moore's suggestion that journalists haven't been doing their jobs during this Bush administration.

Moore is absolutely right. The so-called journalists in this country have been cowed and intimidated by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and their corporate friends. Correspondents have served up Softball questions while Bush and company have trashed international relations and civil rights, then lied and attacked a sovereign country without provocation. Guess what, Bill Muller? Your profession hasn't been doing its job and it needs to wake up. Donald Stephens, Phoenix Bush-bashing only one part of the film Certainly Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 engages in Bush-bashing.

Yet this movie also portrays the Democrats as weak, missing, absent and negligent. Bush aside, the larger point of this movie should enrage all Americans, liberal and conservative that is, our government has been hijacked by the undemocratic forces of cronyism and big-money interests (oil in this case). Both political parties are complicit. Jim Hellewell, Glendale A freedom to speak out on freedom I am shocked that many critics have denounced Michael Moore's new movie, Fahrenheit 911, as unpatriotic and anti-soldier. The film serves as a powerful (and painful) reminder of the costs of war and of my obligation as a citizen to hold our leaders accountable for making wise decisions about when to send our troops into combat.

For me, the most striking moment of the film came near the end, when Moore provides a voice-over to images of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. He reminds us: "They serve so that we don't have to. They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. It is, remarkably, their gift to us.

And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again?" Anyone with a loved one in the military should be outraged at how our president forced these young people to die for an unjust war. Iraq never threatened us nor had any connection of any kind with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Fahrenheit 911 highlights crucial questions about the "necessity" of the war in Iraq.

Engaging these questions and holding our leaders accountable for their decisions to go to war is the best way we can support our troops. Every American should go see this film to embrace and celebrate the fact that we live in a country with the freedom to speak out about freedom. Adam Ramirez, Tucson "WE HEART Of AL-QWrA m4 Wi derstand we must defend the right of our fellow citizens to express the very ideas we may hate, we are doomed to lose the precious freedom we claim to cherish. Jo Schwenckert Mesa Have truth and logic failed the liberals? I find it rather telling that people who dislike President Bush and his policies so embrace the movie Fahrenheit 911 which is so filled with half-truths, false innuendos and outright lies in order to find support for their ideas. Could it be that truth and simple logic do not support them in their Bush-hating beliefs? Harry W.

Hansen, Phoenix Moore's film balances pop-culture scale For years I have been bombarded with pop-culture conservative rhetoric from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. My e-mails at home and work are always filled with unreferenced, out-of-context tirades about the evil left. Here's one for Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 911 in an attempt to balance the scale. Clark Burns, Avondale A hint of German propaganda, circa 1933 Michael "Joseph Goebbels" Moore has done his job in putting out the propaganda to take down a leader. If people did not see a mediaentertainment industry bias before, it is obvious now.

The Democrats rode this bias and propaganda assault to the White House in 1992 and look to do it again in 2004. Let's just hope more Americans see through this storm of propaganda from comedians, like Moore, trying to be intelligent, and make truly informed decisions. After seeing reaction to the film on television, though, it looks a lot like Germany in 1933. Joseph Fraher, Gold Canyon Film offers political insights of both parties Regarding the letter Sunday, 'Documentary mislabels Moore's I agree with the criticisms, but I have never heard anyone ever seriously claim Fahrenheit 911 to be a documentary. I would describe it as a very good presentation of the facts in an attempt to persuade the audience to draw some conclusions that filmmaker Michael Moore would like us to believe.

Moore did a lot of work to be certain his facts were accurate, but the primary purpose of the movie was political persuasion, not historical documentary. I doubt anyone would agree with all of Moore's conclu THINGS ONLY THE ADDLED BELIEVE pigs Jjfrr moon is FULL.THE EARTH ELVES ftNCE. IRAQ IS A SOVEREIGN Jv CIGARETTES CTiSf KILL GERMS NATION. AlR" THE Cai it 10 qualities that define us as Americans I am an American. I love being American! All that is beautiful, righteous and joyous in me is enhanced and affirmed by being American.

Ten traits mark who we, as a people are. 1, Godly: Almost all of us acknowl Ft L97 "55 edge that a power beyond us guides the swirling destinies of men. Native Americans pray to a "great spirit" and, with a reverent heart, tie it to the sacred earth and skies of America. A thousand prayers rise up daily from our soil as we pray in ways that are native to us. go across the world to climb Everest; their courage gives them not just eyes, but wings.

8. Humorous: We love laughter and life. You can tell an American abroad because he is generally the one who has the biggest smile, sometimes the loudest voice and laughter, and is the most approachable. He just will not treat anyone as a stranger. 9.

Self-introspective: Occupying the unique position that we do in the world, we could be really arrogant and indifferent to people's opinions. But that part of us which is decent and young constantly examines itself and yearns to be unblemished in the midst of our mistakes. 10. Sweet: Countries, like people, become dry and arid if the quality of sweetness is absent from the souls of their citizens. Americans have been blessed with a rare quality of sweetness of the soul.

It reaches out and caresses you. Ah, America! I am so glad when I get home from overseas. Young, boisterous and kicking, we truly are a blessed and unique people! Mantoshe Singh Devji, Phoenix The writer is an author and president of the Republican Women's Action Alliance. ly visionary people. 4.

Prosperous: The capacity of Americans to work hard joyously is the stuff of which the wealth of this country is made. Our work ethic is unmatched. Our children start baby-sitting, bagging groceries and cutting lawns when they are still in school. We look upon work with pride and consider it a privilege. 5: Generous: There is possibly no country on Earth that has not been touched by the generosity of Americans.

We respond to earthquakes, floods and famines with compassionate hearts. We send money, medicine, clothes and prayers to victims of every color and creed even to our "enemies." We know that we are custodians of wealth, not its owners. 6. Resilient: Americans have an uncanny capacity to bounce back from adversity accidents, bankruptcies and divorces. We rebuild our bodies, businesses and lives.

We do not sit in dark corners, we fight back. 7. Courageous. A 4-year-old in my neighborhood comes tearing around the corner wearing a helmet and riding a scooter, while my aunts in India still hold on tightly to their 14-year-olds. We have 80-year-olds who water ski, and blind men from Arizona who IfnT Mantoshe Singh Devji 2.

Tolerant: European Christians settled this land and wrote its Consti aw rl Dam i i L.4 -A-SH jj-f -pjj fyv-l REMEMBERWHEN A -J REALLY 5FECIAJ- ggfil 1 asm? ffm i 5 sf i tution. They then opened their arms and welcomed people from the rest of the world. Now mosques, synagogues and temples pepper the landscape along with churches, because America embraces all of its children equally. 3. Visionary While we are an earth-bound nation, enjoying our material success, we are also an extraordinari Pest control panel a victim of slanted news Recent editorials, letters and columns in The Republic have inaccurately portrayed the work of the Structural Pest Control Commission.

As the executive director of SPCC, it is my duty to set the record straight. Absent the facts, The 4 fused to accept the authority of the Legislature in this area. Further, he has offered no mitigating information that might have explained his behavior, and has continued to deny the authority that the state has over his illegal actions. In establishing the SPCC, the Legislature recognized a legitimate need to protect the public from unsafe pesticide use. Yet The Republic seemingly feels that pesticides require no reasonable regulation.

Science and law tell us otherwise, but this is an area for public debate and legislative action. SPCC staff is not free to disregard the law in their enforcement activities, and they won't on my watch. While engaged in a difficult and important job, unjustified criticism neither serves the public interest nor does justice to the exceptional work of the SPCC. Evidently The Republic believes it makes for a good story, but at what cost? Lisa Gervase, Scottsdale The writer is executive director, Arizona Structural Pest Control Commission. In the case of Alf, who started a neighborhood business addressing roof rats, no action was warranted, and none was taken, contrary to published reports.

Alf was not engaged in the business of structural pest control and therefore did not need a license. In all of its contacts with Alf, his parents, the media and others, the SPCC sought to inform and educate, the proper role of public servants. No evidence that Alf or his parents ever felt intimidated has been presented to me, because they weren't, and I am left wondering why The Republic fabricated this issue. In the case of Dan Prochaska, a columnist presents sarcasm as fact. After a 1998 incident involving his dumping of a pesticide down a storm drain, merely to get rid of it, Prochaska was fully aware of the licensing required if he chose to continue his pest control services.

He stated that his unlicensed activity ended when he encountered the SPCC in 1998, but facts from the current case suggest otherwise. Prochaska re Republic has produced articles and commentary that incite, but misinform. The SPCC was created by the Legislature and derives its mandate and authority from law. Seven commissioners direct it, a majority of whom are chosen from the unlicensed 'J 1 Lisa Gervase aw ruiA nose Wri OlfT A ocwkC I I public. It acts only as authorized by law and acts reasonably, given the facts and circumstances of each case.

In the recently published cases of Christian Alf and Dan Prochaska, the SPCC carefully looked at the plain language of the statutes and acted.

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