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Right, Got It—It’s Scientology

Posted 2/22/2006

The Feb. 8 issue of City Paper contains a full-page ad placed by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) warning about the evils of psychiatry. But this slick propaganda does not mention that the CCHR is closely affiliated with the Church of Scientology. The church has a long history of opposition toward a major health-care provider. Reader beware!

R.H. Starr Jr.

Moratorium on “Afrocentric Feminist”

OK, Larnell Custis Butler, wannabe City Paper columnist. We get it. You’re an “Afrocentric feminist” (“George Bush Doesn’t Care,” The Mail, Feb 8).

Now, is it even remotely possible that you can posit your usually intelligent and heartfelt thoughts on the topics of the day without having to wrap them around that phrase? Or perchance are you under some spell that will make you vanish if you fail to put that phrase in City Paper’s “The Mail” at least once a month?

As for myself, I’m secure enough in my self-identity that I don’t have to wrap it in the cloak of any of a multitude of labels that could apply, such as a “Celtic-German-American hearing-impaired ferroequinologist who practices zymurgy.”

Alexander D. Mitchell IV

No Separation of Church and State

On the issue of homosexuality, there is no separation of church and state (“God, Love, and Marriage,” Mobtown Beat, Feb. 8). How is it possible for the state to be separated from its creator and still have a harmonious, reverencing, spiritual relationship with Him? You see the separation of church and state is a man-made concept (a thought or an opinion). There is no separation of church and state in God. Can you imagine giving people a right to do what is immoral! Who would be the next group to ask for that right? Pedophiles.

Leo A. Williams

Your Pictures Are Not Funny

I believe that anthropologists have recently uncovered the 14th and 15th levels of humor during a recent expedition to the steppes of Outer Mongolia. However, the appearance of spray on bedliners fails to work on any known level of comedy known to man thus far (Whose Responible?, Feb. 8).

Is it something sexual? Is this some sort of joke that perhaps Tom Green or Andy Kaufman would understand? Or perhaps, you just don’t know what the hell a pickup truck looks like, or how to best protect the bed from damage?

I haven’t been this confused since you stopped running that cartoon with the pointy-headed clown.

Daniel S. Schroder

The First Amendment is Not “Thriving”

The column by Russ Smith titled “Speak Up” (Right Field, Feb. 1) contained this absurd sentence: “What’s perhaps most significant about Stein’s incendiary column is that it provides more proof that, contrary to the ravings of hysterical pundits and politicians, the First Amendment is thriving during the Bush presidency, and the Constitution isn’t being ‘shredded.’” According to Smith, a Jan. 24 op-ed by Joel Stein in the Los Angeles Times helps confirm that the First Amendment is alive and well. How someone can claim one op-ed can prove anything is beyond my comprehension.

However, as an anti-war activist, I do know of innumerable examples of dissent being squelched by the Bush administration. For example, George W. Bush visited the Wilmer Eye Institute on July 13, 2001. Several of us planned to protest by standing with signs on Broadway and Orleans Street, as the Bush motorcade drove to John Hopkins. However, the Baltimore Police Department and the Secret Service moved us out under threat of arrest.

It is now evident that the Secret Service orders local police to set up “free speech zones” where protesters are kept out of view of Bush and the media. The Pittsburgh police, for example, arrested Bill Neel, a retired steelworker, who refused to move to the protest zone during a Bush visit on Labor Day in 2002. Brett Bursey was arrested for holding a no war for oil sign at a Bush visit to Columbia, S.C. U.S. Attorney Strom Thurmond Jr. charged him with a federal law concerning “entering a restricted area around the President of the United States.” Remarkably Bursey was convicted, but the case is on appeal.

Anyone who went to New York City to protest the 2004 Republic National Convention stood a good chance of being falsely arrested. A number of Baltimore activists were imprisoned by New York City’s finest. The Metropolitan Police in the District of Columbia are notorious for mass arrests during legal demonstrations.

The list of examples where the Bush gang trampled on the Bill of Rights is endless and surely well-known to Russ Smith. So why would he claim “the First Amendment is thriving”? Is it possible he intends to next rehabilitate J. Edgar Hoover as a humanitarian who fervently protected the rights of the dissident.

Max Obuszewski

Editor’s note: Coming next week: our annual EAT dining guide and oh so much more.

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