Monday, August 09, 2004


The Spokesman Review reported on Tuesday, August 3, 2004 (p. A7) that a single mom heard her car being demolished when a black locust tree blew down in a wind storm and crushed it. Working a part time, minimum wage job at Tesoro, she will not be able to replace her little steed she called “Girl”. Now the question in my mind is how far must she go to get to work, how much is bus fare and can she afford it, can she walk to the job and other questions of financial import. Back of my mind lifts the thought, “Not very much separates any of us from potential homelessness. A windstorm, a minimum wage job in expensive America, a broken tree and voila! Maybe you next.... I’m retired, but unfortunately in a time when retirees are about to come under the Republican gun. I could also be next....”


The Spokesman Review, our local rag, gives Kathleen Parker entirely too much space. She’s much too hypocritical.

This week in early August, Kathleen wrote a mocking portrayal of strong, independent Democrat first ladies and compared them to shrinking violet, Republican first housewives. The housewives get the better of it. I don’t get her drift. Kathleen allows herself to be sarcastic, abrasive, critical and stupid without condemning herself. But here’s my bottom line.

Teresa Heinz speaks her mind, not always in agreement with her husband, and is definitely her own woman. I respect that, and such a woman I do not fear. The kind of woman I fear is the one who suppresses her true nature and beliefs until she explodes and leaves her husband. The poor sap usually doesn’t know what hit him.

Now what about Laura Bush who silenced a gathering of poets a few years back because she found out that many poets she’d invited to a Gray House gathering didn’t support her husband’s Iraq folly. It’s typical of priggish Southern women to support the “ah’ts” until they realize that the vast majority of artists (in the all inclusive category) are liberal by nature, free spoken, difficult, defiant to authority or totally apolitical.

I lost all respect for “librarian” Laura when I saw how easily she’d censor free speech and bend over for her husband’s wrong-headedness and go along with the death of so many young Americans. Most librarians are not at all like Mrs. Bush Junior. They defend our right to read and to free speech. But like all such women housewife Bush “stifles” herself for her husband’s sake. Why do Americans who supposedly honor America’s freedom to speak have anything but contempt for the Laura Bushes of the world? Is it that conservatives really don’t honor free speech?


Haiti’s Aristide seems to have lost his way by surrendering to America’s refusal to allow much socialism in his country. Aristide was popular with his people when he promised to redistribute the wealth of Haiti. But America would have none of that helping the poor of Haiti so Aristide lost his popular base and had to leave office, and Haiti lost constitutional rule.

Read more about another American blunder in “Handful of Salt” (July-August, 2004, p. 9). Or go to the source: Bill Fletcher, Jr. in “Dollars & Sense #253” (May/June 2004). Fletcher can be reached at

"Death is nature's way of saying, "Howdy!" —Unknown, but how about giving it to Alvy Singer?

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