Saturday, October 12, 2019

Mail call


     One of the many aspects of journalism that have been done in by the internet are letters to columnists. There isn't space to run them, and besides, anyone who still has a job as a columnist at a newspaper is too grateful to be employed to risk the "Gone Fishin'" aspect of printing readers letters.  They can hear their boss sneer, "You know, if you don't want to do your job, I can find someone who does..."
    Oh, some papers still have comments section, but those are labor intensive, requiring more effort to pluck out the obscene, the racist, the crazy and unfathomable, than was required to write the piece itself. Most publish a few carefully-culled letters to the editor and call it a day. 
     While I do take a certain lepidopterist's interest in the wackier missives, lately I really make a sincere effort to not to read them at all, to delete my Spam filter without a glance. Because reading the stuff, well, it can make a boy sad. And if you react with anything bordering on the censure they deserve, half the time they'll go shrieking to your boss, showing off the boo-boo, complaining they've been ill-used. Because nobody cries like a bully. So why bother? What's the upside? Nobody learns, nobody changes.
     Yesterday's column on Rev. Jim Wallis, and his commonsense observation that you can't follow both Jesus Christ and Donald Trump, drew more than the usual reaction. Which I was ready to ignore. But before 9 a.m. I got this, from regular reader Kevin Illia.
Neil, Good Morning! Wait for it! Wait for it! I am talking about the"Blow-Back" to your column. Please write about it. I can only imagine the type of comments you will receive. Have a Great Weekend! Kevin
   He sounded so excited. And he said "please." So I steeled myself and looked in the spam filter, and was not disappointed. The very first message,on the top of the page, was this all-caps bulletin from Robert Craig:
ANOTHER TYPICAL JEWISH JAMOKE TRYING TO APPEAR AN EXPERT, YET LACKING DATA. YOUR COHORTS, SCHIFF, SCHUMER, BLUMENTHAL,ET AL, COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THE JEWISH FAITH. THEY CRAVE NOTORIETY AND POWER. AND CONTROL. 60 % OF ALL JEWS DO NOT ATTEND THE SYNAGOGUE ON A REGULAR BASIS. GET A JOB THAT SUITS YOUR LITTLE, FEEBLE,INDOCTRINATED BRAIN. TRY THE POST OFFICE OR AMTRAK IMBECILE. MORE AND MORE SCUM BAGS FROM THE LEFT ARE APPEARING IN THE SUNTIMES. REALLY SAD.
    Yes, a lack of statistics regarding synagogue attendance, that is the germane point here.  Is that enough? One more. Okay. Move to the next one, from Jim Courchene, who to his credit can use the shift key:
Hi Neil,

Not sure if you were able to catch the best speech ever given yesterday by your President. Just have to ask when your hatred of this great man and the millions of voters who have elected our leader and who has done so much good for our country is going to end. God bless you and hope you can tone down your hatred in the future. It has been many years that you continue to belittle and shove you hateful opinions down your Sun Times readers throat.
Have a good day and I like to see you stop such hateful writtings one day. Going to be 5 more years and I feel you may loose your sanity all together like all your violent hateful protesters that create havoc across our country.

Thanks,
Jim
      He's referring to the repulsive hate speech Trump gave in Minneapolis, where he bragged about turning away refugees and slurred Ilhan Omar, the congresswoman from Minneapolis who has the audacity to insist on being both Muslim and American. As a matter of fact, I did watch parts of it, sickened and thinking of Orwell's "1984," and the cinema audience cheering while the refugee boat is bombed in a newsreel. 
      There are worse—mean, vindictive, throwing the old mud—but I don't want to give them the compliment of attention, and will leave those to your imagination.       
       Happy Kevin? You no doubt see why I'm usually content to leave them in the filter, unread and answered. Why go to the trouble? And it's only fair; they never consider what I have to say—failure to evaluate the world around you is how a person ends up supporting Donald Trump. I don't expect reality to ever dawn; to move forward, our nation will have to go around them, or over them, with them wrapped around our ankles, crying all the while, they way they did for eight years while Barack Obama tried to help them get health insurance. Though frankly, that is, as Jim suggests, probably five years away, at least. This can't be easy, and if you imagine we're near the end, think again. 






11 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing us.
    No need to see another car wreck, its always twisted steel, shattered plastic and oily liquids on the roadway.

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  2. Maybe publishing letters like these serves a purpose. They could make any normal person feel even better about who they are.

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  3. It's interesting to see these but yes that must be hard to read. The Trump followers are brainwashed, as it appears. Nothing one can say or nothing he can do wrong, will change their minds. Let's hope some of the ones who were on the fence last time, do the right thing in 2020.

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  4. I for one think it's a good thing to pay close attention to the comments of people who disagree with us. No matter how infuriating it may be to read the cocksure statements of the willfully ignorant, it can serve as a useful reminder that our opinions need to be double checked for accuracy or at least truthfulness, not swallowed whole on faith alone--we too have our echo chamber. And I'm much more hopeful than Jim or Neil that our national nightmare will go away in 2020 or earlier, given the increasing shamelessness of Trump's actions along with the ripple of perceived discontent among his followers.

    john

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  5. His speeches are more bad stand up comedy routines or finger pointing bad kid than any other description I can think of. It has to be yhe ignorance that appeals. The supporters have to know he is lying, spinning, restructuring the facts, but cant wait to hear how he will do it, then appreciate the story he comes up with. Or they are brain damaged.

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  6. I have to give credit to Neil’s detractors. At least they read his article. Most of that ilk rarely if ever want to know what “the other side” thinks or why.
    It won’t change their minds but at least they’re not hypocrites in that respect.

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  7. America was conceived in blood, Mr. S. This country of ours has had a bloody and violent history for almost 250 years. We were born in it and we have routinely bathed in it, from the war for independence to the war over slavery and over politics and civil rights. America has the most deadly labor history on the planet. Countless working men and women have died for basic rights in the workplace, and a living wage.

    So in order to move forward, our nation will not have to go around them, or over them, but through them--like an army of steam rollers, or an Orkin man eradicating vermin. Version 2.0 will not be a bloodless video game--the coming civil war will be ugly, and very costly in both lives and treasure. It may even spell the end of what we now refer to as the United States of America. Both China and Russia are licking their lips in glee and anticipation. Enjoy these last days of peace.

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  8. Puh-leeze. You are ignoring the bullies-are-cowards factor. Nobody enslaves themselves to Trump because they're bristling with personal courage. Will we see movie theaters and churches shot up? Sure. But we saw that BEFORE Trump. This End Times thinking is exactly what they love--it justifies their guns, for starters. I don't believe it. Trump will fill the sky until he doesn't. Like Hemingway's bankruptcy, it'll happen gradually then suddenly.

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    1. If he ekes out a victory...or cheats his way into a second term, it will embolden his base into outright persecution of leftists, minorities, immigrants, and the rest of their perceived "enemies", some of whom will retaliate in kind. Heinous atrocities will be commited by both sides, and the conflict will escalate exponentially.

      Okay, so it may not be on the scale of outright civil war, maybe more like Northern Ireland--on steroids. It's a big mistake to think that the bullies have all the guns. And we not only have 175 times their population, we have far more than 175 times the firepower, literally at our fingertips.

      Impeachment and conviction, though unlikely, may be our only hope. And if he claims "fraud" and refuses to go quietly, what then? The bullies-with-the guns might still erupt on his behalf. He might even encourage them to do so. Which they might also do if he gets the boot at the polls.

      If he is impeached and acquitted, and then wins a second term, five more years of escalating violence seems likely. Each year will be worse than the last, much like what I remember from the days of LBJ. Not a comforting thought. And by 2025, what will we be facing on a daily basis? What will every day life be like in the Untied Snakes? The nightmare may be just beginning. It may not even be midnight yet.

      Of course, if somebody manages to beat him, you can ignore all of the above.

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  9. From Christianity Today - "Pew has found a decline in attendance at religious services from 2007 to 2014, with about a third of Americans now saying they worship weekly and about a third saying they go rarely or never." So Jews are helping to raise our national average.

    I know, no sense in arguing with bigots, but I thought that was interesting.

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  10. We are in uncharted territory. I just spent the weekend with life long friends, no TV news or politics. One of them, a retired federal law officer is highly educated, more intelligent than me , and most. That he can listen to Trump's word salads, devoid of any logic and see truth there but not in reasoned arguments like yours astounds me. That he and his spouse can be devout Catholics while being indifferent to Trump's amorality depresses me, as I am reluctant to discuss politics with him, not wanting to hear him utter any laudatory words about the Cowardly Liar. Call it my virtual spam filter.

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