E-mail letters, June 24 2011
We should learn lesson
of what felled Rome
Question: What have we learned in the last 2,066 years?
“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.” Cicero — 55 B.C.
(Rome, financially and morally bankrupt, eventually fell. It never again achieved the power and glory that it once had.)
Answer: Apparently nothing.
leads to tyranny
Whether speaking of paintings, murals or tattoos (any form of expression found in what is called “art”) what is seen is interpreted through the eyes of the beholder. Quite obviously, there are many who would like others to see things only as they see them, as they believe that theirs is the only “true” view of things and, as such, is the only one acceptable.
Mesa State College President Tim Foster, the governor of Maine and certain others have set themselves up as judges; i.e. censors, over what art is and what others should be permitted to see or hear or what others should be subject to.
Perhaps the next step they can take is to begin putting clothes on statues and paintings or, as former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcraft did, place a screen in front of a wall containing something he didn’t like or what he considered personally “offensive” to his sensibilities.
One recent writer to The Daily Sentinel stated that the painting taken down at Mesa State should have been “realistic.” For that, neither paintings nor any other form of art is required. A photograph or some “paint by number” rendition would do.
If the Foster supporter wants to see what she calls physical reality of the subject, all she has to do is look out her window, in which case there is no need, even for a photograph.
Not being an artist, there are many forms of art that I do not understand, whether in paintings, sculpture, literature or music. But, whether I personally understand or like it or not, is immaterial. Art does one thing, if recognized for what it is. By providing a different view and/or perspective (that of another), it broadens and expands the mind to consider other things, not only in the creation itself, but in others as well.
What is unfortunate is that some have apparently appointed themselves censors of what others should and should not see or hear. Such individuals believe that they have, not only the right, but the duty to do so
We can consider that attempting to sterilize the emotional and intellectual existence of others is something that has always and will always lead to one thing: tyranny.
Those who allow or actually promote censorship, in art or anything else, might do well to look at the painting “The Scream” and begin practicing what is conveyed there now, such that, when their turn comes, they will be well rehearsed
Robert I. Laitres
Drone attacks unnecessary
if Pakistan really fought terrorists
In The Daily Sentinel “Letters” on June 23, Dave Murphy laments the many innocents killed by drone attacks in Pakistan. He said: “The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan estimates that in the 111 attacks last year 957 Innocent civilians were killed, and thousands of survivors were pushed into wretched refugee camps.”
I searched the Internet for quite some time, and finally ran across what I suspect is his fair and balanced source: “Pakpotpourri2’s Blog — Just another WordPress.com site.” There is an article there by another fair and balanced reporter, Kathy Kelly, who “co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence.”
While I cringe at loss of innocent lives, we have not yet developed a bullet, guided bomb or the drone munitions that only hit the person or persons with their name on it. War is indeed hell.
I suspect Murphy would also have canceled the use of the Fat Man and Big Boy atomic weapons in World War II. And I admit that is not exactly a fair analogy, but only in scale.
Now if, and that is a huge “if,” the Pakistani Government really, really wanted to root out al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists, we would rarely, if ever, have to resort to drone or SEAL team attacks. Is that an unreasonable expectation? This would practically eliminate any innocent loss of life there.
The airport fence
is all wrong.
Over the last several weeks, the process of putting a chain link fence around the airport has finally generated some public awareness. Early on, the fence was explained away at some token announcements (not really meetings, which imply conversation).
Now we learn the grant funds used for the fence were reportedly meant for another purpose. What happens when the grant is audited? Oops, you need to do it differently next time? Is this any way to manage federal funds or a public airport?
After all the administrative jumbo is considered, look at the security issue. If this actually reduced the threat of terrorism, I believe the aviation community would just accept it. Could someone tell me how chainlink and password gates keep someone who is willing to sacrifice his life to commit a terrorist act from doing so?
When we get done, let’s look at the fountain out front. I thought we were expecting our public domain to demonstrate water conservation. It’s a desert. Live with it.
It is our airport, contributing to our community pride and our economy. Let’s not allow it to be hijacked just to pad a resume.