Letters to the editor

Not-so-super Tuesday Plus: Beware gang green; female-to-male conference wasn't just about sex.

Published March 11, 2000 5:00PM (EST)

Post-Super Tuesday poll: Now what?


If anyone doubted it, now we have proof: U.S. Civics 101 is all wrong. We don't live in a democracy, heck, we don't even live in a representative democracy or a republic. We live in a state controlled by party machines, which are in turn controlled by big business and labor unions.

Somehow I thought that the presidency was reserved for men of substance, who had distinguished themselves as American patriots, heroes, thinkers, revolutionaries, reformers. The two candidates we have been presented are anything but. One is a party hack, the other a spoiled little rich cipher who couldn't even succeed with nepotism going for him. The governorship of Texas qualifies the man for this rare honor? Give me a break.

While the chattering classes talk blithely about the politics of centrism, the implications for the future of American democracy are more ominous. In a land where the highest office is bought and sold by big money, where is the nobility and need for public service? Why should I die in defense of a country where suffrage is a joke? And who really does speak for "We the People?"

It sure as hell isn't George W. Bush or Al Gore.

-- James Stephen Garrett

I was appalled at the alleged analysis by Ann Coulter, and amazed you printed it. "Chicks like a cute, dumb guy?" Maybe high school sophomores do. I hope that most women voters have transcended that preference.

-- Leslie Burleson

Thank you to Fran Lebowitz for giving voice to my frustration and depression over seeing tossed out the window the best chance we had at having a president with any kind of depth. I wasn't sure if any of the political writers would do anything other than point to failed campaign tactics as the reason why Bradley lost. Ugh. At least now I know there is one media person who shares my sentiments.

-- Rachel DuBois

California makes its choices


Astonishment was the emotion that bubbled up when I read today that millions of Californians think they know better than I whom I should devote my life to. Of course, that is not how Proposition 22 was worded. It simply affirmed the exclusive supremacy of marriage between a man and a woman. But that simple idea represents a monumental arrogance to millions of other people who want to share their lives with someone who happens to be of the same sex. How could that possibly matter to heterosexuals?

-- Denny Smith

Rushing to judgment

One point Sean Elder's story makes, perhaps without intending to, is just how much political news coverage is about political news coverage. I, like many others, have become increasingly disillusioned about our political process, and the self-referential media at large is not helping.

While it's been highly amusing watching the GOP implode this week, news coverage itself (with few exceptions) has been equally raucous, steadily declining in both discipline and credibility. Form has followed function.

Media: Please regain some semblance of objectivity and simply report the news. It's not your job to spin it, too.

-- T. L. Hoganson

Green market

Huber is dead right, at least as far as faulting the green folks is concerned: Their meddling can only make things worse since, exactly in the footsteps of Marx and Lenin (and, yes indeed, Lennon), their "solution" is to bring in the vice squad, the government, which in a democracy, sans Plato's all-wise philosopher king, must degenerate into a corrupt outfit dishing out favors to various groups in an unending Hobbesian war of all against all.

What the greens have done so far is politicized environmentalism, which is the worst thing for this or any other decent cause. The global-warming issue has become nothing but a game, with evidence tossed in favor of scare-mongering. Gogola's colors are showing here as elsewhere: He favors pink (so watch out, greens).

-- Tibor R. Machan

Your author's assertion that "Furthermore, contrary to Huber's assertions, no 'soft green' is saying that we should burn wood instead of oil as some kind of global back-to-the-garden strategy" is simply wrong. I just happen to be reading the new "State of the World 2000" from the World Watch Institute, certainly a well-regarded environmental group. The lead essay in the book written by Lester Brown says "The only feasible alternative (to fossil fuels) is a solar/hydrogen-based economy, one that taps the various sources of energy from the sun, such as hydropower, wind power, wood or direct sunlight." Maybe you ought to give Huber a little credit before you dismiss him so lightly.

-- Dave Mastio

We have less than 6 billion more years for life to leave this plant and colonize the galaxy before the sun becomes a red giant and engulfs the solar system. It has taken 4 billion for life to reach our level of self-awareness.

Hundreds of millions of years from now a species of creature is going to find the remnants of our civilization in the fossil record, and they will puzzle out the mistakes that we made and use their findings to correct the course of their development.

This is why I no longer care about nature conservancy, pollution or saving the Earth. We can't save the Earth. We can't destroy it either. We may be able to destroy the ability of life as we know it to continue living, but new forms will arise from the algae at some later time.

I say let's hurry it along, end civilization, burn this whole thing down. We're here to screw-up so the squirrel-people archaeologists of the future can learn from our petrified barrels of toxic sludge buried in what is now called South Carolina.

-- Jeff Martin

Tom Gogola's review of Peter Huber's book, "Hard Green," was an excellent and devastating critique of Huber's "junk science" methodology. Huber's conservative agenda is always at the expense of scholarship. For example, one of Huber's earlier books, also published by Basic Books, "Liability: The Legal Revolution and its Consequences" was an attack on the legal system. An unflattering article on Huber, in the "Wall Street Journal" on Oct, 16, 1992, which no one can consider a friend of lawyers, best summed up Huber by quoting American University law professor Mark M. Hager: "Sloppy scholarship and flimsy argumentation make Huber's book too flawed to be taken seriously." Unfortunately, just like his other writings, I am sure that conservative bloviators like Rush Limbaugh will be liberally quoting, if I may use this term, from "Hard Green."

-- Julian Lopez

Gender warriors

I am a butch transperson from New York City, and I was at the conference as well. While there was a good deal of discussion of sexuality and of youth and queerness and blurring of identity, it was certainly more of a lifeline for its attendees then a tell-all of sexual promiscuity and body art.

I can tell you that it's not only the green-haired, pierced freaks who confront violence and harassment on a daily basis. We don't all "pass," we don't all "blend." I encounter daily verbal harassment, occasional physical harassment and I have none of these removable marks of freakishness you mention. For me, True Spirit was a heavenly respite from feeling unsafe, from feeling that my outward identity was in itself a justification for others to violate my privacy. I did more than talk about sex there (though I did do a fair amount of that as well). I got much needed medical information, I sought support from other transguys. I found resources and community. I had a damn good excuse to put on my best suit and tie and hit the hotel bar. I had countless conversations with wonderful people about what it means to be a 24-year-old butch tranny, who defies her sexual identity as a lesbian and her gender identity as alternately butch and trans, simply because none of those labels can fully express the way I view myself. I found a new family that weekend.

-- Stacey Meadow

I found your article on F2M transsexuals to be both condescending and insulting. Vitzthum constantly refers to F2M attendees of the True Spirit conference as being female. They are apparently capable of such things as "sisterly indignation." Many attendees are labeled "dykes" without much concern for how these speakers might choose to identify themselves. In this, Vitzthum seems completely oblivious to the reality that many lesbians interpret F2M's as being "traitors to the cause." There were some lesbians in attendance at the conference, but I would hardly call them the norm. Having read Vitzthum's article, it is difficult for me to believe she could have attended the True Spirit conference at all.

-- Martin Macor

Home labor


I read the articles recently about home party plans and not making any money. I'm here to prove otherwise. I was one of those "bored" stay-at-home moms that wanted to get out at night (for just a few hours because I was breastfeeding) and make some extra money. I totally thought I was getting into a "hobby job" and was surprised one year later to find out I had earned a free trip for two to Rio de Janeiro followed by a full-length mink coat (back before the days of being un-p.c. to get one) ... and more!!!

I've been with Petra Fashions Home Lingerie Parties for over 10 years and now make over $100,000 a year and am no different than most any mom I know.

If these authors know someone who didn't "make it" in the home party plan, they should keep looking ... they'll find others that did make it!

-- Karen Duling
senior national sales director
Petra Fashions Lingerie

By Salon Staff

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