Cabin-Fever Scribbles: An open letter to Joe Ben-Ghazi

Mar 17 • FEATURE SIDEBAR, NEWS & VIEWS, Op-Ed, ViewsNo Comments on Cabin-Fever Scribbles: An open letter to Joe Ben-Ghazi

Dear Bro Joe,

I figured I’d join the surge of cabin-fever-fueled communications and drop you a note. Recently, some rogue congressmen got so bored they sidestepped protocol and invited Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to do a campaign speech here. Even more recently, 47 senators suffering cabin fever wrote to your “leaders.” (I guess they didn’t know exactly who to write to.) Your leaders’ new penpals took a wrong turn on a bus to Selma, Alabama, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a nonviolent protest for civil rights and social justice that turned into Bloody Sunday. I figure their bus wound up in Oklahoma, they got drunk, sang Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chants, and wrote that little letter. It seems every time Americans start talking about equality and social justice, somebody gets drunk, starts shooting or starts a war.

The letter was about 270 words long. About six words a piece. Hemmingway once wrote a full story in six words, “For Sale; Crybaby Senators. Old; scorned.” (Or something like that.) I’m not sure any of the writers know who Hemmingway is. I’m pretty impressed they could write a complete sentence.

Two of Iran’s new penpals are senators from North Carolina: Thom and Richard. Good men. Just like at least a few of your leaders. But I doubt your leaders speak for you any more than Thom or Richard speak for me. They don’t speak for North Carolina, don’t speak for the United States, and they don’t speak for Jesus. They’re speaking for themselves, trying to undercut every move of a president they despise to make him look like an idiot. Of course, their letter renders them vulnerable to prosecution for violating the Logan Act and makes our professorial POTUS look like even more of a genius.

Me? I’m no genius, and I’m not itching for a perp walk. I’m writing person-to-person, trying to convince you that all Americans aren’t boneheads when we’re bored.

I’m also trying to influence you to resist the extremist element in your leaders and maybe even change the “Islamic State of Iran” back to “Persia.” Fundamentalists of all ideologies seem to want to go back to the good old days, when strict fathers ruled obedient wives, children and everything else. (Obedient wives and children? How’s that working for ya over there, Joe?)

No matter what you hear from your extremist leaders or ours, we’re not a “Christian” nation. Look at how we treat women, plunder the environment, value profit over people, and how little we invest in teaching our children compared to preparing to kill yours. Even so, imagine how bad things could get here if some fundamentalist Christian sects gained control of even larger sections of our government. Common folk like you and I would be in a pickle. I invite you to join me in doing your part to avoid the “End of Days,” and a 21st century version of “The Crusades” by resisting your ideological extremists every chance you get—same as I’m resisting mine.

Like many Americans the senators also seem to think we live in the “Underdog States of America.” We approach every negotiation as if we are tiny David staring down Goliath, even though we have the biggest military budget in history. (Makes about as much sense as your erase-Israel extremists who deny the Holocaust. If it wasn’t for the terrible reality of Hitler’s Holocaust, the Jewish people would eventually have negotiated space in the Holy Land with a lot more grace—or just stayed on the Upper East Side.)

I agree with a lot a people’s concerns about nuclear weapons. Nukes are worse than assault rifles. No one needs them. You can’t hunt with them. You can’t eat what you kill with a nuclear bomb. And I don’t know about you, but incinerating millions of other people like you and me with the push of a button takes my appetite away.

Finally, don’t take their letter personally. Forgive them, friend, for they know not what they do. You’re just the “next big thing to fear.” Like Red China, Russia, Iraq, Syria, Taliban, ISIS, and ebola. If you manage to change your wacko leadership before we change ours, we’ll just find and fund another mortal foe. If we get bored enough, we’ll even invade Canada.

Peace,

M

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