The Rogue Voice


April 01, 2008

Letters and comics

Ben’s a warrior
Dear Rogue Voice:
Ben Leroux’s piece in the January 2008 Rogue Voice, “Johnston Street,” was a knockout. Sorry I’m so late in commenting on it.
He is warrior, the free man risking his life, escaping from the horrors of civilization, fending off the screeching traffic with his mighty weapons: his extension poles. His writing is vivid and clear, providing a unique glimpse of people and places with his excellent voice. I’m always tickled by how he doesn’t suffer fools lightly. His ear for dialogue and dialect is right on. My thanks to Ben for taking me, and other fans, with him on these wanderings across this fair land. I put him even higher on my list than Dishwasher Pete. I think Kerouac would have dug him. Ben’s pleasure in buying his few needs after counting his coins at the end of the day is a refreshing contrast to the greed that is, was and will be. His gratefulness for the places where he can safely sleep in the belly of his trusty beastmobile; the kind hearts he encounters; the real people. I always read his stories first, unable to save the best ‘til last, but January’s is a keeper, fa’ sure.

Lee Sutter
Los Osos

Editor’s note: Lee, we agree with you, that Ben rises to the level of America’s finer, more dedicated writers, living in the moment, celebrating life on the road, washing windows, chronicling the sights and sounds as they appear. Ben Leroux the window washer is himself a window into an American life you’ll not see anywhere else. Yes, Kerouac would have dug him, for sure.

Our designated driver
Dear Publisher:
I doubt $300 will buy you lushes more than one round of boiler-makers, but as a public service I am offering to safely drive your “drunken butts” on your elbow-bending bender [“Bush and Bukowski: Hail to the chief,” March 2008]. Although your excursion won’t put a dent in anything other than your foreheads, I appreciate the open forum your magazine offers and don’t want to see it end or see anyone get hurt. So, toss me your keys (none of you puking amoebas are allowed within 25 feet of my car), and drink your economic stimulus away! Maybe next time ya’ll will remember to choose an effective leader, not “a guy you’d like to have a beer with.” Sadly, I’m sure none of you pickled crustaceans will remember much of anything.


Editor’s note: Remy, first, thank you for your kind offer and we’ll be contacting you as soon as the rebate arrives. Second, you should know that as a former cabby, publisher Dell Franklin never tolerated puking amoebas in his cab and wouldn’t in his wildest drunken dreams subject you or another designated driver to such abuse. Finally, as Dell pointed out in his commentary, we wouldn’t drink beer with George W. Bush if he were the last person on earth. When we find a leader we’d like to clink glasses with, we’ll let you know.

You go, Dell!
Dear Rogue Voice:
Dell Franklin’s recent column certainly presented an interesting perspective on George Bush’s proposed economic stimulus package. To date, however, has he, or anyone else for that matter, realized this fabled $300 rebate? In keeping with the long-held business tradition of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours,” Dell plans to share his fantasy $300 with those clients who advertise in The Rogue Voice. Fair enough, and probably a lot closer to the intent of the rebate than buying “made in China” products. You go Dell, keepin’ it local, keepin’ it liquid, and above all, keepin’ it American.

Jay Bee
Morro Bay

Editor’s note: The following item is another one of those anonymous quips that gets passed along and forwarded by email. This one was sent to us by publisher Dell Franklin’s sister, Susie, who thought it made a good afterthought to Dell’s March 2008 commentary on the anticipated stimulus package from our benevolent president.

How to use the rebate
As you may have heard, the Bush Administration said each and every one of us will get a nice rebate.
If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China. If we spend it on gasoline it will all go to the Arabs, if we purchase a computer it will all go to India, if we purchase fruit and vegetables it will all go to Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala, if we purchase a good car it will all go to Japan, if we purchase useless crap it will all go to Taiwan and none of it will help the American economy.
We need to keep that money here in America, and the only way to do that is to buy prostitutes and beer, since those are the only businesses still in the U.S.

CodePink’s view
Dear Rogue Voice:
We of SLO CodePink thank you for this opportunity to educate the public on what our local chapter does, and how CodePink in general works. CodePink is a group of women and men for peace. We believe in social justice, education, healthcare, preserving the environment, and non-violent resolution to conflict. CP is a nationwide organization, and as such, we cannot control what other chapters do [see “Hold on, Code Pink,” March 2008], or how individuals in those chapters, act and react.
We are not always in agreement or happy about actions that occur, but we believe in free speech, and we recognize we cannot control things that happen outside of our group.
We would like to take this time to let our community know about some of the actions we of SLO CodePink have performed. Since our group began in 2003, we have collected and shipped boxes of sundry items to soldiers in Iraq. We have prepared and served food at the homeless shelters. Our program, Alternative to Military Futures, strives to educate high school students about other opportunities to fund higher education such as Pell Grants, loans, and scholarships. We show them other options to get career and technical training if they are not interested in college at this point in their lives. We do not give our personal opinions as to whether they should or should not join the military. Our mission is to have our young people make informed, educated, decisions about the future of their lives.
Our local group of over 500 members also organizes and facilitates peace marches and rallies. We donate money to local high school students who have shown a desire to work towards peace. We believe, as did our forefathers when they wrote the Constitution that “if there is something wrong in our country, those that have the ability have the responsibility to take action.” As most would agree, our country is in trouble: economically, with education, healthcare, and the environment. This war continues to waste money that could be better spent in our own nation, taking care of our own crises.
To these many pressing issues, the women and men of CodePink have dedicated themselves to reminding fellow citizens that the disaster in Iraq continues and that action needs to be taken to end this unjust, illegal war, to support our troops by bringing them home, and to redirect our priorities by taking care of our country and world in a compassionate, intelligent, and life-sustaining way.

In Peace
SLO CodePink

War! What is it good for…?
Sure, it’s easy enough to criticize a bunch of college kids for a misguided act of protest. That works out perfectly for George W. Bush and his cronies, whom Marine Capt. Richard Lund fails to criticize, despite the fact that our “Commander-in-Chief” has far more to do with a decrease in recruiting and thinning of our military than anyone from Code Pink ever could. To recap: If you protest the Marines, you’re protesting the wrong people. If you protest George W. Bush, you’re a traitor and giving aid and comfort to the enemy. In other words, let’s beat the war drums and everybody should just sit on their hands and cheer on the great leader. If our Defense Secretary says war crimes are A-OK, then we can’t blame him; he knows what’s best. …And we should just support the troops by putting a little yellow ribbon magnet on our cars while they come back damaged or in body bags. And when you never tell a lie to your recruits, does that mean you tell them outright that the war you are sending them to has no purpose, that they very well might come back physically maimed or with PTSD and receive almost no support from the government that sent them there? Can you tell them, or tell me, what the point of this war is? I really do want to know. Can you tell me when it will end? Can you tell me how this war is protecting America? Can you tell me why every freakin’ Marine isn’t calling for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney’s head?
Can you just turn off the rah-rah Marine clichés for a minute and have a real discussion about the situation on the ground? At this point, your blind loyalty is hurting the Marines. You are hurting the Marines.

The Rogue Voice Blog Guy


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