POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 2, 2009:
Love Letters/Hate Mail
Brush Up on Bad '80s Sci-Fi
(In response to "Rarity Among Rarities" by Josh Kline in the Aug. 20-26 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
There is a sentence in Josh Kline's review of the movie District 9 that made me blink, rub my eyes, and then look back at the page incredulously to see if the words were actually what I thought they had been: "...the movie is that rarity among rarities: a sci-fi actioner that is original in concept, rather than being a remake, rip-off, or regurgitation of some other source material." Evidently Kline never saw the movie Alien Nation 20 years ago, or he has completely forgotten its existence.
Look, a work can be derivative and still be very good. Virgil never made any secret of the fact that his "Aeneid" derived from Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey." Examples of movies that are derivative and also good are Pulp Fiction, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Star Wars: A New Hope (1977).
Go ahead and praise District 9 for what you see as the high quality with which it was executed; but don't try to tell me it's not derivative. Alien Nation wasn't the greatest movie ever, but I still remember it after 20 years, and credit is due its creators.
Randi Eldevik, Stillwater
In the August 20 article "Down to the Crossroads" (by Mike Easterling) about the Cushing crude oil complex, the author confuses crude oil storage tanks and pipelines with a crude oil refinery. There is no refinery at Cushing and in fact there is no refinery in the U.S. capable of processing one million barrels per day as the author states. There is no gasoline at the Cushing storage facility and Cushing has nothing to do with establishing the gasoline price in the United States. What is in Cushing is America's most important crude oil terminal, consisting of storage tanks and pipelines. A refinery consists of distillation towers and associated equipment used to convert crude oil into gasoline, jet fuel and diesel. Tulsa has two oil refineries, Holly (formerly Sun) and Sinclair on the west bank of the Arkansas.
- Keith Selby
Are You a Reasonable Man?
(In response to "Violence Works. Incrementalism Doesn't." by Ted Rall in the Aug. 27-Sept. 2 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
Health care costs began to balloon with the introduction of Medicare. Medicare originally saw people checking their children into hospitals because it was cheaper than hiring a baby sitter. And the medical industry did nothing to stop that, because government interference in private enterprise is always a boon to the unscrupulous. Since that time, every further incursion by the government into the industry has increased prices, profits and political contributions in an unending spiral.
Meanwhile, every place competition has been eliminated, from the insurance industry itself (which has far, far more legislative leeway to monopolize than ever before) to the VA (remember the exposes on their hospitals that ran two short years ago?) to Medicare and beyond has resulted in increasingly shoddy service for ever-spiraling prices.
Socialized health care has been tried worldwide, with results that range from barely mediocre to abominable. I don't know why you want that for your fellow Americans, but I submit that reasonable men can disagree on the subject. Are you a reasonable man? You're reasonable enough to admit that the late, unlamented plan just laid to rest was a turkey, but you're lamenting it anyway. So, I don't know how to answer that question.
My sister volunteers at a wildlife shelter which gives health care to endangered species, including arguably the one most dear to Americans, the bald eagle. Yet when a baby seal was found recently mauled by a dog, the government decided it needed a seal specialist and ordered the shelter to leave it on the dock for four days dehydrating in the sun, while arrangements were made to fly this seal to the government's one seal specialist.
Can't happen to a human, you say? My brother found himself with a cancerous cyst in his hip and without insurance, signed up for a state program, and was delayed until his hip bone shattered under his own weight.
And you sit there retyping CNN talking points. This is "alternative journalism?" You so parroted the mainstream media I'm surprised you didn't follow MSNBC's lead and label the Arizona patriot, AK-47 owner and African-American a closet klansman (after cropping his photo so his race could not be determined). Such a moral high ground you have claimed there...
So, you admit the bill defeated was a turkey, yet you slander all those who opposed it as idiots. Well, Mr. Rall, would you care to test your theory over a chessboard with me? Given the demographics of this city, I believe you would be wise indeed to issue an apology for that brainless diatribe of yours...
- Anthony Platt
(In response to "Credit Cards and Predictable Unintended Consequences" by Dr. Joseph J. Horton in the Aug. 27-Sept. 2 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
Matthew 18:23-35 (New International Version)
"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents[a] was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
"The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.[b] He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.
"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
a. Matthew 18:24 That is, millions of dollars
b. Matthew 18:28 That is, a few dollars
The big banks, Chase, Bank of America, were like the first man in the parable above -- they were bailed out --Chase $50 billion; Bank of America $45 billion TARP money received.
Yet, did these big banks forgive debt or lower their interest rates of holders of their credit cards? No.
Enemy of the People
The goody two-faces have their own secret pseudo-Christian Kult called "The Family." Republican hardcore politicians, where some live in a tax free church in D.C. Some known members are Senator John Ensign-Nevada, and Mark Sanford-S.C. Governor-admitted adulterers. Reporter Jeff Sharlet's book-"The Family" out in 2008 before Sanford and Ensign's affairs hit the fan.
Senator Tom Coburn is a deacon in this subversive kult and a conspirator in the cover-ups. This kult was conceived in 1935 with bizarre Bible Interpretations-like Luke 14:26 where Jesus reportedly said--could not be his disciple if did not hate your father, mother, etc, etc, or, Put the Kult First. A perversion of "let the dead bury the dead" or saying people must abandon the old ways. According to the author their teachings are: They are the chosen by God to rule and minister only to the powerful, including tyrants, they respect the management skills of people like Hitler. They manage and move money to extend their power around the world. The will of the people has no value; they do not believe in government charities-only trickle down from rich to poor. They do not honor democracy or churches that respect democracy--they refer to themselves as the Christian mafia. This may have infiltrated the entire Republican Party--since they usually vote as a One in Congress. This teaching is spreading also through local communities and states. Tom Coburn has said he will not reveal "The Family" secrets. The Republican Party has long been the enemy of the people--now we know why!
- J. Ray Hunt, Broken Arrow
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