Truth and Democracy

Inviting those who live in the right-wing alternate universe to join the rest of us out here in reality.

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Location: Hackensack, New Jersey, United States

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Another Letter to the Editor - This time, once again, the Rapture Right is the Target

I penned this letter earlier this afternoon. It ties together Congressman John Hostettler's (R-Ind.) offensive comments that "Democrats are waging war on Christians" with my Congressman, Scott Garrett (R-NJ5), and his religious right affiliation, which flies in the face of the district he represents. Last year, I was Press Secretary for D. Anne Wolfe, his Democratic opponent. Mrs. Wolfe has already announced her intention to run again in 2006. Her strong showing in '04, in a heavily Republican district, has brought attention to the district as having some swing potential and it has also brought Garrett opponents, including from within his own party, out of the woodwork.

Congressman Hostettler’s offensive remarks before the US House on Monday were only the latest example of the radical fundamentalist takeover of the GOP and their war against separation of Church and State. Viewing the disgusting manner in which the President, Congress, Governor Bush, the “religious right” and right wing media outlets have torn open and intruded on the Schiavo/Schindler family tragedy, reveals the great political power of this small minority of Americans.

Howard Dean’s recent comments were too unspecific. The GOP has, in fact, become the Party of mostly White Fundamentalist Christians, who believe that the “Rapture” will occur in our lifetime. Read the “Left Behind” book series to understand who these folks are and that, if you’re not the right kind of Christian, you are useless to them. In 2003, I left the GOP, myself, to work for Gen. Wesley Clark.

Most troubling for us in Bergen County is our own Congressman, Scott Garrett. His 100% ratings from extremists like Pat Robertson and Phyllis Schlaffly, along with support from radicals at Operation Rescue and the John Birch Society show him to be exactly the WRONG kind of Republican for us.

I offer a solution for this situation to my truly mainstream Republican neighbors. Vote for D. Anne Wolfe of Mahwah next November. I know Anne Wolfe. Although a Democrat, she shares more bedrock Republican principles with you, such as fiscal responsibility and smaller, more open government (anyone remember those?) than Garrett ever will.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Additional info on Lt. Louis Allen

It turns out that, after an investigation into the incident, the military has concluded that Lt. Louis Allen (the subject of my letter to Randi Rhodes) was killed along with another officer by a Staff Sargeant in their unit. I have heard, although not through the media, that this individual, now in custody and charged with murder, may have been upset over being recently disciplined.

This aspect of the story makes it no less tragic. If anything, it makes it more so, if that is possible. Nonetheless I simply wanted to update my original post. Thanks for reading (for those few who do).

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Letter to Randi Rhodes

The following is a letter which I wrote to Air America Radio host Randi Rhodes last week. It details some events regarding a very heartbreaking week for my niece Julianne and her upstate New York classmates:

Dear Goddess Randi,

Paul from New Jersey here, the one you met last Summer at Rocky Sullivans while I was working on a Congressional campaign. Thank you so much for everything you do. I call you from time to time, usually in a more lighthearted mood and take shots at the radical right wing. However, today I am deadly serious. I have to share with you the story of Louis Allen. I have felt for a long time that, as Democrats, we are sometimes too fond of making our point with statistics. The story of Louis Allen puts a very human face on the terrible cost of war and why we must never be eager to start war.

My sister Mary, her husband and two children live in Greenwood Lake, NY. On Wednesday morning, after dropping my 15 year old niece, Julianne, who is one of the top students at her school, off at High School, Mary received a very strange message on her answering machine. It was the voice of a young woman so choked up with hysterical grief that Mary could not understand what she was saying. She thought it must be a wrong number until at the very end she caught the words, "Please call me back Mommy, I love you very much." At that, she reached for her phone and called Julianne's cell phone.

You see, earlier this year Julianne's school hired a new science teacher. His name was Mr. Allen. It didn't take his students long to realize that this was a very special teacher. It is a rare High School teacher indeed who is admired, respected and loved by every single student they teach. I think I only experienced this once or twice in all my years of schooling. He obviously was a very special teacher. As time went on the students learned that, although young, Mr. Allen was married with four wonderful children and that he was a national guardsman who had already served a tour of duty in Iraq.

A couple of weeks ago Mr. Allen informed his class that he had been called back for another tour of duty in Iraq. My niece, not being a fan of our current President (as few in my family are), was devastated and outwardly angry at Bush for taking away the best teacher she's ever known. Who could blame her?

When Julianne arrived at School on Wednesday morning she and her class were informed that 1st Lt. Louis E. Allen of the 901st Cavalry Bravo Unit had been killed in action near Tikrit. It was for this reason that my little niece was hysterical with grief when she called her Mother. Mr. Allen leaves behind a wife and four children, that alone is tragic enough. He also leaves behind a school full of mourning children, who have lost the kind of special teacher that rarely comes along in a child's life.

This is why we hesitate before launching war, even upon a dangerous enemy, let alone an unarmed one. This is the obscenity which has come with every war in human history. This is why war is only a last resort. For every one of those 1700 Americans and those 100,000 plus Iraqis, there is a similar story. I hereby defy any one of those right wing, group-thinking, Bush apologist freepers who seem to love to call your show on Friday afternoons, to acknowledge this story and tell you and I, and more importantly my niece Julianne, that this is just the comfortably acceptable cost of "liberating" Iraq.

With all that we know about the Project for a New American Century, Bush's failure to return to the Congress or the UN having exhausted all diplomacy first, his failure to adhere to sensible war planning and now with the Downing Street Memo proving that the administration never wanted any option but invasion, I defy these right wing drones to continue to defend this President and his horrible foreign policy team. By doing so, they show themselves as what they are, lacking in a human soul.

Paul Roth, Jr.
River Edge, NJ

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Republican Shame in Bergenfield, New Jersey

The following is an unpublished letter to the editor which I recently sent to The Record newspaper in northern New Jersey. It is a response to the thoughtless and disrespectful antics of Bret Schundler and Doug Forrester, two Republican candidates for Governor in the Garden State. While marching in a Memorial Day parade the two engaged in a political argument with each other regarding their TV advertising campaigns. The Mayor of Bergenfield had to separate them and remind them of the solemn nature of the occasion. Since I originally wrote this piece, Forrester has won the GOP Primary and will face US Senator Jon Corzine in November's Gubernatorial Election:

I am writing in response to your article of May 31, regarding the shameful actions of Bret Schundler and Doug Forrester at the Bergenfield Memorial Day parade. If these two fools are indeed the Republican frontrunners for Governor, I feel very sad for New Jersey Republicans.

It’s bad enough that these politicians worm their way into such commemorative events and use them for campaign purposes. The idea that Schundler and Forrester have so little respect for the meaning of Memorial Day that they would engage in political bickering with Bergenfield’s war veterans as a backdrop is disgusting. In the process they also terribly embarrassed Bergenfield’s Mayor, who doubtless invited both.

During my tenure as Press Secretary for Anne Wolfe, I coined the unflattering nickname “Photo-Op Patriot” for Congressman Scott Garrett. This was in response to Mr. Garrett’s bad habit of getting himself photographed with every veteran or service member possible and saying all the right words about our soldiers while voting in the House to over-extend our current troops and under-fund veterans’ health care. As hypocritical as I believe Garrett is, he at least sometimes manages to show appropriate respect. Apparently Schundler and Forrester are incapable of even this much.

Being a partisan Democrat, I am already certain that I will vote for Senator Corzine in November. However, I hope that North Jersey’s Republicans will also strongly consider rejecting these pathetic excuses for candidates in favor of an individual of the character and integrity of Jon Corzine.

Friday, June 03, 2005


Life has temporarily prevented me from posting here. I will return soon! Thank you to anyone who still bothers to check. Paul