Letters to the Editor

Week of December 18, 2002

Calling all Poindexters

Don't try this at home, kids; try it at work!:After reading Matt Smith's column "Calling All Yahoos" [Nov. 27], I think it crosses the line to harass people at home on work-related issues. A better approach than phoning John Poindexter at home is for SF Weekly readers to provide feedback on the Total Information Awareness program to these TIA team members at their work e-mail addresses:

Dr. John Poindexter,
jpoindexter@darpa.mil

Ms. Kristen Numrych,
knumrych@darpa.mil

Dr. Robert Popp,
ref="mailto:rpopp@darpa.mil">rpopp@darpa.mil

Mr. Thomas Armour,
tarmour@darpa.mil

Ms. Jan Walker,
href="mailto:jwalker@darpa.mil">jwalker@darpa.mil

My own view is that the TIA funds would be better spent catching bin Laden and his cronies. I'm still very confused why the Pentagon allowed them to escape from Afghanistan last December.

Richard M. Smith
Brookline, Mass.

Since Poindexter will probably start a file on me, I'm starting a file on him: I commend Smith on his proposal for California nationhood. I was fascinated by the history of Stuttering Zeke and his cohorts.

I'm on the moderate side, politically speaking, but the folks up here in the great state of Oregon only elected one Republican and he promises he's a moderate himself. Most of us up here who are familiar with Poindexter's antics are rather disgusted by him and his masters. And although we have taken issue with some Californians for spending way too much time in our state, I'm sure we dislike Poindexter far more. So for the sake of West Coast solidarity, maybe Oregon could join California in this venture. I wonder if Washington would be interested?

Do you suppose I'll get an FBI file for proposing secession? Even if I don't, I'm sure Poindexter will have one; he seems like that kind of guy. Of course, I'm starting a file on him.

Don Daeges
Portland, Ore.

Just say no to superspooks: I sent Poindexter this "opt out" letter last week. Everyone should attempt to opt out of TIA!

"Dear Mr. Poindexter,

I understand your office is working on the new Total Information Awareness database. The purpose of the program, to detect, classify and identify foreign terrorists, is certainly a goal every American can wholeheartedly support. I am somewhat concerned however by the potential for abuse of such a comprehensive database by unethical persons. Of course I'm sure the only people officially permitted to access this data will possess the highest moral and ethical standards. Nonetheless, we have repeatedly seen unauthorized access to many private records, credit reports and confidential databases, both business and governmental, by criminals and other unethical people in the last few years. While I am sure your department will use the latest security technology to protect confidential data, the best defense against data abuse is not to have your data included.

I would like to certify now, under penalty of perjury, that I am not a terrorist, have never been a terrorist and do not support terrorists, foreign or domestic. Furthermore, some of my ancestors have been in this country over 350 years, some fought in the American Revolution that formed our country. They have also defended this country in every war from the French & Indian wars, the Civil war, Spanish American and Philippine Insurrection, down to the present. In fact, I am related to the Bush family as well as other former presidents.

I mention this so you will know that there can be no question as to the patriotism of my family. In light of this, I would like to 'opt out' of the Total Information Awareness database. Inclusion of my data would be unnecessary and unhelpful in your quest to identify terrorists. In fact, with the massive amounts of proposed data collection, data from loyal Americans will just confuse and obfuscate the information you are seeking about terrorists. Thank you for taking the time to read this and remove me from all your databases."

Rick Thompson
Petaluma

Secession recollection:This article reminded me of two things. First, the novel Ecotopia, where the West Coast did just what Smith prescribes. Made it sound like Portland, kind of, but with no Subarus.

The other thing I thought of was a graphic that ran in Spy magazine in the early '90s in which the secession fantasies of a variety of groups were compared and found to coincide nicely with an ecotopia, an Aztlán, a white-power homeland, and a new confederacy in the South split with black nationalists. I think Jews and Yankees owned the northeast.

Alaska is almost over the secession craze. Our strange and fearless leader was shot by his estranged male "friend" (possibly lover, but politically unacceptable within that group and causing some cognitive dissonance). Now we are firmly latched on to the federal teat and loving it!

Erik D. Hilsinger
Eagle River, Alaska

Respect Due!

Keith is still kool, despite his recent flakiness:I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents on Dan Strachota's Kool Keith article, as I have known Keith and KutMasta Kurt for many years and worked with 'em on some of the projects he mentions ["Keith's not always so cool," Pop Philosophy, Nov. 27]. I totally agree that Keith's no-show was irresponsible and unjustified; the dude has a serious timeliness disorder which I can personally vouch for! It sucks that his fans got stiffed because he was riding with a drunk chick around S.F., and I have no idea why he didn't catch a cab from the pokey or wherever. I'm not trying to even touch that.

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