JONATHAN DOWNARD photograph

Concerning Freedom (Jonathan on Michael on Michael)

It's a year old now, but I thought this was interesting. This email was forwarded to me by someone dear to me. I'm sure these men intended to be patriotic and helpful. I have written my comments in response to these statements at the bottom. (-J-)

This article by Michael Niewodowski regarding Michael Moore's movie is right on the money!!

Was just sent this article by Michael Niewodowski, a chef at the Windows on the World restaurant, who was supposed to report to work there at the top of the World Trade Center at 9:00 a.m. The first plane hit at 8:46.

He's not a professional writer, but his take on this human pig of a man, Michael Moore, could not be better put. ~Ted Xxxxxxxx

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"Michael on Michael"

From The Sarasota Herald-Tribune Written by Michael Niewodowski

From Here to Eternity. Tora, Tora, Tora. In Harm's Way

There have been more than 20 films made about Pearl Harbor, and over 200 films made about World War II. These films inspire patriotism, courage, and nationalism. They tell us about the honor and bravery of the soldiers and the nation that supported them.

Two and a half years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the world watched American forces fight on D-Day. Two and a half years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the world is watching Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Moore's film is the first major motion picture about Sept. 11, 2001. This bears repeating. When future generations look back on the Sept. 11 massacre, their first impression, through the medium of film, will be a work in which the president and the government are blamed for the attacks, and the soldiers who are protecting this country are defamed. Instead of a film version of Lisa Beamer's book, "Let's Roll," or Richard Picciotto's "Last Man Down," we are presented with this fallacy.

How could this happen?

It would be a colossal insult to insinuate that Franklin D. Roosevelt or the U.S. government were in any way responsible for the attacks on Pearl Harbor.

Can you imagine the indignation of the men and women who lived during that period?

"Fahrenheit 9/11" is indicative of a nation that has become too apathetic, ignorant or deceived to face the enemy at the gate.

America ... where is your fury?

On Sept. 11, 2001, I stood across the Hudson River, watching the Twin Towers burn, knowing that if the plane had struck at 9:46 a.m. instead of 8:46 a.m., I would be dead. As a survivor and witness to the attack on the World Trade Center, I am more than insulted by this film. I am outraged.

This film is based on conjecture, hearsay and propaganda. At a time when this country desperately needs to rally in support of our brave soldiers and our strong leaders, Moore is content to spread discord and divisiveness. The base of his argument is that the Bush administration had strong ties with the bin Laden family. However, sound facts are conspicuously absent from this "documentary."

The 9/11 commission did not indict President Bush. According to the report, the president's actions before, during and after the attacks are fully justified, including the military action in Iraq. The commission did not find a direct link between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. A similar commission in the 1940s would not have found a direct link between Hitler's Germany and the attack on Pearl Harbor. In both instances, the threat was imminent; the president and the military acted decisively.

Could we have been more prepared for a terrorist attack on Sept. 10, 2001? Certainly.

Could we have been more prepared for an attack on Dec. 6, 1941? Most definitely.

In the weeks and months following Pearl Harbor, there were reports and criticisms that the government and military should have been more prepared. The difference is that the people of the nation did not waste a lot of time pointing fingers at each other. Rather, they unified and engaged the enemy head-on. I guess that is why we call them "The Greatest Generation."

How will future generations refer to us?

So, how do we explain Moore's film to future generations? I wonder.

More than that, I wonder how I would explain this film to Nancy D., Jerome N. or Heather H. I am sure you don't know their names, but their faces haunt me day and night. How would I explain to them that a film was made accusing the president and vilifying the soldiers . the same president and soldiers who are attempting to avenge their murders and protect other citizens.

Moore has not only insulted the nation, he has insulted the victims of the terrorist attacks.

During his acceptance speech at the Oscars, Moore said,

"Shame on you, Mr. Bush."

Well, I say, "Shame on you, Michael Moore."

Shame on everyone who supports this travesty of a film. Shame on a society that allows this sham of a film. You have weakened the nation.

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Concerning Freedom

(Jonathan on Michael on Michael)

by Jonathan Downard

Ok. Firstly, I'd like to say that nothing can really be gained from calling anyone a pig, save a little selfish satisfaction. Shame on you, "Ted Xxxxxx," whoever you may be. And shame on you, Mr. Niewodowski, for trying to usher in a new era of neo-McCarthyism.

I am extremely sorry and sympathetic to the families of Nancy D., Jerome N. and Heather H, as well as all the people who died in the towers, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and here at home. How would I explain to them that a film was made accusing the President? I would tell them that I hope everything possible is being done to find out the what and why and how... and to prevent such tragedies from happening again. I would tell them that we're going all the way to the top and beyond, even investigating our very own Commander in Chief in the search for answers.

It may, perhaps, be a collossal insult to insinuate that Roosevelt and the U.S. government were partly responsible for allowing the attack on Pearl Harbor... But it has been done. Repeatedly. There is a mountain of speculation pointing to that idea, and at least a small amount of evidence. Pearl Harbor had been staffed at that time with a relatively diminutive "skeleton crew," although it was well-known that Germany and Japan were allied, and an attack could quite easily come from that direction. This sort of an "uncalled-for massacre" would have been exactly what our government needed to rally a sense of nationalism and urgency to jump full-force into WWII, and sway some of those opposed to U.S. entrance into the war. This in no way eradicated all anti-war sentiments from the "doves" among the populace; and many still only approved retaliation.

Mr. Niewodowski's article is also "based on conjecture, hearsay and propaganda", as well as intense emotion. He is making biased claims about the strength and competence of our leaders, which, as American citizens, it is our DUTY to question and question again. He is also suggesting that Red, White, and Blue is never wrong; and that no one should question the President. What happened to "No one is above the law"? The "Founding Fathers" intended us to be on guard against tyranny, dictatorship, and ineptitude. I agree with Niewodowski that the nation has become too apathetic, ignorant, and deceived-- by its own set of leaders and media. We are allowing ourselves to be programmed by the doctrine of terror and the trust our media would have us put in the government... and the media itself. The "Greatest Generation" has been labeled as such by MEMBERS OF THAT GENERATION, who, by the way, were still keeping African-Americans in separate restrooms/bus seats and polluting the environment fairly recklessly.

Our attack on Japan, although extreme and illegal by today's international wartime laws, was much more easily justified... the MILITARY OF JAPAN ATTACKED OUR HOLDINGS. No military force of Iraq has attacked our 50 states or territories. EVER. Also, our allies, especially Britain and France, had long been taking a beating on their home lands, and the Nazis' aspirations for GLOBAL DOMINATION were clear when the U.S. entered that war. Iraq only invaded Kuwait. The first Bush Administration supposedly put an end to that unjust situation a decade ago. End of story. Our military has often put itself in the middle of other countries' conflicts, at times for purposes difficult to defend-- but that's another discussion. And we should also avoid U.S. involvement in the Iran-Iraq conflict of many years. Perhaps another discussion would be the frequent presumption of the U.S. to impose its own moral or political standards on other peoples and nations.

I say again: Japan and Germany were actually political allies. There has never been any evidence that Al Qaida, The Taliban, and the government of the country of Iraq were allied. Also-- still no evidence of "weapons of mass destruction" have been found. The war in Iraq can only be the result of vendetta, economic gain aspirations, preventative cover-up, or a scapegoat for the unsuccessful pursuit of Bin Laden in Afghanistan.

There was also an entirely different social climate before and after World War II. In the '40's and '50's, civil liberty was in extreme danger. African-Americans and other ethnic groups were even more oppressed and demonized than today, and the witch hunt for "Communists" was running wild. McCarthy-minded businesses and government agencies were ostracizing people constantly for so-called UnAmericanism (which usually meant being non-Christian, non-white, or in disagreement with the current capitalist bipartisan system of politics). People, especially Jews and alternate thinkers, were being fired, interrogated, and alienated from their jobs and communities for the slightest suspicion of "leftism."

Also, the level of communication was different. Who would have had the opportunity to hear the voices of opposition, discord, or dissent? News came almost entirely from print and radio media, which was even more rigidly censored than today. And, present day, our media is still censored. I'd like to remind the reader of the Oscars after 9/11, when people were "asked" to dress a certain way and restrict their acceptance speeches. In the following several months; Jay Leno, Dave Letterman, and the cast of Saturday Night Live were told not to joke about the President or voice anti-war views. And now, Whoopi Goldberg has been fired by Slimfast for joking about Bush (and she happens to be Jewish, black, and opposed to the war).

America... Where is your fury? Where is your concern for your freedom? What are we doing to protect our Constitutional rights to free expression? We are warranted by the First Amendment the right to criticise and/or make jokes, however lewd, about whomever we wish at any time, as long as we avoid certain conditions of slander. Pride is important, but it is also subjective. To quote the above article:

"Shame on everyone who supports this travesty of a film. Shame on a society that allows this sham of a film. You have weakened the nation."

(TRAVESTY n. 1. a grotesque imitation; burlesque; parody 2. in literature, a parody or burlesque treatment of a lofty subject)

Constitutionally, Mr. Niewodowski has every right to say these things and much more. BUT, also, Mr. Moore, Ms. Goldberg, and everyone else have the right to say whatever they want. As do I. A society that "allows this sham of a film" is not "weakened," but stronger in its freedom to question, comment, and criticise whatever any among us sees worthy. People are thus empowered to speak their hearts and minds, right or wrong, and decide FOR THEMSELVES what they believe is right and support what they will. You loved the movie? -great!- You hated the movie? -excellent!- You thought what Whoopi said was funny? -marvelous!- You thought what Whoopi said was offensive? -fabulous- You agreed/disagreed with Mr. Niewodowski? -super!- You like/dislike my response?

YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO. You're free to. You have every right. You just can't tell me whether or not I can write it, say it, publish it, make a movie out of it, write songs about it, or be admired or hated for it. The First Amendment guarantees me these rights.

It seems that more and more of our "civil liberties" are being restricted, somehow, as time goes on. Americans, grown apathetic and, dare I say, a bit brainwashed, allow it to happen. We are sitting back and watching those in power take our freedoms away, supposedly for the greater good. We fail to understand that censorship is always just that: telling people what they can't think or say. Give them an inch, they'll take a mile, right? The people who stand to profit from "governing us" want to keep you quiet and on their side. If we give up our rights to speak and be heard freely, we cease to be America... Free to be Benny Goodman, Martin Luther King Jr, Jack Kerouac, Tennessee Williams, Kurt Vonnegut, Walt Whitman, Benjamin Franklin, anyone we wish... The man at the cathedral, the synagogue, the mosque, temple, or no church at all. The suit-and-tie businessman, the musician, the bricklayer, the steel worker, the kid with the purple hair and nose ring, the professor, the writer, the deep-sea diver, or the basketball star. We won't all think like you do, ever. Call me a pig, if that makes you feel good, but the person I am today, I will still be tomorrow. You'll have to kill me to change that.

By the way, my political views are MY business. I'm not writing this in support of George Bush, John Kerry, Ralph Nader, Michael Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Niewodowski, FDR, or anyone else but We the People, all of us.

I'm writing this in support of you and me. Our freedom. In order to be free, you have to accept that other people will disagree and even be false in their own use of their freedoms. You have to be strong in your own convictions and wise enough to let others have their own views and convictions. To secure our freedom, we must allow everyone to be secure in his/her own freedom. Information must be free. You must be free to choose what you accept as truth, humor, and morality-- and so must we all. If anything will "weaken the nation," it will be the nation allowing itself to be censored and brainwashed.

Thank you for reading this far. Thank you for voicing your opinion, thereby reinforcing my freedom and my right to my opinion. By speaking up, in your own way, Mr. Niewodowski, you are actually passively supporting Mr. Moore's rights, and those of all of us. Thank you for doing what your conscience tells you, and allowing me mine. Vote how you will, but do the best you can to be informed; and don't let anyone tell you what is "right or wrong." Only you can decide for yourself.

Peace and love be with you, fellow Americans.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Downard

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