Son:
Well, given the nature of the season and the nature of reason, and the reason for the season, I've decided to focus on spirit. One thing you always taught me, Dad, was that people needed to understand the spirit of the law. You told me on many occasions to think about why laws were passed and what they were meant to do.

With the Christmas season upon us I think spirit is a good topic. What's the spirit of the American people now? In what spirit did we invade Iraq? What kind of spirit motivates George Bush to attack our civil liberties at every turn? What spirit, or lack of spirit, leads congress to continue to allow, even support the administration's policies?

You've called me naive before because I wanted to "save the world." Is that what George Bush wants? But rather than attack the man, which is too easy and common. Let's just look at the spirit of it. Because we know there is an agenda, backed by people, backed by money, special oil interests and the like. But with that being obvious to everyone now (and many of us all along), let's change the question. Are they the good guys? Is their spirit filled with hope, love, vengeance...or greed? You know I think Bush's policies are disastrous and counterproductive (unless his goal is to weaken our people, our workforce, our military machine, our World image, and our spirit of cohesiveness). What do you think he'll be discussing over the Christmas dinner with Big Bush, brother Jeb and the family? But it just goes to show you. There they all are. And I'm sure in ten years or so we'll see Jeb running for President to re-invade Iraq and keep the spirit of war going. After all, it is the Season.  

And it's the spirit we need to look at.    

Uncle Tex:
I hear the spirit of your words, but I offer a small retort to the tone. I hear no anger, no fear, no hurt, just sincere anxiety as you try to put into words the feelings you have for a "Bush" gone mad. Actually, he is quite sane.

To understand what is happening around you, you first have to imagine a world run by cheerleaders, actors, and megalomaniacal millionaires. The days of rising from poverty and affecting the world seem to be fast disappearing if not gone. Even Clinton though from a rural background, did not rise from true poverty.

One could say it doesn't matter if you come from Yale or Harvard. Ostensibly, this my vain attempt to acknowledge my personal choice of colleges, Harvard, over that other one from which the Bush world emerges. Yale has given us neo-conservative rich kids while Harvard has produced tribes of liberal do-gooders. One need look no further than the Teach for America program and its liberal "save-the-world despite itself" mentality to see that Yalies are rarely invited to the table. In fact, I haven't met a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court since the inception of the program while I have met many from the shores of the Charles River.

So, in your writing, you seem to be idealizing a world where equity might be evidenced. Consider this, although you are considerably more concerned about the welfare of the world than most, you learned that concern walking in the footsteps of your father and mother (and of course, being exposed to your even more liberal Uncle didn't hurt).

Bush learned his demoniacal behavior in the same way. He tramped around the Earth exposed to other would be Kings and Queens and pictured himself as royalty which had lost its way. In fact, his tribe celebrates its connection to royalty in its published family tree. And he believes it is his Divine Destiny to make a difference just as you do. It is simply that he learned that there is a different path available to him. Your exposing the truth about him needs to include a treatise on the man and his family, not just an observation on what could be if the world thought the way you, and I, do.

Now, to speak to your major issue, fairness and equity in the world, I remind you that although I am displaced in Texas (God help us all), I hail from a tribe in Alabama which was raised in a conflicted home. On the one hand, there was the imagined tyrant who would cry at the loss of a dog while celebrating the death of a President. And then there was the quiet, though clearly controlling Queen Mother, who somehow laid out a balance in the thoughts of her brood, including your father. (I don't know what went wrong with the other child, God help him.) Now, look at Bush and rethink how he came to be a wealthy cheerleader, wealthy soldier who went AWOL and was not prosecuted, wealthy owner of a failed baseball team, wealthy oilman, wealthy friend of Enron cronies who provenly stole from the poor, wealthy brother of questionable men who border the criminal world but don't quite seem to be caught, wealthy Governor who emptied a State's treasury while becoming wealthier himself, wealthy cowboy who wielded a buzzsaw for the public as if this were the life he leads, wealthy politician whose father (formerly Head of the CIA) has enough clout among the Supreme Court to steal a presidential election (I believe he knows about the skeletons in the closet of the Justices), wealthy President who begins the first Preemptive War in the history of the U. S. despite the fact that we were raised to believe preemptive strikes against another country were criminal acts when Japan, Germany, Russia, or any other despotic regime had done the same thing, wealthy airman who flew onto the deck of a ship placing himself and others in great danger just so he could have a photo-op, wealthy fool who declared "THE WAR IN IRAQ" was over and then continued to mount up untold casualties in a continuation of failed policy, and lastly, a wealthy politician who has raised over $120 million dollars from private industries to mount a campaign for reelection. He cannot think liberally. He cannot concern himself with the welfare of others. As an apologist for Bush, remember that I believe in creating a world where everyone has an equal share of its wealth and a chance to become a publisher of a newspaper. BUT, there is a reality despite my dreams of an ideal world.

You are rich. You do not know poverty. Your father does not know poverty. I do not know poverty. We weren't raised in poverty. We can't think as those raised in poverty. Although we aren't wealthy, we rest in the comfort that we can do something not to become poverty-stricken although we may become poor by American standards. Most Americans truly are not in poverty except when compared to other Americans and the wealthier members of the world. So, as you look at what could be, put into place a few realities at the same time. You aren't from Connecticut and cannot think as the "damn Yankees" we in Alabama were raised to consider less American than we, but you can be aware that there are some liberals in Connecticut anyway. Bush just doesn't happen to be among those who have chanced upon an awareness of the need for positive intervention in the world to overcome poverty. No, he chanced upon a tribe of warmongers and has not managed to overcome his background because he is of limited cranial capacity, not heart.

Don't worry about the poor people, but continue to worry about policies which affect them. The poor will always be with us, just in relative terms. Some will rise above poverty and others will not. You mentioned the poor in other countries yet you do not describe those living in poverty. I recently read, although I have not researched it's validity and cannot recall the source, that if you have a roof over your head, food in your home, change in your pocket, and a future paycheck on its way, you are among the top 8% of wealthy people in the world. Having traveled and lived overseas, and being on my way back to that world, I can honestly tell you that I have seen poverty and can believe that the foregoing statement may be entirely accurate when looking at wealth in terms of the U. S. I know countries where millions live in huts and produce only those goods and foods upon which they live, where not a single item is made for trade or barter. I know of tribes of nomads which roam much as the destroyed American Indians did before they became owners of the much feared casinos so wealthy Americans could "play" while off from work. I know of thousands of children living in streets and/or under bridges and even in manmade caves because they literally have been abandoned by very fertile parents who cannot control their sexual appetites and who, in some cases, may not even know that the sexual act produces children.

Yes, there is poverty, but it is definitely a relative term and Bush will not see it even if he ever is face to face with it. To him, the true Weapons of Mass Destruction are those people who do not believe in his views of the world. SO, keep fighting and know I am by your side as well as millions who were raised to consider human life and human dignity as more important than everything other than self-preservation. Just be aware that these people did not stem from Yale, but many can be found at Harvard and in A-L-A-B-A-M-A! Love, Yo Unc and yo daddy's bro

Father:
You poor misguided soul who preaches from books of those perverted liberal souls from Havaad  (etc) and have so little real understanding of what is real. May God have mercy on your soul, for you know not what you do. I love you anyway. If not I, who??  #1

Brer Red:
The US may still be in Iraq ten years from now. Supporters of the war who had a sheepish trust in their leaders' judgment and good intentions must now be questioning whether it was the right thing to do. Except those who are profiting from it, for them it was the right thing to do. There isn't much chance that Iraq is about to become the region's shining example of a western style democra-ha-ha with fair and honest elections like ours. Personally I wouldn't wish it on 'em. They and we should be able to do better. 

There are more than one American Peoples, therefore more than one spirit; just as before Bush was appointed, before 911, the big business scandals, economic turmoil and the wars. There remains Selfish America, including members of the upper and middle classes and their dupes the lower middle class and poor conservatives, most of whom will be considerably worse off down the road due to the policies of those for whom they voted. Many of them think they'll eventually buy their way into the realm of the beautiful people and away from those among whom they'll most likely always live and work. These all make up Selfish America. The Bush regime and the Republican Party represent this spirit, in which compassion is substituted by the necessity to appear to give a damn, deflecting attention away from their own greed. On the other side of the big gray middle there are those Americans who share a sense of collective responsibilities and entitlements, who speak, vote and act in the spirit of equality.  I love this America.  .  George Bush wants what is best for his people (the American elite), as well as for Iraqis (the ones who can help achieve his goals). Bush's spirit is not only one of vengeance, but also of hope of consolidating more power and wealth, love of his own group and it's cynical acquisition of power & wealth. In the spirit of truth and justice I'd have to say the members of the Bush regime are not among the good guys in my book.

Son:
Note to my kinfolk: Boys, sometimes we can't say everything we want to in public. I know you'll be upset when you see what I've edited out. But some of that talk was over the top. And even though we like to argue, and figure we're getting stuff done, I couldn't really put some of that stuff in. Some of it was lewd, crude, rude and indecent. So I put it where it belongs: on the Internet. Anyone wanting to pipe in can go to Birminghamfreepress.com, or send e-mail to: Feud@birminghamfreepress.com But beware: any opinions sent in are subject to reprint in the paper and on our website. Tune in next month when we'll be arguing about whatever new topic we're already