Letters to the Editor Written by Dan Jeffs
and Published in Major Newspapers and Newsmagazines


Index

1998/1999

Cybervoting debate sends good messageUSA TODAY February 15, 2000
Reagan: A genuine American originalUSA TODAY October 5, 1999
OFFICIALS, REMEMBER WHO YOU REPRESENTUSA TODAY August 9, 1999
The John F. Kennedy Jr. Plane CrashTHE WASHINGTON TIMES July 21, 1999
Campaign Funds and 2000 ElectionLOS ANGELES TIMES July 10, 1999
Congressional CowardsWASHINGTON TIMES - May 3, 1999
Death at SchoolWASHINGTON POST - April 24, 1999
Bill Clinton andJuanita BroaddrickThe WASHINGTON TIMES - March 2, 1999
Hillory ClintonTHE LOS ANGELES TIMES - February 24, 1999
Don't Shake Faith in GovernmentTHE NEW YORK TIMES - January 19, 1999
CNN/'Time' report
shows press abuses
USA TODAY July 6, 1998
(The New York Times wanted this one too)
Susan McDougal, grifterWASHINGTON TIMES - April 26, 1998
President's AdmissionLOS ANGELES TIMES - April 19, 1998
Political FrenzyTHE NEW YORK TIMES - April 12, 1998
Back in SpaceTHE WASHINGTON POST - January 28, 1998
Bad News about the Balanced BudgetTHE WASHINGTON TIMES - January 11, 1998

Death at School
WASHINGTON POST - April 24, 1999

The Colorado high school tragedy cries-out for answers. Why did this worst of school shootings happen again in the least likely place? Blaming guns, and kids with guns, makes no more sense than the senseless acts themselves. Indeed, even as the carnage continued, the actual cause was revealed. A terrified student, on the telephone with the media, said: "Something's wrong with society." It is curious that the media didn't replay the young man's profound words.

Instead of yet another round of shallow finger-pointing and irresponsible demonizing, maybe it's time for all the social revisionists, abdicators, selfish interests and political manipulators who have been the root cause of the society's problems all along to search their souls and take a long look in the mirror.

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Congressional Cowards
WASHINGTON TIMES - May 3, 1999

As President Clinton escalates his costly personal war against Yugoslavia, at our expense, causing even more ethnic cleansing and a monumental refugee calamity, it's refreshing to see that at least one member of Congress has the courage to force our representatives to face their exclusive constitutional "War Powers" responsibility. Even though late in coming forward, Rep. Tom Campbell of California seems to be the congressional "Lone Ranger" who takes his oath of office seriously enough to do the right thing. Get out of Yugoslavia or declare war.

How much common sense does it take to realize that different peoples steeped in a violent history of their inability to co-exist cannot be forced to? How many more times will we allow our intelligence to be insulted by the ludicrous question: Define war? How much longer must we endure undeclared, unconstitutional, presidential wars? On the other hand, look who was asked to make that decision. A bunch of constitutionally illiterate congressional cowards. Clearly, Congress should have stopped the madness when the intent of airstrikes was first announced.

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THE WASHINGTON POST - January 28, 1998
Back in Space

John Glenn may have had the right stuff when he first orbited the earth, but he has long since shed it all for political arrogance and questionable baggage. His fellow dregs in the Senate may forgive his insolence and all the wrong stuff. Most taxpayers cannot. Senator Glenn's hero status was a moment in history. This tarnished hero can't be polished the rags of media hype and political paybacks. NASA should forget about launching the retiring senator into space simply for his aggrandizement and others' partisan motives. If there is value in studying age in space, there are plenty of seasoned astronauts far more deserving.

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THE WASHINGTON TIMES - January 11, 1998
Bad News About the Balanced Budget

Comments from the White House and Congress on the projected budget surplus remove all doubt about what they think of our tax dollars. It's their mad money, pocket change with which to play. Yet, they're the first to remind us that the national debt is all ours -- a classic case of "them" and "us." Where should the surplus go? Against the debt, of course. Where will it go? It doesn't really matter, does it?

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THE NEW YORK TIMES - April 12, 1998
Political Frenzy
Re "The Tobacco Industry's Defiance" (editorial, April 9):

Your scathing editorial is corroborating evidence of national discrimination against smokers. A simple movement to ban smoking in certain places has escalated to political frenzy, branding a class of people, holding them up to public hatred and ridicule, and punishing them with outrageous taxation.

Taxing smokers to offset self-inflicted health care costs may be acceptable. But to discriminate against tens of millions of people because of their habit is not. Rather, it is nearly as unacceptable as discriminating against people because of their race, sex or religion.

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Susan McDougal, grifter

Frankly, it's bewildering to see how the television media fawn over Susan McDougal as if she were a pillar of credibility instead of a convicted felon charged with stealing a ton of money from people who have nothing to do with politics. Worse, the media have established a forum for partisan snivelers to harp on Ken Starr's investigation for costing a few million, while government carelessly wastes hundreds of millions every day.

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CNN/'Time' report shows press abuses

Twenty eight years later, CNN and Time magazine's rush to judgment in alleging the use of sarin nerve gas in Laos simply adds to the mounting evidence of fallacious journalism and zealotry in the press. Hypercompetition and relentless pursuit of fame and profit in the news media have created a perilous state of corporate dominion, political rancor, social aggression and legal chaos in a country on the verge of a cultural breakdown. The First Amendment never was intended to protect lies and deceit or to promote abuses in the media. How long will society be assaulted by selfish interests and battered by the failures of good intentions? I'm still waiting for the media to apologize for causing a national panic over the bombing of TWA flight 800.

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President's Admission

During President Clinton's vehement denials and so-called confession to the nation, he spent too little time telling his redefined truth and accepting responsibility; too much time rationalizing his behavior and accusing his accusers. That's what guilty people do. Clinton has thoroughly deceived, embarrassed and humiliated the country. He has degraded the presidency to a candy-man charade and a gang of partisan parasites. If his criminal behavior is substantiated he should be impeached and removed from office so the taxpayers will not have to support a presidential imposter for the rest of his life

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Don't Shake Faith in Government - THE NEW YORK TIMES - January 19, 1999

Those defending President Clinton continue to harp that the impeachment prosecution is against the will of the people and that his removal from office would overturn two elections (front page, Jan 15). Nothing could be further from the truth.

If the people had been neutrally and truthfully informed, rather that being manipulated by invalid polls and biased information, President Clinton would have resigned or been removed from office long ago. If Mr. Clinton escapes this constitutional test, we will know this contaminated system of government doesn't work.

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Hillory Clinton - THE LOS ANGELES TIMES - February 24, 1999

Bill and Hillary Clinton are mocking history as if no one has noticed. William Jefferson Clinton suitcased his wife into sharing the chief executive's seat of power and fame. Clinton's idol, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, slipped his brother into a similar chair of nepotism.

Hillary Clinton's [possible] run for the Senate in New York is carpetbagging evidence that she's hot on Robert Kennedy's political trail. Take the Senate seat in 2000, then go for the White House in 2004.

Indeed, the Kennedy tragedies notwithstanding, this kind of muscling isn't simply inappropriate, it's blatantly opportunistic power-mongering, openly shredding away at what little remains of good government in America.

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Bill Clinton and Juanita Broaddrick -
The WASHINGTON TIMES - March 2, 1999

Juanita Broaddrick made very convincing rape allegations against Bill Clinton on NBC's Dateline. Indeed, the rape itself notwithstanding, she had much to lose and little to gain, but a modicum of self-dignity and closure, by revealing her difficult truth. No matter how late it came, that took a lot of courage.

If former Attorney General Clinton, Arkansas' chief law enforcement officer, committed a forcible and vicious lip-biting rape, something should certainly be done about it. We can be assured it won't come from the usual suspects and cowards in Congress. The gun-shy media isn't likely to pursue it. And little more than a ripple is coming from those hypocritical trade-off feminist leaders, pundits and legal trash.

America's between Little Rock and a big hardspot on this one. President Clinton, himself, is solely responsible for numbing the people's minds about his transgressions. It's time to re-examine ourselves. Shame on us if he did it, we let it ride and don't demand his resignation. There's no statute of limitations for unconscionable immorality.

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Campaign Funds and 2000 Election
LOS ANGELES TIMES July 10, 1999

Low voter turnout among the general population of American voters is not because of apathy. The electorate has simply been disenfranchised by a closed two-party system of pre-selecting candidates. Certainly, the forthcoming presidential elections will scar the new millennium with yet another blow to our deeply wounded republic.

Indeed, Presidential Auction 2000 has already been held and sold to the highest bidders. Moreover, the electorate needn't bother voting in the primary elections for congressional seats. They too will be auctioned-off to the plutocracy long before the polls open.

Bush's $36 million and Gore's $20 million are little more than teasers compared to the value of hundreds of millions in coverage, wherein the news media's corporate owners and advertisers will surely anoint the next president and every major office holder, just as they've done before in most elections across the land.

Common sense tells us that the 4th of July should serve as a reminder to re-examine ourselves, declare our independence, and take back our right of passage to the precious franchise of democracy.

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The John F. Kennedy Jr. Plane Crash
THE WASHINGTON TIMES July 21, 1999

Though the loss of three lives in a private plane crash is a tragic event, why must the public be subjected to another round of obsessive media coverage, pre-empting all else, simply because the name "Kennedy" is attached? They do it because they are the players and we are the captive market.

The Kennedy mystique is nothing more than a media creation thrust upon the nation as "Camelot," America's royal family, which is the very antithesis of the principles that founded the United States. Indeed, monarchy and heredity succession was the driving force that stimulated our separation from the crown of England. Even though it may seem harmless to perpetuate the dramatic fantasy, public interest is waning and the forces behind the "Crown Prince" mentality should be re-examined. They are the wealth, power and celebrity elite who have shaped, molded and manipulated themselves into America's aristocracy, including the media.

And though at first glance we see no particular harm in the fascination of it all, nevertheless, the American taxpayers continue to pay a heavy price for the never-ending Kennedy saga, even when they're not in government. The public cost of investigating a small plane crash and deaths of three ordinary people costs taxpayers thousands of dollars. This one is costing us millions and it will certainly generate millions for the media, book dealers, film makers and other opportunists.

But it won't bring back their sadly shortened lives or soften their family's pain, nor will it answer the inescapable question: Is the tragic loss of anyone's life worth less because of their lack of fame? If we as a society are to gain anything from the experience, we should straighten out our values and priorities or we will lose them in the mist of the media and the haze of celebrity worship.

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OFFICIALS, REMEMBER WHO YOU REPRESENT

Letter to the Editor published in USA TODAY August 9, 1999

"The Direct Democracy message is getting through to the media"

Let's get serious about government for a change. The fools in Congress and the White House should stop all the childish political posturing over what to do with tax surpluses and start doing their jobs. Obviously they've long forgotten that it's called representative democracy.

In other words, the people are the stockholders of this trillion-dollar corporation of the United States and our elected board of directors are self-absorbed, inefficient and blatantly wasteful. If government is ever going to become a productive institution, our representatives are going to have to take three bold steps:

    (1) Prior to the adoption of the annual budget, provide the taxpayers with a truthful report that simply explains where revenues come from and how they are spent. Revenues and expenditures that cannot be explained should be eliminated.

    (2) Elected representatives inform the people sufficiently to make informed decisions and let the people participate in deciding all matters of taxation and public policy. (3) Systematically review all laws, rules and regulations and repeal all those deemed unnecessary.

Government is only as complicated as the system has allowed it to be.

If our representatives cannot uncomplicate it, then it's time to convene the voter's grand jury of America to do it for them. Not by micro-managing, but with the self-government of real democracy.

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Reagan: A genuine American original.

Letter to the Editor published in USA TODAY October 5, 1999

The selectively edited feeding frenzy over Ronald Reagan's biography by Edmund Morris, "Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan," removes all doubt that the character assassination of the former president is a politically motivated attempt to soil, if not destroy, Reagan and his legacy ("Blurring fact and fiction," Our View, Reagan's official biography debate, Wednesday).

After reading the book and watching Charlie Rose's thorough interview with Mr. Morris, I can conclude that journalists are running amok, fellow historians and biographers are inflamed with amateur jealousy and Edmund Morris should be under serious consideration for another Pulitzer Prize.

"Dutch" is nothing short of brilliant literary presence and original thought under the most difficult of circumstances. If it weren't for Edmund Morris' depth and endurance, the world might never have known what a true and important American original Ronald Reagan was.

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Cybervoting debate sends good message

Letter to the Editor published in USA TODAY February 15, 2000

A Letters to the Editor debate about voting over the Internet began with reader's letters published in USA TODAY on January 31st, February 8th and February 10th. Two of the letters were against cybervoting and one was in favor. Of course, the Direct Democracy Center contributed to the debate with a letter from the DDC Founder, which was published on February 15, 2000.

The current debate among USA TODAY readers over cybervoting is a healthy sign for democracy. Indeed, the information technology and communications revolution is certain to embrace electronic voting and advance voter participation simply because it's inevitable.

Clearly, the Internet has created an explosion of information consumers, including voters, who are breaking away from the confines of narrow politics and shallow campaigns. Many voters are rejecting the two-party system, media influence over elections and the machinations of political advisors.

The demand for participatory democracy is increasing because of the Internet. With the remarkable speed of advanced technology, systems of secure Intranets could easily be connected to voter's homes. Build it and they will come. Participation would increase, voter apathy would decrease and the American people would gain better understanding and cooperation between themselves.

With more direct democracy, voters could decide the most important issues such as taxation and major public policy. With interactive voting networks, who knows? Maybe there wouldn't be a need for campaign financing, lobbyists, political pundits, or a two-party system that dominates elections and government. Maybe we could handle it ourselves over the nonpartisan voting networks. It's called self-government.

Daniel B. Jeffs, Founder
The Direct Democracy Center
Apple Valley, Calif.

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