Friday, April 01, 2005

Polite protest letters don't get no respect

A year or two ago, I went through a phase of energetic protest letter writing. I sent outraged (but always polite) missives to the NY Times, the New Yorker, and CNN, pointing out to them just where they might be going wrong. But I never heard back; not a word. Which, in retrospect, is not really much of a surprise.

One letter with which I took particular pains was a lengthy tome to Amnesty International, outlining in some detail why I, a twenty-one-year dues-paying member in good standing who still supported the work they did to help bona fide political prisoners, could no longer stomach the organization's misplaced emphasis and was resigning (it was the focus on campaigns such as this that did the trick).

What did I get from them in return? A form letter, thanking me for my continued support, and asking for another donation.

I sent off another letter, more detailed and more furious than the first, angry at the added injury of having had my first letter ignored. And what did I receive in reply? Another request for money, and a free Amnesty International Calendar. Just the thing.

4 Comments:

At 12:51 PM, April 01, 2005, Anonymous meander said...

Unbelievable and yet so funny....I'm glad you're sharing some of your writing efforts with the general public.

 
At 2:29 PM, April 01, 2005, Blogger Lichanos said...

If you really want to stop getting mail from organizations to which you no longer feel an affinity, try sending them a phony new addrss in Alaska. I did it with my alumni organization, and it works.

As for your disgust with Amnesty: So you don't like everyone on behalf of whom Amnesty International works? So, even though you support the organization, you drop your support and membership? Well, maybe you don't want to be listed as a member, but you still contribute? I don't know, but it sounds to me like people's arguments against the ACLU and the issue of constitutional rights.

If you don't stick up for everyone's legitimate rights then everyone's rights are in danger. It doesn't matter if the guy is a repulsive thug or is a murderer - the issue is whether or not his human rights are being violated. Perhaps you believe that he HAS no rights, in which case, I can't say anything but that I think civilizations should grant everyone some measure of rights. Otherwise, when YOU are on the wrong end of the stick, somebody might say YOU don't deserve any rights, and YOU would have NO recourse at all. Think of it as a sort of Ayn Rand selfishness, eh?

The only issue is whether or not there have been violations - a question of fact about which I know nothing. Hold your nose, and keep sending AI your money - they do good stuff.

 
At 2:51 PM, May 26, 2005, Anonymous blueeyes said...

When it becomes more and more obvious that groups such as AI or the ACLU could, I dunno, spend money to support causes generally seen as legitimate?

If I find that my money is constantly being spent on causes that I find very edgy, causes that take thousands of times the time and money, I realize that I could put my donations in a better direction.

It's fine to argue that we must protect the rights of the thug just as well as a saint, but when it costs much less and is much better PR to keep the saint in good shape, well, you start to wonder about the system that seems to always choose the thug.

 
At 10:34 PM, August 26, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

If you really want to stop getting mail from organizations to which you no longer feel an affinity, try sending them a phony new addrss in Alaska. I did it with my alumni organization, and it works.

If you're dishonest in one aspect of your life, you're in danger of being dishonest in the rest of your life.

I don't know, but it sounds to me like people's arguments against the ACLU and the issue of constitutional rights.

Write something that makes sense. To normal people, not liberals.

If you don't stick up for everyone's legitimate rights then everyone's rights are in danger.

Exactly. You're getting warmer.

It doesn't matter if the guy is a repulsive thug or is a murderer - the issue is whether or not his human rights are being violated.

It does matter, simply because human beings that treat the oppressor better than the victims, will in the end rank the victims lower than the perpetrators of violence. Maybe when the Left gets their Utopia Time Machine working, this wouldn't matter, but until then, your theories need to stay in the back room.

Otherwise, when YOU are on the wrong end of the stick, somebody might say YOU don't deserve any rights, and YOU would have NO recourse at all. Think of it as a sort of Ayn Rand selfishness, eh?

Anyone tell you to calm down, and stop talking nonsense?

Stay on target, or get out of the cockpit.

Hold your nose, and keep sending AI your money - they do good stuff.

Leftists are weird, they ask a bigazillion questions about you, and then they tell us how to live our lives and who we have to pay our dues to, like little peons in a class system.

That's annoying.

"They do good stuff", pretty entertaining stuff.

 

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