I always enjoy Bob Geary's thoughtful, well-researched and persuasive articles, and this one ["Flip the bird," July 4] was no exception. However, I think the state of our nation argues that the time for action has long passed. It is too late to prevent the U.S. from becoming a purely corporatist state. It is already one. Our sorry condition probably started with the doctrine of corporate personhood that took root in the 1800s. The unleashing of unlimited corporate money to influence policy (through lobbying, campaign contributions and other tactics) was the cancer that killed democracy and left corporate vultures feasting on its bones. I grieve the loss of our nation, and I apologize to my children for what the U.S. has become.
Understand Andy Griffith ["Andy Griffith, 1926-2012," July 4] as a cultural child of the Moravian Bishop Comenius (Jan Komensky), the great advocate for world peace in the 1600s. "To hate a man because he was born in another country, because he speaks a different language, or because he takes a different view of this subject or that, is a great folly. Desist, I implore you, for we are all equally human. ... Let us have but one end in view, the welfare of humanity," Comenius said.
Griffith's famed sensibilities are traditionally Moravian, named for the Moravia River in the Czech highlands. They often call themselves Bohemian since the Prague region was their point of departure. Griffith was mainstream culture as a true Bohemian: He was outgoing, fun, helpful, tolerant and kind. At Mt. Airy Moravian Church, he learned music, becoming band leader and choir director. His outlook is in the great Moravian tradition.
In the early 1700s, 30,000 people left Moravia to found towns like Old Salem worldwide. They sought happy cooperative lives in peace. They created a great success. They were greatly admired by the American founding fathers; their loss of freedom at home was a lesson in tyranny to be avoided. Peaceful, playful, productive and cooperative life is mainstream culture, what human beings really want. It's what the best of us want today.
Andy Griffith was a great artist within a great cultural expression which has a heart. He was a true Bohemian, a genuine Moravian, a great American.
"If you like this place, do the work," Moravians say. The political choices are to create and preserve independence seriously since the consequences are serious. It's the choice between fun and folly, between living a life and being used. Enjoy the great festival of life with all.