Letters in Media
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The letter titled, "Courts must look at the statute as a whole," was published in The Boston Globe online and in the print edition on July 9, 2015. To read it, go to the Blog post of July 9, 2015, titled:

"What is the law?"

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The letter titled, "Troubling revelations" addresses the racism of former President Richard M. Nixon. It was published in The Boston Sunday Globe on November 30, 2014, in the Arts Section, N2. It was not published online. To read it, go to the Blog post of November 30, 2014, titled:

"Former President Richard M. Nixon: Documented Racist"

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The letter titled, "Mandela 'terrorist' label calls into question U.S. drone policy," was published in The Washington Post online on December 11, 2013 (and a slightly different version was published in the print edition on December 12, 2013, p. A18). To read it, go to the Blog post of December 12, 2013, titled:

"Has the U.S. killed a future Mandela?"

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The letter titled, "Invitation to a Dialogue: The Myth of 'Race'" was published in The New York Times on July 16, 2013 (online) and July 17, 2013 (print editions, on page A24 of the New York edition). This was followed by the "Sunday Dialogue: the Meaning of 'Race'" published July 20th (online) and July 21st (in print, on page SR2 of the New York edition), containing the original letter and the reply to five responses from others. To link to the "Sunday Dialogue" or to see the letter and the reply, go to the Blog post of July 21, 2013 titled::

"The Myth of 'Race' and Remedies for Past Harm--Part II"

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The letter titled, "Don't Confuse Science with Faith," was published in The Boston Globe (A8) and online at BostonGlobe.com on April 6, 2013. To read it, go to the Blog post of April 6, 2013, titled:

"Confusing Science and Faith"

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The letter titled, "Faith groups should lose tax break when they enter politics" (the newspaper's title), was published in The Boston Globe (A14) and online at BostonGlobe.com on November 16, 2012. To read it, go to the Blog post of November 16, 2012, titled:

"Fight Against Religion's Continuing Intrusion Into Politics"

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The letter titled, "With 'God' on our side, we've blundered into wars" (the newspaper's title), was published in The Boston Globe (K9) and online at BostonGlobe.com on September 16, 2012. To read it, go to the Blog post of September 16, 2012, titled:

"Get Religion out of Politics: Part I"

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The letter titled, "Time at last for us to become post-racial" (the newspaper's title), was published in The Boston Globe (K9) and on BostonGlobe.com, June 3, 2012. To read it, go to the Blog post of June 3, 2012, titled:

"It's Past Time to Relegate 'Race' to History."

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The letter titled, “Proposal is misguided attempt to reform election financing,” was published in The Boston Globe (K9) and on BostonGlobe.com, January 29, 2012. To read it, go to the Blog post of January 29, 2012, titled:

The Misguided People’s Rights Amendment.

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The following letter was published in The Boston Globe (A16) and on BostonGlobe.com, October 6, 2011:

If US move is legal, then the law is questionable

THE KILLING of Anwar al-Awlaki may have been justified under a US law, as the Globe editorial asserts (“A rare act, killing of al-Awlaki accords with sound legal rules,’’ Oct. 1). But if so, that law itself should be called into question. Is the law constitutional? Is it consistent with international understandings of human rights?

It is likely that al-Awlaki could have been captured alive, just as bin Laden was effectively captured alive moments before he was killed. Then, at al-Awlaki’s trial, these legal questions, as well as assertions of fact, could be aired in court the way the US Constitution intended.

John L. Hodge, Jamaica Plain

 

The following letter was published in The Boston Globe and on Boston.com, July 31, 2011:

Writers can get out from under overlords of publishing

ALTHOUGH JAMES Carroll writes that the closing of Borders reflects “a massive cultural impoverishment,’’ he also points out that these big book chains have played a role in narrowing the range of published books to the point that “the entire book culture was being gutted’’ (“As stores die, so does book culture,’’ Op-ed, July 25). What he overlooks is that writers now have the opportunity to transform the book publishing industry through low-cost self-publishing, using both e-books and print-on-demand hard copies. This opportunity allows writers to be in charge of what is published and readers to be in charge of what is read, bypassing the overbearing overlords such as profit-oriented publishers, literary agents, and the remaining big chain book stores who together previously dictated what books people should read.

John L. Hodge, Jamaica Plain

The writer is a self-published author.

 

The following letter was published in The Boston Globe (A10) and on Boston.com, May 17, 2011:

Due process of law is a casualty

JAMES CARROLL deserves praise for his May 9 op-ed column, “Making myths in fog of war.’’ I especially appreciate the statement, “When we accepted his [Osama bin Laden’s] definition of the conflict as between radical good and radical evil, he won the victory that matters most.’’ While we may not know for certain whether it would have been feasible to capture bin Laden instead of killing him, those who support the killing, including President Obama, apparently did not want him captured alive.

The celebration of his killing shows shocking disregard of a concept that is fundamental to democracy — that of due process of law. Such concepts become irrelevant when the target is “evil.’’ If we ignore such concepts that are fundamental to law and justice, not only can we not claim moral leadership in the world, we cannot claim that democracy and the laws that support it are worth adhering to during inevitable times of stress.

John L. Hodge, Jamaica Plain

 

On May 19, 2011, the author added the following comment to the several comments on the preceding letter appearing on Boston.com:

Human rights, based on the principle of human equality, connect politics and ethics. Although President Obama made this connection when he championed human rights in his May 19, 2011 speech on the Middle East, he did not comprehend that the killing of bin Laden, when (it seems) he could have been easily captured alive, violates these same human rights. For those interested in pursuing this connection further, you may be interested in my recent book: How We Are Our Enemy–And How to Stop: Our Unfinished Task of Fulfilling the Values of Democracy (2011). It is available from Amazon.com and elsewhere, and through my website at JohnLHodge.com .

 

The following letter was published in The Boston Globe, October 1, 2002 (A14) and is archived on Boston.com:

Leave theology out of foreign policy

A cornerstone of President Bush’s foreign policy has been the fight against “evil.” His designation of the “axis of evil” has been followed by plans to destroy “evil” by attacking Iraq. But “evil” is a theological concept. For many centuries theologians have debated such questions as, Does evil exist? Is there no evil but only the absence of good? Are people who do awful things evil? Even if evil exists, can humans know what is evil and what is not, or is this left to God? Theologians don’t agree on the answers.

President Bush, however, believes he knows the answers. He believes that evil exists. He can determine who is evil, decide that evil should be destroyed, and decide when and how to destroy it. But his beliefs reflect a particular theological point of view.

Whether or not you agree with his theology, theology does not belong in foreign policy. When theology is taken out of foreign policy, thoughts of “evil” are also removed. We are left with the guidance of international law, international agreements, and internationally accepted processes for settling international disputes.

John L. Hodge, Jamaica Plain