Letters to the Editor



RE: Southern Cross Review Nr. 36

Hello, Frank,


Once again, a host of stimulating and deep articles - thank you. Have not

covered everything yet, but was very pleased to read Kerry's testimony. He

echoes a lot of Europeans' indignation at that time and it is heartening to

know some Americans had the same observations and moral attitudes. If I had

the vote, he would get it (but I'd actually already decided that).


I have also ordered the video of Gunga Din - so thanks again!








Sheila Pickerill


RE: Ebooks Library

Frank Thomas Smith and Jo Ann Schwartz -


I recently learned of SCR from your publishing of Tiziano Terzani's Letters

Against the War.  Thank you for that.


Today I received my first (electronic) copy of SCR.  I'm touched by your mention and support of Escuela El Trigal and by what it does.  Another example of something being part of the solution rather than part of the problem.


I just made a $25 contribution to El Trigal through your Amazon link.  'Tis an honor and a privilege to do so.


The thread went like this.  A Seattle friend recommended Terzani's A Fortune

Teller Told Me.  Her book club was reading it.  I'd never heard of him and

googled him.  I learned that he'd just died (this was about a month ago) and

about the saga of publishers in Great Britain and the good ol' Yew Ess of Aye being unwilling to print Letters Against the War, and you folks doing so, so that some of us could have the privilege of reading it.


I'm reminded of a passage from John Broomfield's Other Ways of Knowing -

Recharting Our Future With Ageless Wisdom.  Broomfield quotes Brian Bates, a

University of Sussex scholar of Anglo-Saxon and ancient Celtic cultures, as



"The European shamans visioned a web of fibres that flow through the entire

universe, linking absolutely everything - each person, object, event,

thought, and feeling.  This web is so sensitive that any movement, thought

or happening - no matter how small - reverberates throughout the entire web."


Here's to slender threads of synchronicity.


All blessings,


Paul McShane

Bainbridge Island, Washington





RE: A separate message we sent to SCR subscribers requesting that the U.S. citizens among them adhere to a moveon.com petition to the president demanding that the assault weapon ban law not be allowed to expire. The White House did nothing and the law expired.




Have read, and since I am not a U.S. citizen there is nothing I can do..Still, let me tell you that the whole thing is somewhat silly. As far as I can recall, the ban was established to satisfy the anti-gunners without antagonizing the pro-gunners...The "assault weapons" ban leaves on the market and the street an enormous amount of weapons all almost equally deadly. Gun bans do not work unless they are total ...Since that seems to be politically impossible in the U.S., it seems to me that the energy spent on trying to have the ban renewed could be better spent in a number of other fields. There are quasi total bans in most European countries (except Switzerland as you probably well know, where it does not pose any problems). 


So one field that would merit serious and strong attention and effort is to seek banning violence on screens. It is the culture of violence, growing everywhere now, that is the problem. The KungFus and the "tough guy" attitude !! ...That would mean a certain amount of censorship..and if that would imply changing the free speech amendment then so be it..Activists should focus on that rather than waste efforts on issues as – comparatively - minor as the assault gun.


It is unfortunate that people who mean well seldom take the trouble to get their facts right. If I am not mistaken, there has always been a ban on fully automatic weapons. So AK47s for instance were sold with a modification to semi-automatic. There is no difference between so called "assault" rifles and any other semi-automatic rifle except shape and magazine capacity..but as you know, changing magazines takes hardly a second...In fact, you can convert a simple pistol, virtually any pistol, into an automatic (i.e. machinegun fire) by removing a small part. The pistolīs useful life will be shortened, thatīs all...


Indirectly of course, if Bush is pressed into acting on a renewal of  the ban that would probably make him lose the NRA vote, now THAT would be a good thing in itself !!.


I have read, do not know the details, that in the UK violent films are banned. Some of the Schwarzenegger have been banned, while porn is not banned because it is felt that the example of violence is far more noxious than watching people  fornicating...At least so it was when I read the article..Dont know about today.


Have you noticed the gradual change in movie plots and characters? In the past  there was a clear dividing line between the good guys and the bad ones..This is no longer so, in most  movies  both sides are almost equally despicable from a moral viewpoint. It is only laws that make one "better" than the other.


Speaking of stupid laws, did you know that handguns in the U.S. (broadly speaking since States have their differences) are now by law limited to ten shot magazines. So you can go and legally buy an army model Beretta and it will come with a 10 shot magazine. But these guns were designed for 15 or 16 shot magazines...So you just buy the 15 shot magazine separately !! Bersa here for instance, no longer manufactures its 15 shot model somewhat similar to James Bondīs 380 pistol because much of their production goes to the US. Once in a while, they put a batch of 15 shots magazines on the market, which of course fit perfectly in the ten shot model..


Buenos Aires



Interesting how this is presented as an anti-Bush issue, when the legislature needs to legislate - "if he'll only ask." I don't have a problem with the issue, but spare me the partisan politics.



New York City



I personally believe that weapons themselves are not murderous but people are. I say let it expire and watch your wording in the future.


Leslie Russell




Frank thank you for sending this to me....I have forwarded it to  all of my

email friends...









I disagree *completely* with your take on the ban, and even if I agreed with

you, I do not like receiving unsolicited political propaganda from anyone.

Please remove me from your list immediately.

Thank you.


Caryn Sobel




RE: Knock On Wood



Your story about a "Pinocchio" seems to me as being out of place. The S.C.R. may be read by sincere seekers who may find its contents scurrilous and vulgar when they read your story there.


Further, your story has a flavour of prejudice fed by years of watching movies depicting Italians as "mafiosi". If this is only a coincidence, the fact remains that stereotyping an ethnic group, as it may appear to you, is wrong.


My opinion is that there are undesirable individuals everywhere, in

every ethnic group...




RE: Downsized

Hi Frank,


I read your story, Downsized. Is it autobiography? If it is, I don't know how it squares with your previous story I read about washing onto the beach and finding the woman you'd lost years ago. Also, the story doesn't mention your work with the Waldorf school down there that my memory associates with you.


Good story, though. It's one of the best things about this universe, how it can take a human through a bitter end to incredible blossoming, as if by chance, by lark, yet suggesting the most vast management of synchronicity.                                      




Well, brother Frank, That was a rich tale. Reminded me of when I bolted to Alaska after 19 years in Atlanta. Only I have to say, if you have to have a mid-life crisis, that is the luckiest and sweetest way to handle it.

May the gods continue to smile on you.

Bradford - Texas



When sending letters, please write "Letter to the Editor" in the subject box, so we will know that you intend it to be published. Thanks.