]]]]]]] I AM JUST NOT WILLING TO BE PASSIVE ANYMORE [[[[[[[[[[[ (3/28/88) Dear Dr Beckmann: Nearly three years ago I phoned you regarding my run-in with a newspaper television reviewer. I had personally called him to complain (in a perfectly reasonable manner) about his review of the TV documen- tary THE FIRE UNLEASHED. The reporter subsequently called you and the result was that in his follow-up story he referred to some of your views but didn't mention the crucial safety comparison of nuclear with other energy forms. I've been reading your newsletter for nearly ten years now, and that's about all I've done as a subscriber concerning access to energy. As far as activism is concerned, I might as well not exist. My excuses? -- I'm not a scientist -- Lazy -- Inertia -- There's too much to do -- I don't have time -- We're outnumbered -- What's the use? -- Manana -- That's Dr Beckmann's job -- Who? What?? When??? Where???? -- I subscribe to AtE -- Et cetera I thought the big problem was the reporter and his ilk. I was wrong; I'm the big problem. I know better than that cowardly, probably envy-ridden, ignoramus. (When I talked with you three years ago, I said I thought liberals were explained by cowardice while you thought ignorance had a lot to do with it. I think we were both right to some extent, and to the extent that there are both liberals and liberals, but now reading ENVY by Helmut SCHOECK, I'm beginning to think envy can explain a lot of their behavior. Oh yes, there's always power lust.) You would actually be more sympathetic to me if you knew my over- all context, for I lead a life that would break most men, but I am not that charitable because I know that my life would have been easier if I had done more. I could easily write a Letter to the Editor, call a reporter, phone or write my Senator, etc., if only once a month, and starting today I'm going to do at least that much. I am enclosing a copy of a Letter to the Editor. You must be painfully aware that most subscribers must be just like me: They can and want to do something but don't. (I realize that many of your subscribers do do a lot.) I came up with an idea that you're welcome to use to counter this all too human frailty. My ini- tial enthusiasm for it considerably drained away when I considered the total cost -- a cost that I would not and could not bear. (I am, how- ever, sending money to Lyn Nofziger Legal Defense Fund and will do so every month for the rest of the year.) [...There follows a scheme by which to give credit for AtE issues added to a reader's subscription for every Letter to the Editor published concerning access to energy, freedom and national defense,... P.B.] Obviously something is going on with me peculiar to me and I really don't know how good my suggestion is. I am just not willing to be passive anymore about anything that's important to me. My sister just called to wish me a happy birthday. I've never been able to figure out if she`s one inch to the right or left of Jane Fonda. If she were any more liberal, you couldn't call her a liberal. Anyway, she wanted to know what I was doing on my birthday. "Writing letters advocating nuclear power." "What? You're kidding." "No, I'm not; it's relatively safe and we need more of it." "But what about Chernobyl?" Etc. All these years I've just kept my mouth shut because I considered her hopeless, which she certainly is, but I didn't realize the price *I* was paying. Cordially, B.G. Park Ridge, N.J. 7/26/88 Dear Mr. G.: As you already know by letter, I think your idea is a splendid one, and though I am not yet willing to try it on AtE, I am toying with it for Fort Freedom -- if it proves popular enough to make the scheme work. But more important, I think you have discovered the real joy of defending the truth -- it is not something one does out of a sense of duty or to allay guilt complexes, but it is A REWARD IN ITSELF. Your letter is, in any case, a marvelous document, and I hope many Freemen will read it -- and share your feelings. Cordially, P.B.
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