Letters

A Shell of an idea

RE: Shell ads

12/23/99
I don’t mind the Shell ads on your web page. I clicked on them and found a forum for the Shell corporation. In this free forum, I was able to post some URL’s about Amnesty International’s report on Nigeria. I was able to refute claims of Shell’s innocence on a Shell bulletin board, one visited by some very angry and conservative employees.

Greg M. Johnson



Path out of poverty not always handicapped accessible

RE: High-income poverty

Jake Ginsky’s article is fascinating and timely. Ms. Orrante’s struggle is reminiscent of my career. Being disabled, the phrase I hear most commonly is “you make too much on disability” to qualify for any assistance, including medical, education, food and housing (and this on an income of $11,400 per year for a family of two). This is especially frightening because it can happen to anyone — it happened to me — and this “class” of the American poor is completely ignored.

Kymberli Ward



When Bison Attack!

RE: Buffalo Soldiers Take Position

12/22/99
There is only one solution. We must gather the buffalo and train them with assault rifles to kill humans. Then and only then will buffalo retake their stolen lands. Another solution: make a huge effort to educate the world’s public of the dangers to our health in eating meats, especially domesticated meats like beef cattle.

Pete Molina



Get Corporations off the Wire!

RE: Shell ads

12/21/99
I’m disturbed by the Shell ads. I don’t think it’s really proper to accept ads for multinational, limited liability public corporations. The problem with such ads is that, whatever Shell may say or do to burnish its image, the ads are a device for improving the corporation’s public image without any real improvement. Isn’t it bad enough that a corporation can get away with little more than fines? To add insult to injury, it can always whitewash its image through the purchase of any amount of space in the media.

I might find such ads less suspect if a corporation like Shell were to publicly renounce any attempts to influence legislation or the political process. Let it acknowledge the grave injury that such influence peddling has done. And let it vow not to corrupt our culture through its inordinate wealth and limitless access to media. Until such time, I would look askance at anyone accepting money from Shell to help it in its “public outreach.” Shell doesn’t need such help, particularly not from progressives

Guy Berliner
San Diego, CA



Don’t like it? Move out!

RE: High-Income Poverty

12/20/99
For the last 40 years there has been a simple solution to those who can’t afford the high cost of living: you have to move! In Hawaii, the cost of living is very high. Low-education jobs go mostly to illegal immigrants from Asia and the Pacific island nations. The squeeze has been particularly cruel.

The Hawaiians with strong traditional family ties, and ties to the Islands, often are forced to sell their modest homes and move to the mainland because they can’t afford to pay the taxes. It’s a tragic and undertold story — the effects of capitalism on land prices and the people who are displaced by the greed of the land speculators.

But there are too many Cadillacs and Jaguars in Honolulu to support the idea that no one is making money there.

Kapalua Kaamaina
Portland OR