Letters

Truly typical

RE: “Drug Control or Biowarfare?

05/12/00

To unleash environmental warfare on the jungles of Colombia is, unfortunately, typical of the stupidity, absurdity, and wanton disregard of the US. We refuse to acknowledge that we are the cause of the drug problem, not the Colombians. Incredible.

Joe Sulentic



The worst Durst?

RE: “A Sweaty Love Letter from Phil Knight

05/12/00

If this is supposed to be comedy, then I would rather have some real news in its place. The only thing this article did was make me doubt the corporate media system [ed note: you talking about us?!] as much as I doubt the import texile trade.

Jeremiah Wiley

 



Heroin surprise

RE: “BYO Heroin

05/11/00

As an addiction specialist it may be surprising to you that I could applaud injection rooms — but it shouldn’t be. As a nurse for the last 30 years, I’ve been in the trenches treating “junkies and drunks” in several milieus. Will we ever accept the fact that we are fighting the wrong drug war? It’s a war against people, not drugs.

The way to stop the illegal drug traffic is to stop the demand by prevention and treatment of the abusers of substances. It’s time we used our heads and not be lead by the “Simple Solution Club” members. Incarceration doesn’t work, and interdiction isn’t working.

Wandr



Progress vs. popularity

RE: “BYO Heroin

05/11/00

Bravo to those officials who have the guts to finally publicly do what their consciences and hearts are telling them is the right and humane thing to do. It might not be popular — progress never is — but it works, and I am sure it is extremely cheap compared to our “war on drugs” attitude, which has been wasting our money for too long now.

Stop the hypocrisy! I want my money spent on education and other more important social services. Let’s improve the culture.

Eric Bischoff
Glen Cove NY



I’m dismayed

RE: “Drug Control or Biowarfare?

05/10/00

I’m dismayed by such actions by my government, and also that I have not heard about this until now. Leaving my personal views on the drug war aside, I can’t believe anyone would consider unleashing any kind of human engineered/cultivated species of any kind on an ecosystem.

Further, it seems to me that even if Colombia’s entire drug crop were wiped out, somewhere else would inevitably pick up the slack. Are we to cover the whole world in such substances?

Robert



We’re shocked

RE: “Drug Control or Biowarfare?

05/10/00

We think this is extremely scary and we’re shocked that our country is supporting this dangerous experiment with natural habitat. Please push this story onto the national scene and to Congress. We’ll forward the story to our Congressman and Senator.

Andre and Meredith Ryland
Wauwatosa, Wis.



Drug war is hell

RE: “Speed Limit

05/10/00

Thanks again for not shying away from an intractable quandary which the reactionary zealots that fashion the nation’s politics have landed us in. The war on drugs is just that — a war. The propaganda machine is cranked up full volume and it appears that now the First Amendment will suffer in the atmosphere of fear and loathing. Well, the Fourth Amendment has already been circumvented by the hawks of law and order and now the First will be severely curtailed to propagate the further expansion of the war aims. What will be the final outcome of this campaign? More prisons, less freedom, and rule by fear and oppression. War is ugly and innocents are usually the primary victims. This war is no different.

Kit Howard
Ogden, Utah



Mother Teresa and Mother Jones

RE: “Earth Day is Evil?

05/10/00

I get the impression that you, like so many others, consider Bill Gates a “robber baron.” Do you remember Mother Teresa? Everybody who was anybody went to her funeral and she is now on a fast track to sainthood. In her Nobel Peace Prize speech she chided the West for its selfishness and materialism.

A handful of industrialists and businessmen in America — Rockefeller, Morgan, Hill, Carnegie, Ford, Gates, etc. — created wealth and prosperity on a scale never before seen in the history of mankind. Those industrialists are remembered not as saints, but as robber barons. Mother Teresa lifted a few people from the gutter. The industrialist got rid of the gutter.

If we lived by Mother Teresa’s or Mother Jones’ moral teachings we would all be living in the gutter. If the world lived by the (implicit) moral code of the robber barons there would be no gutters. Yet, in our schools we teach our children to revere Mother Teresa and to despise the robber barons. Our president honors Mother Teresa while his Department of Justice prosecutes Bill Gates. What is the cause of this obscene moral inversion?

Mother Jones’ child Russel Mokhiber thinks we need government power in order to protect us from corporate power. I think the child fails to distinguish between political power and economic power, between the power of the gun and the power of the dollar, between a bank robber and a bank manager.

We should stop shackling the productive geniuses among us. Instead we should give them all the room they want to do their thing. I agree with Ayn Rand that the sight of an achievement is the greatest gift a human being could offer to others.

Adri Kalisvaart
Lincoln, R.I.



The only way …

RE: “Soft Money, Hard Cash

05/09/00

The only way to reform campaign finance is to reduce the size of government. All this money, hard and soft, is spent in attempts to control the trillions in tax dollars that the government spends, and to deflect the enormous costs of taxation and regulation. Until the revenues and expenditures of government at all levels are reduced to their constitutional minimums (time to start voting Libertarian, folks), we will continue to see obscene levels of spending on political campaigns.

Paul Garrison
Greybull, Wyo.



The only way to ever begin fixing the campaign finance system is to take away the power and money (our taxes) the politicians have by returning to a government that follows the Constitution!

I am sickened by them all — only the Libertarians seem to offer a different alternative, but who knows what might really happen if they ever gained significant political power.

Enjoyed the article, especially the summary of most of the Clinton scandals. It is always so refreshing to see it all at once; it really makes me proud of our president!

Scott McIlwaine
Indianapolis, Ind.



There should be no limit on soft money and no limit on hard money given by individuals to candidates of their choice.

Arthur E. Smith
Newburyport, Mass.



The antigreen movement

RE: “Earth Day is Evil?

05/09/00

I’m not at all surprised that big corporations and nonprofits funded by them would think Earth Day is evil.

You bring up some excellent points, especially how industries around the old technologies lobby to keep new technologies from being adopted and used, or make them expensive so no one will use them.

I find it extremely offensive that this center compares the government’s treatment of Microsoft to the lynching of a black man. Microsoft is blatantly acting in opposition to the spirit of the antitrust laws and knows it. They have done a whole lot wrong, and have gotten away with it so long because software is not well understood by a lot of people.

Earth Day participants and environmentalists have good reason to be against technology and big corporations. Harmful effects have surfaced from so many technologies in the past (fossil fuels and global warming, CFCs and ozone depletion, genetic engineering and all the crap around that) that we are wise to be extremely wary of any new technology. The big corporations and capitalists don’t like that. I see a big movement from them to discredit the environmentalists, with this movement and the publication of a recent book called “Hard Green: Saving the Environment from the Environmentalists (A Conservative Manifesto).” And this movement is being funded by the big corporations.

Diane Wills
Vancouver, Wash.



Myco-homicides

RE: “Drug Control or Biowarfare?

05/08/00

In response to your article, “Drug Control or Biowarfare?,” I am dumbfounded at the lengths that some industrialists will go to secure profits at all costs. Dr. Sands is truly a criminal, and so are his US-government accomplices.

I am a Hawaii resident, and I was also troubled to learn of the mycoherbicide research on the island of Kauai. I wonder how much damage has already been done to the island’s ecosystem, and what is yet to come. Apparently innocent Colombians (as well as Americans) are expendable in the War on Drugs.

Eric J. Hoagland



Frankly, this sounds like a bad science-fiction movie. There are scientists in Florida who are scared of this stuff and what it might do. Why can no one else understand this? Is money blinding them to the fact that their own families could be affected?

By the time the average Joe hears about something like this, the deed has already been done. Next, we’ll read that hundreds of people are dying because of this stupid mistake.

Linda G. Klein