Letters to MotherJones

Fight drugs by keeping kids out of college?
Re: “Stoners Need Not Apply”
4/19/01

This is sick. With the ever growing support for the decriminalization of marijuana, the desperate need for well educated adults, and the realization that the “war on drugs” is not working, this is a terrible time to start a program that fights drugs by keeping kids out of school. Isn’t school one of the best ways to get kids NOT to do drugs? Many of the students who will be denied financial aid come from poor areas. What’s the best way out of the ghetto — working at McDonalds? No.

Using and dealing drugs are big mistakes. Kids make mistakes. Are we, as a society, ready to punish people for the rest of their lives for one stupid move when they were teenagers? If that were so, I don’t think that a majority of those in power would be there today.

Eric Mann
Educator


 

Keep Hawaiians on their feet
Re: “Going Anti-Native”
4/19/01

I am Hawaiian, born and raised on the very Hawaiian homelands that are threatened by this case. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs was set up to help native Hawaiians stay afloat in Hawaii’s ever-struggling economy. It’s still hard for native Hawaiians. Jobs are scarce, and when one does open up, it is usually taken by someone from the Continental US — someone with the right credentials and experience. This is fine for most Hawaiians; there are programs such as OHA on which to rely.

I see Barrett’s point; he deserves help from the state as much as anyone. However, to sue the state would hardly solve the problem. He may get his money but he’ll leave thousands in his place. (Barrett says that he doesn’t wish for these native Hawaiian programs to suffer.If this were true, there are other places Barrett could go to receive this loan.)

Goemans believes that we are like everyone else — we can adapt to change. This is not true. We are not assimilating ourselves, rather we are making difficult choices. It isn’t possible for all of us to remain in Hawaii, so those of us who do leave make do with what we can. Even the most reluctant Hawaiian would tell you he has trouble adapting to the mainland culture. Goemans says that we are not indigenous peoples because we lack a common religion and language. He fails to acknowledge the fact that it was the United States who deprived us of both.

Joya Ahonui Ragsac

 

Lip service
Re: “Shell Ads on MotherJones.com”
4/19/01

You don’t have to run these ads to “inform” your readers. I would feel better informed if you had written a story about Shell’s new ad campaign for forgiveness. I know you are not in the habit of refusing advertising from corporations who conduct themselves irresponsibly. But, I cannot understand how you could accept advertising intended to clean up Shell’s image, when you worked so hard to expose and hold them accountable for their actions.

Cleaning up their image is all Shell intends to do. If they were trying to clean up all of the environmental, economic, and human damage they have done, that would be a start, but that’ll never happen.

When you say that you do not endorse them, it is only lip service. You have to know that. When a publication runs an ad, it should take some degree of responsibility for that ad.

Allison Bowles

 

They were there first!
Re: “Going Anti-Native”
4/19/01

This case is not about affirmative action — it’s about history. Indigenous Hawaiians, like Native Americans and members of Canada’s First Nations, were there first. The land was theirs. They have rights that late-comers don’t have, and those should be recognized. In most of continental North America, aboriginal rights have been recognized by government — at the very least, treaties have been signed, albeit not upheld. In Canada, aboriginal rights are entrenched in the Constitution. Indigenous Hawaiians have far fewer rights than their counterparts in North America. Barrett would remove even those. The case must be understood in that context.

Jillian Ridington

 

A textbook case of responsible drug use
Re: “Stoners Need Not Apply”
4/18/01

I think Anne’s story and others like it should be mandatory reading in all classes on drug policy. Hers is a perfect example of responsible drug use and why the money and effort spent trying to stop drug use is wasted. People who use drugs responsibly don’t necessarily have problems and are not criminals. As long as we treat all drug users as criminals and portray them as losers and troublemakers, we will never solve real drug problems. Who wants to go for help when help usually means trouble with the law?

Ed Habecker
Member of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws)
Aloha, Ore.


 

MoJo’s dirty money
Re: “Shell Ads on MotherJones.com”
4/18/01

You can rationalize all you want, but when you take money from a multinational with a deservedly terrible reputation, you are giving that company another forum. Why did you do it? Money, perhaps? I understand that Mother Jones is non-profit, but taking blood money from a company that did nothing to stop oppression and murder in Nigeria is wrong.

Steven Friedman
San Rafael, Calif.


 

You smoke, you fail
Re: “Stoners Need Not Apply”
4/19/01

Excellent idea! I managed to get an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree without taking illegal drugs of any kind. My tax dollars should not go to put anyone in school who takes illegal drugs. Kudos to the department for enforcing this law.

Terry Begley

 

Don’t take right-wing dollars
Re: “Shell Ads on MotherJones.com”
4/18/01

If you need money that badly, charge a little more for the magazine. I’d still buy it. But now you’ve got blood money on your hands, and I don’t know if I’ll continue to purchase my yearly subscription.

If you don’t agree with a company, don’t advertise for them. You’re sending the wrong message to your readers, with or without the explanation.

You also did this with Reason magazine and I felt extremely betrayed. It would be a shame to start seeing ads from the KKK and David Horowitz in Mother Jones.

Christopher Wing

 

Leave Hawaii’s programs alone
Re: “Going Anti-Native”
4/18/01

As a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes of Washington State who has lived in Honolulu, I feel that native Hawaiians have a far greater status as native Americans than do most American Indian tribes. However, the State of Hawaii and the federal government, by neglect, have managed to water down the true nature of native Hawaiian status.

Non-Hawaiians are moving to take unfair advantage of legal loopholes created by nearly one hundred years of institutional prejudice. The US Supreme Court should stop interfering and give Congress and native Hawaiians a reasonable opportunity to reorganize themselves. After all, that is the real intent of the programs that Barrett is seeking to destroy.

A. Hank Raymond

 

Parents have different roles
Re: “The Parent Trap”
4/17/01

This is a double standard. The father and mother always have had a completely different situation. A man can make a mistake, pay for it, and return to his family. This is not always the case with a woman.

Linda Boyette

 

Big Brother outta my life
Re: “How May We Invade You?”
4/17/01

I read your article about GPS tracking systems in cars and cell phones. It is terrible that the government allows businesses to access what should be very private information. Personally, I don’t think the government should have to know where I am and where I go and what I do unless I call them and tell them myself.

Darlene Lerche

 

Drug War isn’t helping
Re: “The Parent Trap”
4/17/01

I think the whole situation is a sad state of affairs. The War on Drugs is creating more victims than the person on drugs. If the mother had actually been neglectful of the children, it would be a different story.

Lois Freeman

 

Sesame Street sells out
Re: “Sesame Street Meets Madison Avenue “
4/16/01

PBS’ programming decisions in recent years have made a mockery of what PBS was originally intended to be: a non-commercial resource for educational and cultural programs. Cable networks like the Learning Channel and the Nature Channel have made the traditional concept of PBS obsolete in the eyes of its executives. To survive, they’ve decided to pander shamelessly.

There is not only a commercial presence, but there are portions of the PBS schedule devoted to nothing more than infomercials — a regular stream of self-help, financial advice, and nutrition “seminars.”

PBS vying for children’s attention raises a red flag. They’re no longer interested in treating viewers to anything more than what commercial television offers us. I can only wait for BBC America to start broadcasting and put PBS out of its misery by stealing PBS’ last batch of “profitable” programs: British television shows.

Christian Schumann

 

Saving themselves
Re: “Saving Grace”
4/16/01

If the company presented the EPA with misleading information and the company is able to escape its obligations by declaring bankruptcy, then the responsibility should devolve to the members of the management and board of directors of the company in their personal capacities. If the laws don’t permit this they should be changed.

Dr. N. P. Finkelstein
Haifa, Israel


 

Parenting under the influence
Re: “The Parent Trap”
4/16/01

Interesting spin. I never thought that taking children away from drug-using parents could be a bad thing. I understand the problem with taking away those children without any sign of abuse. Unfortunately, I think most children in homes with parents who use methaphetimines eventually will be abused, if not physically, then mentally. How can you be a good parent when you are constantly under the influence of drugs?

Avelina Brown-Nunez