Backtalk

November/December 2010 Issue

The Coast Isn't Clear

As a Gulf Coast resident and lifetime Louisianian, I can't thank you enough for Julia Whitty's in-depth article ("BP's Deep Secrets"). The news that came out after the well was "plugged" that "all is well now" and "the oil is gone" was mind-boggling. I hope everyone reads this and realizes the true horror and scope of what BP has done.
SHANNA RILEY
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

It's really hard to explain the complex interrelationships of natural systems, and you did a great job. The dispersants were an abomination, decided in haste as a quick visual fix. No quips, bumper stickers, sound bites, or YouTube clips can explain how complicated the destruction is, how toxic changes can bring the delicate Gulf biosystem to its knees. Thanks for putting it in perspective.
MICHAEL JENSEN
Annapolis, Maryland

Kate Sheppard's "Bad Breakup" highlighted the disaster that can result when our government leaves public safety in the hands of poorly regulated industries. Never again should an ecosystem, an economy, an entire community become the subjects of an uncontrolled experiment.
ANDREA A. TREECE
Center for Biological Diversity

Trial and Error

Even though I got laid off from my teaching job, I just renewed my subscription to Mother Jones because of "Making a Killing" by Carl Elliott. I was shocked by doctors cheating their patients by putting them on questionable drugs and not looking out for their health. These doctors violated their patients' trust and the premise of the doctor-patient relationship.
ROGER ANGLE
Culver City, California

As a health care professional, I am appalled by what happened to Dan and his mother. We urgently need health care reform in this country, and our politicians to finally get it through their heads that profit and health care don't belong in bed together in either our hospitals or our research institutions. RIP, Dan.
VIRGINIA BECKER
Ocean Springs, Mississippi

House for Sale

Dave Gilson's "Who Owns Congress?" shows that the situation is even worse than I had supposed. No wonder so many running for office refuse public funding—why accept peanuts when you can have the whole enchilada! Civil service employees are required to sign an agreement that they won't accept gifts from those with whom they have government business. Think of it—if members of Congress couldn't use their vote to benefit contributors, contributions would cease, and eventually we could have honest government.
JANET BRAZILL
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Whitewashing Choice

I love your unabashed progressive stance and the uninhibited spirit of what y'all do. However, I found myself a bit disappointed with Titania Kumeh's "Fear of a Black Fetus." To reject the oppressive history of abortion discourse is unfair and dangerous. Why no acknowledgment that Margaret Sanger was an avowed eugenicist who said things like "Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race"? I am unabashedly pro-choice. I am also not blind to the historic racism and classism in the pro-choice movement, and I believe that to ignore pro-choice's sordid history is to repeat it.
BRANDY DANIELS
Durham, North Carolina

Reading the Tea Leaves

Kevin Drum ("Recycled") neglected to mention that, despite the takeover of the tea-party movement by partisan talking heads at Fox News, there is a deep undercurrent of idealism in the American subsoil. The other (darker) possibility is that Drum sees it and understands that it's rooted in the Constitution, and he views it as a danger.
J. WARREN CLARK
Yuma, Arizona

There is nothing Drum could have written to make me reconsider my dismissal of the tea party (not to mention its forebearers) more than the revelation of their "shared preoccupation with the Constitution." If nothing else, the recurrence of these critical movements may be healthy for America by spurring new generations to read the law of the land for themselves.
PAVLOS PAPADOPOULOS
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Better Than LOLCats

I enjoy having MoJo as one of my primary news/opinion outlets and find the articles informing and thought-provoking. However! I am so tired of the unabashed cat loving going on. Please stop this madness. Dog people are more of your base—blue-collar, hard-working people—not effete snobs who own cats and live in loft apartments in the Village.
MIKE HASELBERGER
Jacksonville, Florida