Mutiny at the Sierra Club

November 9, 1998

To the editors,

Shame on you, Mother Jones. Have you run out of bad guys to joust? Your article on the Sierra Club and its internal debate took up valuable space that should have been used to skewer the logging industry and their pork-barrelling friends in Congress.

As a supporter of the idea of the Zero Cut initiative, but not of the internal organizational tactics of its leaders, I am very much interested in listening to this debate. But not in the pages of your magazine or Web site.

Next time MoJo staffers have a gripe with the editors, perhaps we should publish that in Sierra? No, unlike you, we have more important battles to fight.

Tom Elliott
Vice Chair for Conservation
New Hampshire Sierra Club

[Editor’s note: Actually, the last time MoJo editors had a gripe with the publisher, we did publish it.]


November 6, 1998

Thanks for the Sierra piece. I’ve been looking for a non-hysterical article with some background on the dispute.

Jeff Cohen FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting)


November 5, 1998

Dear Editor,

Yes indeed, the John Muir Sierrans were badly mistreated by the administration, however, Sierrans for U.S. Population Stabilization (SUSPS), which the article only indirectly referenced (“immigration”), were at the blunt end of the Club’s club. SUSPS and its seven candidates (including me), were accorded all the insults and assaults the administration could devise.

Dell Erickson


Call of the cubified

Temporary Madness

October 28, 1998

Having worked as a temporary worker, I can fully understand the plight of the office temp. No say, little or no respect, and continually battling the stigma that the label “temp” places upon you. As a college student, I could not afford to work full time, lest my grades suffer. On the other hand, my health became a critical issue when I had no insurance to see a doctor. In all, being a temp is not a bonus, nor a great way to “be flexible” as the temp agencies would have you believe.

In an age where work has become a cubified, temporary state of being, I believe it’s time that we as a nation re-evaluate the plight of the American worker, and stand up for those with no voice.

Thank you for pointing out something that means a great deal to me and many others who have been temporary employees.

Karen A. Hunter

The hip uniform

Made Over There

October 27, 1998

Far be it from me to defend Wal-Mart, but I found Mat Honan’s analysis of the symbolism of “Faded Glory” as a brand name to be rather amusing.

If I remember correctly, Faded Glory or something very similar first appeared as a brand name circa 1970 when it became chic for the well-to-do to pose as working class by wearing faded, worn denims obtained at thrift stores. The manufacturers soon realized what was happening and began to supply us with pre-washed, pre-faded, pre-abraded, in some cases pre-ripped and pre-patched new clothing. For some reason this stuff has never gone out of style, so that even today you have to go out of your way to buy a pair of jeans that isn’t pre-something.

Anyway, at the time Faded Glory had a definite anti-patriotic connotation. The one-time glory of the United States had been tarnished by the Vietnam War and the other activities of the Johnson and Nixon administrations. Faded denim was the uniform of the hip, the liberal, and the peace-loving.

Maybe the masses don’t buy Wal-Mart brands because they have been deceived; maybe they buy them because that is what they can afford. Also you’ll probably find plenty of high-priced, supposedly non-cheesy clothing that is manufactured overseas.

Jim Haynes

The National Enquirer? Now we’re pissed.


October 25, 1998

I think it’s horrible! It evokes images of the National Enquirer or some sort of “shock” news magazine. It’s certainly not appealing, neither does it evoke any sense of confidence or intellectual content in your reporting. It shouts “Oh No!”


Sean Hill

Billy is a bully

Microsoft Brief

October 23, 1998

The issue continues to be the use of Internet Explorer versus Netscape. What about the poor quality of Microsoft in general? Anyone who has used WordPerfect and Lotus, then had their companies switch to Microsoft Office 97, will quickly see that the Office Suite is not only of very poor quality but also absolutely primitive in comparison to the competing software. Clearly, Bill Gates has to be bullying computer companies and consumers alike to be able to pull this one off (convincing the national industry as a whole to use his poor quality products at all). Sign me FED UP WITH MICROSOFT OFFICE 97!!

Karen Allen

Fidel hits the links

No Wonder Castro is Still in Power

October 23, 1998

I heard on National Public Radio (I think) that there is in existence a forty-year-old picture of Fidel Castro and Che Guevera playing golf in Cuba. No mention of their attire, but the suggestion was that they must not have done very well, because shortly after that picture was taken, Fidel plowed the courses under. I would give a lot to have a copy of that picture, wouldn’t you?
Love your site.

Judy DiGennaro

That’s it! We are all in bed with no dinner!

Snap Poll

October 23, 1998

Please tell me that the hyperlinks in your Snap Poll of October 23 are some kind of sick joke. You might simply have asked whether readers think sexual orientation should be added to the federal definition of “hate crime.” Instead you stacked the deck. People who want to expand the federal definition were described as “human rights advocates” and linked to the web page of the Human Rights Campaign. Meanwhile, people who think that the federal definition should not be expanded were linked to lunatics at “” This is perverse. Many thoughtful people—some of them human rights advocates—have reservations about Janet Reno’s desire to make some murder victims more important than others. Surely it is better to ask an honest question and agree or disagree with someone’s answer than to skew questions while purportedly looking for honest feedback. Polls like that one give polling a bad name. Do some research before you link so carelessly.
Better still, grow up!

Patrick O’Hannigan


October 22, 1998

I find it astonishing that you have to even bother to poll your readers on that question? I suppose being beaten for your sexual orientation isn’t a crime, it’s actually a “special right” granted to a portion of the population.

As for the re-design, I find it a bit garish, however, overall I heartly enjoy the discourse presented on the MoJo Wire.

Oksana Goertzen

There should be a law against this

While You Were Out

October 19, 1998

You mentioned in one of your electronic communiques that riders have been attached to spending bills to either defeat said bills or get something passed which on its own merits could never pass. Shouldn’t there be a law against this? Shouldn’t bills and pieces of legislation be about the subject intended, and only the subject intended? Can’t we get Congress to pass a law against this sort of thing, that is, if you believe that there is hope for the totally corrupt, degenerate, and self-serving?

Charles B. Edelman