Animal abuse is no culture

RE: “Culture vs. Cruelty


Hiding behind “culture” is nothing new among those who profit from the pain and suffering of others. These profiteers are distracting from and not addressing the real issue — the suffering of living, feeling beings. As someone of Chinese descent, I know of nothing that dictates support for animal abuse in Chinese culture. Indeed, I know of not one culture in the world that can claim animal torture and abuse as a cultural right. It’s time for the profiteers to wipe the blood off their hands and quit hiding behind the race card. Values that call for respecting life and condemning harm exist in all cultures.

Patrick Kwan
New York, NY

Wait for the gas

RE: “Gore’s Gassy Excuse


Although I usually much appreciate the information MoJo brings to progressives, while we are all in this war to win the presidency, I think it would make more sense to attack the opposition, not Gore. I hardly think that the Bush family is without blame in possibly trying a dirty trick or two to help their boy out in the race. Why not consider launching attacks on Gore after he is President, rather than give the GOP fodder for attack ads and debates?

Yes, I know Gore has a lot to do, but he is one man. If you want to endorse another candidate that has a chance to win against Bush and the corporations, why wait until after key primaries? Aren’t you just shooting yourself in the feet?

M. Adams
Dallas, TX

More on Jake ‘n’ Oscar

RE: “Drug Mistreatment


I just read the colloquy between Jake Ginsky and Oscar Cabrera, the developmental psychologist who advances the hard-hitting argument that if those who criticize zero tolerance (meaning middle class morons out of touch with reality) would simply talk to some real folk down in the ‘hood, they would naturally change their minds.

I love it when academicians talk dirty. I spent eight years prosecuting child abuse/neglect cases out of the civil division (these were custody, not criminal cases) of the Hamilton County (Cincinnati) prosecutor’s office. Part of my job was attempting to clean up the aftermath of the zero-tolerance idiocy that has gripped our society.

Putting aside for the moment the question of forced treatment, I would like to have a chance to ask Dr. Cabrera just where he thinks the “homies” go when they get expelled from school for smoking a joint. Does he think they join a discussion group at the University of Houston or, for that matter, have lunch with Dr. Cabrera to discuss drug policy? If they meet up with the good doctor at all, it’s probably to borrow his wallet.

I would also like to know if Dr. Cabrera is advocating the same zero tolerance approach to a much more dangerous chemical — alcohol — and what he thinks about the prevalence these days of fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effect. I think we should have National Urine Sample Day and require every able-bodied American to “give an ounce.” Anybody who scores positive for beer, wine, or spirits has to appear on the Sally Jessy Raphael show and then be sent to boot camp.

Jonathan E. Schiff

Catch-22 for liberals

RE: “Culture Vs. Cruelty


Please write more articles like this. As the US welcomes an unprecedented number of immigrants from around the globe, our superior environmental laws are under sustained assault. How do liberals such as yourselves reconcile this no-win issue? On one side, you are labeled racists by members of cultures that don’t respect nature as people in North America and western Europe have learned to do. On the other side, you jeopardize environmental integrity. It is imperative that America stands up for preservation of the environment at all costs.


Bad case of gas

RE: “Gore’s Gassy Excuse


This article on Gore’s environmental policies is exactly why I did not renew my subscription to Mother Jones. Will there ever be a time when the extremists of either political philosophy understand that, to accomplish anything, there must be some compromises? So Gore isn’t “perfect.” Exactly how are you going to achieve some resolution to the problem cited in the article? Is G.W. Bush going to help?

K.H. Fitzpatrick