Pot for the greater good

RE: “Smoke a Joint, Lose your Loan


If none of the intellectuals in the US had ever smoked a joint in the years of their higher education, we would have a society of unimaginative idiots — just like all those intolerant self- righteous politians who created and uphold the current draconian drug laws.

For the well being of all people, all drugs must be legalized and regulated. The regulations for marijuana, a relatively harmless drug, should not be stricter than those for alcohol or cigarettes.

We need education, not punishment; wise and creative intellectuals, not hopeless criminals.

Dan Baruth, Ph.D.

Kids, the best SSI

RE: “W’s Secret Social Security Plan


I think that unless you can privately invest some of your Social Security money, you’ll never see a dime when you retire. The government has “borrowed” what money remains after direct payments to current seniors. What they borrow goes to current expenditures. What are they going to be able to give you when you retire? An acre of national forest? Shares in a post office?

Have children and be good to them so they’ll support you when you’re old.

K. Pitrone


Dubya’s right

RE: “W’s Secret Social Security Plan


This was a humorous article, but let me ask you this: How much of your 401k is in the stock market? It is arrogant to think that some people are smart enough to deserve an opportunity to save and invest for their own future while others are just too dumb and need to be protected by government handouts.

Frank Wilson
Dallas, TX


Durst is wrong

RE: “W’s Secret Social Security Plan


Durst is an idiot. Over the last 100 years, the stock market has outpaced inflation in almost every decade (not to mention making Social Security returns look like a joke) and recently has created an unbelievable amount of wealth. Tens of millions of 401K plans can’t be wrong. In fact, what George Bush is proposing is similar to what many federal employees are eligible for today. If it’s good for the House and Senate, why isn’t it good for the public at large? Do you suppose we’re all too stupid to figure out how to invest our own money? I suspect that you’re afraid we will know how to invest our own money and won’t need your “nanny” state anymore.

Kevin Easterbrook


MoJo: sitting ducks?

RE: “Ward Connerly’s Newest Whine


Why is Ward Connerly “whining,” when less than a year ago, MoJo ran an article that put forth apparently reasonable/legitimate objections by “some notable black authors” to the very same book-segregation activities that Connerly is objecting to?

I think MoJo better get its ducks in a row!

Jacqueline Flenner
Asheville, NC


Social security snakefest

RE: “W’s Secret Social Security Plan


The plan to privatize Social Security is yet another money-grabbing Republican plan. The tax burden has been clearly shifted from Corporate America onto the shoulders of the tax payers. Corporate welfare has cost us and continues to cost us more then any social program ever will. They hijacked health care and siphoned off huge amounts of money, both tax dollars and private, into the coffers of the mega insurance companies, and now they are coming after the public schools with voucher plans.

Your point about Neal Bush is a good one. The $50 billion tax-funded bailout of the savings and loan scandal is long forgotten. Most of the money went into Republican pockets. Neal Bush and his ilk should have been publicly flogged within an inch of their miserable lives, beaten like the snakes that they were and, I’m sure, still are.

Dave Galloway


Reader not deeply appalled by Shell ads!

RE: “Shell Ads on the MoJo Wire


As long as Shell can’t start dictating editorial content to MoJo, then I see no problem. It’s sort of like those heart-warming ads the PBS News Hour runs from Archer-Daniels Midland. You know that there are lies behind their sales pitch, and MoJo has been unflinching in pointing out those lies.

Grant Schreiber
Pensacola, FL


Army as baby sitter

RE: “My First Kalashnikov


The idea of orphans being adopted into the army is, I think, of mixed merit. Given Russia’s vulnerable position in regard to its ex-Soviet partners, some of whom have nuclear weapons and are unfriendly, a well-supported defense system would seem a necessity. If the defense system must exist and it draws so much capital from their weak economy as to make the provision of social welfare unlikely, what else can be done to support such large numbers of these children? The existing infrastructure of the army would seem to be the most economical and efficient way of catering to their needs. Other possible alternatives:

  • Adoption by foreign parents via international agreement. (There are any number of parents waiting eagerly on adoption lists throughout the Western world.)
  • Targeted international aid — perhaps personnel and infrastructure in collaboration with the Red Cross or someone similar to set up a charity-funded orphanage.
  • A scheme whereby children over age 12 can be employed and housed by employers with the aid of a government subsidy, which, in turn, would have to be supported in some way by international funding.

All of these measures depend on international generosity, which would be politically difficult given the rightist nature of the Russian regime. International adoption would also seem difficult given the current trend in many countries towards reducing immigration. Employer fostering needs careful screening (just like any other fostering) to avoid unsuitable matches detrimental to the child, not to mention that if the foster parents are less than well-off, as is likely, it would take a great deal of vigilance to make sure that the subsidy goes to the child’s welfare and not the parents’.

Building an orphanage and maintaining a foreign presence in a country like Russia may be a difficult thing for the government to do in regard to domestic politics. Constructing and operating as large an orphanage as would be required would also be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming in Russia, even with the best intentions of all those involved. Perhaps more so than could be weathered by even the most popular of governments from the point of view of maintaining their own domestic political support.

Verity Wright


All this and vitriol too

RE: “Ward Connerly’s Newest Whine


This article, aside from its overreliance on vitriol, is short on at least two important points.

First, Ms. Landis describes Mr. Connerly as “black.” If American society turns back the clock to the time of the invidious “one-drop rule,” perhaps Mr. Connerly is black. But if Ms. Landis had read his book more closely, she would learn that Mr. Connerly considers himself equal parts French Canadian, Choctaw, Irish, and African. In other words, about as “black” as Tiger Woods.

Second, and more important, Mr. Connerly is not a foe of affirmative action, and did not “end all affirmative action programs in (California) state university admissions.” Rather, he introduced to the University of California Board of Regents measures to end race and ethnic preference in UC admissions, which that multi-ethnic group passed by vote. In 1996 Mr. Connerly chaired the committee for Proposition 209, which also eliminated race, gender, and ethnic preferences in hiring, school admissions, and contracting in the public sector.

The NAACP understood this race-neutral concept much more clearly than did Ms. Landis when it offered this mission statement at the time of its 1909 founding: “To enjoy equal employment opportunities based on individual merit without regard to race, color, or national origin.”

Raymond Batz

Name-calling and mud-slinging

RE: “Ward Connerly’s Newest Whine


Your report on Connerly’s latest book amounted to nothing more than name-calling and mud-slinging. Such smug, one-sided reporting weakens your magazine’s legitimacy, and leaves me as a reader in search of other, more balanced opinions. Your magazine, once recommended to me by a college professor as a balanced left-of-center magazine, is now viewed by me with much skepticism. I am disappointed.

Tom Delleman

Let’s do it like the Germans do

RE: “BYO Heroin


While this is initially a shocking idea to Americans, further thought convinced me that Germany’s policies are humane, responsible solutions to problems surrounding drug use.

It appears that most of the problems surrounding drug use are only problems because certain drugs have been criminalized. Decriminalization, an unpopular stance here in the US, would resolve most of these government-created problems.

Apparently drug use in Germany is becoming less of a problem, because disease, theft, and other problems are alleviated by Germany’s new policies.

I hope that the US will become more merciful, reasonable, and compassionate in its drug policies.

Gabriele Schaffer

Will Durst? Kidding?

RE: “A Sweaty Love Letter from Phil Knight


Surely, Will Durst jests. There is no way Phil Knight actually wrote that letter.

“Kiss the ground we walk on”? “Live like kings”? Ties to Castro? Communist pawns of organized labor? Severed ties to Michigan and Oregon just a coincidence? Investigate student leaders for possible student loan violations? Never use the words “sweat” and “shop” in the same paper, even in theses?

Come on. You guys are pulling my leg. This simply cannot be a real letter … right?

John Marino
St. Paul, Minn.

MoJo Wire responds:



The US Senseless Bureau

RE: “Prisoners of the Census


I never realized the Census could be so misleading and would not take into account the actual hometown of a prisoner. This is simply another way that the powers that be continue to tacitly condone racism and the marginalization of people of color. I, personally, would like to know what can be done to introduce legislation to prevent all those rural towns from benefiting from the very people they hate.

Angela McClenton


Thanks for the dirt on Connerly

RE: “Ward Connerly’s Newest Whine


I found your point of view on Ward Connerly fascinating. I don’t know much about Mr. Connerly, but so far he impresses me as a man who has his and doesn’t care how anyone else gets theirs — or even if they do.

J. Ronald Reed

Flag debate a waste of time

RE: “NAACP Misses the Point With Rebel Flag


Excellent article! This really is a sideshow for publicity at the expense of not addressing the real problems of black America, which, by extension, are the problems for all of America. However, I only disagree with one statement: “The Confederate Flag does not belong in a museum.” The flag should be seen by all Americans who rightfully lament the loss of liberty.

Tommy Curtis
Lake Charles, La.