Readers love Medea!

RE: “Out of the Streets, Into the Senate?


Medea Benjamin’s candidacy against Feinstein is 180 degrees the opposite of Ralph Nader’s run against Gore and Bush — Californians have virtually nothing to lose and everything to gain by voting for Medea Benjamin. What if by some long shot she won? It’d give America a third party legitimacy that was only promised by Perot’s followers. If she pulled enough votes from Feinstein to get Tom Campbell elected, it would do almost as much for third parties, and Californians would still win, because, Republican or not, Tom Campbell is an anomaly in American politics: a Republican who owns his own mind.

J. Michael Bergstrom
Alameda, Calif.

Thank God for Mother Jones! Your articles about alternative candidates make me hope democracy can compete with oligarchy in today’s political climate. You could be a bit more supportive, however. After all, if you polled your readers, Green Party candidates would find much more support than they have in the general elections!

John Howes
Saint Petersburg, Fla.

Votes for Greens like Nader and Benjamin will not be wasted. They will be the harbingers of real change to come. It has to begin sometime; let it be now!

Jim Call

Yes, it’s a problem…

RE: “Border Hospitals on the Brink


I had no idea what a tremendous problem there was with the health care of illegal immigrants along the Mexican border. Unfortunately, you could argue all sides of this issue. First, no one wants to see a sick person untreated. You also want doctors, especially those trying to help the needy, to get paid. But if the US government were to pick up the tab, we would eventually see this reflected in our taxes.

Laurin Farrior
Tampa, Fla.

Bad veeps — no donut

RE: “Veep Creep


I think the real story is how bad the Democratic ticket is going to look, regardless of who Gore picks. However, the Republican ticket has a chance to be very strong with several of the possibilities. If Bush and McCain hook up, the Democrats and liberals might as well just give in. And, Gore, we don’t want you back in Tennessee when you lose!

Nashville, Tenn.

So who made you light up?

RE: “Big Tobacco’s Big Loss


For Christ’s sake — is this too complicated for liberals to understand? This is just the wrong position to take.

I smoked for about 45 years and I have paid the price with all of the heart problems I’ve had, no doubt partly caused by tobacco. When I was still a teen ager I was smart enough to realize that these things were killing me, but I still couldn’t give them up. Then in the early 1960s, when the report came out and the warning labels went on the packs, I must have tried to quit 50 times.

When I had to have a carotid endarterectomy in ’87 I finally managed to quit. After that I had a quadruple bypass, but I still knew that I was responsible. Not Philip Morris, not R.J. Reynolds.

Look, I’m a liberal and I would love to kick big business in the ass. But we all know that booze kills: How long before I have to buy bootleg booze? You can make a more logical case for outlawing booze — think about the highway deaths and other problems.

Mel McEwan

No wonder there are no black officials

RE: “Losing Ground


Your news is of great concern considering what is happening across the nation. A disproportionate number of black Americans is incarcerated for non-violent crimes such as personal drug use, while others receive a slap on the wrist and rehabilitation. The inequality in the rate of incarceration is causing a loss of family relations and disintegration of family values. No wonder we are losing political power. African-Americans must have education.

Mrs. Mattie B.

Trust-busting won’t save the Earth

RE: “The Solution to Rising Gas Prices: Antitrust Action


Of course I oppose oligopolies and support government oversight, but what about just consuming less? The government should also use “carrots and sticks” to encourage less gasoline consumption, more public transportation, innovative land-use policies, etc.

A. Denhart

Fear of a black do-nothing Congress

RE: “Losing Ground


I wrote my senior political science thesis on the emergence of black elected officials while in college in the late 1970s. At that time, we had witnessed the elections of mayors in Cleveland, Detroit, and Gary, Ind. In the South, the effects of the 1965 Voting Rights Act were just beginning to take hold and African Americans were voting for the first time in many of the Southern states.

What we have witnessed in the last 20 years is a realization that putting a black face in the mayor’s office, on the county governing board, or even in the US Congress, will not solve the problems that have plagued us throughout history. We have indeed achieved a semblance of group political power, but without solid personal economic gains for the vast majority of us, political power is nullified.

Gary L. Smith
Collinsville, Va.