The use of depleted uranium in the Gulf War and Kosovo shows once again that the military is more concerned about military effectiveness than human life, even if affects its own soldiers. Even if European governments admit that DU poses serious dangers to soldiers and civilian population, and even if they accuse the US of using such dangerous methods, not much will be done about it.

As we can already see, again responsibility lies on us civilians to protest and demand action since politicians are not willing to admit their responsibility and take action for themselves.

Roger Gilabert
Barcelona, Spain


Don’t be so polite

RE: “Bamboozled at the Voting Booth


I believe that the real problem concerning the lessening of black political power is twofold. First, black problems and concerns are once again becoming invisible in our culture. Second, the very concept of politics and political struggle is becoming discredited, especially among whites. To many white people, the very idea of political struggle and conflict is anathema.

What needs to happen is for our country to begin to believe that political struggle is not bad or wrong, but is rather a civilized way of working against the sorrows and struggles that plague our people. The very idea of politics has to be elevated, so that we will once again have a capacity to correct the injustices in our country.

Ed Leonard

Why all the junk food?

RE: “Schoolhouse Rot


As a parent of two young boys, the lack of concern on the parts of parents, schools, and doctors for children outrages me. It’s baffling to me how they can see no connection between the increase in caffeine and sugar consumption and poor health.

It’s easy to just give them a soda and a candy bar and send them on their way, but there are so many healthier alternatives. When I’m in the grocery store and I see what people are buying for their families, I want to stop them and say, “Please stop feeding your children all this crap. If they eat crap, they feel like crap.”

Tammy Powell
Sandpoint, Idaho

Holy cow

RE: “Schoolhouse Rot


I’ve seen articles about soft drinks in schools before, and while I don’t believe that soda is a healthy choice, I also don’t agree with the supposed alternative: milk. Milk consumption has been linked to allergies, heart disease, breast cancer, obesity, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Megan Jankowski
Athens, Ohio

Turn the soda tide

RE: “Schoolhouse Rot


Your anti-soda story emphasizes a frustration at the incompetence and greed of public-health officials, corporations, and school administrators. But there’s a sense of dead-endedness to your approach. Soft drinks that break bones in children may sound like a travesty to you, but to the corporate elite, it’s more like a chorus of beautiful music.

We need to take this more seriously. The tools of destruction are in full-scale deployment. And if we want a chance to turn the tide, we’re all going to have to join forces and fight back.

Noel Gillett

Just say no to cola

RE: “Schoolhouse Rot


Thank you for the great story about how our schools are training kids for a lifetime of cola consumption. Our local high school has joined forces with the local D.A.R.E. program to reward students with coupons for soda pop. When I complained on a call-in radio show that caffeine was more addictive than marijuana, and that the only people (other than the local Pepsi salesman) who benefit from this program are dentists, I was chastised for being an alarmist.

Joe Stein
South Dakota

You mean soda isn’t a food group?

RE: “Schoolhouse Rot


Our schools have been so underfunded that they are vulnerable to this kind of funding. The educational system that falls for this risks not only the health of its students, but its credibility as well; how can they teach nutrition in the classroom while actively pushing the sale of sodas in the hall?

Jean Hughes
Sacramento, Calif.

Selective memory

RE: “American Memory Deficit Disorder


There’s a big difference between overlooking someone driving drunk 20 years ago and forgiving the tribe of your mortal enemy for slaughtering your wife and children and burning your home to the ground.

Steve Blizzard
Pikesville, Md.

An old Ashcroft enemy

RE: “Reagan Redux


“People should be free to make bad choices” [says Ashcroft] yet a woman should not be free to make a choice to have a child or not. Is there a contradiction here, or am I crazy? Of note, some of the most destructive leaders our time presented under the guise of “morally right” and sought to cleanse their nations of “evil.” What Ashcroft really needs is a date with Monica Lewinsky.

Thanh Ly

A new Ashcroft supporter

RE: “Reagan Redux


I don’t know much about Ashcroft, but after reading your article I am leaning towards liking him. I wish he were not conflicted on the freedom issues (liquor, drugs, tobacco, gambling, etc.), but Republicans tend to do that. The only ones who seem not to be conflicted on these issues are libertarians and children. Which are you guys?

Joe Robinson
Huntsville, Ala.

Did Harper’s miss this?

RE: “Ten Worst Corporations of 2000


Amount Phillip Morris gave to charities in 1999: $115 Million
(source: 1999 annual report)

Amount Phillip Morris spent advertising its good works in 2000: $100 Million
(Source: Associated Press)

Bob Foster

The real culprits

RE: “Megawatt Christmas


Many people in my area turned off their Christmas lights in order to save power. But the car dealers, with their massive auto malls, continued to light up the sky with thousands of kilowatts of power. No one complained about that. Why not?

Doug Noble
Diamond Springs, Calif.

New leadership needed

RE: “Winning a Battle, Losing a War?


The appointment of Rice and Powell does little to help the future of blacks in American politics and society. The Florida fiasco showed that no one cares if some black voters aren’t allowed to vote. Many women also felt disenfranchised by the recent election, as if their votes didn’t matter.

I am offended when Bush says people voted for him because they supported his issues. He should be humble enough to admit that the majority of the American people did not vote for him, and that the Supreme Court handed him the election. When I think of the damage he can do in four years, I am afraid. We need the leadership now to unite blacks, women, and working class people who stand to lose so much under the Bush presidency.

Diane McPherson

Human needs, not bombs

RE: “The Bush Files


With the appointments George W. Bush has made there is a good chance that we will see renewed funding for the Star Wars missile defense program. Many of those who contributed to his election would profit from it, and many members of Congress have some industry in their state that would financially benefit too.

The idea of a missile defense program sounds useful to a lot of people but they do not know how little we have gotten from the more than $60 billion already spent researching it. This money should be spent for the more important needs of society.

Marvin E. Howe
Orange, Texas