Kids need stable homes
Re: “The Parent Trap”

I know of many fellow adoptive parents who would raise this child in a much more positive atmosphere than one of a drug dealer. Our society needs a better means, and more funding, to help out anyone in the grips of drugs. But bringing a child back and forth between foster care and a birth parent reaps a host of long-term attachment problems. You need to think of the child first.

Sarah Mallory-Lucas


What makes a mother?
Re: “The Parent Trap”

Because a woman bears children does not make her a mother. A mother is someone who takes responsibility for her children. One who protects them and sets an example for them. If a drug addict truly was a mother she would know that the example she is setting is harmful to the children. I believe the children will be better off if they can be adopted and removed from this situation. Perhaps then they will learn a better way of life rather than following the example of their mother as future drug abusers.

Rick Perry


Some legal advice
Re: “The Parent Trap”

As an attorney who represents parents in termination of parental rights actions (TPR), I urge incarcerated mothers and fathers to continue to stay involved in the lives of their children.

Financial help is also crucial. Although most prisoners do not have independent financial resources, many can work, albeit for minimal wages. Any support is better than no support.

Finally, the parent should take advantage of all rehabilitative services available while incarcerated. The ability to support the child upon release can help to prevent the termination.

This problem is sure to grow as this country continues to incarcerate more and more of its citizens. Creating orphans is yet another cost of the prison-industrial complex and our insane war on drugs.

Chris Harrell


An unfit mother
Re: “The Parent Trap”

She should have thought about that before she chose to manufacture drugs. She got what she deserves. Her children deserve a better mother. Case closed.

Joan Garner


Put kids first
Re: “The Parent Trap”

If a parent is so irresponsible as to commit an act that would land them in jail or prison, they don’t need the child. A person who has a child should think of the child first and foremost rather than themselves. A child needs a stable atmosphere, a home, and going back and forth between an irresponsible parent and foster care is definitely not good for a young person. A person who wilfully commits a crime wilfully takes a chance on losing his/her kids. I say make no changes.

Tarre Smith


Another problem with the war on drugs
Re: “The Parent Trap”

I think this is absolutely ridiculous! The war on drugs has gone on way too long. When the hell are we going to wake up? The kids are no better off in foster care than they are with their mother. Did she try to give the kids drugs? Unless she did something to “endanger the welfare of the child” then there is absolutely no reason why she can’t have her kids back.

Sheheen Morris


Privatizing schools benefits communities, not donors
Re: “The Mother Jones 400: Schools”

Your report on “Bush donors standing to profit from privatizing public education” seems incomplete. You cite cases of contributors donating to charter schools, school voucher campaigns and the Republican Party, but you do not address school systems that are currently voluntarily privatizing their systems. For example, the Philadelphia school system recently hired a private company to run its educational system. What will the city of Philadelphia get in return for privatizing their school system? Better guidance of at-risk children and a more educated workforce.

Unless the kids that graduate from so-called private schools are going to be indentured servants to the donors that made their quality education possible, the donors will reap the same benefits that we will all reap from the anticipated improvement that comes along with privatization and school choice. The bottom line is that offering a better education produces better-equipped children for the workforce, which feeds into the country’s prosperity. The benefits are community shared and they don’t sound so bad to me.

Kelly S. Novak


Our foolish approach to history
Re: “Et tu, America?”

The Europeans say that we Americans “don’t have any history.” This is primarily because, as you state in your article, we destroy everything in the name of economy. It is cheaper to rebuild than to renovate. Thus, we will never have a strong sense of history.

When we visit Europe, we are awed by the ancient streets, by the cafes — many of which were frequented by our great writers and artists earlier in the century — by the fact that you can stand at a vista and see the same things seen by those who wrote about them hundreds of years ago. This is because they renovate rather than rebuild.

I am not against combining the old with the new. However in this country we just forge ahead, obliterating historical sites so that we can have yet another monument to the chain store.

J. Lee


Dissed by the dictionary
Re: “The Bush Files”

The American Heritage Dictionary (1981) defines fascism as: “A philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with an ideology of belligerent nationalism.”

Sound like any government you know?

H. W. Skipper


Race vs. merit
Re: “Ward Connerly’s Newest Whine”

Affirmative action is a principal which tells certain minorities not to work hard to get ahead — that Big Brother will assure them a place just because they were born in a certain place, or of a certain race. Affirmative action programs have led to policies in some colleges that limit the acceptance of Asian-Americans because they work too hard. Merit gives way to race. And in the workplace, who wouldn’t wonder if a black professional is really good or just an affirmative action hire?

While Ward Connerly does not present ideas on how to help minorites overcome the crippling affects of affirmative action, I am glad someone is out there trying to end this humiliating and degrading practice that has very much injured my people.

Steve Calhoun


Violence against people
Re: “Gender Outlaws”

Any attempt to promote transgender violence as separate from violence against all women and gay men is to diminish the real cause of hate and much of the physical violence in our culture.

Brandon Teena was a 19-year-old women who loved women and dressed in men’s clothing. Teena fit the classic definition of a passing woman that has always been a part of lesbian survival culture. Again, we have a movement claiming and defining a dead person for its own agenda. Brandon Teena was a woman who loved women. She was raped and murdered, not because she was a man, but because she was a woman: a lesbian who dressed like a man and made love to women.

A federal hate crimes bill must cover all areas of bias and potential violence. Gender variance is certainly one of the critical signifiers. Gender variance is an extension of male/female gender definition and behavior, not the creation of a new identity.

These are serious matters, deeply affecting a small minority of people who need to be acknowledged with compassion, clarity, and sensitivity.

Jim Fouratt
Gender-variant gay man


Dropping the ball on GMO issues
Re: “Score One for Monsanto”

I’m a democrat and a farmer from Nebraska, and similar stories have occured in my area with soybean producers.

I am very disappointed the Clinton administration allowed Monsanto and other companies to gobble up their competition during its eight years in office. They had their backs turned and their hands in their pockets as the mergers continued to decimate rural America.

I was also disappointed in some environmental groups that seemed to remain silent when the agriculture industry supported GMO technology during the Clinton years. Perhaps they were afraid of offending Clinton and his wealthy elite contributors.

Daryl J Obermeyer


Fighting Monsanto
Re: “Score One for Monsanto”

Massive refusal by North American farmers to obey Monsanto’s dictates would pose quite a problem for Monsanto and its shareholders.

M. Newcombe


Boycott Nike
Re: “Greenwashing on Trial”

It’s a shame that a multinational company that turns over tremendous profits does not share those profits with its workers. What difference would it make to their huge profits if they were to double wages from $45 to $90 per month? How can we make them see that people are more important than profits?

Are consumers ignorant or indifferent? If consumers no longer buy their product, we can be sure that Nike and others will alter their production politics.

Kevin Connor
Edinburg, Scotland