Is the US military spending its money wisely?
Re: “The War Dividend”

Hartung’s article on the military is right on the mark. Many of us are waiting for the rest of the country to wake up, hopefully before the military ratchets up the terrorism to a point that is irretrievable.

If we exported only a fraction of the military budget in humanitarian good will worldwide, peace would begin to flourish. Let’s think about that and get rid of the goons in the Pentagon who promote war.

Eric Striedieck
Calistoga, Calif.



I agree with your assessment that far too much taxpayer money will be invested into experimental and extremely costly military technology, mostly for the sake of its advance rather than our protection. The urgency of our military budget continues to come at the expense of investment into technology, such as high-speed rail linking our most choked urban regions or even higher fuel-efficiency standards for our clunky gashogs.

Garrett Hering


Support for Rep. Barbara Lee
Re: “Alone on the Hill”

Letters continue to pour in response to our Sept. 20 interview with Barbara Lee — almost all of it in support of her decision to vote against authorizing President Bush to use force against suspected terrorists. Thanks to all those who wrote in, and our apologies that we can’t publish all of your letters.



I feel we should load up as many B-52 bombers as possible and bomb the Afghans with food, clothing, and other aids. Project Special Forces can help distribute the wealth. This is a great opportunity for the US to stop flexing its muscles and give back to the world that desperately needs change. Lee voted with sense and compassion, she has my support.

Scott Manninen




Isn’t the role of Congress to balance the power of the administration? It makes no sense to curtail civil liberties in the name of “liberty.” Thank you, Barbara Lee.

Donna Stevens



My wife and I are grateful for Barbara Lee’s brave and careful response in these difficult times. Such honesty and idealism would seem the responsibility of our elected officials. Perhaps even more crucial is that politicians present our aims before the rest of the world in a clear and reasoned fashion, so that our response doesn’t merely perpetuate the problem. Like Lee, we believe that a violent response will only lead to violent reprisals — obviously, the worst of all possible outcomes.

Congratulations to Barbara Lee for her gallant, brave, and important decision to swim against such a strong tide. We will continue to support her in her struggle to fashion an appropriate response to the tragedy which has befallen our country without raising the toll of the dead.

William T. and Nora V. Duckwort
Montrose, Colo.



Nice article on Barbara Lee’s single dissenting house vote. I hope Mother Jones also supports retention of our personal freedoms, including support of the Second Amendment as much as that of the First.

Bill Rock
Madison, Wisc.



Representative Lee is the only true American Hero left in Congress. Too many were afraid, but she stepped-up and did the right thing.

Dan and Michelle Bonnin


Blindly Supporting Bush



I have voted in every election since 1960, but politics has become so corrupt, I don’t have any desire to ever vote again. At first, I was mad at Ralph Nader for helping defeat Al Gore, but I see it doesn’t matter. Nader was right: The Democrats and the Republicans are the same. Now that Bush’s approval rating is at 90%, not one Democrat dare say anything against him, whether he’s right or not, for fear he or she will not be re-elected.

He’s getting everything he wants, whether it relates to fighting terrorism or not (read: missile defense, which was a nutty idea September 10). If the Democrats think that he is not going to use this wartime approval rating to advance his domestic agenda, they are fools.

Herb Street