Letters to the editor

Mumpower’s drug-prohibition policy won’t work

As a retired officer, I would like to spare the taxpayers of Asheville a million dollars and false hopes. All law-enforcement professionals know that every drug dealer ever arrested or killed is quickly replaced. The only net effect of an arrest is the taxpayers have to build another prison. We can arrest more people if you hire the 12 officers, but it will not reduce the drug problem one iota. The policy is prohibition — didn’t work for our grandparents, not working in 2004.

— Officer Howard J. Wooldridge (retired)
media director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (www.leap.cc)
Dallas, Texas

Government help to corporations helps us all

Jodi Rhoden got it wrong [Letters, June 2] in responding to Fisher Caudle [Letters, April 28], when she opposed a grant by the city to a corporation to entice them to move to Asheville, saying in part, “I am more concerned about why profit-driven corporations cannot perform in a free-enterprise atmosphere.”

[City officials] can and are performing properly when they try to maximize what they get (lower costs) for what they have to give (jobs and tax revenues).

It is the city of Asheville, operating in a free-enterprise atmosphere, which must make concessions to the corporation in the form of a grant to win the competition. In the long run, [the city could] hope to reap far more in tax revenues, and pay out less in social costs, than if they did not enter the competition.

The money to support all manner of social services comes, in large part, from the taxes paid by working people, and by the organizations that employ them. Less jobs, less taxes, less services. More jobs, more tax revenue, more (not less) ability to help the less fortunate.

It is a shame we don’t teach and emphasize basic economics in our public schools.

— Bob Flinn
Asheville

Lack of coverage wasn’t censorship

David Council’s mock-outrage [Letters, June 9] would be amusing if it weren’t so deceptive. It’s well-established that if the White House requests TV coverage from the networks, [the] request is invariably honored. For the May 24 speech [by President Bush], the White House made no request to pre-empt the schedules; cable-news networks broadcast the speech voluntarily.

To suggest that those viewers without cable were “censored” is like saying that Mountain Xpress censored Bush because the following week’s edition didn’t print a full transcript of the speech. C’mon, David, accuse the Xpress of liberal censorship, won’t you? I’m sure you’ll get a great turnout for your candlelight vigil.

— Nick Sweeney
Asheville

Where is Saddam Hussein?

I would like to know what happened to the axis-of-evil commander, Saddam Hussein. The last time I saw or heard from him was when our brave young men pulled him out of a hole in Iraq. Since that week, I have not heard [of] nor seen a picture of him.

I know this might sound strange, but I fear for his well-being. I have a strange feeling our forces stuck him back in a hole, possibly naked, for fear that he might say something [they] would rather be kept quiet. I, for one, say let the man talk, unless they already performed a lobotomy on him.

— Casey Carmichael
Asheville

Rethink what makes a good “war president”

The [letter entitled] “Study the facts and vote” [June 2] calls the war on terror the “third world war.” While the war on terror may span across many borders and involve many countries, this does not make it a world war, as the author states. There are a little over 150,000 troops currently stationed in Iraq, of which, 130,000 are from the United States — a minute fraction of the 16,100,000 U.S. personnel that served during the World War II era.

At least 13 countries lost over 7,000 troops in World War II. Not a single country has lost that many troops in the Iraqi War, though George Bush’s abysmal leadership has led to the death of at least that many civilians.

The sheer scale difference, in terms of troops, countries and deaths, keeps any logical comparison between these wars from occurring, yet the author insists on believing that, because we have only lost 900 troops in the war on terror, compared to the 292,000 during World War II, George Bush must be a good president.

To me, 900 is 900 too many, considering we should not even be in Iraq and we have found no weapons of mass destruction and the administration has admitted that Saddam Hussein had no links to Osama bin Laden.

We cannot measure how good a war president is by how many lives are lost in that war. While Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, 292,000 people lost their lives. But does that make him a bad president? It most certainly does not. Franklin D. Roosevelt was not a superior commander-in-chief because he kept people alive, but because he led us through the turbulence of World War II.

The measure of a president is not based on how many people are lost, but by his leadership in times of trouble and how he leads the country in times of need. Running a country is like sailing a boat, and any idiot can sail a boat when the sea is calm, but it takes a true captain to sail through a hurricane, and George Bush has not shown that he is that kind of captain.

— Colin Lenhart
Swannanoa

Ed. Note: In a postscript, Lenhart reports that numbers and statistics cited were taken from www.census.gov on June 6.

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