Letters to the editor

Believe me, meth’s worse

It’s ironic that this article [“It’s the Grope, Not the Dope,” July 13] was in the paper on the day I got my test results back. I’m luckily free of AIDS, which brings me to why I’m writing you.

I found myself to be extremely bothered by some of the statements made in [the article], and I wanted to share a couple of things with you. I am a recovering meth addict. I am 21 years old and have been sober for 10 months. Comparing pot or alcohol [to] meth is completely absurd. You don’t see people raping other people [or having] sex parties from smoking a joint. With meth, that is all you’re surrounded by. Your mind gets completely altered to some kind of sexual craziness. I lived in a big city where there were sex parties every night and everyone was on meth, not marijuana. I went from someone who always used a condom and never slept around, to being so messed up that I’d sleep with anyone.

I guess the only point I’m trying to make is that meth is definitely a dangerous sex drug unlike any others, and is spreading AIDS and diseases. I just don’t think you are right about some of your remarks. I don’t mean to be rude, but as someone who has experienced this life, I feel like I have the right to comment on it.

— Name withheld by request
Asheville

Animals need a lot more than thanks

In his anti-vegetarian letter, “Thankful Respect May Be the Key” [July 27], Moss Bliss claims to “work for more humane treatment in the raising and slaughtering of animals.” Yet an Internet search yielded absolutely no evidence of his work on behalf of animal welfare.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, recently became a vegan because of the inherent cruelty involved in raising animals for food. I applaud Mr. Mackey and others who honestly study animal agriculture and make decisions based on their findings. Not everyone doing so will become a vegan, but if not, they will likely cease supporting the most perverse and egregious suffering routinely inflicted upon animals. It’s all about educating oneself and deciding where you draw the line. Merely thanking the animals you eat for the “gift they have given” is a hollow gesture.

George Will recently spoke up for the humane treatment of farmed animals (Newsweek, July 18). He referenced an outstanding piece written by former George W. Bush speechwriter Matthew Scully. The article, “Fear Factories: The Case for Compassionate Conservatism — for Animals,” was published in the May 23 issue of American Conservative Magazine (available in the archives at www.AmConMag.com). It’s interesting to see conservatives speaking out about something that “progressives” almost patently ignore.

Non-human animals clearly feel pain; ask anyone who has lived with a dog or cat. Mr. Bliss compared the torture of animals raised for food to the killing of organisms when one brushes one’s teeth. See how animals are treated on factory farms and slaughterhouses by visiting www.MeetYourMeat.com, and see if you think it’s a valid comparison.

Regarding the false health concerns raised, it is the position of the American Dietetic Association that “vegetarian diets are healthful and nutritionally adequate when appropriately planned.” For more information on vegetarianism, visit www.GoVeg.com.

— Stewart David
Asheville

Try the self-policing pocketbook

A shortage of state troopers to patrol the highways was recently reported. At first blush, the answer is obvious: Raise taxes and hire more troopers.

There is, however, another solution with some appeal: Increase the fines for traffic infractions by a substantial amount! For example, a person traveling five mph over the speed limit might be fined $50 per mile, or $250; a person traveling 10 mph over the speed limit might be fined $100 per mile, or $1,000. People would quickly start obeying traffic laws, and fewer troopers would be needed.

— John Kuhlman
Weaverville

Leakgate tap is still dripping

It’s a known fact that [Karl] Rove revealed the identity of an undercover CIA agent to reporter Matt Cooper and columnist Robert Novak in order to discredit a critic of the Bush Iraq policy. Rove either broke the law or was grossly negligent with national secrets.

There should be a full accounting to the American people about what really happened in this CIA Leakgate case. There is an ongoing investigation, but the media needs to keep this story alive. Thank you for your time and consideration.

— Kermit Brown
Asheville

How about the rest of us?

We the people are ready for some straight talk from the White House, or from Crawford, Texas. Now weary with the lies and deception, rhetoric and word play, we want an honest admission of the failure of this war.

I admire and respect the patriotism of Cindy Sheehan, who paid the ultimate sacrifice and is now asking for our commander-in-chief to speak to her and tell us the plan for getting our brave Americans out of this unjustified war. The cost is too high. The tragic deaths and mutilations of thousands of Americans and innocent Iraqis, the absolutely unethical war profiteering that is going unquestioned, the daily rise in deficit spending, lack of support for our returning veterans, and our weakened military position throughout the world — this is the legacy of this “war president.”

The Iraqis have never lived in a democracy, and many Americans are tired of the priority of their democracy over our own. There are many problems at home that [we] need our government to wrap its arms around and work [with us] for some solutions. America wants a government that looks after the interest of all of us, not just the upper 5 percent of income-earners. Without the rest of us, the rich couldn’t sustain their lives of luxury.

Mr. President: Please be a leader for all. We are sick of your “go it alone, we’re making progress” spin and your unwillingness to admit mistakes. You stand behind people in your administration who have been proven to be untruthful, possibly even involved in committing treason. You say your Christian faith aids you in your decision-making, while you turn a blind eye to so many unemployed, uninsured and forgotten Americans. How do you sleep at night?

A president has to earn respect; it’s not just handed out.

— Kathy Patrick
Asheville

Speak your truth, today

This twisted and corrupt lunacy known as “W’s War” is simply not tolerable any longer. Anyone who still has a ounce of honesty, respectability and moral conscience will not support this continued crime against humanity in Iraq. It’s time to work on bringing our soldiers home alive, while there are still some left to bring home. Speak your truth today and stop living in fear; without fear, you can’t be controlled. It’s time to hold the elected and those “appointed” political officials accountable for their actions.

It’s critical and imperative that all of us let our voices be heard. Educate people about the madness of allowing this despot administration to continue doing as they please — all without any apparent opposition to or questioning of their insanity, greed and complete disregard for the people they claim they serve. This buffoon administration obviously no longer serves “US,” as in “We the people.” It’s up to you. Each one of you can reach one, teach one.

This is undoubtedly the worse time in recent American history. Let’s turn things around before it’s too late. How many more American kids need to die in Iraq before we demand an end to this complete and utter insanity?

— Frank Katz
Sylva

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