Letters for May 5, 2005

No trust for Bush
President Bush, at a recent press conference extolling the virtue of private accounts, assured skittish Americans worried about investing a portion of their Social Security payroll tax in the stock market that they could choose instead to invest in U.S. Treasury bonds, which are backed by the “full faith and credit of the United States.” Sounds good, right?

Yet, later in the press conference, he asserted that the current Social Security Trust Fund is nothing but IOUs, implying that there isn’t any money there and that these IOUs are worthless. But these IOUs that President Bush speaks so disparagingly of are U.S. Treasury Bonds. Is President Bush implying that our Treasury is empty and that these Treasury bonds are worthless? If that is the case, why would I invest my retirement dollars in them?

And why didn’t the White House press corps call him on this glaring conflict?

Carissa Snedeker
Silver Springs

Politicians for sale
Re “Pot for everyone” (Letters, April 28):

Beyond just the use of marijuana as medicine, why do so many of our politicians want to keep a natural herb that has never been documented to kill a single person an illegal substance? Why do apparently intelligent people want to arrest and jail other people who use or sell an easy-to-grow weed?

Perhaps, to understand their position, we should study the history of U.S. alcohol prohibition. The notorious gangster Al Capone made most of his illegal money from alcohol prohibition. Capone often bragged that he “owned” the city of Chicago. Obviously, he didn’t own all of the city of Chicago; however, he had most or all of the politicians and police who ran the city on his payroll. Al Capone was a successful businessman, and it’s not unreasonable to suspect that the drug cartels of today are following his business model.

It’s also not unreasonable to suspect that the drug cartels may have many high-level politicians and police officials on their payroll.

Obviously, the type of politicians the drug cartels would have on their payroll are those who advocate the continuation of the status quo of drug prohibition, which is making the drug cartels so fabulously wealthy.

I’m not saying that any specific “drug warrior” is on the payroll of the drug cartels—just a little suspicious. I’m just a little suspicious of the motives of all of the drug-war cheerleaders.

Kirk Muse
Mesa, Ariz.

Pudgy, little
Re “Days on Planet Earth” (Editor’s note, April 28):

Now hold on there. Not all SUV drivers suck. Sure, they may be a little slow on the ecological thing, but, hey, who cares? Not they. Driving a tank to protect their pudgy little derriers is more important than having a self-actualized brain.

And you know why that is?

Traffic cops. Remember them? If you drove like a jerk, they’d ticket that posterior, pudgy or not. Seen any of those guys and gals lately, serving and protecting?

They’re not in the budget.


Because the community won’t fund ’em beyond a token level. The cops only have as much manpower as the community allows to be funded, and we don’t have the money. Do these fascist oppressors know how much gas costs?! We’ve got association dues to pay in gated communities!

Kind of a sweet deal, though, when you think about it. An SUV gets to take up one-and-a-half lanes, be driven like a house with the skills of a 2-year-old, and squat on three parking spaces lest some cretin ding the paint.

Best of all, if a lack of effective traffic enforcement encourages the already self-mesmerised to blow a red light (because it was just too long a wait), odds are, only the person with the smaller checkbook—and the green light—is dead.

Now, that should make the economy hum.

Or was that Hummer? I forget.

Craig Ayres-Sevier
via e-mail

Supply and demand
When the price of fuel passes the $3-a-gallon mark, I will laugh long and loud at all the people who own gas-guzzling SUVs and oversized trucks, when most of them only need more efficient cars, minivans or smaller trucks. Of course, my laughter would be tempered by the knowledge that G.W. Bush will probably use the increase in fuel prices as another excuse to drill in Alaska.

The gas hogs should be paying a selfishness tax for buying their vehicles in the name of style and egotism, while contributing to increased global warming and terrorism.

I propose, that whenever the price of petrol drops below a certain point, the tax at the pumps is increased so as to always keep the price above a certain level. Then, maybe all those inconsiderate yahoos will put a little more thought into their vehicle purchases, and maybe with the extra tax revenues, we could raise the road quality here above that of a third world country, and who knows, maybe even put some money back into the school system.

Joe Groot
via e-mail