Thank you for highlighting the harassment and legal troubles Steve McWilliams is facing from the federal government [“The Front Lines,” Nov. 20].
The DEA are enforcers. They do what they're told. Under President Clinton, they behaved a lot more ethically and had far more logical priorities.
When Bush took office, he appointed John Ashcroft, Asa Hutchinson and John Walters to cabinet posts that deal with the drug war. The President was not unaware of the fact that these men have a holy-war attitude when it comes to fighting drugs.
In fact, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (hiding behind the name “Freevibe.com”) is now airing advertisements on TV that blame rape and gun violence on marijuana use.
It is obvious to any intelligent person that marijuana is so completely harmless that the Bush Administration now feels the need to make up lies to get their schizophrenic points across.
This is very ironic that the very same politicians who in their careers have been against federalizing the rape laws and against more restrictive gun laws are now blaming marijuana users for rape and gun violence.
George Bush is basically spitting on every victim of rape or gun violence in America by removing the blame from the perpetrators and placing the blame on marijuana users. How any American can vote for such a horrible man is beyond me. America must be full of masses and masses of complete idiots.
Having worked in a hospital for more than two years, I have never, not even once, seen a person in the emergency room for a problem related to marijuana.
And yet, every week, sometimes every day, the ER would have to restrain and medicate people who use alcohol or crystal methamphetamine.
Why aren't the Bush Administration and the DEA fighting crystal meth (the most dangerous drug being used illegally) as their No. 1 priority?
To answer that question, all you have to do is read Pat Buchanan's book Death of the West to understand the worldview and mindset that people like Buchanan, Bush, Walters, Ashcroft and Hutchinson have.
These men think that environmentalists are all “goddess-worshipping pagans,” that gays and supporters of gay rights are all “sodomites” with an “agenda to make our children sodomites,” that medical marijuana users are all “drug dealers who just want to get stoned.” They basically think that liberals, gays, environmentalists, pot smokers and hippies are all part of “Satan's Plan to Destroy America.” They truly do believe this in their hearts and feel that military and police force are the proper ways of dealing with such. (Since they don't trust God to handle it).
You'd think that a guy who belongs to a political party that says it believes in “individual responsibility,” “limited government,” “states' rights” and “liberty” would have no problem with someone else smoking pot. Particularly, a person who is sick and in pain.
But George Bush and company would look a dying person in the face and say: “No, you may not smoke that joint for what you think is pain relief. I know better than you.”
The fact that these men have the audacity to second-guess the agenda of a person dying and in pain and refuse them to take whatever the hell they think helps them feel better.
Yeah, the party that's against legalization of doctor-assisted suicide wants to make damn sure there is no pain relief for the sufferer, either! Unless, of course, the source of the pain relief is some corporation that donates to the Republican Central Committee. They have no problem with patented pharmaceuticals. They just want to get rid of the herb marijuana, because they have a burning hatred for any group they feel is counter-cultural.
There's a very evil man sitting in the White House right now. A man that we all should be ashamed of, as the leader of western civilization.
We can do better than this-much, much better.
Craig McElvany, Normal Heights
The meaning of faith
So, Edwin Decker insists that Catholics are idiots, or worse, for believing in a higher power. Allow me to point out that God is perfect-people are not. Decker's biggest error is not his calcified brain attempting to think of new ways to insult the Catholic faith, no, it's his utter lack of knowledge of faith itself.
I must admit, I was impressed to see Decker's ability to look up the word “faith” in the dictionary. But that misses the beauty of God. He misses the glory, the joy and the love Catholicism taught me. As far as questioning authority, Mr. Decker, it was a priest, Father Dan, who taught me to stand up for what I believe in.
It was a nun that bought me my first Peter Gabriel record, which introduced me to the song “Biko,” which introduced me to the horrors of apartheid.
No, not every priest is a saint-who among us is? Go rent the movie Romero or read a book about Mother Teresa and get back to me regarding the evils of Catholicism.
If you're trying to say that pedophilia is wrong, way to go out on a limb, Edwin. If you're trying to say that the Church has yet to come up with stiff penalties for sexual abuse, you're absolutely right. Suggesting the inmates get a chance to do the same to guilty priests was very eye-for-an-eye. Perhaps the garbage you call faith has had more of an impact on you than you realize.
Just don't assume that since I believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit I'm a moron. I'm smart enough to know the difference between faith in God and faith in a man. And I'm smart enough to know when to stop reading the bilge you attempt to pass off as entertaining.
Barry Benintende, Springfield, Mo.