Tea, À La Boston

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[Re: Ortiz y Pino, "Tempest in a Tea Cup," April 30-May 6] Obviously the wealthy business interests organizing the tea bag protests were appealing to the patriotic legacy of the Boston Tea Party, mostly without precisely using that terminology.  They had good reason for not doing so. The Boston Tea Party was people protesting against a tax cut for the wealthy, the East India Tea Company. The tax cut allowed England’s big business to undersell local small businesses.

So I’ve asked people if they know what the Boston Tea Party was about. Those who have any idea other than tea say "taxes," "paying taxes," "high taxes" or "taxation without representation" (with an inference that’s what’s happening to them now). Those who don’t know history are doomed to be fooled.

Letters Tea, À La Taxpayer

[Re: Ortiz y Pino, "Tempest in a Tea Cup," April 30-May 6] The people who participated in "National Tea Party Day" are angry, but I believe that their anger is misdirected.

I witnessed an elderly gentleman on "tea day" sitting on a bench at a bus stop on Louisiana Boulevard. He held a sign that stated "No taxation without representation." He obviously does not understand what that statement means. Because he has elected representatives to the city, state and national governments. He may not like them, but they do represent him.

If he is upset because of his tax burden, he should take stock of his physical surroundings. He is sitting on a bench payed for by taxpayer dollars. He is waiting for a bus subsidized by taxpayer dollars. The pavement that the bus will travel on, that will take him to his rally, is maintained and paid for by taxpayer dollars. The traffic lights and stop signs that will control traffic patterns so that he will arrive safely at his rally are paid for by taxpayer dollars.

At his age, and the fact that he is using public transportation instead of a chauffeur-driven limousine to get to his rally, I assume that he is dependent on Social Security and Medicare. And therefore is not paying extra taxes on his income.

We take for granted all the services that we use on a daily basis that are payed for by our taxpayer dollars. Is there waste? Yes! Are you unhappy with your representative? Then call him or go to his office and let him know. And if you feel that they are not representing you, then go to the polls and vote them out. But don’t become a puppet for some vague right-wing agenda.

Letters How Much Radiation Is A Good Thing?

Many of us are alarmed about food additives, air pollutants, etc. We want organic foods and clean air. My last several visits to my dentist for nothing more than cleaning my teeth have been met with a stern message that I must undergo regular radiation treatments to look for abnormalities in my teeth and jaw. This isn’t presented as a choice. The dentist demands he must expose me to radiation as part of a normal dental hygiene regime or he will not treat me.

He says he might find oral cancer through radiation treatments: Maybe he induced it. He says it’s no more radiation than if I flew from California to New York. So what? What if I don’t fly? What if I’m more sensitive to radiation and I later contract oral cancer? Is he going to save my life? Or, maybe over years of dental radiation exposure, he might induce a disease that he can now treat and charge me appropriately? I think any radiation beyond what is considered normal is detrimental.

What is normal? A normal amount is that which we are exposed to due to our natural environment. This does not include a visit (or a lifetime of visits) to the dentist office. This is in excess and is obviously avoidable. The dentist says a little radiation is good. How is radiation exposure ever good?

I have never visited a doctor in which a laboratory test or any test was considered mandatory where my lifetime may be shortened. I told the dentist’s staff that if he didn’t want to treat me, I would see another dentist. The hygienist told me that all dentists require radiation treatments. Why are dentists acting like opportunists or gods? I’d like to find an organic dentist who doesn’t want to give me cancer.

Letters C Is For Choice (And Contraceptives)

A recent study shows that many women have stopped using birth control because they lack health insurance or the means to pay for it. Some are using less expensive but less reliable methods.

Family planning clinics that could be helping them are closing due to lack of funding or are under attack because they include information about abortion along with reproductive counseling and low-cost contraceptives.

So-called pro-life advocates are putting increasing pressure on states to limit women’s reproductive choices.

All of this is happening in an economic climate where many couples can ill afford more children.

Women are increasingly becoming mere baby factories, subject to the will of their male partners and of the fanatics who insist on injecting their religious beliefs into our laws, thus violating the First Amendment of the Constitution.

It’s only a matter of time until they try to take away our shoes.

Letters Vietnam Redux

It’s only a matter of time before the Taliban defeats the pro-American government in Pakistan. When that happens, Western capitalism and the New World Order will not only lose Pakistan but it will also be the last chance to control the vital Gulf region.

Because Afghanistan does not have a stable democratic government when the Americans and their allies are forced to leave, the Taliban will take control immediately and set up a radical Islamic state. Iraq will follow shortly.

The American politicians, capitalism and the oil corporations set up this defeat when they provoked Osama bin Laden to destroy the World Trade Center. Bin Laden did not just wake up one morning and decide to attack the World Trade Center for fun and games.

Bin Laden, being a student of the Americans’ defeat in Vietnam, knew that the West could be defeated. The invasion of Iraq is about access to oil by the West and not about freedom for the Iraq people.

The American patriots were fooled, screwed and tattooed again. Their sons and daughters were killed in vain. Can you imagine a young man, looking down on his missing legs and saying, "I am proud to serve my country in trying to secure freedom for the people of Iraq"?

Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden are being protected, at this time, by the Taliban in Pakistan, and there was no further need to attack the United States mainland again because he knows victory is just around the corner, the Americans and all their sophisticated weapons will suffer a defeat.

This is the last stand of white European imperialism in the area and the end of foreign influence. Winston Churchill and U.K. tried to set up a democratic government in the last century in Mesopotamia (now known as Iraq) that would be sympathetic to foreign interests and failed.

The American people have no say so in the matters of foreign policy. George W. Bush said: "I don’t care much for public opinion." Barack Obama will continue with that policy.

Obama is a product of the American political system: No loose guns are allowed admission, and he has acquired his position as the President of the United States because he knows where the money is at.

I just watched Charlie Rose interviewing Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan, for the first time here in America, and Karzai said not to worry, Afghanistan is progressing toward an independent democratic state.

In my opinion, this summer will be make or break time in Afghanistan and the region.

Vietnam redux.

Letters Déjà Vu?

President Obama was elected on the promise of representing change. Has anyone noticed any real change yet?

Many members of Obama’s cabinet are holdovers from the Bush administration while others led the banks and firms that are now being bailed out with our tax money. Also, several of Obama’s appointees apparently do not need to pay their taxes. What would happen to us if we decided not to pay our taxes?

The ultra wealthy get billions while huge numbers of homeless Americans get nothing. Why not simply give these billions directly to the people?

After all, it is our money.

Corporations such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton continue to profiteer from our wars. The U.S. continues to supply Israel with weapons used to wage war against the Gaza Strip. Unmanned U.S. drones are dropping bombs on Pakistan. After the U.S. "withdraws" our troops from Iraq, over 50,000 soldiers will remain stationed there.

The Afghan president stated that the U.S. should leave his country. Suddenly, our government-controlled mainstream media claims the Afghan president is corrupt and anti-American. Soon, so-called elections will be held to elect a new president more to America’s liking.

The only Afghans that want the U.S. there are those who benefit financially from the American occupation.

Of course, massive numbers of unfortunate civilians who happen to live in these countries are being killed and wounded while their homeland is left in shambles. Also, billions of dollars in the war effort will, as usual, be missing or unaccounted for.

Somehow, according to our new president, all of this is supposed to protect us from terrorism. Sound familiar? The Obama administration continues to beat the drums of war. Iran, Syria anyone?

The sad truth is Obama offers little in the way of change. It seems Obama’s agenda resembles that of the previous administration.

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