Give That Lady a Cigar!
Re “The Old Dope Peddler” [“Letters,” March 9]: I wish to thank The Nation for running the cigarette ad with the opportunity to take advantage of a coupon. Tobacco is a legal product, as are cellphones, books, sleep aids and pearl necklaces. If one has no need for a cellphone, sleep aid, cigarette or pearl necklace, don’t buy one. First Amendment, anyone?
MARY ROSE WECKERLE
Santa Cruz, Calif.
Your response to letters critical of advertising tobacco is the most tortured piece of writing I have read since some Christian gave me a leaflet on avoiding hell. Your reasoning contained everything but the virtue of motherhood. You obviously stand on unstable ground.
JACK E. FERGUSON
Paging Alexander the Great…
Your editorial “Don’t Escalate in Afghanistan” [Feb. 23] is absolutely correct! Someone should remind our president and the Pentagon that only Alexander the Great succeeded in conquering that country.
Whiners of the World, Unite!
New York City
Congratulations on a terrific article: Nicholas von Hoffman’s “Jobless in America” [Feb. 23] accomplishes something very important by bringing Nation readers the voices and stories of so many different people struggling to cope with this brutal economy of ours. It also accomplishes something important by letting these men and women–and others like them–realize that they are not alone.
Feelings of isolation, panic, shame, confusion, anger, guilt and much more are all hallmarks of our economic downturn. I was struck by Anonymous in Miami, who asked, “Where are other people’s stories? I have been looking online…”
To Anonymous and others like him/her, I invite you to EconoWhiner.com, a website I founded with a small band of fellow “whiners” to give people hit hard by the economy a place to share their experiences, emotions and survival strategies. (The name was inspired by Phil Gramm’s outrageous claim that there wasn’t anything wrong with the economy–we are just “a nation of whiners.” George Will went one better, calling us “crybabies of the Western world.”)
EconoWhiner is for all of us, since no one is invulnerable in a world increasingly defined by extreme financial insecurity. People have been coming to the site and sharing such stories as, “You don’t know me, but I lost my job last week,” “Who do I have to know to get a job interview?” and “17 months unemployed–and counting.” They’ve talked about what it’s like to go through a foreclosure or a bankruptcy, to transition to life without credit cards, to sell treasured possessions online to pay for groceries. What it’s like to work in an industry, or for a company, that’s falling apart around you. How it feels to start every workweek feeling it’s going to be your last.