Web Letters | The Nation


Impeachment Fever Rises

Mr. Nichols: Sad. You sound like Citizen Robespierre as he calls for all faithful Citizens who espouse the Code of Robespierre. Careful...careful ... remember Robespierre in his zeal wound up on the guillotine...as would Pelosi for violating the Logan Act--a felony in the USA. No, the road to peace is not through Damascus but through US strength. Nichols, you will live long enough to know that your vitriol is just vitriol and that Bush was right all along. Wait, history has a way of biting us in the dairy-ere.

David Montefiore

Tucson, USA

Apr 23 2007 - 1:19pm

The Ho Industry

Maybe Alexander Cockburn has just been at this too long, or has too many irons in the fire to give his regular "Beat the Devil" column the focus and attention to detail it deserves. Within this whole article there was one small point being made: The media industry will overlook most things in the pursuit of money, until enough fuss is made. Unfortunately, this same point has been made ad nauseam by the very media involved. We don't need to see valuable Nation space being wasted on self-evident propositions such as these. Especially when he backs them up with statements like "Walk into a clothing store patronized by the younger multicultural set and 'ho's' and 'bitches' thunder from the speakers." Maybe he meant "a" clothing store, meaning one he knows of personally. I shop a lot with my kids and there is no evidence that this assertion is true. Or take the "Europeans tend to take the position that remorse adds to the crime." I'm a European (living in Virginia) and I'd like to know the evidence for this.

Why do I object to these lines of reasoning? Because it's the same wooly thinking and stereotyping that underpins the kind of nonsense that Don Imus spouted. I have no real objection to the point being made by Mr. Cockburn, but I don't think many subscribers to The Nation were in need of convincing anyway. I subscribe because I expect a better standard from The Nation. Maybe a little editorial control would have been useful here.

Bill Kerr-Smith

Falls Church, VA

Apr 23 2007 - 12:13pm

Why We Can't Wait

Global warming is one of the most threatening issues facing the future of the planet and mankind. As an undergraduate student, I feel that much of the responsibility to thwart the potentially disastrous effects of the climate crisis rests on my generation. However, I don’t want to make this seem as a burden, but rather an opportunity for society to come together and think as a collective body to live a more eco-friendly and healthier lifestyle, and defy the stereotype of my generation as being self indulgent. This is also a difficult task, as the United States has a history with strong emphasis on individualism; as long as one’s actions don’t infringe on the rights of others, it is okay.

Science and technology have progressed tremendously, and I agree that the federal government needs to have a stronger role in informing the public with accurate scientific information, that’s not politically biased. I also agree with Dr. Hansen that there needs to be federal regulations on the amount of harmful gases emitted into the atmosphere. With the development of hybrid vehicles, there is no reason why there shouldn’t be federal regulations on CO2 emitted from cars and trucks.

If the federal government made stronger efforts to reduce the United States’ contribution to global warming, it may provide incentives for other nations to do so as well. A country that takes pride in setting an example of how other nation’s should modernize, also needs to set an example in taking an active role to reduce global warming, beginning by creating a cap on greenhouse gases emitted from vehicles and factories. It is an irrefutable fact that the United States uses most of the world’s resources, and is a leading contributor to global warming. Americans can no longer ignorantly consume and waste resources as in previous decades, without being slightly aware of their individual contribution to global warming. Not only does the federal government need to create regulations and promote renewable energy technology, but as consumers, we need to change our mentality and live less selfishly. The average American lifestyle is too costly and comes at the expense of the environment and workers abroad. Every human deserves the right to a healthy, safe life, and advocating for a cleaner planet is one way we can guarantee this for future generations, but we have to start now.

Samantha Frankenfield

Doylestown, PA

Apr 23 2007 - 6:30am

Big Is Beautiful

Christian Parenti seems to be having a jolly time quoting the lies and exaggerations about wind power, no doubt garnered from unreliable sources like the AWEA or industry sponsored web site cheerleaders like www.renewableaccessenergy.com.

That 11000 megawatts, which Parenti religiously and boastfully quotes as wind power's national capacity, is a completely bogus number. Wind turbines can seldom produce at more than 25% of their meaningless stated capacity. Those 1,1000 megawatts of power shrinks to around 2,800 megawatts of ACTUAL power. And total wind output in the US is likewise nowhere near the 1 percent Parenti is claiming. It's actually less than 1/4 of 1 percent. Wind power is an insignificant source of power in this country and what's worse, its output is negatively correlated with peak demand. In other words, when electrical demand peaks when its hot or cold, the wind simply doesn't blow. Texas can educate Parenti about wind's utter unreliability--during peak demand during 2006, Texas wind operated at an insignificant 2.5% of capacity during peak demand. This is a far different picture than the industry-approved lies and exaggerations flowing from Parenti's text. I guarantee you that the windfarm he praised and claimed could produce as much power as several midsized coal plants could do nothing of the sort. It also will not produce power when desired, which a coal plant can do, as a baseload power generator. Wind can't operate WITHOUT those baseload power plants. Thus any wind capacity needs to be duplicated by reliable power plants, amking wind far and away the costliest means of making electricity. It's a shame that wind articles are consistently written by those even les reliable than wind power. For example, winmd power produces 8.8 million megawatt hours of power per year. The total required is 3.8 BILLION megawatt hours.

Replacing incandescent lightbulbs with th enew energy saving models would save around 135 million megawatts per year, and SAVE consumers money, AND reduce during peak demand, while wind is out to lunch during peak demand. Those lightbulb energy savings amount to fifteen times the amount of power wind can produce. Anyone still think errecting all those multimillion dollar eyesores is having any effect worth mentioning?

Wind power truly sucks. It is far and away the stupidest method of generating pathetically small amounts of electricity.

Kent Beuchert

Tampa, FL

Apr 22 2007 - 3:21pm

Impeachment Fever Rises

Mr. Nichols has barely scratched the surface of what is happening among the Grassroots. A website, www.impeachforpeace.org , is issuing a "People's Impeachment" process complete with petitions and instructions for filling them out and mailing.

Dennis Kucinich is to present articles of impeachment for Mr. Cheney on Wednesday, April 25, just prior to the gatherings of the A-28 group the following Saturday all over the country.

Patience is finally running out all over the country and Dennis Kucinich may be the spark that ignites a sleepy country to an inferno of action.

Robert A. Brown

Mancos, Colorado

Apr 22 2007 - 1:04pm

Impeachment Fever Rises

"Impeachment would greatly increase the chances for Republicans to retake at least one House of Congress, in a backlash. (Recall that the Democrats gained seats after Clinton's impeachment.) So I do hope the Democrats go for it with gusto.....in a partisan way, of course."

If you only knew how many Democrats would relinquish one house of Congress to get rid of these murderous thieves, it would make your head spin!

John K. Briscoe

Syracuse, N.Y.

Apr 22 2007 - 12:35pm

Car Bombs: WMDs the Surge Can't Stop

Excellent piece, Mr. Davis.

These people can really only be countered through removing their funding and public support. Once the Iraqis have had enough of this nonsense and are strong enough to police themselves these animal suicide bombers will find another country in the Middle East or Africa to try and destroy.

Keep writing the solid pieces.

Mark of www.regimeofterror.com

E. Mark

Chicago, IL

Apr 22 2007 - 1:11am

Our Broken Mental Health System

I have read and admired Ms. Ehrenreich's work for years--ever since I was old enough to swipe her books off my parents' shelves, really. But I wish she could have addressed this country's stunning lack of reasonable mental health care and the need for gun control without taking potshots at those of us who suffer from depression.

I cannot speak about Gary Greenberg's experiences, though I would suggest that lying to health care professionals who expect to be dealing in good faith with people in need of help is perhaps not the best way to go about understanding how treatment works. I can speak about my own. I can speak about the constant, low-level unhappiness I endured from the time I was 15 onward, that continued irrespective of any life events. I can speak about the way it was interspersed with long-lasting valleys, during which it would take me two hours to put my shoes on, during which I would sleep for sixteen hours a day and be unable to get out of bed, or shower, or even eat, because all movement was an unfathomable effort. I can speak about feeling in constant pain without being able to locate it, I can speak about crying for hours, three times a day because I was certain I would die alone, I can speak about the constant sensation of falling, of feeling that my arms and legs were filled with lead. And I can speak about what it meant for me to start taking anti-depressants six years ago at 25 and to begin writing creatively (and publishing) again, and to realize that indeed, merely getting through each day did not have to entail needless suffering.

I was not some Walter Mitty, trying to come to terms with "the typical...worry and disappointment of a...middle-class American life." I was not "failing to comply with a social norm," any more than a diabetic, an asthmatic, or an arthritic person is. I was suffering the effects of an endemic illness. I highly recommend Peter Kramer's Against Depression for a better understanding of depression.

Surely it is possible to note the complete absence of options for treating dangerously disturbed people without making mock of those of us whose illnesses are better hidden, especially for a writer of Ms. Ehrenreich's level of excellence.

Veronica Schanoes

Philadelphia, PA

Apr 22 2007 - 12:13am

Our Broken Mental Health System

Ms. Ehrenreich,Your article was coarse and unenlightening, I found your use of the term, "whack job" extremely offensive. Such terms do not lend themselves to an intelligent discussion of our mental health system. I laud you for focusing attention on the gaps in the system. But citing the views of Thomas Szasz and is not enough basis for such a complex issue. To start I recommend that you peruse the works of Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. E. Fuller Torrey and the National Association for the Mentally Ill's website to start learning more. Dr. Amen has eamined thousands of human brains and has found differences between those of perople with mental illness and others. Also Dr. Torrey could she more light about the gaps in the mental health system.



Bill Sheppard

New York , New York

Apr 21 2007 - 8:38pm

The Coming Party Realignment

The most disturbing parallel between the Democratic sweep in the 1930s and Goodwyn's predicted sweep in 2008 is the dithering of the ascending party. This is attributable to their desperate fear of screwing up what seems to be a sure thing.

Timidity and uncertainty of their own strengths, or even knowing what they are, can still strangle them (e.g., Goodwyn's own coyness in naming names in his last few sentences).

It is still possible for a conservative populist (of either party) to take the presidency just by saying what the voters are begging someone to say. It is indeed the Democratic Party's election to lose. But not long ago it was McCain's election to lose, and he's doing exactly that.

Eric Bagai

Portland, Oregon, USA

Apr 21 2007 - 5:46pm