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“Dialogue,” from page 2 O’Donnell, chief of research for the National Institute of Mental Health, who wrote in 1969: “… the addict whose drugs came from a stable source was no great problem to the community…. He became a serious problem only if he engaged in illegal activities to obtain narcotics. The alcoholic was more visible and his arrests more frequent.” Or, from a slightly different perspective, the National Association of Public Health Policy in the Journal of Public Health Policy, 1999: “It is clear that most persons who take illicit drugs are experimental or sociorecreational users. … The typical drug user is scarcely distinguishable from the typical citizen. … This government advocates a policy which treats all illicit use as abuse. This is a major cause for the failure of the drug war and prohibitionist policies in general.” Truth has become the casualty of propaganda and the avoidance of open debate with independent experts. Thank you for the effort to introduce reason and science into the discussion of one of the most disastrous social policies in our nation’s history. Jerry Epstein, President Drug Policy Forum of Texas, Houston PREEMPTIVE SPIN What a marvelous yelp of astonishment in the letter from Spike Gillespie \(“Spike Speaks,” thetic and spiteful reviewers receive such a splendid response particularly when the book is a very good read and is being bought and enjoyed by so many. It’s disturbing to read that Spike and her boy hand in hand at the book festival were stalked unseen by this hostile bloke who was already planning to take a swipe at her book. Why did this sight bother him so much one wonders? M. Wilde Surbiton, England Editor’s Note: This may be the first reader response we’ve ever received before the fact. M. Wilde sent this reaction to Spike Gillespie’s letter before we had a chance to print it, apparently after reading a version posted to Gillespie’s website. LEFT FIELD FLUNKED GEOGRAPHY Editor’s Note: As several readers called and wrote to tell us, we mistakenly placed the Wright Brothers in South Carolina rather than North \(“The Campaign Against McCain,” “First in Flight” is the motto that appears on the license plates of North Carolina, not South Carolina. Having grown up in North Carolina, I assure you I heard the story of the Wright brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk at least a million times. Actually, I recall from my youth that “First in Freedom” was at least briefly a North Carolina license plate motto \(having something to do with being the first state to sign or ratify the Constitution, Bill of Rights or was soon pointed out that the persistence of slavery until 1865 did not exactly mesh with the idea of “first in freedom,” and so the “First in Flight” motto was quickly introduced as a more suitable replacement. Brian Evans Austin Esse quam videri, which translates, “to be rather than to seem,” is the North Carolina state motto. A good motto for a political writer. Andy Rogers Austin ISN’T THAT A METALLICA ALBUM? As the journalist who has done almost all of The Austin Chronicle’s coverage of the KOOP fiasco, I wanted to make a clarification regarding Carol Hayman’s February 18 letter: The phrase “zombie puppet-master” was not used by the Chronicle to describe anyone at KOOP. That comment came from one of our readers in our letters to the editor section. Lee Nichols Austin WHO TALKED? Love you guys. And improvements in the Observer should always be considered. But your Upon seeing the cover, I at first thought it one of those supermarket tabloid creations, now finding its way to home delivery. I thought it was a tabloid revealing the nasty secrets of The Texas Observer. This thought was so absurd, that I took a closer look. I saw that it was not a tabloid but The Texas Observer! Be careful here, you don’t want to be identified by glances at your cover as just another tabloid with a political bent. I suggest the cover be rethought. M. Steinmetz Pflugerville Editor’s note: Not to worry. Our February 18 cover was just a parody, inspired by the stranger than fiction quality of our feature story on J.H. Hatfield, the bombing biographer. However, a tell-all about the secrets of T.O. is a project worth considering. We’re willing to compare notes, but you have to go first. ELIAN ABDUCTION I think I have a solution to the Elian Gonzalez brouhaha that will make everyone happy. We want to make Elian a citizen of the United States because this is a better place for him to grow up. It occurs to me that Elian can’t be the only Cuban child who would be better off in the United States. In fact, there must be many Cuban children in the same boat, so to speak. On the other hand, there are a lot of children right here in the U.S. of A. for whom this is not the best place to grow up. That would include all the kids we just threw off welfare, for example. The great failing of Elidn’s father is that he isn’t wealthy, and we can understand that, if not forgive it, considering that he lives in a poor country. But these American kids have the effrontery to be poor in the richest nation in the world. I propose that we arrange a swap. We send all the poor kids we don’t feel like taking care of to Cuba, and Cuba sends all of its kids to Miami, where the Cuban expatriate community will be only too glad to take care of them, seeing as how Cuba is so evil and communistic and all. As mutually beneficial as this plan is, I realize that the logistics may take some time to arrange. So, in the meantime, I propose a U.S.-only pilot program. Any person who wants a child, and has assets in excess of one million dollars, gets to adopt a poor child of his or her choice, on the grounds that more money is better. The poor kid’s parents will have no say in the matter, on the grounds that less money is worse. If the poor parents have the wrong religion or politics, that would also figure into the decision. Hey, it’s all in the best interests of the child. Robert L. Blau Austin BUSHISM on Sunday morning, George W. Bush repeatedly talked about others “subscribing” to him viewpoints which were not his. Obviously, what he meant was others were “ascribing” viewpoints to him. George W. Bush makes it clear that the level of reading and writing in our schools needs to be raised dramatically. Also, George W. Bush again talked repeatedly about “Chechenyans,” when he meant “Chechens.” So while improving the reading and writing skills of our school kids, I suggest we must also improve the geography! Kwame Mbutu By e-mail Revolutionary Political Adventure Novel Dubya Loses Election Go to: Photo . Manipulation in Photoshop Make your photos more spectacular through digital enhancement, photo montage, colorizing, creative new compositions or simply digital cleaning. I can also digitize your favorite photos for safer, long-lasting archiving. [email protected] 20 THE TEXAS OBSERVER MARCH 3, 2000