In "We should be ashamed" (March 16), Jack Lessenberry is absolutely correct in his assessment of our current culture and political state. He has articulated something that I've thought about for years but was unable to place into appropriate words. Am I losing sleep over the current state of affairs? Yes, I am! Frankly, I don't know what has happened to us, as a nation. My feeling that the charlatans you spoke of in your piece have virtually taken over our country is more hateful to me, as a retiree and veteran, than one could possibly realize. These fools and those in our federal government may be presiding over the demise of the United States. Time will, obviously, tell in that regard. This is a direct result of the politics of fear, blame and hatred. In my lifetime of 63 years, I've seen or studied other issues, wars, etc. that have torn us, as a people, apart. However, what is happening now has become the problem of average citizens cutting their own collective throats because of their hatred, ignorance, laziness or just blatant stupidity. Too many fools have bought into the "big lie" perpetrated by the high rollers and their political operatives. It is beyond my comprehension how people in this country can so easily allow themselves to be led into oblivion by the ruling swine.
Many people who profess their disgust of the disingenuous theocratic rulers in the Middle East have themselves fallen victim of the same rhetoric here. They would have no problem in creating a Christian theocracy in their own midst. This is blatant insanity if I've ever heard it! These same people would angrily remove their own collective bargaining power that included them as part of the (now defunct) middle class and allowed them to send their children to college and give themselves good medical care and a productive life. —David J. Aronoff, Wyandotte
On our backs
I read with interest your News Hits article, "Ready to rumble" (March 30). I won't be surprised if Gov. Snyder would turn out to be a one-term governor, in the wake of his plan to tax pensions and slash school funding while at the same time cutting taxes on businesses. The hallmark of a civilized society is the way the society treats its most vulnerable members, like the elderly and the children. Snyder, being a businessman more than a compassionate human being, is unsurprisingly trying to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly and the children — and will pay dearly for it if and when he tries to run for a re-election. However, there is no telling how much harm he is going to cause to the Michigan citizens while he is still in office. With the legislative body controlled by the Republicans, there is a good chance that he will achieve his well-intentioned and yet evil goals. It is gratifying to know that at least Ms. Vanessa Fluker is willing to fight for the working poor, minorities and the elderly — the vulnerable segments of the society. —Pradeep Srivastava, Detroit
Let's get free
I'm writing about John Sinclair's outstanding column "Lennon smoked too" (March 30).
Imagine if the United States was once again the "Land of the Free" instead of the most incarcerated nation in the history of human civilization.
Imagine if the American people could feel safe and secure in their own homes and on the streets of our cities and towns throughout America.
Imagine if we had no "drug-related crime." Imagine if our overall crime rate was a small fraction of our current crime rate.
We once had such a situation here in the United States. Before the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914, the term "drug-related crime" didn't exist.
And drug lords, drug cartels or even drug dealers as we know them today, didn't exist either.
Back then, all types of recreational drugs were legally sold to anybody with no questions asked, for pennies per dose in grocery stores and pharmacies.
Did we have a lot more drug addicts then compared to now? No. We had about the same percentage of our population addicted to drugs according to U.S. Judge John L. Kane of Colorado.
For the sake of our children, can we re-legalize our now illegal drugs and sell them at licensed business establishments? This would put the drug dealers and drug lords out of business overnight. —Kirk Muse, Mesa, Ariz.
My legs and arms have goose bumps after having read John Sinclair's piece "Lennon smoked too." We, the people, here in southeast Michigan, are fortunate to have John Sinclair.
Marijuana is not malevolent and is not toxic. I also imagine a day in the United States when it's OK to get high — and not just on caffeine, nicotine, beer, wine and whiskey. Thank you for the article. —Donna M. Paridee, Warren
Erratum: In the Metro Times Chronicle, our guide devoted to medical marijuana, we got the name wrong of one of the groups in our listings on pp. 42-43. The proper name of the group is the 3rd Coast Compassion Center.