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Posted 1/22/2003

According to the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF), about 5,000 children are dying every month in Iraq due to contaminated water and easily curable diseases. They're dying because the U.S. government is using Iraq as an experiment for the most severe post-war economic sanctions in human history. We've been bombing Iraq, on average, every third day since the end of the last war. We also used depleted uranium in the Gulf War. With a half-life of 4.5 billion years, depleted uranium is considered by many to be the cause for Iraq's increased levels in infant deformities and cancer. Still, Iraq has not been punished enough. Our anticipated invasion of Iraq will be an enormous violation of international law. From our track record, it's safe to assume it will be ultraviolence on a colossal scale and that many innocent civilians will be exterminated in the process.

I'm totally repulsed that City Paper and Thunder Dome are trying to profit from the terror that the Empire is manufacturing in order to achieve its geo-strategic goals in the Middle East. City Paper's advertisement for a "Bomb Saddam Party" at the Thunder Dome (Page 38, Jan. 8) is not what I would expect to see in either a civilized society or an "alternative" weekly.

Scott Loughrey
Baltimore

It's Not Greek to Me

Letter writer Mavro Daffne's attack on your food writer, Richard Gorelick, concerning Gorelick's panning of the Acropolis restaurant in Greektown is completely unjustified (The Mail).

I used to eat at the Acropolis regularly, not because I really chose to but because a group I was associated with dined there on a weekly basis. Daffne asks if Gorelick has ever been to Greece. It's funny. I have lived in Greece, and I often wondered whether the owners and chef of the Acropolis had ever been there. The food at the Acropolis is not only bad, it's about as authentically Greek as a bowl of chop suey. They don't even know how to make a legitimate Greek salad, for goodness sake.

I love Greek food and often eat at Greek restaurants in Baltimore. Not only would I never return to the Acropolis; I don't even consider it Greek.

Ernest Hochschild
Baltimore

More Waverly Woes

Thank you and Tom Chalkley for the feature article on the travails of Waverly (Jan. 1.). If only the self-appointed leadership of the Better Waverly Community Organization had been so fair and balanced in their meetings. One interesting addition--I wonder if Mr. Chalkley knows that the "activist" who accused him of selling out and "moving to Petticoat Junction" left the Eden that is Waverly with her partner and moved to Tuscany-Canterbury about two years later.

Norris Walker
Baltimore

I've been meaning to write this letter ever since I read Tom Chalkley's piece on Waverly. Tom captured the dysfunctional nature of the two Waverlys perfectly. As a person who spent three-plus years working for both associations as director of their now defunct housing program, I can speak firsthand about the well-meaning citizens involved in the Waverly Improvement Association and the Better Waverly Community Organization. Ultimately, petty politics, minor turf wars, and a silly years-old feud keep any real progress from happening.

Other communities would do well to read and keep Chalkley's story as a road map on how not to do community work. Unless and until both Waverly communities put aside their petty differences and join together they will never be taken seriously by anyone. To steal a slogan I spouted often in my time there, "A Waverly divided against itself cannot stand." A united Waverly would be a force to reckon with but will probably never happen. What a waste.

Jeff Sattler
Former Director, Waverly Community Housing Program

Baltimore

Bomb Texas

Hi! I am actually your cover girl from Nov. 6. I went to the march in Washington this weekend in the same getup, and this guy told me he had my picture framed on his wall. After my initial suspicious reaction, he told me about your paper. I am so pleased! My dad was in the Vietnam marches and was actually with me that day. This will make him so happy.

Also, in response to Ms. Medina Krause, who wrote in and couldn't take a joke (The Mail, Nov. 20): Texas is a rogue nation. They have taken over their country, and we have reasons to believe they are developing weapons of mass destruction. Something has to be done to stop them before they endanger us all. (Hint: Can you smell the sarcasm?)

Rebecca McMackin
Woodbury, Conn.

Lott to Answer For

I just love the way neoconservatives like Donald Holland come rushing to the defense of racist cowards like Sen. Trent Lott just because he happens to buy into the same political "philosophy" (The Mail, Jan. 15). Holland throws around terms like "leftist media" and "liberal hypocrites" to bolster his defense. I suppose this is because he's heard his heroes Rush Limbaugh and Chip Franklin use them on the radio. It doesn't wash, Donald.

Lott has done nothing to correct the racial inequities institutionalized by his segregationist brothers of the past. Lott is a member of the party that welcomed into the GOP the Dixiecrats who left the Democratic Party after President Truman integrated the military in 1948. Sen. Robert Byrd, on the other hand, repudiated his racist past by actually voting for measures that helped to put segregation away. Holland's rhetoric of distortions can't cover up the facts. The GOP has used every trick in the book to exploit racist sentiments for the past 55 years. Just this week, President Bush renominated Charles Pickering for a federal Circuit Court seat to eloquently demonstrate that nothing has changed. If the GOP had told the Dixiecrats to get lost in '48, perhaps there would have been fewer lynchings. Perhaps civil-rights workers wouldn't have been murdered in Mississippi or beaten in Alabama. Perhaps we'd be a little closer to racial harmony today. Now that's a past worthy of being lamented, and it's got nothing to do with the "leftist media."

Joe Roman
Baltimore

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