LETTERS: Dec. 1

Peace Talk Radio

For the past five months I’ve had a program called Peace Talk Radio on Saturdays, 9-11 a.m. Central Standard Time on KNDS Radio, 105.9 FM. The signal doesn’t go much over 25 miles, but you can listen by “streaming” on your computer at www.kndsradio.com.

Peace Talk Radio is dedicated to exploring the possibilities for peace on our planet through inspiring dialog, creative solutions and a firm belief in the goodness of humanity. We are against war as a method of solving human problems. We invite people who have experienced discrimination based on race, economics, gender, religion, disability or whatever, to come to the station or call in to our program and tell your story. We believe that personal stories can reach the hearts of a sleepy public and build bridges of caring, compassion and community.

It is not a “hot talk” program and we will not tolerate hate calls. You can phone in to get on the air, or just to give us your input, at (701) 231-6703. You can also e-mail us at peacepeacetalk@yahoo.com.

Lew Lubka Fargo ND



Hiroshima motives

Re “Not everyone wanted to bomb Hiroshima” (PWW 11/17-23):

The quotes from military leaders against the bombing, including Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Adm. William Leahy and Adm. William Halsey, are important to understand the decision to use the bomb.

Of particular importance are their statements that Japan was ready to surrender. Especially noteworthy is Halsey’s statement that “the first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment,” as the Japanese had “put out a lot of peace feelers through Russia long before.”

And Leahy’s statement that “the Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender” needs to be emphasized. The overwhelming sentiment of the American people at that time was that a U.S. invasion of Japan was imminent and that tens of thousands of our soldiers’ lives would be sacrificed. Justification for use of the bomb is based on this belief.

It was fortified by the experiences of the Pacific war, wherein Japanese soldiers would not surrender under any conditions, and would fight until they were all killed or committed suicide. There was reason to believe fighting on Japanese soil would be block by block, village by village, and that the country’s civilians would be commandeered to “defend the motherland,” an experience our soldiers had already gone through in Europe.

Paul Tibbets Jr., pilot of the Enola Gay, argued throughout his lifetime that the bombing was just because he, like most Americans, believed we faced the above scenario. The statements of our top military leaders that the invasion could have been avoided are not part of public knowledge, and need to be broadcast widely if the real political motivation behind the bombing is to be exposed.

Are the policies of the Bush administration — control of the global economy through military means (we’ve got the bomb!) — the logical outcome of that catastrophic event of Aug. 6, 1945?

Wally Kaufman Geneva OH



New Jersey Shangri-la

When I read the article about West Milford, N.J. (“Something’s rotten in Shangri-la” PWW 10/13-19), I was interested because I live nearby.

I have little faith in most of the people in the region voting intelligently because far too many of them, although very nice people, still live by the “it’s your fault you’re not doing well” mentality — until it happens to them. In my town, we just elected our first Democrat in at least 50 years (or ever, for all I know) to the town council, by two votes.

Neighboring Ringwood just shot itself in the foot. Four or five years ago when two gas stations leaked MTBE into the ground, in part because the all-Republican town council didn’t regulate or didn’t care, hundreds or thousands of homes could no longer drink the water from their wells and Mobil has been paying for bottled water ever since — until the town can hook up the homes to public water. Another area of Ringwood has a toxic dump, now a Superfund site, that’s causing cancer and was bubbling up toxic chemicals into lawns, courtesy of the closed Ford Mahwah plant, which dumped waste paint in an abandoned mine with permission of the Ringwood town council of the time. And the council president of four years ago, who owned a landscaping business, magically obtained waivers no one else could get for developers to build on steep slopes next to a reservoir. Subsequently, effluent was found to be polluting the reservoir and it had to be corrected.

Four years ago, Ringwood replaced four (I think) of seven Republican council members with pro-environment Democrats. I don’t know the Democrats’ record or progress, if any, but I guess the Ringwood residents decided this year that they actually prefer their well water with MTBE, pollution of the reservoir and the toxic dump, because they replaced all the new Democrats with Republicans again! If that’s any indication of where we’re going as a country, it’s not looking good for intelligence — or democracy.

Name withheld Wanaque NJ



Need machine guns?

An ad in the Fort Worth Star Telegram says people can buy an AR-15 assault rifle or a Barrett .50-caliber machine gun. There are two motivational lines, “Cheaper than dirt!” and “Get them before Hillary does!”

Can we get any crazier?

Jim Lane Dallas TX



Electoral College

Your story (PWW 11/10-16) on the California Republican initiative to let each House district elect its own presidential elector seems to imagine that the Democratic Party is helpless to fight back. But the Democratic Party is free to circulate similar initiatives in the 17 states that voted for George W. Bush (and that have the initiative process). That could include Florida and Ohio.

Also the Democratic Party controls both houses of the legislature and the governorship in North Carolina, Arkansas and New Mexico (which voted for Bush in 2004), and could pass such bills in those states early next year.

The Democratic Party has been the victim of the Electoral College in 1824, 1876, 1888 and 2000. The party should use its muscle to pass the National Popular Vote Plan to end the Electoral College system. In the meantime, the California initiative, and initiatives in “red” states, will help to end the Electoral College by making it painfully obvious to everyone what a stupid system it is.

Richard Winger San Francisco CA