Drug prices

I would like to see some organization or publication compare the price of drugs the way we price other familiar items such as steak, vegetables or fruit. For example what would Mobic cost per pound? I think people would be even more shocked if drugs were compared in this way. I am 65 and don’t have to take many drugs yet, but for those who do have to take a variety of drugs it must be scary.

Tommy Thompson
Via e-mail

No response is injustice

We (Yvonne and I) have asked Senator Baucus, Senator Burns, Representative Rehberg and Governor Schweitzer for two years to provide cheap heating oil to Montana’s poor families through Citgo, an oil company in the United States but owned by Venezuela. We have received no response at all.

The callous disregard of our congressmen and governor last year towards the heating needs of our poor families is a social injustice to the people of Montana.

Daniel Gawain Waters
Troy MT

Military privatization

I’m doing a research project and found Moe Radd’s article “The military privatization scam” (PWW 8/2/03) as supporting my position. What qualifies Mr. Radd as an authority about military privatization? Are there other military privatization issues he’s seen since he wrote the article?

Brendan Epps
Via e-mail

Moe Radd responds: I don’t claim any authority on military privatization issues. I’m a decorated Navy veteran, a union shipyard worker and a member of Veterans for Peace. I’ve observed the corporate policies of privatization in the public sector, particularly regarding the building of Navy ships. After writing the article and observing the actions of companies like Titan and Khaki regarding torture in Abu Ghraib, I began to get the larger picture. I hope you can further enlighten and update the public to this very dangerous and sinister development in public policy.

No money for doc? Eat more vitamins

I just got my medical/dental insurance renewal notice in the mail. And like most Americans I see my premiums are going up. But I have a choice: either I can pay a 50 percent higher deductible, more out-of-pocket expenses, and pay a small premium increase, or I can bite the bullet and take a whopping 13 percent premium hike.

I suppose my other choice is to not seek treatment for what ails me at all. My insurance company was even kind of enough to send me a brochure on how to avoid going to the doctor — eating more vitamins and doing breathing exercises to reduce stress. Thanks guys!

Thanks to the free market (for most of us it costs an arm and a leg) there is no end in sight for skyrocketing insurance premiums. Thanks to George W. Bush and the do-nothing Republicans, there is no plan on the legislative agenda to aid working families with their health care needs.

Interestingly, Democrats tried to make the common sense idea of giving Medicare the power to bargain for better prices part of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, but the Republicans blocked it four times this year alone.

So when you are at your polling place this Nov. 7 thinking about how your Republican congressperson or senator isn’t so bad or crazy like some of those extremists in Washington, ask yourself, can I afford another two years with this person who has blocked efforts to provide me affordable health care coverage? I know I can’t.

Jake Wickham
Via e-mail

Point of information

Congratulations on a great editorial “Sept. 11th – 5 years later” (PWW 9/9-15). You are absolutely right about Bush and Cheney not following through with a worldwide coalition to catch Bin Laden (from a wealthy Saudi family) and the rest of the people involved in the attack on our country. They used this as an excuse to invade Iraq to control the Middle East and of course the oil. Now we are sure enough in a mess. Bush and Cheney have a lot of nerve to compare this to World War II. If they had been running World War II we would have lost the war.

Just as a point of information the U.S. and our allies (including the Soviet Union whose role you portrayed very accurately) fought fascists from Italy and Japan also, not just Germany.

Jim Gallo
Detroit MI

Big mistake

I am an inmate currently on Illinois’ death row. I have been a reader of your newspaper now for about two years. I am also a subscriber. In an article by Pepe Lozano titled “Rally seeks justice for victims of police torture” (PWW 4/29-5/5) you quote Mrs. Gloria Johnson Ester, the mother of a former death row inmate, as saying that there are currently 196 inmates on Illinois’ death row, of which 155 are Black, 25 Latino and 16 white.

For the record, there are now nine inmates here on death row, of which four are white, three Black and two Hispanic. All of them, with the exceptions of myself and another inmate, are here for the very first time.

Since the article appeared I waited for someone to write in to correct this error, and to my bitter disappointment, no one has. In all the rallies, demonstrations and marches done in our name, it seems too often that we have been taken for granted and forgotten. We are not here because our crimes were “heinous” in nature, or we are the worst of the worst. We are here due to ineffective counsel, biased juries, cops that lie on the stand or zealous state’s attorneys and judges determined to refill the condemned units at all costs.

While I enjoy reading your paper, I was disappointed to see the story, in my opinion, misrepresent the facts. Please be sure to have all facts straight before going to press as to avoid any future errors.

Andrew Urdiales
Pontiac IL

Editor’s note: Thank you. There are 196 cases where the state is seeking the death penalty. We corrected our online version.