A possible solution

A while ago, a couple of guys came up with a carburetor system that ran off cooking oil! They applied their invention to an old VW bus. They drove it across the country, with no problems. My inquiry is: Why don’t we make the change from gas to cooking oil?

If all it takes is a simple change to the existing motor then America’s farmers could grow the seed for the oil, and be the new oil barons for the 21st century. That would really put the U.S. as a leader for world conservation — instead of being a leader in contributing to the problem! This would improve the economy with growing our own fuel, and it would also do our Mother Earth a great deal of good. Seems like it could be a win-win situation. What about you? What about your readers? I wish someone would throw this point out into the open.

Linda RichardsVia e-mail

Editor’s note: Thanks, Linda, for bringing this to our attention. A quick search of the Internet found a few articles about VWs running on vegetable oil. Maybe a reader with more knowledge on this will send us a story. For humanity’s sake, we need to find renewable, clean energy sources. Maybe these cooking oil pioneers are onto something!

A long fight for women’s rights

I was happy to see an article in the PWW (9/18-24) that U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kopf ruled the so-called “Partial Birth Abortion Ban” is unconstitutional. This is a victory for women’s rights. However, the war is not over yet. The Bush administration and anti-choice fundamentalists are waging a major war on women’s right to reproductive education and health. The abortion issue is only the tip of the iceberg.

I highly recommend Gloria Feldt’s book, “The War on Choice — The Right-Wing Attack on Women’s Rights and How to Fight Back.” Reading the book was a wake-up call for me. The removal of Bush from office, as well as other anti-choice politicians, is critical to the safety of women’s reproductive freedoms. Women and the men that love them cannot afford to be passive in the fight to preserve our reproductive freedoms.

Susan DelventhalVia e-mail

Hamdi’s release

I enjoyed Emile Scheper’s article (“Stop Bush’s drive to shred the Constitution” PWW 9/18-24). Will you do a follow-up now that Hamdi is being released?

Attorney General John Ashcroft will tout the deal that was made as saving America from evil, vicious Hamdi by sending him away never to return. But what about Hamdi’s guilt or innocence — are these irrelevant? What about the processes for arresting and holding him — will these continue?

Mark SingerVia e-mail

Author’s note: Thank you for your kind words. The Hamdi case indeed cries out for analysis and comment. At the very least, it raises the suspicion that the reason they are freeing Hamdi is they had no evidence against him in the first place.

There are several new developments on civil liberties, one of which is a story that came out in The New York Times that the Bush administration will proceed with Patriot Act II, or at least parts of it, if they are still in power when the election is over. Good a reason as any to make sure that they are not still in power.

What a candidate should do

Last week I saw a news photo of firefighters picketing outside a hotel in Providence, R.I., where Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards was scheduled to attend a fundraiser. Workers were protesting the contract negotiations with their mayor, David Cicilline. Edwards missed the fundraiser because he refused to cross the union’s picket line. This is what I expect from any candidate I support.

Contrast this with both Bush and Cheney crossing the picket lines at the Republican National Convention, where New York police and firefighters have been working without a contract for 27 months.

The choice seems clear. Edwards honors a union picket line. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are standing on the opposite side of that picket line from me. I will remember this on Election Day.

Kenneth BeSawBronx NY

Truth on Reagan

Your article on Ronald Reagan (“The real Ronald Reagan” by Jarvis Tyner, PWW 6/19-6/25) was a hard-hitting antidote to the pap that has been served up in much of the mainstream media. I recently attended a lecture by social critic and linguist Noam Chomsky. Dr. Chomsky pointed out that Reagan had the dubious honor of being the first and only world leader to simply ignore a World Court decision (in this case the court’s condemnation of the U.S. mining of Nicaraguan harbors during the Contra war.) It could certainly be argued that Reagan’s arrogant and contemptuous attitude towards international law and world opinion helped to pave the way for George W. Bush’s unilateral and imperial misadventures in Iraq.

Adam MinskyBrookline MA

From a Christian pacifist

I am not a Marxist, but I do want a free economy in which everything is free. A direct democracy with local associations the size of South Buffalo being the only governmental coercive body enforcing one law, pacifism, and a public opinion favoring Christian Pacifism.

If you would express your goals, you would find an increase in popularity. I know you would not establish a free economy, or abolish governmental institutions with their military power and deadly weapons, and you are neither Christian nor pacifist. Despite our differences I wish you God’s blessings because you at least try to work for the poor in the United States and throughout the world.

Bob EschBuffalo NY