Letters to the Editor


Regarding Blind And Improvident, by Gilles d'Aymery.

Dear Editor:
In Gilles d'Aymery's recent article, he described an experience that he had at a landfill, to make a point about how waste relates to the "American Way." It reminded me of a rather wasteful corporate policy we have at [a major furniture chain], where I work as a stockboy. When any item, such as a desk or a seat-cushion, is damaged or defective, it must be thoroughly destroyed before it is thrown away, to prevent "garbage theft." Our store manager has actually involved the police because recently someone has been "stealing" items from our trash, presumably to reuse them. Doesn't the idea of protecting trash from theft strike as a little ironic? When my manager first told me this, I remember thinking, "what a load of garbage!"

Jeremy James R.
Bristol, Connecticut


Regarding the dossier, United States' Gargantuan Energy Appetite, by Gilles d'Aymery.

When looking at the source site for the graphs, I find that the chart for 1995 relative to the year 2000 shows an interesting relationship. The total energy flow has increased, but the increase is all in the Rejected Energy!

Keep up the good work.

Terry Andre - M.B.A., Wharton, M.A. International Relations, B.S. Mammalian Physiology
Palo Alto, California

Regarding NaNoWriMo: Now you too can be a writer!, by Alma Hromic.
To the Editor,

Ms. Hromic is missing the point of NaNoWriMo. She is taking herself far too seriously and has taken Mr. Baty's tongue-in-cheek humor to heart. In fact, she sounds rather bitter.

The purpose of NaNoWriMo is to help struggling authors get past their fears and the common stumbling blocks of writing. Writing is frightening work. It's a part of you put on paper for everyone to see and embrace or reject. It's incredibly personal. We're not purposely aiming to produce crap. NaNoWriMo provides a community of support to help all of us through that first draft which, I'm sure Ms. Hromic knows, is always crap. Writing is rewriting. And none of us are out to "mock real novelists." Many former NaNoWriMo participants have gone on to rework their 30-day manuscript or have moved on to other, greater ideas for their novels. Does Ms. Hromic feel disdain for those of us who aren't yet published?

Neil Gaiman, speaking out FOR NaNoWriMo says it best: "Raymond Chandler is reputed to have told would be authors that they have a million words of crap to get out of their system. And in both cases there's a lot of truth there -- if only because it allows you to keep going despite your technical limitations and inability to get the words or the pen to do what you want, and eventually find yourself, well, competent. And some of the words and pictures you turn out on the way can be pretty good too." Ms. Hromic, there is more to being a writer than being published. Writing makes you a writer, and we all struggle at it, and we are all passionate about it. Cut us some slack and stop insulting the un-published novelists.

Julie Hopkins
Rochester, Minnesota
[ed.] Alma Hromic is traveling.


Regarding A Call To Voices, by Jan Baughman, and Vexing Electoral Realities, by Gilles d'Aymery on the need to contact your [US] Representatives and to vote in the coming election.

I don't want you to get involved in this crusade, but it is one in which I have a peripheral interest. As an older military retiree -- one of 1.9 million -- and the oldest in a crusade to achieve some perceived or righteous benefits I discovered over two years ago that there was a "generational" approach in the organized effort -- The Retired Military Grass Roots (MRGRG) groups.

I told these juniors, i.e., age, that, "We would not win." I have been at the game since the mid 1960s when we only had access to "mechanical typewriters," mimeograph machines, AirMail, and pre-arranged long-distance phone calls.

In this effort I have on my computer some 4,782 emails over a two year period. I've deleted over one-half of this number of others e-mails which were duplicates or worthless. As is many of these.

In fact I was unscribed by two "ragers" who thought they knew everything. And I worked at a "very" low level and pursuit.

But in your interest you might find this copied message interesting as you plug along. Paul is a "rager."

Willard D. Gray
Sumner, Illinois

From Paul L. Balaich - Subject: Get Involved - Don't Quit - Fight Back
GRASS ROOTERS, Chalk up another one for the political establishment. Politicians at work: Telling people what they want to hear and then doing something else. A wise old Grass Rooter who is in our grass roots organization and active since it's inception gave us some pretty good advice.

"Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see. The political establishment recognizes only two things; (1) Money and, (2) Numbers." We all know what happened several years ago when our people got together and spoke as one unit -- The Retired Military Grass Roots Group (MRGRG). The tens of thousands of letters, e-mails, fax transmissions, telephone calls, highway billboards and personal contacts got a good measure of relief from the burdens of broken health care promises. During the past several days however, the Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), orchestrated a walk out of members of the House Conference Committee for the FY 2003, Defense Authorization Act, to keep that bill from reaching the President's desk and a potential override of a veto before the November 5 elections. Grass Rooters, it's time to ask yourself -- is it worth your time and money to pursue the issues that the MRGRG has been fighting long and hard for? Are you ready to get further involved and fight back harder than ever before on MRGRG issues or will you be satisfied with the status quo? We have the time, talent, and resources to get the job done if we have the will to do so. There are 1.9+ million former career military men and women without counting our immediate and extended families. Additionally, many of us belong to military associations and veterans organizations who have shown that they have concern and interests in the issues that we have presented to the Congress and the President of the United States. The Gauntlet has been thrown into our Court. Where do we want to go from here?

We appreciate and welcome your comments. Please, remember to sign your e-mails with your real name and add your city, state, country, address and phone number. If we publish your opinion we will only include your name, city, state, and country. We are for real. Please be for real. Thanks. (Letters may be shortened and edited)
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Published November 4, 2002
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