Over the coals

Letters to the Boston editor, December 4, 2009
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  December 2, 2009

Mike Miliard quotes Brian Skerry on ocean bottom trawling: “If we did that on land — to catch a single deer you go through the forest and kill all the raccoons and squirrels and skunks and everything that lives there — people would be outraged.” Not so fast, Mike! For more than 30 years, we have been obliterating forests in Appalachia, thousands of acres at a time, for its coal. If you doubt me, google “mountaintop removal mining” and weep. Despite claims by Massey Energy Corp. and other operators, these forests are not restored and are, in fact, irrecoverable.

Thomas F. Good
Sudbury

Due diligence
Thanks for the reasoned analysis of the shooting at Fort Hood. Recognizing that interpretations of Islam by some present a threat to the rest of us does not mean that all Muslims need be quarantined in the interests of public safety. But neither should the issue be ignored by politically correct, wishful thinking. There has to be some kind of middle-ground solution, based upon the best interests of the majority of citizens with a stake in the game. Anyone taking an oath to support and defend the Constitution should be subject to prosecution for perjury, or, in the case of the military, treason, for falsely representing their true intentions of doing so.

John Blake
Revere

Fake news not really funny
In “Letter Rip,” your satire of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s secretly profanity-laced letter, you claim to have found letters written by famous people, to famous people. I knew the letters you presented were fake, but my sweet and always trusting girlfriend believes they are real. That disappoints me, because the Phoenix is not the Onion. If it’s fake news I seek, I’d rather get it from a reputable fake-news source. Quit joking around over there and report on reality. They were funny — don’t get me wrong — but Ronald Reagan was not a homophobe.

Steve Heim
Somerville

Taxes, not tithes
The Catholic Church and other tax-favored institutions should not be allowed to lobby for legislation with tax-deductible donations. A prominent nonprofit I was once affiliated with recognizes this and splits its organization into two parts — a 501(c)(3) that takes tax-deductible donations and does not lobby, and a 501(c)(4) that does not offer a tax deduction for donations and does lobby. The churches should either stop lobbying or reorganize to make sure taxpayers across the country aren’t forced to support their lobbying. Moreover, the authorities should enforce the rules and not look the other way, as they do today.

Don Carlson
Boston

Of course the Catholic Church should be taxed for its lobbying activities. Personally, I would have said to start taxing the church when it was burning people at the stake. Or telling Africans that condoms make AIDS worse. Or countless other crimes they have committed through the ages in order to prop up its debilitating ideology, which condemns everything from women, to gays, to blacks. So, yes, I suppose I could settle for taxing the church for its lobbyist activities. As far as I am concerned, it’s the least we could do.

Mikel Colson
Boston

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