Views in brief
What banning Kratom means to me
IN RESPONSE to "Why is the FDA banning Kratom?": Thank you for your insightful reporting. Kratom has saved my life. I am 30 years old, and up until I had a major seizure and ruptured two discs in my back, I had never done any drugs.
I was put on a very large regiment of Oxycontin. Following a surgery, I lost my job and health insurance. I couldn't afford my medication or my doctor appointments. I became homeless and started to go through extreme withdrawals. I regrettably began to use heroin to address the withdrawal and persistent pain.
My life was a mess, and a family member introduced me to Kratom, which she had been using for pain resulting from terminal cancer. It was a miracle. The Kratom works more effectively than even the most powerful opiate painkillers.
Opiates help with pain, but also cause intoxication and euphoria that lead to a diminished quality of life, dependency and addiction. Kratom had none of the effects of intoxication and addiction, while it effectively treats my pain.
This is a move on behalf of the pharmaceutical companies that have caused this epidemic that plagues America today. Please people, let's not continue to put our nation's safety and well-being to the side only to preserve the tightening grip the pharmaceutical industry has around our neck.
Tim Speer, Boulder, Colorado
Israel's illegal annexation
IN RESPONSE to "Will the Middle East powder keg unite?": I am surprised that my friend Gilbert Achcar refers as "[Israel's] border with Syria" to what is, in reality, the line well inside Syrian sovereign territory, separating the part of the Golan illegally annexed by Israel from the unoccupied part of the Golan. Even the U.S. has not recognized the legality of this annexation.
Moshe Machover, London
Workers shouldn't be forced to give
IN RESPONSE to "Is fair share fair?": I'd like to point out that the opening paragraph seems to have some false information in it. In fact, many of us have no desire to "kill off organized labor in this country" as written, but rather we'd prefer to kill off the fake labor unions that take our money and mostly just act like extreme political action committees.
If I want to donate to a PAC, I'll do that. But my labor union dues and/or fees should be used for that purpose and nothing else.
Richard Graham, Augusta, Maine
Socialists should advocate for nuclear energy
IN RESPONSE to "How to solve the climate crisis (while we can)": It's stated in the article: "The technology already exists to drive a rapid shift to a 100 percent renewable global energy system."
No, it does not. One would need a massive infrastructure of utility-scale storage infrastructure that doesn't exist now to implement this. The super-expensive German system of wind and solar has failed to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions or even shut down their coal plants (in fact, they just put online the largest coal plant in Europe in Cologne).
More and more environmentalists now see nuclear energy as far better at reducing greenhouse gas emissions than all the renewables combined. Socialists need to start becoming supporters again of nuclear energy (still the world's largest low greenhouse gas-emitting source of generation). Renewables has become a form of subsidies for startups and utilities that "invest" in them. This fraud should be opposed, not supported.
The National Academy of Sciences refutes the "100 percent renewable global energy system."
Socialists should be advocating the massive deployment of advanced nuclear energy. We can shut down all fossil fuel plants, including the growing natural gas turbine industry toward clean, greenhouse gas-free nuclear energy. Anything else will allow continued growth of the fossil fuel industry (see Germany, Denmark, etc.).
David Walters, Pacifica, California