Letters to the Editor

Here's to Doctors

To the Editor:

In regard to your story about OxyContin ("I Want a New Drug," Jan. 30th issue), there will always be a segment of society that will abuse that which helps others. There are many doctors who are afraid to treat pain with medication for fear of prosecution. There are many organizations that would like to have OxyContin taken out of production.

I suffered with chronic lower-back pain for over 15 years until I found a doctor who cared enough to pursue a cause for the pain. An MRI showed a degenerative condition in three discs. Surgery was recommended, with no guarantee that I would be pain-free.

Three years ago, I was prescribed OxyContin. There are never any refills given. I see my doctor every three to four months for evaluation and a new prescription. My dosage has never been increased. OxyContin is a godsend for many chronic-pain sufferers. Without this medication, I would not be able to work and would probably be on disability.

Here's to the doctors with the compassion and courage to prescribe medication for pain. After all, this is the 21st century.

Raymond Farr


Oil and Money

To the Editor:

Let me see if I've got this straight: President Bush is concerned that one country might sell weapons of mass destruction to terrorists, so we should attack them immediately. I'm sorry, but we shouldn't murder people because they might harm our society (Editorial, January 30th issue). We don't burn down liquor stores, even though more people are killed each year by drunk drivers than died in the World Trade Center attacks.

This proposed war is all about oil and money. If Bush wants this war so bad, his daughters should be the first in battle. I'll fight for my home and my kids but not for some elitist rich boy who wants to push the weak around. We shouldn't be surprised when the weak push back someday. We're screwed.

Clay Clark


Gore Apologists

To the Editor:

The Gore apologists are at it again, with their "Nader robbed us" mantra (Letters, Jan. 23rd issue). How much easier it is for them to ascribe blame to anyone but their own candidate than to accept responsibility for his loss. Let's look at the facts, hopefully one last time.

The most important single fact about Gore's loss is that he lost his own home state. No one's done that since McGovern lost South Dakota in 1972, quite an accomplishment and one Nader had absolutely nothing to do with. Had Gore carried Tennessee, he would have won the election. End of discussion.

Gore lost Florida not because of Nader but because of his own performance. He failed miserably to capture the traditional Democrat constituencies of the elderly and female voters. He alienated the Cuban-American community in the Elian Gonzales flap by transparently pandering to the "let's make him a citizen" vote, as a result of which he got tens of thousands fewer votes in Miami-Dade County than Clinton did in 1996. He also lost the environmental vote (read: potential Nader votes) by refusing to take a position on an important issue involving a proposed reliever airport to be sandwiched between two national parks in South Florida.

But the most dishonest of the Gore-whiner arguments is that the votes that were cast for Nader undoubtedly would have gone to Gore. This is nonsense. Nader effectively campaigned on an anti-big-party theme that skewered both Gore and Bush. He said there was no difference between the parties or their standard-bearers when it came to selling out to special interests. That resonated with many voters who otherwise had no intention of voting because they were tired of the disconnect between their values and the sleazy, money-grubbing practices of both of the major-party candidates. Many, if not most, of those who voted for Nader did so because he represented the only viable choice for them. Absent Nader on the ballot, they would have voted for neither of the major party candidates.

It's long past time for all the sore Gore losers to stop trying to find scapegoats and start recognizing that their candidate blew it, all by himself.

Martin H. Aussenberg


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