• U.S.

Letters: Dec. 7, 1970

8 minute read
TIME

Food Is Life

Sir: Re “The Kosher of the Counterculture” [Nov. 16]: I am not a food faddist or cultist—and I am revolted by orange dye in my oranges, wax on my cucumbers, preservatives in my “fresh” mushrooms. Give me an apple with some marks on it that show it was just as tempting to an insect as it will be delicious and life-giving to me. But that kind of apple is neither cheap nor easy to buy. I wouldn’t care so damned much about these food mutations and experiments if corporate greed were not using them to force the real thing off the market. Companies produce such products for their long storage and shelf life, and then spend incredible sums on advertising (which we pay for) to convince us that these non-foods contiibute to our life.

Most of us just don’t know the extent to which our food is tampered with and how we ourselves support this system. Food is life—and wanting natural food is not the special province of any group, cult or sect.

(Mas.) SHERRY GOLDEN Brooklyn

Sir: Thank you for not calling us names we all too frequently hear. Whenever our sanity is questioned, it is our consolation that the greatest men who ever lived were vegetarians, from the Greek philosophers down to our time, e.g., Edison, Shaw, Gandhi, and many more.

For humans to be carnivorous is unnatural and simply barbarian. Our gastrointestinal tract is that of herbivora and fruitarians.

Beginning with the next century, we have no choice but to become vegetarians. We can no longer be so wasteful as to let the cows feed on five times the land we would need in the direct way for our sustenance.

FREDERICK W. BALDUS President

San Francisco Vegetarian Society San Francisco

Marching On

Sir: Your reviewer of the motion picture Cromwell [Nov. 16] should have seen it where I did—in a large theater in the center of Dublin. When I arrived for a Sunday matinee, I saw a male audience entering; there were no women. There were mature men and youths in their teens, and men were bringing in droves of boys from ages eight to twelve.

When the performance began and Cromwell appeared, the whole audience rose and cheered wildly. It was evident that this crowd was Protestant. When Cromwell interrupted the church service, striding up to the altar and knocking the golden crucifix clattering to the floor because it was a papist symbol, the audience shrieked its approval. Not merely was Cromwell the hero but Charles was the villain. During his trial there were shouts: “Do not listen to him —cut off his head.” When the head was held up, there were thunderous cheers and yells: “Good for him—well done.”

Oliver Cromwell’s body may be amoldering in his grave, but in Ireland his soul goes marching on, and the people continue to fight the religious wars of 300 years ago.

WILLIAM MAHL Carmel, N.Y.

After Much Hesitation

Sir: Deliberately or otherwise, your splendid piece on my book [Nov. 16] reversed the title. I do not blame you, though. It took much hesitation to decide on Coexistence & Commerce rather than Commerce & Coexistence. My foreign publishers wisely skirted the issue. After toying with The Tender Sword, they settled on Weapons of Peace, which (don’t you agree?) by any other name are just as tender.

SAMUEL PISAR Paris

Only a Muted Sigh

Sir: No sooner had the American people again asserted their shrewd political sophistication at the polls [Nov. 16] than the forces of party politics, still unconvinced, sought to deceive and insult the very voters who had, over the past months, been forced to sift through the reckless rhetoric and shallow nonissues of one of the most vicious campaigns in recent history to find even the faintest trace of substance and meaning.

Clearly, no mandate was issued at the polls—only a muted sigh, a harried plea for deliverance from angry shouts and hollow promises. The post-election confusion and lingering bitterness can only impede efforts toward the real goal: effective government of and for the American people. In an election where one is hard-pressed to find a loser, perhaps we have overlooked the electorate.

EDWARD J. FREED Pacific Grove, Calif.

Sir: Certainly something happened to Mr. Nixon’s Great Silent Majority—or could it be that there is a leak somewhere in the Power of Positive Thinking? Whatever the cause, or causes, had the gains made by the Democrats in the mid-term election been in favor of his own party, I believe the President would have called it not a “working majority,” but a landslide. Who was the famous general who cried: “Another victory such as this, and I am undone”?

EVANGELINE S. MCALLISTER

Bayard, Neb.

Sir: Any way you try to explain it, the overall results of the November elections were decidedly antiliberal and anti-New Left. The G.O.P. losses in Congress were so few as to be utterly meaningless, whereas the chief targets of Nixon and Agnew—Tennessee’s ole Senator Gore and turncoat Charlie Goodell of New York —were beaten.

Also, all the Democrats who did win had to wave the American flag, posture as pious champions of the Silent Majority, and in reality virtually steal Agnew’s gams plan!

For a party that was buried in 1964, I’d say the G.O.P. is doing remarkably well. This year’s results repudiated the liberal monopoly. And come the elections in 1972 the Silent Majority will have another chance to defeat a few more hypocritical liberals.

FARRIS R. SMITH JR. Dallas

Sir: The following slogan was riding on bumpers in Ann Arbor:

THE MAJORITY IS NOT SILENT—THE GOVERNMENT IS DEAF.

(MRS.) BROOKE DISBROW Ann Arbor, Mich.

Verbal Overkill

Sir: Your views on “What Nixon Might Have Said” [Nov. 16] could not have baen better put.

Had Nixon continued the soft-sell, leaving Spiro to do his thing, I am certain that the gains by Republicans would have been more significant. The President’s words resulted in an overkill.

JULIUS C. PLISKOW Detroit

Sir: Will the radic-lib who wrote that beautiful bit about what the President might have said please stick to nonpartisan endeavors?

If the Republicans ever started talking like that, they might win some elections, or save the country or something like that. In any event, Vice President Agnew could certainly tell your naive young writer that such language is no way to bring us asunder.

ABNER J. MIKVA

Representative

2nd District, Illinois

Washington, D.C.

Ambassador to Miffland

Sir: You sent your ambassador to that new Graustark, the people’s state of Miffland [Nov. 9]. He fulfilled his duties by sending back dispatches about the new law and justice and culture flourishing there.

Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, TIME, because if it can happen to Bandy and the Bank of America, it can happen to you. And when some Mifflander declares that TIME is an outmoded institution, and therefore legitimate prey, will you merely report, for example, from one of the outposts of your empire, that your New York office was occupied and that its resident manager stood forlornly on the philosophical battlefield?

THOMAS J. BUSH Pasadena, Calif.

Ruffled Waters

Sir: The article entitled “Troubled Water,” [Aug. 31] is incorrect about Cincinnati. The statement attributing an outbreak of infectious hepatitis to our water supply is completely untrue. Your reporter did not read such a statement in the Public Health Service report or anywhere else. What actually happened was that some amateur editor in the Public Health Service misinterpreted a very old report of an incident unconnected with the city’s water system. He then included a misleading and ambiguous statement in the HEW report, but that hardly excuses the error’s being further compounded.

CHARLES BOLTON

Superintendent of Water Works

Cincinnati

Opening Nominations

Sir: Isn’t it time for Man of the Year nominations? My vote goes to the students at Kent State and Jackson who have died this year. No single event of my life has influenced me so much.

PHYLLIS KANYA Maplewood, N.J.

Sir: Ralph Nader. He changed the attitude from “The public be damned!” to “Beware of the consumer!”

SOL PAUL FINK Essex, Conn.

Sir: Woman of the Year? The idea is enticing. May I suggest two for nomination: Margaret Mead and Rachel Carson.

(MRS.) PENNY DANT A.P.O. New York

Sir: I disagree with the man and his methods, but it’s obvious that the Man of the Year must be Spiro Agnew.

FRANKLIN DRUCKER, M.D. Los Angeles

Sir: Football’s George Blanda [Nov. 23].

He has given us older people hope.

ED COMPTON Olathe, Kans.

Sir: Black Congresswoman and shrewd, gutsy, equality fighter, Shirley Chisholm. (MRS.) PATRICIA MATHEWS Albuquerque

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com