Letters: Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Letters to the Editor

Un-Hushed and Historic

To the editor: Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to participate in this historic article (“Hushed Up and Unhappy,” Aug. 3, 2005). It was powerful! Our time has come. You and your paper are to be commended.

The Rev. Kyev P. Tatum, Sr.

Fort Worth

No Terrorist

To the editor: I’ve just read your story in Fort Worth Weekly (“An American Purgatory,” July 20, 2005), and I’m sorry and angry to hear that my friend Mahmoud is in a federal prison and is being treated like this. I met him in 2001 while we were both working for a call center in Plano. Mahmoud is no terrorist or enemy of the state or any type of threat whatsoever. They’re using him — that’s all they’re doing. Mahmoud is a hard-working Palestinian who came to this country and worked his ass off to make a better life for himself, and it’s a damn shame what the government is doing to him.

What Arabs are going through in this post-9/11 world is nothing different than what the government is doing to dehumanize poor Mexicans or what they did to blacks during the Jim Crow era.

I just want to let you know that Mahmoud is a good man, and I hope that he will be freed. Please thank his wife for me for keeping up the good fight, and tell her to let me know if there’s anything that I can do.

David Hernandez Jr.

Fort Worth

Chemical Questions

To the editor: Your guest column “Teflon Toddlers” (Aug. 3, 2005) was without any actual substance to back up its claims of impending doom. In what concentrations were these chemicals found? How do they compare to the concentrations found in adults? What is the allowable exposure levels for each? Our bodies contain nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, iron, chlorine, iodine, selenium and copper, to name just a few. All of these are considered toxic at certain levels, yet all are required for proper functioning of our bodies. Simply saying that something is toxic doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad for us.

A Google search turned up that study. It turns out that they tested for 413 chemicals (at a cost of $10,000 a test.) Ten samples of umbilical cord blood were tested. The best sample contained only 160 chemicals, while the worst contained 231. On average, only 200 chemicals per sample were found. The 287 number apparently refers to the number of unique chemicals found across all samples. Three adults were tested, including U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, who presented the findings (no bias there). Adult samples contained between 256 and 304 chemicals each. Although the adults’ occupations were provided, no indication was given of geographic location or living conditions. The reason this wasn’t covered in the larger media is probably because 13 samples is not a statistically significant sampling; no responsible analyst would draw conclusions from that.

It is also important to note that the human body is highly adaptable to its environment. Research has shown, for instance, that in very small amounts arsenic can actually be beneficial to our health and that people can build up a tolerance to it.

Like it or not, we get exposed to chemicals in this world. If we keep our exposure to low levels, our bodies will adapt to handle it, just as our immune system adapts to handle new diseases. While there are certainly dangerous concentrations to avoid, the goal of complete removal is both unrealistic and risky.

Michael Reilly

Fort Worth

Discrediting a Critic

To the editor: We know that Karl Rove revealed the identity of an undercover CIA agent to reporter Matt Cooper of Time magazine and syndicated columnist Robert Novak (Static, June 29, 2005). Rove either broke the law or was grossly negligent with national secrets, yet he still works in the White House.

Outing an undercover CIA agent hurts our national security. President Bush should keep his promise and fire Rove. There needs to be a full accounting to the American people about what happened in this CIA leak case.

Rove and other leakers in the White House outed a CIA agent in order to discredit a critic of Bush’s Iraq policy, and this needs to be fully addressed.

Laura Butinski



The illustration for last week’s cover story (“Wolves in Small Print,” Aug. 10, 2005) was incorrectly credited. It was done by Greg Hart. Fort Worth Weekly regrets the error.

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