Apparently, some types of excess remain more acceptable to the City Paper than others.

So Bruce White used to be a very naughty boy and did a lot of (illegal) drugs, but now he's turned his life around and whores himself out for a brutal, corrupt system that wastes our money and makes us all less free by punishing-via "treatment" or prison, what's the difference?-private behavior that, in anything resembling a free society, would be none of the government's business. ("Half Life," City Folk, Feb. 20). How wonderful. I suspect the skills he uses to negotiate with officials who are reluctant to admit addiction is a "disease"-possibly because it isn't-are not entirely dissimilar to the hustles he used to pull to score dope. I hope if Rafael Alvarez is going to write more of these nausea-inducing human-interest articles, he'll focus on more interesting humans. (Or dig deeper-if there is a compelling story hidden in White's twisted life, Alvarez didn't find it.) In any case, I was utterly unsurprised to find a wine shop ad a few pages before Alvarez's statist fairy tale, informing imbibers that if the hundreds of varieties the shop stocked weren't enough, there are now 200 more. Apparently, some types of excess remain more acceptable to the CITY PAPER than others.

Jon Swift


Laissez Unfair Edward Ericson Jr.'s review of The Great Persuasion, a book chronicling the history of economic thought in favor of free markets, levels criticism at capitalism while failing to acknowledge the fact that true laissez-faire capitalism has never existed (Books, Feb. 27). What gets labeled capitalism is nothing more than a mongrel-mixed economy in which all failings are blamed on the bridled elements of capitalism and never on the true etiology, the regulations that create moral hazards and market distortions. Would that congressmen actually did filibuster "anything that doesn't appear in" Ayn Rand's masterpiece Atlas Shrugged's "index of policy prescriptions."

Amesh A. Adalja M.D.

Butler, PA

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