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Letters: No more funny business from cartoons

Johnson City Press • May 18, 2018 at 6:00 AM

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Representing vape nation

In response to the cartoon depiction of the Vape Industry: My family and the employees of Rocky Top Vapor feel as if we are being portrayed as drug dealers and predators after the disgusting cartoon posted in your paper on Sunday, May 6, 2018.

The cartoon depicts the "Vape Inc." van selling to minors by driving by and offering products out of the vehicle's window because of the bubble gum flavor. The vape industry is constantly bombarded by negative reports and over-exaggerated media talking points about the industry.

Our mission as a company is to help adults, 18 and over, rid themselves of the addictive and dangerous habit of smoking by offering an alternative which has been shown over years of research to help longtime smokers quit or reduce the use of traditional tobacco cigarettes. Our largest customer base are smokers over the age of 25 who are looking for an alternative to smoking.

These adult customers know and understand that research has shown the availability of flavors to be instrumental in an ability to stop smoking and move to an alternative that has been shown to reduce harm by 95 percent. The majority of our customer base prefer a flavored product to a traditional tobacco or menthol flavor.

I am extremely disappointed the message in the cartoon implies negativity regarding the industry and a negative reputation that it assumes to our employees. We have a strict policy of checking IDs and have never marketed to anyone under the age of 18. We are here to help the community and be a good business partner in the cities we are located.

JOE H. NELSON
Johnson City

Gas prices are complicated formula

I am writing to express my disappointment in the editorial choice of opinion page cartoon in the May 12 edition. I am less concerned about the political bent of the piece than the total void of factual basis for it. The cartoon depicted a “Trump Oil” gas station, with an arrow pointing up signifying rising prices. Caption: "There goes my tax break."

Equating energy prices with any presidential administration is completely decoupled from reality. Prices have gone from $160/bbl. (U.S.A., the thirsty importer) to $60 (global recession slows consumption) to $120 (painfully slow recovery). All market driven.

Then the unexpected happened — the shale revolution came online in three years, dropping prices below $30. It was not a governmental initiative that gave us cheap oil. It was science and industry turning the U.S. from leading importer to net exporter. There's your price slashing glut.

As recently as two years ago there were still tankers sitting in the ocean, waiting for prices to rebound before going ashore. In 2016, Russia and Saudi Arabia cut their production to reduce global supply by 2 percent, to raising prices and support their domestic social programs.

That strategy worked. These exogenous events — the shale oil build out lowering prices, the OPEC cuts raising them — have absolutely nothing to do with any administration, past or present.

Going forward, prices will again rise. Producers will cheat on quotas. Higher pricing and technology will curtail usage. Prices will plummet. And rebound. All without any intervention of Washington's dog and pony show.

This paper had been vigilant in defending its motto, "What the people don't know will hurt them." Providing baseless content such as this sullies a proud tradition. Political pornography is best served on Facebook. They do it better, without the artifice of professional journalism.

BILL DUNHAM
Piney Flats

What about FDR?

Democrats want Donald Trump to resign because of his immorality.

As I recall, FDR was with his mistress in Warm Springs when he died. He was having a portrait of her (his?) son made at the time.

Ike had his mistress. JFK brought his (including Marilyn Monroe and many others) into the White House, while the Secret Service stood guard to warn him when Jackie came near. AND, Bill Clinton kept his under his desk! THREE of these were Democrats!

BARBARA KNIGHT
Johnson City

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