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Brushing Scam

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Brushing scams ("Don't Plant Mystery Seeds," Aug. 6) are just one of the ways merchants who sell on the internet try to improve their sales. Vendors from many countries have employed them for years.

This "mystery seed" thing is part of a more sinister phenomenon, however: a nationwide effort to stir up fear of China. The language of the USDA on how to treat these seeds: double bagging, "Contact the Agricultural Commissioner's Office to arrange for collection" — these are the directives given for envelopes containing white powder that might be anthrax.

Watch out! The seeds will sprout into Audrey II (Little Shop of Horrors) and drink human blood!

It is impressive that the national campaign to fuel Sinophobia has swept even to a small town weekly newspaper (not forgetting, however, the history of the near-massacre and brutal expulsion of our Chinese population in 1885).

The entire powerful U.S. propaganda machine is working hard to demonize China. There's the "China virus." This is utter falsehood: China was cautious, not understanding COVID-19 at first, and recognizing what economic upheaval it might cause. Lancet, the world's leading medical journal, stated that we owe China a debt of gratitude.

There's the Uyghurs, Hong Kong, sanctions, TikTok, Huawei: all used to incite anti-Chinese sentiment. Why? A casual response is Trump's preoccupation with reelection. However, the roots are deeper. Fear of China supports our obsession with world domination, with landslide Congressional approval of our grotesque military budget, with war.

War is our brushing scam.

Ellen Taylor, Petrolia


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