Letters to the Editor

Right to Vote

Now that the White House has released documents containing legal and judicial writings of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, we are told that some years back he wrote an opinion saying that the Constitution does not protect a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy.

Does the Constitution protect a woman's right to vote?

Caroline Gardner
Freeland, Wash.

Editor's Note: The Republican majority on the Supreme Court in 2000 ruled that there is no constitutional right to vote in presidential elections. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., has proposed a constitutional amendment to clarify the right to vote.


CEOs More Overpaid

I just read your 11/15/05 issue's article by Dave Zweifel, "Workers Pay for Executives' Errors" and I have just finished reading, before this, Economics and the Public Purpose by John Kenneth Galbraith [1973]. In it, he talks about how ridiculous it is that CEOs get 25 times more than the average worker and looks forward to companies and government policies bringing this down! I'm sure he would have been amazed to see it now being over 400 times more, with no one rushing to bring it down any time soon. In fact, the New York Times has been speaking about this very issue for many months, and points out that the reasons given for it are specious, as does Galbraith.

Seems to me it's way past due that this phenomenon is not yelled about. Corporations, too.

Galbraith's book is worth reading, or reading again, if only to see how much we've lost in the Public Purpose &emdash; and what factor[s] haven't changed &emdash; except to get worse.

Cheryl Lovely
Presque Isle, Maine


Selective Greek

I enjoyed George Beres' letter, "Chicago Greeks Bear Awkward Gift" [12/1/05 TPP] but I would like to point out that not all Greek Americans expressed "excitement" over Spiro Agnew.

There were those of us who can't get enthusiastic over someone who only becomes Greek American when it is politically expedient to do so.

And to make this point is the letter I received from Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey on Dec. 12, 1968, which started: "I just wanted to express my personal thanks for all of your efforts in behalf of the Humphrey-Muskie ticket."

Harry Moskos
Albuquerque, N.M.


Say You Want a Revolution

US capitalists, the wealthiest in the world, are at the same time the most savage, brutal, callous bastards since the Nazi regime, actual inheritors of their ideology and racism. Only a conscious working class can end the rationale that greed is good, that war is necessary evil. The foremost representatives of this cruel class are Bush and Cheney, but the reality is that the whole US government is corrupt and indictable for crimes against humanity.

There is no solution without a revolution by the workers of the world.

John Briggs,
retired steelworker, WW2 vet
Eagle River, Wis.


Don't Get Fooled Again

You write in the "Liars and Enablers" editorial [12/1/05 TPP] that Dems are admitting they voted for the war because of lies told them by the Bush administration.

If you believe such, you too are enablers.

The Dems who voted for the war did so to protect their re-election chances. They didn't want Republican challengers to use the unpatriotic card against them come campaign time.

These folks have been in Congress for years. They should know who the aiders and abetters of terrorism are &emdash; practically every Mideast country except Iraq. Hussein may have been a brutal dictator but at least he kept the extremists under wraps. Moreover, inspectors were not finding WMDs. Plus, who needs WMDs? They terrorists were doing very well with homemade bombs and box cutters.

Further, we were already in Afghanistan to hunt terrorists. Why are we detouring to Iraq? Shouldn't our resources go into hunting those who attacked us and to strengthening our borders and security?

If I, many columnists who fill your pages, and others could reason this out, why couldn't the Democrats in Congress?

I'd rather the Dems save face by saying "We were caught up in the 9/11 fervor and allowed it to cloud our decisionmaking. We apologize to the American public and support a full withdrawal from Iraq of all US forces by 12/31/05."

I'm tired of the Democrats' "I was lied to" whine. That's total bull - the same bull the Republicans continue to spew everyday.

Beverly Rice
Charlotte, N.C.


Serves Us Right

By now, I'll bet everyone knows that General Motors is eliminating 30,000 American jobs by closing at least three of its US plants. I'll equally bet, however, that very few of us caught the 10-second blips on CNN that said GM is opening a new assembly plant in China (GM's Chinese sales are increasing 100% per year) and that GM is also building a new research facility in, of all places, Russia. Why Russia? Because, Russian scientists are better educated and &emdash; get this &emdash; "more innovative." So says GM.

Well, maybe such treatment serves us right.

Let's just keep deregulating and dumping smokestack mercury into our air so every mother's child can have a nice permanent IQ loss at birth. And, let's keep cutting the education budget. And, let's keep letting our corporations move their money offshore so they don't get stuck reinvesting in the very society that created them.

In fact, why don't we just keep underfunding, deregulating, privatizing and whatever else it is we've been doing, until the entire middle class disappears completely?

Already, as though having "We the People" under attack isn't bad enough, we're forced to contend with dipsticks like this: On 11/22/05, the CEO of Ford Motor Co., Bill Ford, gave a little speech. In it he told how "Ford can't do it unilaterally ..." He was referring to the production of hybrid, flex and hydrogen automobiles. He said, "As far as the rest of the world, we're doing fine, but we do have a US issue."

Then, Sire Bill broke out his wish list for the US government: tax breaks for infrastructure (we build his factories); help with fueling stations (we build his ethanol stations); help with sales (we pay his sales force); help for research (we pay for his research); help for suppliers (we pay his suppliers); government purchase of hybrid fleets (we guarantee to buy his cars). The list contained no reference to employees, the environment, health care or the fact that we are now a fully Republican, privatized, pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps nation.

He did proffer this, however: "For too long automobile makers, oil companies and government have been separate." From Master Bill, the American workers don't even rate an honorable mention.

It's absolutely amazing! The CEO of one of our largest corporations &emdash; the very heart of our privatizing, deregulating, Republican Party &emdash; actually ask for those things without even sporting a stammer or a blush. I ask you, what's wrong with this picture?

Robert Feathers
Del Rio, Texas


No Boots, No Straps

It is beyond my comprehension to witness the developments in Iraq and the brazen shift of responsibility from the "liberators" to the vanquished.

The cradle of civilization is laid waste, with museums' art treasures looted and plundered and the infrastructure, albeit much reduced because of incessant bombing raids for a decade, yet still functional, totally destroyed.

The unbelievable display of arrogance is to suggest that the Iraqis should now step up to the plate and learn to fend for themselves, without having the means to do so.

It is somehow commensurate with the attitude quite prevalent in our midst,which implies that citizens who have fallen on bad times ought to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps," ignoring the fact,that often they have no straps, and much less boots.

A proven callous way to abrogate responsibility for direct and (well camouflaged) indirect inflicted misery ... by holding the victims responsible for their plight.

To loosely quote a platitude: "Such is life in the United States" ... c'est la vie....and unfortunately that has extended to the poor citizens of Iraq ... who in the world is next?

Joe Bahlke
" Red Bluff, Calif.


Not a Cheney Fan

How much longer must we endure the snarling arrogance of this nefarious bastard who desecrates the office of vice president of the United States?

This cocksure peddler of consistently wrong and incessantly perfidious misinformation has no shame and no credibility. He has lied about Iraq developing nuclear weapons. He has lied about an Iraqi connection with 9/11 hijackers. He has lied about Iraq training al Qaeda terrorists.

In the 11/21/05 issue of Newsweek, in a revealing moment of bravado, Cheney said that our government must "work the dark side." This pious preacher of torture now has reaffirmed the treasonous treachery of this administration. They accuse their critics who urge US troop withdrawal from Iraq of "cutting and running." This from a president who "cut and ran" from every job that he ever had, including his elite unit National Guard service, and from Cheney who "cut and ran" with five deferments from military service due to "other priorities."

We must begin our withdrawal from Iraq now. Our troops are truly sitting ducks in the insurgents' shooting gallery. We are more despised than ever among our friends and enemies alike, because of policies based on empire and oil and now sanctioned torture.

Cheney, man of the shadows and doctor of darkness, is not only dishonest and reprehensible, he is corrupt and shameless. How much longer must we endure this nefarious bastard?

Dennis Barnum
Gowrie, Iowa


Health Care Bandwagon

Robert Reich (TomPaine.com, 11/21/05) suggested a new idea &emdash; drop health care from employment. He suggests eliminating the $126-billion tax-exempt subsidy &emdash; which was a boon for the corporation and worker when medical costs were not skyrocketing as they are now &emdash; and use the billions instead as a "down payment on a universal and affordable" health plan. We need Reich and others who agree on this idea such as Paul Krugman of the New York Times to clarify its factual basis and project ways to implement guaranteed health insurance for all the people and in so doing improve worker security.

Sid Moss
Elkins Park, Pa.


Battle Hymn Updated

Our eyes have seen the tyrant

with his back against the wall,

holding on to nothing left and

waiting for his fall.

And once again we'll be a land

where justice is for all,

his lies have brought him down.

Glory glory hallelujah!

look how dirty Georgie fooled ya,

You treated him so fine,

almost like he was divine,

but his lies have brought you down.

Toni Boutwell
Myrtle Beach, S.C.

From The Progressive Populist, Jan. 1-15, 2006

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