LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Impeach Or Else

I hereby pledge that for the rest of my life I shall not vote for any member of the Senate or House of Representatives, Democrat or Republican, for any future public office if they have not taken a public stand for impeachment of the Bush-Cheney gang before these war criminals have left office. All of our elected representatives and senators have taken an oath of office that they will defend the Constitution against both foreign and domestic enemies. Under these circumstances, with the crimes committed by this group against our Constitution and crimes against innocent civilians, not to bring impeachment proceeding borders on traitorous action. When our very form of government and our Constitution are under threat, there can be no more important business for the Congress to attend.

The crimes of Bush and Cheney in the abuse of human rights and international crimes of torture, murder, and illegal detainment are well known. They have manipulated our country into a war under false pretenses that has cost thousands of lives, those of our own citizens as well as innocent civilians of other countries. They have alienated our allies by spurning international law. The Republican Party must bear responsibility for the actions of this administration and the Democratic Party has become complicit in these crimes by their continued financial support of the war and their failure to institute impeachment proceedings. All who do not make a stand for our Constitution, that so many brave Americans have given their lives to defend, should be voted out of office as unworthy to serve. If our elected representatives do not act on this critical matter they leave an indelible stain on the American psyche and our reputation among the family of nations that time will not wash away. The Constitution does not say MAY be impeached, but Article II, Section 4 says, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Therefore, I cannot vote for those who do not uphold their oath of office. Their failure to uphold the Constitution for which they took an oath borders on treason. If any of these people, who have failed to fulfill their duty to protect our Constitution choose to run for public office again, I shall not vote for them, but will vote for the best qualified independent who pledges to truly represent the people and I encourage others to do the same. 

J. Glenn Evans
Seattle, Wash.

Don’t Worry

Your editorial in the 3/1/08 TPP seems unhappy that Ralph Nader will probably run for president again. Don’t be unhappy. In 2004, evidence shows that he did not hurt John Kerry. The 10/22/04 issue of the Washington Post has a front-page story saying that all 3 leading pollsters agreed that Nader voters were slightly more likely to be Bush supporters than Kerry supporters, if that voter couldn’t vote for Nader. Also, Ballot Access News analyzed the 2004 Nader vote (1/1/05 issue) and found that Nader’s best state was Alaska, and his best county in the US was Grand County, Utah. In 3/4ths of the states in which Nader was on the ballot, his best county in any particular state was more pro-Bush than that state as a whole.

Richard Winger, Editor
Ballot Access News
San Francisco, Calif.

We Don’t Do Torture

Bush says defiantly over and over that “we don’t do torture,” like waterboarding, which is illegal while at the same time Gen. Hayden admits to having used torture like waterboarding, which he said was legal at the time because Bush sanctioned it. Bush says that we did not violate FISA which was illegal without warrants because he pronounced it as legal, in spite of Congress claiming that warrantless spying was and is unlawful — but defiantly he is still doing it. He also is defiant in his maddening twist of legal reasoning to justify his protection of the telecoms who were willing accomplices in illegal spying without warrants. Apparently he had assured them that it was legal to do it. The president’s idea of saying that what’s illegal for Congress may still be overridden by him is shown by his decision that telecom immunity protection from lawsuits is in the best interest of national security. Are we, the public, and Congress supposed to meekly accept that illegality of spying without warrants is ok if he says it is after the fact?

This power to decide whether the law is to be upheld or not is a right of kingly or royal power, not for a president subject to checks and balances in a democracy based on the rule of law. I believe that Bush’s repeated determination to go beyond the law to exercise his will is a key problem for the country. Have we noticed that for much of his time in the White House he has been protecting himself from accountability for his illegal actions — not wanting to pay the piper. It shows especially around the FISA issue. Our country cannot long survive with a president with the ultimate power of arbitrarily making the illegal legal and then refuses to accept accountability for violating the law.

Sid Moss
Elkins Park, Pa.

Seeing Through the Bushes

Communism was never a threat — just hype — just like “terrorism.” Bush’s “terrorists,” if they existed, would be lobbing planes over here every week. And they aren’t.

Who has taken your job? Bush or al Qaeda?

Remember Bush I’s CIA connection? And — have you forgotten —Nixon? Bush talked of blowing up buildings to gain sympathy for their ideas! And what do you know — they did it! Any wonder they are losing or destroying and withholding videotapes now?

The Bushes are oil people you know, which was the goal since two weeks after George’s inauguration, when he first spoke of his war in Iraq!

And don’t let George’s “religiosity” fool you either — he has killed more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein! ... No more Bushes, please!

Marian Winton
Menomonie, Wis.

Better Luck Next Time

We can’t afford to send billions and more billions — and troops — to Iraq. Our economy is severely downhill. There isn’t even enough money to take care of the vets coming back from the war zones, physically and morally damaged. Hunger and homelessness are prevalent among uncounted Americans. And there, gigantic amounts of treasury are going out of our country, to support and continue an utopic course.

The candidates are speaking about all kinds of problems we are facing, but almost none of them see, to end this war is essential, to be able to begin to address and heal the ailments this country is suffering. With the war going on and on, there is no chance of recovery.

It is surprising that this fact is recognized by very few people. Dennis Kucinich is one of them. I hope he or one like-minded will be our future president.

Lisa K. Zencoe
Lake Worth, Fla.

National Health

Kudos to Froma Harrop and David Sirota for their pieces on healthcare and to you for the items in “Dispatches” (2/15/08 TPP). It is good to see this issue being debated locally across the country. Out here in “Cully-forn-Ya”, we have the governor’s plan which caters to corporate enterprises, and state Sen. Kuehl’s SB 840, a single-payer plan which would save the people of this state billions of dollars. Our legislature passed SB 840. Our governor vetoed it!

It is not likely we will get a national plan such as that favored by Dennis Kucinich (we all saw how the media marginalized him) or HR 626 by Congressman John Conyers, D-Mich., through the Congress anytime soon. Corporate money and lobbying against it are too powerful. We may be more likely to achieve healthcare reform on a state by state level. SB 840 is still alive in the California Legislature, and if it is not passed with a veto-proof margin, it may well come before the people as an initiative proposition.

There are certain essentials that ought not be for profit such as police and fire protection, water and sewer systems, public education, public transportation systems (highways), etc., and all these ought to be adequately funded. I believe that proper healthcare is in the national interest and is essential and, therefore, ought not be for profit.

A quick comment on Dave Zweifel’s piece on “‘Free Marketers’ Proven Wrong Once Again” (2/15/08 TPP): Well-regulated capitalism: good. Unfettered capitalism: BAD! Deregulation = greed on steroids! I’ve yet to meet a deregulation that truly benefitted the consumer.

Thomas R. Stumbaugh
Camino, Calif.

All for Rall (and Kaul)

If Ted Rall would run for president as an Independent I’d vote for him in an instant The only thing his article, “Politics of Dope,” in the 2/15/08 TPP left out was illegal immigration & amnesty, both of which I am against living here on the border with Mexico as I do. I know a multitude of people who would vote for such a man as Ted Rall (just a writer & cartoonist.)

And add kudos to Donald Kaul for his fine article in the same issue (“I Buy, Therefore I Am”). During WWII under FDR, conservation and necessary regulations brought Americans together and, though it was painful, we all embraced what had to be done for the good of all.

Mrs. Joyce Schatz
Rodeo, N.M.

Prisoner of Medicare

I am 82 and truly a prisoner of Medicare and their stupid drug plan. I do not want health insurance. I want good health care. And I believe most drug store drugs are as dangerous as street drugs.

My mother was an herbalist who treated us on our remote Montana ranch with vitamins, minerals and herbs. Because of terrible experiences with medical doctors, I go to a holistic health clinic. Even though Social Security takes $100 per month out of my $600 Social Security check for Medicare, they refuse to reimburse me for my care and treatment at the holistic health center. I am truly a prisoner of Medicare. How can this injustice be corrected?

Barb Hauge
Turner, Mont.

War Crimes

Amy Goodman’s account (“Surviving a CIA ‘Black Site’,” 2/1/08 TPP) of Yemenite M.F.A. Bashmilah’s 212-year nightmare in the vicious custody of this nation’s unaccountable secret-police force makes one wonder if anyone among the current presidential candidates or sold-out Congress members is prepared to put that criminal organization out of business. That would be a healthy step toward restoring to the US a modicum of democracy and its now shattered international reputation.

Second, I recommend bringing the two chief officials responsible for Mr. Bashmilah’s ordeal to justice, viz., Messrs. Cheney and Bush Jr. The amusement this proposal must arouse throughout the country surely verifies Noam Chomsky’s contention that the “elite” assumption of “We own the world” is scarcely questioned inside US borders, least of all in the corrupt corporate [mainstream media].

Rob MacLeod
Porthill, Ida.

Third World Needs Co-ops

In his article “Globalization and Poverty” (2/1/08 TPP) Isaac Pearlman declares, “I’ve seen firsthand the destructive side of globalization.” The evidence is from the sad reality of normal life in a fishing village in Peru, where Mr. Pearlman served as a Peace Corps volunteer.

“Fishing has declined. Single crop farms ... produce food, mainly artichokes and asparagus, that Peruvians don’t even eat ... Almost all the large enterprises are owned by foreigners — mines, telecommunications, agriculture and, of course, oil and gas ... “I’m sure most are thinking ‘how terrible but we didn’t ask for any of this.”

Trade has played the leading part in increasing world interdependence. However multilateral investment reconstructs the social organization of a recipient country in a way that multilateral trade, alone, does not.

Businesses well-financed from abroad grow faster than internally-financed firms. As these firms begin producing more cheaply, export prices fall, wages not rising. Demand from foreign importers expands elastically, and this will sustain more growth. The domestic interests may not find the relationship so favorable.

Demand may fall because of resource substitutes in another form or because of competition from other countries. Outlying communities may receive little benefits while only urban, coastal centers are prospering. The. mobility of resources toward complementary industries may be sluggish, especially manpower development The prosperity of a country may depend upon reverberations of foreign prosperity. Meanwhile the terms of trade are likely to fall with the growth in volume.

Countries that are receiving outside direct finance find that the developers take the net productivity (profits) from their investments.

What should be done? Governments should impose costs upon the foreign-based industries that drain the indigenous resources of the home country. With the revenues thus recovered, government should selectively subsidize internally-developing firms. The way to do this is the way that succeeded in North America: forming producer cooperatives to serve as marketing chains for staple commodities.

Ralph Calkins
Albuquerque N.M.

From The Progressive Populist, March 15, 2008


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