Letters to the Editor

Deep Trouble

The article in the 4/1/08 TPP, “The Cold Price of Hot Blood,” by Gary Kamiya was, perhaps, the most powerful I have seen yet in your paper.

The ultimate cost of the two Bush-led wars, especially as relates to the post-war care of our nation’s tired and abused soldiers, will indeed be astronomical.

Add to that, the fact that our government has largely financed their wars with loans from the Chinese and others lends itself to the notion that future generations might be virtually enlsaved by debt owed to foreign investors. Sooner or later, it will be time to pay the piper, so to speak.

How, when the full cost of global warming and resource depletion weighs in, can our nation’s diminished economy withstand the onslaught of the merciless capital market that will be the result?

Bush and Co. are the main traitors in this equation and, unless they can be legally made to account, our nation’s many difficulties are set in stone towards future intractability.

I forwarded the article to my Congressional Representative of the Republican type.

David Tyler
Lafayette, La.

Millions, Billions, Trillions

In regard to the article on the $3 trillion war, Mr. Kamiya isn’t the only one who may have a difficult time trying to visualize what these numbers really mean. What may help the readers is the following exercise used in my graduate engineering class. One needs to change the units and do the math, that is think of it in terms of time, which is something we all can relate too. One day is 86,400 seconds, and that calculates to 1 million seconds is 11-1/2 days, 1 billion seconds is 31-1/2 years, and 1 trillion seconds is 31,500 years. Seeing the numbers reframed is astounding and suddenly much more comprehensible! Unfortunate that the media and our politicians don’t explain to people what the numbers really represent.

Mike Brenner
Nevada City, Calif.

Financial Debacle

The financial implosion of Bear Stearns is directly attributable to the rampant deregulation of the financial sector of our economy, during which many of the “safeguards” of “the New Deal” were discarded. Sound financial principles were sacrificed upon the altar of insatiable greed.

We must realize once and for all that the level of regulation must be equal to the greed and short-sightedness of any and all sectors of this economy. For greed is a fact of human nature. Until we, as a society, restore our believe in and adhere to securing the common good, this scenario is certain to repeatedly occur. Today we, the taxpayers, through the Treasury, are bailing out the financial giants. Welcome to the world of a C-average president where profits are privatized and losses socialized. This is not how a sustainable free market nor society should work.

Wayne C. Taylor
Bethlehem, Pa.

Almost, Not Quite

As I read the first paragraph of Ted Rall’s “Afghanistan, War We Can’t Believe In” [4/1/08 TPP], I thought, finally a progressive writer is easing other progressives away from the legend of “Binny and The Boxcutters.”

Well, sort of, anyway. He is right though, Bin Laden denied having any responsibility for 9/11. In June of ’06, investigative reporter Richard Haas (Muckraker Report) quoted Rex Tomb of the FBI, “The FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11”. (www.teamliberty.net/id267.html).

Mr. Rall could have gone further. Like Iraq, war in Afghanistan was long planned and invasion orders were signed Sept. 10, 2001. During that summer US officials told the Taliban, “You can choose a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs,” during negotiations over a Trans Afghan oil pipeline. Former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, Niaz Niak, confirmed he was told by Americans that summer that the overthrow of Taliban was planned and would take place before the snow flies in October. (9/11 Conspiracy: The Scamming of America, edited by James Fetzer Ph. D, page 110). And finally this from the 9/11 NORAD tapes as they monitored the several war games in play that day: “I’ve never seen so much real world stuff happen during an exercise.” How often do terrorist attacks happen during military exercises? Some of these “games” simulated hijacked airliners crashing into landmark American buildings. It’s just a coincidence, nothing to worry about.

Virtually without evidence being presented, many Americans blindly accept the official legends of 9/11 because fear of the truth is too overwhelming to contemplate. And where is Mr. Rall’s evidence for Islamic Jihad’s involvement and who told them that Tuesday would be a good day to slip in unnoticed? I would urge everyone to research 9/11 for themselves. Get the DVD documentaries and read 9/11 and The American Empire, the above mentioned book and David Ray Griffin’s works. And I ask the progressive media, give these researchers a platform! Freedom of speech means the right to say things that may be disturbing, even when it may be the truth and we were certainly not given truth about 9/11.

Paul Ames
Eureka, Utah

Sleepy Democracy

Permit me to contradict Loretta Van Coppenolle’s pertinent comment (“Candidates Mum on Global Warming,” Letters, 3/1/08 TPP) how incredible that five corporate TV reporters mentioned climate change in only three of near 2500 questions to Presidential candidates last year. No, Loretta, it’s entirely credible. You have a somnambulant public and a diabolic government hand in glove with venal communications industry (which includes PBS) that is bent on keeping both that way.

On with the meaningless infotainment that’s the uninspiring battle for the throne. Why ask Kucinich, Paul, Edwards or Nader what they’d do about global warming? The corrupted selection process rendered them irrelevant. The presently “acceptable” three candidates can surely be relied on to do nothing serious to stop our tailspin: they’ve got promises to keep and we’ve got miles to go in deeper sleep.

Rob MacLeod
Porthill, Ida.

Don’t Wallow in the Slough

It was more than refreshing to read an article [“Let ’Em Duke It Out,” by Walter Shapiro, 4/1/08 TPP] that conveyed something besides negativisms and paralyzing hopelessness about the condition of the world/country/party today. Ever since Molly Ivins left, I search the pages of TPP in vain for a grin or even a little uplift of spirit. Whether it’s Alex Cockburn with his cynical and paralyzing punditisms or Greg Palast with his devastating takes on horrors of past events, “nary is heard an encouraging word and the skies are just cloudy all day.” It’s almost like we progressive Democrats have been in the slough of despair for so long, we have become addicted to wallowing in it.

So, I say yea for Shapiro! What happened to the “fire in the belly” of the Democratic Party when it used to come to the national conventions roaring for a real, honest to goodness, knock-down-drag-out contest? (Anyone here remember John F. Kennedy’s first speech to the nation there? I don’t even remember who it was for, but I sure as hell remember who he is.) Let’s get some guts into the “party elite” in Washington, and let’s stop being scared to death of Bush and what he might do next. This is about OUR agenda, not his! We are the People!!

Millie Kolander
Foresthill, Calif.

Vent Less Spleen

We are living in critical times, as most Americans realize, and leaders of real consequence, such as Chuck Hagel, Barack Obama and Bill Richardson particularly are fully aware of the challenges the next adminstration faces after the disaster created by this administration. Yet in the midst of this, with the Democrats finally having a shot at regaining a voice, we find creeps like James Carville calling Richardson a Judas because Richardson dared to come out in support of Obama. Doesn’t Richardson know that Hillary is divinely anointed to be president? How dare voters say “no” to this royal succession! Carville is a hack carryover from the Bill administration, and he, like Clinton, would gladly scuttle any nominee who dares to part from the Clinton agenda.

This was obviously a very hard decision for Richardson, but he made a decision that was based on principle and that he concluded was best for the country. And Carville brands him a Judas. One could urge Carville to get out of the gutter, but that is probably where he is most comfortable.

After the Michigan and Florida fiascos, and other problems, the last thing we need is someone like Carville venting his spleen against anyone who does not support Clinton.

Burt Newbry
Mesa, Ariz.

Bush’s Legacy

Bush’s stupid, greedy, self-serving, lying invasion of Iraq, started with a “Shock and Awe” attack on Baghdad. If he has any more emotional response than a dead worm, His Decidership must be suffering a bit of shock and awe at the determination of the Iraqi people to drive the occupation troops out. Bush’s accomplishment so far is over 100,000 Iraqi men, women, and children killed, several million fleeing as refugees to other countries, over 4 thousand American men and women killed and twenty-some thousands injured, almost half of them seriously, and ballooning costs of gasoline, food, and national debt. Also, The Pretender, who claims to be guided by God, is evidently in a deep state of denial, for if he doesn’t confess (and he certainly doesn’t) that “The Devil made me do it”, then logically it was “God” who made him do it. If His Decidership hasn’t earned impeachment yet then what must he do to earn it? It isn’t necessary to mention that Dick Deadshot Cheney, as Bush’s puppetmaster, must be impeached also, so I do.

Phil Sullivan
Woodstock, N.Y.

Miraculous Times

These are miraculous times! America has spent decades with its head buried in the sand squabbling over abortion, gun-control, gay rights and more. These are important issues and do merit attention. Unfortunately, these issues have been used to distract us from some core issues such as constitutional rights, individual rights, torture, health care, education, and the economy. This neglect has brought us to precarious times! So, where is the miracle?

Suddenly, we are addressing these issues. People are educating themselves about politics and showing up at the polls. It is no longer business as usual. With the new found political power of the internet, the highly vocal and misnamed moral majority is losing its stranglehold on reporting and commentary. Like a breath of fresh air the political pendulum is swinging back towards center as a whole new form of politics is emerging. Simple mud slinging and twisting the facts doesn’t seem to work very well anymore. People are saying that we want our country back. We are saying that it belongs to us and not the corporations, the banks, the rich, the lobbyists and the politicians. We are saying these groups should ONLY exist to serve the people (not vice versa). We are realizing that America is no longer the center of the world. That America is willing to actually address these issues with a loud voice is a miracle! That previously disinterested youth are becoming involved is a miracle! I believe that Obama has been a catalyst in this change. He comes at a time when we are in desperate need of change. Will he win? Is he for real? Can he do what he claims—can we afford to not find out? Who knows? But hopefully what he has catalyzed will only grow stronger. I am reminded of the war cry of the ’60s, “Power to the people!”

Hines Metz
Baraboo, Wis.

Dubya’s Lapel Pin

H.L. Mencken wrote: “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron”.

Mencken could be a bit unkind, while our present president desires a place in history, and has, on occasion, suggested, though rather half-heartedly, a historic parallel, i.e. Roosevelt, Lincoln, Reagan. To date there has been no fulfillment of the unhappy man’s desires. Now, perhaps, a breakthrough with the veto of the anti-torture resolution. Perhaps the opportunity for a historical designation, i.e. “George the Water Boarder.” But with this, there is still lacking a parallel, a historical brother figure.

Of course one thinks of Charles I of England with divine rights, absolute power, the ability to dissolve parliament. Untenable, as we are not presented with a Cromwell and none on the horizon. Perhaps the Emperor Caligula, Henry VI of England, Charles II of Spain, Charles VI of France. Perhaps Napoleon I upon his entry to Paris after the long winter retreat from Russia, or indeed Alexander of Macedonia as he withdrew from India along the arid deserts of what is now Pakistan. Ivan IV of Russia? Torquemada?

For some unexplainable reason one thinks of Mr. Bush’s lapel pin, Others with a lapel pin, no, but rather a flag. No, a heraldic symbol, perhaps a dragon, or in Romanian “dracula.” Oh yes, Vladislav III of Wallachia, a great warrior, designated by history as “Vlad The Impaler,” the scourge of the Saracens. Or is this comparison demeaning? To George? To Vlad? Perhaps best to abandon this exercise and return to such mundane concerns such as is NSA reading this message?

Dr. S.R. Keister
Erie, Pa.

Resist SPP

SPP [the Security and Prosperity Partnership, “The Stealth, Profit and Power Corporate Take-Over,” by Ruth Caplan and Nancy Price, 4/1/08 TPP; see also a followup on page 10] is not an extension of NAFTA but I believe it is a move to eliminate the absolute sovereignty of Mexico and Canada. Joint border surveillance (making money for US companies), joint economic movement and the death knell for unions in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Sounds like a North American collaboration to cheat the citizens of the United States, Canada and Mexico. Controlling wages and cost of foodstuffs thus creating more poverty and also controlling immigration and closing doors for deserters and war resisters. There must be resistance to this idea here in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

S. Einhorn
North Babylon, N.Y.

Nader Voter

I am voting for Nader because he’s the only person who would see that the people on Social Security get a true cost of living. McCain has said he would cut Social Security and the Democrats just stand by and say nothing and are useless.

Ernie Petz
Chaska, Minn.

From The Progressive Populist, May 1, 2008

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