Letters from our readers

26 May 2012

On “Canadian Pacific railway workers strike

The Canadian government’s hypocrisy is bewildering. On the one hand, it considers these and other workers as essential parts of the economy. Whether it’s flying jets, delivering mail, or shipping fuel, grain, minerals, automobiles and other bulk goods across North America, you’d think the government would treat these workers like royalty. Yet instead, it passes legislation holding workers down while management kicks the crap out of their wages, working conditions and livelihoods.

It’s totally psychotic—they’re essentially saying “we love you, we need you—now hold still while we beat you to death!”

What I think is needed in Canada and around the world are workers’ governments—governments that not only honour workers for who they are and for what they do, but would focus their labour in such a way as to end human want and misery across the globe.

This would be a vast improvement over what we have now—governments committed to enriching a tiny capitalist elite at the expense of everyone and everything else.

Dan
Canada
25 May 2012

On “US government panel calls for halt to prostate cancer screening

This is insanity. I’m 62 and my earlier yearly at the VA [Veterans Administration] showed high levels, so I’m going to the urologist at Pensacola.

They talk about “worry”? Over tests?

The worry would be if elevated PSA levels indicated a serious condition that might go untreated and lead to serious complications or even death.

There’s no bottom to the dissimulation and lies the for-profit medical system will go to—to save a buck.

As a retired veteran—with automatic access to free (socialized—it is for veterans) health care—I feel so sorry for those trickfucked by these uncaring, rapacious monsters.

This is not hyperbole, but the truth.

Rob M
23 May 2012

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So these really are death panels? Interesting developments when Fox news becomes more reliable than the liberal media.

Thushara
23 May 2012

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For the benefit of younger readers who may not yet be at the stage of their lives where they need an annual physical checkup, it might be useful to review how the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test process looks from the patient’s point of view. During the exam, the doctor takes, or orders the taking of, a small blood sample of a few milliliters. From a long list of standard blood tests for various conditions (blood sugar, uric acid, etc.), the doctor checks off the specific battery of tests relevant to the patient’s situation and sends the sample and the list to the lab. In a week or so, the lab’s results come back to the doctor and he or she relays the result to the patient for any necessary follow-up, including treatments that may be found necessary. Naturally, one crosses one’s fingers while waiting for the results.

One of the check-off items that is standard for men over about 50 is the PSA test. It is a simple check box on a form! There is no additional work or unpleasantness for the patient—the blood sample has already been drawn and will have to be drawn anyway. The only difference, completely invisible to the patient, is that the number of tests run on the blood sample will be one less without than with the PSA test, and that probably is a few dollars only.

It is preposterous to say that a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test will cause all the “harm” claimed, or any harm at all. It is a completely harmless test that I (at age 66) have had a number of times at my annual physical examination.

The new guideline is cruel and perverse—medieval, even. If the PSA test comes back negative, end of story (well, I’m not a doctor, but a patient, and that is my understanding). If a positive PSA results, then and only then will I have to undergo any additional diagnostic procedures, including biopsies, and only then and afterward during treatment might I have to suffer any of the side effects given as reasons to ditch the PSA test.

In centuries past, if you were accused of being a witch, you might have been held under water as a test. If you didn’t drown, you were guilty of being a witch. If you did drown, you were innocent. Isn’t the whole point of science precisely to eliminate such backwardness and barbarism? But now we are told that if we die of prostate cancer, we probably did need the PSA test!

Ignorance is bliss. All for the best in this best of all possible worlds. What can ditching the PSA test possibly hurt??

CH
Texas
23 May 2012

On “India: WSWS team attacked as NLC strike enters second month

How brave the Comrades of Sri Lanka and India have been in the face of recent attacks and arrests. It is indicative of the true nature of other left organizations that when marginalized groups like contract workers or plantation workers get the short end of the stick, they have nothing to say on the matter at all. I thank our Sri Lankan and Indian Comrades for persevering in the face of such threats and attacks in order to reach the workers there and report out to us what’s happening. I express solidarity with the workers of Asia and the brave WSWS reporters who continue on despite such violence and intimidation. Thank you!

Vance O
California, USA
22 May 2012

On “JPMorgan could face $7 billion in losses

How my heart bleeds for JPMorgan and Jamie Dimon. Don’t forget this bank stole millions from customer accounts when MF Global folded, because they knew that they could and no one would come after them.

David G
23 May 2012

On “Why does The Hunger Games strike a chord?

After having watched the Hunger Games, I have to say that this is a most excellent and acute review of this movie. It depicts the reality of what the Hunger Games phenomenon is extremely well.

I have one thing to add to the review of the movie, dealing with the background of the story. Does Collins really expect us to believe that this sort of society could go on (ostensibly) for 74 years? That it would take three generations for someone like Katniss to emerge to challenge the structure of society within the games itself? I find that hard to believe. Moreover, I find it hard to believe that the Districts themselves wouldn’t rise up after all that time.

Humanity has had barely 20 years since the upheavals that occurred during the reintroduction of capitalism into China, the USSR and the countries within the Warsaw bloc and the world is convulsing again. I feel like the society that was envisioned simply is not something that could emerge out of what currently exists, not given how pent up society is now. I find that claiming that such events could go on for so long shows a lack of faith in humans in general by Collins, which is disappointing.

Bryan D
22 May 2012