Letters from our readers

18 December 2012

On “ School shooting in Connecticut leaves 27 dead, including 20 children

Thanks to Kate Randall for this excellent article. She made the societal connection that the mainstream press ignores: The US government, either directly or through its proxies, is killing children every day in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and other countries. When our leaders are mass murderers, it's no surprise that people follow their example.

William H
Germany
17 December 2012

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I suggest that the very busy President Obama simply establish a permanent web site with the following statement:

“Michelle and I were shocked and deeply saddened to learn about the act of senseless violence in [enter name of city and state here].”

If your children go to school at Sandy Hook Elementary School, you enter Newtown, Connecticut (Twenty-six dead, 20 children). If your children went to school in Panjwai District of Afghanistan on March 11, 2012, you enter the hamlets of Alkozai and Najiban. (Seventeen dead, 9 children).

This handy web site will free up Mr. Obama to preside over additional drone targeting meetings with the CIA, where he personally authorizes “kill lists” targeting “terrorists” and family members, including children.

Rest assured: there are no “senseless” killings that derive from Mr. Obama’s “Terror Tuesdays.”

Randy R
Arizona
15 December 2012

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US government officials and the media will pathologically split this one off too. They'll claim it is not part of what America is and what America stands for. They'll bury the opportunity to learn something significant about this event with the dead, thwarting any possibility for true understanding and change. Then they'll shake their heads and chalk it up to being the work of an "evil" individual—a bad seed. And it will happen again and they'll shake their heads in collective incomprehension. And the mentally ill will continue to be the most marginalized segment of society.

Simone
15 December 2012

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It was somewhat surreal to listen to NPR journalists crying and repeating themselves about the “inexplicable” character of the shooting as I was driving to my kids’ school yesterday to pick them up. Our school district is currently agonizing over cutting millions of dollars more out of its budget. They might not have band class anymore. The bus service is on the chopping block. Bigger class sizes, privatized lunch. This is Race to the Top playing out in a “better off” district, like the one in Newtown, Connecticut. Like the parents there, we moved to get into this district because our old one was being put under an emergency manager and we were tired of the layoffs and the school closures.

NPR played the clip of Obama saying he was heartbroken “as a parent.” Really? He (and Arne Duncan) are heartbroken for the families of these children and teachers. How many thousands of guidance counselors have the administration axed in the past four years? Mental health programs terminated? How many teachers have lost their livelihoods, homes, health? I don’t see any statements issued for the teachers who have committed suicide, or for children killed in gang violence on their way to school across town because the one in their own neighborhood got shuttered.

De-funding public services, instigating mass layoffs, and so on rips through society and creates instability. What does it mean to have millions of “disconnected” youth with no prospects, some of them deeply disoriented by our polluted political and cultural atmosphere? It’s only inexplicable for those who would be implicated in an explanation. The ruling class has no right to feign grief.

EG
Michigan, USA
15 December 2012

On “ Above the law

Excellent commentary. Not only does it expose the corrupting influence of Wall Street and the financial aristocracy on the body politic but it exposes the falsity of the “war on drugs”; a war that jails the poor and middle class small time users and sellers but turns its eye on those who bankroll and otherwise assist the large drug cartels. The war on drugs is just another way for the elite to profit from the misery of the working class whether it be through money laundering, the for-profit prison industry, or just by destroying the lives of many otherwise law abiding citizens.

MZ
Maryland, USA
14 December 2012

On “ Leading German newspaper’s conference hears call for dismantling democracy

A shocking and ominous report.

In “left,” poststructuralist circles of the American academy Schmidt has surged in interest. Their impotent and crippling skepticism has led to its opposite: a curiosity for a sovereign that creates its own laws, truth, and reality. This thought needs to be dissected—its disgusting, fascistic core displayed. Thank you for doing that.

Gabe E
13 December 2012

On “ Obama, CEOs join forces in budget-cutting campaign

Hmmm.

Unless the tax increases include significant increases in interest, dividends and capital gains, then the 1 percent are for the most part not going to see much, if any, increase in taxes at all. And many of those that receive salaries will restructure their pay to offset any minor increase in “income taxes.” Come on, this is war by the 1 percent on the rest of us.

Daniel D
14 December 2012

On “ Rice abandons bid for secretary of state nomination

I thought the article was a good summary and analysis of the mainstream viewpoint.

But it struck me that lately Rice was starting to get flack from the left (unmentioned in your article) about her connection to the oil and gas industry, especially its Canadian wing. This was coupled with the growing popular feeling against the projected pipeline, which is slated to run from Canada through the US “heartland,” then through Texas to the Gulf of Mexico.

So I suspect that Rice and Obama felt they could deal with the right-wing attacks about Benghazi, but not with them and also with the newly developing left-wing attacks.

Gene G
New York, USA
15 December 2012

On “ Right-wing LDP government to take office in Japan

As far as I can gather the new Japanese leadership intends to change the “facts on the ground” by building bases on the disputed islands, as the Russians did on the Japanese islands they captured at the end of World War Two. If the Japanese government does try to build on these islands, the Chinese leadership must either submit or respond militarily or take economic actions against Japanese firms. They are unlikely to submit and economic actions take time to be effective. Military strikes on the islands and the surrounding area appear as the most likely outcome of the new Japanese policy.

Chris
Ireland
17 December 2012