Below we post a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.
Greetings Fellow Workers:
Thank you for your recent article on internal checkpoints. The Border Patrol has been quietly carrying out these “Papers Please” checkpoints in Maine for a number of years. Every September during the apple harvest, migrant workers come to central Maine to pick apples. When they arrive, the Border Patrol is here waiting for a chance to arrest them. The agents set up on a Saturday at a rest area on Interstate 95 in Sydney, a few miles north of Augusta, the state capital. Naturally, being an interstate highway and the only decent road in the state, there are lots of people to inspect, and the traffic backs up for several miles. The operation is very simple: one inspector stands in each lane and asks everyone in the vehicle what country they are a citizen of. If you have white skin and a Yankee accent, they let you continue. If you just happen to have dark skin or a strange accent, God help you: you’re going to need it.
Just in case some of those migrant workers get uppity, there is also a contingent of National Guard posted at the rest area. One never knows when a bunch of apple pickers who think they have civil rights might refuse to submit and need to be shot.
There is a word for a country whose citizens are rigidly supervised by a secret (and not so secret) police force: police state. And there is a word for a system of government characterized by a one-party dictatorship, centralized control of industry and finance, and militant nationalism: fascism.
20 November 2002* * *
I read about this originally in the Detroit Free Press. It was disturbing, to say the least. But, in there they reported that it was 25 and not 100 miles for the searches. I figured out that my house is 25.2 miles from the international border in the middle of Lake St. Clair, so I breathed a sigh of relief to the extent that I only venture west of here. Being white and living in an extremely affluent area, I didn’t think much of it.
The WSWS article puts a new perspective on it, however. The Free Press article did not hazard a hint at the undemocratic aspect of it, automatically lending credibility to Bush et al and their predatory war policies.
I know firsthand that there are many, many illegals around here. However, they are not exactly the threat that Bush etc. make them out to be. They are Mexicans doing the various service-oriented manual labor jobs to satisfy the lifestyle of the propertied class in the country’s second wealthiest county. They keep to themselves and appreciate their ability to earn money here, even if they do it illegally.
But no one cares about the Mexicans, at least to the extent that all of the once-farmland 20-30 miles north of Detroit is being turned into new $300,000+ subdivisions and the white wage laborers are, for the most part, doing less of the undesirable jobs. But when that changes, as we know it will, there will certainly be something of a pogrom aimed at all of the Mexican workers around here as well.
I do not believe that they will significantly increase the number of arrests on illegal Mexicans, even though they would be so easy to find. I believe what the article says: they are to accustom the “general population to police-state methods.”
19 November 2002
On “The death of US Senator Paul Wellstone: accident or murder?” http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/ and “Letters on the death of US Senator Paul Wellstone, and a reply”
I totally agree with the position of the WSWS in regards to your comments and opinions on the possibility that this crash was deliberately planned and executed by someone/somebody wanting to ensure the Republican takeover of the Senate. I don’t doubt for a moment there are groups and/or government employees and agencies willing and capable of doing something like this. The far right has also taken over control of the Republican Party as more fully evidenced by the most recent scuttling of bankruptcy reform because of how it might impact abortion protestors and this makes it more likely such an accident was planned and executed to success. There is something very sinister and covert about the people pulling the punches in government now and I fear them way more than I do Saddam Hussein and what he might do to me.
Most people don’t understand how well people who are in the assassination business can plan something like this making it look like an accident or suicide or anything they want it to appear to be. These things aren’t planned on the spur of the moment but carefully thought out well in advance and the cover-up is already in place way ahead of time. Most people don’t also understand how the investigation of these events is often controlled by the very group who committed the deed. If you believe as I do that the CIA was behind the Kennedy assassination then it isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination to assume a couple senators could be disposed of. There is too much money involved in politics now that winning at any cost is probably a better description than any other for how the game is played.
Until there is a way to take big money out of politics and/or use public funds to finance elections and overhaul the whole election process so that machines can’t be rigged and registered voters have unfettered access to polling places, the system will sink even further into a corrupt mess so not even the people who attacked your column will be able to stand the smell of it. Keep up the excellent job of reporting.
20 November 2002* * *
What is the matter with people that they cannot open their eyes to the events that are taking place within the US at this critical time? And why is the mainstream media not supporting any kind of independent investigation into the myriad of unexplainable acts which have taken place since 9/11, including the hundreds of unanswered questions regarding that event?
Fascist governments do a very good job of neglecting domestic issues and trumpeting their successes abroad. Do you think it’s a coincidence that this administration hasn’t spent more than 10 minutes on domestic policy that doesn’t involve abolishment of the Fourth Amendment and government spying? The mainstream media cannot do anything about this or they fear losing their advertising base. Watch Peter Jennings and Dan Rather struggle for something to say when the Viagara, Nexium and Prilosec ads quit pouring in. You don’t think that the Republicans have a deal with the drug companies, do you? Thank God Lockheed-Martin and General Dynamics don’t advertise on the CBS Evening News.
20 November 2002
I would like to say I was blown away and very impressed by the information and arguments presented as a reply to the MDC letter. I hope you keep up the good work.
A devoted reader,
20 November 2002* * *
It lightens my heart to know there are many more of us out there. We have been saturated with far too much free market imperialism for far too long. I would like to applaud your efforts. Keep up the good fight. I will try to send your page to those I think will read it. We need to spread the word.
21 November 2002