Letters from our readers

11 June 2005

The following is a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

On “Republican assault on public broadcasting targeted liberal commentator Bill Moyers

It certainly can’t be said that the USA is a democratic nation, with a campaign against Moyers for his public broadcasting. A totalitarian regime is more like it. The Bush administration does everything that they accuse their adversaries of, or, those who disagree with the empire—that is, propagandized terrorism of the first degree using the false guise of freedom. “Do what we say not what we do” is the Bush motto.

RS

7 June 2005

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Dear Mr. Walsh:

You have hit the nail squarely on the head. The right wants it all their way. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is in an all-out assault on the Public Broadcasting System and has gutted just about every program that would present fact, truth and objectivity. I’m used to censorship. I live in Utah and this nonsense has been going on for years. Finding an avenue for free and open expression is a pointless pursuit.

I’m a writer and it is frustrating in the extreme. Short of purchasing a media concern, how one gets access to media is a mystery. It seems to be a mostly pointless exercise in futility to confront any American media outlet, including PBS. They simply don’t want to hear any deviation from the “official” line. How to break the stranglehold on America’s media is the truly tough part of the equation. I’m running out of ideas and short of staking out some media executive’s office corridor, I truly don’t know what we can do about it.

DN

Murray, Utah

6 June 2005

On “Bush at the OAS: a profile in imperialist hypocrisy

It’s been reassuring to see your article on the Google news site. How long will this country be in the dark about what is really going on? Thank you.

MSD

7 June 2005

On “The US media and the French referendum

This is one of the more accessible articles explaining how the objectives of capitalism are incompatible with the various past reform programs. Patrick Martin’s illustrative writing and the excerpts from prominent media pundits make the article’s points easy to grasp. The media pundits do say it best!

BT

San Diego, California

8 June 2005

On “Amnesty International refuses to retract torture charges against US

As a member in good standing of Amnesty International, I would not expect any less from this organization to set the record straight on what is going on in the various US detention centers in some secret places. Amnesty International said out loud what most of us common sense human beings are thinking. If the US administration has nothing to hide, why then should it oppose an independent investigation by human rights organizations? I fully stand behind AI because I know they are doing an excellent job of watching and denouncing all sorts of inhumane treatments that are taking place in this world.

JLV

Quebec, Canada

8 June 2005

On “Review of Robert Service’s Stalin. A Biography

I’m currently working on a review of it myself, and your piece has helped narrow the Volga of distortion and downright falsification Service has unleashed. For an academic who boasts of having read so much—and then demonstrates having learned so little—it’s hardly a wonder Service thinks a man who consumes 500 pages a day qualifies as an “intellectual.” Well done.

MW

8 June 2005

On “The essential things go unexplained

I really liked your review on the movie Crash. I agree that the director failed to recognize the deep roots of class and racial tension in LA (and throughout the country). However, there was another aspect of the film that I wanted to comment on. I noticed that the movie represented racism as simply a bunch of misunderstandings among individuals. Basically, it was the fault of individuals, and not the society that is characterized by capitalism and the failure of democracy in the US. Besides that, the movie was stagy and felt like a lame soap opera. The director also clearly lacks knowledge of history. Anyway, thanks for your great review. I am going to send it to my brother who actually praised the movie!

MF

Old Greenwich, Connecticut

8 June 2005

On “mutual obligation” in Australia

I would like to define the term mutual obligation, as opposed to the [Australian] government’s misinterpretation of this term. [The government uses the term to refer to schemes that require people to work in low-paying jobs in order to secure government benefits such as unemployment.] Mutual obligation obliges the government to provide the worker with work that will guarantee him a standard of living that enables him to feed and educate his family, put a roof over his head, spend time with his family and have residual funds for entertainment, etc. When the government cannot provide their end of the obligation, they are obliged to adequately subsidize the worker until they can. After all, they are in our employ.

The replacement of the industrial relations commission with the fair wage commission is antithetical to what I define as the government’s mutual obligation. The basis for adjudicating on what will constitute a fair wage will be no more or less than what employers are prepared to pay, and the type of employment they are willing to offer, the majority being insecure part-time and casual positions.

This attack is the continuation to the complete dismantling of workers’ rights to the point where the majority of the workforce can be hired, fired, sent home and called in on the employer’s whim, ostensibly held to financial ransom. Just as important, they will have their private lives impinged upon as they will be at the employers’ beck and call.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. The government is not fulfilling their obligations in providing enough well-paid employment positions. They are therefore not doing what they are paid to do and should be immediately sacked, and should do some mutual obligation work. I would love to see Howard and Downer picking up litter on the side of the freeway—they’ve made enough of a mess. Is this an unreasonable request?

DD

Melbourne, Australia

10 June 2005

On “General Motors announces plans to eliminate 25,000 jobs in US

I’m not a socialist per se. Some people call my views on a single-payer system socialized medicine. No, not socialized medicine, but socialized insurance—socializing the way the medicine is funded. If single-payer national health insurance is socialized medicine then the public school is socialized education. That little bit of socialism, or communism if you will, has done a whole lot of good as far as almost eliminating illiteracy. I wanted to express my concern for GM and employees losing their jobs. I am a musician/singer/ songwriter and have written songs about the healthcare crisis. I believe that affordable access to healthcare is a right. Failure to bring our healthcare under control will not only increase the number of uninsured; it will destroy our economy. Has already seriously damaged GM, but if we can hurry and get our healthcare fixed there is hope that they will survive. The chorus of my second most recent song says, “Affordable health will save our economy, it’s in the best interest of everybody, if every job moved out of the country, then tell me whose gonna pay the medical fee?”

JK

Lincoln, Nebraska

7 June 2005

On “Moi’s successor defeated in Kenyan election

It’s good you depicted the previous regime as evil as hell, but let me tell you that I have come to hate the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) government [in Kenya] for what it is doing. Imagine a government sacking 9,000 employees at a go. That number represents those who have been affected directly by the government’s recent actions. What about the thousands of indirect individuals who have been affected? We thought we voted in a government that was going to curb corruption, but mark you it’s the one that encourages corruption. Most of its ministers have been involved in corrupt deals. So let’s wait for 2007 and kick out this government that came up as a result of NARC euphoria.

CK

Nairobi, Kenya

7 June 2005

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