Letters from our readers

18 January 2006

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

On “Senate Democrats prostrate as Alito confirmation hearings get under way”

I consider myself one of the few ordinary Americans who actually has the patience to try to focus on the current Senate Judiciary hearings, and I must say that I am extremely disappointed thus far with this nominee Alito. While Alito is undeniably smart and analytical regarding his legal reasoning, he is at the same time a liar and an elitist, which is very shocking considering that he is merely a second generation American whose father was born in Italy.

Alito is a liar because he feigns zero knowledge or memory about a somewhat notorious anti-black and minority, as well as misogynistic, organization he chose to list on a US Attorney job résumé submitted to the Regan administration. Although he was on an alumni mailing list which received a plethora of yearly and possibly monthly literature from them, Alito claims that he cannot recall anything “negative” about this organization (CAP) whatsoever.

I know this all may sound extremely uninteresting but in my opinion, all should be forewarned that Alito is not a savior of the common man in the least, and I fear that his pending confirmation to the Supreme Court brings the potential of a dangerous new order along the lines of kind of master-slave dynamic, ever-the-more closer to a grim reality in present day America.

The reason for this is not that Alito will be able to wreak havoc once he is confirmed, but in the notion that the good senators (whether Republican or Democrat) are powerless to stop it. Alito is just too popular with the all too conservative Senate to fail at this test. All they ask is that he be a good boy and play soft-ball, which he has done admirably in these hearings.

EW

New York, New York

12 January 2006

On “Florida college professor and wife arrested as Cuban spies”

How can one be guilty of a crime for associating with and monitoring an anti-Castro group in Florida? What if one reports the results to someone in Cuba? What if someone here monitors the activities of a Nazi hate group and reports the results to Israel or to AIPAC? It seems to me that that sort of activity is exactly what the right of free speech and free association is supposed to protect in the US.

DP

Tucson, Arizona

12 January 2006

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I was glad to read your article. I would also like to know if there is any way that the articles could be translated into Spanish. I feel that although change is near, I can’t seem to understand why more people aren’t trying to reach the masses. I agree on many of your points, but wouldn’t it be nice if others closely affected by what’s happening could read your opinions and facts as well. Miami has two sides, those who choose to talk and those who are willing to take action.

PO

12 January 2006

On “Sri Lanka foreign minister discusses war, not peace, in Washington”

I am a Tamil. Your report is very neutral. I do not think developed countries are interested in peace. Unfortunately the innocent people get badly affected.

RP

10 January 2006

On “European media report US plans to strike Iran”

I liked the article regarding the possibility of Iran being invaded by the US during 2006. I would like to say it is shocking that such bully-boy tactics can take place under the guise of the “war on terror.” This “war” seems to be a license to jump up and down on any opposition group that stands up to its own dictatorial government or American-backed regime. The only pleasure that I get is in the thought that capitalist imperialism and extreme religions do look likely to consume themselves. I just hope we don’t all get consumed in the same conflagration.

JK

Egham, Britain

10 January 2006

On “Israeli media rallies behind Sharon’s Kadima party”

This was a very good article about the hidden face or nature of Mr. Sharon, which we don’t usually see or read in the US press. I believe the only thing missing in your article was the Israeli invasion of Lebanon under the leadership of Mr. Sharon. I wonder how or why did you miss that part and the cruelty of Mr. Sharon in that war, or better to say invasion.

AS

Grand Rapids, Michigan

11 January 2006

On “Lasse Hallström’s direction of Casanova: more purposeful than usual”

In your review of Casanova, you write, “Casanova makes fun, whether it fully intends to or not, of Bush and the Christian zealots and the whole filthy right-wing in America, and we don’t have nearly enough of that.” I agree we don’t have enough of it. But what do you think of “The Colbert Report,” on Comedy Central? It’s shockingly intelligent and, I think, the show that goes the furthest in attacking right-wing forces in an innovative way. Stephen Colbert himself, I think, is comedically brilliant.

AC

Jamestown, New York

11 January 2006

On “Spinoza reconsidered”

I wanted to thank you for your review of Radical Enlightenment. After reading your review, I went out and looked for the book and have found it to be an exceptional study. Having spent most of the 1990s in English graduate studies, I have ingested more than my fair share of postmodernist, poststructuralist, and postcolonialist theories. With the help of you and other writers at WSWS, I have been continually deepening my appreciation for the Enlightenment and the real courage figures like Spinoza showed in casting off the shackles of church, state, and tradition and thinking the world anew.

I was particularly impressed by your willingness to revisit your own review of the book. I’ve been reading the WSWS daily for just about eight years now, and as I’ve come to expect from all the writers on the web site, your first concern was not with ego but with truly understanding the work itself. Your work shows, in the best sense, what Matthew Arnold called “disinterestedness.” I’ve never liked Arnold much because of his appalling class biases; your work has helped me to even appreciate some of his critical ideas by seeing them practiced by a truly humane writer.

I also appreciated immensely your essay on Tom Paine (“Citizen of the world: a brief survey of the life and times of Thomas Paine (1737-1809)”). After reading it, I went out and got Tom Keane’s biography and read Common Sense and The Rights of Man. I was astounded by the sheer drama of Paine’s life, particularly the almost unbelievable series of turns of his life in 1792-93. I was also deeply moved by the real power of his prose.

I live in Philadelphia, and a little while ago I did an unscientific study. Though our town features more institutions than you can count named for Ben Franklin (and justly so, for his immense contributions to both Philadelphia and the world) and many other revolutionary heroes, there are no institutions or streets named for Paine. Thank you for your contribution to bringing Paine’s life and ideals back into public discussion.

JN

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

9 January 2006

On “Letters from our readers”

The reader from South Lake Tahoe was wrong when he/she said the title of a recent WSWS article was misleading. “Corruption scandal threatens republican control of Congress” is neither misleading nor does it give any false hope. On rereading the letter I suppose the comment was meant to be taken tongue in cheek. At any rate, it seems clear to me that the article’s title merely reflects a very likely result of any voter backlash, which may occur in this year’s upcoming elections, from all these recent revelations. The C-span town hall meeting that the reader mentioned was noteworthy on a number of counts not least of which was the standing room only crowd’s reaction to the word impeachment. The entire crowd burst into sustained applause which was shown by the camera scanning the room. Mr. Moran’s response—that an investigation “isn’t going to happen” since the Republicans control the Congress—only served to highlight the fact that the Democratic Party has completely lost sight of what it means to be an opposition party. Some of the other questions and comments from the audience really left an impression. One soldier in particular left me thinking how the ruling elite is really going to have its hands full with such articulate young fighters going over to the other side. Indeed, war is the crucible that will forge the youth of today into the leaders of tomorrow.

HS

9 January 2006