Letters from our readers

6 September 2006

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

On “Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld speeches: A new drumbeat for war

The article states: “Only a few days before Bush’s speech, the woman who played a central role in placing him in the White House in 2000, former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, made national headlines by denouncing the separation of church and state as a pernicious lie fomented by the enemies of Christianity. ‘God is the one who chooses our rulers,’ she declared, in an interview during her campaign for the US Senate seat in Florida.”

Harris in effect reveals here that she and her kind must more surely worship the bourgeoisie, who of course, everyone knows “chooses our rulers,” with help from the voters, who are largely “educated” by the media and in schools approved by the bourgeoisie. This is not to mention the piles of money issuing forth from bourgeois pockets, funding candidates such as these, come election time, which arguably have more of an influence on elections than the supernatural or “the supreme being.”

JB

3 September 2006

On “SEP candidate Bill Van Auken addresses antiwar meeting in New York

What a wonderful five-minute bashing of the Democrats and their co-optioning to big business. I especially liked the paragraphs: “The premeditation began not merely with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Co. It was, after all, Bill Clinton, who signed the 1998 act committing the US to Iraqi ‘regime change.’ And successive administrations going back to FDR have committed military force to secure US domination of the crucial oil resources of the Middle East and project American power throughout the region.

“Between the two major parties, there is no fundamental disagreement on the crime itself, only on the quality of the premeditation.”

It hit a wonderful chord to expose the foolishness and the “criminal” Clinton. If I did not live in Fairborn, Ohio, near Dayton (next to the ugly Wright Patterson Air Force Base) and lived in New York, I’d work on your campaign and vote for you in November. Keep up the great work even under such unmatched “underdog” position.

JK

29 August 2006

On “No evidence to press murder charges vs. John Mark Karr: Media frenzy over JobBenet ‘killer’ ends in fiasco

From the moment the story broke it seemed clear that the media and, more forgivably, the cops had picked up on some random weirdo wandering around and made a story out of him. It was bizarre; it was ludicrous. And I didn’t even get the full force of it. I live in London and don’t have a TV. A few times I clicked on some story about the case, only to be greeted with grotesque details about what happened to JonBenet Ramsey. The whole thing was such a transparent justification for writing about the ugly stuff of nightmares.

Even the leftist media was reporting this uncritically. I was appalled. Thanks for sharing your well-honed outrage.

MB

30 August 2006

* * *

The best reporting on this bit of ‘news’ probably came from ‘reporter’ Rob Courddry on the “Daily Show” on Comedy Central, when he did the entire report from within the toilet. The only news shows on TV that I bother to watch are “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and the “Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert.” At least they know they are comedy, and minute for minute they are far more insightful than the ‘real’ news.

NKM

30 August 2006

On “The political foundations for the struggle against militarism and war

One of the last few days had an article explaining how Blair and Bush are ignoring international law, and the author said that this was the same thing done by Hitler at the beginning of WWII.

I just finished the book, The Road to War: Origins of World War II, by Overy and Wheatcroft. I agree wholeheartedly with this assessment of Hitler’s policy of ignoring international law at the time, and I also agree with the other points made in the article written and posted here recently.

Too bad that idiot Bush went to a college were he was a “D” student, but was given “C”s since ‘Daddy’ could afford to send him to a overly expensive, rich man’s college! He might have learned more if he went to a college/university where they teach something except how to bend the religion of poor people to get them to go overseas and serve as cannon fodder for the international corporations that presently control our three branches of American government.

JR

Strafford, Missouri, US

28 August 2006

On “Fifty years since the death of German playwright Bertolt Brecht: The Threepenny Opera and St. Joan of the Stockyards on stage in Berlin

I read with interest your reviews of the Brecht revivals at the Berliner Ensemble. As a young actress during the 1970s in San Francisco, I performed in two productions composed of excerpts from Brecht and Weill’s musicals. I had the opportunity to play Widow Leokadia Begbick in a long-running cabaret staging that included scenes and characters from Mann ist Mann, Happy End, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny and The Threepenny Opera. There was quite a revival of Brecht/Weill works in various forms during that period, and there were tours from productions at the Berliner Ensemble that came to the United States.

Being a singer, I was immediately drawn to the music of Kurt Weill. Performing his works is extremely satisfying, though challenging. But Brecht’s depictions of the brutalization of soldiers and civilians alike in Mann ist Mann, and the brilliant depiction of the sordid underworld and murderous exploitation in Threepenny were for us at the time a continuation of the antiwar movement, in which we were involved during the 1960s, and the condemnation of capitalist soullessness as the US economy suffered under the oil embargo in the midst of the Watergate hearings.

In 2003, just after the US invasion of Iraq, I returned to Kurt Weill and performed the song “What Keeps Mankind Alive,” (How to Survive) from The Threepenny Opera at a special concert to protest against the war and the lies that had been used in an attempt to trick the populace into acquiescing in Bush’s “regime change” in Baghdad. It had always been one of my favorite songs, but it was usually sung by a male performer. It was therefore with great pleasure that I performed it that night.

As long as the inequality of our society continues to impoverish working people in order to enrich the few, and as long as the military remains the method of choice of the oligarchy, Bertholt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s drama and music will again and again find new adherents and young people eager to present them.

CZ

San Francisco, California, US

31 August 2006

On Recent corporate layoffs at Radio Shack

The recent layoff methods as practiced by Radio Shack show the dehumanizing methods our present corporate entities are resorting to in order to correct their bottom-line problems. Too often, it is not the fault of the employees that created the problem but, with genuine analysis, it can be pinned down to corporate greed and sales-grabbing techniques. These have come with decades of American-style capitalism as preached by our Ivy League institutions of higher learning. Such trends do not bode well for the American worker. Who will be next? Walmart, GM, or Ford? Sigh!

TT

1 September 2006

On “Mel Torme: an appreciation

I was fortunate to be at the 1990 or 1991 Mt. Hood Jazz Festival where Mel Torme closed the show. The festival was held in a college outdoor football/track stadium with one end a food court and the other the stage. The event was sold out with a venue of 10,000+ people. He did the typical Mel performance with George Shearing and some really excellent scat singing. During the performance, the normally low buzz of people talking was nonexistent. At the end of the show 10,000 people gave him a standing ovation and would not let him go. It was one of the most impressive performances that he ever gave. It was truly magical.

VL

Beaver Creek, Oregon, US

31 August 2006

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