The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.
One interesting fact that I’ve not seen mentioned in the media in connection to the bridge collapse in Minnesota: August 2nd was to be the official day of groundbreaking for the new Minnesota Twins baseball stadium in Minnesota. The groundbreaking was postponed because of the collapse of the bridge. The cost of the stadium? 522 million bucks. The connections should be obvious: public funds are used to construct for-profit facilities rather than to maintain public infrastructure and public safety.
Additionally, the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities began construction on July 11th on a new $288.5 million stadium!
4 August 2007* * *
We have the same bridge construction used in Sweden since the ’40s, but those bridges are checked and replaced continuously. The weakness is not the steel construction, but the prefab concrete supporting pillars, which once were standing on a firm foundation, but with the years have been undermined by the streaming water nearby. To check these foundations is difficult and expensive. The bridge should have been reconstructed and replaced 15-20 years ago.
Centerville, Massachusetts, USA
4 August 2007
I was going through your archives and came upon some articles and letters from 2004 regarding Chomsky’s endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Given the recent passing of the “Protecting America” act by the Democratic Congress, I think this is a great time to revisit the lesser-evilism discussion from a few years back. Many left-wing Democrats are stunned and outraged at the Congress.
Now would be a good time to attack the bankruptcy of those who pleaded to “just get the Republicans out of power” and are now pleading to “just get the Republicans out of the White House” when their Congress has power to do just that with impeachment and more.
7 August 2007
I’ve followed the rail passenger story in the US for the last 40+ years, and I would have to say that your comments are a very accurate description of the situation. Amtrak was probably created to fail, but was unexpectedly rescued by the first oil crisis. Now it hangs on, neither dying nor growing to any good potential. Last fall I traveled around Sweden and Norway on a rail pass, and used eight trains. Most were electrified; except in the far north, they mostly ran at around 100 miles per hour. Every single departure was on time, nearly to the second. The Stockholm airport has a rail connection to downtown Central Station that quickly gets up to 120 mph for most of its journey. At any rate these small countries, about the size of Wisconsin and Minnesota combined, make ours seem pitiful, rail-wise and in many other aspects. Not to say that the capitalist weevils aren’t doing their best to ruin these countries too!
4 August 2007
What amazes me is that, if de Menezes was considered to be a dangerous suspect, followed by members of the secret service under an order to shoot to kill, why did they allow him to board a bus, enter a tube station and actually board a train? He should have been arrested in the interest of protection of the public. Why is this never mentioned?
6 August 2007
Great piece! Thank you so much. I am not an expert. Are you sure The Misfits is not worthy of more note than you give it? It kind of surprised me that you lumped it in with Moby Dick and Freud. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but isn’t The Misfits one of John Huston’s best? Regardless, it made me write you, and again to say thanks for a great overview of a talented director.
7 August 2007