Letters from our readers

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

On “Democrats debate in the shadow of US war threats against Iran”

Also interesting as regards the whole charade is that the “democratic” party is now so intolerant of even the mildest dissent that they denied space to candidate Mike Gravel, whose pro-market form of anti-imperialism is too “fringey” even to be considered by the true believers who own the party. The requirement of NBC that a candidate have one million dollars in campaign funds in order to be offered a space in the debate is a hallmark of a system where political representation is seen as a privilege only for those who can afford to pay. As the WSWS reporters have observed many a time, at the end of the day, the liberal bourgeois machine has a larger eye on the investment column than they do the imperatives of a democratic system.


Seattle, Washington, USA

31 October 2007

On “The New York Times and Bush’s threat of World War III”

Al Gore refused to contest a coup in 2000, and now we’re living with his collaboration with an enemy regime. Don’t blame the soldiers in the horse, blame the person who opened the gates. It’s game over.


30 October 2007

On “Vancouver International Film Festival 2007—Part 1: The ‘new seriousness’ in cinema...”

Yes, David Walsh, we have run out of filmmaking giants such as the ones you list at the end of your review of films at the Vancouver Film Festival. We have been left, for the past three decades, with the decadent, self-important, self-inflating and empty tripe of film “artists” such as Scorsese and Tarantino.

But there’s hope. The international movement of the working class will sweep away a lot of these charlatans and bring out the best in struggling artists, especially those in cinema, who have such enormous difficulties being heard, not to mention having their films made. The wind is a-changing. Let it blow.


Los Angeles, California, USA

27 October 2007

On “Vancouver International Film Festival 2007—Part 2: ...And the new problems”

Great work on the Vancouver festival. Your summation of cultural production and its relation to the current state of the world is bang on. A breath of fresh air.


Dresden, Germany

1 November 2007

On “US: Police cleared in Taser assault on Florida student”

I commend you on a job well done. One detail is missing, however. If one reviews the video, one will notice that, at the point that the mic was turned off and Meyer initially broke free from the police and he moved towards the stage with hands in the air, a policemen near the stage drew his pistol and aimed it at Meyer. Meyer was very close to being shot during this incident.


30 October 2007

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I sent a letter by e-mail to the president of the University of Florida, under the subject heading “shameful.” I wrote in as respectful a tone as possible, because by being rude to these people, you’re guaranteed to be ignored, or deleted unread. So, let’s all send them a letter! This is just the latest outrage in a time of infinite daily outrages. The office of the president there can be reached at president@ufl.edu. If all of us that read wsws.org send a letter their way, maybe we’ll get their attention at least. Here is the letter:

To the Office of the President:

First, let me say that I do not intend to take a disrespectful tone in this letter. It is the age of the Internet, and of anonymously slandering others. That is not the tone I intend to set by writing this letter. However, the Meyer incident and the resulting investigation are outrageous.

I was considering attending graduate school at UF. That consideration has been unequivocally withdrawn in light of the Meyer situation. The official report on the incident amounts to a smear campaign against Mr. Meyer. There are dozens of unique camera angles clearly displaying the overreaction of the campus police and the shock and awe of the student body witnessing the event.

Maybe the student was a bit extreme in his tactics, but by the end he was clearly under police control. The tasering was absolutely unnecessary. Then your office, which should work to uphold student rights, initiated a smear campaign against one of its own students, and released a biased and hypocritical report aimed primarily at absolving these out-of-control “police officers” of any wrongdoing.

I had no idea that the administration at UF was so hostile towards its students. Now the whole nation is aware of this fact. One can only hope that prospective students hit you where it hurts—the pocket book—by attending school elsewhere.

I continue to hold UF in high regard, as a bastion of learning and education. But in light of this event, again, there is no way I could ever consider attending or supporting the University of Florida. It is truly a frightening, shocking situation. Thus, I use the term “shameful.”

I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but at a major university, I would expect a more fair, impartial, and rigorous investigation. This investigation amounted to a hostile smear campaign against a student who was merely standing up for his rights by making the powerful uncomfortable. Is that not what we should expect of our journalists? The cesspool of US media today needs a good shakeup. I can only hope that Mr. Meyer is not discouraged by this event, and continues to speak truth to power.


Jacksonville, Alabama, USA

30 October 2007

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I have to say I wholeheartedly disagree with your assessment of the tasing of University of Florida student Andrew Meyer. I’ve watched the YouTube video several times. Your report does not mention the fact that it is clear that Meyer was blatantly being disruptive during Kerry’s forum. Meyer had the right to denounce Kerry at a public forum, so long as that denunciation had something to do with what was being discussed at the forum. The second Meyer asked Kerry if he was “part of the same secret society” as Bush, he was liable to be removed from the stage for being disruptive and for wasting Kerry’s and the audience’s time. If the police say, “you must go,” then you go. It is a crime, whether you like it or not, to resist the orders of a police officer.


30 October 2007

On leaving the USA

I am seriously considering giving up my US citizenship. I don’t care that I give up my piddling $825/month social security check and my Medicare. I still pay more for medical care in the US with the insurance than I would in many countries for equally good, and often better, care without it!

I was brought up and educated to believe that the United States of America was the land of the free; that Europeans came to America to escape oppression, unfair taxation and to have freedom of religion (or from religion) and freedom of thought; that we had the right to speak out against our government if we believed it was oppressing us. But in reading Noam Chomsky’s Rogue Nation, I am becoming so upset with what has been going on in the US that I am shaking. I am afraid. I just want out.

There are indications that the Bushies and Cheneys are gearing up to attack Iran. And the wimpy Democrats are so involved with and dependent upon the Military Industrial Complex Eisenhower warned us about 60 years ago that they are doing nothing to contain these crazy men.

For years, the government has been collecting data on passengers going in and out of the country, but for the last four years this has intensified. The airlines now can make note of phone numbers you are carrying, books you are reading and other personal information, and pass it to the government. Your passport has a microchip if it is new that will enable electronic tracking equipment to locate it anywhere in the world, and all airlines are required to provide their passenger lists on any flight that goes over US territory, even if it is not landing there!

We have witnessed deplorable treatment of foreigners by TSA people at airports in the US. We have received ill treatment ourselves on several occasions. I am a senior citizen, and am so happy when I land in other countries where I am treated with respect and not as a possible terrorist and third-class citizen as I am by my own country.

I am in tears at the prospect of giving up on my beautiful country, but becoming even more depressed to see its further deterioration.


27 October 2007