Letters from our readers

18 January 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters to the WSWS.

On “The US elections: In whose interest is the campaign for ‘bipartisan unity’?”

Wow. Your article is why I read, and read closely the WSWS. Nowhere else can I read the perspective on national and international events. And economics.

What you said about Bloomberg makes so much sense. And he is an ardent Zionist, dedicated to war by America for the benefit of Israel, and when I’ve read of his involvement in squelching Muslim diversity in schools in New York, I see only danger in his political aspirations.

And when I think of the ever growing control of the means of information in the likes of Rupert Murdoch, when I remember how the Democratic Party buried Nader in lawsuits and whatnot to prevent his even taking part in debates, I’m worried.

MS

Santa Rosa, California, USA

11 January 2008

On “Sri Lankan government pulls out of 2002 ceasefire agreement”

It’s the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth ... well done WSWS.org.

TK

On “Nevada teachers union challenges Democratic caucus rules”

Your article about the NSEA’s lawsuit is typical deceptive garbage that I expect from WSWS.

It is not “disenfranchisement” and “fraud” to demand that Vegas Strip workers be held to the same standard as everybody else in the state who works Saturday shift, including Culinary Workers in other parts of Nevada. Nobody else who works Saturdays in Nevada is given the privilege of caucusing on work time. All other voters must caucus at a place near where they live.

What in the world makes you think that just because the Culinary Workers Union endorsed a right-wing Democrat for president, that all of the culinary workers would caucus for him?

It ought to be illegal on its face for any group of workers to hold a caucus at their worksite while everybody else who works Saturdays is denied the privilege. It’s clearly unconstitutional.

Conspiracy theories that the Clinton campaign is somehow behind this are nonsense. Perhaps if you lived here and even knew what you were talking about, you’d have credibility on this. Make caucus day a holiday or have a primary instead would solve any problem with “disenfranchisement.”

SN

14 January 2008

* * *

As a teacher and a member of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), I thank you for your report on the hideous maneuvers of the Nevada teachers union to sue for a change in caucus precincts. It is both against the democratic rights of workers and their interests, serving only to keep education and all workers tied to the whole anti-worker charade of the two party system.

It is noteworthy that the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, which has so devastated public education with its underfunding and focus on high-stakes testing, that forces schools to close as it also enforces introduction of private educational enterprises, has been postponed by the Democratic majority in Congress until after the election. This way the candidates do not have to really expose themselves on this aspect of the attacks on the working class.

In New York, Hillary Clinton’s home state, the teachers union is also deeply involved in her presidential campaign despite the membership never actually being asked to endorse such action. After the American Federation of Teachers, the national organization, endorsed Clinton on October 3, 2008, its New York City chapter, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), having over 100,000 members, held a rally for Clinton. It is also using union resources and members to do campaign work for Clinton, such as manning phone banks.

The union bureaucrats claim that the 41 members of the AFT Executive Council “consulted” the membership in a seven-month process of local meetings, regional caucuses and individual member “outreach.” One would be hard pressed to find teachers who actually knew about this “process.” They justify the failure to take an actual vote of the membership with a poll that they claim showed 45 percent for Clinton, 12 percent for Obama, and 18 percent for Edwards. Other parties, such as the Socialist Equality Party, are certainly not brought to the membership’s attention. It is one more way in which polling is used to manufacture opinion and replace democracy. The WSWS is on the mark when it exposes the union bureaucracy for being part of the corporate strategy to keep the working class from being able to fight for its own interests.

HL

New York, New York, USA

On “Australian Labor government threatens to censor Internet”

Notwithstanding Conroy’s denial that the government was “going down the China road,” Labor’s proposals are strikingly similar to those used in that country, as well as in Iran, Singapore, North Korea and Burma, which prevent open access to the Internet.

Yes, the above practice Internet censorship, but please in future mention Thailand, which is blocking upwards of 13 million sites, some as benign as YouTube. Also random media sites if the story shows its big brother, The Great Satan, in a bad light.

RR

14 January 2008

On “US film studios and television networks announce layoffs and cutbacks”

George Clooney is pretty and he is talented and his heart may be in the right place, but any strategy that doesn’t force suits into capitulation—force them to pay real price and establish new paradigm—would only be aiding their cause. WSWS personnel on-scene should keep the pressure on, remind writers against half-measures, ultimately doomed to failure. I would suggest a campaign to get Americans to boycott TV/movies—turn off the sets and watch advertisers bail by the boatloads—then see what happens.

RM

15 January 2008

On I Am Legend: Apocalypse soon”

I consider I Am Legend the latest installment in zombie film, although even within this limited scope the film is very weak.

That a cancer cure, something so sorely needed by the world, could cause a mutation that could turn us all into zombies is a ridiculous and completely ignorant method of incorporating a film into the zombie genre, which is a fine genre of film, as typically films here provide a vehicle of artistic criticism of the police state.

But this explanation for the post-apocalyptic setting is another expression of the age-old fear of technology and fear of the brave new future. Because of that, I Am Legend represents ideas that are artistically used-up, even within the restrictions of the zombie genre. It is simply a work of what will be branded the most striking ignorance of these incredibly technologically advanced times: the mystification of science.

In many fields, the world is on the cusp of scientific revolution. Yet I Am Legend takes the position that we ought to approach something as revolutionary as a cure for cancer with a certain amount of superstition: we ought not meddle in the affairs of gods...

Great zombie film is a critique of the police state, not an expression of ignorance!

The 2002 film 28 Days Later, directed by Danny Boyle, did a far better job explaining the mutation of everyday people into aggressive, assimilating, flesh-eating zombies. In this film, British weapons researchers create a highly infectious plague that causes monkeys being tested on to go into a rage. Animal rights activists break in to army research facilities and subsequently become infected, thus causing a global outbreak of the disease. See, that is a better rationalization of how zombies come to be, and is one based in a fear of what really should be feared: biological warfare. The story following provides a criticism of the brutality of the military-police state. I highly recommend it for fans of zombie film.

CG

Carbondale, Illinois, USA

8 January 2008

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