Letters from our readers

4 March 2008

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

On “The New York Times and the 2008 elections: What the McCain ‘exposé’ reveals”

I printed your article and sent it to the NYT, which contacted me with a request to

“come back to the Times and save 50 percent for 6 months.” Your eloquent thoughts are the best response to their invitation I could possibly offer.

GM

Fullerton, California, USA

27 February 2008

* * *

Regarding the Times hit piece on McCain, I think you really missed the boat on this. The purpose of the piece was simply to prove the Times’s bona fides as that liberal bastion of left-wing journalism. Obviously, it is nothing even resembling that, as your article stated.

That is how the game is played, however, so when a certain action is deemed necessary by the powers-that-be—say, invading Iraq—a liar like Dick Cheney can go on “Meet the Press” and hold up a copy of the (liberal) New York Times and say: If even the (liberal) New York Times is saying something must be done about, say, Saddam Hussein, then obviously we’re all on board. The piece on McCain will last for years.

Another game: The Times runs an ever-so-obvious if slightly critical piece on Israel. As the night follows the day, a letter critical of the article is printed from the biggest fraud in America, Abe Foxman, who seems to timeshare letters space with Alan Dershowitz. The purpose of this tedious two-step? So idiots will think that the New York Times is harshly critical of Israel—even to the point of being anti-Semitic, or why would Abe Foxman be writing?

Sincerely,

CW

1 March 2008

On “Kosovan independence could ignite new conflicts in territories of former Soviet Union”

Allow me to congratulate you on an informative and timely article. However, I feel it might have been improved had the implication of Kosovan independence been extended beyond former Soviet territories—to, e.g., Nagorno Karabakh and Abkhazia—and actually mentioned the implications within Russia.

Recently an American government foreign affairs adviser said “we love Russia so much we want there to be more of them,” meaning they wish to encourage the various breakaway tendencies within Russia such as Kabardino Balkaryh, Chechnya etc.

SW

Sheffield, UK 29 February 2008

On “American Axle strikers defy UAW wage-cutting pattern”

After working for GM for over 31 years and having been retired for 7 years now, I recognize a pattern. The UAW Company Union does GM’s dirty work by 1) calling a strike when it is so cold outside that the workers have to huddle around a burning barrel and stamp their feet to keep warm; 2) calling a strike when GM has three months of inventory to sell.

The UAW Company Union never seems to call a strike when the weather is nice, like in summer, so the workers can go fishing, etc. and enjoy their strike. They also have a keen sense of timing to not call a strike when GM is trying to release a new product or when their product is selling like hotcakes. If there is a strike when GM does not want one, the UAW Company Union does the dirty work of sabotaging their strike and getting the workers back on the job as soon as possible.

But there are rumblings of a real union as the workers see through their “union” from below, so there is hope.

DS

Perry, Michigan, USA 29 February 2008

On “US: 2,600 strike Volvo Trucks in Dublin, Virginia”

I work at a plant in Findlay, Ohio and we had to downsize due to the strike. But I agree with the workers on this issue. I think they need to stay on strike until they get what they want. What kind of message would they send if they went back to work not getting what they went on strike for?

BVS

25 February 2008

On “The 80th Annual Academy Awards: A mostly routine affair”

I found the 15 minutes that I could tolerate watching the Academy Awards a truly repulsive affair. The contrived, stage-managed humor was tragic, although predictable. Jon Stewart’s cheer leading for the Democrats was particularly distasteful, considering their complicity in every crime committed by the Bush administration.

The whole thing epitomized the soulless superficiality and unreality that is foisted upon the working class every waking moment of their lives for the sole purpose to manipulate, control and exploit.

The chasm that exists between the lives of the privileged and the rest of society could hardly have been more accentuated. You hit the nail right on the head when you said “the tone of this year’s show struck one as perhaps even more self-congratulatory than usual.” You really could sense a cliquey insular pretentiousness of self-satisfied backslapping. The low level of artistic achievement on display hardly seemed to matter. An Oscar is an Oscar after all.

DD

Melbourne, Australia

26 February 2008

On “Millions denied access to dentistry in the UK”

Whenever I read there is going to be an article in the media on dentistry, usually I find that it bears no relation to the profession I am a member of. Then I wonder if the article is so inaccurate on this subject that I know a lot about, how good is any of the stuff on anything else?

However I congratulate your article for its accuracy, and its unwillingness to slag off “greedy dentists.” I am a salaried Community Dentist whose hobby is current affairs and modern history, and I dip into your site occasionally. I have more faith now in what I read on this site!

Regards

NM, BDS

25 February 2008

On “Germany: Unemployed man starves himself to death”

Thank you for this profoundly sad and chilling article. The dignity of work is non-existent for so many, as their lives and talents are wasted. They often do not have access to a language in which to express their terrible suffering, or, if they are capable of expressing it, they are silenced by the fear of losing their livelihood. The web of silence hides them from each other and prevents any sense of solidarity from taking root. How ironic that the story of this man’s suffering is now up for sale to the highest bidder.

KV

North Vancouver, Canada

28 February 2008

On “Beowulf: tenuous relationship between movie and poem”

Margaret, thanks for the Beowulf review. I won’t bother seeing the movie now. What I liked was your focus on the book. I’ve yet to read the Heaney translation and compared the lines you quoted with my Penguin (Alexander translation). I did find Heaney’s version to have that extra detail that makes a great poem even greater, and will purchase it ASAP. I agree with your concise take on the essence and milieu of the poem, and also that you made note of Tolkien’s essay on the subject. So thanks again and best regards!

FG

1 March 2008