Letters from our readers

19 April 2008

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

On “UAW calls off rally, prepares sellout of American Axle strike

This article like all the rest is so true, and so sad. I just cry. The union is all for themselves. A big corporation bought and paid for by GM [General Motors]. The contract we have here in Roanoke [Indiana] is awful. And I surely hope these brothers and sisters in Michigan and New York don’t get stuck with it too.

We can’t strike at this plant without authorization from national or it’s a wildcat and all the people can get fired, I think. Also too many are just so grateful for their jobs (we couldn’t get a united group) they don’t care about anything else. They are glad they get to retire and such. They don’t see the big picture, i.e.: Where the manufacturing jobs are going; Who is going to keep buying these products; What was all the sacrifices from our fathers for. Very few are willing to fight.

I know a kid making $10.50 an hour at Logan’s Roadhouse. He’s not screwing little pieces into a truck 500 times a day, screwing up his body. And, yes, I know there are risks with all jobs, but the repetitive things we do at GM is not the same kind of job and needs to be compensated for. Management and Union want us to take cuts, to make wages as if we worked at a Logan’s Roadhouse. We don’t serve steaks and potatoes. We build trucks and cars. The “steaks” are higher.

We need to keep good paying unskilled labor in America. We, the people, need to bring good paying unskilled labor back to America. OK, OK, I’ll quit. I never write to anyone, (except you, lucky you) but your articles keep me inspired to write. This has really got me upset and I am a third generation GM employee. Thank you for reading.

LM

Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA

17 April 2008

On “Charlton Heston and postwar American filmmaking

While I’m a simple-minded old man, I fail to understand how anyone of truly “leftist” mentality can swing to the right as Heston as well as (many) did in their maturity.

Presumably, one continues to become aware and learn, absorb as they experience life and the world around them, yet many only become more ignorant and immune of reason and all that made them lefties.

JL

Ridgecrest, California, USA

18 April 2008

* * *

Kudos to Joanne Laurier and David Walsh for a really superlative piece on Heston. As Walsh does time and time again, most recently in the equally memorable article on Jules Dassin, he offers marvelous insights into the politics of culture. (See “Jules Dassin, victim of the anti-communist witch-hunt, dies at 96”)

Thank you, and keep up the great work.

CB

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

18 April 2008

On “‘Big Boy’ Canada demands changes in Afghan government

So many of the people with whom I argue politics embrace a belief that capitalism is some middle-aged, hard-working man and his sweet wife running a small, neighborhood restaurant. The reality of capitalism is that, at its most advanced stage, it is nothing more than gangsterism. It isn’t the mom and pop restaurant that is accurately symbolic of capitalism, rather it is Al Capone.

As Canada’s ruling elites have come to realize, if you want to be a “big boy” and make real money in this world, you have to be willing to go out there and play a major role in the destruction of societies and the killing of lots of people so that you can stake your claim to your fair share of the wealth. Failure to do so leaves you picking at the crumbs.

BM

18 April 2008

On “Sixty-five years since the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

“Forgetfulness is a shortcut to slavery”—is an adage and a warning I’ve read somewhere before, and WSWS is doing its best to counter that ‘modern’ trend. In the ‘left’ groups here in Canberra, even comparatively recent events, such as massacres in Jenin and Fallujah, the invasion of Afghanistan, soon passed down the memory hole, even the fifth anniversary of the war of aggression on Iraq came and went without a comment, let alone a protest. One can reflect whether it is because the “information overload,” the comfortable materialist lives we are leading here in the West, or is it a sign of a malaise and confusion that is afflicting most of the ‘left’ movements. Perhaps the latter, but with a contribution of the other two, as well as the prevailing bourgeois ‘culture.’

Back to the Uprising. Vision of [ZOB leader Mordecai] Anielewicz, that although hopeless, the struggle and resistance against overwhelming odds will be an inspiration to future generations has been borne out. Within over a year the Warsaw Uprising erupted, equally isolated by the West and the USSR, equally hopeless and tragic in its consequences. It is worth remembering that the Polish Underground helped the Ghetto in its resistance through an organisation called ZEGOTA, collaborating with ZOB. Of course, Mordecai Anielewicz, as well as the surviving Marek Edelman, could not have foreseen the hypocrisy and the political exploitation of the event to further “national interests.”

Parallels with the occupied Palestine of today bring back strong echoes of the Nazi Holocaust. The epithets of “banditen” and “kriminellen” have been updated to “terrorists” and “extremists,” whereas collaborators are named as “moderates.” Call for “Final Solution” has been replaced [by] a call for genocide by Rabbi Yisrael Rosen: “All of the Palestinians must be killed, men, women, infants, and even their beasts,” citing the authority of Torah.

Of course, Gaza is not a bantustan, which was a repository for workers, in the Apartheid era, nor “the biggest prison in the world,” as at least in even the worst prison, the prisoners are fed and medically treated, but a classic Nazi ghetto, with a licence for armed “incursions,” assassinations and attacks on civilians, whilst infrastructure and housing is systematically destroyed. Like the Jews in Warsaw, they are completely isolated, and like them they continue to resist and fight back.

According to the former IDF [Israeli Defence Force] chief of staff, Moshe Ya’alon, the Israeli aim is to “sear deep into the consciousness of Palestinians that they are a defeated people.” Obviously, it’s not working, Palestinian resistance is alive and well! We should salute the Jews in Warsaw Ghetto, and the Palestinian resistance, who, just perhaps, draw some inspiration from the events in April 1943.

MS

Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia

17 April 2008

On “US poor and uninsured suffer substantially worse health outcomes

I understand the coldness of the denial for adult Medicaid because I, too, am a single parent that has constantly been denied Medicaid. Sometimes I am very sick, so sick to where I think if I quit working me and my children will become homeless again. I am afraid and no doubt confused by the citizens’ rights. I make $11.00 an hour. I have four children and at times when I get paid every cent I’ve got goes to bills. I can’t afford private insurance. Social workers talk to you crazy when you go to get any kind of benefits at Health and Human Services. They or nobody understands, not rich people, not people with power. People are dying when they don’t have to.

MD

Dallas, Texas, USA

17 April 2008