Letters on the US presidential elections

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site on the US presidential elections

On “Mass arrests of protesters at Republican National Convention”

It is a good thing that we have all these devices that allow one to take pictures with telephones, etc. It gives one the true nature of the violence that the police use to “control,” I would rather say “provoke,” a group of demonstrators. It makes me vomit to see a bunch of overpaid brutes who are supposed to protect the citizens treating women and peaceful demonstrators like they did. We saw what took place during these “arrestations,” and if this is not getting close to a police state, what more do we need to be convinced of it?



4 September 2008

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Prior to the Republican National Convention, the Minneapolis-St. Paul police departments negotiated an agreement with the Republican Host Committee that the first $10,000,000 of civil liability for police actions against political protestors would be paid for by the host committee. Thus, the public police were bought and paid for, privatized, and the planned criminality—all the thuggery, intimidation and destruction of property directed at the protestors, their supporters or their landlords, or the independent media that tried to alert the American people—was the result of a deliberate conspiracy to punish everyone who believes that the Bill of Rights has more authority than, as George W. Bush put it, the “goddamn piece of paper” on which it is written.


4 September 2008

On “As Republicans unveil VP candidate: Democrats silent on threat from religious right”

I grew up in Alaska during some of my formative years, between 1962 and 1967, when my father was stationed at Forts Wainwright and Richardson, and between 1971 and 1977, after he retired. I am well acquainted with the Alaska Independence Party and knew Joe Vogler personally when I was a young man. He was a Minuteman even then, the sort of amiable Ronald Reagan-type ultra-rightist that Alaskan politics loves so much. You know, he disappeared about 10 years ago, and it turned out he got into a dispute with a drifter who he had been allowing to live on his property. The guy shot him dead and buried him next to a railroad track. State troopers picked the guy up on some other charge a few months later, and he confessed to the murder and showed them where Vogler was buried. I couldn’t say I was entirely surprised when I heard about this. Alaskan indepentistas very often shelter gun-happy right-wingers, and in Joe’s case, the “blowback” became personal and deadly.

McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin, who is a prime product of this tradition, is definitely an indicator of how far off its rocker the “republican” party has slipped. The only thing I’m grateful for from all the years I lived in various parts of Alaska is that that state’s politics bred in me a healthy contempt for capitalist politics. So in that sense, I’m indebted to Sarah Palin and the school she comes out of. I figured out fairly early the need for socialism through seeing what happens when the Rotary Club and the whacko protestant churches make all the decisions in “civic” life. The future is with labor and its democratic dictatorship over all economy, or there is no future.


4 September 2008

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I have only recently discovered WSWS. I just wanted to let you know that I very much admire the style, content, and poignant truth of your writing. You are truly inspiring. FYI—In looking behind the scenes of the Palin VP candidacy speech, I found that Matthew Scully, the speechwriter for Palin, is the author of the book Dominion, an extremely compassionate book about treating animals with benevolence and mercy. This seems incredibly weird to me, given the stark contrast of Palin’s ostensible motto: “harvest all wild creatures for consumption and profit.” If Mr. Scully is successful in persuading the Christian right to elect McCain, he will have ensconced a monstrous adversary (Palin) to his own cause.


5 September 2008

On “New revelations on VP choice heighten crisis of McCain campaign”

Boy, you and the other authors at WSWS write well. Your logic, phrasing, grammar, everything. And I seem to always agree with you.

Best wishes.


3 September 2008

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Three months before she was thrust into the national political spotlight, Gov. Sarah Palin was asked to handle a much smaller task: addressing the graduating class of commission students at her one-time church, Wasilla Assembly of God. Her speech in June 2008 provides as much insight into her policy leanings as anything uncovered since she was asked to be John McCain’s running mate.

Speaking before the Pentecostal church, Palin painted the current war in Iraq as a messianic affair in which the United States could act out the will of the Lord. “Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [US soldiers] out on a task that is from God,” she exhorted the congregants. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

Religion, however, was not only a thread in Palin’s foreign policy. It was part of her energy proposals as well. Just prior to discussing Iraq, Alaska’s governor asked the audience to pray for another matter—a $30 billion national gas pipeline project that she wanted built in the state. “I think God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that,” she said.

This was bought to my attention by a totally uninterested person, not even an American.

As always,



3 September 2008

On “Obama’s abbreviated Labor Day in Detroit: A sop to the bureaucracy”

I appreciate the WSWS perspective on the failure of the Democrat Party to really defend and represent the working class. However, I don’t think it’s accurate to call the Employee Free Choice Act a “dues check-off” bill. It would be more constructive and instructive to call it what it is, a card-check system for union organizing to bypass the NLRB. It might not be more than a weak reform, but it still should be described accurately. Thanks.


Oakland, California, USA

3 September 2008