Letters from our readers

14 March 2009

On “A specter haunts the ruling elite”

Good piece. I think that you have indeed accurately taken the pulse of not only the ruling elite but the nation generally. There is no doubt in my mind that major changes are in the offing. I heard a statement that I quite agree with that within the next 50 years we will see and experience more social change than has occurred in the past 500 years. Unfortunately I cannot recollect the source of the quote which I am paraphrasing. 

Best wishes, 

Charles K.
Florida, US
9 March 2009

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I noticed this same relentless preoccupation earlier in the US presidential campaign when Obama let slip about spreading the wealth around. Too bad that the wealth was paper profits and nothing real. The leveling is not going to happen because the deal has been agreed upon that the banking system is to be cleaned by the tax base and then sold back to private interests in sweetheart, penny-on-the-dollar deals, which will separate the classes by an even wider gap. It is in this that Obama is nothing more than a corporate shill on the order of Bill Clinton. Anyone who is hopeful in thinking that real egalitarian change will actually take place is delusional. The world is not going to change for the better, but instead become increasingly corrupt. Reflection over the past decades' revelations about the reduction in humanitarian standards and values tells the whole story. Don't hold your breath for real change or you will be dead before fall.

Michael J.
California, US
9 March 2009

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How nice it would be if they actually staged a "fair and balanced" investigation of the subject and included advocates and experts on socialism—such as yourselves. But that would risk exposure of the working class to rational examinations of the alternatives, which the bourgeois press dare not risk.

Stuart Z.
9 March 2009

On "Obama administration backs immunity for author of Bush torture memos"

I teach with a postmodern ideologue who, during our unit on the Civil War, has spent weeks haranguing students on the reactionary qualities of Lincoln. Lincoln was insignificant, this "student of history" claimed, because he could not make a clean break with the racist, classist imperial system. He was nothing but a practical politician, and worthless to history, says this "teacher."

Along comes Obama, selling out the living interests of the international working class as fast as he can. And what does my colleague say? "Obama is investigating the crimes of the prior administration as fast as he can, but he is not about to risk his historic mandate on the needs of a sectarian few, which will damage his administration. We should all applaud his political acumen, his genius."

Typically postmodern. This colleague fights the dead generations with great militancy, and eats a plate full of horse manure in the present. I wish we could say it was uncommon.

Michael H.
9 March 2009

On "The victimization of public education in California"

California was 47th in the nation in per pupil spending prior to the most recent cuts. Out of $14 billion in total cuts, education will take $11 billion. Will this put us at 50th? The state also owes an additional $9 billion to education, borrowed from Prop 98 funds. The legislature has put forth several new initiatives (props 1a and 1b) for a special May election that would supposedly restore this $9 billion. Their initiatives are a pact with the devil. First, while supposedly restoring $9 billion owed by the state to public education, they would prolong the regressive sales and income tax increases for an additional two years to pay for it. In essence, these initiatives would pay for public education on the backs of the poor and working classes who pay proportionately more of their income to these taxes. Additionally, these initiatives were cynically designed by the legislature to break the unions by pitting teachers against nurses (if 1a and 1b pass, there would be less funds available for health care).

Michael D.
Science teacher and CTA representative
10 March 2009

On "Seattle, Wash.: Video captures attack on teenage girl at police station"

I read your article last week when it was published, but haven't gotten a chance to comment.

You wrote a very good article, but I don't think what you said in the last paragraph is justified by what you wrote. What happened to that girl is more of a routine violence that cops have been showing for years and years. In the other article by Kevin Kearney ( "California: Police shooting of unarmed man provokes outrage, fuels protests" ) it was more justified because it happened in a public place with people watching and the reaction to it was great. It just seemed like you wrote that last paragraph because you wanted or had to make a bigger connection. It was not a smooth transition. Overall it was a well-written article, and I did enjoy reading it.

NW
10 March 2009

On "Lindsey refinery dispute: A reply to the GMB union"

Nationalism regarding jobs leads to the ugly practice of beggar thy neighbor. It also destroys jobs and it's the incubator of world poverty. When the workers and nations abandon economic nationalism, we may start building a better world for all; till then we'll have world poverty.

Larry L.
9 March 2009

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