Letters from our readers

9 April 2009

On “US Supreme Court rejects appeal by Mumia Abu-Jamal for new trial

Never any doubt, the criminal (as well as civil) courts are truly criminal. And as power corrupts, the Supremes are the “corruptest.”

John O
California, USA
7 April 2009

On “A letter on engineering and the financial aristocracy

This engineer’s observations could well apply to the way local governments in Australia conduct major engineering, building and other projects. All such projects have to be subject to a tender process. Too often the project is given to a company that offers the cheapest option that makes the council's budget or financial statements look good, not necessarily a company that offers the best option from a long-term building, engineering or safety viewpoint. In my area, the local council built a new library in 1994, and for much of that library's existence there have been problems with air conditioning, leakages and drainage.

Private developers aren't immune from the short-term financial benefit versus the long-term safety aspect mindset either. In two buildings in downtown Sydney where I worked (finished in 2004 and 2005 respectively), there were problems with electrical fittings that caused glass pieces to drop onto people's desks, sewage pipes that sent awful smells into the work area, panels in one staff bathroom falling off, and, in one building, there is just one goods lift instead of two.

Jennifer H
Australia
4 April 2009

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Mr. H stands poised to draw an essential—and revolutionary—conclusion from his experience. The key to this lies in his complaint (one that I've also expressed) that “an isolated engineer...risks his career if he blows the whistle.”

The question must be asked: to whom is Mr. H going to “blow the whistle”? To what authority figure is he going to present his complaint? To a sympathetic supervisor? A government watchdog group? His congressman or congresswoman? The “good” cop rather than the "bad" cop? How many times can a person turn to these “authorities,” who urge restraint and compliance? Millions have “resisted...fruitlessly” under these delusions.

Millions are beginning to reject their "isolated" outlook and accept the basic precepts of collective action based on socialism. WSWS and SEP are ready to supply the leadership if we support them.

Randy R
8 April 2009

On “Behind the surge on Wall Street

This most definitely is a technical bear market rally. But this is more cynical than you suggest.   The market rallies every March 15 to April 15 to sucker retail investors into putting IRA and 401(k) money into mutual funds by the April 15 deadline. The hedge funds will then short the market and sell off, stealing most of these funds. There should be a huge market sell off from 4/15 thru the summer as the above take profits and the G20 renege on the $1 trillion stimulus pledged last week.

Greg
4 April 2009

On “Rachel Getting Married: Something, but not everything

While I consider this film to be the second best to come out of the USA in 2008, I agree with Hiram Lee that “while there is much in Rachel Getting Married to admire, there are also significant areas in which the film is lacking.” To wit: The marriage between Rachel and Sidney, in this film of implicit white and black diversity, seems to forward the mythical notion not only that we are already a hybridized, multicultural nation, but also that we are all family. In a sense Demme, in his need to infix in Rachel Getting Married the music of his extended musical family, has crafted the marriage as interracial, eliding, like other post-ethnic ideologues, any discussion of race, and the material effects and reality of racial discrimination, under the trope of oneness.

Michael S
Arizona, USA
6 April 2009

On “Video: Chrysler workers oppose Obama auto plan

Thank you for the videos of the workers in Michigan's auto plants. This is something which I have not seen done by any other news organization—giving a platform for the regular worker to speak out about how these cuts are affecting us. This is the real story of the crisis—the real class war has nothing to do with barely questioning AIG bonuses, rather it is being waged against the working class.

All the talk of how contracts for CEO's and boards of directors must be honored is rank shysterism given the “value” accorded to the contracts of the auto workers—which must be torn up immediately lest we all fall further into the chasm of economic woe!

Christie MS
Oregon, USA
3 April 2009

On “Court rules detainees in Afghanistan can challenge imprisonment

It seems to me this is also bad news. Politically, the world is still organized on the basis of sovereign states, no matter how eroded sovereignty in practice often is. I think it is outrageous that people detained in US prisons in Afghanistan should appeal to US courts. US courts should not have jurisdiction outside the US. I realize also this is not the way things actually are. The episode really demonstrates that Afghanistan is a US protectorate, much like Cuba was before 1959.

Hans V
Belgium
4 April 2009