Letters from our readers

25 July 2009

On “Governor Schwarzenegger and Democratic leaders agree to major cuts

Thanks for emphasizing the deceit and lies of the Democrats as well as the more open reactionary tripe of the GOP. You should know that at LA Teachers meetings from March until June, the UTLA teachers’ union honchos groveling to cover-up for the Democrats, promoted the lie that the Obama regime “stimulus” money would cover the costs of retaining over 2,000 teachers (and other site workers) scheduled for layoff.

The union apparatus also wimped out on a one-day mass strike on May 15 because a bourgeois judge ruled his displeasure!

Of course the “stimulus” money was not near enough, and now 2,300 teachers and other have been 'RIFed' (reduction in force), and class sizes will go up 15 percent on average this coming school year!

The Union bosses (a few are ex-leftists) are still forking over huge amounts of union PAC dough to the very politicians, most all Democrats, who helped engineer the cuts and layoffs with the GOP.

Neil
California, USA
22 July 2009

On “Walter Cronkite and the US news media

A rounded piece, like the man. I enjoyed it much to my surprise. 

Chris
20 July 2009

On “Exit NBC anchor Tom Brokaw: a nonentity in the service of wealth and power

After reading your essay about Walter Cronkite, I hit the link below it to the one about Tom Brokaw. Wow. I found the quotation in which he expresses his belief that the Internet should have information “gatekeepers” astonishing. What a dinosaur!

Greg S
New Hampshire, USA
20 July 2009

On “Britain: Protests continue against closure of Abbeydale Grange secondary school

The determined fight against the closure of Abbeydale Grange secondary school is commendable. There is an international side to this problem. One example is in New York City where, as in many other American communities, billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg, backed by money from billionaire Bill Gates, has for many years been closing schools in order to replace them with clusters of smaller, charter schools (publicly funded privately managed) that are a wedge toward replacing public schools with profit-making ones through privatization.

Scores on standardized tests mandated under the "No Child Left Behind" Act, passed in 2001 under President Bush, are used to justify closing schools and replace them with charter schools. This is one more of Bush's policies that Obama has made his own.  Of course, stratification of the school system is deepening as it is essentially schools serving students of low-income working class families that are left to sink or swim on their own and then targeted if room is needed for a favored new school. The pressure for the closings has grown as the capital budget for building new schools was left wanting—a problem the economic crisis has magnified.

Whether it is for the value of the real estate in Sheffield or the privatization for profit attendant in the charter school movement in New York, the common ground is the sacrifice of education for the working class to serve the corporate agenda of profits and cost-saving cuts of social programs. This in turn points to the necessary need for a united and international political struggle against capitalism.

HL
New York, USA
22 July 2009

On “Jakarta terrorist bombings seized on to justify Afghan war

You write, “The bombings in Jakarta have contributed nothing to the struggle against oppression or inequality. Instead, they have played directly into the hands of the great powers and Yudhoyono, to the detriment of the interests of the working class in Indonesia and the masses of Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.” 

I thoroughly agree with this assessment, but would add that it is also sowing confusion and disorientation amongst the working class and the population generally, making the emergence of a clear perspective, let alone, class consciousness, that much more difficult.

In case though, of the 9/11 “terrorist” attacks, it seems that the respected WSWS author of this article swallowed the US Administration narrative, hook, line and sinker: just about every aspect of this atrocity has been shown as false, and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have been planned at least from year 2000. Al Qaeda was declared the perpetrator barely four days later, and war-enabling legislation passed Congress on the 18th September, a week after attack! How is this for investigative prowess!

Mirek
Australia
21 July 2009

On “The class issues in the US health care debate

Your comments on the class nature of the health care debate are certainly accurate. I live in "progressive" Boulder, CO and I'm dismayed to see so many here that accept the economic status quo, see themselves as rugged individualists, and reject higher taxes on wealth. Jared Polis is our representative, and he's taking the lead on this.

I think that 30 years of neo-liberal propaganda has brain washed whole segments of the population, even those who see themselves as progressive. Where does one begin when a major segment of the working class accepts the arguments of their opponents?  I'm beginning to fear the ultimate beneficiaries of this economic/social crisis will be the forces on the right.

Jim
Colorado, USA

* * *

No doubt the corporations want to maximize profits as regards the US health-care crisis.  However, such entities are blind to their own self-destructive tendencies.

As has been described by a number of economists recently, one of the factors in the current financial situation is the fact that corporations are "hoarding" their monies and literally sucking the monetary life out of US society. As this process continues, the profit making zeal of these corporations will be short lived as the entire financial edifice comes crashing down around them.

Unfortunately, what awaits the United States in the not too distant future if these trends continue is armed and violent rebellion, the nascent symptoms of which have already been making themselves felt in the tiny succession movements that are arising in some of the most conservative states in the nation.

Steve N
New York, USA
22 July 2009