Letters from our readers

On “US companies shift bigger share of health care costs onto workers



I found this article rather conservative. Since losing my job in January of 2009, I had to pay COBRA at $750 per month for coverage for my family, which was 35 percent of a traditional full-coverage plan with a minimum deductible. Therefore, the cost of the plan when I had a job was $25,000, and our total out-of-pocket expenses were $2400 per year.


At my new job, I pay 100 percent of the group premium or $730. When considering the $4500 deductible which the new plan has, we now pay around $14,000 per year, and all of it we pay. I make no more at this job than at the previous one, so to be correct in my case, the full cost of health care has been transferred to me.


John Stasko

Mill Creek, WA, USA

4 September 2010

On “India to conduct caste census


Very good analysis of the issues behind caste census. Earlier I was in two minds on this topic. One was against caste statistics since it is aimed at dividing the people and diverting their attention from real issues. The opposite view I had was in favour maintaining caste wise numbers, because any way caste has been a reality in the Indian society for centuries and why not collect the precise figures and understand the distribution?




4 September 2010


On “Letters from auto workers on Indianapolis struggle

Reading about the auto workers, and the one person would go to the union meetings and ask, “Why am I still a temp”, or complain about something, heck, that’s probably why he/she is still a temp. Just as in the old days, before unions, if you upset the apple cart, or tried to right something, you were labeled a troublemaker. If this person could brown nose the manager on the floor, he/she would be made permanent worker real quick. I am just so disheartened reading about this kind of stuff. I live in an area of Iowa that is very very conservative. A good example is in the primary, I was one of 120 Democrats. Outnumbered by 5200 Republicans. People seem to be getting stupider by the generation. I work with women that make the same as I do, $13.00, working as a nurse 12 hours a day and sometimes 2 or 3 hours overtime every day. And they are actually voting conservative. I don’t see the end in sight.


Patricia G

Iowa, USA

4 September 2010




On “Food, Inc.: What the food industry doesn’t want you to see


Enjoyable review, but I would like to see this website tackle the horrific abuse being inflicted on animals on a daily basis around the world. The parallels between the workers and animals in this film alone are glaring—sentient, emoting, feeling, and thinking beings devalued to inputs and commodities who don’t deserve equitable treatment or a fair consideration of their interests. Despite the high quality work done every day on this site, it remains disappointing to see a reluctance to actually take a stance in opposition to the mutilation and murder of animals as suffering creatures whose lives hold value.


I personally would enjoy to see this site review a film like Earthlings. While released in 2005, the movie’s intelligent engagement with animal rights and its depiction of our current treatment of animals is shocking and profoundly disturbing. Sitting through the film without being visibly shaken at some point is a near impossibility.




4 September 2010


On “The Tillman Story: An exposure of military mythmaking in the service of the US ‘war on terror’


Dear Fred Mazelis,


I do not believe your film review of The Tillman Story to be a film review at all. Your review is mostly spent discussing the content of the actual events. Only in the last two paragraphs do you begin to discuss the film itself. How do the images mesh? Does the director use narrative? What is the film’s visual message? These seem to be simple questions that go unscathed.


Furthermore, your preconceived notions about the subject matter have heavily influenced your review. Twice do you analyze content which doesn’t even appear in the film. You’ve made up your mind about the content, unable to be moved the documentary.


Honestly, your review did not give me a taste for what movie experience to expect or even your opinion of the filmmaking. I would consider your article a fine piece on Pat Tillman, but not on The Tillman Story.


Andrew M


2 September 2010