Letters from our readers

20 November 2010

On “The GM IPO: Wall Street celebrates impoverishment of auto workers

Small investors will be denied access to any shares offered for the GM IPO. Small investors—one brokerage participating in the IPO has set the minimum bid to $500,000—will only be able to pick up shares after they are on the market and marked up by the privileged layer with access to the shares pre-IPO. The government is doing NOTHING to ensure access to the IPO by ordinary citizens who are bearing the burden of bailing out GM.

Michael C
California, USA
17 November 2010

 

On “Guantánamo detainee, acquitted on 284 of 285 charges, faces 20 years

“There is no room in this setup for the vestiges of an independent judiciary or the rule of law.”

I would disagree with this statement only to the extent of noting that the outcome of this case is, on the contrary, a quintessential example of the Rule of Law—by definition, because all of it is legal: the trial itself after the defendant was tortured, the absurdly exaggerated indictment containing 285 separate criminal charges (are we seriously to believe that there is a meaningful distinction to be made between all of these counts?), and the completely unchallengeable arbitrary power of the executive branch to determine ad hoc whether it will even allow a civilian trial in a given terrorism case.

The US Supreme Court, when it had the chance, permitted all of this to take place by implicitly validating the military tribunal system in the case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld. It held, an “appropriately authorized and properly constituted military tribunal” would probably satisfy the requirement of a “meaningful opportunity” of an accused “enemy combatant” to “contest the factual basis” for his detention “before a neutral decision maker.” Wasn’t the US court system supposed to fulfill that function? Robert Byrd’s speech on the floor of the Senate, when Bush was in office, comes to mind, in his quotation of one author who said of Adolf Hitler that he “never abandoned the cloak of legality; he recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal.”

Legality, law, they are not enough.

CR 
19 November 2010

On “The Detroit Symphony strike and the defense of culture in the US

Thanks again David Walsh for another fine analysis.

Richard L
Florida, USA
18 November 2010

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Mr. Walsh: I am a piano teacher and a pianist and have been following the DSO situation. I cannot begin to find the words to describe how deeply your talk affected me. It describes perfectly the current, sad situation in which all of humanity (and artistic expression) finds itself. Thank you for putting into words what I can only express at the piano.

Joyce E
California, USA
18 November 2010

On “The liberals’ lament: ‘Why won’t Obama fight?’

Well put David. Clearly written according to the facts. What else did the Democrats have to exhibit to the people in order to fling the Republicans out—youth, charisma etc. etc?

The populace went along with that, unaware (at the time) of their temporary ecstasy being thwarted by business as usual, and their Democratic and Republican mouthpieces.

I must admit that I sometimes judge a book by its cover, although some fine authors deflect me from the mere effort because I know “they can” from start to finish.

Philip T
Baden Wuertemberg, Germany
18 November 2010

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“The above-cited pundits and others of their ilk point to certain obvious truths—that while the Republicans fight ferociously, the Democrats are always two-faced, insincere and groveling—but they are incapable of drawing any sharp and politically decisive conclusions.”

You do, Mr. Walsh! And I stand with you in your conclusions! Thank you! Analysis of this issue doesn’t get more brilliant than this. This article is straight truth.

Thanks,

Edward
California, USA
18 November 2010

On “EU ‘rescue’ operation for Ireland heralds deepening euro crisis

An excellent article. Ireland is now a land of empty properties. The homeless coexist with tens of thousands of empty houses. And now the fifth horseman of the Economic Apocalypse has appeared in Dublin—the agent of the IMF, an institution that promoted ‘Neo Liberal’ economic policies all over the globe long before this term was coined. Given the trends in Europe I suggest you prepare a number of articles for a new historical series entitled ‘Ruined By the IMF’. On the facts of Ireland there is a question that needs answering. These new developments in the crisis have been precipitated by the European Central Bank’s decision to provide no more Euro loans to Irish banks. Who was behind this decision?

Chris
Ireland
18 November 2010

On the New York Times

 

You guys should do an article on this piece:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/15/there-is-no-college-cost-crisis/

What utter b.s.—the author obviously hasn’t tried putting a kid through college lately—but it would be good to have a detailed refutation of the claims made by the blogger as well as the book authors’ he cites.

Jeff M
18 November 2010