Life-changing

I am a 45-year old man who, like a lot of other people, has a “story” to tell about myself.

In the late fall of 2001, I underwent corrective heart surgery after I became sick as the result of complications due to Type-2 diabetes. During this ordeal I suffered a stroke and actually died for several minutes. I didn’t encounter a great white light or dead friends and relatives.

This began a process of changing my religious beliefs. Eventually, I became an atheist. The other thing that changed was the way I view the world and those that share it with me.

Let us seek to find answers to break the chains of fear and ignorance that the bourgeois elite use to enslave the proletariat of America and the world.

Here in the very county that I live in, Massey Energy, one of the nation’s biggest coal companies, is raping mountaintops, destroying the environment, allowing chemicals to destroy creeks and streams, endangering local citizens and destroying their homes with massive blasting to remove mountaintops. A local elementary school is located right beside a silo that is used to store chemicals. Lawsuits to have the silo moved or disabled are constantly thrown out by pro-company courts.

The human and environmental damage is as yet untold but only the worst can be expected. Now, there is a story for a reporter who cares about the earth and its citizens. Even if they are in a part of this country that no one seems to give a damn about!

Gregory Worrell

Daniels WV

Single-payer

The quote from Sen. Sherrod Brown that single payer “is not possible right now” should not be left with out a rebuttal (“Health care reform rally: Yes we can!” on pww.org). That’s the insurance companies’ line. Of course it’s possible, and “yes we can” have single-payer, if we struggle for it! And if the PWW hammers away with informative articles which bolster our efforts on this.

Thousands of dedicated folks, including myself, are out there struggling to get single-payer “on the table” where it belongs and then into law, which is what the majority of Americans want as recent polls indicate.

We are battling the insurance companies on this issue and to have articles pushing positively for HCAN works against us to say the least. HCAN is a wedge movement formulated with the insurance companies and the leadership of some unions (not the membership) to keep the insurance company culprits in the mix, doing what they have been doing which is keeping 45 million without health care, killing over 20,000 every year, denying coverage to make their billions.

Doing health care reform “half-assed” with a “public option” keeping the culprits in the mix is doomed to failure and should be fought from the get-go.

Michael Scheinberg

Via e-mail

Obama and Congress are headed for disaster in the health care bill this summer. The goal of an affordable, workable plan for universal care is known, but nobody is talking about it. Joel Wendland in the Peoples’ Health column (4/25-5/1) does not mention the single-payer public plan in the two options being debated now in Congress, i.e. private insurance and a “public option.”

Single-payer is not an option unless all others are excluded. Single-payer health care is working all over the world but apparently is anathema in the U.S., where Congress debates timeworn failures like private health insurance and partial public programs.

Private health care insurance is hopelessly reactionary and unworkable due to cherry-picking of the healthy population, cost ballooning on administration and profits, and inadequate medical delivery. The public programs which we now have (along with private competition) are too expensive, incomplete and do not lead toward single-payer.

Public programs have been tried in Massachusetts, Washington and Oregon and have not worked when competing with private lobbyists. Experts in Physicians for a National Health Plan state that 59 percent of doctors and 62 percent of the public favor single-payer national health insurance (see Conyers bill HR 676, “Medicare for All.”) We must insist on it.

Walter Kearns, MD

Canoga Park CA

May Day in Havana

My sister Phoebe and I are planning a two-week visit to Cuba through May 9.

The Cuban Workers’ Union Central (CTC) is celebrating the 70th anniversary of their founding, and of course we all will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.

What a grand time to be in Havana. I would not be surprised if El Commandante were to put in a brief appearance, if possible, to salute the hundreds of thousands of workers who will be present, and the many thousands of guests invited to share in this giant celebration.

Fifty years have passed since I cheered Fidel Castro at the Hotel Teresa, up in Harlem, along with hundreds of Cuban exiles each wearing an arm band of the July 26th movement. Bring on Fidel! Just one more time!

May Day greetings to the PWW staff.

Jesse Kern

St. Petersburg FL

Free Roxana Saberi

Iran sentenced journalist Roxana Saberi to eight years in prison on charges of espionage after a brief closed-door trial. She had been living in Iran and working as a reporter, although the government claimed it had withdrawn her press credentials.

The harsh sentence handed down to the North Dakota native has generated a global outcry. Major media outlets and even President Obama have called for her release.

With pressure building on the Iranian government, now is the best time for us to send a message demanding that the flaws of the original trial be addressed and for Roxana to be released immediately on bail.

Teresinka Pereira

Via e-mail

Teresinka Pereira is president of the International Writers and Artists Association.

Happy May Day

People’s Weekly World is very important to me and I thank you and your staff for all the good work you do. Best wishes for 2009 and Happy May Day.

Patrick Flower

Ionia MI

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