Health care for all

I am very interested in reading the PWW pamphlet “Medicare For All.” Recently my employer dropped our health insurance and offered a Health Savings Account policy. Supposedly this is for all, but you have to meet basic criteria. Many of my co-workers, who earn on average $9 an hour, could not afford the policy. I am outraged that this happened.

Candace Lint

Via e-mail

Shameless effrontery

The audacity of Bush’s cohorts never ceases to amaze me. I was watching TV when Sen. Edward Kennedy asked Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to resign “after many grave errors committed under your watchful eyes.” His answer was: “I submitted my resignation to the president, but he rejected it.”

Such shameless effrontery is beyond my understanding. Do these people think that the American public, the citizens of this country, don’t know the truth?

I teach English as a Second Language to foreign students. What am I supposed to tell them when they ask me to explain the foolish policy of this mad administration? Believe me, most people overseas see the double standards of this country. Thanks to this president, many American tourists traveling overseas are forced to carry Canadian flags. What an embarrassment!

I think the time is right for us to change this foolishness of the ones running the show, so to speak. What has happened to the America both my parents believed in when they emigrated to this land of plenty?

Better days are on the horizon!

Jad A. Ghanem

Tucson AZ

TMDs

Bruce Gagnon in “Planetary War?” (PWW 6/4-10) fails to note that Theatre Missile Defense (TMD), which attacks missiles in their boost phase, cannot distinguish between a research missile and a nuclear missile until that missile is out of the boost phase and its ultimate direction determined. Thus TMD is no alternative to the “unworkable national missile defense system” as Gagnon says.

Also not addressed is the U.S. ability to set cities on fire with space-based lasers, creating firestorms similar to Dresden, Germany, in World War II. This is the real danger of U.S. militarization of space from an engineering or technical perspective. At present, no peace group has recognized this danger and opposed the U.S. space militarization program on that basis.

Finally, stopping the U.S. militarization of space can only be done in the context of a much larger program to convert the military part of our economy to nonmilitary production, generally referred to as economic conversion. The way this has to be accomplished, i.e. maintaining the overall spending to preserve jobs, can actually be expanded to eliminate the unemployment problem altogether. However, that’s a separate subject for another day.

Sheldon C. Plotkin

Southern California

Federation of Scientists

Los Angeles CA

On ‘Stalinism’

Kelly McConnell (Letters, PWW 6/25-7/1) makes important and excellent points concerning the question of the Soviet Union and the Stalin period in history.

There were both enormous achievements and great disasters in both, but we must always remember that the capitalist world used the concept of “Stalinism” to divide and demonize the Communist movement globally. In capitalist propaganda, there are “tolerated Communists,” those who attack the Soviets and collaborate with their own capitalist class, and “bad Communists,” “Stalinists,” who defend the Soviet Union and socialist countries and revolutionary movements in an unqualified way, taking the heat that ruling classes dish out to them.

It is important for us to study both the achievements and the failures of the Soviet Union and learn from them. But we must do it with a Marxist framework, not the static framework of our class enemies, for whom “Stalinism” is a propaganda category and a synonym for anticommunism and whose only real criticism of the Stalin leadership was that it won so many victories against them on the world scene.

Norman Markowitz

Via e-mail

Don’t want to look at him

I was disturbed to see a photograph of George W. Bush dominating the front page of last week’s paper (“Iraq: Bush’s Watergate?” PWW 6/18-24). This monumental image comes close to glorifying the very man whose goal is to end the limited freedoms we still enjoy in this country.

Some might describe Bush’s facial expression as unflattering. After all, the jaw is clenched and the mouth pursed in anger. But others might interpret this as the look of a true “leader.”

Perhaps it would have been better to offer portraits of key government officials who are taking issue with the “Downing Street Memo,” both Democrats and Republicans. Clearly, the faces of these and other protesters deserve recognition. I already know what George W. looks like, and I don’t need to be reminded on such a grand scale. The mainstream media bombards us with Bush’s face and voice on a daily basis.

A far better choice would have featured Bush and Tony Blair shaking hands around the time of the “Downing Street Memo.” What might have originally read as a friendly photo-op now represents a clandestine meeting between co-conspirators. Secret plans to invade Iraq were already in place. Clearly these two politicians made a choice without soliciting input from the very people they were “elected” to serve.

Jane Sinclair

Albuquerque NM

Danger of fascism

The U.S. is slipping toward collectivism of the Right and away from peace and happy democracy — a sure sign of the times, a sign of the decay of capitalism and rise of an American fascism. We see the barbarous Nazi war pattern of beating back the surging of the masses who are trying to get a truly new social order. Bush initiated pre-emptive war under the influence of Wall Street, who are fascists at heart.

America can come through, though, to better times again as the U.S. is very sensible and a truly great democracy. Your newspaper, the People’s Weekly World, is helping. Here is my donation to the press fund.

George T. Gaylord Jr.

Tustin CA

Still relevant

Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, who was assassinated by a right-wing death squad 25 years go, once remarked, “In many instances the ideology of National Security has helped intensify the totalitarian or authoritarian character of governments based on the use of force, leading to the abuse of power and the violation of human rights. In some instances they presume to justify their position with a subjective profession of Christian faith.”

His words ring true today.

Michael Adam Reale

Jersey City NJ

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