Attack on labor studies

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has just terminated the funding for the University of California Institute for Labor and Employment, a new and vital center for labor education and strategic planning, using the California budget crisis as an excuse. The attack on the ILE is part of a national campaign against labor education led by right-wing centers like the Manhattan Institute, whose conception of academic freedom is to eliminate all think tanks that are not right-wing. Trade unionists and labor-oriented scholars, though, are fighting back (see David Bacon’s “Class Warfare,” in the Jan. 12 issue of The Nation). All PWW readers should be on guard against campaigns to eliminate labor studies programs and labor libraries from universities, to stop purchasing labor books and journals for general libraries, and to otherwise censor the labor movement.

Norman MarkowitzNew Brunswick NJ

Remember history

What exactly is Gov. Schwarzenegger remembering? In his inaugural speech he said, “As a boy, [I] saw Soviet tanks rolling through the streets of Austria,” which implies some kind of Soviet invasion. The facts are Hitler annexed Austria in 1938. His father was a member of the Nazi Party. Soviet tanks liberated Austria from the Nazis in April 1945. The governor was born in 1947. Austria was divided into four occupation zones – one for each of the Allies – U.S. Britain, France and the USSR. Austria was granted sovereignty in 1955.

Sally BreiterSanta Monica CA

Compasionate conservative or pathological liar?

Could the O’Neill interview be the beginning of the end for G.W. Bush? Will more former Bush cabinet members come out of the closet?

He lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and Saddam’s connection to Bin Ladan’s terrorist organization. That lie has resulted in the death of many thousands of Iraqis and the loss of over 500 of our own military personnel.

It wasn’t WMDs! It wasn’t Saddam! It was the Iraqi oil reserves!

If you care about the future of our country, your children’s future or the nest egg you set aside for your retirement then you must reject this Bush regime in the November 2004 election, that is, if they allow us to have a fair and honest election!

Mr. Bush is not noted for his intelligence, but he is a very good manipulator!

If anyone questions my concerns for our country’s future, please read a document compiled by a conservative right wing think tank titled “The Project for the New American Century.”

Tom F. TullyVia e-mail

ABBEL

As the rubble clears away and the Democrats filter down to their slate, and although ABBEL (anybody but Bush except Lieberman) holds sway, it is more evident than ever that for the first time since the McGovern debacle of 1972, the progressive movement has a real possible candidate – Dennis Kucinich. Although all of the others (don’t forget the EL) have their attributes (as well as their drawbacks), Rep. Kucinich stands out as the candidate of peace, labor, choice, jobs, health care and people before profits.

We must all now get it together and work for his candidacy. The President-select is beatable. His father used his Iraq Desert Storm but it was poorly timed for his campaign. Remembering what was pulled off in Florida in 2000, the Bush cabal is capable of anything. That thievery was not for just one term but for the long haul. We must stay alert as 2004 unfolds. In unity there is strength.

Don Sloan M.D. New York NY

Enola Gay

I have just read the on-line version of “Enola Gay: the Smithsonian edits history” in PWW, 1/10-16, by Norman Markowitz. Congratulations. The piece is a very fine summary of the threat posed by the new exhibition of the Enola Gay.

Here’s a detail which you might find of interest:

When I attended the opening of the new museum on Dec. 15, I found and read a series of panels on “Aviation in the Cold War” which, in fact, do describe the mission and “achievements” of the U-2 spy planes. (Other Cold War examples are also described.)

I thought, “How weird: Planes not on display like the U-2 receive a modicum of interpretation, whereas planes actually on display like the Enola Gay and the SR-71 are covered by the stated policy of ‘ tell[ing] visitors [only] what the object is and the basic facts concerning its history [and] allowing visitors to evaluate what they encounter in the context of their own points of view.’” Some double standard!

Edward W. LollisKnoxville TN

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