Letters - January 24, 2009

Solidarity biscotti

Thank you for your article “Forget Stella D’Oro cookies! Support striking workers,” by Terrie Albano (PWW 12/20-1/16). I have been a fan of Stella D’Oro for many years. I too will make my own Italian biscotti (and NOT buy Stella D’Oro) until the strike is settled with justice for the workers. To eat these cookies while workers are on strike would be nothing short of “bittersweet” instead of just plain sweet.

I would like to submit my own calorie-conscious recipe for all of those people with 2009 resolutions to become thinner and trimmer. I developed it just for People’s Weekly World readers and I call it “Solidarity Italian Anise 32Biscotti.” Avanti Popolo!!





Jackie Lavalle

Via e-mail





Solidarity Italian Anise Biscotti





2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use 1 cup whole wheat and 1 1/2 cups white flour)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3 eggs lightly beaten

2 tablespoons safflower oil

1 1/2 tablespoons anise seeds

1 teaspoon vanilla

Finely grated zest of one orange

1 cup chopped almonds (optional)





Sift flour and baking powder. Put oil in large bowl and add eggs, anise seed, vanilla and orange zest. Beat mixture. Add flour a little at a time. Stir in nuts if using.

Chill dough until firm (about 1 1/2 hours) (do not put dough in wax paper). After dough is chilled, divide dough into thirds. Shape each third on a lightly floured surface into a flat loaf about 2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick.

Place on a baking sheet. Bake in pre-heated oven (350 degrees) and cool 5 minutes.

Cut loaves into diagonal slices, 1/2 inch thick. Place slices, flat sides down, close together on baking sheet. Return to oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly toasted or golden. (Check after 10 minutes)





Holidays and hard times

We’ve just come through the most unusual holiday times. People are being laid off from work all over the country. In my state, 600 mine workers in Silver City, N.M., were out of work at holiday time. Chrysler Corp. shut its doors for the next few weeks — no Xmas bonuses for the workers. Banks were given billions of dollars by the U.S. government which they cannot account for. Yet the papers reported that bank executives were still being given their holiday bonuses.

Being a dabbler in 19th century literature, I am reminded of a literary work that reflects the hard times then.

Dickens’ famous “Christmas Carol” is a symbolic tale of miser Ebenezer Scrooge being cajoled by his various spirits to repent and reform. It didn’t work in 19th century England and it is not working in the United States. Large banks are being given bailout money, but their CEOs are pocketing it rather than spending it on the people.

Finally, that 19th century ballad “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” comes to mind:

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord,

He is trampling out the vintage,

Where the grapes of wrath are stored.

He has loosed the fateful lightning

Of His terrible swift sword.

His Truth is marching on.”

There might yet be a solution to 21st century capitalism’s greed, for “His Truth is marching on!”





Emil Shaw

Albuquerque NM





Comments from pww.org

Melvin Rothenberg re: “Time to build a new mass movement for a peace economy”

I like the article and agree with its emphasis on the need to cut the military budget. I think the argument could be strengthened in two respects.

The first is to note the long-term structural crises in the failure of the private sector to generate sufficient living-wage jobs to meet population growth and thus the steady decline in labor force participation rates. This predated by a decade the current recession which will only aggravate the long-term trend. There is a desperate need for a national jobs program which the incoming administration must address.

Second, it is not only far-left critics of Obama that are disturbed by his choice of Cabinet appointments and top aides. If these appointments are a sign of where he is heading, all progressives should be concerned. I agree that it is wrong to attack, undermine or split the coalition that has evolved around the election but this does not mean leaving our critical faculties and judgment at the door. Coalitions involve unity and contradictions and work when these are acknowledged.





Ashley re: “Consumer groups demand Congress pass Employee Free Choice Act”

The Card Check Act is ludicrous. I hope everyone does their homework and learns what it is, what it does and how it will affect this nation in already fragile times. This website does a stellar job of laying it out in no uncertain terms. Definitely check it out: friendsoftheuschamber.com/.





Louie re: Ashley and EFCA

It’s obvious “in no uncertain terms” that “Friends of the U.S. Chamber” are NOT friends of U.S. workers.

Ashley should do her own homework and see the EFCA is a safeguard against those anti-union employers and high-dollar “union-avoidance” firms. Many of these employers have been repeatedly found by the National Labor Relations Board to be guilty of: intimidation, harassment, firing and spying on pro-union employees during organizing drives.

Google “union avoidance” or “union free”: these groups profit from crushing organizing drives, not from respecting the wishes of workers at all.

“Card check” does not take away the right to a secret ballot election.

What it does do: If the majority of the employees sign a card authorizing a union to represent them as their collective bargaining agent, this decision would go to the employees.

If 30 percent or more of those employees wish to have a secret ballot election, this decision would go to the employees.

As it stands now, the employer decides to have an election even if every single employee signs a union authorization card. The EFCA will put the balance back in favor of the workers and make exploiting employers more accountable when they do violate labor laws.

Like “Ashley” said, do your homework. I recommend checking out both sides.

www.Americanrightsatwork.org is an excellent resource. Be sure to read the “anti-union network” information too.

www.Unionfacts.com “The Center for Union Facts” is a

corporate-funded propaganda

machine.





Cord re: “Gaza crisis: challenge and opportunity for Obama to turn the page toward peace”

Kudos on a very thoughtful and fine analysis by Susan Webb. I’ve forwarded it as widely as I can and recommend we all do the same. While the corporate media obscure, distort and misrepresent the facts and history surrounding the tragedy in Gaza, communist writers like Ms. Webb are needed as never before to help clarify and inform our thinking in these critical transitional times.