Vital information

The whole paper is great! Well explained, clear and easy to grasp. Keep up the articles on privatization. Let’s see, here’s my list of what is privatized: utilities, prisons, health care, pharmaceuticals, school bus transportation, now hospitals, mercenary armies, oil companies, corporations, and NYC Mayor Bloomberg wants to privatize the bridges and schools (charter). Changing public control to private control is it in a nutshell. I was speaking with a neighbor who told me she thought privatized schools meant like going to a “private” school. Shows how much we need the information — many people are not even aware of what the word means.

A retired teacher
Boston MA

Alienation is torture

Re: Letter to the editor concerning torture in U.S. jails by David Tyler (PWW 2/17-23).

One of the most effective forms of torture is alienation: to isolate the prisoner and convince him or her that nobody cares. This causes the prisoner to become paranoid and extremely depressed.

I’m speaking from experience. This psychological form of torture was carried out against me by withholding my mail while I was in isolation. This caused me to question the love and loyalty of my family and friends. At the time, I was new to the system and didn’t know how to handle it. So I would write my loved ones complaining of their neglect, not knowing that my mail was being withheld by the guards.

And even though opportunistic prisoners often manipulate the system by providing false information against other prisoners, some prison officials condone this kind of treachery from prisoners in exchange for favors, thus empowering the convict-informers with immunity to slander and harm politically aware prisoners as was done to David Tyler.

These practices are most effective against prisoners who don’t have support or have lost ties with society.

Some of the dead in their graves receive more visits from the living than some of us prisoners who are alive and alienated behind these walls.

So writing letters to the editor to share my experience is to assert my humanity by showing that I’m relevant. And hopefully I might be able to connect with politically aware people who do care about prisoners.

Edgar Pitts
Florence CO

Failed attempt?

The front-page article on Iraq by Susan Webb, whom I deeply respect, and the editorial (PWW 3/17-23) were both a failed attempt to escape a dilemma — the iron-clad straitjacket dilemma of praising the Democrats as peace advocates while at the same time watching these scoundrels vote $100 billion for Dubya’s war, resulting, most certainly, in more slaughter, destruction and agony, with the Iraqi people suffering the brunt of it.

The American bourgeoisie, in solid control of both the Republicans and Democrats, will not leave Iraq in peace, even if a Democrat were to be elected president in 2008. In the meantime the slaughter continues.

Hazzim Yousif
Detroit MI

Disagrees with ‘sharp rebuff’

I was very disappointed to read in the PWW 3/31-4/6 issue that the U.S. Senate has voted to wait for a year (March 2008) before withdrawing troops. In the meantime, American and Iraqi lives will continue to be lost including civilians. This is not to mention continued contamination of Iraq’s population and land with cancerous depleted uranium, which is used with U.S. projectiles. I feel it is an overstatement to characterize the legislation as a “sharp rebuff” to the president’s campaign of death and imperial domination.

Roberto Botello
San Antonio TX

Much behind the firings

Thank you for a clear and concise review of the Department of Justice firings (“Behind the firings” by Emil Shaw, PWW 3/24-30).

The mainstream press has never been clear as to what motivations were possibly behind this unusual event. We know it was not benign. But then again, this administration and its henchpeople have been so duplicitous, the public should not be surprised. It seems that “xx-gates” happen daily. But there is something in the big picture that Shaw did not mention. It goes beyond the one person, one vote, habeas corpus concerns.

What happened in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 was not done to be wasted on just eight years of control. The GOP gangsters who are in charge were orchestrating a much longer-range plan.

I sense this is the start of a blueprint being put into motion to control the 2008 presidential elections. Another state or two will be selected for voter manipulations and the proper attorneys whose loyalty has been assured will be needed to either attest to whatever is being planned or just be quiet like good little boys and girls.

Don Sloan
New York NY

Good start

I would like to commend the North Carolina state Senate for passing a resolution that “apologizes” for our state’s involvement in slavery and Jim Crow laws. But to be official, the state’s House must approve the measure. I would also like to encourage other state, national and local governments to do the same. Also our federal government should take a stand against the slave trade, which still exists on our planet today.

Chuck Mann
Greensboro NC

Don’t forget to visit

With reference to Jim Lane’s recent column about the radical heritage of Texas (PWW 3/24-30), it would be wonderful if people there could make occasional pilgrimages to such sites as the True to the Union monument in the little town of Comfort, west of San Antonio, or to the grave of the great Knights of Labor hero Martin Irons in the cemetery of Bruceville, right next to the railroad tracks off Interstate 35.

Mother Jones made the conductor of a train she was riding on stop there so she could pay her respects! At that time there was no marker, but now there is a fine monument erected by the Missouri Federation of Labor many decades ago.

Fred Whitehead
Kansas City KS