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People’s Weekly World
Letter to Editor
3339 S. Halsted St.
Chicago IL 60608

Letters should be limited to 200 words. We reserve the right to edit stories and letters. Only signed letters with the return address of the sender will be considered for publication, but the name of the sender will be withheld on request.

Labor and sustainability

I grabbed a bundle of People’s Weekly World newspapers to distribute at the Twin Cities’ Labor and Sustainability Conference.

Fighting against environmental destruction and saving union jobs through labor and community alliances was the major theme. The conference, which was hosted at the United Auto Workers Local 879 union hall, united some 200 union members with peace and environmental activists in a weekend discussion around environmental and labor issues of common concern.

Jack Rasmus, author of “The War at Home: The Corporate Offensive from Reagan to Bush,” was the keynote speaker. He linked the struggle against global warming to a stronger labor movement.

Workshops featured Lynn Hinckle, the health and safety representative for UAW Local 879, speaking of the need to save union jobs at the local Ford plant by converting the closing plant to a green manufacturing operation.

Michelle Sommers, president of ATU 1005, spoke of supporting the bus drivers union as part of the need to expand clean mass transit.

The issues of the People’s Weekly World which I had brought were very warmly received by the working-class conference attendees.

Michael Wood
St. Paul MN

Global warning

I think that President Bush is delaying work on global warming because he is waiting for people to be in shock because of the effects of global warming.

If we do nothing about global warming, then we will soon have a “Katrina” a month, as well as drought, flood and weekly tsunamis. This is worse than 9/11 and real, while the weapons of mass destruction were mythical.

Science News and the American Academy of Science reported in November that global warming could be reduced by putting mirrors in space that would deflect sunlight away from earth. The cost would be “several trillion dollars.”

President Bush might believe that this trillion dollar rip-off would succeed even though the billion dollar rip-off of Iraq is partly failing.

Halliburton has everything to gain and nothing to lose by delaying work on global warming.

Jim Harris
Sacramento CA

Re: Iran article

Thanks for Teresa Albano’s article “War with Iran? Not if Congress acts” (PWW 2/10-16). Good. This issue really is urgent and will soon overshadow all others. This is what we need to see in these pages. And coming from the mouth of Brzezinski no less.

There is still the question of what Bush will do if he can’t subdue Iran with just air power. Where will he get the large army he would need to tackle Iran on the ground? We can be sure Bush is thinking about that. We should be too.

Chris Horton
Via e-mail

Torture in U.S. jails

Edgar Pitts’ letter to the editor (PWW 2/3-9) about torture in U.S. prisons is right on the mark. Except sometimes this torture isn’t done by the guards themselves, but by sadistic inmates they put up to it.

I was brutalized by an inmate who alleged the guards wanted it done after I’d agreed to be a witness for another inmate who had been badly beaten by the guards. Indeed, jail personnel witnessed this brutality and made no effort to stop it. Neither the judge at my extradition hearing nor the officers who escorted me to court would intervene despite my public protestation regarding the matter. This happened in 1980-81 in Louisiana while awaiting extradition to Texas for a matter there.

They had a lot of practice abusing inmates in U.S. institutions before bringing their act overseas. Of course there is no sort of “bad torture” and then “really bad torture” — it’s all terrible. Comparison that would disguise that fact should be dismissed out of hand. It’s illegal to torture.

David Tyler
Via e-mail

On Aristotle

According to Matt Parker’s article “Aristotle and the Internet” (PWW 1/13-19), Aristotle “thought that the population of states could never grow larger than the few thousand who could be directly seen and addressed in one place.” This misleads readers into thinking that Aristotle believed in some kind of natural limit to the population of states or that he was asserting this limit as some kind of historical fact. In speaking of limits to the population of states, Aristotle was thinking of an ideal state which he indeed held should have no more than the number of citizens that could be gathered in one place. Aristotle didn’t mean that states couldn’t be larger than that; he meant they shouldn’t be larger, otherwise it would be impossible to govern them properly. Furthermore, in discussing the population of his ideal state, Aristotle was talking about the proper number of citizens, i.e., those who would have political rights and participate in government. He held that artisans, farmers, tradesmen and of course slaves could never be citizens because their way of life, characterized by manual labor and the absence of leisure, was “ignoble and inimical to excellence.” Thus Aristotle’s ideal state consisted of a ruling class of a few thousand citizens supported by much larger numbers of disenfranchised workers, peasants and slaves.

For the full discussion, see Aristotle’s “Politics,” Book VII, Chapters 4-9.

David Pena
West Palm Beach FL

Take action

If you live in Illinois, here is something you can do to improve the environment:

Go to . There are petitions to sign, letters to the governor and representatives. Do something now!

Marlene Scofield
Oak Park IL

DVDs available

Thank you for your article on the DEFA [“The Legendary East German Studio”] Film Collection in “Don’t miss these remarkable films” by Victor Grossman (PWW 2/10-16). I wanted to make sure you were aware that the DEFA films are now available on DVD from First Run Features. You can visit our web site at for more information.

Kelly Hargraves
Via e-mail
Kelly Hargraves is a publicist for First Run Features.