In support of Title IX
I just got through watching my niece’s high school basketball team play a tournament. It’s so inspiring to see these girl athletes — confident, smart, working together and strong. It makes me realize the importance of Title IX in our lives. How many girls teams would there be without it and the fight that won it? I hope you can cover more women’s sports in your newspaper.

Marie Lawrence
Milwaukee WI

The Seeger effect
There’s a treat waiting for all who can get a copy of the April 17 issue of the New Yorker magazine. It’s a profile piece about Pete Seeger. Pick it up and get that all-over warm feeling so many of us get when anything from or about Pete touches our lives.
I have a hunch he may read this in our paper so I want to respond to a question concerning the effects of his efforts he is reported to have jotted down in a journal.
“I seem to stagger about this agonized world as a clown, dressed in happiness, hoping to reach the hearts and minds of the young. When newspaper reporters ask me what effect my songs have, I try and make a brave reply, but I am really not so certain,” he mused.
Some 46 years ago at the age of 18 I heard Pete and the Weavers for the first time and never stopped listening. Pete touched my heart and mind profoundly.
In May, Pete will celebrate his 87th birthday. Happy Birthday, Pete, and thanks.

Bill Appelhans
Chicago IL

100 years of wisdom
Enclosed are some photos for you and a check for $10 to help your special publication. I have subscribed to it since way back when. In fact I was a member of the 1960 Cuba friendship group tour sponsored by the People’s World of that era.
That blessed tour cemented a lasting resolve to work and fight and visualize a “precious people’s world of socialism.” On Sept. 7, 2006, I will be 101 (forgive the bragging). Gratitude for age, which can bring enlightenment, and love for the privilege of long life is a double incentive. Our current capitalist psychology is to dream a nightmare of nuclear war when the greatest danger is the debt system — it is a disaster, translated into trillions of paper dollars. Socialism is obviously the only hope and blessing for the future!
My wife and I have visited Cuba four times. We had both visited the USSR at different times. I was with a Canadian friendship tour because at that time it was difficult to travel from the U.S.
It was a spectacular tour in 1971. We visited four of the Far Eastern Soviet republics: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Tajikistan. They were all so wonderful. I remember 50 children in unison bidding our three tour buses goodbye, singing and chanting enthusiastically, “Peace and friendship!”
We loved them. We love socialism with our mind and soul. Bless you for your good work. Socialism will win around the world! Peace, love and dancing (we still dance ballroom with joy!).

Harry and Blanche Billings
Salem OR

Editor’s note: Thank you and congratulations! Your wonderful photo of the two of you dancing is marvelous. We hope to publish it in an upcoming issue.

For comprehensive immigration reform
On April 10, in cities all across the nation, thousands of people, representing all ages and races, peaceably gathered to show their support for comprehensive immigration reform.
Immigrants and people of conscious marched side by side in the Philadelphia rally, which Esperanza USA supported and took part in. Showing our solidarity with the over 5,000 people, the Rev. Danny Cortes, senior vice president, marched for justice and opportunity.
Following the collapse of the Senate negotiations, it is crucial that our national leaders continue to hear from us. We must aggressively pursue our goal of comprehensive immigration reform by writing and calling Congress during their recess. You may do so by accessing Esperanza USA’s Immigration Action Center at
Please share this information with your congregation, family and friends. One by one we can make a difference.

Rev. Luis Cortés Jr.
Philadelphia PA
Rev. Luis Cortés Jr. is president of Esperanza USA, a network of Latino churches and ministries.

It’s the rich
An April 16 New York Times article in the real estate section points up why most of us have a housing crisis. The head of Koch Industries is one of the world’s richest people. He purchased the Jackie Kennedy Onassis apartment on 5th Avenue after her death in 1994. But Koch and his wife are expecting a third child and “there’s just no way we could fit another child in that apartment,” he said.
The apartment has four bedrooms, two dressing rooms, a staff room, a library, living room, dining room, conservatory, two terraces, three fireplaces, 5.5 bathrooms and a wine room.
Surveys have shown that there is enough housing for all New Yorkers, but it is improperly and unjustly occupied.

Betty Smith
Queens NY

A song about the war
I love this paper. My friend writes for it. I am not working now as I am disabled but I like to keep up on labor issues and peace and justice.
I have a song from my CD called “Project Bluebird” (the name is the same as that for an old CIA mind control experiment previous to Project Mkultra, but I just happen to like bluebirds). This song, “Rose Colored War,” is being considered for airplay on Democracy Now. Please feel free to spread it around.
My friend Eileen Murphy ( is the amazing lyricist of this song. I wrote the music. Eric Royer (, an outstanding multi-instrumentalist who is getting international attention for his one-man band, did the magic.
I am a poet and lyricist, too, but I like to get fellow writers’ voices out there and set many to music. So far about 10 writers are involved with Project Bluebird from all over the country. It is all low-tech but quite fun.

Nancy Pontius
Tucson AZ

Editor’s note: Thank you for the song and keep us updated on where readers can access it.