Beat ’em at their own game

With regard to your recent article on the NLRB decision that nurses are supervisors (PWW 10/7-13), I have this story to tell.

In the early fifties my father, who headed the Philadelphia office of a national fundraising organization, organized a union of all the professional employees of that organization.

Management told them they couldn’t be in a union because they were supervisors. Their answer was, “OK. We’re an association.”

They didn’t go to the NLRB. They struck for recognition and won. The last I heard, their union, the Association of Professional Personnel, still exists as an affiliate of the SEIU and is bigger than it was then.

Go thou and do likewise.

Eliot Kenin
Emeryville CA

The writer is a member of the American Musicians Union and a retired member of the Service Employees union.

What’s going on in Russia?

I am an avid reader of your newspaper and Political Affairs, but I do not see many articles on what is going on in Russia and what the Communist Party of the Russian Federation is doing. I know of the two books available through International Publishers, “Socialism Betrayed” and “Heroic Struggle, Bitter Defeat,” which cover the collapse of socialism in Russia and which I intend to buy, but I sure wish someone at the PWW would cover what is going on in Russia more in depth and also what were the problems that caused the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to collapse.

G. De Santis
Via e-mail

Rocket fuel poisoning water, food

The National Academy of Sciences has released its long anticipated report on the human health effects of perchlorates, a byproduct of rocket fuel. Perchlorates, which are a common pollutant near military sites, have recently been found in drinking water in 35 states as well as in 93 percent of lettuce and milk.

Along with the report, the Environmental Protection Agency has set drinking water standards indicating that perchlorates are roughly 10 time more toxic to humans than the Department of Defense has been claiming. Perchlorates can inhibit thyroid function, cause birth defects and lower IQs, and are considered particularly dangerous to children. Monitoring wells across the U.S. are now finding perchlorate levels as high as 30,000 times what the EPA indicates would be safe exposure.

To avoid liability, the Pentagon is currently pressuring Congress to pass a new bill that states the military does not have to adhere to any environmental regulations (as a matter of national security).

Please take 30 seconds to send a quick online letter urging your congressperson to protect the nation’s food and water by reducing perchlorate pollution. Take action and learn more about this issue here: . Please also forward this message to interested friends and colleagues.

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Brunswick ME

Useful news on Latinos

Hello, my name is Alexander Monarrez Maldonado. I recently started a show on public access television in Tucson, Ariz. The show is entitled “The Latino Doctrine” and is seen weekly on Access Tucson. The show airs every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. on Comcast channel 73 or Cox channel 98 and every Thursday night/Friday morning at 1 a.m. on Comcast channel 72 or Cox channel 97.

The show focuses on Latino-related news from immigration to voting issues. Being a reader of your newspaper, I find the articles very interesting and more to the point that I am trying to reach to my viewers, as compared to national and local newspapers. I have found myself using many of your articles along with the byline of the writer. Just thought you would like to know that your newspaper is very important and that people are interested in hearing this news. Comments and opinions are always welcome.

Alexander Monarrez Maldonado
Via e-mail

On ‘tree huggers’

Thanks for the article on Latina environmental activists. Mujeres de La Tierra and earlier women’s groups like the Mothers of East L.A. have been leaders in bringing together quality of life and standard of living issues as our communities’ clout has grown. It’s been great working with them on the Latino Congreso and on the many issues.

I think most of them are “tree huggers” too, as I am, and that would support protecting endangered species in our backyards as well as hundreds of miles away. We need more trees, more open space; we need to preserve agaves (but not hug them) and black walnut trees; and even welcome the sight of coyotes in the hills of Northeast L.A.

Rosalio Muñoz
Los Angeles CA

Shut down Guantanamo!

The following is the text of a letter I recently sent to Vice President Dick Cheney:

I demand that Congress act now to immediately close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center which has been declared by the United Nations to be a torture facility. Officials in the Bush administration and other government agencies must be held accountable for the deliberate and systematic violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

I also demand the immediate closing of all secret prisons and torture facilities set up in countries around the world by the CIA, Pentagon and other U.S. government entities and an immediate end to the policy of so-called extraordinary renditions whereby the United States is engaging in bilateral agreements with foreign governments to engage in torture of persons who are in the custody of U.S. military and law enforcement agencies.

This is to all you wealthy and powerful. All the lies, manipulation, exploitation, destruction, torture and inhuman treatment towards your fellow humans will come back to haunt you.

Joel Lamkins
Enfield CT