It’s that simple

The Associated Press reported on Oct. 27 that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, one of the most listened-to economists of all time, lightly dismissed the Republican furor over the Social Security “crisis.” Greenspan is quoted as saying that an assembled group could solve any Social Security problems: “It would take them 15 minutes. It would take them 15 minutes only because 10 minutes was used for pleasantries.”

Throughout his political career, George W. Bush has tried to panic the American people over an imagined “crisis” in Social Security. His stated solution, like almost all capitalist “solutions” to government programs throughout the world, is to privatize it. The unstated solution, and the one that Bush and his ilk have demanded since Social Security was created by the Roosevelt administration in 1935, is to destroy Social Security.

Jim Lane
Dallas TX

From Scotland: vision and country music

I am unsure whether or not my small contribution would be of any use. I live in Scotland and have been an avid fan of American country music all my life. This is where I feel the working-class roots are buried and thanks to the huge conglomerates is now no longer related to the working classes. In fact traditional country music is no longer played on the radio in America.

I am also a totally blind person about to embark on a three-year BA in social science at Bell College in Hamilton, Scotland.

I use a program called window-eyes, This program transfers text to speech and like other screen reading programs on the market has changed the lives of visually impaired people worldwide.

We have a long way to go to become halfway equal to our sighted counterparts, however these types of program have helped long-term blind people gain employment for the first time in their lives.

I enjoyed journalism very much and would have loved to continue further, but I have a genuine caring for people and could never become hard-faced like a majority of tabloid journalists are.

If there is any way I could contribute to your newspaper please let me know, as I am working class and always will be. My credentials are steeped in the coal mining industry and in my love of country music through my Mom’s influence.

John Duff
Via e-mail

Country music in the fight!

Having lived in Nashville for several years, I really appreciated Tim Wheeler’s story “Labor spearheads fight for southern Senate seats” in the Oct. 28 edition. There is an interesting footnote to the tremendous efforts in Tennessee to elect Harold Ford. I’m also a country music fan and I was delighted to learn about an organization called Music Row Democrats in Nashville. (Music Row is the heart of the country music scene in Nashville.)

They are in full mobilization mode raising money and getting country music fans involved in the Ford campaign. They were actually formed before the 2004 elections and campaigned for progressive southern candidates and John Kerry in those elections, along with producing some really sharp country and western anti-Bush songs and distributing them to raise money for candidates. In their own words the Music Row Democrats “are the producers, songwriters, musicians, managers, agents, promoters, publicists, video directors and producers, editors, journalists and countless others that built and maintained the careers of some of Americas biggest stars.”

They say on their web site, “We maintain the proud tradition of country music, and all music that speaks to the lives of ordinary working people.”

That the group is working so hard to elect the first African American senator from Tennessee since Reconstruction speaks volumes. These are people dedicated to rescuing country music from right-wing corporate clutches and returning it to its pro-working-class roots. Check out their web site:

Scott Marshall
Chicago IL


Thanks for two fine articles about Korea.

I have followed world events since my childhood in the 1950s and I’ve always been aware that the DPRK (North Korea) has consistently made two demands: The first has been for bilateral talks to finally end the Korean War by signing a peace treaty with the U.S. The second is for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

U.S imperialism insists on multi-party talks instead of one-on-one talks so as to avoid making peace with the DPRK. Worse yet, imperialism has always opposed a nuclear-free Korean peninsula because it would mean that the U.S. military would have to stop bringing nuclear weapons into Korean ports.

In spite of the fact that the DPRK has repeated these very reasonable demands for 50 years, the big-business-owned press never mentions them, which allows a Bush administration spokesperson to have the audacity to say, “We don’t know what the North Koreans want.”

Joe Bernick
Tucson AZ

Surviving prison

Greetings from Los Angeles. I enjoy reading PWW!

I would like to see articles on prison survival techniques. I wanna see articles on how to make shoes, clothing, food, medicine, electronics and toys … It would be good to know how to deal with abusive guards and cops. I wanna know how to file complaints or deal with the red tape of the prison system or social workers.

A lot of people get sent to prison for false or unfair reasons. Prison survival techniques are important. It would be nice to understand group psychology and sociology. A lot of people cannot cope with being under stress and go nuts. I especially want to know how to deal with group situations where one person may put down others or make stuff up just as a means to impress people or promote themselves. I wanna know any and all info!

Amy Jakoby
Via e-mail