Swords into ploughshares

Aside from owning the means of production, what can be done to provide employment for the millions of unemployed and underemployed — victims of corporate globalization and this frantic hunt for the lowest wages possible? One possibility would be to transfer the monies destined for the military back to domestic spending to repair and improve our aging and crumbling infrastructure.

This administration is spending hundreds of billions on high-tech weapons systems that will not make this country any safer, but surely will enrich those who profit from the production of war materials.

Who among us can honestly look in the mirror and not say that spending $256 billion — and counting — for the next generation of fighter aircraft, when the one it is due to replace is superior, is nothing but a government giveaway of the people’s money to the armament manufacturers?

Nor will multi-billion-dollar cruisers, destroyers or aircraft carriers make our country more secure. We already have 13 carrier groups and are currently building number 14 to be named the G.H.W. Bush. All in the name of fighting terrorism? Although these military contracts do create jobs, they are strategically spread in order to maintain congressional support. The jobs are a small fraction of what would be created if the money were spent for domestic needs. Many studies have shown that dollar for dollar domestic spending creates many more jobs than does military spending.

William Mackovich

Chicago IL

When will it end?

Stories about how the base closure in Clovis, N.M., would hit their workers hard have prompted many thoughts. Why hasn’t the media given similar importance to the outrageous court approval to terminate pension obligations of United Airlines and US Airways workers? Both involve huge suffering for thousands of employees, some of whom have devoted many years to their jobs.

New Mexico’s heavy economic reliance on the military has not kept it from being one of the poorest states with the lowest overall personal incomes, education statistics, etc. We have to think in terms of peacetime conversion to uplift New Mexico’s prospects.

As for the airline workers, United is only the beginning of a domino trend. If the airline industry succeeds in cheating its employees while paying its CEOs obscene salaries and bonuses, with the government’s complicity, workers will inevitably fight back just to survive.

The government and big industry are determined to put all their obligations on the backs of the American working people. It was public taxes that bailed out Chrysler and the savings & loan debacles. When will it end?

Rose Shaw

Rio Rancho NM

A wonderful gift

I recently received a tax refund from federal and state income taxes. I gave that amount to the “Building for the Future” capital campaign. I wonder if other people would be willing to do likewise?

Angie Lebowitz

New York NY

Editor’s note: If more readers are interested in this exciting campaign you can contact: Chelsea Fund for Education at (646) 437-5318 or the Workers Education Society at (773) 446-9925.

Scoundrel time

The outrageous behavior and atrocious rhetoric of Tom DeLay and Bill Frist are tantamount to treason, and put our judicial system and the safety of fair-minded judges at terrific risk. These “leaders” represent the real danger to this country.

They are determined to destroy the filibuster, forever ending fair debate. Extremist judges will be easily installed on the U.S. Supreme Court and appeals courts and will turn the clock back to pre-1937 when crucial protections for minorities, women, the elderly, and factory and farm workers were nonexistent! There was also no minimum wage, no environmental protection and the list goes on!

DeLay and Frist should be exposed for the outlaws they are and ejected from our government.

We need courageous, ethical Republican senators to take a stand now! Brave individuals who will help preserve the filibuster, and thus our Constitution — otherwise we are in grave danger of losing democracy as we know it.

Kelly Taylor

New York NY

Working class pride

Submitted is a suggested PWW masthead, “Published in Chicago: The city that gave the world May Day.”

Bill Bunge

Montréal, Canada

More on Communist Party

I distribute this great paper door to door, sometimes in 100-degree weather, and speak to people about our newspaper. The average person I talk to has only negative things he or she has been told about communists. Unfortunately, there is little in the PWW to counteract their understanding of the Communist Party.

I suggest the PWW print in a box on page 2 of every issue the following, taken from the draft program of the Communist Party:

“The Communist Party fights the abuses of the capitalist class by organizing at the grassroots and in broad coalitions for immediate needs. We expose the capitalist system as the root cause of poverty, racism, war and human suffering and point the way to socialism as a fundamental solution. Our vision is one of Bill of Rights Socialism, where people and nature come before profit.”

Karl Dennis

Tucson AZ

Italian elections

Here is some good news from Italy. The April 3-4 election was a big victory of the center-left and left-wing parties in some regions.

The biggest victory was in Puglia in south Italy. Communist Nichi Vendola won with more than 1 million votes. He is also Roman Catholic and gay. There was a center-left victory in the Lazio region — its capital is Rome — with almost 51 percent of the votes, and in Emilia Romagna — its capital is Bologna (always the most red, now even more red) — with almost 63 percent.

I have been reading your newspaper for 25 years. Congratulations to the PWW. It is always more beautiful, the best newspaper to read, and the many new names I see as writers show that the PWW is growing every day.

Here is my donation in memory of my father Giuseppe Righi (1913-1995), a lifetime antifascist, a faithful Communist all his life. Saluto!

Aldo Righi

Repubblica di San Marino, Italy