Time has long since come

The American nation is plummeting into an abysmal crevasse of political, social and economic deterioration as a result of the Bush administration’s ineptitude and the American people’s submission to it. Time and again, our president has defiled the credibility of the U.S. as well as casting us into financial mire — from 9/11, his ridiculous claims of weapons of mass destruction, the Abu Ghraib prison scandals, the ongoing war on Iraq disaster, to his ineptitude in the Katrina relief. Bush is a criminal.

Even though those in denial would call this statement “unpatriotic,” one can easily see reflections of Nazism within our administration. Have people so quickly forgotten the Patriot Act? Have people already forgotten how our leader manipulated the ambivalence and the fear pertaining to 9/11 to suit his own devices? When will we as American citizens come to understand that times like this transpire to test the strength of the American people and democracy itself? We cannot remain mere bystanders in the face of the injustices performed by our government, for by doing so, we might as well be committing them with our own hands.

It has far exceeded the time when we citizens need to remove that which is hiding and destroying this nation. If we fail now, then we are doomed to fail each and every time another Bush gains power in our republic.

Torrese Ouellette

New Haven CT

Demand a warning

Every day our children are bombarded with commercials of soldiers having fun, excitement, adventure and pride in their jobs and their duty. They want the adventure and excitement. It is burned into their souls. I spent time with some elementary school children. I was alarmed to find so many wanting to join the military. They could not wait to be old enough to join so that they could shoot and blow things up. None of them realized that war is a two-way firing range.

Today, I wrote my senator asking him if cigarettes must carry warnings and medicine must list adverse side effects, then why doesn’t the military have to explain possible results?

I was in the Army. I joined when I was 18. I knew the possibilities. I grew up with visions of Vietnam on TV — scenes of the dead, injured and the pain of the living in the war zone. Now, kids have no viewpoint of the horrors of war.

I was lucky. There were no battles for me. I thank all my lucky stars that I did not have to go through the terror that numerous combat vets I have talked to told me of through tear-stained eyes and cheeks.

Everyone needs to write their elected officials and demand that the military show both sides of the coin in their ads. People in this country need to find out all they can about war. How are we to be able to make educated decisions that affect all if we only know half of the story?

Vincent Eberle

Via e-mail

Paul Robeson stamp

Regarding the letter about the Paul Robeson stamp from Ros Spitzer (PWW 8/27-9/2), it may still be possible to get Paul Robeson stamps from the USPS. I called their number (1-800-782-6724) and the customer service representative told me there were some left. They can be ordered from the USPS using that number. She also said that stamps from the African American series did not usually get printed more than once.

Julia Lutsky

New York NY

Public ownership now

The idea that the natural wealth of a country should belong to the people and be used to improve the well being of everyone, starting with the least fortunate, has become a material force throughout Latin America.

Governments in Ecuador and Bolivia that have promoted the private ownership and exploitation of natural resources have been forced to resign, while governments that understand this new mood of their people — support for public ownership — have come to enjoy greater popularity.

The communist parties in the region deserve the credit for this understanding taking root among the vast majority of the peoples of Latin America. They have always called for the nationalization of the region’s vast natural wealth.

It is therefore surprising to read in the People Before Profits column (PWW 9/24-30) a column attributed to the Communist Party’s economic commission that attempts to offer a solution to the current price gouging by oil and gas companies by offering a number of warmed-over, New Deal, liberal solutions. The article does not come close to a call to nationalize the energy industry. The author even fails to mention, in a discussion of the California “energy crisis” of 2000-2001, that Los Angeles residents were largely exempt from that “crisis” because they had a municipally owned electrical utility.

American workers will never come to understand that profits, stockholders, bondholders, equity firms and the like are not necessary but antithetical to a humane and just social system if the PWW doesn’t tell them. If not you, who?

Walter Tillow

Louisville KY

Greg Godwin

Pittsburgh PA

Art Perlo responds: I fully agree that the natural wealth of a country should belong to the people and be used to improve the well being of everyone. Nationalizing the energy industry is a necessary part of any fundamental solution.

The column in question was focused on oil company profiteering in the wake of Katrina. The “warmed over liberal solutions” it presented, if enacted, could bring relief to millions of consumers and workers, and greater stability in energy supplies and pricing. Reforms of this nature help lay the groundwork for nationalizing the industry.

I also hope that future columns can more fully explore elements of a people’s energy program, which will include nationalization. Then, at last, we may realize the biblical injunction that “the profit of the earth is for all” (Ecclesiastes 5:9).

Acorn doesn’t fall far

It certainly is inspiring to learn from wherest George’s fabled compassion and family values spring, isn’t it? As his mother, Her Ladyship Barbara, put it whilst gracing some of the hurricane victims with her presence: “So many of the people in the arena [the Astrodome] here, you know, were underprivileged anyway — so this is working very well for them.” Ah — in times of great national stress, high birth, station and breeding certainly will tell, won’t they? God save The King and bless the Aristocracy!

William Ramsay II

Grand Junction CO