Humor too subtle?
I thoroughly enjoy the PWW, and read it regularly as well as distribute it among the people of my town.
However, there is one matter that troubles me. Recently there was an article titled “Delay, Frist to wed.” It’s a very comical and very truthful-sounding article about the two ardent Republican leaders. However, it is easily believable!
Yes, the article was quite funny, but unfortunately, folks unlike me won’t think to read the small bold print at the bottom explaining, “Andy Borowitz writes a humor column.” I feel that if someone else not accustomed to the PWW’s subtle style when it comes to comedy might take it as fact, and then, upon discovering that it wasn’t true, might begin to doubt the factuality of news from the PWW, and may even become disinterested. So, please, if you’re going to put humorous articles in the paper, perhaps a box surrounding it titled “Humor Article.”

Martin Droll
Via e-mail

Pogo rides again
I have observed that Pogo has become very popular again, due to that cartoon quote from long ago: “We have met the enemy and it is us.”
The following are exact excerpts from Bush’s own “War on Terror at the National Endowment for Democracy” speech (Oct. 6, 2005): “Evil men, obsessed with ambition and unburdened by conscience, must be taken seriously — and we must stop them before their crimes can multiply. They exploit modern technology to multiply their destructive power. They target nations whose behavior they believe they can change through violence. They have endless ambitions of imperial domination … to make everyone powerless except themselves. And what this man who grew up in wealth and privilege considers good for poor (people)* is that they become killers … though he never goes along for the ride.” (I substituted “people” for “Muslims.”)
My god, Dubya, look into the mirror and meet that enemy!
I thought you would appreciate the tragic irony of Bush’s own words, if it weren’t so unbearable!

Via e-mail

Miers is not ‘neutral’
It has long been a principle of advertising that people are ignorant (meaning they don’t know the relevant facts) and stupid (meaning they can’t or haven’t been taught to think logically and rationally) and for those reasons you can, with the right commercial campaign, sell them anything.
This is obviously the way that the Bush administration is selling Harriet Miers. Is this longtime Texas conservative Republican operative and Bush associate a “neutral” candidate for the court? Is Miers, a leader a dozen years ago in a Texas Bar political maneuver to put the American Bar Asociation’s support of Roe v. Wade up to a membership vote, someone who can be trusted on reproductive rights?
Yes, she was the first woman to head the Texas Bar Association, as Margaret Thatcher, Tom DeLay’s pal, was the first woman to be prime minister of Britain. Besides a difference in gender, a Southern Methodist rather than Harvard Law School background, and a career as a direct servant of Bush and the famously vulgar Texas moneyed classes rather than a career in the upper echelons of the Washington legal establishment, Miers has no serious differences with John Roberts, unless one is ignorant of the available facts and can’t or won’t think rationally and logically. Her victory will put Bush one vote away from a right-wing majority on the court.

Norman Markowitz
New Brunswick NJ

Big Oil’s grip is big news
I read Susan Webb’s article titled “Breaking the grip of Big Oil” (PWW 10/15-21). Why don’t our local newscasters and financial news groups pounce on this? Are they controlled by “Big Oil,” too?
This should be front-page news in every newspaper and on every TV channel in America.

Via e-mail

Gains for liberties
There is good news for people who, like me, think that human rights and civil liberties should apply to everyone all the time. The Senate approved, by a vote of 90-9, an amendment to a military spending bill that would prohibit cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment of anyone detained in U.S. custody. George W. Bush doesn’t like this amendment.
In the Middle East, the Israeli Supreme Court has banned the army from using Palestinian civilians as “human shields.” And the United Kingdom will probably allow some prisoners and former inmates the right to vote after a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

Chuck Mann
Greensboro NC

Put on marching shoes
The complete collapse of the defined benefit plans negotiated over 80 years into thousands of labor contracts is in front of us. That’s an underlying message in the Delphi bankruptcy.
Attacks by corporations, unbelievable prejudice by the courts, the insolvency of the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation, and the cooperation of politicians — especially but not only the Republicans — are making this almost a certainty.
Combine this with the Social Security and Medicare crisis and you have a pending catastrophe for seniors — and everyone who has a senior relation, or who considers “becoming” a senior.
When you think about it, why should General Motors be held responsible for the health and retirement of almost a million people — that’s a social responsibility.
Didn’t someone with the initials “KM” once write about the contradiction between the social nature of production and its private appropriation?
It’s time for a 10 million seniors (and their relations) to march on Washington!

J. Case
Via e-mail

The joys of Citgo
I felt so proud, driving for the very first time into my local Citgo station and filling up, then asking the proprietor, “Guess why I am buying my gas here now?”
“Because,” she replied with some weariness, “Venezuela is not part of the American oil cartel which supports President Bush and makes us dependent on Middle Eastern oil, and because Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is a socialist and has nationalized the Venezuelan oil industry.” I almost keeled over in disbelief. That response alone was worth $2.69 a gallon for 87-octane regular! You can do likewise.

Willard B. Shapira
Minneapolis MN