Investigate oil swindlers

This letter was sent to our senators and our congressman:

We just called for a price on #2 heating oil this morning. It was $3.09 per gallon, provided we buy 200 gallons or more! What a shock!

We do not wish to go into detailed accusations of a conspiracy between the evil troika of Bush-Cheney, the oil sheiks and the oil monopolies. There is no smoking gun, but circumstantial evidence is abundant. These three parties combined are the biggest thieves, swindlers and liars in history.

As in Europe, if these fantastic overcharges were used for the people’s welfare, to improve education, housing, national health care or public projects to ease unemployment, then most people would gladly accept them. But to line the pockets of this unholy trinity is the greatest sin and crime.

A thorough investigation is called for. Hearings and exposure of these thieves are in order. The people know the truth and are waiting for your action, which is long overdue.

Saib and Janet Shunia
White Lake MI

Go Houston

Re “White Sox head to World Series” (PWW 10/22-28), in all fairness to the rest of the country, it should be noted that the Chicago White Sox have two defectors from the Cuban national team pitching for them. Jose Contreras and “El Duque” both defected from Cuba to play baseball in the USA. Not only that, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf was the team owner who conspired with Bud Selig to force the baseball players’ strike of 1994. Go Houston, where they play real baseball, National League, no designated hitters.

Joe Hancock
Los Angeles CA

Dark times

I was much impressed by Wadi’h Halabi’s article on “Life and Debt in the USA” (PWW 10/22-28). Recently, I have found myself suffering from the dilemma of being in debt but not able to declare bankruptcy because of the new law. I could always blame myself for overextending my credit, but then again the system demands that we always blame ourselves for being the victims. It’s not surprising I received an offer for a Citibank credit card the day after the law came into effect!

The capitalist system has lost its democratic value for most working people and definitely for those on fixed incomes. We may have temporarily succeeded in blocking the right wing from dismantling Social Security, but for most of us on fixed incomes it is harder and harder to make ends meet. The 1-1/2 percent cost of living increase for Social Security is simply not commensurate with the average 8 or 9 percent increase in living costs during the last several years.

As fuel prices soar and in many urban areas housing costs are unaffordable due to speculation, so many of us are beginning to experience a future that is bleak. Even food costs are on such an increase that it is getting harder and harder to obtain the proper nutrition for many.

The Bush years have led most of us into darker times economically and poverty is ever becoming a bigger issue although the capitalist media paint a rosy picture.

Kelly McConnell
Los Angeles CA

On global worker solidarity

General Motors announced an agreement with the United Auto Workers reducing health care benefits to autoworkers and retirees in the U.S. The amount is about $1 billion annually.

This accommodation by the union highlights, indeed magnifies, the continuing squeeze on workers and their unions in the U.S. and around the world. The squeeze is, of course, embedded in the model of corporate globalization to benefit corporate profits, and it is far from over.

A recent New York Times article describes concessions forced from city workers — teachers, streets workers and others. New York City workers like all others face a corporate political atmosphere and the globalization squeeze reaches out to all.

How far will they go? History suggests they will go as far as they can.

This unfolding process has caused some to be skeptical of the labor movement’s response, failing to recognize the enormity of the foe and the current relationship of forces. Skepticism in the working-class movement and among allies and potential allies can weaken the potential for struggle. I’d like to see the PWW help fill the gap. A weekly column on efforts to build international solidarity and address the problems in a practical fashion would make a contribution.

Beth Edelman
Via e-mail

Blaming poverty on the poor

Give us your deprived,
your malleable muddled masses
hoping for a gentler taskmaster
Welcome to the multi-trillion dollar industry, Poverty
A.K.A., cheapest labor force
Poverty works, never ever

A much needed commodity to justify
White-collar crime classes
Teaching dastardly deeds —
to procure monetary needs —
fostering avarice greed

Poverty creates jobs for those
financing the societal
Institution of ya godda pay more taxes
Blaming poverty on the poor
Look! what Enron did to those
less fortunate

Blaming poverty on the poor

Did not corporations want a
billion-dollar welfare check

Blaming poverty on the poor
Blaming poverty on the poor

Give us your deprived, your
malleable muddled masses
hoping for a gentler taskmaster
Welcome to the multi-trillion dollar industry, poverty
A.K.A., cheapest labor force

No penance just punishment
augmenting the pillar of economic pillaging
Poor people put in the pillory from the political pulpit
Poverty is prime property

Poverty pimps portrayed as political preachers purely punitive but polite
The pluralization of poverty
provides prestige of the patricians
Poverty, the promissory note from the bureaucratic infidel
The truth will tell — the truth will tell.

Josephine Dixon Banks
Via e-mail


W.T. Whitney’s informative coverage of Cuba and other areas of Latin America is a welcome addition to the PWW. His compact, well-written reports give us an insight into aspects of life and developments in a region about which we are subjected to too much misinformation — when there is any at all. Congratulations to the PWW and thanks to Whitney.

Ellen Perlo
Croton-on-Hudson NY