Lack of bias on Iraq

Your lack of bias on the matter of the Iraq situation (“Quagmire,” PWW 4/10-16) is really a testament to the quality of American journalism. You are to be congratulated for doing such a fine job at maintaining objectivity.

C.V. GuidottiVia e-mail

Liked reports from El Salvador

I read Tim Pelzer’s article about the elections in El Salvador (PWW, 4/3-9). I wasn’t there, but I can imagine that what you say cannot be closer to the truth. I am from El Salvador, and have lived in Canada for 15 years.

I am not an FMLN fanatic or anything, but the fact that the elections were mainly driven by intimidation overshadows the democratic process in my country and puts it to shame. I wish that for once, the people of El Salvador would be left to make up their own minds. I was able to follow the on-line newspapers and TV broadcasts. They were a joke. Specially those of “El Diario de Hoy” and “El Noticiero.” They were filled with nothing but propaganda favoring ARENA.

There were certainly other factors that came into play, such as a low level of education for many of the voters. (For example, many still associate the FMLN with radical guerrilla fighters.) Again, I am not an FMLN fanatic, but I thought that the country could use a change in leadership, so they should have been given a chance. I mean, look at Mr. Saca’s background. He barely finished high school, and then dropped out of university. Granted, he is a successful businessman, but that won’t necessarily qualify him to run a nation.

Honestly, I think that Mr. Silva was the best candidate, not only because of his qualifications, but also because of his moderate ideologies. Anyway, thank you for bringing to light the important issues from a globally “unimportant” country.

J. MarionaVia e-mail

Europe’s benefits are better

Enclosed is a contribution to your – our – World in memory of Ishmael Flory. The paper really does a good job. It could even be better if once a month, say, you ran a list of workers’ benefits outside the United States. Take Europe, for example, where six weeks’ vacation is pretty much the norm. These are the kinds of bread and butter issues first-time readers of PWW can relate to in comparison with their own paltry benefits.

Laurence GellerPhiladelphia PA

About the stop-loss comment

I read the comment a reader sent about the military’s stop-loss program [which delays a person’s release from the armed forces] and I couldn’t agree more. My husband currently serves (active duty) in the United States Army and we will be affected by the stop-loss. They are supposed to impose a stop-loss about a week before his ETS [expiration of term of service] date and that will keep him in the Army against his will and send him back to Iraq. We got married and started a family a few months ago assuming he would be out of the Army come August, and now his first child will be born while he is across the world, fighting a war he didn’t want to fight again. He served his time, along with thousands of other soldiers. Why can’t the government commend them on the jobs they did and let them move on?

A readerVia e-mail

Not so rosy jobs report

I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of the present situation, but I found it interesting that you broke down the unemployment rate the way you did, Black, Latino, and teenagers … yet you say nothing of white unemployment, or those like myself who have dropped from the unemployment roles, or given up on the system.

Here in Kansas, for the first time in my life, most families I know have at least one person out of work or working part-time. This is disturbing as I work in construction, and there is very little work going on, which results in lower wages and fewer opportunities.

Mark MagnerVia e-mail

Editor’s reply: Your point is well taken. The official unemployment figure for white workers is currently at 5.1 percent, but this figure, like all the others, severely understates the true scope of the problem for the reasons you cite. Thank you.

I like Nader, but …

Thank you for your excellent article “Nader’s disastrous decision to run in 2004” by Norman Markowitz (PWW, 3/6-12). I like Ralph Nader immensely and have voted for him, but he can’t possibly win. The only priority is to vote out of office the Bush-Cheney-Ashcroft gang. Kerry is not ideal, but if he can win in November, so be it.

Also, we must get rid of the rest of the lousy, stinking, greedy conservatives and Republicans in office, too, in order to take back our country from the big corporations who control it now. There seems to be an anti-Bush movement growing amongst many kinds of people.

Charles BrickleyWatertown MA

Atlanta public transit in danger

The city of Atlanta is in danger of losing its public transit. The state refuses to fund MARTA, the outlying counties won’t let us run rail lines into them. It’s a huge damned mess. And now they’re talking about scaling back the system by 35 percent next year, which would make an already substandard system all but unusable. About 500,000 people, many (most?) of them low-income wage workers, take MARTA to their jobs every day. Check out

MilesAtlanta GA