A billion here, a billion there

The title to this little verse was borrowed from an excellent leaflet that was distributed at a recent demonstration. I owe a debt of gratitude to them and the demonstration.

A billion here, a billion there,
Each a thousand times a millionaire!
And now, the trillions
Loudly resound from the press and air.
When will we stop this robbery
That is imposed … on you and me?
Stand up, Stand up, Stand up!
Speak out, Speak out, Speak out!

Norm RothNorthlake IL

Hi-tech jobloss

Regarding “Jobs report not so rosy” (PWW 4/10-16), up here in Massachusetts and New Hampshire a lot of us have been laid off from high tech software jobs. I was a software engineer and graduated from Northeastern University in 1994 with about $50,000 in debt. I worked in high tech until I got laid off in 2001. Since then I have not found permanent employment in my field or any other field and now I’m quickly loosing any experience in my line of work.

Since being laid off I took the H&R Block tax course and worked for them for one season for $7.50 an hour and only got to work at most 6-12 hours a week.

This year I went back to school to study Linux. I also got a job as a math and computer science tutor making $8.50 an hour but can’t seem to get more than 8-10 hours a week. Friends of mine who also had degrees in hardware, networking, mathematics and software now are lucky if they can find work at Home Depot.

Where are these jobs that the Bush administration keeps hyping about? I’m afraid with all the offshoring and outsourcing we’ll never recover. We’ll just get pretty good at not working, which is not my choice.

Thanks for letting me rant a bit.

JeanneDerry NH

Saludos compañero

I was very pleased to read about the meeting held and issues discussed at the “Boricua Roundtable” in the Bronx, N.Y. (“Puerto Ricans chart progressive agenda” by Jose A. Cruz, PWW 5/29-6/4). In particular I embrace the idea to start “Encuenro eMag,” and N.Y. Rep. Nydia Velazquez’ motion to move John Kerry to embrace the Puerto Rican agenda as well as placing a Puerto Rican or Latino as deputy.

I look forward to continued information concerning the movement of Puertorriqueños making a difference in the political arena.

Lil DeConsueloQuebradillas, Puerto Rico

Letter from Africa

Rwanda is a beautiful country – it boasts to be the most beautiful country in Africa – and according to all the folks I’ve talked to so far this is true. Rwanda is in the process of reconciling and facilitating peace ten years after the genocide. The stories of the folks here are intense, emotional and inspiring because from all of the pain and hate many are finding love as the only vehicle for healing.

We have a lot to learn from the model of justice and reconciliation used here on the continent. The young revolutionary leaders, who are challenging the colonial past and the globalized-imperialized present, are inspiring and unique. I am learning so much about the value of life, love and organizing.

The land and air are unbelievable. I am staying on a vast lake that mimics an endless ocean with clear blue waters. Lush green islands jut out of the lake offering a pallette of thick green and blue bliss that is undeveloped and organic. The stars are thick and the sky is black at night – no need for blankets because the warmth of the air is comforting. The plants and creatures that inhabit the area are free and we have a mutual respect and understanding that space and the earth are to be shared not conquered.

Anita WheelerVia e-mail

At last

On Memorial Day I was pleased to watch on TV the dedication of the World War II memorial in Washington. It came almost 60 years late but it signified a change in the political climate.

World War II was the largest war in the history of the world. It absorbed the attention and activity of our country completely. A grand alliance of all the freedom-loving people of the world was formed to defeat fascism. It was the last war that was justifiable.

There was no memorial dedicated to our troops when the war ended. Instead our government set about destroying the coalition that had saved the world. The Cold War was started. It cost many times what was spent on WW II. It was directed not only against the Soviet Union but also against the FDR economic reforms.

I have not yet seen the new WW II memorial, and I assume that it minimizes the role of our allies, especially the USSR. Nevertheless I think we should welcome the change in the political climate that has reminded people of another day when the world was on a progressive track and our government led the world into the United Nations.

It is especially encouraging that a new coalition is emerging in our country that promises to reverse the ultra-right policies of our government.

George EdwardsPittsburgh PA
The author is a World War II veteran.