It’s a necessity

This morning I had another experience that reinforced my conviction that multilingualism is a practical necessity for the survival of democracy in our country. Anxious to find out about a demonstration against immigration raids in the Inland Empire June 13, I went to the L.A. Times and found nothing. Next I went to the Times’ sister subsidiary of the Tribune, La Opinion, and the demonstration was the top story with up to 10,000 demonstrators reported as participating.

Institutional racism in the media is practiced by commission and omission. The editing in of racism is often very subtle, the editing out of antiracism is deafening. Frank Del Olmo and Ruben Salazar must be turning in their graves.

Rosalio MuñozLos Angeles CA

Pharmacist violates ethics

Allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions because they personally oppose birth control, and not due to concerns involving drug interactions or the patient’s health, violates the ethical obligation the pharmacist has to the patient and interferes with the patient/doctor relationship. Pharmacist Neil Noesen from Menomonee, Wis., refused to refill a patient’s birth control prescription and disregarded what was in the patient’s best interest and ignored a doctor’s prescribed medical treatment because he personally opposes birth control. Pharmacists have an ethical obligation according to the Wisconsin Administrative Code to refrain from “engaging in any pharmacy practice which constitutes a danger to the health, welfare, or safety of patient or public, including, but not limited to, practicing in a manner which substantially departs from the standard of care.” (Wisconsin Administrative Code, Standards of unprofessional conduct, PHR 10.03).

The use of oral contraceptives is most certainly a standard of care for a women wanting to prevent pregnancy – 85 percent of sexually active women take, or have taken, oral contraceptives. Clearly, Noesen placed the woman’s health and well-being in danger, not to mention a pregnancy that could occur and abort, if the woman isn’t in good reproductive health.

Charlotte SiverlingCadott WI

Practice what you preach

Health insurance should be a right. People work all their damn life and the meager savings they’ve put together is gone. How can you sit in the front pew in church and claim to be a good Christian and you don’t give a damn whether people have health care or not? I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, and I want to know, why can’t we have a national health care system like they have in Canada?

Jack LoveSavannah GA
The author is business manager of Local 188 Steamfitters, Plumbers and Pipefitters Union.

The Day After Tomorrow

Carolyn Rummel’s review of “The Day After Tomorrow” (PWW, 6/5-11) is right on target. The only thing I would add is that the Bush administration’s refusal to go along with the rest of the world and sign the Kyoto protocol, thereby accepting U.S. responsibility for reducing its share of greenhouse gas emissions, adds one more reason to the many others for defeating George W. Bush in November. This is the reason MoveOn.org is promoting nationwide informative visits to movie theaters and engaging viewers of “The Day After Tomorrow” in conversations about the political implications of the film. This is a movie that the administration would rather viewers not see.

John PappademosFerguson MO

Mobilizing the vote

I can really appreciate the words of [Coalition of Black Trade Unionists President] Bill Lucy (“CBTU: Mobilize the vote” by Scott Marshall and Jim Wilkerson, PWW, 6/5-11). Rhetoric such as his is what we need to get rid of Bush and the Republican majority in the House and Senate. Let’s stop worrying about getting the 4 or 6 percent of the undecided voters and mobilize the 50 percent that just don’t bother to vote. It takes the words of leaders like Lucy and Jesse Jackson to fire up the majority of the U.S. voters and to get then out to vote. This must be our top priority for the next five months. PWW has it right! Now we must get the rest of the nation on your front page.

Jim DienerVia e-mail

The deserts of Juarez and the siren song of capitalism

In the ticker tape news a flash of words announces that another compañera in Juarez, Mexico, has fallen victim to patriarchy, globalization and poverty. This border city (across the river from El Paso, Texas) has seen the murder of over 350 compañeras.

Many have been young maquiladora workers lured to this megapolis by the promises of NAFTA: exploitation and $4-a-day jobs in multinational assembly plants. Living at the periphery of Juarez in the shantytowns, the compañeras use an unregulated system of mass transit to get to their jobs in the maquilas. Their days start at the pre-dawn hours in areas with no municipal services or lighting and end in late night return after grueling 12-14 hour shifts at the assembly plants. These unsafe commutes have often been suspected of being places where the desaparecidas have met the elusive killer/killers.

In a world where women often fall victim to violence, the fate of the compañeras has barely gotten a response from the Mexican authorities. Despite a grassroots effort to stop the violence, women continue to die. The siren song of capitalism lures the compañeras into a city where they remain anonymous, to a work place where they are disposable and to the hands of a killer that knows this too well.

Todo el poder al pueblo!

Raul CanoFrom Texas via e-mail

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