Republican convention

Today in Tucson, 8/29/04
Freedom of speech
stands on the street
in boldface,
alliteration and rhyme

(while syllables
stressed and unstressed
dressed in camouflage
count off
in mindless cadence)

floating on banners
and dancing on poles
clamor for peaceful


Gretchen NielsenTucson AZ

Double standard on Cuba

I’m a union carpenter. I have been observing the intrigue between the Bush “war on terrorism” and its connection with the liars, thieves and vultures of the Cuban Liberty Council (CLC).

According to the National Lawyers Guild new restrictions on travel to Cuba from the U.S. are illegal and unconstitutional. The U.S. Constitution forbids any discrimination against citizens and legal residents of our country. The 14th Amendment prohibits discrimination based on age, sex, national origin, race, religion or political belief under the law.

Cubans are the only ethnic group limited in travel and trade opportunity. The federal government does not intervene in relations within other ethnic communities; Irish-American, Italian-American, etc. Isn’t this called a double standard?

People-to-people exchanges with Cuba are based upon mutual interests and friendship. The longstanding myth that U.S. democracy is the only model of justice and fairness in the world is a distorted ideology permeated with arrogance, contempt and paternalism. The recent administration attack on the status of Cuban Americans is cruel and unusual punishment solely because the Cuban people chose to erect their own path to self-determination.

Restricting family visits are reckless moves against a legally constituted government and sovereign independent nation. They did not work 45 years ago and will not work today. Ask your Congresspersons to use the power of their office to educate fellow members that human rights belong to all. Send Bush back to Texas!

Richard GrasslAuburn WA

Good question

I have a fundamental question: while you undoubtedly are well versed in what the Communist Party in the USA stands for and advocates, I and I suspect many others really do not. I think it would be useful to run a series of update articles on this subject and see if they can get some distribution beyond preaching to the choir. The time may be ripe for recruitment of those disillusioned with capitalism who are searching for a new political system with which to affiliate. Somehow, the stigma of being a communist/socialist must be erased.

Willard ShapiraMinneapolis MN

Editor’s note: We agree. We plan to begin just this kind of series shortly.

More about McCarthyism

About “McCarthyism Rears Its Ugly Head” (PWW 7/31-8/6): Could I get more information on atrocities in the McCarthy era backed with evidence? I am debating often about U.S. repression of thought being worse than Cuban.


Martin A. DrollCambridge OH

Editor’s reply: A good place to begin is Anne Fagan Ginger and Robert Christiano, eds., “The Cold War Against Labor,” 2 volumes. Gil Green’s “Cold War Fugitive” and Lester Cole’s “Hollywood Red,” the experiences of Communists, are also very good. Also, since you are debating about Cuba, you might look at the chapter on U.S. imperialist involvement in Cuba, from the Spanish American war to the many attempts to murder Fidel, in Ed and Regula Boorstein’s “Counter-Revolution,” and make the point that this is what successive U.S. governments did to Cuba: what did the Cuban government ever do to the U.S.? Ellen Schrecker’s work on McCarthyism, while it contains criticism of the party and its leadership with which we don’t agree, has a great deal of valuable material.

A new low

The satanic Bush/Karl Rove dirty tricks gang has reached a new low. Unlike G.W. Bush, who found safe haven in the Texas Air National Guard, John Kerry enlisted in the U.S. Navy, put his life on the line in Vietnam, earned the Bronze Star, Silver Star for valor and received three Purple Heart awards and, let’s not forget, he was never AWOL.

Bush has lied and cheated his way through life! Why should we believe him when he pleads nolo on the Swift Boat sailor political ad? He and his fellow corrupters will lie, cheat and, if they can get away with it, steal the 2004 election!

A vet for Kerry.

Tom TullyVia e-mail

Lives lost

37,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the start of the U.S. invasion, according to a study by the People’s Kifah, an Iraqi citizen group. The study involved interviews with hospital officials, grave diggers and witnesses who saw Iraqis die as a result of U.S. fire. It is reprehensible that the story of Iraqi civilian deaths is not considered “news that’s fit to print.” When the 3,000-plus victims of 9-11 are referred to, they are always described as heroes and patriots. I figure they were like the rest of us that morning: they woke up, went to the office and proceeded to go about their day. Except, unlike the rest of us, they were killed by the actions taken by a few ideological fanatics. I guess had I been there and died I’d be a hero too. Well what about the 37,000 Iraqi children, women and men who were also in the wrong place at the wrong time while an ideological fanatic attacked their country? Are they heroes? Are they patriots? What meaning does their death have? The U.S. military has a name for them — collateral damage. To the American establishment: they are disposable people, whose deaths have no meaning. How can a nation so mourn the death of their fellow citizens while at the same time be so callous to the deaths they cause to others?

Charlie AtkinsVia e-mail