Watch your language

I refer to your article in the Labor Update section of July 24-30, “Extremists vs. freedom to organize.” What makes me cringe is the term “group of radical right Republicans.” The New York Times started the ball rolling over 50 years ago using the term radical right or radical left to totally confuse the reader, as if there is no difference between the two. There is no such thing as radical right. Either one is progressive and on the left, or on the right, i.e. the reactionary right. Let us not fall into this terminology trap created by the right.

Martin KaplinBrentwood CA

Stick with your conscience

A recent letter by a right-wing critic, which appeared in the PWW, was very insightful and instructive — but not the way its author intended. It further bears out my observation that if most reactionaries are given enough verbal rope, they will usually hang their own arguments.

The writer drew an image of modern Communists as ranting on red soapboxes, with the Communist Manifesto on one had and a Big Mac in the other. The gist of his “argument”: “Turn from your non-conforming ways! Get with the (official) program or you’re liable to lose your freedom!”

I’ve always been under the silly impression that freedom in practice means not having to march in step with a government’s policy or ideology, especially when an informed conscience tells you that a policy, practice, law or military involvement is motivated by private, predatory interests, not the interests of public welfare and environmental concerns.

It is not only your constitutional right, but also your responsibility to turn aside from a marching band, and utilize your freedom of speech to warn its members that it is being led over a cliff.

When reactionaries warn you that you must either “get in line” or risk losing your freedom, the latter half of their admonition is a euphemism. What they really mean to say is, “Either get in line or WE will take your democratic rights and freedoms away!”

Eric RayTampa FL

Is this the best we can do?

I am appalled at what our country’s leaders had to say at the Republican convention this week. Their irresponsible fiscal policies have created the largest deficits in history, but that was not addressed. Neither was the huge loss of jobs during the current administration’s tenure, or the fact that Osama bin Laden is still at large.

What was said? The service record of a decorated veteran was mocked by the chickenhawks who have plunged us into an expensive and unproductive quagmire that is still killing our soldiers and weakening our military. New Yorkers’ suffering during 9/11 was used as an excuse for jingoism that New Yorkers themselves overwhelmingly oppose. Surely we can do better than this.

Alice UnderwoodNew York NY

Aliant article helpful

Just read your article on Aliant strike (by Tim Wheeler, PWW, 8/21-27), thought it was great. I started working for them in 1976 when it was Maritime Tel & Tel. Just another case of corporate greed. Your article was posted on a forum which Aliant employees access to vent and inform themselves. This kind of coverage is appreciated. Thank you.

Dave ThompsonYarmouth, Nova Scotia

Reading the truth

Thank you for the article in People’s Weekly World. It’s good to read the truth, we don’t see much good these days. I am a 30-year [Aliant] employee and I for one appreciate your view.

The BecksVia e-mail

Liked article on Black farmers

I really enjoyed reading your article on Georgia’s Black farmers (PWW, 6/26-7/2).

Leslie AndrewsVia e-mail

Web site update

Hi, all: The Canadians for Peace and Socialism web site has been updated as of today. If you decide to visit, enjoy your visit.

John BeechingVia e-mail

Liked Sam Webb article

I was glad to read Sam Webb’s article, “The role of the left in these elections,” in the Aug. 28 edition of the PWW. It was great to see that the CPUSA is concentrating on the very real dangers that a second Bush administration poses for our country. The tendency among many on the left to refuse to actively work for the election of centrist or even liberal Democrats because they do not fully represent the changes we would like to see, is counterproductive. It confuses allies and complicates efforts to empower the working and oppressed peoples that the left and progressive movements champion. The differences in this election are real and substantial. The outcome in November has the potential to decide the fate of our country for decades to come. Any hope of advance for the vast majority of our people and democracy itself is at stake. Again, thank you to Sam Webb for taking the bold step of making it clear what our work should focus on this election year.

Curtis AtkinsFayetteville AR

Don’t minimize the South

Don’t count out the South, and particularly North Carolina, this election. People who were die-hard Republicans are fed up with the Shrub. I am amazed at the anti-Bush sentiments I hear being voiced. This state has lost more manufacturing jobs then any other state in the union since Bush and his gang seized control of the White House. Now is the time to build a broad based coalition of workers, small business people and former Republicans. Don’t write anybody off!

Harvey SmithVia e-mail