Arnold got it wrong

The following is an open letter sent to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

On behalf of “girlie men” everywhere I’m perplexed. Last night while you were speaking at the Republican National Convention, you said, “To those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: ‘Don’t be girlie men.’” I’ve never known girlie men to be pessimistic about much of anything. Think of our leading girlie men icons — Liberace, Paul Lynde, Charles Nelson-Reilly, Freddy Mercury, Nathan Lane, and Harvey Fierstein — all hopeless optimists, smiling and fighting on in the face of adversity. Oops. Now I get it. You simply misread the teleprompter. You obviously meant to say, “To those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: “BE girlie men.” I look forward to someone in your office setting the record straight, so to speak.

Matt ForemanExecutive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Cuba, NYC and autism

As a school psychologist working in NYC’s Department of Education, I was amazed by “58 students, 57 teachers: Cuba Tackles Autism” (PWW 7/3-9). I would like to give you the New York version of how Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein deal with autistic children in their “school reform.”

When we go to preschools to evaluate the “turning 5” children we are told “not to test,” but to just place them blindly in kindergarten classes no matter what their disability may be or not. In other words, look away, “and do the paperwork.”

If preschoolers are not evaluated properly, we can over look disabilities like autism, visual motor perception delays, reading disorders, social emotional delays that may interfere with reading and math readiness skills.

Preschoolers have made incredible strides with interventions such as play therapy, counseling, physical and speech therapy. Why do Bloomberg and Klein refuse to see the tremendous progress these interventions make? Is it because they don’t want to fund these therapies?

I wish that Cuban President Fidel Castro could come and visit NYC. I think we have many lessons to learn from Cuba on how to address children’s needs.

Maria OrtizNew York City NY

Where is Radio Havana?

There are two sources of news that have been unflinching for me for the last 30 years: The People’s Weekly World and Radio Havana.

Radio Havana had been off the air (to Central California) for at least the last three weeks. Usually you can blame a short offage to ionospheric problems or hamming, but this is extreme. All frequencies 9.820 MHZ, 6.000 MHZ, 9.550 MHZ, 11.760 MHZ, 11.730 MHZ SSB are off the air.

Shortwave radio is a long-standing way to circumvent state run media (as we now have in the U.S.). It is also a bargain compared to the Internet, as the BBC realized a couple of years ago when they tried to cancel world service shortwave in deference to their Internet broadcasts.

As you know the “Crawford cowpie” (George Bush) has sent a special plane to beam down Radio Marti on the Cubans. There are also new hi-tech ways to erase a radio signal. Please print as much of this inquiry as necessary to get feedback from your other reader-listeners. Where is Radio Havana?

Ned LongSanta Barbara CA

Women’s voices

I am glad that women’s voices were heard at the Democratic National Convention. A number of us, in Washington for a Tikkun teach-in, took a few hours to participate in the March for Women’s Lives last April.

At the Mall, the march of over a million people was in progress. It was a great thrill to be a part of it as I remembered the bitter days of illegal abortions. The crowd was vibrant, mostly young, with great signs like, “Keep Your Rosaries Out of Our Ovaries,” and “Keep Your Laws Off Our Bodies.” The speakers were wonderful.

There were actors, legislators and musicians. Many brought their daughters who were so self assured, beautiful to behold. Many speakers reminded the audience that Roe v. Wade hangs by one vote in the Supreme Court and that the next president will be choosing the new judges.

So vote, vote, vote, they said. What a glorious day!

Phyllis SolomonVia e-mail

Thanks for Aliant story

I would like to start off by thanking you for Tim Wheeler’s article “Canada Phone Strike Solid After 4 Months” (PWW 8/21-27) that I received from Google.

I am an Aliant striker and have worked for its predecessor company, MT&T in Halifax, for 14 years. Yes, we have been on strike now for just under four months and our resolve is solid to acquire a “fair and reasonable” collective agreement.

Wheeler wrote a very informed article and represented us well.

I hope he had a great time while visiting our Province as this is where we are fighting to keep our jobs.

Penny FawcettNova Scotia, Canada

Election scare tactics

It looks as if the Bush administration is mobilizing its forces — the press, TV media, corporations, etc., with campaign scare tactics.

I was watching MSNBC and they were running a series, “12 ways to protect yourself against terrorist attack.” NBC news will feature a similar story about the Homeland Security campaign. This campaign is encouraging people to buy a “red bag kit” that includes dried soup and duct tape to protect yourself and your family against a possible terrorist attack. Can PWW expose this campaign tactic?

Sijisfredo AvilesChicago IL