Manifest destiny robs the poor

Aristotle said that every action has a condition, a situation and a cause. Billions of people in the world are starving. The situation is that there are so many people living in parts of the world that have lost their ability to produce food for their citizens. That is because, to be really simple, the wealth of their lands does not remain at home. The condition, and the seminal reason, is the generations of colonialism and exploitation by the Western powers that have robbed the people of these nations of their birthright.

Africa is by far the wealthiest land on the planet. It has what the world wants – fossil fuels, natural gas, gold, diamonds, uranium, metals, etc. But all that wealth does not feed its people; instead it goes to the gold traders on Wall Street, the diamond merchants in Antwerp, the oil barons in Houston and the rest of the bourgeoisie in Munich, Zurich, London, Amsterdam and Paris. It was all done with manipulation, legerdemain, war and actual stealing – all in the name of manifest destiny.

Brazilian poet-priest Dom Helder Camara said it best: “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”

If that be the case, call me a communist any time.

Don Sloan MDNew York NY

A fighting attitude

We prosecuted an illegal and immoral war that killed thousands of innocent Iraqis; a war commanded by old white men in which young people, many of color, died. The leaders who led our nation into war gained their positions through subterfuge, deception, and fraud.

George Bush is an illegitimate president. I have never accepted him as president. His defeat in 2004 is our number one responsibility. As our leader, Mr. Bush has embarked on a course to further strengthen the power of the rich at the expense of everyone else. Massive tax cuts, increases in military spending, and the expenditure of billions of dollars on “anti-terrorism” mean the cutback of already inadequate funds for health care, education, housing, jobs, the environment, and much more.

Yet I am optimistic. Every Saturday, a group of dedicated people holds a vigil at a major intersection in our community. Even in the recent 90+ degree heat we have those who stand and deliver our message. We display signs that highlight the connection between war and the cutback in social services, and the growing threat to the Bill of Rights posed by this administration. Overwhelmingly, the people show their support for what we are saying.

The struggle is long and hard, but our success is not in doubt. The old slogan is more true now than ever before: The people united will never be defeated.

David Cavendishvia e-mail

Defense spending, then and now

Before George W. Bush’s father became President, one invulnerable submarine could destroy any country on Earth.

The Cold War ended over 10 years ago. The former Soviet Union split into 15 countries. There are about 300 million people in the U.S. For each of the past 10 years, the U.S. has been spending about $300 billion for defense. In other words, the U.S. has been spending about $1,000 per person per year for the last 10 years.

One U.S. submarine now has more firepower than all of WWII.

According to the 2003 World Almanac, the U.S. defense budget is now five times larger than the Russian budget. All Western European nations are allies of the U.S.

Still, George W. Bush has obtained large increases in non-terrorist related defense spending.

Chris CollinsChicago IL

Misled, broken-hearted seniors

When you get to City Hall to work with senior citizens, the pay is under $3.00 per hour, but they never call you! This is an insult. This is only for some jobs.

Operation Able, a well-known agency Title V program, promises you training. You make $5.15 an hour, 20 hours a week. You’re promised permanent employment. You work up to a year or more and still no permanent employment. This is unfair! This is a misrepresentation and a way to keep you in a minimum wage job.

There’s no justification for keeping older people in the chains of deceit. I make $5.15 an hour. It makes me sick. I’m looking for employment!

Mary SamuelsChicago IL