I quit!
I smoked cigarettes for 60 years, but when I read in the PWW that more people died from smoking than from all the wars we’ve been in, I quit cold turkey.

Betty DumovichGreat Falls MT

Rogue White House
Bush has now “unsigned” the International Criminal Court Treaty, trashing the entire Vienna Convention protocol, just as he imperiously dismissed the ABM Treaty, undermining global arms control.

Too aware of America’s inability to restore the shining moment of U.S. triumphalism experienced only ten years ago, G.W.’s rogue White House plows ahead with its Le Pen-like contempt for international consensus. To top it off, Bush brashly threatens aggressive war, months in advance, against Iraq for its not respecting some disputed U.N. resolutions!

Somewhat desperately, Bush insists on spending the Treasury surplus created under Clinton on an outrageous, illegal scheme to weaponize the heavens above, avowedly to dominate all countries by means of laser-armed orbiting war satellites. It seems as if the whole world is now our presumptive enemy.

Cord MacGuireBoulder CO

More on Ivens
Diane Mason’s fine article (4/13) on the Lincoln Center retrospective on Joris Ivens, one of the 20th century’s most influential documentary filmmakers, neglects to mention his central role in the filming of This Spanish Earth, the documentary narrated by the young Orson Welles and used widely in the United States by CPUSA activists and the broad anti-Fascist movement to mobilize support for the Spanish Republic against Franco’s fascist forces and their Nazi and Italian Fascist backers.

It also might be said explicitly that Ivens was a lifelong partisan of the Communist movement in its struggles for socialism and against fascism and imperialism, although many readers could imply that from Mason’s sensitive and insightful account.

Norman Markowitzvia e-mail

Ricky Johnson executed
Today is a sad day. South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges has denied Ricky Johnson’s request for clemency based on questions about his guilt. On May 3 the U.S. Supreme Court turned down a last minute request to intervene. Johnson, very likely an innocent man, will be put to death by lethal injection.

Though we may not have been able to save Ricky Johnson’s life – we did not fail to expose yet one more case where the death penalty is being used in a questionable manner. You responded by sending over 3,600 faxes to Governor Hodges, the Lt. Governor and Attorney General (who is currently running for Gov. against Hodges and is a fervent death penalty supporter). Your e-Activism led to multiple media stories.

I ask that you never forget the anger and frustration that you feel right now at our justice system and elected officials. Channel that energy into the fight for a moratorium on executions, as we have much hard work ahead of us, but it is not hopeless work.

Robert Jones, manager of The Moratorium CampaignNew Orleans LA

Action needed now on Palestine
In the next few weeks it is imperative for U.S. citizens concerned about the current situation in Palestine to join together. We must speak out against congressional bills and letters that are aimed at undermining U.S. relations with the Palestinian leadership and Arab countries and support legislation that advocates a balanced approach to the crisis. I urge you to lobby and call your congressional representatives to support humanitarian efforts in Palestine.

On May 13 and 14 in Washington, D.C., the Arab American Institute and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee will host a two-day conference and lobbying effort to help organize along these lines.

Speakers will include Nabil Shaath, Palestinian Authority Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Michael Tarazi and Diana Buttu, legal advisors in the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Negotiations Affairs Department, Adam Shapiro, from the International Solidarity Movement, and John Zogby, from Zogby International, among others.

For more information please call (202)429-9210 or e-mail project3@aaiusa.org

Patricia Lee OlveirasBethesda MD