Letters – May 17, 2008


More on food security

As a long-time reader of PWW, I am wondering why the paper is not taking a stronger position on food security? Clearly the U.S. government and its capitalist supporters are the prime “bad guys” in this deplorable mess. Everything from the new farm bill, to legislation pushing ethanol generation from food crops, to supports by the U.S.-supported World Bank and International Monetary Fund for “free trade” for developing nations is causing havoc and death across the globe. Here is an issue that everyone can understand, defuse and redirect.

Michael Dollard

Salem NY

Editor’s note: We appreciate the urgency of your letter. The PWW has been covering this issue for more than a year, especially through the lens of using food for fuel. This is an issue with many factors, which we will be writing about going forward. For past articles go to pww.org.


Marilyn Bechtel’s article on Tibet (PWW 4/19-25) gives some good background and analysis on a complex subject. The current furor in the commercial news media is no doubt part of the deluge of China-bashing that has gone on for some time now, and appears to be particularly aimed at detracting from the upcoming Olympics.

In a visit to Mongolia in 1975, I learned that prior to that country’s 1921 revolution, it lived under a system of Lamaism which was extremely oppressive and kept that country in a severely undeveloped and impoverished condition.

John Vago

Philadelphia PA

Prisoner’s thank you

I would like to thank you for running a story on me in the PWW March 15-21. A friend sent me a copy of it, and I was very pleased reading it and knowing that it’s people like you and your readers who do care.

I just received a letter from the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, stating that my petition from Oct. 18, 2005, was denied! It took them more than 28 months to deny it. I had many people calling and being concerned about it. I will still keep the fight going, because I am allowed to file again within one year from the date of denial.

I’ll never give up knowing that this is the most wrongful sentence in the state of Illinois, and that someday I will be free.

Charles Solo Harris

Pontiac IL

Stop ‘Runner Initiative’

I do hope there is someone who is interested in justice! Please find below a summary of a special initiative that will be on the November ballot in California. This initiative is only interested in putting our youth in prison. I hope you will agree with me that this is horrible. Notice that there is nothing said in this inititative about prevention or intervention programs to keep our youth out of prison.

The “Runner Initiative” was introduced by Senate Republican Caucus Chairperson George Runner and was written by the author of the “three strikes” law, Mike Reynolds. This initiative would, among other things:

• target youth for adult incarceration, deeming any youth 14 years or older who is convicted of a “gang-related” felony as unfit for trial in a juvenile court or housing in a youth prison;

• remove community and mental health input from Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council;

• require that Youthful Offender Block Grant funds be distributed to county probation offices and prohibit them from being provided directly to county drug treatment, mental health or other county departments.

Keith Morgan

Los Angeles CA

Keith Morgan is a board member of Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes.

School cuts

The following letter is just one of many sent to New York City Board of Education Chancellor Joel Klein protesting the whopping $180 million (1.75 percent) cuts this year, and an additional cut of as much $823 million (8 percent) is in the works. We delivered a giant envelope full of kids’ protest letters to the chancellor. The cuts will mean even larger class sizes, fewer teachers and support staff, shortages of books and classroom supplies, and downsizing after-school programs and arts, science and music education.

“Dear Chancellor Klein, Hello. My name is James. I go to P.S. 87. I just heard that you’re cutting the school’s budget. I don’t want to be mean, but next year I’m going to be in the 4th grade, and I want it to be even better than last year, but it won’t be if you lower my and other schools’ budgets. There won’t be enough money for books (and I’m crazy over books) and chairs for sitting on, and pencils to last us through September to June, and a lot more reasons that I don’t want to talk about! So, please, stop cutting my and other schools’ budgets, so that I will have a wonderful 4th grade. Sincerely, James.”

Gale Brewer

New York NY

Gale Brewer is a member of the New York City Council.

Working families deserve better

California Legislative Republicans have yet again introduced non-budget items into budget negotiations. Their proposals to roll back the eight-hour day, undo meal period protections and loosen prevailing wage requirements are merely distractions from tough budget negotiations that must continue.

It’s time for these legislators to take their responsibility seriously and do the job they were elected to do — balance our state budget.

These distractions blame workers for our budget gap. As gas prices, food prices and housing prices threaten the economic security of working families, Republican legislators want to take away overtime pay, lunch breaks and prevailing wage standards.

It is further evidence of how California’s Republican legislators are simply out of touch with California’s workers.

Art Pulaski

Sacramento CA

Art Pulaski is executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation. This press statement was released on May 13.

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People’s Weekly World

3339 S. Halsted St.

Chicago IL 60608


Letters should be limited to 200 words. We reserve the right to edit stories and letters. Only signed letters with the return address of the sender will be considered for publication, but the name of the sender will be withheld on request.