A night to remember

Last night, among a couple thousand union reps, Dems, and a cross-section of our state, I watched our governor, Tim Kaine, newly elected junior Sen. Mark Warner, Sen. Jim Webb and Doris Mays, secretary-treasurer of the Virginia state AFL-CIO, take the stage to the tune of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” Virginia had just been called for Obama.

An African American woman whom I recognized from CWA stood next to me all night. She hugged me and started crying. She said, “I am so proud to be here, to hear this, and to be with you. Now I have to call my grandmother.”

Millions of us shared similar joyous moments.

Barry Weinstein

Northern Virginia

A Moment To Savor


This is a moment for fireworks

for the blare of horns

for poetry.

Let the first light of

a new dawn illuminate the faces

that didn’t make it here

as the long night recedes — at least a little bit.

So long to go but so far

to have come.

Let the nightmare of

Patriot acts and torture cells

of “rendition” and war be broken

let Justice roll down like

an unstoppable deluge

washing us clean of

murderers and liars,

of cynical imperialists

and shysters

leaving in its wake

a new topography on which to build

the tomorrow of our dream.

Al Markowitz

Via e-mail

Religion and communism

I am sick and tired of the capitalists using Christianity to hide what they truly are doing. They use religion, especially the Republicans, to trick the majority of the vote into believing them. Yes, God has a huge foothold in America but does that mean that capitalism is next to godliness? We discussed this at one of our CP meets here in the Dallas area.

One of the things said there made me look at my own pastor in a completely different light.

Was Jesus the first venture capitalist? I guess he really didn’t turn over the money changers’ tables but helped them work harder? Not only was Jesus at the very least a socialist, but he was of the migrant working class. He was a carpenter that moved from city to city finding contract work.

When He started his ministry, He did not charge a co-pay to heal the sick, nor did he ridicule the poor for not paying enough. He did not even treat everyone equally. He was more interested in the poor and working people. If you were well off, you had better start supporting the working class if you wanted to even smell Jesus.

His word commands us to help each other, and that you are your brother’s keeper. His word states that if you know what is good, and don’t do it, it is a sin. Helping others out, especially voting people and policies that would give the working class universal health care, and put the working class in charge of production instead of the elite is what has evolved into the right thing to do. Europe saw this long ago. Helping the masses.

Brandon Ivey

Via e-mail

Reclaiming our country?

About your editorial, “Reclaiming our country” (PWW 11/1-7): I agree with the principles this article promotes, but I wonder if such a thing is possible in America.

If it requires taxes, there’s going to be a lot of backlash. To give everyone equal opportunities in this country, and I venture to say even the entire world, it would take something more than cooperation.

Forcible redistribution, and it is redistribution, seems to be a contradiction of these terms, but maybe that’s what it takes in order to ensure that everyone’s needs are met.

Maybe the elimination of choice is the only way to guarantee long-term stability.


Via e-mail

Italian students strike

Not sure if you have been following this, but right now in Italy there are huge student strikes against proposed education cuts. The protest is nationwide, and has basically shut the education system down. There have been large marches uniting students on the right and left, and also violence between fascist and leftist youth.

I think the government passed the education bill today anyway, but they are waiting to see what will happen with the protests.

Matt Murtagh

Via e-mail

Pakistan’s earthquake

With now over 300 reported deaths, 500 injured and thousands rendered homeless as a result of the Oct. 29 earthquake that struck Baluchistan in southwest Pakistan, a new need for humanitarian assistance presents itself. Many in the area have left their homes because of fear that their homes will collapse due to structural damage from the initial earthquake or the numerous aftershocks.

UNICEF reports that over 70,000 people — 30,000 of them children — have been left homeless. Numerous aid organizations as well as the Pakistani military have entered the area to give assistance.

Winter is already setting in. The cold weather requires the need for an influx of cold weather clothes, tents and shoes, among other things.

Because of the remoteness of the region some outlying areas are accessible only by helicopter so a full assessment of the damage and need was/is not immediately knowable. Pakistan was hit by an earthquake in 2005 in which 81,000 perished. In a pre-partition 1935 Indian earthquake 35,000 died.

Given the fault lines that permeate the Himalayas the inevitability of continued earthquakes is a reality that requires greater scrutiny. An international plan of action, similar to that developed after the 2004 tsunami should be implemented.

Brian McAfee

Muskegon Heights MI

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