Letters to the editor
volume:  
volume 38
issue 4
August 2017

RASMEA ODEH

Farewell event

Join us for an evening of music, culture, and struggle to honor Palestinian icon Rasmea Odeh.

There will be a keynote address by former political prisoner Angela Davis.

The event is on Saturday, Aug. 12, 7:00 pm, at the International Union of Operating Engineers Hall. The address is: 2260 S. Grove Street, Chicago, IL 60616.

Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the door. Purchase online or call 312-899-6392.

Rasmea Defense Committee, U.S. Palestinian Community Network, and Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Editor’s note: 69-year-old Odeh took a plea deal to lose her citizenship and leave the country rather than risk a lengthy prison sentence on bogus charges. Justice was not served by the state-sponsored harassment of this Palestinian-American community leader.


FRACKING AND MORE

Earthquake in Okla.

Thank you for the article: Big win for “Don’t Frack Maryland” [Vol. 38, No. 3]. Fracking is a rape of the earth! Here in Oklahoma, fracking has caused many earthquakes in recent years. Earthquakes in Oklahoma were once unheard of. Congrats to the activists in Maryland for stopping fracturing in their state for good.

I did not like the bird brain cartoon that appeared in your April-May issue [Vol. 38, No. 2] All species of birds whether they be woodpeckers, doves, scissor tail flycatchers, etc. are intelligent beings. We should remove species-ist language and ideas from our culture! As a progressive, I am a supporter of the rights of nonhuman animals.

Trump has done it yet again! The people of London have just had another series of terrorist attacks. What does Trump do? He insults the mayor of London. Trump is a sociopath with no empathy or human compassion. Appalling!

Please keep us readers up-to-date about Mumia Abu-Jamal and his health. The government must Free Mumia Now!

Dmitri Popov, Tulsa, Okla.


TURKEY

Release human rights activists!

Ten human rights defenders detained on July 5, 2017, in Istanbul on alleged suspicion of membership of an armed organization should be released immediately.

Turkish police detained the group of prominent activists at a hotel on the island of Büyükada in Istanbul, where they were attending a workshop on protecting the work of human rights defenders. The activists were subsequently taken to various police stations, and lawyers told Human Rights Watch the rights defenders are under investigation for membership of an armed organization, though there is no information on any evidence against them.

“Detaining some of Turkey’s leading rights activists at a training workshop is a repressive new low for the Turkish state,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Turkish government should ensure their immediate and unconditional release and provide a public explanation of why it is investigating them as members of a terrorist organization.”

The activists were detained a day before high-level meetings in Ankara with the European Union commissioner for enlargement, Johannes Hahn, in an effort to continue the EU-Turkey dialogue. Hahn should condemn the detentions to the highest levels of Turkish government and publicly call for the human rights defenders to be unconditionally released.

“The dubious circumstances in which Turkey arrested the activists points to the alleged charges being arbitrary and unfounded,” Williamson said. “We are witnessing how far the Turkish state will go in its assault on human rights.”

Human Rights Watch, humanrightswatch.org

Editor’s note: The above is an excerpt from a press release by Human Rights Watch.


RUSSIA

Putting pieces together

I really liked your article on Russia, “The Puzzle of Putin’s Russia,” that appeared in the June-July Freedom Socialist [Vol. 38, No. 3].

You put a lot of meat in a short article of what happened in Russia. Your conclusion of working with the working people of Russia is right on.

When we break away from these privately owned nations and gravitate to a united people’s movement of the world, working and helping each other rather than exploiting each other, we will have a better world.

J. Glenn Evans, Olympia, Wash.

Short and sweet

Wow! Thank you for the new issue [Vol. 38, No. 3].

I just read the article on Russia. It was a concise overview of what happened.

G. Kirkindall, Portland, Ore.


THE U.S. DOLLAR

Don’t forget the role of oil

Don’t forget role of oil

I appreciated the article [“Explaining the dollar,” Vol. 38, No. 3] yet you have omitted a significant part of the puzzle.

When Americans endured lines at the gas pumps while full oil tankers floated offshore, President Jimmy Carter negotiated an agreement with OPEC that, among other things, the U.S. would provide military defense and OPEC would agree that Global Oil Sales would be denominated in U.S. dollars. The economic consequences are significant and costly.

Saddam Hussein denominated his oil for food, through the UN, in euros, and profited handsomely. Muammar Gaddafi threatened much the same and we know the consequences. Iran threatened as well and has become the enemy.

When Russia failed to abide by OPEC quotas, OPEC dumped oil on the global market, depressing the price and the Berlin Wall collapsed.

Much the same was done to Venezuela when they sought to escape from being controlled by the U.S. dollar. In order to purchase oil denominated in U.S. dollars, a nation must hold reserves in U.S. dollars. There was an agreement imposed by the Allies after WWII that limited the oil production by Iraq and Iran.

I’m sure there’s far more about which I am unaware, but the strength of the U.S. dollar has allowed Americans to enjoy a standard of living beyond its means.

J. Powell, via email


HEALTHCARE

Time for single payer

If there is anything that comes across loud and clear from the Republican’s battle to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it is that the U.S. needs single payer now!

The Democrats had their chance under the Obama Administration to extend Medicare to everyone and blew it.

It’s past time for the U.S. government to provide quality public healthcare to all.

Anne Swift, Seattle


AND ...

Thank you!

With your help, the Freedom Socialist Fund Drive went over goal and raised $115,613!


The FS welcomes your feedback and opinions. Letters may be edited for length. Please write to 5018 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118, or email FSnews@mindspring.com.