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Letters to the Editor
volume:  
volume 38
issue 1
February 2017

ELECTION ANALYSIS

Succinct and accurate

As usual the Freedom Socialist hits the nail on the head with Andrea Bauer’s lead article in the December issue [Don’t mourn, organize! Donald J. Trump and the year of voting dangerously, Vol. 37, No. 6].

What makes her analysis so useful is not only is it right — no small achievement with all the noise around Trump’s upset — but it’s short, tight, and well-written, and therefore handy.

I have sent it to my Marxist pal, who later this week will be meeting with his left-of-center but by no means Marxist political organization in Elgin, Illinois, to plan the way forward and can use the ammunition it provides.

Roger Fraser, Rolling Meadows, Ill.


MORE MYTHS

Not-so-veiled anti-Semitism

I’d like to add to the “6 economic myths” that Dennis Sanders so deftly debunked last issue [Vol. 37, No. 6].

Jews do not control the world’s money and the media. There is not a rapacious worldwide Jewish conspiracy. These favorite scapegoating cries of the Klan and Nazis are time-dishonored and often-refuted lies that the real wealthy elite hide behind.

Just before the presidential election the anti-Semitism emerged as Trump tweeted that Hilary “meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty” and that “a global power structure” is conspiring against ordinary Americans.

His closing ad was illustrated with images and phrases about prominent Jews: George Soros (“those who control the levers of power”), Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen (“global special interests”) and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein (“global power structure”) and not other banking moguls.

If only we Jews were all wealthy, I’d raise my pledge to the Freedom Socialist.

Henry Noble, Seattle


PARKINSON’S DISEASE

Environmental issues

One of the main causes of Parkinson’s Disease is exposure to pesticides, which are often used instead of holistic ways of planting complementary plants that ward off bugs from their “partner.” Marigolds keep the bugs off tomatoes. In Nicaragua, I worked briefly on a farm growing a certain kind of beans in alternating rows with tomatoes to achieve the same end.

But in the U.S., the requirements of producing for a capitalist market include monocropping — the planting of huge fields of the same crop, often genetically engineered — so that they can be harvested with more machines and fewer workers. The monocropping leaves plants susceptible to pests and illnesses unless massive doses of pesticides are deployed.

Also, pesticides and herbicides are now used in cities much more frequently to kill mosquitoes said to be carrying West Nile Virus and Zika, exposing huge numbers of people to dangerous poisons. And the weed-killer Glyphosate (Roundup), said by the UN to be a possible human carcinogen, is massively sprayed, mostly in areas that used to be weeded by hand. But with workforces being dramatically laid-off, there’s being fostered an increasing dependence on herbicide applications to fill in the gap.

So here we have a connection between chemicals that are drenching our cities and rural areas and the necessities for capitalism to drench us further.

As to treatments for Parkinson’s, some of the same or similar questions arise.

Mitchel Cohen, Organizer, Brooklyn Greens, New York City

Brave and cogent

Very brave. Very cogent. Thanks for this [Curing Parkinson’s will take more than hope]. Do get it around.

You have the most important statement in it — that curing disease and capitalism are incompatible.

Carole Seligman, Co-editor, Socialist Viewpoint, San Francisco


INMATES WRITE

Reform no answer

Bernadette Kelly’s article “Ending Police Violence” [Vol. 37, No. 6] seemed to be built on faith in reform. It failed to explain how reforming aspects of capitalism will end police violence.

Even if oversight board members were elected by the public, the people would only be selecting members from a pool of “state approved” candidates. Just as they do every presidential election.

What we need is more independent institutions that are grass roots and serve as the people’s voice and media, glooming in the mainstream, as a start. Anything that is state sponsored or promoted will always fail to do this. When the government organizes the truth it becomes a lie.

Jason Renard Walker, Amarillo, Texas

Censorship lives

Conditions here are still the same dehumanizing ones, and with the recent election of the racist, fascist far-right extremists we expect for our conditions to get worse.

Vol 37, No. 5 (Oct-Nov 2016) was denied by the political suppression machine here on the unit, and upheld on appeal by the main review board.

Alvaro Hernandez, Huntsville, Texas

Editor’s note: The Texas Department of Criminal Justice denied delivery of the paper because an article reporting on prisoner labor strike was deemed subversive. We are protesting the decision.


AUSTRALIA

Brewery workers win strike

We won! 180 days after Carlton and United Breweries (CUB) illegally sacked 55 maintenance workers, these Electrical Trades Union and Australia Manufacturing Workers Union members have won all their demands and their jobs. They will return to work.

Thousands of people stood up for justice — from everyone who shouted loud and stamped their feet at a rally, to those who gave up drinking some of their favorite beers.

Activists in We Are Union were up early and stayed out late. They handed out flyers, stuck up posters and had conversations with the people about boycotting CUB. This win wouldn’t have happened without people like you.

Luke Hilakari, We Are Union, Melbourne

Editor’s note: To read more about this strike search “CUB” at www.socialism.com.


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.

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