Immediately after Katrina I was talking with a union electrician who was considering going to Iraq to work.
"Why would you go there when the Gulf Coast and New Orleans needs you here?" I asked.
"Even as we speak the Mexicans are rolling into Louisiana and Mississippi to take those jobs," he said.
Robert Lorato's story ["Rebuilding the Big Easy," 11/15/05 TPP] doesn't take into consideration that unionbusting is the name of the game going on in rebuilding in devastated areas of the "Grand Ole USA."
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Ted Rall's article, "Bush asks Congress for Martial Law" [11/15/05 TPP] would not get more than second glance in normal times but these are not normal times. We have members in the Congress who are so wrapped in their own selfish agendas that they would sacrifice their own jobs (which would be lost with the advent of martial law) just to get what they want. Some members would want a martial law administrator who would enforce Christianity (Lt. Gen. Boykin-type of administrator). Some would want a perpetual state of war if they are connected (financially) with the military-industrial complex. Some would want total control of the oil producing nations so as they would never have to worry about energy shortage. There could be other reasons of which we are not aware but a military coup d'etat is not something very rare. History tells us that the military loves taking over (moreso to cover up recent failures) It means more rapid promotions and higher salaries &emdash; which they can vote for themselves (just like the Congress members can do).
Mr. Rall is very right to be alarmed &emdash; it can happen here and Bush could make it easy for it to happen.
Torture was never controversial in America. Our Constitution protects us from cruel and inhuman punishments, imprisonment without charges, etc. During our recent wars, Nazis, Japanese, North Korea, North Vietnam, and the Soviet Union tortured victims and earned our contempt for their practices. So what has caused the change that encourages many Americans to endorse it? Certainly, the right-wing radio promotes it and justifies it on the grounds that the terrorists we torture are terrible people. They brought down the World Trade Center, they blow innocent people up with suicide bombs, they throw excrement around at Gitmo, etc. Then too, we can save innocent lives by torturing a terrorist until he reveals his nuclear bombs. And the excuses go on.
Americans have gradually been desensitized through right-wing propaganda that certain people such as "liberals," feminists, the poor, foreigners that look "funny," etc. don't count, and we can do almost anything we want to them. Also, the right wing and the CIA found torture and disappearances very useful in the 1970s when Augusto Pinochet took over as dictator in Chile and paved the way for the implementation of a far-right economic system. While the right-wing propaganda machine jumps with four feet on everyone who compares our present day torture with the Nazis, the comparison is becoming closer and closer to the truth. At least the right is copying the callous attitude of the Hitlerites towards it. We must back Congress' measure to outlaw torture even if the president threatens to veto the bill.
Hot Springs, Ark.
Good for Molly Ivins for her "Graft goes on" item in the 10/15/05 TPP. Her observation in the next to last paragraph about "sleazy, smug, self-righteous etc." hit the nail exactly on the head. A lot of us out here in the real world are as sick to death as she is of this administration Mafia's lying, cheating and legalized stealing. Unfortunately, there are many who choose not to think for themselves, and are willing to accept without question the lies and propaganda they are being fed. Shades of 1930s Germany.
Robert G. Reed
Bay City, Mich.
[Re: "Small Win Over Big Coal" by Barry Parsons, 10/15/05 TPP], I also am indignant for the folks at Madison, Fla. I live in St. Augustine; our power is supplied by Florida Power & Light. FPL is already producing power through windmills; in fact, one of my investments is with the Franklin Templeton Fund and they are invested in "FPL Wind." I was talking to an FPL executive, and he claimed that FPL is also building a solar production field on top of a filled landfill (so as to avoid removing trees from an undeveloped area). This was in response to my letter asking whether I was being a "patsy" for going along with their proposal that the customer could pay close to $10 extra with each month's bill, to help defray the cost of producing "green" energy.
TPP is a great source of information. I use your lead articles frequently as a source for the purpose of lobbying legislators. Thank you!
St. Augustine, Fla.
I cannot fathom why you published the [Jim] Castagnera article ("Things Don't Evolve &emdash; They Revolve," 11/1/05 TPP) opposing the competent education of school students about evolution and science.
The included statement from the Dover, Pa., school administration has at least two egregious errors. 1) They confuse "theory" and "hypothesis." Scientists generate and test hypotheses all the time. No explanation becomes a "theory" until it is supported by a great body of "not-disproven" (but all "disprovable" and tested) hypotheses. 2) Evolution is an observable fact. One example: The constant evolution of influenza and our concern about "bird flu."
There is no way to test the existence of God (or some other Intelligent Designer). Any "hypotheses" based on God do not belong in a science class. Science is not politics.
Rock Island, Ill.
We need more focus on how the fatcats profit from their wars while the GIs, families, workers, taxpayers and future generations get screwed. Help save America. Don't bankrupt it.
John F. Sisson