<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Letters 7/1-15/15


Obama Stumps for TPP

President Obama landed the Late Show with David Letterman in early May, and very thoughtfully addressed the recent upheavals in Ferguson and Baltimore. Going deeper beneath the too frequent realities of rogue, racist policing, the president cited endemic economic frustration and despair as the combustible kindling exploding on inner city streets.

But after returning from commercial break, and with a zeal in his eye that trumped the philosophical tenor just given volatile, put-upon minority neighborhoods, he got down to the real meat of this foray onto the Late Show. Stumping hard for the TPP, the president espoused as rock-solid the trade deal’s job and export-creating wonders, all the while reining in the Chinese economic juggernaut poised to eat our lunches; Dave nodding in above-my-paygrade-assent.

Obama’s TPP assertions have been debunked by numerous Progressive Populist commentators as a supercharged, gratuitous global corporation Bill of Rights.

The president’s Late Show display was an abjectly cynical juxtaposition, and then some. The evidence is long-standing and unmistakable that trade deals of the NAFTA ilk have decimated tens of thousands of factories and millions of manufacturing jobs, without question contributing in no small way to inner city blight and hardship, exacerbating tensions just waiting to erupt with the next fatal racist affront.

With harsh economic inequality the issue of our time, this ever-so sage but Wall Street-conflicted president is dangerously close to leaving a legacy quite unambiguous in its contribution to American middle- and working class decline. They’ll say, the man had to know better, but no he just couldn’t.

Mike Wettstein Jr.
Appleton, Wis.

Rall Goes Too Far Tarring Clinton

I am outraged that TPP would publish a column by Ted Rall [“Hillary Clinton’s Life of Crime,” 6/15/15] which slanders the Clintons in such an over-the-top way, saying they were criminals and belong in jail.

First of all, the Clintons are not criminals and have not led a life of crime. Being paid for speeches is not a crime and the Clintons are wealthy, but not by Bill Gates or Michael Bloomberg standards.

The Clinton foundation is a philanthropic charity which has uplifted the lives of 430 million people in 180 countries around the world.

Ted Rall shows his ignorance when he writes that no one doubted the commitment to help the downtrodden of JFK and RFK. However both Kennedys had strong ties to Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Bobby worked for him in the Senate and JFK did not vote to censure Joe McCarthy.

John Kennedy did not expend any effort or political capital to pass Civil Rights or Medicare legislation. That legislation was passed because of the efforts of Lyndon Johnson. Robert Kennedy ran for president not because of Vietnam but because of his hatred of LBJ, whom he wanted to destroy, which helped elect Richard Nixon.

The Clintons are not saints but they are not sinners either. They have succeeded because of their own efforts but not because of a family fortune that was handed to them on a silver platter. The Clintons have lived the American dream.

Reba Shimansky
New York, N.Y.

Time Isn’t Right for Warren (or Sanders)

I think Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) knows what she is doing, and is quite right about it. It is too early for her. The public does not appreciate her! There are far too many people obsessed with their childish racial, religious and gender prejudice to think clearly about the consequences for themselves of the coming election. In my neighborhood, they sit around in the bars every night, guzzling bear and hooting and hollering about the baseball game, the basketball game, the hockey game, etc. … They need to have their faces smashed in the mud, and a hobnailed boot on their necks, before they get the message. I think Ms. Warren knows this, and is waiting for the time when the public will appreciate her.

The time will come when a majority of people will realize that we need her. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is a good guy and very capable, but too many Americans don’t like Jews or socialists (or Brooklyn). They really don’t know what they are doing. Bernie is not really a socialist, and the term is a distraction. Incidentally, neither are those European counties mentioned in your cover story of 6/1/15, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. They are mixed economies (like ours), with many great business corporations more successful than most American companies.

The Republicans will probably win the election of 2016. When they enact all the stupid juvenile things they say they believe, that will bring on the biggest stock market crash of all time, followed by the Greatest Depression of All Time. Then people will realize how much we need Ms. Warren!

Harvey Stoneburner
Brooklyn, N.Y.

We Need Bernie Sanders

In my 89 years of life, I never thought our nation would ever have a candidate for President as competent and credible as President Franklin D. Roosevelt. We are now fortunate to have such a candidate in Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Sen. Sanders is the only candidate with sensible, best-knowledge positions on domestic and foreign policy issues we need to understand, support and implement in our nation’s future. His passion to seek and provide what is right and just in his past record and future civic/political agenda represents the program and cost-effective reforms I fought for as an enlisted man and officer in World War II and the Korean Conflict along with millions of our young who gave their lives for the quality of life for all Sen. Sanders wants to help accomplish.

Corporate-owned right-nub water carriers like George Will and other media perpetuators of special interest status quo are negatively portraying Sen. Sanders as a socialist. Any program or service the government owns, operates and funds is a socialist program or service. Who in their right minds would want to privatize these and many other safety-net, helpful socialist programs and services, such as Social Security, Medicare, public health, public schools, public parks, public libraries, state and national military services, environmental safety, worker rights and safety and a long list of other socialist programs? Sen. Sanders wants to expand and improve these socialist programs, such as providing a free college education and providing a research-proven single-payer health system by expanding our single-payer Medicare system to provide Medicare-for-All. Access BernieSanders.com on the Internet, study and understand his agenda for our future and become a contributor to his needed revolutionary movement to remove the “For Sale” sign in Washington and return our national government to all citizens, its morally right and just owners. To paraphrase the late poet Maya Angelou, “Senator Sanders is a welcome rainbow over our now dark political clouds.”

Dr. Floyd E. McDowell Sr.
Bear, Del.

Vatican, Heal Thyself

In his column, “What Will Pope Francis tell Congress?” (6/1/15 TPP), Fr. Donnell Kirchner writes:

“Far too often we find rescuers who are ready to help the poor as long as they are in charge. God forbid that simple and ordinary people have a voice in the solution of their problems.”

Well … forgive my grumpiness, but isn’t that exactly how the Catholic Church operates?

It doesn’t take an Albert Einstein to understand that if humanity is to sustain itself with the earth’s limited resources, and at the same time lift itself out of poverty, it must limit its numbers.

Yet, that inescapable fact is anathema to the Vatican – with devastating results for all mankind.

The destitute millions who live in Catholic countries would surely like nothing more than to have a voice in the solution of their problems, including access to birth control. But of course the Church (and the governments that support it) will have none of that!

Thus, so long as the Vatican continues to cling to its obsession with “the more the merrier,” humanity’s relentless march towards increasing poverty will only accelerate.

I can bet serious money that Pope Francis will not tell Congress that we should foster birth control throughout the world to help the poor.

David Quintero
Monrovia, Calif.

Puzzled by Shah Shuffling

When I read Juan Cole’s reference to Reza Shah Pahlevi in the 5/1515 TPP [“US History of Coup-Making Overshadows Obama’s Outreach to Iran, Latin American Left”], I was puzzled. Citing Western intervention in Iran in the ’40s and thereafter, Cole said, “the allies overthrew the ruler, Reza Shah Pahlevi, in 1941.” Rather than the West getting rid of a just ruler, as this implies, I recall that at the time progressive commentators described Pahlevl in totally negative terms.

Frederick Schwarz confirms this position in his book, “Democracy in the Dark” (p. 131 ) when he reports that after Mohammad Mosaddegh was toppled, “the pro-Western Shah Reza Pahlavi [was] installed. But the shah’s brutal regime fertilized the ground from which erupted the virulently anti-American revolution of 1979, the heirs to which control Iran to this day.”

Jeanne Riha
Corvallis, Ore.

Editor Notes: Reza Pahlevi [also spelled Pahlavi], was forced by the Allies to abdicate as the shah of Iran in 1941 after the shah tried to remain neutral in World War II. He was the father of Mohammad Reza Pahlevi, who succeeded him. The younger shah remained in power after the Anglo-American coup that toppled Mosaddegh in 1953. Both shahs tried to modernize and secularize Iran, but the younger shah ordered one-party rule in 1975 and his security forces brutally cracked down on opposition, including Shiite clergy and leftists, before the shah was ousted in 1979 by Shiite revolutionaries.

From The Progressive Populist, July 1-15, 2015


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