We’re Not Idiots

Ho Boy! Here we go again. In Ted Rall’s recent article (“Sanders Is a Socialist” 12/15/15 TPP), he opens with another “stinkbomb” by calling Americans idiots. I don’t know where he studied journalism, but I’m thinking at the school of Internet trolls.

No, Mr. Rall, we are not idiots, and we are really on the same side as you. We know all about socialism. The Progressive Populists among us just have a different M.O. We are the pragmatic part of the left; we act, maybe fail, reassess, make changes, and try again (another method not preordained to fail). We are born optimists who believe in basic human decency but who are prepared to deal with the truth head on. We also do not waste time dwelling on recrimination or revenge or ranting at people for not doing what they are told.

The human psyche is, instead, suffering from the disease whose symptoms include feverish confusion, fear, anger, and disillusionment; in other words, they are demoralized by the right, the left, their religions, their “chicken little,” once-reliable, journalists, and their once-reliable governments. The symptoms include the world’s overheating, war, a feverish confusion, and, as happens in many fatal diseases, a weakening of the will to go on. They think the struggle has become futile.

People of good will have ceded the arena to the most awful vectors imaginable: corporate fascists, religions who have foregone the basis of all goodness (faith, hope, and charity), hateful, avaricious arms dealers, bent plutocrats, propaganda machines like Fox “whatever the hell they are”, and the hubris of governing rulers who maliciously pursue power for power’s sake. I think we should cut people some slack.

We who are capable should remain calm and deal with politics as they really are right now,—not as they should be. Hillary Clinton has the chops to deal with the right wing, and I expect to see her do that fearlessly; she has learned from her past mistakes. She is a clear-headed politician who knows how to get things done. If she is as smart as I think she is, she will wed her ability to Bernie Sanders’ ideas and keep him as one of her most important advisers and allies. Bernie Sanders does not have her unique experience.

Whichever of these two eminently qualified people wins, we must wholeheartedly support him or her and not split the vote or refuse to vote just because we have our feelings hurt. We must remain united and convince decent people to vote again! Republicans do not win because they are right about anything; they win because, right or wrong, they are one cohesive mass (like cancer).

P. Ann White
Meridian, TX

Hillary Clinton Can Go to Wall Street

Those Sanders supporters who hate Hillary because of her Wall Street ties should remember that it was only Nixon, who was a lifelong anti-communist, who could go to China and establish diplomatic relations with that country.

An inconsequential and ineffective senator like Sanders is not up to the job of making Wall Street reforms.

Hillary Clinton, because of her ties to Wall Street, is better able to reform Wall Street.

Reba Shimansky
New York, N.Y.

Financing Elections

In response to Mr. Richard Winger’s letter in the 1/1-15/16 TPP (“How Much Free Speech Can You Buy?”), where do I begin? I won’t counter his twisted arguments about campaign financing with argument-by-argument rebuttals since he’s committed to his warped reasoning anyway. Let me pose this question to you Mr. Winger — if large donors, be they corporations or the uber-wealthy, want to influence elections, why don’t you simply advocate that they “write their congressperson,” just like the rest of us are told to do? Money used to facilitate a louder megaphone that drowns out the written letter to our congressperson is leverage, not speech. Put another way, since when does a louder megaphone constitute speech that the written word does not?

You don’t have to be in Mensa to know that if you cannot walk into a voting booth, then you shouldn’t be able to influence an election with your money, your media ad campaigns, … nothin’. Since corporations cannot walk into a voting booth, then nary a penny of their money can be used in any capacity to influence an election. To prevent the uber-wealthy from using their wealth to leverage our elections, then public financing is the only way to address the campaign financing problems we face today.

How about we adopt that method instead, Mr. Winger?

Bob Smet
Springfield, Ill.

Saudi Terrorism

Bob Burnett should be congratulated for performing one of the most amazing conjuring tricks in the history of journalism ever and slipping his article past your lazy editorial scrutiny (‘Dealing with ISIL/ISIS/DAESH’ 12/15/15 TPP). I’m of course referring to the almost 20 paragraphs he devoted to the topic of Islamic terrorism without even once mentioning the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Yes, Saudi Arabia, the elephant in the room, the poison that dare not speaks its name, and one of the most unpleasant, brutal, corrupt and dangerous regimes on the planet.

Yes, that Saudi Arabia, the one that the US government has chosen to get into bed with. If The Progressive Populist and Mr.Burnett don’t actually want to identify this toxic copulation, then perhaps you could at least have the courage to indicate which one you believe to be the greater whore.

Ted Newcomen
Chestertown, Md.

Peace Begins in Palestine

The recent issues of TPP contained a lot of articles regarding ISIS/ISIL/

DAESH (i.e. “radical Islam”) and how to deal with it; but probably the most promising method is not discussed.

To me, peace in the Middle East must start with justice in Palestine. Israel’s theft of Palestinian land and its nasty apartheid treatment of Palestinians is an aggravating spur to violent Muslim reaction.

That this is so was pointed out to me during a recent business trip to Bahrain. Bahrain is a secular Islamic country, very cosmopolitan and open to business from around the world. While there, I read an ad in the local English newspaper. It was advertising a rummage sale sponsored by the local professional woman’s club. The beneficiaries of this charitable sale were “the poor suffering population of Palestine.” That the plight of the Palestinians would affect professional people in an Islamic but secular country like Bahrain told me how it must affect Muslims in much more restrictive countries.

For our own sake in America, we must convince our Israeli allies to “clean up their act” and to promote an independent state of Palestine — they deserve their own country. Progressives need to lead this movement.

Richard Vajs
Franklin, W.V.

Vaccine Brainwashing

What an insult to the readers of TPP — the glib, biased commentary called “Vaccines: A Gift from Science” by Joan Retsinas in the 12/15/15 issue! A gift of science alright – to the pharma industry, with guaranteed profits and immunity from liability thanks to their influence on Congress. The author has certainly been brainwashed by Big Pharma, as have far too many medical doctors, or maybe she’s just an industry mole, but the utter disdain for the facts is unacceptable.

Kris Johnson
Williston, Ohio

Vaccine Concerns

My concerns over vaccines and their possible and even likely causes of serious physical afflictions years down the road were prompted by my mother-in-law developing encephalitis (sleeping sickness) immediately on being vaccinated for small pox.in her early 20s, and diagnosed with Parkinson’s post encephalitis in her 40s. There was then no question as to the encephalitis being caused by the small pox vaccine. They were having too similar occurrences and Parkinson’s appearing years later, confirming the connection. This is one of many afflictions attributable to vaccines, some sooner, and many later down the road.

What should make every parent uneasy in having their child vaccinated is the vaccines manufacturers knowledge their product was suspected in serious side effects so they had Congress pass, in 1986, the “National Childhood Vaccination Injury Act,” decreeing that “no vaccine manufacturer shall be liable in a civil action law suit from damages arising from a vaccine related injury or death.”

This legislation opened the doors to the multitude of vaccines forced  on parents today, since what have they to lose if your child suffers an affliction or even death? These consequences are hidden by the press hoodwinked into neglecting publicizing these sicknesses by the power of these charlatans assuring their brainwashed cohorts the number is so insignificant it doesn’t deserve pubic exposure. And the threat to withdraw their advertising decides the issue. What this has done is deny parents the right to decide their own choice of health care for their children.

The beauty of most vaccines, for the medical profession, is that many of the afflictions suffered by humanity don’t make their effect evident till many years after their injection.

Alton Eliason
Northford, Conn. 

Editor notes: Vaccines are widely considered by public health agencies to be the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases, vaccination is largely responsible for the eradication of smallpox and the restriction of diseases such as polio, measles and tetanus from much of the world, and researchers have rejected the widely held belief that vaccines cause autism in children. Most vaccines are at best marginally profitable for the pharmaceutical industry, because of the cost of research, development, testing and manufacture require daily doses.

Who is Uncivilized?

Just where is the “uncivilized world”? I want to ask that question each time I hear the much-alluded-to “civilized world.” It’s “hear” generally; one rarely reads such standard thoughtlessness, but Joe Conason typed that phrase for publication [in “ISIS needs ‘useful idiots’ who demonize Muslims,” 12/15/15 TPP]. (He does continue with an astute analysis.) The talking heads, I guess, because, potentially and going forward while on the ground (or in studio) too often need wrong words, redundant words or wearied-words as default verbiage.  

Jerry Bronk
San Francisco, Calif.

of vaccines, and most are only administered once a year or a lifetime, so many companies have focused on developing drugs that

Look Out for Ryan

The numerous astute Progressive Populist columnists may have overlooked the most likely Republican nominee who will be drafted if the convention is deadlocked — Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. He is one of the few Republicans who is exceptionally bright, knows the meaning of integrity, is respected by leaders in both parties, and stands a chance to defeat Hillary.

Edward L. Koven
Highland Park, Ill.

From The Progressive Populist, February 1, 2016


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