Letters

Resist Republican style

RE: “Organizing Online

12/15/00

The Democrats need someone on radio to be a big mouth like Rush. Rush spreads a lot of poison to people who don’t use their brains to sort out the crap.

If people just realized that when the Republicans are in office the middle class and lower class workers suffer. Look at 16 percent interest rates during Reagan and the people out of work. And then George Bush and the Savings and Loan Debacle which his sons were in and the massive amounts of people who lost their jobs, their homes and everything they had worked for. Now the son of a Bush is going to get rid of any benefits for the poor and give tax breaks to the rich so that they can die in luxury.

I used to get e-mails regularly from Republicans. The Republicans have millions on their e-mail groups, and they promote people getting info to the media via phone, e-mail, and mail. They are millitant.

J. Hurley

 



Swinging to the right

RE: “Pro-Life International

12/14/00

Now that Bush has achieved his goal, we’re in for an unprecedented swing toward arch-conservatism. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gary Bauer became the UN ambassador.

Charlie Amacher

 



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Second serving of Countercoup, please

RE: “Organizing Online

12/14/00

I think it is a good idea and should be pursued from one end of the country to the other. The politicians can work with the nasty Republicans all they want, but that does not mean the people have to agree to it. Whether the people give their support or not will depend on what the Bush administration does. Giving breaks to huge corporations is not going to sit well with the average citizen.

Earl Umfleet

 



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Backlash on Dems not Greens

RE: “Smash the Nader Backlash

12/14/00

During the effort to get NAFTA passed, we saw leaders from both major parties unite to pass this trade bill which was not designed to help American workers but to make it easier for companies to move their facilities offshore to lower-waged nations.

One UAW lawyer commented at the time, “We do not need a third political party but two parties.” He was referring to the sad fact that both parties had essentially become one and the same — serving corporate interests. The Democrats had been the non-extremist voice for the common man for decades and they had abandoned this traditional role.

I was confused to later see a UAW convention in which Clinton — who had exported more auto workers jobs than anyone in history — get a standing ovation. Nader’s goal, which he openly admitted, was to get the Democratic Party back into its traditional ideological role of supporting those at the bottom.

It is dismaying to hear this criticism of him because his candidacy allegedly took votes away from Gore. My own view is that many of Nader’s votes came from voters who had long ago abandoned voting as a means for change. This recent criticism and condemnation of Nader merely shows that the Dems simply have not gotten the message.

Stephen Block, Jr.

 



What’s wrong with you, US?

12/13/00

In the last federal election in Germany, we had 49.9 million voters, most of whom cast their votes by marking their preferred canidates on a paper ballot with a pencil, the old-fashioned way.

Immediately after the closing of the ballot precincts, the media published a polling trend which came pretty close to the eventual outcome of the election. Between 40 and 60 minutes after the end of the election, the nation here knew the result due to precise polling methods. Usually about five hours after the end of the election, the Federal Statistics Bureau publishes a preliminary result. The public almost never takes any notice by the time the final results are published; we know the outcome of the election two hours after the last ballot has been cast. Hand counting is the basis of this election clarity.

The presidential election in the US has been — viewed from Europe — an astonishing, baffling and, in the end, ridiculous spectacle that certainly does not befit a country that considers itself the technological leader of the world. Or are we now seeing the truth behind the facade?

Bernd Oehler
Mannheim, Germany

 



Monsanto’s in the wrong

RE: “The Trouble With Percy

12/13/00

I totally agree with Mr. Schmeiser. If a “product” is out there in the fields and can pollinate a far-away plant, who is to say who owns what? Next thing you know, I’ll be able to sue my neighbor for the contamination of my air.

This new corporate intrusion into our lives and lands forces us to think about what, exactly, we can patent. And what motivates the companies? Their bottom lines, of course. It always comes to the money that can be rung out of defenseless defendants in these global corparations’ lawsuits.

John O’Brien

 



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Somebody stop that legislature

12/11/00

In a country that holds itself up as a beacon for democracy throughout the world, Florida is about to take a step that reeks of totalitarianism: wresting an election away from the electorate. The members of the Florida legislature who support this chicanery should be castigated by every citizen of this country for the legislature’s attempt to subvert democracy.

Make no mistake about the action the legislature is taking. No amount of political doublespeak can obfuscate the fact that the Florida legislature is invalidating the most basic, core principle of democracy: the right to vote. And the ramifications of their actions extend far beyond their state’s borders, affecting every single vote cast on November 7.

If the Republican leadership were truly concerned about ensuring that Florida’s electorate is represented in the Electoral College, it would support the manual counts of the undervotes ordered by the state Supreme Court.

If the Republican leadership were truly concerned about the will of its citizens, it would be leading the investigations into widespread allegations of voter intimidation throughout the state and taking steps to ensure that every voter has free, unobstructed access to the polls.

Since the legislature has been silent on both issues, the only reasonable conclusion we can draw is that the legitimacy of the vote in Florida does not outrank partisan politics on the legislature’s to-do list.

And so I, along with millions of other American citizens, ask this: Does my vote count?

Kathleen McFadden
Napa, Calif.