Letters from our readers

2 May 2005

The following is a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

On “Bush signs bankruptcy law: another cruel blow in a one-sided class war”

Besides the irony of the bankruptcy bill passing the House the day after it voted to permanently eliminate the estate tax, there is another aspect about its timing that deserves noting. The working out of the dollar crisis is bound to hit home to working and middle class Americans in the form of much higher interest rates, sooner rather than later. The much vaunted housing bubble will then go the way of the dot.com bubble. The many homeowners who have taken out adjustable rate mortgages will be particularly affected.

The bankruptcy bill amounts to an early Christmas present to lenders just as the impending economic crisis pushes millions more over the edge into bankruptcy.

JB
New York
23 April 2005

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A friend of mine who is a blogger has a great name for the bankruptcy law: The Loan Shark Protection Act of 2005.

GM
24 April 2005

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Thank you for writing one of the best articles I have read regarding the class war being waged on the middle class these days. I have emailed it to many people, including my “Red State” Bush defending sisters! You folks really hit so many issues right on the head. My only difference is that I am not quite ready to totally abandon the Democratic Party yet, but I can see your strong arguments for doing so.

GM
Minneapolis, Minnesota
23 April 2005

On “‘Secularism’ and hypocrisy: official France mourns pope and bans Muslim scarf”

Thanks for the insightful article! What I found most striking was the resemblance between the description below and the common descriptions of the Afghan women before they were “freed” (or Muslim women in Muslim countries in general). Where’s President Bush when we need him?

“Mothers wearing the veil have been prevented from accompanying children on school trips. Veiled women have been banned from public buildings, and their right to work in public...”

OLH
Finland
26 April 2005

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Salam,

Loved your article. As a young Muslim woman who wears the Hijab out of obligation to her lord and a true feminist, I thank you for your support.

Thank you for exposing the obvious.

In humanity,

HN
26 April 2005

On “From ‘grand inquisitor’ to pope: Benedict XVI to head crusade vs. secularism, democracy”

It seems clear that many, if not most Catholics would prefer a more “liberal” pope. It was also clear that such a pope would be out of the question. But really, why cry for a liberal leader of an archaic institution? If Catholics are so fed up with the conservatism of the Church ... why don’t they abandon it altogether? The irony is that a lurch to the left might actually prolong the inevitable fall of this medieval institution. As socialists, do we need to join in with mainstream liberals and “moderate” deists in critiquing the new pope?

The point is, as Peter Schwartz mentions at one point, that this is, after all, an institution completely at odds with modernity. As I see it, the more backwards the leader, the better to entice Catholics to embrace an era that, after all, began more than 500 years ago. I don’t believe in religious persecution—I don’t think any socialist worth his or her salt would call for the sorts of measures taken against religions by the PRC or the USSR. At the same time, it seems clear that religious ideology stands in direct opposition to the idea that human beings are responsible for the direction history takes.

“Why worry, God’s in control,” say the bumper stickers here in Oklahoma. I find it entirely fitting that Catholics are getting what they signed up for: a conservative zealot. It’s like a wedding I heard about where the couple, though not really religious, wanted to marry in the church for the aesthetic value. During the ceremony the priest lectured them on traditional feminine subservience, and all the bride could do was quietly fume. But what did they expect?

BB
Oklahoma
23 April 2005

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Great article—full of interesting information—political/philosophical elements well integrated. It is a pleasure to read your articles. Good job.

JR
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
22 April 2005

On “Germany: conflicts in the Foreign Ministry over past fascist links”

Fascism never was pulled up root and all at end of WWII as people in the world were made to believe—that it was a thing of the past. This again shows that there isn’t a single item governments say that is not a lie. The damned liberals always preach peace and reconciliation if it’s in their interests—so compassion for the fascists (forgive and forget) and no quarter for anti-capitalist parties. As George Orwell said: “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

FBR
Thailand
23 April 2005

On “Eminem’s new release, Encore: delusions, megalomania and social confusion”

I wanted to take a moment to compliment Mr. Wells on the wonderful article regarding Eminem’s Encore. In a world that is bursting at the seams with banal and oftentimes meaningless and dangerously misleading information, it is refreshing to read something insightful and devoid of egocentric propaganda regarding the music industry. In reality, it is often difficult for me to use the aforementioned term when referring to today’s auditory art, for it has become an oxymoron to describe a prosaic mechanism that cranks out a never-ending stream of self-centered, monosyllabic sound checks that do more to knock a heartbeat out of sync than it does to move it to new and impassioned heights. Self expression has always been the cornerstone of any artistic endeavor, and I applaud anyone with a passion to provide the rest of the world with a new look to an old dilemma. However, the likes of Mr. Mathers and others, who make a living out of pouring salt into their own misogynistic wounds for the sake of expressing themselves, do nothing more than proliferate a pathetic lifestyle that should have been overshadowed long ago by a greater sense of humanity.

Talent is a fleeting thing; a veritable enigma. It is the stuff of dreams and the cornerstones of our society across a multitude of human endeavors. In a time and space where we find the need to cram every nanosecond with something to distract or destroy our sense of self, it is appalling to think that many of today’s musicians (or, in Mr. Mathers’ case, “Noise Nurturers”) find it necessary to titillate their audiences with every negative aspect of their lives without trying to find some modicum of escape from an existence that neither amuses nor inspires us to seek a better path within our own stream of consciousness. Perhaps it is because these “Noise Nurturers” go for the reactionary rush, aiming below the belt to knock the wind from our sails, and perhaps a few coins from our pockets. Perhaps it is simply because they’ve chosen to create noise using solely their brain stems as a viable means of expressive camaraderie.

Mr. Wells has given us a clear and exacting look into one of the many pitfalls that are eroding the soul of today’s music industry. We need more writers of this caliber to help us see that these leaders of the rap kingdom are really wearing nothing more than the tattered clothes of a misguided youth.

FP
22 April 2005

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On “Pennsylvania mother charged in the fire deaths of her four children”

Dear Mr. Scherrer,

I just wanted to thank you for your article in January 1999. So many people judged me for leaving my children home alone, at the time I didn’t have an option. The choice I made to leave them at home was wrong but my children didn’t have to die. The landlord, Mr. Hardesty, and the city inspectors knew exactly what was wrong with that apartment and Hardesty still chose to take my rent money! I’m just glad someone sees the mistakes of other people in this case. I shouldn’t have been the only one serving time in the State Penitentary.

Thank you,

Anarean Robinson
Farrell, Pennsylvania
19 April 2005