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Web Letter

Seymour Friendly did indeed write a brilliant letter, except for this: he calls for people not to vote. This is a big mistake, on two levels. First. there are other issues and races on the ballots. Second, to truly get the Democrats' attention we need to show that we will show up to vote for another party if need be. Vote for the third party or write a candidate in...

But we must vote !

Michael McKinlay

Hercules , Ca

Oct 19 2009 - 5:42pm

Web Letter

Seymour Friendly's web letter is on the mark. One has to wonder about some of the "progressives" who make their good livings from writing for the abandoned citizens, the American left. They deserve their success if they lead us effectively and sincerely. Many seem to offer us, as does Barack Obama, fine words but missing leadership. When they have the choice to make, they opt for the Democratic Party. Instead of helping to organize a progressive party, they help the Democrats to betray us time after time. The sincerity of such progressive writers and leaders is doubtful.

Alvin Hofer

St. Petersburg, FL

Oct 18 2009 - 7:51pm

Web Letter

Its all connected--imperialist wars, economic oppression, healthcare deprivation, domestic tyranny, and political lying--and it's all caused by the same Wealth Empire.

Politically, FDR and JFK (if he had lived) tried to actually do something against it--but not now.

What the ruling-elite corporate/financial empire that now controls our country should keep in mind is that during the late 1960s--during the combined counterculture, anti-Vietnam War, social, class oppression and racial early spark of a limited revolution in America--the GINI Coefficient of Income Inequality for the then blue-collar working-class, white-collar working/middle-class, and the whole country was a very low, fair, egalitarian and (by the CIA's terms non-revolutionary) 0.34 (well within the norm of all advanced European and Japanese societies).

Here's a great video by Bernie Sanders, and an article by Glen Greenwald, that point to the revolutionarily high GINI inequality today--and here's what I posted on Op-Ed News, AlterNet and other principled left sites, along with unprincipled liberal sites like Huffington--regarding the massive and revolution-provoking change in the GINI ranking that has been caused by our corrupted two-party "Vichy" government and Wall Street forty years later to impact over 90 percent of our population. And 90 percent of the people know it.

This Empire will fall.

Alan MacDonald

Sanford, ME

Oct 18 2009 - 3:02pm

Web Letter

Many of these companies' profits are based on "productivity" and not the goods they produce or sell. Investors are starting to look if they have making any real money from the products or services.

"Productivity" means no jobs, no wages, and no markets! Green shoots are Wall Street propaganda! These people are going down and taking Western markets with them. We are all interconnected! One country goes down and all countries go down!

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Oct 17 2009 - 10:28pm

Web Letter

I'm beginning to wonder whether he doesn't know, or doesn't care, that people in his home state of Illinois are being thrown off the food stamp program.

This is a state with a Democrat governor and a Democrat-controlled legislature.

Bud Ilic

Bloomington, IL<a name="friendly"></a>

Oct 17 2009 - 9:13am

Web Letter

The editor-in-chief's notions of what the Obama administration must do could be characterized as "wishful thinking." The Obama administration has, largely, turned over the management of the economic problems at hand to its Treasury Department. The Treasury Department is, largely, an extension of Goldman-Sachs. Unsurprisingly, the result after a year of such an administration is rising unemployment, imploding real wages and weekly payroll figures in the largest sustained drop since the Great Depression, even as the Dow index rockets back to its previous stratospheric levels.

Such an administration as we have is obviously not going to prioritize the needs and interests of anyone who has the misfortune of having no choice but to work for a living, even in hard times.

On another note, vanden Heuvel's "wishful thinking"--let's be kind and call it "truly boundless optimism"--is a strange and quixotic thing. Between the Goldman-Sachs administration and the US Congress, brought to you by Big Pharma and the American health insurance industry, it is quite clear that the current national Democratic party is not agent of the populist reform vanden Heuvel seeks. And there is a pattern here. The previous Republican administration was either insane and/or heartlessly cruel towards the non-rich. But before that? These same problems amounting to pro-populist rhetoric followed by pro-plutocrat action mired the Clinton Administration, an administration that never met a corporation it didn't love. In both cases, vanden Heuvel and The Nation, following the obligatory support for hopeless Kucinich-like figures during the party primary, threw all their weight behind the Demo-pluto-crat candidates, claiming that this would bring change we can believe in.

How much longer is this going to continue? The Democratic Party at the national level is a party of plutocrats, corporations and empire. Over fifteen years of experience tells us that the Democrats will not focus on the priorities of those who work.

Back to vanden Heuvel's strange and quixotic "truly boundless optimism": is she going to go through another midterm and then presidential election telling us that we must continue to support the Democrats? That change from within is possible even within a political party ruled by essentially dynastic and clan wealth?

The best thing in the grassroots base of the Democratic Party could do right now is to refuse to show up to vote in the 2010 midterm elections. While this would be a short-term disaster for the Goldman--Sachs administration--it would lose its political power --it could be that the party losing its Congressional control as a result of its own base's fury might shake things up enough that there would actually be hope of change coming to Washington, DC.

After all, at the end of the day, all you can do with a bunch of hopeless bums is throw them out.

Seymour Friendly

Seattle, WA

Oct 16 2009 - 6:11pm

Web Letter

Our economic model, financial capitalism, is irretrievably gone. The trillions given to bankers is just a down payment. There are trillions more hidden on their books that will cause yet another economic meltdown.

Obama will once again throw trillions at the banks to rescue the fraud and greed of Wall Street. They will threaten him will an economic catastrophe if he doesn't in Act II of the Wall Street blackmail of Washington, DC. Paulson was just Act I.

Obama cannot spend hundreds of billions on the people because the Wall Street bankers will need that money and more debt will crash the already beleaguered dollar. The privately owned and operated Federal Reserve will attempt to satiate Wall Street with even more money printing that will require draconian cuts to social programs.

The alternative is for Obama to nationalize the Fed and the banks and declare a bank holiday. Only then will there be money to underwrite the people and the real economy. Until the financial system is purged of banksters and solvent once more, we are at the mercy of Wall Street.

Michael McKinlay

Hercules, CA

Oct 16 2009 - 3:20pm