Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

I scrolled down the authors list at thenation.com to M, found Bill Moyers's speech about FDR, given in 2007 at the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute's twentieth anniversary Four Freedoms ceremony, struck me to the core. I lived during his administrations, I voted for his fourth term--my first presidential election. Moyers's remarks about FDR struck home with me, and are singularly appropriate to the situation today with the Reagan-Nixon-Bush-Bush administrations. Take Roosevelt's comment about economic royalism, how "a small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people's property, other people's money, other people's labor--other people's lives." Also when he said that "private power no less than public power can bring America to ruin in the absence of democratic controls."

How appropriate! This would make a wonderful lead in any newspaper today that has any regard for the truth.

Leon Rabin

East Walpole, MA

Aug 11 2008 - 11:32pm

Web Letter

Is conservatism to blame for the ever-compounding problem of corruption in Washington? Is this plutocracy we're living in not simply the natural product of a system based on vague and malleable guidelines? How much easier is it to base legislation on quantifiable fiscal reality than on obtuse and intangible concepts like "personal freedom," "human rights" or "the right to bear arms"?

Language can be twisted and bought by the highest bidder. The original spirit that this country was founded on is completely unsustainable in the face of forces such as technological advancement, the military-industrial complex and globalization. Personal freedoms and human rights are hardly relevant to corporations whose every action is scrutinized to the thousandth of a penny. The irony of this being that stockholders are actually demanding that corporations force the government to take away their own most cherished freedoms in order to compete in the market.

It seems obvious that we are moving toward some sort of system based solely and soullessly on numbers. I don't think it's science fiction to say that computer-generated statistics are placing an ever-increasing role in our world. We are going to have to face the fact that human rights are quickly becoming as irrelevant as rodent or algae rights. The machines have taken over, hahahaha.

"Computers make the numbers, the numbers come first. Oh my God, it's happening, computers rule the earth."  --Anonymous

Josh Hiken

San Francisco, CA

Aug 10 2008 - 2:04pm

Web Letter

Madness, we have been told, is a prerequisite for destruction, especially when it passes for reason. America, unfortunately is so wealthy it can despoil for centuries under "counterfeit conservative' regimes, reminiscent of ancient Rome's decline. Or, given the explosive compound of incompetence and nuclear weapons, we can disappear in an instant.

The central well-being, "optimal" management of this nation, must be autonomous of politics, especially the septic politics of the past forty years.

I recommend that every American voter in the upcoming presidential election watch Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and, among other things, surmise whom James Stewart looks like.

Sioan Stephen Bethel

Brooklyn, NY

Aug 7 2008 - 3:59pm

Web Letter

And furthermore we have been so dumbed down that we will probably elect a senile old man, trading on his war hero status, whose campaign is being managed by an equally mentally deficient adviser. The media is so enamoured by this man's story that they are about to convince us that he is God himself.

James Pinette

Caribou, ME

Aug 7 2008 - 2:48pm

Web Letter

When Barack Obama goes for years during wartime without insisting upon a draft, he is forcing upon those responsible for fighting and winning the war a greater-than-necessary, obviously not beneficial to anyone but the enemy, share of the burden of the war. The rest of us Dems are in such dire straits that we must go along with this?

By not demanding back from Nancy Pelosi his followers' rights (and even if he'd continue to surrender to her his own rights) to spare the lives of the nation's troops by means of impeachment, Obama fixes the identities of those who will die in the war. He just happens, also, to fix the identities of those who won't.

Barack Obama works with Dem leadership, against the good at least of those of us who are serving, to fix the next election.

Among all the goofy reasons that have been given by both Republicans and Democrats for our being in this war, there has been nothing that suggests that any soldier signed up in order to destroy Republican chances of winning the next election. But such evidence is exactly what Obama and Dem leadership, if they were ever so unlucky as to find themselves being questioned, would have to say they believed existed.

Cameron Jones

Indiana, PA

Aug 7 2008 - 9:50am

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