C’mon, California… 14 Little Words!
"State Races Matter," says John Nichols in "A 2010 Elections Primer" [March 1]. Indeed they do. And when the November 2010 dust settles, California’s legislature is likely to have just enough Republicans to exercise the tyranny of the minority on state budget and revenue matters. We need to end the antidemocratic "two-thirds" rules here so we can start closing the tax loopholes enjoyed by corporate interests and the wealthiest Californians. The California Democracy Act will eliminate the means by which a small minority of right-wing legislators–who put corporations and the wealthy above the vast majority of Californians; who gridlock the budget process year after year; and who block funding for education, social services and infrastructure–have done just that for more than thirty years. Our proposition is just fourteen simple words: "All legislative actions on revenue and budget must be determined by a majority vote." Go to CA4Democracy.com.
Looting Haiti’s Vaults
New York City
Naomi Klein’s "Haiti: A Creditor, Not a Debtor" [March 1] was right on–and about–the money. She highlighted four reasons Haiti deserves reparations: slavery, US occupation, dictatorship and climate change. This debt to Haiti was spelled out clearly in a report issued by the Foreign Policy Association in 1922, a committee that included NAACP stalwart Moorfield Storey and future Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. According to the report, in 1914 US Marines landed at Port-au-Prince, "proceeded to the vaults of the National Bank of Haiti, and forcibly seized and carried away $500,000." This marked the beginning of a military occupation that continued until 1934 and an economic control that remains unbroken.
NPR’s Faux (Fox) Pas
San Jose, Calif.
Thank you, Eric Alterman. Finally, someone is saying what needs to be said about NPR ["Zinn-ophobia at NPR," March 1]. I heard the broadcast on the death of Howard Zinn and was astonished that the ever-paranoiac David Horowitz was asked to chime in. Alterman points out that NPR never bends over backward like this when a conservative dies (say, Gen. Al Haig); it just lights the votives and gets Juan Williams to wax nostalgic. The public stations had some cred years ago. Now they are bought and paid for. I call them Fox lite.