Web Letters | The Nation


Vote Working Families Party to Pressure Andrew Cuomo

The Working Party Families folks sold independent, progressive New Yorkers down the river when they caved to the Cuomo faction in the run-up to the Democratic Party primary. Despicable.

Paul J. Eichten

Syracuse, NY

Oct 30 2014 - 8:12pm

WATCH: Are America’s Police Departments Waging a War on Black Bodies?

For the last thirty years, America’s police have been trained to be cowardly. They routinely pull out their pistols when there is no apparent threat. The reason they can get away with all sorts of crimes is that the public is terrorized. No, I don’t mean since 9/11, I mean for generations. Two wars against Germany, a cold war, the drug war and then the war on terror, have led to a whole body of laws that the gents enshrined on Mt. Rushmore could tell you were wrong.

Too many good citizens honestly believe that they will never be accused of crime, so they don’t understand what some of us are talking about. Watch the justly famous TV program Cops for a while and you’ll see what I mean. While the arrest shown is valid about one in eight times, the cops commit a felony act at some point. Most people don’t believe that the cops have broken any law, and the few who do understand say that nothing can be done.

Are the police waging war on black Americans? No, they are waging war on everybody, and blacks have the misfortune to be readily identifiable. Have you ever heard of a case where the perpetrator was identified as white and turned out to be black? Or vice versa? (The Asian-Americans are lucky in this respect—they are usually taken for white). The USA won’t have peace and order until we are willing to send the cops, attorneys and even some judges to priso—as the law provides!

Robert Kane

Sacramento, CA.

Oct 30 2014 - 3:54pm

A New Documentary Profiles Liars for Hire

To compliment, or complement the story… There is quite a historical timeline for lying, but today’s birthday marks one of the more notorious eras. From Paul Joseph Goebbels, 10/29/1897-5/1/1945, Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda: He openly acknowledged that he was exploiting the lowest instincts of the German people—racism, xenophobia, class envy and insecurity. He could, he said, play the popular will like a piano, leading the masses wherever he wanted them to go. As Joachim Fest writes, “He drove his listeners into ecstasy, making them stand up, sing songs, raise their arms, repeat oaths—and he did it not through the passionate inspiration of the moment but as the result of sober psychological calculation.” Albert Speer said in his final speech at the Nuremberg trials that Goebbels “made the complete use of all technical means for domination of its own country. Through technical devices like the radio and loudspeaker, 80 million people were deprived of independent thought.”

Allen Brand

Bremen, OH

Oct 29 2014 - 11:47am

Before Ebola, Health Officials Thought the Age of Epidemics Was Over—It Wasn’t

Two October 2014 articles about Ebola insist that world relief is necessary to contain the contagious disease. That should not be the first excuse to reach for. The government of a specific country is responsible to resolve their own crisis. An analogy about two kids going hungry in a single parent household may provide the insight about the responsible person. The correct solution is for a social worker to find out where the money is spent. Then the parent should be instructed to spend money on food, rather than on alcohol. The most frequent option to resolve this hunger is to have a nonprofit organization provide the food each day. Such a inept decision just prolongs the lack of responsibility by the parent. Let the government of a country spend its own funds to resolve its own problems.

Adam Young

Elk Flats, CA

Oct 27 2014 - 4:15pm

Vote Working Families Party to Pressure Andrew Cuomo

What has happened to The Nation? I never would have dreamed you’d endorse Cuomo. A vote on the WFP line is a vote for Cuomo. What good is the WFP if they are unwilling to challenge someone like Cuomo? They copped out last spring, revealing that the WFP is not an independent, progressive party, but merely a wing of the Democratic Party. Had they nominated a progressive candidate, that candidate would be polling at 40 percent or better. Look how well Teachout did, and she was an unknown. It’s frustrating to watch the opportunity missed this year. There’s a progressive candidate running, Howie Hawkins on the Green line. Even The New York Times acknowledges that a big vote for Hawkins is the way to keep pressure on Cuomo.

Susan Markus

New York City

Oct 27 2014 - 7:58am

Exclusive Excerpt: How Pro-Choicers Can Take Back the Moral High Ground

While reading the excellent article on America’s eroding abortion rights, I was surprised and disgusted by a pop-up ad that came out of nowhere while I was reading. It was for Covenant House, an organization that purports to help homeless youth. It stated that there are five anti-trafficking bills currently stalled in the US legislature, and asked for my e-mail to fight this.

As a sex worker and sex worker rights activist, I couldn’t have been more affronted to see this advertisement connected to an article about the political erosion of women’s rights over their bodies. Anti-trafficking organizations hide their true purpose in the language of moral outrage against child exploitation, but they intend to do away with the entire sex industry, most of which is populated by consensual adult workers such as myself. Anti-trafficking law disproportionately hurts the most marginalized populations in our society, just like anti-abortion law (noted in Michelle Chen’s article “The Problem With Anti-Trafficking Dragnets” on this website in March).

I don’t understand how running an anti-trafficking advertisement is consistent with The Nation’s socially liberal attitude, especially on top of such a strong call for an end to abortion restriction. Please rethink accepting money from an organization whose policies hurt poor sex-working youth of color, and please examine all future advertisement sales to political organizations who may not have your readers’ best interests at heart.

Editor’s Note: Interested readers can examine The Nation’s long-standing advertising policy.

Jolene Parton

Oakland, CA

Oct 26 2014 - 11:49am

WATCH: Are America’s Police Departments Waging a War on Black Bodies?

So much horribleness when it comes to cops with guns—same with civilians with guns. In my area, a blond, blue-eyed, innocent civilian was gunned down and killed by police by accident, also a Hispanic father of eight, grandfather of ten, was mistakenly gunned downand killed by police, and a Persian kid, running away from police, showing him his cellphone, had ninety rounds of bullets put in him by police. No human should have these modern guns—-they kill too quickly and humans cannot handle them—even cops. This is not only a black issue.

Lisa Q.

Oct 22 2014 - 11:02pm

Joan Rivers Gets the Last Laugh

Katha Pollitt’s essay on women comedians failed to mention Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett and Phyllis Diller, all of whom were enormously successful with either their own TV shows or, in Ms. Diller’s case, as a stand-up comedian who never let her age or gender stand in the way of success.

Michael Groom

San Luis Obispo, CA

Oct 10 2014 - 7:44pm

How the World Let the Ebola Epidemic Spiral Out of Control

Who else besides who? Lou Costello says President Obama, another issue he failed to take a lead on.

Asher Fried

Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Oct 9 2014 - 2:52pm

What’s Wrong With the Radical Critique of the People’s Climate March

Jonathan Smucker and Michael Premo describe the People’s Climate March as a “vibrant movement ecosystem.” PCM is not an “ecosystem.” It is ironic that writers describing a march to protect real ecosystems would co-opt the term to describe the march itself. Can we have better science education, please?

Chris Robertson

Portland, OR

Sep 30 2014 - 3:10pm