Web Letters | The Nation


Why the Media Are Giving a Free Pass to Venezuela’s Neo-Fascist Creeps

In the rules expressed here, it specifically warned against using inflammatory terms like “fascist” in expressing our views. But that did not stop the interviewer from repeating Mr. Britto’s slur describing the young demonstrators. Double standard? This article is inaccurate in so many ways. Venezuela, a country that made independent media illegal, threw in jail a judge because it did not agree with her ruling and that has made many other political arrests—a free country? This whole article was purely and simply another paid propaganda piece. How sad how some sell themselves, at the expense of their fellow citizens.

Esteban Bart


Apr 2 2014 - 8:29pm

Cold War Again: Who’s Responsible?

Mr. Cohen provided an interesting piece, but there are several points that require clarification, as they are sufficiently important to alter the perception of the crisis.

First, ethnic Russians do not make up the majority of the population of eastern Ukraine. The average is about 40 percent, though in some provinces it is in excess of 50 percent.

Second, the ethnic Russians are not monolithic advocates of a return to Mother Russia. Quite the contrary, a significant percentage, especially among the young, look to the EU and the West for a better life with more high-paying jobs. And while almost all the ethnic Russians do want to preserve their language, culture and religion, they consider themselves to be Ukrainians with no desire for the stagnation of being part of Russia. So Russian occupation would be widely viewed as a conquest, not a liberation.

Third, Yanukovych and the Party of Regions ran in 2010 on a platform including a plank promising to ‘seal the deal’ with the EU. This should not be downplayed. Thus, his ‘about face’ was condemned across the country as a betrayal of the national will; more so in western Ukraine, where he was loathed for his corrupt effort to steal the 2004 election which led to the Orange Revolution, and where he was regarded as Putin’s creature, which turned out to be quite correct.

Fourth, Russia is and will continue to be Ukraine’s largest trading partner. Ukraine is almost totally dependent upon Russia for gas and petroleum products. If the country survives Putin’s imperialism, it will be years before its own resources are developed. Thus, peaceful relations with Russia are required for national survival.

And fifth, the West must prove that it has learned something from history, especially 1938-9. And Ukraine/Crimea is the place to start. If the West is not willing to protect a relatively new democracy that looks to the EU and USA for support and protection, then tyranny is on the march, again. A far better analysis would be the cost of doing to little now versus what we must pay later.

Kent R Crawford, PhD


Apr 2 2014 - 12:34pm

From Visionary to the Fringe

Oh! How I love that Veli man! Now I had better read the article, to find out what I really ought to think about him.

Ted Schrey


Mar 31 2014 - 8:17am

Why Is a Florida Man Facing Life in Prison For Lending a Friend His Car and Going to Sleep?

I know I am only one voice of millions, but I read your article and wish there was a way to help him out. If somehow a petition could be passed. You should put a link to some website that voice out for Ryan Holle. I would love to take part in that.

Naveed Shaiwayana

United States

Mar 29 2014 - 11:46pm

Why Is a Florida Man Facing Life in Prison For Lending a Friend His Car and Going to Sleep?

I’m curious why the author of the following article “Why Is a Florida Man Facing Life in Prison For Lending a Friend His Car and Going to Sleep?” that starts with “Ryan Holle, who has no prior record, is currently serving his eleventh year of a life sentence.” does not start a Change.org petition to get Ryan Holle out of prison? I’m sure many people would sign this and maybe the petition or another petition could be started to end this law that the article speaks of. Please forward this to the author of the article, Charles Grodin. Thank you. Benjamin



Mar 29 2014 - 10:34pm

How Bill de Blasio Is Being Framed

off with her head!

Asher Fried

Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Mar 28 2014 - 12:30pm

Why Is a Florida Man Facing Life in Prison For Lending a Friend His Car and Going to Sleep?

I am currently confined to a bed after being struck by a car, but as soon as I get out and well enough to assist in however I can… I will. This is so sad, to think this could have been my son is infuriating. God bless you and all that you are doing for this young man.

Milagros Perez

United States

Mar 25 2014 - 8:40pm

How to Avert a New Cold War Over Crimea

“For this to happen, Washington and Moscow must recognize that the other side has legitimate grievances and interests.” I find very obvious Russia’s “grievances and interests,” but not Washington’s, especially as Ukraine is rather distant from the US and borders Russia. I think the United States wants to expand its economic imperialism; not legitimate, in my opinion.

Bernard Cleyet

Salinas, CA

Mar 25 2014 - 2:00pm

How to Avert a New Cold War Over Crimea

In the ninth century, a Viking prince, (St.) Volodomyr the Great, traveled south along the Dnipro River and established the Kievan Rus kingdom, with Kiev as its capitol. (He attained sainthood for establishing the Byzantine Catholic religion as the one and only throughout the land.) Succeeding generations, like most kingdoms splintered as sons and sons of sons, bickered, fought treacherously at times, establishing separate kingdoms, and so was born Russia, with Moscow as its capital.

Crimea was once a part of the Kievan Rus (Ukraine) kingdom before the Mongol horde’s western invasion, after which the Tatars became the primary inhabitants. As for Russia, Moscow always sought to rule beyond their cold and icy realm and Ukraine was the region’s most sought-after jewel. So the true goal here is to control what Russian always desired and occupied.

So now, after having infiltrated the eastern half of Crimea with Russian residents whose allegiance was always with Russia, Putin invades under the pretense of rescuing Russians in Ukraine.

Well, so far they’ve succeeded; now they can take all of their citizens home. Time for a major evacuation and safe return to Russia. Isn’t that the mission?

In truth, what is happening here is an insult to all of humanity. Shame on all of us.


Kennebunk, ME

Mar 24 2014 - 1:33am

What Paul Ryan and Obama Have In Common

I have followed Harris-Perry’s television career with interest and some enthusiasm—partly because I am a graduate of Tulane School of Social Work and because I have good memories of working with some of the Crescent City’s earliest advocates for “The Struggle.” That was several years before Harris-Perry was born. I am sure each of us caught the attention of the FBI while attending the annual convention of the National Tenants Organization. I worked as a community organizer in a Southern city where we eventually forced HUD to implement the Brooke Amendment in the local public housing.

More recently, I was employed as a social wWorker in several of Florida’s prisons, where I eventually learned that most of the inmates from whom I obtained an in-depth family history had spent their early years in generally the same cultural environment. These are the factors I found most frequently:

1. A culture in which it was assumed that it was not important for children to have a father involved in their daily lives.

2. A culture in which most people believed that God determined everything that happens in our lives and that there is nothing humans can do to change that.

3. A culture in which it was assumed that addictive drugs were an inevitable part of life and that they had to be tolerated.

4. A culture in which members were likely criticized for “trying to be better than the rest of us.”

5. A culture in which many children lacked effective guidance or supervision because their caregivers were impaired in some way.

6. A culture in which education was considered unimportant or even useless.

I do not in any way mean to praise of defend Paul Ryan. I believe he, like most politicians, is a phony and an opportunist. But I do believe that people who live in a community that shares the cultural values I have mentioned here, regardless of nationality or racial origin, will be at a very high risk for endemic poverty and economic blight. Melissa, I have high hopes for you, but sometimes your words remind me of Jesse Jackson’s mantra, which goes something like this: “Black people are just helpless victims and nothing is ever our fault.

Randall Ladnier

United States

Mar 22 2014 - 7:55am