Web Letters | The Nation


Katrina, Eighteen Months Later

With rising sea levels, it is a total waste to rebuild New Orleans below even current water lines. We need to use this money more effectively.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

Mar 3 2007 - 5:25am

When's the Idea Primary?

Great article!

Public interest and enthusiasm for the campaign is not sustainable going two whole years or more.

None of the candidate's ideas put forth so far is really anything but warmed over New Deal, or replays from the Anti-Vietnam time.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

Mar 3 2007 - 5:17am

Remembering Norma Rae

As a former union organizer (now working with low-income residents), I often look for positive representations of working-class people, and their struggles, on television. And while this is rare, there is currently a fantastic show about the glory of a hard day's work, Dirty Jobs.

While I have never seen the union aspect of the working men and women portrayed on the show (though this may be a good thing to keep the show up and running), the reality is boldfaced and beautiful. We now live in a society wherein we consider being a mid-management paperpusher more integral to the world and more dignified than the work done by those folks who actually impact the world around them.

I always like to ask myself a question when thinking about jobs and their standing in society: What if they all went on strike? If there were no more ad executives or market researchers or web designers, would my life suffer? What about if there were no more garbage collectors or tomato pickers or bus drivers or cops or fireman or retail clerks? I think the answer is obvious.

And that's what Dirty Jobs is all about. I think the show's tagline says it all, "I explore the country looking for people who aren't afraid to get dirty—hard-working men and women who earn an honest living doing the kinds of jobs that make civilized life possible for the rest of us."

Peter Masiak

San Francisco, CA

Mar 2 2007 - 9:19pm

The Wars of Sudan

it is not obvious but the sudan has been an issue since the early 70's when the 3rd larges oil field in the world was discovered there. the sudan has had an internal policy of limiting foreign oil interests. darfur sit on part of this oil field. the south of sudan sits on the oil field.

khartoum's main concession that ended the last "civil war" was more oil revenues for the south.

the world has never cared for africa unless there was something of value that could be taken from her.

if the world cared about aids in africa, why would they donate money for medicines that can only be bought from specific pharmaceutical corps?why would the u.s. initiate plans for africon?

why is it so important to build a pipeline across liberia [why is it so important to build one across afghanistan?)?

why are the gold, diamonds & uranium so much more important than the people of south africa, many still living in the tin shacks they built when p.w. botha was prime minister?

the "wars in sudan" only distract from the bigger picture:
- stalling china's economy by limiting their global access to oil resources.
- establish non-african control of african natural resources in an continuing effort to wrestle oil market dominance from opec [combine this with the application of good ole divide & conquer techniques, first in iraq and coming soon to iran.

if there was nothing to gain, the sudan and the rest of africa would be ignored like the bosnian conflict and the rwandan genocide.

besides, if we are true believers of democracy, why aren't we encouraging negotiations for fair pricing of these resources on the open market rather than falling for the governmental/media hype that instills conflict over control of these resources?

the people of the sudan, africa, the middle east, asia are not the buffoons depicted in stylized hollywood stereotypes. they are people with wants, needs & desires like anyone else in the world. they, like anyone else, want their own independence to achieve their own interpretation of 'the right to life, liberty & the persuit of hapiness'. what's the matter here, they need our non-african guidance & approval to govern their countries? their lives?

i know it's not much to get excited about here in the u.s. but there are plenty of hungry, homeless, abused, neglected and forgotten right around the corner, just across the track, down on the bayous.

Yusuf Guyot

Los Angeles, CA

Mar 2 2007 - 3:17pm

Katrina, Eighteen Months Later

In your article you all you talk about is New Orleans, yes we are all sad about what happened there. Here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast we took Katrina head-on. It wasn't a levy that caused our destruction it was the actual storm and surge.

What sets us above NO is that we want to rebuild and be better than what we were before. Alot of the problem with NO is that they are not willing to go to extremes to become normal again. Don't get me wrong, I used to love NO, but look at it now. Even the places that weren't affected by the storm have become so full of crime, no one wants to go there. I don't blame the citizens to not want to return.

To my point now, when you talk about the Gulf Coast give the MS. part some credit. We are working hard to normalize the 6 most hit coastal counties. You reporters from afar have no clue to what has been going on here and only concentrating on NO. Of course, I know you'll do what you want, just my two cents.

I would definatly rather live here in MS than in "The Chocolate City."

Jay Tagert

Ocean Springs, MS

Mar 1 2007 - 10:26pm

Human, All Too Human

I wonder why The Nation did not identify Adam Lebor as a regular contributor to Harry's Place, a British blog that strongly supports the war in Iraq. After that disaster, it seems like the last thing we need is another "humanitarian intervention" to rescue people.

Louis Proyect

New York City, NY

Mar 1 2007 - 5:40pm

Green Politicians, Real and Fake

Some good points, but some weird numbers.

"clogged metropolitan areas wasted 3.7 billion hours and 2.3 billion gallons of gasoline--about $63 billion worth--stuck in traffic."

I hope that $63 billion is including wasted time, otherwise the amount you are talking about equals $27 per gallon.

Josh Kroll

Minneapolis, MN

Mar 1 2007 - 12:23pm

The Daffodil Delusion: Sensationalizing Global Warming

Sensationalization takes a variety of forms, including ignoring the fact that the melting of the Martian CO2 icecaps means that it is primarily solar, not human action.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

Mar 1 2007 - 1:44am

The Thought Experimenter

Jackson Lears, thank you for the fine essay on William James. And much more: the skewering of Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett in favor of a thinker who connected mind with body, wisdom with uncertainty, will with meaning, and psychology with philosophy.

A retired psychiatrist and sandlot philosopher, I am much in need of WJ--as are the majority of my colleagues who are in effect drugged by the pharmaceutical approach to human suffering. It is entirely probable, as you say, that WJ willed himself out of depression as an extension of the way most of us will ourselves out of bed in the morning.

E. James Lieberman

Potomac, MD

Feb 28 2007 - 9:02pm

Remembering Norma Rae

Hollywood has always been big business. In the socially conscious '30s the only movie to actually show physical confrontation between management and labor was Black Gold, starring Paul Muni.

Movie makers then did not want common people to fully realize just how badly they had been screwed over by big business.

Even progressives like Warner Bros. were careful not to be too explicit in their excellent socially conscious movies.

So the common American in the '30s continued to believe the financial disaster that had befallen him was his own fault. Failure to be able to work and provide for his family was unendurable. But yet he endured.


Bowling Green, Ohio

Feb 28 2007 - 6:30pm