Web Letters | The Nation


Israel's Strategic Threat

Thanks very much for publishing this column. What is happening to Bishara is a sign of how unhealthy politically Israel has become. What I have always found odd is that Israel didn't try to coopt its Palestinian citizens more by offering them equal citizenship with accompanying equal economic rights, services, etc. Or does Israel think it can now strip Palestinians of their citizenship, because in fact they are a national minority, and the state trying to figure out a way to put pressure on its Palestinian population to leave Israel? Is Israel trying to do to its Palestinian citizens what it is trying to do to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories? If so, that's quite a risk, since it's one thing to pressure people without citizenship to leave but quite another to do it to citizens.

Deborah A. Gordon

Wichita , KS USA

Apr 20 2007 - 4:20pm

Impeachment Fever Rises

The author cites Jefferson's parliamentary rules regarding "legislatURES", then indicates that several "legistlatORS" "have done just that".

Get real. There isn't a single legislature in the country that would vote to impeach, and if one (or fifty) did, it would still have no force of law. You cannot complain about Bush abusing the Constitution and then ignore its plain language on impeachment. It requires the HOUSE to impeach, and the SENATE to try the charges.

George Bush will leave office on time, peacefully transitioning his office to his duly elected successor. Whoever that person is, Democrat or Republican, I have no doubt that The Nation will accuse that president of exceeding the constitutional powers of the presidency sometime during his or her term.

That's just who you guys are.

William G. Salter

New York, NY

Apr 20 2007 - 3:52pm

Impeachment Fever Rises

Interesting idea.

Oddly, it begs the small detail of exactly what the president is meant to be impeached over. The Constitution demands charges of "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

Maybe starting with with what crime the President has committed would be a better way to make the argument--as opposed to figuring out how to impeach the man and then working backwards to minor legalities, such as 'charges'.

Mark Buehner

Romeoville, Illinois

Apr 20 2007 - 3:11pm

Impeachment Fever Rises

Ho hum. I thought The Nation was where the smart people hung out. Or maybe it was the cool kids.

The good news for everyone who wants to go back to 2000 is that Al Gore is running again and Bill Moyers has a special coming out soon.

David Booth

Rochester, NY

Apr 20 2007 - 1:34pm

Impeachment Fever Rises

To describe Democrats' thoughts of impeachment as optimistic would be an overstatement. This president might not be incompetent, but as evidenced by the many others with this affliction who continue to hold office, it is not illegal.

He may have taken this country to war on questionable intelligence, but there is no proof, or even hard evidence, that he took this country to war on a lie. Certainly, there was no contradictory television appearances and depositions as there have been with past presidents who have been impeached.

I know Democrats, and many Republicans, don't like this president. But you can't impeach a president just because you don't like him. For now, bad leadership is not a crime and certainly, the ambiguous "unwillingness to respect the system of checks and balances or the rule of law" propounded by this article is not an impeachable offense.

For now the best strategy for the proponents of impeachment is to go to bed because the only place impeachment will become a reality is in their dreams.

Mike D

Baltimore, MD

Apr 20 2007 - 1:29pm

Exploiting Imus

The reaaction to Imus's remarks is largely hypocritcal.

The Rutgers players and coach faked the pain and outrage. They didn't know Imus and his status and could not been so badly offended by what he said. These ladies come out of the Eastern ghettos so they have been bombarded with worse epithets all their lives from their male friends and brothers. They are not sensative shrinking violets. They are tough getto survivors. They took advantage of their notoriety to self aggrandize and promote Rutgers athletics. They did a superb job of gaming us.

Imus is a brilliant and complex radio communicater. I followed his program continuosly since it was picked up by MSNBC in the early 90s so I think I know whereof I speak with the following comments:

Imus is a hardwired Jew and black hater at the subconsious level of awareness. His defect is that he has been poisoned with the standard anti-Jew and black stereotypes probably by his family and the cultural mileu in which he was brought up. This has been true of most gentiles since the time of the Greek empire. At the consious level Imus is not an anti-Jew. But when Imus gets provoked and angry his Jew-hating sterotypes emerge by reflex as with the Black Boys of Alabama incident. Many of his friends and radio guests are Jewish and he honestly likes them and they support him even though they know and like him even though they know he is a structural Jew hater. His producer Bernard McGuirk is a vicious Jew- and black-hater. McGuirk often incites and triggers Imus racist comments. McGuirk came out against the Iraq war because be believed it was incited by the Jewish Washington cabal to help out Israel.

The primary force driving Imus is to win at any cost in all endeavors. This includes driving his ratings up. One tactic he used is to be ever more outrageous and offensive and unpredictable on the air. NBC and CBS and sponsers let him do this because he made them tons of money. When the outcry threatened business they terminated him. His prestigious guests accepted this to get the notoriety and publicity they require.The networks fired Imus not in a high-minded attempt to protect the honor and dignity of the networks or accede to the demands of "hurt" network employees. They are lying hypocrites. They fired him because of fear of losing business.

Imus in the early 90s remade himself from a shock-music jock into a superb public affairs communicater just as he changed from a druggy alcohlic to a sober man. I learned more and got more insight into what really drives the major issues from the Imus program than from all other sources. Imus is a superb interviewer and has a vast array of leaders in all fields that he called on to discuss issues as they arose.

Imus will return to radio and TV soon because he makes a lot of money for people and he is truly a rare radio treasure. I hope when he comes back he will recognize the difference between satire and vicious ad-hominem hateful hurtful savage attacks. (His gratitous unjustified attacks on the Clintons were horrible, disgusting, unfair.) I hope he will refrain from attacking public figures for their personal characteristics--appearance, race, religion. I hope he will continue to attack public figures for their pompous actions, bad ideas, wrong policy, incompetence and evil motives.

Murray Nadler

Houston, Texas

Apr 20 2007 - 1:01pm

Impeachment Fever Rises

Mr. Nichols article is fascinating to me, as a Republican.

If things stay as they are today, the Democrats have a 65% chance to retain the Congress, and a 50/50 shot at the White House.

Impeachment would greatly increase the chances for Republicans to retake at least one House of Congress, in a backlash. (Recall that The Democrats gained seats after Clinton's impeachment.) So I do hope the Democrats go for it with gusto.....in a partisan way, of course.

Vincent Giandurco

Fairfield, CT

Apr 20 2007 - 9:50am

Open Letter to Laura Bush

Sharon Olds has clearly done much admirable work in her life. Her compassion and empathy are demonstrated by actions that help improve peoples' lives every day.

That being said, her understanding and awareness of the implications and effects of US foreign policy fall straight into the whiny and wanna feel good "war-is-bad", "I don't want my country to do anything that makes me uncomfortable", trash bin under the desk of responsible foreign policy analysts.

To quote Michael Moore, no friend of the administration or the war, but plainly a person with occasional insight, "Americans are possibly the dumbest people on the planet. ...We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. We don't know about anything that's happening outside our country. Our stupidity is embarrassing."

The arrogant ignorance of Sharon Olds is embarrassing.

Lily Downing

Forest Hills, NY

Apr 20 2007 - 8:41am

The Establishment Rethinks Globalization

Ralph Gomory’s argument for managing trade brings to mind the consensus among policymakers in the thirties: trade worked up until that point, but this time it’s different. It appeared to all that the unprecedented technical innovations of the preceding half century meant that the government’s new, permanent job was to manage chronic overcapacity. Hence tariffs, price controls and attempts to establish industry sector boards that would apportion output among various producers. Each and every one of those efforts ended up being gamed and exploited by the affected firms. Programs in each case then either collapsed of their own weight or morphed into permanent vehicles for rent seeking and government cover for anti-competitive practices.

No doubt Mr. Gomory and your reviewer, Mr. Greider, think that this time it’s different, that, Samsung, Daewoo, Matsushita, Sony, Phillips, Seimens, Toyota, Shell and BP notwithstanding, the federal government is up to the challenge of fixing our trade problems by involving itself in the affairs of American multi-nationals,. No doubt, like Jefferson, Hoover, FDR and Nixon, they will be wrong, and the most vulnerable American workers will be the poorer for the effort.

It's not enough to identify the problem. You have to answer the question, what's the best among the many unpalatable alternatives? Of those alternatives, how many times do we have to learn that of the many challenges of governance, public agencies are surely least well suited for the Goldilocks challenge of just enough, but not too much competition, free trade… whatever.

Like the free traders described in your review, Martin Luther was a bit of a fanatic himself. Perhaps a figure from the world of politics is a more fitting embodiment of the role Mr. Gomory presumes to play. Consider John C. Calhoun. An Indian or Chinese worker has a right to the same employment opportunities as an American worker. (If you don’t believe that then what are you doing reading a progressive magazine?) In that light, the spirit animating the argument for protecting American workers is not terribly different from what defenders of slavery and of Jim Crow argued. Calhoun was a world-wise, highly sophisticated thinker. Had his publishers the benefit of Quark, Excel and color offset printing, he would perhaps have impressed his readers with the same charts and graphs that so impressed your reviewer about Mr. Gomory’s book.

Down with John C. Calhoun. Down with Goldilocks. Down with the ahistorical, wishful thinking of ‘this time it’s different.’

David Borinsky

Baltimore, Maryalnd

Apr 20 2007 - 7:47am

The Establishment Rethinks Globalization

Mr. Greider’s thoughtful report on Gomory’s analysis prompted a look for more information on the Horizon Project, which first landed me at http://www.thehorizonproject.com/ That site did not seem to have much to say on the issue, although it did make some sweeping claims.

Readers should, instead, go to http://horizonproject.us

Richard Careaga

Seattle, WA, USA

Apr 20 2007 - 1:43am