Now let’s move forward; bottom line: he's gone; a plague on both their houses; weapons of mass terror; clear the air with Russia on Syria; Swank Filer, where are you?


Now Let’s Move Forward!

New London, N.H.

As I age and my remaining days diminish, I do things I otherwise would not dare. And so, this open letter:

Dear Mr. President:

Congratulations on your re-election. It allows us to imagine a day when the earth will no longer be poisoned, and LGBT people, people of color and women will get an even break. As president, you carry burdens that are beyond my power to imagine, and I respect you for that. Here are my hopes for your second term. It is time to end government by military-industrial complex and to revive American democracy. Shut down Guantánamo and its sister prisons, end special rendition, put aside the drones and the policies of assassination and torture. End those bloody things. Strengthen our economy by feeding it, not bleeding it. Nourish our economy and you nourish our posterity. Prosperity and revenue will come, and the national deficits and debts will take care of themselves. Continue to support the humble and the meek, and establish justice.

There may be small and empty people who will oppose and mock you, and manufacture crises to frighten our fellow citizens. Do not let them deter you. You have it in your hands to do great things, and to restore America as the hope of the world.

Yes you can. Yes we can. Good luck.


Bottom Line: He’s Gone

Marinette, Wis.

Re Greg Palast’s “Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza” [Nov. 5]: you’ve probably just shown us why the Romneys didn’t want us to see their tax returns.


Lewisville, Tex.

I read with dismay and disgust how Romney and all his white-collar thieves on Wall Street took our money in the bailout, canceled pensions and made more money for their greedy selves. My questions are: Does the attorney general’s office read The Nation? If not, why not? If so, why haven’t they done anything about this thievery?


A Plague on Both Their Houses

Gig Harbor, Wash.

Hurrah for Doug Henwood’s “Presidential Politricks” [Nov. 5]. At last, a Nation article challenging the absence of “a plague on both their houses.” As I read your earlier endorsement of Obama, I kept waiting to hear the position that both parties may be corrupt beyond hope, as they are bought and owned by the 1 percent. This year, I discovered the Green Party’s platform, and it contained everything my conscience holds dear. So I joined Jill Stein’s effort and voted for her. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks—by my vote I was boycotting both major parties. It was my sit-down strike. There is no hope of curing the corruption in either party. The data tell the story: as of October 26, Rocky Anderson had spent about $50,000; Stein, about $220,000; and Obama and Romney, about $1 billion each. No wonder our 99 percent voices are ignored.


No Kisses for Hershey Trust

Wyomissing, Pa.

I appreciate The Nation and F. Frederic Fouad for covering “Hershey’s Broken Trust” [Nov. 5]. I hope this article will shed additional light on all things relating to the Milton Hershey School and will help propel Kathleen Kane to the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office, so a real investigation and reform can take place.

I would be remiss, however, if I did not point out that for years the trust was besieged with frivolous and antiquated complaints by alumni and the community at large, so that it became difficult for anyone to discern what was justified and valid and what was merely attention seeking or rallying the masses. The issues are complicated, and a lot of anger, hurt, time and energy have been wasted in supposed pursuit of reform. For Milton Hershey School’s sake and needy children everywhere, I hope one day it will actually happen.

DAN SAUDER, MHS Class of 1998

Weapons of Mass Terror

Mill Valley, Calif.

As a teenager during World War II, I remember the horror we felt when the Nazis launched long-range missiles, known as “buzz bombs,” at London and other cities. These bombs killed civilians and terrorized those they did not kill. It was a cruel weapon that indicated the ruthlessness of the Nazis. I was reminded of this when I read “Life and Death Under Drones” [“Noted,”Oct. 22]. It cites a Stanford University report that says the harm done by drones “goes beyond death and injury…. Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities.” How quickly we forget, and how easily we adopt practices we once condemned as barbaric.


Clear the Air With Russia on Syria

Columbia, Mo.

I appreciate Jonathan Steele’s nuanced look at some of the nonviolent opposition’s perspective on the conflict in Syria [“A Way Out of Syria’s Catastrophe,” Oct. 15]. However, regarding working together with Russia to ameliorate this crisis and move Syria toward reconciliation and a more democratic system, there is a lot of bad air to clear with Russia first. The United States and other NATO allies cannot really form a coalition with Russia to put pressure on the parties in Syria without addressing the fallout from the intervention in Libya. Russia, South Africa, Brazil, India and China all had—and continue to have—major problems with the way NATO went far beyond its mandate in that “humanitarian” intervention. Without any acknowledgment of this overreach by the United States and NATO, why would Russia consider them as neutral actors who would pass the relevant UN Security Council resolutions on Syria in good faith?


Swank Filer, Where Are You?

Los Angeles

I miss Frank Lewis! The puzzle clues by Kosman and Picciotto are so opaque as to make a complete solution practically impossible. Even when I see the answer, I do not always get it. I hate to give up, but repeated tries just lead to frustration.


Our puzzle constructors enjoy “meeting” their solvers and discussing their quibbles, questions, kudos or complaints directly. We hope frustrated puzzlers will visit Kosman and Picciotto’s blog, Word Salad. There, they can comment directly about the clues they are unable to fathom. Note: Word Salad always includes a link to a Pennsylvania solver’s blog, where every clue is fully explained on the Monday following online publication.

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