No More Piecemeal Rights

In her column “How to Win the Culture War” [Aug. 28/Sept. 4], Laila Lalami included an unnecessary adjective in the sentence beginning “If Democrats give up on women’s reproductive rights…” (emphasis added), and thus inadvertently allowed right-wing “Democrats” to set the terms of the discussion. These Democrats have always preferred that other people’s rights be treated piecemeal; it’s a delaying tactic.

Women’s rights necessarily include the right to make their own medical decisions; this is too obvious for debate. Either you are for women’s rights, or you’re against them. If you’re against them, you have no business in government in the 21st century.

I will tell that to Ben Ray Luján or Bernie Sanders or any other damn fool who thinks we should still be patient, humble, and deferential and beg for a little bit here and a little bit there, please, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble. Those days are gone, boys. You don’t tell the people what’s important; we tell you. Or your successors, if you haven’t the wit to listen.

Katharine W. Rylaarsdam

When Small Is Actually Big

The Next Big Thing Will Be a Lot of… Small Things” by David Bollier [Aug. 28/Sept. 4] was the first article I have ever read that completely articulated my sense of frustration with the Democratic Party.

After the 2016 election, Barack Obama was quoted as having said, “I could have been elected a third time.” I don’t think so. I certainly would not have voted for him a third time. I was completely disappointed by his inability to rein in the big banks. Remember when he allowed Wall Street bankers to reward themselves with generous bonuses after they crashed the world economy?

Although I hold little hope, I’ll be sending copies of this article to my senators and congressman in an effort to get them on board with the vision.

Mary Kay Wiens
monmouth, ore.

When I began to read this refreshingly optimistic article, I had high hopes for a winning alternative to the economic status quo that David Bollier so justifiably rejects. A radically new system is sorely needed! But I was disappointed. I would love to live in a world where everything that affected me was localized and transparent, where my needs were met by the work of my own hands and by bartering with my neighbors, where my money was backed by individuals I personally knew. And I, too, am uncomfortable with having most of my well-being controlled by self-interested and powerful absentee forces. Does that make me a “libertarian”? Hopefully not.

That said, I don’t wish to turn over my greenbacks secured by the cumulative real wealth of our sovereign nation in exchange for unsecured local banknotes—that would be so, so 1890s. But neither do I wish to bail out “investors” who currently hold $1,400 trillion in bank-issued derivatives and “commercial paper.” If Bollier and company want to launch a broad-based radical movement for economic redefinition, I would suggest starting with “repeal and replace” for the Internal Revenue Code and then moving on to adopt a sound monetary policy.

David Bollier might suspect that I have a plan in mind. He would be correct, and I’d be willing to share it.

James M. Peterson
richfield, minn.