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Web Letters

New York, NY

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New York, NY

Kelly Candaele and Peter Dreier’s “A Watershed Strike” was brilliant work. My mother is currently one of the UFCW workers fighting the revolution to save the middle class, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. What big business is attempting to do to the largest social class in this country is not only horrifying and discouraging–it’s suicidal. Annihilate the middle class and the upper class will follow right on its heels. The upper classes depend on the labor of the middle class to keep them in the lives they’ve become accustomed to. It seems like elementary level economics. Destroy the class that supports you and you will fall right behind them. Has nobody read Upton Sinclair? We think our society/country has evolved from Sinclair’s time, but have we really? All the UFCW workers want is fair and affordable healthcare and an assurance against poverty when they are too old to continue in their work. And the CEOs and corporate boards can’t grant their workers–the people on whose backs they live, eat and play golf–that scrap of decency.

NATALIE KNOTT


Seattle, WA

Thank you so much for publishing the article by the woman who faced having an abortion after her first trimester [Abortion Distortion,” by Rebecca Ayrey]. It is one that I think those who oppose abortion for any reason need to hear (but unfortunately, they may not listen). Her story is very similar to that of someone I know. In her second trimester, the doctors discovered that her fetus had the same condition as the article’s author. This woman was raised Catholic and did not believe in abortion. However, she and her husband ultimately decided on abortion, because of the severity of the fetus’s disabilities and the amount of care that would have been required for the baby after birth, as well as the fact that they already had three children who also needed their time and attention. They would have had very little to give those three had they had the fourth child. I can tell you that this was not an easy decision for them, especially the woman. She told me that her existing children were the ultimate reason she decided to have an abortion. It was not something she decided lightly, and it pained her deeply.

I think this is the primary problem with those, including Bush, who supported the so-called Partial-Birth Abortion bill. They, and many others who oppose abortion, seem to think that women who chose abortion do so on a lark, or as their sole means of birth control. While there may indeed be some women who do choose it for those reasons, I believe that the majority of women who make this choice do so for far deeper reasons, and it is unconscionable that those who voted for this bill deliberately overlooked or ignored those deeper reasons. I chose not to have more children several years after my daughter was born, so pregnancy is not something I have to face the possibility of. However, it still deeply angers me that this Administration has been chipping away at the right to make a choice about whether to go forward with a particular pregnancy. Those who oppose abortion seem to have this as their logic: “I am against abortion, therefore you cannot have one. You support the choice of abortion, so therefore, if I get pregnant, I have to have an abortion. I don’t want an abortion, thus, it must be made illegal!” It is what I call “illogical logic,” and it is, unfortunately, what seems to be driving those who can make the law in this country.

I hope none of them ever have to face what the author or the woman I know had to face. I think they may find that it is most definitely not as simplistic as they choose to make it seem.

RUBY L. GARDNER


Richmond, VA

I was mentioned in Jacqueline Kucinich’s online article about the Bring Them Home Now press conference [“Bring Them On? Bring Them Home!“]. Kucinich wrote of my protests in front of the Richmond, Virginia, federal courthouse. I continue to protest every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon. Friday, December 12, 2003, will be my 100th protest. Military Families Speak Out has put out a release for it at www.mfso.org/Syv100.pdf

LARRY SYVERSON


Edmonton, Canada

I just read an article by Nina Englander condemning Colombia’s president for denouncing human rights [“Colombia and Human Rights“]. I would just like to state–and I grant that I may be way off-base here–that on my recent trip to Colombia, I found Uribe to be a very interesting and concerned leader. Perhaps he just pulled the wool over my eyes, but I took his comments to imply that he is tired of the United States and outside “do-gooders” telling him that his country is in violation of human rights, when countries like the United States and Britain are in Iraq committing their own atrocities. He seems to me to be struggling to rid his country of war–that is truly my impression of him. But, it is so difficult there, where so many members of the government and big business thrive on illegal drug trafficking to the United States (the biggest buyer).

I think Englander should consider that here is a leader trying his best in a dreadfully complicated and bloody situation, and who is tired of the United States (and others) telling him his country is reprehensible when he can see plain as day that theirs is as well. A common sentiment in Colombia today (I am basing this on conversation with my family, taxi drivers and the like) is that Uribe is working hard, stepping on toes–and they feel confident the guerrillas will not last. Another sentiment is one of media overkill, painting their country to be the most horrible of countries, when instead they feel it is so beautiful. Uribe seems to me to feel the same way. I believe he was not denouncing human rights per se (indeed it seems to me he fights for them), but rather denouncing those from other countries who have complicated human rights issues to deal with as well, but act as if they don’t.

MARKE AMBARD

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