Occupying Our Hearts & Minds
JoAnn Wypijewski’s “The Body Acoustic” [Nov. 14] made me weep. I have longed to go and join the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators but have not gone. Not because at age 69 my body is too frail for the ordeal but because I have spent years marching for civil rights and in peace demonstrations and have convinced myself that it is the youth who have to fight for their own future. I despaired that because of their apparent addiction to the Internet they would never know the pleasures of linking arms with strangers who share the same convictions. May OWS bring a resurgence of human-to-human connectedness.
At 90 I can no longer go out to demonstrate, but I would like to ask the Occupiers to call on those who pay taxes to respond to the 1 percent by refusing to pay a portion of their income tax. Think of the effect of 1 million people refusing to pay $20 of their taxes.
What the Occupiers understand, and Barack Obama is beginning to understand, is that we are in a class war, the 1 percent against the rest of us. The Occupiers (I count myself among them) are strong, with many troops and battalions, diversified by economic and ethnic background, language, birth. Some professionals, members of the middle class and small businesspeople would react with horror to being told they belong next to the Occupy warriors on the front lines. These skeptics will learn in time, as the earth shifts under them (already literally happening at some posh beach resorts) and their children’s air, water and food become increasingly questionable, that they belong to the 99 percent. The Occupiers are our teachers. I honor them all.
Eric Alterman’s November 14 column “MSM to Liberals: ‘Ewww!’” speaks for many who have become disillusioned with National Public Radio. How about Nation Public Radio?
WILLARD B. SHAPIRA
Forgive Us Our Debts
As usual, William Greider’s acumen has cut through the political BS and identified the solution to the housing crisis [“Debt Jubilee, American Style,” Nov. 14]. I would quibble, however, with his use of the term “forgiveness.” The banksters who created the devastating economic collapse should be asking forgiveness, not the victims who collectively have lost some $9 trillion in home equity. Reducing mortgage loans to real-world levels with reasonable payments would provide some justice for underwater homeowners, token recompense for their losses.
Silver Spring, Md.
My applause and gratitude for Andrew Bacevich’s fine review of John Lewis Gaddis’s book on George Kennan [“Solving for X,” Nov. 14]. Bacevich is one of the clearest thinkers of our time, and those of us who admire his trenchant books and essays only lament that he hasn’t achieved Kennan’s degree of influence on US foreign-policy-makers. Our international posture would be much improved, our domestic budget solvent. Bacevich notes that Kennan was “difficult to label or to pin down”; readers who expect to see the partisan biases of publication outfits aped by their authors might feel the same about Bacevich, whose only allegiance is to telling it like it is.
JOSHUA H. LIBERATORE