Letters to the Editor

(June 30, 2008)


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Prevailing through Unity: Joel Hirschhorn's Fighting Resistance To Voting for Ralph Nader

To the Editor:

I just finished reading Joel Hirschhorn's article on swans.com. I got to it through the Nader Web site (check "The Long View"). I had been supporting Mike Gravel throughout the entire presidential campaign but since he lost the Libertarian nomination last month, I have decided to start supporting Nader. I agree with everything Hirschhorn said in the article except the shot he took at Ron Paul.

"The misplaced zeal for candidates like Ron Paul, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama is based on a short-term embrace of a particular candidate, rather than devotion to the battle to destroy the two-party plutocracy."

I don't know why he mentions Dr. Paul here and not John McCain. Paul is not even a candidate anymore! He dropped out of the race and even if he didn't, he does NOT stand for the status quo in Washington. Even though I do not agree with him on many domestic issues, I agree with him on what I feel are the big issues like ending the war and illegal occupation in Iraq, taking on the Military Industrial Complex, and restoring citizen's civil liberties.

Candidates like Nader, Gravel, and even Paul NEED to stand together as they do agree on many issues if they really want to make a major impact on our current corrupt political system. If they did all unite under "One Banner," they would be polling at over 15% and would get a chance to speak at the upcoming presidential debates. I truly feel that if one of these honest candidates actually had a chance to debate Obama and McCain, they would destroy them. Both Gravel and Paul were very successful in the limited time they were given to speak in the primary debates. They just needed to be given an equal chance.

On the topic of debates, Nader supporters need to be bombarding the Google Web site to get Nader in their upcoming presidential debates. As of now, they seem open to third-party candidates, but I assume they will crumble under the "corporate powers" unless they see how much people really want to hear from them. I also believe that Nader CAN win in November because many Americans are just sick and tired of politics as usual -- but it can only happen if he gets on those debates. So please consider sending e-mails to Google in hopes of getting our candidate, Ralph Nader, in their debates. Thank you for your time!


William Entrikin
High School Math Teacher
Barnegat, New Jersey, USA - June 16, 2008


Errare Humanum est Perseverare Diabolicum (Seneca the Younger): Xolela Mangcu's Harold Washington: A Mainstream Radical Against The Machine

Dear Editor:

A correction is required. Harold Washington did not run against Jane Byrne in 1979. He was definitely NOT on the ballot in 1979. He ran in a "special" election in 1977 and then again in 1983, when he was elected, but he was not a candidate in 1979.

Kathy Byrne
Chicago, Illinois, USA - June 16, 2008

[ed. The writer is the daughter of Mayor Jane Byrne and is absolutely correct. We've appended a "correction" at the end of the article.]


Gratuitous Nastiness of a Dyspeptic Little Riff? Louis Proyect's Tim Russert In Retrospect

To the Editor:

(June 16, 2008) I don't always share the views of Swans writers. Like, I'm not going to support a Nader-Gonzalez ticket for the very reasons stated in Jack Kessler's letter in the most recent issue. Still, I value reading differing views. I first found Swans during the U.S./NATO attack on Jugoslavija and believe that the coverage was as refreshing as it was thorough, prescient in a time of mass media lies and obfuscation.

But as I jumped into the latest issue of Swans, I left disgusted with Louis Proyect's gratuitously nasty article on the late Tim Russert. Was anyone surprised to learn that Russert had been the quintessential corporate media journalist? That Russert had, like virtually every other leading TV or news journalist, "gone along" with the administration's lies? As my kids would say, "Like, duh." That he hadn't asked "the tough questions." Who did? Well, I did. I'm sure Mr. Proyect did. Swans readers by virtue of being Swans readers most likely did.

Still, I liked Tim Russert. I liked his smile, his seeming lack of guile, and that he did, on many occasions, ask tough questions. His books were more than "Norman Rockwell" portraits. They were a simple story about a son and a father. They were books that many gave their fathers on Father's Day. Today. When Mr. Proyect's vitriol flowed so freely. A mere 48 hours after the 58-year-old died, having just celebrated his son's graduation.

Saying, with a less than gracious hint at Tim Russert's girth, "while one would never gloat over the death of a fellow human being," is like saying, "I don't want to hurt your feelings, but......." And the sanctimonious suggestion that Tim Russert might have done better on a diet of "tofu and bean sprouts" is snide at best.

Ending his attack with "the real verdict on Tim Russert's life must be as scathing as his sordid career deserved" sets at new low in supercilious arrogance.

Proyect's dyspeptic little riff added nothing to anything.

Claudia Corum
Austin, Texas, USA - June 17, 2008


From Tim Russert to Mr. Bush and Ralph Nader: Louis Proyect's Tim Russert In Retrospect, Gilles d'Aymery's Bring Back Patrick Fitzgerald: Serve Mr. Bush to Justice, and Ralph Nader: Character & Integrity

Hey Monsieur d'Aymery,

Louis Proyect's hard-hitting articles, written in the American Marxist tradition with a bit of revolutionary zeal, always make for a good read and his latest was no exception, but for the total lack of empathy he exhibited. Perhaps Proyect was flummoxed by the endless hagiographies offered by the rich and famous for one of their own fallen at the height of fame -- certainly a class enemy in Proyect's eschatology -- but a tad of empathy and sensitivity would have gone a long way to blur the asperities that filled the piece. Anyway, what's your take on Tim Russert's untimely departure to the nourishing earth?

Baby Bush won't be impeached. Neither will he be prosecuted, at least in America -- they would have to prosecute Clinton over Kosovo and 3/4 of Congress. Won't happen. And no prudent attorney, one who fears God and wants a good, financially-rewarding career and a happy family, will ever charge the man for murder. It's called self-preservation. But you are correct in suggesting that King George will have to think twice before journeying to the European Union. People here cannot wait until January 21, 2009 as they are feverishly working to indict the man for crimes against humanity.

Finally, a friendly advice: Get off the Nader's rossinante. You'll get increasingly blasted, take a lot of flack, lose readers by the many (though it seems this is the least of your concerns), and contributors to boot. Remember the old Brit saying: "Don't fight a war you cannot win." Of course it could be said that your war has no blood on its hands and no collateral damage, which cannot be said for the American Iraq folly.

Allez, bon vent. Give 'em hell.

Alouette Arouet
Paris, France - June 18, 2008


A Theatrical Impeachment of W.: Gilles d'Aymery's Bring Back Patrick Fitzgerald: Serve Mr. Bush to Justice

To the Editor:

I enjoyed Gilles d'Aymery's article on impeachment very much.

I am a produced screenwriter and playwright who with constitutional scholar Bruce Fein has written I - The Impeachment Trial of George W. Bush. Our sentiment is that the only way impeachment is going to happen is if and when enough people learn in an entertaining and informative fashion the reasons Bush should be impeached. It is our hope that they will then put pressure on their Congressperson to act, or risk being voted out of office.

The play had a good run in San Francisco and is now going to have a televised production in Olympia, Washington (the state capital). Here is a synopsis of this full length play:
The Impeachment Trial of George W. Bush
By Richard A. Lasser and Bruce Fein

When Justice John Roberts calls the Senate to order in the impeachment trial of George W. Bush, he unleashes a battle of titans. With everything on the line, the most powerful legal minds in the country lock horns over whether the president should be removed from office for "high crimes and misdemeanors." As the apparently incontrovertible evidence of Bush's guilt piles up from witness after impassioned witness, you'd be a fool to bet on W.

But in the second act, the president himself testifies and pulls out all the stops, delivering a speech calculated to tug at our heartstrings, telling us everything that we as Americans want to hear. He correctly indicts a complicit Congress of being just as guilty as he is, while the prosecutor argues passionately for conviction. In the end, it's up to each individual to decide where the truth lies.
Please let me know if you have any ideas for other venues that may wish to produce it.


Richard A. Lasser
San Francisco, California, USA - June 17, 2008

[ed. You may want to contact Charles Marowitz.]


Quebec Filled With Peasants???

To the Editor:

What the term Je Me Souviens really translates into is this: "That while my ancestors were born under the Lily of France, I am both ethnically and culturally North American Indian by origin and my roots are not French or European at all."

What has happened over time is that by the invasion of the French culture and religion the Métis have translated some of their original concepts that came to them from their Indian forefathers and while it may look different, is really not different at all.

Look at the Québécois or Canadien mentality and these answers are quite apparent. The Shaman or Witch Doctor was replaced by the Curé (priest), and the Indian Chiefs were replaced by Métis politicians. Thus just as in the Indian tribe the Shaman held power over the people, the Catholic priest replaced the Shaman and took control. In the case of the Chief in the Indian tribe, the Québécois or Canadien politician replaced him. Thus, people while thinking they were French and Catholic had been melded into this new concept of the Métis nation. A typical example of this was the Shaman (priest) Lionel-Adolphe Groulx of Vaudreuil, Quebec, whose every word hung on to the fact that the Québécois were a distinct people, indeed they were, but a distinctly Métis people, not French or European in essence.

But there is more to this than meets the eye. Look at the attitude of the Québécois or Canadien and see how closely it is related to their past. Just think of the Carcajou (Wolverine) and you will realize that many of the attitudes of the Métis nation of Quebec are a carbon copy of this creature. It is never full and keeps on killing and eating whatever comes its way, at times it will even challenge a full grown bear and scare it away from its newly killed prey. These things just don't happen by accident, they are part of a culture that was based on blood and savagery for countless centuries. This was proven at Schenectady, Deerfield, Braddock's Field, Oswego and Fort William Henry, and it has not changed one whit. Do not expect Québécois or Canadien society to change, because that is not just possible. This is really part of the psyche of every Métis though it has mellowed in areas of Louisiana, Maine, and New Hampshire, USA, because of the influx of the many other races and their intermingling, which has watered down much of that rigid thinking and practice. That of course will not happen in Quebec, because it is frowned upon by the Métis (Québécois and Canadien) society of today and just cannot be penetrated by les autres or les anglais.

But any claim by the Quebecois to being of Norman descent or culture is a pipe dream, because Norman culture is a very distinct culture and even unlike the culture of France in general. The only culture that compares favourably with Quebecois culture is North American Indian culture, because of their blood links.

When I first visited Quebec, this after having spent time in France, I was very surprised at a Quebecois telling me that he was French. But the joke came when he tried to compare French cuisine with Quebecois cuisine and told me that they were the same. I nearly choked on this comparison, as it was a downright insult to the Chefs of France. Since when does one compare a short-order cook with a chef? The only person who could do that would have to be a peasant. And Quebec is filled with peasants.

Kenneth T. Tellis
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada - June 21, 2008


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Published June 30, 2008
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