LETTERS February 28, 2009

Prediction

World peace will come when the United States goes socialist.





William Bunge

Montreal, Canada





Remembering Rose

My mother, Rose Goldberg, passed away last year April. She was a bookkeeper for the PWW and her Communist Party club. The rabbi at her funeral collected these memories:

She was a champion of bringing health to the body, justice to the world, and love to those close to her. She worked tirelessly in all these areas and did not ask anything in return. She was energetic, virtuous, nonjudgmental and eager to learn.

Rose was one of five siblings. She was born in Manhattan and moved with her family to Brooklyn. It fell to her to care for her ailing mother and with typical commitment to those in her life, she took care of her mother until her death. She met her future husband Howard at a dance, and although their marriage was not an easy one, they shared their devotion to their children Art, Paula and Steve. Rose had worked as a bookkeeper before her marriage and returned to it after raising her children.

Rose worked to elect Adlai Stevenson. She was jailed with Grace Paley protesting the draft. She campaigned against nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Her granddaughter Clara once was showing a friend from Germany around the Park Slope neighborhood and came upon Rose handing out leaflets encouraging people to vote.

She was also a revolutionary in the area of nutrition and health. Decades ahead of her time she fed her family whole grains and lots of vegetables. Paula remembers that she was embarrassed by the sandwiches her mother packed for her school lunch and tried to hide them. Rose was in the founding generation of the Flatbush Food Coop, and from early on bought food grown ethically. She brought her own bags to the store years before that became a common practice.

She lived on a block on Cortelyou Road with no trees, so she petitioned the city to plant one in front of her house. In the six-family house she inherited, she more or less adopted the others she shared it with. It was common for Rose to forego collecting the rent when they fell short.

Rose loved walking great distances. She had calves like footballs late into her life, and would walk halfway across Brooklyn to a doctor’s appointment. She gardened in her little plot— potatoes, tomatoes and peas.

She loved to play the piano and Paul inherited her skill for that instrument. Thinking of her helped Arthur to persevere and prevent his drowning. Rose was born February 17, 1919.





Steven Goldberg

Philmont NY

Editor’s note: Our condolences to you and your family. We remember her and miss her – and Howie – dearly.









Gaza war crimes

To the Nazi occupiers of Warsaw the Jewish fighters of the ghetto were terrorists. What is the proper nonviolent response to being surrounded, blockaded and starved? The people of Gaza are today’s equivalent of the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto. The blockade followed the election of Hamas in Gaza, not an extra-legal takeover by Hamas. The bombing of Gaza with white phosphorus by the Israeli military was a war crime as was the reportedly deliberate targeting of civilians and the refusal to let ambulances through to remove the wounded. The U.S. government was complicit in these crimes through its aid to Israel in money and military equipment.

Of course the Hamas rocketing of Israel was criminal, but the U.S. is not aiding Hamas and we live in the U.S. U.S. aid to Israel should be stopped until there is a peaceful solution to the Palestinian question, and U.S. Jews should be in the forefront of those demanding an end to that aid. Yes, I’m Jewish.





Eliot Kenin

Emeryville CA





Progressive change

Thank you very much for sending People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo, always well received and well read, and hoping that the long-battled USPS will soon do away with cutbacks in services and cost hikes. Perhaps under President Obama there will be some progressive changes in that regard.

There is no shortage of progressive changes, each urgently needed. How about ending the media oligopoly of Fox, Hearst and so on, in favor of a truly free and truthful press? Aiming at educating and informing the American people, rather than promoting militarism and misinforming the people?

For those of us who went to peaceful sleep after the Nov. 4 election: the right wing hasn’t gone to slumber.

Karl Rove is back as a political commentator this time. The Limbaughs and O’Reillys are still quite active. So are the Fox media ideologues. All aiming at restoring “crypto-fascism” after duly frustrating the Obama presidency.

So it is time for We the People to maintain our defenses and fight back in kind.







Ana Lucia Gelabert



Gatesville TX







Ghost of a war past

The scene is a cold wintry night in Chicago, and President-elect Barack Obama is having a fitful sleep, tossing and turning, when suddenly he is awakened by a voice calling to him.

“Who are you?” asked the young president-elect, sitting upright in bed.

“I am the voice of the past, a war past,” came the hushed reply in a Southern dialect.

“Not LBJ?” queried the incredulous Obama.

“The same,” replied the ghost of Lyndon Johnson.

‘But why have you come to see me?” asked Obama.

There was a shuffling sound as the ghost moved closer to the bed.

“What are the generals saying to you?” asked the ghost.

“They are saying they need more troops in Afghanistan,” was Obama’s reply.

“That’s what General William Westmoreland and Secretary of State McNamara told me back in ’65,” the ghost replied.

“What else did they say to you, Mr. President?”

The ghost came closer. “They also told me they hoped to turn the country’s security over to the South Vietnamese forces, but that they were not ready to assume that responsibility yet.”

There was silence in the bedroom. Obama put his hand to his head and said, “Gosh, that’s exactly what the generals and the State Department are telling me about Afghanistan.

“Beware, Mr. President-elect,” the ghost replied in his hushed voice, as he shuffled off. “Beware. Beware.” Then he was gone.

By this time Michelle was stirring, and sat up in bed. “Talking in your sleep, Barack?” she asked.

“I must have been dreaming,” replied Obama. “LBJ was just talking to me about Vietnam and the advice his generals gave to him.”

“Not THE LBJ?” she asked, eyes wide open. “The same,” he replied.

“What are you going to do?” she asked, snuggling close to him.

“I’ll sleep on it,” he said, as they fell back to sleep.





Lawrence H. Geller

Via e-mail



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