Still disappointed, haiku swine flu and other letters to the editor

Still disappointed

Thank you for the recent opinion article and letter to the editor regarding the left being more patient with President Obama. We are all relieved that ABB (Anybody But Bush) prevailed last November and yet another election was not stolen, although over 50 million votes were sadly cast for the GOP.

But neither writer made the point that there is a huge disappointment with the present administration. Our struggle is far from over. The election talk has definitely not been backed up by an in office walk. That we have a Democrat instead of a Republican seems to be making little difference. We are still far away from a true health care plan and we are waging wars in many places. Remember that Obama, despite his party label and likely intent is still a capitalist.

By definition, therefore, he prefers to wage war rather than use diplomacy to deal with our concerns. The Israeli, insurance and military complex lobbies reign supreme in Washington, so evident in how we are treat Third World people as subhuman. Just as the scorpion fatally bit the life supporting frog because the scorpion was a scorpion and did what scorpions do, capitalists do what capitalists do. They wage war. Obama is apparently of that mind.

Our struggle continues. We must not ease up because of our hopes and aspirations. We need to walk, not talk.

Don Sloan

New York NY

Haiku: swine flu

original bug

came with the founding fathers

has been with us since

Gary Hicks

Oakland CA

Preliminary win

I got this news story about a preliminary injunction against In-Home Support Services cuts from the Service Employees Union site of United Long Term Care Workers, this is the part of SEIU that represents all us home care workers. We are workers who care for a loved one, parent, child, sibling or close friend and get paid for this care; it is beneficial to the state because it keeps the person home as opposed to placing them in a nursing home which is more costly.

The state had sent many notices stating that the hourly pay was going to be cut by $1. The only ones who were not going to be affected are those caring for individuals classified as requiring protective supervision, which are very few.

Many workers get minimal hours yet some dedicate their entire day to the care of their loved one.

It was reported tonight at our union meeting that the state is requiring all caregivers to be fingerprinted, at their expense, which can bring the state over $2 million. The problem is that many families cannot afford the cost of these fingerprints and the agencies don't have a way to process them through the IHSS system.

Rossana Cambron

Los Angeles CA

A sampling of comments from

Re: We're back

I'm glad to see you back to daily reports on the net, and I hope we can get this out to people without computers too. Really good stories in this pilot issue. I salute your efforts and your commitment to a cause that you value.

The greater the change we bring about by the power of our eternal union, the less the need for sacrifice and bloodshed in bringing forth justice into our world.

Samm Dickens

Re: Specter of big government? Get real

Times are tough and it isn't easy to talk to people on the right but their pockets and hearts are talking for them.

Recently in the middle of a ferocious downpour we met to demonstrate in front of the Blue Cross Blue Shield building in San Antonio, Texas. I was drowning when a young woman came over to put her umbrella over me. She wanted to talk and energetically began to tell me how as a single mom with no health insurance she was worried because her two young sisters had breast cancer and she was next.

This was why we are fighting for universal health care and the public option I said. As she continued with her fears I suggested possibly contacting Planned Parenthood to get some info. She jumped back and got upset about the abortion issue but then went on to talk to me more about possibilities, even while she brushed away her friend and it turned out she was with the tea baggers!

That's the point. She came with some of the tea baggers but immediately connected herself with those of us fighting for the public option. I hope we meet again.

Viviana Weinstein

Re: Out of Afghanistan

This will all be solved within twenty to thirty years when China, no longer the U.S., is the chief power in the world. The U.S. will have to keep its nose out of where it doesn't belong just to feed bucks into its military-industrial capitalists.

Don Farrow

Re: San Francisco hotel workers take to the street

God bless all the strikers and I hope you win. It's a wonder the police didn't stop you from picketing. Keep up the great work.

Morris Meyers

From the editor

Please remember that those current subscribers who do not have Internet access can get on the list to receive the new print edition starting in January.

The deadline to get on the list is Oct. 31.

I have received a number of calls, voicemails and letters asking to be put on the list, so thank you. Each person will receive a note from me in the next month or so informing you of the cost and to confirm your request.

If you have access to the Internet the new print edition is available to you, NOW! Just go to and click on the download button on the right-hand side of the page. There will be a list of the downloadable weekly print editions in PDF format starting with the Oct. 1 issue.

These new print editions can be printed, copied and distributed locally.

In solidarity,

Teresa Albano

Chicago IL


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  • I felt the need to write in, touching on Don Sloan’s letter. I have great respect for Dr. Sloan and his long work, on the ground, fighting for health care all Americans. He certainly has, as he spoke of, “walked the walk, not just talked the talk!”

    However, I believe that Dr. Sloan’s letter is off base in relationship to how we can move forward toward the basic reforms that our people so deeply need. He points out that many on the left have “huge disappointment with the present administration!” More telling, however, is part of the reason for this disappointment. He states that Obama is “despite party label and intent is still, a capitalist!”

    This is very telling, and I think, goes to the heart of much of the “disappointment” with the Obama administration on the part of many on the left. Yes! We all agree that Obama is a representative of the capitalist class. That should not be a revelation to any of us. However, he goes on to state “having a Democrat instead of a Republican makes little difference.”

    Possibly not from where he’s sitting, but from where I’m at, the new administration is fighting with us to reverse the theft of pensions and health care the Bush regime forced on us. We now have an administration, certainly a capitalist one, but NOT a reactionary, anti-labor regime, that is standing with us on basic issues, rather than attacking us at all points. Certainly both are capitalist parties, however exactly the same? Not hardly!

    Here, I think, is the crux of the problem!

    Like so many on the left, Sloan is actually representative, although I’m sure he’d deny it, of those that expect Obama to be our “savior,” bringing “change” all by himself! There is, unfortunately, no recognition of any balance of forces between progressive and reactionary/pro-corporate forces, no recognition of the very real and substantial differences between Republican and Democratic forces in the congress or even the differences within the Democratic Party itself.

    It is an approach that just plain doesn’t recognize that there is another team, from the one Obama heads, on the field opposing us! Beyond this, what is of central importance and what Dr. Sloan is missing in his letter is the key role of the mass organized people’s movement in pushing to put forward, and expand, the reform agenda.

    What we’ve seen in the first year of the Obama administration is his fielding a wide reform agenda, even implementing many changes while the wide people’s movement, led by organized labor and its allies, that should be pushing this agenda forward hasn’t materialized. Instead, the ultra-right, pro-corporate forces have seized the political reins in the vacuum where the people’s movement should’ve been.

    Even in this extremely volatile and confusing situation, the Obama administration has successfully passed health care for children, legislation equalizing pay between sexes, a huge stimulus bill, expansion of unemployment comp, reversed all of the Bush anti-labor executive orders, replacing them with pro-labor ones, in place of the corporate rape that occurred under Bush, saved UAW pensions and health care, while helping keep the auto industry afloat, placed the issue of health care for all at center stage, fighting for health care for all, withdrawn troops from Iraq and, thus far, resisted calls to escalate the Afghan war, began hearings on pro-people financial reforms and shifting the tax system, opened talks with Iran, resisting the calls for war, replaced the exclusive pro-Zionist foreign policy with one calling (& working) for a just, two state solution in the middle east, began floating the possibility of opening relations with Cuba and ending the illegal blockade, opposed and used U.S. leverage to end the rightwing coup against the progressive government of Honduras, ended the F-22 and so-called “missile shield” in Europe. He publicly supports the Employee Free Choice Act and has promised to sign it.

    Just think what we’d be able to do WITH the organized, mass people’s movement pushing the reform agenda forward! As Dr. Sloan states, “the struggle is far from over!”

    I know that, regardless of his concerns or disappointments thus far, he will continue to fight the good fight, for the people, for health care for all. I certainly hope that he also will continue this discussion of strategy in this time of crisis. At this crucial time, we need unity of all people’s forces to win the present health care fight, as well as push forward toward the goal of a single-payer system for all. I’ll only ask that he also take a much more nuanced, educated, look at the present struggle.

    Posted by Bruce Bostick, 11/18/2009 5:40pm (6 years ago)

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