Wagging The Flu: Your Letters
Always Debating Wal-Mart
At issue is that Wal-Mart and the like continue to block providing benefits. In California they were a giant in opposing employer mandates for health benefits. It isn't only their low wages. But where is the voice for universal health care. That would take care of this problem. These corporations will fight it tooth and nail but what's needed is a grassroots movement to say enough. They shouldn't have the choice to bleed the public—Target, Wal-Mart, Macy's, etc. The employer-based health care really isn't being replaced with anything else.
Wal-Mart, along with other corporate behemoths, makes up the huge scoops of ice cream that form the base of the Greed Sundae. It dwarfs, in all its fat-catness, the svelte alternative: an assortment of light and healthy sherbets known collectively as small business.
Wal-Mart can be the rallying point from which we address not only other chain-store giants, but giants involved in other mega-enterprises, such as agribusiness, that put the bottom line before the health and well-being of its customers and employees. Responsible capitalism, as seen with locally owned small businesses that create a positive feedback loop for communities, thrive in a true democracy. Currently, capitalism has trumped democracy, with the Greed Sundae effectively clogging its arteries.
Bringing Wal-Mart into the light is a good first step, but as you say, it is the first of many on a long road back to the promise of an American Dream attainable by all.
I wish I made $8.23/hr. I simply can't afford to not shop at Wal-Mart. I save a couple thousand dollars a year shopping there.
Besides, Wal-Mart is only the most extreme example of how the new global economy works. If you cripple or destroy Wal-Mart, you will hurt more people than you help. Or don't the American working poor mean any more to you than they do to the Republicans?
I too am a native of Montana (Missoula) and watched as the famous local department store, the Missoula Mercantile Company, was acquired by the Allied Department store chain. They did it right, leaving the name and the location essentially unchanged. I am glad to see that a movement to save the local businesses is working, however I now reside in Tucson, Ariz. and there are no local department stores left here at all, NOT ONE! The effort must be pre-emptive, as once the big box stores get a foot in the door all is lost.
This Wal-Mart bashing is just dumb economics. The article suggests that Wal-Mart enters a town and destroys Mom-and-Pop stores. Customers shop with their feet. The same issue occurred with the Sears Catalog and Kroger and Safeway generations ago. Shame on you for being so obtuse. Passion without logic is merely theocracy.
Bigger Than Judy
Re: It's Not Just Judy by Russ Baker
Thank you for hammering that The New York Times was completely complicit in Judy Miller's inaccurate reporting. The deaths have been partially a result due to this inaccurate reporting by Miller and the inadequate job that the Times did in reining her in. They should suffer serious consequences.
It's not just Judy, and it's not just the New York Times. Last week, the Los Angeles Times fired Robert Scheer, one of the best op-ed progressive columnists in the country. He was a journalist with the paper for 17 years and been there for a total of 30 years. It is a disgrace. He is incisive and clear-thinking, and has revealed the mendacity of this administration with facts and passion. We will be able to read him online. But Tuesday coffee won't be the same without him.
Who is Russ Baker trying to kid? The fact is, most reporters are arrogant, aloof and lazy. Due to the power and influence of the press in our society, they receive special treatment and after a while they begin to believe that they deserve it and will gladly vilify anyone who refuses to kowtow to them. I sold papers on a street corner in St. Louis, Mo. in the 1950s. We had two major newspapers then, and when they were exposing local corruption, my sales would double. The days of the true City Hall Reporter, here and in most cities, are gone and so are most of the newspapers. The print media is in a severe decline nationally because the people who used to ferret out local corruption are now too busy to investigate or even return phone calls and the people used to buy the newspapers have stopped because they have tired of reading the same old drab surrounded by pages of advertisements.
Wagging The Avian Flu?
Re: A War For Karl by Michael T. Klare
It appears they are already laying the ground work for a "war on the avian flu" which will probably not get serious this year, but will be perfectly timed for fear mongering with the approaching mid-term elections and flu season next autumn. As the military will be on the short list for access to medications, they could even use this as a recruitment tool. We couldn't possibly "change [governmental] horses in mid stream" with such a crisis at hand.
What about the Venezuela option? I see that as probable, if not more so, than any! Close proximity (cut down on our costs), an abundance of oil which is what this cabal wants after all.
Plus, the way dorky GW was just embarrassed at the Summit of the Americas and that we have been conducting exercises off the Venezuelan coast for most of the year should make it a clear target, and a scary proposition for progressives!