June Special Election; Roy Brown; Anderson Cooper; SEIU-UHW Conflict …

by on February 2, 2009

To the Editor:

While certainly I am concerned about budget problems in the State and the City, I cannot support any special elections. As a pollworker, I know how much work and expense is involved in an election. Both city and state officials need to do their own work to address budget problems, without going to the expense (and waste of time, given low turnout) of a special election.

Peggy da Silva

Dear Tommi:

I feel sorry for Roy Brown (the “modern-day Jean Valjean”), but you forgot to mention the “racist” verdict that exonerated O.J Simpson, who is also black like Roy. Our judicial system is adversarial, so it is survival of the fittest or whoever is able to elaborate the best story as this were the truth. Welcome to Law 101.

As Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “we have courts of law, no courts of justice;” in that way if Martha were black and Roy were white, I am pretty sure the outcome would be the same. Today in American courts, it is not race but money that buys you a better “justice.”

Antonio Urbina

To the Editor:

Sentenced in Shreveport, LA, to 15 years in jail for voluntarily turning himself in the day after, pressed by dire need, his selecting and escaping with a $100 bill from a stack of bills produced upon his unarmed and nonviolent demand for money from a bank teller? Have I got that right?

Slavery by another name! Something has got to be done about this rank injustice! Having such an active conscience, this man must be absolutely glowing with virtue (probably wasted on the folks in charge in ol’ Shreveport — or, for that matter, most anywhere in this racist-laced society) and maybe he doesn’t need any help from mere mortals, but nevertheless, for our own self-respect, mustn’t we come to his defense?

Virtue should be rewarded, not punished. No? And anyway, now that Barack Obama is President of the United States of America, isn’t it time for the racists finally to knock it off? Right? Or is that only in fairy tales?

Deetje Boler
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Anderson Cooper’s take on food stamps mirrors the attitudes of CNN’s target audience: solidly middle-class suburban/exurban America. That attitude: *I* need help from the government — not those poor people! Government help for me: good. Government help for other people: wasteful, immoral. It’s similar to the line that government help to build x in *my* town is great — government help to build something in another town is wasteful pork.

In other words, CNN and its (presumed) audience are operating on the social/moral/political outlook of six-year-olds. (And, of course, Aaron Brown was purged in favor of Anderson Cooper precisely because Cooper was felt to appeal more to the target audience.)

Steven Hiatt

Thank you, Mr. Shaw, for your article about SEIU and UHW. I am a healthcare worker and shop steward in Chico, California covered under a local UHW contract at Enloe Medical Center. We are enjoying a first contract with our employer and know that rights, protections, voice in staffing and patient care issues were were won because our leaders are democratically elected.

We do have a fundamental disagreement with Andy Stern’s trusteeship of our local and we will fight it by voting for desertification with SEIU. We believe in a healthcare worker run union not a dictatorship that appoints leaders that will make deals with our bosses. We are Loyal to previous democratically elected UHW leaders.


James Harro
Chico, CA

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