By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By David Villano
By Jose D. Duran
By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Luther Campbell
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A Jug of Wine, a Roll of Toilet Paper, and Thou
What a cast of characters in Elise Ackerman's article "Cuba Bound" (October 19). First there's Dave Shaw, a skipper living in a perpetual Budweiser commercial, whose political viewpoint -- "Cuba is wonderful, man. I think the Americans will ruin it like we do everything else" -- makes one wonder if we are talking about the same Cuba. In fact, it makes one wonder if we're on the same planet.
Then we have the ham, Nick Astafan, who has the gall to stand next to the American flag while posing as the Marina Hemingway's poster boy. Really, Nick, do you think this is going to get you points back at Lorelei's?
And finally an expatriate, Bob Winter, who lost at everything he has tried and now has taken up ass-kissing the Cuban government. What kind of business consultation is he giving American boaters -- directions on where the cheapest jineteras hang out?
When dealing with the issue of Cuba's freedom, it's a shame to find people with this attitude. Can't these men understand that they are nothing but puppets to the Cubans? They feel that by going to Cuba, they are standing up to the United States government, yet they do not see that they are supporting a Cuban government that will not allow its populace the basic freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I guess all they see is that with a roll of toilet paper, they can get themselves a pretty good piece of ass.
Yeah, someday in the future when I am able to return to my country and men like this are the backbone of our economy, I'll be the first one to yell, "Yanquis go home!"
That Would Be Groucho's Cousin, Right?
Because I have a special interest in unionism, my attention was drawn to Jim DeFede's article "A Less Than Perfect 10" (October 12). It was not surprising to me to learn about the news photographers' troubles with WPLG-TV (Channel 10). It is to be expected in light of the present state of unionism in the U.S. and throughout the world. Not only are groups of organized workers not getting any respect from employers, but it seems they are unable to command respect and support from broad sectors of the rest of the working class. Why?
Workers have often wondered why it is they don't have unions that truly unite them instead of dividing them into trades and crafts. They often wonder why their elected officials are so easily corrupted by the lure of bribes and rewards for collaboration with the employers. Just like the allegorical beasts in Orwell's Animal Farm, they look into the window and have a hard time distinguishing between the capitalists and the union leaders who have feathered their nests by betraying workers at every opportunity. In the case of Channel 10, its owners no longer have any use for the union. The job of keeping workers in line can now be done more efficiently with scoundrels like Dwight Lauderdale, who make no secret of their repugnant subservience to their masters and who show an unparalleled contempt for their fellow workers.
Maybe it would be too optimistic to expect workers to spontaneously realize that any union that accepts capitalism and the right of the capitalists to exploit workers is not a union worth joining. Like all other assumptions that tend to support the status quo, the one that accepts as a given the "brotherhood of labor and capital" should be seriously examined and rejected as a fallacy foisted upon the working class by those who stand to gain the most by its perpetuation.
Indeed, if the true mission of bona fide unionism is ever achieved, it will be because workers finally come to the realization that their labor unions must be revolutionary in nature. Their mission must be to unite all workers, employed and unemployed, of all occupations and across all industries, for the purpose of assuming complete, democratic control of all the industries of the land on behalf of society.
Precisely on this subject, Karl Marx once wrote, "They [the workers] ought to understand that, with all the miseries it imposes upon them, the present system simultaneously engenders the material conditions and the social forms necessary for an economic reconstruction of society. Instead of the conservative motto, 'A fair day's wages for a fair day's work,' they ought to inscribe on their banner the revolutionary watchword, 'Abolition of the wages system!'"
Dog to Jacob: Muzzle It, Pal
With regard to Jacob Dorn's latest letter (October 12): Mr. Dorn's labeling of my last letter as "dog shit" once again demonstrated his propensity for stepping in it.
Unlike Mr. Dorn, I can keep my cap on if someone calls me names (as he did me in his letter). However, inaccuracies and distortion of facts I cannot take. Therefore, and with apologies to anyone who has read enough about this topic, I would once again like to publicly educate Mr. Dorn, because he still doesn't get it (or for some reason doesn't want to get it).