Volume 74, Number 20 | September 22 - 28 , 2004

Letters to the editor

Time to tax the war profiteers

To The Editor:
This may be the only war in recent memory in which there was no movement to tax war profiteers, such as oil companies. Why? Please focus your coverage on the poor in the Northeast who are financing the war and who will be choosing between food and heat this winter. If our elected Democrats actively supported taxation of war profiteers, the Democratic presidential candidate would win the race.

If our elected Republican mayor asked why Northeasterners are making these massive transfer payments to subsidize oil producers in the Southwest, he might have been less popular at the fancy convention he threw with our money. So when you look at your heating bill and we wonder why New York City can’t balance its budget — let’s not blame the cost of health care. Let’s not passively accept cuts in services and closings of firehouses. No American voter wants to subsidize Halliburton. Just as Republicans run against flag burners, Democrats must run against oil profiteers to win.

Raymond J. Dowd

A graphic way to say: ‘Move on’

To The Editor:
Re “Another twin towers fall as Cooper covers a mural” (news article, Sept. 15):

Finally, a leading cultural institution, Cooper Union, has had the courage to stand up and tell us “enough already with these 9/11 commemorations.”

Last week The Villager, in picture and story, recounted the numerous community ceremonies marking the third anniversary of the terrible events of Sept. 11. As commendable as this fine coverage was, one article raised a troubling question: Isn’t it time to follow Cooper Union’s lead and try to get over it? This surely was the message of the article. It described the candlelight vigil held by area residents on Sept. 11 at Sixth St. and Cooper Sq. in an effort to save the two-story-high twin towers mural on the wall of Dolphins restaurant. It also revealed that a little more than 24 hours after the ceremony, the mural was obliterated (paint rollers, not box cutters).

Claire McCarthy, Cooper Union’s spokesperson, offered that the public effort to save the mural had not been overwhelming. “We decided it was time to move on,” she said, adding that some day there would be a memorial at ground zero. In a further note of consolation, Bob Hawks, Cooper’s vice president of business affairs, previously pointed out that photographs existed of the mural, which showed a flower-filled twin towers against a night sky crowded with stars.

It’s clear from these statements that the mural had become a virtual eyesore and that the school was actually doing the community a favor by getting rid of it and replacing it with a more relevant work of contemporary art — perhaps an advertisement for Jockey shorts or some similarly profound commercial message.

So hats off to Cooper Union (and Dolphins) for showing the way in the struggle for closure and for helping New Yorkers to turn the corner and get on with life, to stop dwelling on the morbid past. Surely, there is no institution better equipped for this task than a taxpayer-funded art school, some of whose students actually worked on “Forever Tall,” the late and, as it turns out, ironically titled community mural.

Robert F. Joyce

A salute, and a fascism primer

To The Editor:
Re “Sketches from the R.N.C.: Moe, mayors and more” (news article, Sept. 1):

Moe Fishman is also a comrade of mine in Veterans for Peace, New York chapter. That’s a brag. He’s also my senior by six years; I didn’t make it into the war in Spain, only into W.W. II, in the E.T.O., 1941-’45. I salute him.

The war in Spain, in which Moe was a gallant warrior, should really be called the Clerico-Fascist War of Counterrevolution. Franco was the darling of the Roman Catholic hierarchs, priests, religion and priest-ridden laity. I was a Catholic and parish priests were not shy in attacking the Spanish Republic from the altar. Were there no Catholics opposed to Franco? There were a few, Jacques Maritain, the great scholastic philosopher, for example. A few priests. But the magesterium of the church was behind Franco. Just as it had been behind Benito Mussolini, starting in October 1922 when he created the first fascist state, in Rome.

In the Spanish War of Counterrevolution, Hitler and Mussolini poured divisions of troops and squadrons of luftwaffe into Spain on the side of fascist and Roman Catholic Francisco Franco who liquidated the Spanish Republic, and it remains liquidated, and replaced by a monarchy.

Just as the Socialist Soviets was liquidated on Christmas 1991.

The next step the counterrevolutionaries, under Bush, will push through is the destruction of the welfare state; it’s a continuum.

John Stanley

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