Levees Not War
Rebuilding New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast.

Posts Tagged ‘new york times’

How Occupy Wall Street Is *Not* Like the Tea Party

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

In a Letter to the Editor of the New York Times, replying to an Oct. 22 front-page article titled “Wall St. Protest Isn’t Like Ours, Tea Party Says,” Oberlin College professor of politics Stephen Crowley points out an essential distinction:

There is another crucial difference between the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movements, and one that is likely to be played down by Tea Party supporters.

As studies by political scientists and others have demonstrated, the Tea Party movement received sizable donations from wealthy backers seeking to use the movement to further their goals of tax cuts for the wealthy, the privatization of Social Security and the deregulation of the private sector. [our emphasis]

The Occupy Wall Street movement has been criticized for lacking clear demands, but with its unambiguous denunciation of large corporations, the financial elite and the 1 percent of wealthiest Americans, this is one movement unlikely to be co-opted by wealthy benefactors.

Stephen Crowley  |  Cleveland Heights, Ohio  |  Oct. 22, 2011


See other Letters to the Editor under the heading “Occupiers, Tea Partiers and a Dash of Star Power” published on Thursday, Oct. 27, here.

Among the wealthy backers of the Tea Party referred to by Professor Crowley, to name only a few, are the billionaire, pro-corporate activist Koch brothers, FreedomWorks, and Fox News. Explore further at Media Matters for America, Think Progress, and Right Wing Watch.



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Taxing the Rich: Still a Good and Fair Idea

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Budget cutting is all the rage; a recent attempt to let the Bush-era tax cuts expire was defeated by Obama’s deal with the Republican congressional leadership. (See our reaction to that regrettable deal here and here.) In this time of (unnecessary) revenue shortfalls and budget crises, who speaks for raising taxes? We do. And we’re not alone. (For example, Bill Gates Sr., a wealthy man, believes the rich should pay more.)

Recent letters to the New York Times in response to a superficially reasonable column by David Brooks spoke well about the need to raise revenues by taxing the wealthy, reducing tax breaks for the rich and for corporations, and, when cutting the budget, to include defense spending. (As is often the case, the best part of the paper is the Letters to the Editor.) The writers convey their views well, so we’ll say no more except to commend their good sense.





If you feel the same way, please write letters to the editors of your own local papers, and phone your local news stations and the news networks listed here (lower page) and say so. Demand that producers present the views of proponents of fair taxation of upper-income Americans—such as the Citizens for Tax Justice and the National Priorities Project—rather than only presenting the arguments of “fiscally conservative” budget-slashers. Thank you.


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Martha Serpas: Our Life, Between Sea and Oil

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

In today’s New York Times, Louisiana poet Martha Serpas gives a rich and sensitive account of Louisiana’s environmental predicament by focusing on Bayou Lafourche where she was raised and the Cajun people who have survived through generations of “persecution, banishment and years of deadly storms.” These people and their culture—along with the entire southern part of the state—are now at risk from encroaching BP oil and salt water erosion of the delicate coastline.

Her essay is subtle and nuanced—the energy industry is not cast as a one-dimensional villain, and she acknowledges that “we Louisianans have not always acted in our own best interests”—and we’re happy to see that the Times editors gave her the space her subject deserves, room to explain some complex history and political, cultural, and environmental issues.

Well, enough clumsy summarizing. Please, read “Our Life, Between Sea and Oil” for yourself in its entirety below the fold. It’s well written, and we highly recommend it. We also hope you’ll watch the video clip of Veins in the Gulf, a feature-length documentary about Louisiana’s disappearing coastline. Martha Serpas is a participant in this film that traces the history of the environmental crisis of southern Louisiana and its threat to Cajun culture whose music, cuisine, and joie de vivre have enriched the nation and the world. The film is due out in September.


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Video Shows U.S. Killing of Reuters Employees in Baghdad

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

WikiLeaks.org has released a formerly classified U.S. military video that shows the view from an Apache helicopter gunship as U.S. forces fire on unarmed Iraqi civilians, killing 12, including a Reuters news agency photographer and his driver, in Baghdad in July 2007. The footage shows civilians who are clearly unarmed, yet the pilots assert “we have five to six individuals with AK-47s. Request permission to engage.” Later in the video the U.S. forces fire on a van that has stopped to pick up the one wounded survivor of the assault (the Reuters driver, Saeed Chmagh). Two children are visible in the front seat of the van when U.S. pilots request, and receive, permission to fire on the van. “Well, it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle,” one pilot says.

The release of the video was announced by WikiLeaks at a news conference on Monday at the National Press Club in Washington. Reuters had pressed for release of the video, which it obtained from whistle-blowers in the military, because the film showed the killing of two of its employees, photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and the driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40.

“Look at those dead bastards,” one pilot says. “Nice,” the other responds.

One hundred thirty-nine journalists have been killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2009.

Click here for Elisabeth Bumiller’s report for the New York Times.

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Senators, a Vote for AmeriCorps Expansion Is a Vote for America’s Wetland Conservation Corps

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

LNW_AWCCThere is a good, bipartisan bill up for a vote tonight (3/26) or Friday on a generous expansion of funding for AmeriCorps, the national and community service program launched by President Clinton. The bill has been strongly supported by President Obama and by Senator Edward Kennedy, a co-sponsor. The bill would give about $6 billion over the next five years and allow more than a tripling of membership. The House approved the measure by 321 to 105 last week. Senate sponsors are Democrats Kennedy and Barbara Mikulski, and Republicans Orrin Hatch and Mike Enzi. Senators, we salute you.


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Kristolnacht at The New York Times

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

LNW_kristol-happyAn Open Letter to the Editors Of the New York Times on The Hiring of William Kristol

Levees Not War is strongly opposed to Kristol’s becoming a New York Times columnist because that paper would give him an even more prominent platform (in addition to his magazine The Weekly Standard and his appearances on Fox News) from which to push for war with Iran as lustily as he pushed for war with Iraq—a ‘regime change’ he believes is going just fine.

The following letter has been e-mailed and snail-mailed to the publisher and editors of the New York Times. Names of executive and managing editors, etc., along with the Times’s mailing address, appear below, along with some choice quotations from the opinings of William Kristol.


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Ready to Strike Iran?

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

The Times of London reports that the Pentagon has drawn up plans for a massive three-day strike against 1,200 targets in Iran to “take out” its military capabilities.

Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.

Debat was speaking at a meeting organised by The National Interest, a conservative foreign policy journal. He told The Sunday Times that the US military had concluded: “Whether you go for pinprick strikes or all-out military action, the reaction from the Iranians will be the same.” It was, he added, a “very legitimate strategic calculus.”


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