Letters on the US elections and flu vaccine crisis

6 November 2004

On: US elections: Republicans marshal “poll watchers” to suppress working class vote

Dear friends,

I notice that some people writing to you are reporting irregularities in the early and absentee voting processes.

Today (Thursday October 28) at 10 a.m., I went to the Lions Field location on Broadway here in San Antonio, Texas, a published early voting location near where I work and where my colleagues have been going all week, and with voting hours published as 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, along with weekend hours too. The “vote here” signs were posted in English and Spanish, and, on the door, a sign taped up which said “we are closed today”, with no explanation given and no further information.

Lions Field is right at the crossroads between the megawealthy and the dirt poor, serving both neighborhoods.

Just another note, to add to the rest of them.

Thank you.

MC

28 October 2004

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On: Expanding Halliburton probe confirms Bush administration is most corrupt in US history

I have read your article on the corruption of the present administration and totally agree with your conclusions. I cannot believe how the people have turned a blind eye to the many crooked dealings by Cheney and Bush and their cronies. I am 78 years old and have never seen anything quite as blatantly corrupt as the past four years have been.

I consider the present system a government by auction. Whoever greases the most palms controls the government. This nation is in dire straits now and if we experience four more years of this lunacy, I fear democracy as we have known it will be totally extinct. I congratulate you on telling it as it is and ask you to continue the good work.

EH Michigan

31 October 2004

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On: On eve of 2004 election: US faces unprecedented social conflict

Dear Editor:

I agree that the differences of the two US parties are small except in one area—religion. With a growing Dominionist theology, the Republican Party, and specifically the Bush administration, are a deep threat to the world. While I am not a supporter of any capitalist government, I believe that Kerry may buy the world time—the time needed to bring forth the truth, which in the hands of a theocracy like Bush will never stand a chance.

Fanatics fighting fanatics has always led to chaos, but this time, chaos has its fingers on total annihilation, especially if that brings about biblical prophesies. Will the Democrats have the good sense not to “press the button” on extinction? Maybe not. But Bush, in my opinion, is full steam ahead with this fundamentalist insanity. With no world, there can be no future for social justices or causes; it, along with the madness will stand silenced.

Sincerely

SN

Powell River, B.C. 1 November 2004

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Editor,

Unable to write-in a vote for the SEP in Kentucky, my experience at the poll this morning was disappointing, to say the least. But I am hoping today for electoral victories for Tom Mackaman, Jerry White and others who may be running as SEP candidates. In fact, since listening to Mr. Mackaman’s radio call-in show interview, I’ve been considering a run in the next state election here.

I also believe that Bill Van Auken’s courageous presidential run has been successful in changing the course and discourse of socialism as it exists—or, rather, stagnates—currently in the US. The SPUSA, the Socialist Party USA, had filed for write-in status in Kentucky, but they lack the organization, vitality, eloquence, and global aim of the SEP to garner my vote.

Thank you, Bill Van Auken, for visiting Sri Lanka when no other candidates give them a thought past the tags on their ties. Internationalism is essential; all other tenets of socialism sink in its absence.

Most respectfully,

NSG

Richmond, KY 2 November 2004

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On: The US flu vaccine crisis: a debacle for profit-based medicine

I read Patrick Martin’s article on “The US flu vaccine crisis” with interest. He has provided in-depth information behind the flu vaccine shortage that may affect the US population in the coming months.

The company behind this crisis is Chiron Corporation that has grown far too big acquiring various vaccine-producing plants around the globe. This company is deeply entrenched inside global organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI). Its agents are sitting in the board of directors of these organisations deciding the global vaccine policies.

One such person is Dr. Jan Holmgren of Gothenburg University (Sweden) who is a member of the board of directors of GAVI, as well as of the WHO’s Global Programme for Vaccines and Immunisation. He is deeply associated with Chiron Corporation, as the latter is producing and marketing his highly expensive oral vaccine against cholera, primarily for use by soldiers (including the USA) and tourists of rich nations.

This vaccine offers short-term protection against cholera. It has been marketed in several countries under the trade name of DUKORAL. It is produced in Chiron’s recently acquired laboratory in Sweden and is very expensive, costing 60-70 US dollars. It is marketed by introducing fear among rich tourists as the risk of getting cholera per month of stay in a cholera-endemic region is only 0.001 percent - 0.01 percent.

Dr. Holmgren sitting in the board of GAVI and WHO is pushing very hard to promote this expensive vaccine globally, and thereby channeling profit for Chiron and himself. Therefore WHO and GAVI are not impartial organisations as one tends to believe. They are deeply associated with big drug and vaccine companies. Inexpensive vaccines that can offer better protection against cholera have not been introduced by this pressure lobby operating inside WHO and GAVI. Chiron is not interested in low-priced vaccines.

Chiron’s cholera vaccine was tested on 84,000 poor women and children of Bangladesh, using them as experimental guinea pigs in gross violation of the ethical guidelines of biomedical research defined by the Declaration of Helsinki. The field trial was supported by the public funds of WHO and several other governmental aid agencies. But Dr. Holmgren has cheated all of them and is now piling up profit for Chiron and himself. As evidenced in the scientific literature, Dr. Holmgren works for the Army of a number of countries, such as the USA, Israel and Sweden.

A document describing the activities of a US-directed research centre in Bangladesh, where Dr. Holmgren is deeply involved, has been recently published (What is for the ICDDRB?; www.meghbarta.org/2004/july/dvlp.html#icddrb). The article has depicted the exploitation of the poor for the military-industrial complex that is being carried out under the slogan of “aid to the poor”.

Plenty can be written about the racketeering that is going on inside global organisations such as WHO and GAVI which are supposed to work for peace and care for humanity. Instead these have become fronts for big corporations and the military of the imperialistic powers in their drive for global domination.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. MA

28 October 2004