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Indypendent Staff May 16, 2008

Response to “Facing Foreclosure,” April 25:

My situation is almost the same, I was pushed into a subprime loan with little knowledge. I trusted my broker and he was stabbing my husband and me in the back. I was on disability for mental depression, but he didn’t ask what kind of disability. We asked for a FHA, and he said that he would take care of it and that we would get our home. He said it would be a no-income-vertification loan. He didn’t explain what a prepaid penalty was, and he said we could finance in a year. Indymac was the mortgage company. The realty company moved right after the settlement. I don’t know now if he was even licensed. We can’t find an attorney here in Port St. Lucie, F.L., because you can’t trust anyone. We were in our 60s when this all happened.
—LOUISE ALSTON

Responses to “Labor Lobby Melee,” April 25:

In an otherwise decent article, the author unfortunately and credulously took the California Nurses Association (CNA) at its word in the “debate” over neutrality agreements, which is entirely hypocritical. CNA engages in the exact same types of neutrality agreements with employers like Catholic Healthcare West as does SEIU and really every other successfully growing union. When those unfamiliar with modern-day union organizing criticize neutrality as a “sweetheart deal,” it comes off as naive, because I imagine they do not know that the NLRB election process is rife with employer abuse and not a realistic option for most workers anymore. But of course CNA knows exactly that, so when they do it it’s clearly a smokescreen. Notice they never explain exactly what were the terms of the supposed sweetheart deal in Ohio the CNA found so objectionable or a “sellout to workers,” because — aside from some egregious cases like the nursing home deal that was rightfully exposed and dropped — the extent of such agreements is: the boss agrees not to fire, harass or intimidate pro-union workers in the course of a campaign and the union agrees not to beat up on the boss. Some sweetheart deal.
—M. PELIGRO

I think neutrality agreements can be a good tool to organize, but the SEIU’s agreement with the California nursing home association — not so good. I think the SEIU, with a right-minded focus on unionizing the unorganized, gave away too much to the association in order to gain members. As Peligro notes above, this agreement is no longer the status quo. But in many of these agreements, the devil is in the details.
—ANONYMOUS

Responses to “Power Politics Trumps Democracy in U.S.- backed Ethiopia,” April 11:

Thanks to The Indypendent for the truthful report. The dictator is a threat not just for a particular group in that country. He is a threat for the very existence of the country, Ethiopia. So let’s not think of just separation as a solution, as this will make the struggle against the dictator long and costly. Our disunity is what the dictator wants. If separation was good, we should not have witnessed today thousands of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia, from which they had ceded. When we get a good and visionary leadership the people will work and live together in peace and love.
—FEKADU

Instead of bickering, the Ethiopians of all ethnic groups need to come together for democracy and freedom. Then everyone will want to be a part of a happy and successful country where everyone has equal rights.
—TARIKU

Response to “From Childhood War to Hip-Hop: A Review of ‘War Child,” April 25:

Emmanuel Jal is a hero. The new album Warchild is fantastic. At last, a hip-hop artist with something real to talk about. His experiences of life in Sudan are both touching and heartfelt. His song “50 Cent” is a great pot shot at cliche urban hip-hop and violence in video games. Now, more than ever before, a hip-hop album of substance and worth. The guy’s got soul just like Bob Marley. Long may he reign.
—THE KING OF SUDAN

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