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July 2010, Week 5

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Fri, 30 Jul 2010 22:48:14 -0400
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1 Re: War Opposition Grows in Congress -- Christopher Lowe 
2 Re: The Sentencing of Lynne Stewart -- Leonard Lehrman 
3 Re: We're In A One-and-a-half Dip Recession -- Charles


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From: Christopher Lowe 
Re: War Opposition Grows in Congress

While surely the split vote among House Democrats over
funding for war in Afghanistan is significant, its
significance should not be exaggerated. Less than a
month ago only 38 Democrats voted against an earlier
version of the war Supplemental that also contained
funding for domestic and human needs priorities.

What this says is that a lot of House Democrats are
against the war, but not deeply enough to consistently
oppose it when funding the war can be used as a tool to
advance some other agenda. That is weak opposition, of
a sort that has been used to manipulate votes by House
leaders and probably will be so used again.

Here in Oregon, only freshman and Blue Dog
representative Kurt Schrader voted no in early July,
Our two Progressive Caucus members, Earl Blumenauer and
Peter DeFazio, voted yes, as did David Wu. This week
all three joined Schrader in voting no when the issue
was war spending alone.

Now DeFazio sometimes takes courageous stands, and
Blumenauer has what must be one of the safest
liberal/progressive seats in the country, primarily
representing most of Portland. If opposition to the
war is to grow sufficiently to halt it, we need members
of Congress like them not only to vote against a war
supplemental now and then, indeed not just to vote
against them consistently, though that would be an
improvement.

What we need is for more of them to step up and take
vocal leadership, join the out of Afghanistan Caucus
and work to persuade other members of Congress and to
help consolidate and publicize public opposition to the
war.

Chris Lowe
Portland, Oregon

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From: Leonard Lehrman 
Re: The Sentencing of Lynne Stewart

Michael Steven Smith's analysis of the government's
latest action against Lynne Stewart, and its important
symbolic significance in intimidating dissenters of all
kinds (and their defenders), is right on the mark. In
his talk on Monday morning's "Law and Disorder" program
on WBAI, he drew parallels with the Red Scare of the
post-World War I Palmer Raids, when anarchists like
Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman were deported, as
well as the post-World War II Cold War, when communists
like Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were judicially
murdered. How many ways we see history repeating
itself!:

The misconduct of District Attorney Ashcroft mirrors
that of prosecutors Saypol and Cohn in their illegal ex
parte conferences with Judge Kaufman; and the
reluctance of Judge Koetl to go against the orders of
his superiors, even in the interests of mercy and true
justice, mirrors the refusal of Judge Learned Hand to
grant a stay of execution, for fear that the Supreme
Court would simply overturn it--which they did, when
Justice Douglas issued such a stay, that nearly caused
his impeachment.

In this case, a sick elderly woman is no more a threat
to society than Emma Goldman was when the Roosevelt
administration allowed her to return at age 64 and
promote her book in 1934. "I think the country will
survive," was what Eleanor Roosevelt said at the time.
The country will survive with Lynne Stewart behind bars
(though she may not, for very long), but it would also
survive, and be a much better country, with her out
there fighting for justice in the spirit of Bill
Kunstler and Ramsey Clark, who were no less guilty than
she of violating unjust rules, and are deservedly
revered as advocates for justice for those who needed
it most, as is and will be Lynne Stewart.

All portside readers should join in a petition to our
constitutional law professor president to pardon her
and/or commute her sentence to time served.

Sincerely,
Leonard J. Lehrman, Composer of "We Are Innocent: The
Rosenberg Cantata" and "E.G.: A Musical Portrait of
Emma Goldman"
www.ljlehrman.artists-in-residence.com

===

From: Charles
Re: We're In A One-and-a-half Dip Recession
 
Meanwhile, various Wall Street entities, and supposed
analysts representing the current administration, keep
blurting out "light at the end of the tunnel" fluffy
talk, in the hope that people won't lose faith in the
market and mythical economic growth, sort of like when
the orchestra kept playing their instruments to calm
the panicking passengers on the Titanic as water was
coming in over the bow.

Sorry, the system dynamics just do not correlate.

Real unemployment is much higher than the numbers
being published, there are enormous numbers of young
people in the urban areas who have not even graduated
high school, who are essentially unemployable . . .
and our current national debt is around $14 trillion.

I would suggest that excess inventory of foreclosed
homes is the least of our worries for the moment.

If anything, perhaps many of these homes could be
provided to the unemployed, and the banks required to
make much more money available to small businesses and
startup ventures, but that would be too logical and
reeks of common sense.

But golly gee, we can shovel endless billions into Iraq
and Afghanistan - military quagmires that even the
military's own analysts quietly acknowledge that these
are "unwinnable" conflicts which have no exit strategy
or definable "victory ", but will cost trillions of
dollars, into the infinite future.

Oh, but I forgot . . .

Common sense and logic, can't have any of that sort of
thing going on around here, can we?

oh well . . .

_____________________________________________

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