“How to Buy an Election” by Lee Fang (THE NATION, 11/10/14)

November 6, 2014

Maybe I am getting too old (I’ll be 83 on November 30th) to read your publication, but it is losing its interest (and the small type doesn’t help matter very much). Per Cataluna indeed! What percentage of your readers remember the Spanish Civil War?

And after the election results of November 4th, isn’t it obvious that U.S. democracy is getting worse? Elections, as Lee Fang stated, are being purchased. The two-party system stinks out loud!

The workingclass has to be rallied as the 4th major party to do battle with the Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians. That would be the best way to expand the electorate.

Stop the rightward drift. The road to victory is on the left.

A. Garavente

“Why Partyism Is Wrong” by David Brooks (TIMES, 10/26/14)

October 30, 2014

Leave it to David Brooks, the moderate conservative, to muddy the waters!

Many other rural people “defend gun rights” because they are guided by the gun lobby or have seen too many films by Clint Eastwood or Sylvester Stallone.

Are the critics of the NRA motivated by “urban snobbery” or are they horrified by crazies armed with automatic weapons and trigger-happy police officers.

We get little wisdom from cherry-pickers like Brooks.

A. Garavente

A CALL TO ACTION, ANTHONY GARAVENTE

October 21, 2014

I was first eligible to vote in 1952 but neglected to do so because I was unaware of that fact. Born on November 30, 1931, I was not twenty-one years old on Election Day 1952; therefore I did not cast a ballot, thus depriving Adlai Stevenson of one more vote. According to the voting regulations at the time, any twenty-year-old citizen whose birthday was in November was eligible to vote. Had I been more active politically, surely I would have known that.

In the 1970′s, as a more astute voter and a member of the Peace and Freedom Party, I helped get the 26th Amendment passed, which lowered the age requirement to eighteen. There were great expectations then that broadening the electorate would strengthen American democracy. Alas, that did not turn out to be true! With only about 54% of the voting age population actually casting ballots, the claim that the United States is a democratic country can be called into question especially when it is realized that the workingclass is virtually disfranchised. That means workers cannot do much to improve the economic conditions in this country, When elections are held, more and more of them are absenting themselves from the proceedings.

Something has to be done to rectify this deplorable situation! And we should not have to wait until the Democrats have the majority in the House of Representatives. It is unlikely that such will be the case anytime soon. Moreover, the Republican advantage is only a slim one therefore a Unified minority of Democrats in the House could force a breakthrough in the political arena.

The best way to mobilize that Democratic minority is by advocating the implementation of a second New Deal. There is already considerable evidence that Democrats are ready to try a program of deficit financing, but the more conservative leaders of the party are hesitant. Pump-priming resembles socialism, these Blue Dogs growl. The first New Deal saved capitalism. Weren’t the first measures aimed at strengthening the American banking system?

It should also be kept in mind that there are some Republicans who would support government job programs like the measures Franklin D. Roosevelt advocated in the 1930s. With a small dose of courage, we could do it again.

A. Garavente

Hazing in Sayreville, N.J. ” (TIMES, 10/20/14)

October 21, 2014

Hazing is rape school!

That is so for the perpetrators, the victims and the “spectators.” Just reading about hazing can be a sexual stimulant to some people.

Big “children” learn that they can “fool around” with smaller ones; seniors can grope freshmen. They learn that rape is a demonstration of male prowess.

It is often the case that a rapist beats up the victim after having his orgasm (or not having one).

A thorough investigation of the football team, the coaching staff and the school administration is essential.

A. Garavente

“Revenge of the Unforgiven” by Paul Krugman (TIMES, 10/13/13)

October 13, 2014

Paul Krugman asks why there is no growth in the economy.

Could it be because we have been in a depression, not a “Great Recession”? The latter term is as useless as “”interrelationship”!

Slow growth or no growth would be more likely in a period of depression than in a time of recession.

Didn’t Krugman publish a book in the fall of 2012 entitled: “Stop This Depression NOW!”?

A. Garavente

“End the U.S. Embargo on Cuba” (TIMES, 10/12/14)

October 13, 2014

Yes, opening normal relations with Cuba is a great deal!

But the President has to move on this quickly, before the reactionaries in the Republican Party can organize an effective blocking action.

If Obama drags his feet, not only will he look weak, it might be an opportunity missed. Then, the Cuban government might turn to Russia and China for tighter relationships.

A. Garavente

“A Tale of One City” by Eric Alterman (THE NATION, October 20, 2014)

October 13, 2014

Good for Eric Alterman for exposing David Brooks, the so-called moderate conservative, as the opportunistic media careerist that he is.

As that old song has it, “You’ve got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative” to hold onto those centrists Brooks so admires.

Well, what else can we expect? Brooks once claimed that there are a million causes of poverty (NEW YORK TIMES, 2/7/12).

A. Garavente

“Our Invisible Rich,” Paul Krugman (TIMES, 9/30/14)

September 30, 2014

“Today’s political balance rests on a foundation of ignorance, in which the public has no idea what our society is really like.”

What an eloquent conclusion to a very informative op-ed piece that should be required reading. This “foundation of ignorance” makes it difficult to rally Americans to the struggle to save our weakened democratic system.

Though the Republicans are worse that the Democrats, the latter is hardly the progressive bastion that the USA was when FDR was president. It is hard to even call it liberal.

A. Garavente

“Failing the Midterms” by Chris Lehmann (Itt, October 2014)

September 30, 2014

Instead of going to a Disney movie (?!?!), why can’t the Democrats Chris Lehmann speak like and imitate Susan Warren? Why can’t they make a stronger effort to implement the Dodd-Frank bill?

THERE IS NO EFFECTIVE OPPOSITION to the plutocracy that runs this country! That the Republicans are a majority in the House of Representatives is no excuse for the do-nothing Democrats. They can at least show the voters that they are trying.

Most importantly, the United States needs a political party of the workingclass in order to implement a “New Deal” like the one put into effect in the 1930s. The pathetic leaders of the Democratic Party are incapable of such a move. They are afraid to even acknowledge that this country has a workingclass. Except for the two or three percent at the top, everybody is middle class they tell us. Uttering the word “proletariat” would break their teeth.

The long-term strategy for saving American democracy is to organize a progressive party to compete with the despicable Republicans and the pathetic Democrats. The short-term strategy is to continue voting for the latter.

The two-party dictatorship is slowly strangling our “democratic” system as it disfranchises so large a part of the voters. Moreover, fifteen of our fifty states have restored “Jim Crow” and the Civil Rights Act has been repealed.

Only a fighting-mad workingclass can put a stop to this state of affairs by uniting with other progressives. Short of that, we will continue to wallow in the political quagmire the reactionaries have created.

A. Garavente

“Tug of War for Bishop’s Body, or Its Parts, Delays Sainthood” (TIMES, 9/14/14)

September 30, 2014

It is difficult to believe that modernday Catholics in the United States would engage in such nonsense. This flamboyant archbishop might end up having half his body buried in Peoria, Illinois (where he was born) and the other half in the Big Apple (where he spent most of his life).

A. Garavente


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