What goes around…

Well, the irritable little man from Connecticut (who pretends to be a Texan) has managed to finagle his way back into the White House. “Thank goodness,” he probably thought, that his oh-so-gracious opponent conceded the election — even before all the votes had been counted.

Still, it’s in the air, this notion that G.W. has managed to misappropriate a second presidential election. A growing body of evidence points to significant problems with the vote tallies produced in certain crucial Ohio districts that happened to use those no-paper-receipt Diebold machines, whose manufacturer once boasted that he’d bring in the Ohio vote for George W. Bush.

Many years ago, Richard Nixon won a second term, only to be run out of office for criminal acts arising out of a desperate, venal partisanship within Republican campaign circles. Karl Rove cut his political teeth during that time as a young Nixon worker. Truly, it would be sweet justice if history repeated itself and Rove’s current boss was also brought down by an angry, affronted nation.

Cord MacGuire…Boulder CO

Reach out and struggle…

It is very important for all of us to view this past election as not one that divided the country into those who want improved social benefits and those who oppose that concept.

The exit polls indicated that despite the vote for Bush, these same people recognized, in overwhelming numbers, the need for universal health care, a deep concern regarding our actions in Iraq, an opposition to the economic policies of the administration, as it relates to taxes and other giveaways to the rich. These are the people we have to organize, in their own interests, for these objectives. In the struggle to obtain these benefits they will learn who their friends are and who their enemies are.

Karl Dennis…Tucson AZ

Buffalo libraries to close…

I am stunned, surprised, shocked and scared. The government is cutting the budget by 80 percent to public libraries in the Erie County-Buffalo area and 52 libraries will be closing in January. I received an e-mail from the public library announcing this.

I know that the best way of dominating people is to make them more ignorant. That is the best explanation. They do have money to slaughter people. They do have money to spend in wars, but they cut the budget to educate the people. Their strategy is to make people ignorant to rule them easily. This is very scary. George Orwell predicted the future when he wrote “1984.”

I think we must do something to prevent them from closing all these libraries. I am already sending a letter to the people in power urging them to do something about this. We should all do something.

A reader…Via e-mail

Parade ordinance…

Regarding Sacramento’s parade ordinance (PWW 8/14-20), I hear that it is going to be voted upon soon, and I have some thoughts to share.

There are many different kinds of problems with it. But what I don’t like about it is it conditions one’s participation in lawful First Amendment activity upon such person’s willingness to subject him/herself to the full impact of any police weaponry that might be used. It does so by prohibiting ordinary, lawful participants from wearing bulletproof vests or gas filtration masks as a reasonable safety measure.

Suppose that I want to engage in lawful First Amendment activity at an organized event, and my intent is to do so peacefully; but suppose I am concerned that others might attend the event who might not be peaceful, and that they might cause the police to respond with tear gas and/or rubber bullets. With this ordinance, I am not lawfully permitted to attend and/or participate unless I agree to subject myself to the full impact of any police weaponry that might be used.

The condition is overbroad, and it’s an unlawful prior restraint. People who attend protest events are often reasonably concerned about the potential for violence. To require them to maximize their vulnerability to such violence as a condition of participation is absolutely the opposite of what the framers of the First Amendment had in mind!

Stephen S. Pearcy…Berkeley CA

The author is an attorney

Wrong on 62…

In “Results mixed in California contests,” (PWW 11/6-12) there are several things wrong in the paragraph about Proposition 62.

Proposition 62 was the “top two” initiative that would have done away with partisan primaries. It was defeated, and Proposition 60, the measure upholding the current primary election system passed.

It is politically wrong to characterize Proposition 62 as a “right-wing challenge” or a “right-wing initiative.” The backers of Proposition 62 were centrists, not right-wingers, who explicitly said that their goal was to elect more “moderates” (by which they meant pro-business politicians who wouldn’t promote divisive social issues that distract from improving the business climate). Their goal was to narrow the political spectrum in California government so that it would run from Dianne Feinstein on the left to Richard Riordan on the right, excluding most current Republican officeholders as too far to the right and most current Democratic officeholders as too far to the left.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties opposed Proposition 62, as did all of the smaller parties, both of left and right. While Prop. 62 was anti-democratic, it wasn’t a left vs. right issue as much as a business-oriented centrists vs. everyone else.

Dave Kadlecek…Via e-mail

The author was the Peace and Freedom Party’s campaign coordinator on Prop. 60 and 62.

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