LETTERS

Spanish Civil War vet dies

Philip Crane , son of David and Esther Cohen, passed away on Feb. 20 at age 93, in Boca Raton, Fla. He was born in 1915 in the town of Stavishche, Russia, one of six children. Philip came to the United States with his family in 1923 and was raised in Manhattan.

A member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Philip was in Spain from December 1936 to November 1938. He returned to New York.

Philip was married to Jean Crystal for almost 59 years, until her death in 1998. In 1953, he moved with his wife and two children to West Chester, Pa., where he was a business owner before retiring to Florida in 1981.

Philip was preceded in death by his brother Sam and his sisters Aida and Nettie. He is survived by his brother Joseph Cohen in the Bronx, N.Y., Evelyn Zalph in Miami, his children Mitch Crane and Sydell Long, his granddaughter Elissa Potvin, and two great-grandchildren, Wenonah and Philip, all residing in Delaware.

Philip Crane was a wonderful man who always believed in social justice, and is loved and missed. At his request there will be no memorial service.

Elissa Potvin (granddaughter)

Dover DE

Prevent SS meeting in Latvia

On March 16, former members of SS associations and neo-fascists in Riga, Latvia, plan a march in honor of the Waffen SS as “national liberator of Latvia.” The International Federation of Resistance Fighters (FIR) — Association of Anti-Fascists, the umbrella organization of associations of former resistance fighters, partisans, deportees and internees, as well as victims of Nazi crimes and anti-fascists of today’s generations from 25 countries in Europe and Israel, calls on the president of the Republic of Latvia and the Latvian Parliament to prevent this meeting with all political means.

The International Court of Justice in Nuremberg in 1946 recognized the SS and all of its parts, including the Waffen-SS, as a criminal organization and declared it responsible for many war crimes and crimes against humanity. The recent United Nations General Assembly underlined this in a resolution on Nov. 4, 2008, and criticized all attempts at glorification of the fascist movement and former members of the Waffen SS.

We call upon the democratic and anti-fascist forces in Latvia and beyond to protest this historical and political provocation.

We appeal to the public, by writing to their own governments and the embassies of Latvia in their countries, to protest against the scandal of such an SS meeting.

Never again an SS-Europe!

Michel Vanderborght and Dr. Ulrich Schneider

The writers are president and general secretary, respectively, of the International Federation of Resistance Fighters (FIR) — Association of Anti-Fascists, Berlin, Germany.

The boss’ Armageddon

SEIU released a seriously hilarious video highlighting the Armageddon-type statements being made by opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act. The Newt inclusion is a late-but-great add. See www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOM0AMUqviY

Christy Setzer

Via e-mail

Landmines and cluster weapons

The following letter was sent to President Obama:

I call to your attention the upcoming international meeting in New York at the United Nations, March 18, for the signing and ratification of the International Landmine and Cluster Munitions Treaties.

Some of us have already lobbied you and Congress to:

1) make a more comprehensive law prohibiting landmines and cluster munitions and

2) join other nations in eliminating these lethal weapons, both stopping production and destroying stockpiles, banning sales, trade and use as well. The recent carnage in Israel/Gaza showed us, once again, the horrible effects of these munitions as over 1,300 men, women and children were killed and many injured.

Many activists have questioned whether you will reverse your predecessor’s policy of avoiding joining the international community and signing the treaties. You voted in favor of limiting the use of cluster munitions, and for this we applaud you.

In December 2008 the United States was absent while nearly 100 nations were gathered in Oslo, Norway, for the signing of the Cluster Bomb Ban Agreement.

A spokesman for your transition team said “the new administration would carefully review the new treaty and work closely with our friends and allies to ensure that the U.S. is doing everything feasible to promote protection of civilians.”

The U.S. is burdened with a tarnished reputation in the world. We now have a chance to shine up that tarnished image.

I urge you to join with other nations in protecting civilians worldwide and sign on to the ban against landmines and cluster munitions at the United Nations on March 18.

Arn Specter

Philadelphia PA

Dental care crisis

Illinois has among the lowest funding rates in the nation for government-funded dental care. Over the last three decades funding has decreased, dental clinics have closed and the dental care gap has widened. Despite an increase in enrollment for government dental programs, millions of children and adults go without dental care.

Children suffering from toothaches often have trouble focusing in school and may have trouble eating nutritious foods like fresh fruit and vegetables. In some cases tooth decay can be so severe that a child must have all of their teeth pulled. This causes developmental problems and contributes to low self-esteem and unsatisfactory school performance. For many families, public dental clinics are the primary source of care and increased demand has flooded an already overwhelmed system. Illinois has just one clinic per 8,400 children who rely on government insurance. Families often have to wait several months for an appointment, forcing many into emergency care.

Studies show that poor oral health may be linked to heart disease, stroke, pre-term childbirth and oral cancer.

It’s time for the state of Illinois to make funding dental care a priority. More and more Illinois families are out of work, losing health insurance and feeling the effects of the economic downturn. Children face enough challenges growing up; basic dental care should not be one of them.

Robert Rechner

Springfield IL

The writer is executive director of the Illinois State Dental Society.

Crooks

The stench of all these crooks increases by the minute. Clearly, it’s not just Madoff who made off with honest folks’ money. Or were the “victims” all that honest? They flew in their private jets to Antigua to check it all out? I find that hard to be sympathetic about.

But museums and health care? Now those are real issues. Bottom line: where is the control of schemers like “Sir” Robert Allen Stanford? And is it just individuals like him? We need a thorough housecleaning of banks and financial institutions as well.

Let’s support Obama’s investigations and changes.

Jean Anderson

Via e-mail

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