Letters – March 22, 2008

McCain and the moderate myth

John McCain! If that name doesn’t scare you yet, it really should. More than a few Americans still believe, in spite of the facts (those silly little things), that McCain is a “moderate maverick.” NBC’s Chuck Todd was quoted as saying, “all of this angst on the right has only served to remind moderates that John McCain’s a moderate.”

Excuse me? Moderate compared to whom? Moderate in what respect? This is never really explained by our friends in the corporate media, because their interest (as always) is electing someone who will serve their interests. After all, what better way to do so in these times of popular uproar against a very conservative government (A.K.A. George W. Bush) than to paint your guy as a moderate?

Let’s look at some of McCain’s stances before we judge him. As a senator, his voting record has corresponded with President Bush’s agenda 91 percent of the time. He’s gone on record saying he would consider staying in Iraq for another “40 to 100 years.” Delightful. As if that wasn’t enough to stir your stomach, Sen. McCain (who, as we may remember, says he was tortured during the Vietnam War at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison) supports the use of waterboarding, a method of torture used to simulate drowning in order to elicit information from prisoners.

Bush has been quoted as saying that he thinks McCain can carry on his legacy. Judging by his actions and views so far, I don’t think he’s bluffing.

Martin Droll

Cambridge OH

$200 billion? Not for us

It never ceases to amaze me, some of the trash that you find on the Internet. One obscene item, which must not be tolerated, I saw on Google from CNNMoney.com. “The Federal Reserve will lend up to $200 billion to banks and lenders as a means of loosening up the tight credit markets.”

The Feds will make the money available to 20 large investment firms. It will involve some overseas banks.

While this is a loan it raises a very serious question. In order to hand over $200 billion you have to have it in the first place. The money certainly was not there for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security (which has become Social Insecurity.) When it comes to the people, Bush talks of the need to cut waste.

While the stock market responded to its stimulus package, with the biggest one-day percentage gain since January, 2003, the public continues to respond to lower paying jobs, decreasing real wages, and higher prices. This is one of the reasons we are in a recession. The tiny Bush stimulus package received by the people will be eaten up quickly by the increasing price of gas alone, and people are faced with foreclosure.

The real stimulus package will come in the form of what is going to happen this November in the upcoming elections!

Ken BeSaw

Bronx NY

Free Mumia

This is an update on the case of my client, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has been on Pennsylvania’s death row for over a quarter of a century.

We continue to await the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Pennsylvania. I am in contact with the court, and will alert everyone immediately upon the issuance of a ruling. Oral argument was on May 17, 2007, thus people ask why the court is taking so long. This is a highly complex case involving issues of great constitutional significance and a voluminous amount of material. In three decades of successfully defending people in numerous murder cases involving the death penalty, I have not seen one more complicated.

It is impossible to know how the federal court will rule, but the briefing and arguments could not have gone better even though there have been problems due to mistakes by prior counsel. If the federal court follows the mandate of the U.S. Constitution, the decision should be favorable.

However, Mumia remains in jeopardy because courts are so unpredictable.

Robert Bryan

San Francisco CA

Robert Bryan is lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal.


You all have heard the expression, “swing for the fences.” Recently on C-SPAN, Egyptian Ambassador to the United States Nabil Fahmy was asked his opinion about Israeli government plans to build a fence along the border with his country. His answer was short and logical. If you take away the reason for the fence, there is no need to build it.

In baseball fences are necessary. Fences, however, are hindrances to international relations where countries truly yearn for peace. Mr. Nabil suggested that diplomacy in wartime would eliminate the need to build a fence if Israel was serious about encouraging peace in the region.

The United States imperialist regime is following the Israeli government’s example, not Ambassador Fahmy’s advice. Mexico is an ally of the United States. There is no war with Mexico and the Mexican government is a trading partner with the U.S. and Canada. So in peace time, why build a fence? Shouldn’t we follow Mr. Fahmy’s advice and negotiate our problems with friendly countries like Mexico? Do we really want the United States to be the world’s biggest baseball stadium?

If the United States builds a security fence along its southern border to intimidate its trading partner, imagine how the U.S. imperialist regime treats their enemies.

We have a real opportunity to hit a grand slam, and change the foreign policy direction of this country, but first we have to throw the bums out. Let’s start by demanding that the Organization of American States or the United Nations monitor our elections this year. We have already seen how imperialism will do anything to steal from the American people. Let’s not let it happen again.

Joseph Hancock

Los Angeles CA

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