By Bob Roman
December 6, 2001, may not be a day that lives in infamy, but
it was an evil time in Washington, DC, nonetheless. "Fast
Track" trade negotiating authority (H.R. 3005) passed the
House of Representatives. It passed, but it just passed, by a
vote of 215 to 214. The vote was very nearly a party line vote;
only 23 Republicans voted against the Fast Track and only 21 Democrats
voted for it. At that, the measure very nearly failed. It only
passed because the Republican House leadership promised South
Carolina Republican Jim DeMint that negotiators would provide
protection to textile dyeing and finishing companies. DeMint changed
his vote from no to yes.
This vote was a defeat for the left not because of some anti-trade,
protectionist, isolationist obsession. The issue here is not whether
there will be international trade but rather something far more
fundamental: what are the rules for international trade. As William
Greider documented in the October 15 issue of The
Nation ("The Right and US Trade Law: Invalidating
the 20th Century"), U.S. negotiators at international trade
talks are pursuing an ideological agenda that places property
rights above all else, an accomplishment insuring that labor rights
would be nothing more than a noble fiction and that consumer,
health, safety and environmental regulation would be impossibly
This is not the sole item on the negotiators' agenda. The U.S.
trade representatives are also negotiating the maintenance of
the U.S. empire. The foreign policy establishment has always viewed
trade as a political instrument, a potential tool of leverage
and coercion. The WTO, NAFTA, MAI, et. al., are very much in this
The negotiators also discuss rules that have specific consequences
for specific industries. It is here that Congress understandably
feels it has some special understanding and it is here that Congress
has been most particularly deluded. After all, such special pleading
very closely resembles how much domestic policy, especially tax
law, is made. By all accounts, the Bush Administration and the
Republican House leadership recruited and enforced votes in much
the same way that Clinton achieved passage of NAFTA: by making
promises that the U.S. negotiating team would make special provisions
for particular industries and by making promises regarding policy
unrelated to trade.
But as Public Citizen's
Global Trade Watch pointed out in The
Record on Deals for Trade Votes (December, 2001), these
"deals" have all the currency of "the check is
in the mail". Indeed, there is every indication that one
reason for the narrow vote was Congressional skepticism after
having been burned. At least among Democrats: aside from issues
of loyalty, many Republicans still seem susceptible to deals,
perhaps thinking that these betrayals were a Clinton thing. The
recent round of negotiations in Qatar illustrated just what a
foolish vanity this is. Despite an informal demand by the U.S.
Senate (a letter signed by 62 Senators) and a formal demand by
the U.S. House of Representatives (H. Con. Res. 262, passed 410
- 4) that U.S. anti-dumping laws be kept off the table, these
instructions were completely disregarded and the issue of anti-dumping
laws will be very much on the agenda for the next round of negotiations.
All of this leaves the deal makers, especially House members
of the Textile Caucus, feeling a bit like maybe they've purchased
shares of Enron, particularly as some of Textile Caucus concerns
essentially demand that U.S. Trade Representatives negotiate a
reversal of some of the provisions of the "NAFTA for Africa"
act (New Ground #63
"Africa's HOPE Against Globalization"). President Bush
felt compelled to hold a feel good meeting with these members
a week after the vote. They all came away proclaiming confidence
in the President, but one can't help but wonder. If the Fast Track
passes and the next trade agreement leaves them in the cold, will
they have the courage to vote against it?
The fight has now passed to the Senate. If you haven't heard
much about it, there are two main reasons. One is simply that
the Senate has been recessed and, until it reconvenes on January
23, no activities have been formally scheduled. The other is Senator
Max Baucus from Montana. Senator Baucus' involvement greatly increases
the odds that the "Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority"
will pass the Senate in a form easily reconciled with the version
passed by the House. No contest, no news.
Indeed, Baucus has wasted no time. The bill passed his committee,
18 to 3, in December less than a week after the House voted. That
vote is another bad sign. When H.R. 3005 cleared the House Ways
and Means Committee, the vote was 26 to 13, with only 2 Democrats
voting in favor.
Max Baucus has been an increasing problem. He's betrayed his
constituency with bad votes on ergonomic standards and on Dubya's
spectacular tax giveaway to the rich. Despite warnings not to,
he intervened in favor of H.R. 3005 while the issue was in play
in the House. Conventional wisdom is that much of this delinquency
comes from facing a stereotypically wealthy Republican opponent
in the upcoming 2002 elections. But the labor movement ain't what
it use to be in Montana, and almost half of the $93,000 in labor
PAC money Baucus received in the 2001 reporting period came from
transportation unions (air, rail, maritime) which do not necessarily
make fair trade issues a priority at best. $93,000 represents
less than 10% of the PAC
money Baucus raised in 2001. About $234,000 came from the
finance industry, for whom "free" trade and Social Security
"reform" are indeed priorities.
Despite this gloomy outlook and despite the fact that no debate
or vote has been scheduled, it is absolutely important that you
contact your Senators sooner rather than later. The Senate must
understand that this is an important issue and that people are
watching their behavior. In Illinois, it should come as no surprise
that Senator Fitzgerald used the occasion of Dubya's recent trip
to Illinois to announce his support of the Fast Track trade negotiating
authority. But even Fitzgerald is worth contacting.
Whether you call, write or fax (email is better than nothing
but usually heavily discounted by the recipients), not only express
your opposition to Fast Track negotiating authority, but emphasize
that any social protections built into such negotiating authority
are bound to be inadequate. Granting such authority to negotiators
essentially means that Congress has abdicated all effective oversight
over the process.
The AFL-CIO maintains a web
site from which you can fax your Senator. It includes a suggested
text, which you can alter to your taste. Go to http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/fasttrack3.
Voice: (312) 353-4952
By Mark Weinberg
A crowd of about 40, many of them CDSA members, came out to
hear John K. Wilson talk about his new book, How the Left Can
Win Arguments and Influence People: A Tactical Manual for Pragmatic
Progressives (New York University Press, 2001, $15.95 paper)
at the New World Resource Center on Sunday. December 2nd. The
event was co-sponsored by CDSA, the Chicago Socialist Party and
Open University of the Left.
Currently a graduate student at Illinois State University and
a former Chicago resident, Wilson is an alternative press journalist,
whose work for the late, lamented Chicago Ink newspaper
and the increasingly impressive Chicago Media Watch newsletter
is much respected. He is the author of two prior books, The
Myth of Political Correctness: The Conservative Attack on Higher
Education and Newt Gingrich: Capitol Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Wilson began by reading the controversial opening of his book,
"Socialism is dead" and proceeded to explain how we
can more successfully ameliorate capitalism's problems by appealing
to the progressive ideas that a majority of Americans believe,
"even though the power of the progressive movement itself
in mainstream politics has largely disintegrated." He feels
that the left must be more positive. For example, instead of criticizing
the tax cuts that conservatives call for we should propose tax
cuts that aren't accompanied by decreased social spending.
William Pelz of the Chicago
Socialist Party, a history professor at Elgin Community College,
was asked to give the democratic socialist response to Wilson
which he did with humor and flair, noting that "progressive"
brings to his mind the name of an insurance company as much as
a political orientation. He noted that historically reforms have
resulted not from moderate liberal proposals but radical ones,
such as the demand for the eight hour work day.
The crowd, which participated enthusiastically in the question
and answer session was clearly on Bill's side, and felt that socialism
must be presented as an alternative political system and a system
of social values that puts people ahead of private profits.
Your reporter was very pleased by the idealism and enthusiasm
of his comrades, and the author was perhaps taken aback by the
partisan audience, polite but not like the more complacent one
he faced that afternoon at 57th
Street Books in Hyde Park. I would ask us to look at Ralph
Nader's presidential campaigns, which received much support from
socialists and followed many of Wilson's suggestions but failed
to secure the broad based support needed for victory in the foreseeable
future; perhaps Americans are not as consistently progressive
as Wilson would have us believe.
by Ron Baiman and Tom Broderick
The Greater Oak Park branch of the DSA (GOPDSA) is playing
a lead role in a coalition raising health concerns and the use
of wireless technology in the Oak Park public school system. What
began as a walk in the neighborhood by Barbara Mularkey (a long
time Oak Park activist) has become an environmentalist / socialist
coalition. We have adopted the name Safe Technology for Oak Park
During one of her walks, Ms. Mularkey noticed some tall, ugly
towers going up over the schools in Oak Park. She discovered these
towers are part of a wireless transmission system used throughout
the school district. After a little research, she became concerned
about radiation emission. Ms. Mularkey contacted GOPDSA member
Sydney Baiman who brought the issue to her son Ron Baiman, GOPDSA
Chair. He did additional research into the use of the equipment
and the health hazards associated with electro-magnetic radiation
(EMR) and how the system was being used in the Oak Park schools.
Of principal concern is the Apple Airport iMac WLAN system,
which is being used in all of the schools and in the district
offices. This system involves several lap top computers and a
single transmitter that are stored in portable wheeled carts.
These carts are referred to as COWS Carts On Wheels
and can be moved around the school for use by students just about
anywhere. The problem is that they output electromagnetic radiation
which may be disrupting DNA repair mechanisms. There is much research
on the thermal impact of EMR and much less on the biological impact.
The impact on children may be very damaging.
Through an equipment upgrade, the Oak Park District 97 school
system introduced the Apple Airport iMac system throughout the
schools without parental input. Their reasoning was that it is
convenient, cost effective and the way the industry is moving
and, since it has been approved for use by the US Government,
STOP has gone to several school board meetings presenting health
issues raised by various people and groups in this country and
overseas. Charles Moore writing in MacOpinion questioned the safety
of repeated exposure to EMR. Dr. George Carlo was hired by the
telecommunications industry to study the health effects of electro-magnetic
radiation and had his seven year industry-funded study squashed
by that industry. The Directorate General for Research for the
European Parliament has advised against the use of wireless technology
by children. Lloyds of London refuses to underwrite or contract
with the cell phone industry (cell phones use a similar technology)
and the Disney Corporation has refused to license the use of its
characters to the cell phone industry due to concerns of future
health liabilities, particularly regarding children, as well as
adverse publicity. Some of the same law firms that took on the
Tobacco Industry are filing multi-billion dollar law suits against
the wireless industry and the U.S. government regulatory agencies
for cover up and failing to protect the public.
As our numbers have grown, we have gone repeatedly to the District
97 school board meetings to urge an immediate moratorium on the
use of the in-class WLAN system. We have requested the opportunity
to bring technology experts to speak before the board. We have
asked the board to present us with their safety documentation.
During the last school board meeting of December 5th, the District
97 school board had their Director of Management Information Services
state their case. Mr. Chowanski began his presentation with "generally
speaking the newer the technology the better." He reiterated
that the technology was convenient, cost effective, in use by
many other school districts and safe as long as the school district
was adhering to the federal regulations and guidelines as put
forth by the EPA, the FCC, the FDA and OSHA, with the assistance
of the non-governmental advisory groups ANSII and IEEE. ANSII
and IEEE both have members of the telecommunications industry
on their advisory boards. Mr. Chowanski also stated that trade
shows support the use of this technology. Mr. Chowanski claimed
that "no present evidence can attribute any health issues
to the use of the federally compliant devices, whether mobile
cellular phones or wireless networking technology."
The school board currently refuses to call for a moratorium
on the Apple iMac system. We completely disagree with this refusal
and will continue to press for a moratorium and the right to present
to the board, technology experts who refute Mr. Chowanski's claim.
With the recollection of the time it took to document the adverse
health effects of tobacco, PCP's, silicone breast implants, asbestos,
and various pesticides we will continue to put health and safety
before convenience. Our children should tested, not test subjects.
The Campaign for Better
Health Care's annual meeting has always been an odd combination
of fundraiser, dog and pony show, and brainstorming retreat. This
year's annual meeting was firmly in that tradition. Almost 200
people gathered at the Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago on November
30th to hear keynote speakers columnist Will Durst and Congressman
For a change, all the Campaign's keynote speakers attended.
The past few years the event has been undeservedly stiffed by
people (Rev. Jesse Jackson, Michael Moore) who really ought to
know better. Will Durst lived up to his reputation as a very funny
person. This was a welcome relief for a time of trouble when the
political left has been demobilized if not demoralized. Representative
Conyors is not the most eloquent speaker, but he effectively expressed
confidence that a universal health care system can be achieved
nation-wide, even when all the political indications make success
seem no better than unlikely.
And Representative Conyors may be right. While the governments
in Illinois and the nation are in the hands of people with a knee
jerk hostility to a universal health care system, the Campaign
for Better Health Care finds itself organizationally healthier
than it's ever been. And while the balance of power is now decisively
against the issue, there are stirrings that indicate this could
change, soon and maybe suddenly.
One indication is Congressman John Conyers himself. While Conyors
has long been a supporter of universal health care, he's now become
the chair of the newly formed Congressional Task Force on Universal
Health Care. He's taken up the role that Ron Dellums played while
he was in Congress but perhaps more effectively.
Still another indication is that there are distinct signs that
our opponents are becoming divided on the issue. For example,
in a column for Roll Call last Fall, conservative pundit
Morton Kondracke predicted that a "perfect storm" is
brewing around the issue. He touched on many of the points us
lefties have been making for years and he ended by warning, "Smart
politicians should get the message."
The Campaign for Better Health Care plans to bring the message
directly to Illinois gubernatorial candidates, at least, by organizing
a health care forum in February at which candidates for Illinois
Governor can argue their positions.
By Ron Baiman
From all that has been written, we know that Joe Powers Sr.'s
life intersected with many different communities in this Village
and beyond and touched many of us in different ways. I wanted
to add my own testimony to yet another facet of Joe's life.
When I moved here with my family in 1994, Joe was one of the
first "real Oak Parkers" that we had occasion to get
to know. The occasion was the founding, in a meeting at my house,
of the Greater Oak Park Democratic Socialist of America (GOPDSA),
a branch of the Chicago Local of the national Democratic Socialists
of America (DSA). Joe had responded to a mailing sent out of the
Chicago DSA office by coming to the meeting with many of his friends
and serving as an enthusiastic supporter of our fledgling group.
At that meeting we found out that Joe was originally from South
Orange, New Jersey, the community we had been living in before
moving to Oak Park. In fact, it turned out that he was a graduate
of Marshall elementary school, a wonderful little school which
my oldest son (now 16) had graduated from as well. Thus Joe, a
consummate Oak Parker, represented for me and my family a connection
to the "old country" and a representative of the new.
It soon became clear to us that Joe was an outstanding example
of the ideals, energy, and commitment of this community.
Over the years, as I got to know Joe better, I came to appreciate
his self-deprecating modesty, organizing enthusiasm, personal
charm, and goodwill, more and more. Though I certainly was not
one of his closest friends, he made me feel as though I was, and
I think had a similar effect on others. Joe was always ready to
sacrifice, to give, to work together with others for common goals.
He constantly pushed himself to the limits of his capacity and
yet maintained a humility and openness which energized and inspired
all of us. I remember being embarrassed by his praise and willingness
to follow my lead when in fact it was clear that he was the more
experienced and knowledgeable among us. But this was Joe's style.
It was his way of bringing out the best in others, of helping
others realize their potential and carry on.
Whether it was the campaign to close the Westside
incinerator (which we helped win) or the effort to elect New
Party and labor supported Democratic State Senate candidate Lydia Williams (narrowly defeated),
Joe was always doing more than his share. Moreover, Joe was a
great enthusiast for study and learning, constantly goading me
to plan more study groups, and bring more material. He was always
developing and refining his notion of what "democratic socialism"
is. He was never content with the old answers, and was constantly
searching for new ones. As a principled and unswerving critic
of both the morality and efficacy of capitalism, he was open to
many (democratic) ideas about what should replace it.
He was also particularly interested in keeping alive the history
and tradition of social struggle, an interest that led to his
book: The Day Will Come Stories of the Haymarket Martyrs and
the Men and Women Buried Alongside the Monument" co-edited
with Mark Rogovin (1994, Charles H. Kerr Publishing Co.). Joe's
efforts in this area were consummated by the federal designation
of the Haymarket Memorial as a national historical site a few
years ago. Another example of this was his effort, as part of
a Paul Robeson memorial committee, to get the national postal
service to create a Paul Robeson centennial stamp which, although
unsuccessful, did lead to a series of assemblies on the life and
work of Paul Robeson in Oak Park schools. This work, I think,
stemmed from Joe's appreciation of the role of culture and symbolism
in forming our thinking and politics.
I am writing this partly because I know Joe would have wanted
me to do this. In death as in life he remains an inspiration.
Joe, for GOPDSA and for all good people who want to make the
world a better place, you did more than your part, you made more
than your mark, and you made our life better and richer in this
place by doing so. As you lie at Forest Home with other comrades,
we know that none of you are really gone. Like Joe Hill, you just
keep on organizing.
For all of us,
by Harold Taggart
The events of the 11th of September seemed to invigorate our
top leaders. It brought out what they excel at: Cold War tactics
abroad and McCarthyism at home. The entire world was given an
ultimatum: you are with us or you are with the terrorists. Since
the World Court convicted the U.S. of terrorism for its activities
in Nicaragua during the 1980s and the U.S. still operates a terrorist
training school at Fort Benning, Georgia, the choice seems moot.
McCarthyism's ugly head has raised itself at Harvard University.
The new university president, Lawrence Summers, is one of its
personifications. Summers' had not had time to get his feet wet
when he called tenured professor Cornel West into his office and
rebuked him for several sins. The charges against Professor West
fit the neo-McCarthy agenda like a glove.
Summers, the Treasury Secretary for the last two years of the
Clinton Administration, admonished West for:
West, a member of DSA, was highly offended. Here was a morally
bankrupt sycophant of a corrupt, heartless, racist system lecturing
him on values. Other faculty members of the Afro-American Studies
department threatened to join West and take their program to Princeton
University. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton went to Boston and futilely
attempted to get an appointment with Summers to express their
Then the Wall Street Journal jumped into the fray. It
published an article by conservative Shelby Steele, an African-American
fellow at the right-wing Hoover Institution. Shelby attacked West
and progressives in general. National and local media joined in
siding overwhelmingly with Summers and Shelby. The Chicago
Tribune devoted an editorial to the conflict ("Crimson
Faces At Harvard", Jan. 11). Georgie Anne Geyer's op-ed piece
"Embarrassing Bow To Political Correctness" appeared
the same day. Clarence Page contributed a tolerant article on
Jan. 9 titled "Harvard Disses A Blue-Ribbon Professor."
Between Jan. 7 and 10, the Wall Street Journal addressed
the conflict four times with one editorial, two op-ed pieces and
one letter to the editor. Except for the letter to the editor
by West's colleague William Julius Wilson, all, including "liberal"Al
Hunt, attacked Professor West. Steele accused members of the Harvard
Afro-American Studies Department of using "White Guilt"
and political correctness to gain unfair advantage and preferential
treatment over whites. Appearing on "Good Morning America"
on Jan. 16, Shelby backtracked slightly and acknowledged that
whites had four hundred years of unfair advantage over blacks.
That's history. The right thing to do now is to be fair, Shelby
argued. It seems that in the opinion of Shelby and his supporters,
fairness is to be trotted out only when it benefits the white
male privileged class.
During their meeting, West quickly discovered that Summers
wasn't aware of the large volume of work West had compiled, including
16 books, and was unfamiliar with the Professor's work in general.
Summers was equally ignorant about the Rap CDs when he accused
West of frivolous pursuits that were beneath his position at Harvard.
Chicago DSA helped finance one of the CDs. It was made to draw
attention to one of America's most disgraceful institutions, its
criminal justice system. That system is so barbaric, corrupt and
racist that many nations will not extradite suspected criminals
to the U.S. For West, this is an inexcusable social sickness as
it would be for anyone with a social conscience.
West is the polar opposite of the current occupant of the White
House who, as governor of Texas, oversaw the execution of 152
human beings, a slaughter rate matched only by contemporary China.
Finally, Professor West was singled out for a lenient grading
practice that contributed to Harvard's grade inflation reputation.
Grade inflation has been an embarrassment since it was revealed
that a man with an I.Q. of 91 was given a Master's degree by the
Business Administration Department. He comes from a wealthy, powerful
family. That graduate is George W. Bush. It seems the Business
Administration Department practices plutocrat advancement. Summers
should check the courses George Bush took to find out which professors
While the attack on Cornel West is the most egregious, it is
only one of dozens of attacks on anyone who dares to question
the administration and its policies.
Academia is not the sole target of the neo-McCarthyites. The
January 28 issue of The
Nation magazine featured the Boondocks cartoon character
Huey Freeman on its cover. An article by John Nichols discussed
the political pressure applied to dissidents such as Boondocks'
creator 27-year-old Aaron McGruder. Shortly after the 11th of
September, McGruder submitted a cartoon depicting Huey calling
the FBI's hotline to provide a list of those who had aided terrorists.
First on the list was "Reagan." Several newspapers refused
to run the cartoon. To its credit, the Chicago Tribune
did run it. Nichols cited numerous cartoonists and journalists
who had pressure to conform brought against them including one
who was fired.
By Alfredo Villasenor
The state of Illinois is pushing hard on privatizing the public
aid health care system also known as Medicaid. As of January 1,
2002, it is asking a fee or co-payment from users. It requires
a one dollar co-payment per visit to a medical provider or per
prescription (for the majority of medications). It does exempt
One may ask what is one dollar nowadays. Well persons living
on public aid are on a very low income and one dollar counts very
much. They are not living high on the hog. If anyone has tried
to live on minimum wage, this is below minimum wage.
This is a demarketing plan. Public Aid patients that belong
to health maintenance organizations (HMOs) such as Harmony or
United Health Care do not have to pay this fee.
Well, is this not the answer to the problem? HMOs offer less
services. HMOs offer less payment to providers. HMOs are constantly
cutting fees to providers or services to patients.
This trend could parallel what happens with those lucky enough
to have health insurance. Every year the co-payment increases
so that sometimes it seems there is no health insurance. HMOs
principle concern is making a profit.
In addition, the reimbursement to hospitals that treat Public
Aid patients was cut close to 50%. A protest by hospitals made
it a little better but not much.
The state government says it took these steps because of the
recession. Well the public aid patients have little to do in causing
the recession. The state government also blames the war for the
cuts. As a resolution passed by American Public Health Association
says, this war is in favor of the oil interests.
It was pointed out in an all news radio station, WBBM AM, that
legislator did not refuse their salary increase. It also pointed
out that many companies that got tax breaks to create jobs are
now laying off people. They should not get the tax breaks anymore.
We should act now and act forcefully. This includes health
care employees, public aid and non public aid persons. We should
hold rallies. We should sign petitions. We should phone in massive
numbers the powers that be.
Compiled by Bob Roman
Save the Date! The 44th Annual Debs Thomas Harrington
Dinner will be Friday evening, May 10, at the Holiday Inn Mart
Plaza on Chicago's near north side. The honorees will be Tom Balanoff,
President of the Service Employees International Union's Illinois
State Council and Local 1, and labor attorney Barbara Hillman
of Cornfield and
Feldman. Our featured speaker will be the well known professor
of international law and radio commentator, Douglass
Cassel of Northwestern University School of Law. With our
honorees and our speaker, we hope to make the point that defending
human rights, civil liberties and labor rights are all part of
the same struggle. For more information, call the Chicago
DSA office at 773.384.0327.
Civil Rights Since 1787, co-edited by Chicago DSA member
Jonathan Birmbaum and reviewed in New
Ground 77, was among the books named an Outstanding Book
of the Year for 2001 by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study
of Bigotry and Human Rights. The Gustavus
Myers Center was founded in 1984 and named after the pioneering
historian who wrote in 1943 the History of Bigotry in the United
States. The Gustavus Myers Award commends works published in a
given year which extend our understanding of the root causes of
bigotry and the range of options we have in constructing alternative
ways to share power. For more information, go to http://www.myerscenter.org.
The Open University of the Left (cosponsored by Chicago DSA,
Chicago Socialist Party USA, and the Charles H. Kerr Publishing
Co. See New Ground 78.)
retrospective on the founding of the Socialist Party of America
will be broadcast on Chicago Access
Network Channel 21 on Sunday, February 17, from 9 AM to 2
The date for Chicago DSA's annual "Membership Convention"
in June has not yet been set, but it's not too early to start
thinking about getting involved in Chicago DSA in a leadership
way. The offices up for election in June will be the female Co-Chair,
the Treasurer, and the Political Education Officer. These are
two year terms. Because Chicago DSA has no paid staff, the officers
substitute for staff, making their role somewhat different than
many other Boards. The female Co-Chair position is vacant, but
if you are interested, feel free to contact the incumbents (see
the New Ground masthead on page 2) or call the Chicago
DSA office at 773.384.0327 or plan to attend one of the monthly
Executive Committee meetings which are held every second Tuesday,
7 PM, at the Chicago DSA office.
The American Friends Service Committee is planning an ambitious
three day conference on "The Impact of September 11 on US
Foreign Policy, Civil Liberties and the Economy". Scheduled
for late February in Chicago, the planners hope to bring some
300 to 400 to discuss various aspects of the war and its fallout,
listen to "big name" speakers on the subject, participate
in training, and perhaps engage in a protest action. For more
information, contact the American Friends Service Committee Chicago
office: 312.427.2533. Chicago DSA has endorsed the conference.
2002 is another ambitious conference being organized out of
the Illinois ACLU offices in Chicago. It's intended to explore
the religious and ethical dimensions of this issue, as well as
the actual administration of justice and the politics of the death
penalty. Scheduled for Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10,
the conference will be held at DePaul University's north side
campus. For additional details, call 312.849.2279 or go to http://deathsentence2002.home.att.net/.
Chicago DSA has endorsed the conference.
While I am happy that DSA members are part of the National
Youth and Student Peace Coalition, I was somewhat surprised at
the bald statement in point three ("National Youth and Student
Peace Coalition", New
Ground #79, Page 1).
I am a supporter for Friends of Peace Now and work for a peaceful
solution in the Middle East. But given the complexities and historical
context of the problem, to buy into the interpretation being put
forth by uncritical supporters of the Palestinians that Israel
and the American policy towards Israel is the cause of the problem;
it is both simplistic and unfair. I expect better from DSA and
our Young Democratic Socialists. A coalition without some integrity
can be self destructive.
Attached is a letter I have been circulating to local people
with similar attitudes. It speaks for itself.
Best wishes for a happy new year.
Stanley "Rosebud" Rosen
Editor's Note: Stan Rosen's letter is far too long for New
Ground, but we'd be happy to pass along a copy to anyone requesting