Recent Editorials by Dave Lewit

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Tinkertoy Congress

Our corrupt and stymied Congress has fallen to a remarkable18 percent approval rating in the Gallup poll.  Some steamed-up folks are petitioning to fix Congress by reducing salaries and benefits to make them the same as regular folks.
 
If we are to have representative government, this narrow reform approach won’t do.  Congress must be not just "fixed", but restructured...

 

The Right of Communication

The Founders took pains to include money and communication in the Constitution.  Article I Section 8 empowers Congress to “coin money” and “regulate the value thereof”, and to “establish post offices and post roads”.  These concerns—along with taxes, trade, promotion of science, military defense, and other provisions—were seen as vital to the proper functioning and integrity of the nation.

Jefferson and other leaders were correct in their fear of challenges to these powers.  Today, and for more than 150 years, private banks have usurped the power to create money.  And for decades private corporations have increasingly sought privilege with the Post Office Department—since 1971 the self-supporting “Postal Service”—for cheap delivery of mass mailings and junk mail... 

 

Boston Bombing—Cui Bono?

"Good morning!”  I walked up to a sweet-faced, middle-aged police officer standing in a doorway to one side of the brightly painted marathon finish line. It was a sunny day a week after the 19-year-old sole living suspect had been captured and the manhunt called off.  “Is that the spot where the bomb went off?”  I jestured toward the five-square-yard freshly set concrete adjacent to the curb.  Yes, that was it.  “And on the wall there, any marks from nails or ball bearings, any left?”  “No, the blast went out toward the street,” he bent a bit to jesture away from his knees; “the FBI took all that evidence away... Lots of people badly hurt from the waist down, and children especially; three spectators killed.”  “I know,” I said, pausing, and bid him good day without excitement...

 

Democratizing the Police and Ourselves

The Government’s avalanche of surveillance is troubling.  Not only warrentless scooping up of billions of phone and email messages from everybody, but now snitching demanded of public servants.  And seduction of state and local police by militarizing and spyifying Federal inducements. It will require a new way of living.  
 
I want to share with you what may be an unpopular notion—that we may turn this sow's ear into an enduring silk purse...

 

What I Have Tried to Do

For thirteen years I have been editing and writing for the BCA Dispatch.  As its guiding principle and motto, I chose Ronnie Dugger’s Alliance-initiating statement “The issue is not issues; the issue is the system.” 
 
Calling the Dispatch a “newsletter” has been correct only in  (1) reviewing and announcing activities of the Boston-Cambridge chapter of the Alliance or its associated community, and (2) highlighting the emergent issues implicating the system we are in or emerging alternative concepts of system.  Actually, some readers have remarked that these things tend to be ahead of the “news”.
 
My longtime inclination is to illustrate and promote not “improvements” in the current socio-political system, but elements of any humane and adventurous new system—or proposals for such a system... 

 

Three 9-11s

In Boston, a chill 11th of September brings the first turning of leaves, presaging the cold winds of Winter.  But in South Africa 9/11 ushers in Spring.  It was on that day in 1906 that Mohandas Gandhi, an Indian educated in England and then practicing law in Johannesburg addressed a crowd of 3000 mostly Hindus and Muslims, and created the concept—and imperative—of satyagraha: Truth Force.  
 
Cold August had brought a Whites-├╝ber-alles law requiring all “Coloreds”—brown people—to register, be fingerprinted, and carry an ID card to confirm their secondary status.  Gandhi was incensed and determined to defy this regime of apartheid...