Harry Reid; Landlord-Biased Judges; More on Gaza …

by on January 14, 2009

To the Editor:

Finally – someone else has done the research, lined it all up, and put it into words! Do Democratic politicians understand teamwork? Is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid willing to learn?

This is where you see the difference in tactics and strategy. Tactics can be making a lot of noise and winning a minor skirmish, but nothing of lasting importance gets done. Can Reid achieve a role which supports strategic change, remedies for our economic ills and the detritus of the past 8 years?

Carol Crooks

To the Editor:

Regarding the filibuster in the US Senate, not only is it politically treacherous, but it is also possible to legally overcome in any particular circumstance.

1. Each Senator can only speak twice, so eventually, even if it takes several days, the opposition will run out of speakers to continue to the filibuster. The majority simply needs to remain equally committed. Besides which, most of the time, the minority won\’t choose to filibuster when it requires that type of physical exertion.

2. The majority party can change the Senate Rules, invoking the so-called “nuclear” option. If the Republicans threatened this, why wouldn’t the Democrats as well? Why are they setting a higher bar for the themselves?

And I think even more importantly is yes, that Harry Reid is counting even the threat of a filibuster as a filibuster itself. This seems more like an excuse to bow to Republicans as opposed to any real need to.

Rob Arnow
San Francisco

To the Editor:

It is not the Republicans that scared Bob Dole or now Harry Reid, it is the Blue Dog Democrats. With Republicans, everything will be compromise, and that may not be what we need. You might want to look at a map of the US counties showing where Obama won — maybe one out of twenty.

I have thought we need to nationalize the banks since October, but nothing else. Instead, after the election we have full blown pay for play with the UAW showing up first and now the farmers, homebuilders, etc.

Reid and Obama have always been unprincipled — Obama from a city where only one of fifty Chicago councilmen are Republican. Go back to the map. It is now like pigs feeding at a trough.

Don Schott

To the Editor:

I agree with Stu Smith’s letter on the Susan Suval court case. Let’s get the City Attorney after Judge Kahn. “No more ‘judicial nullification.'”

David Lockmiller
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Who are the particular Judges who rule against tenants? I am actively trying to recruit progressive lawyers to run for the Superior Court. I only succeeded in convincing Gerardo Sandoval to run last year. Aaron Peskin gets it that it’s just as important for local progressives to get progressives to run for Judge as for the Board of Supes and other positions.

There are a number of Judges way out of the SF political mainstream who were either appointed by Republicans or conservative Democrats like Gray Davis and/or came from big downtown firms that thrive on civil litigation being too expensive for the average person.

Paul Melbostad
San Francisco

To the Editor:

All my life, now 72 years … I have tried to put myself in the middle to try and understand why people think the way they do … As a Jew, I am aware of people hating me only for that fact without even knowing me. Ever since Israel came to be, back in 1948 … I was proud of their fight for nationhood. However, there are some people who will single out Israel as the aggressor in their struggle against their Arab neighbors … who have started and lost wars to drive Israel into the sea.

In the current conflict, Israel is made to be the bad guys … depending on the media reporters and letters to the editors (including Beyond Chron’s Anh Le), who seem to forget why Israel responds to missiles and suicide bombers … and sometimes, killing innocent beings caught in the middle. Sadly, history shows that the Palestinians Freedom Fighters loft their attacks from densely populated areas, school and hospital roof tops. Jews do not turn the other cheek … and an eye for eye sometimes turns ugly, because of the cowards who thrive on world opinion … based on one sided information.

Eisenhower said that “some people want peace so badly, that governments better step aside … to let them have it!” In this case, it’s time for Hamas to step aside … or they will be the ones driven into the sea!

Jerry Pritikin

To the Editor:

How can a People, who have been persecuted for centuries and were the victims of the Holocaust, in turn persecute the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip? Consider the 1948 “war of independence” (called the “El Naqua,” the catastrophe, by the Arabs), displaced 750,000 Palestinians and over 450 Arab villages were erased. After the 1967 war, Israel created the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by chopping up the land into isolated enclaves surrounded by Jewish settlements and Israeli occupation forces. Recently, Israel has erected a wall or fence, which cuts deep into Palestinian territory, joining large Jewish settlement blocks to Israel, further confining the Palestinians to isolated enclaves. Israel continues to establish new settlements (called outposts), demolishing homes and uprooting plantations in the process.

Since Israel instituted a strict closure policy in 2000, the Palestinian economy has been on a downward trend. Fuel, electricity and materials to maintain water and sanitation are under Israeli control. The lack of investment in public infrastructure and private enterprises is eroding the limited remaining Palestinian economic base. The economic blockade has devastated the Gaza private sector and driven almost all industrial producers out of business. The poverty rate in Gaza and the West Bank is estimated to be 79.4 percent and 45.7 percent respectively. The unemployment rate is about 26 percent in the West Bank and about 36 percent in Gaza. Most of the 1.5 million Gazans cannot exit into Israel or Egypt.

Is it any wonder that the Palestinians believe that Israel’s ultimate goal is to take over the entire country and to drive out the non- Jewish population?

Ralph E. Stone
San Francisco

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