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Letters to the Editor – May 2014

“Wild West” Justice in Fresno

Recently, my dear friend, Michael R. Stauff, was murdered in the Fresno jail. He had be held there for over a year without a conviction or even a day in court. Evidently, the right to a speedy and fair trial was removed from the constitution in Fresno.

Also, Michael was denied some of his medications and treatments for his chronic illness. He was so ill that he was confined to a wheelchair while he was in jail. It seems that he was presumed guilty without benefit of a trial. It appears that treatment was denied in hopes that he would die without the expense of due process, another concept that has been removed from the Wild West justice of Fresno.

I was friends with Michael for over 40 years. He was always a kind and generous person. He had never been arrested or in any kind of trouble before. He was quite ill with Crohn’s disease, which led to his early retirement. His neighborhood was overrun with unsupervised children so he volunteered to watch them after school .He would put the little ones in front of a Disney movie and let the older ones do their homework while he provided snacks for everyone.

He picked them up from school when it rained, he took them with their mothers to doctor appointments and parent-teacher conferences. No good deed goes unpunished. The night after he was arrested, his neighbors broke into his house and stole everything of value. The police did nothing about that.

Now he is dead, and the “justice “ system will do nothing and the children of that neighborhood have learned to profit by lies.

Lani Borgwardt, MSW

Provide Paper to Jail Inmates

I would like to know why jail inmates are not given a subscription to your newspaper. If they are free in front, why can’t any be given to the people inside?

I’ve been a reader of your paper for the last five years. When I pick one up, I always grab extras to leave at work/offices when I have appointments/clients I do housekeeping for .I always have people ask where they can get them and, to my surprise, there’s a lot of people who have never heard about it.

Believe me, I’ll be spreading your paper everywhere I go. So print on. You guys are awesome. Get the truth out because people aren’t falling for the lies anymore.

But I guess the new tactic for elections this year is going to be God. Maybe they’ll have a better chance by using that. I don’t think so; they already used the hell out of him. They get caught in their lies. The only ones they are fooling is themselves.

Liz Pasillas

Editor’s note: Prisoners can get a free subscription of the Community Alliance. Please write to us and let us know you want a subscription. If you are in solidarity with someone that is incarcerated and want to send them a subscription on your behalf, let us know and sign up.

Arm the Working Class with Knowledge

If the following knowledge is not being taught in our public schools, it should be because the corporate media bury it and private schools will not teach it except by predatory business teachers.

Lacking the education to understand socioeconomic complexities, the working class lacks self-esteem and the ability to resist propaganda. In an attempt to feel better about their personal and financial misfortunes, to feel “more special,” they practice the counterproductive behaviors of falling victim to propaganda that fosters scapegoating like trashing another ethnic or a religious group (Fox Noose).

For example, President Obama won the 18 of the top 20 states (and the District of Columbia) ranked according to educational attainment by a significant margin in the 2012 election. Like the efforts to privatize Social Security and Medicare, education is a multibillion dollar market, and the private sector is eager to get its hands on those dollars. Privatization undermines teacher unions, a key base of support for the Democratic Party.

If the working class lacks the strength and knowledge to self-criticize, they lack the ability to change. Thus, they are stuck identifying with something larger, such as God and nationalism, failure-to-change social behaviors that the wealthy need to keep the working class from understanding their exploitation.

Via their financial control of the election of political candidates who block necessary economic change, like the transition to non-polluting electricity production and vehicle industries, the ruling class is responsible for the climate change that threatens life on the planet. Responsible for fighting the destruction of our democratic government by the wealthy, the rest of us must educate ourselves to create conditions like a movement to amend the Constitution to eliminate private political campaign financing and to create 100% public political campaign financing.

Greenpeace issued a report identifying the Koch business empire as a “kingpin of climate science denial,” which means every Republican is lying about global warming. There can be no greater disrespect than abandoning the people you’ve been elected to represent in order to serve the interests of two greedy plutocrats.

Put simply, raising taxes on the wealthy (to a point) is good for employment in America and, paradoxically, good for the wealthy because most wealth in America is derived from the spending power of the middle class (the real job creators).

Mike Starry
Fresno

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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