Celebrating “the Sainted Elizabeth Gurley Flynn”

To the Editor:

No surprise that the N.H. Republicans clutched their pearls and screamed like banshees on the honoring of a radical woman. This is not a new phenomenon on the part of Republicans. Recall when Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House in 1995, he had the mural by Diego Rivera removed, as it portrayed a movement of the common people. To their eternal discredit, when back in power, the Democrats did not restore it. The former Maine Governor had WPA murals reflecting similar sentiments painted over and this seems to be the case in other states as well.

Cancel Culture has been a major tool of Conservatives for generations, whether hiring Pinkerton thugs to suppress demonstrations or banning books like Robin Hood and blacklisting radicals throughout the industrial and agricultural revolutions and teachers during the McCarthy era. Witness the similarities today in legislation against teaching history or accommodating people with differences. What a parcel of snowflakes.

As to the sainted Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, perhaps enlightened citizens of N.H. could designate an EGF Day or even call March EGF Women’s History Month.

Jim Tartari

Wellesley, Mass.


What an excellent suggestion. Why not? If we declare it, perhaps people will celebrate. [Clears throat… .]

In honor of The Rebel Girl’s 133rd Birthday, the Nation’s Oldest Newspaper™ declares Monday, August 7, 2023 to be Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Day.

Let’s see the Governor try to veto that.

The Editor


Yet Another Diatribe Against Godless Multi-Familyism

To the Editor:

A recent article in the CT Examiner characterized the issue perfectly: “… at the behest of paid lobbyists and ‘hive minded’ salaried pro-development advocates, there is a strong and powerful effort to usurp the authority of your local planning and zoning commission. Several Bills under serious discussion in Hartford seek to destroy local decision-making and replace it with top down ‘as of right’ development, thereby shredding any notion of local control.”

This problem, currently evident in New Hampshire, was inspired by the UN’s idea we should live in ‘human settlements’ without cars, no more building on single lots, and current suburban areas need to be forcibly integrated to achieve economic and racial ‘equity.’

Libertarians claim it’s about the ‘right’ to do as they wish with their property. Nonsense! If you don’t like zoning, move to Dalton or Grafton where the residents have voted not to have it. But if you buy in a town already organized by commercial, multi-use and single family, don’t expect a single family-zoned neighborhood to be forced to allow an apartment building.

Let’s face it, this is nothing but social engineering by central planners at the state and federal levels. Libertarians need to face up to what it is they are actually supporting.

Do voters know that [the] defeated HB44 bill would have desecrated many single family neighborhoods in N.H. towns? They will keep trying. And we will keep educating and opposing.

Jane Aitken

Bedford, N.H.

Found [sic], Bedford Residents Assn.


Let’s begin by clarifying a term. What you are quoting here is not an article. It is a letter to the editor. The terms are not interchangable. At least, not while we edit this old rag.

There’s a fine line—particularly here in New Hampshire—between respecting existing local control of land use regulations and xenophobia. Are you sure you’re on the right side?

We’ll probably never know, unless Bedford were to surprise us and vote to loosen regs on its own.

The Editor


On Negotiating with Gangsters

Dear Editor:

In the movie “The Godfather,” Don Corleone useds a famous saying to get what he wanted from his adversaries; “Make him an offer he can’t refuse.” In the discussions to resolve the pending debt ceiling disaster, I suggest that President Biden use the opposite approach with Speaker McCarthy: Make him a reasonable offer he can’t accept.

President Biden could offer McCarthy a compromise where he would agree to existing spending cuts with the provision that for every dollar cut from spending, McCarthy would agree to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations by one dollar.

This is a reasonable proposal that would accomplish two goals; resolve the debt ceiling crisis, and lower the budget deficit and debt. I think the majority of Americans would see this compromise as fair and would support it. Unfortunately, Speaker McCarthy would not be hard pressed to accept such a reasonable proposal because he has allowed a very small extreme right-wing group of his caucus to take control over his ability to govern.

This proposal would be a win-win for President Biden and the nation. On the chance that McCarthy accepts the proposal the two goals would be achieved, and the tax increase would be owned by both parties. However, if McCarthy refuses to accept this proposal, the Republicans would be correctly seen as uncompromising obstructionists and be blamed for the devastation caused by a default. The only other option available to Biden is to invoke the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which may or may not be legally possible. Our financial and national security are at stake.

Rich DiPentima, LTC, USAFR, Ret.

Portsmouth, N.H.


A creative approach, but, as you say, McCarthy’s a hostage here, too. As we write this response, the entire matter is up in the air. The global economy is in the hands of a bunch of goobers who, in the words of our 36th President, “wouldn’t know how to pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were printed on the heel.”

Kind of makes you wonder if the much-vaunted Constitution is everything it’s cracked up to be.

The Editor


New UN Condemnation Against Spain For Repression Of Catalan Independence Movement

To the Editor:

On May 18, 2023, the UN Human Rights Committee condemned Spain for violating the political rights of Catalan President Carles Puigdemont when it suspended him as a deputy in 2018.

On October 1, 2017, Puigdemont’s government had held a referendum on Catalonia’s self-determination that received the attack of 10,000 Spanish police officers against voters. Despite the aggression, the referendum was held and had a result that, in the face of the Spanish government’s refusal to negotiate, led the Catalan Parliament to declare independence, but the people were not urged to defend it to avoid a bloodbath. The Spanish government reacted by illegally dismissing the Catalan government and imposing elections. The pro-independence parties won them and the Catalan Parliament decided to invest Puigdemont, who was in exile in Belgium to avoid being unjustly imprisoned, as were other members of his government, as President. But the Spanish Justice prevented his telematic investiture and suspended Puigdemont and other deputies.

The UN sentence condemns Spain for having violated Puigdemont’s right to exercise as a political representative, which constitutes “the essence of democratic government,” and for also violating the right of the citizens who had voted for him. In order not to humiliate Spain, the sentence has wanted to give him the reason in something and has not condemned the Spanish demand that Puigdemont had to be present at the investiture. [Note: We find the preceding sentence confusing. We have chosen not to tamper with it, though, and rely upon the context to get the general sense of it. – The Ed.] It is true that there is no right to be invested telematically, but it was the solution that the Catalan Parliament had found in the face of the evidence that he would be unjustly imprisoned if he returned to Barcelona, something that the sentence also recognizes.

The Committee gives Spain 180 days to take the necessary measures and disseminate the sentence. At the moment we have been able to observe that the Spanish press was hiding the news and that, from the Spanish government, the vice-president Nadia Calviño has rushed to lie, assuring that the sentence demands that Puigdemont must return to be judged before the Spanish Justice.

Precisely, on January 31, 2023, the EU Court of Justice ruled that a request for extradition of an exile can be rejected if the requested person belongs to an “objectively identifiable group” of persons whose rights are at risk of being violated. This paves the way for the judgments of the European Justice that will be published shortly where, most probably, they will conclude that the Spanish Justice has a systemic failure with respect to the “objectively identifiable group” formed by the Catalan pro-independence supporters.

Despite the fact that the political power of the EU looks the other way, the European Justice is revealing that there is a situation totally unworthy of the EU regarding how Spain faces, with antidemocratic methods, the problem with Catalonia. Spain has sent police to repress peaceful voters, abuses judicially suspending deputies and preventing free debate in the Parliament of Catalonia, catalogs non-violent protests as acts of rebellion and terrorism, imprisons politicians and peaceful activists, invents accusations through secret police groups that carry out illegal activities (case “Operation Catalonia”), spies illegally with Pegasus politicians, activists and lawyers (case “Catalan Gate”), dehumanizes the independence supporters using the media as a propaganda tool, … .

The European political power proposes that we solve this conflict by negotiating with Spain, but if these people suffered the abuses they are inflicting on us, they would understand that there is no basis for fair play that would allow real negotiations.

This abusive praxis comes from the bad faith rooted in Spain since its modern conformation (in 1714), when it chose to politically eliminate Catalonia and any trait of differentiated identity, with the sole purpose of keeping it subdued and draining it economically. That is why the military Baldomero Espartero in 1847, after bombarding Barcelona to quell a revolt, declared: “For the good of Spain, it is necessary to bombard Barcelona every 50 years,” something that has been happening regularly. It is not a conjunctural problem, it is a problem of origin. That is why we want our freedom and we will get it with or without the help of the EU.

Jordi Oriola Folch

Barcelona, Catalonia


We continue to follow this matter with considerable interest. Thank you for keeping us informed.

The Editor


Hey, Get Your Fresh-Picked, Low-Hanging Cherries Right Here

To the Editor:

The House of Representatives voted to raise the debt limit to address the bloated spending bill Democrats passed last December that exceeds our current legal debt limit. Our nation won’t default on our debt unless Senate Democrats and President Biden reject this bill and won’t negotiate something else.

The Feds collect about $350 billion monthly. That’s more than enough to pay for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans benefits, similar benefits, and interest on our debt, unless President Biden chooses to intentionally harm senior citizens, Veterans, poor people, and our country.

Months ago Speaker McCarthy requested meetings to avoid a debt crisis. Democrats refused to discuss a mutually acceptable debt limit increase plan to deal with the spending problem they caused.

The Debt Limit was increased three times under Trump, but only after Democrat demands to increase spending were addressed.

The House bill makes minor (too minor IMHO) reductions in future spending by cutting unnecessary items.

It removes funding Democrats provided to double the IRS to focus more on middle and lower income people who can’t afford high-priced tax advisors.

It removes funding from various pork projects. Wealthy families (up to $300,000) shouldn’t get $7,500 subsidies for electric cars. The Federal Government shouldn’t fund city parks or make 87 percent of taxpayers, mostly without college degrees, pay off student loans of typically more wealthy college graduates.

The House bill cuts spending to the 2022 level which was itself inflated due to the now finally ended pandemic.

Our nation’s $31.4 trillion debt already threatens our nation’s existence and the freedoms and prosperity of future Americans.

The House bill increases the debt limit to address the Democrat caused problem. Will the Democrats create a debt crisis just to reward their supporters? Maybe, we’ll see.

Don Ewing

Meredith, N.H.


We’d like to have a word with your optometrist; something tells us your vision is somewhat skewed.

Relatively inconsequential budget items prioritized by Democrats loom as huge threats.

Meanwhile enormous drains on the Treasury—tax cuts heaped on tax cuts—are apparently invisible.

Also, and pertinent to that latter point, either your gullibility is acting up again, or you’re trolling us. Do you expect us to believe that you believe your Republican cronies, who obviously want to gut the IRS, are looking out for the little guy?

A full 25 percent of the national debt was created during The Former Guy’s administration. Where were your concerns then?

The Editor


Alas, Oliver…

To the editor,

Because someone couldn’t be bothered to respect the speed limit on Newcastle Avenue, an entire neighborhood that was fond of him and someone who loved him dearly are without the companionship of a cat who, in the time allotted him, likely crossed that road safely a few thousand times. Rest in peace, Oliver.

John Simon

Portsmouth, N.H.

Dear John,

In your subject line, you raised the question of whether we publish “letters like this one”. Never having received such a letter before, we have no precedent on which to rely. We are left to judge this one on its own merits.

There is, however, an underlying principle which is relevant here. We do not feign impartiality when it comes to cats. We are pro-cat.

Dogs tend to indiscriminately fawn over their owners, in a way that, it seems to us, implies a certain craven neediness amongst their so-called owners.

Cats, on the other hand, through their aloofness, impose upon their human associates an awareness of their autonomy—allowing for certain dietary needs, &c., of course. Thus they embody, on a small scale, all the mysteries of the universe.

[Fish, we would argue, encased in their aqueous dungeons, are likely oblivious to their supposed owners’ existence. In this manner they provide an object lesson re: the universe’s indifference to our existence.]

So, yes, we will publish this letter—not just because we are pro-cat, but because the community has suffered a loss which merits recognition.

We never met Oliver, but we would have liked to. We regret that now we never shall.

Our sincere condolences to you, and to the neighborhood.

The Editor


What Do Republicans Really Care About?

To the Editor:

You can see which days members of the U.S. House of Representatives are scheduled to be in Washington, D.C. by looking at their Congressional calendar, which is posted by the House Majority Leader. This year they are scheduled to work 113 days in D.C. They take off all of August. There are approximately 260 weekdays in a year. Ten of them are Federal holidays. They are at work less than half the year and you, the taxpayer, pay to fly them home after any week they work.

I bring this up because the House Republicans threatened to make the country default on its debts if President Biden did not agree to kick the poor off the food stamp program if they did not work at least 80 hours in a month.

Eight hours a day times 113 days is 904 hours. Eighty hours a month times 12 months is 960 hours. The GOP is insisting the poor work more than they do.

If the GOP really cared about deficits, they would fire half of Congress and tell those remaining to work a full year for a full paycheck and not insist on starving the poor.

Walter Hamilton

Portsmouth N.H.


“If the GOP really cared about deficits… .”

What, we wonder, does the GOP really care about?

If they cared about deficits they’d rescind some tax cuts. Reagan’s, Bush’s, Trump’s—lord knows there are plenty to choose from.

If they cared about children’s vulnerability to sexual predators, they’d sure as hell be keeping a closer eye on each other—not to mention their preachers.

If they cared about their own constituents being shot, they’d tighten up regulations—as their constituents want them to do.

If they cared about the truth, they’d shut their yaps for a while.

If they cared about the country, they’d resign.

This is not to say that Republicans are completely nihilistic, though. There is only thing we can be sure they care about, and that is themselves.

The Editor


The Perennial Matter of the U.S.S. Liberty

Dear Editor:

Thank you for your comments on the U.S.S. Liberty, and for the followup…

Yes, the Israelis always claimed the attack on the USS Liberty was a case of “mistaken identity,” believing Liberty was the El Qusier (an Egyptian freighter) despite the fact (facts—those irksome, pesky, ever-present little devils) Liberty was flying a 13-foot long U.S. Flag (the holiday colors), the ship’s designation (GTR-5) was clearly printed on both sides of her bow, and U.S.S. Liberty was clearly printed across her stern. Also, the El Qusier was one-quarter the displacement of and looked nothing like the Liberty.

Fighter pilots are well-trained in ship identification. They have to be for obvious reasons. The Israelis lied, and they (and the United States) knew they lied and America (wrongly) has always accepted that lie.

Approximately a year ago a reporter for Al Jazeera (Shireen Abu Akleh) was killed by Israeli military personnel as she covered an Israeli raid on Jenin, a West Bank Palestinian refugee camp. Then Israeli police brutally attacked the pallbearers carrying Abu Akleh’s casket. Israel said it would investigate what happened but I have never been able to determine whether any investigation ever took place. History teaches us Israel has little interest in accountability.

David L. Snell

Franklin, N.C.


Our policy is this: as long as the truth is being suppressed, the attempted sinking of the U.S.S. Liberty remains newsworthy.

Since our last issue was published, we have spent some time with the U.S.S. Liberty Veterans Association Document Center—the URL for which is ridiculously long; better to Google it. Briefly, based on what we’ve found there, our working hypothesis at this point is this: Moshe Dayan ordered the attack, intending to put the Liberty on the bottom. The Israeli higher-ups were presented with a fait almost-accompli. Captain McGonagle and the crew performed a miracle—one which LBJ and the Pentagon found inconvenient. Maybe someday, if our workload eases up, we can present a more fleshed-out version.

As for the U.S. casting aspersions on Israel for lack of accountability, though, that’s a bridge too far. Who are we to cast the first stone?

The Editor


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