Dem-ing down Lynch

Letters to the Boston editor, July 28, 2006
By EDITORIAL  |  July 26, 2006

While I am grateful for your coverage of Phil Dunkelbarger’s efforts to oust Stephen Lynch in the Ninth Congressional District (“Who’s the Real Dem?”) and would love to see a debate, it would take two — and the participation of more than the corporate slug Lynch.

Congressman Lynch has actively orchestrated jingoistic demonstrations supporting the war since its outset, and has been given broad television coverage of his visits to Iraq, where in three instances he reported that things were great and our troops had the best equipment. Each time there was simultaneous national TV exposure of poor equipment and food, and low morale. Surrounded by union goons, pet-vets, and a military-industrial-academic moderator at Curry College in February of this year, Congressman Lynch meekly allowed that “the reasons for the war were bogus.” Citizens of South Boston and our children were unaware of his appearance. Instead, poor children in South Boston and other communities, encouraged by Lynch and his cohorts to fight wars for rich men, experience lousy schools, rampant drug-and-alcohol abuse, and no jobs providing a living wage. However, the Liebercrat or Republicrat Stephen Lynch can point to a new National Guard recruiting station right next to the courthouse.

Tony Flaherty
South Boston

Oh really?
So. There are no local bands we “need to hear now”? You couldn’t think of a single one to include in your list? It is more important for me to hear a band that you breathlessly describe as, get ready, “summoning both Spoon and the Velvet Underground” (emphasis mine), than it is to hear any band in Boston?

Off the top of my head: Tunnel of Love, Squids, Neptune, UV Protection, Muffstache, Major Stars, Helms, Big Digits, Cassette, Ho-ag, Life Partners, and dozens more. Keep in mind that I am old and “out of touch” and it is not my job to be a tastemaker like you. I realize these bands might not have the budget to send you the best promo packets, or have the most MySpace friends, and I understand that you need to sell full-page color ads and generate hits to your Web site, but come now. Perhaps if you would close your Firefox browser for one night and step outside, you’d realize there’s a whole world besides Sasha Frere-Jones’s blog.

Without having heard Cold War Kids (let me guess: four white dudes), I can confidently assure you that any of the aforementioned bands blow them away both live and recorded.

Jef Czekaj

How to shun guns
In “The Guns of Boston," David Bernstein implies that by removing guns there will be less gun violence. Look to Washington, DC, and realize that this will not work. Firearms are not permitted in the city and yet it is affectionately labeled the murder capital of the world.

The real solution to the problem of handgun violence in Boston is to have a good look at Project Exile. Project Exile was an experiment started in Richmond, Virginia, led by the US attorney’s office with local, state, and federal support. Felony convictions had an extra five years added to the sentence if a firearm was used during a crime. It is as simple as that. But it must be enforced. The next step is to hold city leadership and the police force accountable to track down and prosecute these shooters. We can’t necessarily stop gang violence, but maybe we can encourage them to leave their guns behind.

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