Friday, July 2, 2010
I'm sure most of my readers have seen Mafia funerals depicted on "The Sopranos" or "The Godfather" movies.
The FBI is always there, photographing every dapper suited "don" and thuggish looking "soldier".
In its war against the Mafia, the FBI knows that funerals are a great opportunity to learn more about the Mob's "order of battle", hierachy and internal relationships.
Socialist funerals and memorial services can be a bit like that.
In politics, as in other forms of crime, you may be judged by the company you keep.
On March 13th 1998, Saul Mendelson, a lifelong socialist activist died in Chicago.
Mendelson had been a member of various Trotskyist factions in the 1930s and '40s before joining the US Socialist Party.
In 1958 Mendelson founded the Debs Dinner, an ongoing annual event and highpoint of the Chicago socialist calendar.
Over the years, the dinner has served as a focal point for Chicago's socialist, ex Trotskyist, ex-communist and left wing Democratic Party community.
In 1983, many of the Debs Dinner crowd helped form a new Marxist organisation-Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)
The Debs Dinner crowd/DSA, in conjunction with the Communist Party, helped elect Chicago's leftist Mayor Harold Washington in 1983, Carol Mosely Braun to the US Senate in 1992 and Barack Obama to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 and to the US Senate in 2004.
The same crowd continues to back Barack Obama in his current bid for the US presidency.
Saul Mendelson was a leader of the Chicago DSA and personally played a large role in the election of Harold Washington.
The Saul Mendelson Memorial Service was held on Sunday, March 29, 1998, at the First Unitarian Church, Chicago.
According to Chicago DSA leader, Carl Marx Shier (who addressed the gathering);
At the memorial service held at the 1st Unitarian Church on South Woodlawn, speaker after speaker recounted Saul's contributions.
The service was ably MC'd by a retired colleague, Bob Clark. I spoke first and was followed by Saul's friend Deborah Meier, a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient who is now starting a new school in Boston. Amy Isaacs, National Director of the ADA, spoke of what Saul had meant on foreign affairs to the ADA.
Other speakers included Senator Carol Moseley Braun, Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, State Senator Barak Obama, Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie and a good friend from New York, Myra Russell.
The concluding remarks were made by an old friend, Harriet Lefley, who is now Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami Medical School.
Deborah Meier was a former Trotsyist and Socialist Party comrade of Saul Mendelson's and a leader of Chicago and Boston DSA.
Amy Isaacs was national director of Americans for Democratic Action. In recent years ADA has been increasingly linked to DSA and the DSA initiated Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Carol Moseley Braun was then a US Senator with strong links to both DSA and the Communist Party. Barack Obama helped get her elected in 1992 and then took over her old Senate seat in 2004.
State Senator Barak Obama probably knew Saul Mendelson through his ties to the old communist/socialist infiltrated, Independent Voters of Illinois, in which Mendelson played a leading role.
Alderman Toni Preckwinkle and Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, are both leftist Democrats with ties to Chicago's socialist community. Both endorsed Barack Obama in his successful 2004 bid for the US Senate.
Harriet Lefley was a Trotskyist in the 1940s with Saul Mendelson.
Eulogies also came from Quinn Brisben, (Socialist Party presidential candidate 1976, 1992) and David McReynolds (Socialist Party presidential candidate 1980, 2000).
Both Brisben and McReynolds are also members of DSA.
Ten short years ago, Barack Obama was up to his ears in the Chicago socialist mafia.
Like the criminal mafia, the socialist version gets want it wants through fraud and other covert means. Deception and underhand political maneuvrings are the socialists stock in trade.
The US wouldn't want a president who had ties to the criminal mafia.
Why would they want a president with links to the socialist "mob"?