Thursday, January 05, 2006

Old News For A New Year

I don’t know how I missed this back in November but, apparently, the Washington DC City Paper did an “exposé” of the clandestine meetings of the Frederick Douglas Club of the CPUSA at the NEA cafeteria. I haven’t been able to read the entire article but the short excerpts are hilarious. I guess the great patriot Bob Novak picked up on it and made reference to the meetings as an obvious attempt to red bait the NEA. According to the NEA, their cafeteria is open to the public and is not screened. Since the right of free assembly is one of those pesky constitutional rights, Novak found it all rather nefarious. As I tracked the flow of the story around the Internet, the news seemed to appear on mostly wingnut and homes school blogs. The wingnuts found it all proof that the evil commies were secretly still planning to interrupt their lifestyle of greed and selfishness. You know, those foul concepts like health care for all, a living wage and various other un-American activities. The home schoolers all saw it as vindication of their views that the NEA and the public school system are out to make their rug rats all godless commies.

I thought the funniest part of all this was calling the CPUSA group a “cell.” If that doesn’t drag us all back to the early 1950’s, I don’t know what will. Just to let you all know, the CPUSA has “clubs” not cells. There is nothing secret about the activities that occur during a meeting. Usually, one consists of the study of Marx or planning fundraisers. Lately, since we have been blessed with the boy king GW, planning for anti-war demonstrations might go on also. I believe “cell” was a term coined to conjure up images of spies passing in the night, handing off national security secrets to each other.

If you ever have the chance to see “I Was A Communist For The FBI” please do. It is hysterically funny in that bad movie way. I caught it once on the Encore Mystery channel and wasn’t able to tape it. I keep hoping it will show up again or become available on DVD. It’s based on the “true” story of Matt Cvetic who went undercover for the FBI to infiltrate the Communist Party in Pittsburgh PA. I know a guy who lived through that period and was (is) a party member. Apparently, the great American hero, Cvetic, was paid for names that he turned over to the FBI. Since he was paid for quantity, he began to turn over lists of people who were just members of Serbian clubs or whatever. He also was an agitator. If he could instigate an incident at a strike, that would help show the Reds as running the unions and having a penchant for violence. Once it came out that you might be a Red, you usually lost your job, your family was harassed and I’ll bet Cvetic was responsible for more than one suicide. Nothing as special as a patriot for hire, eh?

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