Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Reasons for This Web Log

Dear Colleague:

For over three decades I have watched with dismay as the media fail to expeditiously grasp, much less care about, important points that seem perfectly clear. Equally dismaying has been the politicians’ deliberate tactic of obfuscating matters instead of clarifying them, and the dishonesty, lying, spin and cheating which have become prevalent in American society. Rather than continue to watch all of this in silent dismay, I have created a blog (i.e., a Web log) on which numerous of these kinds of matters will be discussed. In addition to setting forth my own views, the blog will be open to the sensibly expressed, reasonable views of others as well. The address of the blog is

My own views on the topics discussed on the blog will usually range from liberal to middle of the road, although a few of my opinions may be considered conservative by people on the far left. The blog will focus on, among other subjects, American wars, our penchant for trying to solve one problem after another by military action, foreign affairs, the powers of Congress, Congressional irresponsibility, Executive usurpation, freedom of speech, the lessons of American history, political machinations at the national level, higher education generally, legal education, reasons for the failure to provide education to minorities, the failures and incompetence of the media, failures of the judiciary, methods by which reasonable, decent people are excluded from politics, and the existing milieu in which success is achieved not through hard work, competence, accomplishment and at least some concern for others, but by dishonesty, cheating, playing the game the company way regardless of how venal that may be, caring about oneself alone, celebrification, and talking a big game regardless of results.

The first items which have been posted on the blog relate to the possibility that knowledge of, and deliberate lack of concern for the abuses at, Abu Ghraib went right up to the Oval Office, the all-too-logical possibility that various of the abuses at Abu Ghraib could have taken place at Guantanamo as well, and the now-known fact, and the military and political consequences of the now-known fact, that the guerrilla war in Iraq was planned by Saddam’s people before we even invaded that country. Upcoming postings will include discussions of the unpalatable fact that our history can lead one to believe that America has regularly sought war since 1945, and a discussion of the failure of affirmative action in law schools, where there has been a decline in the number and percentage of African Americans in recent years. This decline is a fact not disclosed to the Supreme Court, as far as I know, when legal groups of one kind or another were arguing to the Court in the Michigan Law School case that affirmative action was essential to create diversity in law schools. (This last point, it seems to me, relates not just to legal education and affirmative action, but also to the now prevalent practice of dishonesty by omission of important facts.)

I hope you will take a look at the new blog and, if and when the spirit moves you, will contribute to it as well. Especially if people of intelligence contribute to it, perhaps it ultimately will have a chance to help further the public dialogue about important subjects.

Sincerely yours,

Lawrence R. Velvel
Dean, Massachusetts School of Law

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