Friday, January 27, 2006

Re: Your Gag Rule...Times and Alito

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2006 2:44 PM
Subject: Your self-gag rule article

Your simplistic and blatant disregard for all reality amazes me, even
coming from a Liberal like yourself.

You imply that, because SCOTUS decided that candidates are not BARRED
CONSTITUTIONALY from stating certain opinions, that they are therefore
OBLIGATED to state them.

Such ludicrous pronouncements only bring disrepute on yourself, your party,
and your university.

You, sir, should be disbarred. I hope to see the day.


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2006 3:32 PM
Subject: Re: The Times And Alito.

Dear Dean Lawrence R. Velvel:

These song lyrics came out of my memory when reading your wonderful piece
"Re: The Times And Alito" today:

"I ain't gonna work for Maggie's pa no more.
No, I ain't gonna work for Maggie's pa no more.
Well, he puts his cigar
Out in your face just for kicks.
His bedroom window
It is made out of bricks.
The National Guard stands around his door.
Ah, I ain't gonna work for Maggie's pa no more."

"...I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.
No, I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.
Well, I try my best
To be just like I am,
But everybody wants you
To be just like them.
They sing while you slave and I just get bored.
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more."

Is it any wonder that many of us still cannot see the Democrats not as an
opposition party, but rather the Quisling party?

Kein mensch!

We need to elect human beings in 06. With work the Democrats may stand
someone with character for election in 2006.


L. Bruens

-------------- Original message ----------------------

From: "Dean Lawrence R. Velvel"
> January 26, 2006
> Re: The Times And Alito.
> From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel
> Dear Colleagues:
> A few days ago it was said here that The Times' news and editorial pages
> had performed very well during the Alito nomination, bringing to the public
> the information and ideas one needs. The few days since then have been rather
> peculiar, however.
> The Times editorial page has continued to oppose Alito in very strong
> editorials. Today, the editorial page even seemed unmistakably to call for
> a filibuster, although the editorial also seemed bathed in a tone of
> hopelessness, because of what the newspaper sees as Democrats' spinelessness. (The
> editorial is even entitled Senators in Need of a Spine.) But, regardless of its
> "bath tone," the editorial, i.e., the newspaper, plainly did call for a
> filibuster because Alito poses such a threat of helping to create a presidential
> dictatorship. (The phrase is mine, but the sentiment pervades The Times'
> editorial.)
> But while The Times' editorials come out four square against Alito, the
> news pages don't even cover what is going on. There is no story, absolutely no
> story, in today's news pages about it. A few days ago there likewise was
> virtually nothing in the news pages on the matter. Meanwhile, The Times' (I think
> wholly owned) subsidiary, The Boston Globe, does carry stories on its news pages.
> And when The Times' news pages do carry a story on the nomination, the paper
> never seems to miss a chance to say that Alito's confirmation is assured.
> (Indeed, while there is no news story in today's Times about the Alito nomination,
> a very long story on Bush's forthcoming State of the Union address contains a
> single sentence (on p. A18) that says the nomination was handled smoothly, and on
> the same page is a huge picture of Alito meeting with Republican Senators who,
> the caption says, "congratulated him on winning a recommendation of
> confirmation from the Senate Judiciary Committee.") The Times' constant refrain that
> confirmation is certain can only, of course, increase the chance that
> Democrats and conceivably even some potential Republicans will not filibuster or
> abstain from voting against a filibuster. Why should they filibuster or abstain
> from voting against one when the newspaper of record repeatedly assures them --
> makes a point of repeatedly telling them -- that such action would be hopeless
> because confirmation is assured. And nowhere on the news pages, of course, does
> one find significant information, or even any information, about the efforts of
> people who are trying to encourage a filibuster. (Obviously, the people who make
> news judgements for The Times think that a huge picture -- what the
> accompanying caption conceded was "a photo opportunity" -- of Alito meeting with
> congratulatory Republican Senators is more important than information
> about efforts of those who might be against the nomination.
> No, all that news pages say is that Democrats will try to use the Alito
> nomination to win more seats in the 2006 election. Excuse my French, but
> what
> bullshit. What absolute bullshit. If Alito proves to be what The Times
> editorial
> page thinks he is (as do many of us) -- if he proves to be a guy who will
> support the efforts of his nominating "president whose grandiose vision of
> his
> own powers threatens to undermine the nation's basic philosophy of
> government"
> while the "Senate . . . seems eager to cooperate by rolling over and
> playing
> dead," if he supports the views of a president of whom Bob Herbert today
> correctly said (while recounting some of his terrible actions) that "His
> breathtaking arrogance is exceeded only by his incompetence. And that's
> the real
> problem. That's where you'll find the mind-boggling destructiveness of
> this
> regime, in its incompetence" -- if Alito proves, as threatened, to support
> the
> actions of these dangerous and incompetent clowns in the Administration
> from
> Bush on down, then all the hoped for Democratic gains of 2006 -- even if
> they
> were to occur despite the fact that many persons will refuse to give
> otherwise
> available support to the Democrats because of extreme distaste for the
> Democrats' obvious cowardice -- all the hoped for Democrat gains of 2006
> will
> not make one goddamned bit of difference. Legislators have never made a
> difference to executives who have successfully asserted dictatorial power.
> Not
> in Germany, not in Iraq, not in the Soviet Union, not anywhere. The
> Democrats
> are just peddling bullshit because they have no guts. And no principle.
> And
> don't, underneath it all, really give enough of a damn about the country
> if
> faced with the possibility that there are voters who would dislike them
> for a
> stand on principle. For the Democrats, the gutlessness, lack of principle
> and
> caring not a damn about the country is Viet Nam redux during the time that
> Lyndon Johnson was president.
> Meanwhile, The Times, like The Wall Street Journal, seems to have
> developed a
> case, albeit a lesser case, of journalistic schizophrenia as between its
> news
> pages and its editorial pages. Far worse than this schizophrenia, however,
> is
> that once again, this time by the silence and one-sidedness of its news
> pages,
> The Times will have helped to allow a disaster to occur. Its refusal to
> carry
> stories it knew of during World War II about the destruction of the Jews,
> its
> failure to write about the forthcoming Bay of Pigs invasion, which it knew
> about
> in advance, its failure to question the Bush claims about weapons of mass
> destruction before the Iraq war, the associated Judith Miller fiasco, its
> one
> year delay in reporting the current electronic eavesdropping story -- a
> delay
> that one can think, given the currently unknown timing of the paper's
> original
> knowledge, may have enabled George Bush to be reelected -- and now the
> failure
> of its news pages to say virtually anything about Alito or to cover the
> efforts
> of those who still seek to fight his nomination via filibuster -- all this
> shows
> that The Times continues to have much to answer for in the court of
> history. Its
> answerability, incidentally, does not exclude an explanation of the
> reasons why
> Bill Keller and Arthur Sulzberger, who is increasingly revealed as only a
> product of nepotism, continue to head the paper even though they have
> presided
> over so much screwing up. Again forgive the French, but if it were Howell
> Raines, you can bet that he would have been out on his ass a long time
> ago.*
> *This posting represents the personal views of Lawrence R. Velvel. If
> you
> wish to respond to this email/blog, please email your response to me at
> Your response may be posted on the blog if you have no
> objection; please tell me if you do object.

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