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Times Editor Chris Lopez's weblog





Friday, July 08, 2005

Rehnquist update

The latest advisories say that Chief Justice Rehnquist and President Bush could make an announcement of his retirement on Monday. News organizations have been buzzing throughout the day in anticipation of this news. There is no confirmed factual part of this, but guesses based on conversations and activity. A story only develops if Rehnquist makes an announcement. For now, we anticipate and plan on how to handle the news when and if it happens.

8 Comments:

Blogger ContraCostaTimesWatch said...

Good morning Mr. Lopez.

We think that it's about time that the CC Times be forced to confront it political bias.

Towards that end we have created ContraCostaTimesWatch to monitor what passes for news in the CC Times.

The game is afoot!

9:06 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Hi, Chris,

As I told you before, I think The Times does all it can to be balanced. You'll never please everyone. You can merely publish the truth, nothing more, nothing less.

Saturday's Forum was about the recent ruling by The Supreme Court on the displaying of The Ten Commandments.

Since it concerned The Supreme Court, I don't find my following comment inappropriate for this subject matter.

In Saturday’s “Forum”, one of the contributors, Sharon Arata, wrote, “In malignant contrast, ACLU founder Roger Baldwin proclaims that ‘Communism is the goal’”.

Yes, Mr. Baldwin used those words in a sentence and, although Ms Arata misquotes Baldwin by enclosing words in quotation marks unlike they appear in the quote, she doesn’t take Balwin out of context.

The quote was, “I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is, of course, the goal.”

So, very technically, she shoud have written, “Communism is,…,the goal”, indicating that she left words out.

She did, indeed, leave words out. She left out, “I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth.”

I guess anyone, left, right, north, south, can "twist" the truth, can't they?

It’s obvious that Baldwin was not speaking about what we called The Soviet Union or what we call China or Cuba. Mr. Baldwin was referring to the what the “perfect” society may look like. He was speaking of communism, with a small “c”.

Mr. Baldwin also said, “So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we'll be called a democracy” and “I regard the principle of conscription of life as a flat contradiction of all our cherished ideals of individual freedom, democratic liberty and Christian teaching. . . . I cannot consistently, with self respect, do other than I have, namely, to deliberately violate an act which seems to me to be a denial of everything which ideally and in practice I hold sacred.”

I don’t think that you’d find too many people in The Soviet Union or in present day China talking about fighting for democracy or Christian teaching.

We have bastardized the word “communism”. As I’m sure you know, in a true communist environment, the only guide to governance would be “to each according to his need, from each according to his ability”.

There never has been and will never be a “communist government”. In fact, “communist government” is almost an oxymoron. Communism, in its pure state, means total empowerment of every single individual.

I don’t know what Baldwin thought about the possibility of a communist environment existing on a national scale, but I’m certain that it could never exist in groups above 10 or so. Why not? A six letter word could be used to answer that – people. Everyone thinks that he or she is the hardest worker, the most intelligent person, the most deserving. Our capitalist society has taught people that competition is healthy and, in a free enterprise system, the strong will survive. Of course, the strong will ultimately “deserve” more, not just what they “need”.

Ms Arata uses the word “malignant” to describe Baldwin’s quote.

Dictionary.com defines malignant as
1.“Showing great malevolence; disposed to do evil
2.“Highly injurious; pernicious”

If we look at the ratio of income between CEOs and those who produce products for CEOs, we find that it’s anywhere from 300 to 1 to 400 to 1 in favor of CEOs. There’s no doubt here that the strong did survive.

What have the “strong” done with their success?

They’ve supported legislation that would make it easy for them to send jobs to nations which pay “slave labor” wages and put Americans out on the street.

They’ve off shored their businesses to avoid paying taxes, an act which supports our military, our police and fire fighters, our teachers and helps Americans in so many ways.

They’ve basically closed the door to The American Dream to anyone who is not as wealthy as they are while continuing to enjoy increases in income which is more than anyone could ever need.

Even when they’re fired, as Mike Parker of Dow Chemical was, for performing poorly, they receive severence packages worth more than any “worker” in the system could ever hope to earn in an entire career.

I think there’s something to be said about seeking “the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth.”

I think if we were to ask people of middle America what a successful society looks like, it would resemble Mr. Baldwin’s description a whole lot more that a description which says a successful society is a society in which I, then my kids and grandkids can not work because corporate America has decided to shut down sites in the US in order to take advantage of the deplorable working conditions and lax safety and environmental regulations in the third world.

I think that they would say that they wanted to be paid for their true worth and that they shouldn’t have to be paid “working poor” wages so that CEOs and top executives can rake in millions and millions of dollars.

I think they would say that they wanted to be protected, but otherwise left alone by any facet of government. They would not want to be forced to assume the religious or philosophical beliefs of their government.

The mission statement of the ACLU is:

“to preserve all of these protections and guarantees:
•Your First Amendment rights-freedom of speech, association and assembly. Freedom of the press, and freedom of religion supported by the strict separation of church and state.
•Your right to equal protection under the law - equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.
•Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.
•Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.”

I don’t know about you, Chris, but I want someone who wants to protect these rights for me on my side. It appears very much as if The ACLU had The Constitution of The United States in mind when they developed their mission statement.

There very well may come a time when Ms Arata will want one of these constitutional protections enforced on her behalf. Until then, she, as well as those that display the letters “ACLU”, with the “C” in the form of a hammer and sickle can, mistakenly, believe that the agenda of the ACLU is world domination and the stripping, not the protection, of individual rights and can throw the word “communism” out to create fear ala Joe McCarthy.

I know you cannot vet everything that goes into The Times, but it’s very sad when something so blatantly oversimplified as part of Baldwin’s quote was can stand unchallenged and possibly validate unwarranted ideas that people may have or, even worse, that people may be developing.

In the final analysis, of course, I defend Ms Arata's right to publish whatever she wants to publish. I defend her first amendment right.

However, as I said above, anyone can "twist" the truth for a myriad of reasons, one of which is to create fear.

To friendship,
Michael

3:10 PM  
Blogger ContraCostaTimesWatch said...

You must be trolling for the CC Times' multicultural poster child of the year, what incredible rubbish.

3:37 PM  
Blogger neonormal said...

Michael,

Your screed is too long and rambling for a blog post. Please learn the format. You might want to ask Al Gore, after all he invented it. Heck, he may have invented the ACLU for that matter.


The ACLU was founded by communists to put forth their agenda which at the time of its inception included the spread of communism.

Michael, I will ask you the same question I ask all supporters of the ACLU:

At what time did the ACLU stop prommoting the spread of communism? I want a date, or something specific.

You, like the rest of the ACLU types, will surely skirt the question as slick as Micahel Dukakis refused to acknowledge he was a liberal.

What is it about the modern left that they are so afraid or ashamed to admit what they are? Even Sen Clinton hides from her liberalism.

Saying the ACLU is going to protect the US Constitution is laughable if it weren't so frightening.

I only hope you and your types would acknowledge what you are.

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9:36 AM  

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