Monday, October 27, 2008


I always try to see things from all angles. I might dismiss the other views at some point, but I try to look at them.

So try to look at this from both sides.

I was thinking about this date in history in 1659

October 27, 1659, William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson, two Quakers who left England in 1656 to escape religious persecution, were executed in the Massachusetts Bay Colony for their outlawed religious beliefs.

For years I have heard the comparison between Republicans and the Puritans or the Pilgrims. In that all three groups held conservative views, that is a valid comparison.

But the rigid views and the intolerance of dissenting views of the Pilgrims and Puritans correspond with the attitudes and actions of the DNC in my opinion.

Now this is not to say that the RNC is some warm fuzzy hub of tolerence. This is not to say the democrats (small "d") are intolerent.

I am saying that the DNC as an organization, and their operatives, active in America today are more guilty of supressing other view points than anyone I know.

This whole "Fairness Doctrine" should chill you.

The actions of the Obama campaign in Mississippi should chill you.

I have said things in this blog that commenters and emailers have disagreed with...that's fine.
But I have also had this blog locked up for over 48 hours by people who simply wanted to violate my right to express my opinion.

Most Republicans I know......small and capital "R" share my attitude. If Huffpo talks nonsense or is offensive, I note it and move on. If it is really offensive or nonsensical, I ignore it. They have the absolute right to spout nonsense in expressing their opinion, that right is inviolate. I would support that right with everything I have. While of course explaining why they are wrong or stupid or disgusting, lol.

I have seen the Democrats try to prevent speech they do not like.

Prevent? Prevent the free exchange of ideas? Prevent Americans from expressing their opinions? Heaven help us.

And my favorite irony about this is that the very people who will talk about the Fairness Doctrine, are the same people who will get choked up about enemy combatants in GITMO being forced to listen to Britney Spears.

Marmaduke Stephenson and William Robinson paid with their lives for not conforming. Don't take your freedoms for granted, be vigilant.


Stella said...

I have seen the Democrats try to prevent speech they do not like. Prevent? Prevent the free exchange of ideas? Prevent Americans from expressing their opinions? Heaven help us.

Come on, Maggie, you know that knife cuts both ways. You know what a strong First Amendment supporter I am. As you wisely said, you can't learn anything in an echo chamber. Fanaticism is a dangerous weapon no matter what side of the fence you sit.

As a staunch liberal, our exchange of ideas has been enlightening and stimulating. I sense we both value the democratic spirit of dissent. We both look at free speech from both sides.

The Bush Administration did a stand up job of preventing free exchange of ideas; the most disgusting of which is refusing the media to film the coffins coming home from Iraq. Their lies over the past eight years, particularly in presenting the free exchange of ideas, chills me.

Individual expression is democratic; group expression is usually fanatic. Wiki puts it simply: The Fairness Doctrine had two basic elements: It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters.... The Fairness Doctrine has been strongly opposed by prominent libertarians and conservatives who view it as an attempt to regulate or mandate certain types of speech on the airwaves.

Why do you consider the Fairness Doctrine "chilling"? The Fairness Doctrine should present both sides of an issue. The policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission that became known as the "Fairness Doctrine" is an attempt to ensure that all coverage of controversial issues by a broadcast station be balanced and fair.

I would say the problem here is that media outlets are assuming conservative or liberal slants, depending on the outlet; i.e., Fox vs. MSNBC. Both stations should present fair and balanced reporting.

BostonMaggie said...

I am sorry, I do not know that. I don not believe that knife cuts both ways. I do not see where the Bush administration supressed free speech.

You example of this administration not allowing coffins to be filmed or photographed is misguided.

The majority of military families consider that an invasion of privacy.

I have never been in that situation and pray I never am, but I can not imagine the pain of seeing my loved one's coffin on the front page of the NYT.

The American people have no *right* to see those pictures. If an individual family wants to share that with the public that is their choice. However, as an institution the Pentagon does not allow that. The men and women in the Pentagon who feel that way were by and large in similar positions under that Clinton administration and will by and large be present in the next administration and I promise you that they will not approve of such an assault on the dignity of their fellow military members.

I know there is no right to privacy once you are dead, but this is something that the Pentagon feels they can protect the survivors families from and I applaud it.

Also, from another angle, those pics should not be published because they embolden and encourage the enemies of America.

This is another case where people incorrectly blame Bush and ascribe motives to him with no basis in fact. People assume that it was something Bush did on his own because the press is screaming it's his fault. After all, most Americans don't know military familes and the NYT and their ilk aren't going to give their readers the opposing view.

The press has a right to report the news but that is not to say they have carte blanche to go everywhere and write about anything. Like any right it only extends up to the line where other people's rights begin. There are checks and balances.

Of course the press is going to agitate to get everything. Of course the press is going to howl if anyone tries to stop them from going everywhere. I understand that and I actually respect it. But sometimes there is a line you can't cross.

No one person or one institution has a supreme right to everything they want. No one person or institution's rights trump the rights of others.

Although I must say as an aside in this discussion about rights, that on the coffin question in particular I find anyone who wants the right to photgraph and publish those pics to be a vile person.

I'll defend their right to ask or try or whatever. But it's disgusting.

BostonMaggie said...

I love how people think if you throw the word *fairness* up, it means the idea itself is fair.

As they say in Texas, "You can put kittens in an oven....doesn't make them biscuits". I know, it's a disgusting saying, but it makes the point I am aiming for.

In my opinion the push by certain politicians for the revival of the "Fairness Doctrine" is merely an attempt to supress conservative talk radio. Look at who backs it - Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin and John Kerry. Three politicians who took an incredible beating from talk radio.

Talk radio is by and large conservative. Ask yourself why? My answer is - in a capitalist society, that's where the money is. The majority of listeners want to hear these pundits. Those are the shows that they patronize, so wise station managers who want to make money respond by airing those shows.

This was most clearly illustrated by the failed Air America. When Air America was conceived, some people said that Americans wanted a more liberal option to conservative talk radio. That if only it was available to them they would listen to it.

Well we know how that worked out, don't we?

Now because the majority of American have no interest in listening to Randi Rhodes, I stand to lose people I like to listen to.

You know, life isn't fair, lol. Didn't your mother ever tell you that? Some kids get picked last for the team. Randi Rhodes stunk and so she's gone.

Because the bulk of Boston radio listeners prefer Howie Carr and Michael Graham to Randi Rhodes, we are going to be punished. The "Fairness Doctrine" is going to say to WRKO and WTKK - "Even though no one wanted to listen to such views at Air America...and even though you are in business to make money.....and even though these station air plenty of public service ads.....and even though both Carr and Graham welcome opposing viewpoints on their shows....we are going to make you, the managers of these stations take valuable airtime and put on unpopular shows that no one wants."

Don't you see? No one will listen. In the end the only impact of the Fairness Doctrine will be to aggravate listeners and drive them off to sports radio or music channels. Managers will lose revenue and some stations will fold.

How is that fair? How did that assist anyone? Who's free speech was protected?

And this whole idea completely ignores the fact that there is excellent access to incredibly liberal viewpoints on National Public Radio. NPR runs the gamut from moderately liberal to incredibly extreme liberal. It's all right there on your dial, easily accessed.

If you want me to believe that the only aim of the "Fairness Doctrine" is to be fair.....then you add up all the hours MSLSD gives Chris Matthews, Oblermann and Maddow and make them give equal time to conservative hosts. Then go over and do it at CNN. Then I want equal time for conservatives opposite that insipid Katie Couric. Although the opposite of Katie Couric would be *smart* not *conservative*.

No one is surpressing liberal speech on the radio simply can't hold it's own. No one is interested.

What is wrong with an industry giving a consumer what they want. Where is my right to choose what I want to listen to? If you make it unprofitable for WRKO to air Howie Carr and he's gone, I lose. Is this like when you would fight with a sibling over a toy and your mother would say "Fine, I'm taking it, now no one gets it!"???

Besides this has nothing to do with fairness. John Kerry just wants talk radio to stop exposing him for the imbecile he is.

Here in Boston recently the DOJ ruled that Secretary of State Galvin had violated election laws in not getting ballots to military persons serving overseas. Michael Graham railed against this. Everyone who called in was all steamed up. They called Galvin's office to complain. What was Galvin's reaction? After all the DOJ has decided he was guilty, not Michael Graham. There had been a full investigation.

Galvin's answer was to threaten to call the FCC to complain about Michael Graham. Galvin wanted Graham punished for reading the DOJ decision on the air. He wanted Graham punished for expressing his opinion and allowing a forum for others to express themselves in.

Is that fair?

The Democratic led congress has no interest in fairness, they are simply trying to stifle their critics.

Currently, Real Clear Politics shows President Bush's approval rating at 26.5%. However, Pelosi and Reid's Congress enjoys a 16% approval rating. I almost never hear about that in the MSM. But you hear it on talk radio! Oh boy, do you hear it on talk radio.

So forgive me if I find it more than coincidental that the media outlet most critical of Pelosi, Reid, Kerry and Durbin is the one media outlet that they think needs to be whacked with the Fairness CLUB.

You know you can't level every playing field. No driver's licenses for blind people either.

BostonMaggie said...

Oh and by the way.....if Bush-Cheney-Halliburton is stifling all this free come that silly "Bushlies" website is up and running?


Stella said...

I have so many responses after all your comments, I don't know where to start! Hope we're still talking after this...

I find anyone who wants the right to photograph and publish those pics to be a vile person or perhaps ghoulish. I absolutely see your point about a military family's request for privacy. In White House opposes military coffin photos: President Bush considers the release of photographs of flag-draped military coffins a reminder of the fallen troops' sacrifice but believes family privacy should be respected, the White House said Friday.

However, I do not believe Bush cares about our troops. Any president who could deplete the veterans' benefits budget for six years in a row is not a staunch supporter of the military. Perhaps Bush was more concerned with the public being kept ignorant about our soldiers dying in war.

I am still disgusted by the conditions at Walter Reed. Our soldiers should not have come home to roach-infested hospitals. During a war, our primary consideration should be our troops. I can’t imagine us disagreeing on this point.

I understand that both Clinton and Bush had the opportunity to attack bin Laden. In a non-partisan comment, I must confess don't understand why something wasn't done sooner. We had ample warning in 1993 on President Bush I's watch, as well as during Clinton's.

What I would like to know is how could we agree on where that line is for the press? There are some areas that I consider crossing the line, too. But if we refuse the press in one area, will free speech become terminated for another issue? And how much of our freedom of speech will we lose?

(Frankly, I think people are more interested in Paris Hilton than politics.)

Preventing Freedom of Speech is a slippery slope: how do we determine the difference between our freedom and invasion of a person's privacy? However, the media in the '40s never filmed FDR in his wheelchair to respect his privacy. I do agree with what they did, but 21st Century media is far different, as we both know.

Of course, just saying an issue is "fair" does not make it fair. You are absolutely right. The Fairness Doctrine was introduced in 1949, and I can assure you that media was far different then. Simply put, media was constrained to broadcast opposing sides. That is certainly fair. Nancy Pelosi, et. al. had nothing to do with creating this doctrine.

Before Reagan deregulated media, the FCC constrained each company to have only one AM, one FM, and one TV station in each market. After deregulation, media became owned by multinational conglomerates. Accordingly, the Fairness Doctrine no longer provided enough venues for opposite sides to debate issues.

Please don't associate me with Nancy Pelosi: I do not support her. She could have stood up to Bush and her constituents, and didn't. You can put kittens in an oven....doesn't make them biscuits. Oh, those Texans have such picturesque sayings. I personally like (please associate me with her) Gov. Ann Richards' (RIP) saying about Bush I: Poor George. He can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth. And then there was All hat, no cattle to the Bushes, as they are really from Connecticut on not Texans. Hey, have you heard this one? There's an old saying in Tennessee—I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again. (LOL2U2!)

In Los Angeles, we still have one—and only one—liberal option: KTLK 1150. The station still broadcasts air personalities from
Air America. Stephanie Miller is hugely popular in morning drive.

Hey, I call foul: have I ever called you a Dittohead or Doughboy follower? Randi Rhodes does not suck: she rocks. She's witty, intelligent, and still on the air. I admit that MSNBC doesn a decent job with fairness in presenting both sides. Dr. Rachel Maddow came from Air America and now hosts her own talk show on MSNBC—briliantly. Keith Olberman's ratings are skyrocketing. MSNBC has done a decent job keeping a fair balance between liberal and conservative views.

Now this is amusing. I consider CNN a conservative station. You don't? What is liberal about CNN? Lou Dobbs is extremely conservative. CNN certainly balances out MSNBC.

Oh, absolutely, Katie Couric is insipid: the opposite of Katie Couric would be *smart* not *conservative*. Perhaps the opposite of Katie Couric would not be *smart* but *liberal*? I don't like bland talking heads, either.

CSPAN is the most non-partisan station of all: both of us can agree on that. Fox is 24-hours-a-day conservative. As you said, there are plenty of conservative talk show hosts out there. These examples even out liberal and conservative media coverage.

There are many people listening to liberal media. May I remind you of Democracy Now!, which airs in 300 markets? And, yes, there's NPR. Bush has cut funds for NPR for the last eight years. I'd say there's an increasing large audience for liberal media.

People often don't listen to talk radio because they prefer listening to music in the morning. As someone who worked in radio for many years, I can tell you that neither liberal nor conservative talk shows commonly rate highly in any market. Talk shows are an acquired taste.

As concerns, perhaps you haven't read the post Post War Findings About Iraq's WMD Programs and Links with Terrorism and How They Compare to Pre-War Assessment.

If you review this document, you will find the publication was issued by the Senate Judiciary Committee: The Committee concluded that most of the major key judgments in the Intelligence Community's...(NIE)...either overstated or were not supported by the underlying intelligence reporting. A series of failures, particularly in analytic tradecraft, led to the mischaracterization of intelligence."

... if Bush-Cheney-Halliburton is stifling all this free speech... If Free Speech is stifled, do we know what they're stifling? Browse the site. Read the 2006 Intelligence Committee report summary on the main page.

In the interests of fairness, I found this Geocities post, Reconsidering Iraq: Reflections & Reservations from a Conservative Perspective, which may (or may not...) interest you. I know, Geocities is not the best place to find credible news, but found some good quotes on this site.

I think I'm blogged out. And you know I think you are awesome, Maggie. I'm probably all over the place on this comment, but hope my rant will fit together eventually. Be well, take care, and thank you for continually forcing me to consider my perspectives.

Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate.
~~Hubert Horatio Humphrey

BostonMaggie said...

OK, we'll take this in pieces

First - You felt that Bush keeping flag draped, military coffins from being photographed was stifling free speech. I feel it's respect, I said it's Pentagon policy not to. Now your response is in part -
".....In White House opposes military coffin photos: President Bush considers the release of photographs of flag-draped military coffins a reminder of the fallen troops' sacrifice but believes family privacy should be respected, the White House said Friday."

Now read the second paragraph of the very article you cite.

"Pentagon officials said the photos, issued last week and posted on an Internet site, should not have been made public under a policy prohibiting media coverage of human remains."

It was Pentagon policy predating "W" and it will be policy after "W".....unless some misguided future POTUS changes it.

OK....onto the next.

Stella said...

I'm thinking here of all the televised news during Viet Nam. The country knew what was going on in the war. In this one, I don't feel the public is being informed. So, this is a Pentagon policy? I assume this came into effect after Viet Nam.

Good catch. I must be more careful around you. What did I write about you? Ah, yes, "She does not suffer fools gladly."

I would recommend Stephanie Miller to you, though. She's terrifically funny.