"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."
Everyone, but conservatives who seem to suffer from terminal martyrdom syndrome knows that the New York Times was at least lackadaisical and at times unquestioning cheerleaders of the Bush administrations multitude of lies that landed us in an unnecessary war.Thomas Jefferson in 1787 wrote, "The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." NYT certainly let the nation down when it did not live up to what Jefferson saw as the media's obligation to inform the people so that we could make decisions based on things other then what any administration feeds to the public. With the NSA revelation and the new banking transactions surveillance NYT has started to step up to the plate and fulfill its role as the people's watchdog. It seems that for the umpteenth time the far right fringe does not think that citizens have the right to be informed about what to many seems like more unchecked unitary authority used in another heavy handed manner by the Bush administration. This program may be legal, it may be useful, but leave it to the conservative chicken-littles to swear that the revelation that the program even exists is a call for hanging.
Bill Keller, the executive editor of The Times, has sent to readers who have written him about The Times's publication of information about the government's examination of international banking records:
It's an unusual and powerful thing, this freedom that our founders gave to the press. Who are the editors of The New York Times (or the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and other publications that also ran the banking story) to disregard the wishes of the President and his appointees? And yet the people who invented this country saw an aggressive, independent press as a protective measure against the abuse of power in a democracy, and an essential ingredient for self-government. They rejected the idea that it is wise, or patriotic, to always take the President at his word, or to surrender to the government important decisions about what to publish.
Don't make any mistake about it, this is exactly what the wing-nut zealots are calling for, that all news must pass inspection by the government. What do we hear everyday from these same people; that radical Islamism is a threat to our freedoms. The great and Grand Pooh-pah of Hypocrisy is surely growing fat as he feeds from the far right, who for the last six years has done more to limit our essential freedoms and weaken our country then the most radical Muslim terrorist. For years big gov'ment was the root of all evil and now suddenly big gov'ment cannot only do no wrong, but to even question it is unpatriotic. This isn't the new patriotism this is patriotism lifted directly out of the old Soviet Politburo and just about every despotic regime that has ever existed. Justice William O. Douglas, concurring in New York Times v. United States (1971),
These disclosures may have a serious impact. But that is no basis for sanctioning a previous restraint on the press. . . . The dominant purpose of the First Amendment was to prohibit the widespread practice of governmental suppression of embarrassing information. A debate of large proportions goes on in the Nation over our posture in Vietnam. Open debate and discussion of public issues are vital to our national health.
Conservatives see democracy, and this is nothing new, as a hindrance to power and control. Justice Potter Stewart, on the role of a free press (1975),
The Free Press guarantee is, in essence, a structural provision of the Constitution. Most of the other provisions in the Bill of Rights protect specific liberties or specific rights of individuals. . . . In contrast, the Free Press Clause extends protection to an institution.
Conservatives are all too often free press proponents in the way that they are sunshine patriots like Bush and Cheney, they are pro free press when it suits their purposes, when they own the press, when the press kindly regurgitates what they're told. We the people, and one has to realize that inside the elimnationist mind of the conservative that they are the only people, we may never even be given the opportunity to decide whether this newest program is legal, just like the NSA program because the courts will never be allowed to review it,
While some experts familiar with the program have doubts about its legality, which has never been tested in the courts, and while some bank officials worry that a temporary program has taken on an air of permanence, we cited considerable evidence that the program helps catch and prosecute financers of terror, and we have not identified any serious abuses of privacy so far. A reasonable person, informed about this program, might well decide to applaud it. That said, we hesitate to preempt the role of legislators and courts, and ultimately the electorate, which cannot consider a program if they don't know about it.
Here we go again. Its the trust us school of government, a government of men. Sorry that form of government is not in my constitution. My government is a government of laws. How many rights does the conservative juggernaut get to trample on before we're utterly completely safe or we have no rights in the name of the holy shrine of national security. You have to give conservatives credit, they are the busy little dung beetles, when they're not using the constitution to line the bird cage they're out selling favors like some kind of Wall Street prostitute, E-mails detail effort inside DeLay office to help Abramoff
"Do you think you could call that friend and set up a meeting," then-DeLay staffer Tony Rudy wrote to fellow House aide Thomas Pyle in a Dec. 29, 2000, e-mail titled "Gale Norton-Interior Secretary." President Bush had nominated Norton to the post the day before.
Rudy wrote Abramoff that same day promising he had "good news" about securing a meeting with Norton, forwarding information about the environmental group Norton had founded, according to e-mails obtained by investigators and reviewed by The Associated Press. Rudy's message to Abramoff was sent from Congress' official e-mail system.
Within months, Abramoff clients donated heavily to the Norton-founded group and to DeLay's personal charity. The Coushatta Indian tribe, for instance, wrote checks in March 2001 for
Some people are trying to rescue the art of irony and I wish them well, Premature Anti-Blogofascism. Personally I choose not to hate TNR, I will just ignore them until they start to to write something worth reading.
I have heard it asserted by some, that as America hath flourished under her former connexion with Great-Britain, that the same connexion is necessary towards her future happiness, and will always have the same effect. Nothing can be more fallacious than this kind of argument. We may as well assert that because a child has thrived upon milk, that it is never to have meat, or that the first twenty years of our lives is to become a precedent for the next twenty. But even this is admitting more than is true, for I answer roundly, that America would have flourished as much, and probably much more, had no European power had any thing to do with her. The commerce, by which she hath enriched herself are the necessaries of life, and will always have a market while eating is the custom of Europe.
But she has protected us, say some. That she hath engrossed us is true, and defended the continent at our expence as well as her own is admitted, and she would have defended Turkey from the same motive, viz. the sake of trade and dominion.
Alas, we have been long led away by ancient prejudices, and made large sacrifices to superstition. We have boasted the protection of Great-Britain, without considering, that her motive was interest not attachment; that she did not protect us from our enemies on our account, but from her enemies on her own account, from those who had no quarrel with us on any other account, and who will always be our enemies on the same account. Let Britain wave her pretensions to the continent, or the continent throw off the dependance, and we should be at peace with France and Spain were they at war with Britain. The miseries of Hanover last war ought to warn us against connexions.
from Common Sense by Thomas Paine (1737–1809)