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Imus comment not free speech

Sorry, but I just can't defend Imus's comment as free speech.  The idea that freedom of speech allows one to publicly engage in racist (or sexist) rants degrades the very notion of speech, and illuminates all that is wrong about racism (and sexism): one can criticize people for what they do or say or for what they believe in (religion, politics, etc) like O'Rielly or Limbaugh or Olbermann or Stewart regularly do, but you cannot criticize people based on the circumstances of their birth - specifically, race and gender. Criticizing them on this basis assumes that they can somehow change what is "wrong" about them. 

A couple of famous and powerfully influential middle-aged (aging!) white guys on the public airwaves calling a handful of 19/20-year old black female college athletes nappy-headed hos (for no other reason than because they are black women) was beyond the pale (no pun intended). His remark wasn't an opinion of their talent or their beliefs; it was crass ridicule of their genetic fate.  Enlightened people don't tell racist jokes in public anymore - not because it is against the law or because they don't have the "right" to do so - but because they recognize that it is just plain wrong to do so. So, no, I don't believe that firing Imus over this represents an impediment to freedom of speech. Making fun of someone's race or gender is not the same as making fun of someone who disagrees with your views on Iraq, social security, or taxes.

One last point: there are limits to free speech. One cannot slander or libel another person without inviting a lawsuit.  One can't say publicly that they are going to kill someone without getting arrested. So free speech is not an absolute freedom. Like all of our freedoms, this one comes with the need to use it responsibly. 

-- Dave Murphy

Readers Respond to Gore article

Our Hero

The Constitution's hero. Democracy's hero.
The Rule of Law's hero. And the planet's hero.

There is simply NO ONE in public life who has demonstrated the vast knowledge, experience, and leadership of Al Gore.

In matters of forming public policy, good and effective governance, and the creation of national and global priorities, Vice President Gore has no equal.

Al Gore's qualities of personality and character are everything we could hope for in the leader of the free world: goodness, courage, initiative, high ethical standards and behavior, limitless curiosity, a desire to use himself for the betterment of the world, strong work ethic, faith, tenacity in overcoming obstacles, compassion for ordinary people, an appetite for new ideas / new solutions, self-awareness, an ability to think outside the box, a spirit of cooperation, a vision for the future/the long view, a love of democracy as it is meant to be practiced, common sense, humor, wisdom, humility, and the ability to transcend the difficulties and challenges life has thrown his way, growing ever stronger in the process. (More)


Gore might just get hit on the head with the truth.

Gore's pitch on global warming is unraveling as more critics of the theory refute the notion that it is "settled science." By exaggerating his claims about global warming, he sets himself up for being proved an idiot. He would do better if he would be more accurate about the scientific data and the probability of whatever catastrophe might occur. Bush did the same by warning of weapons of mass destruction that were never found. Gore might just get hit on the head with the truth.

Also, he's not a scientist himself, and he risks being trapped by legitimate questions about the science.

As for his winning the election in 2000, he didn't. All of the recounts in Florida resulted in wider margins for Bush than there was on the day after election day, and even that was without the absentee ballots from servicemen overseas. It might be fun for Democrats to joke about this, but it is hardly something to run on. (More)


October Makes Sense

I think in Oct after he wins the Nobel Peace Prize. As for Florida, I work in systems and the electronic voting machines in Florida were Diabold. The president of Diebold, Warren Odell, was a Bush Pioneer - 100K contributor, and the software used in that was considered crap by Johns Hopkins in terms of security and reliability. 16,000 votes on that machine were lost, something reported by the NY Times three years after the fact. Any questions? --remoran


Stop spreading rumors

Just who is this "insider" at The Alliance For Climate Protection who would leak such a thing or for that matter even know about it? Especially now when the focus is on the issue Mr. Gore himself stated is primary and non partisan? I think this is just a way to demean the sincerity of the climate crisis issue by diverting it to a cheap attempt to make people believe Mr. Gore is only doing all of this for his own selfish aspirations. Are you then also implying that donations made to this alliance ( such as ticket sales for Live Earth) are really going towards a clandestine political campaign? I say, you better then prove it or stop spreading rumors you cannot substantiate. Unless you can name the source for this it is nothing but unsubstantiated rhetoric, and I will be checking this out with his office. -- earthlover

Don’t Trust Him

GORE is NOT TO BE TRUSTED... If you are not willing to die for the Constitution you are NOT FIT TO BE PRESIDENT. He would not be much better than what we have now... He had a chance to NOT CONCEDE and he preferred to do so lest he be eliminated altogether, which he would have been, most likely, but at least THEN we would have had a REAL hero... Though only if you don´t know what we should all know about his true character: for his role in delivering immates to the privatized prison industry read what Catherine Austin Fitts has to say in (Progressives for For-Profit Prisons) -- Mamadoc


Edwards Event Not the Ticket

Eds. Note: My friend Gerry Duffy attended John Edwards’ kick-off event in Portsmouth with his family, and was less than impressed with logistics and organizational effort behind it…

To the Editor:

John Edwards in NHThe recent campaign stop in Portsmouth by John Edwards (Dec. 29) came with an interesting side story. The Portsmouth Herald reported that 1,000 people had to be turned away from the event at Little Harbor School. At first sight, this would seem evidence of a candidacy that ignites excitement and the report must have pleased the Edwards campaign staff. The reality is, however, that the situation was either engineered or was the result of the kind of planning that brought us the Iraq we own today.

It turns out the Edwards campaign issued unlimited tickets for a venue with very limited space, the capacity of which would have been easy to calculate. There were three types of tickets for the event: tickets for local leading Democrats who the campaign wanted as allies and in the backdrop, tickets for the union workers bused in from Massachusetts and dressed for maximum photo-op impact, and finally tickets for the rest of us. Holders of the first two types of ticket all got into the event. Meanwhile a line of around 400 people (I was in about 60th place) holding "white" tickets waited in freezing temperatures for their turn. Two dozen people (tops) with white tickets had been let in when a campaign worker appeared and said, sorry, but the fire marshal has closed us down because the room is at overcapacity.

Issuing unlimited tickets in the first place was cynical. Blaming the Portsmouth fire marshal was cheap. And giving us the type of event that is designed more for press than people won't go over in New Hampshire, or shouldn't. Edwards got his "town hall" photos against the mandatory American flag backdrop, cheering union workers flanked the crowd, the press got the story, and the campaign moved on.

John Edwards is ultimately responsible for the quality of his campaign and its tactics and, after this showing, an Edwards presidency and administration is not something I long for. And it was in stark contrast to the Barack Obama book-signing visit a couple of weeks earlier, an extremely well-organized event where 800 tickets got 800 people into the room.

If Edwards wants to do better than fourth place in the upcoming New Hampshire primary, he and his campaign staff have some work ahead of them. If I may suggest it, that work should include a review of how to treat (in reality, not in rhetoric) the ordinary people whose lives Edwards seeks to govern and who are willing to turn out on cold days to see him.

Gerald Duffy, Portsmouth, NH

Re: The Un-candidate
RudyLook on the bright side of the visit. The NHRP got the full-Giuliani treatment for considerably less than the $100K GE or GM usually pay him. And they got him to pay his own way here to give his pep talk.

Who says Granite Staters aren't smart?

Seriously, though. Does Giuliani really think he has a chance to be nominated as a Republican? Somebody needs to give him a rundown on the demographics of the party whose presidential nomination he aspires to. He may play OK here in NH, but a north-eastern big-city-dwelling atheist with pro-abortion credentials has about as much chance of being the choice of Republicans south and west of Philadelphia as I do. Being mayor of 9/11-ville is not going to be enough for Mr. Giuliani .  -- Mike M

Re: Do You Still Beat Your War?

Do you still beat your war? I feel liberals in this country have lost their minds. They cannot see that there are real issues that need to be addressed. All they can see is their hatred of George W. Bush. If you still believe that George Bush lied to engage us in a long battle with radical Muslims then your are blind with hate.

Let me put this in simple terms for you simple minded liberals. You are the head of a company and you are trying to find out what your competitor is going to release next. Through intelligence you learn he has a new widget that will sink your company if released. You make a move and purchase your competitor's company only to find there are no widgets in the warehouse. Should we blame you. Why? You were just acting on the information you received to protect your business.

This is exactly what happened. If you are still wanting to condemn Bush for all the evils in the world then you must also condemn John Kerry and the rest of the Dems that authorized the conflict in the first place. They were privy to the same intelligence and came to the same conclusion, take Iraq and depose Saddam.

Get past your hate of Bush and engage yourselves in some meaningful debate that produces real change.
-- Joey

Do You Still Beat Your War? I have to say I somewhat agree with Joey. We need to stop trying to debate on how we got into the war in the first place and start discussing how to either end it or get out of it. I mean we are apart of this war whether we want to be or not, so lets deal with it and resolve it. -- Missy


Re: Do You Still Beat Your War?
I think both sides of the aisle have it wrong. we have to become free of importing oil. when we buy arab oil we fund the terrorist. you can call it cut & run but they are killing each other at 50 to 1 of us. they all hate us it doesn't matter what sect they are.go back to getting bin laden he is the #one terrorist. -- henryhorse1951

Do You Still Beat Your War?
I agree with Missy and Joey. I think that people are still trying to figure out why we got into the war instead of trying to actually win it-- or just end the war of terrorism. I was actually once told that because I had a yellow ribbon on my car that said "Support our troops" it meant that I automatically supported the war. All I thought I was supporting were the troops that are actually out there and doing something for their country. None of us can actually help the fact that we are in this war, so why not support our troops.. our people? -- Meggan

Re: Ann CoulterAnn Coulter - Click for larger image
I can't decide who's more full of shit -- Ann Coulter or Laura Ingraham. Ann hates everyone who disagrees with her, while Laura calls them "elites." But they both come from money, have Ivy League educations, and are clearly members of the right-wing elite. How do they get away with such blatant hypocricy?  -- Shakypaws

Pertaining to Laffeyble, Ann Coulter is a supreme shit- stirrer. I dislike her very much. I love Lincoln Chafee, his rich family, his father John Chafee, and anybody else that supports him. She just better shut her mouth. What does she have to worry about? D Linc wouldn't give her a second glance if he'd seen her on the street. PCoulter is not a man lover, but definitely a closet dike. Anyhow, Annie baby it's okay if you don't like Linc, because I have more of him to myself. And I'm so sorry about that because he really is a knight in shining armor.
-- King Arthurs Fiancee


Gary Bauer Re: Gary Bauer’s Islamofabulism
You should have told him to drop the Chalupa. --

Re: NH Phone Jamming Conspiracy Case Widens
I suppose, Mr. anonymous "Lost Nation TV webmaster", that I should have alerted the authorities of the "impending" felony aPhone jamming in New Hampshire fter it had already happened? And since Kathy Sullivan was aware of the actual crime for 12 hours longer than I was, I suppose that makes the NH Democrat Chair a "co-conspirator" in the cover-up as well?

Seems you could use an editor!

I was always willing and available to talk to the FBI and Justice Department long after their initial inquiries, however, it seems I had little to offer their investigation.

I have never accused you liberals of being that bright...and low and've proven it once again!

Now, since logic doesn't seem to be a strong suit, and smearing people anonymously is how you seemingly fulfill your fantasies, there's a 9/11 conspiracy theory awaiting you and the rest of the left-wing kooks working to slander anyone who they disagree with.

Once you become an honest journalist, and are able to check your facts, show your face, and stand behind your assertions with those whom you accuse, than maybe someone other than your minions, sleuthy wannabes, and Star Trek convention-goers would take seriously what you write.

Get a life...better yet...get a job and become a contributing member of society. -- Kevin Blier


If Kevin Blier didn't know about the phone jamming until election night....then he must be a pretty pathetic consultant, that the top dogs wouldn't even let him in on campaign strategy. That's clearly a bunch of BS making Kevin Blier a liar, a biggot, and a moron. But in fact Kevin ZBlier really is a pathetic strategist so maybe he is telling the truth, but he hates gays, making him a moron, a biggot, and possibly even a repressed homosexual. And I'm not nameless. -- Wes McEnany


Wes that suppose to mean something to someone? Let me guess, that makes you who, the "John DiStaso of the blogosphere". Like I said...nameless!

Give me a're another wannabe, like Peter Freyne.

And by the way, let Peter and his friends at BlierWatch know that no matter how much slander appears on their website, no one in the MSM is paying any attention.

Like I said, get a life and a job and become a contributing member of society. A man as old as yourself playing little childish games like these, especially the well-mannered and thoughtful name-calling on your last post, puts you somewhere between ambulance-chaser and used car salesman in the hierarchy of respectable vocations. -- Kevin Blier


I'd hoped to stay out of this, but you're confusing me -- Jack McEnany -- with Wes McEnany. In your earlier love letter, you confused me with the Webmaster. So by now you're limited powers of observation are well-established. But keep trying, Bunky, you'll get it right.

And thanks for the career advice; maybe you're on to something -- a man my age should get a real job. And I'd be happy to if it would it make Bush, Hastert, the last six years, and you go away.

What do you suggest? How about fourth-rate political consultant -- any room in the business for me? Because that's a sweet deal you've got going, gay bashing for cash over in Vermont. Hook me up, will ya? Make me a contributing member of society, like you. -- Jack McEnany, Editor, LNTV

Jack...Wes...what's the difference?

Guys like you playing big-boy journalist without all the inconveniences of regular journalism, like, I don't know, having your facts straight and confirmation of sources.

Let me guess, you play weekend warrior too? How's those pipe bombs coming along, Teddy K?

There's enough wackotechs in the world and you seem to be a poor man's version of the Daily Kos. But I suppose a lifetime of rejecting things like "authority" and "work" as a New Bohemian fits quite well with making things up about people you don't know. -- Kevin Blier


Kevin seems to have a habit of projecting the things he doesn't like about himself onto other people, and then criticizing them for it. Maybe that's where the gay bashing comes from... -- Jack McEnany, Editor, LNTV


Alas, but once again dear Kevin has his facts wrong.

First, although we've long admired Peter Freyne's ability to get under the skin of the would be movers-and-shakers of Vermont, none of us have ever met or conversed with him. While Peter was, to the best of our knowledge, the first in Vermont to "get the goods" on the recent wash ashore and chronic Letter-to-the-Editor crank, Kevin "W" Blier, he's made no contribution to our website, nor has he ever contacted us.

It's become very apparent that Kevin is rather new to the "internets," which might account for his rather naively declaring that "no one in the MSM is paying any attention." Our site stats say otherwise.

Here and elsewhere Kevin uses the word "slander" freely but has yet to refute a single fact posted at our website. Bluster, polarization, anger, sarcasm and hatred seem to be the only tools that he has in his toolbox. We're hoping that there isn't some underlying, self-loathing cause to this petty, second-rate life he's chosen to lead.

Thanks for the new material, Kevin! -- Blierwatch

You're so very welcome!

I have to say, though, that I admire the Blier Watch bloggers' commitment to anonymous excellence. For a group of people who spent so long wanting to be "out" of the closet, you folks spend an awful lot of time taking shots at one person from the closet. How ironic!

Your own actions clearly suggest that life would actually be better and easier if you went back in, don't you think? I mean, my God, the convenience of libeling someone anonymously would fit well into the larger gay rights strategy of destroying anyone who dare disagree, and remaking the English language by misusing words like "bigot" and "homophobe" to shame people into silence. The only reason you folks have come after me is because I won't sit down and shut up! And you accuse me of "projecting" is you who have become what you say you dispise. The "gay rights" movement should be renamed the "Pink Gestapo"!

It's a shame...all those years of hard work, getting noticed at Gay Pride parades half-naked, exposing yourselves for the whole world to see! I thought gay rights were about liberation, not about hiding behind the anonymity so that you can get away with slandering people.

Have the courage of your convictions to stand up and be counted rather than cowering back into the closet! -- Kevin Blier

Nice try Kevin but is just about you.

As for libel, you've by now learned that one can not be libeled by the truth. We again challenge you to point out something untrue from the blog. You really have only yourself to blame for how you are now seen throughout Vermont.

We have said before that the blog is intended as a resource for Vermonters. You said that the blog was responsible for your stunning defeat for the Brandon school board seat this March. We don't know if that's true but we'll accept your judgment on that.

As you continue your "career" in politics, from your failed attempts for leadership posts in the NH Young Republicans, to alleged connections with dirty tricks cases as in this thread's topic, to abject defeats like the one this past Spring, it will all be chronicled at one source - BlierWatch!

So where ever you go, Kevin, whether it's here in Vermont, back to New Hampshire, or even all the way back to Maine, folks'll have a way to know the real you.

Check back with us next week, after the election, for a new "milestone" for BlierWatch.
-- Blierwatch

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