Dear Mike and Jeff,
The original posting by Jeff said that Liberals wanted to bring back the fairness doctrine. He them quoted some Air America folks, who denied it in the quote he picked to support his position. This somehow became proof of what liars liberals are since they didn't agree with his initial assertion and since he apparently couldn't find any Liberals who agreed with him.
The two of you felt that this seemed like an excellent idea, though. Apparently it is a mark of incisive thinking to call people you are talking about by derisive nicknames. Bahama for Obama was something that I found really useful in furthering the sense of community in our discussion. I thought that the respect that it showed those of us who might disagree with you was somewhat less than helpful in enabling me to extend my respect as well in your direction.
I do believe that both of you deserve it. Sometimes I have trouble extending it, for which I must apologize.
When Mike said he felt that all the conservative talk show hosts researched their facts and presented them, and that the Liberals did not, I wondered if we were talking about the same planet. On my planet, people are vastly more fallible than that, and even the best of people have flaws, often large ones. I'm not the best of people, so I'm not the best of examples. I know for sure that I'm wrong a fair amount of the time. I don't thing Mike, good as Mike is, is about to consider himself one of the best of men; nor do I suspect that Jeff is either. They're both far too realistic for that.
Seeking some sort of ground that was reasonably specific, and that I found of interest, I chose to bring up the subject of torture. I'm against it. I was against it before, I'm against it now, and it doesn't matter to me who does it; I'm against anybody torturing anybody. I have no Democratic or Republican favorites in the matter. As far as I'm concerned, I'd hate it if Bill Clinton, F.D.R., or J.F.K did it. I'm against it if President Obama does it or approves of it. And if Bush 43 did it, I'm against that too.
I also decided that I'd say I was for Habeas Corpus. That's something that hasn't been too wildly left wing in English speaking countries, at least theoretically, since 1215 or so and the Magna Charta. I thought that this much would be something that we could get together on.
This might be an example of how fairness Doctrine might or might not be used.
Apparently, I find, that only Democrats are supposed to be against Torture and are supposed to be for Habeas Corpus. That Jeff and Mike are uncaring that it has been used against American citizens. And that they seem to think that a discussion of these things is out of place because talk of Torture is, if I understand the two gentlemen, boring, trivial, out of place and partisan. I believe you if that's what you say. I believe that I may have misunderstood you as well, I simply am not sure.
I once again restate, that if our new President encourages or is less than scrupulous in getting rid of torture, I condemn his actions or lack of them. I restate that I believe torture has no place in a discussion of political party. Torture is about the practice of evil and not the practice of politics.
We have a considerable job in front of us getting the matter of rights, including the Right of Habeas Corpus, back on track in this country, and the sooner we get started seriously, the better. We need to be working with each other and not art cross purposes.
You should trust no government with the sort of power that we have given this one as a result of perhaps twenty years or more of inattention, Republican and Democratic,
gentlemen. The Patriot Act doesn't say that only Democratic or only Democratic governments have a right to exercise the powers listed there. I for one, have no idea about what a lot of them are; and what I do know of some of them, I find frightening in the extreme.
Sincerely yours, Bob Kaven
In addition to my grumbling, I do want to make a special point of thanking Mike for providing the interesting links, especially the ones to The Atlantic. That Magazine, while it's taken a turn to the right over recent years, is still a fine magazine and offers an interesting and insightful look at news. I'd lost touch with it for far too long, and I'd suggest that to the extent that we're working toward developing a list of magazines that offer a respectful and useful look at the world with more of an interest in truth than political slant, we might consider adding this one to the list.
Thank you, Mike.