May 24, 2006

Biter bit.

This was fun to wake up to...From the *ahem* New Yok Times...(Thanks to Betsy N)

The American Civil Liberties Union is weighing new standards that would discourage its board members from publicly criticizing the organization's policies and internal administration. [Well, dog my cats! And what, may I ask, will be your position on bureaucrats who "criticize" the Bush Administration by leaking classified information that may harm our war efforts (and get US troops killed?) Oh, no change? Why am I not surprised?]

"Where an individual director disagrees with a board position on matters of civil liberties policy, the director should refrain from publicly highlighting the fact of such disagreement," the committee that compiled the standards wrote in its proposals.[Tough, ain't it, being cricketized...]

"Directors should remember that there is always a material prospect that public airing of the disagreement will affect the A.C.L.U. adversely in terms of public support and fund-raising," the proposals state...[Oooch ouch ouch...sore spot...don't touch...fund raising!]

....The proposals say that "a director may publicly disagree with an A.C.L.U. policy position, but may not criticize the A.C.L.U. board or staff." But Wendy Kaminer, a board member and a public critic of some decisions made by the organization's leadership, said that was a distinction without a difference. [It's a hilarious distinction for anyone who's been watching you Bolshies savage the President's intelligence or religious beliefs.]

"If you disagree with a policy position," she said, "you are implicitly criticizing the judgment of whoever adopted the position, board or staff." [Arguing policy is no fun. You might actually have to use facts and logic.]

Anthony D. Romero, the A.C.L.U.'s executive director, said that he had not yet read the proposals and that it would be premature to discuss them before the board reviews them at its June meeting. [Suuuure you haven't. Did you slip out the back door to avoid those pesky reporters?]

Mr. Romero said it was not unusual for the A.C.L.U. to grapple with conflicting issues involving civil liberties. "Take hate speech," he said. "While believing in free speech, we do not believe in or condone speech that attacks minorities." [Motto: "My Free Speech ends where the Democrat Party begins."]

Lawrence A. Hamermesh, chairman of the committee, which was formed to define rights and responsibilities of board members, also said it was too early to discuss the proposals, as did Alison Steiner, a committee member who filed a dissent against some recommendations. ["Too early to discuss." It's hard to make decisions when people are leaking stuff prematurely. Think about that, guys.]

In a background report, the committee wrote that "its proposed guidelines are more in the nature of a statement of best practices" that could be used to help new board members "understand and conform to the board's shared understanding of the responsibilities of its members." [Well, the USA has had some customary "best practices" that go way back. Centuries. I've blogged about them often, especially the ones about how the minority party acts in time of war. You might want to read Random Jottings, for some tips.]

But some former board members and A.C.L.U. supporters said the proposals were an effort to stifle dissent. [Ha. Ha. Ha. Wrappin' themselves in the ACLU flag, no doubt, and impugning people's patriotism.]

"It sets up a framework for punitive action," said Muriel Morisey, a law professor at Temple University who served on the board for four years until 2004. [Talk to Alberto.]

Susan Herman, a Brooklyn Law School professor who serves on the board, said board members and others were jumping to conclusions. [Another line they would sneer at if used by Republicans.]

"No one is arguing that board members have no right to disagree or express their own point of view," Ms. Herman said. "Many of us simply think that in exercising that right, board members should also consider their fiduciary duty to the A.C.L.U. and its process ideals.".... ["Process ideals?" What the @#$%&* are "Process ideals?" That kind of cackle is the equivalent of the bugs squirming when the rock is lifted and the hot light shines in. And "fiduciary duty!" Such big words the little lady is using. I would LOVE to hear more about that one.

If you read on in the article there is a perfect example of the ACLU's lefty incoherence. They are AGAINST free speech if it's by an anti-abortion group! There have been various other cases like that in the past. Against free speech by teachers protesting school busing. FOR parental rights when a reluctant teenager was being dragged home to the Soviet Union.

RANDOM JOTTINGS TIP: The thing to remember about the ACLU is that their defending the free speech rights of the American Nazi Party tells you NOTHING about their ideals, because the existence of Nazis HELPS the Left. They would have to invent Nazis if they didn't exist. The real test is when free speech hurts the Left. Sometimes they pass, often they flunk.]

Posted by John Weidner at May 24, 2006 7:56 AM
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