FDR Library Cancels Social Security Forum

Kathleen de la Pena McCook writes "Only one side of the story on social security has been presented at taxpayer expense by Bush to dozens of pre-screened controlled audiences as described by
Hubert G. Locke.

Now in a disingenuous move Cynthia Koch, director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, has informed a number of women's groups, including the Older Women's League, that a forum on Social Security scheduled for April 9 at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park can not be held. It is historical fact that FDR's administration crafted the New Deal but the Bush administration finds ways to close the public sphere over and over.

Read more about the FDR Library controversy in Newsday."

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pardon me but...

there are what? 49 Democrat Senators and how many House members? who are free to have all the meetings they please talking about what they want to offer. There are how many blogs, tv stations, magazines, newspapers, radio stations talking about these issues?

The very fact that McCook says debate is being closed down but you and I and everyone else hear her say it means in fact that debate is not being closed down. What it means is McCook doesn't want to be bothered to offer any alternatives.

Re:pardon me but...

Mr. McClary:I suppose it depends on how you define "debate." If you define debate as two sides in the same room challenging each other on the merits of their proposal, then debate *IS* being shut down on this issue. Not just by the President. If you look at the Newsday story (did you?), you'll see that the group being denied access could have used the library if they had included a pro-privatization speaker in their lineup. They didn't want to do that, showing that they wanted the same stage management of their view as the President does of his.If you define debate as dueling press conferences and staged events; then yes, debate on this issue is continuing.Finally, there are 45 Democratic Senators, not 49. You're stronger than you realize.

Re:pardon me but...

from the article:

"A letter from Koch told them they could not have the event without a speaker to "give a presentation on the features and merits of President Bush's proposed changes to Social Security," saying the law bars the use of federal facilities for partisan events, and that the program for the event would not be balanced."

Which means if they want to get non-federal facilities they can give one side as much as they want. The President is exactly that and he gets to take the bully pulpit with him wherever he goes. If you want to do the same thing then run for President.

"If you define debate as dueling press conferences and staged events; then yes, debate on this issue is continuing."

Did you watch the Presidential debates? If a candidate didn't want to answer a question they gave pat asnwers and steered the subject to stuff they did want to talk about. A national debate is in fact dueling press conferences and staged events. Whoever is the most believable and convinces the most people to give their legislators a hard enough time to vote a certain way wins the debate.

This high horse bs about sitting down at the table and having long involved discussions about economic theory is nonsense. Either you think Social Security is going to survive or you don't and then you go from there.

I don't pay Social Security. I'm willing to bet any of you that are government employees don't pay Social Security. Why? Because the legislators in question already know its far from perfect and getting worse. They created alternatives for themselves and fellow government employees so they wouldn't get screwed in the long run. Am I really suppose to take the word of someone who doesn't even rely on the system?

Re:pardon me but...

49 Democrat Senators and how many House members? who are free to have all the meetings they please talking about what they want to offer. There are how many blogs, tv stations, magazines, newspapers, radio stations talking about these issues?

. . . Etc, etc, bullshit ad nauseum.

You are more than a little unclear on the concept, here Greg. Freedom of speech does not mean that it is okay to close down some avenues on the asinine excuse that other avenues will remain open. In a free society, every effort is made to keep all avenues open. And especially, one would think that a head of state would keep himself accessible to all citizens, not just the sycophants who kiss his ass.

And let's not address the issue of your lackey press who rank among the most "loyal" of those sycophants, or how your elected parasites are trying to legislate opinions they can't understand into criminality. That would certainly give them the excuse they need to go after the web logs and sites that won't knuckle under to the Bush regime.

Re:pardon me but...

No, the head of state is not required to be accessible to all citizens. If he were a king for life then I'd argue yes but the President runs for the office on an already preset agenda. I'm not saying minds can't be changed but the people who actually voted for him would be pretty annoyed if he suddenly started flipping his views on a number of different issues.

Focus Fang, focus. Again:

"A letter from Koch told them they could not have the event without a speaker to "give a presentation on the features and merits of President Bush's proposed changes to Social Security," saying the law bars the use of federal facilities for partisan events, and that the program for the event would not be balanced."

Its not the facility limiting speech. Its the group not wanting an opposing viewpoint represented on what is federal property.

I've been thinking of changing my tag to say "Fang doesn't scare me, its the people who think he's insightful that scare me."

President is president of all Americans

Mr. McClay:"No, the head of state is not required to be accessible to all citizens."No one is saying the head of state should be required to be accessible to all citizens, we're saying that any citizen should be free to attend public appearances of the head of state. Limiting attendance at public events by ideology is something that should have gone out with Lenin's statue.It's also a practice guaranteed to further polarize our society. Not the actions of someone describing himself as "A uniter, not a divider" or someone describing himself as an admirer of the late Pope. You think the Pope's representatives checked baptismal certificates before papal appearances?FWIW, I think the women's group should have had a pro-privatization speaker and turned their presentation into an honest debate.

Re:President is president of all Americans

Mr. Daniel:

Mr. Fang was saying exactly that -"And especially, one would think that a head of state would keep himself accessible to all citizens, not just the sycophants who kiss his ass."

In his own special way of course. ;)

If people were actually going to W's events to listen and not protest I'd be inclined to agree with what you said.

Mr. McClay... man I must have really pissed you off.

Re:pardon me but...

Mind your own focus; if you had any your own insight would be less fuzzy.

the people who actually voted for him would be pretty annoyed if he suddenly started flipping his views on a number of different issues.

George Bush does not serve the voters whether they voted for him or not, he serves only the corporate interests who pad his and his party's campaign coffers. Which does, in fact, piss of the half of American voters +/- eight million who didn't vote for him. Secondly, as part of his oath of office he swore to uphold the Constitution, and his administration's requirement of loyalty oaths is a blatant and direct violation of that oath, and it means that he forswore and will burn in Hell for his blasphemy, since he swore it on the bible and before God. It also means that some of those who do want to hear him speak are barred from doing so because they won't kiss his ass. See the anti-Bush sentiment suppression timeline for a few samples.

As for your protestations that Koch will allow the event if the organizing group allows a Bush sycophant to present Bush's lies about Social Security, who is going to pressure Bush into reciprocating and allowing opposing viewpoints to his plans to screw over the elderly? Bush has a bully pulpit; that puts the overwhelming advantage in his court; even without a lackey press to disseminate his disinformation. Your argument is patently false from the get go.

Library is loser

The Friends Meeting House in Poughkeepsie will be the site of the forum.
This sort of librarian action will diminish peoples' respect for us.
The Library fundraisers criticize decision to bar Social Security forum

April 3, 2005, 9:30 AM EDT

HYDE PARK, N.Y. -- The institute that raises money for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library is fighting for a forum on Social Security to be held there.
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny- bc-ny--socialsecurity-fd0403apr03,0,1235010,print. story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork

Re:President is president of all Americans

"Mr. McClay... man I must have really pissed you off."Greg, you didn't piss me off. I've been doing penance for confusing you "Mr. Greg McClay and proprieter of Shush" with "Mr. Greg Schwartz, proprieter of Open Stacks."Think of it as the cyber eqivalent of writing "I will not confuse GregS* with Greg Schwartz." 100 times on a blackboard. I think I have my names straight now, so I'll drop the Mr. McClay."If people were actually going to W's events to listen and not protest I'd be inclined to agree with what you said."Not all of the non-Republicans were planning to protest. Sometimes local officials were barred from events, as were others who did not appear to have protest plans.Silent protesters should be welcome anyway, because these "town meetings" are TAXPAYER FUNDED. To me, that makes them as off limits to "pure partisan events" as being on Federal property. If his party funded the travel and security and the "town meetings" took place on private property, then the President's supporters can be exclusive as they want. But not with public money!

Fairness

I think requiring the group to provide "equal access" is just plain wrong. I think it is appropriate the library would provide equal access for a pro-Bush plan group.

access

Actually, I think it should be a requirement that the President be accesible to everyone in some form or another. Email, snail mail, etc... If you dealing with a public appearance, like you were with this one, I think several things need to be done, or avoided.

1) I don't think members of the President's Party should be vetting the public. Oviously too much of an opportunity for "stacking" the deck".

2) Protestors should be asked to leave only after they have become disruptive. Not before.

3) Tickets for the event should be handled strictly on a lottery basis. No special treatment for big donors, etc... In fact, I think public appointments to talk to the President should be handled the same way.

4) At all costs we need to fight ENC Syndrome (Emperors's New Clothing). The President aboslutely needs to see that there are people out there who disagree, sometimes loudly, with his policies. Get rid of the penned-in Protest Areas.

Re:access

"4) At all costs we need to fight ENC Syndrome (Emperors's New Clothing). The President aboslutely needs to see that there are people out there who disagree, sometimes loudly, with his policies. Get rid of the penned-in Protest Areas."

Yeah because if its one thing the President doesn't know its that there are people out there who disagree with him.

Re:access

I don't think Presidents know the extent of disagreement. They're too isolated. They appear in front of groups that are so scripted, sanitized, and stage managed, that I think they walk away with the impression that opposition to their policies is only a couple of cranks and doesn't need to be considered or taken seriously.

Re:access

The catch with the "King has no clothes" scenario is that a King can spend his entire life cut-off from the public. Nobody has become President without experiencing in-your-face, bare knuckle politics to get there, except maybe Washington and only because he was first.

What if the shoe were on the other foot?

The President is certainly governing like he believes either he has little or no opposition. I think Twisted is on to something.Greg: I can't help but think that if we had a Democratic President whose people systematically excluded Republicans from all public-funded appearances, you'd be screaming bloody murder. Doubly so if this Democrat President's followers were ejecting people from rallies if they had NRA stickers on their car bumbers. Even if you weren't screaming, the Bill O'Reilly crowd would go ballistic - and RIGHTLY so. I can say with my hand over my heart that I would be complaining in such a situation.If you truly feel that Presidents of both parties have a right to a no-dissent zone whereever they go, that's sad. As I've said before, that's an attitude that's more appropriate to pre-1989 Eastern Europe. But America deserves better.

Re:pardon me but...

Oh, I see the distinction now...


Federal Property: Must give equal time to opposing viewpoints.
Federal Tax Dollars: Okay to present one-sided view, if you are the administration in charge.

Re:What if the shoe were on the other foot?

Oh for pete's sake, in pre-1989 Eastern Europe everywhere was a 'no-dissent zone'.

Shoe on the other foot? We had people protesting *inside* the RNC convention last year. I have zero sympathy for your free speech rights if your not going to respect mine.

If a Democrat President banned NRA members from his events he'd never be re-elected. NRA isn't just a Republican issue. If he chose to do so my side would certainly have a lot of fun making a joke of it but the bottom line is he has a right to do so. His right to free speech is impinged if he's forced to have to deal with obnoxious protestors.

Re:What if the shoe were on the other foot?

His right to free speech is impinged if he's forced to have to deal with obnoxious protestors.

Bully pulpit, Mr. McClay. Bully pulpit! All of the advantage is with the White House! There ain't no fucking protesters in the White House press corps, is there? Or on the South Lawn? And far too much of the U.S. is also a non-dissension zone. And who were those protesters who got tear gassed at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago all those years ago? You think your rethuglican gubmint is the only one to ever be criticized? Your presdient is a coward who can't take criticism and his sycophants have appointed themselves to protect him from reality.

Political statements being forbidden at political rallies. Pfah!

Re:What if the shoe were on the other foot?

Lay off the drugs Fang, you'll live longer.

Re:What if the shoe were on the other foot?

"His right to free speech is impinged if he's forced to have to deal with obnoxious protestors."I'm talking about the right of people to BE THERE. I think disruptive hecklers should be asked to leave any event. I've said so on many occaisions.You sidestepped my question. Are you willing to allow a President from the other party exclude people from TAXPAYER-FUNDED events on the sole basis of party affiliation? Yes or No? I am not.I feel on very solid ground here because I publicly supported the right of anti-abortion protesters to camp outside John Kerry's house as long as they kept to the sidewalks.Of course people should be asked to leave a venue if they are verbally or physically disruptive; whether it's a Presidential event, a concert, or a school lecture.What shouldn't happen is people being excluded on the basis of their clothing or their bumper stickers. Not when their taxes paid for that event to be possible!

Re:What if the shoe were on the other foot?

Lay off the governemnt propaganda and you might learn something. Such as the fact that there were no NBCW stockpiles in Iraq, Saddam was not allied with Al Qaeda, he was not involved in the WTC attack, and Iraq was not a threat to the U.S. Learn those things and perhaps you will live in freedom.

Re:What if the shoe were on the other foot?

There's at least 3 seperate cases being talked about that I'm aware of. The original one, and most recent, is the one about a federal building that has a policy that it will not allow an event that doesn't offer both sides of whatever issue being covered. Considering there's a big open area right in front of the White House that can be booked for specific politically motivated rallys I don't think anyone rights are being denied.

The one before this one dealt specifically with Bush and the warning of 2 individuals that if they couldn't guarantee not to make a protest inside they'd be asked to leave now. They left. I don't have a problem that.

The third and oldest and what I believe everyone is referring to is during the election when certain people weren't being allowed into some campaign stops. Considering it was a campaign and its supposed to be a forum for the candidate not for everyone else, and also since the opposing candidate also gets tax money to run and have the same forums. I don't have a problem with that either.

If you're telling me there is an event, an open event (some require tickets), a non-campaign event, that people are being blacklisted from even if they say they will be in good behavior (yes, good behavior, heaven forbid) then yes, I have a problem with that.

Re:What if the shoe were on the other foot?

You may indeed have a problem:

February 3rd: Fargo, ND

40 People Barred From Bush Event in North Dakota; White House Says "List" Created by Volunteers. "Not everyone was welcome, apparently, at President Bush's speech in North Dakota yesterday. The Fargo Forum reported that a city commissioner, a liberal radio producer, a deputy Democratic campaign manager and a number of university professors were among more than 40 area residents who were barred from attending the Bush event. Their names were on a list supplied to workers at two ticket distribution sites." The White House "said the list may have come from volunteers; it did not come from the White House." [Washington Post, 2/4/05]

Another instance: http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~53~278 8912,00.html

Pardon me if the FDR library story seems to build on these other "aberrations" or "errors" during this non-campaign campaign regarding Social Security.

I am a veteran well-behaved protestor of many things, happily unforbidden by heaven or by law in these states. I don't expect to be welcomed with open arms by people who disagree with me, but I will allow them to hear me, and I will listen to them. I think civil discourse is what is sorely missing from so much of public life. I can respectfully disagree.

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