10.01.2008 0

It Wasnt Dicks Fault, Hon!

  • On: 10/16/2008 11:48:56
  • In: First Amendment

  • Dear Madame Speaker,

    Nan, Nan, Nan, Nan, Nan. I keep going back over the past in my mind, time after time, wracking my brain trying to find even the slightest hint as to what went wrong. And I think I may have finally figured it out.

    You seemed like such a nice little girl. That’s what everyone who knew you tells me. And I remember you well as a young lady – not a bad looking Baltimore lass, I might add. You seemed fine then. A little snooty, perhaps, but, after all, you were Mayor D’Alesandro’s poco angelo. A trifle quirky? Yeah – but, hey, let it go.

    But, this hatred you’ve developed for the First Amendment. Now, this one, I just can’t fathom. First, you decide to gut talk radio by single-handed exhuming the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.” Nan, it’s like Lazarus. It stinketh. Forget about it.

    And now, I get word that you’re trying to rig the House rules so that any Member who writes something you don’t like can’t post it on the Internet? Nan, I have to tell you, that’s not even working all that well for Hu Jintao over in Red China. So, if I were you, I wouldn’t stake my career on that one.

    Still, I keep wondering: What made Nan go bad? What was it that could possibly have caused her to want to silence anyone and everyone around her who dares disagree with her dictatorial manifestations?

    Then, it hit me. William Wordsworth once wrote, “The child is the father of the man.” Which, likely also means that she is the mother of the woman. And that takes us back to the Orioles arrival in Baltimore away back in 1954. Not a good thing.

    To put it bluntly: We were lied to. We were sold a bill of goods all decked out in black and orange. We were told that their arrival in Baldmur heralded the dawn of a winning day for the Monumental City. An incredible 47,000 of us packed little Memorial Stadium to welcome the conquering heroes to their new home.

    And then, those bums went out and lost 100 games. Almost twice as many as they won. They finished 57 games out of first place – 49 behind the hated Yankees. And Dick Kokos hit a paltry .200.

    That’s when I believe you stopped trusting the world – and the words – of those around you. And the pernicious seeds were planted for your war on Freedom of Speech. But, resurrecting the “Fairness Doctrine”? Gagging the Internet? Puh-leese!

    Nan, I’ve got to talk to you about this. As my dad once advised you decades ago, “You need to get a grip on yourself.”

    Nan, let me put it to you bluntly: I remember all the hoopla surrounding the O’s move to the Big B. I was a kid in Hollywood, Maryland, at the time; wouldn’t be arriving in Baltimore until several years later. But, I read the papers. I listened to the news. I know the big build-up they gave us.

    But, Nan, listen to me: there was no way that bunch of losers was going to instantly turn into baseball dynasty. No matter what Bailey Goss said. For pete’s sake, the year before, the “Grant Avenue Grunts” had finished eighth! They only had one winning pitcher—Virgil “Fire” Trucks—and he didn’t even make the trip to Baltimore.

    So, okay, Nan, you were sold a bill of goods. You let other people tell you stuff, you listened, and they lied. And, it was all the worse because your Pop had been Da Mayor.

    But, that’s life, Nan. Everyone is not always going to say what you want to hear. But, you need to understand: That does not give you the right to shut everyone else up with knuckleheaded schemes like the “Fairness Doctrine” and your Internet gag order!

    Are you with me? Am I resonating? Your own wants and needs notwithstanding, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is not a recommendation for your consideration. It is the law of the land.

    All right, that’s it. I don’t want to go on here, because I feel like I’m starting to shout. And I don’t like that in myself. So, let me just finish up with this:

    Nan, the Baltimore Orioles went on to become a great team (oh, I know there was that idiocy with trading away Bob Turley and Don Larson to the hated Yankees; and, of course, that unpleasantness with the Mets in 1969). But, the guys became good, Nan. In the long run, they kept their word. Honest they did.

    So, I beg of you, in the name of St. Leo’s, Notre Dame Institute, Brooks Robinson, and Cal Ripken, call off your wild-eyed war on Freedom of Speech.

    Go back to Bush bashing, toting your grandkids into the Speaker’s well, and funneling money to your well-heeled hubby. That’s all politics as usual. But, this Free Speech vendetta – I’m telling you, Nan, as a fellow Balteemoron, that just ain’t cuttin’ it, hon.

    All right, enough said. See you at Sabatino’s—and don’t forget Little Italy’s Feast of St. Gabriel is coming up in August. Now, basta!

    Your friend,

    Carter Clews
    Executive Editor of ALG News Bureau


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