Saturday, November 27, 2004

The Rosenberg File and the Goetz Case

My old alma mater finally caught up with me and put me on its mailing list despite my non-return of a form that was supposed to indicate my desire to be on such a list. The other day I received their quarterly publication which, like many such publications, drips with the standard liberal bias of academe. So I fired off this polite letter:

Dear Editor,

I read with interest Laurie Levenson's article, "Trials of the Century," in the Winter 2004-05 Vistas. In a sidebar on p. 19, mention was made of the Alger Hiss trials and the 1953 Rosenberg trial. Levenson opines that these trials "marked this nation's obsession with the threat of communism."

'Obsession' is an unfortunate word choice connoting as it does an unreasonable or delusional preoccupation. The communist threat was real indeed. We now know that Alger Hiss was a communist and that Julius Rosenberg was an atomic spy for the Soviet Union. On the Rosenberg case, the definitive work is Ronald Radosh and Joyce Milton, The Rosenberg File, 2nd ed. (Yale University Press, 1997).


Dr. William F. Vallicella (A & S 1972)

By the way, that is how one writes a letter to an editor. Such letters should be pithy and polite. Pith and politeness are consistent with punch.

The full text of the legal journal article on which Levenson's article is based is available here.

To appreciate the extent of Levenson's liberal bias, consider what she has to say about the Bernard Goetz case: "Yet other trials forced our society to confront its hidden racism and fears as Bernard Goetz (1987) and vigilantism were put on trial -- and won."

Goetz was the 'subway gunman' who when attacked by a group of Black thugs armed with sharpened screwdrivers pulled a gun and defended himself. I would like to ask this dumb liberal law professor: Where is the racism in self-defense against a lethal threat? Race doesn't come into this at all -- yet our morally and intellectually obtuse liberal brings it in.

One sees from this how hopeless liberals are. They cannot see the situation as it was: a harmless nerd who, tired of being victimized (e.g., thrown through plate glass windows) took measures to defend himself. In their incomparable way, liberals cannot see that the fault lies not with some such abstraction as 'society,' nor with the one who defends himself against a lethal threat with lethal force, but with the perpetrators of the crime. Liberals just can't wrap their fuzzy minds around the notion of individual responsibility -- or they will not, out of moral perversity.

And notice Levenson's confusion of self-defense with vigilantism. This is typical of the Left; they misuse every key word they can get their hands on. I have given plenty of examples in previous posts, and will be giving plenty more.

The Goetz incident most likely would never have occurred had Rudy Giuliani been mayor of NYC in 1984. That is because Giuliani is a 'racist' and a 'fascist' (as Rosie O'Donnell once called him) who would have cleaned up the city then as he cleaned it up later on.