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Subject: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)


Posted by Laurie
On Saturday, December 01, 2001 at 09:11:45

Message:
I've read all the posts from the people angry about the things Dione Rocha has written about the WTC attack, and am puzzled by one thing.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the majority of those against Dione Rocha seem to be Americans, if this is so, did you ever hear of something called "Free Speech" or "Freedom of the Press"?

What Dione Rocha wrote was an 'opinion piece', and while you need not agree with her opinion, you all seem hell bent on censoring that opinion.

I forget who said "I may not agree with your opinion but I'll fight to the death for you're right to express your opinion", but wouldn't that quote be relevant now?

Isn't trying to "shut Dione Rocha up" and action that
is the definition of "Unamerican"?

I agree to the point that I think Dione Roca's opinions in this matter are heartless, uncaring, and
ignorant, but who says her opinions HAVE to be pro-american?, and why should she be censored just because they aren't?

Because you disagree with them?

I'm sorry, that's just plain un-american.

Instead of trying to get brazzil.com to censor Dione Roche mayby you should ask them to allow people to post followups to articles like Dione Rocha's?
Something sort of similar to this forum but where a list of *your* opinions appear as links below the actual article.

This would also make it *a lot* more likely for the actual authors of the articles to read what you think of them.

Also, I'm curious, did any of you who found Dione Rocha's opinions offensive email her directly? The articles in question *did* supply an email address?
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Randy Paul
On Saturday, December 01, 2001 at 12:11:49

Message:
Laurie,

To begin with, yes I did e-mail Dione Rocha directly and I did so courteously at first. She never afforded me the simple courtesy of a reply, which leads me to the conclusion that she either lacks the strength of character to defend her positions or her conclusions are so factually inaccurate that when faced with information that contradicted her conclusins she was intellectually capable of responding. Indeed, the fact that the only unsupported conclusion that she addressed was the statement that "No American has ever cried over the millions of people who die every day in Third World Countries, victims (directly or indirectly) of American foreign policies designed to keep America on top" speaks volumes about her lack of reasoning in her polemic.

She of course, has the right to her opinions, but the magazine "Brazzil" is not obliged to publish them. Indeed, if a magazine refers to itself as "a respected national link between Brazil and all those?Brazilian or not?who feel a kinship with the Brazilian way of life, politics, economy, culture, and soul," then they are also capable of exercising some editorial discretion and requesting for example, that she provide specific examples as to what specific US foreign policies cause "millions of people [to] die every day in Third World Countries" or to provide proof for her statement that "whoever is responsible for the attacks, is ready to respond to retaliation with even bigger and unexpected force" or the statement that "most of Afghanistan's population . . .do not have a clue as to what 'The Taliban' or 'New York' is", Respectable publications require proof for such statements even in opinion pieces. Respectable publications employ people as fact checkers. The fact that she presented such statements as fact without a scintilla of proof and that "Brazzil" merely printed (apparently unedited) whatever she wrote is what I objected to. Making such statements and presenting them as fact is bad writing, bad journalism and bad editing. This is what I find to be indefensible, both on the part of this publication and Ms. Rocha. She claims to be a student. Would her professors find a paper filled with such unsupported statements acceptable? None of mine would have.

>"Instead of trying to get brazzil.com to censor Dione Roche mayby you should ask them to allow people to post followups to articles like Dione Rocha's?

I think the responsible thing to do would have been to publish simultaneously with her comments a response that addressed her unsupported claims.The failure of this publication to do so is truly irresponsible on their part. The publication of her diatribe without any vetting of her claims that she presented as fact means that whatever they choose to publish now and in the future is suspect and should be taken with, perhaps, an entire salt mine.

>who says her opinions HAVE to be pro-american?

No one said, but the statements she presents as facts have to be supported with proof. I have no illusions about the history of my country. I know for example that the reason why Iran has long had an antipathy towards the US is because of our role in supporting the Shah and the CIA helping to overthrow Prime Minister Moosadegh in the 1950's. I protested the Vietnam War. I also know about the US role in the military coup in Guatemala in 1954, in Chile in 1973 and the support for contemptible governments in our nation's history including the 25 year military dictatorship in Brazil. I think, like Christopher Hitchens who wrote the book "The Trial of Henry Kissinger", that Henry Kissinger is a criminal against humanity and should face at minimum civil responsibility for his actions. I also feel, like Mr. Hitchens, that people who organize the hijacking of planes and flying them into buildings are also criminals against humanity and should face justice for their actions and that the US has the right to defend itself against such people.

Many publications print retractions and corrections, when brought to their attention. They acknowledge incorrect statements. Opinion columnists (at least the responsible ones) do also. Ms. Rocha only acknowledged one generalization. It will be interesting to see if they continue to publish her babaquice in "Brazzil." I do have the right also to protest them and encourage people to go to other sources for their information.
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Diog
On Saturday, December 01, 2001 at 16:17:35

Message:

Iím happy Brazzil published Dione Rocha. For one thing itís been a lot of fun. For another, Brazzil is now showing its true colors. But for those who may retain a cartoon-like understanding of freedom of the press and freedom of speech, these terms refer to freedom from government, not freedom from me. Nor can I expect my government to free me from the speech of Dione Rocha. But we do indeed have the right to object and boycott, even though the exercise of those rights might lead to the deprivation of Dione Rochaís place to publish. Isnít it more truly "Unamerican" to be ignorant of oneís rights than to exercise them?

Just by the way, is Dione Rocha a U.S citizen? If not, under certain circumstances -- such as war -- my government might be able to free me from her speech after all.

RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Randy Paul
On Saturday, December 01, 2001 at 20:07:06

Message:
I don't dispute Dione Rocha's right to spread her babaquice, her bobagem and porcŠria pura. Indeed, more speech is better than less speech, even if it is profoundly idiotic.

I also don't dispute "Brazzil's" right to publish it. I just think that they abdicated their editorial responsibilities by printing something in which opinion masqueraded as fact and which was written so sloppily and completely unsourced.
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Me too
On Sunday, December 02, 2001 at 05:45:47

Message:
The issue here has absolutely nothing to do with freedom of speach. Of course, anyone in America is free to say, print, publish absolutely anything they want, no matter how foul, offensive, stupid, misinformed, dangerous even, that information might be.

And we the readers, are absolutely free to condemn a publication that chooses to print materials that we find offensive.

And make no mistake, the articles that Rodney Mello of Brazzil.com chose (note that verb, "chose") to print are deeply and profoundly offensive. Instead of expressing sympathy and compassion in the wake of September 11, Mr. Mello published articles that basically said "Ha! You deserved what you got!" How heartless can you be, Rodney Mello? Have you no shame, Mr. Mello? And now, you apparently don't even have the spine to defend yourself.






RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Nathan
On Tuesday, December 04, 2001 at 08:12:36

Message:
Laurie, please study up on American Constitutionalism, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. You obviously don't understand the terms. No one here is calling for government-mandated censorship. Rather, we are questioning the judgment of Brazzil magazine. In so doing, we are exercising our First Amendment rights to express our opinions. Yes, Dione Rocha has the right to her uninformed, morally bankrupt views. But Brazzil has no obligation to publish them. That is our point.
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Laurie
On Wednesday, December 05, 2001 at 09:27:29

Message:
I understand the terms quite well, than you very much. I also said nothing about government mandated censorship, maybe you should work on your reading comprehension a bit.

I was speaking of the spirit of free speech, which goes far beyond the constitutional protections from governmental interference in it.

You're right, brazzil.com has no obligation to publish Dione Rocha. Conversely, you have no obligation to read it.

Suggesting that brazzil.com should censor Dione Rocha because you don't like her opions or the way she presents them is indeed the epitome of "unamerican".

Do you have a right to do this? Yes, you do, but it's still none the less unamerican to do so.
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Nathan
On Wednesday, December 05, 2001 at 10:42:28

Message:
First of all, I'm sorry if I came across as unduly harsh in my first response to you. The fact, however, that you still smear Ms. Rocha's critics on this board as "un-American" leads me to think you are confusing certain principles. "Freedom of Speech" and "Freedom of the Press," in the American tradition, grounded in the First Amendment to the Constitution, refer solely to government censorship. Private citizens' criticisms or boycotts, in response to offensive speech, in no way violates this principle. If anyone here were to argue that the government ought to regulate what is said or written so as not to offend people in the wake of the recent murderous acts of terror in America, I would of course oppose that. As would anyone who cherishes our First Amendment rights. But no one here, to my knowledge, has advocated that. So there are NO "freedom of speech" or "freedom of the press" issues at stake here.

All we are suggesting is that Brazzil magazine exercise some editorial discretion. That is NOT censorship. It's called having standards. The fact that Brazzil magazine published her irrational, poorly written, hateful rant (without any disclaimer) reveals either a severe lack of editorial discretion or (worse) a mentality that sypathizes with her morally bankrupt opinions.

Since the release of its tasteless post 9/11 issue, Brazzil magazine has made no official statement acknowledging their error in judgment. That has only added insult to the injury.

It is the reflexive response of those who choose not to own up to their words and actions to cloak themselves in the First Amendment, or American principles of freedom. But again, that isn't the issue. Of course Brazzil had the natural right to publish Ms. Rocha's diatribe. But that isn't an interesting question. In America, we start with the assumption that Brazzil CAN do that. The only interesting question, then, is SHOULD they? To simply point to the fact that in America they have the RIGHT to doesn't even start to answer the real question at hand.
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Diog
On Wednesday, December 05, 2001 at 11:18:37

Message:
>I was speaking of the spirit of free speech, which goes far beyond the constitutional protections from governmental interference in it.

Oh, the "spirit of free speech." Yes, thatís a conveniently hard one to argue with, given its meaninglessness. And tell us Laurie, as the only true American here capable of defining this, just how far does it go "beyond" constitutional or other inconveniently commonly agreed upon protections?



RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Diog
On Wednesday, December 05, 2001 at 11:47:21

Message:

Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing a tyranny in the making. : )) Sad, sad. If Laurie ever gets power beyond her vote, we will all be subject to her personal, elastic definitions of our freedoms. We will be labled "unAmerican" for violating "spirits" known only to Laurie. We will be "enemies of the people." : )) Perhaps we have a new generation of thinkers -- capable only of old thinking. Thinking that can only subordinate all logic to its personal desires. Iím happy for Laurieís opinion. Opinions expose the opinionated. : )) Brazzil.com, please publish more like them. : ))

Diog

RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Randy Paul
On Wednesday, December 05, 2001 at 13:14:59

Message:
Laurie,

If "Brazzil" publishes sloppy writing that has opinion masquerading as fact, that presents conclusion after unsupported conclusion without the slightest bit of editorial vetting of facts, then they debase themselves and, frankly, beg the question of their own credibility.

I have a friend who writes about music for this rag. She researches and checks her facts. That is the very least they should demand of someone like Ms. Rocha.

As I mentioned in my response to your initial post, I did contact Ms. Rocha (on several occasions in fact and continue to do so) and wanted to see how she would defend her positions. She never afforded me that courtesy. This publication refuses to do the same. Why?

I look forward to your response.

Randy Paul
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Laurie
On Thursday, December 06, 2001 at 10:35:04

Message:
Diog wrote:

> We will be labled "unAmerican" for violating
> "spirits" known only to Laurie

One would think the spirit of free speech is something that would be obvious to even the most simple-minded person.

I guess not.


RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Laurie
On Thursday, December 06, 2001 at 10:48:40

Message:
Randy Paul wrote:

> I did contact Ms. Rocha (on several occasions in fact and continue to do so)
> and wanted to see how she would defend her positions. She never afforded me
> that courtesy. This publication refuses to do the same. Why?

Perhaps niether one feels the need or obligation to defend themselves.

I can't think of any reason they should.
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Frederick Cranford
On Thursday, December 06, 2001 at 11:37:42

Message:
Once again, this has nothing to do with free speech. Mr. Rodney Mello of Brazzil.com chose to publish articles that attempt to justify the genocidal acts that took place on September 11. There it is, plain and simple. Rodney Mello wants to justify events that were as morally repugnant as any of the worst crimes in human history.

And for that reason alone, Rodney Melloís publication should be condemned. Advertisers and readers should shun Brazzil.com. Consumers should boycott any company that continues to advertise in Brazzil.com.

Mr. Mello has a perfect legal right to publish whatever he wants, and many have died to give him that right. That does not mean that we have to like it, and certainly does not mean anyone should continue to provide economic support to a publication that publishes such offensive material.

Let me quote just one little bit of Dione Rocha's "article:"

(refering to the US government, I think...) "They think they are poor victims who have been attacked for no reason and that's why they have been asking so insistently for retaliation"

This statement implies fairly directly that the events on September 11 were justifiable.

I shouldnít have to remind you, but I will anyway: armed murderers overtook 4 planes that day, flew two of them directly into 2 buildings that contained 30,000 completely innocent people, one of them into the Pentagon where thousands work(by the nature of their work, maybe just a tiny bit less innocent, but not really), and intended to fly another plan into yet another symbolic building somewhere in Washington.

These people MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD not two or three people, not two or three dozen people, but somewhere around FOUR THOUSAND INNOCENT people. People who have children, husbands, wives, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, best friends, drinking buddies, etc.

We are in fact very lucky that the final total wasn't more than 10,000. Hundreds of innocent firefighters, policemen, rescue workers, etc. gave up their lives in a effort that miraculously kept the total number dead in NYC to "only" three to four thousand souls.

There can be no justification for these events. To justify these acts is profoundly offensive to anybody with an ounce of human decency in them, no matter what you think of US policies. To justify these acts is profoundly offensive to all american citizens. To justify these acts, to anyone who lost friends, coworkers, loved ones, is about as cruel as a thing that I can imagine doing to another human being.

By publishing these articles, without any disclaimer, Brazzil.com gives the tacit appearance that they agree with the articles, that they do in fact believe that the events on September 11 were indeed justifiable. And for that reason alone, I believe Brazzil.com should be condemned.

Iíll say it again: anyone who advertises in this publication should immediately cancel their ads. Individuals should boycott any advertisers who continue to fund this publication.

RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Randy Paul
On Thursday, December 06, 2001 at 11:44:54

Message:
Or perhaps when presented with evidence that her positions were based not on fact nor experience nor specific examples, but stereotypes and generalizations, she realized her positions were indefensible. Indeed, if you articulate a position and refuse to defend it, why bother articulating the position in the first place?

When I said to defend their positions, I meant the ability to backup their statements with fact. I questioned Ms. Rocha's generalizations and provided her with facts that contradicted her stereotypes and generalizations. The fact that she didn't defend her positions can only lead me to conclude that she lacks the courage, facts or knowledge base to do so.

Indeed you posted the following:

>Also, I'm curious, did any of you who found Dione Rocha's opinions offensive email her directly? The articles in question *did* supply an email address?

Why present and e-mail address if you're not willing to respond?

Which brings me to the following question:

I was the first to respond to your post, but you haven't responded to any of the items brought up in my post. I'm interested in your thoughts. Could you please post a response.

Thanks,


Randy Paul

RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Diog
On Thursday, December 06, 2001 at 12:04:07

Message:
>"One would think the spirit of free speech is something that would be obvious toeven the most simple-minded person.

>I guess not."

Well Laurie, that explains why your "spirit of free speech" is obvious to you and not to me. :))

I guess so.

RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Randy Paul
On Thursday, December 06, 2001 at 12:07:06

Message:
Laurie,

I wrote:

>I did contact Ms. Rocha (on several occasions in fact and continue to do so) and wanted to see how she would defend her positions. She never afforded me that courtesy. This publication refuses to do the same. Why?

To which you responded:

>Perhaps niether one feels the need or obligation to defend themselves.

>I can't think of any reason they should.


Your initial post asked questions of those who objected to Ms. Rocha's article and Brazzil's decision to print it. I have defended my position, and while I respect your right not to agree with my position, why do you believe Ms. Rocha and Rodney Mello don't have to defend their positions, while you at least imply that those who disagree with them do?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Randy Paul
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Randy Paul
On Friday, December 07, 2001 at 06:42:45

Message:
Laurie,

Here is how Webster's defines Courage of convictions:

"to act in accordance with one's beliefs, especially in spite of criticism."

If Ms. Rocha believes in what she wrote, but won't respond to my (and presumably other) requests to defend her positions, then certainly she lacks the courage of her convictions, in my opinion. Please note that unlike her I qualified my statement as opinion.

I look forward to hearing from you. Please bear in mind, I have responded to you courteously.
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Randy Paul
On Monday, December 10, 2001 at 06:21:28

Message:
Laurie,

I'm still waiting for a response from you. If you don't want to respond on the forum, then you may also respond to me directly. I have been providing my e-mail address.

Randy Paul
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Bryant Martin
On Wednesday, December 12, 2001 at 03:19:18

Message:
Hello from North America!

What is this business? The Little Laurie Wars? It reminds me of the Little Longfellow Wars of times past.

I am wishing all peace and prosperity, from the mind of science.

Virginia, USA.
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Bryant Martin
On Wednesday, December 12, 2001 at 03:19:48

Message:
Hello from North America!

What is this business? The Little Laurie Wars? It reminds me of the Little Longfellow Wars of times past.

I am wishing all peace and prosperity, from the mind of science.

Virginia, USA.
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Randy Paul
On Wednesday, December 12, 2001 at 05:59:35

Message:
These are not wars. I merely responded to Laurie and would appreciate the courtesy of a response. I have not been rude to her, nor have I attacked her beliefs. She has referred to me as being "unamerican" and I would like for her to respond either directly to me or on this forum. Do you think that is unreasonable?
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Mee too
On Wednesday, December 12, 2001 at 07:04:22

Message:
well, there's an old saying, something like this, "Never try to teach a pig to sing - it only makes you look foolish, and it annoys the pig"

It's not the Laurie's of the world that bother me, it's the Rodney Mello's, the Dione Rocha's, the Frei Betto's. Once again, I invite these folks to come to NYC, see Ground Zero for themselves, talk to people who lost loved ones, coworkers, wives, husbands, brother firemen, policemen, etc. If they still want to publish the same kind of articles after that, well, what can you say...

I also invite them to find the article in today's New York times about the woman who was burned head to toe, and will be struggling to recover for the next year or more, and who will never fully recover. Did she deserve this? Did anyone? For some crackpot fundamentalist cause that only a few thousand fanatics believe in? I am amazed that this is even an issue.
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Diog
On Wednesday, December 12, 2001 at 10:18:17

Message:

Shame on you, Bryant, for not taking Laurie seriously. I shudder to think of the sexist implications embedded in your attempt to trivialize her. And this, coming from a fellow who thinks Virginia is part of North America.

In fact, Laurie and the others have serious opinions, even if theyíre not serious people. They are to be congratulated for representing well the corrosive ignorance, confusion and disdain that are all too common among the pseudo-educated, whose intellects, such as they are, are the servants of their envy.

Randy, I hope youíre not really expecting a reasoned response from a woman whose idea of a proper citation is, "I forget who said . . ." Besides, she only had one idea anyway and she already used it up.


RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Randy Paul
On Wednesday, December 12, 2001 at 17:46:31

Message:
Diog,

I would rather try to engage her, courteously and patiently than giver her a walk. If she ultimately fails to respond, that would certainly speak volumes about how she lacks the courage of her convictions. That has already been well demonstrated in the case of Ms. Rocha and Rodney Mello.

Me too:
>I also invite them to find the article in today's New York times about the woman who was burned head to toe, and will be struggling to recover for the next year or more, and who will never fully recover. Did she deserve this? Did anyone? For some crackpot fundamentalist cause that only a few thousand fanatics believe in? I am amazed that this is even an issue.

You can e-mail the article from the New York Times web page directly to her and Mr. Mello. I would encourage everyone who objected to Ms. Rocha's and Mr. Mello's babaquice to flood their mailboxes with such articles as well as The New York Times' portraits of grief section and ask them what I have been asking them: "How specifically were these people 'asking so insistently for retaliation?' I await your response."
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Randy Paul
On Friday, December 14, 2001 at 06:12:19

Message:
Laurie,

I have been meaning to tell you it was Voltaire who made the quote you refer to in your first post.

Speaking of which, I am still waiting for your response. Yet again, I remind you that I have responded to you courteously. Why do you choose not to respond?

Randy Paul
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Randy Paul
On Tuesday, December 18, 2001 at 12:19:17

Message:
Come on, Laurie, I'm awating a response. I've been courteous to you. Aren't you a defender of freedom of speech? Didn't you accuse me of being Un-American? Don't you want to defend your positions?
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Nathan
On Wednesday, December 19, 2001 at 08:51:10

Message:
Randy, I wouldn't hold your breath.
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Randy Paul
On Wednesday, December 19, 2001 at 09:09:17

Message:
I'm not, but I would rather expose her as someone who cannot defend her position or is too intellectually lazy or dishonest to do so.
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Me too
On Wednesday, December 19, 2001 at 13:17:55

Message:
Laurie and her ilk remind me of my teenage niece, who always wiggles out of any argument that isn't going her way with with a tart and dismissive "whatEVER!!"
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Nathan
On Thursday, December 20, 2001 at 15:05:55

Message:
Hey, whatever happened to the idea of pressuring brazzil's sponsors to remove their banner ads. Someone (was it you Randy?) said they'd post the contact info to do this. I see even amazon.com has an ad here.
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by frederick cranford
On Thursday, December 20, 2001 at 20:11:15

Message:
that was my suggestion, but I just havent had time to collect the information into an easy to digest post. If someone else has time, please feel free. It's all there under Brazzil Store...
RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Diog
On Friday, December 21, 2001 at 15:41:57

Message:

". . . I would rather expose her as someone who cannot defend her position or is too intellectually lazy or dishonest to do so."

"Laurieís" last post was just over two weeks ago, and considering its quality, Iíd say thatís pretty much a done deal. What can she say anyway? She doesnít actually know anything. Why, itís almost as though sheís a clone of Dione Rocha. : )) Nothing but a couple of heaps of hollow notions. Now they will doubtless move on to powerful positions in bureaucratic organizations, the result of both having achieved outstanding scores on multiple choice tests. : ))

RE: Censorship (Rocha, etc...)
Posted by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
On Monday, January 14, 2002 at 12:14:25

Message:
Cant we all just get along? Brazil is such a great country with so much to learn from. Ok just wanted to say that.

-Happy

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