Letter to Lourie Bell Davis,
President Intertel

I've read your comments of June 10th about Port of Call. I'll reply despite the distinct lack of identifiable feedback apart from your own. If Bill Stevens is "very upset", I'd have expected a note by now. If the others of "some ... feedback" are indeed concerned it would be useful to hear from them also.

There has been copy in Port of Call about local gatherings; Kort is obviously only able to print what people submit. I assure you he prints everything sent; he can hardly be criticized for not publishing what was never furnished in the first place! As to AGAs, he should be reminding our members about those. That's an oversight I'm sure he'll correct next year. Also, a correction: Port of Call has not been coming monthly, as you state, but every other month.

I have reread the issue. Not only do I not find any significantly objectionable material in it, but it would never occur to me to question my editor's decision to publish, given the extreme dearth of member submissions. He has repeatedly implored them to send him something, anything, that he could print. Predictably, his pleas have mostly been met with deafening silence. If there are folks in RVII who take exception to Kort's rants, it seems to me they are obliged to attack him in print; I've no doubt he'll print virtually anything they submit.

Although there are certainly things that even I would agree are not suitable for publication in an Intertel newsletter, I've seen nothing so far in Kort's that would fall under that definition. To me the very notion of externally imposed restraints on publication, particularly given that we're not dealing here with obscenity, but with ideas that some consider "dangerous", is about as obscene as a triple-X movie would be to a triple-R. You have to try to understand that the ideas Kort expresses are not unique to him. For example, Richard Epstein, a nationally respected legal scholar, recently observed in an interview; " I agree with (Clarence Thomas) that most of what the federal government does is mischievous and wrong. "

I can't in conscience support the level of restriction implied. It might be different if we were dealing with graphic violence or sex, but not with controversial political positions, for pete's sake! I find the very idea of quashing political speech unspeakably unthinkable; or, as that well-known radical rabble-rouser Patrick Henry once said, "Forbid it, Almighty God!".

W. Brewster Gillett

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