Ellen Aims for the Nuts


Thanks, Ellen!

I don't believe we've met, which makes me appreciate  your note to the Hoboken Reporter all the more.

Though I'm not sure I agree with the title, "Nancy Pincus is no threat to anybody". 

Are you sure about that?  Have you heard me sing?

Ellen, I'm thinking that YOU should be a partner at Wachtell, Lipton Rosen & Katz, if you wouldn't mind the 7-million dollar paycheck.

Would you?  You know, it's not easy being rich.  Or so an acquaintance who was from a wealthy family once complained- the rich have all sorts of wealth management issues. Like where to stuff their money: a mutual fund or a mattress?   Where to summer: St. Moritz or Monte Carlo?   What to order at Le Bernadin: the Caviar-Wagyu or the Caviar-Urchin?   

Eenie meenie miney moe... 

What a pain-in-the-ass.  Who needs that?

But I'm sure you belong at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz because  you understand that free speech is the pillar of our American democracy, and trying to threaten and intimidate political opponents by criminalizing free speech is the first step toward fascism.  Such as employing the police for a bogus investigation on political satire.   Or continually using the press and other media outlets in an attempt to ostracize the author of the satire in her own community, to denigrate her volunteer public service.

Call it a Hoboken-style fatwa.  

Pakistani Fatwa (religious): against a cartoonist
“We have put a price on the blasphemer’s head, and will pay one million dollars to the person who kills him,” Qureshi told Daily Times. Qureshi said that the US government had banned his entry into America and refused him a visa after he issued the fatwa against the cartoonist working for Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

 Hoboken Fatwa (political) against a graphic artist/satirist
(Ricky Mason says) Ms. Pincus is a close ally of Mayor Zimmer and the council majority. She is a member of the Zoning Board, on which she sits in a judicial capacity. Her statements demonstrate that, at a minimum, she does not have the demeanor to judge her fellow residents, particularly if they disagree with her on political issues. I am appalled that neither the mayor nor the majority have lifted a finger to remove her from this position...

Personally, I'll choose removal from a Hoboken municipal board over removal of my head, but what's the difference from the point of view of the Iman or the husband of Beth Mason?  Both aim to destroy the author of speech (or art) they wish to silence.

GA's been down this road before, a couple of times.

But Ellen's the first to step up off the blogs  and write a letter to say NO to the Masons' assault on the First Amendment and to recognize the proud history of political satire in America.

You may not think about it this way, but the Masons' serial abuse of GA's speech is aimed at YOU; it's designed to discourage you from participating in our democracy through voicing dissent or disagreement in any form.  Plenty of good people avoid getting involved in civic life because they witness what happens to people who do.  Don't let them get away with it.

Think about it, people.  

What the Columbia Encyclopedia says about satire:
From ancient times satirists have shared a common aim: to expose foolishness in all its guises — vanity, hypocrisy, pedantry, idolatry, bigotry, sentimentality — and to effect reform through such exposure. 
My right to political commentary (via satire)  and yours.  All the same. 

Next time (and there will be one) I hope others will step up like Ellen, to call them out on it as she did beautifully.
Dear Editor:

This is in response to Ricky Mason’s letter to the publisher of 9/18/11. With all due respect to Mr. Mason and given his education, reputation and breadth of legal experience, I am incredulous that he does not seem to grasp the meaning of political satire or lampoon. Political lampoons date back more than 200 years and have offered a path to parody for citizens who want to voice their opposition to a particular person or policy.

Under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, we are guaranteed the right to express our views – whether literally or by lampooning (e.g., “PUNCH” or “Mad Magazine”). Nancy Pincus does not present a threat and for anyone to suggest otherwise is ludicrous. She is a long-time, responsible resident of Hoboken, a taxpayer, a member of the Zoning Board and most importantly, a mother who would never jeopardize the security of her young daughter. Nancy Pincus cares deeply about Hoboken, which is why she airs her views (satirically) on her blog. That’s a good thing. It makes people think.

Which begs the question: why did Mr. Mason’s letter come from him and not his wife?


Ellen Scheurer