- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Plagiarized letter

Rep. Sherrod Brown, Ohio Democrat, wrote to Sen. Mike DeWine, Ohio Republican, last week, voicing concern about Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s labor record.

Mr. Brown’s language was crisp — and was plagiarized — the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Roughly 90 percent of what Mr. Brown wrote in his letter was lifted from an Internet posting by a blogger, as Mr. Brown’s office acknowledged Monday when the Plain Dealer presented the similarities.

Mr. Brown had not credited the blogger, Nathan Newman of NathanNewman.org, or any other source, Plain Dealer Washington Bureau Chief Stephen Koff wrote.

For instance, Mr. Newman, a lawyer and labor and community activist, posted this on his blog Nov. 1: “What is striking about Alito is that he is so hostile even to the basic rights of workers to have a day in court, much less interpreting the law in their favor.”

Mr. Brown’s letter merely changed the last clause so the sentence read: “What is striking about Alito is that he is so hostile even to the basic rights of workers to have a day in court, not to mention interpreting the law against them.”

Mr. Brown’s letter cited details of 13 rulings by Judge Alito, who in early 2006 will face confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The problem is, Mr. Brown’s descriptions in 12 of the cases were almost verbatim what Mr. Newman wrote on his blog.

Mr. Brown’s office acknowledged that it should not have used Mr. Newman’s words without giving him credit. Spokeswoman Joanna Kuebler said she found Mr. Newman’s work when researching labor issues. Mr. Brown’s legislative staff confirmed its accuracy, and Mr. Brown then signed the staff-prepared letter, the spokeswoman said.

Left-wing circus

President Bush learned two lessons at the failed summit of Mar del Plata: the visceral hatred that the ideas inspired by Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez have for the United States, and the profound division that afflicts Latin America,” Carlos Alberto Montaner writes in the Miami Herald.

“The devastating protest was not surprising, however. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disappearance of the Soviet Union, the Left everywhere stopped offering options for governance or serious theories about development and equity and sought refuge in protest,” Mr. Montaner said.

“Anti-Americanism has turned into ideology. The communists have exchanged Das Kapital for T-shirts with the image of Che Guevara and choruses of brief (and badly rhymed) slogans. The Left today is nothing but circus and street violence.

“But that strategy, along with the corruption and follies of many governments, has burrowed deeply, especially in Latin America, where a growing number of citizens despise democracy as a method to organize co-existence and reject the market economy as a way to create and assign wealth.”

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