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Re: “Land of the Free and Uncomfortable

In an addendum comment, I must say that it is repugnant that in 2017 anyone would support a return to poll taxes, which are an ugly reminder of this nation's racist legacy that remains with us today.

As for women's right to vote, the Suffragettes are turning over in their graves. I cannot believe anyone would actually say that, let alone believe it.

Just as outrageous is anyone who believes that it should be government policy to get into the religion business. How would they go about setting up a religious bureaucracy? And, which form of Christianity would be chosen? Our representatives cannot even get a decent healthcare system for the nation. Statements from a pundit who thinks government should be smaller. Where is Jay Leno when you need him?

Posted by Glenn Franco Simmons on 07/03/2017 at 10:57 PM

Re: “Land of the Free and Uncomfortable

A very well-written and thoughtful column.

My parents and grandma also taught me that maxim; to my regret, I don't always live up to it. We are all works in progress.

While I agree with a quote that is often mistakenly attributed to Voltaire ("I dont agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it."), I do not extend my support for speech that threatens physical harm and/or murder. Free speech does not include protection to make death threats and/or threats of physical harm.

This is playing out at San Francisco State University, which is being sued (https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents…) for its alleged inability to protect Jewish students from threatening behavior. I first wrote about the issue more than a year ago for The Times of Israel and more recently on Medium after the lawsuit was filed in federal court.

The right to free speech includes allowing repugnant groups to speak, whether they are hateful bigots or peace-loving people. That it should be violently resisted or shutdown by the government is an affront to the basic right of free speech that so many Americans cherish.

Posted by Glenn Franco Simmons on 07/03/2017 at 10:24 PM

Re: “Keep a Lid on the Id

Well written piece. I contend that things are functioning as they should:
Blogs/online newspapers are free to have whatever comment policy they feel is correct for them.
The NAACP (and you) are free to ask them to amend those policies.
We are free to read any source of news (and/or comments) we desire.

Journalists are supposed to inform us, what we do with the information is really none of their business and when it becomes their focus, journalism becomes an attempt to control us.

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Posted by Frederik Kalor on 07/03/2017 at 7:25 AM

Re: “Keep a Lid on the Id

A thought-provoking column. I'd be curious as to what your students think.

I subscribe to The Press Democrat and you now have to be a subscriber to comment, although you can use a moniker other than your real name. I would change it so that only real names could be used.

I never liked anonymous comments, even when I managed newspapers. I believe that comments should be like a letter to the editor: the author is known except in the rarest of circumstances. In regard to your comment about limiting comments like a letter, that would be a good idea from my perspective.

Would requiring real names dampen readers' interest in commenting on, and reading, an online publication? Perhaps. But, when you have, as you noted, moronic threads that never seem to end, and which feature one insult after another, are those clicks really beneficial to the publication?

To get around the issue of verification and in an effort to address vitriolic comments, some online news sources have taken the Draconian step of removing the ability to comment. Others use Facebook, etc.

Then again, perhaps I'm too much of an old-fashioned throwback.

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Posted by Glenn Franco Simmons on 07/02/2017 at 6:02 PM

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