Monday, October 1, 2007

Gutter free speech

Leonard Pitts, jr. had quite a comment about the message boards at the Miami Herald. Those who made it absolutely necessary for the editors of that sage paper to begin policing the comments. Quite frankly, because the folks at the message boards used anonymity as an opportunity for trash talk.

Well, trash talk isn't just a problem for the message boards, it can also appear and embarrassingly so in the letters columns. Where people, under their own name, can spread pure crap, stuff they get off the internet that isn't what you'd call original, and make baseless accusations. The worst paper for trash talk is no less than the Coeur d'Alene Press, on-line and in the Readers Write section.

Why put this latest scanned (republished to the Spokesman-Review print edition) of Glenn McCoy in this post? McCoy, under his own name also engages in the gutter or trash talk that Pitts finds so distressing. Here, McCoy is supposedly being snide about Clinton's health care plan that she is presumably "fixing" at a patient's bed side. Not the worst of trash talk, but definitely dumb. He can't think, apparently to have all presidential candidates standing around discussing health care programs in maybe a surgical situation. Nope, his special attention is focused on Hilary alone. She messes with a machine already broken, and the patient? Well now, he may not be insured.

Speaking of freedom of speech whereby religious radicalism thinks it is an exploitable tool. To pledge or not to pledge has been running on HBO on-line :

One poster thought in terms of "following God first" even before the laws of men. Another poster thought of reminding people with "In God We Trust" on our money and other reminders of God in our institutions and etc.; that God was what lay behind the founding of our government. And took the Declaration of Independence out of context. Well now, in diametric opposition, is God behind the founding of the U.S. Constitution? Or can that document be dismissed by following the laws of God first? My answer to that form of radical trash talk? If you loved your neighbors, that would be following God's laws and being in compliance with the U.S. Constitution.

As it is, the Pledge of Allegiance was actually not originally written with "under God." "Under God" was inserted in the 1950s as we began waging the Cold War against "Godless Communism." Presumably, God was what differentiated we Americans from those Commies. However, where we inserted God into the Pledge of Allegiance and put God's imprimatur onto mammon; we also managed to forget the biblical obligations that go with such public reminders of God. Caring for the poor, not all the neighbors you are expected to love are white, healing the sick, respecting the differences of opinion and belief found among your neighbors. "God" could be heard on the lips --Reference Isaiah, but the hearts of self-proclaimed "conservatives" were far from him. God as symbol to be exploited. God as politics. And without question, the folks who engage in trash talk at the Miame Herald message boards also proclaim themselves to be "Christian." Glenn McCoy also goes to church?
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