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Why am I not surprised that Peter Hannaford, an editorial page editor from the old media, would offer us a false Hobson’s Choice when it comes to anonymous free speech? And how rich is it that Mr. Hannaford cites as an example for his hand wringing, a “law school message board…for prospective and actual college and law students”? You mean to tell us that it’s the intellectual elites that engage in this form of distasteful ribald self-expression, and not those Neanderthal conservatives? Hmmm, what’s this world coming to?
Mr. Hannaford is either ignorant of, or forgets, that anonymous vilification is as old as our republic itself. The very roots of our revolution were sowed from the vitriolic writings of anonymous pamphleteers: Thomas Payne, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, to name but just a few. Now, this is not to say that hate-filled profanity, ad hominem and vile comments, that are too often found on blogs and websites, are to be confused with this genre of anonymous satire, but Mr. Hannaford’s reaction and solution to this dilemma is as draconian and iron-fisted as what we’ve come to expect from our leftist elites. Mr. Hannaford offers up self-restraint, in the form of a self imposed gag order, all in the name of civility. Civility trumps discourse any day in today’s politically correct world. He concludes with the Orwellian refrain that self-restraint advances free speech. Well, only in the mind of an elitist. While the disclosure of one’s actual identity would indeed weed out the vile and the prurient, it would also kill hard edged ridicule of the pompous and the powerful, that only anonymity affords. I’m not convinced Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid would take to kindly to criticism that has a name associated with it, are you?p>Responsible websites have policies that protect from the extreme circumstances. Any website that doesn’t, well, why would you even pause to consider these comments, let alone take offense? So, Mr. Hannaford, if your solution to the people’s right to unfettered free speech is to kill it, I hope you won’t be offended if I say that I’m not the least bit surprised that you’re comfortable as an editorial board editor. br> — A. DiPentima /p>
Peter Hannaford’s column re-emphasizes one of the bedrock principles of American law: the ability to face, or in the case of the Internet, identify one’s accusers. Being required to include a name and a number with a rant should seriously cull the herd of self-aggrandizing cockroaches whose intellectual “prowess” runs the gamut from curses to incoherence.p>Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch. br> — Arnold Ahlert (really) br> Boca Raton, Florida /p> p> THREE OF A KIND
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?