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Town Square

Independence Day, indeed

Original post made on Jul 3, 2007

July 4 is Independence Day, but for many Americans that may mean little more than getting a day off from work, having a cookout or seeing fireworks. There's also something in there about beating the British.

Read the full story here Web Link

Comments

Posted by You Go, Don, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2007 at 7:32 pm

Don,

You really said it! And how have the PAWeekly editors taken your thoughts? Despite the last PAGE meeting where suggestions to Bill Johnson were made to create more accountability in TownSquare, nothing seems to be happening.

It's really unfortunate that TownSquare has diminished its credibility by allowing posters to be completely anonymous. It's down to the level of graffiti taggers, in many ways.

It *DOES* bring out the worst in people. It's hard to imagine people being any meaner than this in a public arena.

Those ugly people need to go back into their closets since they clearly are not contributing the the overall betterment of society.


Posted by Peter, a resident of Southgate
on Jul 3, 2007 at 9:41 pm

I think it would be worth trying a registration system, with people using their real names. It might be worth trying to see if the level of discourse improved. Or, if it didn't involve too much effort for the Weekly staff, try a two-tiered system for a while. One section would allow anonymity, the other registration. Then we might be able to compare the two.

How about it?


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 4, 2007 at 11:42 am

I can appreciate that not everyone has the comfort of the freedom to espouse unpopular ideas, because of social or business considerations. I do not, however, believe that an anonymous insult adds to any forum. There are some, albeit not myself, who might add to a conversation but are reluctant to submit to calumny. I prefer that the exchanges be of ideas and interpretations.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 4, 2007 at 11:48 am

I would add that all anonymous comments cannot be dumped together. There have been many very thoughtful comments and ideas put about by those of us who choose to remain anonymous. Just because we do not add our names does not mean that we are not hurling insults.


Posted by pat, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 4, 2007 at 12:43 pm

You're correct, Resident. Not all anonymous posters are insulting.

One woman explained that she did not use her real name when commenting on school issues because she didn't want her kids to be taunted. I don't use my last name, yet I've had people guess at my identity and send me emails about my comments on Town Square.

Personally, I've seen very few comments that I consider insulting or disrespectful. If anything, I think the Palo Alto Online staff deletions are overly censorious.

Don Kazak quotes says John Milton was right when he wrote that in a conflict of free ideas the truth will always win. Whose truth? I don't see truth winning in many areas of our government and society. WMDs in Iraq? Creationism?



Posted by get real, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 5, 2007 at 9:31 am

Dear You Go,

It's really unfortunate that TownSquare has diminished its credibility by allowing posters to be completely anonymous.

And then you post anonymously...what more needs to be said?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 5, 2007 at 10:45 am

Don, I appreciated this "op." I value the forum to share opinions but wish people would place more value in tact and respect.

I'd like to read more about this additional history note. Can you point us to references? Thanks.

For an additional history note, it's well known that the words to our national anthem were written by Francis Scott Key. He was a poet who was being held captive above decks on a British ship during the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, when Americans again fought those dastardly British.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2007 at 11:42 am

Resident above

It is interesting what you say about the words of the National Anthem. I believe the tune was originally a drinking song with rather vulgar words from a London Pub.


Posted by Don Kazak, Palo Alto Weekly columnist
on Jul 6, 2007 at 9:48 am

Don Kazak is a registered user.

In reply to Resident, I don't have citations for how the national anthem came to be written but I read the same account in different history books. And yes, the tune is indeed that of an old English drinking song.