In reply to Ronald Reagan statue vandalized in Southern California - NY Daily News
Vandalism is awful, no matter the reason. But it's disappointing to see some on the right blaming "the left" with absolutely zero evidence. IF it does turn out to be an act borne of political animus, that would be terrible, and deserving of swift punishment. (Whether you think it would deserve MORE punishment than if it was committed by drunk teenagers or a mentally unstable person depends on your politics and your views on how much or little motive counts when one commits a criminal act.) But to blame anyone or ascribe any motive without facts to back it up in the name of political partisanship is pretty despicable, as well.
Posted Monday, 9/23/13, 9:40 PM
(Supporting links and updates to the story to follow)
You bring up several points that definitely deserve consideration...and do so with respect for all sides, which is all too rare here on the internet machine.
In fact, most of 'em are so worthy of consideration that I want to stew over 'em for awhile before expressing an opinion.
In part, I'm concerned that my desire not to support the rightwing bloggers on partisan and personal grounds is influencing my opinion of some of what you've said here. I believe in free speech and more speech, but I find some of the folks that stance has me defending morally repugnant and personally ungrateful, besides. While I'm defending them, they're attacking me both personally and via sweeping generalization. It definitely makes one want to just not bother, and some of what you've written here might be justification to do just that.
On the other hand, one's values are one's values. No one ever said it was easy, and free speech is often about defending the rights of those one finds repugnant. In any case, I just want to be sure that I'm agreeing with you (or Ken) for the right reasons.
The only bit I can speak to (at least a little) is whether there isn't a person or cause more deserving. My take has always been that one does what one does and starts where one starts. Every dollar donated to one cause is a dollar that isn't donated to any other cause. By donating to help families who lost their homes in a natural disaster, you're not helping starving children in Africa. By spaying and neutering stray cats, you're turning your back on programs that help homeless veterans. And yeah, putting money into a defense fund for internet free speech necessarily means those who do will give less to defend the indigent accused of more serious crime.
I take this all to be a plea to consider what's really important to you, and to donate accordingly. But at the same time, I also think there have to be people out there for free speech AND folks for indigents accused of murder AND people whose cause is stray cats AND... (etc.) While it's up to us to put our money where our values are, choosing from among all the competing "goods" there are, it's also important that someone fights for the local art museum, music education or the grey spotted salamander, even if others believe that money could be much better spent saving the causes they champion instead. We start where we start, and we do what we can (and we hope others do too, so that every worthy cause ultimately gets funded.)
In reply to the Legal Insurrection post To delete a tweet, or not to delete a tweet, that is the question, discussing whether or not to disappear tweets (and by extension, blog posts, etc) where one offers, repeats, or reacts to inaccurate infirmation or says something that turns out to be embarassing. (Follow the link above to the original post for more info.)
I can see both sides (especially in the case of traditional media outlets which, like it or don't, many trust more than bloggers), but I'm in the "leave it up and issue a correction tweet or two" camp. (In some instances when I've tweeted incorrect information (when I thought it was a serious enough error), I've also gone back and commented on my own tweet, correcting the incorrect info. Problem solved.)
While it's embarrassing to repeat, retweet, or react to a news report that later turns out to've been incorrect, I don't so much blame the person who repeated it as the source of the bad information. (Yeah, I hold the "traditional media" to a higher standard than I do bloggers and other social media users, too.)
Everyone makes mistakes, overreacts, or otherwise puts out things they later wish they hadn't (or at the very least, had handled differently). Owning up to being a human being with human foibles makes one more trustworthy in the long run.