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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Democracy Downtown

Street_preacher Something for everyone in downtown Burlington, Vermont this sun-splashed Saturday!

William Costello, 41, of Milton, described himself as a "street evangelist." Told me he was saved nine years ago and has been street-preaching for the last seven. Does it all over Chittenden County, he said.

We asked him if the cops ever hassled him?

He just shook his head "no," and said, "First Amendment."

Then, out of nowhere, came something I haven't seen in a long, long time: college students protesting a war. Hey, there isn't even a draft!

Antiwar This bunch of about 60 included students from (at least) Middlebury College, UVM and Johnson State College.

Well-organized. Good chants:

What do we want Democracy to look like?

This is what we want Democracy to look like!

U.S. Out of the Middle East

No Justice! No Peace!



FYI: I deleted the comments from “vermonter” and “real vermonter” posted under Friday Night Follies. Never did that before and I wanted to tell you why:

Gut impulse.

Woke this morning with a little nausea feel. The last chemo dose was a stiff one. The post from “vermonter” calling me “sexist” for commenting on the House Speaker’s second haircut in two weeks only irritated it. The nausea feel.

Then someone called “real vermonter” posted a shot calling “vermonter” a “chickenshit” for not putting his/her real name on his shot, but didn’t give her/his  name, either.

Look, one thing I’ve always done since "Inside Track" popped up in the Vanguard Press back in 1981 is put my name on it. I’ll take shots and write some unflattering comments about our public/political figures, but I’ll always put my name on it.

So....who needs this?

Life’s too short.

Grow up.


- Freyne


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Peter Joes

Peter - I'm sorry it has come to this. However, it is your blog and you set the rules.

People that write particularly offensive material or write it offensively lose credibility with the majority of people that may frequent this blog. So, in that sense they don't need to be censored - - they just shoot themselves in the foot. That is a major theme of free speech. let the fools speak so others can hear what they have to say - - and reject it.

The subject of pen names is a tough one. I too am writing using a pen name. I hate to do it but for various reasons I couldn't comment on some items otherwise.

I guess if Peter is particularly interested in who I am and asks me in a private email, I can let him know who I am - - - next time I see him about town.



I do seem to recall that a certain columnist went nuts a couple of years ago screaming "censorship" when the Burlington Electric Department required an artist to change part of a mural he had painted on a BED building.

sandy ward

Posting is like sex, it shouldn't be an anonymous release.


Then reporters shouldn't be able to use anonymous sources, either.

Dennis Shanley

Bravo to you Peter! I stand up at town meeting and say my piece. Most everyone knows me and where I come from. "Hello, I'm a first time caller and I just wanted to gush for Rush" or "I want to get my absurdest comment into Peter's blog" just doesn't impress me. Yes I'll use my pen name most of the time. It seems more appropriate, especially when addressing those in your wider readership who don't know me personally but if I need to face the courage of my convictions I will want everyone to know that I am Dennis Shanley and I live In Jeffersonville, Vermont!

If you don't have the balls to be open
Why the hell should I be hoping

jim james

you haven't seen college students protesting a war in a long time? what about back in March when a bunch of students over at St. Mike's held a "die-in" in the snow? the Free Press covered it in a big way, didn't see anything in Seven Days though. Hmm.
And there's certainly no shortage of war protesters at UVM...although they usually prefer protest in regards to legalizing marijuana, but still...


There are reasons for anonymous commenting and blogging, especially for women. (Try googling yourself to see how easy it would be for a stalker to find you if you use your real name.)

However, anonymous or not, commenters should speak to the content of the article, and not get into the game of taking cheap pot-shots. Too many blogs are ruined by people playing that game.


Right you are. The question is, what qualifies as a cheap shot? The names and foul language that has been consistently leveled in these blogs in the last few weeks against those well-meaning Legislators who don't support the impeachment movement has been astounding. Speaker Symington was compared to a Nazi by someone who blogged here. And there have been many more harsh insults hurled at well-meaning, anti-Bush Legislators who just don't happen to think that impeachment is the appropriate way to go.

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