One of the great rewards of writing a weekly newspaper column is hearing from readers. What’s not to love about accolades, applause and nods of agreement? I also find feedback offering views that differ from mine or broaden my perspective to be equally rewarding.
Since we are nearing the close of another year and my email inbox is full, I thought I would share some of the nuggets of wisdom offered by a few readers in response to recent columns. So here it goes …
On the subject of last week’s column, who would steal the baby Jesus? One reader told me who and why I shouldn’t be surprised:
“The voters of THE BIBLE BELT just voted overwhelmingly for the lowest form of life to historically run for president of these United States. And you’d ask, ‘Who would steal Jesus?’ From my perspective, you could pick at random and have a 70 percent chance of pointing out the guilty one. Might just catch him/her leaving one of our still segregated churches.”
The same writer also pointed out conservative, high profile politicians in state government who supported President-elect Donald Trump, but were quick to find fault with former President Bill Clinton’s womanizing ways.
On the subject of city governments responding to widely spread rumors on social media in the same platform:
“I’m not sure I understand what you’re advocating. FOI law requires government at ALL levels to notify the PRESS before convening or discussing public business. Certain things may be discussed in closed session — but they must be voted on in public. How are they being asked to do that on Social Media? Do you mean after decisions are taken the results should be posted? Or are you advocating that participants do it via cell phone on Facebook and hope the concerned and affected public decides to access it and find out what was decided? Guess I’m just not getting the thrust of the article, but the older set (whom I’m among) quite often has no Facebook or other social media and how’d they know or have any say in the taxes levied that they were neither asked about or approved? Clarify please.”
And my reply: A Facebook statement or tweet from an official could be shared like rumors — and it only requires one post on the part of the official. One public official making a statement about a rumor in the same forum it is being circulated does not violate the FOI. I’m not advocating they discuss city business amongst themselves, just that they could nip rumors in the bud by sharing facts.
On the subject of election fraud:
“I wish your column on election fraud could be reprinted on a weekly basis for a year or two. The Big Lie about election fraud has been so successful that those who fell for it will probably never change their minds. It’s important that future first-time voters not be indoctrinated with that Big Lie — it won’t be easy.”
On the subject of Trump’s post-election behavior and business conflicts of interest:
“Thanks for your excellent column. It looks like the Donald J. Trump Titanic has set a course to be the most plutocratic and corrupt administration in our history — far, far, far surpassing that of the Reagan administration. The Republican Congress will surely be even more negligent in its role of checking the president than it was during the first six years of Bush-Cheney, and if they are able to stack the courts with reactionaries — as is their plan, there won’t be enough lifeboats for the rest of us.”
On the subject of medical marijuana and its opposers:
“The governor was shilling for corporate welfare first. Taxpayers supporting rich folks’ factories, etc. so we can not only pay for the jobs but get paid slave wages for doing them. Non-union state, ya know? The ‘doctor in chief’ was shilling for the pharmacies. How many folks know what they charge for the too few medical derivatives of marijuana? Did any of those speakers give a price they charge? Cops shilling for the ‘prison industry.’ How many guards, lawyers, sheriffs, etc. would be out of work, were it not for the nonviolent marijuana ‘violators?’ How many of those violators could we educate to a productive state of mind and capability for about the same or even less that its costing us taxpayers to lock them up for hacking off the church folks and cocktail party throwing politicians ?”
Thanks for the observations on my weekly offerings. I appreciate you for reading and caring enough about the topics to share your thoughts with me. I look forward to more feedback in the coming year.
Shea Wilson is the former managing editor of the El Dorado News-Times. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter.com @sheawilson7.