Monty Python ... one of, if not, the best comedy troupes of all time and inspiration for the title of my blog
As most of the regular readers of the blog here on mccookgazette.com know, mine and Sam Eldridge's blogs were taken down for a while. The reason is quite simple. Both of our blogs were causing very angry and heated comments from both sides of the political spectrum and it got way to personal.
So you can basically call this a reset on my part. I will continue to write politically, because politics is in my blood and that's what I really enjoy writing about. The change that will occur is that I will take an active part in policing what happens in the comments section. The first thing that I ask of everyone, including myself, is to stay on topic. If you have something you really want to talk about, create a blog. If I see that the conversation is veering from the topic I will ask that you get back on topic of the blog. If you can't get back on topic or you refuse, your comments will be flagged for removal.
Before I move on I would like to share a portion of the mccookgazette.com Terms of Service that I will be helping to enforce from this point on. Everyone here that has created a username has accepted these terms. This comes from the section on Community Forums:
* Do not disrespect the privacy and views of others;
* Do not use the Community Forums for commercial purposes, including the promotion of any specific goods or services;
* Do not post obscene, profane, sexually explicit, libelous, slanderous, defamatory, harmful, threatening, illegal or knowingly false information;
* Do not post blatant expressions of bigotry, racism or hate, material encouraging conduct that may constitute or contribute to a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability or violate any national, state or local law, regulation or authority, or any other material which RUST COMMUNICATIONS finds objectionable;
* Do not use the Community Forums for unlawful purposes;
* Do not impersonate another person;
* Do not allow any other person or entity to use your identification to post or view comments; and
* Do not post material that infringes on the copyright or other intellectual property rights of others or the privacy and publicity rights of others.
To expand on these, there will be posters on here that will scream that if anyone's posts are taken off the site it is a violation on that person's Freedom of Speech. It is not. To be clear, the Amendment (which is the first) in the Constitution that specifically mentions Freedom of Speech is talking about banning the government from taking your Freedom of Speech from you. Once you agree to any terms by signing your name or on the internet clicking okay, that organization for person is now responsible for what you say. On this blog if I feel, or if any poster feels, that you have violated any of the above statements, it is the responsibility of us to flag your comment.
The matter of fact here is that any comment made on a blog that I write I am responsible for. If it is objectionable it will be flagged immediately.
I have said many things on my blogs that have offended people in the past and said things that have truly upset people. I do apologize for that. I do, however, consider myself to be a left wing liberal. This may surprise many of you, but I don't feel that President Obama is doing enough right now. He has allowed himself to get bogged down in trying to get bi-partisanship acceptance of his health care reform. Bi-partisanship, I am afraid to say, is something that may be to be read in the history books. This isn't a Republican thing or a Democratic thing. This is a politics thing. To expand on what another blogger wrote about here recently, politicians have for the most part put their own personal gains ahead of what's right for the country (no matter which side you are on).
But I digress. I am also a historian. I have a B.A. in History and I am currently working on my M.A. in History. I absolutely love history, obviously since I am studying it. That is why, when I see history misrepresented on this site, in the media, and in politics I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve. I am the same way with education. I come from a family of educators. My dad is a professor, my mom is an elementary teacher, my older brother Brandon, was going to school to be a teacher, before joining the Navy, and my younger brother is interning in his final semester of his education training. Teaching runs in my blood. My parents, specifically, have spent their lives educating and truly putting everything they have into it. They love every student that comes through their classrooms every year and want the best for them. That's why, in the past, it has absolutely infuriated me when a blogger or poster has come on this site and completely misrepresented education. What pushes me even further is when those same people are just repeating what they have heard, without actually going into a school to witness what is going on for themselves.
That is my background. This is what my blogs are going to be primarily about. I will give my opinion on the stories of the day, but I will also correct the lies and distortions that are cast out.
Now that I have said all of the above, I will move on to the title of my post. I will debate anyone who wants to debate me until we are blue in the face. What needs to change on here is the name-calling and putdowns. If you want to disagree with someone or me, come with the facts (as we all should). We need to be setting an example of what civil discourse looks like. The time for yelling at each other and seeing who can yell the loudest or who can get the best put down in on the other person. I will encourage any poster that feels or believes that someone (even me) is shooting off at the hip, to demand that they provide facts that back up their assertions. If the poster chooses not to answer or can't provide the facts, that is the point where it needs to end. Do not continue to post demanding that the person provide facts. Take it as a moral and personal victory but don't gloat and don't continue demanding.
I am hoping that all of us, including me, will be able to stay true to this. I don't believe any of us take any satisfaction in the flamers that show up from time to time. Flamers, for those unfamiliar with the web term, are people that simply go on blogs to incite, inflame, or degrade other posters. They will show up that is a given, the simple thing to do is to ignore them. As long as the flamer doesn't violate the terms above their comment will remain.
I would like to give a special thanks to Brain Hoag, who in the absence of the political blogs, provided the kind of political debate that really needs to be seen much more in the political climate these days. His cool headed look at both sides of the political spectrum is something that is largely missing in the political climate today.
It is my goal to look at each side evenly, but that is not a promise. As I have said I am a left wing liberal, so there will be times where I am looking at the world from that side of the spectrum. I do realize that McCook and the surrounding areas is by the most part, very conservative, that is why I started this blog a little over a year ago. I wanted to give a differing opinion to what was being said and heard. I'm kind of to conservatism around here as Fox News is to the media (another side, yes a shock, not a slam of Fox News). It has always been my goal to present my side and back up with the facts that I do research. There have been times in the past where I have written a blog straight from my liberal heart, and while I do consider those some of my best I do realize that they are lacking in facts and a lot of what I said could be, and were, ripped apart. I am going to attempt 110% to keep those blogs to a minimal and at the very least if one of those blogs does come flying out of my finger tips, I will always make a concerted effort to come back and defend what I have said.
Let's all make a valiant effort to make these blogs something that everyone wants to read and not something that people glance at and scoff and keep reading something else.
Here's to a new beginning and like the new name of my blog (I'm sure a few of you have already chuckled at my picture), And Now For Something Completely Different ...