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04 July 2011


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cool and clear ,a wonderful arc I am saluting my screen in honor of the 235th and you

Thanks for this. We're new residents to the area and it was our first time attending. You've captured beautifully both the contradictions and the joy. It was a great morning.

John - nice photos. Thanks for sending them to Clara who sent them on to me.

Jim Simmons


Thanks for the great pictures of the band. I wills end the link to the members.


John, Stephanie, Jim, and Steve,

Thanks very much for your comments. They mean a lot to me.

Excellent post, John.

You really captured the essence of America -- its contradictions, foibles, strengths, and inspirations -- through your expressive pictures and prose at this event.

John, Great pics. Love all the smiles. Deborah


John, Did you really have to use the pejorative "right-wing crank"? There are plenty of cranks, some who possibly agree with your view points. What I find ironic is you embrace dissent, and yet, it would seem you would be supportive of censoring certain dissent. (Like the car bumper sticker saying, "Turn off Fox".)Maybe I'm reading too much into your comments. However, I find it childish to name-call those we disagree with, no matter our political persuasion. Will you allow dissent on this site? Respectfully, Pam Bush

Hi, Pam.

I actually don't think "crank" is a particularly harsh term. It's certainly isn't the kind of language that's likely to stifle debate. Much harsher language is used on talk radio every day.

There's nothing about the term "crank" and most especially there's nothing in this post that even remotely suggests that I would ever support censoring political speech.

Hi John, I didn't say "crank" was a harsh term....I said it was pejorative. I find it interesting you made the jump to talk radio in defending your choice of words. Why bring that up?

Yes, you are right, this post doesn't suggest you would wish to censor political speech -- except you did refer to the "right-wing crank", and wanting to tear your hair out....which leads me to believe you would just as soon not be giving folks like that a voice. Again, maybe I am reading too much into your comments. My desire is for respectful dialogue. Regards, Pam

Hello, Pam.

Of course "crank" is pejorative. Intentionally so. It seems to me that the people that I describe as cranks are doing immense harm to the nation and to the wider world. While other terms did come to mind, as I was writing the blog, crank has the advantage of being a word that I can use in front of my 94-year-old mother.

As for giving right wing cranks a voice, that's not my job. And -- given their access to all forms of commercial and public media -- they certainly don't need me.

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