A disturbing story recently about a tragic death of a horse sticks in my craw. The animal was not only apparently struck by a moving vehicle, but subsequently dragged to the animal’s unspeakable death. This incident is being investigated.

Most comments, certainly mine, were sympathetic to the young owner of the female Appaloosa, described as “her best friend.” I have a golden retriever who (after a nod to the wife) is my “best friend” as well. In my most vivid imagination, I cannot comprehend how I would feel if such a heartbreaking act happened to my dog. Perhaps the results of the investigation will expose the details of this heartbreaking incident.

Curiously, in the immediate aftermath of this event, a half-dozen online comments (I assume by the same person) were subsequently deleted by the newspaper’s editorial staff. Like the perpetrator of this crime, we may never know the author nor the content of the vile or imbecilic posts that merited deletion. Daily, we suffer some of the most banal, clueless contributions that would fall, I suppose, under “free speech” – First Amendment rights: the right to stupidity. Fine. But my hat’s off to the editor(s) for sparing us whatever they chose to edit in this case.

May I suggest new rules: Require those wishing to post comments to do so under their own name — like this letter. Consider dismissing clever, clandestine pseudonyms — cloaking one’s identity, if not one’s intelligence. To voice an opinion, and not have the courage to “own it,” is cowardly. Unpopular, unconventional, even unimaginable views and ideas? Great — that’s discourse!

But ugly, mean and clinically stupid comments — that’s disgraceful. Some might call that “backbone.” I call it “backwoods” – precisely where ignorance should be relegated. Not in civilized newspapers. Some decorum, please.

Buddy Doyle

Gardiner


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