Editor,

I wanted to commend letter writer Kent Lauder (Daily Journal Sept. 14 edition) for his reasoned, considered and well-supported letter to the editor to replace Matt Grocott for all the many reasons he delineated in his letter. It’s good to have a variety of voices from your columnists, but Matt’s column is nearly always filled with so many outright exaggerations and inaccuracies that it is beyond the realm of reasonableness.

Just after reading Kent’s letter, I read Matt’s column of today. He wrote a heartfelt, personal column about the difficulties he’s experienced with his oldest son. For the first time I felt as if I could relate to Matt on something other than a political level. I, too, had a daughter whose life was ruined by the horrors of drug use. I hope that Matt’s son will be successful in his latest attempt to escape the his drug addiction.

And Matt: Thank you for sharing this very personal part of your life. Now all I ask is that whenever you write your column on government and politics, please — please — back up your comments with clear, indisputable facts. Thank you.

Joanne Engelhardt

Redwood City

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(39) comments

Tommy Tee

Amazing how people have hallucinations when reading.

Ray Fowler

In the words of Jeffrey Lebowski, aka The Dude, "Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like your opinion, man."

Tommy Tee

Ray--you are the quoting machine!!

Ray Fowler

Thank you, Tommy. Quoting the Dude in this thread was a little tongue-in-cheek given that the term "opinion" has appeared in the commentary.

Terence Y

Tommy, it’s also amazing how people talk about equity yet they have no idea what the definition of equity is? We’re still waiting but your silence speaks volumes. BTW, what Ms. Engelhardt is proposing is not equity. Is it?

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Terence,

Thanks for using wit with your posts. The chuckles they provide me are priceless.

Terence Y

Many thanks for the compliment Wilfred – you’re no slouch yourself. Always great to read your comments.

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

👊

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Tommy,

Take a long drag off your blunt and hold it while you listen to Hotboi - Power to the People.

Tommy Tee

I prefer Curtis Mayfield's "Power To The People."

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Enjoyed it. Thanks

Terence Y

Well, Ms. Engelhardt, as soon as you can get everyone else to back up their writings with clear, indisputable facts, then maybe I’d agree with you. But as we can read on a weekly basis, there are plenty of left-wing writers and commenters who spew fake news and lies, and when asked to provide clear indisputable facts, they seem to disappear from the conversation, as many can attest. Next time, please provide clear, indisputable facts that Mr. Grocott has included outright exaggerations and inaccuracies. BTW, you’re free to stop reading Matt’s columns after the first sentence, or even after reading the headline.

Tommy Tee

Terence--I'm disappointed that you haven't alleged the recall election was rigged, a la The Orange One.

Terence Y

Tommy - stay tuned. I am disappointed that all those Democrats who keep giving us lip service on racism this and racism that, instead, act on their racism by not voting for the brother from South Central. Not very equitable, is it? Hypocrisy abounds!

Tafhdyd

Terence,

I didn't vote for your brother from South Central because he was unqualified, a Trump supporter and I didn't agree with his positions. It had nothing to do with race, color or religion if he has one. BTW, how are you doing with your bamboo fibers?

Tommy Tee

Terence--Your last statement wins for the most stupid statement you have ever uttered.

Ray Fowler

Tommy... that was unnecessary.

Terence Y

Oh dear, Tommy. If I didn’t know this was you, I might have taken offense. But I know you have a habit of using words when you don’t know their definition. You know, like the word “equity.” Don’t worry, there’s no need to apologize, I forgive you in advance. BTW, have you ever proofread your own comments? Using your rating method, many would agree you’ve submitted quite a few doozies yourself.

Terence Y

My dear Taffy, in this day and age, your plausible excuses still don't cut the mustard. As far as Democratics are concerned, you're still a racist for not voting for the Sage from South Central. BTW, if the DJ spell-check doesn't recognize "Democratics" why should anyone else use that unrecognized term you're so fond of pushing? Maybe you've fallen for yet another hoax or conspiracy theory?

Tafhdyd

Terence,

Once again you must have read too fast. I said it is the Democratic Party, not Democratics. Democratic Party is the actual name. I know how much you like to use Democrat Party as a slur because your orange idol told you to. BTW, how are you doing with your bamboo fibers?

Rel

Terrence, after reading your spewing nonsense nearly every day, you would not know clear indisputable facts if you saw them!

Terence Y

Rrel, that’s pretty funny since you don’t seem to be able to refute many, if not all, my facts. Or facts from quite a few other commenters I might add. Instead, similar to many rabid left-wingers, you seem to scurry away when the going gets tough, and then reappear, again fail to refute facts, scurry away... Lather, rinse, repeat. BTW, I'm honored you take such interest in my comments. Maybe more homework to try and refute my facts? With indisputable facts? There's no need to ghost us - except for a few folks, we don't believe in censorship, so please, rebut away.

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Much better than I almost submitted. Muchas gracias, amigo.

Rel

Glad I could add to your humor quotient. I would be happy to refute your facts if you would ever present any. All we see everyday are your opinions whose relationship to facts are coincidental. When was the last time you ever gave credence to your thoughts with an actual link or two? Uhhh, never.

Ray Fowler

Rel... you've got to be kidding! In response to Kent's LTE published Tuesday, I wrote, "... it seems to me as a general rule (does not apply to everyone) that the right side of the aisle brings a little more substance to almost every debate in this forum. I say that because their [sic] is a loose cadre of left leaning readers who just disappear when they are pressed to go beyond sound bites and MSM talking points. I cannot tell you how many times I have crafted a detailed response with supporting data only to have the other side respond with crickets."

If you would like to consider an example, go back to our recent discussion re: the Afghanistan withdrawal fiasco.

Ray Fowler

Rel... I'll refresh your memory.

The Afghanistan discussion occurred in the comments following Jorg's "Republican treason" LTE published August 28, 2021.

Collusion... You lauded Adam Schiff's hearings. I wrote, "Remember, Rep. Schiff claimed to have direct evidence proving that Candidate Trump colluded with the Russians. We're still waiting for him to share it with us. Your response? Cue the crickets.

Then you claimed that the Republican independent investigator, Robert Mueller, said ten times that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians. When did that happen? I quoted the American Bar Association on this topic, "The special counsel found that Russia did interfere with the election, but 'did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple efforts from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.'" So, where's the collusion? More chirping.

Impeachment... You jumped on the Dem bandwagon that tried to rationalize an impeachment after the Capitol riots in January. Dems voted to impeach Donald Trump based on their unfounded belief that Trump incited the mob events in the Capitol on January 6. No hearings... no evidence. Well, no evidence until an FBI report said that there was no coordinated attack by Trump supporters... no grand scheme. None. Those crickets have got to be getting tired but we're not done.

Afghanistan... following the deaths of 13 American service members during the Biden withdrawal, it was reported that no American service members had been killed in action in Afghanistan for a year and a half before that tragedy. You cited four combat deaths in Afghanistan in 2020 in rebuttal. However, that's completely misleading. Those four combat deaths were every bit as tragic as the 13 deaths on August 26, 2021, but those four KIAs occurred in January and February 2020. The fact remains there were no American service members killed in action in the year and half period before the Biden withdrawal. A fact not disputed by the Biden administration. But you missed the point... is it possible a measured and more deliberate withdrawal from Afghanistan could have avoided 13 service members being killed by ISIS-K on August 26? If you care to argue that the current administration's rapid withdrawal plan has not put American servicemen, American civilians and Afghan allies at risk, I would like to hear that argument. Crickets on steroids.

Even with that colossal Biden failure, I stated, "... calls by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) for impeachment or Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) wanting to invoke the 25th Amendment are wrongheaded unless there has been evidence of a crime committed by the president or documentation indicating the president's inability to discharge the duties of office."

I'm still waiting...

Terence Y

Ray - thanks for reminding readers of just a few of the numerous examples of Rel ghosting you. Shall we see if there's any Re(a)l response? Perhaps an LTE to address all of your questions, and of course links to all of his indisputable facts (because Rel believes others should provide links when he himself does not).

Tafhdyd

Ms. Englehardt,

I am sure many of the readers can also relate to Mr. Grocott’s last column. I do not have children, however I do have relatives that have gone down the wrong path and ruined their lives. I agree that it is nice to see an article that is not politically charged. I would also like to see more back up in the accusations from the right site of the political aisle.

Ray Fowler

Good morning, Joanne

Kent wants Matt's columns replaced but you are OK with the columns as long as they are edited. Hmmm... when one political ideology suppresses the expression of other points of view isn't that what we call censorship?

Remember the old Voltaire saw, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"? One problem... he didn't say it. What he did say was, “Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.”

Joanne, there are those on the right and left side of the aisle who disagree with your thought that a columnist should be edited, however, you are free to express that thought. So, why isn't Matt free to express his thoughts without editing?

Quashing points of view by denying them an opportunity to appear in print or only allowing approved opinions to be published is just Antifa dressed up in a floral print shirt instead of black bloc tactical gear.

HFAB

She asked for statistical backup, not editing.

Ray Fowler

Hello, HFAB

Hmmm... Joanne did not call for statistical backup. What she said was, "Now all I ask is that whenever you write your column on government and politics, please — please — back up your comments with clear, indisputable facts."

Maybe I'm reading too much into Joanne's commentary, but I have to ask... who would be the arbiter of what constitutes "clear, indisputable facts"? Who is the gatekeeper of what should be acceptable in a column that states a point of view?

Joanne asking... even in so polite a manner... that Matt add facts to his column that she will find acceptable is inhibiting the expression of his opinion. Curiously, in Mark Silver's column today, he wrote, "Despite what you may have heard, an opinion is not a fact." Mark, Matt, Jonathan Madison, Sue Lempert, et al. can state their opinions based on facts, feelings or their way of looking at things. That's what makes them opinionated.

You say toe-may-toe and I say tuh-mah-toe... but asking a writer to insert something in an opinion piece that the writer did not include is censoring the writer's expression.

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Good day Mr. Fowler,

As always, you never fail at the task.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw0TaZhvKes

Thanks

Ray Fowler

Ah, Wilfredo! I always cherish hearing from the Last Frontier... the only place large enough to hold your ginormous intellect.

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Mr. Fowler,

Despite the more than three thousand miles that separate us, the warmth you are about to feel is radiating from the blush on my face. Not man made climate change. I am not worthy of your compliment. I thank you nonetheless.

If I recall correctly, you once mentioned that not all submitting a L.T.E. have access to the comment section. Perhaps that is why Joanne wrote this one. And the reason I won't ask her why she would compliment the disproven opinion piece written by Mr. Lauder. She opens with ..."reasoned, considered and well-supported letter...". While the adjectives reasoned and considered may be ambiguous and open to interpretation, well supported, it was not.

Ray Fowler

Wilfredo... I agree with you and disagree with Joanne. Her description of Kent's letter as "reasoned, considered and well-supported" truly misses the mark.

If she doesn't have an online subscription, I can understand why she does not answer questions about her LTE or respond to other points of view. However, for those who do have online subscriptions, ya gotta wonder why they scurry away when asked questions about their positions and flee rather than respond to other points of view. Actually... I don't Rel-ly wonder... I think I know why.

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Hi Ray,

I Relish the exchanges you have with crickets.

Tafhdyd

Ray,

Good morning. I am not quite sure how to respond to you comments. I agree with the parts about both sides being free to express their viewpoints, we have discussed that before and agree on it. I am not sure that what you are reading in print or between the lines is the same thing I am reading. I was about to comment on Ms. Engelhardt’s LTE when I saw you had replied. After reading your reply I had to go back and read Ms. Engelhardt’s LTE again. Then I had to go back and read Kent Lauder’s LTE again.

In your opening line you mentioned that she wanted the columns edited. I read her letter again because I didn’t remember seeing the word edited in and it wasn’t there. Then I thought it must have been in Mr. Lauder’s letter but I couldn’t find it there either.

We know that Mr. Lauder does not care for Matt’s columns and that he would rather they not be there and that if published they should only be in a letter to the editor format. I can see that someone may take her letter as 100% support of his idea, but I didn’t.

In Ms, Engelhardt’s LTE she commended him for what she thought was a well explained position about what he thought about Mr. Grocott but she didn’t say she agreed with censoring his columns. She did indicate that she also thought his political bias went overboard and she asked that when he makes his statements that he back them up with something of substance. I think that is different from editing or censoring.

BTW, just before I was going to submit this I see that HFAB commented and seems to agree.

Ray Fowler

Good morning, Tafhddydicus

I responded to points made by HFAB and you above.

I would add this... We are free to read an opinion piece, and we are free to ignore it. An opinion writer is free to state his or her point of view, and we are free to respond with our point of view... but that response cannot infringe on what Voltaire described as the privilege of thinking for yourself.

There is a chance to meet in the middle... here's proof. Readers from both sides of the aisle positively commented on Matt's latest column. In my opinion... that shows we are more as human beings than warring political camps. Check out Craig Wiesner's comments queued up under today's "Distrust" LTE. I like what he had to say.

Hey... it's lunchtime. C-ya

Tafhdyd

Ray,

No complaints with your reply. I am late for lunch, I have to go also.

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