Somebody beat up on the Boy Scouts. I write “beat up” because of course Internet news being what it is, no good deed goes unpunished, and I write “somebody” because--as is too often the case--the one doing the beating posted with a single name, “Wilbur,” possibly a pseudonym.
Never mind that the boys stood up, gave their names for the record on television and spoke clearly into a microphone while at least two photographers shot photos of them. It’s no small amount of bravery to pull that off.
It does not bother me at all that “Wilbur” might not agree with what the boys said. A comment along the lines of “Hey, when you were considering your views, did you consider X?” might just go a long way toward helping the boys see how public debate is supposed to work. Instead, “Wilbur” beat up on them because their parents had the audacity--egad!--to live in a nice neighborhood.
(For the record, we do not know that any of the boys live in nice neighborhoods; they are part of a scout troop based at a church in a nice neighborhood, but we don’t know where the boys live. My son is in a scout troop that meets a Lutheran church. We are neither Lutherans, nor neighborhood residents there.)
So, I'll offer "Wilbur" a similar challenge to the one "he" posed: give your full name and tell us how much time you have spent volunteering on humanitarian projects (and "volunteering" does not include sitting at home sniping from the sidelines). Write me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Comment and the County Board Chair
While I am on it, I’ll take on some of the “initial” commenters. Here I use “initial” not to mean “first” but to indicate that rather than posting anonymously or under a pseudonym, these people post using initials.
The policy at the county board meetings is that the chair can decide whether a topic is right for a given board meeting. And in some ways it is a lot of power to give to one person. Part of why it angers people is that we see the inherent bias that can occur.
Perhaps that policy is something to look at. However, the public at those meetings have conflicting interests. Do we want to hear the board discuss matters of the day, or do we want to listen to our neighbors discuss matters of the day? It would seem to me the answer is “a little of both" or maybe "enough of both to feel as though we've gotten a sense of what's what in the county."