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Who Are You? (Continued.)

After our first responses with the folks on Facebook about “who we are,” we watched as the person who asked the question defend the actual question, but never respond to our answers. That brought this from us:

We let this sit and peculate and now want to address what you say in this particular post. You claim that you are a “real person.” We accept you at your word, but can you prove that claim? Can anyone on the internet prove that they are really who they say they are? (What are we going to do, demand that you post your driver’s license and social security card?)

(Existentially, can anyone prove that we are even here….but we digress….)

We hope you can see the problem as in the long run, does it really matter who we are? Either you agree with our posts and ideas or you don’t. We don’t care who you are and are more than happy to discuss ideas, actions and positions rather than the silly notion of “who are they” because that only leads to ad hominem attacks which never (and we mean NEVER) accomplish anything.

You say that the question is a valid one, and perhaps it is. We question the venue in which you chose to ask the question (here as opposed to dropping us a line or posting on the blog itself) and we question the method (a graphical meme rather than a simple post of text.) Make no mistake, there is a certain underlying tone to the questions you posed that is less than flattering as if you expect some horrible collusion rather than giving us what you want in your own life (and we have made the case for here) which is the benefit of the doubt.

So while you have spent time defending those who have thoughts about the questions you asked there is one thing that you have not done:

YOU HAVEN’T SAID WORD ONE IN A POST ABOUT OUR ANSWER TO YOU.

Frankly sir, we wonder why? There are those on our staff who say that the silence shows that you were not interested in the answers or the thinking behind them, but instead wanted to “start” something. There are more of our staff who are simply willing to say “he’s busy,” or “TL:DR” and give you the benefit of the doubt that you were actually interested in the answers.

However, we believe that the polite thing to do would have been at least to acknowledge the answers themselves. You don’t have to agree with them or the reasoning in them, but in real life when you ask a question and someone gives an answer, the polite thing to do is at least say “thanks.” You didn’t / haven’t as of this posting which makes us wonder if your question was actually seeking answers, or was trying to smear us based on innuendos within the questions themselves.

We don’t know, but because we neither know you, and for the purposes of a discussion on the internet, don’t care who you are, we’ll do the polite thing and give you the benefit of the doubt.

Have a pleasant weekend and if you have any other questions, you know where we can be found.

Which brought this response from the original poster:

Thank you for reaching out. I am a real person. I assume you are too. I also assume that anyone working for the blog is human. The alternative is that robots or aliens are the authors. As an individual I post who I am, what I think, and what I do. And I stand behind my thoughts and opinions because they are mine. They are fallible since I’m just a guy. My question is valid, in my humble opinion, because I have to wonder why others would wish to hide their identity. You have provided a reason for remaining anonymous. I can respect your reason. If you are at risk of employer retaliation. Otherwise, as a public blog, based on fact or opinion, I don’t see a reason to hide identity. I did not post a graphic meme. I just typed a question in text. I’m not a fan of drawn out answers or responses. Therefore, after you answered I didn’t see a need to furtger reply. I will defend my right to ask questions for things I don’t understand. I don’t have to agree, and I don’t, but that’s what makes us great. My thoughts are:
Thank you for responding.
Other than for safety or employment retaliation I don’t see a reason to remain anonymous.
I think I am not the only person with this question and this makes it valid and important.
We don’t have to agree. And that’s ok.
I still believe there is something to think about when people use anonymity.
This is a much longer response than I like. But I hope you understand.

He is still missing the point.

There is no way for anyone to “prove” who they are on the internet. Should people have to send Facebook photo ID’s to get an account? Should there be remedies such as lawsuits and arrests for accusations that you are not who you say you are? What about SWAT’ing? (The practice of calling the police and claiming a horrific crime is taking place at your residence (such as a murder suicide) and then the police show up at your door with guns drawn and tactical weapons at the ready.)

What does it matter who we are? We are all real people trying to protect ourselves and our families from hateful, vengeful people who don’t like what we say – not what we do as in our actions – but what we say.

Is that the America we want to live in?

It’s not that we are inconsistent here either. If you choose to make a comment here, you can use whatever name that you like. We don’t care what you call yourself. We prefer that you use a real email address in case there is an issue with something that you post so we can contact you and see if you want us to fix it to your liking, but we don’t even demand that.

But in reality the idea that one must identify themselves or their group is not to enhance the conversation or the exchange of ideas. It is simple a means of distraction. That’s all it is.

It’s worthless and frankly, those who demand to know haven’t thought it through to the logical conclusion.

Because we were tired of this whole mess, we disclosed something we normally don’t disclose – the fact that we have been attacked physically.

For the record, and just so you know, we have had a spokesperson physically assaulted in a public meeting. The Chief of Police was there, witnessed the entire incident and did nothing and would not even take a report. We have had people in another town who mentioned in public comments that they liked the blog and were assaulted and threatened. A contributor who has since left the area and was discovered called in a code violation on a property next to them and the code enforcement officer said they would not come out to address the issue. The officer later left the City’s employment voluntarily and told our guy that the City Manager had told them to ignore anything that was asked or reported by our former contributor.

When we started this journey, we decided to be anonymous because we wanted to fancy ourselves as similar to those anonymous political writers of the past such as the authors of the Federalist Papers, Thomas Paine, etc. Somewhere along the way it morphed from what was a joke in the group to self preservation.

Speaking “truth to power” is something that we smile about all the time because it is ridiculous to us. We don’t speak out just to rile feathers – we speak out because we think it is the right thing to do. It’s not easy when government actors are looking for you, at you and threatening you. It’s not easy when cronies physically assault and threaten your friends and supporters, but we won’t let people harangue and threaten us out of existence.

In some ways we know we ask for the grief. But the question of “bias” and “who we are” is bothersome on some level because people would rather whisper than ask. They would rather not even look at the pages on the blog that discuss the issue. They don’t see that we don’t take ads, sell data or run “sponsored posts.” We pay for the hosting and the DNS fees out of our own pockets. We don’t even have a “tip jar” for contributions.

We aren’t for sale and we will protect our people by the two means we can. The first is by trying to remain anonymous. The second way is by not backing down and giving in.

As a short illustration, we had some nasty posts about Satellite Beach. A new Council was voted in and the members were shocked to discover that we wrote about the same standards they were failing to uphold that we had written about previously. Our graphics guy was threatened with arrest for an image he did.

We admit that in many ways, we are a******s, but we strive to be consistent a******s.

Have a great weekend.

We’ll say it again. Who we are is not relevant to our ideas. Knowing our names does not add or detract to the veracity of what we say. We aren’t getting paid for this and in fact are spending money to make it happen. We aren’t trying to do some “quid pro quo” for favors from elected officials. We have no dog in any hunt.

We are about ideas – not names of people on the internet that can never be proven to begin with.

We’ll say it again:

“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”

― Socrates

What kind of mind do you have?



2 Responses to “Who Are You? (Continued.)”

  1. Percy Veer says:

    Keep up the good work, it is refreshing to have a place to post my thoughts and ideas anonymously without having to deal with personal attacks that don’t have anything to do with the issues being discussed. It is ideas that count and not who is bringing them to forward.

    My thanks to you and your staff for keeping us informed by presenting the facts and being willing to discuss them if challenged.

  2. Thomas Gaume says:

    In depth, fact based opinion pieces backed up with documentation, photos, and video.

    Keep up the good work, and I know and expect that if I’m elected that the staff at Raised on Hoecakes would hold me to the same standards they hold every other elected official in the area to, and I would expect to be called out on anything they see as questionable.

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