Hobby Bloggers at the Chronicle Spark Controversy
Love that Sparkle
Online readers respond to "Lord, Save Us From Amateur Chronicle Bloggers," by Richard Connelly, Hair Balls blog, April 8:
Pathetic: I've read TexasSparkle/Rightwing Sparkle's blog a couple of times. She has her head completely stuck up where the sun don't shine. She's pathetic. Too bad the Chron doesn't give IQ tests for prospective bloggers.
Houston Chronicle bloggers
Censored: I read the Chron blogs fairly frequently and have maybe seen TexasSparkle highlighted once. Every day, there are liberal bloggers (Desperado and eljefebob are the most prolific) whose posts are highlighted. Both do exactly the same thing as TexasSparkle. I tend to post conservative arguments, and they censored me so many times, I have stopped posting. I really can't figure out why. In the end, I think they really don't want discussion of both sides of the issue, they just want like-minded people to reiterate what was just posted. The only liberal blogger who consistently allows others to speak is TexasLiberal and I continue to post there.
So for those of you liberals who think that you and your ilk are all about free speech, you aren't. Oh yeah, and the vast majority of the counterarguments by left-leaning posters are exactly like Steve Gilbert's. All emotion and accusation, no fact or logic.
Nate the Snake
Nate: I've tried once or twice to counter Ms. Sparkle's blog with facts and logic, but she never publishes my entries. I actually think she is afraid of facts and logic, since her blog never contains any.
You nailed it, Richard: An unpaid hobbyist is what's wrong with the Chronicle. Way to drill down to the nut of the matter.
Not logical: The TexasSparkle blog barely makes sense. My junior high newspaper had more intelligent commentary. For example, if the United States always has the best answer, as the blog states on Monday, and the United States elected Obama as president, then doesn't that negate any arguments she may make against Obama? I never mind seeing a rightwinger with such a poor grasp of logical argumentation and weak communication skills (Palin, for example). A party that has Palin, Rush and TexasSparkle as its spokespeople does not have a chance at winning elections or remaining viable as a major party.
Values added: What's great about Sparkle is that she likes to insist that she's being persecuted for her conservative values, when she's really just being picked on for saying dumb and/or offensive things out loud.
Online readers respond to "Drinking Pepsi Means You Support Gay Orgies, Totally Reasonable Texan Asserts," Hair Balls blog, by Craig Malisow, April 8:
Just say no: Oh, puleeze, Gina "Anita Bryant" Ford! Family Guy skewers everyone and all beliefs! Just say no and turn it off if it burns your ears.
Morons: Until these idiots are removed from office, the only change America will see is the weather outside the window. These people are total morons being elected into office. Either way, who cares if anyone is gay, bi, trans or straight? They aren't paying my bills; they aren't feeding me.
Appointed officials, like everyone else, have opinions, which is perfectly acceptable. But keep them to yourselves — learn when not to open your mouths. Is this stuff you talk about around the family dinner table? "Oh, did you know that soda you're drinking will make you gay?"
That statement alone should put perspective on what's really important to that official's agenda. Fire them and replace them with someone with more intelligence and respect for other humans' lives.
Online readers respond to "Fighting For The Freeland Bungalows," by Richard Connelly, April 7:
Stop: This is the only historic district left in Houston that is made up of only the original homes built between 1920 and 1932. To tear down one of them leaves Houston with no intact historic district. Hasn't enough history been torn down already? It's time to stop.
Ah! The powerful temptation to tell your neighbor how he should develop his property — there's nothing more intoxicating, except the strong desire to be able to do whatever you want to do with your own property.
Not neighborly: Why must our independent Texas spirit preclude being a good neighbor? We need to think about the consequences of what we do on our properties and how it will affect our neighbors. The proposed buildings will not only adversely affect the historical nature of the area, but the structures themselves will block sunlight to the neighbors and remove any sense of privacy from their yards. I wouldn't want to buy any property close to them.
Fight the city: I feel their pain, but I'm getting tired of always having to hear and read about people fighting developers every time their neighborhood is threatened. These people need to be fighting the city and the zoning laws that make Houston a free-for-all. Even if they win the battle this time, they'll have to keep doing it over and over as Houston continues to grow into an urban city, and this is what makes it frustrating.
Stand up: We and others fight the city for stricter laws, but they won't take a stand. The city won't say no and mean it. The builders and developers have the money and a strong lobby. Overbuilding also increases the tax base for the city. It has always been that the neighborhood has to fight for itself — unless you live where you pay an "association" to do it for you.
Historic Heights: Please consider the years of history that would be destroyed and attempt to understand why we feel so strongly about the unique historic area we live in. If you don't treasure "old," why would you live in the Heights area?
The difference: We moved into the Freeland because of the old-town feeling and history of this area. We all have restored and maintained our bungalows and we take great pride in our historic community. If you have never had that, you can't possibly appreciate or understand what we are fighting to preserve. We are not anti-builder, we are pro-Freeland Historic District. There is a difference.
In our story "Body Count" (by Thomas Rundle, April 2), we never should have said that the dogs used in the search for missing bodies were "FEMA-certified cadaver dogs" because there is no such designation.
As it turns out, the dog handlers were certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in live rescue operations. While FEMA itself does not do cadaver rescue, its certified handlers and the dogs they have trained can be used by other agencies — as was the case here.
The Houston Press regrets the error.
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