Flagged for being disagreeable

72

To the Editor:

Yesterday I experienced something akin to road rage.

I left the parking lot of Cronig’s on State Road, and was headed toward the Post Office.

I did not cut anyone off while getting into traffic.

A red Jeep started to tailgate me. When someone is doing that, I leave a little more room for the car in front of me in case they stop short. With the extra space (and my signal), a truck with a trailer took the opportunity to turn left onto State Road from the Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road and proceed toward Cronig’s market. The driver of the Jeep leaned on the horn. I ignored him. Shortly afterward, I got to the MV Bank, and let a vehicle turn left in front of me, which was heading toward the Post Office. Again, the driver of the Jeep laid on the horn. Coming even closer to me.

When I turned into the Post Office parking lot, he followed. I parked, he parked, and as I walked toward the door of the Post Office, he shouted obscenities at me across the parking lot about the fact that I have an American flag decal on my vehicle that portrays the flag in an upside-down orientation.

We exchanged some words — him calling me obscene names and me telling him to put his mask on in public. He went into Cumberland Farms; I got my mail from my P.O. box.

I decided to take the opportunity to attempt a civil conversation with someone whose political ideology apparently differed from mine. I waited for him to come out of Cumby’s, and asked him if we could have a reasonable conversation. As he only slowed down a little as he passed me, he said no — and again called me a string of expletives. I persisted and told him I was a Navy veteran, and that the military code of conduct allowed for the flag to be flown upside down in times of distress.

He continued to just call me a string of expletives. Is the country not under duress, I asked? No, he replied, under the leadership of Donald Trump, the country is better than ever, and the only problem is @&%($**** liberals like you.

OK, so let me make a few points about this interaction.

Let me start by saying that anyone who thinks this country is not in trouble has some sort of mental disability. That’s my opinion and I am entitled to it.

This person, a white male in his 60s or 70s ( I am a 68-year-old white male) who supports Trump and thinks we need to keep America great, is missing the point about what it is that actually makes America great. 

What makes America great is its diversity and its freedoms. I can think that the country is under duress and display my flag upside down. He can think otherwise and proudly wave his flag any way he wants to, even if it’s a Confederate flag or a flag with a swastika on it. It is not illegal. It is one of the many hard-won freedoms that the flag symbolizes.

He can publicly criticize any person in any political office, as can I. 

He can beep his horn at me when I let someone into traffic. He can even shout obscenities at me in public. He is free to believe what he wants, and refuse to have a civil discussion with a stranger, although I suspect he knew who I was, at least as dondondon12 on this paper’s online comment section. I have noted before that my car has an upside-down flag decal before on that site.

Hate that, or love that — I don’t care — this is America, and America is a great country that I hope can stay that way. When this is over, I will reorient my flag.

As I turned around and passed the people standing in line waiting to go into the Post Office who had witnessed this, I pointed at the angry old man and said, “That’s why you should vote for a Democrat.”

Don Keller
Vineyard Haven

 

72 COMMENTS

  1. Don, I’m sorry that you had your day tainted by such overt rudeness. As if our days aren’t stressful enough, there are people who can’t take a deep breath and consider their words and actions but just barrel ahead, letting their emotions and agendas drag us down into the septic lagoons of their minds. I hope the day will never come when I can’t stop and listen to a thoughtful argument. It’s interesting what can happen when we listen.

  2. I don’t think it was your driving that bothered the gentleman, Don. It’s your writing on these pages. And if I could get into his mind, he was likely thinking, “if you want Portland or Seattle to come to a neighborhood near you, vote democrat.”

    • Saeman – clearly he was upset about the flag. I can understand that some people would not like it, and feel the urge to express an opinion about it. I respect that. This is the third time I have received negative comments about it. Unfortunately, they have all included obscene gestures, words and personal character attacks. Fortunately there has been no violence or even a threat of violence. One person did take a picture of it, with my license and said he was going to contact the police and have me arrested. I offered to be in the picture–that was a de-escalating tactic that worked. He almost laughed. I worked for a number of years with troubled adolescents, and know a little about de-escalating a heated situation, or at least not escalating. However, I will stand my ground, as frequent commenters here who know me will attest to, but I also know when I am proven wrong and am willing to apologize. I will ATTEMPT to present my point in a non threatening manner, stay cool, and listen. I won’t run away from people who are yelling at me.
      And just a little off topic , I have encountered a few people at parties that have been genuinely upset about me being a minister in the church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster, but in all those situations, we had a number of people discuss their religions beliefs, and in the end, everyone was laughing…

      • Hi Don, that’s unfortunate that your flag position was misunderstood, as you are correct that it’s a sign of distress. The irony is that both of you could agree on that. We surely are in distress. Someday I would like to hear one of your sermons in your capacity as minister in the church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster, but then again, I hear snippets in your writings here.

  3. Flying the flag upside down is legal in some places and not in others. I assume its legal in MA. However the Military code of Conduct does say to fly it only in physical distress. The spirit of the code is clearly when someone is in danger physically from harm or loss of life. I dont think Dondondons fear of Trump or the state of our country qualifies. Nevertheless he is free to have that sticker and the other person is free to yell at him just as many people on this venue yell at me and even more. I did have a sticker on my 4 runner here that said ”social justice begins in the womb” and someone rammed me on purpose. Wonderful.

    • Andrew- your right to express your point of view via a bumper sticker was valid and that person who rammed you was an intolerant idiot. Mature people can be exposed to a contrary point of view and not become irrational.

    • Andrew– I am sure you are correct that it is illegal to fly the flag upside down in “some places and not others” I won’t bother looking it up for you, but one could justifiably opine that it is illegal in most right-wing dictatorial ( or close to dictatorial) countries. But, it is clearly legal in the entire U.S. We even have the right to burn it in protest– despite the efforts of trump and some republicans to change that. Now I have to tell you that If I lived in the deep south or Texas, I may not have it on my car. Not because it is illegal, but because narrow-minded “patriots” are quite capable of bashing a liberal’s head open while singing God bless America and thinking that is what MAGA. is about.
      Let me give you some history of this particular statute. It was intended for ships at sea centuries ago that were in distress. If another ship with someone in the crow’s nest with a telescope saw your flag flying upside down, they would come to your aid. The same “spirit” applied when we were slaughtering the native Americans while hiding in remote outposts. If passing Calvary could see your fort with an upside-down flag, they would drop whatever they were doing and come to your aid asap.
      I don’t know Andrew–yesterday the deaths of 1,300 Americans — highest daily total, and rising- indicates to me that not only I, but the entire citizenship of this country is in fact in grave danger. Why are we all walking with masks on, as if we were “living in China” ( your quote) — no racism there–
      More than 150,000 Americans have died from a controllable disease in the last 5 months, with no end in sight, no national plan, and nothing but personal attacks and disinformation about people and institutions that have the know-how to control this from our duly elected man-baby president.
      To add to the ludicrousness; yesterday trump said the federal government had a great plan to have the military distribute any future vaccine. He claimed he had a very good general in charge– The only problem is that both the military and the white house know nothing of it.
      You know, that kind of lying is not funny.
      I can laugh when he says he is declining the honor of throwing out the first pitch at the first Yankee’s game, even though they didn’t ask him, and his staff knew nothing about it,. He can try to out ego Fauci about stuff like that,– I am sure he is totally miffed that Fauci’s baseball card is one of the top-selling cards of all time, but when my life, and the lives of the people I love and care about, are on the line, you’re dammed right, I gonna say something. Even if it’s just putting an upside-down flag decal on my car, or lecturing people like you on this forum.
      And just for the record, Andrew, I don’t believe for a second that someone deliberately ran into your car over a bumper sticker.

      • dondondon, I dont care if you believe me or dont believe me. Your post above is all nonsense and catastrophic hysteria. People will die just as they always have from all manner of issues. There is absolutely nothing I can learn from you. My innocuous post above provokes you to another rant about this country and Trump and slaughtering indians and grave danger. Show some self control. You came here in 1986 to have ”happy thoughts” as you told us years ago and you are living in them with colander in hand.

        • Andrew– you really want to go there?
          OK
          First, let’s reference the article you reference in case people don’t know what  this is about  :
          https://www.mvtimes.com/2014/11/19/art-civil-discourse-political-opposites-meet-middle/
          That’s you on the left looking like you are ready to tell some woman that she will suffer eternal damnation if she considers an abortion– of course, that’s speculation on my part. You could just as likely be telling someone about how climate change is a hoax. I don’t know, I am only speculating about what you might be saying, but one thing for sure, you were not thinking any “happy thoughts” at that moment– I wonder if you ever have ?– of course, I wouldn’t blame you if you never had a “happy thought” in your life– being a refugee from a “S******e country ( as trump describes your motherland) and then being indoctrinated into a cult that thinks everyone is a “sinner”. The particular cult you are in has some sort of superiority complexand and subscribes to the unhappy thought that in the “afterlife” some “sinners” will be more equal than others and get to spend eternity in some sort of eternal bliss, while the great majority of “sinners”( who’s only real “sin” is that they don’t believe in your god)  will spend eternity suffering unimaginable pain and psychological distress.I know the teachings of your cult. I have been there. Pastafarianism is much more grounded in reality, and Pastafarians are much happier. Just look at the pictures in the link above.  
          The guy on the right is me. The editor of this paper, when running this article, cropped out the sign I am standing next to. I am in the lobby of a branch of the central bank of Barbados. The sign says ” you have entered an emotionally intelligent environment”. “We are empathetic, relational, aware, adaptable, and influential.”
          Yup — right there we have it– I sure was thinking happy thoughts at that time. I admit it. I was in Barbados with my wonderful girlfriend, on our way into a gym when we passed this sign. And you know,  I often think “happy thoughts”; even when I am not on vacation in some tropical country. At the end of this story, there is a correction of the reasons I moved to the island. While Mr. Shea and the editor at the time removed the most egregious misquote about the reasons I moved here—- I will point out that when I moved here I did not own a bicycle, nor did I need to move to the Vineyard to have “happy thoughts”. I  have been quite capable of having “happy thoughts” for my entire life— I had loving parents that taught me that everyone mattered, including me, including you. —-.  
          Both the editor of the paper at that time and the author of the article personally contacted me by phone and apologized for the misrepresentation of my motives to choose to live here. I accepted their apologies and moved on. No hard feelings.
          Yes, Andrew, I have happy thoughts. I am not ashamed of that.  I value my life– I know that I am fortunate on a number of levels. I have compassion for those who are not so fortunate. Often, when parting from a friend, we will say “peace, love, and pasta”.  That in itself is a “happy thought”. You should try having one sometime.

          • Dondondon. You didn’t take my bet but you insist I did. Now you say you didn’t mention happy thoughts but it’s right there in the paper and they didn’t retract it. Mischaracterized is not a retraction. It’s right there in print. I am supposed to believe you but you won’t believe me. Interesting

          • Dondondon. So Mr Shea made this up about the bicycle and happy thoughts..? Is that your position? Would you mind it if I believed you did not accept my bet? I read what I read and I heard you say it when Shea was interviewing us at the Black Dog on the hill. I think you doth protest too much.

          • “But Oh, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes.”

            Don, it is true that people who essentially have happy inner lives have happy thoughts.

        • Andrew–The original quote in the article was that I came to the Vineyard
          to “ride my bike, chase women and have happy thoughts”.
          I did not have a bicycle when I arrived on the Vineyard. I rode my bike to the meeting we had, though.
          When asked by Mr. Shay how I managed to come to the island, I said “chasing a woman”; that woman being a woman I had lived with for over 3 years in Maine, she got a very good job offer on the island– so we moved– I’m not sure about the happy thoughts comment. I may have indeed uttered those words at some point during our interview. But he put a string of unrelated words from me and put quotation marks around them.
          And Andrew, I have posted your bet and my response numerous times.
          If my acceptance of your bet were not archived on this very site, I may very well think perhaps I wasn’t clear. But we have it in writing, and date stamped. Pay it up Andrew, you will feel better, and when I donate it all to the hospital, we all may have some happy thoughts.
          And Jesus will approve.

          • Actually dondondon you do not have a date stamp on the bet I made with you. You went on vacation and never responded until and after the corona virus affected some people. I agree I was wrong on the virus but you never accepted the bet until you were sure you won. I know this is tiresome. I probably gave you 1000 dollars already in the has fumes I did not discharge by not running my car while parked.

          • andrew– you got to be kidding us– you proposed the bet when there were 26 us deaths– i responded when there were 34 — or somewhere around there.. you are indeed wearing me down. I am tired of posting your bet, my response, your lie about my response and so forth. And really? since this ill conceived wager you have been a responsiblr ciyizen and shut you car off while you went into a chick fillet store ? do you really expect anyone to believe that ?

          • Amdrew— here is the time frame on the bet :
            andrew March 8, 2020 at 6:34 am

            Dondondon. You are always asking me to wager on things. You who politicize the virus and blame it on Trump and exaggerate it beyond proportion, I will now ask you to make a bet with me for one thousand dollars.
            March 8 was a Sunday–The Times often does not put up posts on Sundays. It’s quite possible it did not appear until Monday morning, on the 9th .The cumulative death toll on the 8th was 17.

            I responded :
            dondondon12 March 11, 2020 at 8:18 pm

            andrew–Because I was recently traveling abraud with my small lap top,which is not registered with the mv times , I could only read a few stories once in a while on the Mv times.But I could read the headlines, and see comments.I did not immediately catch your wager offer about the COVID 19 virus

            Data was only available to me at that time for the 10th. There were 26 confirmed deaths at the time. If you want to insist I use data from the 11th, there were 28
            Given the bet was for 1,000 deaths, an additional 9 or 11 deaths hardly insured I had won.
            You have tried a few things to weasel out of this one–
            Right there Andrew, lifted from this very forum is the time you hit the send button, and the time I hit the send button– call it what you want, but it’s a “date stamp”
            And if you don’t believe the numbers;
            https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus/country/united-states?country=~USA#what-is-the-daily-number-of-confirmed-deathshttps://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus/country/united-states?country=~USA#what-is-the-daily-number-of-confirmed-deaths
            Sorry for misstating the numbers in my last post, they were based on my memory. I took the time today to get the numbers correct.

          • Andrew, everyone knows you have dishonored yourself with your lies about why you have not paid the debt you definitely owe. What’s old and tiresome is how far you are willing to go to shame yourself further. Pay up.

            And to be clear, what kind of mind would come up with a bet on how many dead bodies there would be from coronavirus, regardless of you losing the bet YOU instigated and clearly lost? How do you even talk about (your lies about) partial birth abortion, after placing the value of one life at one dollar and claiming that old people should sacrifice themselves to the virus? And everytime you say the death rate is going down now, you are lying. But you’re as interested in facts as the imbecile you worship.

            The entire Jonathan Swan interview, which includes Trump’s take on 1000 deaths per day from the virus, is on YouTube. Here are excerpts. This should make every American who loves this country weep at the lack of leadership: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkShd_l0YwE

          • A person of moral fortitude would have paid up a long time ago, Bulk. Every new lie he comes up with would embarass a normal person.

        • Holy smokes… I’d never seen that article in the MV TIMES, I did not realize that you were a real person and not a fictitious creation by someone trying to stir up the liberal commentators. I do believe that the if the left side wants you to entertain the validity of their views, at the very least they need to accept that you’re a Christian and hold the viewpoints of that faith. Freedom of religious thought is a pillar of our nations moral And intellectual Foundations

          • Wesley– I Appreciate your comment that “if the left side wants you to entertain the validity of their views, at the very least they need to accept that you’re a Christian and hold the viewpoints of that faith. Freedom of religious thought is a pillar of our nations moral And intellectual Foundations”
            Very well said. I point out however that Andrew claims he is christian but entertains or abides by few of its principals.
            He thinks catholics are not “real” christians for instance. He thinks all other religions are false religions with false gods. He doesn’t show any respect for Pastafarianism at all.
            And talk about supremacy issues—- he thinks that his narrow slice of Christianity will all enjoy eternal bliss in the “afterlife”, no matter how much they sin while on earth simply because they truly believe the jesus myth. All other people — that’s ALL others will spend their “afterlives” in eternal suffering, simply because they did not buy the jesus myth.
            If there really is an afterlife, I’m sticking with the Pastafarian version of hell. And believe me, I know I am gonna wind up there because the nuns told me so when I was in catholic school every time I got into any trouble (which was pretty often)
            https://flyingspaghettimonster.wikia.org/wiki/Afterlife

        • amdrew– not long ago when you accepted the lie that cases were going up due to more testing. you said this: “dondondon. Yes new cases but they are much milder and spike is not everywhere, and the mortality rate is way down. It is not the cases we should be counting but the deaths. Protect the most vulnerable and let the rest of us get on with our lives.”
          So I wonder how you can spin the rising death rate ?

          • Oh, I consider Christianity in any form a bunch of nonsense. Just like I consider Islam, Judaism, Shintoism, Buddhism, and any other organized religion. A few nice concepts overlaid with narrow minded and archaic strictures.I consider Pastafarianism a schtick joke meant to satire religion, I’m assuming it’s like the Wavy Gravy satires of the 1960s meant to show the ludicrousness of established thought

          • dondondon. Deaths are not rising. Sundays deaths lower than week before. Also CDC is now counting pneumonia, influenza and Covid deaths all together and they didnt do that before. Can you explain why? Finally it was always about overwhelming hospitals not about counting deaths. We need to open economy and not just count deaths. The deaths will always be with us. You can count deaths with your happy thoughts. I will not. Do some research for us dondondon and tell us how many suicide deaths vs corona in same period.

          • dondondon you are so confused.Christians by definition are those who have accepted Jesus as their savior. That he died in substitution for their sins. That is a Christian. Of course they will continue to sin as we all do every day but they are saved from the penalty of sin not from the power of sin. Of course I dont respect Pastafarians. I wouldnt discriminate against them but I dont want to ”hang” with them. Of course Catholics are Christians. The law of non contradiction tells us that not all religions can be true. Do you know that law dondondon? I would hang with Jenkinsen because he is sincere and consistent.

          • My fingers almost can’t type the words, but Andrew does have a point about counting the deaths not the cases. Until there is universal accurate testing and everyone has had one, the only statistic that matters is the number of deaths in a given population. As of yesterday, Belgium, UK, Peru, Spain, Italy, Sweden, and Chile have had more covid deaths per million than the USA, although we seem to be doing our best to be #1.

          • Andrew– I would like to see some verification of the claim that the cdc has recently started counting other diseases– A week or so ago, I predicted that the number of deaths would go down since information has to pass through the white house first. Why is that ? https://theconversation.com/us-coronavirus-data-will-now-go-straight-to-the-white-house-heres-what-this-means-for-the-world-142814
            The last 7 days averaged 1,125 deaths a day– July 26 saw 462 deaths– every day since has been higher, with 5 of those days well above a thousand. Only a willfully ignorant person with an agenda would see that as going down .

    • The country, this country, our country, has been turned upside down and is in a dire and very dangerous state of distress. An upside down flag symbol is more than appropriate. We are in trouble and not the good trouble John Lewis devoted his life to. This country is in bad trouble. Our Democracy and our freedoms are under seige and anyone who doesn’t see that is in some serious denial.

      • schumer, leahy, feinstein, pelosi, waters, Biden. An average of 50 years in government and have done nothing to fix it. Trump didnt ruin it in 3.5 years. It was ruined by secularism and Dem governors and Senators. All our major cities except one are broke and in disrepair and are being sacked and Cherokee thinks this is Trump. Laughable.

        • You are correct in your prediction, Andrew, that in the end the preventable deaths as a consequence of the lockdown in the form of suicides, alcoholism, spousal and child abuse, drug overdoses, missed treatments and delayed diagnoses will eclipse the mortality of the virus itself – even with the cooked books of COVID mortality. This opinion is widely shared among many health practitioners. You are not alone.

          • If no precautions were ever taken anywhere in the world how many would now be dead of Covid – 19?
            More than from suicides, alcoholism, spousal and child abuse, drug overdoses, missed treatments and delayed diagnoses?

          • “This opinion is widely shared among many health practitioners.”
            Please share at least some of the names of many health practitioners.
            Don’t forget to list the names of the health practitioners who work at the pleasure of the President.

          • Dondondon I am not counting deaths, I leave that to you. Medical quacks wasted time not studying the virus in order to keep the nation on the edge of total panic. The lockdowns are over. And these same medical men wonder why there is a rise in suicides, drug use, mental health issues, and childhood developmental problems from pushing panic and mayhem for this little virus. All of these issues are much more damaging to the socio-economic matrix of the US than COVID. Everything is political now but the Left pushed us to this juncture. We don’t even know what the real numbers are right now. New cases don’t mean squat. It tells us nothing about the virus. There has not been a massive spike in the death toll, despite CNN clustering together a half a dozen states to keep their panic narrative going. Nothing will ever come close to New York’s single-day death toll or its infection rate. Dondondon the median age of mortality from Covid is Eighty years old. Do you get it?

      • Thank you Andrew, I try to be an independent thinker who listens to a persons thoughts and tries to weigh them on their factual merits, I don’t come close to perfection, but I give it a game try. I do want to apologize for weighing in on the bet issue a few weeks ago, I had no dog in that fight and should have stayed out of it. I do not clutch my pearls and faint at your arguments, nor do I faint at Don’s, I think it is important to have a plurality of points of view.

        • I don’t believe there is a difference in points of view on the bet. Andy offered the wager, Don accepted. Once we hit 1000 deaths Andy disappeared. When he returned and claimed to be going “clandestine work” in Minnesota, he decided Don didn’t accept the bet in time although he never gave Don a time frame to accept. Bottom line is Andy owes Don $1000 dollars and refuses to pay his debt. Based solely on that action alone, it’s easy to see why trump is Andy’s hero…

          • feilding– let me point out that I have
            no personal gain on this one– if and when Andrew pays me it will all go to the hospital. —100 %
            Chump change for him, since he claims to be a multimillionire.

          • Fielding, except that Dondondon did not accept the wager until he came back from Barbados. You say no time limit, yes but most bets assume an acceptance during a polite hiatus. Dondondon only accepted the wager when the count was on the way to 1000. You dont know what you are talking about. You dont agree with me on most things so you simply spout platitudes. You and ajay are joined at the hip.

          • Feilding– please read Andrew’s comment to you aug 4 at 8:39 pm. Then scroll up and read my comment to Andrew aug 4 at 5:15 pm.
            This is the problem with trump supporters. Andrew is directly confronted with actual facts, time frames, statistics, direct verifiable quotes, and then he looks straight at the camera and lies.
            Straight up, bold faced lies.
            The deplorable morality disaster that trump has wrought on our country is on full display by the audacity of a supposed moral man to just lie and lie and lie. His hero, king trump does it, and does not get called on it, so Andrew thinks he can lie to his heart’s content ( if he has one) and think he can get away with it.
            Shame on you Andrew, for knowingly lying. You have seen my facts many times here as you try to slither away from your self imposed debt. You know the time frame, yet you still let the asp speak nothing but lies from your demonic lips.
            Shame on you.
            Shame on you.

        • Wes, when you weighed the “factual merits” of Andrew’s lies (and we can limit his gazillion lies solely to this one—the bet he initiated with Don and lost) you decide to apologize to the person telling the lie because you formerly understood that a lie is a lie? Why would a fair-minded person, such as yourself, apologize for having spoken up for truth? You have no skin in anyone else’s game, unless you’re personally victimized by it, but no one should apologize for standing up for truth. Do tell, Wes, is enabling lies, as you’ve done here, your version of “civil” behavior?

      • Because you say so Ajay it must be true. One day in the future,Abortion on demand will be looked upon with shame just as slavery. Would you care to opine with your deep thoughtful cliches about partial birth abortion? Shallowness and contempt for conviction is not a credit to you.

        • It’s all the tests, Andrew. If we didn’t have all these damn pregnancy tests, we’d have fewer cases of pregnancy and therefore fewer abortions. Like a miracle, unplanned pregnancies would just disappear. Duh.

        • I’m replying to you here Andy because for some reason I can’t respond to your response about your lost bet with Don.
          I do know what I’m talking about. I saw your original offer of a bet. You posted on March 8th. Don replied March 11th. That’s 3 days Andy. When you offered the bet, there were less then 20 deaths. When Don replied 3 days later, there were less then 30. That’s not really well on it’s way now is it. If he had waited a couple months when the death toll was over 900, I’d agree with you. But that’s not the case, right?
          You lost. You know you lost. But you can’t accept that. You continue to lie about the bet and claim it’s not valid because of the “time line”
          You are not an admirable person.
          Pay your debt…

  4. Don- your status as a veteran and proponent of freedom of expression carries more weight than the right of someone to have an toddler tantrum in public. Sadly, there is no reasoning with people in this mindset and your attempts to have a civil conversation were futile. There are people on the left who are just as infantile and irrational, but these situations tend to weigh more heavily towards the MAGA-Yahoos.

  5. I admire and respect your steadfastness, Don. My husband and I had never displayed political decals to our cars – but this year, we have Biden 2020 decals firmly affixed. It has come to a point where we must speak out in whatever ways possible. Those decals are a minor thing, but like wearing a face mask, it’s an attempt to protect all of us.

  6. No matter what you display on your vehicle, you will undoubtedly vex someone. Perhaps the day will come in this cancel culture when we will pay people to remove the brands on the cars put on by the makers of those vehicles, it really is just free advertising. Perhaps we could charge the vehicle companies for the free advertising on our vehicles? Hmmmmm????

  7. I have stopped commenting because of “Jackie”, but I decided to come out of retirement because the letter was so rational. I agree with the writer about the flag (reverse means “distress”) and his right to political opinion (dissent). If the Editor was able (which I grant he is not) to limit or moderate disagreements, I believe the discourse would be far more civil. There are some commenters with whom I agree and most with whom I don’t. But civil discourse is inevitably educational.

    • “As a lifelong Episcopalian, I applaud any effort at reconciliation. But I condemn any individual clergyman from presuming to speak for our denomination. No member of the clergy of any Christian denomination should presume to speak for a,l of his congregants. I also want to call into question the “Black Lives Matter” sign on the corner of the Hebrew Congregation property. There is no single life which matters more than any other. I pray for social peace. But I do not assign the value of one life as greater than another.” ~Islander July 23, 2020 at 5:34 pm

      Islander, your “civility” (and a good amount of christian white privilege that denies systemic racism) allows you to deny the validity of Black Lives Matter AND the Jewish community that supports it, but you see nothing wrong in your own presumptions? And you make a point to complain about not commenting here because of me? Maybe it’s you, Islander, not anyone else. Maybe your views are so weak and, frankly, so ugly, that even you know enough not to get behind them and defend them. Strength of conviction, if you have any, does not run away. Complaints of lack of civility are hollow, especially coming after what you’ve written here. I don’t know if you’re a Trump supporter or not, but surely no one who supports him can ever complain of a lack of civilty. Do you not realize what this monster has unleashed within our society? All pretense at civility is gone. I will add only that Trump supporters on here who cannot intelligently explain their support of the most dishonest, corrupt, inept, and uncivil President imaginable, like to blame me for noticing they have the weakest, most dishonest, AND most racist comments. What is up with people who call themselves Christians?

      • Thank you? I’m not aware of needing a lecture from you about civility. You’ve become a caricature of yourself. If I call you out for being a belligerent loudmouth, you’ll howl that I’m being abusive towards a woman. If I call you shrill, you’ll howl about me being sexist for playing into the stereotype of a woman as a histrionic shrew.To keep things balanced, I’ll call you both, as both shoes fit. You suck the air out of these comment sections with your heated diatribes in which everything is viewed threw a paranoid prism of sexism, racism, homophobia, gender identity insensitivity, etc. ad nauseam. There are some of us who do not support Trump and the conservative Christian agenda, yet find your nonsense just as off-putting.

        • You sound upset, Wes. Read the NPR article. It’s not a lecture. Conservative and privileged white people (like those who admire the sexist and conservative commentator George Will) make up their own rules about what’s civil, not to mention what’s sexist, racist, and homophobic. They’re used to the power and control that they feel is rightfully theirs and no one else is allowed to upset their smug, white applecart. What do you stand up for, Wes, besides passionately sexist rants like this? Your comments are always a privileged white version of white bread, too cowardly to stand up for ANY side. But scratch the surface and this sort of uncivil rant comes right out. People like you are too “civil” to stop bad things and bad people from taking control, because, you know, they don’t really impact you. Your fake-civil neutrality promotes evil.
          “He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” ~ML King
          Hope you feel better soon.

        • Gotta get me one of those computers with sound effects. What fun it must be to hear a computer that howls, screeches, makes shrill noises. I have a feeling, though, that they are only available to misogynists who imagine hearing things when a woman doesn’t know her place and says something he doesn’t like. Oh well.

          • Yes, take a lesson, Andrew. You see, it’s entirely possible for a grown man to huff and puff and try to blow my house down without resorting to plagiarism.

  8. Yeah, the guy was a jerk. I feel bad for the way Don Keller was treated. It was wrong. I’m sorry, but I don’t get it. I dealt with idiots for a living. I’ll set the record straight. Village idiots do exist on Martha’s Vineyard. Nuff said.

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