San Francisco Chronicle's - 143 pro-freedom comments since July 2007 and counting!

I just counted them, and I'm up to 143 reader comments posted on the San Francisco Chronicle's since I started my account with them in July 2007, almost all of which are promoting libertarian views on one issue or another. (I'm pretty sure I posted stuff to the Chronicle's site before that, but I guess that's around when they changed their system to its current configurations and started the reader accounts that let you keep track.) To be on the safe side, I periodically copy my comments from the site and save them into a file on my hard drive, in case the Chron ever goes totally belly up or they decide to delete my account or something. I don't know how many people view the reader comments compared with the number who read traditional letters to the editor published in the paper's print edition, but I suspect I've written the equivalent of at least a couple dozen published letters in terms of readership.

  Anyway, I would like to encourage other liberty lovers, especially those of you in San Francisco or the Bay Area, who are presumably more knowledgeable and qualified to speak out about the local political issues the paper covers, to take advantage of this site as an effective place to speak out about political issues. SFGate has a very active -- and frequently passionate and opinionated! -- online reader community, and you can give other comments a "thumbs-up" or "thumbs-down." So participating there is a lot of fun -- which activism should be! It's not so different from the emails you may be writing to libertarian-oriented lists now, except that you'll probably have a much wider audience and won't ever have to worry about preaching to the choir! Recently they've started allowing you to automatically post your comments to your Facebook page at the same time you post them to, making the site doubly valuable for online activism purposes.

  If you're signing up for an account, or if you already have one, for that matter, I urge you to pay particular attention to the image you choose to use for your profile picture. Whatever photo or image you choose will appear next to every comment you post. I've noticed that some account-holders choose images that aren't particularly flattering, to say the least -- Smithers from The Simpsons, a poisonous snake, the emporer from the Star Wars movies, one of the Beavis & Butthead duo (I can never recall which of them is which), etc.! Of course if you plan to limit yourself to sarcastic or satirical comments, an icon like that could be appropriate, but a surprising number of people seem to use such images when posting straightforward views. Perhaps one can set up multiple accounts if desired; I haven't tried that. Unlike most posters, my handle is my actual name (starchild), and I'm hoping that at least some readers will connect my comments to the Starchild they may see on their ballots from time to time, and even if they don't agree with me 100% or even 50% of the time, at least respect me for consistently posting thoughtful, intelligent comments that avoid name-calling and that sort of thing. Technically I think attacking other users is prohibited, along with obscenities and some other categories, but a whole lot of stuff also appears to get past the censors. Probably not over a period of time though -- I also notice that a fair number of comments have been removed because the person who posted them was banned.

  If you'd like to read some of what I've been posting, all my comments are listed here --

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))