Many of you, no doubt, are regular readers of blogs, on line news stories, opinion pieces or other writing that usually allow for the entry of comments. It has been my experience that few of the people who exercise this choice do so from the standpoint of wishing to engage in an honest debate on the topic at hand.

                The truth is that most of the comments made are irrelevant, fail to acknowledge that opposing opinions may have some validity, promote a particular agenda no matter the subject, and use personal attacks on people who had nothing to do with the original story. Or if they were involved, issues are raised that are impertinent and frequently outrageously defamatory. Or they are so personal as to question the motives of the commentator. Or they focus on some trait of a person which has no relevance, particularly those made of a racial nature. 

          There are comments so bigoted, so outrageous, so disgusting, that one wonders what world these folks reside in. Anonymity permits comments like this to be made without fear of retribution. Most sites allowing comments do ask for at least a name and email address, but there is no way to check on these.

               There are a number of lawsuits pending in which a party has attempted to uncover the true identity of posters who may have crossed the legal line from offering an opinion to outright libel. This is especially so where the person attacked is some sort of public figure or current or aspiring politician. Those cases will presumably bring some order to this chaos without compromising First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech.

           My concern is with the comments that fall far short of crossing that line, but are ugly and contribute nothing to the understanding of or discussion about often complex public concerns. But then, even on non-vital issues the ugliness emanates from and permeates these comment pages.

          One example I encountered today was a story about how former NFL coach Tony Dungy had criticized New York Jets coach Rex Ryan for using foul language including a number of F-bombs in an HBO program following the Jets in their current training camp.

         Understand that Dungy was a successful coach, his Indianapolis Colts having won a Super Bowl under him. He also had produced some good teams in Tampa which Jon Gruden led to a Super Bowl win the year after he replaced Dungy, who many still gave credit to for his part in building that team. Dungy was also a long-time NFL assistant coach with several stops after beginning his coaching career in Pittsburgh, soon after his playing days.

             Now Dungy is outside the mold that produces most football coaches. He does not believe in berating his players, screaming at them, and especially does not cuss them out. This system worked for him. Few other coaches attempt to emulate him. Remember this is the league where one of Vince Lombardi’s players in Green Bay once said, “Coach treats us all the same, like dogs”.

              Tony Dungy is also a religious man which is another basis for his non-swearing ways. He is known for counselling troubled players such as Michael Vick, convicted for his part in a dog- fighting ring.

              Thus it is not surprising that he would be offended over Rex Ryan’s vulgarity. Frankly, my personal opinion is that he can criticize, but he has unrealistic expectations. The show, after all, is on HBO. Nedd I say more?

             Along with this story were a number of comments either backing Dungy or calling him out of line. And the writer had gotten an unfavorable reaction to Dungy’s remarks from Buddy Ryan, father of Rex, a former coach himself  known for a gruff personality. So one person made the comment that at least Buddy Ryan has a son, alive and working.( Dungy’s son committed suicide a few years ago.)

          If a negative IQ has ever been recorded it was probably this commentator who scored it. Pure garbage. Not the only out-of-line comment on that site, just the most egregious.

       I will let you read for yourself two other  group of comments which I believe buttress my argument. The first is a letter in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette objecting to an editorial cartoon citing the problems facing many of our servicemen due to combat in Iraq. The original letter writer thought the cartoon offensive to servicemen.  Little discussion ensues actually taking a position on the offending nature of the cartoon. The wisest is the very last comment. Note the similarity of the poster’s name to that of the author of this blog. Pure coincidence.

         The second is a story about how, due to the slumping U.S. economy, many companies are now relocating their customer call centers back in this country. Again, the comments range form the few on point to the ones which just make you go HUH? If you see more than a smidgen of reasoned debate, let me know.

                  As they say at the poker table, read’em and weep.


Letters published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette are offered here for broader comment and discussion.

Source: All categories and sections

User Rating: / 9
Friday, August 13, 2010 05:00 AM
E-mail Print PDF

I am writing to express how offended and dismayed I am by your editorial cartoon on Aug. 10. As the war in Iraq winds down, the best you have to offer is a cartoon that ridicules the men and women who served in that war. We have a family member that served for 15 months as a member of the 101st Airborne in Iraq and fortunately returned unharmed. I can only imagine his reaction as he opened your paper to see that you believe his sacrifice, and that of his fellow soldiers, was in vain.To focus the cartoon on the unfortunate soldiers who suffered mental disabilities is a disservice to them and all those who serve. Your attitude toward our soldiers is somewhat reminiscent of the Vietnam era when the media elite sought to blame the soldiers for waging the war.

You also imply that all those returning from war are somehow defective individuals that we need to fear. It was wrong when they did that to our Vietnam vets and it’s wrong now. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We should all be proud of our returning soldiers and the sacrifice they have shown for their country. Unfortunately some have returned with physical and mental issues and we should all be just as proud and supportive of them. I think the Post-Gazette and Rob Rogers should be ashamed of themselves for publishing such a defamatory cartoon. If you meant it as a compliment it was back-handed at best. You owe all of those who serve this country an apology.

Upper St. Clair

Comments (21)Add Comment


written by Deke, August 13, 2010 – 07:08 AM

Mr. Henderson that was a great cartoon. It never displayed any disrespect.

written by jayare, August 13, 2010 – 08:00 AM

**s a cartoon let me say it again its a cartoon.Tom H.quit buying the post and buy the trib.

written by myreply, August 13, 2010 – 08:02 AM

While I don’t agree with Rob Rogers all of the time, there was no disrespect in this cartoon.

The maladys shown in this cel, were those expressed by numerous reports of the trauma, both physical and mental, that these returning, and active soldiers endure.


written by CraigWallace, August 13, 2010 – 08:50 AM

Mr. Henderson, first of all, thank you to your family member serving. Second, the PG is a far left newspaper. As such, they have very little respect for the military.

written by myreply, August 13, 2010 – 10:25 AM

That was a low blow Craig.

written by fhornplayer83, August 13, 2010 – 10:49 AM

You might want to read Rob Rogers’ blog post for that cartoon:

“Just because we are pulling out of Iraq doesn’t mean our soldiers are out of harm’s way. Reports are showing a rise in the suicide rate among soldiers fighting in Iraq. Combine that with post-traumatic stress, violent behavior, depression, drug and alcohol abuse and we have a national epidemic on our hands. These heroes need serious help. They need treatment and counseling. Let’s make sure they get it.”


written by boldart, August 13, 2010 – 10:50 AM


Your statement insinuating that the left is anti-military is a conservative myth.

Currently there are more Congressional democrats who served in the military than there are republicans.

Tom Corbett the current republican candidate for governor took a deferment to avoid active military service during the Vietnam war.

Conservatives talk tough about war, but few are eager to serve.


written by myreply, August 13, 2010 – 10:57 AM


You say “Conservatives talk tough about war, but few are eager to serve”.

Your president obama did not serve either. He was too busy preparing for playing president. Many presidents did not serve.

I have often said that I believe that one of the requirements for being president is serving first in the armed forces.

If you are going to have the power to send men and women into combat – by God, you had better know what that feels like.


written by CraigWallace, August 13, 2010 – 11:55 AM

Myreply, no I didn’t say that. Boldart did.

written by GBRetired, August 13, 2010 – 12:08 PM


Let’s take a look at the current admin. and their extensive military background:

Barack Hussein Obama—nuff said

Joe Biden—5 student deferrments, finally given medical deferrment for asthma (did not hinder his college football career)


Lawrence Summers—NO military service

Timothy Geithner—NO military service

Eric Holder—NO military service

Rahm Emanuel–served with Israeli defense forces as a civilian volunteer to maintain equipment.

David Axelrod—NO military service

Pete Rouse—NO military service

Greg Craig—NO military service

Chris Lu—no military service

Robert Gibbs—NO military service

Dan Pfeiffer—NO military service


Gary Locke—NO military service

Tim Kaine—NO military service

Aneesh Chopra—NO military service

Leon Panetta—served 1964-1966 Army Second Lieutenant

I could keep going, but the message seems quite evident. This bunch is about as qualified to handle a military conflict as Nancy Pelosi is to judge a beauty contest!!


written by CraigWallace, August 13, 2010 – 12:48 PM

Wasn’t it Dems that brought up a proposal to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries? Lincoln must have been insane when he said “to care for him who
shall have borne the battle.”

written by GBRetired, August 13, 2010 – 01:01 PM

The proposal for insurance companies of servicemen to pay was an actual Obama budget proposal. The attached Washington Post article describes how after meeting with a group of veterans–the annointed one finally figured that this may not be a wise move—-NO S**T!

written by fhornplayer83, August 13, 2010 – 01:09 PM

How pathetic. Some people just have no ability to be objective. If you want to know what’s wrong with our country these days, there is quite a lot of evidence right here.

If you seriously think that being a liberal/conservative means not caring about the welfare of our service members, then you need to get your head out of your fourth point of contact.


written by myreply, August 13, 2010 – 01:15 PM

Sorry CraigWallace.

written by GBRetired, August 13, 2010 – 01:20 PM


Once again–you play fast and loose with the truth. Tom Corbett attended Lebanon Valley College from 1966 to 1970–which would have qualified him for a 2-S student deferment. He taught school for the year 1971 and enrolled in the PA Army National Guard from 1971 to 1984.
Just where did he get that supposed deferment?? Surely you are not claiming the 2-S are you??


written by Centinel, August 13, 2010 – 06:55 PM

I think Bob can be a pretty petty hack, but this cartoon didn’t bother me.

written by misinfo, August 13, 2010 – 08:32 PM

If this isn’t the epitome of the Fox News formula, I don’t know what is. This artilce comes right from the the Sean Hannity – Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, playbook. Spot on!

First – Distort or bend the the topic so that it becomes something that’s it’s not.
Second – Gin up a story in your head, based on your preconceived notion or fantasies,usually in the form of a straw an argument
Third- Debunk the ginned up straw man argument that now has absolutley nothing to do with the original message
Last – Make sure you let the person know that they owe an apology to everyone, based on your straw man.

1. So a cartoon that points out the negative effects of war = Ridiculing our troops. WRONG! – One of Hannity’s biggest talking points to keep people from actually thinking.

2. Insinuate that that the sacrifices of our men and women was in vain. Wrong.
Another Fox News talking point to keep people from thinking.

3. Cartoon is a disservice to all that serve, Wrong! Fox and Friends again

4 Media Elite. Wow- Where have I heard that talking point mentioned before. Perfect Straw Man again used to keep people from actually thinking.

5. Owing all who serve this country an apology. – Similar to Palin telling Letterman that he owes all young girls an apology for something he said about her 18 year old daughter. WRONG WRONG WRONG.

We all have respect and admiration for our troops. In my opinion, they should all be given free educations when they return. If our country has enough money to send them to die, they can sure provide them with an education. And yes, I have no problem having my taxes raised for this to happen.

Unfortunatley, articles like this do nothing but make people dumber.


written by myreply, August 14, 2010 – 04:04 PM


You are “mis”taken in your post. The writer truly “mis”understood this cartoon. It would have helped had she the explanation, I’m sure.

For you to even involve Fox in explaining away her “mis”statements – well, you are just “mis”judging her.


written by misinfo, August 14, 2010 – 07:57 PM


unfortunately you are mistaken. I’m willing to bet my yearly salary, which isn’t much, that the author of this post is on a steady diet of fox news. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, I’m saying it’s directly out of their playbook. I hear these arguments all the time from people that I know have only one channel at home-Fox News. Maybe i’m wrong, but in this case, it’s highly unlikely.


written by bigmack, August 15, 2010 – 10:35 AM

I don’t know how the letter writer, Tom Henderson, will feel being “mis”represented as a she or her.

written by UMOC, August 16, 2010 – 09:27 PM

GBRetired, listing Obama administration members who did NOT serve in the military is pointless. Save for a few, all are too young to have faced the draft. The vast majority of such men has never come close to a military recruitment center, not just those in government. What is more telling is that in the administration of George W. Bush which instigated this destructive and needless war were a great number of men who were old enough to serve while there was still a draft, yet managed to avoid any military duties. Of course they were not poor. Dick Cheney is the epitome of this, having received 5 deferments from the draft. Unapologetic, he has been quoted as saying “I had other priorities” So don’t cite Obama’s people for not serving, at least not without noting the same situation under Bush.
But perhaps GBRetired is correct that military endeavors should be left to those with military experience. Look what a mess Obama inherited from the incompetent non-veterans led by Bush.
But then, FDR never served and he somehow led the U.S. through the most catastrophic war the world has ever known.
And, GBR, are you trying to say a 2-s student deferment was not a deferment? If that is what Tom Corbett received while in college, he is simply one of several million men who did, including me. But it is, was and always shall be a deferment. No matter the justification or legality, that deferment kept him from being drafted, just like it did me.
And all you commentators, and I have been dragged in myself, you ignore the actual controversy as to whether the cartoon was offensive, to promote your own agenda that has nothing to do with that issue.

Call-center jobs returning to US

The depressed economy has reduced operating costs so much that Indian outsourcing isn’t as attractive.

Posted by Kim Peterson on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 3:35 PM

global economy © Comstock / SuperStockThe global economy is changing quickly, causing this unexpected turn: Call-center jobs are coming back to America from India.

Customer-support employees are becoming just as cheap to hire here as in India, the head of a large outsourcing company in India tells the Financial Times.

Blame the high unemployment level in the U.S., which has driven down wages. People are willing to accept less money and are more open to working in low-skilled jobs in customer support.

That’s not the case in India, where wages are up 10% this year, the FT reports. Senior outsourcing managers are now asking for more money than the global average.

The chief executive of one company, Genpact, told the FT he expects to triple the number of U.S. employees over the next two years (it employs 1,500 here now).

Americans “are open to be working at home and working at lower salaries than they were used to,” he told the newspaper. “We can hire some seasoned executives with experience in the U.S. for less money.”

A similar story is playing out at Indian outsourcing giant Wipro, which has begun recruiting workers in other countries and expects to be at 50% non-Indian employment in two years, the FT reports.

Sort by:Newest firstOldest first
1 – 15 of 191
I would say , all Americans should buy American made product
Avoid answer to all the calls  with any accent


It’s about damn time!!!!  I’m changing my internet because of Qwest using people in the Philipines.  Bring ALL OUTSOURCED JOBS BACK TO THE U.S.


Americans always complain that the people in India do not talk clearly but I do not agree with that. Because it is vice versa, Indian people also have difficulty understanding the accent of americans. As not all Americans can clearly speak, it is the same way not all Indian’s can speak clearly. So, what I wanted to say is people need to show some patience when they are dealing with people from other countries. I know how much tolerance Indian people are showing at work here in america. All the time Americans use Indians to work under them though the Indians have very good talents americans won’t let them get promoted, they will put obstacles.  


I would pay more taxes to have more american jobs.  I am a lucky person my husband and I both have steady jobs so haven’t faced the problems that most have.  I think it is a shame that we out source so much stuff.  And if the problem is what one person commented that Indian people are more knowledgeable lets train the people out of work and get real Americans a living wage.  I am plain tired of talking to people I can’t understand and have to have them repeat it over and over.  Let’s give the economy a real boost and the American people as well.  


First, we all need to pressure Walmart…so-called America’s store…to stop buying things made overseas.  Also Target and K-Mart.  Shop at green sites online , if possible..have toys and things for your house and clothes..and are made here.  The only thing the big guys like Walmart will understand are floods of e-mails telling them you are boycotting them and why!
I am an American and have worked as a Customer Service Representative for 7 years.  I do not make a living wage and dealing with customers is not easy!  The last thing these jobs should be called is easy or low tech  I am required to have knowledge of more than 10 different contracts!  I am required to always be polite (no calling my customers idiots, even when they are!). I am required to be understandable and welcoming.  I am required to be at my desk on the phone on time to start my shift, to take my breaks and to end my shift!  No overtime, unless authorized!  So these are not jobs that will add immeasurably to the economy!  They are fill ins for people who have a roommate or partner or spouse that is also working!  Most of these jobs do not have benefits as the workers are all part-time!  The people who are handling CS in China or India, or other overseas countries don’t earn enough to buy food and shelter!  But it is the same here.  We are not paid commensurate with our responsbilities!  I began working when gas was $1.35 a gallon, gas is now $3.65 a gallon, but my salary didn’t increase 200%!  the COE’S salaries did though!


They can’t even speak english ask dell and other companies how many complaints they get about their call centers in other countries.

It is time to put a maximum wage on the upper management of 10 times the lowest paid employee regardless of where that employee is at.


Those call centers are terrible I stopped buying Samsung products because I could not understand the call center people.


You actually believe that? Better take a look in the mirror along with 75% of Americans that have stuffed their closets with clothes they don’t wear, cars they can’t afford and DVD players they don’t use. This country went on a spending spree that caused the credit card companies to be richer than Richie Rich. Don’t blame this on the Gov’t. Look in the mirror and see how you helped in the matter. Learn from your mistakes and SAVE, SAVE, SAVE.


I stopped taking the local newspaper here in fl.I found out the call center was in india an guess what,its the new york times that dictates where the call centers go to ,like I read here its the big corp.america doing it.I am so happy to hear its going to stop,I have a dell laptop so I will still have to talk to india….the comp. has been down for a week an I am dreading placing the call as I get so stressed talking to them……


Well said minnhistoryman.
Our government SCREWED us over since 1913 (inception of the federal reserve) and now we applaud because we are gaining lower wage jobs (that we should have never lost) that can’t put food on the table and pay rent without food stamps? It is impossible to live on $7.50/hr and pay your own bills w/o government assistance.
So the government and federal reserve destroyed our economy, and we all suffered and now we are supposed to be happy about lower wages? I am sure obama will claim he was the cause for this and claim it was his brilliant policies that made us gain jobs. **** every president since woodrow wilson, except Kennedy. (who oddly was assassinated… coincidence? NOT)
End the fed and vote out the bums…


Amen! Sorry, but I usually hang up if I can’t understand the person on the other end of the phone. If I’m calling them, I’ll call, and call, and call, until I get someone I understand.Open-mouthed


I am so so so so happy. I will actually be able to understand the person on the other end of the line. Hooray!!!!!!!!!!


ty!  ty! ty !  I am hard of hearing and i have spent too many minutes and time trying to resolve issues!


hey are reading a book and have no real knowledge of what is wrong.  I was told to hand delete but knew I could dump the more than one thousand entries. I was 3 hours or more because they knew nothing.  I just trashed the machine and bought another brand.
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Please give me your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: