TechnoSocial Blog Update

In case you drop by while this post is up. This blog started life as an email->website converter where I hosted some mailing lists and my own thoughts. That was back in the late 90’s. Eventually it migrated to MoveableType where I hosted it at marrowbones.com/technosocial. Then after a machine crash around 2012 or so, it went on hiatus. I’m in the process of putting it up again, and adding new content. But first I’m restoring any of the old content that seems worthwhile. So if you see a rather scattered set of stuff, and what’s being added is ancient…that’s why. I should have it stable and be adding new content in a week or so. In the meantime, enjoy.

When you attack immigrants, you’re attacking America

Fullsizeoutput 770aThese are my daughters. If you attack Middle Easterners fleeing persecution, you attack them. Their mother came here from Iran after the revolution, looking for a safer life. America let her in despite our conflict with Iran, because American principles are more important than our fears and disputes. If you don’t believe our principles always come first, then you don’t believe in America.

Make no mistake. When you attack immigrants, you’re attacking America. We’re a nation of immigrants. Of all races. Of all creeds. Anyone who doesn’t believe that, is welcome to leave and find another country. Because if you turn your back on immigrants in need, if you turn your back on freedom of religion, you understand less about what it means to be an American than every immigrant who ever stepped onto our soil.

Being born an American is nothing to be proud of. Being born an American is easy; any idiot can get born here. Immigrants and refugees earned the right to come here. Nobody is more American than the person who came here fleeing repression and seeking freedom.

If you want to be proud of being an American, then you have to support American ideals. Speak out against those who seek to limit speech, limit religion, or turn away people in need. Don’t mute what they say. Don’t let it go for the sake of friendship or family. Speak out.

Silence isn’t just death. Silence is blood on our hands. The blood of those we turned away. And the blood of a country that fell, not because of war or terrorism, but because we were afraid to trust the very principles that made it strong

I’m just some middle aged white guy, why is name privacy so important to me?

No Hate. Copyright © 2011 by Shadi Fotouhi
No Hate. Copyright © 2011 by Shadi Fotouhi

I’m just another middle-aged, reasonably well-off, American white guy.

So why do I believe so strongly in the importance of letting people control who sees their real name, when you don’t?

I was thinking about that this morning, because I know that if you’d asked me this question three years ago, I would have been strongly pro-privacy, but I would not have been as passionate about it as I am now. What’s changed?

The difference is that in the past three years, I’ve spent a lot of time socializing with people who are private about their birth names. I’ve met them on Twitter, and I’ve met them in person. I’ve even driven across the country to meet up with friends whose birth name I didn’t know until I was camped out on their couch. As a result, I’ve heard things that you just don’t hear when people have to use their birth names in public.

When you create a social networking site that requires real names, you create an artificial bubble. What you see is just the nice things in people’s lives, you don’t see what’s really happening. But when people have control over who knows their name, they still talk about cute cats and the latest iPhone and what kind of wine they drank last night, but they also talk about other things. They talk about dealing with their parent’s Alzheimer’s. They talk about how their daughter was missing for three days and got drugged and raped and the police refused to follow up. They talk about how they just lost their job and they’re worried that they’ll end up on the street. They talk about how their boss will fire them if he finds out they’re gay. They talk about how they were sexually abused as a kid. They talk about what it’s like to live in a country where bloggers get thrown in prison. People don’t dare talk about those things with their birth names; not when Google is indexing everything they say.

When you avoid or ban people who protect their birth names, you create an artificial world, one that doesn’t reflect what’s going on in the real world. When you surround yourself only with people who are using their birth names, you get the impression that everything is fine out there. That this is America, and people don’t discriminate, people aren’t ending up on the street through no fault of their own, people aren’t getting stalked to their doorsteps because someone learned their name, and people aren’t being judged by their sexual orientation. You’re surrounded by people who seem to be just like you, because the conversation has been reduced to what’s acceptable at the work watercooler.

The sad thing is, if you’re dealing with something difficult in your life, that bubble also makes you think you’re alone. You think you’re the only one, because nobody else is talking about how they’re going to pay for their parents nursing care, or how hard it is to juggle work and family.

Of course, maybe you don’t want to hear about other people’s problems on Google+. There’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t particularly want to hear what kind of wine Robert Scoble had last night, so I don’t circle him. If you don’t want to hear about how Jane S is dealing with her son smoking pot, then you don’t have to circle her. But that doesn’t mean that Jane S shouldn’t have a right to join Google+ and comment on your post about the latest merger, or give her opinion on the riots in London, or talk to friends who do want to talk about raising kids. Just because she protects her privacy more than you, doesn’t mean her opinion isn’t valuable. Furthermore, having people with different backgrounds in a discussion makes for a far more educational and interesting conversation.

Google’s name policy is intended to create the illusion that we are all at a fancy restaurant; they’ve explicitly used that metaphor. Unfortunately, in doing so they have denied access to a lot of interesting people; to teachers, lawyers, doctors, activists and government employees; people who aren’t allowed to use their real name to express their real opinions. And they’ve driven away a lot of people with a very legitimate need for privacy; the abused, the victims, the stalked, the discriminated against. That wasn’t Google’s intent, but they believe that losing ten or more percent of the population is a legitimate cost in their goal to create the illusion of normalcy.

I think people who say “I’m more comfortable talking to people who use their real names” or “they should find another social network” don’t realize just what a broad swath of the population is being eliminated by this policy. They don’t realize, because they’ve never had an honest and open conversation with anyone affected by it. They don’t know that their co-worker is gay, or that their favorite barista got raped last month, or that their son’s teacher is an atheist. They don’t know that the person they are banning may be a neighbor or even a friend. They also don’t realize how important online social networks are to people who don’t have the freedom to talk to their peers in any other environment. Social networks aren’t a “game”, they aren’t something you do outside of your “real” life. Social networks are a real place where real people meet, make friends, share ideas, create business relationships, and even end up getting married. And all of those things happen even if they initially meet without sharing their birth names. “Jane S” is just as real a person as “Jane Smith”, and perhaps even more so.

Google certainly has a right to create a fancy restaurant with an illusion that everyone is telling the truth about who they are. But it’s just that, an illusion. Many of us looked at Google as the one internet company that understood the importance of privacy. They stood up to China and left the market when forced to censor. They’ve fought the hackers who have attempted to keep Google from providing secure email to dissidents around the world. We thought that if Google was going to create a social network, they would create one that mirrored the real world. One where people had control over who saw their birth names and who didn’t. A social network that upheld the basic freedoms we expect in a democratic society. Instead, they just created a more authoritarian version of Facebook.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can hit that “Send Feedback” button and tell Google that you don’t want them to discriminate. You can tell them that you’re happy to hear the opinions of people who don’t have the freedom and security to use their birth names. You can tell Google that you want to hear from people who come from different backgrounds than you. You can tell Google that you don’t really mind if that guy with the fabulous photos is called “John” or “JujuBoy”. You can tell Google that you want a social network where people are free to talk about all of their lives, not just the parts they don’t want in the paper tomorrow or in twenty years. Or you can decide that what you really want is a an artificial bubble where everyone talks about technology and cat pictures.

Personally, I prefer reality.


For more details on who is hurt by Google’s policy, read “Who is harmed by a real names policy”(http://j.mp/pojGSo) or my long post here: http://j.mp/pJC2PO (skip to “Who Needs a Pseudonym?”). If you have any other thoughts on why it’s bad to let people control who sees their birth name, please read that post first, I probably discuss them.

For my thoughts on privilege, a word I always used to find personally insulting, read my post here: http://j.mp/o2ApQ3. What I refer to as “being in a bubble” has a lot to do with the concept.

For some excellent personal statements on the importance of name privacy, see http://my.nameis.me/

If you’re wondering where I came up with “ten or more percent of the population”, that’s what I believe is a conservative estimate, based on the number of people on Facebook who don’t use their real names. Those people are disproportionately minorities and women. Read researcher Danah Boyd’s article ““Real Names” Policies Are an Abuse of Power” at http://j.mp/ojrQ3g. I can’t find the original reference to the percentage (can anyone give me a link?), but it was confirmed by my own check of a few Facebook groups I belong to.

Drawing by my daughter, Shadi Fotouhi. (Still too young to join Google+ :). [Well, that was in 2011. As of 2017 she’s graduated from art school and is doing QA for a robotics company.]

Original post on Google+ here: http://j.mp/qlY5jv

On Pseudonymity, Privacy and Responsibility on Google+

[This was originally posted on Google+ (https://plus.google.com/117903011098040166012/posts/asuDWWmaFcq) where it went viral for a while. It’s still my most popular post. Since then of course Google finally gave up on their “real names” policy. Turns out it didn’t actually improve the quality of discussion at all–and it hurt people. Facebook, OTOH, still deletes accounts using pseudonyms, and it continues to be a tool of attackers to shut down victims.]


Google has said that they plan to “address” the issue of pseudonymity in the near future. I hope that these thoughts and experiences may help inform that decision.

Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.
———— 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission

This whole persona/pseudonym argument may seem like a tempest in a teapot, but the fact is, the forum for public discourse is no longer the town hall, or newspaper, or fliers on the street. It is here on the Internet, and it is happening in communities like this, hosted by private sector companies. Freedom of speech is not guaranteed in these places. As +Lawrence Lessig once said,“the code is the law.” The code that Google applies, the rules they set up now in the software, are going to influence our right to speak out now and in the future. It is imperative that we impress upon Google the importance of providing users with the same rights (and responsibilities) as exist in the society that nurtured Google and brought about its success.

I’m going to try to summarize the discussion as I’ve seen it over the past few weeks. Since this is a long post (tl;dr), here’s a description of what’s coming so if you want, you can skip to the section that you’re interested in.

First I’m going to address some red herrings; arguments that actually have no bearing on pseudonyms. I will explain why I think we should be having this discussion about a company’s product. I’ll explain, through painful personal disclosure, the experience of close friends, and other examples, why someone might want to use a pseudonym. Then I will address the arguments I have heard against pseudonyms (and some of them are quite valid), and what some alternatives might be.

I apologize for the length of this post, I know it could be trimmed.

Police raids in Minneapolis — What happened to checks and balances?

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff’s department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than “fire code violations,” and early this morning, the Sheriff’s department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.

This isn’t the first of these this week. It really bothers me that the police can arrest people, confiscate their goods, never press charges, and release them all later with no explanation and no consequences. This makes intimidation far too easy. The magic words “homeland security” keep getting invoked.

If the police now have a simple way to hold people without charges, then the people need a simple way to make the police suffer consequences when the power is misused.

Elections and Erections: A One-Queen Play at the A.R.T.

“Don’t ask me about racism. As a white racist it didn’t affect me. But if you ask me about fear, I can tell you about that.”

Pieter-Dirk Uys, in “Elections and Erections”

That line ends a serious interlude in the show, one of several that provide counterpoint to the satire and humor he so deftly uses to highlight the flaws of South African society, both before and after apartheid. He has just told us how he came to be a democrat, and he has told us of sharing the garden-shed home of a yard-boy at a rich South African home. Of the fear of being discovered. The fear of being black with white, white with black. A fear so powerful that it overwhelms the fear of being man with man. Even now, when I relate the story to my friends, that final line sends a shiver down my spine.

Pieter-Dirk Uys’ alter-ego is Evita Bezuidenhout, a household name in South Africa, famous for over thirty years of satire against the apartheid government. But she hasn’t stopped there. “Elections and Erections” makes it clear that Uys’ true enemy is that which makes people afraid. Whether it’s corruption in the apartheid government or in the ANC; politicians denying the existence of AIDS; friendships with dictators based on a common race; ignorance; false pretenses; or just the everyday fears of trying to survive in a country stuck in a downward spiral. Uys wants to expose the things that make us afraid, shine the bright light of humor on them, and bring hope and laughter to the people he loves: the people of South Africa.

I’m hearing only bad news
From Radio Africa,
I’m hearing only sad news
From Radio Africa

“Radio Africa” by Latin Quarter.

If Evita Bezuidenhout has a counter-part in the the U.S., it might be Stephen Colbert, with his pseudo-conservative satire. But Evita is much more biting and relevant, and Uys has many more roles to don beyond Evita. He plays the ANC politicians contemplating whether the next president will get the position before, or after, he is thrown in jail for corruption. He lampoons (gently, but none-the-less) Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He describes the trials of a Jewish African Princess, her relatives self-exiled to Canada, trying desperately to be the liberal she knows she ought to be. He takes on Winnie Mandela, including relating the time he played her character (complete with rubber tire jewelry) with the real Winnie in the audience. He talks to the asian storekeeper whose husband used to be too black for jobs, but now is turned down because he is too white. He does a chilling rendition of Grace Mugabe as an evil child-like woman, losing her mind to AIDS. And he doesn’t save all his barbs for Africa; his characterization of Mother Theresa, filling in for Marilyn Monroe as God’s secretary, is priceless. The angels are on strike, suicide bombers keep showing up in pieces looking for their virgins, and the son of the managing director is refusing to return to Earth. He even does a great Hillary (and Bill!) impersonation.

What makes Uys’ work really stand out, particularly as compared to American satirists like Colbert, is its compassion; even his enemies are human. The apartheid-era security chief he lampoons still had a sense of humor. Winnie Mandala may have “necklaced” informants, but she now tours AIDS facilities and pushes AIDS education. This, in a country where the government Health Minister promotes a cure of beet juice, and claims that HIV drugs are poisonous. His barbs are as pointed as they are funny, but he sees the humanity in everyone. In his heart, his true goal is to make his people happy and unafraid. You can see it in his eyes as he relates the story of a little black boy who wanders into his theatre as he is building the stage. From a simple “do you like to sing” and a few shaky songs, you see Uys’ pride as he relates how that same child made it all the way to top awards at Trinity College. Uys’ South Africa has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with the pride of being a good human being.

Told today that they release you
That you had paid your debt
Nomzamo in her own damn country
How much more boorish can these people get?
But you refuse to get the message
Of waving whips, in bloody semaphore
Where only gunfire’s indiscriminate – as always
One People! One Cause!
One People! One Cause!
Nomzamo! Nomzamo…
“Nomzamo” by Latin Quarter.

South Africa has not been on the forefront of American minds for some time. As Uys says, if Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela hadn’t had an easy-to-pronounce first name, Americans may not have been aware of the country’s plight at all. In “Elections and Erections,” Uys entertains, and more importantly, educates. Throughout the show, he relays tidbits of history and culture which later become the punch lines of his comedy, ensuring the audience understands the satirical context of his work. Yet the pace never suffers. The flow of comedy and pathos, serious and profane, never falters. This is not a show you want to miss. I only wish we could import Pieter-Dirk Uys to provide a similar look at ourselves.

“Elections and Erections: A Chronicle of Fear and Fun” is written and performed by Pieter-Dirk Uys. It is playing at the American Repertory Theatre’s “Zero Arrow Theatre” playhouse (a wonderful dinner-theatre style space just off Harvard Square, with tables, a bar, and wonderful ambience). It will be showing through May 4th, 2008. For more information on this show and other performances, see the A.R.T. site.

The A.R.T. graciously provided free tickets to myself and other Boston-area bloggers in exchange for an honest review (good or bad). I’d like to thank them for initiating this experiment in new media.

Many thanks to @devyl for the editing assistance.
Any errors are due to my not following her advice.

Black and White Dolls – this is not the future you are looking for

I’ve got a full day, and this post wasn’t in the schedule, but then I got this twit from marshallk

In this video, a young film-maker decides to go and recreate a test once used to help justify desegregation. Young black children are asked which doll they prefer between two almost identical dolls; the white one, or the black one. They overwhelmingly go for the white one. The results are the same when asked which is the “good” doll and which is the “bad” doll. But the heart-wrenching part comes when, having just identified the black doll as the “bad” doll, a little girl is asked which doll looks more like her. She’s not happy with the choice she has to make.

I don’t want to leave you completely depressed though. So here’s another tale of dolls—white and black—that ends up somewhat better. Like the video above, it has a long history, and the better part takes a while to come. I wish I could find a complete version of the song on-line, but you ought to buy the album anyway, it’s all excellent. In the meantime, listen to an excerpt from “Number One in America” on “Coming up for Air” and read the full lyrics below.

Here are the lyrics, courtesy of AHistoricality.

Number One In America
© 1987 David Massengill
In Nineteen hundred and sixty-three
In my hometown, Bristol Tennessee
I was sitting on my mother’s knee
Watching “Amos ‘n’ Andy” on TVAmos was Santa Claus on Christmas Eve
A little girl was tugging at his sleeve
Saying, “Can I have a doll my own color please?”
He Said, “Honey, you can make believe…”Just then came a call on the telephone
It was the mayor, he asked if my daddy was home
This was for his ears alone
Mom and me listened on the second phone

Mayor said, “The freedom Riders are on their way
And they’ll be here by Christmas day
Our laws they vow to disobey
‘Cause our school is as white as the milky way

Well, now we’re really in a fix
We can’t let ’em show us up like country hicks
But once the races mix
It’s good-bye Jim Crow politics

First it’s forty acres and a mule
Then they want to swim in our swimming pool
Pretty soon they’ll be wanting to go to school
Where we were taught the golden rule”

Imagine them telling us how to live
Imagine them telling us how to live

Chorus:
We’re number one in America
Number one in America
Beat the drum for Uncle Sam
Overcome in Birmingham
Dynamite in a Baptist church
Four teenaged girls lost in the lurch
Fire hoses and the billy clubs
Police dogs and the racist thugs
Nightriders and the lynching mobs
Lawmen say they’re only doing their jobs
To stay number one in America.

Ax-handles vs. the right to vote
All white jury, that’s all she wrote
Back of the bus, don’t rock the boat
Separate but equal by the throat

That was twenty-odd years ago
Where’s the change in the status quo?
The freedom land is lying low
it’s shackled down on rotten row

The black skinned man still gets the snub
When he applies to the country club
But he still gets hired to trim the shrubs
Get down on the floor and scrub

There’s a businessman out on his yacht
He’s a rain or sunshine patriot
He says it’s all a commie plot
To be Number One in America…

[Chorus]
The Ku Klux Klan is still around
With a permit to march in my home town
But only on Virginia’s ground
The Tennesse side turned them down

The sheriff stood there with his deputies
Ostensibly to keep the peace
But he made us this guarantee
“By God, They’ll not march into Tennessee!”

The network cameras were triple tiered
We laughed and cried, we hooted and jeered
But mostly we stood there unfeared
‘Til the Ku Klux Klan dissappeared

In some far off distant dawn
When a Black is president and not a pawn
Will they burn crosses on the white house lawn
And talk of all the days bygone

Imagine them telling us how lo live
Imagine them telling us how to live

We’re number one in America…
[Chorus]

Last Christmas Eve at the K-Mart store
A white family there, they was dirt poor
Father said, “Kids, pick one toy – no more
Even though we can ill afford…”

I watched his son choose a basketball
The oldest girl a creole shawl
The littlest girl chose a black skinned doll
And she held it to her chest and all

I watched to see how they’d react
Since they were white and the doll was black
But the mom and dad were matter-of-fact
They checked to see if the doll was cracked

So may you make a rebel stand
Where black and white go hand in hand
Until they reach the freedom land
Where the lion lies down with the lamb

Chorus:
O Number one in America
Number one in America
Beat the drum for Uncle Sam
Overcome in Birmingham
Dynamite in a Baptist church
Four teenaged girls lost in the lurch
Firehoses and the billy clubs
Police dogs and the racist thugs
Turn back the clock to Little Rock
Bought and sold on the auction block
Nightriders and the lynching mobs
Lawmen say they’re only doing their job
To stay number one in America

We shall overcome someday

What is Twitter For? The Message is the Medium.

The other evening I added a few new people to the list of folks I was following on Twitter. It was one of those typical social networking things; checking your “friends” to see who they were tracking, and then adding the ones that looked interesting.

The result, oddly enough, was a late night conversation on the pros and cons of Welfare. It felt very much like those late night conversations I used to have in college; when everyone was full of ideas and eager to explore them. It was really quite enjoyable. And it certainly created a bump in my Twitter usage.

People who don’t use Twitter often ask just what it’s for. Why would you want to broadcast what you’re doing to the world. That’s partially the fault of the Twitter folks themselves, for that “What are you doing?” prompt. A better prompt might be “What do you want to do?” (although perhaps a bit too reminiscent of Babylon V :-). Adam Engst once called Twitter “iChat on shuffle,” and it certainly can feel that way when you’re carrying on several conversations at once. But Twitter isn’t so much a piece of software that does something, as a medium through which software can do things. When the Telegraph and Phone were introduced, people certainly wondered why you’d want one, but people found interesting things to do with them, many of which had never been anticipated by their inventors. That’s Twitter.

What’s interesting to me is the relative pluses and minuses of having this type of discussion in Twitter. Andy Ihnatko recently pointed out the rather obvious (sorry Andy) fact that trying to express complete thoughts to their conclusion in 140 characters is rather difficult. You can of course just post a second message to finish the thought, but the delays in Twitter make it less natural to do so than it might be in a chat program. The performance of Twitter reinforces that 140 character limit, and I’m not sure that’s a bad thing, because keeping points brief and concise may have the effect of equalizing the conversation. Nobody can dominate with a long exposition on a particular topic. Ratholes on side topics tend to be limited to pointers to URLs, not long conversations. You can use Twitter to espouse and justify an idea, but not to explain it in detail. But that’s fine. We have other media that are better suited to that. That’s not to say Twitter is perfect, separating incoming messages into categories (a New York Times news blast in the middle of a conversation is a bit distracting) and threading conversations (particularly when you aren’t following all the participants) would be big pluses. But those are things that Twitter clients can do, they aren’t necessarily drawbacks of Twitter itself.

Twitter’s limitations might make it seem superficial and trivial. But that’s like saying chatting around the water cooler is superficial. It can be, but it can also be a catalyst for new ideas that are followed up elsewhere. Andy’s Twitter posting was the catalyst for my writing this blog posting. The discussion on Welfare was the catalyst for making new connections on other networks. Social interaction takes place on many different levels, all of which are necessary. What we are seeing online is people taking new tools and adapting them, consciously or unconsciously, to fit the interactions they feel they need in a virtual world. The companies that are succeeding in the social networking sphere are those that either identify those needs, or more likely, have the flexibility to be molded by their users. Flickr, FaceBook, Twitter… none of those companies are necessarily doing what they started out to do, but they were able to adapt to the way people used them. In Social Networking, you achieve success when you stop being an application and become a transparent part of people’s interactions.

But enough of that. I need to go fix the Welfare System!

P.S. I’ve suddenly become very self-conscious about the fact that I seem to be very fond of semi-colons.

U.S. Soldier’s Guide to Iraq—Circa 1943

U.S. Soldier’s Guide to Iraq—“Circa 1943
MSNBC/Newsweek

You aren’t going to Iraq to change the Iraqis. Just the opposite. We are fighting this war to preserve the principle of ‘live and let live.’ Maybe that sounded like a lot of words to you at home. Now you have a chance to prove it to yourself and others. If you can, it’s going to be a better world to live in for all of us.”…

It is a good idea in any foreign country to avoid any religious or political discussions. This is even truer in Iraq than most countries, because it happens that here the Moslems themselves are divided into two factions something like our division into Catholic and Protestant denominations—so don’t put in your two cents worth when Iraqis argue about religion. There are also political differences in Iraq that have puzzled diplomats and statesmen.”

Seventy years ago, and we understood the issues better than we do now.

On Protest – A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court

A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court – Chapter XIII by Mark Twain

You see my kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions or its office-holders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death. To be loyal to rags, to shout for rags, to worship rags, to die for rags–that is a loyalty of unreason, it is pure animal; it belongs to monarchy, was invented by monarchy; let monarchy keep it. I was from Connecticut, whose Constitution declares “that all political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their benefit; and that they have at all times an undeniable and indefeasible right to alter their form of government in such a manner as they may think expedient.”

Under that gospel, the citizen who thinks he sees that the commonwealth’s political clothes are worn out, and yet holds his peace and does not agitate for a new suit, is disloyal; he is a traitor. That he may be the only one who thinks he sees this decay, does not excuse him; it is his duty to agitate anyway, and it is the duty of the others to vote him down if they do not see the matter as he does.

Need I say more?