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February 1, 2009 - 11:11am

A quote about local communities from Alexis de Tocqueville

posted by Howard B. Owens in localism, Alexis de Tocqueville.

"The strength of free peoples resides in the local community. Local institutions are to liberty what primary schools are to science; they put it within the people's reach; they teach people to appreciate its peaceful enjoyment and accustom them to make use of it. Without local institutions a nation may give itself a free government, but it has not got the spirit of liberty."

-- Alexis de Tocqueville

lawrence S clark
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Spirit Howard, what warrented Laz being verified? You state it's thebatavians policy to TRUST those appearing to give real names You said yourself you thought it were possible Laz was a real name so let your suspicions of it not being slide BUT When "at least" 2 people began voicing concern over Laz "making problems for you" You seemingly broke your own policy and decided you should verify my identity in my own words to quiet those making trouble for you Who were these accusers? I have my own sneaky suspicions and if true.. Seems some kind of actual evidence would be needed before verification of a seemingly real name would be justified like reasonable suspicion What gave you that? For that matter What about Robert Drewinsky? -Seems- he was blocked from posting before being given time to proove himself I'm asking because you talk of spirit of the law and not a simple following of the letter You talk of free and open governments on this site you take on the role and responsibility of government Yet I cannot get anything from you Sure seems you hide behind your being a private business not subject to inquiry IMO that falls flat Without local institutions a nation may give itself a free government, but it has not got the spirit of liberty natural rights of people natural limitations of government/authority figures If you have ordinary citizens not of the mind You will not have a government of the mind it is impossible No parallels here?
Howard B. Owens
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First, we all know you're Laz. Second, I don't believe your real name is Lawrence S. Clark. You have my e-mail address. Please provide proof in the form of a copy of your state ID that Lawrence S. Clark is your real name.
lawrence S clark
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I myself said that I was Laz Again why do you have any reason to believe Lawrence S clark is not my real name? It's your policy to trust those giving a name seemingly "real" which is saying you only require validation on names such as Mickey Mouse and Fonzie Fonzarelli If you don't "believe" this is my real name You cannot "believe" anyones name is real I'm sure I can keep on using your own words for my -lazarios- defense since you seem to want to be held to higher standards by playing to the spirit of things or is that just for the government to follow? I can understand the two are separate kind of but again Without local institutions a nation may give itself a free government, but it has not got the spirit of liberty I don't think you can quote things and then not hold yourself to its ideals Am I simply being an ass here I don't think so I am just accustomed to and making use of my natural rights and since spirit extends far beyond the borders of letters I believe spirit walks through private enterprise walls
Howard B. Owens
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You yourself told me that Lawrence Clark might not be your real name in an e-mail to me. You claimed it was one of three names you use in e-mail. Further, I don't believe you live in Santa Monica. Proof? or not? Your choice.
John Roach
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Laz (Larry?), I am one of the people who stated you are Laz, and at first you tired to deny it. I don't think you live in CA either. Question, why the silly lies? Are you so ashamed of your posts you can't verify who you are and where you are from? Afraid your friends (if any) would know its you? Just come clean.
Charlie Mallow
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Laz, I did like your "I'm coming out" post. I also don't understand the big deal your making about using your name. Use your real name or don't post, the rules are simple. I would prefer that you would follow the rules and continue to post. Some of your thoughts are pretty good, a bit long but, not bad.
DOUGLAS MCCLURG
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Like him or not. The person,[because I haven't even determined the gender yet]has a lot of good controversial ideas and and witty input on subject at hand.He or maybe even she has stirred up this board since I can remember. My prediction are that this is a person mid 50s-lives in this county,maybe even Batavia,Is definitely a homeowner-has dinner everyday at the same time.Has a significant other-family visits on the weekends and just gets their kick out of exercising their freedoms-college educated or maybe just a fast learner. If anyone was to feed the trolls ,there's a big lunch for ya
Lori Ann Santini
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Name or no name who cares. I applaud anyone who is willing to make a statement. Sure the name would be nice but it is not important to me. What matters is the content of their comment. Many people have commented that this mystery person "Laz" has some really interesting input. I agree. I might not necessarily agree with all that is said but I respect that that is their opinion. The beauty of this country is freedom of speech. Enjoy it!!!!
Russ Stresing
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Its becoming somewhat obvious to me from Howard's and Phil's posts what political and philosophical positions they favor, and the fervor with which Laz and lawrence's proof of identity have been pursued when others' haven't been at all questioned confirms my opinion. I was never asked to present proof of identity. Why were Laz and larry?
Howard B. Owens
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Russ, I have no idea what Laz's politics are. Do you? And we've blocked at least a half dozen people in just the past two weeks for using fake names, including one person who's politics were definitely the opposite of yours, somebody if memory serves you even got in argument with. So what's your point? We've established a policy that real names are required for participation. There's no perfect way to police it, but it's also not hard to catch 90 to 95 percent of the people who use fake names. We will maintain that policy because experience has shown that's the best way to ensure the comments aren't overrun by jerks. I have no plans to change to policy just to accommodate Laz. Since he continues to cast doubts upon himself, he should step forward with some solid evidence as to his real identity.
lawrence S clark
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Howard It strange you don't accept my word when it comes to Laz being my real name but gladly will accept it -when it helps your case- in that lawrence s clark -maybe perhaps isn't Is what Lazario says credible or not? I can see your side of it Just seems very easy for you to stick it to me here I should be able to give a defense Lawrence Clark perhaps being a fake name also was perfectly plausible After you intitally saw that name you took it as proof that lawrence was my true given name and demanded I post under that name After I gave that defense you threatened me with having to come in in person with Gov't ID Now you say my defense against your unwarrented -IMO search is "casting doubts upon myself" As for the solid evidence aspect I don't see how the burden of evidence is mine Where is your solid evidence to begin any identity verification process? That's the problem I have here. I can find your own quote give me time but I know you've said something to the effect of "if people don't have an open, transparent gov't -where the gov't freely gives out information- there is no way for the people to be assured that power is not being abused" I can see you having some reasonable suspicion after seeing the name Lawrence in regards to Lazarios identity Problem is You shouldn't have ever seen it it's also not hard to catch 90 to 95 percent of the people who use fake names. What are your methods? You brought it up, Howard. What are they? Mickey Mouse and Purple Hayes is easy enough What about Lazario and what about bob drewinsky? It sure SEEMS that opinion outside of the norm is suspect not just cause for suspicion ..but the only evidence against them for using a fake name -you have said here that freedom of speech is a natural right of people Probably not intending at all of limiting it to people of this country but a right guaranteed to all everywhere they may be You could clear this up by telling me what you had against Laz besides suspicions It SEEMS you gave in to 2 or 3 or maybe 4 people who were noisy enough and if my suspicions are correct those 2 or 3 people had ties with this site I'll give it up I know of 2 people who have dogged me long and hard one of the group landed a "job" over in forums -Tom It seems Tom is a close friend of -at least in terms of online here- Ron If someone gets a job in the gov't of thebatavian abuses their new power -and I mean this in terms of being able to keep in close enough contact with you that their voices are heard consistently ..you may feel as though you have some duty to honor those suspicions since they're "a part of the family" Seems like an ethical breakdown IF I AM CORRECT If I am not I owe two people an apology If you're for what is right you should probably feel the need to tell me now what I'm asking for in order to clear these guys names If you still don't Seems like a bit of an ethical breakdown I can see your side of it, again I do But again "spirit" "Jerkiness" SEEMS to be your best evidence against a person That somehow people who are "jerks" -to be read have differing opinions and perhaps strongly worded opinions- online HAVE to be trolls and thus are using a fake name Seems lacking in substance
lawrence S clark
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John Never have I said I wasn't Laz I said "who the hell is Laz?" Not denial setup for a later argument What does it matter if I live in california or Batavia? I obviously know of the area. Think I searched for random small city online community "blog" sites? If I were a troll I'd search out a bigger audience Home is where the heart is? Is proof of residence needed now, too? Who says I'm ashamed of my posts Who says this isn't my real name? Howard? You? Where is your proof that I'm not who I say I am? Where is your proof of identity? Maybe you're ashamed.
lawrence S clark
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We should have had a super bowl pool
John Roach
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Laz, I have no what you call “ties” to this site or Howard. However, to be honest, I did meet him once, so you would probably think that was a tie. To Russ, this is not some sort of free speech issue. . I don’t think Howard’s political views have anything to do with who is on the site. If so, many of us would be gone. You and Dan Jones are more to the left of Howard on many issues and I would bet I am to the right along with Mark. Dimes to dollars, Howard could care less what our views are. And as Howard said, who knows what Laz’s political views are? Who cares? We do not own this site. It is “private” property to a point. We are invited here by the owner to read it like a newspaper. It covers a lot of subjects like a paper and we are invited to express views on subjects if we want. You are allowed to start your own posts or to comment on one already here. The owner sets the rules, just like the paper. You are not forced to be here, there are other blogs out there. But this one is local, so we accept the rules to learn about local subjects. The rub with Laz has been his intentional misuse of the site. . He calls them “lazarios”, I call them stupid. The silly page breaks and unfinished sentences make reading a pain. And with the misuse of the page breaks, if you want to skip him, you have to keep scrolling. Laz knows this and takes delight in misuse of this privilege to be here. And since it is private property, it is a privilege to use the site, extended by the owner. Then when told to follow the rules, he cries “why me and not him?” If Laz/Larry or whatever, wanted to stay, he would follow the owners rules. And, the owner can alter the rules if he wants, it’s his property.
lawrence S clark
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Why do you insist on calling me Laz, John? Are you saying Laz had an identity here? No matter what name I use now I will be forever known/recognized as Laz? hmm Are you saying you were one of the two or "more" who caused trouble for Howard over my identity? No I don't think meeting Howard once or twice -necessarily-means you have any ties to him/influence over his decisions "The owner sets the rules" What are the rules, John? This is what my posts are concerned with Don't know where you're going with this The owner also wants the public to trust him/his integrity not only as a person but a reporter "The rub with Laz has been his intentional misuse of the site" Describe how I have "misused" the site? Not according to you but to the terms of service guidelines Intentional? How do know what I have intended to do? He calls them “lazarios" Don't even understand this line What are my lazarios? You call them stupid Again what are they? I, frankly, don't care if you think my "lazarios" are stupid. The silly page breaks and unfinished sentences make reading a pain DON'T CARE "And with the misuse of the page breaks" These are my "lazarios" My page break style is how I have misused the site? Please, point to specific rule where writing style is mentioned Oh, wait Paraphrasing Howard Owens "Nothing about how I -Laz- writes warrants my being banned or edited" "if you want to skip him, you have to keep scrolling." I don't recall if you were one of the group but I certainly believe you were -at least in spirit- who said "If you cannot stand by your post with your...sdrtefss What about If you cannot do a simple finger movement or at suffering worst? a minor wrist action in order to post your firmly held beliefs Maybe your beliefs aren't all that firmly held Obviously both are pretty ridiculous statements with only cuteness behind them to back em up "Laz knows this and takes delight" This is getting ludicrous but it's cool because I will stretch things to make a point seem stronger, too However, I don't try to arrest you over this garbage "Then when told to follow the rules, he cries “why me and not him?” I was not really ever told to follow the rules..? I was brought in to be questioned Arrested Convicted Based on absolutely nothing No defense allowed me Executed ..in the spirit of things Um I am following the rules? My real name I am somehow not following the rules when Howard TOLD ME I'd have to begin posting under the name Lawrence Clark and in interest of full disclosure reveal myself as Laz in the threads ..as though it wouldn't be obvious The only one who has broken rules here seems to be Howard I don't know cause he won't divulge ANYTHING Not even how the site finds evildoers Private enterprise COOL But when you've already ALREADY PREVIOUSLY made note of the fact that you TRUST those appearing to be using real names .... ...................!!!! I expect something SOMETHING GOOD to be shown to me that you have reason NOT TO TRUST Not just Heyyyy people have been wondering cause you know you ruffle feathers or whatever and people TROLLLL don't like your style so I think it will be easier on me to just like bend my own standards and ask that you to prove yourself through gov't ID so that I don't have to listen to all this stuff ringing in my ears all day long making my ears bleed ..uhhh and a retinal scan would be cool for future incidents soooo could ya do me a favor here buddy Just a parody That's not even getting into the "spirit" of things yet It just gets worse I've submitted my original birth certificate for identity verification some call it an uploading of an avatar Not my fault the site resizes avatars What else can I do here to follow the rules? I cannot bleed my identity. If you must know I'm AB+ but I never settle for less than an A so I'm working on it Not a retinal scan but does have my mothers fingerprint so long as she doesn't disown me it should prove good enough
lawrence S clark
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And yes I did break the rule of not posting under my real name I did not intend to break that rule, though I don't remember seeing any such rule upon registration Still don't I see a line for name* That doesn't say anything Pen names are not illegal I have fun It's entertainment What is in a name? I seem to remember the issue over real names coming to a head late October or November or so which is right around the time I think Molino/city was giving problems I remember John Roach and others although John is the only one who spoke for all of us LOL saying that people don't see thebatavian as a legitimate news source "perhaps it was legally to be considered press" but in the minds was not I see this real name stuff as thebatavians attempt to legitimize something already legit kneeling to those in power over them so as to get a piece of the cake Perhaps I'm wrong I don't know I remember Shedguy specifically posting under that name for quite a while, though Now you have most wanting to turn thebatavian into the daily news with a community twist instead of the other way around No REAL CHANGE found there My style is a misuse You mean to say I am not professional enough? This site was not meant for professional writers It is community based Everyone has a voice Everyone an opinion Everyone has the right to share theirs disliked or not illegible or not legible or not There goes that?
John Roach
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Laz, Sounds like you really wanted to make a point somewhere here; but failed. Sounds like you wanted to make sense, but failed. Sounds like you're crying, you are. Anyway, new start and serious question. Are you in favor, in principle of Town/City merger. True, no details out yet, but do you support the idea?
lawrence S clark
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I think there is much bigger fish than a duplicate costly system or whatever you call it that consolimerger hopes to lessen/eleviate Problem is the bigger fish are microscopic from where we are as though we are standing atop the waves looking through the depths hoping to glimpse something huge at the bottom This -seems- more like making sure you do not catch a dolphin in with the tuna Which is great But if you need every dolphin you can get and something unseen keeps attacking them keeping one or two out of the nets is only a drop in the ocean Why would I cry? I have 9 lives. How retarded to cry over being wrongly convicted, though pobrecito
Russ Stresing
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laz, lawrence, whatever you choose to call yourself, The more I read what you write, the more I get the impression that you're having at people for your own amusement and we don't get the joke. Its like junior high English teachers critiquing ee cummings' punctuation. since feeling is first who pays any attention to the syntax of things will never wholly kiss you; wholly to be a fool while Spring is in the world my blood approves, and kisses are a better fate than wisdom I think I'm beginning to get it.
Howard B. Owens
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Laz, where is bantoa monivion, New York 14016? 14016 is not even a real zip code. Whatever you uploaded as an icon picture is not legible if it's supposed to a supporting document.
Russ Stresing
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"...and Howard Owens as Dean Wormer."
Chris Charvella
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'as though we are standing atop the waves looking through the depths hoping to glimpse something huge at the bottom' I hate to say it but this observation is elegant, articulate and beautiful. I'm with Russ here; has Laz spent all this time having his way with us or does he just get lucky every once in a while?
Daniel Jones
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Man, I can't get enough of The Batavian. News for the day and entertainment for the evening.
lawrence S clark
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Sorry, John Alleviate Came to me in the shower

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