This article contains opinions and/or editorial content.
Freedom, Censorship, and the Press
As a journalist (and an American), I strongly believe in the First Amendment, the right to free speech, and freedom of speech.
But… lets make a few things clear:
I am not the government
I’m a private citizen. I enjoy the protections of the First Amendment. The Lodi Valley Chronicle is a private endeavor. It enjoys the protections of the First Amendment.
I am not–either as a person or a newspaper–bound by its limitations. Those only apply to the government.
Your right to speak does not require me to give you a megaphone
Part of the protections I–as a private citizen and a newspaper–enjoy is the right to not repeat, promote, or give voice to anyone I want to. The metaphor is simple:
You have absolute authority over who enters your house, and you have the absolute power to kick them out if they behave in a way you approve of.
My House, My Rules
The Lodi Valley Chronicle is my house.
I welcome letters, comments, and input from all areas of the political matrix. In fact, I encourage them. We can’t achieve common goals until we find common ground, and we can’t do that unless we understand each other.
I welcome passionate debate, but I expect it to be kept civil. And I expect it to be backed up by verifiable facts, solid evidence, and logical assumptions. I will not tolerate uncivil behavior, personal attacks, unverifiable accusations, unsubstantiated rumors, or conspiracy theories.
I reserve the right to edit any comments–but will do so in a way which does not change the message. Yes, you’ll have to trust me on that.
I will choose which comments are and are not published–or if published comments get deleted. Currently, the system that runs the Chronicle is set to automatically publish comments (with some restrictions) from registered subscribers who have been previously approved.
I’m trusting you to be civil and behave.
Not Your Agent
I will delete any links to, promotions of, or invitations to any website, social media, or other venue that I can’t access, evaluate, approve.
That includes everything on Facebook (I don’t have an account).
A Lodi native, Blaze attended the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay where he graduated with a degree in theatre technology & design. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world–including a 6-year stint in China. He has been a teacher, a writer, a designer, and is the founder of the Redleaf Consulting Group.