At least one Bethesda resident doesn’t seem to get it.Consistent with his blog posts there were several insulting claims and outright lies that Hugo T. Kroon included in his recent leter to The Auroran. In his opening he refers to Aurora as a “hapless burg”, this from an outsider that resides in Bethesda….enough said. Wanting to spin all of the recent criticism as negative Mr. Kroon referred to the voices from our town as “berating” and “belittling”. This after calling our town a “hapless burg”, thanks for your positivism Mr. Kroon. Typical hypocrite. I have heard several positive messages, and countless suggestions from like minded citizens. I repeat : Speaking out should not be viewed as a “negative” thing, it is a positive one. It is a large component of a democratic society. Mr. Kroon, who is an active contributor to “the Aurora Citizen” blog then goes on to call it “overly secretive”. Perhaps Mr. Kroon overlooked the fact that there was recently a guest moderator running the blog, or that several contributors in fact use their own names on their posts. He then goes on to dismiss the blog because it allows anonymous postings and tries to compare it to the “Coalition for a better Aurora”. There is no connection. His opinion is the blog does “more harm than good”. There is no shortage of topics, nor are their shortage of opinions.
Citizens are active, and there is a place where discussions take place about town matters. So how does this harm the town? Although I question the effectiveness of a highly secretive an anonymous coalition there may be a reason why certain citizens choose to remain anonymous. After reading this article: http://government.zdnet.com/?p=5022 one can draw several parallels between the governments of China and Aurora. A Manifesto from a group looking to fight back on censorship and oppression in China is included in this article. It is not surprising that the members of this coalition chose to remain anonymous, they are afraid of being struck down by their government. “You have deprived your netizens of the freedom of speech. You have come to see technology as your mortal enemy. You have clouded and distorted the truth in collaboration with Party mouthpieces. You have hired commentators to create the “public opinion” you wanted to see. All these are etched into our collective memory.” Then you get to their reaction against the Government created spin, and dismissing of citizens that choose to speak out: “You label some of us as the “vicious few” and dismiss the rest of us as unknowing accomplices; that way you can divide and rule. Go ahead and do that. In fact, we encourage you to do that; the more accustomed you are to viewing your netizens this way, the deeper your self-deception.” Aurora may not be under a Chinese regime, but given our power hungry mayor and members of council, coupled by now at least 2 mouthpieces that don’t even live in our town, we are definitely being attacked. I am vocal but am in no way anonymous. I am not affiliated with “the coalition for a better Aurora’ nor do I know anyone who is, but I believe I can understand why certain residents choose to remain anonymous given our political climate, and how vindictive our Mayor and members of council have shown themselves to be. Just see how they treat the town staff. I do agree in principle with both Mr. Kroon and Robert Cook that remaining anonymous hurts the credibility of that coalition and any effectiveness it hopes to hold for real change. Aurora does deserve better, and the criticism being voiced by its citizens is increasing, and constructive. The voices from outside our town however offer little but noise.