By Horace Sense
Letter To the Editor 

Where Credit is Due


As I was reading Virgil Vaupel's review, Think Before You Donate, the false viral email that comes around each holiday season, I had to feel my pulse to see if I had died and Virgil was channeling me from the beyond, or whether he had hacked into my computer. Especially when he ended with, "One would almost think that my friend Horace wrote that scalding review!!" I had written almost the same review two years before, even siting the same sources to fact-check it before replying to the sender and exposing the lies about the prominent charities mentioned.

As Virgil knows, lack of fact-checking is a pet peeve of mine. These days fools are defined as "I saw it on the internet so it must be true!" It used to be that as housewives hung laundry on the clothesline in the backyard they spread titillating gossip across the fence. And men spread doomsday scenarios around the naysayers' coffee table at the local cafe. Because friends of mine who didn't conform to small town norms were too often targets, and suffered hurt feelings and damaged reputations, I am now sensitive about shallow-minded people too willing to poison our culture with false information, putting down entire groups of good loyal American citizens: women, gays, immigrants, Blacks, Asians, Jews, Muslims, etc. And now, even charities!!

Due to the information age, falsehoods that once traveled only face to face or by phone, now go viral globally with the impersonal click of a computer key and are enabling divisions between us to explode. But, the great news is that embracing this same technology makes unveiling the truth also only one click away for individuals. Mary Honrud pointed out in her commentary, "Deficits in Diplomacy," that our politicians on both sides need to shut down their followers who through a lack of civil discourse and name calling continually try to put down anyone who disagrees with their ideologies. She went on to question how this could be accomplished.

We are all guilty of not seeking out truth enough, and standing up for it ourselves before hypocritically expecting accountability from our leaders. It is "We The People" who've elected politicians and allowed them to disgrace the "art" of politics. (fighting without hating) Until we get off our duffs and start disciplining ourselves instead of looking for saviors, we have no bitch and will remain sheep let to slaughter. We are disrespecting our founding fathers who gave us the gift of democracy and created a system based on "compromise," which has been turned into a dirty word by political opportunists. Those who support these ideologues continue to divide us when they suck up the bull as either black or white when the fact is that much of life contains gray areas. They are the weak-minded and insecure. Until we discipline ourselves to be considerate of opposing views we cannot claim to be patriotic.

Resting in one's comfort zone is mental laziness and provides a false sense of security. There is much more security in seeking knowledge... and it's easier than we think. Virgil set a perfect example for readers to follow. He first questioned, and then looked up the truth. It's not only interesting, but fun. You'll find many reputable sites, like,,,, urban, to name a few of the more quoted ones.

Side note: I've never gotten comfortable using this pen name. I'm too used to bridging differences face to face. So it only seems like horse sense for "Horace Sence” to die and fade away. He served the purpose of anonymity necessary at the time. At some future time, if I feel strongly enough to weigh in, I'll be compelled to unmask Horace and write as myself.

On the side of reason,

Horace Sence


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