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Sarasota News Leader September 27, 2013 OPINION Certainly, there was not a consensus on the issue. But if consensus were a prerequisite, we might still be subjects of the British crown, given that a substantial number of Colonists were at the least ambivalent about independence from Great Britain. Democratic government is not always unanimous. In fact, it seldom is. It is guided by the maxim, "Majority rules; minority rights." Often simple majorities are the deciding factor in the creation of ordinances and laws, and when such a majority takes action to protect Page 91 the interests of a minority appalled —and, yes, threatened — by a law as capricious as Stand Your Ground, then democracy is glorified. A majority of the city commissioners requested their legislative delegation consider their concerns about a law that is poorly written and extremely controversial, out of an abundance of concern for the constituents who elected them. They should be praised for their thoughtful leadership, not condemned. And those nattering endlessly about "meddling" or "consensus" should learn from their example. % THE MODERN PHENOMENON OF 'E-BUDS' By Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer COMMENTARY No, I am not talking about ear buds, those little white discs people stick in their ears so they can listen to the music on their iPods and try to look cool — though they really look strange to me. (I still prefer to hear music projected to my ears from afar, and nice and loud, too.) I am actually talking about a phenomenon I am calling "E-Buds," which is the act of emailing a total stranger for varying reasons and having him/her respond in an email to me, which then leads to a follow-up email and establishes a casual informal relationship between us. Ten minutes ago (more or less), all I knew was this person's name and the material in the column he/she wrote that inspired me to want to delve further into that person's thinking and express my own opinion about it. Ten minutes ago, this person was a total stranger to me, and now we are E-Buds. I am interested in a variety of subjects, which often leads to my reading about them in various publications. These topics include sports, music, literature and, occasionally, local politics. When the writers list their email addresses, they are basically inviting me to have a chat or a debate or offer a rebuttal. I am no longer amazed or surprised when I get responses from these busy writers, but I am still very flattered that they acknowledge me and actually respond to the subjects I write them about that concern me. And now, I am on a first-name basis with them and we can enjoy casual cyber, totally G-rated relationships.

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