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A reason to love the U.S.

I was happy to receive an e-mail from Marcy Ross, in the office in Great Barrington, with the latest comment from Berkshire’s website:

I think it’s understandable that other countries don’t provide open forums to debate like this one. Places like Europe could not handle such criticism. Americans can endure plenty. We have for years without restraint. Try “Russia: Love them or Hate them,” or India. You can’t because they don’t exist. Another thing that was initiated by the U.S. This is free speech at its finest. Amanda.

Who can turn down praise, even if partially undeserved? The project is a wonderful example of free speech and free exchange, and I’m also glad to see–not having checked the site for some weeks–that EJ is back. She generates some fierce discussion, but that’s what the site is about. Americans have a long-standing reputation for being touchy about criticism, and not very good at laughing at ourselves, but times are changing. Do take a look at the discussion on, and add your two cents’ worth, whether you’re an American or in another country. We welcome all points of view (but do edit to the extent of using *** in expletives, because we want teachers to feel comfortable sending their students to the site).

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