Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Overheard on Homeless man with 'golden voice'

Comment of the day: "Wow! What a great story. From homeless to superstar." --JRR

The viral story of Ted Williams, a homeless man with an amazing radio voice, captivated our readers. An outpouring of support came for this man, who was given a job with the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team as a result of the publicity.

Check out what readers had to say about this and other stories on

Homeless man with 'golden voice' lights up Web, gets job offers

Most of the responses, like from Elliot, were in support. He wrote, "I am pleased to say that I'm from Columbus as well. This is truly remarkable and to watch this man this morning break down and cry because of the offers and gestures of kindness, it was amazing. I really wish him the best and want to thank everyone that has seen the same opportunity to 'HELP' as we here locally saw." Kevin Kunkel said, "Big pat on the back to the Cleveland Cavaliers for being in a position and willing to give this guy a new chance in life."

Veritas was among those who hoped this news would encourage more people to look at the homeless in a different light. "God bless you William. Homeless does not mean hopeless. Many wonderful, talented, intelligent people are homeless due to the state of the economy. Once someone is homeless even for a short time, opportunities dissipate for jobs. No phone, no address, no transportation, no shower, no soap, and it goes on. We should all thank God for the little things we often take for granted, and show our appreciation by helping those less fortunate. No matter how little we have it is without a doubt more than someone else. Believe me it will come back to you tenfold."

gman asked, "What the heck is wrong with people? He was trained. He had a radio job and got into drugs. Many homeless people were skilled that ran into mental or drug problems, etc. Why is it such a shock that a homeless guy has a skill? It is insulting." Cleareye was wary of the story, "This is a little too perfect. Nevertheless, if this guy cooked up this as publicity for himself, then cool. He has a great look to go with the voice. Hollywood here he comes!"

But most of the respondents were very supportive, and we heard from many in the radio industry. Dan Brand-Levitan was in awe: "Dude. I'd love to have pipes like that. I'm a former radio guy. Had to get out of the biz because the poor job markets and my debt load made it impossible. If I had pipes like that, I'd be in big with the money." Mark Gunn said, "I've been in radio for 33 years and it's stories like this that continue to make this a worthwhile career option. I am so very proud of this business right now. I listened to Ted this morning and the people that stepped up to offer him a second chance made for some really compelling radio."

Boehner takes charge as new Congress convenes

The emotional scene of veteran Rep. John Boehner of Ohio inheriting the speaker's gavel and shaking hands with Rep. Nancy Pelosi got commenters going. Boehner appeared to shed tears as he took the gavel, sparking a passionate debate about the future of Congress, and the true nature of the sobs.

44mlm wrote, "America, our long national nightmare is half over. In 2012 we will finish the job." A commenter using the nickname BlubberingB and an avatar of an emotional Boehner wrote, "Please call me Mr. Boehner. Do you have a Kleenex?" JPatcher responded, "It shows they really do have emotions."

Several commenters referencing the moment in question said the oversized gavel reminded them of the mallet used in the arcade game Whack-a-Mole. ohcynicalone wrote, "Boehner, dude, you can't look away like that when you play Whack-a-Mole. Concentrate. Look, there is a mole in a blue dress with pearls popping up beside you!" But JonJon20 said that it's "hard to hit anything when you can't see through your own tears." Finally, 10001NYC echoed what still others were feeling: "I love it when one group of lying, cheating, self-aggrandizing thieves turns power over to another group of lying, cheating, self-aggrandizing thieves."

Singer Gerry Rafferty dead at 63

Readers had a strong connection to Rafferty's work and shared personal stories about what his songs mean to them. Many commenters also talked about the still-undetermined cause of death and speculation that the crooner was abusing alcohol. From there, many commenters shared stories and opinions on alcoholism in society.

depeche68 wrote, "I used 'Right Down The Line' at our wedding going on three years ago, and it made me cry that night as I looked at my beautiful wife. His music will be close to me forever. I am sorry it ended the way it did for Gerry. Maybe a few people will see the light before it is too late." epdm said, "I'd give my right arm to be able to write a song as great as 'Baker Street,' and that was just one of many from this huge talent. ... So sorry to learn of his painful last years. Rest now, Gerry." westTN said, "His story reminds me why I stay sober. I didn't want to go out the way he did. I 'gave up the booze and the one night stands.' Sounds as if he couldn't. I hope he found some peace before he died. Thanks for the great tunes."

New revelations about slaves and slave trade

This was easily the most-commented story of the day. Just about every reader was outraged about something. twirler wrote, "No question the African slave trade, the Holocaust and the treatment of American Indians are gigantic horrors of human behavior. Can we learn from these events and go forward? Can the generations of all races and religions in the 21st century be free of the blame and guilt and hate that belongs to perpetrators centuries ago? Will the hatred of blacks toward whites ever end?" And mastmom said, "Consider 205 years of slave 'trading.' It is a clean word -- trade. Much cleaner than kidnapping. Eight generations of people: children, women and men subjected to horrific lifelong physical abuse and suffering until their death. Nothing in history compares to that misery. Nothing." everything99 replied, "If humankind is 1 million years old as they say, I am sure they have produced situations pretty much like this many times."

Several readers took issue with the article and the responses it got, and much debate ensued. amidiots wrote, "My problem is people's assumption that because Africans are involved in the slave trade, that Black Americans are to forgive modern racism or take credit for part of the problem. ... White people asserted that the position of Blacks were less than human to justify the act and position themselves as the dominant race ... that is the beginning of modern racism. Not slavery but the idea that certain races are inherently stupid or less capable."

YOUR TURN: Now that you've read what other people are saying, do you find that your views align with theirs? Think of this as a wishing well in need of your 2 cents. Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

1 Comment
January 6, 2011
Click to view larena's profile

great thanks nsadi

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