Saturday, July 11, 2009

New Comment Policy

I don't think Andy McCarthy really needs me to watch his back, but I also have a short fuse for rambling inanity and ignorant intolerance.When intolerance is paired with ignorance and shallowness it is especially vile.

I haven't moderated comments on this blog because I believe in free speech; I've only deleted one comment in the short history of this blog because the Anonymous commenter sunk to the level of petty name calling in the fashion of a second grader on a playground. Like Stacy McCain, I usually will allow such comments to stand unless they reach a certain level of offensiveness because as a rule those people often make the case for themselves that they are petty, ignorant, shallow and mean-spirited. They don't need me to point it out.

Sometimes though, you get a mean-spirited commenter who just comes to your blog to spew venom; they don't come to your blog because it interests them on an intellectual level. They don't come because they agree with you in any area of discourse. They don't come because they are seeking information and wish to learn. They only come, often on a regular basis, only to criticize, to mock, and to vent the angry hatred they feel in their own lives.

So when "Michilines" comes around and calls Andrew McCarthy from National Review a liar, I've got to know, what is your proof? What is your evidence? (She also called me a propagandist for the Chinese governemt). She writes:

Has Andy found that Birth Certificate yet? The one that is on file in Hawaii, just like every other person who was born in Hawaii? Has Andy stopped taking bogus reports and using them as fact? Has Andy done anything to salvage his reputation? Nope, nope, and nope. You can be scared all you want. You can take a liar's word as truth and be shocked. You can be stupid.

Such elevated and educated rhetoric, Michilines, really. I won't even respond to your comment; in fact, I seldom do.

As I said, Mr. McCarthy doesn't need me to defend him; I believe his reputation and credentials speak for themselves. As a former U.S. Attorney and one who has long crusaded against terrorism, and as a man who stays true to his principles - I'm referring specifically to his refusal of Holder's invitation to a roundtable - I suggest, Michilines, that he is much more of a knowledgeable source and a respectable person, than you. I'm sure you know your way to Wikipedia if you want to "research" his background.

Michilines, a look at your own blog only reaffirms my feeling that you are mean spirited and hateful, unless of course, you are writing about cats. You rail against people expressing their dissent at Tea Parties (it's one of those pesky rights we have in the Constitution, you know), you rail against people shooting fireworks in celebration of Independence Day, you mock other bloggers, reporters, and writers in your superior tone of condescention.

Enough of you. You have taken up enough of my bandwidth with your venom and hatred. Keep it on your own blog.

Readers, from now on I'm going to a moderated comments policy. And Michilines, should you try to comment here anymore, your comment will be deleted. Had you added anything to the conversation here, you would be welcome. We don't have to agree. I have plenty of people who comment here that do not agree with me. I'm all for it dissent. But the level of your negativity and misery won't be tolerated on this blog any longer.



Sarah said...

It's about time you moderate comments!! I don't see how you've put up with some of them...freedom of speech is great but as my comment thingy says, this blog is not a democracy"

AmPowerBlog said...

I hope I'm the first to squeak through!! But if you do get any really -- and I mean really - nasty comments, make sure you save and publish them. That means you're getting to 'em, Pat!

Jim said...

It is a shame that some people can't engage in civil exchanges of views. Personal attacks seem to come when the commenter has no legitimate point to argue.
By the way, I didn't know that you were a propagandist for the Chinese! Does that pay well?

The Vegas Art Guy said...

And that's why I have haloscan. It's easy to moderate comments and you can block people from commenting. Plus it was so easy to use even I could figure it out. And this coming from the guy who had to ask for help with linking and FB... lol

G.R. said...

As a victim of the venom from the person in question, I felt at times I was conversing with a giant among mental midgets.
If you want to read shallow responses, you need to read the posts on this blog, dated July 6th, concerning the Uighurs.

Following was a response that person gave to me asking a question concerning her belief that John Walker Lindh was a four year old selling secrets to the Soviets.

"G.R., I was an adult during the late '70's and 1980's so I lived through what was happening in Afghanistan while it was happening.

The U.S. didn't stand idly by when the Soviets invaded. And unfortunately, some of the same people that we backed, were later the Taliban. (And of course that's not the only time we've supported the wrong side -- we back the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia against the Vietnamese.)

Additionally, I know people, both from different parts of the former Soviet Union and the Afghanistan region.

I don't really care if you think I have credibility or not. Anyone can decide that for themselves."

Yes, after reading that, I think anyone can definitely decide the credibility factor for themselves.

P.S. I was a young soldier stationed in Germany when Russia went into Afghanistan.

yukio ngaby said...

I don't know, Pat. This seems like a hard call to make, and, though I hate to say it, a bit of an overreaction.

michilines has previously called me "rabid" (among other belittling epithets) apparently for not agreeing with her and suggesting that she not make personal attacks against the blog's author and other commenters (commentators?). So I have an inkling of the frustration you've felt (although I know full well that the vast majority of her attacks were directed pointedly at you). However, I would suggest you reconsider singling out and banning a particular reader.

Moderating comments sometimes has to happen. I've seen a number of political blogs hijacked into partisan pissing contests by dueling, disrespectful comments and nastiness, and a blog isn't a chatroom. But at the same time, surely you do want opposing points of view to be presented-- preferably in a way that's not caustic and venomous. An outright banning of comments from a specific reader, no matter how caustic most of her comments are, suggests other POVs won't be tolerated.

Moderation is fine, if you feel the need exists, but banning is rather extreme.

Pat Austin Becker said...

Well, should she ever try to post anything that isn't a vile, vicious attack, maybe.

Should she post something that isn't a slanderous criticism of an individual, possibly.

I certainly tolerate dissenting opinions, even encourage them.

But this woman has hijacked enough of my blogspace and my energy with her name calling and pointless misery. Like I said, she's not a part of a discussion or a dissent; she only posts here to attack.

I'm done.