A note on moderation
I’ll be frank, I am a die-hard first amendment advocate. I grew up in the south during the aftermath of the civil rights movement. Freedom of speech was a luxury then. I was even supportive of rap artist’s when they came to the forefront and railed against what they percieved as continued racial inequity despite their lewd use of language to protest. I was an opponent of Tipper Gore’s attempt to censor it as well despite the fact that I had a young daughter who would likely be exposed to such things before I had a chance to address them with her personally.
There are a few people whom I’d like to single out. Several people named John. John Milton, John Stuart Mill, John Locke, John Seigenthaler, Wayne Morse—the list is extensive. All of them believed that a desire to express an opinion was paramount regardless of how offensive it may have been to popular belief.
Having said that, I’d like to point out that off topic flame wars and agents provocateurs whose only interest is to disrupt the dialogue here are unwelcome. This is my house. If you come into my house and pee on my carpet, I have every right to kick you out. Likewise, if you come into my political blog and threaten the people posting here who wish only to engage in legitimate political discourse, I get to boot you out of the conversation.
I don’t consider this a first amendment abrogation as much as I do treating people with bad manners appropriately. And/or treating people with respect. I insist upon that.
So, what do I consider bad manners? Excessive use of foul language. Personal attacks upon others to shoot down their opinions. Off topic flame wars. Goading others into flame wars. Threats. Keep in mind we won’t kick you out unless you’re being a real asshole.
I love a lively debate but when it gets into the personal attacks, I am inclined to stop it. Why? Because first and foremost, I am trying to create an atmosphere of engaging political dialogue. That other stuff scares people out of the debate. That is not what I want.
You’re in my house. You can have an opinion and express it. I simply request that you do it respectfully.
All of the article contributors here have comment jettison capabilities. I have banning control. I really hate using it. Let’s not go there, shall we? Please play nice as if you were speaking to others in person. Just the way I suspect your Mama raised you to be.