MY TOLERANCE HAS REACHED ITS LIMITS

Folks:

I started my blog in January 2007 for several reasons. First, I love to write – about any number of topics. You may have noticed that not all my posts are political. I have posted about the Constitution, South Whitley, West Central, blizzards, civility, etc. Second, I have a point of view which I believe has validity as do all other points of view in this country. I may not like Rush Limbaugh and right-wing talking heads but they are certainly free to put out their opinions just as the talking heads for the center and the left-wing are free to do.

But there is one thing I will not tolerate and that is incivility. My tolerance at this point has reached its limits.

On the right side of my blog site is a statement, which contains an admonition in the last sentence:

Discourse and discussion are the hallmarks of our society. I have set my goals for Berry Street Beacon to be used as a site for communication of ideas and solutions. I enjoy analyzing and writing about many topics, from local issues to national issues to international issues. I hope that my blog will provide readers with information about a number of those issues. My perspective, as noted in the title, is that of a progressive, liberal Democrat. I welcome all views and hope that you will find some of my topics interesting enough to generate thoughts and responses. I ask only that you communicate in a civil and respectful manner.

The last line is critical, so please make sure you understand why I have made a decision on ad hominem attacks. For those who don’t know, here is the definition of an ad hominem attack:

An attack that consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim. The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject.

This type of attack has been appearing all too frequently in posts to my blog. I believe there is no reason to call people names such as “idiot”, “dumbass”, “liar”, “racist”, etc. I don’t control your personal lives, so if you wish to use that language in your own life, then that is your choice.

If you do not agree with my point of view or the views of other posters, then by all means, research your answers and present your facts appropriately to support why or why not you think I am incorrect or why a response to one of my posts is incorrect.

For every fact that I present, I am sure a fact supporting the opposite position can be presented. When I research, I always look at the website, the author, the blogger, etc. to get an idea of what philosophy that person represents. I also look at websites of those who present opposing views. We tend to seek informational sources from places that support our own points of view.

Give me facts and websites where those facts can be verified. I am smart enough to understand that facts can also be manipulated depending on who prepares them. But at least your response will be grounded in some reality.

So I have made a decision, since it is my blog. From today forward, if I see the personal attacks, they are coming off my blog. The ad hominem attacks will no longer be accepted. So if you find yourself unable to control your desire to throw out personal attacks, then rest assured, your post in its entirety will be removed. I will be enforcing it.

You can follow my rules or you can ignore them. If you ignore them, then you lose the opportunity to present your point of view, which may be completely valid when supported appropriately.

And one final thing, no First Amendment or Fourteenth Amendment issues exist here, so don’t accuse me of violating freedom of speech. The First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment are applicable to the federal government and the state governments, respectively.

Again, I welcome all commentators, but I have rules and they will now be enforced.

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About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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14 Responses to MY TOLERANCE HAS REACHED ITS LIMITS

  1. kent strock says:

    Since we post our names, shouldn’t physical threats also be banned?

  2. Kent:

    I have control over my blog content and what is posted. I am not sure what your point is as to physical threats.

    I am talking about being civil and respectful in the comments.

    As I said, this is not a 1st amendment or 14th amendment issue.

    If commentators are civil and respectful, then I guess there isn’t anything to worry about.

    However, if you are concerned about a physical threat, then post under a pseudo-name. Many people do.

  3. kent strock says:

    Charlotte,

    I respect your editorial decision and haven’t questioned them. Nothing in my post raised 1st or 14th amendment complaints. As far as physical threats go or challenges to meet in person, they are more intimidating and anti-democratic than using words. I direct your attention to Clint’s comments.

    I don’t seem to have access to the thread where I called Clint “a person with issues with people of a different color”. If I am not mistaken he issued a challenge to meet in person to “discuss” things.

    His more recent post said, “Nice to have you back Kent, are you going to be man enough to discuss calling me a redneck/racist in person or are you going to just keep running.” Keep running…that is interesting phrasing.

    There was another very queer posting where he questioned if I was a male or female.I am not sure what that was about, but I guess he decided what gender I am-or not.

  4. Judith says:

    This is a most thought-provoking blog, and I appreciate all of the work and research that goes into it.

    I also regularly read “Fort Wayne Observed” Mitch Harper’s blog. He is my city councilman.

    Someone commented about Karen Goldner’s blog. I would like it’s name so I can also read it.

  5. Mikael Badgett says:

    Judith,

    To the best of my knowledge Karen does not have a blog. She posts on the Allen County Democratic Party Blog which is the blog referred to by that someone. I think there is a link on here somewhere but I may be wrong.

  6. Cara says:

    Charlotte,
    Good decision. Name calling is generally done by those too inept to properly research, or so sure they already own all the anwers they should not have to seek a reference point, so by calling names they avoid the real effort of supporting their case with fact. Your “clientele” is too classy for that drivel, so send the offenders to the bench until they can play as the pros do.

  7. Phil Marx says:

    Charlotte;

    I agree with you for the most part. Too many people go way off topic when discussing an issue, and personal attacks are usually one such instance of this. But consider the following:

    Suppose I leave a comment saying “I won’t be voting this year because I just do not think that a black or a woman belongs in the oval office.” Such a statement would obviously be both racist and sexist. So would it really be so inappropriate for someone else to point this out?

    Another example: Suppose that ten people go to a City Council meeting to speak in favor of a particular ordinance one evening. Then, suppose that two weeks later a hundred people speak in opposition to this same ordinance. Now, suppose that a newspaper reporter or a member of the council references the first group but totally fails to acknowledge the second group and uses this to support a statement such as “Obviously, the citizens are in support of this ordinance.” Would it not be appropriate to call the Councilperson or reporter either a liar or at least disingenuous?

    Again, I understand your point. I see lots of examples of personal attacks that really do nothing to further the discussion. And I will also say that you are one of the more civil persons yourself when disagreeing with someone elses position, so for you to make this rule for your own blog makes sense. I just thought I’d throw this out there though for thought/discussion.

  8. Phil:

    As usual, thanks for your insights.

    I don’t have an issue with someone pointing out that something or someone is racist, a liar, etc. I am addressing the manner in which it is done.

    For instance, if I call someone’s statement racist, then I would start with the meaning of racist. The meaning is that one believes his or her race is superior to another race. If the commentator makes a statement that appears to be racist, then I would want to provide support to my reply that the person was racist.

    So if the commentator makes the statement about not wanting a black or a woman in the White House, I would ask why not. I would not throw out the label racist without having an understanding of what that person’s reasons were. If I were to say to a person “you are a racist”, then I would follow that statement with why I believe that person to be a racist based on a statement. The person could then at least answer back.

    When reasons are given, then those who are attacked can provide responses. So I guess maybe in clarifying my goal, I encourage comments but I also think just calling names is not discourse as I see it.

    As to your second example, you used the word “failed” which could mean not intentionally. I would handle a response the same way and note that the reporter failed to mention the opposition to the ordinance and then go on to talk about those who opposed the ordinance.

    But honestly, I see no reason to call anyone names like “asshole”, “bitch”, “liar”, etc. For behind those names if a commentator believes they are accurate should be a reason which can be put into words.

    I just read the number of comments about Sheri’s use of the word “bitch” to label Sarah Palin. My question is what makes Palin a “bitch?” Is there a reason for calling her that name? If there are reasons, then it would be helpful to know what they are.

    I don’t know, maybe I am just expecting too much. 😦

  9. Judith:

    Karen doesn’t have her own blog. She posts under the Allen County Democratic Blog – not the democrat party.

    I think I have a link to it on my blogroll.

  10. Mikael Badgett says:

    LOL, Charlotte, not to nit-pick but what do you mean – not the democrat party? The blog is acdpblog “the official blog of the democratic party” which I took to mean the allen county democratic party blog. Is there more than one?

  11. Mikael:

    Yes, there are two. The one is the official Allen County Party website found here as acdponline and referred to as the official website:

    http://www.allencountydemocrats.org/

    and the other is the actual blog found here as acdpblog and referred to as the official blog:

    http://allencountydemocrats.typepad.com/

    You can see there is a difference in the host site as well as the material found on each site.

    The official site does not carry the same material and content as the blog.

    The sites are different, so to answer your question, yes, there are two sites. 🙂

  12. Judith says:

    Thanks, I found the site and Karen’s blogs.

  13. Mikael Badgett says:

    Gotcha, I had bookmarked the blog and not the website and forgot all about there being a website.

  14. Lola says:

    Hi — I just found your blog and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate it so far. I moved to FW this summer and having been looking up local blogs to give me a better sense of the city… and yours is one I will certainly continue to read. Thanks for your calm, thoughtful attitude and grace under pressure. Best wishes, Lo

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