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.