No Apology Necessary

Below, a poster apologizes for the tone of his posts. Not necessary, Larry.

Years ago when I first started this blog, Larry K, the Environmental Ranger, used to pop on here and pop off about all sorts of things. Frankly, some of the things he wrote were pretty offensive, not just to me but to large swaths of our society in general. In hindsight, the blogosphere was young and I think it was reasonable for him to assume that I was just another right-winger (which I am) and trade jabs in the verbiage that was appropriate to the environment at that time.

The Montana blogosphere has grown up. Oh sure, there are still some nasty exchanges now and again, but for the most part even those who have significantly differing opinions keep it pretty reasonable. Likewise, Mr. K, whose comments are often demeaning and insulting, tends more toward humorous caricature than offensive spray painting.

Which brings me a long ways around to the point of this post. Wolfpack has suggested that I should "require many of the anonymous posters and LK to use discretion and treat the mayor with respect" if she comes on here to answer her critics. I have agreed on general principles to do just that on this occasion. There are some pissed of hombres (and hombre-ettes) in this town. The rhetoric has, at times, grown heated. If our Mayor wants to come on here and discuss the issues (which, I might add, she has shown no indication of doing), I will certainly take what I think to be reasonable steps to keep the discourse civil.

I am not, however, going to start a speech code on ECW. In the several years I have been doing this, I think I have pulled maybe 10-20 comments, usually for profanity. I pulled a couple that were defending Sam Harris and I recently pulled one that was attacking the United Way.

I want to allow open discussion. If Larry K wants to insult the police force, that's up to him (but I sure hope he has current tags on his vehicles). The people in our government are certainly intelligent enough to know that I do not necessarily agree with everything a poster might write, nor does one poster necessarily agree with the comments of another. If, on the other hand, there are people in government who are willing to look down at me or others simply because we are engaged in the discussion, well, they're just small people.

You see, I am very concerned about people being marginalized by the mainstream. I attended a meeting not too long ago of a group of people I thought were kind of nutty. What I found instead were thoughtful, well-meaning people with whom I happen to disagree on just about everything. That does not mean, though, that they bring nothing to the party. And when I heard the 'whispering campaigns' about this group, I realized that calling them crazy is a pretty sh*tty and ineffective way of dealing with fellow citizens, and it's a pretty ineffective way to move the debate toward some sort of rational solution.

Nevertheless, no one should confuse ECW with a public forum. It's mine, all mine. I have some contributors, but for the most part this is my time and my effort. I reserve the absolute right to censor everyone and everything. I might pull your posts just because you smell funny (don't ask how I'd know). If you don't like it, here's the door.


david said...

Maybe you should institute a "3-minute" rule for comments.


Anonymous said...

"it's a pretty ineffective way to move the debate toward some sort of rational solution"

Agreed & annoying but true.

As for "It's mine, all mine."

I say... All Hail El-GeeGuy. I'm Not Worthy! I'm not worthy! Ecity Blog is the brightest spot in GF.

a-fire-fly said...

"I might pull your posts just because you smell funny"

That is just so wrong! Olifactory censorship, alive and well on ECW.