Warning and Banning

Not long ago, I discovered to my chagrin that I had banned someone without warning, when a warning would have been helpful and heeded, so I enacted a new policy of not banning anyone until after a warning.

I now discover that the new rule is unenforceable.

I have just spent nigh an hour of my writing time paging through the comments of a heckler looking to see if he had heeded his one free warning and had edited the offending comment voluntarily.

This required I comb through, line by line, the hellish products of his unadulterated hatred, which became nauseating even for one of my normally phlegmatic disposition after only  a few minutes.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to police the comments box.

I do not read the comments every day, nor every one, as I have other duties to which to attend. Nor is there any reliable way to confirm that a potential offender has seen a warning, nor is there a reliable way to garner a response.

In the meanwhile, I am neither the mother nor the confessor of the rough-tongued, and I am not the psychiatric therapist for the neurotic. I have no obligation and no moral authority to describe or explain to any man what is and is not within the bounds of civilized discourse. It is something one must learn as a child before being presented to the world.

I regret that I cannot enforce a policy that would be more fair and forgiving to trespassers, but my primary concern is to ensure that my guests who are being browbeaten and harangued be alleviated from the more grievous insults.

I do not insist each speak with perfect politeness. I do not myself so speak. Nor do I expect cool logic or Christian charity to prevail at all times. To ban violators thereof would be to ban everyone, including me.

But I have enacted rules which are broad and clear enough to establish a rough boundary between what is here allowed, and what is forbidden.

I bind myself to them so that I do not ban anyone arbitrarily or in a fit of choler, nor will I spare, due to personal attachment or loyalty, any friend who indulges in a clear violation. I am as impartial as I can manage to be.

I have only four rules. They are on display on the home page in the lefthand column.

  • No Thought Police. Correcting or criticizing others for word-crimes is not allowed.
  • No Vulgarity. Words one would not hear on the radio are not to be used here.
  • No Heckling. Broadly defined, this forbids personal attacks offered in place of debate.
  • Calling another “unchristian” merely because he disagrees on political matters is blasphemy, and is not allowed here.
  • No Antisemitic or racial supremacist remarks.

On this last point, a word of clarity is unfortunately needed, because the word “racist” has been robbed of all meaning by evildoers.

In my youth, the word referred to the political philosophy of denying the right to life, liberty, and property granted by God to all men based solely on lineage and pedigree; denying equal protection of the laws; or granting special legal privileges.

By this definition, prejudice or bias against a race is not racism, if it does not advocate unequal enforcement of the law.

For my purposes, merely saying races have stereotypical properties or histories does not violate the rule. Merely being a fan of DUKES OF HAZARD or Land O’ Lakes butter does not violate the rule.

Being a Southerner, being an American, being Caucasian does not violate the rule, nor does loyalty to those things. More to the point, being a supporter of the Confederacy and wishing for a do-over of the Civil War, does not violate the rule, nor does advocating monarchy, nor does criticism of the nation-state of Israel.

For whatever reason, few or none leaving comments here make haste to disparage other races, but both Left and Alt-Right single out the Jew for particular hatred.

For all practical purposes, this rule means I ban holocaust deniers.