February 21, 2005
About the Current Comment Attack on this Blog: An Issue of Fundamental Rights
I think I owe an explanation to the regular readers of this blog about the recent comment spam attack. This blog has been subjected to a spam attack by an individual who calls himself Grey, as well as by a number of his blogging associates. His blog is at www.sixty-six.org (see his post of Feb. 16). This individual is part of a group of four or five persons (with BJ, Mort, Zealott, and Zeke, and another one or two minor players) who, on the basis of my experience with them in the past two months, have made it their mission to attack blogs critical of the current US Administration. In other words, they try to chill critical activity by bullying the critics. These individuals have repeatedly attacked my blog with irrelevant and offensive comments, many of which I have duly deleted. They would then add the original comments again, sometimes adding the same comment to several different posts. In the Feb. 16 post on his blog, Grey says he will keep posting his comment until I reply to him. I have no idea what makes him feel he has a right to do this. I will, of course, not respond to what amounts to blackmail and coercion. I have stated on my blog's heading that I would delete "rude" comments. When I delete the comments of these individuals, they flood me with objections, to the effect that their comments were not "rude," meaning they did not contain obscene words. I am sure every literate person knows what is meant by the word "rude" in this context. It does not just refer to writing that contains gutter language. It also includes writing whose purpose is only to offend, without adding anything to the conversation. I have never deleted any comments that had been offered with a sincere wish to debate a point. You will find such critical comments under the latest post, signed by "Flemish American" and "cantseefade." They both expressed views opposite to my own, but in a constructive manner, and received a reply. You will find many similar cases throughout this blog. Notwithstanding all this, I have, in any case, the right to state my beliefs, whatever they may be, and to talk to and listen to whoever I wish, and also NOT to talk to and listen to whoever I wish. This fundamental freedom, regrettably, seems to have been one of the victims of the current mentality and the erosion of civil and human rights in the US. It appears that many Americans now believe they have a right to force people to listen to them. In the end, I have decided not to delete this gang's comments anymore. The reason is not just that they have forced this course of action, but also because I am sure that, in the minds of the readers, they will be hoist by their own petard. I had been saving them some embarrassment by deleting their comments. All of their comments, with the possible exception of the ones signed by the gang member who calls himself Zealott (with two T's), are free of any intellectual content, hence failing the first test set by this blog.