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Dec 18 2013

On the issue of banning commenters

There once was an old man in a family who loved to tell the same hunting story over and over again. At family gatherings, the man would try to find some cue that would enable him to insert the story into the flow of talk. On one occasion, he became increasingly frustrated at the lack of an opening in the conversation so he finally took his walking stick and rapped the ground sharply. In the startled silence that followed, he said, “What was that? A gunshot? Talking of gunshots, that reminds of the time …”

We have all had the experience of bores who go on and on about their pet topic or pushing their pet point of view. Sometimes it is an elderly relative whose repetitions we tolerate out of affection, like with my grandfather who lived to a ripe old age and lived with us for much of the time (I shared a room with him for many years) and whose stories I heard so many times that I could tell them verbatim. But I listened anyway. This is a natural development with older people as their world shrinks with age and lack of mobility and the death of contemporaries, leading to a paucity of new experiences and increasing dependence on old ones.

But for some other bores the cause is not age but due to a form of monomania, a fixation on one issue or one point of view that gets hauled out and repeated at the slightest excuse or, like in the story above, by manufacturing an excuse. Such people can be interesting initially before one realizes that they are largely one-note singers, utterly predictable and tediously repetitive.

As regular readers have undoubtedly observed, we have a few such people appearing in the comment threads here. We have those whose allegiance to Israel and defense of its atrocious treatment of Palestinians is their driving passion and who resent even the slightest criticism of that country’s policies. We have those feel that men are under siege and being oppressed by feminists and their fellow travelers, and somehow find examples of that even in the most tangential of post topics and use it to once again vent their sense of grievance. We have those who feel that what the US government does at home and abroad, even the most heinous acts such as deliberately murdering people with no due process and killing innocent civilians while doing so, must be defended because the leaders of the US (and the western world) are (almost by definition) good and wise, who only do things in pursuit of noble goals after careful thought, despite all evidence to the contrary. Such people clearly have succumbed to tribal thinking where they do not judge actions by the same set standards but use one set for the in-group and another for the out-groups, and feel that the lives of poor people in other countries are of less value than those in their own.

From time to time, I get the request to ban these commenters because they are hijacking comment threads. I have resisted such calls for a couple of reasons. One is simply my dislike of the idea of banning speech in general. It is not that I will never ban. Although I have not done so in the past, I keep the option open because I cannot foresee what might arise in the future.

Another reason is that I think that banning is not the best way to deal with such people. I am a firm believer in the theory that if you give such people enough verbal rope, they will hang themselves. The best way to discredit people with monomania is to let them talk because the more they do, the more it becomes increasingly apparent that they have this mental block that puts them into a repeating groove, like a scratched record (for those who get that reference). At that point, they become like the man in the hunting story who talks but no one listens. They cease to have any meaningful voice in the conversation but just become a background hum. For example, Deepak Chopra can be quite intriguing the first time you hear him. But the more he talks, the less sense he makes, and you soon realize that he is a quack and you tune out the quacking.

As for me, I read all the comments but when I see one from the usual suspects, I usually read the first bit and skip right over the rest because it looks like the same old thing and so I rarely respond. I may be doing them an injustice because they may actually say something interesting further down but this is the price these commenters pay for their history of monomania. I do the same thing with articles in the media by those who grind the same old ax repeatedly. I do not have the time or the patience to read more because I figure that the possibility of something new or interesting being said is as unlikely as my grandfather inserting a novel element into his anecdotes.

I have to admit, though, to a guilty pleasure. Periodically, I like to test my theory about the nature of monomania and so deliberately write something to see if these commenters rise to take the bait, the rhetorical equivalent, if you will, of a tap to the knee by a doctor to test reflexes. It is quite gratifying to get the expected knee-jerk response, sometimes down to even the exact words.

So for those who are irritated by such comments and commenters, I urge you to see them as I do, as a source of unintentional amusement, similar to the way that my siblings and cousins, when we were children, used to roll our eyes when our grandfather would go on a roll with his reminiscences. Such people can hijack a thread only if you let them.

As the old saying goes, the dogs may bark but the caravan moves on. It is the motion of the caravan that we should keep our eyes on, and learn to tune out the barking.

121 comments

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  1. 1
    Chiroptera

    Personally, I don’t feel that the commenters to whom you are referring are all that disruptive, at least not yet. Intelligent and intelligible conversations seems to continue to be possible even on the threads when they show up.

    There may be other reasons that would lead you to ban these commenters, though. Just commenting on what I do think would make it necessary to ban them: if they should cause too much disruption to an intelligible conversation about the topic at hand.

  2. 2
    colnago80

    We have those whose allegiance to Israel and defense of its atrocious treatment of Palestinians is their driving passion and who resent even the slightest criticism of that country’s policies.

    I suspect that when the Egyptian Army gets tired of Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip sneaking out and ambushing Egyptian soldiers, in conjunction with other terrorist elements in the Sinai and decides to occupy the Gaza Strip, Prof. Singham will find that the IDF is a bunch of wimps in comparison. The Egyptians will not concern themselves with collateral damage. Like the Syrian Army, they will just waste everybody who gets in their way. depending on Allah to sort ‘em out. He will know his own.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    colnago80

    Here’s an example of the big lie as told by the Hamas Government in the Gaza Strip. They accused the Government of Israel of opening dams during the recent rain storms there in order to flood portions of the strip. Unfortunately, the alleged dams don’t exist. Josef Goebbels would be so proud.

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/how-hamas-used-the-weather-to-defame-israel/

  5. 5
    Rob Grigjanis

    We wore an onion in our belt, which was the style at the time.

  6. 6
    Crimson Clupeidae

    SLC, you must be so proud.

  7. 7
    Friendly

    I like to test my theory about the nature of monomania and so deliberately write something to see if these commenters rise to take the bait

    Chum chomped. Check.

  8. 8
    2up2down2furious

    I feel like Dr. Singham’s gotten you all wrong. He seems to imply that you’re a one-trick pony rehashing the same tired arguments again and again, but here you launch into a different line of reasoning. While in the past you’ve justified Israel’s denial of human rights by pointing out that someone, somewhere is doing something bad, your new argument is that someone, somewhere is potentially about to do something bad. Bravo on sinking even lower.

  9. 9
    colnago80

    In reference to what.

  10. 10
    eigenperson

    I understand your view on comments, but my view is a little different. My view is that even though one can easily walk around a piece of dog shit, it should still be removed from the sidewalk.

  11. 11
    colnago80

    It might be illuminating sometime for the wimps that run the Government of Israel to take a page out of the Assad pere/fils playbook and react to terrorist incidents initiated by Palestinians the way that the Assads react. Currently, the number of dead in Syria has reached 130,000, including the latest atrocity. Of course, the Israel bashers will never admit that the beastliness of the IDF doesn’t even begin to approach the beastliness of the Assads, link below. If the IDF dropped one of these on Gaza City, our distinguished host, the limey Nick Gotts, the Pennsylvania poofter Marcus Ranum, and the Vancouver varmint, left0overunder would be screaming atrocity and calling for the dismantling of the IDF.

    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/17/21943961-barrel-bombs-just-another-symbol-of-brutality-in-syrian-civil-war

  12. 12
    eigenperson

    Nah, he’s made this argument before.

    My view is that, to the extent that the IDF cares about collateral damage, it’s not because they are “wimps.” It’s because they are both practical and moral. (Practical, because an Israel that murdered everyone in its path would have precious few allies in the world.)

  13. 13
    oolon

    deliberately write something to see if these commenters rise to take the bait

    … nothing wrong with the odd bit of trolling :-D

    But I would say that it depends on what the commenters are saying, if they are being bigoted then allowing them a platform is not always ideal IMO. For sure tear their arguments apart the first time, but the 2nd, 3rd … X times they come in to spread manure over a comment section then a ban is best for fear of driving away more reasonable commenters who are bored into silence or away from the comments. You see this on YT and other non-moderated spaces, the loudest and most obnoxious survive to the detriment of the quality of comments.

    I personally don’t see moderation as “banning speech”, they can go elsewhere and nothing in freedom of speech gives another person the right to a private platform.

  14. 14
    kinem

    I haven’t been following the comments on this blog very closely, so I can’t speak to the existence of monomania here, but it seems to me that anyone with opposing views will tend to seem to have monomania. Many people (myself included) often feel obligated to attempt to correct views they see as incorrect and potentially harmful; while views they see as correct are more rarely seen as needing reinforcing or praise. Mano, your list of such people is exclusively composed of those who disagree with you. Is there evidence that it is really monomania and not a selection effect? If not then perhaps their own blogs, if they had them, would cover a variety of topics but you would appear to be a monomaniac if you posted comments on those blogs attempting to correct their errors as you see them.

  15. 15
    deepak shetty

    but the 2nd, 3rd … X times they come in to spread manure over a comment section then a ban is best for fear of driving away more reasonable commenters who are bored into silence or away from the comments.
    Its hard to distinguish this from not tolerating dissenting views. As long as the comments are mostly on topic (so perennially defending Israel on an Israel related post would be fair imo)and not harassing/abusing anyone , the professor has it right. If you do ban someone the 5th time they make the same argument you will only be left with readers who agree with you on everything.

  16. 16
    Dunc

    “Other people are worse” is not an argument, it’s an evasion. Of course other people are worse. Nobody is arguing that Israel is the absolutely worst regime in history. We just expect better from “the only democracy in the Middle East” than we do from a Ba’athist dictatorship with a notoriously poor human rights record that happens to be in the middle of a full-scale civil war. Any, I don’t recall anybody around here speaking up in support of the Assad regime, so why you would think that relevant is beyond me. (Unless, of course, you’re so hopelessly mired in mindless tribalism that you assume that anybody who criticises Israel must automatically support any regime that also criticises Israel.)

    Oh, and when did you decide to add homophobic slurs to your repertoire of playground insults? That’s a new low, even for you.

  17. 17
    invivoMark

    I also find those commenters mildly entertaining, from time to time.

    But I would not be sad to see them go. And I think there’s a good reason that they should, which was not mentioned in your post. While people often read a blog for the content, their decision to comment on a blog is largely influenced by the other commenters on that blog. There are some blogs where I enjoy commenting because there is a healthy and friendly community of commenters, and anyone who comments with something ridiculous, mean-spirited, bigoted, or just plain stupid gets promptly shot down.

    The monomania people have the power to discourage some of the more thoughtful readers from commenting, because unless it is perceived that their viewpoints are always immediately shot down by other commenters, the reader might suspect that those viewpoints are normal and acceptable in that blog’s community of commenters. That might be an unfair judgment based on too little information, but there are a lot of blogs out there and one has only so much time to read and/or comment on them.

    A new reader might get the impression, for instance, that the commentariat of this blog is host to several misogynists if they read the comments of a particular blog post at a particular time after WTF has written a comment and before anyone has responded to him.

    I’m not necessarily arguing for banning. I don’t personally feel all that strongly about it. But I suspect that you will get better comments if you exercise some moderation, and I think there are others who feel more strongly than I.

  18. 18
    mnb0

    You must be so proud of completely confirming what MS wrote in this article.

  19. 19
    mnb0

    “So for those who are irritated …”
    I’m one of those now and then. But hey, this is your blog, moderate as you suits best.

  20. 20
    DsylexicHippo

    So you took the bait, just like the professor had predicted.

  21. 21
    invivoMark

    Homophobic slurs? Is that, perhaps… a bannable offense?

    (I’d certainly think so!)

  22. 22
    DsylexicHippo

    “For example, Deepak Chopra can be quite intriguing the first time you hear him. But the more he talks, the less sense he makes, and you soon realize that he is a quack and you tune out the quacking.”

    Sometimes I wonder whether Dr Chopra believes in any of the quackery he so freely dispenses. I mean whether he guffaws his way to the bank with the proceeds of his snake-oil empire.

    As for me, I tune him out as soon as I hear the word “synchronicity” which he segues into any conversation with the deftness of the old hunter in your story. He is a lot more than background noise to his fans for sure.

  23. 23
    eigenperson

    The monomania becomes apparent when these people feel compelled to post on a particular topic in totally unrelated threads. See, for example, colnago80′s post (#4) above, in which he feels compelled to post a link to an article about Hamas, despite the fact that this thread is actually about the issue of banning commenters, not Israel or Hamas.

    In fact, colnago80 is more of a propagandist than a monomaniac, but the result is the same.

    To be totally fair to him, Dr. Singham did troll him pretty hard in this particular thread, but he does it in other threads too.

  24. 24
    Rob Grigjanis

    If you did follow the blog more closely, you would see the monomania. The same tired non-arguments from the same unimaginative minds, impervious to discussion or factual correction, over and over and over again. Most of the regulars here could compose these comments themselves, so familiar are we with their content.

  25. 25
    colnago80

    Excuse me, from Prof. Singham’s post:

    We have those whose allegiance to Israel and defense of its atrocious treatment of Palestinians is their driving passion and who resent even the slightest criticism of that country’s policies.

    Now, the good professor brought up the subject of both Israel and the Palestinians. The Gaza Strip is inhabited by Palestinians with a government under the control of Hamas so I fail to see how this is in any way, shape, form, or regard OT.

  26. 26
    Nick Gotts

    You’re a lying genocidal shitbucket, as just about everyone here is well aware. Of course the Assads have done far worse than the IDF. But that in no way justifies the crimes of the IDF and the Israeli state, and the Assads haven’t got anywhere near the crime you have advocated: dropping 6 15-megaton bombs on Iran.

  27. 27
    eigenperson

    You fail to recognize that despite the appearance of the word “Israel” in the post, the post is not actually about Israel. The post is also not about feminism nor about the government of the United States, and comments focusing on either of those subjects would be equally off-topic here, despite the fact that those topics are also mentioned in the original post.

    If you just wanted to take issue with the idea that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is atrocious, then you could have done so (and a single sentence could probably have done the job). Instead, you decided to post some derailing comments, one about how much worse Egypt would be in some imaginary scenario, and one about how Palestinians are liars like the Nazis, because that’s your hobbyhorse.

  28. 28
    colnago80

    Any, I don’t recall anybody around here speaking up in support of the Assad regime

    Other then myself, they don’t say anything about the current regime in Syria.

  29. 29
    invivoMark

    You fail to see a lot of things, don’t you?

  30. 30
    colnago80

    The scenario about the Egyptian Army occupying the Gaza Strip is not so imaginary as you surmise. There were some articles in the press a month or two ago on this topic. The post might not be about Israel but our distinguished host did take a swipe at them and thus a response is not at all out of order.

  31. 31
    wtfwhateverd00d

    Hey Professor, are we talking about me? Did I miss something? I know people often like to have me chased off.

    So for those who are irritated by such comments and commenters, I urge you to see them as I do, as a source of unintentional amusement, similar to the way that my siblings and cousins, when we were children, used to roll our eyes when our grandfather would go on a roll with his reminiscences. Such people can hijack a thread only if you let them.

    Me thinks you are blaming the victim.

    I haven’t seen anyone at your blog make any sort of comment that was libelous, threatening, spammy, doxxing, or used way too much foul language.

    I’ve seen a ton of personal attack often directed towards me for disagreeing, often as invivo does here characterizing my comments as misogynistic even though they can provide no examples of such, and other personal attack directed towards colnago80 for the crime of being pro Israel.

    What’s funny is how all those personal attacks invariably come from the tolerant and progressive free thought blogger contingency always upset when encountering the speech of people who disagree with them.

    But did I miss something can you point me to the latest cries for defenestration?

  32. 32
    Kilian Hekhuis

    Nobody’s denying Hamas is bad. So why come up with this totally unrelated piece of information? Oh wait…

  33. 33
    eigenperson

    A response perhaps would not have been out of order, but what you did in #2 could not really be called a response, because you did not engage with the post (you quoted it, but you didn’t respond to the quote).

    And #4 was just totally off-topic. Which is why I mentioned it, rather than #2.

  34. 34
    colnago80

    By the way, this is, indeed, quite off topic but since Prof. Singham seldom, if ever, posts anything on climate change, I’ll take the opportunity to pontificate on it. As the article I linked to at comment #4 indicated, the recent very unusual weather in the Middle East produced heavy rains on the Gaza Strip, causing extensive flooding. This is a foretaste of what we can expect if the increasing global temperatures lead to significant rises in the level of the Mediterranean Sea. Most of the the Gaza Strip is barely above sea level so a significant rise in sea levels may flood the area, making it uninhabitable.

  35. 35
    M can help you with that.

    OK, I’m sold. Clownstick* is at least worthwhile as comedy. Anyone that easy to troll just isn’t worth getting angry about. (I still have fond memories of my successful baiting of my resident troll on an old journal…) And even the less-amusing ones usually manage not to trash entire threads here.

    *Someone who doesn’t much like colnago (spoiler: it’s me) once told me that someone in his male-line ancestry was named “Clownstick,” so that is now the only name by which I will refer to him.

  36. 36
    wtfwhateverd00d

    Oh my gosh it is me!

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2013/12/17/the-most-important-news-story/#comment-765583

    Eigenperson thinks this comment of mine means I should be banned!

    While that is a stunning example, is it really much different from what happens on twitter with the endless RT or tumblr? And is it all that different from what both liberal and conservative and skeptical and religious and feminist blog networks do?

    Just watch FTB and see how many people comment on the same item using the same talking points linking to the prior person in the chain.

    And yet it’s a perfectly neutral comment, makes no personal attacks, is not spamming, or libelous AND PROPOSES A TEST you can carry out yourself!

    And it’s followed by an unsupported claim by invivoMark that I loathe women.

    I love it..

    But Professor, I thank you for this generic refusal to ban me, but actually I don’t think you acquit yourself very well on this issue, because while I believe that your defense of me as that boring old uncle that amuses you is a nasty slam that doesn’t fit my comments worse, it constitutes a very tepid defense of free speech and the nature of dialogue that brings two separated parties together.

    Seriously Mano, no one in their right mind would consider banning me for the comment above. It was on topic for that thread and clearly not a hijack.

    That alone should tell you something about the FTB Commentariat and have you reconsider my claim this blog network is well described with #FTBBullies.

    I thank you for the generic defense you provide, but consider if that’s the strong free speech defense you yourself should be writing.

    Anyway, #FTBbullies, one of the sad invariants of our time.

  37. 37
    eigenperson

    Yeah, you missed my response to your last totally off-topic and ill-aimed snipe at FTB. It’s a couple posts back.

  38. 38
    eigenperson

    Your comment consisted substantially of an off-topic attack on FTB. That’s your hobbyhorse, just like attacking the various countries surrounding Israel is colnago’s. You take every opportunity to try to derail a thread with it.

  39. 39
    wtfwhateverd00d

    It certainly wasn’t offtopic.

    Political blog posts, Twitter Retweets, Tumblr reblogs are all of the same form of nonsense as these press releases handed out to newscasters who reread them without adding anything new.

    And I didn’t it was a liberal issue, I explicitly said it was behavior seen across political, religious, skeptical viewpoints, the cluttering of the channel with the noise of talking points.

    And it is easily seen at FTB, it’s a simple test, easily observable.

    And ill-aimed hijack? My one sentence “swipe” spawned three comments and a blog post where FTB commenters demand a defenestration over that sentence.

    I disagree it was a hijack, but your shameful response certainly indicates it wasn’t ill-aimed.

  40. 40
    wtfwhateverd00d

    Yeah, well, perhaps the difference between you and me is that I would be ashamed of calling for the banning of commenters whose sole offense was what I considered a comment of low quality.

  41. 41
    wtfwhateverd00d

    Professor Singham, one thing I do like about the Free Thought Blogs network is that for outside observers, the crappy behaviors here (online and in real life) from bloggers (not you) and commenters help demonstrate daily the need for free speech and the value of Internet anonymity.

  42. 42
    eigenperson

    It’s funny that the guy who uses the hashtag “#FTBullies” non-ironically thinks that attacking FTB for “how many people comment on the same item using the same talking points ” is well-aimed.

    For future reference, you’re supposed to point the open end away from yourself.

  43. 43
    eigenperson

    You can be ashamed of many things that you needn’t be ashamed of. That is not actually a point in your favor, especially when you fail to be ashamed of things that are actually shameful.

  44. 44
    wtfwhateverd00d

    So tell me, you who love to ban people for making comments you disagree with, what should I be ashamed of that I do that is actually shameful.

    Difficulty: You must provide actual evidence in the form of blog posts or blog comments are anything to support your claims.

  45. 45
    eigenperson

    That is exactly the point. No one else is talking about Syria, because your attempts to drag Syria into every thread are off-topic.

  46. 46
    eigenperson

    okay

  47. 47
    colnago80

    Tsk, tsk, such talk. Actually, the actions of the US Government and the British Government in Iraq and Afghanistan are considerably worse then anything that the IDF has done in the Gaza Strip.

  48. 48
    left0ver1under

    If there is not going to be a ban, can there at least be a three post limit on a thread? Mentally healthy people won’t be bothered in the slightest by running out of posts. They’ll shrug and say “too bad for me”.

    It takes a truly deranged mind to post 10 or 20 times on the same thread – in slc’s case, a sociopathic and genocidal mind. If this were about women and not Palestinians, slc would be no better than DJ Grothe, “the amazing atheist” and other defenders of rape culture.

  49. 49
    wtfwhateverd00d

    Which comment or which paragraph in there do you think is something I should be ashamed of.

    You have to be specific.

    You make a claim, don’t be a weasel. Support your claim with facts and logic.

    You have claimed I should be ashamed of certain things that I am not ashamed of. Then you vaguely point to an entire blog post without saying what precisely is in there I should be ashamed of.

    That’s not evidence and argument, that’s innuendo and hand waving.

  50. 50
    colnago80

    I use the moniker Colnago, which, by the way, is the name of an Italian manufacturer of a line of professional racing bicycles (I happen to own a 1980 model Colnago Superissimo, which is actually totally obsolete today). AFAIK, I am unrelated to the family that owns the name. I rather doubt that anyone named Clownstick is in Ernesto Colnago, the company’s founder’s, ancestral line.

  51. 51
    wtfwhateverd00d

    Sigh, I remember that line of bicycles, new.

  52. 52
    jamessweet

    I kinda agree with Mano, and I will say that wtfwhateverd00d does not seem entirely one-note. I’ve seen interesting comments from him (I’m assuming “him”, heh), as well as the annoying stuff.

    Not so sure about colnago… it’s a bit tiresome at this point.

    Who’s the drone defender? I must have missed that one…

  53. 53
    jamessweet

    Oh, slc. Right. Yeah, which is weird, because slc has had a lot of good stuff to say too. I would definitely oppose a ban on slc. I’m mostly with Mano here, really. And probably the only reason colnago is so tiresome to me is because I already get the “Israel is unimpeachable and can do no wrong” too much from my in-laws (and even from my wife, on occasion… She isn’t really in denial about Israel having, you know, not dealt very well with what they perceive as an existential threat — but on the other hand just the other week she was totally denying that Iranians or Palestinatians could possibly feel an existential threat from Israel. Heh, yeah….)

  54. 54
    invivoMark

    Holy shit! I missed those posts!

    wtfwhateverd00d: You should be ashamed as fuck for everything you said on that post! I mean, holy actual double-fucking-backflip shit, you should be blushing the deepest of reds while pissing yourself after eigenperson linked to that post!

    Your views are vile and your misogyny – and yes it is fucking misogyny – is written all over your sleeves in big fat red Sharpie.

  55. 55
    invivoMark

    slc = colnago.

    That change your mind?

  56. 56
    A. Noyd

    If you’re not going to clean the more tenacious bigots out of your comments section, it would be really nice if you went to non-nested comments. That way, those of us who don’t want to read, for the eighty billionth time, how women are evil, semen-thieving, false-rape-reporting whores or how all Muslims are murderous extremists who should be locked away forever can at least killfile the monomaniacs. With nesting, one necessarily has to killfile all the attached responses, some of which might be interesting and informative to read.

  57. 57
    wtfwhateverd00d

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    And you’ve supplied no evidence at all, nor have you ever.

    Come on, even you can cut and paste one sentence or paragraph and explain why I should be ashamed of what I wrote.

  58. 58
    invivoMark

    Oh how I despise non-nested comments sections! Imagine if you had posted your comment first thing this morning, and I didn’t see it until just now, and there were fifty-four comments after yours. Would it even be feasible for me to reply to your comment? If people wanted to read our conversation, would they have to constantly scroll back-and-forth past fifty-four comments?

  59. 59
    Nathair

    If you’re not going to clean the more tenacious bigots out of your comments section, it would be really nice if you went to non-nested comments.

    Seconded!

  60. 60
    wtfwhateverd00d

    @colnago80, not sure if you’ve seen this, I saw it from a Pat Condell tweet

    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4093/slaughter-in-muslim-lands

    More Slaughter in Muslim Lands; Media, Governments Silent
    Muslim Persecution of Christians: October, 2013

    “Don’t they know that the Koran orders us to slit the throat of whoever is disrespectful to Allah’s beloved prophet?” — Representative of Jamaat ud Dawa.

    Although Christians are habitually killed in Muslim countries, as this series attests, the U.S. government rarely condemns the practice or even acknowledges it.

    Two of the most tragic Islamic attacks on Christians, killing several women and children, took place in the month of October, one in Syria, another in Egypt.

    On October 21 in Syria, U.S.-supported Islamist rebels invaded and occupied the ancient Christian settlement of Sadad for over a week, until ousted by the Syrian army. What took place that week was “the largest massacre of Christians in Syria,” in the words of Orthodox Archbishop Alnemeh. Among other things, 45 Christians—including women and children—were killed, several were tortured to death; mass graves were discovered; all of Sadad’s 14 churches, some ancient, were ransacked and destroyed; the bodies of six people from one family, ranging from ages 16 to 90, were found at the bottom of a well (an increasingly common fate for “subhuman” Christians).

    The jihadis also made a graphic video (with English subtitles) of those whom they massacred, while shouting Islam’s victory-cry, “Allahu Akbar!” ["Allah is Greater!," meaning "than anything"]. Another video, made after Sadad was liberated, shows more graphic atrocities.

    The day before rebels invaded Sadad, on Sunday, October 20, the Church of the Virgin Mary in Warraq, near Cairo, Egypt, was attacked during a wedding ceremony. The attack left four dead and nearly two dozen wounded. According to a report issued by a forensic team, two of those murdered were young girls, each named Mary: 12-year-old Mary Nabil Fahmy, who was shot five times in the chest, and 8-year-old Mary Ashraf Masih (“Masih” meaning “Christ”), who was shot in the back.

    The security forces charged with protecting the church were seen leaving their posts immediately before the massacre began, as happens frequently in Egypt and other Islamic nations. In the words of Asia News, “Eye-witnesses of the al-Warraq attack confirm that despite numerous distress calls, police and ambulances only arrived on the scene two hours after the shooting.”

    These massacres in Syria and Egypt received scant attention and even less condemnation from Western media and governments. Instead, people such as Mohamed Elibiary, an Obama administration Homeland Security adviser, condemned Copts who raise awareness of anti-Christian violence in Egypt as promoting “Islamophobic” bigotry.

    Although Christians are habitually killed in Muslim countries, as this series attests, the U.S. government rarely condemns the practice or even acknowledges it. When five Muslims were killed in western Burma, however, the U.S. issued a formal condemnation, according to Voice of America, “urging authorities to do more to address the long-standing sectarian tension there.”

    The rest of October’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country in alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:

    Details of incidents in Bangladesh, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Pakistan, … and more all over the Islamic world are at the link.

  61. 61
    Mano Singham

    Let me look into it and see if and how this might be done. But I am not sure if the benefits of it outweigh the disadvantages since it would then be hard to distinguish sidebar conversations from new comments, no?

  62. 62
    wtfwhateverd00d

    I’ll third that but I do want to add, I do at times find value in the FTB commentariat’s remark’s. I dislike their intolerance and bigotry, but regardless, I believe in freedom of expression so I can’t recommend that Mano defenestrate them.

  63. 63
    M can help you with that.

    Whatever you say, Clownstick. I’ve met your standards to apply a new name, so I’ll continue to do so.

  64. 64
    colnago80

    AFAIK, the company is still in business.

    http://www.colnago.com/

    This is not my bike but it is the same era (1980-1984) and the same color combination.

    http://www.velociao.com/wp-content/gallery/colnago-super-57-1984/P7261772.jpg

  65. 65
    eigenperson

    If you would ditch the derailers then we wouldn’t have to have so many sidebar conversations.

    (I am for non-nested comments.)

  66. 66
    eigenperson

    I realize this comment made it sound like I’m getting “on your case” about it, which I don’t mean to do. It’s just another advantage of not having them around.

  67. 67
    A Hermit

    But not the white onions which you couldn’t get because of the war, just the big yellow ones…now where was I?

  68. 68
    wtfwhateverd00d

    Your claim would be punnier if you said you weren’t trying to drum this message.

  69. 69
    wtfwhateverd00d

    Since you’re clearly still hanging around the thread, I am curious if you plan on providing any evidence to back your claim I have written something I should be ashamed about, or if you are going to maintain your weasel by merely pointing to an entire blog posts of Mano’s and saying “There!”

    As I said earlier,

    Which comment or which paragraph in there do you think is something I should be ashamed of.

    You have to be specific.

    You make a claim, don’t be a weasel. Support your claim with facts and logic.

    You have claimed I should be ashamed of certain things that I am not ashamed of. Then you vaguely point to an entire blog post without saying what precisely is in there I should be ashamed of.

    That’s not evidence and argument, that’s innuendo and hand waving.

  70. 70
    A. Noyd

    if you had posted your comment first thing this morning, and I didn’t see it until just now, and there were fifty-four comments after yours. Would it even be feasible for me to reply to your comment?

    Sure. You skim the thread to see if anyone already addressed what you wanted to say, and, if not, you could start your comment with my nym and comment number. On the open threads on Pharyngula, there are sometimes separations within conversations of several hundred comments and it’s not a big problem.

    If people wanted to read our conversation, would they have to constantly scroll back-and-forth past fifty-four comments?

    For longer threads, it’s quite practical to use ctrl + f and the person’s nym or part of what their respondent has blockquoted to find prior parts of an argument. In fact, I have to do this even in nested comments sections. First, because the more indented nested comments get, the more vertical space they take up, thus the more scrolling becomes required. Second, because replies to replies stack up between first-order replies, so those first-order replies can still get drastically separated from the initial comments.

  71. 71
    A. Noyd

    it would then be hard to distinguish sidebar conversations from new comments, no?

    Not really. In non-nested comment sections, regulars are generally good at giving a blockquote or a comment number or a nym (or all of the above) when they’re making a reply. And there’s the benefit of how if someone comes along and makes a new comment that’s a rehash of something said above, the conversation doesn’t end up split between multiple threads.

  72. 72
    wtfwhateverd00d

    If I were you, one thing I would certainly be ashamed about is calling for the banning of a person and then not being able to provide clear and extensive evidence to back up your charges.

    I am curious, were you taught somewhere that this sort of smear tactic was useful, effective, or ethical? Or is this something you established on your own through practice?

    We have of course all seen these sorts of nonsensical unprincipled callouts and bannings all over #FTBully sites, is that where you picked up the notion that unsupported innuendo and calls for banning were part of a normal community?

  73. 73
    invivoMark

    “Not a big problem?” That’s positively obnoxious, and I want no part in it! I like to be able to re-read comments I’m posting to, or re-read the comment that comment is in reply to, several times while I’m composing my post. It ensures that I do not make many mistakes or miss important points. It’s vital for any in-depth and interesting conversation.

    Your entire post is nothing more than rationalizing how it might be possible for a dedicated poster to hold a conversation without nesting, and how it is possible that a nested conversation would not be ideal. Nothing in your post suggests that nesting is not MASSIVELY more convenient for the purposes of holding a conversation.

  74. 74
    colnago80

    I saw something about this this morning, probably in the Washington Post. However, here’s an article from the Guardian I found. Clearly the situation with Copts in Egypt has deteriorated ever since Mubarak was ousted and everybody is in a bad way in Syria.

    http://goo.gl/AFIF9m

  75. 75
    Frank

    Mano

    For what it’s worth, I like the nested comments. In non-nested comment threads, I find that I am constantly scrolling up to see what Person X said at #34, back down, and then back up to see what Person Y said at #21. I find this far more inconvenient than watching comments in the few threads that actually interest me.

    Also, I’m glad that you haven’t banned commenters, specifically colnago80 and wtfwhateverd00d, whom this thread is mostly about. I think that they have both made insightful comments from time to time (though I mostly disagree with them when they are on their primary topics). colnago80 has generally been polite and responsive when I have posted opposing comments/questions, though I don’t think either of us has convinced the other in any matter regarding Israel.

    All that said, it is you blog, so do what you think best. If you keep posting interesting content, this blog will continue to be a daily read.

    Off topic, but has anyone had problems recently logging through FTB in Safari? I get only a password field; no username. It works for me in Chrome.

  76. 76
    A. Noyd

    “Not a big problem?” That’s positively obnoxious, and I want no part in it!

    Well, whether it’s to your taste has nothing to do with the fact that splits of hundreds of comments in conversations aren’t a big problem on Pharyngula.

    I like to be able to re-read comments I’m posting to, or re-read the comment that comment is in reply to, several times while I’m composing my post.

    So do I. That’s why I compose my comments in a notepad or word processor and then copy/paste over when I submit. That way, it doesn’t matter where I’ve scrolled the page to. (As a bonus, it saves me from having my comments accidentally eaten by internet or computer shenanigans.) If the thought of using a separate program fails to appeal, you can always open multiple tabs of the same thread.

    Also, with nested comments, unless you’re the first to make a reply, you still have to scroll up to see what you’re replying to. Depending on how many other replies are between yours and what you’re replying to, that might make for quite a lot of scrolling.

    Your entire post is nothing more than rationalizing how it might be possible for a dedicated poster to hold a conversation without nesting, and how it is possible that a nested conversation would not be ideal.

    First off, I answered your questions. You can’t blame me for not addressing what you didn’t even ask. Second, it’s not merely possible to have conversations sans nesting. I gave you an example of a place on FtB where people do just that. In fact, all the threads at Pharyngula are un-nested and dedicated conversations take place just fine, even in threads over 4000 comments long. Third, I actually did cover convenience a bit in my initial comment about killfiles, in my later point to you about how nesting does not get rid of the need to scroll, and in my point below to Mano about how non-nesting prevents conversations from getting split between multiple threads. (I’m guessing you probably missed that last one because of nesting.) Fourth, I don’t see why I need to convince you non-nesting is “massively” anything. I didn’t come here to debate nesting vs. non-nesting in terms of conversation. I came to point out that non-nesting would allow selective killfiling of bigots.

  77. 77
    Leo Buzalsky

    I am a firm believer in the theory that if you give such people enough verbal rope, they will hang themselves.

    I would agree with that on a typical comment board of yours. There are enough people who don’t put up with that sort of thing that this is possible. However, there are boards where I think, to fit my thoughts into your analogy, such people won’t get enough rope. Because they are on a thread where a lot of other people think just like they do. In other words, threads where their fellow tribe mates are sufficient in number to continue the tribal thinking.

  78. 78
    Leo Buzalsky

    I have been a fan of the one level nesting (so two levels total – the main level and the one nested level). It helps keep* one line of conversation grouped together (a pro of nesting) without having too many comments placed out of a liner order based on the time the comment was posted (a con of nesting). So, I think it’s a good balance of both worlds.

    * If only those who don’t like nested comments wouldn’t insist on keeping their comments un-nested.

  79. 79
    sailor1031

    Well I doubt we can rely 100% on what the times of israel has to say. But really SLC/Colnago you couldn’t have echoed Mano’s point more clearly. He is correct – you really are quite amusing!

  80. 80
    oolon

    Dissenting views exist outside of individuals .. Never quite understand how people banned can assert “you don’t tolerate dissenting views!” .. Unless they are unique and the only person able to articulate the views, in which case they are useless views/arguments.

    Secondly not all views are created equal, just because they are “dissenting” doesn’t make them special in any way. Climate change denialists are “dissenting” and they fetishise this dissent. As do woo-merchants, claiming skeptics are not “open minded” because they don’t tolerate their “dissent”. Scientific journals not allowing Deepak Chopra to contribute are not tolerating “dissent” either, good on them.

    But in general I agree that people who are able to rationally argue on a subject and not diminish and demean others should be allowed to continue unbanned. Some however are not and their absence can only improve the level of discourse and understanding on a given subject. Unmoderated spaces show this principle nicely – loud obnoxious people dominate. Other so-called unmoderated spaces allow their users to mute or ignore the obnoxious contributors – giving the appearance of a lack of ban or moderation, but with the same effect. You can block and ignore on Twitter, this blog even with a killfile and on supposedly unmoderated atheist forums. It’s a necessity for any sort of reasonable discourse IMO.

  81. 81
    oolon

    Further up someone linked to a WTFd00d example on a comment thread. Ended up generating a great fisking by A.Noyd of their 101-level stupidity … http://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2013/09/16/an-ad-that-is-far-more-than-just-an-ad/#comment-773501 … As well as some other good comments. But it was all about WTF and their stupidity, not the post.

    As an analogy it’s akin to having a creationist troll that pops up to say “Why do we still have monkeys!!!”, but in 1000 words for every post regardless of topic. Also this is not a simple matter of being wrong – you can see in that thread the views are not just daft and out and out incorrect, they are bigoted and unpleasant. They illicit an emotional response of disgust given they make light of the serious issue of systemic misogyny in our society and try and reverse it to teh menz being the real victims. All while ironically claiming women/feminists are professional victims.. This is another reason over and above the boredom aspect I covered in my other comments, bigotry that is allowed to pass could actively drive people away.

    In WTFd00ds specific case I’ve seen them trolling many feminist comment sections. One notably where they got banned by Amanda Marcotte, which I remember due to all the crowing about feminazis not being able to handle their amazing trolling logic on another thread. So I mostly find them amusing and the smack downs that they inevitably get entertaining. But that is, ironically, definitely a male privilege I enjoy as they are not attacking my identity or making light of oppression aimed at me. I think if it was me I’d ban them regardless of my personal entertainment as I’m guessing some of the women on the threads are not enjoying having to smack down ill-informed MRA number 10,001. Not like there are a shortage of places on the internet where you can argue with WTFd00d and his ilk.

  82. 82
    colnago80

    Re Frank

    I just tried logging in using Safari and had no difficulty. However, I use Firefox most of the time.

  83. 83
    colnago80

    What allies? Other then the USA.

  84. 84
    colnago80

    A little levity is not out of line. By the way, the Times of Israel is at least as reliable a source of information as the NY Times, Washington Post, or the Guardian.

  85. 85
    colnago80

    You know bucky, you don’t have to read comments by me, Steve0r or wtfwhateverd00d if you find them annoying.

  86. 86
    colnago80

    Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.

  87. 87
    colnago80

    That the same Amanda Marcotte who continued to accuse the Duke lacrosse players of raping Crystal Gail Mangum after it became evident that the case against them was a crock of sh*t and that the prosecutor, Mike Nifong, was a serial liar? Colon will have to do better then that.

  88. 88
    Raging Bee

    I am a firm believer in the theory that if you give such people enough verbal rope, they will hang themselves.

    This theory fails because “hanging oneself” with “verbal rope” doesn’t actually stop them from talking.

    The best way to discredit people with monomania is to let them talk…

    And how many decent people will get driven away by one or more persistent trolls monopolizing the conversation and forcing others to wade through an endless flow of sewage just to find a few good comments?

    Seriously, would you go to a meatspace gathering where the worst and lamest participants were allowed to monopolize every conversation, and you were just expected to let them drone on and on about shit that wasn’t worth your time to wait out? I’ve seen good blogs dragged into ditches by stupid, dishonest, hateful, relentless trolls whom the owner was too weak and indulgent to rein in. That hasn’t happened here, yet, and it hasn’t happened on most other FTBs either — because their owners grew a spine and realized that empty blathering about “free speech” and “verbal rope” aren’t a good counter to bigoted trolls with no sense of shame.

  89. 89
    colnago80

    Of course, the Fairfax fussbudget trolls with the best of them whenever the subject of libertarianism comes up. His monomania on that subject rivals mine on Israel or Heddle’s on Christianity.

  90. 90
    Raging Bee

    Well, yeah, whan the subject of libertarianism comes up, I say things about libertarianism. Not sure how that equates to “trolling” or “monomania.”

    Yet another comment from the Likudnik Chickenhawk whose tiresome stupidity is offset by its brevity and pointlessness.

  91. 91
    Raging Bee

    You want better? Try the many feminist FTBers who have had no option but to ban countless one-note MRAs and other hateful trolls to keep their threads free of relentless bigoted hate and insulting stupid beliefs that were already refuted a zillion times before.

  92. 92
    deepak shetty

    Never quite understand how people banned can assert “you don’t tolerate dissenting views!”
    When chris mooney posted some stuff and then disallowed and heavily moderated criticism (e.g. banning anyone who mentioned Ophelia) what would you call that? As such, for a lot of controversial topics like Israel v/s Palestine most views are fixed and most arguments are recycled and repetitive – whether they be in support or in opposition so banning one set would be double standards.

  93. 93
    colnago80

    I think that Ed Brayton has commented in the past on your monomania on libertarianism.

  94. 94
    Raging Bee

    Yes, and his complaints were just as empty and pointless as yours. He never followed through on any of them because he knew I was right.

  95. 95
    colnago80

    Re Raging Bee

    Yes, and his complaints were just as empty and pointless as yours. He never followed through on any of them because he knew I was right.

    The Fairfax fumbler lobes to dream. Dream on .

  96. 96
    wtfwhateverd00d

    Mano,

    A day ago I was charged with writing things I should be ashamed about by eigenperson (who had called for my banning) and invivoMark.

    I challenged both to find a single instance and then make their claims and defend them.

    Neither of them could do that, and it’s quite clear that eigenperson was made aware of the challenge.

    Now, you can either learn your lesson about who around here is fucking over your community and who here is supportive of speech and debate, or you can continue to shove your head into the ground and blind yourself to the whiny and unsupported slurs and innuendo of your favorite free thought blog commentators.

    Mano, have you no sense of shame left?

    I am actually disappointed in your tepid defense and your own slam against me.

  97. 97
    Mano Singham

    Mano, have you no sense of shame left?

    I frankly do not see why I should justify myself to you or defend you from others. If you think I have no shame and don’t like what I write, you are free to leave. No one is forcing you to read this blog.

  98. 98
    wtfwhateverd00d

    I am not asking you to defend me, I am asking you to defend freedom of expression.

    I am not asking you to defend me, I am asking you to look at the evidence and see who’s comments here are divisive and speech policing and consisting of endless personal attacks.

    Shame is about how you should feel about yourself for your weak defense of freedom of expression.

    If you think I have no shame and don’t like what I write, you are free to leave. No one is forcing you to read this blog

    This is an “America, love it or leave it” argument. It was always bogus and it’s bogus now.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-sigman/rick-santorum-dennis-terry_b_1377023.html
    A Brief History of Loving or Leaving America

  99. 99
    wtfwhateverd00d

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-sigman/rick-santorum-dennis-terry_b_1377023.html

    A Brief History of Loving or Leaving America

    The origin of “America Love It or Leave It” is murky. It was popularized by gossip guru and Joseph McCarthy sympathizer Walter Winchell, who, among other abuses of power, helped keep entertainer/activist/national treasure Josephine Baker out of the country we’re all free to love.

    “America: Love It or Leave It” exemplifies the “either-or” (or “black and white”) fallacy.

    During the ’60s, warmongers wanted to kick us out.

  100. 100
    Mano Singham

    Another spurious parallel. I am not asking you to love the blog. I don’t feel any shame at all for what I have said and I am amused at your presumption that you can tell me how I should feel. If you don’t like what I say, that’s your problem. It is not my job to soothe your wounded feelings.

  101. 101
    ildi

    My two cents re. nested comments: I find that you have to do as much scrolling as you do with non-nested if a commenter is responding to a previous level. So, there’s this wave of nested comments that seem to be talking over each other, Nested comments is sort of like having to use several fingers to keep track of related issues in a book.

    Also, when the thread becomes long and convoluted, I think it’s fairly easy to select the wrong reply button so your comment nests incorrectly (at least this is a problem for me), or you start your comment and go up to re-read what you are responding to and you lose track of the location of your comment box. Finally, if a thread becomes too long, or you come back to it later, it is tedious to figure out what the most current comments are in the individual nests. With non-nested threads you just go to the end.

    In other words, I hate nested comments.

  102. 102
    Raging Bee

    Whose freedom of speech is under attack?

    This is an “America, love it or leave it” argument. It was always bogus and it’s bogus now.

    Mano said you were free to leave his blog. Are you saying that claim is “bogus?”

    d00d, the total fucking silliness of your comments make your claims impossible to take seriously. Mano isn’t always right, but he’s a lot more credible than you are. Take your tantrum somewhere else, and then go to bed.

  103. 103
    Raging Bee

    FWIW, I hate nested comments too. I think of a blog thread as a group of people gathered to talk about a certain subject (the OP) — and when that group starts to fragment into subgroups having their own sub-conversations (the meatspace equivalent of branching threads/nested comments), it becomes much harder to communicate across the whole group.

    When you post a comment in a blog thread, it’s visible to everyone in the thread, not just to whoever you’re responding to at that time, just as you’re able to read everyone else’s comments regardless of who they’re addressing. It’s assumed you’re talking to everyone, not just to a subgroup. If you want to talk to only one or two others, use email.

    The other problem with branching subthreads is that they make it a LOT less convenient to respond to more than one person at a time. It also gives trolls an incentive to try to monopolize EVERY SUBTHREAD THEY CAN, often by saying the same damn thing in each one, just to make sure everyone hears him/her.

    All in all, branching subthreads suck.

  104. 104
    Raging Bee

    As such, for a lot of controversial topics like Israel v/s Palestine most views are fixed and most arguments are recycled and repetitive – whether they be in support or in opposition so banning one set would be double standards.

    Banning all comments supporting one point of view would be a double standard. But banning comments that, for example, only repeat an argument that’s already been dealt with, or repeat the same thing for the umpteenth time, would not. Good moderation can move a discussion forward.

  105. 105
    ildi

    This is an “America, love it or leave it” argument.

    No, it’s the “This is my house, respect my rules or leave it” argument.

  106. 106
    John Morales

    Ildi @105, no. It’s the “No one is forcing you to read this blog” argument.

    (Repeatedly complaining about the horribleness of a place and about its host is perverse when one is in that place by choice)

  107. 107
    colnago80

    Re wtfwhateverd00d

    Hey, lighten up. The purpose of the animosity shown towards you by your critics is designed to drive you away. If you leave, they win. I would never allow the Limey, the Vancouver vampire, the Fairfax fumbler, or the Pennsylvania pinhead to drive me away. I say bring it on.

  108. 108
    Mano Singham

    @107,

    Don’t forget that although I have not banned anyone, I have not ruled out the prospect of doing so. If I think that people are being deliberately disruptive and derailing the conversation with their monomania, I reserve the right to ban them. The fact that I have not banned anyone should not be taken to imply that anything goes. So bear that in mind.

  109. 109
    colnago80

    Re Mano Singham @ #108

    If I think that people are being deliberately disruptive and derailing the conversation with their monomania, I reserve the right to ban them.

    How about name calling? I have not complained about being called a Likudnik chickenhawk or lying genocidal shitbucket as I believe that if one is going to dish it out, one must be prepared to take it.

  110. 110
    colnago80

    OT but is Prof. Singham going to comment on the news out of Utah?

    http://goo.gl/dE3KSI

  111. 111
    Mano Singham

    I have always felt that name calling to be childish but I tolerate them, just as I tolerate your puerile ones. But using racist or sexist or homophobic slurs is highly offensive and not worthy of any civilized person, so I would advise you never to use the word ‘poofter’ or its variations here again.

  112. 112
    colnago80

    Re Mano Singham @ #111

    Agreed.

  113. 113
    colnago80

    Re Mano Singham @ #111

    By the way, what is considered homophobic in one country may not be considered homophobic in another country. Case in point, referring to a homosexual as a “queer” is considered derogatory in the US but not, apparently, in Great Britain. Several weeks ago, when I called someone commenting on another blog for referring to homosexuals as queers, I was informed that homosexuals in Great Britain refer to themselves as queers and it was not considered derogatory in that country (apparently, transsexuals are also included under the term queers there).

  114. 114
    Mano Singham

    I don’t care if a word is not a slur somewhere else. If there is any doubt don’t use it. The only time when it is appropriate is in an academic discussion. Your use of it was clearly intended as a slur.

  115. 115
    colnago80

    Re Mano Singham

    Stop beating the dead horse. I already agreed not to use the term in question in comment 112. I apologize to Mr. Ranum for using it in connection with him. Mia culpa.

  116. 116
    oolon

    @colnago, I doubt your sincerity, however using “queer”, “poofter” or anything that refers to a persons intrinsic self in a derogatory way is not considered anything other than offensive. Gay ppl can reclaim the word and refer to themselves that way, even jokingly self-deprecating or with friends. Maybe as a straight person who was friends with some gay ppl you could get away with referring to them as queer. Never in a truly derogatory way as you are then implying the intrinsic characteristic is bad in some way, the definition of bigotry. Same rules apply to misogynistic words like “bitch”, or racist words, or transphobic words, all pretty simple and universal.

    Playing games about how word X means something else in another country therefore someone “should” not find it offensive is disingenuous.

  117. 117
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @76. A. Noyd : “I came to point out that non-nesting would allow selective killfiling of bigots.”

    &

    @88. Raging Bee : ” bigoted trolls with no sense of shame.”

    (Among others who are, let’s say, “reality-challenged” here.)

    Your opinion that those who disagree with you are “bigots” who should be silenced or excluded and who you refuse to listen to is wrong, intolerant and stupid.

    Just because you think someone is a bigot doesn’t mean that they are.

    Your understanding of who and what these individuals are may be wrong – and I’d say often is.

    Your understanding of what they are actually arguing for and against may be wrong – and I’d say often is.

    Even your understanding of what the word “bigotry” actually means may be wrong – and I think it clearly is.

    Furthermore, I think that you actually weaken and reduce the impact of that word and others such as “racist” by mis-using and abusing them to mean “person who disagree with you on ‘X. Seems the political Left and notably many anti-Israeli FTB commenters have or are in the process of making the words “racist” and “bigot’ into meaningless derogatory slurs just like “communist”and socialist” have become on the political Right.

    It is ironic that those on the pro-Muslim side are the ones most likely to shriek about so-called “bigotry” from those who are in fact most strongly arguing and defending against the very real bigotry of those motivated by extremist Islamism.

    Hamas, Al Quaida and Hezbollah among other Jihadist groups are truly examples of murderous genocidal bigots.

    The IDF and US militaries are not. Nor are people arguing against Jihadists or the hate-filled Islamic ideology online.

    Those arguing for Islamic groups and terrorism sponsoring dictatorship, *those* are the ones who are supporting bigotry – not their opponents online or elsewhere.

    That’s just the factual objective reality whether you like it and accept it or not.

  118. 118
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Mano Singham :

    “Such people clearly have succumbed to tribal thinking where they do not judge actions by the same set standards but use one set for the in-group and another for the out-groups, ..”

    You claim this refers to :

    “.. those whose allegiance to Israel and defense of its atrocious treatment of Palestinians is their driving passion and who resent even the slightest criticism of that country’s policies. .. (snip) …those who feel that what the US government does at home and abroad, even the most heinous acts such as deliberately murdering people with no due process and killing innocent civilians while doing so, must be defended because the leaders of the US (and the western world) are (almost by definition) good and wise, who only do things in pursuit of noble goals after careful thought, despite all evidence to the contrary.”

    Well I put it to you that that tribal thinking applies every bit as much and well (perhaps mores even!) to those whose hatred of Israel and defense of the atrocious behaviour of Palestinians is their driving passion and who resent even the slightest defense of Israel’s right to defend itself and live in peace. Plus of course applying equally well to those who feel that what the US government does at home and abroad, even the most worthwhile and well-justified acts such as supporting liberation from Islamist tyranny and fighting the the brain-washing of innocent civilians while doing so, must be attacked because the leaders of the US (and the western world) are (almost by definition) evil and stupid, who only do things in pursuit of venal goals without careful thought, despite all evidence to the contrary.

    People view these issues differently. Sometimes from polar opposite perspectives.

    You and others it seems to me scapegoat Israel and the West most unfairly and I think its reasonable to argue the truth and make y’all rethink things when I can. I’m happy to hear the other side of the debate and engage politely and logically and I ask only to be given the same courtesy.

    Is this really so unreasonable of me? Do you think I deserve banning or killfiling or being made a pariah for that?

  119. 119
    leni

    Is this really so unreasonable of me? Do you think I deserve banning or killfiling or being made a pariah for that?

    Alas! The horrors of killfile. The only thing worse I can imagine is being oppressed with wishes of “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”.

    I don’t know how you survive day to day knowing that that some people might not give a f$ck about what you think, much less want to give you a platform, but it must be truly awful. *Hugs*

    How nice that you can come here and complain about that terrible injustice.

  120. 120
    Silentbob

    @ 117 StevoR

    Those arguing for Islamic groups and terrorism sponsoring dictatorship, *those* are the ones who are supporting bigotry – not their opponents online or elsewhere.

    You’re right. All these anti-Israeli bigots on FtB that are advocating Islamism, promoting terrorism and calling for dictatorships must be stopped. I would like to join your crusade against these people. The only problem is I can’t find them.

    Would you be able to provide some links so I know who to denounce?

    For example, if you could provide some links to commenters recommending “massive air bombing incl. with daisy-cutters, neutron bombs or nukes” as the most ‘humane’ way of dealing with Israel, or literally dehumanizing and vilifying Israelis by comparing them to Daleks or Klingons, or repeatedly demanding to know how anyone could possibly be friends with a Jew, I would have to agree that was irrefutable proof of a repulsive bigot.

    So let’s do it, StevoR! It’s time to name names. Tell me, who are these fans of dictatorial theocratic terrorism in our midst?

  121. 121
    John Phillips, FCD

    Happily, the beta killfile extension for Chrome works a treat.

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