On free speech

When a troll comes to my blog, in my comment threads, and in response to my political speech, repeatedly and viciously attacks my daughter, and then backs up his threats by posting my home address, well, I suppose the appropriate course of action would be to forward his comments and IP address to the police. Instead, and for only the second time in six years, I’ve permanently banned a troll from the threads.

I think even my harshest critics would agree that no blogger anywhere has been more tolerant of dissent than I have, even when that tolerance has been flagrantly abused in the most hateful, personal and disruptive manner. But in the end, this is my blog, and everybody who comments here does so only through my grace. The First Amendment guarantees you a right to free speech, but grants you no such right to expect me to publish it.

I never wanted my comment threads to be a one-sided yahoo chorus of the type one so often sees on other partisan political blogs, and so I steadfastly refused to moderate them. It’s too bad so few on the other side could manage to treat this open forum with respect.

Comments

  1. 2

    Xar spews:

    I respect the fact that you don’t want to call the police, but I think you might want to reconsider.

    When someone crosses the line and posts the home address of a minor child after saying the sorts of things he/she was saying, it’s probably time to involve law enforcement.

  2. 4

    YellowPup spews:

    Folks here in general have got to take a pill and calm down. Talk/take issues and not insults. Holy crap.

  3. 5

    spews:

    3rd time Goldy..

    JCH, Marvin Stamn and now this beneath slime mold abomination.

    I vaguely remember another unhinged right-wing nutcase a few years back who made the same kind of attack. I don’t know if you banned him but you did remove his comments.

  4. 6

    Ekim spews:

    I use to be tolerant of people on the right.
    Then I started reading HA.

    What I do not understand is how Goldy can be so tolerant with the HA trolls. It just amazes me.

    It must be to educate the more normal people in our society as to just what the right is like.

  5. 8

    spews:

    Didn’t the Stranger post home addresses of eastside Republicans in 2008? Didn’t they pass it off as a Halloween prank?

    And about the whole underage daughter thing, didn’t Goldy used to talk about Palin’s underage daughter?

  6. 9

    spews:

    BTdubs, I would consider it a point of pride to be blocked and banned from this website. I’ve been blocked from the Seattle Times, and another local blog. The times only blocks email addresses, so I’m back there, but the other wesbsite blocks IP’s, and it’s too much bother getting around that, so I’m fine not to pester them anymore.

  7. 10

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    8 & 9,

    Yeah, there’s bad behavior on all sides of the spectrum. The rodent makes a lost of nasty comments, and I do, too. But neither of us publish home addresses or that kind of shit.

  8. 12

    Deathfrogg spews:

    @ 6

    Tolerance is a liberal value.

    Conservatives Fascists are quite open about their opinion of the concept of tolerance. When you use the word “freedom” they’ll cheer and wave their little (made in China) plastic flags and pump their fists. When you use the words “liberty” or “tolerance” they froth at the mouth and accuse you of being a communist or a socialist and foam about how much you hate American Values® while looking for an excuse to beat you senseless.

    Dammit, I missed the fireworks. Oh well. I called him on being a psycho a week or so ago. Typical tealiban.

  9. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    You were too lenient, Goldy. You should have used the troll’s IP address to track him down, then gone over to his house with a baseball bat, and taught him some respect for your daughter at several sensitive points in his rib cage, dental work, and cranium.*

    * Just kidding! Wingnut joke.

  10. 15

    Michael spews:

    @6

    It must be to educate the more normal people in our society as to just what the right is like.

    Bingo! It’s not all the folks on the right, but only a small minority of the right does much to distance themselves from the nasty bunch.

  11. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 “I would consider it a point of pride to be blocked and banned from this website.”

    Given what it takes to get banned from HA, only a juvenile like you would take pride in it.

  12. 17

    spews:

    Also, when Goldy says, “But in the end, this is my blog,”

    Wrong. This is OUR blog.

    If liberals have taught us nothing else, it’s that it “takes a village.”

    This blog is equally co-owned by everyone who visits it. This is NOT Goldy’s blog. It takes a village to run this blog. We are all equal co-owners.

  13. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @10 “Yeah, there’s bad behavior on all sides of the spectrum.”

    That’s always the excuse used by conservatives to justify the slimeball behavior of their brethren; but the fact is, there’s no comparison between what the right does and what the left does.

    “The rodent makes a lost of nasty comments, and I do, too.”

    Speak for yourself. I’m simply posting what I believe. I believe Cynical really does fuck goats. He seems like the type, so why shouldn’t I believe that? And when I suggest rounding up and waterboarding wingnuts, I’m joking; but when wingnuts suggest rounding up and killing liberals, they’re not joking.

    Do I make nasty comments? Yeah, but only to (or about) nasty people who make equally nasty comments, and I do it because they’ve got it coming to them. In most cases, I’m simply parroting back at them what they said about us, and I do it so they can find out what it feels like to be on the getting end.

    And, as I’ve said many times on this board, I’ll stop it when they stop it, but because they started it, they have to stop first. Until then, I’m gonna give as well as get.

    “But neither of us publish home addresses or that kind of shit.”

    But don’t delude yourself into thinking this somehow makes you my moral or intellectual equal.

  14. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @17 “Wrong. This is OUR blog.”

    Wrong. This is HIS blog. What part of “private property” don’t you understand, you fucking commie?

  15. 20

    proud leftist spews:

    Troll
    You don’t even own your own dick, let alone a piece of this blog. You never add a thing of value. The dog shit I just stepped in has more redeeming value than you.

  16. 22

    Michael spews:

    @18

    Do I make nasty comments? Yeah, but only to (or about) nasty people who make equally nasty comments, and I do it because they’ve got it coming to them. In most cases, I’m simply parroting back at them what they said about us, and I do it so they can find out what it feels like to be on the getting end.

    That would explain 90% of the nasty comments I make as well. The rest of them, well, I really do talk like a sailor and sometimes I really am a jerk.

  17. 23

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    You did the right thing Goldy.
    Some folks keep pushing the free speech thing like little kids, not thinking about the consequences.
    Personal stuff like what was being done is way over the line. Sadly, once that stuff is out there, it’s out there forever.

    Reading this and the comments gives pause to reflect on what is the purpose. The vulgar, vitrolic posts when someone disagrees with someone has really made this Blog irrelevant.
    I appreciate all the hard work Goldy, Darryl, Lee and others have put into staying on top of current events…encouraging at least a couple folks to think & respond without vulgarity. I mean how many times can you stomach “goatf*cker” and the recent comments on Megyn Kelly, for example?? I would ask my friends on the left to look deeply into their own comments. Do you really feel good after hurling obscenities and nasty comments? My guess is No.
    I suspect most of you are decent people doing the best you can…and HorsesAss brings out the worst in some of you.

    When you really break it down, the biggest differences between us are:
    1) Role, size, cost and who pays for government services.
    2) Faith vs. No faith.
    You can only churn items related to these issues so many times before it becomes an exercise in futility. When I see things escalate to the point Goldy’s daughter is trashed, I think it’s time to exit….stage RIGHT!

    God Bless all of you.
    And thanks again Goldy, Darryl, Lee et al.

  18. 25

    harry poon spews:

    William F. Buckley, Jr. was fond of reminding liberals that: “An open mind is an empty mind.”

    But Bertrand Russell said of that comment that one should beware of the person who couches his evil thoughts in the cloak of a cliche.

  19. 26

    Michael spews:

    @23

    I have to be careful when one of my nieces is around because she’s got a swear jar and she’s not afraid to use it. I lose a lot of money to that kid.

  20. 27

    harry poon spews:

    re 23: How is calling you a goat fucker the equivalent of threatening a child.

    You goatfucking cunt.

  21. 28

    Ann Onnymous spews:

    “BTdubs, I would consider it a point of pride to be blocked and banned from this website.”

    OK. Then leave. :-)

  22. 29

    Ann Onnymous spews:

    “When you really break it down, the biggest differences between us are:

    “1) Role, size, cost and who pays for government services.

    “2) Faith vs. No faith. […]”

    No. The biggest differences between conservatives and liberals is that conservatives know they’re right about everything, while liberals consider where they might be wrong. Because this is the case, conservatives tend towards a kind of narcissism and identity politics typified by your idiotic #2 point above.

  23. 30

    Ann Onnymous spews:

    @17: “This blog is equally co-owned by everyone who visits it. This is NOT Goldy’s blog. It takes a village to run this blog. We are all equal co-owners.”

    OK, then pay up. It’s your turn this month. Cold hard cash, please.

  24. 31

    Chris Stefan spews:

    @8
    If they are an elected official I believe their home address is a matter of public record.

  25. 32

    Chris Stefan spews:

    David,
    If only the Post Office could find your address as easily as a beneath slime mold abomination of a troll.

  26. 33

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @23 “The vulgar, vitrolic posts when someone disagrees with someone has really made this Blog irrelevant.”

    No, it’s you who misses the point. “Vulgar” and “vitriolic” is calling a Vietnam veteran “unpatriotic” because he disagrees with your side when you guys invade what turns out to be the wrong country. (Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, in case you never got that memo.) That’s what conservatives, across the board, were doing to guys like me back in 2003. There are no words in the dictionary foul enough to reply to behavior like that. Maybe you’ve forgotten, but I haven’t, and trust me, I never will. You can call me anything else, but NOBODY questions MY patriotism. Got that?

    We also haven’t forgotten what conservatives did to Max Cleland or John Kerry. And we never will.

    So get off your fucking high horse, Klown, because as long as you continue voting for Republicans you’re in no position to preach to anyone else about “vulgar” or “vitriolic” behavior.

  27. 34

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @23 You seem to be sensitive about being called a goatfucker. Maybe that hits a little too close to home?

  28. 35

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    You know, Cynical, just when I was beginning to admire you for hanging in as long as you have, you spoil it by letting your chickenshit side show. But at least you have a little more fortitude than that John MacDonald guy, who lasted here only three weeks before scurrying back to Sound Politics.

  29. 37

    I Got Nuthin' spews:

    I too missed the fireworks and have no idea who it was that got banned, but regardless, Goldie you should absolutely file a police report. Start a paper trail now. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but in case you do, the groundwork is already there.

  30. 38

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    rodent said:

    But don’t delude yourself into thinking this somehow makes you my moral or intellectual equal.”

    No, I actually consider myself your moral and intellectual superior.

  31. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @38 Of course you do. You’re wrong about everything else, so nobody expects you to get this right, either.

  32. 40

    proud leftist spews:

    AO @ 29
    I couldn’t agree more. The primary difference between contemporary conservatives and liberals is the question of certainty. Conservatives do not doubt their positions–they cling to them, holding them dear, no matter what facts and reason might suggest about those positions. Liberals, on the other hand, are not afraid of uncertainty, of doubt. We understand that we just might be wrong, and keep our minds open to where facts and reason might lead us. The climate change issue provides an example of this dichotomy. Any rational person would say that in the face of uncertainty about human impact on climate change, the default position should be to curtail our activities that appear to have an impact on the climate because of the potential severity of what could otherwise happen. Conservatives, however, do not take that position–they simply close their minds to the possibility that they might be wrong and take a full steam ahead approach to development and carbon emissions.

  33. 41

    Jay spews:

    I say make a police report, you can do it over the phone, It will start the paper trail of these nut cases. Remember what happened to the Goldmark Family, (google it if you don’t know). Hate speech can have consequences.

  34. 42

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Funny that. All you have to do to get banned from nearly any right wing blogs is to simply state, “I disagree”.

  35. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @40 “a full steam ahead approach”

    And we’ve seen again and again what their bullheadedness leads to — consequences we all have to bear.

  36. 45

    Deathfrogg spews:

    Amazing how the pure vitriol and outright psychotic behavior always seems to come out in the teabagger crowd. I have yet to meet a truly intelligent fascist. They all seem to have this edge of deeply disturbance of mind that can be brought out with just a small bit of poking at the right buttons. They all seem to be absolutely positive about the crazy shit they pontificate about. The birth Certificate being just one example of a whole string of seriously bizarre thought processes.

    They’re all fucking nuts. How easy it is to hate, when one has such a low level of intelligence.

  37. 46

    proud leftist spews:

    44
    Unfortunately, here at HA, we must suffer a whole flock of village idiots. How nice it would be to have only one.

  38. 47

    Sean spews:

    “Any rational person would say that in the face of uncertainty about human impact on climate change, the default position should be to curtail our activities that appear to have an impact on the climate because of the potential severity of what could otherwise happen”

    Even if that lead to massive unemployment? MUst be nice to have a job with low CO2 emissions.

    Now do you understand why so many in the working class in the US hate liberals?

  39. 48

    spews:

    In all fairness, one might argue that the event that kicked off all of this “horse’s ass” stuff was kind of the ULTIMATE troll, manifested in an attempt to turn said troll into public policy. Many people – inluding state Senator Adam Kline – have publicly stated Tim Eyman’s home address and phone number any time his name as come up.

    Not sure police involvement is warranted unless there’s a specific threat.

    On the other hand – one thing that’s cool about Goldy is that he’s OUR kind of troll. :)

  40. 49

    proud leftist spews:

    47
    Wouldn’t happen. The job-loss claim is just another facet of rightwing dogma. Going green would create jobs; it always has, it always will.

  41. 50

    spews:

    “attacks my daughter, and then backs up his threats by posting my home address.”

    I thought Goldy once said his daughter didn’t live with him.

  42. 53

    TJ spews:

    Great points Troll. (And a few select others)

    Also,

    ’19. Roger Rabbit spews:
    What part of “private property” don’t you understand, you fucking commie?’

    Yet when univited so-called hysterical Libtarded “reporters” who are not invited to Dino Rossi rallies at the SPD Guild trespass on private property and are justifiably told to leave or face arrest, H.A.’s favorite senile State Judge…ahem….retired head courthouse janitor/wannabee attorney hypocritically only now farts out of his cancer ridden body about “private property” rights after blathering on & on in the past with regards to the above? LMFAO! Nice try old man. FAIL. Don’t worry, perhaps they will find a cure for Alzheimer’s, dementia, and senility one day. Only can only hope.

  43. 55

    doggril spews:

    About time. It’s one thing to tolerate people who bully you. That’s your choice. But tolerating the bullying of someone else, particularly your own child, is not a virtue. I was embarassed for Goldy’s daughter and felt sorry for her that she had a father who allowed her to be publicly bullied like that.

  44. 56

    your wife's pimp spews:

    still waiting for just ONE tax loving progressive here to step up the plate and write the state of washington a bonus check to help cover the queens budget mess.

    how come none of you have the nuzsack to step and write a check? is it because talk is cheap is so are you? step up, or shut up….

  45. 57

    proud leftist spews:

    53
    Um, Dino Rossi was running for the United States Senate. The public has a right to know what he might be pitching in pursuit of cash and money. Do you honestly see a connection between the episode you cite and what happened here today on HA? Really, do you? Has your partisanship really crept that deep?

  46. 60

    Brenda Helverson spews:

    The First Amendment does not apply here. That Constitutional Amendment only applies to actions taken by the government. This is a private enterprise and Goldy can do what he wants.

    Filing a police report is a good idea. A visit frem an officer might do this guy a world of good. Actions have consequences.

  47. 62

    Salsamanca spews:

    I don’t believe Goldy’s daughter blogs on HA. The purpose of attacking his daughter and posting his home address? Sounds like there are some frustrations that have nothing to do with HA and would for safety reasons file a police report. Free speech doesn’t mean no consequences when you cross the line into abuse.

  48. 63

    David spews:

    @17;

    Unless you are paying for the server space/internet access, you really need to get over yourself.

  49. 64

    Deathfrogg spews:

    @ 61

    Just go into a couple of the older threads and look for all the deleted comments. I personally thought it was an alt for Puddy or one of the other teabaggers that come in here to blather their crap.

  50. 65

    spews:

    If Goldy is saying that he called the police because a commenter seemed obsessed with him, then should the Seattle Times call the police on Goldy?

  51. 66

    The Marvin Stamn spews:

    It’s been a year (12/29/09) since I was banned and damn if the place hasn’t changed.
      
    Roger Rabbit and goatfucker insults still the norm.
      
    I’ve been making big $$ on another blog posting liberal links since Goldy kicked me off. Hope all of you are doing as well.
    http://horsesass.org/?p=23239

  52. 67

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @56 I already did, asswipe. I sent a donation check to the state game department earlier this year. I asked them to use the funds (okay, so it was only $25, but that’s better than nothing) to reduce rabbit poaching. A couple years ago, I also gave $100 to Operation Helmet, a private charity set up to buy battlefield equipment for our troops in Iraq that the Bush administration was too cheap to purchase for them. How many conservative trolls gave money to Operation Helmet? Not a single one. Support the troops, my ass. When it comes to giving money they snap their wallets tightly shut.

  53. 68

    Blue John spews:

    I had an account at the hannity site in 2008. Toward the pending election I was purged. They didn’t give a reason, just cancelled my account. I had been especially vocal and citing fact after fact in counter to some of the the more “opinion” based discussions.
    I can only assume that people complained I wasn’t following the conservative echo chamber script.

  54. 69

    tienle spews:

    Goldy, trust me…make the police report. You’ll never forgive yourself if something happens that you could have prevented. And your daughter will never forgive you if you could have protected her and didn’t.

  55. 71

    Steve spews:

    @70 Indeed. What does faith or no faith have to do with politics? Although I suppose the Klown believes that if you’re not a wingnut you’re not a real Christian. It’s kind of like how if you’re not a wingnut you’re not a real American.

  56. 72

    Steve spews:

    And here I thought I was an American Christian progressive. It looks like I have to choose in order to fit somewhere in the Klown’s paradigm. I either have to give up God and my American citizenship, or give up progressivism. Hmmm.

  57. 73

    Steve spews:

    Bow Down to Washington,
    Bow Down to Washington.
    Mighty are the men who wear the Purple and the Gold,
    Joyfully we welcome them within the Victor’s fold.
    We will carve our name in the Hall of Fame,
    To preserve the memory of our Devotion.

    So, heaven help the foes of Washington,
    They’re trembling at the feet of mighty Washington.
    Our boys are there with bells,
    Their fighting blood excells,
    It’s harder to push them over the lines than pass the Dardanelles.
    So Victory’s the cry of Washington
    Our leather lungs together with a Rah! Rah! Rah!
    And o’er the land, the loyal band
    Will sing the glory of Washington forever!

  58. 74

    proud leftist spews:

    Steve,
    Cynny and Puddy are modern-day Sadducees. Jesus Christ would not have had the slightest patience with them. Fixed in their ways, unfriendly to the poor, Christ would have walked past them as they would have implored and plied him for eternal reward. Cynny and Puddy are all about some sort of afterlife, some sort of reward, for being Christian. I try to act in a Christian way because that’s what we should do; I’m not a dog who needs a treat for behaving the way I should behave. Hell is here on earth. You understand that, Steve. You’ve been there. A loving God would not consign those whom he/she “loves” to such a place.

    I’m a Christian who doesn’t believe in “Hell.” There ain’t no Satan, there ain’t no eternal damnation. A loving God could not possibly create such a place. And, by the way, opposing tax cuts for the rich and supporting continued unemployment benefits for the unemployed is what any Christian should do.

  59. 75

    spews:

    One VERY odd thing about this thread is the the troll is never identified. Troll and Cynical appear above so it can not be them. Even Stamm re-emerges from the murk under the bridge.

    Was it Puddy?

    Does not sound like him?

  60. 76

    proud leftist spews:

    75
    I didn’t get to see the posts either. I truly doubt it was Puddy. I can’t believe he would have posted what was apparently posted. I wonder if it wasn’t Max, though, who has posted here under so many different monikers. He is sufficiently vile to have done what is alleged.

  61. 77

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @75 My guess is it was a transient troll who came from Free Republic and shit in this place while passing through.

  62. 78

    your wife's pimp spews:

    @76

    it wasnt max, commie boy.

    and you are sufficiently stupid to think it was max….

  63. 79

    Zotz sez: The microchip in Klynical's ass was transmitting 6... 6... 6... spews:

    He is sufficiently vile to have done what is alleged.

    “Vile” is so NOT sufficient.

  64. 82

    spews:

    I read the righties news sites for entertainment, and none of them are even a mile from as tolerant of dissident postings as Goldie. I signed onto the “Freepers” once just to make a snarky comment, and got my old mailbox filled with Republican spam. Since then I will not give any of them my info. There is a reason they call it a right wing echo chamber. Hell, Kos even collects their most over the top hate mail and ask its readers to rate the trolls.

  65. 83

    manoftruth spews:

    repeatedly and viciously attacks my daughter, and then backs up his threats by posting my home address, well, I suppose the appropriate course of action would be to forward his comments and IP address to the police.

    goldberd, maybe he was just kidding, like you (supposedly) were, when you threatened to blow up an airliner. of course, the last i checked, it was illegal to even joke about blowing up an airliner. so maybe, someone should report you to the fbi.