We have been deleting abusive comments

June 8, 2012 - By admin

June 8, 2012

By John Seiler

We appreciate our commentators adding to our articles. But the past two days I have spent several hours deleting abusive posts, in particular from one commentator who has contributed interesting, civil comments in the past. He has been banned until Monday. If the abuse continues after that, he will be banned permanently.

In one post, he accused us of “censoring” him, something a “libertarian” organization is not supposed to do. But libertarianism means property rights. CalWatchDog.com is not owned by him, but by the Pacific Research Institute. PRI has hired myself and other editors to set specific standards of journalistic probity, including for commentators. We have done that.

Property rights and free speech mean that this person, or anyone, has a right to set up his own Internet news site, which nowadays can be done for free here or here. We will defend his right to do so.

All of the editors come from newspaper backgrounds, most recently the Orange County Register. I have worked for three major newspapers. We have adapted the common industry practice of allowing wide latitude to comments, especially those that disagree with us, but not abusive comments. This will continue.

In deleting some of the abusive posts, in some cases comment threads have become disjointed. That is unfortunate. But I do not have all day to try to repair the continuity of every thread. This is a shoestring operation that already does a great deal with a limited staff.

We also have gone outside newspaper practice somewhat by allowing anonymous comments. If the abuses continue, we may have to end that, although I don’t want that.

I enjoy the give and take, and many contributors have provided insight and even corrections where we have made mistakes.

But incivility will not be tolerated.

 

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Comments(62)
  1. SkippingDog says:

    Well done, John. Even though we may disagree on major issues, you have always been courteous to me and I have endeavored to be the same with you.

    I have noticed that the sites now requiring Facebook accounts have no less disagreement or insight than before, but people do seem to be more civil to one another.

  2. Donkey says:

    John, while I respect the rules you endeavor to oversee, how is it that history is uncivil?

    The RAGWUS is a dishonest and evil creation, nothing about it is civil or ethical. :)

  3. CalWatchdog says:

    #2 Donkey: History isn’t uncivil. Awful name-calling is.

    I hate to ask, but what is RAGWUS?

    – John Seiler

  4. CalWatchdog says:

    #1 SkippingDog: Thank you for your remarks. We may go to Facebook.

    – John Seiler

  5. Donkey says:

    RAGWUS: Robert
    Rizzo
    And
    Government
    Worker
    Union
    Scam, or the evil empire! ;)

  6. Donkey says:

    Beelz, I know where you are coming from. The same thing happened over at the OCR with Dennis Foily. I had a post removed over the practice of hanging a politician back in the 1800′s. Do any of the Libertarians understand that government is anything but civil when a citizen comes in contact with one of its armed workers. Heck, we have a Prison Industrial Complex of huge proportions in our nation, how can you be civil about the American GULAG? :)

  7. queeg says:

    Lets all cool off. CWD is a great info site. It has really good blogger content. Civility is along the lines of….The Golden Rule for a broad boundary!

  8. queeg says:

    Bezzie….I am willing to be banned, if you find within yourself… temper the edgy characterizations on CWD.

    Reason: you have talent and are an asset on CWD!

  9. Dyspeptic says:

    Journalistic probity for commentators. Really. Commentators aren’t journalists. That makes no sense at all. Frankly, I am not sure journalism and probity belong in the same sentence anyway. I can understand wanting to maintain a certain sense of civility or decorum, boring though that might be, but on the other hand, if you neuter the comments you will have fewer and more banal and vapid comments. Mostly fewer.

    Frankly there are websites one can visit where the general I.Q of the participants is considerably higher and the exchanges more challenging. Nothing particularly special about this one. Yes B’bub is crusty and combative but I prefer that to bland, inoffensive dialogue. To be honest, there aren’t that many people commenting on this website anyway so you may be shooting yourself in the foot. Your website, your call.

    P.S.
    I once over stepped the limits of decorum on another website and the proprietor sent me a private email informing me of such. I cried uncle and took no offense and still visit the sight to this day. Maybe you should try that approach.

    And just a reminder, calumny is an ancient and perfectly legitimate art form.

  10. Dyspeptic says:

    Having reread your post Mr. Seiler I am a teensy bit concerned. If your aim is to make the comments on this site a carbon copy of the O.C. Registers “Letters to the Editor” page then it will become mindnumbingly bland and devoid of substance. I can’t stand reading that anymore (I started reading The Register in 1965) because it largely features the blathering of empty headed cranks and partisan know nothings. It’s so sad what has happened to R.C. Hoiles once fine and plucky little libertarian newspaper. It would be a shame if it happened here.

  11. SkippingDog says:

    Nice to see you go into full meltdown mode, Beelzebub. Seiler is probably doing something productive this evening and can’t be bothered to stand post for you.

    I imagine you’ll get some attention from him after your little tirade.

    In the meantime, try to stay classy….

  12. Bob says:

    Facebook?

    Ugh…I have real problems with Facebook’s privacy policies and some other aspects of Facebook.

    I have no plans to get a Facebook account.

  13. Donkey says:

    John, the reason citizens use a site like CWD is to express the passion of their thoughts and beliefs without being scooped into some LE RAGWUS data bank. Giving personal information about bloggers feeliings to sites like FB or Twitter does nothing but encourage the RAGWUS feeders to persucute those that dissent to their entrenched power.

    You must understand that the RAGWUS keeps tabs on their opposition? You do know that behind the vail of RAGWUS secrecy there is continual plotting for more power and money, all being done on the taxpayer dime? Even the great Thomas Paine wrote incognito to insure his saftey and of those around him. It is no different today and I would declare that with the advent of computer tracking even more important to keep your identity from those in the RAGWUS that have the power to distroy your life. ;)

  14. Donkey says:

    John, did you see that over half of the RAGWUS members in Wisconson, when given the choice, chose not to pay union dues. I submit that those people kept silent about their true feelings to preserve their job, keep from being harrassed during work hours, and to guard from being attacked in any manner that a thug could determine.

    Look at the “Swatting” that is going on right now! Some left-wing kook is making calls to LE in an attempt to have SWAT storm into a victims home in the hope of startling the homeowner into defending themselves and thus being murdered in the process. You turn this blog over to FB or Twitter and you will keep the truth from rising to the top, even as the RAGWUS grabs more power in this state. Private citizens lives are put at risk when the state disagrees with their views. ;)

  15. queeg says:

    Facebook is a shallow fantasy for some…for others a sword and sandle cheesey paperback…. or maybe….a possibility of the movie “Play Misty For Me”.

    Aren’t posters better served by Word Press???

  16. Rex the Wonder Dog! says:

    I guess we will see Teddy on Monday ;)

  17. Frank Harris-Smith says:

    Facebook is safe enough – never put personal info onto it (phone number, email address, home address, etc) and don’t play any of the stupid games, not even “Texas Holdem’Poker” as the main point of the game for the game creator is getting your private info with your permission.

    There’s a reason FaceBook stock took a dump. Shady dealings.

    Had to re-get a FaceBook account to comment on OCR. The public FaceBook page is a great place to express your political views, although I’ve been attacked because I like Ann Coulter. Love that Black Dress and her caustic way of expression.

  18. Frank Harris-Smith says:

    BTW – forgot to say it – good for you that you drew the line. Personal attacks via the Internet are cowardly and, sad to say, all some people have in thier rhetorical arsenal.

  19. CalWatchdog says:

    We are deleting the offending posts when they come up. It is unfortunate that this person does not start his own blog and leave us alone.

    – John Seiler

  20. queeg says:

    Tried to mitigate this unfortunate situation…..we have creative, knowledgeable posters….most have a Golden Rule compass to guide them in social, cultural, religious, legal and political discourse.

    A bit trite: can’t we all get along together?

  21. Donkey says:

    I love you Queeg!! :)

  22. NTHEOC says:

    Come on skipdog, you know Seiler is wrong here. Unless there is a downright threat to someones life no posts should be deleted!! I think seiler is being a little over sensative!!

  23. queeg says:

    No blame. We need a code we on the right/left agree meets professional blogging decorum.

    Things will get better if we work at it!

  24. Donkey says:

    Hey Frank, you do know that all the Founders wrote correspondence under assumed names or in code for fear of retaliation from men with guns. The same holds true today. The LE RAGWUS is full of people with guns whom have ample reason to snuff out any citizen that may be shacking their money tree. Do you Believe the LE RAGWUS will be brought under control by not telling hte truth about their money grubbing Quid Pro Quo scam against the taxpayer or hte Prison Industrial Comples they have created? These same RAGWUS members in Wisconson were threatening the lives of Governor Walker’s children and those of the LT. Governor. :)

  25. SkippingDog says:

    Apparently I’m getting a time out too?

  26. SkippingDog says:

    That’s not even close to rational thought, Donkey.

  27. Richard Markuson says:

    Please don’t go to facebook. I refuse to comment on any site that requires me to belong to the facebook club to comment.

  28. SkippingDog says:

    The Founders wrote their correspondence under assumed names or in code because they were actively committing treason against the Crown – a capital offense.

    Unless you plan to expand your activities from making unsupported claims to actual treason, Donkey, you have nothing to worry about.

  29. Donkey says:

    I have children and Grandchildren SKdog, it is important to keep their identities unknown from people in your profession. I can clearly see how the LE RAGWUS has stolen the people of California blind, I am quite sure they will not give it up on their own free will and with out targeting those that are outing their fraud. :)

  30. Donkey says:

    SKdog, who knows what definition your LE RAGWUS will give the word “treason” in the future. Your RAGWUS members arrest people for filming them in public, asking questions when they are accosted, looking at them wrong, or for any other percieved slight. They kill teenage girls in the middle of parks! They beat handcuffed homeless people to death! They shoot unarmed people in the back! I have no doubt that any citizen going after their Pay, benefits, perks, and pensions would be fair game to the sociopaths that ply your trade. :)

  31. queeg says:

    Now this is amazing!!!”

  32. Dyspeptic says:

    I wondered why Steven Greenhut has distanced himself from this website and taken up residence at The Franklin Center. First he left the O so civil and craven neocon cop shills at the next-to-useless O.C. Register. Now he leaves CalWatchDog after a relatively short stay as editor. I’m beginning to see a pattern here. If you don’t shill for the police state, your not wanted. To those who advocate for civility uber alles I will paraphrase Samuel Adams -
    “If ye love civility better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen”.

  33. Donkey says:

    Dyspeptic, nice and very approprate quote!! :)

  34. Dyspeptic says:

    Thanks Donk

  35. SkippingDog says:

    Didn’t you tell us before that one of your sons is an FBI agent, Donkey? Was that just a fabrication, or do you tell him how you feel about law enforcement people?

  36. Rex the Wonder Dog! says:

    I miss Teddy already…………… :)

  37. Rex the Wonder Dog! says:

    BTW-why is Teddys sock puppet account :( still able to post?????

  38. Donkey says:

    The answer I gave you before is the truth SKdog, and my son investigates people in your condition. I am not at all against LE as a rule, but what you practiced is not LE. :)

  39. Rex the Wonder Dog! says:

    I have noticed that the sites now requiring Facebook accounts have no less disagreement or insight than before, but people do seem to be more civil to one another.

    Yes, and the ones who are not end up getting sued.

  40. Donkey says:

    And SKdog, the Prison Industrial Complex(PIC), that your brand of LE has created, is not the California nor America in which I grew, prospered, and loved. :)

  41. queeg says:

    Skippy….have no fear..ask no questions….”they” are not coming…. civility is not pacification….it is the basis of order in a mad rat race with some pretty mean cats joined in the fray!!!

  42. SkippingDog says:

    “…my son investigates people in your condition.”

    What condition would that be, Donkey?

  43. DavidfromLosGatos says:

    I am a frequent reader of this web site (“news” and “blog”). I do not facebook, and it is too bad that you feel the need to force people to subscribe to facebook in order to post comments.

    Of course, this is entirely your right to do. And, I ratrely post comments, so does not really matter. But, would be nice if there was some other way to deal with unwanted nastiness without forcing people to become facebook members in order to post comments.

    I had to give up watching NHL.com videos for same reason. I guess society is assuming the facebook borg …

  44. SkippingDog says:

    BTW, Donk, how could you possibly know what kind of law enforcement I practiced?

  45. CalWatchdog says:

    #10 Dyspeptic: I don’t know what the Register’s policy now is because I haven’t worked there for almost six years, although I still freelance for them. But our policy is to allow almost anything that’s not abusive or highly racial. We delete few posts. The recent problem was our first in that area.

    –John Seiler

  46. CalWatchdog says:

    #32 Dyspeptic: Steven Greenhut still writes for us and is a contributing editor, advising and consulting. But he left to become a vice president of the Franklin Center, essentially helping develop and edit many more similar sites in states across the country. I forget the exact number, but it’s something like 30 now. Before that, he left the Register as a writer to create CalWatchDog.com and become its editor-in-chief. He’s been Movin’ on Up.

    Cue the Jeffersons’ theme song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYcqToQzzGY

    – John Seiler

  47. Donkey says:

    SKdog wrote: “BTW, Donk, how could you possibly know what kind of law enforcement I practiced?”

    It is almost impossible not see the harm that your brand of LE has done to the citizens of America SKdog. Not only has it incarcerated a larger percentage of any nations population on Earth, it has done little to nothing to instill honesty, integrity or the simplist virtues of right and wrong to any of the humans your system has tyrannically caged, but the caging of citzens is another book.

    In our nations past the ex-con was looked upon as an errant-social equal, today the ex-con is officially a marked person, prevented from gaining employment, while being harrased to pay for court costs, restitution, probation, and any other BS the state can conjuor up. The ex-con is an easy target for any LE officer that feels the need to hurt another human. This state sponsered treatment is not only unusual from our past, but cruel.

    The PIC is even using our prison system, which your leg of the deal keeps growing, to create slaves for your benefit. As a recent report notes, “Private corporations are making a killing employing prisoners across the US. They are hiring the incarcerated to manufacture everything from designer jeans to computer circuit boards.” Mother Jones magazine compiled an impressive list of products — from dressed beef to packaged software and videogames — turned out by inmates paid less than a pittance.

    A large portion of the inmate labor is provided through Unicor, a public-private partnership created during the (last) Great Depression to create “factories with fences.” It’s difficult to see how this operation differs in principle from China’s notorious and brutal Laogai (reform through labor) prison manufacturing system, which may actually be smaller than its U.S. analogue.

    Skdog, I do understand that you are unable to rationalize my words for the fact you are inside the PIC bubble and only see one direction. Even with that said, Your brand of LE is tyrannical, unjust, deviate, and obtuse to our nations Bill of Rights. It murders, maims, disfigures, and falsely arrests thousands of citizens everyday on trumpted up charges from what is many times a GED educated thug with a costume and a badge. The PIC is not what America was about, it is the result of what happens when the RAGWUS becomes the main funder of elections. :)

  48. SkippingDog says:

    You are mistaken once more, Donkey. The primary reason we’ve criminalized so many activities in our country is because our society has become more complex and our population more densely packed in most places. In California alone, the population has more than doubled in my lifetime, leading to the inevitable friction that creates. That’s why our ancestors emigrated from the “Teeming shores” of Europe during the last century and a half, and why we are facing the same demographic problems now here.

    You comment about the PIC is laughable, given your ardent calls for some draconian response to illegal immigrants in our state. The primary supporters of the current criminalization efforts toward illegal immigrants are the private prison companies, something also contained in the Mother Jones article you cite.

    When people become scared, because of their perceptions involving race conflict, red scares, “Islamofascism,” drugs, general demographic changes, economic upheavals, etc., they turn to their own government for answers and changes. None of the Founders you claim to venerate would have ever suggested that every law passed through democratic means was wise, but we never know that until the law has been passed and its impact assessed.

    Later this year we’ll have an opportunity to deal with our conflicted views on capital punishment in California. There is growing sentiment to decriminalize marijuana completely, as well as to deal with other drug use as the medical issue it is. Nevertheless, your longing for a return to the mythical land of rugged yeoman farmers living free and unfettered by anything other than the natural laws of God is unworkable in any modern society. That’s the kind of fundamentalism fueling groups like the Taliban, who reject modernity and all that comes with it as evil and unnatural incursions on their faith.

  49. Donkey says:

    Weak, but nice try my totalitarian friend. Your sentiment:”Nevertheless, your longing for a return to the mythical land of rugged yeoman farmers living free and unfettered by anything other than the natural laws of God is unworkable in any modern society,” has nothing to do with how hte PIC your LE RAGWUS has created and everything to do with your bureaucracy raping the words of our Constitution.

    Until the 1990′s the California prison population had never been over 25,000 at any given year SKdog. That is when we had 29,000,000 humans walking around our state. Then all of a sudden the LE RAGWUS decided that “crimilization” and “arresting” for any reason is a good way to pad the stats which could be used as proof that more funding was needed to build your PIC. The “forfiture Laws” were looked at as cash cows for slimey LE crooks to pad their pockets at the end of the year when all proceeds from robbing citizens of their property were divided up between the brothers in blue.

    You write:” None of the Founders you claim to venerate would have ever suggested that every law passed through democratic means was wise, but we never know that until the law has been passed and its impact assessed.” If you had ever picked up a history book you would know quite well the impact of your “Pelosi” mindset of law SKdog. The LE RAGWUS knows what it was doing and is doing and has from the start. Its goal is to elect proxy politicians, pass laws that they are immune from following, always protect the “system,” hide behind a labyrinth of policies,rules, procedure, and a wall of silence. Then amass the power of hte state to enrich themselves at the expense of the unwashed taxpayer.

    Your response to the “draconian” treatment of illegal aliens has got to be a joke. No other nation on Earth has ever treated an invasion of foreign invaders as well as the United States of America has over the last thirty years. And the LE RAGWUS has been the enabler for this unchecked foray. They receve free schooling, and with that comes free, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, not to mention free access to any and every benefit the treason lobby has deemed for our illegal family.

    Face it SKdog, the PIC is an abomination in the “land of the free and home of the brave,” and no senario you create can justify the American GULAG you embrace. :)

  50. queeg says:

    Ragwus is getting old. Sounds like an attachment for a 1962 chromed Kirby carpet sweeper.

    There are no Men In Black or black helicopters picking up model citizens in California….

    There are far too many laws. Too few to enforce them, so some over zealous protectors do make mistakes…

    Caifornia has been good for my family..and many of yours. Opportunities are immeasureable, if you have skills, tenacity and are not risk adverse.

    As far as taxes…get yourself a street wise CPA…that’s all…no estate planners or financial gurus who burn your brain and suck you dry!

    Most people pay little taxes anyway…possibly a mistake…but it is what it is. If you pay too much taxes…see the CPA…stop complaining and do something about it! Do it now and be happy!

    California politicans and attornies are in the game for themselves…you need mucho self help instead of penning useless blogs blaming clowns, migrants, unions, police, welfare collectors, your Jesuit school teachers, other bloggers, media or the likes of Rachel Maddow or Michael Savage.

    Get a grip. Your miserable and swirling down and down…the pawn of internet clicks, media hustlers and Sacramento.

    And remember…tell young people…IT ISN’T WHERE YOU START…IT’S WHERE YOU END UP!!!

    This statement applies to some of you too!!

  51. larry 62 says:

    Wow! 50 posts on this one already. Mr. Seiler hit a raw nerve.

  52. Donkey says:

    queeg, we have 5% of the worlds population and 75% of the worlds prisoners, most of which find it very difficult to move forward after doing their time.

    The “swirling” you refer to is the making of the RAGWUS: Robert Rizzo And Government Worker Union Scam!! :)

  53. Rex the Wonder Dog! says:

    Teddy and Beelz will be back in 12 hours!!!!!!!!!!!

  54. NTHEOC says:

    Rex the Wonder Dog! says:
    Teddy and Beelz will be back in 12 hours!!!!!!!
    =============
    They should have never been suspended at all rex!!! I think Seiler got a little frustrated with beelzbub and couldn’t hang in the debates,so he just pushed the “”OPT OUT”" button and got him off the boards for a few days. I have really never read anything on these boards that is so offensive that those types of drastic action need to be taken. You know 99% of the time I completely disagree with many on here!So we debate and throw in a little sense of humor,sarcasm,and some funny name calling,really is everyone that sensative now days? Like my boys on espn sunday NFL countdown would say”"COME ON MAN”"!!! And Mr Seiler, you should be thankful you have bloggers like BEELZBUB!!!!! Can’t wait till he’s back!! Sincerly,NTHEOC!!

  55. Rex the Wonder Dog! says:

    It is 8:52, 3 hours and 8 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Never get the admins mad at you, big mistake.

  56. queeg says:

    Only bad things come from negativity. Don’t let yourself become a miserable, unproductive and financially ravaged troll!

    Waiting a few hours for endless negative, surly epistles stimulates on losers….

    Your all too good to go backwards!

  57. queeg says:

    Donkey…ranting about something you can’t change is diversionary and negative…if you have answers on criminal justice get it done!

    We applaud your action!

  58. Rex the Wonder Dog! says:

    Teddys sock puppet is posting abusive comments again! Ban Teddys sock puppet.

  59. queeg says:

    Have a nice night Wonder……let positive forces be with you!

  60. Donkey says:

    Queeg, spreading the truth is the first step towards change. :)

  61. CalWatchdog says:

    Thank you for your comments on this matter. Comments now are closed and any further ones will be deleted.

    – John Seiler

  62. Ted says:

    Thanks John!

Know Your Bloggers

Joseph Perkins
Joseph Perkins, now assistant editor of the Orange County Register Opinion Pages, started his career as an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal. After serving on the White House Staff of former Vice President Dan Quayle he wrote for the San Diego Union-Tribune where he authored a nationally-syndicated column. Before writing for CalWatchdog.com, Mr. Perkins was also Business Editor for San Diego Magazine.
Chris Reed
Chris Reed is a regular contributor to Cal Watchdog. Reed is an editorial writer for U-T San Diego. Before joining the U-T in July 2005, he was the opinion-page columns editor and wrote the featured weekly Unspin column for The Orange County Register. Reed was on the national board of the Association of Opinion Page Editors from 2003-2005. From 2000 to 2005, Reed made more than 100 appearances as a featured news analyst on Los Angeles-area National Public Radio affiliate KPCC-FM. From 1990 to 1998, Reed was an editor, metro columnist and film critic at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario. Reed has a political science degree from the University of Hawaii (Hilo campus), where he edited the student newspaper, the Vulcan News, his senior year. He is on Twitter: @chrisreed99.
Brian Calle
Brian Calle is Editor-in-Chief of CalWatchdog.com and the Opinion Editor for the Orange County Register. His work has appeared in Bloomberg, Fox News, Forbes, Real Clear Politics, Human Events, Real Clear Markets and City Journal, among other websites and publications. Find him on Twitter: @briancalle
John Seiler
John Seiler has been writing about California for 25 years. That includes 22 years as an editorial writer for the Orange County Register and two years for CalWatchDog.com, where he is managing editor. He attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Hillsdale College. He was a Russian linguist in U.S. Army military intelligence from 1978 to 1982. He was an editor and writer for Phillips Publishing Company from 1983 to 1986. He has written for Policy Review, Chronicles, LewRockwell.com, Flash Report and numerous other publications. His email: writejohnseiler@gmail.com

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