Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Blogger blues

Melissa McEwan, the other ex-blogger (now a blogger again!) working for the John Edwards campaign that was slimed by the rightwing Catholic hate-monger Bill Donahue, has also resigned from Edwards' campaign. She blogs at Shakespeare's Sister (see her Announcement 02/13/07), that the main reason that she's leaving is because of "individuals who used public criticisms of me as an excuse to unleash frightening ugliness, the likes of which anyone with a modicum of respect for responsible discourse would denounce without hesitation" which made her "increasingly uncomfortable with my and my family's level of exposure."

While it's highly believable under these circumstances that she was receiving threats - which is what I read that to mean - I hope she is following what would be a sensible policy for anyone. Sending someone personal threats of violence is a serious crime and should be reported to the authorities, whether the threat is coming in a phone call or e-mail or whatever. Most people who send such messages are pathetic cowards who would wet their pants if someone actually suggested they take part in a violent attack on somebody. But that kind of stuff is still against the law and people who violate it should have to account for their actions.

As for other kinds of rhetorical "frightening ugliness", there's no reason to get too worked up over blowhard sacks of s*** who like to insult people just for the heck of it. Of course, if they start writing to your boss and claiming you're a heroin dealer or something, the libel laws might come into play.

The weirdest insult I ever got was in a lengthy message on an AOL message board about Austrian politics years ago. The writer went on about monkeys sitting on a beach staring at people, or something like that. It wasn't threatening. It was just crazy as it could be.

Also, William Arkin (
The Soldiers Speak Washington Post Online 02/14/07) runs some more letters responding to his provocative post about the current habit of justifying all war policies in terms of caring for The Troops.


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