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Throwing out the trash

By DOUG THOMPSON
August 15, 2010

Swept up some of the trash on this web site and threw it out recently, cleaning out the cesspool created by some who posted comments that included bigotry, homophobia, obscenity and outright garbage.

Some comments I simply deleted. Others deleted and the posters banned.

One used a offensive four-letter slang to describe female anatomy and applied it to a female talk show host. Another an old term about gays. Both the posters and their garbage are gone from this site for good.

Posts that attacked other members were also deleted. It may take time to rid this site of all the bile but it will happen. Those who don’t play by the rules will be gone too.

For the past several months, I’ve been distracted by the declining health of my mother and the problems that come with being the primary caregiver for an elderly relative. I haven’t had much time to deal with the putrid garbage can that the comments section of this web site has become.

That will end. Those who can’t debate without resorting to sexual stereotypes, racial slurs, bigotry, homophobia or a shred of civility will be tossed out with the trash.  Those who think the comments section of a web site is open season for slime, slander and stupidity can take their prejudices elsewhere.

Don’t waste my time or my bandwidth by screaming “censorship” over this decision. Governments censor. A privately-owned web site is free to make up its own mind about what is or is not acceptable behavior.

A. J. Liebling of The New Yorker once wrote that “freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.”

Damn right it does…and I own this one.

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16 Responses to Throwing out the trash

  1. Neondog

    August 15, 2010 at 10:34 am

    As long as your cleaning up make sure you don’t sweep these gems of civilty under the rug.

    ” As a human being, he (Obama) is devoid of morality.”

    “He’s (Obama) living proof that affirmative action can — and does — fail to work, even at the highest levels of government.”

    Nancy Pelosi ” Now the House’s boss bitch”
    President Obama “lying son-of-a-bitch”
    Democrats: ” telling the American public to go fuck itself”

  2. Guardhouse lawyer

    August 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm

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  3. Nevada Ned

    August 15, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Doug, I suggest that you impose a limit on how many times a reader can post on a given topic….e.g., one or two posts. Some people post too many times, abusing the system.

    Cheers, Nevada Ned

  4. Stratocaster

    August 15, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    The last time I tried to tell the publisher of a newspaper what to do, I was told he would do whatever the hell he wanted to do because he not only owned the damned newspaper, he also got the judge elected.

  5. Doc_Holiday

    August 15, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Doug,

    I can totally understand the need to keep the debate on topic and out of the gutter. However, I do think that the razor blade sharpness that you once possessed has dulled to nothing more than a butter knife. I just returned from a 6 month deployment to Iraq. As I return it’s difficult to see the changes that have taken place on this site without wanting to vamit. Who got to you Doug? What has you running scared? I see nothing but lukewarm banter and garbage advertisment.

    Doug, I am not afraid, my name is David Longoria, I am a 25 year old, United States Marine Veteran. A grateful husband, a proud parent, and son to a learned father that actually turned me to CHB. A Vietnam Veteran, he said in not so many words that I could vent my thoughts and share ideas in the columns and comments that use to make this site unique. This would help me re-adjust my mind from two and a half total years of dodging bullets and bombs in some really nasty places. The stresses of combat have put a heavy burden on this young man’s soul. I have seen first hand a lot of which CHB speculates about in articles and comments. I am not against my government, I am against some of her ways. That makes me an American Patriot I think.

    I want the old Doug back.

    In the words of my father, and once proud CHB contributor.

    – Double Hack!!!

    • griff

      August 15, 2010 at 10:51 pm

      Wow, bryan mclellans’s your dad? No shit. I hope he’s well, I haven’t seen him around.

      • Doc_Holiday

        August 16, 2010 at 8:09 pm

        Yes, Bryan is my father-in-law. But kin just the same.

    • Carl Nemo

      August 15, 2010 at 11:52 pm

      Hi Doc_Holiday,

      I surmise that Griff is correct in that Bryan is your dad. : ) I as well as others miss him. Many readers no doubt don’t understand his complex poetry, even myself on occasion. Your dad is one bright, introspective man to say the least.

      Hopefully he isn’t banned again from the site. We need folks from all walks of life and mindset on this site as long as they don’t overstep themselves concerning propriety.

      Carl Nemo **==

      p.s. A few day ago you wrote a post that we’d all miss someone? I mentiioed SEAL, a deceased former Navy SEAL who posted to this site. Not realizing your father was banned, I must say we surely miss him too.
      I’m sure your dad enjoyed SEAL’s comments too. : )

      • griff

        August 16, 2010 at 6:16 am

        I believe you once referred to him as bmclellan of the clan Mclellan…ha, that was classic. And you beat me to it!

        There can be only one!

        Sometimes he lost me too, but I loved his writing.

        • woody188

          August 16, 2010 at 9:59 pm

          Bryan is banned, but reads the comments. Email me at woody188 at yahoo dot com and I’ll pass your email addy’s on to him and wish him a happy 60th! :P I know he would like to email both griff and Carl. I didn’t want to post his email in case he would prefer to keep that private.

          I wouldn’t mind having your email addy’s either. You guys help keep me sane in an insane world.

          Thank you Doc for your service. I have quite a few friends returned from Iraq and Afghanistan and re-deployed. Our local Lima Company lost a lot of men to the desert sand. If you ever want to talk, you have my ear and my email.

          • Doug Thompson

            August 17, 2010 at 7:10 am

            Bryan was not banned by me or this web site. He ran afoul of the folks at Akismet, the spam filter that WordPress uses. He tried to get around the spam filter by posting with another name and email address. That got him flagged permanently by Akismet. Once they flag someone as a spammer there’s not a lot I can do about it.

            Bryan admitted that his “out there” posts were too often written while he was drunk. As a recovering alcoholic I’m normally sympathetic with those who battle the beast I cannot have this site used to alcohol-induced rants.

            I’m also sick and tired of getting blamed for the actions of others. When I ban someone I tell them. Please get your facts straight before posting that I canned someone when I did not.

          • woody188

            August 19, 2010 at 2:58 pm

            All too often we read things and they lose meaning without intonation. I was not trying to be accusatory and I am sorry if it came off that way. I don’t believe I blamed you Doug or Akismet for the ban, only confirmed that Bryan was indeed banned.

            Agitating you Doug is not on my priority list. We all have too many problems to deal with to make things worse for each other. :) Again I apologize if I came off as accusatory.

  6. Carl Nemo

    August 15, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    I recently posted to your “Blue Ridge Muse” site concerning “The Sunset of Life” article and my concern for you.

    Myself along with many other loyal posters and supporters of your site do care about your well-being.

    At one time in my life it was my duty to be concerned about the well-being of 160 men under my command. My job was to to pay attention to their collective needs; ie., physical, psychological and otherwise as necessary.

    You have stressors in your life and you need to take heed and deal with them. My recommendation on BRM was to seek some help.

    You are taking CHB and your post lobbyist career endeavor of maintaining CHB and a host of other sites far more seriously than necessary. Rest assured it’s an illusion and linked to pride of one’s life accomplishments. In the end we are all dead “forever”. Visualize your site goes dead post your demise or a few years after selling it, then within five years or less it’s hardly a referenced site on the www and within a decade its simply CHB? All your thoughts, rage and discontentment was purely an illusion on your part. It took me a number of years to realize that none of us are “all that”. : |

    You need to get some help from “Big Pharma” through your physician, develop a sense of humor again and to “chill” in your twilight years. If not, than consider selling CHB and retiring to the quiet life of self-introspection along with ever-enjoyable “putt” rides down Virginia’s beautiful highways. : )

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Carl Nemo

      August 15, 2010 at 11:33 pm

      Hi Doug,

      I’ve just read your reply on BRM. So you are welcome to belay my recommendations, but with an admonition not to underestimate your personal crisis in terms of counseling and short term help from prescription medication.

      ***

      “To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to”. … Kahlil Gibran

      ***

      Carl Nemo **==

  7. Warren

    August 15, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Doug, first and foremost I’m very sorry for the turmoil you are going through. I hope that you will find the strength to deal with it positively.

    As to the site ‘clean-out': Removal of profanity, derogatory sexual or racial or ethnic material, physical threats, etc. is a perfectly normal function of the site owner. No need to feel guilty about it or justify it. As you say, it’s your site.

    The only one thing that has me somewhat concerned is the apparent avoidance of controversy. It is understandable that you might not have the internal resources to deal with much right now. But, let there be civilized controversy even if you don’t care to participate. This is one of the few spots on the web where that happens.

    —W—

  8. Senegoid

    August 16, 2010 at 6:26 am

    “…and I own this one.”

    or does it own you?

    Time will always render ownership as the illusion it really is?