December 20, 2006

Sounds good to me

Springfield's State Journal-Register newspaper allows comments on their site, as most paper's have begun doing. And like the local papers and this blog as well, it tends to inspire a disturbing number of numbnuts and flakes to try their hand at writing their unique brand of semi-legible, pointless gibberish. I suspect these are the sort of bitterly frustrated people who feel compelled to scrawl obscenities on bathroom walls. And they seem to be particularly virulent as Christmas approaches, which isn't condusive to holly jolly and all that.

So, as noted by Rich Miller at Capitol Fax, the Journal-Register has devised what I feel is a great idea...
So, in celebration of the holiday spirit, here’s the plan: For one day — Wednesday — will host the first-ever “Peace and Goodwill Reader Comments Day.”

From 7 a.m. Wednesday through 7 a.m. Thursday, the only comments that will make it onto the site will be ones that follow that old saying from mom: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

That means no being critical, cynical, sarcastic, whiney or otherwise Scrooge-ish. We’ll still allow some debate on the issues, but you’re going to need to be really, really nice to each other. As always, the decisions of our screeners will be final.

Depending on how this goes, we may host more of these “Peace and Goodwill” comment days throughout the year. I’d be happy to hear your feedback — as long as you’re nice about it.
It's such a good idea in fact, that I'm adopting it here as well. We'll see what happens.

So far, not so good. Within 30 seconds of posting this, I'd received two comments (along with the usual Jacobs is God, Boland is trash stuff) from my little stalker in East Moline...
"You are a wack-job!", and...."This is the second stupidist thing I have ever read. You are a wack-job!" and ...."You are A WACK-JOB. STAY OUT OF YOUR MOM'S PANTY DRAWERS! gROSSssssssssssssssssssseeeeeeee

Ho Ho HO! indeed. What a shame (and embarassment)


Within a half hour this morning, a troll left 24 hate comments on about 20 different posts. Take a look here.

Not only couldn't they post anything constructive or positive, but they spent a solid half hour doing nothing but frantically leaving idiotic attacks.

Merry Christmas.


At 12/20/2006 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conservative Demo here:
Well, I dunno Dope, _do_ you rifle through your mommy's panty drawers?

In any event, nutcases like that do provide a laugh or two right at the point when blogs look like they're taking themselves too seriously.

I know an old Iowa railfan who always manages to interject, "Railfanning is serious business" whenever some train buff list poster becomes overly anal.

At 12/20/2006 9:30 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I don't think I'll dignify your question with an answer.

But these morons have nothing to do with suggesting I take things too seriously. They're just pissed because they can't control the blog, pure and simple.

They do, however, give me some good laughs, though sometimes I fear for their mental health when their rants get unhinged and incoherant, which is nearly all the time.

And I do try to be serious about trying to prevent the blog from being the cyber equivelent of a psych ward.

It's pretty disgusting to see on a daily basis just how truly warped some people are, as well as how obsessed with a blog and myself they are.

At 12/20/2006 10:58 PM, Blogger demgorilla said...

Dope, I applaud your effort to bring out positive commentary from our fellow brothers and sisters during this holiday season. In that spirit, I would like to applaud U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and area officials for attending an event this morning at the River Bend Foodbank to promote the issue of combatting hunger 364 days a year.

I also have a new year's resolution for the host of this blog. If you come out of your shell and go public, it will be much harder for anyone to criticize you. Your anonymity encourages the wildest type of comments. Stand up and be counted.
Go public. Take off your mask, Lone Ranger. The time has come.

At 12/21/2006 5:28 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Thanks DemGorilla, but I think I'll pass on that sugestion. As long as some people think they know who I am, it's all good. Let 'em think that.

The fact of the matter is that it doesn't matter who I am.

I'm not doing this for personal acclaim or notoriety or profit or for any personal gain whatsoever, other than enjoying some good back and forth and hopefully getting to learn something from readers and share thoughts and opinions.

I thought it would be an interesting and fun pursuit, and it has been and still is aside from the juvenile thugs who can't deal with less than fawning coverage or criticism of their pet projects in a mature manner.

It's not that I can't take criticism, as I expect it, but it's more a sense of amazement and disappointment that these so-called "leaders" and those around them act like grade-schoolers and resort to such dim-witted tactics.

If I'm angry about anything, it's that they're that stupid.

Though I'd like to think they could contribute a lot to the blog, they don't offer a single solitary worthwhile word to the discussion or anything else for that matter, so what's the point?

In my humble opinion, it's past time for these petty clowns to grow up and end their obsessive nearly two year long campaign to smear and attack me and the blog.

I started this blog and have done it since day one. I'm under no obligation to anyone to write anything but the truth.

If someone opens a store and punks come along every night and deface the building and leave trash all over the place, would you blame the business owner?

Why not direct your presumptuous resolution to where it would be most proper?

Thanks for coming up with a resolution for me. But why not ask the nit-wits who plague the blog and drag it down to resolve to spend their time more productively?

Or are you too fearful of offending them to do the right thing?

Think of it as doing them a favor and saving them from showing their true colors in public.

Now please.... for one damn day, in the imortal words of Rodney King, can't we all just get along??

At 12/21/2006 3:09 PM, Anonymous yinn said...

Stalkers do have a way with technology. Back when I was the target, we didn't yet have answering machines or caller i.d. He would phone dozens of times a day. Had to ask everyone I wanted to hear from to use a code: ring twice, hang up, ring again. If it rang more than twice I'd pull the plug for awhile, as he had no problem letting the phone ring forever. Of course, when the phone thing didn't work for him anymore he showed up at work, my apartment, etc. and threatened to blow up my car. After a year I moved, not because of him but glad for the fresh start anyway, all friends and family sworn to secrecy. Perhaps the stalking laws are better nowadays? Hope so.

With some troublemakers, you try not to add fuel to the fire. Stalkers seem to be a different breed--if you ignore them they escalate their behaviors so you have to throw them some meat sometimes. IMO whenever possible one should prosecute. Meanwhile color me glad to blog anonymously.

At 12/21/2006 7:37 PM, Blogger Benton Harbor said...

Dope... as to your update, can't you "block" in some way the guy's ISP address or something similar? Or does the blogger program not let you do that?

While many of us don't necessarily agree with you from time to time, is no reason for idiots to be hostile. Well, I just contradicted myself... idiots and hostility.

At 12/21/2006 8:27 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

BH, that's an excellent suggestion. As a matter of fact, a couple very wise and supportive readers have suggested just that, including the premier state blogger Rich Miller.

I've looked into one commenting system which allows you to ban certain IP addresses, but am hesitant to install it as once you do, you're no longer able to access all prior comments unless you physically cut and paste them into the new system. Since they number in the tens of thousands, that would be a chore to say the least.
Rich Miller has suggested another system which I'll check out as well.

Readers probably wouldn't miss the ability to go back and view prior comments, but I want to ensure that they're preserved one way or another.

And as I've said, a little rough and tumble is perfectly to be expected, as are rude, crude, and offensive comments from people who don't like what I write. But this is something different.

It's especially discouraging in light of the fact that this is how they respond to a request to refrain from such idiocy for one solitary day.

At 12/21/2006 9:17 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Whew! Your experience makes my point. Why would I want to voluntarily open myself up to such weirdos stalking and harassing me in my off-blog life? That would seem pretty stupid, especially since they definitely want me to do so.

And your case sounds very disturbing indeed. That had to be stressful to say the least.

As to prosecution, I'm seriously thinking of bringing charges, especially in light of the fact that the federal statute regarding harassment and threats over telephone lines has been extended to the internet.

These people most definitely have repeatedly violated the law's definition for harassment and threats, and I certainly have a pile of evidence. And I could retain my anonymity as well through the process.

I keep hoping they'll wise up, though that's proven to be a bit optimistic I'm afraid. It's been almost two years and they show no signs of wising up, so maybe they might need something to get their attention.

But the suggestions to find a way to simply block their comments before they even arrive sounds like the best solution. I'll work on that.

At 12/22/2006 2:10 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

I've got a positive comment about medical science and our health care system. In the last two years, opthalmologists and geneticists have devised several medicines to actually reverse certain kinds of macular degeneration. That's right, restore sight. Especially for folks of Northern European descent who plan on getting old, this is wonderful news.

The even better news is these medicines will be obsolete in about six months because they'll have better ones. That's both amazing and wonderful.

Right now, my eyeballs are just fine but it's comforting to know it's out there.

Happy Holidays to all!


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