I hate to do this. I really do. I’m a firm believer in free speech. The 1st Amendment is like my Bible. I really believe, that as bad as some speech is, to ban it is even worse. When we start banning speech because of its content, we’ve lost our way in what I feel is the inexorable progress of human civilization. Speech leads the way, so banning someone from my blog is banning their speech, and I really hate to do that…and…
…Oh, who am I kidding. No I don’t. At least not in this case.
I do decry the appearance of banning otherwise free speech, but in this case, that’s not what I’m doing. I’ve given this dishonest commenter all the latitude one can endure. He doesn’t post comments here because he’s trying to disseminate knowledge, or ideas, or because he honestly has a difference of opinion with anything I write. He leaves comments here because it pleases him to be contrary. His modus operandi is to create intellectual chaos, not enlightenment. He does so, most likely because it’s fun for him, in some perverted way, to simply oppose atheists, even though he has nothing to oppose them with.
He’s been commenting here for a couple of years, and was banned from sites I admire, like Daylight Atheism and Greta Christina, long ago. The only reason I didn’t ban him was because I thought he was relatively harmless, and one could try to reason with him. But reason isn’t in his lexicon. He really doesn’t seem to care about, much less believe in most of the things he writes. He simply wants to stir up trouble and strife, and that is the definition of a troll. So the speech I’m going to ban here is not free speech, but manipulated speech. He tries to manipulate the conversation and discussions in ways that suit his dual purposes of obfuscation and obstruction.
Not once has he ever actually addressed the substance, the kernel, of an idea or argument underlying a single post here. His usual tactic is to first, compliment the post with an obsequious comment of an innocuous nature, then start picking at an insubstantial and inconsequential bit of dictum contained somewhere else in the post. Oftentimes, he’ll restate what’s been written, albeit inaccurately, then argue that there is a problem with the misstated attribution, in classic strawman fashion. When it’s pointed out to him that I didn’t say what he said I said, he ignores me, or on occasion, simply denies the obvious. He parses the English language beyond the point of normal, rational discourse, and plays semantic games to a point of exasperation. Eventually I find the comments running around in circles, with nothing resolved, with no light shed on anything. He contributes nothing to any discussion, because he has nothing to contribute, save conflict, confusion, and muddle. Any post he comments on rapidly becomes a black hole of absurdity and ignorance.
In other words, precisely what he wants.
Did I say troll?
More recently, when his feelings got hurt when a regular commenter pretended to be a Christian with spelling problems, and he got taken in by him, he started presenting himself as a sock puppet of himself, perhaps in retaliation for being fooled. When he got caught with one alter ego, he’d create another. Oh, he was really sly about not leaving a smoking gun (except that one time he pretended he was Kirk C(ameron?)), most likely using anonymous proxy servers to create his multiple personalities and hide his IP. But he couldn’t change his real personality. Not credibly, and he couldn’t sustain it over time. It really only took a short time for one to become suspicious after noticing that this sycophantic commenter who started off so innocently would eventually morph into his true self. I’ll admit that I gave each and every one of his alter egos a fair chance, but it really didn’t take long to figure out who was who. And once I accused him of doing it, they conveniently disappeared.
So say goodbye to CL.
And jason. You know jason, the man who can’t capitalize a single word, (except God, and all his pronouns), in an effort to distinguish his writing style from that of his Lord and Master.
And Jon, who showed up a few weeks ago, obsequious as all get-out, fawning over my posts, but immediately nit-picking in classical Cl fashion, eventually shedding the mask and doing the Cl Samba.
And Godless Randall, who actually went to the trouble of creating a blog, with posts created for a whole year. Unfortunately, he forgot that for that year he should also have had comments, but he didn’t create them. Not a single person commented on his blog, until, like a miracle, he appeared on my blog and others’. Then, voilá – comments!
My guess is that Cl – Chris Long as he originally first commented here – or perhaps Rudy Bazorda, skateboard aficionado – either another nom de plume or his real name – probably has a few other sock puppets under his belt, used on other blogs. He’s well on his way to sinking into a serious case of Multiple Personality Disorder so I suspect we’ll be reading about him in the medical literature in the future.
The bottom line is that this ban is not a blow to free speech – except for perhaps Chris/Rudy/Jon/jason/Randall/Kirk – CL – because he never practiced true free speech. He wanted speech on this blog (and numerous others) on his terms, and wasn’t willing to play by the rules of free, open, non-manipulated discourse.
So he forfeits his privilege to be here. And I hope he takes that to heart, because it is a privilege, not a right. I created this blog, and as I’ve said before, I’m god here, so I can do what I think is necessary to maintain my creation.
Now, I’m sure he’ll write a long apologetic on his blog pointing out exactly how wrong I am, what a censorious fiend I am for banning him, and what a hypocrite I am for professing free speech, while banning him. He’s already peremptorily started that nonsense in recent comments. All I’ll say in anticipatory response is – read all the comments on this blog for the past three years, and come to your own conclusions.
Life’s too short to have to put up with assholes. And there’s no reward after we die for having to suffer fools.
Oh, the humanity!
He’s still welcome at Philly’s blog, right?
Yes. Philly never banned anyone. As far as I know. 8)
I honestly can’t think of the last time he visited my blog. Of course I can’t think of the last time I was there, either. Life, you know? Such a time suck. Commenting on others’ blogs is so much quicker and easier. 😉
Clearly jackass has no such time constraints.
So anyone betting on future sock puppets?
He’ll be back, like a snake in the grass..
Trolls have the right to say what they want but we have the right not to listen.
As someone who only occassionally pops in, I can say it’s a bit exasperating to read a post, want to comment, and realize that I’ll need to wade through one hundred and three prior comments to join the conversation.
While I’ve never had an issue with CL myself, I can understand why you’re doing this.
The purpose of a blog is to serve as a place for the host to pursue an online agenda, be it following your favorite sports team, talking about being a parent, or airing one’s views on religion, politics or whatever.
If you feel like someone is trying to use YOUR BLOG as a platform for what THEY want to to accomplish online, then that person, intentionally or not, is trying to set the agenda and threatening to take over your blog. Sad to see that happen here (I get the sense you might be too), since I know you’re strongly committed to free speech, but, under the circumstances, I understand taking action.
Godless Randall is cl? I should have guessed when I got suckered into that definition of ‘especially’ vortex. Cl must be jonesing for a good troll since Luke has changed his focus at Commonsenseatheism. To a certain extent he can still indulge in the semantics games that freshman philosophy students seem to revel in over there with the other philosophy of religion dudes, but he doesn’t get to indulge in his trademark fallacy tourettes as much.
I believe web sights and blogs are a type of private property and that implies the existence of someone in charge of the property. That person makes the rules and enforces them. (Sounds familiar…) There are also some people who mistakenly think that the right to free speech implies the right to an audience. If they’d only think a little; but that may be their problem. They think as little as possible.