Sunday, November 8, 2009


I had hoped that it wouldn't come to this, but it has.

Regular readers of my blog may recall that about five weeks ago, I reported that I had been blocked from a blog. I inquired about the reason for this and was never given an answer, but the author of the blog relented a few hours later and informed me that the block had been lifted. I could only assume that I was the victim of mistaken identity. I figured it was the kind of thing that could happen to anyone and I gave it no more thought.

Until Friday.

On Friday, I left a comment on one of the items on the blog. I came back to the blog about an hour later and attempted to leave another comment, but a message popped up informing me that I was blocked.

Once again, I have no idea why I am being blocked. I sent an e–mail to the author asking for clarification, but I received no reply. That is twice now that I have been blocked from commenting and have not been granted the courtesy of an explanation either time.

Did I say something offensive? I didn't think so. If I did, I would like to be able to apologize for it and, perhaps, explain things better than I may have originally. I know that, when I was young, I had a tendency to shoot from the hip, as many people do. I like to think I have matured some since those days, but if I lapsed in my comments on that blog, I'd like to think it could be one of those "teachable moments" of which the president speaks. Guess not.

The topic of the blog item was a murder–suicide. I won't go into detail about what was written in the original blog post, but I commented that it was premature to speculate about an investigation that is still ongoing.

I also made a comment about something the blog author said in a reply to a reader's comment — there had already been about four dozen comments made on that article, many of which challenged what the author had written. The author basically said that freedom of speech gave her the right to say anything she wants.

I observed that freedom of speech does have limits.

And I think it is worthwhile to remind my readers of those limits. We do enjoy considerable freedom of speech in this country, but it is not absolute. It is usually the context that decides whether it should be restricted.

For example, restricting freedom of speech is not a good thing if one is being censored.

But it is a good thing if it prevents someone from standing up in a crowded theater and yelling "Fire!" just to see all the chaos and commotion that ensues.

And it's a good thing if it prevents people from making unsubstantiated accusations. I know there are people who don't like what they read in my blog, and they are entitled to that. And they are entitled to express their disagreement. But they are not entitled to call me a murderer or a thief or a child molester unless they have evidence supporting those charges.

When I received no reply to Friday's inquiry about the reason why I was being blocked, I sent a second e–mail to the author of the blog advising her that she has lost a reader. Even if she e–mails me at some time in the future telling me that the block has been lifted, I have no intention of reading anything on her blog again. I will forgive, as I was taught to do when I was growing up, but I will not forget.

Yesterday, I was reminded of my earlier experience and the fact that I wrote that I would encourage my readers to boycott the blog if it physically blocked me from looking at its content. Well, as far as I know, it has not done that, but I feel I have been insulted. In the past, I have seen others who made comments that, rightly or wrongly, were regarded as objectionable. They were given warnings. I have not been granted that courtesy.

So I am going to ask my readers to boycott the blog. If you prefer to send an e–mail, here is the link: E–mail.

Here is the link to the site.

If you wish to do neither, that's OK. It helps a little just to let off some steam.

(By the way, if you decide to send an e–mail, you might mention to the author that she is still one of the followers of my blog. Since she is blocking me from commenting on her blog, she might want to remove herself as a follower of mine.)

Thanks for your support.

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