The Results Are In!As promised, here are the results from my post about anonymous commenting (Poobah Speaks thread and Bring It On thread). There were some good points and the comments were refreshingly civil compared with many threads. Kudos to all who participated.
But despite being cordial, I'd like to point out that no one took up my offer.
I'm not going to cover every point here. It'd be too massive an undertaking for a single post. Since most lefties supported my post, I won't address their comments here. However, here's my take on several of the comments from the right side:
From Sandyb at BIO - "This is one of the most refreshing topics I've seen here. It doesn't slander the president, USA, or offend even me. I don't TRY to be nasty. I just get incensed when I read the CONSTANT attacks on MY president/God/country and support for terrorists, baby-killers, homosexuality/sodomy, etc...(Notice I am NOT pc so I don't use pc words like freedom fighters, abortionists, and gay.)"
Sandy: I'm glad you found it refreshing. However, read your own words carefully. The comments above devolves into the same name-calling you condemn. Your hair trigger comments frequently accuse others of the same things you decry, while oftimes being patently untrue. Simply because someone disagrees with you is no indication they, "support terrorists", are "babykillers", (or my personal favorite "losers"). True, you've often been personally attacked and I'm not going to defend that - but it takes two to tango. Having said that, I've often argue for not censoring you because I believe you should be heard - even if I don't agree with you.
While you post your first name, you don't link to a personal site or an email. This classifies as anonymous in my book. You never start a discussion, you only blame others for perceived slights after someone else gets the ball rolling. To me, this is a bit like not voting and then blaming the people who did vote because you're not happy about their choice. I'd have much more respect for your comments if I saw you start the balling rolling occasionally and if you "owned" your comments with free access to your original thoughts and ideas. If I want to know what you think, I have to depend on comments - not fully developed postings - to peer inside that beautiful mind of yours.
You explanation is, "Maybe it's because someone has their own blog, but doesn't want it connected? Some like remaining anon in a sense. And if some knew who some were on here, they would faint."
That may be true, but it's a dangerously wobbly defense. By not linking to a personal blog, posting original topics at BIO, or taking up my offer you don't allow others to comment on YOUR original ideas and positions. In other words, what's good for the gander doesn't seem so good to the goose.
Perhaps an example of a better defense might be Jack ARMY who wrote, "I do have my opinions...but my position prevents me from saying what I'd like about many political topics and particularly the political personalities."
Jack's in the Army, where speaking out is frowned upon and also against military law in some cases. I think that's a good justification for not commenting if he chooses. Despite that, he was courageous enough to leaving a link to his personal blog - and nobody "fainted". Kudos to Jack.
From Craig Harmon at BIO - Craig objected to my statement, "I believe if you state your position you should take public responsibility for it", like this:
"Really, Oh Omnipotent one? Is that how your name appears on your birth certificate or are every one of your posts and comments anonymous (or, more accurately, pseudonymous)? As far as I'm concerned, commenting as Omnipotent Poobah is no different than commenting as 'anonymous'. How do you distinguish your practice from the practice that you criticize here?"
Craig: First, I was unaware you had a BIO diary. That's because your commenter link currently links to an empty "http:", which makes you pretty anonymous to anyone who wants to view or comment on your posts. You might want to correct that so you aren't so, um, anonymous.
Sure, I publish under a pseudonym. I happen to like my omnipotence and can have a little fun with it. However, my posts always link to my personal blog, my entire BIO diary, and my personal email. In fact, I use my real name when responding to emails. I don't think this is "anonymous". I identify where to find my other posts and positions and always allow people to respond to them (directly if they like, through email).
BTW, my real name is Jack Koeneman. Feel free to drop in as often as you like. I'm always open.
From Steve at BIO - "There are just as many liberal bloggers and left wingers that are pretty far out...it is the fringe that screws it all up. It's the fringe on both sides that make people crazy with their takes on religion and the color of one’s skin."
Steve: I completely agree. I read your posts on BIO and occasionally visit your personal blog. You argue passionately, but try to stick to the facts - which is key for commenters on both sides. I also give you props because you don't comment anonymously and your posts allow people to visit your personal blog. I can't ask any more than that.
From Anonymous at Poobah Speaks - "(Sound of crickets because the author deleted their own comment).
Anonymous: If this was just an error by a non-anonymous commenter, my apologies. If it was intentional - dude, that is the lamest of the lame. You can't even take responsibility for saying nothing.
Thanks to everyone for this little exercise in democracy. I found it enlightening and I hope you did too.
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Sunday, January 21, 2007