A comment on comments

Peter has been moderating the comments, where debate had gotten heated recently. I asked him to comment on the state of the debate.

His response:

“I hope that those who comment will show some restraint and police themselves. The reason we’re still debating the event is no one on either side can say with certainty what happened. So, while some think the website should be only for like-minded folks to share conjecture, I think it should be open to everyone.”

“But I am weary of the snarky comments. Maybe I am in denial about human nature, but I still don’t understand why the comments go there—and both sides are guilty of it. Out of respect for the readership, I hesitate to say, ‘Grow up’ or ‘act your age’ but I’m getting closer with each facetious comment made at someone else’s expense.

“I like to err on the side of an active discussion, but comments please cease and desist with the personal jabs. Maybe some examples would help. Acceptable: ‘There is no proof that Ruby was in the Mob.’ Unacceptable: ‘There is no proof that Ruby was in the Mob, and anyone who says so is a deluded reprobate with a demonstrably low IQ.’ Acceptable: ‘The single bullet theory is highly suspect.’ Unacceptable: ‘The single bullet theory is highly suspect, and anyone who defends it is obviously a deluded shill for the intelligence services and should not be allowed to post on this site.’

Let’s play ball, and keep it clean.

8 thoughts on “A comment on comments”

  1. The animosity with which conspiracy theorists and lone gunman advocates hold for one another is, in my view, hardly surprising. To begin, our society today is perhaps more polarized, both politically and socially, than it has ever been. But there is far more than that at work with regard to the JFK assassination.

    Conspiracy theorists, by definition, believe in the existence of one of the most heinous criminal conspiracies of all time. I would think that “respecting” the views of those who would deny the guilt of the perpetrators might be analogous to, at worst, respecting the apologists for traitors.

    Advocates for the lone gunman scenario, by comparison, believe they have seen some of the most flagrant abuses of ‘cherry picking’ evidence rewarded by best-selling books and the fawning of an ignorant and vulnerable public.

    For lone gunman advocates, openly respecting some conspiracy theorists is akin to a conscious failing to hold blatant profiteers to account.

    In both cases, the disagreement upon the particulars of assassination evidence may seem less important than the proscribed motivations of the “not-so-loyal” opposition. Restraining the natural responses to the possible motives seen through these two lenses would surely tax the limits of self-discipline.

    I’ll certainly admit to the difficulty even if no one else will.

  2. How we think determined what we think. Perhaps we should stress the importance of guarding against the “us versus them” mindset that impairs meaningful and civil dialogue between people of differing beliefs.

    I sincerely believe that most thinkers who still care about these matters can agree: It is to our advantage, if we are truly seeking deeper understanding, to remain open to new thoughts, new perspectives, new information especially if it challenges our certainty.

    Regarding the moderator’s challenge of enforcing civility: There’s a reason that warnings are frequently followed by banning. Some people are incapable of questioning themselves.

  3. On my YouTube JFK visuals research series comments got so nasty I was forced to disable all comments. Censorship, I know, but the offenders simply would not stop the barrage of profanity.

    Attempts to hack the webpages and flood me in personal messages followed. Several times I had to privately ask YouTube to restore my mail to function after it mysteriously wouldn’t send or receive after responding to someone’s message.

    I suspect a lot of it can be attributed to juveniles playing around on their big sister’s computer behind her back. A lot of looks like serious mental issues.

    There’s evidently a double-sided frustration in this ongoing public case that there is no unanimous acceptance of what happened to JFK and who was responsible. Each side views the other as the enemy for pulling public attention away from what they believe to be the undisputed truth. Ditto for the other side.

    I remember my history teacher that I upset so badly with my speech & book report on ‘Six Seconds In Dallas’ just after it was published in 1967 referring to JFK’s murder as “toxic” & to avoid it. He may be correct to call it toxic but I don’t think it can be avoided until the shadows see the light of day. I for one have not been able to let go of it and in spite of all I have read, all I have seen, the numerous visits to Dealey Plaza I still don’t know what exactly occurred when JFK’s parade car turned made that left turn on Elm Street all those years ago.
    This website is the best of the bunch, imo. Highly informative.

    It’s the unending quest for knowledge about this case & the actors involved in it that is draws me here like a magnet. For those looking for a fight, the local bar should quickly accommodate. Street fighters are known to hang out in bars.

  4. I generally respond with respect to those who give ME respect. There are some posters who come out trash talking and calling us “UFO believers” as if we are the STUPIDEST, most GULLIBLE FOOLS on the planet, and this isn’t productive to the discussion. Also, saying things like: “I’m the one who knows more than anyone else” as if we can’t do any research or read dissenting information is bad etiquette too. So, if others will quit throwing sucker punches, there will be fewer times that they get punched in the nose in return.

    1. Strong self-confident human beings do not demand respect as a conditional precursor to their presentations of opinions that might differ from other human beings researching and learning about the same subject.

      One should express opinions with prudent restraint and without a strident request for conditional respect. If one holds an opinion and expresses it with confident civility, most reasonable readers with common interests will respond with respect. The respect measured in their responses will not have an ounce of demand for an equal measure of respect as a conditional precursor to continuous dialogues that focus on shared common interests.

      And to lower oneself to the level of an alleged adversary — virtually trading punches to the nose in an electronic forum — is not wise or prudent for those who complain about the initiation of punches.

      One can rise above alleged adversaries by expressing opinions that are woven tightly in self-confident self-respect. The need for reciprocal respect vanishes when self-confidence is obviously stronger during exchanges of opinions.

  5. Thank you for this reminder. Thanks to your high standards I find these discussions are far more professional (overall) than discussions at other sites.

  6. George Simmons

    I am glad this statement has been made.
    I agree that this site should be open to everyone of all differing opinions. It should be a site where we can all learn from each other, and share our knowledge and research of the assassination.

    When opinons differ we should agree to disagree, but always show each other respect.

    This is an excellent site and Jeff and the others have my gratitude for the work they put in.

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