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Comment moderation

Moderation is a difficult balance. Some think we should do less of it, others more - at least in terms of letting through less smart-ass wisecracks at the expense of other commenters. Frankly, a quick look at any unmoderated site (example at (semi-)random here) tells you that if you instantly publish every comment you get, smart-ass wisecracks is what dominates. We've been having this debate on this site and its predecessors for nearly six years now - though more intensely since the move from e-mail to a comment management system in 2004, and we're still on the side that says we'd rather stop altogether than stop moderating comments.

In practice, I lean more towards James Govett's view that it is important to the quality and information-content of the debate that contributors feel safe from unreasonable attack, and that the balance of the site has (once again) moved too far away from this.

So, we will be tightening up. Given the need to keep workload down while operating with only part-time volunteer editors, one part of this will be a reduced tolerance for editing comments that need significant work before publication. In particular, any comment that contains anywhere within it any commentary - explicit or implied - on the intelligence or honesty of another Webdiarist, will simply not be published. Following specific complaints, comments that refer to other Webdiarists by nickname or any other name than that which they use themselves will also not be published. Notwithstanding our preference against removing published material, we will also remove anything that slips through that is reasonably complained about by the target of a comment. Complaints can be made either through a not-for-publication comment (write NFP in the comment title), or via the "Contact Us" page in the menu on the left of this screen.

A further point on moderation and workload: some of you write stream-of-consciousness stuff that needs a spell-check and extensive repunctuation to make it comprehensible to others: from here on, if it's too much work, we simply don't publish it.

Finally (for now), I think it also time to re-instate the old "no more than five comments per day from the same person" rule, that at least suggests to our more prolific posters that they think about whether what they are about to write is the most important contribution they want to make today ...

For more detail, see the Editorial Policy and How to Comment entries in the menu on the left.

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O U.. join the Q

I was so enjoying that, and then that and after that Jenny said it all really well, so I just moved on commentless.

It is so fine to be equipped with a sense of humour, a sense of honour and a sense of the ridiculous. One watches carefully then sees a pUrrrrfect example of all in only 5 posts, not including one from oneself, but with one mentioning an earlier one and is forbade by instant rUles to discourage comment, so one doesn't, one rolls one’s eyes into the top of one’s sockets and heaves a deep sigh of OMG here we go again, and then one thinks better, and moves right on to enjoy the posting after.

And not a whit of "sorry for the fellow". Perhaps, kind editors, you would feel constrained to pass my email on in the unlikely event that someone feels like following up in ungentlemanly verse.

Agatha m'dear...where's my whip…?

Posted by Malcolm B. Duncan

Posted by Malcolm B. Duncan at July 3, 2006-3.40pm,”Oh, while I'm in conversational mode, the map reference, James Govett in the 2004 Gregory's Maxi is 10 D6”.

Posted by Malcolm B. Duncan at June 25, 2006-12.35pm, “If we keep ignoring you, James Govett … .”

Oh, clearly, you seem incapable of doing so.

Mine not to be a Judge

Sorry, James Govett, old chap.   Complete lapse on my part.   Age wearys some of us and Bill Windeyer was CO of the Regiment when I joined.

Come now, Malcolm B

Come now, Malcolm B Duncan. Consider the tale of the Balloon woman.  The various people randomly select balloons from her tray. The balloons of most people inflate and carry them into the air to happily socialise aloft. But some people's just lie there flatly in their hands, and do nothing.

Does any child's book warn children so directly about the randomness of life? I think not.

BTW, referring to someone's earlier post - I have never felt belittled by people flaunting their qualifications at me... Is there something wrong with me? Or have I just not met successful flaunters?

Fiona: My sentiments exactly, F Kendall. Not to mention the Noahs preparing Spring, or Mary P and Mrs Corey and her gigantic daughters pasting the gingerbread stars into those black spaces in the night sky … a kind of ordered chaos, as it were. Mr Duncan, my friend, you will keep.

The editor's cut unkindest of all

Oh, so now it's Mr Duncan, Dr Reynolds in response to the Kendall feint at flaunt.

I'll keep, you think?   I prefer plastination.  Watch this corpus.

I mean, really, let's get serious here.   There is a world at stake.   No room for laughter – after all, it's a greenhouse gas.

Now didn't Wodehouse write something about that?

Was that the port I heard you pouring, Jeeves?

Fiona: Fixated again, or rather sclerotic? Hemlock and laughter? Pass the port…(please).

P L Travers rules...OK?

Fiona, I can't let that comment pass without adding one of my own.

When I were lad, we were dead poor.  But my mum and older sister taught me how to read and write before I went to school using for my text, you guessed it, Mary Poppins.  We could only afford that book because a far-sighted teacher had awarded it to my sister for excellent work in English (they seldom do that sort of thing these days).

I have never seen the movie and never will.  Sometimes I think I see the effects of such childhood influences in the writings of Webdiarists.  It's something glimpsed out of the corner of the eye.  Know what I mean?


Fiona, did you see Going Binocular: Susan's First Snowfall?

... All this she told Oliver Sacks. She also told Sacks that she didn't think she was missing very much, not seeing in stereo. And that's when Sacks leaned in really close and said, "Do you think you can imagine what it's like to see the world with two eyes?" ...

Warning: the interview includes a brief reference to experiments on animals. 


Angela, I was introduced to the wondrous world of Mary Poppins (books, not the saccharine film) as a five-year-old when in hospital having an impossible operation to correct the good old lazy eye.

Despite its being one of the more painful and uncomfortable (the two are not necessarily cotermionous) weeks of my life, it was made magical by that introduction to a truly marvellous creature.

To all Webdiarists (and lurkers) who have only suffered the Disney version, somehow get your hands on the real thing. Miss Poppins is not a woman to be treated lightly: indeed, if you so attempt, you will suffer. Perhaps that is why I feel so much affinity with her.

Another reason, perhaps (and one that enchants me) is that I have discovered in recent years that we are remotely connected.

Thus, Angela, spitspot into bed (or wherever) indeed!

It's time the gloves really came off for you carpetbaggers

Right, that's it toots - Mary Bloody Poppins?   Let's break all Jenny Hume's U's. Unreadable, drivel. Makes CS Lewis look like a philosopher. Pamela is an easier read and more morally uplifting (and I subscribe to RW Williams view that she was a prick-teaser).   Sure it was only your eye that was lazy?

More of this, madam, and it will be bread and water and a diet of nothing but McGonnigal for the term of your natural life.

Oh, while I'm in conversational mode, the map reference, James Govett in the 2004 Gregory's Maxi is 10 D6.

Rules not Guidelines

In response to the question, “Have you considered not sometimes having a bit of a shot at someone who doesn’t share your political view and just making a cogent argument to support that view?”, Daemon Singer replied, “No, I haven't considered that”.

One final slap-in-the-face to Webdiary. That Webdiary is a discussion forum makes no difference to Daemon Singer. He hasn’t even yet considered to make a cogent argument to support his view. That Webdiary guidelines are against insulting other contributors-ditto. He just comes here to sometimes have a bit of a go at someone.

Moderators, maybe its time to change the guidelines into rules and raise the quality of discusion on webdiary-you might find you’ll create something really special. It seems to me there are enough forums for those who want to squabble and trade insults, and for those amused by this “witty” tedium. Over the years on Webdiary you (and especially Margo) showed many individuals far more courtesy, tolerance and respect than they ever displayed. Haven’t you had enough yet?

There are many contributors whose good natured humour encourages discussion and new people to post. But maybe its time that the “witty” squabbling and insults, and mean spirited stuff is totally dispensed with.

thanks James, spitspot all. PW come down now or no tea.

James,as usual I think you are exactly Right. "..change the guidelines into rules and raise the quality of discusion on webdiary-you might find you’ll create something really special. It seems to me there are enough forums for those who want to squabble and trade insults.."

Until you rise to the level of PW you shall not be heard. Now chose, will it be Bulgaria, the luscious Sofia to be precise, or unicorns on Tibetan railways, editors' coffeed shirts, or Daemon at twenty paces with Fiona's pointy umbrellas? The challenge is there.


PS. Learning from others I had moved to the wipeclean leather lounge which was lucky ... my left wing holiday latte alas went the same way as the deadlinedoublecapitalist short black a few nights ago with the last instalment from PW. Mercy, merci... Lucky for Uncle Albert/Peter we have James. Spitspot,time to go.

Fiona: Angela, m'dear, how did you know that they were pointy?

James: Ps and Qs and U

James Govett: Sorry Angela. I think he is right. We need some rules if we are ever to manage the Kazaks.

So to help them mind their Ps and Qs I suggest some 'U' Rules, of which here are just a suggested Fuw:

U shall not abuse, even though thou mayest thineself have been abused
U shall not fuse fiction with fact, and submit it as fact
U shall not impugn another’s reputation, or good name
U shall not use that really bad word that has ‘u’ as the second letter
U shall not usurp another’s writings and claim them as your own.
U shall not refuse to give a link to support your dodgy claims
U shall not seclude yourself in a false, or in multiple identities
U shall not allude to another’s spelling or intellectual imperfecshuns
U shall not delude, lest U yourself be proven deluded
U shall not deluge us with irrelevant ravings
U shall not include in your comment your personal and criminal record
U shall not infuse your posts with an air of self righteousness
U shall not misuse our proper name when addressing us
U shall not utilize the name of any God/s to support your impious positions
U shall not confuse us with Kazak, Uzbek, or any other lingo unknown to man
U shall not imbrue, or try to imbrue our carpet with the blood of your opponent
U shall not imbue your posts with language too colourful for ladies’ eyes/eye
U shall not reduce yourself to our level, no matter how low we get
U shall not induce hard labour in Richard or Fiona and tuthers
U shall not sue or threaten to sue those who break the ‘U’ rules just for ‘U’
U shall not be openly rude
U shall not be overly or overtly crude
U shall not dispute the good editors’ rulings
U shall not be impudent to said good editors
U shall not rule the roost on any thread
U shall not denude the English language of its beauty, (certain poets excluded)
U shall not be ubiquitous and try to appear on every thread
U shall not exclude a fact that undermines your argument
U shall not excuse yourself for breach, by pleading insanity of the hour.
And perhaps U should not ridicule the Boolgarians, in case we have to call on them to save us all.

But above all U shall not be imprudent and end your post with “Up U”

Coz if you do U will break all the rules of U, and be sent to the end of the Q.

And neither should U ever attempt to sedUce the good Dr Reynolds lest you suffuse yourself with shame and finish up out of the Q altogether. Now I am off for a P, if U don't mind.

PS: Any reply to this post will please observe all the U rules. Now in putting U lot to rights, I have today not cut a single bloooming buuuuuur! Urgh....

Bulgarian accessories before and after...

Jenny Hume: I’d be loathe to ask the Bulgarians for any assistance. They might get confused, or lost in translation, and start brandishing ricin-enhanced brollies again. And that would never do.

Peter Woodforde: I hope you asked the charming Sofia before you accouched yourself (which may, come to think of it, be an anatomical impossibility) upon her. Those thar Bulgarian sofias can be somewhat feisty, given that they are often highly sprung…

Peter Bloody Woodforde

Peter Bloody Woodforde.

If ever you had the slightest mote of a sliver of a scintilla of self-doubt, then lay it to rest forthwith.  For have I not just tipped this libation down my nightie with mirth, even upon the reading of your opening stanza?

Dear boy, here's a health to you.

Well all I can say Richard

Richard: Well, all I can say is, keep our two Woodies and Phil Kendall and Angela Ryan apart for as long as you can because if they ever get together with their tools of verbal trade, then we've all well and truly had it. I think the best I can do at this stage is just play safe, so I will retire (gracefully of course) in case I set our mate Pete off again. I think even Georgie Boy would call foul if he heard we were sending him over there, so maybe better to just let him go.

I'm off. Still have a missing roo or two to look for. Got to watch for those thieving hounds over yonder. Someone might tell them about the two foot worms that crawl out of the roo flesh when it's hung, just in case they had in mind roo tail soup for dinner.

Fiona: Hi Jenny, so glad I’d finished brekkie before reading about the worms… As for your suggestions regarding certain ‘Diarists, you are so right: the effect would be rococo in the extreme. But, in a bizarre way, it could be entertaining…


One was gonna take the Tools of Tirade to Baghdad on a mission for the Australian Ouija Board™, but feared going too much against the grain.

Saddam useta give open slather to us Kazakhs in the good ol’ daze, when we fed him zillions of that sacred wafer, Alexander’s South Pacific Pesos (US$±0.70, source ANZ™).

Anyway, the KWB won’t let me take my sturdy Asiatic pony via Tashkent on Aeroflot™ no more.

And every skerrick of this year’s rye and barley has been took by the rats, so there’s no point.

Not when the Bushi-Bushis have off loaded their entire crappy soft crop.  No decent baking from Kurdestan to the Gulf this year, but someone’s made a nice quid, at least.  But not much nice bread., dough, etc.

Probably VP D**ck™.  We should get one of them.  Plain sailing fort the Ouija Board™ if there was an Oz Republic™ with VP D**ck™ running the silos and the logistics and the great big money pump.

Bloody David Flint™ could be a millionaire by now if we had an Oval Orifice™ in Canberra, instead of Dave subsiding into moping old North Shore pensioner dotage, saving Liptons™ coupons and snarling incoherently at the Communard ABC™, the Eureka Flag™ and setting his poodle Ralf™ on passing homosexuals.

So let there be no Sterne™ reminders, young JH.

Set down a lapping dish of Powers™ by the door and thy fierce worm may stop his nibble and caress of kangaroo, then drop to the lino.

By then, like all hermaphrodites, cheap drunks and the sick, he arose from his bed and walked.

Probably upon the Sea of Galilee, fishin’ out the other side of the roo.  Wrong bait, them kangaroo worms.

And suddenly, yr macropod is fully immoderated and hopping mad.

Texting as she clears a five-bar gate, in fact.  Off for a day at the Penshurst races, some very substantial wagers and lunch with the gang-gang.

Resume yr tiffin, Fiona-san.  Nice dish of Darjeeling and some bread’n’butter’n’Vegemite™.

And a platter of Powers™ on the side, for the vermiculture.  Best brunch under the sun, one always says, supping with one’s fellow punters at Doomben.  Lovely apt track, that one.  Never paid me a cent.


Call the Bulgarians

Fiona: There is only one way to deal with him. Call the Bulgarians. And leave the rest to them.  With a bit of luck, they'll fit him out with a decent nag and pack him off to China. Either way, I'm staying outta town till he's gone.

One Strike Will Do

I like you Peter.

Christ only knows why. Certainly I haven't got a clue.

Because, boy, are you ever full of shit.




Our Lord and Redeemer DOES know why you like me, and we like YOU too, young feller.

Especially in that frock, which you wore on the day we met. And we all fed you drinks until you got…friendly and funny.

We’re all fulla sh*t, m’Geo-Geo.

It’s a kinda non-optional extra in religions.

As it says in the Bushi-Bushi bah-belle: “Go forth and multiply and while thou art at it, try to turn food into sh*t, and do it for all of time, and just for good measure, on thy belly thou shalt go and dust thou shalt eat.”

God loves balance. That’s why he invented D*ck Cheney andOsama bin Laden, and set them up like little matched bookends.

And he set up also those three legs under the stool of western civilisation, Bushi-Bushi, Li’l Winston and Ivan Milat.

And seated on the tool, Piers Akerman tootling on his oboe. Looking a bit squashed and battered after being run over by a succession of semis between Babinda and Tully, but the emerald nonetheless glowing with a dull fierceness behind misshapen brows straight out of Star Wars™.

Ever the port buoy beacon, dust is the bloated one’s fate, too.

And our Messiah loves him, too, for all his stunted, half-baked Rupert™ Hartigan Day drawl, stretching those “ummmms” and “arrrrs” to the length of a Wynyard Station concourse drunken beggar’s piteous song-plea: “not guilty yer Worship, just like all the other times.”

Look out for semis, Piers, hoppin’ over the Bruce Highway on a wet night like that. Or even the bandicoots won’t eat yer.

CREDITS: Typed acouched on a charming Sofia waiting for a frank hardy unicorn zebra to gallop me into battle against the feudal barbarians readying a Lhasa McDonalds™ for the dumbest and dirtiest Olympics™ since 1936™. Right up Rupert’s™ ally.

Where is Margo's legacy?

The comment moderation guidelines set down seem to completely forget the kind of posts that we used to "enjoy" from Webdiary's founder, Margo Kingston.

Regardless of what people thought of Margo she was renouned for the frequency of typing errors in most of her posts.

Every spelling or typing error corrected is another move further away from the original Webdiary.

Perhaps a reason as to why we haven't seen Margo back commenting here is that she has had her posts gone unpublished due to the current over exuberant comment moderation decisions.

Richard: Its seems to me that the reaction to the discussions regarding spelling might be stronger than the intentionof the policy warrants.  Sitting at the other side of the editorial queue has been an eye-opener.  As David has said it's not a matter of an odd-one-out causing a post to be knocked back.  If you'd seen some of the things that I have you'd understand, but trust me in saying that for the sake of our mutual credibility they're best left unseen.  I've gone to great lengths to re-assemble some comments posts because I think the voice needs to be heard, but with others it's unfortunately impossible.

And that's from someone who, some days, wonders if he's suffering from Mature-Onset Dyslexia.

I highly doubt that Margo's gifted prose would be dismissed for a couple of spelling clangers.  Neither would yours.



It has come to my attention that I recently misspelled “youse” (s.&pl. 2nd person pers. pronoun) as “you.”

This is unforgivable, and I apologise from the heart of my bottom.

It won’t happen again. I’ve adjusted the style template on my little typewritery-TV thing so David Rrrrrrrrrrrr don’t get caught with it again and chase the postman. Possibly to catch and bite.

I went to a state school you know. That explains it, really.

No Christian Bruvvers or Loreto in Kazakhstan.

My beloved parents tried to save so I could go to a better class of gunnery academy in Uzbekistan, but the old pre-Sanctuary Cove Soviet-era HECS was too much for a provincial farmer/teacher on small roubles. No crystal meth futures trading and P&O drug cruises for the KGB in those days. Just work, work, work!

How I pined for the fleshpots of Tashkent as a glum teenager!

Youse is so lucky. But I love youse all.

Footnote: Jack Woodforde was recently taken by Commonwealth Protective Serpents at the very door of the PM’s gigantic, fortress-like House on the Hill, where Mr Howard is said to crave “an area of some kind of business lounge.” (Canberra Times, p3, 29/6, “Parliament House just not big enough” )

Woodforde was on horseback and brandishing a large curved Cossack cavalry sabre in his right hand, and his trusty AK in the other, with a reeking bottle of powerful herbal liquor pioned between his thighs. He got through the metal detector OK, once they realised the bottle were all empty. But the horse had to stop outdoors.

Proffering his reins to a flabbergasted Executive Wing Security bod, along with a vivid string of rich, full-bodied and yet cheeky, with a hint of tannin and rosemary root, Central Asian curses, Woodforde made himself clear with a more politely worded “are you M***istus valet parking or k'n what?”

Told the “area of some kind of business lounge” was not yet ready and anyway, the PM was in China, he howled drunkenly and smashed down on a security bollard his empty Bekharovka “cough medicine” bottle, loosing a quick five-round burst at a group of startled Japanese tourists.

“What, so where are the ACT Chamber of Commerce cronies going to loll around swilling cocktails at taxpayers’ expense and moaning about how those working class Raiders took money from awful trade union people?” he roared at a cringing, lily-livered member of the PM’s Private Office.

That flunky made fey pawing gestures at him, flailing a breathalyser normally reserved for senior members of the National Party.

All the while the flunky frantically dictated hot-tempered Letters to the Editor of the Canberra Times, complaining of unfairness, the wickedness of the world in general and so on, and concluding with a full name and title, including quasi-military rank and imperial honours.

Gimme strength. And Capital Territorians wonder why the rest of Australia, including glitzy, ritzy, tax-dodging Depression-era PNG racket-fostering Bennelong-on-Sea, slags Canberra (“Nova Canberra-bashing appeals to Sydney sneer”, CT, p1, 29/6). http://canberra.yourguide.com.au/Features.asp?feature_id=86

No wonder our poor old doddery J Winston Howard spends so much time in Indonesia and China. More to his taste than those liberal democrats in his own shopworn, down-home political party.

He’ll be popping of to Vietnam if he’s given the chance. Birthday treat for the poor old bugger. He never went before, just like Dubya.

And they revere old age and ruthless power-mongering there.

But Hanoi's going right off people who spill stuff on themselves while they’re being fed their tea.

Or wear colourful clothes, smelling strongly of pee, and inside-out. And walk funny, striding out into the morning pretending to be Napoleon (in Animal Farm).

It’s a Sino-Japanese businessman thing, more respected and revered north of Ha Long Bay than it is here, even in a luxury government old people’s home on the north shores of Sydney Harbour.

Richard: Excuse me while I clean my couch.  Everything went everywhere. 

For Pete's sake!

Richard: For his own sake do something willl you? Take his typewriter, lock him up, anything....! Don't just sit there.

Not the Underwood™!!

Re: Jenny Hume’s bald typewriter snatch cum-Guantanamo suggestion “Richard: For his own sake do something willl [sic] you? Take his typewriter, lock him up, anything....! Don't just sit there.” An end of Financial Year move to snatch one of my few tools of trade? A plea to send me to Cuba? All I would have left would be my horse, sword, carbine and a 44 gallon drum of Czecho cough medicine tasting strongly of Xmas pudding.

No, Richard. I beg of you. Think what this could do to my annual stocktake inventory and my close and loving relationship with the Bush family. As you know, I’m the only one the President can really talk down to without having to mind out for that Australian cultural innovation, the conga line of suckholes. He has dreaded the Member for Bennelong’s neoConga line since 11/9, when the peculiar Howard fellow burst in on him during an extremely intimate moment with Unca Donald, the Commander of the Australian Armed Forces. Neither White House official even knew there was anyone in the Oval Office before the eruption of that peculiar whining catarrhal snuffling sound they have come, to their cost, to know and loathe so well. He used it like a pointed gun to talk them into invading the World, before the Martians did it again, as they had done when he was child in the Fifties.

Before he started on the Peruvian Marching Powder in a bid to dodge the Sixties Vietnam draft, thus causing America only to take Silver in that event. All poor little Mr Kirribilli had was Bex™ and Coke™, neither of much use to him in keeping out of Nui Dat. Crisp fivers and bung ear were much better in that sort of cheats’ parade. As they had been for his copra plantation pa and Nonno a half century earlier. And the Bush and Howard war shirkers never did get over it, until they started coming second again more recently in Baghdad, at great personal cost to millions. And the rest is history, as we say in Guantanamo. “Don't just sit there.” Not on that couch.

Richard::  It's where I type from- or rather was....  Sorry Jenny, but such an eloquent plea for clemency is diffucult to refuse ;)

Hands up all those..

Who failed to see the joke. I had a quiet snigger as I watched DR unravel, then got let down at the last.

Nude beaches

Peter, there seems to be two camps ---  those who want only to debate/explore the issue/idea and those who believe that insult and ridicule are part of the 'fun'.

    I suggest in order to make moderation more simply that WOULD creates a section named ‘Put-downs, insults and slurs’ and those posts falling into this category be posted there, but under the same heading as in the regular section.

As with nude beaches, if this behaviour offends/annoys you, don’t go there.

To keep it simple, anybody answering a post placed in PIS has their post posted in PIS, whether or not anything in the post can be deemed offensive.

This ought to satisfy both camps, and leave those of us who are interested on in ideas and issues with far less material to wade through.

Of course there is a very real possibility that the PIS section will flourish while the regular section will wither.  One must never underestimate the extent of the base nature out there in the community.  :- )


Dear Committee of Politics in the Publick Safety

As I was saying to Borat at the Kazakh Politburo the other day, it’s such a relief to get a Party document these days in good, legible, non-Tsarist Russian, with Beginning, Middle and End.

And verby bits and that. David R: If I haffta leave “verby bits” in, I’ll go mad.

And no Philistine, Hebraic nor Yiddish bits.

Just good, straight Kazkh’n’Kim assays of reality.

Or realty, for that matter. Po-Zishn, Po-Zishn, Po-Zishn, as we Kazakhs drunkenly roar on the eve of battle.

Preferably a commanding one, for our ruthless artillery, before the Calvary starts.

With this elevation and field of fire, we should be able to reduce FountainGate™ and all its wickedness, including the Telstra™ shop, to ashes, in less time than it took Australian cannons to reduce several hundred Vietnamese men and women to mince and rag and guts wrapped around the rubber trees at the Long Tan plantation.

Before the Armoured Personality Career calvary started.

If only our Kazakh gunners has someone like that Kiwi bloke calling the shots.

We coulda gone on to Hannover, Duesseldorf, Koln, Liege, Brussels and Paris.

Europe woulda been ours! Until we’d drunk everything, that is. Then we’d a gone home. Or attacked Africa.

David R: Oh, thank Christ, he’s stopped. I was just going to kill myself by watching Baron Eddie McNowhere, Earl of Beaconsfield, bone the defunct 9 Network to death. As if it weren’t a boneyard already with the whole world watching the SBS, and Jay-Mee always baccarating the wrong nag.


Jack Woodforde: Never go that far, DR, there’s always hope, verby things, apostrophes, obscure rhetorical flourishes and reliquaries of a classical education (Futighur Inst. of Tech – failed).

Perhaps you could obtain counselling. But don’t let McNowhere come near with his pants awry.

Awful man. Awfully dull commercial free-to-air TV network with no news capacity. Loike the others ones, as our friend Kath would say, reeling off her iss-yews.

Jack Woodforde is an honorary colonel in the Kazakh KGB, ret’d., but still on the attached list and allowed to wear the dingy flapped felt cap with hammer and sickle and Argonauts’ badge to dialysis. On condition that he do not brandish the AK or smoke them crap smelling Russki™ smokes.

The nursies, despite their Revolutionary heritage, hate that sorta thing and go crook.

David R: RIGHT!!! That’s it. I’ve cut all the rest of this bollocks out! Let that be warning to all of you!

The real David R: thanks for prewriting my possible reactions, Peter

James old boy..

No, I haven't considered that.

Tie straight, but what about the stains?

Jenny, or should I be calling you Jenny the “sweet” and “whimsical “ as Alice F. refers to you at Club Chaos. With your new celeb status it looks as though I best straighten my bloody tie; there you go, how do I look now? Tie all straight but what should I do about the Hoggis egg stains and the other stuff that has crusted on over the years?  Can’t afford a new tie for I work as a tailor for bloody English gentlemen; maybe Malcolm will lend me a bow.

Anyway, sweet and whimsical, Jenny it would appear that David Davis (aka Harry Heidelberg) finds you beyond comprehension and “sweet Kathy” thinks you’re a Roo or two short in the top paddock. Personally I don’t agree with them but you must admit free speech can be fun (for some) and the crowd over at Club Chaos are having their little bit of fun. Good luck to them and I trust they will eventually get around to providing trays for their scatological cat; or best just shoot the bloody thing and eat it.

Glad to hear your rats have cut and run, and if Geoff and Hughy happen to turn up then I’m afraid I’m with the rats. Three weeks of Club Chaos, Hughy and scatological cats is far more than any self respecting rat should be expected to handle.

That's better Phil

Phil Moffat: That looks much better thank you. You could try the washing machine, but I would boil if for an hour or two first.

Cause celeb over in Chaos land am I?  Why is it that does not even tempt me to go take a peek? I will just take your word for it Phil. But I was right about the poddies it seems. Incomprehensible you say?

OK you folks in CC, since Phill tells me you have trouble with good old English you can have it in any of the following: Latin, Arabic, Dutch, old Javanese, Minangkabau, Bahasa I, Dansk, Malay, Urdu and French. Anything else, sorry folks. No can do. Oh I see, it's Gutter you speak!  OK. Give me time. I will just have to go back to Kindy and start with "the cat sat in the sand". 

Manga tusa tak, terima kasih, danke, merci beaucoup, shukria (etc etc) for the invite for a drink. Be advised that I prefer Lan Choo. Billy has gone off a bit lately. But you can chuck in a crate of the best red if the pocket money will stretch to it.

Well Phil. That's my last word. Don't want the kids in Class C to get too upset. But as you say, nothing wrong with a bit of fun. But time to move on. Far more important things to deal with, like looking for that missing roo for a start. They probably pinched it.

And while I am busy on other things, if the good ship WD does go down, I would just like to say, it was nice knowing you. But I hope this will not be farvel. (Only part Scot here Phil. Mostly Viking. Sorry for what we did to you Scots!)  Richard: Jenny you should ask Roslyn some time about the Roths.. er, I mean Rosses !

You work for a tailor? I don't believe you. Now go boil that tie.. please. PS You can drop sweet after all. The cap just doesn't fit. Never has. 

Editors: I do hope WD can survive. The Project Syndicate Posts have been well worth the money and the site layout is by far the best around in terms of design.  Thanks for all your hard work, and for putting up with my light hearted musings. But I will now desist for your sake, and start facing the harsh realities of life out here in case the bank manager has apoplexy.  Such is Life!  Salam alai kum.


Malcolm B. Duncan
:  “ As for the editorial comment that the classification "idiot" as a term of art in psychology is obsolete - not in my lexicon it isn't”.

You were not referring to it as a term of art in psychology from your own lexicon. You were referring to it in its obsolete technical sense. You specifically said so, “ What practical solutions do you propose to our immediate problems like water or idiots (used in its technical sense of IQ 0-50) [obs].”

And you are not correct about its obsolete technical sense. "Idiot" did not refer to those with IQ 0-50. See previous links posted at 23rd June, 10.22 am.

Malcolm B. Duncan, “As for elitism, I'm from the Leonie Kramer School - all for it -..."

From dictionary.com, Elitism: “ The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources”.

Do you believe you deserve favoured treatment? If so, based on which criteria?

On webdiary, what form would you like to see that favoured treatment toward you take?

Malcolm B. Duncan, “...heightens the tone don't you know. Keeps people with IQ 0-50 at bay”.

Do you want to keep other people at bay? If so, why?

Elitist or Sookie?

Daemon Singer
, in an earlier thread you said “James Govett brings up an issue that is months in the past and yet proves that he comes in often to check what's happening after saying he doesn't come here because it upsets him.”

I asked that you quote back to me where I said I don’t come here because it upsets me and if you cannot that you retract your comment and apologise for misrepresenting me. You didn’t respond.

Again, I ask that you quote back to me where I said I don’t come here because it upsets me. If you cannot I ask that you retract your comment and apologise for misrepresenting me. And stop misrepresenting me. Your entire comment above is a complete distortion.

Daemon Singer, “I apologised for using one word, now every Tom, Dick and Harriett is on about commas, grammar, literary hooniness etc.,....

Every time one makes a factual error, misrepresentation etc. one should address it. Not just the first time.

Daemon Singer, “I sometimes come here and have a bit of a shot at someone who doesn't share my political view”.

Have you considered not sometimes having a bit of a shot at someone who doesn’t share your political view and just making a cogent argument to support that view?

Ignorance. bliss?

If we keep ignoring you, James Govett, will you just keep posting the same demands for your questions to be answered?   Perhaps you could start your own thread to do it on.

As for elitism, I'm from the Leonie Kramer School - all for it - heightens the tone don't you know.    Keeps people with IQ 0-50 at bay. 

As for the editorial comment that the classification "idiot" as a term of art in psychology is obsolete - not in my lexicon it isn't.   Just like connexion has an "x". 

Egos and topics

Having been around WD for a while now and not visiting much lately this thread seems to epitomise what many dislike about many posts here.

That is the topic becomes irrelevant to many, rather trying to taunt, provoke or demean someone for their opinion, not for any other purpose.

None of that passes for debate or even conversation as far as I am concerned.  All it does is upset some and make others feel so, so proud of their "wit".

I thought the topic should be the focus but it isn't here for some and hasn't been for some time.

For those who have moderated here for long periods, they know how much rubbish does come in, how much is pure bile and so personal I wonder that those moderators have held their tempers as long and well as they do.

As to those sort of comments being pub banter. Absolute rubbish. Yes it happens in pubs and usually such personal attacks end up with fists and blood. Seems cowardly to me to use the same approach when you are sitting hidden from responsibility of what is written in your home, out of reach of those attacked.


How come no one has ever asked me to volunteer for "moderation" duty?

David R: to the best of my knowledge none of us were asked to volunteer, we just did ...

I vote for Geoff and withdraw!

I would like to post a vote for Geoff Pahoff, a man known widely as 'the voice of moderation', one who, at the earliest opportunity, should be invited to be an assistant Editor.

On another topic, as someone who thought he was a moderate but appears to be seen by some as an extremist, let me say how sorry I am to have spoiled some commenter's cosy view of the world by trying to present some alternative views to theirs.  The mess that the world is in suggests to me that we must think differently in order to find peace but thinking differently is obviously not something that many people are happy to do.

Obviously my thoughts over some period  of time have not been well received by some commentators or by the management. In many instances, I have no idea how people draw the conclusions they do from the words I have written. Many see what they want to see and cherry-pick accordingly.

So, in the interests of helping Webdiary,  I will withdraw for the time being, try and sort myself out, try to get a more socially acceptable view of the world (you know, pro-Israel, pro-Howard, pro-capitalism, pro-might is right, pro-war, pro-elitism,  pro-inequality, pro-Western, etc), one that fits in better with much of the general readership of Webdiary at this point in time.

Cheers and good luck to everyone, especially those who, like me, are valiantly trying to change the status quo to achieve a better world for everyone!

Thinking differently

Daniel: You wrote: The mess that the world is in suggests to me that we must think differently in order to find peace but thinking differently is obviously not something that many people are happy to do.

I think you will find Daniel that if you want to change the way people think, and get them thinking differently, then you must also be prepared to critically examine your own assumptions, beliefs and views. It is no good expecting other people to change the way they think, if you are not able to do the same.

Your perception of the site here is in fact quite opposite to mine. So who is right? Neither I suspect. It should be all about osmosis, which I believe is essential to change. If you only rub shoulders with people of like mind, then what you will get is uncompromising rigidity of viewpoint. And when that happens you will find a total of 621 posts on one issue on Webdiary between two opposing camps, with not one person wanting to budge an inch.

You should hang around Daniel. Why feel so threatened by those who disagree with you? Few agree with me here but it does not bother me. I would rather be seen here than in the Tim Blair and Chaos club. They will never change anything for the better for anyone or anything. Webdiary has got class. We'll leave the muck raking to them.

teach the children well and parents work load is much less

Daniel, for once you've written something really silly. Yo are entitled to your opinion and to justify it with data just as anyone else is,but you cannot expect to change someone else's opinion. That is their's to have ad hang to whether yo think it ridiculous or even down right wrong, as many around all of us,including some of our own,are undoubtedly.

The privilege if coming here is to see a form of journalism that is not present on anyother forum- a  form of people's journalism,where the official sanctioned writer has some wisdom that is shared and added to or challenged using available ideas and information.

This is a beacon of democracy in a time when democracy is so destroyed by the banality of MSM journalism and dominance of thinktank dumbing down simplification for mass consumption.

This is forgetting that the vast majority are quite able to question, understand, criticise and hold to account the deeds that are going on if given the information in an interesting format.

For example, if parliament was analysed by the sports commentators I am sure it would be much more intersesting......look at the detail they go into with every move of each team and plan of action and background boy deals with possible backup plan and replacement options.

Even then they have problems with the referees,sometimes belting them--beware House of reps for blatant bias or penalty award !. Or the drug deals and girlie nghts scandals,the big money,the corruption as they leave the game and get into developments,those not charged for crimes when they were clearly in line to be so,.....and so it goes on,so many parliament parallels but reported with blue pinstripe suit distance instead of elbow and knee grime as one muckrakes it all up and analyses each grain.

And people listen mesmerised to all this detail of their sport teams yet pay no attention to those same antics by their poli teams despite such resulting in changing their lives directly. I would have a poli report ,in the same genre as the sports report,same language,same easy follow meaty detail,and same straight forward no bs discussion.

And, Daniel,it certainly is hard seeing people suffer. What can we do? Seek answers,truth,protest at the support base of the oppreessor,discuss openly and bring awareness, put money and time and personal self where one can to help and hold to account.  Do not expect all people to agree or it would not be happening in the firs place.

Any crisis or problem in the world has such a depth to it that usually there is no simple answer,and by compromise one is more likely to find real solutions quicker 'though they may be less just.The first step to this is finding common ground. By withdrawing one can never do that, and many here would lose another interesting opinion and point of view from any discussion.  Did you raelly expect to be able to change someone's opinion? Just to give someone somthing to think about is a mutual gift.

Although I disagree with Geoff about some things and hear  he sees it differently ,I have to still respect his choice to do so and wonder more at that.,when he is clearly intelligent, and just as able to do the same basic analysis of an event. C Parsons is a different character again but still interesting to read and takes no prisoners if people write loosely. I am sure his mention of obfuscation and moral equivalence is tongue in cheek. I do miss Jay and his insight ot Labor stuff ups here,and even Noelene I enjoyed to read,although no doubt some would find her rather forward,she spoke her mind as so few women have evern learned to,with passion and  honesty.

There are a few people who write here that I greatly admire,for both their high integrity and personal and caring manner in which they care for those less fortunate or suffering.

I know that I have probably made few friends here by trying to write what I honestly think about something or want to know more about or question or find extremely ennervating,and of course I wish that I had Fiona or Malcom's erudite wit and knowledge of literature, but enjoy theirs.

Finally I think in this cathartic episode I must sincerely acknowledge the tireless(or rather extremely tiring ) work of the editors,who do all this for a passion to keep a dream alive. Fragile are even the huge Oak when it first seeds and this is only a while old and new inconcept. There are those outside who slaver at any threat to demise,but what are they residing in? Nothing of this quality,the germ of future media in a vibrant or even threatened democracy.

Thanks again for all your work


PS- suggestion? hmm. While it is a responsibility,and hard to predict how certain things would turn out, I would still be a little more liberal in the early stages of childhood development ,just with simple boundaries and encourage targeted exploration with positive attitudes and non derogatory labelling. Eventually a healthy peer group keeps the rest in line. A child too tightly reigned will rebel,picked up at every point will resent,peceived to be disempowered or have an authority figure directing will withdraw.

Parenting taught me more than any Uni course.Now I have to learn how to handle parents. There is definitely a book in that!

Richard: In the year I've been hanging around here. your thoughts have always been incisively fresh air!  As to the parenting side... Angela, what would you say to the idea of teaching parents to teach kids that nothing is impossible?

Elitist or sookie?

I have sat and thought and cogitated whether to add anything. I started doing something last night and then changed my mind, but tonight dammit I won't.

WD is a place where people (not only blokes) come to enjoy a little political hurly burly. Over the past couple of weeks there has been an inrush of sookiness which has changed the vibe drastically. I apologised for using one word, now every Tom, Dick and Harriett is on about commas, grammar, literary hooniness etc., but not one of them has done anything by way of adding to the debate outside this thread. Just waffling on at word infraction.

I have seen people say that The Pub is beneath the WD charter. Which pub and in whose opinion, would that be?

Last night, after work, I watched Question Time. Lucky they have a speaker eh? There are similarities are there not?

One contends Our parliamentary system seems to be (confrontational) but why does politics necessarily have to be? I really have no accurate answer to that. It seems like a Hitch Hikers Guide question. We know the answer, but the question takes an eternity to develop. Questions like that are for Doctoral Politics Research, not for WD right here, though it may make an interesting thread later.

Suffice it to say, if you go to school and the boys all wear blue shorts, but you prefer brown, the fact that you like brown is not IMHO going to change the uniform policy of the school. If you like brown so much, go to a school where they all wear brown, so you are comfortable. Don't run round trying to get  the other boys to become like you. In that is a grey and brown world. I am sure you can see where I am coming from. Sad, apologetic, po faced and somewhat cardiganesque.

I have seen M Duncan accused of all types of perfidy against the rules, and all that happened was his accuser then restated every line he had written and then asked another question. Not once, do I see any real attempt at taking an active part in any debate, just teeth gnashing to let everyone know how much they hated being accused of something or thought of as something they don't see themselves as etc. Likewise he is accused of using personal attacks against gainsayers. Fine, rather than tell the teacher, why don't you just respond appropriately. This sticking your hand up and weeping, is pointless IMO. It's beneath an adult.

I sometimes go to a pub. I sometimes watch footy. I sometimes swear at TV images of our moron PM and his girly sidekick swanning about the world pretending to importance. I sometimes come here and have a bit of a shot at someone who doesn't share my political view. Now, in doing so, I risk abuse by Johnny-come-latelies, saying I shouldn't have said this or that and hurt someone’s feelings, humorously, without the supposed target of my insensitivity complaining about it, merely responding as he always has.

Well rubbish to that. If you want someone to have a go at, have a go at me, but don't be surprised if I come back with acerbic wit, biting sarcasm, or any number of other weapons at my disposal, simply because that is how I am. I promise not to refer to any attacker in terms which are specifically offensive, but I won't apologise for responding appropriately either.

As to line by line dissections of posts, my suggestion would be read the whole lot in context. If you like it good, if you hate it, move on. It makes no sense to me, this harping on about an argument in a sandpit between the 6th Grade girls prefect and the kid from 3rd Grade who won the lunch time marbles game, over whether the pog was correctly positioned, vis a vis the location of the large root on the camphor laurel or whether it should have been moved to the left near Little Sams lunch Box to take account of Johnnie Brown's gammy leg. It adds nothing to web diary, in terms of actual content, it just gives a humourless few an opportunity to tell on someone. It's childish. Get over it.

Note: If you don't understand the marbles reference, my apologies. That may be an over-50's thing.

Encouraging contributions to Webdiary

Daniel Smythe, re your comment “being a pacifist”, can I assume that you’ve retracted your view on Israel, i.e. “a fitting result would be for the civilised world to join together and, militarily, accord to Israel, the occupier, exactly what they accorded to Iraq when it invaded Kuwait and occupied it. Though it might be thirty-nine years too late, better late than never!” as posted on the “Repeal of Israel” thread?

Also Daniel, regarding your view that WD should be a forum that encourages ‘everyone’ to contribute. Do you regard dismissing questions from other posters as “too silly to discuss”, a good way to encourage ‘everyone’ to contribute? I can start doing this myself if you think it will help?

Seriously Daniel, every time I have a serious and legitimate question dismissed in such a fashion, my propensity to ‘contribute’ decreases. I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels this way.

The Daniel Test

You should not feel that way at all, Gareth. On the contrary. If you have written something that Daniel Smythe says is "too silly to discuss", then you can be absolutely certain that you have written something that is valuable and very sensible. Be assured that such a contribution is appreciated by all rational readers, irrespective of where their sympathies may or may not lie.

Doubt this? Read again what Daniel has had to say on this thread alone. Then tell me it ain't so.

Shooting the messenger.

Geoff and Gareth, they're interesting, your reactions. I'm trying to generate a serious discussion to help Webdiary, to broaden its appeal, to free it from the ever-increasing monopoly of a stifling, obsessive minority and all that both of you offer in return is trivia and/or insult.

Geoff, weren't you the one who claimed recently that Israel was the greatest achievement of human civilization? And yet you talk about rationality?

And Gareth, occasionally I get mischievous people looking back over past posts I've made then, by selectively lifting a couple of sentences or paragraphs out of different ones, they try to discredit me by unfairly comparing them. It's rather tiresome really! Context is important.

I also get a few wanting me to waste my time explaining the difference between words like 'real' and 'ideal'.  This forum assumes people have a basic knowledge of English. That said, if, inadvertently, I  have caused you upset, then I apologise.

And Phil (g'day), your idea of a private adulation section for the resident ego-maniacs is sound.

And, Editors, I notice that the last few of my posts are littered with your comments yet those who would dismiss me or insult me have no editorial interference. Interesting!


"Geoff, weren't you the one who claimed recently that Israel was the greatest achievement of human civilization?"

Don't remember that one Daniel. Remind me. Was that before or after you advocated that the world should gang up and attack Israel? You know. Not long after you argued in support of terrorist attacks on civilians on the grounds that they were just like WWII resistance fighters and somtimes it gets "messy". Just before you declared yourself to be a "pacifist". And offered WD management the benefit of your extensive and "valuable" experience on forums by, in effect, advising that they should not publish anything you disagree with. On the grounds you represent the common bloke and everybody else is a manipulative obsessed minority trying to whiteant WD.

Or have I got something out of "context"? 

Don't be so hard on yourself Jenny

Hi Jenny, methinks you may be a little hard on yourself. “Attractive” does not relate purely to aesthetics; besides this old bugger has not seen an ugly woman in 20 years.

Phil: Straighten that damned tie will you?

Phil:  With that advice from you, you self confessed “old b….” it is clearly time to move on. But before I head out with the faithful hoe, I thought you might be amused to hear that the folk blogging away in “sweet” Kathy’s boggery have got themselves all in a tiz.  I dropped over there to show the good Scot here what a murky place it is, and there they are quoting yours truly, giving this old girl the odd bit of advice, even – wait for it - offering to buy me a drink, coz they think they have upset me! I’ll have to get upset more often. All heart they are. But they haven’t quite worked out yet what to offer, so I might just cash in on the confusion.

I’ve reckon I’ve got a fix on them now. Never knew they even existed till last week. But looks to me like they are just a bunch of self-expelled (or maybe even just ordinary expelled) WDiarists who now just can’t help themselves. They seem to get up in the morning and rush over to old mother cow like a mob of poddy calves looking for a drink, and to see what the farmer and his wife are up to. So, even as we commune Phil, they are there, right beside you, so straighten that damned tie, will you?

Now I don’t have time to sit for ten minutes daily while google goes beserk searching for them again, and there’s no need since they obviously come by for their daily fix, and our old mate Geoff drops in on them anyway. So I should accept their offer. Would not be polite to refuse would it?

Now Geoff, can I suggest a mini bus (that should do) and if you are good they might let you drive. Tell them to buy in a couple of crates of the best (sorry no pub for miles out here mate) and head north by north west for around 600 Ks till they hit the desert up here.

The only problem I face with that Phil, is how I am going to get them down half a dozen dirt tracks the local shire pollies don’t think are even worth a name. Sure as hell they will lose themselves in the gidgee only to find their mobiles are stuffed, and I will have to send the Scot here out on a search mission, by which time they will have drunk all the good stuff and left the plonk for us. But mission possible I suppose. But I must remember to tell them to bring their own H20 as I am not sure they could stomach sobering up on the stuff that comes up out of the ground here, filtered as it is through the carcase of the odd reptile that fell down the bore. No doc for miles around, though the vet is a bit closer and he’s just as good.

But sure as emus eggs, as soon as its time for them to go Hughy will dump and I will be stuck with them for weeks. Guess I could put them all on the end of a hoe and get them onto the burrs. Now that is a thought. When can you all come, Geoff?

On second thoughts, I think I will just sign off and go chase the horde of roos off the crop.

Now please Phil. Straighten that damned tie will you?  If the good ship does go down (and at least we will not be sharing the lifeboats with the rats that have already departed), then I do not want my last image to be of you and that tie. I kinda picture you in the kitchen, chateau cardboard on the shelf, nipping away, flour up to your armpits, cooking cakes and that damned tie, hanging over your shoulder, being used to mop the sweat from your brow. While Malcolm I see, impeccable in his new tartan bow, everything put away as he uses it, and a well risen soufflé ready to serve. And no doubt reciting that damned English poet with Wagner and a good malt to keep him company.

Ah, the images of life Phil. Somehow the cat in the sandpit over yonder seems to be in the right place.

Now you sure you can’t add sweet to that picture of me?

Avoid The Harsh Light Of Day

I have the same problem, Phil. I try to stay indoors and keep away from cities, towns and villages as much as possible as well. Ever since the accident ...

Obsolete Classification Systems

Malcolm B. Duncan, “what practical solutions do you propose to our immediate problems like water or idiots (used in its technical sense of IQ 0-50) [obs].”

I don’t think your understanding of the obsolete classification systems referring to “idiot” ( now considered offensive) is correct. See here( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiot ) or here ( http://members.shaw.ca/delajara/IQBasics.html ).

Why are you using it in its obsolete, offensive technical sense anyway? Or was the reference to idiot merely a joke or witticism? If it was, please explain it to us.

Wow, the right-wing now controls Webdiary!

Daniel Smythe, are you serious? What do you suggest the editors of WD do, ban posters who don’t meet your approved ideology? Do you only wish to view posts that align with your own personal views and agenda?

I probably fit a little into your fourth group. Me being a “capitalist-loving” kind of guy, who voted Liberal at the last federal election (voted Labour at the last state, god knows why, I think I saw Brogden as too populist).

Also Daniel, what exactly would the “average punter” like to discuss here on WD? Is there a way to identify an “average punter”? Have any posted on this particular topic already?

Webdiary Blues!

Graham, Webdiary management can set the agenda three ways: by the articles they post, and by what comments they publish, and the editorial comments they make or don't make.

David R: and we choose to publish everything that fits within the Editorial Policy ...

I thought Margo's vision was for a forum that encouraged everyone to contribute, not a handful of people from small, narrow groups. Also, I thought she wanted John Howard out of the scene recognizing as she did the danger he poses. 

David R: and 'exercising control' by deliberately choosing to not publish articles or comment on the basis of their politics would encourage everyone to participate??

Regarding my agenda: I do not belong to any political party. I do not belong to any religious group. I am not fiercely nationalistic perferring to see myself as a world citizen. I have University qualifications but I do not flaunt them in an attempt to belittle others. I see capitalism as bringing out the worst in humankind and contributing to global conflict. I hate to see gross injustice and brutal bullying such as occurs in Palestine. And, being a pacifist, I detest  those who profit from war or use it politically for self-promotion and/or as a tool for closet imperialism.

P.S. And I do contribute to at least seven different forums (as well as run my own blog) so I have valuable experience in how a variety of forums work or don't work and it's from this base (as well as my concern about the survival of Webdiary which seems to me to be gradually disappearing up its own backside), that I made the comments I did.

What's the Purpose of Ridicule

Malcolm B. Duncan
, in addressing the question “what gives you the right to make someone else the butt of your cutting response to a perceived foolishness?” replies, “The English language, a tradition of rhetoric going back to the Ancient Greeks, a sense of humour (which I have yet to see displayed on your part) and effective use of all three to expose error, foolishness and wooly thinking”. On Webdiary, if one’s purpose is to expose error, foolishness or wooly thinking all that’s required is to make a cogent argument.

What purpose does ridiculing or insulting a contributor whose argument one considers erroneous, foolish or wool-ily thought serve to a) one's own argument and b) one's self? Malcolm B. Duncan, “ a sense of humour (which I have yet to see displayed on your part)”.

Yes, I rarely display humour on webdiary. So, what?

Malcolm B. Duncan, “While I adhere to the views expressed in those comments, I'm just not allowed to express them in terms and have undertaken not to do so”.

You can express your views any which way you like. But publication is out of your hands and whether you are published or not is another matter.

Malcolm B. Duncan, “Yet, remember, different people find different things provocative. I'm always mightily provoked by error, stupidity or illogicality”.

So make a cogent argument exposing the error, stupidity or illogicality.

Why are you mightily provoked by error, stupidity or illogicality?

Malcolm B. Duncan, “Do you assert that, if provoked, I should not have a right to comment?”

Why do you ask that question?

Malcolm B. Duncan, “Guidelines are just that - the joy is in challenging them”.

The guidelines in question are to do with insulting or abusing other webdiarists. Do you have a need or want to insult or abuse other webdiarists? If so, why?

Malcolm B. Duncan, “By the way, you always have the option of not reading a post”.

Yes, that is an option I have.

Malcolm B. Duncan, “I'll leave it at that because I wouldn't want to run the risk of offending you further by referring to certain of the geography of the Blue Mountains”.

What makes you think you’ve offended me?

Which geography of The Blue Mountains are you referring to?

This is madness

21st June David Roffey says : "one hesitates to say that there are more of them late at night ..." implying people are putting forward posts that make no sense when they are tired.

21st June Hank Reardon requests the following: " David if one is to imply that writing comments late at night will vastly increase the risk that somebody will create sloppy posts with an unacceptable end result could the devoted readership ask that you refrain from making management decisions in that same timeframe."

To which David Roffey responds " David R: "I can promise that!"

Merely hours later In the wee hours of 22nd June David Roffey sets comment moderation guidelines consistent with his own point "David R: as previously noted, I'm not referring to the odd error, but to comments that have more errors than they have text ..."

How on earth can any post have more errors than there is text? Given this impossibility are we to conclude now that every post will get published?

David R: a) technical notes: 1) the timestamp on the comment is the time of submission, not the time when it was published: it was soggy grey morning when I wrote that, not late night; 2) technically hyperbole, I think, though I may defer to Drs Reynolds and Duncan on whether it might be litotes. b) no.

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