More Hockey, Less War - I can live with that

Never know what a Google Alert will turn up.

Here's a left coast blogger writing "More Hockey, Less War". As a motto, it's one I could live with. (Remember, One Girl's Guide to Hockey? Am also enjoying The Game, by Ken Dryden, see my Powell's Bookshelf.)

What I like about the More Hockey, Less War blog in the brief bits I read this morning are the calls for true dialog as opposed to the false mantle of "tolerance" which too often, really means only one opinion is allowed. How did this perversion of public discourse happen? I'm sure loads of freshmen are studying that question somewhere but allow me to share a couple of recent personal examples.

  • Free speech and difference: I disagreed with an editor who publicly stated he was leaving to his writers the issue of handling massive scraping incident. While it should always be the copyright owner who initiates the protection claim; the editors, I felt/feel should protect the integrity (and site ranking) of the entire site by taking further action filing a complaint with the ISP of the offending site. I got called names and threatened with termination for being unprofessional. wtf? To make matters worse, this was in the writers' forum, where the editor (less than a week on the job) patrolled for any writers who seemed to be posting something other than puppies and rainbows. We all got one-on-one intimidating emails. 

This sort of attempt to silence writers is offensive to priniciples of free speech and goes directly against this particular editor's comments that his new mission was to support the writers. 

It also reminds me of the W regime's response to any reporters' legitimate questioning of a policy he couldn't defend. His response was often "Why  do you hate America?" I don't know at what point we began tolerating double-speak that says "I'm the authority - if you disagree with me you are wrong and evil." Difference of opinion does not equal "wrong and evil" it only indicates difference of opinion.

  • Once I pointed out the flaw in the PETA attacks on foie gras producers (all three of them). I noted the hypocrisy of leaving alone the very well represented by lobbyists and lawyers with loads of money CAFO beef producers - while they went after the small, at that time unrepresented, foie gras producers. I suggested they might spend time worrying about or doing something about say, childhood hunger in America. Just a thought. Did I get back facts or an invitation to debate the issues rationally? No. Got the most heinous personal attacks. Again, disagreement does not give one license to personally attack the other. Attack their reasoning, question their logic, eviscerate the quality of their source material, but leave the vitriol elsewhere. Irony and wit are not same thing as bile and menace.
  • Greenwashing: this is one of my recent favorites as there are just too many examples of it. When advertisers and marketeers saw the  emerging "Green" market they quickly re-tooled almost any product advertising they could with the gospel. "Buy fill-in-the-blank" to prove your green cred. Well no. Buying is in itself, often a violation of the first R of the environmental credo Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Buying "green" housecleaning wipes is an example. All the packaging and manufacturing and transport of a product so wholly unnecessary is inherently un-green. Reusing a towel, with a vinegar water or lemon juice solution is an eco friendly alternative. No extraneous packaging. 

Okay - file this under Bit o" Bile.

For more rants on greenwashing: