Monday, June 26, 2006

Immigration Debate Gets Serious at New England Republican

Things are getting pretty ugly over at New England Republican, all as a result of some high-temperature rhetorical bomb-throwing over immigration reform.

Some time ago, one of NER's regular posters, Optimistic Patriot, initiated a series of posts on the immigration reform issue. As his name might suggest, OP is a fervent adherent to the "hard right" position that brooks no dissent over the demand that all illiegals be sent packing.

Equally as zealous on the opposite side of the issue, one "docweasel" posted his own high-octane opinions. Well, the comments began to get pretty nasty between OP and docweasel, and then, in his own post, docweasel felt compelled to reference the Nuremberg Laws and a commenter's reference to rounding up non-citizens. He apologized for his role in the boiling rhetoric, but posted on the issue nonetheless. Not to be outdone, OP resumed his posting on the issue the same day with two posts covering English Only and Identity Theft.

Concerned that his blog was devolving into a KOS-like food fight, NER's owner issued a demand that there be no further posting on immigration until things cooled down a bit.

That request was honored for less than one day, when OP posted each day thereafter. His posts were generally measured and mature, discussing the latest developments and opinions on the issue as it was before Congress.
Doc didn't like this. He carped that OP was violating NER's "gag order" and proceeded to bash OP for his style. Doc was there to comment on OP's posts, criticizing OP for his snideness, snarkiness -- generally being a total ass. OP took it in stride, for the time.

Then came docweasel's post, "Keep America Stupid -- Seal the Borders!" There he drew parallels between OP's ilk and the Know Nothing Party of the 1800's and suggested that by keeping out illegal immigrants were were "dumbing down" America. In the comments, he responded by claiming that OP and others had astounding "venom" and "hatred" for immigrants (all imimigrants, not just illegals).

OP next posted the day the Senate killed the immigration bill, and the comment section looked like the crowd at an Ireland-England World Cup Soccer match. Doc raised the "pure venom and hate" line again, calling the others un-Christian and un-American and continued with his asinine antics, finally (one would hope) signing off with the farewell line, "Glad to be shed of you and the New England Racist. "

Would that it were true. Doc could not resist his own manic compulsions and "went postal" with this crap:

"You can tell a lot about people by the company they keep and whose side they espouse. Let’s take a look at the face of the anti-immigration crowd in America today, and some of their statements.

The leaders and main cheerleaders and angry white people behind the anti-immigration furor are out and out admitted bigots, and their positions and issues are nearly indistinguishable from the “main-stream” Republican position."

He mentions the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis and White Supremacists. Classy!

OP responded to this in a restrained and measure fashion, simply saying that the anti-immigration adherents wouldn't be intimidated by such name calling. Originally, the headline for the post was "Docweasel's Intimidation Tactics..." and I wish NER had kept it that way.

But doc took vehement exception to having his name actually appear in the headline -- suggesting in the comments that some sort of protocol or rule was violated, resulting in "massive malfeasance and misuse of your (posting) privilege." Truly off-the-wall stuff. It was nutty enough that NER decided he'd better take doc's name out of the headline after all.

Why do I torture you with all of this?

Because docweasel has done something very very serious since. Doc has threatened to sue NER if his "copyrighted material" isn't taken down immediately, and he has sent a notice to NER's ISP under the DMCA alleging that NER is using copyrighted material without permission. The material in question? The new masthead and some of the style code that docweasel supplied to NER at the same time he was brought on to become a contributor to the blog. It would appear that at the time, doc was providing the work product to NER either as a gift or as a result of his increasing involvement in the blog's work product. Now he says that "all agreements were strictly informal. Therefore, since there is no agreement, I can rescind and remove MY work at any time."

One hopes that Doc receives some instruction in basic contract law soon.

I had this guy pegged as a loon the moment he came on board, when he totally flipped out that I was correcting his atrocious and serial misspellings. Seems I should have done that in private emails instead of showing him up in the comments. He quit once, then came back. When he returned, I decided that I had better things to do.

Here's hoping that NER sticks to its guns and gives docweasel the spanking he richly deserves.

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