Bil Browning

Comment of the Week: AndrewW

Filed By Bil Browning | December 19, 2010 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: comments policy

On guest blogger Jonathon Edwards' moving open letter to Dan Choi, frequent pain-in-the-ass AndrewW left this absolutely disgusting and ableist comment. He questions whether or not Lt. Choi is faking his recent breakdown and using it as a publicity ploy, one of the common tactics used to denigrate the mentally ill as Clean Up or You're Out! :Brooklyn Street Sign"fakers" or self-absorbed wretches desperate for attention.

Beautiful, heartfelt letter.

I think Choi had a breakdown because he stopped receiving "attention." With your letter, he is probably feeling better.

Many people and organizations have worked tirelessly to end DADT - the majority as volunteers and not "heroes."

I don't challenge Choi's enthusiasm or his commitment, but his tactics - from the suicide by starvation, to the plastic handcuffs and finally the press release announcing his "breakdown."

I hope he gets the medical help he needs, as much as he deserves.

There have only been a handful of commenters that we've banned on Bilerico Project over the years. I always give plenty of warnings about unacceptable behavior because I much prefer to let people talk - even if I think what they're saying is stupid. I've defended AndrewW's right to be an idiot repeatedly, even when he's pissed me off too. With this he has hit an odious new low by attacking someone for having a mental illness.

He was repeatedly warned; he has flirted with the edges of violating our Terms of Service for months. No more. He has been banned. Merry Christmas, folks.


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I guess this site doesn't support free speech.. he was in his right.. Nice to Know Bill that you are just like those whom don't want us to have rights..

Then again may you are bedding or hope to Choi..

Choi is not a demigod nor should he be treated as a tried as a deity

Washington DC DEC 19 |

There are limits to free speech Mr. SNT. In fact, there are standards that those who believe in practising civility will adhere to.

Your quote of; "Then again may you are bedding or hope to Choi.." absolutely reflects a serious transgression of those standards not unlike the example set by Andrew W and more than once.

I gather that your referenced ad hominem remark is an apparent personal statement that serves to illustrate your character as well as your apparent unwillingness to participate in a civilised discourse.

Andrew W often would launch similar attacks and as such quite literally was the embodiment of the definition of the phrase ' internet troll. '

Judging from your remarks- it appears that you & he share something in common Mr. SNT.

Of course the sad truth is that you, like Andrew W, and the countless thousands of your kind live in the dark nether regions of the anonymity afforded you by the nature of the Internet.

It must be a particularly painful emotional existence to live in a mockery of intelligent life tucked safely away behind the keyboard and monitor unable to openly participate as a fully realise human being.

You have my pity and my condolences sir.

Oh, one more small item Mr. Troll, excuse me Mr. SNT, I have had the great pleasure of getting to know Bil Browning both here and in person as well as his wonderful husband. Your sarcastic flinging of rhetorical feces by comparing Bil to say, Bryan Fischer as an example? You are incorrect and off base on entirely ALL levels.

For Bil and his staff, husband, and those who read these words, please forgive my breaking the Bilerico Project's cardinal rule of "Please Don't Feed The Trolls," I just couldn't let that bit pass without a defence of some sort as I took deep offence to Mr. Troll's prose.

Have a wonderful holiday folks...Oh and Mr. Troll? Please, Please, go annoy the neighbors in the right wing blogs & sites would you? Your breath taking displays of studied ignorance are not desired, wanted, nor appreciated here.

I know who SNT is, Brody. I can assure you he's no troll. While you, of course, are entitled to your own opinion, you don't get to make up your own facts.

When many in the LGBT blogosphere learned of Choi’s breakdown and subsequent hospitalization, none of us hid our love/hate relationship with him. To do otherwise would be underming our own integrity as opinion bloggers. At the same time, however, we all congratulated him for making a serious personal decision and taking responsibility of his own life. At no time has anyone called him mentally ill.

But Bill Browning has. Several times, in fact.

The bottom line is this: Choi is not a demigod nor should he be treated as a tried as a deity.

Let's not forget that this Bill Browning who earlier this month tried to invoke a intellectual property argument against Rachel Maddow over a photo that he does not own either.

I'm going to go on the record: I am very happy for Dan Choi that DADT is off the books, or will be soon. Nothing pleases more than seeing the gay community rally behind him and others and help him find closure.

However, I will remind Bill, Brody and all the other Dan worshippers, we've other issues to deal with, such as marriage, ENDA.

My issue is the prison industrial complex, but whatever.

The LGBT community soon will need to let Dan Choi go.

If Bill doesn't like this comment, he can ban me too. It is his website, after all. Go ahead throw me and everyone else out who doesn't fit into your narrow minded view or lifestyle.

In as much as I've had disagreement with AndrewW, this one is going to be among the great fails of 2010.

I'm curious who this Bill browning is you refer to. There is no Bill Browning associated with Bilerico.

Freedom of speech does not apply to privately owned websites, and to make the argument that it does literally undermines the very idea of other liberties and freedoms.

Next you'll be telling me that freedom of speech also means freedom from the consequences of that speech.

"Free speech" is about the government telling you what you can and can't say. There is no free speech on private websites.

I think it is a good decision and long overdue. the comments he made were awful many times.

Dan Choi needs our support! not hate!

Dan Choi does need our support. Thank you Bill for being willing to make the hard choices.

Um, making fun of the mentally ill is, by most accounts, an act of projection- of fears, at least.
Sad.

Happy holidays to everyone. Dan was in my prayers last week. I'm glad he has recovered.

I'm glad Andrew has had a voice on this site, but to be honest, I'll also be glad to see him have a little break.

Andrew often comments in order to insight controversy. That's not what the Bilerico Project is supposed to be about. Its supposed to be about discussion. Its supposed to be about conversation. Not about egging on fights. There have been things I've disagreed with Andrew about. There have been things I've agreed with Andrew about. On face value. At no time have I ever even suspected--even a bit--that Andrew was sincere. There are a lot of Contributors and commenters that I whole-heartedly disagree with, who are ALWAYS sincere, and I respect them for that--and I hope they respect me for my sincerity as well. Alex and I don't always agree, but I respect the hell out of him. Yasmin and I rarely agree, but I admire her to the moon and back. But there is always something disingenuous about Andrew. I'd like him to be honest with us and tell us what his game is. Then I could respect him and defend him. As we've NEVER seen anything consistent from Andrew--even within the same 24 hour period--i really don't know which version of Andrew I would be defending for free speech.

The only thing Andrew ever seems to stand for is pushing buttons. I appreciate those who make me think and defend myself. I don't appreciate those who merely throw rocks at glass houses.

While I disagree with silencing anyone's voice, I really don't think Andrew has much of one. He seems to be someone looking for a reaction, and saying anything to get one. That's not a voice, that's a neurosis.

Of course, that said, many of us on Bilerico say controversial things. That's the point of this site. I hope this does not set a precedent. Will I be banned for being a conservative "equality-activist" liberal bisexual bore? Will the radical liberationists be censored? Will Jarrod Chlapowski need to get approved to post anything military-related?

Let's clarify here.

Then again, after having had a front row seat for RonGoldGate, I understand the need for caution over anything published on this site. But banning someone as ubiquitous as AndrewW can be a slippery slope as well.

I don't envy your position, Bil, if I had my own site I would have no idea WHAT to do with a problem like AndrewW!

The ironic part is he has been banned from other gay sites and it was pointed out to him on here. He blamed the sites saying they just didn't like his view point then he publishes this and shows why.

I'm assuming this is an editorial board decision, and I'll respect that. Mental illness is a serious matter, and I plan on writing something about the trauma brought about by war upon those it is perpetrated AND brought about when we force people to join the army because we give them no other choices. Those are the issues no one is talking about these days.

Having said that, I would like to point out to everyone, though, that this does not mean that Dan Choi is now invulnerable to critique. Choi is a problematic figure for many reasons, for many people across the political spectrum.

While none of us would berate him for his current ills, it's best to remember that he is also a political figure (I'm assuming he will return to that life soon) and, as such, open to political critique. I raise this point because I'm seeing a lot of "Dan Choi needs our support, no matter what!" comments in different places. I want to gently remind folks that the issue of his current illness is separate from how we consider his political work and what critiques we might apply to it.

And perhaps this is a reminder that making heroes out of people does no one any good.

While none of us would berate him for his current ills, it's best to remember that he is also a political figure (I'm assuming he will return to that life soon) and, as such, open to political critique... I want to gently remind folks that the issue of his current illness is separate from how we consider his political work and what critiques we might apply to it.

And perhaps this is a reminder that making heroes out of people does no one any good.

Well said, Yasmin.

Dan's political actions are debatable. His hospital stay isn't.

Well, thanks, Bil. But just to clarify: I'd still urge caution on the lines of what Gnosis said below - the fact that I sympathise with Choi's *condition* simply means that I'll take his words at face value and that I want to be respectful to those who do suffer from mental illnesses. But as others here have pointed out, I don't think it's at all inappropriate to ever question whether someone, perhaps Choi, who is known for bad publicity stunts like hunger strikes that never went where hunger strikes usually go (massive bodily breakdown or death) might not be using "mental illness" as a shield.

I think SkepticalCicada also puts it well: "Still, Choi is a public figure. If a politician--say Senator Manchin--missed a gay-rights vote and claimed it was because of an illness, it would be appropriate, I think, to question whether the supposed illness were just a made-up excuse. Now Choi's not in exactly that situation, but it still seems like a very, very close question here."

Given his sudden and recent (today) appearance on the airwaves to once again insert himself into the public conversation around DADT, I suspect the suspicions and questions will not go away.

And I would hope that well-placed critiques and questioning of his motivations will not be summarily dismissed either as "You're denying the existence of PTSD and therefore the trauma of all war and rape victims!" or simply silenced away (and there is actually some interesting left psychoanalytic literature which questions the historical creation of PTSD as a medical category, but that's neither here nor there for now).

Excellent, excellent point. Thank you for this.

I'm assuming this is an editorial board decision, and I'll respect that.

Nope, this one was 100% Bil's.

Ah? Well, that's interesting and good to know...

This smells funny. I think Bil is just banning disagreement. It's easy to gather a few friends that agree with you.

I don't see anything objectionable in the referenced comment. Plenty of people question Choi's motives, but I guess Bilerico simply wants cheerleaders.

Kathy Padilla | December 19, 2010 10:56 PM

Great - now we'll never get that ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS! Damn. Thanks, Bil. I had plans.

SkepticalCidada | December 19, 2010 11:13 PM

I've certainly had my own frustrating exchanges with AndrewW, frustrating mainly because all he ever did was bash any approach to legislative reform, deem everything futile, and insist that DADT was never going to be repealed this year. He obviously wasn't banned for any of that kind of thing--and shouldn't have been.

I have no idea what else he's done that came close to crossing the line, and I wouldn't presume to be too critical of the decision to ban him based on the above comment. But it strikes me as a very, very close call, and (depending on what he was warned for) I probably wouldn't have banned him for this Choi comment. It's tacky, but the basic point--I take it--is that Choi is an attention-hound and that the reports of his condition are an attention-getting pretext. They're tacky assertions, and I don't find them persuasive. Still, Choi is a public figure. If a politician--say Senator Manchin--missed a gay-rights vote and claimed it was because of an illness, it would be appropriate, I think, to question whether the supposed illness were just a made-up excuse. Now Choi's not in exactly that situation, but it still seems like a very, very close question here.

Nevertheless, I respect Bil's going out of his way to give warnings and to come and explain his decision to everyone. I respect that decision.

This whole Choi thing is absurd, he is a disgrace and making a mockery of soldiers that have real scars from battle. Choi is always engaged in stunts whether it be hunger strikes, attacking congresspeople, demanding outrages speaking fees, and spouting off at the mouth when he has no clue about policy. The stress that he endured was from trying to figure out how he is going to stay in the spotlight with DADT on its death bed. I don't know what AndrewW did but it seems wrong to censor someone becuase you disagree with their opinion. The disgust at Choi is widespread becuase people are seeing the selfish opportunist through his victim disguise. Choi is not suffering from a mental illness, he is suffering from out of control narcissism.

So PTSD isn't a real mental illness, and it's not damaging? Well gosh, I'll be sure to go out and tell every rape victim and soldier with PTSD I know that they're just faking it for attention and they need to get over themselves and let the people with REAL injuries get all the sympathy.

The fact that Dan Choi was committed to a mental hospital does not mean that the triggers of his mental illness are beyond critique. For two years we've indulged Dan mostly because Rachel Maddow gave him a platform. But many of us who know him and who have engaged in activism with him have been privy to an uglier side of Dan. Dan was always ready to pick a fight for the sake of fighting. He would grab onto destructive actions if only to be part of a fight. Many of us distanced ourselves from him long ago. So Andrew W is right. Dan has been losing the attention of people who once rallied around him. It's worth exploring this for the good of the movement.

Choi is almost incapable of grasping the finer points of legislating and political science. In recent week, other people who do have a grasp of the political process, such as Alex Nicholson, became the real leaders of DADT repeal. Members of Congress who had used Choi to elevate the issue of DADT saw his erratic behavior and couldn't work with it. When he used sexist language to characterize Harry Reid, women's groups and their allies made it clear they didn't view Choi as a voice for equality.

So as DADT repeal reached a climax, Dan found himself mostly irrelevant. Nobody was looking to him for strategy or organizational skills. He was a sensational poster boy who was demonstrating less and less efficacy communicating about DADT.

Dan has had very little life outside of his identity as a gay soldier. I'm sure he's in the middle of an existential crisis. If his function as a poster boy is gone and he no longer has a military career, he has to figure out who he was and what he wants to be. That's not easy when you've been so extreme in defining who you are.

So was Andrew W off base for writing that Choi's breakdown was in response to a lack of attention? I think not. I think this movement needs to look back at what it did to get DADT repealed. One thing it did was exploit Dan Choi until he was no longer useful. In that sense, Choi is a victim. But on the other hand, the reason Choi outlived his usefulness is because he stopped listening to other people involved in the cause and engaged in behavior that damaged the work of others who support equality. Many activists should take a lesson from that and learn that if they want to remain useful, they have to work well with others.

As for the editorial choice to ban Andrew W, this site has given voice to much more obnoxious voices. If Andrew W can't express his views on the role of a political public figure like Choi, then this site has no credibility when it passes judgement on other actors in the movement.

SkepticalCidada | December 21, 2010 4:40 PM

"because he stopped listening to other people involved in the cause"

Some of those people--namely HRC--were themselves detrimental to the cause and needed to be ignored.

I disagree with this decision, Bil.

Thank you Bil. He derailed way too many threads and was simply obnoxious.

Hmm. I'm happy DADT was repealed, but I have never been any of Choi's either. But I guess you only allow a cheering section here, so I'm not even going to try to give you my reasons. I'd hate to disturb you with any real "discussion."

Hmm. I'm happy DADT was repealed, but I have never been any fan of Choi's either. But I guess you only allow a cheering section here, so I'm not even going to try to give you my reasons. I'd hate to disturb you with any real "discussion."

If one can not express themselves and debate in a civil manner their argument is not worth holding.
Respect is important for all people. When we strip someone of that, even those we do not like, we begin a process of denigration. All people deserve dignity and respect, especially those with problems.

Too many people believe the end justifies the means. It doesn't! How you get there is much more important in life.

I read his comments and fumed with hurt, disgust, and his lack of human sensitivity. My anger prohibited my return thoughts. However, he fails to understand the toll that oppression mentally or physically takes on an individual. I knew at a very young age that I was "different." Yet, I quickly learned that family, society, and church dispised "homos." So at this early age of 5 yrs, I learned the art of deception and wore my "happy- I'm ok" mask. I became the family comedian and chose popularity and hard work to cover up the pain inside. Coping was hard and I soon developed Irritable Bowels Syndrome which requires medication. The inner pain continued and within a decade I was on Anti Anxieties and Anti Depressants. I married, had 4 children, became a "fundie" minister---all because this was required to continue the charade to avoid rejection. Well, it didnt work. I was beaten up in high school, cast out of church, lost my family and marriage (though its getting better with time), and continue to survive on meds to work, sleep, and survive. Mr Choi, like most all of us in the gay community, has long and deep scars of abuse. I finally called it quits and opening came out when I was 47 yrs OLD. I live with the mental pain of having lost 47 yrs of my inner life and peace. Today I have 4 wonderful kids who accept dad as gay. But relationships are still distant and strained. I walk along often and continue to grieve over the pain and hurt of being gay and having to hide and be a totally different person so others accept and are happy with the false facade I wore "just for them."
The moral of my story: Open your eyes Andrew W. and be human. Learn what the Native Americans meant when they taught to "walk a mile in another's moccasins." Its a shame that this world continues to house inconsiderate, hurtful people as you. I learned a valuable lesson as a "fundie" christian: "christians are those who continue to wound their wounded." May it be applied to humanity as well. My sincere sorrow for you.

it is up to the person managing the site to decide what is appropriate and what isnt, when to ban and what not, and those decisions will never go without criticism. so i'm not sure opinions on it, really matter,
but i think it was a good choice. :-)

I respect your decision, too, Bil, acknowledging that I don't have your day-to-day experience with the comments. But this particular comment didn't strike me as beyond the pale. Lots of regular commenters here say tasteless, mean, and personal things routinely and without a lot of pushback.

I'm in favor of letting the assholes fly their flags. Years ago, I used to read the comments on joemygod every day, but that's turned into such a snake pit, I can't stomach it any more. Which is to say, I understand what it is you're trying to avoid, and I appreciate it. Thank you!

Having read through the thread and the reasons given, I cannot help but thinking was he banned just because he attacked Choi over the breakdown or was he banned for repeatedly making vile posts? The above post does not seem too nasty and it is not something I haven't heard other people say before. If Choi did have a breakdown, I hope he got the help he needs. I just don't think banning someone who goes against Choi is necessary or advantageous unless his comments were particularly revolting. Nobody in our movement should be beyond reproach.

It was the straw that broke the camel's back. He had a history of warnings & deleted comments. This comment was against the Terms of Service (ableism) and I could finally pull the trigger. Quite often he would skirt the edges of our TOS but this time he stepped over the line.

What a great early Christmas present. Every time I saw AndrewW hi-jack the conversations on Bilerico, I wouldn't return because as Steven wrote I couldn't "stomach it any more." He's a cyber-bully as evidenced by his latest ugly and hateful attack on Dan.

Andrew is certainly not the only person in the community who holds such a view on Lt. Dan.

Take this site for example:
http://focusontherainbowopine.outloudblogs.com/2010/12/15/lt-dan-choi-enters-hospital-for-breakdown-or-could-it-be-just-another-publicity-stunt/

I wish no ill will on Dan, but I don't really care for his style of activism. I especially didn't like that he was so ill prepared in his interviews. He could hardly talk about anything other than blame Obama. The Christ Matthews interview was so sad.

The repeal that took place this weekend is not a victory brought on by recent activism alone.

The bulk of the glory goes on the shoulders of activist, both grassroots and organized, that have fought this policy for years. The men and women who worked to get people like Patrick Murphy elected.

infulleffect | December 20, 2010 9:48 AM

Well done...thank you.

alright, lets be real here folks. no one is silencing this idiot. he can start his own blog just as easily as this one was created. if he has valid or interesting things to say (A HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS!), he will get the attention he seeks.


it's called the internet, get with it folks...

Look, it's Bil's blog (ultimately) and it's Bil's decision (whether he takes it upon himself or whether he feels better delegating it to the editorial board).

Besides, AndrewW speaks quite frequently on other gay blogs, so it's not as if he is being "silenced."

We simply won't here him around here and if we do hear him around here at a future date he knows that he must respect the house that he is in.

Trolls never die, they just change usernames.

Remember, Don't Feed the Trolls!

They would also have to change their IP address to get back on here.

For the record, I am not a fan of Lt. Choi. I respect him and his beliefs, but he is too "over the top" for me. Having said this, I, to am a veteran, and suffer from PTSD. This has many symptoms, and can be exhibited in many ways. Lt. Choi suffers from PTSD. So, regardless of his appetite for attention (which could easily be a symptom of PTSD as could his aggression) I believe that giving Lt. Choi a pass on this is the right thing to do. Mental health issues are disability issues, which is where AndrewW crossed the line. Not because of the person, but because of the disability he chose to denegrate.

Just my take, and insight.

I'll respect your decision Bil but I must say as a Veteram myself that what Andrew said wasn't even close to the worst statement I've heard made about Vets here.There are several posters that have shown outright contempt for anyone who has served in the military. They have accused Veterans and current service members basically of being blood thirsty tools that would kill anything that moves. Those people should be held just as liable for causing harm to Lt. Choi as Andrew.Lt. Choi I hope that you get well soon.

Aww Bil, I am going to miss Andrew. But I'll think about it this way. You gave him what he was always demanding, accountability.

Bil,

Is this action a culmination of previous comments? If not, can you clarify the abusive statement in his comment. What part constitutes ableism?

-cut-
He questions whether or not Lt. Choi is faking his recent breakdown and using it as a publicity ploy,
-cut-

How this is any different from calling Choi an "attention whore"? Which many others have echoed.

Reference: http://www.bilerico.com/2010/06/dan_chois_dadt_hunger_strike.php

-cut-
The rumor mill has it that GetEqual activists demanded that Choi do his hunger strike outside of the org's umbrella and are none too pleased with his latest publicity stunt.
-cut-

Outside of semantics what is the fundamental difference between these two statements?

-cut-
one of the common tactics used to denigrate the mentally ill as "fakers" or self-absorbed wretches desperate for attention
-cut-

The context of your wording implies his statement referred to _ALL_ mentally ill people. It is reinforced with the plural "fakers". His comments were specific to Choi.

-cut-
I don't challenge Choi's enthusiasm or his commitment, but his tactics - from the suicide by starvation, to the plastic handcuffs and finally the press release announcing his "breakdown."
-cut-

He even pays a compliment (although a back-handed one) noting his enthusiasm and commitment. I recognize the parallel he draws with Choi's previous conduct. Again, others question his prior behavior. Why is this any different?
In this VERY NARROW instance I agree with AndrewW, it was an aberrant decision to announce one is receiving treatment via what amounts to a new media bulletin. The additional request to broadcast this information presents as downright bizarre. That act appeared disingenuous and appeared to relegate his recovery to an afterthought.

I understand this is your site and comments are at your pleasure. If AndrewW was bothersome (I've read enough of his comments to know he was) it is your right to ax him. I just want to point out it is hypocritical to claim this is due to "disgusting" privileged comments.

Reference: http://www.bilerico.com/2010/10/why_people_think_misogynistracistetc_are_just_mean.php

-cut-
"Harry Reid is a pussy," Choi angrily said after the failed vote in the Senate last month, vowing to speak out about the Democratic leader, "and he'll be bleeding once a month."
-cut-

Apologies if they exist, but I searched and did not locate your condemnation of Choi's comment. Barring terminology, what is the difference between Choi calling Reid a pussy and a straight guy calling Choi a fag? Both statements infer weakness and equate it with womanhood. I find that comment "disgusting" and misogynistic (drilled home with the blood reference).

Again, I understand this is your site and user participation is at your discretion, and I completely support that. I visit because the perspectives provided are not always my own and sometimes force me to self examine. Somewhat like when you acknowledged your IDK epiphany.

Ref: http://www.bilerico.com/2008/09/i_dont_know_nothin.php

That said, I do believe it is disingenuous that you easily label AndrewW an ableist while giving Choi a pass. If this a case of excusable indiscretion for Choi then why not for AndrewW? How about for others who made "insert slur here" comments? There truly is no gold in the Oppression Olympics. However, it appears taking offense to slights (perceived or real) against "insert oppressed group here" while ignoring others against "insert other oppressed group here" assigns one set a value in a higher degree than the other.

Please see above. It was a culmination of actions dating back months. This was just the final straw. We followed our procedure on banning someone & it allows for PLENTY of warnings before we ban anyone.

I think what many are missing this is not a random thing with him. He had already been banned from Pam's House Blend, AmericaBlog and a few other sites. He has a history. Actually Bil showed much more restraint than others.

Good choice Bil... long overdue.

Angela Brightfeather | December 20, 2010 2:16 PM

When it comes to Andrew, he had much to say about what everyone else was doing wrong, but he never answered the big question of what have you done differently that succeeded? He also never offered any solutions, he just complained about what everyone else was doing. I think the operational word here is "doing". He did nothing.

I'm with Bil on this one for sure.

I don' think AndrewW did anything that deserves being banned ...

... OTOH, I won't miss him ...

... probably the same that many readers might think about me ...
 

As a note...

Andrew was banned for his own actions. His own actions violated the Terms of service. Bilerico is a private enterprise.

My actions have violated the terms of service now and again, and Bil's given me the what for on more than one occasion as a result.

It isn't a matter of what he said about Dan Choi, specifically. It is what he said about person's with a mental illness as a whole, and what he said regarding it being "faked".

Think for a moment, please. Dan Choi is not a major political figure with serious financial clout who can change the rules of hospital's to suit his own whims.

If he's been hospitalized, then the idea that he's faking it is exceptionally ableist, since he wouldn't be hospitalized otherwise.

AndrewW absolutely did have a lot of detractors -- myself included, and when I get on someone's case, I'm not only irascible, I'm very, very pointed about it.

Andrew's freedom of speech has not been affected. He is still quite capable of saying the same foolish things he's said over and over again. He can do it in public spaces at any time.

This is a private space, though. It is very much akin to Bil's "home". In the same way that if Andrew were to stand in the lobby of some large building and scream nasty stuff he would be shown the door, he's been told to do the same here.

The right of freedom of speech does not trump the right of an owner of a place to determine what is and what is not permitted.

As for my thoughts on the actual banning, well, I will miss AndrewW. Because I liked being able to point out his personal failings and rather hilarious hypocrisy when the mood struck me.

But that's about me, not about him.

Well, Bil, now you've gone and done it. Self-hoisted martyrs love this kind of treatment. Nonethtless, mental illness has suffere din the shadows for too long. We cannot and must not make light of it. And he did. Big time.

It's your blog. You have to pay to keep the blog active, unless it's makign a ton of dough, which I doubt. It's a labor of love, and even when I disagree, I admire the dedication.

You have the right to ban any of us for any reason whatsoever. I've witnessed some pretty sad things here that weren't cut, but you obviously gave him plenty of leeway.

Andrew was frighteningly similar to Sen. McCain, the equivalent of that old neighborhood grouch who stood on his porch and shouted to all us neighborhood kids: "Stay off my lawn."

Whenever that happened, we always egged the guy's house. At night. Like the childish cowards we were.

You banned him in the bright light of the open day. Bully for you.

But if he comes back, I've got some eggs...


Angela Brightfeather | December 21, 2010 11:21 AM

This morning I read the first contribution from Alan Blounville and I was inspired about activism.
Had Andrew been allowed to comment on that piece, as I am sure he would have, he would have thrown and immediate wet towel all over such and inspirational contribution and it would have runined my morning altogether and might have lasted until this afternoon.

Bil, that is the difference and why you were correct in telling Andrew to take a hike. He has runined enough mornings for a lot of readers and right or wrong, you don't hurt your friends and allies.

Bil's House Blend, huh?

I'm not going to disagree because I don't want to get blocked, too.

What was he warned for? Disagreeing? Maybe you can furnish a list of these warnings? Or how many time he/she had comments blocked?

His comment about Choi really doesn't seem actionable and it certainly isn't ableism.

I witnessed Andrew take a lot of crap from many people on this website. He never went personal and generally complimented people like he did with Choi in this supposed abusive comment.

I recall no warnings or deleted comments by Andrew, but I enjoyed his ideas.

It's clear who had the thicker skin here and didn't simply want to stifle meaningful conversation. It looks like Bil has some other reason to block this person because it certainly wasn't anything I saw.

I relate to Bil's experience. AndrewW is well known to me and our site at Lezgetreal.com. He has been banned from our site for a number of reasons. And like in this case he was given ample opportunity to be relevant, but failed miserably.

His comments are designed to steer the direction and course of the arguments and even of the movement, planting rotten seeds.

As it happens I too am a critic of Choi's antics only in so far as the conflict of interests between antics vs. profit. I have written about it in the Blog.

One really important reason for blocking AndrewW is the fact that he hides behind a pseudonym, often showing up as other names too- her impersonates and he is basically a coward. If you are going to make certain comments - that go to the root of criticizing and hurting others, my opinion is that you loose the right to "so called freedom of speech" until you are willing to attach your real name and identity behind the comment

I am writing an article and will soon be ready on OUTING ANDREWW You will be fascinated about this story.. Maybe someone else will beat me to it... heheheh

I always enjoyed Andrew though we seldom agreed. He stimulated thought and it was very obvious some people just had a hard time with that. Oh gee, too bad.

Now here's a point about Choi that I haven't seen yet discussed. He made a big deal of trying to re-up during the brief period DADT was illegal but the bets were all on the appeals court staying that ruling. But wait, does Choi really want to rejoin the military? My money says no and the way to stay out is to check yourself into a hospital for psychiatric problems in a very public way. Poor guy, they'll never take him back now. Aww, seems a bit transparent to me but I've never seen the issue raised probably because no one wanted to be accused of ... well ... being an Andrew.