|Joe, Jeff and Linz can do anything they want to on this forum. There can be no questioning their property rights.
Whether they OUGHT to ban or moderate people who offend them, whether being rude or holding contrary, but not without support in facts and logic versions of Objectivism, is another issue. It is the issue of may versus ought.
Ultimately, we can express our opinions as to where to draw the line, but as for each of us in our lives, we all draw our own lines. Objectivism (i.e., reality) can guide us as to principles that ought to guide running a forum like this. Maybe more on this later.
Let's get one thing straight. Joe has never been the first to pull out name-calling or insults. If you find Joe posting something insulting or condescending, it is after his 3rd or 4th time explaining something to someone who is being insulting towards him from the beginning. Joe is definitely more patient than I am. Even when Joe has someone dead to rights in an argument, he HAS NEVER NAME-CALLED OR INSULTED THEM without them first doing so, unless they are not taking the disagreement seriously, in which case, they are wasting Joe's time. I follow what Joe writes because he is a tremendously talented thinker and writer. He practices what he 'preaches.' Even if you do not like him, or agree with him as to his particular explanation of Objectivism, you MUST Objectively appreciate his contributions, his accomplishments. In light of this, if benevolence is a virtue, I have no idea why Mr. Elmore decided to open a critque of Joe's article as he did. I suspect that such a caustic opening coupled with a vicious attack on Joe's ideas, in combination, is what really ruffled feathers. Joe's mind is his stock in trade. Joe carefully cultivates and spends tremendous time honing and testing his ideas and the premises he holds. A vicious attack on them, coupled with name calling, is sure as hell not benevolent.
What I am saying is that Elmore's attack is different in KIND that Joe's occasional derisive post.
I have already posted in the past how much I like Linz, and how much I wish he would be less volcanic and abrasive when his shorts are in a bundle.
I'm neither a Perigo/Rowlands fanboy, nor a detractor. I see the tremendous good that they do, but also disagree on a few things.
Here is what should happen.
1. David Elmore should write a public apology to Joe along these lines: "Joe, I apologize for beginning my post with such abrasive and harsh language. I still think you are wrong on several points, but I agree that I was over the top. In the future, I will be a bit more reserved in the language I use to explain why you are wrong, to reflect that, while we disagree on the minutiae, as Objectivists, we probably agree on about 90% of the rest of life."
2. Linz should write a public apology to Jennifer along these lines: "Jennifer, we [SOLO] appreciate your contributions here greatly, and value you as a thinker and as a presence. I apologize if my words made you feel that I, and SOLO, hold you, and your thoughts, in any but the highest regard.
[These must be public because the insults and discussion has, thus far, been public. No grovelling, just an admission of error and mutualy respect. Nothing to be embarassed of, but instead, benevolent virtue to be PROUD of.]
3. A new policy of: A. Private contact with request for public retraction or apology of offending post; followed by B. Moderated status (is A is refused); and C. Banning (if B doesn't work), ought to be adopted.
I will leave with my thoughts on the dinner party analogy. You don't insult your host at a dinner party. As host, it is not okay to insult your guests. But as the host of the dinner party, I would NEVER allow any guests to insult other guests, beyond what I myself would stand for.
If we agree that this analogy has wheels, then it is silly to have a double standard for hosts of dinner parties and guests.
The issue is one of benevolence FIRST, and ownership of this site second. Offer benevolence until someone demonstrates that they are no longer worthy of it. And the door swings both ways.
Insulters and insultees in this instance all owe one another and deserve some benevolence.