I must say, the Blogger Code of Conduct article in the New York Times was one of the funniest ideas of the week. Talk about "herding cats."
Yes, the Blogosphere can be nasty, petty, mean, vulgar, even threatening and evil. It's made up of people, and that's just the way some people are. There's no way to stop it without wholesale regulation and censorship. I don't think we want to go there.
That said, I do not hold that "freedom of speech" translates to a God-given right to spew foulness, hate, and venom without suffering any consequences. Granted, one can choose to do that. But others can choose to change the channel, avoid ugly websites, or otherwise ignore the perpetrators.
In my opinion, it is also perfectly OK for bloggers to delete offensive comments posted in their personal spaces. I find it odd that this is so controversial. Why should anyone have to put up with being insulted in their own home?
Knowing full well the nature of the Internet, I have always kept this blog below the radar. The door is open, the fire is lit, and there are comfy chairs aplenty. There is, however, no listing in the phone book, no neon sign to point the way here. Once in a while, a wonderful new acquaintance or a cherished longtime friend will wander in. To you all, I say Welcome. Have a seat, and let's chat.
I promise to play nice. And to chase the squirrels out.