Editor's reply to Boone letter
by Kort E Patterson, Editor
First of all, let me thank you for this, your second letter to Port of Call! This ranks you as one of our more prolific contributors.
Most of your letter deals with your assessment of the quality, fairness, logical integrity, factual basis, and motives of my writing. While they may work in the main stream propaganda mill, derisive labels don't constitute a valid argument in either traditional logic or Port of Call. Your letter was well stocked with derogatory words and phrases, but woefully short on specifics.
Since you fail to offer any substantiating evidence of your accusation of "assumptions without support" and other condemnations, am I to assume that your accusations are as empty of substance as your letter? Or is it that you don't feel bound by the same literary obligations as you wish to impose on me?
I am currently quite comfortable with the logical and factual foundations of my arguments and conclusions. Tell me where I'm wrong if you can. If all you're going to do is call me names, you're not worth the bother. Your empty diatribe probably won't even take as much room in the newsletter as my response.
The first warning bell sounds when you proclaim "I do not advocate censorship, nor do I support suppressing free dialogue and objective discussion about controversial subjects." Ever notice how all the worst assaults on freedom start out with the disingenuous claim that "this is not what it appears to be!" Every censor claims not to be engaged in censorship. However, in my humble opinion, when you advocate an end result that is the same as if censorship was being employed, you are advocating censorship regardless of any desire on your part to semantically avoid the reality of your intentions.
You seek to draw an inappropriate connection between my editorials and my articles - claiming that both should be labeled as editorials. Are you implying that because I am editor, I am denied the right to submit articles as a member? I could go to all the trouble of using a pen name for my articles, but why bother? Most of you would know it was me anyway. If you check your back issues, you'll see that in some issues I get by with just a small editorial, while in other issues nearly every word is mine. I consider "Digressions & Diatribes" to be my "allocated" editorial space, while my articles are filler after including all member submissions. My Waco article was rolled over from 2 issues back because it was repeatedly bumped by member submissions.
I am a little confused. Are you objecting to the topics I've chosen to write about (lately a bit heavy on the political side, but over the long term pretty diverse), to my style of writing, or to my treatment of the topics I've addressed? Are you objecting that only I have submitted articles addressing my interests and points of view, or that other members have failed to submit articles addressing their differing interests and points of view? Or is it, perhaps, that no one has written in support of your point of view for you?
Surely you don't really expect the unpaid help to recognize your innate authority and rush to accommodate your autocratic demands just because that's the way you want it? In this world, if you want it, you have to either pay for it, do it yourself, or find a way to force someone else to do it for you. You don't appear to be offering anything except your own self serving sensitivities. I see no reason to recognize that coinage here.
As to the topics of my rambling rants, I insist that Port of Call, as an open, neutral forum where any position or concept may be freely discussed, is exactly the place for articles such as I have submitted. Regarding the content of my articles, unless you're willing to pay me to write to specification, you are way out of line to even think you have the right to comment. As a member in good standing, my right to have and voice my opinions must be at least equal to your right as a member to impose restrictions on me. You are free to refute or dispute my facts, opinions, and conclusions in your own submissions, but I reject categorically your desired authority to define the nature and substance of the words to which I affix my name.
Displacement not censorship is the operative concept in Port of Call. Short of taking over as editor (both physically and fiscally), the only way you've got to get my "biased, one-sided, and blatantly self-serving material" off the pages of Port of Call is to displace it with interesting and well written submissions of your own.
So it appears to me the real question is do you have the strength of your convictions? Do you want the contents of Port of Call to change bad enough to sit down and write those new contents? If I have to write all the filler material, you'll have to put up with what ever topic is on my mind at the time. I always try to maintain a little balance, but there's no guarantees I won't get fixated again in the future.
Oh, and as to your concern over getting fair value for your Intertel dues, the solution is easy. Take one issue of Port of call. Remove one page that contains Intertel information - perhaps the one with the calendar or names of the officers. You now have full value for your dues contribution to Port of Call. You can discard unread all the remaining pages plus all of the additional issues that appeared in your mailbox over the last year and a half, and still rest assured that you're getting all you've actually paid for.
When I got into this, I expected to be fully reimbursed for my out of pocket costs. To date I have been reimbursed by Intertel for only the first issue out of the 8 I've published. It has to date cost me nearly a thousand dollars to produce Port of Call for your pleasure, so unless you're interested in replacing my financial contribution, you'd best not complain too loudly. It's wise to check the number of coppers you actually have in your money bag before attempting to use it as a bludgeon.