Sunday, November 20, 2005

Hettle Settles

The libel laws are like the baffles of a ship's bilge. The bilge water is free to slosh around over the baffle, but a certain amount is retained to keep the ship aright and balanced. We do not prosecute opinions or small insults, but we do not either allow destructive lies to go totally unchecked.

The internet is a very large ship. These ships can sustain a great deal of bilge water and still remain afloat. However, like the Titanic, all ships have their limits and like all cargo carrying ships, the greater the bilge the lesser the cargo.

Baffles also allow bilge water from local leaks to be easily expelled by the bilge pumps. And like a baffle, the libel laws are only as effective as their least reach.

No one likes working in the bilge. Bilge maintenance must be done--infrequently, but it is necessary.

One the two issues of concern was settled to my satisfaction this Friday afternoon. We have agreed not to post his letter of retraction. What remains are simple retractions and corrections to material published by the other libellant. So far, there has not been tangible progress on that front.

BTW, I just noticed that Blogger is attempting to self-regulate with the flag feature (up at the top right). In keeping with the Google philosophy--a philosophy I share--if you agree that the information posted was libelous, please consider flagging the site.