I hate to see him go

Francis W. Porretto, who’s been a forceful voice for freedom and against stupidity for many years, has withdrawn from the scene:

I’ve been harassed, slandered, insulted, derided, and demeaned. I’ve had my intelligence, my erudition, my sincerity, my faith, my morals, and my ethics questioned by persons who haven’t even had enough courage to use their right names. A typical day brings me dozens, sometimes hundreds, of obscene, insulting, juvenile emails. Even flushing them out of my computer leaves me feeling soiled. And that’s not the worst of it. Both I and my wife have been threatened, and more than once at that.

So I’m calling it quits. I’m an old man, and not a well one. I’d like some peace for the conclusion of my life. I’d also like to be free of the jackasses who’ve awarded me the various crowns of thorns mentioned above. It appears that the only way I can acquire those things is to cease to write these op-eds.

Which sounds like an odd statement, coming from the most heavily-armed man on Lawn Guyland, but I can see his point: some of these people simply aren’t worth the waste of a round, when there are greater threats on the horizon.

I suppose I have been fortunate, inasmuch as I have largely been spared the sort of contumely visited on FWP. Then again, he was always more willing to engage drive-by vilifiers, while I’ve tended to ignore them.

As a send-off of sorts, a few FWP quotations that made it into the random-quote thing on the sidebar:

“Nothing reveals low character quite as well as the proximity of high character.”

“Tyranny flows from the top down. Freedom swells from the bottom up.”

“In the absence of a competing claim of rights, a man is unconstrained by anything other than the laws of physics.”

Even if you’d rather not remember him for some reason or other, do remember his words.


  1. Jeffro »

    10 March 2013 · 9:56 pm

    Well, bummer. His extremely well argued defense of Catholicism is one of the things I’ve always admired about him.

  2. Roger Green »

    11 March 2013 · 5:03 am

    I find there are more jerks per capita when I write in the Albany Times Union, even on non-controversial topics.

  3. CGHill »

    11 March 2013 · 7:47 am

    We have a surfeit of jerks. The local paper maintains an entirely separate site for actual subscribers, which does not attract said jerks; I don’t know if this is practical as a business model, but it definitely proves a point.

  4. fillyjonk »

    11 March 2013 · 9:01 am

    You’d think the jerks would have a hard time getting mates, and therefore tend to reproduce less, but the opposite actually seems to be the case.

  5. Kirk »

    11 March 2013 · 9:22 am

    A sad day for the blogosphere indeed. FWP has been one of the true voices of reason on the net for a long time, and one of my regular reads for years. His wit, wisdom and insight will be missed more than we know, especially as so many of the things he has predicted over the past several years continue to come to pass. As the long downhill slide of this society accelerates, we will increasingly rue the day a voice of courage and wisdom such as his was driven from the net.

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