Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Fans of Donna Berger

Ever since I posted a couple of what I thought were light-hearted observations on the similarity of attorney Donna Berger's blog to mine (see below), I have been getting nasty, mean, and (of course) anonymous personal attacks on me in the comments to those items. I finally started blocking these posts. I don't mind the occasional personal attack on me, and I normally leave things like that up for all to read because they say more about the writer than about me. But this is obviously an orchestrated campaign that came in response to my attempts at humor, and I'm not going to open my blog to this person or persons, whoever she/he/they may be, to carry on in this cowardly and petty fashion.

I wonder who it could be?


Anonymous said...

Read her post about "Keyboard Bullies" (January 11, 2010), whom she refers to as "creatures."

Most keyboard bullies prefer to remain cloaked in anonymity for a variety of reasons...You have to ask yourself how much credibility should be given to a message if the writer did not have the strength of conviction to make his or her identity known.

Is it hypocritical that in the very first post of her blog, on February 14, 2008, she cited hoatruebeliever.com as a reliable source, while harshly belittling Jan Bergman? HOA True Believer (which appears to no longer be up, but is available at archive.org) was published anonymously, while Jan Bergman writes under his own name.

What is Ms. Berger's guiding principal on the issue of anonymity and free speech, as it relates to HOAs?

While she had the time and motivation to write about bullies in HOA environments, she somehow overlooked the Board of Directors, property management companies, and HOA attorneys. Is it possible that these entities don't behave like bullies? Or does she have some other "strength of conviction" at work, shaping her opinions?

PS -- I notice she's updated the picture on her web site a few days ago.

Kevin said...

Mr. McKenzie - I'm a community association lawyer and a loyal follower of your blog (I've posted a few comments here and there). I've even read your book a couple of times.

I'm also a fan of Donna Berger. I suspect her choice of blog template (which is a standard template on blogspot) was inadvertent, and that the two of you just happen to have similar color preferences.

Sorry you've had to endure personal attacks. Keep up the good work.


Kevin Harker

Anonymous said...

Regarding the above about HoaTrueBeliever.com and Jan Bergmann, in a comment to her initial blog post, Ms. Berger states (bold added):

Unlike Mr. Bergemann, I have refused to turn a public policy debate into a personal issue. In fact, Mr. Bergemann's site is littered with potshots and lowblows against those who disagree with his agenda. It is surprising that he still has not learned that when you stoop to the level of name-calling you turn off even people who might be inclined to agree with you in the first place. Also, creating hatred towards specific groups of people is not likely to win him any friends among educated people.

There is no doubt that Mr. Bergemann has devoted himself to these issues but there is a thin line between devotion and zealotry. If he cares more about his cause than his own public profile, he'll ratchet down the nasty rhetoric and stay focused on the issues and not the personalities.

Yet the HOA True Believer site that Ms. Berger cites suggests that HOA critics are psychologically disturbed, and manages to work in "the rise of Nazi Germany" angle. In a sleazy passive-aggressive way, of course.

The Privatopia Papers is mentioned in this list of "True Believer" sites. Unfortunately, the full text of www.hoatruebeliever.com/privatopia.htm wasn't archived, so I don't know what the anonymous author ("keyboard bully"?) had to say about our host. But since Ms. Berger refers to HoaTrueBeliever.com as an authority, I'm sure that it didn't contain any potshots, low blows, or nasty rhetoric against Professor McKenzie.

Because the HOA industry is just full of sweetness and light and noble intentions. It the other side that's full of hate and nastiness.