I am new around here. So, forgive me for a minute if I pull a Ross Geller (character in the "Friends" sitcom) and don't contribute my $20 to the maintenance man's retirement gift. After all, I just moved in.
I have no real trouble with your closing certain threads that had degenerated into personal arguments. And, I have no trouble with your calling for a cease-fire on personal attacks.
I do have a problem with your showing a favoritism, whether intentional or not, for a certain poster who in the last go-round might have been the one who incited the conflagration. No need to mention names.
I hope it goes without saying that one does not need to call someone a name like "plagiarist," "stupid," etc. for the claim to be construed as a personal attack. By definition, an ad hominem argument is any argument that calls into question the motives of an interlocutor. In the last go round, the problem began when someone called into question Calimero's motives in posting.
As a moderator, I would except you to have the forsight to see how any post, the piety of its language notwithstanding, that explicity calls into question the principles, interests, and passions of another poster, has the potential to be the match that starts the next fire.
It goes without saying that you cannot police bias or interest. It is a foregone conclusion that selfinterest is embedded in most forms of human communication. (May you rest in peace, Jacques Derrida.) Nevertheless, when that selfinterest reveals itself in a series of questions concerning another poster's reasons for posting, you should realize that no good can come of that. To ignore the consequences of such statements is to put an enormous burden for upholding the standards of rational discussion and debate on the shoulders of the person whose motives are being questioned. And, though it should go without saying that we all bear a burden to uphold the standards of rational discussion and debate, if the discussion is to be truly open and truly rational, no one party to that discussion must bear a heavier burden than anyother. Only in those societies where the burden to uphold those standards is evenly distributed is politeness not another word for tyranny.