Never seen this thread until today. A lot of things have become much clearer, now that I've seen it.
Honestly, I think it's all a bunch of crap. I don't have to read 1984 - I lived it until the ripe age of 25 and have been through the grinder of the state-shaped psychology through my formative and adult years. So when I tell you that Western political correctness is a bunch of crap, I am doing it from experience within the society built on censorship.
Words are words. Some hurt, some don't, but it's clear as day that a word in itself is nothing, while the intent with which it's used is everything. Tarantino has probably set a world record for the use of the word "nigger" in Django Unchained - did anyone have a problem with that? Black people, specifically? I hope not, because, in his special manner, he used it to illustrate the horrors of slavery and to emphasize the grotesque that is his calling card. Same goes for the use of that very word among black people - how come they call each other that all the time and not find the word offensive? Again, intent to insult, or rather a lack thereof.
Now, back to the word "retard". Or idiot, or moron. Does anyone here seriously think that when one poster calls another a moron, he actually means that another poster is mentally ill or has intellectual development issues? The intent here is clearly not to denigrate sick people, the person writing the word isn't thinking about them at all, he is clearly irate and is looking to emphasize his opinion by using those words. Is he likely to get a heated response? Sure. Is he likely to get into a pissing contest? Absolutely. But did he mean any disrespect to people with Down's syndrome? Absolutely not, IMO.
In conclusion - mods are within their rights to stop the fights on the forum. Words, though, are a different story. Who picks the list? Why is the word "pylon", for instance, not on that list, while the word "retard" is?
Where does one draw a line? Why is the inner censor of an admin better than one of a moderator, which, in turn, is better than one of a regular member? Censorship never helps, in the end.