I agree it was an ad hominem, I was nitpicking on being called a name.
In any case, you complain about "ad hominem", while continuously showing the similar behaviour (just directed at many people instead of 1). And not just this article. It seems similar to the "graffiti theory" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory#New_Yo...). If everyone responds nicely and rejects unnice behaviour, it'll likely be a nicer behaviour overall. To be clear: this is not directed at you. In this article alone you'll note that various people respond harshly towards each other. I noticed that corbet mentioned a while ago that he doesn't want moderation except in extreme cases. IMO this badly affects the comment quality.
You'll see that once the sarcasm stops, the chance of being heard vastly improves.
And criticism is very helpful. If everyone says yes, you only need 1 person.