In an ideal world, more HNers would temper their reactions to start crying 'bullshit' and put more effort into treating each other like human beings. If more did exactly as you'd done, HN would be a far better place than it currently is.
AVTizzle's post may or may not meet that definition, as he hasn't responded to clarify his position, but he also isn't speaking directly about a particular person in general, rather, he's speaking about his own mindset about a group of people, and he's been blasted for it.
Thanks for the extra data point -- I'm a little amazed that we interpret the reference post so differently, but I thank you for clarifying.
Regarding the harshness, I didn't mean to imply that I felt this was a very recent phenomenon. And in fact, the HN of many years ago had perhaps far more in the way of pissing matches, but they were more academic in tone. I think it's that precedent that encourages the head-butting we see now, but either because people have 'settled in', or the community standards have lowered, there are less people who can say "No, I think that you're wrong -- here's why," without resorting to pejoratives and insults. I realize how potentially futile change is, but the idealist in me hopes it isn't.