A person has to be real small to think that opinions dressed as facts acquire any more stature by degrading the messenger. [/B][/QUOTE]
In this post I speak not as a shade tree mechanic but as a shade tree philosopher.
The dilemma you appear to be dealing with concerns the relationship between authority and power.
The two words are often (mistakenly) used interchangeably but they are two very distinct parts of a system that defines ethics and morality.
Succinctly stated... If one acts (exercises power) as a consequence of genuine authority (true knowledge and moral purpose) then one is acting authoritatively and therefore ethically.
However if one claims authority because s/he has power... then acts emanating from such a relationship are authoritarian and immoral.
Ultimately authority existed prior to creation and is therefore godlike and divine and it is this transcendent quality that we as humans can share with our creator (all can share but not all choose to share). And in this sense we have been created in the image of God.
Alternatively, power is a consequence of creation... a consequence of authority... and is therefore temporal rather than divine... and it too is very much a part of our human nature. By itself power is as amoral as a parked Mercedes... How it is used is what defines whether it is part of moral or immoral acts.
Thus... when you or another post and speak with genuine authority based on experience and true knowledge you are exercising power and acting authoritatively and morally.
Contrarily, those who "degrade the messenger" are making a power play. They are using an unethical exercise of power to either undermine a source of genuine authority (like yourself)... or they are attempting to deceptively and unethically bestow authority upon themselves by infering the messenger is responsible for the content of the message.
So whenever you have doubts about the wisdom of doing good simply remember that power is short lived and temporal while authority is eternal and divine... and that you as a Moral Master Mercedes Mechanic... posess both and have unwittingly become a founding member of the 4M Club.
Thanks once again for telling me where to find that corroded connector that was under the floor mat of the rear seat! I had the whole interior of the car torn out to include door panels and seats...all dispersed throught the back yard trying to find it.