This blog page does not have an open comment policy. Readers’ comments have to be approved before they are visible to the board. If it helps, readers shouldn’t think of this blog as a written form of talk radio. Instead, they should think of it as an on-line classroom. This is certainly how I intend for it to function. As in a classroom, experience has taught me that we can often learn as much or more from the discussions that follow a blog post as we can from the post itself. But also as in a classroom environment, those people who are serving no purpose other than to obfuscate and disrupt the discussion will be asked to leave. In this case, this means their comments will not be approved. This policy has been set to facilitate learning, not because I am ‘scared’ of open debate. The truth is, I enjoy debating people with whom I disagree, but only when they are civil, intellectually honest and understand the rules of reason.
Because we have lost our understanding of civil discourse, there is one more area that — unfortunately — needs to be addressed. It is acceptable to attack an idea or argument, but it is unacceptable to attack the person. The problem with this is that too few of us understand the difference anymore. Given that there are also a great many people in our society who are easily offended, it can become very difficult to hold a passionate debate over issues without someone thinking they have been attacked and responding in kind. Therefore, I also retain the right to moderate and, if necessary, even edit comments (by deleting or redacting bad language or personal attacks) in effort to keep the discussion civil without having to shut it down out-right.
Finally, by submitting a comment to this blog, you are acknowledging my right to publish your words however I see fit. I can assure the board, I will never deliberately alter the intent of or present a reader’s words out of context. Not only is this not in my nature, but it would be counter-productive to the stated purpose of this blog.
Other than this, I don’t foresee the need for any additional “rules” on this blog. I’ll try my best to keep it friendly and informal. Feel free to take the discussion in whatever direction you wish, just do your best to keep the discussion on point: meaning, relevant to the issue at hand.