Reminder about the comments policy

Every so often, over the eight-plus years I’ve been publishing this blog, waves of hostile forces come in and try to take over the comments boards with their hostility and their rantings. So back in January 2005, I crafted the ‘Comments Policy’ for the blog, and it has worked pretty well since then, as a set of rules allowing for the respectful discussion of real– sometimes very deep and deeply felt– differences of opinion.
The arrival of new waves of highly ideological and extremely discourteous ranters always tests this system, and on occasion I’ve had to shut down the comments boards for a while.
Of course, like any other publisher, I am under no obligation to anyone to publish anything for anyone else, unless I choose to. The blogsophere is a large, inviting place, and if people have things they want to express that don’t fit into my Comments Policy here, they are quite free to go out, start their own blogs, and express them there.
People who are small-scale violators of the Comments Policy may have their comments deleted or edited. People who are large-scale or serial violators will have their IP’s banned from the blog.
Everyone who wants to post a comment is therefore urged to read the Comments Policy carefully before doing so–in particular, the sections on courtesy and discourse-hogging.