The visitors’ comments on this blog are moderated. This means that what you write won’t appear online until I have a chance to “approve” it.

That doesn’t mean I have to like or agree with you before your post shows up. For one thing, it means I want to make sure a lot of spam doesn’t appear in comments (although I must say that the WordPress spam filter is way better than it used to be). Also it means that I won’t suffer trolls. Trolls are ugly and mean and exist only to cause trouble with their spikey clubs and stinky breath.

But the other reason I have a moderated blog is because I have a particular vision of the kind of discussion I want and don’t want on my blog.

I do want robust, open, controversial, contentious, eye-opening discussions. I do want people to have a chance to see a wide variety of points of view, to get a chance to see what their opponents are really thinking, to think “out loud”, in public, and be challenged by and to challenge ideas and alleged facts.

I don’t want insult fests where a concern with hashing out ideas and looking for the truth and nothing but the truth gets side-lined by one-upmanship or self-righteous posturing. There are plenty of places online where you can play those kinds of games. But this place is for exploring ideas that matter, ideas that can affect our lives for good or ill and that need to be explored with serious intent (but not necessarily without humor. Humor is good).

All points of view are welcome here, even those that I despise. Even, say, racist ones. It’s all in how you present yourself and respond to your ideas’ opponents. Attack the person with name-calling and other personal attacks and your comment won’t appear. Attack his arguments with counter-arguments and his alleged facts with counter-facts and your comment will appear, whether I like you or what you have to say or not.

Sarcasm is fine as long as it’s aimed at the argument.  Mockery of an argument is acceptable, especially if it’s actually funny.

If your comment does not appear in what you think is a reasonable time, and you know that you did get rudely personal with someone but also had something of non-rude value to say, try posting again without the insulting personal attack and ~*poof!*~ you’ll get your say.

I love freedom of speech because I know how important it is for a person to keep an honest mind and to seek out truths for himself, to think, test, question, examine, judge, re-think, accept, reject, and understand as he travels his own unique road for understanding reality – and I also know how important it is to have one’s ideas challenged by people of different understanding and experience.

But I also love property rights, where you can have your own little plot of land where you make your own rules of use. And this blog is my own little plot of “land” on the Internet, where I set the purpose of the property – which is to facilitate the exploration of ideas among people who may have come to this place down very different roads and have interpreted what they’ve seen in very different ways. I want to set the kind of tone that allows them to discuss important issues together in a way that gets down to the business of stirring intelligent, thoughtful debate. I’d like people to come away from this blog really thinking.

S.K., aka, B.A.H.M., aka, BB

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