Since its launch in 2007, RR has had an open, seldom mediated comments policy since I did not want this forum to become an echo chamber for near-conservatarian sentiments. The blog’s purpose was to record my thoughts and observations about these eventful and fin de siècle years for humanity on this planet, and given that this worldview is admittedly outrageous to many, I wanted my readers to see and offer compelling counter arguments. The prime audience for all this was intended to be the ideologically mid-road and undecided reader, of course with a considerable nod to my right-of-center compatriots who hopefully would bolster what I was able to stick into the dike against the progressive flood.
RR took off beyond my expectations, attracting readers and (online and email) commenters to compose quite an audience despite that, I have expended no effort to popularize its diverse subject matter. My intent was to attract only the well-read, or at least the well-reading visitors who would make up a cohort of intellectual peers. I have never wanted to write for ‘broad audiences’, and consequently have often been admonished for using a ‘$10 word’ instead of the accepted handful of more folksy, compact, and dictionary-optional $1 words. It is a weakness learned long ago when Buckley often drove me to my always open, unabridged codex of the English language. As Popeye famously said, ‘Iyam what Iyam.’
So I started writing posts that included my Union columns, and still include my KVMR commentaries, and people of all political stripe started commenting. And then some commenters from both sides became irked at what seemed to be obvious errors, misrepresentations, and even displays of moral turpitude from the other side. The subsequently returned punches began landing below belts. And from the stats, traffic grew as more people joined in the fray either as passive readers or as ‘in the pit’ commenters. Soon the comment streams were decorated with mudballs thrown at opposites for what also was clearly for the sheer fun of retorting outrage with greater outrage. But always between the mudball exchanges, commenters took time to write lengthy considered statements, commentaries, and even essays on the topic at hand. Providing such a forum, warts and all, became a raison d’etre for RR.
Of late things have gotten more than a bit out of hand, and readers and commenters in greater numbers are asking that I attempt to restore some decorum. So here goes.
Commenter Rules: To lower the temperature and foster focus on issues, I will do my best henceforth to enforce the following commenter rules –
1. Under topical posts, keep your comments obviously related to the topic(s) posted. Use the nearest RR Sandbox to introduce other topics and invite discussion.
2. Given the scope of comments that have become traditional on blogs, wordsmith your comments to be clear, concise, and complete. And please read them over before you hit ‘Post’.
3. Contend the presented ideas, interpretations, and opinions, and not their author. Maul the message, and not the messenger. If the messenger wraps himself in the message, then make your repartees as churchillian as possible. Junior high school mudballs prohibited.
4. Remember that RR is a long running blog that contains a growing body of thought, and is strongly ideological with multiple posts on a wide range of topics, including a separate ‘Conservatarian Credo’. Please refer to or reference these as necessary to contend/expand an issue – every issue does not have to start with ‘Hello World!’ Either use the RR embedded search function or Google (‘xx’, rebane’s ruminations) to find previous commentaries and comments on any given subject.
5. ‘Praise publicly and punish privately.’ Don’t launch personal attacks on other commenters or me. Most certainly don’t publish other people’s personal information that is unrelated to the posted topic(s).
6. Minimize the use of obscenities and profanities – i.e. do not use them in an obviously gratuitous manner.
7. I invite bylines from RR readers. If you have an extended thought on a topic you’d like to post on RR under your name, email it to me. I’ll make the final determination.
8. No spam or porn.
Not a requirement, but as a courtesy to other readers, please identify by name/timestamp the comment to which your comment pertains. My own format has been 'GeorgeR 153pm'. Other lengthier ones also will serve. Thanks.
We’ll see how these work out. I will do my best to enforce them ‘fairly’, but since that word has no uniformly accepted operational definition, you will almost certainly accuse me of being unfair. Your complaints are welcomed. I am reminded of the old coach who advised his players ‘Never seek justice, only mercy.’
Parting note – please compose and keep your lengthier comments in a Word (or other text editor) document until you see the comment ‘survive’ on RR. I will not take the time to ‘cleanse’ comments that violate the above rules, I’ll just unpublish them. In that case, if you wish, you can edit out the offending part yourself and repost. Note also that these rules are accessible under the upper right margin heading 'RR Fundamentals'.