Commenting Policy

The aim of allowing comments at this site is to encourage thoughtful discussion. Please be respectful to others, and report offensive or abusive or spamious or other double-plus-ungood conduct to me as soon as it turns up. Use of ethnic slurs and indeed of slurs of any kind is streng verboten, and personal attacks on anyone, including yours truly, slurry or not, are just as verboten.

I also provide an “Ignore” button to help users cope with “trolls” and other commenters whom they find annoying.

Commenter Ignore Button Technical Demo

I don’t want to ban anyone, so will usually begin with warnings, with opportunities to revise and repent. I want to err on the side of free exchange even of views widely taken to be offensive, but in my view the objective of preserving such openness to ideas requires even greater care in language. So, no cussin neither except when I find it unusually amusing or well-justified.1 I reserve the right – or accept the responsiblity – to take down any comment I judge unacceptable, or more likely to sidetrack or interrupt than to extend discussion – without warning.

Commenters should also know that their comments are protected by the site’s copyright, but will be subject to re-production, exploitation, and editing, without advance permission, and anywhere in the multi-verse – and not just by me.

Commenters will also find some other extra features here, ones that accentuate the positive, like the “Commenter Archive” and “Comments this Thread” functions initiated by image-links that appear next to the Ignore Button after a commenter’s name, and also appear in the State of Discussion widget and page. I’ll soon be re-introducing versions of the Commenter Highlight and Comment Highlight buttons that debuted along with the Commenter Ignore Button, and I’ll be adding others if and when commenting becomes as lively at this site as it has been at times in the past, or as I develop features I’ve installed at other sites as full-fledged WordPress Plugins, or pointing out some others that are not currently very relevant to my handful of users.

(last updated: 20 December 2016)

Notes:

  1. Also: Grow up or get sane! []
Lanced Infinity

Noted & Quoted

(0)

The most painful aspect of this has been to watch people I previously considered thoughtful and principled conservatives give themselves over to a species of illiberal politics from which I once thought they were immune.

In his 1953 masterpiece, “The Captive Mind,” the Polish poet and dissident Czeslaw Milosz analyzed the psychological and intellectual pathways through which some of his former colleagues in Poland’s post-war Communist regime allowed themselves to be converted into ardent Stalinists. In none of the cases that Milosz analyzed was coercion the main reason for the conversion.
They wanted to believe. They were willing to adapt. They thought they could do more good from the inside. They convinced themselves that their former principles didn’t fit with the march of history, or that to hold fast to one’s beliefs was a sign of priggishness and pig-headedness. They felt that to reject the new order of things was to relegate themselves to irrelevance and oblivion. They mocked their former friends who refused to join the new order as morally vain reactionaries. They convinced themselves that, brutal and capricious as Stalinism might be, it couldn’t possibly be worse than the exploitative capitalism of the West.

I fear we are witnessing a similar process unfold among many conservative intellectuals on the right.

Comment →
(0)

The precarious feeling of uncertainty will nonetheless persist, at least until U.S. authority, in Europe or anywhere else, is seriously challenged. And there are signs that a challenge is coming. In the past few days, the Russian government has recognized passports from the phony “republics” that Russian-armed, Russian-controlled “separatists” have created in eastern Ukraine — perhaps, as one Russian official suggested, as a prelude to granting them Russian passports or even annexing the territories outright. Russian planes repeatedly buzzed a U.S. destroyer on patrol in the Black Sea. Most ominously, Russia has reportedly deployed a new generation of cruise missiles, a move that violates existing arms treaties and could make it easier for Russian bombs to reach European capitals.

There is no reason to think that these small “tests” will not be repeated. And if any one of them explodes into something worse, then talk of “shared values” will not help. Nor will repeated reassurances from Cabinet members. At some point, the enforced ambiguity will fall away, it will not be possible to disguise reality with “Swedish incidents” and we will learn what the president actually believes. I just hope that we are all prepared.

Comment →
(0)

Our partners in the international order we created - some of whom we conquered to make it possible - are now seeking to defend it from us. Let's say that again, Defend it from us. How do we now as loyal Americans look at the warnings of the French and the Germans, as well as the British and our other erstwhile allies' warnings? This is a complicated question which different people, depending on their professions and governmental responsibilities and personal dispositions, must answer in different ways. But we cannot ignore the fact that the American experiment is now in a kind of exile - taken refuge elsewhere - and the executive power of the American state now under a kind of, hopefully temporary, occupation.

We face a comparable dynamic at home. I have been thinking for weeks that the central challenge and reality of the Trump Era is what do you do as an institutionalist when the central institutions of the state have been taken over, albeit democratically, by what amount to pirates, people who want to destroy them? To put it another way, do the institutions and norms which Trump and his gang are trying to destroy become shackles and obstacles in the way of those trying to defend them? There['re] no easy answers to these questions.

Comment →

@CK_MacLeod

State of the Discussion

bob
Ignored
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ I dunno, I think a lot of people looked at the TPers not as patriotic Americans but as bat shit crazy. Their difficulty in [. . .]
On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP
CK MacLeod
Ignored
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ They will still have to cope with a version of the same conflict at every stage and level. Sooner or later, or constantly, any political [. . .]
On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP
bob
Ignored
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ Sure, that's a fair characterization of the discussion outlined in the tweets. My point is that the information we have about "the left" is [. . .]
On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP

Support This Site?