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Friday, May 06, 2005

It's a bad sign when you have to codify common courtesy.

But so be it.

Please be advised that I've banned all of three people in the 2.5 years this blog has been in operation. I'm pretty easy going, and you have to do a lot to try my patience, but be advised I will do it.

Here are the rules for commenting here. A neat round dozen. What can I say? The curse of a legal education.

1. Identify yourself with a legit email address or website. I don't care if you call yourself the Tsar-Lord of the Alien Space Bats, I just don't want to deal with comment spraying from people who don't have the guts to leave themselves open to a response. Email me with it if you don't want to ID yourself (but be advised that Haloscan currently hides email addresses from everyone but me, if that helps).

2. No agenda pushing. If you come here posting up a storm on a topic not even tangentially related to the post, I'm going to react. Badly. Remember--Blogger's free for every stump ranter with a dialup modem.

3. Be at least minimally courteous to the other commenters. That doesn't mean you have to radiate sanctity, nor does it bar all forms of sarcasm and chippiness. But flat out rudeness and name-calling are not welcome.

4. Use profanity at your own risk. I'm one to talk, so I tend to cut a little slack here. Just about enough for you to hang yourself with.

5. I'm Catholic. I offend accordingly. Whore of Babylon and similar references are rewarded with immediate banning. I also don't usually debate settled issues with those of a more liberal/progressive bent, dogmatic or not. A quick read of the blog should leave you with the (accurate) impression that I consider a lot more issues to be settled than my brethren on the left.

However, the second half of this rule is a lot softer than the first--I'm less likely to pull the trigger, at least at first. Moreover, it doesn't apply at all to sincerely struggling Catholics and questioning non-Catholics. The door's wide open on hot button issues for the latter. Consider the Tier post below as an example.

6. It should be obvious, but don't be rude to me personally, either. "Me" includes my family and friends. For whatever reason, the internet has left people with the impression that it is acceptable to do anonymously and via electrons what they would never dare to do in person.

7. I cut more slack to people I know--long-time posters are allowed to bend the rules a little more. Maybe even past what you might perceive to be the breaking point. Bear with me.

8. There are exceptions to every rule. These exceptions are at my discretion. I don't usually signal ahead of time when the exceptions will apply.

9. The Banned are not consigned forever to a virtual Hell. Apologies and a cooling off period will lead to reinstatement.

10. As befits a believer in unwritten Tradition, I also believe in unwritten rules. Play nice.

11. Bending/violating one rule tends to make me harsher in the enforcement of the remainder. Translation: you may find yourself banned for a relatively minor violation of one rule if you've tested me on another.

12. I am the infallible interpreter of these rules.

YES, this is in response to recent comments by a certain commenter. Hint, hint, hint.

That's a nice way of saying you have been warned, Mr. JR.

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