We need to clear the air, and established some boundaries.

When I present a topic, it is for the purpose of having people exchange their opinions on the topic.

I discuss things with my friends from all over the globe all the time, and I would enjoy what people whom I do not know have to say locally.

However, I have observed over time that some people use the comment section to attack each other without dealing with the topic, or insult another commenter who might simply ask them to back up an idea expressed.

Some have even made derogatory comments about someone who has posted for the first time without respecting their right to express an opinion whether or not it is agreed or disagreed with.

Commenters are not the gatekeepers of this blog.

The insult and name calling have become rather competitive at times. Some only show up for the insults.

There are also a few who seem to boast about their “victory” when others decide to no longer post as if their intention is to control, or even shut down the comments of others.

If you want to control the comments, the easiest thing to do is write your own blog on whatever topic you desire, and dive into your own comment threads. But coming into this forum to shut it down or to shut people up is a misuse of my blog.

Insulting me because I found a particular topic interesting and wrote about it is laughable as I have had to deal with a lot worse in past years of GLBT student advocacy from extremely bigoted and vocal private citizens, elected officials, and a biased media, so what I have read directed toward me is child’s play and a total waste of time for both the writer and the reader.

I do not answer questions or get involved in comment threads so demanding this or that, challenging me personally one way or the other, or thinking that, because I have not responded, I have been somehow silenced is beyond foolish as there is a blog the next day.

If you are going to leave a comment, make it relevant to the topic.

If you disagree with what someone says, deal with what they said, not with who or what you imagine they are.

The purpose of any blog or news article comment section is to have people discuss the topic’s pros and cons. If people want to chat with each other, or insult each other, there are chat rooms and message boards for that.

Do not use this blog as your platform for spewing irrelevant insults at people or groups of people.

This blog existed a good year before the comments section got added to the site, so the blog can certainly go on without the comments, especially if the pseudonyms within the section merely allow people to play roles and attack others in a way they would not do if they, like the various bloggers, were out front with their names and pictures.

If you think that you are going to take over the comments section and monopolize the discussion, or think that you will control who comments in that section, or think you can intimidate others into going silent,, you will be removed, not just for the day, but permanently and under whatever pseudonym you choose to hide behind later.

Discussing the topics is one thing, but using the blog as an outlet for some psychological need to tear down other people is not what the blog is for.

You are welcome to take part in any discussion, but things recently have become ridiculous, and as this is my blog, the door will be closed to those who do not know how to behave in someone else's house.

As someone pointed out in an earlier comment thread, the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech applies only to the government.

I will be following the Blogger's Rules of Conduct from this point on.

1) Take responsibility not just for your own words, but for the comments you allow on your blog.
2) Label your tolerance level for abusive comments. (This blog post does that)
3) Consider eliminating anonymous comments. (Hiding behind pseudonyms in order to insult people is out).
4) If you know someone who is behaving badly, tell them so.
5) Don't say anything online that you wouldn't say in person. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on