This Comments Policy applies to the following site authors: Robert Lindsay (owner) and Alpha Unit (editor).
First, we may or may not be able to respond to some or any comments, or even emails for that matter, in a timely manner, or at all. We often respond to comments and mails quickly, but that may not always be the case.
Second, we authors reserve the right to violate all of the rules below, since the rules are for others, not for us.
- Offensive comments by others may result in a ban. Offensive comments and mindset applies even to other sites. If you are coming to our site and acting nice and then going around to other sites and bashing away at us, that’s called backstabbing, and it is not allowed. The Comments section is open to friends and neutrals only, not enemies. Criticism from friendlies and neutrals is accepted.
- One warning rule. After a comment has been deleted, if the poster continues to violate the rules even one more time, the commenter may be banned. Banned means none of your comments will be approved.
- Definition of offensive: Basically anything ad hominem. Calling the authors names. Comments with a snide, rude, or insulting tone may possibly also be banned. If you want to attack the authors, you need to do so with class. Criticisms of the authors must be made in either a friendly, neutral or at least a scientific-objective tone. A persistent unfriendly tone towards the authors in the comments threads will result in a ban. This is a cause of many bans.
- Personal life off-limits to attacks. All ad hominem nonsense about the authors’ lifestyle, sex life, social life, marital status, looks, age, happiness quotient or any other aspects of our personalities or mental health, employment status or history, life history, income, “success” vs. “failure” level in life, whether or not we are “winners” or “losers”, or anything negative related to our past, etc, is banned. Truth is, hostile comments about anything relating to our entire personal lives are off-limits to this blog .
- Spelling, grammar, blog style or post style (f)lames. (F)lames is right! Spelling, grammar, blog design or post construction flames against the authors in comments are ad hominem and may be banned, unless you are very nice about it.
- Rightwing commenters are on thin ice on this blog and can be banned at any time for any or no reason.
This is a progressive and socialist blog, particularly in terms of economics. We have a very strong dislike for rightwing economics and the Republican Party, and we don’t want pro-Republicans or those supporting rightwing economics on the site. No attacking the Democratic Party or politicians from the Right. No Republican Party or Libertarian Party propaganda. Post at your own peril. We may let you stay, but you can also be banned at any time for any reason or for no reason at all, depending on our mood. Advocacy of nonpartisan social conservatism is however allowed without reservation. Most bans are for violation of this rule.
- Support for the dropout lifestyle. I dropped out of society and the world of materialism, money, status and all that crap a very long time ago. Most of my friends are proletarians who live paycheck to paycheck. Many people I know cannot even afford a car, so they walk, ride bikes or take buses. No one I know has any money saved up in a bank account. Most are renting apartments or rooms in homes. You may not attack poor, low income, working class or proletarian people on this site. You may not attack people who are homeless, jobless or without vehicles. This line of talk is objectively reactionary and will result in an immediate ban.
- No blog-warring in comment threads. Comment threads are neutral zones for warring bloggers. You may not attack the authors from your blog and then come here and expect to be allowed to comment.
- Persistently disruptive comments will be banned. These commenters come to the threads and engage in endless personal feuds with other commenters, contributing nothing of any value. Honestly this is the reason for only a few bans.
- Do not troll the site. Some commenters are nothing but trolls. They only come here to troll the site. If you are coming here just to troll the site and start vicious fights with other commenters, or if you are upsetting a lot of commenters who are demanding that you be banned, you may be banned as a troll.
- No thread hijacking. Self-explanatory. See here for more. Thread hijacking by a few obsessive commenters who take over the site has been one of the worst comments problems on this site for a long time now. If you wish to hijack a thread, take it to Open Topic.
- Ad hoc bans are allowed. Even if you have not violated any of the comments policies above, we reserve the right to ban you simply because we do not like your personality or style. It will be difficult for normal, decent people to run afoul of this rule. There have not yet been any cases of such bans.
- No threatening commenters with physical violence; no threats of any sort. No attempts to violate the civil rights of other commenters.
- Commenters may be banned by the other commenters. The Comments Zone is generally a democratic space. Within limits, you can say just about whatever you want. The editor and I take a very hands-off policy with bans. In general, if people have not violated the Comments Rules, I am not allowed to throw them off here. I have wanted to throw lots of commenters off of her, but I could not because they were not violating the rules. So in a way, you commenters run this place. However, even if you have not violated any rules, you may be thrown off the site via votes by other commenters. So you need to not make your fellow commenters angry, else they might decide to ban you. You have to get a certain number of votes to get banned. The editor is allowed a vote, but I am not allowed one. Also votes to stay counteract votes to ban. For instance, three votes to stay and three votes to ban means there are now zero votes to ban you. Some of the worst commenters have been thrown off the site by the other commenters, but you have to be pretty awful for the other commenters to toss you..
- Banned commenters may petition to be reinstated. You may petition to be unbanned. If you feel you have been banned unfairly, please send us an email petitioning your ban and asking to be unbanned. You will be required to agree to post by the rules. We will review your petition and see about unbanning you. Few people petition bans, but most petitions are granted.
- Do not let the comments policy scare you off. Only a few comments are deleted, it is difficult to get banned from the blog, and you really have to go out of your way to be a jerk to achieve this honor. Don’t let it inhibit you if you feel like making comments.