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 (courtesy troll-me.com)

Earlier today, I blogged Zack Beauchamp’s op-ed Ban the Second Amendment. Most of our commentators dissected Beauchamp’s arguments with intelligence, insight and wit. Some reacted to Beauchamp’s civilian disarmament agenda by attacking him personally, including remarks about the Brown grad’s skinny jeans and simple instructions on putting things where the sun doesn’t shine. In the past, this website has allowed these sorts of comments to stand. After Shannon Watts and the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence used some vulgar TTAG comments to pillory and mischaracterize gun rights advocates we altered our comment policy to remove ad hominem attacks from the comments section. This new, stricter policy – designed to deny the enemies of gun rights ammunition for their campaign of civilian disarmament – remains in effect. I apologize to those who feel hamstrung by the new rules but there are plenty of firearms websites that welcome unfiltered spleen venting. This is not one of them.

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301 COMMENTS

  1. 1. Get rid of the comments section.
    2. Lock the dirty comments and add a TTAG comment of “message not approved” or whatever, or “you have been warned.”

    The corrective punishment of editing comments is what Moms would do, and that smacks of paternalism and “holier than thou” attitude.

      • Private spaces have different rules than public ones – which gets tricky on the internet, since it’s private money hosting the site while allowing entirely public access.

        I’d call this a case of “For the Greater Good” – but in RF’s opinion explicitly – (to avoid various barrels of worms inherent in that phrase) and as the owner/operator of this site that is absolutely his choice to make.

      • Hell, I believe in all of our Bill of Rights … uh Rights also. But the 1st Amendment guarantees you that the Government will make no law to suppress your right to free speech; it does not guarantee you that you can use someone else’s platform for your free expression. RF and the other TTAG mods have the right to determine which speech they want to represent them, us, our ideals.

        Want to guarantee you may always express your right to free speech? Start your own blog. But you might have to start your own internet server company also. Or, stand on any street corner and talk. Invite me and I might come and listen, or not.

    • 1) Locking the comments section would make TTAG as bad as the anti-2A sites we so frequently complain about.
      2) Blocking, deleting or editing comments would stifle participation in this dialogue
      3) Either or both of the above would quickly kill what has become the Premiere pro-Second Amendment and Pro-gun web blog on the Internet.

      If a commenter cannot write a reasonable and rational thought about the topic and/or person under discussion they should probably self-censor and not post a comment at all. The point here is to make a strong counter-argument or to add some new insight into the discussion, not just throw bombs.

      • there is a difference between discussion and attacks. Since Robert is only talking about deleting/restricting childish immature attacks, I would totally agree with it. If you aren’t going to contribute to the discussion then shut up and let the adults speak.

        Hate to be the one to point out also… but ” this website has allowed these sorts of comments to stand. After Shannon Watts and the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence used some vulgar TTAG comments to pillory and mischaracterize gun rights advocates we altered our comment policy to remove ad hominem attacks from the comments section”
        I’m not sure they can mischaracterize *CERTAIN* advocates considering the ones that were/are posting those sorts of things ARE posting like children and are of a certain type of character. You can delete the messages all you want, but there are still those people that will never be helpful with the gun rights debate.

      • I disagree. Blocking, deleting or editing comments would ONLY stifle participation by those who cannot construct a respectful counter argument or response. Do we really need those to begin with? Um… no.

        • Heavily in agreement there. If the person cannot pose an argument without mentioning someone’s skinny jeans, or even mentioning his sexual preferences as some form of derogatory inference, then we need their participation like the Titanic needed the iceberg. They are more likely to sink our cause than help it.

    • If you get rid of the comment section then you make TTAG more like MDA since they never let you comment on their YouTube videos and they censor anyone who has an opposing message on their facebook or twitter or their own forums.

    • You couldn’t be more wrong. You are posting on TTAG as a guest of the site and by doing so you choose to abide by their rules. If one cannot make a point without resorting to ad hominem attacks, flaming, trolling and deviating fromt he topic one cannot take part in the discussion. There is no freedom of speech in a private forum.
      TTAG censoring specific comments is perfectly fine and much better than disallowing ALL comments.

  2. ‘Help! Help! I’m being repressed!’

    I understand the thought, but since no one cares about Shannon Whatever (except Dirk) I don’t see why that should ruin skinny-jeans comments (anything suggesting violence or something like that… or even racist\bigoted stuff- is a different story in my mind).

    I wonder how many links TTAG gets from MDA and the other way around… maybe some people come here from their site and get a little education?

      • I don’t believe I was quoted before other than noting her home address and MDA’s corporate address shared some commonality. . . . .

        • Lucas – it took me 2 min using google.. . . not that well kept a secret. And frankly, I was NOT looking for her home info – just how/where they were incorporated. then it looked like a residential address, went to google maps, and voila. . . .

      • Fair enough. I suppose it’s not worth it but I still wonder how many people came here thinking they’d see a bunch of crazy rednecks being racist gun-toting morons and instead saw that there was another side to things.

        But maybe I’m an optimist.

        • You are. When people go looking for something they find it. If you set out to prove something exists you will inevitably find only evidence that supports your assumption. Like all those “research groups” that go looking for Bigfoot, and then come back with hours of tape of trees with “strange sounds” in the background and say, “we didn’t find him this time but we think we are close.”

      • I have to wonder why their audience’s comments about us, which often include threats of violence, are not making the mainstream media.

        Seems like that’s where we should be focusing our efforts.

        Their use of our comments feels like bullying to me …

        Dennis Miller interviews Ben Shapiro, author of “Bullies: How the left’s culture of fear and intimdation silences Americans”
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zcz_BHbXoKM

        • “I have to wonder why their audience’s comments about us, which often include threats of violence, are not making the mainstream media.”

          You do? I don’t wonder about it for a second. I know.

        • well of course I know, but … we are better and smarter than they are!

          there is no reason we could not or should not work to find a way to get those sorts of comments, which show their poor character and lack of honor, broadcast widely.

          maybe sending those of us that are “supposed” to belong to their side out to do some “productive trolling” so that we can then get their threats and “misogyny” and “racism” documented and into the story much more often.

          obviously no one cares about threats to old fat white men with guns. but women and minorities they might listen to.

        • I’d say something about tinfoil hats, but in reality I reckon it’s mostly that revenue and outside-influenced operating budgets have very little to generating, you know, news.

          As proof I point to NPR -and no, they’re not perfect, but they’re a damn sight more informative than Faux, MSNBC and CNN put together. Why? Because they exist to provide news via facts and increased availability of impartial information and are crowd-funded (beat ya by decades, Kick-Starter!) for that explicit objective rather than to sell sh!t and french fries (and beer, and cars, and insurance, and pills, etc., etc.)

          I’d go so far as to call on Robert Farago to aim for some interviews on Talk of the Nation or even Science Friday – where our valid, data-driven arguments have the highest chance of acceptance among a group of customers/consumers that hold a somewhat outsize influence on our society (mostly due to income and intelligence demographics as related to achievement).

        • Luckily most of the people who make violent comments on the internet are nothing but basement-dwelling keyboard commandos so it’s not necessary to pay them too much heed.

        • Right, but think about it: just like they use our comments to character-assassinate us we could certainly use their far more vulger, more violent comments to character-assassinate them.

          We really do not do this enough! And worse still … it’s ~all~ they understand!! Either we stand up to their bullying or we are doormats.

        • I think you are on to something Mina.

          See my post in the Forum in General Discussion about spreading the word on TTAG.

      • …which nobody, except the involved parties, actually reads anymore.
        People saying mean things on the internet doesn’t affect policy anymore than….well, rational, well thought out blogging does, come to think of it.

        • That’s very true but when you get folks like Shannon pulling the comments out of context and wave them around in front of people sympathetic to her cause, you get outrage.

          Now, on the other hand, I have seen outrage and petitions and calls for a blog to be removed/shut down and the men there gave them all the hand wave from under the chin. It was admirable.

          However they didn’t have the outcome of any major public policy that might affect them hanging in the balance,either.

      • silly question, but how come we don’t play their game and publish screen shots of the violent threats from their members on their message boards. .. . just saying

  3. I agree with the policy. I used to do those things in the past, but it’s the internet. Meh. Lol.
    It’s your blog, boss. Use it when you…I mean, you make the rules.

    of course I didn’t confuse this with a JG Wentworth commercial…

  4. We hope to be the Knights in shining copper-plated armor for Rights of the People of the Gun.

    Righteous, intelligent, and … maybe a bit less entertaining now. Ah, well, can’t have all three on this particular corner of the interbutt because of dainty sensibilities on behalf of Moms and their use of all the tools in the toolbox. Slippery slope, etc., although I’m definitely not the one figuring out how to pay for bandwidth.

    Alright, RF, I guess we should keep the pointy bits out of reach of overgrown children. But in this case it’s for our own good instead of theirs. Or something.

  5. On the one hand, good. But… on the other hand, those idiotic, hate-filled comments are, in fact, representative of a not insignificant segment of the gun owning populace, otherwise they wouldnt’t be here, nes pa?

    I prefer shaming, but I understand your POV, RF.

    • I would think we want those people to come here and read and learn from reasonable comments, not necessarily pollute the environment with flames and ad hominems. There are plenty of places on the Internet where you can go and just vent your spleen regarding someone you don’t like, but if you cannot explain in rational language WHY you don’t like them, their opinions or their policies then you are just a bigot.

      If you are not up to the task of making a cogent comment or argument, please refrain from commenting at all. JMHO.

      • Antis only come here for one reason and it’s NOT to learn about how their point of view might be wrong.
        Once they realize there are no more comments that they can use to disparage us to be found here, they won’t come here anymore…..

        • I think you’re wrong about that. If anything, they’re persistent. They’ve been at this anti-gun stuff since Prohibition was a thing.

        • They might come here more frequently because by (potentially) increasing the “politically correct” dialog, they will feel more welcome. In other words this policy has the potential (mind my word there, again – potential) to give them the feeling that they can “feel safe” … which is one of their watch phrases for oppressing free speech/truth/etc.

          Everyone knows my feelings on this point, I won’t beat the dead horse. At the end of the day only time will tell.

    • I don’t think shaming is a valid technique on an anonymous internet forum.

      Also, shaming only works on people who are capable of feeling shame. People who are comfortable making nasty racist comments in public probably don’t fall into that category.

    • Keep in mind that there are millions and millions of gun owners that don’t read TTAG, and I’m sure there are many folks who read TTAG but do not make comments.

      The portion of gun owners who make comments on this site is bound to be relatively small, and not necessarily representative of gun owners as a whole. Unfortunately, a relatively high percentage of the folks who comment on the internet (not just regarding guns, but regarding everything) resort to name-calling on a regular basis.

      And as already mentioned, shaming doesn’t seem to work on the relatively anonymous internet.

  6. And I thought our parents told us never to care what others think of us. Now we care what people who despise us think of us? lol.

    • Yes, we do, because those who despise is are trying to influence those who don’t. Or don’t yet.

      They can’t win based on the merits of their argument? So all they can do is try to turn people against us personally by painting us all as racist misogynists.

      Problem is, sometimes they’re right.

      • I’m going to run for office next election requiring a license (and substantial fees) for the privilege of exercising significant stupidity.

        Or maybe that’s not a good idea …

        It’s unfortunate that the Moms use comments that for the most part are ignored here due to obvious trolling or bigotry. Seeing as this is a very high traffic site (relatively speaking), I reckon it’s about due for increased moderation if the hands-on approach has been deemed the mo betta way.

        P.S.
        I’ll miss your loving interludes, Dirk.

      • They might have said something like that, but I was a rebellious child.

        RF and crew are free to edit things as they see fit. I think some humor helps, though. After all, we don’t want to end up like those assholes, do we?

    • I said get rid of the comments section because one of the mods said that he’s annoyed because he has to read and moderate impolite comments.

      If the mods don’t want to deal with it, then I would relieve them of their responsibilities in some manner.

      • You misunderstood. I wasn’t annoyed that I have to moderate impolite comments. I was annoyed (as a reader) that I had to read impolite comments. If the comment sections end up consisting of just a bunch of ad hominems about (in the thread linked above, for instance) stupid hipsters with stupid glasses and stupid skinny jeans, then people who have actual opinions and things to say are going to be less interested in reading and contributing, and are eventually going to go away, and be replaced by more people who have nothing to say but to make fun of stupid hipsters in stupid glasses and stupid skinny jeans.

        Do you read/visit ar15.com? Do you know that there’s an entire population over there who don’t ever enter General Discussion? I’m one of them. I might hit GD once or twice a year. The reason is that anything goes there, and so the stupid bullshit generally far outweighs anything of value. That’s great for some people, but I don’t have time for that. I do not want the comments here to turn into Facebook or arfcom GD.

        • Blasting hipsters isn’t very productive, I’ll give you that, but in turn you must concede that they are kinda asking for it. I never understood why bullies do what they do, until I saw a guy with a handlebar mustache tattooed on his finger and realized a simple wedgie could have solved both of our problems in an instant.

        • yah they are a bunch of poopy heads over there.
          Nyaaah nyahhh. 45 caliber poopyheads, to be precise.

          PS Glocks rule. 1911s drool.

        • You only hit ar15.com a few times a year. Bro, you’ve got some catching up to do. Let me help you out. Somebody distilled the last 42 month’s worth into relatively compact form. Since electrons are free and we all agree with RF’s policy, and with complete copywrite and credit to RobbAllen.com: And NOBODY could blame me for interjecting useful information in the middle of a thread about ‘flaming.’ Really.

          Your gun sucks and you’re holding it wrong.
          That caliber is ineffective. You would do better to pick something bigger.
          That caliber is too big / expensive. You would do better with a smaller caliber that is cheaper and gives you higher capacity.
          I am not a lawyer, I have never argued a case, and in fact I tend to get confused when watching Matlock, but if you do not follow my legal advice to the T you will spend the rest of your life behind bars and that’s after you get the lethal injection while sitting on the chair.
          Unless a cop hands you the ammunition from his gun, you will go to prison forever should you be forced to shoot someone in self-defense.
          Your gun sucks because it’s not the same gun that every cop in the tri-state area uses and cops only use the best.
          You have the same gun as the cops? No wonder it sucks. They only have that gun because they got them in a bulk discount, not because it was a good gun.
          The difference in grip angles between your gun and mine, which can only be measured using a protractor that uses scientific notation to denote the degrees, shows why you gun sucks and is probably why you’re holding it wrong.
          The instructor for that gun class you took wasn’t in Iraq and didn’t operate with the operatingest operators and thus any training you got was worthless.
          The instructor for that gun class you took was in Iraq and the techniques he taught you are not valid for civilians and thus you wasted your money.
          Your gun sucks and you’re holding it wrong.
          You’re holding your head too high.
          You’re not holding your head high enough.
          You shoot like a girl.
          You wish you could shoot like a girl.
          My degree is in office management and the closest I have ever come to any sort of formal, physics training was that one time I lost the remote and had to watch an episode of Nova, but let me explain in nauseating detail why a 1:9 twist rate on an 18” barrel is insufficient for the bullet weight you have selected.
          Shot placement is everything. Unless you’re shooting what I shoot, which kills instantly even if it’s just a graze across the thigh.
          Shooting USPSA / IDPA will get you killed in a real gun fight.
          Not shooting competition means you don’t have what it takes to survive a gun fight because you won’t be accustomed to shooting under pressure.
          The best way to survive a gun fight is to either not get in a gun fight, or follow the 18 paragraphs of advice I just doled out.
          The length of your guide rod is wrong.
          Unless you use this exact lubricant, made of purified fat from virgin baby seals, your gun will rust between shots and that’s if it doesn’t seize up on you first.
          My father’s next door neighbor’s son knew a guy who thought about going to Police Academy, plus I’ve been pulled over numerous times; thus I know the law inside and out and you can’t do what you’ve already done a hundred times before and here’s the law, 706.2 HB Subsection D paragraph 4 that is about penalties for failing to pick up after your dog.
          Let me deduce your every problem by the one blurry picture you posted along with your description which suffered a dangling participle and several typos. Don’t argue with me because I am using the vast physics knowledge I obtained by reviewing MacGyver reruns frame by frame.
          The way you carry your gun is wrong.
          The way you do your politics about guns is wrong.
          I took my AR out to the range, hit the edge of the target at 100 yards TWICE and thus the only accurate configuration is mine. Unless you have the exact hand guard, butt stock, front sight post and each and every aftermarket accoutrement that I do, you will not achieve the same accuracy. Plus, you’re holding the rifle wrong.
          Your trigger, in a configuration that would make both Heisenberg and Schrödinger cry, is simultaneously too light for a carry gun and too heavy to be accurate.
          Lab tests using Jell-O prove that this particular bullet, with a round flat hollow point low-ogive nose is better than yours, which doesn’t have the low-ogive. Plus, shooting Jell-O is as close to real life as you can get.

          And finally
          Your gun sucks. An you’re holding it wrong.

        • I believe that sums it up pretty well.

          To be clear, I’m on arfcom all the time. I just spend all my time in the Florida Hometown forum and the Spike’s Tactical forum, with occasional sojourns to the Springfield Armory, SIG Sauer, and a couple other manufacturer fora.

        • ropingdown, that was entertaining. And strange.

          Matt, I absolutely agree. The impolite comments are not just a waste of bandwidth and time, but they are detrimental to a site in the long term. The more crap like that appears at a site, the less likely people who have something useful to contribute will post, resulting in an even worse signal-to-noise ratio that simply drives good folks away.

          P.S. Thanks for the work you do moderating here.

        • thanks roping- too funny!

          and ++ to Matt in FL.

          Thanks for the unsung hero work here in comments,
          and the Daily Digest too.

    • Moving the comments to Disqus would probably help a lot, on all fronts.

      TTAG can distance themselves from the commentary, because it’s third party, and the moderating is much easier using that system.

        • It could be useful for providing some separation between TTAG and the commenting body, though. Maybe re-look at it given that context and what you’re trying to accomplish with the “censoring” (whatever you want to call it … moderation.)

          Remember that a typical tactic of the left, and one we could leverage ourselves is “Disqus is a separate community and separate system – we are not responsible for the commentary from that system”. We all know it’s BS but it’s what they do … and doing what they do means we do it to them in a way they understand. Just thinking out loud here.

        • Personally, I’d rather own it than blame it on someone else. If someone doesn’t like the way things are done, I’d want them to take it up with me. If that resulted in them leaving, so be it, but I’d still prefer that to blaming it on a third party.

          An analogy that just occurred to me is the businesses that have free wifi, but block certain sites like TTAG. The vast majority of them (I’d bet upwards of 98%) do so because someone “somewhere else” set the policy, or they pay someone to administer their system. What that means to me, as a consumer who can’t read TTAG while eating in their restaurant, is that there’s no one for me to really complain to, and thus no chance of getting the system changed. If it was the store manager (or even a regional or district manager) making the call, I’d feel like I could plead my case and maybe get the restriction lifted.

          I want someone to be able to complain to the management. Just the other day, someone wrote Robert an angry email about his comment getting moderated. (It was one that ran afoul of the “questioning TTAG’s editorial stance or style” thing.) Robert explained exactly why he did it in response, and the guy came back with, “OK, that makes sense. Thanks for the reply.” See how much better that worked than if Robert had just said “Disqus thought it was bad” ?

        • yeah, I agree. it does go both ways. one of the essential differences between the left and the right: the left loves institutions and faceless, 3rd party assistance the right appreciates the simple one on one interaction of real people.

          I do get it. it’s a tough call. this is a major crossroad, I think in general.

        • OK guys, I really do need to weigh in on this blocking thing. One of my sundry duties in a former life was blocking email based on filtering keywords and terms. Granted, I did this to try to keep sensitive information off the Internet as well as keeping Susie the Secretary down the hall from seeing an unfortunate/inadvertent turn of phrase and wetting her chair.

          We tried looking at canned filters (i.e., word lists) and found they were too restrictive for our line of work, which also involved guns and airplanes and stuff at times. Most filters come with anything gun- or weapon- or violence-related blocked out of the box so, as I’m sure is the case here, a LOT of “eyeballs on it” and “hand work” is required.

          I think RF and the other mods are doing a good job of keeping things from getting out of hand. Keep the filters as they are. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

        • The other thing to consider would be 3rd party applications that allow other users to mark users’ comments as offensive.

          Then you wouldn’t need to monitor quite so closely, just respond to the offense of the readers as needed.

          Best of both worlds.

        • One other minor point about Disqus that I dont recall coming up last go-round-
          if you end up porting all your commenters info to a third party, they own it, and if someone like Google or Fakebook decides to buy Disqus, which is the exit strategy for a lot of these various apps, then-

          any trust (?) and content, and all your personal info goes someplace else.

          I know I know- anyone can really figure out what is where, who said this or that if you have Google or NSAs capability, but so far I trust Robert and Nick and Matt are too busy to bother and by the way, we have nothing to hide anyway*…

          Its just that I hate being aggregated and cross referenced and spammed more than I already am, and I get nothing from Disqus now, that I need, but occasional aggravation when I cant log on at other sites, which tends to lead me to blow them off in disgust.

          YMMV.

          * ” These are not the droids you are looking for…Move along. “

      • Ha! Disqus. AKA “Dis Sucks”.

        As I recall, when that idea was floated by the management last year, a lot of long-time commenters here basically said “Hey, it’s your site, but I think I’ll find somewhere else to play.”

      • Disqus is a bad idea. It has many problems but my biggest beef with it is the privacy issue. When I come to TTAG and I want to say something, if TTAG has its own comment system, I can be relatively confident that apart from some exigent circumstances, my privacy will be relatively well cared for. If TTAG would use Disqus, then anything that I might say on TTAG via Disqus will be tracked and crossreferenced with anything I might have said using Disqus on other sites. That’s when third parties aren’t exploiting Disqus to compromise the privacy of the commenters using Disqus: http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/view/36125/disqus-may-not-have-been-hacked-but-it-was-certainly-exploited/

        If you think Disqus is awesome, it’s your choice, but I think Disqus is a bad idea that has little to no upside whatsoever.

        • Note that my specific suggestion was to use in order to provide separate between TTAG and the commenting content. This is a trick of the left and they understand it. It was just an idea offset of course by the loss of personal interaction between the site mods and the commenters which would probably be a net negative.

          The other thing will note vis avis Disqus: I myself maintain a Facebook, Disqus and Google+ account in my alias, Mina Smith. They are totally separated from my real person for a lot of reasons, not the least of which it is how my husband wants it due to the nature of his business, the time I spend online and the type of content that I pay attention to and comment on. Everyone should have an alias they keep seperate from their real person, IMO.

        • @Mina (I don’t know why your post didn’t have the reply link)
          I get the insulation angle, but I don’t think it would make much of a diffrence for people wanting to find faults even where there are none. Moreover, it would remove a lot of control from the site’s admins. I consider it to be a lose-lose choice even when taking only this aspect into consideration.

          But the privacy aspect is more important anyway. Using an alias is the only sane option, of course. But that’s not enough. You would need a different alias on each Disqus-enabled site. How many people do you think have the discipline to do that? Secondly, even if you have an alias for each site, are you careful with the browser cookies when moving among the various Disqus-enabled sites that you comment on? How many people are technically-savvy enoough and anal-retentive enough to do that? I would venture a guess that instead of going through all the trouble of doing that, they either give up on their privacy (which is a bad personal choice) or they give up on commenting (which is a bad choice for the communities that could gain something from more debate).

        • I don’t have different Disqus accounts for all of my various places I post but there is no identifying information in my Disqus account to link to me personally … having a different account for every system would be totally unwieldy although secure. I am not quite that paraoid.

          Interesting idea though.

          Big picture is righties like a personal interaction with other people … lefties like to interact with institutions. The admins here seem to like having the intimate one and one and the commenters seem to like it too. It was just an idea I was throwing out there.

  7. Gosh and golly-gee, I just want to say that I’m so glad we’re allowing Shannon Watts and her organization to set the precedence for our behavior here. A simple “no bigoted/lewd/sexual comments or blatant profanity” rule usually gets it done, but then we wouldn’t be sucking up to our sworn enemies quite so obsequiously, now would we?

    • “A simple “no bigoted/lewd/sexual comments or blatant profanity” rule usually gets it done”

      That’s effectively the same thing, and really the thrust of things, I think. I’m certainly not going to take the time to moderate/edit every skinny jeans comment.

      • I think you should loosen up on the skinny jeans. Or drop them entirely.

        Now that’s some seriously funny stuff right there.

      • Oh. RF’s wording makes it sound like anything other than well-researched critiques and properly annotated, academic rebuttals will be zapped. I can understand doing away with comments that are nothing more than crudely and artlessly flaming people, but some of the wordplay that gets tossed around against clowns like Pierce Morgan and Michael Moore is frankly rather hilarious, and I’d hate to see it get flushed down the same commode as the flatly insulting stuff.

        • I don’t think you’ll see that being an issue. Subjective rules are subjective, of course, and humans are prone to variability, but I think questionable things would be decided in the favor of permissiveness. At least they would for me.

        • I think it goes like this-

          you cant say you ARE a Pierced Organ.
          You can say, you are acting like a typical Pierced Organ.

          Without being repressed- wait-
          isnt there some Monty Python line that applies, to Brits?

  8. A blog without comments is like a meal without salt. I think we are quite capable of meaningful comment without resorting to schoolyard insults.

  9. kind of a shame. one of the best parts of this place in the past has been the ridiculous a$$-hattery circus in the comments section on some of the stories here. most of the time it’s more entertaining than the blog post.

    • ya, I kinda miss MikeBnumbers – but to be fair, it was so easy…
      we need to attract a higher class of Troll/SockPuppet to make it more challenging.

  10. Robert, your website – your rules. End of conversation.

    I don’t see this being a big deal. It leaves commenting on TTAG pretty much still wide open.

  11. I’ll do my part to keep things sophisticated and educational. From now on, all my ad hominems will be written in classical Greek and heavily footnoted.

      • The Romans borrowed most of the sophisticated parts of their culture from the Greeks. Educated Romans spoke Greek, though some felt it was diluting their own heritage.

        • Don’t dismiss the Romans so much. First of all, the Romans had plenty of their own culture, amazing gladiator games, aqueducts, and a military far superior to the pissant Greeks. Secondly, some of the worst emperors were greek lovers (Nero, Caligula). A civilization cannot be ruled by poetry, art and theater alone. The Greeks have always been too proud of themselves, even today when their country is a financial mess, but they’re not the center of the university, and it would be unjust to ignore amazing Roman minds like Cato and Seneca. I do give the greeks credit for Socrates (but not Plato) who influenced Ayn Rand which allowed her to create objectivism. But beyond that, I’m a bigger fan of the Romans, Even today military schools study the tactics of Julius Caesar during his war in Galia (France), that goes to show the staying power of their ideas.

        • I also admire the Romans far above the Greeks. Their achievements in engineering, government, military tactics and strategy, and pretty much every practical matter they turned their minds to are staggering. They laid the foundations for the modern world. There are a great many parallels between the history of the Roman Republic and the American Republic, including what looks suspiciously like a gradual change to an empire.

          I don’t admire the gladiators that much, though. Not for their courage, which I would never deny, but for the use of the games as a means to distract the public from the problems of the day. Combine the modern welfare state with a combination of reality TV shows and the NFL, and you have another parallel, bread and circuses.

          And just since I find myself commenting right next to Hannibal about the Romans… we’re not actually brothers.

        • I’m not taking sides here, but the architects of the most famous buildings in classical Rome were Greeks. The emperor Claudius wrote his history of the Romans in Greek. The emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote his well-known works in Greek. Anthony conversed with Cleopatra in Greek. In the history of the Roman Empire, and after it split, the Western Roman Empire, Rome produced not a single mathematician of note.

          Now on the positive side Romans entrenched the cultural value of getting away to one’s country villa as often as possible, thus influencing the British. And while Rome, Italians, still take after Greeks financially, the Italians produce better cars, clothing, and bunga bunga parties, or so it is said.

  12. How’s that saying go…better to close our mouths and let them think we are a bunch of misogynistic racists than open the comment section and prove it?