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In the morning, I'm driving down the 5 to San Diego. Before I leave for the weekend, I want to pull back the curtains for a minute and help you understand what makes a comment printable.
Aurora, Chess Novice and Jason play different roles, but they are all a major help in bringing the posts in the Valley alive. So, first, a personal thanks. And keep up the great comments.
For the rest of the audience, what do I look for in comments?
1) Relevance -- In Star Wars (the original), one of the Rebel fighters is worried about the Gun turrets on The Death Star. His squad leader reminds him, "Stay on target," If the post is about Iraqi as Pillar in American Foreign Policy, focus on that. If the comments turn from Iraqi as Pillar to Iranian nuclear capabilities, go with the tide, but try to relate to the original post.
2) Pick a side -- I don't care if you are Republican, Democrat or Independent. I don't care if you like the sauce more than the cheese on your pizza. The Blogosphere is the new Speaker's Corner. In debates, it's good to have allies and opponents. Aurora is a great ally to have; Jason is an opponent who can give as good as he takes; Chess Novice brings the facts. I would be more than happy to sit down over a beer with any one of them. Picking a side is important, but don't forget a lost rule of debate: If you can't sit down afterword after the debate/argument, you have lost far more then you won.
3) Be Accessible -- Except for a few friends at work and at home who don't want to be noticed that much, I rarely publish anonymous comments. Those I do let through, I rebut and ask where is their link? I am a partisan, nor do I hide that fact. If I throw down and be Pro-something or Anti-something else, why can't you?
A) I read your site and it is a "9/11 Truther" or a continuous attack on Israel -- Sorry, shoe scum has more say then conspiracy theorists. You walk down that path, and soon you are walking into the Jedi temple with troops and a light saber. I've interned on Capitol Hill and have political and policy friends at different levels and different parties; Conspiracies only exist in the mind of the weak.
B) Your comment disparages the United States -- My country, it is flawed in many ways, but I love it all the same. I respect people who don't run to another country when their candidate loses an election. Four years later, wow, a new election. Two years, a new battle for Congress, and in between, your town and cities battle it out for control. If you find fascism in the United States, then please explain Venezuela.
Thanks for reading. And thank you for enjoying the Valley.