Comments Alert

Our patience with those who repeatedly hijack the discussion thread to detract from the topic at hand has ended, effective immediately.

One of the virtues of blogging as a medium is feedback from readers and the ability for communities to hash out the ideas laid out in a post. The discussion quite often spawns spin-off posts, serving as inspiration for keeping the dialog going. More importantly, it forces the blogger to more critically examine his biases and be less sloppy in relying on assumptions that might not be shared.

At the same time, as has been true on the Internet since long before the advent of blogs, the higher the number of commenters a forum attracts, the less likely the discussion is to be fruitful. A variation of Gresham’s Law sets in, with the most outrageous commenters drawing responses in kind and those most interested in civil discussion being driven off by the toxic environment.

Many of the larger blogs have dispensed with comments altogether. Others have gone to moderated comments, which mostly eliminates bad behavior but breaks up the flow of the discussion. Others go the opposite direction, allowing their comment sections to become free-for-alls, with the top level authors simply ignoring the discussion.

At OTB, we’ve managed to maintain a remarkably civil forum these past eight-and-a-half years by a combination of active engagement with our commenters and light enforcement of our commenting policies. But the last few months, even with more aggressive enforcement, a handful of trolls are beginning to tip the scales.  Rather than allowing them to dominate the discussion and drive out the good, we’re going to start actively banning them from the site.

To reiterate the high points of the commenting policy:

Remember that the people under discussion are human beings. Comments that contain personal attacks about the post author or other commenters will be deleted. Repeated violators will be banned. Challenge the ideas of those with whom you disagree, not their patriotism, decency, or integrity.

The following will almost always get you banned:

  • Comments that advocate violence towards posters, commenters, private citizens, government officials, or pretty much anyone not strongly suspected of terrorism, violent crime, or a declared enemy of the United States.
  • Comments that contain personal information about others such as home addresses and personal phone numbers.
  • Any form of trolling, defined as comments that appear intended to send the discussion in a fruitless direction, including repeated raising of only tangentially related points.

A note about Hate Speech:  We’re open to a broad discussion about race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, culture, and related issues and will generally not delete controversial comments regardless of our own disagreement. Regardless, comments that reach into any of these areas may be deleted and commenters warned or banned:

  • Advocacy of violence on racial, gender, or ethnic grounds
  • Use of ethnic, racial, or gender slurs
  • Trolling on these topics.

To be clear: We’re talking about maybe four or five regular commenters. Our intention is to maintain a vigorous discussion forum and we’re not interested in banning people who disagree with us or passionately put forth their point of view. But our patience with those who repeatedly hijack the discussion thread to detract from the topic at hand has ended,  effective immediately.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, OTB History
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. A good idea.




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  2. Augh, now I’m gonna be paranoid all day.




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  3. Scott O. says:

    Another effort by the cocktail party attending liberals to censor the free speech of Real Americans? Is irony still allowed?




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  4. John Peabody says:

    Huzzah! It is far too easy to hurl epithets from behind a nickname.




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  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    I hurl epithets using my real name and likeness. But I vow to rededicate myself to civility.




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  6. An Interested Party says:

    Another effort by the cocktail party attending liberals to censor the free speech of Real Americans? Is irony still allowed?

    It really is amazing how far the political pendulum has swung, so now people like James and Doug are considered liberals (by some)…I guess the real liberals are now socialists/communists? I wonder what that makes the real socialists/communists…




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  7. Brett says:

    This is excellent news. The truth is that while anti-spam and comment registration systems can keep out some troublemakers, there’s ultimately no substitute for hands-on, active moderation of comments.




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  8. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    James–

    Thanks for acting on this, James. I have been reading OTB for a while now and have definitely noticed over the last six months or so the degeneration of the comment section ever since the handful of trolls started posting.

    The comment section has definitely become dominated by these ideologically driven commenters, who are less inclined to have thought-provoking exchanges and more inclined to defend their entrenched positions with narrow and even inflammatory statements that do not serve to advance the discussion but merely to goad those with whom they disagree.

    Again, thanks for taking action to do a little house cleaning.




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  9. Rick Almeida says:

    James et al.,

    This is most welcome news. But fear not, banning need not be the only answer:

    linky




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  10. Jay Tea says:

    Of course, you’re not talking about me; I’m always above reproach. I’ve never done anything wrong in my life.

    But I’ll be far more conscientious in the future.

    Commenters need to remember that they are guests in the author’s home, and should behave accordingly. They (and in this case, “we”) have no rights other than granted by the hosts, and should show our appreciation by showing at least rudimentary civility and decorum.

    J.




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  11. ad hominem says:

    Stimpee!!! You bloated sack of protoplasm! You EEDIOT!! You think you can get rid of me?
    Why don’t you reach in your back pocket and scratch your brains!




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  12. James Joyner says:

    Thanks, all.

    @Rick Almeida: Some of the Stacked Overflow ideas are really good. They appear to depend on registered user accounts, however. I’ve thought about creating the ability to register and gain some sort of privileges for established and trusted commenters but really haven’t figured out how to implement.




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  13. This is most welcome news. But fear not, banning need not be the only answer

    That might work with people who are deliberately causing problems solely for the amusement of causing trouble, but the problems here seems to be more people who really want to legitimately contribute and just get a bit overheated. In that case, a solution that avoids making it explicitly clear that they’re being punished and why is unlikely to improve the situation as well as just saying “that was inappropriate, knock it off”




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  14. I’ve thought about creating the ability to register and gain some sort of privileges for established and trusted commenters but really haven’t figured out how to implement.

    Another thing you might consider is just adding a simple thumbs up and thumbs down (like the agitator used to have, but sadly no longer does). Again, the problem generally doesn’t appear to be deliberate trouble making. One of the problems with online communication is the lack of the feedback people use to regulate themselves in normal conversation. Having a positive or negative number attached to each of your comments specifying how well people liked it is a good way of providing that feedback.




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  15. Tears in Bucket, Mutherf*ckit says:

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

    I can’t wait!!!




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  16. James Joyner says:

    @Stormy Dragon: It’s quite possible that the people in question haven’t grasped that they’re viewed as trolls despite repeated warnings. But at some point it doesn’t matter; they’re just not welcome participants in the community.

    I’ve put a thumbs up/down thingie on my developer’s to do list. I don’t know how useful they are, since these people are likely to just think we’re picking on them because they have the courage to speak the truth about Global Warming, Sarah Palin, and Obama’s birth certificate. But it’s worth a try.




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  17. Steve Verdon says:

    I hurl epithets using my real name and likeness. But I vow to rededicate myself to civility.

    Michael you’re okay, that post was not aimed at you.

    It really is amazing how far the political pendulum has swung, so now people like James and Doug are considered liberals (by some)…I guess the real liberals are now socialists/communists? I wonder what that makes the real socialists/communists…

    No kidding one week I’m a conservative moron, the next I’m a liberal retard…sometimes that comes from the same person…or at least they use the same name while posting.




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  18. Andy says:

    My suggestion would be to move your commenting system to Disqus.




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  19. Wayne says:

    Jay Tea
    You sound like someone who authors his own blog site :):)

    I never care much for the personal insults but I will play by whatever rules that is being played. It is hard to avoid all personal insults. For example calling anyone who fly the Confederate flag are racist is a personal insult for many but to those making it I’m sure don’t consider it so. I know those are not the insults many think about when they say “personal insults” but that is how it often starts.

    The main posters do a fair job at it but are by no means perfect. I like OTB because many posters thoughts often vary from mine. I will point out it seemed to have attracted a large number of liberal commentators anymore. That is fine as long as one can have a reasonable discussion. I like a rough balance. I don’t care for site where you basically saying “me to”.




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  20. Jay Tea says:

    I rather like the convention of saying “with all due respect” as a disclaimer against offensiveness. It works wonders. Watch:

    Stormy, with all due respect, your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

    See? By simply affirming my respect, all the offense goes magically away! It’s even better than the “I apologize to anyone who might have been offended” apology!

    J.




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  21. Jay Tea says:

    You sound like someone who authors his own blog site :):)

    Smile when you say that, pardner. Them’s fighting words.

    J.




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  22. I tried Disqus at PoliBlog for a while and while it sounds good on paper, it didn’t work to my satisfaction.




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  23. James Joyner says:

    I tried IntenseDebate for about a day and a half a couple years ago. I’ve dubious of external control of the site’s content but it does have some interesting features.




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  24. No kidding one week I’m a conservative moron, the next I’m a liberal retard…sometimes that comes from the same person…or at least they use the same name while posting.

    I fear that for most people these labels bear no relationship to an objective standard, but are used solely as epithets relative to the commenter’s own self-perception.




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  25. And since we are on the topic, I would argue that comments like those above by “Tears in Bucket, Mutherf*ckit” and “ad hominem” are examples of highly unuseful comments, and mostly because they follow a pattern by a certain commenter (a combo of a silly name, usually an odd gravitar, and a one liner that is usually a) not especially funny, and b) often seem designed to derail the comment thread). The only reason I find this noteworthy is that all of these comments appear to come from the same person (indeed, I am thinking that the two noted comments are from the same person) and sometimes have been extremely disruptive because of volume. I would especially note that the “Tears…” pseudonym is clearly designed to be provocative for no purpose. And it isn’t a question of me personally being offended but, rather, that I find the pointlessness of it all annoying when it is done over and over.

    Or, is it just me?




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  26. john personna says:

    So I take it while I was blowing Gatorade on the side of a mountain you guys were having fun too? (I thought I might have a virus, but tried 6000ft anyway. Ah well, I made 5000 before the body rebelled.)

    I generally avoid private membership systems. Systems that will accept my jpersonna google id are much easier, and maybe acceptable. From a digital rights perspective though, I think no login and just banning bad users is the better way. That’s the only system that doesn’t reduce freedoms of the innocent.




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  27. Neil Hudelson says:

    I hurl epithets using my real name and likeness. But I vow to rededicate myself to civility.

    I think the problem with the few commentors that this is aimed at, is that it tends to bring even the best intentioned commentors down to their level (and I’m not pointing fingers at any particular person here, myself included). Indeed, that’s usually the point of trolling. So even people who want to contribute in a civil manner get caught up in responding to trolling in a manner that involves epithets and incivility.

    And then one gets used to commenting in this manner, and continues even when unprovoked. Its the degeneration of a commentor’s soul.

    Its something I’ve noticed with my own comments. Despite my best effort, I get caught up in the vitriol and that carries to other threads.

    On the flip side, the opposite can happen if both parties have a proclivity for discussion rather than insult-hurling. As much as I almost continuously disagree with Jay Tea, I believe he and I have had discussion threads that started with insults and ended with a decent conversation.




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  28. OzarkHillbilly (used to be tom p) says:

    i’ll be good…….




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  29. The Q says:

    I guess I can fuc(&King live with this stupid Bull*%%sh&%t idea and still flame all those moro%$ic conservative a$$wipe$ by using these clever symbols to substitute for well known expletives?

    Or is that too much to fu*^%cking hope for?




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  30. The Q says:

    Just kidding with the above……




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  31. mantis says:

    This is clearly some kind of Alinsky tactic! 😉




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  32. This is clearly some kind of Alinsky tactic! 😉

    Durn. We’ve been found out.




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  33. The Q says:

    Seriously, I wonder though if allowing folks to anonymously rip/flame people on the ‘net by using invectives and angry ripostes serves some cathartic benefit by letting people blow off steam in a fairly innocuous manner without resorting to some obviously more sinister antisocial behaviour.

    Perhaps these blog feed comments serve as a tech version of primal scream therapy which can actually have a salutary effect on the writer by allowing him to interact with others and not holing up in some seedy apartment plotting revenge via a sniper’s nest atop a belltower.




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  34. Neil Hudelson says:

    Seriously, I wonder though if allowing folks to anonymously rip/flame people on the ‘net by using invectives and angry ripostes serves some cathartic benefit by letting people blow off steam in a fairly innocuous manner without resorting to some obviously more sinister antisocial behaviour.

    If that were true, wouldn’t the behavior decrease over time, at least with each individual user? I think even if flaming can serve that function initially, it becomes a self-sustaining monster. The more one flames, the more one needs to flame, until eventually you just become a shell of a person, sitting at your computer at 3 am, dressed in the same clothes as yesterday, half grown beard, empty mountain dew cans by your side, searching the internet for people to flame.

    You know, this guy. http://xkcd.com/386/ (especially the roll-over text).




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  35. Perhaps these blog feed comments serve as a tech version of primal scream therapy

    Speaking for myself (although I think my co-authors would concur): I don’t write this stuff so that others can show up for primal scream therapy. There are plenty of places online to vent spleen if one so desires.

    Plus, the main problem is that primal screams tend to scare off people who want to have an actual conversation–and really it is because of that James has decided that we need a policy change.




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  36. CB says:

    On the flip side, the opposite can happen if both parties have a proclivity for discussion rather than insult-hurling. As much as I almost continuously disagree with Jay Tea, I believe he and I have had discussion threads that started with insults and ended with a decent conversation.

    this. the reason i find OTB to be an above average blog is that outside the usual suspects, there are some very worthy discussions to be had, with a very diverse range of views. sometimes its worth it to engage. besides, if youre never being challenged, what can you possibly learn.




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  37. The Q says:

    Mr. Taylor,

    I agree that screaming just for the sake of screaming is not good, but I have read some insightful, substantive comments on OTB interspersed with personal vitriol and I hope (and trust) that James et al will discern the difference between anger for anger’s sake and the passionate responses that sometimes wander into ad hominem.




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  38. Andy says:

    Whatever you do, please DO NOT integrate commenting with Facebook as ThinkProgress stupidly did.




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  39. CB says:

    seconded. for the love of god, please nothing FB related




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  40. mattb says:

    @Steven

    I would especially note that the “Tears…” pseudonym is clearly designed to be provocative for no purpose. And it isn’t a question of me personally being offended but, rather, that I find the pointlessness of it all annoying when it is done over and over.

    Like a comedian, a good troll can be a really great contributor to a community. The problem is that also like comedians, there are very few people who are good at it, and a lot of people who just *think* they are good at it.




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  41. mattb says:

    Ok… so serious hate speech related mod question…. I know that this constitutes about the slipperiest of slopes, that said, it also is a prefect example of what triggers flaming on both sides…

    Doug’s just posted an editorial on Cain and the Anti-Islamist movement. I think the course of that sort of thread can already be played out (at least if that had gone up prior to this discussion). So, here’s the question… how does an assertion that Islam is a fundamentally violent and dangerous religion play under the new rules.

    An unwavering belief that “Islam (in all form and of all people) = Evil Jhadists” is expressed by a subset of posters here. And that is the sort of topics that they — at least — don’t believe there is any middle ground on. I just don’t see how conversation happens there.

    Without resorting to Potter Stewart, are their any guidelines for dealing with fundamentally opposed and unresolvable views about who groups of people?




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  42. mattb says:

    Or, should that post even have open comments… I don’t necessarily think that should be the case for every post… but is there any real way to have a conversation about something so internally tied as bigotry among a group of semi-anonymous folks on the internet without resorting to fighting words?




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  43. john personna says:

    All I can say is “no way I’m clicking on ‘Anthony Weiner Action Figure'” to see what’s beneath it!




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  44. Kit says:

    As someone who often has long-winded comments to in-depth posts, let me throw a giant +1 to you all for changing the comments rules. I read you guys because I disagree with you as often as not, but I also recognize that I can’t learn if I don’t challenge my own views with those of intelligent people that I’ll never be as informed on the issues and positions as I could be. The new moderation policy will hopefully clean up the comments so that I can learn even more from other smart and knowledgeable people out there.




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  45. James Joyner says:

    @mattb : On a thread that directly invites discussion about religion, race, gender, and the like, we’re incredibly open to rational discussion of alternative points of view. If it’s a post about, say, Domino’s changing its pizza recipe, non-ironic comments about the Muslim menace and shifty negros will likely be considered trolling.




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  46. Jay Tea says:

    If I can get serious for a moment (and that’s actually debatable), my main suggestion would be to learn from the bad examples.

    Don’t be a Charles Johnson and ban anyone who doesn’t toe the line 100%.

    And don’t be an Oliver Willis and pull out the “any more personal attacks and you’ll be banned, and I mean it this time, not like the previous 47 times I said it!”

    J.




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  47. Andy says:

    James,

    While you’re at it, a method to edit one’s own comments would be very nice and very 21st century.




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  48. jwest says:

    I see I’m a bit late to the party today, but I’m glad James is trying to reign in the invective and name calling that was getting a bit out of hand.

    The “thumbs up/thumbs down” feature is good for those who need affirmation, but insightful opinion, like actual science, isn’t something that relies on votes. Vigorous discussion depends on the introduction of ideas that some are never in a position to hear. Social isolation also breeds certain concepts that can come across as insulting to those who have different backgrounds.

    If the point of this exercise is ban heretics that differ from the OTB orthodoxy, then it would be helpful to post a list of Those Things That Will Not Be Questioned, like the AGW myths and the Sarah Palin is dumb meme.

    Other than those few points, I’m in agreement with Jay Tea that this is the author’s blog and they call the rules. Since I don’t engage in personal insults and name calling, the only guidance I would need to comply is to know which ideas are not welcome at OTB anymore.




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  49. Rock says:

    While you’re at it, a method to edit one’s own comments would be very nice and very 21st century.

    Andy, use the preview feature, edit your post, preview again to see final comments and if satisfied, post the comment.




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  50. john personna says:

    Ah, jwest reminds me of two sad things I read and heard today. One was:

    Why You Can’t Win an Argument on the Internet

    It goes into the backfire effect, and the tendency of people to double-down on beliefs when challenged. But really, my old line is that while we comment critters might be slow to change, we should come around in time. If something strikes you as “no way” but has good facts, you should feel yourself softening in a day or two, if you have a healthy brain. To do otherwise is really to give up on your brain’s maintenance schedule. You start to slide off into all sorts of unsupported beliefs.

    Now, if you are ready for a little brain maintenance jwest, try a good round-up:

    Weird Weather and Climate Change

    … knowing of course that if you reject it because it’s NPR, because you suspect it is something you don’t want to hear, or really anything other than the facts within, it is a brain-fail.

    (Tying the two together, the NPR piece talks about an alarming increase in AGW doubt. IMO we’re screwed. It’s real, but we just aren’t smart enough a species to both admit it and deal with it.)




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  51. James Joyner says:

    @Andy: A feature to allow editing for a short period after posting is on the list. There are plugins that do it but we need to make sure they play well with the template.




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  52. An Interested Party says:

    Since I don’t engage in personal insults…

    Unless, of course, someone was educated in political science and didn’t know who Saul Alinsky was…




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  53. jwest says:

    Interested Party,

    Its best we define what is meant by “personal insult”.

    I believe that a personal insult is more along the lines of calling someone a “racist fu*kwad”, rather than simply pointing out the gaping holes in the knowledge base of some of our more credentialed authors.

    But I do welcome your feedback and compliment you on your brevity and punctuation.




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  54. steve says:

    “No kidding one week I’m a conservative moron, the next I’m a liberal retard…sometimes that comes from the same person…or at least they use the same name while posting.”

    That is a shame. Clearly you are a libertarian reaching for anarcho-cpaitalism, but too sane to quite get there.

    Steve




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  55. G.A.Phillips says:

    I hurl epithets using my real name and likeness. But I vow to rededicate myself to civility.

    🙂

    I am a homophobic cretin idiot racist moron troll, till I get soft and start saying what I think with my heart instead of what I know to be reality. Then I am a honest homophobic cretin idiot racist moron troll….




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  56. ernieyeball says:

    Mr Taylor you are a sleuth.
    I want nothing but the best for OTB and it’s followers. I do not want to besmirch a site that thinks that Charlie Sheen is worthy of comment.
    Please help me understand how I can be less disruptive.
    Also I need an example of a Gravitar that is not odd.

    Ernieyeball says:
    Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 16:33
    While we are at it let’s eliminate term limits on the Presidency.
    Wouldn’t that be “Original Intent” as promoted by some?
    Ronald Raygun may have gone for a third term.
    I wonder what the world would be like today had he served four more years?
    Term limits are meaningless, arbitrary measures of time.
    Any political benefit they might add is eclipsed by the loss of political freedom I suffer from not being able to vote for the incumbent if I want to.

    Ernieyeball says:
    Monday, April 18, 2011 at 11:24
    Wiley S: “The problem with changing something which is in the body of the constitution would require a constitutional convention.”
    I’m not sure what is meant here by the “body of the Constitution”.
    Article V states “…Amendments, which,..shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes as Part of this Constitution,..”
    Seems to me that the entire document, Amendments and all, is “the body of the Constitution.”
    Article I, Section 2 was changed by Amendment XIV, Section 2. Article I, Section 3 was changed by Amendment XVII. Article I, Section 4 was changed by Amendment XX, Section 2. Article II, Section 1 was changed by Amendments XII and XXV. Article III was changed by Amendment XI. Article IV, Section II was changed by Amendment XIII.
    Looks like the “body of the Constitution” has been changed by Amendment several times.

    Ernieyeball says:
    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 15:34
    MM: “…a nimrod like Terry Jones…”
    Again I cite Azimov’s Guide to the Bible, Vol. 1, The Old Testament, p. 48. “Genesis 10:10 appears,..to make Nimrod an important king of the Tigris-Euphrates region,..”
    A more appropriate handle for Jones would be dipstick.

    Ernieyeball says:
    Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 12:50
    RD: “I’m surprised that members of the military or their families don’t travel to Topeka, Kansas, everytime one of the churches congregation members pass, to protest at funerals the there.”
    I would like to think it is because folks know this would shine more publicity on these deluded citizens. This is not what some of us are looking for.

    Ernieyeball says:
    Monday, February 21, 2011 at 01:23
    I do not now and have never had a child attend a public school in a school district in which I have lived and paid taxes to support said school. If the school board of the Unity Point School District in Makanda Township, Illinois USA in which I live mandated some sort of religious instruction upon their students who are forced by the state to attend said school, I would have them in court faster than shit through a goose. Though childless, I believe I would have standing. They have no business using my tax money for their perceived provincial pursuits. And since we all live in the same country I just might have standing in Giles County, Virginia USA. If your school board can steal citizens tax money for Jesus or Moses or whomever and get away with it then maybe mine might try it too!

    Ernieyeball says:
    Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 14:45
    Brush Lintoff is an insurrectionist and an enemy of the Constitution of the United States.

    Ernieyeball says:
    Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 16:35
    OK. I’ve had it. Enough with these feeble attempts to mainline Christian Morality into everyones brains.
    If Rep. Forbes has any testicles at all he will submit my edict to the House.
    “All persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof shall at birth have the motto “In God We Trust” tattooed on their forehead AND all Ten Commandments carved into the cheeks of their ass.”
    As Ann Coulter would say: “That ought to make ‘em perfect!”




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  57. The “thumbs up/thumbs down” feature is good for those who need affirmation, but insightful opinion, like actual science, isn’t something that relies on votes. Vigorous discussion depends on the introduction of ideas that some are never in a position to hear. Social isolation also breeds certain concepts that can come across as insulting to those who have different backgrounds.

    If you subscribe to the GIFW theory of why online debate is so vitriolic (and I do), one of the problems is the lack of the non-verbal feedback mechanisms that we use to regulate aggression when conversing in the real world. Thumbs up/thumbs down is one way to put that back into the conversation.

    Every social group has an “overton window” of acceptable opinions, and people wishing to discuss things outside the window need to be careful be extra careful to discuss them politely. And yes, it sucks that there’s something of a double standard as a result, but that’s human psychology for you.

    And there is such a window here, whether we like it or not. The problem is it’s often not obvious where that window is due to lack of feedback.




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  58. john personna says:

    So how is thumbs-up/thumbs-down going to work in a global warming thread? Whoever notifies their network “wins?”




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  59. I honestly don’t know, it was just a suggestion of something to try.




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  60. Drew says:

    “Jane, you ignorant slut,……” is the standard comedic treatment here, and goes way, way back.

    One hopes that the staff and (most of) the commenters can differentiate between mean spirited zingers, and just intentionally provocative zingers. It is, after all, the proverbial “religion and politics,” and designed to be a commentary inducing vehicle that James and his rather competant crew have put together here. If not, one has to wonder about the thickness of skin, and conviction in point of view.

    And lastly, in some unsolicited advice, if it becomes a good old boy’s club with all sitting around in the library sipping brandy, smoking cigars and ….”I say old chap, if I might take just the slightest exception …………….” then all will be lost.




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  61. Drew says:

    jp, you stupid idiot, don’t you know global warming is a hoax…………..oh, wait.




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  62. Wiley Stoner says:

    I guess, you will be satified when only the opinions you agree with and the manner in which arguement is made are to your liking. I will attempt to comply, however, I do find the shift to the left disturbing. I guess I will just visit here less and it will become more of an echo chamber. One must wonder what this once great blog will look like when only Reynold comments on Mataconis’ blog and Mantis comments on the rest.




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  63. @Wiley:

    That didn’t last long. At :04 minutes after the hour you said you were done with the place, and yet 8 minutes later, here you are.




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  64. G.A.Phillips says:

    That didn’t last long. At :04 minutes after the hour you said you were done with the place, and yet 8 minutes later, here you are.

    OTB = crack pipe….

    I keep tossing my link into the recycle bin only to dig it back out when I get a new thought rock:)




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  65. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    Wiley:

    I guess, you will be satified when only the opinions you agree with and the manner in which arguement is made are to your liking. I will attempt to comply, however, I do find the shift to the left disturbing. I guess I will just visit here less and it will become more of an echo chamber. One must wonder what this once great blog will look like when only Reynold comments on Mataconis’ blog and Mantis comments on the rest.

    Poor Wiley, how you suffer the indignities of civil discourse! Comporting yourself in a manner that is not snide or intellectually dishonest is surely proof positive of Saul Alinsky’s evil hand. Clearly there is no bigger sign of a “leftist” shift than requiring civility and respect in comment sections.

    Alas, Wiley, I fear OTB will never be able to free itself from the chains of reason and rational discourse without the received wisdom of world conspiracies, dog-whistle rhetoric, and denialist sensibility!




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  66. dog-whistle rhetoric, and denialist sensibility

    WORST JANE AUSTEN NOVEL EVER!




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  67. bains says:

    This is too good to pass up…

    And I’m hovering like a fly, waiting for the windshield on the freeway…

    It is a song my friends, from the best album ever made.




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