And now it's time for that little talk. I don't get enough traffic for a "comments policy" to be a really big deal, but I do think it's appropriate to set down some guidelines.
First of all, this is my home. I welcome civil and respectful discourse, and you are free to question or disagree with anything I say here; but there are limits. If we don't agree on basic values or premises, we're probably not going to have an interesting conversation; there has to be some common ground for a dialog to be meaningful. The First Amendment guarantees you your right to start your own blog!
Some kinds of speech are not OK here. Specific examples of not-OK comments would be: threats; harassment; vulgar or obscene language (occasional profanity is OK up to a point); racist, sexist, homophobic, or derogatory remarks against any religious or ethnic group are not. (This doesn't mean you can't criticize political movements - feminists, gay rights activists, the NAACP, or whoever. It does mean I have a "zero tolerance" policy for hate speech.) Harassing other commenters or bloggers on my site is a strict non-starter.
I'm not a big fascist about off-topic posts and I don't mind if people have chats in my comments section. But I do expect some kind of tie-in to the original post. Let me put it this way: if the first comment on a post is off-topic, it makes me feel that you don't find my post interesting, and my feelings get hurt. You don't want to hurt my feelings, do you? So do me a favor and at least READ the post, please. Thank you.
Bloggers, if you have a super-important, world-changing new post that you've just got to promote, well, I'm honored that you've chosen Dreams Into Lightning to help. The best way to reach me is by e-mail (use the link on my sidebar, it works). Please do not use my Comments - or my Trackback - for this. You know who you are.
This concludes my "Comments Policy" post. We now return you to your regularly scheduled ramblings and ravings.