I really value the chance to write for this blog now and then, practically the only writing I do these days except for speeches and memos. I am grateful and appreciative of the fact that some people make it a practice to stop by and read what I write; many also take the time to comment. Some even do me the favor of disagreeing when they think I'm wrong, as I have been and certainly will be again.
A few just turn to ad hominem declarations and simple name-calling. When it's directed at me, I usually don't much care, but I am advised by more experienced bloggers to police things to some degree. Otherwise the climate simply continues to devolve, driving out more appropriate, useful participation.
I'm going to treat this like a saloon. I want folks to come in and have a good time. I want you to drink here, and it's okay to drink too much, to get rowdy and yell. But it's my saloon and if you start to spit on the floor or break the furniture, I intend to throw you out. (Yeah, I'm talking about you, tough boy. And I'm the guy to do it.)
Those who feel constrained by this are, of course, welcome to do what I did: start your own free blog and make your own rules. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I.