Friday, July 25, 2008

Please do not spit on the floor

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.


  1. Anonymous10:15 AM

    Hi, Howard. I know you take a lot of hits on here...sometimes from me, although I'd classify my occasional jibes as harmless wisecracks rather than tearing the joint apart with rude language. Some of us still appreciate good manners.

    Point being -- I think there are a whole lot of people who check in here with good ideas and positive intentions but a lot of frustrations over the way their individual MNI branches run and the rocky shape of MNI as a whole.

    But I truly appreciate you communicating with us this way and making this outlet available for us to communicate with you.

    And yeah, I'm still Anonymous. Because I need my job. But Howard...thanks.

  2. Anonymous10:20 AM

    Also, dude, you're scaring me a little with that Twitter comment about wars and winter and Napoleon. Correct me if I'm wrong...but didn't winter in Russia prove especially unkind to Monsieur Bonaparte and his troops?

  3. Anonyous1020: Oh, absolutely. That makes the point much stronger. Same with Hitler invading Russia. But both those wars also had *winners*, and that's the lesson for us; I take the saying to mean, "things get decided during the really tough times." Think George Washington at Valley Forge.

  4. Anonymous8:38 PM

    i thought it was spelled "salon".

  5. Anonymous8:30 AM

    Howard, I take the Napoleon comment to mean that arrogant leadership that's out of touch with realities on the ground can lead you into horrible and bitter defeat and kill off thousands of your troops in the process.