The fact is that, by banning bullies, I have created an environment where people who [are] usually very reticent to express themselves feel comfortable enough to participate....I have decided to formulate a very simple comment policy. Basically, from now on, I will delete from now on all personal comments about other commenters. If you call someone a "douchebag", for example, then your comment will just be deleted, so all the effort you have gone to, if any, to formulate your thoughts will be wasted. (I will tolerate such comments aimed at me, unless they are made persistently and repetitively, in which case I will consider it harassment.)
I will also delete comments that link to fascist or racist websites, although on occasion I might ct and paste these comments without the links.
Basically, much as I have ambitions to one day be a superstar blogger (?), I want this blog to be a space of conversation and debate, among people who respect each other. I want to be persuaded to think differently, as I want others to be persuaded by me. I want to make connections. I started blogging as a means of making a very small political intervention (and this remains a goal), but I have found that one of the pleasures of blogging has been the sense of a community, of new acquaintances. The word "friend" is cheapened in the age of Facebook, but I have come to consider at least some of my virtual acquaintences as friends, and I value that more than I value winning an argument.