I think I should clarify a change I made a few months back about how I handle comments. When I started posting and someone would write a comment that included some genuine content mixed in with some insults, I was pretty indulgent, i.e., Use the editing function to sand off a little Jew-baiting here, airbrush the remark about one of the commenters’ parents not being married there, and voila, a civil, intelligent comment all ready for publication.
I see that some other bloggers here provide the same service and I admire their dilligence. What I decided for myself at least a few months back is that I am going to spread the burden of civility more broadly rather than take it on as solely my responsibility. If you post an otherwise thoughtful comment and then throw in an insult to someone’s character, intelligence, ethnicity, race or gender, I now delete the comment whole cloth. If this happens to you, please don’t walk away saying that no one appreciates your extraordinary brilliance. Instead, read the comment to yourself as if you were receiving it to identify the unecessary name calling and then try to re-post your substantive content minus the degrading words. If this seems too much to ask, the web and indeed the world is full of places where you can be as nasty as you please in debate. But that’s just not the product that is on offer here.