It has been and continues to be my goal that this blog be a forum for a free exchange of ideas from all points of view. The reality of this issue is that it tends to get heated. I do not believe it is practical to try to force people to keep their heads while so many in the Middle East and the US are losing theirs.
Having said that, the level of discussion has degenerated to the point where I feel the need to take action. Let me be clear:
1. There will be no tolerance for racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Arab or any other similarly bigoted views.
2. Name-calling is also out of bounds. Speak with all of your passion, and freely enjoin any ideas you find objectionable or disagreeable. But the name-calling (which includes not only accusations of anti-Semitism, but also calling others “crazy” or “racist” or any other epithets) stops now.
Violation of these guidelines will cause moderation for the first offense and a permanent ban for the second. Any comments including such offenses will be removed from the site from here on. Since I do not read every comment, if you believe someone has violated those guidelines, you need to send me an e-mail and I will investigate.
Be aware that these rules will be applied equally to people of any background, any political beliefs and whether or not you agree with what I write in this space. Please also be aware that, while this was prompted by one specific incident, many posters have been far more abusive than is called for, certainly than should be expected in civilized discourse.
I hope I never have to act on any of this, and I believe in the integrity of every person on here enough that I believe that there is a very good chance I will not have to. But if these guidelines are violated, please believe they will be enforced.
Thanks for your cooperation, and for your participation in this forum. Let’s keep it a place people want to come to.