This little blog used to have a robust debate in the comments section. But, over time and particularly after it became co-hosted at the Journal Sentinel, the quality of the comments deteriorated. Not that they became more critical of what I said - we always had that, but the posters were less likely to want to engage. I did not have the time - or the interest - to trade insults with people that I don't know. Eventually, I stopped reading them.
A couple of weeks ago, one of my colleagues said that the comments section here had become a cess pool. Last night, I checked on that and he was right. In fact, some one has been posting here as me. I actually have not posted a comment on this blog for two months.
In the past, I didn't want to moderate comments because it would pretty much eliminate them, but I can't let the type of silliness that occurred here continue.
So you can comment on this blog. You can criticize me or call me a fool. But you can't pretend to be somebody else and you can't use scatological references or make offensive remarks about Scott Walker or the President's daughters. You can't defame people. You can't link to ... well I don't know what it was and I'm not about to look. To try and make sure that doesn't happen, I've turned on comment moderation.
Of course, you have a First Amendment right to say whatever you want. You just can't do it here because I believe in property rights as well as free speech.