July 7, 2013

There's still a way to comment!

I've had to turn off normal comments, because there was some terrible abuse. But we love our old good commenters, and Meade would love you to email comments to him. Click here to email Meade and he will put up the good comments in any given comments thread.

Be clear that you mean to try to post a comment and specify the thread. Meade will apply the old "good faith" standard, under which we reject comment by those who we think have the ulterior motive of destroying the conversation and driving people away from this forum (that is, the people who forced us turn off the comments).


Ann Althouse said...

The comments instruction box (above) has that hot link for the email, so you don't need to come back to this post to remember it.

Meade said...

from The Farmer:

I haven't been reading comments lately - I've only had time to read the posts that look interesting. So I don't know what happened, but:

1. Althouse, in your post from 2005, back when you turned comments back on, you originally planned on deleting abusive comments. It didn't seem like you ever did that. I didn't and still don't understand why not. If things have gotten out of control, it's only because anything went for so long that the cuckoos built a nest over here.

2. Meade, you're going to get real sick of doing this real quick. You're probably already sick of it. This isn't going to work. It would be way less work to just require comment approval and read them as they come in and yea or nay.

3. I hated when comments initially were turned back on here. Unmoderated comments sections are always a nightmare. There are intelligent, reasonable commenters on this blog but they're way outnumbered by the kooks. I've even found myself getting kooky once or twice - it's contagious. So I'm sure I'll still read without comments, but it would be nice if the non-psychos could still comment. A lot of them add value, even if only in the form of questionable choice in facial hair.

4. Hey Meade, if you publish my comment, please do so under the name Farmer. I like my anonymity.

5. Keep on truckin'.

Meade said...

from Michelle Dulak Thomson:

I can't help but think that this new system is very cumbersome, and rather hard on Meade. The idea seems to be that if there's a very strait filter, the nasty trolls will go away again, and you will have the sort of forum you did before, whereupon you can dispense with the filtration.

I do hope so. (I didn't see the deleted abusive nastiness, so I don't know how bad is the stuff we're talking about here.) But it will always come back, you know. People who take delight in ruining other people's conversations, in my experience, never give up.

Ann Althouse said...

"It would be way less work to just require comment approval and read them as they come in and yea or nay."

Unfortunately, the comments moderation function produces an error, so it's not an option.

Meade said...

from UC:

The thing about blogs is that you’re putting yourself out there for us to either admire, riff off of or get all cranky about. You can’t tell, and you can’t account for the tenor of the comments. You can only filter them.

Time and again I’ve noticed a tendency for Ann to lecture her readers, to not make clear in her post what her point is, to be – sorry to say it – coy about what she’s trying to get across. I’ve chalked this up to her profession. I consider it one of the shortcomings of career teachers.

Unfortunately – here it seems to be a case of wanting to post what many might take as outrageous positions and then act surprised as people are outraged and respond accordingly.

What I find really amusing is Meade’s tendency to throw bombs in the Isthmus (sp?) forums, and then expect decorum on Ann’s blog. I suggest another way to handle “abusive” comments - deputize a group of regular commenters to regulate the comments sections.

Whatever the outcome, I know I’ll read Ann quite a bit less under the new “cruel-must-be-kind” regime. Its unfortunate. You’re both intelligent people. You should be able to come up with a less reactionary why to deal with this.

Ann Althouse said...

From over at the poll, there's this from John Lynch:


What I think is happening is that Althouse wants a new comments section based on her own content rather than being dominated by the instapundit crowd. All the traffic from professor Reynolds is nice, but it brings many people who don't even read what Ann posts. In some ways this became the comments section for instapundit.com.

Althouse is far too idiosyncratic to get along with the mostly-partisan comments section that she's stuck with as a result. There's a gaping chasm between Althouse's own worldview and that of her comments-base. I don't think that arose organically.

There's no way to change that dynamic without shutting off comments for a while until the roaches all get bored and leave. When (or if) comments ever come back they'll be based on her own work.

Meade said...

from Paco Wové:

The Farmer's right - if the volume is anything like what it was before, this will become extremely burdensome. I know there are other blogger blogs that enforce moderation of submitted comments. That would still be burdensome, but probably less than what you're trying now.

This e-mail isn't worth posting, but if you insist on doing so, please use my real name, Paco Wové. Thanks.

Ann Althouse said...

That's a really good observation, John Lynch. There was an overload of people who aren't close to me politically and who for some reason needed to repeat that over and over (and to make it stupidly personal, like about gay marriage).

Meade said...

from a commenter:

I think far fewer people will use Amazon without comments.
Perhaps I am incorrect.

Please do not use my name if you should choose to publish this comment.

Meade said...

from TML:


I think you need a 6th option on the poll: "I simply like the comments and the blog together"

That's probably the simple truth for 90% of the Althouse readership.

"making me nervous..." sounds like there's no option for the relatively sane among us all in the commentariat.

At least I didn't see an option that felt it fit me as a longtime commenter, supporter and reader.

Thank you

Meade said...

from TML:

One more comment:

Seriously, people, think about what Sir Archy would say if he saw some of acting so abominably.
Can't we all just read calmly and respond kindly? Doesn't mean you can't intelligently put your opinion out there.
Holy crap, don't ruin the experience for all of us.
Unless that's been your intent all along.
Then, please go eat dirt.

Meade said...

from Palladian:

Removing comments removes readers.

If Althouse doesn't want readers, so be it.

I don't read "blogs" that don't allow comments.

I hope she'll reconsider, but if not, it's been a sometimes-fun 7 years that I've been commenting at Althouse's blog. Thanks.

Meade said...

from AEH:

Hi Ann and Meade,

I enjoyed being able to read the profile (if there was information posted) on each commenter and try to create a story in my head of why each person would hold certain opinions on each topic. I will miss being able to do this, but it will be good to keep the conversations focused.

Meade said...

from Palladian:

It's funny, because I discovered Althouse all those years ago by following a link from Instapundit, which was a blog that I didn't regularly read because it didn't have a comments section.

Ann Althouse said...

"Removing comments removes readers."

Maybe. Some leave, others enter.

Site Meter shows no drop off.

I think the bad commenters chased some people away, and much of my writing time got absorbed into the comments page instead of on the front page, and I think there were a lot of readers who were averse to looking in the comments, and a lot of antagonistic people took the opportunity to screw things up, making it unreadable to many.

We'll see what happens.

I'm interested to see what it will do to me.

I'm genuinely sorry to lose the good commenters.

Meade said...

message to MayBee from Walter:

MayBee: while we've enjoyed reading your comments here and elsewhere, we miss you at JustOneMinute. Please don't let your comments be lost, come back to those who love you!

Meade said...

from Freeman Hunt:

I'll read the blog with or without comments. I'd gotten very good at skimming for the comments I wanted to read. I skipped past anyone who was reliably vicious or boring. Is there a way to have approved commenters? I suppose the possible problems there would be that it could get stale or have an undesirable exclusive feel.

I am a bit at a loss. This commenting community has been a major intellectual social outlet for me. What to do now? Hm.

Blog? I hope that the commenters I so enjoyed will blog and link back to this place. There are certain commenters I would truly mourn being unable to read.

I'll be interested to see how the blog evolves. Enjoy being unchained from moderating a fire hose of text! (Bizarre visual image intentional in honor of the many unintentional, bizarre visual images that have been analyzed here.)

Meade said...

from Icepick:

Sigh. Oh well, all good things come to an end. I’m looking at the comments over at the poll, and it is amazing how many of the commenters there are the people I have taken to skipping. Not saying I’m much better (being unemployed for several years has made me meaner than Hell and twice as crazy), but DAAAAAAMMMMNNNN. It really has been getting toxic lately, and perhaps a hard break is best. But I suspect comments will be back on eventually, and then I can return to my master plan of slowly commenting on all the OLD threads, so long left bare and lonely.

Peace out Ann and Meade, and good luck going forward.


Meade said...

from Roughcoat:

Speaking (writing) as a relative newcomer:

It seems to me, after a few months of reading her blog, that Ann Althouse is firmly left of center--very much so on some things, less so on others. I don’t find her at all idiosyncratic: rather, I find her pretty consistent in this regard.

Glenn Reynolds and the people who like him are right of center or libertarian: and the latter tend to be libertarians with a conservative bent. Hence they are not favorably disposed to most of Althouse’s views.

This is her blog and as such it is hers to do with as she sees fit. John Lynch is right. But UC also has a point, I think. The remarks post in the comments sections were sometimes very abusive. But Ann Althouse’s remarks were equally abusive. I don’t know if this has always been the case. In the event it doesn’t matter: it’s her blog.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Meade said...

from Bagoh20:

Farmer said: "I can't help but think that this new system is very cumbersome, and rather hard on Meade."

This is a feature.

Half the time I'm commenting with a power tool in one hand (not that one), or waiting in line at the grocery store with a cart full liquor and cotton candy. I cannot accept any extra burdens in my life right now.

I find it curious that comments were turned off right after Meade and I alluded to a pizza drenched date we might have had one night. I don’t want our relationship to come between you and Ann. Besides, I suspect you are just after my DNA.

Meade said...

from The Godfather:

(This is for publication if you choose)

Prof. Althouse, I regret the elimination of comments even more then I regret the kind of commenting that makes you feel that you need to eliminate them.

Yours is the only blog on which I regularly read comments, and the only one on which I post comments from time to time. Many of your posts (not all, of course) seem to me to be intended to stimulate discussion and commentary. That's what I would expect of a law prof (if law schools are still using the Socratic method). I think you'd have to change the way you write your posts if you want to have a no-comments blog.

I don't know what recent activity triggered your decision. I have certainly seen many comment threads on Althouse go bad, with commenters slinging insults at each other and losing complete track of the subject. I usually don't read more than 50-80 comments, because by that time it's pretty likely that the discussion has devolved into a pissing contest among half a dozen or so commenters. As a reader, I can ignore the dreck. I understand that you may feel that you can't.

When I was blogging myself, I got very few comments, and that was one of the reasons that I stopped blogging. I felt that I was speaking to an empty room. The problem you are now facing is what I would call an embarrassment of riches.

I'll pray that you are granted the wisdom to deal with your dilemma.

The Godfather

Meade said...

from gk1:

Yeah, it’s too bad it had come to this, but I don’t blame you. I doubt I will submit my incredible insights through you just to see them posted, but I will still drop by to see Ann’s writings and musings. I am a avid reader of Instapundit, so it’s inevitable I will keep coming back.

Meade said...

from Michelle Dulack Thomson:

Ann quotes John Lynch, from the comments to the poll:

Althouse is far too idiosyncratic to get along with the mostly-partisan comments section that she's stuck with as a result [of linkage from Instapundit]. There's a gaping chasm between Althouse's own worldview and that of her comments-base. I don't think that arose organically.

I don't think Ann has a "comments-base," which is one of a number of reasons this is one of the few blogs I read daily. A comments section that generally has daily contributions from people like garage mahal, Inga, Rhythm and Balls, harrogate, and AReasonableMan is not monochromatically "conservative."

As for whether Ann's "comments-base" has drifted apart from her "worldview," I don't think this last few days' dust-up says anything about that. She got a lot of push-back from long-time readers (like DBQ, Freeman Hunt, and me, sticking to the conservative-ish distaff side) about this particular subject. None of us were led here by Instapundit traffic; we've been here for ages. And she got push-back also from other, generally non-conservative long-timers, like Inga and Rhythm & Balls, again on this one subject.

What the actual nastiness was that occasioned the comment shutdown I don't know (and probably don't want to know). But what's here is a forum in which, ordinarily, people of differing political views have managed to be tolerably civil to one another, and I haven't seen any major change in the left/right balance recently. Of course, that might be that moderators have caught it first :-)

Meade said...

from Icepick:

Palladian, you magnificent bastard, good luck with the housing situation. I’ll miss the pointless arguments about bad songs in the middle of the night. THAT makes me feel sad….


Meade said...

from Michelle Dulak Thomson:


I enjoyed being able to read the profile (if there was information posted) on each commenter and try to create a story in my head of why each person would hold certain opinions on each topic. I will miss being able to do this, but it will be good to keep the conversations focused.

Just a suggestion here, but the folks at the Volokh Conspiracy, every year or so, run an open thread asking readers/commenters to introduce themselves. Something to consider here? It would be interesting to know more about the Althouse commentariat. Whichever part of it sticks around, that is.

Meade said...

from Roughcoat:

I think Ann Althouse has done the right thing. Certainly what she has done is understandable. Holy smokes, the comments sections were getting crazier with each passing day. Like that movie 28 Days Later about people being infected with the rage virus. Violence, chaos, scorched earth, cats and dogs living together. So much angst, so much agita. Not a pretty sight, and I, for one, didn’t like it.

Meade said...

from Kirk Parker:

Alas, the delay will kill off any real conversation in the comments--remember how deadly comment moderation was in this regard.

Also alas, blogger doesn't really provide an easy way to manage a list of approved commenters, which would be a decent way to handle the problem.

Meade said...

from RogerJ:

I fully ascribe to Lynch’s point: This is the professor’s blog and she can do with it what she wants. I have read the blog--and frankly I read it more for the comments than the intro posts. But I will also say IMO, personal attacks on the meadhouse were way out of line; and the tenor of the posts over the past month have been revolting--These posts mostly were centered around SSM and Abortion. My final thought--it was the comments (until recently) that made the blog worth reading--but there are many other blogs out there. Whatever the outcome, I have appreciated being a participant and wish you the best on your enterprise.

Meade said...

from bagoh20:

I do come primarily for the commenters. The wild west nature of it is a little rough and ugly sometimes, and often too childishly combative on a personal level, but that's pretty easy to skip over, once you know who to avoid reading, and who to never skip. Even those little spats can be entertaining when done by the right people.

Unfortunately, I can't see commenting much under this system, and I don't comment on sites that review comments before posting. Ain't nobody got time for dat. I suppose this will cut deep into the content I come for, and so will cut back on my reading as well. Besides, I mostly just read my own comments over and over.

I'll check occasionally to see if the policy gets reversed. Ann was pissing me off lately anyway, but I wouldn't leave over that yet. The commenters were too good for me to leave, and as long as they stayed red-blooded, I'd put up with a disappointing brain fart from the host now and then. There are other sites with funnier comments, some with less crap in the comments, but of all the sites I've visited regularly over the years, this place was the most eclectic, in both host provided content and the comments. The breadth of the commentariat background and contributions has been unmatched anywhere else in the cyberuterus.

Meade said...

from Pogo:

I have been participating since 2004, and remain grateful for Althouse's extraordinary daily effort. I have come to feel that I have overstayed my welcome, based on posts and comments over the last year.

Best of luck with the new commenters, and thanks for all the fish.

Meade said...

from betamax3000:

First: Vodka and Candy Cigarettes, So it May Be Wise to Ignore the Rest,

Two: the No Cafe Cafe Makes Me Sad.

Third: I Believe I Understand Why.

In the "Steamy Buns" Post I Elaborated on a Crossroads/Decision theme, ending with: "Through Such Examination I Believe I Better Understand the Significance of Ann Choosing This Particular Photograph." I Realize that This isn't Why the Photo was Chosen, But Was Using the Comments there Metaphorically To Examine a Decision (Yours) That I Fully Felt was Coming On for the Past Week.

From the Same Post:

"f you Look Closely You Can See On the Steps Below the St, Paul Banner People are Sitting, Conversing. Have They Made their Decision? In the Photo Their Size Makes Them Appear Irrelevant, but they Are an Integral Part of the Picture: Being that they are Positioned in Front of Where Our Conflicted Man is Standing, do They Make Choosing that Direction More Open, or More Off-Putting?"

This Was My (Ham-Fisted?) Way of Viewing How the Commentors Interacted on this Blog (Irrelevant and Integral), and the Choices Ann has to Make with That. Obviously, I was Positioning Ann as the Conflicted Man. (Notice I Pointed Out He Wasn't Wearing Shorts to Further the Thematic Connection). Seriously: that is What those Comments were About: Direction of One's Choosing.

One Thing I had Noticed Before Ever Commenting Here was How many of Ann's Posts ended in a Question. (Example from Earlier Today: "Patterns. What do they mean? Who can say? And isn't it mean to even wonder?")

The Invitation to Respond Always Seemed A Great Part of the Allure of This Blog, and Dragged Me In. Perhaps there is Another Blog Out there with That Same Dynamic but I Won't Spend Time to Find it: at a Certain Point in Life Losing Friends makes You Firm Up with Those You Have, Rather Than Searching to Add More. Not to Be Dramatic, But this DOES Feel Like Losing a Circle of Friends (and Acquaintances, and Their Acquaintances, and Drunks and Those Who Just Stumbled In).

One of the Reasons I Never Blogged on My Own is that the Time Needed to Respond is Simpler than the Time Needed to Create. For the Time You Have Spent Creating I Give My Most Sincere Thanks. For Me, I Don't think Anyone Will Search Out a Naked Bob Dylan Robot Comment on the Internet that isn't a Response to a Bigger Picture, i.e., Fun While it Lasted.

I Hope In a Week's Time You Reconsider, But I Understand Why You Most Likely Won't.

One Suggestion, However: Perhaps One Last (Unmoderated) Cafe, Where People Can Say Goodbye to Strangers That Matter to Them That they Never Actually Met.

Best Wishes to You and Meade....


Meade said...

A Chirbit Message from El Pollo Raylan:

"The Althouse Zone #4

Meade said...

from Astro:

I’ll miss the comments, but I won’t miss the serial commenters. I wish the comments could be limited to 3 or 4 per commenter, per article, with active deleting of nasty comments aimed at other commenters. I hate them and have refused to participate in that kind of childish behavior. I read and comment (occasionally) for fun; life is too short to waste any of my time in a pissing contest.

I don’t think of myself as necessarily part of ‘the family’, maybe more like a neighbor down the street. Nevertheless, I enjoy Ann’s blog and am glad to see that once in a while one of my comments catches her eye.

Meade said...

from Ignorance is Bliss:

Crap. Having to email Meade will kill the comment section.

Now I'm gonna have to get a job.

Goodbye to All. I will occasionally check back to see if comments are back on.

Ann Althouse said...

Has anyone said: I'm sorry?

The people who destroyed it wanted to destroy it.

We figured out the concept of bad faith, but there was so much of it. I'm incredibly sad about the good people we hurt, but I cannot face the pain of the destruction caused by others.

No one has said: was it me? Did I cause this pain?

That in itself hurts me more than I can say.

Meade said...

from Fen:

Hi Meade! How ya been?

If possible, could you clear this post so I can ask Althouse:

"when do you think men will get their reproductive rights?"


Meade said...

from Pogo:

To Althouse
I assumed it was me, and apologized to you and Palladian in that first mega-comment post over a week ago. That was my last comment until now.
I offer my apologies again.

Meade said...

from a emailing commenter:

Well, I for one am sorry. I decided to quit commenting after Palladian was so hurt by my comments on gay marriage. I know I won't change anyone's mind, and I found myself becoming a person I didn't like very much. I still hold very strong Christian, conservative, pro life opinions, but I didn't/don't think I articulate them in a useful way. I'll let people with better conversation skills and more authority keep up the good work. Hang in there fellow conservatives. Many of you have become respected sources of information and thought provoking ideas.
For what it's worth I'm sorry for any part I may have played in making anyone feel diminished.

Sent from my iPad

Meade said...

from Phil 3:14:

Well Professor it all comes crashing down. Sad. I've been following this blog for over 5 years. My son, a Naval Officer, even checks it out occasionally now. Oh well. Yes, many of the commenters got tiresome. But then again I was probably viewed as an uninspired RINO commenter. I'll check back periodically to see what's happening.

Ann Althouse said...

Pogo, I don't remember your doing anything wrong.

Ann Althouse said...

Pogo, whatever it was, we accept your apology.

Meade said...

Bagoh20 wrote:

I don't know what actually sparked this policy, and I hope I wasn't part of it, but the only thing I really find intolerable here has been the personal attacks that seem to have no other purpose than to attempt to deeply hurt someone, like a 12 year old bully would. Meadehouse has been on the receiving end of a lot of that, but certainly not them alone. I have never seen adults do that in person, even when drunk off their ass. It's so offensive sometimes that it just makes me embarrassed to be here. It's like someone crapping there pants at the dinner table. I just don't get it, especially from otherwise intelligent people. It's so easy to do to anyone, so ugly and cowardly, and it reflects so badly on the one doing it that it makes no sense to do it. That's the only thing I really object to enough to get me to stop reading sometimes. Although I'm here plenty, it has never happened to me even once all these years, but I don't think it would bother me as much as when it happens to someone else. If it happened in person, everyone listening would walk away from the one doing it, and leave them standing there alone with nobody listening, and they would be avoided from then on like that kid that would poop her diaper in the sand box. Nobody wants you to do that, and you have to wear that diaper afterward.

Meade said...

from Shouting Thomas:

No, Althouse, you're not an innocent victim. You've set the tone with your repetitive, false allegations against straight men.

You've been accusing me and my father of deliberately harming women and gays. These allegations are bullshit.

Your behavior in this regard has been utterly vicious. You get away with this in the academic world. The lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

You're a fount of bitter, hateful and false accusations against straight men.

So, it starts with you. Karma is a bitch.

Shouting Thomas

Sent from my iPhone

Meade said...

from Saint Croix:

I would like to add, too, what a remarkable achievement I think Althouse had with her blog experiment. I have never been to a place with such a diversity of thought. Law school, for me, was an amazing intellectual experience. But we were all lawyers there, with our lawyer brains.

What I found so impressive about Althouse's blog is how she would attract intelligent people from many walks of life. Not just smart people, but smart people who were asked to engage in the most divisive issues of our day. And there was very sharp debate, as you might expect. But what was fascinating for me is how people would keep coming back.

For instance there was quite a bit of vulgarity on the blog (some of it from me!), as well as blasphemy. And yet deeply religious Christians would continue to visit again and again. Not just to sooth hurt souls, but also to defend the faith. I found it really interesting that people far more religious than I am had as much fun at Althouse as I did.

There are a lot of issues that are incredibly hard to discuss in American society. Abortion and gay marriage would be two of them. What was wonderful about Althouse is that it was a place where these discussions could be had. And the discussions would sometimes veer into sharp and mean and ugly places. But other times I would get real insight into people. And myself too!.

The other amazing thing was her stamina. "How can she keep doing this?" I would ask myself. She would bring up a divisive subject, and we would all fight about it. She would say she was a follower of "cruel neutrality," but obviously Althouse has strong feelings herself, passions and moral commitments. And she never took a break, not once!

There's this thing called vacation, Althouse!

Anyway, all good things come to an end. But this was really an incredibly vibrant intellectual experience for me. And I just want to thank you for it.

Meade said...

from Tim Maguire:

Many thoughtful blogs are harmed by comments. Volokh Conspiracy comes to mind as a blog I read more and liked better before they added comments. Althouse (along with very few others, like Protein Wisdom, which I no longer read, but used to daily) is that rare blog that is enhanced by an intelligent group of commenters.

But in these last few years, that is changing. The comment threads have gotten much longer and the quality of debate much lower. If there are fewer than 50 comments, I might read every one. If more, I will skim it. If there are more than 100, I won't even look--why waste so much time when so few add value? Even though that means I miss the instances of real insight.

A blog that regularly has hundreds of comments is the same to me as a blog without comments. I'll never look.

How about we add even further to Meade's burden by having him choose the 30 best comments and then tossing the rest?

tim maguire

Sent from my iPad

Meade said...

from Matthew Sablan:

Althouse is one of the few communities I still regularly post to that doesn't include people I personally know. Not being able to comment easily and fluidly is a pain, but hopefully there'll be some middle ground in the future. As usual, jerks on the Internet who abuse the system and good nature of other people mean that the rest of us can't have nice things.

Meade said...

from Eustace Chilke:

I figure about half your blog is comments and about half your commentators are a waste of skin. If you muzzle them you change the blog entirely and I expect you'll lose a good deal of traffic. I'm just guessing but you know. If you unmuzzle them all, certain ones of them will crash the whole show by focusing everyone's attention on themselves or having running pissing matches that squeeze more worthy stuff out. I don't know that I care to read the blog without comments. We'll see. But my first reaction is diminished interest. My own comments I can easily forego. You ( I use the plural you in this email, as in youse guys ) will probably let up soon but you won't go back, in my mind, to the way I first found you. Very likely it's always been the way it is now but, from now on, I'll always understand that I'm reading filtered stuff in the comments. In spite of the fact that half the commenting crowd is malicious or nuts, that's pretty weak stuff.

Meade said...

from DF Dick Finlay (2357):

I have been reading Ann’s blog since the very early days because I find her analysis of issues interesting. I thought I noticed a change in style as the commenter community matured; instead of analysis, Ann seemed to start doing the Socratic method thing – introducing a topic and expecting analytical discussion. Unfortunately, an open comment board cannot be restricted in the way a law class is, through the self-discipline of people with something to lose. I will gladly give up the ability to comment in return for legal analysis, again; I started skipping the discussions, anyway, when the comment count got high, as that is an indicator of a lot of sniping. I will look forward to how this blog evolves – again.

Meade said...

from Methadras:

To all:

I just want to go on record to thank Ann, Meade, and the rest of the commentariat regulars that have put up with my opinions. I'm surly, sometimes an ass, a jerk, and maybe even a bore, but what I am not is unwavering in what I believe in. I'm more than sure I contributed to the comments at Althouse being removed in favor of this filtering system. I wish Meade the best of luck with that. I don't speak around a subject if I can avoid it. I try to get right to the heart of the matter. If you've been offended, hurt, or upset about what I've said, I'm very sorry. I hope in the vein sometime and at some other place, we can have discourse once again. I came to this blog because of it intrigued me. I enjoyed it and I've stayed to contribute to the best of my ability. I'm just glad I had the opportunity to share myself in that way with you all.

However, this format isn't conducive for the spontaneous reactions that get me to comment. It's an organic thing I've used to help me coalesce my thoughts. I think many of you feel the or do the same. You see something, go to the post window and hammer out a response. This is more deliberate and time consuming.

Either way, good luck to you all, take care, enjoy life, and try to be happy. I enjoyed my time here and I hope that someday soon that the blogger system changes so that it helps moderate commentary better. But I will miss coming here and seeing the back and forths and the hearty positions taken. Peace be to all of you.

Warmest Regards and all the best life can offer you,

Meade said...

from JAL:

from betamax3000 One Suggestion, However: Perhaps One Last (Unmoderated) Cafe, Where People Can Say Goodbye to Strangers That Matter to Them That they Never Actually Met.

This. Though if this is a temporary hiatus, perhaps that is premature.

But then how would we know?

It's a bit like having Bissage disappear on us (I figured he passed away and no one knew to tell us) only in a calculated way.

Poof. We are all gone.

Will miss most of the commenters who were defintively a cut above, and many of the comments. (I skipped the repetitively ugly ones.)

As they say -- Good luck! And God bless you both with many happy and good years.


Meade said...

from Eeyore

Well, Professor, I'll apologize for throwing a few elbows. I had the impression you liked the rough and tumble banter on your blog, and that you intended to hold out your thoughts and feelings for ruthless criticism. I suppose that's kind of true, but my timing was bad.

Best wishes,


Meade said...

from an emailing commenter:

I wouldn't say it too publicly, but I feel as though I'm speaking to the owners of a pub I've frequented in which I've been drunk a few times, but also found fellowship, new ideas, and for whom I have fond feelings.

Thanks for all the work and good faith you've put in for years and I respect any decision you make.

Sent from my iPhone

Meade said...

from Michelle Dulak Thomson:


Has anyone said: I'm sorry?

The people who destroyed it wanted to destroy it.

I am sorry, if I have done anything contributory to this change of policy. I have certainly gotten into pretty heated argument with you in the last few days. I would hate to think that I was any part of the cause, because this was about the best comment section on the entire Internet. (Volokh's is close, and so is/was Megan McArdle's, except that hers gets maimed every time she switches jobs, which is kind of a lot.)

Meade said...

from PoNyman:

Dear Althouse Blog:

I’m sorry that the following content doesn’t contain any meat.

I’ve been a loyal reader for years and arrived at your blog during your first stint at Instapundit (I have no proof of this since it took me a long time to actually make a comment.) Instapundit dropped off my reader years ago after my great blog purge of ‘Aught-something’ (I’ve got to work at some point during the day.)
With or without comments you are my #1 blog and that likely will not change. I will miss comments from the likes of Freeman Hunt and Palladian. But for me it will be like missing the fine etchings on the terribly swift sword known as the Althouse Blog. I’m sure its sting will not be tempered.

+1 to the Godfather. I just wish there was a ready answer that Google had available.

One more thing. I’m still chuckling at the ‘Don’t be a splooge stooge’ comment. I teach at my church on occasion and I’m trying to figure out how to bring that line into one of my lessons.

Without comments I don’t believe I’d ever have had a chance at seeing that line.

Thank you.

- PoNyman

Meade said...

from Icepick:

Althouse wrote (in the comments!): Has anyone said: I'm sorry?

Doesn't look like it. If I'm one of the killers, I am truly sorry, as it
wasn't my intent. But judging from the comments on the poll, no one thinks
they're responsible, even the true and obvious psychopaths. So perhaps my
belief that it wasn't me is simply self-delusion.

So, I'm sorry for not being a better commenter.


Meade said...

from David:

This is sad. I have enjoyed commenting because it has helped me to clarify what I actually believe about many issues. I've also enjoyed many of the other commenters, and have learned to skim the stupid, repetitive or rude stuff. There is too much of that, but most other blogs I've looked at are much worse. In fact on most blogs the commenters do not seem to notice other comments, except for the ones they really hate. There have been some very interesting and knowledgable people commenting here, and I will miss them. I suspect that comments will be diminished because we commenters will be losing the thrill of seeing our magnificent thoughts on the page immediately. So be it. I will keep reading to get the Althouse slant on stuff I might never have been aware of without this blog.

We are all broken records to one degree or another, singing the same old song. Thank you Althouse for allowing us to be a dissonant chorus for as long as you did. Fare thee well.

Meade said...

from shirleyelizabeth:

to bagoh2o: for me, yours were among the comments to never skip. I also, sadly, have noticed other no-skippers disappearing over time, and my likelihood to click over from my reader on many posts (in order to read the comments) diminishing.

Thanks Meade. Sorry for the loss Althouse.

Meade said...

from Palladian:

To Pogo and "emailing commenter",

Nothing that either of you wrote hurt me in any way. There's a great difference between disagreement and attack. That both of you feel remorse over something that you wrote demonstrates that you need not feel remorse over anything you wrote. The living and thriving mind lives and thrives in ambiguity, and uncertainty, and disagreement, and strife. THAT'S what I liked about the comments at Althouse, and about great Althouse herself, and that's what would be a terrible shame to lose. Let us live freely in writing, together, once again.

Meade said...

from Almost Ali:

Hey, Guys, shutting down the opposition worked for Obama, maybe it'll work for you. Although he had the IRS. Oh, and the EPA, just to mention a few. Still, put me on the A-List... if there is one.
Meanwhile, it'll be interesting to watch this new incarnation. To see if the quest for literal translations can fly on its own. I doubt it, but I'm only right half the time. Also note that I've become very fond of Freeman Hunt, who seems to have more native intelligence than the rest of us put together. But there are others, too, who collectively form the foundation of the Althouse blog. Including Zeus.
I don't think you know how good you have it.

Meade said...

from Humperdink:


Disappointed the comments have been been shut off. The comments are the icing on the cake. Sure, there are idiots on every at every subset of society. I for one, agree with whoever stated limiting comments to 5 / post. After that, the mudslinging typically commences.

Meade said...

from Jana:

I feel like I've been reading this blog and its comments for a very long time, though my contributions are few. I count myself among those expressing regret and sadness over whatever precipitated this decision -- of which I am completely ignorant. (An unfortunate technical disagreement between Google Reader and the Feedly app has hobbled my usual efficient blog-reading over the past week.) I suppose I have nothing else to add but that, and note that this blog did feature a comments section that I actually did tend to read most of the time, at least for the first 20 or so, and then I'd search for specific favorite folks to see if they'd posted a thought. The ugly comments got little more than a cursory glance, if that.

I find Freeman Hunt expressed my feelings quite well above. I, too, am at a bit of a loss.

Best of luck, whatever happens. I can't imagine I'll stop coming by, as it's been my custom to check in for quite some time now. After all, I'm always sort of secretly hoping to have an Amazon purchase featured as a post.

Meade said...

from RAH:

I read with interest the contretemps between Ann and Glenn.

Ann is missing Glenn's point. She has been snarky and insulting to the men who object to being just the paycheck and sperm donors to conniving women.

This has been the classic war between men and women where no one wins. However our society has tilted the field to women and our society is worse for it.

The amount of illegitimate births have now risen to high point and the birth rate has plummeted because of that. Children, those who are born, have been shafted when they do not have good fathers. The feminization of schools has been brutal to the boys. As a mother I have seen that and resisted it when I could. I had to spend money for private schooling just to make sure my son had a decent education and wasn't punished for being a boy.

I read the letter of a teacher in black school in Alabama and though I was not surprised or even shocked, it show the destruction of the underclass. One of the primary cause is the destruction of fathers in the families being replaced with the state and the failure of women to pick and be faithful to one man.

The sexual freedom has destroyed the black culture. Men take advantage and women and girls start ever younger trying to get a male before that male can properly raise a family..

Sexual morals existed for a reason and without them society fails. Especially the lower classes.

This entire discussion started with the confession of a women who followed her biological imperative to get pregnant and her shame.

Men reacted because they were deceived and used. Ann called them losers, sploosh stooges and other insulting names.

However I read the last post and all the 293 comments and the comments were mostly very civil. The majority of the comments disagreed with Ann and I guess she could not take it and closed comments.

Tough, The is an old saying those in glass houses should not throw stones. Or I guess the Gods of the Copybook Headings have wrecked their vengence again.

Meade said...

from Lauderdale Vet:

Sorry you had to shut down the comments. I always found the little community you two had been cultivating to be both entertaining and thought provoking. I suppose I made a habit of skipping over some of the sillier things, and perhaps some of the vitriol went over my head.


I'm sorry that it became a burden and wish nothing but the best for you both.

Still looking forward to all the posts, and I hope that it still adds something to your lives, because it certainly adds to mine. :)

Meade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meade said...

from an emailing commenter:

Congrats on your new duties as Chief Officer of Filter and Purification :-))

Meade said...

from Icepick:

Althouse wrote: No one has said: was it me? Did I cause this pain?

That in itself hurts me more than I can say.

To be more explicit than my previous response (because even now I love
hammering an obvious point into the dirt), I'm guessing there are four rough
categories of commenters in this regard.

First, the group that CORRECTLY knows they weren't the problem. As examples
I'd cite Chip Ahoy and betamax3000. (If they don't know they weren't the
problem, I will go out on a limb and say, "You guys weren't the problem.")

Second would be those that INCORRECTLY think they weren't the problem. I may
well belong to this category, and I'm trying to get my head straight on this

Third will be those that aren't sure but suspect they may have contributed
to the problem. Some of them have apologized (POGO, for example, and some of
the others who have apologized) and some of them probably haven't gotten
around to it, perhaps because the new comment policy seems like a drag. Or
perhaps they're embarrassed.

Fourth are the knowing destroyers. They're not going to apologize. If anyone
is curious as to who those folks are, just go read the comments at the poll.
Several of them reveal themselves explicitly.

Each of those groups are going to have their subgroups, but I need to cut
this short so I can take my daughter to the park.

But I will say this about some that haven't apologized, or who, like me,
needed a poke in the ribs to do so. I'm not certain that everyone realizes
how personally hurtful this has been to the Professor, and perhaps to Meade.
I certainly didn't, probably due to careless reading. One can read the posts
about cutting off the comments as the Professor simply being unhappy with
the tenor of the discussions, as opposed to finding the discussions as
personal affronts.

Again, I'm sorry for not being a better commenter, and I do mean that

Anyway, off to the park.

See you, space cowboys.

Meade said...

from Beta Rube:

How can one prefer the blog without comments? If you don’t like comments, ignore them.

Those of us who love the comment section cannot similarly accommodate ourselves.

Meade said...

from fwbuff:

Dear Ann:

I’ve been reading your blog for many years. I check it several times a day (thanks for updating it so frequently!) and comment occasionally. I originally came to it through Instapundit, but I appreciate your unique perspective on the important (and quirky) issues of our time. One of the most valuable things to me is your analysis of Supreme Court decisions. Even though I’m a lawyer, I don’t practice in litigation or in constitutional law, so your summaries and insights provide a level of context and detail that I can’t find through the traditional news media or through other legal columnists. It’s a great service.

I’ve always enjoyed your comments section because you created a place where we can express and discuss diverse opinions. Most of all, I admire your unwavering support for freedom of speech. The blog comments were a place where you showed that your respect for freedom of speech was certainly more than lip service -- you put your opinions and observations out there not only for those who disagreed with you, but also for those who (sadly for all of us) abused the forum. I understand why you’re taking a break from the old comments format, but I also hope that you are able to keep some form of comment system going. The ideal of free speech (tempered by civility and respect) is worth preserving.

Best regards,

Meade said...

from Godot:

Could you at least open comments on any future Amazon Portal posts? If you need ideas for titles, I have a few doozies.

Meade said...

from Pastafarian:

Meade --

This comment's meant for the "There's still a way to comment!" thread. Feel free to edit for excess length and use ellipses to indicate editing.

When I first read of your taking down the comments, I assumed that I wasn't one of the offenders -- I was pretty sure there were only a few.

I've read since early 2006 and commented since late 2007, I think. And you've always had detractors, from within and without; and from within they'd try to derail the conversation. Some did it for personal reasons, others (I think) for political reasons -- they didn't like the freedom and quality of the conversation in your comments section. They didn't want their philosophy exposed and discredited by open debate.

There's one particularly crazy person who's been here longer than me, and when I saw her comment yesterday, about 50 times on one thread, and you later took down comments, I assumed that it was primarily because of her. She's vicious and completely insane.

But when I read your comment, that you were surprised and disappointed that more people hadn't come through with an apology...well, that makes it pretty clear that it's more than just a few, and that I must be one of the offenders. I left one particularly stupid comment yesterday, where it was off-topic for that particular thread and quite obnoxious. It wasn't insulting toward Althouse, but more an affront to basic humanity in general; and someone mercifully deleted it soon after I wrote it. I apologize for any ugly comments I've left that have offended you.

And I apologize for the low quality of my comments in general. I've actually made an effort to comment less, in the last several months, because it was becoming apparent even to me that I was bringing the conversation down with unimaginative content. I've never been one of the best commenters, and I've been distracted for the last year or so, so I'm even worse than usual.

I realize too (maybe I'm mistaken) that you'd like some of your more vocal conservative commenters to chill out a little bit and let some other voices be heard. However, please bear in mind that those conservatives aren't your most ardent detractors. And those Anti-Althousians (like that crazy one I mentioned earlier, and a couple of hardcore ideologues) are doing an endzone dance right now. This place was unique. I know of no other blog like this, that has attracted so many high-quality commenters from across the political spectrum and given them free reign. Please don't let the viciousness of a few of your enemies, and the stupidity of a few of your friends, bring the whole place down. Don't give your opponents that victory.

And if I don't get the chance, I'd like to thank, in no particular order, Palladian, Revenant, Scott M, Meade, DBQ, Crack MC, Bago, garage, Freeman, Paddy O, Pogo, Saint Croix, rhhardin, Bob Ellison, edutcher, Skylar, Rabel, AprilApple, Chip S, MadisonMan, AllenS, traditionalguy, Chip Ahoy, Synova, Lem, kentuckyliz, hell, even Cedarford, and all of the others I've forgotten. I can't think of a better bunch of people, who I'd rather have call me "retard" and "moron" and question my reading ability.

-- Pastafarian

Meade said...

email from Marshal:

Ann Althouse said...
No one has said: was it me? Did I cause this pain?

That in itself hurts me more than I can say.

I think the lack of support is more because people weren't sure if it would be well received. You have regularly (and at times gleefully) derided those exhibiting emotionalism, why would people who previously witnessed this disdain believe their concern would be welcome? Why would anyone not suspect such concern would be rejected out of hand?

I don't think I've been a prominent commenter on the threads that seemed to have triggered this event but I'm sorry if my other comments contributed to the environment. It's difficult for me to watch others I regard as intending only to create problems do so freely as if their efforts are appropriate. Your blog shows the demand by the right for honest liberals, please focus on that appreciation rather than on the negatives.

Meade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meade said...

from TML:

I see a lot of Althouse readers are saying they don't like the comments, don't read them, or don't care. And that's fine! But all they have to do is not read them or participate. There's no way the presence of the comments could affect their enjoyment, really. But the absence of the comments does affect the enjoyment of the pro-comment crowd.

Just pointing out that the non-comment people can graciously--and at no cost to themselves--support the pro-comment folks.

Meade said...

email from a reader:

Hi Meade. I’ve never commented at Althouse, so maybe I don’t get a vote… that’s OK. It’s weird that the no comment policy finally gets a comment out of me.

I’m one of those people that found Althouse via some Instapundit link years ago, but came to enjoy the blog on its own merits. Now I probably visit more often than I hit Instapundit – 3 or 4 times a day (Usually, there are 30 – 50 comments by the time I come along… what could I possibly add to that?). I just read, (my favorites are the SCOTUS/legal posts and the Drudge-to-postions), and hit the Amazon portal every so often.

One of the things I look forward to is the comments. Like most of your regular readers, I know you have a differentiated comment section, and for the most part I know which commenters read and who to ignore ( I suppose we non-commenters all have our favorites..). My vote is bring ‘em back (when it feels right but hopefully soon). Only you two know what works for you, but you truly do have some special commenters.

Oh and more Dog movies…

Have a good one!

Please withhold name.

Meade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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