UPDATED 12/14/2014, mainly to streamline the phrasing.
I love comments and get pouty when posts don't get any, so here's the policy thereof for Byzantium's Shores. There are lots of places on the Interwebs for cantankerous discussion that can boil into anger. This isn't one of them. I enjoy spirited disagreement, but there's a fine line between that and obnoxiousness. For the purposes of this blog, I am the one who gets to determine if the line is crossed. So just keep that in mind! It's almost never an issue here, really, but as part of my new anti-snark policy (which is, admittedly, more of a personal policy than anything else), I just want to lay it out. Some of this may sound a bit more stern than I'm aiming for.
A few more ground rules:
1. Due to the relentless activities of comments-spammers, I cannot accept anonymous comments. Additionally, I moderate all comments (which is why they don't appear instantly). I do check these things quite frequently, but there may sometimes be a longer-than-usual lag in your comment appearing. (I do occasionally turn anonymous commenting back on, mainly when I am specifically soliciting comments, but those are the exception rather than the rule. And yes, I have to leave the CAPTCHA thing turned on. It's just a necessity. I wish it wasn't, but I can't control that.)
2. Please stick to the topics of the posts at hand. If you have something off-topic that you want to bring to my attention, please send me an e-mail or Tweet or FB message. Or say something that's on topic and then do a "Hey, by the way" thing at the end of your comment.
3. Please oh please oh please don't use any topics of discussion here as any kind of backdoor way to trigger a discussion of politics. I will very rarely entertain political discussion here. This falls into the "There's tons of places to talk about that online" category. For purposes of this blog I try to avoid politics in general. Once in a great while I will weaken and indulge myself, but as I say, in general I try to avoid it.
4. As a general statement, this is my blog and mine alone, so any words that appear here do so at my pleasure. Very occasionally I might close comments on a particular post because I don't like the way discussion is trending or because I don't want discussion in the first place. That's my choice, and appealing to me to allow comments that I've already disavowed on the basis of 'free speech' will fall on deaf ears. I am a firm and fiery believer in free speech, but that doesn't mean that I am required to provide anyone and everyone with a forum. Nor does it mean that I am required to listen in all cases.
5. If for any reason I decide to ban a commenter, I won't give any warnings to that effect. Sorry, but I've got better things to do with my time than try to herd cats, either in real life or on the Interwebs.
6. I also welcome e-mail! I will assume that e-mails are publishable on the blog unless I am specifically requested to do otherwise. I will honor such requests, so if you wish to either not have an e-mail published or remain anonymous when I mention it, I have no problem doing that. Just make sure to indicate your desire.
Basically, keep Wheaton's Law in mind, and we'll be fine. Thanks!