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Question of the day

Friday, Jun 17, 2011

* As you know, I try to stay away from national issues as much as possible here. But, congressional campaigns qualify as state politics, so I do posts on them when appropriate.

The problem, of course, is that national politics brings out the crazy in people. And national political posts bring crazy people to the blog. We had some commenter problems earlier this week with a congressional post, and I just deleted a couple of comments from a rather strange person in today’s post.

* The Question: What advice would regular commenters/readers give to newbie commenters here?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Elo Kiddies - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:13 pm:

    (1) Read
    (2) Chill
    (3) Think
    (4) Post

  2. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:20 pm:

    Facts trump emotion.

  3. - John A Logan - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:22 pm:

    Don’t post.

  4. - mokenavince - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:22 pm:

    Don’t Ready,Fire,Aim. Think things through, this is a PG rated blog. Keep it simple and keep it clean. Politicans on the whole can be aggravating,
    so don’t buy into the nonsence. They are just human beings like us, we all make mistakes.

  5. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:23 pm:

    If you can’t pick Schnorf out of a line up, stay away.

  6. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:24 pm:

    Don’t start, it will consume you.

    If you do, make sure to read a lot of comments before you start. Especially pay attention to Rich and wordslinger’s comments, as they are the smartest guys in the room.

  7. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:25 pm:

    Read the rules down below in red, with emphasis on trying to be a little bit original. Believe it or not, we’ve already read the usual talking points on most issues, so give us something new.

    Also, try not to make overly broad statements, we like to rip those to pieces. Don’t make up facts, because we have access to the Google too. And always try to tell us what YOU think, not what someone else said that you thought was clever and want to repeat.

    And whatever you do, do not insult the Chicago American League Baseball Organ-I-zation or make fun of male facial hair. Either of those will result in banishment or the dreaded “bite me” from our host.

  8. - And I Approved This Message - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:25 pm:

    Differing opinions are welcome here. Trash talking, personal attacks, regurgetated talking points, general incivility and dissing double amputees are not. And there’s only one sheriff in town.

  9. - Palpatine - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:29 pm:

    Lurk more.

  10. - Deep South - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:31 pm:

    Behave as gentlemen, or ladies.

  11. - Montrose - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:31 pm:

    If what you are about to type came from another blog/TV/radio call-in show - stop.

  12. - Deep South - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:32 pm:

    …and assume the opposition is loyal.

  13. - JN - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:33 pm:

    Don’t believe everything you think.

  14. - Ghost of John Brown - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:34 pm:

    Have you seen the movie “Thor”?

    They borrowed the hammer from Rich.

  15. - MrJM - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:35 pm:

    What piece of advice would regular commenters/readers give to newbie commenters here?

    Smart and funny posts are best.
    If you can’t be funny, be smart.
    If you can’t be smart, be funny.
    If you can’t be smart or funny, please reconsider your decision to post.

    – MrJM

  16. - George - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:35 pm:

    Follow the advice of the blog owner:

    A) Take a breathe
    B) Use the google
    C) Bite him

  17. - Wensicia - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:36 pm:

    Get a feel of the blog, first. Read, get to know the subject matter discussed here and the commenters. Try to notice the polite respect shared by regulars.

  18. - Farker - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:43 pm:

    Research the topic before posting. Be polite even in disagreement. Don’t be a troll. Oh and don’t post under multiple handles from the same computer thinking your sneaky, you’re not.

  19. - wndycty - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:48 pm:

    I think newbies should “lurk” around for a week or two before commenting.

  20. - walter sobchak - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:49 pm:

    If you are not getting the occasional ‘bite me’ from Rich you are being too vanilla.

  21. - Agricola - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:51 pm:

    1) put down the talking points,
    2) look at the facts for yourself,
    3) do your own thinking,
    4) say it out loud, and
    5) think about how it will sound to someone who can’t hear the warmth in your voice or see the smile on your face before you hit “send.”

  22. - Wensicia - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:53 pm:

    Also, if you’re a Cubs fan(like me), it’s wise not to mention that fact too often.

  23. - Springfield Skeptic - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:55 pm:

    Don’t p!$$ off the host. Seriously, err on the side of being rational rather than emotional. I speak from experience. Although, as time passes I wear the “I was deleted” badge with honor.

  24. - Jake From Elwood - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 1:58 pm:

    1) Be sure to learn the intracacies of sock puppetry. We aren’t talking about marionettes here.
    2) Don’t call yourself anonymous. Boring.
    3) If you are vulgar, you will be deleted.
    4) Read the hyperlinked material in a post before commenting.
    5) Get ready for some Illinois State Fair posts about the quality musical entertainment offered.
    6) The bearded one doesn’t suffer fools lightly.

  25. - TwoFeetThick - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:01 pm:

    1) Don’t post libelous statements. At best, Captain Fax will delete you. At worst, he’ll ban you and out you to the workplace you’re posting from. You don’t want your boss to know that while he’s waiting for that TPS Report from you you’re screwing around embarrassing yourself and your organization.

    2) Admit when you’re wrong.

    3) Read all of the posts before unleashing your wisdom. Saying something that someone else already said makes you look like either you can’t read or you’re not paying attention.

    4) Be prepared to do battle with people you don’t agree with, but keep it civil. This isn’t a newspaper blog.

    5) Unless your handle is Ghost, please correct your typos. We only have enough room on here for one bad speller and the spot’s already taken.

    6) If you’re not at least moderately well-versed in Illinois politics, you would do yourself a favor by reading and not posting. If people are commenting about something that you don’t understand or know about, feel free to comment and ask; someone might answer your question. Or they’ll make fun of you, but that’s how it goes.

  26. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:01 pm:

    If your goal is to win the debate, you’ll lose.

    If your goal is to add to the debate, everybody wins.

  27. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:16 pm:

    Just keep in mind…

    If you don’t find that those you disagree with you don’t have a valid argument. — This isn’t the place for you

    If you strongly hold to dogma without thought — this isn’t the place for you

    If you feel the need to repeat someones talking points — This isn’t the place for you

    If you can’t feel a bit of empathy for Bill — This isn’t the place for you


    If you were on Rich’s lawn without your shirt but with a gun shooting at birds — Welcome

  28. - down hereforyears - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:16 pm:

    Don’t take any of what you read personal, except of course, a reprimand for the blog owner. Otherwise enjoy and try to remain lighthearted.

  29. - Tommydanger - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:17 pm:

    Think. Be respectful. Allow for the fact that others may feel just as strongly about an issue that you do. You should alwys strive to be able to disagree without being disagreeable.

  30. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:17 pm:

    If you can’t stand a liberal point of view, leave.

    If you can’t stand a conservative point of view, leave.

    But most importantly:

    If you’re being paid to post or are a troll, leave.

  31. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:17 pm:


    If you can’t find that those you disagree with you don’t have a valid argument — this isn’t the place for you

  32. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:20 pm:

    Two Rules:
    1. Rich is king, what he says goes.
    2. See Rule #1.

  33. - Team Sleep - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:30 pm:

    If you want national issues and nothing else, go on RedState or DailyKos or HuffPo. This is a good site for a mix of basically 2/3 to 3/4 of Illinois news and the rest involving Congresspersons and our two Senators. So you better know what the heck you are talking about in relation to the majority of Rich’s stories, predictions and concerns. Don’t show up if you don’t follow politics in the state in which you live. Period.

  34. - Flaming Liberal - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:32 pm:

    Say what you want.
    Verify everything you read here.
    Don’t believe that others are smarter than you.
    Facts can be subjective.
    If you get Rich to delete your comment you have struck a chord, go at it again in a different way.

  35. - Aldyth - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:36 pm:

    “Wordslinger” will always be wittier than you.

  36. - NIref - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:36 pm:

    Avoid the use of logical fallacies. Take special notice of the ad hominem, strawman, and non sequitors.

  37. - Not a Newcomer - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:37 pm:

    Short, thoughtful, humorous comments are always well appreciated.

  38. - dupage dan - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:37 pm:

    Many people here have already mentioned one of the most important things. Lurk first, comment later. Lurking is valuable in that you learn the players and the “societal norms”. This is such a different type of blog - more carefully monitored/moderated than any other I have seen. For those who want to make a splash and don’t care about being banished I don’t think there is much to say. If you want to explore read and learn. It is what I did and I learned much before I even posted.

    Reading this stream should be required reading before being allowed to post. Great stuff.

  39. - Robert - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:42 pm:

    don’t use the word “daddy” in your posts

  40. - Statmonkey - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:49 pm:

    I’ve been reading and lurking for about a year, and I’m going to carry on doing so. What I’ve learned here is that good comments from this group make the news better. And civility makes the whole process better. Be civil, and you’ll be fine.

  41. - Retired Non-Union Guy - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:50 pm:

    A good bunch of us here are, or were, insiders of one kind or another. A lot of us have seen stuff that would curl your hair … so we’ve first hand knowledge of some of seamier side of politics.

    Having said that, what gets posted here *does* get read by the current crop of movers and shakers. I’ve seen criticisms I’ve posted of bills affect the bills and result in revisions and, possibly, improvements. I still didn’t agree with some of the bills but I think they were “less bad” as a result of what people on this blog had to say.

    While others have said it, Rich loves the humorous stuff. You can skate a lot closer to the line if it’s funny! (I still remember Rich’s email response to one comment.) We all get a big enough pile of the serious stuff … if you can make us smile while disagreeing, it helps to lighten it up.

  42. - Benny - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 2:50 pm:

    Jump in with both feet, many of our National politicians are local boys. Don’t let a bunch of opiniated old men with big beer bellies convince you that they know it all. Posting here is the only life they’ve got :)

  43. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 3:03 pm:

    I’ve now added a link to this post in the “Red Zone” warning area.

  44. - Nuance - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 3:08 pm:

    Dont’ take it personal and don’t get personal.

  45. - MikeMacD - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 3:13 pm:

    The spell checker in the comment box works. Take advantage of it.

    I try to use an elected official’s honorific (e.g. Sen. Jones, Rep. Smith) when referring to them. It helps me to remember that policy is more important than the politics, and these people make policy decisions.

  46. - Responsa - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 3:25 pm:

    This blog covers a wide range of issues many of which relate to other issues in intricate and interconnected ways. So, please do not come here only to post exclusively on one single topic (guns, abortion, gambling, unions, for example) because that identifies you as a one trick pony who has a vested interest in one thing only. Instead, please come here to learn and comment as a person having a vested interest in the workings and overall welfare of our state and its citizens.

  47. - walkinfool - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 3:30 pm:

    Talk about what you actually know something about.
    Use facts and specifics, not ideology or generalities.
    Respect everyone who posts, and el Capitan.

  48. - railrat - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 3:34 pm:

    Remember Sniper School;BRAS..Breath-Relax-Aim-Squeeze !! and as many have stated aways kow The Power of The Podium !!!

  49. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 3:37 pm:

    Lincoln’s adage applies here - “It is better to keep your mough shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.” And there are many ways to make a point, ranging from those which will get accolades (like Wordslinger or Schnorf), laughs (like VanillaMan), groans and outrage (like Bill), or bans for life (like dozens not worth mentioning).

  50. - TwoFeetThick - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 3:47 pm:

    If in your comment you make any comparison to either slavery or Hitler, you lose and should go away.

  51. - wishbone - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 3:53 pm:

    Just be aware that “regular contributors” can get away with saying things that will be deleted (or get you banned) if you say them. After all this is a blog about Illinois politics and the the good old boy system is at much at work here as it is in Springpatch. That is part of its charm.

  52. - Bill - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 3:57 pm:

    Lighgten up and have a good time. Life is too short.

  53. - Obamarama - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 3:58 pm:

    I would add two things:
    1) Avoid typing in CAPS
    2) Learn the difference between the word Democrat and Democratic.

  54. - Little Egypt - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 4:06 pm:

    Don’t take comments/replies from others personal. They don’t know you and you don’t know them. If you are easily offended by such comments, then go away. ALWAYS heed the first warning from the blogmaster.

  55. - Bluefish - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 4:18 pm:

    Don’t feel you have to jump into every debate. Most of the time it is better just lurk. You can learn a lot more that way.

  56. - david starrett - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 4:27 pm:

    Own your posts with your real name unless there is some good reason to be anonymous.

    Read and listen first; post only if you have something that will actually advance the discussion or respond substantively to a previous post

    Try to provide missing information if you have it or ask for information if you’re missing it.


  57. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 4:56 pm:


    But not too Vanilla Man.


    Yes, but we can always aspire to that level!

  58. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 4:58 pm:

    Sorry that last post didn’t work–I was quoting:

    “If you are not getting the occasional ‘bite me’ from Rich you are being too vanilla.”

    But not too Vanilla Man.
    ““Wordslinger” will always be wittier than you.”
    Yes, but we can always aspire to that level!

  59. - Justice - Friday, Jun 17, 11 @ 5:23 pm:

    Listen; be civil; be respectful; learn.

    We aren’t all as informed on all subjects but we have a group of commenters, who on the whole, are informed on most subjects. Many of us have been around the horn, some are new to politics, but all of us continue to learn and form more diverse opinions.

    I personally like the moderator’s ability to offer poignant and timely opportunities for discussion…and I must say, I do enjoy the occasional “Bite me” which was here on this blog long before our VP.

    It is an exceptional blog, stimulated by exceptional talent. Should be required attendance by all voters.

  60. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jun 20, 11 @ 8:24 am:

    Post as though everyone here is smarter than you. Add to the conversation. Avoid regugitating supposed facts. Do not browbeat. Be personal without getting personal. A sincere emotional rant is better than boring facts. No one knows that I am really a robot.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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