Rule Zero: Appeals, protests, complaints, etc. If you think that you have been wronged, do not, repeat, NOT, email me about it. I simply don’t have time for that. Email the person in charge of moderation, Herb at this email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Again, do NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT email me. No. Don’t. Just don’t.
Any comment in violation of the following rules will be immediately removed:
1) Absolutely no use of CAPITAL LETTERS (as this is considered SCREAMING). Abbreviations (DPRK, USA, UN, BBC, etc.) are, of course, allowed.
2) All comment have to be courteous to me, the blog’s author, moderators, any guest author and all the other commentators. You are welcome to criticize and even attack ideas, but not people. You are also not allowed to try something like “you are only saying this because…”. You are not God, so you don’t know why a person writes something.
3) Any comment designed to make me angry will make me angry and will be removed in anger. Any comment deliberately and grossly mis-representing what I write will be immediately removed. I shall not answer any “straw man” arguments. Repeated attempts to misrepresent my views will result in a ban.
4) All racist comments are banned (including of the Nazi racists and Jewish racist type).
This is my definition of “racist”: Racism is, in my opinion, not so much the belief that various human groups are different from each other, say like dog breeds can be different, but the belief that the differences between human groups are larger than within the group. Second, racism is also a belief that the biological characteristics of your group somehow pre-determine your actions/choices/values in life. Third, racism often, but not always, assumes a hierarchy amongst human groups (Germanic Aryans over Slavs or Jews, Jews over Gentiles, etc.). I believe that God created all humans with the same purpose and that we are all “brothers in Adam”, that we all equally share the image (eternal and inherent potential for perfection) of God (as opposed to our likeness to Him, which is our temporary and changing individual condition).
Note: tribal affiliations and ideological positions are, in contrast to one’s genetic make-up, the result of choices and choices are legitimate targets for scrutiny and criticism.
5) Criticism of religion. Fundamentally, the religion we profess is the result of a personal choice. As such, I consider religions as legitimate targets for scrutiny and criticism. However, I also think of this blog as my “virtual home” and of commentators as guests in my home. My guests need to know that I, their host, am a traditionalist Orthodox Christian and that I consider traditionalist Muslims (i.e. non-Takfiris) as my friends. You want to think long and hard before insulting my faith or my friends in my home. Atheists and agnostics are welcome here as long as they know where they are and what I expect from my guests. If you can offer a well-informed and logical criticism of Christianity or Islam, that is absolutely fine. But please aware that the minimum to qualify as “well-informed” is to understand the differences between the main Christian and Muslim branches/denominations/sects. Also, here is a rule of thumb: avoid quoting authors, (even if they fancy themselves as “theologians”) who were born after 1900.
6) Any comment stating or implying that homosexuality is a “normal and natural variation of human sexuality” goes to trash; this blog has decided to emulate the city of Moscow and has therefore banned any types of (virtual) “gay-pride” (aka homosexual dysfunction) “parades” in the comments section, also for the next 100 years. Simply put: take your propaganda of homosexuality elsewhere :-P
7) Any comment demanding that “the Ukraine” be written just “Ukraine” without the definite article “the” will be sent where it belongs: to the trash bin.
8) Off-topic comments are banned and should be redirected to the “Movable Feast Café“.
9) The cut-n-paste long segments of texts into the comment section is banned. Use your own words and your own thoughts and, if needed, add a short quote or a link to an outside source.
10) People from other blogs or their mates have been using the Saker blog for self-promotion in the comments. Once every now and again putting a link which is credible and adds to the discussion is permissible, but not a pattern of this type of self promotion behavior. This includes having private discussions about another blogs comments in the saker site comments – go to that blog to discuss! If you want to promote your website, then please email me first.
11) Self evidently stupid, nonsensical and otherwise idiotic comments will be removed with no right to appeal. Frankly, idiots have been the plague of this blog and I am tired of them. From now on comments posted by people who are self-evidently stupid will be banned and their authors warned that a ban is next.
12) Punitive measures: first, your comment(s) will be removed with or without an explanation from the moderators (who are all busy folks and don’t have to explain their decisions). Second, you will be temporarily banned (the moderators will decide this jointly with me). Finally, you will be permanently banned. This ban if final.
13) New! I am banning any and all references to use of tactical nuclear weapons, including alleged use of tactical nukes by Israel in Syria or Lebanon, or by anybody (including the USA or Israel) in Yemen. In fact from now on, I am the ONLY person allowed to report the use of tactical nuclear weapons.
14) New! My full name, Andrei Raevsky, is hardly a secret (see here and here, especially the “December 2015 addendum from the Saker” in the second article). However, I ask you not to use it. First, I have become quite fond of what was initially was simply an anagram of my full name (“Andrei Raevsky -> Vineyard Saker”) and, second, my real identity was leaked against my will by two dishonorable persons in an act of petty vengeance. I really don’t think that there is a point in banning any comments using my legal name, but I would be grateful if you could use my “Saker” alias instead.