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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Last call for the next week

Last year at this time, I was on blogging hiatus. Feeling a bit burned out on the whole process, I pulled the plug for five weeks or so. It was very beneficial.

It's midsummer again, and I'm feeling tired again, but to tell the truth, I'm mostly tired of reading and brooding about certain readers' comments. And so this week, I'm going to try something new. I'm not going on hiatus -- you are!

After this post, no comments for the next week. So get your licks in on this post, folks!

Comments (30)

How about commenting here in advance on your posts for the upcoming week?

July 24: That's the second time this month you've said something nice about Randy Gragg. I'm beginning to worry.

July 26: Instead of walking away from PGE, as you suggest today, the City of Portland should get behind a regional effort to make a credible offer to Enron for PGE.

July 28: I have to agree with you that today's inPortland magazine wasn't any better than last week's issue. If the Tribune were still providing real news competition to the Oregonian perhaps the O wouldn't let its filler material become and stay so bland.

July 29: We'll all miss his music.

Thanks for taking care of those.

Just to respond:

July 24: Once he became their religion writer, I saw him in a whole new light.

July 26: I think the city ought to fight like heck in the PUC proceeding for a fair deal for ratepayers. But they could have done that about $3 million ago.

July 28: The O pretends to be the back half of the WW on Friday. I guess Thursday's when they pretend to be the front half.

July 29: I saw him live once, jamming with Muddy Waters. It was unforgettable. The music really mattered then.

Is this like when you stop taking questions in class. "Bojack, Bojack, I have had my hand raised for five minutes and the only result is that you have stopped looking to my side of the room. I have a very indepth, not on point, tax evasion scheme I want to ask about during class time. Oh please call on me... please..."

Or is it because you have a lot of material to cover, like when you gave us the 30 min. crash on the AMT.

You deserve the break. Continue B-diddy.

Heather did that at www.dooce.com. said it changed her life. Good luck.

July 27: Ted K. signed an emergency bill to prohibit the Oregon Investment Council from buying PGE stock! Wow, yeah! The goal was to prevent the OIC from assembling their piece of the PGE stock along with other state treasurers so as to make handsome gains by re-selling the stock to a "strategic" buyer at a premium . . .a premium obtained only by greasing the skids for more effective extraction of resources from ratepayers through silencing the Public Utility Commission and other public interest opposition.


Combining two or more adjoining properties. Usually used to piece together several properties for it to be able to be developed in some fashion.

Ah -- but in stocks ---

cornering the market:

The illegal practice of attempting to purchase a sufficient amount of a commodity or security to manipulate its price.

July 29: Pres. Bush signed legislation that says utilities must indeed charge no more than what is “just and reasonable.” Yeah! Warren Buffet and State Treasurers scream in anguish as they cannot meet client demands for profit. We can all breath a sigh of relief but only because OUR state treasurer was kept out of the stock price manipulation game.

July 30: I agree that the re-renaming of evil to Social Investing and again back to evil (unlawful collusion) is a good thing. Anything that would be unlawful for any set of private investment trustees should likewise be unlawful when performed instead by state treasurers (collusion to corner the market) – for the harm is the same and the mechanism for achieving public accountability have evaporated in the guise of secrecy of public "employee" investment in private equity investments via state treasurers and so-called free market (hands-off, regulation-free) capitalism. (See California SB 439; response to Google-University-Private Equity public records case.)

August 3: Willamette Week started asking questions about where the OIC investments in TPG have gone. Yeah! But nobody knows a thing. The OIC pleads that it would be improper for them to even look beyond just the numbers they get from TPG reporting a profit of 25 percent. Doh.

(April 1, 2007: I admit that my timing, for the revelations, was slightly off the mark.)

July 28: Wow, Jack, are you really going to support him against Sten next year? I think that might be overcompensating.

Hey I understand about limiting the comments. I can't stand the commenters, and I am one.

I think I'm going to publish a new policy about comments after the week is up. And right now, I'm leaning toward one that says, "I can remove your comment, ban you from comments for a while or permanently, or both, for any reason, or no reason."

Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit has been quoted as defending the absence of comments on his site with an observation to the effect of, "Nor do I have a wall in a room of my home on which visitors can write what they want."

You could also make it an "invitation only" message board, and be selective in whom you permit to post comments.

It'd be interesting to see what kind of traffic you get while comments are off.

Sam, that's a good suggestion. But I don't think that I need to go that far. I think that I'm going to have 3 classes of posters -- green, yellow and red. Green can post freely, yellow will be limited in the number of posts and words allowed, and red will be banned.

I've already got at least 1 red and 3 yellow.

I'm after quality, not quantity.

People go to places like legalaffairs.com for quality.
People go to places like OSB because their livelihoods might depend upon keeping up with the association news.
People go to places like OCPP or to Cascade Policy Institute to see certain political views from a local perspective.

Glenn Reynolds is uniquely hyperproductive without comments, as a blog author. (That is too high a standard to meet.)

You might prefer to create your own professional journal with a more formal content management system that requires moderation and an approval hierarchy. But that would not be a blog, now would it? You can do both a blog and something else, for they serve different needs and roles. I would suggest Drupal.com as an open source CMS (even for a closed community of special folks preparing content). Mambo would be easier for a no comment site where it is just for projecting thoughts outward, without the feedback . . . the utility of comments are too problematic to measure anyway. Your choice depends on your goal, and level of desire for editorial control.

You will, of course, butt heads with the same sort of issue Kari did at BlueOregon.com, that of defining "progessive."

The Drupal folks are having a little pow wow at PSU on August 1-5. Take the parameters for your desired site with you and I am sure someone can give you a technical thumbs up or thumbs down on feature requests you may desire.

Perhaps you could blaze a trail as did Horace Greeley, through your words. I do wish you luck.

I do hope that the journalist in you wins out over the lawyer in you. But there really is no difference between the two. One has a debate over the right stay out of jail for speaking out about wrongs (journalistic privilege) and one has a debate about the scope of lawyer-client privilege, and it is only the latter that no legislator will touch. It is like the power to be free from criticism, for no other reason that just because.

Thanks again for the opportunity. If the public is your client . . what would serve them the best?

I guess the comments question goes to the heart of this blog: Who's it for? The public? My friends? Me?

I think Ron just illustrated exactly why Jack turned off the comments.

As to Justin, the Drupal community can create a module that includes a mere excerpt from long comments, with an option for a reader to read more, at the click of a mouse, if they chose. The size issue is a technical matter that need not have but one solution. Open your eyes to possibilities.

There is another possibility too, where commenters themselves assign a rating to a particular comment on a range of issues – among them could be pertinence to the topic at hand. Justin would thus assign my search of the “least restrictive” means of restraint as not pertinent. (The quote is just a legal buzz word, to trigger a thought or two for making a parallel to government restrictions.)

Ron, I have nothing against what you say. In fact I have no clue what you say, because I never read your comments. THEY'RE TOO LONG! I'm sure you're an intelligent guy, I just wish you would condense your comments to 50 words or less. I think people use the comment section as their own blog... and its annoying, at least to me...

I view comments as integral to illuminating the issues. With that said, the blog-master ought to have a fairly restrictive scope for comments. An eye toward eliminating overlength and agenda driven drivel. It is your weblog - absolute censorship is your right, maybe in certain instances your obligation. Personally I would err on the side of brevity rather than substance! A brief, well written, valid, contrary position ought to be embraced. Otherwise - censor away!

A new comments policy is in the works and will be unveiled here on Friday.

The Tracy Smith story here (and b!X's Than Clevenger brouhaha) both wouldn't have been as, uh, thorough (not to mention entertaining) without the contributions made by commenters.

I'm glad to see you're going to keep them in some form...

They'll be back -- most of them, that is.


As a recent new commenter, I'd hate to see them go. My suggestions:

1) You blog, you don't need to read or respond to the comments. How about a "just say no" policy?

2) If you're modifying the comments, is there a way for you to allow the user to see which threads have recent comments (see communique and blueoregon). Some of these conversations have a long life, but it's impossible to tell w/o clicking on them one after another.

Any policy, it seems to me, that requires you to read and vet comments, will exhaust you. Either figure out a way to have the users monitor it (as Ron suggests), farm it out to an interested party (Justin?) or just mostly ignore them.

My two cents.

Paul: Like it or not, I have some level of responsibility for what is said in the comments, and so I must at least scan them all.

One of the big problems is that people have begun to judge my views, and the worth of this blog, based on the overall tenor of the comments. Like it or not, that is another reality.

Thanks for your input, which will be considered as part of formulating my new policy (gee, now I sound like a bureaucrat writing regulations!).

Please include pirate speak in you comment regulations (arghh, booty, etc.)

might I add that this is turning into the week of postings.


Others may disagree, but I don't hold you responsible for anything that is posted in the comments section. I don't think you need to feel obligated to police them. Most blogs I read function that way.

Just my two cents. I'll stop since this is your break, eh? Can you believe just one month before school starts again?

I miss the comments.


Jack, you've been so prolific since you've cut off the comments! And it also seems like you're in a better mood. It must be doing something for you.

Arguing with people gets old after a while. That's why I'm not a litigator. Refereeing other people's arguments isn't much fun, either. That's why I stopped being an arbitrator.

The cost-benefit analysis on comments is a mighty close call. I'll bring them back Sunday night. But a hiatus on comments has been a real tonic, and I will be calling another one as soon as they start getting me down again.

hey... http://www.straychaser.blogspot.com./

she's back! :) the cat trapper! :)


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Last call for the next week:

» PGE Pokes Oregonians In The Eye . . With The Help Of The Oregon Investment Council from PDXNAG.COM
July 27: Ted K. signed an emergency bill to prohibit the Oregon Investment Council from buying PGE stock! Wow, yeah! The goal was to prevent the OIC from assembling their piece of the PGE stock along with other state treasurers so as to make handsome gai [Read More]

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