Facebook > Email > More Pinterest Print Twitter Play

An Important Note About Commenting

Our policy and how you can follow it.

By Comments

One of the things that have made Burkablog such a success over the years is the intelligence of its commenters, the quality of their comments, and the variety of their points of view. Paul Burka, the founder of this blog, always encouraged a wide-ranging, open discussion that allowed for diverse opinions. Some amplified what he had written; some criticized his analysis. But they all helped make Burkablog a destination for smart discourse regarding important issues related to state politics and policy.

The editors of this blog have always been committed to maintaining genial discussion for the blog’s community of readers because it adds a depth and perspective to our analysis that is invaluable, and I am grateful to the loyal followers who have helped improve Burkablog with their insights. For years, it has been our policy to not pre-moderate comments as not to inhibit, delay, or hinder the liveliness of the ongoing conversation. However, for that policy to remain in place going forward, I must restate basic guidelines that, at this point, should be obvious. If Burkablog is to remain a valuable place for discussion, it is critical that the level of discourse remains civil and thoughtful—a goal that has deteriorated as of late and hurt the community.

To be clear, we will not allow comments that detract from the quality of the discussion or marginalize the other contributors. Any posts that contain personal attacks, gratuitous language, or inflammatory speech or images will be deleted. If the problem persists, the commenter will be banned from the site. It’s that simple.

Our editors will continue to monitor the comments and to exercise their discretion as to which ones detract from a cordial forum. One of our primary goals is to foster a community where readers are comfortable sharing their points of view and engaging in reasoned dialogue with our writers and each other. If that objective comes under attack, we will take action. Also, we sincerely encourage readers to alert us if you notice negative behavior in the comments. As always, if have any questions, you are welcome to email me at [email protected]

Related Content

  • WUSRPH

    Thanks for the warning to those of us who need it. We should all try to be more civil…..I know I will….

  • Indiana Pearl

    I’ve learned much about Texas from TM and many of the commenters.

    Thanks!

  • Stevie F

    A good reminder. This is one of the few places where the comments are worth reading.

  • Beerman

    Thanks for policy update and I agree with your comments.

  • CH

    Thank you for your thoughtful reminder. Civility is essential to informed debate, and I for one intend to preserve it.

  • José

    Thank you!

  • gordo

    “bout time

  • Lilly

    Thank you!

  • I agree so we can expect no more personal attacks

    • vietvet3

      JBB, you are a handsome man and an asset to this blog.

  • Thank you, hopefully, it will be heeded by those that are the worst offenders.

  • John Johnson

    Well, I may be on the road to banishment. It all depends on how PC you are planning on taking this new policy, Brian. Is using a term like “anchor baby” going to receive a hand slap. Define civility, please. Are terms like “ignorant statement” or “full of it” verboten? Is the use of any word considered “profane” banned? Something a bit more definitive would be appreciated.

    • bsweany

      It’s not about being PC, John, it’s about civility. These rules have always been in place: no personal attacks, no gratuitous language, and no inflammatory speech. I find that to be amazingly clear, and I’m always puzzled why some people don’t understand that egregious, antagonistic comments detract from the community we’ve tried to build.

      • John Johnson

        Thank you.

    • Unwound

      i think, and correct me if im wrong brian, but this is more of a reminder to be civil than an actual change of policy.

      • bsweany

        Exactly right! I am simply restating our longtime policy–and making the case for why we don’t want to have to begin to moderate comments, which I am opposed to.

    • WUSRPH

      You just cannot tell me I stink with the smell of corruption any more…and I cannot call you SSD….or maybe I can….but calling me a fool is definitely out. Same goes for me, of course.

      Try “misinformed”, “not interpreting the data correctly”….”perhaps do not understand all the complexities..” things like that.

      • John Johnson

        Just to clarify, I have always stated that you are so used to it, you can’t smell it. There is a difference…and surely it is OK to pound on you for using “it’s always been that way” as an excuse. Also want you to know that your saying “I’m super intelligent, you’re not” is OK with me. I’ve got pretty thick skin. I’ve never whined to Brian about anything posted on this site.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Threatening to kill anyone you disagree with is a no-no.

      • Indiana Pearl

        Or calling them an old hag.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Or an idiot.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Or a moron.

          • Indiana Pearl

            And, JJ, you’ve never done that.

          • John Johnson

            Thank you, Pearle, for clarifying. I was scratching my head for a few minutes trying to remember if I had some blackout periods. Even after getting ahold of some bad ice in my glass, I didn’t think I had ever gone that far.

          • Indiana Pearl

            As I said earlier, you are always a gentleman.

          • Lilly

            We can agree to disagree.

          • Indiana Pearl

            That’s what civility is all about.

          • John Johnson

            Lillly, I have said pointed things to you about your opinions and specifically about the oil patch situation, but I don’t think I have ever called you names. I agree that “Gentlemen” does not fit well. I have not been a gentlemen. Had my 88 year old mother read many of my comments, she would not be pleased, but she would also tell you that I have always been brutally honest.

          • WUSRPH

            Not to you at least.

          • John Johnson

            I want to point out to you, Professor, that you are every bit as good at insulting people here as anyone else. Why do you continue to whine so and act like you are solely a victim? Let’s just all make an attempt to reign it in a bit.

          • Virginia

            That’s “rein” it in, if you please, Mrs. Bridges.

          • John Johnson

            Thank you, “Ms. Skaggs”. How many points off on this thread grade?

          • Indiana Pearl

            I’m sure no one has called you an “old hag.”

      • Lilly

        Or electrocute, slap, or rape.

    • Beerman

      J.J.- Remember Pancho Villa’s last words, “Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.”

      • John Johnson

        I am trying, Beerman. Most of my posts are being blocked tonight. All have been congenial pokes in the eye without profanity or egregious personal attacks. If this is adios, I’ve enjoyed it.

        • Beerman

          Without you, WUSRPH and Pearl, this blog may be in trouble?

          I am retiring for the night with a big bowl of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla, and confident that all will be better in tomorrow’s blogger world.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Thanks, Beerman! Same to you as well.

          • WUSRPH

            I gave in an bought two gallons…but HEB wanted $6.87 per gallon…..ROBBERY!

          • Indiana Pearl

            If you make your own, it’s even better.

        • Unwound

          so youre attempting to test the limits of what you can get away with? or just simply being obnoxious?

  • Harold Cook

    So is this the best time for me to viciously and personally attack Brian Sweany? Asking for a friend.

    • Indiana Pearl

      But why? Mr. Sweany is the long-suffering editor of this fine publication.

      • Harold Cook

        I’m totally kidding, I’m his biggest fan.

      • Lilly

        FYI, Pearl, Harold Cook is an experienced (I won’t say ‘old’) Texas politico. I am pretty sure he knows Mr. Sweany, and he’s making a friendly retort.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Thanks! I’m not from “around here,” as you know.

  • WUSRPH

    And let us all try to stay on the thread—just like this:

    Well it is finally here…THE BIG DAY. The day the Texas Supreme Court
    FINALLY hears the State’s appeal of the Dietz decision on school finance…TOMORROW.

    My wish for the day is:

    * May all the plaintiff’s attorneys be STARS making point after point;

    * May all the questions they are asked by FRIENDLY; and

    * May the State’s attorneys (and the bad guy interveners) all FALL ON THEIR FACES.

    I not the least bit partisan on this.

    • Lilly

      If it comes back against the state, do you think there will be a special?

      • WUSRPH

        If the state loses, which with this Supreme Court is not guaranteed, I think the Court will hold off with a decision until after March 1…That way it will not become a big issue in the party primaries…Then, again with this court, if the ruling requires major changes, I would think they will give the State until after the end of the next Regular Session. In my view this is probably preferable because, the Legislature is just not ready to do anything significant. Major changes could be required depending on the extent of the ruling, and time will be required to develop and sell any plan. I, personally, would hope that they have a full scale legislature—citizens commission to study the solutions, ala the Perot Commission. On the other hand, if the ruling is narrow and fairly easily dealt with, I would think there would be a special next summer. This would allow the changes to go into effect for the next school year. Otherwise it will be almost two years before they could be implemented—but that much time might be necessary for any major changes.

        • John Johnson

          You are off and running. As smart as you are, can’t you create your own blog site so you can switch topics and control the subject matter like you continue to do here? I have thought about it, since I have been guilty of same, but I am nowhere near as smart as you.

          • WUSRPH

            Items in the news of special interest only.

          • John Johnson

            But there are so many. You have all the resources and knowledge to start your own. Do it…please.

          • Indiana Pearl

            1) If he does, will he still post here?
            2) And will he ban bad people?

          • John Johnson

            1. I hope not. If I want a dissertation, I can go to his site.
            2. Define bad.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Taking the high moral ground . . .

        • Kozmo

          Given how long the lege (and gov’s office) has been dragging its feet on this issue, stonewalling and dodging and playing three-card monte with the voters, I don’t understand why the Supreme Court can’t lay down some demands and deadlines at this point rather than allow those responsible for decades of neglect and obstructionism a year or two MORE to keep making excuses, fiddling the books, or looking for other end-around maneuvers rather than face the simple facts.

    • Indiana Pearl

      My son is a teacher of at-risk students. I am very BIASED.

  • What I find so satisfying is the ones doing the most complaining are the ones who’s comments are being deleted.
    I didn’t need a reminder I’m always civil.

    • bsweany

      First of all, that’s simply not true. Second of all, thanks for trying to keep the peace for nearly an hour.

      • no need to thank me just an observation.

      • Beerman

        “He was as quite as a mouse pissing on cotten.”
        –an old Coach Royal saying

        • Nothing to hide here none of my comments were deleted. Not so much for Pearl and WASSUP.

  • John Johnson

    Testing…testing…testing.

    • WUSRPH

      Watch this stuff too….

      “You are an egotistical, pompous, blowhard.”

      • John Johnson

        Why? It was my opinionated observation. If Professor Pedant is OK, I will just stick to that. Better?

        • WUSRPH

          removed

          • John Johnson

            Please do. I like to hear from you.

      • John Johnson

        Every response I make is blocked. I am not long for this world. It seems you might have this blog all to yourself with no one to keep your head from exploding.

        • Indiana Pearl

          I hope both you and Mr. W. will look upon this new phase as an educational opportunity. I value both your comments.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Look upon this as a re-education camp. Some learn faster than others.

  • WUSRPH

    My response—in the form of a correction—to the Troll’s attack on Mayor White over Katrina and his claim of a giant crime wave, plus his usual assault on all Democrats has been removed. I guess saying he spreads vile went too far.

    I have often said the best and the correct way to deal with him is to ignore him….but I (and others) sometimes forget that rule. I suggest we all rededicated ourselves to it…I certainly intend to do so.

    • Beerman

      I have ignored the troll for over a year, and it feels good……

      • Indiana Pearl

        But you reacted quite strongly to the comment from Dogs . . .

        • Beerman

          Sometime you have to react to childlike naïveté.

          Oops, will that get me censored?

          • Indiana Pearl

            We’re doing empirical research here.

    • You’re egregious and unsolicited attack on me was removed as it should have been. You and others want censorship here but there’s that darn 1st amendment.

      As I’ve previously stated you are free to start your own blog, then you can control content as well as comments.

      I’ll repeat this, Burka Blog is the only liberal blog that I’ve experienced where conservatives aren’t banned for commenting. I’m most appreciative of their leniency as I use wit to skewer the inane comments of the left.

      Once again thanks to Brian and others for standing up for all of us.

  • Indiana Pearl

    @Mr. Sweany: personal attacks continue.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Thanks!

  • Kozmo

    Fair enough, and expressed with consideration and restraint.

  • don76550

    In other words you will censor anyone who disagrees with your liberal viewpoint.

  • Virginia

    Thank you for the reminder. I’ll try not to just shake my head and type “Pigs” any more. Sometimes that’s all I can manage, and it does not advance the conversation at all. I may as well keep it to myself.