FAQ / Disclaimer

What is the purpose of this blog?
Perhaps it’s akin to an online diary of sorts; a veritable collection of the thoughts that are going through my mind on any given day, given whatever is currently in the news or dear to my heart. Maybe the entry in question is just me blowing off a bit of steam or it could be that I’m seriously trying to make a point that you might take into consideration (and as well, offer your own insight into).

What you choose to share is entirely up to you. I’m fairly open about most things but I imagine there are some areas of my life that even I tend to not discuss online. Do not feel obligated to share the deepest secrets of your own life, just because I or others commenting have shared more than our own fair share. The truth of the matter is there are some real nutcases out there in the online world. I’ve run across more than my share of them and have even made the mistake of calling a few "friends" until I learned (generally, the hard way) that they were not worthy of either my friendship OR my time and energy. Protect yourself; I won’t hold it against you and nobody else should either.

A website by the name of Radio Free Monterey says it best when describing lurkers. "I call them readers or viewers. For some, the privacy balance is silence. They might be shy, or too busy, but these people participate too, and I respect them. Because they are such a ubiquitous fact of internet life, their audience-like role kind of makes posting to an online community into a performance, I suppose. They exist, and I welcome them. I believe it is the DJs, poster’s, and/or chatter’s responsibility to take their existence into account and decide what they feel about it before they say something in our broadcast, chat room, boards, or mailing list."

This rather goes hand in hand with "Privacy" but I do wish to bring up one other consideration. When leaving a comment in response to any of the blog posts that I have published on this site, there are three fields which are actually required fields. The first of course is simply the content of whatever you wish to say. Not so difficult to figure that out, right? But you will also need to provide the name that you wish to be associated with your comment in the "Name" field — and you will need to provide an email address in the "Mail" field. ONLY the name that you provide will appear next to the comment; the email address is not published or made available to anyone else reading this blog. I do ask that you provide a valid address however, as I might wish to send you a short note thanking you for your response. If you’re concerned about spam, don’t be. I have no tolerance whatsoever for spammers and do not engage in such practices myself.

What is that Website field on the Comments section for?
While it isn’t a required field for making comments, this can be a nifty tool for increasing your own popularity. Ever wondered how people jump around from one site to the next? (Okay, I’m sure you already know the answer; HTML links.) What’s nice about these links is that you can make a comment here and, if you wish to do so, give other readers a way of jumping over to your own social networking site (Facebook, MySpace, personal blog, website, etc.) Just type the web address of your own site in the field reserved for "Website." If you don’t know what it is, just leave it blank and don’t fret about it.

The Negative Stuff
Let’s face it; things happen every day in life that are sometimes difficult to stomach or endure. Talking politics and religion (which I indulge in often on this site) can and often is a topic that can, if we’re not careful to avoid doing so, lead to hurt feelings and/or disagreements that can get entirely out of hand. If you’re reading my blog, I’m going to assume that you’re adult and mature enough to understand that every person is entitled to his or her own opinion. You may not agree with what I have to say; I might not agree with the nature of the comments that you leave in response. That is fine; just don’t make it personal. As a general rule, I will approve every comment (save those which are clearly caught up in the Askimet spam filters) unless that comment is a personal attack on me or another person who is leaving comments here. Feel free to speak your mind freely here. "If" I feel that a comment falls within the category of an attack, I may at my discretion choose to email you to discuss the matter. Additionally, the comment will be redacted (modified)to remove the offending "personal attack" with the remainder of the comment approved for public consumption. Else wise, the comment will not be approved and will not appear on the blog. If it begins to appear that you’re a repeat offender with an axe to grind, who is clearly trying to use this site to attack others, your IP address will be blocked and you will be banned from the site. (I’ve never had to resort to this, to date and hope I never have to.)

Does This mean that I can’t bitch and whine?
Hell no! *laughs* Like I said, things come up in life every day that might be difficult to endure without a bit of complaining. Please express your opinions freely on any and all topics. You’re even welcome to disagree with me entirely (and you can do so with a passion and I’m still unlikely to take it as a personal attack, provided you don’t resort to calling me a dumb-ass or a fag, queer or some other form of derogatory label that seems to be filled with hate and prejudice. Use your own judgment and please don’t be afraid to speak openly here. Just understand that your rights end where others begin so treat them as you yourself would prefer to be treated and odds are, you’ll be just fine. Comprende’?

Hate Speech and Harassment
Clear expressions of hate speech will NOT be tolerated in any form or fashion. If you’re here to yell epithets at myself or anyone else, based on some form of prejudice that seems to have taken you over entirely … do us all a favor and just leave. I discuss a lot of issues which relate to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community. If you have a problem with that and are homophobic, for example, you should probably just use the proverbial door and exit now. I also hail from a deeply religious family and respect their right to believe in and practice their faith as they see fit, provided doing so does not result in comments and actions that are oppressive by their nature. I challenge those of you who do not "believe" (or practice a given faith) to be as tolerant of those who are faithful as you would like them to be of you yourself. Another word, prejudice is something which can flow in both directions and diversity can be a wonderful thing. Embrace it.

Honesty v. Disingenuous Behavior
I’ll admit that it’s pretty difficult to identify those who are being honest and those who aren’t (on the Internet). It isn’t like we’re sitting across the table from one another having a drink and talking face to face. I can’t read your "tells" over the web as a general rule BUT… If it becomes rather obvious that you’re a disingenuous individual and that you’re lying in order to present yourself as somebody that you are not, odds are that you’ll eventually be discovered and called out for your behavior. I don’t suffer liars kindly; I’ve had my fill of them and to be frank, I just don’t care to spend any more time around a liar than I have to (which is only until I discover what kind of person that they truly are). I’ll make you a deal; you be honest with me and others here and I’ll be honest with you. You’re welcome to maintain whatever level of anonymity that you wish, choosing to share ONLY what you are comfortable sharing — but please do not do so by "lying." If I discover that you’re a habitual liar, you’ll be blocked from making comments on the site immediately. Why? Simply put, I value honesty … a LOT!

Intellectual Property (or Copyright)
One’s work is copyright protected as soon as it is created and presented in a tangible form. A copyright is a form "of intellectual property law and protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, etc. It does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed." (source)

Excerpts from other sources may appear within the entries on this site. Such excerpts will generally appear within quotes with a hypertext link to the original source, along with the name of same.

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