Diatribes of Jay

This is a blog of essays on public policy. It shuns ideology and applies facts, logic and math to economic, social and political problems. It has a subject-matter index, a list of recent posts, and permalinks at the ends of posts. Comments are moderated and may take time to appear. Note: Profile updated 4/7/12

07 April 2012

Comment and Copyright Policy


I publish every comment that: (1) is not flaming or abusive, (2) relates to the post, (3) expresses a point of view clearly, and (3) is not commercial. Opposing views are welcome.

Time permitting, I try to respond to every comment. Although (mostly) retired, I don’t work on this blog every day, so comments may take days to appear, especially when I’m traveling. Please be patient.

Before publishing comments, I check all links in them, whether active or passive. I reject comments containing links that fail to meet these standards.

Like Consumer Reports, I forego whatever revenue I could get from Google’s Adsense program in order to maintain the appearance and reality of independence and non-commercial motives. I expect commenters to do the same. So I reject comments containing any links for commercial or self-promotion purposes, no matter how subtle they may be. (Google doesn’t allow me to modify comments, so I can’t just delete the link. I have to reject the whole comment.)

Legal and Technical Details


Copyright Policy: Your License. When you submit a comment on this blog, you are giving me an unrestricted, irrevocable, royalty-free, nonexclusive license to copy, edit, modify, display, publish and distribute it, or excerpts from it, it in any manner and in any medium, including in other posts and comments on this blog.

Copyright Policy: My Copyright. This blog is copyrighted. It doesn’t bear a copyright notice because I never expect to sue anyone over it (although, as a copyright law professor, I know how).

I pledge not to enforce my copyright against anyone who borrows from this blog for an honest discussion of public policy, even one that disagrees with me. I might enforce it against someone who: (1) distorts my views, for example, by quoting me out of context (something that has become a dark art form on the Web) or (2) fails to give me or this blog credit for my writing.

As a retired professor, I have little sympathy for students who plagiarize this blog to avoid doing their own thinking and writing. But getting ideas from this blog—in order to expand them, embellish them, or refute them in one’s own words—is fair game for anyone, including students. That’s what this blog is for—to encourage an exchange of ideas.

How to Cite this Blog. I will never enforce my copyright against someone who borrows honestly from this blog and gives credit to it. So feel free to quote and borrow at will, in term papers and otherwise. Just cite the blog and URL in your footnotes or bibliography, thus: “Diatribes of Jay, [insert URL of page cited] (visited [date of visit]).” You can copy and paste the URL from the address line of your Web browser. (In online media, a working, active link will do. See below for how to write one.]

Change and Removal Policy. My general policy is not to remove posts or comments from this blog. From time to time, I fix my own typos and minor factual errors and improve phrasing, but I don’t “fix” substance. When I become aware of an substantive error, I try to correct it in the same or a subsequent post, and I call it out. Acknowledging error is the beginning of wisdom.

If you would like me to remove a comment of yours, please say so in another comment to the same post. If you adequately identify the comment you want removed, and if I believe you are the author of that comment, I will remove it and will not publish your request to remove it. I may retain copies or excerpts in other posts and comments (which may be hard to find) and in my own or others’ replies to your comment.

Linking How-To. Here’s how to insert active links in comments on Google’s Blogger (or anywhere else, if in HTML editing mode):

1. Copy the following HTML tags and insert them before and after the words in your comment that you want to highlight as a link:

BEFORE: <a href="">
AFTER: </a>
Be sure the quotation marks are the “straight up” kind, as shown, not the printer’s left and right quotation marks that I’ve tried to use in most of this blog. Also be sure that there is a space between “a” and “href” and no other spaces.]

2. Insert the URL you want to link to between the quotation marks in the first tag. (You can copy this URL from your browser’s address field when the window or tab displays the desired Web page.)

For example, suppose the desired URL is “http://www.myblog.com” and the words you want to highlight as a link are “my blog.” Here’s what the link should look like in your input on Google’s comment screen:
For further reasons for this conclusioncheck out <a href="http://www.myblog.com">my blog</a>.
3. Click on the “PREVIEW” button in Google’s pop-up window for comments. (You may have to scroll up or down to see the button.) If you have copied the HTML tags and filled out the first one correctly, the words you wish to highlight will appear highlighted and underlined as a link. If the tags are “broken,” Google’s pop-up comment window will display an error message.

4. Before publishing the comment, check the link by clicking on it in the previewed material. The best way to do this is to open the link in a new tab, so the pop-up comment screen remains active if you wish to modify your comment. Your click should take you to the linked material in a new tab in your browser.

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