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Mailbag: Elbow Throwing On HBO Blog

OfCoffee: These discussions get so overwhelmed with viscious, personal attacks from the vocal few that they are a labor to read and quickly take us off the point of the discussion. And I will guarantee you that the monopolization of these discussions by such negative-spewing posters is chasing away people who once thought this was a place to have a legitimate conversation. And I think that is sad.

DFO: OfCoffee's referring to the long thread (153 comments) from yesterday re: Rep. Bob Nonini's push to require high schoolers to get parental permission to sign up for clubs. I don't baby-sit the comments section, as I once did, especially at night. I try to force civility on the weekday time comments. But I let things get rougher after 6 p.m. I figure that's the time adults come out and play. I don't like direct name-calling and probably should have killed the post by Sohiller at 6:25 p.m. for "anti-abortion nut job" and "whackjob." Then, I didn't see it until almost midnight. Some of the comments that are considered flames are simply clever writing. And I tip my cap to that. My default position is to try to keep as many people as I can reading and posting here for as long as I can (unless an individual has proven s/he doesn't belong here). I try not to boot people, unless I can think of no other way to make them behave. The current lineup of commenters is a challenging one. But an interesting one, too.

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.