I have reopened the facility for commenters to register with the blog and establish a username and password. The usual email confirmation process applies.
I encourage frequent commenters to use this method of signing in rather than Yahoo so that comments will be identified with a recognizable handle instead of the string of garbage that Yahoo incomprehensibly assigns.
To register, go to the comments on any post, press "Sign in," then "Sign up" and the bottom of the sign-in page.
Hopefully the gremlins that have caused software glitches in the commenting system will remain dormant until we replace the blog software altogether.
We have discovered that a glitch in the blog software has resulted in post authors not being informed of new comments to their posts. For that reason, some valid comments by commenters who have not been designated "trusted" and thus requiring approval for publication have not been published.
I just published a bunch of them. We will work on either fixing the problem or finding a workaround.
The blog is back up following an outage caused by technical difficulties at our host. Comments submitted Friday afternoon or evening may have been lost. Our apologies for any inconvenience.
I am getting an increasing number of comments, nearly all of them critical, posted to old comment threads where there has not been any activity for a while. For critical comments on active threads, I usually don't need to respond because the regular commenters here will point out where the criticism goes awry (if it does, and it usually does). For an old thread, though, the regulars will not see it, but it is there on our blog and needs to be addressed, taking up time.
If the blog software had the capability, I would close threads to comments automatically after a week of inactivity. Since it does not, I will generally close a stale thread to further comments after answering (or sometimes not publishing) such a comment.
We received an email inquiry from someone wanting to register to comment but unable to do so. Since others may have the same question, I decided to make the answer a post.
When the blog started, would-be commenters could register on the blog and get a user ID and a password. Upon one of the periodic updates of the blog software, I was horrified to discover that some genius at Movable Type (the software maker) had decided that self-registerers would be designated "authors" rather than "commenters" by default, meaning they could write posts as well as comment on them. As that was unacceptable, I had to shut the feature off. Legacy commenters can still use their IDs, but nobody can register on their own.
To compensate, I opened commenting to people who sign in through other services, including OpenID, Google, and Yahoo. At the "sign in" page, there is a drop-down menu to choose one of these other sign-in methods.
Some of these other sign-in methods have an annoying "feature" (or bug, IMHO) of using a long string of random characters for a user name. For those signing in this way, we request that you adopt a "handle" and "sign" your comments in the text so everyone can see which comments come from the same person.
At some point in the not too distant future, hopefully, I will be able to restore the original registration system, and then I will phase out use of the alternative services. But I am employed mainly as a lawyer here. Being the IT Guy is "additional duty" that I do when I get around to it. So I don't know when that will be. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience.
I will be posting few if any entries or responses for the next three days or so, as my wife and I pack up our winter home, take a long flight to the mainland, and prepare to re-open our home in the DC suburbs. With Kent in charge, as ever, I think the blog will do just fine.
On this blog, we link a lot to newspaper stories. Alas, the golden age of free access to newspapers via the internet is drawing to a close. One by one, the newspapers are putting their content behind paywalls.
It seems that the Commonwealth's Attorney in Fayette County, Kentucky, Ray Larson, has taken some heat for posting some of our stuff and has taken the repost down.
The blog may be unavailable or unresponsive at times late at night and early in the morning this week, as our host does system maintenance. Outages are not expected to last more than 45 minutes. Potentially affected hours are midnight - 5 a.m. EST (9 p.m. - 2 a.m. PST).