By popular demand —–


I have been inundated by a chorus of complaints that a ban on "comments" is stifling SST.  I yield.  pl

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67 Responses to By popular demand —–

  1. semiconscious says:

    thank you, colonel. for this, & for all your efforts…

  2. Alan says:

    Thank god! I have never commented – I enjoyed the comments of others.
    With this latest false flag chemical attack in Syria – and trump tweeting threats not just to Assad but to president Putin we are seeing a dangerous escalation

  3. Barbara Ann says:

    Colonel Lang
    Hallelujah, now he is indeed risen. I commend your brave decision. You could not have chosen a more opportune time.
    If the “foule” becomes too much in the future please consider my suggestion re limiting comment capability to ‘members’ only, which if not possible with Typepad, certainly is with WordPress.
    As Oscar Wilde might have said; “There is only one thing in the world worse than a blog with comments, and that is a blog without comments.”

  4. Adrestia says:

    Thank you, colonel.
    Trolling is problematic, but by removing the ability to comment they win.
    I’m still thinking of the trollhunter option. Either remove them from the ability to comment or to be able to hide them from view by using filters such as names, ip-ranges and other things in boolean.
    Letting them post and then be able to ignore them is a handy feature that forces troll-farms to burn energy in vain. I’ll start looking into it.

  5. ambrit says:

    Thank you from all us in the “cheap seats.”
    I’ll guess that moderating the comments can be a tiresome chore from time to time. Perhaps a periodic ‘vacation’ from comments so as to give yourself a rest? Having a pause with a known endpoint would be ‘easier’ for the readers to accept. Then, track if viewership rises and falls in step with the “vacations,” and usable information would be gained for future planning.

  6. Imagine says:

    Thank you very much Colonel, and the best to your blog.
    Britain’s strategic reaction to Skripal has been incoherent and reactive (BMW! Door!), although their tactical reaction (Pull NATO together and move to war! Deport the diplomats!) has been fearsome.
    This indicates that Skripal is arguably not a false-flag op originated by the British gov’t proper.
    b suggests shellfish neurotoxins. This does not explain Detective Sgt. Nick Bailey, nor why a Dect. Sgt. was a first responder. There is also the possibility of a false-flag op originated by mercenaries/factions (mafia? Steele? Neocons?), since the poison seems to be uniquely/immediately/obviously traceable to Russia. Cui bono?
    Would like to see a discussion of alternatives to “British gov’t op” hypothesis.

  7. Sylvia 1 says:

    I was not one of the one’s who complained–but I also missed the comments. Thank you Colonel. We are all grateful for the level headed commentary SST provides. We cannot find this anywhere else. I know it’s a burden to you but the work you do is irreplaceable. I read you every day!!!!

  8. Imagine says:

    In one month we have been moved from copacetic to frothing at the mouth against Russia. The tactical levers are in place. Mr. Bolton, however, is no strategic slouch. Would like to see a discussion of how this country will be moved to make war on Iran and lose trillions of dollars. (I guess the inoculation benefit outweighs costs of potentially coming up with new ideas for mischief that haven’t been thought of already, but will defer.)
    Would like to see someone in heaven’s name do an analysis of just how much we lost in the previous grand adventure with Iraq, including ISIS. Action without realization produces no learning.
    Thank you again for your blog. Many people appreciate it.

  9. Le Renard Subtil says:

    So long Five Points…Uptown here I come!

  10. jonst says:

    Well, first off, thank you Col, for yielding. I missed, very much, the community. On the other hand, it is seems imperative, to us lovers of SST, to suggest ways to cut down on the work you do Col. Is it possible to go to an ‘approved’ list of commentators? People you know? With a history you are familiar, and satisfied, with? It can be open to new members, under conditions. But such a list would be, in theory, the only comments you would have to approve of. Or am I missing the point here? Always a possibility, as she who must be obeyed, reminds me every so often.
    Off topic…can you believe how ‘timely’ another chem attack showed up, bright and early sun morning, in time for the Sunday talk shows? Just when DJT is making noise, anyway, to get us out of Syria?

  11. Charlie Wilson says:

    Thank you colonel. My withdrawal has mercifully ended.

  12. Nightsticker says:

    Col Lang,
    Good news.
    USMC 65-72
    FBI 72-96

  13. Norbert M Salamon says:

    Thank you Colonel.
    Your learned Committee members do teach us by their comments. Appreciate these comments.
    Thank you again.

  14. Anna says:

    Thank you, Colonel Lang.
    “Earlier on Saturday, rebel-linked activists, including White Helmets, accused the Syrian government of carrying out a chemical attack…”
    — This looks like a false flag operation conducted by the “moderate” jihadists” (supported by Israel/NATO) in a Christian country. Israel tried first a Gaza Ghetto fish bowl to kill scores of stone throwers; next came the slaughter of Syrians. The “chosen” and war profiteers / banksters want to see the light leading to the end of mankind.
    “…the mainstream media have immediately blamed the Syrian military for the dreadful attack even before investigations can occur. Their sources? The White Helmets and Jaish al-Islam.”
    “James Le Mesurier, a British ex-mercenary, founded the White Helmets in 2013… Prior to his founding of the White Helmets, Le Mesurier served as Vice President for Special Projects at the Olive Group, a private mercenary organization that has since merged with Blackwater-Academi. …The group’s founding took place just after “the Syrian government had raised concerns about a terrorist chemical weapon attack in Khan Al Asal against the SAA [Syrian Arab Army].” Le Mesurier served as intelligence coordinator for Pristina City in Kosovo soon after the NATO intervention that led to NATO being accused of war crimes for its targeting of thousands of civilians and media.”

  15. Will2.71828 says:

    I (and you know how much I hate using the “I” word) often learn more from the comments than the main post. So thank you, Sir!
    How about a pay for play? Skin in the game? Only Contributors can comment. With exceptions made for indigents or worthy cases. That may cut down on the trolls and hasbara. Or at least ding their budget.
    Having said that, I shall now contribute again. But, I have recently found it more entertaining to comment on the twitter and facebook feeds 🙂

  16. turcopolier says:

    I need to change to a platform company that allows the kind of fine tuning that you suggest. Typepad is too blunt an instrument. pl

  17. bwilli123 says:

    Colonel, Sir. May I suggest Disqus which requires commenters to open an account via their application before posting anywhere. It is basically an efficient comment moderation system available in both in free and paid versions.

  18. Flavius says:

    Again, thank you.
    What you are doing is so appreciated, giving voice to reason, your own and from many contributors and commentators, in a time of noise and nonsense from the establishment media and yes, from our government, especially from our government. Responsible journalism as it was meant to be, informed, independent, sobering and indispensable.

  19. turcopolier says:

    I will look into it. pl

  20. Freudenschade says:

    I encourage you to stick to your convictions.

  21. A. Pols says:

    I thought it a bad idea to close commenting and I’m glad you changed your mind.
    I fully understand that you as moderator have to wade through all manner of childish and deliberately provocative posts. That’s trolling for you.
    But at the same time, you get many comments that provide both good insights and valuable information. Might it be worthwhile to “sub out” some of the moderating tasks to some of the rest of this committee? It might save you from having to read some of that toxic stuff…

  22. turcopolier says:

    My conviction with regard to you is to delete your comments whenever possible. pl

  23. Colonel – If you do change to another platform I hope you will be able to preserve the archives. The early years in particular are instructive because the problems examined there are those that were to become evident only much later to us in the general public. The analysis of those problems has also become sharper and more critical. When I read those early archives am I right in thinking that the last decade has been a pilgrimage for you and for your committee as well as for your readers?
    Reading those older entries I sometimes have difficulty with the change from nested to sequential comments. It’s not always easy to see who is replying to whom. Would it be possible to restore the older threads to their original form if the early articles are to be permanently archived?
    As for the salon, how to keep it as you had it, in this age of bots and trolls and the ingeniously disingenuous, must be a trial. If it becomes too onerous a trial then I hope you will still find yourself able to keep the SST articles going. They are a link to sanity and balance at a time when both those articles, either side of the fence, are in increasingly short supply.

  24. turcopolier says:

    My life has been a pilgrimage. I have been forced to examine American society in the last fifteen years. That is true for a lot of us I think. I don’t think it is possible to re-thread the comments. I have the same problem and often have to search back and forth to make sure who is addressing whom. I won’t do anything to damage the archive which, I too, think are valuable. I have a literary heir appointed who hopes someday to publish the archive in some form. pl

  25. Freudenschade says:

    Here’s another chance. Much luck with your confederacy of dunces.

  26. turcopolier says:

    Thanks for coming out in the open. pl

  27. jld says:

    Thank you!
    As others have remarked, however inane the comments are half of the fun.

  28. Philippe says:

    Colonel, grand merci pour cette décision. I was kind of orphan of this Committee and the very interesting insights it provides, especially in these times of geopolitical uncertainty.

  29. Kooshy says:

    Colonel Lang thank you sir, I woke up to this great news of reopening the comment section. No doubts you put a lot of effort moderating this great Forum and we all thank you for doing so. Admittedly, while the comments section was closed, it felt like I had lost a lot people whom I had come to know here, even some, who I don’t agree with their opinions.

  30. howard nyc says:

    Col. Lange
    Thank you for restoring comments, and for all your work in providing this wonderful resource. I rarely post, but I read daily and I enjoy and am educated by the discussion in the comments section as well as the posts by you and the other members of the committee.
    I appreciate the difficulties and the effort involved in moderating/tolerating a public comment board. I am glad you have decided to continue expending the effort. I haven’t sent you a check in a while, maybe a year or so, I’ll send one today.

  31. raven says:

    You never have any problem deleting my posts but it must be a pain in the ass with all the comments you get.

  32. SteLe says:

    I would want to say, that the comments are a crucial part of this blog, both for gathering information, discussion and reflection.
    The negative side could be tackled with a more modern software backend. Therefore some comments:
    Disqus, as someone said, may be an easy option, but there are HUGE Privacy issues: The company has been sold to a “Big Data” firm, and for a blog such as these, in times like theses, a much more private platform would be much more appropriate.
    Therefore, a move from Typepad to WordPress would be best. Not only for the great BUT privacy focused comment plugin, but also for the proven, robust but easy technical basis. Hosting of this CMS is super easy, and possible at almost all hosting company’s with a “1-click setup”.
    So setup and management should be at least as easy as with typepad, even for not technically skilled persons. WordPress is the de facto standard in this market for a good reason, and i can only say the best about it.
    The admin has 100% control, including on user data, safety and privacy, can extend the features of a website without any programming, and its in active, open and proper development.
    On the idea of having to pay for posting comments: The problem of moderation will still be there, while it will compromise the openness and severely limit the possible intellectual gains of any discussion. This would create an echo chamber like the MSM, not the intellectual melting pot this blog and only very few others are providing now..
    Plus, with WordPress, moderation can be fine tuned to a huge extend, if not to the greatest extend possible of all solutions.
    Also, WordPress would make everything else besides moderation much easier, faster and powerful too.. And it being FOSS means, that development is secured for the short and midterm, that it is less likely to have backdoors than commercial CMS, and that no money is needed other than hosting.
    I am not sure, but likely there are easy migration tools available online that would allow to just move the old data to WordPress automatically.
    Here the link to the WordPress Project:
    And just take a look at the Plugins, to see how many options it offers for free to deal with Spam etc., and how many possible features it offers for free to empower this blog even more with some simple “clicks”:
    PS: One small but HUGE benefit i forgot: It would -FINALLY- make this website become readable and usable on mobile devices. Automatically. Without any extra work what so ever. Today that’s a must anyway, where most web traffic already comes from Android and iOS.

  33. Imagine says:

    Second the Keeping the archives suggestion. Important.

  34. I agree with everyone who has said that the comments are an important part of this side, due to the knowledge and experience of at least some, if not all, of the persons commenting. So I’m pleased to see them back. Thank you, Colonel, for your reconsideration.

  35. Colonel, though I am unqualified to assess the “troll control” effectiveness of Disqus, I use it a lot, and second bwilli123’s recommendation for it.
    I join others here in appreciation for your reassuming the burdensome chore of herding cats, i.e., posting comments.

  36. turcopolier says:

    The IC already collects and stores everything out of this site including everyone’s data. So, relax, you are immortal. pl

  37. Fatima Manoubia says:

    Pat, beware, the experience at Fort Russ with Disqus was that they found the many regular commenters happened to foind themselves banned by Disqus, when they were not by the site….At least, that was what Joaquín Flores alleged after having received many complaints of regulars and the comments fell down…
    Thus, for what it seems, Disqus develops its own policy independently of the blog it hosts.
    I also wellcome the come back of comments, the blog looks much more lively, even with the usual nonsense by some…If things go wrong again, Pat, you can always blame me all the way…I am so accustomed….

  38. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for enlightening me as to my true nature as a “dunce”. It explains why I failed to secure an academic position in a research university of some repute.

  39. kooshy says:

    Colonel, in light of that, one just can hope, anti-Zionism and anti-Israeli polices comments, including some of yours, one day doesn’t equates to Anti American acts. In the current trajectory of domestic politics, I wouldn’t keep my hopes high.

  40. rexl says:

    Thank you.

  41. Martin Oline says:

    I am sorry you have changed your mind. I rather enjoyed not having to scroll through pages of unoriginal opinions, although there are some who were very instructive ( thinking of David H). I hope that the moderating of comments doesn’t drive you to pull the plug. Thank you for persevering.

  42. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The trolls’ comments have the archival merit of freezing in time for posteriori the political and ideological outlook of fools.

  43. JamesT says:

    Thank you, Sir.

  44. FB Ali says:

    Thank you for bringing back the comments section, Col Lang. Feels like ‘home’ again!

  45. Adrestia says:

    I don’t think it is possible to re-thread the comments. I have the same problem and often have to search back and forth to make sure who is addressing whom. I won’t do anything to damage the archive which, I too, think are valuable. I have a literary heir appointed who hopes someday to publish the archive in some form. pl

    There is already an online archive available.*/
    For offline saving, this can be achieved (as an example) with:
    wget -r
    This downloads everything to a file system on a local computer that can be viewed offline. I wouldn’t trust the site-provider to store it indefinitely and doubt if a FOIA request will help.
    A simple script with only a few lines can solve the public availability. It would be a shame if the archive is lost for the general public.

  46. Adrestia says:

    Typepad has issues with the http://www.archive url to the SST archive. Created an alternative that is easy to remember:

  47. Barbara Ann says:

    …banned by Disqus…
    If a technology can ‘ban’ you it is a media organization masquerading as a technology. IMO Disqus falls into this category and I can confirm a poor experience; it has deleted a number of my comments it thinks are ‘spam’ for any number of bizarre reasons – which included simply embedding a link. My preference would be for our gracious host to retain full control of who gets banned (& as importantly un-banned).

  48. Nancy K says:

    I enjoy the comments also, even the ones I don’t agree with. As always, thank you for SST.

  49. Freudenschade says:

    My pleasure.

  50. Move over, Babak. I’ll claim the title myself. It’s the only way to understand the Westminster Bubble. Dunces all, they need a fellow dunce to understand the shambles they make of whatever they put their hand to.
    That’s why I’m sceptical about all the theories floating around about the Skripal affair. Could well be that the Cabinet didn’t know what happened any more than the rest of us. Nor did they ever feel the urge to find out. Just waded in and screwed up. It’s what they do.
    I’m sorry about the pets though. That might come back and bite them. Entire countries can tumble into ruin and as for double agents, they’re neither here nor there. But starve a cat to death and Middle England might – it’s just remotely possible – awake from its long sleep and ask what the hell is going on.

  51. VietnamVet says:

    Thank you. When I read about the predicted chemical attack in Ghouta, I immediately clicked on SST and was pleased to see that comments were back. The comments make this a committee but they require a rugged moderator.
    You continue to serve your nation.

  52. turcopolier says:

    Barbara Ann
    I just talked to Marcus down in Costa Rica. He has used Disqus for years and that has never happened to him. pl

  53. Donald says:

    I am glad the comments are back. I rarely have anything serious to contribute, but there are several regulars in the comments who are very much worth reading. David H, for instance, though I confess the level of detailed knowledge he has often put much of what he has to say over my head.

  54. Sherry Long De Mandel says:


  55. TonyL says:

    Thank you for your perseverance. Feel like home again!

  56. Sherry Long De Mandel says:

    I forgot to say a hearty “thank you,” Colonel. I have learned so much from you, your contributors and commentators since 2006. I’m also pleased to contribute whenever you

  57. Valissa says:

    That’s wonderful news!
    I’m so glad 😉
    NOTE – this live version from 2005 was the first time Cream had performed for the public since 1968. The musicians may be a bit older but their music has gotten smoother and richer.

  58. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Re #45
    “Feels like ‘home’ again!”
    Respectfully seconded.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  59. fanto says:

    Thank you Colonel.
    I had the same impression as FB Ali said in #45 – feels back home again.

  60. bernard says:

    Glad to see the comments back. Despite the trolls, idiots and time-wasters, the comment threads on this site are some of the best I know of. Its a lot worse elsewhere, believe me…
    Now on another matter, is there truly NOONE, no leader in all the West, who is going to say NO to the mad rush for war with Russia?

  61. Ingolf Eide says:

    Colonel, I’m so pleased you’ve resurrected comments. Thank you.
    English Outsider, seems Patrick Armstrong shares your view on Middle England and pets. is this

  62. Randy Graham says:

    First time posting on your site but I’ve appreciated reading it on and off for several years– including the comments.
    At some point you should seriously consider moving your site to a WordPress platform, which would give you a lot more options, including control over comments. You could move it so that it would include comments, images, and links as well as text. For example, this service specializes in moving typepad to WP.
    You might need a web designer/tech person to help with the transfer but completely feasible and well worth your time.

  63. catherine says:

    What a nice surprise.
    Thank you Col….I know its a lot of work to allow comments.
    I will do my part by only posting if I really have something to add to the subject.

  64. b says:

    Thanks from me too for reopening the comments. I know its a bit of work to sweep out the trolls once a while but it is worth the effort.
    I do not recommend to change the platform. I for one dislike Disqus and never comment on blogs there. WordPress, with the all ad-ons, is a hassle to get running.
    Typepad has now been stable for a long time and I for one will keep my blog on it unless they really screw up.
    You should get a real URL for the blog and map it to this typepad blog. It is quite easy to do. It would also help with the blog later on as the URL would not change when a move occurs.

  65. turcopolier says:

    “I for one dislike Disqus” Why? pl

  66. Croesus says:

    To yield is to demonstrate weakness.
    You should grow a bushy white mustache.
    Thanks for re-opening the forum.

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