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08 April 2018


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Thanks for coming out in the open. pl


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


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.


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.

howard nyc

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.


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



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.


Second the Keeping the archives suggestion. Important.


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.

Mahatma Propagandhi

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.



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

Fatima Manoubia

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....


Babak Makkinejad

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.


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.


Thank you.

Martin Oline

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.

Babak Makkinejad

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


Thank you, Sir.

FB Ali

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

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 http://turcopolier.typepad.com

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.


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


Account Deleted


...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).



Nancy K

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



My pleasure.

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