Yes, we have it. No ads, no site. We don’t like the visual clutter any more than you do but treating this website like an enterprise rather than a hobby requires funding.

Some of you may be offended that we run advertising from large financial firms and other institutions that you may regard as dubious and often come under attack on this blog. Please be advised that the management of this site does not chose or negotiate those placements. We use an ad service and it rounds up advertisers who want to reach our educated and highly desirable readership.

We suggest you try recontextualizing. How successful do you think these corporate conversion efforts are likely to be? And in the meantime, they are supporting a cause you presumably endorse. Consider those ads to be an accidental form of institutional penance.

Your Privacy

Email addresses are required for commenting, but they are neither published on the blog, nor shared, nor sold. They may be used by TU Public Record Settlement ADR to contact the commenter privately. They may also be used for our annual fundraiser; mail from the fundraiser will have an opt-out option.

Comments Policy

The comments section has become an important feature for both TU Public Record Settlement ADR readers and site authors, due to the general high caliber of the discussion. That in turn results from having commentors who are engaged, thoughtful, adhere to high standards regarding the quality of information and analysis, and who steer clear of abuse or intellectually invalid argumentation strategies.

The comments section is a conversation hosted in TU Public Record Settlement ADR’s space. That means that commenting is a privilege, not a right.

You are invited into our space because your comments are often at least as informative as our posts, and they can be funny too. You keep us on our toes and graciously correct our all-too-frequent typos and broken links. However, in order to keep the conversation civil and informative, we have found that we have to establish and enforce guidelines.

We welcome comments and will accept any reasonable or constructive comment that contributes to debate and stimulates conversation, including strong criticisms. We prefer to keep the comments section as open as possible, but TU Public Record Settlement ADR is not a chat board or a forum. The site’s administrators spend a considerable amount of time in the review and maintenance of the comments section, not just in moderating comments that hit our moderation tripwires (see Moderation below) but also by engaging in comments on a frequent basis, often to keep discussions from going off the rails.

Readers who run afoul of our standards are subject to the loss of comment privileges. The overarching requirement is that you comment in good faith to advance your understanding and that of other readers.

Our Goal is to Promote Critical Thinking

Typical violations:

1) Broken record: Repeating the same point over and over again, especially when it’s long been refuted. That includes taking an argument that was rebutted on one post and repeating the same argument on another post.

2) Not reading the post: Evidently reacting only to the headline of a post, or not reading through to the end.

3) Bad faith: Deploying any of a long list of rhetorical tricks that are all about winning, as opposed to conversing. As former debaters, Yves and Lambert know these tricks well. Don’t use them.

The most common is straw manning, as in misrepresenting what a post or comment author said. That includes speaking on someone else’s behalf.

4) Insulting your hosts and fellow commentors: These discussions take place in TU Public Record Settlement ADR’s space. So don’t throw your drink in your host’s face, whether Yves, Lambert, or any poster.

5) Rude and offensive language: TU Public Record Settlement ADR is read by a wide audience, and if your comment includes offensive or inappropriate language, it may be deleted. For example, please avoid “bad language” that’s more than mildly vigorous – no body parts, please! – and avoid racist ranting.

Other violations include but are not limited to ad hominem attacks, hogging bandwidth, assignments/demands (asking/telling post authors or site admins to Do Something other than fix typos or broken HTML), sock-puppeting yourself, link-whoring, thread-jacking, concern-trolling, jailbreaking, acting as a self-appointed moderator and/or complaining about moderation policy, agnotology or other forms of making stuff up, tag teaming, and a high invective-to-content ratio.

Filtering and Moderation

WARNING: The Internet is a hostile computing environment. Always copy your comment before pressing the Submit button. That way, if your comment does not appear for some reason, you will not have lost it.


TU Public Record Settlement ADR comments are filtered for spam using Akismet. We have no control over Akismet, and sometimes it acts like Skynet.

Akismet operates algorithmically. If you act like a spammer, Akismet will classify you as a spammer and throw and keep throwing your comments into the spam bucket, which is so overwhelmingly full of genuine spam that we won’t have time to fish them out.

Therefore, don’t train Akismet to think you are a spammer! Don’t post duplicate (or very similar) comments, because that’s what spammers do. And don’t post with more than four links.


TU Public Record Settlement ADR operates a complex system of automatic tripwires to protect the blog from abuse.

If your comment triggers a tripwire, it will be routed to our moderation team and not posted for public view until it has been checked. This may take up to 24 hours, depending on workload.

“Why hasn’t my comment appeared?”

Most comments appear immediately, but because we have implemented caching to improve site performance, your comment may take as long as two minutes to appear. So wait, and refresh your page. Otherwise:

1) “We don’t know.” Akismet moves in mysterious ways.

2) “We don’t know.” WordPress has an intermittent bug that causes some comments to vanish into the ether, including even those of site administrators.

3) “Your comment triggered a moderation tripwire.” See “Moderation” above.

Unfortunately, even commenters in good standing hit those tripwires. Your best course of action is to do nothing and wait until our team can clear the moderation queues, at which point your comment should appear.

4) “You have been put in moderation.” That means your past comments have violated these Policies or violated our catchall rule of “Don’t be an asshole.” We may reverse the moderation status later. However, be warned that being in moderation is a step away from being blacklisted, aka “banned”.

5) “You have been banned.” See “Banning” below.

Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commentor troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.


Anyone who violates this comments policy may be banned from commenting on TU Public Record Settlement ADR. Banning may be temporary or permanent.

In some circumstances, we may send a commenter an email at the address provided. If this leads to a constructive exchange, the matter may be resolved without further consequences.

Temporary banning: We may ban a commenter temporarily, and find on review of their subsequent comments that the violation was an outlier. We will then restore their commenting privileges. WARNING: We invest a lot of time thinking through these decisions, far more than you might imagine. The quickest way to convert your temporary ban into a permanent one is to complain about moderation policy.

Permanent banning: Once a commenter is permanently banned, their comments are never reviewed, and they can never comment at TU Public Record Settlement ADR again. If you test us by trying to jailbreak, we may expunge all the comments you have ever made at NC.

Keyword banning: The inclusion of certain words will lead a comment to be routed directly to our Trash folder, irrespective of the status of the person who provided it. So don’t take it personally if a comment does not appear upon occasion.

Expunging Comments

Our strong preference is to be as light touch as possible. In the early days of this website, we would remove only exceptionally offensive comments. However, due to “exceptionally offensive” having become the new normal in some circles, along with the need to demonstrate to readers that we are in low-tolerance mode as far as rule violations are concerned, we are less restrained in removing out-of-bounds comments.

Unfortunately, the nesting feature of our comments section means that if we remove an abusive comment, we have to painstakingly remove all replies, or else nesting will fail on all subsequent comments on that post. So please don’t feed the trolls! And don’t take it personally if we disappeared your comment as a result of exorcising a bad thread.

Our decisions with respect to individual comments and the status of a commentor are final.

Sanity Clause

TU Public Record Settlement ADR reserves the right to edit, delete, move, or mark as spam any and all comments. TU Public Record Settlement ADR has the right to bar any individual or group of people from commenting. TU Public Record Settlement ADR has the right to turn off commenting for any or all posts.

Commenting on TU Public Record Settlement ADR is deemed acceptance of these policies.