There is a lot of substance in the commentary on yesterday morning’s post (Our role…). I appreciate the commentators generosity and expertise.
There were lots of readers yesterday, our third highest recorded readership. Some readers with expertise, others with questions, and still others with worries continue to write me privately. Some suggestions and assurances:
1. While there is an honorable tradition at Homeland Security Watch of posting using our names, we have always welcomed and respected anonymity.
2. It is possible for me to find the email of an individual posting to the blog. But until a reader asked about this, I did not know about this possibility. I am not much interested in the identity of who is posting. We are all interested in the quality of information and analysis. (If especially concerned, you could set up a temporary email account with yahoo, hotmail, google, etc. to further obscure your identity.)
3. Asking questions is a fabulous contribution. An authentic question is always helpful. Answering questions in an informed and thoughtful way sometimes takes time. If your question is not immediately answered, please do not assume it is being dismissed.
4. Opinion can be spicy. In small doses it humanizes what we write, signals individual biases to be filtered, and can be provocative to new thinking. But opinion is easy to over-do. Analysis differs from opinion by organizing evidence to support judgment.
5. Blogs are not books. The posts that are read and seem to be shared the most are usually under 500 words. The exception to this since I started contributing in February has been Chris Bellavita’s longer posts, but Chris is exceptional in many ways.
Some perceive that Arnold, Chris T., Peter, Phil, and William — to choose five regular discussants — are old friends engaged in a long-running discussion. You are hesitant to interrupt. Maybe the other four know each other, but I have never met any of them and have no connection with them other than this blog. Please join us.