Policies for CGBlog.org

Please note that these policies are subject to change. The policies listed here provide the overarching policies for the CGBlog.org family of blogs and websites. If you can't abide by or live with these policies, please surf elsewhere. The Internet is a big place, and we're sure you can find somewhere a home that suites your needs.

Comment Policy

The first part of our commenting policy is fairly simple: Comments here at AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG are served-up by IntenseDebate. You are encouraged to use your real name when registering for IntenseDebate in keeping with both the word and spirit of the Coast Guard Public Affairs Manual.

Full Attribution vs. Anonymous or Pseudonymous Commenting

We encourage you to use your real name and fully attribute to your real self all comments. You may, using the IntenseDebate application, create a pseudonym for commenting, but we encourage you to use your real name.

For those that don't remember what the Public Affairs Manual says about contributing content to the Web 2.0/social media realm, you can check out page 10-10:

Coast Guard personnel who self-publish online content that either relates to the blogger’s Coast Guard capacity or concerns the Coast Guard must … Write as yourself. In other words, use your real name. No Coast Guard member or employee should be writing anonymously or under a pseudonym. Your name should be prominently displayed on your blog’s title or subtitle. This will add credibility with your readers and promote accountability within the Coast Guard.

Of course, this policy only applies to Coast Guard personnel and not members of the public with no named association with the Coast Guard. Coast Guard military members (both active duty and Reserve), civilian employees, civilian contractors to the Coast Guard, and volunteer Auxiliarists are bound, we believe, by the Public Affairs Manual (as well as other directives and instructions).

Pretending to be Someone Else

We will not tolerate commenters falsely portraying themselves as other people. Please register your name at IntenseDebate and participate openly in commenting here at AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG.

Commenting as a Component of Community

We believe in community, and one of the tenets of community is that people speak their own words and stand behind those words with full and complete attribution.

Comment Moderation

Also be aware that if you are abusing the comment system on AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG, your comments may be moderated. Our Moderation Policy is detailed elsewhere on this page.

Suggestions on How to Behave

For further suggestions see this.

Comments Must Be On-Topic

Please note that all comments must be on-topic. Comments which are (way) off topic are not permitted and will likely be deleted. For discussions and comments which are not about the topic at hand, please participate in our Google Group which provides an opportunity for full-bore discussions about topics and issues not covered in particular posts on this blog.

Why our Policies are Different from Other Sites (Official and Unofficial)

Do note, please, that this blog is an UNOFFICIAL blog, and the commenting and posting rules are different from the Coast Guard's official sites or other unofficial blogs. As a rule, we encourage diverse opinions; we do not tolerate trolls; we do not tolerate personal attacks; we do not tolerate ad homium attacks.

This Comment Policy was last updated 2/27/2009 by Peter A. Stinson.

Moderation Policy

"This is our house, to which we graciously offer you entrance and allow you to discuss topics which interest us. However, if you start smearing shit (which is a subjective term, and may be arbitrarily defined any number of ways at any given time by us) on the walls, we reserve the right to politely exclude you."

Our thanks to ubernym over at Boing Boing for this fairly straight forward moderation policy. Ubernym's policy is actually a brief summary of Boing Boing's moderation policy, of which we are fairly keen. We like the concept of disemvowelling and will use it if the situation warrants.

the administrators (that is, the

contributors) of this blog have the right and responsibility to remove
(delete) and/or edit comments if they are off-topic, derogatory,
attacking, etc. without notice. Furthermore anyone who is noted as a
repeat offender will, without notice, be moderated or blacklisted."

If you can't live with the moderation policy (or the comment policy), then feel free to take your free speech elsewhere. While I respect neo-Nazis right to free speech, I don't have to listen to it, I don't have to agree with it, and I don't have to allow it in my own home or any organization to which I belong. They can speak their speech, but I don't have to give it a venue. The same is true here: I respect your right to free speech, but I don't have to listen to it. It's not a matter of my not agreeing with the speech, it's a matter of the speech violating some set of understood norms.

We have the right, and some would suggest the responsibility, to delete or edit comments which are off-topic, derogatory, hateful, attacking, and whatever else. And, we'll edit or delete without warning. At the third violation, commenting privileges will be revoked.

The Internet is a big place; we're sure that everyone who has an interest in discussing issues about the Coast Guard can find a place which will allow them to speak their speech.

We invite you here to discuss topics of mutual interest, but we ask that you be civil and abide by the policies enumerated herein.

This "Moderation Policy" was last updated 2/26/2009 by Peter A. Stinson.

Link Policy

We will generally not list here any blog or website where the publisher and major contributors are anonymous or pseudonymous. We encourage everyone to publish using their own names and living within, or at least the intent of, the various policies guiding both official and unofficial web presences. Our belief is that the current polices protect both the individual Coastie and the overall organization.

Our links list can be found here.

This Link Policy was last updated 11/23/2008 by Peter A. Stinson.

Privacy Policy

Cookies: CGBlog.org does not knowingly use cookies to store session information. However, there may be some information auto-generated by your browser or Google as we are using Blogger, a Google owned company.

External Site Links: CGBlog.org links to other websites on the internet. Content and Privacy Policies are the responsibility of their respective owners.

IP Addresses and Logging: CGBlog.org logs information about visitors, including IP addresses, date/time visited, referring website, length of stay, etc. via Google Analytics and StatCounter.com. The information is used for site statistics only. We also collect IP addresses on all comments made. This information is used in the event that comment moderation is necessary.

This Privacy Policy was last updated 12/04/2008 by Peter A. Stinson.

Terms of Use

By using or visiting any CGBlog property, including AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG, you agree to these Terms of Use as well as the various policies delineated here on this page. If you do not agree to any of these terms, then please do not visit or use any CGBlog properties.

Third Party Links

CGBlog websites may contain links to third party websites that are not owned or controlled by CGBlog or Peter A. Stinson, the publisher of AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG.

CGBlog has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third party websites. CGBlog will not and cannot censor or edit the content of any third-party site. By using CGBlog properties, you expressly relieve CGBlog and Peter A. Stinson from any liability arising from your use of any third-party website. Smart web surfers know when they leave one site and enter another. Read the terms, conditions, and policies of each other website that you visit.

Intellectual Property Rights: Creative Commons

The content on all CGBlog properties, including AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG is governed by and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

User Submissions

Comments and other submissions are acceptable as delineated herein.

Comments and other submissions by non-staff members are submitted wtih the understanding that they are governed by and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. If you do not agree to this, don't make comments or provide other submissions.

The Nine Commandments of the Use of CGBlog properties

Thou Shalt Not:

1. steal. This means we forbid, absolutely forbid, got it?, you to submit material that is copyrighted, protected by trade secret or otherwise subject to third party proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights, unless you are the owner of such rights or have permission from their rightful owner to post the material and to grant CGBlog.org all of the license rights granted herein.

Moreover, Thou Shalt Not:

2. bear false witness. This means that we forbid you, seriously no-kidding around forbid you, to publish falsehoods or misrepresentations, defamatory statements, or any material that could damage AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG or anyone at all on Earth, in this Universe, or anywhere else – like parallel dimensions or other cool quantum physics stuff we barely understand. We also forbid you from impersonating anyone else, which is kind of a bearing of false witness, wouldn't you say?

3. commit adultery, and also we forbid, seriously forbid, you to submit material that is unlawful, obscene, pornographic or even sexually graphic. If you are here for any of that sort of thing, you are in the wrong place anyway. Try www.AdultFriendFinder.com, maybe you'll have better luck there, maybe not, but definitely take the really racy stuff outside;

4. kill. This extends to our forbidding you from perpetrating any threatening, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive or bigoted statements or materials that encourage conduct that would be considered a criminal offense anywhere they might be reading this, give rise to civil liability, violate any law, or is otherwise seriously inappropriate anywhere on Earth;

5. covet they neighbor's house, which in this case means we forbid you to post advertisements or solicitations of business except as we might decide to let you get away with, in our discretion. You want to advertise stuff? Offer us money or get your own darned website. That said, we don't really mind your promoting yourself on AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG. Just, show some class and do it tastefully or we might ban you from the network. Not for promoting yourself. For lacking class. In our own arbitrary and capricious view.

6. behave in an unpatriotic fashion. We're red blooded Americans here at AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG. We do enjoy a rousing political debate but if we catch you aiding terrorists you are toast around here. And we are not, and are in no way connected to The Illuminati. We have no interest whatsoever in ruling the world. Way too much work. We'll just leave that to Google. Meanwhile, if we catch you violating the CGBlog.org Oath (I WILL USE MY POWERS ONLY FOR GOOD) we sure enough will ban you from the site. And expel you from the Noble Order of AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG, too.

7. AND, just to catch everything we may have forgotten, we also forbid you from violating any of the other Ten Commandments around here (unless you are a genuine Pagan. In that case we sort of guess that Numbers 1 and 2 don't really apply to you and it would be churlish of us to harass you about it. But if you are Jewish or Christian or Moslem and if we catch you worshipping idols here – even divas like Britney Spears or Knox Bronson – hasta la vista baby!)

8. We really are serious about the part about calling your Mom more often. It's all part of Commandment Numero 5. Since you are a Unique User here we really, really want your days to be long upon the land. And come back often.

9. As if that weren't enough, you should know that AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG, the publisher, and specified staff do not endorse any User Submission or any opinion, recommendation, or advice expressed therein. In fact CGBlog.org expressly disclaims any and all liability in connection with User Submissions. AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG reserves the right to remove Content and User Submissions without prior notice, which we're saying again because if we do it we don't want any whining. But don't assume that if we haven't removed it we endorse it. We might just be too busy to read it, or be indulging in a little of that old "freedom o' speech" stuff. Just as an experiment, you understand.

Beyond the Nine Commandments

We reserve the right to terminate your access to CGBlog if we catching you breaking these rules or if we just plain don't like you. AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG also reserves the right to decide whether Content or a User Submission is appropriate and complies with these Terms of Use for anything including copyright infringement and violations of intellectual property law, pornography, obscene or defamatory material, or even excessive length, for example, or for any whim of ours however arbitrary and capricious.

The Websters' Dictionary may remove User Submissions and terminate your access at any time, without prior notice and at its sole discretion and without even having to give you a decent explanation. Life is unfair, as JFK, that child of privilege, noted.

Claims of Copyright Infringement

Now, sometimes sneaky people will sneak something past us. If you are a copyright owner or an agent thereof and believe that any User Submission or other content infringes upon your copyrights, you may submit a notification pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by providing our Copyright Agent with the following information in writing. Include

(i) A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed;

(ii) Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site;

(iii) Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material;

(iv) Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact you, such as an address, telephone number, and, like, an email address;

(v) A statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and

(vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Additional points legal counsel wants re-emphasized

When using AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG you may be exposed to User Submissions from a variety of sources. You haven't already forgotten that CGBlog.org is not responsible for the accuracy, usefulness, safety, or intellectual property rights of or relating to such User Submissions, have you? Good, we are sure we can count on you.

You may be exposed to User Submissions that are inaccurate, offensive, indecent, or objectionable. This is on the World Wide Web, for Heaven's sake, so c'mon, what were you expecting? So you hereby waive any legal or equitable rights or remedies you have or may have against AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG with respect thereto, whatever that means, and if you don't understand what it means — ask a lawyer. Then send us an email explaining it to us. Thanks. You furthermore agree to indemnify and hold AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG , its Owners/Operators, publisher, affiliates, and/or licensors, harmless regarding all matters related to your use of the site.

AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG permits you to link to materials on any CGBlog property for personal, non-commercial purposes. I think we said this one a couple of times before, but it's more work to check than just to say it again. And we still mean it.

ALSO:

Notwithstanding your waiver of legal and equitable rights hereunder, you further agree that in any legal dispute between you, any user, CGBlog, its owner(s), proprietor(s), administrators or staff will be submitted to binding arbitration according to the rules of the American Arbitration Association, in the City of Portsmouth, Virginia and shall be subject to the laws, and exclusive jurisdiction of the courts, of the Commonwealth of Virginia and brought exclusively in the venue of the City of Portsmouth, Virginia.

And — Surprise! — We reserve the right to change these Terms in any way at any time without notifying you. If this is matter of concern for you it's your responsibility to keep up with changes, or just to say the heck with it and go to some other website whose Terms you like better.

Our thanks to Ralph Benko and The Websters' Dictionary Website for providing the Terms of Use which we have adopted here for our purposes.

These "Terms of Use" were last updated 12/04/2008 by Peter A. Stinson.

Contributor Guidelines

Contributors vs. Commenters

While people who comment on blogs are certainly contributing, here at AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG, those people who we call contributors are the bloggers, people making posts. You can find a list of official contributors, sometimes also referred to as staff members, here. We hold our contributors (bloggers, staff members, writers) to a higher standard than we hold people who comment. For instance, all contributors to AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG will post with full attribution, using their real, given, name.

Milblogger's Rules of Engagement

While not gospel, we recommend that all contributors (and commenters, too, for that matter) follow The MilBlogger’s Rules of Engagement as published by The Yankee Sailor.

These "Contributor Guidelines" were last updated 12/04/2008 by Peter A. Stinson.

Policies Specific to the CGBlog Google Group

Purpose

The purpose of the CGBlog Google Group is to provide staff and readers a place to interact outside of AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG and to discuss off-topic issues as apporpriate. Comments to AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG are expected to be on-topic with the associated post; this venue provides an opportunity for broader dialogue using the Google Groups application.

Privacy Policy

The guiding Privacy Policy for the CGBlog Google Group is the standard Google Group Privacy Policy. Please surf through to the Privacy Policy link at the bottom of this page.

Contribution Policy

Contributers to the CGBlog Google Group shall not make personal attacks, use profanity, instigate violence, or otherwise drastically misbehave. The CGBlog Google Group is certainly more open then either posting or commenting to AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG, however reasonable civility and decorum rules apply.

These "Policies Specific to the CGBlog Google Group" were last updated 12/04/2008 by Peter A. Stinson.

Official Disclaimer

All content on CGBlog is provided ‘as is’ with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are those of the individual contributors and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the views of the Commandant or of the United States Coast Guard.

This "Official Disclaimer" was last updated 12/04/2008 by Peter A. Stinson.

Revisions to Our Policies

We reserve the right to revise, amend, change, or modify these policies and agreements at any time and in any manner. Notice of any revision, amendment, or modification will just be made to the text on this page and not highlighted. The policies before you are the policies we're following right here, right now. Your continued use of AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG or any CGBlog property signifies agreement to any changes.

This Revisions to Our Policies was last updated 2/26/2009 by Peter A. Stinson.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License