wrote-whatIt seems like I have hit a few nerves and raised some blood pressures recently because of my blogging activities. That is a good thing because engagement is the name of the game. The more angry individuals get the more they talk about what I write. Of course, this sometimes leads to irrational behavior. Therefore, I have decided to clarify my policy about commenting on my blog.

I want and encourage everyone to participate not only by reading and sharing what I write but also by sharing your thoughts about what I have written. It doesn’t matter if you agree with me or not. I want to know what you think even it means letting me know you completely disagree with me.

My policy has always been to encourage discussion. I have adhered to the notion that my blog posts are my thoughts on an issue and your comments are your opportunity to let me know what you think. That is why I seldom engage in responding to comments on my blog. I do this because I want to avoid the fight to see who has the last word.

I believe that my posts should hold their own without me having to defend the position with endless responses to your comments. Ultimately, we will either agree to disagree or we may come to a consensus but every reader should be allowed to express his or her opinion on each topic.

Certain Vocabulary

Generally, I try to keep the vocabulary at a level where most adults would be comfortable reading the material. Obviously, cuss words are very much discouraged. I also do not want my blog to become a place to disparage anyone by name-calling.

Yes, I realize that I sometimes use terms that some find objectionable, like “useful idiots”. I can give you reasons for why I do that however the bottom line is that this is my blog and as such, I have some leeway as to how I write.

Besides vulgar language, I will also remove words that are of a sexual nature or are clearly written to intimidate or silence someone.

I have been somewhat tolerant of readers who engage each other in the comments section with back-and-forth about their posts. I will continue to be tolerant of this up until I feel that someone is attempting to silence discussion through intimidation or abusive behavior.

On Links to Other Sites

Some of you may have noticed that I remove links to other websites. The bottom line is that I work hard to ensure my blog is served at top of search engine results when users are searching for information about the topics I cover. This is a lot of work and I am not about to let others take advantage of my work by piggybacking off my search engine optimization (SEO) work.

In the case of linking directly to sources that I quote or use on my commentary, I chose a long time ago not to link these sites as it creates a lot of work for me to manage links that become stale or are taken over by black-hat search engine optimizers for their work. I always give you enough information, such as the author’s name and the name of the article as well as the publication so that you can use any search engine to quickly find the source document.

Some of you, like children, are very good at finding loopholes to the rules. Ultimately, I will make a decision on a comment based on what is good for my blog, whether it specifically violated my terms of service or the guidelines I have set here. As long as your intent is to contribute to the discussion than it is very unlikely your comment will be removed, or modified.

A Comment on the Topics I Choose to Write About

Some of you have been arguing that I pick on certain individuals when I choose a topic. It is important that I point out that the topics I choose to write about are topics that interest me at the time, are in the news, they are something that caught my attention or it is something that I have wanted to write about for a while. This blog is mine alone and I am not paid to write it. As such, I write articles as time permits, in between my real job. Sometimes I have the luxury of writing in depth articles and other times I have to post something quick so my readers will not get bored with old content. When an individual or an entity makes it extremely easy for me to write about them than I am likely to write about their shenanigans because, frankly, I am lazy and if I can post an item without too much work, believe me it will be posted.

Is anything off limits for me? Not really. I realize that some of you don’t believe this but the fact that I do not live in El Paso pretty much makes it easy for me to write about anyone or any company. Everyone gets mad at me, eventually, even my friends. In regards to Mexico, like any country, I realize it has its failures and its problems. However, there is enough people writing about the bad and I normally choose to write about the good in my country. That does not mean that I ignore the bad it just means that the topic I chose is what interests me at the time.

I am frequently asked if I support the Democrats or the Republicans. The simple answer is that I support neither. The fact is that I cannot vote in US elections and I believe this gives me the ability to ignore party politics. When I write about political parties, I write from a position of having no party allegiance to any political party in the US. Therefore, when I write about party politics I come from the position of focusing on the issue at hand rather than on the political party.

Suggestions for Topics

Some of you have sent me suggestions for topics. I appreciate every suggestion you send me. If you provide a valid email address or contact number, I acknowledge the receipt of your message. On the other hand, if I cannot reach you then I have no way to acknowledge your message.

Regardless, every one of your suggestions are valuable to me and I eventually will get to them. I have more topics to write on than time available to me. Keep in mind that just because you believe the information is true does not mean that I will jump on it right away. I must trust the information before I use it and as such I verify it before using it. Sometimes you send me information in the form of a lead. Before I write about it, I must gather data. I do this via research and filing open records requests with the appropriate agencies. Each of those activities take time.

Ultimately, the more of you that engage on my blog the more successful it becomes and the more reasons for me to write. That is why I encourage you to comment, read and share my blog with everyone you know. I believe I have made it as simple as possible to comment and let me know when I am wrong. Of course, if I am right, I would also like to know that as well.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...