You don't need to leave an e-mail address or Web site to comment. If you've done so before and don't want to do so again, type "xxxxxxx" or some such in the e-mail and Web site spaces, to keep your computer's cookie from automatically inserting the information.
I would like to set up a Typekey system or some such for requiring valid e-mail addresses with comments, but am not sure if this is possible with Blogger. I'd welcome advice on this from those in the know.
When I ban commenters, the imperfect system is liable to ban innocents as well. If you find yourself banned from commenting and aren't certain why, please drop me a line (dawn at dawneden.com). If it's a mistake, I'll remedy the situation.
I've recently banned a few commenters for reasons other than the usual ones (profanity and ad hominem attacks). One commenter had been banned earlier, then wrote me a rather nasty e-mail. This commenter was able to come back because my bans rotate. (Haloscan only allows me 20 at a time.) I've rebanned the commenter because the commenter never apologized for the nasty e-mail. I don't feel any obligation to give a platform to people who openly bear personal animosity towards me.
Likewise with the other bans, which were of people who've written blog entries about me that were not merely critical, but malicious personal attacks. Disagree with me all you want, but if you write, "Dawn Eden smells like a zoo and robs children of their candy money," don't expect a soapbox on my dime. This holds even on those rare days when I do smell like a zoo.
Many thanks, as always, to those who comment politely and make the comment threads enlightening.