It seems, in this age of litigation, that one’s opening comments should always be in the form of a disclaimer. Sad, but nonetheless essential. For example, when passing on a well-meant comment you should not say: “Sue, your new dress looks good.”
One should rather begin thusly: “Sue, or however you would prefer to be addressed, please accept my following comment as compliment or gesture of goodwill, which should in no way construe any demeaning or disrespectful undertones. Your new dress looks good.”
Pathetic, isn’t it.
Which is why I decided that, rather than waxing lyrical about how well meaning I am, I would let everyone know where I’m coming from. To wit: I am an optimistic skeptic, unwilling to blindly believe everything I hear or see, but confident that things will work out adequately in the end. I am not a Democrat and neither am I a Republican; that way I can be myself and critique either parties at whim.
In my later meanderings I would ask readers to bear the above in mind. I do not try to be fair, but rather, logical, practical, and (where feasible) moral.