Great job camisadelgolf.
I'd only add in summary: Trying to start an argument = bad. Formulating an argument= good. Also, attack the argument not the person making it (and an argument can be "attacked" in a respectful manner by focusing on the premises not the person making them-if need be, pretend that it's your mother who made the argument so that you word your response in a tactful manner). Finally, and this is the best advice I've seen given on redszone (though it can be hard to follow in the quick pace of a heated debate), pause before you hit the "post reply" button to consider if what you just wrote is something you'll be proud to have read by someone perusing the archives in the future.
One final caveat, emoticons are helpful as camisadelgolf suggests, but very often posts are still lacking a great deal of conversational ques in the black and white which color meaning in normal conversation. Take a moment to consider if you're correctly understanding what the poster is truly trying to convey. None of us are perfect (and even fewer of us are poets) so it pays to be charitable-what seems like a jerkish response often reads magnitudes of order softer when read in the archives absent the tide of emotions that might be present in a thread at the time of posting.
One final, final caveat: people can and will disagree with you (and it's a good thing by the way). That doesn't mean they are implying that another poster is stupid or less intelligent.
One final, final, final caveat: Just as it's extremely hard to win Wheel of Fortune by asking for an "X", it's pretty difficult to use this
respectfully and without raising the "noise to signal" ratio.
Remember, the archives are a great resource-just make sure they don't record you mimicking a backside for posterity's sake.