in reply to New Power Proposal
After moderating BBS and Forums for going on 5 years, and trying almost everything to filter out trouble makers, I've found that the true way to deal with them is to ignore them. It seems that trouble makers hate to be ignored and will eventually move on to more "gratifying" forums.
This will take considerable restraint by some and education to new members.
You don't like what someone says, ignore them. If someone is sucked in and begins to reply, send them a personal note to please back off and ignore the trouble maker, troll, etc.
It has worked for us, and I think it will work here. There is a slippery slope to content control that might diminish an otherwise stellar example of the best the Net can be.