UPDATE #5: Seems to be working, now!
FYI: We did not make this change to the comment engine on a whim. Longtime readers know that we began with a fully paid-up "lifetime" license for HaloScan, which was acquired by JS-Kit and eventually shut down. After the migration to JS-Kit we had a goodly number of bad experiences, at first, but eventually it settled down into a fairly stable and reliable product that worked well for us for years -- until JS-Kit in turn either evolved into or was acquired by Echo. (I don't know which and don't deeply care.) JS-Kit commenting then became an unsupported legacy product, and Echo recently served notice that as of November, we either had to switch over to the full Echo social media package (and start paying a monthly fee for the service) or else leave.
So we left.
There will be some discombobulation; sorry about that. No doubt it will take us all time to get used to DISQUS, just as it will take us time to either remediate or adapt to some of the more awkward features of this new commenting system. But we had to move to a new commenting engine, and since our only choice in the matter was when, we decided it was better to do it now than to wait three weeks and try to solve these same problems as the lights were going out.
So, sorry for the inconvenience, but please bear with us while the creative destruction is in progress. And once again, many, many, many thanks to M, for voluntarily putting in such a ludicrous amount of time installing and debugging this thing.
As for everyone else: your patience while we get this all sorted out is greatly appreciated.