For the record

I’m taking a vacation from Straight Dope because I believe that it might help someone for whom I have enormous respect to get some work done. But I wanted to set two or three things straight before I go. Thanks for taking the time to hear me out.

First, I had nothing — zero — to do with any rumors about my being banned for allegedly hijacking a thread. The first I heard about it was in this thread, when I saw this post:

There, someone asked:

And the response was:

I have not ever — on any occasion whatsoever — participated in any Straight Dope chats. Nor have I ever made contact in any way with any Doper with respect to any chat. Anything I’ve ever heard about such chatting, or such banning, I’ve heard here on this board.

Therefore, if any time and bandwidth was spent, let alone a ton of it, correcting a misapprehension about whether I would be banned, it most definitely was not because I had “run around telling the world” that I was to be banned.

Period. Please get that straight.

Second, a hijack did occur in this thread at the Bbboy forum. It occured with this post, which happened to be authored by the person who opened the thread:

That post was logged after the thread had been moved to Great Debates. It was in response to this post by me:

That post was logged while the thread was still in General Questions. There, no one took exception to my correction of the record. If I had made a mistatement of fact in General Questions, I would expect to be called out for it as has happened before.

But when I respond — respond — to a post that is addressed directly to me in Great Debates, I certainly don’t expect to be called out for hijacking.

When I asked why I should be denied the opportunity to respond to an assertion made directly to me in Great Debates, I got this answer from a moderator:

So. I learned that I should be noble of spirit and refrain from responding to assertions and challenges in Great Debates, even when they are made by the people who opened the threads.

After an appeal in this thread, it became clear that no matter what the facts were, I was to be pinned with responsibility for the hijack, and it didn’t matter whether I ever posted again in Great Debates. I was advised to develop a thicker skin. And I haven’t posted in Great Debates since that time.

Finally, it is true that Kyomara’s ban was none of my business. But my understanding was that we were supposed to e-mail an administrator if we had questions about such matters, based on this post in this thread:

And so I did. I apologize for my misunderstanding of those instructions. I’m certainly not always right.

Blaming me for causing problems about any of this is like blaming the pinball because you tilted the machine. There might be problems with getting the board up and running, and there might be a lot of energy expended dealing with a controversy that arose around me. But that does not give anyone license to heap blame for this circumstance on me.

Wanna blame someone for spreading rumors? Then blame the chatters who spread them. Wanna blame someone for hijacking a thread? Then blame the person who raised the debate.

Clearly there is far more important business afoot at Straight Dope than defending my integrity, and so the task falls to me. Sorry for taking everyone’s time with this and for using bandwidth to express it, but fair is fair. It may seem like a trifling matter, unless you just happen to be the person whom it is about.

I’d like to thank the many people who expressed concern for me during my two prior vacations from the boards. I’m going to take another. I don’t know for how long. And please, please, do not e-mail an administrator and ask to have it forwarded to me. They are extremely busy (and apparently high-strung) right now. I finally have some work coming in possibly next week, so I’ll be busy anyway. Going for several months now without work has been really tough.

I love these boards. I love everyone here. I don’t think anyone ever means to harm anyone else. We’re all just human. Including me. And I just wanted to set the record straight.

All the best to all of you, and God go with you always.

Take care, and please try to make it back here as soon as you feel up to it. It just isn’t the same without you. Feel free to drop me an email anytime if you want.

Be well, Lib, and we’ll see you when you get back. The boards ain’t the same when you’re gone.

Good luck, my friend. Hope you won’t disappear on us:)

Hi ** Libertarian **:

For what it is worth I was sorry to see that your posts in a thread I started caused so much grief. You have stated your point of view eloquently and I can see that it is reasonable. Although I am an infrequent poster I have lurked at this site for at least two years. I agree that the fuss made over slight hijacks (not trying to imply anything) recently has gotten silly. In the thread I was just trying to give as good as I got. If you feel there is anything else to discuss you could e-mail me via my profile.

You are a great debater and I look forward to seeing your name show up in the posts again.


Take care, Lib.

Look after yourself Lib and may your God go with you, as he always does.

I look forward to seeing you back bright, cheery and ready for another round when you perceive the time is right.

All the best.


Take it easy Lib. Good luck with whatever you’re gonna be doing.

Good Luck, Have fun!

Be good, get well, get everything fun on video and send it to use when you get back.

Does this mean you are discounting the possibility of giant sentient squids posting at the SDMB? :slight_smile:

Good luck in your non-SDMB endeavours.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, there, boys. What the fuck is this all about?

Lib, I didn’t hear your name connected with anything until well after I’d heard something about hijackings becoming illegal, and only then in response to the Pit thread I started. Never once did I mention your name in relation to that thread, and never once did I say it was you who told me it in chat. If somebody else connected you to it, it sure wasn’t me, and I’d like to think I wasn’t spreading rumors by bringing the subject up. For the record, I have no idea who mentioned it in chat, but it wasn’t you - just something people were talking about in relation to the temp board. AFAIR, they didn’t even provide a link to a thread - it was just tossed out there, so I figured I’d post something about it to get the answer. And I don’t think anything in the ensuing responses in that thread pointed any blame to you. Where are you getting all this? Or am I missing something?


Lib, I suppose it’s been a while for me and this place and it’s hard to keep track of so many people and I’m forgetful and all, but have you ALWAYS taken everything so damned seriously and personally? Come on, now–this is an internet message board where any crackpot (like me) can post and we post anonymously. We have no integrity to defend. :rolleyes:

Enh. He’s actually improved quite a bit in that area (“we’re all only human” and the recognition that it’s really quite rare that posters deliberately mean to harm one another is quite a few developmental steps above calling others jackals and mengelean and such). Semi-regular vacations (we all seek emptying-outs in our own ways) seem to have helped with that, so more power to him.

I don’t quite get the number verging on “Shane, come back Shane!” but I’ll take a dozen Libs over a dozen Lolos and the like any day.

Well, I don’t usually have much contact with him because I stay out of GD (I’m pompous and self-important enough, but I know how little I know :wink: ) and took a little vacation, myself. I’ve been back two weeks and I’m ready for another one.

Lib, take care, don’t change, and know that you can always email me if you like. I have a deep and abiding respect for you and your lady.

See ya around, Libber. For what it’s worth, I generally enjoyed your posts and hope to see more in the future.

And I, for one, believe Lib is innocent… for I have videotaped footage that shows a second hijacker on the grassy knoll!

Aloha Lib; take care and hurry back when it’s time.
(BTW, my videotape shows a shadowy figure hijacking that thread while shouting “Down with the state!” Now, admittedly, that looks bad for Lib at first glance, but the dude also said “Affirmative action now!”, indicating to me that he meant he was actually down wit’ the state, if you know what I mean, and that would clearly exonerate Libertarian. So there.)