My parting complaint to the moderator of this forum

Re: the Bush Knew thread:

Each post in this thread has a message indicating that the moderators are monitoring every post, the Moderator accused me, after several pages of posts, and after I had stopped posting in the thread, of being a jerk “consistently” thoughout the thread. There were many posts I made where nothing could reasonably be construed as jerkish, an example is when someone asked me to explain how I would lodge a complaint.

I had however, consistently called behavior of turning an employee who was a stranger in to their employer for displaying a lefty bumper sticker saying: “Bush Knew” as cowardly and vindictive behavior, which I think it is. Others were not willing to use such strong terms, but a small minority agreed. I will concede that calling that kind of behavior “cowardly” and “vindictive” is more jerky than calling such behavior “saddening” or “disappointing”. But for reasons explained elsewhere, messing with someone’s livelihood without good reasons (and abstract political disagreement isn’t one of them) calls for strong language. It in fact calls for much stronger language than I used.

Apparently I am the only person in the thread accused of being a jerk by the moderator, because of the opinions I hold and expressed in that thread and the way I expressed them. Apparently the moderator felt that no opinion that I expressed in that thread was inconsistent with being a jerk, otherwise I would not have been consistently a jerk. I submit that such indiscriminate use of the word consistently accompanied by the accusation of violating the rules is itself jerkish. The language that I used was similar to the posters flaming me for my opinion, which I supported with factual references. A number of other posters, not as many as those flaming me, agreed at one time or another with various points I was making. They were not warned. I also understand and concede that once the clique made its position clear that most folks fell in line. The people flaming me, using far more vitriolic language than I in some instances, were not warned. I, however, am not a friend of the moderator.

In my opinion this amounted to a little pack of bullies, chasing after me and challenging me, casting ad hominems, making false analogies and recharacterizing my arguments to turn them into straw men. That is a very generous characterization of what they were doing. At one point, someone asked me what I did to lodge a complaint to a business and give an example of how I think it should be done. Thinking that this was constructive part of the discussion (I do misjudge from time to time), I responded in a completely non-jerkish fashion.

Rather than respond to the point (my complaint at a deli), this was used by the usual suspects a personal attack on me, suggesting that the reason I was not being given the full amount of meat that I paid for (in essence, I was being ripped-off) wasn’t as important as was the assumed fact that I was, IIRC a “fuckface” or something like that, and that my having meat stolen from me was an appropriate way to tell me my business was unwanted. This poster was not warned. It was stupid, jerkish and childish. While my feelings were not bruised at the initial incident, I am outraged at the hypocrisy and double standard of the moderator in chastising me and not this poster.

In another example, I casually referred to the various rights of the employee to express her First Amendment rights. A long time poster pointed out, and then went on and on and on about how statutory labor laws and the National Labor Relations Act had nothing to do with the First Amendment and this was a major point to showing that I was some kind of idiot for not knowing the difference. While a strict constructionist might adopt such view, most mainstream constitutional thinkers (I took some classes on this in political science in college) are not strict construtionists and believe that various statutes are passed by the legislature to offer guidelines on when and where the people may enjoy their various rights and not be restricted. A public airport, not on duty or a picket line are good examples. Despite the fact that this tangent was jerkish, beside the point and hijacked the debate from what the orignal poster offered about some particular behavior and tried to turn the debate into whether I was an idiot, it received no reprimand. Nor did I ask any moderator for such intervention. I can handle myself quite well. Whether I am an idiot or a jerk wasn’t ostensibly the subject of the thread. And while I will concede that I am not offended by a completely introductory phrase amounting to “You are the biggest idiot I have every seen…” while the debater is desparately thinking about how to respond to the main point, if that becomes the main point, the person isn’t a debater, but a verbal bully. Now I haven’t gone back and reviewed my posts, but I would be willing to bet that I stuck to the subject matter in a very high percentage after responding in kind to the people who cast verbal stones.

At one point, someone baited me with a suggestion that my remark of their little pack of bullies were for all practical purposes a roving band of sock puppets (I called it a clique) basically piling on and not making any new or logical arguments should have been followed with an attack on my part against the moderators. I specifically declined, as at that time I saw no reason to assume that moderator(s) belonged to this band of bullies. Was this jerkish behavior of this long time poster singled out? No. This was another attempt at a hijack from the behavior that was the subject of the discussion to change it to whether I was here to attack the powers that be.

Eventually, after things started going around in circles, I mentioned that I wouldn’t post in the thread any further (and I posted once a few minutes later after being suckered in by one more troll post, and there have been another 50 or so posts since, many trolling for my further response), and I saw no reason to deal with them. (While I understand that it is not kosher to call someone a troll, there simply is no other way to fairly characterize the posts.) While I expected that the bullies would continue for some time to beat a dead horse, I was disgusted to see the moderator joining in this baiting. In essence, chastising me in a very unevenhanded manner is in my opinion inappropriate; that it was long after I left seemed doubly inappropriate. It smacked of the bullies running to Mommie and saying IAS hit me after trying to maul me in a pack. But most parents know better than to just by into it. I suppose I should take it as a compliment that bullies felt that they had to seek protection, but it looks to me like more tattling. The behavior I was complaining of.

The only differences I can see in the nature of the “jerk” part of the posts is that the clique members seem to have several hundred or several thousand posts each, which seems to be license to be several times as “jerkish” as I was. Apparently newbies are supposed to lay down and take the ad hominems. I decline. If someone or several people are going to dish something out in my direction, they should expect to get some back. Only chastising the newbies doesn’t really solve the problem, does it? I would argue that it exacerbates it. While the behavior of the moderator was not as jerky as the behavior of others in the thread, it was arrogant, high-handed and lacking in even-handedness. That the offending behavior was supposedly reviewed as each post was made and the warning came later, after all was done makes it look like the bullies ran to the moderator for some kind of moral support to their trollish behavior.

I do notice a disturbing practice. Political “conservatives” are allowed to say anything they like. I refer as an example (as I did earlier) to the Disabled Persons driving Dodge Vipers thread, which struck me as offensive (and meaningless) and I did not participate, beyond reading the first few posts. (The poster there was only complaining in the abstract.) As jerkish as that was, it now continues to it’s fifth page. The difference? A conservative poster with thousands of posts. (I understood the whole thing to be a more or less harmless sick joke. And no, I am not calling for further responses to that post, or threads about it, I cite it only as an example.) But apparently we can mock or criticize disabled people and working stiffs we don’t know, but never criticize the behavior of the bully patrol.

I suppose the ultimate example is the actual nature of the “Bush Knew” gripe. The OP had bemoaned the bumper sticker in question, a bumper sticker which I felt was just plain ignorant. Fine. The bullies consistently don’t like the expressed opinions of others. However, it went beyond merely not liking the opinion expressed, but ratting it out. (Just what it looks like happened with the moderator here). I am now “in trouble” for expressing my opinion about the behavior and opinions of others in pretty much the same fashion others were doing the same thing.

By the time I joined the “Bush Knew” thread, nobody was speaking up for the rights of the flight attendant to have her own opinion. Everyone just assumed that the flight attendant was some stupid bimbo, and more importantly, had no rights and even more importantly, should have no rights. Everyone was dead set on viewing the issue from one angle, and one angle only: how to avoid offense to the customer. It seemed to me to be appropriate to step away from the side of the customer, walk around and become the friend and advocate of the flight attendant, and to dish some out as well as take it.

I truly wanted people to see how they might feel if the tables were hypothetically turned: not to get them to say what they would have done or said in the flight attendant’s position, but to take that flight attendant’s best position. The way to do that was to do something like taking offense on behalf of the flight attendant, to take high dudgeon as a mode of response and say, if I knew what y’all were doing behind my back, you would hear this from me.

The flight attendant’s private time in a public place was the subject of a little pity party of conservatives who found the view unacceptable. (I disagree with the opinion, think it silly, but do not find it unacceptable.) The bully squad found my view just as unacceptable. There was a call to the airline to silence that offending opinion and an ugly comparison to the KKK. That’s what the moderator should have done here, rather than taking a side, pointed out to everyone that hey, you all get a time out, or don’t bother me.

Back to the point that someone should have been allowed to stand up for the flight attendant, I found very disturbing that the flight attendant, on her own time and in a public place, was treated as an object with respect to her right to have a bumper sticker. “She should be on the clock, even when she is not on the clock.” Doesn’t look like the flight attendant, or her employer, agreed with that position. The employer took the employee’s side and dismissed the complaint by hanging up the phone in mid sentence on the complaint for a reason: the complaint was offensive. As I found it offensive. It was in fact, far more offensive than the bumper sticker. Except to the bully pack.

I was next accused, in accordance with the standard practice of the bullies of creating straw men of reading racism into the KKK comment of the OP. Nope, it was an argument so bad and an analogy so false that it was offensive. But the bully pack prides themselves so much on their logic skills that they dismissed out of hand this possibility, even though the OP herself suggested it might have been too much. Gee, ya’ think?

Then I was accused, with the same straw man tactic, of a thinly veiled threat of wanting to find out who the OP was and reporting her, which I had used only for the purpose of trying to elicit some empathy for the flight attendant, and which I thought that I made quite clear initially. No effort of mine to clarify that was even considered. No empathy was forthcoming for the flight attendant still. As I mentioned over and over, I saw a disconcerting inability to see it from somebody else’s point of view. (And again, by this I mean more than just what a person would do if put in that situation, but rather what the other person would do and why.)

The more posts were made, the more and more the flight attendant gained the characteristics of a wage slave kind of object, theoretically waiving her God given right to incorrectly blame Bush. Apparently the bullies got the point with respect to themselves, but were and are unwilling to apply it to the needs of others. No effort of mine to clarify or refine this argument was considered, and I can only assume it was because the bullies don’t want to consider another point of view.

Having outlined my position at some length, and my reasons for it, and having considered my own actions in comparison to the standards applied to others, I cannot accept the chastisment of the moderator as fair, even handed or even relevant. As such, she may exercise power, but does so in this instance and in my opinion without moral authority, but rather as a tool of the vindication of the egos of a bunch of bullies and without a full consideration of the facts. While such moderation may be rational and necessary at a board like the Free Republic or Democratic Underground, where such bias and casual dismissal of dissenters may be acceptable and necessary for the promulgation of one viewpoint or series of viewpoints that are openly advanced because of a stated agenda, it is unacceptable where the subject of viewpoints is supposedly open to a wide variety for the exchange of ideas, and where there is an expectation of some rough and tumble with the give and take.

And I also think that it is of some importance to defy this kind of one sided application of authority that basically says: “shut up.”

To quote Bartleby the Scrivner: “I prefer not.”

Blah, blah blah blah. No one’s making you stay. You want to further your cause, go back to the thread and explain your blatant hypocrisy.

Your OP is just too long and convoluted for me to read. Sorry.

Who, pray tell, is Sparticus?

And cut some of the fat out of your posts, too, if you do decide to apologize in the other thread. I mean, what the fuck is that?

(added upon submitting)

JDeMobray: Next guy down the line, obviously.

“I am Sparticus! No, with an ‘I’ !”

Yeah, yeah, poor you…how about a little cheese to go with that whine?


“Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help–I’m being repressed!”

I can only imagine that accusing Lynn of being a lackey is going to hasten your departure. Don’t let the doorknob get stuck in your ass on the way out.

…and another thing! :smiley:

I’ve already told you I know practically no one on this board…not a one in that thread, so don’t be lumping me in with any “pack.”

I guess it just doesn’t occur to you that LOTS of people think your reasoning is screwy.

…and anth conceded some points, whereas I don’t recall you did. So don’t make like no one listened to you or any other opposing viewpoints. I did, and I just would go about it another way.

You still haven’t explained your hypocrisy.

Your very first post set the tone for the rest of the arguments. Like I said, had you not been so OTT, perhaps it would have not gone as badly.

I still think something like this happened to you, that’s why you were so pissed off.

Why the parting note in the thread title? That trifle is making you leave? Fact is that you were being abusive, to an unwarranted level. What do you expect for calling people names? Love songs? The moderators moderate, that means exactly what it sounds like; keeping a watchful eye and maintaining moderation. You were just way out in outer space with your venomous remarks considering the relatively innocuous subject matter of the thread.

And gee, I thought I had a tendency to be longwinded, I now know that I am a master of brevity.


That’s got to be the longest “screw you guys, I’m going home” post I’ve read here to date.

And yet, my cat’s breath still smells like cat food. :confused:

Not to worry, Anth – your wookie remains un-bent.

Har! :smiley: I swear, Ralph has some of the best lines.

“When I grow up, I’m going to Bovine University!”
“Hi Lisa! We’re going to be in a pie!”
“Mrs Hoover? My worm went in my mouth and I ate it.”
“That’s where I become a Viking!”
“What’s a diorama?”
“That’s my sandbox - I’m not allowed to go in the deep end.”

and my all-time favorite:

“That’s where I saw the leprechaun. He told me to burn things!”

For Sparticus, making Orlando safe for deli customers and improving the Straight Dope with “constructive” criticism is all in a day’s work.

No, I’M Sparticus!

“So my doctor told me I wouldn’t have so many nosebleeds if I kept my finger out of there.”

Ya know, I just read that whole damn thread, and it made my brain hurt.

I hadn’t opened it initially, because I saw the title and was a tad offended. Had I seen the Flight Attendants, I would have been a tad offended.

Sparticus take a long walk off a short pier. Anthracite was perfectly fine in complaining to the company - the UA agent handled it very badly. If an airline want’s to allow their staff to espouse political opinions, they have to be prepared to deal with complaints from customers that have different ones. End of discussion.

You’re a moron. You will not be missed. Oh, and you have really bad hair and halitosis too. Well, it IS the pit - what would a response be without a gratuitous insult.

He is Sparcatus.