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  1. #61  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    You had me all the way up until you got to the Clinton crack
    Sorry. There's an example of trying to be clever (me) inadvertently poking someone in the eye with a pointed stick.

    What I meant there was the type of weasely non-apology that says "Sorry if I offended you" as if the fault is on the other side of the table. Nope. The don't work. If you make such an apology you know it doesn't work -- try doing it then run into the person you apologized to in a few days. Do you feel free or does something churn in your gut?

    Perry's comment is an indication that there is a problem. There is some hurt on the other side. The mods might feel totally in the right. Irrelevant. Perry doesn't feel so hot about the way the last few weeks have rolled out, and therefore we all have a problem.

    Marcus has a big, big problem. Treocentral is a store. His store. But it is a funny store because it is built by the community -- people he's never seen, people who may never do business with him.

    Lots of people have mentioned the community here but southbound747 put his finger on it. The community built this forum, which in turn drove the growth of Treocentral as a retail store.

    So Marcus can't arbitrarily make rules without jeopardizing the community, therefore his ruining his business. Some pruning helps a rose grow. Arbitrary hacking kills it. There is an indication that pruning is going on. That's good.

    But ultimately Marcus can't make things work right. Ultimately the community must police itself. The mods can help that happen, but they can only do a little.

    There are a few people in the OT Forum that s^^t where they eat. I know it is a few because I have 4 people on my ignore list and that pretty much handles the problem. The members -- the rest of us -- built this community. We cannot whine if it is crumbling. It is crumbling because we are breaking it.

    The rest of the players in the OT Forum persist in playing "Yank the Chain" with these guys. Go back and look at the OT Forum. Look at the threads that are obviously launched just to get an angry-thon going. And guess what? There are some college-educated adult human beings that just can't resist getting sucked in.

    The problem is not with the guy who lays the bait. The problem is the guy who grabs the bait then whines that there's a hook in his mouth.

    Why don't you just ignore the threads? The offenders will get bored and go away.

    Let me put it in plain English.

    1. The mods f$%!ed up here and owe the community a sincere apology and a promise to do better.

    2. The mods owe a few members a private (or public) one-on-one apology. Sincere. Real. Real enough so the two sides could go have a barbecue together and have a good time.

    3. The members at large have got to stop looking for daddy to tell them what they can do and what they can't do. F*** the thin grey line. You don't need it. Just be civil and you won't come within 5 miles of the thin grey line. It's not a problem.

    4. The members at large have to take a maturity pill and remember that a tug of war requires two participants. So don't pick up one end of the rope. Just don't.

    5. Everyone is going to make mistakes. When you do, promptly admit them, make amends -- a real apology -- resolve to do better next time, and move on. That's true for mods and for members.

    OK, pro wrestlers, back to your corners for round 48. Here's the bell. Go.
  2. #62  
    Quote Originally Posted by Tastypeppers
    ...There are a few people in the OT Forum that s^^t where they eat. I know it is a few because I have 4 people on my ignore list and that pretty much handles the problem. The members -- the rest of us -- built this community. We cannot whine if it is crumbling. It is crumbling because we are breaking it.
    I apologize for seeming to be harsh, but I in general think that anyone who needs to invoke the "ignore" user function for four different people, is perhaps too sensitive for the sometimes raw give and take of the OT arena.

    Nothing wrong with that. The rough and tumble of sarcasm, irony, and jovial mockery that was a highlight of this place for most of its participants -- is not for everyone.

    No one must venture into OT, and they certainly need not read every thread. And anyone can prevent the OT forum from even appearing in new posts.

    (Possibly you will not see these comments, perhaps I am already among those honored to be on your "ignore" list.)

    The rest of the players in the OT Forum persist in playing "Yank the Chain" with these guys. Go back and look at the OT Forum. Look at the threads that are obviously launched just to get an angry-thon going. And guess what? There are some college-educated adult human beings that just can't resist getting sucked in.

    The problem is not with the guy who lays the bait. The problem is the guy who grabs the bait then whines that there's a hook in his mouth.

    Why don't you just ignore the threads? The offenders will get bored and go away. ...
    From your words, and the time you've taken on this, I understand that you actually do share my hopes for repairing and revitalizing OT.

    I wrote much the same thing a month ago in a thread that was prematurely, incomprehensibly, closed.

    The post was titled:

    "Stop Me Before I Kill Again"
    ...What makes this a fun place to exchange ideas, insults, and knowledge is that we are all different and unlike each other, and we come from diverse backgrounds.

    Unlike sites that have a common social agenda we are a much more random assortment of people -- with a completely unrestricted barrier to entry...

    In the passion we put into our arguments (which is a good thing) I think we sometimes forget how much we like and need each other.

    A wonderful example of this was our recent 2500+ thread, that began with people who almost never share our forum criticizing us for even having our political discussion...

    That discussion that could have easily have devolved into childish name calling instead moved to a very thoughtful intelligent exchange about a very painful subject.

    We intuitively understood that we are here to have our debates our fights because we enjoy having ourselves and our ideas tested against our opponents.

    Without hoovs, dstrauss. cardio, hoobes, 1911forever, clairgrrl, woof, geatches, t2gungho, vw2002, shopharim, (and even my evil twin brother) this place would have no interest to me.

    As much as I like and respect NRG, DaT, blaze, gaffa, etc. -- I get no fun fighting with those guys...

    One of the reasons I have for guarding my own privacy and anonymity as carefully as I do, is so I never think that anything thatís said about me or what I believe, is really personal...

    Sometimes we just have to get over ourselves -- to stop taking everything said anonymously in a forum, so personally.

    Speaking for myself, Iíve learned that you can say almost any thing, no matter how outrageous, no matter how insulting -- if your opponent trusts that you intend no personal affront, no personal attack.

    We all know that I can dish some serious crap around here. ...I have called for hoovs deportation, called dstrauss a specist, geatches, hoobes and others bad things -- and I donít have a smile on my messages -- but we all understand that no harm is meant -- none of us worry about hurting each others feelings.

    A lot of the ďsuggestionsĒ for curing the forum that Iíve read -- with the exception of duanedude1 -- seem as though they could be distilled into the phrase: ďstop me before I kill again.Ē

    We donít need -- and I DONíT want -- a moderator to make us not kill. If you realize that its bad -- just stop killing..."
    Last edited by BARYE; 07/16/2006 at 02:16 AM.
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  3. #63  
    Quote Originally Posted by Tastypeppers
    Sorry. There's an example of trying to be clever (me) inadvertently poking someone in the eye with a pointed stick.
    I put the smiley there to indicate I wasnt taking it to heart. I tend to hold the office of the Executive in high regard regardless of he is a liberal or conservative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tastypeppers
    Perry's comment is an indication that there is a problem. There is some hurt on the other side. The mods might feel totally in the right. Irrelevant. Perry doesn't feel so hot about the way the last few weeks have rolled out, and therefore we all have a problem.
    We do have a problem and there have been areas where someone has a legitimate gripe. The problem is now how to solve it. I don't fault Septimus for rallying around the mods and supporting their moves...it's a typical response by a leader. Being a mod is hard enough, being a mod without 100% support by those above you is damn near impossible. It is guaranteed that some mods are going to make a mistake now and then. We cant keep them on a peddestool. This is especially true for the mods that post quite a bit in the forums. If you post enough in the forum, sooner or later someone will misinterpret what you say or what you meant. The written word is very powerful, once you put it out there, you can't take it back. That being said though, if I was Septimus, I would have expected any particular mods that made 'close' calls either clarified or in some cases sent a private explaination or in one or two cases, an apology.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tastypeppers
    Marcus has a big, big problem. Treocentral is a store. His store. But it is a funny store because it is built by the community -- people he's never seen, people who may never do business with him.
    I don't know enough about ownership rights here to know how much Marcus worries about the 'store' side of TC.

    [QUOTE=Tastypeppers]Lots of people have mentioned the community here but southbound747 put his finger on it. The community built this forum, which in turn drove the growth of Treocentral as a retail store.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tastypeppers
    So Marcus can't arbitrarily make rules without jeopardizing the community, therefore his ruining his business. Some pruning helps a rose grow. Arbitrary hacking kills it. There is an indication that pruning is going on. That's good.
    Arguably the rules aren't really being made 'arbitrarily', but rather they are now being enforced and an argument that they are being implemented arbitrarily.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tastypeppers
    But ultimately Marcus can't make things work right. Ultimately the community must police itself. The mods can help that happen, but they can only do a little.
    I would say its up to the individual to police themselves. Even if you point out something that another poster has done, they ultimately have to change, modify or edit the post themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tastypeppers
    There are a few people in the OT Forum that s^^t where they eat. I know it is a few because I have 4 people on my ignore list and that pretty much handles the problem. The members -- the rest of us -- built this community. We cannot whine if it is crumbling. It is crumbling because we are breaking it.
    That may be true...but the other side of the argument is that its the arbitrary enforcement of the rules that is breaking it. I prefer not to use the ignore function. I don't want to miss a point of view that I may not agree with but can learn from. If I don't like a post, I either ignore it or I post a question/concern to the post to the user (assuming that they will address it.) If they don't, I move on. They are entitled to that opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tastypeppers
    The rest of the players in the OT Forum persist in playing "Yank the Chain" with these guys. Go back and look at the OT Forum. Look at the threads that are obviously launched just to get an angry-thon going. And guess what? There are some college-educated adult human beings that just can't resist getting sucked in.
    I see it as a balancing act. If a conservative thread gets started, liberals want to post in it to keep it straight. If its a liberal thread that gets started, conservatives want to post to keep it straight. Maybe that is a good thing...hearing both sides of the argument. I just wish it was done with the intention of sharing ideas and being open to new ideologies and methodologies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tastypeppers
    The problem is not with the guy who lays the bait. The problem is the guy who grabs the bait then whines that there's a hook in his mouth.
    But now you are looking at it from the end result...why not just nip it in the bud. Forum rules prohibit flaming. Im no discussion board expert on terminology, but putting the bait out there is just like adding gas to the fire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tastypeppers
    Why don't you just ignore the threads? The offenders will get bored and go away.
    I do ignore some threads...I didnt jump into the Israel bombing thread until recently.
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  4. #64  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    I apologize for seeming to be harsh, but I in general think that anyone who needs to invoke the "ignore" user function for four different people, is perhaps too sensitive for the sometimes raw give and take of the OT arena.
    What if it was 3 or 2? Does the number really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    Nothing wrong with that. The rough and tumble of sarcasm, irony, and jovial mockery that was a highlight of this place for most of its participants -- is not for everyone.
    If it always remained as you described it, I don't think anyone would have a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    No one must venture into OT, and they certainly need not read every thread. And anyone can prevent the OT forum from even appearing in new posts.
    At the same time though, we shouldnt encourage people to stay away from the OT forum. If thats the case, why have it? Just for those that want to suffer through more than just sarcasm, irony, and jovial mockery whenever they want to add something?

    Barye: I understand what you are saying, but you are characterizing it in a very 'light' way.

    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    From your words, and the time you've taken on this, I understand that you actually do share my hopes for repairing and revitalizing OT.
    I actually think it is coming around a little. Certain threads that I thought were suspect to closing are still open. If I had to venture to guess, Septimus has eased up on the moderating in the OT forums...but its just a guess.

    The mere fact that we can have threads available to discuss moderating is good news indeed.
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  5. #65  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    What if it was 3 or 2? Does the number really matter?

    If it always remained as you described it, I don't think anyone would have a problem.

    At the same time though, we shouldnt encourage people to stay away from the OT forum. If thats the case, why have it? Just for those that want to suffer through more than just sarcasm, irony, and jovial mockery whenever they want to add something?

    Barye: I understand what you are saying, but you are characterizing it in a very 'light' way.
    ...
    Not neccesarily referring to Tastypeppers, but there are people who for a whole variety of reasons are not suitable for the rough exchange of OT debates. Maybe they're too sensitive, maybe they lack a sense of humor, maybe they take themselves too seriously, maybe they're just not smart enough, maybe they're too obsessive about things, or maybe they're just too quick to anger.

    I wanted to make that larger point -- that OT is not meant for "everyone". Its a more adult place than the normal forums.

    Like you I want Tastypeppers and anyone with something to say to feel welcomed to participate.

    t2gungho, I don't think you've ever been a part of any flame grudges. Nor have I. And I would normally ignore tiresome threads that became muddy with childishness.

    But as a matter of principle it is intolerable for there to be the capricious and arbitrary censorship of the free flow of ideas within this forum.

    It can and has been, handled in the past within the forum -- without the interference of sanctimonious outsiders. Several times during the last year, I have spoken up and helped stop flame wars -- for example one that attacked NRG, and another against Dat.

    Admittedly there was some increased nastiness in the forum recently. What was interesting was that the 2500+ deaths thread began with a couple of noobs attacking the whole idea of us even having our debates. We all then perhaps unconsciously recognized how we had a collective shared interest in each other and in making this place a true arena of ideas..

    The mod intervention that arose happened in the most destructive inappropriate way imaginable.

    Banning members, closing threads, threatening participants. Even now you have mods closing threads and threatening participants like its nursery school. Though neither of us flame or use rough language, I cannot understand why you're not as a matter principle as bothered as I am by this.
    Last edited by BARYE; 07/16/2006 at 10:12 AM.
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  6. #66  
    I want to add some positive news to the at least the concerns that I have expressed on this issue.

    I have PMed Dieter a couple times about my concerns, both in general and with specifics. He has held true to his promise to respond to his PMs.....even with how openly expressive I have been lately.

    I do want to respect the confidentiality of both of our PMs to each other, but I just wanted to say that I at the moment I am very impressed with the responses and feedback I have received.

    Add on top of that the fact that there is certainly efforts being made now to not close a thread at first impulse but give a warning post instead in an attempt to let members moderate themselves. (Saddam Dossier & Israel threads are good recent examples). Time will tell, but things are looking on the up swing instead of a spirally down.

    This brings me to re-enforce what has already been stated on this thread. I have stated that many of the questionable or offending situations have been the result of a very few members or responses to them. It is in our best interest to help take steps to mod ourselves. I have some good recent examples of this by T2gungho in the current Israel thread.

    We need to keep an eye on ourselves, take responsibility for our own actions....and maybe give a little hint in that direction when other members may need a friendly reminder during the "heat of battle". This is nothing new in the world of forum participation in nearly any forum I have ever been a mod for or a member of.
  7.    #67  
    Hobbes, I kid you not - my eyes are welling up. I told you I was a softie!
  8.    #68  
    Regarding the several posts above:

    1) If you'd like an apology, I do in fact have a hard time thinking one is due. The way that threads were closed may not have been ideal, but the situation itself was very far from ideal. In those cases, sometimes acting quickly must trump acting delicately. Therefore, as I said, I think the mods acted as they needed to without qualification or exception.

    2) As long as things don't get out of hand, it's reasonable to expect that moderation will be handled delicately. It has always been and will be handled with thought and care - even if it doesn't seem that way from the outside.

    3) I personally apologize that my original post didn't make it clear that a) we care about users' feelings (sometimes to a fault!) and b) we're not trying to 'censor' any particular kind of speech. So if you were made unhappy by an act of moderation: I offer my apology that you were hurt, but please understand that extreme cases sometimes call for extreme measures. And I'm not going to apologize for that.

    Seems like we're starting to get to the point where this conversation is going around in circles? Again, I'll reiterate that I would love PMs regarding specific questions. There are a lot of specific references to specific users in the above posts that I'm not especially happy with, but I'll leave this thread open for now.
  9. #69  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    I wanted to make that larger point -- that OT is not meant for "everyone". Its a more adult place than the normal forums.
    What specifically brings you to this conclusion? Is there anything that indicates that in the forum guidelines? I think you will agree with me that there has to be some bottom level expectation of respect in all the forums...I havent seen anything from the mods or the owners to indicate that the OT forum should be treated any differently. Arguably since you used the word "adults" than I actually would expect more respect and tolerance for other viewpoints than it if was just for children.

    Now, if you are making the argument that it SHOULD be that way, I can definitely see the argument for and against doing so. I just dont see it being that way now.

    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    Like you I want Tastypeppers and anyone with something to say to feel welcomed to participate.
    Well, it seems awfully difficult to do then if you have an environment where the expectations and standards are different for that forum only. I think really what you are saying is that you want a Tastypeppers and I and anyone else that has a thicker skin to play in the OT forum...

    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    t2gungho, I don't think you've ever been a part of any flame grudges. Nor have I. And I would normally ignore tiresome threads that became muddy with childishness.
    Dont get me wrong, there have been plenty of times where someone has laid a flame out there and I couldn't stop myself from laughing...but part of it is knowing who that poster is. If you don't and your new...its easy to misconstrue. I would ignore threads too but as Hobbes has pointed out, if you have already committed time and energy into participating in a thread for hundreds of posts, I dont want it to suddenly get closed...its demoralizing.

    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    Banning members, closing threads, threatening participants. Even now you have mods closing threads and threatening participants like its nursery school. Though neither of us flame or use rough language, I cannot understand why you're not as a matter principle as bothered as I am by this.
    First off, the forum rules were already in place. I havent been here all that long but I have seen threads close, members banned and 'reminders' given to keep it civil. I think the main beef with most older contributors is that the moderation appears to be biased...not that there should never be moderation. Mods have been moderating since I joined.

    Second, please don't assume because Im making the counter argument that I am all for how the moderation has occurred. I try very hard to see different points of view. In my discussions on this board, I will try to typically take the point of view less favored and the road less travelled. There are one or two instances where I felt the response and moderation given was uncalled for. But almost everyone (primarily older posters) wants to make the argument that because of the moderation, Im taking my ball and going elsewhere. That is everyone's choice. I think the more productive solution is to find out how we can prevent this from happening again and turn it around. A really great poster recently took his stance and I support him in that decision. I think the world of him and his contributions...but I care too much about this place to put people in positions in which there really is no way out. Ultimatems are an extreme way to negotiate.

    The moderation cannot be 'handcuffed' by the users...if it does get that way, then you start down a dangerous slippery slope. I think Septimus is now looking at it and as Hobbes has pointed out, I think the moderation has relaxed a bit.
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  10. #70  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    What specifically brings you to this conclusion? Is there anything that indicates that in the forum guidelines? I think you will agree with me that there has to be some bottom level expectation of respect in all the forums...I havent seen anything from the mods or the owners to indicate that the OT forum should be treated any differently. Arguably since you used the word "adults" than I actually would expect more respect and tolerance for other viewpoints than it if was just for children.

    Now, if you are making the argument that it SHOULD be that way, I can definitely see the argument for and against doing so. I just dont see it being that way now.

    Well, it seems awfully difficult to do then if you have an environment where the expectations and standards are different for that forum only. I think really what you are saying is that you want a Tastypeppers and I and anyone else that has a thicker skin to play in the OT forum....
    just a quick response --

    Your way of describing it is probably better crafted than mine. A thicker skin is the essence of it.

    My post reflected my own growing frustration, fatique, and exasperation with how things have so quickly devolved.

    For a very long time the OT forum prospered because of benign neglect -- there was almost no intervention or interference in that forum. The conversation for better and worse -- was uninhibitted. Truthfully, there was, regretably, a change in the quality of the exchange there recently. During the last few months some unthickskinned lurkers (and possibly participants) complained. An undercurrent of anger about past percieved slights and insults colored many of the exchanges -- even when none was intended.

    To a certain extent what began as a specific problem between indivual members bled into a forum wide issue when mods percieved the "solution" as their agressively controling things.

    That "solution" is more destructive than the original disease.
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  11. #71  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    just a quick response --

    Your way of describing it is probably better crafted than mine. A thicker skin is the essence of it.
    I have seen that done in other forums, a 'War Zone' if you will with almost no moderation. It can get very ugly though and Im not sure that's what the owners of this site wants. Also, if the goal is to make the site grow by new members being invited to participate and exchange, it becomes difficult to 'warn' them before going into a forum where it gets a little 'rough'. I enjoy the banter, I really do, but I can easily see both sides of this issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    My post reflected my own growing frustration, fatique, and exasperation with how things have so quickly devolved.
    And that is fair...I think you speak for a lot of people who want the OT forum to be where it used to be. I don't think it will ever be 'exactly' like that, but I do think Septimus is willing to compromise a little when it comes to a discretionary decisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    For a very long time the OT forum prospered because of benign neglect -- there was almost no intervention or interference in that forum. The conversation for better and worse -- was uninhibitted. Truthfully, there was, regretably, a change in the quality of the exchange there recently. During the last few months some unthickskinned lurkers (and possibly participants) complained. An undercurrent of anger about past percieved slights and insults colored many of the exchanges -- even when none was intended.

    To a certain extent what began as a specific problem between indivual members bled into a forum wide issue when mods percieved the "solution" as their agressively controling things.

    That "solution" is more destructive than the original disease.
    I can agree with this but it also begs the next question...how long should the mods have waited before curtailing the negative behavior? I brought this up in my last post...I think you and I can agree that there should be moderation at some point...we just disagree on where that point should be.

    The way I have seen it since Septimus spoke is that the moderation was used to steer the ship back on track...now that its going that direction, the moderation appears to be relaxed? Is that not a valid description from your point of view?
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  12. #72  
    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT
    First of all you don't know what the original title said, but still you assume quite a lot...
    You probably know the saying about assuming so I wont even have to go there..
    .
    Ummm, are you implying he is an ***???? Isn't that a personal attack, which is of course against the rules?
    "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
    - Albert Einstein
  13. #73  
    hmmmpf, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    The old heavy handed mod thing raises its ugly head yet again.

    It's refreshing to see that those questioning moderator actions in public arent being banned for doing so like they once were.

    No longer possessing a treo, I just read the OT now and then. Nice to see things are still interesting, even if it is the same old stuff.

    Have to wonder why some stuff gets closed tho, like http://discussion.treocentral.com/sh...ghlight=banned
  14. #74  
    Mods, please rename this topic 'The Argument Sketch'.

    With apologies to Monty Python.
  15. #75  
    Quote Originally Posted by Woof
    hmmmpf, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    The old heavy handed mod thing raises its ugly head yet again.

    It's refreshing to see that those questioning moderator actions in public arent being banned for doing so like they once were.

    No longer possessing a treo, I just read the OT now and then. Nice to see things are still interesting, even if it is the same old stuff.

    Have to wonder why some stuff gets closed tho, like http://discussion.treocentral.com/sh...ghlight=banned
    I realize you have probably not been here a lot lately. As you can see from this thread, I had several concerns about the Moderation of this forum.

    The main one being when mods give global consequences due to a select few violations. This has been addressed by Dieter in my personal PMs with him. You will notice that there have been huge steps to restore the mod vs member mod themselves balance in the very recent past. Only time will confirm if this will continue to hold true, but at the moment it has.
  16. #76  
    i've enjoyed your posts as I always do Hobbes.

    As one who was once banned for qustioning mod behavior in public, the whole thing is quite sickening. It's fun to read a few threads once in awhile but contributing more than oh so seldomly is not something I'll do again.

    Too bad. Used to be fun here.
  17. Haggar's Avatar
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    #77  
    Yawn. This is finally winding down. Can we lock this thread yet?
    Luminary? You've got to be kidding!
  18. Postal's Avatar
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    #78  
    Quote Originally Posted by Haggar
    Yawn. This is finally winding down. Can we lock this thread yet?
    Question something or someone first.
  19. #79  
    Mods, would you please rename this thread 'The Itchy and Scratchy Show'?

    Thanks.
  20. cardio's Avatar
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    #80  
    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix
    I agree 100% with my friend Woof on this. The heavy handed moderation policy has changed this place for the worse.
    How right you are. Here is an alternative to heavy handed, my way or banned away, do as I say not as I do moderation, a place where the mods do not change the meaning of words just so they do not have to admit to being wrong.

    http://www.discussion.fearthemunk.com

    Of course I am sure this post will be deleted pretty quick so act fast if you want the addy.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
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