One Bill of Rights, Hold the Second

Yesterday's New York Times editorial on terrorist suspects' access to guns is pretty dramatically inconsistent. (I've seen someone else make a similar point regarding a previous op-ed on this topic, but I'm afraid I can't recall who to credit for it.) The editors are appalled that people on government terrorist watchlists aren't prevented from buying firearms.

That's rather obviously in tension with the general editorial position that people who're merely "suspected" of doing something wrong shouldn't have their rights abrogated. The Times hasr rightly denoucned the practice of locking people up on the basis of an executive designation, but gun rights, apparently, don't merit equally vigorous protection. Recall, incidentally, that analogous no-fly-lists have also kept dangerous characters (with common names) like Ozzie and Harriet actor David Nelson grounded.

Addendum: A commenter suggests it was Matt Yglesias at TAPped who I was thinking of above, which sounds plausible, though I thought it was an older post...

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  • ||

    This is not inconsistent if you don't believe that there is a right to keep and bear arms.

    I hate them. I hate them all.

  • ||

    Jason Ligon,

    Let's storm the NYT HQ! :)

  • ||

    GG:

    That would mean I'd have to go there ...

  • ||

    Jason Ligon,

    Ha ha ha. :)

  • ||

    Julian,

    Matthew Yglesias commented about this yesterday on his TAPPED. Is that who you were thinking of?

    He had the same opinion has yours, which was quite refreshing considering he's an unabashed "liberal." Not that I fear the term or anything, it just seems like some of the Prospect writers are anti-libertarian.

  • ||

    That didn't come out quite right. What I meant was, in some ways I consider myself a liberal, but on gun issues, most true liberals and I don't see eye to eye.

    And that should have been "on TAPPED" not "on his TAPPED"

    Sorry

  • ||

    BTW, I have been banned by Cavanaugh. So much for "Free Minds."

  • ||

    Yes, unlike the homophobic, anti-semitic bigot BillyRay, I have been banned.

  • ||

    BTW, I have been banned by Cavanaugh.

    Um, you're still here.

  • ||

    Of course they assumed that since they blocked one IP address that meant that I was "banned." :)

  • ||

    thoreau,

    I changed IP addresses. They figure it out soon enough I am sure.

  • ||

    thoreau,

    What was funny was that Cavanaugh asked (as part of his demands for my remaining here) that I not cite any legal statements over 100 words. :)

  • ||

    Does this mean I'm banned too?

  • ||

    thoreau,

    I'll be sad to go, but I wasn't about to put up with a bunch dickheaded demands that they don't apply to posters like BillyRay.

  • ||

    "What I meant was, in some ways I consider myself a liberal, but on gun issues, most true liberals and I don't see eye to eye."

    You know, this really puzzles me--many on the left are quick to point out the drift towards fascism in this country (as many non-liberals have pointed out as well: Lew Rockwell, Paul Craig Roberts, etc.). Now, if I really thought fascism was a possibility in my country (which, by the way, I do--just imagine a 9/l1 redux), then I would be stocking up on guns and ammo big time (which, by the way, I have).

    What do these types expect--to paper cut authoritarian goons to death with their ACLU cards? (I've got one of those, too). The gun-hating libs will either change their tune quickly and turn collaborationist, or they will be very unhappy campers. Myself, I prefer at least the option of resistance if it ever gets bad. And, what the hell, in the (hopefully forever) interim, guns are pretty fun to shoot anyway.

    Happiness is a warm gun (bang bang, shoot shoot)...

  • ||

    Gary - To avoid being speedily detected and blocked again at your new IP, maybe you should adopt a new cyber-handle as well. For example, I don't think anyone's been using "Jason Bourne" lately ... :)

  • ||

    Henry, the beauty of being either left- or right-leaning is that both sides can always find a common enemy in the government.

  • ||

    Oh, great, now I have to leave as well.

  • ||

    "GG": Other available handles for obscuring your previous identity:

    - Jart Beans
    - Slennug Yrag
    - Bason Journe
    - Barry Bunnels
    - Jerry Junnels
    - Jean-Luc Bartson Gassels
    - Bartson Lartson Gartson Fargo
    - "No-Time" Toulouse
    - President of the French Little Round Top Military Reminiscences Society
    - I Am Not the Other Houdini

  • ||

    I'm out of here.

  • ||

    GG,

    May I humbly recommend "Max Power"?

    Remember, there are now three ways of doing things: the right way, the wrong way, and the Max Power way (which is the wrong way, but faster)!

  • ||

    Been nice knowing you guys.

  • ||

    Well, gotta go.

    Nope, just kidding, I'm not another alias of Gary Gunnels. Hell, I'm not even Ruthless.

  • ||

    GG, why don't you just start your own blog? Oh, that's right, nobody would read it. Nevermind.

  • ||

    Interesting, since I have one ip address banned as well, but it wasn't the ip address from which I called Mr. Cavanaugh "an idiot". More interestingly, I'm posting from that ip address now, but still can't post from home.

  • ||

    For the record, Mr. Cavanaugh, I don't think you're an idiot. Tempers, and all that. Did I mention I'm a subscriber?

  • ||

    You'd think that if you subscribe to Reason, they'd let you post as much as you like. Or, pay them something for the bandwith and storage, or whatever...

    This is going to sound very strange, but Gunnels is one of the "Reason"s I frequnet this blog. I may not agree with him all the time, but he's definitely says some interesting things that contribute to the discussion.

    Let's face it, without this part of the site, Reason would just be publishing in a vacuum. If the idea is Free Minds and Free Markets, the discussion is the best part of the mag.

  • ||

    "What do these types expect--to paper cut authoritarian goons to death with their ACLU cards?"

    it's got a slightly better track record than trying to outshoot the government. unless you have a REALLLLLLLLLLY big house with a REAAAAAAAAAAALLLLYYYY big supply of guns and a REAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY big bucket of ammo.

    and a really big bag of meth to help you stay alert.

  • ||

    Wow, you'd think I'd failed my typing test from the last post.

    bandwith = bandwidth, frequnet = frequent, he's = he. My bad.

  • ||

    dhex:

    The possibility of out-shooting the government goes up with the number of armed friends you have available.

    I don't think henry is thinking of being a small-time wacko, more like one-of-thousands when (hopefully if) the sh**t hits the fan.

  • ||

    "...the beauty of being either left- or right-leaning is that both sides can always find a common enemy in the government."

    Truly. Communists taught me to shoot.

  • ||

    Interesting, since I have one ip address banned as well, but it wasn't the ip address from which I called Mr. Cavanaugh "an idiot". More interestingly, I'm posting from that ip address now, but still can't post from home.

    I made a similar bad quite a while ago and got banned. Learned my lesson though. The masthead says, "Continuous news, views, and abuse by (not of) the Reason staff"

  • ||

    Not sure what I did to get banned now, but my subscription will be cancelled when I get home.

  • ||

    Not to be paranoid, but when I post from home these days, I get this filter page that says something like, "In an effort to curb offensive content, I have enabled a feature that allows me to review content prior to posting." There is some bit in there about how it is intended for new commenters.

    I don't think I'm all that offensive, when push comes to shove.

    Is Reason involved in litigation or something?

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    Clear your cookies and that should solve the problem.

  • ||

    Will do. I was thinking the other way around - that I lost a cookie somewhere that marked me as 'relatively benign' or some such ...

  • ||

    It really doesn't take lots of guns, ammo and meth to wage a real effective civil disobedience campaign. Small arms and ied's are very effective as have been noted in Iraqnam. Best fighting force in the world and we are getting shamed.

    adriaan

    the shit is very close to the fan.
    support your local arms dealer.

  • fyodor||

    I'm not in charge here obviously, but I think Gunnels should be allowed to post here! I would hope that if there's a space problem, the preferred solution would be to limit comments to some number of words rather than banning posters who violate that number every once in a while. I haven't really noticed GG making lots of long posts, although I suppose there's the possibility that's just because I skim over the long ones....

    Good luck, Gary. Assholes have rights too!! Or well, since this is a privately run forum, assholes are worth hearing from too!! Howzat??

  • ||

    I feel so inferior. I haven't been banned even once. I have some serious catching up to do.

    Regarding the actual subject of this section and not the subject that it has become, barring firearm purchases from those on the watch lists would be consistent with barring purchases from those with active restraining orders.

    Although an actual hearing has to happen to issue a restraining order, it carries no conclusion of wrongdoing. If the current Justicatrix actually presented the list to a court for rubberstamping, the comparison would be more precisely apt, but I still think that it is comparable.

  • ||

    i'm not going to give most liberals any credit for their backasswards approach to the 2nd amendment. it's stupid, and definitely not in the core interests of themselves or their constitutency.

    however...the idea that the relative restraint exercised in the current iraq war would be involved in a genuine fascist uprising doesn't really float with me. an effective civil disobedience campaign would be just that - disobedient. the ACLU types, for all their many faults, have a far better track record at helping dismantle the stupidity of yesteryear.

  • ||

    The problem with the suspect list versus restraining order argument is that at some point in the future there is some presumption of being either cleared or convicted and a final resolution being reached in the case of the restraining order.

    Do you really think that there is a real possibility of this list ever having to meet civil rights requirements?

  • ||

    Sorry to see you go, Gare. We'll pray for you up here...

  • ||

    GG,

    If the rson you are band is because of ur long posts, use rob's shorthnd.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    I never justify myself, but since Gary is a good old boy (and I blocked a few of his hundreds of IPs solely in the hope of getting him to modify his behavior somewhat), I give you the full text of my message to him:



    Actually, Gary, yes, you have been blocked. It hurts me more than it hurts you, but you've hijacked your last thread.

    I'll be happy to unblock your IP on the following conditions:

    No more consecutive comments. Post one, and don't post again until somebody else posts.

    No more abusive language.

    No more accusing anybody of not addressing the point you raised, not answering your question, etc.

    No more citations of song lyrics, legal material, or anything else of more than 100 words.

    No more Jean Bart, Jason Bourne, Merovingian, etc. From now on you stick with Gary Gunnels and whatever his purported biography and identity is.

    No more hijacking threads in any other way.

    If you agree to these terms, reply in the affirmative. If you want to argue about it, point out others who are guilty of the same stuff, or in any other way give any backtalk, then I wish you the best of luck somewhere other than Reason.

    yr pal,

    tim



    As his intemperate private reply to me and his peevish comments here indicate, Gary has chosen not to address my concerns. Since IPs are easy to come by, he can certainly find ways to keep making comments, but I had hoped he would listen to reason. Gary's yoke is mild and his burden light, but he remains stiffnecked.

    The rules around who gets to post, how the rules get enforced, what comments are out of bounds, etc., are simple: They are whatever I decide they are at any given moment. If any of you think that my way of running things is unfair, or that that it doesn't result in a remarkably open and varied comment forum, well, go post your thoughts at Andrew Sullivan, Instapundit, National Review Online, etc.

  • ||

    jesus christ, censored in the infinite realm of free thought and expression. I need a valium and a crown.

  • ||

    Well, it doesn't seem like he's too stifled, what with the fact that he continues to post. And he has gotten rather acerbic recently, even for him...

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    Yeah, I should have indicated that I was wrong about one thing: As this thread shows, Gary had not actually hijacked his last thread.

  • ||

    I hope that I'm not responsible for Gary's misfortune... :(

    aw, who am I kidding. Party's at my house!

  • ||

    Tim, you are an obvious bigot you twit. And thanks for avoiding the question.

  • fyodor||

    Tim,

    As long as Nick says so (and as long as his bosses say he has that say so), you have the right to set whatever rules you choose to, and at whatever level of abstraction, too.

    But I hope you'll consider my words on the matter as well. Gunnels was annoying at times, true. (One nice thing is that he copped to it!) But--aren't a lot of people here abusive at times? Sometimes Gary made long posts and sometimes he made a lot of short ones, but did he ever make a lot of long ones? While he was certainly one of the more prolific posters, I don't recall him ever hijacking a thread, if by that one means that he made it impossible for a genuine discourse to continue. Plus, he had genuinely interesting things to say. Doesn't mean he was often full of shit, but had provocative and (at least seemingly) knowledgable perspectives to share.

    I can understand limits being set and I understand if you want to take a "I'll know when the limits are exceeded when I see it" approach. But I really think you should reconsider whether you may be overreacting to Gunnels and whether he really is worth having here, high-maintenance though he may be!

    Anyway, you're absolutely right that this is a remarkably free and open forum. I congratulate you on the great work, and I hope it keeps up.

  • ||

    OMG free speach? you R abridging his RIGHTS!

    "well, go post your thoughts at ... Instapundit.."

    Fortunately unpossible. I suspect if Reynolds ever turned on comments he may have to come to terms with how much of a disingenuous tool he is.

    On topic, it has always ticked me off that the ACLU inconsistently abandons the second amendment. It's the biggest impediment to them being respected as a libertarian organization rather than a liberal one.

  • fyodor||

    "Doesn't mean he was often full of shit"

    s/b

    "Doesn't mean he wasn't often full of shit"

  • ||

    Dear dhex,

    Based upon our personal experience, and our review of history, we disagree with you. That's why we wrote the damn thing.

  • ||

    Just avoid being "banned", yeah, the A of SA post is me--it was humor (well, at least an attempt). Is that still allowed?

  • ||

    While I fully support allowing anyone to express their opinions here, whatever those opinions may be, that privilege ends when you start insulting other posters, as Gary did myriad times.

    I'm not sure what my stance is on the whole JB=GG=JB alias business; in a way, I don't think it really matters what name someone uses. What counts is the strength of their argument or commentary.

  • ||

    Sidereal,

    The ACLU essentially takes a pass on the SA since their memebership is hopelessly fractured on the point. They never file briefs in SA cases.

    At least there they are "neutral"--their biggest impediment to attracting libertarians is, I think, their stubborn allegience to affirmative action, an issue on which they are not neutral, just incredibly wrongheaded.

  • ||

    sidereal � I think that�s was the point, none of those sites allow posts.

    I for one am relieved that manners are being enforced. The Reason board is great because of the lack of personal insults and the thoughtfulness of the posts. If I want to read a bunch of idiots making fun of other idiots there�s always the free republic or the democratic underground. It�s saying something about the quality of the threads that GG is the worst offender, since on the two sites mentioned he�d probably be considered the most intellectual of posters.

    Keep up the good work, guys!

  • ||

    shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    wait
    ah, yes, that valium is kicking in now.

  • ||

    I dreamed I saw Gary Gunn-Hill last night,
    Posting just like you and me.
    Says I, "But Gary, you've been banned!"
    "I was never banned," said he,
    "I was never banned," said he.

    "The H&R Bosses killed you, Gary,
    They blocked you, Gary," says I.
    "Takes more than blockin' IPs to make a ban,"
    Says Gary. "They can't block I,"
    Says Gary. "They can't block I."

    And standing there as big as life
    He called another poster an ass.
    Says Gary, "What they can never block
    Went on to rhetoricize,
    Went on to rhetoricize."

    From Little Round Top up to France,
    In every mine and mill,
    Where working men take a break to post,
    There you find Gary Gunn-Hill,
    There you find Gary Gunn-Hill!

    [From the "Ballad of Joe Hill." Sorry, Tim. I'm all done now.]

  • ||

    First they came for Lefty and I didn�t say anything because I didn�t care,
    Then they came for Jean Bart and I didn�t say anything because I hate the French,
    Then they came for Unborn Angel and I didn�t say anything because I�m not crimethink,
    Then they came for Gunnels and now I don�t have anyone to argue with or have insult me on H&R.

  • ||

    sidereal,

    The ACLU also not only refuses to represent, but often files briefs against, anti-abortion groups in 1st ammendment freedom of assembly cases. I guess they've decided which "right" trumps which in that case.

  • ||

    Dear Mo,

    You're ugly and you smell.

    You're welcome,

    Curious

  • ||

    Mo,

    I'll always be here for you dude. Now, what was that you were saying about the beginning of personhood...

    Never mind, I don't want to hijack the thread. I'll wait for Ron Bailey's next article. ;-)

  • ||

    "The ACLU also not only refuses to represent, but often files briefs against, anti-abortion groups in 1st ammendment freedom of assembly cases. I guess they've decided which "right" trumps which in that case."

    These cases are sometimes not as clearcut as you present them. Sometimes they are religious fanactics threatening and harassing those seeking--and performing--a legal medical procedure. These nutcases are tend to be extremely well-funded from various right-wing/Christian-nut/Catholic groups. In such circumstances it's the women seeking abortions that might more need an advocate like the ACLU.

  • ||

    From now on you stick with Gary Gunnels and whatever his purported biography and identity is.

    Hah!

    No more abusive language.

    Why not just tell him to stop being French. The camel doesn�t spit because it wants to, it�s just what a camel does. :)

    No more citations of song lyrics, legal material, or anything else of more than 100 words.

    I like this rule (at least applied to song lyrics, as far as legal material, he could do what the rest of us shmucks do in these wild, modern times and use a hyperlink). New rule, no posting songs or in verse unless you are the dj from raleigh. Whatever happened to him, anyways?

    Not that I favor the banning at all. Heck, Reason is basically devoted to creeping government overreach and censorship. Yes, yes, private organization and all, but I just wanted to express my agreement with fyodor. At the same time I understand that there will be some limits on this site, lest it turn into the swamp that are the LGF comments (and those are really censored).

  • fyodor||

    Did Lefty get banned? I thought he just lost interest!

    Well, if people think Gunnels was especially nasty, I can understand them bidding good riddance. I thought he was infuriating, and nasty in a more general way, ie he would say things like, "See, you obviously don't know anything about this subject. Perhaps you should not post on it until you do." But I don't recall him tossing around invective the way some of you are implying. And I see doses of insult on almost every thread. While he may have been annoying more often than most, I don't think he his amount of genuine invective was significant compared to what we see here all the time.

    And so I think anyone who agrees with me should take the time to call for his return. Knowing damn well that TC has every right to ignore us and probably will. But maybe he won't. Won't know until we try. But FWIW, that's what I think we should do.

  • ||

    Stevo, even though the forces of Reason will probably break into your house and force you to listen to "Atlas Shrugged" on tape as recorded by Ben Stein until you finally crack and turn into a Randroid, you can content yourself with the knowledge that you'll always be my hero. Well, until the Randroid thing takes over. You understand, right?

    (Just kidding. Please don't reprogram me too. Please?)

  • fyodor||

    Ah, Mo's on my side!! Thank you, Mo!! Who else?

  • ||

    Henry,

    The problem is, that the exclusion zones around abortion clinics are not necessary to prevent harassment and threats. Both those acts are illegal anyway, so all that is necessary is to arrest those who commit them -- not prevent the peaceable assembly of those who wish to speak out against what's going on inside.

  • ||

    I'll play ball too.

  • ||

    Cavanaugh is of course free to manage as he sees fit.
    I of course am free to visit elsewhere if i don't agree with his policy or what i belive to be his true colors.

    Will my lurking be missed.....why hell no...of course not!
    WILL i walk with my mouse?........damn tootin......this rag ain't got a lock on anything.

    see ya timmy!

    dave

  • ||

    fyodor,

    As someone whom Gary singled out time after time for special treatment, I can assure you he was most nasty. None of the other regulars here behaved remotely close to the way he did, which is one reason why his aliases were spotted instantly.

  • ||

    Censorship s***ks.

    What the f**k happened to my sentence? Oh, d**n it!

  • ||

    I'll always be here for you dude. Now, what was that you were saying about the beginning of personhood...

    Awww, thanks ol� buddy, good to hear. IIRC I did voice my complaint of the outing of you, which is less minor than a banning, but UA had to be included. Unfortunately, I wasn�t the first to think of it. As for personhood, well, we�ll agree to disagree.

    You're ugly and you smell.

    Thanks curious, I needed that.

  • ||

    Richard, are you making fun of me?

    "If the rson you are band is because of ur long posts, use rob's shorthand."

    I want you to undersatnd that I RESEMBLE that remark!

  • ||

    GG/JB/JB was/is my favourite poster. Annoying? Pompous? Hell yes, but I thought he was well-spoken and knowledgable (not that I'm qualified to talk on the last point, as I'm probably one of the most ignorant shmucks posting here). Of course, much of the time I had to roll my eyes at his drama and sharp tongue, but that was part of the fun!

    How's that for backup, fyodor?

  • ||

    I've been on the receiving end of Gunnels more than once, and I don't recall him being any worse than a lot of other posters.

    The multiple consecutive short posts are annoying, but is that really so bad?

    Did you really ban Lefty? Whatever for?

  • ||

    Lowdog,

    Correction. You are the second most important schmuck posting here. I believe that honor belongs to Yours Truly. But damn if it isn't fun.

    And I miss GG too.

  • ||

    Sorry, "ignorant," not "imporant."* Not that you're not important, Lowdog. :)


    *Hey, did you expect the most ignorant poster to get it right the first time?

  • ||

    fyodor,
    He probably didn't get banned, I think he had less stomach for disagreement than joe ... or is joe. I just wanted to include him in my homage.

  • ||

    I've been on the receiving end of Gunnels more than once, and I don't recall him being any worse than a lot of other posters.

    That's because you're the token liberal punching bag -- everyone feels free to insult you!

    But, on reflection, I want to apologize to you, your family, and your pets for all the rash words I've posted...

  • ||

    Mo,

    So your chronicle of Reason's censorship includes one poster who left voluntarily, one whose true identity (and IP >:- ) was revealed, yet only one who was actually banned.

  • ||

    SPD - hah! When I read 'important' I had to go back and make sure that's not what I had typed! :)

    And look, that banning of GG has brought everyone closer! You've got joe, the token liberal, defending GG, and crimethink, the token anti-abortion/pro-religion guy, apologising to joe! What's next?

  • fyodor||

    See that Tim? Mo and Lowdog are joining me in calling for you to allow Gary Gunnels back!!

    Joe makes some sympathetic remarks and SPD says he'll miss the old goat. Can I get you two to more explicitly join me? Thoreau, this seems like it oughtta be up your alley! You're the nicest guy here!!

  • ||

    It doesn't look like Tim Cavanaugh asked GG to comply with anything particularly outrageous. (Some of those suggestions would actually end up with GG more ably arguing his points, IMO).

    So I've changed my position on this - why wouldn't GG just follow his host's requests, particularly since they're not odious by any stretch of the imagination?? I try to be a good guest when I visit a friend's place, so what's the big deal?

    And joe is only saying nice things about GG because he hates me more... Maybe even WAY more...

  • ||

    I would prefer not to see anyone banned, but I can see the concern. I have stopped reading more than a couple of threads due to a GGs very personal attacks on people and extreme rudeness. Even when I agree with him it's hard to read, and adds nothing to the discussion.

    I would vote not to ban him, but I would also vote to have any posts with personal attacks, by anyone, deleted.

    That and a quarter...

  • ||

    Oh shush crimethink. My attempt at humor has once again failed.

    All joking aside, this site is the best as far allowing dissent and differing points of views to be aired. There really isn't much censorship. This, I believe is why everyone is up at arms over this one instance. Heck, at most politcal blogs, most of the denizens that agree with whatever editorial line is on the site (whether right or left) would be calling for the ban in advance. For example, Kevin Drum's site. He's intelligent, his commenters are largely idiotic and shout down those that disagree.

    P.S. You forgot that one of those mentioned was the same as the one actually banned.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    You're all forgetting something. It is Gary who has chosen to remove himself from this feast of reason. Presented with a few simple rules, all of which had to do with presentation rather than content, he opted to throw a temper tantrum and leave. The choice was and is Gary's alone. I'm sorry he made the decision he did, but that was his choice.

    Lefty was never blocked. Nor were Dan, Mona, the Lurker above, or any of the others who have sought greener pastures elsewhere. In fact, very few people have ever been blocked, and most of those have been temporary. Sometimes people leave.

  • ||

    Clay Shirkey might have some interesting thoughts about this thread.

    Commenters here at H&R have formed an online community where we discuss our favorite topic in an format that has, at least for my part, always felt pretty much wide open. I've read comments that I thought were excessive, and I've made a few I wish I hadn't over the years I've been here.

    Suddenly, community participants are reminded in no uncertain terms that it is not, in fact, our personal space in which we are typing. We are told that the rules are as the admin feels they should be on any given day, and that if we don't like it we can take a hike.

    Analyzing my own reaction, I can say that the blunt statement of authority rubs my libertarian side the wrong way.

    Being completely honest, there is probably something a bit more childish yet going on in my head, too. People who comment in public spaces do so in large part out of a sense that they are contributing something worth reading to the conversation. Frustrated bloggers, if you will. Casual dismissal of a community member brings about this feeling that, hmm, maybe the commenter is perceived as something to be tolerated up to a point rather than something to be appreciated for tremendous insights and kept around warts and all. Nearing the top of the list of unpleasant things a commenter can hear is that they are contributing nothing of value.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think that by any objective criteria the great majority of comments actually are hugely insightful. Those on H&R tend to be better than those in other places on average, and that I why I hang around.

    Why do other commenters hang around? Will people now opt out of the community? To what extent does H&R place value on the views of commenters over other H&R criteria?

    Stay tuned ...

  • fyodor||

    rob,

    I disagree. The things TC insisted GG not do are all done regularly by others. TC perhaps did a little more of them and was likely unique in being prone to doing all of them (leaving aside the "hijacking of a thread," which is rather subjective and I don't know I've ever seen the case where GG went to far as to make it impractical for anyone else to post), but many of us would find following all those rules a significant impediment to our free flow of spewing.

  • ||

    Don't forget that GG would use the c-word as a personal insult. Most people don't like that.

  • ||

    Lowdog,

    Perhaps even more surprising is that I'm defending Tim's decision (though he needs no defense), despite some troubles in our relationship in the past. *ahem* Unborn Angel *ahem*


    fyodor,

    I think the problem is that Gary was notorious for doing all of those things frequently. Sure, I've probably insulted a couple of people in the past two years here, but with Gary it was happening in every other thread. Sometimes you have to enact a zero-tolerance policy if people can't do things in moderation.

  • fyodor||

    Tim,

    With all due respect, I don't think it's accurate to simply say GG voluntarily left. Yes, it's true that he did decide to not accept the terms that you placed on him. But that's only one part of the truth. The other applicable part is that it was your desicion to impose those terms on him (and only on him, at the risk of giving you ideas) in the first place, and that he would likely continue to post in lieu of this special treatment.

    Clearly, when we ask you to allow him to return, we mean to allow him to post under the same unfettered circumstances that you allow the rest of us to post. Only when he faces the same option set as the rest of us and continues to not post would it be fair to say it's entirely his decision.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    many of us would find following all those rules a significant impediment to our free flow of spewing.

    I didn't say everybody had to follow those rules. I said Gary had to follow them.

  • ||

    even money he comes back.

    If he doesn't who'll tell us stories about the 20th Maine.

  • fyodor||

    Tim,

    I know you only imposed the rules on GG. But I was replying to rob, who said he didn't see anything outrageous about those rules. Whether or not my reply adequately addressed whether the rules are "outrageous" per se, my point was that many of us would find having those rules imposed on us problematic, and not just GG.

  • fyodor||

    ...meaning that it shouldn't be hard for rob to understand why GG found them outrageous. In addition to his feeling singled out, as he actually expressed.

  • ||

    Not to conform to stereotypes of liberals but, on the other hand, I can see Tim's point of view, too. He really isn't asking for anything outrageous.

    Except for the lyrics and legal citations thing. What's wrong with that? It's easy to recognize one up front, and skip right over it.

  • ||

    fyodor,

    All I'm saying is that what TC did was ask GG to play nice or go home. Not really anything onerous. It basically boiled down to don't insult other people, post under other names in order to start flame wars, and don't suck up bandwidth with really long legal and musical citations.

    True, "many of us would find following all those rules a significant impediment to our free flow of spewing" but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to play nice anyway... We all get a bit carried away in the heat of the discussion. I've ruffled some feathers myself here, but not because I was trying specifically to be a bad guest.

  • ||

    "Nearing the top of the list of unpleasant things a commenter can hear is that they are contributing nothing of value."

    And yet, none of us are. That's an enormous reserve of unpleasantness waiting to be tapped.

  • fyodor||

    rob,

    Paraphrasing something in a manner that softens its tone is a clever debating tool, but I maintain that most of us would find the set of rules as stated to be enough of an impediment that it would at the least make many of us think twice about having to follow them even if they were applied universally, and I imagine that GG is not the only one here who would refuse to overtly agree to such a set of rules under the circumstance in which he was singled out for having to follow the rules and told he had to agree to them ahead of time in order to be unblocked.

    That said, I understand the fact that GG pushed certain buttons that brought this upon him. I addressed why I think he nevertheless should be allowed access to the forum on the same conditions as the rest of us earlier in this thread. Here I'm simply pointing out that, euphemistic generalizing and rephrasing notwithstanding, most folks here would probably likewise find such treatment too onerous to accept.

  • fyodor||

    Well, nevermind. I stand by everything I said, but I'm calling off my campaign.

  • ||

    Shem: Thanks.
    -------------

    Regarding the de facto topic of this thread:

    "Hit & Run" is to "Gary" as "MTV's Real World" is to "Puck."

  • ||

    How much bandwidth really gets sucked up by a posting?

    Say of 25 words compared to 2500?

    Just askin'.

    SP

  • ||

    fyodor,

    I'm not trying to employ "clever debating tools" in this discussion. There's not much point in breaking out the debating "special weapons" when I'm stating nothing more than my opinion here and neither are you. There's no "debate" to win here.

    My opinion is that I just don't think it's that big a deal to ask someone to play nice or go home, if it's your "home." That's all. That's the perspective I see this in, since TC posted what he was asking of GG.

    While I'd rather see GG posting here, since even when I'm on the receiving end of a GG rant I'm actually a bit of a GG fan. But it's not my call to make and I understand TC's point. So maybe you should be arguing with TC and not me, and good luck with that.

  • ||

    Fyodor,
    Though I agree with you, here is an analogy of Tim�s thinking (pardon me for being presumptuous Tim):
    To use a driving analogy, most of us speed, tailgate, fail to signal, cut other drivers off, etc. Tim basically pulled GG over to say, knock it off, you habitually do all of these all the time and it�s detrimental. While doing one or more of these at isolated times is ok by Tim, doing all of them all the time grates. Since, GG is the only habitual line stepper (to borrow from Charlie Murphy), he was the one made an example of.

    Tim,
    We all know you didn�t block Mona, she canceled her subscription. :)

  • ||

    Gunnels was interesting and annoying in varying proportions, but he resorted to fou language and personal attacks way to often. And that made him come off as a bit immature, which his leaving in a hissy fit confirms.

  • ||

    Super Parole -

    Depends upon the number of times it's downloaded.

    Jason -

    I come here for what seems the same reasons you do. Most of the posters are intelligent and insightful, and amazingly well written. Whether I agree with them or not, it's usually easy to read all the posts on here.

    In defense of Tim -

    I don't see an issue here either. GG constantly posted offensive and continuous attacks on those he deemed "ignorant." This coupled with the obvious fact that Reason is a business and can make rules for use of their space at their whim, means there's nothing wrong with asking some to play nice.

  • ||

    It looks like Gary's departure could generate as many posts as the Pope's did. I think that might please him.

  • ||

    Since this post is no longer about the NYTimes editorial - sounds like Gary was Jean Bart, after all. As there was something different about their styles, I actually thought for a while that he was either a roomful of French exchange students or maybe even a bunch of Reason writers having fun. I mean, GG once posted the entire constitution of some confederate state to prove a point ! Not too many people can afford to do that at work.
    So now the only local mystery remaining is if Jimmy Carter is the secret identity of the masked man known only as ... joe.
    Oh well ...

  • His Late Holiness John Paul II||

    It looks like Gary's departure could generate as many posts as the Pope's did. I think that might please him.

    Well, since half the comments on my death came from Gary, it's only fair that I should get to make half the comments on Gary's departure...

  • His Late Holiness John Paul II||

    ... but I haven't been feeling so hot lately.

  • ||

    ... but I haven't been feeling so hot lately.

    Perhaps you should lie down for a while...

  • ||

    Forgive me, but I was away having a life.

    Won't the market sort this out? If H&R turns into a Stalinist shithouse, won't everybody walk--go elsewhere?

    The above questions are not a parody--there are, as you might haver noticed, a variety of places to post on the internet. If you a problem with all of them, then, very likely, the problem is you.

  • ||

    On the GG subject, I am disappointed that he won't be here anymore. I disagree frequently and intensely with him, but sometimes he makes some good points.

    I never really bought his "biography and identity" as it just seemed too varied to be true. If you believed him, he'd lived in just about every country in the world long enough to know them intimately and comment on them smugly, usually to set himself up as the authority to which he himself would appeal. His demands that everyone offer evidence for their claims that he never would were particularly annoying. I've been reading H&R for a considerable time now, and I've watched his personality change over time. Recently he's played the law student/lawyer card a lot. Before, it was the world traveler. It seems that Mr. GG was every kind of expert in every discipline, when it suited him in his arguments.


    Overall, I'd say my reaction to GG/JB was negative, but I don't really feel comfortable with banning him.

    I guess his major offense was hijacking a large number of threads with his abusive argumentative style. However, no one was ever really bound to answer his often ridiculous posts. A blowhard, ignored, is just a warm breeze.

  • ||

    I thought Gary's posts were sometimes offensive (which is not to say that is a bad thing!), often annoying (the serial posting, posting whole sections of the U.S.C., and otherwise generally dominating threads) but usually quite entertaining and even occasionally informative, so I will certainly miss them. Maybe what we need is an individualist solution, something like the "v-chip" except that it would filter out all comments from anyone you find too offensive for your taste - we could call it... I don't know.. the G-chip?

  • ||

    Since this is the banning message thread, I thought I'd pass on a message I recently found out our pal thoreau, he who is too well adjusted, has also been banned. He has asked me to ask why, I will ask for support. thoreau, is overall the best poster we can't lose him. Heck, I'd throw Gunnels under a truck for t-man. Just passing on the word. Viva lLa Resistance. :)

  • ||

    He also expressed his regrets and contrition for his spoof posts and posting song parody posts. Let's raise a glass for our favorite libertarian physicist.

    P.S. I am not thoreau's alter ego.

  • ||

    P.S. I am not thoreau's alter ego.

    This is starting to border on the surreal... Who is anyone... are you all just one person playing some kind of sick joke? We need a national blog-posting electronic ID card!

    Oh, and can we trade joe and a two future commenters to be named later to get thoreau and Gary back? ;)

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    Thoreau has not been bannned. This is just the kind of idle gossip that gets people in trouble!

  • ||

    Tim,
    I only passed on what I received in my inbox from thoreau. If this is a mistake, I take it back and humbly apologize.

  • ||

    You guys are all a bunch of wimps. I thought this was supposed to be a site that celebrated freedom of thought and expression. Instead, you have silenced the most intelligent, interesting person ever to find his way onto the internet. Gary.. I will pine over you. I've been following your posts for a long time! If only you weren't married!! But.. such is life. :o(

  • ||

    Tim,
    I only passed on what I received in my inbox from thoreau. If this is a mistake, I take it back and humbly apologize.

    How would you know it's thoreau? Unless it's from myob@myob.myob . . .

  • ||

    grylliade,
    Got an email from a Southern California University physics department and the name checked out. Plus he sent me confirming links that I double checked. I have my ways. He said his IP must've been blocked by accident and that he sent Tim a couple of emails. He will be on from another IP to confirm that I am not, full of it (more than usual, that is).

    My apologies Tim, for the false accusation.

  • ||

    I'm still waiting for a reason why I was re-bannned. How the heck do you find Mr. Cavanaugh's email address, anyway?

    BTW, I'm not going to continue proxy surfing. I'm just curious, and I'm definitely NOT GG. In case anyone thought so.

  • ||

    How the heck do you find Mr. Cavanaugh's email address, anyway?

    There appear to be three different ways to reach Tim Cavanaugh by e-mail:

    1) Tim is the editor of H&R and the REASON Web site, so you can go to the "Hit and Run suggestions" link in the left margin of this page, and send an e-mail to the address linked there. (It appears to be a general address for whoever works on Hit & Run.)

    or

    2) Go to the REASON homepage at www.reason.com, look in the left margin of that page, and either

    -- Go to the list of Reason staffers in blue, go to Tim's bio, and get his personal e-mail there.

    or

    -- Scroll down a bit more to Tim's name in orange under "Web editor" and get the "REASON's webmaster" address for Tim.

    The only reason I'm not spelling out all the addresses here is maybe a spambot trawling the site would pick them up if I did. (I'm not sure how that works.)

  • ||

    I looked back and couldn't find it, but I could have sworn that GG called Tim a "fucking scumbag" the other day, something about insulting every soldier who ever died for this country I think. Even for Gary that was harsh, and I figured that was the straw that broke the camel's back.

  • ||

    The decision to ban Gary is very disappointing, and the policies the moderator is advertising are even more so.

  • ||

    "I looked back and couldn't find it, but I could have sworn that GG called Tim a "fucking scumbag" the other day, something about insulting every soldier who ever died for this country I think. Even for Gary that was harsh, and I figured that was the straw that broke the camel's back."


    Tim Cavanaugh,

    You're a fucking scumbag for insulting the atheists who have defended this country in every war.

    ooter, this statement was obviously tongue-in-cheek. Cavanaugh, in his article on the Poperino, had asserted that it was a "bait and switch" for us to allow theists to die in wars and launch social campaigns and perform charitable actions, but then deny them the right to put up ten commandments in courtrooms.

    Gary, in the sarcastic statement above, was attempting to make the point that athiests also die for this country, launch social campaigns, and perform charity work, so what about them?

    Of course, if you hadn't read Tim's article, then you'd probably take Gary's statement at serious face-value.

    Either way, Tim claims that the rules he imposed on Gary regarded presentation, not content. I know, it's Gary's choice, but, hey, chief, if you're out there: suck it up! As long as they aren't censoring the content

  • ||

    Ban them all, let God sort them out!

  • ||

    i'm certainly not pro-ban, but i took gary's "You're a fucking scumbag for insulting the atheists who have defended this country in every war." at face value.

    he's not exactly measured in his disagreements.

  • ||

    I have to say, I admire Gary's intellect and wide-ranging knowledge (or at least his ability to look up stuff very quickly). In a technical sense, I can also admire his rhetorical judo skills, although I think they can also be self-defeating when they reflect more poorly on him than the person he's attacking.

    Gary has said he has little ability to "suffer fools gladly," and he's actually proud of that character trait. Which is fine, I guess, but he is maybe a little too quick to assume a person who disagrees with him is a fool, and motivated by bad faith besides.

    (I might have said very similar things about Ayn Rand.)

    That's all I've got to say about the situation now.

  • ||

    Grunnels got whacked. I saw it coming. Kid spent way too much time on the NET. Lost his cool in emotional outbursts that only made him look like the punk he is.

    This little gem only confirms it.

    Yes, unlike the homophobic, anti-semitic bigot BillyRay, I have been banned.

    Comment by: Gary Gunnels at April 5, 2005 02:40 PM

    Hilarious. I guess it never occurred to Grunnels that he was the biggest bigot here. Stuff just flew right over his head. Just a young punk kid.

  • ||

    Back from the void I am.

    I posted the spoof "I'm out of here" by "Jason Bourne" and got flagged as another Gary IP. Tim assures me that I'm the New Soviet Man of his "Stalinist Shithole", so my role will be to help win more victories for the Moderator's Revolution!

    Viva Cavanaugh! Viva La Revolucion!

  • ||

    He had it coming. Easier than an ass-whooping from me, I can tell you!

  • ||

    thoreau,

    "Tim assures me that I'm the New Soviet Man of his "Stalinist Shithole","

    Welcome back. Did you sign the papers and confess to the Commitee in a suitably quivering voice ?

  • ||

    SM-

    Look, I really can't discuss that. I don't want anything to happen to my family. This is the deal I made, and I'm sticking to it.

    Now, if my family were guaranteed asylum by some other blog, then I might have something to say...

    (Just kidding.)

  • ||

    But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. Thoreau had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

  • ||

    I have been a bit busy to visit H&R these past few weeks, but I am vehemently opposed to GG's having been banned. He is an entertaining and intelligent (if annoying) fellow, and although he inspired me to play devil's advocate far more frequently than I normally do, I enjoy such pointless sparring. Nobody actually expects anything tenable to arise from these discussions, do they?

    I figured a place like reason would be open to the occasional chaos that arises from an unmoderated forum. Threadjacking is often unintentional and just happens as a result of a spirited discussion. As a sysop I used to have to archive like every other day for it, it's not a big deal. Networks go fast these days and we all certainly know how to use a scroll bar.

  • ||

    Without passing judgement on either the august editors or the esteemed commentors at H&R, isn't the bannign of a commentor/subsequent complaining about such banning a bit on the...juvenile side? I mean, this is the sort of thing that happens on livejournal all the time, not on the blog section of everyone's favorite libertarian magazine.

    In other news... hey Stevo Darkly, you feel like getting some IHOP on Sunday at the IHOP in Clayton?

  • ||

    Oh, well. Here goes nothing:

    My tribute to Gary Gunnels :

    we used to leave the blue lights on and there was a beat
    ever since you have been gone it's all caffeine-free
    faux punk fatigues
    said it all before
    they try to kick it, their feet fall asleep
    get no harm done no
    none of them want to fight me


    combat baby come back baby
    fight off the lethargy
    don't go quietly
    combat baby
    said you would never give up easy
    combat baby come back


    get back in town I wanna paint it black
    wanna get around
    easy living crowd so flat
    said it all before
    they try to kick it, their feet fall asleep
    I want to be wrong but
    No one here wants to fight me like you do


    combat baby come back baby
    fight off the lethargy
    don't go quietly
    combat baby
    said you would never give up easy
    combat baby come back


    I try to be so nice
    Compromise
    Who gets it good?
    Every mighty mild seventies child
    Every mighty mild seventies child
    Beats me


    Do doo doo doo

    combat baby come back baby
    combat baby come back
    bye bye bye bye bye bye bye bye bye bye baby
    combat baby come back


    how I miss your ranting
    do you miss my all time lows


    Metric, "Combat Baby"

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