For whom the ban tolls

Some bloggers swing the ban hammer with regularity and great gusto, but I am not one of them.  Even when a commenter continually makes it clear that their only objective is to irritate everyone with asinine arguments and insults, I can usually just ignore them.  If that doesn’t give them the incentive to move on and defecate in greener pastures, on rare occasions I might give them a “time-out”.  But that only goes so far.  When someone uses my comments section to lob accusations and even threats at other people, it departs the realm of merely obnoxious free speech and becomes something more odious.

Patrick Ross, of the aptly-named “Nexus of Assholery“, has a history of  getting time-outs from this place (and others), so about 2 weeks ago it came as no surprise to be contemplating it yet again.   While it wasn’t the only reason, his disturbing and obsessive anti-CC jihad, which seems to be spiraling into some kind of psychotic episode, was one of the last straws.

Nobody needs their comments section deceptively used as a venue for someone’s escalating imaginary crusade against a third party, and I don’t feel obliged to allow it here in the interest of “free speech”.   It’s not free speech, it’s free bullshit, and I’m not the only one who’s had enough of it.

18 Responses to “For whom the ban tolls”


  1. 1 Bruce Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 6:26 am

    He paid me a little visit the other day. He certainly lives up to his blogs name. Somebody needs a life, or a little self confirmation.

  2. 2 JJ Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Bruce – Expect more of the same — it’s all part of the game that he’s playing. I just don’t want any part of it.

  3. 3 Peter Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 8:52 am

    JJ, I’m disappointed in you. Surely the obvious title you missed was “For Whom The Ban Trolls“?

  4. 5 Sparky Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I’ve noticed that Patrick didn’t immediately update his ‘exclusion list’ with this site with paragraphs on why his being ‘banned’ is a) funny and b) detracting from rational debate.

    Maybe it isn’t as fun for him anymore when he realizes this isn’t a ‘passing fad’ and that many people are appreciating the rise in civil discourse when he isn’t in the room.

  5. 6 JJ Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Sparky – He’s known for a few days at least that I banned him, so I should already be on his “list” 🙄

    Patrick’s problem is he thinks this is all fun & games — it’s not. He’s always been an irritating zit on the sphincter of the blogosphere, but his latest obsession takes things too far.

  6. 7 Scary Fundamentalist Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Freedom of Speech means the government can’t stop you from speaking your mind.

    A tiny section of the blogosphere authored and maintained by a private individual is more or less private property. Therefore, said individual has the freedom of doing whatever the hell she wants to the comments of others who visit such property without suffering any credible accusations of suppression of free speech.

    It is usually personal principles regarding the value of open, honest, debate that keep bloggers from swinging the ban hammer. As we’ve seen with Patrick’s exclusion list, he doesn’t appear to have any such principles.

  7. 8 balbulican Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I keep finding myself a minority on this one.

    I’ve found when I unwisely engage him at the sophomoric level, it gets awful very quickly. And there are few party pieces more annoying than his “I WON!” shtick. Having said that, I’ve found that ignoring that side of his posts and responding to the substance, as long as there is some, keeps things relatively sane.

    For me its a moot point, since we don’t ban anyone, ever. But for all the fuss he’s causing (and of course, he’s loving every second of it), he always seemed relatively innocuous to me.

  8. 9 Scary Fundamentalist Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I confess I haven’t had to deal with him, but I kinda assumed there wasn’t any substance to begin with.

    That being said, those who value open debate to a fault such that they, on principle, never ban anyone, have my respect.

  9. 10 JJ Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Scary

    It is usually personal principles regarding the value of open, honest, debate that keep bloggers from swinging the ban hammer.

    You’re right of course. Nobody’s free speech is being squashed on threat of legal sanction just because they’re banned from a particular blog, since they’re free to go elsewhere and say the same things.

    It’s just a matter of principle: I’d like this to be a pretty open place where commenters can feel free to say anything. It irks me to have to ban people because it means there’s a limit to what can be said here, however high that bar might be.

  10. 11 JJ Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    balb – He obviously responds better to you than he does to me.

    I’ve tried over and over to engage him on a reasonable level, and even looked forward to doing so — unlike many, I’ve never called him names and always tried to treat him seriously because I’m pretty sure he’s capable of rational discussion on some level.

    However, that might be what he goes to your place for, but it’s not why he comes here. He comes here to bug people, insult them, engage in dishonest circular arguments and word-parsing. Before this I’d already banned him and allowed him to come back 3 times because I thought he might straighten up, but it never happened.

    I’d already decided to give PR the boot when this whole thing with CC erupted (I haven’t been blogging anything worth linking to lately anyway, so that part of it was a non-issue). Then PR came here and posted what I consider to be defamatory and threatening comments (I told him he was crossing the line at the time), and that was it. If he wants to carry on some kind of interpersonal beef, he can use someone else’s blog, like maybe his own.

  11. 12 JJ Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Scary

    That being said, those who value open debate to a fault such that they, on principle, never ban anyone, have my respect.

    No kidding! Mine too. It’s why stageleft is such a cool and special place, and I’ve always wondered how they do it. The odd idiot that does manage to wander in and shriek gibberish somehow gets the idea pretty quick that they’re in the wrong place and leaves on their own.

    The Bunker is magick 😯

  12. 13 balbulican Friday, January 29, 2010 at 4:22 am

    “It’s why stageleft is such a cool and special place.”

    That’s because Stageleft ensures we all get our recommended daily dose of Honey Mead, as recommended in the Luxembourg guide to nutrition. North Americans by and large do not pay close enough attention to ensuring that they get enough alcohol in their diets. It’s a disinfectant, you know.

    Patrick is civil at the bunker at the moment largely because he needs to illustrate to an increasingly hostile blogosphere that he can be civil somewhere. I know that. But in a neighborhood that contains Canadian Sentinel, Neo Conservative and Mahmood, Patrick is, at worst, a polyp in a nest of malignant tumours.

  13. 14 stageleft Friday, January 29, 2010 at 4:26 am

    It’s our mock-fu JJ… really, we’ve even had to set up a special training area in the bunker just to handle the Shaolin Monks who started showing up at the main gates a couple of years ago 🙂

  14. 15 Dr.Dawg Friday, January 29, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Patrick is, at worst, a polyp in a nest of malignant tumours.

    But a particularly itchy one.

  15. 16 JJ Friday, January 29, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    balb

    Patrick is civil at the bunker at the moment largely because he needs to illustrate to an increasingly hostile blogosphere that he can be civil somewhere.

    I know the Bunker is well aware of what kind of game he’s up to, and it’s actually kind of funny to watch it play out. You’re playing him even more than he’s playing you. He’s almost forced to be civil now 😯 against his natural inclinations, I’m sure.

    Patrick is, at worst, a polyp in a nest of malignant tumours.

    That’s what I used to think, but his current crusade is getting a little disturbing.

  16. 17 JJ Friday, January 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    stageleft

    It’s our mock-fu JJ… really, we’ve even had to set up a special training area in the bunker

    Where do I sign up??

    I’ve already got Honey Mead on my list of things to get when I go to town for supplies.

  17. 18 JJ Friday, January 29, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Dr.Dawg

    But a particularly itchy one.

    His new nickname should be Red Ruffensore.


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