Diversifying babble

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Sean in Ottawa

wrong button


Sean in Ottawa wrote:
So why is it open season for Pondering's attacks and absolute defence of her when people respond? -- the fact that she has opened multiple fights at the same time with different people has been called a pile-on by the Mods and a consipiracy by Pondering with the support of the mods. Anything but natural responses form individuals who are fed up with the nasty crap being posted.

I don't recall suggesting anyone was a bad parent but why don't you link to the posts in which I make "personal attacks".

When you assign someone to a group they don't identify with and then ascribe negative behavior to the entire group that is bigotry.

All I did in response to your "defending Trudeau" post was ask you if the NDP had done what you were suggesting Trudeau should do. You interpreted that as an attack but it was just a question and I will note it was not a question about you or your views. It was a question about the party. All you have to do is avoid making me the subject of your posts and we will do just fine.

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering this is absolute Garbage. The group in question was Liberal.

And now you are saying you don't identify with being a Liberal? That being a Liberal is the greatest insult I could acll you so much that this justifies calling me a bigot?

I called you a Liberal and for that you want to call me a bigot. You have got to be kidding trying to defend that pile of crap.

Not interested in rehashing your response to that post about Trudeau-- the record is there and your response was a hell of a lot more than you pretend now. In that post you were responding to my post about Trudeau not a post I wrote about you. Why don't you go back and look at it before you spread more manure?

This post about you is because of your attacks that this Board seems to want to allow you to do for some unknown reasons. It does not make it okay just becuase the Mods are silent when you do this shit.


Here is the quote where you suggested another poster was being a bad parent. There was no need to frame it this way:

"Unlike you, I am unwilling to have my daughter living next to a Pickton or a Bernardo because they get their rocks off by torturing and killing women."

Here is the quote where you say that my view of you is from bigotry rather than your own behaviour:

"Strategic voting means voting for the NDP when they are the strongest contender in the riding which I have stated often but that doesn't fit your bigoted view of me."

Here is where you invoke moderator approval in attacking me:

"You know full well I'm a Trudeau supporter not a Liberal so your goal is to force me to deny it which will cause your little posse to exclaim that I am a Liberal. It is with good reason the mods say "grow-up"."

And for the record-- I never heard you say you were not a Liberal before. This quote from you over a year ago looks like you saying that you are a Liberal. It came when you had only been here for a month and before you spent the last year praising everything Liberal. Nothing here about being a Trudeau groupie but not a Liberal:

"That's probably because right now I am a liberal supporter but last election I voted NDP, hence, I am a swing voter. Right now I am convinced I will go Liberal next election but if the NDP changed or the Liberals changed I could definitely vote differently. The only party I can't ever imagine voting for is the Conservatives even when they were the Progressive Conservatives."

What part of "Right now I am a Liberal supporter" makes you not a Liberal or makes calling you a Liberal something so serious that you could call me a bigot for doing so.

Pondering your games are annoying and destructive but I can only assume that this is what you intend.



Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Pondering your games are annoying and destructive but I can only assume that this is what you intend.

Still no links, why not?

P.S. I am not invoking moderator approval, I'm agreeing with them because you deliberately and obviously misrpresent my views then go running to the mods for defence.

There is a really simple solution to our problem. Just don't talk about me. You can respond to my posts, including quotes, without discussing me or reinterpreting my views. There is no need to call me anything.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

I'm feeling really disheartened by the ongoing personal animosity between Pondering and a few other babblers. I'd like to ask that it please stop, and that the mods please step up to get it to stop. I don't care who's right or wrong, I would just like to see an end to the angry exchanges between Pondering and Sean in Ottawa ect.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Yep, quite LT. Pondering and Sean, if you are waiting for Meg or I to tell you which one of you "wins," you will be waiting a long time. Stop this petty bickering and whinging. If you don't like what the other says, ignore it. Be adults.

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering -- you know where those quotes are --find them using the search function. They are direct quotes. I was having a hard time getting the links to work so copied and pasted but the quotes are accurate. To say I go to the Mods for defence is a joke. I don't go to them for anything.

And no, when you launch personal attacks there is no way of responding to you without acknowledging that you are indeed the source.

After chasing me around the board responding to my posts even when I asked you not to here you are proposing some version of the same thing except a twisted biased version: You want to keep your personal attacks and you want to misrepresent my posts. But you want me to respond to your content without interpreting it (how does that work?) and not reference you even if you are launching personal attacks (how does that work?)

I offer the same thing I did before -- do not repsond to my posts and I'll avoid yours so long as they do not reference me or what I am saying. Ther is nothing unbalance about this as it is mutual. Simply ognore everything I say and I'll do the same. this way you can engage with everyone else you please and so can I.

I won't pretend to suggest that you could respond to my post without interpreting them becuase that is impossible and you know it.

Just mutually agree to stop responding to the other's posts. If you agree just say so and I won't address anything further to you or about you.

ETA cross-posted with catchfire.

I think this can stand and I'll leave it there if you do the same Pondering.

Sean in Ottawa

Catchfire -- this is not just about being adults. There are personal attacks in here that you are ignoring -- or is it okay to call people bigoted here now? Or just some people?

I'll leave this go as well right now but there is an open question on what is okay here. Suggesting some people are putting their daughters at risk and others are bigots did not used to be fair game. Those are quite personal and not what I would call welcoming policies.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Sean, if you see a personal attack, flag it and move on. Don't take up important threads about diversifying babble with your latest persecution novella.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Soooo Pondering and Sean have been suspended for 24 hours for not being able to agree to a very simple and straightforward request. Their off-topic posts (and one innocent bystander by Webgear) have been removed also. Send hatemail to catchfire[at]rabble.ca or meg[at]rabble.ca. Ty.


Why was my post removed? Technical error or was it because of my comment? Just curious as why. 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Just because it wouldn't have made sense since the other two posts were removed. Absolutely nothiing to do with your post on its own merits.

Looking forward to seeing this thread getting back on topic!


I thought it diversified quite a bit since the OP.


WTF can't people act like adults on Babble?


Well, it is called "babble", isn't it?

And though all my life I've written prose, I'm more than willing to die versifying.



As in ... Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light...

(Wholly ignoring Catchfire who wrote wistfully: Looking forward to seeing this thread getting back on topic!)


Mods, quick question for you.

Was Sean permanetly banned from Rabble? 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

No, Webgear. Sean emailed Meg and I to inform us that when his suspension was lifted, he would come back on here to say goodbye and give the moderators a piece of his mind. We told Sean that we wouldn't be removing his suspension just so he could flame out and asked him to reconsider his intentions. He didn't. So his suspension will remain in place until he can convince us he is back here to play nice.


That's very unfortunate.


We told Sean that we wouldn't be removing his suspension just so he could flame out and asked him to reconsider his intentions. He didn't.

Yes it is unfortunate.  I thought his last series of posts had this covered rather nicely.  There's gotta be Babble Hall of Fame material in it for the longest goodbye ever.  He should reconsider his position.


Catchfire wrote:

No, Webgear. Sean emailed Meg and I to inform us that when his suspension was lifted, he would come back on here to say goodbye and give the moderators a piece of his mind. We told Sean that we wouldn't be removing his suspension just so he could flame out and asked him to reconsider his intentions. He didn't. So his suspension will remain in place until he can convince us he is back here to play nice.

Thanks, I see.

Babble's version of the Dangerous Offender Act. Tongue out

Like SJ has said, he will be missed. 



jjuares wrote:
Webgear wrote:

Jacob Two-Two wrote:

Jesus Sean. Don't leave, whatever you do. You're the best poster on this board right now. You just have to accept that certain people are always going to lack rationality and integrity and there's no way to change that. Don't take it personally.

I agree.


takeitslowly wrote:

I agree he is the best poster on here.

What a difference 10 days can make.

Given the above - with which I largely concur - I think we deserve a more complete explanation as to why Sean has been banned (not quit - banned) than the very brief account Catchfire has given us so far.

Unfortunately, banning makes it difficult to have a conversation, even by private messages.

I've been reading this thread without contributing for some time - just listening. But right now, if we're serious about "diversifying", I think it would be worthwhile to understand what we need to do to keep our most valuable contributors. If there's a temporary issue, or dispute, or temper tantrum, whatever, we should think about overcoming those hurdles rather than turning them into mutual assured destruction.

In the workplace, we can't ban the employer, and we get very upset when the employer bans individuals or the union, so we look for solutions. Discussion. Exploration. Mediation. Arbitration.

I wish there were a way to do that here. If babble and Sean can't even talk in the same room any more, there's something seriously and structurally wrong. We should fix whatever it is, or else diversification will be difficult.


While I feel uncomfortable about calling any babbler "the best", I have certainly always appreciated Sean's contributions, whether or not I agreed with him, and I do agree that there is some kind of problem we have to work out so as not to lose any more serious contributors. It is true that it is a "fuite en avant" to strive to increase babble (and rabble) diversity without doing what we can to retain veteran babblers and encourage some to return, at least from time to time.

It is sad that only the demise of some of our longterm friends, such as skdadl and pogge recently, Boom Boom not long ago, and several others, that has this impact.


Banning long-time Babblers will not increase our diversity.


Unionist wrote:

In the workplace, we can't ban the employer, and we get very upset when the employer bans individuals or the union, so we look for solutions. Discussion. Exploration. Mediation. Arbitration.

I wish there were a way to do that here.

There was talk upthread of a workshop, and while it may not be its main intent, I think it might deal with some of the same tools needed to deal with situations like this.

But betore we even get there, I'd say step one is to resist the temptation to frame this as a dispute between a babbler and the mods, or dangerous offender status, or anything else that takes an already difficult situation and spins it into something even worse.

I have sympathy for Sean; I don't want to see him go either, but as I see it he let something get under his skin. We all deal with situations where we feel like reaching through the screen and smacking someone. We all feel at times that mods are out to lunch, or are refusing to listen to us. We DON"T all assume that the babbler who is pissing us off and the mods are in conspiracy against us. We don't turn it to personal attack. We don't all talk over threads and shut them down, and ignore clear warnings that we have lost it.

And not to be callous, but if that babbler's only intent was to come back and scream some more before flouncing I wouldn't let it happen either; I think I have heard enough to understand his concerns, and as much as I appreciate his frustration, I don't want to hear it, and I especially don't want to hear it if all it has been distilled into is a tirade against the mods. I think it is not clear thinking, I think he needs to cool off and think about this, and I especially don't think the rest of us should get caught up by that unclear thinking and start making more bad assumptions.

There is another babbler who has taken this situation as a cue to walk away, without saying a word. I wish he would change his mind too, but no one has mentioned him, because he didn't make a big stink about it.



6079_Smith_W wrote:

And not to be callous, but if that babbler's only intent was to come back and scream some more before flouncing I wouldn't let it happen either;

I won't believe that until I hear it from Sean. This allegation is based on some private email revealed (without any direct quotes, apparently) by one of the correspondents. It doesn't jibe in the very least with Sean's methods and nature as shown through many years of very sober and thoughtful posts. And I also find it hard to grasp how Sean can be banned based on some private correspondence - that's what we were told upthread - unless he made some pretty egregious threats or insults. I also would need to see that before I believed it.

I don't believe in banning anyone, as I've expressed many times on babble (except for very obvious cases). Example:

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/rabble-reactions/discussion-babble-proposal?page... DISCUSSION ON BABBLE PROPOSAL ***[/url]

But I particularly have difficulty when people are banned for "reasons" like these. People who obviously love babble, and to whom babble owes a debt for their contribution.



Yes I remember; I was there.

And you know where Sean is. Ask him.

What alarms me is automatically turning the onus on the people who are supposed to keep order and take a hell of a lot of abuse for it. I have seen exactly the same reaction in past caseswhere it wasn't someone who was ordinarily so level headed, and far more disruptive. Even so, once the mods were put in a position where they had to exercise their authority all of that was out the window, and suddenly the moral imperative was freeing our persecuted fellow babbler from the bondage of the evil mods.

And if you didn't see that it had reached a situation this time where someone needed to step in and do something, I sure did. Webgear's emoticon? I don't know what his intention was, but it nicely reflected the cringing I was doing at some of the things that were being said.

Sorry, but it smacks a bit much of letting those who shout the loudest direct the debate and understanding of the situation, and I think that is a dangerous precedent that we fall into enough even when it doesn't concern flouncing.



Smith. Listen to me. Banning Sean can't have been the solution in this case. I never once hinted that he or anyone should be given free rein. I am not calling for "freeing our persecuted fellow babbler from the bondage of the evil mods". It isn't like you to exaggerate someone else's point in order to annihilate it by ridicule. So please don't do it here.

My opinion has been expressed countless times over the years. [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/rabble-reactions/discussion-babble-proposal#comm... is just one example[/url] from December 2010. I still feel this way:

Unionist wrote:

The "no banning" proposal is of course absolutely not intended to give a green light to violation of babble policy. On the contrary, the purpose is to use other means to enforce that policy - community and peer consensus and pressure, moderatorial guidance, moderatorial instruction.

Canada has shown that it can do without capital punishment - and without banishing and exiling evildoers - and many on the left feel it could do with a lot less incarceration and a lot more prevention and other measures. And we don't even, as Canadians, share as "narrow" a set of values as babblers are supposed to share.

A huge part (the hugest part IMO) of this proposal is individual babblers putting their name down and pledging they won't engage in personal attacks. Sure, there will be slip-ups and grey areas. But personal pledges and mutual support can be very salutary.

So, the idea is to just try it out. If it fails, it fails. But you'll never know.

And please don't tell me I "know where Sean is. Ask him." I'm talking about people conversing, discussing. Not sending letters by diplomatic courier.

I'm prepared to mediate that conversation, if anyone is interested. I don't think the solution is to wait for Sean to beg forgiveness, promise to be good, and plead for readmission.



I know Unionist, and I should clarify that I am not pointing the finger at you.

And I can perfectly understand wanting to hear it from Sean's perspective, but intended or not, the assumption there is that Catchfire is not telling the truth.

That is what alarms me: the underlying mistrust, and casting holding off from personal attack as knuckling under and submission.Talk about it, sure. But this is a two-way street. And I frankly don't think an open forum is any more the appropriate place for that very specific negotiation than it is for having a moderator's words picked apart in a very personal way. And it is certainly something I don't see happening while the situation is still as hot as it is.

And while support, moral and financial, counts, it doesn't give anyone the right to cross all lines.

If this all sounds like I am an apologist for peace, order and good government, it is not the case. I came to the realization years ago that this place, while a very good place, doesn't perfectly reflect all my values any more than it does all of yours. How can it? And if it ever got to the point where that tension was too much to bear I'd walk away. It is surprising how coming to that understanding makes it easier to deal with the obvious differences of opinion which will always be here.



I saw the correspondence with Sean as we were emailing via Twitter. And at no point was there any threats. Catchfire having a disagreement with Sean should not lead to a banning without groveling to the Damn mods. All Sean said was when he was allowed to return he would wish us all well but say goodbye. So Catchfire has misrepresented the entire things. Well I will do my flounce here because this will likely not be up for long before being censored. The mods are not being objective and if they can't take the critique than perhaps they should ask why. I am  done with this. Place seeing so many chased off who were valuable posters while allowing provocateurs to stay. Simply incredible. 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Unionist, I appreciate your requests for mediation here. I hope you know I agree with your "no banning" policy. My thoughts here are that this dispute, which started with Meg, proceeded to Pondering and now comes to rest on my posts above, have already taken up more space then they deserve and I don't see the merit in continuing the conversation around the same mulberry bush.

I also find Sean's posts on Canadian Politics sober and thoughtful at times. I find his time-tested inabiliy to treat mods or very simple requests with respect to be childish and toxic to this space. Last night, after emailing me accusing me of lying, Sean took to harassing me on my personal Twitter account, which uses my real name. I'm not exactly anonymous here but I'm not exactly "out" either. This is also not the first time Sean has done this. During a past flounce, Sean emailed the publisher and president of rabble.ca requesting that they fire the mods. His emails to me -- which are plentiful -- have always been abusive and never responded to any sort of reaching out positively.

I am not going to publish the snippets of our email exchange which "support" my case because I don't care to give this incident any more oxygen. The request is simple: Sean can return if he can convince me he won't start this whole nonsense over again. It won't take much. I didn't ask for an apology at first (although I did last night after his Twitter outburst), just a simple "oh no, I won't come back to babble just so I can insult the mods." Instead, Sean refused -- and the worry that he would flame out proved justified. If he is leaving anyway, I can't see why this is an issue -- for him or for us.

If this response seems overly draconian, I don't have many tools available to me and I have a lot of work to do. I don't have time to coddle his ego or mine. So it goes. I do find it rather offensive that this discussion has hijacked Meg's very promising thread on diversity. Perhaps we could move this discussion elsewhere (although I personally don't have much to say at the moment).


6079_Smith_W wrote:
if that babbler's only intent was to come back and scream some more before flouncing I wouldn't let it happen either


And there it is prove your worth. Very sad Catchfire very sad. I saw your correspondence don't play the victim because you aren't. 


@ oda

Were you agreeing with me?

I'll say it again. If someone is going to leave anyway, and just wants to come back and unload some more, what is the point? I don't know about anyone else, but I think I get it already.



6079_Smith_W wrote:
@ oda

Were you agreeing with me?

Yeah, but I promise not to make a habit of it.


Okay... that made me laugh. THanks.


Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

For my money, given that Sean has been banned from Rabble, I do not think it appropriate to be talking about him or impugning his character or intentions. I would ask this stop please. Sean is gone; it is not approrpriate to make comments directly, or otherwise, that suggest his character or intent should be open to question in anyway. On top of that, I will state that I simply do not believe that Sean would ever under any case want to maliciously post any content with resolve and volition that would be personal attack. It is simply not in him, and he was a model of what sound, balanced, and reasoned debate sounds like. I would suggest that those of you posting in these last few comments give some serious thought to what you wrote and what Sean tried to say.


Arthur, I agree with you about not spinning this, but how can you call down others for talking about the dear departed, and in the same breath make the case for canonizing them?

I read what Sean said; I read all of it, and I don't think I need to re-read it because I got the message.

I also just got called a neo-Nazi apologist this morning for the umpteenth time, so I think I understand the temptation to scream about the stupid. But some of us manage to keep it under control most of the time, and not go after moderators because some people are jerks.




Jeezus H. Murphy!  Ok, I've seen threads go like this so many times.  It started off with absolutely solid intentions, then turned in to a meta thread on the board in general, and went south at considerable speed. I've seen this particular mulberry bush danced around too many times. It has filled its purpose, it is well past its best before date, and I'm closing it.


Topic locked