Sock Puppets

Well, this post is not one I’d normally write, or put up on this blog, but I want to get away from the last one, which seems to have taken on a life of its own, and see if I can burn through this topic a bit.

I’m not that computer savvy, but it seems to me that the instances we’ve discovered in which cl leaves comments under different names, “by mistake” (scare quotes intended), and his excuses for doing so just don’t pass the smell test. At least not the one my nose relies on.

Looking at the three instances, here, here and the latest here, correct me if I’m wrong, but when I go to someone else’s WordPress blog, if I’m not logged in, there are three entry fields for my name,  my email addy, and my website (which is optional). If I’ve been there before, or even if I’m not (not sure, I’m usually logged in as SI, so it’s a rarity) simply clicking on the name block, for instance, brings up my name (SI usually), but I think there are other names that the computer stores in some internal database, such as my real name that I might enter at a commercial site when using a credit card. If I used any other name, it would be in a drop down list, and usually the last name I entered is on top.

So, my point here is, if cl came to my blog to enter a comment as a non-Wordpress user (which I don’t believe he is) and hurriedly entered a comment without looking at the name that was inserted in the name box, wouldn’t the explanations (and here) he’s given us for his use of other names set forth above be disingenuous? Those names were either intentionally typed in on those specific instances, or they had already been used by him elsewhere and inadvertently entered because of his past use. In other words, he’s sock-puppeting somewhere else, and maybe even here, and getting caught on my blog with the residual evidence.

I’d really like to have this hashed out, because I’m seriously thinking of banning him as a troll. I’ve only done that once and find such a course of action distasteful, because…well, just because. I’m a big fan of the 1st Amendment, and while technically it doesn’t apply on private blogs, I’d be a hypocrite if I willy-nilly banned someone without a good reason.

Am I missing something?

Isn’t that the way it works?

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82 thoughts on “Sock Puppets

  1. yeah, i totally agree with the indian guy. tha’s why i don’t bother maintaining a blog of my own, but if i did i would want it to be cool like his with flames and stuff

  2. i believe that cl used my name in that last instance that you refer to as a joke. a few people had made inferences that i was actually cl and so i believe he went with it in that one instance to perhaps get a chuckle out of it. i can appreciate that type of humor.

    again, though, i am not cl.

  3. Well that’s terrible. The first comments are the same guy! WHAT’S THE INTERNET COMING TO THESE DAYS?!?!

  4. si

    you don’t think that was part of the joke? seems pretty obvious to me. why point out to everyone the slip up with another comment unless it was meant to be pointed out?

  5. “If it was a joke, why say anything? Why not let it hang there for people to “get”?”

    perhaps he thought it needed to be obvious for certain individuals.

    “What else do you know about cl?”

    have i intimated that i know anything about him to begin with which would prompt you to ask me if i know anything else?

  6. @ cl (whenever he shows up) (if he hasn’t already)

    Early in the previous comments, I said:

    Why is it when some guy name “Jason” or whatever, comes out of the blue and says “cl has a point”, that person is not a verified blogger who we could visit and see what else they have to say about life?

    Jason. Can YOU direct me to your blog or somewhere else where you contribute your thoughts on a regular basis?

    Which you responded to by saying:

    Why is it when some guy named jason comes out of the blue and says “cl has a point” that you ignore the actual argument to focus on irrelevancies and offer a “No True Blogger” rhetorical farce?

    Additionally, you ridiculed what I had done at least 2 other additional times in the course of the comments.

    There is now evidence that Jason is not just an unidentified blogger who supports you, but – well, YOU! Not so coincidentally, the other unidentified blogger who supported your positions early on, and who you defended, turned out to be a complete ass that even you couldn’t defend. And guess what? It turns out he is none other than our old “friend” – Gideon.

    So you were right cl. What I brought up had absolutely nothing to do with the content of the comment. And it wasn’t meant to be.

    But there are times when diverging from the point are completely appropriate. I can’t think of a better example of such a time, can you?

  7. Whenever I visit a WP comments page, the name, e-mail, and website (if I filled it in) are already filled in. This happens even if I’m not logged in. WP probably uses cookies to remember that your computer has been there before. It’s easy to change the name and forget to clear the website field.

  8. @ Jason (or cl or whatever the fuck you are):

    you indicated that this was probably a joke. That’s possible. Pretty bad one – since not a single person here got it. And with good reason. Go back and look at it in context.

    Was this shortly after a discussion of using names other than his own (something we **know for a fact** he has done)? No. It would have, at best, been a complete non-sequitor of a joke – completely random; out of the blue; no relation to anything being said. Why would it even have been considered amusing at that particular point in time?

    Had the “joke” been done immediately after I was querying for **your** identity, early in the discussion, and directed at me, rather than a third party – hey, you might have a point. As is, I really don’t see it as remotely “humorous” even if it was a joke.

    Which reminds me, Jas, ol’ boy… since we seem to have your full attention at the moment – I repeat my challenge to you. You can end all this speculation (or, you can suddenly claim it isn’t really that important to you after all these other replies, and not be forthcoming). Your choice. Put up or shut up.

  9. Everyone else pretty clear on what I’m saying here? If nothing else, we all know the tendencies of the “cl” incarnation of the commenter quite well. Do **any** of you see that particular incarnation, with his OCD for “clarity”, intentionally laying out something that was almost a certainty to cause confusion (at the very least)? Gideon might do something like that. Not cl.

  10. john –

    “you indicated that this was probably a joke. That’s possible. Pretty bad one – since not a single person here got it.”
    “As is, I really don’t see it as remotely “humorous” even if it was a joke.”

    i think perhaps it was joke more for his amusement than anyone else.

    “I repeat my challenge to you.”

    apologies – which challenge was that?

  11. jason,

    i believe that cl used my name in that last instance that you refer to as a joke. a few people had made inferences that i was actually cl and so i believe he went with it in that one instance to perhaps get a chuckle out of it. i can appreciate that type of humor.

    i think perhaps it was joke more for his amusement than anyone else.

    Well, shucks… It’s now evident that a truly rational thinker comments here, so I guess my gig’s up, but jason, the fact that you pegged the Yuengling with only half the label has me quite impressed. Get your ass to San Francisco post haste and let’s drink a couple, then put it on YouTube. Maybe that’ll convince the doubters.

    ..you don’t think that was part of the joke? seems pretty obvious to me. (jason, to SI)

    jason, but you haven’t already pre-decided that I’m a “troll,” “mealy-mouthed prick,” “douche,” “douchebag,” “exhibit of douchery,” “fucker,” “idiot,” “liar,” etc., so of course the joke was obvious to you, because you’re not just seeing what you want to see and making knee-jerk reactions in accord with confirmation bias – clearly, you’re actually thinking.

  12. Good work, nal.

    SI,

    Sounds right to me.

    That’s exactly what they said about geocentrism and the flat Earth, too.

    If it was a joke, why say anything? Why not let it hang there for people to “get”? …why did [cl] say “oops” immediately afterward?

    Well, I said “oops” immediately afterward because as we’ve seen before, sometimes things take five repetitions until you “get” what I’m saying, you know, with your open-mindedness and all. For example, at the time of this comment you were already on your third denial of my claim that you conflate evidence and proof, followed by your fourth denial here, finally followed by an eventual retraction the fifth time I repeated myself here.

    Really, you should’ve been the first to figure this out. As a WordPress user, you (presumably) also have access to everyone’s IP, and we’ve pre-established that I only comment here from two IP’s. You could’ve run simple tests that would’ve shown I’m either using quite the hacking skills, or somehow possessed the ability to comment from San Francisco and wherever jason lives in the same minute.

  13. Man, you guys don’t even give me a chance to catch up!

    Cost of a WordPress account? — $0.00

    Cost of a (new, not used) Yuengling Lager Loose, 24pk Can 12oz? — $17.09

    Cost of That Other Guy fulfilling my predictions perfectly by running around the internet thinking he’s exposed my dishonesty when he’s really only exposed his own tendency to make knee-jerk reactions based on confirmation bias — PRICELESS!

    John Evo,

    I said what I said because you made an ad hominem argument against jason. So what if somebody’s not a verified blogger? That doesn’t diminish their arguments.

    There is now evidence that Jason is not just an unidentified blogger who supports you, but – well, YOU!

    Correct, John, and when the evidence is consistent with more than one hypothesis, do true rationalists simply choose the one that best fits their own confirmation bias? Or do they wait patiently for more evidence? Actually, nevermind that one, I already know what you all did – simply chose the hypothesis that best fit your confirmation bias.

    Not so coincidentally, the other unidentified blogger who supported your positions early on, and who you defended, turned out to be a complete ass that even you couldn’t defend.

    John, if you’re talking about The Highwayman, I’ve never defended him, but I’ve both agreed and disagreed with things he’s said. The last thing he said that I agreed with was his remark about you guys thinking and operating as a team, rather than individuals. Spot-on, Highwayman, spot-on. The last thing he said that I disagreed with was that you are all beyond correction. Still, how does The Highwayman relate to anything today?

    And guess what? It turns out he is none other than our old “friend” – Gideon.

    How would I know? I don’t have sufficient evidence to pass judgment on The Highwayman in this regard, so I have to reject your claim, because it’s currently unsupported by evidence.

    Gideon might do something like that. Not cl.

    That you don’t believe I could or would have done this is an argument from personal incredulity, John, IOW, a fallacy. Now, I’m sure jason can speak for himself, but I’ll comment on these:

    [jason] indicated that this was probably a joke. That’s possible. Pretty bad one – since not a single person here got it.

    Yet, jason got the joke without a lick of trouble, so isn’t your claim that “not a single person here got it” false? Isn’t it further interesting to you that the people who didn’t get the joke are the ones who hate me the most? Isn’t this all consistent with the hypothesis that intense dislike and strong emotional attachment can corrupt cogent induction?

    As is, I really don’t see it as remotely “humorous” even if it was a joke.

    Of course you don’t see it as humorous! I blatantly exposed Team Scarlet A’s confirmation bias and tendency to leap to conclusions. I wouldn’t see that as humorous, either. I’d be pissed – oh wait – Team Scarlet A is pissed! RAWR! (sorry Modus, had to use your sound effect there)

    Which reminds me, Jas, ol’ boy… since we seem to have your full attention at the moment – I repeat my challenge to you. You can end all this speculation (or, you can suddenly claim it isn’t really that important to you after all these other replies, and not be forthcoming). Your choice. Put up or shut up.

    So, is this like the “evidence” thing, where no matter how many times jason tells you he’s not me, you simply refuse to believe him? Seems jason is now a metaphor for God – what would it take for you to believe in jason, John?

  14. sum times people just make misteaks thouhg RIGHT? i once clinked on the wrogn name and my comennt came as JESUSHCHRIST! For your infermation, im DEFINATELY NOT NOT NOT NOT JESUSHCHRIST and i dont come that way!!!!!! And thats the hole truth and nothing butt!!!!! JESUSCHRIST is Our Lord and Savor and im just a gril even thouhg i do’nt know what the H stands for (prabolly Heave!)!!!!!!!

    i still think LC is a big pain in the you know who it starts with A and ends with S and its not aks.

    and by the way i think in the pikchur you put the suck puppet on the wrogn hand.

  15. that other guy –

    “Posing initially as someone with worse spelling and grammar skills than cl, chiming in to say cl had a point.”

    huh. how ’bout that. i’m slightly miffed here. i think i’ve got mad grammar skills. they’re pretty much my favorite skills.

  16. Here’s how it works. If cl gets one person to agree with him in some way, he thinks he’s won the argument. His side automatically becomes fact. Unfortunately, almost all his arguments are horseshit. That being the case, he simply manufactures a sockpuppet to be on his side. He did it on this blog, he did it on DD’s blog, and he even tried to start something up on one of my other blogs, though I caught him early. He’s usually pretty easy to recognize. Lately, he’s been fucking up with the drop down screen when he logs on. I get the feeling he’s quite manic at times. I’ve had some experience with manic/depressives; in their manic stage, they often feel almost godlike, taking risks to show their superiority. But they often get careless. Just an educated guess, but I’d say that’s what’s going on here. As anybody knows who’s read him much, he often seems to write compulsively, and with very little thought regarding what he’s actually responding to.

    One more thing: I had the misfortune of having an online acquaintanceship for a couple of years with an internet manic/depressive. I discovered that she was a compulsive liar. This wasn’t just my opinion, as she lived with someone with whom I’ve had a real-life relationship for the past 3 years. Again, this person was and is a consummate liar who was caught redhanded several times, but has never admitted to her guilt one single iota. If cl is what he/she appears to be, don’t expect a single twinge of conscience or regret. This is his way of maintaining superiority and control. You can see the attitude in the way he talks about his ‘experiments’ with other commenters. He is cocky, and utterly deceitful, and will never admit ANYTHING. You notice how often he remarks on how he’s amused by those he ‘puts one over’ on? How he laughs at everybody’s paranoia, when everybody knows damned well he’s a liar? He’s just playing people to feel in control. Sock puppeteer is an appropriate term on more than one level, I’m afraid.

    Anyway, that’s the state of affairs from this POV.

  17. Btw, the other person I spoke of did this exact same stuff on internet forums as cl does. The internet is a candy shop for this kind of personality. There’s some interesting stuff about compulsive internet liars and narcissists on the net. Good reading.

  18. TRINITEE!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!! YOU’RE BACK!!!!!!!

    jim,

    If cl gets one person to agree with him in some way, he thinks he’s won the argument.

    No I don’t, I think, “Now that’s odd… jim, SI, Evo, Philly, chaplain, and a few others say all this crap about me, yet, here are rational people are saying that I have a point.” That’s really about as far as I see into it.

    ..he simply manufactures a sockpuppet to be on his side. He did it on this blog, he did it on DD’s blog, and he even tried to start something up on one of my other blogs, though I caught him early.

    You are trippin’ my friend! Yes, I had some fun with the boys here, as we’ve seen. NO, I have not once ever posted under a different name at DD’s, or your blog.

    Lately, he’s been fucking up with the drop down screen when he logs on.

    Assume away, rationalist. I’ll come back and address the rest of your psychoanalysis later – but wait – I thought you emailed me to say you were done with “this shit?”

  19. cl:

    I guess that depends on how you define ‘done’ and ‘shit’. LOL!

    On a more serious note, my ‘psychoanalysis’ is just an hypothesis. Could be your behavior stems from some other pathology. Not enough attention from daddy, perhaps? Lies to get attention? Head injury falling off your scooter? Daddy knocked you off your scooter, lied about it, and blamed you? The possibilities are numerous, though probably not so fascinating.

    I DID rid my blog of your infestation, which seems to make you happy. *happy roach dance*

    However, since you’ve been caught lying too many times to count, both blatantly and in your laughably ‘nuanced’ argumentation, and since you always insist points which have been addressed haven’t been addressed (what would you call that? Lies of befuddlement?), I can’t be TOO far off the track.

    Say, I guess I’m NOT done with this shit (the shit being you, of course). Here’s a riddle for you:

    What both enlarges and burns dirty little bugs?

    A magnifying glass, of course! And you’re under it.

    Astounding. I didn’t even veer from the O.P.!

  20. Sad thing is, judging by the display, I’m not even convinced that’s “jason” and not cl posting in this thread. And now that cl’s being all careful with the dropdowns after screwing it up earlier, I don’t know that we’ll get another chance as good as that last one.

    Besides, what’s all this about you calling “jason” rational when he came in and agreed with you? “He” hadn’t SAID anything yet.

  21. The point of the OP was to help me figure out whether to ban cl as a troll. His last comment indicates an admission to having a “little fun” with us. Personally, I take this blog seriously. Yes, I can be serious and use humor in the process, and yes, I’ve even been guilty of using humor at cl’s expense, but I never did it surreptitiously, and never by using a tactic deemed reprehensible by ethical ‘net users. It pisses me off that cl thinks he can have fun like that. He did it again, after we caught him the first time. And I’m sure he’s colluding with Gideon/Highwayman. They’re probably egging each other on.

    Frankly, as someone else mentioned, now I can’t trust ANY new commenter, because you can’t discern the real ones from the sock puppets. Look at jason. I’m still not sure about him. He’s probably legit, but even the stuff he has up on the ‘net could be a put up job of cl’s. He does have a some kind of formal training in Web design.

    So I’m leaning towards a ban. I really hate to do that. The only commenter I’ve ever banned was of the spam variety, and good riddance. I don’t think he ever tried to come back.

    I agree with Jim, however, too. I think there’s an underlying pathology at work here, that makes him so obnoxious. I also think that it’s probably something he can’t help, something part of his psychological makeup, something he really can’t control without outside intervention. But I sympathize with the mentally ill, I don’t terminate them. So that’s a mark in favor of NOT banning him, ironically enough.

    I don’t know. Anyone else want to pipe in before I decide, either pro or con? Cl, do you want to make a plea on your own behalf? (This is the first time I’ve ever actually felt like my namesake.)

  22. Oh, and I wanted to say that I don’t for a minute believe you, cl, when you admit to having a little fun with us. That implies some intention, and I think it’s clear you got caught doing something you had no intention of getting caught at. You’re just covering up your sock puppetry.

    What it comes down to is this: Is being a sock puppet a sufficient reason to ban someone as a troll? Whether you used sock puppetry is no longer in dispute.

  23. Well, SI:

    As I’ve said before to others — not friends like you, though — I can’t reconcile being a “freethinker” with banning speech. CL’s comments are not offensive in the normal understanding of that term, and he poses absolutely no threat except perhaps to some imagined decorum. Why can’t atheists lighten up, for no-Christ’s sake? Just ignore the guy, if you don’t want to have conversation with him. If other idiots of whatever opinions choose to take his bait, they have only themselves to blame for allowing him to work them up.

    It’s just a blog, f’cryinoutloud. Are you going to sacrifice your principles for that?

  24. Creating doubt with regards to commenters is an insidious but effective tactic to discourage honest debate. Honest commenters will be reluctant to participate. The integrity of your blog is at stake.

  25. Here is another example of the highly rational and evidence-based thinking that goes on here:

    ..now that cl’s being all careful with the dropdowns after screwing it up earlier, That Other Guy

    Argument from presupposition, as TOG simply assumes the bit with the dropdowns was accidental. Way to make knee-jerk reactions, TOG! I award you the other half of jim’s brownie.

  26. jim,

    There’s some interesting stuff about compulsive internet liars and narcissists on the net. Good reading.

    I know, right? One source I read said that, “Infatuation is the state of being completely carried away by unreasoning passion,” and further added that infatuated individuals carried away by unreasoning passion often write letters and poetry about or to the subject of their infatuation. Sound familiar at all, sweetie-pie?

    He is cocky, and utterly deceitful, and will never admit ANYTHING.

    jim, how can that possibly be true? My blog has a “corrections” category f’cryinoutloud, and though they’d rather see what they want to see, I could point to plenty of links where I’ve admitted to learning from SI, John Evo and others (for example here and here). I submit that you’re just trying (yet again) to further slander me, but anyone can click those links and see for themselves that your claim is false, and that I have no problem admitting when I’ve made a mistake. The catch is, if you want me to admit it, you have to make a case with evidence, not simply cry, “troll,” “mealy-mouthed prick,” “liar,” “fucker,” “idiot,” “douche,” “exhibit of douchery,” etc.

    Eventually, jim, people will notice that your constant accusations lack evidence, and that my rebuttals don’t. So get a good rest and let’s start back tomorrow, since the claim that you’re “done with this shit” was obviously also false.

    ..you’ve been caught lying too many times to count,

    Hey, a little more baseless slander never hurt anybody, right?

  27. nal‘s in favor of banning me, and said,

    Honest commenters will be reluctant to participate. The integrity of your blog is at stake.

    Interesting. jason is an honest commenter, and yet my joke seemed to roll right off his back, not dissuading him from commenting here at all.

    OTOH, I’d think honest commenters who took blogging seriously would be reluctant to participate when they saw stuff like this:

    “If Satan came up and tried to butt-fuck you and Jesus saved your virgin ass,” (John Evo)

    “..being a douche… ..douchery… …he is desperate to spread his message of “Douche Equivalence”… He knows he is a douche… “ (John Evo)

    “I’d pick up a rock and brain you with it.” (PhillyChief)

    “I dunno, I think maybe you’re just a jerk..” (ThatOtherGuy)

    “I woke up to a ton of comments here, in my email… all about SI’s nudes. WTF?” (John Evo)

    “Fuck me. …There’s a fucking understatement for you!” (John Evo)

    “Thank you Lord……The Titties are back.” (TitforTat)

    “..stop being a pussy and answer the question.” (John Evo)

    “Right, I’ll put you down for option “douche” then. “ (PhillyChief)

    “The fuck you will. You’ll attempt to support the claim that there are flaws, redact the claim, or do neither and thus add to the mountain of evidence that shows you exhibit douchey tactics.” (PhillyChief, to a claim I supported here and he sidestepped 6 comments later)

    “I swear to my lord and savior, bloody Jesus on a cross.” (John Evo)

    “..how fucked up is my life that I’d waste all that time to prove some guy on the internet is a douche?” (PhillyChief)

    “There once was a man named See-El, Whose beliefs in heaven and hell, He claimed were quite sensible, Tho’ clearly irrational, Resulting in a terrible smell.” (SI)

    “So… how long have you been a loser, Jimmy?” (Highwayman)

    “Love the aquarium, Jim. Amazing how those fish follow along behind your pointer. Just like atheists with their noses pressed up against Chuck Darwin’s ass!” (Highwayman)

    “sum times people just make misteaks thouhg RIGHT? i once clinked on the wrogn name and my comennt came as JESUSHCHRIST! For your infermation, im DEFINATELY NOT NOT NOT NOT JESUSHCHRIST and i dont come that way!!!!!! And thats the hole truth and nothing butt!!!!! JESUSCHRIST is Our Lord and Savor and im just a gril even thouhg i do’nt know what the H stands for (prabolly Heave!)!!!!!!! i still think LC is a big pain in the you know who it starts with A and ends with S and its not aks. and by the way i think in the pikchur you put the suck puppet on the wrogn hand.” (Trinity)

    ***********

    Is that integrity to take seriously?

  28. S.I.:

    To me, the so-called ‘principle’ of free speech is a misnomer when extended beyond the area of legal rights. I’m against making laws constricting peoples’ right to perform bowel movements in appropriate venues (and in emergencies, behind trees), but allowing strangers to squat in my living room is another matter entirely (unless I’m into that kind of thing…which I’m not).

    Oh, I know the arguments- ‘We don’t want to act like those bad theists who ban atheists from their blogs’, or ‘It’s just a blog; who cares what they say, you can just skip over them’. Well, to some people blogs are ‘just blogs’. To others, they’re something more. They’re modes of expression, of ideas and honest dialogue where other principles, principles like truth, are more important than just opening the doors wide to anybody who can type.

    In the end, the fundamental principle here, S.I., is your right to manage your blog the way you want to, ban or not ban. If you decided to ban me right now, on the spot, I’d happily leave and never feel any ill will toward you whatsoever. Neither would I shed a metaphorical tear over having my ‘rights’ taken from me…because it wouldn’t be true. I have absolutely no ‘right’ to be here, legally or under the aegis of some ‘moral principle’. I am a guest, and respect the fact that I’m a guest. Oh, I might step out of bounds now and again, but if you warned me of such a thing I’d either reign myself in, or stop commenting here. All of us cross lines from time to time, but there’s a huge difference between that, and constantly abusing your generosity in allowing us to have a forum to speak. To my way of thinking, it all starts and ends at what YOU want on YOUR blog, and has absolutely NOTHING to do with the principle of free speech.

    I happen to agree with nal about the integrity of your blog, but then, everybody has different notions about what makes up integrity in any particular instance. You may very well decide that allowing people like cl to post here is the right thing to do, and I couldn’t say whether you were wrong or right. I’ve banned him from mine, but that’s because that’s what I want to do, for my own reasons. And if I’ve leaned on you in any way to do likewise, I apologize. It’s totally up to you, and I respect any decision you make without any explanations. It’s your blog, not mine (oh, and maybe to help take a little of the pressure off, there are millions of other blogs out there, and a million times more opportunities for people to say what they want than at any time down through history, no matter how asinine…LOL!).

  29. cl:

    “Eventually, jim, people will notice that your constant accusations lack evidence, and that my rebuttals don’t.”

    Maybe so. But from what I’ve seen so far, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Banned here, restricted there, your honesty under question everywhere you go. But maybe you’re right. Maybe you’re really the one marching in time, and everybody else is out of step.

    Oh, here! Let me save you some time: “Oh, like the great Jim knows everywhere I go! Are you a mindreader? Have you visited every blog in the world? Anyway, the really smart and honest bloggers all like me. They do! They really, really like me! Oh, and I was just talking to you, not ‘everybody’ Wow, what slothful induction!”

    Have I missed anything. If I have, I’m sure you’ll let me know. And if I haven’t, I’m just as sure you’ll make something up, anyway.

  30. “my blog ain’t no free speech zone” jim,

    Nice. Four paragraphs justifying censorship! So Columbo, when you’re all done smoking that cigarette and fingering your preferred suspect, why don’t you figure out who Trinity is, then pontificate some more about how blogs are “modes of honest expression” and all that other sublime BS?

    I really do get a kick out of the FACT that one or more people from Team Scarlet A here have run a genuine sockpuppet since the first time I met them, over at chaplain’s pisshole, and they’re doing it again – right now – only, SI’s not saying a single word about it. Why the special pleading? I dunno, Columbo, but I did notice a Team Scarlet A patch under the tear in Trinity’s “Left Behind” tee-shirt.

    Banned here, restricted there, your honesty under question everywhere you go.

    Who’s honesty wouldn’t be in question with dedicated detractors like you following them around online and writing entire posts calling them liars? If you want to accuse me of lying, that’s fine, just provide the evidence and I’ll address the claim. Else, like you claimed in your email today, will you please leave me alone now, finally? Or, should we question the honesty of your claim?

  31. SI,

    Personally, I take this blog seriously.

    Really? But, what about…

    “If Satan came up and tried to butt-fuck you and Jesus saved your virgin ass,” (John Evo)

    “..being a douche… ..douchery… …he is desperate to spread his message of “Douche Equivalence”… He knows he is a douche… “ (John Evo)

    “I’d pick up a rock and brain you with it.” (PhillyChief)

    “I dunno, I think maybe you’re just a jerk..” (ThatOtherGuy)

    “I woke up to a ton of comments here, in my email… all about SI’s nudes. WTF?” (John Evo)

    “Fuck me. …There’s a fucking understatement for you!” (John Evo)

    “Thank you Lord……The Titties are back.” (TitforTat)

    “..stop being a pussy and answer the question.” (John Evo)

    “Right, I’ll put you down for option “douche” then. “ (PhillyChief)

    “The fuck you will. You’ll attempt to support the claim that there are flaws, redact the claim, or do neither and thus add to the mountain of evidence that shows you exhibit douchey tactics.” (PhillyChief, to a claim I supported here and he sidestepped 6 comments later)

    “I swear to my lord and savior, bloody Jesus on a cross.” (John Evo)

    “..how fucked up is my life that I’d waste all that time to prove some guy on the internet is a douche?” (PhillyChief)

    “There once was a man named See-El, Whose beliefs in heaven and hell, He claimed were quite sensible, Tho’ clearly irrational, Resulting in a terrible smell.” (SI)

    “So… how long have you been a loser, Jimmy?” (Highwayman)

    “Love the aquarium, Jim. Amazing how those fish follow along behind your pointer. Just like atheists with their noses pressed up against Chuck Darwin’s ass!” (Highwayman)

    “sum times people just make misteaks thouhg RIGHT? i once clinked on the wrogn name and my comennt came as JESUSHCHRIST! For your infermation, im DEFINATELY NOT NOT NOT NOT JESUSHCHRIST and i dont come that way!!!!!! And thats the hole truth and nothing butt!!!!! JESUSCHRIST is Our Lord and Savor and im just a gril even thouhg i do’nt know what the H stands for (prabolly Heave!)!!!!!!! i still think LC is a big pain in the you know who it starts with A and ends with S and its not aks. and by the way i think in the pikchur you put the suck puppet on the wrogn hand.” (Trinity)

    A Mexican, a Canadian and cl walked into a bar… (SI)

    My mind is closed. I know what your evidence amounts to… (SI)

    Then again, who am I to judge. Maybe you do take this crap seriously.

  32. Cl, do you want to make a plea on your own behalf?

    Sure, I may as well get a last word in before you drop the guillotine, since I couldn’t get a screen shot with all ten “recent comments” reading cl:

    In all honestly SI, I think you should silence me. Not only would it be the ultimate irony, that such an open-minded and freethinking atheist as yourself would adopt the same exact strategy as Fundamentalist Laurie Higgins who wants to silence Hemant Mehta, but if you do ban me, you guys can cozy right back down in your safe and sterile agreement tunnel, reposting YouTube videos of yourselves and your friends in lieu of saying anything intelligent, and talking about tits and butts – all without the unwelcome and inconvenient intrusion from dissenters who wish to critically examine your arguments! Doesn’t that sound like paradise? Plus, even if the Monty Python jokes and invisible pink unicorn references get old after a while, you can always come get me to continue talking about the arguments. Make sure you have a helper, though, because pinpointing herd mentality is difficult when you’re stuck in the flock. Just ask Trinity and the Fundamentalists!

    As far as our most recent little soiree (and thanks jason for being such a good sport about it), you’ll probably always believe the version that confirms your confirmation bias, but I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: although I normally try to stay 100% focused on the arguments, after I realized that’s not why you guys have been dialoging with me for the past three weeks, I admit, I stooped to your level and decided to toy a bit. I’m not really the trash-talking type, so I figured I needed a plan where you guys could speak for yourselves.

    My hypothesis was that although you portray an image of yourselves as oh-so-smart rationalists who are committed to sound induction and only come to cautious and reasoned conclusions about things, at least when I’m around, you’re really just a bunch of knee-jerk haters who will continually see what they want and are about as predictable as Pavlov’s dog. I decided to test this hypothesis when I noticed how much it seemed to bother my detractors that other commenters would come here and agree with me, and I got to thinking, “Man, these guys are so bent against me, I bet if I gave ‘em a little bait, they’d get their panties all in a wad and jump to all sorts of conclusions about it.” I really had no idea that one week later jason was going to come along, honestly, it just all worked out perfect. You guys pretend to be this elite crew of superior intellectual freethinkers, but it’s just a big facade: your just as prone to jump to conclusions and demonize those who dissent as any other group of closed-minded Fundamentalists.

    So yeah, ban me, then wax poetic about how you’re sooooo open-minded and freethinking, and how banning me was sooooo necessary, because I’m such a troll, and my ideas are dangerous, and the integrity of your blog is at stake, and if you don’t ban me then I’ll become a force so insidious that even Tipper Gore couldn’t have silenced my artistry in her heyday.

    That implies some intention, and I think it’s clear you got caught doing something you had no intention of getting caught at.

    Yes SI, that’s correct, my statement did imply intention, and that’s because I acted intentionally, as jason figured out in oh, about 2 seconds, seeing as how he’s actually thinking and not just reacting.

    He did it again, after we caught him the first time.

    How did you catch me if I immediately took credit for the posts, directly after posting them?

    Whether you used sock puppetry is no longer in dispute.

    I’m not so sure you’ve made your case. Sock-puppets hide behind other identities, not admit to them. For example, right here in this thread, there’s a real sock-puppet named Trinity that you seem completely unconcerned about because s/he’s really one of your buddies on Team Scarlet A, ya hypocrite.

    Is being a sock puppet a sufficient reason to ban someone as a troll?

    While I ultimately don’t care if you ban me from your church, note that if you decide being a sock puppet is a sufficient reason to ban somebody from your church, then you need to let the cat out of the bag on your buddy “Trinity” just as well. Funny how nobody notes that the real sock puppet here is Trinity, but of course, Trinity is on Team Scarlet A, so surely, s/he’s exempt from the probing intensity of your authoritarian decrees, right SI?

    I’d laugh uproariously at that, too, if it weren’t so pathetic.

  33. I’d just like to highlight some words of wisdom that may have been overlooked, before I’m off to my peaceful, musty cave where the internet trolls sleep and the troll police can’t come:

    …I can’t reconcile being a “freethinker” with banning speech. [cl's] comments are not offensive in the normal understanding of that term, and he poses absolutely no threat except perhaps to some imagined decorum. Why can’t atheists lighten up, for no-Christ’s sake? Just ignore the guy, if you don’t want to have conversation with him. If other idiots of whatever opinions choose to take his bait, they have only themselves to blame for allowing him to work them up. It’s just a blog, f’cryinoutloud. Are you going to sacrifice your principles for that? (Exterminator, bold mine)

  34. See, I wouldn’t have said you were being offensive before, cl, just obfuscating and dense, but when it started to look like you were going to get banned you started lashing out like a cornered badger. Calling the chaplain’s blog a pisshole? Comparing someone censoring a troll on their own blog to the efforts of a fundamentalist christian to get someone fired from their job? Calling people “knee-jerk haters” when in fact they’re just commenting about how you’re now known to operate?

    If it was just a matter of you being a dissenter there’d be no problem, but you, sir, are toxic. Your influence causes threads to bloat cancerously past 200 posts, your constant obfuscation makes everyone wonder if they’re bad at communicating or if you’re just deliberately pulling everyone’s legs, and then you have the GALL to act like WE’RE the ones with the problem?

    I say ditch this tool, SI, but I’m sure you already guessed that. Nobody here has any use for him.

  35. SI:
    I’m going to toss in my two cents and say that I don’t think you should ban CL. As far as I know, the US government’s guarantees of freedom of conscience and free speech are not binding on individuals who run blogs. Still, since those principles are important to those of us who are in a philosophical minority in this country, it’s important for us to uphold them in those small corners of the world that we control. We can’t protest – legitimately – those who moderate comments or ban contrary views from their blogs, web sites, buses, etc., if we’re going to start doing those things too.

  36. How about that? Three members of Team Scarlet A have spoken on behalf of CL, notwithstanding the fact that he thinks at least one of us operates a “pisshole” of a blog.

  37. si –

    the chaplain has cut to the chase perfectly. you can’t with one hand give a thumbs up as a proponent of the unhindered flow of information and ideas while your other hand is bringing down the axe to cut off those very things you say you support. you can justify it however you want but it would be in effect nothing more than the silencing of a voice (albeit one you find personally distasteful) that is expressing a view that radically differs from your own.

    so he jobbed around a bit with some other names – i don’t think there was any real malice behind it.

  38. Chaplain,
    Correct, as usual.

    Philly,
    Ditto.

    I, for one, pledge from this moment on, to simply ignore the wanking little wanker who wanks so fucking wankingly. I shall never reply to his annoying nonsense again.

  39. Well, another member of Team Scarlet A has also made his decision.

    In the end, I can’t ban someone simply for saying things I don’t agree with, or, more to the point, saying things in a way that are designed to disrupt, rather than enlighten. I can, however, moderate the way I react to him, so that’s what I will do. I frankly can’t live with myself if I violated my own, deeply held, free speech principles, even if they don’t apply here.

    I have to go with the fact that in almost every case I’ve ever seen, suppression of speech simply makes a martyr out of the suppressed. Cl will run off to other blogs, and his own, and bitch to the high heavens about how we were afraid of what he had to say. Not that I care what he’ll say elsewhere, but others might agree. No point in giving him that argument.

    The best thing for odious speech is the light of day. Everyone can make up their own minds. They’re free to agree or disagree with cl. (Gideon is not a problem. He’s just a Cartoon Christian Caricature. I don’t see anyone, not even cl, agreeing with him, at least on the surface. What transpires in backroom emails is another thing.) And from what I see here and elsewhere, most people see his tactics for what they are.

    He thinks people often agree with him, and in limited, narrow issues, it’s actually easy to do so. I have. But he uses those irrelevant narrow issues to parlay doubt over the broader ones, the ones he studiously avoids. I’m sure he’ll even disagree with this assessment, but I sense that most people reading this would agree. I have seen people take back previous compliments made when they assumed he was honestly debating them, and discovered he wasn’t, which says a lot about the compliments he DOES get.

    So, I’m not going to ban him – now. I reserve the right to revisit this in the future, and if I find any evidence of sock-puppets on his part, intentional or otherwise, I may ban him without comment.

    I think, cl, that you ought to listen to the people who have taken the time to criticize you. It is constructive criticism, despite how it sounds. I think that where’s there’s smoke, there tends to be fire. Just about everyone who has contact with you finds your style of argumentation frsutating in the least, and downright dishonest at the most. I fall into the both camps.

    Personally, I’m with Chappie, from now on. If you have intelligent, non-agenda discussion to add, feel free to do so. But I doubt I’ll be responding. Don’t hold me to that, because sometimes the things you say are so inflamatory, they cry out for response, and it’s quite an effort to leave it be.

    But I’ll try. Real hard.

  40. “Team Scarlet A”? I didn’t even know I’d made the cut. Phrew! No more sitting on the touchline with the halftime oranges and the fat, wheezy boys with a note from Matron.

  41. That Other Guy,

    Calling the chaplain’s blog a pisshole?

    I’d say the same thing about my blog, SI’s or anyone else’s. All blogs are (intellectual) pissholes, even yours – oh wait! You don’t have a blog, “You’re not a verified blogger,” as John Evo might whine, but for some reason, there’s no problem when unverified bloggers talk crap to me, only when they agree with me. Joke!

    Comparing someone censoring a troll on their own blog to the efforts of a fundamentalist christian to get someone fired from their job?

    That’s correct. Both share the common motivation of seeking to censor and silence those one dislikes, when the option of just carrying along with our own lives always exists. It’s not like I’m advocating school-mandated prayer or anything, I come on here and challenge arguments that I honestly believe are flawed. Some people can handle it, others can’t.

    Calling people “knee-jerk haters” when in fact they’re just commenting about how you’re now known to operate?

    From urbandictionary.com: “Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesn’t really want to be the person he or she hates, rather the hater wants to knock somelse down a notch.”

    That fits you, jim, SI, John Evo and a few others to the tee, especially you, the biggest hater of all (except for jim). Really, what do you do other than show up on threads I’m on, and lob insults at me? I mean come on. If I’m a troll, that makes you someone who wastes their time feeding trolls. A troll-trough?

    Your influence causes threads to bloat cancerously past 200 posts,

    Right, because I’m just forcing everybody to keep running their mouths… get real. Quite the power you cede to those you insult.

    ..your constant obfuscation makes everyone wonder if they’re bad at communicating or if you’re just deliberately pulling everyone’s legs, and then you have the GALL to act like WE’RE the ones with the problem?

    Obfuscation from what? There has not been a legitimate intellectual discussion on this blog for over a month now, ever since SI stuck his fingers in his ears when I demonstrated the problems with his “The Existence of God” post. Cry someone else a river, and try to hear this, if you can: the way I see it, the one with the problem is the one who follows the one they claim has the problem all around the internet, insulting them while simultaneously , such as “outside of creationist attempts to discredit science, there are no such things as macroevolution and microevolution…” and, “Just as there is no microaddition for numbers less than one and macroaddition for numbers over one,” and, “Joseph Smith never claimed to have received direct revelation from God.”

    It’s one thing if somebody semi-intelligent and educated disagrees and wants to debate a point, but coming on with claims like these then chasing me around the internet calling me names is seriously sad. Enjoy your life, and I mean that sincerely. Now please, leave me alone. Stop flapping your mouth and watch, these threads will get leaner and cleaner. I guarantee it.

  42. TitforTat,

    Seems to me if you ban cl, you guys would lose someone you love bitching about.

    Hilarious! Well, on the upside, they might start focusing on cogency, too. Philly finally saw the light, and his writing and debating is improving.

  43. chaplain,

    Three members of Team Scarlet A have spoken on behalf of CL, notwithstanding the fact that he thinks at least one of us operates a “pisshole” of a blog.

    Honestly, I believe the three members of Team Scarlet A are really speaking on behalf of their own principles, not me. Also, don’t take the “pisshole” comment too personally. All blogs are pissholes.

  44. Postman,

    I, for one, pledge from this moment on, to simply ignore the wanking little wanker who wanks so fucking wankingly. I shall never reply to his annoying nonsense again.

    Thanks! As a writer, I personally never liked actors, and your comments are typically nothing but coy distractions from the real issues anyways. Man, we’re really clearing off the table for the eight ball the past 24 hours: first, jim washes his hands of me (finally, and thanks again, honestly). Now, Postman (Yes! I got sick of actors and their egos in the writing room long ago).

    Not even to make a joke about him. And that’s saying something.

    Correct, it’s saying that you may finally be realizing the inanity and uselessness of immature sarcasm. Now all you need to do is delete your entire blog and start over with cogency.

  45. John Evo,

    While I was looking through past threads, I found yet another example of me giving fair play to theist inanity on this blog, here.

  46. cl – I have better things to do than this and my life really ain’t all that interesting…. so that should tell you something. I’m just sayin’…

    We know what we do know. And there are some things that are likely, yet either not provable or not worth the effort. Just as there are things that are totally unlikely and not provable.

    That you take such apparent pleasure in these types of discussions, much in line with what Philly, Jim and others have said, is really the **only** thing about you that is truly interesting.

    Interesting, but not enough to waste time on.

  47. I just want everyone to know that while SI complains about trolls and sockpuppets, there’s been a real troll and sockpuppet on his team for at least a year and a half now, which is in this thread, and evading all criticism. This makes SI’s whining tantamount to pure hypocrisy. Read along, as always, the evidence is there:

    SI,

    First, I’m not looking for a pat on the back. Second, I just caught this load of crap from your OP:

    I’d be a hypocrite if I willy-nilly banned someone without a good reason.

    Um… hate to break it to ya, but along with chaplain, you’re already a hypocrite for crying “troll” and “sockpuppet” to me when I’m actually here to debate, while apparently condoning Team Scarlet A’s sock puppet (Trinity) who is not here to debate. The message is, “Sockpuppetry is a serious crime and I’m so honest and serious, and I take my blog very seriously, that is, except for my friends’ sockpuppet Trinity.” Go ahead and address that one, that is, if you can seriously consider the criticism, as you ask of me.

    ..if I find any evidence of sock-puppets on his part, intentional or otherwise, I may ban him without comment.

    Does the same go for whichever one of your Scarlet A buddies has their hand in Trinity’s sock? Why do you refuse to acknowledge the real troll on your own team, which has been on your own team for over a year and a half, which your team took the liberty of unleashing on my very first visit to chaplain’s pisshole blog? How does that not cause you concern about these lofty principles of yours that you’re paying so much lip service to all of a sudden?

    ..saying things in a way that are designed to disrupt,

    SI, will you please touch down with reality and take an objective look at this blog you say you take so seriously? Here’s just a brief list of comments from each of you. Yeah, sounds like you rationalist intellectuals are taking this really seriously, alright, with all the talk about Satan trying to butt-fuck me and all. Give it a rest.

    I think, cl, that you ought to listen to the people who have taken the time to criticize you. It is constructive criticism, despite how it sounds.

    I do, probably more than you’ll ever know. If you can do the same, stop acting like a hypocritical child with a wounded ego, extend equal judgment and scrutiny to Team Scarlet A’s sockpuppet Trinity, and address my arguments, not your opinions of me, from now on. Else, say nothing.

    But I doubt I’ll be responding.

    Thank you, maybe today really is my birthday! Honestly, when I comment here, I don’t want to get stuck defending myself against the same old haters. I’ve wanted to dialog with different people whose minds aren’t already made up about me, but it could never happen before, because every comment I leave on every thread gets the same old haters all whigged out. I’ve always been interested in the arguments, I’ve wanted the same old haters to leave me alone for a year and a half now, because Team Scarlet A getting off my jock would be the best way for me to more clearly expose the flaws in Team Scarlet A’s arguments. To finally get Philly, yourself, jim, and our newest hater Postman to figure it out all in the same two-week span leaves me literally filled with joy.

    That Other Guy seeing the light and saving his energy for making more factually incorrect claims about science would be the icing on the cake at this point.

    Just about everyone who has contact with you finds your style of argumentation frsutating in the least, and downright dishonest at the most.

    I realize I’ve got detractors, but “Just about everyone?” Right, that’s why aside from dozens of comments indicating otherwise on my own blog sidebar, 4 people have in the past month alone come on to this blog, and said that I had strong or reasonable points that you were failing to rebut: here, here, here and here. Note, also, the quality of this support: either three atheists and one theist, or split evenly amongst theists and atheists (I don’t know which side jason’s on, and frankly, I’d rather not).

    Like Exterminator told you, lighten up and move along. And I’ll tell you once again: stop being a hypocrite. Address Trinity.

  48. John Evo,

    That you take such apparent pleasure in these types of discussions, much in line with what Philly, Jim and others have said, is really the **only** thing about you that is truly interesting.

    I emphatically DO NOT take pleasure in constantly defending myself against those who belittle and slander me because of online debate, and I’m willing to bet your life is far more interesting than you think.

  49. There’s nothing to deal with. I have no problem with Trinity. And if you used that much vaunted, self-proclaimed reasoning ability you claim you have, you would not either.

  50. “you can’t with one hand give a thumbs up as a proponent of the unhindered flow of information and ideas while your other hand is bringing down the axe to cut off those very things you say you support.”

    Nonsense. Nobody thinks your free speech rights extend to running around a movie theater yelling scatological obscenities, which is the equivalent of the pollution cl has been spewing for AGES. You try yelling curse words at the back of a theater and then trying to defend it with “free speech.”

    “I’d say the same thing about my blog, SI’s or anyone else’s. All blogs are (intellectual) pissholes…”

    Oh please, you’re backpedaling so hard and so obviously that I can smell the rubber burning from here. Do you think ANYONE here believes you?

    “Stop flapping your mouth and watch, these threads will get leaner and cleaner. I guarantee it.”

    I’ll stop as soon as you stop lying and saying dumb things. I predict, that since you’ve evaded a ban, very little is going to change. It’ll probably get even worse eventually, since you’ve realized you can essentially get away with murder because SI is so gracious. Why he keeps you around when you sit there insulting all of us is beyond me.

    “That Other Guy seeing the light and saving his energy for making more factually incorrect claims about science would be the icing on the cake at this point.”

    Every time you say that, I laugh more and more. Remove the plank from thine own eye.

  51. @ Ex

    Why can’t atheists lighten up, for no-Christ’s sake?

    They can. Do you know something about “atheists” that I don’t know?

  52. SI,

    There’s nothing to deal with. I have no problem with Trinity.

    Then stop being such a hypocrite by bitching about sockpuppetry.

    And if you used that much vaunted, self-proclaimed reasoning ability you claim you have, you would not either.

    I don’t have a problem with Trinity. I have a problem with you starting an online witch hunt over three comments I took credit for, while the real sockpuppet is allowed to go uncriticized, for no other reason than s/he is one of your friends and/or fellow Team Scarlet A members. So either treat Trinity with equal measure, or keep making all these lofty appeals to principal while you wallow in hypocrisy, freethinker.

  53. [sigh...]

    That Other Guy,

    Do you think ANYONE here believes you?

    Yes, for example jason, but no, of course I don’t think you or the rest of Team Scarlet A believes me. How do you think it was so easy to control your mind? Like a cold-reader, I already knew where you’d go, because you wear your biases on your sleeve plainly for all to see.

    I’ll stop as soon as you stop lying and saying dumb things.

    The irony of that little gem was priceless, but I doubt you’ll get it unless I say it: “saying dumb things” is a paradox.

    Now, by all means, go ahead and accuse me of being a liar when you don’t even make a case with evidence. Eventually, people will notice the baselessness of your accusations. Though you sound a lot like jim, I’m not gonna jump to conclusions and decide that you are jim, then go run my mouth on the internet speaking on what I think I know.

    I predict, that since you’ve evaded a ban, very little is going to change.

    Good, as forming testable predictions is half the battle in the evaluation of an hypothesis. Now, you can test your hypothesis anytime, simply by leaving me alone and proceeding about your own business. Please, for everyone’s sake, do science – not politics. Test the hypothesis. Unless you want to learn, make your last comment to me your last comment to me.

    Every time you say that, I laugh more and more.

    That’s really too bad. I’d be brushing up on my biology and religion, to avoid making more false claims.

    Remove the plank from thine own eye.

    Show me the factually incorrect statements you claim I’ve made, and I’ll address them squarely. Else, can ya bug off already, and just mind your own business?

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