What do we do about Mike H?

I’m getting bored playing with Mike H. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but I’ve replaced most of the links to his blog, Crook’s Shadow, with alternative, funny links. That is partly because I don’t want to accidentally give his blog any technorati (or other) cred, and partly because it amuses me.

But I am getting tired of him. He’s stopped making utterly stupid arguments and now all he does is thumb his nose and and pick his nose and who knows what else he is doing to his nose. (I think that’s his nose, anyway.)

One one hand I don’t like banning people. On the other hand I have been getting complaints about Mike H. So, I’d like your advice.

Do I throw MIke H off the blog, or do I let him continue to comment?

Comments

  1. #1 Joel
    September 16, 2009

    Well I haven’t had much time to keep up with blogs lately so I didn’t know who or what you’re talking about. Looking through the entries, tt didn’t take too long to find out.

    Mike H. is not contributing even at the moron level and is only being a dick. I say ban him.

  2. #2 Mike H
    September 16, 2009

    You are probably going to kick me off because I disrupt the harmony and melody of your ”four legs good, two legs better” orchestra. So do what you like Mr Laden.

    It aint gonna change the fact that you are little more than an obscure, unemployed, second rate academic.

  3. #3 abb3w
    September 16, 2009

    Perhaps you should might replacing the links with this link instead to see if anyone notices?

    I don’t know if the ScienceBlogs software supports disemvoweling; in the interest of openness, that would seem preferable to an outright ban.

  4. #4 MikeMa
    September 16, 2009

    A quick run through Mike H posts shows very little of value to recommend keeping him around. Banning him would reduce the bs factor by a lot….

  5. #5 Enoch
    September 16, 2009

    Is it not obvious to you that Mike H is a sock puppet for Comrade Physiprof and is just trying to annoy you? It seems to be working!

    I vote: BAN HIM!!!!! BAN HIM!!!!!

  6. #6 Jason Thibeault
    September 16, 2009

    I’m not a fan of censoring anyone, even if it is your own home, but I’m now guilty of perma-modding someone at my place, so I’ve already joined that dark side and would be hypocritical for saying anything other than “rid us of the racist teabagger’s rantings”.

  7. #7 Stephanie Z
    September 16, 2009

    Nice to see Wikipedia recognize tnh, at least. Damn, I’ve been reading Making Light a long time.

    On topic, Mike does occasionally provide an instructive bad example, but I’m not sure that the bigotry of his recent comments is worth having a convenient (and easily squashed) foil. I guess I’d like to know whether he’s keeping other people from participating in the comments. If so, he’s not worth it.

  8. #8 CyberLizard
    September 16, 2009

    Hmmmm, good question. I haven’t been faced with having to impose any sort of moderation yet, but, as I stated in my comments policy “I make blog posts. You make comments. I may or may not respond. And depending on how much of a fuckwit you are, I may even delete your comments, tho I’ll usually just leave them around for the lulz.”

    Your blog, you get to do what you want. If he annoys you, ban him.

  9. #9 bobh
    September 16, 2009

    But its so much fun to point and laugh at his mental disability.

  10. #10 dean
    September 16, 2009

    Examination of his website shows him to be a monumental idiot; apparently his posts show the same thing. (It makes you wonder about the quality of his engineering.)
    That doesn’t make a lot for the case of keeping him, even for the “entertainment”.

    But banning is disturbing even, as it seems would be the case here, nothing useful would be lost. Absent his having threatened folks, or been insulting purely for its own sake, I’d pass on the banning.

    Then again – this blog isn’t mine, so I’m at least one level removed from the annoyance.

  11. #11 Lurker
    September 16, 2009

    I agree with Stephanie. OK, I’ll shut up now.

  12. #12 JohnV
    September 16, 2009

    Greg you may not be aware, but at Mike the Mad Biologist’s blog Mike H previously threatened to murder democrats if he saw their teeth on : http://scienceblogs.com/mikethemadbiologist/2009/09/anti-health_insurance_reform_w.php#comment-1900548

    and I believe found his way into the spam filter there. Good policy, that.

  13. #13 Gwenny
    September 16, 2009

    I’m a firm believer that idiots should not be allowed in polite company. I vote ban him.

  14. #14 teach
    September 16, 2009

    It was fun while it lasted. Good bye mike h.

  15. #15 a science blogger
    September 16, 2009

    keep him so we can laugh on him

  16. #16 Liz
    September 16, 2009

    Don’t ban him. It is too much fun watching Stephanie kick him around.

  17. #17 Fiona
    September 16, 2009

    Either way is fine with me. I just click past him.

  18. #18 Gilgamesh
    September 16, 2009

    Arguments not constructive.

    Not Civil.

    Waste of Time

    Waste of Oxygen

    Bu Bye Mike H.

  19. #19 Adhe
    September 16, 2009

    Banning him will only make him think he’s right or that he’s won and he can always post as something else, right? Keep him on as a constant reminder of who not to be.

  20. #20 Audry
    September 16, 2009

    Would it be possible to wiggle down into the intertubes and strangle him?

    Most trolls like Mike_H are anonomous. This one isn’t. That makes it all different somehow. I do like, now that I know of it, the fact that you have disemvowelled his links.

    I say keep him but never let him link to his site.

  21. #21 Dan J
    September 16, 2009

    Awww… And before I even found out if he was cute or not.

    It aint gonna change the fact that you are little more than an obscure, unemployed, second rate academic.

    Let’s see:

    Obscurity: Mike H is pretty darned obscure. Greg, on the other hand, has some notoriety, both in the fields of Archaeology and Anthropology, as well as having a rather popular blog at ScienceBlogs.

    Employment: Mike H works as an engineer in the utility industry. Greg currently works (that’s right, Mike: “unemployed” is not the correct term to use when a person gets paid to write) as a blogger, promoting science and political topics. (Greg has other irons in the fire too.)

    Second Rate Academic: Greg has a PhD (and Masters) in Archeology and Biological Anthropology from Harvard, did thesis work with Glynn Isaac and Irv DeVore, etc. Mike… Well, Mike has a degree in engineering (I asume), and is licensed to perform his work by the State of Illinois (an educated guess on that one).

    You know, Mikey, I think you’re not on firm ground with this train of reasoning.

  22. #22 Paul D.
    September 16, 2009

    If no one responded to his stupid comments he might go away.

  23. #23 Gwenny
    September 16, 2009

    Yeah, Paul D, that is an option. But almost 20 years in online forums had taught me there’s always one or two who won’t ignore him and . . .well, I’ve never seen it work.

  24. #24 Ted
    September 16, 2009

    I’ve only banned one person from my blog. He was arrogant and cruel and he commented off topic simply to say that I was stupid or wrong. And he was always wrong.

    I’d ban the guy. Your blog is about science, and the comments should be about science, not about telling a bigoted lunatic that he’s wrong.

  25. #25 Paul D.
    September 16, 2009

    Yes, that was a big “if” I admit.

  26. #26 Jason Thibeault
    September 16, 2009

    Paul: “ignore him and he’ll go away”, historically works extremely rarely at best. Plus, you can’t really let racist nonsense stand unchallenged, especially not if your blog’s main purpose is to inform people of some hard truths.

  27. #27 Abstruse
    September 16, 2009

    Trolling is art. Keep him around.

  28. #28 xavier
    September 16, 2009

    #25: Ignoring him won’t work. Banning him might not work. I like disemboweling.

  29. #29 Mike the Mad Biologist
    September 16, 2009

    What John V in #12 said. I typically keep really annoying people around, unless they get violent.

  30. #30 Andrew
    September 16, 2009

    I was about to agree with dean(10), but then I read JohnV’s comment(12). The slug in the skull kills the buzz. Ban him.

  31. #31 Ian
    September 16, 2009

    Comments? There are comments on this blog? I only read Stephanie’s comments, most of the time. So sorry, I don’t have anything useful to add. When this popped up on my RSS reader, I thought you were talking about the other Mike H. (as in Haubrich). So I figured there must be some sort of joke I was missing…

  32. #32 Guy
    September 16, 2009

    Simple: Yes, ban him.

  33. #33 dean
    September 16, 2009

    I wasn’t aware of the issue mentioned in #12 either. All of my discomfort with the act of banning this scumbag is gone.

  34. #34 Mike H
    September 16, 2009

    Your blog is about science, and the comments should be about science, not about telling a bigoted lunatic that he’s wrong

    This blog is about science? Could have fooled me.

  35. #35 Fiona
    September 16, 2009

    I’m changing my vote. Calling the woman in the other video “Queen hippo” is not a threat of violence but it is enough of an insult to someone who can not defend her self (because she is not her, I’m sure she could) that he should just be banned for that

  36. #36 NJ
    September 16, 2009

    Could have fooled me.

    Bags of mulch could fool you. It’s clearly not a challenge.

  37. #37 teach
    September 16, 2009

    So DanJ do you vote thumbs up or down? Hard to tell!

  38. #38 Stephanie Z
    September 16, 2009

    Could have fooled me.

    Come on, Mike. At least try to make insulting you a challenge.

  39. #39 Dan J
    September 16, 2009

    This blog is about science? Could have fooled me.

    Contrary to what you may have learned in school, Mike, science is more than just test tubes, oscilloscopes, and spectrometers.

    So DanJ do you vote thumbs up or down? Hard to tell!

    It’s a difficult decision to make. He hasn’t been nearly as much of an asshat here as he has other places (apparently). I’d have to say keep him around, but a disemvoweller might be nice. And I still don’t know if he’s cute!

  40. #40 anon
    September 16, 2009

    His rhetoric seems empty and impotent, but in fact, the fewer voices like his the better. He has been banned elsewhere, he should be banned here, and eventually, everywhere. He writes very little on his blog. By allowing him to keep spewing his shit here you are doing a disservice. I’m one of those emails you got, it seems, asking you to consider throwing him off (full disclosure so my vote does not count twice).

  41. #41 Kate
    September 16, 2009

    You’re going to hear his kind of stupidity some place or another anyway. I don’t much care whether or not he’s banned. I’m always torn between being subjected to this kind of stupidity and denying the individual the right to be this kind of stupid.

    Your blog, your choice.

  42. #42 Bob
    September 16, 2009

    I’m with Gilgamesh on this one; he contributes nothing and wastes time, energy, storage, and bandwidth. While I enjoy the occasional bits of snark, I can live without it. Life’s too short to waste on third-rate trolls like Mike H.

    And before he goes off crowing about those intolerant liberals, there’s a huge fucking difference between those willing to engage in an intelligent and reasoned (if occasionally heated) dialogue over their differences in opinion, philosophy, politics, etc. and those who deal in insults, false equivalency, and other juvenile bullshit (e.g. Mike H.) If you listen and put your ideas up for defense, you just might learn something and develop some understanding of the opposition, maybe even grudging respect. Sadly, all Mike’s got is the rhetoric of a fourth-grade nothing.

    Speaking as a former utility engineer, I hope Mike doesn’t carry himself this way on the job; it’d be an embarrassment to the profession.

    Actions have consequences; he’s worn out his welcome and burned out his fifteen minutes. Drop the hammer on Mike and move on.

  43. #43 Tom V.
    September 16, 2009

    Interestingly no one is saying they would be unhappy if you banned him, even those voting no.

  44. #44 Art
    September 16, 2009

    On one hand, IMHO, his posts seem to be wastes of space and bandwidth. Banning is the reflexive, possibly eliminationist, feel-good answer. Disemvoweling has a rye twist that appeals to me.

    While adding little, I suppose I could be seen the same way, I think that MH’s random insertion of irrational venom and passive-aggressive nonsense might actually be good. While annoying it highlights the the fact that while there are many concepts and arguments to explore there is a real battle for power at hand. That the right has three argumntative thrusts.

    There are the battles over real world objectives that can be won or lost and will make profound near-term differences in the nature and character of our nation and world. Like control over congress and the roll of corporations in America. These are major inflection points that cannot be delayed or avoided.

    There are also the many secondary but worthy arguments over the eternal battles within human nature, the society and the national character. The usual set of justice and equality and fairness play out at this level. While worthy of discussion and efforts to shift in one direction or another they are eternal problems that won’t be solved any time soon and they, in a time of more pressing issues, distractions.

    The third thrust is MH’s forte. It is irrational, nearly word salad, presentation of his fractured internal dialog put on parade for all to see. The interjection of this style into any discussion is similar to a streaker running through a learned discussion of vital issues. It serves the controllers or perpetrators interest to disrupt the flow and concentration of the proceedings. Progress will, at least momentarily come to a halt. With any luck some subset of people will stop thinking about the issues at hand and take off on a tangent in the direction of ‘what is free expression?’ and ‘How do you feel streaking fits into the American dialog?’.

    The right-wing uses these three styles in combination and series to weaken the effectiveness of the progressive moment. MH’s amateurish attempts at relevance and distraction does serve a purpose. It serves to immunize people to distraction, to make them aware of the tactic and to point out that the GOP is perfectly willing to use any tactic it can to gain its objective. That includes winding up and exploiting the mental illness of people like MH. Using them as intellectual suicide bombers to disrupt the ability of their enemies to concentrate on vital issues.

  45. #45 Pete
    September 16, 2009

    #31: Well, there is a joke, but he’s not gone missing yet!

  46. #46 Sondra
    September 16, 2009

    Ouch. Mike the Mad is right. I do not think he has made exacting threats here but he has been oppressive and now to know that is capable of sliding that way I say he goes.

  47. #47 NewEnglandBob
    September 16, 2009

    Ban him.

    He has never had even one comment that was reasonable.
    He hates himself therefore he shows it by hating the world.

  48. #48 Pat and Mike
    September 16, 2009

    #30: He has a forte?

  49. #49 Sonia
    September 16, 2009

    He’s a racist slob with no redeeming qualities. Ban him.

  50. #50 Mike Haubrch
    September 16, 2009

    When this popped up on my RSS reader, I thought you were talking about the other Mike H. (as in Haubrich). So I figured there must be some sort of joke I was missing…

    Ian, I consider that reason enough to vote hiim off the Island…

  51. #51 Stephanie Z
    September 16, 2009

    I’m still curious to know whether Mike’s presence is keeping anyone from commenting. If not, he’s pretty much an annoyance. I get that if that’s the case, you might not want to comment here either, but I hope you’ll let Greg know.

  52. #52 Dmitri
    September 16, 2009

    I too am confused by the existence of two or more Mike people. Get rid of either one, I don’t care which.

  53. #53 Elizabeth
    September 16, 2009

    I am a Large Angry Black Woman. Mike_H does not keep me from commenting. I don’t say much anyway. I also don’t take him seriously. While I would like to see him off the planet, I can’t ask you to keep him off your blog. But I would like to meet him. I want to meet him a lot. Once.

  54. #54 Quincy
    September 16, 2009

    If he was more original it may be worth keeping him around. I am not sure he is capable of that.

  55. #55 AnnieB
    September 16, 2009

    If it wasn’t for the gun threat I would say it does not matter or to leave him around. A vague “no” vote. But his racial remarks and his gun mention (see above) is grounds for throwing him off.

  56. #56 itzac
    September 16, 2009

    Ban him. He has a blog where he can respond to your posts if he likes. That fewer people are likely to see them there is not your problem, or mine as a reader. He’ll just have to build his own audience instead of leaching off yours.

  57. #57 D. C. Sessions
    September 16, 2009

    May I suggest a compromise?

    I don’t know if ScienceBlogs allows context-sensitive blockage, but if it does then you could tag occasional posts with a MikeH tag and allow him only on those. Sort of a declared free-fire zone for him to demonstrate his physioprofheadedness and us to mock him once again.

    Whenever you’ve got other things going, let him out of the box for general lulz.

  58. #58 omar
    September 16, 2009

    Torture him first then ban him.

  59. #59 a science blogger
    September 16, 2009

    On reviewing the additional evidence I have decided to change my vote as well. Ban.

  60. #60 D. C. Sessions
    September 16, 2009

    I’m still curious to know whether Mike’s presence is keeping anyone from commenting. If not, he’s pretty much an annoyance.

    I think you’ve begun to suspect that it would take more than MikeH to keep me from posting.

    On the other hand, in the interest of consistency with some of my other stated positions, I don’t as a rule have a lot of patience with intentional distractions and conversation disruption.

  61. #61 Dimitri
    September 16, 2009

    Please make him go away. I vote: Ban.

  62. #62 D. C. Sessions
    September 16, 2009

    Banning him will only make him think he’s right or that he’s won

    ObQuirk!

    Besides, who cares?

  63. #63 Stephanie Z
    September 16, 2009

    I’m well aware of that, D. C. :)

    I also know that when it comes to verbal sparring, I’m pretty damned privileged in a couple of ways. You too. So, as much as I dislike banning, I defer in this case to others who might be more affected. And to Greg, of course, if he just gets too tired of the whole thing.

  64. #64 Enoch
    September 16, 2009

    If he was better at what he does then he would be more useful longer.

  65. #65 Lisa A
    September 16, 2009

    Memo to MoveOn and Organizing for America: If I even see your teeth, the coroner is going to be digging a .45 slug out of your skull.

    and

    I suppose the three deputies needed to carry queen hippo away did make a more meme worthy story though.

    Why is there a question?

  66. #66 An Artist
    September 16, 2009

    Hey 27! Trolling is art? I feel quite badly insulted.

  67. #67 Bill James
    September 16, 2009

    Mike H. is one of the bright spots on this blog.

    Let him ride.

  68. #68 Cal
    September 16, 2009

    Base it on his next comment. If it is well thought out, accurate, not a straw man argument or personal attack, makes even a small positive contribution to the argument, then keep him. But the sec he drops one of his crap bombs ban him. A sort of intellectual tight rope for ol mikey from now on.

  69. #69 Jared
    September 16, 2009

    I like the idea of “lulzones” as suggested @57

    Aside from this, I’d say something fun and creative like turn all of his comments into a funny .jpg

  70. #70 Lisa A
    September 16, 2009

    Ban Bill James

  71. #71 Joshua Zelinsky
    September 16, 2009

    I’m generally not in favor of outright banning of individuals and am not sure that Mike H would merit such a response. Some of his comments are stupid but I don’t see the complete egregious stupidity and ignorance needed such that all his comments are a waste of time.

    Also, a dumb technical question: As I understand it, all the links put in comments threads (such as links under names) are nofollow tagged. However, links put in directly in blog posts are not nofollow tagged. So none of this previous links to his blog gave him anything substantial while putting a link directly in the post here does. Am I missing something?

  72. #72 gruebait
    September 16, 2009

    Can’t say I have feelings about whether or not to ban an idiot.

    I have been reading pleas to “Please don’t feed the trolls” since long before there was a World Wide Web, and it always seemed like a sensible course. And I have rarely seen it work.

  73. #73 mark
    September 16, 2009

    Perhaps you could show off your scripting ability and automatically insert a disclaimer at the beginning of each of his posts–“Warning: The following post may be unsuitable for most readers due to idiocy/assholery.”

  74. #74 Bill James
    September 16, 2009

    72 comments in less than three hours? It appears Mike H. is good for business. Give the man his link backs. He earns it.

  75. #75 Mike H
    September 16, 2009

    Greg Laden = Catholic Church

    Mike H = Gallileo Gallileo

    Oh the irony …….

    BTW, thanks Bill James.

  76. #76 Stephanie Z
    September 16, 2009

    Mike, once again, truth matters. What Gallileo said was right.

    And as for Bill: This is the guy who called homosexuality a birth defect. His endorsement won’t help you much.

  77. #77 Joshua Zelinsky
    September 16, 2009

    Ok. Changed my mind. I have a serious allergy to idiotic comparisons to Galileo. I also have a bad allergy to abuse of the equal sign. Between the two of them I’d be going into anaphylaxis if not for my epi-pen. Ban him so I and no one else am harmed.

  78. #78 Ted
    September 16, 2009

    75 comments about whether readers hate Mike H or just really, really dislike him is not good for business. It’s good for trolls. And this guy thinks he’s Gallileo. He’s mentally ill.

  79. #79 Mike H
    September 16, 2009

    Mike, once again, truth matters. What Gallileo said was right.

    Much like myself.

    And as for Bill: This is the guy who called homosexuality a birth defect. His endorsement won’t help you much.

    If the purpose of life is the procreation of the species and more specifically the furtherance of ones own genetic material, then how could a condition present since conception be considered anything other than a defect if does not further this and actively prevents this? Inquiring minds want to know.

  80. #80 tms
    September 16, 2009

    86 him

  81. #81 djfav
    September 16, 2009

    Bring down the banhammer. I won’t miss him.

  82. #82 BdN
    September 16, 2009

    If the purpose of life is the procreation of the species and more specifically the furtherance of ones own genetic material, then how could a condition present since conception be considered anything other than a defect if does not further this and actively prevents this? Inquiring minds want to know.


    Maybe you could begin here…

  83. #83 Rich Wilson
    September 16, 2009

    Ban him or not, what actually really bothers me is you changing his links. I think he should be allowed unedited, or banned.

    I once posted a comment to a blog in which I argued against the blogger’s thesis. The blogger went back and changed her original post, with no comment that it had changed. That really bothered me. (I’m the only person who I’ve ever seen comment on that blog by the way).

    It’s your house, but if you don’t play ‘fair’ in the debate, nobody’s going to want to play. If you’re going to play games like that with Mike H, then how do we know you won’t do the same to any of us if you don’t agree with something we’ve said?

    I can’t imagine ever saying anything remotely as disagreeable a Mike H. And I’m not a new regular reader because I disagree with everything you say. I don’t have time for that. But there are sure to be some areas in which we disagree.

  84. #84 Paul Hutch
    September 16, 2009

    Since he can’t even be bothered to get Galileo Galilei’s name correct he deserves to be banned :-).

    Seriously though, I just skip by the incoherent comments of wing-nut’s on any blog so, I don’t care whether you ban him or not.

  85. #85 Enoch
    September 16, 2009

    Rich, I don’t think blogs are what you think blogs are.

  86. #86 DuWayne
    September 16, 2009

    Assholes with a substantive contribution to make are one thing – agreeable or not. Assholes who are just bloody fucking morons are quite another. Disemvoweling sees like the perfect solution to me.

    As far as I know, you have yet to actually ban anyone. Why start now?

  87. #87 Greg Laden
    September 16, 2009

    Now that DuWayne has finally chimed in, I can deliberate.

  88. #88 Greg Laden
    September 16, 2009

    So far there are 34 “ban him” votes, which I believe is more than the “keep him” votes, though I have not counted the latter. I’ve learned that this is not a good system for unambiguous vote counting.

    Regarding a few questions that have been brought up; The links from comments are picked up by some search services and not others. A commenter’s link backs can count in their favor. However, putting that aside, simply having the links matters.

    Rich: Sorry, you are quite wrong in your admonition that I should keep his links in place. You’ve conflated my deletion of his links with the nefarious and unfair act of chaning one’s argument-text post hoc. They are nothing like the same thing. I do not want links to Mike’s site on my blog. I actually get to chose that. If I allow him to comment in the future, it will be under the condition that he does not link back. That is already decided. This really is my blog and I really get to decide that.

    I actually decided initially what the outcome of this would most likely be on reading Mike’s very racist comments that were actually posted subsequent to this thread’s startup, and on learning about his threat to shoot someone. The fact that he did not make the threat on my blog does actually matter. That threat on its own would not make his banning automatic here (but if he did make such a remark here that would be curtains for him). But it matters in my overall deliberation.

    The racist remarks he has made (the “hippo” comments) and the shooting threat clearly indicate that Mike H is a nefarious, evil misanthrope. That is a factor.

    What is important, actually, is what Stephanie said and a parallel and related issue: Is Mike H making other people not want to be here? Parallel to that, is Mike H making people who happen to wander into this community feel personally offended if the first few things they happen to see is his remarks? And, being an asshat is OK, but it must be modulated asshatitude. That’s a tricky concept, I know, but I simply to not accept that the only alternative to oppressive civility is rampant asshatitude (by now all my readers should know my position on that). So yes, it is hard to find the line one should not cross, but when someone has crossed the line and wandered miles away from it, that is not so hard to see.

    Rampant asshatitude is not allowed here. You will notice that even Physiprof is polite here sometimes because he has finally realized and apparently accepted that just being an asshole all the time to everyone is not justified behavior. Mike H does not get that and he is an asshole all the time. I have no problem with people with very different opinions than I have about race being on this blog. The reason I blog about race is to elicit those comments so that I can improve my own arguments.

    But Mike H has done something different here. He’s said insulting racist things on this blog about actual people. Direct racist, sexist, or other sorts of attacks of this sort are not OK and will end now.

    Mike has made other readers of this blog feel uncomfortable. He has insulted other readers of this blog. He has insulted people who as far as I know don’t read this blog but they exist: they are real people out there. He has contributed nothing. He has a history of making violent threats. He is not entertaining. He is unmodulated, offensive, annoying, and has no redeeming behaviors.

    So, the answer to the question of banning Mike H is obvious. I will now issue my decision.

    Mike H: I’m not going to ban you, but I expect you to read all the comments above, and my analysis in this comment carefully and to adjust your behavior accordingly. I don’t want links back to your site from my blog so please do not include them when you post. Read over this material and adjust your behavior accordingly. I don’t expect you to get it right immediately and there will certainly be some room for error. But you have to change your approach.

    If you follow this directive you can continue to comment. If you do not you will be banned. If you are banned, it will not be on the basis of your breaking a certain rule or making a certain mistake. It will be because I have decided that you are not making a sincere effort to become a better member of this community. If I do ban you that decision will not be couched in rationalizations or explanations. It will be thoughtful but arbitrary and carried out summarily.

    Post script:

    This blog is not the public square. but I do want my commenters to feel that even if I despise them they should be comfortable here. But I am much more concerned with the commenters who are key members of this community, and people who are friends. I can do that, this is my blog. At the moment, there is only one person banned from commenting here and the reason he was banned here is because he became excessively annoying and was hijacking too much of the blog, and doing other unacceptable things. You all know that there are people who regularly comment on this blog who are banned elsewhere. I’m not a banning kind of guy. But I find Mike H’s remarks to be over the top offensive to third party individuals and I do not want this blog to be a source of that sort of offense.

    Thank you all very much for your very valuable input into this situation.

  89. #89 Rich Wilson
    September 16, 2009

    I just had to share my shock at realizing that I have two birth defects on my chest. Who knew?

  90. #90 s
    September 16, 2009

    I agree with Joshua Z; I would ban him for comparing himself to Galileo. But it’s not my blog.

    You’ve given it a lot of thought and a fair hearing, Greg. Whatever you choose, it will be an informed and defensible choice.

  91. #91 Rob Jase
    September 16, 2009

    Keep Mike H.

    Yes he’s annoying.

    Yes he’s a waste of band width.

    Yes he couldn’t make a point with a box of #2 pencils & an elettric sharpener.

    But compared to him I’m intelligent & eloquent so I have to defend him so I can look better.

  92. #92 dean
    September 16, 2009

    Greg, are you taking bets on whether he will (or will not) read your comments, reflect on his behavior, and adjust his behavior?

  93. #93 Greg Laden
    September 16, 2009

    Dean, of course he will read the comment and behave. I assume.

  94. #94 The Science Pundit
    September 16, 2009

    Greg,

    You may have just made an ass out of you and dean. :-P

  95. #95 Stephanie Z
    September 16, 2009

    Hush, SP. Mike’s been trying to do that for ages. If you point out how easy it was, he’s just going to feel bad.

  96. #96 DuWayne
    September 16, 2009

    I would ban him for comparing himself to Galileo. But it’s not my blog.

    Oh hell no, that is something to savor. The Galileo gambit is rarely so obvious, it is so very worthwhile to have an overt example to point to. People who believe that bucking the majority makes them correct, because Galileo (and many others throughout history) bucked the majority and were right, are often the most amusing fucking loons – though this is obviously not the case with Mike H.

  97. #97 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    September 16, 2009

    I too am confused by the existence of two or more Mike people. Get rid of either one, I don’t care which.

    I request immunity!

  98. #98 Azkyroth
    September 16, 2009

    Can you write a script to replace each of Mike H’s comments with “I SUCK HUGE MONKEY COCK!!!! :D”?

    If not, ban the twerp. You have no moral obligation to offer your blog as a forum for the stupid, ignorant, and hateful to masturbate in public.

  99. #99 Azkyroth
    September 16, 2009

    Employment: Mike H works as an engineer in the utility industry.

    Is there any proof of that, other than his word? Based on his comments here he strikes me as the “mandatory calculus classes are a JEWISH CONSPIRACY” type.

  100. #100 dal
    September 17, 2009

    Greg,

    You mentioned something about his nose and what he like to do with it: I say Mike H is the type of whack who would rather bite the nose off his own face than see the world a better place. Every kingdom has a fool and he is it.

    thank me later
    your new friend Dal

  101. #101 Harry Bosch
    September 17, 2009

    I thought you were just keeping him around for comic relief… If you don’t like him and he doesn’t offer any serious discussion, ban him, let him write on his own blog.

  102. #102 trog69
    September 17, 2009

    This feels a bit OT since the decision has been made, but I really enjoy reading this blog, and Greg is one of my favorites on Sb. The commenters here have no problem smacking down Mike “.45IQ” H., so I regard his comments as the equivalent of an annoying child who makes noises and faces at you while his mom is in the restroom, and he knows you can’t do anything to stop him. Barely worth a shake of the head, and a return to the newspaper.

    I agree with your decision, because he’s not worth the attention he craves.

  103. #103 Mike H
    September 17, 2009

    Hmm, where to start.

    First, I would like to say thanks to all my fans and appreciate the overwhelming support I have received on this forum. That and the civility/relevance on the topic that the commenters have shown here is a fine gage of the caliber of people who frequent this site and Mr Laden’s blog in particular.

    Greg doesn’t like my politics, and that’s what’s driving this debate, not that I called some obese black woman “queen hippo”. Allegations of racism have become rather meaningless because of people like Mr Laden’s overuse and misuse of them. Soon it will join “fascist” in the lexicon of other ways of saying “things and people we don’t like”. While I have certainly mocked some of the other commenters here, the kind of vile directed at me is an order of magnitude more severe. Not that I care, I have pretty thick skin and to be honest none of the cowards would have the balls to say it to me if I was within arms reach of them, but for Mr Laden’s crocodile tears about me being over the top and overly offensive is just more of his brand of hose phooey.

    Although Greg hates my politics and probably despises me as well, he knows I am good for traffic (as evident by the 100+ replies to this thread). Maybe he makes some kind of income from this blog, maybe he doesn’t, but since he is currently a jobless loser, he needs something and since I marginally (and not so marginally today) contribute to that he looks to be willing to let me stick around just so long as I kiss the ring.

    Well, that’s not how I operate. If I am moderated (i.e. my link doesn’t show up in my post) I won’t post here, simple as that.

    I wont lose any sleep if a second rate, unemployed loser like Mr Laden bans me, but it will say volumes for kind of person he is.

    Smell you later losers.

  104. #104 Jim Hall
    September 17, 2009

    I’m late to the discussion, but I’ll give my thoughts anyway. On the FreeDOS Project, I have been very against banning anyone from our mailing lists. This always seemed a bit too much like censoring those who disagreed with me, so I shied away from it. I strongly believe that to develop free software, you must support free speech.

    But open source projects tend towards meritocracy: If you have the technical background, people listen to you. If you are a trolling asshat, people ignore you. So it was easy for me to “let free speech rule” on the mailing lists, because the stupid behavior policed itself pretty well.

    I’ve broken that rule only once. We had a person on the list who became very disruptive. Our mailing lists have mostly avoided flame wars, but this person was like a match to every argument. It reached a point where I had to make a decision: would kicking this person from the list do more damage to the community than leaving him there?

    In the end, I warned the person (off-list) that his behavior was being very disruptive and abusive, and if he continued I would kick him from the list. Sort of a warning shot. He acknowledged my email, then continued being abusive. I kicked him.

    I eventually let him back on the list, after he very politely contacted me off-list to apologize. Still, it was 6 months later before I re-added him to the list. He’s still there, and he mostly keeps his behavior in check. The list community does the rest.

    So I’d give this advice to Greg: decide if banning this guy will do more damage to your blog community, rather than just leaving him there. I think lots of other people here have already given their opinion to which they would prefer, so I’ll leave it at that.

  105. #105 becca
    September 17, 2009

    “Physiprof is polite here sometimes because he has finally realized and apparently accepted that just being an asshole all the time to everyone is not justified behavior.” How do you know that’s why? He’s alternately polite and utterly douchetastic in different places in different contexts. Barring a Jekyll/Hyde MPD issue, I’d guess he is either incredibly stupid, and thinks that his behavior is always constructive (at least in the sense of providing entertainment) or incredibly evil (and thinks that the occasional politeness lends him credibility with some that he can then capitalize on to tear others down all the more effectively). I don’t think the fairness/righteousness of being an asshole in a particular direction really enters into his calculations; I think he just gets high on appearing righteous (like a lot of people… *whistles*).

  106. #106 D. C. Sessions
    September 17, 2009

    I’d guess he is either incredibly stupid, and thinks that his behavior is always constructive (at least in the sense of providing entertainment) or incredibly evil (and thinks that the occasional politeness lends him credibility with some that he can then capitalize on to tear others down all the more effectively).

    I just figured narcissism and lulz.

  107. #107 Azkyroth
    September 17, 2009

    I have pretty an incredibly thick skin skull

    Fixed it for ya. :D

  108. #108 Jared
    September 18, 2009

    none of the cowards would have the balls to say it to me if I was within arms reach of them

    And what makes you think we are cowards? How do you know this? Would you attempt physical harm on the individual? If so, how certain are you that it would go your way?

    Well, that’s not how I operate. If I am moderated (i.e. my link doesn’t show up in my post) I won’t post here, simple as that.

    I suppose this is farewell, then.

  109. #109 Ted Gideonse
    September 18, 2009

    How cute. He took his marbles and went home.

  110. #110 dal
    September 22, 2009

    mark this solved

  111. #111 Greg Laden
    September 23, 2009

    In case you were wondering: A condition of Mike H’s continued participation was no linking back to his blog. He continued to link back to his blog and I assumed that this was because he was unable to follow instructions, being a moron and all. But a more recent comment made it clear that he was violating this condition purposefully, and had done so frequently.

    Too bad. He had just started to shift into still obnoxious but at least not just throwing mud mode.

    But, his contribution never rose to the level that he will be missed.

  112. #112 Drake33
    November 5, 2009

    Jeebus. His “queen hippo” post was terrible. … Mr. H. clearly doesn’t know or care, why his toxic noxious views are not welcome here. He probably thinks that he has “1st Amendment” rights on this blog. … and now, since it’s all he has left, he’ll play the persecution card.

    It’s a sad life that he has.

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