Monthly Archives: July 2005

It is now the eve of my return to Classicbattletech — at least I hope so. I was banned on June 28 at 12:14:54. Hopefully, that would mean a one-month ban would end on July 28 at 12:14:54.


In any case, I should be able to get back on in the next couple of days, but I remain unsettled. I wonder if the mods/admins will answer my PMs, or will they continue to stonewall me?

Assuming they all aren’t just unaccountably massively busy right now, it’s a bit of a childish behavior. They can’t defend their position logically, so they won’t talk about it? So I guess I should assume they’re all unaccountably busy. So busy they can’t answer one e-mail between them in three weeks — in which case, they need to hire more help.

Well, maybe they’ll check their PMs. Though I’m not overly expecting them to.

I guess I’ll just have to be careful about this, post only on the FGC and Fan Articles boards as I was intending. Of course, Gracus took over Warship of the Week in my absence (without ever asking anyone, as far as I can tell) so I may not have anything to post at all there.

Well, at least I’m still Khan of Clan Ghost Bear. That has to count for something. In the meantime, I guess I’ll be shopping around for another internet community. Any suggestions?

It would be really nice if people knew what they were talking about before they started arguing. Okay, to be perfectly fair, there’s a lot of info out there and it’s hard to keep up on all of it. What really annoys me is when the same misconceptions keep cropping up again and again and again.

For example, take a look at this post from Classic Battletech. If you don’t know a thing about the Clans specifically or Battletech in general, I suppose I can excuse this kind of thing, but to better educate the general public, here’s what’s wrong with what was stated:

– They exalt the Clan above the individual, with the Warrior caste being supreme

Actually true. Yup. Though to a greater or lesser degree depending on the Clan. It’s not the worst way to run things, and nationalism (which is what is being defined here) is an element in all nation-states — thus the name.

– They stress loyalty to a single leader

Absolutely false. No Clan has a single leader, nor is loyalty to any leader considered particularly important. Each Clan is, in fact, led by a Council of Bloodnamed Warriors (Bloodnamed Warriors recieve their status by winning a tournament in which they engage in lethal combat to determine who is the best warrior, a rather meritocratic way to qualify for the Warrior Caste’s highest council, if not for the governing body of an entire society.) One among these is elected the Senior Khan. He acts as head of state and one representative to the Grand Council (somewhat analogous to the UN, but with more power and less indecision.) Even so, he has little real power. The Khan’s decisions must be ratified by a majority of the Clan Council, he holds no power of veto, and he serves at the pleasure of the Clan Council. He can be dismissed at any time by a simple majority, and any member of the Council can challenge him to a trial by combat with the aim of forcing concessions from him or even divesting him of his position. Such challenges are not even frowned upon. As if to make the situation worse, each Clan Council also elects one of their number to serve as Junior (sa)Khan. He acts as the commander in chief of the Clan’s military and also holds a position on the Grand Council. Within his own Clan, his political power is no greater than that of any other Bloodnamed Warrior, and he also serves at the pleasure of the Clan Council.

– They use violence and censorship to forcibly suppress political opposition

Untrue. While violence is always an option in Clan Society, in most Clans political opposition is, while not especially encouraged, allowed. Each Clan is split into at least two major political camps, and whichever camp is in power, Warden or Crusader, the other is allowed to exist, to plot, to scheme, and even to make television.

– They engage in syndicalist corporatism (especially the Diamond Sharks, where Mechant caste has massive amounts of political power compared to other clans)

Yes they do, but it doesn’t mean what the author thinks it does.Fascists practiced simple corporatism, which is characterized by state-run labor unions. Socialism, and by extension the socialist system employed by the Clans, upholds the ideal of syndicalism, where the state is run by the labor unions (and therefore, in theory, the workers.)

The difference is that in the fascist system, one gains power through service to the state (and, by extension, the single party and/or demagogue who runs it.) While in a socialist system, one gains power through the efficiency of their work and/or the regard of their peers.

Perhaps a too-subtle and even sometimes irrelevant disctinction. It took me nearly an hour to wrap my mind around it. Moving on.

– They implement totalitarian systems

The Clans aren’t even authoritarian, let alone totalitarian. Rebellion is encouraged, and avenues for it are provided. Authority is dispersed and compartmentalized, with an elaborate system of checks and balances in place to prevent abuse.

At least in theory. In practice, the position of the warrior caste (being the only ones with guns and training, aside of their role in mediating disputes between castes) can often lead to the lesser castes being subordinated in a more-or-less totalitarian fashion. The Smoke Jaguars were a fine example of this.

Frankly, it would be hard for the Clans to get *less* fascist without becoming degenerate hippies.

So, this is new.

My recent enforced absence from The Classic Battletech Forumshas caused me, through a somewhat tortuous and roundabout path, to have the idea of creating my own Blog. As the aformentioned ban remains(pathetically) one of the central issues of my life at this time, I might as well start by describing how it came about.

ClassicBattletech is a moderated forum, meaning, of course,that it has a hard-working and dedicated (but completely unpaid) staff of moderators that enforce the rules. actually, I used to be one of them, but retired some time ago. 

Actually, that’s not strictly true, that’s just what I tell people. You see, I am, in the words of John Adams, obnoxious and disliked. I have a tendency of rubbing people the wrong way, especially online, where my quirky sense of humor lacks the subtle tones of my voice to prop it up. I’m also somewhat short-tempered, a fact I’ve been wrestling with most of my life but managed to get mostly under control.

So, at some point, I left the service of the CBT/Modstaff. I actually thought I left on somewhat good terms, but I appear to have been wrong. A minor bungle sometime back got me a not-Warning. I said to someone that I had “caught him in a lie,” which is a somewhat obscure phrase that I had heard once in my life and believed to mean that I had caught him trying to pass himself off as knowledgeable in a subject that he had not researched. The Mod staff accurately determined that the statement might have been taken to mean that I thought he was actually lying or a liar, which would have been mean and unfair asideof simply violating the rules. The post was edited and the matter forgotten (actually, I forgot it, I am well aware that the moderators have a secret vault where all my past misdeeds are recorded for future use.)

Now, this wasn’t an actual Warning, it was a Friendly Reminder, and was never fully or Officially upgraded to a Warning. I did get one Warning though. I told incredbil that he has a reading comprehension problem. Apparently that’s insulting, but he does. He reads things and doesn’t understand them. Regardless of why he does that, it’s a reading comprehension problem.

After that, it starts to get a little weird. Up to this point, the Moderators’ actions have been friendly and restrained, but then the oddest thing happens. In a thread that no longer appears on CBT, for no reason I can imagine, one of the moderators called me out. Four days after the last post on the thread, he made a  post that was ostensibly aimed at “calming down” a situation that  might have become a flame-war. Now, you and I (and the moderator in question) know that flame-wars don’t take any four days to get started, and besides he made some insulting insinuations about me. Naturally, I got a little torqued off and stupidly, on a public forum, asked him what the hell he was doing.

Some thirty or forty seconds later, I deleted the post, replacing it entirely with the word “withdrawn.” At that point, the moderator who started the whole thing banned me for a week.

That was a rather harsh switch from friendly and official Warnings. Unusually severe treatment following a confrontational post from a moderator (who, himself, did the banning.) Nevertheless, the Admins seem to have backed him up.Why, I don’t understand. They never saw the post. It was deleted before it could be moved to the Moderators’ Evidence Locker of Doom.

At this last turn it gets really bizarre. Out of the blue, I am banned for a month for a supposed violation of rule #2. Now, rule #2 is the anti-trolling rule. If you’re posting just to be confrontational, it says. And I wasn’t. If I wanted to be confrontational or insulting, I’m much better at that than the moderators appear to imagine.

Sadly, I can’t show you the posts in question because they’re no longer publicly available, having been pre-emptively deleted to keep their “confrontational” contents from  causing a stir. At the moment, I believe you’ll have to take my word for it that I was being as non-confrontational as I know how, didn’t insult anyone, etc. etc.etc.

So I don’t break any rule, and I’m banned for a month. And to compound the problem, the Admins are all too busy (or on vacation or something)to address the issue.

So I’m just going to serve out the remaining 11 (or so) days of my ban and then restrict my posts to RP and articles until I can get this thing fully hashed out with the Admins. From what I’ve been getting so far, it seems rather unlikely I’ll ever be treated fairly.

That seems like enough for now, actually.