Skip to comments.Tick... tock... is it the 18th yet? BadJoe's promised Exposť on JimRob (vanity)
Posted on 10/18/2003 6:01:26 PM PDT by Jim Robinson
It is with a very heavy heart I am writing this.
A little about me first. I am sixty six years old. I have been told since I was a kid I wouldn't live past forty, because of a supposed heart condition.
Somehow I beat those doctor's predictions by 26 years so far, not by being careful, but by living to the fullest. You know "Eat, Drink, and be Merry. For tomorrow you may Die". The Lord knows I have had a really full life.
I made a few changes because of my condition. I gave up going to medical school and went to Optometry school because I figured the work would be less stressful, and it was.
I finished my schooling in 1959 and became a truly political person in 1960 after paying taxes that spring on my income of only three and one half months of private, solo, cold turkey start up practice in 1959. I was astounded at how much my government wanted from an up to his ears in debt damn kid.
I set out to find out what was wrong with my country. Somehow luck brought me to two books, "Atlas Shrugged" (Time magazine, which I subscribed to for my waiting room, did an article on its author, Ayn Rand), and "The Mainspring of Human Progress" by Henry Grady Weaver. These two books set me on my life's course. Over the years since I have given a thousand of these books to anyone who will accept them. I consider these two books as the most important any American could read. In fact if every high school student of the last forty years had read the "Mainspring," socialist thought would have been dead in our country twenty five years ago.
I was a hard Goldwater worker in 64 and a presidential elector for Wallace in 1968. Not because of the race thing, which I never have supported, but because of the 10th amendment position of the movement. I also considered both Nixon and Humphrey to be socialists.
Since I didn't expect to live long enough to get rich. I did what I could to advance the cause of liberty with what time and money I had. Some successes were there to be had.
The Goldwater/American Independent Party movement of the 60's set the stage for the Reagan miracle, and that set the stage for the 94 congressional elections. Both of these occurrences were big advances for the philosophy I held.
In 1996 the only thing I knew about computers was how to spell the word. After a personal injury in July that year, I had to lie down for nearly a year. During that time my son carried a computer in and said "well Dad. you've got nothing else to do". I already was a news junkie and this wondrous gadget allowed me to read damn near every newspaper in the country. By the fall of 97 I found the "Whitewater Pages" and FR, from a link on Drudge. I had learned about the Drudge Report from the TV news shows I was watching.
I signed up on FR in February 98, I am number 1697. After being nearly alone in the battle for liberty for many years, at last I had found hundreds and then thousands of kindred spirits.
In July 98 I needed to go to California and wrote to Clinton's a Liar and said I wanted to meet some Freepers. She put up a thread "Badjoe's coming to LA. Let's Party" I was picked up by Freeper Willa Johns. We went to the Cheese Factory restaurant that evening, where I met BobJ, Alygirl, NavyVet, and a few others. Most of us spent the night at Cal's home and the next day we all drove to Fresno to meet JimRob. At that time there were maybe between 4,000 and 5,000 Freepers to the best of my memory.
It was the 4th of July weekend and we had a great day in the park. Besides those I have already mentioned, Dale Reed and his Missus were there as was KG9kid. There were a few others but I don't remember their names. A couple of folks were from the San Francisco area.
Over Labor Day weekend in 98 BobJ arranged another get together of the LA area Freepers with a bus tour of the Reagan and Nixon libraries. I came back out here from Kansas for that weekend. This time there were 30 some Freepers on the trip. The sense of family and camaraderie was amazing. It was during this trip I decided to move to California from Wichita, Ks to help this movement grow and to be among my new found friends.
In October some Philadelphia teamsters roughed up a Freeper for protesting Clinton. JimRob decides he is going to go to DC and protest the President. In three weeks time 5,000 Freepers went along with him. That was 5,000 out of a total of about 15,000 registered Freepers. It was The March for Justice. I was one of the 5,000. I met One Who Knows there. Mike Galutia, A GreatPer, GinnyMac (more about GinnyMac later), most of what was to become the DC Chapter, and many, many others who's names I no longer remember. I considered that gathering to be the greatest group of Liberty loving, intelligence, since our founding fathers had met in Philadelphia in 1776. It was a magnificent occurrence. Does anyone think FR could ever get 5,000 Freepers to gather together anywhere for anything anymore?
In December 98 I made the move and by January Bob J asked me to take over FreepStuff, which I did. FR got a cut of what I sold. I bought most all the T-shirts, Ball Caps, Jackets, Bumper stickers, Posters, etc., out of my pocket. When the LATimes/Washinton Post lawsuit hit, JR all but shut FreepStuff down to bolster the idea that FR was not a money making enterprise, as part of the defense strategy. I had $3,000 or $4,000 worth of merchandise on hand at the time and swallowed it without complaint.
Ultimately I gave it all to a Freeper in Utah, I think, who was willing to try to revive it.
During 1999 BobJ ask me to handle incoming donations and told me we needed $500 or $600 a month to pay the for bandwidth for FR. I'd put up a small appeal every month and usually we got the funds needed. My memory may be failing me here as we may have needed a couple of thousand dollars each month.
Two really big things happened in December 1999.
#1 BobJ gathered together a few of us locals (I think JR was there too) and some Freepers from across the country, one from as far away as Michigan. We sat through a long Saturday and Sunday drawing up corporation papers for three FR entities, The Forum, The FR Network, and the FR Institute. They were to have interlocking boards of directors and work to save our countries liberty from different directions.
The Forum would remain as it was and would be used as a breeding ground for the talent for the other two.
The Network's goal was to de-fund the left and neutralize the media through political action.
The FR Institute was to work on college campuses and high schools, though speakers on "Limited Constitutional Governments" and the "Benefits of a Free Marketplace". We envisioned ultimately we'd have "Liberty Scholarships" available to deserving high school students through a national essay contest.
The FR Institute was my primary interest.
The FR Network corporation is the only one of the three that got formed. The Forum remained in Jim's LLC.
#2 Big event was Freeper Vermonter suggesting we do a fundraiser once a quarter, and he was very instrumental in kicking off the first big fundraiser. We raised $15,000 in eight days. That was December 99
In March of 2,000 we went for $20,000 Freepers 2ndMostConservativeBrdmbr and Topaz jumped in big time to help and we made the goal in about 11 days.
Buoyed by success I decided to go for $40,000 in June of 2,000. BobJ and others thought I was going for too much. I said we won't know unless we try. We made it in just under 10 days. During this time frame We had many overloads on the server. I knew we needed better equipment and bigger service. I talked with Jim and tried to get a feel for how much he needed to live on and what it would take to upgrade. He said he needed $5,000/month. Not wanting him to live hand to mouth so to speak I said hell take $6,000/mo I'll get us the money. Please keep in mind folks that I had never been involved with fundraising before my experience with FR.
As equipment and server expense kept getting higher, we kept raising the goal. We went for $70,000 $80,000 and one time we tried for $100,000. We didn't make that one but did get in about $93,000 I think. After 18 days I thought the fundraising team had had enough.
Up till May of 2,002 I had little or nothing to do with the inner workings of FRs forum. However. I was part of the newly formed Orange County Chapter.
Some not so good things were going on behind the scenes that I later learned about. I knew we had established a moderator system. I only knew who one of them was as he withdrew from helping with the fundraising and wanted me to know he had been asked to take on new duties. He didn't tell me he was becoming a moderator, but it was easy to figure out.
In April of 2,002 I received an e-mail from JR stating that he was going to assert his belief that we should only elect Republicans in order to get conservative court appointments. I answer that it was fine for him to take that position, but that if he tried to force the Forum that direction it would be a disaster.
By the middle of May monthly cancellations started rolling in. Banned Freepers were writing me everyday. When I would question the reason for a particular banning I got answers like."He was on my s**tlist anyway". About a banned couple he said " They were not who I thought they were, so I banned them anyway" I could not make rhyme or reason out of his answers and said so.
I think out of frustration with my questioning JR gave me access to the moderator pages, This was just before the June 2,002 fundraiser, and I was too busy to pay any attention those pages. After the fundraiser was over, I went back and read every post on the Moderator page and every post on the abuse page, so I could get a handle on what they were doing.
From the beginning of the moderator program in the fall of 2,001 till March of 2,002 things seemed to be going pretty smoothly. JimRob rarely posted on the abuse page. Then whammo! Moderators #5 (Magnum), I later learned that this was Ms AntiFeminazi and Mod.#9 (Dales) ripped into Diotima, who is Jewish and Mercuria calling them anti semites, etc., This went on for hours. I also later learned that the Lead Moderator had withdrawn at this time for personal reasons. JimRob was now all over the abuse page and he let this crap go on.
I also learned that MsAntiFeminazi had said she wanted to be the next Connie (Clinton's a Liar) ie: she wanted to be the closest Freeper to JR. When this info got out, everyone thought it was Diotima who said it. Diotima kept quiet and took the heat. In fact she took so much heat that MsAntiFeminazi thanked her for doing it. My opinion is that MsAntiFeminazi thought the way to Jim was through BobJ. Diotima was in the way and hence the anti-Semite attack. MsAntiFeminazi talked with BoBJ on the phone a lot as she does JimRob, and this is where she dishes her dirt with sly innuendos. I think she thinks she is Mata Hari. She must destroy anyone who gets in her way.
Sidelight: On the 9th or 10th of June 2,002 I get an email or FreepMail from MsAntiFeminazi telling me she has a check from a Texas Freeper for $100.00 that was to help with the expenses of the FR booth at the Texas Republican convention, but that it was written to the FreeRepublic. She wanted to know if I could negotiate a check written to FR. From the Freepstuff days I had FR named on my account, so I told her I could do that, and if she gave me her name and address I would send her a check for $100.00 and those checks would cross in the mail and she would get the money quicker. She then said Oooops1 the check isn't signed, so she'd have to contact the Texas Freeper. I said I'd send her $50.00 anyway to help with the expenses and I did it. I did Not know MAF was a moderator at this time.
Now since she was talking with JimRob everyday on the moderator pages and communicating by phone with him frequently, why in hell did she not ask Jim to handle the check problem? I was in the middle of the June Freepathon when this occurred and everyone was still on very friendly terms. Was I being set up somehow? I don't know, but it sure doesn't smell right.
After the June Freepathon was over the monthly cancellations started coming in again. At the time the monthlies were at $7,700 with about 425 monthly donors even after having lost over a thousand dollars worth. The bannings also accelerated. I posted on the mod page a plea for them to put some anesthetic 0n their itchy trigger fingers. I told them I did not want to make their job harder and I'd appreciate their not making my job harder either.
In order to occupy their time I got them into an argument about anarchy on the Mod page. Ms AntiFeminazi and Dales would cut and paste thousands of words from left wing anarchist websites to counter my argument that the classical definition of anarchy was zero government. Because neither of them could carry the argument with their own words, I deduced they were not too bright. I did have a reasonable discussion with both Logos and WImom on that thread. Dales was recently kind enough to post that thread in "The Smokey BackRoom. Thank you Dales. The thread basically ended with MsAntiFeminazi telling me we were not on the same side and calling me a leftist. I fired back that she didn't have the intelligence, temperament or skill to be a moderator and should get out of there.
Within minutes I received a note from JimRob telling me that MsAntiFeminazi was such a great help to him and that I had reduced her to tears and to please apologize. I did do that for Jim, though I have never received an apology for her calling me a leftist.
I want everyone to know that the other mods rarely banned anyone. MAF and Dales perused other websites and reported on the abuse page anything any Freeper said on any other website. They made book on the Freepers. They assigned the worst possible reason to any statement anywhere and used it to ban Freepers.
I complained to Jim at every instance. In a few cases I did save the Freeper at least temporarily. Mostly I was met with "They are doing what I want them to do". I did not want to believe him. I couldn't believe he couldn't see what was happening. The monthlies kept going away.
When the number one Freeper on the monthly donor list, who was also our biggest monthly donor notified me by FreepMail to stop the donation, I got really uptight. I immediately notified Jim without naming her. He said curtly XXXXXX is a friend of Connies This happened so fast I wondered if he was reading my FreepMail. I had been warned by a mod to not say anything via FreepMail that I did not want JR to know. I am not making the accusation that he reads others FreepMail, but I am sure he can if he wants to.
In frustration I finally took it to the Freepers with threads "If Only" "When do you Quit", "Can This Freeper be Saved" and probably a few I have forgotten about.
I learned from others who could read the abuse page, that when MAF and Dales were on the baord, no other moderator did anything. Those two would take over.
Jim told me the Lead Moderator picked the mods. NOT true. Jim insisted on MAF and Dales. I am sure the Lead Moderator wrote the letters asking them to be on the board as Dales has said.
On one of my threads I said banning Libertarians was a matter of policy. Jim denied it. I saw Jim post on the abuse page that they were to ease up on the Libertarians.
As late as May of 2002 The Network was in the process of putting Jim on the board (Remember our three corporations with interlocking directors) I thought the original plan was still in effect. I thought we were still all in it together and on the same team.
By July of 2,002 there was a noticeable terror stalking the threads. The bannings continued. I tried to tell JimRob that the forum was being dumbed down. By banning some of the people who presented opposite points of view, he was depriving the Freepers of the opportunity to hone their debating skills. I was fearful that we reach the point were we were only preaching to the choir. My point was to let the Freepers handle it.
I am happy the mods outed themselves. I hope the Freepers who get treated unfairly now complain directly to some of these mods, and I hope they get better answers than I got from JimRob.
John Huang2 and Kattracks do a magnificent job and perform a great service to FR by all the articles they posts. I commend them.
I do not want them to quit being mods. The idea that I wanted all the mods to quit comes from Ms AniFeminazi. I could still read the abuse page when she posted this charge. It is NOT true.
The GinnyMac story. GinnyMac is/was an Orange Couty Lurker/Freeper who attended the March for Justice, The House Managers dinner, and gave at least a $100 during every Freepathon. However she never registered till Willa talked her into doing so in 2,000 I think. She has never posted. She no longer can log in. She wrote to Jim about it and has never received an answer. Jim says no one has been knocked off the forum that didn't deserve it. What did GinnyMac do Jim?
Willa and I did thousands of hours of work to handle the donations/and the Freeper Ball money. Willa still donates to FR. Jim and I never had any problems till some of the mods got out of control.
When I found Jim in 1998 he was in dire financial straights. I did what was necessary to see to it that he became well fed. Did he bite my hand? I sure think so.
I do not want FR to go down. I do want it to get cleaned up. I want FR to once again gain the sense of purpose and camaraderie. Unfortunately I do not think this is possible with Jim at the helm.
Towards the end BoBJ worked out an agreement between Jim and I.
Jim and I would each appoint five moderator overseers. Freepers were to be given the benefit of the doubt. Banned Freepers could appeal to this board of overseers.
Jim posted this agreement on the abuse page to the moderators.
MAF went ballistic and posted my nastygram to her on the abuse page. I informed the Network board of Jim's posting of the agreement.
I sent the network Post to the one moderator who had admitted to understanding the problems.
She sent it to JR and within one hour Jim recinded the agreement, threw me off the mod pages along with another Network observer of the mod pages and he told me NO NETWORK PERSON would ever be allowed on there again.
Obviously we were no longer in it together.
Three more final points.
When Jim canned Mercuria from the moderator board he told her he was cutting back on the number of moderators. He did NOT have the courage to tell her she was the only one being removed.
The ability to read the pulled posts was very nice. After Jim took me off the mod pages I told him I'd still help with getting the monthly people to transfer to the new system. I asked that I be allowed to read the pulled posts. He said he do it. When it didn't happen for a while I asked again. He told me that was the very next thing on John's agenda. When it still didn't happen and I asked again, he said he changed his mind. This was the last straw for me and is the day I withdrew from posting on FR.
The moderators do have bunker mentality. Their attitude is "It is us against them" The them are the Freepers.
One cannot rely on Jim to tell the truth.
Freepers are not given the benefit of the doubt.
There is no review process of Moderator action.
Jim does not have any principles or convictions
Jim is not an honest nor an honorable man.
Jim is not a man of his word.
FR has outgrown his ability to handle it.
Jim says he loves me like a brother.
Right! Like Cain loved Abel.
Finally, while I am down on JR and some of the mods I still recommend FR to many people. I do not speak ill of the Freepers. They are great.
I still cling to the hope that FR will get straightened out. I do not think it can or will happen with Jim at the helm.
I have no idea..... Distinct Posters each day
OTOH moderation should IMHO allow some scope, at least, for Freepers to flex their muscles debating a limited number of less-than-conservative people, so be that they aren't abusive and/or presumptious. They, as we all, do post at the pleasure of the site management for the reasons noted above.
Whole thing puts me in mind of Baptist churches, which are notorious for developing splits and spinoff congregations. For similar reasons to what you are seeing--that is, for reasons that people not party to the split have a hard time understanding.
That's it! No matter what our differences we have to stay united for the conservative cause. A splinter here, a splinter there...before you know it we've got a pile of sawdust...and socialism wins.
Over my dead body! Now more than ever we've got to hold ranks...I'm even in favor of this thread getting pulled. Imagine the entertainment value to a DU'er or someone of that ilk!
There are periods when I've been a (temporary) ex-Freeper, particularly about 4 years ago when there were an overwhelming number of threads about how George Bush was a drug importer/dealer/pusher, etc., but I have always put my toe in the water to see if the forum had engaged in the periodic self-cleaning necessary as an organization goes from the brain child of one person to one serving thousands.
My great kudos and respect to you, Jim Rob, for making this an outpost of sanity (during the Clinton years), fellowship and friendship.
Badjoe: Assuming that everything you are saying is factual. Your conclusions do not support the facts. What you are basically describing is bad management practices that have allowed to much power to MAF, who you assert is bad for FR. From that it simply does not follow the nasty things that you conclude about JimRob.
Gosh, thanks! Like I needed coffee through my nose at work tonight...plus my youngest son (prisoner6sson) who is with me tonight thought I was having some kind of attack...
In any case YES!
PASSIONS RULES! My hero is Julian and I have very...ummm...interesting dreams about redheaded Rebecca.
Yep.....sucks me right in too.
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