Sunday, May 01, 2005

Upon Reflection, An Apology

I had some time to lay out in the sun this weekend, think about things, contemplate the meaning of life, and notions like ethics, of right and wrong, and such. I thought about the difference between what you could do, and what you should do. And I realized that I had crossed an ethical line when I posted Marc's address on the Yahoo boards.

Perhaps it was a simmering disgust with the posters who appeared in shifts, very businesslike, to post Mary's personal information - her address, her dead sister's information, the repetitive mocking of her brain damaged nephew in deeply disturbing ways. Perhaps it was anger over Harryofanguslane's information being posted by the same shifts of bashers - a man who had done nothing wrong except behave in a classy and understated way. In my gut, I was disgusted, and I wanted to show "them" that there could be a quid pro quo, that publicly available information was not sacrosanct, and that they could enjoy what these people were experiencing at the hands of people who I believe are associated with the bad guys in NFI. Mary is a warm, wonderful woman who would give you the shirt off her back, and who is taking on tremendous strain by dealing with NCANS duties, as a volunteer, out of a sense of decency. And it's not right that her address and name and such were posted.

And it's not right for me to have posted Marc's, either.

Even though I didn't include his name, avoided any mention of him, frankly, it's still is not a defense, although I honestly did believe that he was one of the ones posting the offending info, or was instrumental in directing it. Still do, truth be told, as the shifts of bashing and clogging posers seem too vocational for an accident.

Still, two wrongs do not make a right.

In today's day and age, I've noticed a tendency for people to avoid owning their mistakes, to look around for something or someone else to blame. I don't think I want to add to that clutter. I screwed up, and violated my own ethical code. This was petty, and mean-spirited in an elementary way, and beneath me. And I'm ashamed that I did it. Not because it was threatening in a legal sense, as it wasn't, and not because of any other reason than because after thinking about it, I have a hard time justifying it in my gut. And that's the final moral barometer, the only one I have. Laws tell us how far we can go and get away with it - ethics define how far it is right to go. And I went too far for my own internal comfort factor, in a low moment, and I hold myself to a higher standard than that.

So for everyone that has placed their trust in me, and who has defended my behavior, thank you, but it is unnecessary. At the end of the day you have to take responsibility for your behavior, and this is me taking responsibility for mine. I'm sorry. Sometimes smart guys do dumb things. If I ever figure out why that is, I'll be sure to let everyone know. I'm still working on it.

5 Comments:

Blogger rvac106 said...

You are right, and you are wrong. Right, to understand that two wrongs don't make up for anything, and wrong, in that it's NOT okay to sit by and watch someone you know and respect get torn up by posters of short stature. No, I don't mean short sellers. So, if we're not allowed by our own ethical contstraints to fight back in a like manner, we'll just have to use their own weapons. Have their asses thrown off the message boards. We can do it. We just have to remember to do it. If it shows up on the message board, and we don't think i's 'appropriate,' let's get them the boot.

Can we do that?

12:06 AM  
Blogger snoozern said...

You're only human. You've chosen a difficult role, that of debunking the FUD-spewing bashers and filth spewing trolls that inhabit the board.

I admire the conclusion you've come to. I've always tried to conduct my board behavior as if I were not an anonymous poster, but instead as if I were accountable for my words posted. It can be very difficult not to be sucked in and sucked down to the level of behavior exhibited by the lesser and least of the trolls.

I believe that you've succeeded in avoiding that, for the most part.

You're only human. You're doing a great job and you will prevail.

My thanks, again.

Regards,
Rick

2:29 AM  
Blogger Coward said...

Nice apology, scumbag. It's funny how you came to the recognition that your behavior was unethical only after your ass had been exposed publicly. Not only was your behavior unethical, it is was criminal. Surprise, surprise! You're now contrite. I hope Cohodes comes at you with the full force of the law backing him and with the district attorney in tow. After that I hope he takes your pathetic and "sorry" ass straight to court in a civil action. The funny thing is that your apology is not really an apology at all. It is an indictment of others and not really your fault at all. If others hadn't made you do what you did I guess you wouldn't have done it. Is that right? So it's not really your fault for engaging in criminal behavior. It's really Cohodes' fault. What a pathetic piece of garbage you are. If I were you I wouldn't be sitting at your computer typing bogus and insincere apologies. I would be on the phone lining up an attorney to represent me in the criminal proceedings that you are about to be involved in and lining up your attorney to represent you when you are sued in civil court.

4:00 AM  
Blogger smokyjoe said...

You are the man. Sleeping with a clear conscience is all one can ask. Wish all involved felt such moral obligation.

6:43 AM  
Blogger bob obrien said...

Coward:

Aptly named.

There's nothing criminal about posting an address with no name on a message board, especially given that it is public information with no pretense of secrecy to it.

If Marc wanted it kept from view, he could and should have pulled off the search engines. There is a mechanism to do that, and it available to him. He hasn't and didn't, so the notion that he somehow is entitled to have everyone else treat it as a secret is idiotic.

As to attempting to frame "how's the wife and kids" and "how's the weather" as threatening, best of luck with that. He must find "everything OK" and "you on your game" to be bloodchilling proof of imminent danger.

Funny how guys like the lapdog are convinced that a phone company switching him to paperless is proof of a global conspiracy to silence him, and Marc is willing to trot out his developmentally challenged son to attempt to frame my posts as "Kidnapping and killing" threats. Any attorney that reviewed that would laugh him out of the room - just because you can get your cronie buddy at Barrons to write whatever you want, credulously parrotting your spin, doesn't mean anyone will buy it, or that it is even credible.

There is no there there.

And you know it. If not, talk to an attorney, and have them explain it in baby terms. You can say you feel threatened by telemarketers calling and saying "Hello, how are you, Mrs. Johnson, how's the weather up there in Marin" but that doesn't make it so. It simply makes you either delusional, or duplicit.

I'm sorry I crossed a self-imposed ethical line, but that's what it is, not a legal one. Now, you can sue anyone you want for anything, so if Marc chooses to pursue me and sue, I would welcome the opportunity to secure the trading records that would be an affirmative defense to my beliefs WRT his firm, as well as peel the onion on the network of "unbiased media" that is assisting him to propagate his view, meritless as it is. And I have a very, very, very good guy who could handle it, with relish. But that is tangential to my apology, whis is sincere.

And you are entitled to your opinion, no matter how poorly informed it may be.

7:24 AM  

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