"Never" is a strong word, Gregg. I've posted, though not terribly often, in all of the Java in General forums, the IBM/Websphere forum and I think the servlets and JSP forums as well. I am also a semi-regular in the Author's Corral and an occasional poster in Programming Diversions. So while the percentage of my posts in MD is high, it's not 100%, and that's not unheard of here at the Ranch. There are other posters and even staff members who I daresay spend a good amount of time in MD.
I got involved in MD heavily first with the Good vs. Evil posts back last year. After some heated arguments, I took a breather. That lasted a while, until we had the outsourcing and visa discussions. While a bit off the wall, those culminated in the rather special casteism and slavery thread which I though was one of the best we've had in MD in my time here.
After that, though, my primary pull to MD was the fact that, with the number of people who post here, I didn't want people to get the idea that all Americans were die-hard anti-Bush fanatics who opposed the war in Iraq. With the decidedly leftist leaning of some of the more vocal posters in MD, I decided to add my voice to the more conservative faction. And though I did get a little het up on occasion
, I eventually slowed down, seeing that there were folks here who could hold up the more conservative side of things just fine. I continued to mellow. However, by this time I had already made enemies among the staff, and I think you can see it in the fairly regular antagonism my posts received from a regular group of posters.
The culmination of this behavior was the "killing babies" debacle, where my comment that I would push a button to save my just-born son regardless of how many people you said it would kill became something of a rallying cry for the "Joe is evil" crowd. As the argument grew to include a few other Ranchers, I said a few decidedly uncivil things, until I finally backed off completely.
Over the last several weeks, I've hardly commented in MD. I made some recommendations for drinks (the Brave Bull being my favorite) and at one point I questioned whether Agent Orange had anything to do with a discussion of current events. I think it was that last comment that was the precursor to this last event.
Really, look at my posts over the last several weeks. Hardly any. Most of them completely benign, except for those responding to Michael Ernest. I still have a tendency to not let people put words in my mouth or misrepresent my position, even though I should know better by now. Really, read my posts. There are two or three people who goad me and who I am ashamed to say I still respond in kind. Yeah, it's a personal problem
So that's it in a nutshell, Gregg. I got sucked into MD because I thought it was an interesting place to debate some really deep issues. Later, I found a couple of causes I wanted to voice an opinion on: outsourcing and Iraq. Once my baby was born, I began to really try to extricate myself, but there are a few people who get a kick out of slamming me, and my own character defects see me in shouting matches. That never looks good. As my grampa always said, never argue in public with a fool, bystanders can't tell the difference.
Anyway, I'm done in MD by Royal Fiat, and I intend, time permitting, to do a little more posting in some of the other forums. I think I really did manage to say my piece here, for whatever good may come of it, and all in all I'm pretty proud of myself. I wasn't always the nicest guy on the block (and that I'm not proud of), but I certainly held my own against some pretty tough and often nasty behavior. Say what you will about me, you always knew where I stood on issues, and I never backed down.