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Old_Skeet Says ... Goodbye

edited September 8 in Off-Topic
Hi guys,

I thought I'd make post, at Old_Skeet's request, and advise that he is well and remains engaged in the investing community as an individual investor but will no longer be posting on the MFO site going forward.

There are multiple reasons for this ... but, politics were a major part of this.

He wishes all well ... but, he felt it was time that he moved on where free expression would be allowed.

His last comment ... I wish all "Good Investing."
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Comments

  • Well, he got pushback for good reason. I wish him well.
  • I wish him well and continued success in his investing!
  • I will miss Old_Skeet's perspectives on investing. This is one reason it makes sense to separate out Political posts. I wish him well.
  • Sorry to see him go from the Fund Discussions but it will hopefully increase the signal-to-noise ratio for the overall site.

    Why is is that people who cling to the concept of strict constitutionalism have no clue as to the limits of the First Amendment?

    IOW, as for “free expression”, in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya: "You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means."
  • Like @davfor, I enjoyed Old_Skeet's measured, courteous comments on investing even as his comments & his tone when discussing politics disturbed me. A good reason IMHO why we should all keep politics to a minimum on the board. Even if permitted as off-topic, it always leads to hard feelings and never actually changes anyone's mind or vote.
  • edited September 8
    So Old_Skeet leaves to go to a site "where free expression would be allowed," and the response to that is MFO should limit free expression of political ideas. The paradoxical claim of O_S all along was that he hated politics on the board while he bombarded the board with political posts from a Russian propaganda site. He gave a lot more than he got politically and freely expressed those propagandist ideas here with the intent of silencing others. What he really wanted wasn't free expression but people with the exact same politics as him, and he became upset that people disagreed with him. Nor do I quite believe he's gone. It's far too easy to set up another account under a different name. While I do think separating political posts into a different category such as Politics and Money or some such makes sense, I think eliminating politics altogether is a mistake.
  • edited September 8
    I have been saying it for several months, there are many politic sites, MFO supposed to be an investment site but politics took over and the guys in charge didn't eliminate or at least curb it. I know another excellent poster that hardly post on MFO and complained about the politics.
    Several posters attacked other posters personally. It never bothered me but it bothers others.
    IMO, Old Skeet was an excellent poster with outside the box thinking.
  • NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    I think Old_Skeet is one of valuable members MFO, since FA days. I wish him the best of luck. Please don't take emotions/bring emotions toward investing. His insights toward long/short term investing are extraordinary. I hope he comes back Nov5th [or Nov 20th after we find out who wins Presidency]...
  • So Old_Skeet leaves to go to a site "where free expression would be allowed," and the response to that is MFO should limit free expression of political ideas. The paradoxical claim of O_S all along was that he hated politics on the board while he bombarded the board with political posts from a Russian propaganda site. He gave a lot more than he got politically and freely expressed those propagandist ideas here with the intent of silencing others. What he really wanted wasn't free expression but people with the exact same politics as him, and he became upset that people disagreed with him. Nor do I quite believe he's gone. It's far too easy to set up another account under a different name. While I do think separating political posts into a different category such as Politics and Money or some such makes sense, I think eliminating politics altogether is a mistake.

    exactly and +1

    everything is clearly labeled here and it is easy to skip whatever; this is just kvetching and quitting about having to mix it up and defend one's posts

    his 'free expression' thing is comedy gold, at last!
  • Howdy folks,

    I was giving Old_Skeet slack in spite of his loud, obnoxious and blatant trolling because he had been a long time contributor and therefore had earned it. While not that active towards the end, it was for similar reasoning I gave slack to Ted.

    That said, loud obnoxious true believers and trolls are what they are. What we need to do going forward is what we used to do in the old days of un-moderated news groups. In response to blatant trolling simply ignore them. Trolls live off of negative energy that they receive when people respond. When they piss you off. No response => no energy => no trolls.

    Have you noticed how LOUD the Trump foamers are? We'll need someone smarter than I to figure out why.

    and so it goes,

    peace and wear the damn mask,

    rono
  • edited September 8
    d
  • By way of context, I reached out to Skeet earlier this week and expressed two administrative opinions. (1) Diverse opinions, including those supportive of Mr. Trump, his policies and his re-election campaign, are welcome in the O.T. board. (2) Zero Hedge is not. I have, I wrote,
    a profound concern about your reliance on the ZeroHedge site as the source of so much of your off-topic content. I'm less concerned about the fact that ZH is inflammatory, misleading and divisive and rather more concerned that it is intentionally inflammatory, misleading and divisive. There is a credible case to be made that the site is part of a foreign government's program to create the dissent for the purpose of weakening our country. Those concerns led Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia and Google all to ban (or "de-monetize," in Google's case) the site.

    There are a raft of good, conservative news sites - from Fox News, the WSJ, and National Review to CheckYourFact.com, a service of the Daily Caller - that are, I believe, trying to pursue the common good as it's informed by their own political framework.
    I encouraged him to consider grounding his support in more reliable sources. That said, I understand, respect and regret his decision to move on.

    David
  • rono said:



    Have you noticed how LOUD the Trump foamers are? We'll need someone smarter than I to figure out why.

    rono

    I'm not smarter than anyone, but the Trumpy foamers look to their Dear Leader for example. Accordingly, they figure foaming louder and more obnoxiously at every opportunity and in every medium is perfectly acceptable behaviour and shows that they too have very stable geniuses just like their cult leader.
  • edited September 8
    I’ve long advocated abstinence from politics here. Alas, that is not to be. The next step than is to treat opposing sides fairly. If there are logical coherent arguments in favor of the current misadministration, let them be heard. I could probably construct such a case - be it a stretch. (But you couldn’t pay me enough to do it.)

    To flood the board with a daily diet of these “Rome is burning” negative one-sided tabloidish accounts from a single Russian propaganda outlet with nary a scintilla of one’s own reasoning or logical argument to supplement the sensationalized depictions of a country in ruins is unworthy of the community. The internet is full of such garbage.Type in a Google search query for “X Candidate raped a woman in a storefront window” and you’re likely to find something to that effect. So, what a board like this brings to the equation is brains.

    If you’re going to post this political crap, at least do your readers the courtesy of injecting your own thoughts and analysis into the presentation. What’s the root of the problem? What are the identified deficiencies under the status-quo? What new plan does your candidate propose for remedying those deficiencies? How and why is that plan superior? Without such personnel investment the post remains just crap. Criticism goes to both sides.

    Best wishes Ol_Skeet. Hope to see you on the other side.
  • >> The next step then is to treat opposing sides fairly.

    what does this mean, what are you advocating here?
  • Well I wasn't going to say anything out of.. I dunno... call it habitual good manners... but I have to agree: Old_Skeet was not in favor of free expression. He was in favor of free expression for himself and for those who shared his world view and political opinions. He ignored repeated invitations to present evidence in support of his views. He declined to do that. I suppose it is everyone's prerogative to participate in a forum to the extent one wishes and not to the extent others wish or in the way that others wish, but the ignoring of requests for facts comes off as bad behavior at best. At worst it comes off as hostility. Moreover Old_ Skeet was explicit that his bizarre posts were for the purpose of making people unhappy. I am glad he will not be posting any more nonsense and fact-free provocations. Maybe I am breaking my own code of behavior by saying so but it's the truth.
  • C'mon man...put on your big boy pants... if you don't like politic threads .... DON'T READ THEM ...DUH!!!
  • edited September 10

    >> The next step then is to treat opposing sides fairly. what does this mean, what are you advocating here?

    It only has meaning in relation to the disavowal of a “non-political” forum (my preference). I’m proposing members self-regulate in the following ways:

    1. Let opposing opinions be stated without retribution, derision, personal attack or name-calling.

    2, Attack the argument, not the individual. Point out fallacies in argument with deductive reasoning.

    3. Fact-check before posting something. Consult multiple sources when possible.

    4. Challenge an opponent’s sources and supporting evidence with provable counter-evidence.

    5. Post with a clear purpose - not simply to shock or sensationalize; or to distract from, confuse, or obfuscate an opponent’s position; or to overwhelm others with a plethora of near-senseless drivel devoid of further analysis.
  • I too am sorry this board will not be the beneficiary of O_S sage advice, although I could never understand why he used so many funds and all A shares.

    On the other hand, he did seem to start many of these inflammatory threads with less than reliable sources. I was willing to ignore all but the most obvious falsehoods, but the fact he "picked up his marbles and went home" seems to indicate that he did not want to hear opposing views, even if they were carefully reasoned and thought out with supporting facts.

    I agree politics generally does not help investing, but unfortunately we are in a very very divisive time and these politics impacts economic policy, interest rates and etc and investing decisions. I do not see how it can be avoided, but I do not think that you can really change anyone's mind nowadays.

    What we should really be discussing is policy not politics.
  • >> do not think that you can really change anyone's mind nowadays.

    Mine still gets changed pretty often by things I read. Policy perhaps especially. I guess that might sound pious, but I bet I'm not alone.
  • @davidrmoran

    are you vacillating about who you will vote for?
  • People tend to see what they want to see. I'll leave it at that.
  • Like Lewis, I doubt he is gone for good. Ted used to use the same ploy to garner sympathy too. I never agreed with skeet's portfolio style but was always impressed with how he stuck to his process.

    I don't get into the political discussions much and I wouldn't have gotten onto the OS one's either, but I was truly put off by his use of propaganda posts from a foreign country that explicitly intends to cause chaos in our democracy. That's just to much for me to understand that any American could do that when repeatedly warned.
  • Thank you, David. Reading your response and MFO's position on Zero Hedge as an unreliable "news source" has convinced me to continue reading (and benefitting) from MFO and the many smart and interesting conversations connected to investing. I started reading FundAlarm (before it became MFO) years ago because there was (and still is) so much I wanted to learn about investing as an individual (especially as a freelance writer who has been a part of the "gig economy" for 30+ years).

    My issue with the recent spate of posts about the election is that I don't come to MFO to get news about the election. And yes, of course, we are all free to ignore those posts (which I often do) but lately those posts have seemed to dominate the board and because some of the references were lies and disinformation, I couldn't engage out of a sense of my own ethics. Same reason I've never joined the FaceBook cult. Don't get me wrong, I'm on social media -- but we all have to determine our own lines not worth crossing. And I'm also not so naive as to think that politics and investing are completely separate subjects. Unfortunately we are living through a moment in history where we have all been cast as either patriots or losers.

    I won't say anything specific about the (former) poster who asked a third party to say his goodbyes to MFO except that I won't miss having to wade through a lot of junk in hopes of finding something truthful and useful.

    And now I offer something for all the haters who no doubt have already begun typing a response to my post: three questions we might ask ourselves before posting here or engaging with anyone for the next two months. 1) Is it kind? 2) Is it useful? 3) Is it necessary? Your answers to those questions might help guide some of our founded-passion on the inevitable disagreements we'll all be faced with for months to come.

    I want to give my sincere thanks again to so many folks on here who have contributed to my education as a student of investing. At its best, MFO is nothing short of extraordinary.

    By way of context, I reached out to Skeet earlier this week and expressed two administrative opinions. (1) Diverse opinions, including those supportive of Mr. Trump, his policies and his re-election campaign, are welcome in the O.T. board. (2) Zero Hedge is not. I have, I wrote,

    a profound concern about your reliance on the ZeroHedge site as the source of so much of your off-topic content. I'm less concerned about the fact that ZH is inflammatory, misleading and divisive and rather more concerned that it is intentionally inflammatory, misleading and divisive. There is a credible case to be made that the site is part of a foreign government's program to create the dissent for the purpose of weakening our country. Those concerns led Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia and Google all to ban (or "de-monetize," in Google's case) the site.

    There are a raft of good, conservative news sites - from Fox News, the WSJ, and National Review to CheckYourFact.com, a service of the Daily Caller - that are, I believe, trying to pursue the common good as it's informed by their own political framework.
    I encouraged him to consider grounding his support in more reliable sources. That said, I understand, respect and regret his decision to move on.

    David
  • CeicilJK... I was thinking about this, does anyone else know that old skeets real name is Cecil? I know he likes to speak in the 3rd party, but...

    This from a post he gave after Ted's death.

    Old_Skeet
    December 2019 edited December 2019 Flag
    Hi guys,

    I received a nice "Thank You" note from Lynn Didesch, Ted's wife today. I'm thinking she sent this to me to thank everyone. It reads as follows.

    "Dear Cecil,

    I am so sorry it took me so long to write you. I'm not that computer savvy and I could not figure out how to get on the MFO site. I did not see the return address on your card until today.
  • One prominent poster called Trump "by far the most evil" leader of all time. "Yeah, most evil. Shit, he makes Hitler look like Jimmy Carter[.]" And not one sincere word pushing back on that view, no "fact checks" on the atrocities of the past, no nothing except to pile on more Trump hate. Yet zero hedge can't even be mentioned. Either people are entitled to express their views no matter how disagreeable (or simply wrong), or they are not. I liked OS' posts and hope he reconsiders.
  • CecilJK is Old Skeet, based on an April 2017 post, which since I'm not familiar with HTML, I'm unable to link to.
  • MikeM said:

    CeicilJK... I was thinking about this, does anyone else know that old skeets real name is Cecil? I know he likes to speak in the 3rd party, but...

    I'd been debating about posting on this. Anonymity is a double edged sword. It makes it somewhat easier for comments to be read for what they say as opposed to being biased by credentials (or other attributes) of the person writing them. On the other hand, even on this relatively civil board, anonymity can lead to a loss of decorum. That's something I feel @hank addressed well.

    While a gazillion funds is not my style (I've been cutting down from a mere half gazillion:-)), I did appreciate Skeet's posts.

    Now that the curtain has been pulled back:

    Cecil wrote: "I have found what has worked well for me and my family over the past years was to take a sum equal to no more than one half of the five year average return of the portfolios. For me, this currently computes to a little more than 4.75%. In this way principal grows over time. This is how I ran my parents money in their retirment years and now run mine."

    Skeet wrote: "I set my own withdrawal rate to generally not exceed a sum of what one-half of my five year average return has been. I found in doing this about twenty years ago when I governed my parents portfolio's provided them ample income plus grew their principal. Now, I have adopted this very same distribution withdrawal method."

  • wxman123 said:

    One prominent poster called Trump "by far the most evil" leader of all time. "Yeah, most evil. Shit, he makes Hitler look like Jimmy Carter[.]" And not one sincere word pushing back on that view, no "fact checks" on the atrocities of the past, no nothing except to pile on more Trump hate. Yet zero hedge can't even be mentioned. Either people are entitled to express their views no matter how disagreeable (or simply wrong), or they are not. I liked OS' posts and hope he reconsiders.

    Such an opinion is subjective. It cannot be argued against or supported. So there's nothing to push back against. When Trump says, for instance, that the attendance at his inauguration was the largest in history, this is something to be argued with because it is provably false. Some of "Old_Cecil's " political posts likewise contained subjective opinions. Who argued with those? They can't be proven wrong or right. Most of his political posts contained provable falsehoods so well-informed people with a moral sense and a sense of patriotic duty responded.
    And nobody said Zero Hedge can't be mentioned. It was said that it can't be trusted. It was said that it is a foreign agency with malignant intentions towards our country.
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