Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
“Honest posting is code for people listening if they care to listen and electing not to listen if they do not care to listen while permitting all other community members to do the same.”
Everyone already believes that’s the current situation. That is, everyone except the tiny handful of people whose behavior is so atrocious that they need to be removed from the conversation. Nothing will change for those people until they realize that THEY are the problem.
And since you’ve said you will NEVER admit that you are the problem, nothing will ever change for you. So we’ve circled back to futility. You think my situation is futile? I can post wherever I want. I can go to the Bogleheads conference if I want. Not you. So you lash out in frustration, day after day, year after year, demanding that the world change to suit you. It ain’t gonna happen, son.
Now here’s where you say it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
You’re right, Anonymous. That’s exactly what I say here. No, I don’t think that I have presented any problem whatsoever. My contribution has been 100 percent positive. And it is has been a very, very, very BIG positive. I am humbled and honored to have been able to make that kind of contribution and it is certainly my intent to continue making it.
An easy way to see it is to look at the Ask Me Anything session that Wade Pfau did with the Financial Independence sub-reddit community recently. Wade said that the safe withdrawal rate is not always 4 percent. There is no way in God’s green earth that he would have gotten away with saying something like that before I came on the scene. I said something a lot more mild than that on the morning of May 13, 2002. All that I did then was to ask a question — I asked whether we should be taking valuations into consideration when calculating safe withdrawal rates. That was enough to cause Greaney and his Goons to threaten to come to my house with a baseball bat and to kill my wife and children as my punishment for my “crime.”
No one threatened Wade when he told the truth about safe withdrawal rates. That’s because things are changing for the better. Things are changing SLOWLY. But they are changing. And they are changing because people like me are becoming less and less willing all the time to tolerate the insane abusiveness of you Goons. Good for me! Good for all of us who stand up to you!
When I was at the Bogleheads Forum, they occasionally took polls of the community to see who the most popular posters were. John D. Craig and Microlepsis always scored near the top of those polls. Those guys made huge positive contributions. But they were attacked mercilessly by the sorts of “individuals” who have posted in “defense” of Mel Linduaer. And of course once Lindauer and his Goon pals got control of the community, those two great posters were banned for life. Surprise! Surprise!
I am going to bring them back. I am 100 percent sure that, when they are brought back, they will offer us all even more good stuff than they offered us in earlier days because they will feel free to say what they believe to an extent that they never felt to do so before. And I will encourage other top-notch posters who today are afraid to say what they believe to do so. That’s how you grow a board. Word will spread all over the internet and things will just get better and better and better and better for all of us. Even for you Goons, believe it or not!
Yes, we will see how it all plays out. I love my country and I have full confidence that my country will do the right thing for all of us in the end. I wish that it all happened like magic. I wish that it hadn’t taken 15 years already to get there. But the important thing is that we get there in the end. And I remain 100 percent confident that we will get there in the end. And that, when we look back, each and every one of us will say that it was worth the fight it took to get us there 500 times over.
Could I be wrong?
I could be wrong. It’s been known to happen.
That’s why I say that we will just have to wait and see.
You can indeed post wherever you want. But there’s a problem that you overlook when you say that. Because of your behavior, you cannot be challenged in your beliefs in the way that you need to be challenged in your beliefs to learn what you need to learn to become the most effective investor you can become. So you have hurt yourself as much as you have hurt millions of other middle-class investors.
I don’t play it that way. I want to be challenged and I want to challenge others. I want us all to learn all that we can possibly learn about this important subject matter at this exciting time to be learning about it. I will always wish you all good things because I think of you as a friend despite your goonishness. But one of the good things that I will always wish you is that you be surrounded by fellow community members who care enough about you to challenge you when they think that you have gotten onto a track that may hurt you in the end. That’s one of the things that I mean when I say that I wish you all good things.
I cannot play it any other way, Anonymous. I worked it hard when I was putting together my plan not to get any of the numbers wrong. If I knew that a friend of mine saw that I had gotten a number wrong and that he lacked the courage to tell me, I would have been pretty darn pissed about it. So I am not going to do that to any of my friends. When I saw that Greaney got an important number wrong, I told him. It took me three years to work up the courage, but I did eventually do it. That’s a true friend. No, I am not the problem. And it’s not a close call.
I wish you the best of luck in all your future life endeavors, okay? That much I can do. I have a funny feeling that you may be waiting a long time for this other thing you seem to be set on. But I do indeed wish you the best in all your future life endeavors. I do that with a full and an open heart, my long-time Goon friend. That far I can go and that far I am happy to go.