I just now found out about Rob's suspension reading your post. It's ironic, because just an hour ago I came within a hair's breadth of suspending him for his conduct in the Converting raw energy into biological energy thread, see Message 307. It's seems our little Robbie has been a very busy boy.
Rob, if you're reading this, your frequent misconduct is getting really old. Your views are not a concern. You are free to espouse whatever views you like here. But could you please begin conducting yourself like an adult?
You didn't mention the misconduct that resulted in the extension of Rob's suspension. The extension was not for posting off-topic but for disregarding a moderator request to stop posting in the Converting raw energy into biological energy thread (for which I took no action other than to post an admonishment), then after being suspended by a different moderator for misconduct elsewhere he requested another member to post yet another message for him. Those hearing of this for the first time I refer to Message 311.
I, too, wish Rob could comport himself in a manner which allowed him more time here during a period when creationist participation is down, but he reacts to leniency not with a sigh of relief that he wasn't suspended, but with escalation. To do nothing would be as if to have no rules.
To everyone who would like Rob back sooner rather than later, you're behaving like cats who having brought a chipmunk into the house are annoyed at their owner for taking it away. I know it's more fun when there are high-participation level creationists like Rob around, so if you want him here more often then lend him a helping hand. Post reminders to him when you see him engaging in misconduct, and don't play "let's chat and eat up all the message bandwidth" with him in threads.
Keeping Rob here isn't the moderators' responsibility, objectively and fairly enforcing the Forum Guidelines is. If members would prefer that Rob not be suspended so often then they should accept some responsibility by helping him notice when his conduct is out of bounds and by ceasing to be enablers of his misconduct.
In terms of the Forum Guidelines, we have to apply the spirit of the Forum Guidelines and not limit ourselves to its few inadequate words. There are only ten brief rules because we wanted the Forum Guidelines to be something people would actually read.
But no quantity of words could ever accurately characterize where the line of civility is crossed in all situations, and nothing will ever cause everyone to agree on where that line is drawn. All moderators can do is use the Forum Guidelines as a guide to applying their best judgement.
I've said before that I don't believe EvC Forum should serve as a refuge for the easily offended, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't place any limits at all on offensive content. We almost never delete posts here, I can't even remember the last time we deleted a message, and rather than editing a post to remove any content we usually just hide the offending portion.
So Adminnemooseus has just expressed a reluctance to edit the HEWG post with the cute picture to avoid giving the impression of censorship, but AdminPD did go ahead and hide the image. Do members have any strong feelings about whether inappropriate prurient content should be hidden or not? Keep in mind that moderators do wish to avoid leaving open the possibility in people's minds that content was actually removed rather than hidden, which can become an issue when it involves members who are charging the moderator team with bias.
In case there's any confusion I'll repeat my position.
Because inappropriate images can be a problem for members when they visit the site while at work (or even while the significant other is in the room - "You're visiting one of *those* sites again?"), and because such content could cause the site to become blocked on company intranets (companies don't make these lists themselves, they subscribe to a service, so if a website gets on one of these lists the impact could be significant), I think moderators should always hide such images.
I'd like to just generally comment on two aspects of this discussion.
First, while the Forum Guidelines does to some extent attempt to characterize what it means to let a debate become personal, it must be understood that it just isn't possible in a few very brief sentences to capture all possible such situations that might arise.
So just to clarify a little, in my opinion whether you're calling someone a fool or calling their post foolish, neither really qualifies as civil, and without civility constructive discussion often breaks down.
But second, there's this vexing problem of how to debate with someone who appears to have difficulty putting two correct sentences together on any consistent basis. I won't provide any examples because the offenders will recognize them. Various kinds of significant faux pas are by themselves indicative of nothing, but like George Bush the 1st's continual problems with garbled syntax, some people seem to make a living at committing significant faux pas. How long does one remain polite in the face of this before it becomes condescending and artificial?
I have no answer to this second one, but I would still encourage members to maintain civility as much as they can muster. When you can't hold it in anymore, hopefully the moderators will step in.
I understand that Jar is a concern to many creationists. I rarely encounter Jar in any threads, so I probably can't be too helpful, but I hope moderators are working hard to enforce the Forum Guidelines fairly and evenly.