Closure of Entrepreneur Auto Mechanics set up discount repair shop in retail parts store parking lot

Cdaquila, I noticed that you closed this discussion because you perceived the discussion to be wandering from the original post. This discussion was a thought-provoking and in-depth discussion about serious issues. These discussions have been a great part of what makes this forum so great. I would respectfully urge you to use your censorship powers and your powers to shut down threads for those posts and discussions that become personal, less than respectful, and/or vile. Should a subject evolve beyond its original intent, yet still be actively posted to, I urge you to allow the thread to continue and the discussion to continue to evolve.
The power to censor should be used very, very carefully.


TSM, I assure you that I do take my moderation decisions very seriously. I don’t characterize what I do as censorship because this is a site (a public forum) operated by a private entity, which makes its own rules. Censorship, to my ears, also connotes a value judgment about what is offensive or harmful, and while in some instances content becomes offensive or harmful (usually the “verbal knife fight” scenario, which is harmful to the community), the only judgment I’m making is whether the content falls within the bounds of topics that Car Talk feels are relevant to its forum.

I have great respect for the group here, and I am impressed daily at the range and depth of knowledge, education (in and out of school), and generosity that I see. However, the forum isn’t designed to be all things to all posters, and when discussions go away from an automotive/transportation/fuel/mechanical subject and stay away, it stops being part of what Car Talk intends for its forums’ use.

I have reviewed this instance and others with Car Talk’s producers, and they’ve told me they agree with me. I have approached the forum with great sensitivity, and I have great respect for you personally. You and others have helped countless people with their car troubles, and it helps them work, play, raise their kids, and make big life decisions. I hope you will continue to do so.


Point made. You do a great job from which we all benefit, and I recognize that.
As you’ve probably recognized in my posts, I’m always on guard of our freedoms, and sometimes err on the side of same. Apologies if I overstepped.

I enjoy this forum like no other. I’ll continue to be here.


In retrospect it does seem that the entrepreneur thread was spiraling into the oblivion of partisan rancor and I guess we might all be better off to avoid the petty squabbling over a situation that seems to have been alluding our ‘greatest minds’ for decades. It was fun while it lasted though.

Now back the greasy rags and busted knuckles… busted from twisting wrenches, of course.

@cdaquila … I support your decision. Once a discussion gets to 100 comments or so…the flavor has gone from the gum so to speak. Besides…I get tired of reading so many posts just to get back to where I left off the last time.

No problem. It was a discussion about mechanics working in the parking lot. Just wish there could be honest discussions of honest issues without it being an us vs them thing.

@TSM, I am aware of your deep concern for your liberties, and you do walk your talk. You didn’t overstep at all. I prefer to be transparent, sometimes verbosely so.

@missileman, I got a good chuckle out of your image of the over-chewed gum.

Thanks Carolyn…that expression comes from an old southern sentiment “When the gum loses it’s flavor…it’s time for it to go.”

I like it, and I just might use that expression–in another forum!

I suggest we take our off-topic discussions out of the public forum and into private messages as I attempted to in a now closed thread. Unfortunately, it appears some people are only interested in locking horns with political rhetoric in front of an audience instead of having a meaningful debate of the issues. I doubt private messages receive the same scrutiny.

Carolyn, with respect, you can call it what you want. when you stop reasonable, civil discussions because you don t like the subject matter, it is censorship.

you haven t taken it to the level where it makes me uncomfortable yet, just amused.

I don t understand why you would narrow the scope and appeal of a successful forum. the same people who debate other issues are the ones who try their best to help the people who drop by with car problems.

the senior web lackey once started a discussion about which seat cover material is best for flatulent people. sure, its car related but would you really rather have that stuff than a discussion of coal, solar and other energy sources?

perhaps if you added “forum issues” to the topic index you would get a true idea of what the forum users want.

hopefully you all do take your customers wants into consideration.

I d not like it if this site were to fade away

Alright, I’ve been quiet on this issue, but it just keeps coming up. is not going to fade away if it remains focused on cars. It’s going to fade away if it doesn’t remain focused on cars.

There are eleventy billion sites on the internet where people can talk about whatever they want. If Cartalk becomes a site where people can talk about whatever they want, then there will be no particular reason to visit it over all those other sites.

If I point my browser to the Cartalk forums, I know I’m going to find car people talking about cars. If I want to find a whole bunch of random people talking about a whole bunch of random topics, I’ll go to Reddit or Digg or some other swillsite that has mostly low-quality discussion, flamers, trolls, and inanity masquerading as worthwhile conversation. When I want to talk about cars, I know where to go.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping a forum focused on the topic it’s supposed to be focused on. I think @cdaquila has, frankly, taken a lot of crap for this over the last couple of weeks, and it’s been undeserved.

Yes, she’s censoring you. To be blunt, get over it. Censorship is not always bad. It’s censorship when the city scrubs graffiti off of the sidewalk, but no one complains because the sidewalk is not an appropriate place to scrawl your missives.

She’s doing the same thing here - removing stuff that does not belong here. That’s OK, and it’s good for the site.

I’ll admit that I wouldn’t mind shooting the breeze with a lot of the people here about anything and everything, but off-topic subfora have their own pitfalls. You run the risk of everyone flocking to the off-topic board and ignoring everything else. You run the risk of flame wars between people of different opinions on politics, religion, etc, and you run the risk of having those flame wars spill over onto the rest of the site.

You also significantly increase moderator time and effort, as now they’re policing fights and having to make judgment calls about when to do what regarding those fights, and then having to defend themselves ad-nauseum in PM’s and in public posts for what they decided to do about those fights, instead of just removing non-compliance posts. All said, it’s something that wouldn’t be worth it based on the mission of this site.

nice to know your thoughts on the subject shadowfax. I personally believe that conversations should be able to follow their natural path. as long they are civil I don t see the big deal.

Someone must be in charge. I’m glad it’s not me. As long as there is intelligent, civil discourse to be enjoyed here I will likely continue to drop in. There are intelligent, agreeable people posting here even though several don’t always agree with me. Maybe they will come to their senses.

As I earlier mentioned, I became a regular visitor in what was the earliest Cartalk forum which was wide open. There was no registration. You could post using any name or no name. It was lots of fun but it became overwhelmed with the spoilers who seem to have miserable lives and want company. I recall some regulars there using the names Slanter, Impala, Fastjeff, and Econoline. I wonder where they are today.

Hang in there Carolyn.

just to be clear, I think Carolyn does a wonderful job here :slight_smile:

Sorry Shadowfax but I disagree. I’m not a mechanic so who cares? But we have a number of pros that offer their free advice that is very important. Think about if this were the pros stopping by the local Eagles club after work, and all anyone would let them talk about is picking their brains on car repair? If all anyone wanted to hear from them was their free car advice, from their standpoint, how long would they continue to just stop by and give free advice. It has to be fun and interesting and letting conversations drift a little to other subjects is part of it.

I have seen a few people insist that the world is black and white and wish to force conformance. More than once the result has been a gradual reduction in attendance because it became no fun anymore. I’d hate to have that happen here but no one forces anyone to read comments that are a little off topic. For cripe sake no one even mentioned that it was the 70th anniversary of the D Day invasion because it is not car related. Something wrong there in my view.

I’m with @shadowfax 100%. Back when this forum was a free for all, there weren’t other social networking sites to turn to. Now there are plenty of them. If you want to talk politics, you can do it via PM or you can PM someone to exchange e-mail addresses or FB identities. This site doesn’t belong to us, so we should be grateful we get a chance to provide feedback and expect it to sometimes be disregarded.

Why would anyone PM you to have a private one on one? Doesn’t make sense. No one will change your mind.

@Bing : I’m not a mechanic either - a lot of us aren’t in the profession - we just wrench on cars a lot. Like @Whitey, I too remember the old days when anything went. Wading through the muck to get to the car stuff was sometimes more trouble than it was worth.

While I’ve made no secret that I strongly dislike the direction the forum’s software has gone (Sorry admins, but Vanilla sucks) I very much like the way the forum’s level of discussion and content has gone.

I understand sentimentality about the D-day anniversary, but there are lots of places where we can discuss such notable events. For the same reason you don’t go onto a hardcore physics forum and try to start talking about the anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination, D-day discussions don’t belong on a car-focused forum.

I honestly don’t understand the internet-wide drive to homogenize every website. If I want to talk about military history, I hunt up a military or historical forum. If I want to talk about it with people here, I send them a PM either for a private chat or to invite them to the aforementioned history forum. I think allowing forums to atrophy through entropy is a very good way to get people to stop making sure to visit your specific forum. If every forum allows any content, then every forum is going to be basically the same.