Graham - Can we have some evidence provided to support these claims and assumptions?
As quoted earlier on this very thread - Max Spiegel, 11th May 2006:-
Shambles: I just don't care anymore. You press your point, time after time, until you press too far and then complain about the check. You do this purposefully to prove a point, but in the end, you are a distraction from the real point of this site. You too, should bid farewell.
Joe has been far more vocal on the subject. But both amount to "fuck off and get a life".
My personal observation is that thread control *is* done in a relaxed way. If two or three people start threads simultaneously, they're combined - that's fine. If a thread from last year is revived and it's on a similar topic to a newer thread, they coexist without being merged. And if someone repeatedly starts multiple threads on the same subject within hours or days of each other, the response from the admins is pretty much what you'd expect.
Please can you point me at the closed thread? A quick search shows up http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=86679&messages=293 and this thread is open (indeed, you posted to it today). It also includes a placeholder comment by Joe saying that he's moved off-topic criticism of the Mudcat admins into another thread.
Very often it is not the end result of these heavy-handed imposed actions that is of concern but the style (or lack of it) by which this end is arrived at.
This is a bit of a radical shift. So you're saying that you don't mind Joe deleting stuff if he uses "style"? My personal observations are that if explanation is needed why something got moved, that explanation is given. If a post is far enough outside the pale that no explanation is needed, then no explanation happens. As your PM quotes show, if you feel the need to PM Joe to ask, you'll get the response you'd expect - a reply saying you were out of line. Maybe this isn't the "style" you'd like, but is it really grounds for your long-term campaign against the admins (and after this time, that's the only description of it)?
Perhaps a little common sense can prevail at this point? What on earth is the point of now introducing (with no obvious reason for it) the practice of just having posts deleted with no sign or explanation?
On the subject of "common sense", maybe common sense would say that mounting a long-term campaign against the admins, forcing them to take moderating action and thereby deliberately wasting their time, is possibly not the best way to get your point across. To use your own words, what on earth is the point? As far as deleting posts without explanation, I really don't blame them when they know that they're likely to have to shift a few of your messages every day - why should they waste any more of their time on your posts than you've already caused them to? You're reaping exactly what you sowed, which is having got so far up their noses that they don't care if it upsets you any more, because they know you don't give a damn about them.