in reply to I'm back, sorta

The real story, of course, was that Theo made nasty comments about the US military, and the wrong people got upset over it

Don't be so sure. There are many forces at work that do not concern themselves with comments posted in the Globe and Mail. As you suggest, there's often much more to such situations than meets the common eye.

Also my impresssion is that in my absence my reputation has expanded beyond the reality. I hope that nobody is too dismayed by how much I will fall short of an ideal that nobody could match.

I wouldn't worry too much about that. The reputation isn't so much a technical expertise one (not that it would be unwarranted) as it was one for being helpful and speaking up when something needed to be said. I fully encourage you to continue this trend, afterall, Perlmonks can be (and arguably is) so much more than just code.

please continue paying attention to our anonymous guests because they are often well worth paying attention to.

*Sheds a single tear ;-)

and get a picture of the overall job situation.

Have you considered Canada? Our economy is doing exceptionally well and we promise we won't declare you an enemy combatant and lock you up without a speedy trial ;-).

Oh yeah, welcome back :)