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Author Topic: Partisan nastiness...
TomDavidson
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This, believe it or not, is directed towards the liberals here on Ornery.

Look, guys, just because the pendulum's starting to swing the other way a bit and we're FINALLY figuring out how to defuse the Republican pundit machine does NOT mean that we should, now that we know how, sink to that level.

No gloating. No ad hominems. No sweeping, ridiculous generalizations. Give people the benefit of the doubt, and try to understand their argument and nullify instead of villifying it.

It does us no good to recapture the ear of the country if we're just going to spew the same bile. Please remember that we're all human, here, and treat everyone -- even pundits and politicians -- with some basic respect.

[ March 12, 2004, 10:39 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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pickled shuttlecock
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"Nullify, don't villify." I like that.
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KnightEnder
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Agreed. Well said Tom.

KE

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WmLambert
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Interesting, TomD, that you think "just because the pendulum's starting to swing the other way a bit and we're FINALLY figuring out how to defuse the Republican pundit machine does NOT mean that we should, now that we know how, sink to that level."

I welcome any decision on your part to respond on point rather than with pejorative jabs and straw-man arguments. I'll be curious as to how you follow-up on your decision.

BTW, that pendulum was primarily one-sided media coverage of a democrat primary campaign, where fewer people came out to vote for the Democrats than they did for either Mondale or Gore. Do you worry that there is little hope of maintaining that "pendumlum swing" when the issue becomes issues rather than rants? For instance, Kerry was preparing to launch a funding bill to secure additional funds for our soldiers in Iraq after the Budget committee cut back somewhat - in order to portrray himself as pro-military - but the Republicans beat him to it and already passed the refunding bill before he could get his act together. The media may miss it, but how effective do you think the coming months will show him to be?

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TomDavidson
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William, you need to learn that, sometimes, it's okay just to let things lie. Really.

You don't NEED to invent conspiracies every time somebody suggests the Dems are doing something right. I mean it. The next time it happens, take a deep breath and just let it out slowly; just let it go.

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velcro
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Wm said
quote:

a democrat primary campaign where fewer people came out to vote for the Democrats than they did for either Mondale or Gore.

That implies to me that the Democrats are not energized.

There are a few ways to interpret the sentence:

1-When Mondale or Gore ran for President, they got more votes in the general election than the current turnout for primaries. Since the primaries do not include any independent voters, that is a meaningless comparison.

2-When Mondale or Gore were in primaries, they got a higher turnout. I guess that means the what, 1984 and 2000 elections? How can you tell when the 2004 primaries are not over yet? And it depends on how soon the front runner is determined, not only on how excited the electorate is.

Please explain, and provide sources and figures.

Anxiously awaiting your response,

V

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Serotonin'sGone
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something about a self congratulatory thread pledging to drop partisan nastiness rings false. bets on how long this thread stays nastiness free?
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WmLambert
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So, Tom, this is your new strategy, to use ad hominem strawman agument as your new reinvention of yourself? My question was honestly asked about how you will react to events that enfold. I presume you will encounter many distasteful things ahead. That is not from anything me, or anyone else, may offer that you can deflect as "conspiracist." That is what will come in the future as many things come to a head.

You have agreed that the Democrats have shown a deplorable lack of leadership: no basic agenda, no bills to fight for, and little public support for anything that sets them apart from anyone else. Your basic defense for maintaining your Democrat status is because you hate Bush and what he stands for. You are smart enough to realize that is a false claim, because "what Bush stands for" has been spun by MacAuliffe, et al, and as the presidential campaign heats up and issues are examined - there is no dark corner to hide in anymore.

Your "you need to learn that, sometimes, it's okay just to let things lie. Really." statement is vapid and patronizing. Of course you believe your pronouncements from onhigh should never be second-guessed, and any mere mortal challenging them is then deserved of ridicule - but you miss the obvious. Perhaps one of your friends can let it you in on what everyone else already knows.

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Anonymous24
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I do hate what Bush stands for, and its not because I was brainwashed by a supposed false Bush agenda created by Terry McAullife.

The things I hate that Bush stands for:

-banning same-sex marriage
-getting rid of affirmative action
-allowing prayer in school or some kind of phony 'silence time'
-school vouchers: paying government money so parents can send their kids to religious schools
-faith-based charities
-banning abortion
-withdrawing funding to any charity organizations that endorse abortion or birth control
-having the United States act as a unilateral power in the name of its 'defense'
-the death penalty
-deficit spending(Bush stands for this by his actions)

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WmLambert
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Velcro, I'm curious. Have you not heard the results of the primary elections already held? Have you also missed the numbers of voters compared to that same state's past primaries? Here are some links that you may want to check out: What the polls are–and aren't–showing, Kerry wins caucus despite low turnout, Election Officials Frustrated by Low Voter Turnout
, and Democratic Primaries' Turnout Is Said Not to Have Been Strong.

From what I understand, the first primary in New Hampshire had strong numbers, but then succeeding primaries were low in total numbers, even in comparison to past primaries that only had one token candidate. The few people actually anticipating have been driving the popularity polls with headlines saying things like "voters overwhelmingly pick Kerry as the one candidate who can defeat Bush." When you back off and realize these polls all had disclaimers that indicated these factors were only representative of as low as 5% of the total state electorate. it is hard to accept the media portraying the opinions held as "representative" of the whole nation.

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WmLambert
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Anonymous24, the reasons you listed for hating Bush aren't much different than any typical GOP candidate in the past twenty years or so - and many Democrats hold the same views. And even though these views may be opposed to your own - he certainly has gone along with many ideas and proposals pushed by Democrats for a long time.
-banning same-sex marriage was not an issue until an activist court decided to make it one. Bush reacted as the vast majority of Americans felt he should. Many more say he was forced into it.
-getting rid of affirmative action is not evil. Most logical thinking people see no debate at all. You must argue that you want to use one evil to confront another, and must ignore the negative impact that affirmative action has actually provided.
-allowing prayer in school or some kind of phony 'silence time' is a non-issue. There is no separation of church and state - only a proviso that the government must do all it can to stop any religion from being squashed by the government in order to form a "state" religion.
-school vouchers: paying government money so parents can send their kids to religious schools is also interesting. It's not the government's money.
-faith-based charities are tremendously successful. The United Foundation just announced they are laying off workers. It is the business-based charities that do the ripping off.
-banning abortion is a strong issue, and I agree it is not part of the government's area of responsibility - but that is not to say both sides are wrong.
-withdrawing funding to any charity organizations that endorse abortion or birth control is a pretty good idea to take the government out of the equation. It doesn't stop the poor from getting all medical help, because their medical assistance is provided pro bono, and always has been - but it does make it less easy, and maybe that is not a bad thing.
-having the United States act as a unilateral power in the name of its 'defense' is silly. Of course a government must represent its own interests - but the coalition that engaged Iraq was just three countries shy of unanimous support - and at similar levels of participation to the first Gulf War.
-the death penalty is trickier. I say freeze 'em all solid, and stack the miscreants up like cordwood until the day comes when science may be able to thaw them and fix their brains.
-deficit spending (Bush stands for this by his actions) is less an issue economically than it appears. It doesn't negatively impact the Supply-side model that is driving our comeback. It will be taken care of by the very growth that strengthens us. At a 5.6% clip, we are threatened more by growing too fast than by not balancing the budget.

I don't disagree with your right to hold opinions, but I do wonder at how much vehemence you assign to them. Did you feel this way about Clinton? ...Because many of these ideas were his as well.

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Anonymous24
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Clinton only held those ideas because of politics. He would make different decisions going against those beliefs if he had public support to do so. Bush, on the other hand, actually believes in those things and would try to effect them even if it meant going *against* public support. Ultimately, both candidates supported certain things because the public supported those things, but both candidates tried(and are trying in Bush's case) to lead the public towards their own(Bush and Clinton's) personal beliefs. I don't want Bush leading the public towards his beliefs.

Bush was by no means forced into proposing an amendment to ban gay marriage - how many Congressional Republicans think that such a move was necessary? Most of them don't. Bush's proposal was a willful, totally voluntary attempt to shore up his conservative base for the coming elections.

Affirmative action is not something that all 'logical thinking people' realize is wrong. Its necessary, because like it or not we've got a culture problem in our society - too many blacks are poor, uneducated, and alienated from white society. Affirmative action can fix this - not to mention the fact that minorities are, in fact, signficantly discriminated against. Affirmative action may not seem logical given the rights of our society, but logic often doesn't jibe with reality.

Faith-based charities may be successful, but I really believe that religion is something we have to get out of government in every way possible.

School vouchers are paid for with tax-payer money. I don't want to pay so that kids can go to religious schools.

Your belief that school prayer doesn't violate separation of church and state is based on your own definition of the separation of church and state. I have my own definition. It worries me that you, and like-minded people, believe that school prayer can't even be argued against. It is things like that that Bush stands for which I oppose, which is why I want the Bush administration out of office.

[ March 13, 2004, 07:58 PM: Message edited by: Anonymous24 ]

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NSCutler
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quote:
Clinton only held those ideas because of politics. He would make different decisions going against those beliefs if he had public support. Bush, on the other hand, actually believes in those things and would try to effect them even if it meant going *against* public support.
Which is why I say Bush is the lesser of the two evils, and don't think it doesn't hurt my little Green heart to admit it. How can the Democrats expect us to support them when they admit that they betray our principles not because they disagree with them but just because they don't want conservatives to be mad at them.
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Anonymous24
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Because standing up for your beliefs in government usually leads to disaster and problems. The people with strong beliefs don't always change those beliefs in the face of reality, and that's bad. You want leaders who care about getting the job done and preserving the status quo and stability, not leaders who want to stand up for what they believe in.
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TomDavidson
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Sadly, I did indeed intend for this to be a thread asking the Democrats on this board -- who are clearly feeling re-energized by recent political developments -- to tone it down and behave more civily.

That was my ONLY intent.

Frankly, I have no interest whatsoever in yet another thread in which William comes up with anti-Democrat conspiracies and accuses everyone EXCEPT himself of perfidy. I have no interest, in fact, in yet another thread of partisan nastiness.

My point, which I'll reiterate, is this: we should DROP the partisan nastiness.

To this end, I will delete this thread if even one more post on it engages in exactly the kind of behavior I was asking people to stop. I will then repost the original post -- and will repeat, as necessary, until we can get at least one thread that lives up to the intent of the post.

Play nice. I can't control any of you, but I CAN control this thread.

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Redskullvw
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I find myself agreeing with SG, considering the topic starter.

However if his intent is to help drive Ornery back to its past history of very sharp, very logic based, and factually based content, then I would have to agree with TD's post directly above this one.

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KnightEnder
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You do and you will get banned.

KE

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TomDavidson
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I will not be banned for deleting my own thread without any malicious intent, particularly since I'm warning people in advance of the action.

I will NOT tolerate partisan snideness on a thread specifically intended to ask people -- of my own political persuasion, even -- to cut back on the partisan snideness.

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KnightEnder
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Censoring other peoples posts, no matter how lofty the goal, is still wrong.

KE

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musket
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It's an election year, during a time when the country is sharply divided on many issues.

Emotions and tempers can easily run hot in such circumstances. People tend to get overly defensive, and may read meanings into posts that are not indicative of original intent.

I don't mind a little passionate rhetoric under such circumstances. I have a pretty thick skin and am not a defensive person in general. But it's only an internet forum, folks. There isn't anything going on here worth getting so bent out of shape over that basic civility gets chucked out the window.

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WmLambert
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TomD, delete the thread if you want - but don't author a hit piece
quote:
...to defuse the Republican pundit machine does NOT mean that we should, now that we know how, sink to that level.
and claim you merely intended "a thread specifically intended to ask people -- of my own political persuasion, even -- to cut back on the partisan snideness."
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Anonymous24
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Partisan arguing should be expected and I can't see how we could keep having discussions with each other if we tried to get rid of it.
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velcro
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Wm,

Thank you for the links about primary turnout. The Democratic turnout was not a record, as you said. And to be honest, I was under the impression that it was higher.

But if you look at the NY Times article you linked to, the Democrats have over the last 20 years fallen down to about the level the Republicans were at all along. So it is not necessarily a reflection on Kerry, just on the popularity, or even relevance of primaries to many Americans.

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Anonymous24
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Republican primaries are designed differently - candidates can't win percentages of a state's delegates - they either win all or nothing of a state's delegates. Therefore, Republican primaries are over sooner, which probably accounts for the lower turnout rate.

I agree that the turnout of the Democratic primaries shouldn't be an indication of Kerry's, or the Democratic Party's, nationwide popularity.

[ March 13, 2004, 10:09 PM: Message edited by: Anonymous24 ]

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WmLambert
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I think the main factor to weigh is the invalid reasoning that the beliefs of the few who voted are representative of the much larger population. Time will tell.
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Redskullvw
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A24

Acctually there is currently a great thread that is active right now and it has none of the problematic tripe that has drove many people, like me, to silence. While I do not generally even tollerate TD, and while I really thought his topic starter was a sort of mea culpa type response, the fact is he is right that we need to cut the name calling and willy-nilly knee bites.

Regardless of how long it took him to come to the realization that standards have become dirt on both sides of the asile, the fact is he correctly identified a problem which is turning Ornery from being an extraordinary fourm into an also ran run of the mill fourm. I don't agree with how TD phrased his appeal, because it sounded disengenuous to me. However he seems rather earnest in stating the obvious that we need to police ourselves better before we even post.

Fact is TD is right. That applies to all of us. We consider better what we are about to post and self edit the hyperbole, the skewed facts, our own bias, and instead post what we belive, what we have confirmed as factual, and what is logical in terms of the argument at hand that will ultimately leave Ornery a better place.

Why? Because posts aimed at individuals on Ornery will again become a rarity. Because wild claims of this or that partisan polling data will be bashed by all parties as being inaccurate. Because those with sound argument will feel free to post without feeling that the simple act of posting leads to ad hominum attacks. And most importantly, because the insipid replication of thread topics and overall lack of any focus will be replaced with fewer threads and threads of much heftier worth.

The issues over thread deletions, topic titles, exclusive topic fourms, etc. are all red herrings. Some of you who live close to me in the trenches are just as guilty as those that TD is talking about in his area of the trenches. Some of those on the left fringe out near Everard are also guilty of just the type of drivel TD is concerned with. Time to grow up people and act as we did in the past.

I have to wonder how receptive Ornery would be to someone new who holds Everards views. Or for that matter, how someone with my views would be welcomed to the current Ornery. I have a feeling that unlike when I joined or Paul joined, that they would be shouted down. Think about it for a moment.

How many times have you stopped after reading something Paul wrote and thought , " Well he may be a communist, but he is really on to something here."? Several of you have been somewhat amazed when I point out that your views on government are completely fascist. Would your political stands be challenged by another new fascist in your midst considering the current Wrestle Mania environment of Ornery? Not bloody likely since right now being anything other than a Republican Bush supporter or Democratic Kerry supporter is the only thing that seems to count.

Think about some of the classic members who used to post in the not so distant past with oppinions and views that challenged yours. How many Von's Kentukians, Chius, and DomP's are choosing to stay silent and not post? While I can appreciate the shear scope of coverage in posts by WmLambert on the conservative side, I cannot help but see the level of sniping he and his opponents shrink to.

Left or right all of the currently active posters are contributing to the current environment where intelligent dialogue is impossible on most threads. It seems that each poster takes every offence possible from each poster who posts a responce. At least with Baldar, he was short and to the point. He would point out where you were wrong, why you were factually wrong, and why your argument was logicly flawed as a result. Of course he would then call you an idiot for posting drivel.

The people here decided they didn't like being told that their argument was wrong because of bad facts and logic. The fact that Baldar would then creativly call you an idiot was just salt in the wound. What got him banned was the fact that he did point out obvious flaws in many people's arguments. He was, however, banned for calling people idiots.

What many of you are doing now is far worse than anything Baldar ever did. You don't point out valid and substantiated facts. You just quote a fact that siutes your argument. You call your opponent's arguments strawman or ad hominum appeals, and then use the self same tools against your opponent. And what is worset of all, you collectively can't even be half as witty or creative as Baldar when you call your opponent idiots.

All told it makes for poor reading.

So yes, the messenger who brought this topic to your attention may have some tarnish on his own hands, but at least he finally woke up and realized just how much pure drivel was being wasted on Ornery's hard drive. Maybe he will self acctualize this realization and he will return to the style of posting he entered the site with four years ago. Hopefully all of you will pay attention to his point and do some self acctualizing of your own.

GDL

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Enumclaw
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Redskull, this is overall a pretty good post, but considering that you take at least two personal swipes (the "mea culpa" remark means you think he has something to apologize for, and the disingenous-but-earnest dichotomy is another swipe at his character/motivations for posting) at Tom in the first two paragraphs, I must say that I like the irony in it almost as much as the appeal to decency. [Smile]

In any case, though, you're right. I'll personally say mea culpa in regards to my own posts, and I will try to do better.

Paul

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Redskullvw
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En

If I came out and said "I agree with Tom on XXXXXXX" would you have even noticed it as valid? Given my actual personal dislike for him, the fact that I posted that although I found the origional post disengenuous, I belive Tom is correct, nailed the problem, and that it isn't just a centrist problem but that it also includes left and right, should have caught a few eyes.

And apperently it did.

Its ok to not like a poster. Its impossible to like everyone all the time. But censor yourselves. It took a lot for me to throw my support behind Tom. Hes right. All of you know it. I am sick of some of you acting like pikers. Grow up, all of you are smart. You will never convince me to agree with you by calling your opponent an idiot. And that is Tom's point. You are collectively so juiced over the tit for tat that 5 pages of nothing non content springs into being which is total;y devoid of a single coherent argument.

I don't post much anymore, but I do still read all the threads. I have a feeling there are a bunch of people just like me. For oursakes please try to be civil to each other so that 50% of your post isn't a snappy answer to a stupid question bit. When a thread turns into a name calling fest, or when its a duplicate topic thread which is another stupid question fest it gets real old real quick.

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Anonymous24
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See, the two partisan beliefs(conservative, liberal) are natural. They both have good points and bad points. So you must expect people to be partisan. We can't help the beliefs that our parents ingrained in us.

[ March 14, 2004, 05:38 AM: Message edited by: Anonymous24 ]

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simplybiological
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quote:
See, the two partisan beliefs(conservative, liberal) are natural. They both have good points and bad points. So you must expect people to be partisan. We can't help the beliefs that our parents ingrained in us.
actually, you CAN help it. the notion that anyone goes through life never challenging anything their parents ever told them is bordering on ridiculous- we'd all still believe in santa if this were true.
-argue the issue rather than the partisan line.
-don't use the word "conservative" or "liberal" in your post.
-think about WHY you feel a certain way on an issue.

think about the number of issues out there- is it really natural to you to group all the possible combinations of opinions on those issues into one tiny little dichotomy? it's not to me. someone once actually accused me of making a mistake, because they had labelled me as a liberal and i said something inconsistent with that- please.

i expect people who don't think independently to be partisan. i don't expect people who come to a place like ornery to discuss issues to be partisan.

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OrneryMod
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While I can not stop TomD from deleting this thread if he wants, I would prefer it if he did not. If it is going in a direction that he does not like I would prefer him to notify me and to let me lock it.

That being said, Tom has stated twice to the members that if they don't behave themselves then he will delete the thread. If you don't want that to happen, then follow what he is asking you to do in this thread. If you don't want your words censored by his deleting the thread then don't say anything that would get the thread deleted.

OrneryMod

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Storm Saxon
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In case anyone wants some more corroboration, I'm one of those people that basically stopped posting for the reasons Redskull enumerates.
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Pete at Home
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I support Tom's right to delete a thread that other folks want to hijack into a flame thread.

However ...

quote:
That being said, Tom has stated twice to the members that if they don't behave themselves then he will delete the thread. If you don't want that to happen, then follow what he is asking you to do in this thread. If you don't want your words censored by his deleting the thread then don't say anything that would get the thread deleted.
I cannot resist pointing out the irony that this is exactly what I did with the infamous Kwanzaa threads. [Roll Eyes]

[ March 14, 2004, 03:44 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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OrneryMod
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Pete

I feel that there are some differences and I have e-mailed you about it.

OrneryMod

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Redskullvw
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Pete.. the kwanza threads are exactly the type of problem , ie snipe hunt threads, that TD is refering to. Storm you aren't the only person who has just about lost it lately over the conditions here.

also Pete.. "tone it done because I am sick of our side of the trenches getting nuked by moderators actions after the right wing puts its foot in its mouth. Seriously you guys are politically to my left, but I'd appreciate if you would at least attempt to convince the RW rabble that its in our best intrests to lay off the type of crap TD asked those politically simmular him to stop engaing in.

Pete please try. you have done it before and done it well. Otherwise I'll have to trudge over and pick through the trench line for body parts after the Moderator is through. And frankly, my keyboard is too flakey, my time too limited, and my tollerance for sniping is too low to return to being a daily poster again. Besideds, on your bad day, you are much better than me even when I am having a great day.Same request could also be made of WmL and others.

Please guys draw down the more hostile phases and words. You guys clean up your own standards and the center and left will do so as well.

And on that note.. time for bed. web page i am blaming for my skipping esential sleep last night. I may finally get to do one of my dreams. I can hope for an Lz140 can't I?

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KnightEnder
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quote:
That being said, Tom has stated twice to the members that if they don't behave themselves then he will delete the thread. If you don't want that to happen, then follow what he is asking you to do in this thread. If you don't want your words censored by his deleting the thread then don't say anything that would get the thread deleted.

This is ridiculous. Don't say anything the originator of the thread won't like or you will get censored. Pete's right, this is exactly what he got banned for, and it will lead to a lot of weak arguments and censorship. If someone is violating the rules, the Mod should delete their post or admonish them. If we start doing that ourselves it will lead to everybody having to start their own threads on the same subject so they can make sure they will not be censored.

KE

[ March 15, 2004, 02:14 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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TomDavidson
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"Pete's right, this is exactly what he got banned for, and it will lead to a lot of weak arguments and censorship."

I seriously doubt it will lead to weaker arguments than the ones we've already seen.

I reserve the right -- as I believe ALL of us should reserve the right -- to delete my own thread. This has happened rarely enough, KE, that there's no reason to think that it will ever lead to widespread abuse; even in the unmoderated days, it wasn't exactly common.

So, anyway, back to the point of this thread: cut back on the nastiness.

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TomDavidson
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Actually, here's a piece that I found might help explain some of the weird partisanship gripping the country (or at least illustrate one symptom):
http://www.orgnet.com/divided.html

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