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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » In an effort to bring Ornery back to what it once was (Page 1)

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Author Topic: In an effort to bring Ornery back to what it once was
OrneryMod
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The following have had their posting rights suspended for fostering an atmosphere that the owner of this web site does not wish to see on his forums.

mv, KnightEnder, WLambert, Murdok, Gary,TomDavidson, John L, and Enumclaw.

In particular, they provoke personal attacks, or
initiate hostilities with other members of the site. They troll the forums by posting 'attack ads' rather then discussing issues. They belittle other users of the forum.

They do not respect that other's of good will may hold opinions contrary to their own. For these reasons, they have been suspended for a period of 6 weeks, after which they will be welcome back if they can engage in friendly debate over the
issues, rather then rumor-mongering or resorting to indirect or direct personal attacks.

I have spent the past several weeks going through the old threads trying to track down common demominators and this is what I have come up with. I will be contacting these members directly to let them know what the process will be to get their posting rights back at the end of the suspension period.

I have already notified the Cards of what I am doing and I have their support.

I intend this to be a wakeup call. I want Ornery to get away from the small personal digs and petty bickering that has seem to become common place. It has been better than that. It should be better than that.

OrneryMod

[ April 12, 2004, 08:05 AM: Message edited by: OrneryMod ]

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potemkyn
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Rats...I was hoping to get there input on some ideas I was having...oh well...the crowd ceratinly thins out a lot.
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Redskullvw
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potemkyn,

You can still ask them via email, and if you wish you can attribute their ideas in your own post. I hope that this ban will lead to a much needed return to civility on Ornery. Plus I think silent members may begin posting now since the risk of getting into a tit-for-tat exchange is now greatly reduced.

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potemkyn
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Redskullvw,

It was more the timing than anything else. I just got back from a trip and I was looking forward to some arguments. I spent some time writing my last topic, and I was excited to see some feedback. I posted it, though, at the same time that OMod posted his announcement. I think I will email them. It just felt like I got to the train station on time, only to find that it left 3 minutes early.

Potemkyn

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EDanaII
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Kudos, OM.

If you want civility, sometimes you have to make it. [Smile]

Ed.

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Puretext
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I really appreciate this. I have varrying levels of agreement on who has been suspended based on those criteria, but generally, a correction was very necessary. The frequency of ad hominem was severly derailing discussion of actual issues.

Thanks.

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Ray Bingham
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I'll miss some of these guys. Despite the occasional caustic post, a couple of them were quite knowledgeable (WmLambert on JFK, Viet Nam and WWII was interesting, for example. Enumclaw was from... well, Enumclaw... [Wink] )

Not sure what is considered good discussion...

Best regards,

--Ray

[ April 12, 2004, 12:12 PM: Message edited by: Ray Bingham ]

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Redskullvw
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Ray,

A good discussion is one where you present and argue ideas. You defend them with valid unbiased fact. You listen to what the other side thinks. You attempt to agree on the facts of a sistuation, even if you draw differing conclusions. And when the discussion is over, no party has felt the need to belittle the other or resort to logical fallacies.

Short and sweet..Debate ideas and facts but do not debate the person proposing the ideas and facts.

I totally support OM.

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Mr Xin Ku
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OM

Thanks for putting in the effort (going through and analyzing old threads) to make the best decision possible for the forum.

Mike

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Kilthmal
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OM,

That post has been reported.

Kilthmal

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Everard
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I don't think any of us agree 100% with the specifics of who has been banned. But that doesn't mean those chosen weren't chosen for very good reasons.

I disagree, for example, that Tom is caustic... but I think he contributes to an environment where belittlement is an acceptable form of argument. He wasn't always like that, and I think if we all clean up our act, when he comes back he'll be a very good contributor to the forum again.

If I were mod, would I have banned him? Probably not, but I think depending on the specifics of what the mod is trying to do, it could help.

Same for WmLambert- he wasn't caustic, but his debate tactics did nothing to help the flow of information, because he was incapable of seeing the other point of view. Oftentimes, he'd be involved in a discussion, and then sometime later refer back to it, stating how we all agreed his position was the correct one, when in fact the evidence had convinced people that he was wrong.

Again, if I were in charge, I wouldn't ban for that, but if the mod is trying to clean up the site, it may work out for the best.

Are there people who didn't get banned who maybe appear to deserve it more then those who did? Probably. But I think those who got banned create or foster, the problems that we, as a forum, need to deal with. Other's who I might ban, do not create the problem, but rather came in and saw how ornery operated and kept to that pattern... even though it is not the pattern that ornery should be holding to.

Edit: THis was directed at a post that the user has since deleted. I still think its relevant./

[ April 12, 2004, 01:39 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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ATW
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A special thanks to OrneryMod for reigning in the hooliganism in a balanced, reasoned, and responsible manner.

I can truely say I would not be here today without his efforts.

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Kilthmal
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I personally think this was a good decision OM made. They all made contributions to the forum and are no doubt valuable on single party message boards or battlegrounds like usenet. Heck, if they take the right lesson away from this they'll each be quite valuable here too.

Sometimes you need a chilling effect to push back the flames on the internet.

Kilthmal

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Molonel
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A friend of mine recommended this forum as a place where I could carry on a decent, intelligent conversation without worrying about unnecessary flames or personal attacks. I am heartened by what I read here today.
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Thaymer
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Personally I must disagree, with respect.

I found John L in particular funny most of the time, Murdock, while caustic had his moments and WmLambert was always fun to see people poke at him. I feel it is a mistake to ban these individuals. They brought passion, humor and stired up things in here. They made it interesting.

I'd hate to see Ornery be a quiet and borring place where everyone agrees with each other and is alwasy patting themselves on the back on who was more witty then the next guy.

I just hope Orenry doesn't lose the kind of debate that has made it interesting in the recent past. Such as when Redskullvw in an insulting and blistering post to Murdock was funny and a little pathetic, I mean come on, giving your game disks to your dog? Still, Murdock's response had me on the floor in stitches.

I just hope that by removing these guys you have not watered down the place to a point where it gets dull and uninteresting, how did Murdock say it? Become a forum of long laundry lists of links and articles with no original thoughts or something like that?

Go back and read this post about bringing Ornery back to where it was. It is filled with a number of smug comments. It's like watching a lot of people pat each other on the back.

What would have you done if Harlan Ellison had written in here with his style, his attack dog mentality and all of his talent at pissing off people so they think a little? All that original thought, all that fiery rhetoric and how it shook people, woke them up a little.

Look at Murdock's post on dead american soldiers. A lot of passionate responses. A lot of discussion, heated discussion. People thinking for themselves for once. I aplaud him for getting that going. And even now people are still posting in that topic area and are attacking him yet he cannot defend himself. How fair is that?

So let's not congratulate ourselves just yet because we Shut Up the voices of a few vocal individuals. I thought Ornery was the place to express ideas and original thoughts? I'm not so sure how well you can do that if you shut up the voices that stir up the juices and flame the ideas in debate. I worry this will instill in some poeple the desire to quiet some of their more passionate inner voices in fear of being banned from this wonderful place.

I think banning these people sets a bad precedent. Respectfully of course.

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Ryoko
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I think OM made the right call. Insulting and belittling others, whether directly or indirectly, does not provide anything of value.

The battle is between the creators and the destroyers of the world.

OM has my full support.

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Thaymer
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Royko:

The world was created in fire and rock. It was the result of massive destruction of matter in order to make what we now call earth.

You tear down a house to build a better one. Destruction is the law of the universe.

Was that poetic enough? I think OM made an error in judgement.

Wating calmly for the axe to fall.

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Redskullvw
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Thaymer

I don't think you have anything to worry about. You seem to be on topic and polite.

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msquared
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I think I have to side with the Mod on this one.

I too have noticed the snipping and little comments. I think it detracts from the site. I like a joke as well as the next guy, and I am not the most serious poster on the site, but even I get turned off by the crap sometimes.

I think an example of the best of Ornery is the "Are Mormons Christians". As far as I know that went 620 replies, from a title that could have insulted some people, with alot of good discussion.

msquared

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Tezcatlipoca
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All I can say is Thank you OM. I have been reading these forums for quite some time now, and only recently have started to post a little more. Recently I had been discouraged by the way the forums seemed to be going in general. Sure, maybe not everyone was caustic at the same time, or consistantly (I too have had my bad moments). But you got the general overall feeling that the good qualities I was learning from were slowly slipping away. Attacks that were pretty much non-existant were almost becoming commonplace.

Will the discussions be affected with the loss of so many vocal people? Probably. But only if you look at the bigger picture does this not seem as shattering as you might believe. New people will participate more, and others will step up from just watching and listening to share their insights.

I see this as cleaning up an attic or garage. Sure, you may throw away stuff that may seem important to you, or have sentimental value, but it is needed to move on and make space for the new and fresh.

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simplybiological
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quote:
I'd hate to see Ornery be a quiet and borring place where everyone agrees with each other and is alwasy patting themselves on the back on who was more witty then the next guy.
i don't know how long you've been reading this board, but that is what WAS going on. i stopped debating global change altogether (which is a topic i'm pretty qualified to discuss AND feel passionately about) because some of the individuals banned would just attack and pat one another on the back (john and mv, notably) when they said something witty or cutting.
the individuals that were banned are certainly not a homogenous group, nor are the individuals that remain. there will be no lack of discussion, and with the removal of some people who love to pat backs, that won't occur either.

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Colin JM0397
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You go girl! [Big Grin]
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Sancselfieme
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I too thank the mod, there was too much bad taste. We can have fiery rhetoric about the issues without attacking others or the level of baiting and tones of posts that went on. Besides, several of the members banned had specifically dared the mod to do so and had belittled others for reporting them, it serves them right.

[ April 12, 2004, 04:49 PM: Message edited by: Sancselfieme ]

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Thaymer
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Well, I guess you could say it's refreshing to see so many people agree for once on something.

Yawn.

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ben5
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I disagree with OM, But of course I am a relativly new member and this is all I have known. I also don't think that TomD,Gary,and Enumclaw did anything wrong. [Frown]
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GaalD
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quote:
Well, I guess you could say it's refreshing to see so many people agree for once on something
I disagree. Disagreement is refreshing.

Also, about what Everard said, just because someone doesn't contribute to the thread or you don't like the way they debate isn't a reason to ban them. I think you ban someone only if they're making comments that may insult someone or belittle them.

[ April 12, 2004, 06:07 PM: Message edited by: GaalD ]

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WarrsawPact
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My main beef was with Murdok, and I quite simply supported his suspension due to his numerous personal attacks on myself and Tezcatlipoca.

I wasn't paying attention often enough to other Flame Warriors's specific names and posts to notice any other particularly bad people, so I'll leave that decision up to the rest of you to judge.

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Kamisaki
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Well, the forums will be a bit more quiet, since if nothing else, those who were banned were at least prolific in their posts. It will be interesting to see how the overall tone changes.

I hope that when they are allowed back they can come back with a bit more civility. I'll miss their viewpoints while they're gone, but hopefully it will be for the best.

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Hannibal
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I think the OM should have poted a warning message here, this kicking users thing is a bit extreme. i have long talks with mv and i have seen many posts from those people who were banned and I didnt notice any thing offencive. maybe some posts that i didnt see were.

any how, i whouldnt like this site to be a place where people are getting kicked all of a sudden. we are all grown ups if some one offends us we can simply ignore him. now i should be afraid that if i get a bit heated in an argument i will get kicked.

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Adam Masterman
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I think OM made a tough call, but ultimately something had to be done. I have found myself posting way less because of the monotony of the partisan attacks, and when I did post it was usually to point out the absurdity of the arguments. Fair or not, I think this decision will make this a better place to read and debate.

Adam

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simplybiological
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many of those individuals had been warned previously, some were temporarily banned before. it's also very likely that the mod has communicated with people by email.
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Crush T. Velour
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quote:
mv, KnightEnder, WLambert, Murdok, Gary,TomDavidson, John L, and Enumclaw.
Perhaps I havent been posting to the right threads but I didn't find their behavior to begin to be out of bounds based on other boards I've posted to....

Well, MURDOK...yeah. He wore being a cephalopygian as a badge of honor. Still, I responded to him without blinking an eye.

It is of course the Moderator's sole call.

However, since I didn't find any of them too objectionable, it makes me worry, now that the "short list" has been cleared, whether I'm on the "long list". [Smile]

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potemkyn
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Kamisaki,

I thought that things would slow down too after Pete At Home was banned. He had been putting out two or three topics a day it seemed and posting really frequently so I was unsure how the tempo would change. Fortunately, Ray seemed to take up the standard. I wouldn't be surprised if some other people became more prominent in the absence of the guilty.

Potemkyn

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Crush T. Velour
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quote:
I wouldn't be surprised if some other people became more prominent in the absence of the guilty.
Yeah. That's what I'm afraid of: Suddenly becoming more prominent as a troublemaker. :-)

[ April 12, 2004, 08:32 PM: Message edited by: Crush T. Velour ]

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FIJC
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Here is a response from Gary on being banned. If the OrneryMod feels that my posting this is inappropriate; they should by all means feel free to just remove this post. If the OrneryMod is offended by my doing this, my apologies, but I think that perhaps this should be made public.

Gary wrote:

quote:
"I am, quite frankly, shocked at this action. I have scanned through my email and all my posts over the last 30 days on the forum and can find no warning from OrneryMod or anyone on the forum that anything I have posted is inappropriate. Why was there no warning if the moderator had been secretly considering this over a period of weeks? Why am I publicly identified as having violated rules but then denied the opportunity to address or refute those claims in the same public forum? Preemptive action such as this without even a hint of warning or complaint and no way to respond is censorship, not an attempt to control the quality of debate within the forums.

To the best of my knowledge, there have been no complaints against me from other members nor have I ever had a post modified or edited in any way by the moderator. This morning's blanket claim of a number of rules violation without providing me any hint as to what those violations are or when I committed them is the first I have been made aware of any problem. Until this morning, I had considered myself a member in good standing and was given no reason whatsoever to believe otherwise. This appears, from my perspective, to have been done on a whim. Why was there no warning of any kind before such drastic action?

I admit that sometimes my humor does not translate well or I may have occasionally pushed the limit of what is acceptable. In all of these cases where I am aware of it or thought it may have occurred, I have been quick to offer apology - sometimes even when none was requested. If I have offended anyone or violated rules, I am now denied the opportunity to again offer those apologies. I have responded to some personal attacks vigorously such as MannyJ's accusation that I am an 'inept liar' or Murdock's occasional ad hominem but I did not initiate nor continue these beyond my initial response.

The only thing we have to trade on in such forums is our previously established integrity built over the totality of our posts. When that integrity is a attacked, it is appropriate to respond and defend that integrity. Mine has been damaged without warning or any offer of proof other than the claim of some secret investigation conducted over the last few weeks. I believe I am owed more than a public posting of mass violations without anything substantive to back up those claims. I would like the opportunity to address these accusations (and they are only accusations at this point ) in the same public forum in which they have been made."


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Rte66
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I agree with OM, for the reason for doing this, but I am confused why Gary was banned. He did not stand out in my mind as being offensive.

Looking through some (about 5 threads) of Gary's recent posts, I couldn't find anything offensive.

I thought anyone would be warned before being banned.

Edit: grammar

[ April 12, 2004, 09:47 PM: Message edited by: Rte66 ]

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Zyne
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I do not think that it is my place to debate how OM exercises her discretion. In this case, it cannot be doubted that OM has acted well within her discretion. Whether it would be the exact same decision any other of us would have made does not seem relevant.

Hope everything gets subdued and everyone comes back to exchange ideas.

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WarrsawPact
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By the way people -

Not "Banned," suspended for six weeks.

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Tristan
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Hmmm. I can't help but feel that some of the names on the list were put there mainly to create a perception that the problems stemmed equally from all parts of the political spectrum. But I have not read the board all that closely the last month, so I may have missed things.

*Shrugs*

I will miss some of the people that have been suspended, and I hope that once the suspension is ended they will not feel so offended for having been singled out that they fail to return to us.

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Puretext
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Ehh... ornery's been offending me for years.
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