Removal of the Politics Forum

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Removal of the Politics Forum

Postby penrod on Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:00 pm

Everyone,

Perry and I talked for a while on this today. We are both in agreement and have decided to remove the politics forum from the site.

While there have been topics that were handled well, we simply cannot afford to lose users based on the disagreements that take place in this forum area.

We want this site to be about discussions that involve the DS rating, your life and your friendships.

We know that there will be a few people that disagree with us for making this change, but we have lost good users of this site due to this one issue. We believe that the good from removing the topic area will out weigh the bad caused by it's presence.

For the other topic areas, please try to abide by a few rules when posting...

1. Controversial topics can become heated very quickly. Please use common sense when posting. Think about what you are saying before you post your topic or reply to another's topic.

2. Stating Facts - If you are stating something as fact, take the time to research the topic, and include credible references to back up your statement.

3. Stating Opinions - Unless you state that it is a fact and you provide the research, it will be assumed it is your opinion only.

4. Misrepresenting The Words of Other Posters - One way for a debate to get out of hand very quickly is by misrepresenting what others have said in their posts. A lot of this can be prevented simply by using the quote button. If you are not sure what someone meant, take the time to ask them to explain further, rather than assuming or using your own interpretation of their words.

5. Hit and Run Posting - If you decide to join a topic, don't just post and run, without being prepared to back up what you have said, when others respond.

6. Choose Your Words Carefully - Try to remember that there are real people, with real feelings, on the other end of the monitor who are reading your words. Use respect at all times!

7. Name Calling - Once again, these are real people in this forum. Just because someone has an opinion that differs from yours, do not attempt to degrade them to further enforce your own opinion.

8. Step Away - If a topic has reached the point that you are about to say things that you may regret later, don't be afraid to respectfully excuse yourself from the conversation for a bit, while you take time to regain your composure.

These eight rules will be enforced by the administrators / moderators of this site.

Our goal is to not lose another user because they feel unwelcome due to the posting or actions of another member.

John & Perry.
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Re: Removal of the Politics Forum

Postby Fburtxds1 on Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:39 pm

As one of the moderators for the Politics Forum I cannot help but feel somewhat responsible for the breakdown in decorum and civility in the discussions. For that I sincerely apologize. The only defense I can offer is that it is a Herculaean task to be born when asked to police discussions among a group of individuals with such heartfelt and ingrained opinions. It is unfortunate that things got out of hand.

Although I will miss the lively discussions that ebbed and flowed like the tides on shorelines influenced by political climate, I shall not mourn the absence of the occasional tempests that threatened to destroy our bonds of friendship and identity.

Sadly, this was the only place I can honestly say I could express my opinions and expect intelligent, positive and occasionally opposing feedback. Because I respected the views and beliefs of the majority of the people on this site I could allow myself the luxury of opening my mind to both those that agreed and disagreed with my own beliefs. Occasionally my own perspective was changed in the process. I shall miss that tremendously.

But if the price of total, unrestrained commentary is devisiveness, hurt feelings and estrangement of friends and comrades, then we are best rid of it. Let that be a lesson to those who know not when to temper their language.

As for me, I shall continue to contribute my opinions within the limits imposed. But I choose not to be tasked with monitoring and enforcing those limits.
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Re: Removal of the Politics Forum

Postby jimbo1 on Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:11 pm

[quote="Fburtxds1"]As one of the moderators for the Politics Forum I cannot help but feel somewhat responsible for the breakdown in decorum and civility in the discussions. [/quote]


yeah, I blame you, too, Frank.


just kidding, shipmate. you know I'm just busting on ya.
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Re: Removal of the Politics Forum

Postby Doc Kivlighan on Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:46 pm

Frank,
How about a Sports and Military forum :?;
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Re: Removal of the Politics Forum

Postby rkrum on Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:14 pm

I have VERY mixed opinions about removing the Politics forum. Censorship is, IMHO, a very bad thing, period, and this smacks of censorship...

Yes, it gets controversial, mean-spirited, and verbally violent at times. That's when it seems to be the most interesting.

However:

1) You don't have to read it. We have a choice...all you need to do is 'mark all topics as read,' and it's gone. Gritching and bitching and threatening to take your ball and go home is something that we all should have grown out of once we were wearing long pants and short hair.

2) You don't have to get upset at it. We're (hopefully) all adults. We can disagree if we want to. I for one object MIGHTILY to the limited number of persons of Norwegian/German descent participating in our forums, but you won't see me getting upset about it (much)

3) If you think political views will go away just because the 'politics' forum is not there, you are living in a dream world. I, for one, refuse to leave politics out of it, and they will just end up in the dailies, where they will be even harder to suppress, and piss even more of the delicate types off..

4) We got into the DS rate to do things (military) that many folks do not agree with, however, that is life, and we need to get on with it.

5) Free speech should be encouraged, not limited here. We all served in the Navy in part "To defend and protect the Constitution of the United States of America," some died doing it, and I for one, keep that in mind every time I see a bunch of people protesting stuff I happen to disagree with...Political discourse can be violent, messy, and nasty. Real shooting wars are quite a bit worse. I'd rather encourage discourse than suppress it.

6) I would seriously request that decisions of this sort not be taken lightly, that good judgement prevail, and that politics, no matter how repugnant to some, HAS a place in our lives--hell, its not making my life particularly stable at present--I work for a defense contractor (sigh)..

7) Just talking about what nothing other than we did in the Navy rapidly gets repetitive, boring, and DULL, DULL, DULL, no matter how much fun we may or may not have had doing it. I,for one, would rather talk/read more about a LOT of other things, and besides, my kids quit regularly asking "What did you do in the Navy, Daddy?" a HORRIBLY long time ago. (Smart kids)

Bottom line; Leave it in. The folks with an issue on it can ignore it, the ones that like to bash politicians should have at--I'm sure the elected bozos running our country into the ground richly deserve all the ass-kicking they get, even though they don't read our stuff.

A place to vent is just fine with me. If someone wants to leave our site because of political discourse, other user's perceived attitudes, or because there are not enough Hazel-eyed Norwegian/German members, SO WHAT--let them go. Membership in this forum is still VOLUNTARY. If they want to ignore the forum, let them. But there are those of us that LIKE to get into exchanges on politics--don't tell me I can't get politically incorrect on a regular basis, please...because I will studiously and deliberately ignore you. And I'm not aerodynamically correct either.

Basically, if someone can't stand the heat--stay outta the kitchen. Hurt feelings are part of life--we're not here to wrap each other in cotton-wool and speak soft, gentle words that stick in our throats. We are Humans, we talk, we shout, we rage for and against injustice, and THAT is what makes us INTERESTING. I'm not into discussing cute puppies, purring pussycats, or just being old and boring, full of repetive stories about bygone days that are mostly lies anyway. I do that to my fellow workers enough as it is... If I want to discuss puppies, I'll go talk to my cute little pack of dogs--don't need to do that here..

Kick ass, take names, and keep it in the politics forum. Less messy that way...and a hell of a lot more fun.
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Re: Removal of the Politics Forum

Postby Rick Ward on Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:28 pm

John/Perry;

I got just one thing to say.

If you limit comments to people who agree with me, I'm leaving.
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Re: Removal of the Politics Forum

Postby gekase on Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:39 pm

I think it should be left on the site, and make it voluntary, that is, force everyone to make a decision whether or not they want to participate, and then only make it available to those who opt in.

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Re: Removal of the Politics Forum

Postby Dotstacker on Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:34 am

You don't have to agree, just as you don't have to read the posts or make comments, if someone is that thin-skinned, perhaps the Air Force Reserve would be the place for them
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Re: Removal of the Politics Forum

Postby blasher on Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:46 am

[quote="gekase"]I think it should be left on the site, and make it voluntary, that is, force everyone to make a decision whether or not they want to participate, and then only make it available to those who opt in.

Gary[/quote]
This sounds like a good idea, if it can be done. Otherwise, you can choose to block it from your profile. I assume that once its blocked, you can look at it (by choice) just in case you want to see whats going on in there.

Yes, I think that sometimes it gets fairly heated, especially when something appears to be taken out of context, which then starts a mini-flame war.

As mentioned by Penrod, maybe everyone needs to count to 10 (or 100)(BOTH base 10 numbers) BEFORE you hit the 'submit' key especially if you are quite incensed about an issue. Maybe the forum can be setup to put a slight (1-5 minutes) delay in posting to it, with an automatic "are you sure?" type response required before it actually posts. Maybe the "are you sure" could be an email response.

Yes, I get annoyed by some of the threads that have been started. I've participated in some that may be considered inflammatory. I do think that not showing the proper respect for the various offices/people that we are discussing should be discouraged. You may or may not like our present president (or many members of his administration) or even previous administrations, but there is no need for name-calling. I, for one, am not too enamored with the present group in charge, but, he is the leader until "We, the people" decide to vote him out of office.

Follow the common courtesies. Keep it civil. Keep your voice down (or as the Coneheads would say "Maintain low tones"). And, most importantly, know when to sit down and shut up. Politics and religion are two topics that are difficult to discuss without getting into an argument. Thankfully, no one has decided to jump on the religious bandwagon. Now that would piss me off.

Again, my vote would be to keep it, but with opt-in type restrictions. To view the forum, or any of its threads, would require some sort of acknowledgment that you realize that you are opening some sort of Pandora's box, at your own risk.
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Re: Removal of the Politics Forum

Postby dscmob on Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:26 am

What I suggested yesterday was not to censor anyone. Nor was it about thick or thin skin. I too am a sailor, and I cannot express myself without the use of graphic sexual terminology. I use a minimum of 26 "F" bombs a day. It isn't about politics, or the present (or past) administration (s). When I stated that sex, religion or politics don't belong in a forum as this, I wasn't trying to enforce cersorship, or impose my belief. I was stating that in my opinion, and from feedback that I have from folks that no longer participate, it just doesn't work. It drives folks away, and unfortunately the resounding response is "so what". And that kind of re-enforces my point. I will continue to read every forum on here, 'cause I like and respect you guys, but the way I see it, you can have active discussions with 60 people, or have 5 folks shouting "stupid Dumbocrats." Its a free country, and really your choice. Dave
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Re: Removal of the Politics Forum

Postby Mike Florio on Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:13 pm

Look, we all volunteered to serve this country. We are in the minority that chose to serve in the Navy. We are further privileged to have had the "DS Experience": the training, the challenges, the experiences. That's what binds us together. This forum provides a place where we can connect with long-list shipmates, or meet new ones. To a certain extent we are like a family. You may have a sister or cousin who sees things completely differently than you do - but she is still your sister or cousin. If she suffers a life crisis you step up, because you know she would step up in a similar circumstance for you. Which messdeck would you rather be on: the one where a sailor pipes up "That was the worst meal I ever attempted to eat," and the other five guys sitting around the table all say "Yup." or the one where one guy says "What! I like fried Bolognia sandwiches," and the discussion ensues.

Politics and religion are always dangerous waters. I prefer not to deal with religion on this forum because it doesn't play into the DS Experience, but politics is another matter. We served this nation, we are entitled to have our say (perhaps a tad bit more than those who didn't). I believe that we are all from a virtual Lake Woebegone: a bit above average, and I have learned a lot from the thoughts of others on the Politics Forum. I've also learned to back up my facts with sources, and to clearly identify my opinions, a discipline enforced by the other participants on me, as I have enforced it on others. I'm pretty sure I have never resorted to name-calling, although I have been the victim. Several years ago, when I found myself enraged by an attack by another participant I just opted out, and didn't visit the Forum for a year or so. But I found I really missed the unique interplay and level of discourse (most of the time) on this forum, so I jumped back in.

These are perilous times. I believe our country is at a crossroads. I didn't spend 12 years "Fighting tyranny and aggression wherever it rears its ugly head" at the expense of building a civilian career and my fortune to watch this place go down the tubes. I value the discussions I have had on the Politics forum and would like to see it retained. Maybe a positive "opt in" button could be incorporated into the User Control Panel.

Politics are, indeed, dangerous waters. Let those so inclined navigate these dangerous shoals. More careful navigators may choose to stay well offshore, avoiding the risks. But for those who believe the true riches of the seas lie in the shoals - come on in, but be sure your lifevests and damage control gear are in good working order.
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Re: Removal of the Politics Forum

Postby jfmitchell on Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:13 am

Guess I missed the whole thing ... Darn it, I just love heated discussions where we can "talk like sailors". I read the feedbacks and found a pretty good percentage of those who liked the "fight" were shipmates of mine. But, as I never participated, I have no say except I sure wish I had known it was on here, I would have been on the site daily. You see I left because it's boring. Good Job you Indy Sailors, and my old basketball buddy. Mitch
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Re: Removal of the Politics Forum

Postby dscmob on Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:29 am

John, you old sea dog you. I am so glad you are on the right side of dirt! Are you still planning that trip to Pensacola? I got a basketball hoop in the pool! And you can cuss all you want! Dave
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Re: Removal of the Politics Forum

Postby EdE on Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:43 am

I come to these sites to catch up with old Navy friends and reminisce about the times and places.

I will not read or take part of discussions on politics or religion. I have my own opinions and beliefs and they are mine and mine alone. I might jump in when the discussion is on which was the better muscle car.

I have seen two other Navy BBS sites go completely down the "$hitter" because of heated political discussions and differences of opinion.

One site was run by a retired Chief and after a year he put out the notice that he had enough crap, told everyone to take their bull$hit somewhere else, and completely shut the site down. On another Navy BBS site the administrator had to limit access to keep it civilized.

Unfortunately this site seems to be starting down that path.

Are there not political blog sites to vent the political crap?
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Re: Removal of the Politics Forum

Postby schrand on Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:33 am

I'm sorry to see the politics forum go. We fought to preserve these important freedoms, especially speech. ...to disagree about really sensitive issues. And, we DS's were/are forrunners in the use of information/communication "systems". But I do have to respect the goals of those who maintain this wonderful site and the stated purpose: "A place for Data Systems Technicians to stop and chat!"

If a "chat" turns into a heated baroom brawl, then some changes are in order. Yes, take it outside. There are plenty of other sites available to vent political ideas. And, I wonder how the other military related discussion groups handle the politics, religion and sex topics.

Frank, you were an excellent sheriff. Keeping peace at the political saloon is not easy.
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