Author Topic: Politics and religion  (Read 25835 times)  

Offline Jeff

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Politics and religion
« on: November 27, 2008, 05:11:17 AM »
Should we exclude hot-button topics such as politics and religion from the board?

Your comments are appreciated.

Jeff
« Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 08:56:43 AM by Jeff »

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2008, 05:25:39 AM »
As we respond to Jeff's question, I would ask that we respond to the general question of whether religion and politics should be allowed for discussion and that we eliminate responding to the specifics that prompted this question.  (I wish Jeff had phrased the question without the specifics which aren't needed for this purpose.)  If I could moderate here I would have removed them (sorry, Jeff).

I will say, given the current Forum Decorum of allowing such discussions, the issue I had with the postings, which have since been removed BY THE PARTICIPANTS, voluntarily I believe, was that it was seriously off topic.  It was clearly inappropriate to have such a discussion in the middle of a totally unrelated topic.  Readers had no warning of what they were walking into.  At least in person, we would have heard raised voices which would have warned us to not enter the room.

People, we NEED to stay on topic.  If you want to discuss something or post something that is not part of the current discussion, create a NEW TOPIC.  (Caps for emphasis not yelling).

Let's try to stay calm here.  Most of the mods are on holiday and Leslie is dealing with a small family crisis.  We can resolve this, don't make it snowball even bigger.

Thanks!

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Offline Jeff

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2008, 05:32:41 AM »
If I could moderate here I would have removed them (sorry, Jeff).

I thought the background was necessary to explain why I was motivated to ask the question, Betsy.

I have removed all but the question.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 08:58:02 AM by Jeff »

Offline Michael R. Hicks

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2008, 05:40:14 AM »
Jeff -

Happy Thanksgiving to you and everyone else, too! :-)

As for the subject at hand, my personal view is that as long as people don't make personal attacks and are able to "respectfully disagree," such discussions should be allowed. I don't normally discuss politics, religion, or military actions overseas with most folks specifically because those are hot topics, and I have plenty of stress at work without having to worry about more at home! But I think in a community setting people should have the option of being able to have those sorts of discussions: they're important aspects of our lives.

That being said, I think there's also a threshold of reasonableness in terms of the context of the thread. For example, in the case below, the discussion went sufficiently off-topic that the thread could have been split, with those posts set as a new thread in a dedicated "heated discussion" board. That way, the folks who wanted to stick with the subject at hand could continue to do so, while Sailor and Jim - and whomever else wanted to join in - could sort things out in a separate thread (again, as long as people remain respectful in their treatment of each other). I personally would like to make some observations relevant to their discussion, but not on a thread that is dedicated to something else...

Now, is it too early for eggnog??  :-)

Cheers,
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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2008, 06:05:19 AM »
I'll make the same observation I've made on other boards.  I moderate a liturgical musicians e-mail list and every now and again someone will say something that will get someone's knickers in a twist.  Here's my policy:

Though we all have something in common, we have to each recognize that it doesn't mean that we have everything in common.  There are going to be things we disagree on.  So the rules are these:

(1) Before posting, stop and think and work out whether what you are about to say might inadvertently upset/offend someone.  Does this need to be said, and, if you feel it does, can you say it in a more neutral way?  Even if it's a point you feel you must make and are passionate about, recognize that not everyone will share that level of intensity and don't you be offended when they express this.  Perhaps it's best taken off list, or not posted at all. . . .

(2) If you read a post that upsets or offends you, recognize that the poster probably followed rule 1 above and did not mean to cause any trouble.  Again, if you feel the need to respond, take it off list or if you feel it to be particularly egregious, alert a moderator.

(3) Remember that people only know you from your posts and while I, personally, tend to just ignore such postings, try as I might, such postings invariably affect my opinion of the poster(s) -- whether I agree or not.  I really want people to like me so I try really really hard not to say anything that might make people not!

As a practical matter, with a board this busy, I wonder if it makes sense to have two moderators per forum?

All of the above is totally my opinion and, in accordance with rule 3, absolutely not meant to offend anyone.  ::)

Happy Thanksgiving. . . .

Ann

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Offline Bacardi Jim

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2008, 07:03:33 AM »
Yes, Sailor and I removed our posts ourselves.  I can't speak for Sailor, but I know that I did so exactly because they were wildly off topic--NOT because I regret or am ashamed of anything I said.  And it wasn't the picture of the dog that "got my knickers in a twist."  It was having to read for the umpteenth time how I should be "thanking" the soldiers in Iraq.  Surely if Sailor is allowed to force her brand of patriotism on us at every opportunity, then (I felt at the time) I am entitled to occasionally voice my own brand of patriotism.  Regardless, the whole thing was off-topic, beginning with Sailor's initial post--which is still there.  Sorry if I caused an uproar.  Thankfully, the board wasn't very busy at the time.

As to whether or not we should allow discussion of religion or politics, that's not up to me.  But if the decision is to not allow it, then that rule must be applied equally to all.  If I can't publicly question American foreign policy, then Sailor, Dori, et al can't be allowed to continually post about praying for people, their "prayer books" and "thanking our troops."  That offends me as much as anything I said offended Jeff.

For my part, all I can do is promise to try hard to not allow such discussions to interrupt or hijack other threads.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2008, 07:07:05 AM by Bacardi Jim »
At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up.
After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.

Offline KBoards Admin

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2008, 08:15:36 AM »
Thank you all for your thoughtful posts, observation, and opinions on this.

I am 'learning as I go' in terms of board moderation, so thank you for bearing with me as I determine the best way to handle these types of flare-ups.

There are many topics that can become inflammatory. So, the question is, how to prevent that from happening while at the same not being overly heavy-handed in terms of moderation.

My inclination is not to ban the general topics of religion, politics, and other polarizing topics. I value the energy and passion that our members bring to these forums.

However, if we are going to allow posts about subjects like politics and religion, those topics have to be explored with a gentle tone and an underlying respect for the opinions of others. It's the only way to touch on those areas without it degenerating quickly into rhetoric and offensiveness.

Part of this, is being generous about attributing good intentions in the postings of other members. I do not find it offensive to read posts that talk about praying for others, or posts that have a general message about supporting our troops. I don't read into those posts an attempt to stir up a political debate or to proclaim a case for our government's policies.

The thread in question did become charged with inciteful words, and I'm distressed that it caused some to withdraw from the boards for a while. Let's not let that happen.

I am going to suggest that we moderators quickly lock threads that - in our opinion - are become inflammatory. If the thread has an overall value, that warrants it continuing in an unlocked status, we will promptly ask the poster to modify or delete the post. And when we feel it necessary, we'll modify or delete posts that are not keeping with the above guidelines.

This is not the job we want to do as moderators, but it's part of our responsibility to maintain the integrity and tone of these forums.

This is really important to me. I hope that we as a community can avoid this in the future, without the need for a lot of moderator actions.
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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2008, 08:23:04 AM »
Thank you, Harvey, good guidelines.

I would only add that our members need to think if what they want to post adds to the topic under discussion.  If so, by all means post it.  If not, and it is something that you really think needs saying, create a new topic with an appropriate subject so readers know what they're getting into.

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Offline Bacardi Jim

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2008, 08:24:25 AM »
Sorry, Harvey, but I do find zealotry offensive, be it religious or political.  And it wasn't merely "a general expression of support for our troops."  I was told twice that I should be thanking them for "fighting for other people's freedom" when, in my opinion, they are doing exactly the opposite.  Yes, that offended me.  Thus my heated rhetoric in response.  As you weren't here at the time and we quickly removed our posts, I know you only have Jeff's rather biased account to go on, but that's how it was.

Like I said, I stand behind everything I said.  But it was inappropriate for both of us to have our debate in the middle of another thread.  THAT I regret, and it was that which motivated me to promptly delete my posts.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2008, 08:40:02 AM by Bacardi Jim »
At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up.
After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.

Offline Dori

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2008, 08:31:06 AM »
Thanks Harvey,  you try to keep the boards orderly and civilized and with some folk here that is a difficult task to be sure.


Offline tecwritr

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2008, 09:15:23 AM »
As an Independent, married to a far left Liberal, living and working in a far right Conservative environment (Kansas) I can tell you that I've seen just this kind of thing explode at a moments notice.  Especially in the last few years.  While I agree that KindleBoards is not the appropriate place for this kind of discussion, I do believe that everyone has a right to their opinions and to express themselves freely.

I hope that the Moderators are very careful with what they allow and don't allow.  Censoring the response can be worse that the response its self.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2008, 09:23:58 AM »
Sorry, Harvey, but I do find zealotry offensive, be it religious or political.  And it wasn't merely "a general expression of support for our troops."  I was told twice that I should be thanking them for "fighting for other people's freedom" when, in my opinion, they are doing exactly the opposite.  Yes, that offended me.  Thus my heated rhetoric in response.  As you weren't here at the time and we quickly removed our posts, I know you only have Jeff's rather biased account to go on, but that's how it was.

Like I said, I stand behind everything I said.  But it was inappropriate for both of us to have our debate in the middle of another thread.  THAT I regret, and it was that which motivated me to promptly delete my posts.


Well, I remain concerned. All I can do is ask that everyone respect the best, albeit imperfect, judgment of me and the mods as we try to make this place an enjoyable destination.

Please bear with us, everybody.
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Offline Dori

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2008, 09:26:03 AM »
I, for one, appreciate your censoring anything that you deem inappropriate.  You are not perfect, but when you err, I hope you err on the side of over censorship.


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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2008, 09:29:25 AM »
As an Independent, married to a far left Liberal, living and working in a far right Conservative environment (Kansas) I can tell you that I've seen just this kind of thing explode at a moments notice.  Especially in the last few years.  While I agree that KindleBoards is not the appropriate place for this kind of discussion, I do believe that everyone has a right to their opinions and to express themselves freely.

I hope that the Moderators are very careful with what they allow and don't allow.  Censoring the response can be worse that the response its self.

I respectfully disagree. And not because I'm not a proponent of free speech - I am!

The reality is that allowing unfettered freedom of speech in this board will kill it, because seeing threads everyday full of rhetoric, hardline positions, and charged 'discussions' is a turn-off. It's not where I would want to spend my time - - and I bet that's true for most of our members.

I'm sure there are boards out there that cater to that kind of open speech - and that's a good thing.  

Some of us have gone to a lot of work to make this board a friendly, supportive environment for discussions, and I will moderate as heavily as I need to to protect that.
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Offline Bacardi Jim

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2008, 09:33:27 AM »

Well, I remain concerned. All I can do is ask that everyone respect the best, albeit imperfect, judgment of me and the mods as we try to make this place an enjoyable destination.

Please bear with us, everybody.
In this particular case, no Mod action was necessary.  I hope that remains the rule, rather than the exception.  Reasonable people can disagree.  (The opposite attitudes of tecwritr and Dori concerning censorship being a perfect example.)  And reasonably considerate people should be able to clean up their own trash, as Sailor and I did.  Personally, I trust you and your fellow Mods to do the right thing.  You all have so far. :)
At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up.
After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.

Offline TM

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2008, 09:38:59 AM »
I was on the thread last night... and I must say I really like how it was handled. Even while disagreeing, Sailor and Jim did not get nasty with each other. They also deleted their own posts since it was completely off topic and they didn't want to hijack the thread. It is a refreshing change from many boards I have visited, and one of the things I do so enjoy about this board is the nioceness and consideration shown.

it is nice when the posters take action themselves instead of needing a moderator to "clean up" after them.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2008, 09:41:43 AM »
Thanks, TM. :)
At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up.
After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.

Offline tecwritr

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2008, 10:43:45 AM »
I respectfully disagree. And not because I'm not a proponent of free speech - I am!

The reality is that allowing unfettered freedom of speech in this board will kill it, because seeing threads everyday full of rhetoric, hardline positions, and charged 'discussions' is a turn-off. It's not where I would want to spend my time - - and I bet that's true for most of our members.

I'm sure there are boards out there that cater to that kind of open speech - and that's a good thing.  

Some of us have gone to a lot of work to make this board a friendly, supportive environment for discussions, and I will moderate as heavily as I need to to protect that.


I do not disagree with what you are saying.  I hope that this forum never becomes a religious or political soap box for any one.  I very much enjoy it the way it is.  It is very well moderated. 

I simply hope that the moderators are fair and equal with the way they moderate.  Every opinion on any subject is important we just need to keep it civil. 

Offline Lotus

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2008, 11:55:16 AM »
Something I've seen on other boards is a forum specifically for religion and politics threads. Or, those discussions are restricted to a "Lounge" area like the Not Quite Kindle forum.

I certainly don't want to go into a thread about accessories and find that it became a political argument. Similarly, I wouldn't want to see a discussion on Bible versions become a discussion on Christianity -- if the discussion is about formatting/translations/price, etc. then it should be kept on topic. I guess we all need to try to keep things on topic.

Other boards I've seen a complete ban on anything even remotely about politics or religion. I think that's taking things a bit far, but if members can't have a reasonable discussion, I guess it's the best way to go.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2008, 12:06:18 PM »
My in-laws and I have a complete ban on talking about religion and politics. Mike put it in place before we even met. So I can understand the need for that sometimes. ;)

Seriously though, the best policy is the one posted by Ann. Always consider what you're saying before you say (type) it, especially in the internet world, where there is no body language to help you decipher the intent of the other person. When in doubt, just don't hit that post button.
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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2008, 01:21:51 PM »
Is the topic that started this non-K thread dead?  Hope not, as I have a distinct view on the subject and since I have not heard an actual soldier who served there speak up, as one who did go to Iraq on two occasions during the setup of the coalition efforts, as well as Kosovo for several months, dealing one-on-one with the nationals, forgive these brief observations.

I worked intensely with high Iraqi justice officials (Ministrys of Justice and Interior) and never, repeat never, ever witnessed a single example, not to mention never having been counseled to do so by high American officials, of anyone trying to coax an Iraqi into doing a damn thing.  It was anathema to our mission to do anything whatsoever that did not merely offer our experiences as nothing more than an example to follow or disregard as they chose fit.  Amongst other responsibilities (I wrote the judicial assessment on the practices of the central governates of the country), I was a member of the Judicial Review Committee that reviewed the Iraqi justice officials for worthiness to hold office and while we made recommendations of whether or not a person should be retained or fired, it was a decision for the Iraqis to make in the end.  I totally reject any connotation that our efforts were aimed at anything other than support.  I don't have an opinion on whether or not we should have gone in to begin with, but I do know what our intent was in the stabilization of government functions and it was NOT to overrule the nationals on important functions. 

Forgive the rant, but while everybody is entitled to an opinion on whatever they are interested in, there are some opinions that add more weight to the conversation if they were based upon ACTUAL experience in the topic that they are talking about. 

I guess the observation that we should stay away from politics and religion is a good one, but do we draw the line at governance?  What a slippery slope.  Anyway, Kindle on Kindlers and many wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2008, 02:39:43 PM »
Now we are moving off topic.  The thread may be alive but it isn't THIS thread.  This should, and may, be continued in a separate discussion in Not Quite Kindle, with an appropriate subject title.  The  only discussion that should be going on within this thread is whether politics or religion should be allowed at all, not any specific political or religious discourse.  Jim and Ethan, please take it outside, i.e., to a new thread.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2008, 02:43:39 PM »
Now we are moving off topic.  The thread may be alive but it isn't THIS thread.  This should, and may, be continued in a separate discussion in Not Quite Kindle, with an appropriate subject title.  The  only discussion that should be going on within this thread is whether politics or religion should be allowed at all, not any specific political or religious discourse.  Jim and Ethan, please take it outside, i.e., to a new thread.

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At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up.
After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.

Ethan

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2008, 03:14:24 PM »
The thread seemed to address multiple issues, so feel free to give it a more specific topic heading.  Ah, the joys of free speech - even Justice Holmes had problems with how to address it, so you are in good company.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2008, 03:18:31 PM »
FIRE!

;)
At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up.
After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.

Ethan

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2008, 03:19:16 PM »
Good one!  Now, stay out of theaters!

Offline Bacardi Jim

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2008, 03:21:34 PM »
Good one!  Now, stay out of theaters!

I can't define a theater.  But I know one when I see one.
At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up.
After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2008, 03:21:47 PM »
The thread seemed to address multiple issues, so feel free to give it a more specific topic heading.  Ah, the joys of free speech - even Justice Holmes had problems with how to address it, so you are in good company.


No, this thread, as had been specifically and repeatedly stated, is to determine whether political or religious discussions should take place.  The list owner, as is his right, has stated that he wishes to continue to allow such discussions.  (I certainly agree with him, as apparently does the majority of our membership.)

Actual political discussions or religious discussions or anything else not quite Kindle, should be moved to an appropriately titled topic in Not Quite Kindle.

I welcome your movement of your discussion to that Forum, where it may continue at its current level unfettered.

Thank you.

Betsy

« Last Edit: November 27, 2008, 03:23:43 PM by Betsy the Quilter »
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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2008, 03:23:10 PM »
Good one!  Now, stay out of theaters!


Are you guys seriously going to make me get out a moderator hat?  And a yellow card? It's Thanksgiving.
 :o

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2008, 03:27:11 PM »
Are you guys seriously going to make me get out a moderator hat?  And a yellow card? It's Thanksgiving.
 :o

Betsy
Betsy:  Now we're just trading in-jokes about Justice Holmes.  Still off-topic, but completely friendly. :)

PUT  THE   HAT   DOWN.
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After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2008, 03:28:57 PM »
And that's the reason I didn't pull the hat....

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2008, 03:29:27 PM »
And that's the reason I didn't pull the hat....

BUT still off topic.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2008, 03:34:16 PM »
You do realize that quoting yourself is an early warning sign of megalomania? ;)
At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up.
After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2008, 03:37:55 PM »
You do realize that quoting yourself is an early warning sign of megalomania? ;)

Hmmm wondering how I did that....more wine while I figure it out.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2008, 02:31:08 AM »
This is my first experience with board discussion protocol and was unclear as to the need to stay on-topic (so many other threads seemed to wander and weave, thus my confusion).  No fears, it will not happen again. 

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2008, 04:26:26 AM »
We try, we try, without being too anal.  Thanks for working with us, Ethan.  Guest?  Come back, Ethan!

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« Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 04:45:16 AM by Betsy the Quilter »
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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2008, 06:52:04 AM »
Betsy,

In your PM to me, you said you understood why I was offended by Jims comment but I dont really think you do.

Jim called all of us who are or were American servicemen or servicewomen in unpopular wars, Nazis. Ethan was so deeply hurt by it that after you rebuked him, he withdrew from this board. If I can find a way to contact him, and if I'm not banned, Ill try to talk him back.

As I said in a PM to Leslie and Harvey earlier, there are several active duty young people who visit this board and they need to know that a few of us think theyre heroes. Ethans voice was important.


Jeff

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #37 on: November 28, 2008, 07:11:29 AM »
Jeff,

I don't think Harvey is planning on banning anybody. That's not his style.

I was very sad to see Ethan delete his account. He was one of my original buddies from the Amazon boards. Ethan, if you are lurking as a guest, please come back. I miss you already.

For everyone, I guess I'll just offer up this reminder: even though this is a big, friendly group and we all feel like we "know" each other, we really don't. I think we need to respect and appreciate the diversity that everyone brings to this forum but realize that people may have beliefs or opinions that are in conflict with others' beliefs and opinions. While there is no rule against stating strongly held thoughts and disagreeing with others, the watchword should be to do it in a kind and courteous way. Remember the rule of the Internet: verbal and visual cues that we rely on in face-to-face communication are missing, so it is easy to misunderstand intent.

Hope this helps,

Leslie


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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #38 on: November 28, 2008, 07:17:31 AM »
Since we're not PMing anymore, I'll continue our conversation here. (Sorry, it gets a bit off topic folks)

Trust me, I do understand, more than you obviously think.  While I don't have first hand experience as you do, I worked directly in support of members of the uniformed services my whole 21+ year career and was proud that all of the agencies I worked for did direct support.  Military members could call us and we would try to help if it was within our control.  My uncle was career Navy, my dad was a WWII vet who landed at Normandy, albeit the day after, my friends are almost all retired military members at this point (active duty when I met them). A better group of people I could never know, who love America deeply.

I am extremely proud of our troops, and have worked with organizations to do things for wounded veterans of the Iraq war here in the DC area.  I've been face to face with troops at Walter Reed with horrible burns, missing limbs and mental injuries.

What happened with Ethan was exactly why I didn't want the specifics of BJ's comment in that thread; it derailed it. As I said in a previous post, Ethan and BJ's discussion should have continued in its own thread.  I totally supported Ethan's right to make those comments and only wanted them to separate it from the general discussion.   With issues as emotionally charged as the war and our soldiers, I tend to think we should keep a tighter rein on the off topic postings than I would if someone just starts talking about tv shows based on the books we're discussing.  (Although I eventually split that out too after several pleadings to get back on topic failed).  I only can control that in the Book Corner and Accessories.  

Many of our members come here for fun; walking into a fight when they think it's something else does not serve our general membership.  But allowing the discussions in their own threads, appropriately titled, does.  That is the point I was trying to make.  And consistent with what Harvey has said the guidelines should be.

I'm truly sorry Ethan left the board, he is a real asset and truly seems to be a great person.  If I could contact him directly, I would say so and ask him to come back.  And to ask him to continue to post his feelings, which ARE important, respecting only the on vs off topic rules which we TRY to enforce, sometimes with better luck than others.

Thanks for continuing this conversation...

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #39 on: November 28, 2008, 07:27:58 AM »
The reality is that the more charged conversations tend to commence late at night. Sometimes I stay up until 3, and it's easy to catch them. More often, I'm in bed by 11 and I miss them.

It's unfortunate that some posters are unable to restrain themselves from making hurtful comments. I once read a good piece of advice: "Don't put anything in an email you don't want to read on the front page of the Wall Street Journal." This applies to anything you put on the internet. Once you hit "post," it lives forever, even if you delete it later, because someone has already seen it, and has likely copied it.
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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #40 on: November 28, 2008, 07:43:22 AM »
Yes, I'm usually up till 1 AM but then crash.  To bad we can't have curfew... :)

I really feel that my job as moderator is to help make this a good place for everyone.  I'm sorry I failed in that with Ethan...and apparently with Jeff...

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #41 on: November 28, 2008, 08:01:42 AM »
Betsy,

I meant no disrespect or criticism toward you. Im just very disappointed that weve lost one or more members over this.

You were probably right and I should not have included the contentious quotations, but as Verena so wisely says, it was too late after I hit post and I couldn't see any way back. However, I have now removed the quotes.


Jeff
« Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 09:00:16 AM by Jeff »

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #42 on: November 28, 2008, 08:05:02 AM »
Thanks, Jeff.

Here's what I would hope:

We can put this episode behind us and follow the guidelines Harvey posted.

Let's Kindle on, folks!

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #43 on: November 28, 2008, 08:09:30 AM »
Wouldnt that be nice?

Where are you, Ethan? I'm looking for you. You can run but you can't hide.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #44 on: November 28, 2008, 08:10:54 AM »
Okay, I'm going to jump in with my two cents.

I personally would just LOVE to have ONE place on the Internet that i could go to, where there would be NO postings of ANY type regarding religion or politics or even economics. For a few weeks, at least, this was that place. I would like it to stay the way it has been.

I have to say, also, that I agree with Jim, that it is just as offensive to tell all of us to thank the troops as it is to insult them, just as it is just as offensive to me when someone posts a Jesus quote in their post or sig as it is when someone else bashes them for it.

A while back, I accused a poster of being a troll, and got roundly slapped for it, and since then I've tried to be as non-controversial as possible here. So although I saw posts that I found offensive -- and I include the "you must thank our troops" posts among them -- I just stayed quiet and kept my own council. In the end, Bacardi Jim said pretty much what I might have (well, short of that Nazi remark, anyway). I think it would have been better if one of the moderators had asked Sailor to stop being so pushy in telling us all to thank our troops, just as --IMHO -- it is inappropriate for posters to tell me I need to pray to Jesus over my Thanksgiving dinner.

I guess what I'm saying is, it's better to stop the problem before it starts, by kindly telling people that posts that include religious or political content are inappropriate. This is clearly a Kindle board, so let's not bring politics or religion into it.
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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #45 on: November 28, 2008, 08:13:15 AM »
I'd be perfectly proud to see the comments I made on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.  I do not regret them one iota.

As I said many, many times (including in this thread before I deleted it) I greatly respect the service of our men and women in uniform.  But any time Country A invades Country B to force its own form of government and societal mores on the unwilling people of Country B, it is wrong to kid ourselves and think that this represents "freedom."  It doesn't matter of the soldiers of Country A are wearing German grey or American OD--it amounts to the same thing.  It isn't any more "just" just because we're the ones doing it this time.  As I also have said repeatedly, the soldiers aren't at fault--they are doing their best to do what is asked of them.  The fault lies with the policy-makers who can't see that they have turned America into everything the soldiers who fought in the two World Wars were trying to prevent.

I'm sorry that people were hurt and offended.  I'm sorry that they can't see the difference between my deep respect for American GI's and my disgust for the men in power who are getting them killed for what I consider immoral (or maybe amoral) reasons.  But I am not sorry for anything I said--merely that I said it in an inappropriate place.

LR can (and maybe will) attest to how deep my patriotism runs.  But part of being a patriot is to be ever vigilant and question your government when it goes astray.  Ours has.  And yes, to blindly agree with what we're doing in Iraq is every bit as bad as what happened amongst the German populace when Hitler invaded Poland.
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After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #46 on: November 28, 2008, 08:18:59 AM »
I think we've beaten this horse to death. We've had opinions on all sides. Harvey has posted his guidelines, there seems to be general agreement, with caveats, about what should be allowed and where.  I have to say, if this was a board I was moderating, I would lock the thread at this point as I can see us veering off the general topic and into specific discussions again.  And I contributed to that, sorry.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #47 on: November 28, 2008, 11:37:21 AM »
We are here because we all love the kindle. People from all over the world with diffrent background and belief gather in this place. It'll be hard to find someone who will agree with you 100% so there will be likely to have some disagreement with some topic. I know there's free speech issue but we are all adult here and even when you find some posting that you might not be happy with, I think it will be wise to just leave it alone. If you respond to it, the person that post it will respond to you and that will start the argument. You can just ignore that thread. You can let one of the Mod know about it and let the Mod contact that person.

Just my two cents.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #48 on: November 28, 2008, 11:47:08 AM »
Wise input and to the point.  Thanks, Shizu.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2008, 12:20:45 PM »
Just a thought to Jeff and Ethan.  I am a disabled Viet Nam Vet.  The first time a came home on convalescent leave I wore my uniform.  When I arrived at the airport in my home town I was spit on and called baby killer...I had never been to Viet Nam I was hurt in the states on the flight line of a US Air Base.  Did it hurt - yes.  How did I feel about it then and now.  The people who did that to me had a right to their opinion of the war.  The way they expressed it just wasn't very helpful.

I do not believe we should have gone to Iraq but I will support the men and women of our military no matter what they are called upon to do. 

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #50 on: November 28, 2008, 01:14:43 PM »

When I arrived at the airport in my home town I was spit on and called baby killer...

I do not believe we should have gone to Iraq but I will support the men and women of our military no matter what they are called upon to do. 

I was on the bus going from Oakland Army Terminal to San Francisco with my new DD-214 in my pocket. The girl that spit on me was one of those unbelievably beautiful California girls that you daydream about when you're far from home. I can't repeat what she said or the Mods would get me.  ::)

Quote from: a personal message by Ethan on Kindle Boards
...I, like Sailor, feel so strongly about the goodness of our troops that any insinuation that they are not doing honorable work is a personal attack.

I guess I am not cut out for this, so think I will just go away.


Does anybody know Ethan's email address? He said he was a prosecutor and worked in Iraq with the interim government. I thought I could find him with that but so far no good.


Jeff

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #51 on: November 28, 2008, 03:59:57 PM »
After reading every post in this thread I'd like to say that anytime someone posts and equates American military personnel or the duly elected government of my country with Nazis he or she will hear back from me in a post on this Board.
 
If anyone doesn't like that then don't post slanderous attacks on our military or government; put them on a site dedicated to political discussion.

Many on this Board don't remember the Nazis, Imperial Japan or, for that matter, the Communist regimes of Soviet Union or Southeast Asia.

Some of us do and recall their evil acts.  Not "lapses in judgment", or the temporary insanity that can occur in close combat, but systematic, planned and implemented widespread evil of monstrous proportions. 

I will not forget

It's a matter of honor.

Let's all get back to enjoying our Kindles.
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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #52 on: November 28, 2008, 04:14:47 PM »
Apparently, few people bothered to actually read my post that Jeff quoted.  I didn't call anybody a Nazi.  My thanks to those people who contacted me privately to assure me that they understand that and understood the point I was making.
At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up.
After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #53 on: November 28, 2008, 04:26:55 PM »
Yes, we know you didn't call anyone Nazis, however using Nazis as a comparison is never a good way to attempt to further an argument as it only ever evokes a purely negative response. If that is what you wanted, you got it.
 

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #54 on: November 28, 2008, 04:41:57 PM »
Should we exclude hot-button topics such as politics and religion from the board?

Your comments are appreciated.

Jeff


Here are my comments on Jeff's original question - and why, and a possible compromise;
I do not believe those topics should be excluded from this board - but only because there are books out there that explore these topics, and if you ban the topic, you ban the book. I don't think that would be an appropriate action for a forum that encourages people to broaden their horizons through reading. 

I would definitely leave the board if it were forbidden to discuss books written by Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, etc. I would also leave, if, in the discussion of one of those books, the thread kept getting interrupted by the opinions of those who are 180 degrees opposite in their own opinion of the topic of that book, just to attack other members or their opinions. 

So my suggestion is that threads and discussions about politics and religion be allowed as they pertain to authors and the books they have written, and that if you wish to post to a discussion that you do not agree to, it is in a thoughtful manner and relates to what you believe, not what you think others should believe (and that you commit yourself to actually reading the book under discussion!)

of course, trying to find someone willing to moderate these topics may be a challenge.

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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #55 on: November 28, 2008, 05:06:07 PM »
There was no book discussion going on when this occurred.  I agree that free rein should be allowed when a book is under discussion but when a personal opinion is expressed, not a comment on an idea in a book under discussion that equates my government or our military to the actions of Nazi Germany ("If I have to thank them, then I also have to thank the Nazi soldiers on the line for doing exactly the same thing.") I will respond.  This whole thing got out of hand because inappropriate and inflammatory comments were interjected into a fun game.

Let's get back to Kindleing.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 05:08:33 PM by cush »
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Re: Politics and religion
« Reply #56 on: November 28, 2008, 08:48:55 PM »
Locked, as we start a fresh chapter in this discussion.

Please see this thread:

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,1079.0.html
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