When I took over this site because no one else would, one condition was that there would be no politics. It would be about canoes, and only canoes. If you don't like the way things are, hit the f'ing road, I will gladly delete your membership. You where argumentative over at Solotripping as Newriver, but I'm not Harlan.
This is an odd thread. What's the topic? Is it meant to be a public discussion or a private one?
If it's public, it sparks a few small thoughts in me.
I only come here sporadically. Who is now the administrator, Robin or Drift Wood?
There is a reference to a no politics rule. Are there actually a set of site rules somewhere? If not, maybe there should be for newcomers.
I'm not interested in discussing politics, but I do study a lot about global warming. It's interesting that people intuitively understand that almost the entire subject is a political one and not a scientific one. I mean, opinions on actual scientific theories such as relativity, canoe hull shape efficiency or the advantage of bent shaft paddles wouldn't divide along political lines.
I've always enjoyed Acer's thoughtful essays even when I didn't agree with him. Not many people take the time to research important historical and cultural issues, and then further take the time to carefully craft a lengthy writing, often with interesting pictures, in an attempt to apply those issues to the outdoors in which we all so much enjoy paddling and camping. His style is very different, but to me that makes for an interesting forum.
Glenn, This story starts as you've discovered on the thread about global warming. The end of it should have been when Robin locked the thread. The moral was there for all to see.
For reasons surpassing understanding, Acer started this thread and did it by insulting Robin. The subsequent answer from Robin left nothing in doubt.
Acer goes on with many more words supporting his behavior.
Glenn, may I suggest you go over to "Quiet Journey" they have a forum there that's all about politics, arguments, strife and contention. I did and I came away a little shaken. I don't know the reasoning behind Robin's decision "no politics" but I'm all for it how ever it came about.
These restrictions may cause someone to feel blighted in the free expression of all they believe they have to say, some sort of crimping of their free speech. For someone so gifted or afflicted, there are a multitude of forums where just about anybody can find a place.
The bottom line after all the blab and palaver, the nub of it is that it's Robin's site. Considering how much he does for us all and how little he gets out of it, he shouldn't have to put up with anything as silly as this issue.
Just like in my own family circle, I'm always the last to know something. I wasn't aware there was a shitstorm going on in "that other thread", until it got shut down. I'm not criticizing, nor second guessing the hows and howcomes. What I thought was a playful header (the ?! punctuation suggested that to me) might've been serious and open to debate for others. I chose to follow the OP instead, and give my own friendly perspective to the innocuous topic "waiting for spring". I don't come here to debate and solve the world's problems. Yes they're serious, and healthy discussions can be engaging and edifying. But I fear attempts to solve the world's problems on a canoe forum might be as rewarding as solving them around the campfire with a full bottle of Scotch. It might result in humiliation, headaches and hangovers. On the other hand, I can learn much, and perhaps my very small place here isn't small enough, but I'm hanging around as long as this campfire forum lasts.
To wear out a tired metaphor: let's tell a few stories, have a few laughs, learn some valuable lessons around this fire; but let's not fight and scrap, lest we let the fire go out.
As always, my opinion counts for little, and I'm okay with that. Where'd that Scotch go?
Two subjects that I find most divisive are religion and politics (no surprise there?). I opt out of such group discussions, as a rule, for that very reason. I'm not 100% perfect on that - but I try to avoid it. OM, you are right that there are places to talk politics on the web. Problem is, I find those places to be crawling with either small-minded and offensive people or a "controlling authority" that allows only one side - or both. I don't like going there. So I can understand a desire to talk about a politically-charged subject in a "safe" place such as this. However - I do see Robin's point, and I am comfortable with it. It's difficult to keep ourselves completely sterile of political comment at times, but if it is Robin's desire for us to stay away from politics (and religion?) then we should do our best to adhere to that.
If I might offer a suggestion...
I don't know if there is already a list of rules covering this, but I have seen other forums where the moderators post a "sticky" at the beginning of each forum listing the intent of the forum and any prohibitions. Probably a better plan than having such rules in their own place where dummies like me might not look.
In days gone by the rule for topics of conversation at meals in the wardroom of our ships was "no discussing women, religion or politics" (other than the toast "To our wives and sweethearts: may they never meet"). A good rule to follow here.
Did the actual OP get removed? All I see is a nursery rhyme.
As I said, I have no interest in discussing purely political issues and don't do so in my internet or private life. However, there are certain paddling and tripping issues related to environmental regulations, rules regulating campsites and public lands for paddling, hunting and fishing, the registration of canoes, and laws about PFD's . . . etc., etc. . . . that necessarily have political dimensions.
If there are rules for any forum, it makes sense that they are written (simply) and posted somewhere prominent.
The success of any forum depends on the participation and contributions of the members.
I assume Robin is the administrator, as I see that title now beneath his name. What happened to Drift Wood?
Good point, Glenn. I am constantly reminded that politics touches everything. I think there are some really touchy issues though that we all might want to avoid - like global warming, gun control, evolution vs creation, and my receding hairline.
We have some friends whose beliefs re political, social , religious issues are diametrically opposed to ours. Because we value our friendship we tacitly agree not to get embroiled in those topics. We know nobody is going to change anyone's mind with an argument and the only outcome that is possible will erode our friendship.
Glen, the OP I was referring to was on another thread, one in which discussion was warming up a little. This thread's OP stumps me, so I'll not address it. I've been in some ridiculously stupid dangerous bars before. No, I won't explain. My only method of self preservation involved keeping a cool head. Buying a round of drinks didn't hurt. Slipping out quickly and quietly was always a smart move. Being in control, and non-combative, is also a good thing. As far as forum guidelines go, civil and respectful language is a must. Because this is a forum, language and words can be misunderstood easily. A simple question can sound like a challenge. Plain words can insinuate biting sarcasm. And attempts at humour can instead hurt. I've probably been guilty of clumsy and crass humour. For that, I'm very sorry. I value the knowledge and varied backgrounds of people here. But more than that, I value the people; their perspectives and their feelings. I don't know what forum guidelines would look like, nor if they might be too constrictive vs not controlling enough. I agree that politics infuses so many topics; ones that might be good to explore and share. I also don't mind having an administrator who makes a final decision on the suitability of said subject. You all know where you can find me, sitting here on this fence.
I'm zooming in on Idaho's avatar, and can't quite see that hairline.
If Mem's cat ever has kittens, we're all toast.
I consider the op a personal attack, no doubt I'm the old man, the shoe is the site, the children are the members and I'm in over my head.
I apologize to the membership.
I also apologize to Harlan, I have all the respect for him and hope to see him again some day and explain my words. He didn't deserve to be even mentioned in this unfortunate episode.
I thought I made it clear when I took over the site that politics where off limits. No bicker and banter, no off topic. Just canoes and related topics. Sure, global warming should be a concern of everybody, as should health care, social injustice, drug use, child abuse............it could become overwhelming for someone like myself trying to keep the peace.
I may be in over my head, but I'm the only one who was willing to step forward and keep the site running and I will run it as I see fit. Up until last night, my only concern was spammers and hackers and how to thwart them, now I have to deal with personal attacks from disgruntled members.