I protest the closing of a thread


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Phil Lee
August 22, 2008, 12:07 PM
wacki started the thread "Help the NRA out by rewording their Obama fact sheet" which was promptly closed by moderator Larry Ashcraft with the comment "Sorry, political threads are still off topic here." According to Oleg Volk's posting (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=297146) such a thread shouldn't have been closed, but moved to the Activism Discussion forum:
Political topics go into Activism Discussion forum -- provided they are accompanied by plans of action. Mere griping is no longer appropriate for THR. If you want to discuss an injustice or a political development, propose a remedy!

You'll note that wacki did propose a course of action.

While I'm about it, if we activists aren't engaged in politics, we're wasting our time. Politics is a fit topic for activism and for discussion. It seems to me that the rules against political discussion has been perverted a bit.

So, for example, mentioning that Maryland intended to pass a ban on semi-automatic rifles (as it has in recent times) is fully justified as being of topical interest to gun owners of Maryland and other places. But mentioning that former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele supported some gun control measures (which he did) would be considered politics and assembling a list of politicians who have voted for banning semi-automatic rifles (http://www.mcrkba.org/images/LongGunCartoon.jpg), as I did a few years back, would be considered politics too.

Yet, such a assembly of information is a customary part of voter education. It is crazy to list such messages as political discussion to be banned.

The problem that THR and many web discussion lists isn't heated debate over political topics, it is heated empty debate containing little more than opinions.

wacki proposed action to aide the NRA in a bit of pro-gun activism by helping them better prepare a politically aimed bit of material. THR moderators should be more discriminating in their actions to close such threads that offer real content.

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Eric F
August 22, 2008, 12:12 PM
oh no not again:banghead:............. we just went through a rash of these early in the week, please pm the person that closed the thread or pm Olge

springmom
August 22, 2008, 12:16 PM
He's late. These usually occur on Thursdays, historically speaking. Not sure why.

You know, you can pm or email the moderator in question privately and discuss it and it has a little less negative impact than if you post it for the whole forum to read and get all het up about.

Springmom

Geno
August 22, 2008, 12:19 PM
The rules are what they are. If you feel they are not being followed, I suggest contacting the "offending" moderator and request an explanation/clarification. This public "protesting" doesn't fall under Constitutional protection. This is a private forum, and the rules seem prudent.

rbernie
August 22, 2008, 12:21 PM
Activism == doing something constructive.

Whining about candidates is not Activism; it's just whining.

Politics is a fit topic for activism and for discussion. It seems to me that the rules against political discussion has been perverted a bit.The guys-n-gals that keep the site running have been down that road for years, and their experiences show otherwise. If you want to have a chat with them about that, it would be proper decorum to do so via PMs and not via public forum threads.

Phil Lee
August 22, 2008, 12:52 PM
wacki wasn't whining about a politician, he was assembling information -- I'm afraid that was a point you missed. Information assembling is a useful political activity which seems to be much missed here on THR.

As to following the rules, the THR moderator didn't follow your rules as stated.

And, I took the matter up publicly as a deliberate course of action -- it may be that you think THR course should be never to mention that the emperor's wonderful new clothes don't hide his nakedness, but sometimes you just have to say his butt is showing.

Today it is my turn.

Aaryq
August 22, 2008, 01:05 PM
Wow, 5 posts in already. IBTL...And yes, don't publicly post your gripes. PM the mod in question and/or Oleg...after all, THIS IS HIS HOUSE, guest, so follow his rules.

Justin
August 22, 2008, 03:07 PM
The problem that THR and many web discussion lists isn't heated debate over political topics, it is heated empty debate containing little more than opinions.

If you find a way to differentiate between the two, you will make me a very happy man.

Plainly we don't have a problem with political activism. That's what the Activism forum is for. Those of us in the RKBA community need to make our voices heard in the political sphere. Carping about this-or-that politician on the internet, having another endless debate over whether so-and-so politician is anti- or pro- is utterly fruitless.

What we've attempted to do with the Activism forum is to offer a way for people to put their heads together, and plan things out in order to actually make a difference.

*edit*

Wacki has already opened a new thread in the Activism forum soliciting input for his signs. This is as it should be.

Phil Lee
August 22, 2008, 04:32 PM
Justin,

You have me at a loss. Perhaps, I'm not understanding your meaning, but
1) Saying "X (the name of a politician) voted for A in Congress " is a fact statement. You can check it to see whether the statement is right or wrong. Saying "X voted for A in Congress" coupled with a reference to a source is a superior quality fact statement inasmuch is adds the credibility of the source supplied.
2) Saying "X is a better man because he supports A" is an opinion.

The difference between facts and opinions are relatively easy to identify -- at least for many.

Information about politicians, about what they have done, about what they say is useful in evaluating politicians suitability for office. So long as that information is presented in a clear and factual manner without the editorial evaluation, it should be admitted.

When that information is presented in a way that promotes any form of activity on the part of members here, it shouldn't result in a thread being closed. That's crazy.

Jeff White
August 22, 2008, 07:21 PM
Phil,

The problem with allowing a "presentation of the facts" as you call it will last for approximately 4 posts before the thread degenerates into the type of political discussion that we don't want here. The staff doesn't have the time or the inclination to babysit those threads to see that they comply with the rules.

If you don't like the rules here, there are a lot of other forums on the web and if political discussion is that important to you, maybe you'd be happier at one of them.

The current rules are the result of months of internal discussion by the staff and so far they are working out for us. That's one of the reasons we are one of the most popular firearms forums on the web. When you have over 13K active members it takes rules and a lot of work to keep things from degenerating into the free for alls that you see at other forums.

I'm closing this discussion. If you have anything else to say on the topic please feel free to contact any staff member privately.

Jeff

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