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Neil Mick
10-19-2007, 07:58 PM
Many of you know that I like to discuss politics on this thread. A lot. It certainly is the largest element of my posting.

And, since I've started, I have received a range of responses, ranging the full expanse of human interaction. I began an online acquaintance that led of an international seminar, in Cyprus, 2005. I got to talk to firemen retiree's who thought (in '03) that Hussein had something to do with 911; to an airman stationed in Iraq; to wives of soldiers stationed there (mixed responses on that one). An army recruiter privately noted to me that "something bad was coming along," a few months before the Abu Ghraib story broke. I have chatted with a guard at Abu Ghraib; an expatriate Iraqi in Britain; reached out to my fellow Iraqi's, Israeli's, Jordanian's.

And that's just the online acquaintances and interactions.

I've also had my life threatened physically; I've been accused of supporting terrorists, threatened with jailtime (the Sedition Act), cursed at, told that I am "doing harm" to the troops; called sick, insane; labelled a range of epithets...my favorite is the observation "that my posts were torn from the pages of blood libel,,,"

Gotta LOVE that one for its drama.

Oh, yeah...the anti-semitic moniker gets thrown, a lot. Anyone not in lockstep agreement with the government of Israel or the IDF is going to get his/her share of the anti-Semitic-card.

And then, of course...there are the flamers. The one's who follow you around, repeating some semi-distortion or total distortion ad nauseum, long after the music (and the thread) has stopped.

They're on a mission: and you're in their sites.

I've been flamed with the silliest claims...all time prize has to be equating me with a limerick-spouting post'er named "ham," here and on AJ. Several of them followed me over from AJ, here onto AW, after Stan Pranin banned political topics. The most ardent had his posts removed, ostensibly because he couldn't get Jun to see my anti-American, for what it is. Frankly, I think that he was just embarassed (I STILL cannot say his name, for fear it will summon up the dreaded harridan attack email, to jun's address.

I sort of think of that guy as the "Voldemort" of aikiweb...he who's name cannot be spoken...)

All that unwanted attention might give one a swelled head. But, really, we're just a bunch of ppl huddled around a virtual water cooler, talking, between aikido classes. It doesn't mean anything.

Of course, idle talk can hurt. A thread post'er here caused a MidEast seminar plans to abort, because he said something really stupid about the MidEast.

I had a long, private chat with that guy, after that little gaff. :straightf

But now it seems I have a flamer who disagrees...that my posts actually ARE significant. Damaging, even....one who repeatedly claims (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=191907#post191907) I

support Hamas and Hezbollah in their efforts at genocide and starts threads like this to cover his own racism.

:hypno: Yes, and I wear long, flowing Fu Manchu robes and cackle insanely: as I stroke my pince nez with my hideously long fingernails!! :crazy:

Of course, the responses have been far more positive, than negative. Otherwise, I'd have stopped LONG ago. I've ALSO been told that I'm doing a helluva thing; am welcomed back, after a long hiatus, by people who agree, and disagree, with my views. I like to think that many here have welcomed my perspectives, even should some disagree.

It's the way life works, of course. You get your measure of slings and arrows, and you shrug them off.

No big thing. You just report the incident to the moderator: and let the process take its course.

But, then along comes this email.

Now, I have to say, I don't approve of publicizing emails. But, since several points of this email touch upon what is posting policy on aikiweb (and what I thought was planly understood, but it seems is not), I think that it matters to the aikiweb community.

But, why not privately respond to Jun, you might ask? I tried that already, in dealing with my flamer. This is what I got. There comes a point where you take enough abuse, then you move on. A shame that part of it had to come from a site espousing harmony, but there you are.

Since this is my last posting on Open Discussions here: then it's doubly important that this gets posted. Of course, whether or not Jun will allow this to process is another thing entirely...

(BTW, this is the email I received, unedited: except for my comments. For the sake of privacy, I took out the flamer's name)

Neil, "flamer,"

I keep getting complaints from each of you directed at the other in regards to the other's tone, content, and so on in the Open Discussions Forum. In fact, the majority of complaints that I get regarding "disrespectful postings" on AikiWeb stem from the Open Discussions Forum.

I do not have the resources nor wherewithal to spend the majority of my time dealing with the kind of complaints that you two direct at each other -- especially in the Open Discussions Forum.

You know, up to this point: I was OK with this. Perhaps I was just taxing poor Jun with too many reports of abuse, as the abuse reports were piling high and thick:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=191907#post191907

I had the flamer on ignore, so his responses went unanswered.

But now we get to the jaw-dropper:

Frankly, I'm very much at a loss as to why you two grown gentlemen can not learn, no matter how many warnings I have given, to conduct your discussions here with respect.

:confused: HuH????

How, exactly, is one supposed to conduct a "conversation with respect" when 1/2 of the party is on IGNORE???

This is NOT a conversation, Jun: it's a FLAME. And I was doing my level best to keep it all civil.

Now, having been lumped in with my abusive flamer: we get to the threats. Fasten your seatbelts... :(

Be informed that I have, as of today, created a restricted group which denies all permissions to interact in the Open Discussions Forum.

Oooh....scary. So, I'm to be denied permission to speak to someone on Ignore? OK, works for me...um. :confused:

Followed somewhat unnecessarily by

In addition, I am very close to banning all forms of political discussions here on AikiWeb.

No need, Jun. Political discourse is dead, when you lump flamers in with their innocent targets. For political discussion to thrive, it needs a dedicated moderator. This post you have sent is the first solid indication that you don't want the job. Up to this point you have made it clear that you appreciate open debate, and have never discouraged political discussion.

But, now you don't. OK, no problem: message received. But here's we go off into the Twilight Zone...

I'd like to make it clear that the AikiWeb Forums is an aikido discussion forum.

Um...WHAT??? :eek:

After he sent this, I looked at the "Open Discussion" tab, to see if he changed the description. Nope, still "Open discussion on any topic."

So, next I went to the "Respect" thread, to see if maybe there was some NEW ENTRY, that this was some way of announcing the the Open Discussions is now no longer, really...any topic.

Nope. nothing.

Now, he signs off on the task of moderator. OK, no problem, but he wants to start calling aikiweb an "aikido discussion forum." How many pages of threads about racism and "Can Superman Beat Batman" did we get, before he decreed that

the AikiWeb Forums is an aikido discussion forum.

Wait...did I miss the memo?? :freaky:

But, then...he has to get personal:

I am not going to direct a large portion of my otherwise limited resources taking care of people who seem unable to take care of themselves in a part of the site which is very much incidental to the main purpose of the site.

Sure...I'll be happy to "take care of myself," Jun. How about you make ME moderator of the Open Discussions? :freaky:

After all, it's the only way I can see that I can "take care of myself," when I am simply asking to stop being pestered. Give me power to eject whomever starts flaming me, long after I have them on ignore. :cool:

Failing that: how about you stop categorizing me as a flamer, huh? That might be a good start to things.

This situation is sort of like getting bullied by someone who just wants you to take a swing, prove him/her right. You don't, but instead go to some sort of authority-person to try to resolve this, and what do they say?

I don't care who "started" it or what the other person has "done." Shape up, both of you. I've had enough.

-- Jun

Whoah. Me too.

It's abusive when someone calls you a racist. It's also abusive, when someone puts you in the same catagory, instead of taking steps to end the abuse.

Frankly, Jun: I don't know HOW to further "shape up," besides putting a flamer on ignore. I've been doing my best to conform to your guidelines since you started up with the ultimatums. Ignoring flamers not good enough? OK, so, I'm outta here.

Thanks to you all, for your interesting debates. I'll pop in on the non-discussion threads from time to time (should Jun allow).

And thank you, Jun: for putting up with all of this for so long.

--Neil

David Orange
10-19-2007, 11:21 PM
Since I am the unnamed subject of Neil's dramatic, flaming "exit," (unlikely to last long at all), subjected to Neil's thinly veiled ad hominem insult as a "flamer," I suppose it is my prerogative to reply for the record and just hope that Jun doesn't ban me for it.

...it seems I have a flamer who disagrees...that my posts actually ARE significant. Damaging, even....one who repeatedly claims I
Quote:
"support Hamas and Hezbollah in their efforts at genocide and starts threads like this to cover his own racism."


Of course, I made the statement about Hamas and Hezbollah based on Neil's posted comments in another thread, so it's hardly a "claim." He got rather vehement in his apologetics for the terrorist war against Israeli citizens and I responded in kind and haven't forgotten it. You can hardly criticize American injustice when you support people who launch rockets on civilians and send suicide bombers into ice cream shops.

Of course, it is true that I have responded rather roughly to Neil at many opportunities, but mostly in response, directly, one-to-one, on an honest level ("man-to-man," we might ordinarily say). I never put him on ignore, though the process of reading through his self-glorifying posts has often been too tedious and fatuous to complete. As Shane Mokry, of Jena, Louisianna, has pointed out, Neil is "one of us" and we would like to include him as part of a whole family, but when I respond directly to Neil in the same spirit in which he has posted, he quickly hits a level of unbearable discomfort and, rather than dealing with me, he complains to Jun, the administrator of the site, resulting in Jun's giving me two separate warnings (one for ad hominem attack in calling Neil "Nell," for displaying a "nelly" attitude, the other for my tone (sarcastic, I guess) in another post). Until the warning, I had never complained to Jun about anything or anyone on this board, but at that time, I did point out a couple of Neil's insulting comments and Jun said that he would keep a closer watch on Neil's posts. After the restriction for "tone," two weeks ago, I responded with one PM containing some other complaints about Neil. Today, I got the PM admonishing both of us, as quoted below:

Quote:
akiy wrote:
"Neil, David,

I keep getting complaints from each of you directed at the other in regards to the other's tone, content, and so on in the Open Discussions Forum. In fact, the majority of complaints that I get regarding "disrespectful postings" on AikiWeb stem from the Open Discussions Forum.

I do not have the resources nor wherewithal to spend the majority of my time dealing with the kind of complaints that you two direct at each other -- especially in the Open Discussions Forum."

I accepted that, but pointed out to Jun that I had only made two complaints about Neil, both after I was censured after another of Neil's complaints about me. I asked Jun only that he apply equal firmness in both directions. And I suggested that, if Open Discussions create so much trouble for him, as a moderator, that he just delete that whole section and allow only aikido discussions. In any case, I have never been one to cry to a moderator and have consistently dealt with disputes, racists and flamers for myself.

You know, up to this point: I was OK with this. Perhaps I was just taxing poor Jun with too many reports of abuse, as the abuse reports were piling high and thick:

I estimated to Jun that, in comparison to my "2" complaints, he must have received "at least fifteen (and probably closer to fifty)" complaints from Neil. Jun declined to say, but Neil's statement above seems to confirm that it was more like fifty to perhaps 100 complaints from him.....??? What would you guess?

How, exactly, is one supposed to conduct a "conversation with respect" when 1/2 of the party is on IGNORE???

But as we have witnessed in any number of threads, Neil does not "really" put people on ignore but "logs in as a guest" to read the posts of people he is "ignoring" and actually replies to them. In my case, he sent me a self-righteous PM informing me that he would not read any reply I sent him....sooooo.......I'd say he could begin to get some respect by showing some respect.

This is NOT a conversation, Jun: it's a FLAME. And I was doing my level best to keep it all civil.

Please tell me....PM me if you must....if you think Neil's approach was "civil" or if his "level best" is falling a bit short or suffers from perhaps a grandiose lack of self-perspective.

Now, having been lumped in with my abusive flamer: we get to the threats. Fasten your seatbelts... :(

Quote:
akiy wrote:
"Be informed that I have, as of today, created a restricted group which denies all permissions to interact in the Open Discussions Forum."

Oooh....scary. So, I'm to be denied permission to speak to someone on Ignore? OK, works for me...um. :confused:

Again, please tell me: is that respectful to Jun????

Political discourse is dead, when you lump flamers in with their innocent targets.

Really: am I completely off-base to see that kind of attitude as distorted self-perception? The only thing missing is: :hypno:

For political discussion to thrive, it needs a dedicated moderator. This post you have sent is the first solid indication that you don't want the job.

I guess Jun just didn't realize how hot the kitchen could get for this kind of spicy food, how high the stove flames, how many eggs get broken for the omelets, how much pepper goes into the sauce....and how distasteful some of the cuisine can be. I don't blame him. But it does indicate that much of modern aikido philosophy may not develop a realistic view of human nature. Neil seems to want to smack everyone down with sarcastic remarks and :hypno: rolly eyes, but when people reply as humans will, he complains to Jun and Jun has just gotten sick of it. I can't blame him and I have apologized to him for my sometimes unbounded enthusiasm for this kind of cooking....but maybe it is time to take the political discussions down if the participants can't stand to be treated as they treat others.

But, then...he (Jun) has to get personal:

Quote:
akiy wrote:
"I am not going to direct a large portion of my otherwise limited resources taking care of people who seem unable to take care of themselves in a part of the site which is very much incidental to the main purpose of the site."

Sure...I'll be happy to "take care of myself," Jun. How about you make ME moderator of the Open Discussions? :freaky:

If Neil had any capacity to "take care of himself," he wouldn't have flooded Jun with nelly PMs about how he was mistreated.

...it's the only way I can see that I can "take care of myself," when I am simply asking to stop being pestered. Give me power to eject whomever starts flaming me, long after I have them on ignore. :cool:

Who said, "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."????

Failing that: how about you stop categorizing me as a flamer, huh? That might be a good start to things.

I'm comfortable enough with Jun's moderation to believe he would do that if Neil stopped being a flamer.......

It's abusive when someone calls you a racist.

Again, it's just bizarre to hear this from someone who has called so many people "racist" and has been so abusive to so many others....

Frankly, Jun: I don't know HOW to further "shape up," besides putting a flamer on ignore.

I think we all know that if you put someone on ignore, you should really ignore them--not sneak back in under cover and snipe at them with thinly veiled ad hominems. That would be my guess.

And if I don't get banned for posting this, see you all later.

Best to all.

David

Guilty Spark
10-20-2007, 12:13 AM
I think we all know that if you put someone on ignore, you should really ignore them--not sneak back in under cover and snipe at them with thinly veiled ad hominems. That would be my guess.

And if I don't get banned for posting this, see you all later.

Best to all.

David

Neil,

My friend. We agree on somethings, disagree on more but in the end we're always respectful to each others choices and I think upfront with one another.
David hit's the nail on the head with this comment.

You use the ignore function not as it's intended, to avoid someone, but as an insult
Like;
"You and your point of view are so stupid that *IM* placing you on IGNORE. You're below me"

It comes across as you using it like "QED".
Instead of KEEPING them on ignore, you come back as a guest to see what their say. Defeats the intent of the ignore button IMO.

akiy
10-20-2007, 01:02 AM
Sigh. I thought about removing this thread, but since I don't think there's a need for me to hide anything, I'll keep it here...

Thread closed, in any case.

-- Jun

Ron Tisdale
10-22-2007, 09:16 AM
Why don't we ALL just give Jun a break? He has a day job, and it's not as a baby sitter.

Best,
Ron (sheesh)

Josh Reyer
10-22-2007, 09:33 AM
Ron, dude, I thought this thread was closed. How are you responding to it?

Wait a minute! How am I responding to it? :freaky:

Ron Tisdale
10-22-2007, 09:45 AM
I think we wore Jun out and he forgot to close it. :D

He really has provided us with a valuable resource...we should all try to make it a little easier on him in return.

Best,
Ron

Hogan
10-22-2007, 09:50 AM
This is better than The Young & The Restless....

akiy
10-22-2007, 10:05 AM
Oops.

-- Jun