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Old 05-13-2004, 01:36 PM   #1
Neil Mick
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Political discussions on this website

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And so, we see how one person (who may, or may not, be currently practicing Aikido, as his dojo-link announces the dojo as closed, and...quite possibly: is posting on a fictictious name) controls political discourse by encouraging dicourse when he wants to, and closes threads when he doesn't, by lobbing personal attacks--several of them calling into question my rank and standing in Aikido.

If this person is so "brave and patriotic," then why does he balk at publishing his real name, and the dojo where he trains? Normally, I'd say that it is irrelevant, but when my rank is ridiculed, then you are calling into question the judgement of Saotame Sensei, who awarded my rank.

I guarantee you, that he would take this issue very seriously. If this post'er cannot seem to engage in polite discourse without sabotaging the discussion, why is he here? Why does the moderator continue to lock ALL threads, whenever he posts a negative response?

Is this the essence of Aikido, for political discourse to be held hostage by the vitriolic ramblings of an online bully? A bully who may not even be an Aikidoist?
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Old 05-13-2004, 02:08 PM   #2
John Boswell
 
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Re: Political discussions on this website

First of all, we all have Jun to thank... for the continued use of a website with which to share ideas and exchange thoughts regarding both Aikido and world events. Let me say for the record that I do NOT take for granted this site and appreciate the use of this space. Though some threads have been locked down by Jun, I mean him no offense and hope he has not taken any from my posts.

Now... as to the "polite discourse" expected, though I do my utmost to be polite, it isn't easy with such posts as this. Though eloquently worded (and yes, my spelling is terrible) Mr. Mick doesn't debate, but instead attacks on a constant basis.

You talk about negative response? You're entire signature is a negative response. You take facts completely out of context and use them to argue your opinion. With even a slight use of perspective, you would realize the errors in your arguement, but you chose rather to ignore them.

Focusing on civilian casulties during a time of war is one-sided. Ignoring American civilian casualties during the Terrorism War is truly ignorant. Being more worried about stupid photo's of prisoner mistreatment while totally disregarding the treatment POW's have received not to mention the people of Iraq is just arrogant and misguided.

These are my opinions. Can they be considered personal attacks? Maybe. But am I being rude? No, not at all. When you engage in confrontational discourse, expect the counter-attack. I honestly believe history is on my side and on the side of the President. America is engaged in a war that was brought to our very SHORES! America is under direct attack by armed forces bent on killing us at any cost. Why the hell would I take this time to focus time and energy on my Commander and Chief? Anywhere else in the world, such a person would be labled a traitor and most likely shot or hung. But we live in America where millions have fought and died for the right to speak out as you see fit.

So speak out all you want, but you better back it up better than some silly ticker and a biased and predjudiced author who's profiting on the misfortune of others. It is your right, afterall.

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Old 05-13-2004, 02:24 PM   #3
Neil Mick
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Re: Political discussions on this website

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
Now... as to the "polite discourse" expected, though I do my utmost to be polite, it isn't easy with such posts as this. Though eloquently worded (and yes, my spelling is terrible) Mr. Mick doesn't debate, but instead attacks on a constant basis.

You talk about negative response? You're entire signature is a negative response.
Respectfully, this statement beggars logic. I made this point over in the "anti-American'ism" site, and you failed to answer it there. All you do now is repeat yourself.

Again, HOW is my sig a "negative response??" WHO am I being "negative" to? Should I monitor ALL my own posts in case someone finds ANY part of my views, as disrespectful? Perhaps, I should submit all my internet posts to you, should you find them "politically incorrect?"

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
You take facts completely out of context and use them to argue your opinion. With even a slight use of perspective, you would realize the errors in your arguement, but you chose rather to ignore them.
Documentation, please. I stand by every word I say, and if I make a mistake: I acknowledge it. I wish I could say the same for you, but sadly this is not the case (and, if you like: I can CERTAINLY provide documentation).

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
Focusing on civilian casulties during a time of war is one-sided. Ignoring American civilian casualties during the Terrorism War is truly ignorant.
Again, EXCUSE ME?? The documentation of US casualties is widespread. The US "We don't do body-counts" army, however: does not consider civilian casualties as important. In fact, this much as stated on "Meet the Press."

So, you'll forgive me if I do not state the obvious. I bet, for instance, that you could immediately tell me how many US soldier-casualties there are, currently.

Quick: without looking at my sig--how many Iraqi civilian casualties, arethere? Not so easy, is it?

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
Being more worried about stupid photo's of prisoner mistreatment while totally disregarding the treatment POW's have received not to mention the people of Iraq is just arrogant and misguided.
"stupid" photos? How sad, that you feel they are stupid.
Other, innocent families and people related to these prisoners have a different feeling, entirely. If you were related to these ppl, I imagine that your feelings would be different, as well.

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
These are my opinions. Can they be considered personal attacks? Maybe. But am I being rude? No, not at all.
No, your attacks were not "personal," or "rude." Heated, maybe: not rude.

And here's the difference. Not once did you attack me PERSONALLY. You attacked my OPINION. And here lay all the difference, between acceptable, and unacceptable, discourse.

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
When you engage in confrontational discourse, expect the counter-attack. I honestly believe history is on my side and on the side of the President.
I have no problem with (polite) heated discussion. These are your views,,,great. I disagree.


Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
So speak out all you want, but you better back it up better than some silly ticker and a biased and predjudiced author who's profiting on the misfortune of others. It is your right, afterall.
Oh, I have many more sources than in my sig (BTW, www.iraqbodycount.org doesn't post a single casualty, unless it has been documented by TWO, separate, mainstream media sources. You don't like it? Too bad. As you say: it's a free country). And, I'll be happy to document all my statements. Where to you want to start..?
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Old 05-13-2004, 02:27 PM   #4
shihonage
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Re: Political discussions on this website

You're the peacemaking pacifist, remember ? You should just turn the other cheek and hope it goes away.

P.S. I do truly find it sad that the pictures of the 4 mutilated Americans didn't last 24 hours in the news, and they were not shown practically anywhere, while this mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners "outrage" is getting more and more attention.
This is ruining the country's spirit from within.
Just as that "beheading" video getting the exact publicity as these Arabs wanted.

Last edited by shihonage : 05-13-2004 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 05-13-2004, 02:29 PM   #5
Neil Mick
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Re: Political discussions on this website

Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev wrote:
You're the peacemaking pacifist, remember ? You should just turn the other cheek and hope it goes away.
You really should be careful, in what you say, Aleksey. I have much to discuss with you, but not here.

As I recall: your rather "colorful" suggestion resulted in a lockdown of another thread.

Attempting to do the same thing here? Or are you just bored ?
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Old 05-13-2004, 02:37 PM   #6
shihonage
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Re: Political discussions on this website

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
You really should be careful, in what you say, Aleksey. I have much to discuss with you, but not here.
Is that a veiled physical threat ?
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Old 05-13-2004, 02:41 PM   #7
Neil Mick
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Re: Political discussions on this website

Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev wrote:
Is that a veiled physical threat ?
No, no threat at all. Take it exactly as it's written...we need to communicate. I do not cotton to physical threats (certainly, with someone with whom I don't know their martial skill...I like my teeth, and want to keep them all, lol).
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Old 05-13-2004, 02:49 PM   #8
DanielR
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Re: Political discussions on this website

Thought I'd chime in, as a on-and-off participant of a couple of closed threads. I hope they weren't closed due to my contribution, not because I like to be nice (although I do) but simply because it's counterproductive, unless the purpose of the author is to actually get the thread closed. Now, I like to exchange fire with Neil now and again, and I don't want the threads where it can take place to be closed. There're very few participants that post in those threads; nevertheless, I hope it's not too much to ask from those that do to maintain such level of discussion that won't get them closed.

Daniel
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Old 05-13-2004, 02:54 PM   #9
DanielR
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Re: Political discussions on this website

Also, if I may add a comment to Jun's moderation policy - although closing a thread feels like a collective punishment, no matter whose posts got the thread closed, I guess it's probably the easiest thing to do for a moderator; it eliminates the need to single out an "offender" and come up with "punishment" policies. Probably the right thing to do.

Daniel
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Old 05-13-2004, 02:55 PM   #10
Neil Mick
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Thumbs down Re: Political discussions on this website

Quote:
Daniel Rozenbaum wrote:
Now, I like to exchange fire with Neil now and again, and I don't want the threads where it can take place to be closed. There're very few participants that post in those threads; nevertheless, I hope it's not too much to ask from those that do to maintain such level of discussion that won't get them closed.
Thank you, Daniel: my sentiments exactly. It's fun "exchanging fire" with you, too...and, I might add--we've never once resorted to personal insult, even tho it sometimes got heated.
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Old 05-13-2004, 02:57 PM   #11
DanielR
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Re: Political discussions on this website

OT: so Neil, are you planning to post a report on how things went in Turkey?

Daniel
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Old 05-13-2004, 03:02 PM   #12
Neil Mick
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Re: Political discussions on this website

Quote:
Daniel Rozenbaum wrote:
OT: so Neil, are you planning to post a report on how things went in Turkey?
That's a complicated question. Some of the results of my trip will (hopefully) make it into the July/August issue of Aikido Today Magazine. Some of the photos, you can see in my "image gallery," on this site.

As far as the Peace Seminar element, it pretty much fell apart. But, I can talk about THAT part of it, elsewhere (a bit off-topic).
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Old 05-13-2004, 03:08 PM   #13
Neil Mick
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Re: Political discussions on this website

Quote:
Daniel Rozenbaum wrote:
Also, if I may add a comment to Jun's moderation policy - although closing a thread feels like a collective punishment, no matter whose posts got the thread closed, I guess it's probably the easiest thing to do for a moderator; it eliminates the need to single out an "offender" and come up with "punishment" policies. Probably the right thing to do.
Well, OK: but what do you do if someone's a troll and posts insults with the INTENTION of shutting down discussion or threads with which he disagree's? Why does EVERYONE have to suffer, on the actions of one person? Why not just boot the offending post'er?
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Old 05-13-2004, 03:14 PM   #14
John Boswell
 
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Re: Political discussions on this website

Quote:
"P.S. I do truly find it sad that the pictures of the 4 mutilated Americans didn't last 24 hours in the news, and they were not shown practically anywhere, while this mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners "outrage" is getting more and more attention.
This is ruining the country's spirit from within.
Just as that "beheading" video getting the exact publicity as these Arabs wanted."
Mr. Mick,
I will, honestly (when I get the time hopefully tonight), answer your questions back with facts. Just saying World War II is too general. I know that. I'll get ya the numbers.

As to the quote above... I really would like to hear your answer to that point. How is it that the two men butchered and the video of the beheading are getting 'some' attention whereas the prisoner photo's are such a HUGE DEAL!? And when I called them stupid earlier, I meant stupid as in... who is stupid enough to take them? who was stupid enough to pose? how stupid do you have to be to set that whole situation up in the first place? The entire deal was assinine beyond all discription. And what I gather from E-budo and people in Iraq, the arab population seems to be shrugging their shoulders and are just greatful it isn't Saddam posing with dead bodies as opposed to idiots posing with naked, embaressed men.

Anyhow, I digress... the quote? Whatcha think???

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Old 05-13-2004, 03:16 PM   #15
DanielR
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Re: Political discussions on this website

Eh... Did you happen to see the discussion on forum moderation at Aikido Journal? There's a bunch of different views on this, with no clear winner, as I understand. One person can't possibly babysit each thread, so you need a bunch of moderators, then the question is how do you choose one, etc, etc...

Daniel
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Old 05-13-2004, 03:23 PM   #16
akiy
 
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Re: Political discussions on this website

Hi Neil, et al,

The way I see it -- I do not have the time, energy, nor reseources to moderate every single thread and post in the Open Discussions forum. Just like my mom used to say, "I don't care who started it -- both of you, go to your room."

As far as political discussions go, I have never seen one single discussion online that hasn't led to anything but divisiveness which then affect the manner in which the people divided act toward each other in other discussions (eg "on-topic").

As such, I am currently leaning toward either curtailing all political discussions from this site or closing the Open Discussions forum. There are countless other forums out there for discussing precisely those topics.

I hope everyone will take these thoughts into consideration.

In any case, any further specific political discussion in this thread will cause it to be closed.

Thank you,

-- Jun

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Old 05-13-2004, 03:37 PM   #17
Greg Jennings
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Re: Political discussions on this website

Jun,

You are a remarkably patient man.

Best regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 05-13-2004, 03:43 PM   #18
shihonage
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Re: Political discussions on this website

Maybe there should be a poll "Should we disallow political discussions".
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Old 05-14-2004, 02:00 AM   #19
Neil Mick
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Re: Political discussions on this website

Quote:
Greg Jennings wrote:
Jun,

You are a remarkably patient man.
Yes, I concur.

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
Hi Neil, et al,

The way I see it -- I do not have the time, energy, nor reseources to moderate every single thread and post in the Open Discussions forum. Just like my mom used to say, "I don't care who started it -- both of you, go to your room."
I understand, and I sympathize. I'm just asking for a little consideration about enforcing the guidelines. If a person regularly comes on here with a phony name and a bogus dojo: should he be allowed to continue posting? Especially if his posts are abusive? Certainly, I do not know if the person I'm referring actually IS a troll, but shouldn't we all be posting our identities up here completely?

If you come to my dojo: the odds are that I will be there. Wherever I go to train, I make plain my home-dojo, as ppl often ask. It's a form of recognizing where, in the Aikido community, one "fits in."

But, is it acceptable behavior to regularly denigrate another's character, behind a facade? And if it isn't: why should an entire conversation be regularly shut down: mostly due to one post'er?

I mean, I got about 2 posts into that last thread; before it was locked! Something seems DEFINITELY one-sided in the way some ppl use flaming to halt conversation.

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
As far as political discussions go, I have never seen one single discussion online that hasn't led to anything but divisiveness which then affect the manner in which the people divided act toward each other in other discussions (eg "on-topic").
OK, now here is where I completely (and respectfully) disagree. I have wrangled with all kinds of ppl's views, some that polarically differ from mine. In all but maybe two cases: they always came back and said that if I were ever in the vicinity, I should come by and train at their dojo.

I could go on at great length over some of the creative projects that I have undertaken, because of political thread-discussions, but I won't try your patience.

I rarely experience this divisiveness you're talking about. But, maybe we just have different experiences. But, if you look at the last 5 or so posts of the Iraq-thread: yes, it looks like a waste of time. But, that thread is 50 pages long: it is not one conversation, it is many. Some of the conversations ended bitterly, and some were quite amiable.

Sometimes there a lot of informative exchanges, and sometimes it's a waste of pixel-space. But, simply to judge political discussion solely for its negative aspects seems, IMO: a little unfair.


Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
As such, I am currently leaning toward either curtailing all political discussions from this site or closing the Open Discussions forum. There are countless other forums out there for discussing precisely those topics.
OK, of course I will repect whatever choice you make. But, you're simply wrong, in suggesting that there are other fora for discussing these topics. None for Aikidoists, in any case.

And, I contend that Aikidoists NEED to understand how to discuss political issues, from an Aiki perspective. We live in a very polarized society: and if we simply give up discussing politics because "it's divisive," then what are we saying about Aikido's role, in healing this divisiveness?

We're throwing in the towell...that's what we're saying.

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
I hope everyone will take these thoughts into consideration.

In any case, any further specific political discussion in this thread will cause it to be closed.

Thank you,

-- Jun
Thank you for your patience.

Last edited by Neil Mick : 05-14-2004 at 02:05 AM.
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