Laissez-faire moderating

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Caissa

Bannings of comrades diminish us. sometimes comrades need to be reminded to have more camraderie.

pookie

Was there an announcement of the banning?  I was looking up posts by member and got the uber-annoying "you are not authorized to view this page".  Again.

Mobo2000

http://rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/russia-3?page=8

There you go.

Thank you Unionist and NDPP for your comments above in this thread.   It is painfully ironic that we are discussing this in a thread called Laissez-faire moderating.  

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Caissa wrote:

Bannings of comrades diminish us. sometimes comrades need to be reminded to have more camraderie.


In this case there was a distict lack of camaraderie. There were plenty of insults and unfounded accusations to go around, though.

pookie

Timebandit wrote:
Caissa wrote:

Bannings of comrades diminish us. sometimes comrades need to be reminded to have more camraderie.

In this case there was a distict lack of camaraderie. There were plenty of insults and unfounded accusations to go around, though.

I don't feel particularly strongly about the banning one way or the other, but relentlessly nasty, sneering posts have made the site extremely unpleasant, indeed virtually unrecognizable over at least the past year.

pookie

Mobo2000 wrote:

http://rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/russia-3?page=8

There you go.

Thank you Unionist and NDPP for your comments above in this thread.   It is painfully ironic that we are discussing this in a thread called Laissez-faire moderating.  

 

Thanks very much for posting the link.

Mobo2000

Is there a process or procedure that allows for direct contact with banned members?   I would like to send ikosmos a note, but I don't know him personally or his email, and obviously now I can't PM him.   

Unionist

Mobo2000 wrote:

Is there a process or procedure that allows for direct contact with banned members?   I would like to send ikosmos a note, but I don't know him personally or his email, and obviously now I can't PM him.   

I've made the same request.

This banning procedure - erasing all trace and means of contact - should really be saved for pure trolls. Not, as Caissa, for our comrades (that's almost all of us), especially when they need our help, which I believe ikosmos does.

 

wage zombie

I will miss ikosmos.  I felt he contributed a lot over the years, especially before he changed his handle.

Geopolitical events over the last few years caused his role here at babble to change a lot, I think.

Thanks Unionist, for you calm and reasoned take.  I agree.

Misfit

Could there have not been structured suspensions for abusive behaviour and then failing to stop the nasty or offending behaviour, then to have banned him but with warning first?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Meg told him repeatedly to stop, dial back the rhetoric etc. he blew her off on multiple occasions. Having been on the board for as long as he had been, he was aware of consequences for that kind of behaviour. Ultimately, being an asshole was more important to him than following the policy.

Misfit

K

MegB

Misfit wrote:
Could there have not been structured suspensions for abusive behaviour and then failing to stop the nasty or offending behaviour, then to have banned him but with warning first?
He was called on his abusive behavior numerous times. Suspended too. At some point it becomes clear that certain behaviors will continue regardless.

sherpa-finn

Running dog lackey of imperial authoritarianism and NATO militarism as I am, I defer to the better judgement of the moderators on this and all matters.

Unionist

I'm wondering whether there's a place for understanding, compassion, a helping hand, forgiveness, a second chance, a way back home. Rather than mockery and erasure. I have never believed in banning. We really need to have a conversation about what kind of family we have here and how we'd like it to evolve. Because in the real world movement, it's a lot like this - but we can't erase people quite so easily. At least, judging from the trade union movement, and workplace struggles, it's simply astonishing the extent to which you can build unity and solidarity with people who, taken as individuals, look like abusive racist sexist homophobic creeps. Because life doesn't afford us the same luxuries as a discussion board. We need to find other ways. If we don't even consider that the banning of ikosmos may reflect a failure of our own (and not just that he is worthy of capital punishment, good riddance forever, yay!!!) - then we are missing some important point.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Capital punishment? I hardly think so. Exclusion is a little more like exile.

The family analogy is interesting. I have a sister. I haven't seen her in years. Why? Because she lies, cheats, steals, creates hellish situations with her verbal and physical abuse. Now, I can assume what she's telling me isn't true. I can lock up my belongings. But the line for me was the abuse. I didn't want the kind of ugly drama and verbal abuse in my environment anymore, once it became clear that she was never going to seek help for her mental health issues and was bent on using me as a (metaphorical) punching bag on a more or less permanent basis.

There are times when family needs to stick together, and there are times when that just isn't healthy anymore.

ikosmos was not healthy for the board, and he wasn't interested in making any changes for the betterment of it.

Unionist

Timebandit - you know how much I respect you and your views - but it's perfectly obvious to me, from your comments above, that you don't spend a whole of time in real-life mass movements, where you have to unite with liars, thieves, cheats, and abusers, because there's a basis of unity despite ourselves, and there's a common goal and a common enemy. If you like, I'll retract my "family" analogy. How about "movement"?

And you know what I've noticed? The most vehement applause for the banning of ikosmos comes from those that disagreed with his political views. Isn't that odd? I personally abhorred his abusive posts and behaviour, and my methodology was to simply ignore and refuse to engage. But not everyone did that, did they?

I've reopened an old thread. Don't know if that's the right forum for continuing this conversation. But "laissez-faire moderating" seems inappropriate.

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

The most vehement applause for the banning of ikosmos comes from those that disagreed with his political views. Isn't that odd?

I have already pointed out the lie in that.

If this was about politics why isn't NDPP gone? Or iyraste? Or kropotkin? Or you? Or half a dozen other people who share many of those political views?

What is really galling about your accusation is if you read up this thread and see who here actually HAS been arguing for moderation based on politics. It wasn't any of us.

And any complaints about ikosmos had nothing to do with his politics. It had to do with a long pattern of verbal abuse, personal attacks, oppressive speech and other offenses.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The most vehement applause for the banning of ikosmos comes from those that disagreed with his political views. Isn't that odd?

Not at all.  The people who disagree with his politics were the people on the business end of his insults and accusations and smears.  He was always civil to those who agreed with him.

pookie

Unionist wrote:

Mobo2000 wrote:

Is there a process or procedure that allows for direct contact with banned members?   I would like to send ikosmos a note, but I don't know him personally or his email, and obviously now I can't PM him.   

I've made the same request.

This banning procedure - erasing all trace and means of contact - should really be saved for pure trolls. Not, as Caissa, for our comrades (that's almost all of us), especially when they need our help, which I believe ikosmos does.

 

I'm curious what you mean by "help".  If you are using it in the way I think you are, how have you come to the conclusion that ikosmos "needs" it?  And how would such help be offered?  I only ask because you said that your response was (mostly) not to enagage him.

Unionist

pookie wrote:

I'm curious what you mean by "help".  If you are using it in the way I think you are, how have you come to the conclusion that ikosmos "needs" it?  And how would such help be offered?  I only ask because you said that your response was (mostly) not to enagage him.

You know pookie that I respect and like you, and I know you must be trained to read carefully, so read carefully:

Unionist wrote:
You may have noticed that I not only never engaged him, but tended to steer clear of conversations where he was going over the deep end. We tend to do that in real life too - even (maybe especially) with family, friends, allies, members of the same movement.

I'm sure you understand. When he was freaking out, I did not engage him. Not the way you put it.

And if you're really interested in "how would such help be offered", I'll tell you. Even though I'm telling you publicly, where the haters and celebrants and mockers can see. Because I trust you. Here's what I wrote privately to the mods:

Unionist wrote:

I understand clearly why you did what you did. And I can't honestly say I would have decided differently.

But: 1) He has been here since the beginning. 2) He has a problem of some kind. He has moments of clarity where he realizes, and says, that he goes over the top with abusive posts. But then he lapses back. 3) I never ever engage him when he's off on an abusive crusade. People like Smith, whose opposition to him is purely political, provoke him non-stop - and wow does he enjoy being provoked and leaping over the abuse cliff in response. 4) ikosmos recently spoke up in the babble book club - first time ever. He made sensitive and even moving comments about the last book we read (Ruth Ozeki's "A Tale for the Time Being"), and proposed the next book (Hemingway's "For the Whom the Bell Tolls"), which was accepted and is scheduled for discussion soon by our diverse little group (Caissa, Left Turn, sherpa-finn, and now ikosmos). That told me there's hope.

We're small. But we're progressive. We can make efforts to help community members like ikosmos. I'm not convinced we've made all the efforts we need to. I'm prepared to devote some time (call it therapeutic moderation) with a variety of tools: 1) intervening where needed; 2) coaching and convincing other babblers to simply, solidly, IGNORE him - say, for 24 hours - when he gets abusive. Sort of an in situ suspension. And other tools - maybe there can be a collaborative effort of healing and recreating unity and solidarity.

Is there a way to create a road back in for ikosmos, surrounded by strict conditions - but which is a helping hand? I wish there were one. I don't know how to reach him.

Sorry for the rant. What do you think?

Because I trust you pookie, I'd like your response to what I asked. Was it unfair? Impossible? Unfeeling? 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
The most vehement applause for the banning of ikosmos comes from those that disagreed with his political views. Isn't that odd?

Not at all.  The people who disagree with his politics were the people on the business end of his insults and accusations and smears.  He was always civil to those who agreed with him.

Actually he flagged me for being racist for a sarcastic post I made about Russia to highlight the over the top posts abpout Russia.

6079_Smith_W

Yeah I remember that k. It struck me as really odd because you were generally one of his defenders. And I saw that you tried, and he didn't seem to care.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I've had my differences with ikosmos, but the way he was treated in one recent situation really bothered me:

In the continuing "Bless Me With Your Fierce Tears" thread, ikosmos seemed to me to be expressing deep and sincere grief about the plane crash deaths of the Alexandrov Ensemble/Red Army Choir.  A number of posters were very snide and vicious to him and were treating him as though he was simply using the situation as some sort of propaganda exercise.  He did NOT deserve that and I think that may have begun the anger spiral that led to the post that got him banned. 

To say what I have to say next, I have to step into an area we are normally strongly discouraged from discussing on this board:  the possible mental health issues of others.  If we have concerns about the emotional state of another poster, or if we would like to find some way of guiding another poster, on a peer level, towards changing the way they, she or he engages with the rest of the board, or to suggest that that person may be in need of some sort of mental health counselling, at the moment we have no constructive way to do that.  It's not clear that anyone would take a private message sent to them on these themes as anything but an invasion of boundaries, and alerting on someone over these things makes the whole thing into a confrontation.  Could we possibly set up something like a board "peer counselling" system-as opposed to moderators being expected to deal with this-to find a way to take a poster others have concerns about metaphorically "aside" and offer them some sort of support and guidance.

I don't know how you go about creating something like that, but it might have made a difference.

lagatta4

I only wish that were possible; I don't see how. I have remained pretty much outside this thread as ikosmos subjected me to a great deal of abuse, including private messages and misconstruing my political outlook. Yes, that can be because of 'issues', but my brother persecuted me for years until I left home as a teen and have pretty much never seen him again. (Last time, at our mother's funeral, and it was creepy indeed)... And I was horribly concerned about skdadl, someone I loved very much but it just ended up in a shouting match - I don't think online fora are the most appropriate means of support.

I'm not happy about anyone being banned except outright trolls (remember our Zionists? I'm sure there were others, right-wingers, racists etc but they were never around for long). But we can't have a zero banning policy when there are issues of personal abuse.

6079_Smith_W

Know what I find funny? Where was this concern about stress when Slumberjack got the heave-ho?

At the time I thought - wrongly- that there would have been an outcry. He actually was driven by anger at the end, and a refusal to stay out of threads, but no one complained at all, or was concerned for his welfare.

Full disclosure. I didn't like his attitude, I didn't like how he treated people, and I didn't like how he turned on this site whenever things didn't go his way. But at least I considered his comments honest, and I thought it was unfortunate that he got himself banned.

Sorry, but I have no such feelings about ikosmos. I don't buy the story that he was driven to anything. He just continued to make the same attacks and railroad threads in the same way. Last thing I saw him do was make fun of someone for a mental illness, since we are venturing onto that subject. There was no anger spiral. He never spoke up to complain or explain himself when he had the opportunity to do so.

So sorry. I don't buy this at all. And again, what I really find odd is that the guy who might have benefitted from this kind of concern and perhaps deserved it (or not) never got it.

 

pookie

Unionist, I respect you, too.  So I offer this in a good spirit.  You often respond to criticisms/challenges of your posts by suggesting people have not read them carefuly enough. It comes across as condescending, and tends to inhibit productive dialogue.  Please re-consider the frequency with which you do it.

My response that you quoted is perfectly capable of bearing the qualifier "when he went over the deep end" after "not to engage him."  Which is what I meant. I don't parse my posts in a legalistic sense.  I have a full-time job for that.

With that out of the way.

Thank you for posting that message to the mods.  I agree with much of it.  I have only a few comments or cautions.

I like the idea of refusing to engage.  I am utterly unconvinced that we will ever convince everyone to do it, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth a try. In the past, I have found the recipe strategy to be effective, if occasionally obnoxious. :)   Perhaps that would be a better tack.  It certainly shuts down conversation.  For that reason, it could open up people to discipline, so mod cooperation or sign-off might be necessary.

I am wary of putting much stock in a person's longevity on the board.  Something about that rubs me the wrong way.  

Finally, I think Magoo makes a reasonable point when he contests the idea that the burden should be on other babblers.  Of course, if we were truly talking about a mental health issue, I suppose that could be seen as a form of accommodation.  But, unless a person discloses, it can be dangerous to make assumptions.  The fact that someone engages in abhorrent behaviour in their posts does not, of course, say anything one way or the other about her mental state.  The fact that a person is occasionally capable of self-reflection says nothing about that either, nor does it suggest that she is open to change.  I don't know what to do about that.  I don't think everyone wants redemption.  Some just want things to burn, b/c the world is fucked anyway.

Could say more, but will leave it there for now.

Caissa

It's Bell Let's Talk Day. In my job, I work with individuals with mental health issues. I am not a diagnostician. I hope if someone is not well that we encourage them to get the help they need. One of the downsides of the electronic world is that the written word does not provide us with the mediations and cues we have in face to face interactions.

Mobo2000

Unionist: I appreciate and agree with what you are trying to do here.   But a request - let's not couch this in terms of mental illness.   I know this is not your intent, but it is unfair to continue to discuss ikosmos in such a personal way when he is not here to defend himself.    This used to be a rule here, no?    Stop discussing babblers once they are banned?

In my view the people who opposed him on the Russia threads displayed no understanding of the basic principles of anti-imperialism, or sympathy for them, much less agreement with them.    Complaints about him being rude and insulting are astonishingly hypocritical, given the rudeness of the comments directed to him by others in that thread.  

 Unionist again:   I really appreciate that you and others want to improve the tone here.   I don't think that will happen through meta discussion or proposals (but I will participate in them and hope they succeed).    If you do decide to leave, please PM me first and let me know if you post on any other boards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Mobo2000 wrote:

In my view the people who opposed him on the Russia threads displayed no understanding of the basic principles of anti-imperialism, or sympathy for them, much less agreement with them.

We understand just fine. Some of us just don't have the same doctrinaire definition of imperialism where it applies to one country alone. You are welcome to express your version.

And so long as the moderators don't decide to implement the suggestion made upthread, we do have the right to disagree on that point. And we should be able to do so without being called "State Department" or branded as imperialists ourselves.

Might not seem like a big deal, but once that dogma extends to things like apologizing for misogynist violence, or spinning the resistance to Donald Trump as imperialism, or even outright lies, I think we are quite justified in challenging it.

As I said already, there is only one side in this dispute which is trying to shut out the other based on politics. As much as some might want to spin this banning as political, or as the result of harrassment, MegB has already clarified that is not why she made her decision.

 

Mobo2000

Smith you've made your position clear on this many many times.   I am doing the same.

The second sentance of your post above demonstrates that you do not understand the anti-imperialist position.   In no way was ikosmos or anyone else on those threads apologizing for misogynist violence.    But you and others complained that you were insulted and the moderator agreed and ikosmos is gone.   You won, I've already offered my congratulations.   So forgive me if I don't want to discuss this with you further.  

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

As I said already, there is only one side in this dispute which is trying to shut out the other based on politics. 

Given that none of us can know the intent of other posters I am going to presume that you are self analysing. I am conflicted whether or not to accept that your side was the only side trying to shut out the other based on politics.  I tend to see both of you doing the same thing. 

6079_Smith_W

Sure. Except I am not accusing you of a lack of understanding. I understand your position well enough that I can explain it to you:

That the western powers, and the globalists which back them, being the largest and most aggressive force on earth, are the true imperialists. Certainly the only ones we need to concern ourselves with. And any forces or nations which oppose them are working in the interests of anti-imperialism. Any who oppose that resistance are simply serving the imperialist cause.

Might not be textbook, but I'm pretty close, I guess.

So I don't misunderstand. Nor do most of us who see it differently. We just disagree.

(edit)

It is upthread, kropotkin. The suggestion that moderation should be made based on the definition of imperialism I just stated. I didn't make it up; other people said it.

 

 

 

Mobo2000

Krop:   Smith is refering to post 13 by Left Turn suggesting that the moderation be based on the stated policy of support for anti-imperialism.   

Smith:   The first sentence of your definition of anti-imperialism is partially correct.   The remaining 3 are not and do not follow from the first.   If you want to discuss this further it will have to be with someone else.  

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Sure. Except I am not accusing you of a lack of understanding. I understand your position well enough that I can explain it to you:

That the western powers, and the globalists which back them, being the largest and most aggressive force on earth, are the true imperialists. Certainly the only ones we need to concern ourselves with. And any forces or nations which oppose them are working in the interests of anti-imperialism. Any who oppose that resistance are simply serving the imperialist cause.

Might not be textbook, but I'm pretty close, I guess.

There is the reason I think you are one of the problems on this board. You are wrong and you are so arrogant you think you know what I think better than I do. You think you know the minds of other posters and based on that you read ill intent and nasty things into others thoughts. You insult and tear down anyone who is as anti-American as I am. I frankly think that Iksomos didn't have the English skills to keep up with your relentless attacks. Just so you know what I mean by an attack here is a post you made about one of my posts. You unfavourably compared my view to someone you thought was a "brainless ass" but with a rider that at least he was being honest. Methinks that most readers would get the impression that the person you were comparing his honesty to was me and that I was somehow being dishonest in expressing my viewpoint.

6079 wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Trump ran as a populist but it is clear he is supported by one group of billionaires in the US oligarchy while Clinton was supported by a different group of billionaires in the same oligarchy.

You know, not that I don't think Slavoj Žižek is a brainless ass; he is one.  But at least he had the good sense to recognize that things are going to be far worse under Trump. And the honesty to say so. That is why he is happy because he thinks that this is going to bring this all closer to revolution. 

In that, well, he just proves himself the arrogant idealogue dumbass that he is.

6079_Smith_W

Okay, if that's where we are going.....

No. Just that you equated the two of them. Why some here decline to talk about some of the details I can't say. So yeah, one thing I can say about him is that he does talk frankly about it, in contrast to his being an ass who doesn't seem to care who suffers.

Somehow I think if I had actually come out and assumed motive on your part I'd be getting shit for that instead.

But if you are asking if I consider you honest, I think I said something about that not too long ago. Yes, I do.

 

 

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Okay, if that's where we are going.....

No. Just that you equated the two of them. Why some here decline to talk about some of the details I can't say. So yeah, one thing I can say about him is that he does talk frankly about it, in contrast to his being an ass who doesn't seem to care who suffers.

Somehow I think if I had actually come out and assumed motive on your part I'd be getting shit for that instead.

But if you are asking if I consider you honest, I think I said something about that not too long ago. Yes, I do.

You seem to be blind to the normal meanings that people would take from your posts. Maybe it's just our backgrounds but I have corresponded in my professional career with  many union busting lawyers. They all had a way of poking and jabbing with innuendo instead of forthright statements. 

I do not think you are as bad a person as some of those lawyers but I think your writing style is very comparable. 

6079_Smith_W

* ha ha *

Well one does have to be careful how they say things around here sometimes.Things can get misunderstood easily.

But if you are asking brutal honesty I am as aware as you that we have some pretty big disagreements. I think it is unfortunate that we don't have much common ground on which to talk, because when we do it is actually productive.

I think it is unfortunate too, that you sometimes take things personally when they are not directed at you. For that reason I almost never take offense at anything you say to me.

The bottom line is I can see you are here with honest intent. I trust that you really want to make this a better place, even if your priorities aren't quite the same as mine, and I would hate to see you gone.

Maybe you think I'm talking B.S. here. I am not.

 

quizzical

kropotkin1951 wrote:
6079_Smith_W wrote:
Sure. Except I am not accusing you of a lack of understanding. I understand your position well enough that I can explain it to you:

That the western powers, and the globalists which back them, being the largest and most aggressive force on earth, are the true imperialists. Certainly the only ones we need to concern ourselves with. And any forces or nations which oppose them are working in the interests of anti-imperialism. Any who oppose that resistance are simply serving the imperialist cause.

Might not be textbook, but I'm pretty close, I guess.

There is the reason I think you are one of the problems on this board. You are wrong and you are so arrogant you think you know what I think better than I do. You think you know the minds of other posters and based on that you read ill intent and nasty things into others thoughts. You insult and tear down anyone who is as anti-American as I am. I frankly think that Iksomos didn't have the English skills to keep up with your relentless attacks. Just so you know what I mean by an attack here is a post you made about one of my posts. You unfavourably compared my view to someone you thought was a "brainless ass" but with a rider that at least he was being honest. Methinks that most readers would get the impression that the person you were comparing his honesty to was me and that I was somehow being dishonest in expressing my viewpoint.

6079 wrote:
kropotkin1951 wrote:
Trump ran as a populist but it is clear he is supported by one group of billionaires in the US oligarchy while Clinton was supported by a different group of billionaires in the same oligarchy.

You know, not that I don't think Slavoj Žižek is a brainless ass; he is one.  But at least he had the good sense to recognize that things are going to be far worse under Trump. And the honesty to say so. That is why he is happy because he thinks that this is going to bring this all closer to revolution. 

In that, well, he just proves himself the arrogant idealogue dumbass that he is.

huh. i've been reading along and thought he was speaking about ikosmos not you k. i never thought about you for a second. i think you realize things are going to be much worse and definitely don't think you're happy bout it.

 

Unionist

Mobo2000 wrote:

Unionist: I appreciate and agree with what you are trying to do here.   But a request - let's not couch this in terms of mental illness.

Not only do I fully agree with you, but that was never my intent. And in re-reading my comments, I can imagine how you drew that conclusion. But not only did I not intend that - I never said it. I said he has a problem. And he does. He flies off the handle. And he occasionally realizes and regrets it. But mental illness? I never went there.

Quote:
I know this is not your intent, but it is unfair to continue to discuss ikosmos in such a personal way when he is not here to defend himself.    This used to be a rule here, no?    Stop discussing babblers once they are banned?

I understand your point. But I want him back. I don't agree with erasing people. So by not discussing banned babblers, we are precisely accepting and condoning erasure. I'm not ready to do that any more. And he doesn't need to defend himself against me. Because I'm not in any way attacking him. Others? They attacked him non-stop while he was here, and they are continuing. Call it freedom of expression. Or, there are other possible characterizations.

Quote:
In my view the people who opposed him on the Russia threads displayed no understanding of the basic principles of anti-imperialism, or sympathy for them, much less agreement with them.    Complaints about him being rude and insulting are astonishingly hypocritical, given the rudeness of the comments directed to him by others in that thread.  

I said it before, and I'll say it again. Those who now celebrate his erasure are uniformly those who opposed him politically. That could be a coincidence. I will leave that puzzle as an exercise for the reader. I don't in the least agree with his effusive apologias for Russian Tsars, past and present. But I don't extend my disagreement into banishment and erasure.

Quote:
Unionist again:   I really appreciate that you and others want to improve the tone here.   I don't think that will happen through meta discussion or proposals (but I will participate in them and hope they succeed).  

I merely wanted to remind folks of a proposal ex-moderator Michelle Langlois herself made - a trial period of no suspensions or bans (except for obvious trolls). If we can't manage a 3-month trial like that? Then babble should, with all due respect, fuck off and die. In reality, however, we are far stronger and more durable than some believe.

Quote:
If you do decide to leave, please PM me first and let me know if you post on any other boards.

No way. I'll come back here under untraceable pseudonyms and wreak havoc. You will always hear from me. Here, and everywhere. I'm from the working class. We don't disappear. Ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paladin1

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Given that none of us can know the intent of other posters

 

We do like to assume here though.

 

Mobo2000 wrote:

 Complaints about him being rude and insulting are astonishingly hypocritical, given the rudeness of the comments directed to him by others in that thread.  

 

 

Yup.

Sean in Ottawa

Post #215 by Unionist can be recieved on two levels and I think it should be. The first is the specific ideas and proposals -- some will  agree and some will not. The second is that heartfelt compassion. We all, regardless of where each stands on the specifics, should have room for that.

The level of compassion in that post is what we are supposed to be all about. When I feel the emotions and sentiments in that post I want to give a second thought to the specifics because anything coming from those intentions ought to be listened to.

No matter what we get out of this thread if we come out a little affected by Unionist's words there then I think some good has been done.

Let me end with this -- we should all be hypocritical. We must be. The reason is that we must always aspire to be better than we can be in order to be the best we actually can be. This means that we will not always meet the high bar we set, but we still have to aim higher still.

Compassion allows us to do that and a little humility because no matter how right we are, or think we are in the moment, most of us after a confrontation would take back a few words.

I dislike the unforgiving permanence of a full irreversible banning. A time to let things cool off seems better but I do not know what has already been tried in a specific case nor the background interactions with the mods.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Unionist wrote:

Mobo2000 wrote:

Unionist: I appreciate and agree with what you are trying to do here.   But a request - let's not couch this in terms of mental illness.

Not only do I fully agree with you, but that was never my intent. And in re-reading my comments, I can imagine how you drew that conclusion. But not only did I not intend that - I never said it. I said he has a problem. And he does. He flies off the handle. And he occasionally realizes and regrets it. But mental illness? I never went there.

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I know this is not your intent, but it is unfair to continue to discuss ikosmos in such a personal way when he is not here to defend himself.    This used to be a rule here, no?    Stop discussing babblers once they are banned?

I understand your point. But I want him back. I don't agree with erasing people. So by not discussing banned babblers, we are precisely accepting and condoning erasure. I'm not ready to do that any more. And he doesn't need to defend himself against me. Because I'm not in any way attacking him. Others? They attacked him non-stop while he was here, and they are continuing. Call it freedom of expression. Or, there are other possible characterizations.

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In my view the people who opposed him on the Russia threads displayed no understanding of the basic principles of anti-imperialism, or sympathy for them, much less agreement with them.    Complaints about him being rude and insulting are astonishingly hypocritical, given the rudeness of the comments directed to him by others in that thread.  

I said it before, and I'll say it again. Those who now celebrate his erasure are uniformly those who opposed him politically. That could be a coincidence. I will leave that puzzle as an exercise for the reader. I don't in the least agree with his effusive apologias for Russian Tsars, past and present. But I don't extend my disagreement into banishment and erasure.

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Unionist again:   I really appreciate that you and others want to improve the tone here.   I don't think that will happen through meta discussion or proposals (but I will participate in them and hope they succeed).  

I merely wanted to remind folks of a proposal ex-moderator Michelle Langlois herself made - a trial period of no suspensions or bans (except for obvious trolls). If we can't manage a 3-month trial like that? Then babble should, with all due respect, fuck off and die. In reality, however, we are far stronger and more durable than some believe.

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If you do decide to leave, please PM me first and let me know if you post on any other boards.

No way. I'll come back here under untraceable pseudonyms and wreak havoc. You will always hear from me. Here, and everywhere. I'm from the working class. We don't disappear. Ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the record, I was the poster who specifically referenced mental illness and I apologize for that.  I felt I had to go there because of the term "issues".

And in the name of full disclosure, I've had some mental health issues myself over the years:  I've gone through significant periods of depression.  I don't personally regard mental health as something that we can't or shouldn't discuss, but understand that it can be dealt with inappropriately and as a way to silence people and delegitimize their opinions.

I didn't want to do that to ikosmos, and if I managed to do that I should clearly have been more careful in how I phrased things.