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The facts?

Posted by JudyS on 9/27/03 at 21:47 (131353)

I would make two points if I may.
One,I objected earlier to a statement of Peter's - not to the fact that it was within a political discussion.

Having said that, the fact is that political discussions here always, always lead to problems. One, because, as we painfully learned last spring, political disagreement is followed close-on-heels by mean intolerance.
And two because they are a perfect, perfect vehicle for some folks to spew out seriously mean and highly distasteful statements like Peter's insinuation (joking or not) that a particular woman deserved to be stoned to DEATH because she was ugly. How about this -If you want to have a political discussion, and if you're clearly demonstrating a willingness to keep it on a respectful level, then regulate your own.
But Peter isn't the only one. One or two more persons just plain come too close to insults and rudeness in the heat of the discussion. And others are afraid to respond with disagreement else become the target of intolerant meanness. Why is it so hard to accept that many of us want this to be a peaceful message board? You know - 'support'?

And Peter won't stop with the dictate that there will be no political discussion. He just wants to keep stirring things up with his outlandish and distasteful statements no matter the subject. We're being played.

And fellas - I consider myself to be a slightly moderate, but more conservative person (don't get me started on California politics!) so please don't assume that I object to political discussions here because I have a liberal bent. I object to them because they always lead to problems here - they don't belong here. They belong on a political website. There is no support going on here at HEELSPURS dot com when any given person tunes in then goes away because they found too much negative political stuff. After all, I'm not gonna go look up the Drudge Report and expect to see discussions on foot problems! Nor do I expect to see the words 'social' and 'support' within the context intended on this board. I may not expect to see recipe exchanges here either but if, as a newbie, I did I'd immediately feel relieved that there were friendly, relaxed people here to bring my sore feet to. THAT'S what this site if for!

Speaking of this board, and fact number two - fellas, there's no such thing as free speech here. To accuse Scott of limiting your free speech or others of being 'thought police' is ludicrious. Scott can do as he darn well pleases - it's HIS website! It may be a public vehicle but it's a totally private forum and we must abide by Scott's dictates. There's no freedom of speech here - you don't own this site, I don't own this site - SCOTT R does and that's the bottom line.

I know that some of you feel that political discussion falls under the heading 'social' and I cannot disagree with that. But I AM saying that it always gets us in trouble so why not just respect the original intent of HS.com and take the politics to a political website? Why is that a tough concept?

Re: The facts?

marie on 9/27/03 at 21:58 (131354)

I don't think anything you said is unreasonable. I agree that the political discussions should be moved elsewhere. It's time. I think that everyone can live with that. We've had an upsetting day so hopefully we can move forward from this.

Thanks Judy.

Re: The facts?

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/27/03 at 22:28 (131362)


You have made a lot of good points. We are not taking issue with Scott or with Scott's right to do as he pleases with his site. We do take issue with the individuals who convinced Scott to take the action he did.
First, they did so by direct contact with him, not opening it up for discussion on this forum and doing it without the knowledge of those who would have liked to have the opportunity to present another point of view. The latter would have been a more forthright and acceptable approach. Second, many of us consider political subjects to be informative and enjoy political discussions. We feel that mature individuals can have productive poltical discussions without a hate-fest ensuing. For some reason, there are several individuals who are compelled to initiate personal insults and attacks when presented with information of a political nature. I am not sure that the inability of several individuals to engage in rational political discourse is a reason to do away with politics as a subject for discussion. I agree that Peter really enjoys to stir the pot but he can do so on any board.

Several posters have alluded to the original intent of the board -- but for the 2 years or so that I have been posting, the social board included virtually anything and everything that posters wanted to talk about. I entered the boards shortly before 9-11-01. Things were sort of boring politically before that time and then things changed drastically. I also remember a 'doctors' board existing at that time where providers were chatting -- that no longer exists.

This website is owned by Scott but it has become something akin to a home page on our computer screens; a site that is sitting on our screens so we can take the minute or two in between patients to read a couple posts and hurry out a response. A number of individuals have basically told us to 'go away' because they don't like our politics. These are some of the same individuals who have come to us for free advice and 'wonder' where we are if we have not posted for a couple of days. They are some of the same who never requested that we change subjects for a while or wanted to take a 'break' on certain issues but instead went to Scott behind our backs to complain and convince him to forbid us from posting on an area of interest to us.

Re: The facts?

JudyS on 9/27/03 at 22:44 (131366)

Ah Dr. Ed you are always so well spoken! Thank you for your patience with me.

Just a couple of points - I pretty much don't read any of the political posts in depth here anymore - they've all become the same to me. I just happened to catch Peter's post and thought it was over the top of respectability - and that was the ONLY thing I objected to at the time.

Also, I was here when the board was just one big source - no topic divisions. And I was at the root of the reason Scott created sections. I'd created a little 'name game' because I'd been, as a first-time web poster, afraid to use my real name. When I became more comfy here, I challenged the regulars at the time to guess my real name. From that came more and more informal and friendly postings which is what led Scott to create the less space demanding SS section along with all the others. So you see, originally, the whole ss thing was born as a result of friendly chatter and it was so, so rewarding - the politics have only occured since 9/11. That's why I've continued to refer to the original intent of the SS board.

Last, I am a person who went to Scott with a question about Peter's post. I did NOT ask Scott to regulate political discussions - although I am truly happy that he did. I asked Scott how he felt about Peter's kind of post because I was reluctant to hit the 'delete' button on it given my admitted bias about Peter.

I do not know if ANYONE went to Scott about political discussions - did Scott say that that had occured? Or is that an asumption based on Scott's decision to ban political discussions? Is it reasonable to guess that Scott banned political discussions because his experience with us tells him that they always lead to problems?

Re: The facts?

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/27/03 at 22:54 (131370)


It was my understanding that Scott had complaints from a number of posters which led him to his decision. My first question to him was ...'was it many' and he said no. Beyond this, you will need to ask the question of Scott himself as only he can provide it to you first hand.

I don't think it was your comments to Scott concerning Peter that is the factor as Peter is one individual. Yes, he can be strident but there have been others (remember Pala) who make Peter look moderate by comparison at times.

My concept has always been to conduct things online in a similar fashion to print media, or at least by a similar set of standards. Of course, we don't and probablby can't have a full time editor. But if we have to edit, after the fact, those standards should come into play.