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About Political Discussions


Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
I have removed a recent thread that strayed deeply into politics. While I normally do not wish to close down discussions of any sort, debating politics in the U.S. is simply not possible anymore with any level of sanity. I think people in the U.S. need to read the news about them in other developed countries to get a fair picture of how they are seen, and what's really happening. The American media is playing a game, some of it blatant, and that game has nothing to do with telling you what is really going on. It's all about the controversy and the conspiracies, even if many of them are just made up out of whole cloth.
 

Charlie Prime

Paranormal Adept
I don't understand what you mean Mr. Gene.

Are you saying that the Mainstream Media is all about controversy and conspiracy, or are you saying Conspiracy Theorists like me engage in too much of it?
 

manxman

Paranormal Adept
i need to understand the pecking order here at the paracast forum, to understand your decision gene, does decker as admin out rank you, if so i understand why the thread had to go, as it showed don as completely immovable when his minds made up, that being said, he must be a class act against cynics and debunkers when he is right.

and this thread, well its just picking at a scab now, ban politics fullstop, its a paranormal forum.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
It's my company, my show, my forum. I removed the thread because it is typical of political discussions these days. Facts don't matter. It's all about "Reality TV" and the effort to incite the masses with manufactured controversies and get huge ratings.
 

manxman

Paranormal Adept
im affraid politics are as cynical the world over now gene, entrenchment makes for ugly debate, will you consider ridding the forum of the burden of political threads.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
It'll be on a case-by-case basis. My biggest concern is that we debate issues that have no factual basis whatever and are based on manufactured controversies, misquotes, statements taken out of context, and so on and so forth. That sort of behavior doesn't advance anyone's interest, nor does it ever resolve anything.
 

pduchesne

Paranormal Maven
I second manxman's request. I personally would rather not talk politics but find it difficult to not engage people who I view as attacking my culture and character. Yeah, I'm talking to you BS, you hippie freak. Human nature is what it is you know.
As it stands, it looks like you don't mind all the commies, socialists, and anarchists, but you won't tolerate criticism of the Democrat party line. I'm just saying how it looks to some of your fans/customers, and I assume that was not your intent. If that was your intent, then rock on! Like you said, you own the place and you can censor it how you see fit. If we don't like it we can leave. Capitalism at work, so to speak.
If you decide to make me an unperson for my insolence, I'd miss the show, but so be it.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
Not true. I mind lies, misquotes, quotes out of context, etc. I mind it when I provide actual evidence of a lie, and the evidence is simply ignored as if it was never posted. Such discussions do not have a political persuasion. If you examine the fact-checking organizations, or the fact checkers at some newspapers, you'll see I'm correct, but still pay attention to which political party gets more "pants on fire" ratings in their pronouncements.

As to "commies," well, there are very, very few in the U.S., so it's largely a non-issue. And don't anarchists tend to be extremely right wing?

Really, if you examine the facts, you'll find that the ones who are really attacking your culture may indeed be those who claim to protect it by making up stories about non-existent threats. Do you really and truly believe there is a "war on Christmas" in the U.S.? Really?
 

Charlie Prime

Paranormal Adept
I don't understand what you mean Mr. Gene.

Are you saying that the Mainstream Media is all about controversy and conspiracy, or are you saying Conspiracy Theorists like me engage in too much of it?
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
I have nothing against conspiracy theorists. We should question conventional explanations and conventional wisdom. I am on your side on that score.

But when certain members of the media, political activists, or bloggers manufacture controversies, scandals and in general mislead and frighten their audiences, that only polarizes people and works into the hands of those who want to do us genuine harm.
 

pduchesne

Paranormal Maven
Not true. I mind lies, misquotes, quotes out of context, etc. I mind it when I provide actual evidence of a lie, and the evidence is simply ignored as if it was never posted. Such discussions do not have a political persuasion. If you examine the fact-checking organizations, or the fact checkers at some newspapers, you'll see I'm correct, but still pay attention to which political party gets more "pants on fire" ratings in their pronouncements.

As to "commies," well, there are very, very few in the U.S., so it's largely a non-issue. And don't anarchists tend to be extremely right wing?

Really, if you examine the facts, you'll find that the ones who are really attacking your culture may indeed be those who claim to protect it by making up stories about non-existent threats. Do you really and truly believe there is a "war on Christmas" in the U.S.? Really?
My comments were simply to let you know how you could be taken by some people who value your opinion. I'm an IT/Tech manager who's constantly preaching to my guys about customer service and the importance of interacting respectfully with those we serve. Scoffing, eye-rolling, and heavy sighs are not permitted, no matter how many times a user forgets his password. I thought you might view your audience similarly. I was out of line, so I'm sorry if I offended you.
That said, I wasn't trying to start an argument with the Big Dog, but I do enjoy a good verbal joust. I'm painting my basement now, but I'll return later to give your comments a good shredding ;)
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
My comments were simply to let you know how you could be taken by some people who value your opinion. I'm an IT/Tech manager who's constantly preaching to my guys about customer service and the importance of interacting respectfully with those we serve. Scoffing, eye-rolling, and heavy sighs are not permitted, no matter how many times a user forgets his password. I thought you might view your audience similarly. I was out of line, so I'm sorry if I offended you.
That said, I wasn't trying to start an argument with the Big Dog, but I do enjoy a good verbal joust. I'm painting my basement now, but I'll return later to give your comments a good shredding ;)
A good argument can be healthy, but political discussions, particularly in this day and age, are often non-productive because even basic facts, which should not be in dispute, become fodder for argument. Remember the old saw about being entitled to your opinions, but not your facts.
 

nameless

Paranormal Adept
My comments were simply to let you know how you could be taken by some people who value your opinion. I'm an IT/Tech manager who's constantly preaching to my guys about customer service and the importance of interacting respectfully with those we serve. Scoffing, eye-rolling, and heavy sighs are not permitted, no matter how many times a user forgets his password. I thought you might view your audience similarly. I was out of line, so I'm sorry if I offended you.
That said, I wasn't trying to start an argument with the Big Dog, but I do enjoy a good verbal joust. I'm painting my basement now, but I'll return later to give your comments a good shredding ;)
.. REALLy?--- SIGH:rolleyes:
 

Charlie Prime

Paranormal Adept
But when certain members of the media, political activists, or bloggers manufacture controversies, scandals and in general mislead and frighten their audiences, that only polarizes people and works into the hands of those who want to do us genuine harm.
Well said! This phenomena is also a big problem in the non-corporate, alternative media.

This morning I adapted the Society of Professional Journalist Code of Ethics into a fun test.

Put any journalist's name in the blank. If the sentence makes you chuckle, that journalist should probably do some soul searching. Eg. try it with "Shaun Hannity" or "Rachel Maddow".

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

________ tests the accuracy of information from all sources and exercises care to avoid inadvertent error.

________ diligently seeks out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.

________ identifies sources whenever feasible.

________ always questions sources’ motives before promising anonymity.

________ makes certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent, oversimplify, or highlight incidents out of context.

________ never distorts the content of news photos or video with image enhancement for reasons other than technical clarity.

________ avoids misleading re-enactments or staged news events.

________ avoids undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public.

________ never plagiarizes.

________ tells the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.

________ examines their own cultural values and avoids imposing those values on others.

________ avoids stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.

________ supports the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.


________ gives voice to the voiceless because both official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.

________ distinguishes between advocacy and news reporting by always labeling analysis and commentary, and never misrepresenting facts or context.

________ distinguishes news from advertising and shuns hybrids that blur the lines between the two.

________ recognizes a special obligation to ensure that the public's business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.

________ shows compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage, and uses special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.

________ is sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.

________ recognizes that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort, and understands that pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.

________ recognizes that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention, and believes that only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.

________ shows good taste, and avoids pandering to lurid curiosity.

________ is cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.

________ is judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.

________ balances a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.
________ is free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.

________ avoids conflicts of interest, real or perceived.

________ remains free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.

________ refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.

________ discloses unavoidable conflicts.

________ is vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.

________ denies favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.

________ is wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.

________ clarifies and explains news coverage and invites dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.

________ encourages the public to voice grievances against the news media.

________ admits mistakes and corrects them promptly.

________ exposes unethical practices of journalists and the news media.

________ abides by the same high standards to which they hold others.
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
I think Maddow, who is a commentator and not a reporter, pays for more obedience to these edicts than Hannity. Hannity is notorious for having financial relationships with some of the parties that he features on his radio and TV show.

Regardless, I'd like you to examine the following article from someone who appears on my tech radio show from time to time. He writes on how Samsung bribes the media to get favorable coverage:

Apple's failure to pay for favorable media coverage flies in the face of Samsung's payola
 

Wade

FeralNormal master
i missed all the hub-bub but being that Gene already deleted the thread, it sounds like i didn't miss much. I"m assuming it was one of those left/right, liberal/conservative, red state/blue state discussions that seem to be as toxic as religion around here. Can i wager to guess it deteriorated into one of those "well, if you don't see things the way they really are, than i feel sorry for you "type of threads ?

As i'm sure people like pixelsmith and Charley Prime probably would point out, The two parties in the two party system are two sides of the same coin. Whichever side one may identify themselves with, the two parties stopped identifying themselves with us some time ago. The second a genuine threat in the form of a palatable alternative party comes along, one that would be an "existential threat" to either of the two parties, i have no doubt it will be effectively dismantled by both parties via a good cop/bad cop action, and any candidates will be neutered and absorbed into either of the folds. As it is, of all the current third parties that do exist, it seems that at best they are relegated to a spoiler role and are often courted by one side or the other in order to let the Big Boys have more room to duke it out.

Having said all that, i do often get amused by those coalition governments that constantly pop up and disintegrate in as little as 10 months in countries such as Italy and Israel. That doesn't seem to be any more effective than the system the US has. I wonder if any of those countries get things done as their coalitions are as ephemeral as fame (and the famous)*

* with apologies to Marcus Aurelius
 


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