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August1991

Maple Leaf Forum

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Maybe it's me. Or maybe it's Canadian politics now. But I liked this place before. Now I don't.

True, the Internet is a new medium and it takes flexibility to deal with it. So too an Internet forum.

This forum is an experiment with several years under its belt. It's a vanguard. Lethbridge University deserves applause for trying this experiment. Has any other in Canada created a website with such a forum?

So, now what with this experiment?

It seems to me that before, maybe when it was new, this forum had forceful but thought-provoking posters here: Craig Read and Hugo, for example. Now, it doesn't.

Instead, I fear that this forum has become increasingly a venue for cranks and quacks. In a country of 30 million, there are more than several idiot-savants to cause havoc. At any large university, you'll find the Lyndon Larouche stand. A few active posters can quickly change an Internet forum.

IOW, in policing a forum, it is one problem to keep at bay the trolls, spam artists and simply psychotic. It's another problem to deal with conspiracy whackos.

[Curiously, my French forum doesn't suffer from any of these problems. Maybe it's a question of language or maybe it's a question of having more moderators. Dunno.]

I don't want to lose the chance for something new, different. Yet I don't want to waste my time on nonsense. And I don't want to participate in a forum where I have to "Ignore" frequent posters.

Greg, and others, whither MLF?

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IOW, in policing a forum, it is one problem to keep at bay the trolls, spam artists and simply psychotic. It's another problem to deal with conspiracy whackos.

But if those "conspiracy whackos" stay within the bounds of civility.How can you deal with them?

If they try to peddle their nonsense in a way that still conforms to the aims of a forum.

Promoting discussion.

If you have a serious problem with someone whom you believe is perverting the ideals of THIS particular forum.Report it.

If it is a particular person you dislike for some reason.Consider the IGNORE button.

I have had one person put me on ignore in this forum despite that I was always reasonably civil with him the whole time.

The world is changing and so can any forum.

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For the record:

But if those "conspiracy whackos" stay within the bounds of civility.How can you deal with them?

If they try to peddle their nonsense in a way that still conforms to the aims of a forum.

Promoting discussion.

If you have a serious problem with someone whom you believe is perverting the ideals of THIS particular forum.Report it.

If it is a particular person you dislike for some reason.Consider the IGNORE button.

I have had one person put me on ignore in this forum despite that I was always reasonably civil with him the whole time.

The world is changing and so can any forum.

IMV, this forum should offer a place for intelligent and thought-provoking debate about political issues of interest to Canadians, particularly western Canadians.

Discovering this forum and reading a thread or two, anyone honestly curious about such debates should want to lurk further and maybe even participate here.

They should not leave thinking that this is another Lyndon Larouche conspiracy forum.

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HMMMMmmm, I smell the cries for censorship, and wonder why?

exercise your own free choice, participate or not.

post where you want, we are all capable, are we not?

or do we need babysitters to censor discussion for us.

I think not.

why do you think so?

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This is a discussion forum is it not. If you cannot discuss the other side what good is it. If conservativism is so good for us prove it.

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Instead, I fear that this forum has become increasingly a venue for cranks and quacks. In a country of 30 million, there are more than several idiot-savants to cause havoc. At any large university, you'll find the Lyndon Larouche stand. A few active posters can quickly change an Internet forum.

Greg, and others, whither MLF?

I have no problem avoiding the various tinfoil hat threads....I am amazed though that so may posters enjoy contributing to the threads...but as they say in english, chaque son gout......

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Maybe it's me. Or maybe it's Canadian politics now. But I liked this place before. Now I don't.

True, the Internet is a new medium and it takes flexibility to deal with it. So too an Internet forum.

Maybe you have Internet fatigue. I think that for many years people here were probably (although I don't know for certain) united in their desire to remove Chretien and later Martin from office. The talk from what I read in the archives revolved around around conservatives ideas.

Conservatives have achieved their goal and now these forums become less about conservative ideology and more about conservative governance. Subsequently, you have some partisans who will support the government right or wrong and other independent conservatives who grow queasy with every move that Harper makes that reminds them of the Liberals.

Moreover, as you said, there are several conspiracy threads and before that First Nations threads that have run rampant. I have avoided the conspiracy thread, contributed a bit to the First Nations threads as they pertained to federal and provincial politics but withdrew when it became apparent that it wasn't a discussion.

Things get heated from time to time but there are a number of people who get downright angry and rude. I've gone down that road myself but have tried to refrain from it by not engaging in certain threads at all and at times placing people on ignore.

I don't know that the forums can be changed to something different without massive bannings and censorship. Perhaps it is better to take a step back and simply not engage in discussions that are fruitless or that don't interest you.

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Instead, I fear that this forum has become increasingly a venue for cranks and quacks. In a country of 30 million, there are more than several idiot-savants to cause havoc. At any large university, you'll find the Lyndon Larouche stand. A few active posters can quickly change an Internet forum.

.....

I don't want to lose the chance for something new, different. Yet I don't want to waste my time on nonsense. And I don't want to participate in a forum where I have to "Ignore" frequent posters.

Greg, and others, whither MLF?

I was wondering that too, how long will they continue to fund it, and will we get to see the results of the study.

I agree that the forum is changing and one of the reasons I wanted a separate forum for conspiracy theories, that way one doesn't have to scroll on by or put them on ignore. No one is saying they should be censored, just given a separate forum as obviously some people do like to debate the issue.

cheers

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Instead, I fear that this forum has become increasingly a venue for cranks and quacks. In a country of 30 million, there are more than several idiot-savants to cause havoc. At any large university, you'll find the Lyndon Larouche stand. A few active posters can quickly change an Internet forum.

.....

I don't want to lose the chance for something new, different. Yet I don't want to waste my time on nonsense. And I don't want to participate in a forum where I have to "Ignore" frequent posters.

Greg, and others, whither MLF?

I was wondering that too, how long will they continue to fund it, and will we get to see the results of the study.

I agree that the forum is changing and one of the reasons I wanted a separate forum for conspiracy theories, that way one doesn't have to scroll on by or put them on ignore. No one is saying they should be censored, just given a separate forum as obviously some people do like to debate the issue.

cheers

I personally consider anything from the Bush regime to be a 'conspiracy theory' at best, so shall we dedicate a forum to all the bush induced theories, that would be fun!

or how about one for the 'rapture believers' that is quit a theory?

how about one for the 'Muslim world take over' theory?

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IMV, this forum should offer a place for intelligent and thought-provoking debate about political issues of interest to Canadians, particularly western Canadians.

This is one point you really lost me on, August. The name of this website is Maple Leaf Web, which by its very definition is inclusive of ALL of Canada. To infer that just because it is based in the West means that Western ideas should be given more weight than those from any other part of the country is going against the grain of what it seems this forum is about. In this I think the name is important. You do not use an inclusive name to denote an exclusive community.

That being said, I do agree with some of your sentiments on the overall quality of discussion here. Some people seem incapable of believing that there are any " nuts " from their side of the fence. I am not one of them, so I am not about to say that it is only one side or the other that needs to clean up its act.

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You know what August, despite me posting a very long thought out post defending the likes of PolyNewbie in particular, I'm starting to get the same feeling.

When LesActive posted here, I watched his video and then was hoping to have a discussion on some of the parts I found interesting, and sort of educate the bunch on why the rest was pretty much just made up.

Unfortunately, there is just no reasoning with such people. They claim that all is true and there is no possibility their Google video uneducated educators are incorrect... for they have some secret insight into it all.

How is there to be reasoning with such people?

Perhaps there can't be. And if that's that the case, then maybe we do need to look at doing something.

Where do we draw the line though? Is Mark Holland's discovery of the secret Stockwell faxes a conspiracy? Is margrace spreading her Harper is a crazy Christian zealot material a conspiracy? Is my rebuttal of her argument, point out that all politicans make speeches to special interests including Martin's speech at a Tamil Tiger fundraiser, a conspiracy?

If you can make a convincing argument on where to draw the line so we don't just willy nilly go after people, then I perhaps could agree with such a move... though it pains me to do so.

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If you can make a convincing argument on where to draw the line so we don't just willy nilly go after people, then I perhaps could agree with such a move... though it pains me to do so.

We can draw the line and distinguish between the absolutely outlandish and normal debate based on the news etc.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology...aw/1230517.html

Sadly, the noble search for truth is now being hijacked by a growing army of conspiracy theorists

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You know what August, despite me posting a very long thought out post defending the likes of PolyNewbie in particular, I'm starting to get the same feeling.

When LesActive posted here, I watched his video and then was hoping to have a discussion on some of the parts I found interesting, and sort of educate the bunch on why the rest was pretty much just made up.

Unfortunately, there is just no reasoning with such people. They claim that all is true and there is no possibility their Google video uneducated educators are incorrect... for they have some secret insight into it all.

How is there to be reasoning with such people?

Perhaps there can't be. And if that's that the case, then maybe we do need to look at doing something.

Where do we draw the line though? Is Mark Holland's discovery of the secret Stockwell faxes a conspiracy? Is margrace spreading her Harper is a crazy Christian zealot material a conspiracy? Is my rebuttal of her argument, point out that all politicans make speeches to special interests including Martin's speech at a Tamil Tiger fundraiser, a conspiracy?

If you can make a convincing argument on where to draw the line so we don't just willy nilly go after people, then I perhaps could agree with such a move... though it pains me to do so.

"How is there to be reasoning with such people?"

"with such people", how extremely arrogant, do you know who these people are, you characterize in such a disgraceful manner.

what you are endorsing is censoring opinions that you disagree with.

EX: many people would say any number of things are conspiratorial, and example of this is the NAU discussions, always held in secret, anway from public eyes, question that and hear the shrieks of 'conspiracy'

IMO, I would characterize Harper as a zealous christian, and so what?

All politicians make speeches to special interest group, but, IMO Harper goes a little further then that.

So you. or the pack , the mob, make yourself the deciders, of what is acceptable?

what next lynchings or book burnings, are to be advocated for?

and backwards we march......

As Voltaire said, "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it. ..

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Dunno...the forum I admin chugs along with no rules whatsoever and lots of posters. Its sister forum got into the banning game and its as lively as a gassed Kurdish village these days.

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August, if you are complaining about posters who espouse so-called-conspiracy theories, all I can see in your complaint is a form of special pleading. You don't like what they have to say, so you try to characterize them as something unacceptable. But all they are is posters following the rules, expressing political views that you don't seem to like.

Before we can indulge your prejudice in this regard, you need to explain why different rules should apply to conspiracy theorists than should apply to, for example, seemingly professional party hacks?

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August, if you are complaining about posters who espouse so-called-conspiracy theories, all I can see in your complaint is a form of special pleading. You don't like what they have to say, so you try to characterize them as something unacceptable. But all they are is posters following the rules, expressing political views that you don't seem to like.

Before we can indulge your prejudice in this regard, you need to explain why different rules should apply to conspiracy theorists than should apply to, for example, seemingly professional party hacks?

That's a good point, some of those conspiracy threads are a little outlandish and taking potshots at them is funny at first but doesn't make much for high quality debate. I just ignore them. If we all do that then more relevant threads will bump those into history. Like Greg says, don't feed the trolls. Every village has their idiots, if we don't acknowledge them, then they don't exist. Some threads only get 2 or 3 replies then they are history, just don't give them the dignity of a response.

I'd say repeat threads are becoming more of a problem, 4 threads on Danny williams, 4 threads now on GM foods, 20+ on Global warming, etc. It's nice to see we have polling and Afghanistan under control in that regard.

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I'd say repeat threads are becoming more of a problem, 4 threads on Danny williams, 4 threads now on GM foods, 20+ on Global warming, etc. It's nice to see we have polling and Afghanistan under control in that regard.

Should I take a bow? <heh>

I try to make sure all polls and Afghanistan stay in the same thread.

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IMV, this forum should offer a place for intelligent and thought-provoking debate about political issues of interest to Canadians, particularly western Canadians.

Discovering this forum and reading a thread or two, anyone honestly curious about such debates should want to lurk further and maybe even participate here.

They should not leave thinking that this is another Lyndon Larouche conspiracy forum.

Particularly western Canadians?

Do you have any particular type of western Canadian in mind? Or just all of them?

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If you can make a convincing argument on where to draw the line so we don't just willy nilly go after people, then I perhaps could agree with such a move... though it pains me to do so.

We can draw the line and distinguish between the absolutely outlandish and normal debate based on the news etc.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology...aw/1230517.html

Sadly, the noble search for truth is now being hijacked by a growing army of conspiracy theorists

seem's clear it's a personal beef. eh scribbs??

btw: if the debate on 9/11 makes it into the news, it falls into the realm of normal debate, as it is even debated in Popular mechanics for example.

At one time it was rather normal to keep a black person as a slave now it is outlandish, what qualfies as "normal' vs outlandish, changes all the time.

it's quite clear, IMO, some posters with personal bias's are calling for censorship of opinions, they do not agree with, and that is all it is.

What the real question is, is why some posters,(I can't help but notice), largely identifying themselves with the conservative camp, are so intolerant??

Is it individuals within the party?

is it the parties policy, that make it's adherent's intolerant?

is it because many but not all adherents come from Alberta?

Are Albertans more intolerant?

I dunno, but this is what it seems, to be.

That the posters with intolerant bias's towards divergent opinions are identyfying themselves as conservatives, it is an interesting correlation, to be sure.

Though it will be quickly denied, the proof is in the pudding.

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That's a good point, some of those conspiracy threads are a little outlandish and taking potshots at them is funny at first but doesn't make much for high quality debate. I just ignore them. If we all do that then more relevant threads will bump those into history. Like Greg says, don't feed the trolls. Every village has their idiots, if we don't acknowledge them, then they don't exist. Some threads only get 2 or 3 replies then they are history, just don't give them the dignity of a response.

I agree, I've put a couple of them on ignore now, although if people reply you can see their posts. Apart from that, MLW seems to have taken a downward turn lately, more potshots at posters and insults.

Where is Greg on this, so far no comment on a separate conspiracy theory forum.

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I agree, I've put a couple of them on ignore now, although if people reply you can see their posts. Apart from that, MLW seems to have taken a downward turn lately, more potshots at posters and insults.

How come it's always the worst offenders who complain about insults?

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How come it's always the worst offenders who complain about insults?

I think it's because the same immaturity that impells them to be insulting represents a deeper lack of self-reflection which plays out as an apparent hypocrisy.

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Scriblett is right, I've been lurking for a while and see how this forum, is going downhill. I used to post on canadaweb but left because of personal attacks, anti semitism and biased moderating from B_cat, the main reason that forum lost posters and closed down. I hope MLW is bigger than these B_cat (and her buddy ) it seems to seems to be a good forum (or was) don't let them bring it down like they did the other forum. It is okay to try to be above their shots and abuse, but I know it was hard not to respond in kind.

Polynewbie, what can I say, at least he doesn't call names, just give him a conspiracy forum. LOL

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This is one point you really lost me on, August. The name of this website is Maple Leaf Web, which by its very definition is inclusive of ALL of Canada. To infer that just because it is based in the West means that Western ideas should be given more weight than those from any other part of the country is going against the grain of what it seems this forum is about. In this I think the name is important. You do not use an inclusive name to denote an exclusive community.
Remiel, your point is well taken. But for starters, this is an English-language forum so immediately it has a certain slant. But since it is based in Alberta, it has another slant too.

I see no harm in this and indeed, it is one reason I decided to join. At the time, I had just returned to Canada and I wanted to see things from a different perspective.

Of course, everyone is free to participate here. But I think making this forum somehow western-based means that it is more - to use a "progessive" term - inclusive.

At one time it was rather normal to keep a black person as a slave now it is outlandish, what qualfies as "normal' vs outlandish, changes all the time.

it's quite clear, IMO, some posters with personal bias's are calling for censorship of opinions, they do not agree with, and that is all it is.

To compare the treatment of conspiracy theorists on this forum to the treatment of Africans in the 17th century is beyond absurd.

In any case, I'm not advocating cenorship. Conspiracy theorists are free to make their case. But I'm under no obligation to waste my time listening to them.

August, if you are complaining about posters who espouse so-called-conspiracy theories, all I can see in your complaint is a form of special pleading. You don't like what they have to say, so you try to characterize them as something unacceptable. But all they are is posters following the rules, expressing political views that you don't seem to like.

Before we can indulge your prejudice in this regard, you need to explain why different rules should apply to conspiracy theorists than should apply to, for example, seemingly professional party hacks?

I'll take your point. I too would prefer a forum in which participants leave at least some tiny room for doubt, the possibility of being wrong and the proverbial open mind.

But it seems to me there's an obvious difference between someone who believes George W. Bush ordered the destruction of the World Trade Center and someone who defends Stephen Harper as the greatest Prime Minister in Canadian history.

Moreover, as you said, there are several conspiracy threads and before that First Nations threads that have run rampant. I have avoided the conspiracy thread, contributed a bit to the First Nations threads as they pertained to federal and provincial politics but withdrew when it became apparent that it wasn't a discussion.
That's a good point too. The Indian threads were not tiresome really - although the posters were one-trick ponies.

I can live with people who have an agenda. The forum can cope with that, if it has to.

But an Internet forum cannot cope with lunatics with an agenda. The Moonies, the Jim Jones, the Lyndon Larouche types of the modern western world.

Such posters have the patience to dominate a forum. They will not break any rules of civility and can't be banned on such a basis.

I am not suggesting that such people be censored. On the contrary. I'm just arguing that they should not have the right to take over my morning newspaper and become my editor.

----

I started this thread because I wondered where MLF was going.

IMV, I drop in here, read and then post because it's a way to find out what attentive people (in Western Canada in particular) think about Canadian politics. I have had some fascinating discussions with people that I would never have met otherwise: Hugo, Army Guy and even you Dobbin.

I don't come here to read about the latest 9/11 theories.

The Internet is a very new medium. For the moment, it offers the possibility for anyone to take control of the microphone. That may sound wonderfully democratic but a medium where any one of six billion can speak is cacophony, not discussion.

Greg, and other forum moderators, are going to have to figure this one out.

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... you need to explain why different rules should apply to conspiracy theorists than should apply to, for example, seemingly professional party hacks?

But it seems to me there's an obvious difference between someone who believes George W. Bush ordered the destruction of the World Trade Center and someone who defends Stephen Harper as the greatest Prime Minister in Canadian history.

Okay, that difference is obvious to you, but quite honestly it's not obvious to me. Can you elaborate?

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