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Old August 22, 2007, 07:47 PM   #1
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: June 15, 1999
Location: Ohio
Posts: 7,558
New Rules for Legal and Political

To All TFL Members who post in Legal and Political,

The presidential elections are more than 14 months away and the tone of many of the posts in L&P is getting increasingly strident. This does not reflect well on The Firing Line or on gun owners in general. The staff of TFL will not allow this to continue.

Our sister site, The High Road has already taken steps to quell a similar rash of impolite posts. They have completely done away with general political discussion. We believe that political discussion is an important tool for preserving our rights, so we will not be going that route at this time.

Instead, this thread will serve as a warning to everyone who posts in L&P. The standards are going up, we are raising the bar again. The staff of TFL expects the Legal and Political forum to be the most polite and courteous discussion site on the web. Impossible? Some may think so, but the members of TFL have come through before and we are confident that the membership is up to this challenge as well.

Originally Posted by Antipitas
We don't discuss race, religion or sexual preference. As many have observed, these subjects do nothing but divide us as a community. Discussion and debate should be on the ideas presented, not the personalities that presented the idea. That's the ideal. Think Twice, post once.

For those of you that see only black and white, we suggest you leave this forum altogether. Life is not a two-toned creature, neither are our rights.
Beginning now, it is no longer just a suggestion that those who see only in black in white voluntarily leave the forum. Those members who engage in puerile bickering, drive-by cut and paste posting, or who just generally add to the noise level will be banned from L&P for a period of time to be determined by staff on a case-by-case basis. There will be no warnings and no appeals. This is necessary if we are to successfully raise the bar.

Note: If you are banned from L&P, you will discover that any subscriptions you had will no longer work. This is part of the process of being banned.

The staff of Legal & Political
Long Path, TheBluesMan, Marko Kloos, Antipitas
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Old August 22, 2007, 09:06 PM   #2
Al Norris
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Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,660
Please read and be aware of the following rules, as they apply to the Legal & Political Forum:

In threads about a specific political candidate, any references to other (opposing) political candidates; the current President; the current administration or the Iraq War are off topic - unless made relevant by the OP. Further, such threads must be related to that candidates political stance on the particular issues.

Casual mention of other candidates are allowed if, and only if, it is not meant to become the de facto topic (thread jacking). Note the use of the phrase "casual mention."

Threads that are merely advocacy* threads for a particular candidate, without stating their political platform, will be locked or removed. In some cases, the offender may be barred from L&P. In extreme cases, the offender may be banned from the board.

The hijacking of threads with agendas not relevant to the OP will no longer be tolerated. Any person posting such, may find their posting privileges to L&P terminated without notice.

Drive-by posts have become all to common and will be deleted. Continued abuse will result in a ban from L&P. Drive-by posts are characterized as: being devoid of substance; attempting to advance an agenda without credible citations; no intelligent comment to the topic at hand.

TheFiringLine is not a conspiracy** board. Continued posting of conspiracies may jeopardize your ability to post in L&P.

* Advocacy Threads: Threads whose only purpose is to state that this candidate is the only constitutionalist; the only Republican; the only Democrat; the only conservative; the only liberal, etc. Likewise, threads whose only purpose is to denigrate a particular candidate will also fall under this rule.

** "Conspiracism is a particular narrative form of scapegoating that frames demonized enemies as part of a vast insidious plot against the common good, while it valorizes the scapegoater as a hero for sounding the alarm." Berlet, Chip; Lyons, Matthew N. [2000]. Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort. New York: Guilford Press.

The staff of Legal & Political
Long Path, TheBluesMan, Marko Kloos, Antipitas
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Old June 3, 2008, 07:25 PM   #3
Al Norris
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,660
Cut-N-Paste/Drive-by Threads/Posts

A few words on cut-n-paste threads/posts and drive-by threads/posts in general.

What's the definition of a drive-by post?
  • One that is devoid of substance ("+1" anyone?).
  • One that attempts to advance an agenda without intelligent back-up.
  • One that has no intelligent content.
What's the definition of a cut-n-paste post?
  • One that contains a link and little or no commentary on the link.
  • One that contains an article (cut-n-pasted) and little or no commentary on the article.
  • One that contains both a link and an article, but has little or no commentary.
The above applies equally to individual posts within a thread, or to the starting post of a thread itself.

When all you do is to cut-n-paste an article or drop a link, you leave it up to those that post any thoughts as to what direction the thread takes or what you meant by the post. Each person will necessarily have a different take on what they think the thread/post is about.

The Opening/Originating Post (OP) should contain some kind of description of what the link is about and should also contain some opinion by the OP in order to start a discussion in a specific direction. Likewise, an article should also contain some commentary, in order to direct the discussion to the points the OP wishes to discuss.

When making a post in an ongoing thread, it would be nice to explain how your link/article is relevant to the OP. What may be self evident to you, does not mean others will find it so.

Expecting people to follow your link or read your article, without any remarks by you, and discussing the event, shows an utter lack of respect for the rest of the members here at TFL, who have come to expect intelligent conversation. In other words, it is rude.

Therefore, without some guidance from you, you are leaving it up to any passing mod to make the determination as to what's on topic and what isn't. For my part, I'm simply going to close the threads or delete the posts.

Repeat offenders will be shown the door.
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