Posted by JOE WHALEN (+618) 17 years ago
There are dozens of people who no longer contribute to the Miles City Forum because the tenor of many discussions has grown so caustic. I'm sure that a few no longer even visit the milescity.com forum because it no longer adds value to their lives.

And I can imagine those persons considering a visit or a relocation to Miles City who naturally land at this site only to find a virtual shouting match in-progress. So they hurry along to the next best option rather than the Last Best Place. We have to ask ourselves, "Is demagoguery really the highest-and-best use of this space?" (I ask this as a confessed hothead...)

Miles City is the most courteous place I've ever lived. But you wouldn't know it by this forum lately. It's time to raise the quality of conversation. I'd like to offer a few suggestions that work for us at the offline version of this forum here in the store:

* Think of each forum as a real conversation in a room involving several people. The same rules apply: Speak in normal tones. Don't dominate. Be polite. Hear and try to understand other points-of-view rather than insisting upon having the final word Every Single Time.

* Use a spell-checker and proofread comments before submission.

* Let's try to get over this "us vs. them" absolutist mentality and try to build some consensus. Nothing good happens between people without it.

* Put a human face on your reader as well as whatever person/persons you happen to be discussing.

* If you no longer live in Miles City, please understand that some of us do. We see each other on the street, transact business, have friends & family here, etc. Every day we work to build local community rather than tear it apart.

* Enough profanity, bigotry, off-color remarks, and scat references. Okay?

Thanks for listening if you've made it this far.
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Posted by salli starkey (+64) 17 years ago
awesome!
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Posted by Rubberband Man (+22) 17 years ago
Joe is right.

I just can't help myself.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4454) 17 years ago
I just read the title, not the posts, but I was wondering if this is my brother Jebidiah. I love raising barns.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 17 years ago
I feel the same way you do, Joe, and seriously was wondering why I waste so much time on MilesCity.com. It seems like so much focus is given to things we can do little to nothing about (ie national politics), and so little is given to things we really could work on. It was frustrating for me to realize that most of the people on here blow hot air, and could care less about actually doing anything to help the community. You and Tucker are exceptions, in my mind, because you really do try to promote and do good work for Miles City.

That said, I also decided I couldn't just shut my mouth and watch all the garbage posted on here go unchecked by any regard for the truth. I guess I've never been good at keeping my mouth shut.

Anyway, I read somewhere that the reason we're so polarized is that we don't even read the same books, or listen to or watch the same programs anymore, so we can't even agree on what facts to argue about. We listen to Rush, you guys have Hollywood. But if you listen to one or the other, you're really not getting the whole picture. If I'm arguing because I heard something from Rush, and you're arguing about something you heard from Micheal Moore, there will never be any common ground to concede.

It would be great to find a means of discussion that bridges this gap. I think it used to be different because there literally was very little choice in media. Everyone watched the same news, read the same literature, listened to the same music. Maybe all this choice we're giving ourselves will be our downfall.
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Posted by Brady Stone (+165) 17 years ago
i agre wit al of u. this is the last tim i ll post until i get a spel chekr. se ya al at the bar.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15075) 17 years ago
Once again, Rick has pretty well said a lot of what I am thinking. (I wish I was as articulate as he seems to be.) I also recognize that some of what I have written in the last few days may be offensive to some. I certainly didn't intend to offend anyone, and apologize to those who any who may have been offended. Perhaps next time I can get my point across without using "offensive" terms. ( In my mind "raghead" is a state of mind more than an ethnic group!)

I care deeply about the direction of this country and firmly believe that to change where we are headed, we have to first win in the arena of ideas. I have never been one to stand by and say nothing. I have a hard time letting some of the ideas on MC.com go unchallenged. (I logged a lot of hours of detention in a closet at SHHS because I said what was on my mind.) I believe that all politics is local, and that our views on national issues can provide a starting point to understand one another, as we deal with local issues wherever we live.

As one who spent the first 28 years of life in MC, I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts through this forum. It seems to have added value to my life, I hope that I can add value to yours.
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Posted by Damian (+90) 17 years ago
Joe, I agree with you. I came to these forums because I know that I am gonna be home for good sometime within the next year. I was wanting to reconect with friends, Family and to see what has and hasnt changed back home in the Big MC. I however will not just stand and watch someone take out a personal attack against me for no other reason than what I can only guess as some "history" between us. I am looking forward to coming home though. I have lived in the big cities and as they are nice and have some convience nothing compares to the small town companionship Miles City has to offer. I myself started out on these boards trying to be productive and giving out something to spice it up a bit. I started the One word game witch cracks me up with some of the responses i see in it (some of the things you guys come of with is just crazy) and have responded and started a few other "non-destructive" threads. I will continue to post and contribute here BUT I will not standby and do nothing when someone is singling me out and attacking everything I say. That is all
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Posted by cheryred1973 (+198) 17 years ago
hey Joe~

as a hothead myself, I agree with you that we should all strive for a "kinder, gentler forum; however, as you recently promoted and took part in a Free Speech Parade, I think that though you may not like all of the idiotic comments made on this site, people are allowed their free speech. This includes most though not all of the things that are aired on this site. So is it censorship that you want or is it common sense and respect that you would like to see? Just wondering, from one hothead to another.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3708) 17 years ago
I too have stopped participating in milescity.com, I thought it over a lot and it seems to me it has become a version of bullying and I do not appreciat it. Thank you Joe and Ammorette for speaking up. I am sorry that there are those who feel they must keep on the attack. Maybe that is what is intended: to put people off and not participate.

Thank you for listsening.

Glenna Bolton
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Posted by James Shaw (+37) 17 years ago
Ya.. Lately there's been alot of fighting. I run my own forum and if something gets out of hand, I lock it. That way it's not one huge p*ssing contest and clogs up the thread.

Are there mods on this forum?
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Posted by JOE WHALEN (+618) 17 years ago
Response to CherryRed1973:

Touche. If you ever hear of me shouting "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater I hope that I can count on you to give me a thorough dousing with a high-capacity water hose...
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17660) 17 years ago
>>Put a human face on your reader as well as whatever person/persons you happen to be discussing.


Okay, okay. I have never met Rick K., so I have tried putting a human face to him. So far, the best I have been able to come up with is this:

http://www.townhall.com/a...402mic.jpg

I guess I better keep trying.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10013) 17 years ago
James Shaw wrote:
> Are there mods on this forum?

Yes, that would be me. Right now I don't have a lot of time to monitor the forums, however if something patently offensive is posted or brought to my attention, then I'll delete or edit it.

That said, I don't like censorship, and would just hope that everyone can remain civil -- even when someone disagrees with someone else. A little bit of that would go a long way.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 17 years ago
Wow, Gunnar, if dudes can look like that, maybe this gay marriage stuff isn't such a bad deal.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 7/26/2004).]
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3708) 17 years ago
Joe, thanks for the effort.
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Posted by StoveGirl (+188) 17 years ago
Gunnar,
Some dudes DO look like that.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 17 years ago
The letter to the editor in tonight's Star reinforces my belief that some people consider having their opinions challenged "bullying" I have yet to see the logic behind clammoring for "diverse" ideas, then criticizing one group or another for speaking out from their own perspective. If people didn't get so insulted and defensive when someone questions their position, we really wouldn't have this Milescity.com mess on our hands.

Randy Stebbins had more opportunity than just about anyone in this town to air his opinions, probably more than the rest of the Star staff put together. To say that his viewpoint should not be challenged is either out of concern that his (or your) ideas won't stand up to closer investigation, or that free speech should only be valued if you happen to agree with it.
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Posted by Tanneil Kuchynka (+41) 17 years ago
Hey Brady,
I love the spell check comment! Couldn't help but laugh at that.
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Posted by Tanneil Kuchynka (+41) 17 years ago
I have not been able to visit this site in the last couple of weeks. I agree, some people have gotten really nasty! There is definitely a different tone being set in the past two weeks or so. What is with the personal insults? This doesn't seem very classy to me. Most of the time I enjoy reading the friendly banter on this site.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17660) 17 years ago
Ewww...Rick's reconsideration of gay marriage (something I would NEVER consider from a good republican), plus my own personal homophobia, has led to a renewed visiting of my personal impression of his "human face"...

http://www.kenwestphal.co.../Rush.html

All in good fun, of course. I have to say that I don't see the posts here as being so terrible that they would drive away long-time posters. Being someone who has frequented here for a while, I think it is good to see that more people are becoming aware of MC.com, and consequently are posting more. When I think of the earlier posters, a lot of them were posting about specific topics, like histroical stuff, and there was a lot of "dead zone" in between. Bring back some controverial post like "I think Yellowstone Kelley ate Sioux babies" and I suspect they will resurface...

I used to check this site about once every two weeks, and not much would change. Lately there has been a lot of posts every day, and I think that's a good thing.

Kudos to Larry for bringing such a site into existence, which, quite frankly, is not available to 99% of the communities in the U.S. And kudos to Larry for wielding a steady but hands off censorship approach to this site - I only find out about the bad stuff after Larry deletes it.

And as far as sensitive souls such as Tucker who no longer post here - go wear your poet's shirt at the mouth of the Tongue, and look dewey-eyed into the glistening moon and yearn for what is or what shall never be. Quite frankly, I can't recall you ever being flamed here.
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