A Disgruntled User Leaves Writer Beat

A Disgruntled User Leaves Writer Beat
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The following is the email dialogue between me and a former user of Writer Beat.  As you read the exchange there are three questions I’d appreciate feedback on. 

Knowing I cherish all participants, was there a better way to handle the situation?

Do you agree with Sandy (not her real name)?

Assuming you agree with her, is there anything I should do about the situation? 

Sandy - Please unsubscribe.  Sorry, but your site seems to be a haven for racist, anti-Obama haters who don’t give a hoot about facts.  

Autumn - That should be an incentive to be a voice of reason and truth on the site. Exiting the debate puts these other voices in the driver seat.  You don't have to ask me a third time, but I'm hoping you change your mind.

Sandy - I went into it expecting some challenging arguments, but I found that posting even a slightly “liberal" comment on the site drew swarms of angry conservatives with repetitive talking points who wanted nothing to do with actual reason or facts.  I literally felt under siege and eventually gave up.  Unfortunately, some people don’t want to debate ideas, they want to crush their opponent’s voice.

You seem to be a nice person, and hope you won’t take it personally, but my blood pressure just goes over the top when I see the outright lies being printed by bitter conservatives on the site.

Autumn - In leaving the site, I would argue you are the one uninterested in debate.  Best of luck, I sincerely hope you change your mind and re-enter the fray.


Steve Borsher Added Jul 17, 2014 - 11:08am
I have had many discussion with people of low esteem here; and that is what I attribute this sort of thing to.  Those who are not secure in their beliefs will have a difficult time on WB; but I think that is a good thing.  No one wants whiny emotional "feelings" propagated here; least of all me.  If someone fully believes in and is totally secure in what they present, then nothing anyone says should change that or send that person into a rage. I have said many times here that emotions have been, and still are, a major chink in human armor. If someone can "push your buttons" then that is your problem; not theirs.  The reason I stay here, and spend as much time as I do here, is because the truth always comes out.  There is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. If you can't take it you just have to leave; and WB is much better for that, IMO.
Autumn Cote Added Jul 17, 2014 - 11:36am
OK let’s assume she produced examples which justified her claim.  Does that change your advice to me?
I don’t think anything was said to Sandy which warranted moderation or deletion and she didn’t ask me to get involved.  That being said, banning commenters is a good idea. 
Welcome aboard!  I don’t think debating is all about being provocative.  I think it’s about persuading and a user that resorts to ad hominem attacks does more harm to their cause than help. 
I don’t think Sandy had low self-esteem.  I think he hadn’t participated in a website where there were so many views not consistent with her own.  
Mike Haluska Added Jul 17, 2014 - 11:39am
Autumn - good effort to retain the author.  What this person found is that she is accustomed to the mainstream media never challenging her position and its overwhelming liberal bias.  There is basically ONE network (Fox) and virtually a handful of newspapers that are not liberally biased, and it gives liberals the false impression that since they never hear a differing viewpoint they must be correct.
Steve Borsher Added Jul 17, 2014 - 11:41am
Raising your self-esteem takes practice; and lots of it. Defending yourself on all fronts takes as much practice as any martial arts class. Very few are born with high self-esteem. My #1 goal now is to die with me self-esteem fully intact; and the criteria with which I judge that is entirely my own. 
Steve Borsher Added Jul 17, 2014 - 11:52am
At some point I would like to drop all the IMOs.  It should be always assumed that everything stated is an opinion, unless irrefutable evidence is supplied. Of course, "one man's trash is another man's" irrefutable evidence. "Aye, there's the rub".
Steve Borsher Added Jul 17, 2014 - 12:52pm
Vary good advice. "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you"; because if you don't, you may be done.
Autumn Cote Added Jul 17, 2014 - 3:47pm
By giving authors the power to delete comments, I believe I can wash my hands of the responsibility of determining when comments are hateful or not.  In my opinion, name calling and hate speech do more damage to the name caller.  My advice to all of our authors is to leave it up there so that others can see what a jerk the person is.  I also think everyone needs to realize that name calling, on the internet, amongst strangers, can’t possibly be all that hurtful. 
Sandy is not the only left-leaner that decided to leave the site because of their displeasure with those from the right.  Some additional questions to ponder are:
Is the left overly-sensitive?
Is the right overly aggressive?
Is the problem I’m having consistent with other websites that have tried something similar? 
Does Mike’s theory have merit?
Steve Borsher Added Jul 17, 2014 - 4:02pm
I don't use labels much, so I don't see this as a left/right, liberal/conservative issue; aggressiveness is not limited to any one group. And some people are just aggressive for no particular reason other than they cannot stand being disagreed with.  I cite Guyzilla for that example. And he was leftish and overly aggressive.
The problem is universal, and is not limited to the Internet. The same problems manifest in road rage.
And I agree with Mike, as evidenced when I said: "Raising your self-esteem takes practice; and lots of it.".  I still contend that aggressive overreaction is a self-esteem issue. Some would say that I appear to suffer from that, but I don't. I NEVER start those confrontations; but I make sure I finish them.
And all that said, I'll be mostly gone for the next 3 weeks or so. So, you have free passes to bash me as much as you like. I won't even know it because I will probably just erase all the email alerts and start from scratch.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 17, 2014 - 4:31pm
If I would be harassed or openly insulted because I'm more political left than right I would pick on the person who does it, but I would certainly not quit. There's a lot of good people around here, and it's not their fault that there might be an a-h here and there, as everywhere is, by the way.
A lot of articles deal with politics, and most concern Obama's policies and that 2nd amendment (but at least I could learn what that is, you guys teach me US politics, thanks). But: Too many repetitions of the same subject is tiring.
And there's always direction change to religion. No matter what subject - it comes in sooner or later.
OK, one can say, why do you react ? Well...because I don't like unanswered questions/comments so I reply as well :-)
But I try to bring other subjects in. Another user has brought that whisky article, my last is that music one, Alun has stories and I've seen poems as well. Good!
The best stories are personal ones - something one can feel with, relate to, advise or tell his own experiences.
It would be nice to have more diversity. Africans, Europeans, Canadians, Aussies....culture exchange, so to say.
When people know more about other cultures, they become more tolerant and open - and deleting comments or harsh words become less. But one has to be interested, right ? Look further than your own doorstep.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 17, 2014 - 4:33pm
"I still contend that aggressive overreaction is a self-esteem issue"
Agree 100%. The less self-esteem and insecurity, the faster that "defense" reaction shows up.
Rex Added Jul 17, 2014 - 4:47pm
You were very respectful in you attempt to get sandy to stay.  No I do not agree with sandy. 
I am probably one of those angry conservatives. I am glad to have a place where I can say what I think. I need a place to vent my frustration it actually helps me lower my blood pressure. I do not expect everyone or a anyone to agree with what I say. I certainly do not agree with everyone who writes an article. 
One of the great strengths of a forum like this is that you can voice your views. You can also examine other peoples ideas and positions without coming to physical blows. 
Unfortunately that cannot always be done in a personal setting. I  like that there are people from all areas of the world it gives you a view of how others think that come from totally different backgrounds. In the United States we are in large part shielded from other view points. The isolation hampers our thinking because we are making decisions on issues from only one view of the world  the American perspective. 
I was once accused of not "giving a damn what anyone thought  of me. It was true then and is still true."
Lively debate is helpful in bringing people together. They do not have to change their opinion but I feel it is helpful in understating  how they think and how they arrived at their personal take on the world.
Steve Borsher Added Jul 17, 2014 - 5:57pm
You should read what Passionlib got in response to her Kim Kardashian article; and she is still here; I think. And I am the person she went after the most: deleting my later comments. That didn't upset me. Why should Sandy or Passionlib be upset then? As I said in other threads, it is all about emotion and not passion, IMO. One can be passionate without letting their emotions take things to extremes. If you feel that men are holding you back and/or attacking you, then I think it is because you give them very easy buttons to push; and if you worked at it, you could find plenty of men's button to push.  This site is like a pit bull arena; but there are male and female pit bulls. If you don't like that sort of arena, then this is probably not the place for you; but if you want to learn about yourself and toughen up, then you can put WB to work for you.  You were brave enough to come here in the first place; be brave enough to stick around.
Steve Borsher Added Jul 17, 2014 - 5:59pm
And if you take it personal, you make it personal. Laughing it off is always the better way to deal with it.
Rusty Smith Added Jul 17, 2014 - 11:31pm
No one forces her to discuss politics, but if she chooses political topics, she has to expect many posters will post opinions that she doesn't agree with.
I see plenty of your forums that don't involve political issues, so you want to be a bookkeeper, music was my first love, and more.
However I think she needs to find a Democrat forum where she will feel right at home because dissent seems to upset her.
I post for fun and enjoy the banter from people who disagree with me, but not everyone does, and it's their right to spend their free time doing things that make them feel good.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jul 18, 2014 - 4:52am
The true aim of a discussion should be to develop your understanding of the world.
That means being able to change your current view.
For many here it is some sort of gladiatorial conflict.   Writers seek to "prove" the power of their conviction.  In some cases this goes as far as hectoring and even personal attacks.
Possibly this is a limitation of social media generally.  As I have mentioned earlier, it may have the effect of polarising opinion and leave little room for shades of view.
I know for my own part that often people almost scream "Marxist" at me when I express a view which involves some level of compassion for my fellow man.    I am sure that, if actually face to face with a fellow man in need of help, that they would be more generous.
The impersonal nature of this medium can be cold.
I know that some of the opinions I have heard expressed here make me feel rather depressed and disinclined to continue visiting this site.  They seem to be lacking in charity, self centred and xenophobic in many cases. 
I have to keep telling myself that the dominant voices on this site do not represent humanity or even America.  I also have to remind myself that there is a degree of playing to the gallery going on.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jul 18, 2014 - 4:55am
I should also point out that cultural differences may make for misunderstanding.
In English culture, male friends tend to throw insults at each other.  This, when done face to face, is OK because each can see the true affection in the others eye.  Americans are truly confused by it.
Also in England we tend to switch from serious to playful in the blink of an eye... often to break an impasse.  Americans tend to be either serious or playful... but have clearly demarcation behind these "modes"
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jul 18, 2014 - 5:03am
I hear many people berating "immigrants", the "unemployed", "Muslims", "hedge fund managers" etc.  They get worked up in a tissy assigning to these groups the causes of all ills.
It is easy to hate "Muslims" but not Mr Khan from next door when you have shared a cup of tea with him or played him at football (Association Rules of course!)
I saw recently a TV programme where 6 anti immigration Britons were paired up with 6 recent immigrants to the UK for a week.   They shadowed them as they went to work, to shop, to worship and to their home.   At the end of that time, they all said that the "immigrant" they have shadowed was a gain to the UK.
All of these groups are human beings.  Just like us they think that they are:
1. Good guys
2. Right
The way to get a healthier society is to instil in everyone the ability to doubt their own viewpoints.  To be prepared to give way a little.
This is difficult when the debating area feels like a no mans land sandwiched between heavily armed camps...
Rex Added Jul 18, 2014 - 7:37am
Michael I am used to the Emperor spewing chauvinist stuff. I attribute it to being a man of a certain age who has lost control over the women in his life and ignore those comments. I try to see beyond his bias and focus on what else he might say that contributes to a discussion. I had a great uncle like him.
As I stated in my earlier post, in order to have any chance of finding common ground you need to know what the other person actually thinks. This is a great place to meet the "real" person behind the public face we show to family, friends, coworkers.
If we did not have differing view points this would not be much of a forum.
I really like it. I am getting ready to post another article- not politics or religion or illegal immigration. It still relevant to all of us and it will upset many...
Autumn Cote Added Jul 18, 2014 - 8:22am
In saying you agree with Sandy do you also agree with her decision to leave the site? 
My two cents: Mike can be a harsh commenter, especially if he disagrees with you.  But harsh comments aren’t a good enough reason to leave. I think Nancy said it best:
I am glad to have a place where I can say what I think. I need a place to vent my frustration it actually helps me lower my blood pressure. I do not expect everyone or a anyone to agree with what I say. I certainly do not agree with everyone who writes an article.
One of the great strengths of a forum like this is that you can voice your views. You can also examine other peoples ideas and positions without coming to physical blows.
My advice to Sandy, if she determines debating Mike is a futile endeavor, is to examine his ideas and positions.  Or take the Emperor’s advice and just ignore him.  But leaving the site is akin to waiving the white flag of surrender.  
Steve Borsher Added Jul 18, 2014 - 8:28am
As is deleting others' comments.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 18, 2014 - 8:36am
You make me angry ;-) I'm a leftist (liberal?), and we have an opposite opinion on much. But do you think i don't like the challenge? I'm deeply disappointed ;-)
One learns of challenges.
Thaz what I like about them.
Steve Borsher Added Jul 18, 2014 - 8:39am
I think of you as a rightist liberal and Tom as a leftist conservative. There should be some common ground in there somewhere. Maybe you are actually both centrists. Like me?
Steve Borsher Added Jul 18, 2014 - 9:27am
I don't like labels either, so making that comment was a real stretch for me. At least it indicates, contrary to what some think, that I actually do know what those labels mean.
Funny/serious? There's a difference? Thanks for the heads up. So, does that make me seriously funny or hilariously dour; or somewhere in between? Maybe I am conservatively serious and liberally humorous at the same time; or the other way around. Or maybe I'm just me.
Ever hear of the 1st Amendment. The Supremes even extended it to allow lying about one's military record. Truth comes in all forms; and sometimes it is not tied with a pretty bow. Learn to look for the truth in what everyone says. If there is not truth there for you then just ignore it.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 18, 2014 - 9:36am
You might be right with your label. A leftist without false illusions...that's the conservative part ;-)
It's difficult to accept your excuse because of my sensitivity but i'll give you a try and a hint once I got over it :-)
Steve Borsher Added Jul 18, 2014 - 10:29am
Everyone's brain is as different as fingerprints and snowflakes. And since there is no perfect brain we are all a bit mentally ill; and this is our asylum.
Steve Borsher Added Jul 18, 2014 - 10:46am
"more about moronic attacks on the left by clueless people on the right." 'nuf said.
Steve Borsher Added Jul 18, 2014 - 11:00am
I am apolitical; and I do not like labels. And I am always reasonable because I have a reason for and have reasoned out everything I say. I welcome everyone to ask for clarification if they do not understand exactly what I mean. Sometimes there are many layers to even the briefest of comments. Only a couple people have ever asked for me to explain anything. Why? I suppose it is that many people just walk on by without reading; and that is OK too. I even posted an article many moths ago that asked people to "Ask a Question". THat got little response too.
And to me, God is one thing: the concept of perfection. I do not like what religions have done to God, making God out to be some kind of pervert: working in "mysterious ways" and the like. Who wants a God like that?
Steve Borsher Added Jul 18, 2014 - 11:53am
I make a lot of what some call "clownish" comments, but there is reason behind those as well. And even if some "come from the gut", all that has been reasoned out as well; a long time ago. I do not suffer from knee-jerk reacting; I can count to at least 10.  All that said, all that is only within about the past 7 years; since about the time I turned 60; when that picture was taken.  My hope is that everyone, including and especially my grandsons, can achieve that balance a lot earlier than I did. My son appears to have done it at 43. But I was always a late bloomer.
How is it possible to believe in God and not believe in God at the same time? It depends on your definition of God. To me, God is perfection: a goal in life that is rarely, if ever, achieved; not some super-being. That said, I was recently made aware of a God hedge:
Do you think that God can tell if one is hedging or not? Have you taken that bet? Did you mean to post the soccer comment elsewhere?
Mike Haluska Added Jul 18, 2014 - 12:28pm
To those who may believe I am either conservative or republican - I am neither.  I consider myself an objectivist, if you don't know what that is read "Atlas Shrugged".  I usually reserve my "harshest" comments to those posts that peg my "bulls*&t" meter.  I have never stooped to deleting any comments from my articles - run and `
Mike Haluska Added Jul 18, 2014 - 12:42pm
hide is not my style.  The main types of arguments that cause my "bulls*&t" meter to be pegged:
1) Use of "consensus" to replace reason.  I don't care if 50,000 "experts" agree, that is not a substitute for reason and logic - period!
2) Using euphemisms and misdirection to soften and create acceptance.  The people that use this technique know their position stated clearly and bluntly is weak, so they "massage" it. 
3) Assumptions that any group or individual knows what's best for the rest of us.  Especially when this involves using the force of government to achieve their ends.  There is ONE and only ONE reason you need government force to implement your ideas - they don't stand on their own merits. 
Steve Borsher Added Jul 18, 2014 - 1:01pm
I almost prayed to God once as I was about to go down $3000 at the dog track; but even then I maintained my composure. And I do believe in Heaven and Hell; but right here and right now. There's a saying that is often attributed to the movie The Usual Suspects. but actually comes from Charles Baudelaire:
La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu'il n'existe pas.
The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist. [1]
And my corollary to that is: "Those that live in Hell are convinced they are in Heaven". How do you know that you are actually living in Heaven? You are completely content. How do you know you are completely content? You want for nothing you don't already have.
Steve Borsher Added Jul 18, 2014 - 1:23pm
"I am therefore I think". I have never had a dream that comes close to challenging my reality. And I'm looking forward to Life After Life, although I may not be "worthy" enough.
Thank you for your non-sucking succinctness.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 18, 2014 - 1:32pm
:-0) That was a good one about Sweden..i know you know my humor...
Please..I'm a full blown atheist :-)
Stone-Eater Added Jul 18, 2014 - 1:32pm
:-0) That was a good one about Sweden..i know you know my humor...
Please..I'm a full blown atheist :-)
Rex Added Jul 18, 2014 - 1:55pm
Neil you are missing the whole point of the original article. I too have  found that liberals are only liberal and even toned in their words WHEN YOU AGREE WITH THEM. The arguments they make are supposed to convince you to abandon your on world view and embrace theirs. 
When that does not happen they quit in a hissy fit and don't want to talk any more. You are entitled to your opinion, as I am to mine. It can be considered by others without them adopting it too.
Do you really want a world with one view of things. Do you think that would actually make things better or just stagnant?
As to name calling on any side I have always considered those who stoop to the name calling and hate speech as people who lack the education necessary to debate an issue with civility. Rather than answer them in a similar vein you should ignore them. 
Stone-Eater Added Jul 18, 2014 - 2:03pm
When you feel angry and insulted on WB and it gets deep into you then how do you react in real life?
One should stand above that. Who cares about someone who uses insults as a last resort? Just shrug your shoulders and forget it. Not even worth discussing, by the way.
Steve Borsher Added Jul 18, 2014 - 2:07pm
"Criticism is the first refuge of the insecure; name calling is the last refuge of the desperate". And I am now adding: "and deleting comments is the final act of the cowardly".
Rex Added Jul 18, 2014 - 2:12pm
Michael and John if you answer chauvinists you are giving them exactly what they want. I know with absolute certainty that you can never change the male chauvinist mindset.
Fortunately, they are aging and dying off so maybe we will eventually be free of them. The Emperor exemplifies the narrow minded of these men.  
Stone-Eater Added Jul 18, 2014 - 2:25pm
An article just disappeared...deleted it? The one about Israel. Can't you cut the possibility for anonymous out?
Steve Borsher Added Jul 19, 2014 - 9:46am
Joy, Michael IS Archie Bunker; or Arch Bunk for short. This thread has disintegrated once again under the weight of Michael Payne's pompousness. I was really hoping that would not happen here. Bill, I am now pushing the "ignore" button; AKA Unsubscribe.
Autumn Cote Added Jul 19, 2014 - 4:44pm
This has been a fascinating and fun discussion, many thanks to all of you.  I know Writer Beat needs many improvements and appreciate all the advice provided in these comments.  

One interesting side discussion I noticed is how exhausting and repetitive political debate can be.  While I agree, the fact of the matter is that non-political pieces do poorly in terms of comment activity and readership volume.  Short of growing really large so that we can categorize content, I don’t see a solution.  Let's save the discussion for another day and please go back to commenting in other articles.  
Stone-Eater Added Jul 21, 2014 - 2:57pm
I'd rather see you stay here. You might have noticed that I'm an atheist, but I like your friendly openness in discussions, lacking the stubbornness and rudeness, as you state happens here quite often.
It's true, when you read an article that starts with subject A it might very well end with subject Z. I think that's the nature of discussions where so many people comment to it.
You take the ant as subject of a discussion and end up with the Universe ;-)
I'm also one of those who seem not to be able to stay with a subject and I apologize. I'll try to do better in future ;-)
Stone-Eater Added Jul 21, 2014 - 3:17pm
the problem of discussing human problems is that it always involves politics, and most people are pretty tight on that subject, the usual I'm-right-you're-wrong. In general, tolerance often seems to be seen as weakness, especially by men. Pretty difficult to destroy images....
Bill Caciene Added Jul 21, 2014 - 3:22pm
Paul, have you noticed the price of tea in China?
Bill H. Added Jul 22, 2014 - 11:12am
It is sad that as a nation, we have reached a time where people have taken politics to the point that they must simply follow and preach either parties platform (marching orders) and judge their friends and neighbors based strictly on their political party affiliation. Everyone seems to sit back and let the talking heads tell them how they must think and what to believe. Rational logical discussion seems to have become a thing of the past and we are now at the point of simply "throwing rocks" at each other. There are good and bad points of view with each party. It would be nice to see more discussions based on logic, rather than what each party has told us to believe.
Autumn Cote Added Jul 22, 2014 - 1:04pm
This site is made for those that prefer to be the talking head versus “sit back and let the talking heads tell them how they must think and what to believe.”  In addition, there is no rock throwing on the internet, one only can use the power of the written word.  
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jul 22, 2014 - 1:44pm
Rev:  I know some pubs where anyone who said what Johnny did about the beautiful game, and displayed such monumental cultural arrogance, would be lucky to get out in one piece.
His actual questions might be fair enough.   But it is the way he puts them which make me angry.  We should all bring a little humility and a willingness to hear other sides to any story.  I think that is called being polite.  But those who insist that the way things are done in their country is the only correct way... need to get out more!
Johnny Fever Added Jul 23, 2014 - 9:04am
Just so we’re clear, I wrote a post about soccer you came in and tainted my comment thread with your anti-Americanism hate-speak.  Oh and by the way, “when did I insist that the way things are done in my country is the only correct way?” 
Why don’t you take off your skirt and write a post about football to find out for sure how I’d react?
Johnny Fever Added Jul 23, 2014 - 3:35pm
What Robin did wasn’t disrespectful or offensive?  Your comment in my article had nothing to do with the content of the article, so I ignored it. 
I’m sorry if I offended any women by saying “take off your skirt”.  Good luck getting Robin to issue any kind of apology. 
Rev. Jones,
I highly recommend speaking anonymously as it allows you to say exactly what you want to say.  
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jul 24, 2014 - 7:22am
Hi Johnny:  Just for the record.  I am very pro American.  I have many friends there and there is much to admire about the place, especially the can do attitude and the enthusiasm.  I have worked with very caring American aid workers and have nothing but admiration for their efforts.   Likewise I find the actions of Bill Gates with his foundation do much credit to your country as does the legendary generosity of its people generally.
There are, however, some things I find less attractive.  One of these is a sort of egocentric arrogance.  I thought this was what you were displaying in the post about football (soccer). 
It seems to me that the most popular game in the world must have a lot going for it.  To suggest that it "sucks" as you did in the title of your article is an insult to begin with isn't it?   Or do I not properly understand American?  I thought that to say something sucks is throwing an insult and quite a base insult at that.  Please correct me if I am wrong.
I also see in Americans a reluctance to learn anything from "abroad".  The various debates we have had here on issues such as social medicine and gun control show this.   In each case there is clear evidence from abroad to show how well these things can work.   Yet these are consistently ignored. For example, in England probably the only thing that the majority of the people agree on is that the National Health Service is precious and perhaps the best thing done by any Government post World War 2.   Life expectancy in the UK is 2-3 years more than in the US despite considerably less being spent per head on medicine overall.  Yet despite this clear success story, you refuse to even accept that social medicine can work.
The reluctance to even consider these frustrate me.  Anything you remote disagree with you ascribe to "Marxism".
I do like you Johnny.  I just find some of your opinions rather hard hearted and hard to take.  You are, of course, fully entitled to hold them.  I imagine you would be rather gentler in your approach if we were discussing things in a bar together.  This is a rather cold media and it is easy to take offence..
If I have upset you, then I apologise.   I am not a man to take insults lying down normally and I may well have reacted too quickly in your case.  If we ever meet in a bar someday I will buy you a beer to make amends.
Rex Added Jul 24, 2014 - 2:12pm
Yes saying something "Sucks" is an insult. It is not the worst insult and I will not mention the ones that are worse.
You mentioned the egocentric arrogance of Americans, I believe it is because we are so geographically separate from Europe. It is easier to get news from different points of view when you share borders.
In one of my comments on another article I mentioned they way I learned that other countries-people did not share the same world view as Americans do.
An ethics professor brought in English translations of papers from different European countries- it was the first time I actually encountered a non American take on any of the issues of the day.
A Russian student also opened my eyes to crime in Russia when I naively stated that "Russia was Crime free" He loaned me a book detailing criminal Russia. 
It was way before the internet, so maybe that was part of the reason why we did not know other people thought differently. My point is that the global village  concept may apply to commerce but it does not encompass how people in different places think about other things.
It may be why Johnny denigrates soccer. He may not have the same understanding of it as someone who grew up with it.
(Don't take Johnny personally he was not nice to me in my voting articles either. But I learned something from his posts.)
We are only bordered by 2 countries- Mexico where we have now a porous border with people invading our country daily and Canada, who are quite happy in their country and don t feel the need to invade ours.
I am sorry that Sandy gave up after all how does she/he expect to defeat the enemy when she refuses to engage with them at all?
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jul 24, 2014 - 2:30pm
Hi Nancy:  I think if you think of someone with an opposing view as an "enemy" you are on the wrong track.   I disagree with my friends often.  We are still friends afterwards unless our disagreement reveals something about their morals which I really cannot stand for.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 24, 2014 - 3:01pm
"It is easier to get news from different points of view when you share borders"
When I started to read your comments I thought "Oh my, is that a tough, merciless and hard woman", narrow-minded American. And then I started to read more and got more and more the impression that I could be wrong, and - well - I was wrong.
Because I read ONE comment and started to form an opinion.
I didn't comment first, luckily for me.
And that's what happens to a lot of people here I think. They get emotional, and oops, too late to regret, and for not losing face, they're trapped.
Maybe Autumn should set up a sign PLEASE READ AND THINK BEFORE YOU WRITE...
But being too sensitive on social media sure does not help. There's something else around when that's the case, and Internet is no good way to get help on it. Unfortunately.
Rex Added Jul 24, 2014 - 3:48pm
Robin I was not referring to me 
I am sorry that Sandy gave up after all how does she/he expect to defeat the enemy when she refuses to engage with them at all?
Rex Added Jul 24, 2014 - 3:53pm
I  have personally found the articles and posts interesting, maddening difficult to reconcile with my mind set;  but I would never never enough to run away.  
Failure to listen and explore other view points  ESPECIALLY those you do not agree with leads to more problems not less. 
Sandy NOT  I think of opposing points of view and no doubt the person espousing the as the enemy.
I'm always up for a good debate.
Autumn Cote Added Jul 24, 2014 - 10:23pm
My two cents on why Writer Beat is a harsher environment than almost anywhere else:
Because Writer Beat is essentially a group of strangers not communicating face to face, people are much more inclined to let loose (I know…not everyone).  In addition, there is no unifying element as to why we’re all here.  It’s a totally random group of people with a wide range of opinions on every subject.  I agree that the Tea Partiers seem to be a little louder and angrier than most everyone else that finds their way on the site.
Michael & Rev. Jones:
If you are a professional writer or have a popular blog, Writer Beat is probably not for you.  Please note, this doesn’t mean Writer Beat authors are inferior writers to a writer that gets paid to write or a blogger that found his or her way to a large audience of readers.  At one time we entertained the prospect of paying for content but we learned the problem isn’t with content, it’s with finding active commenters.   
Johnny Fever Added Jul 25, 2014 - 6:13am
You are wrong.  Saying a sport sucks is not a person insult.  Saying that Americans have an egocentric arrogance, are reluctant to learn anything from "abroad", consistently ignore the opinions of others, are all forms of personal insults. 
You also don’t understand the difference between opinion and fact.  It is your opinion that social justice works and it is my opinion it doesn’t.  I respect your opinion, why must you always dismiss mine as being factually inaccurate. 
There are mores examples of you being a pompous jerk in your “apology”.  Having said that, I would like to have a drink with you in a bar one day as I believe I could convince you that we're not as bad as you think.  I drink Guinness.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jul 25, 2014 - 7:04am
Dear Johnny:
Just to be clear then, your calling me a "pompous jerk" is intended to be an insult?
I do understand the difference between opinion and fact.
Fact:  We have had a National Health Service in operation since the 40s.  Most people think it is wonderful and a source of national pride.  Our life expectancy is 2-3 years better than the average American and we pay much less per head on medicine on average.  It probably relies a great for its success for the staff who also believe in it and are not just there for the money.  I salute them all.  Interestingly, if you read the political history that has now been revealed, it was originally brought into being, at least partly, to head off any enthusiasm for communism in the UK after World War 2.
Fact:  In the UK where guns are controlled, you are on average 5 times less likely to die violently than you are in the US where they can be bought across the counter.  British people in general think Americans are myopic on this issue.
Fact:  You are reluctant to take on any information (fact not opinion) from abroad which seems to contradict your opinions.  As in the previous facts I have just given.   You not believing them does not change the fact that they are true.
I will also drink Guinness but only in a bar which serves a lot of it.  Probably best in a bar somewhere in Dublin that also has live music.  Preferably somewhere where I can also sing.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jul 25, 2014 - 7:28am
O by the way, if I said that all Americans are egocentric, I made a mistake.  There are many who are anything but.  However the wealthier kind who I have met at dinner on cruise ships...
One woman I remember in particular.  Her opening gambit was:
"I guess you must be pretty angry having to pay for social medicine then?"
When my wife and another English woman at the table said that actually the National Health Service was something that they were proud to contribute to, this woman just could not get her head round it.  It did not compute.  They argued that we were wrong to be proud of it, that instead we should be campaigning to end it as a "subsidy for the undeserving"
Another opening remark:
"Aren't you scared that your police are not armed..."
When I replied that I would be more scared if they were armed because that would mean that society had seriously gone wrong, my American dining companions didn't get that either.   They both tried to argue that I was wrong...
We have very different cultures and very different value systems.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 27, 2014 - 6:17am
I have a question concerning the handling of WB with my Nokia note 3: how can i avoid scrolling on a long article and get to the end of page with one click? Is there a possibility or am I blind?
Thanks Jurg
Autumn Cote Added Jul 27, 2014 - 6:39am
There is no way that I know of.  We came very close to installing a feature that would allow you to resort the comments from most recent to oldest but decided not to do it.  We decided that an article that would require one to have a feature like that has already received a healthy quantity of comments and it’s better to encourage people to read articles that haven’t.  
Steve Borsher Added Jul 27, 2014 - 10:39am
"I did not know that".
Autumn Cote Added Jul 29, 2014 - 9:01am
Opinionated people of the past can’t be rambling in their attic and face to face with an adversary.  I do wonder how people vented in the past.  My father is an opinionated person and constantly putting his foot in his mouth.  The day he starts using Writer Beat will be the day I know this project is a success. 
It always amazes me how many people complain to me about the behavior of a user when at the same time they’re responding to the user or not deleting his or her comments. 
Rev. Jones:
I have a much higher regard for the writers that grace our pages than you.  If you want juvenile dialogue you’re far more likely to find it on Facebook, Twitter or almost anywhere else I’m familiar with.  Opinion pieces don’t necessarily need research or a thesis but emotion is usually a critical element.  Furthermore, the conversations occurring on this site are usually very serious and often representative of all sides of the issue.  Good luck finding the diversity of thought elsewhere on the internet or even in the main stream media.  
Steve Borsher Added Jul 29, 2014 - 12:55pm
Disgruntled? All I hear is grunting.
Pamalien TW Added Jul 30, 2014 - 9:38am
Don't worry about it Autumn "Sandy" needs to grow a thicker skin. Sure, I find myself decaying into arguments with people who can't tell the difference between their mouth and their ass but, that's not all of them.

People can believe things that are not true and, not be belligerent. I could tell someone the trees are green but, if they are color blind, they've never seen it and never will. Green just doesn't exist in their world and, I could debate with them until I turn blue!

I've just decided to ignore them and, they ignore me!

Granted I'm still trying to get over the idea that there are people here who equate abortion with the genocide of white american babies. That's ok. Not 2 years go the argument was it being the genocide of inner city blacks! In all honesty, abortion is the genocide of future corporate profit growth!
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jul 30, 2014 - 10:16am
@Joy:  Britain and collectivism.   This is probably a consequence of hardship, especially during World War 2.  This, perhaps more than anything else, made people feel that they were "all in it together" and made collective approaches feel just and right.
America has not, in modern times, experienced total war and so therefore perhaps does not understand the value of mutual support in quite the same way?
Some suggest that this mutual support carries a "happiness bonus".  I think that they may be right.
Autumn Cote Added Jul 31, 2014 - 11:13am
You’re clearly an impressive writer and you made your point loud and clear.  I think anonymity is an important tenet of free speech and the Supreme Court, Congress, the President and the American people, agree with me (OK not all for corporations).  I think the rest of the internet is a foreshadow of a “dystopian future” and Writer Beat is helping us achieve something far more meaningful.  You want bullies, try posting a political oped from your Facebook account. 
Writer Beat is a place where all sides of a debate can heard and where you are free to speak your mind without jeopardizing your career or safety.  This is also a place where the dialogue can get heated. I believe these heated exchanges do far more to attract and retain potential participants than exchanges discussing this or that baby picture or an article where everyone in the forum agrees with each other.  You want unprofessional, try writing an well-articulated article or comment for a “professional” website whose moderators disagree with your politics. 
Despite disagreeing with you, I value your opinion and sincerely hope you continue sharing it on Writer Beat.
Steve Borsher Added Jul 31, 2014 - 3:08pm
I wouldn't be here if there were minimum standards and/or educational requirements. Maybe I shouldn't have said that.
Autumn Cote Added Jul 31, 2014 - 6:20pm
I asked for advice as to what I could have said to retain Sandy.  I did not ask for your opinions on how I could change the site to appease Sandy.  
Look, if you say anything bad about existing users I’m going to snap.  And you said a lot of negative things about our users and the content which fills our pages.  So I snapped. 
I appreciate you taking time out of your day to provide me feedback.  This site was built from user feedback and I continue to tweak it based on suggestions from our users.  In this comment thread there are a lot of differing opinions but I have yet to hear one opinion that has a lot of support warranting a major change.  
Johnny Fever Added Aug 1, 2014 - 4:25am
I’m familiar with OED and agree with Edib’s characterization of the site (probably the first time I agreed with him about anything).  My favorite liberal site is Daily Kos but there are many others that I like to visit and provide the information they so desperately need to read.  If I could provide any advice on how to make Writer Beat better I would emulate that site. 
I’ve been banned from Daily Kos and many other liberal sites.  I’m sure the administrators think my views aren’t “educated and knowledgable” and that I’m “stupid and offensive”.  They also probably think my debate style is akin to “yelling”.
Funny thing is, I’ve never been banned from any conservative sites.  My point is that I think the words you’re using to describe the vocal minority are actually just words liberals and conservatives use to describe those they disagree with.  Then again, I’ve never been kicked out of a conservative site, so I’m still giving them the benefit of the doubt.  
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 1, 2014 - 5:03am
Johnny:  Your style of discourse is offensive.  You also throw insults around with gay abandon. 
Insults are water off of a duck's back to me. When you resort to them I know that you have run out of rational argument.  I enjoy goading you into further extremes.  It makes me laugh.
But others are not so robust.  Your bullying behaviour may well inhibit others from contributing for fear of incurring one of your rants.
I have no issue with someone being ill informed.  That's fine.  But please try and have the humility to accept that you may not know it all.   I feel that you draw your opinions and "facts" from "conservative" spin doctored sources. These sources tell you what to think.
For example you often quote the Daily Mail to me...
You also find it difficult to accept any facts from abroad which run counter to your world view.  If it isn't from the USA it isn't real might well sum this up (unless it happens to agree with you that is)
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 2, 2014 - 12:35pm
There were many Nazis who were not thrown out of the Nazi party for unpleasant behaviour either....   I think they considered it a virtue.
Autumn Cote Added Aug 3, 2014 - 9:05am
I think harassment is a far better word and more representative of the issue I need to deal with than bullying or the slinging personal insults.  However, having a zero tolerance on harassment is a difficult request.  For starters, who gets to decide when someone is being harassed or not?  Perhaps it’s just an active commenter or perhaps the person claiming to be harassed keeps writing this person back. At the very least, the accused party should be given a warning to stop commenting to the accuser.  I’ve issued more than one warning since starting the site and in every occasion the problem was resolved.  
Stone-Eater Added Aug 3, 2014 - 11:03am
"a dedicated "Left" site"
Look, I consider myself to be "left" in most, bot not all, issues, and here I'm part of a minority. That doesn't concern me too much. What's the use to go to an explicit left site only to hear my views echoed ? Isn't it far more interesting to discuss issues with people who are on a complete opposite side ? They might learn from you and you from them in turn, since we all get an error 404 from time to time and are not all knowing ;-)
Take for example Frank here. He's religious and I'm an atheist. So what ? We can discuss matters of different kind and - oops - there comes along something we agree on.
Basically we're all nice guys (pardon the ladies, or don't you say guys for women also in the US?), and this is real life. You give and take - positive and negative.
Steve Borsher Added Aug 3, 2014 - 2:47pm
"I’ve issued more than one warning since starting the site and in every occasion the problem was resolved." What I have marveled at several times is the worst harassers actually asking Autumn to have other people stop harassing them; and then leaving when that doesn't happen. You can't lead a blind horse to water and expect it to drink.
Stone-Eater Added Aug 3, 2014 - 5:47pm
"What I have marveled at several times is the worst harassers actually asking Autumn to have other people stop harassing them"
This reminds me of a child who says "If you don't stop to harass me I'm telling my father" :-))
Steve Borsher Added Aug 4, 2014 - 9:06am
Bully pulpit => bully pulp
Stone-Eater Added Aug 4, 2014 - 3:33pm
I think it would be nice to see who's online. Not introducing a chat, that wouldn't be a good idea ;-) Just to see who's there so the exchange would be a bit more quick. What do you think ? The only problem I see is that people would likely stay always on the same articles and don't bother to read new ones. Weigh it ;-)
Steve Borsher Added Aug 4, 2014 - 4:01pm
I thought you weren't.
Steve Borsher Added Aug 4, 2014 - 4:12pm
Don't forget the helmet.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 5, 2014 - 3:09am
Welcome back Rev.  
Autumn Cote Added Aug 5, 2014 - 4:56am
I figure anything exchanged between users outside of an article is one less comment in an article.  It is my firm belief people write for comments more than any other reason.  So I’m not a fan of an online chat feature.  
Steve Borsher Added Aug 6, 2014 - 12:47pm
You can do that using search; as long as the articles were labelled correctly by the author.
Rex Added Aug 12, 2014 - 7:30am
Nathan, Your comment
"overprotective quasi fascist mother hen approach of Autumn in everything that goes on here. Autumn, you'd do better to leave new posters alone for a while, in my opinion." was uncalled for.
Name calling adds nothing to the conversation. It does seem to indicate an underlying insecurity on you part.
Autumn Cote Added Aug 12, 2014 - 8:27am
Let's move this conversation over to Nathan's post:
Rex Added Aug 12, 2014 - 10:27am
I moved it how do I cancel the above post on this site?
Steve Borsher Added Aug 17, 2014 - 11:02am
You can delete anyone's comments that you want to from your article. And when I get tired of dueling with pseudo-intellectuals in other threads, I just Unsubscribe. There's always plenty to do here that does not require wasting time with those who think they have all the answers; but really have none.
Steve Borsher Added Aug 19, 2014 - 10:31am
I salute you, General.
Steve Borsher Added Sep 25, 2014 - 10:09am
"be gentle in their responses"?. I prefer: "Speak softly, and carry a big stick." Some people just don't respond to gentle.
Steve Borsher Added Sep 25, 2014 - 10:47am
It's actually been relatively calm lately; at least where I hang out on WB these days. Ever since Guyzilla went extinct, human evolution has taken a big step forward.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 25, 2014 - 11:31am
Welcome to the club and a hello from Switzerland ;-)
Stone-Eater Added Sep 25, 2014 - 11:34am
good to see you back. We sometimes need a calm voice, not exactly from god, you suit as well, and maybe your interpretation of god's words (or what some think they are) can be helpful. After all, not everything in the Bible is ...., when read carefully, it's more the envelope that disturbs me ;-)
Steve Borsher Added Sep 25, 2014 - 11:47am
Yes, JAWS, the bible needs some interpretation by an expert. IMO, it is not unlike this:
Steve Borsher Added Sep 25, 2014 - 12:01pm
I always give the opportunity for anyone to ask for an explanation of what exactly I mean. Hardly anyone ever asks. What does that tell you?
Steve Borsher Added Sep 25, 2014 - 2:01pm
About what? I would have asked that of Lori.
Steve Borsher Added Sep 25, 2014 - 2:28pm
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 25, 2014 - 2:34pm
Welcome back Rev.
You may be pleased to hear that my latest ear worm is an old hymn:
Only remembered.
Only the truth that in life we have spoken
Only the seed that in life we have sown
These shall pass onwards when we are forgotten
Only remembered for what we have done

Only remembered only remembered
Only remembered for what we have done
These shall pass onwards when we are forgotten
Only remembered for what we have done
Steve Borsher Added Sep 25, 2014 - 2:52pm
A friend of my grandsons, age 12-13, said, at dinner a couple nights ago, that he was worried that noone would ever have heard of him before he dies. I told him to not think about what other people think of him, and that the trick was to do as much as you need/want to do for yourself before you die. So, now they all have bucket lists.
mark henry smith Added Sep 25, 2014 - 4:08pm
There seems to be a misconception among conservatives that they can do everything for themselves, like the rancher who grazed his cattle on government land and then decided it was his because he'd been using it. It's mine now! And there seems to be a misconception among liberals that the point of all this is the facts, ie. truth. This is the truth! I see it like this, one man's government will always be another man's oppressor, and one man's facts, ie truths will always be another man's distortions. From my perspective, the reason we do this isn't just to get noticed, it's to make a difference. It could make a difference in our own lives or in the lives of others. Whether it does or not is anyone's guess. All we can do is express ourselves as clearly and persuasively as possible. And all Autumn can do is create a forum where a fair exchange of ideas is appreciated. From what I've read so far, she's done that. And I sort of made fun of one of her pieces. You can do that with me, too. I'm a believer that turnabout is fair play. I'm no wimp. And if you can't accept the fact that not every one will like your thoughts, keep them to yourself. That's real safe. Thank you Autumn, and your brother, for doing this. Let's hope it means something in the bigger picture. Danger man Marko.
Steve Borsher Added Sep 25, 2014 - 4:20pm
One man's fact is another man's friction.
Autumn Cote Added Sep 25, 2014 - 4:43pm
It’s so nice to read words of encouragement and to see all this activity, but if Writer Beat is ever to be a success, contributing authors need to feel like their work is being read and the only way to do that is to comment on them.  So please, let’s leave the Sandy string alone and move-on to all articles recently posted to the site that don’t have comments.  
Steve Borsher Added Sep 25, 2014 - 4:59pm
I knew that. I thought that John didn't.
Happy Autumn, Autumn.
Steve Borsher Added Sep 25, 2014 - 5:49pm
John should change his name to Grimly.
Steve Borsher Added Sep 25, 2014 - 5:53pm
Try Googling ATN. You might come up with me. That was my alias half a life ago. I still have the silver belt buckle, and the man purse with that symbol denom on them; but no longer the license plate.  I have a funny story about that license plate if you have the time.
Steve Borsher Added Sep 26, 2014 - 10:11am
I often cite my insight on this site.
I prefer commenting. Maybe someday I will cull my comments and make an article out of them. So without further ado, and by popular demand:
I once owned a stereo repair shop. I went away for a few days and forgot to lock the front door. A person came buy to pick up a repair and set off the alarm. The police came and jammed the door closed. That customer, a credit account manager, then went about trying to track me down; he even found me in the apartment I was temporarily staying in.  The guy had completely dug into my private life because he was concerned about his precious cheap piece of electronic junk.
When he picked it up that day he proudly told me he had figured out everything about me except the meaning of my license plate: ATN. I proudly told him that he would figure it out someday, and bid him adieu.
Steve Borsher Added Sep 26, 2014 - 10:31am
Most people don't find my stories funny. I was born with a lot of negative energy, and it caused me a lot of problems until I started to get control of it 40 years ago. Unfortunately, my daughter inherited that from me, and at 41, has finally exited rehab and has been sober for almost a year, having spent her previous years wandering the Earth in search of a pharmaceutical cure. Now that she has returned, and I am funding a course on healing for her to take, that negative energy has invaded my life again. I have "road rage" stories, since she returned, that would curl what hair you have left. I am now trying to figure out how to deal with that negative energy. Maybe if she completes that course successfully and gets a real life going for herself that negative energy will dissipate. I, and my ex-wife, are the only two people in the family that will currently communicate with her, because everyone else is terrified of her. It's that bad. Still there are "funny" stories that evolve from that setup; but that kind of "funny" is definitely not for everyone.
Steve Borsher Added Sep 26, 2014 - 11:11am
Living with community spirit to each other requires everyone to have community spirit. Our politicians have made that impossible; at least beyond the very temporary and superficial level.
I would not call it difficult; at least not for me, as I have had a lifetime of experience with negative energy.  I was hoping to have a calm and serene retirement, but that transition has yet to happen. I now do very well with chaos; in fact I still welcome it to some extent as truth always results from chaos and stress. But I am getting a little too old now for the levels I have been dealing with over the past 6 years.  Some say that I bring them on myself; which may be true because I intend to die with my self-esteem dully intact at the max. But I consider that my goal, and I should have the freedom to live that way.
Steve Borsher Added Sep 26, 2014 - 11:38am
I have promised my wife that there will be little/no more drama when she retires next summer. That is looking like it will be the true test of how much control I have over my life.
Steve Borsher Added Sep 26, 2014 - 12:16pm
The only way to do that is to ask Autumn for our emails. She will then ask us for permission to release them to a specific person. However, I would rather continue the stream of discussion here. It goes where it goes. What's wrong with that? There's hardly an article in WB that doesn't go off topic at some point.
And you shouldn't label this as venting. You have yet to hear me vent. I merely pass along storied from my life. You really have no idea exactly how I feel about any of them. To me, life stories are the perfect basis of communication: instructive examples of how to live or not live your life, and how others manage in their own. That said, I have learned almost nothing from other's life stories, because I would never live my life another's way. But, as usual, that's probably just me.
Steve Borsher Added Sep 26, 2014 - 12:18pm
So, I am not looking for anyone else to "address my issues"; I merely offer them as a window into my Universe.
mark henry smith Added Sep 26, 2014 - 1:00pm
Hey Steve, I have a funny license plate story too. Small world. And I wrote a poem about God. It begins, My God, my God, what a tease exposing mysteries in burning bushes. In some vague way, I feel that I've met God, but it could have been something I ate. Be well.
Steve Borsher Added Sep 26, 2014 - 1:05pm
I have also found God in burning bushes.
Steve Borsher Added Sep 27, 2014 - 11:24am
I prefer to let the trolls do their thing, until they self-destruct on their own. That's how you develop thick skin.
Steve Borsher Added Sep 28, 2014 - 10:16am
A giggle for your jiggle.
Don't assume anything about how I take something you say. If I take offense with it I will certainly let you know.  But, since I have no ego, I don't take offense with much. I recently realized that my ego and id are swapped. I haven't heard from Neidy since I told her that.
As far as writing an actual article, that takes more commitment than I currently have time for.  I don't have time to even check out many of the latest articles, so I am just sticking with my current threads until they go dormant. I have told Autumn that she could go through my comments and pick some topics from them for me to elaborate upon. You could do the same thing.
Autumn Cote Added Oct 1, 2014 - 12:26pm
Let's end this thread; it's getting way too long.  Please share your thoughts at:
Stone-Eater Added Jun 11, 2016 - 2:56pm
Hey guys...there's life outside WB ;-) Fanatics come - and they leave when they lose audience. Their problem is that they get back to the same tune whatever subject they choose, and that bores people after a while... ;-)
Autumn Cote Added Jun 11, 2016 - 10:36pm
I get complaints from conservatives about the behavior of liberals on Writer Beat as well.
Autumn Cote Added Jun 11, 2016 - 10:52pm
I think every active participant of Writer Beat has had a moment where they decided they had enough and left the site for a spell.  They usually because they get pissed off at someone.  But that reason doesn’t make any sense to me.  I love the fact we all get to converse with people we wouldn’t normally converse with in the outside world. 
Autumn Cote Added Jun 11, 2016 - 10:59pm
“At the same time, I, as most posters, strongly believe in ideas, which I want promote. I will repeat again and again the same ideas in hope”
The problem with that is that sometimes the ideas you wish to promote are not applicable in the article’s comment thread you’re participating in.  I advise writing something that proves it’s not just an idea you’re promoting and is a response to something the author wrote.  I also advise writing less and making sure what you write is as grammatically correct as possible. 
Autumn Cote Added Jun 11, 2016 - 11:02pm
So is it your assertion that Writer Beat is a place for fanatics or do you agree with me that it’s a place where Everyday Joes get to say what’s on their mind.  In other words, those people you meet in the outside world are just as fanatical as those you meet in Writer Beat, you just don’t know it. 
Autumn Cote Added Jun 11, 2016 - 11:06pm
I have the same comment for you as I do for Stone.  By the way, there is something messed up with your account.  If you email me a new password, I will make sure your account can’t be hacked into. Right now there is a bug that could allow another user into it.  I believe you know what that bug is.    
Autumn Cote Added Jun 11, 2016 - 11:14pm
If I told newbies what I want, there is now way they’d join.  It’s only after they see what the site is all about that they might decide to give it the time the site demands.  But if you have a better way to attract people, I’m listening.  If you think the site is horrible you should leave, but I think the site epitomizes what free speech is all about.  Sometimes people say things we don’t like, but that’s the speech in most need of protection.   I also think the site is a lot of fun.  After all, everyone on the site is using their valuable free time to be here.  I’m hoping you choose to stick around. 
Autumn Cote Added Jun 11, 2016 - 11:15pm
Very well said.  Many thanks for the compliments.  
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jun 12, 2016 - 10:18am
It would be nice here if we could have sensible discussion with each participant showing respect for others.  Trouble is there are far too many here who are on some sort of mission to convert our thinking and convince us of conspiracy. 
There are climate change deniers, for example, who somehow want us to believe that the world's scientists have colluded to mislead us. (somehow I find it easier to believe that Big Oil is trying to sow misinformation to head off attempts to reduce their product's impact on the planet).   Often they quickly start to insult anyone who disagrees with their views, trying to shout down opposition or, alternatively, throwing up endless references to "sources" which "prove" their point of view.
Some of these people are going to ridiculous lengths to try and bulldoze the rest of us into believing their nonsense.  One avatar (I have no idea whether this is a genuine person or not) has posted no less than 21 articles all aimed at trying to discredit world science on the subject.
Others seem to want to promote the sort of xenophobia that I personally find repulsive in this, the 21st century.   If it is not Muslims they want to rail against, it's Jews, Mexicans or just about anyone "foreign"
Others seem to want to reduce just about any subject to whether the author is "left" or "right"... whatever that means
I personally would like to be able to have a sane, respectful, discussion with people of all views without it degenerating into the sort of insulting behaviour we have on Writer Beat
Stone-Eater Added Jun 12, 2016 - 3:00pm
All I do is putting an EUROPEAN voice onto the site, sometimes an African one.....in the hope that readers in the US know that Europe is not a country and African people are not black because the night is longer or they don't wash ;-)
Stone-Eater Added Jun 12, 2016 - 3:03pm
Robin aka. Gloucester Diamond
Hi ! Excellent what you do :-)
We have and always had trolls. But they disappear as they come ;-)
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jun 12, 2016 - 5:24pm
Stone:  I am just one of several Gloucester Diamonds.  We have, in fact, created our own award which we present to anyone who we feel has gone above and beyond the call of duty in promoting "real" music.  It is also called a "Gloucester Diamond".
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jun 12, 2016 - 6:43pm
Thank you Speaker.  It has been good to "meet" you here on WB too.   So often I meet a reasonable American and find out that he is actually Canadian.   Same with a lot of good American musicians too BTW, you know the type that actually care about their art over style, ... they are often either black or actually Canadian
Personally I have to say that I have become disinclined to write articles on any subject on this site because you know what you are going to get.   Even if I wrote an article on cooking I would be accused of being a "socialist"... I believe thought to be some form of insult by the manner in which it is often used here.
So basically I don't bother anymore.   It would be, what you might call, "casting mock pearls before real swine" to do so.  And life is just too short.
If folk behaved in the same way in the pub as they do on Writer Beat, they would soon be barred.  Disagreement is expected in the pub.  But so is good humour, respect for and basic human kindness to each other. (You are also expected to buy a round every so often)
Perhaps this macho shout and scream culture is a US thing, I don't know.  Perhaps it goes along with the "individual first, last and always" US culture, or the gun culture and all that.
It's just so much like the playground and I just don't have time for it when there are more congenial places to be.
However I have to say it is fun to occasionally give some of these trolls a poke and see what new heights of insult they can reach.   Most of them really don't understand irony either so it is so easy to take the piss out of them.   Uncharitable of me really.  I know.
Johnny Fever Added Jun 12, 2016 - 11:44pm
Ryan is so right, the people that bitch about the allowing of free speech are generally liberals. 
I find Robin’s response especially priceless.  He’s all for having sensible discussion so long as we agree with him at to his thoughts on climate change.  To the extent we don’t, we’re labeled conspiracy theorists and ridiculous.  He then bitches about those that insult one another…take a look in the mirror you ridiculous buffoon Robin. 
As far as Speaker is concerned, he’s the rudest, nastiest crackpot you have on this site.  One can cut the hypocrisy with a knife.  Where do you dig up these people Autumn? 
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jun 13, 2016 - 4:51am
Again I point to Johnny's response here.   Personal insults rather than a respectful discourse.
Is this an American thing?  
Rest my case.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jun 13, 2016 - 4:53am
Why is it that support for unrestricted gun ownership seems to go along with a tendency for indulging in insulting behaviour?   Is there some psychological link?
You do support gun ownership for all don't you Johnny?
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2016 - 6:40am
Most of them really don't understand irony
I know how you feel. English humor is the best but it sometimes needs brain to capture it ;-)
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2016 - 6:44am
Maybe you have problems getting SoT's message ? Ok, his English might be a bit too sophisticated....a real liberal...erm...
BTW: Liberal is actually a derivate from the Latin word "liberi" - FREE (DOM). The sacred word of the US: Freedom.
What now ?
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2016 - 9:17am
Caught me on the wrong foot ;-) I googled the latin word, since I didn't know it exactly. I speak French, and "être libre" means "being free", and since French is a Latin language.... LOL
Autumn Cote Added Jun 13, 2016 - 10:47am
Based on where this thread is going, I think it’s time to remind everyone of something Joceline said “The bottom line is, it is our job to choose our thoughts. When people post hateful stuff in my articles I ignore them. Who gives a crap what miserable people think. I don't ever waste energy on miserable people.  Don't let anyone pull you down…It's a real example of a variety of the views in the world.”
The part about the variety of views is what I personally like most about Writer Beat.  I also appreciate the diversity of ways we all argue our point of view and deal with dissenting opinions.  Because the site has no bias, all views are welcome and when you put a bunch of different views in the same room, it can get ugly.  But there have also been some nice moments and great connection made on the site.   
So with an interest in focusing on the positive, I think everyone that participates has a better understanding about diversity than the average person.  To the extent someone pisses you off or calls you names, ignore him and move onto someone you enjoy conversing with. 
Stone-Eater Added Jun 13, 2016 - 1:42pm
C'est le ton qui fait la musique LOL
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jun 14, 2016 - 1:57am
The challenge is, I guess, that it the states someone like Ryan could easily get hold of lethal weaponry.  That is why you cannot be so free about "free speech".
I have said here many times that one man's "freedom" can easily become another man's oppression.   This is especially true when religion is involved.
Johnny Fever Added Jun 14, 2016 - 10:27am
Robin & Speaker
You both are such weenies.  By writing his crazy interpretation of religious scripture, Ryan isn’t oppressing you or deserving prosecution from law enforcement.  The simple truth is that you will use any stupid reason to silence those spouting things you disagree with.   What’s next, a criminal prosecution of Ryan and me for being internet bullies?
Oh and by the way, I’m justified in insulting you because you drew first blood, as I never resort to insults unless insulted first.  So a big thank-you for giving me the green light.    
Autumn Cote Added Jun 14, 2016 - 1:15pm
It’s true, if someone is being disrupting for the sake of being disrupting, I will delete their account.  As it relates to death threats, the only ones that are illegal are those where the victim can prove “true intent.”  I’m not aware of a single criminal court case where “true intent” was proved via an online forum such as Writer Beat. Please don’t mistake me not doing anything about death threats, with me not caring they exist.  If I could snap my fingers and make so that people didn’t resort to insult or death threats, I would. 
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jun 14, 2016 - 1:25pm
Johnny can you please tell me when I insulted you?   I would like to know as I usually don't do that sort of thing unless sorely provoked.  Even then it is rare.
Yes I will goad the rude and disrespectful, you have to have some fun, but I don't insult people.
I wonder if Johnny would be so supportive of Ryan here if he happened to be of an Islamic faith?
Autumn Cote Added Jun 14, 2016 - 2:19pm
A death threat over the internet is not the same as yelling “fire” in a theater.  The former is legal unless a victim can prove true intent in a court of law and the latter is always illegal.  It’s clear you and I are never going to agree on this issue.  Rather than bad mouth Writer Beat over our disagreement, why can’t you simply continue to enjoy yourself, despite the site’s flaws?  Think of all the things you like about Writer Beat and spend your time here for those reasons. 
Johnny Fever Added Jun 15, 2016 - 9:07am
I believe climate change is code for man caused global warming and I don’t believe it has been proven that the earth is definitively warming or that man caused it.  With that as a preface, the sentence below is an example of you insulting me and my purpose for educating you:
Some of these people are going to ridiculous lengths to try and bulldoze the rest of us into believing their nonsense
Would you like some more examples of you drawing first blood?
Johnny Fever Added Jun 15, 2016 - 9:17am
I believe climate change is code for man caused global warming and I don’t believe it has been proven that the earth is definitively warming or that man caused it.  With that as a preface, the sentence below is an example of you insulting me and my purpose for educating you:
Some of these people are going to ridiculous lengths to try and bulldoze the rest of us into believing their nonsense
Would you like some more examples of you drawing first blood?
Johnny Fever Added Jun 15, 2016 - 9:17am
Not sure why it isn't working but I also attempted to underline bulldoze and ridiculous.  
Autumn Cote Added Jun 15, 2016 - 1:02pm
Yes I have the power to moderate the site to my liking but I’m choosing not to use that power.  Site moderation is up to each author in their respective articles.  If they want to delete insults or death threats, they are free to do so.  On occasion, I have exerted and will exert my power, but as any regular will tell you, those occasions have been few and far between.   
As always, many thanks for your participation with Writer Beat.  Who’s NB? 
Autumn Cote Added Jun 15, 2016 - 1:48pm
In the interest on moving on from this thread, the following are three new articles that could use a comment or two:
Brand new author.
Brand new and the ever so rare female participant.
Expat is always one to offer a response. 
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jun 15, 2016 - 2:42pm
Hmmm.  With respect Johnny, that is not an insult.
If I accuse you of trying to bulldoze me, then that is simply an assertion.
If I was to call you an idiot, for example, or a blinkered, xenophobic cretin, then that would be an insult.
Autumn Cote Added Jun 15, 2016 - 4:24pm
How/when did I attack her?  
As it relates to giving people fair warning of what is expected of them, I disagree.  I’ve tried many approaches and the approach I find works best is as follows:
1) Get people to agree to allow me to post their work to the site. 
2) Expose them to comment activity. 
3) Should they choose not to respond or get offended, I know they aren’t Writer Beat material. 
4) Convince them to comment on the work of others.
The only step I really care about is step #4.  However, getting to step #4 is really tough, it’s demonstrably tougher if I told them what I ultimately expect should they choose to participate.    
opher goodwin Added Jun 23, 2017 - 7:27pm
I must say I have found a similar experience. Instead of reasoned debate one gets personal slurs and bogus information from right-wing crackpots.
It doesn't bother me though I am beginning to find it pointless. There are a bunch of aggressive imbeciles who think they are John Wayne. There is little argument or debate. What's the point of wasting my time? I get nothing worthwhile out of it.
Autumn Cote Added Jun 23, 2017 - 8:54pm
If things are so bad here, why did you post another article?  
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jun 24, 2017 - 3:19am
This site suffers from a common problem which is destroying most forms of civilised debate:  the belief that all opinions are equal.
They are not.
The opinion of, for example, someone who has studied a subject for 30 years, is of much greater value than that of someone who has just formed a view from what they have seen on the media.
This has led us to the current daft state of affairs where scientific, rational, thought is drowned out by noise.
There is no point in trying to debate with someone who believes:
1.  The holocaust is a hoax
2.  They need a gun in case zombies attack
3.  Social medicine is "evil"
4.  Copper bracelets cure rheumatism
5.  The President is an alien etc etc
You cannot debate with someone who holds a belief which is not based on fact or experience but on some received prejudice.  
opher goodwin Added Jun 24, 2017 - 4:07am
Autumn - I was hopeful of reasoned argument. The posts I put up were contentious. What I found was not reasoned argument but bigoted personal attacks and rudeness. The material put forward to back up their own position was from extreme spurious sources and yet was presented as fact.
I enjoy reasoned debate. I do not want to waste my time with morons who personally abuse me.
I put up another post to see if there might not be some rational intelligence displayed by other contributors. If there isn't I won't bother.
I am loath to allow these ignorant extreme far-right bigots to set the agenda and drive intelligent people out but I have books to write and things to do. I don't need this type of abuse.
opher goodwin Added Jun 24, 2017 - 4:08am
Robin - I agree with you - these belligerent cranks are destroying debate.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jun 24, 2017 - 5:32am
I am afraid it is worse than that.  They are deciding what happens in countries.
I read today with despair that evolution is to be removed from textbooks in Turkey because it is "a contentious subject" and presumably at odds with what the Koran says.    I fear that the enlightenment is over and we are back to the dark ages.
A good film to watch which explores this problem is "Denial".   It is a dramatisation of the libel trial brought by the holocaust denier, David Irving, against author Deborah Lipstadt.   I think it brings home just how difficult it is to combat such prejudice.   You need only substitute certain other issues such as climate change etc to see current relevance.
mark henry smith Added Jun 24, 2017 - 2:48pm
Robin, it doesn't matter if governments remove information from texts. This thing, the internet, is a tool that opens all subjects for those who have questions. And does it really matter if someone doesn't believe in evolution? Or the Holocaust? Why? I don't care if you believe in God. Only a person of extreme egotism insists that everyone agree with them.  
Let's argue about things that really matter, such as how we build a better, more equitable world out of all of this blather. 
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jun 24, 2017 - 4:48pm
I agree with you up to a point Mark.   
The holocaust has one important lesson that we forget at our peril.   The lesson is that a technologically advanced, seemingly civilised, society managed to set up an industrial system for mass murder.  It is important that we do not forget so that it does not happen again.
By saying that you "don't believe in climate change" you essentially make the job of those trying to save the planet that much harder... you are part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
If you blindly follow the religious teachings of whoever it is... you can end up doing a lot of harm.   I am not thinking of any one religion here.   However I think that the "enshrining" of historical teachings into sacred texts, usually based on utilitarian morals that made sense in the circumstances prevailing at some time in the past, is very dangerous.
So, for example, refraining from using contraception, may have made sense when populations were struggling.  Today it makes life harder for everyone on the planet by adding to population pressure.
Of course there are sacred cows outside of religion as well.   I think that the American love affair with personal lethal weaponry is an example here.   It made a lot of sense when the land was lawless, or angry natives were likely to vent their anger on you, to carry a gun.   But insisting on it today means that you have a much higher death toll from violence.  Yet the believers do not accept this... that's because... they are believers...
Leroy Added Jun 24, 2017 - 10:03pm
"By saying that you "don't believe in climate change" you essentially make the job of those trying to save the planet that much harder... you are part of the problem rather than part of the solution."
Obviously, Robin, your religion is climate change.  You should take your own advice:
If you blindly follow the religious teachings of whoever it is... you can end up doing a lot of harm.
You must be extraordinarily arrogant to believe you know all the answers, and if anyone varies from your beliefs, they are part of the problem.
People here have a vast array of knowledge...and, yes, beliefs.  None of us know the answers.  The best way to get at the truth is by open discussion.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jun 25, 2017 - 2:21am
Leroy:  I think that one of the biggest problems of belief, is the belief that all opinions are equal.   They are not.
I value the opinion of a scientist who has worked in a field of meteorology for 40 years much more than I value the opinion of some guy down the pub... much less some guy from a oil industry pressure group.
This is the difference... for some people it is about blind faith.   For others it is the result of an evaluation, not of facts, because no one on this earth has the time to evaluate every fact from base data (I certainly do not... too much else to do for that), but of the weight of opinion from people who seem to me to be honest and not pursuing some personal gain.
I have met, and talked with, several scientists about this subject (my field of science by the way is Physics... I worked on various projects for a while including one that looked for high velocity particles in cosmic ray air showers).   As such I have been able to probe the reasons for their positions.
The people who I have met who take the alternate position, either seem to have some vested interest or do not have a very well worked out reasoning for their thinking.
Watch the film "Denial".   It is about  a holocaust denier.   But it could equally be about climate change or whatever.   It shows how deniers of scientifically established fact seize upon apparent flaws in any argument and, finding one flaw, immediate claim that this proves the whole concept is false.
An example from the film.   The SS staff at Auschwitz used Zyklon B to exterminate cockroaches as well as people.  A holocaust denier "scientist" took samples from the walls of an outhouse, known to have been fumigated to destroy vermin, and from what he referred to as "alleged gas chambers".
He then showed that the concentrations of the poison present in the walls was much lower in the "alleged gas chambers".  So, he said, they cannot possibly have been gas chambers or much more contamination would have been present.
It sounds like a convincing argument if you are not fully versed in the facts and have a greater knowledge.
The answer is that you need far less cyanide to kill a human than you do a cockroach.   But the holocaust denier industry did not want to listen to that fact.
You have exactly the same sort of problem today among the climate change deniers.   The interests being big oil, or those who sense political advantage from backing denial, seize on a series of apparent anomalies to "prove" that it is a hoax.... "It snowed last week",  "the planet has stopped warming for the last 19 years" etc etc.  These all sound convincing if taken out of context of the broader description of what is going on
So yes, it looks as if you are part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
mark henry smith Added Jun 27, 2017 - 12:14pm
Robin, you are correct in that we have to hold onto an understanding that people are capable of tremendous evil and there really is no more evil that can be committed than the intent to exterminate a group of people based on the idea that the group is evil incarnate. Not only have the Jews been a target of this deplorable thinking, but Armenians, Gypsies, American Indians, on and on.
Let's not let the Jews forget that their plight is not limited to them, but is a world problem.
And I have repeatedly protested against this idea that all opinions are valid because I have a brother who insists they are. I like tell him he believes this because he's an idiot. No one would ever say that the opinions of their three year old have as much merit as the parents, but that's what this stupid argument alleges.
My point is that if we are smart, we can create arguments and policies that don't have anything to do with opinion. Eliminating automobile congestion doesn't have to be framed as a global warming issue, but as a quality of life issue. No one who isn't totally insane will argue that cleaner air in cities is wrong. I sat with some idiot law professor from Villanova, my brother's oldest friend, and argued that we should be promoting bicycling as a way of reducing automobile traffic and he said he couldn't ride a bicycle as if that was a reason not to do it.
I wanted to tell him, moron, it's not to force everyone to ride a bike, but to convince more people that it's a healthier option in many circumstances, and to make it easier and safer for people who want to ride. Man I hate that guy, that perverted law professor, who has always treated my brother like a trained monkey. He tried that with me once, tried to get his chains on me, and I laughed at him and told him to go **** himself. He looked hurt and asked, "Why are you so hostile towards a nice person like me? How did your parents get such an awful child such as you, when your brother is such a good boy?" And I told him, "He's an idiot." 
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jun 27, 2017 - 12:42pm
The argument that always cracks me up is when they say something like:  "The science on climate change is not settled".
Such a statement betrays the speaker's ignorance of scientific endeavour.   Science is never settled on any topic.   That is its very nature.
The science on gravitational theory is not settled either.  Work is still ongoing to try and improve our understanding of it.
So I would challenge every climate change denier to step out of the window of a high building using the self same logic about gravity that they use for not seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions...
Riley Brown Added May 27, 2018 - 9:43am
Quick question, your web site has had one problem after another, sometimes being out of order for days at a time.
Are you working on the site?  Are you aware of all the problems?

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