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Thread: Making HES Warm and Friendly Again

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Richards View Post
    Then Greg Mele warned Scott Brown

    “Speaking as the moderator, this is your first, and last, public warning. It's been a long time since we've banned someone, and I in particular dislike the idea of banning someone who is actively working on this material and is well thought of in some quarters for the work he's doing. But baiting masquerading as innocent questioning is unacceptable, and it's been going on too long.”
    Yes, relative to *that* thread. It is not the first time he was warned about it, and as we reviewed his history - and as we looked at other threads - like the recent one with Thomas Stoeppler, we felt there was a clear pattern of behavior.

    This whole situation and the result that followed, the banning of Scott Brown, will lead only to a precedent which will be used in the future to stop any academic questioning of people position and meaning. The conclusion in my mind; debate at the academic level is in effect dead here on Historical European Swordsmanship SFI.
    C'mon Colin, if that were true, I'd have banned or suspended you on the dagger thread - we didn't agree there, did we? Instead, *I* apologized for being too sharp with you, and suggested we both mellow out. The badgering comment was because you kept asking Guy why he was stating something as fact that he said he hadn't said. What more can the man say? Meanwhile, no one was banned, suspended or even warned. You and Jay disagreed with Guy and I; I reinforced the opinion that one of your lines in disagreement had been answered, multiple times. It seemed the thread ended amicably. I was apparently wrong.

    Likewise, did you see Oz being censured, losing his moderator status or anything else? No - and yet he was in several, extremely heated debates with Steve Hand. Oz and I don't agree on that topic. (Actually, neither do Steve and I, fully.) Yet here he is.

    You don't like Guy Windsor, Christian Tobler or Steve Hand. You've been quite public about that. I suspect you don't particularly like me. You *do* like Dave and Scott; you *assume* I don't. That's inaccurate, but fine. We don't all have to hug and sit in a pub together. But the fact remains that those posts in both of the recent threads were not "academic" nor "scholarly". They were there to imply the poster was either lying, misstating his case, or sitting on secret information. They were meant to be a case of "gotcha"! If you did that at an academic conference, people would look at you like you were a boor.

    Your argument leads to the conclusion that the best way to show impartiality is for the mods here to allow your friends to say as they please, and it doesn't matter if the other side or neutral third parties - some of who posted on the Allies thread, many of who respond in IM - don't like it. And no matter what I say or do, you are going to disagree and suspect my/SFI's motives. Your last post shows that.

    I realize that SFI and myself are being crucified over at the Schola forum over this topic, but I am also aware of the fact that if you did a search on "SFI" or "Greg Mele", "Christian Tobler", or many other names, you'd find that those sorts of comments long predate this incident. I and SFI are prejudged and convicted by some people, and there is nothing that can be done about that at this point. The most I could do is what I did: ask the non-HES mods to review the posts and render their own opinions, and then ask Adrian to decide how to handle it. The decision that was reached was far less harsh than many of the folks from the other sub-forums suggested.

    There are clear rules of behavior for this forum. People were warned, people violated them. The decisions was debated by the moderator staff, and ultimately Adrian made a decision. As I knew would happen, some folks disagree with that decision. Matt Galas gave a reasonable statement of why he disagreed. But this sort of post doesn't help matters.

    I am leaving town for over a week - if you need to discuss things with *me*, it will have to wait until then. If it is about SFI in general, Adrian and Bill will be around.
    Greg Mele
    Chicago Swordplay Guild

    Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

    "If the tongue could cut
    as the sword can do,
    the dead would be infinite."

    Filippo Vadi, "Arte Dimicandi Gladiatoria" (c.1482 - 87)

  2. #27
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    I'm going to have to put a delay on the re-review of the concerns as there is a server migration I have to do. The move is going to be a complex one, and I will be burning through a weekend instead of resting, which is what I really need.

    However, when I re-read the words "I just wondered if it is possible that Greg Mele is posting in your name in order to increase the validity of the posts?" – it doesn't strike me as an accusation of ghostwriting but rather an accusation of Greg impersonating me.

    The word “silly” is perhaps the most polite comment I can give to such a question.

    I seriously hope people aren't trying to communicate to me that members of an "academic" community can't communicate their "academic" topics with courtesy and respect. This is not about content but about conduct.

    I will consider the requests after the server migration has been completed.
    Adrian
    Maestro of the Bolognese School (Spaghetti sauce, not fencing!)

    Click HERE for the SFI comic strip "Bloodgroove"!

  3. #28
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    For the record, I accept Greg's explanation of the edit of Adrian's post. I know Greg, trust and respect him, and can't imagine that he would try to impersonate Adrian. However, as I've stated, I do believe he and others overreacted in this case.

    Love the sinner, hate the sin...

    Regards,
    Matt Galas
    Mons, Belgium

  4. #29
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    Hi Adrian,

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Ko View Post

    Greg does not have the ability to post for me.

    Any incident that requires my attention unfortunately takes me away from work and family obligations due to the catch-up reading and memory-refreshing I must do.

    Due to my lack of familiarity with WMA and names of forum participants, I do rely on him to help me to make sure I was not inadvertently misstating facts or misassociating names and events. I have no desire to add fuel to the fire through my own errors.

    Thanks for clarifying the point for me, as I am not an IT person I have no idea how these forums work internally.

    I just thought it strange to see this edit but now I see it was a misunderstanding on my part.

    Colin Richards
    Founder and Head Instructor at Arts of Mars Historical European Martial Arts Academy.
    Author: Fiore Dei Liberi 1409: Wrestling and Dagger (in two languages)
    DVD "Medieval Combat Italian Longsword - Student Guide 1" from the Treatises of Fiore dei Liberi 1409
    HEMAC member.
    Organiser International Open Championship 2008, 2010
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    There is no need of further discussion, when the Sword has the last word.

  5. #30
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    Thanks Matt, and thanks Colin, for letting it drop.

    My ride to the airport just got here, so I will be gone for 10 days - I'll try to address any ongoing concerns when I arrive back.

    Greg
    Greg Mele
    Chicago Swordplay Guild

    Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

    "If the tongue could cut
    as the sword can do,
    the dead would be infinite."

    Filippo Vadi, "Arte Dimicandi Gladiatoria" (c.1482 - 87)

  6. #31
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    Colin, I appreciate that very much.

    If it's okay with everyone, I'd like to wait until Greg returns, and then to give him some time to rest and settle in from his trip before discussing this issue with him and Bill.

    At any rate, I have a server migration to focus on tonight and this weekend. I may understand the IT stuff, but I honestly hate all this technical work.
    Adrian
    Maestro of the Bolognese School (Spaghetti sauce, not fencing!)

    Click HERE for the SFI comic strip "Bloodgroove"!

  7. #32
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    Moderators

    Adrian : I probably should not post here on this being as guilty as the next for losing my temper from time and done my share of apologizing too. That said, since I've been involved with this forum off and on since it first started up I think I'll put my two cents in.......
    Totally agree with Matt. You guys over-reacted. Solution. Ban everyone involved for 30 minutes, including the moderators. . Yeah, put all of them in 'Time-Out' then start over fresh with no feeling hurt.
    Noone needs to be banned. I can think of good things that everyone here has done. Remember THIS IS A HOBBY AND SUPPOSED TO BE FUN.

    Best
    Dwight

  8. #33
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    Hi,

    Is something going to happen to this or not?

    Szab

  9. #34
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    Greetings,

    My own posting on this Forum has been rather sporadic this fall, as my father-in-law suffered a severe stroke in early September, and Nicole and I have been driving back and forth between Chicago and Cleveland to tend to family affairs. So I have not posted updates here.

    We have addressed this, however, with both Dave and Scott.

    I asked Adrian to lift Dave Rawlings' ban, shortly after Adrian's last post. This cut his suspension time in half. As Dave can confirm, he has had full privileges here since August 27, but he has not posted here as yet.

    As regards Scott Brown, I have spoken to a number of people in private about what happened, and their reasons for believing Scott to have been misunderstood, and they have said that he regrets everything having gotten out of hand, thinks his intentions in those posts were misinterpreted, and would like the ban lifted. I have told each of them the same thing - this will not be handled through third parties. If Scott feels this way, he need to contact myself and Adrian Ko. I know that Scott is aware of this, because Matt Galas has been in communication with both of us, and communicated my position to him when they were at the recent tournament hosted by Colin Richards. Scott apparently chose not to contact me.

    Matt and I discussed this most recently about two or three weeks ago, after I suggested to him that the most recent things relayed to me third party suggested that Scott felt he was simply the injured party, and saw no real problem in his own involvement in those threads. Matt and I discussed what it would take to convince me that Scott was being misunderstood and for me to ask Adrian to lift the ban. We left it with an agreement between us, and I asked that we have a circular email with all three of us, in order to hear Scott's side and to confirm that we are all on the same page. This also allows Matt, as Scott's chief defendant on this thread, to be a witness as to what was said by both parties.

    This would be the first time anyone on this forum received such special consideration, and one of the few times SFI lifted a ban. But again, as of yet I have heard nothing.

    People make mistakes, people are often misunderstood via email. I do not believe Scott was simply misunderstood, that he had no intention to bait or provoke anyone in those posts, or that he shouldn't have received some sort of discipline on the forum. However, that doesn't mean that tempers didn't flare all around, that things were handled ideally, or that SFI may not have been too harsh on Scott. But there is no way to know that, or to resolve this if he is unwilling or uninterested in contacting me. That is his prerogative.

    At this point I feel that I and SFI have done due diligence in pursuing a review and resolution of the issue, and unless he wishes to follow-up with the offer I made through Matt Galas, I feel the matter is closed.
    Last edited by Gregory Mele; 10-21-2008 at 12:46 PM.
    Greg Mele
    Chicago Swordplay Guild

    Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

    "If the tongue could cut
    as the sword can do,
    the dead would be infinite."

    Filippo Vadi, "Arte Dimicandi Gladiatoria" (c.1482 - 87)

  10. #35
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    Clarification

    For the record, Scott Brown is currently out of the country, visiting Europe, training with HEMA groups over here, and visiting various research libraries. So he's not really in a position to communicate.

    Regarding our last e-mail exchange, Greg, I've been waiting for a more detailed response from you on conditions, so I guess each of us has been waiting for the other. I must admit, I've also been distracted by a shoulder injury as well. So let's not lay the blame at Scott's feet for our lapse in communication.

    Regards,
    Matt Galas
    Mons, Belgium

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Galas View Post
    For the record, Scott Brown is currently out of the country, visiting Europe, training with HEMA groups over here, and visiting various research libraries. So he's not really in a position to communicate.

    Regarding our last e-mail exchange, Greg, I've been waiting for a more detailed response from you on conditions, so I guess each of us has been waiting for the other. I must admit, I've also been distracted by a shoulder injury as well. So let's not lay the blame at Scott's feet for our lapse in communication.

    Regards,
    Hi Matt,

    Not laying blame, just answering Szabloc's overall question of was nothing done about this.

    Basically, I left it as we should get the three of us onto one email discussion. I want to hear Scott's explanation from his end, go over the terms we discussed and see if we're all in agreement. From there, I'll take it to Adrian.

    If you want, while Scott is gone, we can flesh this out offline.

    Greg
    Greg Mele
    Chicago Swordplay Guild

    Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

    "If the tongue could cut
    as the sword can do,
    the dead would be infinite."

    Filippo Vadi, "Arte Dimicandi Gladiatoria" (c.1482 - 87)

  12. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Mele View Post
    If Scott feels this way, he need to contact myself and Adrian Ko.
    With all due respect Scott did contact an SFI moderator. Depsite this being passed on through the appropriate channels it was ignored

    Never before on SFI has one moderator placed themself in a superior position to the others and insisted that they be the one to be contacted regading a rules issue. This clear breach of forum precendent with someone you admit to having a personal issue with was one of the main reasons for me choosing no longer to be associated with the moderating "team" here.

    It is entirely your right to ban Scott and not to lift that ban, this is not a democracy after all, but please dont try to make out that it is anything but your simple choice.
    Learn English Martial Arts

    "I have declaired in my prdoxes of defence of the false teachinge of the noble scyence of defence used here by the Italyon fencers."

    "The time of the foot is when you step forward to strike"

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by M J Austwick View Post
    With all due respect Scott did contact an SFI moderator. Depsite this being passed on through the appropriate channels it was ignored
    Oz,
    I'm afraid I don't know anything about this as a moderator. Unless if you only told Adrian. I was surprised to read this post, so I even went back on the moderator forums to search for this... the only thing that I found was a post saying you talked to Scott, and that you didn't agree with banning him. And in that same thread, we discussed your opinion, but there was nothing about Scott contacting SFI.

    Never before on SFI has one moderator placed themself in a superior position to the others and insisted that they be the one to be contacted regading a rules issue. This clear breach of forum precendent with someone you admit to having a personal issue with was one of the main reasons for me choosing no longer to be associated with the moderating "team" here.
    That is quite a misrepresentation. Moderators act as points of contact all the time... it simply isn't feasible to have every single moderator in contact with a person every time there is an issue. You know that. This case is no different: Greg is handling something as a point of contact. It would either have to be him or me, and it wouldn't really matter which one of us it is.

    It is entirely your right to ban Scott and not to lift that ban, this is not a democracy after all, but please dont try to make out that it is anything but your simple choice.
    Well, quite frankly, it was my choice too. Scott was out of line, and it wasn't the first time. I *politely* pointed out to him that he should watch his tone (I even gave him the benefit of the doubt that it was just poor internet communication skills), and he completely ignored me, without so much as even saying, "Whoops, sorry, didn't mean to come across as such a jerk, I meant it in a different way." A simple apology could have done wonders for his position. Most of us learn that before entering grade school.

    I know you are friends with Scott, Oz, and I respect that you want to stick up for a friend. But Greg isn't the only one who had a problem with Scott's behaviour (as an inbox full of upset PMs by dozens of various readers, both participants and lurkers, can testify).
    Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
    --German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


    "A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of all skill."

  14. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Grandy View Post
    Oz,
    I'm afraid I don't know anything about this as a moderator. Unless if you only told Adrian. I was surprised to read this post, so I even went back on the moderator forums to search for this... the only thing that I found was a post saying you talked to Scott, and that you didn't agree with banning him. And in that same thread, we discussed your opinion, but there was nothing about Scott contacting SFI.
    A lot of PMs and emails have been exchanged over this matter. I no longer have access to the mod forum but I'm sure you'll see all sorts of references to off-forum discussions taking place. I find it quite insulting that you seem to be calling me a liar.

    That is quite a misrepresentation. Moderators act as points of contact all the time... it simply isn't feasible to have every single moderator in contact with a person every time there is an issue. You know that. This case is no different: Greg is handling something as a point of contact. It would either have to be him or me, and it wouldn't really matter which one of us it is.
    It is not a mis-representation. Moderators act as points of contact, never before has a mod been able to insist that they must be the designated point of contact. That is why SFI has a team of moderators, so they can act as a team. The fact that that team has been clearly disregarded in this case is fairly obvious. I was involved in a lot of discussions about whether people should be banned over the last 8 or so years as a mod, never has one been dealt with so unfairly as this.

    Well, quite frankly, it was my choice too. Scott was out of line, and it wasn't the first time. I *politely* pointed out to him that he should watch his tone (I even gave him the benefit of the doubt that it was just poor internet communication skills), and he completely ignored me, without so much as even saying, "Whoops, sorry, didn't mean to come across as such a jerk, I meant it in a different way." A simple apology could have done wonders for his position. Most of us learn that before entering grade school.
    Yet that apology was offered, the fact that it was not offered specifically to Greg seems to be the problem.

    I know you are friends with Scott, Oz, and I respect that you want to stick up for a friend. But Greg isn't the only one who had a problem with Scott's behaviour (as an inbox full of upset PMs by dozens of various readers, both participants and lurkers, can testify).
    Scott and I have met once, we got on. To imply that I am only acting the way I am because of that is extremely unfair. If you go back and look in the many threads over the years in the mod forum you will see that I have regularly acted in the same manner for people regardless of whether I knew them personally or not. I do not expect you (the team of moderators, not you specifically) to lift the ban on Scott but I do believe that your not doing so goes against everything that SFI is supposed to be. That is why I felt I could no longer be an official part of it.
    Learn English Martial Arts

    "I have declaired in my prdoxes of defence of the false teachinge of the noble scyence of defence used here by the Italyon fencers."

    "The time of the foot is when you step forward to strike"

  15. #40
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    Oz,

    As an SFI moderator, you are well aware that we assign moderators to the sub-forums. The HES mods are myself and Bill Grandy. You brought your concerns and your support of Scott to the other mods, and it was *not* ignored, it was *disagreed* with. As you are also well aware, I asked both Bill Grandy, the other HES moderator - who has never met Scott to give his opinion. I also asked the other mods who do not post here, and aren't HES people to review the threads and give their advice - not one who replied suggested we do anything other than ban. So you weren't ignored, you were the minority opinion.

    As to bias, I have met Scott Brown once. He took two classes from me at WMAW and was a perfectly fine student who asked some good questions and trained hard. He also was part of an altercation with another instructor at that event, which I had to mediate. Essentially, that is the total of my direct experience with him, outside of this forum. Conversely, he had just come to visit you and Dave Rawlings in the UK before this incident. So I don't see how you can claim that I was predisposed to see the worst, and then say you weren't predisposed to see the best. That is applying a double-standard. It also ignores the over 20 PMs and emails that Bill and I received from posters and lurkers asking that we do something about the tone on this forum.

    The fact that SFI is reconsidering this at all was *my* idea, which you also know, just as it was my idea to shorten Dave's suspension. Further, Adrian is the owner of SFI and the person who actually initiated the ban and would need to lift it, and he *asked* me to investigate this. This is how we have handled problems on other sub-forums in the past - it starts with the moderators of that forum, because they are the person who best know the community on that forum, and what may have led to those infractions in the first place.

    Scott complained to you and others that Adrian and I were too harsh on him, he also complained that he never received my emailed warning. I hardly think it is inappropriate to say that if someone feels that they have been misjudged by the forum's administrator, they have been vocal about that, and they have their friends lobbying on their behalf, then there comes a point in time when they need to step up and express their side of the story directly - not third-party. When you cause a problem in someone's home, you don't apologize through a friend - you do it in person, to the people you insulted. In this case, that means myself, Bill and Adrian - the HES mods and SFIs owner. I find it astounding that asking someone to explain their side of the story directly could be considered unreasonable. Especially since, one of you says he apologized, another says he "was sorry he was misunderstood, but feels he did nothing wrong." Those are two very different things.

    If SFI leaves the ban as is, those who disagreed with it will accuse SFI, and myself personally, of grinding an axe, despite the fact that I barely know this man. If we lift the ban, I don't think for one moment that those who take exception to how SFI or myself handled this will change their opinions because of it. Indeed, I think your recent post today on another forum makes that clear, wherein someone specifically made the snide comment that someone should "stir up some trouble on SFI", and your response was: "I'm working on it".

    This sort of nonsense helps no-one. If Scott really *wants* to be reinstated here, then as his friend, maybe you should let Matt, Scott and I try and work this out rather than looking to "stir up some trouble" here?
    Last edited by Gregory Mele; 10-23-2008 at 10:23 PM.
    Greg Mele
    Chicago Swordplay Guild

    Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

    "If the tongue could cut
    as the sword can do,
    the dead would be infinite."

    Filippo Vadi, "Arte Dimicandi Gladiatoria" (c.1482 - 87)

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by M J Austwick View Post
    A lot of PMs and emails have been exchanged over this matter. I no longer have access to the mod forum but I'm sure you'll see all sorts of references to off-forum discussions taking place. I find it quite insulting that you seem to be calling me a liar.
    Take it easy, Oz. Please. I'm not trying to start a fight. But you posted that you forwarded Scott's message to the right channels. I truly have no idea what you're talking about. Seriously... I just reviewed the threads on the moderator forum, and the only thing is you saying you've talked to Scott, and you disagree with him being banned. You might believe you forwarded it to the right channels, but seeing as I'm a moderator for this forum and haven't heard a thing about it, I feel the need to state that something doesn't seem right here. That's not saying you're a liar, but it is saying that we aren't in agreement as to what happened.

    Yet that apology was offered, the fact that it was not offered specifically to Greg seems to be the problem.
    What apology?

    Scott and I have met once, we got on. To imply that I am only acting the way I am because of that is extremely unfair.
    I apologize, then.

    I do not expect you (the team of moderators, not you specifically) to lift the ban on Scott but I do believe that your not doing so goes against everything that SFI is supposed to be. That is why I felt I could no longer be an official part of it.
    Personally, that sounds very melodramatic to me, and I'm sorry you feel that way. But it is your choice.
    Last edited by Bill Grandy; 10-22-2008 at 11:13 AM.
    Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
    --German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


    "A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of all skill."

  17. #42
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    What-to-Do

    If SFI leaves the ban as is, those who disagreed with it will accuse SFI, and myself personally, of grinding an axe, despite the fact that I barely know this man.

    Greg: This is probably a pretty damn accurate assessment and really a no-win situation one way or another for you moderator guys. You made the call, and someone had to do that, I suppose. Inspite of how it may look as an agenda driven decision, you more than adequately explained the logic and reasoning and I don't see how anyone now can say that it was not thought out now .

    If we lift the ban, I don't think for one moment that those who take exception to how SFI or myself handled this will change their opinions because of it.

    This too is pretty much a correct assessment , and the answer may well lay in where that attitude came from and what are the circumstances that contributed to it. You see when you look at this thing it may well be not you, not Bill Grandy, not Scott or any of those other people who got into the proverbial 'pissing contest'.I guess the measure is whether you, and all those other moderators are going to 'saddle-up' and stick by your decision or find a solution that solves the problem for the good of SFI. When it's all said and done, I think this group of moderators is pretty damn tolerant when compared to some on other forums. You may have exercised a lot of tolerance here too but I'm telling you that it just does not come across that way. It looks like this thing has the potential to go beyond Scott Brown, Greg Mele, or Bill Grandy. I spent 23 years in the military making calls similar to this and I tell you I really don't envy the decision that is there for you to make. I guess you have to consider whether banning Scott Brown is worth the cost of losing some contributors. It appears that the ball is in Scott's court in terms of contacting you. No one else really needs to be involved. Good luck in settling this.

    Again my apologies for popping in. I did not plan to post for a while but this got called too my attention and I wanted to have my say. When I look at this whole circumstance it is pretty clear that only one person is to blame here. Us.

    Best
    Dwight

  18. #43
    Greg,

    I find it a little sad that some years ago, during a time of divisive political wranglings in the WMA community I was specifically asked to moderate this forum because of my moderate, and inclusive views, now it is those self same views that made me stand alone among the mods here.

    On the subject of other forums I assume Adrian has changed his mind about dragging dirt from other places here, it always used to be an absolute no no and members have been disciplined for it in the past. Secondly I publically supported a number of decisions I did not agree with in order to ensure that we, the moderating team, presented a united front. As I am no longer part of that team I no longer feel the need to tell people I agree with you when I clearly do not.

    As you have made it quite clear this is your forum, if you want to go on exlcuding people then that is your right. But it only makes SFI a more marginalised place to be, and that is something I have fought against for many years.

    Bill,

    I'm not after a fight, I've tried to do what I thought was right and been told in no uncertain terms that I was not right. You guys run your shop any way you see fit.
    Learn English Martial Arts

    "I have declaired in my prdoxes of defence of the false teachinge of the noble scyence of defence used here by the Italyon fencers."

    "The time of the foot is when you step forward to strike"

  19. #44
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    Take this crap off line. You administrators and moderators, handle the stuff among yourselves, all the rest of this is sausage making for the rest of us. I DON'T CARE how its done, I am glad it is in the works, and I hope it all works out. I do. I really do. Steve

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