I don't understand this thread.
I think if you were to look over my posts about American history or politics, you'd find pointed criticisms of America's legacy of racism, oppression, inequity and general stupidity on a wide range of topics. You'd find that, while I'm a supporter of Barack Obama, it's with the caveat that he's the best that our political system will allow at the moment. And I have a lot of not so nice things to say about that system and our cultural institutions because, like Frank, I'm of the left. And this country is broadly speaking, of the right.
Unlike Frank, I'm an American. I think that changes how I'm perceived even if I make a similar point and even if we were to use the same language. There are such things as in-groups and out-groups. There are words that will take on different meanings depending on who is speaking, whether or not the speaker or the listener is aware of it. The fact of the matter is that Frank is not a member of our group. He's not an American. His words therefore carry different conotations. If I were to post in every thread about a shooting with a call for sensible gun control, this would likely be perceived differently by virtue of the fact that I live in this country and have a stake in our insane gun policy. I don't think that this is an anti-American view or that it's anti-American to express that view, even in sometimes harsh terms. I've lost friends, Americans, to gun violence. I don't want to lose any more. And I don't want other people to either. If I were to post something like that in those threads, I might be seen as perhaps insensetive, inappropriate in my timing, perhaps it might be seen as annoying, as yet another example of me getting on my hobby horse, rather than grappling with a tragedy. But I don't think it'd be viewed as anti-American.
Maybe I'm not reading enough of his posts, but I really don't see what the problem is supposed to be. Why shouldn't he be critical of the US, in particular? We're a particularly problematic country. I mean, yeah, we can talk about Syria, but as far as I know Asad isn't conducting drone strikes in other countries or pushing other countries, countries like Frank's, into wars of choice.
As for the topic that sparked this whole thing:
Regarding the volleyball thread, yes it was the pic that set me off. Who doesn't know what volleyball is? Why even post a pic? Of volleyball? But as soon as I saw it was the U.S. gold medal team it seemed very obvious to me he was dissing the sport because, again, it was America, the boogy man, who was involved.
Did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe the reason that he might have choose a picture of the US team was the fact that it was the gold medal team? The team that would therefore have its picture showing up on more news sites and social media sites than other volley ball teams. I mean HAL, it was two US teams in the women's final.
And let me finish with this:
I understand his points. And I understand his points, and again and again I understand his points. That's the point - he's made his point over and over again and it's wearing thin. We have a Constitution and in it is a 2nd amendment. It's not going away and nothing much is going to be done about gun control no matter how many years Frank complains about it. He's said enough about it. No more will do any good at all. I could become a U.S. senator and carry all of Frank's posts to Capital Hill and still nothing would change about it. It ain't happening.
We have bad health care. We have bad gun control. We have religious nutters running around shooting people. We are the World Police. Got it. OK. Thanks Frank. Now go talk about the Queen's wardrobe or something will you?
Couldn't the same thing be said about just about any other member that makes repeated posts about any other issue?
You yourself posed an interesting question in this thread
estimating our rate of success, in terms of potential deconversions. In that thread you seemed to understand that you were dealing with a website and a discussion forum. It's not reasonable to expect our impact to go much farther than the people that have had contact with the site. Why shouldn't the same be true about any other issue about which we might have strong opinions.
HAL, you're not going to eradicate Christianity no matter how many times you post about its various absurdities, dangers and falsehoods. But you might, just might manage to change the mind of a Christian that happens to read some of those posts. Likewise, Frank isn't going to change our gun laws with a post. But someone might read Frank's post and think differently when they go in the voting booth. If not, I know plenty of people that yell at their TV during political shows. Sometimes it's just good to vent.
Anyway, again, my I'm missing something. I'm not exactly going to run through Frank's posting history. Maybe he ran wild in some PMs or something. But did y'all really ban him? Over this
Let me know how wrong I am.