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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It’s not censorship

I'm glad to see the Victoria Advocate  is finally stepping up and taking charge.  They are the proprietors and it's about time they show it.  I'm forever grateful for the opportunity to post my views online but if credible posters continue to leave; what good is it?

Some posters think they have a first amendment right to post anything they like.  The first amendment applies to the government not infringing on your rights. Private individuals or businesses don't necessarily have to apply that standard.  Others think they're being censored; perhaps they are, but that's something that should be discussed with the moderator, via email.  I've seen a few posters dare the moderator to delete their comments.  Sometimes they are left intact, but it shouldn't surprise the poster if it is deleted because they expected it.  There will always be people that take it to the water's edge because it's in their nature, but they're fully aware of what they're doing.  Others need to show a tough persona to make up for their lack of knowledge.  Point is,we all have different personalities, and we will all occasionally make a mistake but I'm sure we all have a courteous gene and we should all make more use of it.

I thought Gabe Semenza submitted an interesting blog called " Plans for a Victoria River Walk?" It looked like he put a lot of work into it, got 224 views, but it didn't seem to be appreciated  by the comments it received.  I know there  are some well placed anger against our city and county officials but will the constant negativity discourage well intended blogs?  I've always wondered why creditable posters  are always leaving.  I know there are several reasons but how many are being discouraged by all the negativity?  I've seen other public forums where anything goes, but that doesn't mean Victoria has to follow suit.  For all the years that I've been involved; I've read a lot of intelligent posts, so I know the talent pool is out there.  I would like for them to come back, so we could all benefit.  It's good to see SatansLittleBuddy and Zorro are  making their way back.


Edith Ann said...

Interesting blog, Mike. As one who is constantly accused of ALWAYS being negative, can you elaborate a little more of what you mean by negativity? And it's okay if you are referring to me--I can take it.

In my defense, just because I ask questions or have a deffering opinion, does that equate to nagative?

I'm glad you are bringing that up.

As to the Riverwalk thing--Yes, that is an old idea. Sharone Steen, currently half of Gary Dunnam and Sharon Steen, used to be hooked up with Harold Nichols and she and Harold thought up a lot of the Riverwalk stuff. Lack of backer and associated cash killed it from what I understand.

I am all for it, if the City is not the owner. Private enterprise can develop and support this, in my opinion.

Mike said...

Edith Ann

The main theme of this blog was to support the locals’ newspaper's recent action. Like everything else, every now and then we get out a line. It is my opinion that if we want to retain credible posters, we need to have a forum worth coming back to. I know that I'm part of the blame, and I’m trying to do something about it.

The constant negativity comes from the comments that are usually on the" police blotter" thread. Sometimes they fill the page with the most hateful things imaginable. I think new posters are turned off by that. I liked the historical pictures and short summary Gabe submitted, but it turned into one racial comment and a response to that comment, etc. Why submit something you researched and thought you would like to share? I guess that's a chance you have to take.

They are subjects that will always produce negativity: politics, religion and race..... I don't think anyone has any problem with your inquiries because you certainly are not the only one. You are a good contributor, knowledgeable, and give as well as you take, so it is my opinion that those that place that tag on you want to avoid having a reasonable debate with you.

Gabe did mention the new River Walk project, but I'll reserve comment to a time when it starts to get its feet on the ground. I don't mind a joint venture between city/county and private enterprise... I don't have that Ron Paul (government is bad) mentality.... There is no question that our city has thrown money down the drain, but I wish they would just stop trying to make this city grow overnight.. Victoria is going to grow(too slowly for some) because of our natural resources, closeness to a large body of water, industrial plants, brand new schools, medical facilities, and its people. We're not going to turn into a ghost town just because we don't have fiestas, numerous nightclubs, large department stores, or the next elaborate growth scheme.... We need to take Victoria as it is; not as some non- Victorians wants us to be.

BTW I'll be more than glad to show you successful joint ventures but I still respect your stance.

Matt Ocker said...

Mike, This may be a first, but maybe not. I am in total agreement with your last post. In fact, I have made some of those exact statements. My concerns about a Riverwalk in Victoria is my understanding of the Guadalupe River. We don't have the same dynamics in the Victoria section of the River that New Braunfels or San Antonio have. What kind of damage will be done every time we have one of those raging floods? What happens if the River changes course?

What I think some people need to understand is that we don't have to have something here that does not fit or does not work, simply because some other place has it. We don't need a Space Needle, and we don't need to construct another Niagara Falls.

Edith Ann said...

Oh, yeah, there are plenty who have a problem with me questioning, but most of the time I give it no thought.

I think the quality of the forum has gone way down and I have been bemoaning the absence of the old regular good, thoughtful posters. A couple of years ago, Don Mader predicted that the forum would be reduced to it lowest common denominator, and think we are just about there.

I had planned to blog sort of on this topic tonight, and I am going to link your blog to mine, if you don't mind.

Matt Ocker!! I cannot believe you are over here!

Mike said...

Edith Ann

I think we still have some thoughtful posters with varying opinions but they'll go way like the others unless the Advocate steps in and starts enforcing their rules..... I don't normally agree with what Don Mader says ,because he once said that he was a member of that prestigious club of intelligence"Mensa"...[.That's persons who have attained a score within the upper two percent of the general population on an approved intelligence test that has been properly administered and supervised]..Anyway that's just my opinion but I was not impressed with SurleyYouJest aka Don Mader...BTW when the Victoria 10 lost their poorly constructed case; Don Mader's name was reveled by a process of elimination...He then started to use this real name but tried to chastise others for hiding behind their screen names.

Anyway,you did it again; you didn't say what you thought about my analysis of Victoria and its growth or that sometimes a joint venture can be in the interest of both parties.

You never did respond to the questions I asked on March 16,2011 in my blog titled "It's personal"...The last response I got was " AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!
March 17, 2011 10:10 PM
Did you get frustrated or did you forget?..:-)

Edith Ann said...

You are correct! I'll work on those answer. Really.

On the earlier one--I had this nice long, thoughtful post and when I went to post it, I got this odd message about something not being able to do something else. I can't remember now, but it madeit all go away and I had not done it in Word. So, there you are.

Be back later--

Mike said...

Not to worry Edith Ann, I get those errors all the time..... I think Blog-spot takes too long to respond to the profile input.... I usually post, encounter the error, exit out and, and by the time I get to the profile section it's fixed with my name... I just resubmit my post....I hope that makes sense.......The "Queen Blogger" must have connections because we're using the same template...;-) but in case you get bored "Thor" has put up another "birther" blog but it must be catching on; he has a couple fans..:-)

Rebecca said...

I'm upset that the caped kid story got closed to comments. I looked at it this a.m. and didn't have time to comment. By the time we got back from tennis and lunch at the mall, it was closed to comments. I assume it is because the commenters were so mean to the kid. I've noticed that adults love to gripe about kids over there - they act so hateful. He hadn't committed a crime, just found a loophole in some silly rules while schooling us on capes, cloaks, and mantles. Sorry, but "no stripes" and "no plaid" just seems silly to me! I can image what a teen thinks of that. A teen probably thinks, "adults are whacked" and then looks at all rules as suspect. I don't actually know the psychology behind that, but I can imagine what a teen thinks if rules seem to have no common sense or logic behind them...

Mike said...


I read the story but not the comments because the self righteous usually takeover.... I've seen many occasions where adults were out- right rude telling teenagers that this forum was for adults...Huh? How can you tell?

My adult children will agree with you because they said too many of my rules were based on " because I said" and not on logic.

You been out of the loop lately.

Rebecca said...

But, I'm sure your rules had some very good reasoning behind them, you just didn't always have time to explain, nor did you need to. I bet they figured out the "whys" as they got older and had their own children. =D

Rebecca said...

reason = love

Mike said...


Lol... It works both ways.. A few years ago when the grand-kids used to spend the night, they would go back home and tell their parents what Po-Po allowed them to do... My children jokingly asked"who is that man?"..... I use to make my oldest, read a newspaper every day from Monday-Friday...At the end of week I wanted a report on 3 current events from the front page and one of their choice. Those little reports included geography,history,new words,civics,math,English etc. ,all from the front page....A few years ago my grandson told me he was caring out the tradition.....I quit doing that because it became a chore reading and checking those reports for accuracy.....:-)

Mike said...

That was carrying out the tradition,instead of caring..I don't he cares for it..:-)

Edith Ann said...

Mike, I have tried to recall the crux of the comment I tried to post on your “It’s Personal” blog, but apparently every night when I sleep, my brain is scrubbed clean! I can’t do it.

I know I was asking, basically, if there was anything that would change your view of some of the topics you included and that the comments generated. You said it was not necessary. I wasn’t suggesting that I drag boxes of documents over so you could take a look; I guess I thought if were interested in hearing how I came to my conclusion (which we see are somewhat different than yours), I’d be happy to enter into that discussion with you, privately of course. I guess it is the former investigator in me that always wants to ask, “How do you know that?” and then wanting to see the ‘how’.

But this is certainly not an issue that I intend to pound you with. You are more than capable of forming your own opinions. I’ll try not to hammer too hard! But should you ever be curious as to the how, I could tell you how in 25 words or less.

Joint venture on capital projects—I am sure many exist very well. VICTORIA just needs to stay out of them for the time being. Their record of giving it all away and getting not so much in return speaks for itself. I am only speaking to the local folks on the ‘stay out of it’ remark.

I completely agree with this (see above): “There is no question that our city has thrown money down the drain, but I wish they would just stop trying to make this city grow overnight.. Victoria is going to grow(too slowly for some) because of our natural resources, closeness to a large body of water, industrial plants, brand new schools, medical facilities, and its people. We're not going to turn into a ghost town just because we don't have fiestas, numerous nightclubs, large department stores, or the next elaborate growth scheme.... We need to take Victoria as it is; not as some non- Victorians wants us to be.” Waking up from their sleepy slumber to discover it is no longer 1962 is just not a good enough reason to act like everything is an emergency.

But to the fact that the quality of posters on the Victoria Advocate is declining, and it is, I don’t like that. There are like five people left who genuinely engage in the community conversation as the VA likes to call it. Through the VA’s efforts at censorship, many folks don’t even bother. I’m not sure what your experience has been with others on the forum, there are many of us who, through the forum, have become friends outside of the forum. In essence, the ‘social network’ that Cobler pushed so hard a couple of years ago was successful. We talk outside of the forum. We no longer need to rely on the forum as the only place we communicate with each other. That has made it very easy for me to pass on commenting. And why would I want to continue to post comments when the troll group is just waiting to copy and paste—out of context—a comment I made months ago?

Whether you cared for Don Mader or not, he was right about the quality of the posters. Why some of you hang in, knowing that the five or so of you are having to carry the intellectual load for the 25 dumb shits that are posting, really is interesting to me. I’m glad you all do it, but it is still interesting that you would.

Did I get it all? 8^)

Mike said...

Edith Ann

My point back then(I reread my blog) had more to do with doctoring a login script than the issue of documents. I've also said I would never debate local issues with you because I know my limitations; you would destroy me. I also recall saying that your proof would be better suited for the authorities.

We are in complete agreement on Victoria staying out of big projects for now. I think we would both like to see them complete the Laurent Street project. It's going to look great when it's completed. And I also agree that the mayor needs to stay out of the limelight and just attend to the ceremonial aspects of his job. He needs to turn the spokesman duties over to the city manager or his communication director...I don't think we need to bury our heads in the sand, but we need to raise the bar of acceptance... We should tell these star gazing entrepreneurs to come back when their business plan has 90% of the financing and legal documents approved. At that time, we will allow them to try and convince us that Victoria has a 95% chance of benefiting...May I have that in writing please.

I think we're using a different criteria for quality of posters. I said those things about Don Mader in a context. If that bar of quality is set to Mensa standards; few will meet it. I'm not looking for online friends, just a friendly discussion or just an opportunity to state my views. I'm keeping count ; we now have seven posters that can be called "birthers." I got to a point yesterday where I felt it was a civic duty to provide fact checking sites where people could go to find the truth... Evidently, our newspaper is not going to do that.... I would bet my last dollar Joe Patrick Bean would have already done that.

I think it's clear that we disagree on the definition of a quality poster. I just want a factual poster that has reasonable sources to back their claim or has a reasonable expectation of being correct.

There are several unanswered questions, but we will eventually get to them....I am curious why a smart person like yourself would doubt that Caterpillar is going to build their plant here. That's where you lose me.....(1). I don't think Victoria would ever say a major corporation was coming here; if it wasn't...(2) I know Caterpillar would not allow its name and reputation to be used that way. (3) They would not have sent their representatives to sign official documents and have a documented press conference....

Mike said...

Kyle has found the "birther" solution; fight the absurd with a humorous well written blog.

Believe it or not;the 1982 filmed "Birth of a Nation" ridiculed the KKK out of existence.

Edith Ann said...

Short answer on the CAT question because it is the easiest--

Because it is documented that they have done just that, gone into a community and NOT followed through.

As I said, they have invested very little except time (until this past Monday). It would have been very easy for there to be a 'postponement' with a 'yet to be determined' resume date. Large corporations often send folks ahead to 'check out the community'. That makes them the welcoming committee when the other big wigs show up.

I'll work on the other later. Headed to Goliad now...

Mike said...

Edith Ann, yes a postponement and a resume date is quite possible but to these corporations, their word is their bond;dontcha think? Victoria is not the last plant they will be building, their reputation will precede them or do you think other communities won't care?...That could be possible because even if Exelon told us that they would use up most of our water, had some contamination problems that they are working on,some would just see jobs on the horizon and nothing else.

Edith Ann said...

I think Dale Fowler knew a deal when he saw it. I am all for this plant. I really am. I had my doubts as to their committment, based on some of their past history, and the fact nothing was happening for so long.

I absolutley believe that if CAT's financial situation were to change or something that would cause original plans to be significantly altered--YES, I do believe they would bail. They are in the business of making money, not losing money and they are not going to make a sacrifice on our behalf!

It's business, not friendships.

But, on the other hand, would our city leader sacrfice the taxpayer in their zeal to achieve their personal agendas and those of their friends? In a heartbeat! And they will never look back.

Now, to the quality poster--I agree. Folks who post factual stuff are nice. Folks who take the time to form a thought before they push send are nice. Folks who never seem to contribute to the quality of the forum--no. Do they have to agree with me to be quality? Not at all. I can handle poor spelling and bad grammer. I just have alow tolerance for stupid.

Kyle's Trump blog is hysterical! Interesting how the republicans are staying away.

Mike said...

No shutdown ...PlannedParenthood remains for $39 billion in cuts for next 6 months

Mike said...

CAT is one of the most successful Corp. in the world,they are in great financial shape because a lot of their money is made overseas...We are lucky they even considered us...they didn't get that way by playing games.

I was wrong,we are on the same page in regard to posters.

I agree Kyle did a great job.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Edith Ann said...

CAT is here and there is every indication to me that this project is moving in the right direction.

No matter our differing thoughts on the interim stuff, the bottom line is one we agree on, I'm sure--many, many new jobs for Victoria, and that is never a bad thing.

Care to discuss the call for an educated workforce (i.e., the Commission on Education agenda) vs. the influx of jobs that don't require a degree (EF Shale and CAT), or should we just leave it here?

Have a happy Saturday!

Mike said...

I wasn't that interested in the TAMU/UHV issue, thinking that they will work that out... For some reason I started reading Emmett Alvarez's column this morning and I couldn't put down because it brought back memories of the relationship we've had with UHV and Victoria College and how that issue was resolved. I've read many boring analysis of the situation, but Emmett brought it home, so I'm now on the side of us remaining with UHV if at all possible. Then again,I am all about loyalty,after all I am a democrat..:-)

I'm not up on all the details about an educated workforce much less an agenda of a so-called commission. I think Eagle Ford Shale and Caterpillar will have their own criteria for hiring... I hear the local industrial plants are now accepting GED applicants and hiring them. Today's corporations are about the bottom line and they'll stick to that until we have a major disaster because of incompetence.... A GED or a high school education will probably get you by, in a manual labor intensive field but today those employees are expected to understand EPA regulations, the chemical properties of the material they are handling, and to take continuing education classes to become more productive employees. Computer literacy is a must because more and more companies are using high-tech equipment and instruments.....I think Emmett hit the right note on what he said about the makeup of any commission on education.... I'm pretty sure I've read where you called for equality on the board.

I'm sure we're not talking about same thing but I'm giving you a heads up..:-)

Kyle said...

Thanks for the kind compliments Mike and EA regarding my tongue in cheek blog! I find humor is the only way to deal with notions that border on the insane.

Mike said...

I agree humor is the best way to deal with conspiracy theories and other nonsense but it's hard to use that tactic on those that didn't pick up on the picture of the dog...That should have given it away.:-)