Ultima ratio regum (The final argument of kings)

Anthony Vickers anthonyvickers at gmail.com
Sat Aug 11 22:47:02 UTC 2007

Melissa Draper <melissa at meldraweb.com> wrote:

> Au contraire. Your accusations that the ops were bullying was, in fact,
> bullying. Was your intent to intimidate us from acting, lest we lose
> face? As a long-time regular, you would be aware that it wouldn't be the
> first time it has happened. The "Let me do as I please, or you lose my
> patronage" line gets used on us daily.
> If intimidation was your intent, it is much the same card that motorists
> try to play to parking inspectors, and we both know that rarely ends
> well for the motorist.

I really don't believe in intimidation. My only intent was to point
out the context, then that you were bullying when you refused to hear
argument and threatened people with kicks if they continued to use the
'n-word' as you put it. To be clear, the word in question is Nazi.
Most people when hearing or reading 'n-word' don't think Nazi but
something entirely different and far less acceptable and so it's
important to clarify.

To re-iterate, using the word in the context of a video game that
actually features Nazis or, for example, a war film featuring them or
referencing them in an historical context should at least be
tolerable. Calling someone a Nazi is far from acceptable and shouldn't
be tolerated. That wasn't the circumstance though, to my knowledge,
no-one called anybody anything.

I was using no such line with regard to my patronage. I've never done
that. It is now withdrawn and only after the event is it declared. No
threats and this is not an appeal. I just wish to point out the
consequence of your actions. I don't expect you to respect my opinion,
it's most obvious you don't. Some might though.

> I find it quite offensive that you insinuate that we do this for fun. I
> have the n-word in my highlights list so that if I am around, I can do
> my best to discourage the abuse of it. Discussing it in terms of silly
> video game characters (leather-clad n-word vixens) is highly
> disrespectful, as this completely trivialises the terror that the
> group's reign brought upon millions.

I insinuate nothing. I believe in stating things clearly as I see
them. When you started out saying you'd kicked someone elsewhere for
using that word and then when you threatened to kick the next person
to use it. I saw it as bullying and said so. Whether you were right or
wrong, your approach to the issue was threatening from the outset.

I understand that you would highlight the word as I'm sure many use it
to be offensive. Pouncing on it and imposing a blanket ban like that
was over-sensitive and inappropriate. I consider you intelligent
enough so expect you to understand the context of the word's use, it
wasn't abused.

> The initial intervention was a mere statement that the n-word was not
> welcome in #*ubuntu* channels. The actions of yourself and others you
> egged on, spiraled it down further.

The initial statement was that you'd kicked someone elsewhere for
using that word. I egged no-one on. I spoke only to you and at that in
order for you to understand the context. Let me assure you, there
isn't a conspiracy of users out to get at you or if there is, I'm not
part of it. I merely saw an injustice and couldn't stand by and watch
it continue. It was the Ops' manner that spiralled things down. Not my

> Sure, the n-word may be in a game about those characters of history.
> Mind you, I can find many books about that group and it's leader as
> well, not to mention the reference in Seinfeld that also involves soup.
> These references do not make the word ok. There are games around about
> murder, gang-wars, and drugs too. Discussions about these are equally
> frowned upon.
> If there needs to be a discussion on these topics, there are *plenty* of
> other places where it could be taken. There is always ##politics, or
> #offtopic which is where general offtopic-for-offtopic discussion is
> directed.

The topic had closed. It was merely brushed over. A statement to the
effect that the game featured Nazi vixens clad in leather and there it
was. Gone. You re-opened it to classify the word as taboo. I should
point out that the well respected and family oriented bbc doesn't
agree with your stance on censoring this word, even on a children's


I agree it can be offensive if it's directed at someone. Otherwise
you're either being overly sensitive or overly zealous in exercising

> We also have our guidelines, and these take the freenode guidelines one
> step further. The Ubuntu channels, including #ubuntu-offtopic, are also
> governed by the Code of Conduct with which I am almost certain you are
> familiar.

Yes I am aware of the Code of Conduct. To my knowledge, I've never breached it.

> I regret to inform you that this was *not* a case of 'throwing one's
> weight around'. If you refer to the act of 'giving oneself ops', then
> this is a kind of visual warning. We warned verbally, and when this was
> ignored and the trolling continued, we op'd. It is out of politeness
> that we gave these warnings.
> The rebellious behaviour of those in the channel had turned to mob
> trolling. In this situation, it would have been perfectly acceptable to
> remove all those who were misbehaving. We did not even do this -- as we
> would have been within procedure to have done. If we were 'throwing
> weight around', we would have.
> However, if you wish to discuss politeness, you may want to consider
> your own actions. You knew you were stirring trouble, yet you rudely
> continued. You accused us of bullying when we were merely doing our jobs
> in keeping the channel sane. This was *not* polite.

I still see it as throwing weight around. I saw nothing polite about
it. You gave threats, you wanted your way and that was that. Woe
betide anyone to disobey you. You would hear no argument about the
context and called in re-enforcements. This is where things really
declined into rudeness and bullying, Mneptok saying "Right. This F-ing
stops. Now!" and then undertaking to kick people at his whim was most
inappropriate and bullish. I was astonished at the behaviour of both
of you.

I merely pointed out three things;

1.The context of the use of the word didn't warrant its censorship.
2.You were bullying.
3.Mneptok was bullying.

My intent wasn't to stir up trouble. I anticipated the response but
that doesn't mean I deserved it. When one sees an injustice, however,
then one should speak out and damn the consequence. Especially if it's
an authority. Not doing so is how people like the Nazis gained power.



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