Please don't post your comments more than once. I moderate all comments and a delay between posting and appearing is part of the drill here. I get to all comments in due time. Please don't continually repost the same comment. Only one will be posted. Thank you.
Monday, December 01, 2008
It is not really possible to pinpoint the precise point at which OPDG began its long downhill slide into irrelevancy, bickering, and petty sniping. It has been at least a year, possibly more, since there has been any spirited discussion of a significant PERS topic. Yes, there have been discussions of PERS-related matters, but the old fire simply isn't there. Earlier this year, I made the decision that I could not tolerate the level of politicization of the Board and its hostile takeover by the extreme political right. I resigned as a moderator, and after many entreaties, started my own Yahoo newsgroup that *is* devoted exclusively to PERS and retirement-related issues. Once the political candidates were known, OPDG began on the relentless path to irrelevancy. There was a constant drumbeat of anti-Obama rhetoric, and attempts to crush and intimidate any opposing viewpoint (especially those who actually supported Obama). This has not abated with Obama's election, the financial crisis, and the end of George Bush's presidency. If anything, the hostility has grown in much the same way that talk radio seems to inflate by the appearance of political opposition.
The irony of this is that OPDG's charter actually warns new members about the very things that are tearing at the fiber of OPDG. Uncivil discussions, name-calling, ad hominem arguments, censoring posts for no obvious reason, etc. The reality is that there are only now four or five regular posters and a few drive-by shooters - mostly from the political far right, and a couple who have tried to defend the more moderate or left wing of politics. The left has no chance on OPDG, because the moderation team is composed primarily of those with opposing viewpoints. In short, for those of us who are celebrating the beginning of a new era in politics, OPDG is like the polar-bear club, with waterboarding.
Because I have no desire to subject *my* readers to the abysmal and unpleasant discussions over at OPDG, I am today removing the link for OPDG from my blog, and from my newsgroup. I will no longer reference any discussion on OPDG and will, in all likelihood, completely discontinue any participation in that group. Its members will still have access to the same news as both this blog and my newsgroup (see left to PERS Oregon Discussion) are completely open, unlike OPDG.
Contrary to the belief of many, there is still plenty of PERS news to report. It won't be daily; it may not be weekly. There is a legislative session coming in about 7 weeks, and with the financial crisis still ongoing, there will be many discussions about PERS and its financial health. It would not surprise me to find that PERS benefits show up again in discussions. Whether this will result in any changes or not, remains to be seen. But you can be assured that I and many others will be watching, listening, and reporting on relevant PERS news. You can be certain to find out here and on our sister-newsgroup (PERS_Oregon_Discussion).
And to the owner of OPDG, I wish you well competing in the political world. There are many other discussion groups on the web you can compete with. But if you wish to become the FOX news archive on the web, I'm afraid that FOX news has its own archive and anyone interested in seeing the views presented on that network can go there. You would be wise to heed the advice of Manu Chao who said it best when he wrote: "Politik Kills". Your group has a substantial membership, but the question you need to ask is how many readers do you actually have. How many have tuned out because the group has lost focus and lost direction. OPDG is becoming like the legendary foo bird. If you don't know that legend, Google is your friend.