Democracy and equality have no meaning in this private forum that is visible to the public.
Well then thats the nub of the matter isn't it. Usually one reads the forum guidelines and decides to go with that. Some folks only find much later after being rapped on the knuckles or banned that joke A is jolly good show when coming from poster X but if you (Y) do it you can go stew your head in whatever. Usually the damage is already done to the spirit of the forum even if the person Y making the post is banned later or whatever.Social hierarchies are fine -- but as far as I understand in any civil society or club; private or otherwise -- one has to maintain a certain behavior standard which are common to all.
IMVHO that is not being done here by some folks who have "older handles".
A lot of concern has been expressed here on the lack of civil behavior and name calling; perhaps if a distinguished member X was immediately rebuked rather than being let on a free for all spree for the longest time before others started responding in kind the problem. would have never happened. The rot always starts from the top and if the people at the highest levels (in terms of club seniority) are seen as indulging in a certain kind of behavior and getting away with it; its only a matter of time that the game will be joined by others.
At that point of time worrying about forum quality would be a pointless exercise in my opinion since the die would already have been cast as to the nature of interaction.
Thesearch for truth and meaningful discussion will be hampered if there is a feeling that the statements are not being judged on their merit but on who makes them -- IMVVHO and all the standard disclaimers.