“Hello, and a good evening to you all! Welcome to tonight’s game, as the Central High School Red Elephants take on the Blue Burros of Northside High School. Folks, this rivalry has been building up all season long, and we are anticipating an action packed contest on the gridiron here tonight!”

As an analogy, the above describes the vast majority of politically and socially themed threads here in the Debate Forum. Two “teams”…each intellectually prepared for the contest and wearing proper equipment (in the form of data in support of their position)…"doing battle" in an environment constructed to reward the team (or individual) that is best-prepared and puts forth the best overall effort. And...as anyone who has ever “put on the pads” can attest (having heard their coaches say it thousands of times), “if you aren’t sweating (or bleeding), you’re not in the game”.

As with football, a good debate ideally should be conducted with respect and sportsmanship toward your opponent, but there is no getting around the fact that it can get a bit rough at times. "Big hits", having your feet taken out from underneath you, and being “blind-sided” are all just part of the game. From its inception, the Debate Forum was meant to be “the field”; a place where Agelesslove members could present their positions on passionate, important issues, and where those positions could be discussed, examined, dissected, and evaluated objectively -- sans the protection of any "emotional covering" -- by other members. And in the end, if during such examination some positions are weighed, measured, and found wanting, …well, that’s why we keep score, right? Basically, bring your "A" game every time you post here and hope that it’s good enough. If it’s not, accept defeat graciously and go work on your game.

Why all this theater, you ask? To get to this:

Debate will now be a controlled access forum. To participate in the Debate Forum, members must obtain exclusive permission to do so from Jo-admin (granted upon request submitted via PM), and such permission will only be granted to members who understand and acknowledge that they will comply the following Debate Forum rules:

1. Beginning immediately, the Ageless staff will moderate ONLY issues of profanity, pornography, threats of any kind to person or property, and spam here in Debate. Do not report posts in the Debate Forum for any other reason. While we still encourage common sense and respectfulness here, participation in the Debate forum is now strictly “at your own risk”.

2. As with the other Agelesslove forums, personal issues that may develop between two members should be handled via PM by the members involved, and the “ignore” feature should be used when such problems cannot be resolved. However, regarding personal issues stemming from discussions here in Debate, a stricter policy will apply. Agelesslove moderators will not become involved in any such issues unless/until the members involved have shown evidence of attempts to work their problems out themselves via PM, and even then only under extraordinary circumstances. “Whining” to us after-the-fact about what so-and-so said to you or how they said it will result in the loss of your Debate Forum access privileges.

3. WHIDSID! (What Happens In Debate Stays In Debate!) There is no way to over-emphasize this! Anytime the mod staff finds ANY post in which a disagreement or conflict from Debate has spilled out into another forum or section of Ageless, the member posting it will receive a temporary two-week ban not only from the Debate Forum, but from the entire Agelesslove.com site, as well as a mandatory “2nd level” warning.* A second such offense will result in the member being permanently banned from the Debate Forum, an extended ban from the entire site (length to be determined by the site administrator), and a mandatory 3rd level warning.* This is definitely a “zero tolerance” issue folks; if you really want to be fast-tracked out of Ageless, then test us on this one.

And finally, a word to those members who aren’t quite ready to “suit up”…

The admin and mod staff realize that some members who have posted in the Debate Forum in the past will be uncomfortable with these changes, and we’d like reassure those members that the Discussion & Differing Views Forum (as well as all other areas of Agelesslove.com besides the Debate Forum) will remain fully moderated. Those members who prefer discussing issues (even if they are ones also under discussion in a Debate Forum thread) in a less-aggressive environment are encouraged to do so there.

* For those members who might be unaware of the mod staff's warning system, Agelesslove members who -- after being reminded of them (usually more than once) -- continue to show a pattern of disregard for the site's rules are issued a 1st level warning. A 2nd level warning is issued upon their next rules violation, along with a notice that if continued, such behavior could place their Agelesslove.com membership in jeopardy. Finally, if the violations persist, the member is issued a 3rd level warning and informed that the next such violation of site rules will result in he or she being permanently banned from Agelesslove.com.