Greetings members. Normally I like to be very hands off in the forum - I run this as a charity effort and as you can see I make no money from it. All the ads are charity ads. I offer this forum as a safe, comforting place for people who love parakeets (and other topics).

I personally strongly support gay rights - but I also support free speech. We would never interfere with someone *maturely* discussing their feelings on these issues. The few times we ban someone, it is only after repeated personal discussions where we ask them to abide by our rules of mature discussion including the use of swears. We are an international forum, and we have members from around the world. It is critical to us that our sometimes life-saving (for parakeets) advice be available to people in libraries around the world. It would be heartbreaking to me if a teenager in India wanted to use our forum to help save their parakeet and they couldn't get onto our forum because the swears in our forum caused their library filter to block our site. I *never* want that to happen.

The people we ban are banned for violating our rules, which are clearly stated and are linked to on the right side of every single forum page. Those rules exist for critically important reasons and they are not 'optional'.

I want to add that Pinto, my 11 year old parakeet, was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor this morning and I have been dealing with that as well. So my patience for the one or two malcontents who are "having fun" by filling our forum with swears is perhaps low. There is no call for swearing, ever, and there is no call for jeopardizing the ability of this forum to be used in libraries. I take that extremely seriously. Any new members who want to be healthy, helpful members of our community are welcomed with open arms. The few who were apparently enlisted to come "harass our members" will be asked to leave if their sole purpose of being here is to attempt to damage the forum's ability to be seen in libraries.

I'm not sure how I can make this all even more clear in our guidelines, but I will certainly try.

Finally, just to clarify a point, it does not seem that all the new members are one person. It appears rather that the one person contacted some friends and asked them all to jump on the board.

Lisa Shea, Owner