November 2013


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"Romsted, Laurence" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 7 Nov 2013 12:35:50 +0000
text/plain (335 lines)

Thoughts on your second to last paragraph.

There are some big differences between being a list member and dissing
other list members and dissing a public figure, e.g., Null.  Is it fair to
Null? No, but he is a public figure.  Hard for public figures to claim
they have been slandered, as it should be.  Does it create a struggle
between Null and the list member who dissed him? No.  Should others who
disagree say so?  Yes.

Now comes the hard part, if the someone disagrees with what the other
person said about Null and perhaps the way it was said (your example of
the denialist label) they have an obligation to keep the conversation
civil, while pointing out that the first person did not, and that
attacking Null without reviewing or referencing the evidence is not
scientific.  That is, an obligation to prevent the discussion from
becoming a flame war, an obligation we all have.  No, Thomas does not have
the right on a discussion list to label someone who he does not know at
all a "liberal" or whatever.  He needs to control his language as you do
so well.

I don't think Thomas is capable of controlling his language. He becomes a
"disturbance in the force", instead (little joke).  Is this his intent?  I
have no idea, but intent or not, he becomes destructive to the list.


On 11/6/13 11:54 PM, "Mitchel Cohen" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>You probably already know this, but Marijuana is probably the best
>thing you can take for most Glaucomas. Also, for high blood pressure!
>You're of course entitled to your own views about WBAI, but let's
>base them on correct information, please. Doug Henwood and others in
>the 5 pm strip on WBAI were all given different time slots, as the
>then-program director noticed that Doug, especially -- and Ralph
>Schoenman and Mya Shone -- had hardly any live audience. (And by
>"hardly any" I'm talking about fewer than a few dozen listeners via
>the radio.) So they were being moved -- sure, it was tactless -- to
>MUCH BETTER TIMES for their shows, and a 5 pm news strip was to be
>aired in their old slot every day.
>Doug balked. He threw a hissy fit (sort of like Tom Smith has done).
>He quit. He was not fired or forced off the air.
>So now, in the slot that Doug was offered, WBAI airs Rick Wolff, and
>you can see what a great slot he's made it at noon every Saturday.
>Lots of listeners. (10x Doug's old audience, I think.).
>I'll let it go there. I'll be glad to argue with you over your
>characterization of Gary Null and myself and others as "Denialists",
>but why waste each others' time? How come you're allowed to say that
>on this list, but Tom Smith is not allowed to denounce you as a "liberal".
>Double standards. Either the moderators apply the same rules
>even-handedly, or it becomes a power struggle on this list. And none
>of us need that, especially now.
>At 07:25 PM 11/6/2013, Carrol Cox wrote:
>>I agree with Kamran. For good reason leftists are loathe to ban or
>>but there have to be limits or our very virtues wreck us.
>>The radio station that nurtures the likes of Gary Null first isolated
>>Henwood and in effect forced him off it. I've tangled viciously with him
>>over the years, but a radio station that forces him off and keeps Null
>>be quite a mess.
>>In most realms conspiracists are merely a nuisance. But Denialists of HIV
>>kill. And perhaps worse: the Medical Profession is in fact close to
>>and efrforts to expose that corruption are crippled by the idiotic and
>>vicious attacks of the like of Null. Several years ago, before I had even
>>heard of Null, I realized there was something odd going on in "left"
>>in NYC. At a Left Forum conference I got in conversation with a pleasant
>>elderly lady (probably a bit younger than me), and mentioned that I
>>from macular degeneration. She informed me that all I had to do was take
>>something or other and cure it; that the doctors were hopeless. That was
>>more or less harmless, though if anyone believed it they were in for
>>disappointment, but _some_ eye troubles _are_ treatable, and that
>>is available only from the MD's. I suffer from glaucoma also. That is
>>potentially disastrous, because macular degeneration affects only direct
>>vision (the retina), but glaucoma destroys the peripheral vision:
>>they would produce complete blaindness. My glaucoma is controlled by eye
>>drops; my present retinal specialist added a second series of drops to
>>one drop a day I was alrady on: it is probably overkill, but considering
>>Scams flourish around eye care, and I think one treatment suggested (an
>>expensive vitamin for six months) was a semi-scan, but simply ignoring
>>'establishment' medicine is not the way to confront them.
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Science for the People Discussion List
>>[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kamran Nayeri
>>Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2013 12:33 PM
>>To: [log in to unmask]
>>Subject: Fwd: Prohibitionary ban from Science for the People List
>>Dear All,
>>I don't know if this first of the three messages sent by Mr. Smith was
>>to you this morning. Please note how he ends it: "I have no use for your
>>pathetic list. It is biased, conservative, and repressive. Stick it up
>>respective assholes."  Clearly, Mr. Smith did not join this list to
>>build it
>>as he never showed any respect for others who took a different view and
>>is already bad-mouthing SftP to others outside of this affair, including
>>actiongreens (that Mitchel runs) and someone named Seth.
>>In this light, as a member of this list I move to convert Mr. Smith's
>>month prohibitionary ban decided by the MC to BAN FROM THE LIST.  Not to
>>so undermines the goal of SftP list.
>>Best regards,
>>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>From: Thomas Smith <[log in to unmask]>
>>Date: Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 6:52 AM
>>Subject: RE: Prohibitionary ban from Science for the People List
>>To: Kamran Nayeri <[log in to unmask]>,
>>[log in to unmask],
>>[log in to unmask]
>>Cc: [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask]
>>I do not remember any comments from either Mr. Fox or Ms. Smallhouse
>>me or taking me to task for any of the comments reprinted below. It
>>that neither of these people, nor you yourself, understand your
>>responsibilities as moderators, nor the difference between the truth and
>>baldfaced lie-covering your tracks.
>>I have no use for your pathetic list. It is biased, conservative, and
>>repressive. Stick it up your respective assholes.
>>From: Kamran Nayeri [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>>Sent: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 9:43 AM
>>To: [log in to unmask]
>>Subject: Prohibitionary ban from Science for the People List
>>Mr. Thomas Smith:
>>On behalf of the SftP Moderating Council (MC), I want to inform you of
>>decision to put you on probationary ban from the list for a period of
>>approximately three months, ending on January 31, 2014.  We will send
>>you a
>>notice when the time comes to rejoin the list on February 1, 2014 if you
>>chose with the understanding that similar conduct will result in your
>>permanent ban from the list.
>>A collegial and constructive mode of conduct is essential to the
>>of the list and fulfilling of its goal.
>>Unfortunately, from time to time the purpose of the list and individuals
>>have joined are undermined by destructive conduct.
>>In your recent posts, not only you have chosen to attack individuals who
>>disagreed with but also call them names.  Such behavior cannot be
>>as it undermines the very purpose of the list and people who have joined
>>What is worse, when two members of the MC-Herb Fox and Mandi Smallhorne-
>>tried to draw your attention to the norms of conduct as specified by our
>>Guidelines, you not only did not heed their request but also attacked
>>Below you can find examples of your conduct:
>>On October 25, responding to Herb Fox you wrote:
>>"It is just another canard you are creating, Mr. Fox. You seem to me to
>>be a
>>pseudo-liberal, who would like people to believe he has an open mind, but
>>whose only real claim to "liberalism" is that he tries to shut the
>>up. This sort of hypocrisy infuriates me about you 'liberals.'"
>>October 26 post written in response to a post by Mandi Smallhorne
>>Herb Fox's attempt to draw your attention to the list's Guidelines you
>>"What a naughty boy am I for violating the bullshit-"liberal," in reality
>>anti-communist and demagogic rules insisted upon by Mr. Fox."
>>On October 26, in another post you called Mandi Smallhorne a liar:
>>"Ahhh, a "quack buster"..
>>This is rubbish, Mandi. Your action was thoroughly repressive, and thus
>>nothing to do with science, and if successful would have deprived a
>>cash-starved WBAI and Pacifica not only a great voice for science, and
>>certainly don't understand it, but a powerful source of revenue..
>>'.This is pure mendaciousness, like your other lies here.'"
>>I append to the bottom of this note a copy of the Science for the People
>>List Guidelines. This letter will be sent to all members of the list to
>>notify them of this decision.
>>I hope you will find this note in the spirit intended-to fulfill the
>>Moderating Council's responsibility to safeguard the mission of the list.
>>Best wishes,
>>For the Moderating Council,
>>Kamran Nayeri
>>November 5, 2013
>>Moderating Council members are Sam E. Anderson, Eric Entemann, Herb Fox,
>>Kamran Nayeri, Claudia Pine, Laurence Romsted and Mandi Smallhorne.
>>Science for the People list guidelines:
>>1.      The list's primary concern is to promote the interests of the
>>of the non-scientists (essentially the world's population) by promoting
>>examples of science in the service of the people and exposing the use of
>>science in ways that are destructive of the well-being of the world's
>>2.      No-one who is interested in the substance of the discussion will
>>3.      No subject that is relevant to the list's primary concern will be
>>excluded. Purely political posts that could and do take place in other
>>should not be introduced.  If they are, the member will be warned once
>>by a
>>moderator that if they continue, they will be place on moderation.
>>4.      Any and all members who indulge in ad hominem attacks will be
>>on moderation for a period to be determined by the Moderating Council.
>>Science for the People is a forum for open and thoughtful discussion.
>>a member post on a topic with which other members disagree, no matter how
>>intensely, members are expected to respond the content of the post, not
>>person who sent it.
>>5.      When any member of the Moderating Council contributes to the list
>>serve in that capacity, the post will clearly identify that he or she is
>>speaking with the authority of the Moderating Council.
>>6.      The Moderating Council will have the authority to declare a
>>closed if it becomes clear that opposing views have been adequately aired
>>and discussion is going nowhere.
>>7.      The Moderating Council will confer with each other (at least a
>>quorum of three) if a decision to place a member on moderation, or any
>>serious decision, is in play.
>>8.      If queries arise about the decisions of the Moderating Council,
>>members should feel completely free to discuss them.