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Michael:

The last sentence is a bunch of pejorative labels, not analysis of anything.
They can be used by anyone from any political position attacking another
(except maybe infantile leftism).  You wrote:

≥But do I think their HIV denialism is a sign of clueless, knee-jerk,
stereotypical, infantile leftism on their part? Yes I do. That is a
political statement, or a political attack if you like.≤

As you wrote, they are feelings; to me feelings expressed as pejorative
labels.  They are not political analysis or evidence.  If you feel that way,
then what is the point of discussion?

If I was in a discussion/debate with you and you made one or more of those
statements about me, I would know that all discussion was over.

Personally, I recommend that you not participate in any such online
discussion/debate.

Me, I am not so concerned about the number of posts.

Larry





On 2/19/07 5:14 AM, "Michael Balter" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Larry, since this is my second and last post of the day, I will use it to
> respond briefly to yours.
> 
> I am not asking to reserve my right to make personal attacks on people, but to
> engage in sharp political responses to folks such as Cohen and Campbell. This
> may be interpreted by some as personal attacks, but I don't think they are.
> For example, I would like to be able to argue not just the detailed points
> about 9/11 conspiracies and HIV and HPV denial, which we have seen plenty of
> recently on this list, but about the broader issues that concern me most: The
> damage that this kind of flaky nonsense does to the left, its credibility, and
> its ability to be persuasive to others. This might even extend to doing
> something you probably would not appreciate, which would be to criticize WBAI
> and other Pacifica stations that spend a lot of air time on this kind of
> nonsense (especially 9/11) and thus limit their audiences to a fairly small
> number of true believers in many cases (the audience for these stations has
> not grown, and I think the wrong side won in the Pacifica wars. That is not
> going to be popular with some people here, such as yourself, and it may be
> taken as a personal attack, but it's not.)
> 
> So while requests to keep the number of posts down seem reasonable to me,
> attempts to censor, inhibit, restrict, or otherwise limit political expression
> seem unhealthy and unwise. I never said that Mitchel Cohen or Jonathan
> Campbell were ugly or stupid or had bad breath, because I have never met them.
> Those would be personal attacks. But do I think their HIV denialism is a sign
> of clueless, knee-jerk, stereotypical, infantile leftism on their part? Yes I
> do. That is a political statement, or a political attack if you like.
> Perfectly legitimate.
> 
> best, Michael
> 
> On 2/19/07, Larry Romsted <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Michael:
>> 
>> I doubt that the two sides in this potential debate will convince each
>> otherčat least immediately.  The people you want to reach are those of us who
>> are just reading (the email equivalent of listening quietly because we may do
>> not know much). 
>> 
>> So, if you want to reach me, for example, appeals to authority will not help
>> because I will probably not know who they are.  Likewise, personal attacks
>> will not help because I will not get the reasons for the personal attack.  In
>> that sense a personal attack is like raising your voice in an argument to try
>> to convince the other person when they are not convinced by your more
>> measured presentation.
>> 
>> However, I will understand discussion about a critique of the basic
>> assumptions behind the referenced paper, especially if I have time to read
>> it.  A critique of basic assumptions gets at the politics.  Politics may be
>> in part about polemics, but I will not be convince by polemics that are
>> without substance.  It is, again, like raising your voice.
>> 
>> I also know that sometimes words I write that I think are descriptive others
>> feel are personal attacks.  Tough to express feelings in a written messages
>> to a diverse audience.
>> 
>> Do not know if I am typical of the readers of this list, but that is my
>> perspective.
>> 
>> I have participated in fierce email exchanges and I know how useless they are
>> because the rest of the list appears to be using their delete keys.  (If they
>> do not participate, one is never quite sure.)
>> 
>> Larry Romsted
>> 
>> 
>> On 2/19/07 12:36 AM, "Michael Balter" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>>> "that all comments regarding this particular discussion (the so-called
>>> "anti-science left") be restricted to valid critiques of the articles
>>> (scientific analysis) rather than broad-based attacks on the authors or
>>> their supporters."
>>> 
>>> For the reasons I outlined in my post yesterday, I think that this
>>> particular restriction would basically take the politics out of political
>>> discussions of science. In the example of 9/11 conspiracy theories, it would
>>> require posters to disprove the theory point by point and could disallow
>>> comment on the politics and psychology behind these theories; same with HIV
>>> denialism. Politics is about polemics and analysis, and sometimes broader
>>> interpretations--some would call them attacks--are necessary.
>>> 
>>> Michael
>>> 
>>> On 2/19/07, Jonathan Campbell <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> George,
>>>>  
>>>>       I didn't pay enough attention to that aspect of Jose's proposal; I
>>>> interpreted it as the people who comment would be doing so with the intent
>>>> of critique of the article rather than the person who wrote it. That is,
>>>> comments like "xxx is a known quack" would be disallowed as part of the
>>>> discussion because it does not relate to the article at hand. But now that
>>>> I look at the wording more carefully I agree with you, and I would propose,
>>>> in substitution, that all comments regarding this particular discussion
>>>> (the so-called "anti-science left") be restricted to valid critiques of the
>>>> articles (scientific analysis) rather than broad-based attacks on the
>>>> authors or their supporters.
>>>>  
>>>> Kind Regards
>>>> Jonathan
>>>>  
>>>>>  
>>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>>>  
>>>>> From:  George  Salzman <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>  
>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>>  
>>>>> Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2007 9:01  PM
>>>>>  
>>>>> Subject: Re: The 9/11 conspiracy  virus
>>>>>  
>>>>> 
>>>>> Hi Josť,
>>>>>       I realize you  proposed some rules in an attempt to resolve
>>>>> disagreements. A priori  not a bad idea, if the rules are not rigid. One
>>>>> of the things you wrote  is: " I say that we agree up front that the
>>>>> people who choose to participate  speak for the whole list.  Anyone who
>>>>> disagrees, say so up front.   No second guessers."
>>>>>       To me that's  unacceptable. Only I can speak for myself. And whether
>>>>> or not others on the  listserv answer you is irrelevant, because no mature
>>>>> person can willingly  surrender the right to speak for  him/herself.
>>>>> Sincerely,
>>>>> George
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>> 
> 
>