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We should also be clear about why such folks as 
Jonathan Campbell were driven from this list. 
Jonathan's BUSINESS (his for-money business) is 
advising people about their health issues. But 
because this listserve is on the web, when one 
googled his name at the time what came up near 
the top were all the attacks on him from this 
listserve, and those threatened his business financially.

My friend Cathryn had a similar experience in the 
Green Party. She has put several extremely 
significant blogs out there that even the 
corporate media turn to when dealing with certain 
issues; but when you googled her name, what came 
up was a piece calling her a liar and the call 
for her expulsion from the Green Party, which she 
felt to be inimical to what she was trying to accomplish.

In other words, whether the arguments are right 
or wrong, they cement into place positions and 
attacks of the moment, and nail individuals 
forever to swiftboat-type takedowns.

Mitchel

So what we say here has real world ramifications.

At 05:40 PM 8/16/2010, you wrote:
>All:
>
>I had just drafted, but had not yet sent, a 
>careful statement that I hoped Michael Balter 
>would understand about how I felt his style 
>affected people on this list (appended at the 
>end of this exchange for the record).  I was 
>debating whether it was worth the trouble.  Now 
>I know that sending it would be a waste of time 
>because of the email below he recently sent to the list.
>
>I think Michael Balter’s first paragraph below 
>represent his declaration of victory of his 
>personal purge 9/11 types and AIDS denialism and 
>others from this list.  I for one, did not 
>appreciate Michael’s verbal assaults on people.
>
>His second paragraph reads like most generous 
>offer to let anyone participate provided, from 
>his perspective, people, including women (most 
>gracious of you Michael), are not attacked for 
>their political views.  Written as though he 
>does not attack people for their political views.  Jeez.
>
>The arrogance is awesome.
>
>He may not think he sounds that way, but he does to me.
>
>All Hail the new SftP list controller.  Three 
>cheers for his obvious non sectarianism--NOT 
>(e.g., 9/11 types, not allowed, AIDS deniers, 
>not allowed, anyone with Stalinist tendencies, 
>not allowed) that he is so offended by in others.
>
>OK, so moderate me.
>
>Larry
>
>
>On 8/16/10 1:51 PM, "Michael Balter" 
><<[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>I remember when I first came on this list too, 
>about 3-4 years ago or whatever it was (maybe 
>longer?) This list was largely dominated by 
>posts on 9/11 conspiracy theories and AIDS 
>denialism, and a battle had to be fought to put 
>that in its place. I was kicked off the list 
>briefly during that time for the strong stance I 
>took, and Phil himself quit the list in protest 
>at that purely political move by the then moderator.
>
>I remember how appalled I was that the once 
>influential Science for the People had 
>degenerated into a listserve that so regularly 
>featured such nonsense. Those days are largely 
>over, and as I said before, the list is what its 
>members make of it. Nobody is stopping a larger 
>number of list members, including its women 
>members, from participating and shaping the 
>nature of this list. If they did, then the posts 
>of allegedly "abrasive" list members would take 
>their proper proportion and percentage of the 
>total. And if people were not attacked 
>personally for their political views, that would help a lot too.
>
>MB
>
>On Mon, Aug 16, 2010 at 3:11 PM, Phil Gasper 
><<[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Sadly, that may already have happened. One of 
>the things I always used to like about this list 
>was that for the first few years I was a member 
>(I joined in 2002, immediately after Stephen Jay 
>Gould's death), there were several women who 
>regularly posted and participated. That's 
>extremely unusual on left listserves, where men 
>(often very abrasive men) make 95% or more of 
>the contributions. Sometime in the last few 
>years, the character of this list changed and it 
>is now very rare for women to participate­I 
>suspect that some may have also unsubscribed. 
>And I can't say I blame them. --PG
>
>
>On Mon, Aug 16, 2010 at 12:03 AM, Michael H 
>Goldhaber <<[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>  Not trying to follow this helps turn any list 
> into a not-very-illuminating boys' club, in my experience.
>
>
>
>
>My initial meaningless email.
>
>All:
>
>
>I will join Michael Balter in attempting to keep 
>the discussion civil.  I reflected on my choice 
>of going silent about this discussion or going 
>silent.  I also thought about sending this email 
>directly to Michael offline, but decided against 
>being silent or writing offline.
>
>I tried to address Michael Balter in a comradely 
>fashion below about why he makes me so angry at 
>times and how he does it.  Comradely almost 
>sounds trite and maybe paternalistic, but I do 
>not mean it that way because am writing about 
>feelings and I tried to keep my language as non 
>pejorative and as non ad hominem as possible.  I hope I succeeded.
>
>I read Michael’s email below carefully and there 
>is one section that for me that is particularly important.
>
>Starting here:  “... this constant misconception 
>[that Michael has a different ideology] is the 
>source of a lot of the trouble, and indeed 
>reflective of sectarian attitudes on the left. I 
>am a socialist, a far-leftist, an 
>anti-capitalist, an anti-Zionist, an 
>anti-racist, anti-fascist, against the war in 
>Iraq and the current one in Afghanistan, etc etc 
>etc. I am not a liberal nor a Democrat. I share 
>the basic political outlook of most people on this list.
>
>I agree on the source of the trouble, because 
>when you express yourself online Michael you 
>really do sound at times like a Democrat.  I 
>disagree with you that attitudes on this list 
>toward you reflect sectarian attitudes on the 
>left.  SftP is a small list that hardly reflects 
>the whole left.  I and I suspect a number of 
>others (I would never say all) are actually 
>personally insulted by what you write.
>
>Great on all the “ists” you oppose.  Me to.
>
>The above point is followed by: “But I have some 
>different ideas than some here about tactics, 
>strategy, and priorities; and I am staunchly 
>anti-Stalinist and, because so many "communists" 
>still insist on "democratic centralism" and 
>engage in destructive sectarian battles, I am 
>anti-Communist from a left perspective.”
>
>I feel your perspective about being staunchly 
>anti-Stalinist, opposing sectarian battles, and 
>being a anti-Communist from a left perspective, 
>contribute mightily to the repeated 
>disagreements on this list.  That added to what 
>I see as your sometimes dismissive, pejorative, 
>attack style can inflame others, including 
>me.  The other way to view your being picked on 
>is that you have succeeded in angering a number 
>of us.  Your recent labeling of me as a 
>Stalinist (I think you said something like that, 
>I don’t want to get hung up on exact words) was 
>for me just sniping, but fits with your staunch anti-Stalinism.
>
>Michael: I was politically ignorant (a 
>thoughtless conservative) until the police set 
>the dogs and fire hoses on people in Birmingham 
>in 1963 and then I underwent a gradually awaking 
>with the anti-war movement, SDS and the New 
>University Conference (organization folded) at 
>Indiana University as a graduate student.  I 
>also started reading Scientists and Engineers 
>for Social and Political Action about this time, 
>but never participated in the creation of the 
>magazine.  But I was impressed.  As a Post Doc 
>at Santa Barbara and a faculty member at Rutgers 
>since, I have formally belonged to no political 
>party (except I worked for Nader and McKinney a 
>bit).  I met one guy who declared himself a 
>Stalinist at Indiana University, but soon 
>realized he was as ignorant as me about 
>Stalinism.  All the organizations I have 
>belonged to have been against democratic 
>centralism or, more likely, the members don’t 
>know what democratic centralism is.
>
>Michael:  I feel at times you are trying to root 
>out anything and anyone on this list that does 
>not pass your Stalinist sniff test.  This is a 
>discussion group not a political faction.
>
>Michael:  You did an “aha gotcha” on me several 
>emails ago by posting that I have a grant from 
>the US Department of Agriculture  That is 
>correct.  I suppose others might see me as 
>hypocritical for applying and taking a USDA 
>grant.  It is a contradiction that I live 
>with.  When I decided to do academic research 
>about 30 years ago and actually got hired to do 
>it, I succeeded in getting my funding from NSF 
>for much of that time. Later I also had a small 
>grant to do research from the Center for 
>Advanced Food Technology to do basic research on 
>antioxidants in emulsions and I had some success 
>and applied to the USDA and after about 6 tries, 
>got funded.  During this time I also had two NSF 
>rejections of a renewal proposal.  I was scared 
>that all my scientific effort was simply going 
>to die.  Last year both the USDA and NSF grants 
>were funded and I am in better shape­but very 
>busy.  I also have a grant pending with the Army 
>Office of Research, which in a way, is even 
>worse than the USDA grant, although the Army 
>makes no more demands on me than NSF.
>
>I can tell you than none of my colleagues in the 
>chemistry department understand the mixed 
>feelings that I have about taking money from the 
>USDA and maybe the Army.  They just see them as 
>different funding sources than NSF.  Sometimes I 
>feel like a worker who is against some US war, 
>but only can get a job in a defense (war) 
>plant.  Trapped by my reality.  Yes, I can quit, 
>but I have to give up my research to do 
>it.  After 30 years and some successes, this is 
>difficult.  I am pleased that to my knowledge 
>none of my research has improved our military 
>capability nor increased corporate profits that 
>I know of.  Everything I do is in the open journals.
>
>So, can we declare a truce.  You don’t like 
>being attacked.  I don’t like being attacked.   Others don’t like it either.
>
>I hope I was clear.
>
>Larry
>
>