As someone in HIV related research and prevention, Smith's views on this topic are appalling to me.  And I also find him shrill (putting it mildly) at times.

BUT I also come from a left tradition that has suffered at times from expulsions that are handled bureaucratically.  That has been the case of many left groups in the last century or more.  We developed ways to give people hearings and then vote on it.  They worked moderately well, particularly since they were rare events.

This is of course  a list serve and not a group. 

But it might be possible to create a similar process without taking so much time as to destroy the list. Possibly involving an allied list for a "trial" on which a randomly selected subset from the list could serve as jurors, someone would serve as a prosecutor, the "accused" could defend herself/himself, and both the "accused" and the "prosecutor" could ask for someone to help them.  It could all be done electronically, and anyone from the larger list could observe (but only communicate to the prosecutor and the accused??)

That may not be the best process, but it might be a starting place.


-----Original Message-----
From: Romsted, Laurence <[log in to unmask]>
To: SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wed, Nov 6, 2013 9:04 pm
Subject: Re: Prohibitionary ban from Science for the People List


I will second your motion to ban Thomas Smith, but the MC should probably discuss this at lease briefly and make a formal recommendation.


From: Kamran Nayeri <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 2:33 PM
To: "[log in to unmask]" <[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 sent 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 your 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 he 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 three month prohibitionary ban decided by the MC to BAN FROM THE LIST.  Not to do 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 warning me or taking me to task for any of the comments reprinted below. It appears that neither of these people, nor you yourself, understand your responsibilities as moderators, nor the difference between the truth and a 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 our 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 so 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 wellbeing of the list and fulfilling of its goal.
Unfortunately, from time to time the purpose of the list and individuals who have joined are undermined by destructive conduct. 
In your recent posts, not only you have chosen to attack individuals who you disagreed with but also call them names.  Such behavior cannot be tolerated as it undermines the very purpose of the list and people who have joined it.  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 them. 
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 Marxists up. This sort of hypocrisy infuriates me about you ‘liberals.’”
October 26 post written in response to a post by Mandi Smallhorne addressing Herb Fox’s attempt to draw your attention to the list’s Guidelines you wrote:
“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 have 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 you 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 world 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 population.
2.      No-one who is interested in the substance of the discussion will be excluded. 
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 fora 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 placed on moderation for a period to be determined by the Moderating Council. Science for the People is a forum for open and thoughtful discussion. Should 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 the 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 subject 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 other serious decision, is in play.
8.      If queries arise about the decisions of the Moderating Council, members should feel completely free to discuss them.