Thank you, Kathy, for pointing out this appeal to a hierarchy based on the questionable notions of veteran status and "trust." The notion of "trust" ought not be verbalized at all on an internet discussion group where often one's only knowledge of others is names. Bringing up "trust" is as likely to result in distrust. The whole point of DGs is open discussion, and it's a good thing to bounce around unorthodox and controversial notions. Really persuasive rhetoric is put through the ringer of multiple voices, and can clarify issues in one's mind that might otherwise fall victim to groupthink. Too much unity of thought, especially on often knee-jerk issues like racism, is not always a good thing. With insightful members, trolling would reveal itself soon enough.

One example pertinent to this discussion re. the coming presidential election: the notion that "this time it's different!" Is it? That's a discussion, not a reason to question the legitimacy of the questioner. And I say again, taking this notion as a given, and appealing to emotion rather than reason in support of its givenness, is what should be questioned. 

PS: I've been on this list longer than even I remember (since 2018) mostly lurking, and I'm not sure how I got on. I'm on a couple of other DGs administered by Mitchel Cohen, and it must be through that connection that I got here.

David Barouh

On Mon, Jul 8, 2019, at 7:31 PM, Kathy Barker wrote:
Dear SftP list- What worried me about this exchange was the hierarchical expectations. I saw nothing nasty at all in what David Barouh said, and yet there was an edge to Carol and Chandler’s responses that suggested he had less of a right to have an opinion because he wasn’t known, wan’t one of the original members. 

As I understand it, we are all equal partners here.

Kathy Barker

> On Jul 7, 2019, at 9:00 PM, SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE automatic digest system <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> There are 7 messages totaling 4992 lines in this issue.

> Topics of the day:

>  1. Force Multiplier is officially off this week but.. (3)
>  2. The "Impossible Burger" (4)

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------

> Date:    Sun, 7 Jul 2019 10:47:12 -0400
> From:    David Barouh <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Force Multiplier is officially off this week but..

> On Fri, Jul 5, 2019, at 11:36 PM, Chandler Davis wrote: 
>> ...Seeing you're among friends, you may want to sound friendlier. Even among the old-timers there are wide differences of opinion.

> I will be so advised. To my mind I was being critical rather than "nasty," which implies personal attacks. But we're not always the best judges of how we're perceived. 

> In any case, I hope this doesn't preclude analysis if that analysis does not look good for the presenters of the text being analyzed. For example, consider this sentence from Carol's original email:
>> We don't have the luxury of being politically pure at this moment. IMHO.

> Certain terms are loaded. The term "purity" is often used electorally in the USA as a pejorative directed at those who refuse to succumb to the corporate duopoly stranglehold on power, and who vote for alternatives, which in the 2016 presidential election was about 6% of voters. It would have been much higher had not the perception of futility inhibited many from going that route, although untold numbers would likely have preferred to.

> The subtext is that the only logical or practical behavior is to vote for what you know is corrupt and self-dealing -- to capitulate to it. It's a monstrous self-fulfilling prophecy (if you don't vote for alternatives, then yeah, they can't win!) and that the 6% of the population that won't go along with it are the ones criticized with overused phrases like "wasting your vote," "above the fray," whatever. Another subtext is that "we all know" how others are going to vote, so what's the point of not following along. The message is that the choice is not really yours to make.

> We may know probabilities, but we don't "know" how others will behave. Few predicted that Trump could beat out all those mainstream Repugs to win the nomination (let alone the election itself)? What that showed me is how sick of mainstream politicians most Americans are. Bernie Sanders was also perceived as not one of "them." Many of those who voted for Trump had voted (or so it's reported) for the back-stabbing hypocrite Obama -- who had also been perceived as something different. (I use "back-stabbing" advisedly; the stunt he pulled on the people of Flint is a good example; they were filled with hope when he showed up. He spent his time chiding them for being afraid of the water. Then he asked for a drink of water, refused a bottled water, and took a glass of tap water to his lips. That water *barely touched* his lips, he was so afraid to have even a drop of it get into his mouth!) 

> And of course there's the *decisive* influence of media attention, which has always bought into the two-party status quo. But thanks to the near unanimous vote of the two corporate parties (and signed by Democrat Bill Clinton) for the Telecommunications Act of 1996, all the many independent media companies got bought up and merged into six giant media conglomerates, and now by design give no attention to alternatives. Even Ralph Nader, in 2000 when he still had his iconic status, got almost no attention. And that's because the duopoly parties serve the corporate media's interests. It's a closed loop, and they've got (as of now) about 94% of the electorate under their control, with no choice outside the range decided for them.

> So it's always the same story. "We must vote for the Democrats this time. This time it's too important not to." It was the same story in 2000 with Bush and Gore. But one can imagine how different it all could have been if Ralph Nader had become president. And contrary to what Carol has said, these times *are* typical of at least the last 40 or so years, characterized by ever-increasing American official cruelty and military aggression, through both Democratic and Republican administrations and congressional majorities.

> David Barouh

> On Sat, Jul 6, 2019, at 9:00 PM, Carol Axelrod wrote:
>> Thanks again Chandler.
>> Oh boy.
>> I have recently found that engaging with my Republican brother-in-law has been more encouraging than a lot of what I'm hearing from you folks at SftP. And I generally do not engage with people who are far from me politically, but maybe it's nostalgia, or maybe it's that I stubbornly want so badly to touch the rest of the members of this list, many of whom I deeply believe agree with me but are not speaking up. 
>> I even know for sure that some of them agree. And I wonder about some of the folks from the old days - where are you on this Jonathan King, Al Weinrub, Sara Miller, Frank Mirer, Bob Park, Mina Otmishi, Ross Feldberg, Milt Kotelchuck, Ginny Pierce, Mike Teel and others whose names I can't dredge up from old hard drive between my ears. And what about all the others on this listserve who have not weighed in on this conversation. I bet there are many who are just as furious, terrified, desperate as I am, and many who have no idea how to best support candidates and causes that have a good chance of defeating that monster in the White House. And who may understand that now is not the time to hold out for making revolution. 
>> Do those of you that I have heard from know for sure that you represent the rest of the group?
>> Force Multiplier <> does not get involved with the issues at all. All we care about is identifying the elected representatives who are most vulnerable but who can really use financial support to hold onto their seats in the House. And soon we'll probably identify some Senate candidates who our research tells us would have a chance to flip their seat to Blue.
>> We do the work so that people who understand the necessity of electing Democrats THIS TIME can know where to donate most effectively. Additionally, we list grassroots organizations in swing states that are working effectively against voter suppression because we know that the Republicans' primary strategy is to make sure that the disenfranchised stay that way.
>> I have never been involved in electoral politics. I have never campaigned for a Democrat and that includes Barak Obama (who was far from what his worshippers think he was), or Hillary. And if, dog willing, Trump is defeated I don't think I'll ever get involved with the Democrats again. 
>> But these are NOT normal times. This time is different, can't you see that? If you anti-Democrats join with Republican anti-Trumpers and all of you refuse to vote, that would be a sure fire way of keeping the monster in the White House. But it takes more than just voting, which I do believe most of you will do. It takes MONEY. And regardless of which party ends up in the White House it is ESSENTIAL that we have a Democratically controlled Congress. That's why this small group of 12 core members + our "multipliers" are using our networks to raise money for Democrats in the House and Senate.
>> Ok. I don't have time for any more of this. I'm not asking SftP to become a forum for party politics. All I'm asking is that you allow me to continue to inform your group about what we're doing at Force Multiplier in case there are some members who would welcome that information. FM gives people a way to separate the wheat from the chaff so they can just donate through us and ignore all those appeals they keep getting from the other Democrats. 
>> Thanks for listening. I hope there's room for this sort of dialogue in Science for the People because if not, where is there?
>> Carol
>> On Fri, Jul 5, 2019 at 11:36 PM Chandler Davis <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> Carol has earned our respect, and this is no whit diminished if it saddens her to see some of the rest of us going (in her view) haywire. I don't know you and have no background leading me to trust you as I do Carol and Kamran and Claudia, but if you consider yourself a member of our group YOU DESERVE MY RESPECT TOO and have a right to demand it. It might be diminished if you lay on the nastiness; but I am not a moderator of the list. For you to point out bellicose positions of Hillary Clinton's, or murderous drone tactics by Barack Obama, is appropriate and welcome, also relevant to the question of big-party electoral politics. Seeing you're among friends, you may want to sound friendlier. Even among the old-timers there are wide differences of opinion.
>>> Chandler
>>> On 2019-07-05 2:12 p.m., David Barouh wrote:
>>>> I should point out that my "bad-mouthing," as you call it, was directed at HRC -- and not even at HRC so much as at her, IMO, unhinged promise to institute a no-fly zone over Syrian air space. Secondly, I suspect you missed the sub-text of Carol's comments about how "sad" my HRC comment made her (but nothing about HRC's Syria position). And the one about my possibly voting for Trump (I'd thought I'd suggested just the opposite) "breaking her heart." It seems ironic that on "Science for the People," instead of some rational discourse and exchange of positions we get little more than emotional blackmail justified based on veteran status.
>>>> BTW, does my relative newcomer status make me suspect? Is more than my name required to be a member of this list? I don't know anything about any of you all other than your names. And I'm still shaky on the list's protocols. 
>>>> David Barouh