Veg-DC Patriot Acts Parts 1 and 2 + SciVeg
[Originally posted on 09/29/05]:
Veg-DC Patriot Act Part 01
One of the oldest and most interesting online veg communities is currently in lock-down. The Veg-DC List Owner (well, Administrator) decided to bring on a co-owner, and they started changing stuff. When List Members suggested that there be open discussion on these matters, a polite List Member was removed from the community without any notification to the List...
After an gentle post suggesting that group discussion might be beneficial (praised by one "List Owner" and slammed by the other), Carrie's gone... Still no explanation to the List as to "why?" Someone then posted correspondence detailing this sad state of affairs,
and, of course, was promptly chastised by the List Owners, false accusations made, gnashing of teeth, pointing of fingers, but, still,
Then, in a bizarre move, one "Owner" called for a poll: "if you're afraid to post to the List I own and can ban you from without accounting to or telling anyone, please feel free to send me an e-mail..."
Anyway, the following superbly written e-mail, among many, was sent to me recently. It's posted HERE in the hopes that Veg-DC List Members will be able to read, without distortion, further evidence of what's really going on, and it's impact on the Veg-DC community.
More about this all later...
[Originally posted on 09/30/05]:
The Truth About Sci-Veg
Some day I'll tell my part of the story about the infamous & defunct "Sci-Veg" list in the early 1990's (and others who helped me challenge a bully). Recent selective truth and generalizations give false impressions, and makes incorrect assumptions about the present.
The Sci-Veg moderator (Carl Phillips) was so bad that the List ended in controversy, archives erased. Perhaps the focus should be, instead, on the way and why Carrie Smith was removed from Veg-DC in 2005. Oh, and despite groundless accusations, I did not write that bounced e-mail.....& List Members: be careful with your Signature Blocks! The Veg-DC List Owners will threaten you if they don't like your Sigs.
[Originally posted on: 10/04/05]:
Veg-DC Patriot Act Part 02
Wow... I've been threatened with "unsubscription" to the Veg-DC List for, get this, "sarcastic" personal Signature Blocks (at the end of e-mails posted). A List Owner believes he has authority over these (his own is a weak irony he's used for years).& I asked him to identify untruths in the Sigs I used (there are none), what I'm being accused of (he wasn't specific), and how he has authority over same.
I also advised the L.O. that any correspondence would not necessarily be private, as I want a record of all this.& He's a tendency to respond to quickly via e-mail and I wanted to slow him down in the hope that he'd think a bit more carefully about what he writes.
Quotes used in my Signature Blocks: (note: these were in signature blocks and not the body of the posts, which were strictly on topic):
"Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants.& It is the right which they first of all strike down. They know its power. Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, founded in injustice and wrong, are sure to tremble, if men are allowed to reason… Equally clear is the right to hear. To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker."
--- Frederick Douglass [In famous plea for free speech in Boston 1860. American abolitionist, author, orator (1817-1895)]
"Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims, but by the way it kills them." --- Jean-Paul Sartre
"Democracy is the opposite of totalitarianism, communism, fascism, or mobocracy." --- Frank Lloyd WrightIt's indeed, quite ironic, that located in the Geographical Center of American Democracy, the Veg-DC List is (as indicated quite clearly by it's administrators) not a democracy.
Veg-DC Updates 1 & 2
Wow... an amazing number of people have sent me e-mails of support. My thanks to all of you! A lot's happened... Didn't plan to blog about this today, but with so much incoming, it's easier to post this quick response. My suggestions to our List
• Be politely skeptical of what you are told --- apparently some get confused and, presumably, unintentionally distort what's really
been written or posted by me.
• If so inclined, re-read my posts to the List the past 2-3 wks., see if I've violated the Charter, and/or read my Veg-DC-related blog posts (if something's inaccurate, let me know).
• Give the List Owners feedback --- many of you are afraid to give them opinion. We can only hope that they will be open and willing to listen (but do remember the 1st suggestion above).Anyway, I haven't yet read all notes from them (may take a day or more), and in deference to this, won't comment here or on the List about what's happened, or happening, until I digest it all.
It might take a little time (very busy period for me)... but don't worry, I'm fine... just disappointed in actions and allegations.
Best to all.... (10/09/05)
A note from a List Owner got through to my "In box"......despite my automatic filters putting incoming Veg-DC stuff into a seperate folder for later review (can't deal with this all 24/7). Here's what I can say for now. Many pieces of her e-mail are worth later comment, when/should it be appropriate, but I was particularly surprised by one bit (keep in mind I haven't checked my Veg-DC "in boxes" for since Saturday morning and can't for another day or two... so I'm taking her at her word below).
Disclaimer:& I advised both List Owners last week, politely, that any e-mail sent to me will be considered "non-private." Here's the excerpt from the note:
"Then the new subscribers started showing up denouncing the list adminstrators on their first post. This is a dishonorable way of speaking out. For obvious reasons, they are not taken seriously."Personally, I don't see what's "dishonorable" about people providing feedback and opinion. If people feel that they must hide their identities from the List Administrators, subscribing anew, isn't that a big clue? Guess people are concerned. Recent decisions by List Mgmt. may have given Members a reason to suspect their judgement, fairness, stability, or openess. But, I saw the first sign of reasoning creeping into the "conversation." She acknowledged that I might not have done the things I've been accused (italics are mine):
"...then you obviously instigated them. Either way, it's very inappropriate list behavior."Wow... what stunning logic. Since my posts to the List have been on-topic for weeks, then the only reasons to remove me would have been the L.O.'s not liking my blog (and still unable to tell me what's inaccurate herein), or the suspicion that I "instigated" something. Yet, I followed their requests (not posting more then once on the "footer controversy, not using "sarcastic" Sig Blocks, and temporarily not using my blog URL in my Sig Block...). Isn't it fascinating that they still can't provide us with a reason (or reasoning)? And when they think they are, it's some unsubstantiated vague or generalized description. One more: when I asked why the other List Owner praised Carrie's post, when she slammed it and removed her from the List (italics are mine):
"Steve made the error of trying to be nice to her."Well... what can I say to that? Speaks for itself.
Ironic, too, that the only person on the List who complained about that post was her. Lists are, to a large degree, self-regulating. The experienced and wise List Owners get a "feel" for what's going on by the degree and level of feedback from the group's posts. Green List Owners (and we've seen this recently) tend to feel they must post something back to just about every post made, even it's just one word (like, "cool") and tend to hold a tight leash. Controlling and not guiding --- big difference.
If the post in question isn't asking a particular question nor being especially disagreeable, there's most likely little reason for the smart L.O. to comment under normal circumstances (unless adding to the discussion). If List Members believe that someone's post is inappropriate, believe me, they usually let the List know (unless the List Owners are too heavyhanded and trust is lost...). In a sense, it's a dynamic ongoing "polling" or "pulse-taking." That the day before I was removed (or thereabouts), a List Member was puzzled as to why the "controversy" was brought up by a List Owner. He thought it was all over with. This clearly shows that, from the List Community's perspective, nothing unusual or "disruptive" was going on. It demonstrates that the Veg-DC List Owners had lost touch with "list reality." Their posts were continually out of the daily context of the List Environment. It was just as I've maintained throughout, from the List's p.o.v., I'd done nothing wrong.
...and the L.O.'s seem to lack the intestinal fortitude to own up to their mistakes. Guess they are afraid to appear "nice." Anyway, more later... I've still got e-mails from the L.O.'s and List Posts to catch up on (may take days) before deciding what I can post to the List and blog about (including the text of the compromise I offered the L.O.'s last Friday).
BTW: it's wonderful to see so many Veg-DC List Members accessing this blog daily, though. Rest assured, the truth will continue to be available here. Best to all... (and again, thanks for all those e-mails!)