Re: Greg Burch: Time to Act
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 19:40:55 EDT

In a message dated 99-06-18 11:49:52 EDT, (Harvey Newstrom) wrote:

> Greg, I agreed with everything you wrote.

You're obviously a very smart guy :-)

> However, I think you missed my
> point.

Sorry -- a not uncommon occurrence for me, I'm afraid . . .

> I don't object to the terminology. They way you wrote it sounds
> like I am working behind the scenes with you to get people banned from this
> list.

For the record -- and I'll reiterate it below -- this is absolutely NOT the case. I just found your (and Jeff Davis') PUBLIC posts to be a helpful summary against which to check my own records.

> I have been receiving a lot of hate mail because of this.

Wow . . . I find that amazing but, if this has been caused by my own incautious use of word, you have my sincere apology.

> I wanted
> to make it clear that I have not communicated with you. When I tried to
> clarify this, your response says that what I did was very much in the
> of private law enforcement. I don't know what I did.

I can imagine based on what you've written here that I must have only made the situation worse. Again, sorry. What I meant to do was to make a point about the process of community governance only.

> Please tell me specifically what you are referencing.

So it's clear, I was referring to the listing in your posts of material you apparently believed was violative of the moratorium.

> Please clarify to the
> rest of the list that I have not submitted anything to you directly.

You absolutely haven't.

> Anything you have you have grabbed from my postings on the list.

That's correct.

> I don't
> see how I could have helped anyway. To enforce your ban, you need to look
> at what each person has posted. I have no idea how my postings could help
> you look at other people's postings.

You're right, but the material you and Jeff posted acted as a check on my own records. As it happened, there were very slight variation in the lists I compiled from my own records and the material you and Jeff posted. This helped me to be sure I was seeing the whole picture.

> You seem to keep implying that you couldn't or wouldn't be able to ban
> people from this list without my help.

You're right -- I didn't need anyone's help but, as it happened though, your posts and Jeff's helped to make the process more fair, in my opinion.

> I want to be clearly on the record
> as being opposed to subject bans and opposed to unsubscribing people for
> topics of their discussion. People should only be banned for their
> behavior.

I agree with you, Harvey. I'm not happy with the tool of a temporary subject-matter moratorium. Unfortunately, under the circumstances we were facing, it was felt that this was the only way to return the list to a tone of civility. In MY OPINION (<--- please note), if we had attempted to use the existing list rules regarding "behavior", we would have been subject to a welter of accusations of partisanship, since my own OPINIONS regarding gun rights are fairly well known.

> > As for having a "full-blown court drama", let me offer some brief
> > observations about the process. Libertarians (in the most general sense
> of
> > the word) need to be flexible. When you condemn authoritarianism, you
> > necessarily have to embrace the fact that social systems should be able
> > respond flexibly to evolving facts. As a result, due process becomes a
> very
> > high value to libertarians.
> That may be. But you are simply being asked to enforce list rules as a
> moderator. I don't see that you have to set up a court, receive
> indictments, or take a week to make decisions after the fact. As near as I
> can tell, ExI originally announced that they would enforce a ban on the gun
> topic. It now appears that you are implementing a "neutral" court under
> guise of PPL, and are put the blame on indicting people on me or others.
> You are the moderator. ExI is the list owner. If you people unsubscribe
> people, it is not because of any indictments from me.

You're right on the last point -- the action I've taken is MY action and has nothing to do with you other than the public posts you made, and you did NOT cause me to take any action. However, as I tried to make clear in my post this morning, I TRIED to impose a "rule of reason" because of the way the moratorium had been interpreted by a fairly large number of people. I didn't HAVE to do that, but I decided to do it. Right or wrong, that's what I did. So sue me :-)

> Again, please confirm to the list:
> - that I am not working private with you

You are not.

> - that I have given you nothing

Only what everyone else saw on the list.

> - that all you have are archives of this list itself

And private emails from people I contacted about their posts. You were not among those people with whom I corresponded privately.

> - and please explain to everyone (including me!) what exactly you have
> you are calling "indictments" from me

I only meant the public posts you made, which were themselves material from other poster's writing.

> Thanks.

Once again, Harvey, my apologies for any misunderstandings my own choice of words may have caused.

     Greg Burch     <>----<>
     Attorney  :::  Vice President, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide   -or-

"I believe that people have a right to decide their own destinies; people own themselves. I also believe that, in a democracy, government exists because (and only so long as) individual citizens give it a 'temporary license to exist' -- in exchange for a promise that it will behave itself. In a democracy, you own the government -- it doesn't own you. Along with this comes a responsibility to ensure that individual actions, in the pursuit of a personal destiny, do not threaten the well-being of others while the 'pursuit' in progress."
-- Frank Zappa, 1989