[conspire] OT freekenneth.com Urgent. Please help. Thanks.

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Aug 27 12:11:12 PDT 2007

Quoting Darlene Wallach (freepalestin at dslextreme.com):

> I appreciated that John posted this request. 

I've seen what happens when technological mailing lists get made into
dumping grounds for political advocacy -- and especially when others 
rise to the bait -- and would rather it not happen here.

> I don't know how John could have reached the audience of this email
> list by other means. 

Well, since you mention that, I _do_, and it's actually extremely

This mailing list roster is public to all fellow subscribers (except for
members who elect to "hide" their names/addresses from view by others).
It is thus eminently possible, and easy, for you or any other subscriber
to grab those addresses and mass-mail everyone for any purpose you find
sufficiently compelling.

Now, you would probably make most such recipients angry by doing so for
political advocacy, and I recommend against use of that tactic in
general, but without dispute it can be done.  A _good_ reason to use it
would be if, for example, you contended that I was being a tyrannical
listadmin, and thus you wanted to let the membership know of my actions,
but could not do so via the mailing list because (e.g.) I was abusing
listadmin privilege to silence or eject critics, out of sight of the

I encourage list-members to be aware of that prerogative -- and to be
deeply suspicious of _any_ mailing list that seems configured as if 
specifically to facilitate backroom listadmin abuse.  E.g.:

o  membership roster viewable only by listadmin and not membership, along with
o  non-public archives

Those configuration settings are a nearly certain sign of abusive
backroom list administration -- and I'm sure you're aware that one
prominent example of same was recently discussed on the main SVLUG list.
Absence of those setting is a list membership's safety valve _against_
abusive backroom list administration.

> Perhaps there are others on this list who want to take action per the
> information in John's email. 

And John has every right to start his own "help support my political
cause" mailing list, and even to issue invitations to this list's
membership roster to join it.  Hell, CABAL will even supply him with 
good open-source software to run it, expertise in configuring it, and
tips on how to use Mailman's "invite" feature.

Actually, I think John operating such a forum would be poetic justice:
I'd pray that the gods arrange to have _his_ mailing list have problems
with annoying offtopic posts.  ;->  Hell, I'd sell popcorn.

> I certainly encourage people to use their conscience to decide whether
> to act or not as opposed to being irritated that this is not Linux
> related.

I respect considered acts of conscience, as you know, but exercise
thereof is irrelevant to determining whether something is excessively
offtopic for a technical mailing list.  John knew that this post was,
because I told him so in no uncertain terms, explicitly speaking as 
listadmin, a week ago.  

It frankly pisses me off that he behaved in accordance with the
sempeternal, California-immaturity-culture theory of "If I can get away
with something, it must be OK."  Grow up, John.

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