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Back into the fray...

Hopefully this will be the last time I feel a need to write about this
subject for a while; I apologize to those who (like me, frankly) are
sick of the subject of appropriateness of messages.  To start off on a
positive note, I'd like to thank many of you for trying to help
smoothe things over.  I agree whole-heartedly with LN Jeff (Martz) and
Jerry Harris (among others) that there are no free speech issues
involved here.  We should keep on topic because that's what makes the
list a useful forum.  Jerry was wrong about this, though:

> Unlike forums in other venues, like CompuServe, messages (as far as
> I know...Mickey?) cannot be screened as they come in,

I can moderate the list (or appoint someone else to do it), but every
time the suggestion comes up it gets voted down.

Also in this thread, George Olshevsky wrote:

] But this Sue business really gets my dander up. 

I tried to make it clear that discussions about Sue are (IMHO)
perfectly appropriate to this list.  General statements about "the
government" are not.

Against my better judgement let me also respond to some of George's
innuendo in case there's anyone else out there who thinks I've been
arbitrary in voicing my objections about politics:

] Too bad we can discuss UFOlogy and alien dissections 

I have complained about these subjects in the past.  I don't think
they belong here anymore than political tracts and if discussions
about them come up again I will object just as vociferously as I have
here and now about politics.

] and get chain letters 

I recently invoked listproc's feature of allowing only subscribers to
send e-mail to the list.  I did that for the express purpose of
attempting to prevent the appearance of messages such as the chain
letter that recently came our way.  What more can I do?

] but not how the government is impoverishing us all, both monetarily

Make it relevant and you can write about it till your fingers fall
off.  Continue with irrelevant generalizations and I'll complain
again.  Despite some confusion I may have inadvertantly fostered
(e.g. Steve Jackson's interpretation of my stance as "no politics") I
have no problem with people discussing issues which involve government
actions (or lack thereof).  I'd just like for people not to throw
in potentially incendiary statements that are not necessary for a
particular point -- incendiary comments start flames.  This list
gets enough traffic without that kind of noise.

] and by losing control of our paleo heritage.

Do you want to talk about the Fossil Protection Act of 1995 (or any
similar legislature in other countries)?  Go ahead.  That fits under
"make it relevant".  

I'm going to be out of town tomorrow and Wednesday.  Everybody please
be good until I get back.  Lest that be mis-construed, I'd like you to
be good after I get back too :-)


Mickey Rowe     (rowe@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu)