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The time is upon us to consider the ramifications of limiting the subject
matter to be posted to this list. Who is to make the decisions as to what is
acceptable and what is not? Should it be Mickey Rowe, the administrator?
Should it be a collective judgement of list subscribers? Should it be the
watchful eye of our government? Who?
Logically Mickey has say-so, as administrator. However, such one-person power
has a fearful history. Differences in opinion and personalities always lead
to conflicts unresolveable in such a forum as this. Also, with absolute power
comes absolute control. I do not feel Mr. Rowe seeks to be "king" of this
list. To moderate the postings dilutes the persona of the subscriber base,
and takes on the tone of a press release forum (ie government release of what
we need to know and little else).
If the entire list is to be the judge for what is posted and what isn't then
an establishment of rules governing posting must be adopted. Our constitution
(USA) says that the majority rules up and to the point that we cannot use
that majority rule to silence the opposition. The majority of the German
people knew of the treatment of jews in the second world war and yet the mass
murder happened. The majority isn't always right!
If we leave the choices of posting material to our government, just what
branch do we rely on? The justice department now has powers to monitor the
net, and they could remove objectionable material, based on their set of
rules and punish offenders. We could ask the legislative branch to pass a law
to control content. We could even ask for an executive order from the white
house to curtail non-dino postings.
Just what should we do?
I suggest we allow anything a subscriber has to say be posted. There has been
hundereds of postings to this list thst have absolutely nothing to do with
dinosaurs, and yet little was said to discourage such. I myself have been
flamed severly for suggesting we stay on-topic and now we face this
situation. We cannot have it both ways people. Either this is a free
expression list, or we risk becoming a single minded entity of little value
to the paleontological world.
Just for the record I am neither a communist, democrat, or republican, and
believe this is the greatest country in the history of mankind. I do.
however, tend to fear the trends toward silencing opposition to a government
that murdered innocent kids at Waco, and an unarmed woman and teenager in a
proven entrapment case in Idaho. While this may be offensive to your sense of
loyalty, it is offensive to my sense of freedom. Let us hope the right to
believe evolution over creation is never revolked, or more importantly the
right to individual choice. Under our current system nothing is impossible.
I, for one, am not afarid to say I appreciatted George's posting. So few have
the courage to speak the truth, and fewer yet to hear it.
Flame retardant applied, so fire away!
Roger A. Stephenson United States Citizen