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Re: Controversy

Greetings all,

Despite the intent and tone of my previous posting I seem to have touched
raw nerves.
Larry Dunn writes;
>the people who run the list, for no charge, who put in
>the time to administer it, and who periodically play police officer to
>make sure that it remains more-or-less a dinosaur list, have made a
>call on this and we may as well show our appreciation for their
>efforts by respecting that call.

If anything within my post was taken as disrespectful I would "appreciate"
it being pointed out to me. I've reread it several times and I find no such
inferential phrasing. Just because I question a policy does not in any way
imply disrespect towards those that establish said policy. Surely I do not
need to point out that change and adaptation are good things. If the mere
suggestion of change is disrespectful then I am guilty as charged, but I
make no apology, and intend no disrespect.

Brian Franczak writes;
>Fer cryin' out loud!! Can we keep long (and unnecessary) discussions of
>list policy OFF THE FREAKIN' LIST?! Why is it so hard to understand that
>this list is here to discuss DINOSAUR SCIENCE?! If your message doesn't
>have something to do with dinosaurs DON'T POST IT TO THE LIST!!

I contend that everything I wrote has to do with dinosaurs, and I feel I
address the scientific aspects very clearly. I assert that my message has
much to do with the science and passion of the study of dinosaurs. I was
not, and am not, seeking approval. I was pointing out facts that should be
addressed. I have yet to read one public response that addresses the points
in my post. Whether or not it is a subject that needs to be discussed is in
the mind of the reader, as has been pointed out to me regarding my
objection to other subjects posted to this list.

What started all this, for me, was not Allan's message, but a pair of
messages posted here on 12/1/98 by none other than Mary herself. ( I have
waited until she responded to this thread before going public with this ).
The first message was titled "Terror of the South", and the second, "More
on Terror of the South". As has been suggested to me off-list, go check out
the archives. These messages detailed the sale of the Acrocanthosaurus by
the Black Hills Institute to the University of North Carolina, named web
sites, and even quoted the price paid. I purposely left out direct
reference to this in my first posting on this subject, but must now use
these points to focus minds. Mary's latest posting (12/28/98) suggested
such topics be directed to Mickey. The trouble is all these messages to
which I cite were posted openly and therefore should be discussed openly.
Mary wrote; ( or posted to this list )
>the museum acquired Acro last year with $3 million from anonymous private

This is a very clear violation of the rules unless there is an exemption
for post-sale reporting. Is there a distinction omitted from post Mary made
on 12/25/98 that I cannot see? Maybe I'm slow, but I cannot make a major
distinction between her reporting the transaction between BHI and UNC, and
Allan's message. Just because these references were deep within the body of
the text posted in no way changes the content. (Of course Allan only
provided a pathway to information instead of the actual data as Mary did).
Mary wrote;
>As Mickey previously informed the list, I will be taking over as list
>deputy during his absences, and his policies are my policies.  No
>references to fossil sales, no matter what the venue.

In closing I want to repeat that initiating a flame war was not, and is
still not, my intent. I'm struggling to express the fact that either the
rules apply to all or to none, and not bring my personal feelings into it.
Hopefully exposing all this into the light of day will not anger people, I
am sorry if it does. I am seeking understanding and suggesting a second
look at policies even our administrators find hard to abide.

To avoid wasting the time of those without interest in this subject I am
more than willing to let this controversy die here. Be aware, however, that
the perception of unequal treatment of subject according to stature will
exist without fully addressing these points in a rational manner.

Rhetoric is a picture of a warm meal to a starving child.

Roger A. Stephenson
Assistant Director
The Grand River Museum
Lemmon, South Dakota