Re: Flames and personal attacks

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Tue May 18 2004 - 14:14:38 EDT

Michael Williams asked

>  when I can even understand what he is ranting about,

But you snipped out of the post of mine to which you responding the following:

>  Jerry made mistakes in (a) not admitting a
>person whose work was the center of OPE-L attention in a time of
>global crisis (the person was only and immediately admitted after it
>became possible to  appeal directly to the newly constituted advisory
>committee, i.e. someone other than Levy), (b) in threatening to
>silence me for replying to insidious insinuations against me, (c) in
>lying about whether he had threatened to cut me off, and (d) in
>several times putting the focus on insubstantive criticisms of Kliman
>and TSS rather than substantive, albeit in my opinion unpersuasive,
>ones such as your own efforts

Michael, I do not think that I am being unclear. I shall not
explicitly say about whom I am speaking in point a, but that is the
first time I wanted Levy out. I reiterate the person whom I
recommended was at the center of not my posts but OPE-L discussion,
and I was not the only one who wanted him admitted. I am sure you can
piece it together if you want.

>  and I have seen
>no criticism of what I have said, beyond a flat assertion that it is False.
>(This is the pub mode of argumentation that leads inevitably to broken
>noses: flat statement, followed by flat contradiction followed by physical
>violence. Don't tell me this post is rude - I know it is - just congratulate
>yourself on having provoked me. ("... that group such that [sic] it is" is
>not exactly comradely).

As for the group such that it is, think about it: it includes Michael
Williams, David Yaffe, Simon Mohun, Riccardo Bellofiore, and David
Laibman. Different points are being made; the group does not have a
unified perspective, and have different levels of commitment. You are
strongly committed to Levy remaining coordinator. It's not that I
don't respect your points. But I'm not denying them either. YOu think
he has good things. Fine. You think TSS people are to blame. Fine.
But that does not mean Levy has done no wrong.

Perhaps my prose is punchy, but that's it. I wouldn't want to get in
fight. Well not at least until after the summer at which point I hope
to be bench pressing over 200lbs again.

>Rakesh - calm down, and tell us (if you must) what is really driving this
>apparent vendetta against Jerry.

I have, and I did. But you cut it out of the post.

>  I will be trying very hard not to be drawn
>into this thread again - you may have noticed that I have hardly contributed
>to any substantive thread for months, so I sure as hell don't have time or
>energy for this rhubarb!

I don't have time either, and for the most part only forward material.

>  >
>>  We should follow Ian's suggestion. Give people say two weeks to cast
>>  a vote for rotation or not. This way you don't have to divine the
>>  will of 80 plus people on the basis of what four or five people have
>>  said.  Then if people are in favor we will cast votes for different
>>  methods of rotation. If no method can be agreed on, then we stay at
>>  the status quo.
>[Michael Williams] I would go along with a vote, although I am miffed that
>this inconvenience should be foisted on us by one person and promises no
>tangible gain

Well, at some point we would try new things, put new people in charge
of admissions. Every nine or ten years doesn't seem that much of an
inconvenience. Perhaps this is creating so much tension because
people are resisting what should happen. I think some people are
scared that this list will dominated by neo liberal anti Chavezistas
or by TSS'ers. That's not what is going to happen.

>  > ...
>>  this is simply a bizarre statement. Who has ever implied that
>>  everyone who left did so because of anything Jerry said?
>[Michael Williams] It may be a slight exaggeration, but you Rakesh listed a
>series of people who had allegedly left because of Jerry and more than
>hinted that there were others

I asked Jerry to tell us who were the others since he had to unsubscribe them.

>  >
>>  ...
>>  At any rate,  is it really too much to ask that someone actually
>>  reply to what is being said?
>[Michael Williams] Yes it is too much if what is being said is
>unsubstantiated, irrelevant, rude, beside the point.

>  Indeed I see no right
>for anyone to be responded to: I have raised points to which no-one
>responded and have failed to respond to points that might have been directed
>at me. That's life Rakesh; you cannot insist on a response, but rather you
>have to attract responses by the substance and tone of your contributions.

OK you're right. You have the right to cut out where I address what
you say I did not address.

>In this thread you are, instead, alienating responses (has anyone who
>supports you on the claim that Jerry has been around to long responded?)

Yes. Take a vote. Let's see what happens.


>As I say - advanced warning, I do not intend to intervene in this thread
>again. I am 62 and life is too short!

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