David McReynolds responds to appeal

Jose G. Perez jg_perez at SPAMbellsouth.net
Sun Aug 27 22:58:40 MDT 2000

Norman Mikalac wrote:

> yes, i would like to know the complete story about this affair and also
> what louis posted on the Columbia web site that exercised the school so
> much.  tough for me to know what went on.


    I think you misread Louis's note. He did not post to Columbia's web
site, he posted to an Internet news group using his work address. His
opponent used that as a pretext to contact Columbia and try to get Louis in
hot water over using a work address for a personal message.

    As for the CONTENT of what Louis has been saying on that newsgroup, that
is a matter of public record. The newsgroup is
alt.politics.socialism.trotsky. Just do a search in the "from" field for
lnp3 (which, at least in Outlook Express, brings up Louis's posts, as that
is the beginning of his email addresses) and Kaufman (the person who has
been trying to get Louis fired).

    I did, not that I distrusted what Louis reported here, but just out of
curiosity, really, and, of course, Louis's story here in Marxism matches the
record over there on APST, at least so far as I was willing to delve into it
in a few minutes.

    There is a sort of fun side to this, of course, long known to those of
us who escape occasionally from the relatively sane world of the Marxism
list to the madhouse of APST, and that is that our mild-mannered,
soft-spoken moderator reveals a strikingly different side of his personality
on APST.

    I wish I knew how Louis does it, because MY Dr. Jekill/Mr. Hyde problem
evidences itself from time to time here on Marxism. Louis, on the other
hand, can be a vesuvius of invective when there's a flame war over on APST,
but he's always civil here. I guess as moderator he feels constrained here,
but I suspect he ENJOYS of good food fight (well, let's be honest -- who
doesn't from time to time), so that's part of the reason he's on APST.

    Here, by the way, is my note in response to Louis's request. I wasn't
going to post it but since I've gotten into the topic, I might as well...

* * *

Dear Masada Disenhouse,

    I am writing to you in your capacity as Nader volunteer coordinator in
New York to ask that you use your good offices to put a stop to the threats
against Louis Proyect's employment. I have known Louis since the early 1970s
and throughout the decades, he has remained a firm and committed activist
for social change.

    Louis informs me that arising out of some debate on an Internet
newsgroup, one of the Nader volunteers has contacted his employer because
Louis used a work email address to post one of his messages. As a result, a
letter of reprimand was placed in Louis's personnel file, and that since
then this person has made further threats to contact Louis's employer.

    Whatever the dispute between the Nader campaign volunteer(s) and Louis,
to take reprisals by contacting his employer smacks of McCarthyism and is
unworthy of someone acting in connection with the Green Party or Mr. Nader's
campaign. And at a time when all progressive activists --whether or not we
have endorsed Mr. Nader-- are demanding he be allowed to participate on an
equal footing in the presidential debates, it is extremely unfortunate that
anything that looks like witch-hunt tactics be associated with the movement.


José G. Pérez

----- Original Message -----
From: "Norman Mikalac" <mikalac at worldnet.att.net>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Sunday, August 27, 2000 10:58 PM
Subject: Re: David McReynolds responds to appeal


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