Discussion on Master List Usage

Craven, Jim jcraven at clark.edu
Thu Dec 13 12:06:07 MST 2001


I think it is an excellent suggestion to seek out other models and bring
them to the table when this issue is debated at the President's Council.
Absolutely, let's have a full and open debate and evolve a policy that
spells out clearly: a) What is the "business" of Clark College; b) forms and
levels of usage of the Master list and and other resources of Clark that are
consistent with the "business" and Vales/Vision/Mission and mandated
Campus-wide abilities of Clark College; c) policies, procedures and rules
consistent with statutes, case law and the U.S. Constitution; d) procedures
and mechanisms for respecting diversity of opinion without either imposing
opinion on those who do not wish to hear it, or, without attempting to
silence diverse opinion under various ruses and postures; e) policies for
protecting diverse opinion and those expressing diverse opinions from
various forms of sanction and retribution;

But let the debate involve those working at Clark College and not outsider
friends/relatives of those working at Clark College. And let the debate take
place openly.

But, until a policy on the use of the Master List has been constructed and
ratified, all these summary judgments about what is or is not consistent
with a yet-to-be-evolved policy or amorphous guidelines from the State, are,
in my opinion and in the opinions of others who have written me, in some
cases, disingenuous attempts to silence debate, to silence only certain
opinions from certain sources and to summarily create a policy as a fait
accompli without serious and open debate.

For my part, anyone who simply disagrees with anything I post (and by the
way, I personally disagree with many things I post for informational or
diversity-of-opinion value; I post from the far-Right, far-Left and
in-between in terms of paradigms shaping the content of/embodied in the
posts) just deal with the substance, don't read it, provide counter-opinion,
ignore it, set up a filter or whatever until we have a concrete policy with
which I will abide completely as long as it is binding on all regardless of
content or source of a given posting.

But there is a whole lot of very selective "morality" and concern for the
"proper" use of the Master List going on here. And when someone whose name
is not typically associated with "respect for diversity of opinion" or
"passion for intellectual discourse" is promoting such--selectively--or when
someone is pontificating about the "law" and "legal" use of the Master List
who has himself/herself engaged in--and ultimately partially admitted
to--uses of computer systems that would lead to firing at this or any other
institution without some special protection from a previous administration,
and is demonstrating patent hypocrisy and disingenuousness in his/her
selctive concerns, then I will call it as I see it and will not demonstrate
some form of phony "politeness" and "refinement." Hypocrisy, discrimination,
attempted marginalization and demonization of selected individuals etc are
not "polite" and "refined" machinations and should not be dealt with through
phony "politeness" and "refinement." In Kerala, India, where I have lived,
there was a village saying so appropriate for the postures/posturing of some
at Clark: "Smiling with the front teeth, grinding with the back teeth."

Now that Mr. Horn (I have no idea who he is or where he works at Clark) has
apparently backed off from his earlier suggestion and attempt to initiate
and incite a conspiracy to shut down the computer of and interfere with the
work of a State employee as well as to  intimidate, harrass and abridge the
basic civil and human rights of a State employee, and has, instead, provided
a constructive suggestion, now perhaps we can move forward with a
substantive debate of the issues presented (specific issues in the posts
and/or issues related to the "proper" use of the Master List).

But there are more Taliban types hiding in various forms of caves (see the
"Allegory of the Cave")--intellectual and otherwise--than in all of
Afghanistan or any other place. And the home-grown Taliban types, like the
ones in Afghanistan, operate with their own sense that they and only they
should be heard, allowed to speak or have anything worth speaking or
hearing. They must be stood up to whenever or wherever they surface and
attempt to silence discourse with which they are unwilling to debate or
perhaps incapable of debating.

Jim Craven



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