[Imc-lasvegas] LVIMC General Meeting Notes: Monday, March 21
chevive at earthlink.net
Tue Mar 22 01:26:47 PST 2005
I am certain that some member of LVIMC are already conviced to one degree or
another that I am completely a malevolent asshole, and what I am about to
propose is likely to cement that idea for some. I am sorry for that, and I
hope that before jumping to conclusion about that people will listen to what
I am really trying to say.
I was unable to attend the latest General Meeting because of work. (I don't
normally work mondays, but this is a busy season and I was scheduled
overtime.) However in the meeting notes I recieved via email an issue was
raised on which I have an opinion, and I feel it my duty to voice my
concerns even if I know some will take it the wrong way and/or assume it is
all just some sort of personal vendetta.
The latest meeting suggested that Gail is seeking to attain a password for
the site. While I believe that she is intelligent and capable, and
potentially a positive asset to the site, I would ask that certain of her
recent statements and standards be clarified before she is given blanket
access to the password abilities of the site.
This is not a personal issue- I like Gail, and am not trying to attack her.
My concern is that in a recent email to the list Gail made the following
Gail write: "However, the very first problem we have here, imo, is that we
all are NOT on the same page. Referring to another meeting's notes that I
just received in my mail today, there are two issues which have not been
addressed, discussed, and agreed upon. 1) What are our minimum
qualifications or our beliefs and values that we want all members to share?"
"In my humble opinion, anyone who is that passionate about any ONE ideology
should not be part of the working group of imc. There are just too many
biases here. The lvimc is almost to the point of it being a
communist/socialist website being used solely to promote one's own ideas re:
a political ideology."
My comments and concern: I believe that here Gail seems to be expressing
her view that there are certain criteria for being a member of LVIMC and its
working groups. She seems to imply a political idealogical litmus test, and
that our "not being on the same page" in this regard is a problem. As I
have said, I believe this outlook runs counter to the openness and free flow
of information set forth in the principals of unity. If she has a password,
will Gail use her personal outlook and the "same page" she is on to censor
those who are not on her page? I agree we aren't all on the same page, and
as I've said before I think that is a strength, not a "problem." If Gail is
given password privliges, will she use them to force us all onto "the same
page?" If she thinks certain people and idealogies shouldn't be part of the
IMC working group, will she treat posts and articles from those view points
objectively in censoring according to established editorial policy? In
fact, I believe from discussion with others that any one password holder can
disable the password rights of others. If that is true, and Gail is here
expressing her views that some people don't deserve to be working group
members, will some other password holder who crosses her one day find their
privliges unilaterally revoked because they "should not be part of the
working group of imc?"
Further, I think that Gail is expressing a distinct bias against a certain
set of ideaologies which she opposes. Will she be objective in her
assesment of editorial policy given this strong bias and desire to "be on
the same page" and force others to?
Gail write: "It does not necessarilly matter what the "intent" of the
poster is. It matters what the post IS and what the post looks like."
My comments and concern: What a post looks like, and what someone is
certain it "IS" are subjective judgements. We have recently shown this with
regards the Kominsky article. Gail seems to be asserting here that there is
always one right way to see what a post "IS" and I must assume she believes
she is the one to see it. Will Gail be willing to have discussion, maybe
attend editorial meetings etc, to let us work towards a consensus view of
what a post "IS,"or will she assume that she already knows what it "IS" and
act accordingly? I have biases. I assume she does too. I think we should
all aknowledge those biases and work together for consensus, but if some
believe they have the objective end truth about what a post "IS" will they
use password privliges to enforce their version of reality right away?
Gail writes: "As you can see, we have a "working group" who are always
justifying every article (including the promoting of violence) in the best
interest of "freedom of speech" when the most important goal of imc should
be promoting social and economic justice" and "brotherhood/sisterhood among
all peoples." I believe that coming to concensus on this issue will be very
difficult if not impossible but I am holding onto some hope."
My comments and concern: Here, as in other places, I am afraid that Gail
seems to have little faith in her fellow members of the working groups, and
a very hard set idea as to what the end goals of IMC are. My concern is to
ask if Gail is perhaps seeking a password so that she can simply bypass the
working groups for whom she here expresses contempt, and should someone who
is looking to do that be given the tools (a password) to do so?
"I also find it hilarious that certain members tell me that they have been
active in imc "from the beginning" and still they have no idea what
consensus is all about: respect, coming to acceptable decisions, etc."
My concern: I feel this is another example of Gail expressing contempt for
the opinions and ideas of her fellow working group participants. If she is
so mocking of the ideas of others, will she in fact be a group team player
in the exercise of password privliges? Or will she find other people's
ideas just a "hilarious" item to be mocked and ignored?
"Even with my different views on pro-choice, I would still tolerate articles
re: this issue. Reason being, I could add some content which would be
important to the overall issues and struggles and injustices of women that
may reduce the number of abortions."
My concern: Here Gail is laying out her ideaology on one specific idea . .
. and giving us all notice that there are something she will "tolerate" and
some things she won't. This accompanied by statements in meetings about
what her "morals" dictate make me concerned that Gail has some personal
agenda items about which she is so inflexible that she cannot tolerate
dissent. If she comes across something she disagrees with, and doesn't feel
she can "add some content," then will she simply refuse to "tolerate" it and
so censor it? Especially, if as illustrated above she has mocking contempt
for the ideas of others in the working group will her personal "morals" be
the deciding factor of what we will or will not "tolerate?"
"I do not believe in violence and I will not accept it or stand silently
while there are those promoting it or justifying it."
My comments: This ties into that directly above. For instance, the
Editorial Policy as it stands does not forbid the advocation of violence, so
long as it does not lay out a specific time or place and does not target
specific individuals. Will Gail abide by those consensed ideas, or impose
her own. I believe she makes it clear here, and I am concerned that
regardless of the ides of others in the group, whom she mocks and demeans,
she will enforce her own editorial policy and censoring. For instance,
Malcolm X's speech "The Ballot or theBullet" does in its way justify and
advocate some types of potential violence. It does not however violate any
of the specific points of the editorial policy. Given her statemnets about
what she will and won't "tolerate" and given her exact statement just
quoted, it seems that Gail would censor it regardless of the actual
editorial policy. If that is so, then do we want a password given to
someone who clearly says that their own version of what "IS" and their own
"morality" and what they feel they can or cannot "tolerate" is the defining
issue in thier actions? Can we believe that someone with such contempt for
meetings and other members of the working group will in fact abide by group
decisions like the editorial policy rather than going it their own way and
censoring only as they see fit?
Now having expressed my concerns I would liket o make a couple of things
clear. I am expressing my concerns openly so they can be discussed. And I
am not saying "Gail must NEVER have a passowrd." I am asking these
questions of the community and Gail herself. If I have misunderstood her, I
ask that she clarify her position. I believe that it is possible I'm wrong
because I completely misunderstood Gail, and even if I haven't I believe
that she can clarify for my benefit and that of the group what she does
mean, and how she would in fact use her password and how she would work with
the group and the groups decisions. But I do think it is important that
before anyone has a password that they demonstrate that it is not just so
they can and will enforce their own view on the running of the site
directly, and that they are willing to be workers for LVIMC and its group
decisions rather than just their own personal ideas and beliefs. If Gail
can do that, and explain that, then I would be happy to see her become a
password holder and a continuing positive contribution to our collective.
But if not, then I think it would be innapropriate for her to gain access.
The other thing I want to make clear- I have plenty of my own faults, and
things to learn. If it seems that I am trying to pick on Gail from a
better-than-thou point of view, then let me say that is not my point. I am
doing this openly not to attack her, but to voice my concerns and give her
and the group a chance to consider and respond.
I do not have a password. I do not want a password. This is not a power
struggle over that. I am voicing my concerns because I believe that if we
give passwords to anyone who is not willing to abide by group decisions and
who wants one only to enforce their own personal ideas (like Steve Hampton,
for instance made clear) then we are setting ourselves up for real problems.
Lastly, I hope all my concerns can be proven to be unfounded, or to be of a
nature we can work through and resolve. I'm not trying to attack or run off
one person. If Gail can put my concerns about her previous statements to
rest and explain how I've misinterperted her, or how she has changed her
mind on somethings, then I welcome that and hope we get her a password
expeditiously. But I think these things are serious, and we need to know
what will really happen when any person is given a password. They should go
to people with the group's interests and decisions at heart, not just one
person's interpertation of those interests who doesn't plan on respecting
the views of others.
I hope people will listen to my intent here without prejudice. I'm certain
some people's reactions will be to deepen their distaste for me personally
and their assesment that I'm an asshole. And I'm not denying that I am
often an asshole. But my intent here is for the greater good of LVIMC, and
I am open to seeing that I'm wrong. I hope I am, because I want to assume
the best about everyone I work with.
Hoping we can work things out together,
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