8.27.2008

common ills replies, i remain baffled (updated) (and upperdated)

This morning I received this email from Common Ills.
There are 2531 e-mails in the inbox. We do not have time for pen pals.

Jess responded to your e-mail yesterday.

You didn't grasp that when Jess mentioned Mike and Rebecca he did so for a reason.

This community that C.I. created has many online sites including:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
and Marcia SICKOFITRDLZ.

The mistake you made is in assuming that we do not all share. As Jess was pointing out to you, he knows (as do I, as does everyone) about your e-mails to Mike and Rebecca.

He had no reason to be nice to you.

As you did with Rebecca and Mike (who never linked to you -- C.I. linked to you in the snapshots, they reposted C.I.'s snapshots), you e-mailed your gripe. You tossed "Thank you" at the front and acted friendly and then did what you did in -- what? 15? -- letters to The New York Times which was to offer how C.I. was wrong. C.I. wasn't wrong. And, as Gina points out, this is a private conversation in a public sphere. As we say at our site, "The Third Estate Sunday Review focuses on politics and culture. We're an online magazine. We don't play nice and we don't kiss butt. In the words of Cher: 'If you can dig it then I'm happy and if you can't then I'm sorry.' We're not really sorry, we just wanted a 'dig it' quote. Don't like it? There are millions of sites online -- move along, you're blocking the view."

One thing that has always ticked off Jim and I, before we even knew C.I. and before we started Third was all the people e-mailing C.I. asking for links, asking that their books be promoted, their broadcasts, their speaking tours and on and on. No one ever gives back shit to The Common Ills. We've seen that over and over.

As you did with Jess, your e-mail presents yourself as a voice for War Resisters Support Campaign. C.I.'s noted them non-stop for years and years. The "thank you for covering Robin Long but . . ." comes off -- intended or not -- as a bit condescending. C.I. was covering Robin Long from the moment he went public. If there's a war resister in Canada who has gone public and not been covered by C.I. it's an oversight.

Heather attempted to explain the problem with coverage to you but you dismissed her. Which means, journalistically (that would be what my undergraduate degree is in and what my grad degree will be in) you're not very aware. C.I. and Ava have screamed and screamed at friends (and family) in the Real Press to get coverage of them in the US. There's a cable channel where they called in every favor they had to get a report. They will offer trades, they will offer anything offline (including a band playing at a kid's birthday in one instance), they will beg, they will scream until they are hoarse. And that's just to get a producer or editor to assign a reporter to look into it. They bust their asses every damn day. And if they're not pressuring the press, they're pressuring Congress.

So when Heather's explaining to you that ____ or ___ or all of Panhandle Media is ignoring the issue of war resisters, dismissing it grandly is not a sign of awareness.

A friend of C.I.'s was interviewed for one hour by Panhandle Media this week and he stated he wanted to talk about Iraq. The interviewer never got around to it -- in an entire hour. Allegedly on 'politics.' Panhandle Media has walked away from Iraq.

When The Myth of the Great Return started in November, C.I. called it from the start. Called friends in the State Dept, at the UN, at the Red Cross to make sure it was a myth and hit on it hard over and over -- even before the UN finally weighed in officially one week later saying it wasn't safe to return to Iraq. C.I. and Ava screamed and yelled and begged and pleaded with friends not to repeat the myth, they were very vocal that the blood of any refugee who came back to Iraq and died would be on the outlet's hands. After a month, finally the myth was exposed. (And C.I. repeatedly gives the outlet that finally stepped up credit for doing so.) During all of that, where was Panhandle Media? Ignoring Iraq. After The Myth of the Great Return started it had its intended result -- to drive up support for the illegal war in domestic polling. That's the only reason the myth was started. And there were the usual rejects of Panhandle Media like Amy Goodman puzzling over the polling numbers. The polls went up because LIES weren't being called out.

Panhandle Media thinks saying "Judy Miller, Judy Miller" over and over is 'covering' Iraq. Judith Miller was pulled from Iraq in 2003. The illegal war didn't end then. Not only that, it was Dexter Filkins who lied about the November 2004 Falluja slaughter and won an award for it. When a major daily finally exposed Dexy as the go-to-guy for the US military, Panhandle Media still ignored that. Despite the fact that Molly Bingham had already revealed how Dexy would kill a story if the US military didn't like it. As early as 2004, C.I. was saying at The Common Ills if people like Judith Miller got the US over there, it's people like Dexter that keep the US over there by lying in their 'reporting.'

I have no idea what you do each day. I know what C.I. does. I know C.I. has put her entire life on hold (and Ava has now as well) to do everything possible to end the illegal war. C.I. has spoken a minimum of two weeks a month since Feb. 2003 against the illegal war to students, women's groups and labor groups. For the last two years, it's been every week of the year. That's despite a health scare. So when your e-mail comes in critizing C.I. when C.I.'s correct, of course Jess is going to be offended. I'm offended by you. As Kat likes to point out, C.I. could be sitting by her pool every day. Instead, she's out on the road and she's been everywhere except Alaska in the US (including Puerto Rico, etc.) speaking out against the illegal war. Currently, C.I., Ava, Wally and Kat arrive home Saturday afternoon. They're up all Saturday night/Sunday morning working on Third. They turn around and hit the road again on Monday morning. There was one week since January when they were here (Bay Area). Even then, they were speaking every day but in their own area. There is no 'break' or 'vacation' for them. (And C.I. was undergoing medical tests that week as well.) .So we really don't need your letters to the editor here.

Jess made it clear that this isn't a pen pal service. If someone writes here they need to be writing for a reason. I'm having to stop and make time to reply to you because I'm on the public account today.

Jess wasn't rude to you. He was indifferent.

He, very business like, went over the realities that you did not know. He, very business like, told you that if you had news of an event or something you wanted to highlight to e-mail.

The public account and the private accounts are worked by Jim, Jess, Eli, Martha, Shirley, Ava and C.I. and sometimes Heather. (I believe you know Heather. She called out your Barack Delusions.) So many because there are so many e-mails. There is no time for pen pals.

Rosa and Reese are in Canada. Rosa is told she does not get immigrant status and has to leave. Rosa doesn't want to. Canadian officials escort her to the airport and she departs for another country. That is deporation. Reese is told that he's not accepted and that he's being 'deported' but is turned over to American authorities. That is extradition.

It's really basic. The fact that, when you read C.I., you didn't grasp that goes to problems on your end. Want to get attention up a notch? Start presenting the extradition of Robin. He wasn't deported. Deported is kicked out of the country. Turned over to the authorities of another country is extradition. Mactavish (who has consistently ruled against war resisters) did an extradition and did it without going through the proper channels. That's news. It was outrageous when Canadian officials took orders from the US and arrested Kyle Snyder. It was outrageous when two US military service members joined a Canadian police officer and all three presented as police officers as they went hunting for Joshua Key. It has now been taken up a notch.

Hopefully Jeremy will not be deported. If he is, he should have a real deportation. Which means choosing where he wants to go and if it's the US he will not be turned over (by Canadian officals) to the US authorities. That would be extradition.

To do an extradition proper would have meant review by a higher authority of Mactavish's actions. It would have delayed Robin's departure and it would have most likely outraged even more Canadians than the deporation did. "We're just kicking him out" was the right-wing defense. No, you were kicking him and handing him over to authorities. You were practicing extradition for a 'crime' not covered in your treaty with the US.

It was a big no-no.

No treaty would have allowed an extradition. Had Robin been stationed by the US military in Canada and then deserted, he would have been covered by existing treaties between the US and Canada. NO SUCH TREATY EXISTS CURRENTLY. Mactavish has created a new 'law.' It is outrageous.

We are all very busy. Myself, I'm in grad school. I work on Third. I read e-mails there and here. I also schedule Ava and C.I. (which Wally, Kat and Rebecca are now going along on) weekly speaking engagements. My plate is full. In the public account, I'm rushing through as many e-mails as I can to find if someone's highlight is worth passing on to C.I. or if it goes in the trash. Is a journalist writing to say they were treated unfairly by C.I.? If so I put it in "MUST READ" a folder C.I. reads. There are several community newsletters and they help cut down on TCI members e-mailing because they provide a forum for other things. But the public account (which you've now written twice) is for official stuff.

Jess explained the issue to you. As a law student, as the child of two attorneys and the grandson of another, he knows what he's talking about. C.I. knows what she's talking about. An extradition took place. Things need to be called what they are.

Dona

My reply:
Didn't think you were a pen pal, didn't think you didn't share, didn't remember any interaction with Rebecca. Don't think the mail from Jess was businesslike. I'd hate to be a part of any business that communicated in that businesslike fashion!

Thanks for the reply. Good luck in all your efforts.

Laura

And some notes, which I'll share here.

As Jess was pointing out to you, he knows (as do I, as does everyone) about your e-mails to Mike and Rebecca.

I wish I knew about my emails to Mike and Rebecca! I couldn't remember anything about Rebecca, but I had the vaguest recollection of an exchange with Mike, and I could have sworn it was positive.

I searched through my Gmail archives, I found this.

Me to Mike, 12/1/07:
Hi, I've seen my blog linked a few times at your sites. I just wanted to say thank you for your ongoing support of US war resisters in Canada. All best to you.

--
Laura K
a/k/ L-girl
www.wmtc.ca

Mike to me, 12/3/07
Laura,

We Move to Canada. I know your site and enjoy it. Keep doing great work.

The links you're seeing are in C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot." I repost the snapshot like every other community member does if they post that day. So C.I.'s the one writing "Iraq snapshot" and that goes up at The Common Ills, the rest of us just grab it when we post in the evening.

War resisters need a lot of support because they're doing something really courageous. I'm thinking you were from NY before you and your husband moved to Canada. I'm in MA and there's so little coverage of war resisters in this area. I think it's really cool that you and your husband went to Canada. I should have gone before the passport requirement went through! :D

Best,
Mike

Me to Mike, 12/07/07
Hi Michael, thanks for your email.

The war resisters are the most courageous people I have ever met. Most of us stand for peace but risk very little to do so. They have risked everything. I feel a real obligation to help them in any little way I can.

Yes, we lived in NYC for 20+ years before moving to Canada. I'm from there originally, my partner is from Vermont. We're both huge Red Sox fans so we might have something in common, at least with your neighbours if not you.

Thanks again for your support. If you haven't already, please write a "Dear Canada" letter through Courage To Resist.

All best,

Laura K

I didn't find anything to or from Rebecca. As far as I know, this is the full extent of my previous interactions with anyone from the group of Common Ills blogs.

One thing that has always ticked off Jim and I, before we even knew C.I. and before we started Third was all the people e-mailing C.I. asking for links, asking that their books be promoted, their broadcasts, their speaking tours and on and on. No one ever gives back shit to The Common Ills. We've seen that over and over.

What does this have to do with me? I never asked for anything. I've never written to any blog to ask for a link or a promotion, ever.

You tossed "Thank you" at the front and acted friendly and then did what you did in -- what? 15? -- letters to The New York Times which was to offer how C.I. was wrong.

I don't know what this means. The last time I wrote a letter to the New York Times, was in 2005, when still living in the US. I've never written to the Times on this issue, only to Canadian newspapers, and only brief letters in support of war resisters.

The "thank you for covering Robin Long but . . ." comes off -- intended or not -- as a bit condescending.

I get emails all the time from people in the peace movement or in military resistance thanking me for my coverage. I've gotten emails from people in the reproductive rights movement thanking me.

I thank anyone who covers the issues that are important to me. I thank people for going to rallies, for tabling, for writing letters to their MPs. I thank people for their activism. I thank people for their efforts, and they do the same for me.

It's a way of cheering each other on, of acknowledging that we are all doing what we can. It's a way of acknowledging each other, period.

Also, please note, I did not write "thank you for covering Robin long but".

Heather attempted to explain the problem with coverage to you but you dismissed her.

I don't know what this means. I don't remember anyone named Heather attempting to explain anything to me. That doesn't mean it didn't happen - my memory for one-time communications is very poor - but I have no recollection of it. Was it in a comment that I didn't reply to? An email? I don't know.

Jess wasn't rude to you. He was indifferent.

He, very business like, went over the realities that you did not know. He, very business like, told you that if you had news of an event or something you wanted to highlight to e-mail.


Read Jess's email here.

Would you use the subject line "And you got your law degree when?" in a businesslike email?

Would you use ALL CAPS if you were indifferent?

And so on.

Want to get attention up a notch? Start presenting the extradition of Robin.

I don't write things about the resisters to get attention. I'm trying to get them attention.

[Update. A commenter pointed out that Dona/CI probably means getting the resisters attention, not wmtc. I see that now.]

As a resister explained yesterday in a comment, his lawyer - and all their lawyers, as far as I am aware - don't use the word extradited. The Campaign doesn't say Robin was extradited. The Campaign uses the word deported. Wmtc is linked on the Campaign's website; I'm trying to be an outlet for Campaign news. So I'm going to go with the language the Campaign uses.

Other people believe differently, and want to do otherwise? That's no problem.

It's no problem to me, certainly.

This whole thing makes me sad. Sharing it with you all makes me feel much better.

Yesterday's discussion over the etiquette of posting this settled it for me. People were nasty and, as Kim put it, high conflict. In my view their meanness towards me was totally unwarranted. I don't owe them privacy. (I'm also not assuming they want privacy. For all I know, this attention may be gratifying to them.) I don't owe courtesy where none was shown to me. I should do what feels right to me, and this is it.

Thanks for your support and feedback, much appreciated.

Update.

After reading James's suggestion (see comments), I double-checked to see if I ever emailed with Rebecca. I didn't find her name, but I did find one email from me to the email address from the blog Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, from November, 2007. The email address doesn't have her name in it, so I didn't recognize or remember it as connected to a person named Rebecca. Here's what I wrote.
I saw your post with the lyrics to one of my favourite songs, A Case Of You.

Don't despair. The Canadian Supreme Court did the wrong thing, but Canadians will do the right thing. We will insist our country gives asylum to US war resisters. And amazingly enough, democracy still works here. We can make it happen.

If you haven't already, join the campaign through Courage to Resist ("Dear Canada") or the War Resisters Support Campaign, www.resisters.ca.

Thanks for your support.

--
Laura K
a/k/ L-girl
www.wmtc.ca

There was no reply.

Now I've posted the full extent of my previous interactions with the Common Ills community.

Upperdate. I just received this email from Jim at Common Ills.
Jim here. You're rude. You were rude to Rebecca. You were rude to Mike. Jess replied to your rude e-mail. Dona's replied to your rude e-mail. Don't write again unless you have an announcement.

We laugh our asses off at the American so scared by who occupied the White House that she ran to Canada.

You're a lousy face for the War Resisters Support Campaign and probably shouldn't try to speak for them in your e-mails.

Don't reply.

Wow.

47 comments:

James said...

It looks to me like someone's conflating you with someone else.

In your shoes, I'd send emails off to Rebecca and Mike along the lines of, "Sorry to bother you, but someone recently implied that I had done something to make you upset with me. My own recollections of our emails are completely positive, so I'm at a loss to know what they mean. Have I done something to offend?" rather than trying to get an explanation third-hand.

The more vindictive side of me says, go find the text of the judgement and see what term it uses, and what laws it cites to justify the action. Then send that info off in reply to "what law degree do you have?".

Though I'd actually be more likely to just post the info to my blog.

PeterC said...

I note that the problem does seem to be their choice of verbiage re: extradition or "forced deportation". Of course, they explained it so clearly...

As far as business like... yea, whatever. I understand your bafflement and refuse to get drawn any further into the potential flame fest.

One comment to your response, I thought it was obvious that the "attention up a notch" refered to attention on the war resisters, not yourself. It is sort of out of context where they put it, but...

L-girl said...

It looks to me like someone's conflating you with someone else.

It's very possible.

But I'm not emailing anyone else about this or trying to get any explanations. These people are clearly unable to communicate like decent human beings.

The vindictive side has its appeal! But I'm not going to bother. I don't have the time and I really don't want to escalate this. I'd like some clone or alter-ego of mine to do that, while I just go about my own business.

L-girl said...

One comment to your response, I thought it was obvious that the "attention up a notch" refered to attention on the war resisters, not yourself. It is sort of out of context where they put it, but...

Ah-ha, yes, I see that now. Thanks.

I've still got to go with the consensus of the movement, and use the word deportation, but I see what you're saying.

James said...

These people are clearly unable to communicate like decent human beings.

Well, Jess & CI, maybe -- but that doesn't mean that Rebecca & Mike are likewise.

One other thing struck me: "We do not have time for pen pals" followed by a 2000-word email.

L-girl said...

Well, Jess & CI, maybe -- but that doesn't mean that Rebecca & Mike are likewise.

True. And Mike was very cordial in his earlier email exchange.

I'm still thinking I shouldn't email any of them anymore. But I'll consider it.

One other thing struck me: "We do not have time for pen pals" followed by a 2000-word email.

Right. :)

James said...

I'm still thinking I shouldn't email any of them anymore.

My main concern would be that this misunderstanding might come back and bite me from another direction. But I'm not trying to argue you into it; this is just an "in your shoes" hypothetical.

L-girl said...

But I'm not trying to argue you into it; this is just an "in your shoes" hypothetical.

Yes, and I appreciate it. I'm going to let it percolate for a day or so and see how I feel.

redsock said...

One other thing struck me: "We do not have time for pen pals" followed by a 2000-word email.

1,889, actually. And you got your math degree where?

Man, I couldn't read even half of that novella. Dona is certifiable.

redsock said...

In your shoes, I'd send emails off to Rebecca and Mike along the lines of, "Sorry to bother you ..."

Hell, tell them to SHOW YOU THE HORRIBLE EMAILS that you sent. Promise to run them in full on your blog.

and then did what you did in -- what? 15? -- letters to The New York Times which was to offer how C.I. was wrong.

How would they know you sent 15 letters to the Times (if you had actually done so)? Do they work at the letter-receiving department of the paper? The Times would never publish 15 letters from one person on one issue in such a short amount of time.

They are, as we like to say, MAKING SHIT UP!

Amy said...

Reading this whole exchange gave me agita (hating even on line conflict as I do...or should I say it gave me a headache?) It sure seems to me that they have you confused with someone else. Reading your emails to Mike and to Rebecca, I cannot imagine that they are angry with you. And the thing about 15 letters to the NYTimes makes it clear that they have you confused with someone else.

If it were me, I would write back one more time suggesting that they do have you confused with someone else since you did NOT write letters to the NYTimes and have had only a few very cordial email exchanges with Mike/Rebecca (whoever they are).

I hope you at least feel better by venting!

Mary said...

The correct term is neither deportation nor extradition. It's removal, which may or may not include a deportation order. It is quite different from extradition. For example, a citizen can be extradited from her own country, but not removed. Also, extradition proceedings are handled by the Department of Justice, whereas removals are handled by the CIC, with appeals heard through the Immigration Appeal Division. And, of course, those extradited are sent to the country that requested it, whereas those removed are generally repatriated. HOwever, if the CIC issues only a departure order, as is often the case, then the person in question has 30 days to leave Canada; removal orders are effective immediately, but are typically stayed during the appeals process.

L-girl said...

Reading this whole exchange gave me agita (hating even on line conflict as I do...or should I say it gave me a headache?)

Heh, that line will live in infamy. :)

Thanks, Amy.

I am not averse to conflict, so it's fair to say this exchange bothers me a lot less than it would you. But it did bother me, for sure. And it did help to blog about it.

If it were me, I would write back one more time suggesting that they do have you confused with someone else since you did NOT write letters to the NYTimes and have had only a few very cordial email exchanges with Mike/Rebecca (whoever they are).

I'm not going to write to Common Ills any more. But I may email Mike and Rebecca, along the lines of what James suggested above.

L-girl said...

The correct term is neither deportation nor extradition.

Thanks for the information, Mary. As I've said, the Campaign and the lawyers working with the resisters use the term deportation, so I follow suit.

Clearly, this thread has very little to do with extradition vs. deportation vs. removal. But thanks for the info, I appreciate it.

M@ said...

The correct term is neither deportation nor extradition. It's removal

You got your law degree WHERE!?

I kid, I kid. But I'm wondering whether anyone is "deported" according to your description of the process, Mary. Either a person leaves of his or her own accord, or (when time's up) is removed, where the Canadian authorities (presumably) send them somewhere.

I too found it funny that the guy sent you an 1889-word "we're not pen pals!" e-mail. I only skimmed it, obviously, but it really does look like he's confused you with someone he's fought with in the past. Or he was drunk when he replied. Both times.

I wouldn't bother following this up at all. Is there any advantage to drawing the whole thing out? I can't think of a resolution at this point that would actually put you in a better place than you are now -- and you risk a long, annoying correspondence that would no doubt bring you back to dealing with the long-winded angry/drunk person.

M@ said...

Re-re-reading my comment, I hope it's clear that the statements I made in asking Mary to clarify should have been phrased as questions. I'm trying to understand how the process works, not tell anyone how it works! I got my law degree where!

Mary said...

Well, it's relevant in the sense that there are good reasons for clarifying the term (it matters a great deal to Robin Long, as it will affect his ability to reunite with his family when he's released) so your original email to CI wasn't at all trivial, and certainly didn't deserve the vicious response.

I'm just appalled (and baffled) by the way these people are treating you, and the puerile (my mom's a lawyer! I mean really ...) tactics they are using. I'm glad they provided a list of members of their community. I won't be visiting any of them.

L-girl said...

I wouldn't bother following this up at all. Is there any advantage to drawing the whole thing out? I can't think of a resolution at this point that would actually put you in a better place than you are now -- and you risk a long, annoying correspondence that would no doubt bring you back to dealing with the long-winded angry/drunk person.

Although I can see where James and Amy are coming from, and there's a tiny bit of my brain that wants to contact Mike and Rebecca, my gut tells me to go with this approach, and let it go.

The longer it goes on, the worse it will get. It's best to let it die.

Also, it seems inappropriate to contact Mike and Rebecca after posting this to wmtc. Posting it here was much more important and helpful to me than emailing would have been, and now I think it's too late.

L-girl said...

Well, it's relevant in the sense that there are good reasons for clarifying the term (it matters a great deal to Robin Long, as it will affect his ability to reunite with his family when he's released)

Yes, indeed. I didn't mean to imply that your information was irrelevant.

so your original email to CI wasn't at all trivial, and certainly didn't deserve the vicious response.

Thanks. :)

I'm just appalled (and baffled) by the way these people are treating you, and the puerile (my mom's a lawyer! I mean really ...) tactics they are using.

Thanks again. The "my/his mom is a lawyer" bit is out of this world.

They are even bothered that I thanked them for supporting war resisters!

I'm glad they provided a list of members of their community. I won't be visiting any of them.

Same here, obviously! :)

Canada Calling said...

Could it be Wingnut_2000(Magnolia_2000) posting and posing as you,
as in "I-girl", or "redsock."?

Dharma Seeker said...

E-mail 101: WHEN YOU TYPE IN CAPITALS PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE YELLING!

Not sure if I've ever mentioned this to you but my undergraduate degree is in Labour Studies. I was in my second year when I picked up my application to volunteer at the shelter. I was SO excited, and I told one of my classmates about it. His response was "What, you don't like people?", suggesting I should not be spending my time helping animals when so many people also needed help for various reasons. This individual was also a member of OCAP, the group that used homemade weapons(2x4s with nails hammered through them) on police horses at a demonstration at Queen's Park. Not hearsay - sadly I've seen the scars.

He was self-righteous, judgemental and condescending and it was hurtful, especially because my heart was in the right place and I was doing something I believed in. Sound familiar?

The day people like this learn to get over themselves will be a happy day for progressive people everywhere, and the causes we fight for. Stephen Harper wouldn't be PM today if the right hadn't had the sense to put squabbling aside and band together. Imagine what the left could achieve if all progressive people did the same.

L-girl said...

Could it be Wingnut_2000(Magnolia_2000) posting and posing as you,
as in "I-girl", or "redsock."?


CC, I thought of that, too.

It seems unlikely, as Mags doesn't email, as a rule.

Also, Mike and Rebecca are the two people from this community that I had interaction with.

The NY Times letters is clearly someone else.

But who knows?

Wingnut_2000 :)

L-girl said...

Imagine what the left could achieve if all progressive people did the same.

Just as an example...

Several of the bloggers in the CI community rant about Amy Goodman, Katrina Vanden Heuvel and other left-y writers.

No one is above criticism, and we should criticize anyone we want to, but these are absolute rants, with name-calling and personal attacks - real Bill O'Reilly stuff - against people on the left.

The attitude is "we're the only ones who know what we're doing, we work harder and know more than anyone else, if you're not part of our crowd, you're worthless".

Since this dust-up began, I've perused so many blogs that take this approach.

It's so sad.

Why not recognize and value everyone's contributions? So many people do nothing. Why attack the people who are actually trying?

Ah, well.

L-girl said...

E-mail 101: WHEN YOU TYPE IN CAPITALS PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE YELLING!

He was perfectly businesslike and indifferent. She said it, therefore it is so.

L-girl said...

This individual was also a member of OCAP, the group that used homemade weapons(2x4s with nails hammered through them) on police horses at a demonstration at Queen's Park.

Wow.

L-girl said...

From Mike in December:

We Move to Canada. I know your site and enjoy it. Keep doing great work.

....

I think it's really cool that you and your husband went to Canada. I should have gone before the passport requirement went through!


From Jim:

You were rude to Mike. ... We laugh our asses off at the American so scared by who occupied the White House that she ran to Canada.

I wonder if they've "re-educated" Mike.

L-girl said...

Don't write again unless you have an announcement.

I have an announcement: You people are insane!!

redsock said...

We laugh our asses off at the American so scared by who occupied the White House that she ran to Canada.

There is a stage of emotions that trolls go through as they melt down. One of them is "everyone who reads your blog is laughing at you and thinks you are stupid".

It's amazing how universal this is.

Lorna said...

While I think that you're going to be better off by letting this die there is one aspect of it that I do think may be worth persuing. If someone really is posing as you, either by having hijacked an e-mail address or by signing your name to letters, this is identity theft. I've never written to a newspaper so I'm not sure what measures they take to confirm the identity of the signed author but it would be pretty easy to take your e-mail address and open accounts on other domains with that name.
I'm also curious to know why they chose to respond to this particular supposedly offensive e-mail that you sent, but you never heard from Rebecca or Mike when you were apparently so rude to them?
You share much of yourself with the public via your own letters to newspapers and through this blog and it could be very detrimental to your reputation if someone is playing games.

L-girl said...

it could be very detrimental to your reputation if someone is playing games.

I appreciate that, Lorna.

But I really don't think anyone is posing as me.

After that run of fake comments by "i-girl" and "redsock-dot" it all quieted down. Those were not emails - they were blog comments, and easily un-authenticated, as they couldn't link to my profile or use my blog name.

I've already heard from several other people (by email) who this CI group has attacked for the crime of politely disagreeing with them.

Newspapers don't run letters without phone or email confirmation, and the New York Times hasn't been running letters under my name, I'm quite sure of that.

If someone was posing as me by email, which I doubt, there'd be little or nothing I could do about it anyway. But I'm pretty sure that's not happening. Thanks, though.

Tom said...

Let's not sugar coat this Laura. The people you are dealing with are a raving bunch of immature assholes. The height of their ego and self importance is laughable.

They sound like children at the playground. "I'm mad at you but am not going to tell you why Waaahh Waahh Waaah!"

Mary said...

"You got your law degree WHERE!?"

No degree required: I was already fairly up on it (I had to research this very subject less than a year ago), but all of the information I provided is available on the web. It's just harder to find if you're searching for "deportation," which as I said is only one form of removal - the harshest, including as it does a permanent ban on re-entry without ministerial permission.

In any case, it's definitely not synonymous with extradition, which is what jesse went apoplectic trying to argue. In fact, it might have been better for Robin if he HAD been extradited, but he wasn't.

I've always found it somewhat amusing (until it gets nasty) when people who ought to consider themselves on the same side of an issue go at each other (not to imply that l-girl went after anyone). I recall a heated argument over how to protest the nuclear trains back in the 70s: one block of activists called into question, in quite belligerent terms, the commitment of another block that preferred community education and rallies and the like to lying down on the tracks and being eviscerated.

L-girl said...

"You got your law degree WHERE!?"

No degree required:


I hope you read the whole thread so you know where that came from...???

I've always found it somewhat amusing (until it gets nasty) when people who ought to consider themselves on the same side of an issue go at each other

It's as old as time. Splinter groups and more splinter groups and accusations and infiltration and on and on.

To me it's very sad.

L-girl said...

a raving bunch of immature assholes

Can't argue with that logic!

Cornelia said...

OMG!!! I would have been very angry with them, too!!! I think it was them who were unpleasant, nasty and extremely rude. I think it was inacceptable and outrageous. For luck, there are way nicer and more supportive and reasonable people around.

M@ said...

I hope you read the whole thread so you know where that came from...???

I hope so too! Mary, I wouldn't want you to think I was being negative towards you -- only being silly.

When Allan used it, I thought maybe it was about to become a meme, and I wanted to get in on the ground floor. Then I found using it reflexively was even funnier. (I got my English degree where?)

You can probably guess that I'm not getting very far with my actual work today...

L-girl said...

When Allan used it, I thought maybe it was about to become a meme, and I wanted to get in on the ground floor.

It totally is and you totally did!

I'm about to make dinner. And I got my cooking degree where??

You can probably guess that I'm not getting very far with my actual work today...

The number of comments I've left here and on JoS today would speak to the same issue. But then again, I got my journalism degree where?? (Nowhere!) So I really should just quit right now.

s1c said...

Wow!!!

An innocent e-mail becomes a flame e-mail war.

Wow!!!

My two cents (or would that be loonies?) the use of the words deportation, extradition, removal, etc to describe what has happened is not the issue. They are all the describing the same result. Someone is being forced to leave. To start flaming someone over linguistics is absolutely insane.

It is time to be like a duck, and let it roll off of you.

JakeNCC said...

The tone of those emails really stuns me. Is this normal behaviour for the American left? At first I thought these were interactions between Canadians but now I see they are in the Bay Area. Could this have something to do with their tone? Perhaps they're jaded after years of fighting the American right-wing. I'm grasping for reasons here.

L-girl said...

An innocent e-mail becomes a flame e-mail war.

But be fair, s1c. The flames are only being shot in one direction. I have not said one cross word to any of these people.

To start flaming someone over linguistics is absolutely insane.

I agree.

I believe, to these folks, that it's not linguistics. I believe they see a substantial difference between the two words.

But the point, as you say, is that the resisters are not being allowed to stay in Canada, are being forced to leave. That's the important part.

It is time to be like a duck, and let it roll off of you.

Thank you. Indeed it has.

I was upset when it first happened, which is why I posted about it. I needed to share and gather support. It was one of those, "Am I crazy? What did I miss?" moments.

Now: quack, quack.

Cornelia said...

There are some weird and unpleasant and freaked out people everywhere. Making a lot of trouble over pretty insignificant things is stupid and mean, I think. I agree this is not about exact terminology but about the extremely shitty and regrettable fact that the poor guy was deported (and sentenced to 15 months in the stockade and that he can't go back to Canada for 10 years after that, from what I have been told.) I find it always dubious and annoying when people try to start arguments about very minor issues. Unfortunately, oppressive, exploitative and in the end abusive divide et impera tactics often do still work very well!!!
Good that at least you are feeling better again, Laura.

Mary said...

Re: "You got your law degree WHERE!?"

Yeah, I read the whole thread.

Say! My daughter's father is a judge. Okay, so he's American, I scarcely know the guy, and he doesn't know the first thing about Canadian immigration law, but the association gives me credibility, doesn't it?

Doesn't it?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Kim_in_TO said...

I have to say that I don't think this is about Linguistics at all. It is about control, being completely inflexible, not being able to admit you've made a mistake, and probably about not going to bed when mommy tells you to, and then suffering the effects of that the next day. I was skimming the 1,889 words and dreading the thought that I might have to read all of them carefully in order to form arguments, and then I came to this:

We laugh our asses off at the American so scared by who occupied the White House that she ran to Canada.

This is the point at which I realized you can relax. You are not dealing with rational, reasonable adults here. You are dealing with ultra-left grade schoolers. There can be no winning; if you are able to present proof that you are in the right on the Mike/Rebecca/NYTimes points, their next move will be to hit or pull hair or take their toys and go home.

The mention of OCAP is particularly apt. OCAP (and also the Toronto chapter of No One Is Illegal, which is comprised mostly or entirely of OCAP members) is known for causing problems in the activist community. If you're not one of them, your opinions are wrong and you are not to be trusted. They've disrupted so many groups and events that few people/groups in the activist community will have anything to do with them now.

deang said...

Is this normal behaviour for the American left?

To some extent, normal for current American culture in general, and possibly for the reason suggested: the society has been hardened into nastiness from being dominated by an unscrupulous right for over a quarter century. Reminds me of something a Mexican activist said to our local Zapatista support group in the 90s, something like, "Many times, it's hard to work with the estadounidense groups because they fight among themselves so much and can't seem to cooperate. They always think they're in a competition with each other."

And since Common Ills is a US-based group, I can say what's been on my mind since reading this exchange: the US government's history of infiltration of left groups in the US in order to set members against each other. No way to know if that's what's going on here, but that's what I thought of when I first read the vicious responses Laura received from these people.

redsock said...

OCAP (and also the Toronto chapter of No One Is Illegal, which is comprised mostly or entirely of OCAP members) is known for causing problems in the activist community. If you're not one of them, your opinions are wrong and you are not to be trusted.

Hmmmm, so you are either with them or against them?

That sounds vaguely familiar -- where could I have heard that sentiment before?

L-girl said...

Great perspectives from Kim and Dean.

dreading the thought that I might have to read all of them carefully in order to form arguments

Fortunately no need for that here.

if you are able to present proof that you are in the right on the Mike/Rebecca/NYTimes points, their next move will be to hit or pull hair or take their toys and go home.

Exactly.

That's why it might seem like the argument is about word, or even about what really happened to Robin Long. But it's not about either of those things.

Actually, it's not really an argument. It takes two to argue. This was just an attack.

Cornelia said...

Yep, it was a low and silly and childish attack and their level is below kindergarten and below contempt anyway!