[Ubuntu-US-CA] LoCo Contact Forwards

Grant Bowman grantbow at gmail.com
Fri Oct 2 18:01:32 UTC 2009

Thank you Elizabeth, Jack, Christian and Amber for speaking out
against this action.

I'll start again with the original "private" censure message.  This
has set the stage for discussion in a specific way that is highly

On Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 2:31 PM, Neal Bussett <neal at bussett.com> wrote:
> We recently discussed your tendency to forward everything from -contacts
> to -us-ca, and how it's not a good policy to have.

OK, let's break this sentence down.  First of all "we" is Neal, Nathan
and Robert in private, right?  This is not specifically "Neal and
Grant" and I saw no mention of this in #ubuntu-california though I
monitor it using two machines now. I have seen no other communication
attempts.  Neal and I have certainly not discussed this recently
though I always welcome genuine opportunities for discussion.  Neal,
when was this "other day" that you refer to in your reply?  In fact,
this week in private email I addressed a range of LoCo topics but
forwarding email from loco-contacts was not included in any way.  The
language used in this first sentence immediately polarizes the
discussion into an "us and them."

Robert, I talk with you approximately every other week in person for
several hours at www.dvlug.org and you have not to my recollection
brought this up, and certainly not "recently."  I'm baffled at what
Neal represents is your current stance on this issue.

Nathan, you and I have never discussed this issue in any way to my
recollection, certainly not "recently."  Do you think censorship
creates a "friendly mood to the
mailing list"?  If you, Neal or Robert care to take the time to
rewrite loco-contacts traffic, _please_ do so but I haven't seen any
of that from you, Neal or Robert lately nor any mention of
loco-contacts subjects brought to this list.  The loco contacts are
tasked with being a "point of contact" working in both directions.
Nathan, "...dismissive and refusing to enter discussion, and hasn't
modified his behavior" is simply a lie, especially as you have made no
attempts to contact me about this matter in any way at all.

By process of elimination, I can only logically conclude in this case
that "we" really means Neal who has influenced Nathan and Robert to
agree with him without discussing this with me.  This is an example
that contradicts the statement made last meeting (in more than one
way)  "20:19:04 < Flannel> erichammond: On a number of occassions,
I've specifically held back my comments on an issue precisely because
I don't want people to shy away from expressing themselves".

I certainly don't "forward everything".  I do forward what might be
relevant to focused events like Global Jam activities, especially the
last one which specifically refers to the Global Jam written by Jono
Bacon. Some loco-contacts traffic specifically requests further
distribution to LoCo teams.  The Global Jam is this week.  It is hard
to get any more targeted or well timed than that.  As we are in the
state of California with a *very* diverse population I would hope that
some of the targeted languages might be represented by subscribers to
our mail list.  There certainly are more people on the mail list than
have been active in the group so far and I was hoping this new kind of
opportunity for involvement might pique the interest of a new

As Neal is our official loco contact I am surprised he has not yet
participated in the loco-contacts list discussion prompted from my
email [1] yesterday asking for clarification on this "policy." There
have been some interesting comments, with a request [2] from Alan Pope
"I'd be interested to know what the specific rationale is for _not_
passing loco-contacts mail to locos."  I encourage those interested to
either read the web archive and/or subscribe to the list. [3]
Forwarding email to LoCo lists has also been added to the agenda [4]
for the next LoCo Council.  Daniel Holbach has also drafted a proposed
amendment [5] to the LoCoTeamContact wiki page.

[1] https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/loco-contacts/2009-October/003681.html
 Michael Lustfield later summarized "I think the general consensus
your receiving is this:

1. You seem to be doing your job correctly
2. Just keep doing what you're doing
3. If this continues to be an issue, please forward specifics so we can
  see the details and try to understand what exactly happened."

[2] https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/loco-contacts/2009-October/003686.html

[3] https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/loco-contacts

[4] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LoCoCouncilAgenda

[5] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LoCoTeamContact/ProposedAddition

> Yesterday and today
> you continued in the same manner, so I've set your messages to be
> moderated on the mailing list until this can be resolved.
> All of your emails (save these forwards from -contacts) will still get
> through, however they'll be delayed until one of the moderators can
> approve them.
> This moderation process shouldn't take long normally, so
> it shouldn't affect your ability to participate.
> Neal Bussett
> Ubuntu California

So now I am a second class participant with unknown and variable
delays on email I send to the list.  This can not be good precedent.
For all anyone else knows, all of my messages could silently be set
aside at the arbitrary discretion of Neal, Nathan or Robert.  How can
this administrative work load be justifiable?  What other teams
censure their participants when one person doesn't like what or how
someone says something?

"Benevolent," this action is not.  It was completely unexpected and
sudden.  This steers more toward a Community Laboratory (CuLt) than a
LoCo.  Cults are autocratic and carefully reframe communications and
censor those that express conflicting opinions too.  Though Neal tries
to reframe this action as some kind of "policy" most people recognize
a personal element.  "Keeping the Personal, Personal"
http://www.ubuntu.com/community/leadership-conduct  Without
acknowledgement of the real issues at hand little progress is

I still don't understand what "resolved" means in this context.

While it is impossible to prove, I suspect this unprecedented and
surprising action is an indirect result of the 10 page private
communication sent earlier this week to Neal and Robert about a whole
range of topics which were brought up.  This discourse began July 31st
prompted by a request from Robert after some wiki edits where my
contributions were quietly deleted.  It took me hours to carefully and
accurately compose it, addressing each issue as it was brought up. In
fact, several questions I asked during this discourse were ignored and
quietly removed from the email by Neal. The time I invested in that
detailed and comprehensive communication (with no mention of
forwarding) has taken away from my Ubuntu related and non-Ubuntu
related activities.  The time spent on this new issue has also been

Grant Bowman

More information about the Ubuntu-us-ca mailing list