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Doug Mann LPN, LNC

What is a personal attack? / The Pepsi challenge

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What is a personal attack? / The Pepsi challenge

 Pasted below is a message sent to the listserv of the Minneapolis / MN 5th CD Green Party Local on 7 November 2003.

The context: Immediately after I joined the Green Party I criticized the steering committee of the Minneapolis-5th
CD Green Party Local for setting agendas for membership meetings (not allowing the membership to approve, disapprove, or modify agendas for the membership meetings). I also held some views that were not shared by a majority of Local members who regularly attended membership meetings. For example, I advocated immediate, unilateral, unconditional withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq.

Forwarded message:
Date:Fri Nov 7, 2003 10:20 am
Subject:What is a personal attack? / The Pepsi challenge

What do I mean by "personal attacks" - I am referring to 1) negative characterizations of a person 2) criticism of a personal nature based on subjective impressions about personal traits, habits, abilities, character, speculation about feelings & thoughts, etc.

Characterizing the Steering Committee (members) as "evil, corrupt, power-hungry" would be an example of a personal attack (negative characterization). In this discussion I have not characterized anyone as "evil, corrupt, power-hungry," or anything else.

Examples of criticisms of a personal nature: Stephen Harvey's allegedly "private" letter concerning my "inability to comprehend" things that are explained over and over again, and passages from two Emails pasted below, one written by Mark Snyder and the other by Rosalind Nelson.

The Pepsi Challenge: If you can find even a single instance where I have personally attacked anyone (per the above definitions) in any post that I have ever sent to any listserv, I will quit this listserv and the Green Party. (offer expires in one month)

In a message dated 11/5/2003 10:11:35 PM Central Standard Time, [Rosalind Nelson] writes:

>Doug may care passionately about the schools and other important things,
>but he also seems to really loathe the Green Party. I don't understand
>that, but I doubt it's really about the strategic plan or whether the
>the meeting should approve the agenda. And there isn't much the
>steering committee or other members can do to work with someone who
>comes in with that kind of an attitude.

In a message dated 11/7/2003 12:40:36 AM Central Standard Time,
[Mark Snyder] writes:
>Now I see earlier today that Doug is complaining about personal attacks.
>What attacks? I've only seen people disagreeing with Doug's assertions. Is
>that an attack? If so, I would say it pales in comparison to Doug's attacks
>of the Steering Committee that have alleged conspiracy and claimed the 5th
>District GP is some super-centralized structure where members have no
>Seems to me that what is more likely occurring is Doug is having trouble
>accepting that people can disagree with him and is alleging these "personal
>attacks" as a way to portray himself as the underdog in a valiant fight
>against the evil, corrupt, power-hungry Steering Committee.

Re: Minneapolis public schools, board candidates, & the 2006 election