'Chorus of people expressing strong opposition to RMS return'

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loldier
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I was looking for another older blog post (about using other service than gmail and ending up sending half of all mail to Google), and I found this recent post by Benjamin Mako Hill.

https://mako.cc/copyrighteous/the-free-software-foundation-and-richard-stallman

So although it is now just my personal opinion, I will publicly add my voice to the chorus of people who are expressing their strong opposition to Richard Stallman’s return to leadership in the FSF and to his continued leadership in the free software movement. The current situation makes me unbelievably sad.

andyprough
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My favorite Debian developer, Norbert Preining, re-printed a fascinating article by the ACLU's first female president, in support of Stallman and in opposition to cancel culture. She basically says (I'm paraphrasing), "I'm as progressive politically as you will find, but no one needs to be cancelled for what they say as if it's equivalent to committing a violent crime." https://www.preining.info/blog/2021/03/rms-debian-and-the-world/

I don't agree with everything she says in the article. I don't agree that 14-year old girls should be making decisions about contraception and abortion without consulting their parents. So, politically I'm not cut from the same radical feminist cloth as her. But, her basic slant regarding cancel culture and the toxic over-reaction to Stallman is pretty good reading.

Magic Banana

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The source that includes Nadine Strossen's thoughts is great too: https://www.wetheweb.org/post/cancel-we-the-web

It remembers how all that #CancelStallman movement comes from false claims and was fueled by sensationalist journalism that kept on misrepresenting RMS' words.

gaseousness
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Some good points, indeed, imho. Do you really think the big tech giants with their minions will be willing to engage in some sort of dialogue, when they are appear too busy from engaging in false accusations, twisted of words words, and defamation based using mostly just third party sources and hearsay? Perhaps they just rather attack free-dumb of speech and free software, in general?

https://github.com/rms-support-letter/rms-support-letter.github.io/issues/175

^ Appears they will just shoot down any attempt of communication from even from people who appear to not be in the mob or one of its targeted groups? Perhaps the arguments are too bad and hypocritical to even attempt to persuade the ones who appear a bit skeptical to join their side? Last I saw the anti-rms github page at https://github.com/rms-open-letter/rms-open-letter.github.io didn't even have the "discussions" tab available.

kerdadit
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Witnessing this has triggered in me a depressive episode.

lutes
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[sorry, wrong thread]

Andy

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Did you mean “Chorus Girls”....?

A 400-page report by the Judiciary Committees Republican staff paints a devastating portrait of Ms. Swetnick. She made the most sensational charges of the women accusers and won airtime on national TV. The report depicts her as dangerous, a serial complainer, a liar, mentally unstable and cruel toward her parents.

Hey, by making false sensational charges; TV and other media will sign you up and give you loads of exposure - excuse the pun - and make you a B lister; until the lies are found out. Then the next accuser shouts loud and is signed up and so the circus goes on and on feeding the half wits who follow celebs.

It has been going on since I were a lad in 63 - the Profumo Affair with Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice Davies. It made a great film and shifted a load of newspapers at the time. No doubt the ancient Greeks had similar stories.

loldier
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"The chorus of disapproval over Richard M Stallman, founder and former president of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), rejoining the organisation has intensified as Linux giant Red Hat confirmed it was pulling funding."

https://www.theregister.com/2021/03/26/redhat_fsf_funding_richard_stallman/

andyprough
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You misspelled "IBM" and "confirmed it was trying to manipulate the situation to its financial advantage by weakening the GPL".

loldier
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I only quoted the text and printed the link because it had the word "chorus" in it.

It's a 'chorus' now defining the future of free software.

https://yewtu.be/watch?v=YkViQ19JIA4

andyprough
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It has the word 'chorus' in it because all the paid big-tech corporate mouthpieces have all received the same talking points in their email inbox.

We should look at which corporations are pushing this message. So far, IBM/RedHat is the biggest one. I think I saw a bunch of Gnome maintainers sign the "letter in opposition", and Gnome is heavily controlled by IBM/RedHat.

Moving forward, we (meaning the free software users) should start trying to cut out IBM/RedHat corporate control of our software. Moving away from RedHat's SystemD and Gnome would probably be worth talking about. Devuan would make a nice base for Trisquel or for some other libre distro project.

loldier
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Ars Technica:

"--The Free Software Foundation is working to secure freedom for computer users by promoting the development and use of free (as in freedom) software and documentation—particularly the GNU operating system—and by campaigning against threats to computer user freedom like Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and software patents.--

Although this statement leads with "promoting development and use of [free software]," it immediately veers off into the Stallman-esque weeds with an implicit declaration that the GNU toolkit is an entire "operating system." From there, it moves into "campaigning against" perceived enemies of software freedom rather than campaigning for that freedom itself.

The next section, "Our Core Work," moves on from promotion entirely, which we'll summarize here with one bullet point per paragraph:

--The FSF maintains historic articles
--The FSF sponsors the GNU software project
--The FSF holds copyright on large amounts of code
--The FSF publishes the GNU General Public License
--The FSF campaigns for free software adoption, and against proprietary software

We suspect that closely examining the FSF's own mission statements—as opposed to simply assuming its mission—answers many of the questions about RMS' return. The FSF describes itself as an organization far more concerned with maintaining a part of history it holds dear—and attacking its perceived enemies, whether real or not—than with discovery, outreach, and mentorship to new faces in free software."

They call Stallman's crusade for user freedoms against walled gardens "maintaining history" and opposition to digital DRM "attacking perceived enemies".

I think it's pretty obvious that a weaker libre community is an ideal state of affairs for proprietary businesses.

They have no idea that free software is a political ideology, not methodology.

It doesn't make sense to have an FSF that is practically indistinguishable from from 'open source'.

Magic Banana

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It is worth repeating one more time that the claim at the beginning of the article is false:
he perceives Jeffrey Epstein’s victims as “completely ready”.

Here is the whole paragraph RMS wrote at the time:

The announcement of the Friday event does an injustice to Marvin Minsky: “deceased AI ‘pioneer’ Marvin Minsky (who is accused of assaulting one of Epstein’s victims [2])” The injustice is in the word “assaulting”. The term “sexual assault” is so vague and slippery that it facilitates accusation inflation: taking claims that someone did X and leading people to think of it as Y, which is much worse than X... The word “assaulting” presumes that he applied force or violence, in some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing... We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely willing. Assuming she was being coerced by Epstein, he would have had every reason to tell her to conceal that from most of his associates…

At that point, it is really hard to believe journalists make honest mistakes...

andyprough
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It's a good point. They're not trying to cancel him for what he said, they're trying to cancel him for things that they themselves falsely accuse him of saying.

mangeur de nuage
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John Sullivan, John Hsieh and Ruben Rodriguez just resigned.
https://www.fsf.org/blogs/executive-director/management-team-members-resigning

Why do people who weren't targeted are the ones to leave ? This is all just so sad.

andyprough
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Trisquel's Ruben?

Magic Banana

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Yes.

gaseousness
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More than just RMS is targeted

"we call for the entire Board of the FSF to step down and for RMS to be removed from all leadership positions."

-https://rms-open-letter.github.io/

Perhaps some were blackmailed, or scared. or things like that? Maybe some were just snakes in the grass all along? Different reasons for different people

andyprough
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I highly doubt that Trisquel's lead developer Ruben Rodriguez was scared or a snake in the grass. He's put in a huge amount of work over the years and probably for very little fame or fortune. If he resigned with the others, then I figure there must be a lot more to the story that we don't know yet. Maybe they are planning to start a new organization with Stallman or something.

gaseousness
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yeah Ruben, unlikely, with all that time and hard work? pretty much we can only just speculate, and doubtful that'd I'd be surprised if any of those speculations turned out to be true?

"We are calling for the removal of the entire Board of the Free Software Foundation." -https://rms-open-letter.github.io/

^ Makes no sense to me.

jlb
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We could say that Stallman sort of predicted his own destiny at the time of writing Guantanamero.

soysys
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I don't understand why people leave the FSF just because some "dudes far away" told them to resign... they put lot of energy and work, makes no sense :/...

@andyprough
I was thinking the same about GNOME/IBM/Red hate...but I don't agree with you about moving away from software that is already GPL licensed, because at least we can rise the same way AlmaLinux did with the CentOS project, also I highly encourage people to not contribute to permissive licenses like Expat(MIT) because we give big companies our time and energy to make proprietary software for free (You may noticed that a lots of proprietary software are now available in GNU OS via Snap/Flatpak/AppImage... I suspect RedHate/IBM/Canonical are pushing more people to use those garbage soydev electron apps... to lay down the path for GAFAM so their proprietary garbage can be easily accessible ).
That's why I decided from now on to code only GPL/AGPL software :D it make things harder-better-faster-stronger for them :).

Magic Banana

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Given the media coverage, I believe most people first read the false claims and, as a consequence, would be inclined to sign https://rms-open-letter.github.io (for RMS's removal from all leadership positions). Yet, https://rms-support-letter.github.io (in support of RMS) now counts significantly more signatures. It is the piece of good news in those events: before signing, most of the members of the free software community apparently check the source. They do not blindly believe whatever is in the news or on social media.

If you want to add your signature without a Github account: https://codeberg.org/rms-support-letter/rms-support-letter/issues/1

andyprough
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Thanks for that, I added my name.

Magic Banana

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https://rms-support-letter.github.io now has over twice more signatures than https://rms-open-letter.github.io

Again, here is how to sign the letter supporting RMS without a Github account: https://codeberg.org/rms-support-letter/rms-support-letter/issues/1

gaseousness
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"According to some defenders of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) board's decision to put founder Richard M. Stallman (RMS) back on its board, the people demanding that RMS be removed are an ambush mob of open-source and corporate outsiders and social justice warriors. Those arguments don't stand up well in the cold light of facts such as three FSF management team members resigning and that the GCC Steering Committee has removed RMS from its membership."

-https://www.zdnet.com/article/the-free-software-foundations-leadership-crisis-worsens/

^ What a pathetic attempt of damage control? None of the three resigners that the propaganda outlet cited signed the anti-rms letter. I didn't see many or maybe any 100% free operating system groups sign it as an organization.

"RMS is no longer a developer of GCC, the most recent commit I can find regards SCO in 2003."

^ Couldn't find anything about RMS being like a racist, etc, to someone else though?

I didn't read the full fake news article, but I wouldn't be surprised if they neglected to mention about how the amount of people who signed the letter in support of RMS was far greater than that of the senseless one, without having commercials from the mainstream folks on it.

lanun
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> "the cold light of facts"

The gloomy light of distorted facts, more like.