Talk:Michael Parenti

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Comments 2004-06[edit]

I just looked at http://www.pulitzer.org and didn't see the Caesar book on their list of finalists. "Nominee" (technically "entrant") doesn't really mean anything since anybody can nominate any book, and the Pulitzer organization does not publish the list of entrants, so not something we can check on. Stan 04:27, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I wonder why he makes a big point of being a Nominee/entrant. He gives a pretty good talk on the book here and they say this is the "first of his 17(?) books" to be nominated. So what? He could of had every single one of his books nominated if he wanted. WpZurp 19:44, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Entering costs $50, maybe his previous royalties weren't enough to cover it. :-) But this is just the kind of thing that makes me keep my hand on my wallet. Stan 20:47, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

(Correction: Parenti does not just "claim" this number. The footnote reference, on page 79 of his book, is to the article, "Victims of the Soviet Penal System in the Pre-War Years: A First Approach on the Basis of Archival Evidence" by J. Arch Getty, Gabor Rittersporn, and Victor Zemskov, American Historical Review, 98 (October 1993), pp. 1017-1049)

It needs to be identified that J. Arch Getty; Professor of Russian/Soviet History, UCLA, has since repudiated the numbers in this article based upon his research into the archives of the former USSR. Until this correction is made, the impression given is that Michael Parenti is a Stalin apologist.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Bsirvine (talkcontribs) February 22, 2006

Who claims this? Check his faculty homepage at Getty's UCLA faculty homepage where he lists this paper with no indication of any "repudiation" and furthermore states near the beginning (third paragraph) of this homepage (as of March 18/2006):

In 1992 his dream came true and he was able to use formerly secret police archives to publish exact data on the number of Stalin's victims.


TJive, I added back the explicit J. Arch Getty reference but kept your copy-editing. Do not remove this -- it is information. A claim of "streamlining" to remove it would be deeply disingenuous, given that the whole Parenti entry is only two screens or so. 142.103.168.16 22:48, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

TJive -- o.k. for citation in footnote. The comment on Make Believe Media (have you read it?) is not "inappropriate editoralizing" but straightforward description which -- IMO -- provides some useful information for a prospective reader. 142.103.168.33 05:54, 20 March 2006 (UTC)


The question above "Who claims this" needs to be answered - the integrity of this article ( and the editing of it ) demands it. If you are suspected of lying - or caught at it - you have to reply or retire from the scene.


Does he call himself a Marxist? Or is it just because he recognizes conflicts between classes as Plato did, that he is labeled such? The idea of class conflict was not new with Marx, has been around for, well, as least as far back as Plato, and labeling anyone a Marxist just because they recognize such IS a NPOV violation.

Fair[edit]

Is this article fair? At the moment it makes Parenti sound like a Stalin apologist, an apologist for Serbian aggression, and a Maoist....this may all be true of course, but the article does not prove it. It is, after all, an objective fact that accounts of the death toll under Stalin are routinely inflated in the West: pointing this out, does not make you a Stalin apologist. Also: if you are a Marxist then OF COURSE you are going to criticise Gorbachev for re-introducing capitalism (which of course he did): you may agree with him or not, but the fact is that it follows from his politics: it doesn't prove that he approved of the Gulag. Likewise, it is an objective fact (although Trotskyites may deny it) that during lenin's time Trotsky was one of the most authoritarian of the Bolshevik leaders (although he changed his mind later). It is also objectively true that Tibet was not a paradise before the Chinese invasion. Don't get me wrong. all this may well be true. but at the moment the article sounds grossly unbalanced 130.209.6.40 13:32, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Where's the biography?[edit]

This is easily the most imbalanced article I have read on wikipedia. Parenti is a widely respected scholar, though certainly far left of the mainstream. Just for curiosity sake, I compared this article to that of Rush Limbaugh. The criticism of Limbaugh's views represents a tiny portion of the content, while the rest is naturally biographical. This article is just childish backstabbing by those who disagree with Parenti's politics.

Caesar and accuracy[edit]

WHO is the person who continually removes the sentences I add concerning Parenti's historical inaccuracies in his Assassination of Julius Caesar? I have the facts and sources to justify my statements and you keep removing them (I am forced to assume) because of your political support for Parenti's ideals and your concern about his liberties with historical accuracy. If an author proposes a thesis that is directly in contravention of the mainstream historical view this should at least be highlighted so students and readers can be allowed to draw their own conclusions! I am going to retool my concerns with Parenti's "facts" in 'Assassination' so that any pejorative connotations are limited - but historical innacuracy is historical inaccuracy (a spade, is, after all, a spade). SO - I do not expect the Parenti loyalists to remove my addition without at least having the decency to come on to this discussion page and justify their actions: alternatively we can just keep adding and deleting till the sun comes up.


-- OK, I have now read the NPOV and "weasel words" articles and hope that my brief addition (now online) will be considered acceptable (if not, please let me know what I should do). I understand that stressing the disconnect between mainstream interpretation and Parenti's may be considered an attack on the author, but, I assure all that my concern is purely historical. If you think I have done Parenti a disservice simply because of his political beliefs you should read the "hatchet job" I did on fascistic pseudo-historian Richard Landwehr! In both cases I was only trying to set the record straight with reference to accepted historical sources. --- I reversed this persons DNS IP, he's from ottawa, Canada... Canada capital. Interesting.

--- What the heck is that supposed to mean? What does it matter where the person comes from? I don't think that where I am from has any bearing whatsoever.99.240.142.65 (talk) 19:30, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

I assure all that my concern is purely historical -- Such an "assurance" is worthless and contradicted by the evidence. -- 70.109.45.74 (talk) 05:25, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Please rebuild in a neutral manner[edit]

Diamond-caution.svg

I have removed material from this article that does not comply with our policy on the biographies of living persons. Biographical material must always be referenced from reliable sources, especially negative material. Negative material that does not comply with that must be immediately removed. Note that the removal does not imply that the information is either true or false.

Please do not reinsert this material unless you can provide reliable citations, and can ensure it is written in a neutral tone. Please review the relevant policies before editing in this regard. Editors should note that failure to follow this policy may result in the removal of editing privileges.--Docg 20:59, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

I have removed a similar chunk of material. Please note that re-adding unsourced material, particularly critical material, will get you blocked at this point. Phil Sandifer 18:47, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Low quality of article[edit]

I am troubled by the low quality of the article on Michael Parenti. It seems to be nothing more than a thinly veiled ideological attack rather than a description of the work by an outstanding scholar. Dr. Parenti has had a long and impressive career, dedicated to peace and social justice. Yet this article focuses on (and distorts) a few odd details and tries to make him out to be some kind of defender of communist tyranny.

I have used Dr. Parenti's book, Democracy for the Few, in a number of my courses over the years, as have other professors at my university. His dedication to democratic values in United States and everywhere else in the world is outspoken, admirable and unswerving.

The Wikipedia article was brought to my attention by a student in my class who was disconcerted by it and was wondering about its accuracy and balance. I agreed with the student that the section on “Political Views” is entirely biased against its subject; and is not at all what you would expect from an encyclopedic entry.

I have extended the biography section and added an introduction to the many aspects of his work This article needs much more work to be brought into balance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 131.216.48.251 (talk) 20:34, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

The above comments were from User:Migueldos I think. The original biographic information added on Oct 28 strikes me as NPOV and well balanced. Unfortunately for the biography 129.71.73.248 simply deleted the information. Migueldos added it back, No.129 deleted it again. The edits done by named users seem, for the most part, to have been responsible. User:Phil Sandifer seems to have come to the conclusion that this is insoluble (actually, at a global wikipedia level) - his relatively minor removal of obvious unsourced material was reverted by No.129. It seems to me that the only way to prevent libel here is to simply delete the stuff whenever a No. adds it. It may seem hard, but I think WP:BLP is dead in the water (based on the Sandifer comments and observation about this BLP). Jbowler (talk) 18:54, 23 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler
An IP deleted some info for POV reasons, and you are taking this as an excuse for deleting all info for POV reasons. Phil Sandifer has probably abandoned this simply because he's forgotten about it, not because he has despaired in Wikipedian procedures. --91.148.159.4 (talk) 21:14, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I considered restoring Migueldos's original (Oct 28) non-controversial and useful "background" section, but the underlying problem is not that it is impossible to construct an NPOV biography, but that over 3 1/2 years attempts to do so have been consistently destroyed. User:Phil Sandifer rang true, but I'm prepared to be proved wrong of course. Jbowler (talk) 06:03, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
If people want to adopt that approach then I can see a way forward which involves a discussion on these talk pages of the general form of the biography (i.e. no discussion of content, just a discussion of subject headings and approximate length), followed by a prototype on this page with a clear definition of a set of rules for the contents of each section. That would establish criteria for any informed editor to deal instantly with abuse, and I think that might eventually stop the abuse (but I'm being an optimist here). It is, of course, much easy to stub the page and lock it. Jbowler (talk) 06:03, 24 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler
I don't mind reverting to Migueldos, but note that his version also includes the "Political views" bit. I'm glad you're being constructive, but I'm not sure I see what there is to discuss concerning the general form of the article. The current headings don't seem to be dispued by anybody and there are so many ways of adding a POV slant that it's impossible to predict them all, so future edits will inevitably have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The one clear thing is that any unsourced factual statements and any unattributed comments or reflections, whether critical or favourable, should be removed immediately. --91.148.159.4 (talk) 12:22, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure how to read your statement, so I will revert to the Migueldos version, but modify the "Political views" bit to my version as opposed to the older, more critical one. Feel free to revert if you are not OK with that. --91.148.159.4 (talk) 12:22, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I've updated it after User:Jilliana27's additions to do what I actually said - i.e. "restoring Migueldos's original (Oct 28) non-controversial and useful "background" section", I'm sure your error in doing a complete revert, clearly not what I said, was unintentional and I have therefore simply corrected your mistake. (WP:AGF) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jbowler (talkcontribs) 06:40, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Low quality (was: more stuff)[edit]

jbowler@acm.org: the problem is that the little which remains is still pegorative, pretty much by omission. I will therefore continue to remove it. Just leave the bibliography, let the guy speak for himself. (Quoting half the truth is not the truth.)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.32.171.56 (talk) 06:22, 19 December 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.32.171.56 (talk) 06:24, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Jbowler (talk) 18:14, 19 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler

use of 'democratic reform and social revolution'[edit]

I guess therebutfor_fortune's change is more accurate. Only problem is that there are no citations on the "political writings" entry (but then, there weren't before).

A main reason for this is that, so far as I can see, biographic statements independent of a political viewpoint (i.e. where the author isn't closely aligned with one or other policital viewpoint) don't yet exist. Indeed, I suspect the summary lines tend to come from Parenti's own description. For example Steve Lendman's description "one of the nation's leading progressive political analysts" repeats the phrase verbatim from michaelparenti.org.

Normally I would expect a wikipedia biography of a living person with no significant volume of existing biographies to be written from a sympathetic viewpoint. NPOV is a fine theory, but if there is no existing NPOV biography (because there is no existing biography) then constructing an NPOV biography on wikipedia seems doomed to always be OR. To obtain a reasonable wikipedia entry in these circumstances - and the circumstances are hardly rare - I see no choice but to have the article be written by one or more sympathetic people.

Since it is self evident (see the history) that unsympathetic wikipedia editors exist and will hack on the biography to introduce their own POV I see no choice but to remove anything which describes Parenti beyond single factual statements. I suspect that the current, sympathetic, "Political Writings" section will end up going the same way and that this will continue until someone comes up with some neutral citations.

Jbowler (talk) 00:29, 20 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler

A biography can be constructed without being OR. For something to be OR, it needs to be a synthesis that can be doubted, an original conclusion that is unverifiable. For example, inferring the age of a subject from his date of birth is not OR, because it is an undeniably, obviously correct synthesis. Otherwise, even the assumption that something is relevant to an article could be considered to be OR.
Deleting virtually all information, all sourced and verifiable, from an article just because hostile editors exist who may degrade it is just ... wild. "Removing anything which describes the subject beyond single factual statements" would reduce 90 % of wiki articles to nothing. Personally, I actually share some of Parenti's views, and while much of the article was written from a subtly unsympathetic viewpoint, I think that even information selected in such a form is better than no information at all.--91.148.159.4 (talk) 21:59, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

A biography attempts to sum up a person, or a person's life work (the latter in this case) in such a way that an informed reader who is not familiar with the scope of the person's work (or life) has a fair and reasonable view of the whole - NPOV. Such a biography should be a synthesis of works both critical and sympathetic, to the extent that either exist, but not attempt to construct a biography in situ from a direct examination of an individuals work - NOR. That definition is simply derived from the wikipedia commandments for biographies (NOR, NPOV) Biographies of living persons.

A major ommission in that article, though it can be inferred by logical argument, is that the subject of discussion is the person, not the person's views. (This is a biography, not a regular entry, a biography of a person with strong views on, say, capitalism, can exist along with an entry on capitalism, the difference is that the entry talks about capitalism, the biography talks describes the persons views (in so far as they are relevant) without discussing capitalism.)

That wikipedia entry describes how to handle criticism; The views of critics should be represented if they are relevant to the subject's notability and can be sourced to reliable secondary sources, and so long as the material is written in a manner that does not overwhelm the article or appear to side with the critics.

The article clearly did attempt to construct a biography in situ, it clearly was, as a whole, doing OR. Remember this is a biography - it's about a person - it's not an entry for a particular viewpoint. The biography contains debate about particular viewpoints; that was, a priori, inappropriate and, to make it worse, the viewpoints discussed did not, as a whole, represent Michael Parenti (they were a selected few viewpoints.) It wasn't even a good original critical biography! A biographer who performs analysis of Parenti's work is performing OR for the purposes of a biography, not writing a wikipedia biography entry! What is more, such an original biography does not, itself, constitute a wikipedia biography because it is a single POV.

I'll make a separate entry for a line by line breakdown of the edits I removed, but this is moot. I did not remove them because I disagree with them (I might actually agree with some or even all of the analysis), I removed them because they were irrelevant to a biography, selective for the purposes of a particular POV and were worded in a way I would describe as trolling.

Jbowler (talk) 20:03, 22 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler

First of all, I agree that the original author of these sourced edits had indeed written everything as an indirect attack on Parenti (the term "trolling" doesn't seem adequate, as this is an encyclopaedia and not a forum and as most readers aren't called Michael Parenti). I have tried to amend this bias by changing wordings, removing some parenthetical remarks etc.. The wordings aside, the selection itself had clearly been tacitly conceived as a list of Parenti's "sins". This is a common problem on Wikipedia, as one view or aspect of a problem is given 80% of the article and the other one 20%, not because this is the adequate proportion, but because the concrete editors happened to be interested in just that. Thus, many, perhaps most articles lack a "fair and reasonable view of the whole", as you put it. This is practically inevitable, as articles are written piece by piece. However, the normal solution in such cases is to add more material for the other view or aspect, or modify the existing material to make it unbiased, not to delete it. The "Political writings" section may have contained a random or inappropriate selection of information, but all of the information was relevant to the subject (Parenti) and most was sourced.
Let's suppose I happen to be the first to write an article on George W. Bush. It may consist of one sentence, or of ten sentences. I may use as a source just one newspaper article that is not a biography. I could use this article to just add his date of birth and mention, maybe even in some detail, the fact that he was accused of electoral fraud, while omitting some of the good things he's done (sorry I can't think of any widely accepted ones at the moment). This article would be biased. Nobody would delete my statements and the whole article just because they weren't based on an actual biography and didn't present a "fair and reasonable view of the whole". A huge amount of articles are at this stage right now. Somebody would sooner or later add Bush's good deeds, whatever they are, and balance would be achieved. This is the way Wikipedia works. You don't deleted sourced material - you add sourced material.
Now, you are right that some of the claims ("he has remained a staunch supporter of communism" or whatever) are too broad to be based on the editor's personal "analysis" of individual works, and may constitute OR if they are not attributed to a secondary source. So you would be justified in deleting them, preferably using a {{Fact}} tag first or moving them to the talk page. However, e.g. Parenti's view on Tibet is sourced to his own online essay, which is perfectly accessible for the non-specialist; thus, the info about it is easily verifiable and is not OR. It is clearly relevant, it is clearly true and you don't need a secondary source (a biographer) to tell you that. --91.148.159.4 (talk) 22:04, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I believe you are fundamentally wrong in your analysis. You offer an analysis of the process for a regular wikipedia entry, this is not a regular entry - it's a biography of a living person. The rules are different, as the sections I quoted from Biographies_of_living_persons describe.
Section 2.3 directly and explicitly refutes the assertion you make - it is not acceptable in a biography of a living person to proceed by a criticism and response process. Indeed the article you produced most recently is clearly and manifestly a coatrack article - the hanger is the biography of Michael Parenti, the coats are the comments on subject matter which it happens he has also commented on. It's clear that at least one author wished to open a discussion of US/European action within Serbia and use this to attack Parenti while another (or maybe the same) author wanted to attack Parenti on the basis of out of context quotes about Stalin's purges.
1. Section 2.3 talks about criticism. The article contained (practically) no actual criticism (if there were criticism, it would have to be attributed to someone), it only contained a retelling of Parenti's real views (saying that Pinochet made a coup is no criticism, nor is saying that Hitler made a Holocaust). There were virtually no "comments on subject matter which it happens he has also commented on", there was a retelling of the way he has commented on that subject matter. There was no discussion of US/European action within Serbia, there was only a retelling of Parenti's discussion of that action. The exception was the claim that Getty's death count is considered among the lower estimates, and this still seems somewhat relevant to me, although this is debatable.
[A rose] by any other name would smell as sweet; you play with words again, the text was criticism and reveals itself as such by its very nature, regardless of what you say. It's a biography about Parenti, not a discussion page on any view at all. Jbowler (talk) 19:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
2. If the quotes about the purges were out of context, then add the context.
It's a biography about Parenti, not an article about some particular set of events you feel strongly about. How many times do I have to say this? Jbowler (talk) 19:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
3. Note that coatrack is just an essay, not a policy or a guideline, and nobody is obliged to follow it; as such, it never underwent a significant review by the community. I think that's good, because it may be used in a ways such as yours - the example about The attack article is particularly misleading, because if journalist John Doe is notable mainly for having done something "evil", then it's clear that that's what the article should be about. The question is whether he is. The text says, further below, "If an article about a journalist mostly describes a conspiracy article he once wrote, the reader will leave the article with the false impression that the journalist's career is mostly about that conspiracy theory, and he is a vocal advocate of the theory." (emphasis added) You still have to prove for particular case that the impression really is false. For example, Noam Chomsky's political views really are mostly about criticizing the US foreign policy.--91.148.159.4 (talk) 14:24, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Like I said, I described a situation (where a biography is being used as a forum to attack the person being described) and wikipedia alread had a description (coatrack). You consistently ignore the point of what is being said - my argument stands regardless of what it is named, I had previously asserted WP:BLP didn't state this explicitly, but the term coatrack does describe it. It neatly names your own destructive approach to this biography. Jbowler (talk) 19:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
This coatrack is actually the wikipediaese for my previous argumentation (sorry, I've only been doing this for three days, I haven't got the hang of the slang yet.) I said that the article was a discussion of Parenti's views, not an article about Parenti himself.
So where do you think Parenti's views should be described? In a separate article entitled "Michael Parenti's views"? Or perhaps they shouldn't be described at all, even though they are the only thing that he is notable for? The man is a professional political scientist, historian, and media critic; his views within political science, history and media are the only thing that deserves being placed in the article. The articles about John Maynard Smith and Milton Friedman, or, say, Zecharia Sitchin certainly do describe and discuss their views.--91.148.159.4 (talk) 14:24, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
The views which you assert are Parenti's should be discussed in article pages appropriate to those views. These pages already exist. Attempting to hijack the Parenti biography because those article pages aren't enough for you defeats the point of wikipedia (an article/page should describe what it says it describes, not be a coatrack for something else.) Jbowler (talk) 19:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
For an example of a potential contentious biography take a look at that for Milton Friedman. The 'dismal failure' of monetarism gets a sparse three paragraphs of direct quote from Paul Krugman. Take a careful look at the coverage of the visit to Chile and the meeting with Pinochet. If you go back to the second version of this page, from Dec 14, 2001 (when Friedman was still alive) you see the introduction of an entry for Pinochet of the style of the current Parenti entries (attacking Friedman by attacking Pinochet and relying on guilt by association.) Here's the quote:
Despite the Pinochet regime's policies of torture and murder of political opponents, in 1982 Friedman praised the dictatorship for having put into practice his economic ideas.
(Added Dec 14, 2001). The comment persists until April 13, 2002 when [[User::AxelBoldt]] writes an attempt at NPOV version of Chile episode. While this process produced an apparently acceptable article after about five years Friedman is a well known figure and is now dead. Similar attempts to remove bias from the Parenti article have been greeted by the addition of yet more bias, with the dubious excuse that it is 'sourced'. I'd say it was more 'sauced'.
They are not similar. AxelBoldt corrected a POV description by making it NPOV (actually, I'm not sure it is NPOV either, but let's assume it is). You are not correcting or NPOV-izing, you are just deleting everything. And yes, sourcing does matter. --91.148.159.4 (talk) 14:24, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
They are similar. The attack was the same. I also took care to identify the difference - that the POV attacks were minor compared to the body of the article and that the article obtained some appearance of balance (you clearly disagree, I guess picking an icon of capitalism might have been a mistake :-) Remember I'm attacking you (and No.129) here - your actions are disreputable and your conduct is beneath contempt because of your attempt to take a biography and twist it to suit your particular viewpoint. The way you do it doesn't matter. The fact that what you do maybe can be defended in a broader wikipedia context does not mean that your actions are not reprehensible here. Jbowler (talk) 19:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Your view seems to be that the process which resulted in elimination of a few POV statements from the biography of a well known public figure (Friedman) will result in the correction of a biography of a little known figure where the biography consists, start to finish, of POV and where the process has gone on for three years already with no substantial improvement... Your view lacks all merit and is unsupportable by the evidence.
I disagree. I don't think the article is so bad, and facts can't be POV. There is just one way of proceeding, and your method of indiscriminate deletion would only produce chaos if applied on a global scale. If you know enough about this particular figure to see that some of the info is presented in a POV way, why don't you try to improve it instead of deletiing? --91.148.159.4 (talk) 14:24, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Clearly the statement of facts can be POV, even supportive facts can be presented in an unsupportive way - it's called spin. There are many ways of proceeding to a balanced biography of Parenti, but the approach you and No.129 adopt is not one of them. Jbowler (talk) 19:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
That's particularly true because the current wikipedia policies on biographies of living people are quite clear - the theorem that 'it will get fixed eventually' is not applicable. My approach is fully support by section 2.1 "writing style", I can't see how it can get much clearer than this:
While a strategy of eventualism may apply to other subject areas, badly written biographies of living persons should be stubbed or deleted.
The entire quote is "While a strategy of eventualism may apply to other subject areas, badly written biographies of living persons should be stubbed or deleted (see #Remove unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material)." In other words, you should immediately delete unsourced or poorly sourced material. "Badly written" is too vague and shouldn't be interpreted as justifying the deletion of any BLP that someone doesn't like. You need to be more concrete about this. --91.148.159.4 (talk) 14:24, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
No, it says the whole article should be stubbed or deleted. The reference is a reference to another section on the same page. In that paragraph is the directive: "Editors should remove any contentious material about living persons that is ... a conjectural interpretation of a source". The conjecture is that you can label Parenti a certain way based on out of context quoting. It's not clear the sources are even good - the text isn't a direct quote, it is itself an interpretation. The article is about Parenti, something which states an observation about a historical event is being used to support a conjecture that Parenti has a particular point of view. You don't need to know anything about Parenti or the events in question to see this. Since the entire article had been reduced to a pile of garbage by this approach (and I say this from the smell, not by any detailed analysis of the contents) it needed to be deleted. Jbowler (talk) 19:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Finally, Michael Parenti is not a well known public figure like W or Friedman. Indeed, he is not a public figure by any reasonable definition - a public figure should reasonably expect less protection from personal attack because they participate in the public process on the basis of their own reputation and the good standing (or not) of their character. I don't think Parenti is public any more than most other authors are. So Parenti falls under the provisions of rules for biographies of people who are relatively unknown (notice that means unknown to the public at large, not unknown within a particular circle.) The presumption of privacy thus applies and material that may adversely affect a person's reputation should be treated with special care.
Sure, treat it then. You still don't seem to be doing that, you are just claiming against all reason and evidence that that material is somehow irrelevant to a biography. --91.148.159.4 (talk) 14:24, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I gave reason and evidence (therefore 'all' is incorrect), I did not claim "irrelevance to a biography", I claimed that it was, as a whole inappropriate in a biography, your sentence above is a simple lie. Jbowler (talk) 19:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
This has not been done in the very text you reintroduced to the Parenti biography. You apparently do agree that the original wording was intended to adversely affect Parenti's reputation (you say the author "had indeed written everything as an indirect attack on Parenti"). The text you introduced, however, was a minor variation on the original.
I feel my "variation" may not have made the article perfect, but at least it has made it acceptable. If you don't agree with me, you should make your own "variation" rather than stub the article.--91.148.159.4 (talk) 14:24, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
You seem to what to claim that you were merely editing some other persons errors, well, maybe, but you didn't fix them. I would criticise Phil Sandifer on the same basis, but he clearly worked with integrity to attack an isolated problem and he did remove those problems (until No.129 reintroduced them). Previously other authors have produced NPOV descriptions, they have been deleted, reintroduced, deleted again. Your approach does not work and your suggestion is self serving - you know you have enough time to hack forever on the texts, you have made 50 separate edits in the last 10 days. You apparently figure you can get your POV into a page just by hitting on it until it gives in (where the 'it' is all the responsible authors.) My approach may be drastic but it removes the problem. Jbowler (talk) 19:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
My approach is to follow the wikipedia rules and delete such stuff. I'm fully aware of the argumentation technique of making minor concessions in order to shift the ground in one's own favour. This is entirely inappropriate in this case - this isn't a political debate, it's a biography about a real live person.
Jbowler (talk) 23:27, 22 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler
AGF, I'm not trying to fool you.--91.148.159.4 (talk) 14:24, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't assume things when a preponderence of evidence suggests otherwise! Jbowler (talk) 19:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Our bulgarian friend[edit]

I note that our bulgarian, but otherwise annoymous, contributor at 91.148.159.4 simply reverts edits without the courtesy of commentary on the talk page. His comment to KnowledgeOfSelf was, I believe, actually addressed to me and is incorrect in fact.

Jbowler (talk) 07:06, 22 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler

... I misspoke in the comments when I reverted the edit. It's not vandalism, it's a straightforward edit war. So be it.

Jbowler (talk) 07:39, 22 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler

Please calm down, you sound quite absurdly aggressive. WP:MASTODON seems relevant. I've commented rather extensively in the section just above this one. I'll place an RfC. --91.148.159.4 (talk) 15:43, 22 December 2007 (UTC) Since I'm not sure if you have read anything that I have written above, I will wait for your answer before posting a request for a third opinion.--91.148.159.4 (talk) 16:27, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

My apologies, I didn't see your comment (previous section). I added an entry to biographies of living persons/noticeboard.

As I said above, I think the discussion of the individual edits is moot, but here it is. (This is, of course, a meta discussion - I'm not discussing the viewpoints expressed, I'm discussing the fact that they were expressed in the biography of Michael Parenti):

His works have been translated into at least seventeen languages.[citation needed] - the use of a citation ref on this, but not the number of books published, is curious. If one fact (the number of books) stands without citation the other (the number of translations) does too. If the fact is disputed then perhaps another number should have been offered. The phrase is appropriate to a biography but the way of attacking it is not, so I removed it because this is a biography (see the paragraph headed 3.2 "remove unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material".)

Attacking a fact is appropriate everywhere on Wikipedia, in biographies and everywhere else. You seem to regard the [citation needed] as part of the message of the text, but it is in fact part of the communication between its numerous editors. The user who placed the tag may delete the claim if it isn't eventually sourced. You may delete for the same reason, but it's very unusual that you want to delete it because you find the "citation needed" tag (rather than the claim) inappropriate (and as I said, such a tag is practically never inappropriate).--91.148.159.4 (talk) 22:40, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
You seem to be ignoring my point. The book count was not challenged, the translation count was. Neither was supported by citation. The fact tag was being used to say "I don't believe this"; if the user 169.199.125.31 was merely diligently adding fact tags he or she would have added one for the book count as well. On May 13, 2007 169.199.125.31 substantially rewrote the page, adding the fact tag. The claim is reasonable (appropriate in a biography), the mode of attack is to say 'prove it', it's clearly an attack for the reason I give. Deletion seems the best approach. Jbowler (talk) 00:54, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
It is perfectly normal for people to add fact tags to things they don't believe. In fact, it's the most usual way to use the tag. On the other hand, people who "merely diligently" add fact tags to pretty much every sentence even though they have no reason to doubt it are weirdos, to put it mildly. You are not supposed to regard the tag as an "attack". The best approach is to find a source that confirms the claim.--91.148.159.4 (talk) 14:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Online Review of Books and Current Affairs (a self-described progressive reviewing publication seeking to give exposure to independently published books that are ignored by the mainstream media (etc). Well, this is meant to be a biography about Michael Parenti, not an attack on a particular publication ("self-described" is perjorative in this context.) If the source isn't authoritative (this is what the parenthetical comment implies) then remove it. I did so.

Again, you seem to be doing what would usually be the hostile editor's job. There is no attack on the publication. "Self-described" is not a pejorative, it is just a neutral and objective term, reflecting the fact that we aren't analyzing the publication (OR), we are just retelling their view of themselves (note also that "progressive" is not a very neutral term - it's used mostly as a self-designation within the left half of the political spectrum in the US, and their opponents the conservatives would hardly ever call them "progessive", thereby acknowledging that they themselves are backward). The statement was that this particular publication gave Parenti a certain award for his book. This is relevant, because it shows that Parenti is appreciated in leftist circles. Of course the publication isn't an authoritative source for the book being great, but it certainly is relevant. You may argue that the publication isn't notable enough to deserve mention, and that might indeed be a justification for deleting it - I don't know whether I would agree. --91.148.159.4 (talk) 22:40, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Try reading the sentence out loud. It's not neutral and objective and it's irrelevant. Ask what the addition of this description of the publication adds to the biography - clearly it was intended to reduce the value of the reference. I.e. I disagree. Jbowler (talk) 00:54, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Arguments should be based on the rational content, not on vague impressions. Yes, I agree about something - before I added the description (that was one of my few additions) the reference did mislead readers by suggesting that the publication is a non-partisan publication and not a leftist one. So the addition does "reduce the value" in terms of praising Parenti. It doesn't reduce it in terms of overall relevance for who Parenti is. If you dislike some of the subtle undertones of my wording, fix it. If you dislike the factual content, I'm sorry, but that's your problem - it's true and verifiable. You will soon want to delete the list of his books, because the sound of their titles might make a misleadingly unfavourable impression on a far-right activist, and most readers are supposedly just that. --91.148.159.4 (talk) 14:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Parenti is known for his steadfast ... convictions, which have seen him maintain a sympathetic view of the orthodox communist movement even after the fall of the Soviet Union saw the disintegration of much of it. I removed the part in bold, User:Therebutfor fortune replaced orthodox communist. The even phrase is clearly superfluous (steadfast and the absence of any statement of a change of viewpoint makes it so). The phrase is offering an opinion (POV) as to the validity of the subject's views. The use of orthodox communist is both the creation of a new term with no definition and indirect categorisation of Parenti's works in a way which is intended to lead the reader to a conclusion. In fact I think a one line declaration of Parenti's viewpoint in this fashion has to be eliminated unless he made it himself. While this is in the main body of the text it falls under 2.4 "Categories" because it is clearly an attempt to establish a categorization (communist) which is routinely used as an insult in the USA (where Parenti lives.) (It's like calling someone a fascist in Europe.)

The "even" phrase reflects the widely known fact that many former communist sympathizers renounced their former views after the fall of communism in the Soviet block. It need not imply that Parenti ought to have done that as well. It's all in the eye of the beholder. "Orthodox communist" is, IMO, a widely intelligible term - it refers to the "typical" Soviet-affiliated communists as opposed to Anarcho-Communists, Council-Communists, Trotskyists - I'm not sure how Maoists would be classified, though). And reading some of Parenti's relevant essays shows pretty clearly that he did maintain a somewhat sympathetical view of Societ-affiliated communism, at least at the time he wrote them. I don't think we need a biographer's analysis for this. As to "communist" as an insult - as I said, it's all in the eye of the beholder. "Gay" is used as an insult, too, but refusing to call gay people gay because of this means helping homophobia and not the other way round. Parenti himself wasn't afraid to be accused of communism when he defended communists. Why should we? --91.148.159.4 (talk) 22:40, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Again you defend a set of sentences which I find clearly intended to be perjorative on the basis of an assertion that they are not. The wikipedia rules are quite clear about the categorisation issue in the example you give; look at section 2.4 categories. It can't get much clearer than "Category tags regarding ... sexual orientation should not be used unless two criteria are met: The subject publicly self-identifies with the belief or orientation in question". Thus if an individual identifies themselves as "gay", fine, but if not, even if well sourced material shows they are, then it is simply out of bounds for a biography. In this case, so far as I am aware, Parenti does not identify himself as "communist" (for example). It's moot what your opinions are on the matter and it's actually moot whether or not he is. Quite apart from that the way the text is written speaks for itself. You can't refute my point by saying "I don't find this insulting" or even "this isn't insulting" (I note you didn't say that) - it doesn't matter what you think or what I think, the article isn't meant to be influencing us, and it is clear to me what the intent is. Jbowler (talk) 00:54, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Don't discuss "intent", discuss substance. The substance is true and verifiable. I didn't call Parenti communist, and I never said the hypothetical "gay" case in my analogy is 100% identical to the present one. It's moot whether the brainwashed part of the population of the United States uses "communist" as an insult, and that is their own problem. Parenti hasn't publicly self-identified as gay, communist or anything, but he has publicly defended communism, and you are trying to hide the fact that he has done so out of concern for his reputation. I find this absurd. --91.148.159.4 (talk) 14:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

The remainder of the article debates just four subject areas of Parenti's writing; specific events in the USSR, Yugoslavia, Tibet and the USA 2004 election. The text is not biographic, it is attempting to present a picture of Parenti by disputing very carefully selected subjects. In doing so it becomes a soapbox for someone elses views, it tells us nothing about Parenti.

Jbowler (talk) 21:03, 22 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler

I have addressed the "selection" issue in the previous section. The text certainly tells us a lot about Parenti, as he did express these views. It is very common in biographical articles to mention the person's views on various issues (even things as remote as a Hollywood actress' view on abortion, a comedian's religious practices etc.). It is considered normal, and I don't see why it shouldn't be.
And, as I mentioned above, it's very strange that you seem to be eager to defend Parenti by denying things that he himself would never have found shameful, and that one needn't find shameful at all. You are in fact taking the view of his detractors. --91.148.159.4 (talk) 22:40, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Once again you try to confound an argument about a biography by moving the discussion to one of the views of the subject of the biography. The simple fact is that the text you added was derogatory and, I believe, was intended to be so. I find your denials that it is disingenuous. The more complex statement is that the "political views" section selects certain, very limited, parts of Parenti's works, then further selects facts or isolated statements from that subset and presents this as Parenti's "political views". That's ridiculous; it's like quoting a letter from kidnappers pasted together from scraps of the Wall Street Journal and saying these are the words of Rupert Murdoch.
Once again, if you know his works so well that you can see that the selection is not representative, why don't you add more, instead of reverting everybody else's edits? --91.148.159.4 (talk) 14:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I find your assertion that I "seem to be eager to defend Parenti" particularly telling. I haven't once either defended him (as you assert above) or attacked him (as you also asserted above!) I have consistently attacked this biography as neither being according to wikipedia's rules nor remotely like a biography by any definition (it's a WP:coatrack) I am attacking you and, maybe, some other authors. This is a discussion about the biography and its authors, not about Parenti!
Jbowler (talk) 00:54, 23 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler
OK, you are trying to protect his reputation. I hope this wording suits you.--91.148.159.4 (talk) 14:45, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

An RfC, then?[edit]

OK, you are already engaging in personal attacks, and we seem to be stuck over a number of issues. One is that you clearly think that the views of a person should be neither described nor discussed in his biography. Another is that you believe that you are entitled to use the "approach" of deleting all sourced information about Parenti's views on the basis of the assumption that I and other Parenti haters are using it or will eventually use it to "get our POV into a page". Maybe it's time to place an RfC about this and be done with it, OK?--91.148.159.4 (talk) 21:16, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm disparaging your approach to editing in the context of a biography. I'm doing so deliberately. I've repeatedly criticised your editing in a non-disparaging way, yet you consistently ignore my criticisms by repeatedly asserting that your edits are sourced and this is the way to do things. I've quoted line and verse about why that doesn't work for a biography. I'll repeat myself yet again "It's A Biography", I'll add, though I think it's obvious "It's An Encyclopedia" (an encyclopedia captures and summarises knowledge, it is not a forum for debate.) Jbowler (talk) 05:44, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
As for entitlement - if you add back disparaging and selective comments on Parenti's work you cannot reasonably expect anyone seriously interested in seeing Michael Parenti be a useful biography entry in an encyclopedia not to delete them. I've quoted line and verse in [[WP::BLP|biographies of living persons]] about that too. All editors have the full authority of WP:BLP to simply delete the large paragraphs of disparaging comment introduced or re-introduced by yourself, No.129 and probably others further back in the history (someone with reasonable credentials correct me if I'm wrong on that, preferably with an explanation of why!) Jbowler (talk) 05:44, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
My primary aim here is to involve WP authorities in active review of this page and to oblige them to take action to end 3 1/2 years of abuse. You've already stated you notified them, I've already stated the same (see the noticeboard), I'm absolutely confident that people able to block either or both of us, to lock the page, to delete the page permanently and many other possible solutions are actively watching this discussion (I think it still passes the Monty Python definition of an argument.) Jbowler (talk) 05:44, 24 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler
Yeah, it's a common assumption among newbies. :) Don't be so optimistic. Believe me, nobody is do interested as to be tacitly watching our brawl without commenting, and even the people who show up in response to the RfC won't care to read more than a small part of what we've written above. That's why we need to summarize the dispute.--91.148.159.4 (talk) 13:04, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Ah, you didn't post an RFC. Sorry, I misread your original comment in the previous section. All input is welcome. I'm really looking for a much more definite response - it seems that there has been plenty of time for general chat and that there have been a number of direct requests (that's hearsay) for intervention on this page, but I never refuse help! Perhaps you could summarise what you feel the issues are, I will do the same? Jbowler (talk) 06:14, 24 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler

Text for RFC on deletion of sections of Parenti article which composed a substantial portion thereof prior to User:Jilliana27's addition of substantial text[edit]

From the RFCbio template:

  • Are the deletions performed by User:JBowler/74.32.171.56 on Dec 19, 2007 an acceptable response to problems in the Michael Parenti biography
  • reason: While the biography has subsequently received a major update the moot question of whether the original (Dec19) delete was acceptable is still important for other potential cases

The following two sections contain summaries by Anonymous44 and JBowler of alternate interpretations of the actions which occured around Dec19; primarily the deletion of nearly all of the biography by JBowler. (This summary and the RFCbio written originally by JBowler.) Jbowler (talk) 02:52, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Tentative summary User:Anonymous44[edit]

(written before the RfC in its current version was posted; still somewhat relevant)

OK, in case you don't accept my most recent "tentative compromise" version even as a starting point, could we summarize the dispute as follows (feel free to edit):

The question is whether nearly all content in the "Political views" section must be deleted (as e.g. here).

Side 1[edit]

User:Jbowler, who also edits as User:74.32.171.56, believes that it must be deleted, because:

  • a biography shouldn't contain a description of the subject's views;
  • the current description of the views presents only a carefully selected part of them, thus representing implicit criticism, misleading the reader and damaging the reputation of the subject, which is a violation of WP:BLP;
  • even if the current description were OK, a POV slant would be added by hostile editors in the future, as has happened in the past.

Side 2[edit]

User:Anonymous44, who also edits as User:91.148.159.4, believes that wholesale deletion is wrong because:

  • a biography should contain a description of the subject's views;
  • the current description may at times focus too much on the subject's most controversial views, but it also contains relevant and sourced info about them; thus, it should be modified with each problem being addressed separately.
  • the danger of hostile editors potentially damaging the article is not a sufficient reason to delete a large chunk of sourced and relevant information.

Summary User:Jbowler[edit]

On 19 December 2007 I repeated the action taken by User:Doc glasgow on 20 December 2006; here's the diff of what Doc glasgow did: [1]

The stuff Doc glasgow deleted had been added over about a year from the version on September 7 2005.

After Doc glasgow's deletion the text was gradually reintroduced, starting with the readdition of the "Political Views" heading on 14 May 2007 until 13 October 2007.

While these edits were happening an increasing number of entries appeared on this discussion page primarily asking why the biography was so biased. Some small constructive edits were made (e.g. those by Special:Contributions/Migueldos), but they became buried. Attempts to fix the bias by removing weasel words or making sure WP:V was obeyed seem to have no real beneficial effect overall.

My assertion is that this version:

and this version:

violate both WP:BLP and WP:NPF in such a way as to require the immediate deletion. Specifically I allege that both pages are likely to harm Michael Parenti's reputation while a true WP:NPOV consideration of all his work would not do this.

At this point my deletes have survived (despite some readdition of material by User:Anonymous44) and User:Jillian27 has put in place a much larger "Social and Political Analysis" section which covers the text previously in "Political Views", nevertheless I forsee the possibility that the same process that reversed Doc glasgow's deletion will undo this good work and complete deletion will be required again.

If this happens I want to be absolutely certain of the wikipedia policy on this - as can be seen User:Anonymous44 has argued extensively that I (and presumably User:Doc glasgow should not have deleted this text. This dispute needs to be resolved.

Anonymous44's comments on JBowler's summary[edit]

:Don't. After Jilliana's edits, the whole issue has changed, because there is now plenty of information about the man's political writings which arguably contains the same points. Under these circumstances, I don't insist to restore the whole old section. So if the dispute continues, the summary will have to be different. And BTW, the idea was to make a single brief dispute summary that both of us can agree on. --Anonymous44 (talk) 21:39, 25 December 2007 (UTC) (comment was made before the actual summary had been posted)--Anonymous44 (talk) 22:05, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't see how "the same process that reversed Doc glasgow's deletion will undo this good work". For the current version to be undone, practically all of the present text would have to be deleted. Such a huge deletion will automatically be detected as vandalism. Nor do I see why a "complete deletion will be required again", i.e. why, in case of future POV edits, one should choose to delete everything instead of reverting to the present version. But of course, our dispute is still interesting from a theoretical point of view.

Since my summary of the disagreement above was about general principles, while JBowler's here focuses on the specific case and also drops two of the three arguments that I had addressed above, I am forced to respond here again, in brief. I agree that the versions prior to the deletions suffered from various problems - in particular, they contained a somewhat arbitrary selection of information on the subject's opinions on various issues, information that had accumulated rather chaotically as a result of various minor additions by separate editors over time. The resulting versions apparently focused too much on the subject's more controversial views, quite obviously so in the case of the Gulag death figures. Nevertheless, I didn't, and don't, see the entire section as requiring immediate deletion, because:

  • The information in the most recent version was sourced, relevant and generally worded in a balanced way. This is in contrast to the version deleted by User:Doc glasgow, as both he and User:Phil Sandifer emphasized the lack of sources as a reason for deletion.
  • I don't think the mention of these views would have hurt the reputation of the subject in the eyes of an unprejudiced reader who has no bias against (far) leftist opinions. It certainly didn't do so in my eyes.

For these reasons, I maintain that the appropriate way to fix the problems with these versions was not to delete everything, and, as far as possible, not to delete sourced facts, but to add new information as User:Jilliana27 has done, and to rework the existing one. --Anonymous44 (talk) 22:05, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

General discussion[edit]

Ok, absolutely no comments and the vandalism has started again. I'm going to simply undo vandalism like the one added on Jan 9, regardless.

Clearly wikipedia doesn't care about libel. If you guys want to block me go ahead; so far as I am concerned this behaviour by a supposedly respectable organisation (no response to an official request - this RFC - no attempt to block the malicious editing) is totally unacceptable. Jbowler (talk) 20:20, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

You can request assistance at Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism, Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents, and check out WP:libel as well. Maybe you should request the article to be protected, or try and ask some admin to watch it permanently. Or maybe you should watch it yourself. It's a pretty standard situation, don't freak out. --Anonymous44 (talk) 20:45, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Again a question of fairness[edit]

The material that critics have put into the Parenti article has been consistently negative and polemical and does not represent his actual work. It is a hit piece and really a hate piece. It may even be libelous and damaging to his career. It violates the Wikipedia rule that states: “The views of critics should be represented so long as the material is written in a manner that does not overwhelm the article or appear to side with the critic’s material. Be careful not to give a disproportionate amount of space to critics, to avoid the effect of representing a minority view as if it were the majority one.” The “Political views” portion should be left deleted. It is “beyond repair.” It sides with critics’ material and gives almost all the space to politically motivated critics.Jilliana27 (talk) 22:42, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

I think I've substantially corrected what remained of this after your edits, No.91 apparently made a mistake when he reintroduced the Migueldos biography (see comments above). Jbowler (talk) 20:44, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
I did leave in the 2004 'stolen election' reference. I'm not sure it adds to the article - it's a very specific analysis of a single work, "deep diving", and the bio strikes me as long enough already. (If the bio went to that depth on even a small fractio of Parenti's work it would be enormous!) It's also not a good article to quote because it is a synthesis of several analyses (IMO) - it's effectively a case study of Parenti's work applied to a single thing (the US electoral machinery). I'm not sure it's a very good example, the stuff has been extremely widely reported (e.g. I remember reading a BBC news article which said pretty much the same things). Jbowler (talk) 20:44, 25 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler

Note on edits[edit]

Oh no, it's wiki and multiple editors problem...

I am going to STOP copy editing Jilliana27's stuff for a day at least because I believe she is in the process of updating citations. We will lose valuable and time consuming edits if we don't do this (believe me, I've experienced this in the past on high volume wiki pages.)

I've fixed all the copy edit problems that I can see. I've added some of the book refs as complete citation entries. I've corrected the section structure (indenting the analysis sections.)

Jbowler (talk) 20:38, 25 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler

Spelling of Milosovic article[edit]

The article title is entirely in US-ASCII. The fact that this may be the incorrect spelling of the guys name does not matter - this is what the title of the article is! (Yes, I know, US writers can't handle accented characters, but then neither can many older non-PC computers.)

You're wrong. The title of the article Slobodan Milosevic has the diacritics, they show on my PC.--Anonymous44 (talk) 21:32, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
I am correct. Here is the HTML source: <HTML><HEAD><TITLE>The Demonization of Slobodan Milosevic</TITLE>; take a look at the page. It does not use the encoding required for eastern european characters, it does use some unicode # notation characters, but not in the word 'Milosevic' [sic] in the page (I searched for Mil). Remember I am citing the web page on www.michaelparenti.org.
Sorry, I thought you meant the wiki article. Well, change this if you find it important.--Anonymous44 (talk) 21:54, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Take a look at powells.com entry for the Sell book too: http://www.powells.com/biblio/62-9780822332237-0 - ok, the title page in the picture is all caps, but the title Powell's quotes is not accented. I'm sure you are correct about the spelling, but if you do a text search with your spelling on pages or in documents which contain the unaccented version you don't get a match. In other words, by changing the spelling you hide the reference is some circumstances (very technically any circumstance where the search engine case folds incorrectly or where the search term is encoded ambiguously; that frequently happens if the system is not 100% unicode, which is still true of almost all Linux and Mac systems.) It's really annoying, since I have a European background I'm not much happy about the cultural imperialism of US-ASCII, but not using the bad spellings in this context is self defeating.

Society membership would be a valid addition to this biography, but it is out of context in the location No.91 just added it, and this is edit warring - the section has been removed on many occassions.

Are you kidding me? The location is about Yugoslavia. Parenti joined precisely because of his views about Yugoslavia. --Anonymous44 (talk) 21:32, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Please read the article. It's a book review! It uses that review as a stalking horse for comments on US foreign policy and how the US government manipulates the media and it challenges the verifiability of claims in the book as part of (most of) it's attack. Jbowler (talk) 21:48, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
So what? The review exemplifies Parenti's opinions about the Yugoslav wars. Parenti's membership in ICDSM is relevant to his opinions. Parenti also wrote an entire book about Yugoslavia, To Kill A Nation, where he expressed the same opinions. I really don't understand what you are trying to achieve with this discussion, except just keeping me busy.--Anonymous44 (talk) 22:09, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Quite so, the review as a whole is (IMO) a concise description of part (a small part) of Parenti's 'views' (i.e. that word works, but isn't perfect). The problem is that it isn't representative in isolation and your continual attempt to emphasise this (small) part of his work creates a totally misrepresentative view of his area of interest. User:Jilliana27's biographic addition and, previously User:Migueldos's single paragraph summary illustrate just how unrepresentative it is. You are trying to change the subject of the conversation - this isn't about Yugoslavia, it is a biography about Parenti. Jbowler (talk) 23:30, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
This is only gives the impression of keeping you busy because you really aren't interested in a biography of Parenti so far as I can see - you're doing minor copy editing, it takes a little time but it gives the impression that you are chasing down quoted sources in an attempt to find some way of discrediting them. It's not constructive, the biography of Parenti would be improved by your absence. Jbowler (talk) 23:30, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to add a 'history' section here to summarise what's happening - I don't like your continual attempt to move the talk page from discussing Michael Parenti to disucssing Milosevic, there's a whole separate page for that. I draw your attention to the heavy use of tags questioning neutrality etc throughout that article. Also the extensive edits by anonymous users. Clearly wikipedia is a great place for political arguments, I don't much care, what I do care about is this this article. Keep the squabbles in the place allocated for them, then at least the problem is contained and doesn't (much) damage the whole of wikipedia. Jbowler (talk) 23:30, 26 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler
Oh no. I just can't reply anymore and I feel my mental health is in danger if this conversation continues. I'm just going to wait for the RfCs.--Anonymous44 (talk) 17:42, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Unless someone can come up with a good reason why exactly one such membership entry should exist and why it adds anything to this section (which is discussing US foreign policy, not UN actions or the Hague) I will simply remove it. I mean, he might be a member of the society for prevention of cruelty to gerbils, but so what? Jbowler (talk) 20:54, 25 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler

This is ridiculous. This is not an "entry", it's a single sentence in an enormous article. It is important that Parenti has not only theorized, but also been an activist. It is important that he has been engaged in the issue to such a significant extent. And you have been removing the sentence, so you have been edit warring just as well. --Anonymous44 (talk) 21:32, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
This is the subject of the RFC, which you are attempting to blindside. You are advancing a hypothesis, which is OR, and you are adding selective quotes to support your hypothese but in doing so you are damaging the structure of an otherwise well structured article. You addition is totally out of context. Jbowler (talk) 21:48, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
What hypothesis? What on Earth are you talking about?--Anonymous44 (talk) 22:05, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I was wrong on that count - the version where you last reintroduced the membership information [2] and the current version where I had changed the order [3] neither contain the hypotheses I was referring too. That hypothesis was, very approximately "Parenti defends Milosevic" (with inadequate context) - very approximately, the detailed argument is much more complex and moot. Jbowler (talk) 00:44, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
From my point of view the text seems fine, I'm concered as to the placement, but it's a solvable problem because I think - my deletion threat was based on a false assumption that the entry was derogatory and violated the the relevant principles of WP:BLP. Jbowler (talk) 00:44, 26 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler
Aha, now I see. You mean that the fact that a person is a member of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic could be used to falsely imply that the person is a member of an international committee that defends Slobodan Milosevic? Yes, that would have been a most perfidious and malicious insinuation. Good, I'm glad this threat has been avoided and I hope we're through with this now, because real life is calling. --Anonymous44 (talk) 12:23, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Ah, excellent use of sarcasm. You misstate my argument deliberately. I am saying that your repeated insertion of this is being done to create the false impression that Parenti is a defender of Milosevic to the exclusion of everything else. That is because the entry is not in proportion to the the rest of the biography. Over time your technique works only because other editors merely whittle at it, this is why I am deleting it wholesale. You haven't convinced me, it's gone (I'll RfC that too.) Jbowler (talk) 23:30, 26 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler
1. You are changing your analysis of the situation because I was ironic at your expense. 2. The idea that the insertion of one (1) sentence about Milosevic in a page of the current size suggests Parenti is "a defender of Milosevic to the exclusion of everything else" is also ... well, I don't know what to say. --Anonymous44 (talk) 15:13, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
No, I was not being sarcastic when I said it was an excellent use of sarcasm -- you made your point well and in a way that was humorous (at my expense, but I too found it humorous.) I had previously apologised for advancing arguments which actually referred to your Dec 21 insertion of the reference - not your Dec 25 one. I did say (it's only a couple of paragraphs above) "your repeated insertion", and I said that because the only activity you admit to on this biography started with the reinsertion of the complete Stalin/Milosevic stuff in the ugly defamatory form. I think I said before that I don't assume good faith when the preponderance of evidence suggests otherwise, and I have to admit I was unwilling to spend four hours trawling the history logs for a more complete set of your edits to disprove myself (that sentence might be slightly ironic.) Jbowler (talk) 16:55, 27 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler

My most recent edit[edit]

Normally I wouldn't explain such things, but the whole thing seems to be so sensitive that I'm doing it. Hopefully this is going to be my last edit to this article.

  • I qualified Online Review of Books as " a publication aiming to express a progressive point of view and to give exposure to books that are independently published or ignored in the mainstream media", citing its website. This is relevant for obvious reasons - being credited by a non-partisan publication is one thing, being credited by one that belongs to your own part of the political spectrum is another. This time I haven't used the phrase "self-described" which Jbowler found pejorative.
  • I requested a citation for the statement that "Democracy for the Few" is widely used as a textbook. Statements likely to be questioned should be cited, and It seems strange that such a "dissident" work should be used widely within US education; also, the statement could be interpreted as an advertisement for the book.

Apart from that, I added wikilinks and, in their absence, external links for the various organizations and publications mentioned. --Anonymous44 (talk) 13:25, 26 December 2007 (UTC)


RFC: Citation request for Democracy for the Few being a widely used textbook[edit]

  • I requested a citation for the statement that "Democracy for the Few" is widely used as a textbook. Statements likely to be questioned should be cited, and It seems strange that such a "dissident" work should be used widely within US education; also, the statement could be interpreted as an advertisement for the book.--Anonymous44 (talk) 15:17, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, it was added by someone who says he is a college teacher: "I have used Dr. Parenti's book, Democracy for the Few, in a number of my courses over the years, as have other professors at my university." Some brief searching suggests that college textbook sales in the US may well be a state secret; I know it is a fiercely competitive market and have heard it suggested that it is rife with corruption. I'll see what more I can find. Jbowler (talk) 00:47, 27 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler
Eh... Wadsworth is a specialist textbook publisher.... Jbowler (talk) 01:21, 27 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler
Is this reasonable? The Amazon rank is #39,209 overall and #20 in class sociology:
  1. 20 in Books > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > Class
  2. 27 in Books > Nonfiction > Government > Democracy
  3. 30 in Books > Nonfiction > Politics > Practical Politics
It's obvious where Parenti is getting his income. #27 in books about Democracy...


Copied back from the RfC tag:

Is this a reasonable citation request?

finding a citation saying that a book is a widely used textbook in the US market is likely not to prove good, so far as I can see. In fact the publisher is a textbook publisher (higher ed) and the book is #39,209 on Amazon.com and #20-#30 in the three relevant categories (i.e. an amazingly good seller). John Bowler

The fact that the publisher is a textbook publisher and that the book is widely bought does necessarily mean that those who actually buy it are predominantly teachers or pupils who use it as a textbook. But the RfC is a good idea in this case, because I don't feel competent in this sphere (in fact, I don't even know how to check the rank of the book on Amazon). If consensus emerges that this argument is compelling, this still doesn't mean that a citation is unnecessary (and a citation request unreasonable) - you can cite the Amazon page with the rank. --Anonymous44 (talk) 15:07, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
You need country specific knowledge to know whether textbooks are widely used. Some countries maintain central lists of approved textbooks, others do not (so far as I am aware any such US list is not published.) In the US textbooks in use are readily identified by a price difference - they seem to cost at least twice as much as similar regular books. That means they aren't normally bought by people unless forced to (by being a course requirement, or a professional necessity.) Jbowler (talk) 17:58, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Democracy for the Few costs $64.95 new, $45 used from Amazon (paperback, 336 pages.) It's a new edition (August 2007), but has been published since about 1974 (IRC). In the amazon democracy list it's obvious what the textbooks are - most of the books are $10-$20, the textbooks are $60-$120, Parenti is (today) the #5 textbook in the list. This is, of course, OR, but then I can't see any way to find whether any textbook in the US is widely used without such OR. Like I said, I'm willing to be proved wrong but I think it is a state secret. Jbowler (talk) 17:58, 27 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler
Well, what you're saying sounds reasonable, and as I said, I have no idea about this, I hope more US users join the discussion. In theory, a statement to the effect that the book is widely used as a textbook should be found on its Amazon page or elsewhere - "this classical textbook is something you shouldn't miss" etc.. It can be hard to find - but statements that are hard or impossible to verify should not be included at all. And in fact, the Amazon page says precisely the opposite: "DEMOCRACY FOR THE FEW is a provocative interpretation of American Government that you have likely not been exposed to in elementary school, high school, or other college courses". (emphasis added) Anyway, I'm leaving this for others to decide.--Anonymous44 (talk) 18:19, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Independent RfC comment: I'm not even sure what the measure is for a textbook being used "widely." We would not say that a Britney Spears song is "popular," we would cite verifiable chart numbers. If there is no comparable best-sellers list for textbooks, we could perhaps just say that it has been used as a textbook and move on. Cool Hand Luke 20:51, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
And the amazon sales ranks are notoriously variable - it's currently the #17 textbook and #57 overall. I think these figures are coming from only a few days sales. 74.32.171.56 (talk) 02:39, 28 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler
OK, are we agreed on this one then? Remove "widely" and activate the other RfC? Matter of fact, we don't even have an actual citation for it having been used as a textbook at all - someone will most certainly request one at some point - but I won't because I'm totally tired of hateful conversations and this could result in another outburst. --Anonymous44 (talk) 13:05, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
So far as I can see any quantification of any US textbook sales is unverifiable - all textbooks have to be assumed to sell equally. Still, that has a major implication for wikipedia so I'd like to hear some more independent comment - someone might know of an authoritative source of sales data. Take a look at Howard Zinn - A People's History. It clearly is used as a textbook, textbook publishers aren't vanity publishers, they might make a mistake but they don't keep on repeating it (through 8 editions and over 30 years.) Jbowler (talk) 02:14, 29 December 2007 (UTC) Ye Gods I Remembered To Log In
I don't suggest textbooks publishers are vanity publishers - they are profit-driven, and the book certainly sells, the question is whether the buyers are actually using it as a textbook or as a political reading. So to me as a non-American, even high sales don't automatically mean wide use in education. But as I said, if more US users confirm your reasoning, then I'll accept sales info as a source. BTW, I suspect we might want to make a poll instead of an RfC if we want to have many more users joining in. --Anonymous44 (talk) 14:01, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Copied from Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities#Textbook use in the US:

Does anyone know of some way to source the statement that a certain textbook is used widely in US education (or possibly to make the statement more precise)? A user suggested we could use the sales figures, but he doesn't know where to get them - does anyone know that? Furthermore, I was wondering if the sales figures would be enough, since the book also represents an alternative, dissident view and we might need to know what part of the buyers actually used it as a textbook and not as a reading. It was suggested that you can tell US textbooks from other books based on the price, so the high price of this book would suggest it is used primarily as such. Thoughts, anyone?--Anonymous44 (talk) 16:06, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I believe in US Boards of Educations are responsible for obtaining and distributing the books. Perhaps somebody more familiar with them may help, contacting one or two and asking questions may be another option.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:26, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
If it is a big-name publisher it should be pretty easy. Do you have one in mind? Wrad (talk) 23:28, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
It's Wadsworth Publishing. So what could we do? --Anonymous44 (talk) 23:46, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Apparently they were formerly known as Thomson Learning. You could easily make a statement that they create many popular textbooks used worldwide, and cite their website. The source would be biased, but the statement would, nevertheless, be true. Wrad (talk) 00:05, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I was wondering why I can't find a wiki article about it! But do you think the fact that they publish popular textbooks is sufficient as a proof that an individual textbook they have published is popular? It's Thomson's, ergo it's widely used? Seems like a kind of strange thing to write in a footnote.--Anonymous44 (talk) 00:25, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
It depends on what you're trying to argue. What's the article you're working on? Wrad (talk) 00:28, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
It's Michael Parenti. The article mentions a textbook he wrote, "Democracy for the Few". The question is how one could source the "used widely" part.--Anonymous44 (talk) 12:59, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Here's a textbook rating website. Wrad (talk) 00:42, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! It's a pity that particular textbook hasn't been reviewed there yet. --Anonymous44 (talk) 12:59, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I happen to have experience in textbook publishing. Wadsworth and Thomson are important publishers for the higher-education (college and university) textbook market. They are not significant in the primary or secondary markets. Sales figures are difficult to obtain, as they are proprietary information held by publishers. Publishers can fairly accurately estimate the size of a given market and, based on their sales, deduce their market share. However, they tend not to release this information publicly unless it will boost their share prices. For the purposes of Wikipedia, I would omit the vague and subjective adverb "widely". There is no good way to substantiate that something is "widely" used, since it isn't clear exactly what that means. I think that I might stick to "a textbook used in U.S. colleges and universities" without trying to indicate its relative popularity. Marco polo (talk) 03:14, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I see, I was afraid that would be the case. I could imagine two ways to fix this: citing a reliable source such as a study of US education mentioning the textbook and using the word "widely" or a clearly synonymous expression; or replacing "widely" with a concrete number from some sort of statistics for the use of various textbooks in US education. Unfortunately, I have no idea where either of these could be found.--Anonymous44 (talk) 12:59, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

That's a good piece of discovery work, many thanks. It's certainly consistent with what I suspected. It's made more complicated because Wadsworth, formerly a part of Thomson Learning and the parent company (Thomson) sold TL in May of last year ["divestiture" announcement]. The Wadsworth web site I found last month, defining what Wadsworth does, is now redirected to [[4]], which site says nothing about what Wadsworth does (or more likely did). Jbowler (talk) 02:30, 4 January 2008 (UTC) John Bowler

I'll make a first pass at making the text benign - I don't think it's possible to make any statement about US textbook sales of anything! All we can say is that it is a textbook because that's a reasonable description of the book. Jbowler (talk) 02:30, 4 January 2008 (UTC) John Bowler

Ok, now it says "a college-level political science textbook published by Wadsworth Publishing" - which we know because the CENGAGE Learning web site classes it in the political science textbooks which it sells (and the citation takes the reader to a reference to that part of their web site.) They don't have a permalink (that I could find) for a search "Michael Parenti" (which shows that the three of his books which they publish are all in the political science section.) I've removed the RFC tag Jbowler (talk) 02:43, 4 January 2008 (UTC) John Bowler

RFC: (not active) question about whether qualification of a citation link with a description of the cited source is appropriate[edit]

Jbowler (talk) 17:44, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

  • I qualified Online Review of Books as " a publication aiming to express a progressive point of view and to give exposure to books that are independently published or ignored in the mainstream media", citing its website. This is relevant for obvious reasons - being credited by a non-partisan publication is one thing, being credited by one that belongs to your own part of the political spectrum is another. This time I haven't used the phrase "self-described" which Jbowler found pejorative.--Anonymous44 (talk) 15:17, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
You've done the first before, and it has been commented on before. I removed it - if you want to critique Online Review of Books and Current Affairs I suggest you start an encyclopedia entry about it, but adding comments that seem disparaging of a publication in a biography about someone [else] is inappropriate. Please stop doing this. Here's an RfC:

Copied back from the RFCtag:

Michael Parenti] sites an award from Online Review of Books and Current Affairs, [User:Anonymous44] added an apparently disparaing description of the web publication, I believe to lessen the value of the citation, this seems inappropriate within a biography - discussion of the credentials of the cited source should not be in the biography. Jbowler (talk) 00:38, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

I also note that User:Zoe had previously removed (repeatedly) text which qualified an external link in a like way (i.e. 'the link should speak for itself'). Seems pretty clear to me, but then I'm they guy who wants to delete it ;-) Jbowler (talk) 00:38, 27 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler

I don't understand what is disparaging about the description and I can't imagine how it can be disparaging if it is an almost word-for-word quote from the organization's own website. The description doesn't question the credentials of the citation (nobody doubts that the ORBCA is an authoritative source about its own awards), it simply adds to the information, saying not just that Parenti has been given an award, but also who has given it to him. The lack of a wiki article about the ORBCA makes the description appropriate as well. --Anonymous44 (talk) 16:00, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
The citation should speak for itself. Adding a description to it makes it appear that there is something wrong with the organisation - it isn't normally necessary (e.g., there is no description of "Nation" and I don't know any more about that than I do about "ORBaCA"). Why tell the reader something they can find by going to the web site? What reader will go to the site given the information? If the description was a complete copy of the 'about' page, maybe ok (but I think not), but it is selective therefore is editorialising on the site, and it's doing that within a biography, so seems inapproprate. 74.32.171.56 (talk) 16:36, 27 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler
Making the biography comprehensible can require non-biographical specifications. The thing is that the reader is not likely to go to the website - why should he? The title "Online Review of Books" in itself can be misleading because it sounds "mainstream"/"neutral" and doesn't reflect the fact that the publication has a political stance. The Nation is much better-known, I'm surprised you are not more familiar with it than with the ORBCA; also, it has its own article for the reader to check. --Anonymous44 (talk) 18:08, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

RfC: Should the Michael Parenti article mention that he was a member of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic?[edit]

I've deleted this RfC because it appears there can be only one RFC per page and the extra ones confuse things. The version of the page I was referring to when I entered this RFC is unclear (even to me), I think I intended it for the Dec 21 version. Jbowler (talk) 17:35, 27 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler

You said "Over time your technique works only because other editors merely whittle at it, this is why I am deleting it wholesale. You haven't convinced me, it's gone (I'll RfC that too.)" That's why I RfC'ed it myself. But - as you wish. --Anonymous44 (talk) 17:47, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
I withdraw those comments with respect to your edits; after I'd looked further I became convinced that your edits maintain neutrality. The problem came from other edits which you merely preserved and which I'm convinced weren't done by you. I also withdraw the comments about the imbalance of the committee comment (I think I did that before, though maybe not very clearly) - without the inline quotations it adds to the article, but it still needs copy editing (the spelling thing which I added is a mess and should go.) 74.32.171.56 (talk) 04:12, 28 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler

Unreadable first line[edit]

The first line of the article is currently invisible, partly because of the decorative wikipedia fluff above it and partly because the TOC follows it. There must be some way to fix this - it's stylistically lousy.

Anyone know how? Putting a heading above the first line would be odd, moving the {} templates below the first line helps a bit but may violate wikipedia rules and, stylistically, it still looks bad. Maybe use tables (or CSS - whatever is accessible in the formatting language) to realign stuff?

74.32.171.56 (talk) 17:54, 29 December 2007 (UTC) John Bowler

Templates referring to the whole article are certainly never moved below the first line. Placing the "citation" templates at the very bottom of a page, in the "References" section, is something people occasionally do, although I don't know what the guidelines say about this practice. --Anonymous44 (talk) 19:58, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Getty thing[edit]

The Getty thing has been sourced, with the efforts of two editors who were apparently sympathetic to Parenti (User:Bsirvine [5]) and User:142.103.168.16 [6], [7]). If you think that User:216.246.137.137's edit is vandalism or severely damaging to Parenti, you can request blocks here and here.--Anonymous44 (talk) 20:39, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for explaining the procedure for appeal/blocking. I hadn't been able to find it, sounds like it might be more profitable than an RFC. Jbowler (talk) 18:03, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
On Getty, my primary concern is that it seemed to have degenerated into a discussion of Getty - not Parenti. Parenti cites Getty, the final edit states "Parenti claims" - that's like stating "wikipedia claims" because it cites a controversial (but authoritative) secondary source. It doesn't advance the article to have an off topic discussion - it's a biography about Parenti, not one about either Getty or Stalin. Anyway, I think I got the point of the citation, but I don't have a copy of Blackshirts and Reds to hand to double check it. Jbowler (talk) 18:03, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Social democracy[edit]

I'd added a verify on the use of "social democracy" vs "democratic socialism", because of the use/argument over the terms in wikipedia. I just deleted it; I don't think it will ever get verified (it's been there two weeks already), it just makes the thing look a mess. JBowler: 74.32.171.56 (talk) 06:17, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Lack of secondary sources[edit]

This article could benefit from sources other than the author's published books. Tagged as appropriately. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 03:05, 17 October 2008 (UTC)


Michael Parenti is considered to be a well known author and scholar. What’s important is that a dispassionate representation be made of the corpus of his work. I think the present Wikipedia article accomplishes that sufficiently. The secondary literature on Parenti, as far as I can tell, is quite scanty and not to be taken seriously. Secondary “sources” seem to consist of those who praise him without dealing much with what he has to say, or those fewer in number who polemicize and try to cast him in the worst possible light.

The Wikipedia article that now stands has the virtue of being drawn directly from the actual subject of the article: Parenti’s wide ranging research and writings. The article is free from personal attacks and original research. It is done in a neutral but still interesting tone. That’s exactly what a successful Wikipedia article should be.

I recommend that the complaint box at the top of this article be removed as not being desirable or relevant to the case. Una mae regina (talk) 14:50, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Termination from Vermont Uni[edit]

A section on the refusal of Vermont Uni trustees to reappoint Parenti in the 70s is absent. As a major event in the struggle for academic freedom in the USA, it is conspicuous in its absence. Snellios (talk) 09:35, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

I find it odd that this page is not editable as Parenti isn't that widely known even on the left, but if someone wants to add a mention of his Vermont experience they can find discussion in his own Contrary Notions and Dirty Truths, and in Ward Churchill's The COINTELPRO Papers, and Bernie Sanders' Outsider in the House.
The page is editable. Dougweller (talk) 06:19, 5 September 2011 (UTC)