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Deletion of Ron Paul newsletter controversy[edit]

Srich, I strongly disagree with your last edit. At the very least, don't you think that it's worth debating this rather than immediately deleting that the previous "editing" experience of LRC's editor in chief was for a racist publication? Surely that would be a relevant criticism of other notable publications, if their chief editor was someone who had previously been involved with (for example) a white nationalist publication. It is especially relevant since the website revolves around Lew Rockwell's thought. Steeletrap (talk) 23:56, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

I think you referring to this edit: [1]? The issue is simple, did LRC publish any of that stuff? If so, then it should be cited with RS. If LRC did not publish the Ron Paul stuff, then it gets left out. The issue is more properly covered in the Rockwell BLP and Ron Paul newsletter articles. The connection of Rockwell to the Ron Paul newsletters is stretchy as it is. As this is BLP-type material, the policy is to leave out controversial material that is unsourced. Please, WP is not the place to WP:RGW. – S. Rich (talk) 00:03, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Also, we have 49 other contributors to LRC. Do we include the "writing" experience of them? Do we say they were associated with a racist publication? (No to both questions.) Also you are applying your own assumption that the website revolves around Rockwell's thought and thereby attributing the contents of LRC to Rockwell. E.g., "some of the contributors had attitudes about such-and-such, therefore Rockwell had the same attitudes about such-and-such." This is not a very sound editing approach. – S. Rich (talk) 00:19, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
"The connection of Rockwell to the Ron Paul newsletters is sketchy as it is." You've lost me. Steeletrap (talk) 02:11, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
I have a lot of difficulty assuming continuing to assume good faith when you think that his connection to the newsletters is "sketchy." I know I should be giving you good faith, but I don't think I'm able to do that at this point, so I plan on stepping back for a bit. That is a simply preposterous statement which makes it difficult for me to want to continue working on these edits with you. A bazillion credible publications -- virtually every major media outlet which investigated that matter closely -- pins him to them. Reason, the world's flagship libertarian publication -- citing a "half dozen" libertarians who used to work for Paul -- says Rockwell's wrote them. As does Ron Paul's former chief of staff And even Rockwell, who is totally stonewalling the issues and has refused to give interviews about it since his cryptic initial remarks to Kirhick, admits the (empirically-verifiable, since he's -- at various times and in copious publications -- is physically listed as "contributing editor" (or in some other editor role) on the newsletter's masthead.) fact that he at wrote the subscription letters for the racist publication. I guess I wasn't literally in the room when he wrote/edited the newsletters, though. Steeletrap (talk) 02:21, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
While difficult, you should try. And I'm sure you'll do your best as AGF is one of the 5 Pillars of WP. (And I'm sure you can do it!) My comment "sketchy" was made for lack of a better term. I'll take a closer look and comment some more a bit later. (For now, though, I'm going off to enjoy Giulio Cesare. The mystery is now whether I'm going to see it live-live or HD-live Face-smile.svg.) – S. Rich (talk) 14:55, 27 April 2013 (UTC)


The overriding issue here is "To what extent is the Ron Paul newsletter controversy relevant to the LRC article?" E.g., are the RP newsletters and Rockwell's editorship of them within the scope of this article? I submit they are not. No more so than they are to the LvMI article, the Journal of Libertarian Studies article, or, assuming an article were to be written, about Rockwell's Speaking of Liberty.
Suppose this: Rockwell, in a campaign of civil disobedience, decides not to put money in parking meters and racks up a lot of parking tickets and there is a news story about his defiance of parking laws? Would such info or news story be relevant to the LRC article? No, not unless he wrote about his campaign in LRC. Or further suppose his campaign included parking in handicapped reserved zones, and he got ticketed for those violations -- would it be fair to now characterize him as biased against the handicapped? Again, no, not unless we saw something in LRC to that effect (supported by secondary sources) that he was doing so in particular regard to the handicapped. (Maybe he was racking up handicapped parking tickets because he was protesting the fact that non-handicapped people were using ersatz handicapped parking permits to avoid daily parking costs.) WP:BALANCE would be violated in either case.
Regarding "sketchy", perhaps a better term would be hearsay. As set forth in the essay WP:Hearsay, we rely "on [the] practice of providing verifiable sources as much as possible, to keep the content neutral and accurate." With "neutral and accurate" in mind, if there are opinions about the anti-gay/anti-race/anti-handicapped (etc.) nature of LRC, those opinions should be labeled as such. (Also, I don't like the labeling of someone as racist because they make a derogatory remark about someone else even though the remark itself had no racial overtones. By analogy, suppose someone said "Dr. Laura X was sued for medical malpractice 5 times in the last 10 years, proving she is incompetent." Is that person a misogynist? No. But a statement which concluded "... proving that women, as doctors, are incompetent" would be a different matter.) We have to be careful about letting our opinions as to who is "totally stonewalling" about something influence our editing decisions. Embracing the opinions of others in order to put them into articles is a no-no. (And I freely admit that I sometimes fail in this regard.) – S. Rich (talk) 00:13, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Hey Srich. Don't buy your analogies at all. My basic point is that clear-cut and formal involvement (and probable authorship) of an extremely racist newsletter is relevant to a publication (I say clear-cut and formal for two reasons: see below). That LRC's editor in chief previously worked as a contributing editor for (and very likely ghostwrote) a seethingly racist newsletter is relevant to LRC, just as it'd be relevant to the New York Times' if its chief previously worked for a seethingly racist newsletter. I'm going to drop off because I am (honestly) incapable of assuming good faith at this point, and therefore instead of pretending that I'm assuming good faith by using disingenuously polite and friendly language, think it'd be more appropriate for me to just drop off this debate. Steeletrap (talk) 00:24, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
I say clear-cut/formal for two reasons. First, it's a fact that he worked for the racist newsletter (he says his role was confined to "writing subscription letters" (which were by all accounts themselves very detailed, inflammatory and racially charged), but even he doesn't deny having been an active participant in the project. (which he can't do given that he's listed as "contributing editor" or some such title on dozens of newsletters spanning years, a title which is odd given his statement that he had nothing to do with the actual newsletters). Second, it's a fact that scores of people who worked closely with Ron Paul and/or Lew Rockwell have accused him of writing the newsletters. Reason basically called it an "open secret" among those in the know. Moreover, it's preposterous to suggest that it's open to interpretation that calling blacks animals who are 95% criminals (and providing information about how to shoot "violent" black teens and get away with it) isn't racist. If the term racist has any substantive meaning whatsoever, the newsletter fits the bill. Steeletrap (talk) 00:34, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Srich, I'd say Steeltrap is correct about this. Your reasoning above is unconvincing and has some feeling of argumentation for its own sake. I don't get the sense this is about Steeltrap's opinion so much as about providing vetted background information which is appropriate in that it supports the other information in the article with context related to the subject. I have no problem risking the error that we might include too much well-sourced information rather than too little. I don't see that this material is controversial in the BLP sense. SPECIFICO talk 11:57, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Other than the fact that Rockwell edited newsletters and is the sponsor of LRC, what is the connection? Was Ron Paul a contributor to LRC? Did the other RP ghostwriter (Powell?) contributed to LRC? Did any commentator who criticized RP, his newsletters, or Rockwell mention LRC? The relevance between the newsletters and LRC is tangential at best. What if Rockwell was left-handed? Would such info be relevant to this article? – S. Rich (talk) 16:40, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
That a webpage's editor-in-chief's past editorial experience is with an extremely racist publication (which praised David Duke/called blacks animals, etc) matters to that webpage. I refer you to my NYT example; can you really argue that no one would think it's notable if someone who edited the "Ron Paul Survival Report" became the chief NYT editor? And to answer your question, yes: Ron Paul is a "columnist" for LRC. Steeletrap (talk) 16:52, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Rockwell section[edit]

Srich, I deleted your section called "Rockwell's editorship of Ron Paul Newsletters" because that titles misleads people into thinking that the newsletters part is primarily about a personal criticism. This sort of criticism (e.g.., criticizing him for (totally hypothetical example) allegedly having an affair) should indeed be deleted, and your (I am sure unintentionally) misrepresenting it as such provides surreptitious yet strong support for deletion. In reality, the criticism is about the controversial editorial experience (in an extremely racist newsletter) of LRC's editor in chief, which therefore directly bears on LRC. The criticism would stand if LRC's editor in chief were not Rockwell but had the same editorial background. (see again my NYT/WP example; do you really think it wouldn't be deemed relevant if editors of these magazines derived much of their editorial experience from work with racist publications?) It is strange that you deny the relevance of this while (though trying to delete the entries on them on vague and unsupported "synthesis" grounds) not disputing the notability of the fact that LRC has published controversial authors like North and Sobran. Steeletrap (talk) 17:03, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

I see you reverted my change. I will not EW on this matter but I ask that you please tell me why that title is necessary, and respond to my substantive arguments about why criticism of a publication's editor in chief for his/her controversial editorial background isn't material to criticism that publication. Steeletrap (talk) 17:10, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
As per my discussion above, I can't see any direct connection between Rockwell's history as a politician, staffer, education, religion, left-handedness, club-foot, membership/non-membership in PETA, or even his history the the RP newsletters with the LRC website. It is WP:OFFTOPIC in that there is at best a loose connection. With this in mind, the subsection heading, with banner, serves to limit the scope of this discussion and attract other contributors to comment on this topic. If you can improve the heading, please do so. – S. Rich (talk) 17:48, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Since you're alone on this (and SPECIFICO and I disagree with you), and again you have failed to address my arguments for its notability independent of Rockwell in any specific way, I am going to revert your edit after a reasonable period of time has elapsed (assuming you continue to fail to provide a specific argument). Please try to make specific arguments addressing (for instance) my NYT comparison. I understand that you view the fact that LRC's editor-in-chief has controversial editorial experience to be as irrelevant as if he were left handed. But instead of simply stating and restating that view, try to defend the good-faith arguments I have made (and SPECIFICO have seconded) against it. Your tendency to put banners up with vague charges bereft of any argumentative support tends to choke debate. Steeletrap (talk) 18:10, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I put it in a more NPOV way to avoid a fight. But thinking about it, this really is more something that goes in the content section since this is not a criticism of LRC per se and what's of interest is Rockwell's TRN bashing, with a somewhat shortened intro (they can go to the newsletter article for more details). However, if you think it really is a major problem, Srich32977, could take it to WP:DRN or WP:NPOV or even WP:BLP. CarolMooreDC🗽 17:09, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Srich removing Rockwell's quote actually was correct because he does not specifically say he's replying to TNR's article and so we can't just stick it in there. I see a couple other articles on LRC mentioning it which would be a reply IF the section actually states that criticism of Rockwell impacts LRC. There's probably something somewhere but I think the person who so aggressively is pushing this paragraph should find them. CarolMooreDC🗽 17:47, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Removal of half dozen sources saying Lew wrote Ron Paul newsletters[edit]

As this is clearly material to the allegations and comes from Reason magazine, a credible RS, I ask that this be re-added for purposes of NPOV. Steeletrap (talk) 17:57, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

But where are the RS saying that Lew Rockwell's promotion of the newsletter are relevant to LRC? There may well be one, but you have to go find it. Per my clarify the relevance tag. Don't give us ten thousand words of explanation why you don't need one. Do the work. Do you give your advisor all these excuses why you don't need references? Geez.... CarolMooreDC🗽 18:27, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
"Do you give your advisor all these excuses why you don't need references"? This s a demeaning personal comment that has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Please cease making personal attacks. Whether the newsletters are material to LRC is another discussion altogether (my argument is that yes, the controversial editorial history of the editor of a website or newspaper -- whether LRC or the New York Times -- matters to that website or newspaper. I think this is an easy question). But if they are material, and we are to keep the stuff in there, clearly the Reason stuff belongs. Steeletrap (talk) 18:30, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
No one is saying that controversial editing history isn't relevant, we're saying what WP:RS says it's relevant to LRC? CarolMooreDC🗽 18:42, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Please spend some time reading WP Guidelines. The gold standard for mention of y on page is not an RS explicitly saying "y is relevant to x." (If such an absurd standard were adopted , all articles on the Clinton-Lewinsky affair mentioned in "Presidency of Bill Clinton" would have to be deleted that don't explicitly state "this is relevant to the Clinton presidency.") The gold standard is RS -- such as the "cleansed" reason article -- which talk extensively about Lew's work with the newsletters while connecting it to his work for LRC. "They are less angry these days. Visitors to or since 2001 are less likely to feel the need for a shower. One can almost detect what sounds like mellowing in Rockwell's reflections on the high and heady paleo days, unburdened by ominous warnings of the looming race war. Nowadays the fiery rhetoric is directed at the "pimply-faced" Kirchick, "Benito" Giuliani, and the "so-called 'libertarians'" at reason and Cato." Steeletrap (talk) 20:57, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
On the vein of direct connections, see also RS Tom G. Palmer's remarkably explicit connection of LRC to the newsletters , following the breaking of Kirchick's story: "The evidence of truly ugly racist collectivism at and the little network of groups clustered around him is overwhelming, not only in the Ron Paul newsletters that have been found, but in their hateful attacks on Rosa Parks and others, as well as in their connections with anti-Semites, German “nationalists,” white supremacists (e.g., Sam Francis), etc., etc. ad nauseam. The embrace of clearly anti-libertarian figures, sentiments, and causes, all in the name of being “anti-PC,” contrarian, and enemies of the American state has done incalculable damage to the cause of limited government. Rockwell and his sick crew should be ostracized and excluded from decent company." Steeletrap (talk) 20:57, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
side discussion
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
If you have a reference, use it. Also, it's considered WP:Undue to use excessive numbers of references which just repeat the same info over and over just to make your POV point that it was heavily covered. CarolMooreDC🗽 20:56, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Please stop using loaded language ("biased" editor; "your POV"). As an extreme (anarchist?) libertarian, you have a POV as well, yet I do not harangue you about this. Focus on the content not the contributor. If you can't stow it, then file a formal complaint about my "bias" and be told off by admin. Steeletrap (talk) 21:00, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Ron Paul Newsletter issue (part 3 – restarted May 11th)[edit]

I'd like to revive the Ron Paul Newsletter issue, as I feel we got sidetracked with other topics and concerns. Accordingly, I've posted a template in the criticism section. In a short while I'll try to restate my concerns here. – S. Rich (talk) 19:05, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

I think there are more than enough refs to say something like: Lew Rockwell has been criticized because he was involved in various aspects of writing Ron Paul newsletters which contained contents which has been described as a, b, c, d. Rockwell has asserted that an unnamed person was responsible for editing and publishing and he only was involved in writing and promoting. Ron Paul also has assumed ultimate responsibility.
If you leave it out it looks like "coverup." Even if you only use refs that mention he edits, I think you have enough to say something like that. And per WP:BLP text where he defends himself don't even have to mention CarolMooreDC🗽 19:47, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

My thoughts regarding the WP:OFFTOPIC newsletter material:

  1. The RP Newsletters were never posted on LRC. There are 2 LRC blog postings and 1 article that mentions them. The only article (I find) is by Gary North (economist), where he says he wrote in one newsletter. Should that be in this article?
  2. Rockwell edited the Journal of Libertarian Studies. Why not bring that up? If we did, how does it tie into the newsletters?
  3. Blumert owned a company called Camino Coin Company. Shall we discuss that? After all, LRC did have articles about gold and such. We could add Camino's "A" Accredited Business BBB rating as one of the interesting facts.
  4. Also, Blumert was chairman of LvMI. Should we have material that points out controversy related simply to LvMI even though the controversies do not relate to LRC?
  5. Napolitano set up Concerned Alumni of Princeton. Should that fact be mentioned? There's lots of stuff about him & his work with Fox News. That should go into the article, even though none of it deals with LRC.
  6. The other 50 contributors have activities that do not deal, do not have any connection to LRC. If they have been criticized (or praised) because of non-LRC activities, should those criticisms be mentioned? (Yes, I'd truly love to see more info about Kane (wrestler) and the material he has added to LRC!) What is so special about Lew Rockwell's editorship?
  7. At most his connection to the newsletters merits a footnote, along the lines suggested by Carolmooredc. (I've added a short footnote about Rockwell in the lede.) If we add more, then, in the interest of balance, we must put in a caveat that says "the RP newsletters never published the Ron Paul newsletters, the critics of the Ron Paul newsletters never mentioned LRC, Lew Rockwell never used LRC to defend himself regarding the RP newsletters, etc." That caveat is necessary to explain there is no connection between LRC itself and the newsletters. And once we add that caveat, the WP:OFFTOPIC nature of this info becomes obvious. As the guidance says, the links will allow interested readers to find stuff they are interested in. – S. Rich (talk) 00:01, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The recent changes (today) should invite/invoke further comment to my remarks. As the article stood, with the RP newsletter editorship as a separate section, the off-topic nature was obvious. Incorporating the section into a "Responses" section avoids the issue and is a poor choice. That is, whether Rockwell had been an editor somewhere else has nothing to do with the responses that LRC has had, the reception that LRC has had, the influence that LRC has had, or anything else related to LRC. There might be an argument about the history of Rockwell as the Paul newsletters, but compare: Does the article on the New York Times have a section devoted to the editing history of Andrew Rosenthal? Why not -- doesn't Rosenthal's background have some relevance? – S. Rich (talk) 01:33, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

OK, moving my comments today up since no one has responded and cleaning up a bit. Sorry just somehow lost track of it all!!!! - in any case whether section or paragraph - it needs specific refs or out. And obviously Palmer doesn't count!
Still no use of WP:RS to clarify relevance of to Newsletters. Though I did think of one place I haven't looked and will add if find. I haven't been paying attention for a few days and missed it becoming a subsection all of the sudden. Totally WP:Undue as Srich's template noted.
OK, the thought I had was to search itself for some notable author's comment about the relation of the newsletters to Lew Rockwell AND Here's search I did. Coming down with a danged head cold, so don't feel like doing the work of proving the relevance. I'm sure there's something in there, if no where else, somewhere with the right search terms. CarolMooreDC - talkie talkie🗽 01:38, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for doing the search! 28,300 hits should keep people busy for a little while. But if we can't resolve this or get more responses, I may post an RfC -- in the next few days. – S. Rich (talk) 02:07, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Removed off-topic paragraph from article[edit]

I read through the article, and the last paragraph of the Responses section seemed out of place. While the material may be well-cited, it doesn't have anything to do with this article's topic which is a website. In fact, I don't even think the website existed at the time the newsletters were written. The material, however, would be appropriate in other article's such as Lew Rockwell and perhaps Ron Paul. I checked those two articles, and this material is covered. And I see we have an entire article devoted to the newsletters, Ron Paul newsletters. Therefore, I've removed the paragraph.[2] See WP:COATRACK for more. Thanks. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:38, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

I disagree. I think the controversial editorial history of a publication's editor in chief -- whether The NYT or -- is notable. I have reverted your change. We should talk this out though. I can understand the opposing view, even though I disagree. Steeletrap (talk) 04:44, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
Side note. Bravo, Steeletrap, for reverting your edit. (I'll review the material and give my 2 cents later.) – S. Rich (talk) 05:42, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
I see no reason to exclude biographical information about the founder of this organization. Also, considering the lack of sources for this article, does anyone think it could be merged into Lew Rockwell? TFD (talk) 16:11, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
Merging sounds pretty reasonable to me, TFD. But don't expect such an effort to succeed. Steeletrap (talk) 16:35, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
The off-topic nature of "(Who Wrote) The Book of Paul was brought up above. The WP:TOPIC of this article is LRC, not Rockwell and certainly not Ron Paul newsletters. Merging into Rockwell's BLP is not such a good idea. This article, which covers a topic distinct from Rockwell's life, is better as a stand alone. – S. Rich (talk) 16:42, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Is FrontPageMagazine an RS[edit]

That seems pretty dubious to me. Thoughts? Steeletrap (talk) 16:39, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

That article certainly needs improvement, like adding an Alexa number. But it has achieved "notability" in terms of WP standards. In this article we should do the RS evaluation in terms of FPM as a publication and Laskin as a writer. – S. Rich (talk) 16:53, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
Actually, FPM has a higher Alexa number. – S. Rich (talk) 17:15, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
It is not rs. It has been brought to RSN about a dozen times and there was little support for it. A Quest for Knowledge among many others said it was not rs. TFD (talk) 17:26, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

New York Sun[edit]

What is so special about an anonymous editorial in the New York Sun? - Sitush (talk) 17:01, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

It's an editorial, all of which are "anonymous." It criticizes LRC. I didn't add this, it's been around for awhile, and while your first WP:Bold removal was fine, you really shouldn't be reverting it twice in a matter of minutes without discussion. I agree that the main point of the article is criticizing Sheehan, but there is no policy that suggests that an entity has to be the main point of an article for its wiki page to cite that article. Steeletrap (talk) 17:19, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
Opinions only become significant when secondary sources pick them up. For example, newspaper endorsements of candidates typically make the news. When op-eds are covered in the media, reporters examine the facts of the claims made and ask the people mentioned to comment. Also, they are not reliable for facts. In this case they are commenting on facts which have not been established in secondary sources, that Sheehan and Tugman wrote for them. A secondary source for example might write something like, "The Sun, known for its strong pro-war views, criticized the site for publishing articles by anti-war activists. The site replied that although it did not endorse most of Sheehan's views, it was important to allow expression for anti-war views, regardless of political background." TFD (talk) 17:46, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
I think you're mistaken, TFD. If a source is reliable and it is independent, we can cite it even if additional media didn't cover what the source said. The question should be whether New York Sun is reliable. Steeletrap (talk) 17:57, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
The Sun may be reliable, but that is not the issue. The Sun is talking about Sheehan, who posted on LRC. If Sheehan had written something in the NYT or other publication, we would not be commenting about her posting in those articles. – S. Rich (talk) 18:38, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
See WP:NEWSORG: "Editorial commentary, analysis and opinion pieces, whether written by the editors of the publication (editorials) or outside authors (op-eds) are reliable primary sources for statements attributed to that editor or author, but are rarely reliable for statements of fact." BTW The Sun is rs. TFD (talk) 18:42, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the citation TFD. I am forced to agree with you, given the relevant policy. The other users, however, came to the right conclusion (removing The Sun) for the wrong reasons. Factual assertions about an entity do not need to be the main point of the article for it to be used in that entity's wii page. Steeletrap (talk) 21:29, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
As a caveat, I should note that if we were to find RS stating what The Sun states (e.g. connections to League of the South by author Tugman), we could publish the Sun's RS criticism of those facts, since we aren't using the Sun to establish them. Steeletrap (talk) 21:32, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
We could, but then we would have to establish the weight of the criticism, which is generally established by its coverage in secondary sources. TFD (talk) 21:49, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Tax/commercial status notation[edit]

I've removed the material about LRC as being a tax exempt organization. The AL Sec. of State does not list; the IRS does not list. The CA Sec. of State lists LRC as Entity Number: C3012417; Date Filed: 08/13/2007; Status: Suspended; Agent as Burton Blumert. This info comports with earlier mention that LRC changed status in 2007 because of the Ron Paul campaign. (Those refs from have been removed from the text.) A corporation in California will go into a "Suspended" status if it does not pay yearly corporation fees to the Sec. of State. Such a status does not imply any misbehavior. – S. Rich (talk) 19:37, 7 November 2013 (UTC)