User talk:Babel41

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Responses to comments on "Mark Satin" article[edit]

[This entry consists of the introduction to my Mark Satin "Featured Article" nomination d. 6 January 2012, followed by my responses to Dank's, Noleander's, Brian's, and Jim's comments from November and December of 2011. - Babel41 (talk) 02:43, 7 January 2012 (UTC)]

I am nominating this biography (touching on Vietnam War-era draft dodging, New Age politics, and radical centrism) for featured article status because it has been carefully developed over time. This is its third FAC review. I first nominated it five months ago (August 11). In October I put it through a productive peer review. In November I re-nominated it here, but withdrew it (to save Wikipedia editors time and trouble) after I realized that all the editors were saying essentially the same thing: I needed to make sure the article was written in what one called the Wikipedia "house style." I have now done that - simplified words, shortened sentences, etc.

After the two brief notes below, I reprint 31 comments (from four editors) that I received during my second FAC review. Instead of responding to them there, I wrote a brief note saying I'd review my entire article with the spirit of those comments in mind. Now that I've done that, I have inserted responses after each of the comments below, to give you a better sense of how I've changed the article. (I responded to Nikkimaria's comments during my second FAC review, and you can see those and the entire second FAC review here.)

Note on citation style. I have retained the style I used in a 2005 revision (my original 2004 stub contained no references). It is a composite with the following major features: (1) first name before surname, as in the Bluebook; (2) all commas until the period at the end, as in the Bluebook; (3) no parentheses around dates or publishers (except around years of journals), as in the MLA Handbook; and (4) "p." or "pp." before page numbers, as is the practice of some American publishers.

Note on links in the "References" section. I have linked authors and publishers here only if they are not linked anywhere in the text or in the "Publications" section; and I have only linked authors or publishers here on first mention.

I would appreciate your reactions to the article, and I will respond to them here. - Babel41 (talk) 22:41, 5 January 2012 (UTC)


[Dank comments] - I've copyedited this a couple of times. It's different, but all good biographies are different, and they're a welcome addition at FAC, I think. - Dank (push to talk) 14:13, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure what "inductive" means in context. - Dank (push to talk) 20:48, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Done: I meant that Satin's New Options Newsletter was based on theories in his previous book, but that his Radical Middle Newsletter was ad hoc and experimental. I think I make that point clearly now, and without the use of the $50 word "inductive." - Babel41 (talk) 22:41, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
  • You have Satin referring to Americans alternately as "we" or "they"; try to standardize this. - Dank (push to talk) 21:23, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Done: In homage to Satin's attachment to the communal "we," I have attempted to change all relevant "they's" to "we's" or "us's." Babel41 (talk) 22:41, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

[End of Dank's comments.]

Noleander comments - I spent some time reading it, and I'm having a hard time finding any suggestions for improvement. Great article!

  • Sentence "He was not even against the draft, telling reporters he would support it for a defensive army ..." could be better. "Even" sounds too informal; and the sentence seems at odds with the rest of the article. Maybe a better wording would be "He was not entirely opposed to the draft, explaining that he would conditionally support it for ..."
Done: I ended up choosing a construction similar to yours: "He was not necessarily opposed to the draft. ..." Later in the article, I eliminated another inappropriate "even." - Babel41 (talk) 22:41, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
  • External links: the link for "New World Alliance and New Options Correspondence Files, 1977–1992" goes to a search page result. Better would be for the link to go the actual page (after clicking on the link in the search results).
Done: I agree! The problem here is that the URL to the actual Files page is over 100 characters long, and after a couple of weeks it stopped working on Wikipedia. (The search page has a shorter URL and leads with the Files link.) Anyway: I have restored the long Files link, and hopefully it will last now. I have also e-mailed the relevant person at the Contemporary Culture Collection at Temple University Libraries, and asked him to simplify the URL so we can link to it with confidence on Wikipedia. - Babel41 (talk) 22:41, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Tense: The tense seems to shift back and forth between present and past. ... [A long discussion between Dank and Noleander has been edited out here. - Babel.]
Addressed: Satin is still alive (age 65 and going blind), but many of his projects - the Progranme, the Alliance, the newsletters - are no longer with us. I have gone through the article with a fine-tooth comb, making sure that Satin's books and ideas are consistently presented in the present tense, even though his terminated projects are necessarily discussed in the past tense. When books and projects are mentioned in the same sentence (just once, I believe), I use the past tense. - Babel41 (talk) 22:41, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

End of Noleander comments. --Noleander (talk) 15:14, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Comments [from Brian]: This looks an interesting and comprehensive article. I note that it has been through FAC before, and more recently underwent an extensive peer review. However, in reading through the first few sections I identified a number of issues which I think require further attention:


The lead's function is that of a broad outline summary of the main article, and at present I think there is too much detail, for example in the following extract: "Satin wrote the book New Age Politics, published by Dell in 1979. Despite what some see as its off-putting title, New Age Politics is widely recognized as the first, most ambitious, or most adequate attempt to construct an original political ideology out of the social movements of the post-Vietnam era. It identifies an emergent "third force" in North America pursuing such goals as simple living, decentralism, and global responsibility." For the purposes of the lead I would reduce this to: "Satin wrote New Age Politics, in which he identifies an emergent "third force" in North America, pursuing such goals as simple living, decentralism, and global responsibility." Likewise in the third paragraph, there is scope for summarisation.

Done: Because the subject of my bio has led such an unusual life, and is not a big media star, I thought it was important to establish, in the Introduction, that his books are from major publishers and his ideas are substantial. I see now that I was thinking like a journalist, not like an encyclopedist. I have shortened the second and third paragraphs by over 100 words, partly by adopting your language here. - Babel41 (talk) 22:41, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Early years

  • Beware POVish phrasing. e.g. "Satin appeared to be a model citizen" and "But another side surfaced..."
Done: Good catches, thanks. I eliminated these and caught another POVish phrase later in the article. - Babel41 (talk) 22:41, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
  • We need a clearer picture of Satin's undergraduate career. He drops out of the University of Illinois, and is then told to leave Midwestern State University (how did he get to be there?), before we find him dropping out of State University of New York at Binghamton – again with no information as to how he came to be there. Apart from these frequent shifts, what was he supposedly studying at these places – surely that must be on record somewhere?
Addressed: I am afraid I misled you (and other viewers) by the way I began that paragraph. Satin's undergraduate career was undistinguished, and is noteworthy for only one thing: the way it foreshadowed the restlessness and rebelliousness that characterized his adult life. I now begin the paragraph by stating that his early life was characterized by restlessness and rebelliousness (with links to two good sources), and present his behavior at the three schools in that context. - Babel41 (talk) 22:41, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
  • The third paragraph reads somewhat mawkishly. This is not appropriate material for an encyclopedia, though maybe for the Ladies' Home Journal
Done: Agreed. I do want to note the tension between Satin and his parents, though: it may help us understand what drove him (as Roger Neville Williams suggests in the "Legacy" section). It also helps make the "Later life" section more understandable. So I rewrote that paragraph to read much more soberly, and end it by citing sources showing that Satin's feelings were shared by many draft dodgers at that time. - Babel41 (talk) 22:41, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Toronto Anti-Draft Programme

  • "He added that he was "tired of" talking to the press". I don't know what this adds to the article, or why "tired of" requires quotes
Addressed: The phrase "tired of" is so common that it does not need quotes, and I removed them as you suggested. (But I did leave that passage in there, because it provides good evidence for the point I make two paragraphs down: one of the ways Satin broke with the Programme's culture was by courting the press, rather than treating it with indifference or disdain.) I went on to eliminate quote marks from other words and phrases elsewhere in the article. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • "valorizing"? Is there a verb "to valorize"? (If there is, there shouldn't be). ... Correcting myself! There is a verb "to valorize", but it means something completely different: "to fix and maintain an artificial price for a commodity by government action". So the word needs changing here.
Done: Google's first definition of "valorizing" is giving or ascribing value to something. Merriam-Webster's second def. of "valorize" is to assign value or merit to something. Both definitions are consistent with the way I used the word, and the way it's commonly used in academic discourse at least in my part of the woods. But your larger point is well taken: why use a $50 word where a simpler word will do? So I changed valorizing to "praising," and I simplified other words over the course of the article. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • "Instead of emphasizing the difficulties of emigration, Satin emphasized..." Repetition
Done: I have a weakness for parallel constructions, which Wikipedia calls parallelisms - repetitive verbal constructions that allow for quick and easy comparisons between thoughts or behaviors. They are not uncommon in academic writing. I appreciate your point that they are not welcome on Wikipedia, and I have eliminated them not only here but elsewhere in the article, including one in the "Radical Middle, the book" sub-section that went on for two paragraphs! - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Consecutive sentences beginning "Instead of..."
Done: That is more parallelism, and it is gone now (see my response immediately above). - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Over-complex sentences, e.g.: "Instead of refusing to "baby sit" Americans after they arrived, Satin made post-emigration assistance a top priority – the office soon sported comfortable furniture, a hot plate, and free food,[25] and within a few months, 200 Torontonians had opened their homes to war resisters and a job-finding service had been established". Apart from two "ands", the construction is made awkward by the use of the ndash in mid-sentence.
Done: I eliminated the n-dash and divided that sentence into two (and added a semicolon to the second sentence). Following your lead here, I divided other long sentences over the course of the article. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Some of the phrasing is overelaborate, e.g. "exuding indifference"
Done: To me, "exude" is just good English. David Brooks used the word twice last Saturday, on NPR. But thanks to you (and Nikkimaria, and Jim), I see now that Wikipedia's house style is to use the plainest and clearest words possible (short of oversimplification). Therefore, I have replaced "exuding" with "expressing," and I have replaced most of my other favorite words in the Satin article. (Getting rid of "a plethora of" was the hardest for me.) And I must confess, the writing now draws less attention to itself. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • "He was 21 years old" at the end of the subsection looks gratuitous; what purpose is this information serving?
Done: The purpose of that brief sentence was (a) to remind the reader that, despite the enormity of the events discussed, Satin was just a kid; and (b) to provide a marker signaling the end of the first (radical) phase of Satin's political life, just as a similar sentence at the end of the "Ten Key Values" sub-section - "He was 45 years old" - provided a marker signaling the end of the second (New Age) phase of his political life. However, since this does not appear to work for you, I assume it will not work for many other readers. So I have eliminated both sentences. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada

  • There is a tendency towards the overuse of quotation marks, especially for unremarkable terms like "useful", "detailed advice", "warm welcome", "ecourage" etc. These words or terms aren't worth putting in quotes, which should be reserved for rather more striking comments.
Done: Agreed. I have eliminated the quote marks from all those words, with the esception of "useful." (When America's leading book review called Satin's draft dodger manual "useful" in 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War, it was an act of courage or extreme foolhardiness, depending on your POV; the word needs to be quoted to be believed). As explained above, I have eliminated quote marks from many other words throughout the article. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • "re-envision"? Is that the word used in the source? If so, I think that is a case for using a direct quote, not just of this rather dubious word but of the context in which the source uses it.
Done: The source, an academic named David Churchill, uses an even more dubious word, "prefigured." I did quote him originally, but paraphrased the quote after my first FAC review, when Wiki editors told me I was using too many lengthy quotes. I have revised my paraphrase in response to your comment, eliminating "re-envision" and using the admirably simple phrase "came to see," and I think the paraphrase now gets Churchill's meaning across more deftly than a quote from him would do (plus Churchill's article is now online, and I link to it on first mention). - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • What is "House of Anansi"? Publishers?
Done: Exactly, they are the publishers of Satin's Manual. Anansi's entire name ("House of Anansi Press") is mentioned at the beginning of the "Manual" sub-section. But to make sure that the reader remembers, I do two new things now: (a) I reproduce the entire name in the middle of the paragraph you reference, in a context that makes it clear who they are, and (b) instead of referring to "House of Anansi" at the end of that paragraph, I refer to "House of Anansi Press." Thus the paragraph is less streamlined, but totally clear. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

That is all I have time for at present. I will try to add comments on the rest, but it looks to me as though a little more work is necessary before this article is ready for promotion. Brianboulton (talk) 23:32, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Comments from Jim You've put a good deal of work into this, but I feel there are still some issues with the text — I know nothing about the content. Jimfbleak - talk to me? 16:15, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

  • I agree [with Brian] that the lead is too detailed, book publishers, synopses etc
Done: I condensed the Introduction by over 100 words - no book publishers, no superlatives, no awards, brief mentions of political-intellectual directions rather than synopses. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • In high school, Satin appeared to be a model citizen – for example, he wrote a regular column on teenage affairs for the Moorhead newspaper.[9] But another side surfaced within months of his leaving for university.[22] — It's not my experience that people who write to newspapers are "model citizens"; quite the opposite often. The whole of the quoted section feels a bit popular biography rather than encyclopaedic
Done: Good points. The section now acknowledges Satin's early restlessness and rebelliousness, and it does away with the drama at the end, replacing family pyrotechnics with the simple fact of the chasm between Satin and his parents (and evidence that such chasms were common between draft dodgers and their families). These points are important for understanding the "Later life" section, and the paragraph on the roots of Satin's rebelliousness in the "Legacy" section. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • for refusing to sign a loyalty oath to the United States Constitution. — As a Brit, I'd welcome a link or explanation here. Is this a federal requirement, Texas, only or a maverick university? Do non-Americans take the oath too?
Done: This is a fascinating and almost forgotten topic. I created a brief Note on it, with links to the relevant pages in two reputable books. (During the McCarthy era, and until the late Sixties in places like Texas, students and profs at some state universities did have to take loyalty oaths.) Because of your questions here, I realized there were other tangential points of interest my article may have raised, and I created a number of other Notes in an effort to address them. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • trimester — which means?
Done: College terms in the U.S. are semesters, trimesters, or quarters. In order to avoid this distracting explanation, I simply say "term" now. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • The night Satin arrived in Canada, he struggled to hold back tears — More Mills & Boon than encyclopaedia
Done: Agreed. As I explain above (and to Brian, further above), I got rid of the melodrama here, while retaining the basic fact of the tension between Satin and his family, which may have affected his political and life choices. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • valorizing — My dictionary says it's to do with stabilizing prices, ao I can't see what it means here. In any case, such an obscure word is best avoided
Done: Well, my dictionary defines "valorizing" exactly as I used it in the article (see my note about this word to Brian above). But I totally agree with your main point, that I should avoid obscure or difficult or pretentious words. So I removed "valorizing" and other such words throughout the text. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Throughout the article instead of is overused
Done: This is generally when I am engaging in parallel constructions, or parallelisms, which I find felicitous in academic writing but which I (now, finally, do) understand is not appropriate for our encyclopedia. I have eliminated the vast majority of the "instead ofs" throughout the text. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Androgynous — needs link
Done: Before my first FAC review I was apparently overlinking (I had U.S. high school student readers in mind); now I may err on the side of underlinking. I've worked hard to get the balance right. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Biblical Christians — I thought all Christians were biblical? If this means fundamentalist or literalist, perhaps a gloss or link, similarly if it's a campaigning group
Done: In the U.S., "Biblical" is now the preferred term among many fundamentalist and evangelical Christians; many of them feel that those other terms have become terms of opprobrium or at least mild condescension. However, as you point out, "Biblical" has its own problems. So I have replaced "Biblical Christians" with "conservative Christians." That seems to me to be precise enough, and it has the advantage of being a parallel description to that of the group they're coupled with in the sentence, "left-wing intellectuals." - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Among Biblical Christians... I struggled with the whole of the para, particularly as the unlinked authors aren't given a nationality. Are we just talking about adverse views in the US? If so, that should be made clear.
Done: I have now specified, in the sentence immediately preceding that paragraph, that all these critics are within the U.S. The are all significant, even those that are unlinked: Cumbey's book was a bestseller, Rhodes's and Groothuis's books were brought out by major Christian publishing houses, Cummings and Hess are professors with well-received later books under their belts, and Dana Cloud has long been a target of the far right, in part because of her interest in radical thinkers and ideologies. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Was there no criticism from eg Sweden or Germany — it doesn't sound like the sort of book to be accepted uncritically in any country.
Addressed: I have created several new Notes to convey what I know about Satin and Europe. The only substantial critique of Satin's writing I've seen from a Euro-left perspective actually comes from an American, the aforementioned Dana Cloud, who is steeped in European Marxist and neo-Marxist thinking. She has written two essays putting Satin's ideas up against the writing of non-North American post-Marxists, and I cite them in my Notes. Other Notes convey more neutral material. One points to mainstream Swedish interest in Satin's and other New Agers' ideas. Another tells of German and Austrian contributors to the German edition of New Age Politics. Another links readers to the very best bibliography I've seen combining New Age political writings from Europe and North America, including Satin's. (It is in a master's thesis from 2008 from Aarhus University in Denmark. I know Wikipedia generally does not favor citations to M.A. theses, but I hope I can get around that by citing only to the bibliography - it is that good.) Also in that Note, I cite the criticism of Europe's arguably most prominent political thinker, Slavoj Zizek, who takes New Age ideology seriously (unlike many radical activists) but focuses, as he often does, not on ideologists like Satin but on popular works like The Celestine Prophesy. Zizek's criticisms are not dissimilar to Dana Cloud's. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
  • woundedness — not in my dictionary, best to avoid neologisms or obscure words
Done: I love the expressiveness of that word, but it's gone now (along with hopefully all other such words; see above). The passage does read better as a result. - Babel41 (talk) 03:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

[End of Jim's comments.] - Jimfbleak - talk to me? 16:15, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Listening.jpg[edit]

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Re: Copyright problem[edit]

Yes check.svg DoneThanks for this. I did what you said. And on August 10, 2011, I replaced that image with a different one with no copyright issues.Babel41 (talk) 03:55, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Help with the Mark Satin biography[edit]

I'm here to help, and IMNSHO, I can help. You're clearly a brilliant writer, you clearly know your subject, and it's not inconceivable that the article will pass FAC, but please understand a couple of things about FAC:

  • The reviewers depend very much on each other, on previous reviewers, and on how the community has responded to articles; no one reviewer knows enough to evaluate an article. This article has sprung fully formed, like Athena, and landed at FAC. It would take me a week solely devoted to the sources of this article before I'd be comfortable saying that it passes WP:UNDUE ... so I almost never do that, I tend to focus on fiddly copyediting points, but I put a lot of stock in how Wikipedians knowledgeable in the general subject area have responded. I don't have that here, and I'm hesitant to support without it. There are solutions we can explore, but not instant solutions.
  • Opposes tend to come quickly at FAC even for some articles that have only minor problems ... it doesn't mean we dislike the article, it means we're doing what we've been told to do by the FAC delegates. If there are many early supports and opposes followed by a lot of changes, the delegates have no way of knowing if early supports are still valid, and work needs to get done twice. In fact, there's a current discussion at WT:FAC about requiring that articles go through other review processes before being nominated at FAC.
  • You're in luck ... your article is of interest to my main area of interest, the military history project, one of the most active and supportive projects on Wikipedia, and I've tagged the article as such. If a delegate fails to promote the article at FAC, my recommendation is that you pass on peer review and come straight to our A-class review, a fairly high-level review that rarely garners quick opposes, where we'll have time to work through all the issues that are likely to come up in a future FAC.
  • In any event, best of luck. - Dank (push to talk) 12:44, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay, the delegate has closed that FAC ... I've got some other stuff to work on at the moment, but feel free to follow the instructions aet WP:MHR any time to create an A-class review. If you prefer, WP:PRH is the project-wide peer review for history-related articles, but feedback tends to be sparser there. - Dank (push to talk) 12:40, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Babel, I will end the edit war under three conditions:

 1)  The word "coward" must be in The "Assessment" section;
 2)  No association of Satin to Benjamin Franklin;
 3)  Keep the change where I removed your characterization of Ann Coulter as a "militant" which anyone with a sensible mind should know is a libelous terminology of that woman.  She is only a right wing political commentator, not a "militant".

Let's work together on this. I am a reasonable person, and I hope you are, too.--Michael W. Parker (talk) 11:25, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Talkback between Dank and Babel[edit]

Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, Babel41. You have new messages at WT:MIL.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

- Dank (push to talk) 19:43, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Well, sorry my guess was wrong there, we didn't get a lot of reviews. I have no objection if you want to head back to FAC; you're not responsible if reviewers don't show up. I'll finish copyediting this in the morning. - Dank (push to talk) 03:42, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Changed my mind; it would be better to run this through Wikipedia's main peer review before FAC; try WP:PRH. You'll get at least some feedback there. Peer reviews can last for up to 4 weeks, but you can stop at any point if you've had some helpful reviews and you're in a hurry to get back to FAC. - Dank (push to talk) 13:38, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
I've just checked your edits through New Age politics, 1970s – 1980s ... really impressive work. - Dank (push to talk) 15:02, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Replying to your message on my talk page ... no apologies needed, you're doing great. No one notices hyphens vs. dashes; personally I think it's a non-issue. Feel free to keep the hyphen. - Dank (push to talk) 23:48, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I think it's ready for FAC and will do well at FAC, assuming Nikki and Ealdgyth are content with your responses to their points. The scarce resource at FAC is reviewers, and reviewers tend to pick shorter articles to review first ... so it's possible this may have to go through a couple rounds at FAC waiting for enough reviewers. - Dank (push to talk) 15:41, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

No need to try to answer the question on my talk page, she just wanted to make it clear what her position is. We'll probably get a few reviews on your article within a week or two. - Dank (push to talk) 00:36, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

OK, you dissuaded me. Here's what I would have said:
SandyGeorgia: Have spent over an hour trying to find the passage and can't. Should have linked it; sorry. As I recall, it was a passionate defense of the need for Wikipedia to continue to enforce its high editing standards, and as a writer-editor, I identified with it and the spirit behind it. I believe it was in response to a claim that aspects of Wikipedia's writing or editing process had deteriorated since 2005. The context (if I remember correctly) was an internal discussion among Wikipedia editors from a couple of years ago. - Babel41 (talk) 08:18, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Sorry that didn't go as I hoped; this must be very frustrating. - Dank (push to talk) 04:06, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Counseling draft dodgers in Toronto 1967[edit]

Draft dodgers being counseled 1967.jpg
Your Featured picture candidate has been promoted
Your nomination for featured picture status, File:Draft dodgers being counseled 1967.jpg, gained a consensus of support, and has been promoted. If you would like to nominate another image, please do so at Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates. Makeemlighter (talk) 22:31, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Barnstar for seven Wikipedia editors[edit]

After winning a "Featured Article" award, as my Mark Satin article did on February 16, 2012, it is customary for the nominator or principal author to send a customized "barnstar" to the Wikipedia editors who helped bring the article up to snuff. I thought you'd enjoy seeing the barnstar I sent them, along with some of their replies:

Barnstar-abc.png The Helping Hands Barnstar
Dear Dank, Brianboulton, Ealdgyth, Ed, Jimfbleak, Nikkimaria, and Noleander, - I could not have brought the Mark Satin bio up to Featured Article status without the unique contributions (not to mention tact and patience) of each of you. I am probably two to three times your age, and not at home with this technology. But working with you gave me a glimpse of a beautiful 21st century world in which individual initiative, collectively honed, can produce socially (in)valuable work that is also first-rate. God bless! - Babel41 (talk) 23:48, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Actually, Dank, I can't even begin to express my debt to you. At least the Barnstar is a pretty picture. - Babel41 (talk) 06:47, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Hey, that works for me, always happy to get a barnstar I haven't seen before. Your dedication is inspiring. - Dank (push to talk) 13:10, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

If you are three times my age, you are the world record-holder by a very considerable margin. But thank you for your generous tribute, and congratulations on bringing this fine aticle to featured status. I look forward to its future mainpage appearance. Brianboulton (talk) 10:05, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for kind words. If you are two or three times my age, you probably remember Babel (: Jimfbleak - talk to me? 07:39, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. You did a great job on the article! --Noleander (talk) 13:07, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Also, from the Featured Articles administrator:

Congratulations on the promotion; you've done some impressive work on the article, and your diligence in checking the references is commendable. Ucucha (talk) 03:13, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks guys. - Babel41 (talk) 04:15, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for September 4[edit]

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I appreciate this message and will correct the link to the admirable Theodore Roszak (scholar) immediately. - Babel41 (talk) 22:24, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for February 17[edit]

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Your note[edit]

No, I understand completely. I've left Carol a note. Looking forward to more of your wonderful articles ... let me know when they hit the review processes (WP:GAN, WP:MHR, etc.) - Dank (push to talk) 11:23, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for this Dank. I am deeply proud of Radical centrissm and may put it up for review later on, but am totally exhaused from it now (hundreds of hours ovr the last six months). And hey, it's more about the 2000s than the 60s and 70s. - Babel41 (talk) 22:32, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
That's a lot of work, I hope you'll get it reviewed after you have a chance to recuperate. - Dank (push to talk) 22:38, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

POTD notification[edit]

Hi Babel,

Just to let you know that the Featured Picture File:Draft dodgers being counseled 1967.jpg is due to make an appearance as Picture of the Day on May 14, 2013. If you get a chance, you can check and improve the caption at Template:POTD/2013-05-14. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:42, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

Your changes on the Radical Center page[edit]

Babel41 Apologies in advance for any violation of guidelines here. I am learning the process You made edits on the following article: Specifically you made a comment that the organization link was a promo site. I happen to know that it is a legitimate organizational site of the Centrist Foundation. There are no ads or anything to suggest it is a promo site. I am requesting you check it out and restore that site's listing on this page. Thank you in advance abraham 02:46, 21 March 2014 (UTC)amadha0719 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amadha0719 (talkcontribs)

Hello Amadha. I have gone to the JustStreetSense website again; others should check it out at Just Street Sense. I am afraid there are two reasons why the site should not be listed in the radical centrism article.
First, the Wikipedia article is meant specifically for radical centrism, and your website is for centrism in general. We want to keep our focus specifically on radical centrism, already an enormous topic as you can see from the length of our article. Moreover, there is a Wikipedia article specifically on centrism, entitled, not surprisingly, Centrism, and your website would be more appropriaely listed there if anywhere. However, note my second point below.
Second, and at least as decisive, is that Wikipedia is an encucliopedia. It is not a social media site to help organizations and websites recruit participants. (There are plenry of those now, and I hope JustStretSense takes advantage of them.) Wikipedia's purpose is to report on the most prominent actors, books and organizations under each subject heading, just as any hard-copy encyclopedia would do, and the radical centrism aricle is very careful to do that. Earlier, the radical centrism artcle got in troubble for listing too many small or start-up organizaions and websites - it had become what in Wikipedia circles is known as a "clothes horse" or a "promo site" - and we had to whittle them down to the most essentil. If you look under entries 18 and 20 on the radical centrism talk page, Talk:Radical center (politics), you can learn more about that, and find references to the Wikipedia rules that come into play here.
I hope this explanation is helpful to you, and I am sure you can and will find more appropriate forums on which to link your website. Best, - Babel41 (talk) 05:41, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Today's Featured Article: Notification[edit]

This is to inform you that Mark Satin, which you nominated at WP:FAC, will appear on the Main Page as Today's Featured Article on 9 January 2015. The proposed main page blurb is here; you may amend if necessary. Please check for dead links and other possible faults before the appearance date. Brianboulton (talk) 10:11, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

I had to squeeze the text down to about 1200 characters; was there anything I left out you'd like to see put back in? - Dank (push to talk) 21:51, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Dear Brian and Dank, - This is great news! I am so glad that all the exacting work that went into that article, not least of all by you two, has led to its getting in front of a potentially large audience. And the timing's great - such a moment of political turmoil and questioning in the U.S. right now.
I am afraid I am caught up in Christmas festivities (or at least "festivities") at the moment. But I promise I will check for dead links and other faults by the end of the weekend (I've actually been doing this periodically since April 2012) and will review the 1200 characters as well. All best, - Babel41 (talk) 00:39, 25 December 2014 (UTC)


Cornflower blue Yogo sapphire.jpg

Mark Satin
Thank you, user who wants to change the world, for your quality article Mark Satin, with political perspectives on "an emerging culture focused on simple living, decentralism, and global responsibility", for detailed edit summaries with the mantra "adding material" - you are an awesome Wikipedian!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:26, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

A year ago, you were recipient no. 1087 of Precious, a prize of QAI! --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:05, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

Two years now! --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:31, 9 January 2017 (UTC)


After engaging in an edit war of sorts with the author of this interesting, albeit politically polarizing, article about the draft dodger Mark Satin it seems that Babel41 has given some ground and so have I and a mutual understanding has been reached. I will no longer try to "degrade" this article. I see that certain changes that I requested have been made, to-wit:

1) The correlation between Satin and Benjamin Franklin has been removed, as well as Ben's picture.

2) The libelous definition of Ann Coulter has been changed to my satisfaction.

I will acquiesce to the author's request that Satin not be called a "coward". I guess that it just my opinion. I don't hate the guy I just disagree with his choice. Certainly Mr. Satin doesn't believe he deserves that title, nor does the author of the Mark Satin article who vehemently opposed my desire to have that word inserted into the article.

Thank you, Babel41, for being a reasonable person with whom I could reach agreement. It is not my policy to degrade articles. My mission is to improve articles and I think I have succeeded.--Michael W. Parker (talk) 16:51, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Dear Michael, - I was touched to discover your note (above) just now. Also quite stunned, since we have not communicated until this moment. So I have no idea how you can say a "mutual understanding has been reached"!
I do understand that you find parts of the article dismaying. However, it tells Satin’s story from a strictly neutral point of view – otherwise it could never have become a Featured Article at Wikipedia and I could never have received the award mentioned just above your note.
FYI, I hold no brief for Satin. I think he is a far more interesting figure than most of the radicals from his generation that are better known; that's why I chose to write about him. But the article does not seek to defend him or to pretty up his life.
That brings me to your edits.
1.) Michael, please remember, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. It is a record of what credible sources - including, in a biography, the biographee - say about a subject, preferably in books or published articles. It is not a record of what Wikipedia editors think should have been said or think of as legitimate. That is why I am going to have to restore the Ben Franklin picture. Franklin is the foundational political figure in Satin's book Radical Middle; the quote in the article comes from a section called "Franklin to Peters to You." You may not like the fact that Satin draws on Franklin in that way. But it is a fact, Michael, and so the picture belongs there. I will give you a chance to restore it before I do.
2. The reference to Ann Coulter as a "partisan militant" is not my view. It is a paraphrase of what the cited source, Larry Cox, said in his book review of Radical Middle in the Tucson Citizen in 2004. His actual words were "antidote for the nastiness and attack-dog mentality of Ann Coulter." I paraphrased that to shorten it. Please know that when you see passages you don't like in the Satin article, they are faithful renditions of material (that you might not like). They are not figments of Babel41's imagination. I will look at how you changed the passage. Perhaps in today's world, with ISIS et al., "militant" has an frightening ring that should be avoided. I will reconsider the wording in light of 2015. But I've been reading Ann Coulter since her National Review days, and for most of that time I suspect she'd have enjoyed being called a militant.
3. I saw briefly this afternoon that you've made many other changes to the article. I will review them all but not right away, I am afraid I am rather frail and have other obligations both domestic and work-related. If I reverse many of your changes, please don't take it personally. The Satin article represents an extremely careful reading of the sources. The sources do not always state what you, or I, or both of us, might consider to be politically wise.
4. Now this may surprise you, but I want you to know that I spent part of yesterday working on a way to put the c-word (coward) into the Assessments section of the article – a way that would not violate Wikipedia's cardinal rules of Nettral Point of View and No Original Research. To the best of my knowledge (and I have seen all the sources in the Wikipedia article), Satin has never been described as a coward in a credible source. However, I believe your perspective on Satin's draft evasion is shared, or would be shared, by tens of millions of people, and I feel the article should attempt to accommodate that view in some way in the Assessments section. I wrote a small note yesterday explaining my feelings and will look it over and put it up below, hopefully tomorrow or as soon as I alter the Assessments section accordingly. [Update: I ended up putting it at the bottom of the talk page of the Mark Satin article.] - Babel41 (talk) 05:04, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
@Babel41: Mr. Parker has indicated in his talk page that he will "cease and desist" from his intention to disrupt this article. As I stated in Bishonen's talk page, we would like to make this right. Do you think it's worth it to roll back the edits back in time before the disruption began? Please let me know and I will assist in any way I can. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 16:20, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Dear Mr. Free Range Frog, - God bless you, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this. I will look carefully at all Parker's edits (unfortunately, that will have to wait until late tomorrow) and then get back to you. - Babel41 (talk) 07:22, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Make sure you ping me or leave a message on my talk page so I don't miss it. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 18:15, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

I applaud you, Babel, for making this change to the article. I was relieved when you correctly ascertained that tens of millions, if not a clear majority of Americans, whether they donned a uniform in combat or not, may feel differently about Satin and the choice he made to not serve his country in wartime. The Vietnam War was a tumultuous time, and he was a very young man, so I very clearly understand why he made the difficult choice he did. Your edit enhances your article rather than detract from it because it is historically correct. I don't have any more edits for the article - it is perfect as it stands.EditorExtraordinaire (talk) 08:11, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't have a problem with Ben Franklin being in the article either. Like an idiot I didn't realize how important Franklin was to Satin's cause having not researched Satin at all (unlike you) prior to first reading your article. I am a relative beginner on Wiki and unfortunately most of my blunders have been in how I've dealt with the Satin article. On the other 600+ edits I've done I simply did my thing (which is almost always accepted and kept in the articles) and went on my merry way to the next edit. On the Satin article, instead of working with you in a civil manner, I let my emotions get in the way and just barged straight ahead like a bull in a china shop. I sincerely apologize for my actions, to include stressing a frail senior citizen. I was properly punished: several admins kicked my derriere all the way down the hall. By the way, I am not a spring chicken either so in this ordeal I have imparted stress upon myself! It is time for us both to relax.EditorExtraordinaire (talk) 09:05, 17 January 2015 (UTC) (formerly Parker)

If you described Coulter as a "partisan political militant" that would be even better. That would make it very clear that she isn't being portrayed as the gun wielding definition of militant. Just a suggestion, and a reasonable one I think.EditorExtraordinaire (talk) 18:05, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Hi Michael and EditorExtraordinaire, - I appreciate your courtesy for thanking me earlier today for my re-edits. I do think your concern that people will think my source (Larry Cox of the Tucson Citizen) was talking about Ann Coulter as a military-style militant is overblown; it should be obvious from the context that he is contrasting Satin's everyone-has-a-handle-on-the-truth approach to Coulter's fiercely partisan approach. I linked her so people could see who Cox was talking about, and I left your link to militant in there just in case some truly innocent readers need to know more about the concept. That is enough.
I am sorry the article about Satin rubbed you the wrong way. Satin interests me because, unlike most of the other radicals of his generation, he spent most of his life trying to create original alternatives to liberalism and socialism. (And many liberals and socialists did not appreciate that, as the article makes clear!) He deserves to be better known. I suspect he would be better known if he'd chosen to write more like Coulter, or Laura Ingraham, or Michael Savage. - Babel41 (talk) 08:44, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Getting back to Mark Satin[edit]

Hi Babel41. I read through the points you left in my talk page and I was kinda going to action them but then I noticed the part where some links were removed for preparation for the front page and your comment that consistency is important there... then my last revert and subsequent edits by you. So I'm not sure at this point that I want to be reverting wholesale without first making sure you're OK with that. Or, have you excised all the problematic content? Let me know, I'm watching your talk page. I just don't want to make things worse! §FreeRangeFrogcroak 16:58, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Hi Frog, thanks for your continuing concern. As you'll see from the Mark Satin History page, several senior editors or administrators stepped in and got rid of the politically and maliciously motivated edits, and (as I told you I'd do two days ago), I reverted all the substantive edits that needed to be reverted, since (as you told me) content edits are not your bailiwick. Also, in the spirit of Wikipedia, Michael Parker and I have made our personal peace, as you can see from the above.
Thus you have done all you can do for me at present, and I will not contact you until another irate person begins to hack away at the article. Satin accumulated many enemies over the years, conservatives, Marxists, liberals, Greens (someone labeled him a "twot" on the Infobox this month, that could have been anyone). I hope someday this article will receive the protection it needs and deserves, more experiences like this will do me in. - Babel41 (talk) 09:20, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
That's good to know. I was worried I'd have to dive in and screw something up! Please know that there are those of us who think this is still an encyclopedia, and appreciate and respect all the work editors like you put into these excellent articles. Hopefully this episode was an aberration and will never happen again. But if it does, don't hesitate to reach out. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 18:18, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

You appear to be eligible to vote in the current Arbitration Committee election. The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to enact binding solutions for disputes between editors, primarily related to serious behavioural issues that the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the ability to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail. If you wish to participate, you are welcome to review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. For the Election committee, MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 13:02, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

A page you started (New World Alliance) has been reviewed![edit]

Thanks for creating New World Alliance, Babel41!

Wikipedia editor VQuakr just reviewed your page, and wrote this note for you:

Fascinating article; thanks!

To reply, leave a comment on VQuakr's talk page.

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ArbCom Elections 2016: Voting now open![edit]

Scale of justice 2.svg Hello, Babel41. Voting in the 2016 Arbitration Committee elections is open from Monday, 00:00, 21 November through Sunday, 23:59, 4 December to all unblocked users who have registered an account before Wednesday, 00:00, 28 October 2016 and have made at least 150 mainspace edits before Sunday, 00:00, 1 November 2016.

The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to impose binding solutions to disputes between editors, primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the authority to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail.

If you wish to participate in the 2016 election, please review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 22:08, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

Some stroopwafels for you![edit]

Gaufre biscuit.jpg Thank you for your kind message; I'm sorry for you that I didn't agree with your edits, but I highly appreciate your response. And yes, the bells must ring these days. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 12:30, 23 February 2017 (UTC)