Well, once again I have left the Classics list. Once again it has become clear that the topic of that list is 'bash George Bush', with some forays into bashing anyone who doesn't agree with the left-leaning politics of some of the more vociferous types on that list. Once again, I tried to get list members to see how silly it was by injecting Canadian politics into the discussion. Once again, a Canadian list member took that as an opportunity to bash the province I come from. Once again, folks who you would otherwise admire for their thinking with their heads turn to ad hominems as the preferred form of argument. And once again, the list owners have refused to step in and stop it (other than to censure me for strong language ... it's okay for someone else to question my humanity, but if I dare utter a four-letter word, well ...). Once upon a time, the listowners could use the excuse that they have to uphold free speech because the list is hosted by a university. Don't eat that Elmer ... Free speech isn't free if some participants fear having their metaphorical heads bitten off if they happen to disagree with what seems to be the majority (in that milieu) view, especially if the topic of discussion has nothing to do with the topic of the list. No one would complain about 'free speech' if some jerk came into a movie theatre, yelled 'fire' and was subsequently charged. Why should off topic discussions be tolerated on the Classics list? If other folks are tired of it, I cordially invite them to use the 'general Classics' area of our Classics Central forum. I'm very tempted to set up a yahoo list where Classics can be discussed via email in a civil fashion (if there's interest in this, drop me a line).