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For starters, it is a subject (OT or not) which started up on this list as a result of a very innocent question where the questioner asked "What is VAT?" The discussion came about in response to that question (although at times additional rants were added with respect to such things as VATs, sales taxes, and taxation in general among other things). My response which you quote in part and object to is very closely tied to responding to the original question by attempting to elaborate on the explanation of what a VAT is and is not as well as how it differs from the typical sales taxes that many in the US are accustomed to. Secondly, I did not respond privately because there are just too many know participants in the disucssion to respond to privately let alone those who are attending to the discussion but have not made themselves know as active participants. Obviously many on the list, who have been on the list for a long time, do not hold to the strict restrictive interpretation of the rules as to what can be said and discussed so as to prevent any and all off topic subjects and discussions. Many even accept this as a fact of life, engage in it themselves, and find that it makes the conversation much more human and causal. They have learned to ignore or deleate those discussions that the do not wish to read or participate in without creating a fuss, complaining, or getting annoyed (whether the discussions in question are on or off topic). It is only in those case where the dicussion has gone on for too long or is too far afield or has become too nasty that they raise a complaint and objection. Often at that point in time, the participants themselves realize this to be the case and accept the objection as legitimate. While this discussion may be beginning to verge on that border and your complaint is noted, I do not accept (I am not speaking for others on this list) your general premise that no off topic chatting should be permitted; nor do I accept you self assumed role as the list police since you are not the owner. That Mitch has not said stop - even given your complaining to him - should indicate that the specific topic has not reached the stage that is should be stopped in his eyes and that he judges these things on a thread by thread basis and not as a general across the board rule. Thus, maybe it is you who should search for another list if you do not like the way this one operates and not us. Indeed, why don't you start your own list so you will be able to be the one in charge and to control the discussions on it to your liking. Most of us do not deliberately bring up on a regulart basis any old off topic subject that we wish for discussion as you accuse; they seem as a natural function of human communication sort of rise up on their own as an artifact or byproduct of an ongoing on topic discussion as was the case in this discussion. I would say that most on this list are both willing to accept this as being a normal natural feature of forums and mailing lists which despite all futile efforts to contain and stop it persists. Your complaints not withstanding. In point of fact your complaints, really do nothing more than contribute to the off topic clutter that you complain about. -----Original Message----- From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of Charlie Sent: Sunday, March 31, 2002 7:02 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: VAT OT Why in the world can this not be sent PRIVATELY ! This and MANY of your posts are blatently against list rules and you know it ! Why can't you understand that this is not a 'chat' line for anything you might feel compelled to say? Those interested should join another e-list that encourages this and the other topics of your interest. Come on Mitch, I know you're out there and I hate to invoke your name, but enough is enough ! Charlie ----- Original Message ----- From: Laurie Solomon <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Saturday, March 30, 2002 11:32 PM Subject: RE: VAT > While you may be literally correct; the difference is that in most countries 'blah, blah, blah...' --- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.343 / Virus Database: 190 - Release Date: 3/22/02 - Turn off HTML mail features. Keep quoted material short. Use accurate subject lines. http://www.leben.com/lists for list instructions. - Turn off HTML mail features. Keep quoted material short. Use accurate subject lines. http://www.leben.com/lists for list instructions.