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Re: Joe's reinstatement in HG.org effort

Postby Free » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:06 am

Bob Kuczewski wrote:I'm not going to argue the point as to whether my shaming was strategically or tactically wise or unwise. Only time will make that determination.

But I will say that I've worked to make the U.S. Hawks fair for everyone. Everyone here has just as much a right to criticize me as I have to criticize them - no more and no less.


Thank you for your willingness to allow criticism. What I'm going to criticize now is the misconstruing of what you now don't want to argue about.
You are not understanding what I've tried to say when you write:
I'm not going to argue the point as to whether my shaming was strategically or tactically wise or unwise.

I never tried to say that (your) shaming was wise or unwise. That was Rick's drama. Not mine.
Two different things: Shaming versus attacking Red and Frank for not doing something you wanted them to do.

I'm not going to say the first was wise or not. I think it was a fine tactical maneuver. It served a purpose. It accomplished something.
It was certainly nothing that would cause the destruction of what the Hawks is supposed to be.

Attacking Frank and Red, on the other hand, was both strategically and tactically unwise. That is plain to see right now. No need to wait for the future to make that determination. We could take a poll. Who thinks this was a smart tactical move to advance USHAWKS or the original goal of USHGRS advancement?

The rest of your last post was a winner. That's what we all like to see. Good strategy and a good tactic, even if you didn't mean it.
I hope this clears up any confusion.
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Re: Joe's reinstatement in HG.org effort

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:40 am

Hi Warren,

I'm not sure exactly what you mean about attacking versus shaming. Can you mention some specific quotes?

My impression (from my memory) is that I said it was shameful for Red and Frank to not speak up for Joe while they were both aware of Joe's banning and were both actively posting about other things of their own interest. Again, it's my impression (again from my memory) that they both "attacked" me because they didn't like me saying it was shameful for them to remain silent.

Of course it's reasonable to say that my statement about "shameful silence" was an attack on them. I wouldn't argue against that view. But I'd like to see examples where I attacked first other than saying their silence was shameful.

By the way, I'm asking sincerely. In the heat of an argument people can say things in ways that they didn't mean. So if you see something where I "attacked" (other than pointing out silence as shameful), please let me know. Maybe they deserve an apology if I did that. Thanks.

At this time, I still feel it was (and is) shameful for Frank and Red to be supporting hanggliding.org with their active posting while knowing that Joe Faust was (and remains) unfairly banned. The same was true for Michael, but I haven't seen him posting at hanggliding.org recently. I'm not sure if he's reconsidering his position or just doesn't have much to say.

Now just because I say something is shameful doesn't make it so. Different people can have different thresholds for what they find shameful. Maybe there are other mitigating circumstances. But I haven't seen any that satisfy me, so I've spoken out. If something comes to light that mitigates their actions I'm always willing to change my view. But my view is my view. It's not the view of the U.S. Hawks unless it's stated by a vote of the Board. I've never asked the U.S. Hawks Board for a "declaration of shamefulness" in this matter. So my comments are my own just as your comments are yours and Rick's are Rick's, and so on.

Anyone who boycotts the U.S. Hawks because they don't like what any of us says does not understand the concept behind free speech. They are implying that the U.S. Hawks should somehow silence certain views or be punished with their boycott. They're free to feel that way, but they haven't suggested a process where the U.S. Hawks could (or should) decide who to silence and who not to silence. That would have to be a policy of the Board, but none of the "boycotters" have even brought it up to the Board. And that's even more surprising because both Rick and Frank were members of the Board at the time.
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Re: Joe's reinstatement in HG.org effort

Postby Free » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:25 am

Two different things, Bob.
Wall of Shame: You started it with Jack Axaopolous and Doug Marley.
This is when Rick started a push back. Eventually said it caused the 'destruction' of USHawks.
All the drama here is on Rick. His argument, I suppose, would be 'bad strategy on your part.
Fair enough. His rght to criticize, as you say. I assume there were phone calls and more reasoning and argumentation than we saw on line.
Rick eventually walks away. I didn't see you shame him or threaten to put him on Jack and Doug's wall of shame.
Rick didn't like the strategy of even such a namby pamby tactic of naming and shaming of a true enemy of the future of hang gliding.

Then the second thing. You know what i'm talking about.
You wanted Frank to cut his connection to thousands of pilots.
Frank declined your tacit order. That should have fit within the implied freedom of expression of USHawks org.

You then changed tactic of attack on Jack's cowardly censorship and aimed your sights on Frank, an 84 year old, beloved historical figure in the foundation
of hang gliding as a sport in North America, for not agreeing with your strategic vision. You might have been a Ranger, and we all appreciate what you did was for a greater good and sacrifice. But all the training you got was not aimed at strategy. They didn't make a General out of you.
Your strategy of attacking Frank for not following orders sucked. You attacked by threatening to hang Frank along side Jack and Doug.
Bad optics. What was your goal and why can't you see this as an attack?

Since that strategy transpired it seems to me that it's been mostly a negative effect on the original goal of this thread.
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Re: Joe's reinstatement in HG.org effort

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:35 am

Free wrote:What was your goal and why can't you see this as an attack?

My goal was for people to realize this simple truth:

    All it takes for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.

I would call that more of a criticism than an attack, but it's certainly fair to call it an attack as well.

Your perception is correct that there were many phone calls with me practically begging all three I've mentioned to speak up in Joe's defense. I only added them to the wall of shame when I was truly convinced that their actions (inactions) were shameful. I remain convinced of that to this day, but I could always change my mind if other facts come to light.

P.S. I didn't put Rick on the wall of shame because he wasn't supporting Jack's ban by propping up hanggliding.org with "happy happy" posts while knowing that Jack had just banned Joe. I was never critical of people who just didn't want to post (at all) on hanggliding.org. I was critical of those who were actively posting in their own interests while ignoring (silently condoning) what was done to Joe.
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Re: Joe's reinstatement in HG.org effort

Postby Free » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:55 am

Bob Kuczewski wrote: I only added them to the wall of shame when I was truly convinced that their actions (inactions) were shameful.


I didn't realize you had actually taken the 'action' of adding them to this mythical wall. There is no wall except the one you are building between yourself and your former comrades. That is the shame in this.

Your stated cause was noble but your strategy and tactics are a failure.
It didn't work. Too many casualties.
Time to regroup.

Lost in the din, the original transgression. Jack's cowardly censorship and the subsequent lost publicity of USHGRS.
How about targeted ads? I'll pitch in to spread the word.
Let's get back on track.
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Re: Joe's reinstatement in HG.org effort

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:04 pm

I stand by the truth of this statement:

    All it takes for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.

If the wall of shame was not an effective method to get good men to do something, then I accept that as a tactical and/or strategic blunder on my part. But if there was a more effective method, I didn't see one and I didn't see anyone else doing anything at all. I felt it was important that we do something to show support for Joe and to show opposition to those - all of those - who caused and/or allowed this to happen.

I think regrouping is fine. :)
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Re: Joe's reinstatement in HG.org effort

Postby Free » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:20 pm

I have to go do some outside work before the snow flies tonight.
May not get back on line for a day or so.
I love you all. I love Joe's effort with USHGRS more than I love a Wall of Shame.
I'm all for a wall on the border.
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Re: Joe's reinstatement in HG.org effort

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:22 pm

Free wrote:I have to go do some outside work before the snow flies tonight.
May not get back on line for a day or so.
I love you all. I love Joe's effort with USHGRS more than I love a Wall of Shame.
I'm all for a wall on the border.


:srofl: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl:

Be safe out there Warren. Your comments here have been super. You should consider volunteering for the U.S. Hawks Board!!
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Re: Joe's reinstatement in HG.org effort

Postby Bill Cummings » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:25 pm

Bob Kuczewski wrote:I stand by the truth of this statement:

    All it takes for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.

If the wall of shame was not an effective method to get good men to do something, then I accept that as a tactical and/or strategic blunder on my part. But if there was a more effective method, I didn't see one and I didn't see anyone else doing anything at all. I felt it was important that we do something to show support for Joe and to show opposition to those - all of those - who caused and/or allowed this to happen.

I think regrouping is fine. :)

I hate that I feel compelled to throw yet another log on this stupid fire. This, Wall of Shame discussion because in the end it only keeps moving the thread to the top of the stack.
All that I can do is see what the result has been and infer Bob's motivation.
I think that Bob is bitter about being banned from hg.org by Jack (sg).
There seems to be a non sequitur in Bob's logic unless I'm misunderstanding something.
Was the wall of shame idea inspired solely by Jack's banning of Joe Faust or was it always
a festering idea from Bob's own banning?
Was Joe's banning just a veiled opening for the wall of shame to make it look as though this wasn't about Bob?
Bob must be thinking this way since he asked if anyone else had put up the wall would some still have left the Hawks?
If I'm to follow Bob's logic shouldn't my name be on the wall of shame along with Red and Frank since I could have logged on to hg.org and said something in Bob's behalf?
I'm wondering if Bob thought this through. If he wonders if this makes Joe uncomfortable since Joe too could have taken his banning earlier by posting to get Bob back on hg.org?
If I follow Bob's logic my name should go on the wall of shame (alphabetically) right above Joe Faust's.
If my name goes on the wall that's okay with me. I'll overlook this idiosyncrasy since over all I've really only seen this one time in all of the last eight years where Bob screwed up. I screw up way more frequently.
Let's all get back to helping Joe compile the USHGRS.
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Re: Joe's reinstatement in HG.org effort

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:03 am

Hi Bill,

You've asked a lot of good questions there. Let's see if I can get to them all.

Bill wrote:Was the wall of shame idea inspired solely by Jack's banning of Joe Faust or was it always a festering idea from Bob's own banning? Was Joe's banning just a veiled opening for the wall of shame to make it look as though this wasn't about Bob?

Let me start with a blanket statement. The banning of individuals from any congregation of pilots hurts all of us because it weakens our ties to other pilots and it fragments the sport. It also makes it harder to fix problems in the sport, and that's why USHPA is very happy when the people who speak out ... get banned.

So I think all of these bannings are bad. That includes Scott's and Al's and Brian's and Warren's and Tommy's and Joe's and mine and all the others that we don't even know about. But just as with the Montgomery Bus Boycot, some were more obviously bad than others. Rosa Parks wasn't the only black person forced to give up her seat, but her's was the clearest injustice that wasn't clouded with other distractions. That's Joe's case exactly. Most people would have a hard time digging up the facts on a lot of those other more obscure bannings (including mine), but Joe's happened right in front of everyone ... and very recently. Joe's was also the the most unjust to date. Joe was very careful to stay away from all the traps that Jack was setting. So if you're going to argue a case, Joe's is the best case to argue.

But there's also another important aspect of Joe's case that makes it unique. Joe wasn't just some pilot shooting his mouth off about nothing. Joe was posting to promote something very important to the future of hang gliding: merit-based ratings. Joe's USHGRS rating system is a fresh breeze in hang gliding. It fits perfectly with greater use of recreational land use statutes rather than centrally controlled insurance. It's exactly what will be needed as USHPA becomes less dominant in hang gliding.

So for all of those reasons, Joe's case was the one to hold up to either be reversed or to show everyone else how rotten the situation had become on hanggliding.org. It was an important rallying point to fix a number of problems in the sport. And all of that is on top of the fundamental injustice that was done to Joe as a fellow human being (and one of the best).

Bill wrote:Bob must be thinking this way since he asked if anyone else had put up the wall would some still have left the Hawks?

My point there was to address the misconception that the U.S. Hawks is somehow synonymous with me. It shouldn't be.

Bill wrote:If I'm to follow Bob's logic shouldn't my name be on the wall of shame along with Red and Frank since I could have logged on to hg.org and said something in Bob's behalf?

No, because you were not feeding Jack's abuse. Both you and Rick were very clear that you didn't post there at all. You might say that you had "conscientious objector" status. You were already not rewarding Jack for his long history of abuses. Your stated position (and Rick's) was already two steps ahead of where Frank and Red were. Jack had no leverage over either of you because you had already freed yourselves from his influence.

But Jack has maintained his leverage (control) over Frank and Red. It's clear to me that all 3 (Frank, Red, and Michael) would prefer that Joe had not been banned (right?). I believe that all 3 would say so if they didn't feel that speaking out would get them banned. That right there is the definition of being controlled by Jack (not saying what they otherwise would have). In fact, Red was even afraid to post too frequently to the U.S. Hawks because he was afraid that Jack wouldn't like it and might retaliate against him. When Frank first started posting on hanggliding.org he told me that he didn't care if he got banned for speaking up. Jack had no leverage on him then. But as Frank became more "invested" in the site, he gave more power to Jack's threats of banning - so much so that Jack basically told Frank to shut up about Joe ... and Frank obeyed. Jack can't apply that leverage to anyone who has already walked away. It's a huge difference because someone under Jack's control will twist their own thinking to convince themselves that they're NOT under Jack's control. They will convince themselves that Scott and Al and Warren and Tommy and Bob and Joe and all the others must have deserved what they got. Red has pretty much said that to me about Joe in the past.

I'm wondering if Bob thought this through. If he wonders if this makes Joe uncomfortable since Joe too could have taken his banning earlier by posting to get Bob back on hg.org?

Joe was doing the most important thing he could do by posting about USHGRS. USHGRS was not only a path leading away from USHPA, but it was also a path leading to the world outside of Jack's "Iron Curtain". Anyone going to USHGRS could find their way to all the people and web sites that Jack had banned. That's what Jack really didn't like. That's why Jack took the extra step of obliterating every single reference to USHGRS.org just like he obliterated every reference to ushawks.org. That's the malicious fragmentation of the sport that helps keep USHPA in power because it's hard to gain critical mass.

As for getting "Bob back on hg.org", that's far less important than growing USHGRS and growing the U.S. Hawks. I see hanggliding.org as no more than a means to an end. That "end" is freeing the sport of hang gliding from all the forms of bondage that hold it. That means freeing hang gliding from the bondage of USHPA. That means freeing hang gliding from the bondage of onerous insurance requirements. That means freeing hang gliding from the bondage of Jack and Davis. It even means freeing hang gliding from the U.S. Hawks. Pilot's should feel as free to change hang gliding associations as they're free to change gas stations ... whenever they feel like it. I don't care who spreads that message to the most pilots ... as long as someone is doing it. Jack's bans were not just bans of people. They were bans of ideas. That's what's most disturbing. I'd be happy not to have to ever post anywhere again if everything was being done right.

Bill wrote:I think that Bob is bitter about being banned from hg.org by Jack (sg).

I saved this for last because it's the toughest. I do personally resent a lot of things that have happened. I resent being put in jail 3 times. But that ordeal (for me) has established that the Torrey concessionaire can't just call the police to chase away people he doesn't like any more. I also resent being expelled from USHPA. But that ordeal has opened up Dockweiler and hopefully other sites for everyone. I also resent being banned from the HGAA and from hanggliding.org. But those ordeals have given us the U.S. Hawks and possibly contributed to the creation of USHGRS. So for me, it's not so much about whether any experience was bitter or sweet. What matters to me is what comes from it. That's how I view Joe's banning. If it becomes a turning point where people start to look for better communication alternatives, then it will have been a lemon turned into lemonade. But if it just isolates Joe and entrenches Jack's power and his reign of fear (as he clearly intended), then it's a bad thing. And that's a nice place to end because it explains why I've tried so hard to get people to speak out against this abuse. The stakes are high, and Jack's consolidation of power through fear does not paint a pleasant picture for the future of hang gliding.
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