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Re: Wall of Shame in banning of Joe Faust from hanggliding.o

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:10 pm

I really don't like to add any posts to this topic, because I don't like it being continually bumped to the top of the active topics list. This has been a painful topic, and it documents a deep division in our history. But history is important, and that's why I'm adding this post.

Around the time of Joe's banning, I was encouraging a number of pilots to speak out against it. This is one of my messages to Michael Grisham on September 13th, 2018 (at 17:24). I prefaced it with "WWBD" (What Would Bob Do). Here's that message:

Bob wrote:WWBD: "Fellow members of the hang gliding community. Joe Faust is now banned from this forum. Joe had started a new hang gliding rating system named U.S.Hang Gliding Rating System. He started a topic here with those initials. That topic's title was changed, all links to the site were changed and the topic was buried in "The Basement" here:

http://forum.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=36135

If you read that topic, you'll find Joe patiently defending against an onslaught of attacks. Yet Joe was banned. The hang gliding community is being destroyed because we are meeting at a site that silences our best voices at a whim. I am calling for either a reinstatement of these voices or for all true lovers of flight to contact me so we can start again where good men can speak freely."

The fact that men brave enough to fly a hang glider are afraid to make such a statement on hanggliding.org speaks volumes about what's wrong in the sport and why it's been so difficult to fix. The hang gliding community is indeed being destroyed by meeting at a site that silences its best voices at a whim.
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Re: Wall of Shame in banning of Joe Faust from hanggliding.o

Postby Bill Cummings » Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:01 pm

Bob wrote:
WWBD: "Fellow members of the hang gliding community. Joe Faust is now banned from this forum. Joe had started a new hang gliding rating system named U.S.Hang Gliding Rating System. He started a topic here with those initials. That topic's title was changed, all links to the site were changed and the topic was buried in "The Basement" here:

http://forum.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=36135

But when a non-member clicks on the link what you will see will be:
Hang Gliding Dot Org (NFW).JPG
Hang Gliding Dot Org (NFW).JPG (18.84 KiB) Viewed 2438 times
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Re: Wall of Shame in banning of Joe Faust from hanggliding.o

Postby JoeF » Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:26 pm

Could someone, perhaps Frank, confirm whether or not the Basement topic is visible to sg posters?
The Basement might have been fully hidden now to everyone except sg.
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Re: Wall of Shame in banning of Joe Faust from hanggliding.o

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:59 pm

Frank is not likely to answer you here Joe. He's mad at me and he's taking it out on every member of the U.S. Hawks with his silence (something he ironically refused to do to Jack Axaopoulos).

Between September 13th, 2018 and December 3rd, 2018, I continually urged Michael Grisham, Tom ("Red") Howard, and Frank Colver to speak out against the capricious banning of Joe Faust by Jack Axaopoulos on hanggliding.org. I even took the time to write suggested posts for each of them.

Imagine how things might have turned out if Mike Grisham had posted my September 13th, 2018 suggestion or anything similar:

Fellow members of the hang gliding community. Joe Faust is now banned from this forum. Joe had started a new hang gliding rating system named U.S.Hang Gliding Rating System. He started a topic here with those initials. That topic's title was changed, all links to the site were changed and the topic was buried in "The Basement" here:

http://forum.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=36135

If you read that topic, you'll find Joe patiently defending against an onslaught of attacks. Yet Joe was banned. The hang gliding community is being destroyed because we are meeting at a site that silences our best voices at a whim. I am calling for either a reinstatement of these voices or for all true lovers of flight to contact me so we can start again where good men can speak freely.


Imagine how things might have turned out if Tom ("Red") Howard had posted my September 15th, 2018 suggestion or anything similar:

Jack, it's time that someone said what I'm about to say.

Your ridiculous policy of banning people and changing web site names and trying to scare us all into silence is further fracturing the small sport of hang gliding that we all love.

You thought that you could crush Bob and Scott with your smear tactics. You've failed. The U.S. Hawks web site continues to grow and to spawn new ideas that challenge the failed status quo in the sport of hang gliding. It's time to drop the ridiculous "Bob and Scott (and now Joe?)" rules so we can unite the sport against the forces that are really killing it.

I've been your most loyal supporter, and I'm speaking to help you. Stop this war with Bob, Scott, Joe and others right now. If you will ban me for even saying this, then that's all the evidence I need to find a new home.


Imagine how things might have turned out if Frank Colver (or anyone else) had posted my December 3rd, 2018 suggestion or anything similar:

"I am posting to demand that Joe Faust be reinstated on this forum. I use "demand" because this forum has posted rules, and the posting of such rules clearly implies that they will be followed. That was the agreement that I entered into when I joined this forum. There was no rule stating that Joe couldn't post about USHGRS. There was no rule stating that Jack Axaopoulos (sg) could ban whoever he wanted for whatever reason he wanted. I wouldn't have joined this forum under those circumstances. I wouldn't have spent my own time contributing my posts to a forum moderator who would ban Joe Faust for simply posting about a new rating system. I am not asking to be banned (so don't say that I am), but I am demanding that this injustice be reversed right now.


Imagine if all three had spoken up together and backed each other - with others surely joining in. There would have been about 4 possible outcomes:

  1. Jack reverses Joe's ban.
  2. Jack ignores the complaints.
  3. Jack deletes the complaints but doesn't ban anyone.
  4. Jack deletes the complaints and bans Mike, Tom, and Frank.

Let's see what each of those cases would have brought ...

    Case 1: Everyone wins (including Jack) and hang gliding is better off.

    Case 2: More awareness of the abuse; no change for Mike, Tom, and Frank; Jack is more careful about banning without good reason; hang gliding is better off.

    Case 3: More evidence against Jack deleting posts; no change for Mike, Tom, and Frank; Jack is more careful about banning without good reason; hang gliding is better off.

    Case 4: More evidence against Jack for deleting posts and banning people without good reason; Mike, Tom, and Frank post happily ever after on other forums; Jack's iron-fisted control of hang gliding communications dissolves; hang gliding is better off.

Even the worst of those four cases is better than what actually happened. What actually happened was they all backed down and turned into Jack's lap dogs. Jack learned that bullying works because everyone is afraid of him. Joe and USHGRS have been damaged. There's no way to say that hang gliding is better off.

Are there any disagreements with that analysis?
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Re: Wall of Shame in banning of Joe Faust from hanggliding.o

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:46 pm

Public apology to Rick Masters.

I was just re-reading this topic, and I found a mistake in one of my posts.

In my post on Dec 02, 2018 at 4:22 pm, I had replied to Mike Grisham with this statement:

Neither you nor Frank nor Rick have stood firmly against this

I had intended to refer to "Red" rather than "Rick". My post is now corrected with a moderator's note marking the change.

The subsequent post by Rick hadn't made sense to me at the time because I hadn't caught my mistake (at that time). Rick had included this sentence in his longer post on Dec 02, 2018 at 4:51 pm:
Rick Masters wrote:But to paint me as someone who hasn't come to Joe's defense is not really appropriate.

Rick was right, and I had said many times that I did not fault those (like Rick and Bill) who did not post on hanggliding.org at all. So my statement was clearly a mistake on my part.

I apologize for any confusion my mistake may have caused, and it has been corrected in the original post.
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Re: Wall of Shame in banning of Joe Faust from hanggliding.o

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:13 pm

I just can't post this video enough. It says so many important things ... so well.



Don't underestimate the power of your speech.
 :
Your capacity for speech is divine. It's the thing that generates order from chaos and then sometimes turns pathological order into chaos when it has to.
 :
Don't underestimate the power of truth. There's nothing more powerful.
 :
Now in order to speak what you might regard as the truth you have to LET GO OF THE OUTCOME.
 :
You have to think ... I'm going to state what I think as clearly as I can, and I'm going to live with the consequences no matter what they are.
 :
Nothing brings a better world into being [better] than the stated truth. Now you might have to pay a price for that, but that's fine. You're going to pay a price for every bloody thing you do ... and every thing you don't do. You don't get to choose to not pay a price. You get to choose which poison you're going to take - that's it. So if you're going to stand up for something, stand up for your truth. It'll shape you.
 :
It's almost impossible to provide people with enough protection so that they feel safe to speak. O.K. so we'll address that directly. IT IS NOT SAFE TO SPEAK ... and it never will be. But the thing you've got to keep in mind is that it's even less safe NOT to speak. Right? It's a balance of risks. Do you want to pay the price for being who you are and stating your mode of being in the world or do you want to pay the price for being a bloody serf - one that's enslaved him or her self?
 :
Say what you think carefully. Pay attention to your words. It's a price you want to pay if you are willing to believe that truth is the cornerstone of society in the most real sense. If you're willing to take that leap then tell the truth and see what happens. Nothing better could possibly happen to you. There'll be ups and downs and there'll be push back and it'll be controversy and all of that, but it doesn't matter. The truth is what redeems the world from hell, and that's the truth.
 :
Tell the truth. Tell the truth. ... You've got to understand that's a risk.
 :
Be afraid, but be afraid of the right thing, and the right thing you should be afraid of is NOT saying what you say because that's the same as not being.
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Re: Wall of Shame in banning of Joe Faust from hanggliding.o

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:28 pm

Red wrote:When two people (being neither you nor I) have a dispute between them, it is none of my business how they resolve that dispute.

         See: http://ushawks.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=24828#p24827

This attitude is responsible for everything from the Salem Witch Trials to the Nazi Holocaust. It's the attitude memorialized as:

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

I believe that all human beings have a moral duty to participate in providing justice for one another. It's part of the "Golden Rule". Those who shirk that duty invite the abuses we've seen (great and small) throughout history.
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Re: Wall of Shame in banning of Joe Faust from hanggliding.o

Postby magentabluesky » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:07 pm

Negative Waves

Kelly's Heroes - Oddball takes a rest, best scene of the movie

Maybe the guy is a Republican, business is business.
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Re: Wall of Shame in banning of Joe Faust from hanggliding.o

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:06 pm

magentabluesky wrote:Kelly's Heroes - Oddball takes a rest, best scene of the movie


Even better ...



... and this scene is real.

You may be watching too many movies Michael. Movies are largely a deception. They look - to the primitive human mind - as if they are real. They are designed with all the proper subtle cues to bypass innate skepticism and induce your belief. But they are not real. What you watched Jack do to Joe was real. It harms Joe every day. It harms USHGRS every day. It harms the sport of hang gliding every day. And, sadly, it harms you every day Michael.
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Re: Wall of Shame in banning of Joe Faust from hanggliding.o

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:52 am

Michael Grisham hadn't posted much to hanggliding.org for a while. I was thinking that he might be deciding to speak up for Joe after all. It could still happen, right?

Apparently not.
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