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Date: 08 Feb 2009 03:24:56
From: samsloan
Subject: Outrageous Changes in USCF Issues Forum Moderation
On February 7, 2009 (yesterday) the USCF Executive Board that is
currently meeting voted outrageous changes in moderation of the USCF
Issues Forum. Two of the current candidates for re-election are on the
Executive Board and these changes were directed in particular at two
of the candidates running against them for election.

The changes were to appoint two vehemently hostile moderators to the
"Forum Oversight Committee" or "FOC" that acts as an appellate court
overseeing the moderators. These two new FOC members were already on
the "MOC", a committee of the moderators. For the past several months
or nearly one year the MOC had been voting to suspend or ban for one
year several regular posters to the forums who expressed opinions with
which they disagreed. These suspensions had been regularly overturned
by the FOC which acts as an appellate court over the MOC, and thus the
posters in question have been allowed to continue posting.

The MOC members have been expressing increasing anger that their
suspensions and outright bans have regularly been overturned.
Therefore, in response to this anger, the board has added three
members of the MOC to the FOC. These three new members will constitute
an effective majority of the FOC so that they will be able to enforce
the suspensions and bans that they have previously voted.

In other words, this is like having lower court judges sit on the
appellate court that decides an appeal.

Two of the new FOC members are known for their vehement hostility to
two of the candidates for election. They are Allen Priest and Harry
Payne. Little is known about the third new FOC member, Joshua Snyder.

Both Allen Priest and Harry Payne have three digit ratings. Allen
Priest is rated 654

http://www.uschess.org/msa/MbrDtlTnmtHst.php?12874976

Harry Payne is rated 549 (based on 8 games) and is a new member who
joined about two years ago.

http://www.uschess.org/msa/MbrDtlMain.php?12705633

Allen Priest is the person who spoke to every issue at the 2008
Delegates meeting in Dallas and droned on and on about issues he knew
nothing about. This was the first USCF meeting he had ever attended.

There can be no doubt that the first things they will do is demand
enforcement of the one-year bans they previously voted on myself and
Brian Lafferty. Both myself and Brian Lafferty are candidates in the
coming election. So, what we have here are two members of the
Executive Board who are also candidates for election voting to install
as moderators persons who are virtually guaranteed to silence two of
their opponents, Sam Sloan and Brian Lafferty.

This is likely to result in more litigation and is one of several acts
by the current board majority to do things to provoke litigation and
then claim to be innocent victims.

The entire system of forum moderation was set up in 2007 when I was on
the board. It was set up by Bill Goichberg and Joel Channing obviously
to silence me, Sam Sloan. I was on the board but since I was the
obvious target of their discussions, I refused to participate in their
debate. Then moderators were appointed like Herbert Rodney Vaughn and
Gregory Alexander (the same person now accused of hacking into Randy
Hough's email account) who were outspokenly hostile to me. Also, the
FOC was stacked with people like "Steve of Tennessee" known to be
vehemently critical of Sam Sloan.

What happened is that the extremely hostile people quit and some
others converted from being anti-Sam Sloan to being pro-Sam Sloan. An
example of this is Louis Blair. The new FOC members had the power at
that time to reinstate posts that had been pulled by the moderators.
It happened so often that postings pulled by the moderators were
reinstated by the FOC, that eventually the board took away the power
of the FOC to reinstate pulled postings. Instead it gave that power to
the newly created MOC which consisted of the people who were already
moderators. Now, the MOC can reinstate its own pulled postings and the
FOC can only overturn the suspensions and bans imposed by the MOC.

The two members of the MOC most critical of the FOC have been Harry
Payne and Allen Priest. They are especially angry about the fact that
Sam Sloan and Brian Lafferty are still allowed to post. We are not
talking about truly objectionable postings here. For example, Brian
Lafferty has been voted to be banned for one year for twice using the
word "disingenuous",

The problem comes from the vague wording of the guidelines. Here are
the new guidelines:

"Do not make personal attacks or defamatory or disparaging comments
about anyone in the chess world. Factually oriented posts critical of
a person, group or company are generally permitted, at moderator
discretion. Criticism of those outside the chess world, if relevant to
the discussion, may be permitted without supporting evidence."

"Do not post suggestions, without specifically identified substantial
proof, that a person may have committed an unethical or criminal
act."

This means that I can now make comments critical of Citibank for not
paying Grandmaster Benko his inheritance money. However, look at the
words "disparaging comments", "substantial proof", "may have
committed", "supporting evidence". This is how the use of the term
"disingenuous" has resulted in Brian Lafferty being suspended for one
year.

Another problem is that the moderators are themselves the most active
posters. It is inevitable that conflicts will arise when the
moderators want to stop those who disagree with them from posting.

Here is what Harry Payne wrote about the FOC on Thursday:

by Harry Payne on Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:37 am #126554
"I think Allen, would make a good Chairperson for the FOC. There needs
to be a change from the uncompromising, unreasonable course that has
been pursued to this point."

Calling the members of the FOC "uncompromising, unreasonable" would
certainly be an AUG violation if anybody other than a moderator had
written it. The members of the MOC have written many, many personal
attacks against members of the FOC and I have never seen a member of
the FOC attack a member of the MOC

I am under the impression that another forum member (not me) has
threatened a lawsuit if these changes go into effect.

I urge the Executive Board, which is meeting again today, to reverse
these appointments which they made yesterday.

Sam Sloan




 
Date: 09 Feb 2009 10:43:47
From: samsloan
Subject: Re: Outrageous Changes in USCF Issues Forum Moderation
The Following Posting is from the third new member of the USCF Issues
"Forum Oversight Committee", Joshua Snyder. I was not previously
familiar with him but now that I know his screenname I will be able to
check his postings.

He seems to be a 1600-player, which makes him three times smarter than
the other two.

His statement about Allen Priest having an "ominous presence", refers
to the fact that Allen Priest is a big fat guy.

Sam Sloan:

by JediJoshua on Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:19 pm #127232
Allen's rating is not indicative of his skills in settling disputes
and making things run smoothly. I have worked for him at a number of
Large Scholastics (300+ kids) and he has an ominous presence that just
seems to demand that things run smoothly. Some of the kids put it
differently, but we won't go there. I think the board made a good
decision, and I'll be happy to work together on the FOC with Allen as
the Chair.

JediJoshua

Posts: 452
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:25 am
Location: Southern Indiana
USCFId: 12666993


 
Date: 09 Feb 2009 01:34:47
From: samsloan
Subject: Re: Outrageous Changes in USCF Issues Forum Moderation
On Feb 8, 9:04=A0pm, jkh...@aim.com wrote:
> samsloan wrote:
>
> > Here is where we disagree. Bill Goichberg states that a high
> > percentage of my statements are "false and misleading". However, I am
> > stating that almost everything that Bill Goichberg writes is false,
> > misleading, incomplete, etc.
>
> > Sam Sloan
>
> Even if that were true (that's an arguendo, not a concession), how
> does it vindicate you? "He did it too!" belongs in the fourth grade.
> And it doesn't work there, either.

> John Hillery

The difference is that Bill Goichberg is the President. He controls
the flow of information. Goichberg is "The Decider". Even when I was
on the board, I was just in effect an outsider.

For example, the by-laws state that tapes and transcripts of the
meetings must be posted on the website. While I was on the board, no
transcripts and just a partial tape of one of the six meetings was
posted, so Goichberg is in violation of the by-laws. I complained
about this repeatedly, to no effect. I have been stating that if those
tapes and transcripts were produced as required it would be proven
that my statements of what took place at those meetings would be shown
to be true and accurate and his statements would be shown to be false.

Nobody seems to find anything exceptionable about the fact that
Goichberg has chosen players rated 654 and 549 (those are not typos)
to control the moderation of the USCF Issuers Forum.

Also, nobody is mentioning the fact that Goichberg is making these
changes at the height of the election campaign season. The due date
for the candidates' statements is tomorrow, February 10, 2009.

Sam Sloan


 
Date: 08 Feb 2009 18:04:50
From:
Subject: Re: Outrageous Changes in USCF Issues Forum Moderation


samsloan wrote:
>
> Here is where we disagree. Bill Goichberg states that a high
> percentage of my statements are "false and misleading". However, I am
> stating that almost everything that Bill Goichberg writes is false,
> misleading, incomplete, etc.
>
> Sam Sloan


Even if that were true (that's an arguendo, not a concession), how
does it vindicate you? "He did it too!" belongs in the fourth grade.
And it doesn't work there, either.


 
Date: 08 Feb 2009 15:11:33
From: Rev. J.D. Walker
Subject: Re: Outrageous Changes in USCF Issues Forum Moderation
On Feb 8, 2:47=A0pm, samsloan <samhsl...@gmail.com > wrote:
> [quote=3D"chessoffice"]The idea is, except for banning the lie words, to
> have the moderators use discretion in considering posts regarding
> motives. =A0So something like "leader X announced Y, but this was
> insincere or disingenuous because he knew about Z" might be allowed,
> depending on the nature of Y and Z and the evidence presented that the
> leader knew about Z.
>
> Bill Goichberg[/quote]
>
> It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is.
>
> Sam Sloan

Which harkens back to this classic of yesteryear: "Is you is or is you
aint my baby?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DZIOmzsiecuA



 
Date: 08 Feb 2009 14:47:54
From: samsloan
Subject: Re: Outrageous Changes in USCF Issues Forum Moderation
[quote="chessoffice"]The idea is, except for banning the lie words, to
have the moderators use discretion in considering posts regarding
motives. So something like "leader X announced Y, but this was
insincere or disingenuous because he knew about Z" might be allowed,
depending on the nature of Y and Z and the evidence presented that the
leader knew about Z.

Bill Goichberg[/quote]

It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is.

Sam Sloan


 
Date: 08 Feb 2009 10:01:05
From: samsloan
Subject: Re: Outrageous Changes in USCF Issues Forum Moderation
On Sun, Feb 8, 2009 at 9:31 AM, chessoffice <chessoffice@aol.com >
wrote:
>
> Sam, I urge that you consider that a very high percentage of
statements in
> your email are false or misleading, that this is a continuation of a long
> standing pattern, and that you should reverse your decision to be a
> candidate for the board.
>
> I think that you really care about USCF, and as a gadfly operating from
> outside a leadership position, on occasion you say something that is correct
> and which benefits the federation. However, you don't need to be on the
> board to do this. The experience of 2006-7 showed that as a board member,
> you continued to act like an outsider, making reckless public charges
> without discussing them first with your fellow board members or the ED. You
> have a strange compulsion to make announcements to the world before checking
> or understanding the relevant facts of what you are announcing, not a good
> quality in a board member.
>
> Bill Goichberg

Here is where we disagree. Bill Goichberg states that a high
percentage of my statements are "false and misleading". However, I am
stating that almost everything that Bill Goichberg writes is false,
misleading, incomplete, etc.

Bill Goichberg states that I should reverse my decision to be a
candidate for the board. I state that Bill Goichberg should reconsider
his decision to be a candidate for the board. That is why we are
having an election. The fact is that Bill Goichberg is just completing
four years as USCF President, four years of failure and enormous
financial losses. By even conservative calculations, the USCF has lost
more than $500,000 during the four years that Bill Goichberg has been
USCF President. That is half a million dollars. Before then, Bill
Goichberg was executive director and before that he was Vice-President
and a board member. We have a decade of failure under Bill Goichberg
and the time has come for him to go back to running chess tournaments
which he is quite good at and let the running of the USCF as a
business go to serious business people.

The fact is that virtually everything I wrote while a member of the
board was accurate or nearly exactly on the mark. What we have here is
a perfect example of the problems with Bill Goichberg. Two new members
of the FOC have just been appointed. Goichberg says that he did not do
it, that Bill Hall did it. In the first place he is wrong. Unless the
rules have changed, the board, not the ED, appoints the FOC. That is
how Mr. Quinn became a member of the FOC which seems to be a thorn in
the side of the moderators and Bil Goichberg. However, if it was only
Mr. Quinn who was voting in my favor, I would have been banned from
the Forum long ago. Obviously, other members of the FOC are voting for
me too, which is the reason why I am still allowed to post. That is
why the appointment of three new members of the FOC including a new
chair is obviously for the purpose of curtaining the postings of
myself and other outsider candidates for the board, including Mr.
Lafferty. Even if I am mistaken that Bill Hall and not Bill Goichberg
made the appointments, the fact remains that Allen Priest and Harry
Payne are two of the most active posters on the forums and both are
extremely hostile to me and both either are or have been moderators or
have been members of the MOC so he is just parsing words by stating
that they are not moderators. .

Nobody who is a very active poster, whether he be pro or con, should
be on the FOC. Harry Payne has over 5,000 postings, most of them
highly opinionated. I agree that Harry Payne should be allowed to
continue to post his opinions. The question is whether he should be
allowed to decide whom else is allowed to post. Meanwhile, Herbert
Rodney Vaughn remains a moderator. He is the person who was appointed
as a moderator as a reward for his ridiculous 400 page long ethics
complaint against me in which he was allowed to use the USCF's
computer in Crossville to create. Vaughn removed approximately one
thousand postings during the last election campaign and now he is in a
position to do so again.

Bill Goichberg also states that I was guilty of "making reckless
public charges without discussing them first with your fellow board
members". Just the opposite was true. When I was on the board,
Goichberg controlled three votes. This meant that the other three of
us were frozen out. Myself, Beatriz Marinello and Don Schultz could
say or do nothing because Goichberg had the votes of himself, Joel
Channing and Randy Hough in his hip pocket. This meant that Goichberg
could tell Bill Hall to do anything that Goichberg wanted done and we
did not have the votes to overturn it because any attempt to reverse
the high-handed actions of Bill Goichberg could not result in more
than a 3-3 tie vote.

Examples of this are when on December 27, 2006 Goichberg announced
that the US Championship would be a 32-player knock out tournament
played over the Internet in regional centers and the finals played in
Las Vegas in front of a high income audience of Merrill Lynch
investors. Goichberg announced this event without even consulting the
board and even though Merrill Lynch had not agreed to sponsor the
event and Goichberg had no money to hold the event and even though the
board had previously given Goichberg a firm deadline that he must
raise the money for the US Championship by December 30, 2006, three
days later, or else put it out for bidding. Then Goichberg then blamed
the failure of his ridiculous plan on me, Sam Sloan, just as above he
seems to blame many of the other failures of his administration on me.

The real issue here is: Will Goichberg allow this posting to appear on
the USCF Issues Forum, or will his moderators block this posting from
appearing and from being discussed by the USCF Members?

Sam Sloan