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The quality of the forums is important, especially for the thousands of users who visit only to read each day. Quality can easily be subjective, and it's NOT our policy to try and squelch out anyone with a perspective or thought. But when a poster is nearly unintelligible, it quickly rises to the level of just "forum noise".
It's not difficult to pause a moment before hitting submit, to consider a thought, or run a quick spell check. And doing so can have a very positive impact on how people view both you and these forums.
There's been very, very few times that anyone has ever been asked to leave these forums. Whenever it's done it's for the benefit of the forums, and I have to use my best judgment based on the advise and feedback I receive from the forum members. It's also never done without first discussing the concerns with the person posting.
If you feel my judgment is in error, I'm happy to hear from you directly to discuss your concerns.
wow ... I was just kidding about his poor spelling ...
This kinda reminds me of the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where Indy, dressed as a conductor, throws the bad guy out of the window and says to the other passengers, "No ticket!", whereupon every one immediately runs their spell checker ...
I am a relative newbie to the Scouter.com forums, though I have been enjoying Scouter.com since the early days of the magazine. Sometimes the perspective of a new set of eyes can be helpful, so I offer the following thoughts:
It certainly is true that Juris' writing style was at times difficult to parse. And yet I found that very often his posts were interesting, and attempted to bring to the discussion alternate views that really exist out in the wider world of Scouting. His concerns about Cub Scouting, for example, could have come straight from the mouth of one of our ASMs, an Eagle, Navy Commander and Educational Psychology Ph.D. with 20 years as a Scouter, whose son is now in Cub Scouting.
From my perspective, what is disturbing on your nominally moderated forums is not Juris' posts, but the replies to his posts. These frequently degenerate into belittling personal attacks which have no relationship that I can find to the Scout Oath or Law. From my perspective, the problem was not with Juris, but with the others. That includes some responses posted by those who have access to the "secret" moderator discussion forum. It is worth noting that Juris rarely responded in kind.
Dismissing the value of a perspective because of the (lack of) polish in its presentation is hardly a value that's consistent with what I and my Chartering Org. view as appropriate for Scouting. It is little different from dismissing a perspective because of the person's gender, or race, or language background, or faith. The accompanying ridicule is, quite frankly, abhorrent. An enormous number of adults are challenged by literacy, and as a people we have a moral obligation to reach out to them, not with ridicule, but with compassion.
I regret that I must therefore retire from your forums, and that I can no longer recommend your service to the many scouts and scouters I know within my chartered organization and my region. Please delete my forum record and profile from your database.
Way back in a former life I was a manager. And people being people, well, at times I had to sack, fire, terminate, let go, get rid of, well you get the idea, employees. I always held it as a badge of honor if after the termination people would ask me, what did He/She do? This was all so sudden!
Well, actually, it was never sudden, the employee in question knew where they stood and what would happen based on their conduct. I couldnt exactly go around saying that MaryLou better watch it or I am gonna can her anymore that say that Larry was about 2 steps from getting booted outta here. I asked for the employees to have faith in the process that if the institution thought it was time for the employee to go, there was good reason. Usually, the terminated employee was tell at least someone what happened and eventually some employees would come back and say, wow, I didnt realize all that was going on. WHich meant I did my job, other employees arent supposed to know who is in "jeopardy" and who isnt. Other times they would say What took you so long, but I digress.
There really isnt a lot of banning here. Not like some sites where banning or suspension threats are thrown around quite lossely in my opinion. I ask people to have faith in the system. That if a person is banned, well then there was a mighty fine reasons for doing so. Stick around, there is a lot of good ideas here and sometimes you have to weed out the cyber chaff, but thats not unlike the real world either.
Beavah: It certainly is true that Juris' writing style was at times difficult to parse. And yet I found that very often his posts were interesting, and attempted to bring to the discussion alternate views that really exist out in the wider world of Scouting. His concerns about Cub Scouting, for example, could have come straight from the mouth of one of our ASMs, an Eagle, Navy Commander and Educational Psychology Ph.D. with 20 years as a Scouter, whose son is now in Cub Scouting.
Let me basically repeat something I said to Juris in another thread. When I signed my application form to become an adult leader, I didn't join to run things the way I thought they should be run. I joined to deliver the BSA program as designed by the owner of the program....the BSA. I am duty bound to do so. If I think the program is wrong, then I can find other things to do with my valuable time. 99.9% of the people you find on this forum believe in and respect the program. When our desire is to learn and to help other Scouters learn, it is kind of difficult to have someone come in calling the BSA by the derogatory term of BSA, Inc. and telling everyone to ignore the problem and do it however YOU think it should be done. As I also said, it is beyond me why someone would dedicate 38 years of their life to a program they disrespect and won't even use. Juris, if in fact he is real, didn't operate a Boy Scout Troop, he ran a Juris Scout Troop.
A little other history that might be pertinent is the suspicion by some that he was a previous poster who lied and misled people under a variety of names who has been banned from this site in the past. He posed as 5 or 6 different people with different stories. He was young, he was old, he was married, he was single, he had children, he didn't have children, he lived in different places all over the country. He took perverse pleasure in making off the wall comments and misleading people as to who he was. If someone figured it out and called him on it, you would get an extremely nasty, vile, hate filled e-mail from him. I know of at least one other scouting forum where he pulled the same thing and was banned from there as well. The man had/has serious issues that he needs to deal with. Juris's posts and claims fell pretty much into line with this person. Was he this person? I don't know. I suspect(ed) he was. Scouter-Terry has the ability to check IP addresses and possibly verify those kind of things. The fact that Juris evidently posted something bad enough to get it deleted and suspended also falls in line with this person. We may never know. But I thought you should know a little of the history of our bad egg and why some people react "badly" when they smell a rat.
Mods, if this post is out of line or you feel the need to modify it, please do so.
While I did not agree with Juris' ideas about scouting he did add a lot of passion and excitement to the forum, which I will miss. Some of his more outrageous stuff made me laugh, which we need to do more of when the arguments begin to get off topic and angry. I think most of us here at one time or another have posted things we later regretted caught up in the heat of the moment, myself included.
I love reading all the diverse thoughts in this forum whether I agree or not, there is a wealth of information here. It is my hope that we be more open to opinions that might be different from our own and make this a welcoming place rather than a forum for a small closed cliche of self proclaimed scouting experts who gang up on anyone with a dissenting idea forcing them out of any discussion and out of the forum. So long Juris WWW
"attempted to bring to the discussion alternate views that really exist out in the wider world of Scouting?"
I've never blocked anyone, but he has come the closest at any site I've ever visited. Not all alternatives are worth considering or even voicing. The posts were rude and in poor taste and deliberatly pointed to stir up arguments. I don't know where his scouting leadership experience came from, but let's hope that some other folks in his unit are working hard to correct his strange twists on the program.
Beavah- yes, even an ASM/NavCom/PhD with 20 years in can be wrong.
I have always had mixed emotions when any person leaves here willingly or with the boot. I love freedom of speech but have learned that some limits must be in place or it spirals into an angry one-ups-man feud without end. It is true many just look/lurk and never say anything and it is true we have data that could help others but many of us are simply learning from each other. When the antithesis to a position is posited, sometimes it brings the best out of our easy existence. Most of the time it is a new person with a question but when an older more experienced person brings a different perspective, we must take out our thinking caps and then it becomes, 'now what is it that I learned or knew or thought I knew' type of thinking. Many of us have sat in training sessions and read pamphlets and put into practice much of Scouting but as I have learned, it is easy to miss the boat on any number of issues. Some that have left might have been poor Scouters or spellers at their very best but some had insights that I did not expect and I had to carefully think through. So, getting rid of anybody is a complex decision and one must be careful not to throw out both the water and the baby or we are all the less.
I don't think it would be all that awful for the moderators to give some clue as to why Juris was suspended. As a privately run forum, the owners can certainly do what they want, but especially in the Issues forum, you'd think more flexibility would be allowed. I for one would be interesed in knowing, at least in general terms, what Juris did to deserve that level of punishment. There are others here who regularly get "carried away" and remain, although one poster that I had blocked for awhile seems to be much more "laid back" in his approach now. So, perhaps there are some "behind the scenes" activities going on that the rest of us are unaware of. Nonetheless, when someone who has been a more or less regular contributor gets suspended, a little feedback might be appropriate. Even if just to confirm the suspicions that some might have.
SR540, I see your point on what you signed up to do, but people of good conscience can see what they consider to be weaknesses in the program or the philosophy of BSA and want to make changes that they think will better the organization. Discussing these kinds of topics are among the things that this forum is about.
Without making this sound like us v. them...I am with SR540 on this...
Juris lent no evidence or credibility in his postings. His questions and statements were very skewed and one was unable to ascertain if he was truly involved with the BSA or just enjoyed evoking responses from members.
While I agree with free speech, one must always look at the source and determine the intent of the orator...in this case, and without making this personal, I agree with Terry on the suspension of Juris.
Incidentally, Juris sent a personal email message (through scouter.com) to me that he was being booted...did anyone else receive this?