[Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Stark » 2009-11-02 12:13am

RedImperator wrote:There's nothing in Stark's post about "if you guys enforce the rules, I'm going to quit the Senate". Nothing, not in that thread, not anywhere else. Stark did start passively-aggressively complaining about what he perceived to be overzealous rules enforcement, in the House of Commons, and Mike did slap him down for that, but that has nothing to do with the statement you and others have seized upon as evidence that Stark was laying down ultimatums.
I'd like to say here that what I think was unfortunately taken as passive-aggressive was simply my honesty. Even before this situation I've always supported Mike's obvious authority here, and in the very thread you and Bean discuss I consider 'Mike decided' an instant end to the discussion (as in any other discussion regarding the running of the board). I can see how in the aftermath my posting could have been taken the wrong way - especially by Mike, who has no time for people who question his ownership of the board - but my posts at that time were concerned with what happened and why, and now that it's in the open (and in the past) there's certainly no point moaning about any of it.

Sorry I haven't been able to post in this discussion earlier; my girlfriend and I are moving in together, it's Melbourne Cup week, and there's no net connection here at the moment. The phone-posting was enough for quick posts, but doesn't cut it for anything important.

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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Steve » 2009-11-02 05:03am

I'll admit I've never been a fan of Stark, but I am concerned that we are sending the wrong message. Testing is declawed, the House of Commons has been eliminated. If the Senate considers these things such victories (a debatable assertion IMHO), we should be magnanimous in that victory. Allow Stark to show capability to contribute now that things have changed and to be a dissenting voice in the affairs of the Senate and Moderators. At the very least this discussion should be tabled for a month or two, as Tevar has recommended. I could swear I saw someone second her motion to table, and if so I third it, but if I'm wrong then I second that motion.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Steve » 2009-11-02 06:48am

Given the subject of the other current discussion thread, I now seriously question the validity of the initial motion for expulsion.

Going by 2.C.II.a. of the rules, a member may call for an expulsion from the Senate and start a motion. At the moment we have a thread to determine what standing Shep or any other mod who was not A) initially a Senator or B) nominated and elected to the Senate after becoming a mod has actual membership in the Senate as opposed to posting privileges, thereby implying that Shep may not be considered an actual member of the Senate, as opposed to just being a moderator with Senate posting access, and thus under 2.C.II.a has no standing to make a motion.

If my reading of the rules is thus accurate, this would be the second time a proposal or attempt to expel Stark has been commenced under questionable protocol, which only fuels the perception that Stark is not being ejected for actual misbehavior but out of a vendetta against him by Mods and Senators who dislike him. Not just a vendetta, really, but also arguably "victor's vengeance".

I again ask the Senators to reconsider this motion and give a little more time. If Stark's behavior is still atrocious and unbefitting a Senator in a month or so, then we may recommence the motion and vote to expel.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Lagmonster » 2009-11-02 08:01am

Steve wrote:If my reading of the rules is thus accurate, this would be the second time a proposal or attempt to expel Stark has been commenced under questionable protocol, which only fuels the perception that Stark is not being ejected for actual misbehavior but out of a vendetta against him by Mods and Senators who dislike him. Not just a vendetta, really, but also arguably "victor's vengeance".
If people are actually planning to vote him out because they don't like him, time won't heal that. If anything, it just delays the inevitable. If people are planning to vote based on consideration of his performance as a Senator or standing as a member, then now is as good a time as any to mount his defense.

On a personal note, I warmly anticipate a time when we go several weeks without a single thread in the Senate at all. It will mean the board is running smoothly and people are discussing topical threads rather than drama or policy.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Coyote » 2009-11-02 08:09am

I don't see the loss of the HoC as a victory by any means; I also don't feel the same way about Testing, which I sometimes enjoyed. This was a case where select neighborhoods had to be burned in order to save the village as a whole, because those villages had become places to stir dissent for no good reason. I lobbied hard to create HoC in the first place, the intent being to give a place for regular members to discuss board policy. It became, instead, a place to attack the Staff. That and Testing became downright vitriolic at times.

The problem with Stark in all this goes beyond the confrontation with Bean-- that has simply been the primary focus at the moment.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Steve » 2009-11-02 08:55am

I didn't necessarily mean you saw it as such, Coyote, but I do believe we have some people here who were quite happy to see Testing suppressed and the House of Commons shut down. I feel bad that your work regarding the latter has come to naught.

And Bean, I believe it only does us disservice if we end up expelling Stark from the Senate on questionable protocol, because it looks like we acted impatiently and without regard for our own rules. If Stark is to be expelled, let it be with no cloud over our heads about how we did it and with our reasons for it completely articulated. The latter has apparently been met, but allowing Shep to spearhead this second attempt even as the status of non-Senator mods in the Senate is being debated is not the way to do this.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Stuart » 2009-11-02 10:00am

Since I believe that this is now going to a vote, I'd guess that any further comment is superfluous. However, I do think that motions to remove Senators (or anybody else) should be a last resort and should follow other actions of remonstrance. Should there not be an intermediate step or steps that can be applied (for example suspension of membership for a set period?) It seems very hard to go straight to expulsion even if the subject eminently deserves it. After all, a suspension of membership (a Senatorial equivalent of a temp-ban) may bring about a reformation.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Thanas » 2009-11-02 10:28am

I am against expulsing Stark. In my opinion, the evidence does not support such an action. I also second what Steve and RedImperator said.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Coyote » 2009-11-02 10:59am

Steve wrote:...allowing Shep to spearhead this second attempt even as the status of non-Senator mods in the Senate is being debated is not the way to do this.
Well, Shep's post that started this was a surprise; I knew there were folks discussing revisiting the Stark situation eventually after gathering evidence, etc. But it seems to me that dismissing Shep's charge just because it's Shep is no better way to handle this, either. It isn't "Shep's problem with Stark" it is "Stark's role in the recent problems, which Shep merely pointed out".

It has been felt for some time that, instead of trying to help deal with dissent and defuse trouble, Stark assisted the dissent and egged on people to more dissent. There were many involved, but Stark was the only Senator who took part without going through channels. Hotfoot also stated he didn't like the idea of the Senate or the Senate's influence on policy, but, he expressed his opinions and went through votes and discussions rather than inflame opinions and undermine people.

Stark, as a Senator, poured gasoline on the fire and egged on troublmakers, and not even for any real goal, but simply for kicks. Was this our fault for allowing Stark in the Senate in the first place? Maybe so-- but if allowing Stark in the Senate in the first place was "our mistake", then it is a mistake that is now caught and we need to "clean up". I thought it would be great to take some of the dissenting opinions and hear what they had to say-- give an iconoclast some voice and who knows, maybe they can help bring in interesting new points of view. But instead, he was just the SDN bomb-throwing anarchist. But it can't be said he wasn't given a chance or a platform; it can't be said his "voice was stifled" or some other quixotic BS. He was given a chance to be an influence and he used it to attempt to undermine the institutions Mike put in place to help run the board. That's not "heroic", that's like asking the failed graduate of the Kamikaze Academy to help fly the plane.
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
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In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Imperial Overlord » 2009-11-02 12:42pm

I am strongly against expelling Stark.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Dalton » 2009-11-02 12:53pm

Look, the fact of the matter is that Moderators, right now, can start a Discussion thread. I frankly don't see the point in closing this one down just so a normal Senator can repost it, just because Sheppard started it - someone was going to do so anyway. The discussion is open, it is lively, and it's not going to a vote just yet. The question now is, is this vote supported and seconded? What options should be included in the vote, if appropriate (i.e. Yes/No/Table/Abstain)?
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by fgalkin » 2009-11-02 12:56pm

Jesus Christ, we're like a real Senate now- we're bogged down in rules minutae and semantics bullshit.

What next, we'll start having filibusters to kill motions we don't like?

Have a very nice day.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Steve » 2009-11-02 01:13pm

fgalkin wrote:Jesus Christ, we're like a real Senate now- we're bogged down in rules minutae and semantics bullshit.

What next, we'll start having filibusters to kill motions we don't like?

Have a very nice day.
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Damn, I don't have a phonebook. Oooh, I know! I'll start reading "Castles of Steel" on the Senate floor! It accomplishes the need of a filibuster and is educational to boot. :lol:
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Coyote » 2009-11-02 02:50pm

I, personally, would like to know why some people want to keep Stark. They haven't given any reasons or examples of his brilliant oratory, wit, or contributions, only that they oppose kicking him out. Most of their opposition is based on semantics and technicalities about the way the whole thing has been brought up, not any examples of his contributions or worth. Hint: a million one-liners of "LOL SRS BZNZZ WHO KNEW" are not "contribution" and "worth". In fact, that aspect of his posting history has not even yet been touched on (although it was brought up in the first posts) because of dissembling about technicalities, Shep, and the "Bean controversy".

Just his rambling one-liners alone would have earned any other, normal poster the proud title of "Retarded Spambot" by now, and in fact we've had some (since redeemed) "Retarded Spambots" who actually had posted more content than his Bill the Cat style spaz attacks, yet still got pegged with the CT.

I'm curious to know why there is such an effort to keep someone under such circumstances. Old Boy's Club attitude from the good old days of Testing or HoC silliness, maybe? Is that any more of a solid basis for making decisions than Shep being "a meanie" or whatever?
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

If all you want to do is have some harmless, mindless fun, go H3RE INST3ADZ0RZ!!
Grrr! Fight my Brute, you pansy!

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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Ghost Rider » 2009-11-02 02:57pm

Coyote wrote:I, personally, would like to know why some people want to keep Stark. They haven't given any reasons or examples of his brilliant oratory, wit, or contributions, only that they oppose kicking him out. Most of their opposition is based on semantics and technicalities about the way the whole thing has been brought up, not any examples of his contributions or worth. Hint: a million one-liners of "LOL SRS BZNZZ WHO KNEW" are not "contribution" and "worth". In fact, that aspect of his posting history has not even yet been touched on (although it was brought up in the first posts) because of dissembling about technicalities, Shep, and the "Bean controversy".

Just his rambling one-liners alone would have earned any other, normal poster the proud title of "Retarded Spambot" by now, and in fact we've had some (since redeemed) "Retarded Spambots" who actually had posted more content than his Bill the Cat style spaz attacks, yet still got pegged with the CT.

I'm curious to know why there is such an effort to keep someone under such circumstances. Old Boy's Club attitude from the good old days of Testing or HoC silliness, maybe? Is that any more of a solid basis for making decisions than Shep being "a meanie" or whatever?
That can easily perverted into a slippery slope for many, many senators. Personally the fact there is opposition is a good thing and Red is making some good points about what is and isn't being done.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-11-02 03:05pm

Should every senator have to provide such proof of their worth? If so, you and all the rest of us should start now.

The motion presented is that Stark is unfit to be a Senator. It is up to those making that assertion to provide proof of that claim, and so far it's been a lot of hemming and hawing about how they just don't like him. The specific examples brought to bear have been sufficiently discredited by Red and others. He had nine threads linked to his credit as solid contributions to SDN as a whole in his nomination, and the specific comments being used against him were taken very much out of context and distorted.

That he's made useless posts elsewhere is irrelevant, so have numerous senators and mods. Hell, I've made some useless posts, and I can be an asshole myself. Might as well call for my expulsion if that's the benchline we're shooting for.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by MKSheppard » 2009-11-02 03:10pm

Ghost Rider wrote:That can easily perverted into a slippery slope for many, many senators.
Slippery slope?

Excuse me, but as Coyote has pointed out, Stark's contribution to the board has been a net negative in many many ways.

You only need to run a post search with the keywords Who Knew (or variants thereof) and with the user ID of Stark.

For example in the "Why do Most Wannabe SF writers reject science" thread HERE; Stark spams forth a useless oneliner:
Turns out how the actions are sold dramatically is what count? Who knew.
That's just one example.

If I was a sadomachoist, I would laboriously go through Stark's posting history and pull enough smarmy no-content filled one-liners by him that I'd fill a phonebook. But I'm not.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by MKSheppard » 2009-11-02 03:10pm

Hotfoot wrote:Hell, I've made some useless posts, and I can be an asshole myself. Might as well call for my expulsion if that's the benchline we're shooting for.
Except your useless post to useful post ratio is significantly above 1:1.

Stark? Not so much.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by MKSheppard » 2009-11-02 03:16pm

Coyote wrote:In fact, that aspect of his posting history has not even yet been touched on (although it was brought up in the first posts) because of dissembling about technicalities, Shep, and the "Bean controversy".
I think one of the reasons his posting history has not been touched upon, is because it's like the turds of someone who has eaten a lot of corn. There may be some useful things (posts/corn) within the pile of shit; but overall, it's 95% a pile of shit; consisting of many memes like "LOL WHO KNEW", "SRS BUIZINESS", "LOL FATTYNERDS", etc or some mixture of that.

As for why I started this discussion? There was rumblings recently amongst the board staff; but nobody had yet taken the plunge into Senateland. So I strapped up myself to the SADM, and parachuted in; it's something I do very well, remember how Crayz or whoever had Robert Scott Anderson's work phone number on his website for years and years, but nobody had ever called it to confirm it until one day I decided to do it? :o
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-11-02 04:42pm

MKSheppard wrote:
Hotfoot wrote:Hell, I've made some useless posts, and I can be an asshole myself. Might as well call for my expulsion if that's the benchline we're shooting for.
Except your useless post to useful post ratio is significantly above 1:1.

Stark? Not so much.
Let's clarify this: Why are you going after Stark, because there seem to be three reasons going around.

1. He makes some useless posts that somehow outweigh his worthwhile contributions.

Why isn't anyone demanding that Yosemite Bear by expelled from the Senate then? By my count, he's not made any serious contribution to SDN since its very formation, and Stark's Signal to Noise ratio is certainly better than Bear's. More to the point, I wasn't aware that anything short of directly violating board policy was grounds for dismissal from the Senate.

2. He got pissed off at Bean and fgalkin for doing what LOOKED AT THE TIME like it was unilateral mod action, something that Mike himself spoke out about earlier that week.

Might as well kick out Red and myself and anyone else who saw that and got pissed off at it.

3. He's said the Senate is useless.

Are we giving up on this one? Because I've said that for a while now and I was arguably more inflammatory than Stark. Hell, I lead the charge to utterly disband the Senate because I felt the House of Commons was doing a better job than the Senate was.

So hey, all three arguments I've heard so far involve kicking out more than just Stark, yet we're focusing on him. Is it the trifecta? Because it sure isn't from any actual rules violation that I've seen. Being an ass posting snide one-liners in threads isn't grounds for banning here yet as far as I've seen. If so, we should ban fgalkin (Have a nice day).

But hey, if this is really about a Senator's posting history, not about points raised in the Senate or House of Commons, then by all means, let's dredge up EVERY Senator's posting histories and look for anything we don't like. I would like to know what magical ratio we end up using to determine if a Senator is incapable of doing their job or not based on posts with no real merit. Are there any other criteria we can use? By all means, let's get started. This is probably the most effective way to gut the Senate completely, you know.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Steve » 2009-11-02 05:23pm

Dalton wrote:Look, the fact of the matter is that Moderators, right now, can start a Discussion thread. I frankly don't see the point in closing this one down just so a normal Senator can repost it, just because Sheppard started it - someone was going to do so anyway. The discussion is open, it is lively, and it's not going to a vote just yet. The question now is, is this vote supported and seconded? What options should be included in the vote, if appropriate (i.e. Yes/No/Table/Abstain)?
I believe the vote was supported and seconded on the first page, but there is debate about whether the supporting links constitute material making one worthy of expulsion. I'll leave it up to you, the Chancellor, or any other with vote thread authority to decide if it should be brought to a vote.

As for the vote options, I would support the four you laid out. Tabling the expulsion should mean it cannot be brought back up before December 1st unless a clear majority (say 60-66% of the Senate) makes clear their desire to reconsider.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Coyote » 2009-11-02 05:33pm

fgalkin wrote:Jesus Christ, we're like a real Senate now- we're bogged down in rules minutae and semantics bullshit.

What next, we'll start having filibusters to kill motions we don't like?
What, you haven't noticed? :P
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

If all you want to do is have some harmless, mindless fun, go H3RE INST3ADZ0RZ!!
Grrr! Fight my Brute, you pansy!

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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Coyote » 2009-11-02 05:37pm

Dalton wrote:Look, the fact of the matter is that Moderators, right now, can start a Discussion thread. I frankly don't see the point in closing this one down just so a normal Senator can repost it, just because Sheppard started it - someone was going to do so anyway. The discussion is open, it is lively, and it's not going to a vote just yet. The question now is, is this vote supported and seconded? What options should be included in the vote, if appropriate (i.e. Yes/No/Table/Abstain)?
Apparantly a discussion thread started by Shep has cooties; the motion has been made and seconded, if not, I am seconding it now.

The vote should be--

Shall Stark be removed from the Senate?
Yes
No
Table until December 1st.
Abstain
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

If all you want to do is have some harmless, mindless fun, go H3RE INST3ADZ0RZ!!
Grrr! Fight my Brute, you pansy!

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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Dalton » 2009-11-02 05:39pm

Steve wrote:
Dalton wrote:Look, the fact of the matter is that Moderators, right now, can start a Discussion thread. I frankly don't see the point in closing this one down just so a normal Senator can repost it, just because Sheppard started it - someone was going to do so anyway. The discussion is open, it is lively, and it's not going to a vote just yet. The question now is, is this vote supported and seconded? What options should be included in the vote, if appropriate (i.e. Yes/No/Table/Abstain)?
I believe the vote was supported and seconded on the first page, but there is debate about whether the supporting links constitute material making one worthy of expulsion. I'll leave it up to you, the Chancellor, or any other with vote thread authority to decide if it should be brought to a vote.
My main concern is that any vote would be rife with vindictiveness and not objective. I do not have time right now to look through the evidence and make an informed decision, so I will leave it in the capable hands of our Chancellor to decide.
Steve wrote:As for the vote options, I would support the four you laid out. Tabling the expulsion should mean it cannot be brought back up before December 1st unless a clear majority (say 60-66% of the Senate) makes clear their desire to reconsider.
Agreed on this point. Let's see what an objective review of the evidence says. If anyone wishes to bring up any more evidence, please do so.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Steve » 2009-11-02 05:42pm

Coyote wrote:
fgalkin wrote:Jesus Christ, we're like a real Senate now- we're bogged down in rules minutae and semantics bullshit.

What next, we'll start having filibusters to kill motions we don't like?
What, you haven't noticed? :P
I'm still picking which book I shall read on the metaphorical Senate floor. 8)

Sadly I have no phone books.

Anyway, even given these circumstances in this thread it's good to see you again, Dalton, hope you're doing well.
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"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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