[Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Keevan_Colton » 2009-11-03 06:37am

Surlethe wrote:There's another argument against Stark's membership in the Senate which I have not yet seen used: why should he be in the Senate? There are accusations from certain quarters (a certain clique? :wink:) that Stark was essentially a "Testing" candidate, only nominated because Testing people in the HoC nominated him, and would not have gotten into the Senate any other way. If this is true, then he should be removed not because of misbehavior but simply because he was wrongly elevated. If this is not true, it shouldn't be difficult to dig up the evidence supporting his membership.
He was however voted in the same way as everyone else here since the initial creation, will we be kicking them all out too? The links to the nomination thread and evidence offered up there are already here in this thread.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Bounty » 2009-11-03 07:00am

There's another argument against Stark's membership in the Senate which I have not yet seen used: why should he be in the Senate?
Because Senate members in good conscience and taking all due considerations into account voted for his acceptance. Unless you want to retroactively question the motives and/or competence of everyone who voted 'yes' in that poll, the argument is a non-starter.

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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Thanas » 2009-11-03 07:25am

A PM I received:
Anonymous comment for the Senate:

I think that it displays rather poor form if the person who started the discussion on hand does not want to pursue it further by providing detailed evidence of the matter he is prosecuting, and instead when demanded to do so by another peer just excuses himself with some military graphs and matters involving canceled 1960s fighter planes.

I speak of Shep, of course.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Bounty » 2009-11-03 07:39am

Likewise, I have been notified by PM that Shep's behaviour is a gross violation of Debating Rule 5:
Back Up Your Claims. If you make a contentious statement of fact and someone asks for evidence, you must either provide it or withdraw the claim. Do not call it "self evident", restate it in different words, force the other person to prove your claim is not true, or use other weasel techniques to avoid backing up your claims.

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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Tiriol » 2009-11-03 07:44am

Oh, for the love of God...

The OWNER of the board himself said that he could have banned Stark instead of just telling him to shut the hell up. Stark could have critized the moderator actions in the Senate, as is proper, but he didn't. Instead he harped about it in the House of Commons, made snide remarks and stirred shit up until Mike called him on it. Several posters have already mentioned that many of Stark's posts consisted mostly of "LOL fatty nerds WHO KNEW?!!!111" -style of dialogue, which is rather unbecoming of a Senator. And please, there is no standing rule that a moderator could not open a discussion about someone's removal, so until the rules are modified, Shep was within his rights to open this discussion, so it cannot be invalidated by claiming that Shep didn't have that right.

We are NOT discussing about banning Stark. We are discussing whether to remove him from the Senate. The very first sentence of the rules state that
The Senate Rules wrote:1. Ethics – This is designed as a forum for experienced and thoughtful members, as such you should represent yourself at all times with a higher standard. These aren’t rules but guidelines as to how you should conduct yourself in the public eye…and you are in the public eye.
which means that yes, the Senators should conduct themselves in a good manner and not go aorund LOLing at people and undermining moderators' authority, passive-aggressively or otherwise. What standards for removal there should be if not that and the violations of administrative rules 3 and 6 (rule 3 since Stark, as a Senator, could have brought the matter straight to the Senate instead of moaning about it elsewhere; he didn't even have to contact any other Senator, since he already had an access to this board). We have BANNED people for breaking the rule 6; what we are now doing is relatively light compared to that, unless someone thinks that getting removed from the Senate is as bad as getting booted from the board.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Lagmonster » 2009-11-03 08:10am

Will all you fuckers please bring this to a vote already? We've heard from goddamn MIKE, for fuck's sake, we've heard the arguments against Stark, we've certainly heard Stark's defence, and we've even heard from Stark himself. Unless Stark's defence would like to further invite the prosecution to improve their arguments so as to secure more votes for their opponent.

Forget tabling - dragging out the drama is a piss-poor idea - and put it to vote already.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by CmdrWilkens » 2009-11-03 09:01am

Lagmonster wrote:Will all you fuckers please bring this to a vote already? We've heard from goddamn MIKE, for fuck's sake, we've heard the arguments against Stark, we've certainly heard Stark's defence, and we've even heard from Stark himself. Unless Stark's defence would like to further invite the prosecution to improve their arguments so as to secure more votes for their opponent.

Forget tabling - dragging out the drama is a piss-poor idea - and put it to vote already.
You know you could have read my post where I specifically mentioend that this will not be brought to a vote before I return from my trip to Atlanta (I'm actually posting in flight right now) when I again have access to my voter database. I get that folks want this to be over but we just finished passing a rule requiring discussion before a vote and my call is to hold off until Wednesday night.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Coyote » 2009-11-03 09:05am

I'm sorry I'm not a fucking lawyer by trade, or I'd have put together a slick Perry Mason case. As it is, I'm juggling all sorts of things in my life as well, and I already pointed out that this kicked off a lot earlier than I'd expected; I was thinking of addressing this in... December, of all things. I was still looking at evidence and poking through threads, and the list I had on the first page was what had been cobbled together thus far.

But maybe Hotfoot and all the rest are right-- maybe Senate should be disbanded, since we're not allowed to discipline a member just because he's "popular" among some folks, maybe folks who feel like they've already paid enough by having their playgrounds torched. The only thing we're looking at here is removing Stark from the Senate, not banning or titling him, and we're certainly not trying to "go after" anyone else who helped turn HoC and Testing into a sewer. A lot of people contributed to the shitstrom, but Stark was the only Senator involved. And Hotfoot, before you try to defend Stark by saying you, too, felt as he did, are you going to admit that you can't tell the difference between reasoned debate and dissent in context of the rules, and spamshit quasi-insurgency?

I pointed out before, Stark's constant one-liner memeshit posting would have earned any ordinary user a Retarded Spambot title; why is Stark the great and noble folk hero made of Teflon?
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by CmdrWilkens » 2009-11-03 09:08am

Thanas wrote:Is that really what happened, though? I did a search for Stark and his posts in the senate and as far as I can tell, they are no worse than those of the vast majority of senators. Heck, at least he is one of the few who actually care enough to post an opinion in here, something which the vast majority of senators does not.

I'd rather have Stark in the senate than someone who does not participate at all.
Except that, as with Dalton's point about comparing Stark to Bear, the question is whether or not such behaviro should be expected or not. If we deem that it should not been then it is entirely possible that we should start kicking a lot of folks out of the Senate. I personally have no issue with the idea of having a higher standard which requires us to shed members.

In other words you argument doesn't actually provide support for Stark so much as say he is no worse than others who should probably be kicked as well.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Darth Wong » 2009-11-03 09:17am

The problem I'm having with the Senate right now is that it's acting like a social club, not like a useful deliberative body. When one of its own members misbehaves, it has demonstrated itself to be completely incapable of dealing with the situation, unless you think "circling wagons around the club member in question" is dealing with it.

Remember Poe? The guy was openly engaging in racist trolling and still the Senate wouldn't touch him. Marina was misbehaving to the point that she recognized it herself and asked to be removed, which is good because the Senate would have been paralyzed. Stark commits an offense that would get a n00b banned, and still the Senate refuses to act, making excuse after excuse for him, as if it's really no big deal that he was actually helping rile up malcontents and forcing me to personally intervene to keep him from precipitating another of the goddamned soap-opera shitstorms that periodically seems to grace this place.

And then I'm told (by Hotfoot, apparently, who has appointed himself the arbiter of what the Senate is for, even though I originally created it) that a person's habit of spammy opinion posts has absolutely nothing to do with the question of whether he should be in the Senate.

If the Senate is so resistant to the idea of any kind of standards being imposed on its members, then I have to ask whether it has, in fact, become a sort of entitlement. The original members of the Senate were chosen for a history of making interesting or useful contributions, or at least generally conducting themselves as good citizens rather than shit-disturbers. Since when was this standard declared to be completely unimportant? Is there any standard at all?

Frankly, if the Senate is completely incapable of kicking anyone out once he's in (and it increasingly looks that way to me: a beef I've had ever since the Poe incident), then I will have to come up with a solution of my own, because I quite frankly consider that unacceptable. I would prefer that the Senate come up with a way of dealing with this issue on its own, but I've been periodically asking about this for more than a year, and I've seen zero action. People occasionally admit that it seems like it's impossible to get rid of someone once he's in, but nobody is interested in changing that situation.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Stuart » 2009-11-03 09:43am

Well said Mike.

It is apparent that Stark has a group of supporters who have indeed circled wagons around him and are grimly determined to protect him at all costs. Every effort to respond to his behavior is met by demands for delays, "table the situation for another month or two hundred" and so on. It's also interesting to note that it's largely the same group of people who were proclaiming that the Senate was "too large" and were block-voting to prevent any new entrants. This tends to suggest that the clique in question does indeed tend to regard the Senate as being a social club for themselves and their friends instead of an advisory body to the administration and are determined to prevent any change to that perceived situation.

Mike is quite right; Stark's behavior would have got him kicked out of pretty much any serious internet community. I run a community myself and have been a long-time member of quite a few more and I can't imagine him getting any administrative position in any of those communities. A quick look through the Hall of Shame and the records therein show the disproportionate number of his comments and remarks that have been sent there. It is my understanding that there would be a lot more only the evidence of them was lost when the Testing Board was auto-purged.

I think Stark is a definitive test-case of the Senate being able to administer and discipline itself. Based on the defined criteria, he should never have been voted in and, given his behavior, he should not be allowed to stay in. Whether he is allowed to remain part of the SDN community is another matter of course.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Coyote » 2009-11-03 10:06am

Simply trying to remove Stark from the Senate is being incredibly lenient, considering that banning (and IMO titling) are also in the realm of possibility. They certainly would be for any ordinary (ie, non folk-hero martyr Che Guevara Jesus) poster by now.
Stark wrote:Regardless, since the End of Drama it's notable that many posters - myself included - have responded appropriately to the posting standards announced by Bean and Mike last time I had regular access to the forum.
But why did it have to get that far in the first place? Why did the cops have to get called at all?
Stark wrote:I'm not seeing how anything I said - to Bean or anyone else - is calling for a revolution. The very idea on a web board doesn't even make sense. Indeed, the posts quoted in this thread involve my asking about what was happening; and personally I don't see it as appropriate to PM Mike about the actions of staff when I have no idea what is happening.
You think Bean & fgalking are running amuck on Mike's board, but don't think it is important enough to ask Mike what is going on? Mike, the guy who "hired" Bean & fgalkin, and owns the board they are "rampaging"? So instead of asking, you just start attacking and undermining the staff?

Let's see how that plays out elsewhere...

"Hey, I saw two guys break into your back yard while you were at work. They shit in the flowerbed, threw your tools in the wood chipper, torched your garden shed and let your dog go free."

"How come you didn't call me?"

"I didn't want to bother you."

"Did you do anything at all?"

"I decided to throw rocks at your windows, since what's the point in building a fence on your property if it doesn't do any good?"

Hmm, no, doesn't seem to work.
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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 Darth Wong » 2009-11-03 10:21am

If someone thinks Mr Bean is abusing his position, here's an idea: use the Senate for its purpose and start a reasonable discussion to see whether Mr Bean should be removed as a moderator, instead of deciding "Oh well, I'll just be a miscreant and/or I'll excuse other peoples' miscreant behaviour".

This is precisely the kind of childish attitude I'm having a problem with. Someone thinks a moderator is misbehaving. Even though there is a procedure in place for dealing with just such an accusation, he doesn't use it. Instead, he just acts like a turd, and when he gets caught, others rise to his defense by saying "Well, he didn't like so-and-so, and I think he might have a point because so-and-so can be a bit of a dick, and that's why he was acting like a turd, so you should cut him some slack".

What is this, grade 3? People are incapable of discussing a grievance like adults so they cheer someone on when he becomes disruptive?
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Steve » 2009-11-03 10:25am

I can admit I was wrong. I feared we were going too far in expelling Stark now and not giving time and that we were even doing it in a manner questionable under our own rules.

And now, as much as this will seem like ass-kissing, I find myself agreeing with Mike. Stark has become a litmus test on the Senate's ability to police itself, which we apparently don't have the best record for doing.

As such, even though Wilkens has already stated the motion was rendered moot by the earlier seconding to vote, I still wish rescind my second to table the vote from the record and furthermore believe we should commence a vote on expulsion of Stark from the Senate within the next 12-24 hours, all due respect to Wilkens for what is a reasonable desire to permit more discussion on the issue in the face of the last vote. I'm just not sure right now that more discussion will yield any fruit. What is evidence of Stark's misbehavior and unworthiness to one person seems to be considered proper posting that's been misunderstood or put out of context by another. More discussion at this point frankly means more of this polarizing board drama which does nobody good.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by RedImperator » 2009-11-03 10:35am

Darth Wong wrote:
RedImperator wrote:1. Emotions were running high all over the board that day. In that context, I can understand taking out your frustrations passive-aggressively, even if it's the wrong thing to do.
2. It's one offense. Yeah, it could have gotten a noob banned, but there's always been far more slack for established members than for newcomers.
3. When you told him to shut the fuck up, he shut the fuck up.
1. Emotions were running high all over the board that day in part because of Stark stirring the pot himself.
Most of the things Stark was saying that day was what a lot of people were thinking (and saying privately). That's always been Stark's MO. As far as creating drama, your own staff caused far more drama than there needed to be for their own amusement, and most of Stark's posting was in response to it.
2. Yes, people can get cut slack. That means they don't get banned. It doesn't mean we continue to say "Hey, this guy is great, he can help make important decisions".
Not in and of itself, no. But this morning, I scrolled through Stark's posting history, and contrary to everyone in this thread who's said (without evidence) that it's nothing but "LOL FATTYNERDS", the random sampling I got was overwhelmingly positive contributions. And no matter how little people like how he phrased his criticisms, most of his criticism of the Senate was right-on at the time. The rest of his Senate record shows solid contributions as well.
3. That should not have been necessary. A fucking Senator should not be the kind of person who behaves in such a ridiculous fashion that I have to personally thunder at him before he starts acting like an adult.
No, he shouldn't have. But people make mistakes, and given Stark's record as a Senator and a board member, I think he should be forgiven this one, and it's my intention to vote that way when the time comes.
I don't particularly care whether Shep, Bean, and Coyote did a good case of arguing their point. The Senate is not supposed to consist of people who act like children and require a smack on the head from an authority figure before they will discuss things like adults.
Mike, you acted as if you were frustrated the Senate either wasn't seeing the self-evident case against Stark or it was seeing it and just setting impossibly high standards for expulsion. All I was saying was that the Senate was responding to the case that was made before it, no more, no less.
Surlethe wrote:There's another argument against Stark's membership in the Senate which I have not yet seen used: why should he be in the Senate? There are accusations from certain quarters (a certain clique? :wink:) that Stark was essentially a "Testing" candidate, only nominated because Testing people in the HoC nominated him, and would not have gotten into the Senate any other way. If this is true, then he should be removed not because of misbehavior but simply because he was wrongly elevated. If this is not true, it shouldn't be difficult to dig up the evidence supporting his membership.
Burden of proof is on the side making the charges. At any rate, it doesn't matter how he was nominated--he was rightfully elected. There was a "none" option in that poll, an option that the Senate has been happy to select many times since then. Furthermore, he's been a good Senator--a lot more active than quite a few other members, and his criticisms of it were accurate no matter how much people dislike how he said it.
Tiriol wrote: Several posters have already mentioned that many of Stark's posts consisted mostly of "LOL fatty nerds WHO KNEW?!!!111" -style of dialogue, which is rather unbecoming of a Senator.
You know what "several posters" haven't done? Actually backed this up. Congratulations--now you're one of "several posters" too.
Coyote wrote:I'm sorry I'm not a fucking lawyer by trade, or I'd have put together a slick Perry Mason case. As it is, I'm juggling all sorts of things in my life as well, and I already pointed out that this kicked off a lot earlier than I'd expected; I was thinking of addressing this in... December, of all things. I was still looking at evidence and poking through threads, and the list I had on the first page was what had been cobbled together thus far.
So Shep jumped the gun. Not my problem. Nobody's asking for a "slick Perry Mason" case, just arguments that are actually supported by evidence and don't rely on taking things Stark said out of context. For fuck's sake, Mike made a better case in five minutes than you, Bean, and Shep did in two days.
But maybe Hotfoot and all the rest are right-- maybe Senate should be disbanded, since we're not allowed to discipline a member just because he's "popular" among some folks, maybe folks who feel like they've already paid enough by having their playgrounds torched.
Overreact much? You made a bad case and the opinion of the Senate turned against you.
Darth Wong wrote:If the Senate is so resistant to the idea of any kind of standards being imposed on its members, then I have to ask whether it has, in fact, become a sort of entitlement. The original members of the Senate were chosen for a history of making interesting or useful contributions, or at least generally conducting themselves as good citizens rather than shit-disturbers. Since when was this standard declared to be completely unimportant? Is there any standard at all?
I've said it once already: Stark was cruising because the people making the case against him did a shit job of it. You can't blame the Senate for not reacting to arguments that weren't made. You're the only one who's made a good argument, and that was less than twelve hours ago. If you or someone else had made it coming out of the gate, Hotfoot and I would probably be deep in the minority. Hell, we still might be, once more people read it.
Frankly, if the Senate is completely incapable of kicking anyone out once he's in (and it increasingly looks that way to me: a beef I've had ever since the Poe incident), then I will have to come up with a solution of my own, because I quite frankly consider that unacceptable. I would prefer that the Senate come up with a way of dealing with this issue on its own, but I've been periodically asking about this for more than a year, and I've seen zero action. People occasionally admit that it seems like it's impossible to get rid of someone once he's in, but nobody is interested in changing that situation.
Plenty of people would probably like to change that situation; the thing that's always kept me gunshy about it was the drama storm that would inevitably follow, and I suspect it was similar for others. As for the times the Senate has actually tried to expel members, the Poe incident was disgraceful and I have no explanation for that. As for this one? Bean made it look like a railroad job by rushing to a vote without discussion, which I think poisoned the well to begin with, and then the case against Stark was just plain badly made (highlighted by Shep categorically refusing to provide evidence when asked to do so). Combined with the fact that two of the people making that case openly loathe Stark, and this whole thing looked an awful lot more like "Bean hates Stark and is trying to get rid of him for personal reasons". I know for a fact you have experience with this kind of situation--people with an obvious grudge make a bad case for disciplining a member; subsequently, the standard of evidence required to discipline that member is higher because everyone's jaundiced from the first attempt.
Stuart wrote:It is apparent that Stark has a group of supporters who have indeed circled wagons around him and are grimly determined to protect him at all costs. Every effort to respond to his behavior is met by demands for delays, "table the situation for another month or two hundred" and so on.
Yeah, it's not like anyone has systematically responded to the arguments made against Stark or pointed out no evidence has been presented and the central pillar of the anti-Stark case was a quote from him taken completely out of context. And I oppose any more delays or tabling or anything else and said so publicly. Frankly, I think a delay favors the side opposed to Stark; it's clear now that Bean and Coyote were planning a much more methodical case, and Shep blew up their plans by jumping the gun. A (second) do-over would give them time to get their acts together; unfortunately for them, the majority on both sides has no patience for any more delays.
Coyote wrote:You think Bean & fgalking are running amuck on Mike's board, but don't think it is important enough to ask Mike what is going on?
This is like, the third time I've said this, but people were asking what was going on all day, and not only did the staff not say anything, but Bean outright lied about what was going on and contributed to the impression he was acting like a douche unilaterally and treating the Senate like a joke, and from what I recall, all of Stark's criticism that day, in and out of the Senate was "the mods are being unilateral douches who treat the Senate like a joke". Mike wasn't even on the board most of that day to ask. The case against Stark seems to be "Stark caused drama", except the drama that day was primarily caused by Bean and fgalkin themselves, for their own amusement--by fgalkin's own admission! All one of them had to do was say "Mike's given us carte blanche to nuke Testing; say goodbye, suckers!", and while you still probably would have had drama (like Ohma's meltdown), I can guarantee you a lot more people would have swallowed their displeasure and kept quiet. Instead they made a total clusterfuck of it on purpose.

OT: Jesus, this topic is moving fast.
Darth Wong wrote:If someone thinks Mr Bean is abusing his position, here's an idea: use the Senate for its purpose and start a reasonable discussion to see whether Mr Bean should be removed as a moderator, instead of deciding "Oh well, I'll just be a miscreant and/or I'll excuse other peoples' miscreant behaviour".

This is precisely the kind of childish attitude I'm having a problem with. Someone thinks a moderator is misbehaving. Even though there is a procedure in place for dealing with just such an accusation, he doesn't use it. Instead, he just acts like a turd, and when he gets caught, others rise to his defense by saying "Well, he didn't like so-and-so, and I think he might have a point because so-and-so can be a bit of a dick, and that's why he was acting like a turd, so you should cut him some slack".

What is this, grade 3? People are incapable of discussing a grievance like adults so they cheer someone on when he becomes disruptive?
Mike I was a mod on this board for years and a member in good standing for even longer, which I figured bought me some slack to criticize the staff, and even I would never in a million years have posted "[Discussion]Should Mr.Bean be fired?" up until I read what you posted right now. My girlfriend actually asked me just last night if I'd ever do that, and my response was "No way. I'd just get shouted down and told 'the Senate doesn't make staff decisions, so STFU'." And if I'm not going to do it, who is? The other mods have to present a united front, and not to toot my own horn, but I've got more credibility to make a thread like that and less fear of punishment than most of the rest of the Senate. Stark absolutely, positively could have handled the situation better, and he'd probably admit as much himself, but there's just no way he or anyone else would have gone to the Senate to try to remove or even discipline a supermod. Given that, mockery and sniping are understandable, even if they weren't the right thing to do.
Steve wrote:As such, even though Wilkens has already stated the motion was rendered moot by the earlier seconding to vote, I still wish rescind my second to table the vote from the record and furthermore believe we should commence a vote on expulsion of Stark from the Senate within the next 12-24 hours, all due respect to Wilkens for what is a reasonable desire to permit more discussion on the issue in the face of the last vote. I'm just not sure right now that more discussion will yield any fruit. What is evidence of Stark's misbehavior and unworthiness to one person seems to be considered proper posting that's been misunderstood or put out of context by another. More discussion at this point frankly means more of this polarizing board drama which does nobody good.
I'm with you. Let's just get this over with.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Darth Wong » 2009-11-03 11:15am

In other words, this Senate has become like a real-life Senate: unwilling to ask tough questions or make substantial decisions, and preferring to guttersnipe and vote on inconsequential issues. I don't see that as a good excuse for anyone's conduct: not Stark and not those who are sticking up for him.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by RedImperator » 2009-11-03 11:28am

Darth Wong wrote:In other words, this Senate has become like a real-life Senate: unwilling to ask tough questions or make substantial decisions, and preferring to guttersnipe and vote on inconsequential issues. I don't see that as a good excuse for anyone's conduct: not Stark and not those who are sticking up for him.
Can you honestly say that if I had posted "[Discussion] X is abusing his mod powers" before today in the Senate, I wouldn't have been told "That's not Senate business, so fuck off"? Not from you, obviously, but from the mods--the same mods who are on record opposing any Senate intrusion into staff affairs. Because I was almost certainly in the best position to do something like that, and even I thought the best I could do was tiptoe around the issue. Point in fact, I can't ever remember reading that the Senate is allowed to bring accusations like that--maybe I just missed it or don't remember, but I'm honestly drawing a blank here.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Coyote » 2009-11-03 11:42am

RedImperator wrote:2. It's one offense. Yeah, it could have gotten a noob banned, but there's always been far more slack for established members than for newcomers.
And that is part of the problem.
RedImperator wrote:Most of the things Stark was saying that day was what a lot of people were thinking (and saying privately).
And yet other Senators did not feel the need to go spastic about it.
RedImperator wrote:That's always been Stark's MO. As far as creating drama, your own staff caused far more drama than there needed to be for their own amusement, and most of Stark's posting was in response to it.
If you have a problem with a Moderator or decisions made by staff, start a discussion thread. If the Mods were creating drama, there's a route to take.
RedImperator wrote:Overreact much? You made a bad case and the opinion of the Senate turned against you.
If "the opinion in the Senate" is you, Hotfoot, and a couple other folks, perhaps. Tevar's call to table the motion I see as neutral and non-partisan, I know myself, Bean, and Shep cannot possibly be the only ones who are displeased with Stark.
RedImperator wrote:I've said it once already: Stark was cruising because the people making the case against him did a shit job of it. You can't blame the Senate for not reacting to arguments that weren't made. You're the only one who's made a good argument, and that was less than twelve hours ago. If you or someone else had made it coming out of the gate, Hotfoot and I would probably be deep in the minority. Hell, we still might be, once more people read it.
So the charges have merit, they just weren't well packaged enough for you.
RedImperator wrote:Frankly, I think a delay favors the side opposed to Stark; it's clear now that Bean and Coyote were planning a much more methodical case, and Shep blew up their plans by jumping the gun. A (second) do-over would give them time to get their acts together; unfortunately for them, the majority on both sides has no patience for any more delays.
So if the charge has merit, you don't want to allow time for a proper compiliation to be made?
RedImperator wrote:... not only did the staff not say anything, but Bean outright lied about what was going on and contributed to the impression he was acting like a douche unilaterally and treating the Senate like a joke, and from what I recall, all of Stark's criticism that day, in and out of the Senate was "the mods are being unilateral douches who treat the Senate like a joke". Mike wasn't even on the board most of that day to ask. The case against Stark seems to be "Stark caused drama", except the drama that day was primarily caused by Bean and fgalkin themselves, for their own amusement--by fgalkin's own admission! All one of them had to do was say "Mike's given us carte blanche to nuke Testing; say goodbye, suckers!", and while you still probably would have had drama (like Ohma's meltdown), I can guarantee you a lot more people would have swallowed their displeasure and kept quiet. Instead they made a total clusterfuck of it on purpose.
You have a reason to bring up a discussion about Bean and fgalkin. Why not do that instead of trying to burn Bean and fgalkin on the Stark issue?
Darth Wong wrote:If someone thinks Mr Bean is abusing his position, here's an idea: use the Senate for its purpose and start a reasonable discussion to see whether Mr Bean should be removed as a moderator, instead of deciding "Oh well, I'll just be a miscreant and/or I'll excuse other peoples' miscreant behaviour".
This is what I've been saying all along, but apparantly the Senate and Mods appointed by you don't matter until you, yourself, come out and reinforce it.
RedImperator wrote:...I would never in a million years have posted "[Discussion]Should Mr.Bean be fired?" up until I read what you posted right now. My girlfriend actually asked me just last night if I'd ever do that, and my response was "No way. I'd just get shouted down and told 'the Senate doesn't make staff decisions, so STFU'." And if I'm not going to do it, who is? The other mods have to present a united front, and not to toot my own horn, but I've got more credibility to make a thread like that and less fear of punishment than most of the rest of the Senate.
Red, I've respected you even if we didn't agree, but I'm sorry to say, that timidity on your part is not an excuse. If you felt you had good reason to question the actions of others, say something.
RedImperator wrote:Stark absolutely, positively could have handled the situation better, and he'd probably admit as much himself, but there's just no way he or anyone else would have gone to the Senate to try to remove or even discipline a supermod. Given that, mockery and sniping are understandable, even if they weren't the right thing to do.
But Mike himself, in the rules, said to bring up complaints against a Mod, Senator, who whoever. So why defend what you know wasn't "the right thing to do" if the real problem here was, you felt, Bean's use of power?
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Lagmonster » 2009-11-03 11:43am

RedImperator wrote:Point in fact, I can't ever remember reading that the Senate is allowed to bring accusations like that--maybe I just missed it or don't remember, but I'm honestly drawing a blank here.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-11-03 11:48am

Darth Wong wrote:The problem I'm having with the Senate right now is that it's acting like a social club, not like a useful deliberative body. When one of its own members misbehaves, it has demonstrated itself to be completely incapable of dealing with the situation, unless you think "circling wagons around the club member in question" is dealing with it.

Remember Poe? The guy was openly engaging in racist trolling and still the Senate wouldn't touch him. Marina was misbehaving to the point that she recognized it herself and asked to be removed, which is good because the Senate would have been paralyzed. Stark commits an offense that would get a n00b banned, and still the Senate refuses to act, making excuse after excuse for him, as if it's really no big deal that he was actually helping rile up malcontents and forcing me to personally intervene to keep him from precipitating another of the goddamned soap-opera shitstorms that periodically seems to grace this place.
The discussion on Poe was leaning strongly towards action since he was in direct violation of board rules, hence providing a solid cause for removal. That thread resulted in the creation of the "removal for cause" rule in the Senate in the first place, and from the time the discussion was broached by Duchess to the time the Senate was notified of Poe's self-banning was a grand total of 37 hours. While the thread in question was raised by Duchess who as acting as a directly affected party, which is normally seen as poor form, momentum was building. However, as the Senate is normally slow to build to a head and the proceeding had been tainted by what initially appeared to be a personal grievance, the slow action is just to be expected. After all, we're supposed to look at things rationally in the Senate, not just simply kneejerk to a desired conclusion.

For the very same reason mods involved in flamewars are not supposed to split the threads they are fighting in to the HoS, Senators who have grievances against other members should not air them directly. It smacks of impropriety even if the grievance is a legitimate one and will unnecessarily slow down proceedings.
And then I'm told (by Hotfoot, apparently, who has appointed himself the arbiter of what the Senate is for, even though I originally created it) that a person's habit of spammy opinion posts has absolutely nothing to do with the question of whether he should be in the Senate.
As I stated, if that's the measure for ejecting Stark, all members of the Senate had best make sure their posting history conforms to whatever standard is used to remove him, because if making +1 style posts is grounds for removal, then there are several before Stark who should be removed. Otherwise we have a double standard.
If the Senate is so resistant to the idea of any kind of standards being imposed on its members, then I have to ask whether it has, in fact, become a sort of entitlement. The original members of the Senate were chosen for a history of making interesting or useful contributions, or at least generally conducting themselves as good citizens rather than shit-disturbers. Since when was this standard declared to be completely unimportant? Is there any standard at all?
At what point do we become shit-disturbers? If I make an argument based on what I feel is correct that rubs you the wrong way, am I now a detriment to the Senate? Like I said before, if there's a list of positions that we as Senators are now forbidden to take or argue, please do tell.
Frankly, if the Senate is completely incapable of kicking anyone out once he's in (and it increasingly looks that way to me: a beef I've had ever since the Poe incident), then I will have to come up with a solution of my own, because I quite frankly consider that unacceptable. I would prefer that the Senate come up with a way of dealing with this issue on its own, but I've been periodically asking about this for more than a year, and I've seen zero action. People occasionally admit that it seems like it's impossible to get rid of someone once he's in, but nobody is interested in changing that situation.
So let's recap: You want a way to remove a Senator once they have been voted in. Not a bad idea, there are certainly plenty of candidates I can think that don't pull their weight. The question comes, what are the standards? So far, the one standard that's been inacted is that Senators who are in direct and obvious violations of board policies can be stripped of their rank, as can senators that do not participate in a certain number of votes.

But when you make a case against someone and put it before a body that is supposed to be impartial and the judge the case as insufficient, there might just be a chance the case is insufficient. The Senate does not exist to rubber stamp everything the staff does, does it? If that's the case, dissolve the Senate now because it is meaningless. The Senate should be able to disagree with the staff, and if the staff wants to ignore the protests, they can. Frankly, I don't see the problem. You could have just removed Stark from the Senate or even just banned him outright and ended this entire thing there. Instead it's dragged on and been made into a farce, but for some reason we're supposed to take it seriously when the case against him is shoddy, riddled with holes, and not supported by anything other than hard feelings until you personally stepped in. Of course we as the Senate are not going to act when all the points made up until that point are, quite frankly, bullshit. To do so would be to discard the very merits that supposedly make us worthy of discussion board policy.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Darth Wong » 2009-11-03 11:57am

Hotfoot wrote:The discussion on Poe was leaning strongly towards action since he was in direct violation of board rules, hence providing a solid cause for removal. That thread resulted in the creation of the "removal for cause" rule in the Senate in the first place, and from the time the discussion was broached by Duchess to the time the Senate was notified of Poe's self-banning was a grand total of 37 hours. While the thread in question was raised by Duchess who as acting as a directly affected party, which is normally seen as poor form, momentum was building. However, as the Senate is normally slow to build to a head and the proceeding had been tainted by what initially appeared to be a personal grievance, the slow action is just to be expected. After all, we're supposed to look at things rationally in the Senate, not just simply kneejerk to a desired conclusion.
I take it you didn't notice how many members actually did stick up for him, despite the racist trolling.
So let's recap: You want a way to remove a Senator once they have been voted in. Not a bad idea, there are certainly plenty of candidates I can think that don't pull their weight. The question comes, what are the standards?
That's the real question, and I'd like to know why the Senate is incapable of coming up with any such standards. If you're saying that you want me to impose them from the top down, I'll do it, but that doesn't mean you'll like it.
But when you make a case against someone and put it before a body that is supposed to be impartial and the judge the case as insufficient, there might just be a chance the case is insufficient. The Senate does not exist to rubber stamp everything the staff does, does it? If that's the case, dissolve the Senate now because it is meaningless. The Senate should be able to disagree with the staff, and if the staff wants to ignore the protests, they can.
The Senate should be able to disagree, but it should be able to do so with reasonable discussion, not guttersniping, taking sarcastic digs, shit-stirring in the Testing forum, etc. The fact that you seem to honestly think this is a difficult or vague distinction to make suggests to me that a discussion of Senate standards of conduct is VERY LONG overdue, and if the Senate refuse to do it, then I'll have no choice but to impose it from the top.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-11-03 12:17pm

Darth Wong wrote:I take it you didn't notice how many members actually did stick up for him, despite the racist trolling.
I saw it as more people unwilling to make a call because they wanted Poe to apologize instead of taking direct action. Even supermods were saying to give Poe a chance to cool off and apologize before taking action.
fgalkin wrote:I think an apology is in order, after Poe has had some time to cool off and re-asses his statement. If he chooses to stand by it even after thinking it through, we can consider disciplinary action for behavior unworthy of a Senator.
I'm curious though, how many members do you think stuck up for him?
That's the real question, and I'd like to know why the Senate is incapable of coming up with any such standards. If you're saying that you want me to impose them from the top down, I'll do it, but that doesn't mean you'll like it.
I suggested disbanding the Senate wholesale, remember? Frankly I still hold to that. The issue is that misbehavior in the Senate by both Senators and Mods is so rampant that for one person to be thrown out, numerous more must follow and it's a little difficult to get motion going on that angle when one is concerned that one might be next by one's own standards. Most people here are at least smart enough to recognize that. I have the benefit of really not giving a shit. I don't see being a Senator as some sort of great honor or personal prize. If you want to hear my opinion, you'll keep me around, and if you want me to fuck off, you'll get rid of me, and while I think that my opinion is worth something and I try to present it in a way that is reasonable and such, if you don't want to hear me, I don't need to waste my time talking to a wall. I took this position when it was offered to me because I felt I had something to say and as long as I am welcome to say it I might as well. If you decide that's no longer the case, oh well, life goes on.
The Senate should be able to disagree, but it should be able to do so with reasonable discussion, not guttersniping, taking sarcastic digs, shit-stirring in the Testing forum, etc. The fact that you seem to honestly think this is a difficult or vague distinction to make suggests to me that a discussion of Senate standards of conduct is VERY LONG overdue, and if the Senate refuse to do it, then I'll have no choice but to impose it from the top.
Like I and Red have said, your argument as you have reiterated here is the only worthwhile one to make and for five pages that was not the argument presented. Should we be psychic? It is hardly our fault for not agreeing with a point not made, so it's amazing to me that you would come in upset at that fact. It might be self-evident to you that that particular behavior is out of line, but blasting the Senate for not recognizing that fact when it had not even been presented as a position is ludicrous.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Coyote » 2009-11-03 12:19pm

Darth Wong wrote:If the Senate is so resistant to the idea of any kind of standards being imposed on its members, then I have to ask whether it has, in fact, become a sort of entitlement. The original members of the Senate were chosen for a history of making interesting or useful contributions, or at least generally conducting themselves as good citizens rather than shit-disturbers. Since when was this standard declared to be completely unimportant? Is there any standard at all?.
Maybe it is time to go back to the original members of the Senate and build from there. Or start over completely.
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!

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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Darth Wong » 2009-11-03 12:31pm

Hotfoot wrote:It might be self-evident to you that that particular behavior is out of line, but blasting the Senate for not recognizing that fact when it had not even been presented as a position is ludicrous.
It's "ludicrous" to blast the Senate for taking the opportunity to attack each other instead of conducting an intelligent discussion of the issue? It's "ludicrous" to think that the Senate should be capable of bringing up such obvious points on its own, without me having to storm in and do it for you? Are you fucking serious?

You seem to think that the Senate is not at fault for its own lousy standard of discussion. Who's at fault, then? The illuminati? Your argument now seems to look like "We were doing an absolutely shitty job of examining this issue until you showed up, so don't blame us!" This is like the goddamned Twilight Zone.
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Re: [Discussion] Expulsion of Stark from the Senate

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-11-03 12:51pm

Darth Wong wrote:It's "ludicrous" to blast the Senate for taking the opportunity to attack each other instead of conducting an intelligent discussion of the issue? It's "ludicrous" to think that the Senate should be capable of bringing up such obvious points on its own, without me having to storm in and do it for you? Are you fucking serious?
It ludicrous to assume we're all psychic and should be discussing the issue you think we should when the people who are bringing the point up, who have been talking with you all this time and must know this point you've only now brought to light somehow missed it.

I refuse to acknowledge that gross incompetence on behalf of the "Stark Railroad Committee" is evidence that the Senate cannot discuss things rationally. If anything it indicts those who pushed this subject forward before collecting a proper case and list of points to nail Stark to a wall.

The fact of the matter is that there's likely evidence that damns Stark and would have gotten him kicked out of the Senate back when this was first brought up, but it's been so badly bungled that now everyone involved must be looked at. I'm sorry if this discussion isn't as quick or damning as you would like, but if you want a Senate that can disagree with you, you have to expect that sometimes we are going to disagree with you. It's the nature of the beast.
You seem to think that the Senate is not at fault for its own lousy standard of discussion. Who's at fault, then? The illuminati?
That's entirely the opposite point. Poor senators are the reason for the lousy standard of discussion. Senators who knee-jerk reactions and Senators that air personal grievances as a method of getting back at someone they don't like are part and parcel with the problem. Look at how many people wanted to just remove Stark without even a second thought and compare that to the people who later, upon reading what was going on, then moved to null the initial vote.

If anything I've been holding back on damning specific cases of Senators behaving badly because it's poor form to point fingers and call down the lightning, especially since in some cases, the people behaving badly are staff. Take a look at this debacle! Bean and Shep both had a chance to put forward a solid case against Stark and failed miserably. That's on THEM and the fact that they can't seem to put up an argument capable of holding water, even though they had time, means, and according to you, plenty of evidence to hang Stark with.

That we've seen through that smokescreen is actually to our benefit. We were asking if there were any legitimate reasons to eject him and after five pages you finally came along and gave us something with meat to discuss, but you seem to be hell bent on some sort of tangent that we should have all seen this before even though many of us weren't a part of it and didn't even know it had happened. There are standards of evidence for any discussion in this forum, we should not simply throw those aside because a long standing member, be they mod or senator, simply states it is so. That's not the point to intelligent discussion.

The idea that those on the Senate opposed to the idea have to provide evidence for those who are for the idea is absurd on the face of it. When someone asks you to provide evidence for their points, I don't see you rushing to write their arguments for them. Why is it that we should be held to such a standard?
Do not meddle in the affairs of insomniacs, for they are cranky and can do things to you while you sleep.
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SG-14: Because in some cases, "Recon" means "Blow up a fucking planet or die trying."
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