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Thread: Forum Rule Clarification

  1. #1
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Forum Rule Clarification

    Hi folks,

    An issue came up recently concerning whether or not we should allow a member to point out, in our forums, the felony conviction of a leader of a conservation organization. I have considered this question and before I address it I need to apologize for not anticipating this issue in our forum rules, and forcing our moderators to interpret the rules, a position I did not intend to put them in. For me the worst time to make rules is in the context of an event. But it is what it is, and I need to deal with it.

    In the end it is not about our ability to forgive, or the offender’s efforts at restoration, or about the relevance of the crime to the job the person now holds. It’s about the public trust. The leaders of these organizations are public figures, and they should be held to the highest standards of personal and professional conduct. While it is unfortunate that some organizations have failed to establish such standards for their leadership team, and have therefore subjected their officers to additional public scrutiny and disgrace, that problem is theirs to sort out. Had that been properly handled, we would not now be in a position of having to decide what we will and will not allow. We can’t fix those organizations, but we can decide how we will respond.

    From here forward, this site will allow the words “convicted felon” (or variations thereof) to be used in reference to members of the leadership structure of conservation / advocacy groups who are acting on behalf of their membership or members of the general public, provided that the person is in fact a convicted felon. If the person has filed a Certificate of Rehabilitation and if his criminal record is expunged, we will not allow their former record to be publicly exposed. In no case will we allow the details of the crime(s) to be posted, including the type of crime, police blotter reports, or other similar details.

    We will not allow similar comments to be made about our general membership, business owners, or other members who are not members of the leadership teams of these groups. In this respect, we are keeping the topic focused on ideas, not on individuals. The idea being discussed in such threads is the notion of whether such a person should be allowed to lead a sportsman’s organization. That topic sits squarely with the purposes of our forums.

    On a personal note, I have built my entire life on the principles of forgiveness, and I take this very seriously. I have been personally forgiven of debts I could not pay, and have on many occasions been the recipient of unmerited favor. It is my hope that in cases of wrongdoing, forgiveness can be both sought and given, and that these organizations will raise their standards so they do not further embarrass their leadership candidates. On the other hand, we do need to hold our leadership to standards of excellence.

    Regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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  2. #2

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    Ummm, so does this mean/read that only leaders of "conservation" groups are be singled out with this policy? - or do you mean leaders of any advocacy group that may have a bearing on activities and interests covered in these forums?

  3. #3
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 68 Bronco View Post
    Ummm, so does this mean/read that only leaders of "conservation" groups are be singled out with this policy? - or do you mean leaders of any advocacy group that may have a bearing on activities and interests covered in these forums?
    just the groups or people most disliked by those in forum favor is what it will boil down too...

    when it comes to advocacy groups, if that org does things a little different, then the org or person is open for bashing, unless it is your* pet org, person, or postion... (* your used figuratively)

    , if a person is working for, supposedly collecting money through member fees to accomplish what that constituency is asking for then what ever goes.. can go... bashing is A.OK!

    so in short.. if your group/org is in favor around here, you will be able to say what ever you want about another group/person/org, however the member,(exposed) of that group/org in disfavor, will NOT be allowed the same recourse... due to the status placed upon them by the court.

    just the way it works. ( but don't say anything about a business unless it's good)

    now don't mistake my words as actions to anyway expunge any person that has been ousted... as a father with TWO daughters whom have been molested by their step father... (whom i AM NOT ALLOWED TO MENTION ON THIS FORUM) i have very deep feelings on the subject. Nor do i in particular care for the person blasted. ( that created the thread edit, the obvious PM whine, and current new rule)... obviously it is easier to make rules then adhere to the ethics so often touted

    i do however take issue with the continual degradation of a person whom is in some sense working for the outdoors community as a whole.. his means or methods may not be to the liking, but he had managed to become the point of contact for more then one group that sorta fall in the chain of command with SC issues.. and such a point of contact that requires i deal with him should i need that groups assistance/support/input: a group who is voted in by a constituency and represents a larger group then i... SOMEONE voted him in.... HELLO?

    I don't have to like a person to get them to work with me, and help get things done.. and that is how it should be.. i sure ain't stopping for beers with them after either..

    but it makes some feel better to spew it on a regular basis, when ever that persons name comes up, so.. now we have a new rule...

    NIIIICE!

    there are a couple orgs that are popular around here, that i was member of Until, VERY recently... and FLAT OUT will not have any association with them in a membership manner again. for several reasons, but most importantly the noxious way they treat people whom do not see the same as they do.. if your not with them your against them, both public and private. where in contrast there are several members here on this forum that belong to different orgs,i vehemently oppose and have huge differing opinion then i.. yet at the end of the day it is beer time and difference are left at the table where we worked on them. ( their NOT in real favor around here either but are great folks to hang with)



    Personally????

    i have over 1000 convicted people on my system, People make mistakes, get convicted and pay for their crimes, it is NOT my place to rejudge them, re-convict them, or martyr them in negative light.

    98% of my clients will never make another mistake in their lives, that land them in court. the 2% that do... will have a legal system to deal with... if i get called for Jury duty,,, then it will be my time to judge them. then again... there will after all only be one judge of man.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  4. #4
    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Hoorah Vince, no better said.
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

  5. #5
    jwolf
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    Vince, I sympathize with you re this discussion on one level and don’t on the other. If there were a matter or ‘person’ imposing serious public endangerment I don’t think there would be an issue of mentioning criminal history etc.. i.e. a convicted child molester teaching boy scouts within a local community or a serial killer contracting hunts..
    If this forum were to succumb to pointed and unregulated slander the value would diminish significantly. We are all guilty of various acts and there aint a such thing as a ‘perfect’ law abiding citizen, myself included, so an open door to a person’s criminal history would provide a fruitless rag.
    The point is, you declare, that 98% of your clients WONT end up back in the system is somewhat absurd! I’ve worked within the criminal defense INDUSTRY for 10 years, off and on, both in the private sect and our great gov sect so what you say is a gross misjudgment of an inevitable future you haven’t seen yet. The funny part is that many of the people that create the law are guilty of the same crimes they judge; THEY just never got caught.
    People make mistakes.. and a lot of really good people do stupid things, transverse; a lot of bad people do horrific things that never get called to justice.. The point of this forum is not to judge a person’s life but to discuss issues that will hopefully make life better for all..
    I DO sympathize..but, also respect the stance Mike took for the long-term benefit and exchange of information this forum provides.. Just find a different way..

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Vince, we are going to have to disagree on some of this. But I do want to address some of the negative assumptions you are making about our decision.

    1. It appears that there is a growing trend among sportsmen's advocacy groups which prohibits convicted felons from holding an office in that organization. This site will allow that topic to be discussed, provided it can be done without making it personal.

    2. This site has no "pet" organizations, or "favored" organizations, whether it be Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Boone and Crockett Club, Safari Club, Alaska Backcountry Anglers and Hunters, Trout Unlimited, Alaska Professional Hunters Association, National Wild Sheep Foundation, or any other group. For what it's worth, I am not a member of any such organizations. I do agree with what some of them are doing, but to be honest, I don't have enough hours in the day to focus on this and be involved on any level. This site strives hard to be politically neutral, and to suggest that there is a hidden agenda is misleading at best. The only agenda here is the exchange of information related to the Alaska outdoors.

    3. This is not about forgiveness, cutting people slack, making people into martyrs (which can only be done to innocent parties, btw), or re-convicting someone. It is about whether or not this site will allow discussions pertaining to the placement of convicted felons in public positions within sportsmen's advocacy groups. In considering this question we were influenced in part by the determination of our courts that someone convicted of a felony crime should bear certain penalties for life. These penalties contain restrictions on the right to vote, own a firearm, hold public office, pursue the career of your choice, receive federal aid, receive government loans, your ability to hold certain professional licenses, freedom to travel to certain other countries, your ability to receive security clearance for certain government jobs, and more. In some cases these restrictions are greater than in others. Note that these penalties extend beyond any prison term, fines or other short-term punishment the person may have received. From this it is clear that society has determined that certain actions warrant a lifetime result. In short, a felony conviction is a big deal in this country. In looking at the restrictions imposed on convicted felons, it is clear that many of them have to do with the public trust. We believe that public trust has a direct bearing on the credibility of the leaders of our advocacy groups.

    4. On an informal note, Vince, I applaud your efforts to help folks get back on track. And I am impressed by your results. You indicate that the recidivism rate of your people is 2%. The national average for convicted felons is around 67.5%. That means that well over half of all convicted felons will be arrested again. I don't know what your magic formula is, but I hope you can spread it around...

    I am a huge believer in forgiveness and restoration. I said this in my earlier post. But I also believe that the question of the credibility, integrity, and professionalism of an organization that elects convicted felons to "public" office is a topic worthy of our time, if it can be done without making it personal.

    I hope that makes things clearer.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  7. #7

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    Jeez, I am (thankfully) unaware of incidents leading to the new rule - just asking what the heck it means - seriously, at first.
    Now I'm thinking I need to be drunk or something, as that might clear all this up and give me instant understanding. (Grizzly gets it - Wow.) However, it is a dang sight better than what's on TV! I've had a rather productive day all and all, what with elevating (?) this discussion and officially contributing a word I have used for at least 30 yrs. to the Urban Dictionary - most gratifying. Yippee.
    Carry On - I'll keep my remote handy. Peace and Happy Holidays Fellers (can I say that?)

    Hold the phone!! A new post by M.S. - I take back everything pending that new info ....... especially if I am out of line, as I am often guilty of as a codger......

    OK - MUCH clearer now - in the first announcement it very much appeared that "conservation/advocacy" groups were singled out. That is not the same as conservation AND advocacy groups or groups of whatever stripe led by ...............
    Not to pick a side, mind you.

  8. #8
    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Mike, I think what most people want here is a right to express themselves and their beliefs as Americans. Be it political or whatever. Only thing you and your mods really need to do is keep personal member to member attacks down to a reasonable status. God knows I wouldn't want that job, but it's part of owning a website forum. You guys make money on this forum from supporting members and I truelly believe you would have alot more supporting members on this site if you would be a bit more open minded to other folks thoughts instead of just your own........JMO Mike so don't get all mad at me buddy.
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyH View Post
    Mike, I think what most people want here is a right to express themselves and their beliefs as Americans. Be it political or whatever. Only thing you and your mods really need to do is keep personal member to member attacks down to a reasonable status. God knows I wouldn't want that job, but it's part of owning a website forum. You guys make money on this forum from supporting members and I truelly believe you would have alot more supporting members on this site if you would be a bit more open minded to other folks thoughts instead of just your own........JMO Mike so don't get all mad at me buddy.
    I'm not to be included in your category of "most people", I guess, because I'm grateful for Mikes limiting discussion here as he does. That's what makes this site a descent place to hang out. "People voicing their beliefs as Americans" tends to result in a lot of hate mongering and ridiculous political and religious speech that is no fun to sift through looking for subjects on the Alaska Outdoors. If it weren't for the limits imposed by the owner of this site, I wouldn't be here, and I think a lot of other people wouldn't be either.

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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    I'm not to be included in your category of "most people", I guess, because I'm grateful for Mikes limiting discussion here as he does. That's what makes this site a descent place to hang out. "People voicing their beliefs as Americans" tends to result in a lot of hate mongering and ridiculous political and religious speech that is no fun to sift through looking for subjects on the Alaska Outdoors. If it weren't for the limits imposed by the owner of this site, I wouldn't be here, and I think a lot of other people wouldn't be either.
    But, I'm Ok with listening to your fire and brimstone, cuz that's what you believe. So do we all have to agree on every subject here to be an upstanding member here? I don't think it should be that way, but maybe that's just the way it's gonna be on AOD. I don't frickin know.
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyH View Post
    But, I'm Ok with listening to your fire and brimstone, cuz that's what you believe. So do we all have to agree on every subject here to be an upstanding member here? I don't think it should be that way, but maybe that's just the way it's gonna be on AOD. I don't frickin know.
    There's plenty of other sites where we as Americans can go to argue about stupid politicians, or our dislike of people of other nations, or whatever. Just not on this one. I am thankful for that. That's the cool thing about being an American, we have choices. If we don't like the focus of one particular site, we can go somewhere else. That's all I'm saying.

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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    There's plenty of other sites where we as Americans can go to argue about stupid politicians, or our dislike of people of other nations, or whatever. Just not on this one. I am thankful for that. That's the cool thing about being an American, we have choices. If we don't like the focus of one particular site, we can go somewhere else. That's all I'm saying.
    Well, I can't argue with you a bit about what you just said there. That was a darn good comeback. :}
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    you had me at "Hi folks"
    Semper Fi!

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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greythorn3 View Post
    you had me at "Hi folks"
    See, I just knew you were still awake................lmao
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyH View Post
    See, I just knew you were still awake................lmao

    Pure evil never sleeps! :>
    Semper Fi!

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    Quote Originally Posted by greythorn3 View Post
    Pure evil never sleeps! :>
    LOL, I tried to give ya a rep, but guess I gave ya one earlier and it won't let me. I owe ya one.............lol
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

  17. #17
    jwolf
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    Wow; I just awoke in the 3rd grade.. How do you boys judge this?? LOL!! pictures say a thousand words.. and who's listening??
    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyH View Post
    LOL, I tried to give ya a rep, but guess I gave ya one earlier and it won't let me. I owe ya one.............lol

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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwolf View Post
    Wow; I just awoke in the 3rd grade.. How do you boys judge this?? LOL!! pictures say a thousand words.. and who's listening??
    Hope you had a pleasant nap......lol
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    I think tax law is easier to understand.

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    Question who's who?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    From here forward, this site will allow the words “convicted felon” (or variations thereof) to be used in reference to members of the leadership structure of conservation / advocacy groups who are acting on behalf of their membership or members of the general public, provided that the person is in fact a convicted felon.
    ...
    We will not allow similar comments to be made about our general membership, business owners, or other members who are not members of the leadership teams of these groups.
    I get it, that its OK to say that some convicted felons are convicted felons, but I sure don't understand who is who regarding who it is OK to say so, and who it not OK to say so.

    1) "members of the leadership structure of conservation / advocacy groups who are acting on behalf of their membership or members of the general public" sounds like anyone who holds a leadership office of a sportsmans group.

    2) It also sounds like anyone who has written a proposition and submitted it to the BOG or BOF (under the logic that they are acting for members of the general public).

    3) It also sounds like someone who has been singled out as a member of distinction, office, or responsibility within a sportsmans group.

    Of course, under any of the 3 possibly-right, possibly-wrong definitions of what you mean Mike, the person must also be a publicly known convicted felon; that much is obvious; but I sure don't know if any of the 3 definitions above are accurate or not. Can you say which if any are?

    Additionally, there doesn't seem to be any shades of "convicted felon". What I mean is that there does not seem to be any differentiation made between a felon who might have been guilty of some white-color crime (possibly an error of omission in some SEC dealings a few decades back) vs. some felon with a whole string of premeditated crimes of violence against persons, vs. some felon whose felonies involve wildlife violations.

    In the rules on this site, are there any differentiations made between the whens and whats of the actual felony(s)?

    And is there any differentiation made (about whether its OK to say or not) based on if the person is a known member of this site or not?

    And is there any differentiation made (about whether its OK to say or not) based on if the person is a public official or not?

    Maybe I think too simplistically about things like this, because in my mind it seems OK to say things that are true and not-OK to say things that are false, and that's that. I know that is NOT what you are outlining for rules on this site - I'm just saying that's how my mind works, personally.

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