APG-L Archives

Archiver > APG > 2007-12 > 1197000337

Subject: Re: [APG] Ethical Membership
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2007 22:05:37 -0600

I'm a newbie, a lurker, an aspiring professional who joined this organization
and this list to learn. Clearly something has happened of urgent concern to Ms.
Sanborn. I haven't the faintest idea what it is, or what the facts are. My
silence until now has been one of respect and ignorance, not apathy. I'm still
respectful and still ignorant, and like Mr. Butler, I find the tenor of much of
this discussion troubling.

Suppose that I emailed this list, saying, "What if Donald Lines Jacobus
fabricated a pedigree in Families of Old Fairfield and then blackmailed the
person who found it out?"

Would you believe that I was just proposing to discuss an abstract ethical
principle? Of course not. I would be making an inflammatory accusation
disguised as a hypothetical question. Furthermore, because it's vague and only
implied, it's an accusation that Mr. Jacobus, if he were still with us,
couldn't possibly refute. If he tried, he would simply be giving my
inflammatory accusation credence it hadn't earned.

Lacking information about Ms. Sanborn's grievance, I'm forced to fall back on
general principles: if there's a problem in the group, follow the normal
procedures for dealing with it until you're sure they are broken. If the normal
procedures really are broken, and the matter is grave, then speak out fully and
freely to the whole group. Don't mince words. Make the case that a grave
offense has occurred, so that those accused of overreaching can respond
concretely, with evidence pro and con. (Of course this isn't ideal, but we're
envisioning a situation where the proper channels aren't working and the wrong
is serious.)

>From where I sit, veiled hypotheticals are a halfway measure between silence
and full disclosure -- a halfway measure that combines the worst of both
worlds, spreading a cloud of vague suspicion and generalized distrust that may
well linger after the matter itself is settled. Surely either silence or full
disclosure would serve us all better than trying to divine which hypothetical
might be real and what it might refer to. Darn it, this was time I could have
been studying Evidence Explained!

Harold Henderson

>Message: 10
>Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2007 21:24:29 -0500
>From: "Jack Butler" <>
>Subject: Re: [APG] Ethical Membership
>To: <>
>Message-ID: <>
>Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";

>Personally, I would have preferred a well laid out presentation of your
>concerns. There is little doubt in my mind, especially after this last
>post, that you intended for people to believe that your "hypotheticals" were
>thinly disguised references to real events involving currently serving
>officers. That troubles me. I dislike theatrics and have little patience
>for them - especially theatrics with the potential for casting undeserved
>aspersion on serving volunteer officers.

>If you have accusations to make concerning inappropriate behavior, I would
>prefer that you make them directly - preferably through the proper protocols
>and procedures.

>If you wish to discuss the kinds of powers that our Board and especially our
>EC have, or that they should or should not have, I have little doubt that
>you can get a discussion going on that topic without the suggestive

>Jack Butler

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