Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Voice Which Should Be Included?

Subject: my post to the MQ...
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2010 13:20:43 -0800
From: Hal Bogner

"... a voice which should be included"?

Sent at: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:05 pm
From: hmb
To: WPraeder

Hi Wayne - I just submitted this to the censors, and am putting it into
a PM in case it never otherwise sees the light of day.


I do think HMB needs to be allowed to post - coming out of settlement,
his is a voice which should be included.

No one in the MQ is forbidden from posting. It is just that the post is
reviewed before being released.

If my posts will need to be subject to prior review (i.e., read by
censors), then my voice will go away.

Steve Jones' voice has gone away for this reason. After advocating for
changes in the moderation, and after having worked on the inside of the
MOC/FOC system as a volunteer, he chose to let his membership lapse over
this issue and this issue alone.

Kevin Bachler is also in the MQ. I sent him a PM, and he replied, and
encouraged me to post his reply.

This will be the only post that I will make while under this censorship
regime. Members will only see it if it is approved by those responsible
for performing such prior censorship. Thank you to all who are standing
up on this issue. I hope that everyone will someday have the same
privileges that I myself insist upon here as a member, and I will only
remain a member if they are granted. If I also am to let my membership
expire, it will not be the end of my various activities in chess, just
as it is not the end for others who have checked out from USCF in one
way or another.

Re: et tu?

Sent at: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:35 am
From: kbachler
To: hmb
Hi Kevin,

I've just joined you on the moderation

Is that why you stopped posting?



Hello Hal,

I stopped posting because I informed USCF that I would let my membership
expire and will not rejoin. The moderators are incompetent and biased
generally, but Sawmiller in particular. He gleefully "punishes" some
people for transgressions that he even refuses to acknowledge in others.
The moderators take all critiques as personal criticism, they appear
either incapable or unwilling to learn. I found it amazing that their
"defense" as to why they were unbiased is that they allowed me to post
legally-required identifying information when I made comments of
an investment nature.

USCF also does not set expectations and/or requirements of decorum and
comportment, thereby letting people slander other members - often
volunteers - with impunity. USCF is first and foremost a membership
organization, and the members must get along for USCF to grow and
thrive. That USCF cannot recognize this simple social reality (a social
reality that IS recognized by other social groups - even nationally
smaller ones like MENSA) is a testament to the social ineptness in USCF.
USCF appears to be an organization where many of the volunteers/workers
find the only "power" in their lives, so they'd rather exercise that
power than improve USCF for its members. A perceived challenge to their
power is dealt with severely - even if the reason is in actuality an
improving in the lot of the members.

So, frankly, I've had it with USCF. There are fun things I can do with
my life instead. A hobby should be fun. Volunteering for one's hobby
should be fun. USCF is NOT fun.

I'm focusing on playing via ICCF and recently won a Master class
section. It's fun, and enjoyable and doesn't involve any of the
political crap and refusal to improve that one finds in USCF. It is,
frankly, about chess.

I've also focused more on my job and career - both of which have
received significant challenges in the recent economy.

In a few months my membership will expire, quietly. I suspect/hope that
this time no one will renew it for me, and that's just fine.

I can be reached in the future at

Feel free to share this email, including the above email addres with the
forum when you are able. I don't expect to check this mailbox.




  1. Ironic, since it was Bogner and people like him (in my opinion) that instigated and exacerbated the law suit debacle and prompted quite a few former members like me to be former members.

    If the USCF wants decent people back who have left they will be more vigilant in just what voices are allowed to bombast the good members of the USCF via their web sites and forums.

    Controlling Bogner's "voice" on USCF media is a good thing, not bad. If the USCF continues in this manner I and others will return.

  2. Hal Bognor wrote:
    "If my posts will need to be subject to prior review (i.e., read by censors), then my voice will go away. ...Steve Jones' voice has gone away for this reason."

    You can add me to the list. I opted to withdraw from USCF Forums, permanently, because I could see it had turned into a plaything for the moderators plus a small number of people (including those of you on this blog, actually) who seem willing to put up with the inmates-running-the-asylum atmosphere -- probably because all you active-posters have more time on their hands than they know what to do with.

    Unlike Hal's, my complaints have next to nothing to do with content politics or USCF politics. I never involved myself in either the Polgar stuff or the broader business or petty personal disputes among the rest of you.

    Rather, I simply see no reason any normal person would voluntarily himself or herself to the jurisdiction of a mental midget like Tim Sawmiller, who imperially composes and acts on whatever rules he pleases from one day to the next. I conclude each of you chose to do so, mostly due to an emotional version of "sunk costs". (That's a term Jack may recognize... though I hope he understands it better than he understands fixed-asset valuation or impairment.)

    I was sanctioned once after questioning Sawmiller, and decided that was enough. I never bothered to show up again, not even to read the messages from him or his committee of imbeciles. And I haven't regretted it a moment since.

    -FM Jon Jacobs
    Anti-cheating activist, former Chess Life contributor, 6-time CJA award winner
    (formerly "Jonnybear" on USCF Forums)

  3. You'd think a professional writer could come up with a more literate argument than school yard name calling

  4. Matt, I'm not here to debate Sawmiller. If I wanted to do that, I'd still be on USCF Forums. In fact I only commented here because I happened to notice at least two others who, after contributing much to chess over many years, likewise departed as a direct result of the pettiness of one little man whose contributions are difficult to see.

    If you, Matt, had anything constructive to say, you would be asking why this Sawmiller engenders such feelings in a range of high-contribution chess figures who have no ties to one another... while occupying a role one would THINK (in any other non-profit organization, at least) would aim to make members MORE willing, not LESS willing, to contribute to the organization.

    Instead, Matt, you come across as nothing more than a shill for Sawmiller. Much like Jack is a well-known shill for Polgar/Truong.

  5. I see. So is this how your posts sound all of the time? Hardly an example of civil social discourse.