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The $364,000 Question



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 9th 03, 06:59 AM
Altes Weisel
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Default The $364,000 Question

Why do people keep voting for Don Schulz and the Reds?


  #2  
Old August 9th 03, 08:19 AM
John Fernandez
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Default The $364,000 Question

At least we know the real reason why audited financials were hidden from
everyone until after the election.

Reds, Blacks, **** them both. Less than worthless.

John Fernandez
  #3  
Old August 9th 03, 09:05 AM
Fifiela
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Default The $364,000 Question

USCF just blundered a rook; May have to think about resignation.
  #4  
Old August 9th 03, 09:04 PM
Bill Smythe
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Default Voting for Reds

"Altes Weisel" wrote:
.... Why do people keep voting for .... the Reds? ....


That may change now, with the announcement of the $300K loss. Until now,
however, I think there has been another explanation.

Once upon a time, there was about an even balance of terror between the Reds
and Blacks. The pendulum would swing the other way every year or two.

Then along came a few disastrous Black decisions -- the enormous TLA fee
increase, the $100K Games Parlor contract, and the fake $14K "profit".
After that, suddenly nobody looked Black anymore.

George John once appeared Black, and perhaps lost an election because of it.
Nobody would call him that today.

There are still a number of moderate Blacks, or sensible Blacks, or whatever
you want to call them. Al Lawrence is a prime example.

For the last few years, when anybody has come up with an average, normal,
reasonable idea, they have looked Red. Shades of maroon have taken on a
different appearance as the spectrum has shifted.

The pendulum will swing again, eventually. Maybe it's already started. It
has just taken longer this time.

The Blacks tend to be more visionary, the Reds more practical. The Blacks
launched Games Parlor, then the Reds made it work. It takes all kinds to
make a world, folks.

Bill Smythe



  #5  
Old August 9th 03, 11:49 PM
JimEade
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Default Voting for Reds

Bill Smythe wrote:
snip
Once upon a time, there was about an even balance of terror between the Reds
and Blacks. The pendulum would swing the other way every year or two.

snip

This post by Smythe bears no resemblance to reality. He persists in this
fantasy for some reason, but his persistance isn't a substitue for accuracy.

There have never been "parties" of any color. There are friends who always
support one another, such as Goichberg and Hanken, but outside of these
friendships there have been no consistent "party" alliances.

There have been a few defining issues where neutrality has not been an easy
option. One such issue has been the CCA. There are those who passionately
believe that what is good for the CCA is good for the USCF, and there are those
who believe just as strongly that the CCA model has perverted the USCF's
mission, held back the growth of the organization and helped us to lose a
generation of chess talent.

Whether you are pro CCA control over the USCF or not, it is impossible for it
not to be the deciding factor when, for example, Bill Goichberg runs for
office. This doesn't mean that there is a CCA party and an anti-CCA party.
(Insert Sheesh) When Bill runs it galvinizes his followers and his detractors.
Obviously, this is not a red/black issue or indicative of party allegiance.

The defining issue that is pithily summarized as RED vs. BLACK has been the
USCF's on-going financial crisis. There were those who noted that yearly
deficits were draining the LMA, who pointed out that yearly deficits were
unsustainable and needed to be addressed, and who advocated change. Those
people have been cast as Blacks, that is simply shorthand. Wrapping it in
"party" mythology is sloppy thinking.

The people cast as REDs advocated the status quo, denied the very existence of
financial problems and continuously reported on how things were getting better
under new management. The RED message was much prettier and more people wanted
to believe it. Too bad it wasn't the truth.

The BLACK message was scary and dangerous. It was safer to be RED on the
financial health of the organization. Now, however, the RED message has been
exposed and discredited to such an extent that nobody tries it and nobody buys
it (I hope KIDDON is reading).

The establishment did a very smart thing. Redman was President for a year and
they blamed everything on him. Now, it was possible to be concerned about the
financial crisis without blaming anyone who's initials were BG or DS.
Brilliant.

They had their scapegoat and it worked. The problem with characterizing the
Redman administration as "Black" is that it wasn't. That's because there is no
such thing as a Black party. I for one paid very little attention to USCF
politics during that year, had no input into policy and disagreed with many, if
not most, decisions. I will give one example, which I hope will be
illuminating.

I do not object to downsizing B+E in principle. However, if you do, you must
also cut costs. What they did was the worst of both worlds, they outsourced
some of the most profitable products while essentially maintaining their
expense level. So, we had lowered revenues without the lowered expenses that
absolutely had to happen for that approach to make any sense at all.

I did not speak to one "Black" person who agreed with this decision. You can't
tell me that policy was a "Black" policy and it is sloppy to label it as such.

The majority of people whose opinion I value in the chess world are highly
intelligent, opinionated, and intensely individualistic. We disagree on
questions of policy at times, and on the relative merits of candidates.

All of them saw the financial crisis, all of them were sickened by the cover
ups, and all of them wanted to see the USCF succeed. It is correct, and
wonderfully succinct to speak of RED and BLACK in terms of where one stands on
the fiscal health of the organization. It is inaccurate, sloppy and
meaningless to extend that to RED and BLACK parties.

If I want help on an obscure ruling, Smythe would be on the short list of
people I would turn to for help. As a political analyst, well ... he's a good
TD.

Nothing personal Bill, I've read similar stuff from you and the past and let it
go. Now is the time for clear thinking. Let the myths go. Focus on what's
real.






James Eade
Remove the Sheesh to respond. Don't worry. Talk happy.
  #6  
Old August 10th 03, 04:35 AM
Bill Smythe
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Default Voting for Reds

"JimEade" wrote:
.... The defining issue that is pithily summarized as RED vs. BLACK has

been the
USCF's on-going financial crisis. ....


I agree -- sort of.

I have never thought the Reds were good at finances. The last time the
Blacks were in power, they proved the Blacks aren't good at finances,
either. And now the Reds have proved that they still haven't learned --
from either the Reds or the Blacks.

Bill Smythe



  #7  
Old August 10th 03, 01:19 PM
WPraeder
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Default Voting for Reds

There have been a few defining issues where neutrality has not been an easy
option. One such issue has been the CCA. There are those who passionately
believe that what is good for the CCA is good for the USCF, and there are
those
who believe just as strongly that the CCA model has perverted the USCF's
mission, held back the growth of the organization and helped us to lose a
generation of chess talent.


Jim,

In my view the USCF has been all about organizers running for-profit
tournaments and individuals trying to profit from selling books and equipment.
This orientation towards an organizers trade association has indeed perverted
the USCF's mission, held back the growth of the organization and helped us to
lose a generation of chess talent. Though the largest, I don't see the CCA as
the only culprit in this play. I do believe if the USCF continues as a
tournament organizer vehicle it will eventually drive off a cliff.

The USCF's circumstances are more complex than simple binary viewpoints. I
suggest we have passed the point of no return for those who have advocated
simple incremental and evolutionary change. Transformation is imperative.
Desperate situations often require desperate measures, but I'm not convinced
our delegate system can accommodate the necessary changes quickly enough.
Perhaps dragging out an updated version of the DDDE Committee Presentation can
assist in getting the current Executive Board off their butts?

Regards,
Wayne Praeder
http://www.dallaschess.com/DDDE/ESDF...iles/frame.htm


  #8  
Old August 10th 03, 01:37 PM
RSHaas
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Default Voting for Reds

"In my view the USCF has been all about organizers running for-profit
tournaments and individuals trying to profit from selling books and equipment.
This orientation towards an organizers trade association has indeed perverted
the USCF's mission, held back the growth of the organization and helped us to
lose a generation of chess talent. Though the largest, I don't see the CCA as
the only culprit in this play. I do believe if the USCF continues as a
tournament organizer vehicle it will eventually drive off a cliff." (Wayne
Prader)
=============
I don't understand how for-profit tmt-organizers and private b-e sellers have
cost USCF growth and a generation of talent. More explanation, please.
(RSHaas)

  #9  
Old August 10th 03, 01:40 PM
RSHaas
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Default Voting for Reds

" Transformation is imperative.
Desperate situations often require desperate measures,..." (Wayne Prader)
==============
Transform into what? I have my own idea, but what are yours? (RSHaas)
  #10  
Old August 10th 03, 05:32 PM
George John
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Default Voting for Reds


"WPraeder" wrote in message
...

http://www.dallaschess.com/DDDE/ESDF...iles/frame.htm

Perhaps dragging out an updated version of the DDDE Committee Presentation

can
assist in getting the current Executive Board off their butts?


Wayne,

Thanks for helping me recall this report which is from May 2000. I just
went through it again, and it certainly makes for interesting reading
especially in light of what has happened and not happened over the past
three years.

Given my focus (MIS Committee Chair) on the computer mess in the office I
found some details interesting:

1) The accumulated spending on the upgrade, presumably during the Cavallo
administration was $300,000
2) The amount suggested to write off as bad investments was $150,000
3) A "hold approach" on the upgrade was suggested until the finances were
"stabilized"

I think the 3rd recommendation from the DDDE Committee was ill-advised.
Perhaps they had no clue on just how badly off the office was WRT to its
computer and especially software systems. I would make the argument that
part (but not all) of the reason the USCF finances have been difficult to
stabilize is due to the fact that its PRIMARY business is information. For
example the USCF database I have shows for the year 2000 12,783 tournament
sections and 453,810 games. During that timeframe there were approximately
90,000 memberships to process. It's tough to handle numbers like that
productively with poorly designed and unmaintainable software systems. The
result is much higher than necessary office labor costs, much more work for
affiliates than should be necessary, more mistakes, lower customer
satisfaction, higher employee burnout, etc.

Although Frank Niro gave indications early in his administration that he
understood this, his actions seemed to be otherwise. He said he would call
upon the resources of the MIS and Website Committees. He never really did
so. Only when the rating system melted down earlier this year, did he seem
to begin to get it that his computer systems were crippling his business.
He did hire a CIO (Chief Information Officer) and a very capable database
programmer consultant in the Spring, but it has been a monumental struggle
to get adequate funding and commitment to this upgrade. This is one area
(but not the only one) where I found Frank Niro's leadership to be greatly
disappointing. While he was the best ED I have seen over my five or so
years of observing the USCF, he was not the ED I had hope he would be.
Maybe I am hoping for too much and am asking for the impossible? I don't
know.

Fortunately, it seems that a critical mass of our leadership finally
understands just how important the upgrade is, and I'm now hopeful that our
leadership is going to explicitly commit, via a capital expense plan, to the
level of funding that the CIO has recommended. This would be most welcomed
news, which I hope we will soon hear about when those who attended the LA
meeting begin to discuss on rgcp what happened at the meeting.

George




 




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