Re: Vote Robinson for DPL!
I must commend you on this excellent summary of the current goings-on with
SPI. My only regret is that it takes my nasty tempered flame whipping to get
something this informative out of the board.
I know that you guys are trying and doing what in each of your minds you feel
is the most productive. Obviously there were disagreements between us about
what constituted effective action. I'm willing to make a vocal nuisance of
myself and fight dirty if I believe no other actions will be effective and
that tends to make me look evil. Hell, maybe I am evil or even just simply
For a moment, let's try to look past the fact that I'm an aggressive dickhead
and get to the root of my complaint. The SPI board blocked my efforts to
repair SPI's logistics because my manner was too dictatorial. That may or may
not have been a sound decision. Ultimately the question still stands, have
operations been repaired? Would it have been better to let me execute a rapid
and forceful reorganization of SPI's operations in order to set its house
well in order? The productivity of the organization and the results of the
board's decisions need to be judged, my sins aside.
Branden, and the SPI board, need to stop side stepping issues. Making me the
villain is not a cure all, no matter how well I fit the role. Branden
inherited a huge mess and the task was difficult but that doesn't change the
fact that he failed at the task and blames everyone but himself. Show me
where he ever said "I screwed up because I didn't do my job and it cost
Debian a lot of money." A leader must take responsibility.
I am not, however, placing blame for the whole situation on him. There are two
messages mixed in with the noise and blather of my attacks. Number one,
Branden isn't ready to be DPL because he won't accept responsibility and he
is not sufficiently organized. Number two, Debian needs to take some formal
action with regard to assuring that the SPI role is executed properly.
Whether that means killing SPI, reorganizing its staff or providing fault
tolerant redundancy is an open matter.
On Saturday 19 February 2005 5:41 pm, John Goerzen wrote:
> It is true that SPI still is not performing like it should be.
> It is also true that SPI has never performed like it should in its
> entire history. SPI has been dysfunctional from its very beginning.
> It's also been short on manpower through its entire lifespan. For
> whatever reason, SPI has not been of much interest to many Debian folks
> for most of the time, except for the occasional flamewar.
> Some of us are trying to make SPI better. It is a difficult thing to
> do, given the magnitude of the problems in the past, the lack of
> volunteer manpower (our single biggest problem), general lack of
> interest, and disagreements about the best way to proceed. Since your
> term as president of SPI ended, I have seen nothing but trolling from
> you. "SPI sucks, SPI sucks, you suck" sort of thing. Yes, we all know
> there are problems -- big ones, even. Yelling about them doesn't fix them.
> It is unfair to lay all of SPI's ills at Branden's feet. If memory
> serves, the treasurer before him literally *disappeared* for long
> periods of time. The board at that point often failed to meet due to so
> many members failing to show up. Branden inherited a huge mess. Yes,
> he made mistakes, but I think you are misconstruing this incident and
> incorrectly magnifying it as part of some sort of vendetta.
> In this particular instance, if memory serves, you sent the invoice to
> Branden inside a large box of other papers -- even though Branden had
> already resigned as treasurer by that time. The rest of us were not
> aware of it until later, and you had given mixed signals previously
> about whether or not you would charge SPI for your helpful efforts.
> It is unfair to lay all this at Branden's feet for another reason.
> While preside, you tried to usurp the authority of the SPI treasurer, a
> move that put SPI itself in quesitonable legal waters. While you were
> ultimately stopped, by the rest of the board and the expiration of your
> term, your actions led directly to Yet Another SPI Treasurer Crisis, not
> to mention one of the nastiest flamewars in SPI history. While it is
> true that Brainfood provided valuable help processing part of the
> accounting backlog, it is also true that the manner in which you handled
> it caused huge problems that linger today.
> Finally, you argue that Branden said nasty things about you publically.
> What you didn't state was that there was not one single active person in
> #spi at the time, and, again if memory serves, probably fewer than 20
> the entire time. So, while technically true that #spi is not a private
> channel, you made the comments far more public than he did. I suspect
> that nobody paid much notice to them, and that Branden expected as much.
> Let's talk about some of the good things happening at SPI, too. David
> Graham has made tremendous work catching up with old never-posted
> minutes and resolutions. Several people have helped with that effort by
> updating many pages on the website. Several new projects have joined
> SPI. Jimmy & Branden recently produced the closest thing we've ever had
> to a true treasurer's report and successfully migrated to a more useful
> bank. The trademark committee has been actively working on projects in
> multiple countries. Wichert has migrated some of the SPI services to a
> new machine. I produced the first ever (as far as I can tell) annual
> report last year (a responsibility you neglected).
> In short, I think that SPI is finally *starting* to act like a real,
> competant organization, after almost 8 years. These are tentative baby
> steps, of course, and much remains to be done. I hope that 8 years from
> now, we can look back and see how far we've come, rather than continuing
> to point fingers. Maybe then, you, me, Branden, and everyone else can take
> some pride in the little contributions we have made to make SPI better,
> and SPI's past will no longer haunt its present and future.
Ean Schuessler, CTO
214-720-0700 x 315