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What's with the censorship?


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With apologies to Bob and any other unhappy members who do not habitually cross the line of common courtesy, if freedom of expression means the right to come in here and repeatedly offend and provoke the other participants for no good reason, then I am in favor of censorship. I support Mike and the sponsers of this site in their efforts to put an end to this needless, absurd, destructive cycle of hostility, whatever that entails.

Brian G.

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Originally posted by Jim Morrison

For what it's worth, the responses to Dennis' posts strike me as a little overblown.

Jim,

Hey Jim, to me that's worth a lot.

TIJ and other inspector forums, unfortunately are no different then the whole inspector / agent relationship itself.

Mike wants to make money. Mike is pressured by sponsors to limit the discussions about the control agents have over inspectors. Mike is also pressured by other inspectors to quiet guys like myself.

This is no differnt then when the Chapter persident tried to keep me from showing the WBZ investigative tape in 1995 about agent referred inspectors. Back then when we took a straw poll at the meeting, there were only about 4 guys out of 35 who agreed that inspectors should separate themselves from agents.

BTW, as the messenger, I'm use to be shot at.

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Originally posted by Brian G.

With apologies to Bob and any other unhappy members who do not habitually cross the line of common courtesy, if freedom of expression means the right to come in here and repeatedly offend and provoke the other participants for no good reason, then I am in favor of censorship. I support Mike and the sponsers of this site in their efforts to put an end to this needless, absurd, destructive cycle of hostility, whatever that entails.

Brian G.

Brian,

Remember the old movie, The Wizard Of Oz? Remember the part where the little dog pulls back the curtain and the wizard shouts out, "ignore what's behind the curtain!"

So let's censor everything and everyone who keeps opening up that curtain and while were at it, lets keep attacking the person who pulls open the curtain with personal insults.

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I have no idea what this is about (I don't check the boards daily).

BUT... I consider myself a guest in someone else's place here, and if there are rules to follow, so be it. If I don't like the rules, I can move on.

Since I don't even know what transpired, I've probably already said more than I should. [:o]

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What's w/censorship is about trying to make this forum someplace where worthwhile information is traded. Those that think "free speech" includes the right to continually utilize other individuals space to champion their cause dujour may be right; I just don't happen to think so.

As far as overblown, maybe, but degree of response is a measure of something. The sponsors are at least listening to the group.

Dennis' continually insinuating himself into a dilemma that is as old as our profession is simply bothersome. This is nothing new. It is old. Very old. Dennis is not the messenger. He is just another tired individual w/little to say, and what he does say is pathetically self serving. I for one, am tired of it.

I'm joining Douglas, not because of the censorship, but because of the lack of it. Dennis' wins another round w/his ceaseless small mindedness. Congratulations.

Sayonara.

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To All,

I've been struggling for weeks to strike a balance between letting folks have their say here and keeping these boards a friendly place where inspectors are happy to interact with one another and thus help each other out. It doesn't seem to matter what I do, there will always be at least one segment of readership that is going to be unhappy with what I decide.

Dennis stated:

Mike wants to make money.
Sure I do Dennis. Doesn't everybody? However, I've got a news flash for you. Over the more than two years TIJ has been in existence I've yet to have received even a penny from anyone, including you, for all of the work I've put into TIJ. If money were the overriding issue, I would have thrown in the towel long ago.

Mike is pressured by sponsors to limit the discussions about the control agents have over inspectors.
Thus far, this webzine has only one corporate sponsor, who couldn't care less about inspectors debating the merits of inspectors interacting with agents. They are not home inspectors and don't have a dog in that fight. What they, and myself, are mostly concerned with is the contentious nature of certain threads. This is a home inspector's webzine, the purpose of which is to inform. The forums here are meant for inspectors to share information and, hopefully, help other inspectors improve their skills and become better business people.

Would I like to garner more advertisers? You betcha, but that isn't going to happen as long as I allow TIJ to become a soapbox for the same individuals to repeatedly, and often maliciously, strike out at those with whom they have a bone to pick. If you picked up your local paper every day and read a letter to the editor from the same person, repetitiously expounding on the same tired rant, would you continue to buy the paper? Would anyone want to advertise in it? I think not.

Dennis, you've had ample opportunity here to spread IHINA's message, but IHINA's message isn't the only one that has a right to be heard, and nobody who is receptive to it, including me, wants to hear it ad nauseum.

Mike is also pressured by other inspectors to quiet guys like myself.
That part is true, but it isn't just about yourself Dennis, or your message. It seems to happen in regard to every non-technical home inspection issue, but particularly when folks are fed up with posts that repeatedly, through inuendo or by outright accusation, attempt to paint whole other groups of inspectors with the same brush.

This is no differnt then when the Chapter president tried to keep me from showing the WBZ investigative tape in 1995 about agent referred inspectors.
I have no idea what this has to do with TIJ, unless it was because you insisted on showing the tape at every chapter meeting, in which case I can understand the Chapter President's point of view.

Back then when we took a straw poll at the meeting, there were only about 4 guys out of 35 who agreed that inspectors should separate themselves from agents.
That's a shame, because my experience in my own area is that a great many inspectors deplore the status quo and are seeking ways to overcome it without a law to use as a crutch.

BTW, as the messenger, I'm use to be shot at.
As am I. You, more than anyone, know how often and how vociferously I've posted to this, the ASHI and other boards about the need for home inspectors to once and for all divorce themselves from the real estate people. Our messages are similar - we disagree about the delivery method. I just don't agree that alienating the very segment of inspectors whom you wish to change can possibly help to achieve your goal.

TIJ is about cooperation, building knowledge and improving skills. When inspectors are better informed they are better inspectors. When they become better inspectors they become more confident in themselves. With confidence comes the ability to exert one's independence. The more inspectors that TIJ, and the participants here, can help to become better inspectors, the more likely that some of those who are fully dependent on the nature of the status quo - hopefully many of them - will gradually break away from those who control them through the referral process.

This isn't just about the few who dominate this board. We can be effective voice for change, because TIJ has more than 8,000 subscribers, nearly 1,000 discussion board "members" and easily 3 to 4 times that many "guests" that visit this board. However, when Dennis, or anyone else, insists on browbeating TIJ's readership over and over again with the same tired message, readers are turned off to the message and leave. When a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody there to hear it, is it heard?

Dennis is proud of his part in helping his state to become the first to partially prohibit wink-and-nod relationships between inspectors and those in the inspection business. I don't think many who regularly participate here - me, least of all - begrudges him that. However, it is simply not necessary, or dignified, to constantly brag about it and seek affirmation. Dennis has the IHINA website, and a private, cloaked message board on TIJ, to promote his message. And, if the IHINA site is so strongly situated on the internet as Dennis so often likes to remind us, it is a whole lot more effective at getting out his message than TIJ will ever be.

Rosreservv, you began this thread with the title "What's with the censorship." This isn't about censorship, it is about my right as the editor of my webzine to decide what the content will be. I do not see where TIJ should have to suffer for fear of bruising the egos or one or two inspectors out of thousands. Particularly when those few insist, despite repeated exhortations not to, on coming onto TIJ and figuratively sticking a needle in the eye of most of its readership.

Some of the most knowledgeable inspectors in this profession used to hang out here and no longer do. When we went to the new format and suddenly found the board invaded by those who wished to use TIJ as a cudgel, many wrote to me and insisted that I put a stop to it. I refused, telling them that I was sure that eventually the new folks would come around and the board would once again settle down to the friendly, cooperative place it'd been for two years. Well, I was wrong and it didn't. Things only got worse, because I insisted on indulging a few inspectors with radical views, at the expense of the entire readership, and they left, never to come back.

So, you see, it isn't TIJ that suffers for that, it is the vast majority of readership that could benefit greatly from the experience and knowledge that those inspectors possess and most of us only wish we can someday accumulate. My biggest regret today is that I did not shut down some of the more radical posters to this board earlier. If I had, those keen minds that are so necessary to the future professional development of all of TIJ's readership might still be here.

Lastly, let me remind you all of what you agreed to when you signed on as a member here. Here is a snipet from the forum rules:

We welcome vigorous debate and constructive criticism, but reserve the right to remove postings that, in our opinion, fail to meet basic standards of decorum, are libelous in nature, or contain advertising or similar commercial messages.

Decorum: Personal attacks, obscenities, or other malicious language such as racial or ethnic slurs have no place on TIJ. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and usually have the opposite effect. Participants should post and respond to others professionally and courteously. If two or more participants disagree about a given topic and can't reach agreement, so be it. Their dispute should not become a battle of wills that results in endless repetitive posts and debate along the same vein wherein neither will concede the other's point. Professionals should know when to agree to disagree and drop it at that. When the Editor or a Moderator sees that a thread is leaning toward contentiousness of this nature, the Editor or Moderators will remove the offending posts and may suspend those involved or bar them from participation on the boards.

Libel or Slander: We do not allow posts that may damage the reputation of a person, product, or organization with false information. Posts that expose a person, product, or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule are potentially libelous. Before clicking on the 'post message' button, we ask that users read their posts over and ask themselves whether they would say the same thing if they were present in a room full of other inspectors, as opposed to posting on an intenet forum where they are safely behind their keyboards. If the answer is "No" than the post probably is not appropriate and should be rewritten so that it is.

The bottom line here is that home inspection organizations, branding, state licensing, realtor/inspector relationships are all important topics for discussion, but these topics are secondary to what we are all about, which is helping inspectors to be better at what they do - inspect homes. Ask yourself what, if anything, in the deleted posts helped anyone in that regard.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by denable

So let's censor everything and everyone who keeps opening up that curtain and while were at it, lets keep attacking the person who pulls open the curtain with personal insults.

You truly live in your own little world Dennis. It's never about what people keep saying it's about, it's always about what you say it's about. I don't give a rats' ass about your message. Like everybody else here, I know where stand on that and why, and nothing you have to say will make any difference.

My response is not simply about your most recent posts, but about the body of your input here as a whole. You come in and stir up people with the same old crap, we have a flare-up of hostility over it, eventually it peters out, and within a week you do it all over again. Enough already. It's disruptive and destructive, plain and simple. In my opinion, this forum would be much better off without you.

Brian G.

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Well, this is another promise that I made to myself that I have broken, not to climb into the sandbox but ok, so be it, here I go.

It's Mike's forum and he has no constitutional obligation to allow free speech. This is a private endeavor, if you don't like the delete key than I suggest that you start your own forum. On a side note Mike, clamp down harder on twits before you lose more good people. This should be a place of higher learning and not a place for pot boilers. If you lose the malcontents, who cares. It always amazes me when my online training got so little response but any post attacking ASHI, Realtors etc has much bravado. Sad really.

To the malcontents. Sniff, sniff.... do I smell a troll???? Very old internet trick. Post something you know will get everybody up in arms and sit back and watch the fireworks. Same 5th grade sandbox tricks. Tolls only exist if feed. Please do not feed the trolls.

BTW, I'd do whatever I could to get the good ones to come back and that would include banning the malcontent(s).

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I guess this will be my last post on this not so open "open disussion" thread or any thread for that matter.

I have have been served my eviction notice by the landlord.

Yes, I am guilty of posting a link to a real estate web site and yes I am guilty of posting parts of e-mails sent to me (and I forced everyone to read my posts.) But unlike several other guys on this forum, I avoided personal insults and attacks.

Of course this type of action against me is nothing new. Years ago when agents did not want me around they did everything in their power to keep me from inspecting property for their customers.

Unlike the guys who played the game by the agent's rules to stay in favor, I worked to change the rules. It took many years, a lot of work, a couple of legal challenges and a lot of hate mail. I will continue this fight on behalf of other inspectors who want to see the control of agents over this field ended.

So like some of the other real "independent" inspectors I have been shown the exit door of this forum. I'll bet there are some real happy guys out there now, although I think discussions will become boring with everyone singing the same tune.

For those who really don't want to see me go (there has to be a couple of you out there) you will see me appearing on various news media formats and in at least one book about home inspecting.

Don't forget to notify some of the whimps such as Doug H. that it's safe to come back into the water now.

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Dennis,

As to Douglas H. You couldn't lick his boots. Referring to him as a wimp is about as convincing a statement you could make in order to show your total lack of class.

This isn't the first forum I've seen you leave. You know the old saying, "parting is such sweet sorrow"? Well, it gets sweeter each time. Good riddance. All right, the undesirables are gone let's go on with the party. Drinks are on me. Mike you deserve a double.

NORM SAGE

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It's somewhat regretable, but no longer avoidable in my opinion. Too bad.

I reiterate my support for Mike and the sponsers in their efforts to have a friendly, useful forum that inspectors will like visiting and learning from. I am not inclined to want anyone who engages in a heated discussion, tends to be generally negative, or brings up an org related topic thrown off the site. But if any particular person habitually creates a stink and will not listen to reason, I do want them shown out. If I turn into that person, show me out (please).

Brian G.

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One last thing then I promise I'm done. I've been in the HI business eighteen maybe nineteen years and while I have had clients tell me about a previous inspection which they were unhappy with I have never had one send me an email regarding another inspector. Just curious, have any of you gotten unsolicited emails regarding this subject? Makes me wonder if Dennis is communicating with himself. Seems to me he has posted a portion of at least three alleged emails in the past six months or so. I wonder if he also hears confession.

NORM SAGE

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Dennis, I can't say I'll be sad to see you leave. In fact, like others, I'm kinda glad. Kudos to Mike for making the decision.

The only reason I never re-uped my membership to IHINA is because of the antics you've pulled on this and other forums. Your last two topics here helped no one and hurt yourself. These forums are meant to help all inspectors, not just a chosen few that believe the way you do. In fact, I can't remember the last time I saw you respond to a 'question' post regarding a HI problem.

You've done two great things in your past that I'm aware of. You started IHINA and you helped get the MA bill passed. The sad thing is your whole existence now is based on those two accomplishments. You should have built on those two wonderful things instead of shouting "Looky what I did" from the roof tops. You'll catch more fly's with honey than you will with vinegar.

Your actions on this and other forums remind me of one of those washed up 'use to be' wrestlers on TV who has turned "manager". When the Refs head is turned you sucker punch the other guy then jump back with your hands raised and shaking you head back and forth indicating you've done nothing wrong. This is not a trait I look for in a person leading any organization I belong to.

You want to discredit other organizations because of a few bad apples in their membership ranks. You're living in a glass house and tossing stones. IHINA members are not spotless brother. I can't speak for other members in other states, but your members in Texas all have public records you could have checked before allowing them to become members. Which one missed the PVC pipe being used as a gas line to a furnace?

Hell, Mike even gave you you're own corner of the world where you can say anything you wanted and you still came over on the public side and stirred up s**t.

You could've started your own discussion board at IHINA. You chose not too. Don't tell me the cost was too much. I know what a simple BB board would run you. Hell, look at what Mike did!! But instead you choose to troll other boards instigating members with your senseless, chest pounding post. Then you sit back scratching your head trying to figure out why no one wants to become a member of IHINA! Geez man, get a clue!

These are only a few reasons IHINA will never become a mainstream organization and I doubt it will ever grow much larger than it is currently. Not because all inspectors want to flock to agents like a chick to a mother hen, not because all inspectors want to see how many inspections can be performed in a day but rather because it has a bad steering wheel and the tires are going flat.

Dennis you have no one other than yourself to blame for this because of your actions, although you're already trying to blame Mike and others. Blame the guy looking back at you in the mirror.

Donald

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Originally posted by Jim Morrison

...he's gone and it doesn't feel any friendlier around here to me.

The mob has spoken.

What?! You dare to differ with the mob that be?! Gaurds! Sieze him! String him up by his testicles! [:o] [:D]

Brian G.

Torch-Bearing Mob Leader From Hell [:-dev3]

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After reading my two previous posts I was going to edit them. It's apparent that I seized an opportunity to vent my frustration with an individual by kicking him when he was down. I should have merely said a polite good bye and best of luck in future endeavors. Jim, you were correct, my remarks were almost as instigating as some of Dennis's and did not make this forum a friendlier place. I apologize for my lapse of discretion.

It had been suggested via PM that I edit the previous posts. I decided that wouldn't serve any purpose since you all have already read the original and anyone new to this topic would have no clue as to what I have said in this post.

Mike, can we undertake some sort of damage repair in order to get back some of our valuable participants?

NORM SAGE

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I'm sure many of us have some pent-up frustration with the contentious BS that has regularly plauged TIJ, keeping it from being much closer to what it could be. As the torch-bearing mob leader who called for his expulsion the loudest, I do not expect the absence of Dennis to produce a sudden state of bliss and goodwill that will last for 1,000 years. I expect we will continue to have flare-ups over various subjects at various times involving various people.

But frankly, he was easily the worst of the bunch, and I had come to believe that he would never, ever, behave any differently, no matter what. Not having Dennis around will be akin to not having Jerry Peck around. As time goes by the number of needless incidents and aggravations that do not happen because of simple absence will mount and mount. As I do belive these things, I did what I felt was best for TIJ, my friends here, and myself.

When the dust settles I hope we can get back to talking about more relevent subjects. Let's not beat the same tired, unresolvable topics to death every other week for no purpose. Let's see if we can debate, disagree, and agree to disagree like adults and professionals most of the time.

Brian G.

Here's Hoping

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For the record.

I like Dennis, I've shared a beer or three with the man. In person he is not the man you read on this board. However, I will be the first to agree that the old tune has been played long enough and it's time for a new song.[:-banghead]

Should Dennis want to discuss any topic other than ASHI or Realtors. I would gladly listen.

The question was asked if anyone gets calls or emails about other inspectors. The answer is yes. I get a call or an e-mail about 6 times a year about other inspectors. I have Realtors telling me about other inspectors on a weekly basis. I have decided to take the high road and let them know what our state requires and what it does not require. I also tell them how to handle it if they feel that an inspector has not met the minimum requirements. Now they refer me as "the inspector that knows whats going on."

If you have not received calls or letters like this, get involved in your area. Join the Chamber of Commerce. Don't be afraid to admit that we are human and that you may not know everything. Hell, Doug Hanson has forgotten more about electrical systems than I will ever know. Many of the people I have met on these boards are assets. I have called Marc Crammer, Doug Hansen, Kurt M, Chris Pricket, and even Dennis with questions about what I've seen on inspections. That is why this board is here. To open a channel of communication between inspectors so that we can all improve.

Thank you Mike for giving us this venue.

[:-hspin]

Now can we please get back to inspection related material?

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