Column #503 “The truth is violated by falsehood but outraged by silence.”
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
“The truth is violated by falsehood but outraged by silence.”
Let’s be clear about something. Larry Butler’s recent accomplishment at the Winmau World Maters was Larry Butler’s accomplishment. Ain’t no one else’s. Ain’t no organization’s claim to fame (although the CDC certainly deserves an assist). No one but Larry can take credit for the darts he threw. He whooped ass. The ADO can say they paid his airfare. Bullshit. The ADO had the money to pay Larry’s airfare because the players foot the bill. Period. Full stop. CONGRATULATIONS Larry. You did yourself, family, friends, sponsors, the entire darts community, and America proud. You can bet Dennis Priestley watched every second of your amazing run.
Two recent posts caught my eye. One by ADO president, David Hascup. The other from Joe Chaney.
Hascup penned a meandering, full-of-holes treatise that started with a false claim (“I have been attacked personally…”) and ended up nowhere (and which received all of 15 comments, not all supportive). More on this in a moment.
One of the few responders was Joe Chaney – a great player. Joe maintained, “If the ADO collapses so will steel tip darts in America.” I couldn’t disagree more (and neither can the nearly 2,000 people who have, so far, cast votes for Dartoid for ADO president). My position is the exact opposite: until the ADO gets out of the way the future of steel tip darts in this country is hopeless.
Hascup feels he was attacked personally. This is absurd (although I understand how he feels, I really do). But it is the ADO with which I, and many others, take issue – not any individual. That Hascup is a do-nothing president surrounded by a do-nothing board is just the reality. Call it guilt by association. Call it whatever you wish.
I quoted Hascup (and Steve Brown) on Facebook. Some feel this was a low blow. Again, I do not agree. Ask either gentleman if they were not given notice in advance that their comments might go public. Ask either gentleman if they did not respond with “I don’t care” and “Do whatever you want” and then if they did or did not continue to send messages that included lines similar to what have been shared. Ask either gentleman if what was shared publicly was not mild compared to much of what they have written. And ask Steve Brown why he cast his vote for Joe Hogan for vice president of the ADO.
There is truth, there are lies and there is obfuscation of the truth (which is no different from a lie). Under the Honor Code at the United States Military Academy at West Point, lying is defined as “deliberately deceiving another by stating an untruth or by any direct form of communication to include the telling of a partial truth and the vague or ambiguous use of information or language with the intent to deceive or mislead.” You tell me whether what the ADO has been doing fits this definition.
As someone once said, “Lies may have speed but truth has endurance.” Eventually the truth prevails. The truth about the ADO has remained buried, intentionally, for years. It’s the players who are paying the price.
What I posted was truth. Those who wrote the words, wrote the words, and, again, they were aware their words were likely to be shared. And now, Hascup cries foul – and the ADO, which generally communicates only rarely (except for announcing tournament results), has responded for the third time in a week to my campaign for president and plan to close down the organization. What’s odd about this picture? Nothing. It makes sense. The ADO is now exposed. They have no option but to spin.
Here’s a little of their spin. They say I cannot run for president. They are wrong. I can run. Anyone can run. Anyone can vote. I can run and you can run and I can vote and you can vote for whatever you damn well please. By way of example – what better example? – the Constitution of the United States may require that someone be a citizen and 35 years of age to be “eligible to hold” the office of President, and certain ballots may be disqualified in an election – but absolutely no person is prohibited from running, or voting. They just cannot hold office. Certain votes may not count.
Anyone can wage a campaign and comment on the issues of the day. Anyone can attempt to set the agenda.
The ADO touts itself as the governing body of steel tip darts in America but, again – yes, again – it is the players – you – through tournament surcharges and league dues who pay the bills. Just as you pay taxes and by law have a direct say in how you are governed and by whom, you finance the ADO. If you participate in an ADO-sanctioned tournament or join a member league you are, essentially, taxed. Yet the ADO bylaws expressly exclude you and all but a few, perhaps a dozen of the millions of players in this country, from holding executive office, and the votes of only a mere 39 of the millions of players it “represents” are counted in an election for executive office.
Seriously, even those of you who disagree with the nature and tone of my campaign – does this strike you as reasonable and fair?
Hascup “laughs” at my vote count. He writes, “As a computer programmer… I can create an online poll… that shows me winning 200,000,000 to three, if I want to.” I can only remind the esteemed president that every single vote cast using the automated form provided, including many the ADO appears to have blocked, were automatically copied to my lawyer. The count is real and growing by the hour. It is verifiable. Allowing for some to be discounted, as in the case of any election, the fact remains: I have already received multiple times more votes than the absolute maximum 39 votes Hascup can tally. Disqualify 1,500 of the votes and I still have, already, ten times more than Hascup can achieve. He hasn’t just lost – he’s lost in a landslide.
It’s only going to get worse.
I CAN run. I AM running. And YOU CAN VOTE. The ADO bylaws may prevent me from assuming office and your votes from being counted – but as long as the organization maintains that it represents us all and collects tournament surcharges and league dues I stand by my position that the ADO system is illegitimate, and worse and needs to be closed down and replaced. My platform is to facilitate exactly this.
NOTE: If you have not voted yet, please email your vote directly to email@example.com. Have your subject line read: Dartoid for President. Have the body of your message say: Please record my write-in vote for Dartoid for ADO president.
And therein is the root of the problem. The ADO is not legitimate. In political science terms, “legitimacy” is fundamental to governance. I won’t bore you with a discussion – I spent six years studying political science in college and, can assure you, were I to get into the details you’d be as bored as was I. Suffice it to say, legitimacy is essential- mandatory – for a governing system to stand the test of time. Only where a small, closely held group holds absolute control (often accomplished through rigged elections) can an illegitimate regime maintain control, and even at that not forever. Sound familiar?
It is no mystery why the ADO doesn’t allow open and fair elections. Open up elections and the ADO loses, and its secrets will be exposed.
It is no mystery why the ADO has for more than ten years not filed as required with the IRS and disclosed a year-end financial statement. In the best case, reports to the IRS were not filed and financials were not reported because of incompetence. Someone just forgot. Year after year after year. Just kept forgetting. In the worse case, it was intentional. There is something, or many things, that the ADO insiders do not want exposed to the light of day.
And it is no longer a mystery what has been going on behind the scenes with respect to the west coast office and its full-time employee. The ADO has been plotting to remove Katie Harris and just hand over the paying position to one of its own board members.
It’s all about retaining control. It’s all about doing what they dictate. Damn the players they “represent” and who fund all that they do.
The ADO has sealed its own fate. The situation with the IRS is so serious it alone could end the organization. That the office manager is female and, whether she’s been horrible at her job or not, it is now evident there has been an effort afoot for a long time to replace her with a specific male. No job posting. No organized search. No paper trail of performance reviews or warnings. At least none of which I am aware. This is sexual discrimination. If the IRS doesn’t wipe out the ADO coffers (there is probably some personal liability too) a sexual discrimination suit could.
In the larger scheme, I don’t suppose any of this much matters, not anymore, not to the future of steel tip darts in America. It would only matter if the ADO were important to the future of darts.
Hascup wanders on, trying to explain why during nearly two years in office so much that was promised has not been accomplished… “I had knee surgery… I was involved in personal matters. This wasted a lot of time and, not to be noble, but I blame myself for having knee surgery and a life. I do this for free.” I guess, at least in this instance, the players got what they pay for.
Excuses, nothing but excuses. No plan, no action.
He speaks up for women and youth. Seriously? One must ask: what does Hascup think of Stacy Bromberg being yanked off the World Cup team in 2011? There was no one from the ADO standing up for America’s best-ever female player when this occurred. What do Hascup and the ADO have to say about youth not being represented at the World Cup when it was held in Newfoundland two years ago? The ADO didn’t even hold youth playoffs!
Words, nothing but words. Excuses, nothing but excuses. No plan, no action.
Hascup talks about the Olympics. Suffice it to say the last time the ADO had a “drug test” they permitted alcohol. Indeed, at least one person had to sit in a room for an hour drinking water to urinate for the official taking the test – but in the end the player was allowed to compete. And Hascup thinks some Olympic Committee somewhere is going to be impressed?
Finally, in the interest of what the ADO apparently considers “continuing open communication,” Hascup writes, “This is the one and only response I will be posting about the comments that have come out about me personally and the ADO in general over the past 10 days. I have blocked all correspondence with certain people and will not be able to see what has been written about me or the ADO from them.”
It’s the classic, time-worn ADO “give ’em the finger” line.
There is a famous philosopher, Tom Regan. He has written, “When an injustice is absolute, one must oppose it absolutely. It was not ‘reformed’ slavery that justice demanded, not ‘reformed’ child labor, not ‘reformed’ subjugation of women. In each of these cases, abolition was the only moral answer. Merely to reform absolute injustice is to prolong injustice.”
It is unjust to take players’ money, not report on how you spend it, and to exclude these very people from holding executive office. It is open to debate whether the ADO bylaws that permit all of this are constitutional.
Abolition is the answer. Abolition is my platform.
Buddha taught that only “Three things cannot long be hidden – the sun, the moon and the truth.”
“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
“I am not a crook.”
“It was a meaningless third-rate burglary.”
“The world is flat.”
Right. Lies have speed, but the truth has endurance.
Some people are unaware of what’s gone on. Some know about it but find it easier to ignore. Others insist the ADO is doing a wonderful job – that darts in this country would be lost without the organization. I don’t know which I find most frustrating. But every individual is entitled to their opinion, just as I and so many others are entitled to bring forth the truth.
It was by plan that my campaign has been rough in recent days. I accept that the “negativity” of my Facebook posts – throwing back the words of a couple of our “leaders” – offended some. I can only say, as the title of this column states…
“The truth is violated by falsehood but outraged by silence.”
The time for burying our heads in the sand has passed.
It is time for the ADO to go.
It is time for the ADO to be replaced.
Good times are coming. Positive news is on the way.
And best of luck (stay safe!) to the American players competing in China and Turkey in the coming days. I see more great things from Larry Butler.
From the Field,
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