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    Sunday, August 03, 2008

    Being A Good Person Has Its Drawbacks

    I posted the other day about how there is a new group for those who wish to recycle here in my home town. Faithib asked in the comments if I had started another group for recycling, and I confirmed her suspicion. *smile*

    See, I've been running a local recycling group as a volunteer for several years. Currently, unless you know how to find out some somewhat classified and disturbing information, or are high up in the ranks of the group's parent org, you might not know what's going on. I can't say much beyond that because of the inherent delicacy of the situation, however, except that I just recently learned the full scope of it myself.

    In an effort to assure that the service my community has come to rely on for gifting reusable items remains in place, regardless of what may happen otherwise, I joined up with another group of folks with the same ideals. These individuals are the ReUseIt network, created by the people, for the people, and sworn to abide by the wishes of those involved without unnecessary politics, secrecy, or overbearing rules and regulations. It is a real joy to be a part of what I had, for so many years, thought I was involved in, and hope beyond hope, it will become again, despite much evidence to the contrary. The people in the new org I have chosen to join up with are wonderful, and have offered to help with anything I might need, without standing in the way of the community users of the group, or mandating silly rules that might prevent building friendships on our mutual journeys to sustainability.

    For the not so great part, I have to give you a little back story. Once in a while, every group owner has a member who asks questions about the rules. My policy is to answer all questions honestly, and with as much information as I can. Well, this question was regarding our moderation policy. We get these questions from time to time, and answer them to the best of our abilities. Usually it suffices to let the member know that all new members are moderated for a time to prevent spam, and let them know when they could likely expect to be removed from moderation if we have the ability to gauge that from the available information.

    The member in question, however, was not happy with his answer, and asked again, and again, and again, and again, getting the same (but differently worded) answer each time. Sometimes it helps to reword a thing if it isn't understood, and we tried our best to help this person out, but he just became more and more irate with us, until we finally had to ask him to leave our group. We hated doing it, but enough cursing and name-calling, and even the saintly will give up and take measures to make the person go away. Our group policy is to ban anyone who curses at a moderator immediately, but I was being exceedingly lenient.

    Of course, this person was also a member of a community chat group I own as well, so he started in over there. First it was asking the question to the community, then getting demanding, rude, obstinate, and finally calling names and insulting other members of the group. The only rule on the chat group is to be nice to one another, so after three warnings (see a pattern of lenience here yet?), I had to ban him from that group as well.

    By then, he had gathered himself a small but loyal following of other members we hadn't banned from the two groups (because we are nice like that, and think everyone deserves another chance unless the offense is extreme), and they started a new group, and advertised it on the chat group. Not being against the rules, it was allowed to sit, and still is there in the archives to this very day. I knew it was a little gaggle of folks who didn't like me, but so what? It was titling itself a group for folks who still wanted to recycle and help the planet, so I was glad it existed, and in my heart, hoped it would be successful. *smile*

    Little did I know that their group was not really for recycling, but more of a bash Whimspiration group, were they could bad-talk not only myself, but also the other moderators of my groups. For being nice, generous, and lenient with the rules, we were now subject to regular public slander.

    How dare we give our valuable time to the community in order to make the world a better place, right?


    Things died down, and nearly a year later, I rejoiced to hear the news that their little group was actually building friendships, and that there was some recycling going on, and it was successful. I was glad for them, despite the horrible things they had said about me and those who chose to volunteer their time to the common goals of the community.

    Then it came time for the primary election. It's happening this coming Tuesday, so politics are heavy on the minds of us all.

    Which brings us to the current situation.

    There has been this same someone I had to remove from my other groups saying very nasty things about me on this other list. Things like I've been kicked out of the org I've selflessly donated years of my life to, and that the reason I'm 'no longer running for governor is because I didn't want anyone to know how I made my money.

    I'm not a big fan of misinformation, no mater who or what it is about, and now is the time to set things straight.

    No, I have not quit or been kicked off of the other recycling group, yes, I care about the environment and helping my neighbors enough to take proper care of both groups, and I have modified the disclaimer of my main group to protect everyone involved, even the group members in case something goes horribly wrong with the parent org.

    I am still running for Missouri governor.

    I likely mentioned my being removed from the primary ballot here before. What happened was that my campaign manager was busy with end of semester testing at college, and, this being my first time running for public office, I wasn't sure precisely what paperwork needed to be sent in, and what some of the questions on said paperwork meant. When I figured it out for myself, it was almost too late, but I sent in the forms with four days to spare before the deadline. Unfortunately, I was later informed that my mail arrived one day late. Now, I've never seen an in-state letter take four days to arrive at it's destination, but I was told that the only way to get back onto the primary ballot would be to sue the state. Not being the type to waste time or money, mine or the taxpayers, I decided not to pursue that course of action, but rather to register as a write-in candidate for the general election instead.

    Most people who read here or know me an any other way, know that I receive disability as my main source of income, and that I own my own small business making natural health care products, gourmet food products, and preforming as a children's entertainer. I sell ad space on my blogs, accept donations on my blogs, and when I have spare time, I sometimes do a bit of mystery shopping and participate in consumer panels, online surveys, and other online work to earn a bit of extra cash to help my family get by. That's where all my money comes from. Do I sound like I'm ashamed, or have anything to hide? I didn't think so either.

    So to sum it up, I'm still running for governor, but I won't have my name printed on the ballot. I have nothing to hide, I always tell the truth, and I'm still actively helping out the community by doing all I can to do what's right.

    I know, you're probably thinking "but, aren't you the one who says not to feed the trolls?", and you're right. I usually say to ignore the mean people of the world and continue on, doing the best you can, because the only ones you should care what they think of you is yourself, your deity, and the ones you love. But I'm not a big fan of defamation of character, or people telling outright lies about me on a public forum.

    I've had others cast aspersions on me, but usually this was a scare tactic, or other personal attack, done in private by someone too frightened to even say who they really were. Not anything to be concerned about to be sure, even in an election year when one is a candidate.

    There are legal steps I can take to stop this in it's tracks, but I'm a non-combative person, and I really don't want it to come to that.

    Heck, I'm running for public office in the hopes that I can make Missouri a better place to live, or at least inspire other regular folks like me to get out and get active in being a part of their government.

    Being a good person can sure have its drawbacks though.


    Becky said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    Maurkus said...

    That's why you need somebody who can be an ass when necessary. I'll help advise you, if you'd like.

    Faith said...

    It is hard to understand why they feel the need to talk about you this way.
    I thought they way you explained everything in detail here put a golden light on what we need to know.