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Debate: Is an Association Really Necessary

Originally posted by Tim Vasquez
I'd like to see some opinions on this whole concept from the CFDG crowd. If any of you guys are lurking, please sign up for this forum and I'll personally expedite it through so you can participate in this debate.


As much as this HURTS to say....and believe me, having anything nice to say about THIS group of socialties pains me beyond words....

These guys have the right idea for the "chaser organization crusade"....which is to say, INVISIBILITY.

I mean, just look at this group of chameleons....just out there and no one knows a thing about any of it. Maybe these guys had the right idea after all.

At least I know I'M thankful I never fell into the mold of "CFDG Light" chasers....thank you guys for keeping your influence well-away from me during my formative years. We're currently seeing the horrific results of a "chaser" who's sole influence is CFDG-esque mentoring and a surname.
 
Shane,

You do make one point I strongly agree with. By saying what I am about to say may create a $hitstorm the likes of which ST has never seen, but I feel it covers a large part of the problem and is worth mentioning. That issue is simply $$$. Taking what was once a hobby and/or scientific research and turning it into a business is a sure fire way to create a ton of problems.

Take this example: I read in one of these threads recently where some people were blocking a road, while they had tripods set up shooting video and refused to move until a cop threatened to arrest them unless they got out of the way. What would necessitate such perfect video as to block a road and refuse to move for authorities? Hmmmm. Most people would be happy with a handheld shot, even if it was a bit shaky. On the other hand, high quality video will bring in more $$$. It seems plausible that people will take extra chances or even do stupid things in order to get a better paycheck from CNN, TWC or Discovery/TLC. Perhaps that's what's causing many of these problems? So Shane, your 'whoring video' concept makes sense. In a world of cut-throat competition, such competition could push people to do some pretty extreme things. I'm not trying to single out any individual in particular, be it chaser or whatever. But perhaps more people should remember this is a hobby, not a livelyhood and act as such. In other words, sell the video you have as the news if need be. Just make sure the video itself isn't the news.

Now I'll don my flame suit and prepare for the brimstone and hell fire that's sure to follow. :wink:
 
Since I do not read any other weather forums (feel I get the best here), I do have one question:

Is this a topic on other weather/chaser sites or just on Stormtrack?

Just curious....
 
Also, let me add, if you have an individual who goes out solely to shoot video to sell to various media groups....should that person be considered something other than a chaser? I mean many of these folks break off the storm after they capture a tornado just so they can be first to upload and get it on the air. Seems these people would be better defined as freelance photo/videographers. Therefore chasers shouldn't be blamed for the bad this group does, since they really aren't chasers or storm enthusiasts for that matter.

Then you have the locals (aka) "yahoos" who flock out to see storms and get in the way. These people likely aren't what would be a chaser in the traditional sense either. These are probably the same type of people like I encounter at traffic accidents who hear the radio calls on their police scanner and come out to have a close-up look at the carnage. Again, not chasers, just nosy people who like to view carnage.

So I dunno, maybe some of you guys are right afterall. If you factor in those groups, that would probably account for at least 95% to 98% of the complaints generated. So maybe chasers shouldn't worry about actions of people who aren't really chasers/spotters to begin with. Let the media worry about them, since they are responsible for generating both groups in large anyway. :D

-George
 
I see absolutely no point in having an organization such as this; other than to further individual egos and create problems down the line. I've prused the previous posts, and agree with Shane's points 99.9%. Personally I have no time to partake in an organization such as this (there's my excuse); with academic and extracurricular work, goals, and other life issues at hand. I could care less whether or not there is a Storm Chasers of America'esque type organization. To me, this is just a modified version of what may become an elitist group; even if the intentions are positive at the moment.

I'll be chasing for the rest of my days; although I'm sure it will slow down once I start a family (which I'd like to someday); but it will always be a part of me. No organization is going to control my actions, be it wise choices or utter stupidity (because like everyone else out there, I'm human and can/will/do make mistakes... this includes while chasing).

Having an association will *not* solve any of the current problems; moreso act like a antidepressant patch. These issues (jackassery while on chase) will exist for as long as chasing is a part of society. Like I've posted on other threads prior to this; adapt, mature, and grow with the changes that chasing is undergoing - don't make more issues to deal with unless your prepared to face negative consequences. I guess this "association" may be part of this adaptation and growth; and while I'll except it's existence if it does indeed come to pass... won't have anything to do with it personally (I'm too busy attempting to graduate from WMU; and get into graduate school at OU to worry about such minor matters).

My opinions only - please take no offense.

..Blake..
 
I guess one could...

I suppose one could put me in the spot light for selling a few photos. Am I "whoring video"? No. Am I making a profit? Absolutely not. I'm probably doubly damned as I also report severe weather from the road to a local radio station. What I do, is get a few still photos of various things, print, mat, frame and sell them. I sell them pretty much locally. What does happen though, is someone asks me where I got the photo and "Are you nuts?". This opens a door in which I tell them about storm chasing, storm spotting and gneral thunderstorm 'stuff'. In the process, I manage to work in that I've studied long and hard to learn where to look, where to drive and when to get the heck out of the way. I also manage to put in a few words about NOAA radio and listening to local stations. It's basically a one man campaign, but I get to "rub elbows" with folks and generally put things in a positive light.

I've been asked dozens of times, about chasing as a living as I pull out my bologna sandwich. Of course I give those who ask or are interested, the spiel about how there are very few folks that make a living doing this and how chasing works and recommend this site as a source of information (also the NOAA sites, etc.).

As to turning it into a business? A 501c Non-Profit organization is technically, not a business. There is no profit. After paying the wages and expenses, everything goes back into the company for future growth.

Believe it or not, there are fire departments set up this way. They have a board of elected directors, etc. The only thing missing from Mike Peregrine's formula is a paid administrator.

The only real stumbling block I foresee is getting people to become members. There has to be a benefit for being a member. It's noble to be altruistic and have the higher sense of purpose, but for most folks, that this would appeal to, there needs to be a tangible incentive.

It would be nice to be able to get NOAA behind it similar to the Skywarn programs. I believe there are a great many Skywarn programs that work hand in hand with the various HAM Radio clubs and actually do get out and educate, present safety seminars, etc. Patterning after something like that is possibly something to look at. Many chasers are Skywarn certified, Skywarn certication comes from NOAA. Skywarn is generally geared locally though and not nationally. Ponca City does not have a Skywarn per se. They do have the local HAM Radio club though and they do all the local spotting. Blackwell, on the other hand, DOES have a Skywarn program and it works very closely with the Ham Radio club there. I think on this area, a National Assocaition would be a plus.

There are still, relatively few real Chasers out there. By that, I mean the guys that travel hundreds of miles to see a storm. There are a great many more chasers as myself who will travel a couple hundred miles. I think these are the folks you would want to target. The "Yahoo's"? They're always going to be there. There's no getting rid of them. What we can do, is combat the poor publicity before it gets out of hand. That's what the national organization would be geared to do. Probably very similar to what RACES, Skywarn, and ARRL already are doing on a limited basis.

I know a few years ago, we had the local EM give a speech about spring time safety at our church. I hate to say it, the guy really didn't know what he was talking about. On the technical front, he was abysmal. On the safety front, he shined like a bright star. Why? Because he already had that part layed out for him with the NOAA handouts.

Just some of my thoughts on the subject.

Shane, although some of your comments have recieved my ire in the past (silently, I won't post a flame), and what I percieve to be your general attitude gets my goat. I don't ever want to you to simply shut up. There are a lot of folks out there like you that we don't hear from. When I tell myself, "Shane's FOS", I make myself look from that perspective to try and understand it to counter it. A lot of times I can't counter it. It's simply a different veiwpoint. Sometimes, I want to get on here and tell you off. I don't because your entitled your opinion as anyone else. Keep beating your drum Shane. The opposing view is healthy.

George, the only problem with letting the dog lay, is that we are actively being grouped into the larger lump sum. Where the people that blocked the road "Chasers"? Not by any definition we on Storm Track use. However, because they were on the storm, blocking the emergency traffic and possibly had antenna on their vehicle(s), they were assumed to be Chasers. This in turn was taken by the local media and pronounced as gospel with the backing of the Local EM. Bad news, sensational news, accusatory news, travels much faster than good news. It's generally believed by the majority of the populace that reads it as opposed to a piece of good news about a chaser helping a family out of the bashed in basement. It's hard to counter that. A National Organization with respected members (nationally known members too) would go a long way to help in countering it. Getting the Gary England's and Rick Smith's on board would be a plus as well.

I think one of the examples of media giving the wrong information that really sticks out was the video at the I-35 underpass in Kansas. There was a lot of information put out about how that was the WRONG move to make. I know there was even a lot of real science put into it. Did that get out to the public? No, Why? It was sensational. It was a boring diatribe. It wasn't glamorous.

John

John Diel
 
I think that one has to look at what they want the relative complexity and exposure that this organization would give us to be.

to follow with George's analogy, I don't want an NRA. What I want is a body of information put together so that we can provide positives to counter the negative stories published for a local area, and if the issue comes up in a situation where our access to a region is threatened legally, we can supply said info to try to keep our chasing from being limited.
 
On the subject of "whoring video"; I currently work (as a career) within the broadcast television industry, and string video on the side (not as a job; but as an extra "helper" to cover rent, school, and life expenditures). I certainly don't see it as "whoring" myself to partake in this. The real issue here is that certain individuals have been/and continue to be rubbed the wrong way by other individuals. My thoughts on the subject; which come from working within the industry for six years and counting (I'm soon to be departing this industry for further academic pursuits); that is the nature of media! Regardless of how it may seem to outsiders, media is a very cut throat business (has been and will always be); and leaves no room for jackassery, bitching, or the nice guy (typically media takes advantage of the "nice guy" by working him/her over for video/or other airable material).

Media, just like "on-chase jackassery" will always be around. I have nothing against organizations such as the noted BNVN; in fact work closely with BNVN (I'm sure several opinions of me just changed with that statement alone); however that particular subject is an entirely different issue at hand (if you choose to discuss it; please contact me off list privately). Individuals without media experience and know-how; or those whom cannot adapt to the business of media will get screwed in the end... it's a fact of life; but it's a business like any other business... and while "whoring" certainly can be applied (I apply that term to others all the time; including myself) ... that's the nature of the beast.

..Blake..
 
No one is asking any of you to do anything you do not want to do - this is only a friendly discussion of possibilities. So remember if nothing comes to pass, I will take no offense. But I'm sure you would agree that the discussion is worth it.

It does seem interesting that so many folks gladly work within a framework to accomplish things. You go to school, you are willing to perform tasks as your professor requires to graduate. You get a job at Burger King and are willing to flip burgers exactly as they tell you to do it in training. But when someone makes a suggestion that will ultimately help you keep things the way you like them when it comes to chasing - something that can only promote improved relations, suddenly it is a burden beyond anyone's ability to bear - - - when the reality is that nothing is being asked of any of us here except to support what we already spend time supporting. It's amazing that so many are so willing to be extremely vocal about every little thing they feel affects them ... spending hours in here talking about it - but when asked to actually take a stand and do something for something they love, they are running for the exit.

It's easy for us to blame everyone else when things go wrong. It's much harder to take responsibility and protect the things we love. It's work. There is no question. Fortunately there will always likely be enough of those who do take a personal responsibility to at least genuinely reach out to others in an effort to help the situation at times.

If we continue with things as they are, then one thing that is certain is that the issues before us cannot improve ... there is no chance of them doing so. We will continue to do the exact same things, and get the same results.

And in all of the effort to not appear elitest, the end result is exactly that. We worry that people outside the plains need some type of organization like this while the ones who live here do not. What is the basis for supporting this conclusion? ... I won't judge motives, but by actions alone it does indeed sound like an elitest position. Would you use the same reasoning when you interview for a new employer? - - "I'm willing to belong to your company, but just so you know, I'll be doing everything my way around here."

None of us truly want an organization like this ... that's not the point. I don't want it when it comes down to it ... I never have. But more and more I am seeing the need for it. There may never come a time when you need someone in your corner to speak for you when you need it or help you out when you need it most ... then again, there may. That's the risk we take, isn't it. Again - no one is asking anyone to take time out of their schedules to do anything ... nothing ... you are not being asked to reach out to the schools in your area - you are not being asked to travel a thousand miles and attend a mandatory convention somewhere ... I don't recall those stipulations being made at any point. What we are doing is talking about the ways we can improve the situation somehow - represent ourselves with the strongest of our lot who are looking out for our best interests. None of us currently debating this fall into that category, so I'm not sure what you think is being asked of you here.

It may indeed be true that finding competent and willing leadership will be a difficulty - those on the board basically would be willing to meet online, via telephone, etc. at least every three months to discuss the direction the organization is taking. Everything else can be delegated. It's really not that hard - people do this every day - in much bigger ways than the proposal here.

Just a few thoughts - I certainly don't want to lose any friendships over this, though I may indeed consider the quick conclusions to be an unwise course of action.
 
Originally posted by Mike Peregrine
the reality is that nothing is being asked of any of us here except to support what we already spend time supporting. It's amazing that so many are so willing to be extremely vocal about every little thing they feel affects them ... spending hours in here talking about it - but when asked to actually take a stand and do something for something they love, they are running for the exit.

It's easy for us to blame everyone else when things go wrong. It's much harder to take responsibility and protect the things we love. It's work. There is no question. Fortunately there will always likely be enough of those who do take a personal responsibility to at least genuinely reach out to others in an effort to help the situation at times.

If we continue with things as they are, then one thing that is certain is that the issues before us cannot improve ... there is no chance of them doing so. We will continue to do the exact same things, and get the same results.


This is my main cup of soup here, folks. Everyone is always so vocal about everything on this subject which of course is fine. An opportunity comes up to take a stand and so many diametrically oppose it, which is also fine... but I fail to understand the reasoning of why not give something new a try, except that it's a change...and the natural human tendancy is to resist change.

This is an opportunity to make a difference, no matter how minute. I would much rather take a risk and see what could happen then sit back and never know what could have been.
 
Re: I guess one could...

Originally posted by John Diel
Shane, although some of your comments have recieved my ire in the past (silently, I won't post a flame), and what I percieve to be your general attitude gets my goat. I don't ever want to you to simply shut up. There are a lot of folks out there like you that we don't hear from. When I tell myself, \"Shane's FOS\", I make myself look from that perspective to try and understand it to counter it. A lot of times I can't counter it. It's simply a different veiwpoint. Sometimes, I want to get on here and tell you off. I don't because your entitled your opinion as anyone else. Keep beating your drum Shane. The opposing view is healthy.


Ah, but isn't keeping silent (for the pevention of a 'flame war') basically doing the same thing you just told me not to do? Don't be bashful about calling me out on this forum; I only get better when people debate me. Debate inspires thought. I'd love to hear your opinions (that are apparently the complete opposite of mine) so I can see exactly where you're coming from. Will I fire away at anything I disgaree with? Probably, but you're invited to do the same :wink:
 
I'm relatively new to this hobby and this forum, so I don't have the advantage of being "plugged in" or the years of reading debates on this, but here's my $.02 anyway.

Shane, I admire your passion and I agree with you that the ultimate goal is invisibility. But, unfortunately I don't think that is going to happen in the near future.

For example, after we broke off of the May 29 storms in SCKS, we went back home. The CBS affiliate in Wichita (KWCH) was in constant storm coverage (as was every other affiliate, but I chose to watch KWCH). They had live audio from at least four "chasers" on multiple occassions. They even cut, live, to a video of the huge, rotating wall cloud (being filmed by a paid "chaser") and we watched the formation of several tornados including the one that developed into the large wedge.

Why did they have all this field coverage? Sure, it helps report where the dangerous portion of the storm is, but I think the primary reason is because viewers want to see the spectacular and the TV stations know this.

We could just keep doing what we're doing and hope this fascination with severe weather goes away. And it just might, but not until the general population becomes bored with it and who knows how long that will take? Maybe all this live audio and video on TV will satisfy the "yahoos" and they'll stay home instead. No, probably not.


I think there are problems with having a publically visible organization.

1) When the public/LE/media have a negative encounter with a chaser/photog/yahoo/whatever, the org will be a magnet (in the public's and media's eyes) for the negative publicity and become a scapegoat.

2) If gov't ever does attempt to regulate chasing, a reputable, public org could very well be pointed to as an entity to administrate the regulations. (I do believe, though, if regulation is forced upon us, something like this would be preferable to a gov't beauracracy.)

3, 4, 5 . . .) All the aforementioned reasons given by others.

What is the solution? I don't know. There are others smarter than I who might answer that. But I think ignoring this and quietly going about our hobby isn't going to help things.

Regardless of the outcome, this is great dialogue.
 
I have not decided if I'm in favor of an organized group or not. But I certainly think having this open debate is a step in the right direction.

Here's a couple things that concern be about an organized group:

1. It will start with gangbusters, then interest will be lost. What will be left is people that just send in an annual fee, get a bumper sticker and say "Look at me, I'm an official storm chaser".

2. Those that belong vs. those that don't. I fear there will be some "I'm an official chaser and you're not because you don't belong" from those who feel superior. It will come from those that are in it for the "image" of being a storm chaser muckity muck more than they actually chase storms.

Having an organization is NOT going to stop some of the issues discussed in other threads (reckless driving, blocking emergency vehicles, etc). Anytime you have more that 1 person in an area for ANY reason you have the potential for one of them to be a dumbass. I see it everyday just commuting to work. I think this problem can only be addressed by confronting the offender, post a pic online if necessary, whatever it takes. Unfortunately there is no cure for stupidity.
 
Actually, being invisible out there is quite easy. I see a lot of you many times, but you never see me. It's all in how you conduct yourself out there. It's very easy to blend :wink:
 
Originally posted by Sheila_Ward
I have not decided if I'm in favor of an organized group or not. But I certainly think having this open debate is a step in the right direction.

Here's a couple things that concern be about an organized group:

1. It will start with gangbusters, then interest will be lost. What will be left is people that just send in an annual fee, get a bumper sticker and say \"Look at me, I'm an official storm chaser\".

2. Those that belong vs. those that don't. I fear there will be some \"I'm an official chaser and you're not because you don't belong\" from those who feel superior. It will come from those that are in it for the \"image\" of being a storm chaser muckity muck more than they actually chase storms.

Having an organization is NOT going to stop some of the issues discussed in other threads (reckless driving, blocking emergency vehicles, etc). Anytime you have more that 1 person in an area for ANY reason you have the potential for one of them to be a dumbass. I see it everyday just commuting to work. I think this problem can only be addressed by confronting the offender, post a pic online if necessary, whatever it takes. Unfortunately there is no cure for stupidity.

The best thing that can happen is just what we are doing. Getting the negatives on print so we can look at them and figure out how to avoid that from happening. The biggest threat of interest being lost will be in the winter months, in non chase downtime. We would need to use that time for education/school visits/etc in my opinion. The second concern was the "elitest" concern of "Im better than you". Promoting a positive image is important, not promoting an elitest image. Another point to work on... and yes, organization will not stop the idiots. It may however stop some from becoming idiots, and that to me is worth it, with proper promotion of safety and ethics, the number one reason in my book.
 
From several posts it seems some are looking at an association as a means to put an end to problems with "chasers". But wasn't the idea to just put a face out there that could help counter the negative publicity?

Shane, know that I think about it, you're right! I've never seen you out there! Of course, I wouldn't know it was you if I did! :wink:

But seriously, I thing Mike P is on the right track about needing to deal with the issue of public visibility and setting the right perception. We don't want to become victims of "perception is reality". Not saying we will, though.
 
Actually, being invisible out there is quite easy. I see a lot of you many times, but you never see me. It's all in how you conduct yourself out there. It's very easy to blend

When one or two people are on a storm...sure. But 150 inconspicious vehicles are...well...conspicious!

The subject of chasers being "visible" is not that of the individual chasers, but storm chasing in general. It will never be invisible again.

As for the comparison of the concept of the type of association that we are discussing with groups like SCOA....thats just absurd.
 
Originally posted by Chris Sokol
The subject of chasers being \"visible\" is not that of the individual chasers, but storm chasing in general. It will never be invisible again.

I understand that, my point was each person can be whatever he/she wants to be regarding the overall "chase visibility." The more people choose to make themselves invisible, naturally, the more invisible chasing itself becomes. This theory isn't anymore a pipedream than the proposed association that's currently sitting on the table





Originally posted by Chris Sokol
As for the comparison of the concept of the type of association that we are discussing with groups like SCOA....thats just absurd.

Not really. As much as it's human nature to resist change (this organization), it's also human nature to lose interest. Everyone's saying it will take much involvment from a core group of trusted, veteran chasers to get this thing off the ground. Who's going to worry about running the shop when those chasers are out....well, chasing?

Sure, this is a great idea right now because many (most?) of us are staring the end of our Spring chase season right in the face. But when it's time to actively chase again next Spring and the Spring after that (and so on), who's going to run things (during the time of year when it matters most)?

Because chasers will be busy chasing.
 
If this organization ever got off the ground and become popular, and attract hundreds of new chasers each year. Some folks are already complaining there are too many chasers out there. The roads will more crowded yet, with a steady influx of new chasers. Would this be good for the hobby?

Educating the public on storm chasing, average joe public at times have trouble watching the meteorologist on tv, and knowing the difference between a watch and warning. How would you go about educating the public, web site, pamphlets, public appearances, etc. Takes money to do that, and does the public really care, about storm chasers.

Certification of chasers, once again, how would you go about in doing it , at some meeting in the Plains. or regional meetings, if people could not attend would you do this by video, on-line, reading materials, etc. After you are certified, then what have a decal or a sign on your vehicle, saying I am a certified storm chaser and keep a certificate in your glove compartment or wear a name badge like some Skywarn groups have. This could lead to elitism. Look at me I am certified and you are pond scum attitude.

What about training videos, the rights and wrong of storm chasing. Using vehicles and chasers on a mock chase. Do not do this, but do this. The code of ethics and safety video you could call it. In the heat of the chase, most chasers will not be telling themselves, what did that video tell me do or not to do. Training videos,, on-line stuff, books on a whole array of stuff from interpretating the sky to forecasting. Once again, it takes money. If someone did a forecasting training video, the person should at least have a degree in meteorology.

Some one should come up with a definition of a veteran storm chasers. Just because your a veteran chaser, does not necessarly meanyour a safer chaser and you follow the golden rule in life either. I imagine there are a few bad apple veterans chasers and some with overflated egos. I would think having a variety of chasers from new ones to vets involved in the organization would be more productive.

What about publications, will the same people write the articles, and make a boring chase into sounding like the most thrilling chass ever. Or someone promoting how great they, etc.

Board of Directors, I see for some becoming power hungry, or a country club type of attitude and only a few people will be recognize within the association.

Bottom line, is people chase for a variety of reasons, you have different personalities in this hobby, more somewhat ego driven then other hobbies. People should chase, forgot about what this chaser is doing, and concentrate on their next chase.

Only organizations, I belong too is the National Weather Association and I been a full member of the American Meteorological Society for years, I joined those organizations, because I enjoy reading the journals and conference preprints.

Would I join a chase organization, all depends how it was run and who are the people running it. If it comes across as a bunch of overflated egos country club snobs, you can take the organization and flush it down the toilet.

In the meanwhile, chasers should just think about chasing and forget about this chaser and what that chaser is doing.

Mike
 
Originally posted by mikegeukes
Certification of chasers, once again, how would you go about in doing it , at some meeting in the Plains. or regional meetings, if people could not attend would you do this by video, on-line, reading materials, etc. After you are certified, then what have a decal or a sign on your vehicle, saying I am a certified storm chaser and keep a certificate in your glove compartment or wear a name badge like some Skywarn groups have.

The problem I see with this is how will you police it? I am sure that "un-liscenced" chasers would manage to sneak through because there will be no preventative way to make sure that "un-liscenced" chasers do not chase. And if something were to be created, I do not think many chasers will be kean to the idea of being pulled over in the middle of a chase and being asked for their chasing liscence.

Aint this a fickle matter.
 
Originally posted by Francesco

The problem I see with this is how will you police it? I am sure that \"un-liscenced\" chasers would manage to sneak through because there will be no preventative way to make sure that \"un-liscenced\" chasers do not chase. And if something were to be created, I do not think many chasers will be kean to the idea of being pulled over in the middle of a chase and being asked for their chasing liscence.

Aint this a fickle matter.

This Chaser Association would (if it ever sees the light of day) have absolutely ZERO influence on chasers who aren't a part of it. Besides attending a bunch of functions that will have nothing to do with the actual, physical practice of chasing severe weather, I don't see what the difference would be between a chaser who's a member and one who isn't.
 
This is the problem with trying to organize something via committee--everybody has ideas which is great--and lots of people have ideas about why it can never work and shouldn't be done. For a hobby that requires a healthy degree of optomism, there are a suprising number of naysayers around.

I'm not able to follow the thread step by step here, just the last several posts. I think certification is a terrible idea. There are no "policing" capabilities. An organization like this would have no real 'teeth,' and it shouldn't. Not like we need a military force here, just a group focused on promoting the positive aspects of chasing, and exposing new chasers to various ideas about how to do so safely and responsibly.

What can possibly be bad about that??
 
I'm leaning the same way, Amos - - - we've obviously tried the self-policing thing - it doesn't work, and would likely breed resentment.

This thread is the reason I had intended to hold off on discussing the idea until we could acquire some input of those with the appropriate experience. Over the years of flaming and tossing things around, we've entered into some sort of disfunctional group dynamic. We're disorganized and we love it.

It is noteworthy, however, that there has so far been no substantial argument that is sufficient to cause a reasonable person to believe that positive representation could possibly do any harm - other than 'we just don't want it, we don't need it, and what good is it going to do.' (What enterprise have we not heard those words spoken about in its proposal phase?) There are many who fail to see the benefit, but the arguments reflect the same relunctance toward progress, or hitting things from a new angle, that we have seen for years.

The risk is simply part of it - nothing ventured, nothing gained. The business plan remains in progress, and will be compiled over the next few weeks. There may yet be angles worth exploring that we have not yet begun to consider, and its doubtful that any big picture has truly started to emerge yet.

I do appreciate the flow of ideas, however - Mike G. has some very interesting ones - and several others also put some nice thought into theirs. Your input is very much appreciated - everyone's is, to be quite honest.
 
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