It seems that one of the issues currently engaging the activist community is still the one about accountability, “trial by blog”, Ken O’Keefe’s narrative and the “new” element thrown into the mix, unsolicited, Conflict Arbitration between activists! Salem News has been censoring the comments. Except in the moments when they use a very unorthodox technique of not allowing the comments to exist on their own, but are “commented on in bold print” by the editor. That itself is a practice that clearly demonstrates the respect that the editor believes the interlocutors deserve, i.e., practically none. Several comments you see on this site never made it, and perhaps this one will not either, but we believe it is a vital contribution to understanding the elements involved in the “Ken Dispute” regarding the investigative article that seems to continue to disturb Salem News, a “news” site which actually never checked once for any accuracy of the reports they made, nor did they listen to any other information (objective or from a counterparty) in order to establish truth. All that seems to matter is for them to justify whatever it is Ken does. He is their hero after all, and they have much invested in him, since they have been pimping his projects and soliciting donations. All we are left with is a distorted form of “truth” when this is the case. In that sense, we reprint this extremely informative response to a comment (in full at the base) by the Dr. M. Dennis Paul.
Christina Baseos wrote:
@ M. Dennis Paul
I hope that your unwillingness to take this further doesn’t mean that I’m deprived from my right to reply to your last. Moreover, I have no reasons, as of this writing, to believe that the moderators are censoring comments and I’m in hope that they will not give me grounds to change my mind on this now!
Before I address your comments, let me just point out that the use of offensive language never strengthens our arguments or proves us right. I sincerely hope that you don’t describe your clients’ arguments as “bullshit”, when you are the mediator in one of the areas of your expertise.
To the point now.
The clause I provided by BIMCO is the Dispute Resolution Clause that is used in shipping. I was clear on that. However, I gave you this example since the main body of this clause is the one that has been adopted worldwide and covers almost 99% of the business market. Of course there are variations depending on the sector, such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Sugar-Trade Association, Oil Industry, Grain traders, etc.
I’d like to ask if you could provide a source that people can refer to (i.e. a website) that provides information on the proceedings of a dispute resolution for the organization you propose to be formed? Could you refer the readers to a format of an arbitration/mediation resolution similar to the one you propose? At this stage details such as appointment of the Tribunal, place & law of arbitration/mediation, etc are not important. A source that provides general information for organizations such as the one proposed will suffice.
The “dispute” you are proposing to be brought before ADR is between Ken O’ Keefe and Mary Rizzo, however it still remains unclear as to what it is exactly that they need to resolve. It has to be made clear into which category/specialty/field Mary’s & Ken’s “dispute” falls into. What is the nature of their “dispute” exactly and what would the purpose of an ADR be?
Would the scope of an ADR be to conciliate Ken & Mary? To validate the contents of Mary’s article and verify her evidence/proof? To prove to the donors and generally to the movement that donations have been wisely spent?
I don’t take for granted that all readers have knowledge in arbitration/mediation proceedings, therefore I’m clarifying that ADR is not panacea for every single case and there are several cases that are only brought before a Court of Law, such as murder, theft, embezzlement, fraud, etc.
You keep repeating that you are a specialist. Bravo! Well done! But no matter how many times you repeat it, this will never make you a specialist in everything. Everyone’s knowledge is “limited”. Limited to certain fields. It seems you don’t want to accept this. There are orthopedics and there are pediatricians. Both are doctors, both are specialists, just not in the same field.
So, be a specialist in your field and have the humbleness for others to be specialists in other fields.
Phrases such as “your limited knowledge” , “specialists (such as myself)”, “Your challenge to my expertise fails” only boost your self-esteem. Other than this, they fall on deaf ears.
Disagreements exist also between specialists. Your Galileo example was felicitous, however the problem arises when everyone believes they are Galileo and not one of those who believe that the world is flat.
You say “I have not formally addressed any claims against Mary as, of this moment….”.
“As of this moment”….is that a promise or a threat that you will formally address claims in the future? Whatever it means it certainly shows lack of memory. I suggest you re-read your article and comments.
You say that you have already stated that there may well be issues regarding Ken that deserve review.
I asked you in my previous comment if you have indeed read Mary’s article and the comments that follow it.
I suspect you have not read any of it, because if you had, you would have seen that what you think she “believes” she has in her hands as evidence, actually is uncontested evidence (as opposed to circumstantial), therefore is deemed proof with regards to the “kidnapping” of Ken and the alleged charter of the vessel. I cannot convince you that King Elvis is DEAD and you cannot convince me or any other person, who is prudent and actually uses his brains for critical thinking, how one who was “kidnapped” rejects to be released by his “kidnapper”, when offered so, or denies to testify his “kidnapping” to the police authorities. But these are just technicalities for you, aren’t they?
I forgot that you deny to discuss on the merits of a case, for which case a journalist used her right to write an article about and for which article you then come out of the blue, 9 months later proposing ADR and criticizing Mary Rizzo about the way she decided to write her own piece.
On top of that you criticize people for doing “trial by blog”. I will keep you posted on the trial by LAW, if you wish, in the meantime I’m looking forward to your next article, here in Salem-News or elsewhere, where you will be dealing with the way the opposite party has dealt with this issue through his various blogs and numerous social networks, expecting you to be impartial about the actions and behavior of Ken, when he was issuing “verdicts” and seeking “public hanging” of individuals and/or business entities, by throwing accusations for actions of criminal nature, always of course within the limits of the “civilized society” he’s a member of.
I will read your article carefully as soon as you publish it.
I didn’t ask what common sense dictates as to whether individuals or groups acting outside of the organization are already distanced or not. I asked your opinion of whether you believe that Ken would be accepted in such an organization, if and when such one is formed. It was a simple yes or no question. Opinions are not binding you know, so why not feel free to express them? Maybe if I rephrase the question you will feel more comfortable in answering. Are you of the opinion that Ken has the credentials of becoming a member of such an organization, which ultimately would result in his acceptance by it?
My “prerequisite premise continues” with my “incessant need” for transparency, as opposed to cover-up. I’m sorry but you give the impression that there is a rough sea in your brain. My exact sentence was:
“I second that, however given the prerequisite that justice and truth are fundamental principles of the organization and that these values will be served no matter what. Without this prerequisite both justice & truth are at risk of being sacrificed in the name of the organization’s scopes, widely known also as “cover-up”.”
I do wonder though why you have the “incessant need” to not comment on the issue of transparency since you make no mention whatsoever about it. On the contrary, you are twaddling on sociological behaviors that belong in the middle ages.
And what happens when truth and justice are not obtained? What happens when there is no transparency? Would you care to share with the rest of the world what you believe SHOULD be done instead of repeating what you think should NOT be done?
I don’t try Ken by blog. I assure you that the competent judicial system is dealing with this. I only take privilege of my right to reply to numerous unsubstantiated accusations and numerous information spread by Ken, which is deliberately presented falsely. I only make use of my personal knowledge, evidence and proof I’m in possession of, to refute Ken’s lies and debunk his unjustified claims & allegations regarding the “kidnapping” and the fiasco that followed it.
You say that Ken appropriately is NOT giving answers. Not everyone shares your point of view though and especially not the donors.
Then again I wonder if I should expect to hear something different, when it’s crystal clear that you don’t seek transparency.
I couldn’t have more supportive proof than your own writings making reference to my last paragraph of my previous comment, where I stated that lack of transparency is what discourages people from joining movements and that silence in perpetuity is was actually causes harm.
It is yourself who wrote what your actual belief on transparency & silence is:
“The remainder of your final paragraphs are nothing but more bullshit.”
Is that so? I will put aside, just for a moment, the case of the fake “kidnapping” and each & every article, blogpost, FB post, tweet, TV appearance, interviews, etc made by Ken, Mary, myself, members of the convoy, people involved directly or indirectly to this case, in other words hundreds of people. Let’s assume that none of this ever happened and nothing ever came out in the media.
You say you are a veteran activist and that you are “one who has witnessed and become embroiled in controversies within a variety of activist organizations”.
In light of this, surely you know how things run in activism and surely you know that a big part of it depends on donations.
The “kidnapping” took place in Libya, while RTH’s convoy was there. A ship was required for the transportation of the convoy’s vehicles to Egypt. The charterer of the vessel had to pay a freight. RTH asked for people to donate money in order for the freight of the vessel to be paid. The money was gathered. According to RTH and Ken, who was the convoy’s leader, the freight was paid to the shipowner.
The exact amount of freight paid still remains a mystery though, since according to Ken’s writings one time it was $55,000, the other $75,000 and the third $82,500. Whatever the exact amount they allegedly paid (and this is where the term “allegedly” needs to be used since the burden of proof, i.e. the payment or wire receipt of the money paid to the shipowning company still lies with RTH & Ken up to this date), we are still talking about a 5-digit number, which was raised from DONATIONS.
At some point RTH & Ken said that the money was safely recovered….whatever that means.
First, what is the exact amount of money recovered? Second, what happened to the money?
RTH & Ken wrote and promised that RTH would go through an internal review with regards to this whole incident. The outcome of the review remains unknown, as of this writing, and a considerable number of donors is still not informed as to whatever happened to the money they donated for a humanitarian cause.
It still remains a mystery to what happened to a 5-digit amount of dollars.
According to you, Dennis, the indefeasible right of every donor for transparency is “bullshit”!!!
According to you, investigative journalism, by an activist, on a humanitarian organization and a convoy’s leader, who had undertaken the task of delivering aid to Palestine, which aid had been gathered through donations and who have failed to be transparent as to how they dealt with donations of thousands of dollars is “bullshit”!!!
According to you, taking things to the media, whilst you’re ostentatiously ignoring the fact of who took things to the media first and for how long, “is not practical” and “serves no worthy resolution”. Instead, takings things before ADR and behind closed doors is the “proper venue”.
So, for argument’s sake, if one adopts your way of thinking, should someone come to the conclusion that Bernstein and Woodward, who revealed the Watergate scandal, should never have applied investigative journalism to bring things to the media, instead they should have referred the case to ADR “to act upon that to the benefit of” of democracy or the political party’s “mission”?
My only motive, and it surely isn’t “confused” as you are wishfully thinking, is that when it comes to other people’s money that transparency is ensured. And that should be yours as well.
Your sudden appearance out of nowhere, wearing the mask of the peacemaker and consultant, with an article about a person with proven track record in journalism & activism, makes people question your true motives. For as long as you are not treating everyone fairly and squarely in a “dispute”, but instead you choose to target the person whose article was actually “damaging” to Ken (not my words, Tim King’s words) and choose to not equally address “whoever else are attempting to conduct trial by blog” , your motives are the ones questioned..
This only looks like part of a strategic plan of diverting attention. Who is the person who “damaged” Ken most in his RTH fiasco? Mary Rizzo (again not my words, Tim King’s words). What is Ken facing the past days? Doubts & concerns raised by specific people about the Trade-Not-Aid project. Why not take some preventive actions and divert the focus to Mary Rizzo, in a hopeless effort to prevent her from writing another investigative article on Ken’s latest saga.
Let’s call a spade a spade. Everyone on this planet is judged for their actions. Everyone. Why not activists as well? People who want to be called activists and advocates of truth, justice & peace should not have the audacity to demand their actions not be criticized. Especially, when their actions depended on other people’s money. When either an individual or an organization ask for donations, automatically they are bound to be transparent, accountable and truthful to everyone. Let alone that being transparent is an ethical obligation. Suspicions are raised when someone constantly denies to give answers. It’s not humiliating to give answers. Not to mention that if one has nothing to hide, when providing answers, he will gain more support and respect. Unless of course the ultimate purpose of an activist is not to offer his services for a humanitarian cause but to just create an image about himself, create a persona and remain in the limelight. One marketing strategy is creating negative publicity. It might be negative, but it’s still publicity. If these are the ultimate goals of someone, who wants to call himself an “activist”, then so be it. But then, he will have to deal with the consequences as well.
To conclude, in your various attempts to make people understand what arbitration/mediation is, you failed to make clear that applying double standards is absolutely prohibited for a mediator.
So, until you come clean and until we all read an article of yours of the same nature about Ken, pointing out his wrongdoings and mishandlings of this case, making it clear through your writings that Ken should not have tried anyone by blog or tweets or FB posts and that he should now choose ADR as the “proper venue” for the resolution of the conflict, instead of the media, it would be wise to refrain yourself from further exposure that only makes your integrity as a professional questionable.
I’m in sincere hope that your article on Ken’s actions of taking things to the media will come out soon, as he surely needs advice to take things to ADR with regards to the latest saga of Trade-Not-Aid & Samouni Project. If you are so concerned in resolving conflicts by taking them before ADR, I suggest you do not wait for another 9 months to criticize Mary Rizzo or Mary Poppins, if and when they write an article on Ken’s latest fiasco. It will be too little too late.
Over & out.
from Salem News:
M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. August 7, 2011 8:47 am (Pacific time)
I will address each paragraph in order and then we will be done with this.
Your example of BIMCO is of no particular value here. BIMCO has accepted a particular format for itself. Other industries, businesses or groups will select their own which may or may not be similar. Mediation and/or arbitration do not follow a standard formula or approach across all interests. There are a wide variety of formats and formulas which are used. Various businesses and organizations will establish an arbitration clause based upon the model they choose. Typically, that model is one that best suits the expected areas of conflict particular to the business or org. Depending upon the State or nation of origin (jurisdiction), certain aspects of the clause, for it to elicit enforceable decision or memorandum, must conform to specific laws or regulations. However, if you read clauses carefully, in many ADR formats, the conflicted parties may agree to altering any aspect of the format and degree of enforceability (ie Binding/non-binding, monetary/censure, etc). ADR is, and will likely remain, a fluid area for resolution of conflict. Now, your limited knowledge regarding this aside, your initial proposal was the impartiality of the mediator/arbiter. So let’s return to that. There exists a school of thought, far more honest with regard to ADR, that being human, the specialist cannot be truly impartial in most every situation. Therefor, specialists (such as myself) address this at the onset and explain further the genuine process of ADR and how any personal bias is both attempted to be restrained and properly addressed when it arises. With that in mind, my example of initial rule of order is presented.
Should there be need for a separate ADR proposed with regard to the ship owner and activists, something we were not previously addressing here, that is an entirely different matter. I am glad that BIMCO keeps up with the awards as this does open them to more advanced alternatives to explore in reaching settlements. It has, however, absolutely nothing to do with our exchange. Your challenge to my expertise fails, Christina, and I am not the one doing the barking.
I have not formally addressed any claims against Mary as, of this moment, no one has proposed any to address beyond their beliefs that many of her allegations against Ken are false. I have already stated there may well be some issues regarding Ken that deserve review. The same for Mary. Further, I have stated that this is not the appropriate format for so doing. You fail in this effort to draw me into the unproductive banter. I accept that Mary believes she has irrefutable evidence against Ken. I do not need to contact her directly in that regard. Evidence, Christina, is not proof and this is something that you, Mary, and numerous others fail to take into account. In the minds of many, there existed evidence that the world was flat. That evidence, upon examination and review, was determined not credible. Mary could well have used alleged in the matter to which you refer. This, again, is covered in the above regarding evidence. You persist in trial by blog as opposed to a format for resolution you alternately claim would be of proper value. Please make up your mind. I’ve no intention of returning to this mode of exchange with you.
I appreciate that you find my proposal attractive. There is no way for me to hypothesize the acceptance of Ken, Mary, you or anyone else in an organization that seeks to unify the various platforms of a multitude of groups seeking the freedom for Palestine. That is a pointed question on your part and not at all helpful in the discourse. Common sense, however, should tell you that whatever structure emerges to unify such groups, those individuals or groups that act outside of the organization, for whatever reason, are already distanced from the organization. Should their acts be detrimental to the freeing of Palestine, it is concretely deniable, by the organization that they are, in any way, associated with such groups or acts.
It is not a requirement in all offers or referrals to mediation/arbitration that both parties accept the ADR specialist(s). Some businesses refer all matters, as defined in a signed employment clause or purchase /use clause, to either an internal ADR program or third party program. Some allow for mutual determination of specialist. Certainly, where someone has offered services it would be appropriate that both parties have right to agree or disagree to the intermediary. Your point is lost as I have not offered to facilitate such an endeavor. I have offered to serve in an advisory capacity to any organization should one form. I reiterate, that in my position, I have clearly stated there may be cause for review of charges and behaviours of both parties. I also reiterate that my offer extends only to the area I have clearly stated.. and NOT as a “possible future” mediator/arbiter. Try your best to create argument outside of these facts and you continue to look a provocateur as opposed to someone genuinely seeking resolution.
Your “prerequisite” premise continues with your incessant need to publicize with the supposition that your case is already proven. In reality, Christina, thousands upon thousands of decisions by judges, mediators, arbiters and others are never publicized. Certainly the effort is made to obtain some sense of truth and justice (however, this is not the case in most court systems throughout the world -but I will not address this now) and to act upon that to the benefit of the organization’s mission. Civilized societies have no need to castigate errant individuals by pillory in the public square. In so many cases, it is not even essential to effect censure or banishment as sincere intent often is discovered in the course of review and only correction is necessary. I suspect both you and Mary seek a public hanging.
Ken is appropriately NOT giving answers in this case. Mary, you and whoever else are attempting to conduct trial by blog establishing yourselves as prime investigator, prosecutor, judge and jury. This was the whole point of proposing ADR. Your continuance in attempting to trial him in this manner belies any genuine belief on your part that ADR would be the appropriate venue. You are constantly pulling down your own pants and either blaming the manufacturer for your embarrassment or the neighborhood bully. Make up your mind, Christina. The nature of claims against Ken is not resolved by opinions or consensus regarding offered “evidence”. You truly seem incapable of grasping this. Media play of evidence and counter is not practical, for many reasons that should be apparent, and serves no worthy resolution.
I have “implied “ nothing. I have clearly stated that the proper venue for addressing her claims and “evidence” is ADR. To do otherwise and continue pushing the issue in media without genuine desire for resolve (other than a desire for conviction based upon beliefs that the evidence is irrefutable) is splitting at its very best and absolutely harms the movement. Mary simply needs to offer resolution as opposed to trial by blog, Ken needs to agree, and both parties need to seek out a skilled specialist to carry it forth. Then all this bullshit ends and we get back to doing beneficial work.
The remainder of your final paragraphs are nothing but more bullshit. Things neither stated nor implied by me but used in your attempt to continue your very confused motives. With regard to the pictures accompanying the articles, I do not choose those although I may have some control over this in the future.
NOW… TO MARY RIZZO: Putting aside your snarky comments which continue to reflect poorly upon you, a very simple yes or no is all that is required in response to the following.
Are you willing to place this matter before ADR (my services not offered here) and seek a genuine, sincere resolve?