[AMRadio] "My ARRL, Right or Wrong...!!!"

Kim Elmore cw_de_n5op at sbcglobal.net
Thu Apr 24 20:55:40 EDT 2008

I generally sit on my hands, but I'm feeling waggish so...

At 01:23 PM 4/24/2008, you wrote:
>On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 1:45 PM, Peter Markavage <manualman at juno.com> wrote:
> > And, after all these years, he's still the Director. Majority of the
> >  voting members in your Division must still like his representation.
>Which brings us back to the 20% membership of US licensed hams vs. 80%
>not members +/-. Less a case of so many liking him as so few left to
>vote for him.

A false premise. The same ratios roughly hold for the overall US 
electorate (I'm not talking only registered voters, I'm talking the 
eligible electorate). Given the premise made here, are we to assume 
that the large majority of the electorate that doesn't bother to vote 
feels the same way about? Imagine what could be done if everyone 
actually took the time and made the effort to make an informed 
electoral choice! The same applies to the ARRL. I find it difficult 
to sympathize with those complaining about something in which they 
refuse (despite eligibility) to participate.

> >  The in depth technical minutia was all moved over to QEX back in the
> >  80's. No reason to keep it in QST.
>Could also be looked at as an additional expense which makes little
>sense in a world of declining hams. If the ARRL is truly concerned
>about being thrifty with the membership's dollars, wouldn't it make
>sense to cut maybe half the junk out of QST and add some technical
>content back into the publication that really started it all for them?

If you don't like the technical article content, write one and submit 
it. TAs (technical advisors) perform the "peer review" for 
submissions to all League publications. Are you a TA? Have you seen 
the nature of what gets submitted? I am, and I do.

> >  Ads generate revenue to keep the business in the
> >  black. Books sales generate revenue to keep the business in the black.
> >  They have very few other options to generate revenue. Membership dues
> >  helps, but it's noise in comparison to the other revenue generators.
>I don't think anyone ever minded the ads so much as the overall lack
>of content since the 80s, or '75'76 when they went to the larger

But, I keep hearing that "It's all those Yaecomwood ads that ruined 
QST." Or the vast, rice-box conspiracy to manipulate us into 
appliance operating zombies. Which is it?

> >  Personally, I believe they've demonstrated support for all modes and
> >  interests as best as one can given all the modes and interests that
> >  prevail within the amateur radio fraternity.
>Pick up any QST Pete, and compare the pages on, say....AM, or CW to
>the pages of contest results. In reality, the ARRL doesn't openly
>condemn other modes. More the 'benign neglect' approach mentioned a
>while back by Don, K4KYV.

Hmmm... The same holds for PSK-31, or RTTY, or MFSK16, or (gasp!) 
slopbucket! Red herring, methinks.

> >  Backing away, i.e. let some
> >  other member put the "fire of enlightenment" upon them, and then I might
> >  return, is not the answer.
>Approximately 80% of the licensed amateur population appears to
>disagree with that statement, Pete. That doesn't say a lot for the
>organization that claims to represent the interests of US Amateurs.
>It's not a matter of enlightening them, for the most part they've made
>it clear that their minds are made up as to the path we all must

Again, the same ratios roughly hold for the US electorate. And again, 
a false premise. This shows that there are only a few eligible voters 
interested enough to actually make the effort to vote and that such 
characteristics hold for the small majority of voters that are also hams.

>Don't get me wrong - I'd like nothing more than to have the ARRL
>become a representative organization for us and see the contesters in
>Newington replaced by more well-rounded hams.

Actually, in my experience, some of the most well-rounded hams are 
the contesters.

>It shouldn't conflict
>with their publishing business and could only help the overall picture
>with increased revenues not only from dues, but additional book sales
>and an overall vibrant organization (what a concept!). There's just no
>way I can give my money to a group who's approach involves saying
>'join if you want a voice, give me your money, so I can tell you how
>wrong you are'.

I think that's an false characterization of the ARRL. Flawed as it 
is, it's all we have and we'd best make the best of it.

>I'm not looking for an organization or publication to cater
>specifically to my particular interest. Electric Radio does an
>incredible job there. All I expect is equal and fair treatment, not
>being ignored in favor of a segment that many see as creating
>intentional interference and behavior that goes against the amateur
>creed, sanctioned by the ARRL and rewarded through multiple pages of

With the phone band expansion, I simply do not believe that there is 
a lack of space on the bands. That some may have decided that they, 
by God! own a particular frequency because they've been there N 
decades is an argument without merit. There's plenty of space 
available, even on contest weekends.

> >From the ARRL, 'back in the day':
>"Considerate...never knowingly uses the air in such a way to lessen
>the pleasure of others."
>Sounds like any contesters you know?

As a mater of fact, yes. All contesters that I know are quite 
considerate. But they also recognize that no one owns a frequency and 
if they happen to land on someone's favorite Sunday morning 
roundtable frequency, well... first come, first served. Move the roundtable!

>I know you enjoy stirring the pot on this subject Pete, but it's
>pretty clear that the ARRL lost its way some time ago and has been
>going downhill since.

I'm unconvinced of this assertion and hold, in fact that it is in 
general demonstrably false.

>  Dismissing low membership as somehow being a
>small piece of the pie doesn't excuse the behavior or downward spiral.

Hmmm... Given that this mirrors the overall electorate (and has for 
most of the last 100 years) what can you deduce from it?

>Particularly since they're supposed to serve at the pleasure of the
>membership. All 20%. But I guess when you're running a contest

If the remaining 80% really wants the League to do something 
different, and I mean *REALLY* wants a change, they effect that 
change in the bat of an eye. From my standpoint, just like most of 
the electorate, most hams couldn't care less.

>Good luck in the corntest!

Thanks! See you in the logs :)

Kim Elmore, N5OP

P.S.: You want some real fun? Organize an AM-only contest! 

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