St. Louis, MO
Posted - 02/02/2011 : 2:38 PM
What about Bob? The sequel, bigger and better
In the previous entry, we left the situation in Colorado at the point when the aftermath of the disastrous Advisory Committee meeting left the decision to allow TOMS as a second curriculum in the hands of CDOT.
Shortly after that, T3RG site administrator Bob Frank posts to the M$F listserv a seemingly innocent request for any information about dual curriculums allowed in a state.
In the posting, he doesn't mention that he is a full time employee and site administrator for T3RG, the company that would be most impacted if CO allowed TOMS. Instead, it's a "Gee, shucks" sort of request for information.
In his second post he does mention why he's asking: "The fact of the matter is that there's a group in Colorado wanting to have 'alternative training options' available. Alternative, as in, an alternative to MSF. I am trying to gather any available data independant [sic] of dogma or politics."
If that was truly the case then why, oh, why would he pose this issue to the M$F listserv, which is the mother of political, dogmatic pro M$F opinion?
Which, of course, begs the question as to why would the site administrator for the very company that's driving the dogma and politics of the situation in Colorado pose this question at all? But we know the answer to that one.
Besides, M$F can't, on its own list, ask the question it most needs someone else to answer. Even CDOT who knows virtually nothing about what's going on in rider training across America couldn't miss the bias there. It's possible that they would even be savvy enough to realize why T3RG would want TOMS to be discredited.
But CDOT wouldn't know who Bob Frank was unless someone told them.
Bob concludes his second post with the request for hard data, and if there isn't hard data, he said, he wants to know why. He doesn't get much of a response on the list to the first two posts.
Bob later posts a long list of questions that are extremely well thought out and comprehensive - and phrased in such a way that they almost beg for negative answers. But, of course, he said he was impartial so that must mean how they're posed is just an fluke.
So it's a tad disingenuous of Bob, wouldn't you say? It's almost as if he's trying to build a case, document via the unwitting replies of other rider educators, that this would be a Bad Idea.
Of course, it's possible that such a documented case, then, could be presented to CDOT and the Attorney General. But, no, it's just Bob who's asking (pay no attention to the man behind the curtain).
So who's the M$F listserv member who gives Bob a very extensive reply that deals with every single negative without ever considering any possible positives? Why it's Clif Burdett, the State Administrator of the Texas MC program!
Clif posts back a long list of concerns and issues that would have to be considered. A very long, well thought out list that has absolutely no possible benefits considered.
Bob then replies, "Cliff [sic] Thanks! I have not yet fully digested all of your comments but this is exactly what I was looking for. Real information."
It all appears to be an aboveboard and honest exchange. After all, Clif has no horse in that race as his post makes clear: TOMS can't be allowed in TX. And, as a well respected state coordinator, his opinion carries weight.
Thing is, if Bob was sincere in his request for unbiased info, he didn't get it. Clif not only says he's unfamiliar with TOMS but that he was against it being created in the first place and that it was a "waste of precious motorcyclists' money." So much for unbiased. But at least he admits it, which was more than Bob did.
But that doesn't matter: it creates documentation from a respected outside party why TOMS shouldn't be allowed in Colorado. And what a powerful case it is!
At that point, it seemed to be, on the surface, only what it appears to be: two entirely separate people, separate states, separate programs asking and answering a question about dual curriculum. Nothing more.
Except it IS Clif Burdett who answered on the list.
Clif is the *Texas* coordinator, after all. You know, the state that just got their dearly desired compact range/8 to 1 ratio allowed?
The same range/ratio that T3RG's Bob Frank had been using since the spring of 2005, months before it was approved by M$F?
In fact, someone had to train Bob to use the range/ratio so he could train the other T3RG instructors. At least, I hope someone trained him or did M$F overlook that aspect, too, when deciding to reward T3RG? It's logical to assume Bob was trained by someone in the Texas program, then, and that creates an additional link between Clif and Bob that also wasn't disclosed in this seemingly innocent exchange.
Of course, M$F is linked to the compact range and Clif through the field test, that extraordinarily incompetent piece of work.
The field test that also creates documentation that gives Clif the results he was looking for. And M$F the results they were looking for and T3RG the results they were looking for and will enable more dealers in other states to offer training in their lots.
So it's very interesting that its Bob and Clif who just happen to ask and answer a question that M$F would dearly love to have asked but can't themselves without being obvious.
Clif gives M$F and T3RG the ammunition they need without, it seems, any collusion with M$F or T3RG.
But it doesn't take even a scratch on that surface to reveal that both are indebted to the M$F for the range/ratio, which is critical for the survival of both their programs.
There's an economic "rule" that applies here: "The Double Coincidence of Wants" which was first referred to back in 1893 by Jevons. He wrote, "[T]he first difficulty in barter is to find two persons whose disposable possessions mutually suit each other's wants. There may be many people wanting, and many possessing those things wanted; but to allow of an act of barter there must be a double coincidence, which will rarely happen." At the very least, there's the appearance of a "You scratch, I scratch" barter between Clif and T3RG that happened through two entities linked by M$F who also gets its back scratched in the process.
Of course, it *is* within the realm of possibility that it really could be all circumstantial without any orchestration on M$F's part. Clif really could've been simply responding to just another post on the listserv.
The only problem is that Clif doesn't post on the M$F listserv. In fact, Clif didn't post in the previous two months nor has he posted since on the list. But, for some reason, he pops in at just the right moment, responds solely to this question and then exits stage left. Oh happy coincidence.
Not only that, Clif then went and posted the pertinent parts of the discussion on the SMSA list. But why would he do that?
Although the topic would be of concern to the other SMSA members, Clif doesn't begin it with a "Hey, guys, thought you'd find this interesting" or something like that. He simply posts Bob's question and his answer without explanation. It's just as out of the blue as it Bob's question first seemed.
Why would he do that? It occurs to me that Rick Davis would get the SMSA list. Rick Davis who doesn't, as far as I know, read the M$F listserv. Nor would the M$F listserv have the credibility that the SMSA list has after all, it's got all those state administrators who don't post on the M$F listserv reading it.
So not only did M$F get the question they need to have asked and answered apart from its direct intervention, it gets the results delivered to Rick Davis directly without its direct intervention.
Rick Davis can then forward on that negative dual curriculum evaluation to Gabrielle Vidal, Christine Rees and Tim Harris of CDOT the people directly involved in reworking the rules and regs and approving TOMS.
Then, last week, Gabrielle Vidal of the CDOT tells Ben Hochberg of CO ABATE - who want TOMS approved - that she has concerns about approving a dual curriculum and she would detail them in an e-mail (which she hasn't yet done). I wonder how closely her concerns will be to the ones that Clif raised?
Shoot. Nothing but net. Score.
And it all appears to be on the up and up.
That is if you don't know all the coincidences behind it. To sum up the posts of the last several days:
Davis is good friends with M$F award winner T3RG owners who employs Bob who has admitted he couldn't get another job except training and T3RG uses the compact range/ratio that Clif desperately needed that M$F approved and that Davis refused to let other, non buds, schools use in CO. And Clif never posts on the MSF listserv and Davis doesn't read the listserv about it but does get the SMSA list and has every reason to forward it on to CDOT employees who read neither of the lists, knows none of the parties except Davis, and has no reason to suspect that any kind of orchestration could be going on, and that orchestration could have been through M$F who would lose their monopoly and M$F's President just happened to be at the disastrous Advisory Committee meeting when T3RG's Steve just happened to get disruptive ending the meeting and resulting in the disbanding of the committee.
Now I ask you: Is the Napoleon of Irvine's luck *that* good?
Just how long a string of "coincidences" must be before people have to admit that sometimes, just sometimes, things that seem to be accidental are, in fact, planned or arranged?