1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: So just what is actually going on here?

Friday, February 1, 2019

So just what is actually going on here?

Mr. Kelly… Show Us the Beef!

If you have been paying attention lately, you've seen the SSCA president make some very nasty accusations against me. These accusations are untrue, although I am sure I don't need to tell you that.
This is my response to that gentleman, and I use that word loosely considering what he's done. The man is a lawyer and should know better then to maliciously defame people, but apparently not. Then again, he IS a lawyer. Need I say more? (apologies to the many decent and respectable lawyers out there - it's people like this one that ruin the profession's reputation).
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Recently, SSCA members have been harangued by President Ed Kelly making a number of unsubstantiated allegations against both Wally Moran and Dave Skolnick. The most serious of  these allegations is Mr. Kelly‘s assertion that Wally Moran was criminally convicted of fraudulent activities in Canada. In his most recent rant, he also alleged a second criminal conviction, in 2003.
We have one comment to that… Show us the beef. Where is your proof Mr. Kelly? Show us the beef.
The fact of the matter is, Mr. Kelly has no proof of what he says because his allegations are false. 20 years ago Mr. Moran was involved in a civil lawsuit involving his newspaper which he lost because he wasn’t able to spend $40,000 to fund a defence. 
Mr. Kelly, as a former lawyer and a member of the bar, well understands the difference between civil and criminal. Mr. Kelly should also understand that a violation of the Mortgage Brokers Act is not a criminal charge, as he has also claimed.
However, in his haste to damage the reputations of both men and undermine their efforts to aid and improve the SSCA with the new Members Only Facebook page, and retain control over the SSCA by controlling the conversations between members in the current Facebook group and Discussion forum, Kelly has again lied to SSCA members.
This is unfortunate and unnecessary, and Kelly has exposed the SSCA and its Board of Directors to a lawsuit for defamation which the SSCA would ultimately lose.
Sadly, such a loss would entail the destruction of the SSCA, because the organization does not have the financial resources to fight even a minor lawsuit, much less something of this magnitude.
Fortunately, cooler heads have prevailed, and have convinced Wally that a lawsuit should be his last option, not the first. 
Wally is as concerned as all members are about the survival of this organization, but justifiably furious about having his name and reputation trashed by the irresponsible comments of the Board’s president - a person who as a former lawyer should know much better than to make these statements.
So, for the moment, the SSCA is safe from a lawsuit - at least from Wally. There is the possibility of another lawsuit from a non-SSCA member who has been harassed by someone claiming to be from the SSCA. This person has threatened a non SSCA member with police involvement and legal action.
This incident derives directly from the failure of the Board to control the posts appearing on the current public SSCA Facebook page, allowing rampant speculation about just what is going on, in what appears to be a further attempt to delegitimize both Wally and Dave Skolnick.

So what other lies or deceptions has President Ed Kelly engaged in? Glad you asked.

First of all, he claims that Wally “scraped” the SSCA website. That is not true. No software, which is what ‘scraping’ involves, was used to access the names of members.
More to the point however - members’ names are made available for the purpose of members communicating with one another. And that’s all that has happened here: two members have communicated with the entire organization. This is clearly within the rules, despite Kelly’s claim it is not. You can easily do the same yourself.

It needs to be noted that Wally has been blocked by the Board from the public Facebook page and from posting on the Discussion Forum, leaving him no other avenue to contact members to offer the new group Facebook Members Only page.

Kelly has claimed that the use of the SSCA logo is “unauthorized”. Again, he needs to read the bylaws. The use of the SSCA logo is permitted to members in good standing, for blogs, etc. This is in no substantive way different from that authorized usage.
Kelly states that Wally and Dave used “trickery” to copy the SSCA logo. That is just a foolish and uninformed remark intended to create suspicion towards them amongst members. Anyone can copy the logo from the webpage with a right click and copy. Try it for yourself and see.
Kelly states “They used trickery to copy a picture of the SSCA logo that was fraudulently used to imply Canadian Walter (Wally) James Moran and David Skolnick had been authorized by SSCA to set up and run the internet group for SSCA. They had not.
He is clearly implying that Dave and Wally have done something illegal here. That’s yet another statement that is actionable as defamation in a court of law. It was clearly stated that the new group page for SSCA Members was not a board sanctioned effort, but created by (and for) the members.
And by the way, what’s wrong with Wally being a Canuck? Is that now a bad thing?

For those not familiar, the current Facebook page, the previous phpBB and the current Discussion forum were all member initiated endeavours that ultimately migrated to Head Office. This sort of member generated benefit is, in fact, a SSCA tradition. The Gams and SSCA lunches started in the same way.
Even at that - there is nothing illegal about starting a Facebook group for any interest. You want a group for “People Whose Middle Toe is Longer Than the Rest”, fill your boots. Hopefully, someone as poorly informed as Ed Kelly is not on your list of subscribers to give you grief over your initiative, or claim you’ve done something illegal.

We could continue with this but the point is now very clear: the president of the SSCA is being completely dishonest and deceptive with members, attempting to show misfeasance and criminal activity where there is none; making false accusations, and exposing the SSCA to significant civil liability for defamation.

If either Dave or Wally should choose to sue the SSCA over Kelly’s lies, misstatements and deliberate deceptions, the SSCA will be destroyed, as Kelly’s remarks about them are false and malicious. As a lawyer, Kelly is, or should be, well aware of this.
However, what can one expect from someone who has been sending out ‘ALL CAPS’ email rants to members at 2 am? There appears to be a problem here.
All members of the SSCA need to demand just what this Board of Directors is up to with this sort of behaviour, before the Board itself destroys this organization.
You may contact your Board of Directors by emailing them at Board@ssca.org. You can also register your comments at the new SSCA Members Only Facebook group.

Join your fellow SSCA Members at the new, SSCA Members Only Facebook Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SevenSeasCruisingMembersOnly/