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Hound Dog

Nov 1, 2009, 4:45 PM

Post #1 of 27 (9331 views)

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The Lake Chapala Society

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I am not a member of this social club and cannot comment intelligently upon its evolution but I must say, after a random review of the contentious postings over at Chapala.Com that the rancorous debate over the future of this seemingly innocuous civic cub catering to foreign airheads has taken a decidedly nasty turn and I´m beginning to wonder just where this anachronistic club in last feather is heading except into the mire. There is nothing more pitiful than the death of some civic organization not yet aware of its imminent demise for no other reason than its simple irrelevance.



Hound Dog

Nov 2, 2009, 6:59 AM

Post #2 of 27 (9267 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] The Lake Chapala Society

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Well, clearly, I have failed to ignite intererest in what I consider to be a fascinating debate on the future of the Lake Chapala Society (LCS) taking place over at Chapala.Com and I persist in talking about this internecine warfare going on over there because the participants in that electronic brouhaha are so personally involved in the struggle over the question of whether of not the LCS should continue to exist and if so in what new incarnation, that there needs to be a place to discuss this issue unsoiled by partisan chatter.

The problem, as I see it, is that the LCS has outlived Neil James´ mandate and there is nothing wrong with that. She started that club, I am informed as a burial society back in the 1950s and upon her death bequeathed her properties to the LCS she formed and I won´t speak of her intent at her death but we all know that the community or more appropriately, communities, she sought to support with her LCS have evolved and cynical newcomers have perhaps brought terminal rot to an organization that was, in its infancy, a fine idea.

I predict that this anachronistic organization of goobers seeking a circle jerk is in its death throes as exhibited by petty on-line bickering on Chapala.Com, which has an LCS dedicated forum, among various participating groups all intent on disparaging the moral standing and intelligence of their LCS affiliated antagonists. The dialogue keeps taking on degrees of rancor and, of course, that´s what you would expect.

Some things never change.

No opinions?


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Nov 2, 2009, 7:01 AM)


Gringal

Nov 2, 2009, 7:42 AM

Post #3 of 27 (9250 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] The Lake Chapala Society

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You want opinions, do ya? I got opinions. I don't know any of the warring parties, either.

In general, the problems at LCS seem to be people problems. Infighting, power plays, and general acrimony were not in the original concept. I hope it ends before the whole structure collapses in its own acid bath.

What I'd like to see is an elected board of any number, composed of reasonable grownups whose intentions are sound.

I may be dreaming.

And Dawg.....if you aren't a member.......why are you bringing up the subject over here?


tashby


Nov 2, 2009, 8:26 AM

Post #4 of 27 (9234 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] The Lake Chapala Society

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The Lake Chapala Society?

Dysfunctional. Dictionary. That.

As a long-standing member of ten months I am dismayed at the current rancor. But seriously, I use the libraries and am involved at the Wilkes Center (one of the few healthy off-shoots left as far as I can tell), and that's about it. LCS can't even mount an effective Spanish Language instruction program for foreigners. (My recent class was canceled because there were only 5 students signed up for my "level". So? Is the Spanish Language instruction program supposed to run at a profit? If LCS can't provide Spanish instruction, well......ahem.)

On the upside, I've discerned that one of the main participants in the raging internet debate lives in a house adjacent to ours. (He doesn't know me from anything.....I just figured out who it was despite his cryptic screen name.)

The thought of him peckering away his opinons on the keyboard at 1 a.m. does amuse me. So in that way, LCS is providing a valuable service.

Other than that, I don't really care.


(This post was edited by tashby on Nov 2, 2009, 12:13 PM)


Hound Dog

Nov 2, 2009, 4:46 PM

Post #5 of 27 (9152 views)

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Re: [tashby] The Lake Chapala Society

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Within two years and perhaps less, the Lake Chapala Society will have imploded into dust and what is left of Neil James´ dream will be assigned to history. Present day management will have driven this organization into the ground through incompetence rather than intent. Old farts will be orally aggressive in their assignment of irrespònsibility but the fact is that the seeds of destruction were planted long ago.

Bye bye.


RickS


Nov 2, 2009, 7:11 PM

Post #6 of 27 (9120 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] The Lake Chapala Society

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This sounds strikingly like the prognosis given many years ago on this forum by a certain Jim B. about the demise of the Lake....


arbon

Nov 2, 2009, 7:32 PM

Post #7 of 27 (9115 views)

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Re: [RickS] The Lake Chapala Society

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"This sounds strikingly like the prognosis given many years ago on this forum by a certain Jim B. about the demise of the Lake...."

Don't expect devine intervention this time, unless...........nah
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Hound Dog

Nov 2, 2009, 8:20 PM

Post #8 of 27 (9103 views)

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Re: [RickS] The Lake Chapala Society

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RickS states:

This sounds strikingly like the prognosis given many years ago on this forum by a certain Jim B. about the demise of the Lake....

Jim Bentein was no fool. His timing may have been off because of recurring rainfall vagaries but that is a short term phenonenon and you, my friend Arbon , are certainly aware of the long term pressure on the sump´s water supply which is being modified by up-river agricultural and industrial use from Guanajuato to Guadalajara and here is what you need to keep in mind. The lake or, as I prefer to call it, the "sump" which is actually what it is , will be destroyed by those who suck up its water supply and eventually this shallow sump will become a toxic pond and then dry up and become a poisonous desert but really who gives a shit because when that happens you and I and Jim Bentein and all reading this will have long turned to dust in the grave but that does not change the disgraceful exploitation of this natural resource by people who could not care less about the environmental destruction they sanction with their disregard. Most people only look to their own narrow subsistence and therein lies the problem.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Nov 2, 2009, 8:43 PM)


arbon

Nov 3, 2009, 7:29 PM

Post #9 of 27 (9007 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] The Lake Chapala Society

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The wonders of mankind that never cease to amaze.

Old ladies in England talking seriously about "Faeries" at the bottom of the garden.

Old ladies leaving fortunes to Animals.

American religion on television, and watched with great interest in the U.K.

White collar criminals doing Porridge with mafia types.

Mexico to try and collect taxes, from people with money.

The "Lake Chapala society" on the INTERNET.
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Hound Dog

Nov 5, 2009, 12:49 PM

Post #10 of 27 (8895 views)

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Re: [arbon] The Lake Chapala Society

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I´m not sure this crowd is ready for Dawg´s sense of humor so I deleted my little joke.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Nov 5, 2009, 12:54 PM)


arbon

Nov 5, 2009, 2:09 PM

Post #11 of 27 (8875 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] The Lake Chapala Society

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"[Hound Dog]

I´m not sure this crowd is ready for Dawg´s sense of humor so I deleted my little joke."

Well, you were not ready to live Lake side without help from the "Lake Chapala Society" but you were able to finally see the humour in that situation and adjusted your diet to suit the optical illusion.
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Hound Dog

Nov 5, 2009, 2:30 PM

Post #12 of 27 (8868 views)

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Re: [arbon] The Lake Chapala Society

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Well, Arbon, my diet is adjusted but my eyes keep discerning dust devils where there should be Tim Horton coffee servers in little aprons going, "Whatchawanthoneypie?" with the absolute certainty that whatever Dawg orders would not please a goat in heat.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Nov 5, 2009, 2:31 PM)


Gringal

Nov 5, 2009, 3:58 PM

Post #13 of 27 (8839 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] The Lake Chapala Society

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Pretty good one, even though we must admit that a "goat in heat" has higher priorities than food.


Georgia


Nov 5, 2009, 4:02 PM

Post #14 of 27 (8839 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] The Lake Chapala Society

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As you know, I live out in the poverty ridden burb of el Chante. I do not belong to the LCS because .... well, ... I can't see any reason to. So, I am only mildly aware from comments that there was some sort of reorganization or something. I'm not sure why it matters.

So, out here in the burbs, it's not an issue... at least as far as I know.


Hound Dog

Nov 5, 2009, 5:09 PM

Post #15 of 27 (8833 views)

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Re: [arbon] The Lake Chapala Society

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OK. So you guys seem an amusing bunch so here is my original joke deleted because of my fear that you would misunderstand me or, even worse, find my word game elementary and unworthy of The Dawg:

Quoting Arbon:

"Old ladies in England talking seriously about "Faeries" at the bottom of the garden."

Dawg´s rendition:

Or, worse yet, old ladies talking seriously about "faeries at the garden of Dawg´s bottom" but I also suppose that that is not such a fine word portrait of human behavior after all so I should have let it lie but it´s too late now so there you have it.

Dawg clearly has no shame when it comes to self-humiliation.-


Hound Dog

Nov 5, 2009, 5:24 PM

Post #16 of 27 (8832 views)

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Re: [Georgia] The Lake Chapala Society

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As you know, I live out in the poverty ridden burb of el Chante. I do not belong to the LCS because .... well, ... I can't see any reason to. So, I am only mildly aware from comments that there was some sort of reorganization or something. I'm not sure why it matters.

Well, Georgia, darlin´ the fact that you are not a member of the LCS Coffeeklatch demonstrates that you are still somehow alive despite the fact that you live in a community so poverty stricken and without merit that should you try to join the longest running polka dance on the planet you would need to buy a new out-of-tune accordion.


Georgia


Nov 5, 2009, 5:30 PM

Post #17 of 27 (8829 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] The Lake Chapala Society

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Being a hick in the Mexican outback has its advantages. We have recently renovated a house in Tlaquepaque and it's great there, too. All Mexican neighbors, no "gringo status", great social life, etc. etc. I go to Tlaquepaque on the weekends when the tapatios invade beautiful downtown El Chante.


arbon

Nov 6, 2009, 11:26 AM

Post #18 of 27 (8736 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] The Lake Chapala Society

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In Reply To
OK. So you guys seem an amusing bunch so here is my original joke deleted because of my fear that you would misunderstand me or, even worse, find my word game elementary and unworthy of The Dawg:

Quoting Arbon:

"Old ladies in England talking seriously about "Faeries" at the bottom of the garden."

Dawg´s rendition:

Or, worse yet, old ladies talking seriously about "faeries at the garden of Dawg´s bottom" but I also suppose that that is not such a fine word portrait of human behavior after all so I should have let it lie but it´s too late now so there you have it.

Dawg clearly has no shame when it comes to self-humiliation.- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ That can be taken care of by a "Sanitary Engineer" with his "Right Gossamer Wing"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



cookj5

Nov 7, 2009, 1:56 PM

Post #19 of 27 (8625 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] The Lake Chapala Society

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There's an old joke about university faculty politics: the reason it gets so bitter and fractious is because there is so little at stake. I worked in volunteer-based non-profit organizations all my working life and fights over "organizational structure" and constitutions and bylaws were always the most rancorous and divisive of any issues that came up. I found it amusing because most people never bothered to read the documents involved in the years between the great battles over them.

That said, as a member for the last 2 1/2 years, I believe the LCS is of great value to the expat community and to the Mexican communities of the North Shore. The 25,000 book English language library is not duplicated anywhere in the area, and few other areas anywhere in Mexico have anything comparable. Ditto for the video library. My wife and I have studied Spanish at the Wilkes Center since we arrived. I would grant that the Spanish instruction program has suffered recently from apparent management incompetence, but it has been run better before and will be again, if the members demand it. The grounds are gorgeous, and the facilities offer space to a huge variety of clubs, classes, and formal or informal groups. I know of nowhere else providing a comparable set of facilities to expats. The American Legion in Chapala (and this is NOT meant critically) is much smaller and has much less extensive facilities than the LCS.

In addition to all this, the LCS gives a lot back to the community. It provides a regular table for the Red Cross and holds various fundraisers for it and for other non-profits in the area which benefit the poor Mexican community. The LCS' Wilkes Center provides English language and computer instruction to the Mexican community, skills which can raise a Mexican's pay and standard of living more than almost anything else. When the landslide devastated San Juan Cosala 2 years ago, the LCS leadership swung into action and became one of the main funnels through which expat generosity was channeled to help the Mexican families who lost literally everything. At one point, the LCS was collecting more than 10,000 pesos a week for relief.

Some folks who are uninvolved in the LCS for whatever reason, or who seem to enjoy internecine squabbles and the opportunity to trash the LCS, perhaps need to look a little closer at what the LCS does and represents here in the Lake Chapala.

A final note: I have no axes to grind here. I am not, nor have I ever been an elected LCS leader. I have not been involved, except as an observer, in the recent leadershp/constitutional squabbles. I just think credit should be given where credit is due, and the LCS provides a lot of value to me and a lot of other expats who flock to it every day.


Hound Dog

Nov 7, 2009, 5:00 PM

Post #20 of 27 (8589 views)

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Re: [cookj5] The Lake Chapala Society

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There's an old joke about university faculty politics: the reason it gets so bitter and fractious is because there is so little at stake. I worked in volunteer-based non-profit organizations all my working life and fights over "organizational structure" and constitutions and bylaws were always the most rancorous and divisive of any issues that came up. I found it amusing because most people never bothered to read the documents involved in the years between the great battles over them.

OK, cookjs;

You want to discuss this seriously? Before we go further, let me state that your posting is well thought out and compassionate but while you "...worked in volunteer-based non-profit organizations all of (your) working life....", I was a commercial bank lender all of my working life and, while my portfolio of bank commercial loans tended toward those granted to corporations engaged in industrial and agricultural pursuits for profit, I have had quite a bit of experience lending to volunteer-based non-profits as well as non-profits employing compensated employees and while I agree with you that it is commonplace to expect that fights over organizational structure and constitutions and bylaws are the most rancorous and devisive issues I must modify that by saying that these organizational internecine struggles typically occur and become more vicious and demeaning and partisan when an organization has outlived its charter for whatever reason and is struggling with an outmoded and inflexible reason for being dictated by inelastic corporate goals which may have become unachievable because times and circumstances have inexorably changed.

That is what has hapened, in my humble opinion, to the anachronistic LCS. It is wallowing about in ill-defined purposes and unless something is done about this it wil die an untimely death.

I must say that the most enlightened thing you said in your post was, in an odd analogy, that the reason university faculty politics become so bitter and fractious is because there is "...so little at stake," That´s it precisely. There is nothing at stake but the coffee tables providing platforms for meaningless chatter among tired old airheads. University faculty typically live in an intellectual bubble and are subsidized by an undemanding taxpayer base made up of people who have no idea what the faculty is doing or what the faculty´s goals may be. People who just get up in the morning and go down to work in the cotton mill and never stop to ask what the hell these folks are doing with their money. I get the distinct feeling that the LCS membership is likewise confused as to what these folks running their social club cum bleeding-heart community dispenser of straws to elephants is up to.

In the rest of your post you inform us of the wonderful things ths LCS is doing for the communities it is supposed to serve but, I´m sorry to say, pablum can be hard to digest. The LCS is dogpaddling and rapidly getting where it is going which is nowhere. My criticism is not aimed at destroying the LCS but helping to salvage what is left of its endowmwnt for the good of the Lakeside community.

The future of the LCS is not in pondering value to the "poor and ignorant" Mexican community. The "white man´s burden" is yesterday´s concept. What has the LCS membership done to engage the Mexican community seriously in this discourse?


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Nov 7, 2009, 5:12 PM)


Jimbo

Nov 8, 2009, 10:08 AM

Post #21 of 27 (8517 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] The Lake Chapala Society

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As a former resident of the Lakeside - and I have been away for over eight years, so I recognize that my contribution to the debate may be somewhat dated - I would only make the observation that the LCS always struck me as a potentially vital glue for the expat community in that area. When my wife and I first moved to Mazatlan, where we still live, I felt one of the elements that was missing here was an LCS-type of organization. We eventually ended up getting some of its components, including an English lending library and some gathering places, such as Canucks, a nightclub that became the focus for many expat activities. I've since returned to the Lakeside twice to visit and I always manage to wander by the LCS. It just seemed to be a logical focal point; with its wonderful gardens, the library, the bulletin board etc. It would be a great shame if the petty bickering that has been evident for some years was allowed to destroy what remains a wonderful concept. If the LCS is allowed to die, it will be very difficult to reinvent something that has been as vital a part of the community for so long. I hope the patient lives.


Jim Bentein


Gringal

Nov 8, 2009, 10:36 AM

Post #22 of 27 (8507 views)

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Re: [Jimbo] The Lake Chapala Society

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I agree with the gist of your post, Jimbo. I also believe that where there is a large and changing expat population in a community, a gathering place is a good thing. There are differences of opinion about what sort of organization is desirable. Hound Dog's castigation may be based on his generally poor opinion of the Lakeside population in general since he has no personal stake, as a non-member, in the Lake Chapala Society's existence or demise.

Like any place, be it educational, political, charitable or social........there is infighting. A church Altar Society can be a hotbed of personality conflicts. After reading all the arguments about what and/or who is responsible for the current debacle at LCS, it appears that main purpose of the "new constitution" is to put in a paid director and give more general discretionary power to the board. Considering what happened with salaried personnel before, I seriously wonder if that is a good thing, and whether the LCS would be getting its moneys'worth by going that route. For example, the library seems to be functioning better than ever without the paid librarian.

What the LCS needs is a board that, instead of passing the buck, manages the bucks in a sane manner.


Hound Dog

Nov 8, 2009, 11:09 AM

Post #23 of 27 (8490 views)

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Re: [Gringal] The Lake Chapala Society

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Putting out the effort to help an archaic community organization survive and move on to more appropriate endeavors is a monumental task especially when senior members are mired in self-defined and egoistic pursuits. This sad organization will cease to exist unless someone or some people are willing to defend it in order to establish a future order not tied to tired historical goals. My prediction is that this will not happen because, as an earlier poster inferred the players have no stake in the organization´s future. Every living organism must die. Hold the funeral and move on.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Nov 8, 2009, 1:40 PM)


Gringal

Nov 8, 2009, 11:25 AM

Post #24 of 27 (8481 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] The Lake Chapala Society

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"My prediction is that this will not happen because, as an earlier poster inferred the players have no stake in the organization´s future. Every living organism must die. Hold the funeral and move on." (Hound Dog).

Baloney. The LCS is not a living organism. And you are not a member.


(This post was edited by Gringal on Nov 8, 2009, 11:59 AM)


RickS


Nov 8, 2009, 1:07 PM

Post #25 of 27 (8457 views)

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Re: [Gringal] The Lake Chapala Society

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What's so 'funny' about this discussion, other than it was started by a Mutt who loves to stir the pot, is that there is NOTHING new about discord and strife over at the LCS! Somebody(s) is forever getting their panties in a wad about something over there (just as they do at most organizations run by elderly, retired folks with excess time on their hands and more elevated egos than wisdom or sense). This too will pass.

.... next 'pot' please, Senor Mutt. This one has cooked itself out.....

P.S. Having said the above, there are a couple of folks over at that place for whom I have the utmost respect.....
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