[ANSTHRLD] Bloodstone

Teceangl tierna at agora.rdrop.com
Mon Mar 11 15:59:16 PST 2002

> If you study the trends in SCA precedents you would
> conclude "consistancy is the hobgoblin of little minds".
> The logic of them is they are often illogical.  Read some
> of the holding names created for Trimaris submissions.
> There are reasons for this stuff:

Ohhh, dear, Magnus, you've set my hackles on edge.  Shame!

> -Decisions written in the wee hours of the morning

This is NOT how it's done.  Decisions are done on one day from the weight
of the CoA commentary, and then another week or so is taken to review and
VERIFY them.  There are no "decisions written in the wee hours of the
morning" which immediately become canon.  Perhaps once in the past, but
certainly not in the past six Laurels' tenures.

> -Kingdoms sent up docs that sux like a Hoover delux.

This is true.  The CoA must rely on the kingdom to send up workable
documentation, and if that doesn't happen, there are problems registering
because of lack of documentation.

> -The CoA doesn't comment/research the submission

With about 65 people commenting, this is an erroneous and irresponsible
speculation on your part.  Every single submission is reviewed, both by
commenters and by the Sovereign responsible for its registration or
return.  If comments don't seem to be made, it can safely be assumed
(usually) that _the_submission_is_fine_as_presented_ and SOP is to
register it as submitted without comment.  Why are you implying that
for some reason the Sovereigns of Arms have nothing better to do than
to create a policy on something that's fine?

> -We don't have a clue

Define "we".  The CoA specifically researches anything which has not been
done before (check past Laurel pends for proof of that - to give the
commenters even more time) and verifies documentation presented as needed,
often adding new information from the commentary process.  Else we're
back to a return for lack of documentation.
If you mean "we", as in the kingdom colleges, well it's always best to
boot something up to Laurel if you can neither confirm nor deny it.
Again, to imply that something that the CoA knows nothing about is
automatically going to generate a Laurel precedent is erroneous and

> The last one applies to things like non-English
> household and order names. We get precedents saying things
> like Tibet had no contact with Europe (they controlled the silk road for 2
> centuries and were part of the Mongol empire).

Prove it.  At this time no evidence whatsoever has been sent to Laurel
which proves Tibet to have had contact with Western Europe in period.
Presented with such evidence, Laurel might create a precedent changing the
current ruling, which is that Tibetan names are outside of the scope of
the SCA.  But without such evidence, it's just not going to happen, and
to assume malice because Pelican and Laurel are not psychic and in your
head knowing all you think you know is....well, dammit, irresponsible.
(I'm over-using that word, but it means what I want to say.)

> Lots of our SCA precedent rulings are wrong, mainly in
> under researched areas.  The submitter sent something in
> that wasn't researched, the CoA was silent on it, and Laurel or Pelican
> ruled returned for lack of docs.

The CoA processes 600 submissions per month.  If the kingdoms are doing
their job, as per the Administrative Handbook section IV.C Completion of
Paperwork, then the documentation is presented which supports the submission.
If not, then the only course of action is to return the submission for lack
of documentation.  The CoA cannot, nor should it be expected to, document
from scratch everything that's submitted.  That is not its job, and if
you think it should be you are VERY welcome to try to do so.

> This is basically go away and don't bother us.  With
> several hundred items a month everything doesn't get
> several hours of needed research.

Like hell it doesn't.  When I'm writing Letters of Comment I am personally
putting in upwards of 20 hours on one months' submissions.  Multiply that
by the 30 or 40 commenters and then come back and tell me that we're not
working our butts off trying to be thorough.

> So I think we should ignore the gem precedents for

Fine.  Ignore the precedents.  But at least go re-read the documentation
requirements in the Admin Handbook to remind yourself what's needed to
actually support a submission.

> It is still a good idea to review past rulings on items
> if you are submitting something out of the ordinary.  We, however, need to
> look more at non-SCA sources.

Provide the documentation.  It's that simple.  But a modern dictionary,
a history book with no bibliography, and a quaternary source with lots of
speculation and few real facts is not really documentation, so make sure
what's provided really does support the submission.  Otherwise, don't
whine about it, for you have no grounds to do so.

> Nothing like deep sea fishing with nuclear depth
> charges.:)

Magnus, I know for a fact you are not nor have you ever been a commenter
in the College of Arms, nor are you on the mailing list, so I suspect you
haven't even seen Letters of Commentary.  You have not attended a 14-hour
decision meeting where 20 minutes was spent re-researching a single
submission in order to prove that it follows period style.

Until such time as you have actually _participated_ in the College of
Arms commentary and registration process, I will take great exception
to your spreading scurrilous rumors and outright lies about how Laurel
decisions are being made.  You owe current and past Laurel and Pelican
Sovereigns of Arms an apology for what you've said, and if you have a
conscience you should retract those things you have said which imply that
less than appropriate care is given in the submissions process.

Go learn something about what's really going on before spreading any more
lies, please.

- Teceangl Bach, AoA
  Lions Blood Herald, An Tir
  CoA commenter since A.S. XXXIV
  Wreath Sovereign of Arms staff member

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