[eagle] Re: [Namaste-dev] Re: what is going on?

Bob McGwier rwmcgwier at gmail.com
Mon Jul 7 20:06:55 PDT 2008

Thank you for your positive contribution.    I do not suffer from bipolar
disorder as the armchair psychiatrists suggest.  I have not ever had a
mental illness.  


Once every two years I undergo a major, multi-day psychological evaluation
as part of my employment.  I have always and continue to pass whatever that
means and my personal records show no disorder is present to the
satisfaction of my employer and our sponsor.  I have been in a stable
marriage to the same woman since the early 1970's and all my children tell
me they love me for whatever that is worth.


Do I get angry,  yes.  Everyone knows this, but I am not violent, nor
bipolar.  I think the last time I got into a fist fight I was in middle
school.  The last time I had a mood disorder was last year when my brother,
sister-in-law,  and niece were almost killed.  When my favorite aunt died of
cancer.  When her husband, my uncle, was almost trampled to death by horses
that she owned when he was trying to put them into a trailer to sell them.
When my mother almost died of medical incompetence, etc.  I sought help to
get through what seemed a never ending crisis, took antidepressants for six
months and then quit them, all under a doctor's supervision.  I should have
quit this job then because I did AMSAT no good whatsoever for months but the
thing about this kind of crisis reaction is you cannot see out of the fog.
The fog is gone now.  My aunt is stil dead, but while not whole, the rest of
my relatives are recovering their lives.


Matt was indeed removed as leader of the ACP.  He is a brilliant engineer
and I believe he and I will work together for years to come.   Unlike
Michelle, Matt was big enough to talk to me, I gave my reasons, we disagreed
and we have had technical discussions via email since.  While I hope Matt
continues to contribute to the technical effort that he has been visionary
on,  we need a manager to bring the pieces together.  It will not be Matt.
He is busy and very preoccupied with multiple pieces of work, almost all
professional and very demanding of time.  He was aggravated and clearly
upset with all sorts of things in dealing with ACP, AMSAT, etc. and I made a
decision that I thought was in the best interests of AMSAT.   I demanded
that Michelle give me some oversight so I could try to right the ship and to
talk to me.  None of this has been forthcoming.


 As a member of the senior officers and a member of the board of directors,
when you have a major failure in a project,  you report it to the officers
and board.  I did this.  I provided a courtesy copy to Michelle.   She sent
the privileged communication to Matt. Both of them took exception to its
contents and addressed their exception to the same audience I did.  This was
not a public message.  It was addressed those people responsible for running
this organization.  We are attempting to come up with a plan by August and I
saw all of this as a crisis and they needed the information.  They made many
corrections to my statement, I have not defended against their statements of
disagreement, hoping we could work this out.


Michelle was asked repeatedly to talk to me on many occasions before the
real outbreak of hostilities.. I told her that if she did not talk to me
about how to proceed in the current situation,  that she was effectively
resigning since this cannot work.


That said,  Michelle is doing a very good job of building a collaboration.
It is my OPINION that she has a real problem with any hierarchy.  I don't
care, just so she talks to me and allows me to help her.  I believe in her
ability to do this organization but it will not be without guidance from the
senior engineering executive in an engineering organization and that is me
until I am replaced.


I realize that the people in the Eagle group are getting blind sided by all
of this.  My apologies.  Dick Jansson made this completely clear in a note
he sent to the board.


When I return from a two month deployment overseas last month, and I was
given a day to make a big decision at work,  I made the decision knowing
that my days as an AMSAT executive and director were over.  I needed to make
big time changes in my position and there were legal issues requiring me to
make a very hasty decision.  I handled it poorly.  I freely admit I was
upset at the outcome.  I was fighting but I was given an ultimatum and I
acquiesced.  I was signing an agreement that said I would not have such
involvements as AMSAT directorship and officer.  I did not sign up to run
for the board (Michelle celebrates along with Fred Parker).  Two weeks after
this,  things changed, and the right thing happened.  I informed the board
that I would stay until they chose to replace me.


>From this incident forward,  I have been completely unable to get Michelle
to carry on a conversation with me about Namaste or Eagle matters.   I asked
Barry to help me get a meeting together.   When I could not get answers to
several questions (some I subsequently learned were available online but not
the major questions) at 1 PM of the day I needed to okay a meeting so the
contract could be signed to hold the meeting by 6 PM that day, I cancelled
the meeting.  As the senior engineering executive of this organization with
a busy life just like many of you have,  I could not see spending AMSAT
money or my and other executives time on a feel good session.  Maybe there
was more to it, I know that I could not find out and my designated go to guy
did not have answers.


If Michelle will talk to me, I will beg her forgiveness for any real or
perceived injustice she feels she has been subjected to and attempt to work
out a working relationship while I complete my tenure, whether that is 3
months or 30 years,  we need to make progress before August on making real
on what steps to take next.  I believe the Namaste group is ready to take
steps.  I hate sending it fall into disarray just when it arrives at a
turning point from position papers to action.  


What you have done here is beyond the pale of what anyone should be
subjected to.  However, the important thing is AMSAT and its best interests.
I forgive it completely.  I am uninterested in how you perceive me or what
you think of me so long as you will attempt to work out a working
relationship with me, I will do it. I believe you are good person and that
you have been subjected to all sorts of wrong headed talking and thinking at
my expense and the organization's.  I am damn easy to work with technically.
I have the exact same technical partners I have had in some cases for 3
decades and more for two decades. 


My phone number is 609-731-5289.  I AM the VPE and I will talk to you and
attempt to help you do a good job for this organization or you will have
removed yourself from the job.  This is your choice.  I am more than willing
to work it out. There is no other way.  We cannot have completely autonomous
groups without oversight.  If you can call an emergency board meeting and
get me fired,  you can win the day.  If you like, I will call it for you.  I
do not fear the outcome, up, down, or sideways.  AMSAT needs me, I love
AMSAT, and I will be here for as long as I am able to be.  If the board
wants me out,  I will say aye aye and we will move on.









ARRL SDR Working Group Chair, AMSAT VP Engineering.

Member: ARRL, AMSAT, AMSAT-DL, TAPR, Packrats,


"Trample the slow ....  Hurdle the dead"


From: namaste-dev-bounces at amsat.org [mailto:namaste-dev-bounces at amsat.org]
On Behalf Of Michelle
Sent: Monday, July 07, 2008 10:10 PM
To: Bdale Garbee
Cc: namaste-dev; eagle at amsat.org
Subject: [Namaste-dev] Re: [eagle] what is going on?


Bob fired Matt Ettus on 23 June 2008. He fired me, for lack of a better
term, on 26 June 2008. 

It was unnecessarily harsh and inaccurate. It was impersonal, and

According to several AMSAT executives, Bob McGwier is mentally ill. I am
told he suffers from bipolar disorder. Despite knowing this (if this is
true), AMSAT has chosen to appoint him to Vice President of Engineering.
They intend, as far as I can tell, to keep him in this position, regardless
of the result. 

While mental illness cannot and should not suffer stigma, it also is a
factor in assigning responsibility. 

I think Bob needs help and support. I also think he needs to resign, and get
help, and then return to contribute as a valued and irreplaceable technical


-Michelle W5NYV



----- Original Message ----
From: Bdale Garbee <bdale at gag.com>
To: AMSAT BoD <bod at amsat.org>
Cc: namaste-dev at amsat.org; AMSAT Eagle <eagle at amsat.org>; Bob McGwier N4HY
<rwmcgwier at comcast.net>
Sent: Monday, July 7, 2008 5:38:59 PM
Subject: [eagle] what is going on?

I just returned from nearly a month of travel/vacation with my family,
including 4925 miles of cross-country road-trip.  Two of the personal
highlights were my daughter Elizabeth KC0OTR passing her Extra exam in
Grand Junction, CO, and my first visit to the NRAO facility at Green
Bank, WV.

In trying to catch up on the email backlog in preparation for
re-engaging in less vacation-oriented activities, I find myself
somethere between utterly confused and completely dismayed regarding
AMSAT activities I care about.

        It seems like it has been months since I heard about any
        activity on Eagle or the associated ride-share opportunity other
        than what is being discussed on the namaste-dev list.  ???
        I see references in Michelle's weekly summaries about a meeting
        in San Diego on the weekend of 18 July, but can't find any
        information about who is meeting and for what purpose.  Is this
        something I should show up for?  I've tried emailing a couple
        folks directly that I thought might be able to give me details,
        but have had no replies.  I happen to have that weekend open at
        the moment.
        An email from Bob McGwier to the eagle list on June 5th
        indicated that he has resigned as VP Engineering and does not
        intend to run for another term on the Board.  While I'm pleased
        to see that he remains active on the namaste-dev list, I haven't
        read anything yet indicating who is expected to replace him?
        Who's supposedly running our Eagle and related engineering
        projects now that Jim and Bob have both stepped down?
        Matt Ettus reports that he has been "fired" and is thus no
        longer working on the ACP.  Why?  I find it nearly inconceivable
        that AMSAT would intentionally push away someone of his talent,
        vision, and demonstrated persistence of contribution.  I
        sincerely hope this is a misunderstanding of some kind?

Would someone *please* tell me what is going on?

73 - Bdale, KB0G

Via the Eagle mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA
Eagle at amsat.org

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