Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

Yesterday morning, I heard a fascinating interview of Lou Dobbs on KKFI, during which the Democracy Now staff confronted him with his own lies about immigration. Yesterday evening, I dealt with a commenter who produced three separate absolute, disprovable lies in the course of one thread. In short, I had two views into the alternative universe yesterday, where truth is a minor annoyance and new facts can be invented as needed.

Last night, I got mad. This morning, I'll get even.

One of the techniques used by Dobbs is to have some half-baked reference as a source for a lie. When he reports that 7,000 new cases of leprosy have been reported in the US during the last 3 years, he "relies" on a "study" by an insane person who makes stuff up. Well, why should the right wing have all the fun? Just for today, I'll be the insane person on the left that just makes stuff up. To use these "facts" in arguments, though, I recommend that you refer to me as "a respected researcher", "a distinguished historian", or "a highly-regarded scientist". I'm all those things, of course. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Here are a few facts for you to use to win arguments and impress people:

1. 78% of the world's wealth was created during the Clinton years, and the world's wealth has declined by 24% during the Bush Administration.

2. Half of all undocumented persons are medical researchers, working quietly and humbly in labs to invent cures for diabetes, heart disease, and gingivitus.

3. In a secret speech delivered to the US Chamber of Commerce on October 13, 2005, Dick Cheney stated, "The Missouri Plan is the single most important safeguard to keep people free from corporate dominance, and so we must destroy it."

4. 95.3% of the voters who approved the Chastain Plan actually thought they were voting in favor of a regional light rail plan.

5. A comprehensive study of thousands of adult men conducted jointly by the Mayo Clinic and Harvard University Medical School discovered that drinking homebrew is good for you, and what is commonly called a "beer belly" is, in reality, the body's storage system for wisdom and B vitamins.

If you need any facts for your arguments, just email me, and I will create them for you. It's so much easier this way.

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Blogger les said...

Man, you got troubles coming. I'm pretty sure that the Right Wing Noise Machine has locked up the rights in this area--definitely the patent on Making Shit Up--and they are rabid protectors of their limited intellectual property. Watch your step, buddy. And thanks for the ammo.

12/05/2007 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Paco said...

Great information. Especially #5. Man, the stuff our doctors don't tell us. Thanks for the information!

12/05/2007 8:46 AM  
Anonymous SSideDem said...

I wish I had read down to this post before i was nice to you on the Kander post Dan.

I remember you saying you had a daughter Dan. What if she was beaten and raped by one of those wetbacks? What if one tricked her into marrying him and sponsoring their 27 "extended" family members to come to the US and live off of you? What about having the hug the little brown offspring. I know that is not PC but I would rather be truthful. This is a White country and that is the way the Creator wanted it. No country that does not secure its borders can survive. Most people understand that Dan outside the ranks of fuzzy thinking liberals who want to believe that there are no differences and we should all sing Koom BY Ya.

Lou Dobbs is right Dan and I support him. He keeps hinting that he might run for President next year and that is about the only thing that could take me away from Huckabee's Camp.

Lou Dobbs supports you if you realize it or not. You are way out of line on this one Dan. Those who deny reality are doomed to get kicked in teeth.

12/05/2007 8:54 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

There you go again, Dan, calling names. I’ll restate my argument, and feel free to point out the lies. As you know, I’m willing to admit my mistakes and errors of omission. I also suggest you compose a full post on this topic (arguing why a regional plan best represents the will of the voters last year) instead of calling someone a liar and then changing the subject.

Dan, yesterday I said that by supporting a regional light rail plan on the November ballot Funk is saying NO to the intent of the voters. It's not qualified, it is a very clear statement by him "that I know better than all of you". Funk is saying we don't need a Kansas City rail plan (which was what was approved) we need something totally different -- a regional plan.

The issue here very clear. Which of the two options below best represent to intent of voters when they approved a Kansas City-only light rail plan last year?

(1) The light rail starter route which represents months of hard work by the Citizen’s Task Force, has the support of the ATA and the support of every city councilperson – except for Funk.

(2) A regional light rail plan, which requires the voters in surrounding cities in Kansas and Missouri to approve, costing billions of dollars more than the starter route, adding years to the planning and implementation of the plan.

My contention is that option one is clearly represents the will of the voters when they approved a Kansas City-only light rail plan last year.

Don’t get me wrong, I want a regional approach. But the best way to get there is via a starter line in Kansas City. A regional plan is a pipe dream, especially by November of this year.

So, if Funk is representing the will of the people, why is he the only member of council actively supporting a regional plan?

Additionally, the net effect of promoting a regional plan will kill or delay the development of a starter route. Regardless one’s opinion on this, we can all agree a Kansas City starter route is definitely in jeopardy.

A vote for a regional plan is a vote against the light rail starter as proposed by the Citizen’s Task Force.

Again, I'll restate my analogy which illustrates my point quite well:

If you asked me for an affordable car you could pay cash for and drive off the lot today for $5,000, and then I came back with a $20,000 car that needed to be ordered from the factory that you knew nothing about (that may take two years to be delivered) would you say I was honoring your wishes?

Now, feel free to point out the lies, untruths and alternate realities I've just created.

12/05/2007 9:00 AM  
Anonymous porchpundit said...

urinestream is a bum

12/05/2007 9:08 AM  
Blogger kitty said...

Hi there

I tagged you with a meme via the randomizer at nablopomo.

Hope you don't mind!

12/05/2007 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Paco said...

"Lou Dobbs supports you if you realize it or not. You are way out of line on this one Dan. Those who deny reality are doomed to get kicked in teeth."

SSideFem- I'm mexican, I'm reality. Do you want to try to kick me in the teeth?

12/05/2007 9:09 AM  
Anonymous SSideDem said...

Juan Maria Lazy-Boy Paco

If you are mexican live in Mexico. Simple as that. I will visit every time I want beans and lower intestinal distress. But you are not really mexican because you would be on a roof right now not in front of a computer.

WHAT! Are butt buddies urinestream and porchpundit feuding? What do you have to say urinestream?

12/05/2007 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Paco said...

You didn't answer my question.

12/05/2007 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Counting Mainstream's Lies said...

Dan -

Pay attention - Mainstream did 4 lies last night!

1. He claimed Funk does not support light rail in KC. LIE.

2. He claimed "But that appears to be typical of you Dan - call all of Funk's critics liars." You didn't call all of Funk's critics liars. LIE.

3. He claimed he would not say anymore on this topic. BIG LIE.

4. He claimed "People voted for a doable Kansas City-only light rail plan." Even he acknowledges that the voter-approved plan can't work. LIE.

I hope you'll hold to your plan to ignore him. He's crazy.

12/05/2007 9:35 AM  
Anonymous SSideDem said...

Paco cool it with the threats before I turn the link over to ICE and you go bye bye.

12/05/2007 9:42 AM  
Anonymous REAL Tough Guy said...

Hah - Paco scared SSide! Too funny. I'll answer his question for him, since I've had to deal with trash like him for years. "No, sir, I don't want to back up my insults and tough talk. Please don't hurt me! Even your question frightens me. Whimper, whimper."

Counting Mainstream's Lies - You must be a very busy person.

12/05/2007 9:50 AM  
Anonymous SSideDem said...

Why should I put up with Illegals? Not fear - rights of citizenship.

no matter what name you want to post under Paco

12/05/2007 10:04 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Note to "Counting mainstream's lies":

If you have to resort to stretching the meaning of lies to items 2, 3, and 4 in your comment, you've pretty much lost all credibility.

And, your debating tactic of redirecting the discussion isn't going to work with me.

My point was and will be Funk is going against the will of the voters last year. I still stand by that.

Let's have a serious, informed discussion here - this isn't a grade school playground.

Point (1) is wrong - I argued (quite persuasively, I might add)that promoting a regional plan over a starter route jeopardizes the starter route as envisioned by the Citizen's Task Force and 12 city council members.

And you're not going to be successful in the absurd redirection you're trying to accomplish here.

Last year, voters did not say they wanted a regional plan. They voted for a kansas city-only plan.

A regional plan and the starter route are two very different projects.

Funk is alone on the council in his desire to put a regional plan on the November ballot.

Funk is going against the stated objectives of the ATA and Citizen's Task Force regarding light rail planning.

And I stand by my argument, thank you.

12/05/2007 10:11 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Ok, Dan and a few other people did catch me in a lie.

Last night I did make the statement I would not comment anymore.

Dan and others have called me out as a liar, because I did post comments after I said I wouldn't.

On that charge, I plead GUILTY. You've exposed me.

I lied. I made additional comments after I said I wouldn't. I feel ashamed.

NOT. lol.

12/05/2007 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Paco said...

That's what I thought.

P.S. Paco is my real name. Just verify with Dan.

12/05/2007 10:22 AM  
Anonymous urinestream said...

boy i hope my wife and kids don't find out what i do when i tell them i am at work. And it took me some time to convince my wife that the kids are liars.

12/05/2007 10:23 AM  
Anonymous SSideDem said...

Paco tough boy on the web.

Paco hide from law enforcement in real life.

Must be cold blogging from the roof while you wait for the next load of shingles.

12/05/2007 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Someone's Lying Here, and It Ain't Dan said...

Let me get this clear. You said Funkhouser does not support light rail in KC. Dan showed that he does. Now you want to argue about the kind of light rail in KC that Funkhouser supports, though you agree that Funkhouser supports light rail in KC.

But you didn't lie, how?

Can anyone other than Mainstream explain how that makes any sense?

12/05/2007 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Fleetwood Mac, right? said...

Damn you, Dan. Now I have that song running through my head!

12/05/2007 10:55 AM  
Anonymous porchpundit said...

I want to disassociate myself from the "bum" comment posted at 9:08 AM, which was made using the name I use here and on other blogs. For the record I did not make a comment under this post until now. It is getting dicey to comment on this blog, which is too bad.

Thanks Dan.

12/05/2007 12:15 PM  
Blogger sophia said...

I remember you saying you had a daughter Dan. What if she was beaten and raped by one of those wetbacks?


In general, these type of hypotheticals do little to advance the argument. There is no evidence that illegal immigrants rape in higher numbers than legal immigrants, or citizens. To base your immigration policy on this fear would be extremely irrational. But I think it's obvious you're more afraid of miscegnation than rape, and that's what is truly guiding your policy impulses. And, unfortunately for you, anti-miscegnation laws are unconstitutional, so you're trying to back door your concerns through immigration policy.

In the case of this specific blog, I think Dan's been pretty clear that he doesn't appreciate hypotheticals that place his family members in harm's way. So, you get extra asshole points for that.

12/05/2007 12:27 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

I listened to Funk on Kraske's show, and pasted this quote from Prime Buzz:

"He said if he can't get a regional system off the ground, he'd support a November ballot question for a starter system in Kansas City. "I'm committed to that (vote)," he said."

Now, that's a step in the right direction.

I'll be more than happy to retract my criticism of Funk's view on lightrail when his view changes a bit further to include the concept "that any regional plan begins with the starter route as envisioned by the Citizen's Task Force."

The very key point here is that a Kansas City starter route is the minimum desired outcome from all of these activities.

With that concept addition, we are guaranteed the starter route in any outcome.

As you'll recall my starting point is that the starter route is the best execution of the will of the poeple, as signified by last year's approval of a Kansas City light rail ballot initiative.

My view, along with many others, is that (1) Anything that prevents this starter route from happening is an obfuscation of the will of the people; and (2) a starter route is the best way to begin a regional system if we wnat to bring light rail to Kansas City in the foreseable (less than 5 year) future.

12/05/2007 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Mainstream Lied, His Reputation Died said...

He's been saying that all along, liar. If you were paying attention, you would have seen that in the Business Journal a couple weeks or so ago.

Nobody really gives a shit what you think anymore. You got caught lying 4 times - you suck.

I'll be happiest with a regional plan, but happy with a starter line if we can't go regional. That's what Funk is pushing - I'm glad I voted for him.

12/05/2007 2:33 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Note to "mainstream lied, his reputation died":

I am not aware of Funk saying anything definitive to the effect of supporting an immediate implementation of a starter line.

The first mention of it i heard today on Kraske's program.

So I may, just may, be guilty of being uninformed. But I don't think so.

A starter line has never been mentioned as a minimum requirement out of all of this, and Funk may allude to it generally, but he has said nothing definitive.

When he does say something definitive to that effect, I'll withdraw my criticism.

Now, as always, if he has already said something definitive regarding this, then by all means bring it to my, and everybody's, attention.

I really would be very happy to give Funk accolades on this.

If he will support a starter line in any outcome -- implemented consistent with the Citizen's Task Force plan-- and he can obtain regional cooperation or even attempt make significant progress, he has my wholehearted support and accolades -- on his approach to planning mass transit.

12/05/2007 2:56 PM  
Anonymous the professor said...

Are all of the comments on this blog supposed to be lies?

It looks like Dan made up a bunch of lies as some sort of retroactive assault on fellow bloggers. The whole thing went downhill from there.

Dan calls “mainstream” a liar because he interpreted one of Mark Funkhouser’s statements differently than Dan did. I don’t see that as a lie, just a difference of perception. Dan goes further by calling “mainstream” a liar because he commented after he said he would not. Dan, that is just childish name-calling. Grow up.

SSideDem- your first comment seems really, really racists.

sophia- cut back on your demonstrations of intellect. If SSideDem is really as rascist, as his comments demonstrate, I doubt that he would have any idea of the meaning of “miscegnation” .

Sophia- How do you expect someone to place a hypothetical question that would ask someone to personalize the subject matter? Should SS have asked “What if your neighbor’s cat was run over by a car” in order to ask Dan to bring the subject a personal level? Don’t ask him how he would feel if it involved “his” family. Ask him how he would feel if it involved his neighbors family.

So many of these comments do nothing but pile on.

“ssidefem” “urinestream” What kind of children do you have leaving comments on this blog?

12/05/2007 3:08 PM  
Anonymous The Nutty Ex-Professor said...

Professor -

Like many of your ilk, you don't know near as much about the real world as you think you do.

First off, Dan's post was not a retroactive assault on bloggers. It was a relatively humorous commentary on the state of discourse and its allegiance to veracity. (I'm using big words just to show I've been a professor, too, though I'm now making more money in the real world.) He didn't even mention the lying commenter, or provide a link to facilitate identification of the culprit. Dan's point, I believe, was that some individuals utilize sources unworthy of respect. Perhaps not a novel or thesis-worthy observation, but it passes for intelligent discourse in the debased medium of blogs.

In a prior thread, Dan caught Mainstream lying on 3 or 4 points, but, in this thread, has not referred to Mainstream by name, nor sought to further embarrass the dishonest chap. Perchance you should observe the terms of the debate a bit more closely, Professor.

Similarly, the reference to personalization of the conversation is a reference you perchance missed due to your apparent novitiate status on this blog. It is rather like when, at departmental meetings, we razz the new hires by encouraging them to ask the Dean about snipe hunting. Those who were not at the MLA meeting of 1992 suffer through befuddlement. In fact, the reference to Dan's daughter was an intentional provocation, and Sophia was justified in pointing out said provocation.

Professor, you ask what sort of children are posting at this blog. A fine inquiry, indeed.

Your assumption that you could provide a valuable service by coming here and issuing pronouncements and judgments about the other denizens of this blog suggest that you, perhaps, are the most in need of instruction.

12/05/2007 3:37 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Note to "the professor":

I'm far from a perfect commmenter, and I appreciate very much your supportive comments.

Regarding SSidedem, my suspicion is that he is a planted identity and that the person behind this identity has an anti-Funk agenda - portraying a reprehensible pro-funk supporter.

(Or, he could be real. That's scarier.)

12/05/2007 3:38 PM  
Anonymous SSideDem said...

mainstream you think you are so smart but you are a cretin.

Which is why you will be sitting here in this crappy weather and I will be in Hawaii for 10 days.

12/05/2007 4:20 PM  
Anonymous boggled said...

I never thought I would say this, but I agree with both SSideDem and Mainstream in their most recent comments.

12/05/2007 4:30 PM  
Anonymous the professor said...

The Nutty Ex-Professor said...

“First off, Dan's post was not a retroactive assault on bloggers.”

But, in the lead article Dan said…” Last night, I got mad. This morning, I'll get even.”

My bad. I made the mistake of reading the English version.

My observation of the verbal assault that is apparent throughout this blog has been summarily exemplified by the response from the “Nutty Ex-Professor”.

I may have stumbled into the wrong place. Is this a member’s only blog? Am I expected to know the content of the archives? Will there be a test? Is there a secret handshake? If I do become a member, when do I get to don the fez? Is beer, the ale of bastards and kings, the common thread that entices such charming rhetoric?

Mainstream, SSideDem, and others that are the focus of abuse; I wish you well. I think it may be best to avoid commentary in such a hostile environment. The commentary, at least to this topic of conversation, is reminiscent of a scene from “Lord of the Flies”.

I will not comment again. Then again, maybe I will. You are welcome to consider me to be a liar, whether I choose to comment again, or not. Cyber-thuggery just doesn’t have the impact it used to.

12/05/2007 5:06 PM  
Blogger sophia said...


I'm not sure I understand your point regarding personalizing hypotheticals. My point was that if you're trying to personalize an injury via hypothetical, you should use a hypothetical that involves an injury relevant to the discussion. Illegal immigration doesn't cause rape, so it was a nonsensical and inflammatory thing to write, whether the victim was Dan's daughter, Dan's neighbor, or Dan's neighbor's cat.

A larger point, left unstated but possibly implicit, is that I find the reliance on personalizing hypotheticals dispiriting. As if it's not enough to point out that someone is suffering an injury, it has to be you, personally, suffering the injury. I understand that it's necessary to walk some people (those lacking sympathetic imagination) through that step, but it would be a better world if people just did that automatically. "How would you feel if ______?" was part of how I was raised.

12/05/2007 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Can I Get A Witness? said...

Ssideenema is undoubtedly just a troll. The comments demonstrate nothing more than an effort to bait readers into responding to his/her/its stupid statements.

Ssideenema - please either play elsewhere or at least be funny . . . . no one minds a little controversy if it is backed with intellect, truth or humor. When it lacks all three, it makes you ineligible even to appear on Jerry Springer.

12/05/2007 6:25 PM  
Anonymous the professor said...


I appreciate the sincerity and lack of sarcasm in your response.

I do agree that the attempt to relate illegal immigration with rape is completely unfounded. I am not aware of any investigation that has attempted to make that suggestion.

I am a little confused about the "what if it was your daughter?"

It is commonplace to try to make many hypothetical questions more endearing by attempting to establish some sort of relation to a loved one. If the topic was cuts in Medicare, and the question posed was - What if it was your mother who couldn't pay for her medication due to these cuts? I would find the wording as an attempt to find out how the person would react as if it did have a direct affect on them.

I have no knowledge of “Dan’s” relationship with his daughter. If he finds this topic painful, he is welcome to delete my post.

12/05/2007 6:26 PM  
Blogger Ambitious Fledgling said...

"What if she was beaten and raped by one of those wetbacks?"

I always like to refer back to the comment post. You are a douchebag who needs to get your own blog so you can feel special. Why come to Dan's blog and talk about his daughter? Whether you like it or not, "wetbacks" are here to stay, we just need to find a way to deal with the situation. You are an effing moron for even making that statement. Good god I hope people like you don't breed.

Please keep in mind, we all got here somehow didn't we? I'm sure our coming here affected someone.. oh I don't know, like THE INDIANS?!?! So who cares if we get screwed on some benefits, lord knows we have done our share of screwing and getting screwed. In the end it doesn't really matter and tomorrow you will still be a douchebag for not opening up and having a blog where we can all come talk about YOUR family and harass you! Fucker.

12/05/2007 7:14 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Professor -

I'd encourage you to post comments here and to any blog, regardless of how unwelcoming it may seem to be. Most readers of blogs do not comment, they like to cruise by and look (similar to car accidents).

The readers by and large are more reasonable than the commenters, so when you make a point that has any sense (and you appear to have a very sound intellect) it will be understood by most people.

Don't let the thugs in this place diminish the value of your opinion here, this is just a blog and they only hurt their credibility and help yours.

12/05/2007 9:41 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I find myself in a situation similar to the commenter "Boggled". I agree with Mainstream and SSidedem, in their most recent comments.

Professor, you're welcome to comment here. The Nutty Ex-Professor gave you a proper welcoming - if you want to come in and issue judgments on other commenters, prepare to be judged.

I expect we'll get along just fine, as long as you don't make shit up. The post that drew your comments was a joke post, intended to show how Dobbs gets away with his outrageous claims. You'll see that some commenters have a tendency to play fast and loose with the facts, but I'm pretty fastidious about sticking to the truth.

12/05/2007 10:10 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Also, note, Professor, that making stuff up as Dan says is a term that's relative to Dan's personal interests.

For example, Dan will tell you that Jason Kander's opponent, Amy Coffman, is incompetent for elected office because she didn't have a web site up 1 year in advance of the election.

Because it's a fact that websites are measures of competence. Here's a very good example.

It's also a fact that your who you choose as an employer says EVERYTHING about your character, especially if you work for a health care company. And your friend's employers' also reflect on you and your character! (even though you don't have any direct ties to that company.)

Given enough time, Dan will educate you on those very important factoids.

Oh - and a little advice - getting along with Dan is important.

12/05/2007 11:00 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

I'm sorry, perenial typing problems. The beginning of the fourth paragraph should say "It's also a fact that who you choose as an employer..."

12/05/2007 11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Dan but I have to be rude for a second.

SSI I find my self almost never bragging about my money and almost always hoping that my friends and neighbors find the same opportunities and professional/monetary success that I have found. However, your comments bashing the social, moral and economic class of "Mexicans" make me laugh and feel sad for you. Okay, feeling sad for you for about zero seconds is over...

Therefore, I would like to tell you that I am proudly Mexican- American, a dedicated Catholic and family man. Having said that, knowing that I have more money than YOU will ever have makes me smile on my way to bed. I would say the same about your kids and grandkids, as it would probably be true, but I will not as I am quite sure that they will be a much better person than you.

12/06/2007 1:17 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Wow, Mainstream carries a grudge a long time, and provides a good illustration of the his flaws. I don't recall ever calling Amy incompetent - in fact I said she seems like a nice and competent person. Similarly, I never said that who you work for says everything about your character. He just made those things up. And, yeah, that annoys me.

12/06/2007 6:26 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous 12:17 =

People like SSide are pathetic. Thanks for commenting.

12/06/2007 6:30 AM  
Anonymous humble reporter or blog addict said...

Ssidem makes pathetic posts on blogs all over Missouri, so I think the "ugly positive to be secretly negative" theory seems pretty far fetched to me.

Why post on The Turner Report, which comments on Bootheel politics, if you are trying to bring down Mayor Funkhouser?

If the theory is accurate, his comments seem more directed at the court plan debate and immigration. He has praised Professor Kobach and the Federation for American Immigration Reform in several posts on outstate blogs.

I usually do not comment but I regularly monitor this blog. It is known for very good political conversation on at least a regional basis. In addition, I know of several Think Tank fellows in Washington who use it to touch base with the Midwest.

Do not discount your influence or you attraction to extremist activists.

12/06/2007 8:27 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Dan, did I make up the 3 or 4 major posts that had siginificant references to the lack of a Coffman website?

Here's justone quote from one of your posts:

"Here's why I even mention it [Dan is referencing the absence of a Coffman website], though - the 44th District is a strongly democratic district, and we ought to be sending a genuine leader down to Jefferson City with a can-do attitude who demonstrates competence and energy. A campaign presents an opportunity to show who you are and how you'll operate in office, and one campaign is stuck on "coming soon" and not meeting expectations, while the other one includes a job evaluation by the U.S. Director of Intelligence in Afghanistan - "Second Lieutenant (2LT) Kander is an outstanding leader and a superb intelligence officer … his hard work directly resulted in arresting enemies and saving lives … leading by example". Sounds like he exceeds expectations."

Did I make that up Dan?

If I adopted your style, Dan, I would call you a liar. That's not my style. Like I always have, I'll call you simply misguided.

And the point I was making is obvious - your definition of truth tends to reflect your personal bias.

That's not a bad thing, we all do it, but we should at least recognize it as an importnat dynamic as we talk about the issues.

Coming up next: how to debate online.

12/06/2007 8:35 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...


Five tips on debating online.

First - stay on the issue, don't try to deflect the issue by focusing on one statement and take it out of context.

Second - if you really do catch someone in a lie, don't destroy your credibility by making up petty and false claims to bolster your original claim.

Third - you may want to consider actually being a little bit knowledgeable about the issue. It might actually help you win, and at least make you more convincing.

Fourth - finish the job. If you're going to spend so much time blustering about some one or some thing, take the obvious opportunity to win. Like Funk's statements on Kraske's program yesterday.

That went a heckuva long way all to destroy all of original arguments I made that Funk is thwarting the stated intention of the electorate (per 11/06 ballot initiative).

It went a long way, but Funk's not there yet.

Fifth - don't lie.

12/06/2007 8:49 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Mainstream -

You said that "Dan will tell you that Jason Kander's opponent, Amy Coffman, is incompetent for elected office".

Can you show me where I said that?

Or did you make that up?

12/06/2007 9:33 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Rule 1 of debating online states that you shouldn't take one small part of an argument and take it out of context.

That's what you just did. The clause you took was out of a larger sentence, and I quote myself:

"For example, Dan will tell you that Jason Kander's opponent, Amy Coffman, is incompetent for elected office because she didn't have a web site up 1 year in advance of the election."

That's what I said.

Now, you didn't say Amy was incompetent, literally. I was characterizing the overall tone and message of what you were saying.

And I think it was a very fair characterization, Dan.

I didn't pick a clause or one sentence as an example, I quoted exactly and in as much totality as I could without making the comment overly long.

Dan! How can anybody read what you said below, and conclude anything other than your message is:the lack of a Coffman website is a sign that she is not competent for office?

here's what you said (again):

"Here's why I even mention it [Dan is referencing the absence of a Coffman website], though - the 44th District is a strongly democratic district, and we ought to be sending a genuine leader down to Jefferson City with a can-do attitude who demonstrates competence and energy. A campaign presents an opportunity to show who you are and how you'll operate in office, and one campaign is stuck on "coming soon" and not meeting expectations, while the other one includes a job evaluation by the U.S. Director of Intelligence in Afghanistan - "Second Lieutenant (2LT) Kander is an outstanding leader and a superb intelligence officer … his hard work directly resulted in arresting enemies and saving lives … leading by example". Sounds like he exceeds expectations."

C'mon Dan.

I could pick out and quote five or more instances of this, I just don't have the time.

Where am I misleading anybody here?

Quit being so pedantic.

12/06/2007 9:48 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

That's precisely the problem, Mainstream. You consider it pedantic to be accurate.

I do think 1000% that Jason Kander is more competent than Amy Coffman.

But I would never, ever say that Amy is incompetent for public office, as you accused me of saying. Do you see the difference? Do you see that it is not pedantic to be careful when you are putting words in other people's mouths?

12/06/2007 10:37 AM  
Anonymous the professor said...


I think Dan knows how to get you spinning. When he does, he gets you to take the bait.

The burden of proof is shouldered by the one that makes the claim. Any attempt to defend yourself, before the claim is fully substantiated, results in commentary that is not only the result of frustration, but tends to ramble.

My recommendation:

1. If you did not lie, simply state that you did not.

2. Ask for the time, date and a quotation of the specific statement that is considered to be a lie. (Quotation provides the exact statement and not just an interpretation of that statement)

3. Require documentation, via hyperlink if possible, (outside sources are more reliable) to provide support that would demonstrate such as a lie.

4. Ignore petty challenges. No one considers you to be a liar for responding to a negative comment after you said that you would not provide additional comment. That was a childish claim that readers with any sense of integrity can easily identify.

5. When someone calls you a liar, but fails to provide proof, consider it a victory. Most readers will read your previous commentary more than once, looking for the lie. They may not respond out of fear of retribution, but they will likely absorb the information that you provided and come to their own conclusion.

6. Never respond to a caustic assault. Foul language is best ignored. Don't bring yourself to that level. If you don't respond, they will likely go away. I have read the "Gone Mild" policy on deleting commentary. Intelligent debate does not require foul or abusive language. Restriction of such would probably induce candor. How you respond is a moral choice. As Teddy Roosevelt said; “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society”.

7. Always remember: A blog owner has an agenda. They want to influence the readers. There is nothing wrong with that, but failure to acknowledge it when reading or commenting could have poor results.

8. Avoid using group identifiers. Today the words Democrat, Republican, liberal and conservative are as prejudicial as terms like “the blacks”, “the Jews” or “the gays”. Your fishing buddy, cycling partner, or even just a friendly neighbor, may have opposing political views, but that doesn’t make them any less of a person, or less deserving of your respect. Opposing viewpoints should serve to strengthen your position. The media may not report it, but some Republicans voted for John Kerry in the last election, and some Democrats voted for George Bush. When George W. or the Bush Administration does something that most of this country does not agree with, it only servers to demonstrate a flawed perception of reality to make a claim that “the Republicans” as a whole performed the act. Remember, most things that affect our everyday lives do not involve politics. Why make them the largest factor that influences how you judge your neighbors?

12/06/2007 10:37 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

*sigh* ok, Dan.

what you said, your quote (that I cited) was that Kander was more capable/qualified for office than Amy, one of the reasons being that she did not have a website.

There, have I restated correctly?

12/06/2007 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is interesting.

I obvioulsy need to be more oprecise here.

I characteruized it as "incompetent" and you contend you characterized it as "less competent".

I think you're correct on that Dan.

12/06/2007 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Pissant Pedant said...

I won't speak for Dan, but I think you got it right there Mainstream, or at least pretty close. First, you lied and said Dan called her incompetent for public office. That's a serious charge, given some of the nincompoops in public office.

Now you're not making such an inflammatory accusation.

Personally, I'd mention that someone from her campaign had promised her site would be up, but maybe that's pedantic.

12/06/2007 12:14 PM  
Blogger sophia said...

It is commonplace to try to make many hypothetical questions more endearing by attempting to establish some sort of relation to a loved one. If the topic was cuts in Medicare, and the question posed was - What if it was your mother who couldn't pay for her medication due to these cuts? I would find the wording as an attempt to find out how the person would react as if it did have a direct affect on them.


Understood and agreed. The larger point I was more hinting than getting at is probably several different but connected points, my thoughts on which, properly organized, would be an essay not a blog comment. But for the sake of properly organizing these thoughts in the future, I'll take a scatter shot approach to explaining myself here.

1. Considering how you would feel about a policy or law if it directly applied to you should generally be part of how you evaluate policies and laws.

2. In my experience, personalized hypotheticals are most effective in shaping a person's opinion when the hypothetical is encountered soon after the policy is first considered. Attempting to change someone's firmly held opinion on something with the most tragically personalized hypo usually only results in disassociative rationalizations of why all that pain and suffering is ok in the larger scheme of things. That's why in my original comment I said these hypos rarely move the conversation constructively.

3. Personalized hypos dealing with crime can inhibit the development of rational policy if your emotional response (as the hypothetical victim) is given too much weight in the analysis. I don't have to imagine being murdered, or having a loved one murdered, to understand that murder is a bad thing. I've been rolling this one around in my mind for nearly 20 years, ever since Dukakis was asked the Kitty question. Roughly speaking, good policy doesn't come from a place of anger and loss, and overpersonalizing your approach to criminal justice loses track of the fact that crimes are offenses against the community -- civil claims redress individual grievances, criminal charges redress communal grievances.

4. Losing track of the notion of community and having only a personal response to policy or laws (basically, not caring if it doesn't directly apply to you) contributes to attitudes that warrantless spying on citizens and torture are a-ok. I'm not arguing that personalized hypos cause torture, just noting different things I see in play when I consider the public discourse.

Ok, that was wildly off topic. Please forgive my self-indulgence.

12/06/2007 1:16 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

No, we're splitting hairs.

I understand the distinction, and but it's lost on 99% of people.

There are two different types of definitions for the word incompetent.

The legal definition is : “being unable or legally unqualified to perform specified acts or to be held legally responsible for such acts.”

Under that definition incompetent is incorrect, and I was wrong.

However, the non-legal definition, and coloquial uses according to the American Heritage Dictionary, are along the lines of “Inadequate for or unsuited to a particular purpose or application.”

The Unabridged dictionary gives this example: “His incompetent acting ruined the play.”

This was the context I was clearly, I'm not a lawyer.

But again, we're splitting hairs.

12/06/2007 1:20 PM  
Blogger sophia said...

Intelligent debate does not require foul or abusive language.

A few words in defense of the f-bomb. Intelligent debate does not require dirty words, nor does it necessarily exclude it. It's wise to refrain from using obscenities if your audience is broad or unknown, as people frequently take offense. But using obscenities does not actually detract from the reasoning of your argument, as much as people pretend otherwise.

12/06/2007 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well stated, Sophia. And sometimes, it's fucking hilarious.

12/06/2007 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Pissant Pedant said...

No, Mainstream, we're not splitting hairs. There's a huge difference between saying someone is less competent than someone else and saying that someone is incompetent for public office, even under your definition.

There are varying levels of competence. Kander IS more competent at campaigning than Coffman, but that does not mean that Coffman is incompetent. Since you like analogies, let's change campaigning to swimming. Let's assume that Kander is a better swimmer, but they are both able to swim. It would be fair to say Kander is more competent at swimming than Coffman, but it would not be fair to say that Coffman is incompetent at swimming.

12/06/2007 1:50 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Know what's funny about this post. The original post was pure unadulterated bullshit and meant to be so. The comments are also unadulterated bullshit, but meant to be serious.


12/06/2007 2:16 PM  
Anonymous the professor said...


I concur with your 1:16 PM post. I do agree that personalizing any subject via hypothetical analysis can limit the scope when creating law or public policy, and is why creating law is not a simple endeavor.

I do not agree with your 1:33 PM post.

Intelligent debate does not require dirty words, nor does it necessarily exclude it.

Depending on the forum, it may be exclusionary. The f-bomb is usually dropped out of frustration. The frustration may be a response to a less-than-perceptive audience or out of the lack of one's ability to adequately express his or her self.

Either way, while remaining in line with current posts, it demonstrates incompetence. The use of such language, especially in a public venue, demonstrates lack of respect, not only for the person who you are addressing, but for yourself and the other readers. Anonymity promotes this activity, much like a prank phone call did before caller-id.

My associates and I may use these words in jest, but never as a response to the ideas of another. It has been my experience that the more respect you exhibit towards another, the more respect you will receive.

When people are disrespectful, most will attribute that characteristic to be a reflection of the way they were raised. I have so much respect for those who raised me, and in my ability to communicate with others, that I rarely find a need for the f-bomb.

By my observation, the most frequent use of the f-bomb on blogs, is by those who are anonymous. Effectively stating; "I don't really exist, therefore, I can say whatever I want without fear of personal consequence."

My opinions are just that. They are heartfelt and, at times, a little too idealistic. They may not transform your opinion, but I am conscious of the fact that you took some of your time to read them. For that I am humbled and grateful.

12/06/2007 2:48 PM  
Anonymous AAI SYS ADMIN said...


Are you ready for a real laugh?

You are the only human participating in a demonstration of antagonistic artificial intelligence. (AAI)

Without your input, the demonstration would have been considered a failure.

A programming malfunction resulted in off-topic data being transmitted to the public domain.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

(Comment made in jest. Not intended to be sarcastic or demeaning)

12/06/2007 3:05 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Pissant - I'll grant you that point. So take that as me saying "you're right".

However, I think you should recognize that every day people call other people incompetent, at work, in sports, you name it.

Daily use and casual accusations of incompetence rarely have any serious implications, unless it's in a legal context or when the source making the accusations in a highly-recognized authority figure.

So while I understand that, others - including me, don't associate that hihg a level of gravity with the accusation.

As with all accusations, people perceive them differently, and I understand and respect your concern on this issue.

12/06/2007 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Aleks said...

Dan, what comment from SS do you support? He/She is the perfect example of all that is wrong here.

12/07/2007 3:38 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Fair point, Aleks, and I agree. I was trying to be funny, and agree with both Mainstream and SSide when they were knocking each other. SSide had said "mainstream you think you are so smart but you are a cretin." That might be a little harsh, but it was fun to see my two least favorite commenters bashing each other.

12/07/2007 4:36 PM  

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