Sunday, February 26, 2012

Citing AT

It is not news to say that one of my favorite stops is AmericanThinker.com. I find it to be a wonderful source of conservative thought. My purpose in linking to an AT article, when I do, is generally two-fold.

First, the article articulates a point I wish to make, and why, I ask myself, should I go through the trouble of finding the words to say what is already well said by someone else? Then, all I have to do is add a bit more to further focus the point of offering it at all. After all, time is limited. The downside of doing this is that some of my liberal visitors seem to think it means that I have no thoughts of my own but rather allow AT to tell me what to think. This is the same as when such idiots say "Ditto heads" wait for marching orders from Rush Limbaugh. Pretty stupid.

Secondly, and more often than not, when I do choose to offer a link to an AT article, it is because the author cites other sources, usually gov't sources, to support the point he is trying to make. Unfortunately, most of the lib visitors don't understand how to use reality to form an opinion, so the value of doing this is lost on them.

I recently visited Geoff's blog and one of his extremely intelligent *cough* visitors made a typical condescending remark about AT (and World Net Daily) and AT readers. He and Geoffie had a big laugh because they just crack each other up like crazy. Oh! how silly we conservatives are!

AT isn't the only right-wing trove of treasures I follow. There is Townhall.com, HumanEvents.com, IntellectualConservative.com and many others, not to mention my subscription to National Review. Some of the writers appear in several of these mags and sites. In addition, I also listen to conservative talk radio on occasion, though not as much as I used to due to my job. Great minds think alike.

I don't have any regular lib sites or stations that I visit. As my time is limited, it is far too precious to waste on nonsense, though I read almost all of the links my liberal blog visitors and hosts provide, and I get my laughs that way. I guess the lefties think the way their lefty pundits tell them to think, right? More likely, weak minds think alike as well.

But the point of all this is that condescension I mentioned. I don't quite get it. I mean, I get that they don't like what they hear from the right wing, where truth and facts and logic reside, but to pretend as if it doesn't exist there is so incredibly common place. And that itself wouldn't be so bad if it could be argued in some manner.

Instead, all we get is the derision presented in a manner that suggests the reason for it should be plain to see. In other words, the right-wing pundit is wrong simply because a lefty blogger or blog visitor assumes it. No reason is given. If we on the right are the buffoons they wish we were, one would think such elevated personages would like to prove it somehow. But they don't.

One of the strangest bits is the mere mocking of AT as if it is simply the site of one or two dudes. I don't think any of the lefties realize just how many people contribute to that site. A look at the list of authors in the archive area reveals literally hundreds of contributors. Sure, not all of the contribute with great regularity. Some have their stuff presented quite often. But the hosts draw on the thoughts of many people.

But still, such things don't matter. The lefties will cite pundits of their own and expect that we be swayed as if their pundits have won the day merely by printing their opinions. "See? Glenn Greenwald says...!" and that's all we need to know. So I'll read what they've offered of Greenwald and then check further to see if Greenwald knows what the hell he's talking about.

But it seems the lefties don't have it in them to really discuss the other side like they say they do. One or more might say they once were conservative. Others will say they never were. But none of them will give a conservative opinion piece the time of day. Open-mindedness is only something about which they give lip service. True open-mindedness can't help but offer a counter opinion if an opinion in agreement isn't possible. It's no secret these lefties don't much care for conservative/right-wing opinion. It's a waste to say nothing more than how little they think about it. It's a given. How about some of that deep thinking and nuance we hear so much about instead?

47 comments:

Marshall Art said...

Ben, aka Parklife, aka Parkie, aka troll-boy, aka idiot-boy, tried to post another comment here expressing his belief that my post is an example of me "crying" about something said at Geoff's site. I don't know why, but the troll likes to believe that any post of mine that speaks to the comments of others is "crying". I don't get this. Unless, his comment is an example of him crying about me crying about others? What a loon!

Parklife said...

Its crying b/c you start an argument at one site and continue it on your own. Finish what you start for once in your life. In the end you come off sounding like a coward.

"World Net Daily"

LOL!!!

Marshall.. only you can outdo yourself.

Parklife said...

oh..

ps.. by not publishing my comments and having a summary of what I wrote, makes it read like your more than a bit desperate.

Jim said...

Couple of points...

I usually peruse your links to AT. I went there today. First article was by Pamela Geller. You know, Ms "If I had been there I would have dropped trow" and peed on them myself. The article reached "conclusions" that were not supported by the facts. She has a terrible reputation as a Muslim hater and a Sharia Law fear monger and lives up to that reputation in every way.

Next, I don't have any problem with other points of view or disagreements with policy. There are things about the current administration that I'm not to keen on myself. Contrary to your belief I am not an Obama acolyte nor do I worship him or believe everything he says.

But when an article you link to is basically providing ad hominem attacks on the president, it is difficult to justify paying much attention to the rest of it.

"Obama is arrogant". He is "narcissistic". "Incompetent". "Stupid". "Weak". "Apologizer-in-chief".

These attacks are clearly unsupportable by fact. They are meant to demean and not to persuade. I gather that your purpose for wanting us to read AT is so that we may be persuaded to accept if not agree with your point of view. ad hominem attacks persuade nobody but your own choir.

I read several blogs like this one every day. I also read some well-known "liberal" sites and blogs. These are not necessarily "opinion" sites, but they do have a lot of information, and in fact one is pretty much a news site.

One is talkingpointsmemo.com. This is a news site in that they have a regular staff of reporters. There is no doubt they have a liberal bias, but their reporting is pretty good.

The second is mediamatters.org. Now I know you are going to say that MM is a lying smear-mongering site. That's the reputation they get from people like O'Reilly and Hannity.

But all they really do is post video clips or audio clips of the people and provide links to citations that refute what is said in these posts. Or they will take Fox clips and compare them to the full context of where they came from. And they'll do it Stephanopolous or Matthews or MSM too. But Fox is certainly target rich.

But it seems the lefties don't have it in them to really discuss the other side like they say they do.

I'm having trouble reconciling that statement to the 200-300 comment posts I read on this blog.

Marshall Art said...

Parkie,

I don't "start arguments". I present opposing opinions for consideration in hopes of getting an educated response. I point out flaws in opinions presented by the host in hopes of getting clarification that justifies or corrects what seems to be flawed. If I find a topic grist for my own blog, that's hardly cowardly considering anyone is welcome to comment there. What is cowardly is Geoff's penchant for avoiding discussing the opposing points of view I present at his blog. He and Alan satisfy themselves with mocking me personally (and poorly I might add) rather than dealing with the points I raise. THAT is cowardice. Your own routine posting of comments lacking substance is cowardice as well.

For example,

""World Net Daily"

LOL!!!"


If you weren't a coward, or an idiot (I believe you to be plainly both), you would provide some reasoning or evidential support for your disparaging opinion of WND (which I don't read myself with any regularity).

As to your second comment, I am desperate. I'm desperate to hear what passes for deep thought from you. I am confident I wait in vain as you are apparently no deeper than a damp spot on the sidewalk.

Marshall Art said...

Jim,

I wonder if you truly know the meaning of the word "peruse". I don't mean to be all feodor, as if I have vastly more knowledge than you. I don't mean to be Dan T and make cracks about your relationship with dictionaries. It's just that many use the word in a manner that is 180 degrees opposite its true definition. If you "peruse", you are studying intently, scrutinizing closely and examining thoroughly.

If you are aware of this definition, then your comments make little sense, because to have perused the Geller piece would have led you to links that supported what she was saying. The main link I have in mind leads to a recording of the court proceedings that show the judge in question saying the things the article says he said. The interview with the victim of the attack gives his side of the story. Based on both, her conclusions are sound. I don't believe she means that this case alone provides the main reason to legislate against sharia law in this country, though it seems to suggest that. Geller has provided far more than this to support her opinions.

And to have perused her past articles and interviews is to have learned that she indeed knows whereof she speaks. She has a totally justified reputation as one who exposes islam for what it is. She has close ties to other victims of those who act out sharia in this country, victims who have fled their families for fear of being put to death as an "honor" killing. She is a sharia fear-monger in much the same way as one who would warn against touching fire. And any judge in THIS country who dares to so much as hint at considering sharia or islamic sensibilities over the laws of our land must be impeached, for he is abusing his authority in the worst way.

Next, to what article do your refer in suggesting one does nothing more than do a Parkie and not support the opinion expressed? I know that I have never linked to any such article. Maybe you don't peruse as vigorously as you should. Maybe you are skimming.

I've heard of TalkingPointsMemo, but don't have too much experience with them. MediaMatters has been shown to be less than accurate in their conclusions regardless of how much context you think they are providing. I gave up on them long ago, but will look at links that anyone might provide.

As to the number of comments on a given post, if you cull only the lefty comments, you find too many that don't truly address the topic at hand. Parkie and feo are notorious for trying to change the subject, for example. Posting a comment is not synonymous with discussing the other side or addressing the opposition's point of view.

Jim said...

Well, I've told you I come here to learn things, and you are right-I've misused the word "peruse" and should have said "glance at". No excuse, but I think a lot of people misuse it because that's the context I've usually heard it. Now I know better.

I read some other links about this particular case. It is controversial, no doubt. However, from my reading, the judge used personal knowledge of culture gained from experience to understand the context of the incident and make a judgement about it since there was little hard evidence to support the complaint. The video certainly did not provide any and I can see why it was disallowed. I see no indication that he used "Sharia Law" to decide the case.

And any judge in THIS country who dares to so much as hint at considering sharia or islamic sensibilities over the laws of our land must be impeached

I challenge you to find any case in which this has actually happened, that is, a judge actually overruling US law in favor of Sharia Law or "Islamic sensibilities". Find one, and I'll read it. And I'll agree with you that it should not be let to stand.

Next, to what article do your refer in suggesting one does nothing more than do a Parkie and not support the opinion expressed?

I can't point to a specific article. But I'm pretty sure I have read some that have made the "claims" I've cited. And I'll stand by my position that those characterizations are not supported by facts.

If you have NEVER linked to such an article, then I will acknowledge that.

Regarding Parklife or anybody else posting here, I speak up when I see "lefties" or "liberals" in general characterized by the actions of words of a Parklife.

Marshall Art said...

Not much time here...

I've used the word "peruse" incorrectly as well. No big deal, just seeking clarification.

But the point is supported. Skimming isn't sufficient to render a good judgement of the soundness of any article or opinion piece.

I haven't read anything else about the case, though I've heard reference to it recently. This guy is definitely considering islamic law and "sensibilities" in deciding the case. If he believes there is nothing legally substantive upon which to make a decision, it would have been enough to say so and dismiss the case. But he makes a point to speak of what might happen to the victim in islamic countries, as if the guy protesting such people doesn't already know. He makes a point to speak to how it the religion affects the followers of it, as if that isn't known as well and worse, as if it matters to our own laws. I don't know if wearing a costume alone is enough legally to justify the reaction of the muslim who attacked the victim. I thoroughly doubt it. I haven't seen the video referred to by the victim and disallowed as evidence. I don't see why it couldn't be used. It doesn't have to be regarded as convincing by the judge or jury. But to disallow it seems biased.

As to AT, I don't deny that authors have made such claims. Whether or not you believe their proof is sufficient for you does not mean they did not support those claims. You and other libs give far more rope to Obama on such matters. We on the right are not so forgiving to what plainly seems to be the case being made by the authors.

I don't understand your last point at all. Please restate.

Jim said...

I just listened to the audio of the judge's decision. The case appears to hinge on two things: 1) whether or not the defendant laid hands on the "victim" and 2) what was the intent of the defendant.

As to 1, the judge said that it was a he said/he said situation, one person's word versus another. He further said that there were bicycle officers present who apparently didn't find the situation a big enough deal to intervene.

As to 2, the intent of the defendant makes his culture very relevant. The judge cited state law and said that the burden of proof rested on whether or not the defendant meant to harass, annoy or alarm the "victim" or whether he was trying to negate an offensive situation. The judge found the latter, basing his decision solely on state law, not Sharia.

Therefore, the facts do not support Geller's argument.

Any jurist worth his salt will consider common law, the ten commandments, the code of Hammurabi, or Sharia if it is relevant to the case and lends guidance where statute alone is not enough.

I'd still love to read ANY case where Sharia has "trumped" federal or state law.

Vinny said...

I gave up trying to show you mistakes on your wing nut websites because the only sources of information you accept as reliable are wing nut websites.

Marshall Art said...

Jim,

As to point 1, that is all that is necessary for the judge right there. If what is allowed to be presented leaves no leaning one way or the other, then a dismissal is appropriate and not crap about the defendant's "essence" is necessary. The bike cops are irrelevant if the physical stuff took place before they arrived on the scene, so their testimony is only relevant from that point on.

As to point 2, this is no better than thought policing and hate crimes nonsense. All that matters is that he got physical (assuming that can be proven). The victim's choice of costume is not relevant to the defendant's actions as the mere wearing of a costume does not threaten the defendant in any way. The defendant does not live in a country under sharia law, but in a country with reasonable laws that require some threat before one can legally assault another person. A citizen is not required to consider the possible sensitivities of total strangers, of which there might be very many in any given situation, all of different sensibilities with different levels of tolerance. It is not against the law to be offensive.

Any jurist worthy of the title must only consider the law of his jurisdiction. To consider the Bible, Torah, or koran is to establish religion.

I don't know if there are any straight out cases of a judge ruling by sharia law. But cases like this where sharia is considered or given any thought whatsoever is bad enough. As time is quite limited for me, it may take time to find instances of any level. Nonetheless, as there are cases such as in a Michigan town with a large muslim population, law enforcement has been pressured to act according to the whims of the muslim sensibilities.

And there has been at least one case of a girl trying to flee her family due to their oppressive treatment based on their religion. This situation has strained the line between family business and the girl's health, if not her life. The law is, in this case, seemingly ignoring that islamic codes can be a true threat to the girl's health and welfare.

So, what is being sought is to mandate that sharia cannot be fused, mingled or in any way interfering with the laws of our country, states and/or municipalities. That's a good thing.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

That is total bullshit and you know it. I make no apologies for relying on the right-wing sources I use. But I use them for the fact-based information THEY use to support their positions.

At the same time you make this whiney charge, you have yet to prove that your sources are totally unbiased.

Bias is not an issue for me. The quality of the information is. I do not stand by my sources because they are right-wing. I stand by them because people like you are unable to show how they are wrong. You offer your counter point and pout when I don't swallow it immediately.

Parklife said...

?

Im not sure how I ended up in a conversation between two other people.

Marshall, cite whom ever you like. Just nobody takes you seriously because you direct them into far-right-wing territory. Its just life. Despite your failed attempts at being the slightest bit convincing, you do the same thing over and over. And, shockingly, you get the same result.

"you have yet to prove that your sources are totally unbiased."

Every source is biased Marshall. I hope you realize this. Its the readers job to collect information from multiple sources before coming to a conclusion. In your case, you run to the same type of source and draw the same wing-nut conclusion.

There is the rare occasion that you do stray and read something different than your own preconceived ideas. Its only then you are challenged. But, your right-wing-nut friends have already convinced you that anything slightly liberal is evil. So, you are back at square one.

Im sure you will be back to GSKs site or somewhere else crying about similar issues in the future. Good luck with that.

Marshall Art said...

Maybe you can explain, troll-boy Parkie, just why when I post my comments I am "crying", while when lefties post it is not. This charge is as stupid as you are, which is to be expected.

"Im not sure how I ended up in a conversation between two other people."

Because you are the poster child for the worst of liberal commentary. Thus, you are the obvious example of such.

"Marshall, cite whom ever you like. Just nobody takes you seriously because you direct them into far-right-wing territory."

This comment is actually on point, though you aren't bright enough to know you are helping me make it. To dismiss a link simply because it is to a right-wing source is typical of loons like yourself, while the point being made gets no attention. You fools would dismiss Rush Limbaugh for being a conservative even if he was supporting laws against murder. I don't try to fight your hatefulness of all things right-wing and fundamental (as well as fundamentally true), I just seek to get some thoughtful comment on the point being made. If it is wrong or untrue, prove it. Don't just bitch about who is making it or reject the opinion simply because it comes from a right-wing source.

"Every source is biased Marshall. I hope you realize this."

I don't know if this comment is the consequence of not truly "perusing" the comments of others, or just typical stupidity. But I clearly and plainly said that bias is not an issue for me.

"In your case, you run to the same type of source and draw the same wing-nut conclusion."

I don't run anywhere. But right-wing sites match my already standing conclusions. They don't form them. Such are the result of maturity and common sense, so naturally you can't understand.

"There is the rare occasion that you do stray and read something different than your own preconceived ideas. Its only then you are challenged."

Unfortunately, the left never "challenges" these days, in the sense of giving me something to really consider as a legitimate alternative to what I already know to be true. But I only read their crap when a link is offered in an attempt to support other bad opinions. Why would I waste my precious time perusing lefty material without such cause? It is so devoid of truth, logic and common sense.

"But, your right-wing-nut friends have already convinced you that anything slightly liberal is evil."

Not at all. It's the bad arguments, the cheap rationalizations and the self-serving and selfish lefty positions that convince me of the corruption of the left.

Parklife said...

Looks like you agree with me. If only you could cut down on the insults.

"You fools would dismiss Rush Limbaugh for being a conservative even if he was supporting laws against murder."

Nobody takes takes him seriously for more reasons than him being a conservative. But, I would suggest that moderates and democrats would come to the conclusion that murder is wrong through other sources. Fortunately, the rest of the population does not turn to RL for moral guidance.

Current events make RL a good example. He has decided to make inaccurate comments and compound them with derogatory words. Now, everybody is distancing themselves from him and he looks like a fool.

Hmm. Perhaps you should take notes.

Marshall Art said...

I'm not sure where you're seeing agreement, unless it is simply the point about the existence of bias. Hardly cause for celebration.

"Nobody takes takes him seriously for more reasons than him being a conservative."

You're talking about Rush Limbaugh? The dude with the largest radio audience in America? THAT Rush Limbaugh isn't taken seriously by anyone? Maybe you're right. How effective can my insults be against stupid statements like that?

"But, I would suggest that moderates and democrats would come to the conclusion that murder is wrong through other sources."

Not surprisingly, you've missed the point. But I'll allow for the likelihood that I didn't express myself well enough for you to get it. The point was that you wouldn't regard murder as wrong if Rush said it was. You would not deal with the issue of murder, but would dismiss it outright because a conservative like Rush was the one you heard speak against it. That's the way you guys act when I present anything from a conservative source. It doesn't matter what they are saying (it could be praise for Obama, homosexuality and abortion), but you'd crap on it because the source of the info is conservative.

I, on the other hand, and other conservatives in general, are more than happy to discuss the issue regardless of who brings it up. We discuss the merits of the opinion expressed, not reject it based on who expresses it. THAT'S the point.

"Fortunately, the rest of the population does not turn to RL for moral guidance."

Sadly, but typically, another idiotic sense of the dynamic between Rush and his listeners. No one turns to him for moral guidance. People listen to him because he shares their already convicted sense of morality, although he rarely speaks in such terms. But you wouldn't know because you don't ever listen to him anyway, and likely never have.

"Current events make RL a good example. He has decided to make inaccurate comments and compound them with derogatory words. Now, everybody is distancing themselves from him and he looks like a fool."

What the hell are you talking about? Ya see? Right there was where you should have presented some kind of link or something specific upon which I could look over and consider. And who's "everybody"?

Vinny said...

MA,

So all I would have to do to get you to question the arguments you read on your wingnut websites is to prove that my sources are totally unbiased? Gosh! I should be ashamed of myself for doubting your objectivity. You are clearly a paragon of critical thinking.

Of course I would never be able to prove that my sources are unbiased because the very fact that they disagree with the doofuses you follow proves their bias beyond question in your mind.

I never expected you to swallow anything I said immediately. However, I once had the foolish hope that if I spent considerable time and effort presenting evidence and arguments, you might be able to come up with a better reason for rejecting them than my failure to prove that every source I cited was totally unbiased.

The bullshit clearly predominates on your side my friend.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

How nice of you to totally misstate the situation. Here's how it typically goes:

I post a piece with a link to an article that supplies sources that support the underlying premise of both the article and my piece. You, or any other lefty, reject it solely on the fact that the article is from a right-winger or right-wing site. More directly, in YOUR specific case, you do this with the addition of an opposing point of view and expect me to take your presentation as superior as if it is free of bias itself. That is to say, my source is wrong and biased and yours is correct and unbiased. It's always no-win for me.

I don't much care if your sources are biased or not in either direction or none. But my sources are not wrong in any way due to their leanings if they are wrong at all. Yet, you act as if your sources just can't be wrong apparently because YOU present them more than because the arguments have any merit.

Your Fannie-Mae argument was a case in point. You presented to counter a Randall Hoven article, as I recall, and because your source was apparently in the biz, that was enough for YOU to believe him to be without bias. At the same time, you apparently assume Hoven is without honor and willing to do or say anything to defend right-wing administrations, despite his sources being gov't numbers.

What it came down to was "Oh! Vinny's got a book which has more words and pages than the article I presented, so he wins!" and "Vinny's guy was in the biz and Hoven wasn't so he wins!"

And all the while I was expected to be swayed by what didn't even address the point of the post or the questions your offerings raised. My legitimate questions were viewed as a stubborn unwillingness to be turned by your offering.

As to bias, if you or anyone is going to raise that issue to confront what I present, then you'd damned well better be able to prove there is no bias in any way coloring anything you provide in support of your positions. So that's on you since I don't reject on bias. I assume bias and look only at the position.

While YOU, Vinny, have the distinction of being one of the only (if not THE only) lefty that will discuss the point raised by a conservative pundit or source, you are not commonplace. But you are not beyond tossing that bias card as well.

So to your original question, all you have to do to get me to question my sources is to provide a better argument without talk of bias and without the expectation that my questions constitute a biased rejection on my part. I don't accept right-wing arguments that way. Why would I accept yours?

Vinny said...

What it came down to was "Oh! Vinny's got a book which has more words and pages than the article I presented, so he wins!" and "Vinny's guy was in the biz and Hoven wasn't so he wins!"

The sad thing is that this statement captures the sum total of your understanding of the issues.

You claim not to care about bias, but that’s all you ever talk about because your entire worldview boils down to “Conservatives good, liberals bad.”

I didn’t cite the guy I cited just because he was in “the biz.” I cited him because he has demonstrated to me over time that he works hard not to let his biases get in the way because making good investment decisions depends upon getting the facts right. There are several other business writers who also have this same attitude (some of whom have decidedly conservative views on many issues), but I cited him because I thought that his writing was the most accessible.

Of course one of the first things you said after looking at his stuff was that you couldn’t figure out whether he was a Republican or a Democrat. You said nothing about his logic or reasoning or the data he cited. Despite your claim not to care about biases, that is in fact all you cared about.

I didn’t assume that Hoven that was willing to do or say anything to defend right-wing administrations; I demonstrated it. Hoven made a claim about the effect of the Bush tax cuts on revenues, but he didn’t compare revenues before the tax cuts to revenues after the tax cuts, which would have shown a big drop. He only showed how revenues gradually increased after the big drop. That’s like looking at a patient whose health improves in the hospital while ignoring the car accident that put him there in the first place. The fact that the data came from the government doesn’t make his use of it any less manipulative or deceitful.

But of course you never dealt with the substance of my criticism of Hoven just as you never dealt with the substance of any of the arguments I made. You simply pretended that I had done nothing more than accuse your guys of bias and you used that as an excuse to ignore all my sources and arguments. You continue to do that now.

For me the issue is not a person’s biases, but whether he analyzes the data in a way that minimizes the effects of those biases or he distorts the data to reinforce his biases. There are both kinds of people on both sides of the aisle.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

You continue to misrepresent the facts.

"You claim not to care about bias, but that’s all you ever talk about because your entire worldview boils down to “Conservatives good, liberals bad.”

Hardly. But the fact that most of the ills from which our culture currently suffers are the result of liberal policy and ideology is not a matter of bias, but of reality. So it isn't so much "conservatives good", but conservative philosophy vs liberal philosophy.

"I cited him because he has demonstrated to me over time that he works hard not to let his biases get in the way..."

Exactly. And the clear implication is that people like Hoven do NOT work hard to prevent their biases from getting in the way. You assume their work flows from their biases. I believe that, like myself, their biases are formed by observing reality.

"
Of course one of the first things you said after looking at his stuff was that you couldn’t figure out whether he was a Republican or a Democrat. You said nothing about his logic or reasoning or the data he cited. Despite your claim not to care about biases, that is in fact all you cared about."


Not the least bit true. I haven't been able to locate the post wherein this discussion originally took place, but as I recall it, wondering about his leanings was merely in response to your own concerns about Hoven, to which you make allusions ni the following paragraph.

"I didn’t assume that Hoven that was willing to do or say anything to defend right-wing administrations; I demonstrated it."

The assumption clearly came first or no need to try to demonstrate it would have arisen. AND, you didn't demonstrate it at all, but merely sought to insert it by assuming he was dodging what you wanted to be relevant to his premise.

I clearly responded to your charge about the drop in revenues. To reiterate, it makes sense to assume a drop immediately after cuts as the positive effects of the cuts can't possibly be immediate, but must take what time is necessary for the marketplace to react. Such reaction is never immediate as simply cutting taxes won't result in instantaneous business start ups or expansions. What's more, the previous years to the Bush admin were shown to be anomolies in the level of revenues. In other words, to expect immediate uplift in revenues after the implementation of a tax cut is incredibly naive, as the initial effect has to be a drop. (To take half the money first and then take only 25% will be drop initially until the positive benefits of the people being able to keep more of their money takes root)

Therein, what you DID show was a willingness on YOUR part to take things to a wacky extreme to prove that Hoven was biased. And as Hoven's premise was to defend against the charge that Bush's tax cuts were harmful, his piece demonstrated the falsehood of that charge. YOU changed the parameters to make your charge true.

Thus, I did indeed address the substance of your criticisms, as I will continue to do so and as I have always done.

"For me the issue is not a person’s biases, but whether he analyzes the data in a way that minimizes the effects of those biases or he distorts the data to reinforce his biases. There are both kinds of people on both sides of the aisle."

I wouldn't disagree with this, but I don't refer to such people so it is irrelevant. But apparently, because I don't agree with your analyses of my sources, you prefer to accuse me of being biased and only relying on biased pieces. You're trying to make it appear that I concern myself only with the political leanings of your sources and that is most definitely not the case, nor has it ever been. To pretend that I don't address the substance is entirely untrue.

Vinny said...

Exactly. And the clear implication is that people like Hoven do NOT work hard to prevent their biases from getting in the way. You assume their work flows from their biases. I believe that, like myself, their biases are formed by observing reality.

In other words, if I want to prove to you that your guy is wrong (as you have repeatedly invited me to do), I must avoid the clear implication that I actually think your guy is wrong, because that is contrary to your belief that he is right. Once it is clear that I think your guy is wrong, every source I cite can be disregarded because the very fact that I tried to find the most objective source I could to show that your guy was wrong somehow proves to you that I am only assuming that your guy is biased due to my own biases. So of course I can never prove to you that my sources are unbiased since the mere attempt to do so is proof that they are.

I think I’ll stay on this side of the looking glass, thank you.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

No. In other words, how about you simply address the point being made by the conservative without regard to his conservatism, as if his conservatism somehow diminishes the integrity of his opinion and the point he is trying to make. OR, when doing so, don't expect that YOUR sources must be regarded as above being swayed by their own biases.

When I can present a source without being accused of being a sheep, without being accused of being unable to form my own opinions without "being told what to think" by conservatives who supposedly are not concerned with truth but rather with forcing a philosophy that is not based on reality, then we will be getting somewhere. When I can question your counterpoints without being accused of being stubborn and unreasonable, when in reality you haven't made your case as evidenced by the remaining questions your counterpoint raises, then we'll be getting somewhere. But that's not how you play the game. I'm expected to be shut down and turned around merely by your presentation of opposing points of view, regardless of whether or not I find it sound. I'm expected to dismiss the premise of an opinion in favor of an altered premise you find more favorable to your position, like the Hoven incident.

Well, Vinny. If you can't engage on equal terms, then perhaps you should bolt like other lefties have done. I'm not looking to deal with another person who can't handle the pressure of scrutiny.

So, I will continue to use the sources I do because I find them to be credible and examples of good logic and reason. If you want to assume otherwise because of their conservatism, don't waste my time. But if you do this even with a countering opinion, then you damn well better be able to prove YOURS is unbiased.

Vinny said...

In other words, how about you simply address the point being made by the conservative without regard to his conservatism, as if his conservatism somehow diminishes the integrity of his opinion and the point he is trying to make. OR, when doing so, don't expect that YOUR sources must be regarded as above being swayed by their own biases.

Earlier you said the problem was that I had failed to prove that my sources are totally unbiased. Now you are telling me that I should never expect my sources to be regarded as unbiased. Ergo, it is impossible to for me to produce any evidence that would ever cause you to doubt your position.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

You either need to pay closer attention or you are purposely trying to muddy the situation.

"Earlier you said the problem was that I had failed to prove that my sources are totally unbiased."

...after dismissing MY source as biased. You know, as if he was willing to do anything to merely defend a conservative rather than what he was doing, which was to present facts in support of his premise.

So let's try it again: If you wish to denigrate my source as being motivated purely by bias, then you must prove no bias exists in your source. My major point here is to ignore bias altogether (as we can agree bias is almost a given) and focus only on the point or argument being made or the facts presented. At the very least, any mention of the sources political/religious leanings must be secondary to the issue being discussed.

Vinny said...

I attempted to site a source that I have found to be reliable in order to show that your position was wrong. You interpreted my mere attempt to do this as evidence that I was denigrating your sources as biased. You said is was the "clear implication." Therefore, it is impossible for me to ever show that your position is wrong because any attempt to do so will trigger your demand that anyone I cite be proven totally unbiased.

Marshall Art said...

Your memory is inaccurate. It was you who moved toward denigrating my source based on issues of bias which led to my demand that you prove yours wasn't. I don't care about bias as I've said and assume it exists to some extent regardless of one's attempt to avoid it.

But bias won't diminish the truth of a fact or reality.

At the same time, you didn't prove anything but demanded I accept your offering as a better one, saying my refusal was based on bias. My refusal was based on the weakness of your argument.

But as this is all without finding the original debate by which confirmation would be easier, I will not entertain any further references to that debate without a link to it, which I cannot find. Simply know that a charge of bias by you against my sources must come with proof of no bias by yours. Otherwise, simply deal with the point or premise put forth by my source without regard to his/her political/religious leanings.

Is this too hard to understand? Or must you insist that your memory of events is more accurate than mine? If so, feel free to do so and I'll simply concede the point so as to move on from this pointless exercise.

Vinny said...

It's not a matter of having to remember anything. I'm going by what you wrote in this comment thread. You said that the clear implication of me citing someone that I had found reliable in the past was that I was denigrating your guy as biased. So the mere fact that I cited someone who disagreed with your position was enough for you to conclude that I was denigrating your sources.

Explain to me how it is ever going to be possible to show you where you are wrong if the mere fact that someone tries to cite a source that doesn't agree with yours is itself proof of an unfair attack.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

I don't have the time right now to find where you've failed to understand my meaning or where I've failed to express it properly.

But as to the second part, I've explained it at least twice in the last several comments. Focus on the position presented by my source and not the leanings of the source. I'll add to this that your argument has to be stronger than the one I present and has to be convincing on its own merits, so that if I'm not convinced, you don't give me crap about being too biased to give in. I'm am totally open to good arguments. The problem lies mostly in the reaction of people like you when your arguments don't lead to a change in my position. I am not as concerned with being known as a conservative or a liberal as I am with being known as someone who is more often on the correct side of an issue. My sources are, to my mind, more often on that side.

Vinny said...

Oh c'mon. We both know that I kicked your ass five ways to Sunday in the argument about the causes of the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Even if you still think that there is something wrong with my arguments, you cannot think for a minute that you are capable of identifying those errors.

Marshall Art said...

"We both know that I kicked your ass five ways to Sunday in the argument about the causes of the sub-prime mortgage crisis."

I'm sure you'd like to think so. But you never came up with an answer to two points:

1. Why would any sane business man WANT to lend money to a bad risk customer? High interest rates? What good are high interest rates if there's no re-payment at all? No lender wants the property because it costs more money to hold and sell. They want to lend money and get repaid with the interest. THAT is their goal. In order to make that work, they want to lend only to those most likely to repay. If they were not forced by federal mandate to lend to bad risk customers, there'd have been no bad loans to bundle and sell.

2. When was the first bad risk loan made and what provoked it if not gov't pressure?

And gov't interference WAS the underlying issue, which you redirected to focus on subprimes alone.

Vinny said...

MA,

I answered those questions repeatedly, but you were apparently incapable of understanding the answers.

A sane business man is perfectly happy to lend money to a bad risk customer if he thinks that he can charge a sufficiently high interest rate and/or he has sufficient security to offset the risk of non-payment. Mafia loan sharks do it. PayDay loan businesses do. Pawn shops do it. There have always been people who are willing to provide credit to high risk borrowers if the terms of the loan are sufficiently favorable to the lender.

If a store has a 50% mark up on its products, it would be foolish only to extend credit to people whose chance of defaulting is 1%. If it extends credit to people whose chance of defaulting is 10%, it will lose money on 1 out of 10 sales, but it will make up for it on the others. Say that a store pays $50 for a product and sells it for $75 and sells on credit to ten customers with a 10% risk of default. The store pays $500 for its inventory and collects $675 from the nine who pay. The store would lose many profitable sales if it only extended credit to the safest borrowers.

By the same token, a sane business man will make a loan to a bad risk customer if he can make more on the ones who do repay than he stands to lose on the ones who don’t.

This is all Finance 101 stuff.


A sane business man will also lend to a bad risk customer if he thinks he can sell the loan to another investor who doesn’t understand how risky the loan is. That is what the securitization process did. It was the ability of the original lender to repackage the risk and pass it along to someone else that caused underwriting standards to fall, not government pressure.

The first bad risk loan was made in the hopes of making a profit.

Jim said...

As someone with a graduate degree in finance and over 36 years in banking, I can say that Vinny is 100% correct. Just about any business has risk and the successful business knows how to mitigate risk and still make money. The first training a person gets on the way to becoming a lender is how to recognize risk, understand it and price loans accordingly. Why do you think credit card rates have such a great range? Rates to individuals are based on their risk. You can make money on the riskiest credits if you price them correctly.

Vinny is right on. And banks were NEVER forced to make bad loans. There were required to make loans in neighborhoods where banks did not normally lend. But the smart banks met those requirements without unusual risk by underwriting them correctly and pricing them based on normal risk/reward standards.

Marshall Art said...

For Vinny AND Jim,

There is a vast difference between managing risk and seeking out high risk business. No "sane" business man seeks out more trouble to earn when there are easier profits aplenty. He must be coerced to do so, either by a lack of easier profits to the extent that dependence upon them would not equate to his business existing, or by gov't force, mandate, pressure or, if you prefer, Jim, requirement, which is the same damned thing.

I say again, no "sane" business man would bother with high risk situations without force. Though some may enjoy or even thrive on challenge, challenge in prying profits from high risk borrowers is not the purpose of being in the lending business.

Vinny uses the example of a store issuing credit. But right there we see a situation where the store would prefer not to do that at all except for the business it would lose if it demanded immediate payment vs. no sale. Keep in mind also that if credit was such a good idea, we wouldn't ever hear of how much money is lost to defaults.

Speaking of defaults, how are those banks enjoying those who walk away from mortgages these days? They ain't making a dime on those high risk borrowers, are they?

You boys confuse how they've been forced to deal with this situation, that is, how to manage it, with a desire to be involved with high risk business at all. The two are distinctly different and few count themselves among the latter, if any.

But Jim helps me make the point in saying that...

"And banks were NEVER forced to make bad loans. There were required to make loans in neighborhoods where banks did not normally lend."

What an incredible contradiction! Never "forced", only "required". And why were they "required"? Because they would not normally loan in neighborhoods were they felt the risk of default was too high. Thanks for the help, Jim.

But what did you "smart" banks do? They made the loans and sold them to someone else to avoid dealing with the risk. They weren't really managing it at all when they did.

All this occurred as a result of the gov't "requiring" them to make loans they wouldn't have freely made without the "requirement".

(Vinny---you might want to "require" that Jim not try to help you.)

Vinny said...

MA,

If a sane banker is forced by the government to make loans that he knows are bad, he is going to make the absolute minimum amount of such loans that is necessary to meet the regulatory requirement. He is not going to go bat shit crazy making as many of the loans as he possibly can.

The notion that the sub-prime mortgage bubble was the result of government coercion rather than lenders misjudging risk does not square with any rational understanding of free market capitalism.

BTW, I am happy to have Jim's help whenever he cares to offer it however little good it will do in getting you to see reason.

Marshall Art said...

There must be reason to see, Vinny.

If bankers are forced at all, then you also help support the notion that force was present in the first place.

But by your own argument, as they were then provided with the means by which to bundle bad loans to sell off elsewhere, the risk to them was removed, and they could go bat-shit crazy if they wanted to, all the while looking like angels to the gov't jackwagons that forced them to make the bad loans in the first place.

If you believe that it was misjudgement of risk, then you'd have to compare the level and frequency of risk misjudgement that took place before things like the Community Reinvestment act altered the manner in which business and risk management was done.

Vinny said...

MA,

The banks were not provided with the means to bundle loans. They came up with it.

Apparently you don’t think that the CRA forced banks to make bad loans. You think that it caused them to forget the difference between a bad loan and a good one. You think that Congress passed the CRA and suddenly all the bankers forgot that being repaid was a good thing.

Happily, I understand Wall Street well enough to know that that’s not so and I understand you well enough to know that trying to explain it to you is a waste of time. There is a reason, but you will never know what it is because no one at the American Thinker is ever going to tell it to you.

Marshall Art said...

"You think that Congress passed the CRA and suddenly all the bankers forgot that being repaid was a good thing."

Not at all. In fact it's a pretty stupid thing for you to say considering nothing I've said implies this. Rather, my position is that Congress passed CRA and suddenly all the bankers had to find a way to continue getting paid in the face of having to lend to those to whom they wouldn't normally lend.

It's clear you think you understand Wall Street well enough. It seems more accurate to say that you abide the leftist belief that Wall St is evil and greedy, and the lefty Democrat politicians are saviors who stand against them and their Republican enablers.

And again, as the point of this post explains and you have just again demonstrated, you dismiss AT as if it was a source with an agenda, rather than a collection of opinion pieces that appear there as well as elsewhere.

And yet again, like most lefties, you are now pretending that you have made the extreme effort of explaining anything to me to be met with resistance based on ideology, rather than merely questions you fail to answer, or aren't capable of answering.

As you accused Hoven of not going back far enough to justify his position about the effect of the Bush tax cuts on revenues, you have not gone back far enough to support your position regarding the initial cause of the financial crisis. To state it again, I maintain that no sane business man would make a loan to a high risk borrower without being forced in some way, and that gov't interference was a main source of that force. YOU believe they were already doing this sort of thing as, what, some routine manner of doing business? This suggests you run in circles of the very evil and greedy people you blame for the crisis. Sanity in business is not defined by engaging in high risk.

Vinny said...

To state it again, I maintain that no sane business man would make a loan to a high risk borrower without being forced in some way, and that gov't interference was a main source of that force.

Then you are a fool.

Marshall Art said...

Ooh! What a clever argument! YOU claim to be a money guy. Are you now insisting that you make wild and risky investments without anything more than a hope that they will pan out?

As I continue to look at explanations and analyses, I continue to come upon a common expression: "loans they wouldn't have normally made", or words to that effect. No where have I seen examples of banks making risky loans as a matter of routine until AFTER gov't pressures came to bear, or until a way of dumping the risk onto someone else became available. If you think that anyone would eagerly lend money to people with a high probability of default, then YOU are the fool. Otherwise, redlining would never have been practiced in any form.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I think this article pretty much sums up everything about American Thinker.

And not in the way Art wants people to think.

Marshall Art said...

Perhaps, Geoffrey, you could stick your neck out and explain how the article sums up everything for you about AT.

From my perspective, it is a justified warning about what the GSUSA is becoming, or might possibly become, as a result of influence by all the people mentioned.

I doubt you would be so smug if instead of leftist women involved in shaping the GSUSA agenda, and the thus the girls under their "leadership", it was women like Michelle Bachman, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin, etc guiding them.

So, what is it that you see in this article that you find so troubling? Perhaps you could spell out just how these people listed therein mesh with and promote the founding principles of the Girl Scouts of America.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Art, you do understand that I read this article. I also read previous articles on the Girl Scouts across the right-wing.

The reason I link to it and cite it as summarizing American Thinker is simple: It is as related to reality as Star Wars, and much less well-written.

There is no attempt or active pursuit of any takeover of the Girl Scouts for ideological or other purposes. There is no indoctrination of Girl Scouts in any particular ideology. If any of the folks you mentioned volunteered with the Girl Scouts, that would be fine with me.

Because the Girl Scouts aren't a political, ideological organization. The entire article is ridiculous, from start to finish, and everywhere in between.

That's why I linked to it. That's why it sums up American Thinker - it's ridiculous, laughable, and only believed by people who WANT to believe such ridiculous, laughable stuff.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

"Art, you do understand that I read this article."

You lots of stuff. So what? Did you get the point this time? Actually, it kinda seems like it for a change. What you have missed is a more blatant "elephant in the room" level of hyperopia. That is, she backs up her stuff making it the reality that you prefer to believe is no truer than Star Wars. Note again the WAGGGS statement and tell me it isn't the result of "progressive" influence. Do so and it will be difficult to determine if you are a liar or an idiot.

Indeed, the author's point is that it shouldn't be difficult to imagine a progressive slide since it's happened in the other places she's mentioned, such as the church and the military. Why should the GSA be any different?

But worse, you simply laugh it off without any intelligent substance to counter it. (Again criticizing the writing as if it is only one person who writes articles for AT, as opposed to literally hundreds, AND as if lib writers are always better at writing. Did she split an infinitive?)

You're free to dismiss right-wing articles, like the smug and pompous putz you are, but that only shows how closed minded you are. You don't respond to the article, you react, like a child, never really listening or absorbing what is said. If you did, and then found it lacking, you'd have a ready retort that isn't so meaningless as "not well written" (schmuck). Just more evidence of your cowardice.

Vinny said...

MA,

I have been successfully trading stocks and options for more than twenty-five years. I don't make "wild" bets. I do make "risky" bets if I judge that the potential reward is high enough to justify the risk.

Mark Twain might have had you in mind when he said “It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.”

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I'm not dismissing it because it's poorly written. I'm dismissing it because it's rooted in the paranoid fantasies of some people who see ideological enemies around every corner.

I'm dismissing it because it's bogus, Art. It's rooted in false premises; nothing but spurious nonsense can possibly flow from any logic applied to them. You don't try to show how an author goes wrong here or there, if the very basis for what that author is saying is untrue.

There. Is. No. Attempt. At. Ideological. Takeover. Of. The. Girl. Scouts. Period. There never has been, never will be. I am under no compulsion to prove that statement precisely because the person who claims otherwise evinces not a single shred of evidence to the contrary.

I am under no further compulsion to answer your ridiculous demand for an explanation for the same reasons. You want to believe the article? Go right ahead. It's obvious there isn't a thing in this or any other Universe that would change your mind. I can't stop that, and don't care to. I offered the article, not for you, but for any reader who is critical of you a piece of evidence that sums up why the American Thinker is a ridiculous piece of nonsense.

Marshall Art said...

Limited time, so I'll address Vinny for now and Geoffrey later.

Vinny,

I'll not attempt pry into your personal business to ascertain how your notion of "successful" has manifested. But MY knowledge of investing does not allow for risk of the type defined by "likely to default". What's more, in investing, as I'm sure you know, risk is lowered by knowledge.

But even more importantly is the apples/oranges nature of risk in investing and risk in lending. At one time, one could only borrow for buying a home by coming up with a big down payment AND proving one's income could handle the monthly. Sure, for the lender there is still risk. The borrower might have stolen or borrowed the down (actually, borrowing from family wasn't uncommon) and inflated his earnings or not be working at all.

But to lend to someone with no down, work an interest, like an adjustable or balloon, while the borrower cannot guarantee his earnings will rise to match...that's riskiness of a kind far different from corn futures.

In addition, risky investments are not, I would wager, the routine for you. Even if your income was based on such investments, to believe it won't bite you in the ass at some point is folly. I would also say that the potential reward alone is NOT the main reason you'd go forward, but the belief that it isn't really all that risky and the potential helps the decision process. Wouldn't that be more accurate?

Hell. Even successful gamblers don't really "gamble" all that much. Successful investors don't, either.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

"I'm not dismissing it because it's poorly written. I'm dismissing it because it's rooted in the paranoid fantasies of some people who see ideological enemies around every corner."

First of all, it's not poorly written to begin with. Just because you struggle to understand what you read, doesn't make it poorly written.

Secondly, what proof do you have that the author of that article is one of those mythical people of whom you speak who sees ideological enemies around every corner. That describes a lot of lefties I know. Pretty much everyone of them, including those who thinks speaking on what constitutes moral behavior is looking to interfere in the personal lives of the immoral. You know. Like those who speak of "fussbudgets" and "busybodies" for instance. Those who speak of "denying access" for refusing to force everyone to offer free contraceptives and abortions.

Thirdly, when someone speaks of people with real and provable links to leftist organizations, with provable leftist proposals and speech, and then presents statements like the WAGGGS statement that is nothing like what could have been imagined for the GSUSA back when it was founded, there's no fantasy about the influence of the progressives. There IS the blind indifference to that influence (by you) or the willful dismissal of that influence (more likely you) or the fact that you are so corrupted by liberal thought that you regard progressive talk as natural and proper (most likely of all).

The author simply points out that the influence already exists and it's not surprising since it has infected other areas, again, like the church and military to name just two.

"There. Is. No. Attempt. At. Ideological. Takeover. Of. The. Girl. Scouts. Period. There never has been, never will be."

Try being more emphatic. Use bold print. It might make you feel better, but it won't change reality. Is there an organized effort to "take over"? I wouldn't make that argument. But that doesn't diminish the fact that progressives look to turn the traditional to whatever makes it more palatable to the progressive. This is natural and is done by absolutely everyone who ever tries to engage on any level with anyone. YOU do it all the time simply by raising your kids. You do it with your blog and whenever you get a chance to speak publicly.

You simply cannot say the article is laughable when any objective observer can look at our culture over the last hundred years and see the change.

I recently heard something expressed that I think is very accurate and speaks to this well. It had to do with "social issues" being important for the conservative voter and candidate. Your very own Alan thinks he's a "Goldwater Republican". Was that back in the day when Barry was trumpeting "marriage equity"? No. No one was. Not even Democrats. For despite the fact that people did all sorts of immoral things, even Democrats didn't support homosexual issues back then. There was little of the type of things for which conservatives today fight to stave off because it wasn't an issue back then.

The progressive/leftist/liberal influence has changed our culture and brought about so many ills as a result, whether by design or simply because good men said nothing for too long, it has happened. You are too corrupted to notice or care.