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Re: “Nancy MacLean, Author of "Democracy In Chains," Will Be At UA Sept. 24

Is The Washington Post a site with strong libertarian / conservative connections, David?

Did you read Jonathan Adler's summary of the controversy there? The link was provided for you above. Did you analyze the affiliations and institutional homes of the people listed IN THAT ARTICLE weighing in on the con side? Here is that link again, for your convenience:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/06/28/does-democracy-in-chains-paint-an-accurate-picture-of-james-buchanan/?utm_term=.fe1e9d2e3e32

If not, your "response" is not a response. You don't win by selecting the weakest, most Libertarian-affiliated part of the case against MacLean and ignoring the stronger parts.

What you find when you consider the "con" arguments fairly and comprehensively is that it is not just Libertarians or pro-business interests taking issue with MacLean's technique. The use to which quotations are put, when they are taken out of context to support an "argument" that cannot properly find its basis in the material being cited, is a serious, confidence-undermining problem when we are considering the validity of a piece of history. So is the author not having any grounding to speak of in the field (economics) which constitutes the professional occupation of the primary subject (James Buchanan) of her book.

I don't have much time available to provide another "con" to your "pro" here, but I will leave you in this thread with a couple of observations.

1. When you look at checklists of propaganda techniques (have you studied them? I'm guessing you have) you see that many of the methods researchers have identified are being used regularly in the pieces you write in this blog. But what distinguishes illegitimate propaganda from legitimate persuasion, in the opinion of some researchers, is not the techniques used, some of which are used in more valid forms of argument, but whether the goal sought (e.g. "vote a straight Democratic ticket!") could be argued to serve the best interests of the audience as well as the interests of the originator of the propaganda. When honest and thorough analysis of the performance of Democrats in office, or of the actual functioning of the institutions that will benefit if Democrat-sponsored policy is implemented (e.g., TUSD), is entirely absent from the copious blog-product of an author pushing "get rid of vouchers! and / or vote for my friends Garcia, and Foster, and Juarez" etc., the verbiage promoting that agenda cannot be anything but propaganda, because no legitimate evidence that following that advice will have a tangible benefit for the audience has been provided.

2. The legitimacy of the message is even more dubious when, not only is it missing concrete evidence of what the politicians promoted have accomplished, it is constructed of recommendations for the consumption of faulty products manufactured with shoddy methods, like MacLean's.

"You will smile here at the consistency of those democratists, who, when they are not on their guard, treat the humbler part of the community with the greatest contempt, whilst, at the same time, they pretend to make them the depositories of all power." Edmund Burke

To recommend a talk like this without briefing your readership on the controversy surrounding the author looks to me like treating them with paternalistic contempt. Give them the info, and let them decide for themselves whether the criticisms are as easily dismissible as you conveniently (for your political purposes) decide that they are.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Give relevant info and let people decide for themselves. on 09/23/2018 at 10:43 AM

Re: “Tucson Salvage

I think Brian Smith or anybody who chooses to make something public should research (all) of the *facts* before he/they publishes a story. But I do understand that for *some* people it's much easier to go through life believing lies, instead of looking in the mirror & facing the truth about everything.

Posted by Wanda on 09/23/2018 at 10:17 AM

Re: “Tucson Salvage

Life will be better for all of them if there are no more children. With all of their plans and goals I hope they include birth control. That way, the children they have will each have a better opportunity for a comfortable and successful life.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kathleen on 09/23/2018 at 1:24 AM

Re: “Hell Yes on Prop 463!

Charles Smith - no contractor would bid with a warranty requirement like that. If they did there would be so many contingencies and exceptions as to make the contractor blameless.

AVL- I realize you are super proud of your math skills. The issue is that failed roads receive a different treatment than poor. Which means that the total number of roads that can be treated by the bond is less than the 70% of poor/failed. Compare that number versus the 560 miles and you will find that a good portion of the failed roads will be fixed (plus you will reduce the number of poor/failed roads overall-that's how math works). The reason you will need another bond is to pave all the roads that failed while you were paving the currently failed roads. Regardless of where the money comes from, you cannot fix everything all at once.

Libertarian - ask yourself why we have a republic and not a true democracy and that is the same reason you don't let the people decide what roads get fixed. Hopefully an objective method will be used and there will be a minimum of political direction-because that is the whole problem.

12 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by The Duderino on 09/22/2018 at 7:23 PM

Re: “Hell Yes on Prop 463!

Wow! 47 "dislikes" when I posted the link to the actual proposition and Huckelberry's memo so people could see for themselves that 1) there will be another bond vote in 5 years; 2) there will be another $1.5 million needed for maintenance; and 3) taxes will, in fact, go up as projected valuations increase. So: did you read the proposition and you dislike it? Or do you dislike that I made it available so people could think for themselves?

0 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by AVL on 09/22/2018 at 5:48 PM

Re: “Nancy MacLean, Author of "Democracy In Chains," Will Be At UA Sept. 24

Before I read MacLean's book, I googled the title so I could look at some reviews and analysis. I didn't want to read a book that simply rehashed ideas I had already read. I found links to the same criticisms tctw cited above. I noticed nearly all the reviews were on sites with strong libertarian/conservative connections. I have rarely seen so many people work so hard to debunk a book as I saw in this case. I noticed they were written between June 25 and July 10, 2017 -- a flurry of defensive reactions to the book beginning a few weeks after the book was published, which makes the writers seem rather frantic. "Quick, we need to debunk this book right now!"

My reaction was, "The libertarian doth protest too much, methinks." Any book that aroused that level of defensiveness, any book they spent so much effort writing against, must have struck a nerve, meaning it very likely had something important to say. After reading reviews elsewhere which were favorable and maintained that MacLean covered new ground in the book, I decided it was probably worth reading. It was.

I read and scanned my way through the links tctw cites. They tend to be intelligent and knowledgeable, but they often try to use specific problems they find in MacLean's knowledge or her use of certain quotations to deflate the entire book rather than refuting her basis thesis concerning the people she wrote about and the movement they were part of.

I'm not a scholar, I can't give MacLean's book an academic's seal of approval. But from what I have read elsewhere on the subject and from the overall logical thread running through the book, my sense is that it is an accurate depiction of the topic she covers.

13 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by David Safier on 09/22/2018 at 3:55 PM

Re: “Hell Yes on Prop 463!

What's really "tearing down this place we call home" is the consumption of fossil fuels. I would vote yes on a proposition to fund more electric streetcars (especially on Broadway and Speedway), all-electric buses, solar nev's and zev's and charging stations for them, more bicycle lanes and making the grid completely solar-powered. It is the 21st century and we are losing our life-support system, yet we are still cruising around in cars powered with 19th century fuels. I'll ride with the mass transit.

22 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Barbara Kausen on 09/22/2018 at 2:19 PM

Re: “Hell Yes on Prop 463!

Complete sophistry!

We have had no less than 3 "temporary" sales tax increases since 2008. We were told the first one was temporary only to find out it was permanent. The city and county tell us its temporary to assuage voter to support the sales tax increase.

Tucson has a history of lying to the voters when it comes to road repairs. They repeatedly over the last 30 years have used road funds for their pet projects which have nothing to do with roads.

In one city election some 20+ years ago, the whole entire city council was replaced because of the bait and switch lies. Voters have had enough then as we do now.

I have often wondered why, despite the massive increases in taxes we still have the worst roads ever. I have been looking for financial data from other comparable municipalities as to their use of road repair funds as I suspect there is massive fraud and corruption, and perhaps outright theft of the funds here locally.

There are many schemes known to do this. One way would be to grossly inflate the repair bills only to receive back door payoffs from the contractors for the contracts.

Our roads have been an ongoing problem for decades. I have had comments from out of town visitors why our roads are such a mess. Phoenix by contrast, has excellent roads which are routinely maintained.

Although not a part of this discussion but related, Tucson has been consistently controlled by the Dems for a very long time. Pima County has a national reputation for massive voter and election fraud. The county outright rejected a ruling from the State Supreme Court to have our elections forensically examined and nothing has been done since.

1 like, 11 dislikes
Posted by Sovereign Individual on 09/22/2018 at 10:57 AM

Re: “Hell Yes on Prop 463!

Yes, fix the existing roads, but as long as we support urban sprawl, and car-scaled infrastructure for it, we will build more roads than we can maintain. It's unsustainable. Look at all the new developments south of I-10 and out in Vail. Massive, expensive infrastructure extends hundreds of miles with no tax base to pay for its maintenance.

12 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by bslap on 09/22/2018 at 9:33 AM

Re: “Nancy MacLean, Author of "Democracy In Chains," Will Be At UA Sept. 24

You are a fucking terrible liar. You are Ted Dancing. You know it and I know it. I'm sure that others, including Betts and Safier, know it as well. Your disguise is paper thin. Work harder on your trolling skills, because if anyone needs to, it's you.

47 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Stretch and her multiple personalities. on 09/22/2018 at 7:58 AM

Re: “Nancy MacLean, Author of "Democracy In Chains," Will Be At UA Sept. 24

Ha ha. Nope. On this one there are multiple posters. But thats a clever trolling technique, to assert that all the comments that disagree with Safier are originating from one person. The world is actually full of people who see through this type of politicized BS, but only a few of them bother to comment here: four different individuals by my count on this thread.

6 likes, 55 dislikes
Posted by Let people decide for themselves. on 09/22/2018 at 7:32 AM

Re: “Nancy MacLean, Author of "Democracy In Chains," Will Be At UA Sept. 24

Wow Stretch, looks as if David Safier had your number when he accused you of being dishonest. The fact that you're practicing that "weird, deceptive form of trolling and sock puppetry" in this thread by responding to yourself as Ted Dancing is all the proof that is necessary. Hopefully, for your sake, it's just you being a pathetic troll and not you needing some serious help with balancing multiple personalities. If it's the latter, seek professional help immediately.

51 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Stretch and her multiple personalities. on 09/22/2018 at 4:25 AM

Re: “Nancy MacLean, Author of "Democracy In Chains," Will Be At UA Sept. 24

Betts Putnam-Hidalgo wrote: "Give relevant info..."

Umm, look at the posts before yours. There are plenty of links that show that Nancy Maclean does not really care about the truth.

Here is the kill shot:

"MacLean has, by her own admission, very little knowledge of economics....In the most generous reading, she is misunderstanding arguments and chopping up quotes because she simply doesnt understand what Buchanan and his collaborators are up to. In the least generous reading, she has a theory and shes going to cut up the evidence to fit that theory."

http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2017/…

Here is some more relevant info for your enjoyment:

http://www.econlib.org/archives/2017/06/na…

https://medium.com/@russroberts/nancy-macl…

https://cafehayek.com/2017/06/russ-roberts…

http://www.econlib.org/archives/2017/06/na…

http://philmagness.com/?p=2074

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh…

https://www.cato.org/blog/another-misleadi…

http://blog.skepticallibertarian.com/2017/…

https://mises.org/wire/maclean-james-bucha…

https://fee.org/articles/this-confused-con…

4 likes, 70 dislikes
Posted by tctw on 09/21/2018 at 9:30 PM

Re: “Nancy MacLean, Author of "Democracy In Chains," Will Be At UA Sept. 24

More questions, and an answer wrote: "Gee, I wonder why."

Because David Safier is a partisan hack and not really concerned about the truth.

8 likes, 71 dislikes
Posted by tctw on 09/21/2018 at 8:09 PM

Re: “Nancy MacLean, Author of "Democracy In Chains," Will Be At UA Sept. 24

"into the context of a larger, sustained effort by billionaires, academics and political operatives to make fundamental changes to our economic and governmental systems. "

She means people like George Soros, Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Pierre Omidyar and Jonathan Soros?

4 likes, 71 dislikes
Posted by tctw on 09/21/2018 at 8:07 PM

Re: “Tucson Salvage

I am ashamed to have ever met such a person. It will take quite some meditation to remove the filth and awful thoughts that are burned into my mind from even simply hanging around this drug-addicted individual. She is spinning so FAST, she thinks she's doing something with dead people in the dumpsters she's diving in; something to do with their possessions and their past lives. Regardless of what your belief in the afterlife is, if you believe this is potentially a biased review, take a look at the photos in this article and then stop by and see the skeleton before you...... What a shame.

Posted by Kevin Collins on 09/21/2018 at 7:12 PM

Re: “Zona Politics: Talking Congressional and Legislative Races with Journalists Dylan Smith and Hank Stephenson

9 candidates ran for TUSD Governing Board in Nov. 2014: Adelita Grijalva, Michael Hicks, Jen Darland, Don Cotton, Debe Campos-Fleenor, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo, Rene Bernal, Miguel Cuevas, Francis Saitta (in order of the votes they received). And only 5 candidates for these same 2 seats this November.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Carol on 09/21/2018 at 5:43 PM

Re: “Nancy MacLean, Author of "Democracy In Chains," Will Be At UA Sept. 24

Betts, the problem is not that you choose to take a point of view. You are entitled to that and I will never dispute such a right to anyone. In fact, I do sympathize with the position of being "unapologetically against the idea of destroying democracy". The problem is that MacLean's book is not academically rigorous, is full of misrepresentations misusing quotes from published work, and overstates the weight of the so-called evidence it presents. Academia can be heated up all you want, but not at the expense of intellectual honesty and soundness. One can be a defender of democracy and see argumentative flaws at the same time, right?

12 likes, 71 dislikes
Posted by As I said, need to read more you guys! on 09/21/2018 at 4:07 PM

Re: “Nancy MacLean, Author of "Democracy In Chains," Will Be At UA Sept. 24

Sorry Give, but that is not the way they operate. They continue to argue against the 1%ers but continually elevate themselves above the 995. Just like you were told, "don't come here and dispute our opinions." Much like the whole "resist" movement that somehow wants to undo the will of the American public's vote because they don't like the way Donald Trump operates.

I am watching the violent destruction of democracy, free speech and individual rights. And we know who is doing it.

10 likes, 71 dislikes
Posted by Ted Dancing on 09/21/2018 at 3:09 PM

Re: “Nancy MacLean, Author of "Democracy In Chains," Will Be At UA Sept. 24

When people try to influence the electorate, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo, its fair to expect citizens with different perspectives (and sometimes with better information) to respond. This is how democracy works: you and David Safier get to express your opinions and engage in your experiments with persuasion, and other people get to say how the matters discussed look to them. It would seem advisable for both you and David, in promoting your ideas, to keep your cool and make your arguments impersonally. Both of you have lapsed into potshots lately. Make your case and let the best man (or woman) win.

15 likes, 72 dislikes
Posted by Give relevant info and let people decide for themselves. on 09/21/2018 at 3:00 PM

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