Narrow Search

Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion

Re: “Claytoon of the Day: Why I Didn't Report

Hi "Coach" --, couple'a dang things.

- Clinton's history has nothing to do with this whatsoever. Kavanaugh is being investigated for attempted rape of someone who has presumably never met Clinton. Sooo, your point?

- Even if they were bff's, one person's sexual behavior never excuses another's.

- Can you honestly not see the difference between a consensual blowjob (albeit with some shady power dynamics) and a violent attempted rape? Because if not, I super hope no one I know accidentally finds herself alone with you.

Posted by hmac on 09/24/2018 at 12:34 PM

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

Everybody has an agenda and preferences. There is that. But in academia, the disputes are about how sound is the evidence presented. Claims should be substantiated with data, models, empirics, and in history, with analytical narratives and good archive work. Same goes for critical reviews of others' research.

So, the way to judge an academic work -and its reviews- is not by looking at the affiliations of those that produce it, but by looking how rigorous they are. So far MacLean has not provided satisfactory scholarly answers to some of the scholarly criticism of her work. From both libertarian and non-libertarian critics. It is that simple. It is way easier to question the objectivity of a review rather than actually taking a look at it and see if the claims are solid and how to respond to them. So far MacLean has chosen the easy path supported by her club of fans. Maybe good enough for a pundit, not for a scholar.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Pundit or scholar? on 09/24/2018 at 12:23 PM

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

I live outside TUSD so I don't have a vote but if I did I can't imagine any circumstances in which I would vote for a fifth term for any candidate unless I saw proof positive that the district was in substantially, verifiably better shape now than it was when that candidate ran for the first time. And when trying to decide which non-incumbents to support I'd be looking to see their grades on the old reliable 'Works Well With Others' scale. Nobody who's just aching fora fight or who has a hair trigger temper ought to get any consideration. And party affiliation is no qualification for service on a school board. Please folks, it should be all about the kids,

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by franklymydears on 09/24/2018 at 11:12 AM

Re: “Claytoon of the Day: Why I Didn't Report

When Bill Clinton finally admitted to doing it, his supporters explained it away as "happening in his personal life." How many of you are that two faced that you would now condemn someone else for the same thing? That is, if any of it is true. Feinstein is covered in lies, and it is becoming evident they are simply delay tactics.

Might I also remind you that as Obama jammed things down our throats, he said, "elections have consequences and we won." The country will turn away from these two faced liars once they deal with their repressed memories.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by Coach on 09/24/2018 at 10:49 AM

Re: “Claytoon of the Day: Why I Didn't Report

"Let's save this info until the democrats pay us for it." Stop the world I want to tell my story...if I can remember it."

3 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Molly P on 09/24/2018 at 9:11 AM

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

Betts Putnam-Hidalgo:

I wrote "experiments with persuasion," not "game of persuasion." The difference is significant. Running a political campaign for elected office is a type of experiment with persuasion. It involves persuading people to vote for you. Working for other people's political campaigns or initiative campaigns is another type of persuasion. It involves persuading people to vote for other people or for initiatives. Running an advocacy organization is another type of persuasion. If the advocacy organization is responsible, it involves persuading people in positions of power to adopt beneficial policy.

Attempting to persuade is not in and of itself bad, but some types of persuasion are rightly labeled propaganda. I don't see anyone in this comment stream accusing you of sponsoring propaganda, though there does seem to be some concern: A) with the validity of MacLean's historical METHODS, and B) with attempts to recruit people to hear her speak that don't disclose the controversy surrounding her METHODS. There is also some concern with David Safier's METHODS vis a vis the actual state of our local education systems, what he chooses to include and exclude from his blogs, and how the politicians and the policies he promotes relate to the state of our local education systems.

(You ask whether I have read MacLean's book. I read reviews pro and con. I found the con reviews persuasive, not because I agreed with the political perspectives of their authors -- in most cases I disagreed with them -- but because I found the critiques of MacLean's METHODS substantive. When you invite busy people to spend time reading that book or listening to its author speak, it would seem reasonable and fair to give them an opportunity to take a look at the controversy and decide for themselves whether it is worth their time to consider arguments that have been shown to be based on documentably flimsy evidence. Doesn't coupling supposedly "democratic" ideas with such "evidence" actually discredit democracy? Is it important to establish ideas on the right foundation and use honest methods in communicating with the electorate, or is it just important to get the "right" ideas across, through methodologically unsound "history" and propaganda? How someone answers those questions seems to me to make the difference between a real "democratist" and a specious one.)

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Genuine democratists don't strategically omit relevant facts. on 09/24/2018 at 8:12 AM

Re: “Together We Win at The Rialto

Thanks. But today is Monday, September 24th.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kenneth Groves on 09/24/2018 at 4:54 AM

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

Well, for those who care to read it, here is what Nancy MacLean says about her critics. Not that anyone can change anyone else's mind with original sources. And just a personal note? I, Betts, who always uses her own name, have absolutely no political power whatsoever, so the post above that somehow links me with a critique of David is absolutely inaccurate in a way surprising to see from that particular commenter. I am not playing any "game of persuasion"...with who? And from who? And has the commenter above with the long list of links gone so far as to a)actually read the book and b) check out how many of those links have ties to the Koch brothers? Honest to God, do you think they are not smart enough to fight an expose like this one? Anyway, here is the citation I promised. I have read the book. Have you? Or have you just read the criticisms and decided that you agree with them? https://www.chronicle.com/article/Nancy-Ma…

14 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 09/23/2018 at 6:59 PM

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

Yup, Adler is a conservative. Pretty clear from his bio and list of accomplishments. But that is not to say that all those he lists who have written "con" perspectives on Democracy in Chains are. (I know, it would take a long time to assess the bios and institutional affiliations of the LONG list of "con" authors Adler provides in the WaPo piece, but I think it is fair to note that that was what was suggested, and you did not do so.)

Also worth noting is that whether the author of a WaPo editorial piece is liberal or conservative, The Washington Post does not tend to publish transparent boosterism for Libertarianism or DARK MONEY. Whatever part of the political spectrum the piece comes from, it won't be without substance.

Bottom line for me is that genuine "democratists" (more than their ideological opponents who do not believe that it is in fact possible for ordinary people to think for themselves and make good decisions) have an obligation to keep their communication practices in line with their political theories. If you believe ordinary people are competent to make governance decisions, you provide them with the whole story, not a doctored part of it with significant info excised. That goes for political blogs as well as candidate forums and comment streams.

Indictments of THE ELITES ring hollow when your own rhetorical strategies presume that it is fine to deal selectively with the historical record to "manage" the electorate and "engineer" (or "manufacture") consent for favored politicians and policies.

4 likes, 72 dislikes
Posted by GENUINE democratists don't strategically omit significant facts. on 09/23/2018 at 6:23 PM

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

The Adler piece is in the Washington Post, as you say, which has a variety of op eds, running the gamut from politically left to politically right. The Volokh Conspiracy, which is said to be the place he contributes in his byline, tends conservative, as does Adler. He's written for a variety of publications on a variety of subjects. I think it's worth noting that his interpretation of Obamacare's use of tax credits helped lead to the judicial decision which dealt a severe blow to the health care law. That's one indication of where he sits on the left-right spectrum.

I mention all this to say, Adler is writing from a similar stance as the others mentioned in the links, even if his piece is in the Washington Post. This is not to say he's incorrect. It's just to say I wasn't cherry picking. As he notes in his op ed, many people reviewed MacLean's book positively, others negatively. I've looked over both views, decided the book was worth reading, and finished it thinking it was very worth reading. It's my sense that it presents an important history of the movement it follows. Others disagree. That's fine.

Time for me to move onto future posts. Feel free to continue commenting, and, if you wish, also feel free to call me a coward or say I proved you were right by backing out of the discussion. That's what often happens when I've said my say in the comments section. It's one of the reasons I generally don't get involved in back-and-forths, as I did in this instance. Anyone who wants to claim victory just has to hang around longer than I decide to hang around, then claim I turned tail and ran.

17 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by David Safier on 09/23/2018 at 2:49 PM

Re: “Tucson Salvage

I love how unexpectedly upbeat this story is. By going back to basics, this family has found true love and happiness, regardless of traditional markers of success or social status. Thank you again, Mr. Smith for bringing another oft-overlooked real people story to life. You set a good example for us all. The magic is there for us to find if we can open our hearts and clear our minds of judgement.

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Magdelena37 on 09/23/2018 at 2:45 PM

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.

6 likes, 72 dislikes
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.

5 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?

3 likes, 13 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.

49 likes, 9 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.

33 likes, 3 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.

2 likes, 13 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.

22 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 09/22/2018 at 9:33 AM

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation