Jim Wilson Letter to the Editor

Jim Wilson wrote this letter to the editor of the Times Call this week.  He makes a couple of points in his letter. First, he calls out Gov Hickenlooper for saying that if each municipality had its own rules to cover fracking, that there would be chaos.  Mr. Wilson points out that other industries with localized regulations exist, yet no chaos has come with those situations.  I think he makes a good point.  I also think Gov Hickenlooper is overstating the “chaos” that would be caused with local regulation.  Companies hire people whose job is solely to interpret local regulations for their industries, and I can’t imagine it would be all that difficult to do the same when it comes to fracking. 

Mr. Wilson then goes on to call out those who work in the industry that say they live in the community as well and have kids in the community attending schools.  Unfortunately, Mr. Wilson says the following:

“Most of these folks live in exclusive neighborhoods far from the wells. I challenge any of these gas people to move to a middle-class or poor neighborhood where they will have a well in their backyard. I challenge them to take their children out of the private schools they attend and let them go to local neighborhood public schools where wells are being located. “Here” to these folks is not where most of us live.”

These are the statements I take issue with.  How, exactly, does Mr. Wilson know where “these gas people” live?  How does he know that they send their children to private schools?  Sadly, these statements further perpetuate the stereotype that liberals are interested in creating class warfare, and making the assumptions of where “these people” live and where they send their kids to school is just being presumptuous.  I’m sure his intent wasn’t to further the stereotype, but in the end, he did just that.

Mr. Wilson, you had some great points, but you didn’t quite make it through without crossing over into emotionalism and hyperbole to argue your position.  Here’s hoping that fracking can be regulated locally while still allowing “these people” to live where they choose and send their kids to the schools they choose.

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The Contortion to End All Contortions

This article from The Atlantic Wire caught my eye today.  I generally try to keep this blog about local issues, but obviously with election season upon us and in full fury, I expect I’ll get into more of that in the coming months.  I certainly have my opinion on the candidates, but I’ll always try to refrain from cheap pot shots and name calling of any of them.  Those who do take cheap shots and lie about the positions of the candidates…you’re fair game here. <cough>  🙂

The headline of the above article is “Boehner Says Out Loud He Hopes Blacks and Latinos ‘Won’t Show Up’ This Election“.  Sounds pretty typical of what a left wing blog site might post about a Republican politician, and my first thought was “damn, Boehner, what are you saying??”  Particularly in light of the Akin “legitimate rape” fiasco, certainly Bohener wouldn’t be that stupid as to say that, would he?  Then I read the article.  This is what Boehner actually said:

“This election is about economics. These groups have been hit the hardest. They may not show up and vote for our candidate, but I’d suggest to you they won’t show up and vote for the president either.”

And I was right, Boehner is not that stupid at all.  There are slants coming from all sides these days about the other side, but this twist ranks right up there among the best I’ve seen, even from the local Fiction ‘Riters.  Where on earth did Boehner ever say “he hopes” they won’t show up?  Clearly he means that those groups may not vote for Romney, but he bets they won’t vote for Obama either because of the financial hardships the president has put them in.

This is the kind of article that is the picture perfect example of what is wrong with election season these days.  There is plenty of legitimate issues to go after with almost any politician, but to blatantly twist a statement into something it was clearly not meant to say, and simply to further stoke racism and class envy against that person, is simply deplorable and outright dishonest.  The Atlantic Wire should be ashamed of itself.

When Substance No Longer Matters

I caught an article on abc news today that really pointed out some sad realities.  The article ominously claims that “ABC has learned that Ann Romney has been given her own secret service detail”.  Is it really that necessary that “ABC has learned” this stunning bit of information, that really is not uncommon at all?

The other sentence that caught my eye was “ABC News was the first to report that Romney was to receive Secret Service protection back in January.”  Really?  Again, who truly cares that ABC was the first to report this?  I suppose when the substance of what you are reporting really is tremendously weak (or untrue as is the case many times from some of our local “progressive news” story tellers), you have to make the effort to pat yourself on the back in hopes that people will care and think you’re a big deal.

If you truthfully report news that people care about, the respect to you will naturally follow.  When one continues to spout half truths, emotional rants, and is more concerned that people know that it was you who created the story rather than the contents of the story itself, well….you’ll get the label you probably deserve.

Obsession

It takes a big man to admit he made a mistake and apologize for it.  It takes a much smaller man to not apologize for but to try to cover up the mistake.  But it takes a much more disturbed individual to not only not apologize and correct the mistake, but to continue down the wrong path and willfully make the same mistake again and again.

Apparently there is still more than one Doug Graham in the world, and the local Fiction ‘Riter is determined to out them all.  One has a connection to Anadarko.  Can you believe that?  He actually works for an oil company!  And to make matters worse, he probably has opinions!  Oh the humanity!

But it doesn’t end there.  Another Doug Graham lives in…..a decent sized house!   Can you believe there are people out there who have the audacity to live above what someone else may be able to afford?  Obviously this house was acquired in some shady way rather than be claimed underhandedly through assisted housing.  It is truly sad to see that there are people with homes when everyone else doesn’t have one.  I hope to hell this particular Doug Graham keeps his opinions to himself, because obviously he is a member of the extreme right or maybe even works for an oil company.

Truly sleazy actions going on at our friendly neighborhood watchdog site.  It is laughable that they continue to think that anyone with a negative opinion about them or their tactics or their beliefs owes them a biography explaining why their opinions should be discarded because of some remote connection.  You complain about how things could be “much simpler if only…”.  This should be as simple as it gets then:  Many people don’t like you because of how you treat people and how you carry yourself.  We don’t have connections to the city, we don’t have connections to oil.  We just think things like stalking everybody with the same name as someone who writes the truth about you is, well, sleazy, and makes you look like an insecure and vengeful person.  And your obsession with posting pictures of everyone and their kids is just not normal.  You really still wonder why some of us want to stay anonymous?  Again, it is quite simple (as you need it to be) if you’d just open your eyes.

In closing, just one suggestion.  Why not just admit you made a mistake and apologize to the wrong Doug GrahamS (plural now), remove the offending material from your site, and continue on with more important things?  That’s what a REAL man would do, my friend.  Let’s make the world a better place, shall we? 🙂

 

Solving the Conundrum

The author of the Doug Graham story must be eating some serious crow right about now.  After stalking the Doug Graham who recently wrote a scathingly accurate portrayal of the Fiction ‘Riters of Longmont blog, he has suddenly come to the uncomfortable conclusion that…he found the wrong Doug Graham.  Oops.  So I guess all the disgust and claims of bias towards the TC for their “omission” of Mr. Graham’s background was uncalled for, as there apparently really was no background.  Yet another FRL conspiracy epicly debunked.  A big man would apologize for such incorrect accusations, but to use one of his favorite phrases….*crickets*.

His original article and many comments were completely hacked apart once this new information came to light and effectively “nuked” his entire motivation for the article.  He still tries to salvage a shred of dignity, though, by claiming that the Doug Graham he found, who is an ex exec for MediaNews Group, has never read the TC, and thus the reader is left to solve this “conundrum”.  I wonder if the author ever considered that MediaNews Group oversees dozens of newspapers, so is the fact that an exec doesn’t read one of the smaller ones in the group really that much of a stretch?  Not really.

Again, the Fiction ‘Riters of Longmont lives up to its name in spades.  Traffic has spiked on your site b/c you are a curious joke, not because anyone is taking you seriously.  While you may consider yourself to be associated with progressives, thank God you don’t represent the mainstream progressive movement, but are more useful for your entertainment value.  Again, you’ve failed.  Are you man enough to admit it?  *crickets*

Doug Graham Connects the Dots Brilliantly

I was happy to see a letter to the editor in today’s Times Call from Doug Graham.  The obvious reaction from the group being called out was both swift and, as usual, just as distorted as always.

The author of the Fiction ‘Riters attack piece on Doug Graham probably broke his arm from patting himself on the back at how quickly he was able to stalk, er, research the background of Mr. Graham.  His ace in the hole was that Mr. Graham USED to work for the IT group of the PARENT company of the TC.  Kevin Bacon had more degrees of separation than that.  An accusation was all but made that accuses the TC of putting this ex-executive up to writing this “attack piece” against the local progressive community.  I’m sure the proof of this exists and will be published shortly by the same accuser.  Regardless, does it matter who he worked for?  His past connection means he has no right to speak up about a group that he feels is misguided, and for the reasons he claims?  Using your own argument and the connections of at least a couple of your main players, none of your opinions would be valid either.  Let’s stop being hypocritical, shall we?

This part gets good, though.  Mr. Graham writes “They “nuke” what they don’t like but otherwise reuse, edit and republish your comments as they please”.  As someone who attempted a respectful rebuttal in the past that was in fact “nuked”, and after seeing others suffer the same fate, I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Graham’s observations.  Ah, but that isn’t really what is happening, is it?  To quote Mr. Wray, they “don’t nuke things we don’t like, we delete comments that come from fake email addresses, attack our authors or use hate speech of any kind”.* Ummm…although twisted quite a bit, the actions are exactly the same.  I’ve mentioned before…the “hate speech” they claim to be so against on their site from the “wingnuts” is just fine when it comes from them.  I guess your vague definition of the term lets you “nuke” what you don’t like with a guilt free conscience, all in the name of ridding the world of hate speech.  Hey, it’s your site, so whatever floats your boat.

The anonymity that is so evil when it comes from an opposing viewpoint is conveniently overlooked when the “anonymous coward” agrees with the Fiction ‘Riters.  Seriously, besides Mr. Wray and Ms. Fissinger, who else announces their real identity on the TC?  Oh I guess Paul Tiger does, but anyone else?  No.  Because they aren’t commenting on the TC?  No.  They prefer to remain anonymous, which is their right and doesn’t make their opinions any less valid.  We all know who “FreeRangeLongmont” and “takenote” are, yet no one takes their opinions as seriously as most of the anonymous users there.

Mr. Graham “nailed it”, as the Fiction ‘Riters are so fond of saying when the attacks come from their corner.  Well said, sir.  Well said.

 

*This quote is the property of M. Douglas Wray at Free Range Longmont.  All due rights and respect are sent his way for fair use of said quote to illustrate a point.

Is There an Attorney in the House?

Great discussion going on at the TC about the BoCo commissioners race.

Two comments were made that really stand out to me.  First, from Elwood59:  “Endorsed by Freerangelongmont? No vote here! ”  I myself was just thinking that an endorsement by the aforementioned site generally is a very good indicator of the direction that said candidate plans to go if elected.  While that group generally doesn’t hear anything outside of its comfort zone, I do give them credit for doing their candidate research and shining a very bright spotlight on those that share their ideologies (as well as often leveling emotional criticism of those they don’t).  Since I generally don’t have the time to do the exhaustive research on all the candidates that they seem to do, I’m glad that I can at least use their endorsement or criticism of any candidate to give me at least 80% confidence that I should or shouldn’t vote for them.  The remaining research on my part then becomes much easier.

The other comment that stands out is this one from Ms. Fissinger:  “Mr. Tea Party, unless you are an ABA board-certified attorney qualified to argue U.S. Constitutional Law at the appellate or higher level, I am not interested in your armchair philosophies or speculations.”   I was just recently lectured by Ms. Fissinger about how she “never have nor ever will feel required to justify to you and your coterie anything I say. That is reserved for the people whose judgment I value.”   This attorney comment, made to dontreadonus, sums up very nicely her attitude towards anyone in general with whom she disagrees.  I don’t think her position really surprises anyone, but I certainly had to shake my head and smile at the sheer audacity of such a statement coming from her.  I really think this attitude is one of the reasons why politics around these parts have gotten so ugly.  Fortunately, her attitude isn’t typical of all those that share her political ideologies, so there is hope for rational debate from those that really want to make a difference.  And I believe most of Longmont has learned to tune out all the noise.

Pleased to Meet You!

I must admit, I’m not a terribly avid tweeter, but I certainly try to keep tuned in to the local buzz, particularly around Longmont.  As most Longmontians are, I’m familiar with former councilman Sean McCoy, but have never had any personal interactions with him.  I followed his twitter campaign when he was running for reelection, and noticed some tweets of his relating to former mayor Bryan Baum that frankly really surprised me.  I understand there is no love lost between these two gentlemen, but I was a little taken aback by the almost childish name calling  Mr. McCoy was writing about Mr. Baum while they were sitting on the same council together.

I recently came across Mr. McCoy’s current twitter feed, and unfortunately it sounded a whole lot like his reelection feed did.  Since he’s no longer on council, I tend to give him more slack about what he says about others in town with whom he disagrees.  It doesn’t help the overall general good of Longmont, but it is his right, and so more power to him to speak his mind.   Of course, I am very interested in his views b/c he has been one of the more controversial and outspoken voices in Longmont ever since I’ve become familiar with him.  So I recently started following him on twitter.  This was his response:

@LongmontRespnds Now you, the leader of the insane right is following me on twitter. Right Crazy Blogger. your such a sad little man. LOL

LOL is right.  While I’m flattered that you consider me the “leader of the insane right”, you truly don’t know me, and you obviously don’t realize that I’ve always just been an outsider looking in who has felt that certain things being said around town need responding to.  I’ve given you the benefit of the doubt about your actions and responses to issues and people in town, because I don’t know you, and I know you have been a big target of many local political activists in the past.  Even though I would have expected more restraint from a sitting councilman, hell, I understand you’re human and a lot of things that have been said about you certainly would have pissed anyone off.   The people I tend to be critical of here are the ones who I’ve had personal experience with and who have no desire to debate, only to call people names and fling general insults and untruths.  It is unfortunate that you choose to be in the latter category, since although I disagree with most of your viewpoints, you have always seemed to have been knowledgeable enough to have a great exchange of ideas with.

Mr. McCoy, I’m pleased to finally make your acquaintance.  See ya around!  🙂

This Is How Racism Continues to Thrive

What a sad story coming out of Colorado Springs.  A 2nd grader who was trying to honor Martin Luther King dressed the part and painted his face black for effect.  Unfortunately, this was just a little too close to “black face”, and the boy was asked to leave the school by staffers who said it was offensive.

Seriously?  What better way to keep racism alive than to continue to insist that completely innocent actions are too similar to past actions that WERE considered racist at the time, so therefore they must also be racist now.  The kid meant no harm at all.  Let it go.

But no, to make it all better, the principal is now “reaching out to the local NAACP” to help the good people of her school understand stereotypes and how they can be offensive.  Another great idea.  Let’s make sure that these stereotypes are not allowed to go away so they can continue to be used to demonstrate hyper political correctness whenever the likes of Rev. Al Sharpton feel they need more time in the spotlight.

Let it go, people.  You are not helping solve the situation,  you are making it worse.  There was no racism in this kid’s heart when he did what he did.  That in and of itself should be enough for everyone to take his actions at face value and support the kid for honoring Dr. King, not toss him out of school because you are being too sensitive.

 

The Democrat War On Women

I was checking out an article on a very left leaning blog earlier today.  The article began by describing how difficult women have had it in the past, and it retraced history to show how women gradually fought to acquire rights that should have been theirs from the get go.  Limbaugh even discussed it in his show today, and he played some tunes that featured women singing about how their place was under the thumb of a man and what not.  Such a completely different mindset back then…crazy for those of us who didn’t live in it to even imagine that a time existed where women were essentially treated as second class citizens.

Then I got to the end of this article, and the point seemed to be that Republicans long for that time where they could keep a woman under their thumbs and control her.  It was disappointing to see the article take this turn, because up to that point (aside from the obvious pointed intro), it was a great retelling of history and what women have had to struggle through just to get where they are today.  It occurred to me that there are many democrats (specifically and locally, Kaye Fissinger seems to be one of the most guilty of this) that are trying to paint the generally conservative view of life at conception as an attack on women and all Republican’s desire to control every aspect of a women’s life and body.  It is a much more poignant rallying cry to say that your opponent is against you personal and wants nothing more to control your life, but that doesn’t make it any less ridiculous.   The truth is much closer to “many conservatives are pro life, and it isn’t right that some conservative entities are being forced to act against their beliefs on contraception and abortion”.   Much like the cries of rampant racism after the Trayvon Martin incident that were artificially created and fanned by the media and those intent on further dividing us, so is this tired use of “the Republican war on women” equally as false and divisive.  The issue is a pro-life one, not a “control of women” one.

Ms. Fissinger also taught me one of my favorite phrases:  Real eyes realize real lies.  And the Republican war on women, as she would say, is a doozy.

Edited to add:  Mary Pitt, I respectfully disagree with your response to the above article.  Most conservatives really do think it is about contraception, not “keeping the uppity women under the thumbs of the patriarchs”.   I’m sorry if you lived that life in the past, but no one is asking you or anyone else to be there again.  Time to let it go and stop trying to create an issue where there really is none.