Monday, April 12, 2010

A Point-By-Point Rebuttal to A Troll

I find that I'm often putting out brush fires by some of the more silly comments in the comment section of this blog. In a post I recently wrote mocking the idea that I'm a bad admit for Claremont McKenna -- when my grades and my SATs were all above the average -- a commentator wrote the following supporting ten statements no doubt supporting why I am such a bad admit. (Do remember that I have offered a $300 cash award for anyone who can prove that the admissions department thinks I'm one of the 100 worst admits ever.)

He drew from the front page of this blog to make his argument. What follows is a point by point rebuttal, because, frankly, I'm having a hard time sleeping.

1) You use hearsay as evidence

I prefaced it as saying it was "anecdotal evidence," which, if you can use a dictionary, says that yes, hearsay is acceptable. That that hearsay came from an international student -- who if anything has an incentive to lie in the opposite direction -- makes me think that I may be on to something. Of course, there's no way to know for sure -- unless, that is, the college releases (or someone steals) that data.

2) You come off in your int'l student post as xenophobic, claiming that int'l students have worse test scores and shouldn't be let in so easily.

This is too easy. I never argued that -- only that I had heard that their test scores were lower and that I favor auctioning off those seats, to Americans as well as foreigners. In fact, put it up arguing that I'm anything but a xenophobe. Indeed, I may even be the opposite of a xenophobe, discriminating, unconsciously, admittedly, against members of my own race. A cursory view of this site's comment pages has accused me of "yellow fever" -- that is preferring women of Asian extraction. (I don't have yellow fever, incidentally, but I have had Asian girlfriends.)
3) You use an interview on Sean Hannity's "unbiased" show to show that a Republican candidate looks good.

I never said Sean Hannity's show was "unbiased." Of course a conservative Republican candidate looks good on a show run by a conservative Republican.

4) You condemn a muslim organization for condemning what they thought was a hate crime.

I never condemned them. I encouraged them to get their facts right and not to jump to conclusions. Claremont McKenna's history of jumping to conclusions on matters of hate crimes -- Kerri Dunn anyone? -- suggests we ought to be more careful.

5) You falsely filled out your census so CMC wouldn't get more funding

There's nothing false about claiming that I'm an "American" on the census form. I paraphrase from a recent Supreme Court decision, "We have a race here. It is American." (Um... CMC doesn't receive funding from the Census.)

6) You do a post supporting drilling for oil off the East Coast

I support drilling everywhere, as does the majority of the American people, according to recent polling.

7) You suggest getting rid of citizen's arrests.

Most states don't have citizen's arrests, or at the very least limit them severely.

8) You though Justice O'Connor's talk was a waste of time.

Even liberal students thought it was a waste of time.

9) You suggest getting rid of Cesar Chavez day

How is that radical? I was merely giving the history of Cesar Chavez. Are you against history that doesn't fit your biases?

10) You suggest that LiveAction is not a joke.

It isn't. As much as I disagree with its tactics from time to time -- I do not believe that phrasing the fight against abortion as a "war" -- it has been effective at its mission of being a fly in the ointment against a pro-choice consensus. To think it has done so much, with so little, is impressive indeed.

11) You mentioned how you don't support the institution of TNC

Gasp! I don't support the funding of alcohol with my student fees for a bunch of under-aged students. I'm soooo radical on this. (Of course, I favor abolishing the drinking age entirely, if we want to be technical about the matter and frankly think it is amazing in our increasing litigious society that CMC has been permitted to keep a wet campus after the high numbers of emergency room visits we have had.)

12) You claim there is no such thing as a Palestinian.

Yes, there is no such thing as a Palestinian, which, in fact, is what many Arabs have claimed ad nauseum. There is no capital of "Palestine," no legal currency, no internationally recognized borders, and on, and on.


Anonymous said...

Man, you should have left that comment alone. This post made you look even worse!

You might find you get less "silly" comments on your site if you were to stop making ridiculously silly statements.

Anonymous said...

still waiting for why auctions make sense and why we shouldn't auction off the entire class if they do. No hurry, just a reminder. Not going to let you run away away from this one and cover it up with useless fights like this one. (I thought you didn't respond to trolls)

Btw, if you know any auction theory, it should only take you 6 lines to make your case (and 3 lines for me to refute it). You don't need a full article. It's pretty simple stuff (and it's not graded ;)

Charles Johnson said...

I told you I was going to bring it up at the meeting for the Forum. You're not getting any more of my time. I'll write it or not write it based upon their approval.

Charles Johnson said...

Or you can come out of the shadows and we can actually debate it, but then again, you're a coward, so you won't do that.

Anonymous said...

why the forum? Why an article? And if they don't give approval, then you won't tell us why we should use auctions?

Again, this shouldn't take much time or space. If auctions make sense, then it takes about 6 lines to explain why. Either it's efficient or it isn't. Clearly Hal Varian's 'stuff' hasn't taught you much.

Anonymous said...

What did the forum say?

Anonymous said...

Well? why are auctions good?

Mary Queen of Arkansas said...

"(Um... CMC doesn't receive funding from the Census.)"

and from the post in question:

"but I have to wonder what's the Dean of Students incentive? Could it be that colleges receive more federal grants if they comply?"

Not to say the conclusion made by the poster you're responding to wasn't absurd (and I agree with you re: the "American" thing), but you really ought not to insinuate things if you're going to factually reject the insinuation when someone calls you on believing it.

If CMC doesn't get money from the census and you in no way believe it does why stick that question into the article in the first place? You may not actually, technically be making a false claim but it's weaselly and prejudicial.

If you have any real suspicion that they do, own up to your insinuation instead of denying it without comment (as in the first quotation above) like it's a notion that has come out of left field. It may, indeed, have come out of left field--but you're the one who tossed it in to the pitcher from 'way out there.

(It's Leni, by the way, from Milton)

Anonymous said...

well? why are auctions good?