Sunday, April 19, 2009

An incredible exchange over at BlueOregon

BlueOregon had a post about the death penalty today. I posted something off-topic in the comments section. I have been curious lately what BlueOregon types think of shutting down Oregon's virtual charter schools. So I posted the following:

"This question is about a death penalty of a different sort...

I am interested in the opinion of BlueOregon folks on the attempt by the OEA and the rest of the education establishment to shut down Oregon's virtual charter schools.

The bill is SB 767, sponsored by OEA, COSA, AFT, OSEA and a slew of Democratic legislators. I was hoping at some point BlueOregon would address this issue. There are 4000 students in these public schools right now. I know this is off topic, but do "progressives" support shutting down public schools like these?"

I thought that was pretty darn respectful. I knew it was off topic, so might be deleted. But what I didn't expect was the type of response I got from one of the regular commenters there, who goes by the screen name LT.

LT apparently read something other that what I posted. I'll post some excerpts from his response, along with my comments in red:

"And Rob Kremer, not only are you off topic, but did you really mean to imply that OEA makes decisions for COSA which stands for Confederation of School Administrators?" No, LT, I don't see where you can possibly conclude that from what I wrote. The fact is, OEA and COSA are both sponsors (technically, both requested) the bill. That is what they call a fact. I didn't imply anything about OEA making decisions for COSA. They jointly support lots of bills in the legislature.

"Is COSA allowed to express their concerns or is anyone on the opposite side from you in a debate a dupe of the big bad teachers union?" Again, who said anything about COSA being a dupe? Where did he get this?

"What is it you do for a living these days?" Not sure why this is relevant or what it is intended to imply. "Why should we take your side in a debate if we didn't vote for you when you ran for office? Because you say so?" I never said anyone should take my side in a debate. I simply said I am interested in the opinion of BlueOregon folks! But to answer the question ... why should someone side with me in this debate? Maybe because he agrees with me? Wouldn't that be a good reason? Even if that person voted against me in 2002? Or does LT think that if you voted against someone at some point in time, you are therefore prohibited from ever agreeing with him on anything?

"To say that anyone who supports or even wants an open discussion of SB 767 is doing the bidding of the OEA when COSA is also a sponsor of the bill would strike some people as the same level of intellectual dishonesty as "A truly prolife person believes in the death penalty as well as being an abortion opponent". This is remarkably incoherent. I don't even really know where to start with it. It begins with a premise that I never said, and then lurches into an analogy that makes no sense. Read it again - you have to marvel at the type of mind that could write something like this!

"What we need is an atmosphere (on this issue, Kremer's issue, or any other issue) where people can ask questions and look at facts without being called names." The irony here of course is that I very respectfully did what he suggests - I asked a question! Then LT writes that scathingly incoherent response, followed by a lecture on keeping a respectful atmosphere!

I don't know who this person LT is, but I am guessing that he doesn't like me very much.


Anonymous said...

LT is Liz Toy, a fossil and nutcase from Salem that likes to troll the grounds of the state capitol. This miserable former substitute teacher with an acid tongue is just another one of the angry left that doesn't seem to respect the fact that people can have opinions other than her own.

Anonymous said...

Well she sure is one dumb lady, judging from the gibberish she posted on the blog.

And yeah, Rob, it doesn't look like she is a dues paying member of your fan club.

Me said...

Since BlueOregon is effectively an arm of the OEA there will never be a thread, or posts by any BO regular that questions any union activism.
LT's incoherent post is precisely the kind of response any outsiders get when they raise something not acceptable to the union.
The parasite that attacks the virtual charter schools has the full approval of BlueOregon.
The children be damned.

Anonymous said...

This as an example is exactly what I have seen to be the level of thinking and intelligence of many BlueOregon posts and comments. Nothing new here.

Most of the folks on the blog couldn't think themselves out of a paper bag.

Anonymous said...

That's a typical response? I'm dumbfounded.

MAX Redline said...

Urrp..I see anaon04:42 beat me to this. This sort of thing is pretty much standard for her: "What we need is an atmosphere (on this issue, Kremer's issue, or any other issue) where people can ask questions and look at facts without being called names."In general, she takes the classic trollish approach of villifying others and then accusing them of engaging in name-calling or some other form of ad-hominim attack. I'm no shrink, but I think that's referred to as "projection" in the profession.

Roadrunner said...

Okay, so one commenter on a left-of-center blog let Rob have it with both barrels after Rob posted a way-off-topic comment. Big deal. No others joined in the fray.

Interesting that you've chosen to make a whole post about one person's over-the-top reaction to your off-topic comment.

Meanwhile, in right-wing-blog land, such as NWRepublican, name-calling is the order of the day.

Rob, how many posts have you made about the rude behavior from the folks at NWRepublican?

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, in leftwing blogland, the angry national-socialist Progressives can't stop hating anyone who disagrees with their PC orthodoxy. But what else is new?

Me said...

Road runner,
No others joined in the BO fray because LT was moronic and no matter how asinine a BO regular is the others won't call them out.
So it's crickets in the face of lefty stupidity and Kremer made his point.
And you? Apparently you didn't pick up on how incredibly stupid LT was either.
But that's BO. Laced with ludicrous
ideas and moronic perspectives by people who have very low perception skills and astoundingly poor judegment.

Rob Kremer said...

I posted it on my blog not because LT was rude. Rude and confrontational comments on blogs are entirely unremarkable and mostly uninteresting.

I posted LT's response because it illustrates the kind of thinking that is very common over at BlueOregon.

When I see that same type of illogic and incoherence over at NWRepublican, I'll comment on it too.

Roadrunner said...


What's at NWRepublican is mostly name-calling. Which is what passes for right-wing "argument" these days.

Check out Lars' show sometime. Or Michael Savage's. I'm not sure either person is capable of engaging in a discussion without name-calling.

Roadrunner said...


From what I've seen, that sort of behavior, though it certainly happens there, is much less common on Blue Oregon than it is in local right-wing blogs.

From what I've seen of bloggers on Cobra, name-calling and banning of commenters who dare question the blogger are all too common on those blogs.

Me said...

There's no comparison.
The BlueOregon crowd is the sleaziest in Oregon and left wing radio and tv
have reinvented name calling and smearing to new levels.

Your worn out cannards fall on deaf and more informed ears.

Go tune in Ed Schults "Those sons of bitches Republicans".
Or Mike Mallowy, Nancy Skinner, Ring of Fire, Thom Hartman, Ketih Olberman, Rachael Maddow.

Rob Kremer said...

Roadrunner -

As I said, I posted LT's comment because of the incoherence and illogic of the argument, not because of any name calling or rudeness.

Yes, I see plenty of name calling on NWRepublican. But I don't see illogic and incoherence.

Roadrunner said...


There's so much name-calling on NWR that it's hard to see where any logic exists.

DavidAppell's conscience said...

Yeah. The Conserv-a-Nutz hate it when we blog-squat, choking off discussion of their post topics with navel-gazing digressions, and render their comments section 'our' territory. Even though we invoke all the Moonbat Rules as we do it, we are getting credit for defining them and preventing them from defining themselves. At least that's what they told us on the conference call yesterday.

Roadrunner said...


How about you take Lars to task for routinely making things up and presenting them as fact.

Just one example (I don't have recent examples, since I've finally given up listening to the guy):

Lars claimed that the best study of second-hand smoke found no link between second-hand smoke and disease.

You'd think that there'd be a good chance that the best study on such an issue would end up being cited in a court case, and in this case, you'd be right--it was cited as evidence of wrongdoing by tobacco companies in paying for studies that are presented as being impartial.

So, Rob, the next time you see him at KXL, why don't you ask Lars if he's come clean on this?

Or do you only care about obscure blog commenters?

Rob Kremer said...

Did Lars make up that research? Or was his opinion that it is the "best" research the part he "made up?"

So you want me to take Lars to task for "making up" his opinion?

Good logic there, Roadrunner.

Roadrunner said...


When Lars says the research is the "best" on the sub ject, and leaves out the fact that it was paid for by tobacco companies and was cited in a court decision as an example of bad research, then it's a lie of omission.

I can give you worse examples after I get home, because I've emailed KXL about several cases where Lars made stuff up. The station's response amounted to "well, he gets good ratings."

DavidAppell's conscience said...

Quit channelling me, Roadie. You don't own these Conserv-a-Nut comment spaces. I do. Back off.

Me said...

Oh stop with you lousy play.
Lars didn't make up that study. That's your spin.
You can disagree with the study or blame tobacco money or whatever but Lars didn;t make it up.
What a lame example.

FYI, since you're lost liberal trying to play informed.

Here's an example of making things up.
Thom Hartman: "If we don't act fast on global warming the earth will become unihabital for humans and every other life form"

Or how about new NOAA head Jane Lubchenco (loony liberal)who fabricated a link between ocean dead zones and global warming?
Or her recent fabrication

"Dr. Lubchenco believes climate models are now sufficiently “robust” to predict wind patterns 100 years from now. And can help businesses, elected officials and regulators make good decisions on issues like where to put buildings or roads or wind farms."

Roadrunner said...

Rob provides a great example of faulty logic himself, in the previous post, when he says it's "obvious" that Freedomworks has "tens of thousands of members."

Actually, according to the Freedomworks website, they have about 800,000 members nationwide. Since Oregon has a little over 1% of the country's population, so unless the Oregon chapter is exceptionally active and large, they probably have around 10,000 members, as opposed to the OEA's 47,000 members.

But whether a group is "grassroots" or not is really more about how decision-making is made in the group--is it top-down or bottom-up.

Rob doesn't explore that at all.

So, Rob, perhaps you should take a peek at the log in your own eye.

MAX Redline said...


It looks to me as though you have a beef with one or more of the half-dozen bloggers at NWRepublican, which you have hypergeneralized into an indictment of COBRA bloggers as a whole. Before you go around pointing out what you believe to be faulty logic, you should examine your own (or lack thereof) more carefully.

Roadrunner said...


Read my above comment. I'm addressing Rob, not NWR.

Rob's complaining about "faulty logic", yet he uses faulty logic himself.

As for COBRA as a whole, there may be a few who don't use name-calling as SOP, but from what I've seen it's the main calling card of COBRA bloggers.

Roadrunner said...

Speaking of illogical arguments, one need look no further than the top of Rob's blog.

Rob makes it clear that only certain people have acceptable ideas. If you've moved here from the East Coast you're not a "True Oregonian".

Rob Kremer said...

Roadrunner you are outdoing yourself!

Can you point out for us where it says on the top of my blog that people from the east coast are not true Oregonians? Or even where it implies that?

Amazing to me that you would use, as an example of my "illogic," something that I didn't write.

That is ironic in the extreme!

Roadrunner said...


Read the first two sentences at the top of your blog. You know, the bit about Portland being "occupied territory".

DavidAppell's conscience said...

I'm Roadie. I'm the new David Appell and I'm only talking to Rob. See, I can get more responses from Rob than David ever did. That's why I got promoted. David is getting reassigned. OK, he filed a grievance but we all know how that is going to turn out. He basically pissed in his own pond. We all do sooner or later. At least that's what they said on the conference call. That's why we rotate. Sorry, David. Love, Roadie.

Roadrunner said...

Here's from a letter I wrote to KXL management in 2003 about Lars Larson's propensity for making things up:

In the short amount of time that I listen to his (Lars Larson's) show, I’ve heard him make several glaring factual errors that he presented as fact. For example, during the week of September 1st, Mr. Larson stated that contributions to the Republican Party, on average, are smaller than to the Democratic Party.

This struck me as unlikely, so I did some research.

In the current election cycle during the 3rd quarter, the Bush campaign has raised $49.5 million from 262,000 donors, for an average of $188.93 per person, while the leading fundraiser among the Democratic candidates for President, Howard Dean, has raised $14.8 million from 168,533 donors, for an average $87.82 per person. 

It seems as though in the world of Lars Larson $188.93 is less than $87.82. 

I sent an email to Mr. Larson asking for the source of his information that Democrats’ average contribution is greater than Republicans, and he responded that he got the information from the Bush national website. 

The Bush website has the information about their total contributions and number of contributors, but nothing about other candidates. 

I subsequently sent numerous emails to Mr. Larson asking for the source of his information, even pointing out that he claimed on the air that he would gladly provide the sources of his information to anyone who sent him an email requesting it.

In one email I pointed out that his failure to provide the information undermines his credibility. He replied that his show is highly rated. Mr. Larson appears to be incapable of responding to questions of his methods in a substantive way, and he also seems to think that high ratings justify anything he says.

In an earlier response to one of my requests for his sources, he said “I’m not your research service.” My response to him, that I just wanted him to live up to his word, went unanswered.

Mr. Larson’s willingness to disseminate erroneous information that makes the Republican Party seem to be “the party of the people”, which was the implication of his statement on the air, raises the suspicion that Mr. Larson is a shill for the Republicans who can’t be trusted to provide accurate information.

On Monday, September 29, a caller to Mr. Larson’s show stated that some of the grown in the State’s budget was due to inflation and population growth. Mr. Larson stated that Oregon’s population had grown by about 1% during the 90s, but had stopped growing, and that there was no inflation in the last few years.

Mr. Larson is wrong on all three counts. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Oregon’s population grew 20.4% from 1990-2000, for an annual growth rate of 1.87%, or nearly double the figure that Mr. Larson gave.

The latest Census Bureau figures available show that Oregon’s population has continued to grow—by an estimated 1.2% from July 1, 2000 to July 1, 2001, and by an estimated 1.4% from July 1, 2001 to July 1, 2002. Note that both figures during the period that Mr. Larson claimed that Oregon’s population had stopped growing are greater than the rate that he claimed the state grew in population during the 1990s.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the cost of Living in Portland in the first six months of 2003 was 2.65% higher than in the first six months of 2001. That’s a low rate of inflation, to be sure, but also not the same as the zero inflation claimed by Mr. Larson.