[EM] Blake takes the low road...

Blake Cretney bcretney at postmark.net
Mon Apr 16 16:59:11 PDT 2001

In general, I don't like to criticize the conduct of others on this
list.  But I am going to reply in this case.

On Mon, 16 Apr 2001 08:45:40 -0000
"MIKE OSSIPOFF" <nkklrp at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Blake's comments above are a good example of his tendency to
> an individual as part of an effort to discredit a proposal that is
> different from his proposal. I'm sorry that Blake wanted to drag
> the level of these discussions down to his level in that way.

By bringing the debate to my level of personal criticism, do you mean
my claim that you usually write lengthy responses, and that these tend
to include many specious arguments, and that I can't be bothered to
respond to them all?  That's really more an attack on your arguments
than your character.

I also remarked that all things being equal it is good to have a
method that is better studied, and that despite your problem with
academics, at least we know that they have mathematical training.  I
think you took this as a personal attack on your level of mathematical
ability, which wasn't my intent.  I was simply pointing out that
trained economists have some value.  

> This poll has had the unintended effect of bringing out the worst
> in someone whose worst is none too good. I'm glad that Blake takes
> the poll seriously. I'm sorry that as a result he displays the worst
> of his character.

It's ironic that you would accuse someone of making personal attacks. 
In the following I have some quotes from you addressed to another
member of the list.  The member had engaged in a prolonged argument
with you, and so, was inevitibly subjected to personal attacks and

> A muck-raker once said "Follow the money", and so please allow
> me to point out that it's academics who tout Copeland's method,
> their employers, universities, and research grants, tend to be
> receive grants from foundations paid-into by rich families.
> Guess what? The 2 sentences before this one have a word in
> common: Rich.
> ***
> Another thing: Bruce, is it true that you're employed by
> the Institute for Defense Analysis, and that the Institute
> for Defense Analysis is associated with the Defense Department?
> No doubt we've all heard about the ways in which the Pentagon
> has made a reputation as a defender of democracy around the
> world  :-)

I find the idea that academics propose Copeland as part of some plan
by the rich to subvert democracy to be paranoid to the point of being
out of touch with reality.  Then you go on to imply that the list
member is antagonistic to democracy, as a natural result of being
indirectly employed by the defense department.

These statements were so bizarre that you were generally criticized. 
Here's your response to the list owner:

> First, it's your list, of course, & so I'll be nice.
> I've already made my point, & there's no need to say more
> about it, except in answer to your letter.
> There's no reason to regard my letter as an attack. It was
> a discussion of the relevant question of the reason why 
> certain things were being said. Not an attack--a search
> for explanations.
> As for insinuation, if there's anything necessary that I left
> unsaid, let me know. Insinuation & inuendo are used by people
> who can't back up what they say, and so they don't say it, and
> instead they just imply it. If I implied anything instead of
> saying it, it was only for brevity. I welcome anyone to question
> any fact that I said or implied, & I'd be glad to answer questions.

And on the same subject:

> It has beem my opinion, and this is only my opinion, that
> there seems to be a lack of sincerity on the part of
> another member, Bruce. My purpose here isn't to repeaat the
> accusations; it's just that I find this to be discouraging,
> & a reminder of the fact that there will be much paid
> opposition in the way of any genuine electoral reform. 
> Discouraging, & a little scary, to tell the truth. If
> the changing-hands of money can induce someone to lie, and
> if one observes that phenomenon, that serves to demonstrate
> what reformers are up-against. All the money is on the other
> side. I find dishonesty to be scary, especially if money
> is involved in inducing that dishonesty.

There are plenty of other examples of you flaming list members.  For
example, Markus, who is amazingly tolerant.  You even attacked Norm,
who almost always agrees with you about everything.  And, of course,
those aren't the only ones.  I could provide plenty more quotes.  It's
just your debating style to personally attack your opponents.

Blake Cretney

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