Saturday, October 15, 2005


Erik and I got tangled in another topic. Look here. It was another thread that started to get personal. I'm going to rebut here simply because I can illustrate my points better on my blog. Also, I feel this discussion has a broad enough theme to address it here.

The Premise

From Left Over Right

"Terror Level
I wonder when there is going to be a raising of the national terror alert level from yellow to orange. After all, whenever Bush's numbers seem to fail that's when it's raised AND there is an election next year for senate and congress so it seems logical for Bush to use that to his advantage."

Erik states that it "seems logical" that there is a correlation between the terror level and Bush's approval rating. Basically, he believes that Bush and his staff artificially raise the terror level so the American people get a positive feeling that Bush is doing his job protecting Americans. I want to point out that Erik did use the word "seems" because it's important. I called his post a "conspiracy theory" based on:
A. His statements were about a conspiracy of Bush pulling a fast one on the American people.
B. It is a theory given that Erik gave no arguments to support his statement other than alluding to that it "seems" that the terror level rises in accordance with Bush's lowered approval rating.

Theory or Fact?
Erik took exception me calling it a theory. Suddenly, to him, it was factual. His initial post certainly did not have a feeling of fact. In my opinion, Erik took my statement personally and let his emotions take over his brain and turn his theory into fact. I tried to point this out by putting out my own conspiracy theory:
"The Indianapolis Colts are 5-0. Therefore, I can conclude and state as 'fact' that the Colts have bribed the NFL referees handsomely."

I intended this statement to satirize Erik's claim. I don't believe this theory for a second. I just wanted to point out that it's easy to come up with conspiracy theories. I like to use analogies in my arguments. I hoped that Erik would pick up on this and realize that if he wants to convince me his statements are factual and not theory, he was going to have to come up with a better argument.

A Better Argument

I didn't get such an argument from Erik. Instead, he chose to call my conspiracy theory nonsense (which it probably is, but that's not the point). Worse, he decided that I had to come up with facts to prove his statement incorrect. Wait a minute! It is Erik's statement, not mine. In fact, never once did I ever say he was wrong. Yet, he tried to put the ball in my court when the ball is clearly in his. I have nothing to prove but Erik does. I asked for facts, but Erik, in turn did the literal equivalent of cupping his ears and stammered that it was up to me to provide facts to prove him wrong. This was clearly childish behavior and when I called Erik on it, well, he didn't take it so well. So, I walked away from the discussion as it was going nowhere.

So, my point is; If you are going to make accusations about people, politicians or not, either call it a theory or provide comprehensive evidence to support it. You can't call your own theories "fact", you have to convince others and have them agree with you to even begin to consider it fact.

If Erik wants to support his theory, then he needs to provide something like the following:

(Please note: the figures here are purely made up and are for demonstrative purposes only)

Click on image for full sized view.


Erik said...

Again Robert I backed up my argument on my site. But that's not even the issue. Actually backhanded as it was I was giving Bush a compliment because it's smart of him using everything he can to his advantage.

Erik said...

One more thing which was also the point of my article and that is how many more threats before people just blow them off. I know they have to be reported but you can only cry wolf so many times

Erik said...

and if I might add a 3rd point to this: While using the scare tactics during the election, Bush, Cheney, the right wing media all said many times over if Kerry was elected president, we would receive several 9/11 attacks. YOu can look them up.

Robert E Wilson said...

Let's sum this up. You have "backed up your argument" with the following:

1. Karl Rove was in front of a grand jury at the time of the latest terror level upgrade.

2. "Take a look at the previous times the terror level has been raised."

3. "Kerry was gaining on him in the polls on the election but shortly before he raised the alert level and he won."

4. "Rove is going to testify and probably being indicted and the house extended a vote because they wouldn't have enough votes to pass a bill but instead of talking about those things negative toward Bush and the administration the media talked about the alert level."

5. "While using the scare tactics during the election, Bush, Cheney, the right wing media all said many times over if Kerry was elected president, we would receive several 9/11 attacks. YOu can look them up."

Arguments 1, 3, 4, and 5 are consistant with your argument, but hardly conclusive and certainly not even remotely close to proof. Argument 2 is really just a challenge for someone, namely me to do the legwork for you and find the very data you are alluding to.

I don't have a problem with your 4 arguments except that you seem to feel that they prove your article as you call it "fact". This is the very thing that prompted me to write my rebuttal in the first place. It takes a hell of a lot more than what you offered to call your argument "fact".

Erik said...

I don't know what more proof you need then that. I am sure I can dig up exact information if you with but I feel they are thorough enough