Disagreement with mod actions of tomndebb re: ElvisL1ves in GD thread

In this GD thread I’ve gotten into some trouble with tomndebb regarding an exchange with ElvisL1ves.

Rather than continue to muddy the waters in that interesting thread, I’ve decided to open this pit thread to explain myself here. (Against my better judgment!)

On page one of the thread I was debating Left Hand of Dorkness, Kimstu, This Year’s Model, yojimbo, SentientMeat and some others about the constitution ratification in Iraq.

I made a statement that “Regardless, any form of democratic government would be preferable to the whims of an evil dictator that they had before.”

To which ElvisL1ves responded that:

I read this statement by ElvisL1ves to factually state that the new Iraqi constitution that we are discussing creates the following:

  1. creating an oppressive theocracy like Iran,
  2. combined with legalized retribution against the Sunnis
  3. and provision for Kurdistan’s secession.

I doubted all three of these statements, but specifically had questions about #2, so I asked for a cite.

To which Elvis responded:

I then replied that “So, when you said that the constitution creates legalized retribution against the Sunnis you were lying? OK. Good to know.”

Maybe I was being a bit snarky here, and for that I apologize. Perhaps I was overly aggressive with an accusation of lying at this point. However, it does seem clear to me that Elvis made a factual claim that has no truth to it, and cannot back it up with a cite. He should be called out in GD for doing this, and if he refuses to back down this does constitute a “lie” IMO.

A bit later on in the thread tomndebb dons his mod hat and scolds the both of us:

I know I should just let this go, and that nothing will result from this pit thread but a pile on. But, this just bugs me enough that I feel I have to respond.

You’re wrong, tomndebb. I’m not being deliberately belligerent. The initial statement by ElvisL1ves is not couched as a hypothetical at all. He says “That’s what this constitution creates.” It’s a statement of fact, not a hypothetical. It’s also not a matter of opinion, IMO. :wink:

The constitution either does the three things he claims it does or it does not. If it does do those three things he should be able to point to where in the text he is referring to. (I provided a link to it in the thread.)

It was also I, not Elvis that is guilty of rising to the bait to quickly. I resent the implication that I’m the troublemaker and that Elvis is simply guilty of responding to me. I was trying to be as civil as possible with the other half dozen or so posters in that thread with whom I disagree.

Elvis is widely recognized as a difficult personality who makes his own side look bad by sinking into the muck in any thread he enters. He’s been often pitted by his own side of the political debaters because he’s an embarrassment to them. It’s me who’s risen to his bait, if anything. Not the other way around.

Here is a thread on Social Security from a while back where the shoe was on the other foot:

Elvis doesn’t seem to have any problems hurling the “liar, liar, pants on fire” accusations at me, simply for having an opinion that is different from his own.

Here is another thread where he goes even farther:

In this case, Elvis sets up a strawman of my argument, and then calls me a liar for it! I’m a liar for something that I didn’t even say. :rolleyes:

In neither of these situations was Elvis talked to by the mods. Both times, he’s clearly way out of line calling me a liar when I have not lied about anything.

I’m not suggesting bias on the part of tomndebb. I just think that he’s wrong in this case.

With all due respect, Debaser, it sounds to me like both of you are slightly at fault. Elvis, I think, offered a predictive opinion, albeit in terms that sound mighty like condemnation of what he knew would be happening. Your request for information had just enough snark in it to precipitate a situation that, if not strictly flames, had smolderings.

On another board I belong to, flaming is strictly forbidden – but along with that ban, there is an ancillary one on “baiting” and “brinking” – which is characterized as efforts to get someone else to violate the rules by either antagonizing them (baiting) or edging very close to the line (brinking) while technically remaining within them, in hopes that your opponent would step outside them.

I personally have no doubt of the sincerity of your intent, to get Elvis to justify the opinion he advanced. But to suggest that you’re purely innocent in the matter, is the equivalent of pious hypocrisy. Knowing Elvis as the OP here proves you must, you could have expected the results you got. And that is, IMO, what Tom~ had problems with you about. He, no doubt, saw it as a form of baiting, even if you didn’t intend it to come out that way.

In short, either put your insulated gloves on before you push the button labeled “launch a hot potato,” or keep your finger off the button altogether. I will get into a heated argument if I think the topic deserves it and the truth to be defended is sufficiently important. But there’s an old saying of, “Choose your battles wisely” that may apply.

In hopes this may help, and that it’s not seen as condemnatory.

Agreed. I could have chosen my tone more carefully, and delayed my “liar” accusations until he really stepped over the line. However, tomndebb seems to be putting more of the blame on me, and that’s what I take issue with.

I’d put the blame at 20% me, 80% him. :wink:

Yes it does, and not at all.

BTW, my gloves are sufficiently insulated to take all the heat from a poster like Elvis. It’s the heat the mods are packing that I fear. I take pride in the fact that after my years of posting heavily in the pit and GD I have never been so much as warned by a mod for anything.

Bullfeathers. He specifically said that the new constitution created a theocracy with legalized retribution against Sunnis, then couldn’t back it up and tried to pass off his statement of fact as opinion.

Elvis is a fucking asshole and completely in the wrong here. Debaser was right to call him on it, and to call him a liar. Elvis made a factual statement, got nailed on it, then tried to backpedal like the stupid coward he is by saying, “It was clearly hypothetical.” Tom was also in the wrong to come down on you.

I agree with Debaser on this. ElvisL1ves gave a statement that sounds very much like a factual statement to me and then tried to hide. If W, or Rush or Coulter or somebody of that ilk tried to get away with that kind of spin do you think Elvis would let it go?

Neurotik nailed it.

ISTM that tomndebb is tending in the direction of labelling statements with which he disagrees as statements that are deliberately false and inflammatory. He did it here, with his characterization of your (IMO completely justified) calling ElvisL1ves on his lie as “bait”. He did it with me, where I also stated an opinion (that Clinton lied about his motives for bombing Iraq), where he accused me of deliberately making a false statement to set up a strawman.

Calling something a “lie” in GD has been ruled acceptable in the past. If this has changed, a sticky to that effect ought to be posted.


Countdown until someone accuses Tomndebb of “liberal bias” in 5… 4… 3…

From the OP:

I’m just savouring the delicious irony of The Usual Suspects who are so quick to claim ‘liberal pile-on’, piling on.

I haven’t seen anyone even hinting at that here yet, so why are you trying to stir up shit? FWIW, I’m pretty damned liberal, but I agree 100% with Debaser here. I don’t think the “lying” remark was unacceptable (or even particularly snarky) given the bullshit way Elvis framed his “argument”.

Hold on. Are you saying that we have to walk on eggshells because some other poster has a tendency to be half cocked?
Just because you suspect a poster may react sharply to your response shouldn’t alter the response itself when delivered in a genuine way. He may have suspected a certain reaction but he shouldn’t have to be wary of said reaction. That is the responsibility of the respondent, No?

No-one mentioned political agenda untill a pile-on artist himself did. :dubious:

No one needs to actually say shit when we can smell it either.

I dunno, looks to me like Shodan was dippin’ a toe into the water there.

But then, the guy still thinks GWB is competent, so his judgement clearly isn’t up to snuff…

Please stop. Every time you post something like this, the collective i.q. of the board drops.

I agree with the op. Elvis said clearly that the constitution would create a theocracy, lead to retribution and Kurdistans succession. As it’s GD, I’d think that even if it was stated as an opinion he should be posting his reasons for the belief.

If you’d go back into that thread, you’d see that Kimstu has provided a quite-detailed summary from the text itself to support that. As I said there, I made the assumption that the other participants in the thread had actually read at least a summary of this constitution. That assumption was mistaken; obviously you have no interest in finding out for yourself, but are satisfied to simply take the word of, well, who was it this time? Bill O’Reilly?

Now that you are aware that what I said was soundly based in fact, and that your contrary view is not, how does that change your working definition of “lying”? It’s a given that you won’t back away from it.

As for your other examples, those too are discussions about what constitutes fact. The definitions and explanations I gave to you about the function of Social Security and how it differs from Ponzi schemes are similarly statements of fact. That you have apparently been misled by your favorite RW commentators into believing the opposite does not make my statements of fact the opposite. The burden of adjusting your views to conform to fact is your own, but you have failed utterly to accept it. Now you’ve been admonished for it and choose to whine like a kindergartner instead.

Tell it to the chaplain. Your un-thought-out use of the word “lying” is not consistent with that smarmy little act of self-excuse. You know as well as anyone that there was no baiting by anyone until your own. You now know as well that your accusation of “lying” is itself a lie.

Um, right. :wally
I will not recapitulate my mistaken assumption above, that everyone who’s posted a cheap opinion in this thread has taken the trouble to read the ones linked to in the OP, to steer clear of his self-pitying cherrypicking and find out what was actually said. Obviously some of the other members of Waah, The World Is Picking On Us Again Club enjoy their own company too much.

I agree. But let’s not pretend his statement was intended to be a statement of fact. It was clearly an opinion that should be supported with evidence if any exists. To call him a liar is ridiculous for that reason. His opinion may be unsupportable, but that doesn’t make him a liar. Either way, I think it’s clear Debaser has far too much time on his hands.

Not quite. **Elvis **starts his statement by saying “Even if…”, which I interpret as meaning he is presenting a hypothetical. His further clarification indicated he was talking about some future event, which has to be an opinion, since none of us can predict the future. Granted, he talked about it as being inevitable, but I still don’t see it rising to the occasion of lying.

I disagree. When you start the question with “Even if…” it starts out as hypothetical. But when you then say “Because that’s what this does” it means you are claiming the initial hypothetical as being a fact and reveals the initial “Even if…” to be a rhetorical trap.

This discussion is idiotic.

Is that fact or opinion?

Must I explicitly label every opinion as such?

A statement like “Because that’s what this does” can imply “in my opinion,” depending on the context.