kurt's nightmare

Generally, I post once a week. Topics are randomly selected and depend mostly upon whether it's baseball season or not. Other topics will include sex, politics, old girlfriends, music, and whatever else pops into my little brain. If you'd like to read, or ignore, my blog about China: http://meidabizi.blogspot.com/

Location: Dayton, OH, Heard & McDonald Islands

I'm an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dayton. I represent no one but myself, and barely do that. I'm here mostly by accident.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A little bit more from La Coultera

Popping by La Coultera's column, I see that this week she is mining one of her richest veins, and working the trope she uses with some frequency, contrasting "Liberals" with "Normal people." Normal people don't care about Sarah Palin, Liberals do. Normal people don't worry that someone who seems to be intellectually and ethically challenged, among other things, is frequently discussed as a serious candidate to become the most powerful person in the world.

I think it would be nice to ignore her, and focus on more important things, as La Coultera suggests, such as Michael Jackson.

But it is worth noting that La Coultera, hard-working researcher that she is, introduces a new fallacy this week, the argumentum ad verecundiam, or the appeal to authority. This fallacy infers from Person X being an expert and saying y that y must be true. (Its complement is the argumentum ad hominem.)

Sarah Palin says y. Therefore y is true. This strategy saves time and effort, allowing La Coultera to focus on more important things (like a normal person).

Thus her column takes at face value Palin's claim and simply repeats it. (Paraphrasing others is a good way to fill one's column without thinking too much.)

The problem? Palin's claim is apparently false. And, oddly enough, it doesn't become true when La Coultera repeats it.

The claim?

"That huge waste that we have seen with the countless, countless hours that state staff is spending on these frivolous ethics violations and the millions of dollars that Alaskans are spending, that money not going to things that are very important, like troopers and roads and teachers and fish research," Palin said this week.

La Coultera's incisive commentary on this claim?

With the left frenetically filing ethics complaint after ethics complaint against Palin, costing her state millions of dollars and her personally half a million dollars, citizens of Alaska must be asking, "Can we please have our state back?"

I'm not sure where La Coultera gets the half a million dollar figure from (although I can guess).

But, according to a number of Alaskan bloggers who looked at the figures, the number is vastly inflated due to double counting, astronomical billing rates, and counting fees that would be paid to government attorneys anyway. Picked up by the Anchorage Daily News, the claim should be rejected. Rather than taken at face value and then repeated. (It also turns out that the vast majority of the ethics charges came before Palin was chosen to be McCain's running mate, a time when most normal people, liberals, and "the left" outside of Alaska hadn't heard of her.)

Palin administration officials provided the Daily News with a breakdown of what it says are $1.9 million in costs. Most of it is a per-hour accounting of the time state employees, such as state attorneys, have spent working on public records requests, lawsuits, ethics complaints, and issues surrounding the Legislature's "Troopergate" investigation last summer of Palin.

"Is it a check that we wrote, no, but is it staff hours, yes," Sharon Leighow, spokeswoman for Palin, said of the expenses related to state employee work.

Those state employees would have been paid regardless.

I don't know if it is a Liberal thing or a normal person thing to worry about Presidential candidates who are unqualified. If Ann represents the normal person, though, I guess it is a normal person kind of thing either to lie, or to be too lazy to even consider checking some facts.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to watch the whole rebroadcast of the very Zen/nonzensical speech. It was very hard to understand exactly what Sarah was saying, ~"I am not a quitter I am a fighter that's why I have to quit."
The best way to fight is to run away.
And all those willy nilly "silly ol "ethics" charges, right Todd? I think they dismissed 8 of 9 "ethics" charges" she said.

I heard a rundown of those silly ol ethics charges and 4 of them are pretty serious. The worst still being when she was mayor the same contractor who built her house also won the contract to build some multimillion dollar ice rink for Wasilla. The rink cost was many times larger than the city of wasilla's whole budget.
But no one can produce bills, invoices payments, cancelled checks for the house, no proof at all that Sarah paid for her house) JFGI the cost of the house? $556,000

Little Sarah was a fast learner under the wing of Good-ol Senator Stevens. It will be very interesting to see the outcome of those tiny "ethics" charges and see if any criminal prosecutions come out of the investigations. Or,... will they just drop everything cause she walked/ran off from sweet home alaska. I would be sad again that crooked politicians skip out on law breaking activity that would land you or I in jail.


Palin House:Sarah Palin’s House Built For Free? - Palin house is the drama of the day.The Palin family has a house worth $552,000 that is causing a bit of controversy. Palin house is located at Lake Lucille.It is a two-story, four bedroom, four bath home and “Todd Palin said that he built the house with friends who were contractors.”But reports claim that the house was actually built by the Spenard Builders Supply that was hired for the $12.5 million Wasilla Sports Complex.To make a long story short Palin made Spenard Builders Supply build her house in order for them to obtain the big Sports Complex contract.


10:21 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

It's also worth looking at her work as an administrator. Compare the budget when she came in, and the deficit when she left.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Compare the budget when she came in, and the deficit when she left."

Do enlighten us, please.

11:50 AM  
Blogger bmackintosh said...

Alaska must be an extortionists wet dream if Palin can get away with such obvious pay-to-play tactics. Our president can't even buy a house from a contributor, let alone have one built for free.

1:58 PM  
Blogger bmackintosh said...

Alaska must be an extortionists wet dream if Palin can get away with such obvious pay-to-play tactics. Our president can't even buy a house from a contributor, let alone have one built for free.

1:59 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Total Government Expenditures Increased 63 Percent Under Palin. In fiscal 2003—the last fiscal year Palin approved the budget—the total
government expenditures of Wasilla, excluding capital outlays, were $7,046,325. In fiscal 1996—the year before Palin took control of the budget—the expenditures were $4,317,947. The increase was 63 percent.

Wasilla Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 2003, Table 1

Palin Supported Increasing Wasilla Sales Tax From 2 to 2.5 Percent to Build $14.7 Million Sports Center. “Wasilla residents have given the
go ahead to building a new multiuse sports center in town and to raising the city sales tax to pay for it. With the final votes counted Friday, residents voted 306 to 286 in favor of a measure to raise the city sales tax from 2 percent to 2.5 percent to pay the estimated $14.7 million cost of building the center…Mayor Sarah Palin, who supported the measure, said the tight vote will motivate city officials to keep a close eye on the budget for the center.” Anchorage Daily News, 3/9/02

Palin Left Behind Almost $19 Million In Long-Term Debt, Compared to None Before She Was Mayor. In fiscal 2003—the last fiscal year Palin approved the budget—the bonded long-term debt was $18,635,000. In fiscal 1996—the year before Palin took control of the budget—there was no general obligation debt.

[Wasilla Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 2003, Table 10]


Links to the reports/tables given there.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to see that the Liberals are still concerned about Palin.

10:07 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

As I said in the post previous to this one, liberals clearly are foolish enough to obsess about Palin. It is pretty irrelevant that she was in the running to be VP for a very old Presidential candidate, and that she is frequently mentioned as a viable candidate in 2012.

We should ignore her. And we should ignore her many attempts to prevent us from ignoring her. We just aren't that good at it.

And she is definitely better looking than Ron Paul.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron Paul is HOT!


6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Might as well call him [Obama] a nigger"
- Kurt Mosser

8:37 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Brave words from this anonymous, who clearly didn't understand the context of the original comment, and evidently was unable to understand the explanation, either.

I'd go through it one more tiresome time, but I'm afraid I'd use too many big words.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, "nigger" is a big word for someone to throw around.

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The brave anonymous returns to confirm he or she is a moron. Pathetic. Write back to overdetermine the view that you didn't understand the comment, the context, to whom it was a response, or the explanation.


7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to make it easy:

"I got kicked off Covert Conservatives because a poster said some stuff that was clearly code for good ol' fashioned "soft" racism. This was, as I've said before, a remarkably tolerant bunch for putting up with my bullshit. But the emotions about Obama were pretty serious at that point: the standard view was that he was an elitist, a black nationalist, a Socialist, Marxist, Communist, Muslim, a bad Christian, terrorist sympathizer, hated America, and sought to ruin America. Put these altogether with William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, and add phrases that indicate Obama "acts white," "doesn't know his place," and is, more or less, "uppity." I responded—to a specific poster—more or less "why don't you just call him a 'nigger' and get it over with?" Down comes the ban button, and after some desultory private conversations with the moderator, and some feeble suggestions that I apologize, well: I'm done. Too bad; I had made some nice friends there, both conservative as well as a very amusing liberal rugby fan from New Zealand." -kurt

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, that wasn't my post. He or she is, indeed, a moron.

Dr. Anonymous.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think there may be other ways to make a point rather than using obviously hateful words.


1:31 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

There are always various ways to make a point. The particular "hateful" word in this case was used for a very specific reason, coming out of a context in which the intent was clear, generating that kind of reply.

Now if only we had Obama's birth certificate . . . .

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"I think there may be other ways to make a point rather than using obviously hateful words."

The gall of someone trying to tell Kurt—on his own blog, no less—what words he can or cannot use. PC censorship run amok.

-(the other) Anonymous

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hhhm? Wait. My confusion is Real.
Anonymous, Anonymous, Anonymous 1, A2, Dr. A, The Real A.

FFS! If you are going to splay your thoughts for anyone to see then please just Say your name!

In not saying your name, I simply think your opinion has become personal judgement and you are ashamed to be known.

'When you are anonymous, you can pull the wool over all of us, but when you bleed don't fall on us, broken, more or less' - something like that Ellis Paul says in a song

I agree to disagree with Kurt when I come to his blog or to any place where I am not alone with my thoughts and even there I agree to disagree.

So let me say directly, Be Shut of Places you are uncomfortable saying your name. Have enough confidence or endurance to say and go Or say and explain. You have a right to your opinion, yes?

This anonymous crap is annoying unless you are making a better life for someone. Antagonists are not anonymous. Antagonists are just Azses hiding behind a screen of 010101010100101010101

Get on with it. Find something helpful to talk about. Some people have real problems to consider like taking care of dying family, aging parents, struggling friends, hungry friends and family, virtually homeless and hopeless acquaintances, disadvantaged strangers.

Those of us choosing not to jury and judge but just Help would love to see Positivity embraced and encouraged by Real people with names and suggestions regarding the immediate society around us.

Ignoring the immediate problems waiting to smack you boldly in the face while walking on the sidewalk will not make them go away.

State your name for the record, and for the record I mean to be not judgemental but encouraging to people here with the intelligence and resource to offer solutions.

5:07 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

What? The Wahine disagrees with me? Hard to imagine.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The particular "hateful" word in this case was used for a very specific reason"

Yes - shock value.

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


When you assume, you make an Ass out of U, and only U. None of the reasons you give for my staying anonymous actually apply to me. Are you so omniscient as to know why I choose to remain anonymous? Is your analysis so perceptive that you have covered ALL possible reasons a person might wish to remain anonymous? (OK, the answer is no on both counts).

There is actually a very good reason why I don't want my name bandied about. The reason is none of your business. And, contrary to your insightful analysis, that does not make me a coward. Nor, incidentally, would the knowledge of my identity either increase or decrease the validity of my points.

Deal with it.

Dr. A.

12:18 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Whoever this anonymous person is--and he (or she) clearly wishes to remain so, given how easy it is to identify oneself within the message (example: "my name is fuckstick and i think that word you used is really icky")--doesn't get it.

I used the word "nigger" not because of shock value, but because the person I was responding to had not only said things that deserved the response I gave, he had in earlier days said such enlightened things as that people of different races shouldn't intermarry, should stick to themselves, etc..

Look, if a person spouts nonsense that is, essentially, the same thing as that coming from the Klan, I think you should call him or her on it. David Duke never uses the word "nigger": he wears a nice coat and tie, uses good grammar, and even knows which is the salad fork.

To respond to him in the way I did is hardly "shock value." It's getting down to brass tacks.

So, brave poster who can't provide a name (and apparently is challenged by realizing that some words, even shocking words, can be used in a context for a quite specific, and legitimate, reason): either quit being such a jerk-off, or explain why you're having such a hissy fit about a word I used, and say so little about the attitude to which I was responding. OK?

9:46 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

In the meantime, brave anonymous, you might read this little book:


9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go, Kurt, go.

8:12 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Neat. I'm sure you have excellent reasons for remaining anonymous, far beyond my abilities to discern them. Then again, you claim to have made some "point." Again, far beyond my powers to discern what that is. As far as I can tell, you've either made no point, or you've posited something on the basis you demonstratively failed to understand.

One can only guess why, given that, one would choose to remain anonymous. I only hope you use your superpowers for good.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was rooting for you. You may call me Ishmael. Or Earl. I'm not picky.

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Addendum: From what I remember, I've only ever posted nice things on your blog, and generally have no quarrel with you.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, that wasn't my post. He or she is, indeed, a moron. I was defending you, Mosser

Dr. Anonymous.

9:40 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

It certainly gets confusing when everyone's name is "Anonymous."

1:48 PM  
Anonymous "Earl Ismael" said...


11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


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