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Unemployment Below Nine Percent? Really?

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Yesterday (December 2, 2011) the MSM gleefully reported that the national unemployment rate for November was “only” 8.6 percent. It took some chicanery to get the rate that low. I believe it was Ronald Reagan who said, “It’s not what people don’t know that is the problem, it’s what they know that is not correct.” But regardless of who said it, the quote captures the attitude that the MSM and this administration is trying to advance.

President Barack Obama said yesterday that the economy added 120,000 jobs in November, and that the unemployment rate dropped from 9 percent to 8.6 percent. He called that an ‘improvement.” There were 140,000 private sector jobs created, but government lost 20,000 jobs. The rate drop was accomplished because some 315,000 people had given up looking for work in November and were not counted as unemployed. The rest of this NPR article tries to put a positive spin on the rate drop. But Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis at The Conference Board, wrote, “These modest job gains are still not enough to propel economic growth to a sustainable 2 percent growth path. And while consumer sentiment is not as gloomy as this past summer, it remains quite low this holiday season.” No economic data that shows 315,000 Americans giving up and dropping out of the workforce can be called an improvement.

From Portal Seven we learn there are six unemployment rates, named U1 through U6:

  • U1 is the percentage of the labor force that has been unemployed 15 weeks or longer. Over 40 percent of the unemployed have been out of work for 6 months or more. Last month, (November), it was 5.1 percent and was 3.1 percent when Obama took office.
  • U2 is the percentage of the labor force who lost jobs or completed temporary work, workers who were involuntarily fired or laid off from their jobs. Again, in November it was 4.9 percent and was 4.8 percent when Obama took office.
  • U3 is the official unemployment rate as per the International Labour Organization (ILO) definition, the proportion of the civilian labor force that is unemployed but actively seeking employment. This is the rate reported by the MSM. In November it was 8.6 percent and was 7.7 percent when Obama took office.
  • U4 is comprised of U3 plus “discouraged workers,” or those who have stopped looking for work because current economic conditions make them believe that no work is available for them. In November, it was 9.3 percent and was 8.2 percent when Obama took office.
  • U5 is comprised of U3 plus U4 plus other “marginally attached workers,” or “loosely attached workers,” or those who “would like” and are able to work, but have not looked for work recently. U5 was 10.2 percent in November, and was 9.0 percent when Obama took office.
  • U6 is comprised of U3 plus U4 plus U5 plus part time workers who want to work full time, but cannot due to economic reasons. This measure of unemployment is the most comprehensive measure of labor resource unemployment available. The U6 unemployment rate counts people without work seeking full-time employment (the U-3 rate), but also counts marginally attached workers and those working part-time. Marginally attached workers include those who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking for work, but still want to work. This rate group reached 15.6 percent in November,  and was 14.0 percent when Obama took office.

The labor force is defined as the civilian (non-military) non-institutionalized population 16 years old and over. Those not looking for a job are counted as not in the labor force.

The MSM reports the U3 rate, but totally ignores the other five rates, particularly the U6 rate. And the MSM wonders why it continues to lose audience. Isn’t it amazing how the true picture can emerge with just a little research?

But that’s just my opinion.

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  • Arch Conservative

    I’m sure when thousands of people get temporary seasonal jobs working at the mall for six dollars an hour King Barry and his merry band of court jesters will be singing the praises of his economic genius. Debbie Wasserman Schultz will probably have her ugly mug all over the boob tube talking about how great the economy is. [edited]

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Here goes ol’ Warren again.

    Again and again and again he points out the difference between the unemployment rate now and the unemployment rate when Obama took office.

    Anyone with half a brain who had been paying attention would know that “when Obama took office” we were losing 700,000 jobs per month…and because Obama didn’t snap his fingers and wave a wand to make it all better within two days what the previous occupant took eight years to screw up, well, THAT means that Obama’s just worthless, don’t it?

    Obama faced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression AND two wars when he took office, and has since dealt with the most obstructionist Congress since the Civil War…

    …so gee whiz, why wasn’t Obama able to get anything done?

    He did, actually – because by August 2009 we were officially OUT of the recession. Here’s some edjimication for you, Warren:

    Again now, let’s step back and review the facts. Twenty-one months, straight, of private-sector job growth. This comes after eight million jobs lost in a recession that was in full blown when this president was sworn into office. A recession, that we now know, was contracting the economy, shrinking the economy by almost 9%, when he was taking office, when he was getting sworn in. The record since then has been one of stopping the bleeding, arresting the free-fall of our economy, preventing the second Great Depression in American history, and putting us back on a course towards economic growth and job creation. The problem, as you know, is the hole was so deep, that this recession caused and the job loss so significant that even though we’re now at nearly three million jobs created, private sector jobs created, since positive job growth began, that’s not nearly enough when you’ve lost eight million jobs in a terrible recession.

    NOTE THE TWENTY-ONE STRAIGHT MONTHS OF PRIVATE-SECTOR GROWTH, Warren. The only significant losses we’ve had for nearly two years now is in the public sector – THAT, sir, is what’s keeping the unemployment rate up!

    THE CONSERVATIVES NOW HAVE MOST OF WHAT THEY’VE EVER WANTED – hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs have been cut, unions have been largely emasculated, our banking system is STILL largely deregulated (Dodd-Frank not being nearly what Glass-Steagal was), and under Obama Americans have had the lowest overall tax burdens in SIXTY YEARS – lower than under ANY Republican president since Hoover!

    So…if conservative doctrine was right (deregulation, fewer public-sector jobs, lower taxes), then WHY isn’t our economy booming? Could it be that conservative dogma is wrong?

    Oh, no, NEVER could that be possible! Maybe it’s, oh, no, it MUST be…there’s DEMOCRATS in charge of the Senate and the White House – so it doesn’t matter that the conservatives already have most of what they’ve always wanted, nothing will ever go right until they have EVERYTHING they ever wanted!

    Just like Dubya had.

  • Costello

    Looks like more of Arch’s trademark “wit” on display. [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor] Can’t wait to see what defenders race to support your misogyny

  • Arch Conservative

    Is it misogyny to say something ugly about Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann Costello? Of course not. That’s just good fun huh. [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Costello

    Something that ugly, yes. I’d have fired that idiot drummer from Jimmy Fallon for his behavior. I’ll bet $100, presuming you can even afford that much, you can’t find me saying anything different. Put your money where your big mouth is.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arch –

    So when I call Michelle Bachmann an idiot for making idiotic statements (which she has done MANY times), exactly how does that justify you calling Debbie Wassermann-Schulz a “f***ing c**t” and wishing her bodily harm?

  • Cannonshop

    “There are lies. There are Damned Lies.
    There are Statistics.”

    -Samuel Clemens

    Warren posted HIS statistics, and Glenn’s posted HIS, and they’re all too eager to call each other liars with ’em.

    Neither one, of course, is willing to accept that the other might have information that alters the picture truthfully-but there you are, welcome to politics-as-a-sporting event.

    I’m seeing two incomplete pictures that at first, look incompatible-I’d be fascinated to see what would happen if you stopped working from a pretext, took both sets of information, and examined them as a single whole, ’cause they’re not actually contradictory.

    You can HAVE grinding unemployment AND increases in GDP AND have listed increases in “Private sector Job growth”-it’s one of those “Look at what jobs are growing”, and it’s also a bit of accepting the idea that while some areas of the economy are tanking, others are doing just fine, thanks.

    Lemme put it another way: while the rest of the economy’s been in the toilet for over two years now, Boeing’s been hiring steadily, and we’re building more airplanes now, than we were building before the sub-prime crisis hit. The money to build those planes HAS to be coming from somewhere-nobody but Uncle Sam ramps up production at a loss.

    But, just because SOME sectors are doing well, it doesn’t mean the rest of the system isn’t tanking.

    Also it might be worth something to check and see if that 21% job growth has crossed the line on job and labour losses from the initial crash and subsequent aftershocks.

    (I don’t have the answer to that, but at least hey, I admit it…)

    There’s a lot of exclusion in both sides of this argument, so let’s try a new game-let’s assume both Glenn, and Warren, are working from raw fact, and let’s examine the raw facts they’re using, not the spin, to see what the real picture really looks like…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop =

    First Note:

    I wrote recently that an economy based on libertarian economic philosophy – little regulation, little government interference, low taxes – CAN work…

    …if we’re willing to pay the price of having the kind of income inequality gap seen in most third-world nations (but NOT first-world nations). I had to explore the subject after seeing the Lamborghini and Maserati dealerships in Fort Bonifacio Global City here in Manila.

    So please don’t think that I’m so hidebound to Keynesian economics that I can’t the benefits of other kinds of economic systems. Have you seen any other strongly partisan person on BC so willingly challenge their own cherished philosophy as I have (and I’ve done so more than once)?

    I don’t think you have. I’m not afraid to challenge my own beliefs and observations. I wish others would do the same.

    Second Note:

    The “lies, damned lies, and statistics” quote is tromped out every time difficult-to-refute statistics are presented. Be CAREFUL about depending on that quote so much that you miss the statistics that are really important.

    Third Note:

    I invite you, too, to tell us why it is our economy’s not booming since we’ve cut hundreds of thousands of public-sector jobs (during 21 consecutive months of private-sector growth), our banks are regulated FAR less than under at any time in the 50-odd years that Glass-Steagal was in effect, our unions are MUCH weaker than before, and the American taxpayer has a lower overall tax burden under Obama than at any other time in the past 60 years.

    These are ALL cherished conservative goals, are they not?

    The conservatives have always said this was the way to real prosperity, have they not?

    So…WHY is our economy not booming, Cannonshop?


  • Cannonshop

    Glenn, I have two years of junior college and no degree, work a blue-collar manufacturing job, and the best I can offer, is an admission that I don’t have all the answers…

    But I can take a stab at some of them.

    First, we need to look at how the economy changed over the last forty years, from an economy that was focused on producing goods and selling them, to one focused on shuffling paper to create paper-profits. I suspect that’s oen that falls into the “Boom” danger zone discussed in Hayek’s writing, but as I’m not fully conversant with more than the bare bones on it, I can’t be sure.

    But I think, and it’s only a Hypothetical now, that a big chunk of why the economy isn’t booming overall, is that booms are short-term binges, with long-term consequences, and the consequences are either close to, or just past, the “Critical Mass” stage where it’s no longer possible to hide them effeciently.

    Think of it as a drunk, a functional drunk, living for years on “hair of the dog”-eventually the liver just kind of shuts down, esp. when all our hypothetical drunk’s been consuming, are junk-food with only occasional, small, rare, healthy meals.

    Now our hypothetical drunk, he’s a bipolar SOB, but the habit pattern of BEING a drunk continues whether he’s ‘up’ or ‘down’, get it? Doesn’t matter if he’s a conservative today, or a Liberal, he’s doing the same unhealthy things, over and over again. Mortgaging the house for another bottle, say, selling off the tools in the garage to pay for a binge? Yeah, that fits, giving shit to his friends and picking fights too.

    You like to bring up the high marginal tax era-but you seem to ignore the other factors that made it work-when the top rate was 90%, there were tax-breaks for domestic investments, like capitalizing small business (“Venture” capital investments), contributing to useful non-profits (Red Cross, for instance), and paying people to do work for you.

    Most of those went before the rate was cut, the rest, as part of the deal that cut the rates.

    Somewhere, moderation got tossed out. Same for so-called “free Trade”, which also did not exist in that era, but has become a standard with BOTH parties of government since-with that focus, again, on paper profit.

    Mnd that all this is hypothetical, but I think it’s a start- just in the time I’ve been alive, our government’s been paying industries to offshore, and providing a stick behind the carrot to drive them that direction-then using the wall-street gambling profits from papershuffling to show how the “GDP” has “Grown”. I suspect it’s a shell-game, we’re in debt, the economic engine of the country’s about three quarters dismantled and the parts sold off to fund booms scheduled to take place at or near election time.

    Call it what it is: Socialism for the Rich, or “State Corporatism” (a polite term for Fascism).

    Getting out of this is going to be tougher-in the 1980’s, when you were a young man, according to some sources, 10-16% of college/university students were on a financial sector career path. That number jumped to over forty percent. We’ve had a couple generations of that, and it’s been that bubble that’s driven a lot of the problem, you can’t have innovation when your best minds aren’t studying the sciences, engineering, or medicine… and we’ve had a couple generations of that condition, with predictable results.

    In terms of producing things of value that people want to buy, an MBA is pretty much a degee in useless knowledge, and our universities have been shitting them out by the basketful when what we needed were engineers, scientists, doctors…you know, people that know how to DO things.

    I’m of the opinion that papershuffling is non-value-added, that a Service economy is a great way to starve, and that you only gain true wealth, by producing things of value to others-and derivatives or wall-street-betting aren’t productive things to focus on.

    Tracking with me here? It’s going to take a LONG time to fix what’s broken in our economy, Glenn, no magic bullet, no wave of the pen, is going to make it all better no matter HOW many times some blow-dried jackass stands in front of the Flag on a Podium and claims otherwise.

    It’s just a gut feeling mind you, but then, I’m not a demogogue when I don’t want to be, I don’t think the Parties have the answer-and I don’t think the Government can do much to fix this either-it did a lot, imho, to break it, both in Democrat, and Republican hands, and if we let them, they’ll fuck it up even WORSE, because the parties are tied to their platforms and their Ideologies and their Demogogues too much to be rational on their own, and they’re both WAY too eager to try and bribe the populace with the long-emptied treasury.

    Adn don’t mistake me, I know damn well the Republicans have been doing it just as eagerly, and somewhat more disingenuously, than the Democrats have, they’re both from the same pool of idiots that have bankrupted company after company and looted, defrauded, and destroyed investors.

    It’s just how they word the bonuses that changes.

  • Arch Conservative

    “So when I call Michelle Bachmann an idiot for making idiotic statements (which she has done MANY times), exactly how does that justify you calling Debbie Wassermann-Schulz a “f***ing c**t” and wishing her bodily harm?”

    If you have to ask that question you obviously don’t know who Debbie Wasserman Schultz is.

  • Clavos

    Have you seen any other strongly partisan person on BC so willingly challenge their own cherished philosophy as I have (and I’ve done so more than once)?

    No, nor anyone so eager to, and adept at, blowing his own horn…

  • … is this a case of (a) low blow(ing)?

  • troll

    …then WHY isn’t our economy booming?

    good question…here’s what our renegade Keynsian says

  • Baronius

    “First, we need to look at how the economy changed over the last forty years, from an economy that was focused on producing goods and selling them, to one focused on shuffling paper to create paper-profits.”

    Cannon, I like your I-don’t-have-all-the-answers approach. So let me flesh out this statement of yours. It’s true that the US has shifted more toward a service economy, but there are a lot of caveats to that.

    First of all, US agricultural and manufacturing output have increased over the last 40 years. The total number of employees is down, but we’re producing more physical goods than ever before, if you ignore business cycles. This is particularly true in agriculture.

    Secondly, service jobs aren’t just pushing papers or flipping burgers. They include health care and education, two booming industries in which the US leads the world. Arts are in the service sector, and if you can stomach calling Hollywood movie-making “art”, that’s another important industry. And the financial world has suffered lately, but you’ve got to respect its size and scope.

    Lastly, there are the little quirks in measuring manufacturing and services. Forty years ago, a manufacturing company had a mailroom and steno pool. They were all counted as manufacturing jobs. Now, Fed Ex and Kinko’s take care of that. Specialization makes the services look bigger. And if you were publishing something on newsprint, you were manufacturing, but now you can publish 100x the information online, and you’re in the service industry.

  • So Warren concludes that the MSM is spinning the unemployment figures. What momentous news. Somebody forgot to tell him that they’ve been doing so ever since they first decided that unemployment statistics were important.

    Unsurprisingly, Warren then goes on to put his own spin on them.

  • Igor

    I was intrigued by Warren Beatty’s (not the liberal actor) opening sentence, to whit:

    “Yesterday (December 2, 2011) the MSM gleefully reported that the national unemployment rate for November was “only” 8.6 percent.”

    This is really scandalous! The whole MSM (the leftist bastards!) are lying, trivializing the 8.6 unemployment by characterizing it as “only” 8.6 percent. The filthy liars!

    I wondered because IMO he was reading different media from me because I had NOT read anywhere that unemployment was “only” 8.6 percent, let alone everywhere, as the “MSM” usage would indicate.

    Surely, I thought, since Warren used quote marks around “only” he must be quoting something he read. Since Warren didn’t give a citation for his quote I did what any modern boy would do and plugged it into Google, and got about a page of stuff, not containing the modifier “only” until the BC article itself popped up, except for a comment in some other forum, namely,

    Musclebuilder comment

    But then going to the AP article itself it never said “only”, the “only” seems to have been added by Mr. Hercules and then copied by Mr. Beatty.

    What this tells me is that Warren Beatty (NOT the liberal actor), makes quotes up and is not to be believed.

    Not only that, he doesn’t even make up his own distortions. (He also appears to be a body builder, but I don’t know what that means. Politically, anyhow. Maybe he’s just a big Arnold fan.)

  • Glenn Contrarian


    I want to say ‘good job, Igor’, but I want to see Warren’s reply first.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arch –

    If you have to ask that question you obviously don’t know who Debbie Wasserman Schultz is.

    I do know who she is, and you’re dodging the question…and everyone can see it.

    I would call you a misogynist, but you obviously understand the logical pickle you put yourself in and you felt compelled to dodge the question since there was no right answer that would pull your fat out of the fire.

    If I were in your position, I’d own up to having screwed up and I’d put it behind me. You’d find, Arch, that if you tried it, it becomes a lot easier to look at yourself in the mirror…because then you’d be holding yourself to the same standards you expect of other people.

  • Igor

    I’m interested if Warren Beatty (not the liberal actor) can produce something that says “only” in the MSM because I believe that the point of this article is that (1) the MSM is minimizing the unemployment rate to bias towards the administration, and (2) it’s ridiculous to minimize the unemployment rate.

    It looks to me like a classic strawman argument: first he falsely attributes a statement and then he demolishes it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    No, nor anyone so eager to, and adept at, blowing his own horn…

    Yes, I’m sanctimonious. Yes, I’m too proud in my humility. But unlike most people here, I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong, and I’m not afraid to publicly check my own beliefs when I see something that calls those beliefs into question.

    I’d love to see others here hold themselves to the same standard. It seems that OAR does, and I’ve seen enough to say with confidence that Doc has the wherewithal to do so as well – but he’s wiser and careful enough with his words that he doesn’t need to go blowing his own horn as I have. I should learn from him….

    But do you? You have real integrity – I’ve pointed it out in your defense several times when others questioned your integrity – but integrity involves sticking to one’s ideals, and insisting on doing what one is supposed to do.


    But it’s a different matter altogether to call your own ideals into question, to check to see if what you’re doing is really what you should be doing.

    I made the radical change from a strong conservative to a progressive liberal because I saw things that made me question my ideals…but I would be a base hypocrite if I no longer challenged my ideals whenever I see anything that calls those ideals into question.

    Clavos, you have integrity and you have my respect – you know that. But I’m also asking you to challenge your ideals, and challenge yourself. When you read this, you’ll probably just blow it off with a snort…but who knows? Maybe sometime when you’re enjoying a quiet beer by yourself, lost in thought in the dark of night…just maybe.

  • Glenn,

    I would blush if I knew the emoticon for that.

    I don’t really have anything to add here, except a quote from Wierd At in Amish Paradise – “I’m a million times as humble as thou art.”

  • Glenn – “I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong, and I’m not afraid to publicly check my own beliefs when I see something that calls those beliefs into question.”

    You forget, as always, to add the caveat that the above is only true when you are able to accept “something that calls those beliefs into question”. On many points you are just simply unable to accept contradictory data, so your posture is just that, a pose.

    I don’t think you are more intellectually honest than others here, in fact I would say less than many, plus which you are so fucking proud of your empty posture it is just a little bit nauseating…

  • Cannonshop

    #14 Except that if you want a good doctor, Baronius, you better hope for the Pakistani, Chinese, or Indian Immigrant, if you want a good education, you’re pretty much stuck looking offshore there too.

    And the same for engineers.

    and that’s the key problem only now being noticed-they offshored manufacturing first, but it’s also cheaper to hire those support folks-the tech support, engineering guys, etc. overseas.

    It’s that old saw, Baronius:

    “A company that is willing to go to the ends of the earth for their people, will generally find they cost 10% of Americans, and do a better job.”

    ESPECIALLY in the service-sectors you mentioned.

    Flat out, Baronius, we have a PROBLEM in this country-and if it doesn’t get fixed, we’re NEVER getting out of this hole, and all the statistical tap-dancing in the world isn’t going to fix it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    Exactly how many articles have you written that called your own beliefs into question?

    Let me guess: none.

    Whereas just a couple weeks ago I did submit an article calling my own beliefs into question, and admitted that yes, an economy based on libertarian principles CAN work and CAN accomplish things that more socialized economies can.

    Tell me, Chris – how many strong liberals would not only say such things, but even offer up unasked things that no progressive liberal would normally consider in the realm of possibility?

    Not many at all…just as there are precious few conservatives who would sit back and write about how much good Medicare has done for the nation.

    Chris, I get that you despise me (you’ll probably deny it, but your tone and behavior say otherwise)…because you apparently can’t conceive that YES, I just might be that intellectually honest. You’re so busy thinking the worst, and by doing so you’re clouding your own judgment.

  • Glenn, how many articles that called your own beliefs into question and were interesting to read have you written?

    Let me tell you: none.

    I’ve no idea how many strong liberals would say such things, nor do I care.

    And, no, I don’t despise you, although you will presumably refuse to accept such information as it clashes with your belief.

    I get that you think you are intellectually honest, but that isn’t a judgement one can easily make about oneself and my experience is that you think you are but actually aren’t.

    I don’t think the worst of anybody, I just try to take things as best I can understand them for what they are, not what they claim to be.

    I’m fairly confident that here I’m not the one with the clouded judgement…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    The only ones who will believe your #25 are the ones who think as you do. The rest will see your denial and posturing for what it really is.

  • Glenn, you are the one that is denying and posturing, so suck it up, get over it and start trying to walk the walk instead of talking the talk.

  • Baronius

    Cannon –

    “Except that if you want a good doctor, Baronius, you better hope for the Pakistani, Chinese, or Indian Immigrant, if you want a good education, you’re pretty much stuck looking offshore there too. And the same for engineers.

    I disagree. From what I’ve seen, the smartest people around the world come to America for the education and stay because the life is better. There are some real problems with our educational system, but the worst of them are in elementary and secondary. You can still get a good college education in the sciences in the US.

    “‘A company that is willing to go to the ends of the earth for their people, will generally find they cost 10% of Americans, and do a better job.’ ESPECIALLY in the service-sectors you mentioned.”

    That’s not true. Our edge is in the service sector. Grunt manufacturing jobs can be done overseas by people willing to work with minimal benefits. When you get to the more complicated service industries (law, scientific research, insurance, internet publishing), especially the ones which require interaction with consumers, the US does have an advantage. Maybe you’re ahead of the curve and seeing us losing that advantage as well. I haven’t percieved it.

    “Flat out, Baronius, we have a PROBLEM in this country-and if it doesn’t get fixed, we’re NEVER getting out of this hole, and all the statistical tap-dancing in the world isn’t going to fix it.”

    Agreed. But part of fixing the problem is understanding it, and avoiding generalizations that don’t reflect complex reality.

  • Dr.Dreadful and Igor, concerning comments #15, 16, 17, and 19, look at this link from the NY Times (hardly a bastion of conservativsm), Here is a quote from the cited source: “Even so, part of the reason the jobless rate fell so low was that 315,000 unemployed workers simply stopped applying for jobs.” Can either of you (or anyone else) cite a source where the U6 rate is reported?

    Glenn, concerning comment #2, this link will shoot a hole in your “Anyone with half a brain who had been paying attention would know that “when Obama took office” we were losing 700,000 jobs per month…” So, based on your lack of credibility, we can ignore all other comments you make. But please don’t stop making them – thay are worth a good laugh.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Warren –

    Gee – was that all you could find to dispute? If you looked closer at the graph you linked to, you’d find it rather stronlgy supports what I said.

    But as far as my credibility goes, it seems Politifact.com thinks I’m wrong, too – they think I underestimated the monthly job loss before Obama’s stimulus took effect!

    [Joe Biden] said that job losses averaged about 750,000 in the three months before the stimulus bill went into effect. Including job loss statistics for the month of March 2009, Biden is correct. But the bill was signed Feb. 17, 2009, and officially went into effect that day. And using that measure – November and December of 2008, and January 2009 – Biden is off by about 26,000 jobs. Biden also said that job losses averaged about 35,000 for November and December 2009, and January of 2010, which is also correct. Because Biden is not quite right on the first part of his statement, we’ll knock him down a point. As a result, we find his claim to be Mostly True.

    Warren, you should know that I can usually back up any statistical or historical claims I make. You might want to double-check next time you try to dispute my claims.

  • Warren, it looks as if you entirely overlooked the bit where I wasn’t disputing that the MSM spins the unemployment numbers (although what they’re more likely to be doing is dumbing them down because they only have 30 minutes to broadcast the news and don’t have time to spend all of it on dry statistical analysis). The reason that you, too, are spinning is that you haven’t supplied a compelling reason why the U1 through U5 figures are any less valid than U6 and aren’t simply different measures of the unemployment picture.

    Does the Winston-Salem Journal count as mainstream media? It appeared, along with your article (congratulations), on the first page of Google’s news search results for the topic.

  • Igor


    “…you better hope for the Pakistani, Chinese, or Indian Immigrant, if you want a good education, you’re pretty much stuck looking offshore there too.

    And the same for engineers.”

    Racism, Cannon?

  • Igor

    Warren Beatty (not the liberal actor): You haven’t addressed my charge that you are distorting the news and creating a strawman in order to take a cheap shot at the media and President Obama. And your article is subtitled:

    “MSM in the tank for Obama.”

    I claim that you are just repeating rightist cant from the Fox echo chamber, specifically that the MSM is leftist and pro-Obama. And I’ve seen nothing from you to support your contention. And it looks like you fabricated something to facilitate your perfidy.

    In other words, I accuse you of being a liar, sir! SLAP (a metaphorical backhand slap with my glove across your lying mouth!)

    I await your response.

  • Costello

    Rather baffling that a comment editor censors my comment when it was certainly no worse than Christopher’s comments towards both Roger and Glen on the site. The troublesome twosome may have been a handful to deal with, but they accurately called out the rampant hypocrisy around here. Too bad they closed up shop recently

  • Igor, Re: comment #33, Typical liberal response – you couldn’t find any source to cite, so you resort to attack mode. At least Dr. Dreadful found a citation.
    Also, please explain how I established a “straw man.”
    Further, please cite sources if you are going to call someone a liar. Otherwise you appear as a fool.

  • Also, Igor, does “in the tank” and “bias” mean the same thing? I meant for them to. Anyway, this source documents MSM bias. Yes, I wrote it, but that fact in no way lessens its message. And this source explains how Reid and Pelosi plan to put illegal aliens ahead of unemployed Americans.

  • Also, please explain how I established a “straw man.”

    Warren: see Igor’s comments 16 and 19.

  • Anyway, this source documents MSM bias.

    Warren, a Google search of only one unemployment rate documents nothing except how many hits you get by Googling it.

    What you did is a bit like Googling “Pope Benedict XVI” and then complaining based on the search results that the MSM is biased against Protestants.

    To demonstrate bias in this case, you’d have to Google the U6 rate as well and show that there were far fewer MSM hits for that number.

    And I believe we’ve advised you before that citing your own writings as support for your arguments does not, generally speaking, do wonders for your credibility…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Warren –

    So let me get this straight – since Obama’s in office, we should be using the “U6 Unemployment Rate” instead of the “U3 Unemployment Rate”, and the MSM’s refusal to do so obviates the MSM’s “liberal bias”, right?

    The problem with that, Warren, is precisely as Doc Dreadful pointed out – the MSM (including your precious Fox News) has to dumb things down since much of the public wouldn’t care about U1-U6 types of unemployment. Moreover, it would be wrong and misleading to use a different metric under Obama than under Your Boy Dubya.

    So please stop with the strawmen…and you still haven’t explained why it is that the economy isn’t BOOMING now since we’ve got much of what conservatives have always wanted (economically speaking) as I delineated in my first comment on this thread. Care to address the question about why our economy isn’t BOOMing?

    Didn’t think so.

  • Arch Conservative

    “I would call you a misogynist, but you obviously understand the logical pickle you put yourself in and you felt compelled to dodge the question since there was no right answer that would pull your fat out of the fire.”

    No pickle. Just more liberals baselessly throwing around socially stigmatizing epithets toward those they disagree with. Just your average day in America.

    A misogynist would have said all women are cunts. I singled out one out of about 3.3 billion, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and called her a cunt, because she is. I’d be willing to bet there are millions of American women who feel that I used the most fitting word in the English language to describe Debbie.

  • Costello, the comment of yours you refer to was edited because you made a personal attack on Arch Conservative, as was his comment to you.

    If I have gone too far in my disagreements with Roger and Glenn, although I don’t think I have, then my assistant will edit my comments, which I have specifically confirmed to him that he should do.

    There is nobody on this site who is above having their comments edited, including my bosses, all of whom have had their comments edited from time to time.

    Personally I fail to see anything hypocritical in this but feel free to make your case if you indeed have one…

    Christopher Rose
    Blogcritics Comments Editor

  • Archie, I strongly disagree with your argument. It isn’t the case that calling every woman a cunt would be sexist but calling one woman in particular isn’t, both are.

    Personally, I’ve never understood why men consider this word as an insult, the pejorative use of which seems deeply misogynistic to me. I’m a big fan of the vajayjay myself…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arch –

    If you’ll read closer, I said “I would call you a misogynist, BUT” –

    The word “tut” meaning that I did not call you a misogynist. Hopefully you’ll read a little deeper and figure out what I really said.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    To all –

    The esteemed Comments Editor Christopher Rose states:

    Personally I fail to see anything hypocritical in [insulting others but editing the insults that others make]

    …and THEN he says in the very next comment:

    Personally, I’ve never understood why men consider [the label ‘misogynist’] as an insult

    I submit that Mr. Rose is RIGHT – he simply doesn’t understand, which is why he doesn’t see the hypocrisy in editing the insults of others (and supporting the ban of Ruvy for the same, IIRC) while engaging in using uncalled-for (and wildly inaccurate) insults himself…and instead of holding himself to the same standard he expects of others, Chris depends on his assistant to edit his words FOR him. Any good supervisor knows instinctively that NO supervisor depends on a subordinate or even an equal to edit his or her words FOR him, and this is even more egregious since this Comments Editor is depending on his assistant to edit his (the Comment Editor’s)j words FOR him after the words have been publicly posted!

    And perhaps that’s one reason why the traffic on this website has dropped significantly since certain people were banned.

  • troll

    “…and THEN he says in the very next comment:

    Personally, I’ve never understood why men consider [the label ‘misogynist’] as an insult”

    that’s not what he said…geeze – what’s happened to reading comprehension around here?

  • Glenn, the reason why Chris depends on me to edit his comments is that to do it himself would be unethical.

    I edit his and he edits mine, particularly if one of us is deeply involved in a discussion. That’s one of the reasons why we have two comments editors.

    Chris may have engaged in insults, but I don’t see anything yet that justifies an edit.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Chris, you’ve crossed the line many, many times and have personally insulted many of the posters here. I have too. Most of us have.

    The fact that you deny it whilst asking us to buy that your assistant would edit your comments had they “crossed the line” is like a fart in the wind.

    Then there’s the matter that we’ve had egregious repeat offenders, like Dr. Cuntbag in comment one on this thread, keep on keepin’ on with the same bullshit year after year while others are banned with comparative ease.

    Doc, I think the point is that there doesn’t appear to be any continuity or visible accountability in having one’s fellow do the editing. I think that’s a reasonable concern.

  • That’s as may be, Jordan, in which case anyone is welcome to contact Blogcritics management with such concerns.

    Our comments editing setup may not be ideal, but it’s a heck of a lot more impartial and fair than many blogs, on which you can be banned for nothing more egregious than disagreeing with the webmaster.

    Archie has, I’ll grant you, been given a lot of licence and has been warned many times about his conduct: warnings which he appears to take on board but then forgets about in the heat of his always pungent opinions. A close eye is always kept on him here.

    The “others” you refer to were not banned “with comparative ease” but after much discussion, and the decision was made not by Chris and myself but by upper management, after consultation during which Chris and I both expressed reservations about the bannings.

    Only spammers, obvious trolls and those in clear and persistent violation of the comments policy are “easily” banned.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Compared to the things Arch has said over the years, I still maintain that the subjects we’re talking about were banned “with ease.” The emphasis is on the contrast, not the “ease.” I’m not suggest that such decisions are made lightly or easily.

    You may have discussed their situations at length, but it does appear that others have been given a lot more rope. If we compare the amount of warnings given to a poster like Arch (I don’t want him banned, for the record) with the amount of warnings given to someone like, say, the verbose Sarge, how does it add up? Who’s had a longer leash? From my perspective, the answer is pretty clear, but my perspective has been known to be wrong.

    How does Arch’s behaviour not represent “clear and persistent violation of the comments policy?”

    Also, is this Blogcritics a blog or an online magazine/blog network? I recognize that the set-up is unique, but we have mechanisms for doling out review materials and for editing articles. It seems that, by comparison, the comment policing is a little fly-by-night. Comparing it to the North Korea of other sites/blogs isn’t particularly compelling to me.

    Anyway, just my two cents worth (possibly less with the exchange rate) from what I’ve observed over the last while. I certainly don’t want to detract from how you do your job or run down the site, but I think there are some concerns with consistency worth looking at.

  • Cannonshop

    #32 Nope, has to do with working with engineers and going to see doctors (Something I’ve had more experience than I’d like on that second part since the accident.)

    The guys with the weird accents from abroad tended get right down to what’s wrong, and their shit worked. Same on the factory floor-American engineers (born here, educated here, raised here) generally end up deferring to the foreign-born (and you know who they are-it’s on the badge they’re wearing) more often than not, and when they don’t, we end up going and sending most of the ‘fixes’ back for a reconvene to prevent further damage to the airplane.

    Why is this? because the American engineers that aren’t LAZY, have barely more competence than some of our GREEEN mechanics.

    It’s real simple, Igor-American Education in the PRODUCTIVE arts stinks. I can’t testify to how a college/university educated finance guy might have an edge-but given the last five years, I’d have to speculate that they are about as incompetent and/or lazy.

  • Cannonshop

    Mind that my observations are purely subjective, and kind of depressing. I’d LOVE to be wrong on this…I just don’t think I am.

  • Cannonshop

    But let’s get back on track for a minute. The six versions Warren posted for calculating Unemployment numbers, I think reflect five attempts to make excuses, and one actual hard number.

    I base this on the question: Who’s paying taxes? ’cause that is the question that most impacts our collective government-if someone isn’t paying in, but they’re drawing out, then that represents a burden on the ones that are left paying in-and an accurate measure of that burden would be better from the standpoint of discussing the political end, than the numbers taht include exceptions.

    Call it the ‘real condition on the ground’ requirement.

    We are GOING to have some form of social safety net, I think it imperative that this net actually be, y’know, useful for converting those that aren’t contributing back into contributors-as quickly and as long-term as possible.

    One way I posit that we might do this as a collective ‘society’ (i.e. doing it the Lib way) would be to fix our shoddy education system and start shoving them back through school (along with substance-abuse treatment and/or good ol’ fashioned counseling)-not the current, poor-quality schools we have, but schools with HIGHER quality, and more aggressive demands-no “No Study” bullshit classes, just hard-nosed intensity wiht a “Pass you get to eat, slack you get to starve” mentality.

    We’ve had a couple generations of de-emphasizing the work-ethic in our society and especially our schools-we’re being out-competitioned by cultures that DON’T have multiple generations of teaching school kids to slack-to fix it, we’re going to have to turn that around, to fix it soon, we’re going to have to do something rather drastic.

    and it’s going to cost money we don’t have.

  • re #44. Glenn, as you keep attributing emotions and thoughts to me that I don’t actually have, I presume that referring to me as esteemed is some kind of sarcasm, so thanks for the forked tongue.

    As to the substance of your remark, you are misunderstanding the situation.

    The Doc and I are participating in the Blogcritics comments space in two different ways, both as people making their own comments and in the roles we perform for the site. We both understand the difference between the two and I make a point of signing my comments as such when commenting in my formal capacity rather than simply as the person that I happen to be.

    As such, it makes perfect sense to have someone else, in my case the Doc and in his case me, in a position to decide if one of our remarks goes beyond the intent and spirit of the comments policy.

    Additionally, we interpret the policy as guidelines rather than rules set in stone because that allows for greater flexibility in how we manage the space.

    I can understand how some people might prefer to have tightly specified rules but experience over the years has shown again and again that such rigidity is unhelpful.

    In fact that would merely aid those determined to try and game the site by allowing them to claim that what they are doing is within the rules, as we saw relatively recently.

    If we applied the guidelines rigidly then not only would Messrs Cohen, Kurtz and Ruvi have been banned far earlier than they unfortunately were, many others would be banned as well, leaving a far smaller pool of commenters interacting on the site.

    Although I dislike boasting, both personally and in others, I will write that I think we show a huge degree of compassion and tolerance in our management of the comments space and do our very best to be the inclusive space that the now departed founder envisaged this to be.

    If I tried to hold myself to the liberal (in the non-political sense of the word) standards we espouse here, I would be setting myself up as judge, jury and executioner to myself.

    Not only is it nigh on impossible to be objective enough to hold oneself up to a standard one polices, (which is why we have legal constraints on the actual police and politicians) but surely that would be an unfair, probably unbearable, burden and leave me in an impossible position?

    It was my idea to add DD as my assistant; he brings many good things to the site in addition to his ability to edit any of my comments that might go too far, not least his commendable patience in engaging in debate with certain excessively and/or extremely dogmatic people, plus his generally sound judgement. I consider adding him to the team as one of the best things I have done for the site.

    As I said in response to Costello, I fail to see any hypocrisy here, simply pragmatic common sense and nothing in your #44 has persuaded me otherwise.

    As troll pointed out in #45, I didn’t write that “Personally, I’ve never understood why men consider [the label ‘misogynist’] as an insult”. I said I don’t understand why men consider the word “cunt” an insult and I also said that I think Arch Conservative was being misogynistic.

    Arch is one of those people that I almost always disagree with, although I don’t actually dislike him. He has come close to being banned many times and, if we took a rigid line in managing the comments space, he absolutely would have been.

    The general consensus, both with DD and myself and the wider BC commenting community, is that having as wide a range of views as possible is better than having an excessively controlled space.

    That is why the three most recent expulsions were undertaken with extreme reluctance and only after all three of them were given multiple opportunities over a period of many months, both publicly in the comments space and, where possible, in emails direct to them, to stop being extremely rude, hostile and/or hateful in their everyday comments, opportunities none of them saw fit to take up.

    It might be the case that the overall number of comments is slightly down since their departures, though I have no statistics to support that conjecture, but that isn’t a consideration for us. As to the site traffic, there has been no meaningful change at all.

    #47/49, Jordan, bearing in mind the difference between a straightforward personal attack and telling the truth about someone’s behaviour or remarks, I don’t think I have crossed the line that often in my personal comments on this site.

    I also trust DD’s judgement to be quite good in perceiving where the wavy line we patrol lies and protecting it.

    I’m a passionate and hopefully thoughtful person who isn’t afraid to call things as I see them, which may sometimes seem a little jarring to some, particularly in the somewhat confused environment that is the United States. I accept that my remarks may be edited from time to time and don’t have a problem with that, I’m just one person, just like everybody else. As such, I’m sure I make mistakes some times, just like everybody else. That is part of life and essentially unremarkable.

    If we weren’t having a commentary about commenting, I would have edited your depiction of AC but I’m letting it slide this time. Sorry if that is too shades of grey rather than the black and white that some seem to yearn for.

    I don’t think any commenter has been banned with “comparative ease” but if you know of any such cases, please bring them to my attention.

    Given all I have posted above in this comment, I don’t really think it is correct to state that “there doesn’t appear to be any continuity or visible accountability in having one’s fellow do the editing”.

    Rob and I do our best to manage the space and, if we do make a mistake, that can be put to us. If that doesn’t resolve an issue, it can also be taken to the current ruling troika, as has happened many times.

    It is a tough job to manage the comments space and might well be one of those things that can never please all the people all the time, but overall I think we do a good job.

    There are lots of improvements we’d like to make to this virtual community and we’ve been trying to introduce various things for many years but the owners, past and present, unfortunately don’t seem inclined to commit any resources. I think that is a big mistake and that lots of opportunities, both cultural and commercial, are being missed, but I can only continue to lobby for them and make the case when the opportunity presents itself, which I do.

    I hope that I have managed to contribute to your perception of how the comments space is managed. I would agree that it is a fluid rather than rigid process, which I see as a good thing but, having just looked up the meaning of the term, I don’t think it is fly-by-night by any means.

    Christopher Rose
    Blogcritics Comments Editor

  • Jordan Richardson

    Chris, thanks for a detailed response and your time. Appreciate it.

    …bearing in mind the difference between a straightforward personal attack and telling the truth about someone’s behaviour or remarks, I don’t think I have crossed the line that often in my personal comments on this site.

    The “truth?” Let’s be honest: it’s the truth as you see it. And in some cases, that “truth” can be rather insulting. You belittle people of faith, for instance, because, for you, there’s “truth” to the notion that they don’t think straight. While there’s little doubt that you should be able to express your truth, the notion of discarding some as irrational thinkers on a wholesale basis can be rather easily construed as a personal attack.

    I might think it’s the “truth” that you’re an idiot, but it’s still an insult. So I guess the best course here is to seek some clarity as to the difference between a “straightforward” personal attack (as opposed to an ambiguous one, I presume) and “telling the truth.” I think Mr. Kurtz, to use another example, believed he was “telling the truth” in his comments and through his behaviour. Arch, too, is “telling the truth.”

    I agree and accept that you both do your best in the circumstances. Again, I don’t believe, at least for me, that this is about someone not being good at his or her job or not doing his or her job effectively using the mechanisms we have. It’s a thankless job and I, for one, appreciate the work you do.

    I have given examples regarding “comparative ease” and even illustrated the contrast using two specifics in comment #49:

    “If we compare the amount of warnings given to a poster like Arch (I don’t want him banned, for the record) with the amount of warnings given to someone like, say, the verbose Sarge, how does it add up? Who’s had a longer leash? From my perspective, the answer is pretty clear, but my perspective has been known to be wrong.”

    Compared to the length of leash Arch seems to have, Mr. Cohen was banned rather “easily.” Again, I’m not saying Irv was banned easily or lightly: I’m saying that compared to what Arch has gotten away with over the years and the persistence with which he’s violated the comment policy, the Sarge was let go rather “easily.”

    Given the examples I’ve provided and the lack of consistency, I would say that the comment editing process can be a little unreliable. You yourself say that Arch would be banned “if we took a rigid line,” yet it appears that you have taken a “rigid line” with some other posters. This lack of continuity is hard to ignore for someone new trying to figure out how to proceed and what’s acceptable, wouldn’t you say?

  • Hi Jordan,

    Really appreciate your thoughtfulness, thanks for that.

    I think it kind of goes without saying that everyone’s truth is the truth as they see it, doesn’t it?

    That said, I think there is a qualitative difference between truth that is based on dogma, theory or misapprehension as opposed to that based on observed reality, as best we can observe it.

    There is also a difference between those for whom the truth is fixed and those who are interested in finding out the truth.

    True, I do belittle the views of many people of faith. I think that is justified because most of them are oh so certain that what they believe is literally true, which is obviously a requirement for a faith based system, regardless of the evidence.

    I don’t actually mind one way or another whether we were created by a deity or not, or if that deity requires us to worship it. Although if we were, I don’t understand why it would want to be worshipped, which seems kind of insecure for someone so omnipotent.

    What I do mind is the blind insistence that we were created when there actually isn’t any evidence to support that notion. It might be true but that doesn’t excuse the arrogance of insisting it is or of forcing the accompanying way of life that goes with these dogmas onto others.

    I also think that the petty squabbles (on a conceptual level at least, not petty to those suffering violence) between the three strands of monotheism are nothing but damaging to all humans and the planet.

    That said, I am interested in spirituality and have a reverence for life that I find profound.

    Life is full of contradictions and complexities however, which is why I support people’s right to choose in terms of their fertility but am vehemently opposed to capital punishment.

    I find a lot of inspiration in the idea that intelligence is the universe exploring itself and understanding what this thing we call reality is and is capable of.

    We are quite literally star dust and as such we are all intimately connected to everything. That is literally amazing and a source of awe and wonder.

    Anyway, looping back to your remarks, I don’t actually think it would be an insult if you thought I was an idiot, regardless of its truth or not. It would be your opinion and you are welcome to it. I might be disappointed or hurt that someone held that opinion but that’s life.

    Given all the evidence, I don’t believe Mr Kurtz was telling the truth as he saw it, nor that he believed that he was. I know for a fact that he was ignoring information put before him and he was clearly in the grip of dogmatic opinions that no amount of input was capable of shaking. As such, he was repeatedly attacking people and could not be communicated with. Shame, really.

    Arch is quite a different case and is much more in control of himself, most of the time at least. He also doesn’t normally attack specific people participating in our community, more commonly types of people, ways of thinking or people in the public eye, which aren’t covered by the comments guidelines anyway. He also responds to information put to him that the “unholy” trio were all quite incapable of doing.

    I think that explains why he gets managed differently than they did and I find it consistent with the way we manage the comments space, which I also think we do in a consistent if not immediately obvious way, because we do it in a more nuanced way than many might expect or possibly want.

    So I guess that all means that I don’t agree with your contention that Arch has a longer leash or that Cohen, Kurtz and Ruvy were banned easily. They are/were all dealt with on an individual basis specific to themselves.

    It follows, therefore, that I also don’t agree that we took a rigid line with those three or that there is a lack of continuity in the way we deal with things.

    I do agree that this, er, more personally tailored management might well be harder to figure out for “someone new trying to figure out how to proceed and what’s acceptable” but I also consider it far better than the alternative, which would be something more akin to the fixed sentencing for certain crimes that is found in the deeply flawed American legal system.

    Christopher Rose
    Blogcritics Comments Editor

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Glenn, the reason why Chris depends on me to edit his comments is that to do it himself would be unethical.

    Okay, I’ll give you that – but I suspect that as you wrote this, you already knew the obvious rejoinder I would use, that someone who considers himself a professional should not use – should not need to use – insulting language to get his point across. It’s simply unprofessional, and more egregiously so when the said professional is banning others from the site for using insulting language.

    Sure, Chris is denying any hypocrisy in his actions…but you see it as easily as I do. You may feel compelled to say otherwise, but it’s still as glaringly obvious to you as it is to me.

    So which is it? Do the two of you consider yourselves unpaid amateurs and so such conduct by one of you is permissible? Or do the two of you consider yourselves as professionals?

    Because true professionals don’t insult. They don’t need to.

  • Glenn,

    As Chris said above, he and I participate on Blogcritics in two distinct ways: as commenters and as editors. We take pains to ensure that they don’t intersect.

    With our commenting hats on, we should no more be expected to be “professional” than you, Cannonshop, or any casual visitor who stops by, leaves a single comment and is never heard from again.

    It has been part of the spirit of the site from its inception that editors are able to participate just like anyone else. It’s up to other editors to deal with it when one of us crosses the line, which happens fairly often.

    In that respect, I don’t see that Chris’s behaviour is any more hypocritical than when Dave publishes one of your articles and then immediately jumps into the comments space to rip it apart.

    It may or may not be ideal, but you can trust Chris and me to separate the two roles with integrity.

    Dr Dreadful
    Blogcritics Assistant Comments Editor

  • re #56, Glenn, I don’t consider myself a professional Comments Editor, although thanks to Blogcritics I am possibly one of the most experienced and long-serving ones around the internet. Maybe one day if the serious underfunding of Blogcritics ever changes, though I see no prospect of that happening in the foreseeable future.

    I do see myself as a pretty open and honest person though; unlike many people who come with large agendas, I am mostly just dealing with stuff as and when I find it. Up to a point my life is rather impromptu.

    As to insulting language, one person’s meat is another person’s poison. If I get one of my personal comments edited, so be it, otherwise it’s fine. Do you think it is possible that your rancour about how we do things here is actually related to something else?

    I don’t think DD is at all compelled to say anything he doesn’t want to; I certainly don’t require it of him and don’t think anybody else is telling him to. It would be shocking news to me if they were! I do expect him to be honest though and would be surprised, annoyed and disappointed if he wasn’t.

    As to your assertion that true professionals don’t insult – wherever did you get that notion? I’ve been insulted by many professionals; lawyers, cops, even a judge or two, to say nothing of untold employers and sundry bosses, including by one of the former owners of this site, who is a devout Christian to boot!

    Christopher Rose
    Blogcritics Comments Editor

  • As to your assertion that true professionals don’t insult – wherever did you get that notion? I’ve been insulted by many professionals…

    Chris, I have to say I think you’re being obtuse here. What Glenn meant was that people who use insults in their official capacity are being unprofessional. I too have been insulted by police officers, teachers, bosses etc, and felt at the time and still feel that it was unprofessional behaviour.

    That said, I know a few cops socially, and sometimes hear them make derogatory comments about the criminals they deal with. I don’t have a particular problem with them doing that off duty, as long as they don’t carry that attitude into work with them.

    And this is what Glenn is having difficulty comprehending. If you were being insulting, which you have a perfect right to be, you were clearly doing so as Christopher Rose, Esq., not as Christopher Rose, Blogcritics Comments Editor.

  • But that’s precisely the crux, isn’t it?being able to distinguish when Chris is speaking ex cathedra or as a layperson. And affixing the title “Comments Editor” at the end of the comment doesn’t quite cut it.

    Can one really wear two hats at once? Perhaps the official or semi-official position does carry some added responsibility along with it. Indeed, perhaps the standards which may apply to the commoners ought to be raised a notch when a Comments Editor speaks, even in his unofficial capacity. It’s more of a reflection on the site than anything we might say or do.

    And why should insulting someone be considered a right, let alone a perfect right? The last I checked, it’s always bad form. And the fact that we may do it more often than we might wish do doesn’t make it right.

  • Roger, I’m amazed that I have to explain this to you but “right” is not the same as “a right”.

    For example, local traffic ordinances may give me the right to park so close to your back bumper that you can’t get out of your space. That doesn’t make it “right”.

  • But that’s precisely the crux, isn’t it?being able to distinguish when Chris is speaking ex cathedra or as a layperson.

    When Chris or I are talking about the comments, especially when we are advising a commenter about their conduct or the content of their comment(s), then chances are we’re speaking as comments editors.

    When we are talking about anything else whatsoever, then chances are we’re speaking as private individuals.

    Does that help?

  • @61

    You don’t have to explain a darn thing to me, Dreadful. You’re still mincing words and trading between their different meanings. Pure exercise of sophistry, especially since you don’t really address the issue I raised (concerning added responsibility that comes with holding even a semi-official position). And your #62 is singularly uninstructive.

    But I should have expected nothing but a sanctimonious tone from you, especially as regards these matters, and abstain from posting any comments. It’s like pissing into the wind.

    My bad!

  • Christopher Rose and Dr. Dreadful, let me express my personal appreciation for the fine work moderating (and keeping clean) these comments. There is a very fine line between moderation and censorship, and neither of you have crossed it.

    Re: comment #38, Dr. Dreadful, if citing a post that I have written bothers you so much, may I suggest that you ignore the author. But (and there is always a “but”) who the author is in no way affects the messaqe of the post.

  • [Reminisce] Ahh, I miss the good old days of arguing science/religion on talk.origins.[/Reminisce]

    Chris, did you ever hang out there?

  • Thanks, Warren. I appreciate your understanding and support.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    With our commenting hats on, we should no more be expected to be “professional” than you, Cannonshop, or any casual visitor who stops by, leaves a single comment and is never heard from again.

    I disagree because I see it as a conflict of interest, just as a congressman isn’t supposed to wear his congress hat by day and then at night make insider trades using confidential information he learned during the day. Other examples abound – state workers and the lottery, any business with any prize promotion it’s running, et cetera.

    Of course those examples all involve money…but to me, the same principle of “conflict of interest” still applies. That, ans as I said before, a true professional doesn’t insult because he doesn’t need to insult.

    You’re one of the most well-spoken and intelligent BC denizens. That’s not kissing butt – that’s a statement…and I say that because when someone is well-spoken and intelligent, a person can rest assured that that someone can readily understand the deeper meanings and contexts in speech and writing. That’s why I feel quite confident in my assertion that you feel some frustration about your fellow editor’s conduct…and you’re restraining yourself from saying it.

    To be sure, I could be wildly wrong – it wouldn’t be the first time. If I am, then please chalk it up to my numerous personal shortcomings. But this is one of those cases that I can never know whether I’m right or wrong since I’m essentially refusing to take your word on the matter…and I’m breaking my own rule on assumptions and make myself a hypocrite too by doing so.

    Crap. Where’d I put the Motrin….