Inspection- Claims are NOT “Proof”

by Ken Carman

It would seem a simple concept, and I suspect those who push it know that. They just have the mistaken, rather simplistic, idea that those they disagree with must be simpletons.Inspection Which of course is a conceptualization worthy of a simpleton, but now we’ve come around full circle, haven’t we?
 ”Yes, smart people of all ideological flavors too often view those who disagree with them in simplistic ways,” saith the cannibal with a boiling pot full of partisan nuts.
 The show: Thom Hartmann.
 The caller was challenging Thom on his claim about a lack of Iraqi WMDs. He… claimed… to have been to Iraq. He… claimed… to have been there when massive amounts of WMDs were found. When Thom balked at that the caller bounced with a tactic I have encountered many, many times on debate sites and Facebook…

  “I offered you ‘proof,’ why won’t you accept that?”

 Thom, the almost always eternal gentleman… hey, there’s limits to everything when dealing with rude, nasty people using cheap tactics: especially if they may just be lying… simply said, no, he didn’t, and even tried to walk his way rhetorically around the caller’s claim. Not being a talk show host, I have no such personal limitations.
 Straight off: the caller offered no “proof.” I would say “anecdotal evidence,” but it’s not even that. Callers and posters are, often, anonymous. We have little, to no, evidence they are who they claim to be: especially if they use what ham ops, then CB, called a “handle.” What they provide in such cases are claims: “claims” we have no way to verify, especially in that fast moving on air, or online, stage production called debate.
 One must note: except a shell filled with aged mustard gas we knew he had and was on the list, there was no parading of said “proof” by Cheney, Bush, Rice, Rummy, etc. of said proof. You bloody well know they would have dragged this out in the full light of the press, especially having access to that right wing free BJ media machine called FOX. If anything of such significance had been found the Bushies never were shy about such.
 I’ve experienced this so many times before. The debater thinks he… and while occasionally a “she,” most often it seems to be a “he…” has an easy way to “one up” who they are having a discussion with. One specific case was a poster named Daniel on a friend’s Facebook page. The debate was about provisional ballots, which I called placebo votes. Apparently he wasn’t fond of that usage so one of the first comments out of his digital mouth was a personal insult, that I didn’t understand simple math, then made the claim they were counted if the election was close.
 Daniel was not happy when I responded with a barrage of questions, questions like: what evidence does he have this was ever done? …in every district, at every polling place? …and if they really do this then doesn’t this negate the very claim that these voters shouldn’t be voting at all?
 Of course we went right back to insult city, and more claims that he claimed were proof, all decorated by more insults because he knew better than me since he had worked elections, and with election officials. Essentially I was to consider myself his inferior and I should just bow down to my lord and master.
 Chuckle. OK, he didn’t exactly say that, though one might infer. But that would be just another “claim.”
 What Daniel didn’t know is I too have worked elections, and worked with election officials. Having worked against electronic voting, I have also experienced the machines in both Tennessee and New York. Through research, talking with those who speak and educate on the topic, as well as personal experience, I know there’s a world of difference between the various voting systems and how they are counted. Help America Vote created an even worse system when it comes to equal protection of the vote. In Nashville it’s all on a cartridge that poll workers have no access to, and in some cases, nationwide, votes put on a hard drive or a cartridge, go straight back to the politically connected corporation. Or they get sent to servers in places like Tennessee to be laundered… um, “corrected,” then counted. Amazing how machine break downs seem to happen at such convenient times.
 Do you think I too am “making claims?” Stay tuned, gentle readers!
 Another claim made, followed by another insult, was basically that the only ones who got provisionals were those who had no proof they had a right to vote. Of course I knew that was a crock too. Especially in districts where one side wasn’t likely to win, politically connected poll watchers have been sent out for years to challenge those who most likely won’t vote the “right” way. These poll watchers are often armed with bogus lists, like the ones culled from Texas to challenge supposed Florida voters with similar names.
 Whether the voter had ID, or not, therefore means little in such cases. The list provides a bogus claim that in one state: Joe A. Smith, has no right to vote because Joe Q. Smith in another state is a felon. Names changed, or not mentioned, to protect, um, those having had their right to vote stolen, and those out to rig the vote in their party’s favor. Besides, having met a few of these “folks” they tend to want to stay anonymous so those who find out about their antics don’t get the torches, or spread tales regarding their vote stealing activities in case the public gets angry.
 Again I ask, “Do you think I too am ‘making claims?'” Yup. And that’s the point. I can make claims just like Daniel can. Look into it yourself, and never just accept what anyone says, or… claims.
 Finally I tired of Daniel’s grautitous, mindless, insults and told him as far as his insults go, in graphic terms, to just go… well, I’ll be polite. “Polite” kind of like I was trying to be with him many times before I finally “released” the well deserved, obscenity “Kraken.” Then I attempted to reason one more time with him. Of course I got no response. I doubt his ego let him get beyond the first sentence, or my last: both of which just tossed his insulting nature right back into his digital face.
 But just so you’re aware, gentle reader, if you haven’t noticed it yet, this is one more cheap tactic being used in an arsenal of BS-based tactics by self righteous partisans who think they’re being “clever.” You know: like loudly trying to talk over someone when losing an argument, or claiming someone challenging them is “yelling,” or “angry.” It’s mostly crap, and mostly just tactics used to distract you when they know they have a weak argument.
 Just like insisting a claim is “proof.”

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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