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It’s Everybody’s Favorite Game: Whack-A-Troll!

Earlier this evening I received a particularly amusing email from an individual named Robert Brooks. Apparently he’s been trying to get in touch with me to challenge my position as a progressive. If you know me at all, you know how hard it is to track me down online to take a shot at me, right? ;)

I think it’s important to tell you I get messages like this fairly regularly. I most often ignore them, because there’s no point in engaging small-minded people who operate within an alternate reality in any sort of debate. Even when I don’t ignore them entirely, I rarely share the exchange publicly, but this one… well, you’ll see. His statements, in their entirety, appear within the blockquotes, while my responses to each appear below.

Enjoy!

It’s been two days now without any response from you, even though I can see that you are active with your facebook account. I can only assume you do not want a friendly debate with me, which is fine, but please don’t pretend you are smarter than most conservatives or have some well of intellect that only you lap from.

I have no idea who you are, nor what you’re referring to. I have received no messages from you via any social media source, including Facebook. I don’t pretend to be smarter than anyone. I do, however, form my opinions and base my positions on facts, data & evidence.

I want to understand why you believe what you believe. I want to know how a progressive person, such as yourself, can be as obliterate to the signs of an economic collapse, or see that the entitlements are wreaking havoc in this nation. Don’t you know that we are not as far off as Greece right now? Or Spain?

First of all, if you’re going to try to make yourself sound more intelligent by using “big” words, you should understand the meanings of the words you choose. Obliterate and oblivious are not synonyms. A fact that appears to have escaped your attention, along with innumerable other facts.

I agree that entitlements are wreaking havoc on this nation. However, this havoc is directly related to the culture of CORPORATE welfare, not the social safety net and anti-poverty measures, as you prefer to believe. While this essay was written in 1999, the information is no less applicable today: http://www.hoover.org/publications/monographs/27208

In fact, thanks in part to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, the pernicious impact of corporate welfare is more destructive today than at any point in our history. Sheldon Adelson is a perfect example. Mr. Adelson intends to spend 100 million dollars or more to elect Mitt Romney. Why? So he’ll get a tax break of more than 2 BILLION dollars. Overruling the will of the American people in order to avoid paying your fair share in taxes would not be a plausible strategy without our corporate welfare state. If you’d like to end entitlements, I suggest we start by ending the ones given to those least in need of them (i.e. the nation’s most profitable industries, not the mythical “Welfare Queen”).

Many enjoy demonizing the so-called “half of Americans that pay no taxes”. However, they do so without having a basic understanding of who that “half of Americans” actually is. Here’s a colorful, easy to understand visual aid that may help you better understand that particularly malicious and widely accepted Republican meme: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/files/2012/09/Breakdown3-06-17-11.gif

And here’s the entire post, if you care to read the facts: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/17/romneys-theory-of-the-taker-class-and-why-it-matters/

Damn… those blood-sucking old people sure are dragging down this country, huh? And let’s not forget the working poor… the biggest slice of that pie. I wish those people would stop working crappy jobs for low wages and get a real job, like responsible Americans. In case you don’t know what “working poor” means, they are people who WORK, but make so little income that they live perpetually near, at or below the poverty level.

Those people DO pay payroll taxes, but because their incomes are so low, they have a ZERO tax liability. Those people have FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes, Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes withheld from every paycheck. Unlike those, such as Mitt Romney, whose annual income does not come from employment, but from capital gains & such, the working poor DO pay more than their fair share in taxes.

I want to know why you believe Obama has the power to go around congress, taking enumerated power used to balance our government. Is it because congress is working against Obama, as so many progressives like to say. Harry Reid controls the senate, does he not? Is he not a democrat that refuses republican bills to come up for vote?

I’ve never claimed that Obama has such power, nor do I believe he should. It is also important to point out that Barack Obama has taken no such liberty by reducing, co-opting or refusing to acknowledge the enumerated powers granted to Congress by Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.

Harry Reid does not “control” the Senate. He is the Senate Majority Leader. I suggest you enroll in a Civics 101 class at your local community college. Perhaps it would help you better understand how parliamentary procedure works. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: there are 100 senators, of whom Harry Reid is one, whose job it is – in conjunction with the House of Representatives – to debate the issues of the day like grown ups and pass legislation that is representative of the will of the electorate.

Today’s Republicans are not committed to that goal. And they make no apology for their obstruction and commitment to a singular goal. As the Minority Leader, who by your logic “controls” Republican members of the Senate, stated clearly and without equivocation, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Not “to represent and protect the interests of the American people”, not “to do whatever is necessary to improve the economy & get unemployed Americans back to work” and not “to rush to last place as the final first world nation to provide basic healthcare to its citizens”. But to defeat Barack Obama. That’s exactly the kind of commitment to progress we need in our elected officials, particularly the leader of the minority party.

Harry Reid is, in fact, a Democrat. He is not, however “a democrat that refuses republican bills to come up for vote”. Perhaps you’re referring to these “JOBS, JOBS, JOBS” bills, sent down from the House of Representatives:

  1. H.R. 1, Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act Feb. 18 (amendments include: defunding the EPA, czars, Obamacare and Planned Parenthood.)
  2. H.R. 2, Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, Jan. 19 (the House has voted on this one some 33 times or more at this point… JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!)
  3. H.R. 3, No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, May 4 (JOBS, JOBS, JOBS… I mean, ABORTION, ABORTION, ABORTION…)
  4. H.CON.RES.34 Ryan Budget Bill, Apr. 11 (simple math requires getting rid of mortgage tax cuts, child tax cuts, etc. just to make the budget math plausible)
  5. H.R. 1363, One-week budget bill (with Planned Parenthood, EPA and NPR defunding riders), Apr. 7 (Hmm… more JOBS, JOBS, JOBS?!?)
  6. H.R. 910, Energy Tax Prevention Act (a.k.a. Stop EPA bill), Apr. 7 (surprise… another “death to tree huggers bill”, but still no JOBS, JOBS, JOBS…)
  7. H.R. 359, Eliminate public finance, Jan. 26
  8. H.R. 217, to Defund Planned Parenthood, Feb. 21 (another ABORTION, ABORTION, ABORTION bill… but JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!)
  9. H.R. 1076, Defund NPR (this was an emergency vote), Mar. 15. (yes, because defunding NPR is a real emergency…)
  10. H.R. 1230: Restarting American Offshore Leasing Act, May 5 (yeah, DRILL BABY DRILL… Deep Water Horizon, what’s that?!?)
  11. H.J. Res. 37: Disapproving Net neutrality, Apr. 9 (can you say censorship? Say it with me… cen-sor-ship… very good…)
  12. H.R. 861, Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Termination Act, Mar. 16 (just let Detroit burn… who cares, right?)
  13. H.R.1214, Block Money for Constructing School-Based Health Centers, May 4 (poor kids don’t get healthcare… they should have been born into wealthy families if they wanted to live long & prosper…)
  14. H.R. 1229, the Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act, April 13 (why does everyone keep bringing up this Deep Water Horizon thing?!?!)
  15. H.R. 2560, Cut, Cap and Balance Act, July 19 (the “majority vote? Oh, you need 2/3rds, not just a simple majority… and we can screw old people way easier now” bill)
  16. H.R. 830, FHA Refinance Program Termination Act, Mar. 10 (poor people should live on the street where they belong…)
  17. H.R. 836, the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act, Mar. 14 (double down on poor people living on the street…)
  18. H.R. 839, the HAMP Termination Act, Mar. 29 (did I say double down poor people living on the street? I meant all in…)
  19. H.R. 1213, To repeal mandatory funding provided to States in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, May 3 (we may not be able to repeal Obamacare, but we can stop state funding to set up health insurance exchanges, right?)
  20. H.R. 1217, to repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund, Apr. 13 (DOH! There’s that pesky public funding for abortions problem again… gotta do something about that…)

Here’s a high-level overview of the “JOBS, JOBS, JOBS” legislative agenda of the 112th Congress, on a topic-by-topic basis:
Abortion: 84
Religion: 229
Family Relationships: 118
Marriage: 85
Firearms/Gun Control: 163
Government Investigations: 737

Hmm… who introduced the vast majority of those “JOBS, JOBS, JOBS” bills disguised as “ABORTION, ABORTION, ABORTION”, “RELIGION, RELIGION, RELIGION”, “MARRIAGE, MARRIAGE, MARRIAGE” et al. bills? I wonder…

I’m just trying to understand a progressives point of view that you employee in your daily life. Because as a citizen, I can’t understand how anyone could want Obama a second time.

1) progressive’s
2) employ
3) term? want to elect Obama a second time? You choose… either is accurate, unlike your original statement.

You will never understand a progressive’s point of view, because you do not operate within the realm of reality. If you believe Mitt Romney, a man who has throughout his career dismantled companies, raided the pension funds of the employees of those companies and subsequently outsourced jobs previously held by Americans in order to “earn” his fortune, you will never be able to wrap your head around why Barack Obama is the lesser of two evils in the upcoming 2012 Presidential election.

I find it odd that I cannot post on your website or email you directly without receiving my own email address as the sender. This gives me cause to believe you aren’t open to any debates that might cause you to question your beliefs.

What do you mean “…post on your website”? Post what? Post where? You are welcome to comment on any of my blog posts, just like anyone else. You are the sender of the email. Thus your email address will appear as the “sender”.

You can parrot back Republican talking points and mindless propaganda all you like. My opinions are rooted squarely in reality, with decades of data, evidence and verifiable facts to back it up. You, on the other hand, cannot point to any facts to support your beliefs. The difference is, mine are positions – positions based on facts, data and verifiable evidence. “Beliefs” is a word used by those whose arguments are not and cannot be supported by facts. “Beliefs” do not require any verifiable supporting evidence.

Revisionism is particularly dangerous for those to whom research and interpreting information pose a great challenge.

You progressive liberals all seem to be the same: you can stand high on your soap boxes but run when questions arise, kind of like Barack Obama and his few and far between, staged questions from the press.

You seem to be operating under the assumption that I’m a fan of Barack Obama. I’m not. I take issue with a number of President Obama’s policies, thus making provably false statements that whip ignorant people into a frenzy of idiocy isn’t required to illustrate my positions. I do not run from questions. I do, however, attempt to avoid engaging in pointless conversations with those whose allegiance is to nonsensical ideology & purposefully malicious propaganda, rather than to operating within the realm of facts, evidence and, by extension, reality.

Ps. I’m not a fan of fox, but please tell me what they lie about. Tell me what ALL the big lies that conservatives spew so I might fact check them.

The biggest, and longest surviving conservative lie is the repeatedly disproven theory of “Trickle Down Economics”. The book “Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us” is available from Amazon.com and was recently released in paperback – http://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Economics-Ideas-Still-among/dp/0691154546

Since I’m sure you won’t order that book, let alone read it, here are some articles from Noble Prize winning economist, Paul Krugman, that also dispel the myth of Trickle Down Economics:

http://select.nytimes.com/2007/09/10/opinion/10krugman.html
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/11/the-rich-get-richer-and-the-poor-go-nowhere/
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/21/opinion/21krugman.html

Here is another, rather lengthly, article from Paul Krugman that covers in great detail the history of conservative economic theories and how they have been disproven time and time and time again.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/06/magazine/06Economic-t.html

And this article, about the Father of the Free Market himself (Alan Greenspan) explains that – by Mr. Greenspan’s own admission – an unregulated free market, and by extension the very fundamentals of “Trickle Down Economics” – was at the root of the 2008 financial collapse.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/business/economy/24panel.html

Another long-standing and purposefully divisive conservative meme, which I mentioned above, is “half of Americans pay no taxes” (a favorite sound byte of the talking heads at Fox News). Here is a recent article from Ezra Klein that cogently & concisely dispels that myth with provable facts and verifiable data: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/17/romneys-theory-of-the-taker-class-and-why-it-matters/

By now I bet you’re thinking, “Geez, Alysson. You can’t really expect me to read all of that, can you?” Of course not. If you were willing to do the real work of researching the facts, we wouldn’t be having this little exchange… now, would we?

But if you’ve made it this far, I think you deserve to be rewarded. Here’s a little video that will give you a quick synopsis of several lies perpetuated by Fox News, including PolitiFact.com’s 2009 and 2010 “Lies of the Year”:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-june-21-2011/fox-news-false-statements

And here are a few other articles that will help you identify many of the most demonstrably fallacious conservative memes circulating throughout the GOP voting base as “facts”:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/rulings/pants-fire/ (I believe the overwhelming majority of these having come from conservatives illustrates my point beyond any shadow of a doubt, though I’m sure you’ll attribute it to a dreaded, albeit imaginary, liberal bias…)

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/03/28/shocker-conservative-fox-news-guest-tears-up-conservative-lies-about-chevy-volt/

http://www.alternet.org/story/149265/the_9_biggest_conservative_lies_about_taxes_and_public_spending?paging=off

http://foxnewslies.net/ (this one is specific to Fox News lies, not to conservative lies in general… a great place to learn where all the minions get their “news” & how these lies live on in perpetuity)

I think that’s enough for now. If you need more, let me know. I’ll gladly provide you with more facts that directly contradict everything you “believe”, as none of your beliefs are based on facts or reality. My positions, as you can see above, are firmly rooted in reality and based on facts.

Thanks for stopping by alyssonfergison.com and taking the time to chime in with your opinion. Contradictory opinions are always welcome, provided they are cogent & reasonable opinions that can exist outside the conservative revisionist bubble. If you happen upon any of cogent & reasonable positions within the ideological cesspool of the radical right wing, please feel free to come back and share them.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

~~

Alysson

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.”

Just in case Mr. Brooks decides to claim I in some way altered his original email, here’s the original submission I received with his email address redacted, of course… for the troll’s protection:

On Sep 27, 2012, at 2:57 PM, [REDACTED] wrote:

a form has been submitted on September 27, 2012, via: http://www.alyssonfergison.com/contact-me/ [IP 166.137.99.208, 127.0.0.1]
Contact Me Page
Reach out & touch someone…namely, me!
Your Name Robert Brooks
Email [REDACTED]
Website http://
Message It’s been two days now without any response from you, even though I can see that you are active with your facebook account. I can only assume you do not want a friendly debate with me, which is fine, but please don’t pretend you are smarter than most conservatives or have some well of intellect that only you lap from.

I want to understand why you believe what you believe. I want to know how a progressive person, such as yourself, can be as obliterate to the signs of an economic collapse, or see that the entitlements are wreaking havoc in this nation. Don’t you know that we are not as far off as Greece right now? Or Spain?

I want to know why you believe Obama has the power to go around congress, taking enumerated power used to balance our government. Is it because congress is working against Obama, as so many progressives like to say. Harry Reid controls the senate, does he not? Is he not a democrat that refuses republican bills to come up for vote?

I’m just trying to understand a progressives point of view that you employee in your daily life. Because as a citizen, I can’t understand how anyone could want Obama a second time.

I find it odd that I cannot post on your website or email you directly without receiving my own email address as the sender. This gives me cause to believe you aren’t open to any debates that might cause you to question your beliefs.

You progressive liberals all seem to be the same: you can stand high on your soap boxes but run when questions arise, kind of like Barack Obama and his few and far between, staged questions from the press.

Ps. I’m not a fan of fox, but please tell me what they lie about. Tell me what ALL the big lies that conservatives spew so I might fact check them.
You must check this box to acknowledge you’ve read the above notice. on
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Update #1

I received this email shortly after sending my reply…

Hi! I’m glad I finally caught you. It’ll take me time to plow through your email as my entire Internet experience filters through a cellphone. I have little doubt that I’ll persuade you with any of my comments so I’ll just tackle this as fun little side project as I probe your mind. I would very much appreciate you not talking down to me as I don’t believe I was doing that to you. I /did/ send you an email and felt snubbed. No matter, please forgive my obvious blunder.

Rob

No need to apologize, Rob. If you choose to try to persuade me, I suggest you do so publicly so the rest of my audience can witness our exchange. A debate is useless if it is isolated only to its participants.

Not talking down to me? I believe your “some well of intellect that only you lap from” clearly conveyed your patronizing tone. I merely responded in kind.

Update #2

Shortly thereafter, I received this email:

Alysson,

Nevermind. I didn’t realize you were going to play the “let’s humiliate someone on my website” game. It is very apparent now to me that you did get my first email:

I think it’s important to tell you I get messages like this fairly regularly. I most often ignore them, because there’s no point in engaging small-minded people who operate within an alternate reality in any sort of debate. Even when I don’t ignore them entirely, I rarely share the exchange publicly, but this one… well, you’ll see. His statements, in their entirety, appear within the blockquotes, while my responses to each appear below.

I get a lot of emails from people who disagree with me… so, in your mind, THAT proves I received your first email? Interesting logic. I wish I could feign surprise at your flawed skills of deduction. Does the possibility exist that your email, along with hundreds of others, could have ended up in my SPAM folder? You submitted the form, presumably, from your Yahoo! email address. Yahoo! email addresses have been flooding people with SPAM emails for months now.

It is certainly within the realm of possibility that your original email, should you have actually sent one, found its way to my SPAM folder and was subsequently deleted along with all of the other SPAM being filtered by Google’s mail servers. If you prefer to believe I snubbed you, that is your right. Though considering the amount of time I’ve spent making a cogent argument and producing facts to back it up, any reasonable person will conclude that you are incorrect.

This is a perfect example of a conservative tendency to draw conclusions that support irrational, unfounded beliefs without making any attempt to identify any other possible cause. Well done, Rob. You may not have offered any substantive arguments to support your positions, but you certain did provide an incredibly useful example to illustrate one of mine. Kudos. Moving on…

How exactly have I humiliated you? I didn’t realize it was possible to be humiliated by the facts. Then again, I’ve always had a certain allegiance to them, so I probably wouldn’t have any reason to have an emotional reaction to having facts presented to me. When you operate within the realm of reality, data & evidence are always welcome additions to the pool of knowledge, as learning presents yet another opportunity to evolve.

This is really sad. Please remove me from your website. I never intended to do anything more than have an honest debate. When you ignored me I did the wrong thing and spouted off. For that I’m sorry. I honestly don’t understand your point of view and wanted some clarification. It is evident to me now that you’re an angry, bitter person who takes a liking to ramming your opinion down other people’s throats and then allowing the rest of your small minded friends the opportunity to throw you bits of praise for your “snarkiness”.

I hope you find joy in something other than belittling people with different opinions…honestly I do. While I still think you are wrong, I’m going to ignore your childish banter and research what you gave me.

Again, please remove me from your website and we’ll pretend one of lower intelligence such as myself, never stumbled upon your doorstep.

Rob

Oh, Rob… you’re right. This is sad. It’s sad that someone clings to nonsensical ideology and then, when presented with verifiable evidence that renders their beliefs provably false, claims the person who presented those facts is belittling them or engaging in childish banter. You sought me out, Rob. Let’s not forget that. And it’s not as if I gave you no reason to believe your email might be published on my website.

Do you see that little box next to my disclaimer, Rob? I know you do, because you checked it before submitting the form. How do I know you checked it? Because forms cannot be submitted without having checked that box. That said, I presume you read what it said before checking the box. If you didn’t, I can hardly be held responsible for that. Unfortunately, I’m afraid I’ll have to deny your request to “remove me from your website”. Your original email – as well as any subsequent emails, as you can see – are here to stay.

If you don’t believe your arguments can stand up to public scrutiny, that’s fine. But don’t pretend you were unaware of the potential for this exchange to become public or that the content of my website misleads people about who I am. You should have considered the potential consequences before submitting your email. Lesson learned for you, I’d say. Welcome to the big kids’ table. If you’d like to head back to the daycare center, I completely understand.

You are right about one thing, Rob. I am angry.

I am angry that so many people possess an unwavering allegiance to ideology, but show no interest in doing the research, finding the facts and basing their positions on verifiable evidence.

I am angry that one political party maliciously & purposefully distorts the truth and unapologetically uses fear to whip its ignorant base into a frenzy with blatant lies & divisive propaganda.

I am angry that so many people allow themselves to be used as puppets of avarice without taking the time to follow the money trail of organizations like the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, et al.

I am angry that people, like you, preface your statements with “as a citizen” to imply that, because I don’t believe as you do, that I am somehow less patriotic or less worthy of being an American.

I am angry that monied special interests have completely taken over the Republican party and turned it into a caricature of selfishness & idiocy to the point that reasonable, rational, respectable men like Buddy Roemer are decried as communist sympathizers for pointing out the obvious destructive force of corporate & special interest money on the electoral process.

And I am angry that our two-party system not only allows, but encourages & rewards elected officials for slapping voters in the face with their Bibles, forcing their subjective morality on the populace while simultaneously shrieking that THEY are victims of religious persecution.

If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention…

Unlike many conservatives, I don’t ram my opinions down anyone’s throat. I express them. And I will make no apology for that. I do not support legislators, nor legislation, that allow subjective morals or religious beliefs to be rammed down mine. It appears that you have mistaken an attempt to illustrate my positions with data as an attempt to force you to believe as I do. I don’t care what you believe. If you choose to build your belief system on a foundation of shifting sand that recognizes provably false claims as facts, that is your choice. I couldn’t care less.

I draw my own conclusions, based on the facts, rather than accepting the conclusions of others based on a desire to support my own ill-conceived ideological beliefs. That my fact-based conclusions are also held by other rational, reasonable, thinking people is merely icing on the proverbial cake.

“We will never have the elite, smart people on our side…”

I wonder why that is, Rob. Perhaps it is because the man hailed as “the great thinker” of modern conservatism is a man whose ideological philosophy was built on the teachings of Ayn Rand.

Conservatives far & wide hail Ayn Rand as an ideological idol, based on nothing more than the carefully selected seeds that conservatism has purposefully and maliciously planted within their dangerously malleable minds. Rather than researching the facts about Ayn Rand and her extreme ideology, they worship her image of a self-centered, free market Utopia in which the handicapped, the elderly and the “weak” should be allowed to die in the street.

Paul Ryan, the often touted “thinker” of today’s right wing, has spent a lifetime idolizing Ayn Rand. Yet he made no attempt in all those years to investigate the truth about her ideologies and how unmistakably “Unchristian” those beliefs are. That, my dear Rob, does not a thinker make.

It is absolutely impossible to reconcile a belief in God with a belief in Ayn Rand’s philosophies. That is, unless you never bother to seek out the facts about Ayn Rand and discover their diametric opposition to your self-proclaimed Catholicism. But don’t take my word for it. The words of Jesus speak for themselves, I’d say…

When challenged with the facts about Ayn Rand’s Atheism, the radical nature of her philosophies and their direct opposition to Christianity, the Paul Ryan lie machine kicked into high gear.

The fundamental problem with modern conservatism, Rob, is that someone as unabashedly ignorant as Paul Ryan is considered a thinker and is placed on a pedestal by those desperate to identify a seemingly intelligent spokesman. He has cast himself as an intellectual superman, which isn’t hard to do when your ideological minions can’t be bothered to research the facts for themselves.

Paul Ryan believes that making yourself seem smart with pseudo-intellectual references to well known books like “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” is akin to actually being smart. Fortunately for him, that’s enough in today’s political climate. Republicans from coast-to-coast can always be counted on for one thing, and one thing only: to accept anything, no matter how preposterous, that is presented as truth by their “leaders”. Why bother doing the work required to BE a thinker when maintaining the illusion of intelligence is so much easier?

I did not publish this exchange to gain accolades from my friends. Unlike most conservatives, my positions aren’t strengthened by the sheer number of people who share them. The acclaim of my peers has no more impact on the accuracy of facts than does your derision.

I chose to publish this exchange, Rob, with the hope that you would capitalize on an opportunity present your arguments publicly. You are never going to change my mind. And the facts will never change yours. But by engaging in this conversation in public, rather than a one-on-one basis, it gives others the opportunity to witness it and learn from it.

What good is a debate if only the participants are aware it ever occurred? I encourage you to use the comments section below to make your case for your beliefs. If you’d rather just take your ball & go home, that’s fine, too. This is no place for those with a thin skin to engage ideological puffery.

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About Alysson

I'm snarky, progressive and profane. Known throughout search marketing circles as SEOAly, I provide affordable small business website design and SEO services. My allegiance is not to religion or political party, but to having a positive impact on those around me & leaving the world a little bit better place than I found it.

Comments

  1. Chris Riley says:

    I was passed this website from a friend of a friend for some work. This is incredible. Are you really interested in your brand or does belittling people (and it didn’t even appear hostile at first) pay your bills more?

    I’m neutral when it comes to politics, but looking at your anti corporate rants really worries me. If I grow to large will you be on the prowl for me? Stupid, I know, but this is incredibly unprofessional.

    Another poster here said this “Robert Brooks” wished it on you. I don’t see that. But as cruel as you were, I could see his outrage.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Chris. First, and foremost, this is my personal blog – a place to share my thoughts on a wide variety of issues. This is not a business blog, nor has that ever been its intent. I do inform my readers that I provide website design & SEO services, in the event that those services are of interest to them, but those services are not purposefully marketed via alyssonfergison.com. This website is not about paying my bills; it is about expressing my voice as a sentient human being.

      You are free to agree or disagree, with either my positions or my tactics, but your attempt to lecture me about the potential negative impact to my brand is unnecessary. Your accusation that I am unprofessional is hardly applicable, as this is not a business website. That said, I have branded myself exactly as I am – an outspoken proponent of facts, data & supporting evidence and an unapologetic critic of corpocracy.

      I take no issue with a small business wanting to “grow to large”, as you put it. It is, after all, incumbent upon me as a professional website designer and SEO to help small businesses achieve their goals, most of which involve growing their businesses. I do, however, take great issue with mega-corporations, like Monsanto and major financial institutions, who seek to increase their profits & global dominance by any means necessary – even if that means destroying lives and economies in the process. I also find it despicable for vastly wealthy individuals – like Sheldon Adelson, David Koch & Charles Koch – to use their power, immense wealth and political influence to subvert the will of the electorate as a whole. The Constitution reads “We The People”, not “We The Monied People”.

      In regard to my Multiple Sclerosis, I don’t believe Mr. Brooks ever said he “wished it on me”. He did, however, say this:

      Oh, and good luck with the MS, ‘snarky’ ally, sometimes bad things happen to…bad people.

      I found that statement particularly ironic, and hypocritical, considering Ann Romney also suffers from MS. But that response is typical of someone who holds fast to their beliefs & ideology, even when presented with overwhelming factual evidence that disproves their positions beyond any shadow of a doubt.

      As for my cruelty, I refer you to the definition of “cruel”, which can be found here: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cruel

      I wished no harm to come to Mr. Brooks, nor did I inflict or attempt to inflict any sort of grief, pain or injury upon him. I merely presented him with substantive & verifiable data that disproved his claims and support my positions. Rather than present a rational, cogent argument of his own in response, he opted to call me names & tell me I’m a bad person.

      Please tell me, Chris, in what way was I cruel to Robert Brooks? Mr. Brooks may well have been outraged – not as a result of cruelty, but having his core belief system challenged with facts, data and evidence which proved those beliefs are based on malicious propaganda repeated over and over and over again within the extremely right wing echo chamber that is talk radio.

      And Mr. Brooks openly admits to having been a listener of talk radio for many years, thus that is not an assumption on my part – but a fact. I challenged everything they’ve trained him to believe and as a result, he lashed out at me – personally. That is understandable and not surprising. And I let him use the comment section of my blog to express his outrage with the hope that once he calmed down he would return to present a cogent argument in favor of his positions that would include some verifiable evidence to support them. He made no attempt to do so. And that was his choice.

      Again, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to share your opinion. While I don’t share it, I certainly do welcome it.

  2. Robert Brooks says:

    Haha, look at you, you’re in overdrive. What other social sites will you be hitting? That’s okay, you and I know you can’t bear the truth. You and I know you’re cutting posts and spinning things to your pals.

    Here’s the kicker: I threw the little ms comment in there because I KNEW you’d allow my post. And you’re buddy bobby McDaniel is as much of a tool as you are.

    This is insane! I’ve got you SOOOO pissed that you’ve now linked to me 3 times!

    Woohoo! Post this one next!! And throw some shit in there I didn’t say for maximum points! You’re the dungeon master here, you control every doorway!! Pretty soon, your buddies will all know how POWERFUL you are with you ‘snarkiness’.

    You damn narcissist.

    • Keep the emails coming, Rob. I’ll continue to post every one of them verbatim. Your comments are no longer held for moderation… so you can skip the middleman by just posting your comments here without sending them to me via email to post on your behalf, if you wish. Your talk radio induced rage & wanton ignorance will be published either way…

  3. Robert Brooks says:

    Ahhhhh! Disappearing text! Censorship! Demagoguery!

    • Um… I suggest you reload the page or restart your poor little cell phone, Rob. All of your comments are still here. I will never stop you from showing your true colors as an absolute horror of a human being who believes diseases, like Multiple Sclerosis, only afflict those who “deserve it”.

      • Rob sent this one to me via email. I didn’t want him to think he’s being censored, so I’ll go ahead and publish it as a comment:

        Sure they are. Honestly, you really are a demented person. I have never met someone as in love with yourself as you are. It’s simply amazing how much of a hypocrite you are.

        Oops, I should have combined those last sentences. My bad!

        Spanked by a cell phone. Gotta love it.

        You amuse me no longer.

  4. Robert Brooks says:

     “Fortunately for him, conservatives from coast-to-coast can always be counted on for one thing, and one thing only: to accept anything, no matter how preposterous, that is presented as truth by their “leaders”.”

    The irony in this ‘snarky’ comment is that with nearly every single link you’ve given me, you’ve used extreme left winged media groups like msnbc and the New York times (of all places) and the daily show (ha!) to throw your propaganda around.  You, yourself, have become your own example! You surround yourself with what you deem political gospel, turn into a megalomaniac and throw around proper word usage and how ‘snarky’ ally, well she’s never wrong ’cause she’s got more facts than joe Friday.

    You don’t debate, you bully.  You find a weakness and you exploit it instead of actually participating in a grown up conversation; and while you make some intelligent points, they’re shadowed by your bitter ‘snarkyness,’ your pathetic and childish commentary and your crude, holier than thou attitude.

    Instead of debating you (because you’ll just beat me over the head with opinionated liberal blog posts you’ll sew together as “FACT FACT FACT”), ‘snarky ally’, I’ll just go ahead and beat you with your own hateful words and show just how much of a bitch you really are.

    Why ‘snarky ally’ is a bully:

    “First of all, if you’re going to try to make yourself sound more intelligent by using “big” words, you should understand the meanings of the words you choose.  Obliterate and oblivious are not synonyms.  A fact that appears to have escaped your attention, along with innumerable other facts.”

    As I told you earlier, I’m using a cell phone.  It auto corrects, and in this case it chose a different word, even though I spelled it correctly (iPhones do that for some damn reason).

    “as you prefer to believe.”
    “if you care to read the facts:  ”
    “In case you don’t know what “working poor” means,”
    “who by your logic”
    “You will never understand a progressive’s point of view, because you do not operate within the realm of reality.”

    I could go on, but why?  Intellectual debates don’t need to employ these tactics because those involved are capable of debating with actual words instead of innuendo, hate and your ‘snarky’ spirit.

    The real reason you bully and insist you public display my conversations with you?  Narcissism.  Deep down you get a real kick out of watching yourself at work.  Love your website name…oh and if you want to befriend ‘snarky ally’, better subscribe to her brilliance instead of friending her.

    So you post this to your website.  Make it an example to all that ‘snarky’ ally is queen of her domain.  Cut my words up and find all sorts of errors, cause that’s how you operate you tiger.  Rawrrr!

    Oh, and good luck with the MS, ‘snarky’ ally, sometimes bad things happen to…bad people.

    ;)

    Love, Rob

    Ps. It’s a bitch getting talked down to, ain’t it?

    • Just as I suspected, the dreaded “liberal media bias”. Would you have preferred I reference Fox News or the Heritage Foundation or the Cato Institute to illustrate my position? Oh, that’s right… I can’t. Claims made by those sources are never supported by data or evidence, unlike Ezra Klein’s cogent arguments & fact-based statistical information. Regardless of the source, the facts are the same. The evidence is the same. And the evidence will never support your beliefs.

      And what of PolitiFact.com? No accusations of the mythical liberal media bias for them, huh? I guess that is a little bit harder to do, since they simply check statements made by individuals to see if they adhere to reality. Let me guess – if they weren’t liberals, so many conservative lies wouldn’t fall into the “Pants On Fire” category… right? That’s what I thought.

      Please continue to call me names. When someone resorts to calling me a bitch & telling me that I deserve to have bad things happen to me, I know I’ve won the only debate that really matters.

      • Robert Brooks says:

        Who needs to call you names, your words do that for you! I’m simply putting the unspoken words out to show just who you are.

        I didn’t say ALL websites you used, just the many. Really, snarky ally, you should make sure you have every word and sentence perfected before you hit ‘submit.’. We wouldn’t want people to believe you’re imperfect.

      • Robert Brooks says:

        AND another thing, I told you I was beyond debating you, remember? If you would have given me a healthy debate or simply removed this pile of garbage you considered leaving, I would have been respectful. Shit, you might and probably would have taught me something…I’ve never claimed you were wrong!!

        Just your tactics.

        • And yet when I present you with the facts, you dismiss their source as part of a vast left wing conspiracy. Where did you learn of the “liberal bias” of the New York Times? Oh, wait… you already told everyone that – talk radio.

    • Mr. Brooks,
      No matter what someone says to you, offends you, or pisses you off; it is never, NEVER okay to wish ill upon another. And making a flippant remark on her MS? Well, that shows a complete lack of moral character.

  5. Ok Aly, lay off the coffee IV… you’ve gone overboard :p

    In all seriousness though, I commend you on pulling your sources together, laying things out chronologically in correlation to your argument. But there’s one thing that does confuse me a bit, and it’s not you…

    This guy that wrote doesn’t approach you the same way I have personally seen (online and real world) a conservative or hard-rightie would when addressing a leftie of any stripe. He’s too nice. I would like to think it’s his intrinsic nature as a person, and that he is more of a moderate in terms of dialogue with others… or.. just maybe… he’s setting you up for the ultimate trolling of a lifetime. I would suggest you keep an eye out for odd links to your blog and a flood of dittoheads and beckites.

    Otherwise, I do have my own opinion to put into this thesis. There’s no point anymore. No point in attempting conversation between lefties and righties. The business of dividing us as people has become extremely profitable for the messengers that keep us distracted with opinion pieces behind the facade of news and investigative journalism.

    Both sides commit the same crimes of misinformation, spin, diversion and black outs when it serves to protect the team from it’s loyal audience. Truth is inconvenient when it stands to hurt the infallible.

    I was raised in a southern republican household. I turned 18, registered democrat. Recently, I registered as an independent in protest to what either party offers. Wait, let me rephrase that; what both parties offer and promise in campaign season and what their corporate masters dictate during the off-season.

    It’s a ruse. All of this is a ruse. There are no parties of republican and democrat. We are in a transitional state from psuedo-democracy to blatant oligarchy powered by proto fascist for-profit religious power houses, oil and energy giants and other cold blooded corporate parasites.

    I propose a challenge to the people on the left and right and anywhere in the middle; stop the blame game. Has pointing a finger and rubbing something in someones face ever really corrected an event that has already happened and cannot be fixed? Take the blame, roll it up nice and tight, and stick it right back up the media outlets ass (ironically, its the same place it came from). Solutions fix problems, blame keeps problems alive and well. But for solutions there has to be communication. For communication there has to be a willing shift on every persons part to drop the talking points, have accountability for towing the party line as an act of defiance against the “other” team, shut their flapping pie holes and listen. There’s way too much noise and static to get a signal anymore, and people are blissfully propagating this grand diversion at the financial benefit of the messengers that feed them this tripe.

    It’s too hard for the masses to stop watching Americans Idle, gorging themselves on “convenience food” versus healthy food while they hide in their houses afraid of whatever boogeyman the masters of news spin tell them to fear and loathe next. A nation of Pavlovs dogs.

    This has already pissed some people off, but I’m not voting this year. I don’t believe in the power of the peoples vote anymore. It was outbid with Citizens United and a large public revolt seems to be the only way to get those coin operated jackasses in DC to pay attention to us serfs. And trust me, I don’t want that either.

    Ok, I’ve ranted enough. Good post Aly :)

    • …a large public revolt seems to be the only way to get those coin operated jackasses in DC to pay attention to us serfs.

      THAT. IS. AWESOME! I will be stealing “coin-operated jackasses” and passing it off as my own for the foreseeable future. BEST QUOTE OF THE DAY!

      “Both sides commit the same crimes of misinformation, spin, diversion and black outs when it serves to protect the team from it’s loyal audience. Truth is inconvenient when it stands to hurt the infallible.”

      To an extent, I agree… though the sheer number of conservative falsehoods that perpetuate as facts throughout the right wing bubble of nonsense cannot be dismissed. I, like you, do not pledge allegiance to the left, nor to the right – but to SOLUTIONS and PROGRESS. While there are some on the left who exaggerate the facts to make their case seem more urgently in need of attention, there is FAR less tendency for the left to engage in undeniable fear-mongering & blatant falsehoods designed to prey on the xenophobia & ignorance of their voter base.

      That said, I’m no less enraged by President Obama’s refusal to live up to the 2008 campaign rhetoric of accountability and transparency. I stumped for him based on that rhetoric. I voted for him based on that rhetoric. And I continue to choke on the bitter pill of that rhetoric every single time I have to face his absolute refusal to investigate & prosecute members of the Bush Administration for war crimes.

      Every time I’m faced with the reality that is NDAA & the continued existence of Guantanamo Bay, I choke on the bitter bill of that rhetoric.

      Every time I hear “Obamacare”, knowing that despite his oratorical and rhetorical gifts, President Obama remained almost completely silent throughout the entire health care reform debate and took the public option off the table before the fight even began, I choke on the bitter pill of that rhetoric.

      And every time another innocent life is taken in a Muslim nation by a drone strike, I choke on the bitter pill of President Obama’s prematurely-awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

      But none of that leads me to believe that Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan don’t pose a far more dangerous threat to this country. Obama may have fallen to the position of “lesser of two evils”, as is so often the case in our broken, two party system… but when your choice is between a Great White Shark that will eat you right away and a Killer Whale that will just toss you around a while before stepping aside to let others finish the job, only a fool chooses the shark.

      I’ll always choose the Orca, with the eternal hope that a dolphin might come along to drag me to safety before I’m dead. :)

    • Robert Brooks says:

      I am a nice guy, actually. I didn’t come here initially to criticize but to gain answers. I’ve listened to talk radio for years now and feel as though I have been brainwashed into believing what group X wants me to believe. Listen to the hosts…they’ll use the same words over and over again to create an image.

      The only problem is that when I turn my head to the left, I don’t know if they’re doing the same thing.

      I /was/ trying to be genuine until queen bitch decided she was going to put me in my place. I even apologized to her for offending her but got an equally damning letter afterwards.

      If queen snarkers decides to publish this, I do appreciate you having a slight bit of compassion.

      • That’s cute… you illustrate the “fact” that you’re a nice guy by telling me I deserve to have MS because I’m a bad person. And then you plead for compassion. How very… conservative.

    • Robert Brooks says:

      I am a nice guy, actually.  I didn’t come here initially to criticize but to gain answers.  I’ve listened to talk radio for years now and feel as though I have been brainwashed into believing what group X wants me to believe.  Listen to the hosts…they’ll use the same words over and over again to create an image.

      The only problem is that when I turn my head to the left, I don’t know if they’re doing the same thing.

      I /was/ trying to be genuine until queen bitch decided she was going to put me in my place.  I even apologized to her for offending her but got an equally damning letter afterwards.

      If queen snarkers decides to publish this, I do appreciate you having a slight bit of compassion.

      • Hi Robert,

        Thanks. I have too much compassion for everyone. I think that’s my gift and curse, judging by the state of affairs we live in nowadays.

        My advice to you is simple, because it’s the same advice I take for myself. Turn off the TV, turn off the radio, stop visiting the same blogs. Just stop. It’s an echo chamber that’s built to tell you what you want to hear, make you feel like you are part of an exclusive club where only you and like minded people get served the “real truth”, and at the end of the day will only leave you with misinformation and high blood pressure.

        Talk to friends, talk to family, talk to people who seem reasonable and accessible. Speak what you believe, but be ready to listen and learn too. There’s too many inmates running the asylum nowadays so change the batteries in your bullshit meter before taking the chance ;)

        Good luck out there and always be true to yourself.

  6. You have become my new hero. Last election I was reading 5 blogs from conservative to progressive and following all the issues, but after two years of things spiraling into shrieking and not debating, I just gave up. Stopped watching news, reading blogs, even cable! Though… this is giving me a little of a kick in the ass I need. :D

    Might start back up again.

    • If I have inspired you to become re-involved in our political discourse, my work here is done. That’s the reason I choose to share some of these conversations publicly, rather than limiting them to one-on-one email exchanges.

      Welcome back to the debate, Bobby! :)

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