Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The lies and ignorance at Fousesquawk

Ever since I started blogging, I would frequently check out Fousesquawk.  It's run by Gary Fouse, a former DEA agent who writes about "conservative thoughts on the issue of the day".  When I started reading it, I would be the lone voice of dissent, often critiquing and/or commenting on what he had to say.  Oh sure, there were a few times when we agreed.  There was even that one time when the two of us teamed up against a Muslim who didn't seem to understand that in the U.S., we have the freedom of speech, and that means having to deal with being insulted once and a while - including on the basis of your religion.

Anyway, if you check it out, you will see some common themes.  He often writes about anti-Semitism, especially when he sees it perpetrated by Muslim students on college campuses.  He often has some good points here and there, although he's always eager to equate any kind of criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.  He also critiques what he sees as "the liberal media".  The funny thing about that is the cognitive dissonance he suffers when he critiques guys like Kieth Olbermann without realizing that those he admires, like Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter, are guilty of all the things he doesn't like about Olbermann.  Then he also blathers on about some guy named George Galloway.  I'm inclined to think that he has a crush on the guy, as he keeps posting pictures of the guy in some kind of tight body stocking.

There are some regulars who post to his blog.  Here's a quick roundup of who you'll find:

Miggie - This guy thinks he's pretty damned smart.  He often writes extreme, absolute statements along the lines of "All liberals do X".  He gets mad if you prove him wrong using facts, and will get upset and tell you that you're stupid if you ever do it.  He's also known for providing links to prove you wrong, only to actually have them be links that have nothing to do with the subject.  I would now like to reveal that on a few occasions, I trolled the site and posted as Miggie, writing the most asinine stuff I could come up with.  Nobody seemed to notice that it wasn't the real Miggie - not even Miggie himself.

Findalis - She's certifiably nuts.  Much like Miggie, she will provide links that do not say what she says that they say.  Also, she's pretty sure that a second Holocaust is imminent.  If you dare to question her assertions, you will be accused of denying the first Holocaust.

Squid - This guy's a quote miner and provider of bad research.  When you point out that his information is bogus, he will ignore it and post it again later in the hopes that you forgot about the first time he did it.  (One of them in particular involves some quote from Obama and how he'll side with Muslims, but when the whole quote is taken in context, he's saying that he'll side with them if they're being attacked.)

Siarlys Jenkins - The lone regular voice of dissent.  Siarlys often gives lengthy historical lessons in order to put everything into context.  Gary and company don't even seem to understand what he's saying, and just like the dumb kids in high school, they make fun of him every time he sounds smart.  Siarlys also has this weird habit of wanting to fact-check things.  For the past year or so, I've only read Fousesquawk for his comments.

Anyway, things got testy between us.  A couple of times I said I was done only to eventually come back.  He even banned me once.  And he's banned me again.  What subject could create such animosity?

Global warming.

See, Gary doesn't believe in it.  No, I'm not saying that he doubts that human beings are having an impact on it.  He doesn't even believe that it's happening.

His blog's mascot is a penguin.  Apparently Gary is under the impression that Global Warming isn't having any effect on flightless waterfowl.

Okay, so what?  Lots of people don't believe in Global Warming.  Why do I care so much?  Well, according to Gary it's because Global Warming is my religion and Al Gore is my prophet.  He has a good point.  After all, I always write about Al Gore and how much I believe in him.  And as we all know, it was Al Gore who came up with the whole idea of Global Warming.  You can read my countless blogs about how great I think Al Gore is on my other blog, which is nonexistent, because I never write about him...at all.

What bugs me is that every year around this time, Gary likes to poke fun at people who do accept it (like me, NASA, and 98% of climatologists).  A couple years ago, he wrote about snowstorms on the East Coast.  Last year, it was extreme cold in Sweden.  This year it's the fact that it's cold in Alaska.

He sure has his finger on the pulse of this issue.  We all know that Al Gore clearly stated that we couldn't expect cold weather to ever happen again - especially in the wintertime - if Global Warming was real.  At least, we'd all know that had he, or anybody, ever said that.  The problem?  They didn't.

Anyone who's taken the time to look into the issue AT ALL knows that it's about average global temperatures, NOT specific weather patterns in specific locations.  Just as the heat wave in Texas this past summer didn't prove Global Warming, cold Alaskan winters don't debunk it.

I have tried to point this out to Gary again, and again, and again.  What does he do?  He keeps making the same bad argument.  The thing is, you can be right about something and still make a bad argument.  Even if he is right about this issue, his argument is still stupid, just as somebody who's on the same side as me would be saying something dumb if they used the Texas summer example.

Essentially, it didn't do any good trying to explain this to him.  To Gary, it's all about me just not accepting the fact that he disagrees with me.  Of course, he always takes it well when people disagree with him, as he never insults or degrades anybody with the opposite opinion, and his "Jerk of the Year" awards are, in fact, loving tributes to his distinguished opponents.

I eventually tried a new tactic.  I asked Gary if he could even define what Global Warming is, as I got the distinct impression that he couldn't considering what he thought amounted to a good argument against it.  He couldn't answer the question, and neither could his buddy, Miggie.  In fact, Miggie accused me of "nitpicking" when I demonstrated that Gary couldn't define the thing that he was certain wasn't real.  You can read the thread here.  As you can see, Gary gets mad and accuses me of playing games.  Apparently, it's a "game" when you want somebody to explain what the issue even is before they have an opinion about it.

And it all happened again here, where Gary demonstrates his ignorance (at what point does it become stupidity?) again, and gets mad at me.  The best part is that he claims to have answered my question - which he hasn't.  I challenge him, or anybody else, to provide a link/example of him answering the question.  There was one time on Alexandria when he defined Global Warming as something he didn't believe - the sort of definition that a third grade teacher wouldn't accept from one of her students.

What I love is that when cornered with the facts, he falls back on the "just kidding" defense and accuses me of not having a sense of humor.  Me?  Seriously?  I don't have a sense of humor?  Here's the thing - I can say with all confidence that I DO have a sense of humor.  The problem is that I don't laugh at things that aren't funny.  His whole post about Al Gore and Alaska is supposed to be humorous.  Where, exactly, is the humor?  The only way it's funny is if he's being ironic and trying to sound stupid - which I pointed out to him, and which got me banned.  Even though he's under the impression that I idolize Al Gore (hint:  I don't) I can certainly find plenty of humor in making fun of the man.  But it needs to be FUNNY first.

No doubt, some people are wondering why I care.  Why even write all this?  I don't know.  Obsessive/compulsive?  Perhaps.  What I resent though is that he's lying on his blog and then bans me so I can't defend the fact that he's completely misrepresenting our past conversations.  This isn't the first time he's done this.  In fact, one time he named me in his blog and accused me of being skeptical about specific issues of anti-Semitism in the Netherlands, when in fact, I wasn't.  You can read that here.

Basically, I'm saying that Gary is a liar due to the fact that he lies and that it's demonstrable that he does so.  I'm also saying that he's ignorant, not as an ad hominem, but as a simple statement of fact.  Anybody who thinks that cold winters in Alaska is proof against Global Warming doesn't understand the issue.  That's not my opinion any more than the Earth being spherical is my opinion.  Could Gary be right about the overall issue of Global Warming?  I suppose, but I doubt it.  But even if he is, he hasn't demonstrated that he even understands the issue.

As I've pointed out before, I believe that homeopathy is bunk just as Gary believes that Global Warming is bunk.  The difference is that I can at least explain what homeopathy is.

Oh, and Gary, you can post on my blog.  I don't ban anybody.  I've deleted a few comments that contained nothing BUT insults, but in the interest of being a good sport, I'll publish anything you post.  You can call me a Communist Nickelback-fan Wanker, and I'll post it.


Nolan said...

You really should've added that Gary also cannot separate sycophancy from satire. As long as you agree with him, even in over-the-top sarcastic ways, he'll support you and pretty much anything you say, no matter how batshit insane it is.

Also, this is another example of the liberal media, and you suck.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Hi Lance,

After the Last of the Stuarts banished me for lese majeste, and you stopped showing up at Fousesquawk, I somehow lost track of the fact that you have a site of your own. There is a method to working with Gary. It is sort of like those brands of martial arts where you tumble your opponent by relaxing, not by straining yourself. I mean, he really just isn't worth blowing a gasket over, and he's looking for demons, so acting like one just gives him more ammunition. Anyway, he has fans who demand to know why he lets opposing viewpoints post at all, so I give him credit for still posting my comments, so far. It is a backhanded way of putting those demanding censorship in their proper perspective.

By the way, I'm trying to provide some coverage of the Scott Walker recall. Google "The Devil and Scott Walker" and you should find it pretty easily.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I'll check that out, Siarlys. Hopefully I can post enough stuff to my blog to keep you interested, as I'm not sure that comics are your thing.

Were you aware that a few times when you debated "Miggie" it was, in fact, me? I was also "God Flag Eagle USA" (or something like that). Sorry I had you tilting at windmills, but I wanted to see if Gary could tell the difference between a true fan and somebody who was mocking his true fans.

The thing is with Gary is that he's obviously somebody with a modicum of intelligence. Why he won't even acknowledge such a simple mistake is frustrating. And it's even more frustrating when he dishonestly puts words in my mouth.