A Liberal Dose

A Liberal Dose:

“Among the troops, a flood of desertions (thanks in no small part to the efforts of GI Rights Online) is indicative of the growing unpopularity of the occupation — fully 72% of American troops in Iraq support ending it this year.”

Here we go. “flood of desertions” this blogger claims. This particular blog reminds me of some of the worst writings I have seen in class. Students will do anything to get a point across in their papers, and will cite things that don’t actually argue what the student portrays it to be arguing. Unfortunately, I have actually seen articles submitted by academics for peer reviewed journals, where the authors misrepresent the argument put forward in a cited work.

This is a classic point in case. According to this blog, one would think that we are losing soldiers, sailors, airman and marines at a phenomenal rate–perhaps even greater than ever before. Wow! I was surprised enough to go check his source. Much to my surprise I saw in the graphic the heading “Desertions drop.” Hhmmmmm flood? The article goes on to point out that desertions have continued to drop since 9/11/01, and in fact “Desertions in 2005 represent 0.24% of the 1.4 million U.S. forces.”

Two points strike me here. First, the numbers are not only lower than they were in 2001, but they are also lower than they were in 2000–while that “other guy” was still in the White House! Second, most desertions happen stateside, are early in an enlistment, and more often than not are based on personal issues (failure to adapt to the military lifestyle, personal issues back home) than they are a protesting of a war the nation was engaged in at the time of the enlistment!

In the same blog entry, further down, the blogger makes the rather simple mistake of referring to election fraud in the 2004 election, when the article again and again states it was the 2002 election. Why is this a big deal, and not just a simple error? Because we are all told by the left how corrupt the ’04 election was, but not the ’02 one.

So here we are. This blogger has become so blinded by his political ideology that either he can no longer read things carefully, or he chooses to distort the sources.

I had actually commented on his blog, providing a correction, but it seems that, while he shows that comments are allowed, but moderated, he actually doesn’t put comments up for view. Hmmmm… I must admit, because of the errors on this one page, and how easy it is for someone to quickly check the facts by actually reading the sources cited, I found myself wondering if this blogger is actually a conservative make a veiled attempt at making liberals look stupid. Hey, it’s either that, or…

So students, learn a valuable lesson. Before you cite something, read it. Make sure that the document you cite actually buttresses the argument you are using it to make, or at least that you represent their argument accurately.

The Prof


13 thoughts on “A Liberal Dose

  1. p.s. Can we get “the other guy” to permanently change his name to that? :)… of course, then it would lead to the question: What would his wife be called?


  2. My, but we’re a smug prick aren’t we? Of course I read it, but you knew I did. Like most rightwing cocksuckers you were just throwing a blind punch. A flood of desertions is a flood of desertions — more than 9,000 who have deserted since the conflict started in 2003.


    I would so kick your holier-than-thou ass if you acted like such a smug little bastard to my face.

  3. Hmmm it seems the owner of the “liberal dose” knows how to find my blog. Perhaps he was searching to see who comments about his blog?

    Note a couple things: first, his use of profanity is typical of many students who, when their “work” is criticized for the weak attempt that it is, resort to ad hominems, and second, while he seems to feel it necessary to stifle free speech, I have allowed his comment to not only be posted, but to remain.

    One quick question for him: If a “flood is a flood” why were the military having a GUSHER of desertions then under Clinton in 2000?

  4. tisk tisk… its almost sad that some people sink to those tools of naming calling (of a junoir high child instead of as an adult) as if to make themselves look better…. when in fact, it does the opposite… *rolls eyes …

  5. I must say, I’m most impressed with his language.

    BTW, I wonder where the Guardian came up with their figures? I noticed there was no source for them. I’m sure the prof would agree that any well written paper would source such important numbers so they could be verified.

  6. Students:

    Your “professor” is happy to wax superior about his “clean language” but neglects to point out how incredibly insulting, haughty and superior his own words were, and how they could potentially be much more offensive to someone than cursing.

    Furthermore, if someone wants to malign the credibility of a globally-respected news source like the Guardian, the onus is upon HIM to prove them wrong. Did the poster bother to check that out with the Guardian?

    Students, watch the words of your professor closely; he may show you convincing-sounding things in class, but he is lying to you.

    Don’t take my word (or his) for it; read the stories of Pulitzer-prizewinning authors like Seymour Hersch or Paul Krugman at the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, or the “Top Censored Stories”. Your eyes will be opened.

    Why did this man choose to use some obscure blogger to prove his points to you? That should strike a warning in your minds.

    Read MANY sources and logically deduce where the truth lies. I promise you’ll quickly discover it’s not with the words of your “professor”.

  7. NAP: As the Professor’s brother I will be the first to say that his words can be haughty and potentially offensive. Of course so is Krugman, Dowd, etc.

    That being said, in this comment and in the one on the post dated 4/29 you assert that he does not post “facts” and encourage the students to seek out the information themselves. Yet you have not responded to his clear demonstration that YOU had the facts wrong regarding desertion rates (apparently because you did not check the sources you cite).

    Now, you say, “Furthermore, if someone wants to malign the credibility of a globally-respected news source like the Guardian, the onus is upon HIM to prove them wrong. Did the poster bother to check that out with the Guardian?”

    The point is that the Guardian (which is no more universally respected than the LA Times or the Washington Times, take your pick) did not cite their own sources. THEY as the reporting agency have the obligation to get their sources right. No news agency is infallible, as the NYTimes has shown repeatedly lately (and the LATimes, WashTimes, etc. lest you think i am biased). I regularly read the NYT, WashPost, BBC, etc. When one gets a truly global perspective one begins to realize how parochial and narrow the NYTimes oped really is (including, of course, David Brooks).

    The point here is really this: absolutely we are to check our sources and encourage our students to do so. But you received a poke because you did NOT do that, or did so and then misrepresented the data. I do not care which. And please, do not write this off as one brother protecting another; he doesn’t need my protection. The Prof will attest to my even handed back hand. He gets it now and then too.

    In this instance the Prof was right and you need to do your homework.

  8. Chris Brady:

    Once again, someone snarkily asserts that I didn’t read the article I referred to. Aside from the insult, Steve Brady’s personal interpretation of the word “flood” has nothing to do with the accuracy of my postings. And, in calling me “stupid”, he threw the first punch.

    I have never deliberately hidden comments. Steven Brady’s either actually a liberal making a veiled attempt at making conservatives look like liars, or….

  9. NAP: I, snarkily or otherwise suggested that you did not read the article because if you are reading the stories you link to, you do not seem to understand them.

    As for comments on your blog: they are moderated and I know that comments have been submitted and yet none ever show up. Why? If you do not want to allow comments simply disable them, if you are truly moderating then why are none ever allowed to show up? It seems that you are simply wanting to read what people might comment and never actually engage in discourse by sharing them with the world.

  10. Just a quick note of correction: There exist only two uses of the word Stupid in the whole thread. One was arguing that perhaps our good friend Eric was “actually a conservative make a veiled attempt at making liberals look stupid.” The other was his stating that “in calling me ‘stupid’, he threw the first punch.”

    Interesting. Me thinks, ultimately, he made my point (again.) He didn’t actually read the document, and thus drew erroneous conclusions.

    Ah well, and so it goes…

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