Comments for Porterville Nerd Everyone needs a Nerd! Wed, 06 Jun 2012 01:31:42 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Tulare County Election Official sort-of responds to Story by First Amendment issues in Porterville Polling place? | Porterville Nerd Wed, 06 Jun 2012 01:31:42 +0000 […] Tulare County Election Official sort-… […]

Comment on Senator Roy Ashburn, meet your lifetime legacy. Lifetime legacy, Senator Ashburn. by Ann Fri, 08 Oct 2010 04:39:05 +0000 Hi Barry,

Great blog, I enjoyed reading your post on Prop 8. I kind of tripped over your site, trying to figure out why Porterville CC went through the trouble of publicly, politically, endorsing it. (shaking my head).

Brian Ward must feel pretty safe to cut and paste and cant and rant. I checked his site–he’s still got a remark about the Walker ruling (though I didn’t get the feeling he read it). A school psychologist! Wow. What an abusive fellow.

Comment on Don Curlee: Blind leadership frustrates farmers, red-baiting 1950s style the answer by Barry Caplan Tue, 20 Oct 2009 16:34:28 +0000 Hi Gilbert,

Thanks for your thoughtful response.

You are right that my post is incomplete and makes a lot of assumptions of the reader. It is really just an outline and introduction to a much deeper series of essays I am preparing. I posted it because my thoughts are precisely on topic as a response to Curlee’s article.

My schedule is kind of hectic the next couple of days, I will try to address your comments in more detail soon.

But for now, let me quickly explain what I meant by “red-baiting” because I think that is the one point that a reader should know upon and can in fact act upon.

“Red baiting” is a scurrilous and cowardly act. It refers to the process of accusing someone of being a communist or socialist or marxist as a means of discrediting him or her politically.

This is always done without offering any evidence that the person is in fact communist or that the target’s ideas are not worthy of discussion regardless of political affiliation.

It is simply an attempt to garner power by innuendo and rumour.

There is a sad period of American history, peaking and then finally ending in the 1940s and 1050s with Senator Joe McCarthy holding hearings in the Senate parading people, many if not most of them Californians, and good Californians at that, insinuating that they are Communist and Anti-American and destroying their careers.

Today, this is seen as nothing more than a witch-hunt and is seen as one of the most shameful episodes of American political history.

Shameful, but it is far from forgotten. That is why it is odd that locals, in their attempt to build a political consensus outside their local area, or even inside their local area, would stoop so low.

For Americans, there is no lower one can stoop politically then red-baiting, yet we are seeing a revival spurred on by the likes of Glen Beck on TV and others in the media, and picked up on by local farmers and their advocates such as Don Curlee, much to their discredit.

And discredit it is, ,make no mistake about it.

We can all see and hear “red baiting” when it happens, and it is happening increasingly.

Your task as a listener is to associate anyone using such tactics with the truly unAmerican and thoroughly discredited Senator Joe McCarthy, and ask why anyone would use such a technique?

Ask yourself as a listener, or a reader, if that is the best chance of persuasion that the speaker of writer has.

If it is, then you should immediately discredit the rest of the argument, because the speaker/writer’s true intentions are already revealed – to associate with rumor-mongerers and innuendo-makers in a grab for power and influence.

If it is not the best method of persuasion, then you should also discredit the rest of the argument because there is never any need for red-baiting rumor-mongering when making a solid argument – the red-baiting only distracts from a good case, it never helps it.

So there is never any good reason to engage in red-baiting.

I also want to touch on your question about transparency here.

This is a multi-faceted issue as well, but with regards to red-baiting, the typical Valley political position is one of self-sufficiency and free markets. The legacy of Ronald Reagan if you will.

They will also preach that, in government matters, less is better, and that what government there is should be transparent. Meaning ordinary citizens should be able to access all matters of government for whatever reason they want to.

But their own practices, they (local folks involved in politics, not just politicians) engage in rumor-mongering and innuendo of the most scurrilous type know to America. The long and short of it is, they don’t practice what they preach.

So that is another reason to discredit them completely, even if the topic they are discussing is important to discuss, as it certainly was in the case of the Curlee article.

Comment on Don Curlee: Blind leadership frustrates farmers, red-baiting 1950s style the answer by Gilbert Tue, 20 Oct 2009 10:40:53 +0000 Hello, I read your response to the VTD article. I’m not a farmer and haven’t been involved much in the history of farming in the valley. Most of what I read in the response above doesn’t make much sense. I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way, your writing is awesome. What I mean is, for a reader not familiar with farming and its history, it is difficult to follow what point you are trying to make. What is red-baiting? Did farmers say they were transparent? Seems like most folks who are in business tend to keep the knowledge they have learned over the years to themselves, so they have an edge over their competitors and over those who might try to steal their best practices? I don’t understand the lesson or point you are trying to make with the raisin example? Are you trying to say that there are too many middle men in getting the product to the supermarket and that is why the price is too high? Do you have something against God or are you upset with farmers? I guess my point is that you write very well but the content is too vague for those who don’t have a history of farming or politics. The article also “sounds” like you have a grudge. Maybe if you gave some specific examples your point in the article might be a little clearer. Or, maybe I should just read up a little more on the history of farming and politics here in the valley. Thanks for the blog post.

Comment on Porterville Council’s Hate Vote Sparks a National Movement by Kelli Tue, 13 Oct 2009 22:42:11 +0000 Wow, a great article! Thanks for tracing the history of this issue in Porterville and calling out our elected leaders. We need people to think about what it means to be American and the importance of civil rights for ALL people. Thank you!

Comment on Rep. Joe Sestak: The Civil Rights Test of Our Generation by Barry Caplan Tue, 13 Oct 2009 21:38:15 +0000 Thanks Pat.

I am sure my friend has his heart in the right place, I have known him since long before he was either a cop or a Christian. He serves as a very valued sounding board on these types of issues, we can have the sort of direct conversations digging deeper than I can with my townsfolk for instance. Sort of a diplomatic back door to understand the signals I am sent by the locals but not really meant to understand.

That being said, you are absolutely right that when people cry “Christianity is Love” in the same breath as “Except for …] than I too hear “I am not really a Christian” coming from that person’s mouth.

So does my Christian cop friend, he has assured me this.

Comment on Rep. Joe Sestak: The Civil Rights Test of Our Generation by Pat Tue, 13 Oct 2009 21:03:13 +0000 Perhaps your “christian” cop friend prefers this . . .

It is hard for me to believe that someone is a true Christian if they believe they can exclude others. Therefore I try to live with an open heart for THEY DO NOT GET IT. Have your friend ask his fellow Christians of color, if he even belongs to a church that allows people of color, if things are equal. The 1960s did not fix all issues. WE have equality issues in this “one nation under God”!

Comment on Quotes from the National Equality March by Posts about Huffington Post as of October 11, 2009 » The Daily Parr Sun, 11 Oct 2009 21:43:25 +0000 […] about Huffington Post as of October 11, 2009 Quotes from the National Equality March – 10/11/2009 Nature vs. Nurture: The origin of bigotry should be the […]

Comment on Porterville Council’s Hate Vote Sparks a National Movement by Rep. Joe Sestak: The Civil Rights Test of Our Generation | Porterville Nerd Sat, 10 Oct 2009 05:25:46 +0000 […] response to this, A Christian friend, and police officer, suggested privately that it was wrong of me to equate the […]

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