I just now ran across this post by Gravy (Mark Roberts) in the JREF forum. He says about me, “I asked her twice if she could name a single significant claim that the truth movement gets right. Like every other truther I’ve asked, she couldn’t or wouldn’t.”
What actually happened was that I refused to get into a debate with him via email and told him that if he wanted to get into an online debate with me, he was welcome to do so in comments here on my blog.
Obviously, this blog contains plenty of examples of claims that I think the 9/11 Truth movement gets right, although it also contains plenty of examples of claims which I think many people in the 9/11 Truth movement get wrong, or at least overstate, or which I think need further analysis or research.
Mark responded in an email, on Sunday, February 3: “Diane, this is simple: can you name one significant claim that the 9/11 truth movement gets right? I don’t want to debate it here. I just want to see what you think.”
I responded by pointing to a few specific posts on my blog.
Mark then sent me an email on Tuesday, February 5, in which he broke his word about not wanting to debate with me via email. He launched into quite a diatribe. Well, maybe he technically didn’t break his word, because he didn’t actually debate my specific points themselves. I guess it depends on how you interpret the “it” in “I don’t want to debate it here,” which is about as ambiguous as the “it” in Silverstein’s “pull it” remark. (I’m not inclined to use the latter as evidence, by the way.)
Anyhow, I responded very briefly and told Mark, again, that I did not want to debate with him via email, and that, if he wanted to continue our discussion, he was welcome to post a comment on my blog.
This morning I got an email from him saying, “Thanks for your non-reply, which demonstrates typical truther confidence in the power of your evidence.”
I replied, “No, it demonstrates a dislike of debates via email. I wouldn’t get into an email debate with a flat-earther, either.”
This episode, by the way, provides a good example of one of the reasons why I don’t like to get into debates via email, especially with die-hard opponents such as Mark Roberts. Statements made in private can easily be taken out of context or otherwise misreprsented afterwards, either deliberately or inadvertantly, perhaps through sheer carelessness or just one’s own personal bias as to what is or is not “significant.” And any subsequent dispute about the contents of a private discussion can easily become a “he said, she said,” almost impossible for anyone else to reach sound conclusions as to what really happened.
Once again: Anyone who wants to debate with me is welcome to post comments on my blog. Just keep in mind my comment policy, please.
Perhaps Mark doesn’t want to post comments on my blog because he doesn’t like my comment policy, for whatever reason?
My comment policy does allow for a very wide range of discussion, though some things are forbidden. Many official-story defenders have posted comments here, and I would be surprised if any of them were to complain that they had been unconscionably censored.
I’ll also mention that I am, albeit only to a limited extent, willing to discuss via email some of the kinds of things that are forbidden by my comment policy. So, if there’s something you[re absolutely dying to tell me that’s forbidden by my comment policy, you may post a comment containing a request that I email you. If you post a comment here, I am automatically given the email address that you used to register with WordPress. However, if a topic is perfectly suitable to be discussed here on my blog, then I prefer to discuss it on my blog rather than via email, unless you can give me some very good reason why you don’t want to discuss it publicly.
P.S.: I just now read this JREF forum post by Swing Dangler. Apparently, Mark doesn’t believe in always answering questions on demand, either.
P.S., 2/9/2008: I just now caught Mark Roberts misrpresenting me again — although, this time, fortunately, he has misrepresented public statements of mine, so others can double-check it. In this post in the JREF forum, he lists me as one of a bunch of people “who have agreed to be on Hardfire, then backed out.” I never actually agreed to be on Hardfire. I voiced only a tentative interest, in my post Reply to debate invitation from Ron/pomeroo on JREF. Furthermore, as explained in subsequent posts on my blog, I still do have a tentative interest in being on the show, just not in the immediate future.
P.S., 2/12/2008: For the latest developments in this saga, please see the thread Mark Roberts – some documentation of recent interaction in the Truth Action forum.
(Note: If you’re a “debunker,” thus not allowed to post in the Truth Action forum, you may post civilly-worded thoughts about that Truth Action thread here on this page of my blog, in accordance with my comment policy. If you ask me to, I’ll call attention to your comments in a post in the relevant Truth Action thread.)
In various email exchanges in the past 10 days I’ve asked truthers this question nine times: “Can you tell me one significant claim that the truth movement gets demonstrably correct?”
Not a single person had an answer. People have been touting Diane (last name?) as the most articulate truther they’ve come across. I asked that question of her three times. She had no answer, and became upset and accused me of “pestering” and “pressuring” tactics. It seems to me to be a simple question that any member of a “truth” movement should be able to answer immediately.
To any “debunkers” who may be reading this:
Imagine the shoe on the other foot. Suppose you’re a “debunker” with a blog, to which you’ve devoted a lot of effort.
Suppose you then get an email from some truther saying, “Please tell me one good reason why you believe the official story.” Assuming that you have a life and that you’ve budgeted only a finite amount of time for answering email, you would probably refer that person to your blog, correct? You might also add that, if the person has further questions, you would prefer that they be posted on your blog, rather than debating with you via email.
Now suppose that the truther then writes back to you saying, “I don’t want to get into a debate with you. I just want to know how you think. Could you please just answer one simple question?” Again, assuming you have a life, you would probably respond (if at all) by referring the person to a few relevant posts on your blog.
Suppose, then, that the truther responds with an email diatribe. Suppose, further, that the truther then posts in the Loose Change forum about how you were unable to answer his or her question.
Wouldn’t you be at least a trifle annoyed at this point? Perhaps even annoyed enough to write a blog post about this annoying pest?
Suppose then that the truther emails you yet a fourth time, trying yet again to pressure you into spending your precious time explaining your views to him or her via email.
You then either ignore the person or respond by explaining why you are annoyed. The truther then posts yet again about how you were “unable” to answer his or her question.
Reverse the roles of the truther and the “debunker” in the scenario above, and replace the Loose Change forum with the JREF forum, and you have how Mark Roberts has been behaving toward me recently.
P.S., 3/17/2008: This post has been noticed here on Justin A. Martell’s blog. Justin, thanks for recommending my blog. However, I should mention that the post above is old news. The episode described above is, as far as I am aware. old news. Mark Roberts has not been bothering me recently.