Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, December 07, 2007

No Rules in a Knife Fight?

On the coming-to-a-major-courtroom-near-you-soon thread over at the Daily News website, anonymous coward "Guest" writes:
First, your husband is not a nice guy, he is a bit of a beast.
Your damn right I am and don't forget it. I'm not some undergrad or senior citizen you can bully around. Somebody messes with me, I'm gonna mess with him. Somebody calls me names, I'm gonna say you called me a name. Not talk to him for spitting on the sidewalk.

Another cowardly "Guest" posted:
Mr. Forbes' defensiveness is interesting given the extent he has drug others through the mud the past couple of years. He has not hesitated to name individuals, comment on their character, call them scumbags, communists and elitists. His blog is offensive, a poor representation of the Pullman community, and an embarrassment. There are a handful of people who post on his site and they are not the voice of Pullman. If you haven't read through his writing, I'd encourage you to do so. He is not a simple libertarian with a bone against PARD.
No, what's interesting to me is that PARD is sanctimoniously trying to condemn me at the same time they are viciously and anonymously attacking my wife and children, not to mention calling me every name imaginable in the last two weeks. Let's get something straight. I didn't start this fight. I began writing letters to the editor back about Wal-Mart back in February 2005. The PARDners went negative as soon as people started questioning their views. After my second letter appeared, they began referring to me as being "far-right" and that "no one shares his extremist views."

Take a look at this screenshot from PARD's "prototype" website from September 2005:

The word "Boob" linked to this blog.

For a brief time in early 2005, PARD had a message board on their website. I posted on there as "Felis Concolor." I was subjected to massive namecalling, to which I responded in kind. April can attest to all this. Shortly after PARD closed down their message board, I started Palousitics as "Felis Concolor."

Then in July 2005, I received this e-mail from "Tim Reed"
Dear Mr. Forbes,

How come you don't have the guts to identify yourself on your blog? Seems like you have no trouble calling various people out by name on your site, but do so from the cowardly position of anonymity. Is it because you already blather on so much in the paper and want to pretend that there is a second person in Pullman who shares your extremist views? Judging by the lack of comments on your blog site, maybe you should invent a third persona to comment on the other one(s),

Best wishes,

Another anonymously latin observer
Well, I do appreciate Reed for one thing. I have gone under my own name since then. Of course, the craven PARDners cannot take their own advice.

For example, take the letter to the editor that Laura Zeller wrote yesterday . She didn't call anyone names. She just politely asked PARD to stop, which is her right. Look what has been posted already:
December 6, 2007, 3:16 pm Guest says:

If Laura Zeller thinks Walmart is "free market," I guess she hasn't heard about the Walmart PAC stuffing big bucks up the b u t t s of Washington DC fat cats. I guess some of us are freer than others.

December 6, 2007, 10:06 pm Guest 2 says:

And by the way, I wonder if Ms. Zeller knows that the Walton Family Foundation gives millions of dollars a year to opponents of public school education. Wal-Mart's version of education would almost certainly make a decent schooling too expensive for huge numbers of families. Maybe their idea is to keep education levels low so there will be more minimum wage Wal-Mart workers.

December 7, 2007, 5:16 am Guest says:

Wow, Guest 2! I feel better about buy stuff made by slaves in a communist country knowing that money is going to my kid's school! Exploitation with a bonus!

December 7, 2007, 8:19 am Avowed Walmart Hater says:

Walmart is not the answer to affordable housing. Walmart is going to come in and destroy decent paying jobs that already exist and replace them with jobs that don't pay crap. Then it will be even more difficult for people to afford to buy a house.

But I doubt Laura Zeller sincerely cares about that anyway. If she is a true libertarian, as she seems to suggest, then she probably thinks that affordable housing will be determined purely by market principles and that any attempt to ameliorate the situation will smack of a government handout to those that don't deserve it.
Is this "civility?" And this didn't just start with the anonymous coments; the comments have just made it worse. In the past, Janet Damm or some other PARDner would have fired off a similar letter to the editor attacking Ms. Zeller. Now, in all likelihood, Ms. Zeller will not fire back or start a blog. But I did, and that's what really chaps the PARDners. Since I have had the temerity to fight back, they are going to try and beat me down. And thanks for attributing all this power to me. It's flattering. Now as the evil Lord Waldemart, I will use my power to soon demolish a pristine weed-covered field and erect a temple to the nameless gods of consumerism.

Listen, I know you are trying to use me as a scapegoat for your upcoming legal defeat and hope to take me down with you. I realize you need a distraction. But I talked with a high-ranking Pullman city offical last night, and the attorneys fees you are going to be responsible for are a much, much greater problem than me calling you an "elitist." I'm going to have a shovel in my hand breaking ground on Bishop Blvd. while you are having a lien taking out on your homes. I highly recommend that you drop your appeal before December 19. You have sown the wind, prepare to reap the whirlwind.

Lastly, even tough guy Chuck "Mr. Civil Discourse" Pezeshki is crying in his Cheerios
I'm a big boy. But when I read constant, inciteful comments against my person, with little or no substance, I wonder about the consequences. You might think about how you might feel if one of Tom's followers commits an act of violence against myself or my family. Regardless of your intent, that's what that kind of constant ad-hominem attack leads to.
BWHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!! This is the guy who boasted on a blog that, "We were just hauling ourselves out of bed every day, determined to fuck with the machine."

By the way, Chuck take a look at my blog. The first time I mentioned you here, I merely questioned statements you made about the College Republicans pro-fence demonstration last year. Then you wrote this about me in your column of January 2, 2007:
Tom Forbes (Opinion, Nov. 15), avid Wal-Mart groupie, says that all this will be “bad for business” — his ultimate “kiss of death” for cleaning up the South Fork of the Palouse River.
So have I been harsh on you since then? Yeah. IF YOU CAN'T STAND THE HEAT, GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN. You can't write strident left-wing political columns and make comments like "I've pretty much lost sympathy for the working people of the Palouse" and not expect a little pushback. By the way, how's Vienna this time of year?

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April E. Coggins said...

Yes, we've been called just about every name in the book. It's been pretty nasty at times. Who can forget the anonymous PARD member that showed up on this blog and accused us of wanting children to be killed in the street while walking to school. Or something like that. Their arguments usually have no merit, so they have to resort to fabrications and emotionally charged character assasinations.

Tom Forbes said...

That was from October 3, 2005. It was in response to Ray Lindquists's first post on the blog. Apparently, the PARDners were annoyed that I really wasn't an Army of One the way they claimed:

pullmangrown said...
I'm glad Tommy has a friend. I have been reading this site form some time now and I've come to the conclusion that you don't really understand growth – smart growth. I started reading this thinking Wal-Mart would increase the tax base and will be great for Pullman. I was wrong and so are you. I have been here for sometime, and this community needs businesses that will really contribute to the tax base of Pullman, not Arkansas.

Now that there will be one in Lewiston, according the last week’s Tribune, those shoppers we had thought would come here wont. More important though is the fact that the majority of the tax base in Pullman comes from housing, not business. Yes, people need job to buy a house, but you can't afford one on $7.35 an hour - anywhere, including Pullman.

Wal-Mart will be BAD for Pullman. Just think of the taxes that could be raised if they turned that land into affordable housing or smaller businesses space or even a technology park where tech companies can come in and take advantage of all the new things being developed at WSU, like Sweitzer (sp) does. How many more houses would be bought then?? How many more jobs would there be where people can pay for housing and their families. I have works for minimum wage, and you survive on it not thrive. You can barely pay rent and food.

I want to see Pullman thrive like you do. Bishop is developing WITHOUT a Wal-Mart there, just like you said. Why would we want something that is not really going to help us. It’s not creating a reason to come to Pullman. It’s just going to take up space. Sorry guys, but supporting this thing is a bad idea, not because Wal-Mart is bad, but because there are too many more profitable businesses out there that would really help our community if they were in that space. The good of the project just doesn’t outweigh the bad.

Oh, and my kids go to the schools there and the increased potential for them to get hit by a car and killed is also a huge negative in my book- but dead kids is a personal issue not a community one.

PARD: Spreading Civility and Reasoned Debate in Pullman Since January 2005

Bruce Heimbigner said...

I certainly wouldn't call myself the voice of pullman (I think our Mayor has that handled) But I have been elected twice by the citizens to public office and now another contributer, Nathan Weller has been elected. So I think Mr. Forbes has collected some "representative" people here.

"'Guest posted: ...His blog is offensive, a poor representation of the Pullman community, and an embarrassment. There are a handful of people who post on his site and they are not the voice of Pullman."

Satanic Mechanic said...

Unlike PARD, the contributors of Palousitics are the perfect cross section of not only the people of Pullman, but Moscow, Whitman County, Latah County and the Palouse region. The contributors have many different educational backgrounds, jobs and experiences. Members of PARD are elitest professors at WSU but they hold no dominion over Pullman or myself.
If PARD calls Tom and us evil for wanting Wal-Mart, free enterprise and development. I say we embrace this evil and form the "Legion of Doom" to battle these elitist bastards.

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

If we don't represent a significant voice within the Pullman community, then why do I frequently have people approach me and thank me for what I post here?

Oh, wait, I forgot - they're not WSU professors. They don't count.

April E. Coggins said...

I know what you mean, Paul. Not a day goes by that I don't have someone stop in my store and ask when Wal-Mart will finally be built. I am the unofficial "Wal-Mart lady." People seem to sense that American free-enterprise is being threatened by PARD's unrealistic standards and unending appeals. People want closure on this issue and since Wal-Mart appears to be inevitable, they want to move on. I feel the same. Hopefully, this current nastiness from PARD is their last gasp.