Patterico's Pontifications

4/17/2006

The Hiltzik Commenting Problem

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 11:16 pm

I think I may have figured out why I can’t leave Michael Hiltzik a comment with links debunking his posts. My new thesis [UPDATE: My thesis is wrong. See below. -- Ed.]: his comments don’t permit links at all, whether coded in HTML or not. What’s more, if you include such a link, your comment will never be posted.

If this is what’s happening, it’s a real problem for a blogger. Your commenters need to be able to tell you: “You’re full of it, and here’s a link that explains why.” If you can’t provide a link in comments, it removes a great deal of the utility of comments.

I’m going to test out my theory by providing the links as a hyperlink to my name. If I’m right, I’ll tell you in an update.

UPDATE: Well, we’ll probably have to wait until morning for confirmation or debunking of my theory. I tried importing the Independent Sources link into my name, and the comment didn’t appear. But give it until morning.

UPDATE 4-18-06 6:31 a.m.: As of the last time I checked, someone named “Dirty Dingus” had managed to post a comment on Hiltzik’s site with a link to Hewitt’s Site Meter. But I still see no evidence of any comments referencing the Independent Sources post — including my two comments from 4/16, DWilkers’s comment from 4/16, and nk’s numerous comments from last night (including one that references the Independent Sources post with no hyperlink whatsoever). Curiouser and curiouser . . .

FURTHER UPDATE: Commenter Francis, aka Dirty Dingus, who successfully posted the link to Hewitt’s Site Meter, has tried to post a link to the Independent Sources post — so far without success.

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Public Policy — Patterico @ 10:23 pm

An L.A. Times article about the flatter tax structure under Bush contains this quote:

“It’s as if Santa Claus dropped bags of money down everybody’s chimney,” said Leonard E. Burman of the private Tax Policy Center. “Only he dropped extra-big bags in rich people’s homes, and extra-small ones in smaller homes.”

Gee, I didn’t realize Santa was just giving us our own money back. That ho-ho’ing bastard!

This quote appears over a headline that states: “For the Wealthy, More Wealth.” (The headline on the front page is: “Taxes Flatten but Deep Pockets Bulge.”)

The article argues that, under a flatter tax, the rich are making out like bandits and everyone else is screwed.

But the article doesn’t really support this thesis. It makes no effort to establish a cause and effect relationship between flatter taxes and economic hardships faced by workers.

Some argue that a flatter tax structure stimulates growth. Has that happened? The paper reluctantly admits that it has — but buries the fact in paragraph 20 of this 31-paragraph article.

So what’s the problem? Well, many workers still have problems. Health care costs are high. Family net worth is growing, but at a slower rate.

But did a flatter tax *cause* or *contribute to* these problems? The article cleverly elides this issue by saying that “flatter income tax rates have contributed to an economic landscape” that has these problems.

By the same logic, if you work and you’re poor, your work contributes to an economic situation in which you’re poor.

Does that mean that work causes poverty? No — just like lower taxes don’t cause the economic problems faced by workers.

Cause and effect. It’s what the article is about. Why is no evidence provided to support the thesis?

The Difference Between Al Gore and Dick Cheney

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:15 pm

Hugh Hewitt notes that Dick and Lynne Cheney’s 2005 charitable giving totalled $6.87 million (to be precise, $6,869,655). That’s a sizeable sum, I suppose — but it’s only $6,869,302 more than the $353 that Al and Tipper Gore gave to charity in 1997.

P.S. Hey, it’s at least as relevant a pair of data points as Michael Hiltzik used to falsely claim that Hugh Hewitt’s blog traffic is in serious decline . . .

Is Hiltzik Censoring Critical Comments (Again)? Help Me Find Out!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:53 pm

Is Michael Hiltzik refusing to approve comments critical of him? I don’t know — but I need your help to find out.

As I noted yesterday, Hiltzik’s recent post about Hugh Hewitt’s Site Meter was thoroughly debunked by Independent Sources, and later by Armed Liberal.

I tried to leave a comment on Hiltzik’s site with links to these posts. But my comments wouldn’t publish.

After my first try, I figured my comment was just awaiting approval in the moderation queue. I know from experience that comments get caught in such queues from time to time.

After my comment was swallowed, two subsequent comments by lefties were published that supported Hiltzik.

So I decided to try to republish my comment. This time I saved it, in case it failed to publish again.

Here is the comment, which I left on Hiltzik’s blog last night at 8:25 p.m.:

Let me try posting this again.

Independent Sources effectively debunks the factual premise of this post here:

http://independentsources.com/2006/04/16/the-los-angeles-times-michael-hiltzik-abuses-web-stats-for-fun-and-profit

Looks like there has been some cherry-picking here.

And Armed Liberal suggests that Hiltzik has been dishonest here:

http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/008459.php

Armed Liberal asks: why did Hiltzik fail to link Hugh’s actual Site Meter? His conclusion: because Hiltzik is dishonest, and linking Hewitt’s actual Site Meter would have shown Hiltzik’s claims are a distortion.

I’m saving this comment in case it doesn’t get posted.

More than 24 hours have passed since I tried to post that comment. More comments supportive of Hiltzik’s position have appeared on his site. Mine still isn’t there.

I suppose this could still be the result of some innocent technical glitch. That’s where you come in.

Go to Hiltzik’s post and leave links to the Independent Sources and Armed Liberal posts. Then come back here and tell me if you were successful.

UPDATE: More on this strange business here, including the odd lack of success commenters have had in posting the Independent Sources link at Hiltzik’s site.

Moral Authority

Filed under: General — See Dubya @ 8:09 pm

[posted by See-Dubya}

Remember the outrage when Sudan rotated into a seat on the U.N. Commission on Human Rights?

Well, Jed Babbin has found an equally monstrous irony. Guess which country now holds a vice-chairmanship on the U.N. Disarmament Commission…

Nut
I don’t feel I have to wipe everybody out, Tom. Just my enemies.

Diary of a Law Student

Filed under: Real Life — Patterico @ 6:02 am

I’m unpacking, and ran across a diary of my law firm interviews from law school. Here’s one excerpt from 1992:

Irving’s nose hairs almost reached his upper lip. He turned out to have edited Justice Scalia’s note when they were both on the [Harvard Law] Review. Apparently, Scalia’s note explained why Sunday Blue Laws were constitutional. Irving could not believe that such a young man could have been so reactionary. He admitted that he had great respect for Scalia’s intellect, but maintained, “I didn’t like him then and I don’t like him now. A boor.” Irving’s nosehairs glinted in the light from the chandelier.

And at another law firm:

I pissed off a litigation partner when he asked me why I wanted to be a litigator. I replied that a large part of it was that I enjoyed a good fight — I’m a little contentious. Turns out that this guy fancies himself to be the Great Compromiser.

I didn’t get either job.

P.S. Mrs. P. asks: “So was that your standard line when someone asked you why you wanted to be a litigator?!” The answer is: no, I don’t think it was. The problem was that I didn’t have standard answers for any interview questions. I just said whatever truthful thing popped into my head at the time.

It’s a miracle I ever got any job at all.


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