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January 11, 2007

Comments

Bruce Hall

I know Joe Reilly. I used to work with him; he was my boss. No one I know is more committed to the pro-life cause. He has spent nearly 40 years of his life being a committed pro-lifer and a faithful Catholic, helping to found the pro-life movement in Massachusetts and sacrificing much to do so.

This is a man who has sacrificed promotions and well-paying jobs to fight the pro-life cause.

It is outrageous to question this man's intregrity.

It is indefensible.

Joe Reilly has chosen to defend Mitt Romney. That may not be your position - or mine - but that is no reason to slander a long-time, dedicated honorable pro-lifer like Joe.

Stand up and challenge Joe on the issues, instead of sprewing baseless slander. Have confidence in your position. Have confidence in your ability to debate and persuade. Don't hide behind such despicable mud-slinging. Don't be a wimp. Don't be a lazy wimp (slander is lazy). This is not how honorable pro-lifers should behave.

The honorable thing now would be, of course, to apologize to this man, this pro-life hero, that you slandered.

Carol McKinley

Bruce,

Up until the time the 15,000 came from Romney's pocket into the pocket of MCFL, MCFL was on the record as honestly characterizing Romney's record as a proabort.

Do you refute that the 15 thousand dollars changed Romney's record retroactively with MCIL?

Why did they take Marie Sturgis' name off of Romney's letter?

I've done plenty of honorable things in my life and some dishonorable. So has everyone I know of that has worked in our field of protecting the unborn. Be that as it may - Let's not get honor and dishonor confused just because we all have good intentions?

I don't doubt that Joe is working for peanuts because he believes in the cause and does not himself waiver on prolife. It's my position that Joe was used here by the Romney people. What can you say when somebody gives you 15000 and then asks you to do him a favor? Tough position to be in for all of us.

What happened here is wrong, and it empowered the Romney crew clout to bash a father who is doing his best to do and say the right things, the honest things about Mitt's record.

Camenaker is the individual who is owed the apology and the right thing to do is for those who signed that letter to call the Romney camp and let them know about it.

In Christ.

Bruce Hall

You offered no evidence.

There is nothing to refute.

You need to prove that Joe Reilly was bought of first. Then, IF you can prove your case, I would need proove it did not happen (and I will leave it to others to comment on trying to prove a negative.) We haven't even gotten to stage one yet - offering proof that it happened.


Saying MCFL received $15,000 and that caused Joe Reilly to prostitute himself and change his position is a logical fallacy, one that was identified by Aristotle thousands of years ago -- post hoc, ergo propter hoc. Just because an event happened before another does not prove that the earlier event caused the latter. Just because I snapped my fingers before being hit by a car, doesn't mean that my finger-snapping caused the accident. Just because the Sept. 11 attacks happened before Pope John Paull II died does not mean the attack caused his death. It is a classic logical fallacy and unfortunately your entire post's argument rests on it.

Another rhetorical technique is an ad hominem attack -- attacking somebody's character and not their argument. Your post falls into that trap too by attacking Joe Reilly and not what the letter that he co-signed. Attack the words, not the people.

It maybe a hard position to turn down a favor from someone who has given your organization $15,000 but Joe Reilly HAS.

He has done it many times.

He has PERSONALLY lost many, many times that when told by his employer to choose between being involved in MCFL and his job. Now, you are trying to argue -- WITHOUT PROOF -- that he violated his religious beliefs, that he went against the teachings of his God and his church, that he lied and allowed himself to be bought or used, all for $15,000 for a three-decade-old organization that has hundreds of thousands. Please. I say in response -- you do not know Joe Reilly. You are ignorant of the facts.


You commit third fallacy, that of confusing two separate issues. The fact that a third individual -- Brian Camenker -- deserves respect and an apology from another party -- the Romney campaign -- is irrelevatnt to the fact that *Joe* deserves an apology from *you* for your slanderous remarks.

In short:

If you want to attack the letter that Joe co-signed, do so. But don't slander his reputation.

If you think that there are things in the letter that are untrue or important information that is left out, then respond to the facts stated and the ideas presented. Don't launch ad hominem attacks againts an honorable man.

If you think that Brian has been unfairly attacked and deserves an apology, then argue such. But don't use that as cover to unfarily attack and slander Joe Reilly. He has nothing to do with the attacks on Camenker. You cannot change the issue by pretending that your ad hominen attacks are excused by the ad hominen attacks on Camenker. (In fact, your ad hominem attacks helps create an environment that makes other ad hominen attacks acceptable. We should not sink to the level of others but seek to raise the bar by behaving better ourselves.)

I stand by my statement. Joe deserves an apology from you. What you have said in your blog entry above about Joe is indefensible, despicable and dishonorable, good intentions or no.

Carol McKinley

Bruce,

I disagree with your assessment of what and whom is being attacked, ad hominem and who is creating the hysterical and divisive environment. I also disagree that the individuals who signed the letter had nothing to do with Romney's attack on Camenaker. They most certainly empowered Romney to do what they did to Brian.

There is nothing untrue about the fact that MCFL was on the record, in fact over and over again - that Romney is not with us on the issues. In fact, Marie Sturgis' statement of July of 2005 says that MCFL considers him a proabort and his positions have been so inconsistent that they do not know where he stands.

There is nothing untrue about the fact that after the fifteen thousand dollars MCFL was by Romney a few weeks ago - we this week read a statement by Marie that says that Romney has been consistent for four years on the positions and he is the best thing for prolifers since the battle of Bunker Hill.

The people concluding that it is the simeleons that made the four years retroactively prolife are certainly making a logical observation - most especially given our day to day battles with this man on issues of sex ed and prolife in the past four years.

There's nothing ad hominem about any of this. The position of MCFL reached back into time four years and changed the sound byte on his record - then disinvited the woman caught in the shackles of the lie. That is what is despicable.


The unfortunate facts are that Romney's record is going to be disasterous and divisive to the prolife community, to those of us who can surely look back to three months ago when he appointed an antifamily judge and say this is not a man whom we should be advocating to pick out supreme court nominees from Pennsylvania Avenue.

I'll say it again - I've done good things and some things I'm not so proud of in my life. I admire the loyalty to your friend but I also stand by what I'm saying. It needs to be said, as upsetting as it is.

Bruce Hall

This is the very definition of an ad hominem attack: "For fifteen thousand dollars, Joe Reilly was willing to contradict their previous statements on the record."

It attacks Joe's character. It accuse Joe of prostituting himself, of changing his position for mere money, of throwing away decades of commitment to the pro-life cause for a check.


Now, let's be clear on the focus of my comments. I am challenging your attack on Joe Reilly's character, only. I am asking for, even demanding, that you apologize to him for attacking his character and accusing him of selling his beliefs for $15,000.

Joe is clearly the who that is being attacked as you mentioned him by name. The what is Joe's integrity, his character. The above statement accuses Joe of selling his soul for $15,000 to MCFL.

I have not talked about "who is creating the hysterical and divisive environment". I did not bring that up. I am not sure why you have. It is a change of subject. It is irrelevant to my point, i.e. that you have slandered and personally attacked Joe Reilly.

I have not talked about the Romney's campaign and their attacks Camenker. I did not bring that up. I am not sure why you have. It is a change of subject It is irrelevant to my point, i.e. that you have slandered and personally attacked Joe Reilly. (And I think that you are spelling Brian's name wrong.)

I have not compared and contrasted the various statements from Marie Sturgis or MCFL. I am not sure why you have. It is irrelevant to my point, i.e. that you have slandered and personally attacked Joe Reilly. You've attacked Joe's motivation. You have accused him of changing positions in exchange for money. That is what I am challenging. I have not commented upon the various statements, whether they are true or whether there is good reasons for the differences. You've attacked Joe's integrity; I am challenging that attack.

Your whole attack on Joe's integrity rests on a mere order of events. That is a logical fallacy called "post hoc ergo propter hoc". See this for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc

You state above:

"There is nothing untrue about the fact that after the fifteen thousand dollars MCFL was by (sic) Romney a few weeks ago - we this week read a statement by Marie that says that Romney has been consistent for four years on the positions and he is the best thing for prolifers since the battle of Bunker Hill.

"The people concluding that it is the simeleons (sic) that made the four years retroactively
prolife are certainly making a logical observation - ..."


Ah, but it is not logical. The mere fact that one event precedes another is NOT proof that the prior even caused the other. More is required to prove cause-and-effect then mere chronological order.

Now, I know this is commonly done. It has been for thousands and thousands of years. That is why it has a name, a Latin name even. It SEEMS so logical. That is why this fallacy is so dangerous.

Logic and reason require more then mere chronologic order and speculation to prove causality.

Before we attack a man for selling his integrity for $15,000, Morality and Truth require that we have more proof then mere chronological order.

You owe Joe Reilly an apology for attacking his character, for attacking his integrity.

You can attack the wisdom of writing the letter (did it empower Romney?), the facts stated in the letter, the facts left out of the letter, anything about the letter's contents you would like.

But it is wrong to attack Joe's motivation for signing the letter, to accuse him of selling out. That is an ad hominem attack based on a logical fallacy, post hoc ergo propter hoc.

You should apologize to him for it.

Bruce Hall

I thought it might be helpful to post part of Wikipedia's entry on post hoc ergo propter hoc:

"Post hoc is a particularly tempting error because temporal sequence appears to be integral to causality. The fallacy lies in coming to a conclusion based solely on the order of events, rather than taking into account other factors that might rule out the connection. Most familiarly, many superstitious beliefs and magical thinking arise from this fallacy."

The full entry can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc

Carol McKinley

Bruce,

I don't know where you are losing us on this.

There's nothing superstitious about the fact that Marie Sturgis was booted off of the Romney letter because her statements of record for MCFL changed after the 15 thousand dollar contribution.

I recognize you do not want to draw the connection but all the encyclopedias on the world don't add up to the facts you want to dismiss as pertitent to the change.

Romney is a fraud.
MCFL was on the record saying he is a proabort
15,000 later, they changed the four year history
Marie gets booted off the letter because they don't want people doing googles under her name and coming to come up with the quotes.

That is the temporal sequence.

Carol McKinley

In other words, Bruce, you are trying to limit the scope of our conclusions to sequence – and then you seem to have flight of thought based on that limitation.

Our conclusions are based on much more than sequence.

When somebody gives you money – especially 15 thousand, it's very difficult and in fact near impossible to say no when they come to ask you for a favor. That's why many of us won't sit on Committees or take money that relies upon having to be silent about something that is wrong, or seeming ungrateful when somebody asks you to do something that is against your conscience so you compromise. Lots of people do it. Lots of good people do it. There is no malice or conspiracy or hysteria or fallacy. Your back is to the wall. This is human nature.

You are leaving out the most important facts in your narrow scope of why some of us came to the conclusion we came to. The statements of record by Marie Sturgis saying Romney has been inconsistent and MCFL considers him a proabort right up until June of 2005 – the new statements of record saying Romney has been consistent for the last four years and is the best thing that ever was for the prolife community - - and the fact that they deliberately disinvited Marie Sturgis because those statements are out there and will lead people to conclude what the rest of us have concluded.

None of this negates any of the work Joe did, does and will do in the future.

This about identifying a wrong as a wrong.

Bruce Hall

Quote:

"Romney is a fraud.
"MCFL was on the record saying he is a proabort
"15,000 later, they changed the four year history
"Marie gets booted off the letter because they don't want people doing googles under her name and coming to come up with the quotes.

"That is the temporal sequence."

Yes, and that is all you got, the temporal sequence. Temporal sequence in and of itself proves nothing. It certainly doesn't prove what is in a man's heart, a man who has given his heart and soul, and thousands and thousands of dollars, over a generation, to the pro-life movement. You accused Joe Reilly of lying, of selling his reputation and his belief for a measely $15,000. You have no facts to prove this ad hominem attack except a temporal sequence -- and temporal sequences prove nothing, as thinkers and logicians have been saying for thousands of years.

Your temporal sequence also has a big hole in it -- 18 months. What has happened in those 18 months that has led Joe Reilly to the conclusion that he wrote in his letter? He tells us. Right there. In the letter. We do not need to make up reasons for his beliefs. Like an honest man, he tells us. You may disagree with his reasoning. You may think he has left things out. Fine. Say so. Don't launch immoral ad hominem attacks against him.

It is wrong, immoral, indefensible to slander Joe Reilly as you did and attribute motives to him based upon....what...only a temporal sequence.


You also say "When somebody gives you money – especially 15 thousand, it's very difficult and in fact near impossible to say no when they come to ask you for a favor."

I know one -- Joe Reilly. And I know another -- Marie Sturgis.

In fact, the statement above proves my point. You say "near impossible". In other words, you admit that it is possible, in some cases. That there are some (perhaps very very few) people who would. That is the meaning of "near impossible": that it is, in fact, possible.

Therefore a temporal sequence is not enough to prove that Joe prostituted himself. You need to prove that he is not that type of person -- that type that you say exists (though rare) -- that type that would say no to someone who has given $15,000 to an organization.

Prove Joe is not that type.

Go ahead.

I dare you.


The fact is you can't, because Joe is that type that would turn down $15,000. I have seen him do similar things and heard about even more.

You have attacked his character, accused him of choosing money over principle with only a temporal sequence to prove your charges. That is wrong. That is unfair. That is simply a classic logical fallacy. You owe him an apology.

Now, you may disagree with the conclusions that he drew. You may think that the good deeds he says Romney did are in fact not enough to praise Romney. That there is more that needs to be told which negates those good deeds. Fine. Disagree with Joe there. Don't attack his character. Don't accuse him of being one of those many people who choose money over principle. He is not.

Good, honest pro-lifers equally committed to the cause can reach different conclusions about policy and politicians. We should not go about attacking each other's character, accusing them of selling their principles for $15,000. We should not launch ad hominem attacks. You did against Joe Reilly, in a blog, probably quickly in the heat of the moment. It was wrong to do so. You should apologize.

Bruce

Carol McKinley

Joe,

I have nothing to apologize for. There is more to the conclusions than the sequence of events. You may disagree with the conclusions we drew. To ignore the lie written in National Review Online and then shuffled under the radar by asking Sturgis not to sign the thing to draw attention to it is enough for anyone with a cerebellum.

Joe owes Camenaker the apology and the country if that fraud gets into the White House.

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