Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Apologize and correct your errors, have some fun with people who challenge you and your opinions . . .

In my last post, I clarified the truth about who precisely Mr. Oxenham was replacing on the Housing Commission – as originally proposed and as finally approved.  I continue to stand 100% behind my statements of fact as fact [1].  However, at the end of my post I launched into theory as to WHY the Kittleman administration made the change.  Through the device of rhetorical questions, I put forth two theories.

My primary theory was that the administration had decided (better late than never) that racial diversity actually is important for the Housing Commission and so re-arranged nominations to reflect that.  My second theory was that the Kittleman administration maybe in fact wanted to work with the Democratically controlled council and show actual bipartisianship and so this was an agreement between them.

As it turns out, the manifestations of the lack of diversity were quick enough to clarify that no, the Administration’s change in plans was not based on a realization of the importance of diversity nor a commitment to bipartisanship, but rather it was simply a practical response to changing circumstances.  The other nominee, Brad Myers, got another opportunity that upon reflection was the opportunity he preferred [2].  My theories actually gave the Administration the benefit of the doubt.  I stand corrected. 

Now let us break down each of the three comments.  They’re pretty long so I won’t paste them whole in this post but you should definitely read them here.  All three seem to employ the tried and true strategy of manufactured outrage, strawmen, and anything ranging from true passive aggressive to outright aggressive slights.

Ox was up first and the most straight forward and reasonable of the three.  He starts by dismissing my theories as “conspiracy” theories.  It is clearly the word conspiracy that is wildly out of place here.  I did put forth theories, though hardly conspiracy–based, and by most objective standards, were either of my theories to be true it would have put the Executive in a FAR better light than what Ox claims to be the true reasoning.

Ox then tells me where I “went wrong”.  This one I will quote directly “instead of using to resources to find out what happened you chose to make an accusations about me being rich without any knowledge of my income or tax bracket. Then tried to make bogus racial claims to stir up trouble.” [3]  I want to take specific exception to the very concept that what I did was “make a bogus racial claim.”  That’s preposterous.  I pointed out that a white man was nominated to replace an African American woman who still had a term to serve.  For the record, with the change by the Administration she is now in limbo and it will be interesting to see what the Administration does in either reappointing her or NOW proposing again to replace her.

Ox ends with a little diatribe on the state of blogging and strangely, along with his friends after him, accuses me of lighting fires while clearly holding matches. 

Next up was Brad Myers the nominee who withdrew.  For those of you playing the HoCo politics drinking game, bottoms up because Brad uses our favorite pejorative while leveling accusations at someone else, “What ever happened to Choose Civility?”  Brad spends most of his time explaining his decision to withdraw, all of which is fine and good.  I will reiterate that my statements of fact were 100% accurate at the time I wrote them and that I put forth theories as to the reason for the change.  Both Brad’s and Ox’s claims that my theories over politicize the situation are off base.  Brad goes further saying that it is “disgusting and should not be tolerated by the citizens of Howard County.”  While I was desperately hoping he would end with a Hitler reference, I guess I will settle for this metaphoric dive to the pitch like an Italian soccer star.

Honestly, David Yungmann’s is my favorite.  My theory is that since he is neither a new appointee nor the name on every Kittleman campaign piece, he felt less inclined to code his language.  Of course my theories have been proven wrong so what do I know?  He starts out of the gate by declaring that publishing something factually inaccurate is misinformation and fiction.  I agree with that of course, but again, what I published was 100% accurate at the time it was published. 

He next dreams up a response from me to Ox with two statements of interest to me.  First, that “…it doesn’t matter that he was at some point weeks earlier slated to replace her.”  This statement is WILDLY off base because it most definitely does matter.  I am putting forth that I believe racial diversity on the Housing Commission is extremely important AND that Ms. Mitchell has, as far as anyone I know of every political persuasion is saying, served quite admirably. [4]

He follows that up with another reference to my calling Ox rich and declares that means I, as a progressive, think that disqualifies Ox.  Classic conservative assumption.  I explained in footnote 3 how I came to that conclusion, it was not meant as a pejorative any more than calling him white or a man was [5].  All three were used simply as a point that we have rich white men who are represented in abundance in Howard County (of all political parties and persuasions).

After a kind of long diatribe attacking me for what he perceives as an attack on Ox which is kind of silly and not worth the time to dispute he makes the following accusation: 

“This blog is so obviously being run by someone in the inner circle of the anti-Kittleman camp and will be used to spread negative information, whether accurate or fiction, about Allan and everything he does.”

Here is where I am terribly torn.  On the one hand Mr. Yungmann clearly does not know or understand the Democratic Party in general or more specifically the Howard County Democratic Party.  The idea that they are organized enough to create an anti-Kittleman camp with or without an inner circle or that a campaign is being waged three years early is . . . hilarious [6].  On the other hand, evidence is showing that this idea is making the Kittleman Administration chase its tail a bit so . . . sure, I am part of the inner circle of the anti-Kittleman camp.  I’ve been put in charge of the secret handshake.


[1] More on this in a moment as I will address the statements of all three commenters to the post.

[2] Leadership does seem like a perfectly great opportunity, and I certainly see how he would only have time for one or the other.

[3] Although this may be a rabbit hole from which we never return, I will address my characterization of Ox as “rich”.  It is true that I don’t have any knowledge of Ox’s income or tax bracket.  I do know his home address (which he gave at the public hearing) and what he paid for the house (which is public record available on the State Department of Assessment and Taxation website).  “Rich” is both subjective and relative, and it is a term that makes many of us of higher economic status rather uncomfortable for some reason.  I seem to have struck a nerve here – that was not my intent, but I’m not apologizing either.  For a long time, I have believed it doesn’t serve anyone for us liberal do-gooders to ignore how the system works to our personal benefit.  I think the same applies to conservative do-gooders too.  

[4] I do not know Ms. Mitchell.  I have never met her.  I do not know what her political persuasions are.  My understanding from those who have worked with her, including folks INSIDE the Kittleman administration, is that she is a great resource on the Housing Commission.

[5] I am fairly certain from his conservative lens he thinks that I meant all three as a negative.

[6] It is certainly possible that such a thing exists and is happening though it would literally shock me.  Contrary to what these commenters or anyone else may think, I personally have not been involved in ANY inner circle meetings (or outer circle meetings for that matter) and have had no contact with County elected officials any more than the average County resident.


  1. You have a lot of "theories" this is where you continue to go wrong. I could sit here and go point by point of why you could have easily gathered the facts, but instead will point out that you continue to blog anonymously. You are leveling a lot of theories and accusations without identifying yourself. That defeats all credibility for you. Look I love debate it's fun, this is fun going back and forth. Most of us politico's love debate. You are welcome to opinions and I will gladly enjoy debating with you as back in the day hocorising was an awesome debate forum. Maybe this could be the new one. But you have to identify yourself to be taken seriously. I do think I know who you are and knowing myself, Brad, and Dave none of us would hold anything you say about us personally. Just identify yourself so readers inside the bubble can know who both sides are. I would gladly have a beer with you and laugh about this. Howard County is a great community and at the end of the day like it or not we are all kind of in it together.

    1. I am fairly curious about the “theories” you think I have. In the post above I put forth but one and it’s mostly tongue and cheek anyway. In the post before that I already highlighted my theories and I suppose you could add that you were guilty of hubris as a theory. Very little of what I have done since I started was accusations or theories and if it was I identified it as such. Feel free to call me out if you see otherwise but please try and be a little more specific.

      I’m not rehashing the anonymous thing. I talk about it in my very first post and again a week later at great length. I am sorry you feel it somehow “defeats my credibility” but I will continue to let me words stand (or fall) on their own.

    2. I just don't understand why you are so angry. I think you should just relax a little. You have the potential for a great blog forum here. A place where the issues can be debated, but you gotta lose that chip on your shoulder. I come in peace and am just excited that a blog has stepped up that has the potential for debate like the days of my good friends Wordbones or what Hocorising used to be.

    3. Thanks Ox, I appreciate your coming here and engaging in the discussion. I mean this statement in all honesty: I just don't understand why you think I'm angry. I'm not and don't really think my writing comes off as such. Serious most of the time (with a delightfully dry wit) but hardly angry.

  2. Okay, so you acknowledge that you referred to Ox as "rich" because of the value of his house. Hmm, interesting. So, in writing that blog post you first researched the value of his house before deciding you could call him "rich?" Or you just called him "rich" because you think so and then that was the only way you could figure out to justify your characterization? My theory is that the latter is much more plausible - you were caught with your figurative pants down and did the best you could to pull 'em up. Any comments on my theory?

    Here's the only relevant part - would it REALLY make a difference to you if Ox were a "lower-middle class white man?" The kind of guy that Jim Webb and Joe Manchin want to support (I'll wait while you google 'em).

    "Rich" in context was and remains irrelevant. It was simply a slap you could throw at a Republican nominee.

    PS - saw that Amanda Yeager even referenced your blog in her story of nominations being held up. Gosh, bet you're proud of your influence on Howard County. But, that's just a theory of mine, so, whatever.

    1. Well here we go down the rabbit hole. Only I thought there were supposed to be a rabbit and a mad hatter down here, apparently just trolls. Let me say this to you and your slightly trollier friend below. I’m just going to repost specifically what I said above. “ “Rich” is both subjective and relative, and it is a term that makes many of us of higher economic status rather uncomfortable for some reason. I seem to have struck a nerve here – that was not my intent, but I’m not apologizing either. For a long time, I have believed it doesn’t serve anyone for us liberal do-gooders to ignore how the system works to our personal benefit. I think the same applies to conservative do-gooders too.”

      To call that a slap I threw at a Republican nominee is ridiculous. In fact I will draw your attention to something very specific “a term that makes many of US of higher economic status”. I put myself in the category of rich. My words and the facts do not reveal what you want it to reveal so feel free to try and gallop down some other red herring. Or stick to looking silly with this one. Totally your call.

      On the Howard County Times article where the blog is mentioned, I am happy that there is finally some coverage on the abhorrent nature of Crisis Pregnancy Centers and how offensive and out of HoCo political mainstream it is for Kittleman to nominate the Executive Director of the Columbia Pregnancy Center to the Local Children’s Board.

    2. You didn't address the relevant question - if Ox were a "lower-middle class white man" and a Republican nominee, would it make a difference to you?

    3. I don’t believe that’s “the relevant question” but I will answer it nevertheless. Yes it would make a difference. I think lower middle class or even poor individuals need more representation on our Boards and Commissions. However, class is not the most relevant demographic I am concerned with here; race is.

  3. And the trophy for Howard County's Most Pompous, Arrogant, and Stubborn Blogger goes to... HoCo Rudkus! Congratulations. We want to know where to send the trophy. Any chance you'll post your home address? Also, we need to know how much you paid for your house, because if you are rich you are automatically disqualified for the grand prize of a coupon for a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich.

    1. Well if it wasn’t obvious before let me be clear, I am a pretentious progressive and as such wouldn’t be caught dead at Chick-Fil-A. Now, if the prize was a quinoa salad from Whole Foods, I might just be inclined to give you my identity AND my home address.