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Saturday, October 25, 2003

Blogger Berg is Called Out and Responds

You can read Mitch's response here.

Mitch does give some sources for the statement he made. I'm glad that by challenging him to post it on his blog, he finally did.

In his response, Mitch attributes opinions to me that I have never expressed. I used Mitch's own words. He puts words in my mouth.

"What Eva Young seems to want is that, when lesbians are concerned, we see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil."

UPDATE: This is from my response to Mitch's response on his blog. The entry on his blog is no longer available. This is the version - with my comments, that I forwarded to the groups I initially made part of this discussion.

Mitch Berg has updated his blog to include this story. Mitch announced this on the St Paul Issues list (the list that is unaffiliated with E Democracy).

See No Eva, Hear No Eva, Speak No Eva -
http://www.mitchberg.com/shotindark/2003_10_19_archive.html [no longer available]

I mentioned that there were several reasons to tread lightly on this story - that while the allegations against Sgt. Loretz may well be true, we dont' know - and Lucy's DOES have a reputation, and bar patrons are the LAST people to get the "truth" from after a bar fight, and that some lesbians are by no means averse to violence.

EY: And some straight people are also. What this particular factoid has
to do with Lucy's - I have no idea.

Mitch continues:

Eva Young is a local pundit without portfolio. She's involved in the Log Cabin Republicans.

EY: First time I've been called a "pundit".

She also emailed it to Andrew Sullivan, the KSTP morning show, and another private party unknown to me.

EY: That was Chuck Muth of the Republican Liberty Caucus and Citizen Outreach. http://www.chuckmuth.com. Chuck also publishes Chuck Muth's News and Views - formerly GOP News and Views.

Mitch continues:

Note that, as I'm not a member of any of those discussion groups, I am unable to reply - however, every member of each of those groups now has my email address.

EY: Actually I forwarded Mitch's reply to all the recipients, so he gets the courtesy of having me post his response for him. Mitch responded by making a complaint to the moderator of the Gay Twin Cities list.

MB: Here's the posting - subject line, "Blogger Berg Opines with his Lesbians are Violent Theory"

Mitch's blog is at: http://www.mitchberg.com/shotindark/

This is part of the discussion on the St Paul Issues list (lists.minnesota.com), discussing the recent allegations that Police Chief Finney's son, Loretz roughed up bar patrons at Lucy's Bar (a Lesbian Bar) in St Paul.

I thought I'd give Berg's blog a bit more publicity, and hope that he opines in more detail on this theory in his blog.

The theory goes:

There is dispute on this point, but lesbians seem to be statistically at least as disposed to violence as any other group, and some would say more so. This has been my experience. This is not a knock on lesbians - but there does seem to be a physically aggressive streak among a sizeable minority.

If you wish to send Mr. Berg comments about his theory, write him at:
[snip]@mitchberg.com, or add comments to his blog.

I love it - this isn't meant to be a knock against Lesbians. Then what is
it meant to be.

Eva Young


EY: The post also included Mitch's complete post.

MB: Note that Eva in fact did leave a - under a utterly unrelated topic, below.
http://www.haloscan.com/comments.php?user=mitchpberg&comment=106701400147651881#23122>comment


MB: Goodness, where to start with this?
* Eva misrepresented me pretty completely. She calls the idea that
lesbians have a higher propensity toward violence than the general
population "my" theory - it's not.
* She also called on the readers of those SEVEN other mailing lists to
post comments on my blog - even though until this post there has been no
discussion of the Loretz case on this blog. In other words, she was hoping
to get a phalanx of people to bum-rush the comments section with unrelated
chatter. That's not much different than spam, and will be dealt with
accordingly (although now that I've posted on the topic, it's fair game)
* EY: And I encourage people to post.
* MB: I'm a conservative, Christian Republican. I've also been very
moderate on most gay-related issues, including civil unions/marriage. Eva,
however, tries to make me look like a gay bashing thug. I am quite
literally the opposite.
* EY: Actually, I didn't try to make Mitch look like anything. I
simply put Mitch's own words out to a wider audience.
* MB: She posted my email to a bunch of email discussion groups to which
I'm not a subscriber - ergo, I have no ability to respond.
* EY: Mitch has every ability to respond, and I'm posting a link to
his complete blog entry as well as some selected statements by him - and I
here.
* MB: She sent my email address, as well as the pointer to this blog, to
the entire membership of each list. Note that she did NOT post anything
about this to the original mailing list, until I started raising a stink
about it!
* EY: Mitch raised a good point, so I posted my response to the St
Paul list earlier today.

MB: It'd seem that my gravest sin to Ms. Young was intimating that lesbians might possibly not be perfect, eternal victims; Here, word for word, is the point that seemed to get her so exercised, copied from my original email:

There is dispute on this point, but lesbians seem to be statistically at
least as disposed to violence as any other group, and some would say more so. This has been my experience. This is not a knock on lesbians - but there does seem to be a physically aggressive streak among a sizeable minority.


Leave aside that singling out that paragraph - as Eva did, both above and
in her comments on my blog - leaves out a lot of conversational context; what's the beef?

http://www.haloscan.com/comments.php?user=mitchpberg&comment=106701400147651881#23122

EY: Actually, I included the full post in my post to the lists, and excerpted the paragraph in my comment to Berg's blog. I've been challenging Berg to give some citations for this theory, and now he finally does on his blog.

Berg continues:

Is that the definitive answer to the question? Of course not - and I never claimed that it was. In fact, in my original post, the one that has Ms. Young so exercised, I specifically said "there is some dispute on this point". No, I said merely that those who were calling for Sergeant Loretz' head based on the post-fight statements of other bar patrons, and assuming that the patrons were hapless victims of a big, bad male cop, may have been acting unfairly and prematurely.

We don't know. And by "we", I mean "you, either".

Oh, yeah - and clearly, the theory that lesbians may have violent tendencies isn't "mine".

What Eva Young seems to want is that, when lesbians are concerned, we see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.

EY:
Actually those are Mitch's words, not mine. I used Mitch's own words - and since he didn't cite sources, I assumed the theory was his. And challenged him to cite his sources. I'm glad to see his citations here. Whether the citations say what Mitch says they do is another story. I was perfectly aware that domestic violence rates among gays were at the same rates they were among straights. Also, ofcourse it's true that some lesbians are violent - just as some straight people are violent.

None of this addresses the point that the 911 transcripts appear to back up the stories from the women at the bar (including the story that he had identified himself as a police officer). The part of the story that bothers me is that Loretz was allowed to leave the scene, and when police came to the scene he started ordering officers around and they listened.

There does seem to be dispute around whether he was carrying a gun during the brawl.

Mitch also wrote the moderator of the Gay Twin Cities list complaining that I had posted his "private email address" to these lists. I had assumed that since Berg posts on public lists with that email address, that address is the one to contact him with responses to his posts.

Berg claims that I posted his quote without context. That is patently false. I excerpted the paragraph, and then I included his complete post for context.

Other people who have dealt with Mitch on numerous occasions have commented to me, that Mitch can sure dish it out, but he can't take it.

Below are some of Mitch Berg's email responses:

Berg's email response:

At 04:17 PM 10/24/2003 -0500, Mitch Berg wrote:
First, Eva, cross-posting to all these mailing lists - to which I suspect I'm not subscribed, ergo can not comment on - is not hoyle. You're invoking my name and issuing a call against me in forums in which I have no ability to respond, which is HIGHLY unethical.

EY: Well I'm posting this to the forums, so the forums can see your
response.

MB: I also doubt that the many individual recipients on the original email (which I stripped off in the interest of basic netiquette) are interested. It's spam, essentially.

Now, as to your misleading and near-defamatory subject line; it's not my theory. Trying to ascribe to me a finding that is fairly widely held among responsible academics is, again, misleading, and far beneath what I'd have expected of you, Eva.

EY: Then please, Mitch, give some specific citations. Which responsible
academics?

MB: As I said in the original posting - the point is in dispute. The "conventional wisdom" has been, for many years, that while gay men are *less* violent on average than the general population, lesbian woman seem to be more violent. I've seen studies that both support and attack that conclusion. mI care less about the subject, personally and in all honestly, than I do about NHL statistics. Again - to call it "my theory" is misleading to the point of abuse.

EY: I'd like to see the studies, that's all. I'd be surprised by studies that say that Gay Men are less violent than the general population. If you do have some peer reviewed studies on this topic, I would be interested in reading them.

MB: However, if we look at that idea from the perspective of someone who lives not far from Lucy's, and knows the bar's neighbors - well, studies are studies, but the neighbors know that the bar, while by no means the worst in St. Paul, has its fair share of mayhem.

Speaking of which:

At 03:03 PM 10/24/03, Eva Young wrote:
Mitch's blog is at: http://www.mitchberg.com/shotindark/

This is part of the discussion on the St Paul Issues list (lists.minnesota.com), discussing the recent allegations that Police Chief Finney's son, Loretz roughed up bar patrons at Lucy's Bar (a Lesbian Bar) in St Paul.

MB: Key word being "allegations". And there's the major point - I don't care how violent any affectional group is or is not; my main beef was with the discussion participants (Eva, if I recall correctly, included) who assumed the officer's guilt, instantly, based almost exclusively on media interviews with participants. As someone who's worked in bars, I can guarantee that that will not give you the whole story.

EY: And it seems like the officer has an attorney, and will have an aggressive defense (as he should have), and I am fine with letting the investigation go forward. What I find interesting is that you think your speculations based on having worked in bars are somehow supposed to have more weight than eyewitness testimony. Eyewitness testimony is known to be unreliable, but it's not more unreliable than testimony from people who weren't even there.

EY [original post]: I thought I'd give Berg's blog a bit more publicity, and hope that he opines in more detail on this theory in his blog.

The theory goes:

MB: There is dispute on this point, but lesbians seem to be statistically at least as disposed to violence as any other group, and some would say more so. This has been my experience. This is not a knock on lesbians - but there does seem to be a physically aggressive streak among a sizeable minority.

EY: If you wish to send Mr. Berg comments about his theory, write him at: mitch@mitchberg.com, or add comments to his blog.

MB: However, since I have never written on this subject on my blog, comments would be rather out of place at present.

I will most likely write about this on my blog in the near future - and at that time, your comments on the site will be more than welcome, in fact eagerly solicited. Until then, comments that are out of the context of their associated stories will be treated as spam. It's my blog, and I have to draw the line somewhere.

EY: Noone is arguing that point.

EY: I love it - this isn't meant to be a knock against Lesbians. Then what is it meant to be.

MB: Honesty?

EY: Expressing your opinions.

Later Email sent by me to the same groups:

I have gone to Mitch's blog - and have looked for a contact email - on the blog - and have requested that Mitch provide one. He does not wish to receive comments about his posts to the public list, StPaul@lists.minnesota.com at the email address I sent you
previously. Curiously though, Mitch's site: http://www.mitchberg.com which links to his blog gives the same email address I'd given here before (which I find rather peculiar that Mr Berg is so upset that I gave out this email address, when it is the same email address listed on his website - which links to the blog.

I still think Mitch's post stands on it's own, and I challenge him to post his original post to the St Paul list in it's entirety to his blog.

Mitch asked if I'd mind if he was to repost one of my posts to a bunch of fundie lists. I told him that if he wishes to do that, he is most welcome to do so.

From reading Berg's blog, he is more than willing to dish it out, he seems
much less willing to take it.

Whose theory is it then? You didn't cite any one in particular, you
mentioned this:

MB: There is dispute on this point, but lesbians seem to be statistically at least as disposed to violence as any other group, and some would say more so. This has been my experience. This is not a knock on lesbians - but there does seem to be a physically aggressive streak among a sizeable
minority.

Then you say:

MB: Now, as to your misleading and near-defamatory subject line; it's not my theory. Trying to ascribe to me a finding that is fairly widely held among responsible academics is, again, misleading, and far beneath what I'd have expected of you, Eva.

EY: Then please, Mitch, give some specific citations. Which responsible academics? You still have not answered that question.

Until then, it seems to me like the Mitch Berg theory about Lesbians (they
sure are violent).

As I said, I encourage you to put your research on this topic on your
blog. It would make interesting reading.

I don't understand what is unethical to pass posts of yours on a public
list to a wider audience.

Eva

At 06:13 PM 10/25/2003 -0500, Mitch Berg wrote:


EY: From reading Berg's blog, he is more than willing to dish it out, he seems much less willing to take it.

MB: Eva,

Bullshit.

I can dish it out, and "take it" (although there's nothing to "take" here since this is not "my theory", as you've misrepresented it).

I merely would like this discussion to proceed ethically - which you have NOT done to date.

Blogger Berg Opines His Lesbians are Violent Theory

You can find Mitch's blog here.

This is part of the discussion on the St Paul Issues list (lists.minnesota.com), discussing the recent allegations that Police Chief Finney's son, Loretz roughed up bar patrons at Lucy's Bar (a Lesbian Bar) in St Paul.

I thought I'd give Berg's blog a bit more publicity, and hope that he opines in more detail on this theory in his blog.

The theory goes:

There is dispute on this point, but lesbians seem to be statistically at least as disposed to violence as any other group, and some would say more so. This has been my experience. This is not a knock on lesbians - but there does seem to be a physically aggressive streak among a sizeable minority.

If you wish to send Mr. Berg comments about his theory, write him at the address listed on his website, or add comments to his blog.

I love it - this isn't meant to be a knock against Lesbians. Then what is it meant to be.

[UPDATED: Added Complete Email with Headers excluding Mitch's email address. Mitch's blog is now here.]

Complete post with headers (excluding Mitch Berg's email address).....

X-ClientAddr: 24.245.14.27
Mitch Berg (email deleted)
X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 6.0.0.22
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 14:12:32 -0500
To: erin stojan , Thomas Swift ,
Eva Young , stpaul@lists.minnesota.com
From: Mitch Berg
Subject: Re: Outfront not necessarily upfront
X-MailScanner-Information: Please contact the ISP for more information
X-MailScanner: Found to be clean
X-MailScanner-SpamCheck:

Jeeez, people, this is getting comical.

For the benefit of those of you who had no idea what "libertarianism" was before John Ashcroft took office, listen carefully: In this country, we are innocent until proven guilty. Even if we're cops. Even if our father is the police chief. Even if those bringing the charges are members of your pet minority.

The investigation is underway.

Simple facts:
1) People in brawls frequently have altered perceptions.
2) People of ANY group who are involved in a brawl will tend to defend their group, no matter what. I say this from personal experience; twenty people can see someone throw the first punch, and the puncher's friends will STILL say "it was self-defense!".
3) I'd suspect that people in a "special interest" bar like Lucy's might tend to "stick together" just as much as the police can be fairly alleged to. To say that will no doubt bring charges of "gay bashing".
Do that only at your own rhetorical peril.
4) There is dispute on this point, but lesbians seem to be statistically at least as disposed to violence as any other group, and some would say more so. This has been my experience. This is not a knock on lesbians - but there does seem to be a physically aggressive streak among a sizeable minority.
5) The police record and "word on the street" about Lucy's would not tend to bring dispute to point 4, above. It's a toilet. Leave aside that it replaced the wondrous "Blues Saloon" which used to be in that space - it has a rep for being pretty rough. While I'm sure the publican involved would deny it to the grave, Tom's cite of the police records is telling.

At 01:56 PM 10/22/03, erin stojan wrote:
Okay, TJ can't have it both ways. One can't accept the unqualified story of Loretz, who happened to be a cop, and then be entirely critical and dismissive of the other folks who are there, and expect that to add up to an argument of fairness and not jumping to conclusions.

MB: Er, back up here.

Yesterday, a group of you were all but demanding that Loretz be summarily shot at dawn, based on the ALLEGATIONS in the SPPD story brought by...Yep, belligerents and their friends, and the owner of the business that depends on them for business! Today, the other side of this story (which is STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION) comes out - and now, the topic turns to fairness?

ES: Re: complaints about the BCA questioning process, as a person who was certainly the most volumnious advocate of finding evidence and getting to the truth of the incident, I would assume TJ would be the most interested party in discovering the BCA wasn't asking about the actions of the officer, but rather focusing on the actions of the other bar clientele. An even-handed investigation seems like it would be equally criticial of both sides' testimony.

And again - the complaints about the BCA's questioning are coming from...yep, people who are quite openly partisan in this debate.

News flash: When cops question people, they do lots of things to keep the subject off-balance, to see if the story holds up. Good-cop/Bad-cop, staged belligerence, all sorts of psychological tricks to make sure everyone's stories hold up under the controlled duress of the interview process. It's not MEANT to be a cake-walk. And if Internal Affairs is involved, you may be fairly certain that Loretz' questioning is probably not much more civil.

ES: (And, if anyone's interested, these sorts of complaints about BCA questioning are consistent in Minneapolis brutality cases, too.)

MB: Right. Because when you see yourself as a victim, you are not in the mood to face questioning you see as critical, much less hostile.

ES: I would think that TJ would be heartened by the lengths OutFront is taking to gather evidence before it makes a decision on the group's stance. Of course, this information was curiously left out of his post, too. We know it was accidental. Don't worry, TJ! I'm lookin out for ya!

MB: Er, Erin? It'd seem that there are plenty of people on this mailing list that are looking out for the interests of the bar's patrons. It looks like we have two people - myself and Tom - urging everyone to show a little restraint wait until those curious little things we call facts are in.

ES: Let's keep in mind how exceedingly rare it is for a complaint to be upheld, and how strong this case probably was to be upheld.

MB: In Minneapolis, maybe. I don't have the stats at hand, but they're rather more common here in St. Paul. We have a much better police force than that other city as a result.

ES: As you insisted before, TJ---let's wait for the evidence before we go around dismissing other folks' accounts of what happened out of hand...

MB: Jeezawfriday, you people are touchy! Nobody "dismissed" anyone, merely
presented countervailing views.

SOme of you find that a big threat. You shouldn't.

Mitch Berg
Da Midway!

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Alliance for Marriage doesn't have the Wirthlin Memo

And Matt Daniels isn't going to be there for a while. Strange......

Still trying to chase down that Wirthlin Memo

Wirthlin responded to my email inquiry about the memo. If you are interested in following up on this, call Bryce Bassett at Wirthlin at: 801.226.1524 or email him. This is from an email I got from Mr Bassett.

Eva:

I got your message. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I had to chase it down.

As you can understand, our research and consulting for clients is proprietary, and we are not at liberty to release communications we have sent to them. I was told you will need to contact Matt Daniels at Alliance for Marriage about getting a copy of that memo if he is willing.

EY: So the question is, was this memo - which suggests that the issue of marriage is a good wedge issue for Republicans, done for the Alliance for Marriage? Stay Tuned......

Sunday, October 19, 2003

The more things change......

Mark Anderson shared a letter he wrote to the Star Tribune on the Minneapolis Rumours list.

March 28, 1998
Editorial Department
Star Tribune
425 Portland Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55488
RE: Letter to the Editor

For many years now, I have considered any endorsement of a politician by the Minneapolis Police Federation to be a demerit for that politician. The Federation has long been a hindrance to attempts to increase the professionalism or effectiveness of this city's police force. The last straw for me came when the Police Federation used Jerry Haaf's murder as a way to make political points. Because the Federation didn't like the mediation going on between a high-level Minneapolis police official with some Minneapolis gangs, they used the totally ridiculous argument that this mediation was related to Jerry Haaf's murder.

Now I've added the NAACP to my short list of "anti-endorsements." Like the Police Federation, any politician will have to be pretty good to overcome an endorsement by the NAACP. For years, the NAACP has been fighting any attempts to better the education of Minneapolis kids, if it also decreases the racial diversity in any schools. I suspect that one of the reasons for the much discussed 91% failure rate of Black kids on one test is Minneapolis' top-down approach to education, which cuts off parents from the schooling process. Busing kids all over Minneapolis is one aspect of the top-down approach. When your kid goes to school on the other side of the city, it is tough to get involved with that school. And it is tough to find other parents with kids at the same school to discuss the issues, and to find parents to ally with to bring change to the school. And putting a kid on a bus for two hours a day takes away from both learning and playing time. Now the NAACP wants to bus the kids all over the county. Racial diversity is their mantra, and they seem to think it is the only thing that matters.

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that separation of the Races is inherently unequal, they were talking about a government that systematically gave more resources to the White school than the Black school. In that culture of White supremacy, the justices were right - separation of the Races would always result in lower educational resources for the Black schools. The NAACP has turned that ruling into gospel. To them integration is a cure for all that ails. Any attempt to improve education, if it also increases racial segregation as a by-product, is not acceptable. So they won't give community education a chance.

But what finally clinched the argument against the NAACP was their boorish behavior at the Board of Education meetings. The NAACP apparently believes that shutting down public meetings advances democracy. Compare the number of NAACP members who shut down the meeting to the numbers of votes each Board member received in the last election. I think the Board has a lot more right to claim they are representing the people. Everyone I voted for in the Board of Education election lost, but I still respect the rights of those who did pick these Board members.

Mark V Anderson
Bancroft

Were Some Election Results in the 2002 Elections Hacked?

The UK Independent asks the question.

Quote from Pollster John Zogby:

One such is John Zogby, arguably the most reliable pollster in the United States, who has freely admitted he "blew" last November's elections and does not exclude the possibility that foul play was one of the factors knocking his calculations off course. "We're ploughing into a brave new world here," he says, "where there are so many variables aside from out-and-out corruption that can change elections, especially in situations where the races are close. We have machines that break down, or are tampered with, or are simply misunderstood. It's a cause for great concern."