Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mikey's Alternative Facts

Never admit you're wrong.  This is the modus operandi of arrogant and dishonest people for whom winning is everything, and the ends are justification for any means.  When Donald Trump is caught in a lie, he doesn't admit that he's wrong.  He doubles down, piling more lies on top of his lies.  It's a show of strength.  Better to be seen as strong man who can fool lots of people than a weakling who fools nobody, and will compromise his values on the altar of truth.

It seem like ages ago that I pointed out to Mikey at Shadow to Light that he wasn't telling the truth in a statement he made about atheists, and rather than trying to defend his position with facts, he just banned me.  That's a show of force worthy of the Donald himself.  "Get 'em out of here!" he shouts to his cheering audience.  They aren't interested in hearing anything that might give them reason to think there is any other point of view worth considering.  And far be it from Mikey to feed any such notions.

It has long been Mikey's position that atheists are bad, dishonest, sick, hypocritical, etc.  And much of his venom is directed at those who are outspoken about their beliefs - the ones he calls "gnus".  Dawkins, Harris, and Coyne are favorite targets.  So, too is Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist.  Mikey has taken issue with numerous posts at his blog, including this one, about Madalyn Murray O’Hair.  Please note that I don't have a problem with calling out bullshit.  If he finds falsehoods or hypocrisy, those things are subject to exposure.  But sometimes we can be mistaken about the subject of our rage, or or we might be a little too zealous in placing fault where it isn't merited.  And that's when a modicum of humility would be appropriate.

Mikey's recent post, Friendly Atheist Alternative Facts, is mostly based on a misstatement that was made (and soon corrected by its author) at Friendly Atheist, but Mikey himself is wrong on several important points.  Seizing upon this misstatement as an example of atheists' dishonesty, he wrote:

Anyway, what’s interesting is the way the Gnus are trying to rewrite history by turning her into a some victim of religion.  The Friendly Atheist writes:
 She was also murdered for having the audacity to not believe in a god and defend those who believed the same.
This could not be more wrong.  O’Hair was murdered by another atheist, David Waters ...
Of course, that statement was wrong.  But a commenter pointed out a few problems with Mikey's post.  First, he noted that the misstatement had been corrected by the author soon after the post was made.  And second, he noted that Hemant Mehta (the Friendly Atheist) was not the author of that post.  It was written by Lauren Nelson.  So Mikey did make a change to his own post in response to this.  But he didn't mention or acknowledge that the misstatement had been corrected, because that would have left him with no basis for his rage.  Nor did he mention that he had wrongly attributed the post to the Friendly Atheist.  What he did was cover up his own mistake by changing "The Friendly Atheist writes: ..." to "The Friendly Atheist blog writes: ..."  This way, he can plausibly deny that he ever wrongly attributed the post (and he did deny it), while hoping that nobody would notice the change he made.

The commenter also challenged him on another thing that Mikey wrote:
As office manager, Waters witnessed how the O’Hairs were able to embezzle money from their organization and figured he would be able to score all the hidden money.
The commenter asked him to show his evidence that O'Hair had engaged in embezzling.  In fact, there is no such evidence that I'm aware of.  This is just one of Mikey's "alternative facts".  So rather than admit his own misstatement, Mikey changed it to say "Waters believed the O’Hairs were able to embezzle ..."  This time, he doesn't try to hide that he made this change, because someone had already quoted him in the comments.  But the modified statement is still false.  Waters actually claimed that O'Hair was hiding assets, not that she was embezzling.  Waters was the embezzler.  See the story of Waters and the O'Hair murders here.  I guess we can call this another one of Mikey's alternate alternative facts. 

And while we're on the subject of alternative facts, let's not forget another thing that forms a major part of Mikey's narrative: the claim that Waters was an atheist.  I've seen no evidence to support this, but it does fit the story Mikey wants to tell.  Mikey desperately wants to paint atheists in the most negative light possible - facts be damned.  From the article about Waters:
Waters, described by people who know him as bright and supremely self-confident, was 45 when he took a job as a typesetter for O'Hair's newsletter in January 1993, having answered a help-wanted ad. "Religious persons may feel uncomfortable," the ad warned, which didn't deter Waters. His Illinois rap sheet shows he had been walking a decidedly unsaintly path for much of his life.
In a post that purports to take atheists to task for presenting "alternative facts", Mikey has managed to demonstrate once again that he is not averse to presenting an alternative reality of his own making.  It's one thing to make a mistake and then fess up.  It's another to try to cover it up and pretend that everything you said is correct.  His refusal to acknowledge any misstatements on his own part, while criticizing others for their misstatements, is quite telling.  The Donald would be proud.


  1. You get banned from the places that being banned is really a point of pride.

    1. That's true, for the most part. But it's probably also true that my reputation for being banned exceeds the reality. There are certain individuals who spread falsehoods.

  2. Indeed, I set my watch by the time it takes to get banned.

    It is predictable from the theistic sites where all one need do is patiently and methodically disagree with the superstitious irrational bullshit all theists spout and wait for the moderator to get on the line.

    A few such interactions with the moderator or owner and you are canned. Tick tock, it is always a laugh when they cite their idiotic "reasons" for the banning.

    For the SJW atheist sites it is kind of hard for me to stomach. I expect better from an individual purporting to be a rational skeptic.

    Of course, PZ is such a moron it took me 4 hours for him to get on an ban me outright, that was still a laugh riot because I knew he was a chicken shit idiot when I got on his straight to moderation little cesspool of liberalism gone mad.

    It was harder to take from Dawkins and Aron Ra. It took longer with Dawkins but eventually the special snowflakes just could not stand being challenged on their stupid ideas so I was labeled a "troll" and banned. With Ra it was the distaff side that done me in, white liberal guilt run amok.

    We'll see how long it take Skep to get sick of my annoying ass :-)

    1. I've never banned anyone for being annoying. (Actually, I've never banned anyone). I have deleted a comment that was abusive, and will consider banning someone who is persistently abusive.

      I think that a blog is a forum for discussion. That implies dialog with people who don't all agree. If you can't stand engaging with someone who doesn't agree with you, then you shouldn't have a blog. My biggest regret in this blog is that I don't get more discussion from people who disagree.

  3. "My biggest regret in this blog is that I don't get more discussion from people who disagree."

    I will do my best to oblige in providing that service :-)

  4. "My biggest regret in this blog is that I don't get more discussion from people who disagree."

    I disagree. I'm sure you have bigger regrets. ):

  5. "My biggest regret in this blog is that I don't get more discussion from people who disagree."

    I will be leaving a comment on your latest blog entry about this.