Free Speech and Blogging

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Last night I found myself once again the target of Davis Columnist Bob Dunning’s sardonic humor. Oh he did not mention me or this blog by name, but it was pretty clear who he was referring to. (Davis has few other blogs and this is the only one that routinely discusses Dunning). However, he brought up some points I think that call for addressing, including what might be construed by some as a legal threat.

It is no secret that Bob Dunning’s column has been a frequent subject of this blog and in a very critical manner. However, we have always done our best to merely make factual corrections of Dunning’s assertions rather than attempt to deride his character. Nevertheless, a man who has made his living for the last 30 years by sarcastically deriding public figures, has little tolerance when the shoe is on the other foot.

Last night Dunning wrote:

“given that various bloggers in town continue to pump out actionable libel and defamation nearly every day of the week, perhaps under the mistaken impression that “anonymous” blogs are no-holds barred free-for-alls where the usual rules of law are suspended . . . they aren’t, which is a lesson some of them will no doubt learn in the near future . . .”

As a public figure, there is a great deal higher burden to prove libel and defamation than a private citizen would have. A private citizen, would only have to prove negligence–that a reasonable person would not have published a given defamatory statement.

However, a public figure would have to demonstrate “actual malice”–that something was published that was knowingly false or in reckless disregard for the truth.

Dunning falls at the very least into the category of a “limited-purpose public figure” one who “has access to the media to get his or her own view across” and also one who “voluntarily participates in a discussion about a public controversy.” Dunning fits both of those definitions.

What might Dunning be referring to?

The only public charge he has made was this one from January 12, 2007:

“Twice on this blog I’ve seen truly ugly references to Catholicism as it pertains to the Above-Pictured Columnist made by anonymous cowards … if this ugliness had involved any other faith, it would be condemned by this town’s alleged civil rights activists as “hate speech,” but it’s apparently open season on Catholics … yes indeed, real life hate-mongers right here in the Most Relevant City in America …”

Following the January 12, 2007 column I did a search on the blog to see if I even mentioned the word “Catholic” or “Catholics” and in fact I did not.

Upon further scrutiny a person who made comments did in fact reference Dunning and Catholic although I would hardly categorize it in the light that Dunning did.

Furthermore the California Supreme Court has specifically protected bloggers from libel suits for “posting defamatory statements made by others.”

The California Supreme Court on November 20, 2006 wrote:

“Subjecting Internet service providers and users to defamation liability would tend to chill online speech… Until Congress chooses to revise the settled law in this area” people who contend they were defamed on the Internet can seek recovery only from the original source of the statement, not from those who re-post it.”

In other words, I am not responsible for the content posted by others on this blog.

At this point it seems that Dunning merely dislikes being the focus of scrutiny by this blog in much the same way as the rest of the community is the focus of scrutiny and ridicule by Dunning. However, as far as I can tell, none of this rises even remotely to the level of libel and every statement made by this blog that is not immediately provable through the public record, I can back up with multiple witnesses testifying to the accuracy of my statements. Therefore, Dunning’s charge of libel and defamation is patently false and ultimately unprovable.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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88 thoughts on “Free Speech and Blogging”

  1. Honorary Ed Lolington

    i read the column right around the same time i saw a flyer for this site. i put two and two together when the near-illegible scrawl underneath read “mean-spirited and hateful” and thought “unless this is the KKK, this might actually be useful.”
    it’s great that bob dunning has chosen the same path that so many imbalanced and drama-magnet internet users follow by threatening legal ction for talking about him. in this case he’s just clueless about what a “personal blog” entails and i fully look forward to dunning’s future and potentially escalating frustration at his inability to adequately deal with the hostility this crusty bully had coming.

    nevertheless, internet court will soon be held on this matter. with internet lawyers and private internet detectives, and all of this will be resolved a mass group AIM chat, the Honorable Judge Lolington presiding.

  2. Honorary Ed Lolington

    i read the column right around the same time i saw a flyer for this site. i put two and two together when the near-illegible scrawl underneath read “mean-spirited and hateful” and thought “unless this is the KKK, this might actually be useful.”
    it’s great that bob dunning has chosen the same path that so many imbalanced and drama-magnet internet users follow by threatening legal ction for talking about him. in this case he’s just clueless about what a “personal blog” entails and i fully look forward to dunning’s future and potentially escalating frustration at his inability to adequately deal with the hostility this crusty bully had coming.

    nevertheless, internet court will soon be held on this matter. with internet lawyers and private internet detectives, and all of this will be resolved a mass group AIM chat, the Honorable Judge Lolington presiding.

  3. Honorary Ed Lolington

    i read the column right around the same time i saw a flyer for this site. i put two and two together when the near-illegible scrawl underneath read “mean-spirited and hateful” and thought “unless this is the KKK, this might actually be useful.”
    it’s great that bob dunning has chosen the same path that so many imbalanced and drama-magnet internet users follow by threatening legal ction for talking about him. in this case he’s just clueless about what a “personal blog” entails and i fully look forward to dunning’s future and potentially escalating frustration at his inability to adequately deal with the hostility this crusty bully had coming.

    nevertheless, internet court will soon be held on this matter. with internet lawyers and private internet detectives, and all of this will be resolved a mass group AIM chat, the Honorable Judge Lolington presiding.

  4. Honorary Ed Lolington

    i read the column right around the same time i saw a flyer for this site. i put two and two together when the near-illegible scrawl underneath read “mean-spirited and hateful” and thought “unless this is the KKK, this might actually be useful.”
    it’s great that bob dunning has chosen the same path that so many imbalanced and drama-magnet internet users follow by threatening legal ction for talking about him. in this case he’s just clueless about what a “personal blog” entails and i fully look forward to dunning’s future and potentially escalating frustration at his inability to adequately deal with the hostility this crusty bully had coming.

    nevertheless, internet court will soon be held on this matter. with internet lawyers and private internet detectives, and all of this will be resolved a mass group AIM chat, the Honorable Judge Lolington presiding.

  5. Anonymous

    Bob has enjoyed a near monopoly on public sniping for decades, cranking out 5 columns a week with gentle and not-so-gentle needling of those people and groups he identifies as hypocrites. If anyone wanted to respond, the only choice was a letter to the editor: usually appearing a week or two later, capped at about 1/3 the length of Bob’s column, and de facto limited to 3 or 4 letters per year total. In other words, respondents were completely outgunned.

    With the emerging blogosphere, however, anyone unhappy with the Davis status quo can comment on this blog, or start her own! It’s not yet a level playing field, but it’s a lot less tilted than it has been.

    If “our fair city’s” traditional media outlet starts to notice that blogs (and their many voices) are growing more popular because of their diversity of opinion, maybe we’ll see some changes for the better. Twice a month is about all I can take of Rifkin, Harris, and Dorf (and their respective axes to grind). I’d like to see more points of view more often.

    If old media doesn’t catch on, then they’ll be left behind, where they belong.

  6. Anonymous

    Bob has enjoyed a near monopoly on public sniping for decades, cranking out 5 columns a week with gentle and not-so-gentle needling of those people and groups he identifies as hypocrites. If anyone wanted to respond, the only choice was a letter to the editor: usually appearing a week or two later, capped at about 1/3 the length of Bob’s column, and de facto limited to 3 or 4 letters per year total. In other words, respondents were completely outgunned.

    With the emerging blogosphere, however, anyone unhappy with the Davis status quo can comment on this blog, or start her own! It’s not yet a level playing field, but it’s a lot less tilted than it has been.

    If “our fair city’s” traditional media outlet starts to notice that blogs (and their many voices) are growing more popular because of their diversity of opinion, maybe we’ll see some changes for the better. Twice a month is about all I can take of Rifkin, Harris, and Dorf (and their respective axes to grind). I’d like to see more points of view more often.

    If old media doesn’t catch on, then they’ll be left behind, where they belong.

  7. Anonymous

    Bob has enjoyed a near monopoly on public sniping for decades, cranking out 5 columns a week with gentle and not-so-gentle needling of those people and groups he identifies as hypocrites. If anyone wanted to respond, the only choice was a letter to the editor: usually appearing a week or two later, capped at about 1/3 the length of Bob’s column, and de facto limited to 3 or 4 letters per year total. In other words, respondents were completely outgunned.

    With the emerging blogosphere, however, anyone unhappy with the Davis status quo can comment on this blog, or start her own! It’s not yet a level playing field, but it’s a lot less tilted than it has been.

    If “our fair city’s” traditional media outlet starts to notice that blogs (and their many voices) are growing more popular because of their diversity of opinion, maybe we’ll see some changes for the better. Twice a month is about all I can take of Rifkin, Harris, and Dorf (and their respective axes to grind). I’d like to see more points of view more often.

    If old media doesn’t catch on, then they’ll be left behind, where they belong.

  8. Anonymous

    Bob has enjoyed a near monopoly on public sniping for decades, cranking out 5 columns a week with gentle and not-so-gentle needling of those people and groups he identifies as hypocrites. If anyone wanted to respond, the only choice was a letter to the editor: usually appearing a week or two later, capped at about 1/3 the length of Bob’s column, and de facto limited to 3 or 4 letters per year total. In other words, respondents were completely outgunned.

    With the emerging blogosphere, however, anyone unhappy with the Davis status quo can comment on this blog, or start her own! It’s not yet a level playing field, but it’s a lot less tilted than it has been.

    If “our fair city’s” traditional media outlet starts to notice that blogs (and their many voices) are growing more popular because of their diversity of opinion, maybe we’ll see some changes for the better. Twice a month is about all I can take of Rifkin, Harris, and Dorf (and their respective axes to grind). I’d like to see more points of view more often.

    If old media doesn’t catch on, then they’ll be left behind, where they belong.

  9. Richard

    Dunning has always been precisely what he purports to condemn in his columns, a hypocrite, a man who is engaging and friendly when you encounter him at the Farmers Market or the grocery store, but who has relied upon falsehood and innuendo, with the approval of Debbie Davis and the owners of the Enterprise, to subject the people he dislikes to ridicule.

    The Lamar Heysteck situation was classic Dunning: print a falsehood about someone, get called on it, refuse to acknowledge the error (or, more accurately, the falsehood, as it appears like a deliberate pattern), or do so in a cursory, off the cuff manner, and then turn the fact that someone has complained about it into an opportunity to subject the target, in this instance, Hayteck, to more ridicule.

    Dunning has done this for years, as noted by the anonymous comment, and now, he is being challenged, he is being exposed, and he doesn’t like it. So, the real Dunning comes out, he implies that there is the prospect of legal action against people who criticize him, again, no doubt, with the approval of Debbie Davis, and the owners of the Davis Enterprise.

    Before they consider going down this road, I’d suggest that they consult an attorney about SLAPP suits, and the ability of people to bring action against individuals or entities that bring frivilous lawsuits against people exercising their speech rights.

    Preferably someone other Dunning, after all, his own legal skills seem less than reliable, given his inability to accurately read the criminal code related to the arrest and detention of juveniles.

    As I’ve said before, I’m usually not a fan of newspaper takeovers, but, it might be desirable for some chain to make a bid for the McNaughton papers and clean house.

    –Richard Estes

  10. Richard

    Dunning has always been precisely what he purports to condemn in his columns, a hypocrite, a man who is engaging and friendly when you encounter him at the Farmers Market or the grocery store, but who has relied upon falsehood and innuendo, with the approval of Debbie Davis and the owners of the Enterprise, to subject the people he dislikes to ridicule.

    The Lamar Heysteck situation was classic Dunning: print a falsehood about someone, get called on it, refuse to acknowledge the error (or, more accurately, the falsehood, as it appears like a deliberate pattern), or do so in a cursory, off the cuff manner, and then turn the fact that someone has complained about it into an opportunity to subject the target, in this instance, Hayteck, to more ridicule.

    Dunning has done this for years, as noted by the anonymous comment, and now, he is being challenged, he is being exposed, and he doesn’t like it. So, the real Dunning comes out, he implies that there is the prospect of legal action against people who criticize him, again, no doubt, with the approval of Debbie Davis, and the owners of the Davis Enterprise.

    Before they consider going down this road, I’d suggest that they consult an attorney about SLAPP suits, and the ability of people to bring action against individuals or entities that bring frivilous lawsuits against people exercising their speech rights.

    Preferably someone other Dunning, after all, his own legal skills seem less than reliable, given his inability to accurately read the criminal code related to the arrest and detention of juveniles.

    As I’ve said before, I’m usually not a fan of newspaper takeovers, but, it might be desirable for some chain to make a bid for the McNaughton papers and clean house.

    –Richard Estes

  11. Richard

    Dunning has always been precisely what he purports to condemn in his columns, a hypocrite, a man who is engaging and friendly when you encounter him at the Farmers Market or the grocery store, but who has relied upon falsehood and innuendo, with the approval of Debbie Davis and the owners of the Enterprise, to subject the people he dislikes to ridicule.

    The Lamar Heysteck situation was classic Dunning: print a falsehood about someone, get called on it, refuse to acknowledge the error (or, more accurately, the falsehood, as it appears like a deliberate pattern), or do so in a cursory, off the cuff manner, and then turn the fact that someone has complained about it into an opportunity to subject the target, in this instance, Hayteck, to more ridicule.

    Dunning has done this for years, as noted by the anonymous comment, and now, he is being challenged, he is being exposed, and he doesn’t like it. So, the real Dunning comes out, he implies that there is the prospect of legal action against people who criticize him, again, no doubt, with the approval of Debbie Davis, and the owners of the Davis Enterprise.

    Before they consider going down this road, I’d suggest that they consult an attorney about SLAPP suits, and the ability of people to bring action against individuals or entities that bring frivilous lawsuits against people exercising their speech rights.

    Preferably someone other Dunning, after all, his own legal skills seem less than reliable, given his inability to accurately read the criminal code related to the arrest and detention of juveniles.

    As I’ve said before, I’m usually not a fan of newspaper takeovers, but, it might be desirable for some chain to make a bid for the McNaughton papers and clean house.

    –Richard Estes

  12. Richard

    Dunning has always been precisely what he purports to condemn in his columns, a hypocrite, a man who is engaging and friendly when you encounter him at the Farmers Market or the grocery store, but who has relied upon falsehood and innuendo, with the approval of Debbie Davis and the owners of the Enterprise, to subject the people he dislikes to ridicule.

    The Lamar Heysteck situation was classic Dunning: print a falsehood about someone, get called on it, refuse to acknowledge the error (or, more accurately, the falsehood, as it appears like a deliberate pattern), or do so in a cursory, off the cuff manner, and then turn the fact that someone has complained about it into an opportunity to subject the target, in this instance, Hayteck, to more ridicule.

    Dunning has done this for years, as noted by the anonymous comment, and now, he is being challenged, he is being exposed, and he doesn’t like it. So, the real Dunning comes out, he implies that there is the prospect of legal action against people who criticize him, again, no doubt, with the approval of Debbie Davis, and the owners of the Davis Enterprise.

    Before they consider going down this road, I’d suggest that they consult an attorney about SLAPP suits, and the ability of people to bring action against individuals or entities that bring frivilous lawsuits against people exercising their speech rights.

    Preferably someone other Dunning, after all, his own legal skills seem less than reliable, given his inability to accurately read the criminal code related to the arrest and detention of juveniles.

    As I’ve said before, I’m usually not a fan of newspaper takeovers, but, it might be desirable for some chain to make a bid for the McNaughton papers and clean house.

    –Richard Estes

  13. Josh

    It seems that everyone, once again, is taking themselves too seriously.

    The bloggers: We are a fearless army of do-gooders!

    Dunning: Boo-hoo!

    For what it’s worth, everybody just do your respective jobs and stop talking about yourselves so much.

    You’re probably not that important.

  14. Josh

    It seems that everyone, once again, is taking themselves too seriously.

    The bloggers: We are a fearless army of do-gooders!

    Dunning: Boo-hoo!

    For what it’s worth, everybody just do your respective jobs and stop talking about yourselves so much.

    You’re probably not that important.

  15. Josh

    It seems that everyone, once again, is taking themselves too seriously.

    The bloggers: We are a fearless army of do-gooders!

    Dunning: Boo-hoo!

    For what it’s worth, everybody just do your respective jobs and stop talking about yourselves so much.

    You’re probably not that important.

  16. Josh

    It seems that everyone, once again, is taking themselves too seriously.

    The bloggers: We are a fearless army of do-gooders!

    Dunning: Boo-hoo!

    For what it’s worth, everybody just do your respective jobs and stop talking about yourselves so much.

    You’re probably not that important.

  17. Doug Paul Davis

    Josh:

    For me this is less about me being an army of do-gooders and more about Dunning trying to mau-mau people who disagree with him or dare to challenge him. But yes, it is time to get back to work.

  18. Doug Paul Davis

    Josh:

    For me this is less about me being an army of do-gooders and more about Dunning trying to mau-mau people who disagree with him or dare to challenge him. But yes, it is time to get back to work.

  19. Doug Paul Davis

    Josh:

    For me this is less about me being an army of do-gooders and more about Dunning trying to mau-mau people who disagree with him or dare to challenge him. But yes, it is time to get back to work.

  20. Doug Paul Davis

    Josh:

    For me this is less about me being an army of do-gooders and more about Dunning trying to mau-mau people who disagree with him or dare to challenge him. But yes, it is time to get back to work.

  21. Rich Rifkin

    I quote the words of David Greenwald:

    “The purpose is not to stifle debate and it is not to censor comments. However, a few things that will not be tolerated: 1. Profanity; 2. Name calling. Those will result in a deleted.”

    Now perhaps David has not yet seen Richard Estes’s post. But certainly that is name calling.

    “Dunning has always been precisely what he purports to condemn in his columns, a hypocrite.”

    Or is Estes’s ad hominem attack allowable because he chooses to defame someone who is regularly attacked on this blog?

  22. Rich Rifkin

    I quote the words of David Greenwald:

    “The purpose is not to stifle debate and it is not to censor comments. However, a few things that will not be tolerated: 1. Profanity; 2. Name calling. Those will result in a deleted.”

    Now perhaps David has not yet seen Richard Estes’s post. But certainly that is name calling.

    “Dunning has always been precisely what he purports to condemn in his columns, a hypocrite.”

    Or is Estes’s ad hominem attack allowable because he chooses to defame someone who is regularly attacked on this blog?

  23. Rich Rifkin

    I quote the words of David Greenwald:

    “The purpose is not to stifle debate and it is not to censor comments. However, a few things that will not be tolerated: 1. Profanity; 2. Name calling. Those will result in a deleted.”

    Now perhaps David has not yet seen Richard Estes’s post. But certainly that is name calling.

    “Dunning has always been precisely what he purports to condemn in his columns, a hypocrite.”

    Or is Estes’s ad hominem attack allowable because he chooses to defame someone who is regularly attacked on this blog?

  24. Rich Rifkin

    I quote the words of David Greenwald:

    “The purpose is not to stifle debate and it is not to censor comments. However, a few things that will not be tolerated: 1. Profanity; 2. Name calling. Those will result in a deleted.”

    Now perhaps David has not yet seen Richard Estes’s post. But certainly that is name calling.

    “Dunning has always been precisely what he purports to condemn in his columns, a hypocrite.”

    Or is Estes’s ad hominem attack allowable because he chooses to defame someone who is regularly attacked on this blog?

  25. Doug Paul Davis

    I would venture to say that calling a public figure a hypocrite by a member of this forum that posts under their own name would be allowable. I’m not sure I would categorize hypocrite as name calling. Now if someone called you a hypocrite, I’d be more likely to do something because you are a user of the blog.

  26. Doug Paul Davis

    I would venture to say that calling a public figure a hypocrite by a member of this forum that posts under their own name would be allowable. I’m not sure I would categorize hypocrite as name calling. Now if someone called you a hypocrite, I’d be more likely to do something because you are a user of the blog.

  27. Doug Paul Davis

    I would venture to say that calling a public figure a hypocrite by a member of this forum that posts under their own name would be allowable. I’m not sure I would categorize hypocrite as name calling. Now if someone called you a hypocrite, I’d be more likely to do something because you are a user of the blog.

  28. Doug Paul Davis

    I would venture to say that calling a public figure a hypocrite by a member of this forum that posts under their own name would be allowable. I’m not sure I would categorize hypocrite as name calling. Now if someone called you a hypocrite, I’d be more likely to do something because you are a user of the blog.

  29. Richard

    I invite visitors to read my remarks in full, instead of relying upon Rich’s selective editing, and decide if it conforms to their personal experience.

    Unfortunately for Dunning, Rifkin and the Enterprise, I suspect that a lot of people will decide that it does. As for Rich, it appears that he has pulled out an old, trusty Dunning implement out of the tool box: the change the subject Philips head screw driver No. 5, commonly used when the original subject of discussion isn’t going very well for you.

    –Richard Estes

    P. S. If they can’t deal with this level of public criticism, which is tame by today’s Internet standards, then one wonders if they are still relying upon typewriters and a hot type composing room to publish the newspaper.

  30. Richard

    I invite visitors to read my remarks in full, instead of relying upon Rich’s selective editing, and decide if it conforms to their personal experience.

    Unfortunately for Dunning, Rifkin and the Enterprise, I suspect that a lot of people will decide that it does. As for Rich, it appears that he has pulled out an old, trusty Dunning implement out of the tool box: the change the subject Philips head screw driver No. 5, commonly used when the original subject of discussion isn’t going very well for you.

    –Richard Estes

    P. S. If they can’t deal with this level of public criticism, which is tame by today’s Internet standards, then one wonders if they are still relying upon typewriters and a hot type composing room to publish the newspaper.

  31. Richard

    I invite visitors to read my remarks in full, instead of relying upon Rich’s selective editing, and decide if it conforms to their personal experience.

    Unfortunately for Dunning, Rifkin and the Enterprise, I suspect that a lot of people will decide that it does. As for Rich, it appears that he has pulled out an old, trusty Dunning implement out of the tool box: the change the subject Philips head screw driver No. 5, commonly used when the original subject of discussion isn’t going very well for you.

    –Richard Estes

    P. S. If they can’t deal with this level of public criticism, which is tame by today’s Internet standards, then one wonders if they are still relying upon typewriters and a hot type composing room to publish the newspaper.

  32. Richard

    I invite visitors to read my remarks in full, instead of relying upon Rich’s selective editing, and decide if it conforms to their personal experience.

    Unfortunately for Dunning, Rifkin and the Enterprise, I suspect that a lot of people will decide that it does. As for Rich, it appears that he has pulled out an old, trusty Dunning implement out of the tool box: the change the subject Philips head screw driver No. 5, commonly used when the original subject of discussion isn’t going very well for you.

    –Richard Estes

    P. S. If they can’t deal with this level of public criticism, which is tame by today’s Internet standards, then one wonders if they are still relying upon typewriters and a hot type composing room to publish the newspaper.

  33. 無名 - wu ming

    dunning’s just cranky because he can’t monopolize the discussion anymore. i shudder to think what his response would be if the enterprise allowed reader comments on stories or columns, the way papers like the bee does, or if he stumbed onto most heated discussions online. this site is amazingly tame for an online forum.

    given bob’s decades of throwing snide little barbs at various segments of the community, he shouldn’t be all that surprised to see people start to lob them back at him.

    and no, rifkin, “hypocrite” is not name calling by any stretch of the imagination.

  34. 無名 - wu ming

    dunning’s just cranky because he can’t monopolize the discussion anymore. i shudder to think what his response would be if the enterprise allowed reader comments on stories or columns, the way papers like the bee does, or if he stumbed onto most heated discussions online. this site is amazingly tame for an online forum.

    given bob’s decades of throwing snide little barbs at various segments of the community, he shouldn’t be all that surprised to see people start to lob them back at him.

    and no, rifkin, “hypocrite” is not name calling by any stretch of the imagination.

  35. 無名 - wu ming

    dunning’s just cranky because he can’t monopolize the discussion anymore. i shudder to think what his response would be if the enterprise allowed reader comments on stories or columns, the way papers like the bee does, or if he stumbed onto most heated discussions online. this site is amazingly tame for an online forum.

    given bob’s decades of throwing snide little barbs at various segments of the community, he shouldn’t be all that surprised to see people start to lob them back at him.

    and no, rifkin, “hypocrite” is not name calling by any stretch of the imagination.

  36. 無名 - wu ming

    dunning’s just cranky because he can’t monopolize the discussion anymore. i shudder to think what his response would be if the enterprise allowed reader comments on stories or columns, the way papers like the bee does, or if he stumbed onto most heated discussions online. this site is amazingly tame for an online forum.

    given bob’s decades of throwing snide little barbs at various segments of the community, he shouldn’t be all that surprised to see people start to lob them back at him.

    and no, rifkin, “hypocrite” is not name calling by any stretch of the imagination.

  37. Anonymous

    Wow. I’d wait on being outraged, until something more concrete happens. Maybe Dunning’s just baiting here to stir things up.

    I think that the blog and Dunning’s column should focus on issues and incidents in Davis, rather than taking pot shots at each other – as much as it is very entertaining.

  38. Anonymous

    Wow. I’d wait on being outraged, until something more concrete happens. Maybe Dunning’s just baiting here to stir things up.

    I think that the blog and Dunning’s column should focus on issues and incidents in Davis, rather than taking pot shots at each other – as much as it is very entertaining.

  39. Anonymous

    Wow. I’d wait on being outraged, until something more concrete happens. Maybe Dunning’s just baiting here to stir things up.

    I think that the blog and Dunning’s column should focus on issues and incidents in Davis, rather than taking pot shots at each other – as much as it is very entertaining.

  40. Anonymous

    Wow. I’d wait on being outraged, until something more concrete happens. Maybe Dunning’s just baiting here to stir things up.

    I think that the blog and Dunning’s column should focus on issues and incidents in Davis, rather than taking pot shots at each other – as much as it is very entertaining.

  41. Rich Rifkin

    “Lamar Heysteck (sic) situation was classic Dunning: print a falsehood about someone, get called on it, refuse to acknowledge the error.”

    What was the “falsehood”?

    A falsehood is a question of fact. There was no question of fact in what Dunning wrote, or even in what Noreen Mazelis was quoted as writing.

    The question of “struggle” or “privelege” is not absolute; it’s subjective.

    Compared with most people I grew up with in Davis, my childhood was a “struggle.” My father died when I was very young and we had no income for quite a while. Yet compared with children who face 3rd World poverty, severe diseases, malnourishment or abusive parents, mine was “priveleged.” They are just relative terms.

    However, falsely accusing someone of lying — or publishing a “falsehood” — is not subjective. That is defamation.

    Also, you may not think it is “name-calling” to call someone “a hypocrite.” I think it is. But it would still be within bounds if it were reasonably proved. In this case, it just sits there.

    Estes calls Dunning a hypocrite. But he doesn’t attempt to prove his case.

    Estes writes, “a hypocrite, a man who is engaging and friendly when you encounter him at the Farmers Market or the grocery store, but who has relied upon falsehood and innuendo … to subject the people he dislikes to ridicule.”

    Estes seems to not understand what the word “hypocrite” even means. What he describes is duplicity, not hypocrisy. And of course, all of us, at times, have been guilty of duplicity.

  42. Rich Rifkin

    “Lamar Heysteck (sic) situation was classic Dunning: print a falsehood about someone, get called on it, refuse to acknowledge the error.”

    What was the “falsehood”?

    A falsehood is a question of fact. There was no question of fact in what Dunning wrote, or even in what Noreen Mazelis was quoted as writing.

    The question of “struggle” or “privelege” is not absolute; it’s subjective.

    Compared with most people I grew up with in Davis, my childhood was a “struggle.” My father died when I was very young and we had no income for quite a while. Yet compared with children who face 3rd World poverty, severe diseases, malnourishment or abusive parents, mine was “priveleged.” They are just relative terms.

    However, falsely accusing someone of lying — or publishing a “falsehood” — is not subjective. That is defamation.

    Also, you may not think it is “name-calling” to call someone “a hypocrite.” I think it is. But it would still be within bounds if it were reasonably proved. In this case, it just sits there.

    Estes calls Dunning a hypocrite. But he doesn’t attempt to prove his case.

    Estes writes, “a hypocrite, a man who is engaging and friendly when you encounter him at the Farmers Market or the grocery store, but who has relied upon falsehood and innuendo … to subject the people he dislikes to ridicule.”

    Estes seems to not understand what the word “hypocrite” even means. What he describes is duplicity, not hypocrisy. And of course, all of us, at times, have been guilty of duplicity.

  43. Rich Rifkin

    “Lamar Heysteck (sic) situation was classic Dunning: print a falsehood about someone, get called on it, refuse to acknowledge the error.”

    What was the “falsehood”?

    A falsehood is a question of fact. There was no question of fact in what Dunning wrote, or even in what Noreen Mazelis was quoted as writing.

    The question of “struggle” or “privelege” is not absolute; it’s subjective.

    Compared with most people I grew up with in Davis, my childhood was a “struggle.” My father died when I was very young and we had no income for quite a while. Yet compared with children who face 3rd World poverty, severe diseases, malnourishment or abusive parents, mine was “priveleged.” They are just relative terms.

    However, falsely accusing someone of lying — or publishing a “falsehood” — is not subjective. That is defamation.

    Also, you may not think it is “name-calling” to call someone “a hypocrite.” I think it is. But it would still be within bounds if it were reasonably proved. In this case, it just sits there.

    Estes calls Dunning a hypocrite. But he doesn’t attempt to prove his case.

    Estes writes, “a hypocrite, a man who is engaging and friendly when you encounter him at the Farmers Market or the grocery store, but who has relied upon falsehood and innuendo … to subject the people he dislikes to ridicule.”

    Estes seems to not understand what the word “hypocrite” even means. What he describes is duplicity, not hypocrisy. And of course, all of us, at times, have been guilty of duplicity.

  44. Rich Rifkin

    “Lamar Heysteck (sic) situation was classic Dunning: print a falsehood about someone, get called on it, refuse to acknowledge the error.”

    What was the “falsehood”?

    A falsehood is a question of fact. There was no question of fact in what Dunning wrote, or even in what Noreen Mazelis was quoted as writing.

    The question of “struggle” or “privelege” is not absolute; it’s subjective.

    Compared with most people I grew up with in Davis, my childhood was a “struggle.” My father died when I was very young and we had no income for quite a while. Yet compared with children who face 3rd World poverty, severe diseases, malnourishment or abusive parents, mine was “priveleged.” They are just relative terms.

    However, falsely accusing someone of lying — or publishing a “falsehood” — is not subjective. That is defamation.

    Also, you may not think it is “name-calling” to call someone “a hypocrite.” I think it is. But it would still be within bounds if it were reasonably proved. In this case, it just sits there.

    Estes calls Dunning a hypocrite. But he doesn’t attempt to prove his case.

    Estes writes, “a hypocrite, a man who is engaging and friendly when you encounter him at the Farmers Market or the grocery store, but who has relied upon falsehood and innuendo … to subject the people he dislikes to ridicule.”

    Estes seems to not understand what the word “hypocrite” even means. What he describes is duplicity, not hypocrisy. And of course, all of us, at times, have been guilty of duplicity.

  45. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    Part of the problem with the charge by Mazelis was that Lamar was not qualified to speak on the issue of struggle, that’s certainly not true imo.

    Moreover, Dunning’s suggestion that Heystek had never struggled was flase.

    Those were the centerpieces of his claim.

    Dunning then claimed to me that he had spoken with Lamar about his background. That rung false to me since Lamar doesn’t talk about that subject and in fact Lamar told me that he had never spoken to Dunning about that subject.

    That’s clearly what set Dunning off against me, but I think he should have been more forthcoming from the start about that episode and it would have gone by the wayside.

  46. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    Part of the problem with the charge by Mazelis was that Lamar was not qualified to speak on the issue of struggle, that’s certainly not true imo.

    Moreover, Dunning’s suggestion that Heystek had never struggled was flase.

    Those were the centerpieces of his claim.

    Dunning then claimed to me that he had spoken with Lamar about his background. That rung false to me since Lamar doesn’t talk about that subject and in fact Lamar told me that he had never spoken to Dunning about that subject.

    That’s clearly what set Dunning off against me, but I think he should have been more forthcoming from the start about that episode and it would have gone by the wayside.

  47. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    Part of the problem with the charge by Mazelis was that Lamar was not qualified to speak on the issue of struggle, that’s certainly not true imo.

    Moreover, Dunning’s suggestion that Heystek had never struggled was flase.

    Those were the centerpieces of his claim.

    Dunning then claimed to me that he had spoken with Lamar about his background. That rung false to me since Lamar doesn’t talk about that subject and in fact Lamar told me that he had never spoken to Dunning about that subject.

    That’s clearly what set Dunning off against me, but I think he should have been more forthcoming from the start about that episode and it would have gone by the wayside.

  48. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    Part of the problem with the charge by Mazelis was that Lamar was not qualified to speak on the issue of struggle, that’s certainly not true imo.

    Moreover, Dunning’s suggestion that Heystek had never struggled was flase.

    Those were the centerpieces of his claim.

    Dunning then claimed to me that he had spoken with Lamar about his background. That rung false to me since Lamar doesn’t talk about that subject and in fact Lamar told me that he had never spoken to Dunning about that subject.

    That’s clearly what set Dunning off against me, but I think he should have been more forthcoming from the start about that episode and it would have gone by the wayside.

  49. Richard

    A lot of people in Davis know Dunning, and are familiar with the methods by which he has written his column. Apparently, Heysteck has an opinion, because he says that Dunning claimed to have a conversation with him that never happened.

    But, Dunning probably flashed that warm, engaging smile the next time he saw Heysteck around town. Just all in good fun: Gotcha’ Lamar.

    So, people can read my remarks, and Rich’s, and decide which is more persuasive to them.

    There is, however, one question raised by Rich’s comments that should be addressed. If personal struggle and hardship is so “subjective” and “relative”, then why did Dunning publish a column about Heysteck at all?

    It is a hard one to answer, isn’t it? Because, if it is so “subjective” and “relative”, then there would be no way for Heysteck to misrepresent it. It would be, as suggested by Rich, a matter of personal perspective.

    But this seems to be the way that it is. Dunning launches a contrived criticism of a public figure, and then, when it blows up, requires the assistance of someone like Rich to reframe the dispute in a way that contradicts the original line of attack, so that he can repeat it again down the road.

    Rinse, repeat, as they say.

    The Bee just offered some golden parachutes to quite a number of its reporters and columnists, including R. E. Graswich and Mark Kriedler. Maybe, McNaughton should consider doing the same.

    –Richard Estes

  50. Richard

    A lot of people in Davis know Dunning, and are familiar with the methods by which he has written his column. Apparently, Heysteck has an opinion, because he says that Dunning claimed to have a conversation with him that never happened.

    But, Dunning probably flashed that warm, engaging smile the next time he saw Heysteck around town. Just all in good fun: Gotcha’ Lamar.

    So, people can read my remarks, and Rich’s, and decide which is more persuasive to them.

    There is, however, one question raised by Rich’s comments that should be addressed. If personal struggle and hardship is so “subjective” and “relative”, then why did Dunning publish a column about Heysteck at all?

    It is a hard one to answer, isn’t it? Because, if it is so “subjective” and “relative”, then there would be no way for Heysteck to misrepresent it. It would be, as suggested by Rich, a matter of personal perspective.

    But this seems to be the way that it is. Dunning launches a contrived criticism of a public figure, and then, when it blows up, requires the assistance of someone like Rich to reframe the dispute in a way that contradicts the original line of attack, so that he can repeat it again down the road.

    Rinse, repeat, as they say.

    The Bee just offered some golden parachutes to quite a number of its reporters and columnists, including R. E. Graswich and Mark Kriedler. Maybe, McNaughton should consider doing the same.

    –Richard Estes

  51. Richard

    A lot of people in Davis know Dunning, and are familiar with the methods by which he has written his column. Apparently, Heysteck has an opinion, because he says that Dunning claimed to have a conversation with him that never happened.

    But, Dunning probably flashed that warm, engaging smile the next time he saw Heysteck around town. Just all in good fun: Gotcha’ Lamar.

    So, people can read my remarks, and Rich’s, and decide which is more persuasive to them.

    There is, however, one question raised by Rich’s comments that should be addressed. If personal struggle and hardship is so “subjective” and “relative”, then why did Dunning publish a column about Heysteck at all?

    It is a hard one to answer, isn’t it? Because, if it is so “subjective” and “relative”, then there would be no way for Heysteck to misrepresent it. It would be, as suggested by Rich, a matter of personal perspective.

    But this seems to be the way that it is. Dunning launches a contrived criticism of a public figure, and then, when it blows up, requires the assistance of someone like Rich to reframe the dispute in a way that contradicts the original line of attack, so that he can repeat it again down the road.

    Rinse, repeat, as they say.

    The Bee just offered some golden parachutes to quite a number of its reporters and columnists, including R. E. Graswich and Mark Kriedler. Maybe, McNaughton should consider doing the same.

    –Richard Estes

  52. Richard

    A lot of people in Davis know Dunning, and are familiar with the methods by which he has written his column. Apparently, Heysteck has an opinion, because he says that Dunning claimed to have a conversation with him that never happened.

    But, Dunning probably flashed that warm, engaging smile the next time he saw Heysteck around town. Just all in good fun: Gotcha’ Lamar.

    So, people can read my remarks, and Rich’s, and decide which is more persuasive to them.

    There is, however, one question raised by Rich’s comments that should be addressed. If personal struggle and hardship is so “subjective” and “relative”, then why did Dunning publish a column about Heysteck at all?

    It is a hard one to answer, isn’t it? Because, if it is so “subjective” and “relative”, then there would be no way for Heysteck to misrepresent it. It would be, as suggested by Rich, a matter of personal perspective.

    But this seems to be the way that it is. Dunning launches a contrived criticism of a public figure, and then, when it blows up, requires the assistance of someone like Rich to reframe the dispute in a way that contradicts the original line of attack, so that he can repeat it again down the road.

    Rinse, repeat, as they say.

    The Bee just offered some golden parachutes to quite a number of its reporters and columnists, including R. E. Graswich and Mark Kriedler. Maybe, McNaughton should consider doing the same.

    –Richard Estes

  53. davisite

    HELP!! Blog chief, this assistant “monitor” asks that you add another category(word-games)to my delete authorization. We have been here before with Rich Rifkin.. parsing words ad nauseum…
    AHHHHHHH. Deja-vu, all over again.
    Please!… let’s limit the word-game fencing match to one riposte.

  54. davisite

    HELP!! Blog chief, this assistant “monitor” asks that you add another category(word-games)to my delete authorization. We have been here before with Rich Rifkin.. parsing words ad nauseum…
    AHHHHHHH. Deja-vu, all over again.
    Please!… let’s limit the word-game fencing match to one riposte.

  55. davisite

    HELP!! Blog chief, this assistant “monitor” asks that you add another category(word-games)to my delete authorization. We have been here before with Rich Rifkin.. parsing words ad nauseum…
    AHHHHHHH. Deja-vu, all over again.
    Please!… let’s limit the word-game fencing match to one riposte.

  56. davisite

    HELP!! Blog chief, this assistant “monitor” asks that you add another category(word-games)to my delete authorization. We have been here before with Rich Rifkin.. parsing words ad nauseum…
    AHHHHHHH. Deja-vu, all over again.
    Please!… let’s limit the word-game fencing match to one riposte.

  57. Rich Rifkin

    “Part of the problem with the charge by Mazelis was that Lamar was not qualified to speak on the issue of struggle …”

    That’s a fair inference, IMO.

    “Moreover, Dunning’s suggestion that Heystek had never struggled was false.”

    I don’t know where Dunning said that Lamar “never” struggled.

    Dunning wrote, “Indeed, struggle is part of the human condition, and it doesn’t always have to do with which economic class the struggler finds himself in.”

    My suspicion is that Dunning didn’t know too much about Lamar’s childhood, and his remarks, perhaps off-base, were meant to be light-hearted: “… Lamar? … heck, he’s not old enough to have even struggled with a razor …”

    Considering the dust storm his little quip kicked up, he probably regrets writing that at all.

    “Dunning then claimed to me that he had spoken with Lamar about his background.”

    To my knowledge, Bob never has written that. And even if Dunning did speak at one point with Lamar about Lamar’s background, it’s possible that questions of “struggle” never came up.

  58. Rich Rifkin

    “Part of the problem with the charge by Mazelis was that Lamar was not qualified to speak on the issue of struggle …”

    That’s a fair inference, IMO.

    “Moreover, Dunning’s suggestion that Heystek had never struggled was false.”

    I don’t know where Dunning said that Lamar “never” struggled.

    Dunning wrote, “Indeed, struggle is part of the human condition, and it doesn’t always have to do with which economic class the struggler finds himself in.”

    My suspicion is that Dunning didn’t know too much about Lamar’s childhood, and his remarks, perhaps off-base, were meant to be light-hearted: “… Lamar? … heck, he’s not old enough to have even struggled with a razor …”

    Considering the dust storm his little quip kicked up, he probably regrets writing that at all.

    “Dunning then claimed to me that he had spoken with Lamar about his background.”

    To my knowledge, Bob never has written that. And even if Dunning did speak at one point with Lamar about Lamar’s background, it’s possible that questions of “struggle” never came up.

  59. Rich Rifkin

    “Part of the problem with the charge by Mazelis was that Lamar was not qualified to speak on the issue of struggle …”

    That’s a fair inference, IMO.

    “Moreover, Dunning’s suggestion that Heystek had never struggled was false.”

    I don’t know where Dunning said that Lamar “never” struggled.

    Dunning wrote, “Indeed, struggle is part of the human condition, and it doesn’t always have to do with which economic class the struggler finds himself in.”

    My suspicion is that Dunning didn’t know too much about Lamar’s childhood, and his remarks, perhaps off-base, were meant to be light-hearted: “… Lamar? … heck, he’s not old enough to have even struggled with a razor …”

    Considering the dust storm his little quip kicked up, he probably regrets writing that at all.

    “Dunning then claimed to me that he had spoken with Lamar about his background.”

    To my knowledge, Bob never has written that. And even if Dunning did speak at one point with Lamar about Lamar’s background, it’s possible that questions of “struggle” never came up.

  60. Rich Rifkin

    “Part of the problem with the charge by Mazelis was that Lamar was not qualified to speak on the issue of struggle …”

    That’s a fair inference, IMO.

    “Moreover, Dunning’s suggestion that Heystek had never struggled was false.”

    I don’t know where Dunning said that Lamar “never” struggled.

    Dunning wrote, “Indeed, struggle is part of the human condition, and it doesn’t always have to do with which economic class the struggler finds himself in.”

    My suspicion is that Dunning didn’t know too much about Lamar’s childhood, and his remarks, perhaps off-base, were meant to be light-hearted: “… Lamar? … heck, he’s not old enough to have even struggled with a razor …”

    Considering the dust storm his little quip kicked up, he probably regrets writing that at all.

    “Dunning then claimed to me that he had spoken with Lamar about his background.”

    To my knowledge, Bob never has written that. And even if Dunning did speak at one point with Lamar about Lamar’s background, it’s possible that questions of “struggle” never came up.

  61. Rich Rifkin

    “If personal struggle and hardship is so “subjective” and “relative”, then why did Dunning publish a column about Heysteck at all?”

    First, it’s Heystek, not Heysteck.

    Second, it was because Lamar was scheduled to speak at a conference on “struggle.”

  62. Rich Rifkin

    “If personal struggle and hardship is so “subjective” and “relative”, then why did Dunning publish a column about Heysteck at all?”

    First, it’s Heystek, not Heysteck.

    Second, it was because Lamar was scheduled to speak at a conference on “struggle.”

  63. Rich Rifkin

    “If personal struggle and hardship is so “subjective” and “relative”, then why did Dunning publish a column about Heysteck at all?”

    First, it’s Heystek, not Heysteck.

    Second, it was because Lamar was scheduled to speak at a conference on “struggle.”

  64. Rich Rifkin

    “If personal struggle and hardship is so “subjective” and “relative”, then why did Dunning publish a column about Heysteck at all?”

    First, it’s Heystek, not Heysteck.

    Second, it was because Lamar was scheduled to speak at a conference on “struggle.”

  65. Rich Rifkin

    Regarding spelling, fine. I just thought Mr. Estes would want to know the correct orthography of Heystek. If I make a mistake, I appreciate being corrected.

  66. Rich Rifkin

    Regarding spelling, fine. I just thought Mr. Estes would want to know the correct orthography of Heystek. If I make a mistake, I appreciate being corrected.

  67. Rich Rifkin

    Regarding spelling, fine. I just thought Mr. Estes would want to know the correct orthography of Heystek. If I make a mistake, I appreciate being corrected.

  68. Rich Rifkin

    Regarding spelling, fine. I just thought Mr. Estes would want to know the correct orthography of Heystek. If I make a mistake, I appreciate being corrected.

  69. Bobs Best Friend

    Bob is Bob’s best friend and no one else’s. Including Rich Riefkun (sic). You can see and talk to Bob around town and he’s your best friend. Then he’ll write about whatever he feels like and whatever will sell papers tomorrow. That’s his job. If he wants to defend himself on this blog (like other people defend themselves from him in letters to the editor), great. I’m sure he can stand up for himself without Rich’s obsequious-tail-wagging-puppy-dog rants.

  70. Bobs Best Friend

    Bob is Bob’s best friend and no one else’s. Including Rich Riefkun (sic). You can see and talk to Bob around town and he’s your best friend. Then he’ll write about whatever he feels like and whatever will sell papers tomorrow. That’s his job. If he wants to defend himself on this blog (like other people defend themselves from him in letters to the editor), great. I’m sure he can stand up for himself without Rich’s obsequious-tail-wagging-puppy-dog rants.

  71. Bobs Best Friend

    Bob is Bob’s best friend and no one else’s. Including Rich Riefkun (sic). You can see and talk to Bob around town and he’s your best friend. Then he’ll write about whatever he feels like and whatever will sell papers tomorrow. That’s his job. If he wants to defend himself on this blog (like other people defend themselves from him in letters to the editor), great. I’m sure he can stand up for himself without Rich’s obsequious-tail-wagging-puppy-dog rants.

  72. Bobs Best Friend

    Bob is Bob’s best friend and no one else’s. Including Rich Riefkun (sic). You can see and talk to Bob around town and he’s your best friend. Then he’ll write about whatever he feels like and whatever will sell papers tomorrow. That’s his job. If he wants to defend himself on this blog (like other people defend themselves from him in letters to the editor), great. I’m sure he can stand up for himself without Rich’s obsequious-tail-wagging-puppy-dog rants.

  73. Doug Paul Davis

    Let’s try to keep this from getting personal. Focus on the issue. Rich has every right to defend Bob as he sees fit, just as others on this forum have every right to criticize Bob’s writings.

  74. Doug Paul Davis

    Let’s try to keep this from getting personal. Focus on the issue. Rich has every right to defend Bob as he sees fit, just as others on this forum have every right to criticize Bob’s writings.

  75. Doug Paul Davis

    Let’s try to keep this from getting personal. Focus on the issue. Rich has every right to defend Bob as he sees fit, just as others on this forum have every right to criticize Bob’s writings.

  76. Doug Paul Davis

    Let’s try to keep this from getting personal. Focus on the issue. Rich has every right to defend Bob as he sees fit, just as others on this forum have every right to criticize Bob’s writings.

  77. honorary ed lolington

    “Let’s try to keep this from getting personal.”

    it’s been too late for that for quite some time, far too long in regard to internet statute 3000345 (failed NPOV), no, i will be working with user “the law” to bring responsible parties to internet jail for quite some time.

  78. honorary ed lolington

    “Let’s try to keep this from getting personal.”

    it’s been too late for that for quite some time, far too long in regard to internet statute 3000345 (failed NPOV), no, i will be working with user “the law” to bring responsible parties to internet jail for quite some time.

  79. honorary ed lolington

    “Let’s try to keep this from getting personal.”

    it’s been too late for that for quite some time, far too long in regard to internet statute 3000345 (failed NPOV), no, i will be working with user “the law” to bring responsible parties to internet jail for quite some time.

  80. honorary ed lolington

    “Let’s try to keep this from getting personal.”

    it’s been too late for that for quite some time, far too long in regard to internet statute 3000345 (failed NPOV), no, i will be working with user “the law” to bring responsible parties to internet jail for quite some time.

  81. Richard

    how to talk about a columnist who makes “the personal” a primary theme of his column without getting “personal”?

    the UCD Philosophy Department is working on it

  82. Richard

    how to talk about a columnist who makes “the personal” a primary theme of his column without getting “personal”?

    the UCD Philosophy Department is working on it

  83. Richard

    how to talk about a columnist who makes “the personal” a primary theme of his column without getting “personal”?

    the UCD Philosophy Department is working on it

  84. Richard

    how to talk about a columnist who makes “the personal” a primary theme of his column without getting “personal”?

    the UCD Philosophy Department is working on it

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