Columnist offers facts, just the facts
by Kevin Foley
March 07, 2014 12:08 AM | 2269 views | 35 35 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” — Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer As oftentimes the lone local progressive voice in the MDJ, I try to present well-reasoned arguments supported by facts that can be checked for accuracy by any reader.

This approach to opinion writing seems to generate an enormous amount of anger among my conservative critics.

For example, I recently pointed out that conservative women are concerned about many issues besides abortion, the only women’s issue on which conservative men seem fixated.

I also noted that, based on their outrageous statements about women’s reproductive health, some conservative men have exposed themselves as, at best, ignorant of the things that concern women and, at worst, hostile toward them.

Confronted with the facts I used to support this argument, readers responded with, of all things, Benghazi.

I’ll play along. Here are those facts:

Benghazi was investigated by the independent Accountability Review Board led by former Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen and former Ambassador Thomas Pickering, two men with impeccable credentials and unimpeachable integrity.

They determined everything that could be done was done to help the besieged American outpost in Benghazi. That help didn’t get there in time, Mullen told Congress in sworn testimony last year.

But inside the conservative bubble, such facts are ignored so Benghazi remains a “scandal” kept alive by conservatives who want us believe Mullen and Pickering would risk their reputations to protect Obama.

No they wouldn’t. They’re both retired and have nothing to gain or lose by letting the facts take them wherever they lead.

Changing the subject is a technique regularly practiced by the conservative media, from Fox News to Rush Limbaugh to some MDJ columnists; when confronted with the truth about conservative women and men, for example, conservatives respond with Benghazi or IRS or Obamacare or Fast and Furious.

It’s impossible for conservatives to stop the avalanche of facts, so they counter with lies, half-truths or distortions, none of which have anything to do with the argument.

Now wunderkind Ben Shapiro offers conservatives help in his book, “How to Debate Leftists and Destroy them: 10 Rules for Winning the Argument” (not “reason with” but “destroy”).

Shapiro’s rule number three advises readers to “frame your opponent.” He says a progressive will call you a racist or sexist, which might be true if you say something racist or sexist. Shapiro recommends that in such an instance you should call the liberal a “liar and hater.”

That will end most political discussions, but Shapiro has more advice. “Force leftists to answer questions.”

The economy? Steadily recovering. Unemployment? Republican House Speaker John Boehner won’t pass the president’s jobs bill. IRS? After the Citizens United decision the agency was inundated with tax exempt applications which it must review. Many happened to be from tea party groups.

Shapiro’s rule number six is interesting: “Do not get distracted.” He would seem to be telling conservatives to focus and not change the subject.

“If you don’t know something, admit it,” adds Shapiro. Conservatives should heed his advice when arguing issues like global warming or the Russian incursion into Ukraine.

The former is an indisputable fact among 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists. The latter is a complex geopolitical dilemma in which Russia has invaded the Autonomous Republic of Crimea where it maintains its Black Sea naval base.

With no American citizens or interests directly threatened, Obama is using appropriate diplomatic channels to settle the Ukraine crisis. That’s also true in other hot spots like Iran and Syria.

But because the president hasn’t reacted militarily, reactionaries claim Obama is weak.

I don’t need 10 rules. I have just one for winning debates. Present the truth.

Kevin Foley is an author, writer and public relations executive who lives in Kennesaw.
Comments
(35)
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Mom comment
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March 15, 2014
I honestly don't know how step ford wife Laura Armstrong can even be published. I guess she is Cobb county's version of Ann Coulter. Ann Coulter is clearly an attractive woman, wannabe actress who figured she could make big bucks spouting the Old white guy lines in an attractive weather girl type package. She is not one of these double shinned, 1970's bad perm and bleach job out of central casting of what a Right wing nut should look like ( aka Debbie Dooley).

So many of you do not want to believe these caste of characters that lead the Republican Party and Tea party are anything but what you want to believe.

I went to college with one of the major Republican Party national players. I hate to tell you all, that the only reason this guy is a Republican is because back in 1983, he could only find a republican congressman from the Northern State he is from to hire him. There just weren't any Dems looking. He clearly was a Dem in college and supporting Jimmy Carter's reelection. He was good friends with several guys that came out of the closet as gay . Everytime, I hear some of the rep. Platforms he puts together, I cringe. I some he at a party over winter break 1983 for a 1984 New Year's Eve party in the town he is from. best friends with these guys, some out, some now. just to see how hypocritical he has been. Someday, he might have a Melman moment and say it was morally wrong to betray his college friends like he has done.

I know that at least 50% of all women under 55 and over 40 have had abortions. They just lie about it,,never tell their husbands or boyfriends. They say they had a miscarriage or a D&C. same thing with over 90% using Birth control.

just the facts?
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March 18, 2014
"step ford wife Laura Armstrong."

widowed in her 20s, single mom, journalism school at UGA, published for years and one of the best commentors MDJ had. Knew how to argue without persoonal attacks, was informative, included research.

Foley rants about Fox news and you rant about things you have no idea of.
Mike Woodliff
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March 20, 2014
I typically don't offer a response to those who lack the courage to sign their opinions, but this one was so over the top, that it caught my attention. "Mom Comment" is so totally lacking in basic intelligence that even Kevin would be stunned. Mom, you don't "know" that 50% of ALL women under 55 and over 40 have had abortions. In other words, you don't know anything about what other women do. You have allowed your opinion to cloud your factual judgment.
Mike H
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March 14, 2014
For facts, logic, and reason, I read Kevin Foley on Fridays.

To see how some folks react badly to his well written column, I read the poorly written emotional Comments. Since you couldn't call them replies, I just call them reactions.
Paul Bunyon
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March 11, 2014
Can you post the Flying Monkey attack on youtube so I can see it? Thanks.
Barry White
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March 11, 2014
And the Progressives and current administration will say whatever they want the underinformed to believe over and over while saying how bad conservatism is; regardless of the truth.
Lib in Cobb
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March 11, 2014
@Kevin: Now, "Guido" thinks you are "anonymous". Who does he think I am or who you are or who is "anonymous"?

Guido, I guess you don't like me anymore? That's ok, I have disliked by better.
Guido Sarducci
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March 11, 2014
Libs, words are inadequate to describe just how little I think about, or care about, who you are, as you are totally irrelevant to any actual events.
Kevin Foley
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March 11, 2014
Lib - Take a look at the comments. All the usual suspects including unhinged conspiracy theorists, Obama haters, Fox News addicts, Ted Nugent fans, and those who vote against their own best interests, all of whom prove my central point here, that my writings generate anger, not any sort of civil debate we need nowadays.

Ms. Armstrong has a "bone to pick" with me. I suggest she re-read the letter she sent the MDJ that was quickly taken down for reasons unknown.
weareallstillwaiting
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March 11, 2014
Hey, Lib in Cobb...how come your BFF can't answer a simple question. He went off on a diatribe that was based on a figment of his imagination. Precisely when did Laura Armstrong or anyone, for that matter, mention Benghazi in his bogus war on women rant? Come on now, we're waiting patiently. His credibility is on the line. Surely he didn't fabricate this entire thing and expect it to go unnoticed. At the end of the day, all a person has to go on is their integrity. Surely Foley didn't make this thing up. That would be super embarrassing.
Ben Twomey
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March 11, 2014
Kevin, your posts are intentionally written in anger to provoke anger. Don't be surprised when that is what you get.

Look at all the name calling you just did. People give back what they get.
wearewaiting
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March 10, 2014
Yo Kev...why haven't you given an answer to 'is this a new foley low'? When did Laura Armstrong or ANYONE mention Benghazi when you were spouting off about the fake war on women? Surely you're able to remember this moment in time since you then decided to write your entire column about it.

"Confronted with the facts I used to support this argument, readers responded with, of all things, Benghazi."

We know you're lurking about because you chimed in on Dr. Fein's column. Give us the precise time when this happened. We're waiting...patiently. Still waiting......
Guido Sarducci
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March 10, 2014
Wow, Kevin, You now have enough negative comments on your latest tripe to justify another public "pity party" column.

BTW, I note that the only two comments in support were written by you under the clever alias of "anonymous".
anonymous
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March 09, 2014
When you are being attacked by Laura Armstrong, the cheerleader for the worst foreign policy disaster in American history The Iraq War, and her flying monkeys you must be doing something very, very right!
Ben Twomey
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March 10, 2014
To Anonymous, aka Kevin Foley. Disagreeing and attacking are two different things. If you cannot perceive the difference, maybe you need either a good dictionary or a remedial course in reading comprehension,.
Laura Armstrong
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March 15, 2014
Did I attack Kevin, or simply correct his flawed writing?

Did I "cheerlead" for the war, or for our military members in harm's way? (liberals don't know the difference).

Did I point out liberal hypocrisy? Damn right I do.

Foley, answer Guido. When did I mention Benghazi in response to your "fake war on women" column?
anonymous
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March 08, 2014
I used to be a conservative. Lately, men such as Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard made me do a u-turn. S. Palin's ridiculous speech made it a 180.
Papermill gal
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March 18, 2014
I used to be a liberal. When I was in college and watched ABC News. Then I started paying taxes, noticing the women driving Mercedes who had food stamps and cell phones when I didn't have one. Bill Clinton took advantage of Monica Lewinsky and his wife sat back and allowed it and others, cheering when Clinton destroyed the lives of his women. (Talk about a war on women!) Then Al Gore got weird as heck and Obama made his first speech as the king of Egypt. Now he plays golf while the world burns and families are hungry and losing their homes. Thanks Democrats. We passed the bill, only to have you roll it back until a Republican gets into office and can take blame.
East Cobb Senior
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March 08, 2014
@Foley, you need a super size dose of KAOPECTATE to stop spewing out all that Liberal Democrat establishment lying CRAP.
Nettie Helen Stemm
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March 07, 2014
Folks, Kevin is a spin doctor. Here's how they work.



Say, for example, an American made Ford and a Russian made Lada were in a two car race, The Russian car won.



This is how Foley would report that.



"American Ford comes in second, while Russian Lada finishes next to last."



So, don't fault Kevin simply because his mother did not wash his mouth out with soap often enough.

George Middleton
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March 07, 2014
Mr. Foley, as an expert on women, you make a good bagpipe player. Women’s reproductive rights consist of many things. The right to murder an unborn baby, though legalized, is not a right.

Your litany of lies and suppositions about what conservative women want was totally discredited by Mrs. Armstrong. You would do well to stay away from that subject.

Your biggest problem is that you can’t stand it when people hold opinions that are contrary to yours. You, therefore, resort to accusing them of being angry, of being uninformed or of being racist.

Your actions are more consistent with those of a spoiled child than of an adult.

I am truly surprised that this paper allows you to insult its readers as you do.



Ben Twomey
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March 07, 2014
Foley, you have never presented a reason argument in your career. You re constantly relying on flawed information and tainted facts.

In your recar, for example, of the Benghazi tragedy, (though nobody can figure out how it go into the conversation, you fail to mention that the so-called independent reveiw board was made of 5 people, 4 of whom were appointed by H. Clinton, who, for some unknown reason, was not questioned. It has been admitted by Adm.Mullen that the investigation had liomted scope and that it ws twice compromised by advising Clinton on which witensses might make the Satets Department look bad and by giving her access to their findings.

You also fail to point out that much of their testimony was from people not actively involved in the actual events and that, since that time, witnesses and involved personnel have sworn, under oath, to facts that completely contradict many of those in the report you reference.

Also, you failed to mention that the review resulted in the recommendation of needed improvements in 24 areas in whcih the State Department was lacking and which may have contributed to the tragedy.

You also, cleverly overlook the Senate Intelligence committee investigation which concluded that the tragedy was preventable.

Facts, Foley, Facts.
isthisanewfoleylow
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March 07, 2014
I'm completely confused. In Foley's ludicrous story on the fake war against women (February 21) there were 6 online comments. Not one remotely mentioned Benghazi. When Laura Armstrong wrote her eloquent and thorough rebuttal to his condescending column, she had 27 online comments. Amongst those posting a comment was the one and only, Kevin Foley. (he's also Lib in Cobb but that's a story for another day)

One of the comments erroneously states: "I have long since stopped expecting anything rational from Laura Armstrong. Her criticism of me always follows the same pattern, no matter the subject.

My thesis here: Conservative male politicians don't care about women's issues. I then set out to support my point with verifiable facts.

Her response: "Benghazi, IRS, Obamacare, Common Core, panty hose, Marxism, red herring, and Liz Cheney (who dropped out of the Wyoming Senate race because she nearly destroyed her family by disavowing her lesbian sister)."

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Foley s views on conservative women condescending

What's so crazy about this remark from Foley is that Benghazi was never mentioned. Not by Laura Armstrong...not by ANYONE! The ONLY person who mentioned the 'B-Word' he loathes so much was Foley himself! And now today, he writes his ENTIRE column, based on that. A total figment of his imagination.

Come on Marietta Daily Journal. When is enough...enough? How much more of this worthless drivel do we have to endure from a heartless blowhard who hates women, who hates Fox News, who hates America? I think we've been tortured enough. I'm all for this newspaper lending a variety of views, but can you at least find someone with original ideas? Someone who bases his opinion...an opinion he is entitled to, on facts?

Each time I think Foley crosses the line or sinks to a new low, he outdoes himself and goes even lower. Does anyone proofread his column before it receives editorial approval? Precisely where did Laura mention Benghazi? Where did ANYONE, other then Foley, mention Benghazi? May the 4 Americans who gave their lives to the vicious animals, rest in peace.

Bob Johnson
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March 07, 2014
If there is nothing to the IRS scandal then why does Lois Lerner keep taking the 5th??
What Choice
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March 07, 2014
After reading Mr. Foley's column and the comments below, here are my thoughts.

Until the last presidential election I had never voted for a Democrat for president. I might be considered one of those women (in my 60s) who is tired of the Republican candidates thinking their support of "right to life" and the military are the two most important issues, particularly using the issues to "tug at your heart" invoking morality and patriotism.

I became frustrated with the Republican party doing nothing about EVERYONE's access to health insurance and healthcare.

I am tired of America being the police force of the world, of fighting wars that do little good. Example- After $6.2 Trillion spent, no WMD, and over 4000 killed in Iraq, the country is heading back in the direction is was originally. Was the U.S. invading Iraq that much different to Russia invading Crimea?

I am tired of paying 27% Federal income tax on less than $100,000 and Romney paying 13% and Obama paying 18%. We are a country in which the rich get more breaks than the middle and the poor. And don't even tell me these wealthy create jobs with their breaks. They can afford the extra 10-15% more than the middle class and they still live high on the hog. Just pay MY rate.

Finally, I am tired of both parties arguing and not reaching fair compromises and only using half truths to further their arguments.

When there is no good choice from ANY party and you have voted for the same party forever as I have, you try something new.

Guido Sarducci
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March 07, 2014
Gee, Kevin, I hope you didn't pull a muscle while patting yourself on the back.

Didn't anybody ever tell you the old adage "self praise stinks?"
anonymous
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March 07, 2014
Anyone on active duty right now sees the purge going on at the highest levels. It's unprecedented. Put two and two together Mr. Foley. High ranking officers have EVERYTHING to risk by bucking this CinC.
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