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Thread: Can Anyone Play This Game?

  1. #76
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    Ah! It's you, John! I never would have guessed ;-)

    I had just checked several whois sites this morning, and couldn't get that info. Did you recently update the domain information? (that link didn't list Last Updated info, like it did for ConcernedSchoolParents)

    That said, I certainly never questioned the value of having the site or information on it. I merely found the juxtaposition of the words "Wayland Transparency" with the lack of actual transparency on the site to be amusing.

    Further, it does matter who maintains a site -- think about how you react to information you find on FoxNews v. MSNBC v. the New York Times. Even videos can potentially be misleading, because while they accurately capture what they depict, what they choose to include or exclude at the start and end of a video may well be important.

    So I would encourage you to contact that guy who owns it and see if he might put his name up there :-)

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Two such websites that have appeared in the last year, both related to the school committee, are Wayland Transparency and Concerned School Parents of Wayland.

    If you’re looking for sites by people who are not part of the local government and have nothing to gain by putting information out there, this is a good place to start.
    John, I don't understand what you mean when you say "... and have nothing to gain by putting information out there, ..." As it's own "mission statement" and specifically its declaration of "purpose" makes clear, waylandtransparency.com exists to be critical of the current School Committee in response to a decision that some in town found to be detrimental to their (and perhaps all) elementary school children. The group concernedschoolparents.com went a step further, seeing fit to endorse candidates seeking to replace an incumbent Committee member (me).

    I have no objection to the existence of either site, but to claim that they have "nothing to gain by putting information out there" is a blatant mischaracterization of reality. I am interested to know if anyone disagrees with me on this point.

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    John, I don't understand what you mean when you say "... and have nothing to gain by putting information out there, ..." As it's own "mission statement" and specifically its declaration of "purpose" makes clear, waylandtransparency.com exists to be critical of the current School Committee in response to a decision that some in town found to be detrimental to their (and perhaps all) elementary school children. The group concernedschoolparents.com went a step further, seeing fit to endorse candidates seeking to replace an incumbent Committee member (me).

    I have no objection to the existence of either site, but to claim that they have "nothing to gain by putting information out there" is a blatant mischaracterization of reality. I am interested to know if anyone disagrees with me on this point.
    I do.
    First of all, here is the exact wording of the Purpose:
    Purpose
    The purpose of this site is to present in a truthful and honest way the events leading up to the closure of Loker School. We believe this process was handled in an extremely inept fashion, that the process itself was detrimental to the community, that answers to pertinent questions have been and continue to be difficult to find and understand, and that there is dubious reason to believe that this school closure was even necessary.


    Clearly, this IS critical of the SC, but to say that the site "exists to be critical of the current School Committee..." is a mischaracterization.

    And it is exactly this type of spin that inspired the creation of the site in the first place.

    .
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  4. #79
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    John, launching an unresolvable argument about waylandtransparency.com's purpose wholly dodges my point. You make the case that waylandtransparency.com and concernedschoolparentsofwayland.org have "nothing to gain." I say that they do, as the facts clearly support.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    John, launching an unresolvable argument about waylandtransparency.com's purpose wholly dodges my point. You make the case that waylandtransparency.com and concernedschoolparentsofwayland.org have "nothing to gain." I say that they do, as the facts clearly support.
    Actually, I believe it was this statement of yours that launched the argument:
    "and specifically its declaration of "purpose" makes clear, waylandtransparency.com exists to be critical of the current School Committee". I was simply correcting you.

    As to the "nothing to gain" statement, I am not running for office. No one is paying me to do this. What is it that I'm gaining?
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  6. #81
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    I apologize, John--I was not aware that only those running for office have "something to gain."

    You've led two campaigns against 3 incumbent School Committee members. It would not surprise me if you'd have done so against a fourth had that member stood for re-election. Your web site waylandtransparency.com calls the School Committee and the Administration inept. Unless I'm mistaken, you'd like to see most or all of same removed. While I think that doing so would actually be your loss, you apparently think that it would be your gain, or you wouldn't be bothering.

    The web site concernedparentsofwayland.org actively campaigned against me. Apparently, that organization also found something to be gained in making a change.

    Again, I have no problem with the existence of either site or the right of those sites to have a bias. What I have a problem with is your denying that bias.

  7. #82
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    Jeff,

    You are distorting my words and my meaning. It is untrue to say that Wayland Transparency “calls the School Committee and the Administration inept”.
    The exact words from the site are: “We believe this process was handled in an extremely inept fashion…” That is very different from calling the people involved inept.

    Also, to say that I have “led two campaigns against 3 incumbent School Committee members” is completely inaccurate. Are you suggesting that I was the “leader” of the campaigns against the incumbents? With only 36 votes between you and Paul Grasso, clearly there were quite a few other people in town who wanted change. What makes you think I led the charge?

    You say “that organization also found something to be gained in making a change.”
    Jeff, a lot of people found something to be gained in making a change, but you know that’s not what I mean when I talk about gain. Getting back to the original point made by Don, people in office are going to present things with their own perspective. Whether they deliberately distort the truth or just mildly spin it in their favor, it is to their benefit to present it in a way that is favorable to them. And it happens every day in politics all around the world. Nothing new there.
    A site like Wayland Transparency, whose mission is simply to present the truth as it really happened, has nothing to gain. I’m not running for office. That’s what I mean by nothing to be gained.

    And as for bias, my views are very clear, to be sure. However, the videos speak for themselves. As do the photos, charts and graphs.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    You are distorting my words and my meaning. It is untrue to say that Wayland Transparency “calls the School Committee and the Administration inept”.
    The exact words from the site are: “We believe this process was handled in an extremely inept fashion…” That is very different from calling the people involved inept.
    Yes, there's a substantive difference between calling a person inept versus "merely" describing a person's actions that way. In this case, however, I'd argue that the difference is moot given my larger point: you'd like to see the current School Committee and Administration replaced. If that's not the case, please let me know.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Also, to say that I have “led two campaigns against 3 incumbent School Committee members” is completely inaccurate. Are you suggesting that I was the “leader” of the campaigns against the incumbents? With only 36 votes between you and Paul Grasso, clearly there were quite a few other people in town who wanted change. What makes you think I led the charge?
    John, I apologize if I mischaracterized your role in the two most recent School Committee elections. I was under the impression that you served as Jeff Baron's campaign manager in both cases, hence my use of the word "led." Certainly, you campaigned heavily on his behalf. If you were not his campaign manager, please set the record straight.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    You say “that organization also found something to be gained in making a change.”
    Jeff, a lot of people found something to be gained in making a change, but you know that’s not what I mean when I talk about gain.
    How could I or any reader of the DF possibly know that you were defining "gain" in a manner both narrow and non-standard?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Getting back to the original point made by Don, people in office are going to present things with their own perspective. Whether they deliberately distort the truth or just mildly spin it in their favor, it is to their benefit to present it in a way that is favorable to them. And it happens every day in politics all around the world. Nothing new there.
    A site like Wayland Transparency, whose mission is simply to present the truth as it really happened, has nothing to gain. I’m not running for office. That’s what I mean by nothing to be gained.
    You started this latest sub-thread by touting two web sites as being published by people with "nothing to gain," with the corresponding strong implication of impartiality. I objected--both sites clearly have a bias.* Do you really think they don't?

    On one point, we agree: people in office "are going to present things with their own perspective." It appears that of the two of us, though, I'm alone in thinking that those NOT in office might do the same.


    * Specifics of which I've pointed out here (post 3) and here (post 1), to name just two examples.

  9. #84
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    Default What the Fuss?

    Jeff,

    So what... transparency.org and the other site campaigned against you and you won by a slim margin... so whats the big deal?

    When I ran, I had the entire BoS working to have me defeated... SOS was working overtime... didn't let it bother me one bit.

    Hell, even enews had me 3rd out of 3 even though the Crier had me number 1... didn't let it bother me ....

    So why does it bother you that John F or some other websites campaigned against you or wanted you out of office?

    [GRIN]?

  10. #85
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    Alan, please read my posts a bit more carefully. I'm not taking exception to being campaigned against, only to John's assertion that the two web sites he touted are independent and "have nothing to gain."

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Alan, please read my posts a bit more carefully. I'm not taking exception to being campaigned against, only to John's assertion that the two web sites he touted are independent and "have nothing to gain."
    Why is this so difficult?

    Someone who supports a candidate does not have anything to “gain” by their candidate getting in, other than the satisfaction of their candidate winning.

    The candidate has something to gain. The supporters do not.
    The candidate now has the privilege (or curse, depending on how you look at it) of being the newly elected __________ (fill in the blank) and all of the glory, esteem and resume-building that that may bring.
    The supporters just go back to their normal lives, whether their candidate wins or loses.

    The owners of CSPOW had anything to gain by promoting their candidates other than the potential of getting them in. It’s not like they were promised an ambassadorship or any other fringe benefit that might come from a presidential election.
    Likewise, Wayland Transparency will derive no personal gain whatsoever from trying to archive and promote the truth without the spin.

    .
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Why is this so difficult?
    I guess it's difficult as a result of the extreme torture through which you've put the word "gain," in a performance reminiscent of Bill Clinton's treatment of "is."

    Here's where we stand, as I see it.

    On the one hand, the evidence supporting gain as a motivator of human action includes: billions of years of evolutionary biology perhaps most concisely summed up jointly by Darwin and Maslow; the prevalence of religion; the need for and success of the rule of law; and indeed a fundamental foundation of perhaps the best ideas in the history of humanity, democracy and capitalism.

    On the other hand, the evidence against consists apparently of your lone opinion.

    Perhaps there are altruists among us. I just don't see them in the form of waylandtransparency.com or concernedschoolparentsofwayland.org.

  13. #88
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    Jeff,
    It’s got nothing to do with any of the things you’ve listed.
    At the end of the day, the politician “gains” by being the politician while the supporters don’t, and go home.

    It’s as simple as that.

    .
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  14. #89
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    Simple? I can do simple.

    People support things from which they gain.

    I tried but failed to parse your "the politician 'gains' by being the politician while the supporters don’t, and go home." I could with equal validity say, "The politician is wise for being the politician while the supporters aren't and stay home."

    I've always thought people supported political candidates with the idea that at least some aspects of life would be better--that is, that the supporters would gain.

    If I'm not mistaken, you supported Barack Obama. Why? If I'm not mistaken, you supported Jeff Baron and Paul Grasso? Why?

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Jeff,
    It’s got nothing to do with any of the things you’ve listed.
    At the end of the day, the politician “gains” by being the politician while the supporters don’t, and go home.

    It’s as simple as that.

    .
    John, I'm reading this exchange, and I confess, I'm mystified.

    I donate money to political campaigns sometimes. Why would I do that if I didn't think I had something to gain?

    What does the politician (especially a volunteer, unpaid politician) have to gain that the supporter of the volunteer does not?

    You campaigned for Jeff B. Surely, you would have celebrated had he won, and you were unhappy that he lost. Does that not prove you had some kind of stake in the outcome?

    But using your logic, if Jeff B. had won, he would have gained something, but you, as his campaign manager would not have? Odd. So why did you do it? Why did you volunteer your time? Why did you build those two websites? (And why did you refer Don to them as though they were built by two random other people, rather than including the disclosure that they were built by you?)

    A similar question might be asked of me. Why do I do WaylandeNews? Clearly, there must be a gain in it for me, right? There is. Let me answer this to explain some of the many types of "gain" with which I am familiar. I love doing it! I enjoy knowing what's going on in town, I love being able to direct people to charitable events, and hopefully increase their donations. I love being able to post lost pet notices, and perhaps help re-unite pet and owner. I love running Freecycle and helping people give and receive things extending these objects' lives and keeping them out of landfills. I enjoy building the website itself, and learning how to add new features. I love getting emails from people who appreciate it. I get tremendous satisfaction from doing something that helps. That is the gain for me. It's a tremendous amount of work and a time sink. If I didn't see a gain, I would not do it.

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