Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
A project of the PRT NewsCenter

Friday, June 12, 2009

The "Alameda fib" limps on

Editor's note: We continue beta-testing the change to one of the oldest editorial policies of "PRT is a Joke" IS A JOKE. For a limited time, The Name of the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist will be shown -- although special formatting will be used.

Of all the odd things Ken Avidor has done, one of the strangest happened at the Action Alameda blog on an Aug. 8, 2008 when he signed a blog comment "Ken Avidor, Alameda."

"PRT Is a Joke IS A JOKE" has had great fun publicizing this fib here and in other blogs' comment areas, as have other debunkers such as Atren/A.T.E.

Avidor has not seen fit to explain his geographic self-mislocation. Until now.

Avidor finally attempts to address the address issue in the recently concluded Streetsblog comment thread, attached to the brand extension of his Daily Kos diary "Michele Bachmann and the Right-Wing Libertarian Argument Against LRT / For PRT":
Ken Avidor

A.T.E.: "Avidor disciples - many of them are Avidor sock puppets anyways."

Avidor: Not true. I've posted here only under my own name. [Dodging the issue of whether he uses sock puppets elsewhere. -Ed.]

A.T.E.: "Ken Avidor was quickly on the scene, telling some local blogger he was an Alameda resident"

Avidor: I responded to a post on a form that automatically said I was from Alameda. I asked the moderator to correct it. No attempt to pass myself off as a resident.

Here are all the Action Alameda blog posts about the SunCal's PRT proposal.

June 8, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Not only is the sock puppet denial evasive, but the rest of Avidor's explanation doesn't work either.

1. If you follow the link he gives for the list of SunCal posts, the date of his post is the earliest of the bunch. To what was he responding?

Maybe he'll claim he was responding to this post from the same day -- except it was posted at 8:55 pm, and Ken's piece was posted 11:59 am.

2. An examination of the Action Alameda blog reveals two ways to send them comments: an email address, or this form:

Where is the forced Alameda choice?*

As further evidence of Avidor's bogosity, this commenter was able to indicate that he's from Torrance, CA.

3. If he asked the moderator to correct it, why hasn't it been done? The Action Alameda blogmaster had time to correspond with Atren and write more about PRT and Avidor in a follow up piece -- and even notes Ken is in Minnesota.

And Action Alameda does write about other requests for corrections.

It sure looks like Action Alameda believes "Ken Avidor, Alameda" is something not needing correction.

Come clean, Ken. Everyone knows what you did: you sent Action Alameda an op-ed, omitting any mention of Minnesota and your three favoritest Minnesota politicians, and claimed Alameda residency so they would be more likely to run it. Admit it. It would be the first time you corrected something -- who knows, you might like it.

Recently: Ken thinks Reverse Psychology is "weird"

* And here's their FORM code, no hidden City field:

<form action="http://actionalameda.org/actionalamedanewsblog/wp-comments-post.php" method="post" id="commentform">

<p><input type="text" name="author" id="author" value="" size="22" tabindex="1" />
<label for="author"><small>Name </small></label></p>

<p><input type="text" name="email" id="email" value="" size="22" tabindex="2" />
<label for="email"><small>Mail (will not be published) </small></label></p>

<p><input type="text" name="url" id="url" value="" size="22" tabindex="3" />
<label for="url"><small>Website</small></label></p>

<!--<p><small><strong>XHTML:</strong> You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> </small></p>-->

<p><textarea name="comment" id="comment" cols="100%" rows="10" tabindex="4"></textarea></p>

<p><input name="submit" type="submit" id="submit" tabindex="5" value="Submit Comment" />
<input type="hidden" name="comment_post_ID" value="1682" />



Thursday, June 11, 2009

Extremism in the defense of LRT is his vice

Editor's note: We continue beta-testing the change to one of the oldest editorial policies of "PRT is a Joke" IS A JOKE. For a limited time, The Name of the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist will be shown -- although special formatting will be used.

I think we need to isolate on one of the products of the last Daily Kos komment kerfuffle, because it reveals how extreme Ken Avidor is in his opposition to PRT.

Technically, the extremism concerns his attacks on PRT supporters. Remember, for him it's all about the right-wing conspiracy: if you're for PRT, then you're against LRT and just like Michele Bachmann.

Avidor's latest attack on Emory Bundy is the revelation. He's trotted out Bundy's name lots of times, but I don't think Ken had researched Bundy's history in much depth. After I dropped the news that Bundy had served as Allard Lowenstein's chief of staff, it took Avidor exactly seven hours to come up with a response.

It was also in that threadlet that I informed Avidor of what Eleanor Roosevelt wrote about Bundy, saying he (and Lowenstein and others on the 1959 Africa mission) "showed great courage."

Ken Avidor's reaction? To ignore the Lowenstein/Roosevelt aspect, and practice more guilt-by-association by posting a screenshot from a video -- Bundy, with the word "Republican" in the background.

Think about the litmus test. For Avidor, support for light rail is such an important indicator of political affiliation that it trumps Bundy's comradeship with Lowenstein. Light rail even trumps Eleanor Roosevelt.

I'll close by noting Avidor's re-use of the James Howard Kunstler YouTuber in the threadlet. Think Kenny-boy likes Kunstler because he's an objective, neutral social critic? Or maybe he just likes Kunstler's taste in art. Look familiar?

Previously: What We Learned


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Post mortem - What We Learned

Editor's note: Today we begin beta-testing a change to one of the oldest editorial policies of "PRT is a Joke" IS A JOKE. For a limited time, The Name of the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist will be shown -- although special formatting will be used.

When a comment thread like the recent, bifurcated threads at Daily Kos and Viropop are concluded, I like to go back and read through it to summarize What We Learned.

So what did we learn about Ken Avidor, the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist, this time?

1. I put forward, twice, the proposition that the approach he takes in opposing PRT is to claim that all PRT supporters believe the same thing.

"What Ken is doing is attempting to establish a stereotype... 'People who fervently advocate PRT don't advocate light rail'... What Avidor is claiming is about as imaginative as 'Battlestar Galactica fans don't like Star Trek.' On a superficial level this would seem a convenient and easy way to pigeonhole people. But if you give it just a little critical thought of course it's not true, even though you can find a few people who fit the stereotype."

"Your thesis is that all PRT supporters believe what RP4409 believes. The video does not show that. The video just shows that you found a guy who fits your stereotype."

2. KEN DOES NOT DENY HE IS APPLYING A STEREOTYPE. In fact his response does exactly that.

"What did the guy in the video say about LRT?
What did the guy say about PRT?
What did his brochure show?

He's saying the words of the guy and his brochure prove his thesis ("busted"), that all "PRT promoters are anti-Light Rail Transit (LRT)" (and right-wingers like Michele Bachmann).

3. Then in a followup in the Viropop branch of the discussion, just to make sure we understand, he posts another video, and writes "busted" about that one too. In my reply, I post videos from the World Wildlife Fund and sustainability activist Joan Bokaer, and ask him if they are "busted" too. I am asking Why are you ignoring things that don't fit your right-wing anti-light rail stereotype?

4. He confirms that he ignores them, by ignoring them! He posts three videos from his talking points.

There you have it. CONFIRMATION that Ken Avidor's strategy is to stereotype all PRT supporters as anti-light rail and right-wing, and ignore evidence to the contrary.


Followup, in which I open up a big ol' can of Eleanor Roosevelt on his ass: Ken Avidor hurls more mud, and hits: Allard K. Lowenstein's chief of staff (Emory Bundy, "a well-known hater of PRT").

Sad: If you Google a sheffer lang, the current #1 listing is Ken Avidor's "obit" for Lang. Here's a passage:

If anything characterized his career it was pure hatred of transit. He described buses as "no see ums" because to him, they were always empty. His style was confrontational, macho, take no prisoners. An aide to a St. Paul city councilmember said that every time she heard him talk she wanted to go home and shoot herself. Source
I- I'm having trouble smelling the memorial wreath.

Late late on June 2: He just can't discuss it anymore ("Whatever" #19)