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Setting the record straight

Dear Editor:

If Ron Kinnell of El Jebel had taken the time to go to AspenPost.net, Common Sense Alliance blog, he would have learned that the opening statement in his recent letter to the editor (The Aspen Times, Oct. 9) was completely false. Our very first article on transportation, posted online, doesn’t make any point even resembling what he claims, although it does use some of the same words.

Although I’m more than happy to give Ron the benefit of the doubt, the use of blatantly false versions of the views of other persons or organizations to make one’s own position sound better is known as a “straw man” argument, and is a well-recognized logical failing. This technique is so prevalent, especially in an election season, it is one of the major reasons Common Sense Alliance (CSA) chose to post our transportation series online in a format making it easy for others to review and respond.

Moving from the general to the specific, beware of any version of anyone’s opinion when it is offered up by someone taking issue with that opinion.

Regarding CSA, please ignore anyone who does not bother to post their comments online, where we will have an opportunity to correct misunderstandings or, as in Ron’s case, point out several factual errors. The newspapers can’t very well print a letter a day from me batting down the previous day’s false information, and the subject itself is too important to leave in the hands of those who see no need for research, study, or in-depth analysis and discussion.

Jeffrey Evans

Basalt


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