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The World says Coos County is “undeniably dysfunctional”, cites “false authority”

In a rare Monday morning editorial, The World claims the county is “undeniably dysfunctional” and cites as its authority the two amateurish, thoroughly debunked and voter rejected structure and governance advisory committee reports. One of the strategies a writer or a politician hoping to deflect blame away from an unpopular decision can employ is to claim support from widely respected authorities, books, people or institutions for example. A fallacious appeal to authority occurs when “using a biased, suspicious or incredible source to defend a conclusion”.

A false authority fallacy occurs when sciolists or other suspicious authorities offer up their testament as support for supporting false conclusions.

This fallacy is committed when the person in question is not a legitimate authority on the subject. More formally, if person A is not qualified to make reliable claims in subject S, then the argument will be fallacious.

This sort of reasoning is fallacious when the person in question is not an expert. In such cases the reasoning is flawed because the fact that an unqualified person makes a claim does not provide any justification for the claim. The claim could be true, but the fact that an unqualified person made the claim does not provide any rational reason to accept the claim as true.

Employing a false authority to support a conclusion, like sciolism, is a form of deceit. The editorial continues by citing the recent PSU study but fails to mention either the authors relationship to rat PAC(K) contributor ICMA or that the study relies on the same false authorities, the advisory committee reports.

Assuming the new commissioners have read the advisory committee reports and the PSU study and see merit in the former and thereby accept the latter, then I worry that John Sweet and Melissa Cribbins are not very discerning. If the two new commissioners want to implement changes then they should show respect for the electorate and do so honestly rather than hiding behind suspicious, incredible sources to deflect heat for their decisions. The paper on the other hand should be ashamed to stoop to such low standards and apologize for deceiving its readers as well insulting their intelligence.

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Avatar of magix Posted by on January 7, 2013. Filed under Coos County,Oregon. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

4 Responses to The World says Coos County is “undeniably dysfunctional”, cites “false authority”

  1. MarkM Reply

    January 8, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    I find much to recommend the report. Anyone serious about improving the governance of Coos County should not be quick to dismiss it. In particular, establishing a Council of Governance would be an enormous asset. Additionally, the liaison discussion is a good one.

    However, the report does not identify our major problem — decreased revenues. Organization can certainly be improved, but it alone will not cure Coos County’s ills. We need more money.

    The World’s editorial ignores the fact that the report does not mention a change in BOC structure. One would assume the study does not think a fulltime, three member, paid BOC is a problem. Furthermore, it could be that this was the part of the ordinance that the voters rejected, not the administrator part. After all, the World is correct that the voters selected commissioners who favored an administrator. Perhaps the voters’ will is an administrator AND a full time, three member BOC. Seems reasonable, but we can’t really know for sure.

    But the report is right about one thing. If the current BOC thinks a Financial Manager and a County Administrative Officer is the best thing for the county, it should create the positions and fill them. They do not need approval from the voters to do so. That’s what they are paid to do. The voters seem happy to pay them to do the right thing.

    • Avatar of TonyCapo

      TonyCapo Reply

      January 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      Indeed, I keep wondering what the apparently dysfunctional and counterproductive BOC is supposed to “fix.” If we elect Jesus Crist, Abraham, and Muhammad, then hire John as administrator will that fix everything. If not, then maybe it is something else that is broken and we should figure out what it is. And if it’s fixable at all.

  2. susanp Reply

    January 8, 2013 at 8:56 am

    And another thought. Nobody should waste time reading that entire report. It’s available at the county web site. To get a flavor for the report content read the last section of page 33 that acknowledges that 60% of the voters said no to a county manager. Then it says in so many words here’s how you can sneak the hiring of a county manager past the dumb citizen voters. That section alone should cause concern for many. That report is clearly written to support a desried finding that a county manager is wonderful.

    Sorry Al.

  3. susanp Reply

    January 8, 2013 at 8:45 am

    A majority of the voters said no county manager. Main and Sweet say no county manager respecting the will of the majority. I read all pages of the report. It’s worth what the county paid; zero. Probably required three scissors and two jars of paste. Would you expect a report written by two long time county managers to not advocate a county manager? Where will the money come from to pay for a county finance director?

    The unskilled labor managing The World occasionally daily paper continues to tell us citizens that we are stupid and should hire a county manager. The people keep responding by cancelling their subscription.

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