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Offline jl2saint

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"Tone" clarification.......
« on: April 10, 2009, 01:00:17 PM »
This might get long, so skip if you don't have time.......

I want to throw this out there and would like some responses as to the "tone" in which we campaign. What is our tone? Outraged? Mad? Diplomatic? Sad? Confused?

It was recently suggested to me on this board that my "tone" was semi-harsh in my letter to Prez Lula. I thought it to be firm and appropriate. BUT, BUT, BUT, my feelings may not be everyone's and I WOULD NEVER WANT to hurt David's chances or delay Sean's return by a single day by doing something stupid. I am capable of getting carried away.......:nixweiss:......So I'd like some clarification.

While I have been in contact with Dave, I have not had personal contact with the Administrators, moderators, or senior members of BSH. Dave hasn't mentioned anything to me about anything I've done or said but then again, he has enough on his plate. I am wondering in what fashion you guys want me (us) to move forward?

Personally, I think the tone needs to get more firm. While the recent efforts have garnered support at the highest levels of government, Sean is still not home. Everyone ( especially Mark and Bob and others ) did a great job getting us where we are. But we already have the attention of the media and politicians, so why not kick it up a notch? Would it benefit Dave to change the approach just a tad? You don't achieve every goal the same way. As the situation changes, we might need to change our approach also.

The way I look at it, we've tried being nice. We've done things the right way. We all just want Brazil to honor the Hague. Everyone has been as diplomatic and patient as humanly possible......Sean is still not home.

Dave suffers everday and is scared to death of what is he happening to his son in Brazil. He doesn't trust any of Sean's guardians ( rightfully so ) and knows time is of the essense. Should we mirror Dave's emotions with ours? Should we remove ourselves from the emotional aspect and stay calm and calculated? A combination of the 2?

I'm sorry for being long winded but I was bothered the other day by someone suggesting that "Brazilians dont like to be threatened", so my harsh tone might hurt Dave's cause. I would die if that turned out to be true....Let me know.....

Sean is still not home.........

Lastly - David, there are many prayers across the world going out for you and Sean. When I got my son home - regardless of all the attempts of parental alienation that were forced on him - he said "Father, I always knew you loved me." I am certain Sean feels the same way.
 
Peter

JL

Offline Wendy

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Re: "Tone" clarification.......
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2009, 01:18:44 PM »
I think you have expressed a concern that a lot of us have dealt with here. I think all of the emotions that you mentioned have been expressed in this forum and in correspondence with people.  It's my personal opinion that if you write your letters in a professional manner without outright insulting the person you are writing then emtions such as indignation, anger and frustration are appropriate, IMHO.  
 
I have found however, that the calmer I can write, the better the result I get.  I am someone who always will say it like it is...not everyone appreciates that and while I can respect that, it's not going to change who I am.  I will maintain professionalism whenever I can keep my anger in check but I do admit it gets away from me.  But that's me.  Even though I am fight for David I do not profess to speak for him.  How can he possibly have ANY control over what people in a public forum will say?
 
I think overall respectful indignation is appropriate. However, I also agree...i'm starting to get pretty fed up with the constant delays and I've only been here since January..I can't COMPREHEND AT ALL how David must feel after dealing with this for almost five YEARS!!
History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.
 
~ B. C. Forbes ~
 
"It doesn't matter which way you cut this. If you abduct a child from a country and remove it from its parents, its other parent and its extended family and its culture, it is one of the most extreme forms of child abuse that you can inflict upon a child."

well said by Ken Thompson.

Offline noah3698

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Re: "Tone" clarification.......
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2009, 01:26:04 PM »
Quote from: jl2saint;16831
This might get long, so skip if you don't have time.......
 
I want to throw this out there and would like some responses as to the "tone" in which we campaign. What is our tone? Outraged? Mad? Diplomatic? Sad? Confused?
 
It was recently suggested to me on this board that my "tone" was semi-harsh in my letter to Prez Lula. I thought it to be firm and appropriate. BUT, BUT, BUT, my feelings may not be everyone's and I WOULD NEVER WANT to hurt David's chances or delay Sean's return by a single day by doing something stupid. I am capable of getting carried away.......:nixweiss:......So I'd like some clarification.
 
While I have been in contact with Dave, I have not had personal contact with the Administrators, moderators, or senior members of BSH. Dave hasn't mentioned anything to me about anything I've done or said but then again, he has enough on his plate. I am wondering in what fashion you guys want me (us) to move forward?
 
Personally, I think the tone needs to get more firm. While the recent efforts have garnered support at the highest levels of government, Sean is still not home. Everyone ( especially Mark and Bob and others ) did a great job getting us where we are. But we already have the attention of the media and politicians, so why not kick it up a notch? Would it benefit Dave to change the approach just a tad? You don't achieve every goal the same way. As the situation changes, we might need to change our approach also.
 
The way I look at it, we've tried being nice. We've done things the right way. We all just want Brazil to honor the Hague. Everyone has been as diplomatic and patient as humanly possible......Sean is still not home.
 
Dave suffers everday and is scared to death of what is he happening to his son in Brazil. He doesn't trust any of Sean's guardians ( rightfully so ) and knows time is of the essense. Should we mirror Dave's emotions with ours? Should we remove ourselves from the emotional aspect and stay calm and calculated? A combination of the 2?
 
I'm sorry for being long winded but I was bothered the other day by someone suggesting that "Brazilians dont like to be threatened", so my harsh tone might hurt Dave's cause. I would die if that turned out to be true....Let me know.....
 
Sean is still not home.........
 

I personally thought your letter was very good BUT I think we should definitely take into consideration what the Brazilian members of this forum have to say because they know a lot more about the Brazilian culture than we do (obviously). So if they think we would get a better reaction from Brazilian officials if we keep the tone respectful and non-threatening than I think that it what we should do.
 

My personal opinion is that we should keep the “tone” very straightforward but respectful with a touch of polite J
« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 01:27:56 PM by noah3698 »

Câmara

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Re: "Tone" clarification.......
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2009, 01:38:45 PM »
In my humble opinion I think that the diplomatic approach is the best one. The brainwashing is running loose in Brazil towards this case and like someone said before, anything you say can be used against you. Joao Paulo and his supporters are constantly using nationalism to convince the Brazilian people to support them which is a really low move.


 Now, if you want to declare ''war'', you need to be sure that you have enough ''weapons'' to win it. (if that makes any sense, lol :P)

Offline AnotherDad

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Re: "Tone" clarification.......
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2009, 01:56:04 PM »
I didn't read the letter, but I am very concerned about BSH losing our patience, ratcheting up the anger, and going loose cannon in ways that backfire on both us and David. What we write, the other side reads and will use whenever it benefits them. Once a group gets tagged as an out-of-control bunch of angry "word militants", they lose their relevance and the very people they need for help, start to distance themselves. I think we're both angry and bored, and it can lead to some bad decisions. As to your letter writing, I've learned after many years (having a temper of my own to keep in check) that I do much better if I can write something and then read it again the next day, before hitting that send button.
 
I'll add one more thought related to just decades of watching situations like David's: The government almost never will take punitive action against another government over anything unless there is a direct and imminent threat to our national security. It would take 100,000 "Davids" to get people talking seriously in gov't about boycotts or other serious action. They will even continue to buddy-up to people like Lula in the face of horrible abuses to lots of our citizens. A single case like David's tends to get occasional lip service or a toothless house resolution that keeps the constituents off their phones. If we continue to bug them, then they will tune us out, or worse. It truly is each man for himself in most every situation involving foreign countries, no matter how pissed, or right, we are. I just advise we don't let our boredom and anger cause us to make a misstep. Maybe we can do things smarter and be more effective, I don't know. I hope this makes sense. Again, it is just food for thought. It is easy to get caught up in the micro-picture, like some stupid columnist writing inflammatory stuff in Brazil, with no facts, and getting some stupid people to go along with them. Do we need to engage all of these folks? It is truly hard to keep focus when nothing is happening.

Offline jl2saint

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Re: "Tone" clarification.......
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2009, 01:59:16 PM »
Quote from: AnotherDad;16839
I didn't read the letter, but I am very concerned about BSH losing our patience, ratcheting up the anger, and going loose cannon in ways that backfire on both us and David. What we write, the other side reads and will use whenever it benefits them. Once a group gets tagged as an out-of-control bunch of angry "word militants", they lose their relevance and the very people they need for help, start to distance themselves. I think we're both angry and bored, and it can lead to some bad decisions. As to your letter writing, I've learned after many years (having a temper of my own to keep in check) that I do much better if I can write something and then read it again the next day, before hitting that send button.
 
I'll add one more thought related to just decades of watching situations like David's: The government almost never will take punitive action against another government over anything unless there is a direct and imminent threat to our national security. It would take 100,000 "Davids" to get people talking seriously in gov't about boycotts or other serious action. They will even continue to buddy-up to people like Lula in the face of horrible abuses to lots of our citizens. A single case like David's tends to get occasional lip service or a toothless house resolution that keeps the constituents off their phones. If we continue to bug them, then they will tune us out, or worse. It truly is each man for himself in most every situation involving foreign countries, no matter how pissed, or right, we are. I just advise we don't let our boredom and anger cause us to make a misstep. Maybe we can do things smarter and be more effective, I don't know. I hope this makes sense. Again, it is just food for thought. It is easy to get caught up in the micro-picture, like some stupid columnist writing inflammatory stuff in Brazil, with no facts, and getting some stupid people to go along with them. Do we need to engage all of these folks? It is truly hard to keep focus when nothing is happening.

Good advice.......

And I heard early on that Brazil considers America a "Paper Giant"....I was just hoping that would change.....

Thanks AD
Lastly - David, there are many prayers across the world going out for you and Sean. When I got my son home - regardless of all the attempts of parental alienation that were forced on him - he said "Father, I always knew you loved me." I am certain Sean feels the same way.
 
Peter

JL

Offline Grace

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Re: "Tone" clarification.......
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2009, 02:15:05 PM »
JL, I myself have felt very outraged and ready to slam a lot of people. I have been much more agressive in comments sections of blogs and newspapers, but when adressing someopne who can help us I try to be very diplomatic, even a tad a$$kisser, because as a Brazilian I know how much we resent anyone telling us what to do and how to think. Even though I am Brazilian, I have heard comments that all the Brazilians helping David are "sold out". That is an absurd and narrow minded way of seeing things, since this case could be between a Botswanian guy and an Icelandic woman and I would still feel the same way!
 
Harsh words won't help, but harsh actions taken by the US government could. Just saying.

Offline Teena

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Re: "Tone" clarification.......
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2009, 03:01:16 PM »
I think firm but respectful and diplomatic is the best approach. I am not one for a$$kissing but I can be nice. As for American's contacting American gov't officials...well, I let my congressman have it. After many "nice" phone calls that were ignored I finally told "someone" that I will reconsider my vote next time election comes up. That got me a return phone call and a co sponsor. As for contacting Brazilian officials....I don't know. Maybe they don't like to be "told what to do"...well who does? But they need to get over it and do what is right. Will they "get over it"? Probably not. So who knows what the right way is anymore. Of course we do not want to look like a bunch od angry militants. But I still think we need to be very FIRM. They need to know this is not going away and we are NOT happy and we won't stop at David and Sean.
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BringSeanHome.org

Offline Mom25

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Re: "Tone" clarification.......
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2009, 03:31:11 PM »
Diplomatic. Polite. Respectful.
This way you have NOTHING TO LOSE because of your  'tone'...
Trust me.
Even when being angry, upset (as I was/am at Sarney), it is always good to use the words that best describe their position and their relation to you (from 'senhor' to titles)....
Though a mad Brazilian being angry at a Brazilian gov't official is not quite the same as another "gringo" (I don't like this word, so I apologize if by using it sounds odd to you as well) being mad at them....
Mom25 (She of Many Names)
A união faz a força

Offline TomD

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Re: "Tone" clarification.......
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2009, 11:24:40 PM »
This was previously posted under Board Administration and Forum Decorum (which seems to have disappeared?):
Express your indignation with dignified language
  This Forum and the whole Bring Sean Home support effort are remarkable, and every participant deserves to be commended. There’s no doubt these efforts have had a profound effect on helping David’s fight to be reunited with his son.
 The comments and stories shared have galvanized so many good people to come together and demonstrate the best qualities of human solidarity. We all need to stay focused on the common purpose of this Forum.
I have one suggestion for making the Forum even better, hopefully more effective. These are my opinions based on my experience and I consider myself an average member of this group, so each of you can draw your own conclusions.
 
I am a friend of David’s having met him a few days after Sean was abducted. I am very angry about what has been done to David and Sean, first with the abduction, court rulings and now with this slanderous media campaign. The sense of outrage is palpable, and I am not suggesting anyone curb their emotions. But I have also seen David conduct himself in a dignified manner, and that is a trait of this man that we all ought to emulate and perpetuate. How can we do so?
Well, regarding the platitude which says one should not dignify slanderous allegations by even offering a reply, it might work in a utopian society, but not in this situation. So reply we must, but the language we use is important. Our emotions cannot be constrained, but our language can be and IMO, should be.
David’s opponents have tried to turn this into a public opinion debate between Brasil and the gringos. Their methods and lies are truly despicable. These unjustified attacks are actually a legal ploy that is well-known and is regarded as a fallacy by legal scholars, judges and honest attorneys. Here is what an experienced divorce lawyer thinks:   Lifted this from http://www.mddivorcelawyers.com/fathersrights/
Website belonging to Thyden Gross and Callahan, LLP

Argumentum Ad Hominem
December 12th, 2008
An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: “argument to the man”, “argument against the man”) consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim. The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject. – Wickipedia.com
… I’ve received two ad hominems this week, one against me and one against a client of mine, from opposing counsel who ought to know better.
The first accuses me of asserting a right without any legal basis and the writer says “as I have come to see your conduct, it does not surprise me.”
The second says “Frankly, it is puzzling that [your client] would fight for custody in light of his apparent disinterest in taking parental responsibility.”
Now you have to be fairly thick-skinned to be a divorce lawyer, and litigation is pretty rough and tumble in the heat of battle, so I don’t lose a lot of sleep over things like this. But there is a Code of Civility in both jurisdictions where I practice, that says lawyers should treat opposing counsel and opposing parties with respect and courtesy.
Both of these ad hominems are unnecessary attempts to say “Shame on you.” If anything they are counterproductive because they only cause the recipient to dig in their heels and redouble their efforts to prove them wrong. So think twice before you hit the send button, reread your letter, and make sure it contains only those matters which move the case forward.

  OK, so some of you may be thinking “We are not attorneys, so this is not applicable to us.”
The arguments from David’s opponents are mostly not legal arguments either; their weapon of choice is the Argumentum Ad Hominem with almost no truth to their allegations.
 
I would paraphrase this Argumentum Ad Hominem ploy as "Those who have neither the LAW nor factual truth on their side resort to attacking their opponents and creating a smoke screen of irrelevant issues to divert attention from the essential matter."
  See also http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/person.html for an explanation of why this ploy is fallacious.
 
We do not have to resort to the same tactics. David, to his credit, has taken the higher road from the start and not resorted to Ad Hominem arguments except to directly answer false allegations. It is so tempting to reply in kind to the slanderous allegations, but I think it is a matter of the tone we use that can maintain the higher road. By choosing our words with caution and restraint we can avoid the inherent fallacy in debating and refuting false allegations. We can state opinions which refute falsehoods without personally attacking the person stating the lies. It takes a lot of restraint to do this, but I have seen it done effectively by many of the posts in this forum and other media blogs. Again, that is not to say we don’t feel the anger and outrage, but we express it with language that is more factual than inflammatory. Patricia Apy's letter and that of Ricardo Zamariola set a good example for us. There is certainly some emotion conveyed in those letters (more so in Ricardo's), but they present facts to refute false allegations rather than impugning the character of the "allegators." The readers are left to draw their own conclusions about who is telling the truth :cool:.
  IMO this approach will make this Forum a more effective force in helping David’s cause.
For those who have trouble venting their frustrations without using inflammatory language, I do sympathize with you. Maybe it even has to be done, but I don’t think this Forum is the right place for it. Let’s try to stay with David on the higher road. Try to save your venting for other outlets.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Edmund Burke

Offline Teena

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Re: "Tone" clarification.......
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2009, 11:45:12 PM »
Quote from: TomD;16896
This was previously posted under Board Administration and Forum Decorum (which seems to have disappeared?):
Express your indignation with dignified language
This Forum and the whole Bring Sean Home support effort are remarkable, and every participant deserves to be commended. There’s no doubt these efforts have had a profound effect on helping David’s fight to be reunited with his son.
The comments and stories shared have galvanized so many good people to come together and demonstrate the best qualities of human solidarity. We all need to stay focused on the common purpose of this Forum.
I have one suggestion for making the Forum even better, hopefully more effective. These are my opinions based on my experience and I consider myself an average member of this group, so each of you can draw your own conclusions.

I am a friend of David’s having met him a few days after Sean was abducted. I am very angry about what has been done to David and Sean, first with the abduction, court rulings and now with this slanderous media campaign. The sense of outrage is palpable, and I am not suggesting anyone curb their emotions. But I have also seen David conduct himself in a dignified manner, and that is a trait of this man that we all ought to emulate and perpetuate. How can we do so?
Well, regarding the platitude which says one should not dignify slanderous allegations by even offering a reply, it might work in a utopian society, but not in this situation. So reply we must, but the language we use is important. Our emotions cannot be constrained, but our language can be and IMO, should be.
David’s opponents have tried to turn this into a public opinion debate between Brasil and the gringos. Their methods and lies are truly despicable. These unjustified attacks are actually a legal ploy that is well-known and is regarded as a fallacy by legal scholars, judges and honest attorneys. Here is what an experienced divorce lawyer thinks:
   Lifted this from http://www.mddivorcelawyers.com/fathersrights/
Website belonging to Thyden Gross and Callahan, LLP
 
Argumentum Ad Hominem
December 12th, 2008
An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: “argument to the man”, “argument against the man”) consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim. The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject. – Wickipedia.com
… I’ve received two ad hominems this week, one against me and one against a client of mine, from opposing counsel who ought to know better.
The first accuses me of asserting a right without any legal basis and the writer says “as I have come to see your conduct, it does not surprise me.”
The second says “Frankly, it is puzzling that [your client] would fight for custody in light of his apparent disinterest in taking parental responsibility.”
Now you have to be fairly thick-skinned to be a divorce lawyer, and litigation is pretty rough and tumble in the heat of battle, so I don’t lose a lot of sleep over things like this. But there is a Code of Civility in both jurisdictions where I practice, that says lawyers should treat opposing counsel and opposing parties with respect and courtesy.
Both of these ad hominems are unnecessary attempts to say “Shame on you.” If anything they are counterproductive because they only cause the recipient to dig in their heels and redouble their efforts to prove them wrong. So think twice before you hit the send button, reread your letter, and make sure it contains only those matters which move the case forward.

OK, so some of you may be thinking “We are not attorneys, so this is not applicable to us.”
The arguments from David’s opponents are mostly not legal arguments either; their weapon of choice is the Argumentum Ad Hominem with almost no truth to their allegations.

I would paraphrase this Argumentum Ad Hominem ploy as "Those who have neither the LAW nor factual truth on their side resort to attacking their opponents and creating a smoke screen of irrelevant issues to divert attention from the essential matter."
See also http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/person.html for an explanation of why this ploy is fallacious.

We do not have to resort to the same tactics. David, to his credit, has taken the higher road from the start and not resorted to Ad Hominem arguments except to directly answer false allegations. It is so tempting to reply in kind to the slanderous allegations, but I think it is a matter of the tone we use that can maintain the higher road. By choosing our words with caution and restraint we can avoid the inherent fallacy in debating and refuting false allegations. We can state opinions which refute falsehoods without personally attacking the person stating the lies. It takes a lot of restraint to do this, but I have seen it done effectively by many of the posts in this forum and other media blogs. Again, that is not to say we don’t feel the anger and outrage, but we express it with language that is more factual than inflammatory. Patricia Apy's letter and that of Ricardo Zamariola set a good example for us. There is certainly some emotion conveyed in those letters (more so in Ricardo's), but they present facts to refute false allegations rather than impugning the character of the "allegators." The readers are left to draw their own conclusions about who is telling the truth :cool:.
IMO this approach will make this Forum a more effective force in helping David’s cause.
For those who have trouble venting their frustrations without using inflammatory language, I do sympathize with you. Maybe it even has to be done, but I don’t think this Forum is the right place for it. Let’s try to stay with David on the higher road. Try to save your venting for other outlets.
:yeahthat:
Teena Duffy
Moderator
BringSeanHome.org

Offline Wendy

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Re: "Tone" clarification.......
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2009, 11:59:41 PM »
Quote from: TomD;16896
This was previously posted under Board Administration and Forum Decorum (which seems to have disappeared?):
Express your indignation with dignified language
This Forum and the whole Bring Sean Home support effort are remarkable, and every participant deserves to be commended. There’s no doubt these efforts have had a profound effect on helping David’s fight to be reunited with his son.
The comments and stories shared have galvanized so many good people to come together and demonstrate the best qualities of human solidarity. We all need to stay focused on the common purpose of this Forum.
I have one suggestion for making the Forum even better, hopefully more effective. These are my opinions based on my experience and I consider myself an average member of this group, so each of you can draw your own conclusions.

I am a friend of David’s having met him a few days after Sean was abducted. I am very angry about what has been done to David and Sean, first with the abduction, court rulings and now with this slanderous media campaign. The sense of outrage is palpable, and I am not suggesting anyone curb their emotions. But I have also seen David conduct himself in a dignified manner, and that is a trait of this man that we all ought to emulate and perpetuate. How can we do so?
Well, regarding the platitude which says one should not dignify slanderous allegations by even offering a reply, it might work in a utopian society, but not in this situation. So reply we must, but the language we use is important. Our emotions cannot be constrained, but our language can be and IMO, should be.
David’s opponents have tried to turn this into a public opinion debate between Brasil and the gringos. Their methods and lies are truly despicable. These unjustified attacks are actually a legal ploy that is well-known and is regarded as a fallacy by legal scholars, judges and honest attorneys. Here is what an experienced divorce lawyer thinks:
   Lifted this from http://www.mddivorcelawyers.com/fathersrights/
Website belonging to Thyden Gross and Callahan, LLP
 
Argumentum Ad Hominem
December 12th, 2008
An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: “argument to the man”, “argument against the man”) consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim. The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject. – Wickipedia.com
… I’ve received two ad hominems this week, one against me and one against a client of mine, from opposing counsel who ought to know better.
The first accuses me of asserting a right without any legal basis and the writer says “as I have come to see your conduct, it does not surprise me.”
The second says “Frankly, it is puzzling that [your client] would fight for custody in light of his apparent disinterest in taking parental responsibility.”
Now you have to be fairly thick-skinned to be a divorce lawyer, and litigation is pretty rough and tumble in the heat of battle, so I don’t lose a lot of sleep over things like this. But there is a Code of Civility in both jurisdictions where I practice, that says lawyers should treat opposing counsel and opposing parties with respect and courtesy.
Both of these ad hominems are unnecessary attempts to say “Shame on you.” If anything they are counterproductive because they only cause the recipient to dig in their heels and redouble their efforts to prove them wrong. So think twice before you hit the send button, reread your letter, and make sure it contains only those matters which move the case forward.

OK, so some of you may be thinking “We are not attorneys, so this is not applicable to us.”
The arguments from David’s opponents are mostly not legal arguments either; their weapon of choice is the Argumentum Ad Hominem with almost no truth to their allegations.

I would paraphrase this Argumentum Ad Hominem ploy as "Those who have neither the LAW nor factual truth on their side resort to attacking their opponents and creating a smoke screen of irrelevant issues to divert attention from the essential matter."
See also http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/person.html for an explanation of why this ploy is fallacious.

We do not have to resort to the same tactics. David, to his credit, has taken the higher road from the start and not resorted to Ad Hominem arguments except to directly answer false allegations. It is so tempting to reply in kind to the slanderous allegations, but I think it is a matter of the tone we use that can maintain the higher road. By choosing our words with caution and restraint we can avoid the inherent fallacy in debating and refuting false allegations. We can state opinions which refute falsehoods without personally attacking the person stating the lies. It takes a lot of restraint to do this, but I have seen it done effectively by many of the posts in this forum and other media blogs. Again, that is not to say we don’t feel the anger and outrage, but we express it with language that is more factual than inflammatory. Patricia Apy's letter and that of Ricardo Zamariola set a good example for us. There is certainly some emotion conveyed in those letters (more so in Ricardo's), but they present facts to refute false allegations rather than impugning the character of the "allegators." The readers are left to draw their own conclusions about who is telling the truth :cool:.
IMO this approach will make this Forum a more effective force in helping David’s cause.
For those who have trouble venting their frustrations without using inflammatory language, I do sympathize with you. Maybe it even has to be done, but I don’t think this Forum is the right place for it. Let’s try to stay with David on the higher road. Try to save your venting for other outlets.

Sounds great to me!!
History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.
 
~ B. C. Forbes ~
 
"It doesn't matter which way you cut this. If you abduct a child from a country and remove it from its parents, its other parent and its extended family and its culture, it is one of the most extreme forms of child abuse that you can inflict upon a child."

well said by Ken Thompson.

Offline mfer

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Re: "Tone" clarification.......
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2009, 12:42:02 AM »
:yeahthat:Tom D, inspiring response.  Thank you :)

Offline jl2saint

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Re: "Tone" clarification.......
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2009, 09:57:49 AM »
Quote from: Teena;16854
I think firm but respectful and diplomatic is the best approach. I am not one for a$$kissing but I can be nice. As for American's contacting American gov't officials...well, I let my congressman have it. After many "nice" phone calls that were ignored I finally told "someone" that I will reconsider my vote next time election comes up. That got me a return phone call and a co sponsor. As for contacting Brazilian officials....I don't know. Maybe they don't like to be "told what to do"...well who does? But they need to get over it and do what is right. Will they "get over it"? Probably not. So who knows what the right way is anymore. Of course we do not want to look like a bunch od angry militants. But I still think we need to be very FIRM. They need to know this is not going away and we are NOT happy and we won't stop at David and Sean.
Thanks Teena.....You just stated exactly how I feel, only better.......:)
Lastly - David, there are many prayers across the world going out for you and Sean. When I got my son home - regardless of all the attempts of parental alienation that were forced on him - he said "Father, I always knew you loved me." I am certain Sean feels the same way.
 
Peter

JL

Offline meg3325

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Re: "Tone" clarification.......
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2009, 10:17:53 AM »
Quote from: Grace;16843
JL, I myself have felt very outraged and ready to slam a lot of people. I have been much more agressive in comments sections of blogs and newspapers, but when adressing someopne who can help us I try to be very diplomatic, even a tad a$$kisser, because as a Brazilian I know how much we resent anyone telling us what to do and how to think. Even though I am Brazilian, I have heard comments that all the Brazilians helping David are "sold out". That is an absurd and narrow minded way of seeing things, since this case could be between a Botswanian guy and an Icelandic woman and I would still feel the same way!
 
Harsh words won't help, but harsh actions taken by the US government could. Just saying.

This is a tough call.  Diplomatic discourse is best.  It may take longer and it's more frustrating, but in the long run it will work out.  If a more hard line approach is used, the result could backfire.