Truth Can’t Be Silenced: A Public Shaming

I was having a discussion with B Hector of Eureka, California. The discussion was in the comments section of his review of the book Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power by Craig Unger.

I disagreed with him and he disagreed with me. It is a normal debate. We both presented facts and analyses in the attempt to prove our respective perspectives. All that was fine. I don’t mind disagreement and I was feeling halfhearted about the entire argument.

In my mind, it isn’t for those involved to declare a debate victor. The point of book reviews and comments sections is so that anyone can come along, listen to all sides, and decide for themselves. That is the heart of democracy: open and honest discussion.

However, B Hector felt like I had “hijacked” his review. I had offered facts he couldn’t refute. It annoyed him that I wouldn’t just give up and admit he was right. In his own head, he knew he was right. It frustrated him that outwardly he couldn’t prove to others that he was right, at least not anyone who didn’t already agree with his view.

In his last comment, B Hector wrote that he wished I would just delete my comments and go away. Realizing I wouldn’t willingly silence myself, he deleted his review and hence deleted the entire comment section with it. That demonstrates a low moral character. He dishonored himself with such intellectual dishonesty and weakness. By that action, he inadvertently admitted he lost the debate.

He should feel ashamed and so I write this post in hope of publicly shaming him. I will post a link to this post in the comments of all of his reviews and anywhere else I can find his writings online. B Hector will think twice before ever trying to silence someone again. This is is what is called a learning opportunity.

By the way, he immediately re-posted his review on

He thought he was being sneaky. I just now finished linking to this post on all of his reviews. I’d like to see him delete them all in trying to destroy all evidence of his shame. If he does and posts them once again, I shall comment on all of them again. There shall be no escape from public shaming for B Hector. The only way he can silence me now is to completely silence himself.

Ah, sweet Justice!

This bothers me because of the principle of it.

I would never do this to anyone else. I’ve never deleted an review because I didn’t like the comments. I will always own up to what I write and defend it fairly. If I turn out to be wrong, I’ll own up to that as well.

Even in my own blog, I rarely delete comments. I occasionally delete someone’s comments for their acting troll-like or just being annoying, but even that is extremely rare. I even allow many obvious troll comments because it is obvious what they are and so no harm can come of them. Most of the comments I delete are spam and I delete them because they have even less value than the most irritating comments of a troll.

The comments I will never delete under any circumstances are those that are part of a serious discussion, even when it turns into an ugly argument. I might get mean in response, but I won’t silence my opponent.

Out of curiosity, I looked at B Hector’s profile.

Let me show you a comparison between his quality as a reviewer and my quality as a reviewer. On all profiles, it has a section titled: “Helpful votes received on reviews:” which is followed by a percentage and the precise number of helpful votes vs total votes. In B Hector’s profile, it shows “40% (89 of 222)” which means that most people who vote on his reviews don’t find them helpful. In my profile, it shows “73% (235 of 322)” which means that most people who vote on my reviews do find them helpful, almost 3 out of 4 in fact.

I highlight that piece of data as it demonstrates a simple point. I strive my best to offer quality in all that I write, whether reviews or comments on reviews. Just the other day, someone (going by the name of Nancy Talbot Doty) wrote the following in response to one of my comments:

“Actually, I think I’d prefer to read a book by Benjamin D. Steele–whoever that is.”

I looked further at B Hector’s profile. There is another section titled “In My Own Words”. Here is what he wrote of himself:

I like a lot of things in this life: Books, Games, Friends, Family, Computers, Finance, Travel, and much more. I’m a passionate person who puts 110% percent into anything I do. I’m a slow starter but I’m great under pressure. I have a talent for analyzing things and this is why I excel in finance. Competitive to a fault, sometimes winning seems more important to me than breathing. Sharing ideas is like heaven.

Did you catch that telling detail? He said that he was:

“Competative to a fault, sometimes winning seems more important to me than breathing.”

That is the the type of thing I would never write because it goes against every bone in my body. If I had to rewrite that sentence to apply to my self, I’d have to state it thusly:

Truthful to a fault, sometimes truth-seeking and truth-telling seems more important to me than breathing.

B Hector thought he could silence me, but I refuse to be silenced.

I was able to save his review from disappearing by way of a cache found on both Google and Yahoo. Unfortunately, the cache only has the first page of comments and so the last two pages are permanently gone, the second page being where I made a long comment listing the data, quotes and links that I used to back up my argument. Even the remaining first page of comments will eventually become inaccessible as cache, but the following will forever remain on my blog, a testament to truth not being silenced.


Rove is what is wrong with Republicans, October 31, 2012
By B Hector

This review is from: Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power (Hardcover)

Karl Rove represents everything wrong with the Republican party. While Reagan proved the efficacy of conservatism in practice and in the war of ideas, people like Rove and the Bush’s have taken the Republican party back to the pre-Reagan era where Republicans meraly offer a slightly left-wing alternative to the Democrats.

I know Democrats will scoff at this idea but let’s look at Bush’s major policy achievements.

He passed a tax cut. That’s conservative.

Now let’s look at his other domestic achievements.

Medicare Part D
Ethanol Subsidies
No Child Left Behind
5,000 new regulations.

None of that is even remotely conservative and add to that the failure on the debt and you have a president who in a lot of ways was left of center and in a few ways was right of center. I would also like to point out that he attempted to put 2 Texas cronies on the supreme court and it was conservatives who stopped him.

Rove is the ‘architect’ of this modern flavor of Republicanism and until our party tosses people like him overboard, we’re never going to be able to make an effective argument for limited constitutional government.

More specifically, this book offers a clear example of how people want to win elections a lot more than they care about a particular ideology. Rove is powerful insomuch as he is able to assist these people with winning. It’s really quite disgusting. Even Rush Limbaugh regurgitates Rove’s talking points because he believes it’s going to help win elections.

Comment Section:

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Showing 1-10 of 20 posts in this discussion

Initial post: Nov 28, 2012 12:54:17 PM PST
Joe Bagadonuts says:

This is a concept that I have tried to explain to Democratic voters since the day the Democrats started vilifying G.W. Bush. Bush’s time in office, with the prodding of Rove, did more for the liberal agenda, than even the 8 years of Clinton! So why did Democrats hate the Bush administration? Because their party leaders told them to. Simple as that. If Karl Rove would of been advising Clinton during his presidency, the liberal agenda would of been more predominant in the 90’s. Karl Rove is a RINO.
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 2:37:04 PM PST
B Hector says:

Joe, you know more about this crap than 99% of the country. These people know superficial and empty cliche and nothing more. Just trying to get people to stop looking at politics like it’s the NFL is impossible. Yay, go Blue team! Boo Red team! It’s disgusting.

Posted on May 19, 2013 5:12:39 PM PDT
Benjamin D. Steele says:

Reagan and Bush used deficit spending to grow the military. Both cut taxes, although Reagan also increased taxes numerous times. Using Starve the Beast strategies, Reagan created the permanent debt and Republicans have grown it since. Only Clinton left a surplus which Bush jr wasted with tax cuts to the rich which exacerbated the economic crash.

I recently wrote about the ideological confusion of Americans, especially partisans:

Part of the problem is that most people are utterly ignorant about liberalism and conservatism. Liberalism doesn’t mean being for all big government and conservatism doesn’t mean the opposite.

If Republicans were for small government, we wouldn’t now have the permanent debt we have. So, any rational and informed person wouldn’t assume that Bush was promoting a liberal agenda. The question wasn’t big government as even Reagan promoted big government. The question is what kind of big government. Reagan and Bush pushed for big military. Bush also pushed for government money to support abstinence-only sex education. Furthermore, conservatives in general love to spend money on prisons and the alphabet soup agencies. They might use anti-government rhetoric to privatize much of this but this just funnels our tax money into the private sector. These are part of big government including the privatization with its often no-bid contracts, but they aren’t part of standard liberal ideology.

I say all of this as a non-partisan. I hate party politics. But I also hate ignorance (including in myself which is why I’m constantly reading about and researching topics to educate myself). Nonetheless, I can’t blame most Americans for being ignorant (for I also spent most of my life ignorant about ideologies, parties, demographics and public opinion). The MSM and Washington politics doesn’t represent the American people, actually they regularly misrepresent the majority. Research has shown that most politicians don’t even know what their own constituents want for the American public is far to the left of the ruling elite.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2013 1:28:56 PM PDT
B Hector says:


Reagan believed in small government. It’s bizarre to me that anyone even believes otherwise. You even admit that his defense spending increases were undertaken for the express purpose of weakening the financial stability of the welfare state. That does not make Reagan a believer of big government. That makes Reagan a practical person. As far as his tax increases go, come on… separate yourself from the so-called ignorant, but you name tax increases while ignoring the massive tax decreases. So either you’re guilty of ignorance, or you’re dishonest.

At the end of the day, the president is not a dictator. The president has to work with a whole host of people all of whom have a thousand different opinions on a thousand different subjects. To this end, you have to credit the person with what they are trying to do. Did Reagan attempt to pull the country toward principles of smaller government? He clearly tried and succeeded. Did Reagan try to make significant spending cuts? Yes, he definitely did. He failed because he didn’t have the support of people like the Bush’s and Dole.

This is my problem with opinions like yours. You parade around as if you’re somehow more enlightened than other people but you’re really just parroting left-wing misrepresentations. Either way, does it matter? There are millions and millions of regular people in the Republican party who truly believe in limited constitutional government. Those people understand that they must fight their own party in many cases. That’s why you have a Grover Norquist and his pledge.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2013 5:04:38 PM PDT
Benjamin D. Steele says:

I was merely sharing facts. Everything I stated was true. As a famous person once said, facts are stubborn things.

There is a difference between political rhetoric and political action. Reagan chose to grow big government by growing the military. In fact, he personally pushed to give the military more funding than the Pentagon even requested. If not for this political action, the permanent debt wouldn’t have been created under his watch. No one forced him to do it. It was a choice based on Starve the Beast ideology. The problem is the administration didn’t have the foresight to see the possibility and subsequent consequences of a permanent debt.

The Reagan administraton also aligned itself with Pinochet, a fascist dictator. Furthermore, many scandals happened under Reagan’s watch, such as the Iran-Contra Scandal.

The problem wih people like you is that you offer speculation and excuses in place of facts. If someone was genuinely a proponent of big government, they wouldn’t vote for a party that has a history of growing the government and growing the debt. They’d instead vote third party. I vote third party. Why vote for the lesser of two evils when you don’t have to vote for evil at all?

You can make excuses all you want, but actions (and their results) speak louder than words. But if you’re satisfied with a lack of results, more power to you.

I’ll make a last comment about Reagan as a great conservative president. Ike was a better example of a conservative.

Reagan was a Hollywood elite who was the head of the actors’ union. As governor, he passed the most liberal pro-choice bill prior to Roe v. Wade. As president, he was the first to invite an openly gay couple to stay over night at the White House.

Reagan was a liberal progressive who became a cynical neocon. Not much of a conservative, certainly not a great conservative. He talked a good game. He knew how to give a speech. He was an actor, after all. He played a role well, but it is hard to know what he actually believed.

By the way, I would criticize Obama for similar reasons.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2013 5:21:11 PM PDT
B Hector says:

You stated it was done for the express purpose of shrinking other parts of the government. So yeah, I agree, he was trying to kill the beast. That doesn’t prove he was some form of neocon. If he was attempting to grow the military solely for the sake of growing the military I would agree with you. But that wasn’t the only purpose as you yourself stated.

I’m not offering speculation at all. There are many many examples where Reagan tried to cut spending and fought for it only to have his own party standing with his opponents. This is historical fact so there’s no speculation required. He shut down the government fighting for budgets that never passed. He made deals for spending cuts that Democrats reneged on.

Sadly these things are lost to history and you get people (like you)arguing baseless talking points. As previously stated. You don’t know as much as you think you know. If you did you wouldn’t base your opinions on the altered Reagan narrative the modern liberal loves to regurgitate.

“Reagan was a liberal progressive who became a cynical neocon”

That’s only true if everything is black and white.

Let me guess. You’re one of these crackpots who thinks Obama isn’t an extreme leftist because we’re not all driving solar-powered cars, we don’t have single-payer health, and the top marginal tax rate isn’t 80%.

I’m guessing you’re a fan of Gnome Chompsky, too.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2013 5:40:56 PM PDT
Benjamin D. Steele says:

You have to be truly deluded to tbelieve Reagan was a conservative and Obama is a left-winger. You may personally like the former and personally dislike the latter, but that isn’t the issue. You never even tried to disprove the facts I shared. Like a good partisan, you simply ignore the inconvenient. Your nly argument is that Reagan really wanted to be a genuine conservative, but no one would let him. I say this as someone who respects an old school conservative, that which Reagan was far from being.

The two things Reagan tried to accomplish and succeeded is grow the military and grow the debt. No speculation is needed to state what he did accomplish. A lot of speculation is required to argue what he might have actually wanted to accomplish, beyond mere speechifying.

You believe Reagan meant every word he said, despite his failing to live up to his own words in real world deeds. I’m not as generous and forgiving or, one might say, not as naive.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2013 10:26:27 AM PDT
B Hector says:

Your hypothesis only makes sense if you view the world through the lens of your extremist mind. Again, I’m guessing you’re a fan of the gnome.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2013 3:40:57 PM PDT
Benjamin D. Steele says:

Your hypothesis only make sense if you only care about words rather actions, claims rather than facts, promises rather than deeds. Contrary to your hypothesis about my hypothesis, I’m not an extremist. I’m actually a moderate. Most of my political opinions are in line with or not far off from the majority public opinion. It is because I’m a moderate that I have little interest of most left-wing radicals and right-wing reactionaries. Reagan actually was fairly moderate by today’s standards, but he has oddly been coopted by the far right. I’m no fan of Reagan and don’t wish to claim him. I only wish to have discussions based on objective appraisals. But each to their own.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2013 3:54:11 PM PDT
B Hector says:

You don’t know as much as you think you do. You’re buying into a narrative that’s a complete lie. If you want facts all you have to do is look at tax reform. What Reagan did was as conservative as you can possibly get. Reagan also continued the deregulation efforts of the latter half of the 70’s which is also conservative. Increasing the size of the military is also very conservative. He was also a major social conservative. He wanted to abolish the department of Education, only to be shot down by Republican moderates.

It’s just funny because your beliefs don’t stand up to anything and that’s because they’re baseless. You’re buying into a fictional narrative expressly intended to portray modern Republicans as extreme. All you have to do is look at Reagan’s views on school prayer and abortion to understand you’re mindlessly buying into a narrative. All you have to do is research what Reagan had to do to flatten the marginal tax rates. That was not an easy thing. It took a few years of battling to get that bill passed.

Reagan’s administration also invented the modern methodology used to ensure that liberal justices could not sneak their way into the supreme court during a Republican presidency. For someone who prides himself as being somehow more enlightened than your average American voter, you’re really failing by buying into propaganda. The guy wanted a constitutional amendment that would have made it legal to pray in public school. Sorry, but he would be considered a right wing extremist or as you say, reactionary and the fact that so many people like you can be so easily duped by some talking points is pretty pathetic.
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6 thoughts on “Truth Can’t Be Silenced: A Public Shaming

  1. B Hector very quickly notice my comment activity on his reviews. He left a comment here, but I feel no desire to give him voice when he seeks to silence my own.

    It is obvious that the one star rating on this post came from him as it appeared right before he left a comment. So, he gives one star to his own public shaming. That is good because it demonstrates that he rightly feels shame at his behavior. Shame feels bad. No one likes to be publicly shamed. The best way to avoid feelig shame is to not act shamefully.

    He just left another comment at one of his reviews. It was a response to the comment I left. He called me an internet stalker. I don’t know calling me names is going to make him feel any less ashamed. I can’t be blamed for refusing to be silenced.

    What did he think I’d do? Curl up into a ball and cry? Did he expect me to give up and not defend myself?

    • I should give a brief synopsis of B Hector’s comment. He basically ratioalized his censorship activity by pointing out that admitted to on rare occasion deleting comments made by trolls and the troll-like. The comparison is unjustified.

      First, if someone made a comment offering evidence as I did on his review, I wouldn’t delete such a comment. My commnt to his review was relevant to the discussion in the comments section. Disagreeing isn’t the same thing as being a troll or troll-like.

      Second, even though I’ve at times deleted individual comments that weren’t relevant, I’ve never in my life deleted an entire debate. In deleting his review, B Hector deleted all at once around 20 or 30 comments. None of those comments were trolling or troll-like. It was just typical debate. It wasn’t even an ugly, heated argument. I was being respectful toward B Hector and tried to keep the debate solely focused on facts. I didn’t call him names or attack his character.

      Neither did I feel offended by him. I didn’t take our debate personally, but obviously he did. Not everyone enjoys debate. That is fine. However, if that is the case for B Hector, maybe should avoid posting reviews on or simply not respond to comments. I didn’t force him to debate me. He chose to make it a debate and then chose to delete the debate. That is unfair. Either be willing to debate or else don’t debate. It really is that simple.

  2. The oddest part in my mind is how the debate ended in the original review.

    B Hector basically started to say I didn’t know what I was talking about, that my facts were false and that my analysis was clueless. He was past the pont of trying to disprove my argument. Basically, he was saying something along the lines of, “I’m rubber and you’re glue; what bounces off of me sticks to you.”

    At that point, it was obvious he no longer wanted to debate and his comments weren’t conducive to fruitful dialogue of any sort. I wasn’t in the mood to argue anyway and I said so in one of my last comments. I was trying to be conciliatory because conflict after a while just tires me out.

    It apparently was my refusal to attack him back that really pissed him off. He wanted to trade partisan talking points, but that isn’t a game I like to play.

  3. I continue to receive comments from B Hector and I continue to not approve them, although neither have I trashed them.

    If he apologized to me for his censorship, I might consider approving his comments and responding to them directly. Heck, if he apologized, I would go to each of his reviews and leave a comment that the apology was accepted. I’d truly respect him if he did that for it would take great humility and courage.

    He claims to have never deleted a review before. That might be true. And if so, I wouldn’t hold one mistake against him for his whole life. That is all the more reason for him to seek to make amends for his wrongdoing.

    I simply don’t like being silenced. That is the point I’ve made with this post. Nonetheless, I still maintain I have nothing personal against him (nor anything personal against Reagan). That is what I said in one of my last deleted comments. I meant what I said.

    I wasn’t surprised, after my initial comment on his review, that a debate ensued. i wasn’t going around the web looking for a verbal fight, but I’m not against arguing for my case when challenged. At the end, though, I was no longer even interesed in arguing about my initial comment. I stated this to B Hector and I’m sure he read it, but in his unapproved comments here he claims to doubt I wasn’t interested in debate. Well, I could prove exactly what I said if someone hadn’t deleted my comments.

    In his unapproved comments, he mocks me for my commenting on my own post here. He seems to think that my feelings will be hurt if he tells me that I’m just talking to myself like a crazy person. My feelings aren’t so easily hurt. The irony of his comments to me is that they show he is reading each comment I post.

    Still, the issue isn’t whether many people will read this post or these comments. My only point is I refuse to be silenced.

    That said, my blog does have quite a few followers (161 at the moment) and I receive on average around a 100 to 150 hits a day with about 1/2 to 3/4 of those being separate visitors. So, I’m sure some people will read this post maybe just for the sake of curiosity, but it isn’t the type of post I’d expect even most of my followers to read. This wouldn’t be a post I’d recommend to be read. It’s just me expressing myself.

    I’ll end by offering an olive leaf. I have no desire to stalk him around the inernet for the rest of my life or have him stalking me around the internet for the rest of his life. I don’t have enough psychic energy to hold long-lsting grudges. I was understandably pissed of for being censored, but even that emotional rsponse is quickly dissipating.

    But I have no control over what B Hector chooses to do. At the moment, he is commenting on my reviews. Maybe I’ll respond to him, as long as it doesn’t devolve into more of the same. The one thing I won’t do is delete the reviews of mine that he comments on.

    Oh, the silliness of the internet. It is because of interactions like this that I retreat more and more into my own blog. Commenting elsewhere too often leads to nothing but grief. Here on my own blog, no one can delete my comments and silence me.

  4. It occurred to me that there is a profound irony in B Hector’s life philosphy.

    He prioritizes winning, apparently at all costs. He is willing to sacrifice truth in the hope of being perceived as a winner. Failing that, he is willing to silence his oppoisition in order to hide the shane of his having lost a debate.

    Here is the irony. He lost the debate for the very reason he prioritized winning over truth. And I won the debate for my opposite priorities. Winning doesn’t lead to truth. Heck, seeking to win won’t necessarily even lead to winning.

    If he values winning so much, he might wat to rethink his failed strategy.

  5. This is a good case study in arguing with a conservative. Unless you’re patient and make them define their terms, then use their same definitions to hang them with later on when they go completely against their own point, they’re going to accuse you of some blithering idiot (regardless of what your real-life history might suggest) who reads Noam Chomsky and restates everything he says mindlessly (regardless of whether you have ever read any of his books). But even if you do use their own definitions, they refuse to cede to logical rigor and a tradition of reason that has given us things like rockets and computers.

    Case in point, look at Ayn Rand, whose main protagonist John Galt is still a celebrated hero among so-called conservatives and libertarians. I’ve come across a few people brazen enough to stick bumper stickers to their cars that say “who was John Galt” and license plates that say “Galt” in the immediate vicinity of where I live, and I live in a Democratic precinct. I can’t say that I’d bet those who believe in free-market capitalism are in a hefty minority or even a majority because to be honest, I don’t think even they truly know what they want, but they’ll certainly vote lassiez-faire either way so in the end it makes no difference what the color is of the marbles they have in there. And last I checked, the 2016 election was one where over 50% of our population voted for capitalism the shade of red, capitalism the shade of blue, or some guy honest enough to at least call himself a libertarian.

    Rand sought to prove capitalism by first proving objective morality. Wow, that’s incredible! How on Earth did she prove that morality could be proved? Starting with a tautology (she called it an “axiom”, how cute) which you had to accept otherwise she’d call you a “useful idiot” (in case you’re interested, “existence exists” — what a first-class philosopher we’re dealing with). And it’s like that with virtually every single one I’ve ever talked with or seen someone else attempt talking with. Their ideas are hopelessly full of gaping holes, they flagrantly ignore (or even attempt badly to refute) our basic tradition of reason, and even if you make a game out of only responding to them with questions so that your own position is never revealed (as I enjoy doing from time to time), their main point eventually melts into “I know better”. You’re right, silly me and my 148 IQ, attempting to serialize my words as if I think they mean anything. And if you ever let up that you’re frustrated how it seems to you that they’re frankly drooling more than talking, they accuse you of being “elitist”.

    Thankfully, people graduating college and high school today are ignorant of Rand, but a large part of them are convinced that Austrian economics is this set of ideas that are completely brilliant, powerful, untried, unfairly maligned by academics, and largely unadopted by the mainstream until now. They’re too ignorant to realize that the world just comes up with an exciting new phrase to mean “let’s all eat horse-shit” every 30 years. Teaching kids how to refute an argument deductively would perhaps attenuate the feeling I get sometimes that most of the people I’m surrounded by have brains that have been microwaved. Because honestly, I’m halfway convinced that being low of moral character and lacking basic education in rational rigor are the same thing.

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