The two days I spent at the ICPHSO meeting (see http://www.icphso.org/ for background on this safety issues forum) drove home many messages about the CPSIA, most of them unpleasant. You will be seeing more on this topic in this space in coming days. There’s a lot to discuss. For the moment, however, I would like to comment on how we are being portrayed by the Powers That Be. I can confirm that you (and I, apparently) are “Mommy Bloggers” in the parlance of the PTBs and that we are “misleading” the public in our writings in our blogs. Yes, you are just “Mommies”, not serious people, intelligent people, business people. We are (apparently) a marginal group of trivial people, not quite smart enough to handle a law as brilliant as the CPSIA and certainly no match for the Brains at the consumer groups or in Congress. We’re just a bunch of Mommies, whiling away the hours with newfangled blogs, unable to control ourselves at the keyboard. And, boy, do we love to talk online. You get the picture. [Btw, no insult meant to Moms on my part, I should note. If you knew my Mom, you would know just how ridiculous it is to insult the intelligence or insight of Moms. Actually, anyone with a Mom probably can tell you that.]
Compounding the problem in the view of the PTBs, we are apparently guilty of “misleading” our readers. I get the impression that it is because we all appear to be “hysterical” and “panicked”. [The proffered solution to our “emotional moments” is just to TRUST the CPSC and Congress. They know what’s best for us,, don't worry. I guess they must be the “Dads”. There, there, Mommies., Congress will protect you!] The beautiful part of this slam on our intelligence and integrity is that the accusation comes from Congress and from the consumer groups. Regarding Congress, I would simply note that Mr. Waxman has caused me to be uninvited to testify on the record THREE TIMES NOW. Aha, there’s a guy who’s out to set the record straight with open debate and dialogue. I guess I must have a “bad motive” in my opposition to his perfect law. Could there really be ANY other explanation?! Can't let the riffraff pollute the discussion, now can we?
In the case of the consumer groups, it is clear that they are making considerable errors themselves (misleading accusations of travel abuse by Nancy Nord, distortions of actual testing costs, mischaracterization of the actual workings of the law and so on) but, hey, let’s not be too picky here because, DARNIT, they’re just looking after our own best interests!. Of course, Consumers Union say they fact check their blogs, which makes those blogs demonstrably better than anyone else's, especially a bunch of Mommies. No, we should all rely on those lily white and pure architects of society and while we're all it, the traditional media, well-known for being faultless. Ironically, in all the bashing, there are no actual examples of abuse or serious and misleading error, just a lot of hot air assertions. It must be nice to be able to just swing away with no accountability. I guess one doesn't have to fact check an accusation. . . .
I will put my blog upside anyone else’s blog for accuracy. Please find my errors and send them to me, consumer group factcheckers. I stand ready to correct my many misleading errors.
The tactic of marginalizing an unpopular or inconvenient message by attacking the messenger is an old trick. The way to beat this tactic is to expose it. Hey, supporters of the CPSIA, instead of maligning us, why not take us seriously and ANSWER US? If you're right, we'll be the first to admit it. Show some respect, however, and respond!