28 February 2008

"Extrapolated" Conclusions

Judd Bagley, the proprietor of the blog "AntiSocialMedia," maintains in his latest posting there that nobody has ever shown anything he's said to be wrong.

Then he adds a neat little parenthetical qualification, for which I will personally take credit. He writes, "Yet, with a single (quickly rectified) exception, every conclusion extrapolated here has proven accurate."

The exception that I presume he has in mind involves a reporter named Susan Antilla, of Bloomberg News, who has written critically of Mr. Bagley's favorite company, Overstock dot com. That's always a good way to draw Bagley's attention, which it seems to have done.

Antilla is also the ex-wife of Dennis Leibowitz. For the particulars of why that's important to Mr. Bagley see what I wrote in September.

Anyway, after Bagley went out on a limb on an IV bulletin board and referred to the present-tense Antilla-Leibowitz marriage, he was immediately informed of the divorce. He chose not to believe it, and to write up his disbelief in Antisocial. He even suggested Antilla's divorce lawyer may have failed to file the appropriate papers, so she may still be married without knowing it.

Now, this is a matter on which there can't be a lot of room for confusion. I happen to be a member of the bar of the state of Connecticut (that is itself a matter of public record, as easily verified as is marital status!) and I know that a divorce can be verified with ease.

Anyway, after this was explained sufficiently to Bagley, he eventually deleted the babbling from his website. Since he's been called on it before, I do believe that's the "one exception" to his accurate "extrapolations" he now acknowledges so fleetingly.

We shouldn't let him off the hook too easily here, especially given the odd word "extrapolation" itself. He made a false statement of fact on an easily verified matter. What was supposedly extrapolated?

I'm not inclined to accept his implicit factual claim (in that parentheses) that this was his only factual error. He hasn't hired me as a fact checker, after all. But I'm pretty confident that is the factual error that inspired the parenthesis, because of an exchange he and I had on the subject in September of last year.

At that time, Bagley e-mailed me to note that I had referred to "demonstrably false assertions" of his. He asked which assertions were those. I replied, referencing Susan Antilla. He responded to that, claiming that he hadn't made the marital claim about Susan Antilla in his blog, only on IV. That was a demonstrably false assertion itself, as I pointed out to him in his reply. Deleting something from a blog doesn't mean it was never there. Deletion isn't a memory hole.

He replied telling me, "Forget Susan Antilla," [I'm sure he would like me to] and asking me for other examples of his falsehood, on the theory that learning of them would help him develop as a writer. At this point I was getting tired of the game, and I didn't reply.

As I had expected, he soon thereafter posted a very long blog entry in which my name plays a very small part. He puts me on a list of his blog's "harshest critics" and complains in general that none of us have replied to his e-mail. "My e-mail must be broken" he says, in what I suppose is meant to be irony or sarcasm or something stylish.

Just in case anybody who read that has now found your way here. Mr. Bagley's e-mail isn't broken. I did reply to his initial request about whether he had said anything demonstrably false, and I pointed out to him that he had. He told me to "Forget Susan Antilla." I did so, and accordingly did not respond subsequently. Now I see that all of this rates a parentheses from him.

Ah, so I have not lived and breathed entirely in vain.

Why am I taking note of it only now, five months later? Well, because Bagley doesn't occupy many of my neurons for very long and I've let time slip by occupied with other matters.

But I come back to it because I do feel a certain non-emotive indignation at being listed, as I now have been, as among Mr. Bagley's blog's "harshest critics." That's language that just makes you say: huh? If I'm among that blog's harshest critics, it leads a charmed life indeed. I've written of it rarely, and if any "harshness" has crept into my writing on the subject, I'm unaware of it. Correcting the Antilla error isn't harshness. It's fact finding. Positing the absense of any need for an article about Mr. Bagley on wikipedia may be as "harsh" as I've gotten. But, hey, there's no article on wikipedia about me, either, and that's honky-dory at this end.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is but one of his demonstrably false assertions. At this link is another example that was posted on investorvillage and antisocialmedia. He never publicly admitted his mistake, just deleted the posts.

Associated Google search.

Scipio said...

There was a short-lived post titled "Welcome to Bizarro World" (I have a copy). My opinion was that the basis of the post was the result of faked evidence. Within hours of posting my opinion and reasoning, the post was yanked. Make your own conclusions from that.

There are some massive leaps of faith such as if someone has an unpaid bill, they must be broke, etc. Those leaps of faith are the essence of the entire site. Without them you have findings such as person X posts on stock boards, person Y edits Wikipedia, etc.

It's worth pointing out, I posted one comment to ASM over a year ago that was deleted (immediately) for being "too long". It also prompted the then unknown Bagley (under several fake names) to launch both written and spyware attacks on me (I have all the evidence). It also flushed out Patrick Byrne and "Bob O'Brien" to protect their prized baby ASM with subsequent message board posts. Incidently, this was also responsible for my first ever communication with Gary Weiss (not counting blog comments) who I have been accused of being some kind of protector of. This is a claim that is beyond loony (and yes it was made on ASM...no longer there I do not believe).

Subsequent comments from another person that can only be described as loony and malicious rants were allowed and it was later implausibly claimed they were not noticed, when my comments were immediately noticed, debated (in one case rejected) and then were all later deleted in Feb. 2007 (long before all other comments were deleted). Make your own conclusions about that.

Also, the very first ASM post "Gary Weiss: The Strawman Cometh" was completely incorrect as the guy he was debating made clear in comments to ASM. Yet that fantasy has remained in place for a year and a half. You had to read all the comments to realize it's a totally bogus premise. But now that all comments are gone, it's impossible to know that it is all complete fiction.

Be very skeptical of the rewrite of history that is underway. The real story is out there, but you have to look.

Anonymous said...

The Cousins Petrofsky fiasco was even more incredulous.

Just because everyone with the surname "Smith" in Utah is related doesn't mean everyone with the surname Petrofsky is.

One Petrofsky happened to be associate GC at the DTCC (Sith Lord Central). The other happened to be a retail short seller/critic of Bagley's first publicly traded employer (the SCO Group---check out the price chart since he initiated "coverage"). You know those Petrofsky types can't be trusted!

Writerjudd said...

Chris, I'm not going to say that you're lying, but what you've written does not reflect the truth.

You said: Then he adds a neat little parenthetical qualification, for which I will personally take credit. He writes, "Yet, with a single (quickly rectified) exception, every conclusion extrapolated here has proven accurate."

Actually, that exception was the one in which I incorrectly concluded that Al Petrofsky (see comments #1 and #3 above) was Al Kidd, the person behind ScipioAfricanus (see comment #2 above). A couple of days after publishing my analysis of the data I collected, came upon a bit of information that disproved my earlier hypothesis, and I responded by removing the post and apologizing to Petrofsky in multiple venues.

later you said: Anyway, after Bagley went out on a limb on an IV bulletin board and referred to the present-tense Antilla-Leibowitz marriage, he was immediately informed of the divorce.

Wrong again. Another poster (david_vs_goliath) referred to the Antilla-Leibowitz union (his source was the New York Times), but incorrectly said Leibowitz worked for CSFB.

My post said that no, Leibowitz worked for a hedge fund called Act 2. I was not the source of the marriage claim. It's that simple.

Plus, almost two weeks passed between the time david_vs_goliath said Antilla and Leibowitz were married and the time I said david_vs_goliath was wrong about Leibowitz's employer. Interesting that while david_vs_goliath got two details wrong, nobody thought anything of it until I posted to correct the record on one of them.

I only said "ok, forget the Antilla thing if you want" when you clammed up after I eviscerated your Antilla-Leibowitz argument, which had the unintended effect of causing you to clam up still more, until now.

I suppose that given the bind in which Gary Weiss currently finds himself you would be the next lowest blogger on the ladder of disinformation. Perhaps that represents a promotion for you, in which case you're owed congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Is The SCO Group a buy yet or should I ask Al Petrofsky?

Writer Judd, you're to be commended for admitting you were 100% wrong with respect to the Petrofsky connection. Did you apologize to the DTCC's associate General Counsel as well? If so, in what venue?

Writerjudd said...

No, I never did see a need to apologize to the DTCC's John Petrofsky.

You see, incorrectly accusing someone of being defamation-machine ScipioAfricanus is a problem. Incorrectly concluding that someone else is the second cousin of defamation-machine ScipioAfricanus is not.

After all, we can't exactly pick our relatives, now can we?

Anonymous said...

Okay, thanks, Writer Judd. I concur, the other Petrofsky is not owed an apology.

Since Al Petrofsky never had issues with Overstock, why did you assume he was the other Al? Was it because he was a critic and known short seller of The SCO Group? He happened to be quite right about that firm.

It's possible the other Al is quite right about your current employer, Overstock, too. Only time will tell.

Writerjudd said...

I had a rather long list of reasons that supported the Petrofsky connection, each of them admittedly circumstantial, starting with Petrofsky's first name (I knew Scipio's was "Al") and ending with Petrofsky's membership in Cal's marching band (I knew Scipio was unusually familiar with many a college football stadium), with many, many additional bits of evidence of a comparable nature in between.

I emailed petrofsky offering to list all the reasons I concluded it was him, but he seems to have a policy of not returning my email.

If he changes his mind, I'll happily list them all for him.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating.

I was unaware of the Scipio chap's hobbies other than his blogsite and interest in WikiPedia.

Al Petrofsky maintained a website devoted to The SCO Group and why he and others considered it a poor investment. He was very public about who he was for several years. To my knowledge he was never interested in on-line retailers.

Aside from the conclusions being incorrect, I thought "The Cousins Petrofsky" was clever. I happen to enjoy Russian literature.

john lichtenstein said...

After Judd's error with Petrofsky was exposed, Judd said that the evidence had been "overwhelming". When a real analyst makes a mistake, he goes back and examines his methods, figures out where he went wrong. Judd is feckless.

Patrick Byrne said...

A bunch of fellows who missed now-incontrovertible evidence concerning naked shorting in the American capital markts (evidence that the SEC has publicly stated demonstrates that Reg SHO is deeply flawed), are picking nits in Judd's work on Antisocialmedia.net (Oh my God! Judd said two people were married who had recently been divorced!) I have been wondering about the lack of response to the breakthroughs that Judd has been wracking up of late. This is the best you can do? Is there a first string on that side somewhere you can send out to play?



Standing offer, Chris: a free Club O membership to you for writing a story about Deep Capture, and in particular, this story: http://community.overstock.com/deepcaptureblog/gary-weiss-scaramouch-psychopath/

I know it's only a $29.95 value, but I'm all out of high-value ExactPay cards.

Patrick

Christopher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christopher said...

Hi Patrick,

Always a pleasure to hear from you.

As to the significance of the Antilla matter -- I think the particular gaffe on which I've focused shows a desire to see clear lines on an organizational chart of his own construction -- or an organization chart he has perhaps inherited from someone else and come to believe in too implicitly.

So a hedge fund manager and a reporter had been married, and this taints her reporter, pre-divorce and post-divorce and forever after in his eyes, it would seem. That's great. One casts one's own die in life.

But it is still worthwhile stating the facts of the matter. Especially after one has been ordered to "forget" them.

And as to the pronunciation of my surname, Pat. Its French. Faille is pronounced like the name of a slightly ribbed fabric, sometimes included in Overstock products .

This makes "Failleure to Deliver" a rather awkward pun.

You can deliver better.

Sam E. Antar said...

Hey Patrick:

Let's leave Judd Bagley's cyber stalking of your critics to another time and get to the heart of the subject.

I have three simple questions for you:

1. Please refute my representation that Overstock.com has violated SEC Regulation G concerning the use of non-GAAP financial measures.

2. Please refute my representation that Overstock.com willfully violated SAB 99 and intentionally departed from GAAP and its own disclosures concerning revenue reporting.

3. Please refute my representation that Overstock.com is not in full compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley Sections 406 & 407, in particular issues relating to Code of Ethics violations.

Kindest regards,

Sam E. Antar (former Crazy Eddie CFO and convicted felon)

english major said...

patrick:

i believe i now have evidence that you wrote mark shurtleff's press release for him.

my evidence is spelling errors. his press release contained spelling errors. your post also did.

are you sure you meant wracking instead of racking? or was that a faux pas.

christopher, is faux pas french?

Straitjacket said...

Patrick, the point seems to be lost on you but nobody cares what you think anymore. You are just too crazy to take seriously. Sorry about that.

john lichtenstein said...

Patrick there are not a lot of intersections between Bagley's circular reasoning machine and reality. When he makes claims that are falsifiable, they mainly turn out to be false. That's why people give up on reading his junk.

J Brownfield said...

Christopher said to Skippy:

"This makes 'Failleure to Deliver' a rather awkward pun.

You can deliver better."



Skippy's dismal, decade-long track record at Overstock.com would lead most observers to conclude that, no, he can not deliver better.

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