[Old message to Ed regarding bald assertions deleted]
It sounds like a good rule, but made me think of this: over the past 25 years I have made several "bald assertions" for which I didn't have any "proof" - just an inborn knowledge resulting from an early interest in law and rights, from age six especially. Many things I "knew" were known without having been already told to me by somebody. A lot is just reason, logic, and common sense (lately uncommon?). But many of my bold assertions were later proven ad nauseum by others who value those citations and proofs that make everything acceptable to a wide audience.
Moderator/Bear: An assertion involving reason and logic, especially arrising from a great deal of study, is not a bald assertion. :-)
One that comes to mind is the oath issue in California. I've been
harping on it for years, and had never seen it raised on any lists or in any books (besides those holding the laws themselves), and never had to do much to prove it to myself. Then Paul Andrew Mitchell went and fleshed it all out for everyone with all the proofs one could need. Not only did he prove all I had baldly asserted about California state but he went on to prove it was also true in the federal courts. A lot of good that did - people still don't know about it and when they find out WHO did the homework on the paperwork, they dismiss it because of WHO he is.
Moderator/Bear: Oh great, now you have done it again! Now people are going to write the group and say, "I don't care who he is, where is his research?" To that unasked question I reply, try www.supremelaw.org; or, do a search for his name on a search engine; or, watch for his post here on the group and ask him (off the group of course!).
I'm not ready to invest 1/100th the energy he did in order to be equally ignored. I believe that even a kernel of information may have
value to the one disposed to best use it. Who needs a citation to prove that one gets wet in the rain?
Moderator/Bear: True, but, there are many that need a citation to a quote allegedly made by the Supreme Court that they like and believe they can use.
I assumed (perhaps wrongly) that people with access to the net and on
this list also know how to do searches with search engines, and use
telephones to call book dealers.
Moderator/Bear: There probably are, but, I think the mindset is, why should I if someone else has already done it; or, why should I bother if Frog Farmer can tell me in an email where I can buy it; or, why should I expend the energy when somebody on the group may already know where to get it.
I prefer the mindset, ask not what Tips & Tricks can do for you, but rather ask what you can do for Tips & Tricks. When group members get an email from this group, I want it to have some substance; something members can learn something from. I think there is several group members that are working on where to get the book and will report to the group when they locate it. I prefer that over a bunch of posts that say "Do you know where to get it?"
Note: I do not mind a post that describes a situation and asks what shall I do?
If this new rule is imposed, there's a lot of basic stuff I might otherwise baldly assert but not if I have to prove it or explain how anyone interested can prove it to themselves.
Moderator/Bear: As I said, posts that involve reason, logic, and common sense, as George Gordon puts it, are not bald assertions.
I may just say, "the stove is hot" and leave it at that, and if people
need a lesson in thermodynamics then forget it.
But I can certainly appreciate Bear's reaction to tons of messages
asking such questions. So here's all I know about Merrill's book: it is out of print, and at one time, Dave Wilbur was selling them. I have no contact info for Dave, but I know I've seen him post on several lists over the years. Maybe somebody can search some list archives for his name.
To test my own advice, I just did a Google search for "Dave Wilbur" AND "Merrill Jenkins". Third entry down showed an e-mail address for Dave (I didn't test it to see if it is current). There were 14 entries for those interested.
Hey, Bear, have you ever explained search engines to your readers?
Moderator/Bear: No, but a regular reminder that they are available for a wide variety uses may be in order.