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Hamm takes on Lou Dobbs

? Those Darn Student Climate Activists: They Use the Web |


| Blogging Code of Ethics and Personal Responsibility ?

April 06, 2007

Hamm takes on Lou Dobbs

Stephen Baker

Just catching up with the fight our colleague Steve Hamm picked with the angry CNN anchor, Lou Dobbs. Lots of comments. And since Steve's blog covers the near borderless world of outsourcing, which Dobbs attacks, there's quite a bit of support for Hamm's side, especially from India. I was struck by this contrarian admirer of Dobbs, signed Sandeep K.:

May US get many more Doubs. Will make them more protectionist (like India for 45 yrs) . This in turn will reduce their dominance in technology, defence, movies. And i feel, with presidents like Bush this is best thing which could happen to world. How happy i am with creature called Doub. Keep it up buddy.

I first cut and pasted that comment, thinking it was an interesting point of view from India. Now I'm looking at it and wondering if it's a fluent English speaker pretending to be foreign. Why the doubts? The first sentence, missing the "the," reads like a Hollywood caricature, from Charlie Chan to American Indians. The same tone continues in the second sentence, which is missing the "it." But then check out the third sentence: This in turn will reduce their dominance in... That could be straight from a think tank. It gives me pause. Compare that to the stilted: "How happy i am with creature called Doub." Something's fishy there.

Your thoughts? And does it matter if an anonymous Sam or Candace is pretending to be an equally anonymous Sandeep?

09:23 AM

Jobs, society

I'd agree except that I've seen the same thing on forums/blogs. What sometimes happens is that the individual doesn't have a good command of the language, but will cut and paste something s/he read elsewhere which they understood. That then causes the disconnect you're discussing here.

With that in mind, and assuming someone *were* pretending, you'd think they'd be diligent enough to catch the obvious.

More interesting to me is that the name is repeatedly misspelled. Even foreign language people can copy the letters. I don't know why this mistake would be made (perhaps someone can explain it, but I can't). When I couple that with the last line, I get the impression this is a fake... someone who doesn't care to appear genuine.

Posted by: csven at April 6, 2007 11:35 AM


I agree with your assessment. As a person of South Asian decent I know how to write and speak in broken Indian English and that doesn't sound like it. Also another point is anyone who listens to Dobbs or reads BW will be an educated Indian and most likely will not make such silly grammar mistakes. Even if their spoken English is weak they will most likely be great writers. Where they would sound "foreign" is in the use of particular words and the use of more formal English.

That is just my take,

Arizona Mortgage Guru

Posted by: Arizona Mortgage Guru at April 6, 2007 12:45 PM

"... there's quite a bit of support for Hamm's side, especially from India..".

Stephen, you're nailed it!

It's why we admire Dobbs and Hamm hates him.

Posted by: swtep at April 6, 2007 10:17 PM

Prolly, the foreign guy (American posing as an Indian), is acquainted with an Indian called Sandeep K. Pretty amusing!

Posted by: Shyaam Deshmukh at April 7, 2007 01:00 AM

It is easy to confuse between Lou Dobbs and Lo Doubs. (vaguely remembering there is a "u" somewhere but not quite sure).Lot of people in India take English only after 6th grade.They will be brilliant in technical matter but perform poorly in written English.So,chances that this particular writer is from India is much more just based on assesment of written English.

Third sentence "This in turn will reduce their dominance in technology, defence, movies" is eye catcher.

But average Indian or South Asian is not worried about US dominance in movies.If anything, they are quite happy with Hollywood movies-a wonderful respite from Bollywood churnouts.US dominance is usually thought of in terms of innovation,businesses,technical strengths and defence

(An Indian based in US)

Posted by: Deepa S at April 7, 2007 04:00 PM


It doesn't matter how sandeepk's English is. He may be American or he may be from India. More importantly what is your take on his views - the declining dominance of US because of continued support to people like Dobbs.


Posted by: S at April 8, 2007 10:27 AM

These grammatical errors could also happen as a result of thinking in one language and "translating" those thoughts into another language. Coming from India, the name Sandeep could be from anywhere and so it is not of much help to decipher the language he uses. It is possible to make grammatical error, as the intent of speaking a language (in India, where you have to deal with a minimum of three languages or more) is to get the point across, and not bother with grammar. It might not be precise for a dissertation, but gets the job done. It could be an Indian (East Indian of course), and yes I do have an Indian passport ;)

Posted by: Rahul at April 8, 2007 10:34 AM

dont you havne any other business rather than doing this analysis paralysis crap....way to go ...

Posted by: ,k at April 8, 2007 05:35 PM


Good point there. But i think who ever wrote it was probably a msn messenger user like me. So short forms and omiting words are a habit. Even in this comment i am trying not to but i see that i have ended up doing so.

BY the way, it was not me, i still have to read the article in question.

but a fun observation nevertheless!

Posted by: Sanmitra at April 8, 2007 08:06 PM

Don't want to comment on who did and is that the real name or not but it has a very interesting comment - "Will make them more protectionist (like India for 45 yrs).”

India truly suffered (economically) in those 45 years :-( I hate any government that propagates protectionism way of governing. We have been told that China, Bangladesh and other Asian and East European (includes Russia) countries are a threat (business-wise) to our business model and we are aware of that and we are sure it will happen one day sooner than we think. Lot of planning is going on here in the business world to move few notches up in the value chain so by the time they (think they) catch up, we already way up. Nevertheless, this global competitiveness is what makes us not feel complacent and also keeps up on our toes and probably gets the best out of us. I am for this flat world global economics and global competitive pressure.

Manjunath M Gowda

Where Migration meets Innovation

Posted by: Manjunath M Gowda at April 8, 2007 11:40 PM

Yes, I realize that I weaseled my way through that post without commenting on the issues debated. I actually agreed with Sandeep's point: That protecting ourselves from the global economy will tend to sap strength and vigor from the U.S. economy. One problem is that the people equipped for the global economy are thriving, and those that aren't--in every economy--are moving backwards. This leads to political problems here and elsewhere. The winners in each economy have to help the losers, if for no other reason than to short-circuit the angry political reaction (led by people like Lou Dobbs) against the global economy they're feasting on.

In the United States, this means that the staunchest defenders of the free global market will likely see it in their interest to provide universal health insurance. This would be a bow toward socialism to save capitalism, not unlike what Roosevelt did during the Great Depression.

Posted by: steve baker at April 9, 2007 08:53 PM

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