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Honesty Online: A Modest Proposal

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Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all. It is not a figure of speech, or a witty saying; it is a literal fact — very momentous to us in these times. Literature is our Parliament too. — Thomas Carlyle

Since 1841, when Carlyle wrote this in his On Heroes and Hero Worship, the media employed by the Fourth Estate — political journalists — have multiplied dramatically, adding photography and film, radio and TV to the list of tools with which it fulfills its primary purpose: shaping the public’s political attitudes. Along with these tools of the trade, journalists have developed professional standards and codes of ethics to distinguish themselves from hired and self-appointed propagandists whose purpose is similar. The common basis of these standards and codes is a dedication to the truth. As Eugene Meyers put it in his 1933 statement of principles governing the Washington Post, “The first mission of a newspaper is to tell the truth as nearly as the truth may be ascertained.”

Enter the notoriously untrustworthy Internet, the newest tool of would-be political journalists, and in particular, Blogcritics Magazine's Politics section — an irreverent, no-holds-barred blog zone, where writers have been provided space and support to engage in an array of literary blood sports, ranging from scoop news reporting, to advocacy, to expressing opinion and feelings — to propagandizing, which, for my purpose here, I define as passing fictions off as fact in the support of an argument.

Incidents of propagandizing, whether inadvertent or not, have led to unproductive and vicious arguments in Blogcritics' nether regions — the comments boards — sometimes escalating to the point of creating an uninviting atmosphere which has driven valuable contributors away, presumably in search of kinder, gentler or more honest venues for their comments and articles.

If protecting readers from propagandists is a priority, then, at a minimum, the editorial staff of the Politics section must: limit factual errors that appear in posted articles through some process of fact checking, promptly issue corrections for errors when they do get published and are brought to light, whenever possible ensure the validity of the writers' sources, as well as their proper attribution, and encourage veracity in news and opinion articles by discouraging the omission or distortion of critical facts.

All of which begs several questions: who has the job of scrutinizing the behavior of Blogcritics’ political writers and editors? Who is standing up for readers who seek honest political journalism, free from propaganda? Are acrimonious exchanges and insults on the comments boards the best that we can do?

Many news outlets hire ombudsmen for these responsibilities. Ideally, these watchdogs are independent of management and have no ownership ties to the outlets that they monitor. As Charles Seib, ombudsman for the Washington Post in 1974, put it in that paper’s Desk-Book on Style:

His job, as he sees it, is to represent the Post’s readers and to react to the paper himself as a reader. He handles complaints from readers on matters of fairness, accuracy, balance and professional standards. In addition, he criticizes the paper on the basis of his own observations.

Is it time for Blogcritics Magazine to step up and seek out a volunteer to serve as ombudsman for its Politics section? I propose that it is, and that this individual be contracted for a one-year period with no renewal, during which time she would refrain from writing articles and participating on the comments boards, except as required by her responsibilities as ombudsman. In addition to her interaction with individual readers, she would be responsible for at least weekly reports, with recommendations, to the owners and the managing editor, and monthly reports to the general readership.

Let’s get honest.

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About Mark Eden

  • Doug Hunter

    Bad idea. Who is more qualified to determine what material I should access or what version of a story I should consider truth than me? Let me be my own judge.

    Also, no one knows the truth about many important political issues. Was Bush a bumbling moron hellbent on avenging his dad when he got us into Iraq or was he a calculated liar hiding the evidence on WMD’s or was he shilling for the oil companies trying to steal Iraq’s oil or was he with good faith attempting to instill democracy in the middle east and shift power away from the radical Islamists?

    Many claim to know the answer but in truth no one really knows and reality probably lies somewhere in the middle. Any person you pick for the job will have preconceived notions regarding what is ‘truth’ and these biases will demonstrate themselves in the content of these pages.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    What Doug said.

    I do become frustrated with articles and comments offering unsupported statements of dubious fact, but can deal with that frustration unassisted by a censor. It seems likely that most who read and post here can do so as well.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Mark Eden

    Doug’s objection is, wouldn’t you know it, one that I agree with. Facts and veracity and all are tricky subjective things, but I’m not sure that the fact that there is no truth should hold us back.

    Consider this my homage to Marthe Raymond who, if BC had had an ombudsman for her to turn to, might still be showering us with her unique perspective.

    Have at it.

    Mark

  • Clavos

    …Marthe Raymond who, if BC had had an ombudsman for her to turn to, might still be showering us with her unique perspective.

    Well that settles it: No ombudsman.

    That woman is the most crude, rude, impolite and low class person I’ve ever had the misfortune to run into.

    The fact that she’s obviously very bright and articulate only contrasted with her crudity, making her online persona that much more objectionable.

    I’m glad she’s gone; she really lowered the lowered the level of discourse.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    If BC had an ombudsman with power to go with the office, MR would have been booted for her constant misrepresentations and outright lies months before she was.

    That aside, as I see it the problem with an ombudsman is that the concept is contrary to BC’s character as a ‘community’ of writers.

    Someone who checks all the articles for consistency and makes sure that they conform to a certain style and editorial perspective makes sense for a print newspaper or a website which is trying to imitate one, like Slate. There the role of an obudsman would be to put the stylistic and standards stamp of that publication on everything they publish.

    That’s not what BC is. As a community of writers, each writer is more responsible for the content and character of his or her work and the role of the editors is more neutral, assuring quality, but not controlling tone or content except in the most extreme cases. All editors do some fact checking, but basically that’s left up to the writers who will stand or fall based on the quality of the work they do.

    We also don’t have an editorial stance or perspective for someone like an ombudsman to enforce. BC is politically neutral, not because it imposes neutrality of viewpoint on its writers, but because it doesn’t exclude writers based on their politics or perspective. We welcome diversity and contrasting opinions – with the occasional exception of those whose positions fall outside of a very broad scope of what is acceptable for public discourse.

    Diversity is one of the great strengths of BC. If you want uniformity, go to Democratic Underground or RedState and march with the zombies.

    Dave

  • Mark Eden

    I’ll simply repeat the Seib quote in response to Dave’s overstatement of the job of an ombudsman:

    His job, as he sees it, is to represent the Post’s readers and to react to the paper himself as a reader. He handles complaints from readers on matters of fairness, accuracy, balance and professional standards. In addition, he criticizes the paper on the basis of his own observations.

    His ‘power’ is diplomatic.

    Clavos, had Marthe had someone whose job was to represent her pov then things might not have gotten out of hand as they did. That you dislike her is understandable. I could never tell whether she was more than a propagandist for Chavez, but then she never wrote articles.

    Mark

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Mark, I see you didn’t bother to read the bulk of my comment. Let me sum it up for you in the context of the Seib quote: Where did you get the peculiar idea that this was the Washington Post or even trying to be anything like it?

    Dave

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Coming up next on “Eye on BC”

    Our nation’s fish: do they have enough bicycles?

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    If BC had an ombudsman with power to go with the office, MR would have been booted for her constant misrepresentations and outright lies months before she was.

    if bc had an ombudsman with power to go with the office dave, YOU would have been booted long ago.

    man, the politics section is just drenched with irony.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Mark,

    Go read the articles from the earliest days of this site. A good many of them are mere notes leading to a link where the main story is to be found – much the kind of thing one finds at a blog site. Now you need to write a minimum of 300 words, and 80% of those words have to be the author’s. A minimum of 300 words requires an article, a series of coherent thoughts by an author.

    The readers then judge that series of coherent thoughts by their comments – or lack of them. When I first found this site, it was common to “comment pimp”, trying to inflate the number of comments received on a given article. This was because there was a listing of the number of comments by each individual on the right side of the screen. If you look in the right place, you still can see remnants of that old format here.

    It is still found at Desicritics.org., the South Asian daughter of Blogcritics Magazine.

    At bottom, this is still a community of writers at a huge blog-site.

    Finally, along with all the other arguments against the idea, there is still the basic issue of money. All these ideas cost money, and from my point of view as a writer here, before we institute ombudsmen to make sure that all the ducks quacking here quack the same way, we should be paying those who really contribute to the magazine: this means the editors first, and then the writers.

    If I’m lying through my teeth in my articles here, others who also know how to read and write English will call me on it.

  • Mark Eden

    Now now Dave, no need to go getting insulting. Of course I read your comment. Oddly enough, I am looking for ways to protect BC’s diversity that, as I see it, is in peril. When things pick up speed here again, how do you propose to handle readers who feel slighted or attacked when they try to ‘take care of business’ in the comments?

    Marthe’s behavior was criticized for driving folks away. Is she the only one guilty of this?

    Where did you get the peculiar idea that this was the Washington Post or even trying to be anything like it?

    …you mean like honest?

    Mark

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    if bc had an ombudsman with power to go with the office dave, YOU would have been booted long ago.

    Mark, I don’t know what I ever did to offend you. I haven’t come to the music section and started bashing you for your execrable taste in music. If you disagree with my political viewpoints that’s fine, but why do you feel it necessary to pop in periodically, launch a personal attack out of the blue and then slink away?

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    That comment was aimed at Mark Eden, by the way, not Mark Saleski, guys.

    As for Marthe Raymond, had there been an ombudsman with teeth, the comment threads would be less vicious, nasty and insulting tasty and interesting to read, and Marthe never would have felt the need to adopt the persona she did here. Remember SHARK? He would have swum away from here a long time before he did….

    She would still be beating Chávez’s drum, and the individual she hurt would not have been.

  • Mark Eden

    I was thinking of Shark for ombudsman.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I was thinking of Shark for ombudsman.

    Mark, Shark was the funniest commenter here. He gave real entertainment value to go with his nastiness. Forcing him to read my puerile attempts to imitate him would be cruel torture indeed, not to mention depriving us of a few good laughs as we curse at what he writes….

    It’s bad enough for the comments editor we have here, Chris Rose. Poor guy has to slog through each and every one of these comments. I almost feel sorry for him.

    Almost.

  • Clavos

    Clavos, had Marthe had someone whose job was to represent her pov…

    It seems to me, Mark, that that’s her job, and MR in particular, needs no one to help her on that score.

    But, I don’t want to turn this into a discussion of one individual. I agree with the previous posters (particularly Doug), who say that having an ombudsman to determine what is truth and what is not, begins to feel more like censorship, and from a narrower POV than we have now, as such determinations would be restricted to the ideas of one individual, rather than letting the marketplace (as it were) of Blogcritcs writers and commenters determine it.

    For evidence of the efficacy of our present system, one has only to read the numerous comments posted any time someone is perceived as disseminating falsehoods.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    it wasn’t a personal attack dave, but a statement of fact.

    and your political viewpoint has nothing to do with it.

    and for the record, i’m hardly alone in this opinion.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Yes, but you’re unique in not attempting to back up or explain why you hold the opinion. I can respect and even learn from a negative opinion of my work or myself which has at least some rationale behind it, or a basis in some fundamental disagreement. Sniping is just annoying and pointless.

    Dave

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “it wasn’t a personal attack dave, but a statement of fact. “

    Wait. It’s a statement of fact that Dave would have been fired as politics editor if we had an ombud?

  • zingzing

    i think its the comments section that keeps most of the writers mostly honest most of the time. writers on the right and left do try to get away with stuff, and that’s when we see the ridiculously long comment threads. especially in political coverage, no one is ever going to be 100% happy with one ombudsman. that’s why there are 50-100 of us, all acting against each other.

    and sussman, i think mark s. was saying that dave would have been booted for “misrepresentations and outright lies,” etc. etc. i doubt that dave thinks of what he writes as those things, but there have been many times where he’s said something that’s quite contrary to the actual truth of the situation. that said, i say that as a leftie loon, while he’s a slobbering gun nut. when he agrees with me, he hits upon certain truths. when he doesn’t, he’s a liar and a cheat.

  • Lumpy

    So the author’s goal here would be to make bc as generic and soulless as USAToday?

  • Mark Eden

    …having an ombudsman to determine what is truth and what is not…

    Again, that not the job description that I had in mind.

    Mark

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    i say that as a leftie loon, while he’s a slobbering gun nut. when he agrees with me, he hits upon certain truths. when he doesn’t, he’s a liar and a cheat.

    …Or what’s known in media theory as ‘selective perception’.

    I don’t agree that we need an ombudsman. I tend to the opinion that if a site such as ours wishes to pursue a policy of light-handedness in regard to the comments, then we must expect a certain thickness of skin from our commenters. If some people can’t take the tone, then they probably don’t belong here even if their contributions are potentially valuable. That said, I’m not advocating actively driving anyone away. It should be their choice entirely.

    What was that somebody once said about not lingering around intolerably warm cooking facilities…?

    For the record, I don’t agree with the banishment of Marthe Raymond (Moonraven). Although she was undoubtedly the nastiest commenter ever to haunt these boards (I include Shark in that), there was, I found, a specific way to deal with her that served to draw her venom somewhat. In case she’s ever allowed back, I won’t divulge what that was.

    (And it was not any of the following: being nice to her, agreeing with her, addressing her arguments rationally. Any or all of those were likely to redouble her wrath!)

    BTW, I think Archie’s month is up. How do we unban him?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    @ #21:

    Never thought I’d say this, but: Lumpy, Amen!

  • Mark Eden

    I never realized that ombudsmen rendered news outlets censored and soulless.

    Ah well…having driven Dreadful to religion and into Lumpy’s arms is an accomplishment of sorts I guess.

  • Baronius

    I never thought I’d say, Zing, Amen! I had presumed that the BC article editors do some fact-checking, but when an error gets past them, the rest of us are here with our nets to catch it.

    And has anyone read the comments sections on other sites? It scares me how balanced, intelligent, and spam-free the BC boards are. I don’t know how you guys have managed to sustain that. Whatever you’re doing is working.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Mark: har-de-har-har.

    Baronius: I’ve no idea how we manage to keep the tone of debate so civilized for the most part, but I can tell you that with a combination of the Akismet spam protection and diligence on the part of the comments editors, we’re able to excise most of the spam comments before you ever see them.

  • Baronius

    Dread – That’s what you think. I’ve been posting subliminal messages from the son of a Nigerian official for years.

  • Lumpy

    I’m curious what kind of uberman we’d get for our ombuddy and where we could find such a paragon, since one man’s truth is another man’s lie and every fact can give birtth to scores of different interpretations.

    Some people on here probably think it’s a ‘factl that Bush is the worst president ever and that the Jews were behind 9/11 or that democrats were not responsible for the mortgage crisis. Their beliefs may be wrong or simplistic, but that does not necessarily mean they are lying or that they are so wrong they have to be silenced.

    this whole concept smacks of the sme kind of self-righteousness as the fairness doctrine.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Baronius – then perhaps you can tell me what’s become of these lottery winnings you talked about. I keep checking my bank account, but there’s still nothing there except for a few mice.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “It’s a statement of fact that Dave would have been fired as politics editor if we had an ombud?”

    Maybe. Depends on when the person was hired in relation to the Vox Populi incident.

    Mark E., there doesn’t need to be an ombudsman because the commentors already serve that role to varying degrees. I would suggest that it’s up to the readers to do that work for themselves. No one should take as gospel what anyone says here or anywhere else. They should use the information as a starting point to learn more about an issue, if they care to.

    Could Blogcritics’ political writers and editors improve their skills and work? Absolutely, and hopefully everyone who writes or edits works towards that goal. Are people’s motives questionable? Absolutely. A cynical person might wonder if Dave publishes flawed articles that he immediately pounces on in the comments for being filled with errors just to make his position look superior and affect the credibility of the writer. If those flaws were found in the editing stage, it begs the question why was the article published in the first place. Editors in other sections hold up articles when those same issues arise.

  • Mark Eden

    …there doesn’t need to be an ombudsman because the commentors already serve that role to varying degrees…

    El Bicho, you and I have both seen this approach go to hell and good people leave because of it. Could they have kept a stiff upper lip and persevered? Sure.

    Mark

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Mark, could you provide some examples of print and online magazines that employ ombuds? While you’re at it, could you also find an example of an online forum that has never had a single community member leave in disgust for whatever reason?

  • Clavos

    Just to set the record straight in regard to one of the Politics editors:

    Most of the summer, and up until the last couple of months, Clavos was actually publishing more articles than any other politics editor.

    Clavos edits each and every article impartially and to the best of his abilities. Clavos has never knowingly let errors get through his editing process for any reason, but he does not correct erroneous statements presented as opinion under the theory that everyone is entitled to an opinion, however wrongheaded it may be, and in any case, he knows all the commenters can be relied upon to jump on each such instantly.

    Clavos also regularly sends back stories for rewrites, and refuses to publish altogether, when the circumstances warrant.

  • Mark Eden

    Matthew, I’ll get right to work on that.

    And, btw, Clavos is an excellent editor and a pleasure to work with.

    Mark

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Mark,

    Good grief. We agree. How could that happen!

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    Aww shucks…

  • Mark Eden

    Careful Dan, I actually suggested that you be kidnapped and conscripted as the Ombudsg-d that all fear so deeply.

    Mark

  • Jordan Richardson

    Shit, there’s a whole lot of agreement going on around here lately. It’s beginning to feel a lot like…

  • Mark Eden

    like…Canada?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Mark, thanks. Unfortunately, before reading your #38 I posted comment #20 here which eliminates me from consideration.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Could Blogcritics’ political writers and editors improve their skills and work? Absolutely, and hopefully everyone who writes or edits works towards that goal.

    Is this not just as true of every other section on BC? We certainly haven’t achieved perfection anywhere that I’ve noticed.

    Are people’s motives questionable? Absolutely. A cynical person might wonder if Dave publishes flawed articles that he immediately pounces on in the comments for being filled with errors just to make his position look superior and affect the credibility of the writer.

    I have publicly stated more than once that I do in fact eagerly pounce on articles which I feel have conceptual flaws or questionable ideas and enjoy publishing them for that opportunity.

    If those flaws were found in the editing stage, it begs the question why was the article published in the first place. Editors in other sections hold up articles when those same issues arise.

    I’ve held up plenty of articles because of writing problems or errors that need to be fixed, and would never publish something that was flawed so that I could pounce on it for errors or mistakes. That would be grossly unfair. I challenge you to find an example where I’ve ever done anything like that.

    There’s a huge difference between wanting to challenge someone’s debatable ideas and publishing a piece of flawed work so you can pick on them. I love doing the former, but I would never do the latter.

    Hell, I have even emailed writers in advance and told them I’m going to rip on them when their article is published and as far as I can tell they understand and don’t have a problem with being challenged.

    The fact that your work isn’t just met with a chorus of praise and cheering is part of what makes writing for BC interesting, no?

    And when did Clavos start talking about himself in the third person? Is he going to be ok?

    Dave

  • Clavos

    And when did Clavos start talking about himself in the third person? Is he going to be ok?

    Jeez!! Dan(Miller) actually Skyped me, all the way from Panama, because he was so alarmed.

    Not to worry gents, Clavos is not channeling Heloise…

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Boring and unneeded suggestion. We need less regulation at every level of our culture.

  • Cindy D

    We need less regulation authority at every level of our culture.

    (Turns Christopher from a Capitalist into an Anarchist with the change of a mere word.)

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Can’t I be an Anarcho-Capitalist? Ancap for short.

  • Mark Eden

    Well Christopher, I am relieved by your comment. I was worried that you would show up with some delusional fifth estate crap.

    Mark

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “El Bicho, you and I have both seen this approach go to hell and good people leave because of it.”

    Mark, the Internet has been a wild free-for-all since I have been online in 1993. If “good” people leave BC like some pouty child with their toy, then they are part of the problem as well.

    Plenty of “bad” people leave, too. I enjoyed reading Moonraven and it’s funny to see those that tangoed with her act like she was alone was the problem, but she was told not to cross certain lines multiple times and refused to comply.

    And then there are those that threaten to leave, but get pulled back in.

    Any site is what the group and those in charge make of it. It is unrealistic to think anyone could be 100% happy with it. Which is why people should run ideas up the flagpole and see how they fly.

    Now, take your real name off my bridge.

  • Mark Eden

    Which is why people should run ideas up the flagpole and see how they fly.

    agreed

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Is this not just as true of every other section on BC?”

    Yes, but the article wasn’t talking about other sections.

    “I challenge you to find an example where I’ve ever done anything like that.”

    I challenge you to find where I said you did. I wrote “A cynical person might wonder.” Potentiality and actuality are not the same thing.

  • STM

    Why all the argument? Isn’t this all covered by your 1st amendment. Since this section might now be regarded – no matter how loosely – as part of the fourth estate (because only the medium is different), freedom of the press is paramount, not just at law but in spirit also.

    Besides, the labels at the top of the stories tell the story: opinion, satire, news …

    “Propaganda” in this case, in the way Mark is describing it, might better be described as an opinion not liked or shared by the person deciding that it’s propaganda. Opinion we don’t like is equally valid in a free society.

    The other great thing about a free society is that you don’t have to read or comment on stories that fall into your own personal definition of crap.

    Or even better, you can read it and stick it right up the writer. Isn’t that why we’re all here anyway?

  • Clavos

    I challenge you to find where I said you did. I wrote “A cynical person might wonder.” Potentiality and actuality are not the same thing.

    Hair splitting.

    You cynically planted the idea. An equally cynical person might wonder why.

  • Cindy D

    Christopher,

    Can’t I be an Anarcho-Capitalist? Ancap for short.

    God in heaven, if there were one, no!!! Keep regular old Capitalism, if you must. anarcho-Capitalism creates a situation of pure contracts with no protections for labor.

    Freedom is the “right to own property” (just like in good old right-wing libertarianism ala Dave.) The problem is that you have no freedom if you don’t own property. The more property you own the more freedom you have.

    What kind of Anarchism is that? Anarchism is about freedom for everyone. While anyone can use a word, I make the “a” in anarcho-Capitalism small and the “C” big. anCap–(I like it!)

    You do have the “freedom” to contract yourself out as a slave under anarcho-Capitalism. The law will uphold the contract. So, if you, in a moment of desperation and poverty, decided to contract yourself out as a lifetime slave to an anCap, the court would allow you to break the contract by paying the anCap whatever it is your lifetime labor is worth. Nice system, eh?

    It’s like Capitalism invents its own new wheel!

    This is not my preferred explanation, but it is an easy to read essay, because it’s a funny rant.

    ANARCHO-HUCKSTERS:
    “From each according to their gullibility, to each, according to his greed.”

    Capitalists are always eager to put glossy packaging on tired old products in order to put one over on the purchasing public. In this way, they hope to rekindle demand for what is actually the same product they have been providing people in the past.

    This is the rationale behind what can only be called “anarcho” chic; that is, the usurpation and appropriation of anarchist forms without anarchist substance, in an effort to create the illusion that somehow, magically, capitalism is about freedom, liberty, and anarchy!

  • STM

    Geez, I dunno Cindy … I own property, and there are times when I wish I was still renting.

    We have variable mortgage interest rates here, and a $1000 a month increase on my mortgage bill in a steady series of rate rises over the past 18 months before it fell again recently sure didn’t feel much like freedom.

    I’ve become a slave to the bank, and a prisoner of blind capitalism.

    I’d like to sell up, grab my surfboards and piss off the coast and live in a farmhouse on a headland somewhere. That’d be freedom.

  • STM

    BTW, to make things more interesting, I vote Dave Nalle for Ombudsman!

  • Cindy D

    Come on Stan, open wide and swallow your “freedom” like a good boy.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    “I challenge you to find an example where I’ve ever done anything like that.”

    I challenge you to find where I said you did. I wrote “A cynical person might wonder.” Potentiality and actuality are not the same thing.

    Good point. I had assumed that you were living up to your potential as a cynic, when you were just embracing the actuality of being a dick.

    Dave

    [Dave, El Bicho is a big boy and can look after himself so I’ll let this one stand, even though in my view you just dropped trou and farted at the comments policy. I’ve no wish to put myself forward in any ombudding capacity, but you do know better.

    I am watching.

    Dr D]

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    No one actually owns property in the U.S. It is purchased-yes, but then we have to lease the rights to it in the form of property taxes from the local government.

    We don’t pay the taxes, they come and take it away, regardless of how much we paid for it.

    Here in the U.S. we only pretend we own real estate.

  • Cad and bounder

    DN: “Good point. I had assumed that you were living up to your potential as a cynic, when you were just embracing the actuality of being a dick.”

    Lol. Is there anything about him you don’t like?

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Yes, Dr. D., but he asked for it with his slimy original comment and then his lame attempt to weasel out.

    And so far Mark Saleski has called me a liar and El Bicho has called me a bully – and IMO both of those are worse than being called a dick – so take it up with them.

    The comments policy does not say that I have to sit and take belittling, insulting and personally offensive comments in silence.

    Dave

  • Cad and bounder

    Doc on: “(Moonraven) … there was, I found, a specific way to deal with her that served to draw her venom somewhat.”

    Like what?

    Suggesting that the great tortilla shortage/crisis of 2006-’07 was actually the fault of the Mexican, Cuban and Venezuelan governments and had nothing to do with the US manipulation of the oil market, or its protectionist policies on the growing and exporting of corn?

    That, or suggesting that Hugo Chavez didn’t bring much to the, ah … table?

    Or that Graeme Henry, the coach of the NZ All Blacks Rugby team, was the most important person in the southern hemisphere, rather than the aforementioned unkindly proportioned Senor Presidente (“el cacahuate”?)

    Any one of those could’ve got you in for a nice bollocking Doc.

  • zingzing

    dave: “The comments policy does not say that I have to sit and take belittling, insulting and personally offensive comments in silence.”

    yeah, but yer a dick as well. so live with it, dick. know the game, bitch.

    *snap, snap* or whatever they did in 1992.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    So… the only way to get a worth while comment (58) read on this site is to insult Dave first?

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    And so far Mark Saleski has called me a liar….

    i did no such thing.

  • Mark Eden

    BTW, to make things more interesting, I vote Dave Nalle for Ombudsman!

    So did Dave, surfer dude. But I failed to make the case strongly enough for him.

    In any case, y’all have some pretty strange and more than slightly paranoid notions about what an ombudsman’s job would entail and scream ‘freedom or death’…which I find odd as you accept the knives of pom censors with little objection.

    Mark

  • Mark Eden

    Jet says No one actually owns property in the U.S. It is purchased-yes, but then we have to lease the rights to it in the form of property taxes from the local government.

    True dat.

  • Clavos

    Funny how all the dicks are lining up, taking turns calling Nalle a dick…

  • STM

    You’re on the same wavelength as Nalle on that one Mark … he did note that the two blokes who immediately put their hands up for that job were Poms :) I’m used to working around our English brethren, since there’s plenty of them here … often, because they’re sticklers for the rule book, they’re just trying to ramp up the civility quotient, and that’s not always a bad thing.

    As a working journo, though, I do have more than a serious passing interest in a free press that’s able to report the news without fear or favour, and express a fair and reasonable opinion (note I didn’t use the words fair and balanced there) even if I don’t like it, and no matter the medium.

    It’s the true mark of the health of a democracy … which means blogcritics is still above ground, vertical, warm and breathing deeply.

    Gotta love that.

  • Mark Eden

    Surfer dude, when a fiction is passed off as fact in the news or opinion sections of your paper, and a reader wants to bitch, who do they contact?

    Mark

  • Mark Eden

    (and a reader wants to bitch, who do they contact?

    Christ. And I’m trying to write articles? Where’s Clavos?)

  • STM

    I get your drift. They can complain, and the complaints are put through one particular person, are duly noted and passed on to the editors, and often replied to, although we don’t have an ombudsman. Either that, or the complaints that might be about stuff that’s borderline or red hot under our defamation laws go direct to our lawyers, which is something you’d really hope to avoid.

    We also encourage them to write letters to the editor that are considered for publication (and more often than not are printed) … or to vent on our websites.

    Which is where this stuff is all starting to come full circle.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    BTW, to make things more interesting, I vote Dave Nalle for Ombudsman!

    So did Dave, surfer dude. But I failed to make the case strongly enough for him.

    Yes, but I was actually being subtly sarcastic with the suggestion.

    Zing. I know I’m a dick and it doesn’t bother me.

    Jet. Yes, all comments must begin with “Dave is a dick, and…”

    But as for your property tax argument, there are actually 13 states which have no state property tax and some of them have very low local property taxes. The average total annual property tax bill in Louisiana is $179. Many states are also trying to reduce or eliminate property taxes or offer credits and offsets for senior citizens so that those who can’t afford property taxes and are on a fixed income are less hurt by them.

    Dave

  • Mark Eden

    Yes, but I was actually being subtly sarcastic with the suggestion.

    I knew that, Dick, err Dave.

    Mark, err Dick

  • Mark Eden

    Surfer, would the falsehood have to rise to the level of libel to get the lawyers’ attention or would they address lesser ‘misstatements’? For lesser problems it sounds like bitching on the boards is the final solution for your readers more or less like here.

    Mark

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Stan @ #61:

    None of those, mate.

    And I don’t think she would have argued about Graeme Henry being the most important person in the Southern Hemisphere. Venezuela is north of the Equator.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    She would, however, have gone on and on ad nauseam about you not knowing which hemisphere Venezuela was in.

    Right, Dave? ;-)

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Indeed, Dr. D. Because whether a county is north or south of an invisible line on the globe determines whether it is okay for it to be run by a crazed dictator or not.

    Dave

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Clavos, I have never referred to Dave’s dick and I never will (thank god)

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I always thought Venezuela was in the western hemisphere?

  • Cindy D

    I vote to bring back moon!

    Oh, right, nevermind.

  • Mark Eden

    agreed

  • STM

    Yes Doc, I’m aware of what hemisphere it’s in, but I just always used the term “this hemisphere” when she kept banging on about it. Moon never seemed to get it though. She probably didn’t know who Graeme Henry is, and I doubt she’s heard of the All Blacks.

    Actually, she knew everything so maybe she was just ignoring me.

    BTW, why did we ban her the second time around?

    She was going pretty well I thought, unless I missed something during my extended little absence.

    Mark: Yep, you guessed it … unless you defame someone, and it’s a pretty strict legal criteria for that (to simplify: truth is an absolute defence to it so they don’t all succeed in the courts if what you’ve written is right, is in the public interest or is regarded as fair comment), the only redress is complaint, the letters page or the boards.

    Those laws are a bit more relaxed in the US but still exist. However, sites like Blogcritics would be aware that they must be careful with the internet these days as not everything is protected by the 1st amendment.

    That’s especially true of things that are read outside the US.

    The internet is officially a legal minefield.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dave @ #77: You do have a point, although I’ll have to check with Stan as to just how crazed a dictator Graeme Henry is.

    Stan @ #82: It wasn’t anything she did the second time. But apparently, she should have been banned the first time and the site owners didn’t make that clear – Chris and I were under the impression that she had voluntarily agreed to leave. So when she resurfaced, we just let her talk.

  • pablo

    Nalle said:

    “Zing. I know I’m a dick and it doesn’t bother me”

    Now that’s the most honest and true thing that Nalle has ever written on this site.

    Now that you Dave have admitted the obvious, why don’t you try and join the human race and start being decent and honest for a change? As your usual holier than thou, know it all attitude, combined with your obvious misrepresentation of facts on a continual basis only does discredit to the right wing which your so wholeheartedly embrace. Just my two sense worth fella.

    Oh that’s right its so much easier to dismiss someone with silly names than to debate someone on the issues of the day. If I am a tin foil hat dude, your neck couldn’t be more crimson fella, with particular reference to your fascist espionage familial relations. Try being human for a change, I assure you, you will sleep better at night.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Pablo says:
    Now that you Dave have admitted the obvious, why don’t you try and join the human race and start being decent and honest for a change? As your usual holier than thou, know it all attitude, combined with your obvious misrepresentation of facts on a continual basis

    Reaction A: Let he who is without sin cast the first sin!

    Reaction B: Amen

    Reaction C: Do you know how boring this site would be if Mr. Nalle wasn’t here?

    …yep that’s a real poser that is…

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    That should read stone, but on second thought sin works just as well

  • pablo

    I know you frequently like to cuddle up to Davey Jet, but the fact remains. I do respect a spade calling itself a spade, or in this case a dick calling himself a dick, but the question remains why be a dick?

    Since I first started coming on to this site, it was Dave and his pal Clavy who decided to cast the first stone, and until such time as they are men enough to admit it, I will cast the last.

    I have said consistently that I welcome civilized debate, but when met with ridicule, denigration, and snobishness I respond in kind, as I am not one to spread the proverbial other cheek.

    As to whether or not this site would or would not be more boring without Nalle, I could give a rat’s ass, as that is not one of my concerns.

    Recently I revealed that I had ex-patriated to another country, without revealing where it was. Mr. Nalle decided to locate my ip address, and use it in one of his barbs at me. I find this behaviour highly unprofessional, a cheap shot, and an invasion of my privacy. If he had a legitimate reason for locating the country I am writing from that would be one thing, he did not, and I have lodged a formal complaint with the owner of this site.

    So if you wonder where my rancor comes from Jet, these are some of the reasons why I consistently give Nalle a hard time, and will continue doing so until such time as he treats me the way that he would like to be treated himself.

  • Cindy D

    Stan,

    …why did we ban her the second time around?

    Some people (LSW), when faced with something they don’t personally like, feel the need to control it and drive it underground.

    It makes the world a “nicer” place, I guess.

    Most other posters she tried to control didn’t end up calling her names like moon did.

  • Clavos

    …his pal Clavy who decided to cast the first stone, and until such time as they are men enough to admit it, I will cast the last.

    Is that all you need? Consider it done (I speak only for me, not Dave). I DID cast the first stone at you, before you cast one at me. I considered your conspiracy crap to be just that, crap. I still consider it as such, and always will.

    If that’s the first stone, I agree, I did cast it.

    Ever since, you have cast your own share of stones at me, for which I thank you, as it gives me license to cast back, which, you may rest assured, I will.

    Being a dick is fun, BTW. There’s nothing I like better than tweaking your ilk.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Oh, I see, so it’s not okay for one of us more left of center to get battered and verbally beaten as is usually the case with me (along with a good dose of ignore) but it’s okay to do the same to Nalle and company.

    I hold just as much rancor as anyone for the way I’m and others are treated here, but if some sort of intelligent truce is to be worked out, I think it’s nobler to be the first one to observe the cease fire.

    Stupid of me I guess.

  • pablo

    Let the games begin Clavy

  • zingzing

    great, we’re all dicks. glad that’s settled. now, let’s get back to dickin’. much fun to be had, as long as we’re not discussing the fun that we are going to have, rather than having the fun to be had.

  • pablo

    Oh and Clavy?

    As far as crap goes it doesn’t get more smarmy or smelly than those of you on the er right side of the fence. From your US Patriot Act, to the Military Comissions Act, to holding american citizens without due process. From wiretapping without warrant, and putting over a million americans on the no fly list.

    So when it comes to CRAP Clavy, you and your ilk sure have your fair share. Whether or not you agree with my particular conspiracy rants I could care less. However when you casts stones, and decide not to use reason or civility in that which you disagree with or dislike, you will always be treated in kind by me. I was never trying to convince YOU or your ilk of the New World Order, and frankly could care less that you don’t see it. So let the games begin, and I will show you my contempt continually, as its my heart’s delight to return the favor buddy.

  • Cindy D

    Jet,

    Oh, I see, so it’s not okay for one of us more left of center to get battered and verbally beaten…

    It’s only okay to beat up right-wingers and people who aren’t wearing their “progressive, liberal, tolerant” armband.

    Pick on a “tolerant” person and it’s all over.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Uh huh

  • Baronius

    You do realize what most other websites are like? This place is an enclave in the jungle. If we sometimes hit each other with nerf bats, it’s nothing compared to the savaging you find elsewhere. Let’s be honest; you post views like those of Pablo on most sites, and you’ll get 500 obscenity-laden responses. Except for the sites where everyone is a conspiracy fan. On those, you’d get booed off the stage for disagreeing too. I don’t know of any site (other than BC) where people like Jet and me communicate civilly.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    It’s more difficult when it’s coming from someone that you really respect and after a set number of nerf bat hits, you begin to resent the feeling that you’re not respected as much as what you’re putting out.

    I like to use the example of 100 pieces of tape on your arm, and someone asks you which one you’re so upset about… pointing out one looks infantile and petty, but its nearly impossible to get them to look at all of them collectively.

    There are times when I can put something out on a string that I think is profound and thought-provoking, and the line goes completely dead.

    That’s tough.

    I’d like to put something forth that I feel strongly about, only to find it usually becomes cannon fodder.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “I don’t know of any site (other than BC) where people like Jet and me communicate civilly.”

    Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe it’s too nice.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “I’d like to put something forth that I feel strongly about, only to find it usually becomes cannon fodder.”

    Yeah, that’s another thing you should probably stop doing. There’s a reason I try to veer away from discussing alcoholism.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I am a diabetic (which you already know) I have nothing to do with alcohol.

  • Baronius

    Do you think we throw too many elbows around here, or not enough?

    I know the feeling of thinking I was making some profound comment, and impressing no one. I’d still rather try to score a point on this site than hang around those 100%-agreement boards. They just make me want to pick a fight. Also, I’m so bad at remembering names that I can’t hold onto a grudge. I can barely keep track of who’s on which side of an argument.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    What Baronius said.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    As far as crap goes it doesn’t get more smarmy or smelly than those of you on the er right side of the fence. From your US Patriot Act, to the Military Comissions Act, to holding american citizens without due process. From wiretapping without warrant, and putting over a million americans on the no fly list.

    Pablo, trying to associate Clavor or I with these particular issues is bizarre considering we’ve been outspoken in our opposition to most of them. I’ve written full articles opposing four out of the five you mention. I just haven’t gotten around to the no-fly list yet.

    Dave

  • pablo

    Wow Dave,

    That was almost civil!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “putting over a million americans on the no fly list. “

    You overshot there by about 999,750 people and therefore the perky co-ed who bid “one citizen” will get to play Plinko.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    #88 Whoa, guys. Where the heck did that come from? I never tried to control anyone. I complained only after moon continually made antisemitic comments… which came out of nowhere and for which, incidentally, she wasn’t banned.

    I have no idea why she was ultimately banned. I am not the editor and I wasn’t responsible for it. And she had been so several times, I understand, before I ever came on site. I will, however, comment when people are offensive. And I will do it TO them. As all of you do, also. It has nothing to do with being “nice.” It has to do with being civil and staying on topic. And promoting an interesting discussion about the post. Good grief.

    And this internecine battle in bc politics is why I no longer want to write articles here and why I hardly ever read what is posted here any more (although this topic looked promising). The comments just get all masturbatory….(speaking of dicks.)

    Back to books and stuff.

  • Clavos

    The comments just get all masturbatory….(speaking of dicks.)

    Misandrist.

  • Mark Eden

    So Lisa, BC already has censors for its masturbation section; what do you think of the idea of an ombudsman for what appears ‘above the fold’? Are you concerned, as well, that this would just result in regimentation and censorship?

    Mark

  • Mark Eden

    Clavos, your:

    Clavos has never knowingly let errors get through his editing process for any reason, but he does not correct erroneous statements presented as opinion under the theory that everyone is entitled to an opinion, however wrongheaded it may be, and in any case, he knows all the commenters can be relied upon to jump on each such instantly.

    is the crux of the issue. Is every statement that appears in an op-ed an ‘opinion’ simply because of how the piece is labeled? IMO it is not legitimate to pass fictions off as fact to support an argument, attitude or agenda even in opinion pieces. Also, I cannot think of a case where argument in the comments has led to a public retraction or noted correction ‘above the fold’.

    Mark

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Mark, aside from the fact that no-one’s getting paid, how is an opinion piece on Blogcritics fundamentally different from an op-ed in a newspaper?

    Bullshitting may not be legitimate, but that’s what the comments are for.

  • Mark Eden

    Dreadful, every newspaper that I’ve checked is very clear that op-eds are carefully fact checked. The bullshit in the comments section is a different issue. People should feel free to lie through their teeth down here, imo.(Yes, it is an issue that no-one’s getting paid. Someday over the rainbow, perhaps…)

    Mark

  • Clavos

    Comandante Marcos, :>)

    Is every statement that appears in an op-ed an ‘opinion’ simply because of how the piece is labeled?

    Of course not. That’s why I tried to distinguish (ineptly, apparently) between errors of fact presented as fact (within the context of an “Opinion” article) and those within the context of an actual statement of opinion, if that’s any clearer.

    IMO it is not legitimate to pass fictions off as fact to support an argument, attitude or agenda even in opinion pieces.

    Of course it isn’t, but, as was pointed out by others upthread, such fictions are invariably caught and exposed by the terriers :>) who post in the comments threads.

    Also, I cannot think of a case where argument in the comments has led to a public retraction or noted correction ‘above the fold’.

    Here we part company, Mark. Such public “confessions,” IMO, are and should be, entirely voluntary; otherwise they smack (to me, at least) of the kind of self-immolation so popular in Communist regimes. If say, I am caught in a fabrication in one of my articles (or comments, for that matter), and am called out on it by a commenter (and assuming the commenter is factually correct about my falsehood), whether or not I publicly acknowledge that correction is immaterial: it’s out there for everyone else to see and judge. My failure to “confess” doesn’t change the truth (or falsehood) of the calling out.

  • Mark Eden

    Hey, it’s not the writer’s problem, Clavos. It’s on the editor to acknowledge the error. (Here, if I used emoticons, I’d give you a wink and a grin.)

    Mark

  • http://blogcritics.org Lisa McKay

    Dreadful, every newspaper that I’ve checked is very clear that op-eds are carefully fact checked.

    As they should be — in a newspaper. Which is what BC is not.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Speaking personally, if I were guilty of a factual error in an article and got called on it by a commenter, I would acknowledge it, retract and/or correct as necessary – in the comments.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “And this internecine battle in bc politics is why I no longer want to write articles here”

    Yeah, it’s cozier to write in your echo chambers. Also: Alec Baldwin! He’s dreamy.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Matt, you need to get out more if you think Alec Baldwin is dreamy

  • Mark Eden

    So, Dreadful, to find out that an article contains factual errors that slipped by the editor one has to read the comments…ok

    I have to admit that now and then I only read the articles and skip the comments.

    And Lisa, I was responding to Dreadful’s question: “how is an opinion piece on Blogcritics fundamentally different from an op-ed in a newspaper?”

    Perhaps you could answer his question.

    Mark

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    the 2 most intelligent things someone can utter are “I don’t know” & “I was wrong”

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Publishing for BC has become a double edged sword of which both edge cuts.

    The more articles submitted, the slower the overworked editors get them published after they’ve become “old news”.

    The more articles submitted, the more resentment grows that no one seems be getting rewarded for the effort that goes into writing and researching the damned articles in the first place.

    Also the impression I get from all this is the only ones getting paid are the Olsens and Mr. Winn?

    Everyone below that level is (over)working for nothing… the the people this website depends on to attract advertising dollars?

    Perhaps you could give us writers a $5 gift-certificate to Amazon (who seems to be the only one making close to real money on this website) per article?… and/or bringing back Writer of the Month so at least we get some kind of recognition (aside from attacks in the comments section about how dumb we unprofessional writers are)?

  • Mark Eden

    (Jet, as my continuing willingness to bash my head against this particular wall evidences, intelligence is not a prerequisite for becoming a writer here.

    Mark)

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Trust me Mark, you didn’t have to tell me that.
    Good sidestep though

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Mark you were probably responding to 120, not 121… my bad, sorry

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “The more articles submitted, the slower the overworked editors get them published after they’ve become “old news”.”

    This is a (known) problem for maybe three articles out of maybe 200 a week. The suggestion has always been to write articles that aren’t breaking, but rather analytical and timeless.

    “Also the impression I get from all this is the only ones getting paid are the Olsens and Mr. Winn?”

    Nope.

    “Everyone below that level is (over)working for nothing”

    Wow. To quote another one of my favorite editors, “there are exits located throughout the building.” Buddy, if you don’t think you’re getting anything out of this site, then find another website. I’ve worked for three years at BC without getting paid (except for the contest) and have rarely felt that my work was “for nothing.”

    “Perhaps you could give us writers a $5 gift-certificate to Amazon (who seems to be the only one making close to real money on this website) per article?… and/or bringing back Writer of the Month so at least we get some kind of recognition (aside from attacks in the comments section about how dumb we unprofessional writers are)?”

    Maybe you forgot about the $100 writer’s contest we started over a year ago. Maybe you didn’t remember that we link back to everyone’s blogs in multiple places on everyone’s articles. You might be ignoring the fact that we provide free review material — DVDs, albums, books, video games — to those who write about them. Perhaps you’re forgetting that the exposure and success on this site has led to numerous paid writing gigs for our Blogcritics. Maybe it’s escaped you that we have a couple dozen editors dedicated to improving the writing of BCers — for FREE. Holy shit, where else can you get that service?

    Your $5 per article suggestion is noted though.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    “there are exits located throughout the building.”
    An idea that I’ve considered for quite some time, along with leaving the BC Forum for which I’ve put in twice as much time as everyone else there, for which no rewards are offered at all.

    Matt, you’d be so happy if I up and left… I may just give you that as a christmas present.

  • bliffle

    Hey Jet,

    Don’t quit. I, for one, enjoy most of your writing. In fact, your shocking article on diabetes got me started reading Dr. Richard Bernsteins books and changed my diet for the better.

    Keep it up.

  • Cindy D

    LSW,

    You can fool some of the people, but, I’m not buying that.

    Rather than merely critical comments, you have made comments that suggest censorship of speech you personally find “ugly”. “There is no place for this here or that here…” “This discussion should be stopped…” You have repeatedly tried to direct people in what you believe to be appropriate commentary. You have engaged people and then, when they didn’t respond the way you saw fit, accused them of harassment and hate speech.

    You have been condescending to a teenager, calling her “honey” and “darlin'”. That is an attempt to dominate in a public forum. This isn’t your home. Teenagers don’t have to abide your rules. While lecturing them, at the same time, you don’t practice what you preach, being “flippant and dismissive” to anyone you choose–even when they are older than you. There are men who do the same thing to women. There was a time when this was the consensus. It didn’t make it any more right.

    Your opinions about the right, about the government or about anything can as easily be called “ugly” by those who don’t hold them. Yet, you behave as if your own (righteous) ideas should have free reign–you can upset the applecart of the right all you want–but when it comes to someone who upsets your own delicate brand of liberal predilections–by coming from the farther left than you–they should shut up. They are spouting meaningless “ugliness” that “contributes nothing”. You cannot conceive of (or allow) being against injustice in any form other than the one you adopt. The one that’s okay with you.

    You did not like moon from the minute she appeared (which, in itself, is not the problem of course) and began questioning why she should be allowed here and why she was back here repeatedly.

    You insisted on engaging her after agreeing more than once that you wouldn’t. But you just couldn’t help it. Controlling people find it very difficult to just stop controlling and live in the presence of something they don’t like. It’s like an addiction. It means more to them than breaking their word.

    October 24th:
    #132 – I admit to being somewhat old fashioned but let’s have a fucking truce already, if you will hold off on some of the Gringo-hating stuff?(LSW)

    #139 – I am not interested in a truce, be it “fucking” or otherwise, as I have not been making personal attacks against you. I would like you to fulfill your promise NOT to engage me, which you have made and then violated several times.(moon)

    Oct. 27th
    #209 – You will probably yell back at me in ALL CAPS that I promised not to engage with you, but it seems that that is becoming improbable, if not impossible, as you seem to have no longer been banned.(LSW)

    You have more than once called for authority to step in and stop what you personally don’t like. Knowing she would eventually go too far, you made sure “she chased you, until you caught her.”–which in my opinion was your aim from the beginning.

    How do you decide to tell someone else what they have a right to be angry at? Or how they should express their own anger or mount their own attack on injustice? You might do better to objectively find out why she was angry and what makes “gringos” complicit. Or, you could just go off and order some sushi and listen to some Jazz instead…I hear it’s relaxing and good for one’s inner peace. I hear “progressives” like that sort of thing. It supports their “complex” image of themselves.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    What Cindy said…..

  • http://blogcritics.org Lisa McKay

    And Lisa, I was responding to Dreadful’s question: “how is an opinion piece on Blogcritics fundamentally different from an op-ed in a newspaper?”

    Perhaps you could answer his question.

    They come from completely different traditions, with newspaper op-eds springing from mainstream, traditional journalistic standards and BC growing from the wild west of the blogosphere. I don’t see them as being one and the same.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Pablo: So if you wonder where my rancor comes from Jet, these are some of the reasons why I consistently give Nalle a hard time, and will continue doing so until such time as he treats me the way that he would like to be treated himself.

    Pablo, I treat you the way I would expect to be treated if I were a conspiracy nut who airs my mental defects in public. Expect it to continue, because as far as I’m concerned you get the respect you deserve and if you behave like an utter fool you should expect to be treated like one.

    Mark: Also, I cannot think of a case where argument in the comments has led to a public retraction or noted correction ‘above the fold’.

    I’ve publicly corrected at least two ‘opinion’ articles which I authored, with an acknowledgement of the correction added to the text of the article.

    I would think that anyone writing opinion would still want their facts to be correct. But we always face the problem that one man’s truth is another man’s lie, and there are far too many who will declare a statement to be a lie when it is merely an interpretation or presentation of the facts which they don’t agree with.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Stick around, Jet. Keep posting articles here – if for no other reason than being an articulate voice for gay people (Silas Kain posts here only occasionally, and usually not on those issues), and so that you can be a thorn in the side to a whole variety of individuals here – including me.

    LOL

  • Mark Eden

    Dave, I stand corrected and do recall one of those instances. And I agree that truth and lies are tricky – rarely straight forward in most disagreements.

    Mark

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I would think that anyone writing opinion would still want their facts to be correct.

    I think Dave has it here. Everyone wants to be right in an argument, and from my perspective I wouldn’t put facts I know to be wrong into an article for that reason. I want to know I’m right, not just pretend I am in order to score points.

    Of course, I realize that not everyone has those scruples.

  • Mark Eden

    Poor scruples…over-exuberance…blind adherence to dogma (and there must be more for the list) can all lead to problems with facts.

    Mark

  • pablo

    post 31

    Thats just fine davey boy, I wasnt looking for a truce anyways, I enjoy showing your ignorance, and will continue to do so.

  • Clavos

    Can’t let this one pass (thanks, Pablo, for the setup!)

    I enjoy showing your ignorance, and will continue to do so.

    The only ignorance you show on these threads, Pablo, is your own.

  • pablo

    The best you can do Clavy, acting like a 12 year old kid buddy? hehehehe

  • pablo

    Oh and Davey?

    I am still waiting for you to retract or admit your either lying or incredibly misinformed regarding Oliver North being JAILED.

    This is not the first time that I have caught you in a blatant untruth regarding your right wing bretheren. North was never jailed, and had his felony conviction overturned on a technicality. For those of us that are INFORMED, we know about North’s fascist leanings and his cocaine importation business via YOUR intelligenCIA buddies.

    He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell on July 5, 1989, to a three-year suspended prison term, two years probation, $150,000 in fines, and 1,200 hours community service.

    You do not even have the decency or INTEGRITY to admit your errors, don’t worry Nalle I will be here to show the world that your a shill, and that you have no compunction whatsoever in deceiving your small audience buddy.

  • pablo

    OH and Nalle?

    You can substitute buddy for bubba, as thats the nickname of choice, however the censors find that word too offensive, but its ok for YOU to call me a nazi, how utterly hypocritical of this site. I wonder how long before they censor me for using buddy buddy. smirk for Nalle

  • Lumpy

    Pablo. I remember thqt thread. You are the one who posted a pluh fir stormfront and no one actually called you a nazi as such.

    Now that youLve moved to Prester John’s Empire your delusional raving is even less relevant than before.

  • Mark Eden

    It seems to me that the practical answer to Dreadful’s question (“how is an opinion piece on Blogcritics fundamentally different from an op-ed in a newspaper?”) is that when BC posts an ‘opinion piece’ it (the site) is protected by 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1) whereas newspapers are not. Might BC be skating the edge on this, however, to the extent that it claims to be the ‘publisher’ of the articles that appear here?

    Mark

  • Clavos

    Mark,

    I think this article by Miami Herald Ombudsman, Edward Schumacher-Matos will interest you.

  • Mark Eden

    Thanks Clavos. Ruination, I tell ya! We’re doomed. Here’s what’s up with The Guardian’s approach.

    Mark

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Well, I hope the Guardian now employs a full-time proofreader/spellchecker as well as an ombudsman. The paper used to be infamous for typographical errors – so much so that it was fondly referred to as ‘The Grauniad’.

    I believe a journalist from a rival paper once did a count and found over 200 typos and other errors just on the front page of one edition.

  • Baronius

    Cindy, I think you’re being a little too tough on Lisa. That’s why I think you should be banned. (Come on, laugh. That was funny.)

    Moon was a unique case. Several of us, including me, were vocal when she returned. I remember specifically waving off Lisa. In so doing, I may have put her on the edge in her dealings with Moon. I certainly brought up Moon’s earlier banishment as soon as she returned, hoping that she had snuck through the cracks and would be sent away again. (Hey, I just realized that I was right.)

    As for Pablo and Dave, let’s face it, you two were just itching for a fight from Day One. Pablo showed up believing that we were all sheeple. Dave can be, oh, let’s call it “blunt”, and he has an obsession with the lunatic fringe. They were doomed from the start. The funny thing is, my first impression of Cindy and Lisa was that they were interchangable. It still strikes me as odd that they would develop a feud.

  • pablo

    Baronius,

    Very astute observation by you concerning Nalle and I.

    Notice post 138 where I called Dave out on his untruth regarding Ollie North. He chooses to ignore when he is lying, and not either make an apology or a retraction, he thinks that by ignoring it, rather than dealing with falsehood, no one else will notice. I am here to not only remind him, but also to show the world that he will misrepresent the truth (lie) when it suits his arguments, but he is not even man enough to admit it. North never spent a day in his life incarcerated.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    From what little I have seen of other big-time blog sites, they tend to strictly edit comments by ideological standpoint. It is rare that a blog “publisher” will allow disagreeing points of view on what is in essence, a public forum. Try posting an opinion contrary to the Huffington huffers and puffers and see how far you get. The same is true for one of the magazines that one of our occasional writers here puts out….

    Blogcritics is different in that (almost) any opinion is welcome here. Marthe Raymond, for example, was not banned for her point of view – but for what was perceived to be her personal attacks, and particularly her attack on one individual.

    And en fin, we do not need an ombudsman here. We do need fact checking in those articles that claim the status as news, and we need a “news analysis” feature, which is different from straight reportage.

    We also need the money to pay someone to be on duty to get developing stories (news) out fast. The money end, however, is not my bailiwick, and in all truth, the Jerusalem Post has the same problem Blogcritics has in that sense. Their website is often way behind others in Israel in reporting news. But their problem is that they need a competent Hebrew reader who can read FAST and get stories out in English FAST. This is why Ha’aretz, for all of its sickening pro-Arab slant, is far faster than J-Post. Arutz Sheva is also a Hebrew site, and is also fast on the trigger in getting news out.

  • Mark Eden

    My experience with other sites both left and right is that success in posting an opinion in their comments all depends on how one ‘puts it’ — just like here.

  • Mark Eden

    Perhaps one of our comments censors will explain why one jday’s comment which was critical of this site and its participants was deleted. Is it safe to assume that jday is our old banned friend? (If so, I send greetings.)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    We also need the money to pay someone to be on duty to get developing stories (news) out fast.

    I agree wholeheartedly with this idea, Ruvy. I think it would be very nice to offer at least the top 3 news stories of the day every day as a starting point for discussion. I tried to do this for a little while, but it’s too much to keep up with solo without making it a full-time job.

    Oh, and Pablo. For the record, you’re quite right, I should have said ‘convicted’ instead of ‘jailed’. But I haven’t really been following this thread and wasn’t aware I had made the error or that you were getting all wet about it until now. Plus my feet of clay make it hard for me to walk to the computer.

    And Mark, I never saw Jday’s somments. It looks like there are none on here now.

    Dave

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Good riddance if you ask me…

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I’ve tried writing “breaking news” mark, it doesn’t work, I’d complain about how long it took to publish, and they’d bitch at me for bitching.

    no win situation…

  • Mark Eden

    As long as BC is a volunteer organization then a possible solution to the ‘breaking news’ problem is to post such submissions (labeled breaking news) without so much editorial effort. If fact checking is only a point of pride to some editors and not site policy then a cursory reading should do.

    Mark

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    There are certain regular columns which are written on a daily basis in other sections which get priority editing attention so that they do come out on the day they apply to. We could certainly set something up like that for the Politics section.

    When I was writing my series of ‘politics newsbriefs’ where I gave a brief summary of 3 top stories we got them out pretty quickly.

    The need for fact checking was minimal, since they were basically just summaries of news articles with links to the full article or to a couple of articles. Maybe I’ll try writing them again, but time is not all that abundant.

    Dave

  • pablo

    Nalle post 150

    Not to worry there Dave about your comment that was false, I will be here to remind you good buddy, each and every time that you utter such nonsense.

    Also in your correction about North being convicted you might also want to be a bit more truthful, in that his conviction was overturned on a technicality, thus Oliver North has not conviction since it has been VACATED buddy. Nice try though Davey.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I find it amusing to see you defending Col. North so much Pablo. Makes you sound like a stooge of the NWO.

    Dave

  • pablo

    Another cute smear by the legendary Nalle. How exactly was I defending that cocaine smuggler North (of whom I referenced already in a previous post), by setting the record straight? I happen to believe in honesty Nalle, something which seems to be lost on you in your attempt at re-writing history.

    Fact is I cannot stand North or any of his ilk, such as Poindexter, Elliot Abrahms, Richard (Palme leaker, former Heroin smuggler in Bangkok and Vietnam) Armitage, or any of their other fascist friends at the CFR.

    Amazing how you would refer to my writing about North as defending him, he should have been jailed for 20 years. Equally amazing how you would refer to me and Gary (Monkey Business shill Hart)as being in any way in agreement on US politics, his bluff on the USA Patriot Act aside.

    Wake up and smell the napalm buddy. I wonder how you feel about US military personnel (no not the national guard, which is about to be merged by Gates) being used in American cities. Actually I don’t really wonder Nalle, although you give lip service to libertarianism particularly corporate libertarianism, I find most of your political ideologies to be based on defending the ruling elite (CFR, Bildergerg, Bohemian Grove, Trilateral Commission) under the guise of saying that they are not in cahoots. Oh yeah thats right I forgot Nalle, according to you the Bilderberg Group meets to play twiddlywinks with each other, cuz they are lonely billionaires. hehehehe

  • pablo

    Mark Eden,

    On the subject of an Ombudman on truth, I do wonder.

    Frequently historical truths can not only be hard to discern but downright impossible to prove. Take the case of Jesus H Christ, the most venerated man in history. Many say that he in fact never existed, and the actual proof that he did is highly debatable to say the least.

    History is frequently written by the victors, and not necessarily true at all. In the case of the Washington Post, I am of the OPINION that much of what they claim to be true is false on its face, and could debate vigorously that that is the case.

    I much prefer freedom of speech, and that includes those that claim history is different than I believe it to be. I find censorship, prior restraint to be a much greater evil than people that claim historical falsehoods, don’t you?

  • Mark Eden

    Pablo, I’m not at all surprised that you are among those who believe that the role of ombudsman would be censorship and repression which I see as a misconception.

    Mark

  • pablo

    Well thank you Mark,that was very sweet of you to say. So tell me did Jesus H Christ live? And while your at it I wonder what you think about people now being jailed in certain countries in Europe and in Australia and Canada, (You know the free world hehe) for having the audacity to suggest that the holocaust did not happen, and ummm NO Mark this does not mean that I endorse their particular view, I do not. Is this the kind of trend that you endorse Mark?

    The FACT is Mark that frequently history is debatable both in fact and in deed, the FACT that you are unable to see the obvious, leads me to believe that YOU of all people should not be one of the ombudsman! hehehehe

    Don’t ya think buddy?

  • Mark Eden

    Is this the kind of trend that you endorse Mark?

    The question is: is this actually the kind of trend that an ombudsman would represent?

    …YOU of all people should not be one of the ombudsman!

    agreed

    Mark

  • pablo

    Mark

    Talk about an evasive answer lol. You get a big yawn from on that one.

  • pablo

    Mark,
    What you obviously fail to see is that much of what passes as history (past events) is oftentimes subjective and not objective at all, if this is a fact which I am arguing that it is, how is it possible to have an omnbudsman that KNOWS the truth?

    Or does that logic escape you? It is elementary Dr. Watson, nothing complicated here Mark.

    Oh and thanks for answering my direct question concerning those now being jailed for exercising freedom of speech regarding past events, i e how do you feel about that Mark? Or is that too difficult a question for you to entertain? It is a simple enough question and germane to the subject matter of your article sir.

  • Mark Eden

    You mean that I evaded your question about Jesus? The answer to that one is: ask someone who cares.

    You mean that I avoided you question about what I think of government enforced censorship? The answer is: it sucks.

    And the fact that history is debatable is too obvious to respond to.

    Mark

  • pablo

    So the tell me Mark, (I am reminding you sir, that you cast the first barb) if history (past events) is debatable how on earth can you have a fact checker on what is admittedly debatable? You cant, not without enforcing through the ombudsman opinion, as opposed to fact. Taken another step further, Mark old buddy, you or I are of the opinion that Alpha Centauri exists, although I suspect you would argue til the end that it exists, even though you have never seen it with your naked eye, but have been TOLD that it exists by experts. Truth like beauty often is in the eye of the beholder.

    Truth is a very tenuous creature, just ask Nalle about it, the guy that claims to have such a grip on it, frequently either misrepresents it, ignores it, or chooses to tell outright falsehood in the name of truth. I know lets hire Davey to do it. Smirk

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Mark @ #149:

    I don’t know who “Jday” was, but he/she/it was banned and his/her/its comments deleted for two violations of the comments policy: commenting under multiple screen names and pretending to be another commenter.

  • Mark Eden

    Pablo, Here’s how I see it. Fact checking articles and comments is not the job of ombudsman, but rather of editorial staff. The ombudsman’s chore as it relates to fact checking is to respond to readers’ complaints and, where disagreements exist, asses how well the editors have done their job. Is there the possibility of imposing views based on preconceptions in the process? Sure. Would this system be preferable to simply going directly to bitching in the comments section without passing go? Imo, yes.

    Mark

  • Mark Eden

    (Actually, fact checking in the comments section is nobody’s responsibility. What the comments censors are charged with is pretty clear in an open ended sort of way.)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    True dat.

    The comments policy, specific as it is in some ways and highly subjective in others, doesn’t say anything about obliging commenters to stick to facts.

    Someone could come on here and claim that they are Blargon the Great, Supreme Master of the Universe – an office they enforce by riding from place to place on the back of their pet unicorn: and while they would undoubtedly be scoffed at and mocked by other commenters (Pablo please note), there is nothing in that statement alone which would justify any editing by Chris or myself.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Pablo, why do I have to indulge you by answering such obvious and simplistic questions? One time more I’ll do it out of pure noblesse oblige.

    Another cute smear by the legendary Nalle. How exactly was I defending that cocaine smuggler North (of whom I referenced already in a previous post), by setting the record straight?

    Well, you rushed forward to make sure that I didn’t mistakenly misrepresent his criminall history. You seemed awfully concerned about it. Seemed reasonable to assume you cared about him. You certainly have no scruples about spreading untruths about other people and groups, so if you stand up for North he must be special to you.

    Equally amazing how you would refer to me and Gary (Monkey Business shill Hart)as being in any way in agreement on US politics, his bluff on the USA Patriot Act aside.

    But Hart is rabidly anti-Bush, paranoid and delusional. You guys are like soul brothers.

    Wake up and smell the napalm buddy. I wonder how you feel about US military personnel (no not the national guard, which is about to be merged by Gates) being used in American cities.

    Why would you wonder? I stated my position pretty clearly back during the Katrina crisis.

    Actually I don’t really wonder Nalle, although you give lip service to libertarianism particularly corporate libertarianism,

    Of course not, because you’d rather believe a self-serving deception than the truth.

    I find most of your political ideologies to be based on defending the ruling elite (CFR, Bildergerg, Bohemian Grove, Trilateral Commission) under the guise of saying that they are not in cahoots.

    When did standing up for the truth and opposing idiocy become a political ideology?

    Dave

  • Cindy D

    Baronius,

    Come on, laugh. That was funny.

    It was and I did. :-)

    …my first impression of Cindy and Lisa was that they were interchangable…

    Well, maybe that is because I was busy writing against the Republicans and supported voting for Obama for the election. There are some things Lisa and I would agree on. There are some things Lisa would agree with moon on. Maybe everyone on the left’s views look about the same to you? :-)

    Lisa sees the world differently than me. I think if she were to see the actual people she might claim to defend, she might despise them. She might, for example, agree with the conceptualization of the U.S. as a hegemonic empire–but she identifies with the hegemon not the marginalized. So much so, that she would do away with an angry voice speaking out against it. She wants that voice to be civil and conform.

    She talks a good line, but in the end, your support for challenging the status quo doesn’t mean much when you ARE the status quo.

    As far as being too hard on her, I don’t think so. It might have looked like moon baited her. But, from where I was watching, she was baiting moon. moon was just being herself. She wasn’t going to compromise her world view to accommodate Lisa. It was a direct result of Lisa’s complaints that moon was rebanned. You see, Lisa just couldn’t let that go–that moon was going to be herself.

    It was much the same way she couldn’t just let Dan (Miller) express his Obama messiah thing, or just stop engaging Ruvy (instead it was turned, so that Ruvy was harassing her and was guilty of hate speech). It was the same as when I was arguing with Ruvy about Palestine–she wanted the discussion stopped–it had “no merit”; it “served no purpose”. Jet was admonished for referring to concentration camps where she thought it inappropriate.

    There is a person–liberal, progressive–whatever they want to be called, who regards themselves as against oppression. Then they oppress everything that they don’t find politically correct. For me, there is the voice of the dominant culture and there is the voice of the marginalized. I don’t get along well with those on the left who quash the marginalized voice or people who try to conform others to their standard or try to boss people around. I don’t care much for bosses.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com Dave Nalle

    Didn’t Cindy and Lisa sing backup for Prince?

    Dave

  • Cindy D

    Dave tries to irritate me for your his own amusement.

    har har :-)

  • Cindy D

    well, not “your” sheesh, i was going to originally post that comment TO you Dave.

  • zingzing

    WENDY and lisa, dave.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Cindy, I am not a she, and when the hell did I refer to concentration camps?

    Jet

  • Cindy D

    Jet,

    (exasperated sigh) I know you are not a “she” Jet. Allow me to rephrase (said in my Marvin the depressed robot’s voice):

    “Jet was admonished for referring to concentration camps where she (Lisa) thought it inappropriate.”

    Here is the citation Jet:

    # 209 Jet and Moon, again, your reference to concentration camps has little place here…

    I guess it was moon who made the comment. You merely got included Jet.

  • Cindy D

    It was likely merely more of the build up of antisemitism Lisa was working toward finding.

  • Cindy D

    In her own tiny imagination.

  • Clavos

    “It was much the same way she couldn’t just let Dan (Miller) Clavos express his Obama messiah thing…”

    There. Fixed it for ya, Cindy.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Clav,

    “It was much the same way she couldn’t just let Dan(Miller) Clavos express his Obama messiah thing…”

    There. Fixed it for ya, Clav. It was Mine, I tell ya, MINE.

    Dan(Miller)

  • pablo

    Mark my comment 158

    I just want to be perfectly here. This was the first time that I directed any comment towards you, it also was directed at your short essay. If you notice, there is not a hint of sarcasm, unkindness, rudeness, or even a scintilla of meanness. That is because I am by nature a very civil and polite fellow.

    Yes I have an ongoing feud going with two characters on this site, and that is because they drew first blood, and when I am insulted I am the last person to spread the other proverbial cheek.

    You sir, chose your biting comments, FIRST, I just want to make that PERFECTLY clear, and I can see you want to continue. That too is fine Mark, have it your way, but lets be clear YOU made the first punch fella, and I will oblige you in spades.

    I just wanted to make this perfectly clear so that you and I do not have ANY misunderstanding about future comments. Dave already knows that he decided to punch first as does Clavy. I far prefer civil debate, however I have absolutely no problem with being sarcastic or mean when warranted.

    Just so that we understand each other Mark. We do now.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Pablo, you need to learn that Rob and I are the ones that are tasked with deciding what is or is not acceptable behaviour in the comments space.

    If you can’t content yourself with debating ideas rather than picking at personalities, you will find your comments increasingly edited and ultimately yourself banned from the site.

    Should somebody direct remarks your way, rest assured that we apply the same standards to everybody and simply ignore their words. If what they say goes too far, it will get edited (you can call that censorship if you like, Mark).

    Finally, I believe you signed up as a BC writer, so you should be aware of how to contact us directly if you think an error has occurred…

    Christopher Rose
    Blogcritics Comments Editor

  • Baronius

    “Maybe everyone on the left’s views look about the same to you?”

    Yes, Cindy; you’re so far away that you all look like tiny ants from here.

    With all due respect, I’m pretty sure that Moon was never unbanned, and when that was remembered, she was rebanned. I know that I raised a stink the moment she returned. So don’t give Lisa all the credit. The fact that Ruvy and Dan(M) are still taking the same positions they always have, and just as vocally, should tell you how unimportant the complaints of one commenter are.

  • zingzing

    OBAMA IS THE MESSIAH!

    there. funny, isn’t it?

    clavos, dan(miller), you two are old men. you should know when a joke gets stale.

    grow up.

  • pablo

    Christopher 183

    I am not sure what the reference point on that comment was Chris.

  • pablo

    Nalle post 70

    “Well, you rushed forward to make sure that I didn’t mistakenly misrepresent his criminall history. You seemed awfully concerned about it. Seemed reasonable to assume you cared about him. You certainly have no scruples about spreading untruths about other people and groups, so if you stand up for North he must be special to you.”

    The difference between you and me Nalle is that I happen to endorse honesty even when setting the record straight concerning someone that I dislike as much as North. Moreover I was pointing out that your statement that he was jailed was just plain false, which it was.

    Your statement:
    “so if you stand up for North he must be special to you.”

    This is what I call a typical Nallism, first of all I never stood up for North, correcting the record is just that correcting the record, I can however see how you might deduce if one uses honesty in their comments as opposed to dishonesty, then they could be accused of standing up for the bad guy. A very weird stretch of the imagination however, and quite frankly false on its face.

    I actually am not concerned about him as you say, but more concerned with you frequently using untruths to support your dubious political argumentation, and will in no uncertain terms be the first one to bring those untruths to light when I see them buddy.

    And I might add it is not “reasonable” at all to assume that I cared about him, with the exception of your particular form of logic, which is a bit of an oxyMoron.

  • Mark Eden

    pablo, let me be perfectly clear. I consider most of your comments to be far from civil and question your claim to prefer civil discourse based on them. Further, I find your presentation of ‘alternative’ history in the comments superficial and dull.

    I was not surprised when you, from my perspective, misunderstood my ombudsman proposal. If that insults you, that’s too damned bad.

    I hope that we understand one another.

  • pablo

    We sure do Mark, thank you clarifying any misunderstanding that I may have had about you buddy.

  • Mark Eden

    No problem, ace.

  • Baronius

    Pablo, I’ve been called worse things on these boards more times than you have. You’ve got to roll with it. If you take every impolite reply as a challenge to a duel, you’re not going to persuade anyone.

    You and I have to be more careful than most. I’m (broadly speaking) a representative of the Religious Right, so people are waiting to pounce on any “intolerant” thing I might say. You espouse ideas that *seem* paranoid, so any overreaction on your part and you lose credibility.

    So in a nutshell, it’s okay to have confrontational views but not to behave in a confrontational manner.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Zingzing, re #185 — What makes you think it’s a joke? As to growing up, that’s a horrible thing to do. I reject the idea, absolutely.

    Dan(Miller)

  • pablo

    Baronius I will give you this. You are by far the most civil decent mannered republican that I have ever had the fortune to debate. I will cop to having a bit of a chip on my shoulder when it comes to most republicans, mostly because I find their opinions and politics to be uncaring and usually for the banksters and their ilk.

    So in the past if I have been short with you I do apologize, as you conduct yourself quite decently.

    As to trying to convince any of the regulars on here about anything of a political nature I am not. I write mostly for the sheer joy of it, and the off chance that occasionally someone will come along from outside of the regulars and find something that they can investigate further. 9/11, the CFR, the Bildergerg Group, JP Morgan, the Carlyle Group, the Rhodes/Rothschild’s/City of London oligarchy, and the evil in general that is now in the process of consolidating, and fleecing the public of their hard earned resources.

    Never in a million billion years would I ever think that I could change Nalle’s or Clavy’s minds about ANYTHING, as their minds are as closed in my opinion as anyone’s that I have encountered, and frankly I could give a shit.

    In the case of Mark Eden, I never directed any remark towards him before, and was quite civil in my comment originally regarding his essay.

    I never joined this site for friends, I have quite enough of those already, nor out of loneliness, I joined it to express my views, which I am quite capable of doing with or without rancor. If it is rancorous more often than not it is with damned good reason.

    Thank you for your comment to me however Baronius, and I do hope that you and I can debate issues of the day in a civil manner, and again my apologies in any past disdain that I may have shown you.

  • zingzing

    too funny, dan.

  • Mark Eden

    pablo, you (mis)interpreted my proposal exactly as just about every other reader has. Had you not, then I would have been surprised. I failed to communicate a clear distinction between ombudsman as truth censor and as ‘diplomat’ in the article. My response was civil; I consider your #160 to be the ‘first stone’.

    Here that is. You are at the disadvantage of not knowing that I’ve been posting comments for a while as ‘troll’ and have been through a couple of prior exchanges with you.

  • Clavos

    There. Fixed it for ya, Clav. It was Mine, I tell ya, MINE.

    It was my use of it specifically that she objected to. In writing. Using my name.

  • Baronius

    Dan(M), Clavos, you’re both pretty, just in different ways.

  • Lumpy

    The Pablocentric Universe:

    You don’t don’t accept MY beliefs therefore you have a closed mind.

    You are rude to ME therefore you are a bad person.

    You make fun of conspiracies therefore you are either a conspirator or their stooge.

    You disagree with ME therefore you are a liar.

    You think people should be free to disagree with ME therefore you hate freedom.

    I could go on…

  • Cindy D

    Baronius,

    …you all look like tiny ants from here…

    try not to think about stepping on us…it won’t be as easy if you get up close…and i’m likely to go squish, instead of crunch…it could get messy…

    So, should I be mad at you too for complaining?! :-) Anyway, it would be hard to be mad at you Baronius. But, it was the “racist” comments directed at Lisa that made the grade with rebanning. moon did not just slip in unnoticed. She’s sort of hard to not notice. Your complaints probably didn’t have too much merit all alone. I will give the big editor(s) one thing–she/they are fair. I just think LSW didn’t have to go where she went and do what she did. She is just a sushi-eating, Jazz-listening “progressive” imo.

  • Cindy D

    Dan (Miller) & Clavos,

    [Sounds like the name of a funky band.]

    It was much the same way she couldn’t just let Dan (Miller) or Clavos express their Obama messiah thing…

    corrected for truth

  • pablo

    Lumpy

    Interesting train of logic you used, why am I not surprised.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Freedom is the “right to own property” (just like in good old right-wing libertarianism ala Dave.) The problem is that you have no freedom if you don’t own property. The more property you own the more freedom you have.

    The freedom does not come from the physical possession of property, but from the right to own it. That’s the key thing. Everyone is equal in their rights, not necessarily in their possessions.

    Enforced equality of assets is the definition of oppression.

    Dave

  • pablo

    Mark 159 was the first stone and you know it.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Yes, but was it a gall stone or a kidney stone?

  • Mark Eden

    That’s just more of your paranoia, ace.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Cindy

    Sorry, don’t do those things much (sushi eating and jazz listening…. I prefer other food and rock and roll). You really don’t have any idea how anything with moon and me started, do you?

    Moon was the racist…. more than once. I objected to it. Oddly enough, you objected to that. I doubt I had much to do with her getting banned. From what I understand, she was already well on her way before I even pointed out how offensive I found her anti-semitic remarks…. and you forgot, she had already been banned 3 times before I even came on the scene. The editors, from what I understand, were continually dismayed when she kept on popping up again and again. She had already appeared on their radar before I said a thing.

    Sorry if my efforts at civility annoy you, or my remarks to a teenager who refuses to do her homework or listen to anyone’s criticism also bother you–sorry if you find what you term “niceness” also offensive. IMO you are trying to start a fight with me that I have been careful to stay out of (as you can see from my lack of comments) but you seem to keep wishing to pull me into, just like moon tried to do when all I did to “provoke” her was make one simple comment which said “Um, I think that is not quite true,” which set her off on her initial tirade of saying I was calling her a liar…. and all went to hell in a handbasket from there. You could look it up.

    Could I have ignored her? Yeh. I did. Then I didn’t. You find that weird mainly because you like her so much, for your own reasons, whatever they are. But you are in the very small minority and the editors disagree. They have the final say. Don’t forget: you and moon were/are commenters only which probably has a lot to do with their decision. I might suggest you use some of your intelligence and irate indignation to write some pieces instead of just commenting.

    And BTW I have, in the past, been a supporter of your politics AND your intelligence. I see no reason for you to call me silly names. But, on the other hand, I am, in your mind, just a nice person. Ye gads! I have been called worse.

    I could ask you to just let it be. But I assume you would have something to say to that, too. And so it will go

    On and on and on and on.

  • Mark Eden

    So ace, where’s the scathing witty repartee?

    Ya know, pablo, (in the name of kicking this dead horse one more time) if I were to adopt your freaky deaky paranoid logic, then I could interpret your #158 (and every comment on this thread that even vaguely implies that my intention is to impose censorship and to edit truth) as a ‘first stone’. Then, following your twisted methods, I could feel justified in ‘going to war’ with you and just about everyone else here. Now that would be productive, wouldn’t it?

    Mark

  • pablo

    Fact is Ace,

    Post 158 was friendly conciliatory and thoughtful. Now you have just stooped to the level of being deragatory as much as you can, thats your right but hardly worth discussing.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Hi Lisa,

    I see you came back to actually argue with Cindy.

    Since you’re here, I thought I’d share this little item from the Samson Blinded Blog on reform “Judaism”. Mind you, I DIDN’T write this, but I agree fully.

    From the blog entry:

    ….modern reformists created a pagan ethics movement which uses emasculated Jewish terms. The reformism is related to Judaism in the same way as the Russian jail slang, full of Hebrew words, is related to the Biblical Hebrew. Rabbinical Judaism allowed the Temple-less Jews to live Jewish; modern reformism allows them to assimilate American.

    The voluntary devastation of the Jewish population is not historically unique. Most Jews refused to leave Egypt during the Exodus, Babylonia with Ezra, or America – for Israel. In Nehemiah’s time, Jews intermarried prodigiously. Today, too, we see some positive trends: many conservative Jews reject the reform’s leanings and embrace Orthodoxy; religious Jewish populations in Israel and the West are growing. But the proportions today are totally different.

    …..

    Today, we cannot keep pace with assimilation: the entire American Jewry perished in two generations only; the intermarriage rate among the young atheists hits 90%.

    So the divine plan for Jews is either to perish as a people, or to be left only in Israel. The messianic scenario involves substantially all Jews moving to the Land of Israel. The Bible recognizes King Cyrus a messiah even though most Jews refused returning to Israel; messiah need not return everyone. There are two ways to assure that almost all Jews return: make everyone return, or make those who don’t return, perish. Jews refused the first option, so we may be witnessing the second one unfolding.

    Happy Hanukkah, Lisa!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Oh, by the way, Lisa, this is not posted to convince you of anything. No fifty year old woman will be convinced by a blog posting. This is to let you know what WE think of YOU. WE already know what YOU think of us. You can flee back to the book section now and light your Hanukkah candle while you curse the darkness you create.

  • pablo

    Oh and Mark 207

    Critiquing and article, particularly when being friendly and conciliatory as I was being is hardly throwing the first stone. Fact is that you had a chip on your shoulder the whole time, re my remarks to Clavy that you wanted edited. By the way I see you have chosen not to respond to my clarification on that particular post. Instead you are choosing to send snarly barbs, I guess it makes you sleep better at night, but hardly does anything for discussion purposes.

    Why even bother writing back to me at all? We both know why, you would far prefer to send your sarcastic barbs my way. You do not want discussion, you want only to lash out. Have fun, I sure am. :)

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Ruvy… didn’t know you and cindy were same person. what I think of you has nothing to do with anything else.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    … didn’t know you and Cindy were same person

    It took a second to figure out, Lisa. The WE does not refer to me and Cindy – it refers to that large percentage of Israel’s population who are believers in G-d, and who believe in settling ALL the Land of Israel and who find ourselves called a cancer on Israeli society by the secularist elite – the likes of you (though these were never your particular words – so don’t dare complain I’m putting words in your mouth – I’m not).

  • Mark Eden

    re 208: Post 158 was friendly conciliatory and thoughtful.

    That all depends on how one reads it just as your interpretation of 159 does. That you chose to take my response as a ‘stone’ is on you. I consider your rantings starting with 160 to be absurd.

    I have nothing more to say to you concerning your abusive comments to Clavos, your inability to comprehend a simple english sentence and your blind intellectual dishonesty exhibited over in this thread.

    You do not want discussion, you want only to lash out. Have fun, I sure am. :)

    I would be happy to end our interaction here pending your next bizarre exhibition, ace. However, if you wish to continue, I remain your faithful servant.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Cindy, based on the first sentence of your comment 177, I posted something a while back on the BC Forum that you should enjoy reading… promise

    Click here

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    And dear Ruvy, I was never speaking to you in the first place, as you well know. I think you are part of a fringe movement which serves only to attack those who don’t think exactly like you. Which you do, continually. I know what you think of me and of Reform Jews, no matter how disparate we are(you lump us all together and think we all wish to destroy Israel) and I get it. You don’t need to keep beating a dead horse. I know you dislike me and wish to convert me to your cause. You can keep trying all you like but it won’t happen.

  • pablo

    A big yawn for you Mark, I hope you get some soon.

  • Cindy D

    RE #215

    ROFLOL Jet!!!

    I have that DOS game somewhere around here. I can’t believe you got so far. It never recognized any words and I got too frustrated. These moves of yours are a good representation of my entire experience with that game:

    >Fuck satchel
    I don’t know the word “fuck”.

    >I do
    I don’t know the word “do”.

    >Follow Marvin
    But Marvin is right here!

    Marvin wanders off.

    >FOLLOW MARVIN DAMMIT
    I don’t know the word “dammit”

    >AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You really must calm yourself.

    HAHA!!! I never got out of Arthur’s bedroom! Did you ever finish the game?

  • Baronius

    Excellent. Memories of Zork.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Nan nu-Nan nu.
    Glad you enjoyed it, yes I came close a couple of times.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    The secret is to climb out of his bedroom window before the bulldozer arrives… (I’m experienced at that)

    Also it gets all screwed up if you don’t remember to take the pile of junk with you in the thing that your aunt gave you, but you don’t know what it is, because it’s impossible to get the Babblefish without it.

    For those of you perplexed, follow the link at comment 215 and all will be revealed.

    Just remember to share your sandwich with the dog, and drink lots of beer and don’t share the peanuts.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    I thought we were meant to lie down in front of the bulldozer.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    >Press dispenser button
    A single babble fish shoots out of the slot. It sails across the room babbling loudly as it
    disappears into a previously unnoticed tiny hole in the wall, beneath a hook

    >Press dispenser button
    A single babble fish shoots out of the slot. It sails across the room babbling loudly as it
    disappears into a previously unnoticed tiny hole in the wall.

    >Cover hole with hand
    Done

    >Press dispenser button
    You can no longer reach it from where you are

    >Take off robe.
    Okay, you’re no longer wearing your gown.

    >Hang robe on hook.
    The gown is now hanging from the hook, covering a tiny hole.

    >Press dispenser button
    A single babble fish shoots out of the slot. It sails across the room and hits the dressing
    gown. The fish slides down the sleeve of the gown and falls to the floor, vanishing
    through the grating of a hitherto unnoticed drain.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    >Cover drain with towel.
    The towel completely covers the drain.

    >Press button
    Which button do you mean, the dispenser button, the green button, or the red button?

    >Oh you bitch, you know which button!
    That is a sentence I don’t understand

    >Press dispenser button
    A single babble fish shoots out of the slot. It sails across the room and hits the dressing
    gown. The fish slides down the sleeve of the gown and falls to the floor, landing on the
    towel, a split second later; a tiny cleaning robot whizzes across the floor, grabs the fish,
    and continues its breakneck pace toward a tiny robot panel at the base of the wall. The
    robot zips through the panel, and is gone.

    >Stand in front of Panel
    Done

    >Press dispenser button
    You can’t reach it

    >Press dispenser button
    You can’t reach it

    >Press dispenser button
    You can’t reach it, Okay maybe you can if you stretch

    >Trust me on this, you don’t want to deal with me when I’m pissed!
    That is a sentence I don’t understand

    >You bitch
    That is a sentence I don’t understand

    >Throw guide at button
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide sails through the air and smashes into the button. A single babble
    fish shoots out of the slot. It sails across the room and hits the dressing gown. The fish
    slides down the sleeve of the gown and falls to the floor, landing on the towel, a split
    second later, a tiny cleaning robot whizzes across the floor, grabs the fish, and
    continues its breakneck pace toward a tiny robot panel at the base of the wall. The
    robot zips between your feet, and through the panel, and is gone.

    >Scream
    You begin to get a sore throat

    >Put satchel in front of panel.
    Okay, the satchel is lying on its side in front of the tiny robot panel.

    >Throw guide at button
    It’s still on the floor

    > AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaargh!!!
    You really must learn to calm yourself

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Jet,

    It’s called a babel fish, not a babblefish. That may be where you will find the beginnings of a solution to your predicament.

    Or, failing that, consult the front cover of the Guide.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Doc, it’s a transcript of the whole game as far as I got, apparently the software was programmed to recognize it.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Come to think of it, I had to select which version to play and I once chose the British by mistake, and it wouldn’t recognize it when I said “robe”… only Gown, and of course everything was spelled with extra “u”s…

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    >Press green button
    Every molecule in your body gets pulled away from every other molecule. Then suddenly
    they snap back together again like elastic, and you find, with a dizzy head and very sore
    molecules, that you are in… Dark

    >Consult Guide about Dark
    You can’t see any guide here!

    >Pick up thing
    You can’t see any thing here!

    >Examine Dark
    There’s nothing you can taste, nothing you can see, nothing you can hear, nothing you
    can feel, nothing you can smell.

    >look
    There’s nothing you can taste, nothing you can see, nothing you can hear, nothing you
    can feel, nothing you can smell.
    It is of course well known that careless talk costs lives, but the full scale of the problem
    is not always appreciated. For instance, at the exact moment that you said “consult
    guide about darkness” a freak wormhole opened in the fabric of the space-time
    continuum and carried your words far far back in time across almost infinite reaches of
    space to a distant galaxy where strange and warlike beings were poised on the brink of
    frightful interstellar battle. The two opposing leaders were meeting for the last time. A
    dreadful silence fell across the conference table as the commander of the VI’Hurgs,
    resplendent in his black jeweled battle shorts, gazed levelly at the G’Gugvunt leader
    squatting opposite him in a cloud of green, sweet-smelling steam, As a million huge and
    horribly beweaponed star cruisers poised to unleash electric death at his single word of
    command, the Vl’Hurg challenged his vile enemy to take back what it had said about his
    mother. The creature stirred in its sickly broiling vapor, and at that very moment the
    words “consult guide about darkness” drifted across the conference table. Unfortunately,
    in the Vl’Hurg tongue this was the most dreadful insult imaginable, and there was nothing
    for it but to wage terrible war for centuries. Eventually the error was detected, but over
    two hundred and fifty thousand worlds, their peoples and cultures perished in the
    holocaust.
    You have destroyed most of a small galaxy. Please pick your words with greater care.

    >Pull out communicator and beg Scotty to beam me up!
    That is a sentence I don’t understand

  • Cindy D

    HAHAHA! Jet!

    You have so much patience. Unbelievable. Really. I can’t believe that is what it takes to get the babelfish. And, what the hell?, you do the wrong thing twice and the third time it works? That is crazy. I am glad I didn’t spend more than 15 minutes before I went bonkers. The whole thing is designed to make you insane.

    FUCK!
    >I don’t know the word “fuck”.

    Do you know the word SMASHED up into bitty pieces?
    >That is a sentence I don’t understand.

    Don’t worry, you will soon enough my friend! MUAHAHAHA!!!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Lisa,

    In case you got away from our brightly decorated Christmas tree “Hanukkah bush” to read this Christmas 5th night of Hanukkah.

    I’M NOT INTERESTED IN CONVINCING YOU OF ANYTHING, NOR IN CONVERTING YOU TO CHANGE YOUR MIND; I COULD CARE LESS WHAT YOU BELIEVE AND HAVE GIVEN UP TRYING TO CONVINCE YOU OF ANYTHING.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Not directed at any specific comment(s), here or on other threads, but more civility and less hostility in general would be a major improvement. It might lead to fewer remarks on the perceived personality disorders of other commenters — which do not advance any discussion — and to more lively discussions of the actual substance of the various comments. If a comment is “stupid,” it is the substance of the comment which makes it so, not the perceived personality flaws of the commenter.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “I doubt I had much to do with her getting banned.”

    You’d be wrong. Best not to talk about behind-the-scene activity when you are not a part of it.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Re: 218-229

    Die nerds.

    Dave

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Re: 233 (:^p~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Cindy D

    Bwahahahhahahahaaaaaa!!!!

  • Irene Wagner

    I’ve found a suitable home for my comment about comments in the comments section of an article entirely devoted to comments, by the “artist formerly known as Mark Eden.” If I got that to post, put one “mark” on the “New Format Pro’s” column of the “New Format vs. Old Format Relative Merits Spreadsheet.”

    Incidents of propagandizing, whether inadvertent or not, have led to unproductive and vicious arguments in Blogcritics’ nether regions — the comments boards — sometimes escalating to the point of creating an uninviting atmosphere which has driven valuable contributors away, presumably in search of kinder, gentler or more honest venues for their comments and articles.

    In a row with the heading: “Problems caused By This Type of Format” on the Relative Merits Spreadsheet, intersected by the four columns alluded to above, put a YES in both the New Format Con’s and Old Format Con’s columns. There are certain current trends in BC for which “The New Format” might be blamed inappropriately.

    One feature (or is it a bug?) about the New Format that I like (and maybe I shouldn’t like it) is that now the full corpus of an Author’s Comments from a few weeks ago and earlier are ancient history, to be viewed by only the most determined data miners, rather than being displayed on a single page.

    More than a few people regret being sucked into contributing to the hostile environment that M@^K described above. Maybe we could all consider the “tucking away” of evidence of the old bitterness, partisan rivalry, and animosity towards specific personalities, to be an invitation to a fresh start.

    On the other hand, a convenient collection of one’s past online sins, for all the world to see, might be an encouragement to choose one’s words carefully. There’s a Day when we’re all going to have to Pay the Piper, of course, for the thrill of the online kill, (Matthew 12:36-37) but that isn’t, in general, particularly motivating, not even for me, and I tend to take things like that to heart.

    Maybe it’s the way we all handle the inevitable propagandizing that is the key to turning things around. We all have our favorite sources of information that we’ve come to trust, even though we may spend some time reading periodicals with alternative points of view in order to get a more balanced picture–or is it to confirm our biases?

    Message boards have such great potential as a means for participants to collectively get at the truth, or part of it. Reading widely, from non-interactive sources, on one’s issue of interest is good background, but points of view are more likely to be validated or changed for the better, by respectful and thoughtfully reasonable sounding boards–human, pain-processing sounding boards, that is, not collections of pixels who will never be able to reach or be reached by another person’s humanity. Isn’t humanity what Politics is all about?

    Or maybe the new Politics has “pixelated” everyone, poisoning the way we think about strangers, and even about ourselves.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Just remember Irene you can only be a comentator if your from Maine or Idaho.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Mark,

    Just read your article. Great thoughts. I haven’t skimmed through the comments section yet to see what reaction you got from the management. They definitely ought to do something about it.

    I don’t see how I could have missed this article.