Archive for October, 2007


Debbie Does Glamour Shots®

October 31, 2007

Believe it or not, this…


…is the same person who didn’t bother to change out of her pajamas when she made this:

(h/t Sadly, No!)

Yep. It’s Debbie “fighting the war of our lives against Islam” Schlussel performing an episode of “Debbie Does Politics”, and it’s an endorsement for Glamour Shots® if I’ve ever seen one.

Exit question: Is the video’s gratuitous use of stupid visual aids an attempt to make up for the fact that it looks like she just rolled out of bed, or is her target audience in kindergarten?


The Telegraph’s Top 100 Most Influential Liberals And Conservatives

October 29, 2007

I think that The Telegraph is paying homage to Casey Kasem, by choosing dramatize the results of their pseudo-scientific ranking system in this top 100 list, as for now we only get to see 81-100. 

Today, we publish those ranked 81 to 100 on each list. On Tuesday, we will publish 61 to 80, on Wednesday 41 to 60 and on Thursday 21 to 40 before concluding on Friday with the Top 20 Most Influential Conservatives and the Top 20 Most Influential Liberals in America today.

I don’t know about you, but the suspense is killing me!  Actually, it’s just a silly gimmick to sell more newspapers (of course).  Anyway…





I’m not sure what to make of the list so far, other than to point out that it’s a “top 100” list of influential Americans compiled by a British paper. Oh well, I guess it’s as good a subject as any to try out our new WPPBA tool:

WordPress Political Blogger Alliance


TEST: WordPress Political Bloggers, Please Respond

October 26, 2007

WordPress Political Blogger

As in2thefray recently suggested, I think it’s time to try to use the WP Political Blogger Alliance more interactively.  One idea would be a situation where I would occasionally post something that’s been in the news, send a pingback to the group, and gather opinions and input here.  I think it would be interesting and informative, since I’ve gathered a pretty diverse list.

The first thing I need to do is to make sure that I can use pingbacks to “alert” all of you to a new post.  Hopefully, it’s as simple as including everyones link:

  • A Man with a Flashlight
  • A Politico
  • A [sometimes] Logical View of the Illogical
  • Absolute Moral Authority
  • Ahmed Ismail
  • Another trip to The Peoples Republic Of Halliburton
  • Axis of Right
  • Bear Republic Action Group
  • because I said so again, why?
  • Blogs 4 Brownback
  • Blogs 4 Conservatives
  • Boats, Beaches, Bars
  • Braden’s Take on the Matter
  • Bryan J. Scrafford
  • Cadillac Tight
  • Christian Conservative
  • Christians for Ron Paul
  • donkey o.d.
  • Doug’s Darkworld
  • DPGI v.2
  • Dr. Slammy in 2008
  • editoriale
  • Fitness for the Occasion
  • Forest Opine
  • Fred Thompson-N-Mo
  • Free Thoughts
  • From the Left
  • Guy’s Blog
  • Hot Rodham Blog
  • House of Chin
  • Ideas from free minds
  • in2thefray
  • Inside Larry’s Head 2.0
  • It’s time to say “When.”
  • Jenn Sierra
  • Michael P.F. van der Galiën
  • Mrs. Silence Dogood
  • Ned Raggett Ponders It All
  • NeoCon BS — We’ve Had Enough
  • NewsComa
  • Nuke’s NEWS
  • Out of Ergyng
  • Over the line, Smokey!
  • OwnLife America
  • paleo lithics
  • Paulitics: Paul’s Socialist Investigations
  • Peace Action Blog
  • Poe-etic Apathy
  • Practical Reasoning
  • Progressive Intelligencia
  • Qur’an – Bible.
  • Scholars
  • Still-a-Neocon
  • Suzie-Q
  • The Heathlander
  • The Incontiguous Brick
  • The Liberal Post
  • The Mouse House
  • the otherwhirled
  • The Southpaw
  • the war unicorn
  • Tomorrow, what?
  • ubikcan
  • Utica Progressive
  • Virginia Virtucon
  • Virtual Bourgeois
  • Vivian J. Paige
  • Voenix Rising
  • Waging Peace
  • Wake Up America
  • Welcome to
  • White Noise Insanity
  • Yikes!
  • Assuming that works, (and I’ll probably look at making that more condensed visually), then all I have to do is get an idea as to  a) who checks their sites regularly, and b) who thinks this is a good idea and who doesn’t, so please respond and give your input on this one way or another.

    Also, there is no rule that says that I’m the one who has to initiate this.  Any one of you are certainly welcome to use the list to call us out if you have something to post as well.  It was kinda the idea all along with this; to form a bit of an informal network.  So, what I might want to do is post a code that contains a condensed version of everyone’s urls so it can be posted at the end of a thread and not take up so much space,  (in fact, urls with a series of periods or something would be almost invisible, save perhaps the button icon or something as an identifier), but first thing’s first.

    What do ya think?


    I just got a response from Psycheout that this might not have worked like I had hoped.  I suppose I should have known better, as WP will alert us to pingbacks to specific posts on the main dashboard page (almost instantly), but not when it’s simply the blog url.  Darn.  That might call for plan B:  ping targets.  In other words, instead of the urls above, I would have to use the url to a specific post (or page) for each member of the alliance for it to show up in your dashboards.  So….

    Best option:  Everyone who wants to be a part of this would have to make a specific post (a page would probably be better) specifically for being pinged, and give me the url.  It wouldn’t even have to contain much (if any) text, just make sure that your “allow pings” box is checked for that page.  It would work pretty slick, actually, as it would contain a neat chronological record of all the threads that have been featured.  The title of the page could be anything, really, but perhaps for consistency we’d title it “WP Political Blogger Alliance” <—like so

    Second-best option:  I just find some old post to use.  This would be less-than desirable, obviously, because I would be a pinging a post/page that is completely off-topic, but it would still work in terms of showing up as a “pingback” in the dashboard.  Initially, this is what I might have to do just alert you to this thread, but from then on we could use the first method once everyone has their pages ready.

    Update: OK, since we already have a handful of pingback pages made, I’m going to go ahead and propose and idea on how the code will look at the bottom of a post:

    WordPress Political Blogger Alliance

    As you can see, one link for every letter would provide for a lot of bloggers to be included in this (33 total, if I counted correctly).  Also, if you want, you could make it really small:

    WordPress Political Blogger Alliance

    Or, I could use something even smaller and more cryptic, like a bunch of periods (…..) and add them as we go, but I’d like to think that it’s better to advertise a little.  I’d welcome input on this.  Either way,  I could use this thread to update the code as we add more participants. In fact, it might be a good idea to bookmark this page, so all you have to do is copy the current code and paste it at the bottom of your post (in “visual” mode; probably easiest). Boom!  Everyone gets alerted by a pingback to their ping page and it will show up in your dashboard (as well as your “recent comments” in your sidebar, I imagine).

    The added bonus here is that curious visitors might be compelled to click on some of those links, which would result in gaining attention to the alliance and possibly more recruits that we might not have found otherwise. But remember, our club is exclusively for users!

    Update: We have 11 ping pages so far. Not too shabby for 24hrs. I think we can get all the letters in the code filled (again, we can always add more).  Another thing I might do tomorrow is post a sample thread using the code we have, just to give everyone a better idea of what I have in mind. 


    My 1½ Years At LGF, Part VIII: Sockpuppet Revealed!

    October 24, 2007

    I’m going to conclude this series by treating the lizards to a little surprise…

    Mr. Poopypants = ChenZhen

    On one warm August afternoon, while sitting in front of a brand-new work computer, I decided to visit the site and noticed that LGF’s registration was open.  Now, up until that point, I had been online for a few of these windows of opportunity, but I had always resisted the temptation to register another nickname.  Sockpuppetry just isn’t my thing, after all.  On this occasion, however, I felt that it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to have another account- just in case.  I dunno, maybe I got the feeling that “ChenZhen’s” banishment was imminent.  Anyway, the problem was, I was drawing a blank on what name to give my impostor entity.  Time was running out, and I had to think fast.   What should the name be?  Desperate, I looked up to the masthead to remind myself what site I was on (a reference to boogers, or so I’ve guessed), and the inspiration hit me.  “Mr. Poopypants” was thereby, er…um…”hatched”.  I posted a couple of innocuous comments, internally chided myself stooping to such a level, and decided to put the sockpuppet into a drawer until a day came that I might want to take him out.

    A little over a month later, “ChenZhen” was unceremoniously cast out of LGF.  My instincts turned out to be fairly keen, I guess.

    So, here I am, an LGFer with nothing but a ridiculously monikered sockpuppet in the drawer.  What do I do?  Well, first, I have to make sure that Mr. Poopypants had managed to stay below Charles’ radar (after banishment, many sockpuppets have been quietly blocked out due to his uncanny ability to detect them, an ability that he seems to take pride in, in fact;  you have to be careful not to arouse suspicion).  I logged in, successfully posted another lame comment, and came to the conclusion that I had snuck one past the proverbial goalie.  OK, now what?  Do I take Poopy under my wing, and begin a new life as a lizardoid?

    Nah, I don’t roll like that.

    So, today is the day that Mr. Poopypants gets martyred.  I’m not going to wait for my sockpuppet to be quietly banished, like so many others before him have.  I’ll hold my head high, take with me the satisfaction that I’m going to bookend this series by going out in a blaze of glory, and use poor ol’ Poopy to deliver a little encore.  The Chamber is the home of the noble flame warriors, after all…


    Mr. Poopypants
    This user is blocked.
    —————————————- —————————————-

    Registered lizardoid since: Aug 28, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    No. of comments posted (since July 26, 2004): 7
    Show comments within last 7 days

    Topic: Zombie: Haters Attack Nonie Darwish at Berkeley

    And that’s that.


    My 1½ Years At LGF, Part VII: Those Wacky Comments!

    October 23, 2007

    I’ve managed to save some of my favorite responses to my comments. Some are benign, some are playful, some are rude, and some are just plain…scary.  In retrospect, I probably should have saved more, but I wanted to be balanced and not double up on any specific lizard (BabbaZee alone probably could have been the source of a dozen or so):

    #207 Killgore Trout 2/11/2007 03:28PM PST

    Rudy will give you a Purple Nurple.

    #877 gymnast 2/17/2007 08:46AM PST

    ChenZhen. One could make the argument that you are a prevaricating shitbird moby, however your posts make that exercise unnecessary, as you make your own case so well.

    #224 BabbaZee 3/20/2007 02:47PM PDT

    You just showed your entire ass
    and you have no idea that you did it.

    Here’s a free

    fuck you

    for you too

    I am overstocked on them today.

    #150 republic 3/27/2007 11:30:11 am PDT

    I honestly pray for people like you, daily.

    #165 Positively 4th Street 4/01/2007 1:35:03 pm PDT

    #157 chenzen,

    Maybe it’s not being misspelled. I for one try to get each individual’s nic right – if I respect them.

    #167 Murqtaad 4/26/2007 10:26:55 am PDT

    Horse. Fucking. Shit. You dishonest POS.

    You need a large, dark cup of Shut the Fuck Up.

    #104 Thanos 5/22/2007 8:39:04 pm PDT

    That actually has a nice ring to it “The infamous ChenZhen!”

    #53 Iron Fist 5/31/2007 6:22:16 pm PDT

    Are you willing to bet YOUR life that they won’t? I’d be willing to kill you if they do.

    Pistol to the forehead OK with you? Beheaddings are so messy.

    #75 mjazzguitar 6/12/2007 8:38:09 pm PDT

    Hey Chen Zen won the Russian Roullette contest, he’s still here!

    #119 storagemanager 6/13/2007 7:28:32 pm PDT

    ChenZhen is a Muslim..having fun with the prey.

    #836 Promethea 7/08/2007 9:57:53 pm PDT

    I’m really getting sick of ChenZhen and his nothing-useful-to-say posts.

    #227 Cartman 7/19/2007 8:14:03 pm PDT

    Why do some here treat ChenZhen with kid gloves, as if he were Nelson Mandela? Just curious…

    #238 hous bin pharteen 7/28/2007 2:33:29 pm PDT

    Chen, why should we care what you say since your always full of shit?

    #48 goodbye_natalie 9/02/2007 5:48:27 pm

    Howard Dean, Christiane Amanpour, General Chenzen…

    Three blind mice, three blind mice,
    See how they run, see how they run,
    They all posed as the Islamist’s wife,
    Who cut off their heads with a carving knife,
    As Allahu Akbar ended their life,
    It’s the three blind mice…

    The thought that I’ll be missing that kinda thing from now on just brings a tear to my eye.

    There was one more comment that I thought deserved special recognition, even though it wasn’t in response to anything that I posted. It was actually posted in a thread about Dubai taking control of the British stock exchange. I saved this comment* simply because it succinctly encapsulates some of the lunacy that you’ll find at the “anti-idiotarian” headquarters:

    #31 Allah al Fubar

    You know.,.. day after day I go to work. I toil and I go along with the program. And day after day, I see my Israel, my Brethren and my sisters being threatened by the beasts of this Earth that are called the Moslems. My tax dollars actually helped to install foot baths for these heathen scumbags, that call for our death on a daily basis. Yet, we will wash their feet. God Bless Mary Magdelene, and may She grant us the patience to do what she did to Jesus and His disciples.

    And day after day, I toil and trouble over the issue, “who will save my brothers and my sisters” from the mischeif in this land. This is the land of freedom and democracy, the Land that delivered so many from turmoil. this land has been taken over by HEATHENS. AND, we act as if we are powerless. We commisserate, and we whine, and we seethe and we do NOTHING.

    I’m even going to be so bold as to publish my own email addy.. If I’m dead next tuesday, you’ll know who killed me. The Mohametans.

    —– [deleted out of respect for the, um, mentally disabled-Ed]

    Come and get me, scumbags.. I just got my permit.

    Irrational fear, and firearms. Wonderful combination. Someone needs to take a deep breath, and step away from the LGF.

    *Mr. Johnson, to his credit, deleted this comment not long after it was posted (although I’m not sure if it was because it violated the policy about posting personal info, or because it was just plain wacko). Nevertheless, I couldn’t resist.

    Tomorrow’s topic:



    My 1½ Years At LGF, Part VI: Symphony Of Sycophants

    October 22, 2007

    Mr. Johnson gets a lot of “love” from the commentors on his site.  It makes some sense, I suppose, since the way he restricts registration pretty much guarantees that the vast majority of netizens that get in are avid readers of LGF, and would share the same basic ideology.  In fact, many of the lizards have commented that they have waited months (or longer) to finally catch a window of opportunity to register.

    Is that unique to blogs? Certainly not. Bloggers run their blogs any way they choose, and LGF is certainly not alone when it comes to “filtering” the field of registered members.  In Charles’ case, it appears that ever since he started the practice of short, unannounced registration periods, the law of averages were in his favor. But every so often, an aberration such as myself snuck in, and he probably figured that as long as we were well-behaved, there was no legitimate reason to cast us out. The system made it easy to deal with “trolls” on a case-by-case basis. Whatever the rationale, the end result is a comment section that is pretty friendly (to him).  Nothing really groundbreaking there.

    What is unique to LGF (and what I wasn’t prepared for) was the level of “love” exuded by the minions. Sure, some of the butt-kissing could be explained by the perceived need to collect brownie points in order to insulate oneself from banishment (a decision that I had always assumed was made by Charles alone), but it appeared to go a little further than that.  I began to notice that gratuitous praise was being thrown out even for the most innocuous comments and banal threads.   After a while, I started to get the feeling that there was a certain amount of hero worship going on, and people were making it a tad bit personal.

    That realization hit me like a ton of bricks when I received an email from a fellow LGFer (who I invited to contribute to my blog, and will remain nameless), chiding me about my…um… behavior:

    Chen- have you not figured me out? Have you not noticed my line? Disrespecting Charles is my line- the man is my hero. Scoff at me if you’d like, but I cannot tolerate disrespect for him by people he allows to remain on his blog, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask for people to be respectful to their host. You sneak off elsewhere to disrespect him- it’s no different than doing it at LGF. You can respectfully disagree with him, but you went over that line- way over. You weren’t even disagreeing with him- you just attacked him.

    There is no way I can join you on your blog after what you’ve done- I can’t “defend” you either. I’ve heard what people are saying- that I’m your protector. How ridiculous! Charles’ patience is your protection, so I’d tread carefully if I were you. If you care to make amends, I’d start with a nice public apology to Charles– and don’t bother unless it’s sincere. If Charles sees fit to give you another chance- things between us will improve, but I’ll take my cue from him since it’s his blog, and I respect him. I stood up for you- twice. I put my reputation on the line for you, Chen- and this is my thanks? Did you see the number of people willing to give you a chance because I asked for it for you?! xx xxxx, and xxxx, and xxxxxxx, and xxxxxx and even Charles tried- and others. And what did you do with that gift, Chen? It’s like you spit in my face. You wasted it. What a shame.

    I’m sorry I didn’t meet you in the lounge Sunday- I was pissed at others and was afraid I’d be more harsh with you than I intended. As for your secret- it will remain safe with me- I don’t stab friends in the back, and at the time you told me we were friends. You will always have my sympathy on this- but don’t you ever dare try to play me off it- I’ll tell you now I would find that be vile and completely below the belt. I may still take issue with your posts, and post to you, but understand it is not out of friendship. I will not return any friendly banter- unless you make that sincere apology and I see you show proper respect to your host. Bear in mind- I’m not talking about agreeing with him- just being respectful. You complain to me about getting called names on LGF….don’t be a hypocrite Chen- the world has enough of those. Take care of yourself and I’ll see you around.

    As it turned out, I never apologised. My bad, I guess.  Personally, I don’t really have a hero.  If I did, and it happened to be some dude who sat in front of a computer all day in his pajamas…please shoot me.

    Anyway, if you have a few handfuls of people like this hanging out on a daily basis, the predictable scenario would be that it might go to one’s head.  It feels good, I’m sure.  What might begin to happen next, however, is a situation where one would enhance and facilitate this feeling as much as possible…

    Today, the likes of myself, Gordon, and Sura 109 are gone, Charles has begun to personally oversee the inclusion of new registrants, and the butt-kissing has been made possible without even having to put the sentiment into words (in the form of a new and otherwise useless comment and thread rating system lgfminus.gif lgfplus.gif ).


    Tomorrow’s topic:

    Those Wacky Comments!


    My 1½ Years At LGF, Part V: Obsession With Daily Kos

    October 21, 2007

    Another thing you’d notice if you read LGF is that they talk about and link to diaries at Daily Kos. A lot. Primarily, the recurring theme is the showcasing of a Kossack diary and it’s subsequent mockery in the comments section. Less often, you’d see a thread about Kos himself, or something about the site generally. The exercise was so common that you’d be hard-pressed to read LGF for a few days without seeing at least one thread about something that happened in Kosland. (Added factoid: The thing that prompted me to get a membership at DK was my inability to overcome the insatiable curiousity I had. You know, to find out what all the hubub was about.)

    A while after noticing this, I documented the adventures of Killgore Trout, who is easily LGF’s chief Kos reconnaissance agent. While conducting the research for this post, I couldn’t help but be awe struck by the sheer volume of Kos diarists that had the honor of gracing LGF’s main page. Killgore certainly wasn’t the only lurker-linker, however. Kos links would routinely appear in the comments section of any given thread, offered up by any number of Lizardoids. (Apparently, the prospect of finding a “gem” worthy of front page status and receiving a hat tip for the effort was deemed quite valuable.)  All told, I have no doubt that hundreds of Kos links would turn up for the ambitious soul who might take the time to search.

    What some might find particularly ironic about all this is, on the one hand, Kos Derangement Syndrome, and on the other, the absolute hatred the LGFers direct at the Dreaded Blog of Blasphemy (my coinage), aka LGF Watch, aka “stalker blog #1“. In the blog LGF world, you see, “stalking” is apparently defined as a blogger’s obsessive scrutiny of another blog’s posts and comments, along with mocking a blogger and his/her commentors on a regular basis and over an extended period.


    Do I have a theory on why Charles and the gang are so preoccupied by what goes on at Daily Kos?  Not really.  One thing that is revealing, I suppose, is that these days Charles will often refer to the site as the “mainstream voice of the Democratic Party“, which might lead someone to think that he believes that his efforts would have an effect on the wider political stage.  On the other hand,  he often throws in the “screw them” nickname whenever he posts about Markos himself, which might mean that it’s more about Kos than the website.  Perhaps it’s jealousy.  Or, it could be that it’s simply the biggest tree to pick cherries from.  A little of all of the above? I don’t know.

    Tomorrow’s topic:

    Symphony of Sycophants


    My 1½ Years At LGF, Part IV: The 2 Faces Of LGF

    October 20, 2007

    Mr. Johnson and his website have become somewhat famous, resulting in the occasional newspaper mention, tv appearance, or radio segment.  I couldn’t help but notice that the way LGF is presented when he’s quoted by the “MSM” and interviewed by conservative radio hosts seems to be markedly different from the blog I was reading on a regular basis.  Or, to use one of Charles’ favorite terms, LGF was looking a little “whitewashed”.

    For example, his Washington Post quote “The vast, vast majority of Muslims want to get along and live a comfortable life just like everyone else” is definitely a notion that I hadn’t seen volunteered on the blog, and certainly wouldn’t have gone uncriticized if I had posted a similar sentiment in the comments.  In fact, if you spend enough time reading LGF you begin to wonder things like if there’s a single Islamic organization in all of North America that isn’t a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood or connected to terrorism in some way.  But, hey, I’m not a mind-reader.

    In an even more blatantly disingenuous episode, Johnson made a July 31 appearance on Dennis Prager’s show to discuss the Stanislav Shmulevich/Pace U./Koran dunking incident.  Right from the begining, he described the incident as a “horrible crime” (audio) and agreed with Prager that “no one was defending” the act.  What Johnson neglected to tell the listening audience was the fact that Stanislav had contacted LGF (?!) and was promptly given a coveted account to post on the site (user:StanS)*.  And naturally, days later, a group of lizards assembled a pro bono defense team for Mr. Shmulevich (with a blessing that would obviously be implied by a dedicated thread about it).

    I just shrugged my shoulders on that one.

    *I could have sworn that Charles had announced that he had granted the account on the main page, but now I can’t seem to find that little detail.  Scrubbed?  Why in the world would he do that?

    Tomorrow’s topic:

    Obsession With Daily Kos


    Limbaugh’s Big Mouth Cost Him A Month’s Pay

    October 19, 2007

    There are a lot of ways to spin this whole Reid letter/”phony soldiers” fracas, but I’m going to go ahead and speculate that Rush Limbaugh wasn’t planning on donating $2.1 million to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation this year.

    And maybe it’s just an odd coincidence, but there was a story that popped up earlier this month that reported that Limbaugh’s monthly income was…


    It makes you wonder if, privately, Rush felt like he came out the loser on this deal.  Of course, the money is going to a good charity, so it’s not like he lost it at the casino or something, but that’s a whole lot of cash.  On the other hand, perhaps it was a small price to pay in what amounted to an effective exercise in self-promotion, along with the fact that he was able to successfully make the whole “phony soldiers” thing look petty (which it was anyway), and score a hit on the Democrats in one swoop. 


    My 1½ Years At LGF, Part III: Gaping Disconnect On The Iraq War

    October 19, 2007

    As I mentioned earlier, my primary intention when joining LGF was to find a place where I could debate the validity and reasonableness of the Iraq war and Bush’s role in the matter.  I found out early on that my views on the subject represented a tiny minority of registered LGFers.  This was a situation that I was hoping for, since I was looking for something a little more challenging than the relatively friendly confines of  So, debate I did, and it was good.

    As the war dragged on a while longer, however, I noticed that there were fewer and fewer threads on the subject. Why?  I don’t know for sure. I can only offer conjecture…

    I think that LGF was like a lot of war blogs in that the support for the war from the beginning stemmed not from the idea that Saddam posed a tactical threat to the US or that the Iraqi people deserve to be liberated.  The underlying justification was much less cerebral, i.e. we were attacked on 9/11 by Arabs, and the appropriate response was to kick some Arab ass.  Or, according to Mr. Johnson:

    In the Arab/Islamic shame-honor mindset, this is interpreted as weakness — and it was. It was that perceived weakness that was directly responsible for 9/11. The only way to rectify this is to demonstrate superior force; and that’s what President Bush did after 9/11, smashing the Taliban and dethroning Saddam Hussein.

    So, in the run-up to the invasion, blogs like LGF would routinely run with the theme that pro-war views were appropriate and anti-war views were “weak” (usually delivered in the form of mocking protesters). We invaded, and as the war progressed (from the “kicking ass” phase of “shock and awe”, to rounding up the Baathists and capturing Saddam, to facilitating elections and helping the Iraqis establish a government, to training defense forces and attempt to build infrastructure), the mission began to look less and less like the one that the warbloggers originally advocated.  So, they’ve shifted the rationale a bit so that we’re now “kicking ass” on al Qaeda, and they’ll occasionally post a thread when something significant happens on that front.  Eventually, however, one begins to look a little silly when there’s a celebration for the umpteenth killing of AQ’s “#2” guy.  That might mean that there’s less to talk about overall.  Again, just conjecture.

    These days, the mission that our troops are engaged in primarily involves counterinsurgency operations and facilitating the diplomats’ efforts in bringing about some sort of political stability.  Now, if you read anything about effective counterinsurgency tactics or diplomacy, you’d see that it has a lot less to do with “kicking ass”, and a lot more to do with building alliances, gaining the trust of the population, observing cultural sensitivities, etc. Gaining trust and observing the cultural sensitivities of Arabs is something that appears to be the polar opposite of what’s going on at LGF.


    So, here you have warbloggers who continue to claim that they support the troops and their mission, all the while repeating the “us against Islam” meme that the State Dept. and the commanders on the ground are desperately trying to discredit.  The cognitive dissonance that results when they post things like Michael Totten’s report that our troops are winning the hearts and minds of the residents of Anbar makes my head hurt.  I mean, the realization that this kind of success wasn’t made possible by advocating Koran dunk-athons or mocking the Muslim’s dislike of pork products is still outside the grasp of most of them, but occasionally a lizard will post something especially profound…

    #117 Pro-Bush Canuck

    One look at the people in Totten’s essay is enough to remind us that not every person who happened to be born into Islam is our enemy.

    We have two enemies: Islamists and the Left. Al Qaeda appears to be much more evil, but if I had to choose I would definitely say that the Left is the more evil force in the greater scheme of things. Al Qaeda can be defeated; the Left is like a cancer, and will be a life or death battle for us for many decades to come, long after Islamism has subsided.

    …or not.

    (the “reminder” scored a modest +4 on the rate-my-post-o-meter, however)

    It all kinda gives one the impression that they don’t really know what we’re doing there (or why) any more than anyone else does.  For the most part, they seem to follow whatever the administration talking point of the week happens to be, just with their own twist.  If you ask me, it takes some pretty stellar mental gymnastics to make that work.  But, like the general Weekly Standard-ish crowd, it doesn’t seem to bother them that these people we’re fighting really weren’t a threat to us before we invaded, and that most have only taken up arms because we’re there.  It’s much simpler just think of them all as the 20th hijacker, of course.

    Tomorrow’s topic:

    The 2 Faces Of LGF


    My 1½ Years At LGF, Part II: Israel/Palestine Conflict and Antisemitism

    October 18, 2007

    It’s widely known that 9/11 was the catalyst for LGF’s transformation from a weblog discussing web design and bicycling to what it is today.  Now, I can understand how the reality of the attacks might change someone’s outlook on certain things, like domestic intelligence gathering, foreign intervention and espionage. What I’ve never fully understood, however, was the radical shift in attitude with regards to Israel.  As evidence of the change, take a look at this pre-9/11 LGF entry (which, incidentally, pretty much echos my own sentiments):


    I don’t like to write about the Middle East. I don’t even like to think about it. It’s a dismaying quagmire of blind religious hatred and irrational Dark Ages thinking on all sides, impervious to logic or reason, perhaps the greatest imponderable stupidity in humankind’s history. I give a slight moral advantage to the Israelis because at least they aren’t exporting terrorism and the slaughter of innocents, as many of the Islamic countries in the area routinely do. They’ll probably all kill themselves one day in a nuclear confrontation. (How’s that for optimism?) I just hope they don’t take the rest of the world down with them. This article in the New York Times is the latest example of the terminal sickness that afflicts the whole region: Palestinians Give U.N. Racism Talks a Mixed Message.

    Somewhere along the lines, this relative indifference was abandoned, and replaced by a very passionate, pro-Israel view.  It apparently didn’t take that long, made clear by the appearance of Nekama’s Troll Hammer (and subsequent enshrinement) in 2003 and by the fact that Mr. Johnson was being perceived as a “Righteous Gentile” by the Israel National News as early as April 2004.  By the time I joined the site, accusations of antisemitism fired at anyone who was perceived as saying or reporting anything even remotely critical of Israel were pretty commonplace. (I had even been labeled as such by commentors on a few occasions, one of them for simply saying the word “neocon”.)  For more objective media reports that portrayed Israel as less than infallible, efforts were made to challenge those accounts as simply “biased”. And every so often, something would come across the proverbial desk that seemed impossible for anyone with a sliver of intellectual honesty to refute.  It would have to be something simple, like a single photograph. In those situations…they punted:


    So, what sparked this metamorphosis?  Was it the videos of Palestinians celebrating 9/11?   Reading up on the history and culture of the region?  The urge to poke the Jihadis in the eye with pro-Zionist propaganda?  All of the above?

    In fairness, I suppose I would be equally curious about someone who shifted from neutral to an anti-Israel stance in the wake of 9/11.  I really don’t get it.  It’s the same country in the same messed up part of the world that existed both before and after the attacks.

    Exit question: Is being critical of Israel (specific actions, policies, historical events, etc.) automatically make you an antisemite? Scratch that. How about just plain indifference?

    Tomorrow’s topic:

    Gaping Disconnect on the Iraq War


    My 1½ Years At LGF, Part I: Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

    October 17, 2007

    It’s no secret that LGF takes heat from both the media and bloggers alike for their constant diatribe about all things Islamic.  Since I didn’t come into the site knowing what it was all about, I’ll admit that I was pretty surprised by it. Initially, I figured that it was irrational fear borne in the ashes of the September 11th attacks.  I wasn’t really offended by all the Muslim bashing that went on in the comments section (I’m not offended easily), and I certainly didn’t go into the site with the intention of “defending” Islam, so while I was there I rarely offered up an opinion on those threads.  I do know (now) that it was, for the most part, the reason why many referred to LGF as a “hate site” (a label that Charles and the rest of the lizards predictably took issue with), and the usual comeback offered up in the comments section went something like “Well, if that means hating those who want to convert you to Islam, kill you, force you into slavery, chop off your head, etc., then, yea, this is a hate site”.

    The most glaring problem with this argument is the fact that there are a fair amount of threads about Arabs and Muslims that have nothing to do with terrorism, a worldwide caliphate, or even “sudden jihadi syndrome”.  One thread I recall, Pigophobia in the UAE, clearly had no other point other than amusing the lizard minions with a story about Muslim’s aversion to swine.  The aforementioned comeback loses quite a bit of credibility when you see this kind of thing.  (the defense is also slightly hampered by the fact that LGF has it’s own dictionary of terms, many of them disparaging and originating on the site)

    To his credit, you’d be very hard pressed to find anything that Charles himself posts in any given thread that someone might view as blatantly bigoted.  But on the other hand, there are plenty of regular commentors who don’t parse their words nearly as carefully, and the same could be said about many on the list of featured “anti-idiotarians” in the blogroll.  Intentionally or not, the result of all this is a place that attracts the type of people who are looking for affirmation of their own anti-Muslim prejudices, and the comments often reflect that.

    This brings me back to the “Pigophobia” thread, where after quite a few comments that had to be deleted, Charles responded:

    A note: I am absolutely fed up with posts that advocate rounding up all Muslims and/or illegal aliens and putting them in camps, or that use bigoted language. I do not agree with this kind of crap, it drags the site down, and those comments are not welcome here.

    I’m not going to take the heat for it any more — I’m simply going to start blocking people who do it.

    Should the appearance of bigoted comments in a thread with “Pigophobia” in the title be that surprising?  I mean, come on.

    When confronted, the LGFers would have you believe that the overall mission is to spread the word about the dangers of radical Islam in an effort to make a contribution to the greater “War on Terror”.  They’ll tell you that those who belittle the threat are choosing to be willfully ignorant, have their head in the sand, or fall for the false virtue of political correctness.  For what it’s worth, I think that they really do believe that their efforts are noble, and in the interest of “saving the world“.  To me, however, the site tends to read more like a scavenger hunt for tales of Muslims doing bad things than a place that makes a legitimate effort to combat Islamic terrorism.  It’s not like they’re pouring over pro-al Qaeda websites with translators looking to uncover details on plots and strategy, after all.  Instead, the posts appear to be an attempt to build the argument that Islam itelf is the underlying problem (and the real enemy).  And as well-intentioned as they might consider themselves to be, there is a real counterproductivity with this.  The notion (however vaguely interpreted) that the West is at war with Islam is propaganda that al Qaeda has been spreading.  Even George Bush recognizes that this is a road that we don’t want to take:

    “My country desires peace,” Bush told world leaders in the cavernous main hall at the U.N. “Extremists in your midst spread propaganda claiming that the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terror. We respect Islam.”

    In conclusion, I sit back and wonder sometimes if the rantings of the “anti-idiotarians” really are just contributing to the problem, and not part of the solution.

    Tomorrow’s topic:

    Israel/Palestine Conflict and Antisemitism


    My 1½ Years At

    October 16, 2007

    Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. I was finally banned from LGF.

    In the end, it appears that it was my use of irony in the Limbaugh thread here (on my blog) that became the last straw (explained as one too many “stabs in the back“).  I’ll admit that it was pretty fun to push buttons around there at times, and I figured that my days were numbered anyway, but part of me thinks that the stick came out because Charles grew more tired of the volume and frequency of whining that emanated from the section of resident sycophants than the content of the playful ankle biting I was posting on my own blog.  Then again… perhaps not.

    For my part, I think its worth noting that in my almost 1600 comments I logged in the last year in a half, I never uttered an obscenity (well, maybe once), or resorted to a personal attack on anyone. I felt that I made a pretty sincere effort to discuss and debate there politely and honorably.  This was likely the reason why I managed to stick around as long as I did.  I never really “let loose” on any of them, or had episodes of losing composure.  Truthfully, I had many interesting debates and conversations both in the comments section and in the lounge. And I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t learn something in the process.

    Also, for the record, I never went into LGF to pursue any agenda beyond engaging in debate with the “pro-war” division of the blogosphere.  In fact, I hadn’t even heard of LGF before the day I registered. (I stumbled upon the site by following a link in Michelle Malkin’s blogroll, after getting frustrated by the fact that many of the prominent blogs didn’t have open registration.  As it turned out, I got extremely lucky, and the LGF doors happened to be open on my first visit).

    So, to visiting LGFers, I bid you a fond farewell.  But before I put LGF behind me forever, I thought it would be nice to take a stroll down memory lane, reflect, and post some final thoughts and observations that I’ve gathered during my time there.  After all, 1600 comments is quite a cumulative investment on my part, so perhaps it’d be appropriate to take a little extra time to post a few conclusions that I’ve drawn. I feel uninhibited to be completely candid at this point, and I guess that on some level, I owe it to myself to do so (blame Killgore).  These are things that I made a point to keep to myself (for the most part), until now.

    Instead of placing everything in one thread, I’ve decided to take on a theme and make it a multi-part miniseries (of sorts). So, tomorrow night, I’ll kick it off by addressing the subject…

    Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

    BTW- Since I cannot defend myself on LGF, I’ll encourage visitors from that site (and anyone else) to go ahead and comment in these threads.  If you feel that you need it would be better to leave a phony nic and email when you do so, go right ahead.  Or, just lurk.  Your call.  I’ll also preemptively state that I stand by any links that get posted, but if Charles decides to pull his redirect trick, I guess you can still copy/paste them into your browser anyway.   

    See ya tomorrow.


    The Legend Of Nodrog

    October 15, 2007

    It’s the end of an era, ladies and gentlemen. The legendary LGF poster, Gordon (aka “Nodrog”) has been banned from the site. Personally, I didn’t think it was ever going to happen.  He had tallied thousands of comments over a span of 4 years there, which is longer than most anyone who had regularly contributed.  The significance of this is enhanced by the fact that Gordon hardly ever towed the LGF line; he was viewed by most over there as the most persistent “troll” in the history of the site.  Heck, the guy had his own entry in the LGF dictionary even.  As it turned out though, a few days after I was handed my own eviction notice from the site, Gordon made the mistake of forgetting that the netizen inhabitants over there are extremely hypersensitive to anything that might be remotely construed by someone, somewhere, in some parallel universe as being vaguely anti-Semitic*. It was pretty lame, if you ask me. It might have been just a convenient excuse.  Nevertheless, Gordon was unceremoniously banished.

    So, homeless, Gordon made the move to a site where many other LGF outcasts flock; the grumpy ex-lizard domain of Gulf Coast Pundit. Although he was initially allowed entry, some of the GCP residents were opposed to granting membership to someone as ideologically distant as Gordon, so his stay there was brief enough to be clocked on a stopwatch. Gordon was banned again.

    Intent on not roaming the blogosphere without a home, however, Gordon has decided to build his own. So, if you want to learn more about how the man, the myth…the Nodrog, check out Nodrog’s Greatest Hits. Great moments in flame war history, indeed. In fact, Gordon may have inspired me to post my own LGF memoirs…so stay tuned.

    *I was once called an anti-Semite on LGF for using the abbreviation “neocon” in a post.