Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Just say ‘no’ to sabotage and slobber

Although the following story has so far been confined to the virtual world of the blogosphere, it has touched on areas that matter to us all. It is the story that started with Waldo Jaquith’s decision to remove the link to a particular blog from his Virginia Political Blogs aggregator’s blogroll on Fri., Dec. 22.

At the heart of it, the issues in play here mirror the same bewildering extremes we see all the time in the real world of gotcha politics routinely practiced inside the beltway.

As this brouhaha also weaves together real concerns about freedom of speech, fair play and where anyone transmitting/broadcasting information to the general public should draw the line on decency, it is not at all a fluff story.

To cut to the chase, dig this: Pretending in some version of political correctness that kooks and sickos who have taken to blogging are just as legit as any other blogger is a waste of time, at best.

It leads directly to the current con game, which is being executed by V-bomber (“V” for extreme violence) GGD and a small but snarling pack of his/her supporters. They howl about being denied “freedom of speech!” to defend GGD’s foisting of grisly decapitation photos on the unwitting, via Waldo’s aggregator. Yet, how many of them yap out of the other side of their mouths that burning an American flag is not political speech?

How many of the same ilk also claim that any questioning of the utterly failed war policy in Iraq has been tantamount to treason?

With all that in mind, I think we will see 2007 bringing with it a sober recognition in some quarters within the political blogging community that some obnoxious citizen-journalists/Internet self-publishers are simply up to no good. In fact, some of them would probably like to sabotage the blogosphere, to blow it up.

So, in 2007 I think we will inevitably see more movement among the sincere/honest bloggers, who actually want to discuss politics and promote ideas, to find ways to separate themselves from the obvious up-to-no-good and the likely saboteurs.

Then there’s this -- like it or not, in Virginia (as in many states) there are currently more bloggers on the left than right. And, in 2006 the lefties were much more effective, for whatever reasons. Maybe that will change with some natural correction. Or, maybe as talk-radio has remained a tool which the Republicans use better, blogging favors Democrats now and will continue to do so.

Either way, there are still thoughtful conservative and Libertarian bloggers out there who should take the time to look this “boycott Waldo” scam over, and do some thinking.

For there ever to be such a thing as a corner of the Virginia blogosphere for grownups, with a collegial spirit and a genuine sense of fair play -- a place where conflicting ideas are debated openly for readers to compare -- there will be times when you can’t simply play team ball. This isn’t an election issue.

Well, I say creating/maintaining a sane aspect of blogosphere is possible, but not easy. And, this is one of those times for those who want such a thing to exist to take a stand. So, I hope we will soon see posts from the responsible bloggers on the right side of the aisle that instruct GGD to take his/her rabid slobber down the line.

Bottom line: I predict that if key conservative bloggers do the right thing, soon, it will bring this episode to a tidy conclusion. And then, perhaps we’ll all have learned another lesson about the still-forming blogosphere -- just as in real life, if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

15 comments:

I'm Not Emeril said...

Tell me Terry,
Just what is it that you propose key conservatives do, that you consider to be "the right thing"?

You will also notice I'm sure that I am one of those that have been issued the challenge to post some unknown vile thing on my website, in order to prove that I accept Waldo's "olive branch".

First, you need to explain yourself and your charges a bit. Can you tell me when I've ever claimed that burning the flag is not free speech? (I do, actually, believe that it is protected speech.) Can you point to the time I've ever said that questioning the Iraq war was tantamount to treason? Can you even find an example of me criticizing someone in that instance, much less making the treason charge?

On the other side of that coin, can you possibly defend some of the charges I have made against some of your brethren on the left? Items that conveniently ignore for the purposes of this article. No, to you there are no disreputable or irresponsible bloggers on the left side.

Before you tell responsible bloggers on the right to issue instructions to other bloggers, perhaps you should issue some instructions yourself. It shouldn't be hard to find those on the left that don't adhere to your standards.

The photo post that started this was grisly, for sure. So was the one of the dead baby.

But that one was from a leftist blogger, posted as an attack on George Allen.

Where was your outrage then? Was it in the same place mine was? Of course I was outraged that a "new" blogger would post such a picture. But I also knew that it was his or her right to do so, as I suppose you did too.

So please, F.T., tell me just what it is we conservatives are supposed to do to soothe the ruffled feathers on the left side of the blogosphere?

Alton

Mark Brooks said...

This has gone on enough now, that I need a freakin' scorecard to know who did what to whom.

Sad.

spankthatdonkey said...

FT Rea says:
"Either way, there are still thoughtful conservative and Libertarian bloggers out there who should take the time to look this “boycott Waldo” scam over, and do some thinking."

Hear that Conservative bloggers? Let me interpret, Terry is saying either see it our way, or be labeled as whatever label it is he is going to throw your way.. (sabbatuer, amazing?)

Isn't this the way it always is when dealing with the left... They throw down the gauntlet, and if you do not agree with them, a label will be attached, bigot, homophobe, xenophobe...

Terry, your blog is going to earn the nickname 'RANTblog' if you keep going like this :-)

I'm Not Emeril said...

STD,
Don't forget the inevitable Nazi comparison, which I am expecting just any minute.

spankthatdonkey said...

Alton:
I fear even worse... He may call us 'unwashed'....

FT, says:

"For there ever to be such a thing as a corner of the Virginia blogosphere for grownups, with a collegial spirit and a genuine sense of fair play -- a place where conflicting ideas are debated openly for readers to compare -- there will be times when you can’t simply play team ball."

FT, did it ever occur to you, that censoring a blogger just because he uses a photo YOU and Waldo don't like isn't exactly, a way of playing fair, so everyone else can judge?

Smacks of Hypocracy... or do you actually agree with us, and there is some other agenda in mind?

Triscula said...

SPD:

You think that Jaquith and Terry are the only people who found the use of that photo offensive?

I'd be willing to bet a substantial sum that most people, regardless of political views, would find it offensive to display the ghoulish photos of a man's severed head. Is it so hard to understand that someone might decided that they don't want such images on their site?

Enough already with all this 'agenda' nonsense. What was done, why it was done, and why it was done in the way it was done has been hashed out for the benefit of everyone numerous times. Grow up and move on. If you don't like it then delist yourself from VPB and be done with it.

spankthatdonkey said...

Triscula said:

"If you don't like it then delist yourself from VPB and be done with it."

Would you also prefer that I quite leaving comments on SlantBlog also?

Or, has the debate become a little to hot for ya'll to handle? Over and over, I am reading, enough of this let's move on....

GGD was banned, not warned, and that is why 'where there is smoke, there is fire'.

VPB should be for all of us, not just who Waldo picks and chooses.. and as Terry now seems to be suggesting, we should have an 'exclusive aggregator' for all of those who will play by rules of course set out by what an 'aristocracy', or a chosen few of bloggers?

Mosquito said...

I figure it's useless to tell you guys to shut up.

The blog reader can judge your nonsense for themselves.

F. T. Rea makes some good points about some bloggers talking out of "both" sides of their mouth....I've not seen the right erupt on a crucial issue of free speech--i.e. that "obscene" flag burning amendment or the unlawful arrests of US citizens protesting the war who are being arrested (illegally) only to be released with no charges (or the charges are thrown out in court).

What's more ludicrous is the recent "use" of the gay issue in your hate war on Muslims. I haven't seen any of you fighting for fair play and gay rights in "this" country. How many of you have publicly supported the hate crimes legislation that Allen and other Republicans opposed? How many of you asking for gay support of this war have asked the military to start accepting gay troops?

I figure the readers will judge for themselves who the honest, ethical, and quality bloggers are.

So keep on acting vicious and snarly....it seems you'll do anything to take the heat off of Virgil Goode.

I think it maybe time for us to start ignoring the trash talk and get back to the stuff that matters in the real world...
Buzz...Buzz...

F.T. Rea said...

I’m Not Emeril,

Basically, the right thing would be to say where one stands regarding this controversy in plain terms.

Your dealings with Waldo about his “olive branch” thing are not any of my business. I don’t care about that. I didn’t accuse you of anything, I spoke of a mindset when I wrote about flag-burning, etc..

And, I don’t know about the dead baby thing, either. Nor do I know about some of the other beefs you apparently have with Waldo.

Actually, I don’t follow much of the soap opera aspects of the blogosphere, the gossip. But this little scam over the GGD post did catch my eye.

If your side of this imbroglio keeps going, without changing its tune, you might just find yourselves on an island, left behind, talking only to yourselves.

Go ahead -- start your own aggregator. See who reads it.

VPB is a boon to those who believe in debate, liberal or conservative.

For those rightwing bloggers, who think hits on your meter matter more than having your words read by a larger audience, I have no advice.

Spank,

You usually start your comments with an insult, then a demand, then you want so much to be respected. I can’t help you. Such tactics are rarely persuasive.

Maybe you should consider charm school.

spankthatdonkey said...

Actually Terry:
I have been starting my comments with your quotes....

your refusal to answer my points.. well, that is for other readers to judge..

Also, you seem to be blowing off Alton, by taking the fifth on knowing of nothing else going on in the blogosphere....

Also, that might be construed as a dodge...

Now, I do admit to having lost patience with Triscula... I am sure she is very nice...

oh, and I will say this. If the Representative (not Senator) from Michigan wants to use the Koran to swear in fine... so be it...

That is not Virgil Goode's point, his point is we do not want to end up in the situation that Europe is currently embroiled!

If we can just bring representative democracy to the middle east (and we could use the help of the left) and get them to appreciate a greater degree of separation of church and state, and that Sharia Law doesn't fit into the concept, we will all be better off, and Goode's comments would have been unnessasary.

F.T. Rea said...

Spank,

I dealt with Alton’s comments and although we disagree on some things I have no quarrel with him. Still, I don’t see how his various disputes with Waldo over the last year have much to do with the GGD vs. VPB brouhaha.

He does, and that’s that.

Regarding your points, which are frequently somewhat less-than-sharp, I feel like you sometimes do such a good job of defeating your own arguments that I don’t need to respond.

For instance, your inadequate defense of GGD’s V-bombing of VPB is one of the lamest stands you’ve taken that I‘ve noticed. Then again, shoving X-rated photographs of violence in the faces of people with whom you disagree is not so easy to defend. Force-feeding that stuff on unwitting viewers was utterly despicable.

Face it, just because Allen lost and the war in Iraq is a fiasco, doesn’t mean I am your enemy. Look here, for a change in the new year, why not try being man enough to stop blaming your losses, or bad calls, on your opponents?

I'm Not Emeril said...

F.T.,

You accuse me quite wrongly on many counts. When have I threatened to start another aggregator? Is that something that just materialized in your mind?

You suddenly decide you must play dumb regarding the situation you have been ranting over for days now. If you know so little about what is being discussed, why did you inject yourself into the discussion? Or could it be that now that the hypocrisy of you and Waldo has been placed in full view of everyone, you decide it's better to be thought ignorant of a subject than to show yourself as the hypocrite you so obviously are?

Could you please just answer my question? The same question you yourself placed on the table. Just what is it you want us conservatives to do in order to end this impasse?

I'm Not Emeril said...

"Then again, shoving X-rated photographs of violence in the faces of people with whom you disagree is not so easy to defend."

Yes, it's much easier to either pretend the liberal blogger never showed the dead baby photo, or deny any knowledge of it's existence. You are quite the stand-up guy, Terry.

F.T. Rea said...

I'm Not Emeril,

I've already answered your questions, and, to date, I've called you no names and accused you of nothing.

And, as far as my not knowing the background of every complaint you may have had with other bloggers, sorry, but I don't care about every petty squabble that has erupted in the blogosphere.

In my posts on this matter I have defended Waldo's move. In his place, I would have done the same thing.

Moreover, the examples some bloggers, including you, have raised to illustrate that Waldo hasn't met your contrived standards for fairness have been bogus. So, I don't happen to feel obligated to comment on each one, no matter how much sarcasm you throw at me.

spankthatdonkey said...

Terry:
You are so Right, I self defeated myself with this posted above...

"For there ever to be such a thing as a corner of the Virginia blogosphere for grownups, with a collegial spirit and a genuine sense of fair play -- a place where conflicting ideas are debated openly for readers to compare -- there will be times when you can’t simply play team ball."

FT, did it ever occur to you, that censoring a blogger just because he uses a photo YOU and Waldo don't like isn't exactly, a way of playing fair, so everyone else can judge?

I believe there are other reasons, as to why you do not find me so 'charming'. I bet if I were on 'your' side of this argument we'd be all chummy, chummy, and of course someone who see's reason (the Way You and Waldo see it)

Someone 'Worthy' of the respect of a Liberal...