Has LP nixed C.L., per EP?

November 28, 2006

Asked, not answered.


  1. Mark’s response to news (probably bogus, as it turns out) that several people had been burned to death was to observe cattishly that “Vietnamisation is going well”. This sort of BDS-generated ugliness is more or less conventional at LP and other leftie sites. Chaos – the word I used, incidentally (not murder) – is indeed welcomed by many embittered commentators at LP. (One need only mention anti-Israel crank, Peter Kemp, and far left Wiki-intellect, Katz). I absolutely stand by the argument and its application to Mark’s comment. He probably knew I wouldn’t apologise for calling him on this, thus giving him an opportunity to bolster the echo-chamber that is the preferred m.o. at LP.

    Few people are personally abused at LP more than I am – not that I care – but Mark greenlights all of that for reasons to do with vicarious agro. “Fuck you’re a spaz” was one of the more recent descriptions directed my way. Mark – protector of “civilised” discussion – made no objection. I note that suz has just chastised Christine for calling John Howard a “cnut” but only because it militated against a feminist principle of some kind. Christine’s recent description of me – rendered in French but related to bodily fluids – was left to stand by “civilised” Mark and Kim.

    To them, “civilised” means never having to say you’re sorry (if you’re a fellow-traveller).

  2. Just when you think it’s safe to go back in the water…

    Sorry to see that, CL. I would have thought the LP kids had learned from the EP experience (almost exactly a year ago today, ironically enough…), but this hissy fit on Mark’s part proves the hypocrites haven’t learned a damn thing.

    FTR, I thought your comment was offensive, but only mildly so, and not by the usual standards of LP. Unfortunately, just like EP, you’ve been punished not because what you said was out of line but because the other party blew his cool.

    Though we disagree on a whole range of issues, you made a positive contribution to LP, IMO, and it’s worse off for your absence.

  3. I believe the real question now is – what will Homer Paxton call himself in his role as self-appointed blog righter of wrongs?

    Bring Back CL at LP? Bring Back CL & EP at LP? Bring Back CL’s & EP’s Blogs?

  4. I don’t think C.L.’s comment was any different to the rough and tumble that goes on when people get heated over contentious issues. People shouldn’t take things so seriously. I’ve said worse stuff to Kim (which I did sincerely regret, but they were more personal things) without being banned.

    Look at what Birdy gets away with (not that I’m criticising him, either).

  5. Thanks, Fyodor. 😉

    Actually MCB, the humourless fanatics at LP are now banning my old friend Homer from posting under his latest absurd moniker-advert. They’ve been altering his name (bringing back old memories). Apparently even the letters “C.L.” are too confronting for our progressive radicals.

    Shark. Jumped.

  6. Mark, it’s quite clear from numerous of your comments and observations on Iraq that you welcome – and are even semi-amused by – the chaos unleashed by terrorists against (mostly) civilians in Iraq.

    That’s what C.L. was asked to apologise for – an observation that Mark welcomed the death of Iraqis (the substance of his comment which C.L. was responding to).

  7. Vietnamisation is going well.

    – Mark Bahnisch on several humans being torched to death.

    I won’t be apologising.

  8. Shorter C.L.

    I won’t apologise for claiming that someone else welcomes deaths of civilians for political reasons.

    Even after that person explicitly denies their comment was intended to be taken in that sense, and points out they abhor these “tragic and avoidable” deaths.

  9. Shorter Mark:

    Several people incinerated; I won’t blame the terrorists who did it because it’s a good opportunity to blame Bush.

  10. He posted a link, C.L. The rest is your deranged projection.

    Just sayin…

  11. “Look at what Birdy gets away with”

    Have you been missing the action, Rob? Birdy sucked on his last straw a while ago.

  12. And, seriously, is it really such a heinous blogosphere crime to expect that someone who’s given offence might apologise?

    That’s a “hissy fit”?

    Would anyone commenting on this thread be relaxed and comfortable about being accused of welcoming the deaths of civilians?

    Or is C.L.’s “point” about terrorists allowed to trump any civility and plain decency?

  13. “Deranged projection”:

    Vietnamisation is going well.

    (Re several burnt-to-death humans).


    Civility and plain decency.

    “Fuck you’e a spaz, C.L.”

    – FDB to me (okayed by Mark, who may find spastics amusing too for all I know).

    T.I.C. (or Kim/LP stooge), see my initial comment above for an example of how seriously those things are taken at G20 conspiracy theory central.

  14. Jason — oops, I must have missed that.

  15. Regarding the war plans that North Vietnam invasion supporter, Mark Bahnisch, insisted that I provide, I argued this:

    An initial increase in troop levels could have the advantage of signalling a commitment to both the country and the process – even if, as I wrote above, it doesn’t stop the kind of market and street bombings that BDS-suffering commentators blame on BusHitler and Rumsfeld or the “failed” planning for the occupation. In other words, if you ask me – and you have – I don’t think it’s a matter of Go Big or Go Long or Go Home. It might be a combination of all three that emerges as policy in coming weeks: go bigger initially, go for a good training time (not a long time) and go home (for some; for others, say, a Kuwaiti garrison).

    From the Washington Post:

    The [Pentagon] group has devised a hybrid plan that combines part of the first option with the second one — “Go Long” — and calls for cutting the U.S. combat presence in favor of a long-term expansion of the training and advisory efforts. Under this mixture of options, which is gaining favor inside the military, the U.S. presence in Iraq, currently about 140,000 troops, would be boosted by 20,000 to 30,000 for a short period, the officials said.

    The purpose of the temporary but notable increase, they said, would be twofold: To do as much as possible to curtail sectarian violence, and also to signal to the Iraqi government and public that the shift to a “Go Long” option that aims to eventually cut the U.S. presence is not a disguised form of withdrawal…

    Under the hybrid plan, the short increase in U.S. troop levels would be followed by a long-term plan to radically cut the presence, perhaps to 60,000 troops.

    The thread is still worth reading, by the way. The excellent GregM is – yet again – demolishing the arguments of the Kemp-led conga-line of pro-communist suckholes. Not to be missed.

  16. CL,

    At the risk of being accused of being contrary – I think that some of the annoyance is caused by some assumptions being proved to be false.

    Firstly there is the assumption that web logs are public spaces – like an Athenian agora where philosophers argue freely about matters of concern. Weblogs are more like parties held in private homes. The host(s) make the rules and decide who to include and exclude – and its the hosts arbitary rules and decisions that matter.

    It doesn’t really serve much point to complain that “X” is being more obnoxious than you, or you didn’t really say anything wrong and its not fair that you are being thrown out.

    If a bad host doesn’t want to listen to divergent arguments – that’s their problem and their loss if they want to live in an echo chamber. If you want to argue with something they say, well that’s what personal web journals are for – there you can put your arguments totally unconstrained.

    Secondly there is the assumption that Leftists are civilized people capable of reasoned arguments with people of different viewpoints. They are not. What they are, are barbarians living in the ruins of a once great civilization, spending their ill-gotten and dwindling spoils and producing nothing to replace what they have destroyed. Barbarians can’t act like civilized people and you will always be disappointed when their coarse, childish and intolerant nature emerges.

    Frankly I wouldn’t waste my time visiting or arguing with the bien pensants of LP. The only time I visited was when I was mentioned on one of the threads. “Kim” had made the rather puzzling and astonishing statement that: “It seems there’s a Lutheran version of C.L. Check it out:”

  17. C.L. — yes, GregM king-hit Peter Kemp big time at comment #340. Be a while before he gets up off the canvas.

  18. Fair points, MCB, and a very accurate summary of today’s sad left. I would only point out that I would never question anybody’s right to ban any commenter they choose to ban.

    I wasn’t aware of Kim’s daffy comparison but I’m happy to be considered a Catholic version of MCB.

  19. And Rob, my apologies for what seems like a needless distraction from BPOV’s many other goodies.

  20. No,no, C.L., I’m only too glad to have some readers.

    I’ve only been able to be in and out of the thread at LP because of work commitments, but I need to register a protest over there.

  21. Rob, you largely align yourself opinion-wise on the same lines as C.L., yes? Yet are your comments being moderated as a general rule?

    Maybe it really isn’t about the differing opinions but the way some people choose to express them: vexatious contrarianism seasoned with abuse rather than attempts at rational argument.

  22. LOL.

    I’m not sure if this is new or not but it’s been posted on LP’s front page and Homer especially should be aware of this “Paxton Clause” to LP’s increasingly massive comments “policy”:

    There is a tradition on LP of posters morphing their monikers in the spirit of playful silliness by changing the text in the [name] field when they post a comment. We all enjoy this facet of the LP commentariat and invite all commenters to play along. However

    Evidently, “Fuck, you’re a spaz” does not breach LP’s rule about “abusive comments”. Ergo: Mark and Kim encourage people to make references to congenital spasticity.

  23. C.L.,

    Leftists have remarkably flexible standards in regards to what they demand from others and what they demand from themselves. They have such a habit of vilifing opposition that they probably didn’t even notice.

    By the way, thank you for the rather generous and undeserved words – they are going up on my ‘Encomia’ page.

    They are, however, entirely undeserved – your writing is far superior (and more popular) than my halting and unoriginal scribbling. If my web journal were to vanish tomorrow it would not be missed – which cannot be said for yours.

  24. C.L. — yes, the anti-Homer clause is rather ridiculous, as was the heavy-handed editing of his monicker. And you’ve been right all along: you did not accuse Mark in the terms he claimed, so I don’t know what he was worriting about.

    logic 101 — I’m in anger management therapy these days but I’ve been banned or threatened with it at LP before — for a joke, yet. And as C.L. has pointed out, LP bloggers and commenters are allowed to abuse and insult him without fear of intervention from the dreaded commissars of commentary.

  25. If I can just interrupt this mutual admiration fest (dare I call it an echo chamber?), C.L. well knows that all the LP moderators are working folks, and on threads with hundreds of comments, can’t review every one. He’s been told on numerous occasions before that if he thinks he’s been abused, he should email the moderators.

    How many people have ever been banned from LP?

    About 3 or 4 in 18 months. In that time there’ve been more than 100 000 comments on the site.

    If C.L. can bring himself to apologise, then…

    This is hypocritical tosh.

  26. Hypocritical tosh: ye olde ‘we were at work when [the right-wing commenter] was abused’ tale. Heard it a hundred times before.

    Don’t get me wrong, TIC; I don’t actually mind being “banned” from LP. But nor should that mean Mark goes on refusing to apologise for his behaviour.

    It would still be the right thing to do.

  27. Oh. My. God.

    GregM deleted, thread shut down, legal action threatened by Howardian suburban law associate.

  28. Get a job, C.L.

    Just sayin…

    Not everyone’s reading these dumb assed stoush threads all day every day.

  29. Not everyone’s reading these dumb assed stoush threads all day every day.

    Says an LP blogger/sockpuppet whose mission is “truth in commenting”.

  30. It’s the weekend, dude.

  31. Just to slightly change the topic – if you really want to see an intimidating comments policy just look at the one for the Paleocon blog “Surfeited with Dainties (blog)” at

    After looking at it – I would be too daunted to say anything.

  32. It’s the weekend…

    TIC, you began stalking this thread on Wednesday, returning on Thursdy and Friday.

    Get a job, dude(tte).

  33. CL, we often disagree. That’s the truth. But you’re always welcome at Catallaxy. In fact, Jason and I would have you blog there regularly if we could get away with it.

    Keep the peace over Xmas, brother.

  34. I gave in a few times but I going to avoid participating there from now on. It’s become a cesspit of smelly conformities. Kim accused me of being ‘inconsistent in my libertarianism’ because I happened to mention that Bush actually was supportive of Cheney’s lesbian daughter’s pregnancy, which is true. So I’m ‘inconsistent in my libertarianism’ because I didn’t see the need to make up a lie about Bush’s personal qualities to depict him as a hateful homophobe when it is sufficient to critque his policies.

  35. Jason — there are certain buttons you just can’t push at LP without setting up a storm. Don’t stay away; there’s little enough of the sane and sensible there as it is.

  36. If you hadn’t stayed away, you’d find that Kim apologised.

  37. But speaking of cesspits, Jason at Catallaxy, that reknowned home of intellectual debate:

    you can fuck right off if you’re going to
    1) compare Rafe’s mild comment to GMB’s
    2) misrepresent our efforts to make a commenter apologise to another commenter and compare what a commenter said to what a main blog poster said

    I mean it. you whingy nancyish prick, and I’m not apologising for that comment.


    what sort of silly utopian are you, ff? who gives a shit about international law?


    Those interested in C.L.’s “the Left are apologists for Saddam” meme will also find ample fodder on that thread.

  38. TIC
    What major intellectual issue was Liam canvassing, dare I ask? He implied that Rafe wouldn’t apologise. Rafe DID apologise. What burning intellectual issue was involved there?

  39. Good for Rafe. It was the right thing to do.
    Since this is the metablogging thread to end all metablogging threads, I was doing more than implying, I was challenging you to make the Bird apologise for his repulsive comment to FDB, which he has never done, though you’ve pleaded with him. The man is making your threads a laughing-stock, and being abused half-mindedly by semi-literates is passé, Jason.

  40. Liam was canvassing the major intellectual issue of blog etiquette just as this post does.

  41. Oh, yeah, and your part in the whole affair(s) were what, ‘truth’ ‘in’ ‘commenting’, if that really is your handle?

  42. I am an imaginary entity, Comrade.

  43. Liam
    In case you haven’t noticed I and Helen were doing that comment insertion thing for a week to pressure him to apologise. If you have so much free time on your hands, then by all means why don’t I outsource the task to you if you’re so keen? Sanctimonous twit.

    There is nothing I can do to ‘make’ him apologise. If he were merely forced to it would simply be a token apology and pointless. FDB has said he appreciated the effort but I decided after a week or more that it was pointless.

  44. Yes, I did notice that, and I thought it was a peculiarly inefficient solution, designed to fail. It’s obvious you’re not at all serious about dealing with his abusiveness.

  45. Funny how when LP violated Homer’s right to privacy and inserted his FULL NAME in place of his moniker because he had used ‘Bring back the Old LP’ Liam defended this on the basis that ‘the old LP’ was Mark’s property. And now here he is choosing to judge my ‘seriousness’ in pressuring Bird to issue a retraction.

    You, sir are a hypocritical two-faced prat just like your comrades.

  46. I think you’ll find that I didn’t, Jason. Here’s what I said:

    I can understand how tempting it is, but why can’t Homer have his original dumb-arse entry in the [name] field?

    My later comment to which you’re referring was criticising Homer for the silliness of the name, and had nothing to do with the the act of changing it, which I still think was poor form.
    You sir should read more closely.

  47. Response awaiting moderation, Jason.

  48. Liam

    Which do you think is worse?

    1. Bird’s comment to FDB that was supposd to be some sort of analogy that went very wrong and looked replusive, or

    2. Munn’s comments directed toards me that contained no end of disgusting racist stuff (against me) . He also stole my moniker and wrote other filth.

    I never held Jason in contempt for Munns behaviour because I reasoned that it wasn’t Jason writing those things and I know the score as far as the comments policy goes at the Cat.

    Now you witnessed some of Munn’s behaviour but reamined silent about it, which leads me to think that you’re nothing but a mendacious little twerp whos simply cheering for the home team.

    When you grow an honesty bone, come back and talk turkey.

  49. “…when LP violated Homer’s right to privacy…”

    Oh, come off it. It’s not like we outed him.

  50. CL’s comment was stupid and wrong, but not ban-worthy. You’re welcome at ALS CL.

    In response to the comment in question and defence of Mark’s complaint:

    If I predict that public schooling or drug prohibition or bank regulation will cause bad outcomes and then it does, am I obliged not to point it out? Must I cry and nash my teeth and start chanting “I wish the government program worked better… I wish the government program worked better…”.

    No. I’ll throw it in the face of the stupid government-loving tax-eating statists who trusted their government program.

    Nobody wanted a bad outcome in Iraq. It’s just that some people cared enough to actually hold an informed and intellegent position while others were too busy declaring the virtues of their wonderful new government program. As I often repeat to lefty government-lovers, nobody can eat a good intention. If you don’t back up your good intentions with careful and skeptical consideration of government action then you obviously don’t care too much.

  51. Sorry, Liam, I’ve been out most of the last two days.

  52. That’s fine, Rob, so I figured, I just wanted to flag that I’d responded.

  53. Fair enough, Liam. I missed that bit. I retract my comment about your response to Homer’s punishment.

  54. Well I totally and utterly missed this at LP (but then I don’t read every post or thread).
    So Rob, I asked again.

  55. saint, as I’m in the process of saying at LP we don’t discuss our moderation decisions.

    Our blog, our discretion. No public correspondence will be entered into regarding moderation decisions. If readers or commenters have queries about this policy, they may email the site or its contributors.


  56. I would make two points though:

    (a) It’s open to C.L. to apologise.

    (b) Some things never change. Here’s Rob, commenting at LP on the 29th of August 2005:


    On the broader subject. Commenting at LP is like dancing with robots: every move pre-programmed, evey position pre-configured, every turn pre-anticipated.

    And that was before there was any cause for anyone to adopt ridiculous monikers about bringing back EP!

  57. I don’t quite see your point, Kim.

    I actually apologised for the robot reference, as I recall.

    What’s it have to do with banning C.L.?

    And if I may say, I think the heavy-handed editing of HP’s joke monicker was silly and petty.

    Now you’ve given him another one.

  58. Kim – I didn’t ask for a discussion. Or your reasons why. Nor any metacommentary on your comments policy or how you apply them. Just a simple yes or no. That alone would have ended my discussion on this topic and still can. Your call.

  59. I was just commenting on your comments that LP is an “echo chamber” etc, Rob. As I recall, you’ve been saying that again and again since the place opened for business. No matter how much debate there is. As Lefty E said recently, it was open slather between Greenies and ALPers for about two weeks.

    I took that comment out of its context, and I didn’t mean anything by it other than to point out that you were claiming that LP only encouraged leftie povs even when EP was making numerous comments on most threads.

  60. From LP’s comments ‘censoring people we don’t like’ policy:

    “[No] Vexatious and purely abusive comments.”

    Like FDB calling me a spastic and a retard.

    Fully approved by LP.

    “Nobody wanted a bad outcome in Iraq.”

    Not true, John. BusHitler haters wanted the worst possible outcome ab initio, as evidenced by the comment of Mark’s which caused this disagreement. The incineration story was almost certainly untrue – yet another example, as it happens, of mysterious stringers making things up and selling the invention to “news” agencies like AP and Reuters. While my criticism of Mark’s crass willingness to trivialise such a horror story stands, one still has to grapple with the reason so many observers rush to uncritically accept this kind of war-porn.

    Supporters of the invasion have continually displayed that very scepticism you recommend – unlike so many critics who believe and propagate anything that will contribute to an air of crisis. The political purpose of that is – and always has been – to get evil George Bush and TEH neo-cons.

    At the meta-level, the body-count and the very real contribution made by lefty chaos-mongerers to rewarding terrorist acts are overlooked by commentators who prefer to exaggerate the notion of a President or a Defence Secretary or an Australian Prime Minister in “denial”. That’s the saleable propaganda pitch and it absolutely depends on chaos which is – I assert this unashamedly – welcomed by many critics.

    There is nothing informed and intelligent about this, just as there was nothing informed and intelligent about the same critics counselling against war in Afghanistan because it would become “another Vietnam”. The reason Afghanistan hasn’t become that in political discourse (and in military reality) is principally because the left became faux-hawkish in the face of the Taliban’s revolting illiberality and decided to make it the Good War.

  61. saint – it should be clear from sl’s comment and this thread. I repeat – C.L. might consider apologising. I agree that it’s not the intention but whether offence was taken that should prompt an apology. I apologised to Jason, as someone else noted above, though I don’t believe what I said was unfair. But it seems to me to be a sine qua non of civilised discussion that you take your interlocutor’s feelings and opinion into account.

  62. C.L., link me the comment from FDB and I’ll delete it. I don’t recall ever having seen it.

  63. CL and saint, there’s a fairly decent post on Finnis up on Catallaxy where both of you could make some useful comments (that’s if saint is willing to sully himself with visiting Catallaxy). It’d be nice to get away from all this meta.

    I will make one final comment: strong moderation may attract those people who like strong moderation, but for those who don’t, they wind up at our place 😉

  64. Kim — you’re right about my references to an “echo chamber”, though I think you exaggerate their frequency. But I was really referring to LP’s bloggers, not the commentary, so I don’t think my point is vitiated. And to be fair to myself,I also said that maybe it was us RWDBs that were the automata in question.

    Banning C.L. was silly and pointless, as was banning EP. As C.L has said a number of times (and so did EP), he was subject to a flood of conspicuously unchecked vitriol himself, with no demand for an apology.

    It reflects poorly on LP, a blog I like and admire, for all my disagreements with many of its contributors.

    I think in your heart of hearts you know this.

  65. I repeat, Rob, if C.L. can point to comments he found offensive, I’ll delete them now. I apologise for not seeing them at the time. I’m also happy to email the offending commenter and ask them to apologise.

  66. By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask.

    Is Missy Higgins lesbian?

  67. Please don’t, Kim.

    Anyway, I’ve said all I can usefully say on the subject and will spend the rest of the evening composing an elegiac farewell to Alice Springs.

  68. Partly true, SL. My greater sense of belonging at the Cat has more to do with my own developing interests than it does with any liberality of moderation policy. I studied economic history during an earlier uni history tutoring phase and have recently been looking back on old readings and debates. I think this recrudescence is driven by a desire to buttress the masteries which my first few testamurs laughably certified that I’d acquired at the time. 😉

    Don’t bother, Kim. I would also add that Christine’s description of me as “une piscine de sperme” represented both a slight exaggeration of my potency and a vulgarity seemingly at odds with the putative civility goal of LP’s verbose comments policy.

  69. I should have added that I am still open to an apology from Mark, as I think I pointed out above.

  70. I’m not going to apologise for not deleting the comment you find offensive, C.L., because I’ve never seen it. But, as Kim said, if you can link to it, I’ll delete it. And I do apologise that we can’t always live up to the optimum we’d like in terms of moderation.

    However, if I have ever given offense to you personally, I am of course truly and sincerely sorry for that.

  71. Rob said: “Banning C.L. was silly and pointless, as was banning EP. As C.L has said a number of times (and so did EP), he was subject to a flood of conspicuously unchecked vitriol himself, with no demand for an apology.”

    I agree. There is a distinct anti C.L. sentiment amongst some at LP, now evidenced by comments such as a “Lutheran version of C.L” and the other one targetted at me the other day which also falsely accused C.L. (and me for that matter) of hatemongering.

    Those comments are meant to be seen as disparaging because of the association with C.L.. Yes there is some rough and tumble in blog comment threads and the odd “now you are sounding like…” but even that’s different to now propogating someone’s very name (moniker or otherwise) as inherently bad, or bad intentioned. All of us are old enough to deal with some juvenile name calling and filthy language and I don’t have an issue with moderation but face the facts: C.L. gets targetted for special attention be it in vitriole and demands for apology at LP. And there are plenty of bloggers around of all persuasions who have noticed that particular bias.

    When the moderators themselves participate in that bias, it just reinforces that amongst commentators and reflects very poorly on LP as a whole.

  72. It also means that if anything some moderators and commenters owe C.L. and apology. Or else moderators ban comments referring to C.L. given he is denied a right of reply thanks to LPs band.

    So much for giving voice to the voiceless ay Kim?

  73. I don’t believe anyone else bar you has made any such comments, saint. I certainly wouldn’t want to see them, for the reasons you mentioned. If C.L. wants to get this sorted out, he’s welcome to email me, but I don’t want to enter into endless public discussions about our moderation and our reasons.

    I want to put on the record why I found that comment more offensive than the run of the mill stoush though.

  74. It’s not too hard to work out why there’s a continuing antipathy towards C.L. at LP. He constantly misrepresents the positions of “the left”; he refuses to acknowledge any failings on the part of those whose political/economic opinions he agrees with; and, frankly (as Mr Downer’s so fond of saying), he comes across as a sanctimonious prat.

    Debating, especially on blogs, isn’t and shouldn’t always be about winning or being right. Ideally, it’s about having your own views challenged; and for that reason I’ve valued C.L.’s presence at LP and elsewhere – I disagree with most (not all) of what he says, but he does occasionally make good points that cause me to think about my own position. But I don’t see much evidence to suggest that the Lad in question has much of a desire to examine or alter his own views. This makes for boring discussion, especially when whatever subject at hand is brought back down to three or four of someone’s pet talking points.

    My 2¢.

  75. This would be way more fun with Sophie Masson.

    Whaaat? You know it’s true.

  76. Fair point, Youie, but I’ve not seen much evidence that the LP bloggers examining or altering their own views when challenged.

    It would be nice to regard argument and debate as a sort of process of negotiation where both sides argue themselves to the middle ground of consensus. But it doesn’t usually happen that way: arguing just reinforces the opposing views of both sides. That’s as true in the off-line world as it is in the on-line.

  77. Rob, it’s not that I’m necessarily saying consensus should be the aim of all discussion. Sometimes “the truth” does lie with one side rather than with the other or the middle ground. But I think that whereas LPers (for example) will tend to pick on what specific RWDBs say on a particular matter, C.L. feels justified in roping all of what he perceives to be leftist opinion into one caricature. Sadly, sometimes these caricatures are plainly preposterous, but it’s a foolhardy person who seeks to convince C.L. of this and does so successfully. I can understand why the regular posters and commenters can become weary of dealing with his deliberate provocations.

  78. Mark, take a note:

    Must add new Youie Turn-Around Clause to gargantuan comments policy. Viz, ‘from now on those who fail to alter their views in accordance with left-wing orthodoxy (or sincerely attack John Howard, Alexander Downer, David Bolt or Miranda Devine etc) to be banned’.

    PS: ‘Set up LP Sincerity Assessment Committee (SAC).’

    PPS: ‘Sincerity Assessment Committee to cooperate with Orthodoxy Verification Committee (OVC).’

    PPPS: ‘Disputes between SAC/OVC to be resolved by Overseers’ Board for Bolshevising Line & Enabling Reassuring Sameness.(SACOVCOBBLERS).’

  79. “…whereas LPers (for example) will tend to pick on what specific RWDBs say…”


    Incidentally, I criticise the thinking of RWDBs all the time.

  80. Moderation, Rob.

  81. Excellent, C.L. That’s one for Troppo’s Comment of the Year thread.

  82. Bloody hell. Sorry, C.L.

  83. As I said, caricature, preposterous, weary…

  84. Much truth in caricature lies. (Unpick that one.)

  85. Many lies in caricature: truth. (Parse that one.)

  86. OK. Truth lies in caricature. That way we’re both right.

  87. I gladly accept this middle-ground consensus 🙂

  88. A model for the blogos, Youie.

  89. See, it’s not just Nabs. CL can do it too…

  90. I don’t think Mark’s comments show that he wanted a bad outcome. If you asked him to choose between his policies (leading to less death) and your policies (leading to more death) I think he would choose his policies.

    This is fairly obvious. You’re just being rude.

    As for trivialising death — people die all the time. I haven’t got the energy to give them all a tear.

    You’re getting too worked up about the fact that many of your opponents aren’t Republicans. If it’s helps you to focus, why don’t you confront the libertarian opposition to war. The vaste majority of libertarians have always been against this war (though not in australia for some reason).

    I think the entire pro-war argument has been a highly embarassing example of naivity and faith in government and lack of skepticism about government power or ability.

    I’ve got a deal for you… there’s a big scary thing BOO! BOO!… ok, give me all your money. That just doesn’t work for me.

    If “lefty chaos-mongerers” are really causing such a problem, surely you should have factored that into your pre-war thinking. Assuming government plans will work as planned (or on budget) has to be one of the most consistent lefty mistakes.

  91. I’m thinking that Mark and the LP collective should really change their tack. What I have in mind is a blog free of petty arguments. One in which all opinion, regardless of where it falls on the meaningless left right scale, is valued. A site in which the culture of abuse is eliminated, where kind administrators are there merely to correct grammatical deficiencies, not ban people simply because of differing views.

    I’m think that they should use Australia’s number 1 (and most tolerant) blog as a template for this cyber utopia.

    Merry Christmas, and don’t forget that the third test starts tomorrow!!

  92. Hi all.

    It’s a meta-frenzy!!!


    I apologise unreservedly for my use of the playground insults ‘spaz’ and ‘retard’. It’s clear you’re not a retard or a spastic, and I’m sorry for any offence caused.

    Having not stuck around on that thread after my petulant response to Liam’s censure (Hooogaaan!!!) I never realised you were more than passingly peeved, and would have offered this mea culpa long ago.

    For the record, I don’t use those words in their literal sense any more than I do ‘dickhead’ or ‘fuck-knuckle’. I hope that if I’m riled up and do similarly again (I’ll try not to) you’ll understand.

    Re: GMB. I really think he’s a borderline sociopath. Having given up on an apology, I’m simply refusing to engage on anything with him. Thanks again for the effort Jason, but having a Rancor like that in your dungeon really ruins the ambience of your otherwise charming forum. Not that I’m equating you with Jabba – as much as I’m sure you’re fed morsels by bikini-clad lesbians in chains, you’re much better looking.

    Quick question on the enforcement of moral codes in the disconnected world of cyberspace:

    When a commenter genuinely offends a site host, who repeatedly requests then demands an apology, what course of action SHOULD they take? Isn’t the visitor sort of obliged by our pre-web moral code to at least act the gracious guest?

  93. I don’t know, FDB. Graeme has been much better behaved since Jason & I spent a week sooning him. I’ll meet him on Saturday and be able to tell you what he’s like in person (apparently not offensive at all).

    I like to think my blogging personality is similar to my offline personality – ie mostly polite, but with a tendency to snarkiness and practical joking if pushed. Some people are obviously completely different across the two media, which is a bit disconcerting but probably explicable given the nature of the interwebs and the ability to sound off without physical comeback.

  94. FDB
    Having drunk with GMB twice and witnessed him once in an altruistic act I can assure you he’s not a sociopath or even a misogynist. He’s just got an incredibly low Emotional Quotient.

  95. Well yes, that was one of my main gripes. As I said to Jase by email, I always endeavor to be true to myself when commenting – overly verbose, unfunny irrelevant jokes, and sometimes abrasive and offensive. I don’t want to use it for play-acting.

    As I’m sure you’ll appreciate, had he said what he said to my face, his would look a little different by now.

    And as I’m also sure you’ll appreciate, his recent calming down does nothing for me – if I’m the bridge too far that he crossed, then fine, glad to be of service. But he has won a battle against decency and honour, and he’ll do it again without blinking.

  96. Yeah, okay Jase. He “plays” the sociopath. Rather well, too. It makes me wonder if there’s a decent guy bottled up when he’s online, or a psychopath when he’s in the real world.

  97. But this thread isn’t about me and GMB, and frankly I’m sick of it all. I just wanted to apologise to CL really.

  98. Now all we need is something graceful from Mark, an acknowledgment from C.L., and Currency should be back on the books at LP where he is sorely missed since he’s neglected his own site. All done in 100 comments.

  99. Not if I can waste one with this crucial observation.

  100. What was that, FDB? Oh damn…..

  101. No John. You’ve simply slept-walked into relying on precisely the kind of ploy (or, to the innocent, inadvertent fallacy) that has become de rigeur to lefties and which commentators like Youie are so desperate for everyone to meekly accept. Many on the right also utter “credo” to the same nonsense for the sake of their careers or just the relief of their migraines.

    You present a clanger and pass it off casually as an axiom. According to Mrs Albright, the sanctions and “containment” regime was responsible for the deaths of 500,000 people by the late 1990s. We’re nearly a decade on, so that figure would now be comparable to anything invented by the Lancet. That’s not counting the suicide bombings Saddam would have continued to finance and the thousands he would have continued to slaughter. Mark’s “policies” would not – as you claim with somnambulistic gullibility – have lead to “less death” and may conceivably have led to far more. Those gentle “policies” are also at variance with the kind of retrospective legalisation of North Vietnam’s war against the South which Mark and others pitched in LP’s recent Vietnam War thread – a.k.a. the ‘GregM poleaxing Peter’ thread. (Subsequently shut down by a Peter clambering aboard the last chopper out of that razed and bombed-out wreck of a thesis).

    The signature post-war theory of Hayekian libertarians was that bigger government would destroy liberty in the Western world. They were hopelessly wrong. So I won’t be taking foreign policy tips from commentators who objected to the kind of Big Government spending and powerplays that helped destroy the Soviet Union – the worst tyranny in human history. Many of today’s libertarians would have objected to the Berlin Air Lift because it was hubristic interventionism and too hard on the taxpayers of America; lefties would have objected to it as an illegal invasion of what really should have been regarded as imminent East German air space.

    I wasn’t in the least bit peeved, FDB, and you’re welcome to address me as a spastic and a retard as much as – and wherever – you like. I cited the insults to evidence the double-standard that is too systemic and pathologically entrenched for even the board members of LP’s SACOVCOBBLERS to disentangle or expiate. But thank you, anyway. The comparison, by the way, was not a tangential strategy to lessen Bird’s offence in the eyes of those who’ve followed (or encountered) that debate. There is no excuse for Bird’s comments to you and I would never defend them – ever.

  102. I’m nominating Fyodor’s comment in Ken’s comp, I think:


    Where are the stoushes of yesteryear?

    We kissed and made up after all that, it’s eminently doable again. But I have to say I agree entirely with this from FDB:

    When a commenter genuinely offends a site host, who repeatedly requests then demands an apology, what course of action SHOULD they take? Isn’t the visitor sort of obliged by our pre-web moral code to at least act the gracious guest?

    And thanks to John for his comments. It is puzzling why there isn’t much of an anti-war case from Australian libertarians. If anything is an example of unintended and disatrous outcomes of state action, it’s Iraq. But then I don’t see much criticism of big government Bush and his intrusion of the state into the bedroom and the death bed from some quarters where it should logically emanate either.

  103. I’ve fallen for nothing CL. You’ve fallen for a huge (and hugely pointless) government boondogle.

    Your complaint about sanctions is poor. First, they were declining in their impact and the UN was looking at moving to smart sanctions. Second, they should have been removed with-or-without a war. Third, the Lancet study was marginal impact. The government-loving tax-easting warnick don’t seem to understand the word marginal when it’s used against them. Forth, there are better estimates that the one Albright regretted saying. You’re not even trying. Finally, they impact on foreigners so don’t count in our benefit-cost analysis. I shouldn’t pay tax to make Iraqis happy. If you like foreign aid — pay for it yourself.

    You talk of Saddam funding suicide-bombers. Can you give an estimate for the number of Saddam backed suicide bombers that attacked the US or Australia? We all know you’re talking about his giving money to the families of Palestinian bombers… which isn’t nice but not worthy of invasion. You know perfectly well that Saddam had very shallow (if any) links to the anti-US terrs.

    But that’s all irrelevant because the costs of terrorism are so low that even if we got rid of all terrorism the war wouldn’t have been worth the cost. Amazingly, the pro-government pro-tax warnik mob have absolutely refused to do intellegent benefit-cost analysis. Instead, they hide behind platitudes and vibes and declare that they kill with good intentions. Then if something goes wrong they blame the left for not being supportive enough. Give me a break.

    Mark’s policies certainly would have lead to less deaths. If you have a problem with the Lancet study I assume you also have a problem with political polls? Or do you only ignore numbers that are inconvenient?

    I don’t know why you put the word “policies” in inverted commas. Are you unsure if it’s a real word?

    I’ve never given an opinion to you on Vietnam or Raegan or airlifts. This is a standard debating tactic used by people with no argument… change the topic. c8to likes to talk abourt Hitler… birdy says that not invading Iraq would lead to fiji dominating australia… others want to talk about the korean war as if proving there has been a good war somehow proves that iraq was a good war. This sort of non-thinking is embarassing.

    Libertarians are skeptical of government power. That means you pro-government interventionsts have to give good reason why your tax-wasting ways are going to provide us with a benefit. Not the foreign aid “poor iraqi children” benefit… but a benefit to us. Some acts of aggression pass this test. Some don’t. Iraq didn’t.

  104. God, John, spare everyone the arguments from the accountancy office down the hall. We’re talking world affairs here. Solid allies, eh Mark? John would scrap foreign aid and do away with AIDS funding for African hospices so he could enjoy the liberty dividend of upgrading to a newer Volvo.

    …the UN was looking at moving to smart sanctions.

    What was that you were saying about falling for “a huge (and hugely pointless) government boondogle”?

    …there are better estimates that (sic) the one Albright regretted saying…

    Followed by:

    …do you only ignore numbers that are inconvenient?

    No John, quotation marks around “policies” reflect the fact that you had earlier described Mark’s take on Iraq as “policies”.

    That’s why they’re called quotation marks.

    Said pro illegal North Vietnamese invasion commenter, Mark:

    If anything is an example of unintended and disastrous outcomes of state action, it’s Iraq.

    This is also a conventional part of the lefty/libertarian critique of Iraq: unreconstructed Whitlamite throwbacks pretending to be Friedmanite rationalists taking a leak in the pocket of unreconstructed Friedmanite throwbacks pretending to be Whitlamite realists. (Also, use of the word “disaster” is more or less required. Robert Fisk has had to bump it up to “hell-disaster” just to get noticed).

    Mark’s “policies” would have put further genocidal behaviour on the Iraqi never-never and would certainly have cost more deaths, not less.

    This sort of non-thinking is embarassing (sic).

    Indeed it is. Give it away, the pair of you.

  105. I don’t think we’re getting graciousness, Rob.

    Oh well.


  106. I believe the usual solution to these deadlocked situations is for conflict to be resolved via the faux-naif magic of interpretative dance.


  107. Ooooh, a dance-off. True, Fyodor. It’s the only gentlemanly thing to do.

    Actually, I think that answers my question above. When an offence-caused-but-apology-not-forthcoming stoush reaches stalemate, the site host opens a special thread for posting short youTube clips. No need for judges – a dance-off ALWAYS has a clear winner.

    “You, my good man, have been served.”

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