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The Sunday Blogwar
Posted by: Dale Franks on Monday, July 24, 2006

So, let's talk about what happened here yesterday.

In case you haven't figured it out by now—and, apparently, many of you never did—I intentionally provoked Ace, and I did it realizing full well I was doing so. And I did it for the sole purpose of demonstrating how pointless and vicious these personal squabbles can be. I tried to hint at my purpose early yesterday, when I added to the body of the main post, the passage...
People get emotionally invested in their positions. When someone attacks their positions, they get angry. So angry that maybe they do silly things. Perhaps they write passionate comments that are demonstrably untrue. Perhaps they log on under an assumed identity, and argue passionately in support of their own positions.

Read the preceding paragraph again. Then think a bit, and try to put two and two together.
..in response to a comment by Patterico, who I thought was close to getting what I was doing. Later that afternoon, in another response to Patterico, I hinted again...
This post was intentionally provocative. And, judging from the 30 or so comments Ace has dropped in this thread alone so far, the provocation worked.

Ace dropped in, with comments dripping with vitriol towards the blog in general, and me in particular. He doesn't like it much when the tables are turned, apparently.

That was the whole point.
And then, again, soon after:
What have we accomplished with this post? Precisely nothing. What will we accomplish by investigating Greenwald’s sock puppetry?

Much the same.

Who is going to care, really? Ace’s minions have come in, jumping in on Ace’s side. Will they be swayed by anything I've written? Of course not.

Will Greenwald’s? Nope. They’ll write it off at worst as an unfortunate, silly, and temporary lapse in judgment. The people who don’t like him will be reinforced in their dislike.

Greenwald will still be blogging. So will Ace, XRLQ, and Patterico.
By that time, no one was interested in subtle hints, of course. The big guns had all come out, and Ace was in no mood to do anything but attack.

To be honest, that's exactly what I expected him to do. I intentionally called him out, in the most inflammatory terms. And, based on his anger at my Greenwald post, I knew he would do precisely that. I apologize to Ace for manipulating him so cynically, although, to be honest, Ace nominated himself for it by the attitude he displayed in the comments to the previous post. That's something Ace will need to address, however, not me.

You may also notice, in perusing the comments, that I refrained, as much as I could, from addressing Ace directly in the comments (although in the evening, that became unavoidable, due to my amending the post to remove an added provocation.)

What I intended to do—and did well, if I may say so—was to show how these blogwars invariably end up. Partisans for both sides jump in. Heated accusations are exchanged. Various comments about one's ancestry and probable spiritual destinations are exchanged. People descend on the comments, attacking each other mercilessly. Sunday's post generated 242 comments in 24 hours.

Look through the comments. As I've said repeatedly, this kind of stuff is why I left the Usenet. Once it gets started, it's impossible to stop, until it dies of its own accord. And, like the very first commenter points out, this kind of thing makes no one look good. I look snide and condescending. Ace looks shrill, and angrily obsessive.

Now, step back and look at what happened. I'm not doing this to say bad things about Ace, who is, I'm sure, a perfectly nice person when someone isn't yanking his chain. But, I want to review this to make a larger point, so stay with me.

I wrote a post that, while not directed at him, got Ace angry. In his anger he made some statements that weren't factually correct. Make particular note of the statement I chose to use to savage Ace:
Because, you know, I really don't ever think of this blog. If I didn't see the letters Q and O occasionally on Instapundit, I never would have heard of it at all.
Note, please, that the statement isn't that he doesn't read QandO. It is that he's hardly aware of its existence.

The trouble with that argument is that QandO has been on the blogroll of Ace's blog since September of 2004., and his own search engine shows that he's linked to QandO 14 times in the last two years. So, obviously, he's aware of its existence, and has linked to it several times. What he probably meant, based on his later statements, was that he never reads QandO regularly, and only makes note of it when his attention is drawn by others to specific posts. But, whatever he may have meant, that wasn't what he wrote.

So, was Ace lying? Of course, I have no knowledge of his inner life, so I can't say with surety, but I seriously doubt it. He was angry, and he overstated his lack of regular interest in QandO. But, if I want to legalistically parse the exact language of his statement, I can argue that it was a lie, and that the existence of prior links, and QandO's presence on his permanent blogroll, argues that his statement was dishonest.

Similarly, Ace removed QandO from his blogroll. No doubt this was because he was angry at the initial post. However, the juxtaposition in time of his arguing that he is basically unaware of QandO, and the link being removed from his blogroll allows me to argue that the link was removed to support his argument about his ignorance of QandO. The two things may very well be totally unrelated, but the timing supports an explanation that isn't flattering to Ace.

What Ace was "guilty" of was being angry—and I think unreasonably so, but that's another matter—and using imprecise language in his passion. That allowed me to construe his statements in the most unflattering manner.

This illustrates, I think, the problem with the unhealthy fascination with pursuing the blogwar against..well, anyone, really, but one irritating blogger in particular.

It's perfectly OK to respond angrily, and with a certain amount of snarkiness, or even nastiness. But, as Sunday's example shows, there is a line that, once you cross it, creates a situation in which no one looks good. And that line can be crossed very quickly.

Blogger A says something nasty about Blogger B. Blogger B responds by seizing on an infelicity of language and attacks the motives and character of Blogger A. Blogger A then responds, and now all the arguments center on personal, not substantive issues. But, was blogger A lying, or was he simply using imprecise language, or overstating a case in his passion?

This is not to say that blogging needs to be conducted in an atmosphere of complete civility. But there is a difference between the incivility of saying, "Your arguments are stupid," and "You are stupid". Both arguments are uncivil, but the former is acceptably uncivil, while the latter is not. Similarly, there's a difference between saying, "Your statement is factually incorrect," and "You are a liar."

I'm all for acceptable incivility, by the way.

So, when I hear that "Blogger A is lying!" or "Blogger A is calling me a liar!" as I've heard frequently about Mr. Greenwald proximate to this current controversy, I have to wonder if something similar to what happened Sunday is going on: Hyperlegalistic parsing of statements, then construing them in the worst possible light.

Similarly, just as Ace's removal of QandO from his blogroll can, by its timing, be framed as an attempt to hide the evidence of his dishonesty, irrespective of his actual reasons, the allegations of sock-puppetry depend in part, on similar issues of timing. But if that's all you have, and alternate explanations exist, the decision to pick the explanation that makes you opponent look the worst is a choice. And it's a choice you're making because it puts your opponent in the worst light possible. Naturally, that induces your opponent to angrily return the favor.

How do you win by doing that? Look at the comments from Sunday's posts. Look at the level of venom and meanness it produced. Who came out of that looking good? Partisans from both sides struck out at each other, declared victory, and went home.

No one is arguing that intra-blog squabbles have to be conducted with some sort of touchy-feely sensitivity and civility. Indeed, I'd be the last person to argue that. But, you do, I think, have to recognize the existence of a line that, once crossed, makes the squabble disintegrate onto pointless—and vicious—bickering that harms the effectiveness of your arguments.

I did it with the specific intention of doing so, in order to create an object lesson about what I was talking about earlier. But it can just as easily be done in anger, on the spur of the moment. And when that happens, the result is indistingiushable from Sunday's.

And when it happens, you will you convince? What will come of it other that hardening partisans into their positions out of anger and pride? At the end of the day, what's the point?

So, my argument about not stepping over the line into personality is not about a concern with being civil, as many of you mistakenly supposed. It's a consequentialist argument, which is that, once a certain line has been crossed, once you begin to get mean, you hinder your own effectiveness. Once you cross the line, you effectively give up the possibility of engaging in any sort of effective persuasion.

You end up doing nothing more than expounding religious doctrine to the temple singers.

And, of course, as I pointed out earlier, you forego the right to complain when someone crosses the line against you.

Divider

Ace has apologized for taking part in yesterday's blogwar. As I said, he's probably a very nice guy when someone isn't jerking his chain.

And, again, I apologize to Ace for attacking him so viciously. I saw an angry man, and taunted him, knowing it would inflame his anger. In retrospect, it was frivolous of me to do so, in order to make a silly point about blog nastiness.

I also note that Ace has restored the permalink to QandO at Ace of Spades, for which I thank him. I'm not certain that, had I been as angry as he was, I would've been big enough to do the same thing.

I should also apologize to our regular readers for perpetrating what was, in effect, a hoax. I had thought that my comments of yesterday, both in the main entry, and in the comments, would've let people in on what I was doing, but apparently not. Overcome by my own cleverness, I set off a bomb just to watch what would happen.

I should also apologize to both Jon and McQ for not consulting them on what I planned to do beforehand. It put them both in a bad position, and I should've discussed it with them before embarking on juvenile attempt to make a point that, really, everyone already knew. As the very least, I should've warned them, in order to prevent them from commenting at all, so that they wouldn't get dragged into it with me. We don't usually discuss our posts with each other, but this was clearly a case where I should've ensured everyone was on board before casting off. Honestly, I think that a good deal of the reason why I didn't was so that I could impress them with my own cleverness as well, and instead, have undoubtedly caused the reverse to occur.

And to everyone else, in case it isn't yet clear, the blogwar is over.

Divider

Megan seems to speak for several commenters, including Ace, when she writes:
So an eight year-old pisses his pants, slips in the urine, and falls flat on his face. Someone laughs. The kid glares up and screams, "I MEANT to do that!"
I expected that reaction, which was why I made the contemporaneous statements during the day that I refer to above.

In addition, I'd also like to point out the larger picture. On Friday, I wrote the first post, explaining why I thought blog wars were stupid. The very next day (for me) I kick off a blogwar, as if I was unaware of what I had written previously, and as part of which, I tried to hint that I was doing so to make a point. Then, my very next post was an explanation of the blog war post, and a referral back to the first post. Now, either I'm very inconsistent fellow, with short-term memory loss, or I had a cunning plan.

Unfortunately, my cunning plan had all the keen insight of Baldric's "cunning plans" from Blackadder. XRLQ gets it exactly right when he comments:
As Bill said to Monica’s successor, that was close but no cigar. Try the same scenario, only the eight year old first said to his friend "hey, watch this!" which we all interpreted to mean he was about to do something really cool. Now we learn that "watch this" referred to the fact that he was about to piss in his pants, as he’s a weirder eight year old than we all thought, and really thought it would be a cool idea to purposely piss his pants to parody a poor putz who had previously pissed his pants inadverently.
Mea culpa.

I did something arrogant and stupid, which I regret, and for which I apologize.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
So, assuming the believability of your claim, baiting someone isn’t mean.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Didn’t Ace and Megan spank you enough, Dale?I mean they owned you pretty good in the comments.
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
So, assuming the believability of your claim, baiting someone isn’t mean.
Of course it’s mean. It would hardly have worked otherwise.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Didn’t Ace and Megan spank you enough, Dale?I mean they owned you pretty good in the comments.


Well, that’s debateable, but it’s not really important. The result was the important thing.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
So you were a p$n*s to prove a point? That was interesting... BUT thankfully you did get 244 postings! And that’s a record for the site!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Probably is debateable, but I think it was an unquestionable, hostile and nasty taunt. Jon Henke and Patterico tried to be voices of reason, but you and McQ tried to turn it in to a crazy attack. Megan and Ace made really good cases for his point of view and both of you tried to nitpick it to death. I fact I got so disgusted that I went from asking him to calm down that I supported his counterattacks. Look Dale I like you guys and read you alot, but I totally agree with him, Pat, Wuzzadem and the rest that this was stupid. Focus on what you like, let him do the same.
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
You know Hawkins at Right Wing News and Reynolds each covered Greenwald rather nicely and some how they managed to avoid starting a flamewar... they just pointed out that mostly likely Greenwald DID USE "sock-puppets" but it’s not a crime and life goes on....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Look Dale I like you guys and read you alot, but I totally agree with him, Pat, Wuzzadem and the rest that this was stupid.
Again, of course it was stupid. And pointless. I said that yesterday, after all.

Apparently, you still don’t understand what was going on. Sorry about that.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
"You end up doing nothing more than expounding religious doctrine to the temple singers."

In times like these, Dale, rally-points earn a premium.

Think about it.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Just looking at the previous comments I think it is also interesting how people don’t want to let things go. Even way past the point where any meaningful dialogue is taking place.
 
Written By: Dustin Vines
URL: http://
Agreed Joe, that is exactly it, but as you pointed out it got a lot of comments and probably gave this blog a sitemeter spike.
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
In times like these, Dale, rally-points earn a premium.

Think about it.
I have no idea what you’re trying to say, Billy.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
So, when I hear that "Blogger A is lying!" or "Blogger A is calling me a liar!" as I’ve heard frequently about Mr. Greenwald proximate to this current controversy, I have to wonder if something similar to what happened Sunday is going on: Hyperlegalistic parsing of statements, then construing them in the worst possible light.
No, that’s not what’s happening. Greenwald consistently misrepresents the things he’s talking about/linking to, hoping you won’t notice, and that you’ll buy his book.

What happened here was a pissing contest, and I think both sides of it feel a little silly just a day later.

What Greenwald does has a pattern, and we’ve just seen a glut of new, corroborating evidence spill forth that speaks to fundamental dishonesty with at least an 85% probability.

Previous evidence stands, the most recent in a growing list of examples being his problem with Patterico.

There’s a diffence between a couple of Alpha boys locking horns and trading rhetorical blows and one guy that consistently performs like...well, a douchebag.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
This whole thing is just silly.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
and probably gave this blog a sitemeter spike.
No ... not much.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
And of course this entire post by Dale is still lost on Pablo. He continues to argue, call names, and most likely feels very good about all of his efforts.

I guess some really can’t be reasoned with.
 
Written By: incontrolados
URL: http://

I guess some really can’t be reasoned with.
If that’s what you think I’ve done here, you’re them.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Sure incontrolados, because Pablo refuses to accept the fact that Dale mostly ignores the problem (GG) and attacks the messenger makes him someone who can not be reasoned with? Giveth unto me a break.
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
Ohhh, Dale and McQ were proving a point by repeatedly lying and being embarrassed by it.

Yeah.

Gee, no wonder this blog is so freakin’ wildly popular...

 
Written By: acd
URL: http://www.ace.mu.nu
You know Hawkins at Right Wing News and Reynolds each covered Greenwald rather nicely and some how they managed to avoid starting a flamewar
Yeah, for some reason Ace didn’t show up and freak out all over their comments hoping they were going to die alone (well, Reynolds doesn’t have comments) when they claimed it wasn’t a big deal.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Ace, you’re not supposed to notice QandO anymore, remember?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Gee, no wonder this blog is so freakin’ wildly popular...
Again with the popularity attacks. Here we go again...
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Ohhh, Dale and McQ were proving a point by repeatedly lying and being embarrassed by it.
Hey Sparky ... I thought this place was dead to you.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Too true Ace... It is sad. Dale I’ll say it again. Please stop digging. I know McQ said you guys didn’t get many more hits from this, but this thread really makes me wonder.
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
Blame me... I e-mailed him to let him know about it.
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
Blame me... I e-mailed him to let him know about it.

And of course, he’s drawn like a moth to a flame (no pun intended) with no will to resist, right?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
He does pay attention to commenters links and e-mail you know.
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
Ummm I guess you beleive that defending oneself is so 18th, 19th or 20th century?
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
Ohhh, Dale and McQ were proving a point by repeatedly lying and being embarrassed by it.
Nope, I wasn’t in on anything here except your insult laden comment, Ace. Apparently it’s ok if you get angry and abusive but if anyone fights back, well it’s just not kosher.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
So an eight year-old pisses his pants, slips in the urine, and falls flat on his face. Someone laughs. The kid glares up and screams, "I MEANT to do that!"

Nah, I don’t think anyone’s "drawn" here. Personally, I’m just amused by the spectacle of Dale desperately inventing ex post facto rationalizations for his sanctimonious, hypocritical, and laughably inept attacks.

Dawnsblood, could you pass the popcorn?
 
Written By: Megan
URL: http://
Fights back McQ? Yes, Ace screwed up with the lay down and die comment. He admitted that. Please read Megan and Ace’s comments on the last thread. They more then explained the links.
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
Will do Megan.. Popcorn on the way. This is crazy though. Why won’t they back down and honestly admit they were wrong?
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
Ohhh, Dale and McQ were proving a point by repeatedly lying and being embarrassed by it.
McQ didn’t do anything. I did it. I tried to hint at what I was doing all day yesterday, but you were too carried away to pick up on it.

And still are, evidently.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
McQ: "...if anyone fights back, well it’s just not kosher."

Of course, this doesn’t have any bearing whatsoever on the subject, because Dale now claims he was inciting a phony flamewar for the express purpose of teaching us all a lesson. So really, if you take him at his word (ahahaha), no one attacked Dale at all. Everyone was just part of his Grand Design.

Dale moved in mysterious ways his wonders to perform, and Ace should be praised, not condemned, for playing his part in it. After all, had Ace not attacked Dale, wherever would Dale have found the object lesson required to impart to us lowly, foolish mortals his guidance and wisdom?
 
Written By: Megan
URL: http://
I’m just amused by the spectacle of Dale desperately inventing ex post facto rationalizations for his sanctimonious, hypocritical, and laughably inept attacks.
Like I said, I hinted at it all day yesterday. Even in the main body of the post. that wasn’t ex post facto. It was contemporaneous.

You appear to be overlooking that.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Actually useful social science.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Tried to hint what Dale? All I read from you was that Ace was a liar. Maybe he overstated his case but he did not lie. Dictionary.com says that means:

A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.
Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
Fights back McQ? Yes, Ace screwed up with the lay down and die comment. He admitted that. Please read Megan and Ace’s comments on the last thread. They more then explained the links.
Gotta tell you, dawnsblood, at 6pm last night I left to go out with friends, had dinner and a few cold ones, came back about 11:30, saw the train wreck (on both sides) had a laugh and a nightcap and hit the hay.

What Ace did or didn’t screw up really doesn’t interest me anymore. I saw all I needed to see or ever want to see of Ace yesterday, thankyouverymuch.

I see another train wreck coming, it’s about the same time as I called it a night last night and I’m going to go count sheep. Have to hit the road tomorrow and south Georgia in July takes strength and endurance. You boys have fun now, ya hear ... and play nice.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
After all, had Ace not attacked Dale, wherever would Dale have found the object lesson required to impart to us lowly, foolish mortals his guidance and wisdom?
I wouldn’t have been able to. Fortunately, Ace was, based on his level of anger, all too ready to play.

And so were you.

Heh. And still are.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
As Dale was saying, you can’t stop this stuff once it gets started.

Appeals to reason and reasonableness fall by the wayside unless there’s a vested interest in being reasonable and reaching agreement. And here, there’s not. Actually, there’s a vested interest in being unreasonable, nasty, and accusatory. It sells the papers. To use an MSM metaphor.

Dale, the question is, since it’s pretty tough to stop this stuff when it gets started, the question is why you went to such effort to write this rational, attemptedly-neutral post. On the other hand, it’s admirable.

You should, in fact, read Greenwald more - he appeals to people who think that this sort of thing is bulls***. Sure, he filters that through a specific target sample- the right wing- and I’m sure I he fails to be 100% objective, and hypersensitive parsing and misconstruing may or may not be something he is on either the giving end of, the receiving end of, or both -

but nevertheless, to academicize it, this is a topic he’s interested in.

PS: Like I said in an earlier post, you might use a sort of semi-scientific reverse sampling method to tell which bloggers really thrive and subsist off of demonization, hyperpartisan posturing, and cheap shots. Let’s take the argument over Glenn Greenwald on this blog as a control. Q and O is neutral (GG is cited both in negative and positive contexts). Glenn is (arugment’s sake) leftist. Ace of Spades is rightist.

And what do we have? A large number of angry rightists attacking a neutral board for refusing to participate wholeheartedly in working a blog-style hit squad on a leftist.

The whole thing is a perfect example of Glenn Greenwald’s main point, regardless of how obnoxious his language may or may not be, or whatever sock puppetry did or didn’t occur.

Where are the squads of uncivil Glenn Greenwald acolytes descending on here in equally large numbers to start something? For that matter, where are the Q & O zealots? Why are there so many more Ace of Spades posters, more posts, and more overall agression from Ace of Spades?

Anyway, in case I forgot to mention, I agree 100% about your point of a certain level of personal invective being fundamentally unuseful - assuming, of course, a shared basic purpose of dialogue and marketplace-of-ideas debate. Glenn Greenwald would argue, of course, that sites like Ace’s aren’t really about that to begin with.





 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Did people bait each other on Usenet?

Good thing you gave it up!
 
Written By: Patterico
URL: http://patterico.com
McQ, I wish you a good night. That was a pretty fair post and I appriciate it. My best to you.
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
I hope you realize that this whole responding-to-your-post thing was a non-April-Fool’s day joke/experiment by me and Ace to see if we could get you to believe we were really mad.

You really fell for it. Sucker!

(See? It’s the LEVELS!)

I swear, if I see one more person trying to cover up some stupid sh*t they did by pretending it was deliberate and ironical all along, I will make a voodoo doll of that person and run over it with a steamroller.

Just sayin’.
 
Written By: Patterico
URL: http://patterico.com
If anyone can’t figure that out, scratch your head and read it again. If you still can’t, never mind. I got other stuff to do.

It’s all part of the plan, baby!
 
Written By: Patterico
URL: http://patterico.com
Dale, the question is, since it’s pretty tough to stop this stuff when it gets started, the question is why you went to such effort to write this rational, attemptedly-neutral post.
Obviously, to explain what I was doing on Sunday. I don’t expect it will stop the vitriol fully, but I expect our regular readers were a bit surprised to see that kind of long, direct, personal attack. That’s not the kind of thing we usually do, so its important to let people know that I intentionally did a bad thing, and why.

Some people will be too emotionally invested to back off of their positions. I understand that. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
I swear, if I see one more person trying to cover up some stupid sh*t they did by pretending it was deliberate and ironical all along, I will make a voodoo doll of that person and run over it with a steamroller.
Again, I refer you to my responses to your comments yesterday.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Tried to hint what Dale?
That it was intentional, and that it was an example of the pointlessness of a personal blogwar.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Dale,

Yeah... it just so happens that in yesterday’s thread I wrote that I had contrived the whole dispute to prove that boyfriends/girlfriends don’t enter into blogwars on an SO’s behalf.

Wrote that. Right in the thread.

But, uh, yeah, you, uhhh, thought of that. Had this master scheme.

The only thing you’re demonstrating is that you are an imbecile and a child and, yeah, despite Jon and I having a good talk, you’ve nixed any future traffic from my site.

That’s not a threat; it’s just the way it is. I don’t deal with c*nts like you, Dale, unless I’m putting my c*ck in them. As I’m not f’ing you, you’re useles to me.

Take care, Dale.

Keep workin’ on that scary-influence in the blogosphere. Perhaps another interminably long, preening posts on the virtues of civility and seriousness — while claiming to have started a blogwar to "prove a point" — will help ya climb that ladder.

Anyone who’s here for me: Thanks for the support, but I’d prefer it if you left and never came back. No more traffic for these insipid, ass-covering posts.

I think Dale’s post is self-rebutting.

In fact, I think Dale is self-rebutting as a human being.

PS, let John know what an asset you are to the team.
 
Written By: acd
URL: http://www.ace.mu.nu
Oh? My thing about contriving the dispute to prove MY point?

Was a joke. Said so right in the post.

Dale, it seems, is quite serious in selling this horsecrap.

Whatever.
 
Written By: acd
URL: http://www.ace.mu.nu
Ace came over here and carpet bombed the place and while doing it he flat lied. Pretty pathetic when you have to resort to that to start a flame war, isn’t it?



I love this as well ... who ever said he was? The fact that we think something is overblown and silly (i.e the Great Sock Puppet Hunt) doesn’t mean that anyone is our ’buddy’.


Actually you’re a punk, Ace. You came over here and picked a fight and got caught in a lie. You’re just too clever for your own bad self, aren’t you?


Nope no hate there I second Jon:

) Everything since then has been arguing past each other. Ace didn’t "lie" — he oversold his case, and retracted the oversell when the facts were pointed out to him. In the course of doing that, he managed to be an ass towards people (me, for example) who had never given him cause.

Linky
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
Ace, I just wanted you to know that you’ve really impressed everyone here with your magnanimous display of decency, moderation, and civility. Some people were unkind to you, and yet you’ve persistently tried to rise above that, and forge a consensus from differing points of view, taking every opportunity presented to return the topic of conversation to its reasonable and factual tonoe. I truly believe that you’re headed towards a bright future as a uniter, not a divider.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Like McQ? See my last post glastnost.
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
Am guessing Dale wants another link from Ace.
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
Glas, I bet it was more the retarded attacks that drove him to attack back. If Dale and McQ hadn’t beat down on him, I douybt he would have attacked them.
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
PS, let John know what an asset you are to the team.
If Jon wants me to leave, all he has to do is ask.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
I personally don’t want you to leave Dale, I just don’t want you to attack a guy for the hell of it or to make a ridiculous point... ( I know my spelling sux)
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
Am guessing Dale wants another link from Ace.


Heh. I think we both know that’s not gonna happen. But, of course, since he hardly ever links to us, it’s difficult to to how that matters much.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Please Dale... Just stop digging... I love this blog.
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
I personally don’t want you to leave Dale, I just don’t want you to attack a guy for the hell of it or to make a ridiculous point.
In retrospect, it was a stupid thing to do. I succumbed to a temptation to try and do something clever, which I wasn’t clever enough to pull off.

And, I think if you read us regularly, you know it’s not the kind of thing we usually do.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Dale, I won’t comment on it past my zillions of comments from before. I really enjoy your blog and I really do wish you guys the best. This has really made me like Jon, He is the voice of reason, I have to say I appriciate (spelling suxs I know), Dale’s response:

In retrospect, it was a stupid thing to do. I succumbed to a temptation to try and do something clever, which I wasn’t clever enough to pull off.

I am forever a fan ;)
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
Night guys
 
Written By: dawnsblood
URL: http://
I think Megan nailed it when she said:
So an eight year-old pisses his pants, slips in the urine, and falls flat on his face. Someone laughs. The kid glares up and screams, "I MEANT to do that!"
Nah, I don’t think anyone’s "drawn" here. Personally, I’m just amused by the spectacle of Dale desperately inventing ex post facto rationalizations for his sanctimonious, hypocritical, and laughably inept attacks.
 
Written By: to scott
URL: http://
So an eight year-old pisses his pants, slips in the urine, and falls flat on his face. Someone laughs. The kid glares up and screams, "I MEANT to do that!"
As Bill said to Monica’s successor, that was close but no cigar. Try the same scenario, only the eight year old first said to his friend "hey, watch this!" which we all interpreted to mean he was about to do something really cool. Now we learn that "watch this" referred to the fact that he was about to piss in his pants, as he’s a weirder eight year old than we all thought, and really thought it would be a cool idea to purposely piss his pants to parody a poor putz who had previously pissed his pants inadverently. [Sorry, couldn’t think of a synonym for "inadvertently" that starts with p.]
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com
In retrospect, it was a stupid thing to do. I succumbed to a temptation to try and do something clever, which I wasn’t clever enough to pull off.

And, I think if you read us regularly, you know it’s not the kind of thing we usually do.


Dale is on both ends of a revelation where the obvious is explained to the oblivious.
 
Written By: Tee Jay
URL: http://
As Bill said to Monica’s successor, that was close but no cigar. Try the same scenario, only the eight year old first said to his friend "hey, watch this!" which we all interpreted to mean he was about to do something really cool. Now we learn that "watch this" referred to the fact that he was about to piss in his pants, as he’s a weirder eight year old than we all thought, and really thought it would be a cool idea to purposely piss his pants to parody a poor putz who had previously pissed his pants inadverently. [Sorry, couldn’t think of a synonym for "inadvertently" that starts with p.]
Sadly, I think you’ve got it just about right.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
This all seems kind of silly, junior high type stuff.

However, one thing about Ace that has always bothered me is that he quotes Mencken at the top of his site. Something about hoisting the black flag and slitting throats. Anyway, if Mencken were alive, he would f*ck Ace up for using his quote. He would rip him to pieces. Destroy him. Mencken was against everything that Ace seemingly stands for, not that Ace would have any clue.

Neverhtless, Ace does seem to have some insight into the winger mind. He says things that get wingers all wound up. That is his talent. And he isn’t a bad writer. He is pretty much from the FoxNews school of blogging. Kind of like the Bill O’Reily of the blogosphere. He is pithy and provocative.

But when I read the Mencken quote, and then read his blog, for all its sensationalism, I knew he was not serious person. He reminded me of that college kid who goes home after his freshman year quoting some sh*t he heard in class that in no way supports his infnatile political perspective, and concludes he knows more than the old man.

The relevant question seems to be this: Why give one rat’s *ss about what Ace has to say? He makes Hannity look like a deep thinker.

P.S.: Here is my most favorite Mencken quote:

"Puritanism - The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."




 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Mencken was against everything that Ace seemingly stands for

Really? Do you know what Ace stands for (or even "seemingly" stands for) and what Mencken was against? Do you think that Mencken was necessarily right to oppose what Ace stands for (or "seemingly" stands for)? Do you think that anyone will pay any attention to your diatribe when you start referring to the center/right as "wingers"?

But when I read the Mencken quote, and then read his blog, for all its sensationalism, I knew he was not serious person.

It was the "moron blog" bit that tipped you off, right? It’s a blog, you puffed-up nitwit, not a philosophical treatise.
 
Written By: Pixy Misa
URL: http://ai.mu.nu
I’m sort of a late comer to this whole Greenwald thing in that I, well, don’t really know who he is nor do I care about the comments he posts on blogs.

But I wonder, Dale, why it would take an experiment or any sort of demonstration to prove that when you provoke someone they tend to respond?

If I came to your house and called your wife a fat, ugly cow and you punched me in the nose what exactly would I have accomplished? (Not saying yout wife is an ugly cow, not even sure if you’re married, just making a point).

Similarly, if you call someone out publicly you shouldn’t be surprised when they respond. Honestly, Dale, this sounds like a pretty lame cop-out to me. Lamer even than the whole controversy surrounding Greenwald to begin with.
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://sayanythingblog.com
Really? Do you know what Ace stands for (or even "seemingly" stands for) and what Mencken was against? Do you think that Mencken was necessarily right to oppose what Ace stands for (or "seemingly" stands for)? Do you think that anyone will pay any attention to your diatribe when you start referring to the center/right as "wingers"?
Did you read what I wrote? I said what Ace stands for, based on what I have read on his blog for the last couple of years. He stands for the same things that Bill O’Reilly stands for. Moreover, he is a supporter of the failed policy in Iraq. He seems to enjoy supporting policies that make the US a loser in Iraq. He apparently likes losing. Weird.

As for Mencken, trust me, Mencken would have hated Ace.

I tell you what. You give me your best analysis of Mencken and why he would have supporteed Ace. I want cites. I want quotes. I want analysis. And if you think you are up to it, I will respond. And I will show you how completely whacked you are.

Trust me, right wing lemming. Mencken is to Ace as alcohol was to Billy Sunday.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
I should apologize for thinking earlier (although I didn’t state it clearly, it was just a personal thought but I should probably apologize for it anyway) that Dale was really only dropping the "Usenet" in his earlier post to suggest that he really knew what he was talking about and to prove how "above it all" and much wiser he was.

Obviously, he knows his Usenet history well.

At least I can’t recall a better example of the ancient auto-flayming strategy of insisting on getting the last word and salvaging a thoroughly SPNAKED arse by proclaiming "HAH! I really MEANT to do that!"

So tell me, Dale (or should that be "Biil", "Palmjob", "Jules" or maybe "Fiishy"?), how’s this blog gig working out for you?

Good times, man, good times.

Meow.
 
Written By: Misha I
URL: http://www.nicedoggie.net/
Oh crap. I missed one.-AnalFacE

Woem.
 
Written By: Misha I
URL: http://www.nicedoggie.net/
.

Well, the next time anybody chooses to read Dale’s posts, I hope Dale doesn’t mind if the reader heavily discounts anything Dale is saying, because he might just be having fun or conducting some junior high blog experiment.

Of course, Dale would say he wasn’t doing that, that he was being straight-up and honest. But, then you’d expect him to say that.Because later on he might say that he was just proving a point all along. He intended to piss his pants, as it were, and the way he held the bottle of Mountain Dew was a clear sign. Yeah .... yeah.

Layers

eh. Better just to read Jon’s stuff and not have to consider all that.
_
 
Written By: BumperStickerist
URL: http://
You should, in fact, read Greenwald more - he appeals to people who think that this sort of thing is bulls***. Sure, he filters that through a specific target sample- the right wing- and I’m sure I he fails to be 100% objective, and hypersensitive parsing and misconstruing may or may not be something he is on either the giving end of, the receiving end of, or both -

but nevertheless, to academicize it, this is a topic he’s interested in.

PS: Like I said in an earlier post, you might use a sort of semi-scientific reverse sampling method to tell which bloggers really thrive and subsist off of demonization, hyperpartisan posturing, and cheap shots. Let’s take the argument over Glenn Greenwald on this blog as a control. Q and O is neutral (GG is cited both in negative and positive contexts). Glenn is (arugment’s sake) leftist. Ace of Spades is rightist.

And what do we have? A large number of angry rightists attacking a neutral board for refusing to participate wholeheartedly in working a blog-style hit squad on a leftist.

The whole thing is a perfect example of Glenn Greenwald’s main point, regardless of how obnoxious his language may or may not be, or whatever sock puppetry did or didn’t occur.

Where are the squads of uncivil Glenn Greenwald acolytes descending on here in equally large numbers to start something? For that matter, where are the Q & O zealots? Why are there so many more Ace of Spades posters, more posts, and more overall agression from Ace of Spades?

Anyway, in case I forgot to mention, I agree 100% about your point of a certain level of personal invective being fundamentally unuseful - assuming, of course, a shared basic purpose of dialogue and marketplace-of-ideas debate. Glenn Greenwald would argue, of course, that sites like Ace’s aren’t really about that to begin with.
I have patiently slogged through this mess without commenting but this one is too much. For someone to use this dustup to suggest that Glenn Greenwald is the morally superior actor on the scene is ridiculous. Greenwald is a craven, hypocritical self-promoter. Those commenting are angry about Greenwald’s treachery and dishonesty, and, unfortunately, anger is a difficult emotion to control. But it is honest. Which is precisely what Greenwald is not; which is precisely the issue.

I am quite familiar with Greenwald’s blog and I have assuredly encountered "squads of uncivil Glenn Greenwald acolytes" when I disagreed with their hero. Indeed, a cult of personality is pretty much the sum of Greenwald’s blog now. I’ve even been accosted surreptitiously right here on this blog by one of Greenwald’s identified alter egos, Thomas Ellers. Greenwald should be fully exposed as a self-promoting fraud, then ignored. For those who insist upon following him off the cliff, well, that is your choice.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
Interesting.
If all this was to show how stupid blog wars are, what can be said of your comments both here and at MY place?

Explain to us the difference between the two situations. More than one commenter here, noted the apparent double standard you applied, and your explaining here doesn’t seem to cover it.

The only difference I can see, really, is that unlike Ace, I refused to rise to the bait.


 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Yes, and Dale really meant to go to prom with his cousin. As a joke on every one else’s preconceptions.

And that swirly in 4th period? Totally meant that. Goaded the entire varsity squad into it, and the gangbang afterward, too. To prove a point about hazing, of course.
 
Written By: Warden
URL: http://
Greenwald should be fully exposed as a self-promoting fraud, then ignored.
Amen, David Shaughnessy. Those are the facts, and as we all seem to agree, even his "explanation" leaves him looking less than honorable.

But to those who accept it, I’d like to bring one little point to your attention. The tiny little thread that Sean from The Sky is Red yanked on to start all this unravelling was his impression that he’d read comments posted under different names that just sounded too similar.

The IP evidence came afterward. It was seeing supposedly different songbirds hitting exactly the same note that piqued the initial curiosity in this matter. And anyone who believes that the Thomas Ellers post came from someone in Greenwald’s house, but not from Greenwald himself based on the fact that he says so, well I’ve got an autographed Buddy Holly CD to sell you. Because Rove told me to do it.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Dale said: "I did something arrogant and stupid, which I regret, and for which I apologize."

Speaking for myself, that’s all I needed to hear. :) Now I can forget this ever happened and get back to exploring the rest of the blog. (Which I really never had read before. Heh.)

I’m enjoying your photoblogging posts. Lots of stuff in there I didn’t know.
 
Written By: Megan
URL: http://
Well, the next time anybody chooses to read Dale’s posts, I hope Dale doesn’t mind if the reader heavily discounts anything Dale is saying, because he might just be having fun or conducting some junior high blog experiment.

Of course, Dale would say he wasn’t doing that, that he was being straight-up and honest. But, then you’d expect him to say that.Because later on he might say that he was just proving a point all along. He intended to piss his pants, as it were, and the way he held the bottle of Mountain Dew was a clear sign. Yeah .... yeah.

Layers

eh. Better just to read Jon’s stuff and not have to consider all that.
_

Written By: BumperStickerist
Spot on, bumperstickerist.

Dale, it’s gonna be a long time, if ever, that I can trust your posts.
PS, let John know what an asset you are to the team.
Ace, for his being a total ass of himself, did get it right, you DO harm the reputation of this blog with your half-assed explanation for why you did this...thing.
You should’ve just at front said SORRY, but I guess it’s so much a better explanation that you manipulate your readers...

 
Written By: Frank_A
URL: http://
Beg pardon, mkultra, but where, exactly, did you exhibit your bona fides for reading Mencken’s mind? "As for Mencken, trust me, Mencken would have hated Ace."

I read this blog quite often and see your opinions here, but I don’t remember exactly the thread in which you showed either your Mencken or your mind-reading credentials. Who do you think you are? John Edwards or Hillary Rodham Clinton?

"I tell you what. You give me your best analysis of Mencken and why he would (not) have supporteed Ace. I want cites. I want quotes. I want analysis. And if you think you are up to it, I will respond. And I will show you how completely whacked you are."

Well, actually, since I am only a Mencken afficianado and not a scholar, I might have to resort to help from others, but I trust you get the point. (Well, maybe I shouldn’t trust that you’ll get the point, but I’m sure others will.)

I, like many others, occasionally pick up a single phrase that tickles, entices, delights or explains for me, and I use it in that vein. Surely you’re not taking the anti-Deconstructionist, anti-PostModernist stance that Mencken alone knows what the meanings of his writings were, are and should be? That meanings are owned by the author and, in addition, that you *KNOW* the author’s mind? If so, I regretfully suppose I’ll have to let Jeff Goldstein have at you.

Anyway, to quote William Claude Dukenfield, "If it’s worth winning, it’s worth cheating." That is open to various interpretations, but I know which one I like.
 
Written By: JorgXMcKie
URL: http://
It’s OK, Dale. As I told you in my first comment, *we* were laughing at *you* the whole time. Ace and I still can’t get over how gullible you were to believe we were ever really upset.

I tried to say this in my very first comment. But evidently you didn’t "get" what we were doing.

Like I say, it’s OK. You’re the slow one of the three Q&O guys, it’s obvious. So we have a responsibility to break things to you gently.
 
Written By: Patterico
URL: http://patterico.com
Patterico:

Done yet?

Dale did what he did and as he says, it wasn’t well thought out or well executed. Such is life.

Sometimes we all get a little to clever for ourselves. Things that look good on paper or in our heads often don’t work out well in reality.

In most worlds what he said above in comments is called a "mea culpa" and that ends it, as it did for meagain and others.

You don’t like what Dale did? Great, we figured that out oh, 10 comments ago. Thought it was laughable? Got that point too. Want us to believe no one on your side was upset? Ain’t gonna happen (that’s as laughable as you seem to think Dale’s effort was). Don’t believe that Dale’s intent was as he stated it? I think he figured out that regardless of what he says or offers as proof, you’re not open to that as an explanation.

Fine. Accepted. Understood.

Point made, ad nauseum.

Now, have the good grace to leave it there and move on.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
"that’s as laughable as you seem to think Dale’s effort was"

Correct.

Translation: I don’t buy it. I can top your "my stupidity was a joke on you" with "MY stupidity was a joke on YOU."

I don’t expect you to buy it, any more than I buy Dale’s pathetic butt-covering.

Best of all, McQ, you weren’t even in on the "joke" and you STILL jumped in with both feet. So either you’re slow or Dale is.

I think it’s Dale.
 
Written By: Patterico
URL: http://patterico.com
Now please! Have the good grace to shut the hell up. After all, if you post one more comment, it proves you’re being obsessive.
 
Written By: Patterico
URL: http://patterico.com
I absolutely KNEW you wouldn’t be able to leave it alone.

Heh ...
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Joke’s on you, Mr. Obsessive. heh heh . . .

And your little Dale too!

Now, as O’Reilly says . . . I’ll let you have the last word.
 
Written By: Patterico
URL: http://patterico.com
This post offers a nice explanation, but it doesn’t ring true. I googled the original post you wrote because you took it down. It doesn’t look like you started a flame war to make any point at all. It looks like Ace’s flame made you angry and you reacted, exactly as you (rightly) accuse Ace of doing.

It further looks like after a while you both realized this was not making either of you look too good:), and were working on ways of ending the war. Lastly, it looks like your apology is for starting a flame war to prove a point, and it looks like it should be (as his should) "I’m sorry for attacking a blogger for little reason."

Your comments that you believe suggest that you were trying to make a point do not do so. They merely show that you were ready for the flamewar to end. I’m just saying how it looks. No accusations, but it ’looks’ this way :)
 
Written By: Kevin
URL: http://blogiburton.blogspot.com

 
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