Blindsided Times Three

The following narrative is a response to a recent post put up by Dr. Sanity. Her post, accusing me of blackmail, was preceded by several emails from me asking that she take down one of “The Sanity Squad” podcasts (from November 19th of this year).

I made this request because after the program, which had been billed as a discussion of the “family squabble” between our blog and that of Little Green Footballs, there followed a twenty-three minute open-microphone private discussion between two members of the podcast group. Pat Santy’s voice is the only one which can be heard, although it is obvious she is on the phone with one of the other members, Siggy, after a brief period in which Shrinkwrapped was also included in the call.

Her public observations during this open microphone session were unkind and unprofessional… and wrong. Mind-reading of another’s mental state without asking her is not a good idea. It violates both the ethics of good online journalism and psychiatric boundaries. Perhaps the problem arises because the good doctor cannot distinguish the roles. One cannot wear two hats at once and perform either job well.

Besides making remarks about my emotional state, she discussed my blog and European politics, and then gave a general overview in which she said that she wished to “attack” one of the other callers, who is a board member of CVF. She described this person as “rude.” All I heard was her asking to be permitted to finish her sentence without being interrupted.

I have formatted this experience as a descriptive narrative of a play, which may help make it clearer to our readers. Besides, it’s full of drama and best fits within the confines of the genre.

Blindsided, a play in three unnatural acts

by Dymphna

This description of the events that evolved November 19th ff can be considered as a narrative of a theatre play. It is full of drama and conflict, and each person had his part to play. If you want to listen to the actual dialogue, it can be found here.

Dramatis Personae

“Siggy”… a psychologist
“Dr. Sanity”… a psychiatrist
“Shrinkwrapped”… a psychoanalyst
“Neo-neocon”… a former therapist
“Dymphna”… a blogger
“That other person”… a board member of the Center for Vigilant Freedom
“Charles”… an off-stage performer who enters peripherally after the drama

The Setting

The live podcast of the Sanity Squad on November 19th, 2007.
Various email environments
Dr. Sanity’s blog



The first notification I had that Gates of Vienna was going to be the subject of discussion on the weekly Sanity Squad podcast was when I read the news on a blog. This took me aback. As a common courtesy I’d have thought notification would be forthcoming that I was to be the topic of their case study. But no one contacted us, so I tuned in, curious as to what would transpire.

I already had some idea that there was a basic misunderstanding on their part, since the frame they gave the dispute between Gates of Vienna and Little Green Footballs was that of a “family squabble”. As much as I admire the work Charles has done in other areas, “family” is not the way I would have chosen to describe our strong differences of opinion.

When I did tune in, a few minutes late, I was amazed at the form the discussion had taken — or had descended to.
– – – – – – – –
In a conversation or discussion of conflict, one looks for one of two things: the process of the conflict , or a discussion of the contents. The podcast had been posed as an analysis of a family conflict, thus it was to be about process, about the meta-conflict rather than the individual opinions involved. I thought there might be some value in listening to how they would parse this from a meta-view, since family dynamics are inherently interesting. We tend to bring to our differences out in the world the template of our family of origin. If they were going to discuss that, pointing out the meta-elements, I was sure to learn a lot. Thus, I was willing to put aside my reservations at not having been invited to the party at which I was to be on the menu.

But if this idea of a meta-view had ever been on the table, it was quickly tossed. When I tuned in there was no discussion of “a family dispute.” Instead, Siggy was giving his opinions on Vlaams Belang, the Flemish secessionist party in Belgium. I was surprised by the quick descent into content. Having missed the first minute, perhaps they had quickly dealt with what was proposed as the actual subject? [When I returned to listen later, I found that I was wrong. Process never made it to the public conversation].

Obviously, no one in the group was willing or able to pull this conversation back to its announced intent — i.e., an analysis of the process of interblog conflict. It had become an aimless wading around in opinion based on content about which the participants had only a glimmer of understanding. Some members of the group had the humility to say, “I don’t know.”

The discussion was not about the dynamics of family conflicts at all. It was about politics in Europe. And from what I could hear, the politics being described on the air didn’t seem to fit the facts on the ground.

So if one abandons the original program in order to bog down in subject matter, the minimum requirement for lucidity and continuity would be an agenda of some sort. An agenda allows everyone to stay on the same page and gives the participants some idea where the particularities of the discussion are headed. Agreed, the strength of the program — sticking to the process and avoiding opinion and conjecture — is lost, but at least there is some hope of coherence.

A focus on process would have been enlightening, but the decision to delve immediately into content was a fatal mistake. The Squad covered no new ground; it was a rehash of what had already been bouncing around the blogosphere for a month.

Interestingly, not only did Siggy keep referring to Vlaams Belang as a person, but it was obvious he didn’t care for this person at all. He said that he was making alliances – “getting in bed with” – repugnant people. The latter are the usual bogeymen that appear when uninformed Americans talk about Europeans: the racists, Nazis, etc.

And guess who always comes to dinner?

That’s right: Hitler. With good reason, some history professors take points off if you feel compelled to bring Adolf into the room to discuss current events. As one of mine said, “when you hear references to Hitler, you know that any reasonable discussion has vanished.” She was right.

Hitler references are dead ends, and they derail any substantive dialogue.

Shrinkwrapped and Neo-neocon brought up legitimate issues and questions. At one point one of them asked, “are we talking about the [family] dispute or European groups?”

But that question never got addressed. Further on, Shrinkwrapped returned to that theme, saying he did not understand why Charles’ response was so extreme. But that was never addressed either.

About ten minutes into this conversation between Siggy and Sanity, I decided to call in. I wasn’t learning anything except some erroneous political opinion about Europe (and beginning to understand why Europeans tend to dismiss our hubris as less than useful). So I dialed and waited to talk.

But “that other person” (see Dramatis Personae, above) had already called in so she was ahead of me. You can listen to the podcast for yourself, to see how her information was received. As the dialogue was mired in content, it did not go well. In fact, it was interpreted later, in the “private conversation” as an “attack” on the participants. I saw her attempts to complete her sentences as the normal request to be allowed to speak. Which simply demonstrates that who owns the show owns the floor, and is not inhibited by any rules of courtesy about interrupting.

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A few days later, I read the opinion a commenter left on Neo-neocon’s post regarding the podcast:

Dear Neo,

that was very hard for me to listen to. I had to stop after appr. 15 minutes cause I couldn’t muster the patience for this total mix-up of facts, factoids, beliefs, assumptions and downright disinformation.

The spat in the blogosphere was definitely about two groups that participated in the Brussels anti-jihad conference in October. These groups were Vlaams Belang from Flanders, Belgium and the Sweden Democrats. Both groups are no different from classic US conservatives and there are no statutes, programs or people in these parties that you could reasonably call fascists or nazis. The European socialist politicians, media and academia call everybody a nazi who speaks up against the islamization of Europe. That means, that people like Charles Johnson do the dirty work for the European Left by denouncing European conservatives as Nazis. To the European left, everybody is a nazi that does not embrace the most foolish political correctness and multiculturalism.

Let me tell you that Bush and Cheney are being called fascists and Nazis too. So, there you go, prove them wrong …

The groups that have been mentioned in that radio show, like the BNP or LePen’s Front National EMBRACE ISLAMISM in Europe, BECAUSE IT IS ANTI-JEWISH!

Vlaams Belang and the Sweden Democrats are the most pro Jewish and pro Israel parties you will find in all of Europe. As opposed to all the mainstream parties in all of Western Europe.

I have created my own blog just yesterday and just for the purpose of creating a new marketplace of ideas for a better understanding of Conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic. I would love to participate in this debate and to bring some knowledge and facts to the table.

I have left Europe just after 9/11, after spending decades of my life there. Europe will need the US and the US will need Europe. We have a culture in common and a common enemy. This is an important discussion that has to happen.

and he responds to another commenter here:

… honestly don’t understand how you can equate Paul’s writing with the mud slinging of CJ. What’s wrong with what Paul wrote?

And I never said that “LGF called Vlaams Belang or the Sweden Dems “neo-Nazis” because they spoke out against radical Islam”.

I presume you are American. Let me tell you that your political templates do not work for the present situation in Europe. That’s what I tried to make clear in my comment above.

VB and Sweden Democrats are neither anti-Semites nor are they racists. There are parties in Europe, like the German NPD that are op[en]ly anti-Semite and attract huge followings of skinheads and original nazis. These parties are also openly pro islam because islam is anti jewish. That is a very old alliance. Hitler already allied with the Great Mufti of Jerusalem and there were thousands of muslim SS.

Parties like the NPD have nothing in common with the European Anti Jihad movement and VB or SD. And BNP and the FN seem to be well on their way to exclude all their admittedly black sheep.

So after fifteen minutes of listening, someone who had real background and expertise in European politics because he’d actually lived there, turned off the program rather than listen to the “factoids, beliefs, assumptions and downright disinformation.”

It was a welcome affirmation of how the podcast appeared to me, but I wasn’t to discover Transatlantic Conservative’s blog for several days.

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During the podcast I was given time to explain my point of view. You can listen
and decide for yourself if I was “scared” or “angry” in describing what I thought the European situation was. Put aside their mind-reading comments: I can tell you myself about the nature of my feeling state during the program. I felt both frustrated at not being listened to and betrayed by what had been promised as a discussion… but instead ended up as opinion bogged down in mistaken minutiae. The whole issue was trivialized.

Read the full transcript of the program’s Afterword here (reading is quicker, but listening gives you a more immediate effect).


You see, the program didn’t end after half an hour. Instead, the microphone was left on by “accident” past the end of the actual program. As Freud (demoted as he may be) said, “there are no accidents.” I think he meant that our unconscious makes decisions for us, overriding our conscious actions or words. Thus, the term “Freudian slip” has entered the lexicon. On the other hand, perhaps this open mike mistake happens often with Dr. Sanity, so it is just standard operating procedure. Or maybe it was a one-time embarrassing mistake.

Whatever the reason, that was a long, uncomfortable twenty-three minutes. And totally unexpected. If I had been blindsided by a program “of factoids and disinformation”, the twenty-three minute dissection of what “that other person” and I had said was truly stunning.

Have you ever listened to anyone deliver mind-reading declarations about your feeling state? I was described as “scared” at one point, and “angry” at another. Simple integrity would have indicated that such opinions be checked out with the person under discussion. But they weren’t.

Had Dr. Sanity bothered to ask, I would have told her: I was frustrated at what I perceived to be the refusal or inability to listen to what was being said. It was dehumanizing to be treated as an object rather than a real person…

From the transcript – Pat Santy speaking:

I wonder if that other person that called in was the Christine, from the… Well, both hers and Dymphna’s voice were quivering with outrage. [pause] And they were ready to attack us, they were ready to attack us. When they should have just wanted to attack you. [laughs, pause] Yeah.


Well, I was surprised she stayed on the line pretty long to wait for me to answer the phone there, but… I think it would have been impolite for us to attack her on our show. But I wanted to attack that first person, who I thought was very rude.

That “first person” was a member of of the board at CVF, and she was rude for what? Because she asked to be allowed to finish her sentence? Hosts are not required to let callers finish a thought? A psychiatrist wants to attack her caller???

It is instructive that our frustration at the lack of content in the discussion of this family squabble was seen as an “attack.” What happened in the twenty-three minute Afterword was most definitely an attack. I wasn’t “outraged.” Pat Santy’s judgment here is simply that: her judgment while in attack mode. It could be termed mind-reading, since she never asked.

In addition, she got the object of my frustration wrong: I was annoyed with her lack of understanding about European politics and how different they are from that of America. To listen to the Afterword, as she continued, still uncomprehending, only increased my frustration. I had been unable to communicate with someone who seemed to have her mind made up before the show started, and at the same time didn’t know the subject to begin with. Here is Dr. Sanity again:

Well, I – what would it take to have another party? I mean, why can’t these people start their own party? The Counterjihad party… You know, I don’t understand – I think – I agree with you. I think Charles’ position is morally correct… All right – I – But what makes me kind of surprised is his vehemence about… wh… Why? [pause] How does he know that? [pause] How does he know that, though? How do you think he knows that?

[an aside – obviously, Siggy, her interlocutor on the phone knows something that Charles knows… more mind-reading or did Siggy talk to Charles?…we’ll never know]

It was in the Afterword that Santy’s ignorance about Europe was most evident. Europe is not America. People don’t just “start their own party.” If the government doesn’t approve your “party”, you don’t get funding or recognition. In fact, for conservatives to begin to coalesce around some basic convictions and then attempt to legitimize their concerns is a very arduous process. It was the courts and the Walloons who were able to force the disbanding of Vlaams Blok in Flanders. The party had to regroup as Vlaams Belang. Yet it remains the largest party in Flanders and includes many immigrants who see the party as their hope for order and advancement away from the unruly, criminal elements of the immigrant population who have a permanent grievance and refuse to assimilate. It is also the only philo-Semitic political group. The EU Parliament and the Walloons and Santy/Siggy to the contrary, VB is not neither marginal nor neo-Nazi.

And the Swedish Democrats have had an equally rocky road, though they, too, remain a rapidly growing party in that country. They have been harassed, ridiculed as racists, threatened, physically attacked, and the post office has refused to mail out their materials. Recently, the national unions threatened to dismiss anyone who joined SD.

Yet, according to Dr. Sanity, Europeans should “just start their own party.”

And she says at three different points in the Afterword:

… I have no strong feelings one way or the other…


… I think Charles’ position is morally correct…
… I stand exactly where Charles does…

So much for objectivity.

Read the whole Afterword transcript or listen it to it at the link provided and make up your own mind as to how you thought the issues and people involved were treated. Do you think it’s ethical to leave up for public consumption what we presume was supposed to be a private dissection by two mental health workers? Unfortunately, public dissections don’t come with anesthesia. And it later turned out that Dr. Sanity wasn’t interested in the fact that her public vivisection of my mental contents made me uncomfortable. But I didn’t know that then.


After listening to Pat Santy’s unwarranted conclusions about Gates of Vienna needing help to find an exit with “dignity” and various conclusions regarding my purported state of mind, I wrote her an email, asking for an apology so this could come to an end. I also asked that the offensive material be removed.

I was amazed – and still am – that someone in the mental health field could so dismissively discuss others in a public setting without any compunction regarding the effect it might have on the people involved. How ethical or compassionate is that? And how ethical was her silence regarding my request?

I heard nothing from her, though we did get two emails from Siggy containing those meaningless and inept “I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt” messages. But why would he be the one delegated to email me? His voice was not the one at the microphone; it was Dr. Sanity’s. Obviously, she felt it was ethical to share my private email with him, but ethics weren’t involved in maintaining a silence regarding my requests.

So I waited till after the holidays and wrote her, again asking for an apology. I said that I would put the transcript up and ask people to assess her opinions for themselves if she didn’t delete these allegations and judgments.

She never replied. Instead, she says on her blog, she decided to let it slide, “foolishly thinking that friends could reasonably disagree on this issue.”

But how can people “reasonably disagree” if one side’s requests are simply met with silence? I am not a mind-reader, as Dr. Sanity seems to be. Her assertion that “friends could reasonably disagree on an issue” –when one “friend” is never even informed of her decision — is a definition of friendship I fail to understand. “Friends” communicate, and Dr. Sanity communicated only by silence. Simple courtesy would suggest that either the twenty-three minutes be removed or that the person passing judgments in public would offer the opportunity to those whom she judges to respond. That wasn’t done, nor was any apology forthcoming.

Was I supposed to guess all of this?

Obviously, my second email, with its stated consequence regarding putting up a transcript of the twenty-three minutes, had an effect. While she could refuse unilaterally to take down the offensive material, my decision to write it up was construed as some form of blackmail.

Evidently Dr. Sanity doesn’t have a firm grip on what constitutes blackmail. Here is the Heritage Dictionary’s definition of the word:

1a. Extortion of money or something else of value from a person by the threat of exposing a criminal act or discreditable information. b. Something of value extorted in this manner. 2. Tribute formerly paid to freebooters along the Scottish border for protection from pillage.

The following is a legal definition of blackmail:

blackmail n. the crime of threatening to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful or damaging facts (or rumors) about a person to the public, family, spouse or associates unless paid off to not carry out the threat. It is one form of extortion (which may include other threats such as physical harm or damage to property).

What I have put up is already a matter of public record. In fact, it was a public record I asked her to remove. When she not only failed to remove this public record but charged me with attempting blackmail, then I simply put up the transcript of her own very public words. How could that be blackmail? I can imagine a scenario in which she removed the Afterword, or deleted the program, but then I published it – that would be pushing the envelope a bit.

But I didn’t do that. What you read in the transcript can still be heard in the 11/19 podcast.

And you can read my emails to her at her blog.

I hope this experience leads to more sensitivity on the part of those doing podcasts. If we complain about the MSM’s standards, and yet violate them ourselves, how can we expect this medium to move past its adolescent phase?

Here is a link to cyberjounalism’s Code of Ethics. It’s a good place to start thinking about how to change the level of discourse in the medium we have chosen.

I will be addressing ethics in blogging at a later date. For example, is it ethical to make an email public without checking with the sender? There will be a number of responses to that. Thus, compiling a code of ethics is time-consuming and requires input from others. Such endeavors are best done by consensus rather than reactively.

65 thoughts on “Blindsided Times Three

  1. I thought the “no comments” policy over there was a touch of class.

    Shrinks are flakes. Their profession is not grounded in science, and many, many shrinks get into the profession because they spent so much time on the couch they figure they may as well do it themselves. For a shrink to aspire to journalism, well, as if that is a step up in competence. Don’t sweat it.

  2. oh dear…I guess the gun I’m holding to gerard’s head so that he is forced to read this post was too obvious…

    Really, g, can’t you tell by the first paragraph if it’s something you want to read? And if it isn’t something you want to read, then the scroll bar is your friend.

    Or that “X” in the upper right hand corner works well, too.

    I promise not to read your posts if you promise not to read mine.


  3. You know, I actually like everyone involved in this dust-up but at this point it would seem that some of them cannot tell when the whole thing is getting to be some sort of weird vendetta in which all are looking to eat their young. And doing so in an increasingly bor-ing way.

    And yes, I can tell somewhere in the first 200 words of something that drags on for 3,800 words that it is going to be more of the same.

    You and the Baron have a good thing going here and would be well advised to concentrate on that and let the small shit, and this is small, pass.

    The continued obsession and the current use of sarcasm just alienates your allies.

    With love and sympathy. Now, puh-leaze start working harder to save a little shred more of the real world.

  4. gerard–

    You’re ahead of me here, since I *don’t* like everyone involved. I have been betrayed, lied about, slandered, and called a blackmailer.

    What Charles has done is nutso. I ignore him and his charges. Notice he didn’t come into the picture.

    What Santy did was wrong and the blogosphere is a historical record. If someone googles the subject, I can assure you that her record will not be the only one on this topic.

    If you don’t get that, then don’t blog or you will be royally…driven around the bend.

    I have seen several organizations demonized, people I like used, and people I used to trust betray me for what…entertainment?

    If you don’t stand up for yourself, Gerard, who will?

    And if other people find it boring, c’est la guerre. I will stop when the attacks against me stop. I ignore 99% of them anyway. Can’t be bothered.

    Rest assured, I pick my fights carefully, and base them on the possible damage to my reputation.

    But I am the only one who can be the judge of that.

    This whole mess since Oct 19th, when Charles started doing body slams has gotten most tedious and boring.

    I ignore all but the possibly damaging ones. And being called a blackmailer is damaging. Requires a needle and thread and some thought.

    Is it over? I have no idea. Haven’t heard the fat lady in this drama sing yet.

    If you do, please let me know.

    I have three book reviews I’d rather have done than write this thing. But you play the cards you’re dealt and this is a crappy hand I’m holding right now.

    You have the luxury of being above it all because your reputation is not up for grabs. I hope you’re never in a similar situation and if you are, I hope you know how to protect yourself. It doesn’t sound like you do.

  5. I suffered through the whole podcast last week. The best part was during the post-program phone call when Dr. “Sanity” said (I paraphrase) “Vlaams Belang…is that a person?” From the conversation, the person(s) on the other end of the line did not tell her no, dear, it is a political party. Party, person, close enough I guess.

    A State certified psychiatrst indeed.

  6. Dymphna, I’ve read GOV avidly over the many years your wisdom has been online. Not as avidly but somewhat I,ve listened to podcasts of the Sanity Squad. Talk about worlds colliding; a sophisticated though slightly Southern gothic view of global jihad, with a rebel yell that sounds more Northern Virginia (Alexandria) than Albemarle County. Sanity Squadistas; simply, neo-cons who see the world through the prism of Israel and regrettably and ever more aggressive paranoia, that does,nt distinguish whose it’s friends and whose its’ foes. This indistinguishable lashing out is very troubling. It portends a character trait of someone willing to drag down the whole lot of us in the mighty defense against ghosts, the ghosts of recent and ancient European history. Yes, and even American history. Ron Paul, and that ilk Dymphna have a mirror in Europe that is disempowered, it’s called the fascist right. Le Pen and those representing such thinking. Interestingly, the Sanity Squad has been dismissive and moderate in its’ temperament as it pertains to Mr. Paul’s candidacy. There, openly and publicly a person that truly embodies what they despise lies in wait for the might of their intellectual vituperation. Ah,but where, and to whom do they direct their vehemence; GOV. Simply, I smell a rat. I leave you with my conclusion. It’s bigger than a bread basket, it never sleeps, it ain’t charles johnson and it likes to collect taxes as one of it’s pastimes.

  7. Good God, Woman, leave it alone. You’re taking a great franchise in GOV and turning it into a farce. Get a grip, please? BTW, have you wondered why the traffic that you thought would follow you from LGF hasn’t materialized? Hmmm?

    I’ve been following GOV for a long time, and have been dismayed at the rancor and self-rightousness on both sides. Both LGF and GOV are guilty of the hubris… not to mention Invincible Ignorance.

    You’re both right, and both wrong. Just let it go, and focus on the common enemy. Please???

  8. Gerard, unlike you I am able to see that some “name callers” need to be attacked – no, fought, not attacked, fought. Their mistruths need to be answered otherwise those mistruths stick around and start to clog up people’s perception of events in a negative way.

    For what little it’s worth I would rather see dymphna as she is, trying to deal with the problem now, rather than as you seem to want her, ignoring the problem until it grows into an irreparable stain on the entire movement.

    Fubar; It is the right of any blog owner to write about whatever they see fit.

    I believe Baron has already mentioned that they didn’t see any particular upswing in traffic after the LGF debacle but they never expected one. GoV certainly gets a lot more commentary these days. I don’t see how it’s relevant either way.

    Apparently I don’t see it your way either. I see a lot of self-righteous posing and irrational slanging on one side, and an attempt to deal with that irrational slanging on the other. Granted, not every shot will hit its mark – the post on the US pledge fell short, IMO – but that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

    I am not prone to saying this but it seems that the majority of the people siding against or criticising GoV are americans. That pains me greatly. I love americans, and I’ve spent the last several years of my life trying to dispel anti-american notions whenever I encounter them. You people are making it damned hard to carry on when you live up to those stereotypes so well.

    It is hard to focus on the common enemy when a group that purportedly wants to help us fight is doing its best to knock out any of the allies that don’t measure up. Go tell Johnson and co to focus on the common enemy why don’t you? They’re the ones that keep carrying on this fight by launching new attacks on supposed allies.

    I agree it should be dropped but the ball is very firmly in their court.

  9. I read the Dr.Sanity blog pretty much daily for a year or more. The long write ups from the psychoanalytical perspective are very interesting and readable for such an arcane field. However, when Santy strays outside her specialization or current US politics, the quality drops sharply, sometimes displaying embarrasingly sub-wikipedia ignorance on subjects like Europe or history. The blog displays a blind neoconservative outlook, and not infrequently has rant like posts, but what is really troubling that contrary views have been repeatedly characterized as some form of mental disorder. Dr. Sanity’s ignorance becomes other peoples insanity. Not the height of objectivity at all, and I came to the conclusion Dr. Sanity should stick to the couch and is not worth reading on other topics.

    In light of that, this disagreement between blogs is unlikely to go anywhere pretty.

    Archonix – I agree it should be dropped but the ball is very firmly in their court.

    Seconded, but I am apprehensive to see if Dr. Sanity will go her usual route, which would be calling Dymphna/GoV a loon.

  10. While I’m not sure that I would handle this situation the way Dymphna is, make no mistake about it – she has every conceivable right and justification for responding this way.

    Of course, Gates of Vienna will have idealogical differences with others in the blogosphere, and of course, there are always going to be those like Johnson & others who think that GoV is a nest of Neo-Nazis waiting for the Fourth Reich.

    This is not the issue. The issue here is the extreme impoliteness exhibited by Dr. Sanity. Of course, Dr. Sanity should be allowed to have an unfair podcast that’s full of ignorance & mistruths – that is her right. However, to make the kind of condescending “analysis” & remarks that she made, in public, basically to Dymphna’s face, is a garrish gesture & is worthy of our disgust.

    If it were me who made these comments, & this was an accident, I would (without prompting) quickly write a long apology & take down the “accidental” content. This should be regardless of how much I loathe this other person I’ve been slandering. There’s nothing impolite about talking bad about someone behind their back – we all have our feelings – but to do it to a person’s face is wantonly disrespectful.

    While personally, some of us may have handled such situations differently, Dymphna is more than justified in lashing out at this, and anyone who is so brash as to make & publish such disrespectful comments should be expecting this sort of response anyway.

    That said, It would be nice if things would quiet down some in our lovely corner of the blogosphere. 😛

  11. @Stephen Renico,

    The Daily Kos can chant all they like… Anybody with two braincells left will see through their rhetoric and blatant propaganda…

    We don’t need to adopt the left’s hive-mind mentality on the right, we need to stand up for the right to be different and that includes standing up for what we believe is right. That is actually a sign of strength not a weakness… To openly debate the problems and let people make up their own mind, instead of telling them how they should think!

  12. Ok, at 29 min. some one in the Studio pushes a sound effects button, playing a sound bite from the shower scene from Psycho! This is an outrage!


    Please know this reflects badly on Sanity Squad not you. Its pretty clear it was one of the shrinks who was the Norman Bates in the room and that it was you, Dymphna being cast unwittingly into the role of Janet Leigh.

    I’m so saddened and sorry this has happened. I’m still not finished reading and getting my mind around all this but I will also add at this point that Dr. Sanity whom I have always greatly admired stretches the definition of “black mail” in her comments on her blog to say the least.

  13. Ok, I now see that the current podcast uses the sound bite from Psycho as its theme. Siggy I believe at that point blurts out; “Turret Syndrome” presumably to excuse himself.

    Since for what ever reason, my I-Tunes subscription to Sanity Squad ended some months ago…I haven’t been receiving the downloads and have not been current.

    Whats obvious is that this has been handled very sloppily to say the least.

  14. 47:10 Dr. Sanity, referring to Vigilant Freedom and charges of Neo-Naziism, quotes Shakespeare : “me thinks thou doth protest too much.” suggesting that such allegations should be allowed to stand. My impression is that they simply have not thought through these issues at all. That which has been the business of GoV for years, has been peripheral in their thinking at best.

    On the other hand the British Siggy, does seem to come with some unreconstructed baggage. By that I mean, his greatest fear, far more than of the imminence of a totalitarian Eurabian super-state, is of a reincarnated, or cryogenically frozen Hitler, unleashed anew, as if it ever could be 1939 again or that current conditions in Europe have any precedents.

  15. For those who recommend forgetting this and ignoring it — yes, that’s what we’d like to do. It would be better not to respond at all.

    But Dymphna has actually been publicly accused of a criminal act — blackmail — and should her accuser ever decide to go beyond mere rhetoric, not to have responded would have been damaging.

    To leave a charge like this unanswered is to leave oneself open.

    The charge has been answered on the public record, and now we can move on.

  16. “What have the Romans ever done for us?”

    Could it be that the critics of G.O.V. have internalized the philosophical perspective and organizational effectiveness of The People’s Front of Judea?

    It would seem so. Scene seven seems particularily relevent.

  17. I read your blog first in the day. It is very rare to see an iquiry into the details of the horrific that is remains respectful and gentle to so many others. Even then, others have forced you to draw lines, or be drawn by or within their own.
    The love of liberty is the love of others, the love of power is the love of ourselves; and the first thing required of truth is we must love it more than ourselves.
    That leaves you where you started–genius does not herd in bunches. When the day comes they do herd around you would be your moment of greatest danger.
    Balzac–To live in the presence of great truths andeternal laws, to be led by permenant ideals–that is what keeps a man patient when the world ignores him, and calm and unspoiled when the world praises him.

  18. Only you, Dymphna, could get me to register to post on a blog after my own ugly experience of being publicly vilified in cyberspace.

    I speak from experience when I say that now that you have publicly answered their absurd and spiteful accusation[s], it is probably best that you disengage from this mudslinging and psychobabble.

    I discovered LGF and GoV about the same time this spring but long ago stopped reading the former on a daily basis, though I did see Charles’s “heads-up” re VB et al when he first posted it. It was a heads-up to me about him, a telltale sign that he was a dyed-in-the-wool liberal who would whip out the N-word charge at the drop of a hat (or the sight of a cross).

    Anyone who claims to be concerned about the threat to the West but who wastes time slinging mud against others supposedly on the same side in this crucial conflict should be left in the dust, not vindictively but so that precious resources are not further squandered.

    I’m sorry my first post here was about such an distasteful subject. You, the Baron and your guest contributors are have elucidated many issues for me with clarity, insight and integrity. Thank you.

  19. Good lord. Dr. Sanity said:

    Now, grant that I don’t know — have as much information about them, but just reading Charles’s posts and showing the photos of them, I go, “Ooh, this, this is kind of, uh” — you know, I’d be really worried about this.

    Why don’t you people do your own independent research before spouting off in public on things you know squat about?? No wonder Dymphna was frustrated. I don’t blame her one bit for posting that transcript along with a response to accusations of blackmail.

    Unfriggenbelievable. And you’re proud of that broadcast?? So proud that you’d risk alienating a friend than take the piece of crap off the air? You should’ve stuck to the original billing.

    I can safely say I don’t trust anybody whose standards for research are so shabby.

    History and details, people.

    Vlaams Kracht

  20. A hasty correction. I wrote earlier that you, Dymphna, should “disengage from the mudslinging and psychobabble”, inadvertantly implying I thought you were engaged in same. That is not what I meant.

    I should have written either “detach yourself from the mudslinging” or “disengage from the conflict”.

    Your response to this whole mess has been reasoned and dignified, though I doubt those yo-yos can make any use of either reason or dignity.

    My apologies for any confusion and again, my thanks for the great work you do.

  21. -F451-2.0,

    Who are, what is, or what is meant by, The People Front of Judea?

    Also I note that Dr. Sanity has closed her thread on the incident to comment and has indicated that she will not discuss it further. Its too bad. Sanity Squad was clearly out of it’s element here. One presumes they will return to more familiar themes. It appears as well, that Charles may have prepared the water in advance. Yet it seems certain to me that as events in Europe proceed and to borrow from Neo-Neocon, one way or an other, will come “another mugging by reality” which shall make a re-appraisal of Counter-Jihad inevitable. Its simply a matter of time and of how bad things get before they become unavoidable.

  22. “Charles”… an off-stage performer who enters peripherally after the drama
    I don’t care what side of this feud you may be on, you gotta admit, that right there is damn funny.

  23. nyog of the bog,

    It references characters within the movie “Life of Brian”

    See also: Monty Python

    See also: Satire

    Google will reveal all.

  24. Thank you F451-2.0. I did see the movie, upon its release, 30 or so years ago? May I be forgiven for not recalling your allusion, even if the highly descriptive name of a certain centurion in my mind yet remains?

  25. #6 Killgore Trout 12/02/07 10:16:35 am reply quote report 0

    Meanwhile the meltdown over at GoV continues.

    Does this remind you of people who hate GWB? Wanting the surge to fail, wishing harm to the troops all because of their own sick selfishness. All about them.It reminds me…idiots.
    “What’s that on that elephant’s ass?” Never mind, its a CROSSSSS…A white NAZI CROSSSSSS
    no melt down here folks. Just a lot of people wishing and hoping and writing behind their safe lil computers. GO BARON

  26. Why you’re certainly welcome myog, glad I could help and …heeey wait a minute.

    A disingenuous question received an appropriate response.

    Your last post provides confirmation.

    Your “I ‘heart’ MENSA” T-shirt is not a cloak of invisibility.

    But do carry on.

  27. I tried to stay out of this, becuase I’ve had some tension with the CVF but I do think you were treated unfairly both by the Sanity Squad and LGF. I hope this blows over soon, but it looks like it won’t.

    The real problem here is lack of information. The “celtic” cross Charles Johnson’s so upset about is actulally Odin’s cross and in America it has been co-opted by Nazi Skins. As an Odinist myself I have one but rarely wear it for fear of being thought a Nazi (and I’m half Black)

    Much of LGF and Sanity Squads complaints are really issues of not understanding that European culture is very different than ours. Jewish people and non-whites like myself are hesitant to get in bed with people who might be white supremacists, but I think some folks are letting that fear leave them blind and deaf to the facts.

    I once expressed reservations about the BNP and got a very cordial comment from a BNP supporter. We worked out our differences and I now am not a BNP supporter, but I am on their side when it comes to the Jihad. I hope Charles et al can eventually feel the same.

    I know it’s sucks, but maybe you should try reaching out to them again and listening to thier fears and providing them with the facts.

  28. -F451-2.0

    If I have been disingenuous or have seemed so I am sorry. To avoid an obscenity I’ll admit to being coy. I’ve never been a Mensa groupie and I don’t like to think I’m pseudo-intellectual either but then what pseudo-intellectual does? If thats an impression I’ve created in your mind with my comments then thats my failing and if I’m pseudo-intellectual, I can’t actually be aware of it can I?

  29. You and the Baron have been doing good work and I will continue to refer to your blog on a daily basis, and I am more than a little dismayed at LGF’s treatment of you. There’s nothing wrong with disagreement but it sounds to me as if Mr. Johnstone has developed a fat head and now believes he is some kind of fuhrer of the blogosphere. Don’t like that at all. I have deleted him from my bookmarks.

  30. This entire sad and sorry episode demonstrates, if it demonstrates anything at all, why bloggers — even the most dedicated — will for the moment mostly remain footnoters to the Mainstream Media. They get a smidgen of an iota of a dot of actual poitical influence and they squander it in silly stuff like this.

  31. Gerard, are you pointing at anybody in particular or are you just shouting your frustration in the wind?

    If the former I’m not certain who you’re referring to and if the latter it’s definitely too soon to make that call, but there definitely will be a lot of mistakes and learning still to be made… But in almost all matters… TTT (Things Take Time)…

  32. We all must choose what side we are on, and Pat Santy and her collaborators chose the dark side.

    I am on your side 100 percent.

    It is sadly ironic that someone who purports to be “Dr. Sanity” is violating the ethics of her supposed profession, as well as those of journalism, to defend a blogger who has clearly taken leave of his senses.

    I had a link to her blog, but I removed it. Disgusting.

  33. gerard,

    I haven’t removed any links. Nor would I, unless they’re no longer operating.

    I tried to clean out our blog list but even the ones that are now inactive hold fond memories. I still miss Chester, for instance.

    May I make a suggestion: rather than use ridicule to make your points why not try authentic rhetoric.

    Reductios ad absurdum aren’t helpful either.

    I can see your point, but I really have to peer beyond the extremism of your remarks to make out the sense of what you say.


    Conflict can be useful. Yeah, we have to move thru the initial stages but once past the white water and into a calmer place, we have the opportunity to see things from a better prespective and notice what is missing, or what needs attention.

    I’m not saying I’ve never been snarky — I was just that in my first response to you, and I apologize because you came back with a much more reasonable answer…you took the higher ground then, and I learned from it.

    Here’s something I’m hoping you might be willing to expand upon. One can infer from your comment that you’d like the process to change. Is that right?

    I would, too — otherwise we’re no better than the vitriol and unreason you can see anywhere in the extreme left.

    But a process has to be built on firm foundations so that it stands up to time and scrutiny. We’re not going to get that from the MSM — they sold out long ago.

    Where will the new paradigm come from?

    Who can inforce the rules –really, the standards of this new paradigm?

    How do we keep the accumulation of knowledge and information from becoming contaminated by revisionists with an agenda?

    I am not being sarcastic. I’d really like to know if you have some ideas on these problems.

  34. I agree with Dymphna completely. Her threats in no way constitute actual blackmail. They are far too absurd and off the wall. Take her “threat”(???) that she emailed to me, for instance. “Blackmail” or someone suffering from delusions of Blogger grandeur? You be the judge.

    Wow, had I not had some visits today with this post as the referring URL I’d never have noticed it, so I guess we can take Dymphna seriously that she isn’t going to remove any links, not even mine. Were I as obsessed with blog traffic as D, I guess that would be a good thing. As it is, that was just rather entertaining getting to hear her and Christine, er, that “board member of the CVF” on the radio.

    But yes, Go Baron! Dymphna must be apologized to! This is serious! Unlike false accusations and weirdness like this:

    “As long as you plop into the comments on my blog — the answer to your demand
    is, no, I am *not* going to delink you.

    There is a way out though: if you want to go through the trouble of creating
    yet another sock puppet, one that links to some other false profile, then I
    might consider it. But only as a favor, not as an obligation. IOW you would not
    show up at GoV in one of your usual disguises. You’d need a new one.”

    Oh well, I’m still hiding in plain sight with my same one Blogger account, but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who got some odd emails….LOL.

  35. My sympathies definitely go out to Dymphna on this matter. Sometimes there is no worse torment than to be “analyzed” by someone simply because you disagree on something. I once had a girlfriend who studied psychology and sociology and everytime we had some minor squabble or simple disagreement I would be treated to a full psycho-analytic deconstruction which is enough to make someone crawl out of their skin. At times it would make me angry enough to kick a mime.

    Worse than waterboarding

    I think it was tactless for Miss Sanity to leave that podcast up after realizing her mistake- it’s bad enough to be talked about behind your back but to have the whole discussion posted online for the whole world to hear is just adding insult to injury.

    Near the end of the podcast, Dr. Sanity can be heard saying that she feels Johnson is taking the “morally correct” position. When I heard her say that I was immediately taken by a sense of foreboding and dread- if you thought “politically correct” was bad, well then get ready for the Morally Correct age.

    Somebody please shoot me because I don’t think I can take it.

    Just shoot me

  36. Lex,
    Are you trolling with a purpose? You’ve posted this same tripe just about everywhere.

    Yes, we understand there was a falling out between you and Dymphna. That’s the funny thing about freedom of association. People do not have to remain joined at the hip if differences arise to the point that it’s no longer healthy.

    So what? It seems like your constant comments regarding receiving “unhinged” e-mails are merely thinly-veiled provocations. I admit that at the start of this when Charles Johnson at LGF decided to ban me over opposition to the leftist echo chamber groupthink on the VB, I sent him a few e-mails concerned over the loss of an ally. Perhaps you both view efforts at reconciliation on such a fundamental difference as “unhinged.”

    Your blog seems to have become the Gates of Vienna official stalker blog as of late. Not that I’m criticizing, of course. I’m always happy to head over and entertain if you start to feel lonely. Just let me know…

    – Sodra

  37. We at 1389 Blog – Antijihadist Tech have removed some links, and we will continue to do so whenever appropriate.

    This is because we do not want to send even a little bit of traffic along to people or websites that we believe are actively doing harm.

    We will not become a party to their efforts to mislead the public. Let them find their chumps and patsies somewhere else.

  38. No Sodra, there’s no “falling out”, merely Dymphna’s request for me to comment here, though I’ve lost interest in that as well. No, I just got some rather amusing emails.

    So, you got banned at LGF! Is that why you keep at this with such passion? I think the entire thing is just sort of amusing, this whole spat, hence my posting on it, which is hardly “stalking”.

    You are one of the most amusing things to come out of all of this though to me, Sodra. “Thinly-veiled provocations”? No, just reminding readers here that Dr. Sanity wasn’t the only recipient of bossy emails from either Baron or Dymphna. As for coming back here, if people didn’t keep coming to my blog from this as the referring URL, I’d forget to comment at all.

  39. No Sodra, there’s no “falling out”, merely Dymphna’s request for me to comment here, though I’ve lost interest in that as well.

    And you’re doing a superb job of it as well!


  40. I’d like to add a comment here, and I hope it adds light rather than heat.

    I comment here (or anywhere) very rarely, but I want to give Dymphna and The Baron my 100% support. You’re right; they’re wrong! (to get right down to it…)

    I gave up on the LGF comments section a loooong time ago — too many deeply unpleasant people living there! I recently stopped visiting LGF altogether — mainly due to the VB stuff. It seems to me that CJ has no understanding of European politics. He reinforces the stereotype of the “ignorant/arrogant American”.
    You guys actually spend the time to analyse the local details, and study what’s actually happening on the ground in Europe.

    I’m in Australia, so I don’t claim to know a lot about European politics, but we here in the antipodes do understand that other folks do things differently etc…

    Regardless, what Dr Sanity did was just plain “bad manners”! Forget the politics, or blog-vs-blog — it was just rude. The implication that Dymphna was “unhinged” (because of her beleifs vis-a-vis VB et al, I presume) is just nasty.
    Also, leaving the “open-mic” section on-line suggests that she really doesn’t regret any of what she said.
    The accusation of “blackmail” is bizarre,to say the least. What Dymphna requested was just ordinary good manners.

    I have (up till now) liked Dr Sanity’s stuff, but I will be a bit more wary in future — she seems to be falling into the CJ trap of assuming that the only possible model in the counter-jihad is their own.


  41. Damon–

    I would say rather more light than heat, especially your take on what is simply “bad manners.”

    The claim about my attempting to blackmail the good doctor illustrates that she’s got a better grip on medicine than she has on the law.

    It may be also that the Peter Principle is in operation: she ought to have stayed with her original specialty: surgery. She wields a wicked scalpel.

    These conflicts take time to pass, and this one will move along eventually.

    In the interim, I do thank those who understand my position on this for your support..

  42. “In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the stakes at issue—that is why academic politics are so bitter.” — Sayre’s Law

    Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

    Of course, this time we’ve started that right at the beginning. Or, if you will, before the begining. It’s a kind of “reverse Godwin.”

  43. comment #2–

    Gerard said…
    Frankly all this crap about this here is getting very, very old, tired, and “Inside Blogball.”

    Just move on.



    I always thought the academia quote was from Kissinger. At any rate, the same law applies to blogs…tiny stakes.

    Since we’re doing quotes today, here’s one from John Gardner (paraphrase):

    “Since the truth is ultimately unknowable, what matters is not what is true, but what is entertaining.”

    That’s a good quote for putting on blue book exams…*if* your professor has a sense of humor.

  44. Dympha,

    First, I have to confess that I haven’t the attention span to follow this plot. Second, you’re sound as oak on the things that interest me, so I’m on your side on this, whatever it’s about.

    Right now, we remind me of the old John Birch Society. In case our European friends don’t know about this piece of American political history, the Birch Society was notorious back in the days when the American Conservative movement was wandering in the wilderness. The “Birchers” saw Communists everywhere, in the government, in education, in the media, in Hollywood, even in the Beatles! As a little kid, I remember an old aunt squinting at JFK halfdollar coins with a magnifying glass because it was said that the Kremlin masters had insolently engraved a small hammer & sickle on them. No fooling! They were that crazy.

    To all respectable people–including most of the Republican party–the Birch Society was a by-word for Right wing Crackpot. And perhaps they were, still, they served the good cause because the more the enemy mocked them, the more their message entered the national consciousness. Unknowingly, they and the zillion other looney little rightish outfits prepared the national soil for Reagan.

    So at the moment I’m not too worried by these family quarrels; maybe we can’t see it because we’re all too close but we too are preparing soil.
    So, LGF and GoV and Dr Sannity, and all of you, have at it! Keep stirring the pot.

  45. eatyourbeans–

    I can sympathize. It’s hard for me to pay much more attention to this…my ADD gets in the way.

    It was hard enough to get my ducks in a row to write the response anyway. That’s why I made it into a 3 act narrative play. Just to keep my own interest…I would’ve gotten lost in the details otherwise.

    It’ll blow over soon and I can return to being solid as an oak.

    Meanwhile, I am being dubbed with the most delightful nicknames. “Demented” is kind of nice. “Demented Dymphna” is alliterative and has a certain je ne sais quio, non?

    Anyway, what I will get out of it in the long run is a good set of guidelines, a kind of codified code of ethics. The idea has been bandied about in the blogosphere, but we need to really work on making it more prominent.

  46. oh, I forgot, e.y.b.—

    I read the other day that William Buckley was responsible for driving the John Birch Society to the fringes of conservatism. It’s hard to blame people for falling into that in the beginning, as those drawn toward conservative thought had no real home…

  47. “Anyway, what I will get out of it in the long run is a good set of guidelines, a kind of codified code of ethics. The idea has been bandied about in the blogosphere, but we need to really work on making it more prominent.”

    Well, if that is what you determine to do, I’d advise you to pack a lunch and possess yourself in patience, because is just isn’t going to happen.

    To paraphrase Gary Snyder, “Aristotle’s in the crapper and they’re up to the part on ethics.”

    But assume you did hammer out some “Code of Ethics.” Assume it read right as rain. What set of doors are you going to nail it to. Why would anyone bother to agree with it that wasn’t already agreeable. And those people whose ethics you find agreeable will be those agreeable people who already agree with you.

    Other than that, you can’t enforce nuttin in the sphere. It doesn’t work like that. And, suppose for a moment, you did get a chuck of bloggers — say a wild number, a number beyond probability, say 30… to agree to be ethical. Those 30 would be looking at traffic drops of a high order toot sweet — assuming they had any traffic to begin with. Still, you could, I suppose, make a nice blog button that the Ethics Brigade could put on their pages. A good thing because, as we know, there just aren’t enough graphic items on blog pages now.

    In the end all this kerfuffle will accomplish — much as similar kerfuffles work in the real media — is to take a small circulation and make it smaller.

  48. Sigh. And these are the “adults” of the blogosphere? Head and shoulders above the squalid MSM masses?

    Nothing surprises me anymore.

  49. Sarah, your point is well-taken.

    The MSM is la la land, and the blogosphere is second grade out on the playground. Bullies abound, and there’s a lot of shoving and jostling for position.

    Sad, but that seems to be the way things are.

  50. Gerard–

    You know why you’re all wet? You keep coming on here and pissing in the wind.

    Find a new pastime.

    Unless you have something positive to add to the conversation, don’t plop your little black clouds down in my comments anymore. They add nothing to the conversation and they take away a lot.

    I asked some questions you weren’t able — or wouldn’t — address, so move on.

    The need for a code of ethics exists whether you think it is feasible or a good idea. And I intend to ask for people’s suggetions without your permisssion.

    Go away.

  51. Sad, but that seems to be the way things are.

    It no longer saddens me really. It’s like watching a slow motion train wreck, knowing what’s going to happen and dreading it, yet mildly fascinated by the mechanics of it.

    It’s an interesting study in how perceptions can be manipulated when one isn’t terribly worried about the truth.

    What causes people to twist the meaning of words? Betrayal becomes disagreement. Disagreement becomes blackmail.

    Is it the need for drama, or something even deeper?

    I don’t have any answers, but I think it is sad that anyone has to waste time refuting these lies and distortions perpetrated by these human train wrecks. But we do.

  52. What causes people to twist the meaning of words? Betrayal becomes disagreement. Disagreement becomes blackmail.

    I would say the disagreement occurs first, and then the betrayal, and then the cries of blackmail.

    What I did was expose something Dr. Sanity refused to fix or apologize for. That was the betrayal. Why would one do that to someone she labels a “friend.” I’d not like to see what she does to her enemies.


    When accused of blackmail, you are required to refute it. Always follow legal counsel, even if it bores your audience. They don’t plan to stay around and pick up the pieces, nor should they. It’s my job.

    A psychiatrist friend said once that “betrayal is the most common experience in human relationships.” He was right…

    Of course, at the time he had just fired a shrink from his practice and was trying to find one who wasn’t strange. Or didn’t sit in his office in the dark and talk to himself…

  53. She called betrayal a disagreement. One would think that a psychiatrist, of all people, would understand the importance of meaning.

    Then again, she certainly doesn’t get the meaning of the word blackmail either.

    Ah well, it has been refuted, the gaggle (Charles) added his $.02, perhaps it’s done.

    BTW – some were wondering about the banning issue he felt compelled to bring up. Since most of us can’t search over there, we can’t find out for sure…

  54. I would say the disagreement occurs first, and then the betrayal, and then the cries of blackmail.

    Usually, but in this case the betrayal came first, with the podcast. If you are correct, then the podcast was planned based on her disagreement with your stand (which she refuses to clearly state).

    Could be either one I suppose.

  55. You can ask for people’s suggestions, but I don’t think you’ll really need that since you seem to have it all sorted out already.

    Indeed, I didn’t say that you couldn’t. I just said that it wouldn’t become anyting real. Ever. It simply doesn’t work that way. Never has and never will, but I do note that whenever somebody gets their tender feelings hurt one of the standard responses is to say, “We need a code here!”

    That in itself is code for “There oughta be a law!” It’s an authoritanian response and really isn’t all that attractive.

    And, just to help you out here, just because you ask questions doesn’t mean somebody else is required to answer them. I really don’t know where you could have gotten such an idea.

    Not that I couldn’t answer them. Indeed, I have written an entire book on the issue (Rules of the Net: Online Operating Instructions for Human Beings — Hyperion, 1996, translated into German, French, Janpanese, etc. Reviewed by Wired here:

    In fact, in my way, I have answered some of them. The rest is at my discretion. As it always is. Same rule applies to you too.

  56. I mean you cannot possible think that you can craft a code of blogging ethics and it will get anywhere at all in the sphere.

    Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Books and Conferences, who is a much, much bigger dog online and on the Net than Charles, Michelle, and Glenn combined wanted to do something like that last year.

    Tim’s a man with real net cred and very heavy weight, and a lot so money and power to back him up.

    And he got heavily into it and it went where it always went — nowhere.

    One of the hard wired rules of the net is that EVERYTHING is forgotten and that’s why EVERYTHING is repeated. On the net, whatever no matter what you do or think or say, it just all scrolls off.

    That’s why it’s not good for you to cling to the past. No matter how recent.

  57. Sarah–

    Are you asking about Chas’ decision to ban us? He claims he didn’t do it, but I tried twice to get on, and the Baron tried once. If he’s since lifted the ban, it’s moot now because there is nothing left to be said.

    Sometimes relationships pass the point of no return. That seems to happen a lot with Chas. “Blogs of the Banned” seem to pop up like mushrooms after rain.

    BTW, you’re right: she seems to have already made up her mind. Fortunately, it’s over now…and time wounds all heels, as dear Abby was fond of saying.Or was it her sister?

  58. gerard said:

    I mean you cannot possible think that you can craft a code of blogging ethics and it will get anywhere at all in the sphere.

    But gerard is a man of many words, and he also said, somewhat more grammatically and graphically, in comment #2:

    Frankly all this crap about this here is getting very, very old, tired, and “Inside Blogball.”

    Just move on.


    Yet despite his plea and his repetitions of intensives, gerard keeps returning to this thread, as though it were a sore tooth he cannot let alone.

    I’ve begun a novena in hopes that something more interesting than this small blog will catch gerard’s attention and he will wander away. It may not work, but prayer gives one something to do while waiting.


    I will try to get this across one more time: I am *not* trying to write a code of ethics for people to buy or buy into.

    I am going to try — at some point in the future, preferably when you’re not around to act as the evil fairy at the christening — to ask others to help build a consensus re: a code of ethics for the blogosphere. You know, a dialogue — with nobody playing Socrates.

    The effort will be on-going.

    There are already some rules in place. For example, one does not assert obscure knowledge without providing a link…

    One does not quote book titles without linking them. It’s considered rude and people will take you to task for it.

    So you see, the code is being slowly accreted, whether you or what’s his name with the big creds care or not.

    What do power and position have to do with this, anyway? I think you’ve made a categorical error here. Distributive intelligence is not a top-down thing that a “heavy weight” decides. Ask Yertle the Turtle; he had to learn the hard way. Sounds like your power and money guy got the Yertle Lesson.

    And I disagree with your opinion that everything on the net falls into some kind of oubliette. That’s why they invented search engines. That’s why wikipedia is so popular, and often self-correcting. It will improve over time.

    Finally, the idea of cyber ethics is not new and I’ve been pondering it for the past year. What else is a philosophy/theology degree good for, anyway?

    The notion of ethics would naturally recur in a time of conflict. Or it would do so if one were inclined to think about moral theology or ethical behavior — and what might be necessary and sufficient reasons for rules of conduct to be established for particular situations.

    Now go away.

  59. Now,now, don’t be naughty and go allegedly-LGF on us.

    “Finally, the idea of cyber ethics is not new and I’ve been pondering it for the past year.”

    Well, welcome. It is, to the best of my recollection, somthing that has been pondered on the Net since 1987 and probably before. And it always goes to the same place.

    But don’t let that stop you. Have at it. And I promise that I will always be here to help you. In my own little way.

    Book title. No Link = “rude.”

    See you’re well on your way to creating your code already.

    Here’s about 2,000 links to get your started:

    Of course you could also think “book?” “link?” and use this new internet site to find it:

    Either way it will help you polish those essential Internet searching skills.

    Here’s about 32,000 links for “Blogging Code of Ethics”

    Now, isn’t that helpful? I dare say it is.

  60. gerard–

    Pick on someone your own size.

    Christmas is coming. My daughter is dead. December is hell enough
    without your condescending nattering.

    This is my last communication to you, at you, or about you.

    Life is too damn short to engage in this. Can’t you find anyone else in the whole blogosphere to get your jollies on?

  61. My condolences to you. I had no idea you were in such pain and I understand the reason.

    May God bless you and hold you in the palm of his hand, lead you out of pain and into light.

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