Of Ducklings and Men

In answer to various email enquiries from our readers: yes, I’m fully aware of the wild, absurd, and ridiculous accusations that have been leveled at me during the Recent Unpleasantness.

My normal reaction to wild, absurd, and ridiculous accusations is to ignore them. In my experience, denying such calumnies tends to enhance their credibility.

Suppose, for example, that a prominent blogger were to post the following entry on his blog:

DucklingHave you heard the latest about “Baron” Bodissey? I have it on reliable authority that his secret vice is biting the heads off baby ducks. Can you believe it? Every day he locks the door, pull down the shades, selects his latest victim from its cage, and bites its little head off!

Who would have thought the man could have sunk to such depths of depravity?

Obviously, I could deny such a ludicrous charge: “I have never in my life bitten the head off a baby duck! I wouldn’t even think of doing such a vile thing. Ask my wife, my children, my boss, my minister — they’ll tell you. This is a base and unjustified smear against my character.”

However, a common reaction when a person is accused of dreadful deeds goes something like this:

“Well, he would deny it, wouldn’t he? I mean, biting the heads off ducklings — who’d want to own up to that? But I can guarantee you this: I’ll never let him anywhere near my duckpond!”

My alternative is to remain silent and ignore the action. That leaves people wondering if I really am guilty:
– – – – – – – –
“D’you think he really did it?”

“He doesn’t seem like that kind of guy to me. But you never can tell — they say that anyone can be a duck-abuser, and yet look like a normal, respectable citizen.”

In other words, it’s lose-lose proposition. I’m in a double bind here, folks:

(A)   If I deny it, then I’m “probably lying”.
(B)   If I remain silent, then I seem to lend credibility to the absurdities being aimed at me.

So to hell with it. Our readers are intelligent people. They will read the facts, taking into account all the overheated rhetoric. They will assess the situation, and then decide for themselves what seems reasonable and likely to be true.

Y’all can believe whatever you want. You will in any case.

26 thoughts on “Of Ducklings and Men

  1. Having followed the “Recent Unpleasantness” to this point, I’ve come to the conclusion that, this time, Atlas didn’t just shrug, she’s had a full-blown, self-inflicted epileptic seizure, leading to unconsciousness, severe thrashing about, and damage to herself and others. And not for the first time, I understand.

    I wish you and Dymphna a full recovery. I remain deeply troubled, however, at the damage these recurrent fits from the Prima Donna and others do to the counter-jihad. From that, we may not recover easily.

  2. There’s another side of it.

    Let’s face it, GOV doesn’t fit into standard hat boxes. The mind needs to stretch a bit to read here, which happens to be why I like it.
    Deep people can appreciate and need deep ideas.

    The internet, like the world of ideas, though vast, is pretty much a desert IMO.

    You want to be more inclusive and link to the one trick ponies out there and pretend they are your good buddies, fine. Just remember, they will freak out one day when they try (and fail) to figure out what the heck you are doing.

  3. You New —

    Actually, there isn’t “another side” to an accusation as vile and absurd as that one.

    Some things don’t have another side, and it is one of them.

  4. As far as I’m concerned, GoV hasn’t done anything wrong here. The important thing is to get the videos up and running again. If people have to set their egos aside, so be it.

  5. It isn’t fair for you to bite the heads off’n baby fuzzies without sharing a recipe. Why do you torment us, so?

  6. I was quite disappointed by how the blog owner at “Atlas Shrugs” presented her views. Btw that is the name of a book which the owner of the blog did not write. I wonder is she asked for permission before using it. Probably not, eh …

  7. @ Jewel–

    I thought you’d never ask.

    The fuzz singe is a bit messy so we’ll skip over that and go straight to the rotisserie where they are basted with a good dry sherry for the brief time it takes to cook them.

    You can leave them on the skewers if you want, but serve them on a wild rice and pecan pilaf accompanied by fresh asparagus in a spring vinaigrette.

    A decent white wine, nothing too up-scale, though. Perhaps some vinho verde? In season, of course.

    Dessert? compote. A bit heavy but it sets off the lighter dishes of the main meal, imho.

    [BTW, the only part of that I can eat is the pecans and asparagus]

  8. My brother in Oz cannot comment at this moment – he asked me to post this on his behalf: ” A couple of points…Zenster, you pose the question ‘have you stopped beating your wife’. I feel this is somewhat pejorative with an emphasis on the ‘here and now’ implicit…it would be fairer surely to ask’when did you stop beating your wife’?

    As for ducklings surely everyone knows that it is always better to just throw them into hot fat and when done the legs also double up as ‘built-in’ drumsticks…this also has the merit of eliminating the need for messy strangulation prior to the pre-prandial immolation.

    I am, as ever, open to fair and frank rebuttal…but I know I’m right on this one.”

    And what I have to say is also a matter of taking the piss (a Brit expression) out of such a ridiculous allegation:

    ” Have we been reduced to such a state of political correctness that we can’t even indulge in our own ever so little harmless pecadillos behind the closed doors of our own homes? I like ducklings – I just like them in my own way. Next you’ll be telling me that I can’t even beat my own wife and kids, or kick my dog… What is this country coming to?”

    … an initial suggestion for coping with such ridiculous allegations – take the piss out of it. Laugh at the alleger – such people hate that.

    Last week someone came up to me and asked me if I was a Nazi “I don’t know” I replied “Tell me what a Nazi is and I may be able to answer you” (I’m a BNPer and we get that sort of stuff all the time).

    He went away without another word.

    Do you think he realised I was taking the piss out of him?

  9. http://thesilentmajority.wordpress.com/2010/05/02/public-statement-re-posting-of-freedom-defense-initiative-videos/

    Excerpt: Public Statement Re Posting of Freedom Defense Initiative Videos
    by Pamela Hall

    …The controversy over the video of Allen West’s speech that I shot at the Freedom Defense Initiative at CPAC continues. Many false accusations are being leveled at innocent parties, so I thought it necessary to correct the record.

    Allen’s video (the full speech) is STILL available, as it always was, here:

    Vlad Tepes took this video, which is, of course, in English, and added English subtitles to it. He did this without asking me or the organizers of the FDI event, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, for permission to use the video.

    All I ever asked was that Vlad Tepes remove this version of my video, for it made no sense: why add English subtitles to an English video? That was the reason for my copyright complaint regarding that video, which was an unapproved edit. I asked that Vlad link to my original unedited video. That was all.

    Later I learned that Vimeo took down Vlad’s channel – not only his version of my West FDI video, but other videos as well. I had nothing to do with this. I had never heard of Vlad’s Vimeo channel until Vlad wrote a shameful email accusing me of taking it down. When Vlad wrote this, he knew that I had nothing to do with it, since Vimeo sends a notice to a person about whom they’ve received complaints, telling him who complained. So Vlad knows who complained, and he knows that it wasn’t me, Pamela Geller, or Robert Spencer. Yet he and Baron Bodissey continue to suggest otherwise.

    Many people have asked me to authorize the re-posting of the translations of West’s video. One wrote me, regarding my property, “that Vlad Tepes and Gates of Vienna arranged” for the video “to be translated into a large number of languages via subtitles.” Remember, they had no ownership rights to arrange these translations. The Baron knows who I am and he knew that I was filming that day. I saw him and said hello. And Christine Brim, who was, according to Vlad Tepes, involved in making these unauthorized translations, also knows that the video was my property. So contacting me to ask permission would have been easy.

    What is the way forward?

    First, Baron Bodissey needs to make up for what he has done. The foreign language translations that were neither approved nor appropriately credited have now been surrounded by horrible statements that the Baron and Vlad have made in print about me; accusations that were spiteful and meant to be harmful to my reputation. These would have to be retracted in print, as my copyright complaint had merit.

    I was not the one in the wrong. They were. Baron Bodissey and Vlad Tepes have also wronged Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer with false accusations. None of us had anything to do with killing the Rosetta Stone project. The Baron and Vlad apparently decided to pull the plug on this project; then they blamed us. They could have simply posted the translations and gone on with their work.They owe me, Pamela Geller, and Robert Spencer an apology and retraction of the repeated suggestion that we were involved in the taking down of Vlad’s Vimeo Channel. This false charge has spread all over and damaged our reputations….

  10. That faint but persistent cawing sound which you hear in the background is the sound of our Islamic enemies crowing with delight.

    May I suggest that all parties involved please consider taking this entire dispute offline in order to deprive of any further ammunition those who would do us the very worst harm?

  11. The Baron has nothing to apologize for and the sad part is that the only party that needs to apologize feels its too big and virtuous to say pardon when wronging someone who signs by the nickname “Baron Boddisey” instead of his real name.

    What can i say? Well done, miss Hall! Well done, Robert! Well done, Atlas! YOu’ve just proved that ego trumps the antijihad case. When our pathetic self comes into play, the world can go to hell, we don’t care.

    THat’s just shameful.

  12. This is unbelievable, it seems every time I check out the anti-jihad news, there is another civil war brewing. Fiddling while Rome burns.

    The priorities here appear to be petty egoism, so what if the Jihad gathers apace and these are the darkest days in Western “civilisation” since the second world war. As Imperialistu puts it, “the world can go to hell, we don’t care”.

  13. The name of the book is Atlas Shrugged, not Atlas Shruggs.

    What I wonder is the damage incurred to Pamela Hall in order to claim copyrights. I mean, I suppose the FDI is a non-profit organization designed to spread the message that the American freedoms are under threat, so I wonder how the message being translated in more languages and being published in more than one place harmed anyone, considering it reached a lot more people. I understand the desire to be credited, but reporting a video isn’t the way to fix this problem, contacting the publisher is. This reminds of an event that happened to a friend – his neighbour had land near his, but it was covered in weeds and had no fence, so my friend’s father built a fence around it so that it doesn’t look completely nasty and doesn’t get in the way of people that walk by. The lady owning it got pissed off at it, since his father didn’t have the ownership rights of the land so he breached her right to property. I guess, she would have preferred for him to report her to the town hall since by law you have to build a fence around your land. This situation is similar, in the sense that nobody was harmed, the FDI had a benefit of being seen and heard of by more people, but… Now, I didn’t follow this whole debacle and I have no interest and seeing who is right and who is wrong since I do have better things to do, but it’s really disappointing considering that it shows that egotism is more important than solving our problems. It’s like Imperialistu’ said, the world can go to hell and we don’t care.

    I guess I should claim copyrights to the footage I shot for a project for school and tell the people in my team to go to hell since I own the video. Who cares that all of us would be hurt by it, I would masturbate my ego. It would be funny if the jihadis employed the same tactics – fighting each other over which target each of them can blow up. All this stupid in-fighting and ego clashing makes me realize that the Muslims do have a point – we are a deranged people and have a deranged culture. It’s kind of sad when adults act like children, especially when nobody is hurt in any way.

  14. “All this stupid in-fighting and ego clashing makes me realize that the Muslims do have a point – we are a deranged people and have a deranged culture. It’s kind of sad when adults act like children, especially when nobody is hurt in any way.”
    hear hear
    Now also Bostom against Spencer. People worshipping themselves. This is the gnostic virus, alive and kicking even in people who claim to fight it.

  15. Since Robert Spencer takes the liberty of reposting here things that have been written on other people’s blogs, I’ll do likewise.

    This is a comment under Pamela Geller’s post where she insulted the Baron :

    “The matter is really not that simple. I have previously taken flak for critiquing Pam’s style.

    I will do it again, even though I believe she is right on the facts, but…

    1) the issue is indeed exaggerated;
    2) the list of insults as noted by another blogger
    [That’s me, Robert Marchenoir] is impressive.

    This undercuts some of your efforts, Pam, but nothing ever stops you from using insults as a common form of expression on your blog. And that is a pity.

    Posted by: slice | Friday, April 30, 2010 at 03:46 PM”

    I won’t repost here the comment I made at Pamela Geller’s. It’s here.

    The Baron is right not to fan the flames further. Pamela Geller is wrong to insult repeatedly the Baron over a matter so unsignificant that my head is aching just trying to make sense of all the details, all the “he said that” and “she said that”.

    Kindergarden stuff. We. Don’t. Care. You Americans have some wonderful qualities (among them the respect for truth), but you can sure morph into obnoxious bullies when you get carried away.

    And since Pamela Geller likes the truth so very much, here’s one : there’s a certain sort of American woman who takes pleasure in belittling men just in the name of sex equality (Yeah. “Sex”. Not “gender”.)

    It’s not a pretty sight. It’s one of the worst products of America.

  16. Fink: There is definitely an element of ego worship in this mess, but the Baron is not the person most heavily infected by this virus. I suspect a neutral observer can see this, too.

  17. Robert, I cracked up when I read the term ‘historic’ on Pamela Geller’s website. I mean, really, all of the counter-jihad combined didn’t do anything historic. I highly doubt that my great grand children will read about the FDI event(which is a good thing) in their history books or that these conferences will even be held in 60-70 years from now on.

    Also, Pamela might not know, but all it takes to get your channel removed, at least from youtube, is to have your account suspended three times and all it takes for that is even bogus reports – there are plenty of cases around youtube of this, especially related to videos about Islam.

    And no, the traffic got by Vlad wouldn’t have went to Pamela’s website. It’s quite funny to think that and any person knowing about online traffic wouldn’t say this – I guess Vlad should start crying about how Pamela Hall assumes that his work to spread the video around is nothing and so on, since we are at acting like kids. The only rational persons on the link Robert to atlasshruggs gave seem to be costin and GreenInfidel – from what I read, it seems like a misunderstanding too, but I really don’t care. All the things said on GoV that Pamela Geller shouts at Baron about were assumptions(like that she reported the videos) and presented as such.

    I also found this quite funny. Even funnier will probably be what Lawrence Auster will say about this. lol

  18. Pam Hall as quoted by Robert Spencer
    “The Baron knows who I am and he knew that I was filming that day. I saw him and said hello.”

    The Baron, april 28:
    “we would have linked the videographer if we could have discovered his or her name”

    These two statements cannot both be true. I am curious which is.

    More generally, I am an opponent of copyright (to the point that I ignore copyright law completely, except to the point of not putting myself in a position where men with guns and badges might come after me – but that is a response to brute force, not right). Credit where credit is due, yes, that is good. But enforcing that is a matter for society, not law.

    Information can not be owned.

  19. Rollory —

    Yes, I would be happy to clear that one up, since only factual information is involved.

    Several people said hello to me at the FDI event on Feb. 19. Some of them were people I knew and recognized — Anders Gravers, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, and Steve Coughlin, to name a few examples — and others were not familiar to me. Some of them were probably people I had met but forgotten, which often happens to me because I’m not good at faces. Others recognized me from photos that had been posted on Pamela Geller’s blog back before I was persona non grata there. I know that at least one of the people who said hello to me falls in this latter category, because he told me so.

    Pamela Hall must fall in one of the last two categories, because I don’t know what she looks like, and don’t remember meeting her.

    I have a slight acquaintance with Pamela Hall by email. We are on her video announcement mailing list, and I promoted some of her video reports a couple of years ago. But I have never been introduced to her in person, as far as I can recall. Of course, at my advanced age, memory is not always a reliable guide.

    There were about a half a dozen people videotaping at the event. One of them was obviously the official videographer, and some of the rest were media people.

    Like Vlad, I assumed that the videos of the event embedded at Atlas Shrugs were the official videos, and were owned by FDI. They had no labels identifying anyone else, as far as we could tell. So, as you all know, I credited and linked both organizers and the event itself every time I posted a Rosetta Stone video.

    As far as I was concerned, the above process constituted due diligence, and the reposting of foreign-language subtitled versions fell under “fair use”, especially since it enhanced the value of what I thought was the original. But Vimeo obviously does not agree.

    Through our efforts, the word about the FDI event spread more widely than it would have otherwise, especially in foreign countries. Col. West’s message got out, and everybody benefitted. Or at least that’s what I thought at the time.

    Obviously, Ms. Hall could have contacted Vlad or me at any point and said, “Hey, those are my videos. I want credit.” Either of us would have been more than happy to comply, and to list her name, link her website, refer to her other material — all the normal courtesies that bloggers extend to other bloggers.

    But that didn’t happen. No one wrote to me at all, and the first thing Vlad knew about the problem was when his Vimeo channel was taken down. It wasn’t until a few days later that Pamela Hall contacted him, and that was about the Youtube video, and not the Vimeo channel.

    Those are the facts that lie within my personal knowledge. I won’t speculate about anything else.

    As for ego, and “family squabbles”, and so on — y’all will have to make your own judgments. As most of you know, I do my utmost to avoid airing any dirty laundry in public.

    You probably don’t realize how many other nasty, vicious mud-slinging matches go on behind the scenes. You’re not aware of them, because I don’t post about them. And that will continue to be my policy.

  20. I’ve not kept current with the geek controversy, but it is a good way of sorting out the quality of your enemies. If I knew nothing about you, this would immediately inform me of what was what. “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
    And for those who are inclined to wonder about the truth of it, they are good candidates for not winning over. Having those kinds of friends in your corner is potentially fatal, while your enemies are not.

  21. I am not surprised at all about Pamella Geller and Spencer.
    They are more interested to shape the public opinion, than to carry an analysis and a discussion on cultures and religions.
    Each blog has its own goal after all.
    Furthermore, Geller started to enjoy being in close proximity of people in power, so, she can not associate with plebeians like us.
    That being said, we must recognize the exceptional contribution of GOV and Vlad Tepes.
    If others can contribute fine, if not, get out of the way…

  22. It seems to me, from what Ms. Geller wrote on her blog, that she knew that the “Rosetta Stone” project was ongoing, and had nothing to say about it. As others have said, the event Mr. West spoke at had received more publicity, and Mr. West’s ideas were exposed to a larger audience. From my perspective, that’s a good thing.

    It’s not clear to me just what has irked Ms. Geller so. If she was unhappy about the “Rosetta Stone” project showing videos of Mr. West’s speeches then surely she would have said so long ago. I can’t see how she could be troubled about that issue now, and still claim to be be consistent in her own thinking.

    As for being “smeared” (as she puts it) by someone who’s channel was closed down, because someone else suggested that either the organisers of the event, or the person who actually wielded the camera, must have complained in some way about the videos – well who else would one expect to have made a complaint? Santa Claus? The Tooth Fairy?

    All that was required, if Ms. Geller wished to repudiate that assumption was for her to say, “Nope. Wasn’t me.” That would suffice perfectly well – and sending that simple statement privately, by email, to the relevant person would have been appropriate too.

    For Ms. Geller to engage in an ad hominem tirade on her blog, using the kind of language she did, isn’t going to win people over to her way of thinking. Her emotive and abusive words can only serve to steer decent, rational people away from her website. Ms.Geller has simply engaged in an overly emotional rant here. Sadly, after reading her words, the suspicion then lingers – is this the case with any of Ms. Geller’s other posts? Can one regard “Atlas Shrugs” as a reliable source of information? These are now legitimate questions.

    And this is a great shame, for I admire Ms. Geller for her dedication, and genuinely wish her success as she defends Israel, and “fights the good fight”.

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