Friday, August 01, 2008

You’re a Bunch of Complete Cranks

Lawrence Auster, who has complained on this site and elsewhere in recent days about all the name-calling, personal attacks, and insults that have been hurled at him and others, has this to say today about yours truly:

Meanwhile, Baron Bodissey allows his site to be used by these complete cranks. What a disgrace.

He’s talking about you, the invaluable readers and commenters here at Gates of Vienna!

And all of this coming from the quintessential man of cool, reasoned, sane, sober, and logical discourse…

Swordfish“Complete cranks”??

“Boneheads”, maybe. I might assent to that.

“Demented blog-weasels”? Yes, on occasion.

But “cranks”? Never!

Well, what about it? Are you going to take this lying down, or what?

And what am I, chopped liver?

Don’t I get to be a crank, too?


[no further crankiness here]

66 comments:

Nilk said...

Hmm. A "complete crank"?? I resemble that remark!

Zenster said...

You’re a Bunch of Complete Cranks

Meh, I've been called worse. Is that the best he can do? No wonder he ran off blubbering like a bee-stung little girl. To Auster's credit, he did include the word, "Complete".

Now, as to "“Demented blog-weasel", that's T-shirt material!!!

Conservative Swede said...

As pointed out by USorThem the complete harangue is: whacked-out liberal cranks.

This is how GoV is seen over at VFR (and kumbaya to you too brothers!)

The people residing at both places must feel increasingly schizophrenic about it. First they learn at VFR how GoV is a place of whacked-out liberal cranks (and Auster is hurling load after load at GoV right now in different posts), then they come here and comment which makes them whacked-out liberal cranks themselves.

We had this sort of process a year ago with LGF--whose blog owner also has got this idea of isolating the rest of the world from himself--and today, as a result of this whole process, very few people hang out both at LGF and at GoV.

So are you a schizophrenic whacked-out liberal crank? Don't worry, the cure is as simple as it is sound. Just don't take any of that BS crap seriously.

xlbrl said...

The single greatest virtue that separates GOV from other blogs that also combine contentious issues and high intellect is humility. The more intelligent and learned a man is the more likely he is not to be humble. GOV is the great gainer. As learning almost always requires changing one's mind, so it is possible to see more and see deeper than others through practicing this demanding virtue. And safe to say, it is not going to be much emulated.

no2liberals said...

My first reaction was...Lawrence who?
I read over the linked material, and now I have come full circle.
Lawrence who?

Henrik R Clausen said...

What is a 'crank', anyway?

I mean, I'm sure it's a derogative, but I'd like to know what exactly it means and why it's bad.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Inasmuch as a "curmudgeon" is a species of genus "crank," and yours truly is, by the authority vested in the Henry Louis Mencken Academy for Advanced Orneriness, a Curmudgeon Emeritus, "crank" is merely one more label I shall wear with pride.

Auster tends to be a bit cranky himself, much of the time. He doesn't tolerate disagreement terribly well, whether it's e-mailed to him or merely posted at the site of someone with divergent views.

Bilgeman said...

Baron:

"Meanwhile, Baron Bodissey allows his site to be used by these complete cranks. What a disgrace."

It's not a "disgrace", it's the "blogosphere"...didn't Mr. Auster get the memo?

If it wasn't for blog-comments, we'd all be standing on soapboxes or sitting on barstools haranguing passersby.
Or, (to sink really low), writing Letters to the Editor.
(The Horror!)

Henrik R Clausen said...

Thanks, Francis. I'll try to stop associating the word with a piece of bicycle technology.

Conservative Swede said...

I zink krank means sick, jawohl!

NJArtist said...

Cranks were once used to start a car engine: a rod with two right angles. sounds about right.

eatyourbeans said...

Mr Pot, please meet Mr Kettle.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

A crank? It's something that gets bent out of shape and spins around in circles, I guess...

Yeah, that describes me! Also certain other people... none of whom are here. :)

Danger, danger, will robinson! There's a chance of this issue resolving us to be more hostile to outsiders and those who don't agree with us... hostile on a personal level, that is. I doubt everyone here would do that but when there's a large amount of external negativity directed toward GoV it would not be unrealistic to expect a certain amount of manning the fortifications. Can I take this moment to urge us all to carry on being as open and argumentative as we always have been? And further to politely deal with Mr Auster and not resort to the behaviour of other, more belligerent bloggers and their followers. Mr Auster has made some good points and it would be a shame to dismiss them because he was a bit cranky about his reception here. Lets save our ire for the muslims and their enablers. :)

Of course, knowing the people who come here, all of what I said is redundant and unnecessary. :D

Conservative Swede said...

Graham,

There's a chance of this issue resolving us to be more hostile to outsiders and those who don't agree with us...

That's perfectly drivel! Look at the example of Erich in the same thread; case closed! 100% drivel. And Graham you haven't understood an ounce of what kind of place that GoV is. It's so diverse that it is effectively immune to what you are talking about.

So what on earth are you talking about, Graham? Isn't this just the usual Christian junk, where you are to cowardly to speak out against the truly vile people, but happy to admonish the good ones of your own group in an attempt to spread guilt feelings and hamper them.

Mr Auster has made some good points and it would be a shame to dismiss them because he was a bit cranky about his reception here.

I like this comment of yours, Graham, because it reveals you as someone who is not reading VFR. If you had indeed read it you would know that "a bit cranky" does not quite cover it.

Auster started off deeming that thread at GoV to be unworthy since he faced criticism he couldn't answer. So he want back to his bunker (VFR) from where he's throwing stink bombs at GoV. These attacks started off hysterically, but have since then become increasingly parodic.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Cranks were once used to start a car engine: a rod with two right angles.

Two? The ones I saw usually had four.

At least I'm satisfied that it's better to be a complete crank than an incomplete one. Thanks, Mr. Auster.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Going to read the Auster post, I find this:

Now you are attempting a "holocaust" against Spencer. If I needed any further proof that GoV is a nest of whacked-out liberals--!

Frankly, I see no difference between this nonsense and the junk posted at Huffington Post or Daily Kos.


As above, I was confused about what the 'crankiness' was all about. But then, it seems we're being accused of being ignorant liberals, because one commenter misquoted someone else.

So, we're being boxed up with Daily Kos. Swell.

I guess the best cure is to read more relevant books.

Conservative Swede said...

Graham,

There's a chance of this issue resolving us to be more hostile to outsiders and those who don't agree with us...

This is exactly the same sort of drivel that came out after the 7/7 bombings and similar, where the only concern was all the hand-wringing over how people might become more hostile to Muslims now. Despicable!

I have no idea of why you are forwarding this Christian sort of junk. You ought to be ashamed.

Henrik R Clausen said...

There's a chance of this issue resolving us to be more hostile to outsiders and those who don't agree with us.

Generally a Good Thing. CS, what's actually the problem here?

Actually, I don't think Auster made any good points, at least not in the article referred to above. He simply assumed, without testing, that trying to set the mistake right would be of no avail.

One of the qualities of GoV is that people (at least more than in other places) take corrections ad notam when pointed out with relevant documentation. Auster doesn't even try, but extrapolates from one fairly trivial mistake to lumping us with Daily Kos. That's not very convincing.

OK, enough of silly squabbles from my side...

Conservative Swede said...

Henrik,

Generally a Good Thing. CS, what's actually the problem here?

You are saying that hostility to outsiders is generally a good thing, and then you ask me what's the problem. Well, I'm not sure I can help you, mate.

Mystery Meat said...

What gets me about many conservative bloggers is this (IMO) insane drive for ideological purity. If you deviate from what someone has decided is the gold standard for political views, you are a dunce, a traitor or worse. This reminds me of my student days hearing the constant babble and arguments of my friends on the left. Sure, they hated the capitalists and the American government, but their real fury was reserved for their fellow commies who did not adhere to their version of the truth.

Good luck with remarks in the comment section. If the Baron and Dympha are committed to free speech there will undoubtedly be those who will make comments that others will consider moronic, ignorant or "crank."

It should be noted that Mr. Auster does not allow direct comments on his blog, although he does post excerpts from emails if he considers them suitable. That being said, he has some interesting ideas and is obviously a very bright guy.

xlbrl said...

Since you have referenced "Christian junk" twice today in describing a certain ennervated liberal response to Islam, I would point out some things I would have assumed were obvious.
1) The great majority of the fighting men in the American military are Christians, and many of them, I will say further, are muscular Christians.
Less than one percent are muscular atheists, such as yourself.
2) The people you describe as junk Christians, when they are not outright atheist, are post-Christian, or as Cyril Connolly described them, those who have lost their faith and retained the sense of sin without the saving belief in redemption; poisoning their thought and parylzing them in action.
Your antipathy to Christians or Christianity has not served the exercise of your considerable intellect. It is more often the device by which you can most easily be mislead.
Eric Hoffer saw that the opposite of a religious fanatic was not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who did not care if god exists.

xlbrl said...

My comments were in reponse to Swede. Apologies.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

All I'm saying is give peace a- no wait... no, that's the wrong script.

All I'm saying is that we have to be careful not to take unjust criticism to heart and become defensive and insular over it. We already see how that sort of attitude affects places like LGF, who lash out at any perceived slight with irrational anger and hatred. Auster, too, who seems rather content to be a d*ck about this whole thing. In my own way I was simply asking that people try and raise themselves above petty insults and remain focussed on the broader goal of fighting Islam.

And as for "a bit cranky"... CS, remember where I live. Understatement can be something of a problem for us. :)

xlbrl said...

mystery meat--
Yes, exactly. The ideological purity of the right is most reminiscent of the character of the left.
A violent zeal for truth is certain to be petulance, ambition, or pride--Jonathon Swift
Even truth is often a weapon of aggression.

Henrik R Clausen said...

CS, take a joke :)

On the large scale, we certainly could make use of more hostility to outsiders and people who disagree with us, such as Middle East dictators and various Jihadis.

BTW, an unsubstianted rumour says Zawahiri is seriously ill.

Conservative Swede said...

Xlbrl,

You will actually have to find an atheist first if you want to have an Christian vs. atheist quarrel. I couldn't care any less, I don't even see the difference between the two. That's why I refer to the whole lot as Christian. And your ideological/theological infighting does not interest me the least. You can keep your atheists to yourself, I don't want them.

As for the Jewish God Jehovah I don't care the least if he exists or not. He's not the God of my people anyway, is he? I fail to see what all the fuzz is about.

xlbrl said...

Swede--
You could have fooled me, and did. Repeatedly.

But we tend more to see a man through his description of others rather than his description of himself.

Zenster said...

Archonix: In my own way I was simply asking that people try and raise themselves above petty insults and remain focussed on the broader goal of fighting Islam.

Them's fightin' words!

Conservative Swede said...

Henrik,

CS, take a joke :)

As long as it is presented as a joke, so that I actually get it, than I'll take it. Now with the smiley and the label "this is a joke", I'm taking it (I'm still not sure I'm getting it though...)

Natalie said...

Gosh, I'm disappointed... is "crank" seriously the best insult Auster could come up with? Come on--I'm a person who's been called "Nazi" and "fascist" too many times to count! When people insult me, I at least want to be called something interesting :)

awake said...

Auster called me a "thug", (again). I guess he didn't appreciate me calling him out on his lies in the Spencer foray a few weeks ago, but gee, he is a touchy fellow, isn't he?

The comments I made about candles and teeth on floor are well known statements that imply other than the overt physical implication. Larry knows this, but chooses to pretend that he is offended.

What is more humorous, is that he is toting the recent spike of traffic at his site since he presumptuously labeled the Canadian bus beheading perpetrator as a Muslim.

Since he was the first and possibly only one to do it, his site got hits from obvious search engine queries on the matter.

Remarkable stuff, huh? Especially since his link has not yet been adequately established, but hey, Larry, you are getting additonal traffic, and that stands for something, right?.

Auster will continue his attack of GoV from his insulated world and use the excuse of being disrespected here as to why he ran away.

The man is unbelieveably transparent and hostile, which offsets any valuable work that he does, in my opinion.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

To clarify, I meant hostility to people who are on our side.

I'm sorry, CS, but you're too quick to see this weird idea of "christianism", lets call it, in what people say. What I said wasn't an argument from some sort of universalist "lets make the world like us" approach, it was an attempt to remind people that we need to resist the temptation to snipe at people who are ostensibly our allies.

Auster and LGF didn't resist so IMO they're fair game, but we should resist that temptation to return fire regardless, simply because it's a waste of energy, and we need to remain focussed.

That's what I meant. I thought I'd made that pretty clear in the original message. I guess I hadn't accounted for the filters people put on things. C'est la guerre, as they say...

Conservative Swede said...

Graham,

Auster and LGF didn't resist so IMO they're fair game, but we should resist that temptation to return fire regardless, simply because it's a waste of energy, and we need to remain focussed.

All agreed of course old buddy! Anyway, here's my last blog post about it:

Lawrence Auster and his ten little niggers

Cobra said...

Note to The Baron:

1. This site is exceptional.

2. There is a saying: "The dogs bark and the caravan passes."

I think you should not worry about this type of egocentric people...

Erich said...

awake rarely fails to make patently false statements:

"What is more humorous, is that he is toting the recent spike of traffic at his site since he presumptuously labeled the Canadian bus beheading perpetrator as a Muslim."

Auster's original essay on the Greyhound beheader in fact couched it in terms of skeptical inquiry. The title set the theme with a question mark, not a period: "A new phase of jihad?"

Nothing in that essay was a "labeling" of the killer as a Muslim, presumptuous or otherwise.

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/011095.html

Later essays by Auster consistently maintained couching this as a question that needs to be investigated, not a "labeling" already done. It was asking the question, and presenting the related problem of our mainstream press (as well as law enforcement) tending to avoid the M and I words when dealing with crimes like these.

Even his latest essay, tonight, though coming close to "labeling" (by saying "it's virtually definite") does not actually do so, and still leaves the matter in suspense pending definitive evidence, which Auster goes on to say might never come, given the MSM's penchant for avoiding the Islamic angle -- and at any rate, that's not the earlier essay awake was inaccurately describing.

Henrik R Clausen said...

I went to Auster's site intending to analyze it a bit more, just for fun. But it's too incoherent to really be worthwhile.

Baron, in his wisdom, pulled a nice sleight of hand in his post:

Auster:
Meanwhile, Baron Bodissey allows his site to be used by these complete cranks. What a disgrace.

Auster clearly aims at individual posters, such as "awake". Baron shifts this somewhat in his sentence:

Baron:
He’s talking about you, the invaluable readers and commenters here at Gates of Vienna!

Here is a discreet shift from the atypical sample to the population at whole. If passing unnoted, this can lead to some undue conflict.

Auster, however, does the same in full force:

If I needed any further proof that GoV is a nest of whacked-out liberals--!

Again, and more radically, Auster moves from the atypical sample to a judgement of not only the poster, of the entire GoV community, and even of GoV as such. He should know (needs only to read) that "awake" is an atypical commenter at GoV, but he may (my guess) be so blinded by anger that he makes the simple mistake of not doing a reality check.

That is not a good thing. As anyone who has done martial arts knows, anger is a wonderful way to win a fight. Not by being angry yourself - that's out of the question - but by provoking anger in your opponent so he starts to make mistakes you can exploit. That works.

For Auster continues with this wonderful piece of vitriol:

Apparently the unending stream of vitriol, abuse, and wacko charges in that thread, aimed mainly at one person, does not strike Bodissey as being "out of hand."

Notice the self-contradiction?

Auster does more ad hominem attacks, and apparently quotes private email conversation from Robert Spencer, without quoting an explicit permission from Spencer.

In brief, Auster violates several fundamental rules for civil discourse, while accusing others of doing the same.

Finally, a note on grammar: I'm commenting on what Auster says, not on Auster as a person. One guess I'm doing is marked personal as just that - a guess. In a debate as this, it frequently pays off to analyze statements according to basic grammar and point out the errors of logic.

While Auster (you may want to read the article at the link above) has obvious problems with merely 'letting the caravan pass', I think it's the proper things to do. Or, as we say in Denmark:

Small dogs bark. Big ones don't need to.

TB said...

Wow. Cranks! Another compliment. Can i put that in my Curiculum Vitae, Lawrence?

awake said...

Henrik,

While you may be correct that Auster was referring more specifically to me, then the general commenting population here at GoV, Baron made an excellent point.

Today, Auster calls for me to be banned from commenting here, tomorrow it will be the next person he disagrees with.

That is Auster through and through. It burns him that he can't control the content or the comments at this site like he can and does at his, so he sends private e-mails to Baron asking for my dismissal, to which Baron thankfully declined.

Therefore, in Auster's estimation, Baron and GoV as a whole, is now unsuitable to be considered a serious blog, simply because Baron did not agree with and would not capitulate to Auster's demands.

I was browsing his site again today and saw a past entry about how he replys to critics and denies the charge that he only posts comments that are in lock-step with his beliefs.

He explicitly wrote:

"Among the reality-turned-on-its head lies that are repeatedly told about me are the charges that I only allow people who agree with me to post comments at VFR;"

He then linked several articles to attempt validate his statement and the very first one I looked at titled "Am I being Unfair To Robert Spencer", he posted comments from 8 different people in that thread.

What was alarming is not a single one was critical to Auster. Not a single person came to Spencer's defense or at least, those who did, were not published. Not a single adversarial comment appeared.

The logical absurdity for Auster to post links that actually confirm the charge against him, is obvious.

He will occasionally allow a vetted commenter to criticize him, but that is always very minor in nature and it is purely calculated by Auster.

The oddest part is that according to Auster, exchanges where the content, context and order which are completely fabricated by Auster alone, passes off as respectful, honest debate.

Free exchange and debate was occuring here at GoV, that is, until Auister realized he didn't have the delete button at his disposal, and promptly left for greener and safer pastures.

Zenster said...

awake: Today, Auster calls for me to be banned from commenting here, tomorrow it will be the next person he disagrees with.

That is Auster through and through. It burns him that he can't control the content or the comments at this site like he can and does at his, so he sends private e-mails to Baron asking for my dismissal, to which Baron thankfully declined.


Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle! Evidently, with his usual unfailing courtesy, the Baron saw fit to forward you a copy of Auster's outlandish request.

As one who is often accused of it, permit me to note the monumental gall in Auster trying to tell a far more open and honest web site to ban someone. The hubris and presumption is almost staggering. At least it would have been were it not for Conservative Swede's thoughtful preparation against the arrival of this day.

A site operator who selectively moderates every single post and filters substantial counteragrument comes to one of the most Free Speech oriented web sites on the Internet seeking to get a participant banned.

Am I the only one who gets a sense of abject hypocrisy similar to that of Saudi Arabia complaining about human rights violations in the West? The words "preposterous" and "outrageous" do not even begin to encompass such pathetic pettifoggery.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Now, I don't know Auster from much except what has been going down here.

I see from his side errors of fact, of reasoning and fallacious conclusions, as well as pointless ad hominem attacks and undue interference with affairs of others. That's not so good, but can fortunately be analyzed logically and pointed out.

Worst of all, in my book, is his publication of private emails. That's a breach of confidence which will cost him real respect and friendship.

Trying to dictate supposedly 'lesser' blogs what to do and even to exclude certain commenters is plain dumb. That will not earn him any respect.

His fondness of ad hominem attacks and the inability to just 'let the caravan pass' is not impressive, either.

But then, the blogosphere has its share of cranks anyhow. People rise in esteem, then get a bit strange and fall back again.

Related, I notice that JihadWatch is getting closer and closer to passing LGF traffic-wise. Not bad at all for Spencer & friends.

Baron's "sleight of hand", as I called it above, was not just a trick. It was also a discreet invitation for solidarity against Auster's, well, crankiness.

CS, I don't think we need to bring out the big derogatives. The breaches of good style are self-damning, I should say...

Actually, not much to see here. Time to move on :)

Conservative Swede said...

Henrik,

Very sharp eyed analysis of Auster. Unfortunately most people are not so good at independent analysis as you are. You would be surprised by the number of people also here at GoV who's supporting Auster (at least before this melt down of his here). Part of the reason for that is that Auster actually also delivers good stuff.

People who read those articles and are impressed by that and then read his "articles" about his on-going brawls with other pundits and bloggers; reading his account of the story and taking it at face value.

But this time around so many of these people have first experienced what actually happened in the thread ("What Can We do?"), and then read Auster's account of it at his site. And then he doesn't get away with his systematic lies and distortion. Normally he sticks to bullying a single person, and then it's much easier to get away with promoting his version of reality.

But even if more people see through Auster now, he still manages to set the agenda. The thread "What Can We do?" has been one of the best discussion threads of the whole anti-jihad blogosphere, in my opinion. But that is all forgotten and all the focus is on the Auster brawl. This is the result he always manage to create wherever he comes, by the end of it, it is all about him.

So yes I think it has been worthwhile to having put the spotlight on this flabbergasting crankiness and notorious hypocritical dishonesty of Auster. People need to be reminded about it every once in a while. Because in between they read one or two good articles by Auster, become impressed, and they forget. People in general do have a big problem in keeping two thoughts in their mind at the same time.

Conservative Swede said...

Henrik again,

The breaches of good style are self-damning, I should say...

I wish it were so in this world. But the example of Auster shows the opposite. He's been able to get away with a lot of this without anyone protesting. Of course he has routinely been bullying a single defenseless person, and not a whole community as now. When the attack is on a single person there is rarely any independent party who sees the same reality as the harassed one. And when he/she protests the methods of Auster, it is painted as partial and a deviation from the issue, etc.

Worst of all, in my book, is his publication of private emails. That's a breach of confidence which will cost him real respect and friendship.

And this is a very good example of what Auster regularly gets away with. Make an Internet search and you won't find many more people than you and me protesting about it.

The beauty of this bullying method is that it is like pulling down the trousers of a person. It puts them in a weak position. And because of the shameful situation, and the sheer hostility of the act, the bullied party bails out.

And the spectators just enjoy the show and do not care to look deeper into it. The readers of VFR are there because they like Auster's articles. And people in general, including so-called intelligent people, do not make an independent analysis, but see what they are told to see. So when Auster tells them that his actions are righteous, representing good taste and necessary in the quest for truth, etc., they buy it.

If you are surprised, and find it unbelievable, how these methods can works so well for Auster, and how so many otherwise intelligent people buy it, then make a comparative study with the MSM. They succeed with the very same thing, using the very same methods, but at a much larger scale.

Baron Bodissey said...

Swede --

You're right. People do see what they're told to see. It's hard to step back and look at something with an independent eye.

It's like the Srbrenica "massacre". People saw what they were told to see. Serbs bad. Muslims good.

Besides Auster, LGF is a good example. Vlaams Belang = neo-Nazi. That's all the lizardoids needed to hear, and it became fake-but-accurate truth, just like on CBS.

Natalie said...

Baron Bodissey: It's like the Srbrenica "massacre". People saw what they were told to see. Serbs bad. Muslims good.

Good for you for realising this.

And, interestingly enough (though not surprisingly), over at LGF they actually believe what the media has said about Serbia, the Balkans, and Srebrenica. Typical.

Conservative Swede said...

Just one out of hundreds of examples of Auster publishing private emails:

Just as any ordinary week of the year, Auster had been publishing emails from Robert Spencer. When Spencer pointred out how tilted the whole thing got when Auster only published Spencer's emails but not what he had written himself. So how did Auster decide to deal with that? Well the sane and sober conclusion in Auster's mind to this was to publish all the emails by Andrew Bostom too.

Andrew Bostom is just another of Auster's Usual Suspects. Auster hasn't officially declared Bat Ye'or and Serge Trifkovic Usual Suspects yet, but logically speaking they are so too in the mind warp of VFR.

What is clear from the conversation is that Spencer has made clear to Auster how he was in favour of stopping Muslim immigration (and he had already declared so at his website). Spencer concludes by very fairly saying: "Bottom line: Lawrence Auster is, when it comes to my position on immigration, simply not an honest man."

After all his insane and obsessive attacks Spencer, that's not too much to say. But now Auster's feelings got hurt, so he turns to Bostom saying: "Now Spencer says I am “not an honest man.” Will you defend me from this personal attack and take Spencer to task for making it? Or are you simply the partisan of Spencer? Time to show us what you’re made of, Andy."

Bostom decides that the whole thing is pointless and bails out. And Auster concludes with:

I called on Bostom to “tell Spencer that he’s totally out of line in calling me dishonest and a liar and that he’s got to stop this.” Bostom wrote back: "Maybe I am stooopid, but I don't see the big insult...This is just silliness as far as I am concerned, and I wish it would stop..."

Thus Andy Bostom unleashed Spencer on me by bcc’ing him in our exchange, he did not object to a single one of Spencer’s smears of me, and when I called on him to do so, he wimped out, dissociating himself from the situation that he had helped create. The upshot is that no one in Spencer’s circle will reprove him for his wrongheaded obsessed attacks on me, and he feels licensed to continue in them. However, my criticism of the “Usual Suspects” stands, and I will not be moved from it, notwithstanding the efforts of some of them to isolate and intimidate me.


The thing is, that Auster can never be corrected. Because that's an attack on his honesty; a personally hostile attack, blah blah blah... Auster is baffled how people could claim that he's not treating Spencer with respect, since he makes sure to intersperse how Spencer is our "foremost Islam critic", in between his vitriol, his declaration how he refuses to answer emails from Spencer (for being too outrageous) and how Spencer gets same treatment as any other e-mail abuser. How is that disrespectful? It's only fair, sober, sane and logical, right?

Poor Auster that Spencer won't stop his obsessive smear attacks on Auster (that is when Spencer points out that Auster describes him unfairly) and that Bostom is not coming to his rescue, telling Spencer to stop.

I'm sorry to say, but Lawrence Auster is a seriously sick man, and in need of some sort of help.

Conservative Swede said...

Another little example of Auster publishing private emails:

In the very article linked above. Auster quotes the Baron saying:
"Yes, you have tighter controls than I do. I try to let things go for a while, and nail the door shut only when they get out of hand. Sometimes the best ideas come from the threads that are just a little bit edgy and over the top."

So where did the Baron say that? In a private email of course. Did Auster ask for permission to post it? I don't think so. In this case it's not so incriminating I guess but it illustrates how Auster as a matter of habit breaches the principle of not publishing private emails. Anything ever sent to him in a private email he uses as a palette for painting whatever picture that serves his purpose for the moment. And nobody in the supposed "moral elite" at VFR ever protests against that.

In this case his purpose has been to describe the comment section of GoV as an "unending stream of vitriol, abuse, and wacko charges" and the Baron as reckless in his moderation policy. Quite as Henrik pointed out, Auster goes from the atypical sample, i.e. Awake's ridiculously rude comment to Erich "I expect ConSwede will shove that statement upp your arse with a cnadle on it.", building his whole case from that, making a chicken from a feather.

What is deliberately left out of the picture by Auster, since it does not suit his purposes, is my quick answer to Awake: "Watch you language, boy! It's not appreciated.". Awake's immature comment was not appreciated by anyone in that thread. And Auster also leaves out that the motivation for the Baron not to delete Awake's comment was that that it was so quickly and clearly disapproved of by me, and therefore it was not a case of things getting out of hand.

So this is all a normal day at work for Auster. This the reality found behind if lifting the stone of a single little paragraph of his writing: breach of confidence, systematic distortion, etc.; even in the smallest things.

So should the Baron have protested how his private email was published? Or should he have published his whole email to give the correct picture, instead of just the parts that Auster cherry-picked to creatively paint the picture that served his purposes? But here's the dilemma: if you do that you are lowering yourself to Auster's level. So people stay away from doing that. And that's the beauty of the childish and dirty games that Auster regularly plays. Almost all people are too decent to call him out on it. All while the spectators believe whatever Auster tells them to see. So he at the same time gets away with both his immoral methods and claiming the moral high ground while declaring the bullied party the wretched menace to society.

PS. Hint to Awake: take in consideration what Henrik said about martial arts above.

Baron Bodissey said...

Conservative Swede --

Yes, you are right. Auster did not ask for my permission to post our private correspondence.

But to be fair to him, I didn't ask him not to publish it, either; so he stayed at least marginally within the bounds of propriety by doing what he did.

My own personal policy is not to publish people's emails unless they give me explicit permission to do so. Occasionally I will take a reader's email (normally the friendly and harmless ones), disguise the details so that the sender can't be identified, and post an excerpt.

The only exceptions to the above are nasty, obscene, abusive emails, which I reserve the right to publish in full, including the sender's email address. Fortunately for us, such emails are rare, so I don't have to invoke this exception very often.

It is my mental habit, whenever I send out an email without an explicit request that it not be published, to keep in mind the possibility that the recipient might decide to post it. The email in question that I sent to Auster was one of these; I sent it with a subliminal awareness that everyone in the world -- or at least everyone who reads VFR -- might someday be reading it.

As for the rest of the text of that particular email -- there wasn't any. That was the entire message.

It was one of a long series of exchanges between Mr. Auster and me, and if I wanted to enter into the spirit of all this, I could post the lot of them.

But I don't have permission to publish his emails, and I'm going to stick with my own principles, antiquated though they may be.

Besides, I don't see any useful purpose for doing that kind of thing.

Conservative Swede said...

Baron,

But to be fair to him, I didn't ask him not to publish it, either; so he stayed at least marginally within the bounds of propriety by doing what he did.

I think most people will agree that the moral code here goes the other way around. Otherwise it would mean that it would be OK to publish any private email that does not explicitly state "not for publication!".

The fact that you have internalized the idea that Auster might publish what you write to him, and that you generally play it safe in what you write to people, does not make it right to publish private emails.

The only exceptions to the above are nasty, obscene, abusive emails, which I reserve the right to publish in full, including the sender's email address.

This is the sort of treatment that Auster is giving Spencer. And still he continues to claim, with a straight face, that he's treating Spencer respectfully.

Baron Bodissey said...

CS --

Yes, you’re right. The world would be a better place if people abided by simple, gentlemanly rules about emails and so on. But many people don’t, so it’s always a good idea to keep that fact in mind. That doesn’t mean that what they do is right; it’s just an observable fact.

And, if he (or anyone else) pissed me off enough, I could always change my mind and publish everything. But I don’t foresee a need for that.

Restraint is my own natural preference, but I also find that it has utility. If I am normally calm and measured in the way I do things, then I always have the option of unleashing of all restraint as a weapon in my arsenal, to be used when needed. It would then have the advantage of surprise.

If I were over the top all the time, always ranting and raving and insulting people and throwing invective in all directions, I wouldn’t have that option, would I?

I find it useful to be restrained and show decorum. That’s the funny thing about ethical behavior -- it's often also in one’s own best interests.

Another thing -- many of my correspondents rely on my discretion. I strive to be scrupulous about maintaining people’s privacy, so that information is more likely to flow freely to me.

thll said...

'Cranks'? Certainly, we're a 'device' for communicating.

Henrik R Clausen said...

In context, I think it's reasonable for Baron to forward mail from Auster without asking permission (though it might be a fun thing to do :), as Auster obviously has a policy of publishing anything he fancies.

The way Auster treats Robert Spencer, one of the most learned and most important persons in the field, is galling. Bostom has the good style to 'whimp out' of this :)

awake said...

Auster has responded.

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/011119.html

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Let him spin all he wants. As always, the record of note (warts n'all) is available to anyone who actually wants to find out what happened. :)

Tanstaafl said...

Auster writes:

(There were also anti-Semitic comments about me from another member of the group, the anti-Semite Tanstaafl, though I've just read those comments for the first time during my re-reading.)

I wrote that Auster is first and foremost pro-jew. I provided links in support of that claim. The audacity of me.

Auster's response is exactly analogous to calling a person an islamophobe (ie. they have a mental problem) for recognizing those who are pro-muslim.

Racism, sexism, homophobism, and islamophobism follow logically from the same basis as anti-semitism, which predates them all. Pathologizing the natural need to distinguish between self and other has spawned an entire hate ideology.

Non-jewish White Western men are the most politically correct group to distinguish and attack. How did this happen? Why? Whatever muslims are doing to the West, they didn't create the PC that provided them access and continues to protect them.

Conservative Swede said...

Henrik,

Auster has posted two "articles" about GoV and "the big thread" today. In the second one you are featured prominently:

The GoV campaign of personal destruction continues

Auster is indignated over your campaign of personal destruction against him (which you are waging in concert with your twin brother Paulsen).

I must say that this piece is beautifully strung together rhetorically, given the weak position Auster is in. E.g. in how he directly ties together your objection against publishing private emails with the snippet of the Baron that he had posted. Something that the Baron didn't object to. Which nevertheless is spun as the Baron going on about it at length. Etc., etc. It's sort of a masterpiece.

You will also get the explanation why it's OK to publish Spencer's emails. Because he said so! So Spencer gets treated as the lowest from of email abuser. And the reason for that is that he had used the word "calumny" with reference to Auster. (This is paralleled by how Auster's whole case against David Yerushalmi was derived from the usage of the word "irrational".)

And by the way, there's a new post at my blog on this theme:
Auster's exit from the big thread, part 1

awake said...

CS,

My favorite part about Auster's latest offering is this, first by Auster and then by his loyal servant "Adela G":

"It was "Adela G." who had written the "nest of whacked out liberals" comment, and I asked her if she would like to post at GoV explaining that I did not say it."
-Auster-

Adela G. replies:

"OK. I'll try. I say "try" because since I last posted at GoV, I've been barred from even registering to post at another political blog. I have no idea why. My "nest of whacked out liberals" comment is the worst thing I've ever submitted to any blog."

"I don't really consider it broad-brush name-calling, though. A person who posts that you are attempting a "holocaust" against Spencer and whose comrades do not take him to task for that typically whacked out liberal hyperbole can be said to comprise a "nest" of...well, you know...what I said."

"But I will set the record straight over there, if I'm permitted to post."

Two questions:

1) Is the apparent attempt of clarification, an almost almost begging of "Adela G." to correct the record per Auster's request, that apparent?

2) Is "Adela G." seriously trying to insinuate that she is banned from commenting here or that by way of her last comment here at this site, that she has precluded herself from even being able to register at any other "political" blogs?

If so, the "Holocaust" of Spencer aside, Adela's statemnts are truly the stuff that dreams are made of.

awake said...

Just in case anyone is slow and cannot comprehend Auster's explicit sentiment about GoV as a whole, please read the latest comment, fully vetted by Auster as a ruse of free exchange, by a loyal reader at his site,

Gintas writes:

"I've deleted my bookmark to Gates of Vienna. I have better ways of wasting time. Telling the truth there is just throwing pearls before swine. Now, if they were really swine, that would increase the chances of chasing Islam out of Europe."

Nice, huh? Classic highbrow Auster, to the end.

Baron Bodissey said...

Awake --

Geez. That's worthy of an LGF thread.

Conservative Swede said...

Awake,

If so, the "Holocaust" of Spencer aside, Adela's statemnts are truly the stuff that dreams are made of.

I will get into all that in my part 2.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Um... blogger's comment system doesn't have any means to block people from registering or commenting. Or if it does, I never knew about it when I was on blogger. must be one of those hidden features that google only tells people about if they're sufficiently "whacked out" and "liberal". Heh.

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.
...
If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?
...
The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"
...
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it

All this infighting will kill us. Why can't these see that we all have different paths to reach the same ultimate goal? That not everyone should travel the same path simply because this diversity of approaches and ideas is necessary to defeat Islam. There are too many people trying to set themselves up as leaders so they can say "you're all tools of my fight! Stop being hands and turn into feet! Walk my way or take the highway!" And various other clichés.

Conservative Swede said...

Graham,

All this infighting will kill us.

Hey, cool it! All we need to do is to fight the infighters. Simple as that.

That not everyone should travel the same path simply because this diversity of approaches and ideas is necessary to defeat Islam.

Exactly my point. And that's why it's so good to have e.g. Richard Dawkins joining in.

Henrik R Clausen said...

All this infighting will kill us.

Infighting? What infighting?

I just see a few pieces of broken logic, fallacies of argumentation, twisting statements of opponents, trivial mistakes (as in going from the atypical sample to conclude about the entire population), and of course, ad hominem attacks where people talk negatively of other persons, rather than of the dumb statements or actions of these persons.

Anything even remotely original here?

It's just a barroom brawl. Nothing interesting. Andrew Bostom did the Right Thing by 'whimping out' to spend his time more important issues.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Infighting, inasmuch as people who claim to be on our side are spending most of their time attacking us instead of helping us.

I guess it's a semantic though. :)

@CS
And that's why it's so good to have e.g. Richard Dawkins joining in.

Much as it pains me to admit it... I'd prefer Carl Sagan (even as a corpse he could probably make Dawkins look like an intellectual lightweight) but, what the hey, you work with what you've got, and he carries a lot of weight amongst people who haven't, so far, been particularly keen to fight.

Old Atlantic Lighthouse said...

Don't we need to help John Bolton and others get Bush and Congress to actually stop Iran getting nukes? Time is running out.

Tanstaafl said...

We need to get our borders closed and our invaders deported even more urgently.

awake said...

Here’s a few thoughts on Auster’s offering from August 4th, titled “The GoV campaign of personal destruction continues” although Auster could have just as easily replaced “destruction” with “self-destruction” in the title in my opinion.

This is a difficult exercise in establishing Auster’s pattern of one-sided, dishonorable debate tactics due to his constant re-arranging of chronological events and selective context, but I’ll have at it anyway.

In his criticism of Henrik Clausen, Auster states that, “…the issue of my horrible mistreatment of Robert Spencer is brought up again. Clausen accuses me of posting private e-mails from Robert Spencer, at this VFR thread”

Auster then later says, “Conservative Swede also points to a VFR thread in which I quoted Spencer's e-mails. Swede apparently doesn't notice that at the beginning of that same thread, I once again explain what I explained here, that Spencer knows that I will post and reply to his e-mails publicly at my site.”

That proclamation originated in an e-mail that Auster published from himself to Spencer, in the thread “Am I Being Unfair To Spencer?” provided below:

—— Original Message——-
From: Lawrence Auster
To: Robert Spencer
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2006 4:20.p.m.
Subject: Re: Request for retraction of a false statement of my views

I will be replying at my site to your present complaint and to any future complaints you may care to send me.

Given your accusation that I committed a “calumny” against you, and your refusal to retract it, I will not correspond by e-mail with you again. Any future exchanges between us will be public.
------------------------------------

This is an important point, for it establishes what I and many others rightly accuse Auster of doing; engaging in attacks on others while preventing any honest defense by those he attacks. In reality, exchanges in this fashion aren’t public at all. So, we understand that Auster has apparently ended e-mail correspondence with Spencer, limiting his criticism about Spencer solely under the blanket protection of his moderated site and threatens Spencer that if he sends him further e-mails, he will make them public there.

Readers should take notice that when Spencer posts anything about Auster, which is rare and overwhelmingly rare in comparison to the opposite scenario, he never selectively chooses what replies of Auster to print. They all appear, that is, until Auster inevitably retreats back to the safety of VFR to continue the debate on safer ground, but then it is irreparably adulterated, reduced to a one-sided talking point and no longer a debate.

Auster readers show support and thanks to Auster for weeding out the “garbage” at his site and printing the “substantive” material only, which again, is at Auster’s discretion alone. Pointing out Auster’s knack for selective publishing is not an unfair charge in light of this reality. It is an irrefutable fact, no matter how many desperate, grasping attempts otherwise that Auster and his readers have tried to establish recently.

Returning back to Auster’s procedure of exchange, we must remember that Spencer’s claim, that Auster is selective in his publications, is absolutely true. Auster has claimed that “any future exchanges between us will be public”, and has said to Conservative Swede that “Spencer knows that I will post and reply to his e-mails publicly at my site.” Does that imply Spencer’s accusation that Auster, prints selectively and out of context is unfair and false? I don’t think so and I don’t think any reasonably minded people could either.

Auster himself has publicly declared that he does not print all of Spencer’s e-mails in context with his admission on the “Correcting Spencer's False Statements About Me” thread where Auster explicitly states, “I guess Spencer thinks I should have posted all 42 of his e-mails. (Based on Spencer's past accusations against me, if I've miscounted his e-mails by one or two, he'll probably leap on this as proof that I am liar.)”

Whatever Auster’s internal rationale is for why he prints selectively, (and for the record, in that exchange that he was referring to, he omitted far more than one or two), the fact is that he readily admits that he does, thus validating Spencer’s criticism of him on that point.

Returning back to the topic at hand, Auster’s referenced thread at the top, we now have a clear picture of how Auster operates in exchanges with those he disagrees with. He slings mud out and about, as he did here at GoV, retreats to his comfort zone when challenged, attacks falsely without fear of genuine reprisal and then frames his position on the events in his world with a virtual support group through selective publishing, with the goal to make himself out to be the aggrieved party.

As sad as that sequence is, it is also painfully obvious due to its consistent repetitiveness. The comfort and ease which Auster displays in being able to distort the facts is uncanny. I will use an example on the original subject thread to illustrate this point.

In response to and to correct Henrik about the source of the “Now you are attempting a "holocaust" against Spencer. If I needed any further proof that GoV is a nest of whacked-out liberals--!”, which was obviously Adela G., Auster goes on to state that, “If had looked over that comment more carefully before posting, I would noticed the extreme language and would have softened or deleted it.”
Adela G. responded, “No, I don't agree. (I'm sure the GoV loonies can't conceive of one of your vile sycophants disagreeing with you two times in as many days.)”, as if this silly, minor disagreement of not taking Auster at his word is a reasonable example of Auster allowing contrary positions to be posted at his site.

Speaking of Auster’s “word” in this example, should he be taken at it? I don’t believe so. In the original thread where the comment by Adela G. first appeared, “The latest charge from the Spencer camp: I am attempting a "holocaust" of Robert Spencer”, Auster directly replies to Adela G. that, “Well, it only stands to reason that I am attempting to commit a holocaust against Spencer, since I am, as Spencer himself put it, seeking the ascendancy of Austerism over the West, And a party who wants to be the dictator over a whole civilization must eliminate his enemies, right?” The obvious sarcasm of Spencer is noted by that statement. No one, including Auster truly believe that is what Spencer really meant, which is, in Spencer’s retort, that all positions, no matter how similar, should be identical to Auster’s lest they be deemed inadequate.

But more importantly, are we now supposed to believe that Auster, who vets every comment appearing at his site and publishes selectively, as was already adequately shown, didn’t read that comment and comprehend the charge of Adela G. against the GoV community as “a nest of whacked-out liberals--!”, before he published it?

Or, is it more likely that Auster’s offering that he would have “softened” it, merely lip service to continue to portray the illusion that he is above ad hominem and mud-slinging, which all but his loyal readers know he is prone to engage in on a regular basis? The latter is the only logical choice, since Auster has still to date not admonished Adela G. for that comment, yet he demands that Baron delete comments at GoV that Auster himself does not feel are appropriate.

Finally, the comment by Gintas on the same thread where he writes, “I've deleted my bookmark to Gates of Vienna. I have better ways of wasting time. Telling the truth there is just throwing pearls before swine. Now, if they were really swine, that would increase the chances of chasing Islam out of Europe.” Auster then replies, “And then see where "awake" quotes Gintas's "pearls before swine" reference and says: "Nice, huh? Classic highbrow Auster, to the end." So, in "awake's" darkened, thuggish mind, a VFR commenter wittily quoting a saying of Jesus proves that VFR is really a low-brow website!”

Once again, as Auster snickers in the background about the “witty” saying that supposedly went over my head, he missed the obvious, or at least is hoping that GoV readers would miss the obvious, that Auster vetted, published and therefore supports the statement that GoV is indeed a waste of time where “truth” is ignored and wasted on the undeserved “cranks” that populate there. His lack of a direct response to that comment leaves one with no other logical assumption of Auster’s position.

In understanding that correlation, it certainly does seem to portray Auster’s reply to Adela G’s comment of characterizing the GoV community as “a nest of whacked-out liberals--!” to which he professed, “Obviously it does not reflect my views”, as less than genuine.