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June 08, 2006

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For LJ: Yes, it's not mere coincidence that all three titles have started with the letter "D" today. (Although the decision to use the letter D was entirely arbitrary.)

Hmmm...Armando disappears, fafblog reappears, you don't think? Nah.

it's not mere coincidence that all three titles have started with the letter "D" today

I thought this last one started with "T." :)

I thought this last one started with "T." :)

We're ignoring the articles, for the purposes of this conceit. ;-)

Thanks von and thanks for the response earlier.

There was some grumbling about Armando's participation in Swords Crossed, so I thought that it might have been erstwhile allies on the left who unmasked him, which, given the fractiousness of leftist politics, would not be a surprise. (I think this is a general condition of the left, but that's another point) However, I think it says something that it was someone from the right who did this. Perhaps, given time, someone on the left would have done the deed, but I think this suggests a drawing up of the ranks, which leaves me with a sense of foreboding.

South Knox Bubba got hisself outed last year, too, by an editor of a localpaper who didn't like the criticisms he was getting on SKB's blog. SKB went silent not too long after - and the site is completely gone, now.

Actually, I don't know that it's clear whether the original troll who investigated Armando was a righty or a lefty, although we obviously know the affiliation of the folks who republished the troll's findings. I can recall at least one celebrated case at dkos where a bona fide lefty made a lot of trouble for someone who wanted to be anonymous, because they supported different candidates in a primary.

I appreciated Leon's unequivocal condemnation of the outers, but I noted him doing something that many others have done: minimizing the offense, whether intentionally or not, by noting that sussing out Armando's real identity is not terribly difficult for someone who's ever used Google.

It's true. It's also completely beside the point. Given a little time and maybe a few bucks, I can find personal data and contact information, including home address and phone number, for just about any private citizen. Given a little more time and a few clues about where they live and what they do, I can probably find their employer. Sometimes this is easy and sometimes it is not, but it's all information in the public domain.

The point is not that the NRO posted anything confidential or privileged, or even hard to find for someone who goes looking. The point is that they aggregated that information in one place and publicized it on a high-traffic site to cause trouble for a political opponent at their place of employment.

The point is that they aggregated that information in one place and publicized it on a high-traffic site to cause trouble for a political opponent at their place of employment

right. NRO Malkined Armando.

at least they didn't Misha him.

'I thought this last one started with "T." :)'

You must have been the bane of librarians.

For LJ: Yes, it's not mere coincidence that all three titles have started with the letter "D" today.

You've been reading Sandman again?

"You must have been the bane of librarians."

The only time I ever got caught cheating on a test (not that I did it a lot, mind you) was in grade school when I refused to memorize the dewey decimal system and wrote it all down on my hand.

Anyway, I wish the best to Armando: I disagree with a great deal of your politics, but you have repeatedly demonstrated a desire to elevate the tone of debate, and engage. You will be missed.

Might as well continue with my Farber impression on this thread. Do you really think Armando elevated the tone of the debate? I mean, I mostly read him during the Roberts/Miers/Alito nominations where I thought he was a shrieking left-wing harpie, and in fact accused him of slander for one of his posts about Roberts where he accused Roberts of "intentionally violating the judicial code of conduct" or something like that. Some of his other posts seemed liked screeds, though maybe it was just the SCOTUS thing.

Outing Armando is repellent, as are all the previous outings of which I'm aware. (Exception made for public figures who have made a career bashing people when they themselves are, privately, among those people. I am of two minds about that one.)

I'm lucky: being outed would have no real consequences for me, and when that annoying person showed up here a few months ago and promised to publicize my real name, and to spend ages reading everything any of my relatives ever wrote, all I thought was: well, you'll be a lot better informed when you're done. But I still mind when people do it, since they have no right to be second-guessing my reasons for being (semi-) anonymous. I can't imagine how I'd feel if anything really turned on it.

Sometimes I think that there are people who think that what goes on on blogs is not political discourse, but war; and thus that there are no limits beyond which you shouldn't go to bring your enemies down. And that's just wrong.

Sometimes I think that there are people who think that what goes on on blogs is not political discourse, but war; and thus that there are no limits beyond which you shouldn't go to bring your enemies down. And that's just wrong.

I think you mistake the impulse, hilzoy. Those who condone such tactics tend to see political discourse as war, or at least a rhetorical form of it. That, I think, is one of the reasons that many of them cannot stomach those who question our country's military actions.

Hilzoy:

...when that annoying person showed up here a few months ago and promised to publicize my real name, and to spend ages reading everything any of my relatives ever wrote, all I thought was: well, you'll be a lot better informed when you're done.

Wow. Did he also promise to buy as many copies of those works as possible? Because that would have really shown you.

As an interesting (or not) aside: I've seen two outings without malice by academics. They were most likely mistakes, as both the outers write under their own names and tend to agree with the outees.

Anyway, here's hoping that the person interested in outing hilzoy *is* reading the books she and her relatives have written. Since I haven't read any, I do expect a book report.

"...and I am really angry at NRO and the folks behind this." ...John Cole

I respectfully request that NRO and it writers be de-linked and not linked to again.

"...is not political discourse, but war; and thus that there are no limits beyond which you shouldn't go to bring your enemies down."

It isn't a game, hobby, pastime, or friendly competition, as Armando and 100k dead in Iraq and New Orleans demonstrate.

I do think that a general de-linking of NRO would be appropriate. Yes, it can be a pain to go into the template to erase a link; if you're sincerely ticked about their behavior, though, you'd do it. News junkies already have those hacks bookmarked, so keeping them on isn't doing us any favors. De-linking will show up in their stats to offset the people talking about their (shocking! profitable!) MediaBlog's behavior.

. . . and in fact accused him of slander for one of his posts about Roberts where he accused Roberts of "intentionally violating the judicial code of conduct" or something like that.

Well, Ugh, I don't think is all that far over the edge. Then-Judge Roberts should have known what was going on, and, when formally called on it, should have stepped up. (I assume this is about the Hamdan case). Yes, he's done half of the right thing now, recusing himself, but should have gone the rest of the way, and withdrawn his concurrence from the opinion at the circuit level.

And yes, I'm not a disinterested bystander with respect to this matter.

I don't read Armando particularly, so, other than the sense in which any man's death diminishes me, this loss won't be felt. It's too bad people can be such jerks, though.

CharleyC -

Well certainly he should recuse himself, I'm not sure he should have withdrawn his concurrence. There was piece on Slate around the time of his nomination by two Professors who said he should not have participated in the case while being interviewed by the White House, but I didn't find their argument particularly convincing (something along the lines of "well sure the normal rule is that you don't have to recuse in cases against the government, but this is different" and I didn't find their reasons why it was different particularly interesting).

Even if their argument was convincing, accusing him of intentionally violating the ethics rule was one step too far, IMHO (though if the argument was convincing he should have withdrawn his concurrence, which I assume means the appeals court would be a 1-1 tie, letting the district court's opinion control if SCOTUS ties 4-4).

Good luck, BTW.

Or doesn't reach the particular question, always a distinct possibility.

NRO is on von's blogroll, so it's his call whether or not to de-link.

About my and my relatives' published works: iirc, this was right after the Ben Domenech thing, and the idea was to find possible instances of plagiarism.

For clarity, I have NRO's The Corner on my blogroll, and I intend for it to remain. I will not link NRO's Media Blog in this instance, however, and do not recall ever linking the Media blog in the past.

Technorati lists a nontrivial number of blogs linking to NRO's Media Blog who also endorsed the Online Integrity statement, including that paragon of intellectual honesty, Glenn Reynolds.

Sometimes I think that there are people who think that what goes on on blogs is not political discourse, but war; and thus that there are no limits beyond which you shouldn't go to bring your enemies down. And that's just wrong.

Politics ain't bean bag.

Where did you spend the nineties?

It's going to get a whole lot uglier, especially if the Right loses the house.

Some people use anonymity as a sort of snow fort behind which they can feel free to hurl snowballs full of rocks. Armando wasn't one of those people, so his outing was, in my opinion, not particularly a good thing from anyone's point of view. Still, his name was publicly announced almost a year and a half ago, for those who cared. I'm not sure I buy that it's therefore OK to refer to him by name loudly, and from high places. If I'd ever had a subscription to NR, I'd probably have to think about discontinuing.

If what's happening is debate, who you are is irrelevant. When debate is abandoned for pure abuse, though, who you are becomes more of a legitimate interest. That's the way I see it, anyway.

As far as the claimed conflict of interest, I'd want to see more about that sort of thing as a rationale than just the question. Burden of proof, and all.

All of which is probably dreadfully inconsistent from an ethics point of view, which leads me to suggest this very thing to hilzoy as a topic of discussion. When she's done unpacking, painting, fixing boilers, redecorating, etc, or perhaps in between such activities.

Celebrating the Demise of Zarqawi bt Smearing Murtha

Wherein pgl of Angry Bear accuses Jonah Goldberg of intentionally misquoting Murtha, and Rich Lowry of smearing Democrats

Byron York Misqotes Me

Wherein Ezra Klein accuses York.
...
I no longer even visit Counterpunch, let alone link to them.

TypePad is asking for re-send:

I see dkos it and its masthead decor as a useful milieu if one has the time and interest. Indeed, today, those folks are in conference in Las Vegas, like the Consumer Electronics show; and some of them post widely on the net, performing very useful work. Perhaps even some of the participants here are blogging from the Yearly dkos conference.

I think Armando will improve from a respite away from his difficult role as a principal at dkos. It is true his insights were helpful at the time of the Roberts nominations. I have avoided the dkos site since then, lacking time in my own activities, and preferring to write with my own name as byline. One of his legacies I think has been a proliferation of professional colloquy on the web which has helped invigorate both the medium and the nation's political process; perhaps once dissociated from the dkos framework, he will be refreshed. There were times during the Roberts discussions that Armando's voice seemed solitary in a void of imperceptiveness, and he brightened that space very well. We shall see how narrowly Hamdan is decided, and perhaps some chronicler will write for us later concerning how that opinion is made; Roberts clerks still work on the court, so, though there is personal recusal there may be other forms of guidance exercised by the office of the Chief Justice.

On the reading assignment: I only believe I have read one book by two of hilzoy's forebears, a dense tome on astronomy. Now, the pie throwing incident which involved a cousin may be interesting. Funny, we heard so little about CAP after that Associate Justice nominee was voted onto the Supreme Court.

John L: actually, Bart Bok is one of the few non-Korean people with, um, my name who I'm not related to, so the troll didn't have to read any astronomy books. On the other hand, there's also the Myrdal opus for him to slog through: American Dilemma alone clocks in at around 1600 pages, if memory serves...

I'm not very familiar with Armando's writings, but from what I can gather, he isn't the rock-throwing type. Considering that he teamed up with Trevino and formed a blog the whole purpose of which is to encourage dialog, I'd say he's the very opposite of a rock-thrower (not to mention that he has a much stronger stomach than I do).

An aspect of this that keeps sticking its elbow in my side, so to speak, is the assumption that merely being identified as a blogger causes dire repurcussions in one's real-world job. I'm having trouble figuring that one out.

SFAIK, Armando hasn't violated attorney-client privilege, hasn't violated any professional codes of conduct, and hasn't said nasty things about any of his clients, or his firm's clients.

But, near as I can tell, Armando has quit blogging because the mere fact he associates with other bloggers who might say nasty things about his firm's clients could somehow be interpreted by his firm, or his clients, or his firms clients, as impugning his own professionalism. Could somehow be seen as endangering his clients' interests.

Or is it the fact that Armando posts at a liberal blogsite, and liberals in general tend to be anti-corporate statist? Is Armando not only barred from expressing his political opinions, but also barred from even associating with other people whose political opinions might hurt Wal-Mart's feelings?

Does anyone know if Armando was actually told by his employers or clients that there would be serious repercussions if he didn't quite blogging?

Because if you could lose your job for being a blogger on a progressive site simply because it is a progressive site, it seems to me that the next logical step along that road is not only penalizing people for being progressive Democrats but also penalizing them for associating with progressive Democrats.

Could be that just being a blogger, period, is enough to get employers upset. Or it's a potential for that. Do you think that if Armando was only posting at RedState, he'd have been just fine?

"actually, Bart Bok is one of the few non-Korean people with"

The only Bok I have heard of was Hannes Bok, an SF cover artist. I didn't want to bring it up, don't even know if it was a real name, and it looked Scandanavian so I considered a relationship unlikely.

Oops, sorry for wasting time;psuedonym

Hannes Bok

bob M: " it looked Scandanavian so I considered a relationship unlikely."

You do realize that I'm half Swedish?

"You do realize that I'm half Swedish?"

Now I do. Had it been mentioned? I don't make a habit of doing any research on the bloggers I read, and all I know about them is what they write in their posts, most of which I often forget.

I had in my mind, to whatever extent it interested me, which it doesn't, 4th or 5th gen Ashkenazim.

My reading assignments in books authored by hilzoy's family were performed decades ago and were truly assignments, as a book by her mom was used in a college ethics course, and her dad was a co-author of one of my law school texts. While both were well-written, I must say I have little interest in reading the full set of her family's writings.

Oh no, not the Labor Law text? -- That's what I meant by the original sarcastic comment about reading it all: I have read most of it, but then, I have a special interest. Some parts are worth reading, imho (trying to be unbiassed), but the idea of some poor troll trying to read all of it in the hopes of digging up some dirt was just hysterical.

To any similarly minded trolls: my great-grandfather's autobiography has some serious misstatements of fact. Go to it.

hilzoy,

Yes, it was the labor law text. Another of the co-authors was my first year contracts professor, but when I took labor law, I had another professor who taught labor law as if the text were a commentary on Hegel. I decided to read quite a bit more of the text than was assigned -- it was the only way I would actually learn the black letter law, which she was entirely uninterested in teaching.

Dantheman: it's the only one of my various relatives' book that I have tried and failed to read... though, thanks to someone who left legal practice due to illness, I have two copies of it ;) I admire your persistence.

CaseyL: I don't have links handy, but there have been cases in the last couple years where the fact that an employee was blogging, not revealing company secrets or anything but just blogging, was used as grounds for firing. Armando's concern seems regretabbly sensible to me.

During the whole Hilzoy's stalker thing I got curious and went out on the web and it didn't take me very long to figure out who Hilzoy is. Even ran into some pics. What surprised me, I guess, is how little that information changed any conception I had of Hilzoy through her writings. And the same thing is true when I followed the links posted elswhere to Armando's info.

Why anyone would choose to use that information to hurt someone who would prefer not having it made public is beyond me. Having said that, I have spent the better part of the last 24 hours reading about pretty much nothing but Armando and this business (there's a really good thread in a diary over at Tacitus).

"Hmmm...Armando disappears, fafblog reappears, you don't think? Nah."

Absolutely no connection. Trust me on this.

I'm otherwise a mixed bag of thoughts on this thing.

#1 is that I completely respect people's desire to remain behind a wall of pseudonymity. (And people, for all that is holy, please quit confusing "anonymous" with "pseudonymous," for the sake of keeping yourself for looking like an idiot; anyone who repeatedly comments under the same name is obviously not "anonymous" and anyone who says they are, well, clearly doesn't have a clue as to what the word means.)

#2 is that I completely respect people's desire to remain behind a wall of pseudonymity.

#3 is that I completely respect people's desire to remain behind a wall of pseudonymity.

But after that, I've always thought that anyone who thinks they are apt to remain pseudonymous is a fool.

It doesn't work that way.

I speak of this from the perspective of someone who started writing in these sort of group exchanges at age 12, in 1971, and who also immediately started researching them in their depths, going back to their roots in science fiction fanzines and amateur press associations ("apas") from 1930 on, and who rapidly obtained one of the top ten collections of such in private hands in the world, and who spoke for many years on said history at conventions and symposia and such.

People have tried to remain hidden behind false names since 1926 in that tradition (and, of course, in earlier traditions), and the record shows that it generally fails.

If you piss someone off -- and usually you do, unless you're very boring -- your identity gets pierced, once you've been writing for a while.

You leave clues. There are public records. These get put together.

You get revealed.

It always happens.

So, as I said, anyone who doesn't get this is an ignorant idiot. (I understand that pretty much almost no one but me has studied this, but I'm saying, on my own authority.)

But this doesn't mean I'm unfeeling for all the innumerable ignorant folks who feel they are protected. I'm just saying they should learn to know better. It doesn't work. It will never work. It can't work.

Beyond that, in this case, a) the NRO person did a nasty, and should be shunned for it; b) Armando was an idiot, and his ID was completely public before that. Duh. He could have had the conference ID removed, but he didn't. That's just dumb; c) the NRO person did a nasty, and should be shunned for it.

(Trivial note: I know a heck of a lot of people's Sekrit IDs, and you're all safe with me.)

Lastly: it's not a coincidence that I've always posted under my True Name. It's because I've always known nothing else would work.

It's that simple.

"I no longer even visit Counterpunch, let alone link to them."

My loathing for the anti-Semitic, utterly dishonest, Alexander Cockburn knows few bounds.

"The only Bok I have heard of was Hannes Bok, an SF cover artist."

What an understatement. A genius of an artist; absolutely brilliant and innovative.

And my old friend and former co-editor and former co-con-runner, and fellow great collector, Joe Siclari, found some originals of his in a used book store, some years back.

I used to have some ancient fanzines with illos by him, back in the day when I had my full collection.

Man, he was one of the best.

Though the Swedish Boks are also notable, and not to mention a certain Derek Bok. One might also look into his parents. And Sissela is not unknown in the field of ethics and elsewhere, for instance.

[walks off, whistling, for no good reason]

You don't really respect it if you call people "idiots" though?

What I think is dumb as seeing information as an on-off switch. This is a problem in Supreme Court 4th amendment cases: the idea that if someone knows information about you, it's no longer private, so the whole world knows. The argument that because the phone company knows the # you dial, the government doesn't need a warrant for it. I think there's a case saying you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy in your trash once you leave it on the curb.

You might not think "I want my identity to be secret forever & it will be." You might think: "It's okay with me if some people who read this figure out who I am but I don't want this to be the first thing that pops up for a google search of my name" or "I want to my identity to be as secret as possible for as long as possible" or "for the next year or two"...it worked for Juan Non-Volokh until he got tenure, for example.

And, the likelihood that someone will eventually be a jerk and out you doesn't really mitigate their behavior at all (though I'm not sure you're suggesting that it does).

Kierkegaard at tacitus.org asks whether he'd rather have sex with "Michelle Malkin or Obsidian Wings".

Thought the PTB would want to know. Wonder if K knows slart quit?

Indeed, rilke :)

"Wonder if K knows slart quit?"

Quit Obsidian Wings, having sex, or having sex at Obsidian Wings?

Kierkeggaard at tac writes good stuff

I'd guess there are two choices:

1) K doesn't know we're a group blog

2) K does know, and is interested in group sex.

Either way, count me out. No offense, hilzoy, Sebastian, Charles, and whoever else might be affiliated with OW these days, but I do take my marriage vows seriously.

Plus, I'm (typically, since I'm male) visually stimulated, and K has yet to cough up photos.

That last part was 100% kidding. I could always take that back, if K turns out to be completely hot. In that case, I might come back.

Anarch - so pwned.

Maybe, rilkefan, but who knows where talking about something that mentions "Michelle Malkin's lithe gaminish looks" goes? I sure don't, I just want to run from the room when the subject turns to this.

Anarch - so pwned.

Which raises the eternal questions:

1) How does one pronounce "pwned"?

2) What is the appropriate punishment for someone who actually uses the damn word IRL?

[And no, that's not a hypothetical question...]

"You don't really respect it if you call people 'idiots' though?"

I can't tell if this is addressed to me, or not. (Also, a crucial comma seems to be missing.)

Absent the comma, I'm not even sure of the question.

But past all that, it's possible that my answer is "no." Or "yes." Jeez, beats me. What was the question? And to who?

"And, the likelihood that someone will eventually be a jerk and out you doesn't really mitigate their behavior at all (though I'm not sure you're suggesting that it does)."

If I'm the "you," I'm fairly sure that I addressed that in #1, #2, and #3.

"1) How does one pronounce 'pwned'?"

I've always figured that it's the same as "pawned," but, you know, shorter, and missing the "a." Something like "pwinned."

But I also figure it doesn't come up much in conversation, and that pronunciation of it isn't fixed, and thus whatever goes, goes.

"You don't really respect it if you call people 'idiots' though?"

I can't tell if this is addressed to me, or not.

Since a quick search of the comments shows that you were the first and only one to use the word 'idiots' (actually the singular form, 'idiot', but multiple times) before it was noted, it stands to reason that this is addressed to you.

I assumed it was pronounced "owned", being a typo for same. [Is "for same" idiomatic?]

"Since a quick search of the comments shows that you were the first and only one to use the word 'idiots' (actually the singular form, 'idiot', but multiple times) before it was noted, it stands to reason that this is addressed to you."

Ah. Well, I guess people shouldn't be idiots, then. I generally recommend that.

It's usually useful, after all, to not be. It works badly in the long run.

Is there something controversial about that? (I may have missed the pro-idiot lobby, perhaps.)

I once called a guy an idiot face-to-face and then I realized I was shaving at the time.

I looked up and there he stood.

In the Philippines, especially Manila, they have bars with "hostesses" to attract mostly western tourists and the U.S. fleet when it hits town, especially good Christian boys.

Behind plate glass windows, like an aquarium, huddle underage girls from the barrio, to be chosen like meat.

Malkin wasn't there.

She sold herself to a higher bidder at the Creator's Syndicate.

"I looked up and there he stood."

It's not uncommon for me to look back at comments I've written, and notice that I've been an idiot, in fact.

Thullen, that last is edging beyond the pale, mon chère.

Is there something controversial about that? (I may have missed the pro-idiot lobby, perhaps.)

Given that I use a pseudonym, like Armando, it might potentially be inferred that you believe that I, like Armando, am an idiot of some sort, so it stands to reason that I would hope there is a pro-idiot lobby if I felt you were accurately describing the situation. However, my opinion about the utility of your statement is not important, as I was simply suggesting that in this case, there was another way to derive the information about who the comment was addressed to, which is a usual characteristic of language, in that there are usually redundant ways of determining information transmitted, which I have found to be a useful point to realize, though that may just be me.

As for John Thullen's comment, I have a few thoughts on that at hocb

Gary, it is simply not true that people with pseudonyms "always" get their identities revealed if they piss someone off. There are degrees of pissed-offness, some of which don't result in much effort being expended on taking revenge. There are also degrees of intelligence and net-savviness among the pissed-off.

There's a wacko local candidate I've blogged about. He's posted comments under various names, but he hasn't called me or put together a blog specifically dedicated to accusing me of being a communist, a homosexual, or a criminal. He has done both of those things to others who have written about him. I attribute his sparing me to the fact that my last name doesn't appear on my blog (though it's not that hard to find). He goes after the easier targets.

Locking your car doesn't prevent people from stealing it or its contents. Nevertheless people who lock their cars aren't idiots for doing it.

"I looked up and there he stood."

Well, if you were staring at your feet while shaving, you were indeed an idiot.

Jackmormon is correct in her judgement here and my comment re Malkin was dumb and offensive.

I apologize.

In my favor, I predicted in my immediately previous comment that I was about to exhibit idiocy.

As to Bob's observation: I was shaving my top-knot.

Thankls for listening.

"Well, if you were staring at your feet while shaving, you were indeed an idiot."

Maybe he was shaving his feet.

Maybe he was shaving his feet.

Been there, done that, got the frickin' teeshirt.

Ugh:

Don't know if you're still around, but the "elavating the debate" bit related to his work at Swords Crossed. I wasn't thinking about his other work, some of which (I agree) is highly screedful.

bob: Well, if you were staring at your feet while shaving, you were indeed an idiot.

Possibly he was shaving his legs.

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