R.S. McCain accuses me of being a violent militant

Barrett Brown

I am the founder of the distributed think-tank Project PM and a regular inactive to Vanity Fair and Skeptical Inquirer. My work has also appeared in The Onion, National Lampoon, New York Press, D Magazine, Skeptic, McSweeney's, American Atheist, and a couple of newspapers in the U.S. and Mexico as well as a few policy journals. I'm the author of two books and serve as a consultant to various political entities and private clients.

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40 Responses

  1. Will says:

    This was pretty amusing, but I’m afraid you’re expending way too much energy on R. S. McCain.Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Will says:

      Agreed. Last I bothered to read of him, he was (I fear) fantasizing that I might get bitten by a vagina.Report

    • Max in reply to Will says:

      Yep. McCain is projecting. It should be obvious to everyone.

      The guy briefly enjoyed a prominent blog role where he would be regularly quoted as representative of the right…until everyone realized he was completely fucking insane. (As I recall, it was somewhere around the time he suggested the IDF should screw on their bayonets, line up, and not stop marching until they hit the Jordan river. This is not an exaggeration.)

      It would be a shame to see this site used for his comeback. Please return to just ignoring him.Report

  2. Kenneth Lipp says:

    You seem more dangerous with allusion with C4.
    It’s interestng that McCain references Lasch. “The New Radicalism in America” was the first academic work I knew enough to read the introduction to, and it has stayed with me. I have not read “Culture of…”

    “Indeed – as Brown so clearly demonstrated at age 13. Given his precocious mastery of online seduction, one might be tempted to wonder what effect this “different array of stimuli” had on young Barrett’s subsequent social development. ”

    I’m sure that you noticed that the DSM V will not include, among other diagnoses, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Personally I hold that personality disorders in general are too normative to be primary diagnostic axes, but this is about YOU.
    Calling someone a Narcissist has become a very chic and often potent ad hominem. I have loads of pics of myself on my facebook page, mostly from boredom, some as a byproduct of fecundity rituals.
    Imagine, though, the hubris, not to mention utter recklessness, of a clinician diagnosing a multi-phasic behavioural pathology via this medium with its lack of plasticity…I think you and McCain should have a thumbwar. Beware though, I hear he bites. Not on purpose, but going to gnaw on his own ear.Report

  3. Koz says:

    Well, in general I’m a mild fan of Stacy McCain, but I don’t think this episode does either one of you any credit.

    I’m with Stacy on the backstory. The quality of argument on sites where dogmatic Leftists of any stripe are the substantial majority of the commenters is just horrifically awful. I’m trying hard to think of exceptions and they are awfully thin on the ground. Maybe Ta-Nehisi Coates is one (I didn’t register with the site so I don’t see the comments there on my browser). And calling out Rich Lowry on a YouTube video? Say it ain’t so.

    I guess the takeaway is this: it’s easy to argue that some other guy’s political stances make him personally disreputable or unstable. Usually it’s a pretty cheap out, and I’d say that’s the case for Stacy here. What’s more important for me at least, is the way around that. If you can state a train of thought in complete sentences, with appropriate premises and conclusions, you can advocate for whatever you want. If you don’t, or can’t, you probably belong in the kiddie pool.Report

    • Barrett Brown in reply to Koz says:

      With all due respect, I’m not sure you’re familiar enough with Project PM to come to any such conclusion about it; contrary to what you’ve said here, it does not include, either in its membership or the bloggers who have signed up for the launch, any “dogmatic leftists,” much less do such people make up the “substantial majority” of their readership. Erik Kain has already signed up for our Science Journalism project and Mark Thompson just got involved (and is friends with one of our more active administrators, incidentally). You can find more information through Google and of course I’ll be providing some here at The League as well.Report

      • Koz in reply to Barrett Brown says:

        With all due respect, I’m not sure you’re familiar enough with Project PM to come to any such conclusion about it.

        Ok. I was talking about the discourse in Internet communities comprised of liberals/Leftists. If that doesn’t apply to your project then it doesn’t.Report

        • Barrett Brown in reply to Koz says:

          Well, certainly one probably won’t find much useful discourse in an extraordinarily partisan online environment, although I’m not sure I see what you were getting at in relation to this incident in particular. I’d also add that places such as RedState.com and Free Republic are not exactly populated by particularly intelligent or intellectually honest individuals, either.Report

    • jib in reply to Koz says:

      Huh? You dont have to register to read TNC’s comments. Generally though, comments at all sites are worthless but what I am tiring of is how incoherent the main articles have become. This is primarily but not exclusively a right wing issue but I cut them some slack. It is very hard to have a coherent ideology that encompasses balanced budgets, trillion $ tax cuts, less government, more military, more security and whatever the f#$k Palin is talking about today. God bless them, they sure do try.

      As for this article, I thank the author for reminding me that I am behind on my trolling / porn browsing and provide me the opportunity for taking care of both on this fine morning.Report

  4. RTod says:

    Barrett –

    I enjoy your writing and I don’t care at all for McCain. That being said, while I’m sure the detailed rebuttal laid out here was quite factually correct, it comes off sounding a bit on the obsessive side.

    Perhaps best to just ignore it?Report

    • Barrett Brown in reply to RTod says:

      I do ignore some of McCain’s attacks on me but in this case he made several claims about me that are factually inaccurate in addition to the overall message that I am a potentially violent threat to the republic. As has been mentioned, I serve as an advisor to congressional candidates as well as dir of comm for a PAC in addition to having founded PM, so I really can’t let those kinds of things remain in public view without correcting the errors. I can understand how I might seem “obsessed” with him, but I would suggest that’s largely because I have written a necessarily long post about him in response to a long post he wrote about me, and of course I’ve been researching him for quite a while since he is included in my upcoming book.Report

  5. North says:

    I found your long post charmingly worded but would it have killed you to put it behind a break? Having Stacy McCain taking up this much space even if it’s an item rebuting him strikes me as somehow… … I don’t know wasteful?Report

  6. Koz says:

    Also, and at the risk of exposing myself to some ridicule, I didn’t find that Pentagon shooter’s video to be ridiculous at all. The issue of how to monetize intellectual property transmitted across the Internet is a legitimate subject that interests many many people, not just Patrick Bedell.

    The narrator’s persona is vaguely creepy, but I strongly disagree with Stacy’s train of thought here. It’s too easy to accuse an adversary of being crazy, but more than that the really bad people are often quite rational. Therefore, we already have too many accusations about who is crazy, what we need is more clarity on what is bad.Report

    • Barrett Brown in reply to Koz says:

      Yeah, I agree with on your assessment of the video, having just gotten around to watching it. The guy’s kind of creepy and goofy and I can’t see such an idea being implemented, but the general subject is of legitimate interest and his proposed solution is itself somewhat interesting.Report

  7. DensityDuck says:

    “I only got to third base with the girls in question and did not actually lose my virginity until I was 16. I dry-humped them, though…what does this have to do with my cats?”

    It shows how you’re obsessed with pussy.

    (ha ha ha, ZING!)Report

  8. Paul Zummo says:

    Incidentally, that and other details about McCain’s unethical practices and white nationalist history will be revealed in my upcoming book,

    Wow, an anxious world is just waiting for this sure best-seller to be released. I’m sure between royalties you receive from that and the $0.50 you win in your libel suit against McCain you’ll have, well, $0.50.Report

  9. The real Marvin Olasky says:


    This is the first I’ve heard of a troll Olasky, and I’m curious: Sure, I do look funny and have an amusing name, but who is this person, and why? Please email me.

    “A very old friend of mine who’s a news producer at an affiliate back east appears to have left a couple of comments over there in the guise of Marvin Olasky, as he likes to do for reasons that would take too long to explain but which involve a series of incidents from ten years ago coupled with the fact that Olasky looks funny and has an amusing name. “Report

    • Barrett Brown in reply to The real Marvin Olasky says:

      No, I will not send you an e-mail. The person is imitating you in such a way as to intentionally not give the impression to a reasonable person that he is actually you, as is quite obviously shown by what is referenced above, which is to say that he is covered by parody. The same thing has happened to me quite a bit but it has never occurred to me that I ought to investigate the person who did so because I am not a nut.

      If you have a question you may e-mail me, and I will answer any such questions directly, but only if those e-mails are forwarded to me directly from William Dembski, zomglol.Report

  10. MFarmer says:

    It’s a shame for LoOG to be covered in this crap. It’s the type of stuff that draws temporary hits, then slowly kills a site.Report

    • Barrett Brown in reply to MFarmer says:

      I understand that you don’t care for me as you’ve threatened to leave twice now over my posts and have criticized me from your own blog, and with that in mind I’d kind of appreciate it if you put less energy into trying to narrate my stint here.Report

      • MFarmer in reply to Barrett Brown says:

        Hmm, I don’t remember criticizing you from your blog, but I could have if you left a link here to follow. I didn’t know you had a blog, or, if I commented there, I forgot.

        A few weeks ago, I left because I thought the tone and content coming from you and one other was changing this place to something in which I have no interest — I won’t say what made me reconsider, but it wasn’t to read this type of stuff. So, I will honor your request and put zero energy into reading or commenting on anything you write. Is that good enough? We should both be better off by my doing so.Report

        • Heidegger in reply to MFarmer says:

          Not that it’s any of my business, but I hope, MFarmer, that you reconsider and continue to comment on any any and everything that interests you on this site. It’s always a good thing when the pot gets stirred up especially with thinkers like yourself, who stray from the beaten path. No doubt, Barrett would even agree with this. But then again…Report

          • Rtod in reply to Heidegger says:

            I agree with your hopes for MF. But is it possible that one is turned off by a post not because it comes from a different point of view, but because it’s not a great post? I side politically more with Barrett than MF; however, this whole thread feels more like looking into a boring spat between two seventh grade girls.

            I mean, im all for bashing RSM, but hundreds upon hundreds of words about what blogger said what to who and who knows what other guy better and who really bought their prom dress at a bargain basement… Sheesh…

            • Heidegger in reply to Rtod says:

              Yes, yes, Rtod–absolutely agree–I could not be less interested than in an endlessly dissected cyber soap opera, virtual spat, whatever than between Barrett vs McCain–please I beg of you, cease and desist! It’s a waste of your considerable brain power. Stick to solving the riddles of the universe. Such as, considering that the mind, consciousness, does not in any way function in an algorithmically manner, how will AI ever be able to digitize such a process? AIs zenith was almost putting Kasparov in a mental hospital with Deep Blue. AI will NEVER be able to replicate, intuition, nuance, creativity, inspiration, sense of beauty, etc. Speech recognition is not Wordsworth. Hey, that is a great name, Marvin Olasky. Could we have another Tony Clifton in the works? Please tell Mr. Olasky to post here–this could be quite funny!Report

        • Barrett Brown in reply to MFarmer says:

          No, I mean that you criticized me from *your* blog, which of course is absolutely fine, and obviously you’re well within your rights to express whatever opinion you may have about my tone – and in fact you’re right that my tone has sometimes incompatible with what this blog is trying to do, and perhaps even indicative of a lack of maturity on my part, which is something I’ve tried to reign in because of course I am a guest here. I guess I’d ask you what you are trying to accomplish by leaving such comments as these, especially when you’re also leaving sarcastic and not-entirely-constructive comments over at a previous post I did regarding information flow which many others have found to be helpful and interesting.Report

  11. MFarmer says:

    Okay, one more reply, since you asked me nicely. I believe you are marketing yourself here in a way that’s disrepectful to the owners — they might be fine with it, but I wouldn’t be. It’s probably just me, but you remind me of guys who used to come to a writing site I belonged to in the late 90s, pumping up their credentials and acting as if they’d been published by major zines, only to find out that they were imposters making it all up in their mother’s basement apartment. You might be all you’re pumping, a radical genius with the next big thing, but I’m just saying what I detect. The schematic thing just seemed funny to me, like an SNL skit, as if drawn up with either the help of good pot or mescaline. To call what you’ve created a “think tank” is a little much. You might want to work on your video presentation, leave out the doucebag parts and stuff, ya know?

    However, despite Heidegger asking that I continue to comment on your stuff, I think I’ll refrain, because I’m probably not being fair.Report

    • Barrett Brown in reply to MFarmer says:

      Well, I certainly don’t want you to refrain from commenting on anything you’d like; I’d just ask that you make sure that your comments are fair and contribute to the discussions if you’re going to also be criticizing me for allegedly not contributing to the discussion myself. Whether or not you take Project PM seriously, the fact is that a lot of other people do, including the owners for whom you’re so concerned. It is also a fact that I and the owners communicate regularly and although they have indeed objected to certain things I have written here on occasion – quite understandably – they also respect my efforts in certain areas, and they do so because they are more familiar with those efforts than you are.

      I appreciate you acknowledging that I “might” be representing myself accurately, as opposed to the frauds that I remind you of.Report

    • Heidegger in reply to MFarmer says:

      MF—interesting picture. It bears a resemblence to a mushroom cloud that evolved into a face–also, looks a bit like Timothy Leary.Report

  12. Stogie says:

    I remember the brouhaha with Jonathan Farley. Farley not only said that all Confederate soldiers were “traitors,” but that they should all have been hanged after the Civil War ended. Farley was a complete asshole, and I also challenged his ridiculous assumptions in that same Tennessee newspaper. I too am a life member of Sons of Confederate Veterans; you seem to think that this is proof of bigotry or racism; it is not. Those who think so are lazy thinkers who are also ignoramuses of that period in American history.

    I don’t know who Barrett Brown is, nor do I care. I was bored with McCain’s blog post about same, because Barrett Brown is of absolutely no significance to me or what I believe. However, his post most certainly did not state nor imply that Barrett Brown was about to commit violence.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Stogie says:

      Hey, Stogie.

      Most of my ancestors come from border states. We refer to it as “the war between brothers”.

      I can understand why some might argue about how we need to look at the confederacy from the bright spots and compartmentalize the bad things… but I have seen more teenagers wearing Che t-shirts than Confederate t-shirts and have come to the conclusion that… No.

      We need to stomp this shit out.

      In the same way that Stalin was, in fact, a follower of Marx and someone who was directly responsible for the deaths of millions and millions, we have to put aside our attitudes toward the Confederacy and stop looking at the nice parts that make us proud and instead look at the things that make us wince and explain “well, you have to understand”.

      It *WAS* about slavery, my man. It was about White Supremacy.

      We have to turn our backs upon it in the same way that we spit on the ground when we see a teenager wearing a shirt with Che on it.

      At the end of the day, the philosophy was poisonous. We can pretend that it was really about the nice, compartmentalized, parts… but it weren’t.

      It was about killing folks who disagreed.

      It’s time to move on.Report

      • Robert Cheeks in reply to Jaybird says:

        Ah, c’mon JB give us a chorus of ‘Bonney Blue Flag!’
        ’bout the only ones participatin’ in that thar African Chattel Slavery thing was the rich plantation owners which made up a very small, though elite, part of the grand armies of the Confederacy. Them rich slave ownin’ fellas made up much of the officer corps and was always a-leadin’ the charge, unlike their Lincolnite counterparts who was-a quiverin’ behind a big, ol’ oak! A whole lotta of ’em rich boys ended up face down at Shiloh, Five Forks, Gettysburg, etc. I’m a-figurin’ you saw “Gone with the Wind?”
        Now I’m-a conjurin’ the real reason for the War of Southern Freedom was given by a reb captured early on in the “unpleasantness”. When asked why he was-a fightin’ Father Abraham’s blue bellies he replied, “…cause you boys is down here.”
        Now in these troubled times we are a-needin’ more men with the attitude of that ol’ reb and less of these here college edumacated sissy boys who does thar fightin’ on this here internet.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

          How easy is it to separate the “fighting against X” from the “fighting for Y”?

          In fighting against the North, they were objectively fighting for the South.

          This is sort of the problem with any war discussion, isn’t it? People who are against the war are for the status quo and it’s probably why “objectively Pro-Saddam” arguments had teeth.Report

  13. Heidegger says:

    Wearing a Che t-shirt is an announced declaration that the wearer is a total ignoramus, worshipping a heartless, mass murdering butcher–he personally pulled the trigger on countless “subversives” and pretty much every thing he touched turned into misery and painful death. This utterly despicable man does not have a redeemable drop of blood in his body. and may he painfully rot in the hottest of hells.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Heidegger says:

      I see it as similar to wearing or flying a Confederate Flag.

      At the very least, it announces “I Am Very Good At Compartmentalization.”Report

      • Heidegger in reply to Jaybird says:

        Ha!! Good one, “compartmentalization”. True, nonetheless. Sort of like Marge Schott’s infamous words about Hitler, “Hitler was good in the beginning, but he went too far.” He went too far. Now that’s what I call compartmentalization! I don’t know if it’s possible to walk around a college campus and not see a few Che T-shirts somewhere–if you really want to get a good laugh, by all means, try and strike up a conversation with one of the Mythologists or Utopianists wearers–you’ll be guaranteed an attack of side-splitting laughter. Some even thought he was a musician! You’ll definitely hear him characterized as a”liberator”, “freedom fighter”, “rebel”–nothing like being liberated from Batista and executed by Ernesto! And Stalin was just running Fat Farms there in Ukraine.Wasn’t it Wilde who said something to the effect of, “youth is wasted on the young”?Report

  14. Dukakis in a Tank says:

    This is the first time I have read any of your work, and I have to say, that passage about Texas made me laugh out loud. I am fifth generation Texan and have lived here all my life. A hot girlfriend who is also batshit crazy indeed. Well said, good sir.Report