All Apologies

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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103 Responses

  1. RWC says:

    Hm. Just started coming around here following Barretts link from LGF where I spend some time. I was trying to understand his evidence for his contentions. Oh well. Not at all sure what to make of the dustup, but I’ll stop back from time to time.Report

    • Barrett Brown in reply to RWC says:

      Uh, the thread to which Erik has linked still contains the exact same information that I released, in one of the comments below those that were redacted. Perhaps an admin should do something about that if everyone’s going to be examining the thread?

      To everyone, thanks for the enjoyable and often enlightening discussions. Conversations of the sort that leave every party better off for having engaged in them are very rare, and I’m happy to have had the chance to be party to some of those here. I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to comment any further here, but good luck to everyone.Report

      • Heidegger in reply to Barrett Brown says:

        Such talent, Barrett! Why self-destruct with the world, literally, at your fingertips? Looks like you inadvertently pulled a “Nixon”—the Checkers remark was quite funny, though.Report

        • Barrett Brown in reply to Heidegger says:

          I was actually watching Nixon last night while all this was going down for purposes of irony. I actually really relate to the guy. Poor Nixon.

          You, Heidegger, I will miss most of all! Just kidding. But I like you.Report

          • Heidegger in reply to Barrett Brown says:

            Well, Barrett, at least I’m not on your ever-growing enemies list! Or, at least, I hope I’m not. However, if I’m mistaken, please, no horse’s head in bed, no IRS audits, no killing of household pets, exploding cars etc. I was thinking this growing “scandal” was having a very Nixonian feel to it–so when I read that first line of your comments, “My wife wears a respectable Republican cloth coat. My daughter named it Checkers”, I almost fell off the chair laughing!
            Just delicious, irresistible, irony. Not to be forgotten, and thanks most of all, for not outing me as being transgender. That would have just been fatal. Uh-oh, I better be very careful about joking around about such issues. To me, (and you?)that would have been just harmless joking around, but for most of the Leaguers, they would have felt it was vile, demeaning, tasteless, homophobic bigotry. I understand I’m the ultimate skunk at the garden party at this site, but I find most of these folks to be sorely lacking in any sense of self-deprecating humor–they are simply temperamentally incapable of it. I’m not going to name any names–it couldn’t be more obvious–but the skin is so thin, that even the most innocent, harmless, play on words, puns, jokes, whatever, soon escalates to WWIII status—and it ALWAYS ends up with accusations of bigotry, bigotry, bigotry. I have a solution for you: Blame everything on Liddy, Hunt, Erlichman, Haldemen. You can’t lose. Tell everyone masked intruders broke into your psychiatrist’s office and stole all of your records. And if that fails, announce to the world that you have legally obtained a lifelong restraining order against yourself! Viel Glück! As Freddy once said, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Tapfer! Have you ever read of Nietzsche’s encounter with a guy who was beating a horse? A great, great story. See ya.Report

            • RTod in reply to Heidegger says:

              Beating a horse? Man, what an equestrian bigot.Report

              • Heidegger in reply to RTod says:

                Ha Ha! RTod, nice that people can still laugh at the world’s silliness. Just curious, did you find my characterization of Ahmadinejad–(well, I called him Abba Dabba Ding Dong), as being “lice-infested”, deeply offensive and racist? It’s not like I said every Persian was lice-infested. What I thought was MORE offensive was my reference to him wearing that ugly “Members Only” jacket he’s always wearing. Weren’t those disco relics from the 70s?Report

              • RTod in reply to Heidegger says:

                Hadn’t seen that, but wouldn’t have found it racist. I am of the belief that you should still be able to insult individuals (especially silly ones) regardless of race creed or color. Especially if they wear Members Only wear.

                Brings up an interesting question, though… Are lice and Muslims especially connected by the actual Whites Only crowd? If so it’s news to me. If not, it might be worth asking those offended why they assumed lice infested was a slur. Do THEY believe Arabs/Muslims/Members Only have lice?Report

              • Heidegger in reply to RTod says:

                RTod–here’s just snippet. James Hanley, BSK, and I were having a rather “lively” discussion Thursday, about Iran and their attempts to enrich uranium and produce nuclear weapons. Needless to say, I had to get on my straight jacket to prevent me from jumping out the window the longer the conversation. I was utterly by their replies–you would have thought I was Himmler advocating the Final Solution.
                JH: “Do you know how many solid allies Iran has? Try zero.”

                HA! And that’s a problem? Could it just be, that maybe most countries just don’t want to be be an ally to this thugocracy? And most incredible in your statement is that it justifies Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, because the poor little, lice-infested, Iranian president, Abba Dabba Ding Dong just wants and needs to liked! I say we provide nuclear weapons, forthwith, to Venezuela, Cuba, Hamas, Hezbollah, every country in Africa, especially Somalia–oh hell, every damn country that exists. That way , we can all hold hands, be happy, secure, and live in peace forever and ever! Imagine, humanity saved by every single country having (thanks to us) nuclear weapons. Just a breathtaking thought. And to think it all boils down to them all just wanting to be liked.


                BSK December 16, 2010 at 11:46 am
                “And most incredible in your statement is that it justifies Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, because the poor little, lice-infested, Iranian president, Abba Dabba Ding Dong just wants and needs to liked!”

                And now you’ve crossed the line from blind arrogance to outright racism. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we’re done.Report

              • Chris in reply to Heidegger says:

                I think he meant “Abba DAbba Ding Dong,” not “lice infested.” But you probably figured that as well.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to Heidegger says:

                Well, I’m glad Chris understood what we were saying, even if Heidegger didn’t.Report

              • Heidegger in reply to RTod says:

                “Do THEY believe Arabs/Muslims/Members Only have lice?”

                RTod, that was a wonderful and creative turning of the tables. Well done.Report

              • Heidegger in reply to Heidegger says:

                Dammit Chris, I LOVE your dry and occasional black sense of humor! I just wish I saw it more. Oh, I also think Spinal Tap was one of the funniest movies EVER made!Report

              • Heidegger in reply to Heidegger says:

                Chris—-and that scene of them playing in the mall (complete with the herpes blisters) might be the funniest scene in the entire history of movies.Report

      • Heidegger in reply to Barrett Brown says:

        Hey Barrett, you even have your own, “Friday night massacre!” You’re too young to remember Nixon’s, “Saturday night massacre”, but it was a doozy. Nixon couldn’t get anyone to fire the Independent Counsel, Archibald Cox–AG Richardson refused, as did the next in line, Ruckelshaus—guess who finally did the dirty deed–none other than Robert Bork!! People, even the benighted intelligentsia, thought a coup was immanent–The ever courageous Harvard faculty took up arms, declaring, “we’ll give you our guns when you take them from our COLD DEAD HANDS!!” Ah, for the good ole days. Some rumors even had Nixon, along with his wife and children, (even his beloved Irish Setter, King Timahoe! ) retiring to his underground White House bunker (ala Hitler) with the intent to commit to commit cyanide suicide. Billy Graham finally talked him out of i,t with fire and brimstone like you’ve never heard, fire and brimstone.
        So there. Barret Brown’s own Friday Night Massacre, December 17, 2010. A night, that forevermore, shall live in infamy.Report

    • Barrett Brown in reply to RWC says:

      I’m also going to leave this here since the incident in which I noted that someone was harassing me from a government computer has since caused, as I expected, a great deal of false commentary to the effect that I outed that person, which I would like to address once more before leaving.

      • Freddie in reply to Barrett Brown says:

        I mean, on the one hand, this is batshit, right, but on the other hand, this kind of batshittery is honest. I mean this is the kind of guy the people who constantly talk about fascism and socialism and gummint takeover of health care would be, if they had the courage of their convictions. I’ve got to respect the commitment.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to Barrett Brown says:

        Is that a dead stuffed cat in your window, Barrett?

        Also, you’re a good writer. Did you ever consider writing out your script and maybe, I don’t know, rehearsing it before you started recording?Report

      • That was painful to watch. I haven’t seen such deliberate use as a cigarette as a prop since Pulp Fiction.Report

      • RTod in reply to Barrett Brown says:

        Seriously, though. Does anyone at the League know Barrett, or any of his friends? If so, I feel like someone should check in on him to make sure he’s ok. That video is a little worrying.Report

        • Barrett Brown in reply to RTod says:

          Wow, I’m really going to miss this blog.Report

          • RTod in reply to Barrett Brown says:

            I’m assuming that’s sarcasm, though maybe not. But seriously dude, I hope you’re doing ok.Report

            • Barrett Brown in reply to RTod says:

              It’s half sarcasm. When I wrote it I had just gotten back from a quick outing with some friends, and thus came home to a comment in which it is implied that I am somehow emotionally unstable as evidenced by the fact that I made a brief video explaining the circumstances by which I resigned from this blog – a sort of Nixon resignation – and why I was banned from another. I understand that many people might see that as some sort of unhinged thing to do. I would ask you to understand that most people do not live in my particular circumstances, which are very unusual to say the least.

              Let me give you a general yet necessarily incomplete recounting of what has happened over the past 24 hours. A certain person who had been leaving a series of hostile comments towards me and towards Julian Assange, for whom I raised money and for whom this person urged a prompt assassination, was doing so from a government computer. I knew this because The League sends me comments to my mailbox and these comments include IP addresses and, in some case, other info – in this case, a plain text url with a .gov ending for a particular state government. Without going into details, I will merely ask you to accept that the sometimes unconventional media work I have been doing since the age of 15, when I was first attacked by name in a Mexican newspaper, has gained me a lot of enemies. One of those enemies works for the particular state from which this fellow was posting on a government computer. So I checked into it for a bit to make sure that it was not that person, discovered that it was not, and let it go. Yesterday, that person left another stupid comment claiming that I had no real life experience – one of the many, many jabs I have gotten at this blog in particular by virtue of my apparent vice in being relatively young. I responded by noting a number of things about my life and then noted that this person worked for a state government in such a capacity that he apparently had plenty of time to insult me in the course of his taxpayer funded work. And then several people decided that this was unethical and frightening and creepy, so I explained how it was that I knew this info in an effort – apparently misguided – to reassure them as well as to ensure that it was clear that this was not any sort of League policy, as someone had actually said something like “Let me get this straight – all of the posters look into our private lives,” etc., which was itself a pretty alarmist and silly assertion of the sort that people enjoy coming to particularly when they can come to it without having to answer for it since they are anonymous. I tried to further make clear that, no, I had done this on this single occasion due to the reasons expressed above, as well as other reasons I will not list here because no one will believe me. Then I e-mailed Erik with an offer to resign so that The League would not be hurt by my actions – which I stand by entirely.

              So, then there came a post in which Erik apologized for my action and linked to the thread – which still included that information I had given, which itself nonetheless did not identify the person but rather noted that person X worked for state Z and was attacking me in that capacity.

              Meanwhile, I’ve had a falling out with Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs. Johnson thereafter claimed that I had actually outed the person – which I did not – and as of a couple of hours ago, his commenters are suggesting that I ought to be turned into the FBI for alleged criminal activities in conjunction with Anonymous, in addition to the various other assertions they are making about my alleged ties to organized crime in Russia. All of this is damaging to my projects, which I’m not even going to go into here because a lot of people don’t think I am actually doing anything important at all and am somehow out of line for occasionally noting them and recruiting for them (and several League readers have indeed joined, so the rude and often deranged comments that I’ve gotten here were at least canceled out by that).

              So, yeah. I made a video explaining my case to those who are interested – and if you go to Google blogs and search my name, you will find that I have both enemies and friends who are interested in all of these things, even if others here think they are petty. That video was considered pretty amusing and heartfelt and effective by, for instance, the producer with whom I work with on stuff for Will Farrell’s production company, who is not shy about criticizing my work when it doesn’t jibe. It was also well received by other of my working acquaintances as well as many of those others who follow my goings-on for some reason or another. And then I come home from the bar and I find that someone who clearly meant well has posted a comment to the effect that I am mentally instable for having felt the need to clarify something that is apparently of great interest to a number of people, so I typed, “Wow, I’m really going to miss this blog.” I typed that because I have written for dozens of outlets, including a few like this one that do not pay, and have never encountered the sorts of problems that I have encountered here – except for one, that being Little Green Footballs, where I’m being accused of organized criminal activity and where the contributors are now deciding who ought to call the FBI to report me for the crimes that they think it would be convenient for me to have perpetrated.

              So, yes, I’m fine. I know you wouldn’t make a video such as I did. But you wouldn’t have to, because you are not me. And I like being me, but sometimes it is also a pain in the ass.

              But I was only being half-sarcastic. As I said, I enjoyed blogging here. I would simply ask that certain people give a bit more thought to the manner in which they choose to interact with those who have pushed aside their paying work in order to contribute to the blog, even if you believe that you have a grievance against them or even believe that you are really helping them. Occasionally, people are wrong about such things, as I have found.Report

          • James Hanley in reply to Barrett Brown says:

            Seriously–what the f**k is that in your window? My wife and I are both betting on dead stuffed cat laying on its back, but hope like hell we’re wrong.Report

            • Barrett Brown in reply to James Hanley says:

              It’s a bobcat trophy. I shot a bobcat and then took it to a taxidermist, who stuffed it. I was just following… uh, orders. From my dad, who was a big game hunter and forced me to shoot any number of animals. Also, that’s not my window, it’s the kitchen counter. Full disclosure, you see.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to Barrett Brown says:

                OK, I’m impressed with actually managing to shoot a bobcat. Most folks are luck to ever get a fleeting glimpse of one. But my morbid curiousity is not yet satisfied–you had the taxidermist mount it on its back, so that it looks like it was hit by a car and is now in rigor mortis?Report

              • Barrett Brown in reply to James Hanley says:

                It’s mounted on a wooden plaque which is in turn supposed to be mounted on the wall, in which case it is displayed forever in all of its feline glory, unlike humans, who are put in boxes in the ground to rot.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to Barrett Brown says:

                OK, now my fevered imagination can visualize at least an approximation of how it would look right if I could see it in its proper state. You might want to reconsider shooting videos with it in the background as is, though. My uncle used to have a mummified squirrel (found under his house) on his fireplace mantel. Most people found it too creepy for words–your bobcat, as it appeared on the video, brought that to mind. It even distracted me from your cigarette stagecraft.Report

              • Barrett Brown in reply to James Hanley says:

                Well, this video has been analyzed by several hundred people at the very least thus far – hard to say since the video is being viewed mostly through embeds – including a lot of people who hate me to the extent that they want me in prison and are working to make that happen – people who are doing so with the direct involvement of Charles Johnson, who himself is not exactly a lightweight insomuch as he’s been profiled in Vanity Fair (by me, ironically) and the NYT and LAT and dozens of other outlets – and no one else seems to have gathered from the footage that I have a dead mummified house cat in my apartment, much less been inclined to float that possibility in public, so I think I’m fine as long as I stay away from this very unique outlet after I finish responding to the questions that keep coming up. But I appreciate the stage notes.

                And yes, I just realized that I used the term “not exactly a lightweight.” In b4 “the bulk of the series.”Report

              • “…with the direct involvement of Charles Johnson, who himself is not exactly a lightweight insomuch as he’s been profiled in Vanity Fair (by me, ironically)…”

                I’m considering devloping a drinking game based around how many times Barret mentions that he wrote for Vanity Fair. I’m not sure anyone is going to be able to survive it though.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:

                Mike, you can kill everyone off twice as fast if we have to drink each time he boasts about how many enemies he has.

                (Oh, and Barret, my wife saw it, too, independently of me. Just for the record.)Report

              • Barrett Brown in reply to James Hanley says:

                I’m sure you guys make a cute couple.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:

                “I’m sure you guys make a cute couple.”

                Hell, yeah.Report

              • Barrett Brown in reply to James Hanley says:

                Well, good then. I certainly didn’t mean to offend you to the extent that felt prompted to make fun of me; perhaps I took some of your comments in the wrong spirit.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:


                I do think what you did was wrong, and I didn’t like your video self-justification.

                But the cat business really was just my morbid curiosity, and no more, and the comment about not having it in the background of videos was not meant as an attack or insult, but I can see how it may have come across that way. Feel free to ignore my uninvited stage directions.

                (But my wife and I really do make a cute couple–or at least her half is really cute.)Report

              • Barrett Brown in reply to James Hanley says:

                I understand. But what I did was actually entirely legitimate and you are not equipped to judge how I responded to the reaction.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:

                How many “I”s does it take to spell narcissistic?Report

              • Johanna Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:

                Barrett – I have to say I followed the original post exchanges, and after watching the video, I found myself wondering if your were naively earnest or attempting to be a cross between Jack Kerouac and Brad Pitt’s character in “Twelve Monkeys”. For someone who boasts about his communicative skills, your failure to recognize that it just isn’t your call as to how you are perceived is ironic and funny. I’m beginning to wonder if you are equipped to recognize how truly ridiculous your video appeared. I don’t hate you, I actually have enjoyed your style of writing since visiting this site. You are however, not as important or influencial as you believe. So what if a few hundred people have watched your video, a few million people have logged in to watch a monkey fall over after sniffing the finger he scratched his ass with. James and I both had similar impressions after watching the video separately. I don’t doubt that others also have had similar reactions and/or questions on the obvious stuffed feline behind you. The combination of that video, the long drawn out reasoning and rationalizations for your actions cast you as juvenile whether you want to acknowledge it or not. I do wish you good luck in your endeavors and at some point the ability to look upon this experience and see it with the humor that we see.Report

              • Barrett Brown in reply to James Hanley says:

                Thanks for taking the time to write.

                I understand how it can seem ridiculous, but there are some ins and outs here that may not readily apparent. I needed to make an accessible recounting of what happened here and I also needed to make a note about the situation with Johnson because I’ve praised him elsewhere and although I’d like to have a reputation as someone who can pick out an honest and effective blogger or journalist due to some projects I hope to complete, I have to state somewhere for the record that I no longer stand by what I’ve written and said about him in the past. Since I’m running out of places to state such things, I made a YouTube video, as I’ve done a couple of times over the years – and specifically because I don’t want my petty internet e-conflicts to be something that comes up prominently when people search through text via Google. And of course I’m aware that a few hundred viewers in a couple of days is not very many; the intent is that it be seen by those for whom it is intended, who did indeed like it despite many of them being pretty down on me in general.

                I’m certainly aware that even making a video about this seems silly to some people, and I wish that were not the case because I don’t want people to think poorly of me, but at any rate I have good reasons for doing certain things that of course won’t necessarily be clear to others who may perhaps know less about my situation than I do.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Barrett Brown says:

                “How long will a cat hang fr’ the wall ere he rot?”Report

              • RTod in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Dunno, but I do have a persian, a stapler and a youthful curiosity. I’ll let you know.Report

              • RTod in reply to Barrett Brown says:

                “It’s mounted on a wooden plaque which is in turn supposed to be mounted on the wall, in which case it is displayed forever in all of its feline glory, unlike humans, who are put in boxes in the ground to rot.”

                I can’t tell if you’re thinking that stuffing and mounting bobcats in exciting poses is shameful, of a little melancholy that we don’t do the same to people.Report

              • Heidegger in reply to RTod says:

                Sorry RTod–this was supposed to be a reply to Barrett–the reply mechanism is in need ot major repair. They randomly end up going to whomever. I’m walking on thin ice and egg shells as it is around this joint, and for some of these guys to see my name replying to them is probably more than they can bear. In BSKs case, hopefully a defibrillator is very nearby. See ya!Report

          • Heidegger in reply to Barrett Brown says:

            Barrett, just watched your video—the stuffed bobcat in the background is the most hysterically funny prop in the history of cinema!!! The laughter induced is causing serious physical pain. Okay, tell me now, you just have to be, in some way or another, related to the late, great, Hunter S. Thompson, no? Please confess. I also think you have the talent and intelligence to manufacture a multiple personality type syndrome or, if you prefer, a dissociative identify disorder. The possibilities are rich and endless. I’m seri0us, too. Tony Clifton ring any bells? Bobcats, bobcats, bobcats….! Thanks for the great laughs! So long.Report

      • Heidegger in reply to Barrett Brown says:

        Heidegger December 19, 2010 at 1:40 pm
        Hey Barrett, now, you even have your own, “Friday night massacre!” You’re too young to remember Nixon’s, “Saturday night massacre”, but it was a doozy. Nixon couldn’t get anyone to fire the Independent Counsel, Archibald Cox–AG Richardson refused, as did the next in line, Ruckelshaus—guess who finally did the dirty deed–none other than Robert Bork!! People, even the benighted intelligentsia, thought a coup was immanent–The ever courageous Harvard faculty took up arms, declaring, “we’ll give you our guns when you take them from our COLD DEAD HANDS!!” Ah, for the good ole days. Some rumors even had Nixon, along with his wife and children, (even his beloved Irish Setter, King Timahoe! ) retiring to his underground White House bunker (ala Hitler) with the intent to commit to commit cyanide suicide. Billy Graham finally talked him out of i,t with fire and brimstone like you’ve never heard, fire and brimstone.
        So there. Barret Brown’s own Friday Night Massacre, December 17, 2010. A night, that forevermore, shall live in infamy.Report

  2. Mike Farmer says:

    You have done the right thing. Thanks.Report

    • Barrett Brown in reply to Mike Farmer says:

      My wife wears a respectable Republican cloth coat. My daughter named it Checkers.

      In all seriousness, Mike, you recently accused me of not actually writing for the magazines for which I obviously write. You said I reminded you of young people who boasted in internet forums about writing for magazines but who turned out to not write for anything. Elsewhere, when I created a visual representation of the Project PM schematic as requested by several participants representing several U.S. universities and made the mistake of posting it here, you wrote a long mocking comment about it.

      I’m still sorry for having revealed general information about one of our commenters, but to see you posting a little “thank you” to Erik for accepting my resignation infuriates me. They deleted the comments of someone who insulted them a couple of days ago but they quote you in posts as a serious contributor. And here you are expressing your thanks for my dismissal after having libeled me, coincidentally after having denounced me at your own blog. It must have been difficult for you to accuse a young struggling writer of fraud. That must have taken a lot of energy. If it’s any consolation, your accusation that I do not really write for the publications for which I clearly write will always exist, and perhaps it will have some negative effect on me in the future when someone comes across it. Well done.Report

  3. Rufus F. says:

    “My point is, the information that gets zapped to an author’s email box via WordPress when anyone comments is really not a big deal. I don’t think I’ve ever looked twice at it except for the one or two times I’ve had to ban someone.”

    Yeah, I have to admit that I never read those emails before I delete them. I just head over here and read whatever comments the thing emailed me because it seems easier. I have now looked at one of the emails to see what we were talking about and, yes, they do include email addresses and IP addresses, but honestly I can’t see how that information is interesting.

    It’s a shame about Barrett leaving though. I definitely understand why it happened, but it’s still too bad that it came to that.Report

    • Will H. in reply to Rufus F. says:

      All e-mails show that.
      I have a Yahoo account, and from there you click on “Full Headers.”
      It comes right up.Report

      • Rufus F. in reply to Will H. says:

        I had just assumed the site sent you an email saying, “Hey Dummy! Someone commented on your post!” without telling you anything but their nickname here. But, again, I don’t really see the point in reading the emails anyway when you can just open this site and read whatever comments they’re informing you are here. I guess it makes sense if you don’t come to the site often, but I’m here enough that I often respoond to comments on my posts before the software informs me they’re here. And, at any rate, that information just isn’t of interest to me.Report

        • Will H. in reply to Rufus F. says:

          That’s good to know, because there was something that I wanted to ask you.
          You see, I have a job offer in Alberta. This is through my union.
          Under the contract, work on Saturdays is paid at double time rather than time-and-a-half.
          I know that it used to be that way in the States, up until the Reagan years.
          I’m wondering if the double time rule for Saturdays is part of Canadian labor law (make that “labour law”) that everyone is subject to, or does this only show the relative strength of the unions there.Report

          • Rufus F. in reply to Will H. says:

            Yeah, one of the site people sent me that question in an email and I just haven’t found out yet. I figured it should be easier because I live in a big steel- and thus big union town. I will say that my understanding of it is that the unions in our town are both very strong and have a fairly good relationship with management. My father-in-law tells me they’re known for having a healthy working relationship in which both sides get what they want. It did occur to me that it probably is a bit easier when management isn’t worried about providing health insurance. That could make it a cheaper to do business here too.

            Anyway, I’ll ask around and see what I find out. It might make an interesting post.Report

            • Will H. in reply to Rufus F. says:

              I agree, it could make an interesting post.
              From my end, I’ve found out that the tax rate is comparable. People will always warn you about the tax rate here if they hear you’re considering taking a position in Canada.
              In Alberta, at that income level, the tax rate (projected by calculators) is right at 23.5%, which is within 2 points of what I would pay in withholding in the States.Report

  4. Jaybird says:

    For what it’s worth, I was freaked out by that.

    I hated the idea of folks doing oppo on me based on the content of my comments.

    Actually “hated” is the wrong word. I was some variant of shocked, surprised, and frightened.

    Thanks, E.D.

    I hope Barrett comments from time to time… but, anonymous does not forget.

    Let’s hope he still delivers.Report

    • E.D. Kain in reply to Jaybird says:

      I’m going to research ways to better protect commenter privacy, including implementing a new commenting software altogether such as Disqus.Report

      • BSK in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        Thanks, Mr. Kain.

        On other blogs I’ve read, I am quite bothered by anonymity is violated. I realize that we have no explicit explanation of anonymity on a blog, but there does seem to be an implicit understanding that, in allowing us to post under pseudonyms, we can expect this privacy to be respected.

        On another forum, where all non-registered users (which made up the vast majority) posted under “Anonymous”, the site’s manager had a tendency to connect different posts across topics. Unless noted by the poster himself or clearly evident in the language or arguments put forth, there was no way to know which “Anonymous’s” were the same person. However, if you ran afoul of this guy, he’d say, “Well, you’re the one who argued X over on Y forum…” which was really bothersome to me for a variety of reasons.

        What Mr. Brown did here seems even more egregious and, if I may conjecture, in line with the pettiness that seems rampant in what I understand of the Anonymous movement. I applaud your swift and decisive action and any steps that can prevent this in the first place. Obviously, you are free to run your site as you wish, with whatever anonymity or lackthereof you prefer. But my hunch is you risk losing many of your readers and posters if they have to fear they will be “outed”. There definitely is an appropriate place and time for using the private information you cull, but Mr. Brown’s actions hardly suffice.Report

      • Disqus is great, but it tends to eliminate at least some element of community. I used to comment at TNC’s blog all the time until the much maligned Atlantic makeover, which is the event that brought me here more or less. Anecdotal, but, I think there’s something there. Disturbing the comments section of a conversational blog may be like gutting a traditional neighborhood and replacing it with a platoon of McMansions.Report

  5. tom van dyke says:

    A very interesting case-in-point about anonymity on the internet (and real life, if we regard Anonymous [the movement] in the context of real life, with which it occasionally interfaces).

    There’s certainly a case to be made for anonymity [John Locke!] or pseudonymity [the Federalist Papers] in the dissemination of ideas. However, once they’re translated into action…Report

  6. BSK says:

    Can someone explain to me more about Anonymous? The little bit I’ve read online makes me think they’re mostly a bunch of trouble-making punks. Is there more to it than that?Report

    • Matty in reply to BSK says:

      I’m more than a little confused myself but from what I can make out the history goes like this.

      -On a lot of websites, chatroom etc you can post without giving your name, anyone who does that is called Anonymous.
      -On a site called 4Chan* lots of people did this and then started to talk as if everyone who posted as Anonymous was part of a group with that name.
      -A group or several groups of people started organising various protests using the name and in effect hiding in the crowd of Anonymous.

      Since Anonymous is by definition a name anyone can use it actually strikes me as useless to say Anonymous does anything. It’s like anouncing that “bloggers say..” without specifying which ones, except in this case it is the Anonymous people who are deliberately creating the confusion.

      *I took a brief look, seems a bit adolescent for my tastes but whatever floats your boat.Report

      • BSK in reply to Matty says:

        Thanks. I read more on Wikipedia (admittedly not the best source, but still useful):

        And it seems like most of the actions they’ve taken have been petty, illegal, or both. Hacking a website and posting virulently racist imagery because someone made fun of you? Loading tons of porn under kid-friendly titles onto YouTube because they refuse to be party to copyright infringement? Posting a minor’s contact info because she isn’t a fan of cursing?

        How this group, if it even amounts to a group or movement, gets mentioned in the same breath as Wikileaks is beyond me. What am I missing?Report

        • Matty in reply to BSK says:

          I hadn’t seen the wikipedia page before so thanks. if anything it supports my suspicions that there is no one Anonymous but several groups using the name for different purposes.

          The ones who connect themselves with wikileaks seem to be Operation Payback whose main thing is apparently to go after anyone who suggests copyright is a good idea. They are petty enough but I don’t think they are the same people who exposed the anti-cussing girl.Report

          • BSK in reply to Matty says:

            Gotcha. You’d think any group at least attempting to present themselves as legitimate would make clear distinctions between themselves and others. And it’s not exactly hard to come up with a slightly more unique name than “Anonymous”. Maybe that is sort of the point. But it simply discredits the movement (if there truly is a movement) as a whole.Report

  7. About 3 years ago I was involved with a politics chatboard and got on the bad side of the board owner. Since I was occassionally posting from work (come on guys – we all do it) he used my IP address to tell the whole board where I worked and threatened to call my company if i ever posted on his board again. This completely FREAKED ME OUT. The fact that I still post on other people’s sites clearly demonstrate some kind of danger fetish on my part but I think it’s reasonable that we should all be able to expect as much anonymity as we desire.

    From reading through his comments on that other thread i don’t think Barret has a clue how wrong his actions were. Sorry to see such a low moment in League history and happy to see it (hopefully) put to rest.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Mike at The Big Stick says:

      This completely FREAKED ME OUT.

      Too bad comments can’t have bits in flashing red 40-point type, because I’d need that to express how much it would have freaked me out.Report

      • Rufus F. in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        One of the uglier episodes I remember was watching a group of internet people go to great lengths to get an academic fired because she had weighed in on the Duke rape case incorrectly. All the woman had said was, basically, that it sounded to her like those fraternity brothers were guilty. Then it turned out they weren’t, so all sorts of people on the internet who also had nothing to do with the case felt they deserved a public apology from this woman, didn’t get one, and convinced themselves that all of this proved she shouldn’t be employed at a university (which was on the other side of the country from Duke, incidentally) since clearly she has a hatred of all fraternity members. Then they proceeded to barrage her department head with calls demanding her firing. I remember thinking, “Holy smokes! If I’m going to start blogging, I’d better use a made-up name!”Report

  8. Jeff In Ohio says:

    I to dragged myself over here from LGF interested in having substantive discussions with Barrett on issues and subjects that were getting buried in the comments section there. While I certainly see posting user information as being over the line, I’ll miss having the opportunity enter into those discussions.

    However, Barrett, what ever you think you got going on over at the LGF Stalker Blog, if that is you, is truly unfortunate and smells not of unmoderated behavior, but of rank immaturity. Time to grow up.Report

  9. Robert Cheeks says:

    Over the years my work, such as it is, has been published in:
    America’s Civil War
    Muzzle Blasts
    The University Bookman
    Yankee and Confederate (a very short lived mag)
    The Pittsburgh Tribune Review
    The American Enterprise
    Human Events
    and four or five more publications who’s names I’ve forgotten

    A couple of my essays were later published in a book. One of the books was titled: “In Real Life,” edited by Karl Zinsmeister, the other books were sundry issues of the Univ. of South Carolina lit journal, “The South Carolina Review.”

    I had ten or so pieces published in a history encyclopedia (American history) published by Something/Cavendish (my big pay day) a few years back.

    And, I’ve had a couple of reviews published in a peer-reviewed philosophy enet journal “Kritike,” who’s editor is a really nice young fellow.

    Most of the above journals actually paid for my humble contributions, but not enough to quit my day job.

    Some of the stuff’s on the internet.

    I’m working on a book on gnosticism and its relation to God, existence, reality, etc.Report

    • Heidegger in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

      Robert—may I be first in line for an autographed copy of your book on the Gnostics? Can’t wait–LOVE gnosticism. Love Meister Eckhart too! The Meister once said, “The same in which God sees you, is the same eye in which you see god.” Or something like that–just relying on memory which this LSD addled brain is losing more and more of each day!

      p.s. LSD=kidding.Report

      • Heidegger in reply to Heidegger says:

        Damn, damn, damn, that’s, “The same EYE in which God sees you, is the same EYE in which you see God.”Report

      • Robert Cheeks in reply to Heidegger says:

        H-Man, you are like the gift that keeps on giving. You’d love Carmel Bendon Davis’s book “Mysticism and Space” and her concept of the of the “mise en abime..a casting into the abyss!” Oh my, she spends her time with the Cloud of Knowing author, Rolle, and the lovely and spiritual, Julian. She probes the pregnant agreement between Aristotle and Descartes in the meaning of space as full, “rejecting the void” , where space is the primary “constituent of matter.” There are the phenomenological overtones that destroy the atheistic/agnostic argument, of course. The gnostic impulse, for me, is antithetical to God..and all that implies.Report

        • Heidegger in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

          You’re a beautiful writer, Robert! I better read up on the Gnostic and their gospels. I might have them mixed up with the Trappists which I wanted to join. They kicked me out though, after a few weeks, so here I am…on the road to debauchery and HELL!Report

          • Robert Cheeks in reply to Heidegger says:

            Seriously??? Dude, I was nearly a Franciscan…but puberty hit and that was that. I always had a fondness for the Trappists. Do you still practice Catholicism?Report

            • Heidegger in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

              Oh yeah, Robert. It was in Colorado, not too far from Aspen. An absolutely gorgeous setting for a monastery. They threw me out because they thought I was not serious enough to be a monk and live a monk’s kind of life. Pretty much said, stick to music. Looking back on it, obviously, their assessment could not have been more accurate.

              As far as Catholism goes, yes, still practicing–more or less–HAS to be a Tridentine Mass, has to in Latin and has to have the altar turned to the heavens, NOT to the people in church. Of course, music from the 15th-18th centuries is very important as well. (okay, music from the 18century isn’t too shabby either!) My ideas about religion are much too strange to get into right now, but formal Catholics would probably say I’m a pagan and heretic. (what do I mean, probably, priests have already said it to me) I am a very passionate nature lover/worshipper, (animals, too)though, so therein lies many problems with church dogma. I can’t exclude God from one single atom in this magnificent, wondrous, eternally puzzling universe. It’s not faith when you actually see it! And the music of Bach is probably as close to God as anything I’ll ever experience until, hopefully, I meet the Big Fella!Report

              • Robert Cheeks in reply to Heidegger says:

                You and I may be, not only in the same ‘church’ but the same pew.
                I left the RCC back in Vatican II and that silliness but miss the traditions, Latin Mass, etc. But, I reject the Co-Redemptrix business and don’t remember that when I was spouting Latin as an Alterboy (50’s-60’s).
                You might check out Voegelin’s comments on ‘doctrinization’ and the longing for the ‘experience’ of the spiritual.
                Let me know when you wanna get into ‘your ideas about religion.’Report

  10. Trumwill says:

    “Awww, man!” -The Blitz

    I turn my head for one minute…Report

  11. Freddie says:

    Full disclosure– I keep a lovely brownstone townhouse in Manhattan on a mortgage I took out in Jaybird’s name.Report

  12. Robert Cheeks says:

    Additional info:
    I was arrested and spent two days in the county facilities for demonstrating with a bunch of commie-Dems and Greenpeace people.

    I’ve been married once.

    I had sex in high school.

    All the children I’ve fathered, I’ve raised at my own expense.

    I carry a gun; and shortly, two guns.

    Jaybird, you never asked me to be your f/b friend? That one hurt.

    The gummint knows who all you guys/girls are and they’re watching you!Report

  13. Robert Cheeks says:

    “…not that there’s anything wrong with that.”Report

  14. Oy, this whole episode has been a bit weird. But, to my mind, the comments around it have been pretty level headed and grounded. Opinions may vary, but that’s mine. So as one of the folks who wound up feeling responsible for what transpired due to early involvement in creating this site, I just wanted to thank the commenting community for that. Happy holidays, y’all.Report