Sunday, January 30, 2005

Dear Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit

I sent this e-mail to Mr. Reynolds of Instapundit last Wednesday:

Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2005 02:44:15 -0800 (PST) From: "Ron Brynaert" Subject: Ricky Vandal's "Win A Record Deal" Hoax To: Dear Mr. Reynolds,

You probably never heard of my blog, especially because our blogs are completely the opposite.

I've exposed a hoaxter (along with another intrepid liberal blogger or two who are linked to on my blog) who you have provided links to...and who devised a scam to make money from ads by pretending to hold a weekly contest. Your email address is listed on that I wouldn't be surprised if you've gotten email about this (though you might have only thought it was weird spam. I have about 8 posts about Ricky Vandal (or lindsayslover or halibot22 or, as you may remember him, Ricky of The New Soldier) at my blog and there are links to others.

Do you just link to anyone? This guy is obviously cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs and was easily traceable (that is to his other blogs like ilovejennabush and his wacky religion homepage). I just ask that question in respect to all of the recent grumblings about "vetting of sources."

Peace Ron Brynaert

Shortly after I sent this e-mail, Ricky Vandal made a switch to his Win A Record Deal blog (link below). Even though he still hasn't replaced the link to the sponsors so that aspiring pop stars can properly enter the "competition", Ricky has removed the e-mail address of Mr. Glenn Reynolds the Instapundit and replaced it with Wonkette's instead.

Are Ricky Vandal and Glenn Reynolds e-mail buddies? (more tomorrow).


Saturday, January 29, 2005

Vote on Sunday, Citizens of Iraq!

My father died in 1996. The next day I borrowed my roommate's car (what a cool guy...he offered it) drove upstate and picked up my mom, then drove to South Carolina. The next day, after doing what needed to be done, I raced back home, and I do mean raced.

There was something just as important (to me) that I needed to do.

I tried taking a short cut, got lost in Jersey City, time was ticking, drove through at least one unbelievably long red light, illegally parked the car in front of a school, raced through the doors with five minutes to spare, and voted for four more years of relative prosperity (waco, sanctions and too many concessions on Democratic platforms are what bugged me then; words spoken a few days after Kerry's concession more than bug me now, words that went further than all of his concessions).

Voting means a lot to me. Another election horror story. A few years before, after work and after a pit stop at home, on my way out the door to vote, my right hand stayed behind. I had stupidly, clumsily, hurtfully slammed the door on my hand. So after doing the expected, screaming and cursing, I ran to the bathroom, leaving a trail of blood behind me, and took care of my wounds. My entire body was tingling with pain, and my hand had grown monstrous. I wrapped a towel filled with ice on it and crawled over to the couch to lie down.

There really wasn't any point in going to the emergency room. It just hurt like all hell, and I could tell that nothing was broken. Plus, there were only three hours left to vote. So I waited the pain out.

A few hours later, feeling reasonably better, I wrapped a bandage around my right hand and grabbed it with my left around the wrist (like I always do), stumbled out of my house while struggling to keep my wound elevated, and somehow made it to the precinct to vote. When I got there and signed in, the poll watchers witnessed my determination, and came close to standing and cheering.

I'm not a voting saint. I have missed voting in a few elections (except for presidential and senatorial), not out of apathy or laziness, but because I hadn't established residency in time to make the deadline (it's wrong that many working poor Americans are disenfranchised for such reasons, and it's wronger that many Republicans have opposed same-day registration and voting, causing it to continue to happen).

That's why I think Iraqis should let their voices be heard for what may possibly be the first time in Iraq's history on this Sunday.

Don't lend credence to this farce. This is an embarrassment. This is no way to hold an election. No one should have to face the threat of death in order to vote.

As much as I condemn the neoconservative occupation of a sovereign country even after the government has been dismantled, I sincerely believe that you should have the opportunity to vote for the future of your very lives. Let's have the election as soon as possible, but under rational circumstances.

IRAQI VOTERS SHOULD HAVE THE OPTION OF VOTING BY ABSENTEE BALLOT AT THE VERY LEAST! Stay home, stay alive, and demand an election that will allow every single person the opportunity to take part, if he or she wants to.

I have no idea why this isn't being allowed in Iraq. I do know that exiles are voting in America. I do hear the Administration spokespersons continuously claiming that the turn-out doesn't matter, that the final results don't matter, that the fact that parts of Iraq won't even be allowed to vote don't matter, and that, no matter how many bombs explode and prospective voters die, all that matters to them, is that the election take place on January 30, 2005. There are theories as to the reasons, and some of them are probably, at least, partially true. But who knows really? Does even Dubya? I know Donald knows. He's the boss.

Today's top headline at Rush Limbaugh's Website reads "Senator Kennedy Pulls a Bin Laden, Releases Tape to Undermine Iraqi Election." Senator Kennedy's sin according to B.F.I. (what Al Franken called him): Senator Kennedy uttered the word "quagmire" and suggested that "[a]t least 12,000 American troops -- probably more -- should leave at once, to send a strong signal about our intentions and to ease the pervasive sense of occupation."

If Rush represents the right's way of thinking and if Teddy's Osama, I wonder what the right would call someone like me who voiced similiar opinions. There ain't anything worse left to call me (but I'm damn sure that one or two recent trolls I've attracted - okay so I'm lying; I practically invited them - might think of something).

More on you-know-who late tomorrow. So, you-know-who, you can keep busy with the lie of a blog that you put back online today, and not come back for at least another 24 hours.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

How Long Does Bush Spend On His Low Priorities?

Associated Press writer Tom Raum knows a thing or two about "high priorities."

Every few days, Associated Press writer Tom Raum makes it a "high priority" to take five minutes to trim the crinkly, grey hairs which spurt out of his crusty ears.

Every few days, Associated Press writer Tom Raum makes it a "high priority" to take five minutes to check and make sure that he rewound his stack of pornographic video tapes before returning them to the video store.

Every few days, Associated Press writer Tom Raum makes it a "high priority" to spend five minutes to practice bending and flexing so he can one day master the art of sucking his own cock.

Every few days, Associated Press writer Tom Raum makes it a "high priority" to spend five minutes to play with the special child who is obviously responsible for writing the bullshit articles that he passes off as journalism and that his editors pass off on and allow to be published.

In an "article" entitled "Bush's Stake is Huge in Iraqi Elections", Associated Press writer Tom Raum shows and proves that President George "Dubya" Bush is doing all he can to monitor the situation in Iraq, one day after 37 US troops lost their lives (that's 37, NYT & MSM, not 31 and 6; I guess you fuckers do the worst you can so that you can be assured of a good embedment slot in the next "merry war").

Associated Press writer Tom Raum "informs" us: "Bush has given the vote such a high priority that he has been on the phone every few days with either interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi or Iraqi interim President Ghazi al-Yawer, including a five-minute call to al-Yawer on Thursday morning."

Below the "article" we learn that "Tom Raum has covered national and international affairs for The Associated Press since 1973." I can't say for sure whether I've read your work before, Associated Press writer Tom Raum, but I think that sentence of yours I just quoted pretty much reeks for itself.

Rather than taking five minutes to send a nasty e-mail to Associated Press writer Tom Raum, I decided to wait until he makes it a "high priority" to google his name, so he can come here and see what I think of his version of journalism.


Another Ricky New Soldier Blog & Instapundit

5 AM in the morning Update. Ricky's "New Democrat" blog has been removed from blogspot. I'm assuming that was Ricky's move because of the work Tas and I (and Jesse) have done. So Max, looks like you might get to keep your blog title, unless Simon Rosenberg comes knocking.

Ricky, this isn't over yet. Some Americans don't take kindly to foreigners interfering in our presidential elections.

Update: Ricky Ain't American!. Check out the latest article by Tas at Loaded Mouth (you too, Ricky, unless you've already made your way from there to here) to find out what other country the "new democrat" blogs from.

Why did so many big time Republican bloggers hand out links to a foreigner in a bid to influence our Presidential election? They have fucking site trackers just like most of us bloggers, so they knew damn well where Ricky Vandal originated from. Instapundit, L.G.F., Protein Wisdom, Andrew Sullivan, and every other right wing blogger that linked to the anti-Kerry websites are looking about as unpatriotic as you can get, in my never-humble opinion.

I just found another Ricky page on the Internet devoted to smearing John Kerry's war record that was posted on October 11, 2004.. This page is basically a reprint of the horeshit on Ricky's New Soldier blog (which attracted 300,000 visitors before the election...not all arriving from right wing blogs). It's called "Is Kerry a traitor?" It's a page on the American Computer Science Associate Website, (ACSA.Net) and it claims to represent the views of ACSA, a "NON-PROFIT CHARITY, A PRIVATE FOUNDATION UNDER USC 501(c)3."

"ACSA discloses in reprints and comments, it's perspective on Senator John Kerry, after analyzing his political PAST and the claims of the Swift Boat Veterans. Contrary to public allegations, we do NOT believe the Swift Boat Veterans are backed by the Bush Campaign. We believe they are the outcome of a significant response to 1971-78 Kerry behavior by Vietnam Vets shocked by his dishonorable behavior and disgracefully false comments."

Attention all curious Republicans, I completely support the right for the Swift Boat Veterans to lie about Kerry's war record. But I completely condemn all of the Media tools who disregarded the fact that all the official military records contradicted their stories and that the Swift Boat veterans that directly served with Kerry did too.

I have no way of figuring out how many people visited this particular page, but the homepage of ACSA says that the Website receives 1.5 million visitors per year, and that nearly 25,000 stopped by in the last 24 hours. But if you hit the button at the top of the homepage, the one that says Post Election, you will see that Ricky's page is the second link from the top. Pretty good propaganda placement.

Today, Ricky added this to his New Soldier blog: "Wednesday, January 26, 2005 DISCLOSURE I'm a Zell Miller Democrat. John Kerry was a threat to our national security, that's the reason I supported Bush. My new website is: THE NEW DEMOCRAT posted by Ricky at 5:59 AM." Even less than his previous "full disclosure" at T.N.D. but just as full as shit. Ricky's ain't no sort of Democrat. And that fucking prick added another post to his Clinton Daily Diary today in which he gently criticized Democrats and there is no fucking disclosure on that blog, and it received 1800 hits this week (please somebody do something to stop it).

Now, some fun.

Late last night, I sent an e-mail to Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit. I forgot to add the names of the three sponsors (see my last post), so I don't think I'm going to be winning that record deal. I'm going to give Mr. Reynolds one more day to respond before I post that letter to him here and continue on with that part of the Ricky story.

If you read the first article on Ricky that Tas put up on Loaded Mouth, you will have learned one of the three main mistakes that the serial blogger left in his trail, that really weren't too hard to discover (you just had to know where, how and why to look and what and which to look for). I'm not going to spell that mistake out here for you (go read or re-read the mighty Tas), let's not let Ricky learn too much here when he visits. After I am finished with Ricky I will reveal the rest of how we did it.



Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Ricky Defamed The Defamer

A big thank you to Jesse from Republican Sinners - a you-gotta-see-to-believe blog that is criminally hysterical - for doing his own digging and feeding Tas and me a couple of scoops in our pursuit of Ricky the fake "new democrat" fake "Clinton Diarist" serial blogger.

Jesse found this posting on The Hip Hop Forum, under the topic of Breakdance music. On September 11, 2004, using the handle Halibot 22, Ricky posted a link to, yet, another blog (created two days earlier). He wrote "I saw this website where you can win a record deal. I though I'd pass it along to those who are interested."

When I googled "triggerstreet records" I found a link to another Hip Hop Website which exposed Ricky's blog as a fraud. I'd give him a link, but...what do you know...another blogger who has no ethics when it comes to other's people work. His post was just a dumbed down version of an article on the Defamer Website, a gossipy Website published by Nick Denton, who also does Wonkette (another Ricky obsession). While the blogger did post a link to The Defamer, the only original words in his posts were when he changed a few personal pro-nouns. For shame.

In The Defamer's PSA You're Not Going Win A Record Deal the unbylined writer delivers "devastating news for those with aspirations of instant hip-hop stardom and VIP access to the champagne room on P. Diddy's yacht." The Win A Record Deal blogger had hatched "a scheme to induce clickthroughs on their Google Ads." One winner a week would be chosen at random out of the "persons" who could correctly answer three questions (music talent or even the ability to speak apparently weren't qualifications). The 3 questions ranged from "What is the E-mail address of Sponsor number 1?" to "What is the E-mail address of Sponsor number 2?" to - you get it.

When Jesse first sent me the link to Ricky's blog I thought we struck gold. The e-mail address where "persons" are directed to send their answers to belongs to one of the BIGGEST right wing bloggers that there is, and one that linked to Ricky's "The New Democrat" blog: Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit. But, of course, that connection was too Hollywood to be true.

The Defamer article got wind of the hoax because Ricky had used their e-mail address before switching it with the probably oblivious Mr. Reynolds. Ricky had pulled a fast one on the publisher of Wonkette, and probably made a couple bucks through the ads.

So Ricky isn't really Glenn Reynolds. But...there was something else that I found on his site...or didn't exactly find.

In my next post I'll weave a (what the hell...possibly libelous) tale about how there may have been a sort-of-conspiracy composed of several right-leaning bloggers to smear John Kerry in order to avoid facing potential lawsuits.


You Don't Link It, You Stole It

(UPDATE 1-27: In anger, I hurled some harsh words (and accusations in this post at two of my fellow Democratic bloggers (not that that's anything new). But, as of this moment, all beefs are squashed, and I feel that my claims of authorship have been rightfully acknowledged. Of course, if this story hits the MSM, under similiar circumstances, I'll probably revert to asshole mode again. But I doubt that I'll ever have to worry about that, because the MSM only recognizes right-leaning bloggers. I'm not changing a word of what I wrote, though, because it's what I felt at the time, and I believe that us Democratic (liberals to centrists...everyone in between) and like-minded independent bloggers need to help each other more and more frequently link to one another like our lives are depending on it, because they do.)

I'm sorry, Matt, and I'm sorry, Rick. But fuck you, Ricky, for not giving me and Tas credit in your "full disclosure." And only a few hours after I revealed that you were the New Soldier copyright infringer!)

I have much, much more about Ricky. Wait till you see what.

But I want to get all Tom petty for a moment.

I'm so glad that no other bloggers have ever tried to steal the title of my blog. But there are worse things that can be stolen.

A few days ago, while working on the Ricky story, I paid a visit to a real centrist Democrat's blog which had been feeding hits to the serial blogger. Rick Heller had a post entitled "Which is The Real New Democrat" (Centrist Coalition) which mentioned a 17 year old prodigy named Max whose blog's name, New Democrat, had been hijacked by Ricky the Freeper. Mr. Heller took Max's side (so do I), but...get this...he still was thinking about giving Ricky a permalink. "On the merits, the new blogger seems to be a Zell Miller Democrat, who likes George Bush better than John Kerry. Not my cup of tea, but within the parameters of centrism, and I would be willing to add the blog to the centrist blogroll, but not under the same name as an already existing blog."

On a mission to stop the Jenna Bush lovin' wannabe science fiction religious cult leader from causing even more havoc, I left this comment on the Centerfield blog (just a few hours after he posted): "And what makes you so sure Ricky is who he says he is? I think you might want to check out my blog to find out a few things about the "new democrat." Why Are We Back In Iraq?

So, Rick (and centrist company) came to my blog and read the WORK I had done (Tas at Loaded Mouth first post didn't appear until later that same snowy night), and left this comment viewable down below (Holy Amazonia, Mole Man!): "I've offered to blogroll Ricky if he is an authentic centrist, but given the information you've provided, I will certainly need more clarification from him before I would do." (okay...instead of just quoting it...go read it for yourself and come back here, please).

At least a few days later (after a number of posts by me: here and elswhere...and Tas's articles which Rick also visited and left comments at...which led to Ricky's "full disclosure" which has now been removed from his blog), Rick (confusing huh...rick and ricky...not the same...but...) updated that prior post, adopting a diffent view to the unethical serial blogger: "Based on this and additional information I've received, I conclude that he is an unethical individual, perhaps the most unethical blogger I'm come across in my three years in the blogosphere."

Is that so, Rick?

Today, Rick wrote another article which incorporated all the work Tas and I have done (Tas is given a link, at least, but it's provided in this clause: "now, the charge is going around" "Now" in after Rick's work reading our blogs I presume): Blog Name Theft. There's no need to provide any more quotes from this post...since you've already fucking read it before here.

That 17 year old prodigy, Max, also blogged about "Rickygate" (The [real] New Democrat), but he was considerate enough to provide a link to my story (credited as "a great commentary on the website in question" Thank you, Max. I enjoyed checking out your blog...and I plan to link to you...No, On Gonzales is a must read).

Then there's this guy. This big time blogger.

Matt Stoller has a short post entitled Intellectual Theft at his Blogging of the President, which includes this pithy line "It's typical and unwritten that you don't take someone's blog name."

Glad you believe in some form of ethics, Matt. How's that blogging for Simon Rosenberg going?


Me, Ricky, Matt Stoller and Simon Rosenberg have a history. On January 14, 2005 we all weighed in on the Kos/Trippi affair. I take that back. While I (and even Ricky) weighed in with opinions, Matt Stoller just acted like the asshole he apparently is.

Fuck both of you, Rick and Matt.

Now I'm gonna go back to actually doing some work instead of violating the "typical and unwritten."

(Thanks to Chebooka, Republican Sinners, The Common Ills for giving me credit for my hard work, and the other bloggers who left comments from the link whoring I did at Atrios and elsewhere. And, Atrios, my name isn't Roy.)


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Attention: Young Americans!

Uncle Dubya and Uncle Rummy want you. Make sure you bring your own armor plating (link via The Raw Story).


Monday, January 24, 2005

Loading Up On Ricky

Loaded Mouth's Tas asks "Just what else does Ricky have to disclose?"

Along with the 3 blogs Tas lists, The New Democrat (links are below...don't want to help him any more than I have in exposing the dirty trick, bait-and-switch, serial blogger), John Kerry's The New Soldier, and I love Jenna Bush, I've also mentioned Bill Clinton's Daily Diary (which is still active...and is getting good hits...and is linked to on must be stopped), the wacky religion blog, and the blog that is supposed to contain Quentin Tarantino scripts (that link isn't below...because it's too unbelievable to bother with).

Here's a few more.

This blog, one large post composed on May 26, 2004, is called "Washingtonienne Jessica Cutler." It's not much: photos of Jessica Culter, photos of Jessica and Wonkette, and links to stories about the "intern SEX scandal." It also contains a link to his wacky church of fandel blog and allows you the opportunity to buy a t-shirt at (where you can also buy the "I Love Jenna Bush" hat that he linked to at Daily Kos). This site still gets major traffic, and receives lots of hits from an e-mail list.

On August 2, 2004 Ricky unveiled this blog. It's also one post, this one is only a couple hundred words long. But it does contain links to purchase Donald Trump's books at Amazon so you can fund Ricky's serial blogging.

Did I mention links? Yes. This blog has links. You want CLASSIC ACTORS? There are blogs devoted to John Belushi, John Candy, Richard Chamberlain, Errol Flynn, Rock Hudson, William Holden and Jack Lord. CLASSIC ACTRESSES: Jane Fonda, Audrey Hepburn, Angela Lansbury, Shirley Temple, Mae West, Jane Wyman. CLASSIC WRITERS, Alexandre Dumas, Ernest Hemingway, L. Ron Hubbard, Rudyard Kipling. THE RICH AND FAMOUS: Pamela Anderson, Chevy Chase, Pierre de Coubertin, Che Guevara. BUSINESS TYCOONS: Warren Buffett, Malcolm Forbes.

24 blogs including the Trump. All Ricky blogs. All selling Amazon products devoted to each of the notables (you know he's a whack job if he thinks Richard Chamberlain is a classic actor...but...heck...I had no idea Pierre was the dude who founded the Olympics...thanks for teaching me sumfin ricky), all written in August of 2004, and all one (probably plagiarized) nothing-to-blog-home-about post.

Each of them sports that nifty traffic counter from the now deceased (links to caches at Loaded Mouth) I Love Jenna Bush blog. So while he's getting 50-60 hits a day, that's divvied up between all 24 blogs (I wonder why he deserted a popular blog...perhaps his "comrades" objected). Somehow he's getting sporadic hits from the New Democrat blog, but I can't figure out why, since there aren't any visible links on it.


Sunday, January 23, 2005

Ricky's "Full Disclosure"

Ricky aka Ricky Vandal aka MongooseJuice2004 aka LindsaysLover aka Bonnie - the "new democrat" - has posted a "full disclosure" on his blog. While the not-quite-contrite post doesn't mention me or Tas (Loaded Mouth 's It's a fraud. with links to caches of a former Ricky blog called "I Love Jenna Bush"), he does admit to a few of things that we dug up.

Ricky claims to be a "Zell Miller Democrat" and brags that he "had something to do with Kerry's defeat. For a long time my blog was the only blog with a link so you could read John Kerry's anti-war book "The New Soldier". I was the one, who marketed it all over the blogosphere. The book was unavailable. John Kerry took it off the market. Copies on Amazon and E-bay cost more than 2000 dollars. I was the first one making the book available for mass readership."

Is this hysterical or what? Further proof of the difference between the right and left wings of the blogosphere. The right has attacked CBS news for not properly vetting their sources, (and Kos for reasons that they twisted around) and yet, Ricky's sites have been promoted on the biggest blogs that they control. Rush Limbaugh's Website and Instapundit linked to him, Ricky brags, and his site had a google rating of 7 which put his propaganda on the front page if you entered "john Kerry" or "the new soldier" into a search engine. While I blogged that Ricky had 200,000 unique visitors, the "new democrat" claims that it was 300,000.

Many blogs make the mistake of dismissing trolls like Ricky, thinking that if they just ban them from their blogs, then that will be the end of that. But Ricky has been inflicting a lot of damage on our party. Add up all of the hits on all of his blogs (I've found 15 so far) and he's reached a couple million people.

Ricky was once banned from the John Kerry official Website for asking disgusting questions, that right now I can't stomache repeating or linking to.

Here's what Ricky did for George Bush's reelection campaign: "I sent many visitors to the SwiftVets website. I encouraged many to donate to them. I sold hundreds, more than 400 "Unfit for Command" books through my Amazon link. I also sold many Zell Miller and Tommy Franks books. I received a check for hundreds of dollars from Amazon. I haven't cashed it in yet."

Ricky "hope[s] this disclosure clears the air and tells you where [he] stand[s] on the Democratic Party policy platform." No. It doesn't. Not for me. There's more out there. And you're lying. You're not any kind of Democrat. Zell Miller is Paul Wellstone compared to you. A better description would be a L. Ron Hubbard Neoconservative Republican. Except "Battlefield Earth" is Citizen Kane compared to your "new religion." And your completely unbelievable "Quentin Tarantino" scripts suck too (another blog Ricky maintains).

At the very least, Ricky, there are at least 15 other blogs which should also bear that "full disclosure."


Ricky's quite the capitalist. He's even tried using the Daily Kos Website to hawk his merchandise. This comment was left by mongoosejuice2004 on an open thread on November 24, 2004. Follow this link if you'd like to buy a black baseball cap with the following inscription: I Love Jenna Bush. I think that's grounds for a Kos banning, one that I would agree with, link whoring is permissable on my blog, but not spam.


Just as I speculated in my first post, Ricky is a Freeper. While he's probably used many different names on the far right "activist" Website, since last December Ricky has posted under the name "grandpiano007." This (if you really want to go to the Freeper yourself the trip) Link will show you the articles that the "new democrat" has left for his fellow Freepers. This is Ricky's real "full disclosure." "Check out The new Democrat. The dam is breaking alright. Nothing like a lost election to make the Dummies think. Be sure to read the comments. HAHAHA." Some of his posts seem meant to rile up the Freepers, though. He takes Bill Clinton's side sometimes, and argues against banning evolution from textbooks. Does Ricky even have a political philosophy? If you went to the link (go wash your eyes if you have to) you'd see that Ricky promoted his New Democrat blog and his Bill Clinton Diary blog and his Quentin Tarantino nonsense.


Ricky & Unfit For Command

Think Ricky's harmless? Think again. For Ricky may have played a disturbing role in the recent election.

On August 12, 2004, Ricky launched a blog which received nearly 200,000 unique hits up until Election Day. (Warning: the following link contains a full color picture of the WTC on 9/11 right at the top) John Kerry's The New Soldier sports this header: "Read John Kerry's book The New Soldier online for FREE---Watch STOLEN HONOR online for FREE---READ five chapters of JOHN O'NEILL'S book UNFIT FOR COMMAND here for FREE." Who needs Sinclair, a couple hundred thousand people could watch the "documentary" here. J.K.T.N.S. also once contained a link to a pdf of the out-of-print "New Soldier" which John F. Kerry contributed to, but - as of now - I don't know if it was an accurate transcript or some kind of parody. Ricky writes that his snatch-and-grab of other people's work is "used according to Fair Use Principle."

This link shows the traffic for the Website: Donald Trump (note: that's the name listed as the title...Ricky likes to switch names around with his blogs in order to collect more hits from links through keywords...this leads to a blog called Donald Trump...another Ricky joint) See where it peaked? Yep. Right when it counted.

Who linked to this Website? Next post.


Saturday, January 22, 2005

Holy Amazonia, Mole Man!

Ricky - the "New Democrat" - is not a novice to the blogger game (I'm not going to post his url anymore because that's, at least, one thing that he wants). From what I've learned so far, Ricky might even be eligible for a Guiness Book World Record for most blogs by one person (assuming he's one and not "many"...right now...I'm leaning to the latter...more than one at least...because the tone of T.N.D. is a bit more subdued compared to the majority of his do you say...ramblings). Some of the blogs are still updated, some ended months or years ago, and, at least, one has been removed from the Internet (shout out to Tas at Loaded Mouth who should shortly have up a screenshot of the blog which you may even have heard of before).

If you combined the hits that Ricky receives on all of his blogs, then he might be up there with Andrew Sullivan, Little Green Footballs, Instapundit and Wizbang (incidentally, speaking of those blogs...since they all linked to T.N.D. I believe they have some explaining to do about what they know about Ricky and whether or not they thought T.N.D. was legitimate...considering the fact that they are paying so much attention to the subject of blogger perhaps some of you might like to pay their fine blogs a visit and ask them...I don't agree with the concept of "you link it, you own it" but it can't just be freaky coincidences that a less-than-one-week-old blog - and that supposedly hails from the opposite wing - got links to such big sites just by blog whoring). But the majority of Ricky's blogs aren't political in nature. They run the gamut from fan sites to satire to weird religions.

Yes. Weird religions. You see, Ricky belongs to the Church of the Blue Amazon. Born on a farm, so Ricky Vandal (yep...I'm sure a lot of you bloggers and blog-commenters-which-also-counts-as-bloggers have been wondering if this Ricky was that Ricky Vandal...he is most definitely) tells us, at the age of 5 years old he was visited by an Amazonian Warrior who told him that the world was created not by God, but by God's children as a game.

"What is the purpose of the game? For them? They're just enjoying themselves and try to see who beats who. For us it has existentialist consequences."

Why does Ricky do what he does? Is it all a game (another of his blogs is a sort of game...I'll get to it later)? Or does he do blogs like T.N.D. in order to convert the unbelievers?

Or does he do it to make money by selling books?

At T.N.D. if you hit on one of his Amazon ads, you can buy a copy of John Stewart with The Daily Show's America or Hugh Hewitt's Blog (which should be a dead give-away which wing ricky really likes to flap). But those aren't the books Ricky usually sells. Nope. Ricky's favorite book would guessed it...John O'Neill's Unfit For Command starring the Swift Boat Veterans who were not on the same boats with John Kerry, literally and the-other-thing.

Ricky screwed up. Yes. His links were traceable all over the Internet. If you spend enough time using google and technorati you will be able to figure out some of the other aliases used by Ricky such as MongooseJuice2004, which he employs at Smirking Chimp and Daily Kos. But there were two other mistakes that Ricky committed which helped me definitively link him to his blogs (I'll get to it, soon).

On November 19, 2004 the first comment left by Ricky as Mongoosejuice2004 at Daily Kos appeared on an open thread: "How to contact Bill Clinton? He seems to blog again. Here is the link".

A Kosser named Montco PA for Kerry pointed out the obvious, that President Clinton wasn't gunning to be the next Atrios. But, anyway, that blog is still active, and it 's gotten nearly 2,000 hits just in the last week. But here's where it gets weird. On January 10, "Bill Clinton" blogged about Bush's plan to cut down or get rid of social security (Bill Clinton Daily Diary). This is right in line with T.N.D.'s signing up for the liberal Blogpac campaign: There Is No Crisis.

I take that back. Nothing is in line when it comes to Ricky. There seems to be little rhyme or reason to some of the other blogs I keep stumbling upon (they're like Tribbles). I just found a blog called Bill Clinton Book My Life which is nothing more than a portal to the Bill Clinton Daily Diary blog. He's trying to suck the Democrats in everywhere and through all means, it seems.

But perhaps I should cut Ricky a break. Perhaps he really is a Bill Clinton fan. Whoops. On March 7, 2004, the future "new democrat" paid a visit to the left-leaning blog, Sadly No. This is Ricky expressing how he really feels about Clinton's legacy: "If Gray Davis had done his job, Democrat leaning California wouldn't have had to kick him out. Same for Clinton. If he had taken care of Bin LAden 3000 people woulfn't have burned to death in New York. Bush is taking care of business the Democrats didn't do." Last time I checked, Clinton wasn't kicked out of anywhere, and the same goes for the last two alternative reality sentences.

Ricky isn't giving up. I've left a few comments on his blog, and I'm assuming that he's somewhat aware of what I'm writing, but he hasn't responded and he's still link whoring. Earlier today, Ricky hit the Daily Kos with his Mongoose identity to join in on a thread by Markos ironically titled Roemer a VRWC mole.

Check the comments below and you'll see what for-real centrist Democrat blog he scored a link from today.

Bombshell link that I just discovered.

Ricky's scored a link from Time! On a page at the Website devoted to links related to the Person of the Year, Ricky's Clinton Diary blog is plugged under a header that reads "Bloggers Can Be Fakers." It reads "Plain Layne, a highly personal blog supposedly belonging to a Minnesota lesbian named Layne Johnson that drew thousands of fans over 3 1/2 years before mysteriously disappearing, was revealed to be a hoax. Hundreds of fans helped track down the real author, Odin Soli, 35, a male entrepreneur from Woodbury, Minn. Later in the year, fake Bill Clinton and Andy Kaufman blogs became hits." That's followed by a link to two of the hoax blogs (the Kaufman one gets shortchanged...I checked it out in the wasn't bad...but I forget the link).

Updates Later At This Post


Friday, January 21, 2005

Who Links To The Mole?

As I write this, The New Democrat blog has now been hit by 9,710 surfers. Pretty damn good, for a blog that's only eleven days old. I started my blog in September of 2003, but I didn't really get going until August of 2004. I'm psyched to be a large mammal in the blogosphere (according to Truth Laid Bear), but none of my hits have come easy, as the biggest of the bloggers in our hemisphere hardly ever link to newbies. And since new left-leaning blogs startup at an astonishingly high rate every day, you can't really fault them.

I've never tried to get a link from a right wing blog (no matter what Ala might tell ya), but I seriously doubt that the Instapundits and Little Green Footballs on the right side of the blogosphere pass out links to just anyone.

So who the hell is this Ricky? More importantly, who the hell does he know? Where in the roster of man-behind-the-man-behind-the-man-behind-the-man does he stand?

Ricky likes to link whore. A lot of us bloggers do it from time-to-time but Ricky seems to have taken the self-promoting practice to an amazing level. On January 10th, 2004, Ricky paid a visit to the conservative blog, Cheese And Crackers. Responding to a post by blogger Jordan Golson which contained only a link to "Tsunami Videos", Ricky - the "new democrat" - left this comment with his link: "Great Job! This proves beyond doubt George Bush caused the Tsunami." A weak attempt at satire, no doubt, but keep it in mind when you read my next post which will showcase Ricky's sense of humour.

According to Technorati, the first blog to link to The New Democrat was Knight of The Mind. Steve (or SDH) blogs out of Alexandria, Virginia. His job: "I work for the US Army as an Operations Research Analyst." The link to Ricky's blog is smack-dab in the middle of such Websites as Free Republic, Michelle Malkin, and Crush Kerry. Again, according to Blogger's best friend Technorati, Steve linked to Ricky nine-and-a-half days ago. Perhaps, Steve discovered Ricky's blog by utilizing his skills in analysing and researching.

On January 13, someone using the handle lindsayslover left a comment with a link to T.N.D. at Little Green Footballs: "Hmmm, remember he said screw the dead American "mercenaries", they were doing it for the money? Well I guess the blogosphere has its own money hungry mercenaries. Live and let die." I believe this comment is very revealing, because - from what I've turned up so far and guessed at - Ricky's hate affair with Kos dates back, at least, to the time when Kos made those infamous comments in regards to Fallujah.

On January 15, Ricky struck gold. He received high words of praise and, of course, links at two conservative blogs: Wizbang & Pajama Pundits. One of the biggest of the right-leaning bloggers, Kevin from Wizbang wrote, "Democrats are advised to pay no attention to anything this man has to say! Embrace George Soros' billions and leave Michael Moore in charge of your message. Move along, nothing to see there..." Not long after that, Donna B. from Pajama Pundits, a considerably less known blog, trackbacked to Wizbang after writing an effusive post which used Ricky's words in the title: "It's an old, worn out vision of America."

In her post, Donna B. declared that "The New Democrat is calling for a revolution in the Democratic Party to replace its "old worn out vision" spouted by the "looney leftists" of the party. He defines that wing of the party as the one belonging to Ted Kennedy, Maxine Waters, and Barbara Boxer, bought by George Soros and touted by Michael Moore. Finding this blog (via Wizbang) shortly after my brother finally admitted that Michael Moore "may" have had a role in costing Kerry the election gives me hope that the Democratic Party isn't dead yet."

On January 19, Andrew Sullivan linked to Ricky (Trippi On Kos), without mentioning the name of his blog: "An interesting take on the bloggers-for-hire issue. Trippi paid the bloggers for the Dean campaign. He ought to know what went on." There isn't any take on that post, just a transcript for a podcast that I haven't been able to hear on my computer, unfortunately. But if the transcript is true, then I can't understand why Kos, himself, would've linked to it a few days ago. Until I hear it for myself, I'll assume it's another one of Ricky's lies. Also on January 19, Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit threw Ricky a bone-link, through use of the same sly strategy: "JOE TRIPPI on the Kos/Teachout affair."

Ricky seems to have hit every single blog on the Internet - right, left, whatever - that weighed in on the Kos-Trippi Affair. Here's Ricky telling us what's what at Pandagon on January 14th: "I think all of you Deaniacs, including Kos, Pandas and Atrios are a bunch of tools. You lost us the election with your anti-war tripe. Apart from that, instead of whining, you need to read the Dow Jones article like Rush Limbaugh does: Quote: Ms. Teachout's posting shook the confidence of many people in the blogosphere, as many bloggers like to call the online community. Bloggers have been quick to criticize the unspoken biases of mainstream media, and they helped expose the questionable documents used by CBS News in a report about President Bush's National Guard experience.---In other words, journalists are taking revenge on bloggers for destroying their credibility. That's what this article is about. Bloggers are untrustworthy. And bloggers on the extreme left are more untrustworthy than bloggers on the right. For a very simple reason. The ones on the extreme left, like Kos and Atrios eat out of the Democratic candidates' pocket. Free Republic and even Green Footballs are paid for by donations." Something that bleeds inside of me tells me that no Democrat would ever advise another Democrat to do anything "like Rush Limbaugh does." But maybe that's just me and my paranoia blogging.

On January 15, Ricky left this comment at Burnt Orange Report: "The mainstream media isn't interested in that. They want to cut bloggers back to size, after the Rathergate scandal and the fiiring of 4 MSM journalists. Or does anybody think they like us for having done that? We, bloggers showed MSM journalists to be untrustworthy. They are repaying us the favor. This story ain't gonna die untill they kill this idea that bloggers are a substitute for MSM." Actually "us" bloggers proved that the documents in Rathergate were not necessarily forgeries and that, even still, the gist of what they said was true. It's "them" other bloggers that Ricky obviously belongs to. I really hate when these guys can't keep their propaganda straight.

January 15th was a busy day for the Rickster. He also left comment/links on left-leaning blogs such as Steve Gilliard's News Blog, among others. But, luckily, I don't think he had much success in fooling too many liberals, because, as of now, I'm the only one that's linked to him.

More To Come. Ricky's Other Blogs Revealed.


New Democrat or Old Freeper?

A blog was born on January 10th, 2005. A blog called "The New Democrat" at this url: According to Ricky, the blogger in charge, the blog was started because "the Democratic Party has been hijacked by loony extreme leftist fringe groups, like, the Anti-War movement, the anti-gun groups, Planned Parenthood, Michael Moore, George Soros, PETA and the militant homosexual/lesbian lobby."

Ricky's second post on The New Democrat was entitled "Congressional Democrats' Racist Policy." He surmises: "Both black and white Democrats in the Senate and the House don’t want to see any conservative members of minorities appointed by a Republican president, because they fear losing their loyal base in black and Latino communities." At the end of the post, Ricky claims that it was Republican bloggers who led the way to force Trent Lott out after his infamous comments. Lott might have been forced out of his leadership role, but that's about the only thing that's true about the entire article.

Ricky's next post was against Howard Dean's pursuit of the D.N.C. chair. While he toned down his rhetoric a little bit against Mr. Dean, Ricky aimed at Terry McAulliffe's jugular: "Hey, Terry, quit while you're ahead. Before us angry Democrats come to the DNC headquarters and throw you out of the window."

Now I've had my diffences in the past and the present with those that consider themselves "new" democrats or moderates. But even Mr. Centrist himself, Al From, the CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council ("We've got to repudiate, you know, the most strident and insulting anti-American voices out there sometimes on our party's left... We can't have our party identified by Michael Moore and Hollywood as our cultural values." Read "No More Moore" by Matt Taibbi), would never, ever go that far (off the left side of the sphere) and say anything as poisonous as any of that.

But somebody's reading this blog. Somebody, indeed. In just ten days, the blog has garnered 9,457 hits (as I write). But even though Ricky has posted comments with links to his blog on nearly every big time left-leaning blog of note (and all those who wrote about the Kos-Trippi Affair), if you check out his counter (link) you'll see he gets the vast majority of his hits from the right side of the blogosphere.

Some questions to ponder. How did Ricky become such a major blog player in only ten days? Who does he know? What blogs link to him? What blogs has he blogged at before? What aliases has he used in the past?

More to come.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

A Spy In The House of Blogpac

UPDATE - January 23rd

For the first time ever, I have decided to significantly edit one of my posts. This one. That doesn't mean I take back anything I wrote. People read it. I'm sure it can be retrieved somehow by someone interested enough to do so. I'm leaving my comments untouched though, because I never remove comments.

But I thought it best to retouch this post since I want the focus of this story to remain on "Ricky." Even if it turns out that he is a teenager with an overactive imagination, he is doing a great disservice to all of us in the blogosphere, and to the millions of people who surf the web. This guy has blogs coming out of every orifice in his body. Many of those blogs contain ads which earn him money while he spouts his propaganda. Who knows how many people have been taken in by this trickster?

On the many threads about the Zonkette story (like there's anyone alive that visits blogs that doesn't know what story I'm talking about) across the blogosphere, I noticed - like many of you have also noticed - a number of short comments which were clearly anti-Kos' side, and contained links to a site called The New Democrat.

So I checked out the cat's blog (on January 17th) and it threw me for a loop. It had to be a joke. Some of the posts (especially a few of the recents ones) seemed reasonable, but others were completely unhinged and didn't make a lot of sense. Some liberals left angry comments on the blog, but most of the comments were left by Republicans, for some reason. Then I got it. Billionaires for Bush, but in reverse.

So I left this comment: "This post clears it up. While some of the views expressed on this blog are views that are shared by many Democrats in the wide net that the party attracts (liberal to moderate to conservative etc), the opinions expressed in this post are opinions that are only shared by extremely right wing propagandists. This site is unfunny satire. At least add a few jokes so we can laugh, "new democrat."

And that, I thought, would be the end of it.

I have three counters on my blog. They don't tell me too much, but they tell me something about who's coming to my website. I received a hit on my website from that comment I left. The comment had been added to an older post, so I assume (sue me...I'm an assumptive blogger) that the only person who would check up on me would be the blogger himself. And that was the only hit I got from my comment..

The hit on my website originated from the Pentagon (Hi, guys, if you bookmarked me and are still reading this...get the fuck out of Iraq!).

I'm still working on this story. This outing of a blogger. A blogger who claims to be a "new democrat." A blogger who may have ten to twenty blogs on the Internet. A blogger who gets most of his hits from the right wing sites that link to him (most do it on the sly).

Blogpac, a new political action committee comprised of some of the biggest left-leaning bloggers and their readers, have started their first campaign. One of the two hundred bloggers that has signed on (There Is No Crisis), happens to be the guy who fronts for the right wing and might even work for the Pentagon. Then again, he might only be a teenager whose words reach the Pentagon through the links that he gets in earnest from the right. Regardless, he's not one of us (Democrats: liberals to moderates to centrists), that's for sure.

More details as I dig them up later.


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Again I Say, "Boxer For Prez!"

I still support Kerry. I still like Edwards. I still like Gore (but not the other guy anymore). I still like Dean, and I want him to be the new DNC Chairman (I'm a little late with the endorsement because I still like Sharpton, and I wanted to wait to see if he was going to run first, not necessarily because I preferred him over Dean (though the fact that Dean is more electable for offices that we sort-of-have-a-vote-in might have also been swaying me a little bit), but just because I believe in weighing before voting). I still like 31 Democrats in the House. I still like the usual list of Democrats who we can usually count on for at least words, if not actions (rangel, hilary, obama, ted, nadler, leahy).

But I'm falling in love with the bravest Democrat in the land. A Democrat who voted against giving Bush the go-ahead to wage an illegal and immoral war; A Democrat who voted against the certification of the election results in a state where Bush's party undoubtedly committed serious civil rights violations and most probably engaged in widespread fraud.

If you think like me and hope and dream like me, then after reading this transcription of her match with Condi Rice, you will see why we need this American patriot to bring us back our country in 2008. If there isn't already a site on the Internet devoted to pushing Senator Barbara Boxer to run for President in 2008, then you can bet my blog will be pursuing that goal, as well (the biggies are election reform, investigations against the administration for criminal and unconstitutional conduct and, of course, getting our troops back from Iraq).

And you better believe, four years before, my vote has already been weighed, because we have no better ally than California's Senator Barbara Boxer. Don't stop. Keep going. We love you.

Boxer/Rice Breakdown:

Boxer - Thank you, Dr. Rice, for agreeing to stay as long as it takes, because some of us do have a lot of questions.

Boxer - And if you're going to become the voice of diplomacy -- this is just a helpful point -- when Senator Voinovich mentioned the issue of tsunami relief, you said -- your first words were, "The tsunami was a wonderful opportunity for us." Now, the tsunami was one of the worst tragedies of our lifetime -- one of the worst -- and it's going to have a 10-year impact on rebuilding that area. I was very disappointed in your statement. I think you blew the opportunity.

Boxer - Martin Luther King, quote, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." And one of the things that matters most to my people in California and the people in America is this war in Iraq.

Boxer - I'm quoting today's Post: "Bush said in an interview last week with the Washington Post that the '04 election was a moment of accountability for the decisions he made in Iraq." But today's Washington Post/ABC poll found that 58 percent disapprove of his handling of the situation, to 40 percent who approve -- and only 44 percent said the war was worth fighting.

Boxer - And I personally believe -- this is my personal view -- that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell this war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth. And I don't say it lightly, and I'm going to go into the documents that show your statements and the facts at the time.

Boxer - On July 30th, 2003...In what appears to be an effort to downplay the nuclear-weapons scare tactics you used before the war, your answer was, and I quote, "It was a case that said he was trying to reconstitute. He's trying to acquire nuclear weapons. Nobody ever said that it was going to be the next year." Well, that wasn't true, because nine months before you said this to the American people, what had George Bush said, President Bush, at his speech at the Cincinnati Museum Center? "If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy or steal an amount of highly-enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, it could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year." So the president tells the people there could be a weapon. Nine months later you said no one ever said he could have a weapon in a year, when in fact the president said it.

Boxer - On October 10th...three months ago...Your response was this: "The intelligence assessment was that he was reconstituting his nuclear program; that, left unchecked, he would have a nuclear weapon by the end of the year." So here you are, first contradicting the president and then contradicting yourself. So it's hard to even ask you a question about this, because you are on the record basically taking two sides of an issue. And this does not serve the American people.

Rice - Yes. Senator, I am more than aware of the stakes that we face in Iraq, and I was more than aware of the stakes of going to war in Iraq. I mourn and honor -- I mourn the dead and honor their service, because we have asked American men and women in uniform to do the hardest thing, which is to go and defend freedom and give others an opportunity to build a free society, which will make us safer.

Rice - Senator, I have to say that I have never, ever lost respect for the truth in the service of anything. It is not my nature. It is not my character. And I would hope that we can have this conversation and discuss what happened before and what went on before and what I said without impugning my credibility or my integrity.

Boxer - And, if I might say, again you said you're aware of the stakes in Iraq; we sent our beautiful people -- and thank you, thank you so much for your comments about them -- to defend freedom. You sent them in there because of weapons of mass destruction. Later, the mission changed when there were none. I have your quotes on it. I have the president's quotes on it. And everybody admits it but you that that was the reason for the war. And then, once we're in there, now it moves to a different mission, which is great. We all want to give democracy and freedom everywhere we can possibly do it. But let's not rewrite history. It's too soon to do that.

Rice - It was the total picture, Senator, not just weapons of mass destruction, that caused us to decide that, post-September 11th, it was finally time to deal with Saddam Hussein.

Boxer - Well, you should read what we voted on when we voted to support the war, which I did not, but most of my colleagues did. It was WMD, period. That was the reason and the causation for that, you know, particular vote. But, again, I just feel you quote President Bush when it suits you but you contradicted him when he said, "Yes, Saddam could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year." You go on television nine months later and said, "Nobody ever said it was" --

Rice - Senator, that was just a question of pointing out to people that there was an uncertainty. No one was saying that he would have to have a weapon within a year for it to be worth it to go to war.

Boxer - Well, if you can't admit to this mistake, I hope that you'll --

Rice - Senator, we can have this discussion in any way that you would like. But I really hope that you will refrain from impugning my integrity. Thank you very much.

Boxer - I'm not. I'm just quoting what you said. You contradicted the president and you contradicted yourself.

Rice - Senator, I'm happy to continue the discussion, but I really hope that you will not imply that I take the truth lightly.

Ms. Rice accused Boxer of impugning her credibility (as if) and her integrity (the first NSA with a tanker named after her) twice. Notice that she didn't say veracity. I guess she had already filled her lie quota for the day.

And what the hell does "we can have this discussion in any way that you would like" mean? If someone said that to me, perhaps at a bar, I would take them as fighting words.

So much for diplomacy in the Bush II administration. Today in our nation's capital, the President's choice for Secretary of State got caught in a costly web of lies - and rendered helpless to defend herself without spinning even more lies - responded with the kind of threat that a barroom bully would deploy.

Unfortunately, we only have so many voices in this process. A few voices like Senator Boxer's and Senator Kerry's. But they're drowned out by the voices that used to speak for us like the other senator from California, Senator Diane Feinstein. If only more of our Democratic representatives in Congress spoke for the people who voted for them. If only.


Preemptive Voter Fraud

I admit it. I was wrong. I was convinced that instead of revisiting Florida 2000 with most of the same players on the team (and don't forget the ones on the bench), Karl Rove - and whoever he answers and listens to - had jimmied up a newfangled plan. The plan, as I saw it (with my x-ray liberal vision), was to lay the groundwork for installing widespread doubts for all parties regarding the results.

For months leading up to the election there was a lot of chatter across the media spectrum about lawyers, delayed results, and more lawyers. Rove knew that the Democrats were still seething (well a good amount of them anyway) over what happened in 2000, and even The New York Times began to run hard-hitting stories about problems and skepticism about electronic voting. Rove also knew that many Republicans, brought up on stories about dead people voting for John F. Kennedy, didn't necessarily see disenfranchisement as big problem but instead were convinced that the Democratic Pary were masters at winning through fraudulent voting (whether fraudulent by not being citizens or serving in prison or by not registering in time). Rove also knew about those other guys, the fringe party guys, who had beefs with both of the major parties for the barriers that had been installed to make sure that they stay infringed.

But I was wrong. Boy was I wrong.

I knew that there was no way that Kerry wouldn't get enough votes to win the election. I wasn't wrong about that. But I was wrong about Rove's plan and I was wrong about the strength of our defense.

I thought that Kerry would win the election on at least three networks, but that Rove's plan was to contest the results and retain power, all the while, protesting with lies (and perhaps some evidence) that the leftist scoundrels in the 527s, the PACs, the unions, the universities and those internet bloggers were committing terrorism by letting the enemy decide an election by deceit and deception. In the weeks leading up to the election Ashcroft's Justice Department sent agents to somewhat remote places in the country, from Alaska to New Mexico, to prevent fraud; the GOP were paying a hundred bucks a day for observers by the thousands in battleground states like Ohio and Pennsylvania to challenge unspecified voters; and then there was that Osam bin Laden tape which pretty much repeated stuff straight from the mouths of Michael Moore and Howard Dean (thus establishing ties in the minds of the weak or horrifyingly powerful). Where ever the legal battles ended, in the state or federal courts, Rove knew that his side would prevail, and there wasn't anything the non-ruling parties could do about it.

Of course, I assumed that there would be some fraud. I didn't think we had any chance of legitimately winning Florida with no refs on our side. But I figured the fraud would be small so as not to cause too much attention and that the margin would be a close margin; a close and arguable margin.

But, as I keep saying, I was wrong. The plan was to wage a preemptive war. And it worked. Because just like Iraq, the strength and the conviction and the size and the belief of our army was overinflated, underwhelming, and not really committed. And just like Iraq's army, our's vanished after a few short skirmishes and blended in (even adapted) with the now helpless populace.

But everything that came afterward happened here in spite of Iraq. In spite of the fact that thousands upon thousands of people had died for a war based on lies and promoted with fears. In spite of the fact that our leaders had enough time to prepare, defend and fight back. In spite of the fact that we had troops on the ground, who had travelled across this nation to defend our right to vote and to make sure that we had tons of proof and witnesses this time.

What happened? Ask all but one of our Democratic Senators. Ask all but 31 of our representatives in the House. Ask and the other groups that we worked for and gave money to to help fight this battle but have been largely quiet the last few months. Ask Markos of Daily Kos and Atrios of Eschaton and all the other bigger bloggers who decided to give up in fear of losing their power and status and growing credibility. Ask the DLC - the Democratic Leadership Council - and the NDN - the New Democratic Network - and the people that support them.

You don't have to ask me. You don't have to ask the 32 people who give me 32 reasons to remain a Democrat. You don't have to ask Kerry or Edwards, who despite what you may believe, are not against this battle. You only have to ask half of the staff of Air America. You don't have to ask Amy Goodman or Greg Palast or Reverednd Jesse Jackson or Michael Moore. If you're a regular reader of this site (and others like it that are blogging for election reform) you don't have to ask yourself.

They fooled us. We didn't think widespread fraud could happen. We thought we had an army to protect us from that uncertain outcome. We thought that we'd at least go down fighting.

I was especially fooled. On November 3rd I cried. In between curses. Even though I'm broker than broke I cursed myself for not going to Ohio on election day. I didn't know what I could've seen or done, but I thought that that was the place where it mostly happened. The place which had been on the front page of the Times for weeks. But Pennsylvania had more electoral votes, and I had a free bus ride, so I went there to get out the vote and see what I can see. But I didn't see anything. I saw nothing. And we won Pennsylvania. So there was no need to look further.

But I was wrong again. It happened there, too. It happened everywhere. A few votes here, a few votes there. Some uncounted. Some miscounted. Some misplaced. Some who-knows-what.

If you ask them why, this is what our former leaders will tell you, "Sure, something went down, but not enough for us to overcome the point spread."

But they're wrong. A field goal might not count as much as a touchdown, but score enough of them, and you can romp over your opponent. So that's what they did.

I've got a story to tell you about Pennsylvania. A story which you may have picked up bits and pieces about elsewhere. I'm going to draw much of that information together, along with some things that you won't read elsewhere. Because that's what I do. I'm an activist blogger. Not one of those mainstream hacks that suck up to the mainstream media and political parties.

If you're going to D.C. have fun, keep your cool, be safe, and come back still brimming with passion so that you can help wage the fight for election reform.


Monday, January 17, 2005

Remember The Dead Journalists

(My blog and my play grew out of this essay that I wrote in April of 2003. Since I'm not ready to post two separate stories that I've been working on for the last week, I figured I'd provide something new to read, at least. Even if it's old. It's been on my mind since I watched the documentary "Control Room" the other day.)

On Thursday April 10, less than two days after America’s military fired upon reporters in three different incidents in Baghdad, The New York Times ran an editorial entitled ‘Covering the War’ in which it hailed the Pentagon’s decision to embed about 600 journalists “in the main a win-win story.” Even if it happened to be a ‘lose-lose’ story for relatives of the three journalists that were killed.

Perhaps forgetting that the editorial was to appear in the New York Times (and not one of the more blatant ‘rah-rah’ properties in the Fox Empire), the unbylined drafters were elated that the Pentagon’s experiment worked. “The military learned, to its pleasure, that reporters ‘embedded’ with the troops better understood the perspective of the men and women on the front.”

Presumably, the Times meant only ‘the men and women’ that composed the Coalition and, most probably, the front they alluded to excluded the millions of innocent Iraqi citizens cowering in their homes while their cities were bombed and besieged.

“The war planners, as it turned out, did not need to be afraid to let the American public see the reality of the conflict,” mainly because there was never a chance in hell that the corporate controlled media would ever even air it. The Times, along with most of the major American news bureaus, refused to show the public pictures or video of the reality of terror and death in war. This, despite television shows like CSI, The Shield and The Sopranos that have become bloodier and bloodier in recent seasons to mostly high ratings, enthusiastic reviews and countless industry awards. The networks have often aired violent scenes on their news broadcasts (not to mention the more horrific 9-11 images, such as severed hands and plummeting bodies that were nearly omnipresent), but, suddenly in 2003, they collectively refused to show the same scenes that the foreign press did not shy from. Not just Arabic media like Al Jazeera and Iraq TV but many British and Australian newspapers and hundreds of public and private web sites. This ‘hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil’ agenda had to be more of an effort to protect the Bush administration than it was to protect the public. To remain a “win-win story” this has to be portrayed as a clean war, so the American press took it upon itself to sanitize it.

Three fellow journalists were killed and the worst the Times Editorial Board can summon up about the Pentagon is that “it was unfortunate.” Then they extinguish the Al Jazeera assertion that “the building that had been deliberately targeted to stifle coverage of the events in the Iraqi capital” as “groundless.” The Times even had the audacity to write that “the Bush administration has gone out of its way to accommodate the Arab media” even though within the space of a few hours Coalition forces fired upon the only two Arabic stations that retained offices in Baghdad. A representative for the State Department in Doha, Nabil Khouri, even paid visit to the Al Jazeera office the day before on Monday and assured the staff that the bureau wouldn’t be struck. Earlier, the Pentagon had also been provided with maps containing the latitude, longitude and altitude for the station. Of course, according to the Pentagon, our battle plan consists only of precision bombing which would imply that there is little chance that the offices hadn’t been targeted. Plus, an Al Jazeera’s station had already been bombed in Afghanistan a day before the fall of Kabul (interesting timing) yet that time the employees were given a few hours warning so nobody died.

The Times concedes that “the military should have admitted that both attacks had been mistakes that it heartily regretted.” To it’s credit, the editorial does counter the military’s claim of self-defense in the Palestine Hotel tank shelling by mentioning that other journalists in the building disputed it. The Times ignores the fact that there was a French television crew shooting the entire time and there were no sounds of any fire captured on it before the Abrams tank shot its load. There is also no demand for an investigation to determine if there was any truth to General Buford Bount’s claims or if he was just covering up a war crime (Article 79 of the Geneva Convention declares it a crime to fire upon journalists).

Happy about being imbedded, the Times exonerates the military of any culpability in the deaths of a dozen and counting journalists by pointing out that “all of them accepted the risk that comes with moving about in a war zone.” That the embedded reporters also signed releases that protected the Pentagon from any law suits just in case they became casualties even in cases of friendly fire must be further proof of that acceptance, though the Times neglects to bring that up.

We are left with the frightening thought that “some of the reporters will return home and try to make a larger sense out of what they seem” which will become “the first draft of history.” Hopefully, some of the reporters will come home, free of the yokes of the ever-watchful military and citizens again once more, and write the truth about what really happened.


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