The GoV campaign of personal destruction continues

To those who are understandably repelled by this GoV situation and who think I should stay above the fray and ignore the attacks on me, I ask that you actually read what is being said about me at the GoV thread discussed below.

The latest group attack on me at Gates of Vienna concerns the charge that I quoted an e-mail from Baron Bodissey, and that this was a terrible thing to do, justifying other people’s treating me in kind or worse. I’ve become virtually an enemy of society.

Fact: In the brief e-mail from Bodissey that I quoted, he was doing nothing more than explaining the rules of his website, the parameters of what he regards as acceptable and un-acceptable comments. There was nothing of a private nature about it. It involved no personal communication. By quoting it I was revealing no confidences. Bodissey was writing as the host of a weblog explaining the rules of his weblog. The same information could have, and doubtless has been, posted publicly at GoV.

Yet the fact that I posted this non-private information is now being used by the GoV group as further ammunition in the war against me. Several commenters, including Bodissey, Conservative Swede, and Henrik Clausen go on about it at length

Thus Henrik Clausen writes:

Now, I don’t know Auster from much except what has been going down here. [Nice. Solely on the basis of what’s being said by a group of people ganged up against me, he forms his opinions of me!]

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

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

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

The truth, again, is that I quoted an e-mail from Bodissey of an impersonal nature having to do with his guidelines for comments at his website, yet this is now translated into: I publish whatever I like! Further, Clausen plainly suggests, since I don’t subject myself to ethical limits in my dealings with other people, other people don’t have to subject themselves to ethical limits in their dealings with me.

Then, inevitably, the issue of my horrible mistreatment of Robert Spencer is brought up again. Clausen accuses me of posting private e-mails from Robert Spencer, at this VFR thread.

Since Clausen is a fair-minded man, he might want to know that when I have posted Spencer’s e-mails at VFR over the last two years, that has been with Spencer’s full foreknowledge. As I’ve explained in detail here, after Spencer sent me an e-mail accusing me of “calumny” for a simple descriptive statement of his position, and after he repeated the “calumny” charge when I asked him if he was serious, I told him that I would have no further e-mail correspondence with him. I told him that if he sent e-mails to me, I would post and reply to them publicly at my site. That way, his charges against me would have to be made in the full light of day. I stated this to Spencer, and explained the same publicly almost two years ago. Spencer has known during this period that when he sends me e-mails, they may be posted, just as other VFR readers’ comments are posted.

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

Also, in the same GoV thread, Paulsen writes:

Going to read the Auster post, I find this:

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

And Paulsen then proceeds to condemn me harshly for saying it.

But I did not say it . A commenter at VFR said it. If had looked over that comment more carefully before posting, I would noticed the extreme language and would have softened or deleted it. Obviously it does not reflect my views. Clausen’s statement that the comment as by me, is as false and damaging as Bodissey’s saying that my “complete cranks” remark was directed at all GoV commenters, when in reality it was directed at a group of three or four persons.

- end of initial entry -

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

Adela G. replies:

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

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

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

LA replies:

Thanks for reminding me of that. The people I called complete cranks were a group of people who were acting in full concert with the commenter “awake,” and who had no problem with his statement that I have been carrying out a “holocaust” of Robert Spencer.

Adela G. writes:

You wrote:

“If had looked over that comment more carefully before posting, I would noticed the extreme language and would have softened or deleted it.”

No, I don’t agree. (I’m sure the GoV loonies can’t conceive of one of your vile sycophants disagreeing with you two times in as many days.)

The atmosphere at VFR is so open and free (contrary to popular belief) that I spoke way too freely. With all you’ve had on your plate lately, you couldn’t be expected to take the extra time needed to edit out a phrase I should have edited out myself before I hit “Send.”

I take full responsibility for that phrase. Indeed, I have no intention of retracting it now or at any time in the future. But I will correct the misattribution.

Gintas writes:

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

Gintas continues:

Not that I’m criticizing your initial engagement over there, you had to find out.

posted August 5

LA writes to Adela:

I went to the GoV thread and your comment is not there. However, they discuss the exchange between you and me in this entry where I asked you to post there, and the mania of “awake” is shown in the way he deeply analyzes the most innocent, ordinary statements of yours about your intention to post a comment at GoV, in order to show how how off-the-wall and dishonest VFR is. It’s as though you said, “My husband and I are taking off for a vacation,” and “awake” said, “See? This proves these people are liars.”

Take a look at it. just go to the GoV thread and search “Adela,” it’s down near the bottom.

And then see where “awake” quotes Gintas’s “pearls before swine” reference and says: “Nice, huh? Classic highbrow Auster, to the end.” So, in “awake’s” darkened, thuggish mind, a VFR commenter wittily quoting a saying of Jesus proves that VFR is really a low-brow website! Then Bodissey replies to “awake”:

“Geez. That’s worthy of an LGF thread.”

If someone here said, “Hi, Mr. Auster,” Bodissey would say that this shows VFR is like LGF.

Adela writes:

I know. And because I was distressed that you took the heat for my intemperate remark, I’m your “loyal servant.” I’m surprised that doesn’t make me your lizard.

You know, I stopped searching for the right forum for me when I found VFR because you don’t merely allow open exchanges, you encourage, even demand them.

When you posted my email in which I bluntly wrote, “I don’t agree,” and even that didn’t convince them that your loyal servant and vile sycophant doesn’t knuckle under to you, I realized that they’re seeing things through—to coin a phrase—a whacked-out liberal prism.

LA replies:

But do you really think that a blog editor posting a comment from a regular commenter that begins, “I don’t agree,” is worth mentioning? Does that mere fact show that I’m not a tyrant etc.? The implication is that if I’m anything short of an absolute tyrant (i.e., short of someone who refuses to post a comment that says “I don’t agree with you”), then I’m open, non-cultish, etc. It’s like saying, “Auster doesn’t shoot people in the street; that shows he’s a regular guy.”

Gintas writes:

That’s funny, I don’t normally associate LGF with the sayings of Jesus.

LA replies:

Yes, quite right. It’s incomprehensible why they would find the “pearls before swine” allusion LGF-like (LGF-like meaning a mob-like campaign of personal smearing). Could it be that they are so overwrought that think that you, by quoting “pearls before swine,” were saying that they are swine? Are their minds are so blinded by animus that they are incapable of understanding a metaphor as a metaphor, even one of the most famous metaphors in our civilization? But then in the next sentence you said that they are not swine, and you express the wish that they were swine, so as to chase the Muslims out of Europe.. So, again, it’s hard to see any basis for Bodissey’s comparison of the exchange to an LGF thread, other than sheer animus.

Also, your remark, “I don’t normally associate LGF with the sayings of Jesus,” is doubly apt, given what LGF observers have described as Charles Johnson’s bigoted hostility against Christianity.

Steve R. writes:

Baron Bodissey: “Sometimes the best ideas come from the threads that are just a little bit edgy and over the top.”

The blatantly uncivil and mean-spirited remarks made by CS, Tanstaafl, and Zenster were not “just a little bit edgy and over the top.” In letting stand many of their posts an environment was created that was bound to descend into bedlam. And so I leave most blame for what occurred at the doorstep of him who let the mud into the blog.

It was only natural to want to know why so many insulting posts were accepted without comment. Readers were entitled to hear the explanation for Bodissey’s seemingly imprudent decision and it seemed only proper for Larry to have passed the explanation along. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem Bodissey yet realizes that the insulting posts were more than “just a little bit edgy” nor what the inevitable result will be of letting in such posts without comment.

LA replies:
Yes, I was addressing the host of that site questioning why certain types of comments were being allowed there, and he gave his reasons, and I quoted him. Now the GoV group treat that as a horrible violation of privacy.

Suppose that instead of quoting Bodissey directly, I had written:

Bodissey told me that in his view the best ideas sometimes come from the threads that are just a little bit edgy and over the top.

Because my reference to Bodissey was not in quotation marks, the GoV group wouldn’t have had even their current, specious grounds for jumping on it. Yet I would have been conveying exactly the same information, in exactly the same words.

Of all the things to be attacked for, to be attacked for quoting the editor of a publication explaining his editorial philosophy, really takes the case. And not just to be attacked for it, but to be portrayed as a person without ethical standards, a person who stands outside the normal rules of society, as well as a freak, a madman, which is the way they’ve been talking about me. You really have to go to that thread and see the kind of language they’ve been using.

A reader writes:

There is not much I can add in your support that others have not already said. But I have removed Gates of Vienna from my blogroll. I am sad to feel the need to do so, because the site started well, has published worthwhile stuff, and I expect it will continue to from time to time. But this latest flap has convinced me it has attracted too many flaming nutters to be good for the anti-Islamist cause. GoV isn’t as depraved as LGF, but appears like it might be headed that way.

As for Tanstaafl, who is now a regular commenter at GoV, today out of curiosity I went to see his blog Age of Treason. Tanstaafl is back to bashing you, as you undoubtedly know. I skimmed a few of his recent postings. The man is truly demented. He’s perhaps been driven around the bend by political correctness and anti-white racism, but for heaven’s sake, we can’t let our opponents ruin our minds. To have any chance of eventually prevailing, we’ve got to keep a sense of proportion and self-discipline.

But Tanstaafl is mild compared to many of his commenters; I felt ill reading them. Possibly I have been naive; I honestly thought old-fashioned anti-Semitic, worldwide-Jewish-conspiracy crackpots were out of business. They are probably less numerous and outspoken than they used to be, but Tanstaafl sure knows how to draw them out of hiding.

It’s discouraging that there are people who are ostensibly on my side of the political spectrum that I want to dissociate myself from, but it can’t be helped.

Hang in there.

LA replies:

“They are probably less numerous and outspoken than they used to be,”

To the contrary, serious anti-Semites are more numerous and outspoken than they used to be. I didn’t even think there was any serious anti-Semitism in this country to speak of until around 1999-2000, when I started becoming aware of it; then, after the 9/11 attack, it really took off.

In any case, the anti-Semite Tanstaafl is now an accepted member of GoV’s Auster anti-fan club. I’ve become GoV’s Goldstein, the source of all evils. Tanstaafl has made openly anti-Semitic statements at GoV, including calling for the “bloody … prosecution” of America’s internal enemies, which elsewhere he makes plain are the Jews. No one there has objected. He has also, at GoV, attacked me as a person of Jewish background. Then when called an anti-Semite (by me), he lies and says he’s only concerned about people who are more “pro-jew” than they are pro-white.

Adela replies to LA:

You write: “But do you really think that a blog editor posting a comment from a regular commenter that begins, ‘I don’t agree,’ is worth mentioning?”

Actually, I agree with you that that’s a little too slight to boast of. However, I don’t think that the fact that you do anything positive and constructive shows to GoV that you’re not a tyrant.

It’s like my mother used to say, “Don’t bother me with the facts. My mind’s made up.” That’s the prevailing mindset over at GoV. Henrik Clausen even admitted his ignorance of your views but then went on to criticize you and again, as with awake’s “attempted holocaust” comment, nobody there seemed to mind. Nobody gave him a link to VFR and told him to browse the archives to get a sense of what it’s about so he could make up his own mind and incidentally, express an informed opinion.

I don’t see how you can counter the charges against you, since they are not based on facts, logic or your own words but on feelings, distortions and outright lies. These people don’t want any facts to get in the way of their anti-Auster antipathy.

I find the same absolutism to be prevalent throughout the left. I think they feel threatened by the fact that you base your views on facts and logic and this angers them. The only way they can respond is by throwing the equivalent of a toddler’s tantrum. (I make this comparison because the posters at GoV actually remind me of a toddler who pitched a horribly loud fit in the store yesterday. Nothing her mother said to quiet her had any effect because she just keep screaming loudly enough to drown her parent out.)

I wish I knew of some way to counter the liberal ability to silence opposition by massive deployment of lies, distortions, and demagoguery. But I don’t.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 04, 2008 06:45 PM | Send

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