A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Lose

There are times the political world is just too distressing and depressing, and I need a sanity break from it for awhile. This week has been one of those times. However, it seems to me that some people missed their sanity breaks.

Rightie bloggers continue to rage about Martians landing in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey “the crucial battle between truth-telling bloggers versus convicted bomber Brett Kimberlin and his band of malicious online thugs,” to quote Little Lulu. Yesterday was supposed to have been a National Day of Silence, and the rightie blogosphere was supposed to “go dark,” but from what I could see most of them blogged about how they were having a National Day of Silence and going dark. (Lulu cleverly changed her site design from black type on white background to white on black, so she could “go dark” without actually shutting up.)

They are pushing Congress to Do Something to protect them from the online thugs who are putting their lives at risk by calling in false reports of shootings so that SWAT teams are sent to rightie bloggers’ homes. Exactly why local law enforcement isn’t investigating these alleged incidents, or why the Right is calling on the United States Congress to save them and not the police departments caught in the hoaxes, has yet to be made clear. Aren’t these people against Big Government?

I nominate this blog post at Yid With Lid for the Too Late for the Sanity Break award. The Lid, as he calls himself, is outraged because the website Breitbart Unmasked repeated some slanders against him that had earlier been published by the “always-crazy Debbie Schlussel.” Well, at least we agree on something. But the Lid — real name Jeff Dunetz — hints darkly that this repetition of the same information on two different publicly accessible websites is some kind of conspiracy. “It may or may not be a coincidence Kimberlin’s cronies’ venom toward me came soon after Schlussel’s madness. I will let you folks decide.” OK.

And no, I’m not going to repeat this nastiness here, partly because I don’t know if it’s true but mostly because I don’t care.

More than anything else the Lid is obsessed with finding a connection between Breitbart Unmasked and Brett Kimberlin. Is the BU blogger a “crony” of BK? Is Kimberlin in fact the same person as the BU blogger? Why, it must be Kimberlin, because who else would repeat old slanders of right-wing bloggers?

At one point Mr. Lid writes,

If the proprietor of the site isn’t Kimberlin or one of his cronies than it must be some sort of psychic because the nameless blogger running Brietbart unmasked posted details of the Kimberlin/Mrs. McCain incident, which “The Other McCain” has never discussed in public or published.

I wasted way too much time looking, and the only information I picked up on the BU site that I hadn’t already read on a right-wing site is that McCain had been living in some kind of “church compound,” whatever that is. My question is, if the “band of malicious online thugs” all turn out to be the same person, can it still be a “band”?

See also Cannonfire and The Troll Wars 6.66.

Yet we are not done. Netroots Nation is going on right now. Usually I’m sorry I don’t have the money to go, but this year, not so much. Metrosexual Black AbeJ reports that the atmosphere at NN is sad.

But what alarms me is this post by emptywheel, about the NN foreclosure fraud panel. You’ll remember that emptywheel made her bones as an A-List blogger by her exemplary work on the Valerie Plame episode.

Anyway, emptywheel believes the foreclosure panel was deliberately sabotaged by both Daily Kos and the White House. Seriously. The panel was in a room that wasn’t set up for live streaming. Worse, President Obama scheduled a press conference at the same time as the panel. Surely, the White House would not have done that if they weren’t in fear of what the panel would reveal. Because you know the White House is coordinating its scheduling with a convention of liberal bloggers, which must be the most important thing going on in the country right now.

Seriously, emptywheel?

Representative comment:

this is netroots nation?

and they don’t have streaming video available for the one topic – the one, single, unique topic – that would sink the obama re-election in a heartbeat if ever raised?

“quelle surprise”, as evye would say.

looks like the kossacks and obama’s rodent are in charge of what really matters.

gentrification comes to all revolutions, none faster than the weblog “progressive” revolution.

The foreclosure scams are the “one single, unique topic that would sink the obama re-election in a heartbeat”? Seriously? I can think of a number of issues on which the President could be vulnerable in November. This is not one of them.

A lot of people need sanity breaks.

29 thoughts on “A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Lose

  1. I’m glad you don’t care, Barbara, because I think this has all been manufactured to keep the hornet’s nest freaking out. Amazing how relatively peaceful it is if one distances oneself a bit.

  2. maha,
    Is that “sanity break” a gentle hint for me, after my last few comments?

    As for their request for Congressional intervention, maybe that’s some sort of stab at “Net Neutrality?”
    Could it be that they want protections for themselves – but not for Liberal blogger?
    We all know they LOOOOOVES them some selective rights and freedoms.

    Or, am I again in need of a “sanity break?” 🙂
    I probably am – but the Yanks don’t play the Mets until tonight.

    Tomorrow’s game is an afternoon one, so I’ll be taking time away from the internet to sip (who am I kidding – glug!) a few beers and watch it.

  3. Funny how liberals all of a sudden refuse to stand up for free speech when it is mostly Conservatives being targeted. I’m really not shocked by your selective regard for the 1st Amendment.

    • Teach, will you ever actually learn to read? All you ever do is complain about things you imagine I am saying that I did not actually say. It’s getting old.

      First, this is not a First Amendment issue, because it isn’t government that allegedly is attempting to hush y’all up. The 1st Amendment (extended to states by the 14th) prohibits government from interfering with your freedom of speech. It doesn’t have anything to do with non-governmental third parties trying to punish you for saying things they don’t like. The latter is a legal issue. And if the facts are as rightie bloggers claim, then it is a criminal issue. It is not a First Amendment issue. Do you see that? Y’all righties are the ones who insist you are keepers of the Constitutional flame, but time and time again you demonstrate that you don’t actually understand it.

      Second, as I wrote in earlier Kimberlin posts (example), I don’t want anyone to be hurt, and if someone really is getting SWAT teams called to people’s homes, then it should be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

      And, FYI, Ron Brynaert threw a fit at what I wrote about him and threatened to sue me (see comments to this post). Doesn’t that mean I’m another victim of the malicious online thugs?

      But back to the allegations of SWATing. If this were really happening, why aren’t the police departments caught in the hoaxes doing something about it? And why would Congress have to be called in to deal with something involving local police that is no doubt already illegal? Why aren’t you demanding that the police take action, the way many of us did to get George Zimmerman charged and (probably) brought to trial?

      I doubt anyone but you righties and Brett Kimberlin actually cares whether you keep repeating his criminal record over and over again, as if you were revealing something that isn’t already public knowledge and hasn’t already been revealed in Time magazine and a nationally distributed book. If y’all fancy yourselves to be bold investigative journalists for this, fine. Whatever floats your boat.

      My point is that y’all aren’t making sense. If some online thugs somewhere really are putting your lives at risk, there already are remedies for that within the criminal justice system. Why does Congress have to get involved? Especially since this doesn’t come anywhere close to being a 1st Amendment issue?

      My larger point in this post is that this is also a mental health issue. The whole bleeping planet is losing its freaking mind.

  4. I find that vegetable gardening offers a soothing respite. Dirt therapy makes me happy, and I can report that the cucumbers are bearing well, onions are almost ready, ‘maters are vigorous and rhubarb looks like it had been there for years, not just a couple of months.

  5. Teach, unlike Conservatives, we Liberal’s are ALL FOR free speech.

    And that would include the peoples rights to apply their free speech in the voting booth – something the Conservatives are trying to stop older, younger, browner, and more progressive people from doing.

    Why, Teach, aren’t the local police investigating this?
    Could it be they smell some BS?
    It’s not like after the BS spread by Breitbart and O’Keefe, among others, they don’t have reasons to be a bit suspicious.

    ‘Cause you know, Teach, sometime, the sky AIN’T fallin’!
    And most times, it’s a puppy, and not a wolf!

    Btw – when are you gonna pay off on that bet we had years and years ago?
    I don’t even remember what it was about – all I remember was that, as usual, I was right, and you were wrong. Oh, who am I kidding – you’re always wrong. Like in your previous comment.

  6. I still don’t understand who Brett Kimberlin is in relation to anything that’s going on. Does he do land deals with Tony Rezko and plot terror with Bill Ayers? Do they all meet in Jeremiah Wright’s church every Thursday for pancakes and bingo?

    • Do they all meet in Jeremiah Wright’s church every Thursday for pancakes and bingo?

      Shhh! We’re not supposed to tell!

      Seriously, I also have struggled to understand where this obsession with Brett Kimberlin is coming from. But after wading through much of the verbiage swamp, I think they intend to make the case that the liberal activist organizations founded or co-founded by Kimberlin — Justice Through Music and the other one I can’t remember the name of — have received grants from (cue ominous music) George Soros! And even worse, Barbara Streisand! And Kimberlin is a convicted terrorist! That means Soros and Streisand are funding terrorists. And that’s why Kimberlin is a big deal.

      So far, I’ve seen not even a hint that Justice Through Music and the other group Watchacallit have engaged in anything resembling terrorism. I suspect if any such hints were out there, the wingnut posse would have found it. The righties just keep repeating, over and over, that Soros and Streisand and some other liberal folks have given money to this guy who was convicted of a bombing incident in the 1980s. Or I think that’s when it was; might’ve been 1970s. They keep repeating this as if it is self-evidently true that Kimberlin’s organizations must be up to no good now. And of course, to a rational person that is not self-evident at all.

  7. I have a lot of respect for emptywheel’s intelligence, but I have to say, I’m leaning toward the “incompetent organizer” theory, not the White House conspiracy one. This is the first year in many that I had NO IDEA that Netroots Nation was happening beforehand, and I’m a regular reader of political blogs and work in the tech industry. I guess some might say that proves how successful the conspirators have been, cunningly failing to do all the hard advance work needed to make a successful conference happen. The bastards!

    As for the Kimberlin/SWATting conspiracy, I do find it amusing that these small government types are so eager to literally make a Federal Case out of it. If I were them, I’d be trying to convince their candidate Romney that maybe we DO need more policemen, so they can investigate and arrest in cases like this.

    My life is too short to actually delve into the blogs where this psycho-drama is being played out so I don’t know: has anyone actually come across with some actual evidence of objective events? Because I just read those comments Brynaert left in that earlier thread, and, wow, there was a whole lot of outrage over a whole lot of no pretext for it. If these others are suffering the same syndrome, well, … oy.

    Maybe there’s something in the food they eat?

    (Thank goodness I have a garden I can go putter in, and I know when to take mental health breaks from the blogosphere.)

    • biggerbox — I’m mildly curious to know if attendance at NN is up, down, or about the same as in previous years. There has been so much divisiveness within the leftie blogosphere, and some parts of it are barely speaking to other parts. And some of the original honchos clearly are nuts (i.e., Matt Stoller). The couple of Daily Kos conventions I went to awhile back were great fun. But I think if I ever go to an NN I would want to go with a group of people I can stand, rather than by myself.

  8. More than anything else the Lid is obsessed with finding a connection between Breitbart Unmasked and Brett Kimberlin

    Given that BU is Kimberlin’s website, I’d say the connection is pretty clear. BU is a site set up by Velvet Revolution, one of Kimberlin’s not-for-profits.

    • Given that BU is Kimberlin’s website, I’d say the connection is pretty clear. BU is a site set up by Velvet Revolution, one of Kimberlin’s not-for-profits.

      That was the organization I couldn’t remember the name of — Velvet Revolution. Sounds like a 1960s rock band. So why doesn’t Mr. Lid just come out and say that, though? They are giving me a headache.

  9. Isn’t it amazing how they create a conspiracy? I have that script that allows one to see the memeorandum links by the website’s political leanings. The day they outed Kimberlin, it was awesome to see the power of all those red links pushing that story to the top of the page. Now that they’ve got some congressional useful idiots involved, Fox and Rush will jump on board.

  10. maha,
    I can’t help you – I can’t stand myself either, some days. 🙂

    • I’m not complaining about you, gulag. You’re out there, but you aren’t crazy. Please don’t feel inhibited around here!

  11. “please don’t feel inhibited around here!”
    Indeed, Gulag; you’re the guy standing on the horse at full gallop juggling chainsaws while singing The Bohemian Rapsody.You are the champion, my friend, and you’ll keep on fighting ’till the end …

    ‘Nice to hear from you again, Teach.

  12. Actually, most of the recent stuff is fluff and filler material.
    Teach, I’m totally in favor of free speech, unless it is nasty personal attacks (the type Megan McCain recently had to deal with).
    The true crap speech will be outed, and the crazy birther and Obama is a closet Muslim stuff will run its course like a common cold, the true believers are hopeless anyway, the type still awaiting the arrival of of the “great pumpkin”.
    I await the real meat that will be flung during the debates, and to a lesser degree, the clown show to come in Tampa this summer.
    And now, for your viewing pleasure, FOX’N Friends will spin on the floor like sprayed bugs!!!!

  13. erinyes..Nice way of putting it for Gulag… You’re alright Gulag, I don’t care what they say about you!

  14. Swami,
    Neither DO I!

    We’ll see how “mad” I am if Mitt’s elected, and has a Dominionist Christian and corporate “AMEN!” chorus to please.

    We’ll look back fondly at “Baby Doc” and “Dastardly Dick,” as the prelude to the last Democratic Presidency – and, won’t THAT be fun?

  15. Well, I didn’t think I needed a sanity break until I read all of this. However, I already have one planned because I have a crazy twin sister that I need breaks from. Thus, my day is planned solely for my sanity. I will watch the Belmont Stakes at 3:30 PDT and then go to the ballet tonight. I will be seeing “Coppelia” tonight, one of my most favorite ballets. It is advertized as “The Happiest Ballet on Earth!” Then, dinner with my friends after the ballet. You all have a great Saturday and ignore the rightwing crazies for a while. Have fun in your gardens.

    • Union Rags is a great-great grandson of Seattle Slew and Secretariat. He’s also got some Northern Dancer in him from both sides.

  16. There are times the political world is just too distressing and depressing, and I need a sanity break from it for awhile. This week has been one of those times…

    Rightie bloggers continue to rage…

    Right there is exactly your problem. Why you choose to follow the writings and fantasy lives of the politically insane is beyond me. I simply don’t care what rightie bloggers think, and that stance has saved me immense amounts of time and mental wear and tear. They’re all stupid and not worth my time.

    Yes, American conserativism is dangerous and is bringing this Republic down, but I’ve got way more important things to do (like preparing for the crash) than trying to follow each and every plot twist and turn. I get the overall arc, and that’s enough for me. But, to each their own.

    Off to watch (via teevee) the LA Kings battle for the Stanley Cup – unbelievable that they’re even in the finals.

    • moonbat — to be honest, the righties and their Kimberlin obsession amuse me. They are more fun than the other stuff going on.

  17. As you know, I’ve been trying to follow this Kimberlin stuff. But after a certain point, it’s all too just too damned bizarre.

    I don’t see any connection, right now, between Brett Kimberlin and the SWAT calls. To be frank, I am not sure that the calls were real, although I suspect that they are. There seems to be a concerted effort to create the impression that Kimberlin masterminded the calls. Yet there is a total lack of proof. (Not to mention a lack of motive.)

    Perhaps “proof” will arrive in the future. Even if it does, I will retain my suspicions. As I detailed in a post some days ago, it is possible for someone with very modest hacking skills to gin up evidence indicating that an incriminating phone call came from a computer belonging to an enemy. A cyber-frameup remains feasible.

    Recall that Mike Stack has bragged of his hacking abilities. Recall that James O’Keefe has outlined plans to frame perceived enemies using false flag attacks.

    Ron Brynaert is a sad case. In my own brief interactions with him, I came away with the impression that he needs professional counseling. You know what Nietzsche said about gazing into the abyss… The Breitbarters are trying to portray poor Ron as some sort of conspiracy kingpin. What an absurd notion!

    The Breitbarters also are saying that Ron Brynaert is working with Neal Rauhauser and Brett Kimberlin. That’s an even more ridiculous proposition. In his weird, rambling, difficult-to-comprehend letters to me, Brynaert kept going on an on about how much he hated Rauhauser, Kimberlin, and Brad Friedman.

    I don’t even know why Ron started talking about those guys. I certainly didn’t ask about them. Truth be told, I didn’t even want to hear from Brynaert in the first place.

    I haven’t been on terribly friendly terms with Brad Friedman since 2008. Even before then, I never asked him about Kimberlin and the Velvet Revolution site.

    I’m tempted to do so now. For a while, I’ve considered talking to all of these guys, just to get their side of the story and to try to find out what the hell is going on.

    But such an effort might be a fool’s errand.

    In the first place, if I said something that the Breitbarters did not like, they would just assume that I was part of the Great Lefty Terror Conspiracy.

    Second, I’m not sure if Rauhauser would talk to me again. He pissed me off by continually making gnomic and vague pronouncements. For example, he once assured me that the FBI was going to arrest Andy Breitbart very, very soon. “On what charge?” I asked. Neal refused to give me a straight story.

    That’s his whole act — continually talking in circles, always retreating into infuriating imprecision, never backing up anything he says. I quickly tired of that nonsense. He seemed every bit as odd as Mike Stack and Lee Stranahan and the rest of that bunch.

    I certainly don’t think that Rauhauser is a figure of any great importance — to the Democrats or to anyone else.

    • But after a certain point, it’s all too just too damned bizarre.

      I’ve been following it mostly because it is too damned bizarre. The only shred of it that I’ve been able to pick out that sorta kinda makes sense, in a demented sort of way, is that the righties want to be able to tie George Soros et al. to Kimberlin so that they can accuse Soros of financing terrorism. That they have no evidence that any of Kimberlin’s organizations are engaged in any kind of terrorism is, of course, an inconsequential little detail to them. Beyond that, every single thing the rightie bloggers have written about whatever is going on is so much word salad.

      And the fact that they see a federal case in what ought to be matters for local police to handle is just too sweet to pass up. William Teach’s comment about the 1st Amendment is a good example. It reveals that they are projecting some feverish black-helicopter fantasy on the alleged SWAT episodes that, as you say, may be some kind of “false flag” prank if they are happening at all.

      I’ve yet to figure out who Rauhauser is or why his name keeps coming up. And yeah, Brynaert obviously needs help, and I don’t understand why his name keeps coming up, either. I know who Brad Friedman is, but he seems to be ignoring the mess.

  18. I’ve yet to figure out who Rauhauser is or why his name keeps coming up.

    I knew him from Daily Kos as Stranded Wind, a pretty batshit but small-potatoes-seeming poster (he was the original Weiner truther, for example).

  19. Maha, it seems to me you share a propensity I have: seeking rationality. When you are a rationality seeker and come into contact with the mentally ill, you probably try at first to connect with them rationally, before you catch onto just how truly, deeply, irretrievably nuts they are. This is the danger point. You have to make the sudden turn back to your own sanity, because their irrationality has a “logic” or basis of its own, and it twists everything to fit itself. If you keep trying to understand whatever they are presenting to you, you will just end up seeing the surface of their delusions, which always reflects (crazily) their perception and constructs itself and everything around it into a “coherent” (read nuttily twisted) vision. This is just a couple steps sicker than radio talk show hosts who so clearly bring everything back to their own continuing viewpoint of endless blather. Step away from their websites. There is nothing to be learned there. They are just happily following their delusions, and never happier than when some upper-level person in their circle says something they can adapt to their crazy. Of course, if someone challenges their nutty worldview, they are almost that happy, because they can whip out all their great knowledge in refuting and claim persecution by the opposer. It is all just a big mindsuck fueled by a combo of crazy and willing. Step back.

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