Poll: When is it OK to “out” anonymous bloggers?

posted at 1:14 pm on June 7, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

In one corner: Ed Whelan of Bench Memos.  In the other: Glenn Reynolds, James Joyner, and Rick Moran.  All four are highly respected bloggers, but they have squared off over a contentious point in the blogosphere.  Is there ever a time when one blogger should tear away another’s anonymity?  If so, what threshold should abuse meet before taking that action?

Ed Whelan got steamed over a rather personal style of criticism for his analysis of the Sotomayor nomination from Publius of Obsidian Wings, an anonymous attorney who has blogged for years under a pseudonym.  Whelan explains why he felt it necessary to expose the blogger while rebutting the criticism:

One bane of the Internet is the anonymous blogger who abuses his anonymity to engage in irresponsible attacks.  One such blogger who has been biting at my ankles in recent months is the fellow who calls himself “publius” at the Obsidian Wings blog.

In the course of a typically confused post yesterday, publius embraces the idiotic charge (made by “Anonymous Liberal”) that I’m “essentially a legal hitman” who “pores over [a nominee’s] record, finds some trivial fact that, when distorted and taken totally out of context, makes that person look like some sort of extremist.”  In other of his posts (including two which I discussed here and here), publius demonstrated such a dismal understanding of the legal matters he opined on—including, for example, not understanding what common law is—that it was apparent to me that he had never studied law.

Well, I’m amused to learn that I was wrong about publius’s lack of legal education.  I’ve been reliably informed that publius is in fact the pseudonym of [redacted].  I e-mailed [redacted] to ask him to confirm or deny that he is publius, and I copied the e-mail to the separate e-mail address, under the pseudonym “Edward Winkleman,” that publius used to respond to my initial private complaints about his reckless blogging.  In response, I received from “Edward Winkleman” an e-mail stating that he is “not commenting on [his] identity” and that he writes under a pseudonym “[f]or a variety of private, family, and professional reasons.”  I’m guessing that those reasons include that friends, family members, and his professional colleagues would be surprised by the poor quality and substance of his blogging.

Publius responded:

As I told Ed (to no avail), I have blogged under a pseudonym largely for private and professional reasons. Professionally, I’ve heard that pre-tenure blogging (particularly on politics) can cause problems. And before that, I was a lawyer with real clients. I also believe that the classroom should be as nonpolitical as possible – and I don’t want conservative students to feel uncomfortable before they take a single class based on my posts. So I don’t tell them about this blog. Also, I write and research on telecom policy – and I consider blogging and academic research separate endeavors. This, frankly, is a hobby.

Privately, I don’t write under my own name for family reasons. I’m from a conservative Southern family – and there are certain family members who I’d prefer not to know about this blog (thanks Ed). Also, I have family members who are well known in my home state who have had political jobs with Republicans, and I don’t want my posts to jeopardize anything for them (thanks again).

All of these things I would have told Ed, if he had asked. Instead, I told him that I have family and professional reasons for not publishing under my own name, and he wrote back and called me an “idiot” and a “coward.”

While Glenn gave a measured and somewhat disapproving view of Ed’s actions, James and Rick passionately denounce the outing.  James:

While I generally find the practice of revealing people’s secrets to the public distasteful, there are times when it’s appropriate.  Public officials who are abusing their power is the most obvious case.   Here, however, there is no public benefit achieved. Whelan is simply annoyed that Publius had been “biting at my ankles in recent months” and critiquing his blog posts.

Jeopardizing a man’s career and family relationships over something so petty is simply shameful.

Rick, as is his wont, writes at length about his outrage:

The point is, there are a lot of good reasons for bloggers to remain anonymous and Ed Whalen has no right to decide differently just because he got steamed about someone’s response to his analysis. Did Publius commit a crime? Was he slandering Whalen? If not, Whalen’s fit of personal pique looks low, tawdry, childish, and vengeful. The closest Publius got to getting personal with Whelan was in calling him a “know-nothing demagogue.” And this was after making the point that Whelan knew better and was simply pandering to conservative sensibilities.

Holy Jesus, Ed. I’ve got pretty thin skin myself but it would take a helluva lot more than that to set me off. Questioning my integrity will do the trick as will trying to tell me what to write on my own site. And if you plan on commenting on this or any other post without reading what I’ve written and instead, substitute what you think I wrote or make the same points I made in the post and try and convince me I didn’t make them, you might as well be prepared for some skin flaying because that is my number one pet peeve.

But a “know-nothing demagogue?” In the rarefied atmosphere you inhabit at NRO and other elite bastions of opinion, them’s might be fightin’ words, but in the blogosphere, that’s almost a compliment. To point out that almost any blogger has experienced much, much worse (and dished it out accordingly) would be to mention the obvious to anyone who has spent more than an hour reading blogs.

When I first began blogging, I used a semi-pseudonym, a nickname I’d had for two decades before blogging, for much the same reason as Publius.  I worked in the corporate world and not academia, but I didn’t want my firm’s customers or my staff to get uncomfortable working with me.  My family already knew about the blogging, so that wasn’t a motivation for me, but otherwise I completely understand why Publius wanted to retain his anonymity.  My success eventually outed me, and it did cause me some problems — most of which were self-inflicted — but I’m happy about how it worked out since, for obvious reasons.  Had someone else outed me instead, I would have been furious, and for good reasons.

Had Publius published Ed’s personal information, or had slandered him factually, I could understand the need to make his identity public and force him to bear responsibility for such attacks.  However, as Rick says, calling someone a “know-nothing demagogue” doesn’t qualify.  It may be annoying, and I think it reflects very poorly on Publius, but that’s the kind of ad hominem attack bloggers get from Day One.  Truman’s Axiom comes into play here — if a blogger can’t take that kind of heat, he ought to reconsider blogging.

Ed’s a great blogger, but I think he let Publius get too far under his skin, and he reacted poorly in outing someone and risking their professional career.  Outing Publius didn’t do anything to advance Ed’s argument, but made him look vindictive and petty instead.  Bloggers should worry less about the anonymity of bloggers (which isn’t a “bane” at all) and respond to the arguments instead — or ignore them.

Do you agree or disagree?  Cast your vote in the poll below, and this poll will take multiple answers:


Update: SteveMG asks me the following in the comments:

I’m curious as to whether your bloggin changed substantively once you became public? Did you say things anonymously that you wouldn’t have publicly? Even if it didn’t affect your job, friends, et cetera? In other words, did the “cover” of anoynmity give you – consciously or not – a freer hand?

I don’t think it changed my blogging at all, mainly because I always prepared to get outed, accidentally (as it happened) or otherwise. I was never inclined to hyperbolic writing, anyway.

Update II: Ed Whelan responds here. Michael Krauss agrees with Ed. And Joe Gandelman has a good roundup of thinking on this issue.


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Poll spinning: So at this time, Ed, 90% of the folks think there are some circumstances when a blogger can be outed, no?

clorensen on June 7, 2009 at 3:21 PM

I am torn here. I personally don’t hide beyond a pseudonym, but that does not mean others shouldn’t. I think it is a personal choice. Do you believe what you write deeply enough to own it, or you don’t. But keep in mind I am not a serious blogger like Ed or AP so I can’t make that choice for them. As far as outing another blogger only if they are guilty of a crime, otherwise let them make that choice.

JKotthoff on June 7, 2009 at 3:21 PM

PercyB on June 7, 2009 at 3:01 PM

PercyB, for Heaven sakes!
You are a case of corn flakes!
But frosted so that you make
A sweet diversion that breaks
The monotony of the standard takes.
(Please pardon my meter mistakes.)

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 3:22 PM

I am a coward.

It’s true, and I admit it.

Through the use of my Internet identity “Kensington,” I speak far more freely, and even aggressively, than I do in real life.

And, surrounded by liberals as I am (a former actor living in New York City), I like being able to partition my life so that I don’t have to fight with people 24/7. I like being able to just keep my mouth shut sometimes.

But here’s the thing:

Presuming that there is no workable compromise, is it better to be an anonymous coward who yet speaks truthfully, or is it better to use your real name and couch your truthfulness lest a potential employer Google you and take offense at some political disagreement and thereby deny you a job?

“Kensington” writes what I think and feel, and whilst I’d like someday to be able to drop the moniker, I think it’s better to remain truthful yet anonymous rather than being a milquetoast under my birth name.

Kensington on June 7, 2009 at 3:22 PM

All Southerns have crazy relations, we don’t usually hold it against each other.

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 2:20 PM

That would be incest.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 3:23 PM

“Janos Hunyadi”… not the John J. Bradley who did the “set dressing” for “Mad Men” and “Bedtime Stories”?!?!

Kudos!

Miss Foltz would be so proud!

profitsbeard on June 7, 2009 at 3:27 PM

My name is Charles Clark. You can reach me at +86-21-15821009007. No collect calls.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:28 PM

is it better to be an anonymous coward who yet speaks truthfully, or is it better to use your real name and couch your truthfulness

I think that about sums it up.

katy on June 7, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Terrie on June 7, 2009 at 3:08 PM

Well said. Agreed.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Blake is a hugely insightful blogger with a style that can repel.

But, still not repel strongly enough. Again, nothing untoward was said to or about this steve guy and I resent the insinuations that I did. His dramatic exit is indicative of his own personal problems.

Blake on June 7, 2009 at 3:30 PM

The whole point of publius being concerned about his outing, though, was reprisal from family and friends connected to him. It would be absolutely useless for a non-Chinese to try to out Chinese bloggers, given their repressive laws (thus the comments about being dead and crime) Anything I say or do on here is likely not going to reach the ears of your brother or father, now take that and multiply it times 200,000.

I just don’t see the point.

Ryan Gandy on June 7, 2009 at 3:31 PM

Kensington on June 7, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Because you live in Hostile Territory, using a nic is a Survival Mechanism. I didn’t mean to call you or any particular person a coward ( except our Burdensome Trolls ) and don’t apply that term to you

Your point about lying openly rather than being truthful anonymously is excellent–and something that I did not fully realize until you mentioned it

Janos Hunyadi on June 7, 2009 at 3:31 PM

My name is Charles Clark. You can reach me at +86-21-15821009007. No collect calls.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:28 PM

您好

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:31 PM

The whole point of publius being concerned about his outing, though, was reprisal from family and friends connected to him. It would be absolutely useless for a non-Chinese to try to out Chinese bloggers, given their repressive laws (thus the comments about being dead and crime) Anything I say or do on here is likely not going to reach the ears of your brother or father, now take that and multiply it times 200,000.

I just don’t see the point.

Ryan Gandy on June 7, 2009 at 3:31 PM

If it’s useless, then why does Google even bother?

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:33 PM

您好

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:31 PM

我好。打给我电话!

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:33 PM

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Brave for maybe more than one reason.

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:35 PM

People who have written Letters to the Editor can tell you that it can come back to bite you.

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 3:20 PM

I did that once. I wrote a letter to the editor, many years ago, saying that I thought there should be some legal standards as to the height range of vehicle bumpers. Someone had recently been killed (literally decapitated) by being hit by one of those jacked-up pickups with it’s bumper way up to battering ram/decapitation level instead of safety level.

I got a letter in the mail, with no return address, saying that the person wanted one of those jacked-up pickups to hit me and decapitate me with my head bouncing into the back seat onto the laps of my children. They also called me a communist.

MB4 on June 7, 2009 at 3:35 PM

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:33 PM

I’m not going to call you, but where do you live in China?

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:36 PM

Look – the Internet is a fast free-for-all with absolutely no rules. I think people can be anonymous – but it shouldn’t be a crime to out them either.

Though the motivations for outing someone can reflect negatively on the “outer”.

HondaV65 on June 7, 2009 at 3:36 PM

I don’t want this either, but what can we do to eliminate this? I think the best thing the individual can do is to encourage those that look up to them (i.e. their children) to respect their [the mentor's] opinion, but in the end make their [the mente's] own decisions (and be responsible for these decisions).

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Parent’s do need to help children grow up to deal with bullies, and adults need to help one another learn this skill as well, because as long as humans are imperfect, there will be bullies.

However, bullies and bigots need to be challenged. Not bullied, but challenged with the knowledge that they can change. And if they don’t after repeated attempts, then they need to be fought until they are forced into submission, isolation, or both.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 3:37 PM

Blake is a hugely insightful blogger with a style that can repel.

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Blake is more of a bully who volleys insults and name calls couched in strong personal opinion via the anonymous internet.
Delivery sometimes repels but the intent behind it tells the whole story.

katy on June 7, 2009 at 3:38 PM

I’m not going to call you, but where do you live in China?

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:36 PM

Area code 21 ;-)

Btw, this is a non-toll phone sex line, but for hot babes only.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 3:37 PM

So is this Whelan guy a bully in your book? If so, should more people in the blogosphere confront him?

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:39 PM

您好

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:31 PM

我好。打给我电话!

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:33 PM

请写英文。我不懂中文。

Daggett on June 7, 2009 at 3:39 PM

That said, I assume loss of anonymity is always a risk for bloggers who try to maintain privacy, and one should always be cautious about committing anything to the internet that you aren’t prepared to own if your anonymity is ever compromised.

aero on June 7, 2009 at 1:37 PM

I’m not fond of the “don’t do anything you wouldn’t want printed on the front page of the NY Times” saying. But I would say this — don’t write anything on the internet that you’d be ashamed to put your name to … excluding forums where revealing sensitive personal info is the purpose, like forums for victims of abuse. But flaming and trolling and hating, I don’t understand how these people live with themselves. On the other hand, it’s a rare day I’d ever “out” someone. That too seems like abuse.

Paul-Cincy on June 7, 2009 at 3:39 PM

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Ah… yeah… I guess that wasn’t so hard.

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:40 PM

People who have written Letters to the Editor can tell you that it can come back to bite you.

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Yep. My first letter to the editor of the New London Day, was in response to an editorial. I was 20 and succumbed briefly to the liberal gunk I was immersed in in college, writing in support of reparation payments to descendents of former slaves. It’s embarrasing to think about, but there you have it.

Point is, I received an attack letter in the mail from the original editorialist, who was an occasional contributor to the editorial page. They ran my letter in the paper, but I doubt he found me from the phone book, as I was still a minor with no listing, and my surname is fairly common. It seems most likely that he called his friends at the paper and extracted my mailing address from them.

I was more than a little shocked, as it was an unprintable letter. Nothing more ever came of it, but I can fully appreciate AP’s desire for anonymity, and intend to keep my own even as a commenter.

TexasDan on June 7, 2009 at 3:40 PM

您好

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:31 PM

我好。打给我电话!

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:33 PM

人誰作出其他人使用的翻譯應該禁止!

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 3:43 PM

请写英文。我不懂中文。

Daggett on June 7, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Yeah, I pretty much suck at it. I am what you might call a 白癡 — :)

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:43 PM

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 3:43 PM

You know you like it ;)

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:44 PM

Ah… yeah… I guess that wasn’t so hard.

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Phone is still not ringing… You’d like to think people would call, if they knew the number. Now I know why AllahP remains anonymous ;-)

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:44 PM

You’re all a bunch of racist teabagging rednecks.

Feel free to hold me personally responsible for anything I say here, even if it is gross profanity. Here is my full name and address:

Barack Hussein Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
(202) 456-1111

Now go blow it and your precious Constitution out your patootie.

Daggett on June 7, 2009 at 3:45 PM

“Publius”, the name used by Jay, Hamilton and Madison for the publication of the Federalist Papers. Our country has a history of using covers for commentary, and we shouldn’t blow up that history with the use of new technology today. Whether its Ben Franklin as Silence Dogood, or this “Publius” wannabe writing today people have their right to privacy unless they illegally slander someone or commit another crime. That said, outing someone would also be a legal act of free speech.

In any case, the person outed should be ashamed for coppying such a historic cover name.

eski502 on June 7, 2009 at 3:46 PM

Phone is still not ringing… You’d like to think people would call, if they knew the number. Now I know why AllahP remains anonymous ;-)

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:44 PM

Hey, I already told you. I’m not going to call, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt; that is, you are brave instead of creepy like strangelet…

I can only imagine a phone conversation with her

*hot, huffy voice on the other end of the line*

“Hello, Allah… rar…”

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:47 PM

William Amos on June 7, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Probably too late for us. We’re already well on our way and there’s little to stop the sunami coming.

katy on June 7, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 3:43 PM

No more google translations please! I’ve lived in China long enough to be able to say 打给我电话!without resorting to artificial means.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Daggett on June 7, 2009 at 3:45 PM

I do believe that HornetSting sent him some tampons… Janet should come a-knock’n anytime…

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Είναι όλα τα ελληνικά μου.

Daggett on June 7, 2009 at 3:49 PM

Hey, I already told you. I’m not going to call, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt; that is, you are brave instead of creepy like strangelet…

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:47 PM

I put the number there specifically for Strangelet. She’s hot, and I bet she’s gonna call when our timezones align.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:50 PM

I put the number there specifically for Strangelet. She’s hot, and I bet she’s gonna call when our timezones align.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Hot in the sense of I will collect your hair and make a doll out of it.

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:51 PM

So is this Whelan guy a bully in your book? If so, should more people in the blogosphere confront him?

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:39 PM

From what I’ve read, I don’t agree with the criticism posted by Publius. It seems like the typical childishness of many liberals, but was not slanderous. I think Ed Whalen’s response went way overboard. To me, he just warned everyone that if he doesn’t like their criticism of them, he’ll expose their true identities if they post anonymously. this is coercive and not good for the free exchange of ideas. I do get very protective of people I feel are being unfairly threatened, even when I don’t agree with them.

So, this is why I appreciate Ed’s post.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 3:56 PM

I did not answer the poll question because, in my opinion, the correct answer was not included. The only correct answer is: Posting in violation of the sites “Terms of Use Agreement”when said agreement warns the the site owner reserves this right.

meci on June 7, 2009 at 3:57 PM

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Okay. Ixnay on the Inesechay.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 3:58 PM

Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison wrote under pseudonyms.

SouthernRoots on June 7, 2009 at 3:58 PM

My thoughts on this subject. When is it permissible to out an anonymous blogger.

The second they cease to be civil and respectful to anyone they respond to. If you cant make your argument with civility and polite intellectual discourse, then you don’t actually have an argument.

If you cannot or refuse to behave in a civil respectful or polite manner then you do not deserve the protection of anonymity.

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Psssttt! ~~~Barack Obama’s middle name is HUSSEIN!

Gotcha Barry!

profitsbeard on June 7, 2009 at 4:00 PM

katy on June 7, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Yawn. And you are the person who flipped out because I stated that they routinely do surgery on premature infants without anesthesia because of the belief that their CNS is underdeveloped and they do not experience pain the way more mature infants do. I said it made me queasy. However, it doesn’t change the fact that it is a belief of the majority of pediatric surgeons. No amount of whining on your part is going to change it. You latch on to anything that supports your preconceived beliefs without any critical examination and get angry if others do not do the same. Get over it.

Blake on June 7, 2009 at 4:01 PM

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Yeah, I tend to lean your way…

Well, speaking of time zones aligning, my must work time deadline and the current time are approaching… and I just got a call from a friend that we MUST study now… so, best to all, both anonymous and non-anonymous.

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 4:01 PM

Okay. Ixnay on the Inesechay.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 3:58 PM

Lox, even Jeremiah Johnson remembered how to speak English

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:01 PM

I’m not a big fan of anonymous blogging if it is not about safety, I think it does lead to irresponsible behavior. However, I don’t like people outing anonymous bloggers either. If people want to be irresponsible with their anonymity, unless it is illegal (example: slander etc) there is not that much I can do about it.

terryannonline on June 7, 2009 at 4:01 PM

The last line of my previous post should read …said agreement warns that the site owner reserves this right.

meci on June 7, 2009 at 4:02 PM

American Power tracked-back with, “Blogging Anonymity and Blogging Ethics”:

http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/blogging-anonymity-and-blogging-ethics.html

Donald Douglas on June 7, 2009 at 4:04 PM

This diaper tiff isn’t about substance its about conflicting ideologies.

In an age that the liberal litigating Gestapo is gaining ground and power daily, I predict a time when all conservative bloggers (and commenters) will either be anonymous or wish they were.

In the near future, free speech will equal anonymous elsewise, not so much.

In the future will be who will or will not give up poster lists.

Speakup on June 7, 2009 at 4:05 PM

In the future the battle will be who will or will not give up poster lists.

Speakup on June 7, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Anonymous posters are often accused of cowardice, but there’s never been a climate this politicized. Leftists do the most under-handed things to people who have different opinions. What Mr. Whelan did was a low blow — something worthy of a low-grade leftist. It boils down to honor.

Trolls aren’t hard to spot and rarely do they defend their emotional tripe. Besides, Publius was writing on his own blog, for crying out loud. It looked like typical liberalism and not especially vicious.

I rarely find any reason to defend liberals, but in this case, I think Mr. Whelan should apologize to Publius — for real.

Feedie on June 7, 2009 at 4:09 PM

I got a letter in the mail, with no return address, saying that the person wanted one of those jacked-up pickups to hit me and decapitate me with my head bouncing into the back seat onto the laps of my children. They also called me a communist.

MB4 on June 7, 2009 at 3:35 PM

I’m sorry you got such a creepy response. Perhaps it didn’t affect you in a negative way, but to some people that kind of anonymous letter would have them hyper-vigilant or anxious for weeks or months.

And unlike you, I hope, some people simply aren’t very good at protecting themselves. They aren’t physically or mentally able. And then there are the hundreds of millions of people in the world who grew up in coercive families and cultures and have never been able to overcome the impact, either maintaining a submissive personality or becoming bullies themselves.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 4:10 PM

I don’t want some random blogger showing up at my door to have his diaper changed…..so, no, I don’t want to know who AllahPundit is.

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:13 PM

Blake on June 7, 2009 at 4:01 PM

You are a bully. Learn from it.

Make your points without exaggerating…

No amount of whining on your part is going to change it

and move on.

The proof is the confrontations with others.
The lack of self reflection is always a stumbling block.

katy on June 7, 2009 at 4:14 PM

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 3:59 PM

I apologize for teasing you the last time we exchanged posts. Please don’t taze me. I only tease people I like. I’m sorry if I got carries away.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 4:14 PM

I don’t want some random blogger showing up at my door to have his diaper changed…..so, no, I don’t want to know who AllahPundit is.

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:13 PM

But you’re going to call me, right?

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:18 PM

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:01 PM

Currently, I’m in one of my verbal periods, but there have been times I’ve been much like this:

I knew the stars, the flowers, and the birds,
The gray and wintry sides of many glens,
And did but half remember human words,
In converse with the mountains, moors, and fens.

– JM Synge

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 4:22 PM

I apologize for teasing you the last time we exchanged posts. Please don’t taze me. I only tease people I like. I’m sorry if I got carries away.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Zapcracklezapppppp……. What was that you were saying bro….. ;p

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 4:22 PM

I just happen to be a graduate of STCL, where “Publius” teaches. The majority of the faculty there is hard left, and they are very up front about their biases. On a daily basis, they would insult justices like Thomas and Scalia. The academic reasons Publius gives for remaining anonymous simply do not ring true.

On the other hand, there were a few profs who I suspected were conservatives, but never did a single one of my professors out himself as a conservative. To be an open conservative at a place like STCL (or likely, any law school) is to be immediately shunned by “liberals” (liberal supposedly meaning open-minded) like Publius.

Publius does seem to enjoy playing the victim to Ed Whelan’s slurs, but Publius himself started the ad hominems by calling Whelan a “hit man”. Pot, meet kettle.

Phildorex on June 7, 2009 at 4:24 PM

Dang, from the headline I thought someone outed AP

conservnut on June 7, 2009 at 4:25 PM

I don’t want some random blogger or DarkCurrent showing up at my door to have his diaper changed…..so, no, I don’t want to know who AllahPundit is.

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:13 PM
But you’re going to call me, right?

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:18 PM

:)

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Dang, from the headline I thought someone outed AP

conservnut on June 7, 2009 at 4:25 PM

AP couldn’t pay anyone enough to care what his real Clark Kent is… ;p

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 4:27 PM

MB4 on June 7, 2009 at 3:35 PM

Holy Cow!!!! That’s just incredibly frightening.

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 4:28 PM

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Alrighty then. The teasing truce is over!

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Phildorex on June 7, 2009 at 4:24 PM

Thanks so much for the perspective. If I were Ed W. and knew the name/status of my “hit man” critic, would I be bound, by blog-ethics, to refrain from revealing this knowledge? Such self-imposed censorship does not advance the ball in my (legal) book.

clorensen on June 7, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Alrighty then. The teasing truce is over!

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Oh, there was a truce? I was unable to tell, since I was being pummeled mercilessly……… ;p

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 4:31 PM

I was tempted to vote for “when they commit a crime,” but then I decided to vote never. Blogging is a phenomenon outside the US as well, and many places do not have the protections on free speech that we enjoy. If we were blogging in Saudi Arabia, China, or Iran, remaining anonymous might well be a matter of life and death. Speaking out agianst the state is a crime there, and thus it would never be moral to reveal a bloggers identity.

bitsy on June 7, 2009 at 4:31 PM

:)

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:26 PM

You highlighted the wrong part. Loser!
I’m not coming anyway, unless you send me a ticket.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:32 PM

Paul-Cincy on June 7, 2009 at 3:39 PM

One of my favorite saying to my kids was “Don’t say anything you aren’t willing to see on the front page of the paper tomorrow” but the lesson was for gossiping. It’s a good line for kids.

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Seriously, is the estrogen contamination of the food supply really so bad that guys don’t know how to take any criticism any more?

How much really valuable stuff is blogged, anyway? Most of the stuff on blogs resembles a personal diary that the person’s friends don’t even want to read.

And no, commenters are not included. They are the real value of the blogosphere.

platypus on June 7, 2009 at 4:33 PM

You highlighted the wrong part. Loser!
I’m not coming anyway, unless you send me a ticket.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:32 PM

Oh dear… Dont think of it as rejection, so much as insecurity… ;p

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 4:34 PM

I think blantantblue and ladyingray should join the thread now. Where are they? Why are neither of them here?

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:34 PM

:)

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:26 PM
You highlighted the wrong part. Loser!
I’m not coming anyway, unless you send me a ticket.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:32 PM

I have an excuse, I’m still very sick….and don’t call me a loser or I WILL call you, and bring the pain!

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:34 PM

I think blantantblue and ladyingray should join the thread now. Where are they? Why are neither of them here?

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:34 PM

They have lives? :)

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:35 PM

Have you tried a site search to retrieve it?

In yahoo.com or google.com -

site:powerlineblog.com progressoverpeace (or whatever name you commented under)

MB4 on June 7, 2009 at 2:37 PM

I tried. Powerline just took all the forum pages offline. They no longer exist. I haven’t found any cached pages and don’t really expect to. You still get some hits returned from the search engines, but the pages just aren’t there. I was just amazed that Powerline would do that and think nothing of it.

progressoverpeace on June 7, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Tornado in Aurora Colorado??? They have tornadoes in Colorado???

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 4:36 PM

I got “outed” a while back by a delusional hack. He figured I needed to “own my positions”, so made it his mission in life to find me. He did, and then proceeded to make fat jokes.

The real reason? He knew that I am an academic, and figured if he told all the good liberals at the school that I was a conservative, they’d fire me.

He made the admission public. When I pointed out his motives were illegal, he changed his tone.

Nethicus on June 7, 2009 at 4:38 PM

If Theo Van Gogh had been a little more anonymous his body might be a little more alive.

Sometimes, for theo-political [sic] reasons, discretion is the better part of valor.

And more effective to stay breathing in order to keep commenting.

profitsbeard on June 7, 2009 at 2:33 PM

and

Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison wrote under pseudonyms.

SouthernRoots on June 7, 2009 at 3:58 PM

There is nothing wrong today in posting without the world knowing who you are. We saw what ACORN did when they found out the names of the AIG executives, what happened to Van Gogh as mentioned above, and we know what has happened with the Chrysler share holders who were threatened to be outed, and in addition it would be seen to they also received the AIG treatment or worse.

Not only are there Obama thugs out there, his minions at DHS, but there are some real sickos like Guy Cimbalo out there, and quite frankly NOT having one’s identity revealed is a comforting thing in this era we are now living through.

Many here have jokingly, or not so jokingly, referred to the “re-education camps” some might find themselves in. Not to sound total black helicopterish, but since history indicates these things HAVE existed and been used; I for one like keeping a slight arms length between myself and those who might like me to not share my opinions of the powers that be. Not that it is going to matter for long. They seem to be making moves to shut down the net ASAP.

I also have kids, and if I was a blogger of any importance I would be worried about my identity having a negative impact on their lives. And then there is the whole identity theft business which we are warned about daily.

Ultimately, it is great we live in a country that for now allows us to make a choice as to how we identify ourselves on the net. The sheet existence of the freedom to choose is something I favor. Outing someone for being an “ankle biter” just did not meet the level of going public with the ID. Why not just install a block button or something so you do not have to be annoyed? Or take a time out to make sure you did not respond rashly?

freeus on June 7, 2009 at 4:38 PM

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:13 PM

Having done both, I can assure you that changing an adult’s diaper is not that much different from changing a baby. It just requires a bit more strength. However, given his apparent ability with a keyboard, I’m sure Allahpundit can change himself. It’s powdering his tuchas where he might require some help.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 4:38 PM

I have an excuse, I’m still very sick

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:34 PM

Hey, take care. I can get stung later, no hurry ;-)

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:39 PM

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:13 PM
Having done both, I can assure you that changing an adult’s diaper is not that much different from changing a baby. It just requires a bit more strength. However, given his apparent ability with a keyboard, I’m sure Allahpundit can change himself. It’s powdering his tuchas where he might require some help.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 4:38 PM

I’m NOT powdering Allah’s tuchas. DarkCurrent kind of hurt my feelings, but you know, I’m very ill and I’m a little vulnerable.

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:41 PM

I can see posting anonymously for security reasons…

But if you are doing it because you will not state the same opinion in public, as you would when online, maybe you should reconsider what you are writing online?

We’ve created a system whereby you have great freedom… but no responsiblility… which leads to all types of excess.

Romeo13 on June 7, 2009 at 4:41 PM

They have lives? :)

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:35 PM

Well sure, I suppose they do, to some extent. But usually you see one if not the other. Both gone at the same time? Highly suspicious…

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Tornado in Aurora Colorado??? They have tornadoes in Colorado???

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Oh yeah…. out in the plains… it is unusual in Aurora though…

Romeo13 on June 7, 2009 at 4:43 PM

They have tornadoes in Colorado???

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 4:36 PM

They had snow in North Dakota yesterday.

I blame Al Gore.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 4:44 PM

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:41 PM

What’s wrong?

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 4:46 PM

I’m very ill and I’m a little vulnerable.

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:41 PM

You want to lay in my lap and I’ll hold you and rock you and tell you a story?

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 4:48 PM

They had snow in North Dakota yesterday.

I blame Al Gore.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 4:44 PM

I had snow in Colorado today, not unusual but annoying when you’re trying to do barn repairs.

thomasaur on June 7, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Seriously, is the estrogen contamination of the food supply really so bad that guys don’t know how to take any criticism any more?

platypus on June 7, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Since when is calling someone a “hit man” for his opinions of legal matters “criticism”?

Oh yeah, since the legal opinions of conservatives became something they could face charges over.

ProfessorMiao on June 7, 2009 at 4:50 PM

I blame Al Gore.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Yup, all the fault of the Goracle…

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Totally OT: Just got a phonecall from my daughter. She just arrived back from Kirkuk, Iraq and is now in Baltimore. Drinks are on me. And yes, that is my real name.

utebell on June 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

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