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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Stagnating?

Clive Davis has linked to an interesting, if controversial article, that argues the liberal wing of the blogosphere is now more popular, in terms of pageviews, than the conservative and libertarian community.

The left-wing blogosphere is beginning to decidedly pull away from the right wing blogosphere in terms of traffic. This is largely a result of the open embrace of community blogging on the left and the stagnant, anti-meritorious nature of the right-wing blogosphere that pushes new, emerging voices to the margins.

The article proceeds to describe and examine two different models of political blogging defined by the political orientation of the writers. New entrants into the conservative/libertarian blogosphere have to create their own blogs and rely upon a trickle-down effect, whereas community moderated blogging platforms used by the liberal left appear to reduce the obstacles that a new generation of emergent left bloggers have had to face.

Unless right-wing blogs decide to open up and allow their readers to have a greater voice, I expect that the liberal and progressive blogosphere will continue its unborken twenty-month rise in relative traffic. Conservative bloggers continue to act as though they are simply a supplement to the existing pundit class, without any need to converse with those operating outside of a small social bubble or any need to engage people within the new structure of the public sphere.

Are these valid criticisms? Has the focus upon the reformation of the existing media blinded the conservative and libertarian blogosphere to the need for further change and adaptation as the ‘world of blogs’ continues to develop? Is this part of the blogosphere stagnating?

87 comments to Stagnating?

  • I expect that the liberal and progressive blogosphere…

    translation: illiberal and pro-stasis blogosphere…

    Conservative bloggers continue to act as though they are simply a supplement to the existing pundit class, without any need to converse with those operating outside of a small social bubble or any need to engage people within the new structure of the public sphere.

    This is beyond parody. Antipathy to the existing ‘pundit class’ is exactly what lead to the creation of the libertarian and conservative blogosphere. Clueless.

    What this absurd MyDD article really means is “stop saying those nasty ‘reality based’ things and let the idiotarian have more say in your comments as they ‘correct’ you”.

    To which I say… no thanks.

  • My Heart Bleeds

    You know, one thing the progressive/lefty blogs don’t do is censor or ban folks who post “off-topic” comments.

    We really do practice what we preach, when it comes to free speech and unrestrained discourse.

    Unlike the libertariofascists who cannot admit error and seek to silence any who point out that Perry is butt naked upon his pro war, pro occupation, pro no real plan in Iraq whatsoever, but I’m not wrong and cannot ever admit I got suckered by GWB, soapbox.

  • Jake

    What Perry said.

  • john

    The numbers he links to make no distinction between total hits and uniques. Also,check this out(Link), note the average visit length for daily kos is 0:03.

  • We really do practice what we preach, when it comes to free speech and unrestrained discourse.

    No you don’t. About a year ago I posted a perfectly civil and pertinent comment on an American ‘liberal’ blog about the stupidity of nationalised healthcare. Less than 15 minutes later my comment was deleted.

  • My Heart Bleeds

    Which blog?

  • Verity

    “… without any need to converse with those operating outside of a small social bubble or any need to engage people within the new structure of the public sphere.”

    That would be correct, although if the poster were a little more sensitive to what I assume is his native language, he wouldn’t use illiterate childish constructs like “outside of”. People who have never managed to grasp their own language might not be aces at grasping political thoughts.

    “My Heart Bleeds” (not enough, however): “You know, one thing the progressive/lefty blogs don’t do is censor or ban folks who post “off-topic” comments.”

    This is why they are a shrieking kindergarten of angry attention seekers who bore everyone else to death with their predictable comments. They’re all over the place in little democratic kumbayahs.

    “We really do practice what we preach, when it comes to free speech and unrestrained discourse.” No one opposing your point of view even visits your blogs because of your jaw crunching, yawn-o-rama predictability and your self-righteous Hitleresque bashing of people who don’t agree with you. You don’t argue the case. You call names.

    No, sweetie, I wasn’t wrong about the war, so I have nothing to admit. I wouldn’t lie to you, babe.

  • The ‘small social bubble’ point is a fair one. One thing I notice a lot in blogs that I find annoying is the tendency to write about and link to other bloggers without so much as a word about who exactly you’re referring to.

    Take this post: who’s Clive Davis? Why should anyone care? I know the answer, but I think it’s bad practice to write as if everyone does. And yes, this does go for the ‘big names’ of blogging, too. If you think there’s something ridiculous about using a few words to explain who Jane Galt is, it just proves the point about a ‘small social bubble’ that is closed off to so many.

  • Julian Williams

    I am confused about these labels – left right liberal

    Is this blog right wing or liberal or left wing? The people who frighten me are the ones who tell us they are the centre ground – these people usually believe so strongly in themselves that they embrace totalitarianism.

  • Paul Marks

    Whether the war in Iraq was (or is) right or wrong, it is a bit hard to attack “libertarians” for supporting it when the vast majority of American libertarians were against it.

    Also many Conservatives (who resist the term “libertarian”) were against the war in Iraq). This is not like Vietnam where social democrats (such as L.B.J.) led the United States into war but the majority of Conservative thinkers (libertarians split) supported the war (because it was a war against Communism).

    True William F. Buckley supports the war in Iraq, but most of the Conservative thinkers (let alone Libertarians) do not seem to (at least if by “Conservative” we mean people who are against the Great Society welfare programs – “Neo Conservatives” or “New Conservatives” just seem to be L.B.J. style social democrats)

    Now it may be that Verity, and Perry and Mark Stein (and so on) will be proved totally correct, but they do represent a small minority of free market thinkers.

    “But it is President Bush’s war and anything he does must be free market”, well no. The Medicare extention was not free market, “no child left behind” was not free market and a lot of the other things the Administration has supported have not been free market.

    Mr Bush may be less statist than Mr Gore or Mr Kerry, but that does not make him or his staff free market folk.

  • Disillusionist

    Another issue would be the problem (noted by Glenn Reynolds and others) faced by “conservative” sites that allow comments: they risk being overwhelmed by hordes of juvenile, obscene, fact-free tirades by enraged “liberals.” It demands a lot of someone’s time to keep things under control. On the other hand, ever tried making a non-moonbat comment on Kos? After about 15 minutes and 45 posts denouncing you as a Nazi, you will find yourself both deleted and banned from the site. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

  • Verity

    Julian Williams – ” I am confused about these labels – Is this blog right wing or liberal or left wing?”

    None of the above. But why not ask whoever sent you here?

  • NonVerity

    Verity, you say that unlike “liberals” you want to argue the case. Does that consist in your doing things such as you did a few days okay, when you claimed there is over $800B a year going to Africa as foreign aid, and then being unable to give a source, when the common figure is closer to $50B (so that you are off by a factor of 16 or so)?

    Is that “arguing” the case?

  • bwanadik

    Paul: Actually, Buckley recanted, much to the chagrin of the current NR editors.

  • Sylvain Galineau

    First things first. Where is the evidence. Show me the data.

  • drscroogemcduck

    The Daily Kos site doesn’t support any deviation whatsoever from the current party line given by Kos. Even if you express an opinion that is supported by some Democrats it will be censored (rated below 1 so only ‘trusted’ users can view it).

  • brett

    I’ve got a question: Who cares? This isn’t some pissing contest where the site with the most traffic wins. I would expect the left to have more traffic: it skews young and urban, which would make it naturally more technophilic. Besides, being the party out of power, they have a greater need to express their frustrations. More eyeballs doesn’t mean better policy, or even better politics.

  • Libertarians, given their numbers in real life, are highly overrepresented in the blogosphere. Liberals have a lot of catching up to do.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    I agree with Brett. As many have noted, left wing blogs are 99.99% whingefests which put forward nothing original or thought provoking. They’re just choir-preaching exercises. They may get more hits; who cares? What kind of blogs are more influential on media, government etc? Has a left wing blog ever claimed a big scalp, for example. Maybe one has, but I’m can’t recall an instance.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    And I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised by the above fact. Of course left wing blogs don’t have many interesting things to say – we’re talking about a wing that ran out of ideas and lost control of the political agenda a long time ago.

  • quentin

    Never mind the blogs, where are the quality UK libertarian and right-wing message boards?

  • Keith

    As Brett says, who cares? The fact that lefty blogs can attract a zillion shrieking irrational moonbats is neither here nor there. Let the loons gather in their festering thousands and shout their outdated slogans at one another–the idea of including them in any rational debate is laughable, because with a few exceptions they’re incapable of it.

  • The Last Toryboy

    I’m more of a forum man than a blogger anyway… and the forum I post at is more right wing than Genghis Khan, it makes me look like a communist…

  • The Last Toryboy

    …incidentally there aint many lefties on said forum because when they show up they always shriek to the moderator at any sign of dissent, and as the moderator is big on freedom of speech and lets people post whatever pretty much, said lefties usually bugger off fairly rapidly.

    There is an even an example I can dig up from a particularly egregarious example of a lunatic who was defending Uncle Joe of all people

    [i]The way you people cling to things you were told in 5th grade is pathetic. If it makes you feel better, however, more power to you. But if what I say makes you uncomfortable, kiss my ass.[/i]

    The progressive mind in action – and not [i]at all[/i] atypical in my experience. There is no debate, only zealotry, and then either relentless ad hominem or squeals to the moderators.

  • Julian Taylor

    Personally, I would have hoped that Samizdata was more anti-imbecile than either left, centre or right whinge.

  • My Heart Bleeds, who is clearly the idiotic ‘Cranky Libertarian’ whose off-topic comments were deleted before, does not actually make an argument (as usual), he just makes statements as if they were incontravertable.

    We have lots of dissenting views here, we just delete the idiots.

  • As noted, lefties tend to congregate at a few centralized, top-down managed blogs/forums.

    The highly centralized lefty blogs are easy to measure. The more numerous other blogs are harder to measure. Thus, the lefty blogs like Kos will measure a larger market share than they really have. Think of Kos as Starbucks, and the myriad of non-lefty blogs as coffee counters in gas stations.

    You can actually discover how many cups of coffee Starbucks serves every day nationwide, but any attempt to measure how many cups of coffee are served in gas stations will miss a significant fraction. Thus, Starbucks will appear to have a larger market share than it really does.

  • Larry the Lurker

    The best generator of interest in a blog is the ability to comment on it.

    Clive Davis does not permit this. Nor does Norman Geras. Nor (any more) do Stephen Pollard, Melanie Phillips, Johann Hari or Oliver Kamm. All pro-war, self-styled progressives and Zionists who are oonstantly accusing ‘the Left’ of stifling debate, but whose own pronouncements are to be taken ex-cathedra.

  • hm

    My 0.02¢:

    While it is true that interaction can add to a blogs popularity, the problem for proprietors is having to “clean” up the message boards.

    My suspicion is that lefties are more likely to mess up conservative or libertarian leaning message boards than vice versa (“activists” tend to have this sort of inherent drive), hence, many of those blogs dont allow comments and other forms of interaction.

    The other aspect is that on those conservative/libertarian blogs that do allow comments, there’s this phenomenon of self-appointed watchmen, who are basically just overzealous regulars that gang up on and bully any posters they don’t like, i.e. people who have a different opinion. This tends to put people off the whole blog.

  • Anthony

    This is pointless, in my opinion. Even if it is true (I don’t understand what left wing unprogressives would have to talk about, it’s a profoundly un-intellectual political movement, so I can’t see what they can discuss, other than their emotions), what does it matter?

    We already know that socialism, irrational thinking and statism is the more popular in this country, or else I would be out enjoying my freedom, not having to wonder about new heights of government authoritarianism. Stalin was the most popular man in the world while he was destroying his country, and now socialism is the most popular (pseudo)philosophy in the world as it brings the world to its knees. The capacity for humans to believe the world is flat or that socialism works is boundless.

    This is just an attempt to weight the relative merits of the opposing viewpoints by a collectivist method.

    Sanity is not statistical ^^

    It even goes some way to show how anti-intellectual they are, that they feel that all that is needed for legitimacy is more people to fall for their wishy-washy easily refuted world view than for one that requires the engagement of the brain. The left succeeds because most people are mentally lax, too lazy to think things through, and so are easily swayed by a baseless ideology founded only on emotion.

    So even if it is true: so what?

  • hm

    R C Dean at June 18, 2005 12:26 PM

    That’s a very valid point.

    Another immeasurable attribute is that of “effect”, i.e. how influental is a blog.

    Indeed, it’s invariably difficult to measure quality, even more so in this case where one can’t even measure quantity.

  • Verity

    Plus libertarians are more interested in the argument, not jumping up and down and shrieking platitudes that were old and musty in the 1930s.

  • John

    Libertarians, given their numbers in real life, are highly overrepresented in the blogosphere. Liberals have a lot of catching up to do.

    What’s your basis for this claim? I suspect the majority of people have no idea what libertarianism is. I told a friend once that he was a libertarian, he replied ” I am not a liberal, I’m a Republican.”

    Thus, the lefty blogs like Kos will measure a larger market share than they really have.

    I pointed out above that the average length of a visit to Daily Kos is 3 seconds. That tells me that the 400,000+ daily hits are being made by a much smaller group of people frequently checking for updates. The TLB Ecosystem claims that Instapundit actually has a higher number of inbound uniques than Kos.

    All pro-war, self-styled progressives and Zionists who are oonstantly accusing ‘the Left’ of stifling debate, but whose own pronouncements are to be taken ex-cathedra.

    1. I haven’t seen anyone here complain about left-wing sites that don’t allow comments. The complaint is that the many of the ones that do allow comments are disingenous about tolerating dissenting opinions.

    2. How does Melanie Phillips not allowing comments prevent you from debating anything you want to? The blogosphere has a procedure for dealing with blogs that don’t allow comments, it’s called “fisking”. I’m sorry,Larry, I forgot that fisking requires research and thought.

  • Yes, well, it is not surprising that left wing blogs get more readers. The rest of us have jobs. And, indeed, other interests. A lot to be said for having balance in your life.

  • Verity

    Melanie Phillips allowed comments when she first started her blog, but her blog became overwhelmed with garbage – not genuine comments, not well-considered or well-written asides, just sheer hate mail. Part of it was because she is Jewish; and part of it seemed to be by people who were outraged that she had deserted the lefty “liberal” – to use a misnomer – cause. Many of the comments were horribly abusive. She explained that she was spending too many hours cleaning up her site – she’s a working journalist, after all – and sadly disabled her comments facility. It was extraordinary that such well argued posts as her own attracted the level of obscenity and abuse that they did.

  • Anthony

    “Libertarians, given their numbers in real life, are highly overrepresented in the blogosphere. Liberals have a lot of catching up to do.

    What’s your basis for this claim? I suspect the majority of people have no idea what libertarianism is. I told a friend once that he was a libertarian, he replied ” I am not a liberal, I’m a Republican.” ”

    I thought he was saying that Libertarians are not a very large section people in general, and make up a far larger proportion of the “blogosphere” than they do the population. So doesn’t what you said just agree with his claim that there are more libertarian blogs than would be expected given the relatively few number of “libertarians”?

    Did you just attempt to disprove his claim by illustrating the truth of one of the premises of his argument?

  • John

    Did you just attempt to disprove his claim by illustrating the truth of one of the premises of his argument?

    No, I guess I was unclear about what I meant. I tried to illustrate with my anecdote that many people may simply not know what the term “libertarian” means. That many may, as my friend did, commit the fallacy of equivocation on the terms “liberal” and “libertarian”.

  • Anthony

    Ah, I see.

    The whole “liberal” thing really makes me uncomfortable. It truly is a frightening example of newspeak. The term liberal has (or perhaps had) positive connotations to do with freedom and (of course) liberty. Now it is used to describe the greatest threat to liberty that the world has ever seen, while feeding off those positive connotations.

    Luckily, though, it hasn’t entirely worked: liberal has already become a dirty word for some people, because of the way it has been tarred by people who are asking for authoritarianism under the guise of liberalism.

    It’s good, in a sense, that people have seen through it, but it disgusts me that the people who despise freedom have grabbed that term, ravaged it, and left its decimated carcass by the wayside.

    It’s just crazy to me that we have freedom on one side of the debate and “liberal” on the other. Both terms that were originall somewhat synonymous. Someone is using doublethink in this scenario, and I know it isn’t me.

    That the use of a word for precisely the opposite of what it means can go relatively unquestioned for so long is a source of great concern for me. But then, how could they possibly get other people to agree with them, if they called it something more accurate?

    “Progressive” is another one that irks me…

    Sure, that’s accurate of by progressive you mean going backwards to a pseudo-religious way of thinking, where the ethereal “common good” takes the place of God, and where “faith” that it is the way to save the world trumps cold hard facts that illustrate the opposite is true.

    Bah, humbug to the word thieves…

  • John

    For the lefties, I just tried to post a comment to this post(Link) at Crooked Timber, pointing out a factual flaw in it, and I got “your post is awaiting moderation”, what the hell is that? I posted under the nom’ de plum (sic?) Hellbilly.

  • Verity

    If you posted under a nom de plum, you should have called yourself Victoria.

  • John

    Well, what do you know, it finally got posted.

  • My Heart Bleeds

    Here’s a story you won’t see mention on Samizdata, because it doesn’t fit in with the “Democracy on the March!” hallucinations of the NeoCons.

    Iraqi Police, Security forces terrorize doctors and hospital.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    My Heart Bleeds/Cranky Libertarian/Bob Dobbs:

    Don’t you have anything better to do?

  • Julian Morrison

    It is awfully hard to post up a story onto Samizdata. I don’t mean directly (not my blog!) I mean it’s hard to even draw attention to something, if I’ve seen it elsewhere. Posting it into comments is off topic by definition.

    How about a “suggest a topic” postable page?

  • Anthony

    “Meet the old boss, same as the new boss.”

    Indeed, precisely why I think people should be their own boss as far as is humanly possibly, contrary to the misery making, atrocity facilitating centralization and control structures you hold so dear.

    You show an utter failure to grasp the principles of freedom, and then try to attack this site not from what it actually is, but from what your misguided, thoroughly addled brain thinks it is.

  • John: the fact that comments are moderated doesn’t mean that it’s censored. It’s usually just done as a way of preventing spam.

  • My Heart Bleeds

    Samizdata is now an official “OPERATION YELLOW ELEPHANT” site.

    Because ranting about liberals is safer than enlisting to fight in Iraq.

    So, no comments about Iraqi police and “security” forces terrorizing Iraqi doctors and occupying a hospital.

    I thought invading and occupying Iraq was to put an end to that sort of thing.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Use of et tu fallacious logic. Unreasonable expectations of perfection.

    Can somebody pull this joker back into the real world?

    TWG

  • Keith

    My Heart Bleeds; if the mainstream media, totalitarianism’s fellow-travellers (aka “peace protesters) and various lying lefty organisations such as the Red Cross and Amnesty International can hinder the course of the war and the spreading of democratic freedoms, then those of us cheering from the sidelines for freedom are supporting the troops in Iraq as effectively as those mentioned are undermining them.
    Nothing “tellow” about that, especially given that many of us work in the media and academia, environments very hostile to freedom.

  • Dear Bleeder,
    Your comment is up,but so off topic as to be deranged.I realise you probably spent so much time at sites such as Kos and the DU mumbling the incantations that ward off intelligent discourse, but here your groupspeak bonding simply comes out as a form of political Turettes syndrome.

  • My Heart Bleeds

    Still no comments about Iraqi police and “security” forces terrorizing doctors at a hospital.

    Come on, guys, surely you can work up some manner of rationalization as to how this is all the fault of Clinton’s blowjob!

    <watson>”Holmes, this is wonderful! How do you do it?</watson>

    Amazing how the fact that I oppose the invasion and occupation of Iraq, based upon the outright lies of Bush, et al, coupled with my utter and complete disdain for the hypocrasy of the Samizdata crew, is evidence that I’m not a hardcore, committed libertarian, but some manner of leftwing, socialist, almost certainly French, fellow traveller.

    And to see the exact same behaviour expressed here, that the lefty blogs are accused of doing, well, pot, meet kettle. You two have a LOT in common.

  • Mark

    The implication of My Heart Bleeds post is that he’d rather him Saddam Hussein back in power.

    From reading the article, this alleged abuse is carried out by ill-disciplined renegades, without government authorisation. When Saddam was in power, it was authorised by the government, or at least acknowledged as reasonable. I take it My Heart Bleeds supports government authorised torture, intimidation and abuse as an acceptable situation.

    Perhaps he can also give us statistics as to how many Kurds these new security forces have gassed. Perhaps he can tell us how many mass-graves they have dug for murdered thousands.

    Or perhaps he will tell us exactly what happened to the brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles and friends of those who dared to create a petition under Saddam Hussein. Maybe he will tell us of the rewards that were given to people who committed these atrocities under Saddam Hussein.

    Iraq is still in a bad way, no reasonable person doubts that, but to suggest that it is either a) anyway near as bad or worse than it was under Saddam or b) in an as bad or worse position from which to eventually stabilize and prosper than under Saddam is simply irrational nonsense.

  • Anthony

    I can only assume from the barely disguised nonsense that he is spouting that he is just trolling.

  • Anthony

    My Heart Bleeds,

    I don’t see what relevance the story has to freedom, rational though, etcetera.

    That’s what I come here for, not to hear about the ill effects of wars I neither planned nor supported nor opposed.

    I don’t even like the idea of standing armies, never mind interventionist foreign policy, but that is neither here nor there.

    Are you even on the right website? Half the stuff you are saying has precisely no relevance.

    If you want to believe that an English person is posting on this website so that, in some magical way, it prevents him having to enlist in the army of an entirely different nation voluntarily (which he cannot legally do anyway) and fight in a war that he didn’t support (or oppose) to prove his credentials as someone that believes in freedom, small government and that wars are a collectivist evil, then that is fine.

    However please do it from the safety of your padded room, not on a website for the criticially rational.

    Seriously, I really don’t know what your point is. Do you think I voted for Bush in the last election? Well I didn’t. Do you think I voted for Blair in the last election? Well I didn’t.

    The linking thread for the people who come to samizdata is a belief in personal liberty, free market economics, that sort of thing. Not what new form of atrocity collectivists are committing against each other.

    Why not precisely outline what it is that you don’t like about this story not being posted, make it detailed and structured. Then we can at least have a clue where you are coming from and put you on the right track.

  • Anthony,
    I is just first grade trolling.Introduce an off topic subject,post links and demand an answer,then jeer when nobody does. This way trolls steal the thread,it’s a form of masturbation.
    Iwould have thought Samizdata would have attracted a better quality of troll than this pathetic disgrace to Trolldom.

  • oh dear

    Let’s see how quickly this time my comment gets deleted although lots of you deride those leftie blogs about it because it’s something that’s so beneath this blog.

    To those like Mark… you simple don’t understand do you ?
    No one is saying that what happens in Gitmo and the like is just as bad as what Saddam was doing… the point is that it isn’t enough unlike it.
    Ever heard of practicing what one preaches ?

    Read the following qoute out of a post :

    …various lying lefty organisations such as the Red Cross…

    You read it ? Did you shake your head in disbelieve that anyone can be so clearly of the “there are reds under the bed”-”if you are not with us you’re against us”-intellectually challenged ?
    If not… I guess you have freerepublic in your toolbar bookmarks folder and the only way you can call yourself llibertarian is by selfdelusion.

  • And STILL off topic

  • Dear Bob,

    The reason I have not deleted your comments this time is that you have done such a marvelous job of demonstrating what a buffoon you are, plus the fact the commentariat has done such a fine job of explaining that whilst claiming to suppprt liberty you are in fact just another idiotarian supporter of Baathist fascism.

    But sure, in future I may just delete your brainless trolling as there is little point in pandering to fools like you, unless your antics continue to entertain, that is.

  • Verity

    Oh, Perry! Breath of fresh air! Applause!

  • Of course on a libertarian blog,commenters are at liberty to ignore stupid questions,or any others for that matter.

  • Anthony

    Did you just say:

    “I know you are, but what am I?”

  • There used to be another such Bob,Canadian Robert.

  • Mark

    To those like Mark… you simple don’t understand do you ?
    No one is saying that what happens in Gitmo and the like is just as bad as what Saddam was doing… the point is that it isn’t enough unlike it.

    For me, an election free of co-ercion; the drafting of a constitution; the end of pogroms; the end of thousands of honest civil servants and members of the police forces being executed on constructive treason charges; and the end of a brutal regime of state organized terror are reasons enough to say that Iraq is extremely unlike the Saddam regime.

    However, people tend to forget not only the freedom brought by the Americans, but the hope for a better future, for a time when Iraq is not like it is now and a time when the people have a country to be proud of. This hope was never there under Saddam Hussein. One only needs to talk to a reasonable sample of Iraqis to realise what the liberation has done.

    Ever heard of practicing what one preaches ?

    One can only guess as to what you mean by this. If you mean going off to fight in Iraq, you might want to delve into some good old Adam Smith and learn about specialisation. Highly recommend. If you mean standing up for freedom and liberty, it is quite rich to assume that you know a great deal about the actions of other posters here.

    FYI, I initially opposed the war in Iraq, however, having seen the consequences of the war, and having developed a better understanding of several good reasons for going to war, I changed my mind.

  • Verity

    “No one is saying that what happens in Gitmo and the like is just as bad as what Saddam was doing… the point is that it isn’t enough unlike it.”

    Uh, could you let us know – because you are stark raving bonkers – in what way Gitmo is not unlike enough life under Saddam that so distresses you? Tens of thousands of people were murdered and raped in Iraq under Saddam. Freelance murder and rape and institutional murder and rape.

    No one has been raped or murdered in Gitmo.

    Give me a minute and I’ll let you know, between the two, where I’d rather be.

  • Oh Dear,What is you definition of a neo-con,we need to understand your jargon ?

  • Sark

    These dissenting so called libertarians seem curiously incapable of understanding that not only is this blog private property, which means follow the owners rules about what is or is not off-topic or take a hike, but also if you insult people and act like a jerk, you will get chucked off the private property.

    But then clearly there are some psychoses at work here and these guys just cannot stand that they have not only not convinced anyone, they are treated like the jokes they are when they act like schmucks and then wonder why the owners do not engage them.

  • Amazingcreatures Trolls the arrive sneering and jeering then turn into delicate flowers if challenged.
    Must be awful to be a wallflower,nobody asks you to dance.

  • Verity

    Oh God, oh dear! You are a gift! Thank you!

    First: Yes, I am defending the “offences” that took place in Gitmo. The Islamic guys had a lot of fun – let’s not be prudish. Second, they learned some new moves for once they were out of there. “Honey, hand me that dog collar and leash …”. It’s all relatives, as so many of their relationships are.

  • I don’t think that the opposition “liberal” versus “conservative” is very useful. It always strikes me when self-styled elitist people who think that politics is should be organized from the bottom down are called liberals. Liberalism comes from “libertas”, that means freedom.
    There is a big confusion in the field of political terminology.
    I would propose another schema:
    a) People who think that America is inherently good.
    b) People who think that America is inherently bad.
    c) People who think that a) and b) are useless categoties and that it depends on what America does.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    A commenter above sneered at the likes of Oliver Kamm and Melanie Phillips for deleting comments. As Verity pointed out, they did so to avoid the daily toil of delecting endless vile anti-semitic trash from their sites.

    One of the problems with the so-called anti-war types, such as the fellow hitting this site from time to time, is complete inability to frame an argument in a way that does not rapidly descend into personal abuse, wild conspiracy theory nonsense. It is a pity. There is a pretty good case to be made for anti-interventionist foreign policy (as is occasionally made by Jim Henley) but most of the anti-war folk are unspeakably stupid and unpleasant.

    As for the sheer number of hits that a Kos-type site gets, who cares? It is the quality that counts.

  • There’s that age-old mistake, comparing popularity with quality.

    As Brett and others have said, who cares? More people read the New York Times than read the Washington Times, even though the NYT is an appalling Lefty fishwrap, and the WT isn’t.

    A little while ago (when I won the coveted title of “Worst. Blogger. Ever.” from the lefties at Crooked Timber [sic]), someone was bewailing the fact that Blogads showed my site traffic as being higher than that of three of the lesser lefty sites combined.

    I suggested that perhaps if those lefty sites featured guns and near-naked women (like mine does), perhaps their traffic would increase.

    You could hear the supercilious sniff from a mile away.

    Twerps.

  • The “conservative” and “liberal” labels do not refer primarily to what people think of America; they refer primarily to what freedoms citizens of a country should have. America is no longer a useful model of liberty (although it remains the freest nation on earth, practically speaking). And yes, I agree – they are bad labels. I would echo the question to whoever mentioned the word NEOCON – what exactly do you mean by that? Cause it seems to me that, in ideological terms, there ain’t much difference between a conservative and a neocon.

  • Verity, your hypocrisy is beyond belief:

    your self-righteous Hitleresque bashing of people who don’t agree with you. You don’t argue the case. You call names.

    As an example of self-righteous bashing of people who don’t agree with you, not arguing the case, and name-calling (“Hitler”? Original choice!) that comment ranks higher than any other I’ve ever read on any blog, left or right.

    “My Heart Bleeds” was spot on with this: pot, meet kettle.

    I’m a lefty (ssssh!) and I admit that I indulge in a bit of name-calling etc. from time to time, to be honest who doen’t? It seems to have totally bypassed the notice of everyone here that you guys are every bit as bad. Just read through this comments page alone:

    a shrieking kindergarten of angry attention seekers… hordes of juvenile, obscene, fact-free tirades by enraged “liberals.”… left wing blogs are 99.99% whingefests… lefty blogs can attract a zillion shrieking irrational moonbats… One of the problems with the so-called anti-war types, such as the fellow hitting this site from time to time, is complete inability to frame an argument… etc. etc. etc.

    I’m not complaining – you can say what you like. Just don’t try to claim the moral high-ground, because you lot are just as happy to descend into name-calling and abuse as the lefties you despise.

  • “No one has been raped or murdered in Gitmo.”

    Perhaps not, but they certainly have been by US troops in Iraq. Not in the same numbers as under Saddam, but the fact it’s happened at all is horrible (and denying that it’s happened is foolish).

    And Kamm and Phillips didn’t /have/ to spend any time deleting comments from their sites; they were merely both too precious to let things they disapproved of stand.

  • Verity

    Larry, only one of the comments you quoted was attributable to me. The rest was a compendium of what others had written – although I agree with all of them.

    I don’t know anything about Kamm, but sometimes a chill ran down my spine reading some of the things on Phillips’s site before she deleted them. Why such violent people thought a Jew would be happy to host their comments beggars all understanding.

    In addition, for some absolutely incomprehensible reason, Phillips’s site got colonised by a clique of shrieking gays who used it as a means of communicating with one another, never referring at all to anything she’d written. It was truly bizarre. So out of 100 comments, you may have got 30 or 35 that referred, in civilised terms, to the subject she’d addressed, and the other 65 or so would be virulently anti-Semitic or queens carrying on catty spats and screaming “bitch!” at each other.

    No wonder she threw up her hands in despair!

  • Larry, only one of the comments you quoted was attributable to me.

    That was why I only attributed one of them to you.

  • So out of 100 comments, you may have got 30 or 35 that referred, in civilised terms, to the subject she’d addressed, and the other 65 or so would be virulently anti-Semitic or queens carrying on catty spats and screaming “bitch!” at each other.

    You mean slightly, but not significantly, more edifying than Mel’s original articles…?

  • Verity

    I mean incalculable light years ahead of your postings. For a superb example of Melanie Phillips’ writing, go to her site and read her address to the Witney Conservative Association, posted today, which is the best piece I’ve ever read by her. She nails the Conservative malaise with precision. melaniephillips.com/articles/archives/001275.html I can’t get the link to work, but you can cut and paste the address.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    I mean incalculable light years ahead of your postings

    Oh come on, Verity. I found John B’s lastest post about HP sauce and his favourite condiments truly edifying.

  • That’s an awesome piece of Mel-ery. In her favour, she can certainly write and certainly says, err, interesting things.

    (BTW, you seem to be impling that the queens and antisemites on Mel’s site are light years ahead of my postings. I suspect this isn’t intended, since you don’t strike me as someone who’d view gay judenhass as particularly progressive).

    And it’s not about *my* favourite condiments: it’s an authorative ranking of condiment quality. Only a fool, a madman or a Gramscian subversive could possible disagree, especially concerning salad cream.

  • Verity

    john b – You are correct.

  • john b – You are correct.

    Posted by Verity at June 20, 2005 07:37 PM

    I shall treasure that comment forever.

  • David

    “This is largely a result of the open embrace of community blogging on the left and the stagnant, anti-meritorious nature of the right-wing blogosphere that pushes new, emerging voices to the margins.”

    Do any of you remember the hundred of articles in periodicals extolling the advantages of collectivized farming over the old “stagnant” methods of private farming? Of course you don’t. Nobody has written those articles for fifty years. However, I get a distinct sense of deja vu when I read about the latest “community” this or “community” that. It reminds me of all the articles in the press ten years ago about how Europe’s “Third Way” would soon lead to European ascension over the “stagnant” U.S. Nobody seems to write those articles any more for some reason.

    Come on everyone, the left has pushed collectivist strategies for over a hundred years. Each attempt has begun with great fanfare and failed dismally. I suspect “community blogging” will be as succesful as all those sixties communes or European “Third Way” social dreams.

    What the author called the “right-wing” blogoshere is nothing more than a bunch of people doing whatever they want. Just because a collectivist fantasist/propagandist calls it “stagnant” nor “anti-meritorious” doesn’t make it so. The so called “right wing blogosphere” is not “right wing”, it is dynamic, individualistic and intrinsically meritorious.

    I’ll make a confident prediction, in ten years “community blogging” will have gone the way of communes – killed by their stiffling, top-down herd mentality. In other words, “community blogging”, not the so called “right wing blogosphere” will have been exposed as stagnant and anti-meritorious, just like collectivized farming – regardless of what the propagandists say.

  • Shawn

    In defense of Perry (not that he cant defend himself of course) and Samizdata, I am a conservative not a libertarian and I have on occasion had fighting words with Perry on the issue of immigration as well as heated debates with others here on various issues such as religion, and I have never to my knowledge been cenosred and certainly not banned, so “MY Heart Bleeds” accusation is baseless crap.

    Samizdata is one of the few blogs that genuinely allows a free exchange of views and ideas.

  • Rob

    Oh dear.

    I don’t think either side has done itself many favours in the 80 or so comments posted here.

    My general impression of the debate is as follows:

    Person A:
    Person B: “Aha, that’s exactly the kind of inflammatory comment I’d expect from a complete moron such as yourself!”
    Person C: “How true. I hate morons!”
    Person D: “This moron should be glad that we let him post at all”
    Person E: “Yes. Let’s be glad we’re not like Site X, which is run by morons and bans any post containing any sense whatsoever!”

    Now, I’m all for the denunciation of morons, especially when caught in the act of perpetuating moronic opinions upon the rest of us. However, could we please at least try to do so with a modicum of class?

    I cut my internet teeth posting on message boards where the moderators tended to stay out of political debates, only interfering when insults became the primary purpose for the continuation of the thread. The main problem with blogs is that, due to their partisan nature, it is often entirely acceptable to ridicule “beyond the Pale” arguments, rather than respond by illuminating the objections to them.

    The outsider, who begins with only a fallacious (if we are to presume that he is wrong) argument then proceeds to gain the ability to point out (entirely legitimately, and to his own great personal enjoyment and satisfaction) the weaknesses of the condescending ripostes issued by the partisan gallery. The gallery, lacking any desire to engage in real argument, is left with a response which equates to “are you still here? I thought we already told you you’re an idiot!”.

    Please bear in mind that I am generalising; if I have been too harsh it is because I am frustrated at wading through 80-odd posts looking for the argument that finally defeats the original moron-argument, only to find that it has not been posted simply because everyone else finds insults more amusing.

  • Verity

    Oh, Rob, nothing could have been more amusing than your post. I honestly laughed out loud. No no! I mean it! This isn’t the moron argument! It was funny in its own right.

  • Rob

    D’oh, the “moron argument” appeared incorrectly. I enclosed Person A’s statement as follows: < text >, forgetting that Movable Type accepts HTML text and my text was treated as a HTML tag.

    The original text read simply “mildly inflammatory statement”.