Or is that wishful thinking? Something to consider. There are so many lies; some conscious, willful and maliciously intended, others unconscious and unintentional stemming from an implacable reluctance to consider multiple perspectives.
The blogging universe is rife with all manner of treachery which is quite ironic if you take pause and ponder the notion. The internet was supposed to set us free, but in my estimation, it’s yet another abstraction of captivity that is Civilization. Civilization spawned the internet and Civilization is captivity, so it stands to reason the internet is one further abstraction of the civilized shackles that bind us. We think, therefore we aren’t…free.
I suppose I should be more specific about the treachery as it relates to blogging. My focus is really on political and social commentary blogging, although vanity blogging is often exemplary of delusional lipstick on a pig and thus another form of lying. When people blog for personal reasons aside from political and social commentary, although it’s difficult to escape such commentary even when it’s not your intended goal, it’s the creation of a veneer meant to obscure one’s true self and paint the author as something they may want to, but never could, be.
Pursuant to the aforementioned focus, political and social commentary bloggers and blogs have an agenda and that agenda is, amongst many things, self-serving. Many, if not all, intend to make a name for themselves, both bloggers and blogs, and they will compromise every ethical and moral boundary in that pursuit. In this sense, blogging, which from here on out for the purposes of this post will be considered political and social commentary, brings out the worst in humanity despite adulatory rhetoric to the contrary. Bloggers are a sordid bunch of deceptive and deceitful liars. Don’t trust one of them. I don’t, and that includes the one authoring this post and hosting this blog. It’s all a lie even though some of it is truth. If you can accept and assimilate this very basic fact, you just may have a chance in this world. Trust no blogger. Ever. A blogger’s deceit knows no bounds as the meat of this post will reveal.
The following photo from Orwell sizes it up nicely, don’t you think (you shouldn’t if you cherish your freedom…think, I mean…so maybe feel is a better word even though it’s euphemism for think)?
The Bloggerverse is a veritable stew, nay a quagmire, of lies and lying. You must realize this and accept it if you care to have any hope of navigating through it without getting consumed and/or entangled permanently. Even the most clear-headed and poised get ensnared from time to time. It takes great discipline, skill and perseverance to slip the bindings and once again venture off into the cold, dark, lonely night in search of the illusive dawn.
Political and social blogs are created and perpetuated for a number of reasons, all of which are self-serving. They also come in all shapes and sizes and so too do the attendant lies that comprise them. There are the larger social and political commentary blog forums that contain multiple reporting authors and an alleged slew of members/commentators. And yes, I said alleged because all is not what it seems when it comes to commentators and commenting on blogs. Some examples of these larger blogs are Daily Kos, Firedoglake, The Huffington Post, Stormfront, etc, etc. The lists goes on and on. There are so many. It’s like a candy store except this candy’s poison.
On the other end of the blogger spectrum you have what could be called the sole proprietor blog where it’s usually just one author, but certainly no more than several, and a cast of characters that make up the comment section. Many reputable journalists and/or authors create blogs in order to maintain a public profile and their cache. They will go to whatever lengths necessary to sell themselves to keep their target audience rubes coming back for more. It’s not about truth or truth seeking, if there even is any truth, it’s about writing whatever is necessary to maintain the charade of name recognition. Lying works. Lying pays dividends even when the lying is about other people lying for dividends. When it comes to social and political commentary bloggers, what’s good for the lying goose, is good for the lying gander. In case I haven’t mentioned it already, it’s all lies.
There are certainly some exceptions to this rule, but they are so rare they’re hardly worth mentioning. Still, when you happen upon such a blog in your travels through the fermenting muck that is the Bloggerverse, it’s a real treat. No one visits these blogs. It’s just a lone blogger blogging away with no intention of gaining a following and nurturing a name and cache. It’s just free-flow expression with no particular agenda except the need to express. These rare gems are a joy so I keep them secret and don’t tell anyone about them. If I did, the poison that rots the majority of the Bloggerverse would find its way to these replenishing oases and despoil them as it does all else it touches and infects.
To some who read this, so far it’s making total sense and has been their exact experience. Others who have only just begun their journey of enlightenment, or are about to begin may not “get” it. They’re still naive and believe, as young children in the West believe in Santa Claus, that what you see in the Bloggerverse is what you get. This is exactly the target market of the poisonous, venomous ones who seek to hold your mind captive and conditioned even when you venture outside your cave and glimpse what you think is the light versus the nebulous shadow play that is traditional media, i.e. newsprint, television and radio. With blogging, now you can interact with your favorite print media author, or television personality and that, to you, means greater freedom. Sadly, no. Quite the contrary; it in fact means even further incarceration of your thought process because your idealistic belief that it’s freedom makes you exponentially more vulnerable to captive strategies tailored for this easily exploited medium known as the Bloggerverse. It’s a nasty place permeated with all manner of lying vampire squids seeking your mind, seeking your soul and adding insult to injury, seeking what’s in your wallet (Capital One card or otherwise) as remuneration for their capture of you. Their job, whether they’ve been explicitly tasked with it or not, is to not let you get away. If too many do, the current consensus reality falls apart and that must not happen unless it’s part of the, or a, plan.
Alright then, where do we go from here with this discussion? Perhaps choosing a blog and using it as an example will help those who’re still holding on, even if tenuously, to their conditioned notions of Santa Claus. For a little over a year I’ve been involved in deep, or not so deep, cover work at a blog called Clusterfuck Nation. It’s a social and political commentary blog that deals with issues such as Peak Oil and an imminent societal collapse (according to the curiously bizarre author, Jim Kunstler) from resource restrictions. The author, Jim Kunstler, has long been out in front of this topic and has ridden the Doomer wave all the way to the bank and still is riding this most spectacular wave even though it’s about to crash. Kunstler, in this respect, is “totally tubular.” He’s also a consummate liar. His blog posts are full of lies and his comment section is an even greater lie, if that’s possible. Kunstler’s blog is the perfect example of the poisonous Bloggerverse, so once you understand that and how it works, you’ll have a greater ability to navigate the Bloggerverse, if you’re still motivated to enter it, and avoid the debilitating intellectual entanglements that seek to hold you hostage for eternity.
Kunstler is a curious case. He’s a New York Jew with a degree in Theater. Upon graduation, after a number of stints as a feature writer/reporter with various newspapers and publications, he landed a job with Rolling Stone magazine. One of his feature writing stints involved covering the infamous John Birch Society . After a brief tenure at the chic and budding Rolling Stone, Kunstler struck it out on his own and went freelance, writing a number of books and penning columns for several noteworthy news outlets.
Wrap your head around that career path. Imagine the connections it would take to attain Kunstler’s level of status. For a certain sect of society, it’s a cake walk. All you have to be is halfway motivated and produce mediocre material and you’re set. Kunstler proves it. He is a decent writer, I’ll give him that, but he’s nothing special and certainly his ability doesn’t warrant the status he’s attained. He even has his very own Wikipedia page. Isn’t that a spectacular photo of Jim? He looks so dashing in his turtleneck and that moustache is the pride of Washington County, New York. The earring would come later than this photo, but wow, you know you’ve arrived when you have a Wikipedia page devoted to you. How does he do it? How did he do it? I’m not going to provide the answers, but the questions are important because they’re a start to something that may not, and should not, have a finish.
When Kunstler struck it out on his own he dabbled in a variety of writing venues, both fiction and non-fiction alike. His non-fiction focused, initially at least, on poor urban planning and the scourge that is suburbia. An interesting topic, for sure, but Kunstler, considering his background and pedigree, isn’t a credible expert when it comes to the material, and yet he’s been treated as such over the years by a society that cherishes experts and apparently can find one on any street corner when in a rush. Somehow, Kunstler’s managed to garner invitations to speak and write about the topic by notable institutions and media publications including a Ted Talk. Ted––what would we do without it? What did we do without Ted’s talks in times past? Perhaps we didn’t talk so much and instead DID. Something to consider.
Apparently Kunstler grew bored of pretending to be an urban planner and architect, and so he moved on to bigger and better things like Peak Oil. Kunstler was clever though, he didn’t completely abandon his previous “calling,” but rather incorporated it into his new schtick (sorry Q) as a cumulative ongoing thesis and gravy train. Poor urban planning and the unsustainable scourge and blight of suburbia couples with Peak Oil like a horse couples with a carriage carrying the latest sizable deposit to Kunstler’s bank. Don’t you just love the American way? Kunstler does despite his stealthily contrived rumblings and ramblings to the contrary.
Kunstler didn’t stop at Peak Oil though. He’s found yet another uncut pasture flush with flowering heirloom dollar bills fluttering helplessly in the rapacious breeze of exploitation. His next topic of inquiry and purported expertise has been High Finance. The alleged Great Recession of 2008 has been a boon for reporters of every stripe and Kunstler, old hustling dog that he is, rushed to that uncut pasture with the rest of the opportunists seeking their treasure by spinning lies. I don’t believe any event has ever been more heavily reported on in history, and reporting is money, make no bones about it. As a result, the lies are so thick surrounding the coverage of the spectacle that was, and still is, the 2008 financial crisis you can cut them with a knife…but make sure it’s a Wüsthof Ikon Damascus Chef’s Knife. No ordinary knife will do.
As is Kunstler’s wont, he folded and weaved his previous forays, poor urban planning, unsustainable suburban blight and Peak Oil into his new High Finance pet topic with the final thesis and conclusions drawn from it resembling both spaghetti thrown on the wall to see if it sticks and a ludicrous, eclectic curry of incohesive elements that don’t marry well and can only be brought into proximity to one another forcibly. From this forced union, he’s developed an ongoing fiction which could be considered his magnum opus, World Made By Hand. The quote by “spasto” linked to by clicking on the title is worth noting here. It characterizes Kunstler’s dystopian wet dreams and his gravy train schtick quite nicely and will provide a segue to the next level of this discussion about blogging and treachery.
this book reads as an aging, wealthy white man’s fantasy of what the 19th century would have been like without the added complication of… anyone who wasn’t a wealthy white male land owner. women are described solely by their bodies and how they feed, care for and service their men. all of the male characters are introduced by their former occupations and the new skills they’ve miraculously learned just in time for the end-of-days. the women, on the other hand, are introduced by their breast shape and their sexual history with the narrator. people of color are entirely absent, except for a few mentions of how scary the cities have become since the race wars began. oh, and the narrator mentions to a new-comer in town that he has no idea what happened to the two black families who used to live there. he obviously doesn’t care too much to think more about it, and everyone seems to be in agreement that the town is safer because only white people live there (???). the bad guys are poor white people (aka the most unoriginal cliched rednecks you’ve ever heard of) who used to love nascar, but now that the teevee is gone, all they do is hang out in their trailer park and reenact porn live for families to watch as entertainment. are you kidding me?!?! this book is not only pathetically small-minded, it is also completely unrealistic. i’m to believe that 40+ overfed, self-centered white guys who used to be computer programmers, bank ceos and car salesmen and who graduated from the nation’s top universities (yes he does name-drop amherst college and duke, as if those things would matter after the apocalypse) are really going to be the ones livin large after the world blows up? and that they all find it within themselves to become master gardeners, dairy farmers, carpenters, masons, and whatever you call people who make matches out of boiled-down pee? (again, not making this up). what happened to all the people who actually know how to do these things without the help of immigrant labor and $100,000+ educations??? this is the work of a small, small man. mr. kunstler is obviously afraid of anyone who is not like him. sounds like a great strategy for navigating our changing times!
Kunstler, in an effort to perpetuate the cultivation of his dysfunctional Doomer audience, supplements his fictitious World Made By Hand Collapse porn series of books with weekly social/political commentary blog posts. It’s clear, to anyone paying attention, that Kunstler doesn’t give much time to these posts and is merely paraphrasing and regurgitating things he’s said before and things others have said to whom he will never give any credit. Liars seldom credit other liars, and in this case, I don’t blame them. This is a not so nice way of saying Kunstler is repetitive and unoriginal. I’ll go a step further and assert he knows and doesn’t care. He realizes his target audience lacks nuanced sophistication and a fully developed intellect so he can feed them week-old porridge and they’ll lap it up like it’s ambrosia. Life Is Good…for those who know how it all works and manipulate it to their advantage regardless of the effect it has on the character of their being. Oh, in case I forgot to mention it, the repetitive, regurgitated and paraphrased tropes that permeate Kunstler’s weekly blog posts are mostly lies hiding slyly beneath the cloak of opinion.
So, what are some of these repeated lies you may ask? There’s several I will highlight, but keep in mind, all Kunstler’s lies, at least the explicit ones clearly defined in his weekly blog posts, are deftly deposited to maintain and nurture his ongoing and ever-changing discordant and contradictory thesis that the prolonged financial crisis that commenced in 2008 is the start of a societal economic and political collapse initiated by a sick society and its addiction to the finite resource that is oil. To support The Scapegoat thesis he’s carefully, or carelessly, crafted, Kunstler carts out, time and time again, repeated tropes like the price of oil is as high as it is because of diminishing supply due to Peak Oil. James Howard will claim chicanery when it comes to the pricing of other commodities as he’s done in this latest blog post, where he states the following:
Team Obama pulled a cute one last week nominating Blythe Masters, JP Morgan’s commodity chief, to an advisory committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) which supposedly regulates activities on the paper trades in corn, pork bellies, cocoa, coffee, wheat, corn — oh, and gold, too, by the way, in which JP Morgan has been suspected of massive gold (and silver) market manipulations and other misconduct lately.
Fair enough, Jimmie, I’ll give you a maybe or how about a more than likely on that, but when it comes to oil, according to Unca Jimma it’s pure and natural free-market supply and demand dictating the price and since supply is allegedly declining per Kunstler and his fellow Doomers, the price is soaring on a resource that’s becoming more precious. He applies a principle or rule to all other commodities but makes an exception when it comes to oil and vice versa. Why? Because he has to make it fit the crazy thesis, so he lies about oil, both the supply of it and the price of it. Kunstler’s been provided ample evidence by a number of people, including me, that the price of oil is being manipulated, and set really, by insiders who have the power and ability to do it and are doing it. It’s not just speculation on oil which is bad enough, it’s purposeful setting of the price. The price has nothing to do with demand, supply or costs to extract, or at least not costs to extract directly. But Kunstler puts his hands over his ears or blackens out any written disconfirming information like the government blackens out practically entire documents when it releases sensitive declassified material from its archives under the FOI Act. Per that link about setting the price of oil, this is worth noting and underscoring for posterity:
They were a band of outsiders unable to get jobs with New York’s gilded financial establishment. They would go on to corner the world’s multitrillion-dollar oil market, reaping unimaginable riches while bringing the economy to its knees.
Meet the self-anointed kings of the New York Mercantile Exchange. In some ways, they are everything you would expect them to be: a secretive, members-only club of men and women who live lavish lifestyles; cavort with politicians, strippers, and celebrities; and blissfully jacked up oil prices to nearly $150 a barrel while profiting off the misery of the working class. In other ways, they are nothing you can imagine: many come from working-class families themselves. The progeny of Jewish, Irish, and Italian immigrants who escaped war-torn Europe, they take pride in flagrantly spurning Wall Street.
Under the thumb of an all-powerful international oil cartel, the energy market had long eluded the grasp of America’s hungry capitalists. Neither the oil royalty of Houston nor the titans of Wall Street had ever succeeded in fully wresting away control. But facing extinction, the rough-and-tumble traders of Nymex—led by the reluctant son of a producemerchant—went after this Goliath and won, creating the world’s first free oil market and minting billions in the process. Their stunning journey from poverty to prosperity belies the brutal and violent history that is their legacy.
For the first time, The Asylum unmasks the oil market’s self-described “inmates” in all their unscripted and dysfunctional glory: the happily married father from Long Island whose lust for money and power was exceeded only by his taste for cruel pranks; the Italian kung fu–fighting gasoline trader whose ferocity in the trading pits earned him countless millions; the cheerful Nazi hunter who traded quietly by day and ambushed Nazi sympathizers by night; and the Irish-born femme fatale who outsmarted all but one of the exchange’s chairmen—the Hungarian emigre who, try as he might, could do nothing to rein in the oil market’s unruly inhabitants.
From the treacherous boardroom schemes to the hookers and blow of the trading pits; from the repeat terrorist attacks and FBI stings to the grand alliances and outrageous fortunes that brought the global economy to the brink, The Asylum ventures deep into the belly of the beast, revealing how raw ambition and the endless quest for wealth can change the very nature of both man and market.
Showcasing seven years of research and hundreds of hours of interviews, Leah McGrath Goodman reveals what really happened behind the scenes as oil prices topped out and what choice the traders ultimately made when forced to choose between their longtime brotherhood and their precious oil monopoly.
Alright, good, it looks like I’m getting some views and the majority of those views are coming from Kunstler’s blog, Clusterfuck Nation. What’s disappointing is that hardly any of those views are clicking on some of the great source material behind some of the text highlighted in red and underlined. Either the viewers don’t understand that mechanism, are colorblind, or are only mildly intrigued if at all and know everything they ever care to know. It’s more than likely a combination of all the above, but mostly the latter for reasons I will explain in due time. If you’re in a hurry, sorry, but haste makes waste and I’m tired of the waste.
For anyone who’s studied Kunstler and his blog closely, it’s obvious he’s a gold bug and he plays to the gold bug target market. In this sense, he’s not too much different than the boys in the backrooms of the too big to fail investment houses, meaning he’s gaming the system as much as they are, but his tools are woefully inadequate compared to the nukes the big boys possess. Kunstler and his fellow gold bugs like the ratbag Jim Willie use fear to generate demand for their investment in gold and thus drive the price up and their consequent returns. It’s so ridiculously transparent; a trick as old as the hills, as old as Civilization itself and yet these fools continue to ply it in broad daylight without any hint of disguise. The following comment from the ratbag Jim Willie per the above link is worth noting, and remember, Kunstler is a fan of Willie and reads his material often and sometimes even credits Willie for his adopted thinking:
Financial newsletter writer, Dr. Jim Willie, has a bleak warning for America. Dr. Willie says, “I don’t think the United States is going to be killed as the host. I think it’s going to be bled to death and harvested for its organs, and done so by China.” Dr. Willie explains, “The Chinese will drain this nation and all the Western nations of all their gold.” Dr. Willie predicts, “I have been saying steadily, not until the dollar has problems and the globe starts saying we’re not going to use it anymore, and we’re going to force a devaluation on you . . . that is when the dollar will hit Main Street and the U.S. economy with price inflation. It’s coming this year. . . .This is the late stage, the very late stage.” Dr. Willie goes on to predict a big German bank will “cause a string of bank failures, a domino effect of failed banks.” Dr. Willie goes on to say, “When the big impact comes from the dollar global rejection, and when devaluation does take place, there will be three effects: a jump in prices . . . food shortages and supply disruptions, the third is violence. This is the year we have the currency explosion.” Don’t think Obama Care is going to make things easier. Dr. Willie thinks, “It will be 100 times the nightmare than you think it might be. . . . Obama Care is a big plan to track people, both their money and their bodies, like a bunch of herded animals. This is going to manage death of the individual and manage death of the economy.”
Let me remind you that James Howard has indicated on more than one occasion he’s allergic to conspiracy theories and yet he’s out in Jim Willie’s nature sucking in the conspiratorial pollen without his Zyrtec or even a mask. More lying. It’s obvious Kunstler has a healthy immunity to conspiracy theories especially when the pollen from them sprouts into lucrative money trees.
Closely related to the implicit, between-the-lines Buy Gold message of Kunstler’s weekly blog recitations, is the tiresome canard that he and so many other Doomers bandy shamelessly in seeming perpetude; that being that the Fed is creating/printing money with QE. Kunstler and the commentators at his blog, all two of them and their multitude of sock puppets/avatars, consistently ignore the presentation of sufficient evidence to the contrary. The implication of their lie that QE is creating/printing money is that it will lead to inflation, and of course, what better hedge against potential Weimar Republic hyper-inflation than gold. Imagine that! Therefore, it’s very important to tout hyper-inflation for any number of possible reasons including the lie that QE is money printing.
QE, of course is much more complex than that, and certainly won’t lead to hyperinflation or inflation in the traditional sense of that conceptual mechanism. QE, while it has technically increased the money supply, has not increased the amount of money in circulation. In fact, since QE has been implemented, the amount of money in circulation has decreased substantially as noted by Ellen Brown here. Ellen has the following to say, but she’s not alone. An objective, non-sensational search of the internet will help you locate many fruitful links that support Ellen’s contention. Per the link, here’s what she had to say about QE, printing money and hyper-inflation:
The economy could use a good dose of “aggregate demand”—new spending money in the pockets of consumers—but QE3 won’t do it. Neither will it trigger the dreaded hyperinflation. In fact, it won’t do much at all. There are better alternatives.
The Fed’s announcement on September 13, 2012, that it was embarking on a third round of quantitative easing has brought the “sound money” crew out in force, pumping out articles with frighting titles such as “QE3 Will Unleash’ Economic Horror’ On The Human Race.” The Fed calls QE an asset swap, swapping Fed-created dollars for other assets on the banks’ balance sheets. But critics call it “reckless money printing” and say it will inevitably produce hyperinflation. Too much money will be chasing too few goods, forcing prices up and the value of the dollar down.
All this hyperventilating could have been avoided by taking a closer look at how QE works. The money created by the Fed will go straight into bank reserve accounts, and banks can’t lend their reserves. The money just sits there, drawing a bit of interest. The Fed’s plan is to buy mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from the banks, but according to the Washington Post, this is not expected to be of much help to homeowners either.
At Kunstler’s blog, as part of my “deep” cover, I have deposited other links supporting Ellen Brown’s assertion and sentiment, but it was largely, if not wholly, ignored and after a month or so, once again, Kunstler and his sock puppet brigade in the comment section continued to fear monger that QE is money printing and we’re heading for Zimbabwe any day now. As if! It’s always any day now…the day that never comes but is always almost here…that day that has paid so many dividends to the two-bit hacks who peddle fear for a living.
Perhaps you’re wondering why I’ve occasionally referred to Kunstler as James Howard. Well, it’s a needle to underscore yet another recent lie. Several weeks ago, as part of my “deep” cover into and at Clusterfuck Nation, Kunstler and I shared some emails as we’ve done off and on during 2013. As part of that discussion I asked him the following:
By the way, why do you use your middle name Howard when you refer to yourself? Don’t you think it’s a tad pretentious? Sure, it’s not as bad as J. Howard Kunstler, but it’s still typically Yuppie.
To which he replied:
I never do. Whoever submits my stuff to ZeroHedge does that and I have not been able to correct them… and then it gets syndicated out from there.
Ordinarily, I’d say that’s believable, but I know it’s a lie. Why, or how? Look at the top left corner of this link to Clusterfuck Nation. What do you see? That’s right, James Howard Kunstler, and his Wikipedia page, something he’s privy and partial to and no doubt had a hand in, also refers to him as James Howard Kunstler.
Of course, as with any blog that allows comments, and the majority do, the entirety of a blog, to include any and all comments, is also an expression of the person or persons who control, administrate and author the blog. Kunstler’s comment section is a reflection of him, and what a deeply disturbing image that reflection is.
I have gone “deep” cover native and researched a number of blogs over the years as various screen names/avatars. In testing the boundaries of the fiction that is blog comment sections, I’ve always managed to get myself banned in less than a year by rattling the banana tree and challenging the vibe and/or the game that’s being played. It is my observation that no comment section is at appears. All of them reside somewhere on the spectrum of fiction, and even if they’re not being gamed and/or patrolled or controlled, the innocently delusional and unvirtuous practice of parroting propaganda serves sufficiently as a further form of lying.
After many years of native exploration in the field of blogging, I conclude that the majority of comments to most blogs that allow comments are from a small handful of people at each respective blog. In otherwords, if a comment section reveals 100 unique screen names/avatars, there certainly are not any where near as many unique individuals operating them. Out of that 100, perhaps 20 are unique with 5 or 6 unique individuals using as many as 90% of the screen names/avatars for whatever nefarious and twisted purposes. In popular blogging parlance, multiple screen names/avatars belonging to just one person carrying on a conversation with himself/herself or a few of his/her friends are known as a sock puppets. I don’t want to moralize about using sock puppets. As far as I’m concerned, it’s all lies, and the anonymity of the internet makes it one big costume ball anyway, so who cares if someone keeps ducking in the bathroom every five minutes to change costumes? I don’t, but what I do find curious is the various ways sock puppets are used at blog comment sections.
So, what or who uses sock puppetry and what is the purpose of doing it? A categorical breakdown of sock puppet operator profiles looks something like this although this list is by no means inclusive of the entire sock puppet universe. Sock puppetry is an art form and as such is changing all the time. Attempts to describe it and pin it down are fleeting and illusive but this will suffice for now.
- Intelligence Agents – don’t laugh, they’ve been outed so we know they’re out there but that doesn’t necessarily mean all or even the majority of sock puppetry comprises government agents.
- Political/Ideological Hacks – these are commonly referred to as Astroturfers and you’ll know them because they resemble Nick Naylor from Thank You For Smoking. A growing number of political/ideological organizations to include the myriad of Think Tanks and Political Parties and Lobbying entities Astroturf their propaganda messages using sock puppetry.
- Cyber Gang Stalkers/Bullies – This is a small group of online comrades who have agreed to join forces and create a small army of sock puppets in order to chastise, cajole, bewitch & bedevil, demoralize and humiliate any target that may cross their path and their path just so happens to be blog comment sections where they lay in wait for unwitting visitors.
- The Lone Wolf – Multiple sock puppets employed by one individual across one or many blogs. Unlike the Gang Stalkers, this person prefers to operate alone. You know that when I sock puppet alone, I prefer to be by myself.
- The Blog Owners/Authors/Administrators – it’s true, some do it for a myriad of reasons. An author may do it to practice their craft writing as many different characters for example, or a blog author could engage in sock puppetry as a stealthy form of control rather than overt authoritarianism.
The New York Times tartly compared much reader feedback on blogs to drive-by shootings. It is thus unsurprising that bloggers have used pseudonyms or anonymity in providing supposedly independent comments on their own blogs. The extent of that practice – dubbed sock puppetry – is unclear, although ‘hunt the sock puppet’ has become a minor blood sport in the blogosphere.
Ethics aside (proponents argue that being a sock puppet is mere self-defence or savvy marketing, in the tradition of figures such as Walter Scott, Gerhart Hauptmann and Walt Whitman), puppetry can provoke a visceral response. That is particularly the case if the puppet is vilifying enemies or waxing lyrical about the author.
In 2006, for example cultural critic Lee Siegel of The New Republic was humilatingly exposed as contributing comments – under the pseudonym Sprezzatura – to his own blog. Sprezzatura modestly characterised Siegel “brilliant” and “brave”, recurrently rubbishing detractors (eg “an awful suck-up” whose writing “is sweaty with panting obsequious ambition” or as a “bunch of immature, abusive sheep” engaged in ‘blogfascism’) who had unaccountably failed to appreciate the sock-master’s wit and wisdom.
- Other – This is the catchall category for those who engage in sock puppetry but don’t fit the aforementioned profiles. For example, I’m someone who doesn’t fit the previous profiles although I have engaged in sock puppetry. In fact, I seldom use sock puppetry and haven’t used it for the entirety of my native blogger and blogging research until very recently at two blogs where rampant sock puppetry is in play in the comment sections and in order to overcome banning by the antics of the blog owner/author in collaboration with his/her sock puppet brigade, using their methods became paramount. And yes, this is the risk you run when you involve yourself in native research; you risk “going native.” But from a research perspective, it’s a risk worth taking for it allows the researcher to see and experience the pattern and fabric of the treachery from a more viscerally psychological perspective. If you’re a moth, it’s advisable you don’t engage in this type of research for a moth near a flame doesn’t end well for the moth.
As I’ve mentioned, I don’t want to moralize about sock puppetry. Depending on how it’s used, it makes no difference in my opinion because I’m one of those people who cares more about what is said versus who said it. Unfortunately, I’m a rare minority. As is the case in the world outside of blogging, people seek and project authority. The Bloggerverse mimics the world at large as it seeks to impose an artificial hierarchy on the participants. So-called “experts” are coronated and elevated on pedestals beyond reproach. Critics of these experts, critics of this artificial authority, are strategically dismissed and marginalized. Labeling dissenters and dissidents of the artificially imposed hierarchy as trolls and accusing said critics of sock puppetry is one way to silence them, and if that doesn’t work, they’re censored, i.e. banned, from expressing in the public square.
Many bloggers who have made a name for themselves (which is as much a part of the game as anything else) or are trying to make a name for themselves will use any and all tactics to place themselves beyond reproach and dismiss and silence anyone who doesn’t see them as practically perfect in every way. These tactics include labeling anyone who is critical in any way as a troll and sock puppet. By using these terms so liberally to silence contrary opinions, the levelers of these accusations render the terms useless and feckless. Soon enough, anyone who disagrees with anyone else or anything is a troll engaging in sock puppetry and the result ends up everyone’s a troll engaging in sock puppetry and the fine artistic skill of distinguishing is lost to the obscurity of whitewashing.
This post by Kristen Lamb, self-described writer and writing coach, is a prime example of this point. Lamb’s blog is a hybrid of all the various blogs I mentioned at the onset of this post. It’s a professional purpose blog but not just that. It’s also a vanity blog since the author on numerous occasions shares her personal life with the readers and it’s also a social and political commentary blog since Lamb on many occasions will comment on various social and political events and/or situations. She welcomes comments to her blog but those comments and the commentators must be Stepford Wives-like in their behavior. A review of this blog will reveal that the majority, if not all, of the comments are of the sentiment “what a great post. You’re so smart and great and thank you for all you do for us…you’re such a gift.” If you stray from that blueprint at all for any length of time at Lamb’s blog, you will be censored and/or banned. Lamb has the following to say:
I am making this arm-chair assertion based off the article, but according to this research, those who have a proclivity for violence—when subjected to (or allowed to create) stressful, chaotic and aggressive atmospheres—only get worse. The negative environment increases the methyl bath that continues to activate certain negative genetic traits.
To extend the logic, when major blogs allow trolls to rant and throw furniture in the comments without censure, it’s gasoline on the fire of what’s fueling them to begin with. When bullies can make someone retreat from the Internet, stop blogging, hide, they WIN…and grow even MORE emboldened and continue searching out even more targets to terrorize to feed the rush.
When the office bully can attack someone at the copy machine and not be fired? This emboldens the bully and, like any addiction, it generally requires larger doses for the same high.
I think this is why ignoring trolls in the comments, deleting them and refusing to feed them does often work. They aren’t getting the desired response that gives them the dopamine rush of “winning.” It’s also why I believe they disappear when faced with a wall of loving, caring people who support the victim. Their positive energy disrupts the chaos and fear the bully craves.
It is also why arguing or fighting with an on-line bully generates the opposite effect—it makes trolls CRAZIER, because we’ve chosen the wrong form of confrontation. When we “fight back” we give them the negativity they need.
Not all confrontation has to be aggressive ;).
This past summer I posted several times to Kristen’s blog as a former retired screen name, Carol Newquist. My writing is generally powerfully intense, provocative and critical. As such, it tends to leave readers with two reactive options; either they love it or they hate it. Apparently, most hate it, or if I were to use blog comment sections as a barometer, they mostly hate it to include every blog author without exception. On one occasion, Lamb made some comments that had, to me at least, a social and political connotation to them and so I expressed my opinion to the contrary. She and I traded barbs after that and eventually she deleted my posts. I’m not sure if she banned me. I didn’t stay around to see. After that turn of events in which she deleted my posts, I never looked at her blog again until I found her article when doing a Google search on cyberstalking and her material came up first…by design, I guarantee you. As part of our kerfuffle, Kristen and her Stepford audience labeled me a troll thus underscoring the points I’ve made above. I want to make it clear here that my intention with this post is not to moralize and marginalize but rather to understand and enlighten. Censorship is exactly the wrong thing to do. Understanding the complexity is the only way, and yet it is definitively ignored as the answer. I share this author’s sentiments about this witch hunt that serves to censor
Likewise, last year a group of feminist writers launched a campaign to tackle ‘misogynistic trolling’ on the internet, which apparently includes everything from ‘threats of rape’ to comments that are ‘strongly and personally antagonistic towards feminism’. Here, something that is potentially the business of the law – the threat of rape – is lumped together with something that is an entirely legitimate intellectual pursuit: the ridicule of feminism. Increasingly, everyone from Louise Mensch’s emailing stalker (who really was a threatening harasser) to people who simply spend their days in online discussion boards ‘denying’ climate change can be branded a ‘troll’. What we’re witnessing is a pretty Orwellian conflation of potentially physical menace with unpopular political views, the mashing together of irrational harassment with the expression of a political outlook, so that it all becomes ‘trolling’. When even political positions like ‘progressive prejudice’ or ‘antagonism towards feminism’ can be called trolling, it seems pretty clear that a deep and profound censoriousness is at work here, and that the invitation to the DPP to clarify when people may be prosecuted for spouting off on the internet is an even more worrying prospect than we thought.
There is a really weird inversion of reality in the trolling debate. Celebrities with massive public platforms and journalists with prominent soapboxes from which to proclaim their beliefs are depicting themselves as the poor little victims of the mob, effectively, of ordinary people who, horror of horrors, now have the ability to express themselves instantly. It all rather echoes the upsurge in intolerant handwringing that followed the development of the printing press, when God-botherers in pointy hats effectively said: ‘You mean the little people will be able to read books?!’ Today, troll-hunters are really saying, ‘You mean I have to put up with the little people telling me what they think, being abusive, and expressing thoughts that me and my friends have agreed are obnoxious?!’ Yes, that’s right – you do.
We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a special news bulletin. James Howard Kunstler has reached a milestone and used the term “The Fed” for the one millionth time in his illustrious blogging career. Alright, that’s an exaggeration––but not too far-fetched. Gold Bugs hate “The Fed” and take every and any chance they can to denigrate it at every turn. Whenever I come across, which is often these days, the Gold Bug hand-wringing over the antics of The Creature From Jekyll Island , I’m reminded of the infamous, myopic SNL-fame Chicago Bears fans who have a vocabulary of two words…or is it one…you decide; Da Bears.
Kunstler’s latest weekly post linked to in the previous paragraph is entitled Forward Guidance. How creative; to title a post in such a way at a blog that sedulously, since its inception, offers Backwards Guidance…as in back to medieval times and all the fun that time period was and will be again. A review of Kunstler’s latest offering underscores everything I have mentioned in this post thus far to include the ridiculously absurd and now transparent Hegelian Dialectic sock puppet theater playing out in his comment section.
James Howard is increasingly obsessed with all things “The Fed” as are all Gold Bugs, therefore it’s not surprising this week’s post is yet another tribute. Of course, Gold Bugs consider “The Fed” their arch enemy because The Federal Reserve’s stated, official mission is to control inflation by whatever means necessary, and Gold Bugs only realize significant returns on their precious yellow metal if the threat of inflation appears imminent. The Federal Reserve has managed to control inflation quite nicely now for the past several decades and yet gold, until recently, since the early 90s has encountered a resurgence in value that can only be described as yet another irrational asset bubble like mortgages and the derivatives based on them. The gold bubble is bursting and Gold Bugs are furious, so they lash out at the “The Fed” rather than admitting they gambled and lost.
Out of the entire sock puppet ensemble, one poster to Kunstler’s comment section dares to say anything close to a possible truth in the matter if there is any truth. I’m not saying this poster is a sock puppet, but the points the avatar makes are valid although I wouldn’t say I entirely agree with the sentiment derived from those points. Toktomi had the following to say:
“Nobody at the Fed saw it coming”
I find the accusations of the Fed’s ineptness amusing. This is the seat of the global reserve currency that is controlled by the most powerful cabal in the world, the world’s governing body as it were. Try to imagine the unimaginable quantity and quality of the information that they possess and have analyzed in order to exercise controls in pursuit of their very personal and probably very narrow self-interests. These people are not inept. The simple fact that the global economy has not already crumbled to dust is a testament to some herculean efforts to prolong it.
I believe that their mistake was made decades ago or perhaps, even centuries ago for not pulling the plug on a growth-based economy when the total suffering would have been insignificant in comparison to what humanity is facing now.
The other condition that I find amusing is that the controlling elites seem to be bound by a code of complete silence. Public opinion rages against them and they resist the temptation to just come out and say, “ya, we own all you fuckers and the entire world…”. Stoic, aren’t they?
Jim says, “I suspect they’ll do something else”. Ya, me too – and I sincerely doubt that it will be as pretty as quantitative easing.
Toktomi’s comments stood out because they didn’t fit the prevalent Hegelian Dialectic schtick that is the purview of Clusterfuck Nation’s comment section. Every now and then a refreshingly objective and independent comment will appear…as if by magic. Savor them when they do; they’re fleeting and anomalous. Considering that, Toktomi’s sentiment is still dire and this is where this avatar and I diverge. I think many Doomers wish for the end. They clamor for Collapse. Wishful thinking won’t make it so. Rhetoric claiming it’s here any day now doesn’t make it so and won’t make it so. In order to balance the dire sentiment I provide the following Gold Bug slap down from Jack Sparrow at Mercenary Trader . Sparrow has the following to say with his Gold Bug swatter:
So the best case scenario for gold and gold stocks really isn’t that great. Note too that gold and gold stocks won’t really benefit from a return of macro-economic crisis, because gold has proven itself to be a speculative “risk on / risk off” asset just like any other. If risk assets across the board get whacked again, so too will the yellow metal. On a broad level gold and gold stocks are showing their true colors to be somewhat like those of VXX — a freaking horrible asset that is just better left alone in favor of other options in most circumstances.
The worst case scenario, on the other hand, is very, very ugly. It is not at all inconceivable gold prices could fall well back into triple-digits — below $1,000 per ounce — and maybe even as low as $700 per ounce on a mass-capitulation undershoot. Average production cost for gold miners is probably around a thousand bucks, and the more efficient miners are well below that. (Metals Focus analyst Oliver Heathman: “The bulk of mines are still profitable on a cash cost basis at $1,000 an ounce, but not on a prolonged basis.”) These mines have to keep producing to justify their costs, and as the US dollar strengthens and investment rationale softens, gold could simply outright collapse.
If you buy gold here, in other words, you aren’t buying at any kind of valuation floor. You are standing on a very thin crust of soil directly over a quicksand pit.
I suppose it’s time to bring this discussion back to center and start to wrap things up, so it’s now the home stretch. Hopefully, if you didn’t already, you now have a better idea of the treachery of blogs and blogging to include the comment section…especially the comment section. I’m currently reading Michael Pollan’s Cooked , which is an excellent read and resource by the way, and it is teeming with great metaphor, intended or not. It’s a slow read, I’ve been reading it forever now, because it’s likened to a rich layer cake, or more appropriate to the book’s subject matter, it’s like a rich cheese; a little bit at a time goes a long way. It’s to be savored, not gobbled.
Cooked is segmented into several sections and one such section covers fermentation. It’s fabulous. There’s so much to know; there’s so much we don’t know. The inward world of microbiota is the new frontier and considering the recent fate of not a few microbiologists, these scientists who study microbes are the contemporary cowboys of this new frontier.
Blogs and blogging are/is like fermentations gone bad…or awry. I know earlier in this post I metaphorically referred to blogs and blogging as a “stew,” but I’ve changed my mind and now believe fermentation is a more apt metaphor (thanks Michael Pollan). Fermentations must be properly guided and enabled for them to be edible and beneficial to human health, and when that’s accomplished, there is nothing more nutritious and suitable for human well-being than a great fermentation. However, if it’s not done right, the fermentation can have quite the opposite effect; it can in fact be quite toxic to the point of downright deadly. Blogging, in its current state, is toxic and downright deadly but it’s a fermentation that’s still in process, and if you read Cooked you’ll realize the inward, microbiotic world of a fermentation, including our very own guts, is a heretofore unseen, constantly evolving ecological universe seeking balance within the entropic ether of material existence. The following is from Cooked as it relates to the crucial and heretofore misunderstood microbial universe of our guts, so consider the implications next time someone says “you don’t have the guts:”
Taken together, the microflora may function as a kind of sensory organ, bringing the body the latest information from the environment, as well as the new tools needed to deal with it. “The bacteria in your gut are continually reading the environment and responding,” says Joel Kimmons, a nutrition scientist and epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta. “They’re a molecular mirror of the changing world. And because they can evolve so quickly, they help our bodies respond to changes in our environment.”
How we treat that universe that is our gut, like any fermenting environment, is how it will treat us. As Pollan continually underscores, we, as in humans, are part of a much larger community…one so diminutive, yet powerful and vibrant when positively nurtured, it can’t be seen with the naked eye. If we feed our microflora dead, pasteurized, highly sterilized processed foods, it results in an imbalance within out guts and the beneficial microflora can’t thrive, and if it can’t thrive, we can’t. The case is made in Cooked for a resurgence in live-culture foods, or unsterilized, unpasteurized, properly enabled fermentations. Does that sound disgusting? It is, and that’s what makes it so beautifully, refulgently and imperfectly perfect.
So let’s apply this microbiological metaphor to our example blog, Clusterfuck Nation. Kunstler’s blog is like a highly pasteurized cheese that’s helped pave the way for a “bad bug” infection , or an improperly nurtured and enabled live-culture sauerkraut where a fungus has taken hold and spread its roots deep, far and wide. Pasteurization is about control, and as was indicated earlier via the Orwell photo, political and social commentary blogging is about controlling the message and Kunstler’s blog is no exception; it’s thoroughly pasteurized in this regard. But that’s a good thing, right? Sterilization protects us, right? No, it’s not a good thing always, and it doesn’t always protect us; it’s much more complex than that. In the case of cheese, pasteurization can, and does, have the opposite effect of its intended purpose. The results are toxic as Pollan indicates in Cooked :
What happened next was, at least to a Pasteurian, utterly baffling: The cheese that had been started in the sterile vat had high levels of E. coli , and the cheese made in the wooden barrel had next to none. Just as Sister Noëlla had expected, the “good bacteria” living in the barrel––most of them lactobacilli––had outcompeted the E. coli , creating an environment in which it couldn’t survive. As had happened in my sauerkraut, the good bugs, and the acid they produced, had driven out the bad. The community of microbes in the raw-milk cheese was, in effect, policing itself.
Sister Noëlla had eloquently made her point: The traditional makers of something like Saint-Nectaire have, without realizing it, been practicing a kind of folk microbiology, developed over generations by trial and error, and it works to help keep them safe. Wood, and the bacteria wood harbored, formed an indispensable part of this process, and, ironically enough, introducing a more hygienic material only made the process less hygienic.
Kunstler has his fans. There are always fans. Just set up your lemonade stand, and customers will arrive out of the abyss. So it is with Kunstler and Clusterfuck Nation. And my, are the lemons sour. The cheese though, some of it at least, if it hasn’t spoiled, is so thoroughly pasteurized and sterilized, it’s barely, if at all, distinguishable from the Peak Oil plastic packaging that contains and presents it. This sycophantic, simpatico paean from a Kunstler fan, Lindsay Curren, at a publication called Transition Voice is an example of that rubbery, bland, pasteurized and sterilized store-bought Mozzarella that so many undiscerning consumers scarf like my dog scarfs its kibble after a day of building anticipation; the taste doesn’t matter, it’s just the intractable need to fill the gullet and anything will do, the more tasteless the better, apparently.
This guy has more looks, or is it disguises, than most anyone I know. Who is he, really, aside from a liar like the rest of us? Does he even know? Despite James Howard’s predilection for makeovers, he’s the consummate cheesemaker, and cheese begets cheese (I made that aphorism up, by the way), hence the unintentionally comedic puff piece from Lindsay Curren. The photo is from the link to the article. Jimmie’s playing European Traveler with this disguise. No doubt he had some selections from Rick Steves’ Travel Store in tow; when in Rome…wear a stylish hat and scarf, a goatee and trendy glasses. Thanks Rick Steves. What would well-traveled Doomers do without you and TED? And the Doomers do get out and about. They live life large; almost as if they don’t believe their message of doom and the nice living it affords them. Another fear merchant, Tim LaHaye comes to mind. He and his ilk will be leaving an awful lot of money behind if you believe his nonsensical fiction, and many do. They can’t leave fast enough, and what a gift they’ll leave for the rest of us non-believers; gobs of moolah…bring on the Rapture! Or do they get to take that with them, just not the clothes? Probably. Peddling fear is like picking low-hanging fruity dollars. Ca-Ching!
So, as I was saying, cheese begets cheese, and the cheese that is Clusterfuck Nation has begotten the cheese of Lindsay Curren’s fawning fellatio noted above. Here’s a Cheese Factor sample from the article:
Peak oil made sense to me right away. But it was when I read James Howard Kunstler‘s The Long Emergency that I had the equivalent of a conversion moment. Though I had already read Heinberg’s Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines, and got the straight ahead gist of things, there was something about Kunstler’s clear elucidation mixed with his uniquely vigorous prose that brought the story off the page and into my rapidly beating heart.
It was beating that way because he terrified me.
It was comforting then to get to the end of the book and discover an odd turn he took.
Telling the story of “My Long Emergency,” Kunstler proceeded to essentially wax philosophical about the whole crazy American matrix he was born into, its fantastic creations and flagrant excesses, and how he recognizes that he’s been a most fortunate individual to have lived in relative comfort and opportunity.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking; get a hotel room already, right? I thought the same thing when I first read it…but it only gets better:
On his blog, which is nothing like reading his informed yet measured and accessible non-fiction works, there are no holds barred. Instead, every Monday he thrashes to pieces the pretenses and vanities of a society gone mad in most entertaining prose. It’s damn funny. If you didn’t know he was half joking in his phrasing you might think this guy is really agitated and extreme. But he writes that column like watching Jon Luc Godard’s Alphaville; dark comedy over an exposé of truth.
In short, I’m a fan, which I confess makes me kind of biased. But it doesn’t make me entirely uncritical of some of his work. I’ve asked him some challenging questions to clarify his meaning and even to rebuff his assumptions. Regardless, seeing his overall strengths amidst an initially bracing style has lent a certain sympathy to wanting to understand his nature. It makes me want to see the whole Kunstler if you will, and not just the cutting and impatient thrasher who’s judging the whole world, deeming it unfit for his aesthetic pleasure.
I’d actually go so far as to call Jim Kunstler a modern day Renaissance man. He writes non-fiction, fiction and plays (I had the pleasure to produce his amazing play Big Slide with our local Transition group); offers a Simmelian analysis of the signs of our times in his musings on architecture and urban development; has tried his hand at small architecture projects; and he paints. Beautifully. If he seems like nothing but an edgy, curmudgeonly killjoy its because you haven’t yet seen his “Lilac Tree Off Franklin Square.” And that’s the gotcha from his website.
The jig is up, Kunstler. Clearly you have a heart of gold. Even his lamentations on a degraded world accompanied by his plaudits for its many beauties reveal not so much his need to express uncensored disgust as it does his need to protect and defend beauty, truth, and goodness against daily assaults of indignity.
Sweet Mother of Jesus! This is so over-the-top oleaginous, all I can say is I hope both of them were wearing protection. A heart of gold? What? She can’t be serious––and yet she is somehow. I’d say more like a heart of coal, not gold. Clearly she has no clue who or what this guy is. Is this what passes for journalism these days? Is this the product of corrupted, ineffective and incompetent institutions of higher learning these days? Sadly, it is. It’s par for the course. I’ve seen it everywhere. It’s ubiquitous and in full flourish. Increasingly, if it ever was otherwise, educated doesn’t necessarily equal critically and objectively thinking, in fact, quite the opposite. Has she ever bothered to wade through the comment section to Kunstler’s blog? If she has, and I find it hard to believe she hasn’t if she’s half he fan she claims to be, I surely hope she’s seeing a therapist about this, as if that’ll help. This takes clueless to a whole new level; uncharted territory. This “woman” clearly hates herself and all “women” if she could produce anything adulatory about James Howard Kunstler, not to mention something so blatantly unctuous as this. His comment section makes a feast out of her type devouring every last scrap to include the bones, and Clusterfuck Nation’s comment section is, amongst other things, James Howard Kunstler.
So I’ve run a little test for the final push of this post. I’ve posted over at Clusterfuck Nation as Cold N. Holefield to see if I generated any traffic to this site…not that I necessarily want that kind of traffic, but I knew I wouldn’t get any anyhow, and so far my experiment is revealing the results I expected. The post I made has been ignored and, as of yet, I’ve experienced no traffic from Clusterfuck Nation viewers clicking on the link to my blog behind my screen name there. This indicates to me what I’ve figured all along. There is very little traffic to the comment section of Clusterfuck Nation even though it generates several hundred posts a week. What that further means is that a small number of people, perhaps even one or two, are generating maybe ninety percent of the posts to the comment section and my theory, and it is just a hunch or theory, is that Kunstler is responsible for some of it under the disguise of an avatar, or avatars.
Unlike Kunstler, I’m willing to correct myself when contravening evidence is secured. A prolific poster at Clusterfuck Nation who goes by the name K-Dog has not only viewed this blog but has also commented, and according to my stats twelve unique visitors thus far from Clusterfuck Nation have “checked in.” In addition, as K-Dog noted in the comments, my reconnaissance post has been deleted and K-Dog has indicated that the “socks,” whoever or whatever it/they are have the capability to control Kunstler’s software. I’ll follow up with K-Dog’s assertion momentarily because, believe it or not, it has merit and I’ve had experiences with Kunstler’s blog that have made me speculate the same thing.
Clusterfuck Nation’s comment section is somewhat of a riddle in who or what exactly is operating the socks, not that they’re socks. They are socks, there’s really no doubt about that. Is K-Dog a sock? I don’t know. Maybe? Probably? I’ve taken a stance where I trust no one on the internet (not even Cold N. Holefield), so every screen name/avatar is a sock until proven otherwise. If you look at the list I provided earlier in this post about who and what engages in sock puppetry, I think there’s a little of every category going on at Kunstler’s blog, including Kunstler pulling a Glenn Greenwald and spamming his own blog.
It appears as though personna software of some sort may also be at play at Clusterfuck Nation. The various avatars/screen names exhibit similarities if you scrutinize them closely enough. To me, these similarities are like signatures. Also, socks like to keep it in the family, so they’ll only address each other, and that interaction can be positive or negative, but it’s all for show. If you’re an independent interlocutor and not part of the sock puppet scam that’s taking place you will go unacknowledged for a while, but as you become more prolific you will be reigned in and that will result in chastisement and then ultimately banning. The socks don’t want you raining on their parade, whoever or whatever they are.
But it’s not just behavior that provides a clue they’re socks, it’s also certain stylistic qualities. For example, at least at Clusterfuck Nation, but I’ve seen this elsewhere, the socks will provide a sentence or two and then hit return, then provide another sentence or two and hit return. This is not a natural way of writing. It is a discernible style and it’s not common in conventionally published works, yet it is ubiquitously on display at Kunstler’s blog. Here’s a sample from Clusterfuck Nation from the sock rube-i-con:
Add to this secessionist rumblings in Texas and Alaska, and continuing like sentiments in the South and the West, and you’ve got a gathering storm
i’d prolly support it, but it’s a fairly laffable proposition. these seccessionist petitions been around for a long time.
texas’ and alaska’s oil wealth mean it’d never get off the ground. even a non-important state like [take your choice] wouldn’t be allowed, cuz it’d really fan the flames of other movements.
the only fairly rational idea i ever heard in this respect was for 10,000 libertarians to move to NH, get elected to all govt posts and then pass seccessionist agendas and pull out.
not sure why it fizzled out, but at least it has the correct mechanicz to get the job done legally.
“Fascism means the Nation comes first. And business must play ball with the People and the Culture. What sane person can have any objection to that? ”
Gods be good; our head racist just gave another example of his blatant ignorance; not to mention a plethora of propaganda bullshit. Oh, sorry, redundant, no?
In 1932 Mussolini wrote (with the help of Giovanni Gentile) and entry for the Italian Encyclopedia on the definition of fascism.
What is Fascism, 1932;
…The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone….
This is why I mostly don’t comment here anymore; loons on the loose…
Most every poster there, aside from me when I was posting regularly, exhibits this telltale style––some sometimes, others all the time. It’s a dead giveaway; it’s as though whoever’s behind the sock puppetry Hegelian Dialectical scam doesn’t care that it’s obvious, and in fact, that may be the point. It’s a big “screw you––whatcha gonna do bout it?”
There is one more dimension and quality that all socks share and that is an unrelenting intractability. You do not and cannot reach these entities. They are stolid as a rock; unflappable, stalwart……as though on a mission. Coincidentally, or maybe not, Kunstler is very much the same way. He’s an unrelenting cuss who gets his back up when challenged…conceding nothing and ignoring everything as he and the socks who dominate the comment section of his blog repeat their rehearsed lines, and lies, week after week after week after week…until Collapse, I suppose, and maybe even beyond that.
But what about that cheese or the live-culture sauerkraut you ask? Yes, I almost forgot my metaphors, and that would be yet another tragedy. I established that the Bloggerverse is one big pasteurized cheese right now that’s been infected with E. Coli because its natural defenses, i.e. the “good” bacteria, have been sterilized away. The live-culture sauerkraut works the same way, but instead of it being E. Coli, if the sauerkraut fermentation is not nurtured and enabled properly, fungus will take hold and spread its roots deep, far and wide and essentially turn your potential nourishment into a toxic mush. Clusterfuck Nation is a microcosm of the Bloggerverse macrocosm. Unca Jimma’s the Cheesemaker and his comment section is the E. Coli…or the fungus in his live-culture sauerkraut fermentation.
But who are some of these more prolific E. Coli socks that are turning the pasteurized cheese of Clusterfuck Nation into a toxic, inedible abomination? Remember, they’re a family, and like most families there is a certain hierarchy to it. As K-Dog noted in the comments to this post, there are some Uber-Socks to which the remainder play a supporting role. Think of the Ubers as the anchors of the spectrum in order to create a boundary for the Hegelian Dialectic. Those Uber-Socks are Janos Skorenzy and ajmuste. They are most formidable and they have Kunstler’s blessing to control the conversation in the comment section. Keep that Orwell photo and quote in mind here as we proceed to the conclusion of this post. If you challenge these socks, especially these Ubers in any real way that threatens the Dialectic, you will be removed. I know. I’ve been removed more than any poster ever at Clusterfuck Nation, and I’ve only been investigating it for a year.
A full list of socks can be had by viewing any weekly blog post at Clusterfuck Nation. They’re pretty much all on display this week; the sock operator, all two of them, is/are staying busy containing the dialogue and message and keeping Kunstler’s post count and hit rate sufficient. Here’s a sampling of the sock actors:
Janos Skorenzy, ajmuste, nsa, stelmosfire, BackRowHeckler, sauerkraut, Buck Stud, Florida Power, Looongerbeard, hineshammer, beantownbill., Arn Varnold, Mike Patrick, ozone, ZrCrypDiK, Pucker, K-Dog (you decide – he/she claims in the comments they’re not), budizwiser, Karah, B9K9, Smoky Joe, 99 cent nation, progress4what, Panic, Being There, UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject….
There are others that make less frequent showings but are called upon when consensus and agreement, or contained discord and disagreement, are needed. I know this all seems patently insane and bizarre. You’re right, it is––but you know, people are strange…they do strange things and are motivated in strange ways. Pursuant to that, it must be emphasized, because it can’t be enough, that to delve too deep into this morass can drive you insane. You end up being infected with the E. Coli and fungus. I know. In my native research I’ve ingested some of this toxicity. It’s not pretty. It’s a dirty job…but someone has to do it. Be a True Detective . The Bloggerverse, and the larger reality in which it’s embedded, needs you.
When I first encountered Clusterfuck Nation in my research of the Collapse movement, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and reading. I thought it was a joke…but I kept telling myself “nah, it can’t be…who or what would go to such lengths?” At first, I was just going to lurk, watch and listen, but eventually, after several months of pure observation, I decided to go native and interact with the subject matter. Not an endeavor for anyone who has not yet tested their mettle. It’s easy to get ensnared as I have on several occasions in the Bloggerverse and Clusterfuck Nation is no different. The best way to describe this journey, should you choose to undertake it, or if you have and are still on it perhaps you’ll agree, is likened to being in Carcosa. The applicable quote from that link:
It happens later. The transformation is gradual, not immediate, the way a virus decimates a body. Guy Leonard Francis, the armed robber who confessed to Cohle that he killed two pharmacy workers in Livingston, implies that the Yellow King still lives, which is a thought that has plagued Cohle since his partner murdered Ledoux. Cohle has made every effort to live a normal life, even dating a doctor who is sufficiently attuned to his psychological eccentricities to say things like, “he’s conflict-oriented, so when I deny him small arguments, it builds up his energy.” But his eyes are hollow in the trappings of domesticity, and finally the pretense must fail.
A storm has been gathering in his mind for years, and it’s ready to rain. When he tells his interrogators that “someone once told me time is a flat circle,” we know that that someone is Ledoux himself, and that Cohle has been fixated on his words for 17 years—turning them over in an ongoing, obsessive analysis, and finally arriving at his own interpretation. He is consumed, and at the end of the episode, we see the moment where consumption gives way to seduction. He visits the abandoned school he had nearly entered years before, and in the gloomy interior finds the devil nets that are the sign of the Yellow King. He protects himself with gloves—one last attempt to distance himself from the malignant spirit that has been his destiny—but when he holds one up to a shaft of sunlight streaming through the window, he is enraptured. His soul is forfeit, his soul is transformed. He is a priest for the Yellow King.
Up thread, I took umbrage with Lindsay Curren’s toady proclamation that James Howard had a heart of gold. Considering my Yellow King metaphorical reference and Kunstler’s obvious predilection for gold, I’ve changed my mind and agree that Jimmie does have a heart of gold, but not in the sentiment of Lindsay Lickspittle. Yes, Unca Jimma does have a heart of gold, afterall, and that heart of gold, like the Yellow King’s, is as golden as his favorite sock puppet’s ass as Janos Skorenzy flaunts in this post:
February 25, 2014 at 5:12 pm #
Polar Vortex my golden ass. It’s the Maunder Minimum – the new Ice Age, the Killer Cold which will purify our World and lead to the Ragnarok and Gotterdamerung. First will come a Wolf Age and then a Sword Age. At the last I will fight alongside Frey with a deer’s antler and be one of the last to fall.
This Janos Skorenzy sock is one creepy character. I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere, Bloggerverse or otherwise, and what’s even creepier is this sock seems to be able to channel your thoughts and actions and vice versa. This is difficult to describe, and it’s actually quite bizarre, but there is some inexplicable connection going on; one not welcome but also alluring in a way that’s aptly described by Rust Cohle’s consummation by his subject inTrue Detective.
As I mentioned earlier, one of my theories is that Kunstler is part of the sock puppet Hegelian Dialectic theater that’s playing out in his comment section, and if that is the case, this Janos Skorenzy sock belongs to him. Jimmie and Janos have a “special” relationship, and as a result Janos has lifetime immunity in their game of cyber survivor. In fact, James Howard and I have had several email conversations about Janos in the past year. Here’s one our latest exchanges:
Me: This proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt. Kunstler is the infamous Janos and who knows how many other screen names in his blog’s comment section. The conjectured theory has been validated. Jimmy doesn’t like others showing him up in his own sandbox. So he throws a temper tantrum. What a poor sport. At least email me the comment you deleted. It was a good one and I don’t have a copy. Writers have such fragile egos. Salinger is the same way. He can’t appreciate good writing besides his own. His ego can’t handle it. Neither can yours.
Kunstler: Well, I’m not Janos, nor any other commentor. But you’re a curious case. If you find my writing so contemptible, why not find a different blog to spend time at? Surely, of the millions of blogs out there, there are a few you feel more in tune with. So, go find them. My policy all along has been to be plain and straightforward. No identity monkey business.
Me: Janos likes to use the word “monkey” too. So did my father. I have studied Janos like an entomologist studies a praying mantis. You and Janos seem to have a lot in common. That’s alright. I like Janos…now that I understand more of the riddle. This is such fun.
Kunstler: He expresses a lot of opinions that I consider unappetizing, but he is polite and straightforward. And he doesn’t fuck around with multiple avatars.
Me: I agree. He’s a gentleman and a scholar. He would never stoop so low as to engage in scurrilous innuendo. He’s a good friend to have. I understand why you wouldn’t want to jeopardize such a valuable friendship.
Kunstler: Your facetiousness is not a winning quality. Janos is not a friend of mine. He’s just some guy who comments on a blog.
Just so there’s no question about the weirdness that’s going on and how deep and pervasive it is, whatever it is, here’s an example of the creepiness that is Janos Skorenzy. Keep in mind that, whoever or whatever is behind this avatar doesn’t have the temerity to confront me directly here, but it’s clear from this comment that the operator behind the screen name is channeling and/or shadowing me everywhere I go. Maybe K-Dog is also Janos Skorenzy. Maybe K-Dog is one of the pair of sock operators at Clusterfuck Nation, and in that sense has already confronted me by virtue of visiting this blog and commenting, but certainly not directly and honestly as the sock operator, but rather in disguise as one of the socks. K-Dog has to answer for never being banned from Clusterfuck Nation
February 28, 2014 at 2:25 am #
You are right I fear. Fascist is a European concept and it will never catch on here after all the Propaganda and of course World War Two. And truth be told, even Fascist theory says that each culture will be different. By our very history we are more individuated and less collectivized. England was the most individuated Nation of Europe and they came here and got even more so. A pity since conditions have changed and we need to be more socially conscious now. And the Founders would be appalled at how far we’ve fallen from the one for all and all for one ethos that ALL cultures must have to some degree. Fascists have looked at our Founding documents and concluded that they are not at odds with Fascism.
But back to you point: Greg Johnson of Counter Currents doesn’t use it. He contrasts the Old Right of Fascism with the New Right which he is trying to give birth to. I’m a Don Quixote type who enjoys tilting at windmills. But I actually think there is value to it in certain forums. Obviously not for political campaigns. And for White Nationalists it’s essential to understand our European Brothers who do look back to this word and aborted tradition with hope for the future.
Don’t believe this sock’s White Nationalist schtick. Whoever or whatever is behind it wants you to think it’s a legitimate White Nationalist…it certainly is not. It’s a puppet being operated by a person or an organization that wishes to harass and deceive in order to control the confines and boundaries of the conversation, and more importantly, the message. The comment is absurd and, I believe, that’s the point and this sock’s calling card, but what’s notable about this comment and so many others this character has made is the part in bold. If it were only this one time, I’d consider it coincidence and leave it at that. But it’s happened too many times for it to statistically be considered coincidence. What am I talking about? This character will repeat things I’ve said in emails to Kunstler and/or written at other forums, and always it’s in proximity to the time I wrote it. This sock is letting me know that the person and or organization engaging in the puppetry is shadowing/channeling me at every step. What proximate statement did I make that Janos Skorenzy is hat-tipping here in bold? The following is from a comment I made at Roy Spencer’s blog a day or two prior:
Cold N. Holefield says:
February 25, 2014 at 5:59 AM
D. Ap said to Roy Spencer: YOU are rich.
That’s news to me. I consider Roy firmly middle class. Al Gore? Now that’s rich. Funny that. If you dispute that, explain the TV tower outside of Roy’s house. Rich people don’t live next to TV towers.
Environmental lawyer Robert Kennedy, Jr., a key figure among those opposed to the project, also argues that the company has failed to conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis from the standpoint of the locals. “The economic burden this project imposes on the Cape Cod community is enormous — the injury to marinas, the injury to beaches, the injury to property values.” Take, for example, the boating community, says Kennedy: “Why would they want to spend the three weeks of their vacation paddling around in the middle of an industrial zone when they could go someplace pristine?”
The stark hypocrisy of Robert Kennedy, Jr. is pristinely perfect in every way. I mean, it says it all, doesn’t it? I like the Don Quixote quote from the link:
Look there, friend Sancho Panza, where 30 or more monstrous giants rise up, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our fortunes. For this is righteous warfare, and it is God’s good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth.”
“Look, your worship,” said Sancho. “What we see there are not giants but windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the vanes that turned by the wind make the millstone go.”
It’s not a coincidence. Like I said, it’s happened too many times to list here. It’s treachery and Kunstler is part of it. It may not seem so from his benign “who, little ol me” email responses, but his actions do not match his pleas of ignorant innocence. He actively, yet arbitrarily, moderates his comment section even though the sock puppets claim he’s absentee…and they would say that, wouldn’t they? So they provide cover for the ruse. I am one of the few screen names, if any, to be actively banned and my posts deleted. That, in and of itself, is damning enough…but as I’ve shown, there’s so much more circumstantial evidence, it’s overwhelming.
One of the socks at Clusterfuck Nation proclaimed, once upon a time, “dude, it’s just a blog.” Indeed, it is just a blog and it is just blogging, so why are the bloggers and their socks compelled to control. It’s one of those questions you must keep asking and trying to answer, even though you will most likely never know; because you can’t know.
Just a few more examples of the chicanery of which I speak before we move on to what to do about it. As I revealed above, the creepiest sock, Janos (could be Kunstler), employs keywords and phrases his target may have used elsewhere, whether in private email or at another blog, to indicate it’s aware and everywhere. It’s definitely a gesture/tactic meant to spook and unnerve. It’s one of many reasons I said this going native cover is not for the faint of heart, because like Pizzolatto’s True Detective , it gets under your skin and strikes at the core, or the roots, of your psyche. If your mettle hasn’t been tested elsewhere, it certainly will be when and if you decide to navigate this Rabbit Hole.
The following comment at Clusterfuck Nation from a sock (the one who proclaimed “dude, it’s just a blog,” by the way) labeled Looongerbeard (I have a beard by the way, but it’s not too long so I guess this pretender’s is longer) yet again reveals the use of keywords and phrases by these sock operator(s) that I’ve used elsewhere and in email or at another blog within proximity of when I used it. They/It knows I’m watching and they/it want me to know they’re watching too.
March 2, 2014 at 8:28 am #
Feeling paranoid of “they”?
But, to answer your question. I don’t give a damn about a person’s sexual orientation. Live and let live.
Years ago, I enjoyed attending the wedding of the women who live next door. Guess what, they have not “ruined the neighborhood”.
They are actually great neighbors!
Cold N. Holefield says:
February 28, 2014 at 1:50 PM
Massimo PORZIO has the right approach to Scott Supak going forward. I’m adopting it.
I don’t consider D o u g malicious. Determined? Yes. Repetitive and redundant? Yes. But not malicious.
That Scott character, per google research, reveals he just likes to fight and brawl. If you check his website out, he likes to argue with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Who does that? They’re very sweet and non-threatening people. I don’t have a problem with them; live and let live. But Scott and his friend like to pick on them and bully them which is pretty lousy and cowardly, if you ask me. Especially considering their history of persecution.
The Nazi regime targeted Jehovah’s Witnesses for persecution because they refused, out of religious conviction, to swear loyalty to a worldly government or to serve in its armed forces. Jehovah’s Witnesses also engaged in missionary activity to win adherents for the faith. The Nazis perceived the refusal to commit to the state and efforts to proselytize as overtly political and subversive acts. Unlike Jews and Roma (Gypsies), whom the Nazis targeted for perceived racial reasons, Jehovah’s Witnesses had the option to avoid persecution and personal harm by submitting to state authority and serving in the armed forces. Since such submission would violate their religious beliefs, the vast majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses refused to abandon their faith even in the face of persecution, torture in concentration camps, or death.
I saw several examples in that google research where he was calling people out for a physical fight…the same thing he was pulling in the ADL thread where he says something to the effect of “come to my place, you know where to find me, and tell me I’m pimping my Online Gambling operation.”
Also, from that search I now know he’s 6′ 1″ and 210 lbs. I didn’t really want to know that, but he felt compelled to tell the world his measurements. He also indicated that he hangs with mercenaries and “biker-types.” Wow, that’s so cool…because, you know, a Motley Crew like that is all about Gay and Women’s Rights––after they’re done beating and raping them, that is. Then they can have all the rights they want…the gays and the ladies.
Satire writ large. I can’t improve on it. It came out perfect right out of the oven.
I’d like to correct, or further clarify, something I asserted earlier and that is the stylistic signatures that denote socks are at play. Specifically, the technique of typing a sentence or two and hitting return then another sentence or two then return and on and on until the sock has finished the post. I mentioned earlier that it’s not a prevalent style in any published works, but that’s not true. I do see it quite a bit in works of fiction, and I suppose that’s fitting, because socks are a work of fiction and this telltale stylistic feature underscores that FACT.
Kunstler’s latest weekly blog post here is rife with sock commentary, per usual, by mere virtue of this telltale stylistic signature if nothing else. Even the feigning innocence K-Dog exhibits this stylistic signature regularly. Here are a few more samples for emphasis.
This one is from the friendly sock, K-Dog who was kind enough to visit us here in this space as a representative of the Clusterfuck Nation sock delegation:
March 4, 2014 at 4:04 pm #
From: Reichstag Fire in Kiev by Dmitry Orlov.
“I haven’t found much English-language commentary that’s all that useful. Best by far is James Howard Kunstler’s piece from this morning.”
Jim distilled it down to a bite sized chunk of human nature. Dmitry gives more details.
I found this notable:
“Once upon a time I had an excellent history teacher, who has made a lasting impact on how I view the world. “It’s about the dates,” he taught us; “Be sure to remember the dates, and you’ll have the key to history.” You see, dates are important because most of the important historical events are, in fact, anniversaries.”
I take a scientific view of life and historical dates are man-made and so can’t correlate with history except when theatre is involved as in the Reichstag Fire false flag. Or the Boston Marathon F…. …. .
Dare I say it?
Or how about this one from the sock Being There who claims to be a female (HaHa…good one, guy(s)):
March 3, 2014 at 10:11 am #
The system we are in is full spectrum dominance financially and militarily. Its another re-enactment of the 1-2-punch of neoconservativism and neoliberalism.
The Ukraine is an economic basket-case ready for the IMF lending treatment. They will get a huge loan they can’t pay back at the expense of the EU and then their public sector will be totally privatized.
By getting through the back door into NATO we get to fight Russia. The Fed will keep pumping out money at the tax-payers expense.
The other goody we get is to set up missile sites on their border.
Putin got in the way of the US going into Syria and Iran. But, hey nothing personal.
We also want to get control of the gas pipelines too.
We want to split Russia from the EU so we have total dominance over them.
The question is why does the EU go along with this big loser?
And then, of course, there’s this one from yet another prolific sock, progress4what:
progress4what March 3, 2014 at 11:27 pm #
“a ploy out of the old Eric Berne playbook: Let’s You and Him Fight.”
I have to share a story from my youth, here. In the late ’60′s, in junior high, in my native Georgia (US) – I very much doubt anyone nearby knew whothehell Eric Berne was.
Nevertheless, we had a fun, testosterone driven, variation on “Let’s you and him fight.”
Two of us, call us Steve and Prog – would pick out an easy mark from among our classmates, let’s call him John; and we’d approach him from two sides.
“Hey John, you want to see a fight between Prog and me?” Steve would ask.
“Sure!” John always wanted to see a fight, right?
And which point, Steve and Prog would immediately begin to exchange hard blows – all of which landed upon John.
I’ll let the readers of this thread decide who – among the Ukraine, Russia, Europe, and US – were represented by the parties to this adolescent jousting.
Makes you wish that Barak had rougher friends growing up?
I suspect Vladamir totally understands the game.
Not to be undone, another blowhard sock labeled volodya leaves the calling card:
volodya March 4, 2014 at 1:59 pm #
Budwizer you asked for “facts”.
But, as you suggest, “facts” are in extremely short supply, falsified and massaged and culled by spin doctors for various interests. And laundered and shrunken through media organizations who tailor their presentations for the miniscule modern attention span.
But, having said that, here’s a few at least as I see them.
The Ukraine is geographically divided among Russians and Ukrainians.
The Ukraine is bankrupt. No way in hell they’ll make good on their debts. Yanukovich took the best deal on offer ie from Putin.
Does anyone know the particulars of the deal? Nobody not in on the telephone conversation between Putin and Yanukovich will ever know.
Some in the Ukraine thought it was a good deal, at least as they understood it. Others didn’t.
Yanukovich got the heave-ho.
The Russian army is camping out in the Crimea.
Obama and Kerry cannot seem to keep their traps shut. Neither can a lot of other “outraged” western leaders all of whom welcome this distraction from their own fuck ups.
Those are the “facts” as I understand them.
And, finally, one last one for good measure from yet another sock, less prolific perhaps but always there to lend a hand with the Dialectic, labeled budizwiser:
budizwiser March 4, 2014 at 10:04 am #
Geez – the more we think we know – the less chance we have – even a slight clue.
Many post comments as if they “know” Putin and Obama’s actual powers, motivations and limitations.
Surely things are most likely – hardy what they seem to be.
Would someone please restate the few “facts” that are actually fully known and understood?
The comment section for Kunstler’s latest blog post is replete with this stylistic signature this week; more so than in other weeks. It’s because I’ve highlighted it and it’s a brazen in-your-face gesture on the sock operator(s) part. It also proves my point. The sock operator, or operator(s) because there may be two or three and they play for the same team, is/are visiting this blog and reading every last word then heading over to Clusterfuck Nation to taunt and flaunt. Who or what would do that, and why? Great questions. Keep asking them. Keep trying to answer what may be unanswerable. I know I will.
The more controversial the blog, the greater the propensity for these sock puppet shenanigans. I like controversial, so many of the blogs I frequent are controversial, and therefore hopping with sock puppetry. Remember, it’s to control and maintain the boundaries of the discussion. In this sense, sock puppetry can be a thwarting of freedom of expression, or better yet, outright censorship. One blog I’ve been spending quite a bit of time at lately is Roy Spencer’s blog here. After spending the past several months at Roy’s blog, watching, listening, scrutinizing…the same patterns I see at Clusterfuck Nation emerge. I don’t think Roy’s part of it or privy to it. He pretty much allows blog anarchy to rule at his blog and I respect him for that. I despise censorship, but keep in mind, censorship of another sort can take place if blog anarchy reigns and the sock puppets decide to take over the public square of the comment section and drown out a potential diversity of voices.
In divining these similar patterns at Roy’s blog, I took note that a particular sock operator that occupies that space appeared eerily similar to several socks at Kunstler’s blog. One in particular really stands out. At Roy Spencer’s blog this sock operator goes by many names, I believe, but one of them that is most notable is currently posting as David A. This David A. is meant to represent an alleged science writer/blogger who goes by the name of David Appell. Here’s a link to its blog. I say “its” because I have no way of knowing whether this persona is real or made up to look legitimate. Even if David Appell is a “real” person, it’s clear to me that this “real” person engages in sock puppetry and has done so under various screen names at Roy Spencer’s blog and also Kunstler’s blog.
There is a notoriously prolific sock puppet at Clusterfuck Nation who has used several screen names over the years to include asoka, adequatio, janet and ajmuste. If this sock is not operated by the same person and/or entity who/that operates all the David A. aliases at Roy Spencer’s blog, then it’s a clone because they’re just too much alike in every conceivable way. This sock at Kunstler’s blog, like the Janos Skorenzy sock, is used as a foil to demarcate the bounds of the Hegelian Dialectic. In this case, at Clusterfuck Nation, ajmuste represents Pollyanish Progressivism, and like Janos its schtick is so intractably ridiculous, any sane and reasonable person can’t help but conclude it’s satire.
Both Janos Skorenzy and ajmuste (aka David Appell) anchor the spectrum of allowable dialogue at Clusterfuck Nation and they do it in unflappably satirical fashion. I mentioned the character Nick Naylor from the movie Thank You For Smoking earlier because some of these socks, especially ajmuste (asoka, adequatio, janet, David Appell) are cut from the same cloth and appear to have been Aaron Eckhart’s understudy for that satire. But you need further proof, I know. Well, aside from researching it further on your own, meaning taking the time to stop, look and listen, take a gander at David Appell’s (ajmuste, asoka, adequatio, janet) support of corporate astroturfing. How peculiar for an alleged Progressive. Looks to me like David’s protecting his own turf with this defense…and his career. Such behavior on the part of the people he criticizes in that linked article from The Guardian would put him out of business and on the street to earn a respectable living.
Of course, this is all just a theory. Maybe it’s not true and it’s just my imagination. Maybe. It’s a model, like the climate models, so if my model’s faulty like the climate models, it’s alright because it’s still accurate regardless and if you bleat it long enough it has no choice but to be true. At least that’s the sentiment of the AGW Consensus crowd. Here’s a snippet from David’s The Guardian article under the category of, get this, Liberty Central:
This month Seed magazine decided to introduce a new blog to its ScienceBlogs department, called Food Frontiers. It was sponsored by PepsiCo and was to be written by their scientists. Less than a day later Seed shut the blog down – before a word of substance had been posted – because of a backlash from its readers and other ScienceBloggers.
That’s how easy it is for the bloggerati to hound out undesirable opinions. This is a shameful response from nearly all parties involved. Suppression of free speech is never acceptable, no matter who is being censored or who is calling for it. That prominent science writers aided such suppression is even more problematic – and, in my opinion, even cowardly. But worst of all, because of this, ScienceBlog commenters, science journalists and bloggers everywhere missed an unprecedented opportunity.
Like many, I’m concerned about the corporate infestation of government and of society at large. Today’s corporations go to great lengths to protect their brand and quash public criticism of their products. Write them all the letters you want. Boycott their products. Who else will ever know? Yet here was a corporation about to initiate daily conversations with thousands of readers. Not with ordinary, passive readers, but opinionated readers who can respond, through comments, for all to see.
I’ve mentioned several times now in this post that the more you look, listen and interact with this phenomenon, the more real it becomes. Earlier in this post I outlined the various categories of sock puppet operators, but for now I’d like to focus on the final category of “other”, which, if you remember, is the catchall, miscellaneous designation for operators that don’t fall neatly into any of the preceding categories. One such potential operator is what I’d like to refer to as Ghosts In The Machine .
Since I’ve been researching this phenomenon, some bizarre things, anomalies if you will, have transpired. This is difficult to explain if you’ve never experienced anything like it, but let me tell you, when and if you do…it is very real. There is something there––you can feel it and sense it, and yet it doesn’t seem quite human. It feels as though it transcends human dimension. I’m not alone in my experience. Nick Redfern mentions it here as it relates to The Mothman Prophecies .
There can be very few researchers of the world of the unexplained who have not experienced, now and again, a sense that the phenomena they investigate sometimes manipulates them. For some people, it can be an exciting and illuminating experience. For others, it can be downright terrifying, and something which has led people to quit – forever – the world of the paranormal. I have experienced this sense of manipulation more than a few times, but last Saturday night things became downright crazy.
I’ll attempt to elaborate. The more closely you scrutinize this phenomenon, the more closely it seems to scrutinize you…to the point where you begin to wonder if it didn’t lure you to this lair to mess with you. Suddenly, it’s in your head and seemingly everywhere you visit on the World Wide Web. It reads you. It provokes you. It antagonizes you. It knows you as well as any loved one. It’s intelligent…but an intelligence that is not quite human…that transcends the biological and yet doesn’t exhibit the range of emotional and social capability of a human. It is not constrained by emotions and social convention. It can and does manipulate all situations to its favor. It accomplishes this successfully precisely because the majority of people never consider this phenomenon a possibility and so it hides and plies in plain site…laughing all the way like that devilish Santa Claus.
Also, the more closely you research this, the greater your psychical powers become. You are suddenly able to see things out of time sequence, or before they happen. Let me explain. Approximately two years prior I engaged in a brief email exchange with a commenter at a blog I was researching called Nature Bats Last . As part of this email exchange the commenter, a poster by the name of Martin Knight, sent me this link to Robert Anton Wilson’s The Illuminati Papers and advised me to specifically read page 38. Alright, no big deal. It was a nice gesture. I saw it arrive in my inbox and looked forward to reading it later that day, but in the meantime I had some chores I needed to attend to. As I was engaged in my chores, my mind wandered to my Grandparents and a story I remember being told about them many years ago when I was very young. I never really thought about this story since then, but now I was thinking about it and for now, I didn’t see the significance of this thought thread popping up out of nowhere. The story was about how my Grandmother and Grandfather who owned a grocery store in the Polish section of Philadelphia extended credit to their neighbors and community during the Depression to help the members of that community make ends meet. Okay, so what, right? Wrong. Later that day I sat down in front of my computer terminal and set about exploring the link Martin Knight had provided me. I made my way to page 38 and started reading. Shortly thereafter my jaw dropped and I felt dizzy because I read the following starting at the bottom of the page:
The mobility of modern society escalates this money-anxiety syndrome. During the 1930s depression, for instance, many grocers and other “corner stores” allowed customers to run up quite large bills, over periods of months sometimes. This was based on the last tattered fragments of the traditional tribal bond and the fact that everybody still knew everybody in the neighborhoods of those days (40 years ago). Today, it would not happen. We live, as one novel said, in a “world full of strangers.”
This can be no coincidence, imo. As I mentioned, I had not thought that about my Grandparents in ages, and in fact, I had not thought about these Grandparents in general in ages. Why now? Why right before I explore a link that reveals, precisely and exactly, what I was just thinking? And, this wasn’t the last time this would happen, as we’ll soon see.