Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

They Must Be Feeling Our Stings More Than Usual Lately

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 14, 2007


As you all have no doubt figured out, the newest phase of the combined MSM/GOP’s war on us great unwashed is to go after us because a number of us write under names that aren’t on our birth certificates. (I guess then Ben Franklin’s work should be discounted because he wrote as “Poor Richard” and “Martha Careful” and “Silence Dogood”.)

Sean-Paul Kelley at The Agonist respondeth thus:

When You–the MSM–Stop Using Anonymous Sources . . .

. . . bloggers will stop using pseudonyms, ok? Until then, stop lecturing us.

UPDATE: Emptywheel at The Next Hurrah has this to say:

The thing I hate most about the anti-pseudonym campaigners is they make some of the worst tendancies of my former discipline, LitCrit, looks sensible. Identity is not fixed first and foremost by a name; in the world of argumentation, it ties first and foremost the argument itself, and then secondarily to a bunch of things (like campaign donations and business affiliation) that a fixed name simply facilitates the discovery of. If your argument sucks, it doesn’t matter what name you append to it, you’ll be shot down under any name.


All of which leads me to conclude that the anti-pseudonym campaigners simply have no confidence in their own reading ability. That is, they apparently lack all confidence they could distinguish a crappy argument from a good one without the crutch of a real name–or that they could refute a crappy argument when faced with one.


15 Responses to “They Must Be Feeling Our Stings More Than Usual Lately”

  1. Jim M said

    Primary Colors, by Joke Line. I mean “Anonymous.”

  2. DING DING DING! We have a winnah!

    The same dingbats who praise Joe Klein to the friggin’ skies as they get their stories from Karl “on background” Rove should STFU about “anonymous bloggers”.

  3. Stormcrow said

    Nice catch, PW.

    IMHO, this is not really about a direct attack on bloggers. What this is about is an indirect attack. To wit, this strikes me as an attempt to deligitimatize the use of online noms-de-guerre.

    These days, prospective employers routinely google the names of job candidates. Lest you get the wrong idea about my take on this, let me tell you how I learned about it.

    One of my previous supervisors hired on several contractors shortly after she started out as a newbie manager here. She didn’t google the names of the candidates. And she found out, later, to her intense chagrin, that one of them was a quite notorious spammer. This firm handled quite a bit of Other People’s Money, with all the risk and attendant oversight that implies. So after that, she did start taking this fairly elementary precaution.

    But Google makes the public life of every blogger and every commenter who published under his or her own name an open book. With all the vulnerability to harassment and extralegal administrative punishment that implies. I trust the misuse of the “no-fly” list has not gone unnoticed hereabouts ….

    The strategic intent here is all too transparent.

    The GOP and its MSM marionettes want to put bloggers in a space where they can more easily apply the sorts of coercion they are most comfortable with.

    BTW, the only reason noms-de-guerre provide even marginal security is a direct consequence of the systemic incompetence of the Bush regime. We are dealing with people who seem to think that the use of cell phones and SMS provides better security than email. LOL. Ludicrous, for reasons I have commented on here before. These people don’t have the first clue as to how to go about their nominal responsibilities.

    If the Bush regime or its successor(s) ever manage to find themselves a Felix Dzerzhinsky or a Reinhard Heydrich, we’re all going to have to go to a lot more trouble and work to a much greater depth in order to adequately protect our identities.

    BTW, one of the first signs they may have struck gold may very well be rollback or removal of some of the sillier of the post 9/11 wiretap and surveillance nonsense. The measures both proposed and now in place would burden any real secret police force with an insane overload of information. Almost all of it is useless at best and false-positive at worst.

    In order to clear the decks for action, they’ll have to jettison most of that.

  4. MEC said

    Haven’t we seen this movie before? They must be pretty desperate to revive the “anonymous is bad” talking point.

  5. BWasikIUgrad said

    How about Publius? Hamilton and Madison laid out the entire philosophical rational for the US Constitution to the people of NY anonymously! Still blows my mind that they were both under 30 when they wrote it.

  6. Charles said

    Well, of course, BWaskikIUGrad. The people running the media are so stupid they don’t even stop to think about… oh, say, Mark Twain… Lewis Carroll… Ann Landers.

    MEC, as you know, we have seen this movie before. We laughed it to scorn, and will again.

    Stormcrow, did you see the article about >a href=””>Google psychoprofiling gamers? We need a new Constitution, and that new Constitution needs to enumerate a right to privacy so that things like Carnivore, cameras on streetcorners, and any other form of mass surveillance are felonies, plain and simple.

  7. […] They Must Be Feeling Our Stings More Than Usual Lately [image] As you all have no doubt figured out, the newest phase of the combined MSM/GOP’s war on us great […] […]

  8. whig said

    Charles, are you serious about a new constitution or do you think amendments could be satisfactory? I’m most concerned with ending corporate personhood.

  9. whig said

    I think given the space age we live in, privacy in public is nonexistent forever.

  10. whig said

    So how do we regulate that? This is how I look at it.

  11. Charles said

    Whig, I think that a new Constitution is necessary for three reasons:
    1. It will void the perverse laws and legal precedents created by Bushco, as well as evicting the political cadres they have placed in government, including the courts.
    2. It will forever record in the history books the betrayal of American democracy.
    3. It will permit the rectification of numerous defects in the original Constitution. One example: it was written as a declaration of universal human rights. But, because the slave states held so much power, it has never been applied as such. Now immigrants, travelers, and captured soldiers or illegal combatants are being told they don’t have any rights– even though the whole world now recognizes that these are universal rights.

    I imagine we will drift on for years trying to pretend that everything is ok, that the mess can be repaired. But we need a new Constitution.

  12. whig said

    My concern is against a new constitution which is worse than the one existing, and if it were only to recreate the same nation under new terms an amendment process might still be the way to go — which has plenary authority to replace the whole document and submit the revision for convention and ratification.

    A truly universal constitution which recognizes the human rights of everyone might be a transnational document, along the lines of recreating the united nations or some successor.

  13. whig said

    One possible way to go would be to establish a constitution for blogtopia (y!sctp!). There’s no reason we should be governed by regional constitutions when we can be anywhere in the world (or beyond).

  14. Charles said

    Yeah, any re-write– evem an Amendment– is problematic.

    The whole point of the Bill of Rights was that there are certain inherent rights that everyone recognizes are essential for democracy. They can only be denied by wounding democracy.

    But over two centuries, we saw that there were other ways in which governments can pretend to deliver democracy. In the USSR, restricting travel meant that people could never start over. Our media is another example of how one can pretend to deliver democracy while controlling what people know to the point they are unable to make good decisions. Unions in this country were suppressed despite the First Amendment’s guarantee of free assembly.

    The drafters of the Constitution were thoughtful and careful. I love the spare, lean language. No document will defend human rights if those with power are determined to do what they will. But I think we can write it more plainly.

  15. whig said

    I’m sure we can translate things which were written plainly in the language of their day into the language of our own, but I’m not sure we can be write so plainly as to be better understood by those two hundred years hence. Clearly, a constitution is more than a piece of paper, it is the understanding of the people who living accept it as a proper frame of government. Should understanding change the paper is worth historical preservation, lest we lose our memory of Magna Charta too.

    Who remembers what habeas corpus means?

    You have the body.

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