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Under the Bus

The Tweet out of the American Embassy in Cairo that seemed to both equate violence and insulting speech has been roiling the political waters — not to mention the whole of the Internets — for the past day.

I took particular interest in the story because Public Affairs in the Middle East was my career. Twitter was still in the future by the time I retired, but putting out press statements was certainly part of the daily grind. The tricky part was that when a statement came out from an embassy, it was not only a statement from the embassy, but represented the position of the American government, Administration, and by proxy, the American people. It was not something one dashed off nor was it a place for personal thoughts on a subject. In the field, American Foreign Service Officers are not permitted to express personal thoughts because they will be taken as statements of policy.

When I read the stories flying around about this particular Tweet, I figured it was something that came off the thumbs of a junior officer, one mostly likely assigned to the Office of Public Affairs, though there was a possibility that it came from one in the Political Section, maybe even the Consular Section.

But no…

Foreign Policy magazine gives us the down and dirty. The Tweet was the product of the a member of the Senior Foreign Service, Larry Schwartz, who is the Counselor for Public Affairs at the Embassy in Cairo. That position is responsible for cultural and information programs for the whole of Egypt. Not only was his press release off the mark, but he was instructed by the Department to not send it out. But send it he did. He later defended it through a series of Tweets.

Oops.

Inside the public relations disaster at the Cairo embassy
Josh Rogin

One staffer at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was responsible for the statement and tweets Tuesday that have become grist for the presidential campaign, and that staffer ignored explicit State Department instructions not to issue the statement, one U.S. official close to the issue told The Cable.

Two additional administration officials confirmed the details of this account when contacted late Wednesday by The Cable.

The statement, issued as a press release on the U.S. Embassy website, has been attacked by Republican challenger Mitt Romney, lawmakers, and conservatives around the country as an inappropriate “apology” and a failure to stand up for American principles such as freedom of speech.

The White House distanced itself from the statement Tuesday, and Romney criticized it directly in his initial reaction to the attacks in Egypt and Libya shortly thereafter, accusing President Barack Obama of evicing sympathy for the attackers.

… Before issuing the press release, Schwartz cleared it with just one person senior to himself, Deputy Chief of Mission Marc Sievers, who was the charge d’affaires at the embassy on Tuesday because Ambassador Anne Patterson was in Washington at the time, the official said.

Schwartz sent the statement to the State Department in Washington before publishing and the State Department directed him not to post it without changes, but Schwartz posted it anyway.

“The statement was not cleared with anyone in Washington. It was sent as ‘This is what we are putting out,'” the official said. “We replied and said this was not a good statement and that it needed major revisions. The next email we received from Embassy Cairo was ‘We just put this out.'”

I don’t know how close to retirement Mr Schwartz is. Even though we appear to have had similar assignments, we never worked together in the same office. I do recommend he start getting his CV in order, though, because a foul-up as major as this should kill his career, honorable as it has been.

Related Posts:

About John Burgess
Former US Foreign Service Officer serving predominantly in the Middle East. Probably best defined as an East Coast Conservative. I blog about Saudi Arabia, the importance of US-Saudi relations, and efforts toward reform in that country at Crossroads Arabia.

Comments

  1. KariQ says:

    Ah, if accurate that report makes the whole situation look like a completely different kettle of fish, indeed. It would be bad enough if no one had even heard of the tweet, but since it became painfully public, it does indeed sound like a career ender.

    I do hope that those who have claimed Obama issued the statement will retract the accusation, perhaps even use the opportunity to do one of the hardest thing a human being can learn to do: admit a mistake with good grace.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  2. Barfour says:

    If Mr. Schwartz have to leave his post, I doubt that he will have any trouble finding a job in academia or elsewhere in the private sector.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  3. Scott says:

    I find the original statement to be pretty obvious and benign yet it is blown totally out of proportion by those who want to make a political statement. Pretty sad state of affairs.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 4

  4. Nikki says:

    Minor caveat–one can’t be “thrown under the bus” when one is directly responsible for the inappropriate action.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  5. Scott F. says:

    Schwartz sent the statement to the State Department in Washington before publishing and the State Department directed him not to post it without changes, but Schwartz posted it anyway.

    Your “Under the Bus” title seems somewhat misplaced, as it is typically used to suggest someone has been pushed into the role of scapegoat. If the State Department directed him not to post and he did anyway, then he’s culpable for his own fate.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  6. rudderpedals says:

    The rule for emergencies is ”When in an emergency there are no rules.” It seems wrong to hold the in extremis FSO to the same standard as other FSOs tweeting from embassies not threatened by overrunning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  7. John Burgess says:

    @Nikki: @Scott F.: I’m confident that ‘under the bus’ is still accurate.

    While it clear that someone at the Department did not approve his message, there are far too many at State who would have had no problem with it and would have approved of it.

    During my Washington assignments, I wasted significant time reminding some of my coworkers and subordinates whose job was to report on American politics for foreign audiences, that there was a Republican Party, that it had elected representatives, and that what the senior-most of them said and did needed to be reported, too. For example, while I personally loathed Jesse Helms, when he spoke as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, his statements (inane though they may have been) had to be reported. The attitude within State was, “We don’t like him or his message, so we’ll ignore it.” So while Schwartz wasn’t thrown under the bus by his professional bosses, he was by his intellectual peers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  8. Ben says:

    I don’t blame him for what he did. He was trying to defuse a situation in which he feared for his life and everyone in the embassy. In an emergency situation, particularly one involving life-or-death consequences, ’tis better to beg forgiveness afterwards than wait for permission.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  9. JKB says:

    @rudderpedals:

    Sorry but he wanted the privileges, he has to take the responsibility. If, under fire, he proved unable to perform his duty and honor his oath, then he needs a less demanding assignment or retirement. In the real world, there are no do overs, trophies for participation or just doing your best. You either do the job or your get let go.

    It’ll be interesting to see if this “rogue” meme sticks. I personally question that after sending the statement to Washington, being told to revise, that not only was the statement released but was defended for hours afterward, even after the attack ended. I suspect there were approvals, thus why we see a couple people being thrown under the bus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  10. Rob in CT says:

    “In an effort to cool the situation down, it didn’t come from me, it didn’t come from Secretary Clinton. It came from people on the ground who are potentially in danger,” Obama said. “And my tendency is to cut folks a little bit of slack when they’re in that circumstance, rather than try to question their judgment from the comfort of a campaign office.”

    [that’s POTUS]

    I agree with that. I’m willing to cut some slack, given the context.

    That said, ignoring direct orders not to send it out and then doubling down in tweets is not acceptable. I don’t think this guy is history’s greatest monster or anything, but he probably does need to have an early retirement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  11. PD Shaw says:

    The decision by Washington to release the information that changes (what changes?) needed to be made to the statement is a decision to throw the author under the bus. That information did not need to be released. Whether it should have or shound not have been released, I don’t know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  12. JKB says:

    @Ben: In an emergency situation, particularly one involving life-or-death consequences, ’tis better to beg forgiveness afterwards than wait for permission.

    True, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to get shot, thankfully, in America, only metaphorically, when you answer for your actions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. Tano says:

    I gotta agree with several posters above. The use of the (massively overused and tiresome) phrase “thrown under the bus” is completely inappropriate here. Maybe this is a good thing, in that it signifies that the phrase has now lost all real meaning and we will start to see it disappear.

    Traditionally though, it refers to those driving the bus jettisoning relatively innocent and loyal followers in a cynical ploy to gain some advantage. That is not what is going on here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  14. Rob in CT says:

    Leaving aside the issue of disobeying orders to re-work the message, I personally am not outraged by the original:

    The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

    As an attempt to defuse a potentially violent situation, it doesn’t really bother me. I don’t really get the outrage. I can understand thinking “hmm, I think that could’ve been better.” I cannot understand thinking “OMG, apologizing for America!” The second response just doesn’t compute for me.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  15. JKB says:

    @Rob in CT: “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

    So you reject those here and elsewhere who denigrate the religious beliefs of others that considers homosexuality a sin?

    Or is it only when faced with uncivilized mob violence that you reject such speech?

    In any case, an officer of the United States does not have the luxury of denying US Constitutional rights. Their commission makes them a direct representative of the American People and they are obligated to conduct themselves as such.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11

  16. I mention in another thread that Morning Joe had a pretty strong endorsement of the embassy message this morning. Not only did Joe say (hopping out of his chair) “of course we are for religious tolerance” but also (waving his arms) “this is what Bush said.”

    So yeah, I think there is some sad throwing under the bus here. Mr. Obama seems to have made the political calculation that this is not the time to defend calls for religious tolerance.

    Perhaps that is because he thinks calls for tolerance are now seen as sympathy for the enemy. That would be very sad to me. That would mean we have to yield one of our core values, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  17. Tano says:

    @JKB:

    an officer of the United States does not have the luxury of denying US Constitutional rights.

    The Constitutional right involved here is the freedom to speak without the US Government then depriving you of life, liberty or property for what you said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  18. @JKB:

    There are militant atheists in these threads, but I’ve never been one. I think I’ve always had religious tolerance.

    I remember in one recent thread I made a call related to that. Mr Romney made a statement about the special place of American in Religion. I thought it fair to mention the Angel Moroni, because yeah, he does literally believe in a special blessing, in the form of an angel. But certainly I never said no one should be a Mormon or that Mormons should dis-believe.

    So the high ground is pretty clear, it is tolerance. It is not “both sides do it.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  19. an officer of the United States does not have the luxury of denying US Constitutional rights.

    That was never in question.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  20. Rob in CT says:

    JKB,

    As I said:

    I can understand thinking “hmm, I think that could’ve been better.”

    And it absolutely could have been better. I’d have modified that line (and I strongly suspect that’s the part that folks back in DC wanted changed).

    I’m simply not OUTRAGED!!111! by it, given the context. A potentialy violent mob in an unstable foreign country.

    So you reject those here and elsewhere who denigrate the religious beliefs of others that considers homosexuality a sin?

    Depends on the particulars, and the surroundings. We’re discussing diplomacy here. What is diplomacy? Is it TRUTH, or is it spin? It’s a bit of both, IMO. And here I don’t mind some spin to try and defuse the mob when you may not have too many other options (you’re not in the US, you’re in Egypt).

    I see that as significantly different than a debate here in the USA. Don’t you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  21. Ben says:

    @JKB:

    In any case, an officer of the United States does not have the luxury of denying US Constitutional rights. Their commission makes them a direct representative of the American People and they are obligated to conduct themselves as such.

    This officer didn’t (and can’t) deny anyone’s constitutional rights. He condemned the content of speech. And so should everyone. If the author isn’t facing criminal or civil charges resulting from his speech, then his rights haven’t been violated. You do not have the right to speak without people condemning your content. You only have the right to be free from any form of government punishment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  22. JKB says:

    @john personna:

    While these inalienable rights are the law of the land in the US, they are also fundamental to the beliefs of the American People. As such, those speaking for the American People are required to honor and promote those rights as being inalienable to all people.

    If the direct representatives of the United States in a country undermines the basic premises of our society and Constitution we can hardly expect the citizens of that country to take us seriously or come to embrace our noble enterprise of self governance by free people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12

  23. @JKB:

    You are doing the “condemnation equals censorship” swap. That is either stupid or dishonest.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  24. mattb says:

    @JKB:

    So you reject those here and elsewhere who denigrate the religious beliefs of others that considers homosexuality a sin?

    Little bit of false equivilancy going on there.

    Belief that homosexuality is a sin is NOT a core Christian or arguable even Jewish doctrine. It’s only mentioned a handful of times in the Torah/Bible (and arguably for Christians all of the OT mentions are negated by the concept of Christ as the new Covenant).

    What would have been comparable to what that film did was suggest that Christ was a gay, concerned with personal power, and that the resurrection was faked. In other words direct attacks at the foundation of the religion.

    And you know what, all of that would have been fundamentally offensive to Christians and would have been in exceedingly bad taste as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  25. JKB says:

    @Ben:

    However, a government representative condemning speech is considered the same as denying free speech since government disproval has the ability to impose self-censorship. The FSO was not speaking as private citizen. He was speaking as a representative of the American People and a direct representative of the President of the United States. That there have been not criminal charges or reprisals doesn’t matter. The government has no obligation to approve of a citizens speech but it must not through word or act imply disapproval as government is force. Under the modern incarnation of the federal government, this is even more important since the very livelihood of an individual depends on government approval and permits.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  26. “Some of the comments that have been uttered about Islam do not reflect the sentiments of my government or the sentiments of most Americans. Islam, as practiced by the vast majority of people, is a peaceful religion, a religion that respects others. Ours is a country based upon tolerance and we welcome people of all faiths in America.”

    Remarks by President George W. Bush in a statement to reporters during a meeting with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  27. @JKB:

    However, a government representative condemning speech is considered the same as denying free speech since government disproval has the ability to impose self-censorship.

    OK, now we know you are an idiot.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

  28. PD Shaw says:

    I’m not outraged; I disagree strongly with the last sentence of the statement and think over time a corrective is in order.

    The problem with an official condemnation of speech “abuse” is that it implies to people not familiar with the U.S. system that the government has some role in proscribing what speech is good or not, that this speech is not protected, and thus the government is not taking necessary steps because it secretly agrees with the speech. Other parts of the world need to understand the somewhat radical view America has taken on free speech, so that when they plug into the American inter-tubes, they can be informed consumers. Anybody can say anything, that’s how we roll. We can’t be setting people’s expectations that there is some sort of rational balancing of good and bad speech, religious rights versus speech rights, because there is no balance. We’re America, our amps go to “11.” If you can’t handle it, stick to porn.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  29. “America rejects bigotry. We reject every act of hatred against people of Arab background or Muslim faith America values and welcomes peaceful people of all faiths — Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and many others. Every faith is practiced and protected here, because we are one country. Every immigrant can be fully and equally American because we’re one country. Race and color should not divide us, because America is one country.”

    President George W. Bush Promotes Compassionate Conservatism

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  30. JKB says:

    @mattb:

    So now you are the arbiter of what is offensive enough to a religious believer?

    Also, we get it, next time some government funded “artist” sticks a crucifix in a jar urine and calls it art, the Catholics and others should burn the museums and galleries of NYC in protest or it just wasn’t offensive and designed to hurt their religious beliefs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  31. James Joyner says:

    @Scott F.: @john personna: I also think releasing the name of a formerly faceless bureaucrat in this context constitutes “throwing under the bus.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  32. @James Joyner: True.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  33. Rob in CT says:

    I’m not outraged; I disagree strongly with the last sentence of the statement and think over time a corrective is in order.

    Right, agreed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  34. Rob in CT says:

    @JKB:

    No, you silly person. No one should respond with violence. No one here is defending the response of the mob.

    However, if a government official responded to anger from Christians over “piss Christ” by signalling disapproval/disappointment, I’d be fine with it. The exact phrasing matters, as it did here, of course. But I have no problem whatsover with disapproval of something like “piss Christ.”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  35. sam says:

    @JKB:

    The FSO was not speaking as private citizen. He was speaking as a representative of the American People and a direct representative of the President of the United States.

    Ah, JKB’s nitty-gritty: “Hell, Obama himself said it.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  36. Rob in CT says:

    Heh Juxeboxgrad quoted Jim Demint in the Romney’s foreign policy thread:

    He is a jerk. And he is taunting the American people, just as others are, in terms of Christianity. And I resent it. … He was seeking to create indignation. … Do not dishonor our Lord. I resent it and I think the vast majority of the American people do. … If we have sunk so low in this country as to tolerate and condone this sort of thing, then we become a part of it. … He deserved to be rebuked and ignored because he is not an artist. Anybody who would do such a despicable thing …

    That’s about piss Christ, if I’m not mistaken.

    If he’d stopped at “I resent it and I think the vast majority of American people do” I don’t have a problem with what he said at all.

    I do take issue with the next line, about tolerating/condoning, which I think goes a bit too far. Quite like I don’t like part of the embassy statement we’ve been discussing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  37. al-Ameda says:

    Schwartz sent the statement to the State Department in Washington before publishing and the State Department directed him not to post it without changes, but Schwartz posted it anyway.
    “The statement was not cleared with anyone in Washington. It was sent as ‘This is what we are putting out,’” the official said. “We replied and said this was not a good statement and that it needed major revisions. The next email we received from Embassy Cairo was ‘We just put this out.’”

    I’d say that Mr. Schwartz threw himself under the bus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  38. Scott F. says:

    @James Joyner: I can buy that it could have been handled with keeping the bureaucrat faceless. But, if you are going to defy the direct instructions of your managers, you shouldn’t be surprised to find yourself “under the bus” then.

    And I’m sympathetic to what Schwartz was trying to accomplish with the mob at the door. The quote from Obama that Rob in CT shared above, along with Rob’s take on the original message, comport with my views on this pretty neatly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  39. JKB says:

    @sam:

    Perhaps you missed this part of the post

    The tricky part was that when a statement came out from an embassy, it was not only a statement from the embassy, but represented the position of the American government, Administration, and by proxy, the American people.

    Obama disavowed the statement. But the released statement until that time was the official American position. That is why, personal opinion, private thoughts and panicked pleas cannot be released under the official auspices. When an officer of the United States speaks in a foreign country, he speaks for the United States and must control his speech as such.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  40. Ben says:

    @JKB:

    a government representative condemning speech is considered the same as denying free speech since government disproval has the ability to impose self-censorship.

    citation needed, preferably one from SCOTUS.

    As someone linked to in another thread, how do you explain all of these congressmen condemning the content of the “Piss Christ”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  41. dennis says:

    @JKB:

    However, a government representative condemning speech is considered the same as denying free speech since government disproval has the ability to impose self-censorship.

    Dude, come on. Now, you’re just being deliberately obtuse. I sincerely hope you don’t actually believe that, because if you do, you’re living in a box somewhere, with no holes or air vents.

    Government “disapproval” does not equal government censorship or denial of rights. You can continuously utter the same nonsense repeatedly, and the government can continuously condemn the speech. Until jack-booted storm troopers break down your door and haul you off for it, it is not a violation of your free speech.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  42. jukeboxgrad says:

    jkb:

    a government representative condemning speech is considered the same as denying free speech

    So what is your position on a Republican Senator “condemning speech?”

    I realize a couple of other people have also mentioned this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  43. stonetools says:

    The original statement wasn’t actually wrong.
    If you look at the official responses, they are really restatements and modifications of the original statement . The PA officer should have gone through the channels, if only to CYA, but I understand why he may have rushed out the statement and so I would cut him some slack.
    Again, if you are trying to forestall violence, you want to make your response conciliatory: but once the s&*t hits the fan, then you want to be tough, especially if there is an opponent that wants to make any effort at conciliation seem weak.
    Had the mob quietly dispersed after the first statement, no one would be questioning it now, and we would be calling the statement a success of quiet diplomacy

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  44. dennis says:

    @PD Shaw:

    The problem with an official condemnation of speech “abuse” is that it implies to people not familiar with the U.S. system that the government has some role in proscribing what speech is good or not, that this speech is not protected, and thus the government is not taking necessary steps because it secretly agrees with the speech.

    I understand your point, PD; however, I think the flaw is in the tacit belief that other peoples outside the U.S. & unfamiliar with our system of rights need to be schooled on our way of life. No. Our way of life is for US, and it’s not our “manifest destiny” to impose it on other nations.

    Other parts of the world need to understand the somewhat radical view America has taken on free speech, so that when they plug into the American inter-tubes, they can be informed consumers.

    I disagree with that “need to understand” phrase. Beside, anyone accessing U.S. blogs & news sites can get the jist of “how we roll” by keeping the context straight. And if they can’t, then that’s on them, not us to MAKE them understand.

    I’m not accusing you of it; but, your post seems to smack a bit of the hubris that we’re better than others and that THEY need to understand US. That may be so; however, WE also need to understand THEM, if that’s the case, and these idiots who made this video (I won’t grace it by calling it “film” or “movie”) are equivalent to someone yelling fire in a crowded theatre, in my opinion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  45. @dennis:

    Mr. Jones is yelling fire for the Nth time, knowing that past calls did lead to violence and death.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  46. jukeboxgrad says:

    john:

    OK, now we know you [JKB] are an idiot.

    And/or liar.

    And that’s not the only instance of JKB running away after making a claim that is proven false.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  47. mattb says:

    @JKB:
    As usual, you have no argument and so you just fire nonsensical pixels.

    On the first point about being an arbiter of religious outrage, you can only have it one way or the other. If you are arguing that no one but the beholder is capable of deciding what is offensive, then you are agree with the concept that the people in question had every right to find the film deeply offensive.

    I look forward to reminding you that you need to stay consistent with that position in the future

    Beyond that, I’m having a hard time finding any point, I suggested that rioting over this was permissible.

    And I’m pretty sure I specifically wrote that attacks on the foundation of Christianity were equally offensive.

    As far as the government sponsored Anti-Christian art, it’s nice to see that you are fighting culture wars that nearly 30 years old.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  48. Buzz Buzz says:

    @Ben:

    As someone linked to in another thread, how do you explain all of these congressmen condemning the content of the “Piss Christ”?

    Are you claiming that this movie was paid by or distributed with funds provided by the federal government, like the Piss Christ exhibit was (an NEA grant, as I recall)?

    Because if not, you might want to think about why the U.S. government paying someone to denigrate a religion is a different situation from a private citizen doing so on their own time and their own dime.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  49. I have no problem saying that Piss Christ should not have been funded by the government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  50. dennis says:

    @john personna:

    I know, john. He does this on purpose, so that Muslims can spin up, tear some sh!+ up, set some sh!+ on fire and rage in the streets, just so that he can say, “See, I told you!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  51. Jib says:

    This may be a small point but I am not sure that Schwartz disobeyed a direct order. Maybe its just my own experience but I read this different. I think Schwartz got approval from his boss, sent a notice to DC to let them know what he was doing and sent the message. Then got a reply back from DC saying ‘Dont send it’.

    Maybe that is not how it would work in State but I am have damn sure had that exact thing happen to me in biz.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  52. jukeboxgrad says:

    florack/bithead/buzz buzz:

    the U.S. government paying someone to denigrate a religion is a different situation from a private citizen doing so on their own time and their own dime

    I already addressed this bad argument in my comment on the other thread. Senator Helms did not confine himself to complaining about “the U.S. government paying someone to denigrate a religion.” He condemned Serrano. He said it was wrong to “tolerate” Serrano.

    DeMint says it’s wrong to “condemn Americans engaging in free speech.” So was it also wrong when Helms did that? I can’t find the part of your comment where you address this question.

    Also, it’s time for another reminder: you’re a liar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  53. Buzz Buzz says:

    @dennis:
    @john personna:

    Do you two agree to be held personally accountable for any and every outrageous thing that Terry Jones does from this point forward, since you’ve now insulted him on the internet?

    Because using your logic, isn’t it foreseeable that he might do something batshit crazy in response to what you’ve said?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  54. sam says:

    @JKB:

    And I think you’re dealing with us in bad faith. You plain goal here is to embarrass the president.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  55. stonetools says:

    Because using your logic, isn’t it foreseeable that he might do something batshit crazy in response to what you’ve said?

    Its foreseeable that Jones will do something batshit crazy in the future, period.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  56. Ben says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    you might want to think about why the U.S. government paying someone to denigrate a religion is a different situation from a private citizen doing so on their own time and their own dime.

    The Congressmen were not just complaining about the public funding. They were condemning the content of that speech in general terms, as offensive to Christianity. They went so far as to say that it is not art at all, and that we as a country should not tolerate it.

    How is that in any way different from the current situation?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  57. Buzz Buzz says:

    @Ben:

    How is that in any way different from the current situation?

    You didn’t answer my question. In light of your non-answer, I’ll assume that no, the movie was not in any way funded by the U.S. goverment.

    In which case, I’ll point out again: the U.S. government paying someone to denigrate a religion is a different situation from a private citizen doing so on their own time and their own dime.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  58. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam:

    The FSO was not speaking as private citizen. He was speaking as a representative of the American People and a direct representative of the President of the United States.

    Ah, JKB’s nitty-gritty: “Hell, Obama himself said it.”

    Oh come off it Sam. That is not what JKB is saying at all. He is saying that an FSO using government supplied means of communication is defacto speaking as the US govt’.

    And he is right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  59. Buzz Buzz says:

    @stonetools:

    Its foreseeable that Jones will do something batshit crazy in the future, period.

    That was, actually, the point.

    It’s likewise foreseeable that Muslim mobs in the Middle East will do something violent in the future, period.

    The question is, do we only scour the internet looking for scapegoats to blame when Muslims are violent somewhere in the world, or do we scour the internet looking for scapegoats to blame whenever anyone somewhere in the world does something bad?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  60. jukeboxgrad says:

    ben:

    How is that in any way different from the current situation?

    The difference is obvious once you understand the GOP position: government gets to decide that some religions are better than others. That’s why DeMint could say it’s wrong to “condemn Americans engaging in free speech,” even though that’s what Helms did when he said we shouldn’t “tolerate” Andres Serrano.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  61. Ben says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    Since you already knew the answer to the question you posed, I ignored it and assumed it was rhetorical.

    However, you ignored my point.

    Which is that, regardless of how it was funded, the Congressmen were condemning the content in general terms, completely divorced from the funding issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  62. stonetools says:

    AAnd- Hilary Clinton just condemned the video,after denouncing the violence:

    [Updated at 10:32 a.m. ET] U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated Thursday that “there is no justification, none at all, for responding to this video with violence.” She was referring to a video, which has sparked protests in several countries, that depicts the prophet Mohammed as a child molester, womanizer and ruthless killer.

    [Updated at 10:26 a.m. ET] U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the government rejects “the content and message” of the anti-Islam video that stirred outrage across the Muslim world.

    “Let me state very clearly, and I hope it is obvious, that the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video,” she said.

    Clinton added that the video is “disgusting and reprehensible.”

    The initial response was to condemn the video, THEN denounce the violence.

    The official response is to denounce the violence first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  63. jukeboxgrad says:

    florack/bithead/buzz buzz:

    the U.S. government paying someone to denigrate a religion is a different situation from a private citizen doing so on their own time and their own dime

    Repeating your bad argument doesn’t make it something other than a bad argument.

    You didn’t answer my question.

    You didn’t answer my question. DeMint says it’s wrong to “condemn Americans engaging in free speech.” So was it also wrong when Helms did that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  64. Buzz Buzz says:

    I did answer your question, but the comment’s caught in moderation. If you’re desperate to see it, ask one of the admins to release it. (You won’t like it, though, as it highlights your dishonesty.)

    And your fantasy that I’m some amalgamation of all the boogeymen who haunt your dreams is more than a little creepy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  65. Buzz Buzz says:

    “jukeboxgrad”

    I just realized why your name looked so familiar – you’re the guy who was banned from Protein Wisdom, JustOneMinute, and a few other right-wing blogs a few years back because you were caught sockpuppetting!

    Hahahahahahahaha!

    Oh my God, too funny!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  66. jukeboxgrad says:

    the comment’s caught in moderation

    I have heard that the reply button can cause that problem. You could try posting it without using that button.

    your fantasy that I’m some amalgamation

    It’s not my “fantasy” that Florack, bithead and Buzz Buzz all use exactly the same stilted phrasing, and also match for ideas and attitude. This is a coincidence? The odds are exceptionally slim.

    And you’re a brazen liar, so it’s no surprise that you would change your name and then lie about changing your name.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  67. dennis says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    Buzz, that’s just asinine. And no one is excusing the rioters and murderers for their actions. I was just saying that Jones et al. knew what the response was going to be and they did it anyway. Now, it is their right to make all the videos they want, and insult all the religions they want; they should just be prepared to take the heat for it when someone is killed for it.

    And I don’t think john or I insulted Jones.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  68. Rob in CT says:

    the U.S. government paying someone to denigrate a religion is a different situation from a private citizen doing so on their own time and their own dime.

    This is true. And?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  69. Dave says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    Some might consider getting banned from those sites a badge of honor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  70. Rob in CT says:

    Interesting. Buzz Buzz doesn’t remind me of Florack at all. He reminds me of Jenos.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  71. Moderate Mom says:

    @Rob in CT: It’s not just the doubling down, it’s also the attempt to shove those tweets down the memory hole. It was the Embassy’s official Twitter account that those tweets went out on. Isn’t there some rule about destroying/erasing government documents?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  72. Rob in CT says:

    I don’t know what the rules are wrt twitter.

    Frankly, I’m enough of a curmudgeon that my reaction is basically “the US embassy effing TWEETS!? Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  73. jukeboxgrad says:

    florack/bithead/buzz buzz:

    you’re the guy who was banned from Protein Wisdom, JustOneMinute, and a few other right-wing blogs a few years back because you were caught sockpuppetting!

    Try this google:

    site:justoneminute.typepad.com jukeboxgrad

    It shows 65 results, with my comments there from 2005-2009. Where do you see any evidence that I was banned, or “caught sockpuppetting?”

    Yes, Jeff Goldstein banned me in 2005 (and as Dave said, I’m proud of it). He even wrote a post about it. But in his typically courageous style, he deleted my comments that he’s complaining about.

    And you need to show me where he says I was “caught sockpuppetting.” As usual, you’re making shit up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  74. jukeboxgrad says:

    rob:

    He reminds me of Jenos.

    I see that resemblance too, but the language analysis points in a different direction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  75. jukeboxgrad says:

    moderate mom:

    Isn’t there some rule about destroying/erasing government documents?

    Didn’t stop Mitt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  76. Rob in CT says:

    By the way, the story of this “movie” gets curiouser and curiouser.

    And the details of the Libyan attack seem to be coming out. “Pitched battle” seems to be the general idea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  77. jukeboxgrad says:

    rob:

    Juxeboxgrad quoted Jim Demint in the Romney’s foreign policy thread

    Just to clarify something: in my comment on that other thread, I quoted both DeMint and Helms. The quote you copied into this thread is the latter, not the former. Someone reading your comment would get this backwards.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  78. John Burgess says:

    @Jib: Based on experience (I was an Information Officer for most of my career and was Counselor for Public Affairs in Riyadh), hot-button issues that require press releases are always sent back to Washington prior to release (unless, perhaps, it’s a weekend or the middle of the night).

    This often got in the way of efficient information management because the hotter the button, the more people wanted to see and massage it. Nevertheless, clearance was expected.

    It’s possible the PAO thought his release was uncontroversial and released it with the expectation that it would receive automatic clearance. That does happen. He cleared it internally, within the Embassy, but it was not cleared by his policy bosses in DC. That in itself can cause problems. When it leads to a political shit storm, it’s going to cause real problems.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  79. rudderpedals says:

    I finally get why people post comments when the spam trap kicks in. Some of us get a popup that says “tell the site admin to let it free”. With popups disabled in firefox and on the palm pre the popup never popped up.

    Yes this is one of those comments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  80. Buzz Buzz says:

    jukeboxgrad sockpuppet:

    Here’s an annotated version (search results are from G) of your “language analysis” comment at the link you keep spamming as part of your lie.

    Do a site search for “put to you” (something Buzz Buzz said in this thread). It appears about six times. Two of those are bithead/Florack.

    6 results on this site. About 1,580,000 results overall.
    Buzz Buzz – on the thread in question
    Bithead – link
    Eric Florack – link
    Grewgillis – link
    Chris Lightfoot – link
    Herb – link

    Do a site search for “no doubt you’ll” (something else Buzz Buzz said in this thread). It appears about four times. Two of those are bithead.

    6 results on this site. About 70,800,000 results overall.
    Buzz Buzz – on the thread in question
    Dave Schuler – link
    Bithead – link
    Bithead – link
    Louis Wheeler – link
    mary – link

    Do a site search for “though I will say” (something else Buzz Buzz said in this thread). It appears twice (after you remove one false result). One of those is

    Florack.

    4 results on this site. About 2,220,000 results overall.
    Buzz Buzz – on the thread in question
    Doug Mataconis – link
    Ryon Lancaster – link
    Eric Florack – link

    Do a site search for “as while I” (something else Buzz Buzz said in this thread). It appears twice (aside from this thread). One of those is

    Florack.

    2 results on this site. About 937,000 results overall.
    Buzz Buzz – on the thread in question
    Neil Hudelson – link

    BB also said “therein” and “thereof.” Those words come up hundreds of times in a site search, but bithead/Florack is very often the reason for

    that.

    “Therein” – About 313 results on this site. About 65,000,000 results overall.
    “Thereof” – About 698 results on this site. About 113,000,000 results overall.
    I won’t bother listing the 1000 or so instances where these words were used.

    Try a site search for “I note with amusement.” You’ll get two results: bithead and BB.

    2 results on this site. About 60,400 results overall.
    Buzz Buzz – link
    Bithead – link

    Now try “TANG documents.” You’ll get three results: two bitheads, one BB.

    3 results on this site. About 12,600 results overall.
    Buzz Buzz – link
    Bithead – link
    Bithead – link

    That’s enough to convince me. Bad writing can be like a fingerprint.

    To summarize, your best effort to support your delusion by selectively searching words and phrases came up with:
    * 2 phrases that only I and Bithead/Eric Florack (who do appear to be the same person, based on their avatars) have used on this site,
    * 3 phrases that I, Bithead/Erick Florack, and several others have used on this site,
    * 1 phrase that I and Neil Hudelson have used on this site, but which Bithead/Eric Florack has not used on this site, and
    * 2 words that I and approximately 1,000 other people have used on this site

    I’ll point out again that your fantasy that I’m some amalgamation of all the boogeymen who haunt your dreams is more than a little creepy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  81. The Q says:

    Buzz Buzz, me doth think you protest too much

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  82. jukeboxgrad says:

    florack/bithead/buzz buzz, there are a bunch of falsehoods in your comment. Sloppiness or lying? Probably both. I’ll just point out one. You said this:

    1 phrase that I and Neil Hudelson have used on this site, but which Bithead/Eric Florack has not used on this site

    The phrase you’re talking about is “as while I.” Florack did use that phrase.

    You’ve also made no attempt to explain why you and Florack were grinding precisely the same ax.

    You’ve also shown no support for your false claim about “sockpuppeting.”

    And you’re still dodging the question: DeMint says it’s wrong to “condemn Americans engaging in free speech.” So was it also wrong when Helms did that?

    Your answer is still “caught in moderation?” Yes, and I bet the dog ate your homework.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  83. slimslowslider says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    So where is the evidence that Juke was sockpuppeting?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  84. Buzz Buzz says:

    jukebox sockpuppet:

    there are a bunch of falsehoods in your comment. Sloppiness or lying? Probably both. I’ll just point out one.

    There are no falsehoods in my post. Everyone here knows that if you could find any, you’d be pointing them out.

    The phrase you’re talking about is “as while I.” Florack did use that phrase.

    No, in fact, he did not. He said “as while I’m“, which everyone can check for themselves by following your link. When you’re trying to buttress your delusion that I’m the same person as he is by claiming you’ve cracked some code and found we use the exact same unique phrases, it seems pretty important that we actually used the exact same unique phrases.

    You’ve also shown no support for your false claim about “sockpuppeting.”

    I recall what I recall. If you want to maintain you weren’t banned for sockpuppetting, that’s fine (but there’s no need to pile on with your “slimslowslider” account).

    Would you accept the same proof that you’ve tried to offer? I suspect that I can find a couple of sentence fragments that only you and one other person have used; a few more sentence fragments that you, that person, and several other people have used; a sentence fragment that you and someone entirely different have used; and a few common words that you, that person, and thousands of other people have used.

    Your answer is still “caught in moderation?” Yes, and I bet the dog ate your homework.

    Take it up with the admins.

    I will go ahead and repeat that you’re lying about what DeMint said, as the link back to your earlier comment showed. You lied by commission by claiming he said it was “wrong”, and you lied by omission by leaving out the part where he specified the administration.

    I agree with DeMint’s actual statement (not your distortion); it’s disheartening when a U.S. government employee acting in their official capacity singles out and condemns a private citizen for exercising their free speech rights.

    Insofar as Helms goes, if his complaint went beyond the government paying to have someone denigrate a religion and said that the government should condemn artists expressing themselves freely on their own time and their own dime, then yes, that is disheartening too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  85. Buzz Buzz says:

    Missed this part:

    You’ve also made no attempt to explain why you and Florack were grinding precisely the same ax.

    That’s because we weren’t. I don’t think we were even talking about the same things.

    I was pointing out a report from the Department of Justice which contained the data that answered Stephen Taylor’s question, and Florack was talking about something on another thread (which I don’t feel like wasting the time to read the 200+ comments of).

    If he was offering up the same report, then maybe it was relevant to whatever he was talking about on that thread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  86. jukeboxgrad says:

    florack/bithead/buzz buzz:

    He said “as while I’m“

    Which for the purpose of this analysis is indistinguishable from “as while I,” because it’s short for “as while I am.” That phrase, in either form, is rare here, but you like to use it. That’s the point.

    I recall what I recall.

    It’s not something you “recall.” It’s something you made up.

    your “slimslowslider” account

    Something else you made up.

    Would you accept the same proof that you’ve tried to offer? I suspect that I can find a couple of sentence fragments that only you and one other person have used; a few more sentence fragments that you, that person, and several other people have used; a sentence fragment that you and someone entirely different have used; and a few common words that you, that person, and thousands of other people have used.

    Go ahead. I’ll be waiting patiently.

    you’re lying about what DeMint said, as the link back to your earlier comment showed. You lied by commission by claiming he said it was “wrong”, and you lied by omission by leaving out the part where he specified the administration.

    My comment quoting DeMint is here. I quoted him saying this:

    It was disheartening to hear the administration condemn Americans engaging in free speech that hurt the feelings of Muslims

    You can find that statement on his site here.

    You lied by commission by claiming he said it was “wrong”

    I didn’t claim he used that word. I claimed that was his meaning. Why? Because that was his meaning.

    and you lied by omission by leaving out the part where he specified the administration.

    Are you being sloppy or dishonest? I didn’t “[leave] out the part where he specified the administration.” One more time, I quoted him as follows:

    It was disheartening to hear the administration condemn Americans engaging in free speech that hurt the feelings of Muslims

    I highlighted a word you’re having trouble finding. Now you need to apologize for your false accusation (“you lied by omission by leaving out the part where he specified the administration”).

    it’s disheartening when a U.S. government employee acting in their official capacity singles out and condemns a private citizen for exercising their free speech rights

    Except that’s exactly what Helms did.

    Insofar as Helms goes, if his complaint went beyond the government paying to have someone denigrate a religion and said that the government should condemn artists expressing themselves freely on their own time and their own dime, then yes, that is disheartening too.

    Your “if” is superfluous and dishonest, because its only purpose is to pretend that Helms didn’t do what he did.

    Anyway, it’s good that you’re almost-sort-of-maybe admitting that Helms was wrong, but it would be better if you didn’t need to hear the question roughly three times before you finally answered it.

    And what’s more important than your position on this question is the position of the GOP. I’m pretty sure that when Helms made his statement no major figure in the GOP told him it was wrong to “condemn Americans engaging in free speech.” Why? Because in GOP-land, some religions are better than others.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  87. jukeboxgrad says:

    If he was offering up the same report

    You and Florack were making precisely the same point, using precisely the same arguments. I think you didn’t mention the report in April because you didn’t know about it yet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  88. Buzz Buzz says:

    That phrase, in either form, is rare here, but you like to use it. That’s the point.

    I’ve used the phrase once. As has Neil Hudelson. Erick Florack has not. You lied about that. That’s the point.

    My comment quoting DeMint is here. I quoted him saying this:

    Here is your exact preface to the question you demanded I answer:

    DeMint says it’s wrong to “condemn Americans engaging in free speech.”

    You lied about what DeMint says.

    Your “if” is superfluous and dishonest, because its only purpose is to pretend that Helms didn’t do what he did.

    No, my “if” is because I don’t want to waste my time checking to see if you’re lying yet again about what someone said. I assume that you are lying, as that’s been the pattern with all of your other quotes, but I don’t care enough about you, DeMint, or Helms to waste any more time on it.

    Anyway, it’s good that you’re almost-sort-of-maybe admitting that Helms was wrong, but it would be better if you didn’t need to hear the question roughly three times before you finally answered it.

    I answered it after you asked the first time; direct your anger at the moderator if it pisses you off so much that their spam filter captured it and they haven’t released it yet.

    Also, It wasn’t “roughly three times.” You asked twice. It’s odd that you just can’t seem to keep yourself from lying, even about the most trivial things.

    You and Florack were making precisely the same point, using precisely the same arguments.

    Your contention is a lie. Linking back to an earlier comment where you told the same lie doesn’t make it any more true.

    I think you didn’t mention the report in April because you didn’t know about it yet.

    Now you’re just desperately flailing around.

    I’ve been aware of that report and the other various DOJ crime statistics for years. I think it’s sad that people felt comfortable participating in a discussion about crime statistics without being aware that so much data is readily available.

    I’ll note one last time that your fantasy that I’m some amalgamation of all the boogeymen who haunt your dreams is more than a little creepy. You should get treatment. There’s probably some medication that would help you.

    It’s also getting tedious to have to dig through the lies that you seem to reflexively shroud all of your statements and questions in, so unless and until you start being less dishonest (and less creepy), I don’t think I’ll be wasting any more time responding to you. That shouldn’t make much of a difference, because regardless of what I’ve answered so far you’ve managed to ignore it and pretend I said whatever you wanted me to say anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  89. David M says:

    Not trying to take sides too much here, but who cares if someone changed the name they comment under? Unless they are pretending to impersonate a different user, I’m not sure it matters. As long as Buzz isn’t trying to post as jukeboxgrad, I don’t think any harm is done. It’s the Internet, there’s lots of people and while wingers may post similar stuff, it doesn’t mean they are the same person.

    And I don’t think Buzz and Florack are the same person, but even if they were, why should we care?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  90. jukeboxgrad says:

    florack/bithead/buzz buzz:

    Erick Florack has not.

    Only if you claim that “as while I’m“ does not contain “as while I.” Trouble is, it does.

    You lied about what DeMint says.

    He said this:

    It was disheartening to hear the administration condemn Americans engaging in free speech that hurt the feelings of Muslims

    Which means he thinks it’s wrong to “condemn Americans engaging in free speech.” If you can think of some other way to interpret what he said, I hope you’ll let us in on the secret and tell us what it is.

    Are you complaining because I didn’t explicitly say ‘the government?’ That’s obviously what I mean, because both things I’m comparing (Helms and the embassy) are statements made by the government.

    I don’t want to waste my time checking to see if you’re lying yet again about what someone said.

    English translation: ‘I’m trying really hard to hide from all inconvenient facts.’ What Helms said is not hard to find. I’ve cited the link numerous times.

    I assume that you are lying, as that’s been the pattern with all of your other quotes

    You’ve shown this many instances of me misquoting someone: zero.

    their spam filter captured it and they haven’t released it yet.

    Of course. And the dog ate your homework.

    It wasn’t “roughly three times.” You asked twice.

    I guess you just can’t count. I asked you the question here, here and here.

    your fantasy that I’m some amalgamation

    Yes, it’s just a complete coincidence that bithead, Florack and Buzz Buzz all like to use certain stilted phrases that are almost never used by anyone else here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  91. jukeboxgrad says:

    david:

    I don’t think Buzz and Florack are the same person, but even if they were, why should we care?

    Because Florack has already changed his name once (used to be bithead), and I think in both instances he changed his name in order to run away from his record as a liar (example).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  92. Injainjuneer says:

    In that case, then, why condemn the film. Everything in it is based on what the Muslims’ book and hadiths themselves say. They just don’t like it when the truth is told about what they believe.
    They also object when their so-called prophet is portrayed in any way.
    But that is certainly not an attempt to hurt their religious feelings, as the Embassy statement characterized it, but a legitimate artistic expression in these United States.
    To automatically have the U.S government declare that an American citizen, or resident alien, has deliberately hurt Muslims feelings by portraying their prophet is to ascribe to sharia law, which declares it so.
    As a non-Muslim, I disagree that such portrayal is an attempt to hurt their feelings.
    I’m also an American.
    So my government should not even be getting into such ridiculous discussions. They should be explaining our foundational principles of freedom of speech, freedom of religion (including the right to criticize Islam and its prophet).
    I

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  93. An Interested Party says:

    Oh come off it Sam. That is not what JKB is saying at all.

    Oh really? Let us consider what he wrote on another thread…

    If some third grader with an Ivy League degree is issuing uncleared official responses that represent the official US position though the official US account, then that says a lot about the amateur hour of this administration.

    If the statement was not a reflection of Obama’s policies, then the White House should have disavowed the statement/tweet immediately, shutdown the rogue access and recalled the ambassador for “consultation”.

    It certainly does look like JKB is using this incident simply to trash the President…of course, that didn’t work for Romney and it won’t for JKB either…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  94. David M says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    Because Florack has already changed his name once (used to be bithead), and I think in both instances he changed his name in order to run away from his record

    I really don’t think Eric Florack that important. I’d like to think the reaction to what he posts would stay the same regardless of who he posts it as.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  95. jukeboxgrad says:

    It has to do with what I said here about the normalization of dishonesty and the importance of dealing with that in a serious way. Changing his name to run away from his own posting record is a pretty important form of dishonesty, and he seems to have done that twice. When I react to dishonesty by looking the other way then I’m part of the problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  96. Buzz Buzz says:

    FYI:

    Here are the threads where Rick Ballard and Cecil Turner and TM (Tom Maguire) busted jukeboxgrad for sockpuppeting (as “TomJ”) at the JustOneMinute blog.

    link

    Hey, somebody’s playing the old jerkbox! I thought it got disconnected.

    Posted by: Rick Ballard | November 29, 2005 at 05:39 PM

    “Speaking of” [various permutations of] “liar,” “formulation”. . . a propensity for converse arguments . . . multiple postings on a late schedule . . . hmmmm. And do I note a tendency to appear after JBG is banned? Methinks Mr Ballard is correct. Good morning, Jukeboxgrad.

    And don’t you think it’s a teensy bit inconsistent to drone on about others’ dishonesty whilst pretending to be someone else so you can continue to make the same points the same way? Just askin’.

    Posted by: Cecil Turner | November 30, 2005 at 04:21 PM

    Sorry, but there are no “merits” to your argument. It’s typical jukeboxgrad accusations of dishonesty, shirking the burden of proof (paraphrased: “he’s a liar, now prove me wrong”), followed by the obligatory ad hominem.

    However, I do like your DKos collection of flash-in-the-pan “gate” scandals . . . I also suspect we can find the answer there to your motivations:

    As I noted in my earlier diary, righty blogs and media have been relatively silent on the Downing Street memo. But as the story continues to gather steam, they’ll inevitably be forced to speak up. We need to be ready to bulldoze the crap they’ll be excreting. A very good set of rebuttals can be found here. Below are some further points to support and extend that work.

    So it appears the visits to righty sites, under various pseudonyms, is in order to discredit their “crap” . . . and that is laudable “work” in your book? (Well, that’d certainly help explain the pithy writing style that’s repeatedly gotten you banned from commenting.) The really funny part is that you apparently think your one-person propaganda campaign is winning friends and influencing people. Do you really think you’re that much smarter than everyone else?

    Posted by: Cecil Turner | December 01, 2005 at 09:49 AM

    Let me see if I have this straight: you, a Kos diarist, visit “righty blogs” and insult the host. When booted, you assume a new identity (and complain that your other persona was booted for speaking up). You then take up where you left off, and, when called on it, weasel around the subject to pretend it might not be true. And the goal for which you are willing to sacrifice your integrity? Why, in order to “discredit crap,” of course. Revealing? Yes, I’d say it is.

    Posted by: Cecil Turner | December 02, 2005 at 10:06 AM

    And this direct request from the blogger who runs JustOneMinute, Tom Maguire (link):

    Well, if TomJ is not Jukebox, they must have gone to the same school for commenters.

    I’d be interested in seeing a specic denial (or affirmation, if honesty is still viewed as the best policy.)

    Posted by: TM | December 05, 2005 at 11:58 AM

    NOTE: After that direct request by the blog owner for “TomJ” to affirm/deny that he was/wasn’t jukeboxgrad, the “TomJ” commenter suddenly stopped posting on the blog and was never heard from again.

    Bonus: here’s a thread from a year later where you were caught sockpuppetting again, this time as “Dave”: link

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  97. Buzz Buzz says:

    And there’s this link to document jukeboxgrad and his sockpuppet antics at Protein Wisdom, where he commented as “Tom J.” after he was banned there as “jukeboxgrad”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  98. jukeboxgrad says:

    You’re citing people who did just what you like to do: make accusations that have no support outside your imagination. And like you, they have a lot of trouble getting their facts straight. You cited someone saying this: “do I note a tendency to appear after JBG is banned.” How odd that I could still comment (example) after supposedly being banned.

    there’s this link to document jukeboxgrad and his sockpuppet antics at Protein Wisdom

    Try paying attention. “This link” you’re providing was already provided by me, above. I hope you didn’t knock yourself out trying to find it, because I already found it for you. And you should ask your friend Jeff why he deleted my comments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  99. Buzz Buzz says:

    TomJ / Dave / Tom J. / etc. :

    You cited someone saying this: “do I note a tendency to appear after JBG is banned.” How odd that I could still comment (example) after supposedly being banned.

    He was probably pointing out that you started sockpuppetting as “Tom J.” at Protein Wisdom right after you were banned there, and which happened just a few weeks before you turned up with the very similar sockpuppet name (“TomJ”) at the JustOneMinute blog.

    Anyone who reads those threads for themselves will see just how obvious it is from the content and format of your comments that it’s you sockpuppeting under multiple names.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  100. jukeboxgrad says:

    He was probably pointing out that you started sockpuppetting as “Tom J.” at Protein Wisdom right after you were banned there

    His comment implies that I had just been banned at JOM. Trouble is, I kept commenting at JOM after I was supposedly banned.

    how obvious it is from the content and format of your comments that it’s you sockpuppeting

    Naturally, because it’s just not possible that more than one liberal who can write in complete sentences would want to comment at those places.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  101. Buzz Buzz says:

    Try paying attention. “This link” you’re providing was already provided by me, above. I hope you didn’t knock yourself out trying to find it, because I already found it for you.

    Speaking of links that were already provided, it just struck me that it appears all comments from both “Eric Florack” and “Bithead” include a direct link to the same blog (http://bitsblog.florack.us/) and they all use the same avatar.

    Is this just a case of a guy who openly switched from commenting under a psuedonym to commenting under his real name, which you’re trying to represent as some kind of sinister and dishonest plot to hide his identity?

    If so, that really takes the cake.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  102. Buzz Buzz says:

    Naturally, because it’s just not possible that more than one liberal who can write in complete sentences would want to comment at those places

    Well, “Tom J.” / “Dave” / “TomJ” / etc., I will just respond by repeating my suggestion for people to go read the linked threads and decide for themselves.

    I do find it hilarious that you’re offering a defense (and, I note, no denial whatsoever) of “maybe I just sound exactly like that other guy!” after you’ve spent so much time and energy insisting I am this Eric/Bithead person because you cherry-picked a few sentence fragments that he, I, and up to a thousand other people have used on this blog.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  103. jukeboxgrad says:

    it appears all comments from both “Eric Florack” and “Bithead” include a direct link to the same blog (http://bitsblog.florack.us/)

    No, that is not true about “all comments.” For example, see here. That comment links to something different. This seems to have changed at some point, but I don’t know when. I also think this site did not have avatars back then, and what you’re seeing was somehow added retroactively, by the site according to some rule (ip address? email address?) that I don’t know about.

    Is this just a case of a guy who openly switched from commenting under a psuedonym to commenting under his real name

    Did he ever say that here? Did he ever acknowledge here that bithead=florack? If he did, then I will agree with you. In the absence of such a statement, it looks like he is trying to run away from his former posting record, even though it’s possible for a motivated person to find the tracks.

    no denial whatsoever

    Consider this your denial.

    because you cherry-picked a few sentence fragments that he, I, and up to a thousand other people have used on this blog

    I showed phrases that almost no one else ever uses here. None of the unusual words and phrases I cited are used here by “up to a thousand other people.” I’m waiting for you to do the same analysis with those other people you think are me. Earlier you threatened to do this. What are you waiting for?

    You should also explain why you’re telling two different stories. Before you said this:

    you’re the guy who was banned from Protein Wisdom, JustOneMinute, and a few other right-wing blogs a few years back because you were caught sockpuppetting!

    Now you’re saying this:

    He was probably pointing out that you started sockpuppetting as “Tom J.” at Protein Wisdom right after you were banned there

    Was I banned for sockpuppetting, or did I start sockpuppetting after being banned? Here’s an idea: pick one story and stick with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  104. Buzz Buzz says:

    “Tom J.” / “Dave” / “TomJ” / etc.

    Did he ever say that here? Did he ever acknowledge here that bithead=florack? If he did, then I will agree with you. In the absence of such a statement, it looks like he is trying to run away from his former posting record, even though it’s possible for a motivated person to find the tracks.

    I have no idea what he said about switching to his real name here or anywhere else. Since you’re the one who’s obsessed with him, you’re the one who ought to track down the answer to that question if you think it’s so critical.

    But it doesn’t take a lot of “motivation” to find the “tracks”, since he uses the same picture of himself, uses the same URL to the same blog, and the URL to that blog contains his actual name, and the continued pretense that a guy who switched from commenting using a pseudonym to commenting using his real name has done something wrong and is trying to hide is just gross dishonesty on your part.

    Was I banned for sockpuppetting, or did I start sockpuppetting after being banned? Here’s an idea: pick one story and stick with it.

    You’re right that I misremembered the details of your dishonest behavior from about 7 years ago. The actual order of events appears to have been:

    First you were banned from Protein Wisdom as “jukeboxgrad”.
    Then you posted on Protein Wisdom using your “Tom J.” sockpuppet.
    Then a few weeks later you posted on JustOneMinute using your “TomJ” sockpuppet.
    Then a year or so later you posted on JustOneMinute using your “Dave” sockpuppet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  105. jukeboxgrad says:

    you’re the one who ought to track down the answer to that question if you think it’s so critical

    No, I don’t have to “track down the answer” because the apparent absence of an answer speaks for itself.

    the URL to that blog contains his actual name

    Not exactly. It redirects to this: http://bitsblog.theconservativereader.com.

    You’re right that I misremembered the details

    Then you should apologize for claiming I was banned for sockpuppetting. No one you are citing ever even made that claim.

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  106. Chris says:

    @JKB:

    A person can do what they like and call it art.
    But why should the state fund it?
    The state is using tax payers money and funding modern art that some state official likes seems a poor use of that limit money supply, especially when the artists actions or products are deliberately designed to offend a large number of taxpayers.
    It isn’t the states job to define what is and isn’t art nor should it fund products that are anti-religious just as they aren’t allowed to fund religious iconography (crosses, ten commandments enscribed on walls, statues of saints etc)
    If the state official wishes to spend her own money funding the artist then there is no problem.

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  107. Buzz Buzz says:

    “TomJ” / “Dave” / “Tom J.” / “slimslowslider” / etc.

    Here’s the proof you requested showing that “TomJ” was a sockpuppet used by jukeboxgrad on the JustOneMinute blog (per the criteria agreed to here)

    Category 1: Phrases used only by jukeboxgrad and TomJ on JustOneMinute (2 examples required. 4 examples provided.)
    “a questionable decision” – 2 results.
    link – TomJ
    link – jukeboxgrad

    “I think you’re claiming” – 2 results.
    link – TomJ
    link – jukeboxgrad

    “Rove needed to say” – 2 results.
    link – TomJ
    link – jukeboxgrad

    “hide behind a curtain” – 2 results.
    link – TomJ
    link – jukeboxgrad

    Category 2: Phrase used only by jukeboxgrad, TomJ, and one other person (1 example required. 2 examples provided.)

    “without any help from me” – 3 results.
    link – TomJ
    link – jukeboxgrad
    link – “Jack is Back!” (over 6 years later)

    “Maybe you’d like to explain” – 5 results.
    link – TomJ
    link – jukeboxgrad
    link – jukeboxgrad
    link – jukeboxgrad
    link – “pofarmer” (over 4 years later)

    Category 3: Phrases used by jukeboxgrad, TomJ, and up to a dozen or so other people (2 examples required. 4 examples provided.)
    “McClennan” (a rather distinctive misspelling of “McClellan”) – 7 results.
    link – TomJ
    link – jukeboxgrad
    link – jukeboxgrad
    link – jukeboxgrad
    link – “Pete”
    link – “Pete”
    link – “Jim E.”

    “is perfectly capable” – 14 results.
    link – TomJ
    link – jukeboxgrad
    link – “p.lukasiak”
    link -“Brett Bellmore”
    link – “Jeff”
    (4 more hits from 2008, 1 from 2009, 1 from 2010, 3 from 2011)

    “enough proof” – 13 results.
    link – TomJ
    link – jukeboxgrad
    link – “Lurker”
    link – “Lurker”
    link – “Sue”
    link – “jerry”, “Lurker”
    link – “Dale in Atlanta”
    link – “Julie”
    (3 more hits from 2009, 1 from 2010, 1 from 2011)

    “that is tantamount to” / “that’s tantamount to” – 5 results.
    link – TomJ
    link – jukeboxgrad
    link – “Lew Clark”
    (1 more hit from 2011, 1 from 2012)

    Category 4: Words used by jukeboxgrad, TomJ, and hundreds of other people (2 examples required. 2 examples provided.)
    “amnesia” – About 126 results.
    link – TomJ
    link – jukeboxgrad

    “outed” – About 908 results.
    link – TomJ
    link – jukeboxgrad

    Category 5: Same topic “obsession”
    TomJ: Plame Rove Bush Plame Rove Bush Plame Rove Bush (ad nauseum; click on any of the links above for details)
    jukeboxgrad: Plame Rove Bush Plame Rove Bush Plame Rove Bush (ad nauseum; click on any of the links above for details)

    That’s enough to convince me. Bad writing can be like a fingerprint.

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  108. Buzz Buzz says:

    “TomJ” / “Dave” / “Tom J.” / “slimslowslider” / etc.

    Here’s the proof you requested showing that “TomJ” was a sockpuppet used by jukeboxgrad on the JustOneMinute blog (per the criteria agreed to earlier):

    Category 1: Phrases used only by jukeboxgrad and TomJ on JustOneMinute (2 examples required. 4 examples provided.)
    “a questionable decision” – 2 results.
    “I think you’re claiming” – 2 results.
    “Rove needed to say” – 2 results.
    “hide behind a curtain” – 2 results.

    Category 2: Phrase used only by jukeboxgrad, TomJ, and one other person (1 example required. 2 examples provided.)
    “without any help from me” – 3 results.
    “Maybe you’d like to explain” – 5 results.

    Category 3: Phrases used by jukeboxgrad, TomJ, and up to a dozen or so other people (2 examples required. 4 examples provided.)
    “McClennan” (a rather distinctive misspelling of “McClellan”) – 7 results.
    “is perfectly capable” – 14 results.
    “enough proof” – 13 results.
    “that is tantamount to” / “that’s tantamount to” – 5 results.

    Category 4: Words used by jukeboxgrad, TomJ, and hundreds of other people (2 examples required. 2 examples provided.)
    “amnesia” – About 126 results.
    “outed” – About 908 results.

    Category 5: Same topic “obsession”
    TomJ: Plame Rove Bush Plame Rove Bush Plame Rove Bush (ad nauseum)
    jukeboxgrad: Plame Rove Bush Plame Rove Bush Plame Rove Bush (ad nauseum)

    That’s enough to convince me. Bad writing can be like a fingerprint.

    (a link-rich version of this comment is currently waiting in moderation)

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