Super Tuesday: The writing has been on the wall since late January

The flurry of primaries and caucuses on “Super Tuesday,” along with the smattering of races that fall before it, have been calculated to serve one purpose only: to give the former Confederate States an unfair early advantage in manipulating each party’s presidential races. The only big southern state not included in the action is Florida.

So it is no surprise that Hillary Clinton, given her generally far greater name recognition among Southerners (particularly black voters) than Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, swept Dixie. I am not going out on a limb by saying that Hillary is going to be the Democrats’ presidential nominee – but do not discount the Sanders factor in that he will push the party platform – and Hillary – a little bit to the left.

Meanwhile, back in the great red nation of the GOP, everything that party chairman Reince Priebus had put into place to prevent a rerun of 2012 – a compacted primary season, a big crop of competent candidates, and an earlier convention – has blown up in his face with even greater force than the latest Acme gadget purchased by Wile E. Coyote. Late last year, the press became enamored with the Chauncey Gardner of brain surgery, Ben Carson – only to discover that the real way to draw eyeballs and sell newspapers was to go Trump 24-7. Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who comes across more and more as the evil offspring of Ghostbusters‘ Dr. Peter Venkman and televangelist über-scammer Robert Tilton, is seriously underperforming, and to say Florida Senator Marco Rubio is not ready for prime time is, well, about the kindest way to put it.

The GOP is now bracing for a convention in which the plurality of votes will go to a game show host and erratic though frequently successful real estate mogul. There are already rumblings that the Republican “old guard” and their millionaire backers are planning… well, something to see to it that “Der Drumpf”* is procedurally defeated and a more acceptable candidate – perhaps loser Mitt “Kill the 47%” Romney – is given the party’s blessing.

It’s not a clown car driving around the Party of Lincoln – it’s a full-blown Cuckoo’s Nest, and the inmates have commandeered a Hummer with Stinger missiles.

So grab the popcorn. This is going to be an hellacious but entertaining election season. Game on!

* Drumpf? Yes, Drumpf! In case you missed it, it is worth watching the entire 21 minutes.

Dave “Doctor” Gonzo is a renegade record producer, writer, reformed corporate shill, and still-registered lobbyist for non-one-percenter performing artists and musicians. He lives in a heavily fortified compound in one of Manhattan’s less trendy yet eminently artsy neighborhoods. He writes for American Politics Journal, Liberaland, and Freakout Nation.

Shepard Smith Nails It: Something You’ll Never Hear on CNN or the Evening “News”

During Wednesday’s coverage of Pope Francis’ first day in Washington, FOX News Channel’s Shepard Smith and Bill Hemmer were co-anchoring levi coverage. Bill Hemmer blurted out an (inaccurate) assertion that the Pope did not publicly address politics in the Cuba leg of his visit, in a typically cheap attempt to insinuate that Francis and Fidel Castro must (nudge nudge wink wink) be fellow travelers.

Smith’s reply was priceless and completely refreshing:

I don’t know — I think we are in a weird place in the world when the following things are considered political. Five things, I’m going to tick them off. These are the five things that were on his and our president’s agenda.

  • Caring for the marginalized and the poor -– that’s now political.
  • Advancing economic opportunity for all – political?
  • Serving as good stewards of the environment.
  • Protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom globally.
  • Welcoming [and] integrating immigrants and refugees globally. And that’s political?

I mean, I don’t know what we expect to hear from an organization’s leader like the Pope of the Catholic Church, other than protect those who need help, bring in refuges who have no place because of war and violence and terrorism. These seem like universal truths that we should be good to others who have less than we do, that we should give shelter to those who don’t have it. I think these were the teachings in the Bible of Jesus. They’re the words of the pope, they’re the feelings of the president. And people who find themselves on the other side of that message should consult a mirror, it seems like. Because I think that’s what we’re supposed to do as a people, whatever your religion. I mean, it seems to me and I think to probably, as Bill O’Reilly would put it, most clear-thinking Americans — that that’s how we’re supposed to roll.

Here’s hoping everyone on the blue side of the American political spectrum has a gander at the clip below (hat tip to our good friends at Crooks & Liars). Yes, those who are accusing the Pope of being “too political” need a long, hard look in the mirror, and the likelihood that they are completely oblivious to their hypocrisy. More importantly, the five values Smith ticks off engender fundamental decency, altruism, and liberty – American values that should remain above Washington politics.

It’s the Stupid, Stupid

Eric Bolling
Speaking of Stupid Americans?

It’s the Stupid, Stupid

By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers (

Barack Obama is not stupid and he says he doesn’t want his administration to do “stupid things” in foreign policy. So why, then, has he done a reckless, stupid thing by starting a new, two-theater war in the Middle East? And why did that war in Syria have to commence immediately as an existential necessity?

Even though I don’t agree, I can at least somewhat understand a rush to war when it comes to Iraq. The corruption and vacuum of leadership in that country opened up a rich shaft for the extremist jihadis of ISIS to mine — and they are moving inexorably toward Baghdad. But what was the absolute moral hurry to bomb inside Syria?; you mean the operation couldn’t have waited a few weeks so there could be a full-scale national debate, both in Congress and in the American polity in general, about the wisdom of such a dangerous move?

We should always be wary of hurry-up wars; someone (usually with $omething to gain) is trying to rush things along before the public remembers the previous such wars and how disastrous those turned out.

This whole Mideast situation is a chaotic mess, which cries out for more rational analysis. So let’s try to parse out as much as we can in terms of possible motives for war, along with pointing out the scary ramifications that always attend The Dumb. Here are 10 places to start.


Ronald Reagan and CheneyBush were celebrated by the Right and some Independents for their “muscular” military policy — that is, taking the country to war. So Obama for years has been covering his, and Democrats’, perceived electoral vulnerability of being seen as “weak” and wishy-washy when it comes to national-security issues.

The speeches Obama has given in the past few weeks, justifying his somewhat amorphous military plans to crush and destroy ISIS could have been delivered word for word by George W.  No wonder the Hard Right Republicans are celebrating — while they lobby for sending foot-soldiers into Iraq and Syria ASAP. And no wonder the liberal left is discombobulated by their formerly anti-war leader’s dash toward militarism, especially with regard to bombing inside Syria.

2. NEO-CONS 2.0

The Cheney-ite neo-conservatives have a simple way of viewing the world: To them, the U.S. is the last remaining superpower and thus it should move aggressively to mold the world in its image, even if it takes a few more wars. The problem with such thinking is that such a geopolitical strategy didn’t work in the 1990s and it won’t work now: so many modern-day wars are asymmetrical and difficult for large, musclebound nations like the U.S. to fight successfully (see Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.)

From the standpoint of these smaller countries, “success” in this context means to bleed the superpower with a thousand cuts over many years. Stalemate becomes victory, since eventually the American citizenry grows weary of military quagmires and withdraws from the battlefield.

Why the rush to war in Syria? I suspect that Obama and his military advisors saw a golden window of opportunity they couldn’t resist: a greatly distracted Assad, an enemy in ISIS that almost invited the initial bombing runs and missile attacks by massing men and materiel right out in the open, a violent Sunni/Shia split in Islam, some Arab cheerleaders anxious to rein in extremist jihadis, the president free to act on his own since the U.S. Congress wanted to keep its fingerprints off a new Middle East war (hence, no debate), especially right before the midterm election.


Another possibility: What if Obama’s war posture is not an act? Maybe he really believes what he’s saying. The progressive Left chose to see Obama as a liberal activist when he actually was much closer to the center-Right and beholden to the prevailing corporate worldview. He certainly was no pacifist. Recall that when the President received his Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, his acceptance speech to the assembled diplomats in Oslo inexplicably was a defense of going to war — the “just war” argument.

Obama today may truly believe in his own propaganda, that ISIS is the latest manifestation of pure evil and must be eradicated; forget the fact that many of the ISIS fighters originally were recruited, armed and encouraged by the U.S. as tough fighters in the Syrian opposition. Now Obama wants ISIS to be ripped, root and branch, from the face of the earth, despite opposition from potential allies.

Surely, Obama sees that no country is champing at the bit to put its soldiers on the ground in Syria. If other nations want to help at all in the Syrian theater, it will be mostly from the air and will mainly be in service to the U.S. air force and drones. (A somewhat reluctant Turkey seems willing to send combat troops, if it has to.)

As for the U.S., Obama promises no boots on the ground, unless there’s a damn good reason to do so. And, as the American people have figured out (see recent polls), there will be a “damn good reason” to do so.

Since Obama is not stupid, he must know that it won’t take much to make the U.S. change its mind about BOTG (boots on the ground). All it will take is a U.S. aircraft shot down by ISIS or Syrian missile, or when U.S. military members are taken prisoner and threatened with beheading, or when some major act of ISIS terrorism occurs inside “The Homeland” — or that can be blamed on ISIS Central, even if done by free-lancing jihadis. You can bet that in such circumstances, there will be BOTG very quickly, whether those of active-duty soldiers or large numbers of special forces operators.


The bombs raining down on Syria from the air are aimed at ISIS facilities and troops, but the actual goal is regime change in Damascus. (And, after that, maybe Iran.)

Surely, Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad, can see the handwriting on the wall, that he’s next in the U.S. crosshairs, so why is he being so relatively quiet as his country’s sovereignty is violated every day by U.S. bombers and missiles?

It seems clear, at least to me, that some accommodation with Assad — perhaps with tacit promises of weapon and cash — was reached before the U.S. bombing campaign began. In its most simplistic tactical form, that deal might have been something like this: “You stay out of our way — we will let you know in which regions of Syria we will be operating on that day — and you can continue to rule.” Assad perhaps figured: “I need to regroup and grow stronger, so if the U.S. wants to be my air force for a year or two, I’ll take it. In the interim, I can try convincing the U.S. that I’m their best hope in the region, even if they say they abhor my methods of control. That might mean that I would effectively be in the same camp as Israel, but ‘politics makes for strange bedfellows’ and ‘the enemy of my enemy is my (temporary) friend’.”

In addition, Assad is playing the nuclear card as further insurance the U.S. will not overthrow him: He’s revealed four heretofore secret chemical facilities which, if ISIS were to get ahold of, could ignite a firestorm of death and mass destruction all over the region and beyond.


ISIS, at the moment, seems content to be the leading jihadi force in the Middle East region, even though its spokesmen like to poke a verbal stick in the eye of the “Great Satan” by promising attacks eventually on the American homeland.
The eventual goal of ISIS is to establish the modern equivalent of the 7th-century caliphate for all Muslims, and perhaps re-create the Islamic Empire over much of the rest of the world.
One key to doing this is to enrage the United States and its Western allies enough to draw them into the maelstrom that is the Middle East. Just as Osama bin Laden did with the attacks of 9/11. The naive, angry U.S. snaps up the bait and invades another  Muslim land.

Right now, ISIS is reaping the whirlwind from the air. Lots of damage, losing some momentum and so on, but bearable. What is likely to transpire: ISIS at some point ordering its troops to melt into the villages and urban settings for awhile, while it sharpens its guerrilla tactics and uses its social-network smarts to help round up thousands of new recruits. I would expect terrorist bombings in the capitals of Europe and in those Arab countries (Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, etc.) supporting the U.S.-led war.

Since it’s difficult to root out ISIS fighters from the air, eventually the U.S. and its allies will feel obliged to put boots on the ground, and the mousetrap will snap shut.


Wars look so contained and tidy on the map charts when they are started. It doesn’t take long before all hell breaks loose and there’s no way to put the bloody genie of war back in the bottle. And then the unintended consequences start, and battle plans have to be rethought as the casualties and slaughters commence.

There will be plenty of surprises as the new Syria/Iraq war unravels. But even now, we can anticipate some, such as factions switching sides, high-tech weaponry winding up in ISIS and other jihadi hands, new fighters coming onto the field, alliances breaking apart, key nation-state actors in Europe starting to change their minds, Putin’s Russia causing mischief, anti-war protests worldwide starting to grow in size, free-lance terrorists bombing inside the U.S. and its coalition partners, the broadcasting of videos of U.S. coalition tortures, etc.

Yes, the U.S. military can be amazingly successful at times. But in these wars, there will be no victory. Just slow bleeding — of U.S.  men and materiel and Americans’ sense of themselves as a moral people.

Does that mean that ISIS’ barbarities should be ignored? Of course not. Their medieval mentality and cruelties and desire to force conversions on a mass scale to re-establish the Islamic caliphate — all these must be confronted. Right now, the default mode of that reaction is violence (not that far removed from the extreme wars of The Crusades). The U.S. should be seeking more creative ways, involving larger alliances, and economic and political sanctions, to build a stronger moral/diplomatic/economic/political shield against ISIS. It may not ultimately work, but it can’t hurt and might actually help repel the advances of this group of cutthroats.


As the old colonial system broke apart after World War II, the active principle for Western countries was “never fight a war on the landmass of Asia.” The new warning should be “never fight a war in the Middle East.” In that roiling, unstable part of the world, the social and political infrastructures are infinitely complex, virtually impossible for outsiders to understand, easy to get bogged down in the tribal, clan, religious miasmas, with constantly shifting alliances. In short, it’s easy to use missiles and bombs from thousands of feet in the air, but actually getting on the ground and trying to decipher the shadowy social/political rules and subrosa ways of doing business is the very definition of ill-advised policy. Has America learned nothing from its defeats in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan (lessons already learned by the Brits and the Russians in Afghanistan)?

As the U.S. gets bogged down in these new Mideast wars, it will spend down its treasury, its aging infrastructure will continue to deteriorate, the economy will collapse once again, the environment will continue to be degraded, the results of climate change will wreak more havoc on cash-starved localities, the gap between the uber-wealthy and the rest of us will grow larger, social revolution will become more necessary and real in the streets, etc.


It may turn out that the American Left will find itself joining forces, at least temporarily, with the rightist Rand Paulites to demand up-or-down votes on use of military force in Syria/Iraq.
Normally, the ruling party in power can count on the polity rallying around the flag and the troops doing the fighting. But whether the U.S. citizenry will continue to support these newest wars in the Middle East is unclear. It’s not even clear which political party is “in power” — the one that controls the White House? the one that controls the House? — or which military policies the populace might support: boots on the ground? drone and air force bombing??

My guess as I write this in early October is that the GOP is gaining traction using ISIS (“the terrorists are coming!”) to generate fear and anxiety, and that may be enough to tilt the midterm elections in their direction. The Democrats are split on the advisability of Obama’s war policies, and may not react in enough time (we’re less than a month away from election day) to win enough victories.

Needless to say, if the Hard Right continues to dominate the House, and becomes the majority in the Senate, the country is in for a catastrophic, post-election hard landing in every area imaginable, from economics to judicial appointments (especially to the Supreme Court) to educational slidebacks to fundamentalism and authoritarianism making massive gains in the public arena.


Obama, it seems to me, is gambling that the good patriotic zeal of finally hitting back at somebody will accrue to the benefit of the Democrats in the midterm elections in November. But I’m not sure Obama can pull it off, hence the gloomy assessments above. Especially if Turkey and then NATO get sucked into the larger war, and Russia feels compelled actively to join the other side. WW3, anyone?

If the Syria/Iraq campaign is still going on in stasis in 2015 and the following year, and is viewed by the U.S. population as “Obama’s War,” stalemated and unwinnable, the Democrats may pay a high price at the polls in 2016, losing the White House and any hope for real traction in the years following.


What the U.S. needs is a full-scale social/political revolution, but though the need is certainly there, the “objective conditions” don’t seem to be in forceful play. This is true even as it’s becoming more obvious that we are moving slowly, incrementally toward a revolutionary tipping point.

Less than a month before Election Day, there doesn’t seem to be much direction and passion among the liberal/progressive left. Which means that the Democrats’ GOTV campaign will amount to little more than reducing the electoral damage rather than offering viable, creative, populist-Democratic alternatives.

If the electoral train hasn’t yet left the station, there may still be enough time for the Democrats to kick their strategy into high gear. But the Dems are notorious for snatching defeat out of the jaws of possible victory. As Tiny Tim might have said: “God help us, everyone.”#

Bernard Weiner, Ph.D. in government & international relations, has taught at universities in California and Washington, worked for two decades as a writer/editor with the San Francisco Chronicle, and now serves as co-editor of The Crisis Papers ( Comments: .

Fox News – Incessant, Mudslinging, Poseurs

Fox News – Incessant, Mudslinging, Poseurs



Destroying lives for cash and political power

By Jeff Koopersmith

It seems to me that almost the whole enchilada presented by Fox News is deceptive from the people who man most of its on-air spots, presenters, too dumb to be believable guest commentators.

I was sad to see Ed Henry, Fox White House lead –and always hesitant to agree openly with the nuts at the Fox Studios in New York – has seemingly given up now and must have been told to dedicate himself to destroying Barack Obama.

The Fox News cable network, viewed, in fact by almost nobody save for rare occasions (at most 8% of television news viewers) is now pulling out all the stops to make certain that the next few weeks brings with them a rasher of new non-scandals that are “direct, indirect, or tertiary” not only linked to the White House but to the President himself.

The latest fairytale and biblical travesty is round about nonsense about a young man who volunteered to do advance work for the White House. These are folks – largely unpaid – who perform the hundreds of smaller and mostly non-security-related tasks that help White House staff move the President or his family to different locations – whether around the block, or across the globe.

As you may know, the President, years ago traveled to Columbia where it appears that several male Secret Service agents frolicked at strip clubs and with prostitutes in Cartagena.

This week the idiots, though amusing idiots, on Fox early morning programming – and then throughout the ensuing days – put a young man, not with the secret service – but insinuated by Fox as a White House staffer – is alleged to have brought a working girl to his hotel room on that trip although the President was not in residence at that hotel, nor in the country at the time.


Of all the nauseous audacity – grown men who are television personalities – not usually honored by the most moral behavior themselves, sit around on a cheaply staged Fox sets giggling about the White House’s immorality. It’s almost unbearable to imagine
Worse, the Washington Post – very tightly tied to the CIA and other intelligence agencies in its younger days was the newspaper of record that introduced this ludicrous yellow story about a twenty-something law student written by David Nakamura who should know that his “investigatory EXCLUSIVE” was nothing more than a nice Gimme to evangelizing Republicans now attempting to destroy the Senate by electing a GOP majority that would certainly gridlock the entire national legislative effort – as if there was one.

The Post has, since Nakamura’s exclusive has moved back a bit from its story mounting a confused op-ed wondering about the hilarity that other news and comic sources are viewing this “scandal” and parenthetically to my mind, apologizing for it while trying also to keep ties with the women’s movement who is worried over child trafficking as they should be.

The young man involved suffers for something that untold millions of men and women and gays have done at his age without making international news. Of course, not happy with simply ruining the life of the kid, Fox adds that his father is a “big” contributor to Barack Obama. Now they both have had to hire an attorney.
The man’s reputation has become a water cooler snigger and all for what?

This fellow was not there to protect the President. He was a young man and we all know about young men and even older ones – just look up the Republican elected officials caught with THEIR pants down, not to mention what must go on in Mr. Murdoch’s disgraceful company here in America and aged Roger Ailes own troubles surrounding his alleged urgings for oral sex from employees.

Do you remember a time when private liaisons between men and women were not discussed openly because of their obvious “its human nature qualities”?

Well just like with Stalin and Hitler – some people’s human frailties are fodder for a new kind of unearned reputational murder, but murder just the same.

Where are the women’s groups re Fox News’ Eric Bolling of “The Five” that airs at 5 PM from New York – while the kids are eating. Bolling called a woman pilot fighting on our side in Iraq – “Boobs on the Ground” and has paid no price for it?

Or was it just a silly aside?

(The front page illustration here is how we must assume Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and particularly Eric Bolling who called a woman pilot fighting on our side in Iraq – “Boobs on the Ground” and has paid no price for it.)

What’s Up With Leon Panetta?

gone and forgotten
Leon Panetta – Gone & Forgotten


NEW YORK – Am I mindless, or are we witnessing Leon Panetta becoming a 76 year old California hobgoblin running around peddling his book anyplace and anytime including an appearance on – of all programs – the Bill O’Reilly Factor- Fox News’ lowliest crowd pleasing “circus” while mauling the reputation of the very same President of the United States that put Panetta in command of the Central Intelligence Agency and later crowned him Secretary of Defense?

I collect these quotes Panetta is now creating – in context and out – but all of them seem bizarrely contemptible as he paints Barack Obama as a kind of geeky wimp who prefers to ignore the advice of people around him. I am familiar with that gaggle, and must say I might ignore them as well.

For now, I am expectant that Panetta will appear on added news and interview programs that are not controlled by that judder Roger Ailes. Nonetheless while I continue to watch Panetta’s careless beach boardwalk performance I suggest that readers with minds take a look at Charlie Rose’s CBS interview with our American Treasure Leon Panetta. Rose, a gentleman, not-so-pointedly probed him:

There are those who say, you know, he appointed you to two of the highest positions that this country has to offer, just wait until he’s out of office before criticizing.”

Kudos to Charlie Rose for asking a most important question but allowing what I might characterize as a person-of-interest, but guilt-ridden perp, answer.

Panetta responded to that and other Rose questions thus:
The last two years, I think what happened was he looked at a country that was frustrated, exhausted by over ten years of war, and he wanted to turn a corner. He wanted to be able to get away from Iraq, get away from Afghanistan, and begin to refocus on this country, but also, hopefully, to get other countries to step up to the plate to deal with it. What we’ve learned by recent events is that if the United States isn’t providing that leadership, nobody else will*.

Here’s what I think. President Obama took President Eisenhower’s warning about the warfare zealots that have been with and around us for centuries. President Obama did not see – thus far – any need for the “Boots on the Ground” hue and cry of old men like Ailes and the on-air curiosities that work for him, or the freaks that man his “brain trust”.

You see, some people – even Presidents – especially those who value lives – are not anxious to send American boys, girls, women, and men to be killed blood-spattered in some filthy desert because several potentates in the region want to maintain their thrones and several American arms dealers, oil barons and military uniform hawkers quietly but effectively cheer them all on.

Panetta, himself a former Lieutenant in Army Intelligence, should know better. He may not have been on the front lines – but he must have witnessed the personal costs of warfare in his time.
Panetta ought also to practice “Loyalty and faithfulness”.

He reminds one of the type that walked out on Bill Clinton during his most gruesome trials only to save their own necks, or enrich themselves as did the miniature rapscallion, George Stephanopoulos.

So, here is my tentative conclusion. Panetta may be a stalking horse for Hillary Clinton’s presidential run. If so, then is seems evident that the President may have decided not support her presidential candidacy. If I am wrong, then Panetta is simply a greedy man seeking to leave a fatter legacy.

I can only hope that Hillary Clinton or Bill did not put Panetta up to this – because I, for one, was counting on helping her break that last glass ceiling before I take my leave.

More later – but keep this in mind. Bill O’Reilly in just an aged Long Island boy like I am. He has no particular skill except to sell himself to the highest bidder while he cover’s his behind by saying first yes and following it with no. Panetta has a shared background – he was just a smart kid from a good working-class family too.

Bill O’Reilly to my mind is most untrustworthy, yet I am pained that he did not see the Panetta pretense inasmuch as a poser can always spot an associate sham.

*See more at:

EBOLA: It’s not really a cleaning product!

ebola blue

EBOLA: It’s not really a cleaning product!

By Jeff Koopersmith

It appears that many Americans, especially those living in Texas and other southern-type states think that EBOLA is a gritty cleanser – sort of like the contents of an old AJAX can your grandma used on her pots and pans to eventually destroy them.

Here’s a clue:  EBOLA is a virus    >     ebola virus

It is transmitted by touching spew from animals and humans that have EBOLA and have had it long enough to spew from any hole, valve, or aperture in their bodies  – almost on a continual basis So, you might also recognize an EBOLA carrier (transmitter) if they are bleeding from the tear ducts (teer not tare) or from their armpits.



EBOLA is not the “foaming cleanser” nor is it “the scrubbing cleanser” as you might hear in the Ajax ditty on radio and television.

Speaking of Texas:  Many Texans think EBOLA is an electronic Bola (tie) as you would put around your neck to look authentically Texan – or just pain stupid.  No true Texans wear Bolas these days unless they are either at a hoedown, a barn raising, a roundup, or a square dance.

However many continue to think they can wear their solid gold IPhones around their necks displaying a BOLA on the non-scratch (sometimes) IScreen.  This then, would be an EBOLA – or E-Bola, which is fact should be a E-Bolo, I believe, yet many Texans rarely carefully pronounce hanging “O’s” after a soft consonant so that they sound like “Ah’s” – Ergo, or Erga, Bola Ties or Bolo ties are just fine.

Listen… pronouncing the deadly virus as E-BOLO is considered highly politically incorrect. The speaker is almost deriding the victims here.  It’s a “no-no” as Texas mamas say to their horses.

Remember that, Rick Perry – it’s best to wear the real thing.

Cro-Magnon Mail! Wikipedia Sockpuppet Theatre

“Hey! I thought this would give me all of Gene Gaudette’s juicy personal info!” See Update 2, directly below.
A “crack” legal genius claiming to represent Free Republic sends us a threatening e-mail. We respond. You get to laugh!

Update 2, March 10: “Hey! I thought this would give me all of Gene Gaudette’s juicy personal info! I been cheated!

Hold your horses, Sparky! We’re going to take a minor detour first. Seems a somewhat wacky poster to Free Republic decided to post a link to our publisher’s business contact information.

(Yaawwwwnnnnn. Old trick, and about as intimidating as being gummed by a newt — or, for that matter, being gummed by Newt).

Now, who could this be?

Well, we found it particularly interesting that the poster mentioned that “since he answers his own phone, that’s probably a one-man outfit as well.” Our public telephone number has received calls from only two FReepers so far this week. The first one made his first call on Wednesday from (312) ?4?-???8 [full number redacted along with address info to protect the privacy of all meatpuppets, sockpuppets, and other puppets yet unspecified that may or may not be linked to said telephone] . He identified himself  as “Dean Hinnen” —  but the caller ID that flashed on our screen read “312 ?4?-???8 | IL – B????????? |  HINNEN, BRYAN.” And by the way, Mike Harwood answered the phone (Gene-o was at Unitel supervising post work on a video) — and did everything he could to keep himself from laughing out loud when he heard the name “Dean Hinnen.” Mike said poor, flustered-voiced “Dean” sounded desperate to settle an outstanding issue — and Mike wisely advised him to write us a letter (as opposed to the e-mail which follows).

Mike’s only regret is that he did not videotape our side of the call.

Now, how many people do you think are privy to Bry… er, Dean having spoken with someone at our headquarters in what many FReepers consider the fourth member of the Axis of Evil®, New York City?

Hold it… forgot about Hollywood! Make that “fifth.”

But I digress. And just how many would think to post their slanted and erroneous version of the fact to Free Republic? Just keep that question in the back of your mind as our editor explains Occam’s Razor to Dean.

And if you really, really need to see Gene’s “personal information,” click here. Besides, his web minion Mike might be able to save you a bundle on your next e-commerce site! Just expect a little more information than you counted on when you click on the link…

Update, March 4: Postscript with clarification for Wikipediacs of all stripes.

Wikipedia Sockpuppet Theatre starts now…

From – Fri Mar 02 11:26:49 2007
X-Mozilla-Status: 1003
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
>From – Thu Mar 01 12:31:54 2007
X-Mozilla-Status: 0001
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
Return-path: <>
Delivery-date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 09:29:54 -0800
Received: from ([]
by with esmtps (TLSv1:AES256-SHA:256)
(Exim 4.66)
id 1HMp6I-0007yc-Lh
for; Thu, 01 Mar 2007 09:29:54 -0800
Received: from ” apache” by with local (Exim 4.66)
id 1HMp6I-0002X3-GM
for; Thu, 01 Mar 2007 09:29:54 -0800
Subject: American Politics Journal: Cease and Desist Letter
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2007 09:29:54 -0800
From: Dean Hinnen <>
Message-ID: <>
X-Priority: 3
X-Mailer: PHPMailer [version 1.73]
MIME-Version: 1.0
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This is an enquiry e-mail via from:
Dean Hinnen <>

At the following URL address on your website, the following metadata can be found:


I am a member of the legal team for Free Republic LLC and An article by [redacted] that you have previously reproduced on this page is libelous. You are responsible for reproducing this libel and disseminating it to a much larger audience for many years, and it was removed very recently.

[Redacted] does not display this article on his website. The only place on the Internet where the article might be found is your website.

Let me clarify that while a few parts of the article are true, others are false and defamatory and we will not tolerate further defamation.

If you restore this article or any libelous part of it for public viewing, I will immediately recommend to our clients, Jim Robinson and John Robinson, that we should consider legal remedies against your site for this libel, dating back to the first day it appeared on your website.

Regards — Dean Hinnen

Dear Dean… or is it Bryan?

You say that you are a “member of [Free Republic‘s] legal team,” or at least claim to be one. I therefore am sure you’ve heard of Occam’s Razor.

So let’s have us a little shave now.{mospagebreak}

Your e-mail, Dean, indicates that you work for Bosch, and it isn’t exactly rocket science to yank the mask off your anonymized e-mail header and trace it through an intermediary to the great state of Illinois.

Now, I’ve been doing a little bit of research, and while it turns out I couldn’t track down a Dean Hinnen living in Illinois, I did find a certain Bryan Hinnen. What do we know about Bryan? Well, he’s a paralegal who played a supporting role in Free Republic’s humiliating civil court smackdown at the hands of the LA Times and Washington Post, he’s in his mid-40s , and he lives in Illinois.*

I did track down a Dean Hinnen — in Arizona. And — would you believe it? — he’s in his late 50s. Much older brother? Young uncle? Maybe. Able to post to Wikipedia from an Illinois IP address? I’d have to say a big “probably no.”

Oh, one more thing, “Dean”: Bryan Hinnen’s middle name is — Dean! What an interesting instance of serendipity.

I was also fascinated by the writing style you exhibit, Dean. Stylistically and heuristically, the utterances of “Dean” reads consistently like that of your “brother” Bryan. So maybe you’re identical twins with precisely congruent political leanings, similar “legal team” backgrounds and near-identical prose styles.

Or maybe you’re one and the same.

One might come to that conclusion based on Bryan — or is it Dean? — having been proven a “multiple user of abusive Sock Puppets” on Wikipedia.

That doesn’t quite square with the sort of ethics and conduct one would expect from the member of a “legal team,” now, does it?

That Occam’s Razor can be a bitch. Don’t cut yourself!

Either way, it’s come to my attention that you are attempting to whitewash some pretty hard facts about Free Republic’s “Wild West” past of some seven years ago on the afore mentioned, highly popular Wikipedia Web site. The matter has been transferred to that site’s arbitrartion process.

Mind you, I have far more productive things to do than get involved in a dust-up on a third-party Web site, but I just had to take a look at the matter in a bit more detail after reading your interestingly-worded email. “Legal team,” indeed. Are you a lawyer? I kinda doubt it; I checked a few of the relevant search engines. Attorney Dean Hinnen? Nada!

I’m tellin’ ya, Bry… er, Dean, it’s not a major effort to tell the actual, duespaying members of the Bar Association from paper-pushers, but it can be quite the task to sort out the sockpuppets and trolls from the self-described “legal team” members, knowudI’msayin? Scorecard, anyone?

Anyway, I just had a look at the “metadata” you reference in your e-mail, and cannot help but note that the name I redacted above is nowhere to be found in the metadata!

Well, golly, why could that be?

Could it be because the original author is no longer in the Internet political arena — and, in fact, has not been for some years — and is, frankly, no longer interested in participating in Internet news/opinion/politics? Could it be that he requested that his identity and all of his articles — not just the one you reference, but others, on this site and others — be removed because he quite understandably considers having to deal with nutcases, bullying cyberthugs and fascistic zealots a complete waste of his time and energy?

Let’s look at your original claim:

::The article at that was allegedly written by [redacted] does not exist.

You also claim the same in your letter.

FALSE — as anyone familiar with the ins and outs of can tell you.

….It’s a blank page.

FALSE — does the word “metadata” mean anything? Oh, right — you essentially debunked this claim in your e-mail to APJ! Brilliant!

I believe that Wikipedia has been the victims of a carefully crafted hoax.

TRUE — … if you’re talking about the Amazing Hinnen Sockpuppet Troupe!

I contacted [redacted] and asked him whether he authored the article. He said, “Of course not.” He contacted and asked them to remove the article from their website. They complied immediately.

BZZZZT — WRONG!! On that latter assertion: said request was made before you insinuated yourself into the matter of one particular article by said author — and that this can be quite easily documented.

But thanks for playing “Dudgeons and Drecking” anyway. it was very entertaining.

And there is one particularly vexing question, Br… er, Dean: if your nose was so bent out of joint when you became aware of the original opinion piece, written some seven years ago — which put perspective on the temperament and attitude of a number of people choosing to participate in the forums at Free Republic (again: seven years ago), at a time when the moderation policy at Free Republic was nowhere close to their current, rigorous standards — an article, protected by both the First Amendment to the Constitution and a litany of judicial rulings, which you so blithely and inaccurately characterize as “slander[ous]” and “libel[ous]’ (a favored diversion tactic of parties who loathe free speech on both extremes of the political spectrum, and ultimately a strawman argument at heart)…


If you had made the effort to contact us instead of clutching your pearls and feigning indignation amidst easily disprovable assertions, you would have been made fully aware of the facts behind the matter — and that, more than likely would have been settled for good.

In fact, in your capacity as a member of Free Republic’s “legal team” — if in fact you really are on their legal team — it would have been in that online entity’s best interest to contact us or our representatives IMMEDIATELY to discuss this matter.

I also notice that you assert that the author in question told you that he had not written the article. Really? Do you have any way to support this assertion? Well, you couldn’t have legally taped your alleged exchange with said author, because Illinois is an all-party consent state.

New York, on the other hand, isn’t. Got that?

One might also assume that your failure or neglect to contact us might be indicative of a conscious effort to sustain your latest slow-burn in the most melodramatic matter possible.

One might additionally assume (damn that Occam’s Razor, already!) that on top of your false assertions, you might be misrepresenting yourself a tad.

Let’s look at the facts: Jim and John Robinson, to their great credit, have made enormous efforts in the intervening years to tighten posting policies at Free Republic. And here’s a Lake Michigan-sized hint, Bry… er, Dean: an updated story on Internet death threats and postal terrorism targeting politicians requires sources, and you have no idea — none whatsoever — of whom we have been working with to write and research this follow-up.

In fact, you probably could have done a greater service to Free Republic by detailing the evolution of these changes at Wikipedia (and Conservapedia) yourself. Free Republic has in fact been a pioneer in the large-scale discussion board phenomenon, and instead of getting your panties all in a bunch over the state of the Interwebs seven years ago, you probably could have written a detailed backgrounder on the site’s present policies with a tiny fraction of the effort you’ve put into your dishonest crusade against the truth.

Also to JimRob’s credit in particular has been his rapid, scrupulous and cordial response to requests over the years to have copyrighted material removed from the Free Republic site — even though he did (jokingly) refer to one of our former staffers as a “socialist.” JimRob probably wasn’t aware that said staffer, like me (and the APJ editors), is a proponent of the Flat Tax. I’ve racked my brains to come up with a living, breathing socialist who backs the Flat Tax.

Alas, I digress.

Given the lessons Jim, John and others at Free Republic have no doubt learned following the bad legal advice they got during the LA Times and Washington Post lawsuit — not to mention the expensive and ill-considered run-in with T. Chappell Aldridge — if I were JimRob or John, I’d get on the phone (as opposed to e-mail) and convey a great big thank you for prior efforts and services rendered in the legal arena, and then tell you that said services are no longer needed — followed up, of course, with a letter sent through the U.S. Postal Service stating the same thing.

And speaking of e-mail, I notice that your e-mail was sent from a Bosch e-mail address. Are they aware that you are using their corporate e-mail account for “outside” business? Do you have their permission to do so? Would not your “legal” e-mail have carried more credibility and weight had it at least originated from Free Republic — assuming, that is, that you do represent their interests — or, failing that, from a private e-mail address?

Moreover, your e-mail is so filled with conventional procedural and ethical lapses from the standpoint of the manner in which members of the legal profession are supposed to conduct themselves that I can only conclude that your action is nothing more than a lame, ill-considered, cheap-shot, free-lance attempt at intimidation — and perhaps even wire fraud. It matters not whether you are in fact an officer of the court or not; your little e-mail diatribe is not the sort of situation you would want the Illinois Bar Association or local legal authorities to get wind of.

And so, “Dino” or “Bryan” or “McShibbster” or other screen names behind which you hide when, as you freely admit, you troll other forums (which in and of itself should give the arbitrators at Wikipedia pause) — it makes no difference which avatar you choose to assume at Wikipedia or Free Republic or the other online venues at which you have chosen to display your overwheening arrogance, unchecked hostility, and, ultimately, callow stupidity.

Because you’ve already buried yourself with your silliness and dishonesty, in a meltdown that is beginning to make even Brian Buckley look good by comparison.

Yours etc.

The Editor

*An earlier version of this article had stated that Bryan Dean Hinnen was in his mid-20s, a slip of the finger while transcribing data. We apologize for the confusion — which is something we’d love to see “Dean” learn to do!

POSTSCRIPT: Greeting Wikipediacs. In order to dispel any questions the skeptical Roger D and others may have, Wikipedia user apj-us-nyc is authorized by our publisher and editor to speak for American Politics Journal from inside and outside our office IP address (the one containing 110 and 233).