A much-needed shake-up of Tumblr #Politics editors has taken place today, less than a day after I post this documenting another editor’s (Ryking) penchant for vile behavior (and echoing Jeff Miller’s offer to resign if Ryking would do the same), and a petition to remove the same editor was circulated (and received thousands of signatures in only a matter of hours).
Clearly, the Tumblr staff has acknowledged the problem… though Tumblr seems to have taken the throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater approach, as almost all editors have been replaced. Hopefully this means that the quality of the #Politics tag will improve as most of the bigger offenders are no longer editors.
The composition of the current crop of editors is improved, but certainly not ideal. Letterstomycountry happily remains. Although we disagree philosophically on certain issues, he tends to be fair and smart. Professor Ari Kohen could hopefully be a good addition. Our past misunderstandings and disagreements aside, he can certainly has the capacity to at least keep the posts relevant. Huskerred is another welcome addition who has evolved over the last year or so to become quite the thoughtful and considerate blogger. However, as far as I can tell, he is the only editor who is neither a leftist/Democrat or corporate (statist) media. Further, every single editor is sympathetic and supportive to the state at least in some form or another. In fact, there don’t seem to be any actual (economic) libertarians or anarchists represented. And as an anarcho-capitalist, I may have been the first, but hopefully I’m not the last completely anti-statist editor of the tag.
Also, motherjones, who was part of the original batch of editors, has returned for a second go.
I think the tag would be more interesting and better served if individual bloggers - and not media entities - with a greater variety of political perspectives were editors.
In any case, I look forward to fewer posts like these making their way onto the #Politics tag and hope that the political discourse among us becomes much more civil.
"If you don’t like being insulted, then stop hurling insults at others. Or stop hypocritically complaining about it. But I guess asking you to stop being a hypocrite is like asking you to stop breathing."
- Ryking, un-ironically
In another post, he claims: "for the most part I have never provoked any of the fights I’ve been in on Tumblr or anywhere else."
On my Absence, as well as a note on the #Politics Tag and its Editors
Apologies for my absence! The network has given us a very short turnaround for our last few episodes so I’ve been swamped at work. I’ll soon have a small break before my next episode starts shooting so I’ll hopefully be at it again in a few days.
In the meantime, I want to acknowledge that I have received your [many] messages regarding a certain top political editor. Since I have not been around, I cannot comment on whatever rude or vile remark he must have said this time. But I do support some of your efforts to request mohandasghandi be made editor in his stead (there are of course others I support, of whom I am more ideologically aligned, but I’m specifically responding to messages that have mentioned her). Although we disagree on a number of things politically, she has shown - by creating a separate non-political blog - a capacity to compartmentalize serious commentary from the unserious. This is a trait that is grossly lacking amongst many current #Politics editors, which has unfortunately rendered the curated #Politics tag mostly irrelevant. (See my regularly updated post for examples on the persistent unseriousness of the #politics tag). Further, she lends an international awareness that is also in short supply; and she seems to not make it a habit of using vulgarity and churlishness with those who may disagree.
As always, you can ask questions or leave comments here.
… [Ron Paul] decries government spending and singles out earmarks in particular as being vile…
Putting all else aside*, I must point out that Ron Paul has never “single[d] out earmarks in particular as being vile.” In fact, had you only clicked the link I provided in the post you responded to, you’d have Ron Paul’s own words: “In reality what we need are more earmarks.” His reasoning is also included, though you may not be much interested in that.
*(your fallacy of a “social contract,” your continued denial that taxes are indeed theft, your repeated demands that I leave my home as my only solution to my grievances, and your incessant puerile insults)
Excuse me? Ron Paul is “the only one in the Democratic Party that understands true racism in this country?” Did Republican Ron Paul forget which party he actually belongs to, or is this just another of his many lies designed to fool the low information, single-issue voters to whom he most appeals? Both “Fuck Yeah Drug Policy” and the libertarian editor (LA Liberty) who promoted this garbage should have known better than to push Paul’s lie about being a Democrat. …
Not among Ron Paul’s qualities is being a slick public speaker. This was the verbal equivalent of a typo. In my reblog, I clarified his [seemingly clear] meaning (as well as corrected an error in the transcription): “I’m the only one up here and [among those] in the Democratic Party [who] understands true racism in this country is in the judicial system, and it has to do with enforcing the drug laws.”
In no way whatsoever was Ron Paul attempting to claim to be a Democrat. I think this is painfully obvious to, well, pretty much everyone.
I mean, a lie? To what end?
If your worldview requires you to see the relationship between the citizen and the state as that of a small domesticated animal and its master, then I can get why you would find it funny to mock the seeming ungratefulness and smug selfishness of us wards of our governmental superiors. Truly, I can almost understand why you would consider acquiescence to, reverence of, and thankfulness for the state and all it does to be virtues.
Finally, I’m the top Politics editor because the posts I promote get the most likes and reblogs. I’d think such a simple fact would be evident to you but then… you’re a libertarian, so analytical thinking isn’t really your strong suit, is it?
That’s not actually how it works. Top Editor just denotes the editor who is most active in promoting posts. When your standards are low, it’s easy to promote a lot more posts than your peers.
Watch as Ben Bernanke and Paul Krugman embarrass themselves with their absolute cluelessness. Watch Peter Schiff speak truth while being ridiculed. I’m surprised there wasn’t more of Ron Paul; there’s so much material, the video could have gone on for quite some time.
This video makes this hysterical defense of Krugman/Keynesians and attack of Ron Paul/Austrians by ryking that much more comical - particularly in light of ryking’s use of a college “study” that not only had no Austrians in its pool of only 26 “pundits,” but had such non-economist ignoramuses (ryking made it a point to note that Krugman was an economist while Paul was merely a physician) as Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Sam Donaldson.
Let’s say a group of people have hired you to protect their justly acquired property.
An overpowering group of marauders saunters into town, moves in among the populace, and demands the property of the people you are protecting on the pretense of the legitimacy of democracy. Majority rule, they say. Might makes right, they exclaim. And they have the numbers and violent threats to “prove” it.
You, as is not only your hired duty but your moral obligation, fight against this theft. You try everything in your power to prevent their aggression. You also find a way, just in case you fail, to have some of that stolen money returned to your employers (either directly or by having it spent in a way that may benefit them). In a sense, you secure stolen funds to mitigate the severity of the aggression against those you have sworn to represent.
Would it logically follow, then, for someone to claim that you have colluded with the marauders? That, because of your willingness to use the marauders’ tricks against them in order to secure the return of some of the property taken from your employers, you are not really adhering to your hired duty or moral obligation?
Of course not.
So when Ron Paul places earmarks in bills that he is adamantly against, he is attempting to channel funds that will be spent anyway to best benefit those who have been fleeced in the first place. Funds that are not thus earmarked instead fall, unconstitutionally, under the authority of faceless bureaucrats who are less beholden to an electorate and thus more prone to corporatist special interest sway. In fact, earmarks increase transparency in government spending since sequestered funds must be officially put aside instead of simply dumped in some bureaucrat’s or committee’s account out of the public eye. The more that is specified by Congress, the less that can be hidden under bureaucratic decree.
(Of course, the only true solution to eliminate the corporatism and theft would be to eliminate government spending altogether. We don’t need it, anyway.)
Here’s Ron Paul on earmarks.
Now that that’s clear, can someone kindly explain the aforementioned logic to this gentleman?
The 2012 Republican Presidential Primaries are quickly approaching. In less than a month, voters in Iowa and New Hampshire will officially kick-off the process to select a candidate to run against President Barack Obama.
East Tennessee supporters of one GOP candidate are taking time off from the campaign trail to assist in the fight against hunger. The Ron Paul Food Drive is a nationwide program aimed at collecting five tons of non-perishable food items across the United States. From now until Thursday, Dec. 22, Paul’s supporters in the Tri-Cities region are soliciting donations of food for Second Harvest Food Bank in Gray.
(And people say Libertarians are selfish people who don’t care about other people)
Why would anyone say that libertarians are selfish people who don’t care about others? Because they are selfish people who don’t care about others. Selfish, extreme individualism is at the core of libertarianism; publicity stunts on behalf of their patron saint won’t change that. But by all means, let them do some go with this… just don’t expect anyone to be blind to the true motivation behind this “charity.” — Ryking
I am generally very private about my family’s charitable giving… which is why I have no interest in getting into a little “I am less selfish than you” squabble; though anecdotally it seems we tend to be more generous than the statists we know (which makes sense in a way, since they see such behavior as falling under the purview of government).
So, for the moment, let’s just take your assertion as true: that the only reason these Ron Paul supporters are collecting five tons of food for charity is purely as a publicity stunt. You allege, then, that the motivations behind these actions - as evidenced by the tone and scare quotes - are completely selfish and thus this may not count as an act of selflessness.
But what counts more: a good deed voluntarily acted upon but with hidden, ulterior motives, or a good deed begrudgingly done through threat of force and violence? Or, worse still, a good deed one forces another to pay for or otherwise carry out?
If someone is consistently kind to others through his words and actions, does it really matter if he secretly detests those he is kind to? Would that person, to the outside world, not actually be kind? Conversely, if someone were rude and violent to his friends and family, would it matter very much if deep-down he sincerely loved them?
So you can try to divine the double-secret motivations of those who do good deeds voluntarily, but I don’t need to wonder about those who force others to be charitable.
And what, pray tell, is the disconnect?
He is against the wanton wasting of other people’s forcefully-extracted wealth. He’s not forcing anyone to pay for these jets; they are paid for with voluntary donations. And those who donate typically place high value in their candidate personally getting his message to the most people as possible, so this would not be considered waste by any of those who foot the bill. And any of those who do object have the ability to not pay, unlike taxpayers. And this, of course, ignores the fact that he tends to have many more speaking engagements than any other candidate. And, unlike most of the other candidates, he is employed. Private jets - actually, they are small, chartered jets - allow him to travel to his speaking destinations while, with the flexible scheduling of chartered flights, still maintaining his presence in Congress as an active, sitting Congressman. It would sometimes even be literally impossible for Paul, who takes as many as four flights in a day, to make as many commitments as he does using commercial flights (which wouldn’t be cheap either). Further, due to Ron Paul’s titanium knee (from a high school sports injury), using a chartered jet allows him to circumvent the requisite (undignified and time-consuming) TSA pat-down for every single flight.
I’m afraid your exasperation to highlight hypocrisy where there is none has caused you to promote an illogical smear to the politics tag.
… The Fed is the foundation of our economic system. It keeps inflation down, interest rates moderate, prices stable, regulates and provides financial services to our entire banking system, and thereby ensures the system doesn’t collapse. It needs more regulating, not abolishing.
The Fed is vital to setting Monetary Policy; otherwise, we’d have to return to Fiscal Policy, which requires Congress and the White House to make taxation and budgetary changes through the legislative process — a process that can’t keep up with our rapidly-moving economy. Further, Monetary Policy — unlike Fiscal Policy — is not subject to the whims of a political party.
Your demand that banks no longer engage in fractional reserve banking means that you oppose banks lending money. No more business loans, home loans, student loans, car loans, credit cards. Your ignorance — and your willingness to parrot discredited right-wing talking points that you clearly don’t understand in an attempt to co-opt progressives — is astounding. — Ryking
First, the Fed has accomplished essentially none of what you claim it has. The Fed’s only tool is to inflate - and it has persistently used this tool to the great detriment of the value of our currency. Money printing is inflation. Though I honestly can’t fault your misunderstanding when the world’s leading inflationist doesn’t himself know what inflation is.
But as to your contention that ending fractional reserve banking would put an end to loaning money: this is absolutely incorrect.
Let’s consider a car rental business. When it procures a vehicle to rent out, it cannot rent it simultaneously to five different people at the same time. Not only would this be irresponsible, it would be impossible. But this is what fractional reserve banking is: an essentially legitimized pyramid scheme - and why, along with it being a debt-based system (every dollar represents the incursion of debt), among other criticisms, it is considered fraudulent.
Those of us wary of fractional reserve banking simply want banks to function like responsible businesses with real holdings, and not grant them the magical ability to multiply their supply of rentable assets. Also, doing so would allow the interest rates (the price to rent money, as it were) to be set through the natural mechanism of supply and demand. The more people save, the more there is available to loan, the lower the interest rates (to entice people to borrow). The less people save, the less there is available to loan, the higher the interest rate (to entice people to save). This organically pushes the system to maintain stability by allowing for greater risk and entrepreneurship during times of plenty and fostering prudence and thriftiness during times of want.
Would there be less available for people to borrow? Absolutely. But this accomplishes a number of positive things: loans made would be demonstrably less risky (and less ‘predatory’) which in turn prevents the malinvestment bubbles that precede crashes and recessions like the one we are in now; those who made bad loans or unsound investment decisions are not strung along to continue to do the same; the money in existence would not be weakened by the circulation of magical, farcical money and thus the strength of the currency would be better maintained; many financially unhealthy businesses would necessarily liquidate or declare bankruptcy thereby clearing the way for responsible businesses to make better use of previously wasted resources; those with debt up to their eyeballs would not be motivated to make their financial situation more dire; etc.
So, again: when it comes to banks, those of us wary of fractional reserve banking simply want less fraudulent sorcery and more tangible reality.
I’ve brought up my disappointment with the persistent unseriousness of some of the posts promoted to the politics tag (see here, here, and here). (I also implored the other editors to “like” or “reblog” a post before or after promoting it in order to maintain transparency in the process - and maybe keep editors accountable for what they promote.)
Well, fellow editor Ryking, in addition to reigniting his obsession with slinging puerile insults in my direction, has lately been expressing disappointment as well, going so far as to petition his followers to demand Tumblr management remove whom he inaccurately calls “right-wing editors” from their posts:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask that the Politics editor who promoted this garbage to the Politics page (Hipster Libertarian) be removed from her post. Right-wing trolling of the POTUS by libertarian trash does not represent the “best that Tumblr has to offer,” which is what editors are told to look for by Tumblr.
Frankly, all of the right-wing Politics editors (LA Liberty, Jeff Miller, Hipster Libertarian, Alex Holzbach) need to be removed and replaced with new ones; this current crop lacks diversity, seldom perform their job, but play favorites when they do with the same two or three right-wing trolls (none of whom have anything insightful to say).
This is a sentiment he repeated yesterday while, in typical fashion, casting racist aspersions and hurling insults (unfit behavior for someone featured in spotlight and serving as a #politics editor, but that is a topic for another post perhaps): “all of Tumblr’s right-wing editors should be replaced,” claiming that “standards for promoting posts are ludicrously low.”
Seeing as how I was personally mentioned as one “to be removed and replaced,” I feel I must respond.
I’m not sure where he can infer that any one of us “lack diversity” (certainly not any more or less than anyone else). Yes, certain bloggers tend to show up more than others but that is because certain bloggers are more active, and is true for the leftist bloggers as well. In fact, two of the top three contributors right now are sarahlee310 (who replaced leftist motherjones from the top three yesterday) and think-progress, with the third being the more centrist dc-decoder. (edit: hipsterlibertarian reminds me that, as I’ve mentioned before, I regularly peruse the “everything stream of the politics tag as well as a good dozen other tags keeping an eye out for new and worthy content.)
Does “lacking diversity” mean not promoting from beyond our inherent ideological scope. I have and will promote leftist bloggers (usually with regards to war, ending prohibition, concerns about the police state, capital punishment, etc.), but not leftist posts that I would disagree with. And I know I’m not the only non-leftist editor to do so. I do this for good reason, as I’ve said in a previous post:
"I do not pretend to be impartial, nor do I feel that it is my role as an editor to be. The other more left-leaning editors are probably better suited to judge the positive merits of a leftist post and promote it accordingly than I am. I know I would find it odd/frustrating if, for example, another editor unfamiliar with austrian economics or privatization or anarcho-capitalist philosophy promoted a post advocating or explicating those topics and the post was intellectually unworthy or, worse, factually incorrect (something they may not know, being relatively unfamiliar with the topics)."
If instead he means we are not diverse as editors, I’d counter that from within the already narrowed subset of four “libertarian” or non-leftist editors, we (if I may be so presumptuous as to label my peers) seem to range from alexholzbach’s republican with some libertarian leanings, to jeffmiller’s mainstream libertarian, to hipsterlibertarian’s ultra-minarchist libertarian, to my anarcho-capitalism (edit: Though I suppose that for anyone who paints all non-Democrats with the same, wide brush of “right-winger,” such a distinction would be difficult to make). Perhaps he laments that a full-on neo-con is not represented?
Regarding the charge that we “seldom perform [our] job” - I can only speak for myself on this one but it’s certainly true, as I’ve previously explained, that I do not promote a high volume of posts. I don’t view being an editor as some kind of competition in which I try to promote the most posts in order to cram my ideology down another’s gullet. Which is why I have never been “Top Editor” (unlike Ryking who seems to have taken permanent residence at the top spot since becoming an editor). In other words, I am very selective about what I promote. I do not consider this a shortcoming.
In any case, Ryking has lately taken it upon himself to serve as quality control of sorts, calling out posts he deems unfit for the tag. Although there is one case in which I do agree with him that something should not have been featured on the tag (and perhaps the one that prefaced his calling for our heads as well), his objections seem to be on ideological grounds.
But here’s the rub: Ryking is the same editor who promoted this post:
Does this, to echo Ryking’s concern, reflect the “best that Tumblr has to offer”? Would this not qualify as exhibiting “standards for promoting posts [that] are ludicrously low,” and moreso than a post in which an ideological opponent disagrees with the politics or conclusions?
Let’s review some more wholly unserious, pointless, irrelevant, untimely, unintellectual, and sometimes even outright vile posts that have found their way to the politics tag the last few weeks[regularly updated since mid-November], most of which were seemingly promoted by Ryking, peterfeld (seems to be the by far biggest offender of nonsensical posts, and often promotes his own posts), and other left-leaning editors.
Right-wing media figures are accusing the Obama administration of seeking to impose a tax on Christmas trees; but the Christmas tree industry has been working since 2008 — before President Obama was elected — to partner with the Department of Agriculture and establish a marketing campaign funded by tree growers in order to promote the sale of fresh Christmas trees.
Jesus, LA Liberty, you don’t ever get tired of being wrong, do you? But what else should we expect from a right-wing evangelist suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome? Certainly not rationality. — Ryking
Another Obama Apologist playing loose with facts.
There is nothing that has been shown to be wrong (although, if something does change, I, unlike you, would not hesitate to correct myself). So what is wrong? It’s not a tax because the authorities are calling it an ‘assessment’? Well, if the government can penalize and - ultimately - imprison someone for not paying or collecting a charge it imparts on a financial transaction - then it’s a tax irrespective of the taxer’s preferred nomenclature. Is it that it originated under Bush? Well, like I previously stated, Bush is not actually president anymore and Obama has full authority to continue or suspend actions initiated during a previous administration which fall under the purview of the executive branch (as the Department of Agriculture does). Is it that the real tree industry establishes the fee levels? What does that matter in the context of a cozy crony capitalist relationship? The bottom line is this: the real tree industry, after losing ground to the fake tree industry, is using government’s monopoly on force to extract money from consumers in order to fund their own industry - and this is coming to fruition during the Obama administration. So, again: not wrong.
“Given the poor quality of the post, I imagine that the only reason it was promoted to #Politics is that LA Liberty was happy that a right-wing African-American was trashing OWS, as if liberals would be unwilling to rebut or incapable of rebutting your nonsense because of your skin color. Rather hypocritical of him, though, to promote the piece on #Politics when he’s unwilling to like or reblog it.”
Seeing as how jeffmiller liked it before it was promoted, it’s pretty clear that Jeff was the promoting editor (it’s not hard to find since it is literally the very first note, though maybe since you block anyone who doesn’t fall in line with your statism, his name doesn’t show up for you?). And that is quite presumptuous to assume that the same editor who implored other editors to like or reblog a post before or after promoting it in order to maintain transparency would suddenly not do so to… what?… hide my opinions from others?
But good for you for completely divining racist aspersions on others on top of a false assumption. Your gentlemanly behavior is always a treat.
(Also, thanks for bringing holeycynicism’s post to my attention. I hadn’t seen it before but I’m glad to have read it now.)
1) Miller’s name doesn’t appear anywhere to me in the notes on the post when it’s viewed on the #Politics page or in my reblog of the post — even when I’m logged out of Tumblr. I thought that this was because I might have blocked Miller, but he doesn’t appear on my “Blocked” list… nor should that matter when I’m logged out.
2) Given that holeycynicism reblogged your drivel several times that day, it was logical to believe that you had taken notice of him and promoted his latest bit of idiocy to the #Politics page, as it was in keeping with other right-wing nonsense you have promoted to the page on previous occasions.
3) So what if you’ve implored other editors to be more transparent when they promote posts to the #Politics section? It’s not as if you’re not well-known for being a hypocrite.
4) “Gentlemanly behavior?” You’re whining about my tone? You’re pathetic, pretentious, and effete. And still overcompensating, I see, by putting on airs to hide the fact that you subscribe to an inferior ideology. As for my “racist aspersions:” It’s funny that when progressives correctly point out examples of right-wingers using non-whites to give cover to the Right’s racist policies, it’s the progressive who is somehow the racist in that equation. — Ryking
First, the fact remains that it was indeed Jeff who promoted that post. (Here’s another screen-cap in case the one I included in my first post wasn’t sufficient.) So no amount of explanations or equivocations can make your original charge less wrong.
Second and more importantly, re: “It’s funny that when progressives correctly point out examples of right-wingers using non-whites to give cover to the Right’s racist policies, it’s the progressive who is somehow the racist in that equation.” Let’s ignore the your regular false barb of “right-winger” and think this through: Jeff (who is probably one of the most fair editors of #politics) has posted and promoted numerous posts on OWS from a myriad of sources. However, because this one post happened to be penned by a black man, Jeff’s motivations are suddenly suspect. Now, a secondary racist motive emerges. And you know this is “correct” how, exactly? You don’t. It’s specious speculation, at best; though most will see your claim for what it is.
As always, your mature criticisms are appreciated.