Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 30, 2009

Five years of Moon of Alabama - Time to close it down

From the MoA About page:

Some time ago, the commenting at Billmon's Whiskey Bar became a bit excessive. Billmon therefore closed the comments at his place on June 29, 2004. The community of commentators was left behind to search for a new place.

Moon Of Alabama was opened as an independent, open forum for members of the Whiskey Bar community.

Bernhard started and still runs the site. ...

Now Bernhard stops the site. The decision to do so was taken six weeks ago and has nothing to do with recent developments in the world or any comment on this blog.

The main reason is financially. If there were a big, generous sponsor I could keep on doing this. Believe it or not, even while this is a small place, keeping it clean and posting on a wide range of issues makes it a full time job. Until recently I could sustain running it because I had reserves and a real job that allowed a lot of flexibility and a nice pay. Both are gone.

I now need to, again, 'get a life'. There are other issues too. Running such a blog is rather isolating. Being so much on the news and developing a bullshit detector as good blogging requires, creates too much distance from real, small issue social life around oneself. Psychologically it is quite a drag down. Read every line of The Daily Palestinian post from bottom to top and you will understand what I am thinking about.

In the total five years MoA got some 4,305,000 pageviews from about 2.1 million visits. Some 133,000 comments were posted and some 4,260 posts were published. Those numbers may sound big, but even with advertisement and small donations it would not be economically viable to run with this format and reach.

As this page view graph shows there were ups and downs but still a nice long-term up trend. A few more years on ... but who knows?


bigger

Thanks to all who came here, read and commented. A special thanks to those who have been around since the very first days. Dan of Steele, Juannie, r'giap, annie ond others come to mind.

In a few days, I will close the comments to this and other threads. I'll arrange something for b real to keep his Africa Comments alive and free of spam. I'll stop reading news.

I may, (may!) produce a CD with the archives of this blog plus the full Billmon archives. Check back in two or three weeks on how, maybe, you can get it.

To all of you, thanks!

And goodbye.

Posted by b on June 30, 2009 at 03:26 AM | Permalink

Comments
next page »

Wow.

These last few weeks posting here have been the first time in about 8 years that i've finally gotten motivated to involve myself in another online community.

You can't know how sorry i'll be to see this place go.

Good luck, b. I well know what you must be going through. Best of luck with your future endeavors.

If you ever need help with something in China, you know where to mail me.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 30, 2009 4:21:15 AM | 1

And also --

Link's busted on the graph, there.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 30, 2009 4:22:03 AM | 2

That's a loss.
Anyway, good luck for anything you'll be doing after.

Posted by: andrew | Jun 30, 2009 4:40:24 AM | 3

ahmadinejad sends his regrets. you've been doing such fine work unmasking the opposition movement as a zionist plot from which it originated. i'm sure if you had lobbied the regime for a small subsidy, he would have been happy to throw you a few pieces of silver.

Posted by: get a grip | Jun 30, 2009 4:41:14 AM | 4

Your own, very real needs, must come first.
Thank You, truly, for all that you have graciously, generously proffered and in so doing, sacrificed.
Happiness & Success ! Prost!

Posted by: Outraged | Jun 30, 2009 4:42:59 AM | 5

Good luck in the future B. What a bummer that you're closing MOA. You will be missed. Take Care,

Posted by: Mark Gaughan | Jun 30, 2009 4:45:35 AM | 6

Well, I'm very sad. I've very much appreciated what you've done, b.

I have to say, I'd been asking myself how you managed to put in such an excellent and full-time performance, and so I'm not surprised. Just sad

Posted by: Alex_no | Jun 30, 2009 4:46:49 AM | 7

bye and thanks for all the fish

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jun 30, 2009 5:03:13 AM | 8

Wow.

I lurked Whiskey Bar, and wept when it passed.

Now, the worm turns again. Well, tremendous thanks. b, you're appreciated.

Let's say we all head over to Cryptogon and have a night cap, shall we?

Posted by: Dr. Cornelius | Jun 30, 2009 5:16:41 AM | 9

Best of luck B. Many thanks for all you have done and the comments made by everyone.

Godspeed.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jun 30, 2009 5:35:30 AM | 10

There's a part of my brain hardwired into typing

" + L" then "m" then "o" then then

on my keyboard. This is the sequence of keys that will bring up MoonOfAlabama.org from my bookmarks in Firefox. For a while to come I will find myself still flicking through that series of keystrokes when I start up Firefox. I will be some time until my brain gets used to it not resulting in the pleasure of reading something really worthwhile.

I don't read alot of blogs. There is so much crap out there I sometimes wonder if its worth the effort of tracking the good ones down. MoA has been very good for a very long time. Its very much appreciated

So long, and thanks for all the blog posts.

-- swio

Posted by: swio | Jun 30, 2009 5:41:59 AM | 11

i've been a lurker since billmon closed. always reading but never posting. not good at organizing my thought in the written dept. anyways, very sad to see this place go. i just woke up and i feel like my girl just dumped me via a "dear john" letter :)

archives of billmon and moa would be great! some of the comments deal with issues that will play themselves out over 20 years and it would be good to have the "i told you so" handy :)

all this to say that i wish you the best of the best.

as hendrix sang: "If I dont meet you no more in this world then, i'll meet you in the next one, and dont be late.

Posted by: charmicarmicat | Jun 30, 2009 5:44:44 AM | 12

if there were a Force there would be a great disturbance.

Posted by: plushtown | Jun 30, 2009 5:45:01 AM | 13

Well b I for one will miss you and your thought inspiring posts. A warm thank you and may life smile upon you whatever you choose to do. I posted for a while at Billmon's bar and I posted for a while here at yours. I must say I will miss the good company and the fine debates. I'll miss ya all. One things for sure this blog was one of a kind and never spared anyone or anything to search for the underlying truth.

Posted by: Sam | Jun 30, 2009 5:54:59 AM | 14

First and most of all - THANK YOU! Despite mostly lurking I this place has been a must read for me since the beginning. I am aware the tremendous effort that must have gone in for you to keep this place open all these years by yourself. So again - Danke!

I hope you can find a live outside of blocking that is to you liking. :-)

Posted by: Fran | Jun 30, 2009 6:01:04 AM | 15

I'm sad to see the Bar closing. This was the first blog I read every day for a long time; I came to really admire the analysis here. Best wishes with your future endeavours Bernhard.

Posted by: Colin | Jun 30, 2009 6:16:32 AM | 16

Ah B say it ain't so! Nah I understand how you must feel, doing something as full-on as MoA proprietor is demanding and draining when you're getting paid for it, cause no matter how altruistic any of us are we all need the recognition of effort that a paycheck gives, when you're doing it for less than nothing ie having to pay to go to work, it is inevitable that you eventually become overwhelmed by it all.
That MoA has been open so long is a credit to your tenacity.

Thank you for staying staunch for so long Bernhard. You and MoA will be missed. Still now I won't have any excuse for wandering off into huge global issues when the ones outside my front door require more attention. I have no desire to try and find a place somewhere else global, MoA has fitted so well anywhere else would be a disappointment.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jun 30, 2009 6:56:59 AM | 17

I join the others in expressing heartfelt thanks to b both for providing this forum and for his always revealing links and comments.
I think it no exaggeration to say that over the years b has broken more stories and offered more illuminating interpretations for "inexplicable" events than an entire phalanx of "prize winning" journalists.

MOA has been a stimulating place to visit especially those seeking to break free of stultifying orthodoxies. Naturally, each visitor brings his or her personal orthodoxy, but, on the whole, thanks to b's very moderate moderation, the discourse has remained civil even in its most impassioned moments.


What next, then, for us, b's orphans? Maybe we can breathe new life into the unjustly neglected Le Speakeasy , find old friends and pick up new threads at Eurotrib , or visit Sibel Edmonds' new blog.
Other suggestions, preferably favoring international blogs like MOA at its best, would be welcome, but for the moment, "Danke, und auf Wiedersehen" to b.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jun 30, 2009 7:00:23 AM | 18

Thanks for five years of smart, insightful and often delightful posts, Bernhard. (And all MoA regular commenters too.) This has been my favorite blog, and it really inspired me during some dark times these past few years. There have been so many brilliant analyses of current events, too numerous to recount now but the series on the Georgia attack on Russia come to mind - you were miles ahead of everyone else on the planet on that story. And several others.

Best wishes to you in all you do, B. If you ever make it to this area, please get in touch.

Posted by: Maxcrat | Jun 30, 2009 7:23:15 AM | 19

Well, I'm back for a final comment: You were tireless in running the Blog whose closure I view with mixed feelings:

I'm sad to see MoA close as I was very much looking forward to returning and rubbing the face of Loyal who spent weeks repeating the official Islamic Republic propaganda as spewed out by Fars News, Press TV and Seda-va-Sima (and which led you to thank him so regularly and so profusely for his exceptional 'contribution' to the 'truth').

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 30, 2009 7:24:36 AM | 20

However, I'm glad to see MoA close for the following reason: Running a Leftist Blog should not involve applauding the atrocities of a regime solely on the basis of its anti-Americanism, or of pretending that elections are 'fair', when 400 candidates are disqualified by the unelected Guardian Council that has the temerity to monitor its own performance via yet another secret sampling without independent witnesses, and 17 days after the boxes were opened and gave the regime sufficient time to re-fill them in the requisite proportions.

So on balance, I would have to say that I'm happy MoA is folding as it had become a Leftist propaganda mouthpiece and lost any semblance of objectivity when faced with documented, filmed and photographed barbarities by its favourite regime.

Posted by: Parviz | Jun 30, 2009 7:24:45 AM | 21

Viel Glück, dude. I greatly enjoyed reading this blog, and will miss it. Now how am I going to know when Billmon files a new entry without having to wade through Daily Kos?

Bummer. And no whisky handy, either.

Posted by: NomadUk | Jun 30, 2009 7:25:33 AM | 22

Terribly, terribly sad to see this place ending.

My heartfelt thanks for all your hard work Bernhard. You have given us all so much over five years that seem to have just flown by.

I'll not forget your decency and your love for social justice.

Live long and be happy.

Posted by: John C | Jun 30, 2009 7:31:52 AM | 23

Thank you *so much!* What a beacon of breaths of fresh air, new opinions, facts, analyses, interactions this has been to look forward to!

Best of luck to you and to the new life forms you will create!

So inspiring!

Thanks again!

Posted by: lambent1 | Jun 30, 2009 7:32:36 AM | 24

Bernhard,
As a long-time lurker and sporadic poster, as well as a fellow fan of large cranes (I worked in that industry for 24 years), I'd like to say thank you for a great job running this place. You provided many, many well-reasoned and insightful commentaries, and allowed a large number of intelligent and articulate people to express their voices as well. I wish you the best of luck in your future pursuits.

Posted by: Joe F | Jun 30, 2009 8:02:19 AM | 25

I've always enjoyed reading MoA. Good luck for the future, b!

Posted by: Argh | Jun 30, 2009 8:04:48 AM | 26

Thanks very much B for your great blog. I can not imagine any other person being capable of doing the job you have done. We will not see your likes again. I hope you find it possible to reopen this spirited bar. As I did for Billmon, I will for a long time be looking for any sign of your return.

Posted by: eas | Jun 30, 2009 8:16:19 AM | 27

Thank you
I wish you good health and much sucess.
Loyal

Posted by: Loyal | Jun 30, 2009 8:30:02 AM | 28

A truly sad development. I stumbled upon M of A shortly after billmon closed down. So about 2 years plus. I've grown kind of attached to it and became a daily reader and occasional poster. Funny how one becomes attached to little things in life.

It has been an extraordinarily informative blog and it will be missed greatly.

Bernhardt, best wishes to you and yours. I hope whatever you wish to happen happens.

Sincerely,

Lysander

Posted by: Lysander | Jun 30, 2009 8:33:02 AM | 29

Your decision in totally honored from this corner of the Blogsphere Bernhard. I couldn’t fathom how you could keep up day after day and guess I’ve been in a little awe watching your continuance. Thanks of course goes without saying but it’s a pittance of what you deserve based on what you have given.

My best wishes go with you for always and my hope is our paths, somehow, somewhere cross connect again. That by the way also applies to the many who have contributed for so long and so well

I am just starting to feel a deep sense of loss but I know I’ll eventually get over it.

Posted by: Juannie | Jun 30, 2009 8:34:45 AM | 30

MOA is the best commentary/analysis on the web; with the plusses of a great community and great moderating skills by b

it's almost two years now that MOA is the first site I view

Like #12, "i feel like my girl just dumped me via a "dear john" letter"

I already feel the symptoms of withdrawal! please, suggestions of alternate sites urgently needed! although, like #17 said, "MoA has fitted so well anywhere else would be a disappointment"

that's why democracy is doomed: anybody with b's skills and a different worldview would be offered lots of money to work fulltime for some magazine or think-tank, etc; on the left (let's call it that way), is all on your shoulders

thanks, b, for the enourmous amount of time and effort you dedicated to MOA

Posted by: cr | Jun 30, 2009 8:45:42 AM | 31

Thanks for inviting me here, and your time and effort in making it such an unforgettable and valuable link to the events of the world.

Posted by: Jim T. | Jun 30, 2009 8:54:16 AM | 32

b

i thank you, but you know that & a special thanks to this community who have taught me a great deal

i will be in your debt

i will sortely miss the context it offers to a world gone wrong

thank you

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 30, 2009 8:57:22 AM | 33

Thank you B for an excellent blog, fuck you for taking it away.

I think I see many names that I've bumped into over the net over the years. Some perhaps from the Charlie Rose show from years ago. I see others on Glen Greenwald's blog, I think and will look for others as I wistfully recall this blog.

Someday I hope to start a blog in Texas dealing with whatever. MoA would be a model for me, open discussion, liberal access to contrary opinions/posts. I like the Texas Tornado, though I don't know the first thing about getting it started.

I had hoped to have many hands make light work, thinking that if there were disagreements, always side on the side of publish everything. I can't imagine doing that by myself. Hell, I get sick and tired of myself sometimes. (cf. Terry Allen's "I just left myself today"

Posted by: scott | Jun 30, 2009 8:59:58 AM | 34

All good things must come to an end. Sad, sad day for me.

B, thank you, if you are ever in colorado and want to flyfish or raft the Gunnison river, get a hold of me, I figure the least I could do is take you fishing or rafting after all the hard work you've put into MoA.

I wish I would have found the place sooner, but the days I've wasted at MoA are days well wasted.

I want to thank everyone who has made this place a great blog, and through their post and comments have forced me to think deeper and longer about the world than I otherwise would have on my own.

A truth unchallenged isn't much better than a lie and the denizens of MoA keep challenging the truth. I will miss this place, but I've become a bit of a drunk so b closing the bar will give me more time to focus on my meatspace.

I love ya all and hope that your futures are bright and full of good things.

Bernhard good luck in your future. You missed your calling, you should be an editor at an international news magazine... but that would be too binding and the pay sucks.

Hopefully we will find a new spot to land... I'd hate to think I'm left with What Really Happened and Blacklisted News as my news sources...

As Spock used to say... Live long and prosper.

Posted by: DavidS | Jun 30, 2009 9:17:21 AM | 35

Dear B,

I am so sad.

Many thanks for all your hard work.

I'm long-time lurker and a huge fan.

I have so appreciated the information and the conversation.
(I was a Billmon barfan too)

Sigh, such a rare place.
Where to go now??????????
I'm already feeling the loss.

Again, thank you for all your work.
It's been invaluable.

Fighting Bob

Posted by: Fighting Bob | Jun 30, 2009 9:23:30 AM | 36

Wow, this is sad.

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jun 30, 2009 9:27:06 AM | 37

It's been 5 years since the Billmon cutoff? Time flies when you're having fun. Your economic analysis was unmatched and inspiring.

Enjoy life, sir.

Posted by: Ryan | Jun 30, 2009 9:29:23 AM | 38

SOME OF US DO NOT HAVE THE DIGNITY TO JUST SAY A SIMPLE GOODBY AND GOOD LUCK(21)
THEY HAVE TO BRING THEIR POINT OF VIEW OUT AND TRY TO PUSH IT INTO OTHER PEOPLES MIND IN EVERY OCCASSION AND EVERY OPPORTUNITY NO MATTER WHAT.AND FUNY ENOUGH THEY CALL THEMSELVES FORCES OF MODERATION.I AM(WAS) A RELATIVE NEWCOMMER AND VERY SORRY TO SEE B AND THE SITE GONE.I WISH YOU SUCCESS AND HAPPY LIFE.

Posted by: zadeh | Jun 30, 2009 9:29:29 AM | 39

i wish you b & the community well in the future

i'm so saddened

knowing too that this site has served as such a tough little boat in the seas of shit of disinformation. i think recently of georgai & gaza but there are many many many post you made b - that created a space to witness exactly what kind of world we're living in

in its absence - there will be an enourmous hole


this site is a treasure & most of us know that

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 30, 2009 9:29:55 AM | 40

I really enjoyed reading your posts and the comments from all the people here. Thank you for your time and effort and good luck.

Posted by: ThePaper | Jun 30, 2009 9:34:40 AM | 41

a toast to all the moonbats! habe Dank, b, and best wishes for your future adventures in Hamburg.

Posted by: catlady | Jun 30, 2009 9:45:06 AM | 42

I wish I could afford to sponsor MofA. You'll be missed, probably more than you realize.

Posted by: rs | Jun 30, 2009 9:50:36 AM | 43

this is very sad news to wake up to. the damn coffee ain't even brewed yet!

thank you, b, and i hope all goes well for you. i can't imagine how much work keeping this place going has been, and you've done a truly wonderful job.

i've really come to depend on your voice, b, and the voices of others here to help me filter the bullshit, because there's a lot of it out there, and it can be overwhelming.

no place i've run across out there comes close to this place, and i don't plan on finding a surrogate any time soon. good luck, b.

zadeh: i agree.

Posted by: Lizard | Jun 30, 2009 9:55:40 AM | 44

unfortunately i only just stumbled in here around the Georgia fiasco -- wish I had been around longer. now i just won't know when they try to pull the wool over our eyes.

thanks a million b, so much i've read here has been brilliant. (and everybody else here, of course.) please let us know where you poke your head up next...

Posted by: DavidR | Jun 30, 2009 9:55:50 AM | 45

i will miss r'giap's remarkable speed raps, and annie's heartfelt posts, but you have to admit, russia:georgia was sort of a high-water mark, and since MoAs iran cat fight, has become a lot less informative, as the reactionary right begin to lock us all down.

b gave our blog-view a new meaning for schadenfruede, now we're all in the same sinking malaise of thefts and draws and blinds and huffington's disease without a clue.

Viel Glück, b! No hard feelings....

Posted by: tante aime | Jun 30, 2009 9:57:13 AM | 46

This has been a part of my life since... since the Whiskey Bar, in fact. It's been like an aghora for the dissemination for facts, opinions, the re-informing of dis-information.

So the idiot static hisses over another beacon of intelligence.

I've not been coming here much lately, and I was saddened that the debate has been apparently dominated by opinions and voices I don't recognize, either in tone or in spirit. Like Annie, I miss the old days. But the bar is still vital and so it's with sadness but also gratitude that I'll say goodbye to an enterprise that I won't see degenerate. The forces of cultural entropy are not to be withstood for long. It's a brave thing you're doing, to give them the finger like this.

b, thank you for everything you've done for us all. An oasis is a beautiful thing, but someone has to prune the trees and clean up the camel shit when everyone's gone home, and you'll never be thanked enough for that.

So cheers to everyone, big fat slices of Stalinist fruitcake all round, and if you don't want to try it, make a fucking effort just this once.

Cheers, my dears!

Tantalus

Posted by: Tantalus | Jun 30, 2009 9:57:48 AM | 47

Oh well. I'll miss it.

Thanks to b and to all who made it what it was.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. | Jun 30, 2009 10:10:01 AM | 48

I will miss this place, but I too had to abandon the MoA for my psychological health. Daily swims in the global pool of despair takes its toll.

I wish I had the chance to meet you in person, b. Maybe one day I will.


My most genuine wishes for your well being.

-jeremiah

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jun 30, 2009 10:12:27 AM | 49

sad day on the internets

thanks b, thanks all
learned a lot in this bar
kindof irreplaceble...

:(

Posted by: rudolf | Jun 30, 2009 10:14:58 AM | 50

I have learned so much here, there is no other site that provides the range and knowledge I have found here. I will certainly miss MoA and many of the regular commenters. It will be more difficult to stay well informed.

Posted by: xcroc | Jun 30, 2009 10:23:10 AM | 51

All good things must pass.

I'm glad you didn't expel people like me who disagreed with you.

The "empire" thesis doesn't work. It strangles leftist solidarity by replacing a diagnosis of social problems in a global capitalist society with a petty obsession for nationalism.

But your work is admirable, in particular your insights on the financial crisis.

I would kill for a cd of the archives.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 30, 2009 10:31:28 AM | 52

oh my, i will have to process this before i say more.

Posted by: annie | Jun 30, 2009 10:39:17 AM | 53

Thank you for your time and effort, MOA was excellent, you did a good job. And thank you to the folks that commented, agree or disagree, it was always a good read.

Posted by: BlueGeneBop | Jun 30, 2009 10:39:22 AM | 54

Bernhard, MoA was widely recognized as one the better second-tier blogs. I'm sure a lot of those page views came because Atrios or Kos saw good work and knew it.

I was an infrequent visitor simply because there are 24 hours in the day, and they most often ran out before I got here. You produced great work and doubtless inspired others to go and do likewise.

From my own experience at running a third- or fourth-tier blog, the rewards come in the doing, not from the adulation of others. By being forced to fully form and back up our opinions with facts, we become wiser people. But, yeah, page views validate the effort.

You were part of a great victory, in which the American people rejected radical right ideas. The victory is never won, though... the radical right may shut up for a season, but they never go away.

So, stay engaged as you are able. You're appreciated.

Posted by: Charles | Jun 30, 2009 11:04:27 AM | 55

i remember when you said this once before but i think you had a hangover or something and i refused to believe it but somehow your words don't sound very hangoverie today.

this massively sucks, what am i going to do? b, i love you, you have changed my life.

and all the barflies. where will we go? off on our separate ways? as debs says

I have no desire to try and find a place somewhere else global, MoA has fitted so well anywhere else would be a disappointment.

juannie I am just starting to feel a deep sense of loss but I know I’ll eventually get over it.

knowing i will 'get over it' is not much of a consolation.

a tough little boat in the seas of shit of disinformation. ....in its absence - there will be an enourmous hole....this site is a treasure & most of us know that

oh r'giap. you say everything so well. where's beq when i need her.

b oh b.

what am i going to do? i suppose i could go get a life or something.

i love you b. thanks hardly suffices.

thank you to everyone. we are out there, there are people like us out there in this big bullshitty world. people who aren't afraid to find the truth , even if we can't find eachother.

bwwwwwwaahahahahahahah

Posted by: annie | Jun 30, 2009 11:05:11 AM | 56

they are probably toasting w/champange over @ centcom and neocon central. their numero uno crap detector is closing down.

Posted by: annie | Jun 30, 2009 11:09:25 AM | 57

Dear B,

Thank you for sharing with us your tireless search for the truth. The depth and breadth of your efforts have been astounding, and I can only thank you for the generosity of your efforts. MoA has been my first stop with my breakfast coffee during the last few years, and I will undoubtedly miss it greatly. Thank you.

Bernie

Posted by: Bernard D'Lima | Jun 30, 2009 11:10:08 AM | 58

The web community has come a long way since Billmon started posting. There are good and bad aspects to the growth--the community is larger, making for a wider range of thought--and the web has gotten less polite. I've appreciated MoA for its relative freedom from irrational ranting and insults.

Thank you for your work B, and godspeed...

Posted by: Obelix | Jun 30, 2009 11:11:03 AM | 59

Can't say I do much alcohol. I think I'll make an exception and pour myself a double.

Sad news. Good luck.

Posted by: edwin | Jun 30, 2009 11:12:26 AM | 60

I am shocked that the bar is closing, but I do understand your reasons behind it. I came here during the Georgia fiasco after Helena mentioned that you are doing the best coverage on the subject. Ever since I have been a regular drunk :-)

Thank you so much for the hard work you did here. Critical thinking is a very tough job in an age of uniformity and mediocrity.

Cheers to you b

Posted by: ndahi | Jun 30, 2009 11:16:28 AM | 61

Thanks for everything b., it's been swell. And best of luck in the future!

Posted by: EGrise | Jun 30, 2009 11:18:34 AM | 62

Thank you b for everything. Although I certainly understand your feelings, I hope you change your mind after a well-deserved rest. Thinking about why this site was so valuable to me (before my morning tank of coffee), what comes to mind are two things- your level of humility compared to the depth of your knowledge and skill as a moderator; and the quality of the content of the posts and comments which reinforce the idea that one can be critical of both/all sides of a dispute without lapsing into cynicism and nihilism. Whether Georgia:Russia, Iranian elections, Bush:Obama, taking a contrary view has revealed a lot of needed truth, even though some may have interpreted it as supporting a 'side.'

Building real community is one of the most important things we can do. Even if this place never returns, I think you have done way more than your share, b. To everyone else, thanks as well. I suggest a virtual Irish wake this Saturday night.

Posted by: biklett | Jun 30, 2009 11:19:21 AM | 63

b - in awe of your lead, productivity & analytical prowess. tough decision to walk away, i'm sure, but we can all be proud of this project we've evolved over the years. now there's a new opportunity to evolve again.

for the time being we can always head back to the other annex offshoot, okiebyaccident's le speakeasy, which was designed by committee to allow decentralized control over threads & discussions.

Posted by: b real | Jun 30, 2009 11:20:30 AM | 64

As someone who shut down his own blog a while back, I fully understand the need to have the time and flexibility to keep a blog current and vibrant. For someone who shares much of your despar at what happens to the weak and the powerless, I further understand the effect that would have on your life while wading through the consequences of that on a daily basis.

But you sir, showed a depth and breadth of knowledge on so many aspects of social, political and economic that while my blog closing would not register on a gnats hair, yours will leaving a very large and unwanted hole in our understanding. I had always believed myself to be well versed in current affairs, that is until I first visited MOA. It was only here that I realised the depth of my ignorance on so many subjects in so many under-reported parts of the world. I have lost count of the many things that I learnt or read here first.

Good luck and thank you.

Posted by: mo | Jun 30, 2009 11:25:29 AM | 65

Thanks for all your work here. You will be missed. Best wishes for whatever comes next for you, even if it doesn't include a quick return to the web.

Posted by: nihil obstet | Jun 30, 2009 11:29:31 AM | 66

Oh, moon of Alabama
We now must say good-bye
We've lost our good old mamma
And must have dollars
Oh, you know why.

Well Bernhard, it seems the moment I was treating for years has finally come. In a sense quite depressing, like an amputation, having the light turned off in a dark and echo-y cave. Your coherent analysis of world events made you a commentator in a league of your own; the countless hours you invested into this site produced a wealth of journalistic pearls absolutely invaluable in today’s miserable state of media affairs. So please put me down for a copy of the archives ;-)

In the meantime, just as a thought, I am prepared to pay a monthly amount to fund this unique site, and should some 100 other readers put up their hand to regularly chip in we might be able to raise a four digit sum every month, certainly not the enormous income the ‘job’ of maintaining MoA deserves, but maybe enough to sustain your efforts in the near to medium term.

All failing, perhaps in a similar fashion as MoA came about, with enough interest amongst the regular readership and more importantly writership, we could start a MoA Fan Site with several guest contributors (B?) to which us moonbats could migrate to? Loosing B’s daily insights is hard enough, but to also suffer the loss of the Moon’s captivating blog community would cause even more misery. Would terribly miss you all.

You saw sagacious Solomon
You know what came of him,
To him complexities seemed plain.
He cursed the hour that gave birth to him
And saw that everything was vain.
How great and wise was Solomon.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It's wisdom that had brought him to this state.
How fortunate the man with none.

You saw courageous Caesar next
You know what he became.
They deified him in his life
Then had him murdered just the same.
And as they raised the fatal knife
How loud he cried: you too my son!
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It's courage that had brought him to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

You heard of honest Socrates
The man who never lied:
They weren't so grateful as you'd think
Instead the rulers fixed to have him tried
And handed him the poisoned drink.
How honest was the people's noble son.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It's honesty that brought him to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

Here you can see respectable folk
Keeping to God's own laws.
So far he hasn't taken heed.
You who sit safe and warm indoors
Help to relieve our bitter need.
How virtuously we had begun.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It's fear of god that brought us to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

Thank you so very much Bernhard. Inspirational.

Posted by: Juan Moment | Jun 30, 2009 11:34:26 AM | 67

As a newbie, great job b and all the best in the future. My question is, what like-minded progressive forum will all the like-minded MOA progressives be able to gravitate to from here?

Posted by: easy e | Jun 30, 2009 11:39:19 AM | 68

I'd pay a couple hundred a year to keep this site going. Great idea.

Why wouldn't it work?

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 30, 2009 11:41:50 AM | 69

The fact that this blog closes is not only sad but says much about the times that are coming. Or is it the fascist that are cuming?

Unfortunately B closing this place down is a measure of the world's mental climate. The powers that be love these times of economic hardship because people become focused back on Maslow's first tier (basically covering their own ass) rather than in more altruistic pursuits such as this blog.

I commend B for the hours he has given us freely and for seemingly little reward... you have to have quite a coat of Turtle Wax upon your back to let so many angry comments roll-off and not take some of the shit seriously.

But as I was saying, in the larger picture the tightening economy is gonna be like a blanket of silence covering dissent. Who is gonna have the time or desire to complain when it may cause them more trouble?

I suppose there is still hope... but it is a dark hope, and I feel this quote sums it up the best:

"You can only have power over people so long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything he's no longer in your power – he's free again." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

There is a fine line the aristocrats are treading... they are walking on a weak thread, streched very tight, with tigers, lions and bears are waiting below for them to fall, or for them to strech the line so tight it breaks.

May the line break soon!

Posted by: DavidS | Jun 30, 2009 11:43:54 AM | 70

Thanks b you were always streets ahead

Posted by: hans | Jun 30, 2009 11:46:33 AM | 71

Count me in on a CD and a subsciption if such a thing could happen... sneak it from my account every month or yearly or whatever...

I'll pay to say.

Posted by: DavidS | Jun 30, 2009 11:46:52 AM | 72

This is going to leave a big gap. I had problems registering at LeSpeakeasy ages ago. Maybe I'll pop by Anna Missed's blog more often. Damn.

I haven't posted much here recently, but I've been following along. I've found it's helpful to compose a reply in the "comments" box and then just not hit the "post" button. It's been a bit of a habit for me to read the new headlines and comments as I wake up, then spend forty minutes writing a response and then decide reluctantly to refresh the page without sending. I'll have to find a substitute method for organizing my thoughts now. Damn.

You've done great work, Bernhard. You were warned about burning yourself out time and time again and, for the life of me, I don't know how you managed for so long to retain such a consistently high quality of insight. Same goes for most of the posters here. Damn.

Damn. Damn. Damn.

I'll go ahead and post this one. Stay as well as can be reasonably expected, folks. Some of you know how to contact me... feel free. Heartfelt thanks to the publican here and best wishes to all.

Posted by: Monolycus | Jun 30, 2009 11:48:12 AM | 73

I'll join you, slothrop. And i'd bet others, here, would also join in for the news-perusal and bland, give-no-gestures commentary.

Crooksandliars did a hella decline when they invited "noted bloggers" in to make up for Amato's weariness. After years of fighting like a street-side gutter man, Amato turned his place into a weak imitation of "let's all be friends!"

I think b has better taste, and i'd trust him as a leader.

Maybe if b graduated to editor, he could save time, make a bit more money, and manage to keep the site going.

I'll donate time as copyreader and sysadmin. I'm a linux geek, and would love to help.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 30, 2009 11:52:19 AM | 74

Re #67
I will gladly contribute a monthly fee, a year in advance.

On the basis, as you have stated b, the reason is mainly financial ... even should you be on a modest hiatus, the loss of this community ... already I grieve for the silencing of disparate voices I have come to know over the years as dear to me ... each unique & precious ...

@b
perhaps ... name a monthly figure, if but to sustain the site ... those who could, would make our pledges, and you could evaluate if the target could be met ... perhaps ...

Posted by: Outraged | Jun 30, 2009 11:53:05 AM | 75

At least try and get a feel for how many people will offer financial support.

But, $200/per year x 100 people. Still, not a very good remuneration for the effort.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 30, 2009 12:02:07 PM | 76

I'm in for $200 a year. Otherwise, best wishes on whatever you happen to do next. I enjoyed your posts, your links and the (sometimes heated) discussion.

Stefanos

Posted by: St | Jun 30, 2009 12:13:49 PM | 77

I, too, came often and appreciated B's insights.

Every-so-often, I would take your comments to other blogs (esp Steve Clemons); they always added depth to conversations.

Best of luck to you, B, and thank-you for five years of interesting and informed commentary.

A bright light of liberalism will soon be extinguished; the darkness deepens.

Posted by: susan | Jun 30, 2009 12:16:19 PM | 78

I will pay to keep the bar open. Thanks for everything.

Posted by: Ram | Jun 30, 2009 12:16:29 PM | 79

My first reaction: Oh, no! Gasp. Hand over slightly opened mouth, as we see when people view horrible things, great destruction....

I've come to trust b for his BS detector, for the good commenters.

Have to think some more about what to say, but, as of right now, I don't know any place else which does what bernhard does.

Help!

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 30, 2009 12:19:07 PM | 80

Bereavement, thats the word.

I really feel that MoA was important, when that word applies to such a small fraction of whats out there.

Best of luck and thanks for all the countless hours of hard work.

Posted by: maff | Jun 30, 2009 12:20:49 PM | 81

having recently retired from blogging myself, for exactly the same reasons and a few others, i totally understand where you're coming from, B. feel no guilt, don't let people pressure you to take up new projects unless you really want to, and Thank You. you've done wonderful work and i look forward to the CD. be well, friend.

Posted by: chicago dyke | Jun 30, 2009 12:21:20 PM | 82

I'm in for $200 a year, or even more.

@Slothrop
Remarkably, I agree wholeheartedly :)

Whenever you were at your worst (best?), I always imagined you as S. B. C. ;)

Peace, Salaam, Shalom.

Posted by: Outraged | Jun 30, 2009 12:24:24 PM | 83

One of the very sad things when Billmon stopped comments was losing touch with the people who commented at Whiskey Bar. Then, Moon opened. For awhile I lost touch, but there it was when things were happening which no one else was covering well or had the depth of knowledge to explain.

What b does so extraordinarily well is to point out inconsistences--with authority. Oh, I will miss his work so much. His pointing out that some weapon could not be what the US or Israeli military says it it, bcz he knows and produces photos, evidence to prove it.

Yes, I do understand. Time. I guess I'd assumed you had work where deep research was part of your job. Actually, I was amazed at how much you could find in so many publications and wondered how you kept it up.

When Billmon cut comments, eventually I learned that he had spent hours monitoring the comments, which I had not realized. I'd been worried about how much time his great output must have demanded, but comment moderation on top of that! Exhausting.

How did you do it all?

And that need to earn a living....

Some bloggers have, apparently, made a living from their blogs helped by some associations of some sort with publications and investigative groups. I somehow think, howevewr, they are much more centrist that you, Bernhard! I will miss your work so, so much.

Yes, I would like a CD. I can't afford even $200/year--my health insurance parasite demands all my savings-- but I would pay something to have b still blogging.

Thank you, Bernhard, so much for what you have done.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 30, 2009 12:37:16 PM | 84

Oh, if you comment, will you comment as "b" or "Bernhard"? And where might you do so?

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 30, 2009 12:38:04 PM | 85

Very sincere thanks, Bernhard. You did an enormous amount of good, and I salute you. MOA was an island of reason and news that I couldn't get elsewhere.

Best wishes for success in your new endeavors.

Posted by: Wolf DeVoon | Jun 30, 2009 12:38:20 PM | 86

Huh, I seem to have lost a long comment. Maybe later.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 30, 2009 12:38:39 PM | 87

Huh, I seem to have lost a long comment. Maybe later.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 30, 2009 12:38:40 PM | 88

Heartfelt "Thank you" for your dedication and insights. Sorry to see you go, but understand fully the toll it must take on your health and personal life. As diligently as you work to inform, it seems the forces of unreason, misinformation and corruption keep advancing. Best of Luck to you, Bernhard.

Will we get to see annie's diary of her Gaza trip, here or somewhere? Would be interested to read it.

Thanks

Posted by: ww & bill galt | Jun 30, 2009 12:56:13 PM | 89

Sad to see it go so soon after I discovered the blog. I'd just started checking it almost obsessively.

Possibly good for other people's real lives as well?

I did lose practically a week of productivity thanks to you b :)

---A.S.

Posted by: Amir S. | Jun 30, 2009 12:57:43 PM | 90

#89

i am kind of blown away wrt how to write about my trip. i'm not much of a writer (i guess you guys know that!). there are 2 very different messages. one is how incredible the people are, the warmth, generosity, resilience and charisma, and then there's the devastation. 2 very different directions. sorry but i don't know if i will be able to come up with a good post before b closes.

Posted by: annie | Jun 30, 2009 1:03:23 PM | 91

I'm in for $200 a year, or even more.

i know i have been very remiss wrt donations. but of course i would commit if you change your mind b.

Posted by: annie | Jun 30, 2009 1:06:08 PM | 92

I learned a lot here. It is enlightening to disagree with highly intelligent people. Not many places for that in this Age of Vulgarity. I will miss the Bar. Thanks, B.

Posted by: Pedro | Jun 30, 2009 1:08:30 PM | 93

Bernhard,

Others have spoken of your insight aka bs detector; I'll remember this, plus your generosity and tolerance.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Jun 30, 2009 1:08:37 PM | 94

b,

I hope that something comes along and changes your mind, but I doubt it will. I have read this blog since the start and am part of your graphs and charts. I wish you only the best.

If we took up a collection like they do at anti-war.com???

Posted by: Joseph | Jun 30, 2009 1:08:47 PM | 95

annie @91

Understandable that you would have difficulty sorting through your thoughts. Appreciate the fact that you went and tried to do something there. thanks

Posted by: ww | Jun 30, 2009 1:13:50 PM | 96

AARGG! MOA has been my only (daily) exposure to international POVs, always leavened with bullshit detection. And the German perspective, ha. Plus plenty of news I never heard elsewhere.

I must say that b's approach has been a bit conservative for my taste, but I've never experienced the kind of mush that would be generated by a crowd of lefty monkeys intent on eliminating govt and money. Or UFO freaks. So thanks for the smoothness, and yes the conservatism too, although I'm sure you disagree with me on that word choice.

I hope it is not true that the pressures of survival will suck away MOA type discussion in general. It sounds like a logical sequence, but it may not occur if only because we know so much and won't forget.

So many other blogs carefully stay within the bounds of the acceptable, for the purpose of remaining viable, but at the expense of facing the whole ugly truth. I must say that over the seven or so years I have crawled around the leftish side of the web, there has been a constant rise in communal awareness, so yes I have plenty of hope left.

Thank you Bernhard for your huge contribution.

Posted by: rapt | Jun 30, 2009 1:20:25 PM | 97

Ouch! Just arrived 2 months ago at this truth-loving blog and now its ripped from my daily feed. Thank you all for the valuable viewpoints. A toast to the best there is in Man.

Posted by: reddy | Jun 30, 2009 1:23:27 PM | 98

b

it's been so hot here in france this last week - heavy weather - & i read this post & went for a promenade in that heat - heavy weather

i will miss you - the many areas where i possessed only a scant knowledge & you & this blog obliged me to do that work - luckily it could be absorbed into my day to day work

i will miss your researches but also of many like uncle who kept on providing links & more links & analysis & more links, b real, annie - the many others i feel a very real regard for you all

i have always been conscious of how much work this must have cost you & i imagine that weight became too much

this has been the only site i have ever consistently written on - because of the quality of intervention. i'll sure as hell miss thpse dense posts by debs whose fury i feel very close to my own but there are many, many people now & over time - who have brought so much that is good

i'm with susan - when she says that a light is being extinguished & that it is getting darker. i believe that to be the truth - i am concerned for the world i live in & the signs are in fact terrible, not apocalyptic but terrible, all the same

& yes this site has brought light into that dark world even in the heardest of times, these times we are living through, the times i am living through

b, we have never met but you have become a friend & i have had the fortune of having met a number of people from our rich community, that too has been a treasure

the greek comrades here, i feel a special affinity & also those comrade who wrote to us from the middle east. i don't know very much mechanically about how a blog functions but it was always a pleasure to see how many were writing from all over the world

& the american comrades need a special thanks - obviouslly b real but many, many others who have been the real heart of this place - before this site i knew not one, not one american in a relatively long life - & my regard for those living within the belly of the beast - is something i could never have imagined - but it is now my reality & that contact has enrichened whatever life i have

(just to be conscient of what sea of shit we live - zelaya is speaking at the u n but aljazeera is saying the people of honduras support the coup - the oligarchs of reaction have many houses)

i will miss you all, deeply

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 30, 2009 1:23:42 PM | 99

As all others said before me one way or another, closing MoA is like the drying of an oasis in the desert. Lurking, I did not always agree with your analysis (and that of the barflies) but it has always provided food for thought and excellent insights into major events of our century.

I sense that the problem is not financial but I can provide something via Paypal if you change your mind.

Best of luck in your next endeavors. Crossing paths with you and the barflies in the webbed world will always be a pleasure.

Posted by: balkanid | Jun 30, 2009 1:29:30 PM | 100

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