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 7:26 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page | next page »

Someone mentioned that Billmon had made a recent appearance here. I searched but could not find it. Can someone please point that out to me?

Posted by: airtommy | Jun 30 2009 17:43 utc | 101

oh, this is really sad. every day I have access to the internets I come here. I check for comments many times a day. whenever something happens in the world I come here to get the rest of the story. there simply is no other place that does what Moon of Alabama does.

this is even worse than when Billmon closed down because then I had a weird feeling of missing someone I had never met. that is not the case this time as I have met Bernhard and he is a good and decent man.

I shall truly miss everyone who posts here. Perhaps, just maybe we can start up the Speakeasy (have to check with Okie to see if he can handle the bandwidth) or eurotribune where a lot of old whiskey barflies ended up. We should make some kind of arrangement, there is simply too much to throw away here. so many experts and wonderful writers. I bet that if we do find another watering hole, friend b will show up from time to time to post some cutting edge commentary. you don't shake the monkey off your back that easily.

the idea of a subscription site is definitely something I would sign up for as well but I suspect that still would not be enough to keep b in cigarettes.

so, Bernhard, thank you so much for all you have done. you will be greatly missed.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jun 30 2009 17:48 utc | 102

I love you all.
And i'm crying.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Jun 30 2009 17:50 utc | 103

This is too little to late, but I'd be happy to ante up some federal reserve notes each month if it keeps you going. Not everyone can afford it but if 20 of us tossed in 20$ a month, would it be enough to keep it going? Not nearly enough for a living of course but maybe to cover expenses?

Posted by: Lysander | Jun 30 2009 17:53 utc | 104

Having posted earlier, and complimented b, I am not surprised by the level of huge support (and some low level criticism here) for b here.

R'giap sums up my feeling. Maybe a candle has been extinguished, but that is only in b needing to take time off from unpaid blogging, that candle is busy elsewhere and still burning, never extinguished.

I did blog in Today in Iraq as Friendly Fire for maybe 2.5/3 years and the bad news coming from there sucked the goodness out my thoughts anytime I did a blog-post, I gave up, b did not and must be commended.

B has managed a long time of five or so years reporting the shit from the ME, he deserves to commended for putting up with all of the depressing carnage he had to read every day.

He must be commended for that with a purple-star (ugh, I know) because he has many many times been able to take a step-back and give strategic stuff, and not just from the ME, but engineering, economics, banking, windfarms, green policies, elections wherever, US tripe politics and is/was a daily fix blog read for me.

I want to make a clear statement here. B could mix it with any criticism here and had links and facts coming out of his knowledge and clear thinking that refuted 99.99% of disgruntled visitors here.

His native language is German, he has put to shame many native English speakers/bloggers who criticised him.

I raise a toast to the Barkeep, Bernhard.

I will not mention anyone of my favorite posters here, for fear that I forget some of them. You know who you are.

Ciao all.

Best wishes b.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jun 30 2009 18:08 utc | 105

A voice of sanity in the wilderness. You will be missed. Thanks for the years of service.

Posted by: Lorene | Jun 30 2009 18:11 utc | 106

b, I remember when we lost the "Missing Links" blog that fatigue was the major reason. Plus some sense of futility that starts to morph from political cynicism to outright existential despair.

You are my hero, political and existential. Best to you always. d

Posted by: ds | Jun 30 2009 18:20 utc | 107

as someone else from france sd her the other day - even here - there are few newspapers to read, really. when i came to work her over20 years ago there was a number of real papers - & some intelligent commentary. now the only time i read them is the free copy at the café & their vulgarity makes them unreadable. in times as dark as these you need brave men & women who are able to say what they must, in full force & without compromise. le monde & liberation are for example full of compromise but also a political vulgarity & a self interestedness that makes them no different from their anglo saxon cousins

so the links here researched by our community have been like a lifeline to me - so yes china hand i weep to

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 30 2009 18:25 utc | 108

b, thanks so very much.

Devistated isn't quite the word for how I feel reading this post, but very, very sad. MoA had become the place I most frequently lurked, and though I seldom posted, and never said anything of much import, I have felt at home and comfortable with you and your regulars. As much as with close friends. I will truly miss that.

Good luck in whatever you do next, b.

Fondest good wishes,

Obob

Posted by: oboblomov | Jun 30 2009 18:29 utc | 109

Thanks for a great blog and best of luck. If I win the lottery, you will be the first to know.

Buzz Meeks

Posted by: Buzz meeks | Jun 30 2009 18:29 utc | 110

I love you all.
And i'm crying.

massively sucks

what are we supposed to do? say goodbye?

Posted by: annie | Jun 30 2009 18:32 utc | 111

Alas, I feared something like that when you apologised, some time ago, for your limited blogging due to "problems".
Thanks for everything, B, you did a great work for a very long time - an even longer time, considering it's the internet. Best of luck to you for the future. Actually, good luck to everyone here; we're all gonna need it.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Jun 30 2009 18:35 utc | 112

Not sure what to say, but there certainly will be a void. MoA gives me energy every morning, an easy fix in renewing my hope that reality does exist, that truth does prevail...Please count me in fro financial assistance.

Posted by: camis1 | Jun 30 2009 18:41 utc | 113

I have written infrequently here, and not altogether well on the occasions when I did write. In the one opportunity I had to make a small contribution by way of a book, b's and my emails crossed oddly, not to be discovered until much later, and for that I am sorry. B once provided me space on the front page for a lament on the aftermath of Hurrican Katrina. The brief piece, which I only vaguely remember, was my shouting at the sky, a reflection of the utter despair I felt at being stuck with leaders who had so clearly crossed the border between incompetence and evil. The easier thing to do these past years would have been to tune it all out, but I kept coming back and reading pretty much every day.

I feel the recent Iran threads have been something of a low point for the community, just as I felt on occasion that there wasn't enough space between, say, anit-Likud commentary here and something broader, deeper and more troubling. American by birth, Italian Catholic by history and resident of the 3rd world for much of my life, I am not, suffice it to say (though I would probably be considered a fringe liberal in the USA now), in the sweet spot of the MofA demographic.

But.

B has shown over the years the keenest instinct I've found for finding a small story that everyone is missing, but that serves as a thread to pull many larger threads together for weaving into a coherent narrative of events that leaves a clearer and deeper understanding of our world. This was true during the worst days of the financial crisis in particular, but his talent has been displayed across a wide range of subject matter. For that, b, I offer my thanks. As a reader, though, I must admit that I am a sucker for a lovely line, and so it was r'giap's comments to which I always turned.

So to r'giap: we likely disagree on much in the world, or at least we likely have differing degrees of disagreement with much in the world, but no matter. Thank you for the poetry you have provided on these pages.

And finally to slothrop, with whom I don't think I have engaged directly: your note @52 (I think, without looking back to be sure) was delivered with a nich touch of grace, making it one of the more remarkable posts in the thread.

Best wishes to all.

Posted by: mats | Jun 30 2009 18:46 utc | 114

I am a daily lurker too and have posted just once. Terribly sad coz MoA had become a part of my daily routine, absolutely the first place I run to for sensible news from world over!

Thank you for all your hard work. And wish you the best'est'.

Sruti

Posted by: Confused | Jun 30 2009 18:48 utc | 115

Noooooooo!
Thanks for all the great work, b, you will be missed.

Posted by: Dick Durata | Jun 30 2009 18:49 utc | 116

my brother, who has been living with my wife and i these last couple of months, just asked my wife last night--what would travis (my real name) do if MoA stopped existing? my wife just laughed.

i have been trying to explain to him why i spend so much time reading/commenting, but i'm not sure he gets it, because he doesn't want to know what latest nefarious actions are afoot in the world; too depressing, he says. can't say i blame him.

anyway, trying to articulate to him why i value MoA makes the timing of this very sad development rather surreal. i think it's just beginning to dawn on me that my most cherished bookmark will soon be defunct, and it really does leave a gaping hole.

some folks have mentioned the good work b did with the georgia/russia dust up. that incident is when i realized how incredibly lucky i was to have had uncle $cam turn me on to this virtual watering hole a few years ago.

barmates: i'm gonna miss the crap out of ya'all. i hope we'll virtually meet again...

b, i wish you all the best

Posted by: Lizard | Jun 30 2009 18:58 utc | 117

lizard

i work very hard in my day to day life but there is great horror (as i know you know) when you are working in this era of late capitalism. when you are working with those who have been excluded from 'society' - it is very dark - but you know the act of doing it is an act of light - even if that light does not shine on in - so paradoxically moonofalabama - has been a source of light & in that§ sense it has taken me from a social life outside that work - i have not felt so guilty - i work with a lot of people - but the community here is like flesh to me. it has been made flesh too but even with those whom i only know by their names here

there have been heated moments here & that should come as no surprise - we are all different people & contrary to the slanders spoken - we hold vastly different opinions - different shades - & i have witnessed no evangalism - strangely it is too transparent for that. so mats it is correct to feel what you feel because there was/remains real regard. the iranian threads were for me at least - extremely tense because there are those of us who do not for one moment believe imperial power has gone nice & we suspect(with reason i think) any of its gestures, or possible gestures. but broadly most people here support the civil rights of people everywhere - i think that is self evident. we are drowned in a sea of shit - so it is likely too that we make errors, that is a correct thing - we are not going to win any medals for piety. so in that sense for me as a poster there have been low points but i am responsible for what i say - so i assume it - even when i have been driven in fury to be ugly - uglier than i would want to be

we have shared in a very particular way & in the end, for me - that is a very particular form of light

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 30 2009 19:19 utc | 118

where ever it is that we wind up, let's make sure there's a way to get the word out for all interested. no idea how long b will leave the comments section open here, so we best plan ahead. when the whiskey bar closed, jerome & others kept an email list to keep everyone informed. that worked pretty well in the interim. if there's no immediately obvious consensus on where to migrate/invade/mutate, it would probably be a good idea to leave an addie here or w/ a willing community member so that we're not just wandering aimlessly down the alley after b snuffs out the last candle & presses a couple keys to lock 'er up.

Posted by: b real | Jun 30 2009 19:25 utc | 119

What has drawn many of us to MoA, as to WB before it, was the hunger for accurate information about the problematique mondiale.

Although nothing is the same as MoA, particularly the community of commentators, I suggest that some of that same spirit can be found at places I currently frequent, viz.

theautomaticearth dot blogspot dot com
tomdispatch dot com [interesting long articles, but no comments]
counterpunch dot org [interesting articles of varying length, no comments]
chris-floyd dot com
nakedcapitalism dot com
thebaselinescenario dot com
and, with reservations, fabiusmaximus dot wordpress dot com [at which a commentor recently spoke favorably about the comments here]

The ones I've just mentioned are currently going concerns, but it's hard to make predictions, especially about the future.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. | Jun 30 2009 19:53 utc | 120

Well shit.

Although I can totally understand b's position. Doing what he's been doing these last 5 years has certainly developed into a full time non-paying, always demanding, ever encroaching, full time preoccupation. In a more perfect world we'd find a way to sustain the kind of commitment b has been serving up all these years maintaining this forum. It's sad to see such efforts repeat what now seems to be symptomatic of insightful lefty bloggers finally burning out when so many benefit in terms of community, education, and networks of solidarity. To see the likes of an Arthur Silber reduced to begging for next months rent money and cat food, when the work being done is so important in truly understanding the real world stories buried so deep under the festering sediments of propaganda. The world is in dire need of a new paradigm, and I think the work being done here represent the beginnings of redefining both journalism, historical narrative, and ideology. This is hard and difficult work (like the Iran threads proved) but necessary in coming to grips with what looks like a darker future, should this task continue to founder due to lack of funds.

You've done a great job Bernhard, and we've all benefited from your own significant development as a writer/journalist/bloghost. I'm grateful for your selfless contribution - which also applies to those many others who have contributed countless hours of effort to our mutual betterment.

Bernhard, send me an e-mail with your address & I'll send ya something.

many thanks,
Jack

Posted by: anna missed | Jun 30 2009 20:04 utc | 121

Thanks for all your efforts Bernhard, they have been much appreciated...

will miss your commentary and insight... as well as the posts of the regulars and others...

so much is changing...

I understand why you're closing the bar... nevertheless, I am very sad... you will be much missed...

Posted by: crone | Jun 30 2009 20:09 utc | 122

Whoa. Didn't see this one coming.

I guess, now I won't be spending here all that time during which I should've instead been studying for school.

Posted by: Cloud | Jun 30 2009 20:19 utc | 123

I'll probably hang out at http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/>Proyect's place.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 30 2009 20:20 utc | 124

This is a message for DavidS and r'giap and is truncated from an email reply from Bernhard:

...you will have to ask him for that yourself in a comment. He is, I think , likely to read it and to respond. Same for r'giap - I don't have a current address for him.

Again thanks for the kind words on the blog.

Best

bernhard

david sheegog wrote:
Bernhard, I would like to ask a favor if its not breaking the rules. I live in Denver most of the year, and am a river nut of sorts and would like for you to forward my email address to DavidS of your blog with this message. I have long admired his posts, then, have discovered with today's comment, that he is something of a river nut himself.

The rest of the year I live in southern France, NE of Carcassonne on the River Clamoux. I think rememberinggiap may be my favorite poster and if he is not too far away from Cabrespine I would like to take him to lunch, or at least have an internet conversation or two with him. I'll be passing through Paris the week of August 17 on my way south. My email is davidsheegog@yahoo.com

I am very, very sad with the demise of your blog - my first site every morning, even before coffee. There is not another single place or even a combination of places that can replace MoA. I wish all the best of everything for you.

PS: If you are ever in southern France, you are always welcome in my home. I'm in the phone book.

David Sheegog
PO Box 13281
Denver, CO 80207

David SHEEGOG
Hameau de LAVAL
11160 CABRESPINE
FRANCE

Posted by: ds | Jun 30 2009 20:28 utc | 125

B has shown over the years the keenest instinct I've found for finding a small story that everyone is missing, but that serves as a thread to pull many larger threads together for weaving into a coherent narrative of events that leaves a clearer and deeper understanding of our world. This was true during the worst days of the financial crisis in particular, but his talent has been displayed across a wide range of subject matter.

So true, mats @ 114. I will so miss this place, Bernhard, all the commenters with their intriguing links, remarks.

Again,my thnks to Bernhard for all I've learned. And what mats wrote is spot on: Bernhard finds the little bits the powerful and the MCM* allow to get out, puts them together, and, suddenly, some thought that was just a guess or niggling worry clarifies and reality comes through.

*MCM--Mainstream Corporate Media

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 30 2009 21:05 utc | 126

You somehow managed to pierce my heart while hanging the moon for me, Bernhard! I'll forgive you for doing this to me only if you promise me that you'll make your presence known on the Blogosphere from time to time. Believe me, I'll keep an eye out for you.

Whatever you decide to do next, whether it's bloggish or not, I wish you all the best. I do hope, as all of us do, that whoever opens the next whiskey bar (lit by Luna, of course) will do so in your honor. Even though I wasn't here many moons ago when billmon was basking in the moonlight, you have shown me that you outshine him in every way imaginable. So whoever steps into your shoes will have a very tough act to follow, but I'm sure they'll do their damnedest to follow in your footstep, every step of the way.

Moons come and go, but yours will always remain with me. And as tears stream down my face and onto my keyboard, all the coldness of my ones and zeros that I'm sending your way are wrapped in the warmth of my hugs and kisses.

Thanks for a blog well done, you and your barflies will be sorely missed.

Love,

Cynthia

Posted by: Cynthia | Jun 30 2009 21:06 utc | 127

Thinking back, the Georgia-Russia conflict brought me here as well. I first heard about this conflict from, believe it or not, a very right-leaning, neoconnish blogger from Eastern Europe. So when he, of all people, reported that the Georgians fired first, while the so-called "left-leaning" NYT reported to the contrary, I knew from then on out that I could never, ever trust America's MSM for giving me accurate information on just about anything, especially as it relates to foreign affairs!

Posted by: Cynthia | Jun 30 2009 21:20 utc | 128

b,

Thanks for all the hard work you have done with your blog. All the best to you in your future endeavors. The world certainly looks much darker today. I will strive to find another blog that can hold my attention as well as you have, but doubt that I will ever find one.

You will truly be missed!

Posted by: cut and run, terrorist lieberal | Jun 30 2009 22:03 utc | 129

Since I'm now a teetotaler, I lift my esoteric rhubarb soda in toast. Farewell, and thanks! This site made me depressed as hell, but at least it was truthful and humane. Now I have to go find some other rail to which I can press my worried ear.

Good luck, Bernhard. As we bicyclists say, "Keep it rolling!"

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Jun 30 2009 22:27 utc | 130

Thanks b,
For the last few months, I lurked here with pleasure.
Good Luck!

Posted by: A.P. | Jun 30 2009 22:28 utc | 131

Thanks b. Unlike the people whe come here first I like to wait untill the comments get going. There are a lot of articulate people who help b make this a first rate blog. I'll miss the comments almost as much as I miss b's great posts. Count on me for some $ if you find a way to keep MoA going. I don't know if I could afford $20 a month but I could at least do $10.
Thanks again Bernhard

Posted by: Sgt Dan | Jun 30 2009 22:42 utc | 132

5 Jahre excellente Analyse von b und meist brilliante Kommentaren engagierter und informierter Leser machten aus MOA die präziseste Nachrichtenquelle und den empfindlichsten Termometer, die mir zur Verfügung standen, besser als "Echo der Zeit" und NZZ zusammengenommen. Danke.

Posted by: beni | Jun 30 2009 22:55 utc | 133

Nice to see the overwhelming warm response. Count me in for a financial contribution if you choose that route b.

A friendly hello from an ex Today in Iraq poster to cloned poster as I din't know you were Friendly Fire. Don't allow the goodness from within your heart to be discouraged by our failure to stop that disaster. As the testimony of this blog and its many fine patrons shows the truth shall be told. The World is changing and even the blind will have to face the truth eventually.

Posted by: Sam | Jun 30 2009 23:15 utc | 134

Well, it's been a great run b.

I say you are one of the savviest analysts out there; and my bottom line on geopolitical news. Your ability to thread the eye of the needle in moderating a forum for enlightened debate on really tough issues is also in my experience unmatched on line. If any of the for-pay research firms or think tanks (I'm thinking ISI, Yardeni, Stratfor...) had any sense they would have sponsored you long ago.

I'm pleased I had a chance to plug you in my own 5 minutes of fame; and am only sorry that the sporadic drops in the tip jar didn't make a real-world difference.

I'll keep an eye out for you on the 'tubes; and leave the RSS feed open just in case you do get a sponsor :-)

All the best.
PeeDee

Posted by: PeeDee | Jun 30 2009 23:34 utc | 135

ps. Where has the tip jar gone? I'm thinking of the PayPal link.

Posted by: PeeDee | Jun 30 2009 23:41 utc | 136

b, please don't go forever!

let some of us help make a comfy gorgeous pillow for you to loll on, now and then casting out a lightning bolt or the light of new dawn!

or - it would just be so good to know that you are extant, somewhere, being yourself!

Posted by: lambent1 | Jun 30 2009 23:47 utc | 137


As much as I appreciate this forum, action speaks louder than words. And thanks to you, many of those who have passed through here are going to make a difference. Mandela after 27 years in solitary confinement, came out intact & even stronger. His main advantage over us is he had a lot more time to sort out his thoughts & findings.

Good Luck B.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jun 30 2009 23:49 utc | 138

Oh!

Damn my karma! I just found this place the other day, and moved you straight to the top of my bookmarks, while heavily considering asking you if you'd marry me, and, bip-bam....

Oh!

I don't know what I'm talking about, but I know what I've lost.

Be well, and be safe, and be strong.... XOXOXOXOX

Posted by: 99 | Jun 30 2009 23:57 utc | 139

Oof. Ow. Shit.

I hope you're very proud of what you did here.

Posted by: ...---... | Jul 1 2009 0:12 utc | 140

Someone mentioned that Billmon had made a recent appearance here. I searched but could not find it. Did he post here? If so, which thread?

Posted by: airtommy | Jul 1 2009 0:26 utc | 141

I got to this blog via some link and just love it. In fact have recommended it to many friends and followed links from here to some very exciting places. I first posted as Hoss and then forgot my nic here and used Hasho.

I understand your personal situation but this blog sure can be managed as a collaborative effort. Some regulars instead of many posts,can start new threads. Posters here are certainly knowledgeable and have great insight on many issues. Instead of you doing all the work, let a selected few post their ideas as new threads.
Hosting is not expensive nowadays and people can pitch in.
Some trusted posters can be given posting rights and others can initiate threads via emails. Think about it. I sure would love to visit this site as much as I can.

Thanks and really appreciate all the good work you have put in.

Posted by: Hasho | Jul 1 2009 0:46 utc | 142

Wow, what a shame! Although I'm a newbie here at MOA, I've come to it daily for info and opinions I can't get elsewhere.

Thanks B, and to those you acknowledge above, for all the info and thought provoking dialogues.

Be well Bernhard, and thanks again for all you did to keep the world better informed.

Namaste.

Posted by: Larue | Jul 1 2009 0:50 utc | 143

Thank You Bernard. You will be missed.

Posted by: pb | Jul 1 2009 0:58 utc | 144

airtommy @141: billmon's comment was in Arnold Evans' front paged piece. i reposted billmon's comment in the open thread, because it has no place in this farewell thread.

Posted by: Lizard | Jul 1 2009 1:10 utc | 145

ô surely it is a melancholy day & night

& there is a report about a prisoner who was crucified at abu ghraib - what a world - so little light

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jul 1 2009 1:23 utc | 146


slothrop@52
very casual of you to overlook the checks & balances intended in the USA constitution as well as those of many other human societies. Hence you are not qualified to have an opinion on "empire thesis"

FYI, its only in your mind that there must be a conflict between nationalism & leftist agenda.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jul 1 2009 1:26 utc | 147

Best Wishes b,

There is sadness around my heart. I will miss my daily visits. Uncensored enlightened thought is missed as much as it is cherished when found.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Jul 1 2009 1:38 utc | 148

The Central Intelligence Agency crucified a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, according to a report published in The New Yorker magazine.

“A forensic examiner found that he (the prisoner) had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs,” the magazine’s Jane Mayer writes in the magazine’s June 22nd issue. “Military pathologists classified the case a homicide.” The date of the murder was not given.

“No criminal charges have ever been brought against any C.I.A. officer involved in the torture program, despite the fact that at least three prisoners interrogated by agency personnel died as a result of mistreatment,” Mayer notes.

An earlier report, by John Hendren in The Los Angeles Times indicted other torture killings. And Human Rights First says nearly 100 detainees have died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hendren reported that one Manadel Jamadi died “of blunt-force injuries” complicated by “compromised respiration” at Abu Ghraib prison “while he was with Navy SEALs and other special operations troops.” Another victim, Abdul Jaleel, died while gagged and shackled to a cell door with his hands over his head.” Yet another prisoner, Maj. Gen. Abid Mowhosh, former commander of Iraq’s air defenses, “died of asphyxiation due to smothering and chest compression” in Qaim, Iraq.

"There is no question that U.S. interrogations have resulted in deaths," says Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU. "High-ranking officials who knew about the torture and sat on their hands and those who created and endorsed these policies must be held accountable. America must stop putting its head in the sand and deal with the torture scandal." At least scores of detainees in U.S. custody have died and homicide is suspected. As far back as May, 2004, the Pentagon conceded at least 37 deaths of prisoners in its custody in Iraq and Afghanistan had prompted investigations.

Nathaniel Raymond, of Physicians for Human Rights, told The New Yorker, “We still don’t know how many detainees were in the black sites, or who they were. We don’t fully know the White House’s role, or the C.I.A.’s role. We need a full accounting, especially as it relates to health professionals.”

Recently released Justice memos, he noted, contain numerous references to CIA medical personnel participating in coercive interrogation sessions. “They were the designers, the legitimizers, and the implementers,” Raymond said. “This is arguably the single greatest medical-ethics scandal in American history. We need answers.”

The ACLU obtained its information from the Pentagon through a Freedom of Information suit. Documents received included 44 autopsies and death reports as well as a summary of autopsy reports of people seized in Iraq and Afghanistan. An ACLU statement noted, “This covers just a fraction of the total number of Iraqis and Afghanis who have died while in U.S. custody.” (Italics added).

Torture by the CIA has been facilitated by the Agency’s ability to hide prisoners in “black sites” kept secret from the Red Cross, to hold prisoners off the books, and to detain them for years without bringing charges or providing them with lawyers.

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, denounced the Obama administration for considering “prevention detention,” The New Yorker’s Mayer wrote. Roth said this tactic “mimics the Bush Administration’s abusive approach.”

From all indications, CIA Director Panetta has no intention of bringing to justice CIA officials involved in the systematic torture of prisoners. Panetta told Mayer, “I’m going to give people the benefit of the doubt…If they do the job that they’re paid to do, I can’t ask for a hell of a lot more.”

Such sentiments differ markedly from those Panetta wrote in an article published last year in the January Washington Monthly: “We either believe in the dignity of the individual, the rule of law, and the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, or we don’t. There is no middle ground.”

One way to discern who really runs a country is to look to see which individuals, if any, are above the law. In the Obama administration, like its predecessors, they include the employees of the CIA. Crucifixions they execute in the Middle East differ from those reported in the New Testament in at least one important respect: Jesus Christ had a trial.

from global research - h/t fran

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jul 1 2009 1:39 utc | 149

Bernhard

Most of all thank you for your years of good work. I've been scrolling down and reading all these tributes and I want to say as others have that this is a sad day. Moon of Alabama is where I have felt most at home; you have done more good here than you can imagine. I know that all who praised you understand that this place is a real community and that it exists because of your patience, intellectual rigor; and it has become dear to us most of all because of your kindness and humor, and an integrity that has never failed us. I hope you will recover quickly from the financial trouble and will land on your feet. You know that my best wishes are with you. We will all be thinking about you.

Some of the best minds and the most artful writing have appeared on these comment threads. Wonderful people is what I want to say. Perspectives from throughout this world have made their presence felt. My thanks is especially strong for those around us here, for a bond of friendship that is so very real to me.

You have my thanks again, Bernhard. And you have won my heart on so many occasions. Be well. Take care of yourself.

Posted by: Copeland | Jul 1 2009 1:46 utc | 150

b, please don't go forever!

maybe after a little vacation you will miss us. since you are keeping things open for b real's africa thread, maybe oh maybe you can just ease into it with once in awhile postings and stuff.

think about it, sleep on it. have a loverly summer and then, rethink! what will we do without you and moon b?

i'm an addict.

Posted by: annie | Jul 1 2009 2:11 utc | 151

Wait! I just got here. Oh well, this has been a great blog, the comments have often been a big part of the story even though the last few weeks have been somewhat of a trial. Good luck to all, we will need it.

Posted by: yuri | Jul 1 2009 2:11 utc | 152


First Michael Jackson's death and now this - b is closing the bar - what a week! Thank you b - for your humanity. Your energy in creating a space for learning, discussing and meeting the most amazing people. You have been a capable bar tender, generous in your updates, original in your critical take and provocative in your postings.

The sense of love and respect that many an old timer or tender foot of MoA have expressed on this occasion are a testament to you as a person and to MoA as a forum for true dialogue. I will miss the high caliber thinking and the respect, passion and vehement disagreements that have animated these MoA postings. I will particularly miss my fellow bar crawlers ... people like b real, r'giap etc.. As many have offered so do I -- offer my share of finance. Let us know.

I wish you health and peace.


Posted by: BenIAM | Jul 1 2009 2:26 utc | 153

remembereringgiap,

I will sure miss my Stalinist Fruitcake. Take heart and take care.

Posted by: Lish | Jul 1 2009 5:24 utc | 154

Schade. I hope this doesn't become a trend with my favored sites. I'll miss the analysis, links, and daily lurking here. Your work and point of view have been unique and appreciated.

best wishes, b.

Posted by: Compound F | Jul 1 2009 5:30 utc | 155

This is sad news, as MoA is one of very few -- five, count'em -- permanent tabs in my browser. Bernhard, thank you very very much for your efforts -- research, writing, and admin. I will miss it. Where to go next? does the old Speakeasy site (was going to be a WB successor) still exist? European Tribune may comfortably accommodate some of the old gang, but it ain't the same...

well... "Absent Friends!" (glass raised) and many bouquets for B.

Posted by: DeAnander | Jul 1 2009 5:35 utc | 156

I read 'The Daily Palestinian'. It is very dreary, depressing reading indeed. One can only guess what it's like for Palestinians if just reading about what they have to go through makes us so despondent that we just give up. Still, I do understand. I'm not there yet though there are times when I want to do just that. Thinking about Craig Murray's observation sometimes help: “The thing with tyranny is that, if you don’t try to fight it when it starts, it very quickly gets too strong for you. If you achieve a voice that will be heard, you should use it to speak up for the voiceless and oppressed. If you possess any power or authority, you must strive to use it to help and to empower the powerless.” Perhaps one day, even that won't be enough. Hopefully it won't be soon.

I must say that I did try to stop once. It was even less peaceful. And so my wish for you, b, is that you find peace in your new endeavours. It may turn out to be the most difficult part of your journey. Finding Peace, I mean.


Posted by: ptw | Jul 1 2009 5:46 utc | 157

b, don't go away. tell us how much you need, you'll get it. dig????

Posted by: $$$ anonymous | Jul 1 2009 5:48 utc | 158

I think the problem is that many conservative blogs know how to make money, while those with a contrary point of view apparently don't.

You have a built-in community here, who value you and your insights. It would probably be easy for you to write some more extensive reports of your analyses, turn them into PDF files, and then sell them directly from the website to the readers. This would not only support the costs of the site, but would also make a profit for yourself. The more traffic you get (and you've shown it's growing), the more your profits would grow too. You could still write blog entries for free, but sell your own more detailed analyses to your captive audience here.

That's what I would do. A community who respect you is a valuable thing. It's lunacy, IMHO, to throw it away.

Posted by: FredZed | Jul 1 2009 6:06 utc | 159

I am a lurker. I am also struck by the loss of this great meeting of minds, minds unclouded by the heavy preconceived narratives that confine thought elsewhere. Truly you have a piercing mind set apart, b. Thank you for letting us in on your thinking. I respect your decision to move on elsewhere.

I echo the wishes of others, of finding a new place to congregate. I have brief thoughts in relation to this. A proposal: The establishment of a forum, where users can create their own topics, and continue discussion on current events and perhaps longer term topics. I have in mind a cross between "the oil drum", where there is a daily open thread where people can post links and commentary on whatever topics they please, and where single focused topic specific entries can be placed on the front page, and an average bulletin board forums system, where users can create threads that concern them, and discuss things inside.

This site can be user driven, thus negating the need for your prolific single handed posting. It will live or die on that user participation. The site's general topic can be geopolitics, anti-imperialism, and whatever else people care about.

I do not have the relevant skills or creativity in order to create such a website. I can try to learn however, and perhaps will take that up as a summer project. Of further proposal would be for you to take up the financial offers contained herewithin, and continue on for a month or two while you corral voluntary efforts to create such a website. A simple bulletin board software based forum will suffice for the early stages.

I do not mean to impose with this idea, but there it is. If it is not taken up, then I say for last, good luck with your life, b and others.

Posted by: Kevin B | Jul 1 2009 6:33 utc | 160

i've been a regular reader since early WB days and am very grateful for all that has been done here.

my very sincere thanks to bernhard and also to all the commenters. for your compassion, analysis, skepticism and no tolerance for bs and most of all for your generous spirits -- thank you.

Posted by: selise | Jul 1 2009 7:08 utc | 161

Thanks for running such an awesome blog. Thanks b.

Posted by: Alister | Jul 1 2009 7:26 utc | 162

I woke up (it’s middle of the night here) thinking of the moon but it's overcast here in more ways than one. You’re right annie. I may not get over the sadness unless it turns to something other. I’m not sure but maybe it’s turning into fear.

Slothrop said:
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.

Empire or not, what the hell happens when the forum for that diagnosis disappears? The solidarity disappears? I fear yes. It is an ominous sign.

Many of us ‘old bees’ who gravitated here from Whiskey Bar felt the same emotions when it closed. Several tries were made to keep the diagnosticians diagnosing but it was the MOA that persisted and thrived. I believe fear must be transcended by love. Love for the search for truth in this case. There are too many here who fall into that category and it will be a sorry day for humanity if the forums for that no longer exist. In a world so dark the light from the Moon was what kept me (us?) from utter despair.

I sense that that light is too important to so many of us that it will again find a resting place and I hope soon. But from the pragmatic perspective, how will we know where to look? Who will be the next torchbearer? How will we all find out? Luckily I had posted my email address in the Bar and Bernhard was astute enough to find it and contact me when he opened the Moon. Even more appreciation b. Of course I would gladly contribute if indeed donations would make a difference but I sense it more than just finances that motivated Bernhard’s decision.

We must somehow keep in touch until we find our new home. Accordingly I again add my contact email in hopes that I will be kept informed.

No matter what I join with all those who have spoken the l word. Much love to you b and all those who have made this establishment such a bright home.

I have loved that so many lurkers have come out into the open. My love extends to you all also.

Posted by: Juannie | Jul 1 2009 7:38 utc | 163

Why didn't my email show up? I filled in the box.
johnhball@aol.com

Posted by: Juannie | Jul 1 2009 7:40 utc | 164

When I discovered blogs about a year before Billmon shut down, it was one of the greatest awakenings in my life. I knew we were out there, but the inability to find each other and share thoughts and events from our remote corners was at it's darkest point for me. For a couple of years it was like a lucky streak that just would not stop... living in a big city and finding a perfect parking spot on every errand.

MOA has been that special smoke filled coffee house for me... to small to ever lose it's core, its ambiance... just enough salty dogs to make sure the riffraff didn't get too comfortable. For one thing is certain, if you didn't find comfort in facing the madness or being challenged... this old blog would chew you up and toss you out on the sidewalk without pause. Part of the fun was watching folks get up, dust themselves off, and either walk back in or scurry off into the fog.

Today was a day of deep loss on several levels for me, so it's more than fitting that I stumble in to find I may never roll a cigarette and smoke and drink inside this old coffee house with a group of this sort again. The lucky streak of finding a perfect parking spot elsewhere has come to and end. Blogs and discussions like these are increasingly difficult to find. Seems like most of the good stuff happens on private lists, often gets lost or ignored inside the large blogs, or falls into specialized exclusive categories nowadays.

So for now, I wish b and everyone else the best, with a warm thanks for all those who shared this place in silence or with a bullhorn.

I wish I could buy you all one last round.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Jul 1 2009 8:08 utc | 165

just out of words right now!!
B, i hope you get back on your feets quickly - financially speaking. If i had a job and money i would sponsor you and this site.
What am i going to read now?

little boat in a sea of shit, well spoken rgiab.

I am going to miss this place and the lovely people who hang out.

Drinks for all


sabine

Posted by: sabine | Jul 1 2009 8:38 utc | 166

Nooooohhh!!!

Posted by: Emma | Jul 1 2009 8:42 utc | 167

@Juannie #163
Likewise :(
Outraged@highlander.ftphost.net

Posted by: Outraged | Jul 1 2009 9:20 utc | 168

Juannie; outraged

if there is a new watering hole please let me know.

sabine_benn@yahoo.com

cheers
s

Posted by: sabine | Jul 1 2009 9:24 utc | 169

i have been lurking(and sometimes posting) here for years, this is a loss.
MOA had a few things that i haven't found anywhere in the blogosphere.
integrity, diff b/w right and wrong and that without an axe to grind. this so rare to the point of non-existence.
thank you for picking up the the torch carrying it for a few years, your contributions to keeping truth alive while so many try to strangle and smother it have been invaluable. will they be irreplaceable, i don't know but i hope not, but fear, yes. torch is laying on the ground, who will pick it up, is there anyone?
thank you for all the effort you have made to keep the truth alive.
good luck in your future endeavors.

Posted by: holy | Jul 1 2009 9:27 utc | 170

Turn my back for one day and look what happens...

I've been lurking mostly for months because I learn more by reading than I add by commenting.

I found MoA after billmon shut down when I stumbled across Kate Storm on another blog.

Bernhard, I don't know what to say. To make so many friends and lose them in the air. How rich these five(!?) years have been. I can't imagine my life without MoA. I haven't read the comments yet but I'll be glad to contribute $ to keep this community together if that's possible.

I will never forget those days in Hamburg, Berlin, and Lubeck. They seem like a dream now but indelible. Thank you for everything you did and have done for us and for me, especially, posting my art after I wrote to you with a question about viruses. Seeing it here always made me feel validated.

I love you. Good luck Bernhard.

Posted by: beq | Jul 1 2009 11:16 utc | 171

I think this is highly appropriate for this thread. And reinforces my post at #163. Interesting, I just ran across it.

Our economic crisis -- despite the corporate media circus around the death of Michael Jackson or Gov. Mark Sanford's marital infidelity or the outfits of Sacha Baron Cohen's latest incarnation, Brüno -- barrels forward. And this crisis will lead to a period of profound political turmoil and change. Those who care about the plight of the working class and the poor must begin to mobilize quickly or we will lose our last opportunity to save our embattled democracy. The most important struggle will be to wrest the organs of communication from corporations that use mass media to demonize movements of social change and empower proto-fascist movements such as the Christian right.

Posted by: Juannie | Jul 1 2009 11:22 utc | 172

If anyone wants to invite me along, my work address is;

staff@thefreedailyobserver.com

If you want an electronic issue of the FDO email me and I'll send one out... if you like it I can keep them coming or not as you desire.

A far, far cry from the Moon, but I do actually print the beast once or twice-a-week, depending on how busy I am.

I'll miss the rational dialog and all the smart people who are good at calling bull feces, "shit"

Posted by: DavidS | Jul 1 2009 11:56 utc | 173

Lubeck! you won't be loosing me beq, i'm afraid you're stuck w/me for life.

Posted by: annie | Jul 1 2009 12:29 utc | 174

b, don't go away. tell us how much you need, you'll get it. dig????

put the paypal back up, i'll send some dough today.

Posted by: anon | Jul 1 2009 12:44 utc | 175

Thanks, Bernhard, for all you’ve done. I’ve imagined myself trying to host this effort and find that it demands a level of understanding, courtesy and speedreading far far beyond my own. You deserve credit for exposing the Georgia issue as you did. But actually I learned more from the Iran shoutout of recent days, learning to rein in my kneejerk impulse to support apparent opposition movements. This takes meticulous care, in a web full of flamers.

I’ll meet you all somewhere. Perhaps I’ll be googling “Stalinist fruitcake” for several months to come, or maybe lines from Brecht, to see where the barflies reappear. More likely, I’ll spend less time on the web; been promising myself to work locally. There are two versions of Joe Hill’s last words, but they both work here. “Don’t mourn for me boys, organize.” Or “Good luck to all of you.”

Posted by: Browning | Jul 1 2009 12:45 utc | 176

[b.]
I'm sad to see you go. Over the five years of mostly lurking – what a silly way of saying, rather, after five years of avid reading – and occasional posting, the Moon has been one of the most enriching discussion-filled spaces this side of the sun. A huge thank you. Have fun with whatever you'll try in the future.
(and I hope you don't mind, but before the lights go out on MOA, I'll WGET it to keep an archive).

---
If ever a Moa.next comes to light would you kindly invite me ?
phiw13[at]gmail.com.
If you need some help to set to place, I can help out with design and development (html has been my trade for the past few years). Financially, I won't be any good, as I'm about to join the less then well employed.

Posted by: philippe | Jul 1 2009 13:01 utc | 177

Please reconsider. I'd pay a subscription fee as many here would. I could work out. Please think about it.

Posted by: Hmm | Jul 1 2009 13:29 utc | 178

I take a day off from the computer and look what happens!!!

b, after spending years at the Whiskey Bar, I was so relieved and grateful when you created MOA. Now to hear it is being shut down has me feeling devastated. You been such a wonderful host with such remarkable insight and patience. And you have attracted the best commentators I have found on the internet.

b, you gave us several reasons for shutting down. Maybe I am optimistic, but I don't feel any of them are insurmountable. I would never pry into your personal life, but is there a chance we can try to remedy the problems stated and perhaps keep the Moon shining? If there is any possibility, you have some really great thinkers and doers here.

Posted by: ensley | Jul 1 2009 13:45 utc | 179

Thank you for the excellent analysis and news-gathering.
I too would be happy to contribute financially if you decide to re-start in the future. Best wishes.

Posted by: Watson | Jul 1 2009 13:47 utc | 180

melancholy for another day - i've seen so many requiems that i do not feel like writing a requiem for what was a kiving thing in my life

my work is by its very basis political - but until the invasion of iraq - international politics were interpreted more by insinct & then by reading

but it was the community at billmon - then b & thiscommunity that dmanded that i refine it. at first i thought it was, an intimate thing, being virtual & then i found almost immediately that the discussions we have here impaced on my life & work here in the best possible way

i suppose here i was a communist who through my work rather than argument tried to exhibit a form of exemplarity but then b & moon took me nack to the place where i belong - where politics is placed at the centre & given the times we have & we are living through - that is a necessity for my communities & for myself

some might suggest that i cam with the ideas fully formed - well that was not the case - from billmon to here - my anti imperialism became more than vocal - it became the essence of my existence - by looking, examining & witnessing the world through the site of this community & b' perceptive posts at a relatively late stage of my life - militancy became me & i am proud that b & this community engaged me in this not inconsiderable polemic

in france especially it would have been easy to rest on my laurels as a known poet & one of the few doing community work all year round - now for nearly twenty years in an association - le dernier spectateur (dernierspectateur@orange.fr) but this community showed me the necessity - that i was borne & political animal & i shall die as one

(b now has my email & i give him the authority to share it but really i hope something miraculous happens & b is able to see a way through this - tho i know hard living decently, properly is - to lead our conversations)

venceremos

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jul 1 2009 13:54 utc | 181

You been such a wonderful host with such remarkable insight and patience. And you have attracted the best commentators I have found on the internet.

The Bernhard’est obstacle to founding another site would be to find as perfect a host as b. Without that, we would probably fail. If another were founded with someone else doing the menial stuff perhaps b would continue to write headlines and then pass along his BS filter output. I’d send money for that.

Once again, nay most always r’giap, you say it like I only wish I could:

from billmon to here - my anti imperialism became more than vocal - it became the essence of my existence - by looking, examining & witnessing the world through the site of this community & b' perceptive posts at a relatively late stage of my life - militancy became me & i am proud that b & this community engaged me in this not inconsiderable polemic

ditto, and I’m even older than you steel. I think Billmon failed to arrive where b has because he lacked b’s high level of magnanimity. That is not a put down to Billmon. I wish he’d hang here more. We need someone to so eloquently call a fruitcake when he sees one even if I or others don’t agree. But we also need the qualities of b to keep a site going and in right order.

Let’s brainstorm gang and see what we can come up with.

Posted by: Juannie | Jul 1 2009 14:49 utc | 182

Would you be averse to accepting free hosting? I think I might be able to help you out - drop me an email.

Posted by: Aziz Poonawalla | Jul 1 2009 14:49 utc | 183

goodnight, moon

belief is a narrative we tell ourselves
or adopt out of laziness, or fear
seeing only what the roaming eye sees
crisp images of dissent when it suits them
and the latest underage delicacy
issued like dollars from reckless presses
ad nauseum

so we just narrative along, often longingly
perplexed by chips of cement
and the impressive persistence of weeds
long enough but not too long--
the song shifting constantly and song count
creeping like deficit toward
absurdity

and the perplexing parts stay volatile
as the sickly lens luridly loves itself
as each flaw copies exponentially
blooming like screen-saving fractals

and a light somewhere in Germany
just went dark, as a light somewhere else
flickers uncertainly, as light in general
suffers inattention and fatigue

we cannot let honest eyes slip
the game is killing the people
and this gathering darkness is more
than merely the absence of light
this gathering darkness is war
and a willful blindness of sight

goodnight, moon

Posted by: Lizard | Jul 1 2009 14:51 utc | 184

b,
So sorry to hear about your personal situation. Hope that improves right away. Loved this site. If ever you revive it, the audience is waiting. Good luck!

Posted by: whenwego | Jul 1 2009 15:20 utc | 185

Hallo all,

I´ve found this site nearly a year ago, surprisingly through a comment on an article in the NYT in which this blog was heavily recommended. and the depth of the analysis on international and world economic crisis / affairs immediately made me to read it nearly every day and to become my absolute favorite leftist blog. So I´m unhappy with b´s decision as nearly everybody else here and would offer my financial help as many here if it only were financial. It´s a personal decision b has made and I don´t wanna dig into it. If he feels he has to move it´s solely up to him. So for us as readers and contributors we have more to do to keep this site and the valuable discussions here than offer financial help to b. we are (supposedly) more or less some kind of letists or "linksradikale". our problem as always is organisation, so lets organise this blog with b`s help but not with his only responsibility.

That said I would support hasho@142 to try to organise this blog as a group of committed people, ask for b´s advise but keep his privacy. Beside some financial support I can contribute some sources on southern african and south american countries, on energy questions and problems of environmental policies in an imperialist / empire / nationalist economies framework. I´m living most of the time in Germany but feel as a world citizen so its in my very personal interest to get this blog running further on.

what about all of you else??? trying???

Posted by: thomas | Jul 1 2009 16:26 utc | 186

Good Luck;b

Posted by: par4 | Jul 1 2009 16:45 utc | 187

Like everyone else, I learned a lot here. While I haven't been around as long as others, once I did find it, MoA became an invaluable forum for cutting through the bs and pointing me toward stories I wouldn't have noticed anywhere else. I'm sad to see it go. Nevertheless, thanks for the forum while it did last, b, and I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Posted by: conqueso | Jul 1 2009 18:13 utc | 188

Well, b, I had an idea it was coming -- actually, it's amazing you kept it up so long.

The archives should obviously be saved in some fashion, on what ever media is most suitable.

The other alternatives several have mentioned for continuing in a new fashion are interesting -- but think about the consept, it can't just be a continuation of MoA just as MoA was not just a continuation of the WB.

Indeed, it was amazing how b took up Bilmon's mantle and carried on, renewing the WB concept as MoA -- whether another or a small group could turn the trick again, well, we will see what happens


Posted by: Chuck Cliff | Jul 1 2009 18:17 utc | 189

I'm just stuck in the anger and depression phases of grief here, but I admire those of you who are bargaining so vehemently.

Just like Juannie @ 164, I fill out the little box, but my email doesn't show up. Send an email to Monolycus@aol.com to keep me in the loop, please.

Posted by: Monolycus | Jul 1 2009 19:02 utc | 190

Sad. This was my number-one example for how blogs should be, and how they can offer serious and profound analysis & debates. Nothing like it in terms of quality, at least nothing I have seen around the net.

Your extraordinary commitment made it to what it was. I understand it must have been draining a lot of energy, too. After all, most of the topics you dived into have not been particular uplifting. So while I am really sad about your decision - you deserve the time-out from all this depressing global developments like no one else.

Thank you, for all your time and energy, and Godspeed.

Posted by: lurking snafu | Jul 1 2009 19:22 utc | 191

b

Just wanted you to know that I really appreciated your commitment to facts and analysis and of course your view point although I did not agree with it all the time. I frequented MoA to get a more incisive point of view that was typically obscured by the propagandist corporate media.

Being the proprietor of a political and news oriented blog is no easy task considering the diverse opinions and passions that an issue raises. Not only did you handle it well but in my opinion you were also extremely fair and tolerant.

Now it seems that all good things must come to an end. So I wish you well and good health. And would love to buy you a drink in person if I can connect with you when I am next in Europe.

If you change your mind after much needed rest, recuperation and reflection and need to make MoA more than just a labor of love I would be a very happy paid up subscriber.

Cheers, b, Good luck!!

Posted by: ab initio | Jul 1 2009 20:32 utc | 192

b--

Sometime, when you have the time to wade through all these comments, please receive my belated thanks for the good work you have done this last half decade (nearly) in maintaining one of the best sources of information and analysis on the internet. That is a personal opinion, but it is meant. A larger site, or a more popular one, could not have had the focus and clarity that you have brought here, nor have attracted and held the thoughtful people who have visited and contributed.

The corrollary is, of course, that I am very sad that you are having to close it down. Still, times are changing, for everybody, and one has to face and deal with whatever is closest to hand. Many good things are about to pass away. Some of those good things will have generated benevolent consequences that persist, and I belive MOA is one of these latter.

In gratitude, I say, may you have the best success with your new endeavors!

To those thoughtful people who have posted here--

This is, in all likelihood, goodbye. We may meet again, somewhere on the internet, but we may not. Thank you for the caring concern that you have brought to the task of understanding the reality behind purported events. Please accept my gratitude and good wishes!

--Gaianne

Posted by: Gaianne | Jul 1 2009 20:32 utc | 193

I experienced sort of a panic attack yesterday after reading this post by Bernhard and I say this in all seriousness. When things start looking bad, I get nervous and so I needed to compose my nerves a little before writing anything.

There is not another site that questions our media as Bernhard and many of our regulars do here and on such a variety of topics. A common theme has been our twisted media that we can no longer trust; yet there are other themes underlying our many topics. Lizard’ last line of his poem above says it well:


we cannot let honest eyes slip
the game is killing the people
and this gathering darkness is more
than merely the absence of light
this gathering darkness is war
and a willful blindness of sight

Although there is often disagreement among us, the concern for human dignity and human rights are at the forefront of our concerns. There is a war going on like never before in human history. With modern technology and globalization in its many forms, with a structure and a completeness that has never existed until this day, we now find ourselves in a war against the common people of this world. The war is against the people by a powerful and ever more connected elite. We are at a crucial moment in history. I have a disturbing feeling that things will be changing very quickly now in the next few years – not for the better and on a global scale. It is not too late but we must work harder than ever. People like Bernhard and the work he has done are crucial in preventing the human race from being further abused by rogue elements of its own kind. Let us use the next few days thinking out loud what we can do. In the immediate sense, Bernhard needs money to live and needs some security in his future. Is it possible for us to support him? Probably not, we may not have the resources, but I would like to find out what is possible at this time. I, like others have said, am willing to donate to this worthy cause.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jul 1 2009 21:00 utc | 194

didn't post much here but got an education

best blog i've read

hope all you nomads migrate together to one place

when I see the way social networking smashes up discourse and turns it into me me me me as I've done recently through my politically inclined peer group all migrating onto Facebook I realise that MOA was the good old days when it comes to the internet.

Thanks B.

Slan go foill

Go n'eiri an bothair leat

Posted by: drunk as a rule | Jul 1 2009 21:06 utc | 195

rick

i think i've been having a few of those panic attacks knowin how much i will miss profoundly this bar, its barman & its inhabitants

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jul 1 2009 21:15 utc | 196

Goodbye and good luck.

Posted by: vachon | Jul 1 2009 21:31 utc | 197

i see that both hkol & i have already made initial perambulatory excursions to le speakeasy. it's still there & appears functional. clear out some cobwebs & i don't see why it can't serve at least as a temporary refuge...

monolycus said he has had trouble setting up an account previously. is jonku around - i think he was doing some tech maintenance at one time. maybe this can be sorted out? have to get in touch w/ okiebyaccident & see what he thinks, but in the absence of any other offers, it certainly is worth consideration.

and heads up kevin b @#160 - the software there is probably close to what you were suggesting

Posted by: b real | Jul 1 2009 21:40 utc | 198

I just got here from trying to register at le speakeasy; I failed.

It now says my handle and email are registered there, but I can't log in.

Any suggestions?

I hate when this happens!

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 1 2009 23:31 utc | 199

I thought I'd made it to the bargaining state of grief, but realize I'm still in denial. Keep hoping there will be something new....

(Runs from computer in tears....)

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 1 2009 23:32 utc | 200

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