Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 04, 2022

On Comment Moderation

In April this year a new commentator appeared on this blog under the name of 'ostro'. Some of his comments were reasonable, some were  boring one-liners. There were many of them. Overall he did not bother me or others and time will always sift out commentators who do not fit into the Moon of Alabama community.

At the end of July I noticed by chance that 'ostro' was not as harmless as he seemed. He had started to post under two names, 'ostro' and 'ppp'. The comments did not relate to each other but came just minutes apart from the very same Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. That does not happen by chance. Again - the comments in themselves were not that unreasonable though at times a bit too aggressive.

Here it how that looked on the comment management screen of the software this blog is running on:


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A complication in finding out what was happening was the fact that 'ostro' was using a proxy network. The IP-addresses where his comments were coming from were not his but from a larger proxy network provider which rents servers all over the world to disguise the locations of its users. Nothing new, nothing nefarious in itself, just something that requires a bit more work to police the comments here.

A person who uses several usernames to post comments here is a sockpuppeteer. He plays one character and another and another - all at the same time and often in concert to push the general tone of the comment section into a specific direction. This confuses other commentators. It disrupts threads. It is the opposite of being honest.

In consequence I banned 'ostro' and 'ppp', i.e. I blocked the IP addresses his comments were coming through. I did and do so with any sockpuppeteer who tries to comment on this blog under multiple names. The general Internet rule for this is simple. Choose one not yet used username and stick to it. Otherwise you will be banned.

After 'ostro' finally recognized that he was blocked from the comments he attempted to take revenge by really messing with this blog. Around August 7 he started to comment under a myriad of different usernames. The most prolific monikers 'ostro' used were 'Gilbert' 'Maxx' 'rp' 'Steve' etc. All were coming through the same large proxy network, i.e. from the same pool of IP addresses. Here is an example from one IP address.


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Most of the comments under those thirty plus names were not even unreasonable. That is why it again took me some time to notice that something was wrong. At the end of August I finally started to systematically search for and block comments which had different name tags but came through the very same group of IP addresses. As 'ostro' is using a large proxy network with multiple IP addresses it took hours to block most of them. There were dozens and I am pretty sure there are still some I haven't yet caught.

In response 'ostro' did something that was even more nefarious. He started to comment under the name of well known commentators here to attack other commentators. Some of the names and persons he abused in such ways were 'Peter AU1', 'pretzelattack' and 'Helmuth von Moltke'.

The faked comments were not harmless but designed to disrupt the community by making it look as if some prominent members of this community were out to attack other prominent members.

I have since cleaned up that mess as good as I could by deleting the faked comments. The 'ostro' addresses where those were coming through were of course also blocked.

Those commentators who were affected by this should calm down. Your anger towards this or that other community member is unfounded as their names were probably or even likely abused to attack you.

This all could be prevented if I would demand that commentators somehow verify themselves and use some login process to comment here. The software this blog is running on allows for that. The Saker blog has recently switched to such a process after its comments section was overrun by shitposters.

I'll try to avoid that. I like that this blog does not require user verification. It is important to me to leave the comment section as untouched as possible. Sure, I will continue to block haters and abusive language or other misbehavior whenever I see it. But it is not my task to police well formulated opinions.

'Ostro' is a person (or a group?) who seems to have a lot of time at his hand. He will continue to bother this blog and I will continue to fight against that. I have run Moon of Alabama for some eighteen years now and there have been dozens of abusers, some extremely tenacious, who have tried to disrupt it. So far I have beaten them all.

Other commentators, especially the longtime regulars, should be aware that this or that 'attack' on them may not be real. It is better to hold back than to start bar fights over stuff that was probably intentionally posted to incite you.

It is impossible for me to read and check every comment and to immediately react to abuses. If you see a problem with some comments or commentators please notify me by email. I will then handle the issue.

Thanks!

b.

Posted by b on September 4, 2022 at 10:25 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Hi b, and thank you for all the work on maintaining a tidy bar! I wonder if the source line for posts (e.g. Posted by XYZ on September 4, 2022 at 10:25 UTC | Permalink) could include the posting IP? It won't be definitive, since as you say disinformation is likely coming from a range of spoofing IPs, but it's also unlikely to be a range which contains the IP of spoofed posters, so one could check that an attributed comment came from the person it's supposed to have been written by? Cheers, TP

Posted by: TPaine | Sep 4 2022 10:52 utc | 1

It's not just this forum.
Its happening everywhere.
Bots trolls or both?

Posted by: Jpc | Sep 4 2022 10:55 utc | 2

Long time reader, first time poster. Just wanted to chime in and thank you, b. Putting up with phenomenas like ostro is cumbersome, but don't let it demotivate you please!

Posted by: Arminius | Sep 4 2022 11:00 utc | 3

Thanks B for devoting a post explaining the issue with Osteo and that troll's attempts to derail discussions across several comments threads. It helped that the troll exposed himself/herself early on with insults against several MoA regulars.

I wonder though if Ostro and others before him/her are part of an ongoing campaign by various agencies (like spook agencies, propaganda outfits working for governments and think-tanks, and media organisations working with the aforementioned) to discredit blogs like yours. Ostro certainly won't be the last of these trolls.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 4 2022 11:06 utc | 4

Sockpuppeteers! Actually, I kinda like the idea of a 'devil's advocate' exchange, except that here, it's being used maliciously, which is a shame, otherwise it could be quite entertaining.

Many years ago (the early 80s), I set up my first online news system using the Fidonet protocols, called New York Online. First on my Apple ][ and then on my new Mac in 1984. The online news system was called Red Ryder Host and was totally flexible, it worked beautifully. Of course, no graphics, it was all ASCII text-based and then, as now, there were lurkers, spammers, flamers and so on, the medium itself produces all kinds of new ways of annoying somebody, somewhere and from the getgo.

My rule was to ignore the nuisances and ask other visitors to do the same and eventually, you hope they'll get bored and annoy someone else. The problem of course is, how do you know which user is a menace? In order to sort the wheat from the chaff, b seems to spend an awful lot of time tracking the little buggers down.

Posted by: Barofsky | Sep 4 2022 11:17 utc | 5

Posted by b on September 4, 2022 at 10:25 UTC

That old anglo saying b. An officer and a gentleman. I am not. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 4 2022 11:18 utc | 6

Thank you B for all the work you do to keep MoA a site that I can turn to so I can read intelligent articles as well as informed comments concerning the content of the article. Great work.

Posted by: Craig | Sep 4 2022 11:21 utc | 7

I'd like to say thank you,too, for this very interesting post, b.
That explains a lot.

Posted by: Helmuth von Moltke | Sep 4 2022 11:24 utc | 8

B I leaned on this one thinking it was a troll 'Helmuth von Moltke'. The post I leaned on may well have been from this sock puppet. Orwell's world.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 4 2022 11:31 utc | 9

Thanks, and good luck with that messy cleaning, B!

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Sep 4 2022 11:32 utc | 10

Might (?) explain why some reactions here on my 'other' voice were so Ad hominem plus of course void of arguments. Usually trolls themselves just accuse others of being a troll, its a tell.

Truth has as many facets as a diamond, not necessary all of equal size.
Or the fable of the six blind men describing the same elephant totally different: non was totally wrong, no one was totally right.

Posted by: Antonym | Sep 4 2022 11:39 utc | 11

I came hoping to see you address the recent oligarch suicides. I'm guessing this is the CIA getting aggressive/desperate; a function of the impending Ukraine loss; this is a last ditch shit storm for Putin to deal with.

Posted by: scottindallas | Sep 4 2022 11:47 utc | 12

The only solution is to decomputerise and denazify Bellingcat & Associates.

Posted by: WTFUD | Sep 4 2022 11:47 utc | 13

Thank you B. for all you do. Ian Cummer recommended MoB and I'm happy to have found this site. You and your commenters are great sources of information.

Posted by: Longtrail | Sep 4 2022 11:50 utc | 14

JPC, I've noticed a lot of inflammatory posts on Facebook from people with no profile details, that's kinda new; it seems. They tend to support Trumpist policies.

Posted by: scottindallas | Sep 4 2022 11:52 utc | 15

Grima Wormtounge and Gollums Love Child , w a bit of internet savvy, trying to engineer the death of honest commentary.
Samwise Gamgee knew very well what Gollum was. Frodo was too busy doing his Hamlet impersonation. Good for you , moderator.

Posted by: Philip H Gattey | Sep 4 2022 11:55 utc | 16

Posted by: Jen | Sep 4 2022 11:06 utc | 4

The infamous NAFO trolls (North Atlantic Fellas Organization) already overrun places like Twitter's Ukraine threads so anything is possible.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 4 2022 12:03 utc | 17

Just wanted to chime in to wish you luck, b, and give you props for your efforts. At the same time, I've always advocated for a hands-off approach to forum moderation. Even intentionally malicious and disruptive people, who are not a phenomenon limited exclusively to online interaction, can serve a beneficial purpose. The tactics commonly used to derail an honest debate or a meaningful conversation are limited and become less effective and more easily discernible the more one is exposed to them. There is also the matter of learning to control one's emotions so that one doesn't become unbalanced in response to disingenuous tactics. In this regard, trolls strengthen the immune system, which would otherwise be too weak to survive outside a sterile environment.

The danger, as with all infections, is when that immune system becomes too overwhelmed to mount any meaningful resistance on its own. I suppose the symptoms of that are open to subjective interpretation, subject to your executive decision, but it's always worth keeping in mind that too much managerial interference risks creating an echo-chamber. That said, you've always given me the impression of someone who takes a balanced approach and I have confidence in your judgement on these matters.

Posted by: Skiffer | Sep 4 2022 12:05 utc | 18

Well done B

I am a relative newbie to this site - wish I had known of it before, but I appreciate the relative lack of control, even the trolls.

We need to understand how others think, even if we disagree.

I know we go off topic often- which in some ways is a joy - what other blog can you in a civilized way discuss Ukraine in one post then diverge off to ancient Rome or ancient Welsh politics. The thing is that i have noticed is that most of the posters here are really knowledgeable on all sorts of topics. But I do understand your rule- stick to topic and try not to breach it - not always successfully.

Posted by: watcher | Sep 4 2022 12:08 utc | 19

Thank you, b, for this excellent site and your important analysis. I wonder if you ever get any sleep? It must be hard enough to try to keep up with all the news/lies/false narratives and try to write about it, let alone spend hours policing the site for state-sponsored trolls.

I suspect that because of the quality of your work, various agencies are assigning more trolls to disrupt the site, and thi also takes you away from your work as an analyst. I hope you can eventually find someone to help you with policing the site for trolls . . . maybe one of the talented people who post here could help?

You have created a most valuable forum. I really appreciate the many excellent people who make important comments, which direct me to information I wouldn't otherwise have seen. It is the best place to get real news that I know of. Thanks again.

Posted by: Steven Starr | Sep 4 2022 12:12 utc | 20

B

One other thing which I think you are aware of but needs constant watching is the presence of obvious racist posts here. I rather think they are deliberately designed to discredit the blog.

It is a very tricky path between the right of free speech and speech which damages the blog. I suspect some of the COVID commentary is also designed to disrupt, although I think most are genuine.

Posted by: watcher | Sep 4 2022 12:16 utc | 21

Great work, Bernhard, well done.

Unfortunately, I personally have experienced the reverse of what you are trying to do, and more than once.

I have posted comments, always under this pseudonym, no bad language, no hate speech, no attacks. Yet, a number of my posts were not published, some were. I do use a VPN at times, which I think is my right and should not affect the decision whether to publish.

I subsequently refrained from posting because I am not prepared to spend time composing a post only for it be rejected.

Hopefully you will allow my posts from now on.

Posted by: Ernesto Che | Sep 4 2022 12:17 utc | 22

@ scottindallas | 12

I came hoping to see you address the recent oligarch suicides. I'm guessing this is the CIA getting aggressive/desperate; a function of the impending Ukraine loss; this is a last ditch shit storm for Putin to deal with.

What are these "oligarch suicides" you're wondering about, exactly? Got any specifics?

Posted by: Pacifica_Advocate | Sep 4 2022 12:18 utc | 23

Well done. As a late arrival I was surprised when my first comment was followed a day later by another using the same name. Is that part of the same thing? Very impressed by your perseverance. I will increase my monthly donation.

Posted by: R*ss | Sep 4 2022 12:19 utc | 24

". . . commentators who do not fit the Moon of Alabama community."

I'd be interested to know what that means and what "commentators who DO fit the Moon of Alabama community" means.

Posted by: Sam Smith | Sep 4 2022 12:34 utc | 25

I'm not a regular poster, but I am a daily reader. I wouldn't be surprised if trolls are state sponsored which would make it very difficult and time consuming for you to combat. Thanks for all the work you do. This site is a great resource.

Posted by: bachac | Sep 4 2022 12:34 utc | 26

Hi B,
Thanks for maintaining a great site. I see what you mean, but allow me to provide you with another perspective:

I am an Iranian living in Canada for about 35 years, ever since I stepped in this country I tasted discrimination, labeling and treated as a third rated citizen. Everything that I do is being watched more carefully, and so you would understand that I am also more careful in my social media dealing and digital footprint. When 911 happened, people such as me were treated even worse, even though 911 had noting to do with Iran and Iranian. Non-the-less, I was a victim, same as many Russians living in the West today.

Now, I have been visiting your site everyday for the last 2 years, and I use Tor browser and avoid leaving my own IP address, because I have learned not to trust and be wise by being careful. Occasionally, I left comments but, you would understand that I did not use my real name and email. So I thought you should know that I meant nothing by it but to protect myself. Cheers, Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Unknown-user | Sep 4 2022 12:39 utc | 27

Am I still not allowed to post here? If not, why not? I am not a troll or a sock puppet.

Posted by: Intelligent Dasein | Sep 4 2022 12:40 utc | 28

@ Intelligent Dasein | 29

As far as i know, b generally doesn't ban people unless they're causing problems and he has publicly warned them to stop--or, obviously, for reasons such as outlined above.

There is, however, a bug in the site's software where if you inadvertently add a space at the end of your e-mail address or name then the site won't allow you to post. It confuses a lot of people and many of us come to the mistaken conclusion that we've been banned.

Unless b has said "you're banned"--which i suspect he hasn't, because you're posting here, now--then it's likely you're just making that small mistake when setting up your posts.

Posted by: Pacifica_Advocate | Sep 4 2022 12:52 utc | 29

Posted by: scottindallas | Sep 4 2022 11:52 utc | 15

I have never even looked at Facebook Scott!
Never seen any reason to do so.


Posted by: Jpc | Sep 4 2022 12:56 utc | 30

I always considered the email address as protection from others trying to use your name. It may not be enough , then adding hashtag with a private codeword could provide extra safety without heavy modifications.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Sep 4 2022 12:58 utc | 31

Hi b,thanks for a great site.I have noticed some Alt Media sites referring to Good write ups on Moa debunking,exposing or providing a differing opinion on the official narrative being pushed by the western war propaganda machine.
Here in New Zealand as in other western 5 eyes related countries,there appears a very recent push to silence any apparent opposing view to either the "special medicine" or War narrative being pushed by whatever means available.
Moa's success in providing an arena to question,expose,debate,inform annalise and learn as a community is deemed a threat more and more with each passing day.
Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Kim | Sep 4 2022 13:01 utc | 32

I am a relative newcomer, and appreciate the work you do to keep it civilised. My position is that I seek the truth and channels like this help cut through the blatant propaganda from Western MSM and the army of misguided, vicious souls who populate their comment sections.

Posted by: Pancho Plail | Sep 4 2022 13:02 utc | 33

Unless b has said "you're banned"--which i suspect he hasn't, because you're posting here, now--then it's likely you're just making that small mistake when setting up your posts.

Posted by: Pacifica_Advocate | Sep 4 2022 12:52 utc | 30

Yes, that is one gotcha in the forum software, the space at the end, it says not a valid email IIRC.

Another is that hitting Enter outside the text window sometimes will post before you intend to. ("Hot Keys". Generally, I hate hotkeys).

I thought it was obvious that PeterAU1 was not PeterAU1 for a while.

My thanks also to B for his work.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 4 2022 13:06 utc | 34

Thanks for the work b!

Where I come from there is a saying that "we're playing for sheep stations here"

Meaning, this is all fundamentally critically important.

Posted by: Ross | Sep 4 2022 13:08 utc | 35

Thank you for your consistently level-headed and insightful articles and for hosting an unusually eclectic, intelligent and well informed comment section.

Apologies to you and all if I'm one of the off topic offenders!

Posted by: Scorpion | Sep 4 2022 13:18 utc | 36

Admirable work in maintaining an honest environment. On Twitter-as elsewhere many high-visibility accounts are struggling with such problems and the question of how to manage that depends a lot on how many resources they make available for it. Bernhard puts in a lot of work and skill. What if you have neither? Then you should aim for an 'graceful degradation' so not too many false positives get banned. This can include demanding that some rules are followed to simplify work.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Sep 4 2022 13:20 utc | 37

Or you can introduce
1) An option to register permanently
2) A switch which hides or marks commentaries from non-registered users

Anyway thanks for your work, much appreciated.

Posted by: Tim | Sep 4 2022 13:28 utc | 38

Posters who find their post unpublished will mostly find that this is not due to any moderation - for a start b has to see the thing before it can be deleted and many of the posts reckoned to be moderated don't appear in the first place.
When that occurs it is normally because of one of two reasons, the first being the anti-spam software which does not accept a post if the posters declared email address does not resolve, in other words if you write an email addy [email protected] where there is no email server at abcdef.com, that post will be rejected. This is the only way to keep the bulk of bot rubbish posts selling viagra or mcafee at bay.

The second reason is caused by a breach of the 30 minutes rule. You have 30 minutes from the time you open a page to write and complete a post upon it,
There are numerous reasons for this and many workarounds to avoid your post from disappearing into the void.
A small dialog does appear in the top of the screen telling you that the post won't be accepted because you have taken too long but that is frequently not seen by a poster lookin at her/his post at the bottom of t'screen.
The best way is to write the post out on a text editor then after you have refreshed the thread you wish to post to, copy and pasta it across. The easiest way is after you have finished the post & already checked it in preview to ensure links, italic n quotes are all OK, to (in windoze - mac, android n linux have similar controls learn em) then click in the post simultaneously press ctrl and the A key which selects all in the text box then hit ctrl and C key to copy it all, refresh the page and click in the text box once more and hit the CTRL and V keys to copy the post outta memory back into the text box after which you hit the 'post' button and the post will post.

It sounds complicated but it isn't, there are many variations on the method I've been doin' it since the joint opened and that is what works for me. If the post is a long one with links n such, if it is saved in yer memory and for some reason it doesn't appear you can paste it into a text editor (all desktops n laptops have these, phones, tablets you may have to install one in) so you still have the post and can do it again if post doesn't appear.

It never matters too much for 1 or 2 liners but I doubt there's a regular here who hasn't cocked up now and again and lost some much toiled over missive.

It is too easy to curse at b n blame moderation when 9 times outta 10 it is the poster who has cocked up. Much cursing n calling down the fates has taught me that b only usually takes exception to my posts on cats. I have made myself understand that if he too lived in Aotearoa or Australia, he too would be likely to loathe cats and see them as only fit for davey crockett hats.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 4 2022 13:33 utc | 39

Man, that sounds extremely time-consuming and tedious. Perhaps the verification requirement a la Saker is necessary after all. Your restraint in this regard is noble, but the time invested in the defence may eat up an ever greater part of the investigative energy. And you really don't have to do the disrupters this favour.

Posted by: Pnyx | Sep 4 2022 13:44 utc | 40

Personally I appreciate the anonymity of this site. Whilst there are a few problems and registration would fix many of them, I will not use any site that demands personal information (including my personal email) and that is why I do not use telegram, facebook, twitter, google, instagram etc.

We live in a world where invasion of privacy is the rule, not the exception.

If you choose to move in that direction, I respect that and will continue reading but no longer comment (not that I say much anyway). I suspect that others also think like me and value privacy.

Posted by: JustAnotherAussie | Sep 4 2022 13:45 utc | 41

Much cursing n calling down the fates has taught me that b only usually takes exception to my posts on cats. I have made myself understand that if he too lived in Aotearoa or Australia, he too would be likely to loathe cats and see them as only fit for davey crockett hats.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 4 2022 13:33 utc | 39

In Buddhist countries in Asia a folksy tradition spawned hundreds of paintings of the Buddha's parinirvana/death bed scene. He is lying on a bed (having been poisoned by a troll) surrounded by dozens of representatives of the human and animal kingdoms. Some especially irreverent Japanese types added in vegetables including their iconic daikon. All of the assembly has tears visibly streaming down their faces. All except the cat who has showed up but is openly indifferent!

Mahayana Buddhists take a vow, out of compassion, not to attain enlightenment before all other beings have already done so. The cat thing is an escape clause: there is one being for whom they are not obliged to feel compassion.

So you are in good company debsisdead!

Posted by: Scorpion | Sep 4 2022 13:52 utc | 42

Thank you, b. This is your site and the best we have. You can feel free to delete any of my posts that don't conform. We should be aware that among our faults are those we don't recognize ourselves. I do try to backtrack when reading in case someone has referenced me, but again I may miss some. If I see someone has been offended by my post, I will respond or not, depending on blog protocol. I try my best not to be offended if criticized; it mandates to rethink and try to do better.

And if I happen on a duplication of my name, I will report it to you, as you advise.

A last thought, emotions are high these days; there is no one unaffected by the pressures on human society, greater than there have been in my lifetime. New takes on old problems are very much needed; this blog is stellar in that regard.

Thank you again, b.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 4 2022 14:15 utc | 43

I once asked ostro to keep cool with his 'Martyanov obsession syndrome' and received an instant 'reductio ad hitlerum' as answer, suggesting my username was an obvious proof of my taste for anything 'third-reichesque'.

I knew I had nothing to share with or to learn from that barfly.

Thank you B, for that post and for this place.

Posted by: HerrHesser | Sep 4 2022 14:31 utc | 44

debsisdead is right. And it is very simple just to save the text before you post. If you have been timed out, which happens to me often enough, through interruptions etc, you can refresh and paste the text.
He's right about cats too, they devour an incredible amount of wildlife and they annoy dogs. The world would be a better place without cats.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 4 2022 14:35 utc | 45

Thanks for the explanation

Posted by: Norwegian | Sep 4 2022 14:42 utc | 46

thank you for your work, b. I know it must be tedious dealing with this crap.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 4 2022 14:44 utc | 47

The world would be a better place without cats.
@ bevin | Sep 4 2022 14:35 utc | 45

This unfortunate comment illustrates that even the most clear-sighted have their blind spots.

B's account, above, sufficiently persuades me: I don't ever want to wind up in the moderation business. It's a dirty job, but somebody else has to do it.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Sep 4 2022 15:03 utc | 48

Ugh,
Posting from my work PC which doesn't have my nick memorized.

Posted by: Joe Dont Surf | Sep 4 2022 15:06 utc | 49

Posted by: Arminius | Sep 4 2022 11:00 utc | 3

Same thing for me.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 4 2022 13:33 utc | 39

I would recommend that you do your writing and editing in a text editor (or word processor), then copy and paste into the entry form. This has saved me an incredible amount of angst over the years as failed submittals can happen for a whole lot of reasons. You can also save as a file for your own records.

Old saying that I haven't heard that much of lately, but very much applies: "Don't feed the Trolls."

Thanks B, for your efforts. When I am able I am definitely going to sling some pesos in your direction. I do recommend this site to my friends. I don't think "ostro" is one of them.

I am also a retired programmer. I would gladly help you automate a solution if you can think of how.

Posted by: Cedron Dawg | Sep 4 2022 15:08 utc | 50

moa is awesome... it is posts like that continue to make moon of alabama a stand out place from all others.. keep up the great work and make the changes necessary, if you find you have to.. meanwhile, onward and upward...

Posted by: james | Sep 4 2022 15:14 utc | 51

Pseudonymous 'identities' might help a little. The touts in Web3 space have come up with something called "Sign in with ethereum" - SIWE. You don't have to use or like ethereum but clients would need something like a MetaMask to cryptographically secure their unique 'identity'. I see that the Auth0 folks are supporting it now.

https://auth0.com/blog/sign-in-with-ethereum-siwe-now-available-on-auth0/

Limited protection against sockpuppetry but absolute protection against forgery.

Thanks for your hard work on this site.

Posted by: siwe | Sep 4 2022 15:14 utc | 52

I'm taken aback by people that otherwise seem erudite, intelligent and humane who have such antipathy towards felines.
My cat, JoJo, is on his 5th lifetime with me and goes for walks on leash or just on voice(!). He is best friends with several squirrels, dogs, people and other cats with one exception. He predates on crickets, flies, grasshoppers, moths and grass.
A neighbor lets their cat out to roam every day and night. This cat predates on everything and uses the outdoors as it's litterbox. I've made multiple reports to Animal Control and Management, to no avail
JoJo hates this cat and tries to attack it at any and every opportunity. Like this morning....I am of two minds as to allow him as he is twice her size but I don't want him to be bitten and develop an abscess. I've even thought about trapping her and releasing her where the coyotes roam. But like everyone tells me, I'm too nice to people that don't deserve it.
Sigh...
Seems to me, the problem is irresponsible humans.
Just my opinion
I could be wrong.
Blessings to All

Posted by: Lauren Michele | Sep 4 2022 15:18 utc | 53

Thank you, Pacifica Advocate @29.

Now that I know I can post here, I will try to write better, more interesting entries.

Posted by: Intelligent Dasein | Sep 4 2022 15:25 utc | 54

Thanks B. for keeping an eye on the commenters AND still coming up with great articles.

Posted by: John V. Doe | Sep 4 2022 15:43 utc | 55

Wow, i recall having a few run ins with that unpleasant 'ppp' character and flagged his behaviour to MoA at the time. I found there was something off and particularly puerile and hostile to his behaviour, while at the same time offering little of value to the actual conversation.

I also seem to recall receiving some unfavourable comments by some of the above mentioned commenters, but i am not sure... i have gotten my share over time to really remember them all LOL.

Anyway, i am glad this troll was caught out and congratulate MoA on both rectifying the situation and informing the community of its actions. Well done.

Posted by: Et Tu | Sep 4 2022 15:53 utc | 56

Thanks for putting up with the hassles of trolls and sockpuppets to keep doing what you do, b.

Posted by: worldblee | Sep 4 2022 15:57 utc | 57

Thanks for explaining, b. I was shocked to be attacked by PeterAU, but chose to ignore it so as not to derail the conversation. Still, I was holding a grudge, which I will now drop.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Sep 4 2022 16:06 utc | 58

Thanks for all your efforts b

While I am one of those that proudly offers their identity here, I do value the ability to discuss issues without personalities involved.

You provide excellent geo-political reporting, that I mostly agree with and a forum that shows there is a global community of "adults in the human species room" that I can't find many of in America.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 4 2022 16:14 utc | 59

Thanks, b! This is my go to site first in the morning.

Excellent idea to write first on word or other note pads! i have been timed out and have also lost a couple of posts which required a fair amount of my time.

Also, I was posting as Thomas but noted that someone else was using that name as well so I switched back to Taras 77.

I would think also that the e-mail used would be an item for verification but that might be very cumbersome to detect bogus user names.

Posted by: Taras 77 | Sep 4 2022 16:14 utc | 60

Thank you for the hard work you have put in.

Posted by: Kaiama | Sep 4 2022 16:18 utc | 61

Hi B, thanks for the hard work. Just a quick thing, here in Cuba we have just a few public ip addresses, translated using NAT, for like 6 million internet users. Probably there isn't much of us over here but it is something to be aware of.

Posted by: LittleSheep | Sep 4 2022 16:24 utc | 62

@ LittleSheep | Sep 4 2022 16:24 utc | 63

thanks for your comment.. i was wondering how that fits into the greater jigsaw puzzle here and had thought of this, but thanks for the confirmation... fwiw, i had a problem with ostro from the get go, but chose to ignore them.. i think i spoke up on this once and got reprimanded by some of the other regulars, lol...

Posted by: james | Sep 4 2022 16:29 utc | 63

Re: cats

Here you go, kangaroo people. You absolutely deserve it.

The most destructive invasive species in both kiwiland and kangarooland is YOU. If you are so concerned about the ecology then kill yourselves.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 4 2022 16:36 utc | 64

Thanks. I appreciate the old school, golden age of blogging method Moon of Alabama continues to use. Sock puppets and agitators were the reason why that age ended with registration. Nationalism and war allow people to do more than just rationalize their opinions about these subjects.

As a peace advocate during the American Afghan and Iraq wars I was subject to much trolling, stalking, and hijacking of avatar by a few excited by opposition to those wars at different blogs. Moon of Alabama's refusal to accept the platitudes and lies of the propagandists is going to attract agitators who hope to disrupt the reporting here.

Posted by: Wilikins | Sep 4 2022 17:00 utc | 65

I was shocked by Peter AU1's posts and surprised that b wasn't doing anything about it. Now I know he was.

Posted by: Jack | Sep 4 2022 17:19 utc | 66

Thanks for the work ! We want to keep this Bar friendly and neoghborly.

Well done !

Posted by: Exile | Sep 4 2022 17:46 utc | 67

Ugh, what annoying waste of your time. You should farm out some of that work to your cooler headed regulars.

Posted by: muttman | Sep 4 2022 17:49 utc | 68

First post, long time reader. Thanks b for the great site, all the work and the comments.

Posted by: Jongi01 | Sep 4 2022 17:50 utc | 69

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 4 2022 16:36 utc | 64

Thank you. These so called cats as invasive species is total bullcrap. They're always only accessory to human settlements and never thrive in the wild as apex predators.
The arguments they bring always disappearing small critters INSIDE their settlements. In reality modern human settlements which have little forgiveness to bugs led to disappearing insect diets of these small lizards, birds, and other critters thus destined them to extinction within said settlements.
Cats only crime is that they're more evolved to accompany and live among human settlements as pets, scavengers, and small times opportunistic hunter.

Posted by: Lucci | Sep 4 2022 18:05 utc | 70

Great Post b.
gives us better understanding of your work.
plz keep up your good work. thanks again.

Posted by: James | Sep 4 2022 18:07 utc | 71

just noticed another james.
do I need to use another title?
I'm sure his posts are far superior to mine,plz advise.

Posted by: James | Sep 4 2022 18:10 utc | 72

@james - Sep 4 2022 18:10 utc - IP address 90.255.45.99

You will need to change your name here as the other James has been here much longer.

Posted by: b | Sep 4 2022 18:18 utc | 73

Maybe the powers that be are becoming more afraid of your work b.

Keep it up :)

JB

Posted by: Judge Barbier | Sep 4 2022 18:53 utc | 74

Posted by: james | Sep 4 2022 16:29 utc | 63

Same. In fact before commenting in reply to you here, I did a search for "ostro" in MoA's Wordpress search feature because I knew something was off about that 'person' from the beginning. Unfortunately I have given up on my search before finding anything specifically related to a response from 'him' to me, but there was an underlying malice to any comment directed my way, just subtle enough that I also ignored it.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 4 2022 16:36 utc | 64

I remember reading about that mouse infestation/plague not too long ago. That's some messed up shit. Brought this to mind from something I'd seen on NatGeo or some nature-themed television channel (pretty much all I watch on TV). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePmlPpNND_g I can't even watch it anymore; copied the link and closed the tab as soon as I could.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Sep 4 2022 15:03 utc | 48

Unfortunately, they are correct about cats. If you keep them, you should not let them out of doors. They are the number one species driving extinction among song birds. https://abcbirds.org/program/cats-indoors/cats-and-birds/

Cats and Birds: A Bad Combination Outdoor domestic cats are a recognized threat to global biodiversity. Cats have contributed to the extinction of 63 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles in the wild and continue to adversely impact a wide variety of other species, including those at risk of extinction, such as Piping Plover.

The ecological dangers are so critical that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists domestic cats as one of the world’s worst non-native invasive species.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 19:05 utc | 75

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 19:05 utc | 75

Should have added that cats outdoors in my neighborhood are an increasingly rare sight. Turns out we have a rather unsavory natural mechanism to keep them in check around here. Coyotes. Can't count the # of times the wife has relayed to me a message from her social media about neighbors finding their kitties' carcasses or their cats simply going missing on the same night coyotes were spotted. Some suspect large hawks and owls too. Our Doberman doesn't particularly like them either, so they know to avoid our yard.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 19:09 utc | 76

If the troll is using a free proxy I assume his effective IP can be traced because with HTTPS the hand shake is done between the original browser and the server and not between the proxy and the server because the latter puts more strain on the hardware and so is more expensive thereby only available for paying proxy services. So I assume the troll is using a paid proxy service making him a sad person.

Reading #72 it seems one can choose any name (s)he wants which is a bit bizarre. I hope it will never come to some kind of authentication with some major silicon valley company but restricting 1 name to 1 e-mail address doesn't seem problematic to me. But that restriction would also require the use of an additional database table for the user management. Maybe as a workaround the user name that is already public could be shown with next to it a SHA-2 hash of the e-mail address. That way bar flies can see the hash and when it's different than other ones can know with 100% certainty if it's an imposter. And if it's unwillingly kindly ask the person to choose another name next time. The SHA-2 hash guarantees the privacy and brute forcing it to extract the e-mail address is totally not worth it with today's technology unlike MD5.

Posted by: xor | Sep 4 2022 19:16 utc | 77

RE: Proxy services and VPNs - I hope that b hasn't blocked ALL commercial proxy networks. There are plenty of them around, and they accomplish what b says in his post. I use one myself sometimes to get around some of the blocks on Russia/Ukraine information here in the USSA.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 19:21 utc | 78

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 19:05 utc | 75

Disappearing songbirds, little lizards species comes with destruction of insects, flora diversify of the areas. Bugs, inspects, lizards need to keep damp moisture environment and shades.

First thing human settlements always did to the area is destroying these insects and the foliage they used for cover.

Cats only accessory to human settlements. In the wild they're prey to coyotes, foxes. Out in the city they're regularly hunted and killed by pet dogs.

Cats only sins again, is that they're much more evolved to follow along and live alongside humans.

Posted by: Lucci | Sep 4 2022 19:34 utc | 79

Cats only sins again, is that they're much more evolved to follow along and live alongside humans.

Posted by: Lucci | Sep 4 2022 19:34 utc | 79

True enough. The responsibility lies with the humans, however, to keep them in check. In my posts I neglected to add the exception, which is farms and ranches. If there are enough mice and rats for the cats to stay occupied, they probably won't spend much time hunting birds. They're a crucial necessity in some rural settings to limit the population of disease carrying and destructive rodents.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 19:43 utc | 80

speaking of invasive species, i noticed somebody posted under the name "ostro" recently

Posted by: prestzelattack | Sep 4 2022 19:49 utc | 81

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 19:43 utc | 80

The premise that Cats alone the main culprits of disappearing birds is dumb, they don't find enough insects meals near human settlements, they're regularly fight each others for nesting sites, they're preyed upon by bird of preys or other bird species, treetops critters like Lizards, snakes, squirrels, they have habitual brood parasites, night lights, noises disturb their migratory senses. They have a lot of problems other than cats already.

Small birds just like domestic cats in the wild, is poorly adapted and less competitive species right from the start. Human settlements simply tip the balances against them.

Just because they're disappearing coincided with thriving cats doesn't actually mean they're solely responsible. Cats are scavengers at most, eating human settlements scraps, and opportunistic hunters second against small critters like rats, mice.

Posted by: Lucci | Sep 4 2022 19:55 utc | 82

Sorry to turn this into the 'cat thread' but a number of them really are bad for birds.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/moral-cost-of-cats-180960505/

He and colleagues used mathematical models to analyze data from local cat predation studies going back more than 50 years. When they extrapolated the data to reflect national trends, they were stunned. According to their calculations, outdoor cats killed somewhere in the ballpark of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion small mammals in the U.S. per year—far exceeding any other human-influenced cause of avian death, such as pesticides or collisions with windows.

When Marra saw the number “2.4 billion,” he knew that the claws were about to come out. He was right. On January 29, 2013, the same day the paper was published in the journal Nature Communications, the New York Times featured a front-page article highlighting his findings entitled “That Cuddly Killer Is Deadlier Than You Think.” The piece became the newspaper's most-emailed article of the week. It garnered more than a thousand comments online, ranging from outraged (“I'm tired of everyone putting down cats and trying to justify their extermination”) to pointed (“It’s the large bipeds who are the problem, not their cats”) to satirical (“Eat more cat!”).

Americans cringe at the thought of housecats being used as food in Asia, but there is a valid reason that they are consumed.

In 1962, biologist Rachel Carson wrote that “in nature nothing exists alone.” Marra couldn’t agree more. Like Carson, he thinks of life on Earth as a complex tapestry in which each species represents a single thread. Outdoor cats threaten that tapestry. Their crimes include contributing to 33 extinctions around the world and counting, to say nothing of their potential to spread deadly diseases like rabies and Toxoplasmosis. They hold in tooth and claw the power to destroy that delicate web—like, well, a cat unraveling a ball of string.

and

So far, so good. Now comes the real problem: unowned cats, which include strays and ferals. Born in the wild or abandoned, feral cats spend almost no time with humans; they’re basically wild animals. Stray cats, by contrast, often have a working relationship with humans. They might live in managed communities, where a human caretaker regular feeds and watches over them—“subsidizing” them, in Marra’s words—meaning their numbers can soar to rates they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Whether stray or feral, these cats kill on average three times as many animals as owned cats, according to Marra.

No one knows exactly how many stray and feral cats stalk the U.S. They are, by nature, elusive and transient. In a 2012 study, Marra used an estimate of 30 to 80 million; the Humane Society estimates a more conservative 30 to 40 million. Adithya Sambamurthy from the Center for Investigative Reporting’s The Reveal recently reported that unowned cats may rival the number of pet cats, placing them at about 80 million. That means, for every lap cat hunkering over his dish of Fancy Feast, there is another one prowling around for his dinner—like an evil twin, or a particle of antimatter.

There are plenty of insects around here for birds to thrive so that isn't the issue, not sure about other regions. The main issue is feral or unowned/escaped housecats whose bloodlines always derive from some form of pet, no matter how far in the past. A reason to keep your cats (and of course dogs) spayed and neutered; domestic (owned and housed) cats are often impregnated by wandering toms and the kittens wantonly given away or taken to shelters.

A fascinating side-topic on cats is toxoplasmosis. It's known that this parasite alters the brains of prey animals like rodents, making them lose their natural fear of cats. There is growing evidence that it also affects humans in a similar manner.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2526142/

Although latent infection with Toxoplasma gondii is among the most prevalent of human infections, it has been generally assumed that, except for congenital transmission, it is asymptomatic. The demonstration that latent Toxoplasma infections can alter behavior in rodents has led to a reconsideration of this assumption. When infected human adults were compared with uninfected adults on personality questionnaires or on a panel of behavioral tests, several differences were found. Other studies have demonstrated reduced psychomotor performance in affected individuals. Possible mechanisms by which T. gondii may affect human behavior include its effect on dopamine and on testosterone.

In any case, I'm allergic to *most* kitties so we don't keep them. Cheers.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 19:56 utc | 83

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 19:56 utc | 84

Bullshit research relying on selective datas? Based on unfounded 'Mathematical' models instead of real data compiled studies?

How about this, find me ANY studies with evidence that Domestic Cats can thrive outside human settlements enough that they outgrow the local fauna, outbreed local predators.

Posted by: Lucci | Sep 4 2022 20:06 utc | 84

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 19:56 utc | 84

And for Birds just think about it, why Pigeons, Ravens also thriving in the same way cats do within human settlements?

Posted by: Lucci | Sep 4 2022 20:08 utc | 85

Posted by: Lucci | Sep 4 2022 20:06 utc | 86

Bullshit why, because you disagree as a lover of cats? Please be specific if you're going to start calling names and using ad hominem. Just like the response to the NYT article, your claws are out. Maybe get tested for toxoplasmosis?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 20:09 utc | 86

Thanks for fighting against trolls, b!

As for comments being blocked, I get one hour before I get timed-out. But as bevin noted, I copy/paste refresh and try again. The most common problem is the blocking of particular websites that b has no control over, RT being the most consistent, but others as well. Too many hyperlinked Urls also seem to create a problem as the software most-likely considers it Spam. But that isn't a consistent occurrence, making such blockage frustrating. The system b employs is superior to Discus and other Big Tech linked commentary police. A related issue affects users unable to access certain websites because they're blocked by censors, Strategic Culture being the most prominent. The information presented by SCF is often unavailable elsewhere much like that presented by b's MoA. SCF has a VK page, but it doesn't post all its articles there, which I've informed them about. And we've all tried to access sites under various forms of attack. That the West and Big Tech behave in that manner IMO is an admission of guilt, that they are THE PROBLEM, not Russia, China, Iran, or any other entity.

Thanks again b!!!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 4 2022 20:09 utc | 87

So, does Gorbachev's passing mean that Pizzz Hut won't be serving pan pizza anymore?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Colins | Sep 4 2022 20:09 utc | 88

Lucci, maybe if you read the article, you would have seen this:

The piece became the newspaper's most-emailed article of the week. It garnered more than a thousand comments online, ranging from outraged (“I'm tired of everyone putting down cats and trying to justify their extermination”) to pointed (“It’s the large bipeds who are the problem, not their cats”) to satirical (“Eat more cat!”).

Marra read them all. Many were personal insults directed squarely at him. Some suggested that he should be predated or euthanized. Marra understands how emotional people can get about cats—he has entered into many a dinner table debate with his 15-year-old daughter, a long-time vegetarian and animal lover, over cat policy—so he tries to take these reactions with a grain of salt. Still, he admits, “it hurts.” When I ask him how he deals with the constant backlash, he laughs. “Good question,” he says. “It’s actually because I believe in what I do. And if I don’t do it—well, I’ve got one life. This is it. This is the now.”

More bothersome than the personal attacks were the attacks on his research methodology. The most relentless was Peter Wolf, a vocal feral cat advocate who called Marra’s paper “garbage,” “junk science” and “an agenda-driven effort to undermine TNR” on his blog, Vox Felina. Wolf took issue with the levels of uncertainty in Marra’s paper, alleging that the numbers were “wildly inflated,” came from biased sources, and drew upon just just a handful of studies. “When seen in context, these astronomical figures alone raise questions of credibility,” Wolf wrote on his blog. “It doesn’t seem like science to me,” he told me recently.

It was, Marra admits, a wide range. He and his colleagues estimated that “free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.3–4.0 billion birds and 6.3–22.3 billion mammals annually.” The reason for the discrepancy was the woeful lack of data on feral cat populations and their lifestyles. Marra worked with the limited data he had, synthesizing the results from previous studies and augmenting them with predation numbers from Europe, Australia and New Zealand. By including both the lowest and highest possible estimates for cat predation, he thought he was covering all his bases.

In all the fighting and flying fur, Marra saw an opportunity. By the time his paper was published in Nature Communications, he was already thinking about writing a book. “I knew this had huge potential for creating a lot of controversy,” he says. “But also conversation. To me, it’s really about the conversation and trying to figure out: how do we come to some resolution on this thing?”

I'm exiting this 'cat fight' now before the fur really starts flying. Have a good day.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 20:12 utc | 89

So, does Gorbachev's passing mean that Pizzz Hut won't be serving pan pizza anymore?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Colins | Sep 4 2022 20:09 utc | 90

That's ostro, not me. Please check IP. Looks like it's going to be a little more difficult to get rid of than once thought. Maybe sic a pack of feral cats on it?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 20:14 utc | 90

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 20:09 utc | 88

Bullshit research yes. Are you the owner of the relevant research? Yes i call it bullshit. Not because I'm cat lover no it's because those research you cited doesn't even use controls groups.

Look. It's easy, trap healthy fertile cat colonies dump them in the forests area far away from any human settlements. If they thrive and displaced local faunas without human settlements then yes they're in fact 'invasive' species.

Posted by: Lucci | Sep 4 2022 20:16 utc | 91

I hesitate to indulge the OT cat angle, but at least that kind of discussion is better than the creeping of creepy creeps in here, eh? Before I do, I have to make a point about b's tenacity, to preserve a semblance of online community: It's quite rare for a moderator to share the agonies of moderation, in detail, as b did above. Toadstools thrive in the dark, so keeping the blinds open to let the sunshine in is a good idea. The story b shares here is one of fighting back -- for which we are most grateful -- against an upward trajectory of organized harassment.

Cats have enriched my life, and the experience of Life on Earth for mankind, beyond measure. In my part of the world (the SF Bay Area) leaving cats outside is a very bad idea. People were taking care of a feral colony on Albany Hill for years, but they've had to relocate all of them to shelters, because coyotes increasingly rule our urban neighborhoods at night. I've seen cat's limbs flung about, on my morning walk.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Sep 4 2022 20:22 utc | 92

Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 20:14 utc | 92

First they came for Ostro, and I did not speak because I was not a troll.

Then they came for Tom_Q_Collins, and I did not speak because i was not a feral cat.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak.

They never came for b, though. Wonder why that is?

Posted by: Austrolopithicus | Sep 4 2022 20:27 utc | 93

Posted by: Lucci | Sep 4 2022 20:16 utc | 93

Yes, of course. That particular study used meta-analysis (and other methodologies inherent to the other studies it considered - which I don't have the time or desire to delve into here). I don't think it's realistic or responsible to simply release a colony of feral cats into an otherwise pristine natural area in order to study the effects on bird populations.

There is disagreement, but it all really boils down to the numbers. HOW many billions? IS it even a billion? No way to know for sure.

https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2013/02/03/170851048/do-we-really-know-that-cats-kill-by-the-billions-not-so-fast

Your opinion is shared:

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, had this to say in response to the study: "It's virtually impossible to determine how many cats live outside, or how many spend some portion of the day outside. Loss, Will, and Marra have thrown out a provocative number for cat predation totals, and their piece has been published in a highly credible publication, but they admit the study has many deficiencies. We don't quarrel with the conclusion that the impact is big, but the numbers are informed guesswork."

Also here's another study, having nothing to do with Marra's meta analysis:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1476945X2100057X

I'll leave it to you to read the methodology and observations. Regardless, I really do have other things to do so maybe we can continue this conversation another time.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 20:27 utc | 94

As a little post-scriptum, the use of SHA-2 or any hash requires the use of salt because if not the e-mail address would still be easily extractable given that what's behind the @ can be added to a dictionary (essentially all known domain names which is still quite limited) and what's in front of the @ would in essence only have to be brute forced. If the salt would be 2000 bytes composing of any random character it would be "impossible" to break. If it were PHP for example: hash("sha256", "the_very_long_salt".strtolower($_POST["email"]))
And it would appear as "John - 848a7bf541019b9ae1b9e4460d8afbdd69cac8dedd4915436f82ee9cfe675649 | Sep 4 2022 20:31 utc | 192"

I really appreciate your effort b!

Posted by: xor | Sep 4 2022 20:32 utc | 95

Tom_Q_Collins | Sep 4 2022 20:27 utc | 97

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, had this to say in response to the study: "It's virtually impossible to determine how many cats live outside...

First the National Rifle Association, now the Humane Society. This is the kind of revolving door, special interest access Jefferson warned us about.

Posted by: Alan Burr | Sep 4 2022 20:51 utc | 96

First time poster here. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: seer | Sep 4 2022 21:22 utc | 97

Breakin' rocks in the hot sun
I fought the trolls and the trolls won
I fought the trolls and the trolls won

b, singing The Clash.

Where there's a will there's a way and Mr b's insight into the psyche of the disturbed loner could earn him an additional degree in psychology or similar.

Posted by: WTFUD | Sep 4 2022 22:18 utc | 98

WTFUD (101)

Yes. His posts display an arrogant, ill-tempered and volatile disposition which is why he is the target of trolls, I think. He may camouflage it as “not an officer and gentleman” but to a lurker it appears more pathological than that. The irony is that no one can be sure which of his posts are legitimate, as those from the possible trolls are indistinguishable. Even the other regulars speak to him as if they are dealing with an unstable child. I do not say this to be cruel, but rather with detached concern for the well-being of another human being.

Posted by: Apollo | Sep 4 2022 22:30 utc | 99

Wait- ostro is a feral cat? I’m so confused…

J/K- long time listener, first time caller, and this comment section has made me laugh. Great work, b! This site has been a godsend during this propaganda war.

Posted by: RDF2 | Sep 4 2022 22:44 utc | 100

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