What neverending ax grinding? June 28, 2005 11:26 AM   Subscribe

uh, what neverending ax grinding? More inside.
posted by If I Had An Anus to Etiquette/Policy at 11:26 AM (58 comments total)

This was only the second FPP this month by insomnia_lj related to Iraq, hardly indicative of an axe grinding. I feel like this was more likely deleted because people in caddis' thread were unable to discuss the topic without attacking the poster (...and today's thread seemed to be headed down the same path). Now that may be reason enough to delete the thread --fine, if it is-- but it's unfair to blame insomnia_lj. Basically the snarkers are being rewarded for drowning any possibility of serious discussion.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 11:29 AM on June 28, 2005


It was a post to an innocuous article, that was linked twice. The content wasn't the point of the post. It was merely a vehicle for insomnia to drop another self-promoting turd: "one of my sources tell me... blah, blah." The article by itself is worthless.

Look, insomnia has delusions of grandeur. He believes he is an internet "Sy" Hersh. Just read his profile and LJ; it's amazingly like the guy in Adaptation who keeps saying "I'm the smartest guy I know." It gets old.

Relentless self-promotion of unproveable stories does not the best of internet make. Surely you aren't defending the post on its merits...
posted by dios at 11:35 AM on June 28, 2005


We destroyed our own base?

And lay off insomnia--far more of us are axe grinders more often than him--on all sides.
posted by amberglow at 11:35 AM on June 28, 2005


What a cocktease, and what a bad post. That was essentially an open-ended blog post, and essentially a self link:

"I will repost any details, pictures, and video as I receive them."

How about waiting to make the FPP when your pal gets back from chow.
posted by mokujin at 11:37 AM on June 28, 2005


Surely you aren't defending the post on its merits.

Not especially, no. I just think a more appropriate message would have been: "This post was deleted for the following reason: we incapable of discussing this topic like adults."
posted by If I Had An Anus at 11:39 AM on June 28, 2005


Check his last 50 posts. I'm too lazy to count, but I would suspect over 75% are related to the war on terror. Today's post was about a lame tiny story of a bunker being burned down as a result of an electrical fire.

When someone thinks a small electrical fire is worthy of a metafilter posting, I think their judgement has been clouded by their bigger mission. I'm tired of reading insomnia_lj's posts about Iraq, especially when they're about such pointless worthless little stories like today's.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:44 AM on June 28, 2005


I feel like this was more likely deleted because people in caddis' thread were unable to discuss the topic without attacking the poster

I haven't even loaded that thread before, so no, I'd say that guess is wrong.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:45 AM on June 28, 2005


This post was deleted for the following reason: we incapable of discussing this topic like adults."
posted by If I Had An Anus at 11:39 AM PST on June 28


What was to discuss? The only story we had was that a base had burned down. What was the topic of discussion? The proper use of wiring in the desert?

The rest of the post was insomnia's completely unverifiable secret source bullshit about how we bombed it. Why on earth would we discuss something that is hearsay? There was no value to the post, and there nothing to discuss. His relentlessly self-promoting hearsay garbage shouldn't be worth discussing, much less a FPP.
posted by dios at 11:47 AM on June 28, 2005


I've come to picture insomnia_lj as a poor guy in a coffee shop afflicted with Tourette's who at every word of overheard conversation starts screaming about Iraq until he's asked to leave by management.

But then he just sits outside on the curb and keeps going, maybe with a huge sign painted with massive and sloppy lettering.
posted by xmutex at 11:48 AM on June 28, 2005


  • Judge orders Abu Ghraib videos, pictures released.
  • "And the 'Soldier Kicking Asshat of the Month' award goes to..." Rep. Duncan Hunter
  • A clever satirical video made by Norwegian peacekeepers in Kosovo triggers an international incident.
  • International Red Cross confirms Gitmo Koran desecration claims.
  • How to destroy an American soldier.
  • Join the Army for just fifteen months!
  • Damning leak for Blair / Bush!
  • Blair government attacks the BBC, while attempting to "fix" the news.
  • Sanchez is accused of lying about approving guidelines for the use of abusive interrogation techniques at Abu Ghraib prison.
  • In January 2002, Scott Ritter called Iraq a "phantom threat" and warned us of Ahmed Chalabi's "dubious motivations"
  • Did the Interim Iraqi Defense Minister have these two Americans murdered for $300 million?
  • Britain's Abu Ghraib.
  • Dog day in Iraq.
  • The journal of an American soldier.
  • It's very common in Iraq for soldiers to adopt local dogs and cats as mascots, such as "PFC Conner".
  • The new voice of the Iraqi uprising speaks English and knows about propaganda.
  • Logistical issues threaten to undermine Iraqi elections.
  • Letter from Fallujah.
  • One soldier's opinion.
  • Iraq success story! 87% of Iraqis look forward to voting!
  • US military accuses Reuters of lying.
  • Bush administration fights to legalize torture.
  • ...interviews with witnesses to the destruction of Iraq's WMD stockpiles shortly before the Bush administration forced inspectors to leave.
  • "Iraqi blogger" indulges in disinformation.
  • Yesterday, Mazen al-Tomasi, a reporter for Al-Arabiya, was broadcasting live from the scene of a carbombed Bradley Fighting Vehicle
  • Peace breaks out. War surrenders!
  • Two British citizens have travelled to Najaf to serve in Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army.
  • Terrorist Alert Level: Red Herring!
  • Save The Children calls on release of Iraqi children from jails.
  • Over a thousand U.S. soldiers have died in the War on Terror.
  • Chris Neidrich was one of those who died on Sunday [during] when a carefully planned ambush...[on] a Blackwater security convoy headed to Baghdad Airport
  • The L.A. Times releases details from Major General Antonio M. Taguba's findings into prisoner abuse in Iraq
  • A U.S. journalist's firsthand account from inside Fallujah.
  • A year ago, Staff Sgt. Nick Popaditch was in Baghdad's Al-Firdaws Square, celebrating with a cigar shortly before his tank toppled the statue of Saddam Hussein.
  • Sabra. Shatila. Falluja?
  • Iraq or bust!
  • Wounded British soldier gets lawsuit for Christmas?!
  • Did you die on 9/11? If so, the government would like a word with you.
  • Private Jessica Lynch says "The military used me!"
  • The British find WMDs, evidence of gruesome experiments on human guinea pigs.
  • President confirms denies confirms link between Iraq and terrorism!
  • US soldiers beat, inhumanely detain, expel independent journalists.
  • Richard Perle resigns the Defense Policy Board chairmanship.
  • CNN censors reporter Kevin Sites' weblog from Iraq.
  • Pentagon threatens to target journalists in Iraq.
  • The War Behind Closed Doors
  • The government's solution for ruling Iraq? Let the military do it.
  • Sure, they died for their country, but who's counting?!
  • how many US personnel have died (post 9/11) as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • the Bush Administration is losing support for a war against Iraq
  • Before we go to war based on whether or not Saddam (or the UN Security Council...) agrees to the Bush administration's proposed UN resolution
  • 'Imminent threat', my arse. The U.S. will be attacked tomorrow!
  • Is the US targeting al-Jazeera?
  • Nine US soldiers killed, forty wounded in this mountain debacle battle.
posted by Bugbread at 11:50 AM on June 28, 2005


Damn, and I was in the process of outlining the highlights of the extensive history of military disasters. I even included the 1788 Battle of Karansebes where a scuffle between drunken Austrian Hussars and infantry over a barrel of schnapps and some prostitutes turned into a full fledged blue on blue battle killing over 10,000 troops. When commanders on all sides believed that they were the ones battling the Turks.

No, I'm not kidding about the battle or my post. I am kidding about being disappointed about the deletion of the FPP though.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:10 PM on June 28, 2005


mentioning that the Iraqi cakewalk keeps getting more and more embarrassing is, like, gay
posted by matteo at 12:15 PM on June 28, 2005


It was a bad post, but Matt, you seem to be in a bad mood. :(
posted by By The Grace of God at 12:16 PM on June 28, 2005


No worries, the President is talking tonight... all will be well, again.
posted by gsb at 12:41 PM on June 28, 2005


mathowie writes "Today's post was about a lame tiny story of a bunker being burned down as a result of an electrical fire. "

Eh, I think you missed the real story here: it's not that our troops managed to burn down their own Forward Operating. It's the reaction of the soldier-blogger insomnialj linked to.

In general the troops have been supportive of the war, so the cynicism of the soldier's post is a (yes, merely anecdotal) suggestion that no pun intended, our troops are getting burned out over the relentless grind of occupying a country that doesn't really want American soldiers there at all.

And that has real implications for whether we can win the occupation, or, if, as Chuck Hegel and others warn, we're on the road to another Vietnam, with cynical, spiritless troops who no longer believe in their commanders' plans and rosy scenarios either sitting out the war in a hooch with some maryjane, unconcerned that they've managed to torch their own bases, or breaking under the strain and going Lieutenant Calley in an attempt to get a good "body count".

This occupation will be won or lost, not in the Pentagon or the White House or the Senate or at a rally of anti-war demonstrators; it'll be won or lost on the ground, and that's why real pictures of what it's like for our troops are among the best insights we can get into the future of Iraq and indeed, of the U.S. And that's why the post was, for the moment, "the best of the web".
posted by orthogonality at 12:52 PM on June 28, 2005


orthogonality, the "real story" is unsupported "my friend says..." presented as evidence. MetaFilter is first and foremost about linking to interesting things on the web. Linking to a boring non-story and saying you heard from a friend that it wasn't the full story isn't a good post.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:57 PM on June 28, 2005


For someone who makes a ton of noise about how many friends he has in Iraq (get it? you other poseurs claim to support the troops, but he exchanges Livejournal notes with them!), Insomnia isn't above mocking them for tactical errors like this one. His tone ("Welcome to day number 1384 of the War on Terror!") is just one of the reasons his posts can be so off-putting, no matter the content.

"Don't make me get political on your ass!"

Sigh.
posted by dhoyt at 1:02 PM on June 28, 2005




Wow, this thread is depressing. Especially xmutex's thoughts on what insomnia_lj is like in real life. It reminds me of the afternoon, months ago, I believe it was just before that Mission Accomplished sign went up, that I came home from work. It was a pretty normal day, nice weather and all, no problems or anything. I had just gotten home, went upstairs to get a glass of water, and was walking through the house. I sat down at the piano for no particular reason, just stared at it for a little bit. Then I just, I thought of where I was, I thought of where hundreds of people my age were, in Iraq, and cried uncontrollably for the next few minutes.

I'm not really a crying type, either. My point is, sometimes this kind of thing gets to people, and it shouldn't be a surprise that it does. Your coffeshop scenario, xmutex, isn't so unbelievable to me. It's nice to be able to go about your daily life without really thinking about what's going on right now, and it's probably a good way to stay sane, but sometimes this stuff seeps in around the edges. There's no shame in it, and maybe his post was in bad taste, but I certainly don't think it's callous, or "mocking them for tactical errors", or self-serving, either.
posted by odinsdream at 1:16 PM on June 28, 2005


orthogonality writes "real pictures of what it's like for our troops are among the best insights we can get into the future of Iraq and indeed, of the U.S. And that's why the post was, for the moment, 'the best of the web'."

In the same way, Bush's thought processes and opinions are going to massively sway the future of our country, so a post about what he thinks about kitty litter is, for the moment, the "best of the web".
posted by Bugbread at 1:18 PM on June 28, 2005


A pony could save us all.

We need a separate, fourth section of MetaFilter for news and politics. Some people love NewsFilter (and AgendaFilter) and see that as the basic purpose of this site. Others of us loathe the political posts, believe they poison the site, and are more interested in cool stuff someone found on the web. These two audiences do not coexist well, as we see everyday on the gray.

So let's have a page named NewsFilter. Any chance, #1?
posted by LarryC at 1:19 PM on June 28, 2005


We need a separate, fourth section of MetaFilter for news and politics.

No, we really don't. This site is for The Best Of The Web. That's why it's here. Other sites handle news and Iraq and everything else. There's a whole Internet full of this stuff! But this little corner of things isn't for that... it's not why this website exists... MetaFilter is for The Best Of The Web, and an entire stable of ponies isn't going to change that.

(Unless Matt was one of those ponies, but I've always pictured him as more of a cat person...)
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 1:31 PM on June 28, 2005


odisndream: Oh, come off it. Insomnia is so smug and arrogant in his wording of things that he seems like one giant, nattering asshole, regardless of a person's stance on the Iraq situation.

If he really gave a damn about telling the awful stories of young people forced into that situation, or about making any points that someone should seriously take to heart (on either side of the issue), he ought to endeavor to not be such a smug little prick about things. It's insulting all the way around.
posted by xmutex at 1:34 PM on June 28, 2005


The problem, if I remember it correctly, comes down to the fact that matt doesn't particularly like newsfilter or politicsfilter either, so he doesn't particularly want to set up an entire section of his site for it. Kind of like how one wouldn't expect Tom Cruise to set up a section of his blog (if he had one) to be about rumors of his homosexuality just because a lot of visitors wanted to discuss it.
posted by Bugbread at 1:36 PM on June 28, 2005


Bush's thought processes and opinions are going to massively sway the future of our country, so a post about what he thinks about kitty litter is, for the moment, the "best of the web".

he thinks it's delicious.
posted by quonsar at 2:00 PM on June 28, 2005


according to my sources...
posted by quonsar at 2:02 PM on June 28, 2005


Are you willing to post more information and photos as they come in, quonsar?
posted by Bugbread at 2:12 PM on June 28, 2005


Well, since Pollomacho didn't get to tell you about the Battle of Karansebes, I will; it should take your minds off this unpleasantness.

The Battle of Karansebes took place on the evening of 17 September 1788, between different portions of an Austrian army which was supposed to be fighting the Turks.

The army of Austria, approximately 100,000 strong, was setting up camp around the town of Karansebes (now Caransebes, in Romania) on the evening of the 17th. The army's vanguard, a contingent of hussars, crossed the river Timis nearby to scout for the presence of the enemy - who in this case was the Ottoman Empire. There was no sign of a Turkish presence, but the hussars did run into a group of Gypsies, who saw the opportunity to make a load of money and offered to sell the tired soldiers some schnapps. The cavalrymen gladly handed over the money and started drinking heavily.

Soon afterwards some infantry crossed the river. When they saw the partying going on (for the Gypsies also offered girls), the infantry demanded some booze of their own. The hussars refused to turn over any of the schnapps, and in their drunken mood set up makeshift fortifications around the barrel. A heated argument ensued, and somebody fired a shot.

The hussars and infantry now began a full-fledged battle, charging at one another and so on. When it became clear that they were never going to quench their thirst at this rate, some infantry began shouting "Turci! Turci!" - "Turks! Turks!" The hussars ran away in fright, thinking the Turkish attack was imminent. Most of the infantry also ran away, because very few of them could understand each other. The army was comprised of Italians from Lombardy, Slavs from the Balkans, and Austrians, plus other minorities - none of whom could understand each other. It's not clear which, but one of these ethnicities started the "Turks" ruse without telling the others, and the others promptly fled. The situation was made worse when officers shouted "Halt! Halt!" in an attempt to restore order - this was misheard as "Allah! Allah!"

As the cavalry ran through the camps, a corps commander reasoned it was a cavalry charge by the Turkish enemy and ordered artillery to start firing. Meanwhile, the whole camp awoke to the sound of battle and, rather than waiting to see what was going on, everyone fled. The paranoid, scared troops fired at every shadow, thinking the Turks were everywhere; in reality they were shooting fellow Austrian soldiers. The lunacy escalated to the point where the whole army turned tail and fled from the imaginary enemy, and Austrian Emperor Joseph II was pushed off his horse into a small creek.

Two days later, the Turkish army arrived. They discovered no less than 10,000 killed and wounded soldiers, and no doubt had a good laugh.

posted by languagehat at 2:15 PM on June 28, 2005


Me: We need a separate, fourth section of MetaFilter for news and politics.

NotMyself: No, we really don't. This site is for The Best Of The Web.

But many a pissing match in this space has shown that news posts are not the best of the web to many of us. Metafilter already categorizes posts into three sections, a fourth would not be a radical change. You could visit every section if you liked. NewsFilter would even encourage the posting of more news stories, if that is your fancy.
posted by LarryC at 2:20 PM on June 28, 2005


The paranoid, scared troops fired at every shadow, thinking the Turks were everywhere; in reality they were shooting fellow Austrian soldiers. The lunacy escalated to the point where the whole army turned tail and fled from the imaginary enemy, and Austrian Emperor Joseph II was pushed off his horse into a small creek.

That seems to be a fair description of a lot of MeFi political threads.

(ie, mass chaos and people shooting at shadows who are actually on their side while missing the real point entirely)
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 2:21 PM on June 28, 2005


Every day of the human race has been exactly like this one.

Except that I had a new kind of soup for lunch.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:52 PM on June 28, 2005


But many a pissing match in this space has shown that news posts are not the best of the web to many of us. Metafilter already categorizes posts into three sections, a fourth would not be a radical change. You could visit every section if you liked. NewsFilter would even encourage the posting of more news stories, if that is your fancy.

LarryC, I might not have been clear. I wasn't saying that NewsFilter fit into MetaFilter and didn't need another space. I was saying that NewsFilter doesn't fit into MetaFilter, and shouldn't be accommodated anywhere else on this site, either. There are other places for this...

And while you're right in that MetaFilter is already broken down into three sections, there's only one section for posting of material found online. There isn't a need to create a second section just to post certain stuff that already doesn't belong here.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 4:08 PM on June 28, 2005


Ah, now I get you. And I couldn't agree more. But I was really surprised by the strong support for Newsfilter in this MeTa thread, and I figure this is a fight we cannot win. So I was looking for a compromise.
posted by LarryC at 4:57 PM on June 28, 2005


Comprawhat? ;-)
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:22 PM on June 28, 2005


I feel the love.
posted by peacay at 5:48 PM on June 28, 2005


bugbread..

Too many dots!
posted by stirfry at 6:17 PM on June 28, 2005


Look, a crap post is a crap post no matter how important the issue it might deign to address. If you think the issue is more important than the link, fine. But keep in mind that there's a decent number of active folks here who will disagree with that premise and call you on it.

And that's why real pictures of what it's like for our troops are among the best insights we can get into the future of Iraq...

I can assure you that nothing matters to me more right now that the state of mind of our troops in Iraq (OK, to be fair, there's a few dozen that I think about more.) But this post still sucked.
posted by Cyrano at 8:34 PM on June 28, 2005


"Then I just, I thought of where I was, I thought of where hundreds of people my age were, in Iraq, and cried uncontrollably for the next few minutes."

I suggest you enlarge your empathy to include non-white, non-Americans who may or may not be near your age. Then you'll find the numbers involved to be in the millions, not the hundreds.

Millions in slavery, millions dying of AIDS, millions slaughtered in war, millions starving to death. Get a fucking clue.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:45 PM on June 28, 2005


Millions in slavery, millions dying of AIDS, millions slaughtered in war, millions starving to death. Get a fucking clue.

So you're crying over this at the moment then, EB?

"Oh look at how much more I care than you do" is a pretty unintelligent and unnecessary response.
posted by Jimbob at 9:03 PM on June 28, 2005


EB- I'm not sure your little caustic reply there was even relevant to the original comment.
posted by xmutex at 9:03 PM on June 28, 2005


Thanks Matt. And xmutex hit the nail on the head.
posted by Juicylicious at 9:09 PM on June 28, 2005


I agree with EB too.

Okay enough agreeing for the evening.
posted by Juicylicious at 9:15 PM on June 28, 2005


*cries*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:27 PM on June 28, 2005


I love the contradiction of MeTa. You've got all these serious discussions defending strict standards to maintain the integrity of a site populated by people who call themselves "If I Had An Anus" and "Fishfucker."
posted by cribcage at 9:46 PM on June 28, 2005


orthobongality
posted by angry modem at 10:05 PM on June 28, 2005


stavrosthewonderchicken writes *cries*

blah blah blah blah
posted by angry modem at 10:06 PM on June 28, 2005


I have some serious throat congestion here. Head congestion, actually. My right contact keeps drying out.
posted by angry modem at 10:06 PM on June 28, 2005


I sat down and cried yesterday for a few minutes when I learned that John Walton, the Wal-Mart heir, died. I'm sorry--but when I see such suffering in the world, I'm deeply moved. It just seems so wrong, somehow. Such a terrible, terrible waste.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:32 AM on June 29, 2005


dying. it's what we're born to do.
posted by quonsar at 3:09 AM on June 29, 2005


Kelly Osbourne writes "dying. it's what we're born to do."
posted by asok at 5:28 AM on June 29, 2005


From ax grinding to ruminations on the inevitability of death. I love MetaTalk.

But I hate you all.
posted by languagehat at 6:37 AM on June 29, 2005


Millions in slavery, millions dying of AIDS, millions slaughtered in war, millions starving to death. Get a fucking clue.

Well, yes this is true. But one of the questions should be: how much power do I have to stop this. We should have enough power to stop the Iraq war, or at least to have prevented it from happening.
posted by delmoi at 7:44 AM on June 29, 2005


quonsar, i hope you get the chance to live like you were dying.
posted by keswick at 7:46 AM on June 29, 2005


And lay off insomnia--far more of us are axe grinders more often than him--on all sides.
posted by amberglow


Did you read bugbreads list of insomnia links? More often than insomnia? Who? No one.

Millions in slavery, millions dying of AIDS, millions slaughtered in war, millions starving to death.

Well, yes this is true. But one of the questions should be: how much power do I have to stop this.

And I'd say we could stop them all, which again points to the absurdity of the original statement.

And kudos to matt for putting his foot down. Allowing Insomnia's post would have only made things worse
posted by justgary at 8:54 AM on June 29, 2005


Listen friends, Bligh is just showing that he cares more and is a better person than all of us. We should just accept it and move on.

I also agree it was a bad FPP from someone who has become rather one note.
posted by Snyder at 12:27 PM on June 29, 2005


justgary, did you read the order of comments in this thread? how could i read something that wasn't posted yet? duh.

And i think if you searched the archives, you'd find people who post exclusively on science, on the environment, on art, etc. Iraq is a gigantic topic and there's tons online to post about it.
posted by amberglow at 2:39 PM on June 29, 2005


you know what this thread needs? more self-righteous indignation.
posted by shmegegge at 6:28 PM on June 29, 2005


You cried when you heard an elderly billionaire died through his own ineptitude, EB? You cry too easily.
posted by jonson at 8:20 PM on June 29, 2005


« Older MeFi RSS Dashboard plug-in   |   last 50 posts for everyone Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments