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Friday, November 05, 2004

24 Hour (Socialist) Party People

So my boyfrend Arnie went onto Rabble.ca yesterday, to see the moonbat reaction to the election. He wasn't disappointed or suprised: "Bush = Hitler", "The Christian Taliban is coming!" etc.

Arnie joined up do he could take part in the online discussions, a process which required lying ("How did you hear about Rabble.ca?" "Friends at PETA" etc.) otherwise he presumed he'd be barred from signing up.

Membership granted, he posted a question on the board: "So, given the results of the election in the US, do you think the Left will have to re-evaluate it's strategies?"

Responses were (and I'm paraphrasing only slightly, from memory) "Shut up you fascist!", "Get lost you troll" and so on.

Arnie posted again, still conciliatory, wondering why no one wanted to talk about this pretty important matter. Actually, a few other posters did too, but they were overwhelmed by an avalanche of name calling.

Arnie: "Do you guys know what you sound like? Do you wonder why people don't take your side? This is like speaking in tongues, only funnier. At least answer with a fact or statistic or something. Is name calling all you can come up with?"

"Get lost you angry white man with a job!" (Seriously, that was one repsonse.)

Then Arnie asked about Rabble.ca's funding: "In your About Us section it says Rabble.ca gets most of its funding from an NGO called Alternatives. I downloaded the most recent Alternatives annual report, and it says it gets the vast majority of its funding from the federal government. I'm not sure I like the idea of my tax dollars supporting anti-American name-calling."

At this point the Moderator stepped in and tried to claim that Rabble.ca didn't receive government funding, but Arnie persisted, pointing out the page number on which the Rabble.ca-Alternatives-government funding (i.e., my tax dollars) connection was spelled out in the annual report.

When Arnie tried to log on this morning, he was informed that his "membership had been recinded."

Posted by Kathy Shaidle on November 5, 2004 | Permalink


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What will it take to get a government elected that will stop paying for this stuff?

Posted by: Ghost of a flea | 2004-11-05 8:22:48 AM

It was hysterical. Arnie was up until 2 am cutting and pasting things from Rabble's own site as well as the annual reports, in response to the moderator's rather surly "Prove it!".

Bad spelling, name calling, race baiting, anti-Christian stuff. Except for a few other voices of reason it was dominated by clearly mental people who couldn't even muster a fact or chart or stat to back up anything they were saying. Sad...

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle | 2004-11-05 8:29:36 AM

Yikes...this reminds me so much of the e-mail reflector known as NEXGENLIB-L ("Next Generation" Librarians, which I suppose by age I am part of). I wound up signing off once all the presumptions started that librarians were necessarily Democrats (which is not what my Ohio voter registration says). The forum for catalogers ("the dark side of librarianship") is always a bit more civil and quite more conservative.

I agree...yank the funding...ASAP...

Posted by: Stephen Michael Kellat | 2004-11-05 8:32:34 AM

Arnie now adds:

"I signed in under another name, they have deleted the entire thread containing all my posts, as well they have started a new one where they are all complaining amongst themselves about the influx of trolls. Given that at no time did I use offensive language such as was hurled at me why was I removed? Evidently a troll is anyone who does not tow the party line. All this at Tax Dollar Expense."

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle | 2004-11-05 9:29:10 AM


Does Mark Steyn know about Arnie?

Can you send the link to the funding information.

Posted by: Norman Spector | 2004-11-05 10:42:12 AM

Does the Western Standard take the Canadian Government Publisher's subsidy?

Posted by: MWW | 2004-11-05 10:45:37 AM


Angry White Males.

I like that.

Look up angrywhitemales.ca to see who it belongs to.


Posted by: Sean | 2004-11-05 10:54:32 AM

Hi Norman, hey, we're all one big polygamous family!!

Here is what Arnie originally posted:

"Hi Sharon, please correct me if I am mistaken, your home page at rabble.ca states; 'rabble.ca is an independent project of Alternatives, a Montreal-based NGO. We are also supported by our founding partner, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.'

"On the Alternatives web site in their annual report 2001 is the most current year available, http://www.alternatives.ca/IMG/pdf/ra2001-english-quark2.pdf

"...on page 28 Alternatives say they have a budget of 7 million dollars are running a surplus and receive 70% of their revenue from the federal government. It follows then that if Rabble is an independent project of Alternatives that surely some that federal money must be used to support the sight. This seems a reasonable conclusion.

"What about this link which discusses a funding by former provincial NDP governments for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives- albeit indirect funding- http://www.legis.gov.bc.ca/hansard/37th3rd/h21120p-blues.htm

"At any rate any insight you could offer in clearing up this matter for me would be appreciated."

He just informed me that he found out they've banned him for violating their policy statement which says among other things, "attempts to provoke conflict, bait or taunt will not be tolerated ... You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this discussion board to post any material that is knowingly false and/or defamatory. You agree to avoid personal insults, attacks and mischievous antagonism (otherwise known as trolling)."

Indeed, Arnie did write "Scratch a socialst, find a facsist" but that was long after him simply asking "What's next with you guys?" were greeted with defensive jeers and rabid emotional screeds.

Sure, Arnie was being mischievous, but taken to its logical conclusion, the Rabble policy should also mean the banning of the guy who wrote back calling him "idiot child" or the other poster who said, "F**k you with a rusty screwdriver".

And yes, I would agree that Rabble has the right to cut people off, but would be more inclined to agree if my taxes weren't making their existence possible.

I guess culture jamming is only ok for some folks but not others...

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle | 2004-11-05 10:59:10 AM

Well, what should Arnie have expected?   'rabble.ca' lists Judy Rebick as its publisher, a woman for whom the word "extreme" is meaningless (unless she applies it to strains of political thought not in keeping with her own).  Unsurprisingly, her website's funded by the Feds, pretty much for the same reason NAC (an organization she also once helmed) had to be funded by the Feds -- private donations are hard to come by when you manage to piss off anybody with a wallet that might have otherwise been able to help you.

Interestingly, there's a neat symmetry here: most of the Web-based organs of the "liberal left" appear to use government funding, while the "conservative right" websites seem to be run privately, with or without donations.  In other words, the left uses state-based coercion (albeit once removed, to maintain plausible deniability), and the right uses individual initiative.

'T'was ever thus.    ;-)

Posted by: Garth Wood | 2004-11-05 2:48:23 PM

Why should the government fund a rabble? I hope you all read "Animal Farm". The people who flamed you and expelled you from their forum are playing exactly the role of the sheep who only know how to chant "Two legs bad" at political meetings - or sometimes just "bad".

Since on the internet you can be any animal you want and no one is the wiser, it is a safe bet that some of these sheep are also the black dogs who are turned loose whenever, oh, say a provincial assembly house needs to be stormed.

We know who the pigs are.

I think that in the scheme of things, we would be the donkeys.

Posted by: Justzumgai | 2004-11-05 4:36:41 PM

Indeed, Arnie did write "Scratch a socialst, find a facsist" ...

That would be Splammer.

...but that was long after him simply asking "What's next with you guys?"

Long after? It was his second post. He made it obvious that he wanted to insult people so he got insulted in turn and eventually booted. I don't see why that's a surprise.

Posted by: pogge | 2004-11-05 5:27:24 PM

Hey Standard - a question at rabble.ca/babble:

"And let's not even try to figure out how much corporate welfare from taxpayers finds its way into the Western Standard. Unless, someone wants to answer that...

Posted by: Don | 2004-11-05 6:57:38 PM

Whatever you say, pogge. Notice, it wasn't his first post, which asked a simple question and was greeted with considerable hysterical hostility. The entire thread before he got there was a carnival of self-pitiying leftist fury and impotence about "the stupid Americans" who didn't "vote the right way." When socialists don't get their way, they turn into fascists. Just pointing out the facts.

He spent a lot of time lurking before signing on and felt compelled to do so because Rabble.ca is full of anti-religious bigotry. Oh and stuff like this:


You guys actually WANT to celebrate the deaths of 100 million people (no doubt you think that figure is "exaggerated"). But why does that surprise me? You're obsessed with your "right" to kill millions of babies right here at home.

We get the odd troll here. We usually respond to their bait with more intelligent comments than you folks can come up with.

I see you're still all in denial about where your money comes from though. I was particulary struck by the post that said, "Even if the government do give Alternatives money, well, then it becomes THEIR money, right?"

And you wonder why the NDP gets so few votes.

Posted by: Kathy | 2004-11-06 5:37:45 AM

I'll reiterate: Rabble.ca is very selective about applying its online policies. The only person banned was Arnie, and that was -- we believe -- not for name calling, but for daring to ask about where Rabble.ca got its money. If name calling were really forbidden, half of you would have been kicked off by now.

It is pretty amusing that a group funded in part by taxpayer's dollars shuts down debate when one of those taxpayer's starts asking too many questions about where his money is going. That is the real issue and not him getting banned, which we don't give a rat's a** about.

Yep, he and I are trouble makers. But like I said before, live by the culture jam, die by the culture jam. That's the trouble with "tactics"--your enemy can steal 'em.

Posted by: Kathy | 2004-11-06 5:49:14 AM

Kathy wrote: Notice, it wasn't his first post...

The first post Splammer made was full of conciliatory phrases like "looney left" and "limousine liberals". His second post was the one we've already discussed. He came looking for insults, got them and then crowed triumphantly about how nasty those lefties are. Can you say self-fulfilling prophecy?

Most of the rest of what you've written consists of straw men. (And as an individual member of babble I'm not responsible for the views of one obscure group who celebrate the Russian revolution.)

And whoever MongoBongo is, note that he was involved in a discussion last night concerning rabble's funding and wasn't banned. Nor was the thread deleted. In fact in the two and a half years I've frequented babble, I've never seen a thread deleted. MB got a rough ride from some. He also got some quite reasonable answers from some and seemed to ignore, or try to, much of what was explained to him.

If the rough ride seems unfair, go back and read your last two comments and look at the attitudes you've accused me of having based on no evidence except guilt by association.

What you're doing here is demonizing all the people who disagree with you. Lumping them in all in one big pot and trying to smear them all with the same generalizations. It doesn't make any more sense coming from the right than it does when it comes from the left.

Posted by: pogge | 2004-11-06 12:42:00 PM

The editor has forwarded my question on funding to the publisher of Rabble.

So, how much federal/provincial grant $$ is the Standard getting?

Posted by: Don | 2004-11-06 2:30:59 PM

In the entire history of babble (since May 2001), only one thread has ever been deleted. That one was started in the middle of the night by a coprophiliac, and was heavily illustrated. Luckily, the moderator was up at the time.

On a few occasions, people have, perhaps unintentionally, perhaps not, "outed" other babblers in their posts, and the moderator has always deleted that information as soon as she was made aware of it. Copyright violations, if not corrected at once by the poster, have been cut by the moderator.

But that is a full description of all deleting that has ever happened on babble. It is simply a lie -- or perhaps an innocent error? -- to claim that a thread, or even a post, has been deleted.

If Arnie is any of Splammer, Don, madman, or MongoBongo on babble, then everything he has ever written to babble is still up on the board. I've just read all of it. Don's duplicate thread about rabble.ca funding was closed, not deleted -- that is, you can still read what he wrote, but there was already a discussion running on the subject when he opened a new thread.

That discussion is, in fact, still running. Feel free to join in. You might find it educational.

Posted by: Viscount Bennett | 2004-11-06 6:37:03 PM

Does the Western Standard take the Canadian Government Publisher's subsidy? Meaghan how is that question relevant to the discussion?

To my understanding all Canadian magazines are open to receiving that subsidy, including MacLeans.

But it doesnt apply to websites or does it??

Posted by: Mike P | 2004-11-06 9:09:30 PM

"Membership granted, he posted a question on the board: 'So, given the results of the election in the US, do you think the Left will have to re-evaluate it's strategies?'"

Was that a direct quote? :-)

Here's the thread:

And here's Arnie's first comment:

"If the postings on this site are indicative of what the 'Left' truly believes then is it any wonder they find themselves increasingly marginalized in society? In the US the Democratic party was best described by Ann Coulter as 'Standing for Solar Powered Abortions', it would seem the Left in Canada does as well. This is why the Democrats lost the election- the loony left and limousine liberals of the Democratic party succeded in alienating potential voters. Michael Moore, P.Diddy et al did them far more harm than good. I do not understand the knee-jerk Anti-Americanism found here. Where is your independence of thought? All I see is blind hatred married to a bankrupt ideolgy."

Posted by: Russil Wvong | 2004-11-07 12:30:09 AM

"What you're doing here is demonizing all the people who disagree with you. Lumping them in all in one big pot and trying to smear them all with the same generalizations. It doesn't make any more sense coming from the right than it does when it comes from the left."

I couldn't agree more, pogge. It's something I have to watch out for, and I don't always succeed. I also don't remember saying the thread was deleted, but ok. If I did, my bad.

It was unconscionably daft of me to paraphrase Arnie off the top of my head, and for that I apologize. Very bad call on my part. Blame me, not him.

But I still stand in awe of the bigoted remarks I read at Babble, and am amazed that the site would promote a celebration of the Russian Revolution, etc. That is indicative of an overall mentality behind the site, isn't it? How many "isolated incidents" can there be? Arn wouldn't have had much to write about if you'd all been doing a thoughtful post morten about the election. But a look at the discussions and the site itself really makes you wonder where the Canadian Left's head is at, calling people "c*ck s*ckers" etc.

And I don't think "the government" ie 'Me" should be funding it. Obvously there are things the Left doesn't want the government fuding, like the "weaponization of space." Great. Talk about that. But I feel just as annoyed that I'm subsidizing your discussion as you do that you're subsidizing things you don't believe in.

Don't you honestly think the money spent keeping Rabble online would be better spent building housing for the poor or something? No, I'm not being sarcastic. Couldn't Rabble just as easily be run for next to nothing, as 99% of blogs are?

Posted by: Kathy | 2004-11-07 6:40:07 AM

Kathy: "And I don't think "the government" ie 'Me" should be funding it."

It hasn't been established that the government is funding it. From one commenter in the thread linked to earlier:

'You also don't seem to understand how government funding works. The vast majority of governement money is doled out on a project basis, ie "here's a $40,000 contribution to your $100,000 water-well project in Namibia". The money has lots of strings attached, and you must document how each penny is spent. Groups cannot spend it on anything they want. So no, it is not reasonable to state that "that 70% of whatever Alternatives provides (or provided in 2001/2) to rabble is then derived from the federal government."'

If you read that thread (and tiptoe around the flames) you'll find that no one has yet demonstrated that rabble receives government money.

As for the language, and what you're perceiving as bigotry, yes the place can be an echo chamber at times. Every board and blog I've seen can be an echo chamber at times. Sometimes it's magnified at babble precisely because people come in with the purpose of provoking reactions. The site was started specifically to foster "progressive" discussions and some on the other side of the partisan divide seem to have a problem with that.

During our own election there was a wave of new members who seemed intent on disrupting discussion, not contributing to it. Since the Bush victory there's been a small wave of visitors who seem intent on gloating more than anything else. So people get defensive and fight back. It ain't pretty but it's hardly surprising.

I'm not here to claim the place doesn't have its warts, just to suggest that there's another side to the story.

Posted by: pogge | 2004-11-07 11:41:28 AM

Actually pogge, I do understand how gov't funding works. I respectfully suggest that, like many on the left, you are willfully blind to the fact that "government money" is "tax money" and tax moeny comes from me.

The government extorts money from me and often uses it in ways I do not approve of. Organizations by all means "can't just use it for anything they want to", but the question is, do I want them using it for anything in the first place?? The people who get government money to put on Caribanna or any number of arts and cultural festivals obviously can't just take the money and run to Tijuana. But I (as opposed to Leftists) don't. Want. The. Government. Funding. Stuff. Like. That. Anyway.

And Rabble DOES receive gov't money. I don't need to read a thread to prove this. On the about us page, it states:

"rabble.ca is an independent project of Alternatives. We are also supported by our founding partner, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives."

First: why doesn't Alternatives have a 2003 and/or 2002 report on its site? Where is the accountability. AGAIN, I would like to know where my money is going. I guess what makes me so angry about this is that it adds insult to injury to have people funding something I don't agree with and then not even posting timely annual reports on their website?

Wouldn't you find it odd if you went to the Fraser Institute or a Bank webstie and saw only 2001 annual reports?

The quote you, er, quoted isn't quite accurate. As I've already posted in THIS thread, the last available Annual Report from Alternatives (2001) states that 70% of its funding comes from the government, i.e., ME. And it follows that Rabble in turn is getting gov't $ that has obviously first gone through the Alternatives middle man.

Let's put it this way, and don't take this the wrong way: If Alternatives blew up tomorrow, would Rabble have to close down? yes or no?

Let the unions fund Rabble. Let it rely more on donations. Socialism is a bankrupt doctrine as can be seen by its complete failure. (If anyone thinks Cuba is a success, they are not worth talking to.) Rabble's readers are no different than the Flat Earth Society or the Society for Creative Anachronism or Trekkers.

This has to boil down to a difference in worldviews, because there is nothing to debate here and we clearly are both stuck.

Posted by: Kathy | 2004-11-07 1:15:14 PM

Maybe you're stuck. I'm not. And of course I know government money is tax dollars. Thanks for insulting my intelligence whether it was done respectfully or not.

Yes, 70% of Alternatives' funding comes from the government. And as explained, the government money they get is earmarked for specific projects and I've seen no evidence to support the assertion that rabble is one of those specific projects.

If you have a problem with the lack of financial reporting from Alternatives, complain to them. I don't run Alternatives and neither do the people at rabble.

By the way, do you have a membership list for Leftists-with-a-capital-L? If we're going to discuss a group, I like to know who's in it but for all the people who talk about Leftists or The Left, no one can ever come up with a list.

On second thought, since you say there's nothing to debate, forget about it. You seem to be more interested in ranting than reason.

Posted by: pogge | 2004-11-07 10:24:05 PM

Pogge, putting aside for the moment your sarcastic and condescending "maybe you don't know how gov't funding works" line (and don't pretend to be surprised when that kind of tone invites the same from your opponent...)

Let's put it this way. Alternatives only exists because it receives approx. 70% of its funding from the gov't. Yes, the other 30% comes from donations or some other source, but that 30% would not be forthcoming, and Alternatives would cease to exist, were it not for that 70% in the first place.

So Rabble's self-proclaimed main supporter would be out of business if not for this gov't funding, whether or not any of the 70% goes straight to Rabble.

As for that list of Leftist names, I wasn't going to dignify that juvenile snark, but in fact the computers here at the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy are down right now so I can't give you the list. If you look at the staff list at the CBC, the names of all the Governor General's Award Winners since 1978, and add the teachers and other unions you should be able to cobble together some actual names.

Posted by: Kathy | 2004-11-08 4:07:35 AM

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