October 08, 2002
Banned In Siwackyland

Sorry, I mean Sawickyland -- I always get those two mixed up.

Max Sawicky says I'm not allowed to comment on his weblog anymore (comment 22 on this post), thus giving new meaning to his slogan "MaxSpeak, You Listen!" Apparently he doesn't like being shown up as a liar. His flying monkeys are still hiding behind vague pseudonyms and nonexistent e-mail and web addresses to insult anyone who criticizes him.

To put it as shortly as possible: Sawicky said that "warbloggers lie about Bonior and McDermott" and at the same time "hail" Oliver North "as an American hero", and that this supposed double standard proves our hypocrisy. He has refused to give any examples of lies told about Bonior and McDermott, which makes the first half a little difficult to argue against -- and very difficult to believe until he does. He has amended the second half to "right-wing warbloggers" instead of warbloggers in general, but that doesn't help his case. He provided 24 URLs to buttress his claim, not one of which provided any evidence at all of anything resembling hailing, adulation, or even strong admiration. Some were bare links, some were second-hand quotations of the opinions of non-bloggers, one was from a left-wing blog, and it's clear that Sawicky didn't bother to read them before posting them. I suppose he thought no one would have the patience to actually look at them. No one has come up with any 'warblogger' that has said "Oliver North is my hero", or "when I grow up, I want to be just like Col. North", or "we need more Ollie Norths in this country", or anything of remotely comparable warmth, not even "Ollie North has done more good than harm to the U.S. and the world".

Now Sawicky and his allies are reduced to other tactics (all in the comments to his last post, linked above, and the one before):

  1. Changing the subject: G.O. (no e-mail, no web-page) says: What about Michael Ledeen and Richard Perle? What about 'em? If Sawicky wanted to talk about them, he should have mentioned them in the first place.
  2. Redefining the question: Kelly DeRango (no e-mail, no web-page) offers clear evidence that Orrin Hatch, Jesse Helms, and some guy named Majors who runs something called the Leadership Forum have in fact hailed North as hero. As I said before I was banned, that would be pretty devastating if Hatch, Helms, or Majors were bloggers. They aren't, and they aren't particularly admired by any bloggers I know, so mentioning them is just another attempt to evade the issue.
  3. False dichotomy: If 'warbloggers' don't treat North as a pariah, that's just as bad as treating him as a hero. There's a lot of territory between pariah and hero, and in fact most warbloggers do treat him as something of a pariah: they may not shout 'Unclean! Unclean!' when his name is mentioned, but they avoid mentioning him themselves. Apparently that isn't enough: we have to bring up North's name from time to time just to trash it like good left-wingers.
  4. False generalization: De Rango again: A Republican who lived through the 1980's must have admired North at the time, just as anyone who lived through that decade must like 'A Flock of Seagulls'. Huh? I still haven't gotten a straight answer as to whether that's a song or a group, but so far from liking it (them?), I've never heard of it, and never knowlingly heard it. I was 27 in 1980, but had long since given up listening to any contemporary pop/rock and most of the stuff that had been popular when I was in college. (Sorry if this remark offends anyone, but I grew out of it.) I found that a combination of a lot of classical, some jazz and blues, and a lot of country music fulfilled all my musical needs, as it still does. (By country I do not mean the crap they play on CMT or the radio, but the good kind of country, bluegrass, and honky-tonk: Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Del McCoury, lots more. If you want to know what I mean and live in D.C., listen to the Eddie Stubbs show on WAMU on Saturday afternoons. I think they do webcasts, though my computer can't quite handle the bandwidth requirements, so I haven't checked lately.) It was perfectly possible to make it through the 1980s without ever hearing A Flock of Seagulls, and it was perfectly possible for a Republican to make it through the 1980s without ever admiring Oliver North. Of course, many (perhaps most) warbloggers were on the left back then, and many are still firmly on the left in domestic policy, as anyone knows who bothers to read them, so the argument doesn't even apply to them.
  5. False logic: This is a variation of the preceding. The Right in general hailed North as a hero in the 1980's. (Many did, many didn't.) 'Warbloggers' who support war on Iraq are all on the right. (Some are, most aren't, or aren't very.) Therefore, we must be fans of North. Given the large number of 'warbloggers' who are 'right-wing' (at least by Sawicky's definition) and the volume of their writings, it would have been easy enough to prove if it were true. It is not.

No doubt it was "rude, unedifying, and unamusing" for me to insist that Sawicky not keep repeating things that are untrue. I suppose the boy who pointed out that the Emperor had no clothes was also rude, and the Emperor at least found him very unamusing. Too bad. Max Sawicky is an intellectual fraud. I have added his words to the testimonials in the right-hand column.

(Andrea Harris has blogged a bit more on this subject here.)

Posted by Dr. Weevil at October 08, 2002 07:42 PM

Both the Latin and the Greek are getting rusty, and I forget the words for "righteous fury", but would the German "Zorn" be appropriate here?

Also, if you need a remedial course on Flock of Seagulls, you can try flockofseagulls.co.uk, where they appear in all their glory. No-one has as yet been able to answer my question of how they got their hair that way. The question of "why" is, of course, unanswerable.

Posted by: Haruspex on October 9, 2002 09:44 AM

Arrrrgh! Now I've got "I Ran" by A Flock of Seagulls running though my head. Months of therapy down the drain. Thanks, Doc.

They were a band, by the way; four British men, hairdressers by trade, who decided it would be cool to form a techno dance band (with, of course, outrageous hairstyles, even by eighties standards). They were basically a one-and-a-half hit wonder; "half" because I can't remember their second "hit" for the life of me, while "I Ran" was so overplayed on MTV in the eighties that I will probably pass it on to offspring through my genes.

Posted by: Kevin Shaum on October 9, 2002 02:04 PM

Max speaks? Give the good doggy a biscuit.

Posted by: David Perron on October 9, 2002 03:25 PM

I just left this response on Max's comments thread.

This is the article from my blog that Max thinks indicates hero-worship, on my part.
This is an article that actually does indicate hero-worship, on my part.

To paraphrase Crocodile Dundee, that's not hero-worship, this is hero-worship.

Riyadh delenda est!

Posted by: Cato the Youngest on October 10, 2002 08:12 PM

Max Sawicky is a fax machine that will make your digital camera obsolete and hasn't gone on any murderous rampages yet.


Any thoughts on answering machine/fax machine similarities?

Posted by: David Perron on October 11, 2002 09:06 AM

I was active duty Navy at the time of Ollie North. Made us cringe every time we saw him smirch the Marine uniform by wearing it. Damned lying bastard.

Posted by: Rich Cook on October 11, 2002 03:53 PM

Oliver North is a true American hero.

Posted by: Taylor Ryan on April 4, 2003 10:36 AM