The Insolent Braggart's Blog

Ashamed of myself - a formal retraction and apology about my extremist global warming post


I wrote a post that advocated for the jailing and execution of global warming deniers.  If any of you have read my former posts - I may get very angry sometimes - but I truly don't want for anyone to die.  I'm vehemently against the death penalty - and do my best to respect all forms of life.

My intention was not to wish imprisonment or execution of global warming skeptics.  I am not a trained writer (I hear your collective "no shit sherlock" loud and clear) - and was not able to get my point across.  That point is now irrelevant because I did true harm to this site, as well as the cause of global warming research. It's hard enough for respected scientists to battle Fox News ability to provide mass misinformation on the subject - they didn't need the extremist language in my post riling up conservatives.  My original point was to combat what I considered an extreme (denying global warming) with another extreme (my ill conceived jailing and ... - well you know).   A good writer would have found a better way to make their point without the threat of violence.  I find the thought of being locked up for your views truly disgusting and disturbing as well.  The whole post was ill conceived, poorly written - and not representative of who I am.  But I did write it - and I take full responsibility for it.

This post was linked to many conservative sites before Josh could take it down, and I was even included as the subject of a Washington Examiner article.  Wow - I'd reached the big time!!  But I had been compared to an extremist abolitionist and the murderer of an abortion doctor.  And sadly I didn't have much room to argue based on how my post was taken.  Someone asked me how my language was any different from an extremist anti-abortionist calling for the murder of abortion doctors. While my intention was certainly different, the tone was not. 

Some of the global warming skeptics actually had reasonable arguments against my extremist position, pointing out that science is ever evolving and changing.  One in particular (I can't find it now - but it was well written) showed how throughout history scientific consensus have been overturned by new evidence - and that we should never stifle true scientific inquiry.  This definitely made me think and further realize I was wrong in my approach. For those of you wishing to be thoroughly informed about the issue by a true master,  I humbly direct them to the great potholer54 on youtube and his extremely reasoned scientific look at the issue.  You will be glad you did.

What was truly disgusting though were the right wing vultures who pounced upon the story like it was a piece of rotting flesh (a good analogy for the post).  They quote mined the story - picking out only the part about jailing and murdering people who don't agree with you and made sure it looked like Josh himself approved the article.  Many of them insinuated (or just stated) that the post was written by the staff at TPM.  They knew full well that the site allows anyone to post a blog - but they tried to drag the site through the mud because it wasn't pulled quick enough.  One of the things I regret most is a comment on red-alerts.com who said that my post was just another reason to stock up on ammunition.  Again - I know you don't know me - but the thought that my post made even one more lunatic on the right consider further arming themselves makes me sick and I question whether I should continue to write.  As you can see from some previous posts - I push the envelope with people on the right and with evangelical Christians as well.  I certainly hope I have never given the impression that I wish harm or violence to any person or group.  I may (and do) vehimently disagree on some big issues - but I want everyone to live a healthy happy life.  

As I thought about what to write - I wanted to post without throwing too many jabs at the right.  I hope I have succeeded in that endeavor - it was not easy.  There are many things that separate the views of progressives from the views of conservatives (and especially neo-conservatives).  But one thing I think our side does much better is admit when we're wrong.  I don't remember the last time someone on the right offered a sincere apology for some of the vile viewpoints they project onto our World.  I'm not talking about offering a half hearted generically written apology when a sponser threatens to pull out due to public outrage - but an honest "You know what - I was wrong" apology.  It would honestly make me listen to their viewpoint more if I knew they were introspective enough to question their own views and admit when they've made a mistake.  I've taken this experience as an opportunity to do just that.  I have concluded that although I think  I'm right in my progressive World view - I can always do more homework and look at the true facts - and maybe examine the views of the other side for validity before I completely make up my mind.  If anyone takes anything from this retraction - I hope it's that.

In conclusion - I'd like to offer my thanks to Josh Marshall for the second chance he's given me.  He had no reason to allow me to post here - and in fact it was probably in his best interests to suspend my account permanently.  He gave me some advice that I truly value and will do my best to heed it.  I promised to abide by the terms of service - and to think before I hit save.  Josh - thank you for taking a chance and for allowing me to continue to post here.   

I am sorry.

The Insolent Braggart

23 Comments

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Okay, okay. Just do not hurt me. I hereby award you the Knightly Blog of the Day Award for this here TPMCafe site, given to all of you from all of me.

hahahahahah

I mean, justice must be meeted out so to speak.
You might have gone a bit over the top as they like to say ....somewhere.

But it sounded ok to me.

THE END.

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Insolent, it speaks well of you to step forward and apologize.

I think your experience is instructive in a number of ways for those of us who write on the open web. Our writing (and yes even our rants) can be lifted and broadcast in ways and in contexts that we never intended.

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Congratulations on making waves and surviving to rock the boat another day.

yeah, pushing the envelope gives others a reason to push back... sounds like push came to virtual shove in this case and a right-wing coordinated complaint silenced your blog (and gave you something to think about too).

The art of rhetoric includes finding ways to push only the necessary buttons. 'or execute' in your title was probably too strong; the rest while not entirely polite gave less excuse to paranoiac (or guilty perhaps) minds to over-react. Jail time for significantly anti-social behavior is hardly a novel idea.

I didn't see your blog as a "death threat" but at least one person referred to it that way (for self-serving reasons, no doubt -- every rhetorical push becomes someone else's grist for their own mill).

It's a problem when raising an issue is taken as advocating action. Your title asked (without a ?) "when" would it be right to prosecute and sentence hypothetical offenders. But you got lumped together with Roeder and Brown by a writer who then justified right-wing violence with "violence from the Right against political opponents tends to be sporadic, isolated and, most crucially, not justified as a matter of ideological consistency" -- I didn't see that writer chastising O'Reilly et al for their much more public and repeated calls in support of actual targeted violence re abortion.

I hope you're now less "confused" and also more acceptably "crazed"! :-)

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It takes a big person to apologize. At least you found it within you to do it; more than I see from the other side of the table! Good for you. I'll bet your future blogs will be better for it!

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I missed your original blog, but I have to say that this one is about as honest and sincere an apology as I've ever seen. Very well written, too.

I do think you'll need to change your name now. It seems to me you're neither insolent, nor a braggart. . .

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I think everyone ought to rec this up. The right made such an issue of your original blog, IB. Let's see how they cover your sincere, brave, and humble apology, as well as, Josh's open-mindedness.

I read that article. Maybe we should pressure the MSM. to cover the hate speech at Free Republic. Ya think? Oh, maybe that isn't "news."

Good grief! As usual, things like this jut serve to point out the hypocrisy of the right wing blogs, and their enablers in the MSM.

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It's a very good thing to admit a mistake and you are to be commended for it. I believe your apology is sincere and well written. It takes a very strong and wise person to write such an honest self appraisal critiquing their own behavior.

I think there is a lesson here for many of us, myself included, as I have at times posted things that I believe have crossed the "line" by my own standards. Your post crossed that line and attracted attention that brought negative consequences to you. Yet imo there have been blogs and comments by others that have crossed the line without notice and no negative consequences to the poster. I have no problem with righteous indignation and strong words but that's different than venomous ad hominem attacks without any rational argument or insults based on nothing, ignorance, or lies.

Though things have calmed down a bit the attacks on Hillary, Palin, Mickey Kantor, and others during the primary were no less harmful to this site and damaging to the progressive movement than your piece. There are still times here when the level of vitriol is more appropriate to those wishing to indulge in a flame war rather than a rational dialog or debate. Do we really want to be a left version of the worst of the right engaging in similar ad hominem attacks and spreading lies?

It would be good for some of us to remember John Gabriel's internet theory.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19/

While you have earned a certain amount of admiration from me and I have no doubt from others with this post I am compelled to suggest you continue contemplating self beyond the blog that attracted such negative attention. While that post was the first to be noticed across the web its not the first time I noticed you. Some months ago your tone and style moved me to wonder who this "ass" was and when I checked out your rant under politics it confirmed my opinion.

As a self identified hippy I wonder what is the purpose of these bunch of lies used to make such an insulting attack. A joke? I don't get it and I am personally offended. I have always supported my self, never been a drain, I don't own a tv because I'm too busy studying, I bathe regularly. Not only do I know how to spell patchouli, aromatherapy is a major interest of mine that I've used often to facilitate healing of minor illnesses among my friends. Most of my friends are hippies as well and are equally competent and productive members of society.

Frankly you have a lot more growing to do beyond this quite sincere and well written apology. Your description of your politics on this home page reveals you as an ignorant bigot with a tendency to acrimony.

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Geez, oceankat, could you be any more condescending? Anybody with a brain should have known it was a joke. Don't be a pinhead.

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I can guess he meant it as a joke since this is generally a left leaning site. That doesn't mean I have to laugh or that I have no right to condemn it. Fifty years or less years ago many of those same stereotypes were used against blacks. Would it be funny if someone posted, "I just hate the god damned lazy negros so much. Do you need to stink on top of being a drain on society?" How about, "I just hate the money grubbing jews?" Funny?

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You know, he's talking about people who are willing to fool themselves into believing that two thousand climate scientists who endorsed (and many researched) the UN's paper on human-caused global warming are dumb enough to talk themselves into believing that it's some vast "conspiracy". And then they're too gullible to understand that he wasn't in any way serious in writing this peace. I'm sorry, what a bunch of maroons. It's a stereotype that they exactly fit. Qu'elle horreur!

Tell me, can you play "Stars and Stripes" on that paper-thin, unbelievably tight asshole, or not?

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Yeah, thirty years ago you were probably wondering why black people can't take a joke. After you got schooled you no doubt complained that the "girls" in the office had no sense of humor. Now days you're probably telling the over weight people to "lighten up, it was just a joke" as you walk away giggling. The only difference between you and the OP is he had enough brains to realize he made a mistake.

I met people like you in the work place before and I don't play along with racist, sexist, anti gay, fat or other abusive humor. You can bet that I'd report you to the boss if you worked in any office I did and you acted on the ignorance you display here.

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"Frankly you have a lot more growing to do beyond this quite sincere and well written apology." And so do you. Get off of your sanctimonious high horse and hobnob with the rest of us, who don't think that we walk a foot off the ground.

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Don't sweat it!

So you had an outburst that went over the top. C'est la vie!

Instead of jailing or killing them, let's just politically sideline and overwhelm them before it's too late and their shameful denials lead to the death of our planet as we know it.

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Yep. C'est la vie!

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Hate to tell you, the Washington Examiner ain't the big time. Other than that I wouldn't worry about it. Until someone actually shoots one of these idiots, or burns down Operation Rescue's office, or assassinates Jim Inhofe the real insaniacs are on the other side. We'll just keep countering them with the facts, they'll just keep losing elections, and we'll just keep passing legislation to fix these messes.

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Thank you for this, Mark. Because of the Tiller killing, I wouldn't mind if the left would leave out words like "jailing and executing" when speaking of the opposition. I know nobody here took it seriously, but that's exactly what O'Reilly says in his defense, too.

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I agree seashell that rightwing moron collected a whole list of cases of people losing their tempers the same way. But the fact does remain that it's way past time for half measures to forestall the effects of global warming and if the wingnuts are able to water down efforts to stop it with their idiocy there may be very few of us left to say "I told you so".

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You're right, Mark. Honestly, I think I'm oversensitive about the Tiller murder with all the toad-spotted foot-lickers out there calling it a heroic act. Onward!

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wot about words like, say, "buttsecks?"

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Absolutely. And say TruckNutz!!! too!!!

Er, Also.

:-)

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(whew)

Thank goodness for dat!

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U iz da cheekan!

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Oh that is okay. Just do not stop being insolent altogether. Ha!

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The Insolent Braggart

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  • Location Trapped in the box under Sean Hannity's bed - it's WAY scarier than you would think
  • Party Ya - you know where I could score some high milligram Ibuprofen around here?
  • Politics Progressive. I'd say liberal - but I just hate the god damned lazy hippies so much. Do you need to stink on top of being a drain on society? Jesus. But I'd literally take hanging out with a bunch of hippies every day - drenched in petrulie oil (we know it's to cover up the fact you don't use deoderant) than have to listen to the bile being spewed out of the mouths of the idiot neo-cons. And I'd listen to a neo-con talk about how we need to go to war with canada to protect ourselves from their metric system all day than have to watch a conservative Christian raise his arms during church and start pretending to talk to god by speaking in tongues, then having a fucking fake seizure and falling to the ground.

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  • Favorite Blogs talking points huffington dagblog mike malloy
  • Favorite Books The bible Letter to a Christian Nation The Shock Doctrine Unhinged by Michelle Malkin ( I laughed so hard reading this book - and I thought asians were supposed to be smart!)
  • Favorite Quotes Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither - Benjamin Franklin God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? -Epicurus If life deals you lemons, why not go kill someone with the lemons (maybe by shoving them down his throat). - Deep Thought - Jack Handey

Bio

I'm a pretty (OK, very) vocal critic of the Bush administration I figure I can still talk about them until they are either brought to justice, or until our Country has wiped the stain of blood and shame away. I have an equal distaste for the Christian right wing, and for the right wing talkers that permeate the airwaves like vermin or cockroaches.

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