A Response to Partisan Trolling

by William Skink

I’m going to expound a bit on a bizarre sentiment expressed by the source-scold stinking up the comment thread of my last post. It’s a sentiment I’ve had hurled at me before—a condescending effort to minimize the point of view I share regarding the topics I choose to write about:

“Unlike the people here, who are experts on every international crisis and trade deal from their vantage point in Missoula, I tend to write about local issues.” —Don Pogreba

First off, no one here is making the claim to be “experts on every international crisis and trade deal”. Second, what does the fact I live in Missoula have to do with anything? There’s this thing called the internet, and it’s a tool I use to access information that doesn’t make it to mainstream sources like MSNBC and the NYT. And unlike Don (and his cohort, the Polish Wolf) who write sporadically about countries their Democrat team have wrought havoc in, like Libya and Ukraine, I stand by my opinions and the sources I use to formulate them.

I suspect the reason Don and his cohort no longer write about the chaos berserker America is spreading across globe is because time has exposed the naïveté of their positions. The humanitarian intervention in Libya unleashed violent chaos, which was completely predicable, and it will continue because that’s what America’s foreign policy produces. The policy seems to be this: what can’t be controlled is destroyed.

In Ukraine, any development that can be used to demonize Russia is amplified for maximum effect, while any development that could cast the coup-regime in Kiev in a bad light is suppressed, minimized or flatly omitted. For example William Blum reports on the western media’s lack of interest in a string of mysterious deaths in Ukraine which is a stark contrast to how our media reacted to the assassination of Nemstov in Moscow:

Following the murder of Russian opposition leader, and former Deputy Prime Minister, Boris Nemtsov in Moscow on Feb. 27, the West had a field day. Ranging from strong innuendo to outright accusation of a Kremlin-directed political murder, the Western media and politicians did not miss an opportunity to treat Russian President Vladimir Putin as a football practice dummy.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution urging an international investigation into Nemtsov’s death and suggested that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Council, and the United Nations could play a role in the probe.

U.S. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham introduced a Senate Resolution condemning the Nemtsov murder. The Resolution also called on President Barack Obama and the international community to pursue an independent investigation into the murder and redouble efforts to advance free speech, human rights, and the rule of law in Russia.

In addition, it urged Obama to continue to sanction human rights violators in the Russian Federation and to increase U.S. support to human rights activists in Russia.

So it went … all over the West.

Meanwhile, in the same time period in Ukraine, outside of the pro-Russian area in the southeast, the following was reported:

–Jan. 29: Former Chairman of the local government of the Kharkov region, Alexey Kolesnik, hanged himself.

–Feb. 24: Stanislav Melnik, a member of the opposition party (Partia Regionov), shot himself.

–Feb. 25: The Mayor of Melitopol, Sergey Valter, hanged himself a few hours before his trial.

–Feb. 26: Alexander Bordiuga, deputy director of the Melitopol police, was found dead in his garage.

–Feb. 26: Alexander Peklushenko, former member of the Ukrainian parliament, and former mayor of Zaporizhi, was found shot to death.

–Feb. 28: Mikhail Chechetov, former member of parliament, member of the opposition party (Partia Regionov), “fell” from the window of his 17th floor apartment in Kiev.

–March 14: The 32-year-old prosecutor in Odessa, Sergey Melnichuk, “fell” to his death from the 9th floor.

Most Americans will never know about any of these deaths because our media doesn’t inform, it propagandizes. I can try to bring attention to it, but thanks to the gratuitous use of the pejorative label “conspiracy theorist” my efforts are mostly futile.

America will continue down this disastrous path unabated because who is going to stop it? Maybe if McCain was elected instead of Obama, an effective anti-war movement could have been mobilized. But no, liberals were too busy declaring a post-racial America once Obama was elected to pay any attention to the continued carnage, and since then we’ve had nearly a decade of Democrat apologists and lesser-evil scaremongers providing cover for all the betrayals and broken promises.

It makes me sick to my stomach watching this madness unfold. And it makes me mad as hell to be denigrated by partisan hacks for writing about the things that most concern me.

  1. David Voight

    In regard to Libya I totally agree. The mess we left in Iraq was completely predictable and one can’t be optimistic about Afghanistan. However, I am a bit puzzled about your comments on Russia. Surely you don’t mean to suggest that murder in the Ukraine justifies murder in Russia. If your concern is adequate news coverage, perhaps you should start a blog.

    • Please clarify: Where did he say of imply that there was equivalency? As I read it, he was simply contrasting press coverage – crimes by allies are ignored, crimes by enemies highlighted.

  2. steve kelly

    Cheer up, you are moving up as your critics are going in the other direction. The daily anti-Republican fare isn’t what irks Democrats most. They realize that it’s a collaboration and that they’ll get roughly 25% of the eligible voters regardless of the candidate.

    You, on the other hand, represent their worst-case scenario. Independents and third party supporters are targeted for the special venom treatment. Former Democrats seldom return to the fold. You are officially non-sheep. That makes you a threat.

    If this is interesting to you, run for office as an Independent or third-party candidate. You will smell the gunsmoke, but you will survive.

    Jill Stein may take another shot. Check out this unprovoked attack after the 2012 campaign. http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2012/11/08/the_pathetic_failure_of_green_party_candidate_jill_stein.html

  3. “Muammar Gaddafi deployed a clever strategy to make sure he was always in the minds of leaders and ordinary citizens around the world: he pretended to be unhinged to confuse and frighten his adversaries. Lately Vladimir Putin seems to have adopted a similar strategy, appearing alternately depressed, out of touch with reality, or else disappearing altogether. Call it his antic disposition.

    “There’s a rationale in being perceived as unpredictable,” says a recently-departed Moscow ambassador, who also knew Putin in St Petersburg. “Russian state television is aiding Putin by creating an atmosphere of collective psychosis. The Russian strategy is to scare the West by portraying Putin as unpredictable. If you’ve got a madman in power, a country’s nuclear weapons take on a completely new dimension.”-Newsweek, Brae author.

    • “Too funny. Putin has been steady as a rock throughout, while the Western media has hissy fits and bouts of anger and depression. You should have seen how they reacted when he was off-camera for a few days – “Paul is Dead! Paul is Dead! Excuse me. I mean, Vladimir.” – Derek Sobytmee, blogger.

    • Steve W

      “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran,” -John McCain (ha ha)

      ” “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” – Ronald Reagan (ha ha)

      Swede, Brae is just pissed off when other countries do what we do. She thinks since we invented the technique that we own the technique.

  4. James Maxie

    Well you have to admit that you think of yourself as a hero. You’re of the opinion that only you can save the world and that only you can lead the path toward the light. It’s a bit of Jesus complex and people are going to make fun of you when you act like that.

    • lizard19

      my wife wouldn’t let me get away with that. I also don’t think there’s much worth saving about the fucked up systems “governing” us.

      • James Maxie

        See? You think you’re the only one that thinks there are problems in the world. You have a terribly acute form of narcissism. Don’t be surprised when not everyone thinks you’re our only salvation. If you spent a little less time trying to convince everyone how amazing you are compared to them you might find a few sympathetic ears.

  5. Hmmm, Mr. Maxie attacks the messenger, speaks for a large anonymous group, infers mental illness, and refuses to talk about the subject at hand.

    Classic deflection tactics.

  6. James Maxie

    The blow-hardy manifesto claiming to be the only person in Missoula against sexual assault might be my favorite so far. The arrogance required to make such a claim is very impressive.

  7. steve kelly

    That’s strike four. Usually three is enough.

  8. I’m not sure if the sensitive censor at this blog will allow me to post a response, but I’ll try. Your argument about considering multiple points of view might be a touch less histrionic and a dash more credible if you didn’t ban someone for disagreeing, but I digress.

    What you characterize a partisan, I characterize as intellectual dishonesty. Let’s pretend for a moment that your real purpose is to change the policies that “make you sick to your stomach,” not just swell your ego about being one of a few who really understands the issues, from your point of view. Does it really make sense to just fire up the Google and use whatever source you think makes your claim, or should you actually use that self-regarded brain of yours and find good information?

    There is a great deal of information about the TPP, much of it credible and well-researched. In fact, one of your commenters helpfully provided some of that information. Instead of using that, you chose to link to the magazine of the John Birch Society, a screed that called human-caused climate change a hoax and one that quickly degenerated into 1950s style paranoia about one world government.

    I mean, have you read what the SPLC says about the BIrch Society and their magazine?

    There is a good reason for monitoring the culture that gives rise to and incubates Patriot dreams. Recent history shows us that such fever swamps of imagination eventually give rise to political Swamp Things such as Timothy McVeigh. Self-proclaimed “constitutionalist” outfits like the JBS should be careful about providing cover to crackpots simply because they question authority or generally accepted accounts of events like 9/11. A public that loses the ability to separate reality from fantasy will eventually become, one loopy logic leap at a time, a threat to the Constitutional rights of all Americans.

    Then I called you out on it. And you and angry, angry, angry JC, and the idiot collectively lost your minds.

    And the irony? I agree with you. I agreed with you before I read your post. But you lack the intellectual honesty to simply admit that you made a mistake, because you don’t care about the information you use, as long as it fits your worldview.

    If you want fix this world that you write about so often, you’re probably going to need more than two pseudonyms and a crank from Colorado on your side. Is it unreasonable to ask that you be a bit more discerning about the sources of information you use to try to change the world, which, I assume, will depend on persuading people to see the world in a different way.

    P.S. : The constant writing about someone who has moved on and who hasn’t written at my blog for over a year is a little creepy, dude. Let it go.

    • lizard19

      as Matt points out by reposting my comment, I already did acknowledge that using that source was a mistake, a mistake you have chosen to troll over despite that acknowledgement.

      your mistake is more fundamental. as a partisan, you maximize attacks on the opposing team while acting as an apologist for your team.

      you want to talk about intellectual dishonesty? you claim you are banned, yet here you are commenting, doing so, I might add, after declaring awhile back that you would no longer read/engage with this blog.

      but I’m glad you do engage because you say things like this:

      A public that loses the ability to separate reality from fantasy will eventually become, one loopy logic leap at a time, a threat to the Constitutional rights of all Americans.

      what a disturbing, authoritarian sentiment to express. you are more concerned about the loopy logic of the public at large threatening your constitutional rights than you are about a Democratic president who murders U.S. citizens without due process.

      my mistake was using a bad source. your mistake, if you ever find the moral compass to acknowledge it, is perpetuating the fantasy that destroying Libya was done for humanitarian reasons.

      and you want to lecture me about loopy logic? I don’t think so, Don.

      don’t you have a Zinke post to write? it’s been like two days since the last one. run off now and do your partisan duty.

      • That was a quote from the SLPC, you nitwit. Surely an intellect like yours read the article I linked before just dismissing it, right?

        Pretty open-minded stuff right there. Maybe if I post it on Counterpunch it will have the imprimatur of truth.

        And your partner did block me yesterday, after I called him out for attacking teachers and me personally. I know the truth isn’t your strong suit, despite your fantasies of exposing the failures of every writer out there other than the ones that agree with your worldview, but could you at least be honest about that?

    • Truth can happen anywhere, in any publication or website, and on any part of the spectrum. It was an obscure right-wing publication called The Spotlight that exposed Ruby Ridge back in the 1990’s, and not the New York Times. NYT and NPR, along with every other information source in our mainstream media, are currently lying to us about Ukraine. They have routinely lied to the public throughout my entire life. Want a list?

      The Church Committee exposed CIA infiltration of the news media in the late 1970’s. Carl Bernstein wrote about it. He shopped his work around, but only Rolling Stone would publish him.


      We have no evidence that any of that ever changed. When all media outlets have the same spin on major stories, it’s a safe bet that they rely on a central source for their spin.

      How to assembled information and understand the world? A wide array of data from a wide range of sources, foreign and domestic, and even including the John Birch Society, as their track record is no worse than the New York Times in terms of lying about critical issues and events.

      A skeptical mind and critical thinking skills are required. You then have to assemble, connect dots, make mistakes, rethink, repeat, and kept at it. To run to the New York Times is the worst possible way to stay on top of things.

      You make climate change sound like religious belief.

  9. Matthew Koehler

    I certainly am not looking to get into a debate between Don and Liz, but I do think Don has taken some serious revisionist liberties with his recounting of the origins of this latest skirmish. Here are the two original comments:

    April 2, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    It might make for a more credible argument against the TPP if you didn’t cite the magazine for the John Birch Society as evidence. Especially an article that mocks the idea of human-caused global warming.

    April 2, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    thank you for pointing that out. in my haste to post this morning I didn’t examine closely this particular source. there are plenty of other sources critical of the TPP to cite. I don’t know if Truthout carries the official Don Pogreba stamp of approval, but they have 5 pretty good reasons to oppose this corporate insanity.

    again, thank you for reading my posts with such a discerning eye. I look forward to your next Zinke missive.


    Again, if anyone is looking for more resources, information and action items related to secret, job-killing, undemocratic TPP they can check out these links:





    • Matt,

      1. Given your historic concern about deleted comments, you should probably also mention that JC deleted other comment I made in your recap.

      2. The problematic link is still there, in the original post. That’s a pretty half-assed defense for Lizard to make. Do the other five source he linked afterwards make the same argument, that the TPP is both a cover for the “hoax” of global warming and that it’s part of a one world government conspiracy? I didn’t see them there, but perhaps I missed something.

      I would hope not. I would think someone who cares about the environment as you do wouldn’t rely on anti-scientific claims to advance a political agenda?

      • Matthew Koehler

        “I would think someone who cares about the environment as you do wouldn’t rely on anti-scientific claims to advance a political agenda?”

        Huh, Don? How’s that? I never linked to The New American article, or even commented about it. I also don’t believe I’ve ‘[relied] on anti-scientific claims to advance a political agenda.”


        • That’s a fair point. I definitely wrote that imprecisely. What I did mean to say is that I assume you wouldn’t defend the use of that article.

          In fact, I’d suspect you’d oppose it, too.

    • Surely, you don’t think this (still linked in Liz’s critique of the TPP) is a useful claim to make, do you?

      The World Bank and the CFR, for years, have been in the forefront of the global propaganda effort to empower the United Nations, national governments, and other entities with vast new powers for the supposed purpose of dealing with the “crisis” of human-caused global warming.

      Goldman Sachs, of course, (led by CFR member Lloyd C. Blankfein) is a big promoter of both the TPP/TTIP agenda as well as the Global Warming/Climate Change Agenda.

      • lizard19

        I removed the link and quoted a different source. you are going to have to find some other detail to fixate on now to distract you from the fact your team is not playing for your interests but the interests that control both parties.

  10. Steve W

    Matt, Don, Liz, Steve K, JC, MT, and many more we are all against the TPP for a lot of very good reasons, most of which relate to the Corporate take over of more and more power at the expense of the power of the commons.

    i see a political pattern here. They used the lame duck Clinton years to pass all sorts of really bad objectionable undemocratic anti-citizen over-site and regulation stuff that led straight to the bubble and bust. The same coalition of Republicans and some Democrats passed everything from Glass/Steagal repeal to setting the stage for utility deregulation and the exodus of jobs and the resulting collapse of the Unions as a political force. Unions currently represent about 6% of the private workers in the country so they are essentially almost powerless as a counter balance to rapacious capitalism.

    So what are we going to do about TPP? Obama is on the other side, So is Hillary. And so is Jeb, and I would imagine most of the other candidates as well. Their may be a few who oppose it based on the John Birch analysis, but my bet is most will embrace the concept.

    So to win this a few things are evident.

    We need a broad base coalition that includes all opponents to the TPP. We need what remaining unionists there are, even the anti-environmental ones. We need the John Birch analysis right-wing, and we can agree to disagree about almost everything except the TPP. We need all the greens, independents, and disaffected Democrats, as well as tea identifying RW low turn out voters who are tired of the own Repo leadership.

    We need a coalition to rebel against the leadership and congress members of both parties at the same time and place around TPP. We need enough broad based pressure so that members of both parties are wondering which side they will land on.

    That would seem to be the only way to marshal enough no votes in congress to keep it from passing.

    • There used to be a political structure in the US for political organizing, all the way down to the block level, called organized labor. It had paid leaders, newspapers, and buildings for meetings. It mobilized when needed. It was organized labor, and not FDR, that gave us the New Deal. He just happened to be the guy in office. Without labor behind him, he was nothing.

      Beginning with Taft Hartley in 1947, there has been an systematic attack on labor in the post-war era, to the point where it is now feeble and useless as an organizing force. Democrats are the worst enemy in this regard – false friends are far more dangerous than real enemies.

      So when you look for a broad-based coalition to fight something like TPP, the problem, Steve, is that we have no structure. We’ve scattered. The political system provides no answers, as both parties are in the pockets of the people behind TPP.

      On-the-ground organizing outside the two-party structure is the only answer. Every time that is attempted it comes under vicious attack, with the Democrat response to Nader and the Greens in 2000 (in which I participated), and Obama’s violent crushing of OWS. But fighting that fight, ground-level organizing, is our only alternative to fight the deep corruption of the “two” party system. It is a Herculean task.

      Everything that is done can be undone. The first step, always, is organization.

  11. Elements of Right Wing authoritarian personality:

    Authoritarian submission — a high degree of submissiveness to the authorities who are perceived to be established and legitimate in the society in which one lives.
    Authoritarian aggression — a general aggressiveness directed against deviants, outgroups, and other people that are perceived to be targets according to established authorities.
    Conventionalism — a high degree of adherence to the traditions and social norms that are perceived to be endorsed by society and its established authorities, and a belief that others in one’s society should also be required to adhere to these norms.

    Just saying here, but I’ve long been aware of the authoritarian tendency to ban and attack deviants by Kailey and Pogie, who do not consider themselves right wing yet exhibit the traits that Bob Altemeyer called the “wild card” authoritarian.

    Pogie is nothing if not extremely hostile towards any who deviate from his DDDD belief system. The hostility, aggression and submission to authority that come out of Pogie seem to fit the bill here.

  12. larry kurtz

    the jig is up, way up:

    • lizard19

      you are referencing a dude who rails against such evils as non-profits, mocks MT Democrats for having no strategy to actually win elections, and spams his followers with marketing and self-publishing links.

      I didn’t know you were this desperate to amplify attacks against me, larry.

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