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Friday, June 30, 2006


Blog-Integrity™ 's Blog-Of-The-Week©

After much thought, and many argumentative exchanges, Blog-Integrity™ has chosen Sadly, No! as thees week's Blog-Integrity™ Blog-Of-The-Week©

Frrrom their award-worthy takedown of Jeff Goldstein, to their courageous forays eento the murky depths of the Online Integrity brouhaha and beyond, los bloggerros at Sadly, No! have shown a true reverence for the Blog-Integrity&trade.

Thees means that Sadly, No! joins the prestigious group of previous winners, let us hope that eet does no go to their heads, eh?

¡Felicitaciónes! Sadly, No! at being chosen as Blog-Integrity™ 's Blog-Of-The-Week©.


Thursday, June 29, 2006


¿How do joo practice the Blog-Integrity&trade?

Recently, we have seen some good guidelines for practicing integrity online een regards to the role of los bloggerros as online-journalists.

However, Blog-Integrity&trade ees more than just practicing good online journalism, no?

Por ejemplo, some bloggerros, like Spocko at Spocko's Brain use their blogs as a way to keep their local media outlets honest.

Some, like MyDD's Chris Bowers, take their Blog-Integrity&trade eento the political realm, getting eenvolved een their state or local party, weeth an eye towards changing theengs from the ground up.

Others, like The Daou Report's Peter Daou, join onto campaigns, weighing een weeth their Blog-Integrity&trade as a way to create connections between los bloggerros and politicians at the highest levels.

Bloggerros wheech are no that ambitious (like jour humble, furry, author) seemply use their blogs as a way to draw attention to candidates worth supporting, weeth the hope that thees may also draw some donations their way.

So, mis compañeros bloggerros, my question to joo, she ees thees:

¿How do joo practice the Blog-Integrity&trade?


Tuesday, June 27, 2006


El código de los bloggerros

Suskind, over at the shiny-new blog Drawing the Line, suggests that thees Statement of Principles for the Prenda de integridad en linea, she ees een need of some amending, een order to have sometheeng more how-joo-say "efficacious".

Now, ¡El Gato Negro! need sign no steenking pledges to have Blog-Integrity&trade, but he ees no averse to these concept of a code of conduct for los bloggerros.

So een the rare spirit of trying to add sometheeng positive to thees discussion, he would like to offer for jour perusal A Bloggers' Code of Ethics, from the estimable site

Thees leest, from April of 2003, she refers mostly to the actions of los bloggerros een their role as periodistas ciudadanos, or citizen journalistas.

I weel excerpt only a small part, under the heading "Minimize Harm" we find:

• Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by Weblog content. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
• Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
• Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of information is not a license for arrogance.

Thees seems to make sense, and there ees much more at the leenk to be considered, and many new chances for diversiónes cómicos.

Por ejemplo I leave joo weeth thees leetle gem, under the heading of "Be Accountable":
• Expose unethical practices of other bloggers.



So Integrilicious you can almost taste it!

One of our Integrilerity Scouts, David (Austin Tx) has once again proven his merit by forwarding this example of Integrimismem to us:
WASHINGTON, DC — Citing a longstanding need to "restore honor and dignity to the American food-service industry," Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) announced the public debut of their joint business venture Monday, a chain of integrity-themed restaurants which opened in 12 locations nationwide.

Other menu items at Russ & John's include the "All You Can, In Good Conscience, Eat" buffet; Grandma's Favorite Mashed Potatoes, which comes with gravy, coleslaw, and a signed affidavit from Irene Feingold, the senator's paternal grandmother, confirming that they are, in fact, her favorite mashed potatoes; and John's Hot & Spicy Jalapeño Poppers.

McCain said the staff has been trained to deliver "straight talk" to customers.

"Their heart is in the right place, but I don't ever see myself eating there, especially when there's a McConnell's Pork Barrel right across the street," said Sen. George Allen (R-VA), referring to the barbecue-style eatery owned and operated by Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, known for its controversial "lawmakers-and-campaign-donors-eat-free" policy.
While we at the award winning Blog Integrity salute the Senators for their outstanding and exemplary efforts to encourage Integritocity in the mainstream, we have to ask, "Is it enough?". To which we quote Sen. Ted Stevens: "NO!!"

Sorry, fellas, it'll take a lot more than some chicken strips and day old guacamole to garner our praise and endorsement. We are, after all, pretty damned close to the zenith of Integrilunction here and have standards which would make a Six Sigma blackbelt weep in the supply room.

But thanks to David (Austin Tx) for bringing it to our attention. He has now earned enough points that we shall award him the Ring of the Mighty InteGriffin.

Huzzah!! Now, you might be thinking, "Hey, that's not a Griffin..." I know - I just told you it's an InteGriffin. Christ, pay attention, people! Fuck's sake...

Anyhoo - there's a secret ceremony that accompanies the awarding of the ring, but I can't describe it here because the secret cabal that Thers, NTodd, Phila, The Black Cat (Espanol) and I operate is so secret that we can only communicate with each other via e-mail and this blog. Suffice to say, if you ever see one of us mentioning 'Chicken-in-a-Bisket', you should avert your eyes and think of something else for several minutes, such as Plato's Republic or Joan Jett. Strange workings are in the works... Also, don't mention anything to Atrios, Kos, Siegel, Zenergerlerle or Judith Miller. Just... don't...

Congratulations again, David!!

Rip -

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


The Integrilicious Others

There is apparently another blog like ours, one that comments upon not merely Integrity but Online Integrity. That would be Drawing the Line; they call themselves
a group of (mostly liberal progressive) bloggers who endorse the Online Integrity Statement, and agree to abide by these principles. This group supports the OIS and actively encourages others to do the same. [The] With Online Integrity blog started just today as a result of recent events.
The "recent event" they have in mind would seem to be the Armando affair: "This site was started on June 13, 2006 in response to some changes occuring on the net and within online communities."

OK: all well and good. We here at Online Blogintegrity never really opposed the OI Statement of Principles in and of itself; we had some fun with it, sure, but by and large, you know, we actually abide by it. We've never outed anyone. We've never threatened anyone. We've sung, we've danced, a little seltzer down the pants, and so on... (Armando did at least at one point say that our first post was kinda funny.) But we have no problem with the words or the sentiment. Hell, it never even would have occurred to any of us to "out" anyone even if OI had never existed -- even Ripley would never, ever have done such a thing, and he's a complete bastard.

Our beef all along has been that it is foolish as a purely practical matter to try to cut deals with people you should perfectly well know will try to twist the words into a cloak to disguise as righteous the noxious shit they were always going to pull anyway. I'm not going to rehearse the whole Case Against Tacitus here, though I will if anyone wants. More to the point, recently we've seen a pretty blatant violation of the Sacred Integrity Principles by a certain paste-eating wingnut moron, and the reaction has been, well, jack shit from the signatories of the pledge -- all we've heard is a lot of silly wanking about why they don't need to live up to their own sworn word if it is to their advantage not to do so. So what the hell do the words mean without the will to back them up? What the hell is the point of discussing integrity with people who obviously don't have any, but who are more than willing to use the fact that they signed an online petition to pretend that they do?

So that's the first issue I'd put to the Drawing the Line folks.

The second is that I think Suskind, who seems like a thoughtful, intelligent fellow, reads far too much into OI statement. He says the following "should do a lot of good":
* Violations of these principles should be met with a lack of positive publicity and traffic.

To me this means do not link to what is defamatory, what is not true, what cannot be sourced or backed up, and to what gives support to people and sites who do not respect the dignity and rights of others. Do not link to a person or to material with the intention to aggravate a negative situation and cause more harm. It is a preventative measure to stop the creation of "google bombs" for the far-flung stories that become urban legends, and it stops the personal and baseless attack on persons.
Uh, that's not what it says. If it were what it said, that'd be great, but it isn't.

But if it were: aren't you really just asking the whole right wankosphere to simply pack it in and go home...?

Anyway they seem like nice folks over there, and we should have them over for coffee and lemon squares.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Outing and So on

Lindsay Beyerstein has a post up about psedonymity, anonymity, and outing. There is a lot to respond to in the post, but let me just isolate one strand, in the part where she talks about the Armando business with some young journalists at Yearly Kos:
I was surprised by how much these journalists seemed to resent bloggers who guarded their identities. They felt that fake-namers enjoyed more freedom of expression (or less accountability) than they did. Money also came into it. Some people remarked that it wasn't fair that they, the full-time journalists, had to take heat for a pittance while other people were using pseuds to command a large audience while holding lucrative corporate jobs.

The journalists also insisted on their absolute right to out anyone they wanted.
Well, I'm kind of in a position to know what "taking heat" in this context means. I actually didn't and don't care about any heat directed at myself, especially considering the, uh, quality of the particular heat source. It was when someone deliberately decided to out my wife in a blogfight to which she was only a very minor party that I got skeeved: someone who would cross that line and justify it with total bullshit is someone who is not particularly concerned with lines of any sort. What next? becomes the reasonable question, and once I asked it of myself, I deleted my old blog.

So I am probably more sympathetic to these journalists than others in the blogosphere might be. When someone contacts you anonymously via a stolen foreign ISP to ask you "How are your children?" you become... alarmed. I think you'd have to be pretty naive to think that journalists have not been contacted personally with shit just like this. And yes, by the left as well as the right. (Only the Right relentlessly plays the stupid incivility card -- "eeek, the other side is impolite, we win!" -- because they are disingenuous morons.) This is not at root a political phenomenon. The internets are the internets. I've belonged to academic listservs, sports message boards, have seen the Mac vs PC flamewars in various forums... and I've witnessed some weird stuff. People just get totally bizarre and a few don't have any clue where to stop. I would not be surprised to learn that someone who publishes a column about, say, gardening, gets the occasional spooky threat. Sure, political debate is more heated, but the dynamic is the same.

As journalists move into the online realm, they are bound to attract this sort of unfortunate but really unavoidable sort of attention. And they don't like it, and they should not, and asking them to just roll with it is unfair. Have your kids be made the subject of a bizarre comment from an untraceable source, and then you can disagree with me.

But then. Journalists have more resources at their disposal to deal with such garbage than all but a few bloggers. Most of us are not affiliated as bloggers with any institution, and that does offer a kind of protection that we don't have. You write something for a paper that someone does not like, and they threaten you -- well, you don't need to try to make the Blogger Support Team pay attention to you. Presumably, your boss can find you a lawyer. We really are more vulnerable: most of us, anyway. (Note -- I have tenure, and so am much less vulnerable than most people, and also I can call on free legal advice through my union; community college professors are often represented by unions like the NEA, to which I belong. That doesn't change the wider point, though, as it had nothing to do with what I wrote or write as a blogger. I stand by everything, by the way.) So in this sense writing pseudonymously is for some the only shield they have under which they can participate in public discussion. And that is a good thing. American public debate is bound to be raucous, it should be, and the more the merrier, I say.

So in short I think journalists have some legitimate complaints -- but they also have more resources than those they complain of. And, please, on the money thing, we are hardly all corporate lawyers. I'm not rich. I do OK, but I'm not rich. And I know some pseudonymous bloggers who make far less than journalists -- and who risk far more than they do to write what they write.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Blog of the Week? You're soaking in it...

Huzzah !! BI has been chosen as this week's Blog of the Week, by Blog Integrity. What a pleasant surprise to come home to.

After careful consideration and much discussion, Blog Integrity has chosen Blog Integrity as this week's Blog of the Week.

Their careful attention to detail, their wit and their integrimaniacal devotion to online integrity made them the obvious choice.

On behalf of Thers, Phila, NTodd, The Black Cat (Spanish Edition) and myself, congratulations to Thers, Phila, NTodd, The Black Cat (Spanish Edition) and me, for your hard work and dedication to maintaining integrity on the internets. We salute you and thank you.

When this blog started, I knew we had something special happening - but I never dreamed we'd be chosen as Blog of the Week. I wish I had something profound to say here, like at the Oscars, but I'm slightly overwhelmed and, frankly, wondering whom I should call first with the news.

On behalf of Thers, Phila, NTodd, The Black Cat (Spanish Edition) and myself, I'll just say that we're humbled and honored to receive this noteworthy recognition and we'll certainly try to maintain the high level of integrifility that folks have come to expect from us.

Of course, none of this would be possible without you, our intelligent, attractive, witty and very probably well endowed readers. You make us what we are. When Life handed us accos, you helped us make accolades. Um... well, you know...

Anyhoo - Thanks, everyone! I can't even begin to describe how much this means to me, and probably Thers, Phila, NTodd and The Black Cat (Spanish Edition), as well. In fact, I'm s'darned excited about this, I'm placing a temporary moratorium on the NO FLIRTING policy here.

Desi, this is for you, baby. Mwah!!

(And in case Uma Thurman is reading this blog, I'll post this, for good measure.)

Thanks again, everybody!

Rip -

Blog of the Week

After careful consideration and much discussion, Blog Integrity has chosen Blog Integrity as this week's Blog of the Week.

Their careful attention to detail, their wit and their integrimaniacal devotion to online integrity made them the obvious choice.

On behalf of Thers, Phila, NTodd, The Black Cat (Spanish Edition) and myself, congratulations to Thers, Phila, NTodd, The Black Cat (Spanish Edition) and me, for your hard work and dedication to maintaining integrity on the internets. We salute you and thank you.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006



Please don safety goggles and hard-hats. We are spelunking for Josh Trevino's ethics.

Tac begins this fascinating post by explaining that he was pseudonymous from Oct 2002 to Aug 2004. He then quite placidly admits that during much of this period he was a hypocritical asshole:
For my first several years of blogging, I believed that the cons outstripped the pros, and I acted accordingly. Anonymity and pseudonymity struck me mostly as a means for base people to do base things. The ranks of those who had sincere and defensible reasons for the practice seemed thin. Of course, I included myself in those ranks: even Peter Singer admits to some justification for personal partiality. In the past year or so, though, my views have slowly changed — particularly as I’ve met more professionals who must engage in pseudonymous blogging by dint of their professions.
What he means is that he was pseudonymous, but thought other people who made that decision were jerks, so in several cases, he outed them. But the irrelvant aside about Singer makes that all OK. Magically.

The guff about whether or not anonymity or pseudonymity is a net benefit to blogging and bloggers in general is stupid. The reason you should not so it is that people get insane and self-righteous about this crap, and at some point somebody is going to go too far and hurt someone or get hurt. Period.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Strength Through OI!

Usually, liberals are nothing if not flexible. We support Muslim theocracy and gay marriage. We hate America, and overvalue the Constitution. We're moral relativists who refuse to make situational excuses for torture.

But when it comes to online integrity, we've been too rigid, too unyielding. We've taken words like "commitment" to mean "the trait of sincere and steadfast fixity of purpose." And we've taken sentences like "Private persons are entitled to respect for their privacy regardless of their activities online" to mean that you shouldn't reveal people's offline identities even if you don't like them very much.

I suppose this is part of the liberal childishness one hears so much about...that naivete that makes us unable to conceive that there are bad people in the world, or to understand that you can't trust government to have your best interests at heart. Whatever the cause, our inability to grasp the bright, elusive butterfly of Online Integrity seems to be causing us a great deal of grief lately, so I thought I'd see if I could translate the principles into more accessible language.
Private persons are entitled to respect for their privacy regardless of their activities online, unless they've said stuff that bothers you. You should usually respect the non-public nature of personal contact information; that said, if you can dig up someone's name online, and use it to look him or her up in the phone book, it's fair to say that the person is asking for trouble. The safety of people's families is important, but bear in mind that someone who marries a bad person, or is being raised by one, can't really complain when the chickens come home to roost. The separateness of private persons’ professional lives should also be respected, unless you have good reason to believe that violating it will wrench people's attention away from your rhetorical inadequacies.

Public figures are entitled to respect for the non-public nature of their personal, non-professional contact information, and their privacy with regard to their homes and families, unless you're really pissed off, or are feeling keen pangs of existential dread.

Persons seeking anonymity or pseudonymity online should have their wishes in this regard respected as much as is reasonable. Exceptions include cases in which people: 1) can profitably be belittled or mocked for their station in life; 2) prove you wrong; 3) make you angry; 4) attempt to win arguments by posting links to primary documents from authoritative sources; 5) dismiss Hayek; 6) call Ayn Rand's dialogue "wooden"; 7) respond to being called a "fuckwit" by calling you a "fuckhole"; 8) encourage other people to laugh at your sophistry; 9) insult your commenters; 10) have funny-sounding names; 11) hurt your feelings; 12) are corporate lawyers; 13) are not corporate lawyers; 12) cross any line, real or imagined, that you feel justifies encouraging a campaign of harassment against them.

Violations of these principles should be met with a lack of positive publicity and traffic, since there's no other way for signatories to demonstrate that they take their "commitment" seriously. But since OI neither has, nor desires, any formal mechanisms for enforcement - not even so simple and obvious a mechanism as deleting signatories' names from the OI webpage when they gleefully break the pledge with malice aforethought - participants are encouraged to use the OI pledge as a club for their enemies, and a shield for themselves. It's really a pretty nice little racket.

FROM THERS: You know, if the OI people want to be taken seriously:

1. Tell us who the hell is deleting any and all critical posts there. Who is the moderator? What are your posting rules? Don't annoy Tac, is that it? Can't you just say so? And why did you ask for "discussion" and then shut it down completely?

2. Who is writing the posts that say "we at Online Integrity"? Some group of Integrity Initiates? Who? Are we supposed to accept your intentions uncritically? Why do you get upset when the people you speak to as children become irked at your desire to be seen as anonymous Integrity Gods -- are you mad?

3. Tell us why some cases of OI transgressions merit a main page post, weaselly as that is, and others don't? Why do the merits of the Armando case get discussed, but others, well, get banned? It seems the actual debate about online ethics is occurring everywhere else online except OI!

4. Blow me.

Friday, June 09, 2006


¡Mayday! ¡Mayday!

When last we left the Good Sheep Online Integrity, she had just barely escaped
a series of near-disasters.

First she ran eento a dead calm that left her crew hungry and dehydrated,

then she fired a warning shot across her own bow,

disastrously, her gunner's mate torpedoed her own engine room,

and she was taking on water.

But then, just when eet looked like the whole venture was destined to fade as just another reña desarreglada ala blogsfera, the Good Sheep Online-Integrity suffered a mortal blow just below the waterline.

Si, thees time the target was Armando, late of thees noble experiment een bloggiendo bi-partisano known as Penises Touching Swords Crossed, who bravely had battled the rate-heads at dKos, and nobly defended the rights of bloggerros ala izqueirda to browbeat each other een extended bouts of joyless hectoring.

¿Who could have foreseen that the already tattered pledge would face such an outrageous attack?

Armando had been one of the original signatories of La Prenda de la Integridad en Línea, and eef hees privacy (and therefore hees Online Integrity) could be shattered, any bloggerro might suffer the same fate!

¿How weel the men of The Good Sheep Online Integrity deal weeth thees new threat?

The answer ees "no-very-well", for their erstwhile leader, Captain Tactless, has no even begun to understand the nature of the problem that imperils hees vessel, and the crew has already begun a rousing game of blame the victim.

Amigos, bloggerros compañeros...

let us now refer back to thees statement of the First Principles of Online Integrity.

Thees pledge, she was directed solamente at preventing the abridging of pipple's privacy online. Punto.

According to what we know right now, all the violators of thees pledge have been from the right side of la blogsfera.

Primero, thees leetle trollita, Patrick Bell ¡koff! who laughed at the example set by the signatories at, where Bell diaried frequently.
(no, no, I said diaried, not what joo were theenking.)

Then, thees Eater-of-Paste, Jeff Goldstein ¡koff, koff hrnhrnhrnhrrnnn! heemself a righty bloggerro, and a signatory of thees very pledge that he has broken.

Finally, Armando's name was revealed at the Media Blog of the National Review Online ¡¡koff, KOFF *splatt*!! the online version of a more-respected-than-read periódico de politico a la derecha.
(I weel no leenk to the page, email me eef joo weesh to see eet.)

From thees examples, any gato weeth eyes can perceive the pattern of thees attacks. She ees plain to see, like una ratón blanca gorda on a bright moonlit night.

Thees Sheep, the Online Integrity, she ees recieving thees fusillades from her own allies een thees conflict, no?


Update: To eet's credit, an anonymous poster at OI has "noted with regret" the revealing of Armando's personal information online, and asks that thees information be taken off the site "in the spirit of graciousness and respect".

We weel see how far that gets them.

That thees anonymous "Voice of Online Integrity" further notes:
Online Integrity is voluntary, nonideological, and nonpartisan. It has no formal mechanisms for enforcement, and does not compel agreement on individual cases from its signatories. Participants are free to take action, or not, as their judgment and conscience demands.
suggests to me that thees "anonymous voice" ees actually Aziz Poonawalla, one of los bloggerros ala izquierda who founded thees project, who ees almost certainly thanking hees lucky stars that he does no blog pseudonymously.

(I mean, as far as we know.)

tambien, no mention so far of the late unpleasantness eenvolving Thersites and the Paste-Eater.


Sunday, June 04, 2006


If Integrities Were Ostriches

Then Tacitus would be burying the Pasty Unpleasantness:

(Originally posted at SwordsCrossed, based on a comment posted on OnlineIntegrity and removed)

Sorry for the offtopic post. But I tried to find your (Armando) and Josh Trevino's email addresses here and at online integrity but could not. Nor can I find at either site how to communicate with the blog owners. And I cannot find a way at online integrity to report an abuse.

I tried to post a comment about an abuse an online integrity, but the comment never posted and my username was banned from the site.

A rather serious situation has come up regarding Jeff Goldstein a signer of the online integrity pledge. A commenter of Jeff's outed Thersites and NY Mary's meatspace names and their place of employment. Jeff later went on to publish and republish these names.

More details can be found at

This appears to be very serious and raises the following questions:

  1. How does someone report an abuse?
  1. What is the onlineintegrity process in determining if an abuse has taken place?
  1. What is the expected time before OI makes an official remark?
  1. Why was "GeneralMichaelHayden" banned at OI when his "crime" apparently was reporting an online abuse and providing details?
  1. How come email addresses or a contact form are not provided at online integrity?

Does online integrity have any integrity?


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