Sunday, August 30, 2009

To Dennis with Loo from Ava and C.I.

Ava and C.I. wrote this reply to Dennis Loo's reply to our "Shame on Dennis Loo" and to Ruth's "Elizabeth Esser-Stuart" last week.

To Dennis with Loo from Ava and C.I.

Ava and C.I. here.

We're speaking to a group today and the issue of the t-word is brought up by a student because of Denny Loo. World Can't Wait's Denny Loo. We listen with great interest because it involves people we know.

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

First Denny Loo, Third Estate Sunday Review? Not a blog. Publishes every damn Sunday and we damn well know because we've worked every damn Sunday, the only two who can make that claim. We've never had a week off. It's an online magazine which publishes each Sunday. We'll get your name right, when you get your facts right. And you're not close enough to just call "Third Estate," Denn.

He says that others can't get their facts right. We laughed so hard at that when we pair it with Dennis describing seeing Ruth's [Friday night] post at her site: "In response to this I sent an email to the person who wrote it. Below is what my email said in its entirety. My email’s subject line read: 'Town Halls'."

C.I.: The public e-mail address of this site, started by me in 2004, is That's the public e-mail for this site. Kat posts reviews here and she also has her own site. Non-community members can write her via the public e-mail address. The same with Isaiah who does comics here and the same with Ruth. But when you write someone, you write them. He didn't write Ruth. He sent an e-mail addressed to NO ONE. And he doesn't say which site he's writing about. Now on Saturday morning as I'm trying to get done with the morning entries, I've got to deal with Denny's crap. I've got play post office because he's too whatever to put a name on his envelope. There are maybe 14 sites in this community, maybe more, I'm not sure. Denny doesn't address his e-mail to Ruth. Denny doesn't mention what he's writing about such as, "The post on ____ [date]" or "The entry entitled ____" I've got no name, I've got no title. He's wasted my time and he needs to stop claiming he sent an e-mail to Ruth. He tossed a message in a bottle into the ocean.

Dennis goes on to write:

I had hoped to initiate a principled and private email exchange or perhaps they’d post my email with their rebuttal. Instead my message triggered the following reaction (along with a few others of the same kind describing my email as “nasty.”) Their comments are quite long so I’m excerpting parts of it:

Your e-mail discounts everything she said and dismisses it and her. There was nothing principled about your e-mail. And if you wanted what you say, you probably should have said so in your e-mail. It's not as if it was a short e-mail, now is it? Second, why the hell should anyone in this community trust anything in a 'private' e-mail from World Can't Wait?

Here's reality Denny, you didn't ask for your e-mail to be shared. Only one person ever had the guts to do that, to have her words posted, and that was a reporter at the New York Times. Now NYT e-mails the public account several a times a week and has since sometime in 2005. But only one person has ever had the guts to go public. And it was a woman. We'll get to the policy in a second but community members know it, drive-bys know it and before Dennis Loo e-mailed he damn well should have familiarized himself with it. But, repeating, why should anyone in this community trust anything in a 'private' e-mail from World Can't Wait?

Do we want to go there? Yeah, we do.

So ____ with World Can't Wait e-mails Rebecca and could she please, please link to his site. He'll be so happy if she does that, at his site, he'll link to her. Rebecca does that.

Do you want to know how the story ends?

Do you want to know how pissed that makes us? We remember the little push-up bra, do-me feminists online who pulled that stunt with Rebecca before and we remember how hurt she was by it. So we're really not understanding why World Can't Wait thinks they have some pull with us at this point?

The t-word. We didn't participate in the article. We haven't participated in conversations with others on this. This is the first time we're going public. We've been silent (other than in e-mails to community members complaining about Dennis Loo) because Mike's already pissed at Debra Sweet (whom we like) for pulling her strong essay and replacing it with watered down embarrassment that Debra's probably never going to get a "Truest statement of the week" and probably not going to be noted as often as she would otherwise. That was before Dennis Loo went into wack job territory. When that issue arose, we (Ava and C.I.) dealt with it in terms of community members who e-mailed to complain and otherwise excused ourselves from the conversation because we were hoping it could die down and not hurt World Can't Wait.

But now we're pulled in (Third only offers new material on Sunday). Den, don't act like you haven't engaged in those t-word conversations. You can play that at World Can't Wait maybe (we haven't read your pieces there in some time). But why are you assuming that's what they're talking about. They're saying they're not linking to you (and pretty much World Can't Wait as well) but Denns, you leave comments all over the place, now don't you? Don't you?

With that little photo of you with your Dennis the Menace hair? Right? We're looking at it right now in fact.

You know the site you love to comment at, right?

Right, Den.

You get what we're saying. You get how embarrassed you should be right now. Especially considering some of the in depth conversations you've had in these threads where the t-word was used repeatedly and, in fact, Denn, was used in some instances making fun of the Republicans (or libertarians) and noting that the t-term was a term for one act of gay male sex.
Considering that in these threads, you are leaving comments to reply to everyone who has left a comment, it's a bit hard for you to be believable when you claim (a) you didn't know the t-word had anything to do with gay sex and (b) you're a complete innocent in the whole thing.

Sorry, Denn, that piano won't play.

You wanted your e-mail posted?

You should have said so. Ruth doesn't have to follow the policy. The policy was created for The Common Ills. People e-mailing TCI at the public account have to say they want to be quoted. That's not Ruth's policy and it's not Kat's. But they're using the public account and Ruth wasn't sure. We would assume that those writing Sunday's article were hoping to take the conversation in any e-mails over to Third.

You're upset because you can't follow policies. You felt your e-mail should have been quoted. Then you should have said so.

The "user profile" page of TCI:

About Me
Threats and abusive e-mail are not covered by any privacy rule. This isn't to the reporters at a certain paper (keep 'em coming, they are funny). This is for the likes of failed comics who think they can threaten via e-mails and then whine, "E-mails are supposed to be private." E-mail threats will be turned over to the FBI and they will be noted here with the names and anything I feel like quoting. This also applies to anyone writing to complain about a friend of mine. That's not why the public account exists.

If you're e-mailing and wish to be quoted
you need to note that in your e-mail and you need to note what's to be quoted and how you are to be credited.

Under "Interests"? That statement's been up since the second day in 2004 that TCI was up. The statement under "About me"? Rebecca had a stalker whom she avoided so naturally he starts writing the public e-mail address here and asking for this and that about Rebecca and, "Oh my goodness! Me and ___ were listening to that Joan Baez song she mentioned last month last year!!!" He would go from online stalking to in person stalking.

Then he faded away and then he fixated on one of us (C.I.) and began writing highly graphic e-mails (while drunk apparently) about how he would use a knife on one of us (C.I.), how he would start his cut in the vagina and how he would gut one of us (C.I.) and blah, blah, blah. Those e-mails came in repeatedly. If we (Ava and C.I.) saw it, we tended to laugh it off and not worry. But (during the week), we aren't the only going through the e-mails. Charlie, Shirley, Martha, Jess, Jim and Dona are among the ones going through the e-mails. (There are currently over 3,000 e-mails in the inbox and that's after the account's been worked today.) Jess especially was getting disturbed. To calm him down, a friend with the FBI was asked (by C.I.) to look over the threats. After that, the message was added that threats would be turned over. If you want to threaten go ahead, but know it will be turned over to the FBI. ("Unless I see it," says C.I. "In which case, I'll laugh at you. But others will go ahead and report it.")

That's threats of violence. That's not, "I hate you. I wish you would die." "I wish" is not a threat. Unless you're rubbing the magic lamp, "I wish" is never a threat. The New York Times outed a private e-mail from a private citizen calling it a 'threat' (to Adam Nagourney). It was not a threat. Cursing one of us out in an e-mail is not a threat. Telling us we're stupid is not a threat. Saying you are going to kill us and describing it in graphic detail? That sounds like a threat.

We hope that's clear. One of us (C.I.) has already been attacked online for that policy by a group of idiots who either couldn't understand or pretended they didn't.

And, by the way, when those e-mails showed up online (posted by the group of idiots -- e-mails from Dona, Jess and Jim), that pretty much killed the notion that strangers would get replies. FAIR had done the first strike there. They'd passed on Jess' private e-mail reply to them (when they shopped private e-mails from journalists to this site) onto The Nation. That was outrageous. But when it became [by the group of idiots] "The Common Ills" and "C.I." online about a series of e-mails that were written and signed by three other people? That site apparently felt it would garner more attention if it brought TCI in, that pretty much meant that if we have any reason to distrust you, we're not replying.

C.I.: And I have repeatedly noted my conflicts of interest here. I have not replied to reporters who e-mail this site to complain about my critiques. Or to offer to be friends. I have turned down dinner invites from them. There are reporters who have left Iraq and are not going back and I have replied to them. But I know enough reporters and editors and producers and publishers and execs (some of whom are cited at this site) without compounding it by having a private correspondence with a reporter. If Thomas Friedman (he's never written this site) e-mails offended and I e-mail back, am I falling into a seduction dance? Either intended by him or just because I'm thinking, "Thomas Friedman reads this site?" If a reporter makes a complaint about something I've written here, I will weigh it very seriously but I'm not going to be in private communication with him or her because a private conversation is yet another conflict of interest. I have enough of them.

Denny disagrees with Ruth and e-mails her. He's not happy with her critique. He blows off her critique. (Which was the critique of everyone with a site in this community except for us -- Dennis Loo's public tantrums have been the focus of conversations for about two weeks now.) Why the hell is she going to write him back? Even forgetting the pass-ons of e-mails and the publishing of them online?

Because she trusts World Can't Wait? Do you not know how close Rebecca and Ruth are?

Dennis Loo refuses to get it.

Ruth cited Bob Somerby. The Daily Howler. Bob's made common sense comments for the last six weeks now about how we (the left) harm ourselves by screaming "stupid" at the people. Aim high, absolutely. Go after politicians or reporters, wonderful. But when you're calling people stupid you come off like an elite priss.

Professor Dennis Loo wants to make fun of people, average Americans, many of whom did not have his good luck when it came to his educational experiences. It's really sad that a professor would scream "stupid" at people who have often had no opportunities. It's really sad.

Long before Somerby started making those points, they were our approach here. We do not make fun of the Truth Movement. We do not make fun of those with alternative theories about the murder of JFK or MLK or RFK. We do not make fun of people like that. We think it's great that they're interested in a serious topic as opposed to some junk news. And, in the case of the Kennedy assassination, researchers have unearthed so much that would have remained lost to history (these are details that don't relate to the assassination) and they deserve credit for that.

We don't scream at We The People.

And when you do, and when you scream "Stupid!" YOU RUN PEOPLE OFF.

Betty is not a 'birther' but when they get screamed at and scorned, she thinks about the way she gets screamed and scorned by some on the left because she believes in Jesus Christ and is a practicing Christian. The left needs to stop hurting itself and that means stop attacking We The People.

Why doesn't the left have the foot soldiers when the positions are so popular with We The People? Because they can't stop insulting We The People.

Dennis Loo would do well to stop fretting over Ruth and Third and instead conduct a little exercise. Picture himself with some right wing belief and then listen to Pacifica Radio. Listen to Lila Garrett or Aimee Allison or Kris Welch or any number of people talk about how stupid he is. Lila was calling the right barbarians, missing link and a host of others on Monday.

This is how you reach people? This is how you get them to listen to your argument?

This is how you're able to listen to anything they say?


All it does is have each side ready with the insults, waiting for the moment to spring them.

We don't give a damn about tone and never have. But we do think it's past time that the left pundits start looking at themselves.

It sounds, right now, as FREAKY as the right-wing pundits did in October 2001. It's scary. And if you're 'in on the joke,' it may be funny. But if you're not, it's pretty appalling.

Let's drop back to 2008 when Hillary was winning Kentucky and other primaries so 'left' pundits and outlets felt the need to scream that the people in Kentucky were racists. No, they weren't and there was never any proof that they were. They preferred Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama. They knew Hillary as a senator and as a First Lady. But instead of dealing with that, with their known comfort with someone who'd been a public figure for 16 years, it was scream "racist!" at them. How do you think that helped?

It didn't help. We were on the ground there and it didn't help the left. We didn't read the piece at Third. We wouldn't have called Dennis Loo a homophobe (hopefully he wasn't) but we would note he was using homophobia. And that offends him. But it's okay to scream at an entire state (Indiana was another one) that they're racist?

Dennis Loo is a public person. He should be able to take his lumps. (We take ours.) But he refuses to even grasp the criticism Ruth was making from the start.

When you call whole groups of people stupid, you look stupid.

Because if you're a political writer, you are apparently writing about what you believe in and hoping to turn on as many people as possible. But when you insult We The People, you cut yourself off from a lot of people you could persuade.

Socialist Worker (US) presumably needs labor readers. That's supposedly who they're trying to reach. But look at the way labor is regularly insulted by them. If you didn't support Barack in 2008, the repeated message from the left was you were a racist. That was true if you supported Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader. And, because Ralph really threatened them, there was an effort to turn him into a racist. It didn't play.

But they tried to and Dennis Loo comes as ridiculous as those people who wanted to play-demonize-the-Arab to advance Barack. (A lot of foolish pundits repeatedly stated Ralph was "White.")

Those efforts have run off tons of people.

The circulation at The Nation is a huge joke today. And why wouldn't it be? Have you read their garbage? It's all hateful and preaching hatred to the choir.

The answer to the left was never to create an echo chamber. The left didn't need one. The left needed to learn to fight in the public square. It hasn't learned that which is why we said months ago when the conventional wisdom was "The GOP is dead!" that it wasn't dead.

Now Dennis Loo, this was the subject Ruth raised and we'll have that conversation with you. But don't create your straw man drama. We're not in the mood for your macho bulls**t and will call you to the carpet if you even try.

You deal with the topic addressed by us (and by Ruth last Friday) which is how do you expect to reach people when you're constantly insulting We The People? How do you think that plays to anyone not on the left? That's people on the right, yes, but also people on the center and, especially, people who aren't political who are the largest group of Americans. (Check the voter turnout totals against the adult population figure in the US.)

Maybe that's what you want do? Maybe you want to be the Joan Rivers of the left? Certainly Joan made a career for herself. But the reason Johnny Carson wouldn't put her on the list of potentials to replace him is he didn't think people could take it, could take week after week of insults. Not enough to keep the show going. Now in one and two week segments, Joan killed in the ratings. But if you look at her ratings for any of her shows after she breaks with Carson, you'll see Johnny was right to worry. It didn't play. It didn't bring in a big audience.

So think about that.

And we're not linking to any article you write where you go all elitist and start trashing people who are not in power. You've outraged this community for weeks now (and that shouldn't be surprising because comments have been left at World Can't Wait calling you out) with your hatred. It only reminds us of how Air American Radio couldn't deliver the ratings. All those angry rants. Who really wanted to listen to that? On the left we're supposed to be about ideas and beliefs. (Please note, AAR comment does not refer to it currently. We haven't listened to it in years.)

The e-mail address for this site is, we are Ava and C.I. and this was a talking entry. And TCI covered Iraq in three entries today and we spoke to seven groups about the illegal war today. Denny Loo, what did you do to end the Iraq War today?

[Jim note, 8-26-09. Shirley came up with a list of typos which I fixed. I also added one or two words here and there and broke up a lengthy paragraph plus I added the photo of Dennis Loo that was on the site Ava and C.I. were looking at where the t-word conversations -- conversations Denny participates in -- never end. And, for the record, I love what Ava and C.I. wrote. Third may take on Denny Loo Sunday. If only in a piece by me.]

thomas friedman is a great manoh boy it never ends
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