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Interesting day around here yesterday. I believe there are a few things I need to own up to. Perhaps I should issue some explanations, justifications, retractions and clarifications. Like many people, I'm a bit edgy these days. The situation in Iraq leaves me worried, angry and tense all at once. The whole area of politics and campaigning is infuriating at times. Personal attacks have me grinding my teeth at night. Add to the stress of life away from the computer; we are closing on a new house one week from today. If you've ever purchased a home, you know where I'm coming from on that front. I have about three weeks to pack our lives up, get out of this place, and move into the new place - which will need painting, new carpeting and a bunch of other things before we move in. And then there's the demon spawn that is my daughter. You try living with a 14 year old girl who is the walking embodiment of PMS and see if you're not screaming at some unsuspecting victim by evening. Those things aren't excuses - they are just a little background information on where my emotions are coming from. I think we all feel a little hot under the collar these days. Right, left or in between, there is enough breaking news circulating to make someone unhappy or angry at any given moment. I've been noticing it on blogs other than mine. Hell, I've been noticing it in editorials and OpEds in mainstream publications. You know that opening scene from the Mary Tyler Moore show where she flings her hat in the air and the cheesy little theme song is telling you that love is all around us? We are living the complete opposite of that. We're flinging rocks at each other and singing angst is all around us. And not that Kurt Cobain kind of angst that boils down to making your own misery; I mean the true sense of the word (A feeling of anxiety or apprehension often accompanied by depression.) But hey, no worries. We're gonna make it, after all. We've been through this before as a country, as planet. We'll get through it again. So what does this have to do with yesterday's rampage of words I subjected you to? The short answer is: Everything. People handle stress, anxiety and apprehension in different ways. Sure, there's the medication route, but the funny part is, I do take anxiety medication. Imagine if I didn't! I'd be on top of the nearest bell tower showering people with machine gun fire. I don't even know where the nearest bell tower is, though. I would probably have to settle for the local water tower, but I'm afraid of heights so I suppose I would just get in my car, drive about 90mph down the Loop Parkway while listening to Pantera and pull over on the side of the road at some point to throw rocks into the Atlantic Ocean. I don't do that anymore. Gas is expensive and so are speeding tickets. Now, I just sit in front of the computer and let go a string of expletives and engage in irresponsible hyperbole and type until my fingers ache and the email gets hateful. Many people, including my family, tell me to just turn off the television. Stop listening to the radio. Stop staring at all the different news sites from around the world. That used to be a solution. I often found myself doing that in the months after 9/11 (pre-Paxil), when I could not control my emotions or when the news just became to overbearing. I can't do that anymore. I have an obligation now. Command Post stopped being a great little hobby a long time ago. It's now a job, a second career. When your page is clicked on 26 million times in less than a year, that means people keep coming back for more. So we give them more. Which means I can never, ever stop looking at the news as long as I want Command Post to be a career and a business and not a hobby. Which I do. What this comes down to is this: What you get at ASV is a lot of pent up aggravation, frustration and emotions gone unchecked. I don't plan my posts. I don't write and re-write. I don't do a rough draft or an outline before I post. I just go. Just write. Let it fly. Maybe it's time to start taking more care in what I write and how I write it. There's anywhere between six and ten thousand of you looking at this site every day and reading my words. I cannot begin to tell you how that boggles my mind. After three years of this, I still don't get it. I still don't understand why so many people care what I have to say or respond to my words so dramatically. Before I start going where I did not mean to go with this, I want to get specific. Yesterday, I wrote about John Kerry and Ted Kennedy and their Vietnam references. I still stand by my conviction that Ted Kennedy...oh, hell. Here's the comment I left for Gary who, for some reason, has chosen to come after me like a cop on Rodney King. bq. Gary, I am not backing off my stand that saying "Iraq is Bush's Vietnam" is comparing Vietnam to Iraq. I think it's quite obvious.
Perhaps this isn't a matter of wrong or right, but one of perception. I perceived Teddy's words one way, you perceived them another, and the only one who knows what he meant is Teddy himself.
I also think it was a very calculated move on Kennedy's part. He didn't have to say Iraq is a quagmire just like Vietnam, because the media would take care of that for him. He knew damn well they would single out that one quote. He played the media (and blogs, including mine) like a violin. Ted got to say what he wanted to say without really saying it, which is just as good as really saying it.
If you follow. It's really late. Ok, so I pushed my hyperbole button a bit hard when I wrote this: bq. The deadly duo of Kerry and Kennedy are doing a great job of aiding and abetting giving "aid and comfort" to our enemies. They both, in recent days, blathered on and on about Iraq becoming another Vietnam. So, it wasn't all in recent days, and it wasn't really blathering. I admit that. No, they are not guilty of treason (though I never specifically said they were, even though a bunch of commenters acted as if I said that). See, that's a case of my emotions speaking. And that instance, above all else, has taught me a valuable lesson: When people actually read what you are writing, you should really be careful how you word things. Loose ranting and raving and the throwing around of accusations and big words meaning bad things is great when you have five readers and they are all your friends. I think that one truth that has been proven about weblogs over the past year or so is that the more readers you have, the more people expect you to conduct yourself in a professional manner. Ethics and all. And being that I'm a firm believer in having ethics, this is something I really need to take into consideration in the future. However (and this is a huge however), there are things that happened in the past week I will not apologize for and I will not act all contrite about. If I choose to disagree with someone - whether it be mildly or vehemenently - and that person I am disagreeing with is a either a public figure who has made his or her views known in a very public way, or a person with a website who has written their views down in a very public way - I certainly have a right to name the person I am disagreeing with and, if possible, link to their offending comments, without fear of being accused of inciting my readers to riot against this person. If I didn't write the words: Go forth and bash that woman's head in with a brick! I am not responsible if someone does just that. If Jimmy Breslin wrote a column about how much he despises George Bush and how he thinks George Bush is a liar and should be removed from the White House and one of Breslin's readers took it upon himself to make threats against Bush and perhaps follow through on those threats, one cannot hold Jimmy Breslin responsible. Stating your opinion on something is not the same as telling everyone to have the same opinion as you and to act on that opinion. So that takes care of that issue. The fact that people take my words seriously and read them every day is still a very new - and sometimes frightening - experience for me. I sometimes forget that I'm not just babbling away to a friend or neighbor or even to myself. I get lost in my words and carried away with my emotions and my self-edit mode does not always kick in because I'm still working the kinks out of that. It's the proverbial double-edged sword. Like any blogger, I want lots of readers. I want recognition. I want the big hits. You're a liar if you say you don't. On the other hand, I started this weblog so I would have somewhere to put my anger, frustration and anxiety into words. I started it so I would have somewhere to shout my opinions out, whether about politics or war or even comic books. And you would not believe the rude and nasty mail and comments I have received even about something as relatively inconsequential as turning the Preacher comic into a movie. So maybe I didn't end up issuing explanations, justifications, retractions and clarifications here. But it's just the usual morning routine of starting out with one sentence and ending up down here. No preparation except what I muttered under my breath in the shower this morning. The bottom line is this: You have to expect that I will fly off the handle sometimes. We all do. Just because I'm speaking to an audience now does not mean that I've learned to have a better grip on my emotions. Perhaps I won't get that grip until someone hands me a paycheck to write this stuff every day or every week and there's an editor hovering above me. Who needs self-edit mode when there's someone to redline all the profanity and hyperbole for you? Anyhow, it's 9:00 and I've got to set up the laptop in front of the tv so I can cover Condi's testimony for Command Post. I have no idea what I just wrote for the last half hour. I suppose I'll look back on it later today when I'm not so busy and feel embarassed about some parts of it. But I won't edit it (except for the typos and spelling errors that will certainly be pointed out to me in ten thousand emails [ed: there goes that hyperbole!]). It's pretty much what was on my mind and I'm happy to get it all out. Maybe I'll be a little less dramatic today, or at least less profane. Some day my kids are going to find this blog and they are going to make me put five thousand dollars in the curse jar. See you on the other side of Condi. [And I apologize if you don't get the title of this post. I forgot that I'm old compared to some of you spring chickens]


My hope was that nobody would ever take my words seriously. Sadly, too many people search for deeper meaning.

I got the title. But then, I'm older than you.

Speaking of Kerry & Kennedy...

On a lighter note, perhaps cheering you up - John Woo is going to make a movie out of Metroid.

I got it too - one of the best shows ever. But like Ken, I have a few years on ya.

My girls are 14 and 18. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking through a minefield. But I do have good news. I saved a bunch of money switching my auto insurance to Geico..

now everyone can ask themselves, how could I ever take this guy seriously?

But Michele-

You're beautiful when you're furious. It's one of the reasons your readers love you with the fanatical zeal that we do.


Hmm I'm pretty old and I don't get the title. Oh well. I think it's healthy that you have a place to blow off steam so that your feelings don't spill over onto the CP. And I can totally relate to your current situation - I've been stuck in a frickin apartment for the last year with a 10 year old that has pushing her Mommy's buttons down to a science. We're house hunting now, and of course we can't agree on one, so that keeps things nice and tense. Slipping off into blogland is a welcome respite from things, and yours is a favorite stop. Despite your senseless hatred of the (beloved) Red Sox.

Thanks muchly for your thoughtful and articulate response, Michele.

"...Gary who, for some reason, has chosen to come after me like a cop on Rodney King."

I'm very sorry you feel that way. Truly. I don't think it's remotely objectively justified by my very few, actual words, and perhaps you'll reconsider whether that might be possible if you reread them sometime when life feels calmer, but I also understand perfectly well how and why they would feel that way to you under the stressful circumstances you feel.

I understand perfectly well speaking/writing casually, and venting one's feelings about current events, whether said venting be well factually grounded, or not. I don't hold those impulses against you in the slightest, of course. They're perfectly human, and we all have them.

I don't, indeed, hold anything at all against you. It was precisely because I know you're a good person, that I only made the most gentle of questions as to what it was you were referring to. I don't think those inquiries were, however, out of line. We do, indeed, bear responsibility for the charges we make, and the words we write, no matter our circumstances. Which you've more than acknowledged, so that's done, and let's move past that.

I also understand feeling embarrassed and resistant to responding when questioned about something that, we realize to our chagrin, might have gone a bit too far.

Perfectly normal. Those feelings, too, are nothing to be ashamed of. It's tough to feel embarassed or regretful, particularly in front of a large audience.

I know, I've done it enough times myself.

I just made a big public idiot of myself a few days ago, on my own blog. I wouldn't have volunteered to do so, but I did, in a mildly new way from my previous writing, when I started blogging, myself. It happens; it comes with the territory when one ventures opinions, and writes Far Too Many Words.

So don't worry about it, as best you can. Easy advice, I know, but still good. You made a more than adequate, an eloquent, response, overall, here, and the fact is that people, sensible people, don't hold mistakes against people.

We all make mistakes.

What matters is how we handle them.

We gain respect, as a rule, when people see us handling a mistake well, and we lose it when they see it being handled as if, cough*kos, *cough*rittenhouse, *cough.

Sorry, something in my throat.

Anyway, mistakes: no big deal. So long as one comes back and takes responsibility for them. We can quibble about details here (cough tet, cough), but I have no reason to hassle you, no desire to, and I am more than happy to drop my questions, since you've answered the important one admirably, generously, and in a way that reflects nothing but well upon you. Good job. They're dropped. I'm now forgetting about it.

Again, I'm sorry you feel that I was, somehow, beating on you, and I hope we can get past that; please let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

Your admirer, who would like to be your friend,

The thing that surprises me is that there are people surprised that there is this sudden rise in insurgency in Iraq. This is their last gasp to see if they can drive the co-alition out. I was not surprised to see it happen at all. If the allies stick to their guns and make it clear to the cretins attacking them that we are not for turning they will give up (or most of them will). Make em' realise that we have more bullets than they have bodies.

Michele, I love your spunk.


Just this week I've been rereading my Preacher books and wondering what they would be like as a live-action movie. Or an animated series (like how MTV did The Maxx). I guess it'd be long as hell. I'm absolutely, ridiculously, unreasonably in love with those books, lemme tell you.

Sorry for feeling the idiot need to comment on the single least important detail of your post. I was just thinking about it too, that's all.

Don't go changing . . . to try and please me . . .

Kennedy knows damn well what he was saying. It's not as if crying 'quagmire' is even the slightest bit inconsistent with what he's said about the war from the beginning.

Mwah. Also, boobies.

Remember when you were all about the boobies? Ah, those were the days. By the way, I lost my prizewinning Warhol-esque boobie pic (what was the name of that contest again?) when my hard drive died, so if you should ever come across in it your spare time (I know, pipe dream), I'd owe you... something... if you could pass a copy back to me.

"What this comes down to is this: What you get at ASV is a lot of pent up aggravation, frustration and emotions gone unchecked. I don't plan my posts. I don't write and re-write. I don't do a rough draft or an outline before I post. I just go. Just write. Let it fly."

Not really addressing the main thrust of your post I know, but this is the exact reason why I like ASV so much, even though I often don't agree with your position on various issues.

I can't believe there are freaks that send you hatemail for thinking casting Keanu Reeves and relocating Hellraiser to LA are bad ideas. I know no amount of stupidity should surprise me any more, but even so. Damn.

And what Bill said about the boobies.

I don't get it, what's to apologize for? You were spot-on in what you wrote yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that.

The whole freakin' world's at stake, and we have as much an enemy within as without. It seems to me that screaming at the top of your lungs is EXACTLY the right response.

People, if what's going on now isn't a big enough deal to get excited about, what is?

I've been told by my loved ones to not read/listen to the news too. To take a break.

When I read the kinds of posts you're talking about, I find they strike an emotional chord. You're expressing a lot of what I feel twisting around in my gut on any given day. And that's comforting in an odd way because I know that I'm not the only one.

I'm not sure if any of that made sense. But I wanted to take a stab at it at least.

Keep up the good work, Michelle. Your efforts are appreciated.
I have not seen anything on ASV that requires retraction. If anything did, I'm sure you would handle it with grace and would mean it. I rather doubt you'd play the victim and do your best to deflect blame.

Well I for one welcome the new bellicose Michelle and I would like to remind her as a well known commenter I would be useful in rounding up others to work in her "five songs" mine.

Michelle, we love you. Wouldn't be here otherwise.

From this side it's all good. Obviously if the tension is becoming unbearable on your end then you have to put it down for a while.

It's at the point where I can't watch any news program, talking heads or not, without shouting "Liar" at the t.v. whenever a partisan for "them" comes on. And this is if I limit myself to Fox. I used to be calmer about it, and just shake my head. No longer.

I think we're all getting more worried. Like someone else said, it's nice to know I'm not the only one.

"Angst is all around...."

This bit really captured my mood perfectly. I just feel on edge, like incredibly important things are happening right now, for good or ill, and there's nothing I can do about them except nervously surf between blogs. And I can't get ginmar's harrowing "The Alamo is over-rated as a tourist attraction, dammit" account out of my head, and keep worrying....

Michele, just remember you're not alone in your feelings!

Michele, I love your spunk.

Now that's just gross.

Which defensive apology is this, the apology for letting your emotions get the better of you and doing stupid things over the last few days, or the apology for apologizing? It's so hard to tell when you backtrack so much.

You're pretty unbelievably hypocritical, Michele. You used to have something good here, and you're ruining it.

You got all defensive and hysterical yesterday because some people made posts critical of your flipflopping on this Cramer fiaso you helped create. People publicly criticized you right here on your own weblog. Instead of being up front and responding to those criticisms right here on your weblog, you ducked and ran and bitched that you wanted to take it to email, and then bitched some more because they wanted you to respond right here on your own weblog, instead of hiding your responses in email.

Question: wasn't taking it to email EXACTLY what you might have done in the case of Ms. Cramer, instead of having a public shit fit about it? You sure didn't give her the option, but that's what you wanted to sneak around doing here when YOU got called out. You don't mind self righteously inciting a bunch of thugs to go visit her on your behalf. You could have just emailed her one on one, but instead you thought it would be real fun and kind of a way to jump on the LGF/Kos bandwagon if a whole GANG of your "readers" did your dirty work, didn't you? Kinda fun to gang up on her, wasn't it, Michele. Not one person, a whole raft. You personally posted on her weblog too, instead of "taking it to email." And now you are trying to wash your whole hands of the whole thing just as fast as possible.

Shame on you. You ever learn about taking responsibility for your actions?

When you wanted to criticize Cramer, you invited your whole gang to do it in public. When someone wanted to take YOU to task, you want to make it all private. Real nice. Real gutsy.

Question: you say you can't help what people do after reading your words. But weren't you the same person who accused Ms. Cramer of writing "inflammatory" words, and wrote that she should therefore have expected what happened? In other words, you want HER to take total responsibility for any effects of HER words, but YOU want to duck responsibility for YOURS. Did you take a class in doublespeak? Tell us, are there any standards that apply to both YOU and the rest of the world equally?

Classy, Michele. Real class.

Ganging up on people and shouting them down en masse is such a wonderful, brave thing to do. How does it feel down deep inside to have been a part of making that happen, Michele? It felt exciting at first to help incite all that hatred, didn't it, Michele. How's it feel now? You kind of tasted that mob mentality. Is that what you're all about?

Well, it's really hard to tell if you're just permanently spineless, or just a common, partisan hypocrite. People are probably willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and conclude the latter, but you tell us: which is it? Please have the courtesy and fortitude to respond right here on your weblog to what people are calling you out for, instead of whining about wanting to take it to email.

You didn't give Cramer that chance, so you hardly deserve the same.

Can't believe it. Can't stop laughing. Can't believe it.

Michele, tell us. Did you actually have a tantrum and complain to Kathryn Cramer that "her supporters" and readers are daring to criticize you here on your own weblog?

But you don't want anyone to complain to YOU that YOUR readers went and posted at her site. We should take that up with them, not you, is that right?

You took it up with Cramer. But we shouldn't take it up with you. Because you're not responsible for anything.


We give up. Your acts are spineless AND those of a hypocrite.

But funnier than hell! Thanks for a belly laugh!

"You didn't give Cramer that chance, so you hardly deserve the same."

In other words, I found actions classless. And to demostrate that I will do the same thing I am complaining about.

Glass houses, Dave, glass houses.

Someone needs bunny pic

What the fuck are you guys talking about? Take it to email? I bitched at ONE person because they left a fake email address.

And I didn't complain to Cramer. Get your facts right before you bitch. SHE emailed ME asking me to go whine to CHarles for her and ask him to call off his dogs. I responded to her that sure, she should do the same for me, though. Just my way of letting her know that her readers weren't responding any better.

Go ask her yourself. Or is fact checking too much of a chore for you?

And by the way, David, this post had NOTHING to do with Cramer. Try again.

you left out the part where michele is having a hissy fit that she's getting emails from cramers supporters.

while here, she whines that she can't...wait for it...wait for it...email cramers supporters and take it to email.

michele, ever think about auditioning for condi's role. you got the hypocrite , double standard thing DOWN, girl.

Aww, how sweet, David brought a friend. Hey, Grunt, capital letters are tools of oppression, dude. Fight the power!

(And, apparently, today's Word of the Day is "hypocrite." Now, guys, make sure you use it in EVERY post. It shows your writing skills. Really.)

I wouldn't change anything an I were you Michele. You seem to be hated by all the left people. ;]

Seriously, why change anything? Having readers is cool, but in large part, you have those readers because of exactly what you've been doing here the past 3 years or so.

There's a fine line to walk between being true to you, and trying to please other people. Whenever possible, err in the direction of being true to you.

What a bunch of tools. What do you not understand?

Cramer emailed ME. She asked me to go to Charles and ask him to have his readers back off.

I emailed back with a what I thought was snarky remark - "sure , and you tell your readers to do the same for me."

Got it guys? No hissy fits involved. Now take your fucking idiocy somewhere else.

Let me see if I have this straight.

Cramer posts some purely speculative stuff that equates one of the murdered security personnel with another person for no other reason than they happen to have the same name. Before fact-checking or anything like that. (This speculative stuff turns out to be completely false, by the way).

Michele calls her on it. (However, she is not the first to do so, I had read about it two other places before seeing her post).

Some people apparently overreact and post bad things at Cramer's site.

And this becomes Michele's fault? Even though she did post something to the effect that she did not want people attacking Cramer.

Good Lord.

Excercise some sense here. Calling someone on posting false information is not suppressing free speech. Michele is not doing anything wrong here.

With all these other "Davids" acting like damn fools around here, I may have to change my name to avoid confusion.

No problem, everyone knows I'm a fool.

Hey "david" and "grunt". Sounds like Cramer is lying. Actually it's sounded that way for quite some time.

How about instead of worrying our little selves about "hate mail and comment attacks" (ooo...soo scary) we address what Cramer actually said?

With all these other "Davids" acting like damn fools around here, I may have to change my name to avoid confusion.

Heh. Why do you think I call myself "Evil Otto"?

Daves of A Small Victory, unite! We must destroy these other, "pretender" Daves!!!

See Otto? "Dave" just sounds so much friendlier.

Well, unless I act like a prick. Usually it's just an act though.

I'm small-d david, which is btw my real name. And i've always hated calling myself "dave". Don't know why. Grunt is no friend of mine. I'd trust Michele way before anyone else. She's already demonstrated her good character many times.

I guess the only damn fool David is the guy with the fake email address who posted twice in a row. And me when I've been drinking.