Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bloggers Against #BrettKimberlin Fracture Over Ali Akbar and the National Bloggers Club

It's been about a week since I last blogged about the Kimberlin affair. I've been following along closely, at The Other McCain, in particular, but haven't posted on developments, mostly because I've been busy. For example, on Father's Day I was offline and missed the pretty harsh backlash against Paul Lemmen of An Ex Con's View. See Ann Barnhardt's hit piece over at iOWNTHEWORLD: "Stop Drinking the LemmenAde – Ann Barnhardt." Folks should spend a few minutes with the post, and be sure to read the comments there and also at this one. Reading through there you will see how nasty things have gotten among conservative bloggers who would normally be allies in the fight against the left's criminal harassment network.

Aki Akbar

One reason I backed off Kimberlin blogging is my own issues with people like Scott Jacobs, which I posted about here: "Hip Hip Hooray for John Hawkins! — '7 Ways Conservative Activists Are Being Harassed By the Left'." But that was nothing, really. Now battle lines are being drawn between people who I consider good friends in the blogosphere. So I'm mostly just going so say just a few things here and link around to others who've taken sides.

Paul Lemmen quit his Kimberlin blogging in response to Barnhardt's attacks. See: "The Darkness" and "After Due Consideration." But he's also been contacted directly by Ali Akbar and Stranahan, both of whom pressured him to STFU. I have spoken to Paul on the phone. He decided to step aside, for now at least, in the interest of the greater good. I can't defend Paul against the attacks. He's got a very sketchy background and I'm still learning about him. But I can say that not once have I felt I couldn't trust him during these controversies and I think, frankly, he's got one of the more vital voices standing up against the progressive thugs. I hope he comes back to blogging the fight. He's being thrown under the bus after being a stand up guy in this so far.

Now, I've also spoken to Mare Zilla. She's pretty upset since she was attacked in the comments at iOWNTHEWORLD. Zilla can't blog a whole lot because she's dealing with some painful and debilitating illnesses. But few people have gone to bat for so many in the "dextrosphere," as she likes to call it. So it pains me to see this post of hers, which is a response to the conservative infighting, "It’s Just How I Am." Read the whole thing for the background (Zilla is a friend to everyone), but check the conclusion:

It has been many years since I have tended bar (or even drank alcohol, for that matter), but my little personality quirk has stayed with me and it has both served me well and caused me harm, but it is part of who I am and it’s just how I roll. Some people have a problem with that; they take issue with the fact that I am not quick to turn my back on outcasts or jump on a bandwagon to throw a social pariah beneath its wheels, but I think that perhaps that is more THEIR problem than it is mine.
Zilla's been good to me personally. She organized a blogburst to smack down the despicable hate-blogger Walter James Casper III. I won't ever forget that kind of support, so I'm doubly irked by how she's been treated by some folks on the right.

Most of this is directly a result of the revelations of Ali's criminal background. It turns out that Ali's not only been (seemingly) hiding a shady past, but it's not clear he's fully owned up to it when called out. I'm not one to judge, but I can see why a good number of people have some serious issues with Ali's management of the National Bloggers Club. Honestly, there's some history that makes people uncomfortable, especially since a lot of folks are putting their hard-earned money where their mouths are. So when the news came out that Paul had been pressured --- even harassed --- to step aside, that was the last straw for a few. See Film Ladd's post, for example, "Good Luck National Blogger's Club"

Look, I'm not a collectivist. I don't care about celebrities. I don't care if someone is "important" or not. Screw Ali's political connections. You love him? Want to blacklist me? Be my guest. Won't be the first time that's happened. Been happening for two years now anyway. It's the sort of thing I think Ali likes to do to people who get crosswise with him - trash them, prevent them from getting work, and so on. I could regale you with first-hand stories I've heard, but this post is already too goddamn long.
Go read it all at that link.

And don't miss Dan Collins as well, who's not pleased: "MORE INSIDE BASEBALL KIMBERLIN FALLOUT: PAUL LEMMEN, ALI AKBAR, LADD EHLINGER."

And this just in, from The Impolite Canadian, "WE WILL NOT BE BULLIED INTO SILENCE!!!":

Ann Barnhardt, one such elitist bastard, says she wrote the rag on Paul Lemmen at the request of friends. BULLSHIT. She wrote it to draw attention away from Ali Akbar, the president of the NBC where she is a full fledged member, for fear the recent revelations on him would bring her drama-queen ass down with him. She pushes the envelope as far as to TELL Paul to withdraw from the fight on the Kimberlin goon squad, and the SWAT-ing incidents. Followed by her kiss-ass minions, she goes on to say that Paul is still conning people.

WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU, Ann Barnhardt?? Who died and made you queen of the right-wing dextrosphere?? What gives you the right of life and death over smaller bloggers who engaged in this fight to expose the left wing terrorists?? You are the most self-centered, elitist piece of shit I have EVER encountered. Fuck you, Ann Barnhardt! You won't silence us! Nor will you silence the STRONG voices of MUCH BETTER bloggers than you are who sided with Paul.
Keep reading.

And after you finish that, go read Da Tech Guy's post, "And now by request…I jump into the middle of it."

Folks will have to read Da Tech Guy in full at the link. Bottom line is that the internecine battles are distracting from the larger war. And that's where I'll conclude. First, no one has a monopoly on this story. Of course those who have been personally sued, targeted or SWAT-ted should be rightly at the forefront, as best as they're able. But the battle needs reinforcements, especially when bloggers like Aaron Worthing have been silenced, albeit temporarily. It doesn't do any good for those more central to the controversy to attempt to marginalize those who're providing backup. We all have a lot to add to the fight, we compound the firepower. Michelle Malkin has repeatedly reminded us that conservatives have a common enemy in the left and that we can win if we keep the pressure on. Victory will take place piecemeal at times, but victory will certainly come. But if some so-called conservatives insist on taking exclusive monopoly ownership of the fight, attacking others for supposed heresies and other crimes, virtually the entire campaign will fold after a time, as conservatives decamp to their respective redoubts, holding grudges against folks nominally on their side. And that's not good, because the multiple blogbursts have been very effective so far. As it is, some of the biggest participants in past solidarity actions are now on opposing sides. It bugs the hell out me, frankly, and I'm already alienated a bit from entering the mosh.

Finally, I'll just repeat what I've said before: This is indeed a partisan battle of conservatives fighting a progressive program to shut down right-wing speech by any means necessary. A few well-meaning allies on the left have contributed quite a bit, but in the end it's going to break down along partisan and ideological lines. How it all shakes out, in the near-term, I don't know. I do know that the outcome of the Brett Kimberlin battle will have implications all the way to the top of national politics. Members of Congress have engaged and put pressure on the Justice Department. But that's only a start. Robert Stacy McCain and others keep digging away with their investigations and we may see some of the left's subversion reaching right up into the top ranks of the Democrat-Media-Complex. Time will tell. But either way, the push back against progressives criminals won't develop as well when various battalions are taken out with friendly fire. There's one common enemy ultimately, and for a variety of factors (diverse short-term interests on the right, outsized ego, etc.) the focus among conservatives has been lost.

I will continue to engage no matter what happens. But it'll be a whole lot easier without all the lame fissiparous backstabbing on the right side.

ADDED: I'm being told on Twitter that Paul Lemmen was NOT told to STFU by either Ali or Stranahan or both. But that's not what Paul told me personally. So, my essay stands until I have evidence otherwise that Paul wasn't told to stand down.

MORE: Here's Paul Lemmen in the comments, which I want to preserve at the post just in case he comes under more pressure:
Thank you Don. I have no words beyond there that will be believable by those who found it necessary to repeat their blacklist of me from March. I get it, okay? "STFU and go away" is the order of the day. They want and need the intel I have gotten but can't be seen putting me in any positive light.

That's okay with me, the fight is not about me but about Brett Kimberlin and his associates. That is what should be remembered instead of the rhetoric about me.
Someone, somewhere in all of this is not telling me the truth. So this all stays up for the record.