Online, things tend to stay up forever. I'm also not going to delete things. What's here is here.
Because what's here is here, I want to clarify something, I am not friends with Ron Brynaert.
In 2004, Brynaert began e-mailing the public account for this website. When I noted him at this website, two bloggers (one male, still around; one female who's closed her site) e-mailed to say don't trust him and don't trust him with anything personal.
Ron knows nothing about me. He would repeatedly attempt to ask personal questions. I don't do personal with strangers. This site exists because of Iraq. If we're going to talk about Iraq, let's talk about Iraq. (Ron has earned the reputation he has -- with rumors of his being a government snoop -- because he does ask personal questions that come up out of nowhere.)
Months after, Ron was screaming in e-mails (along with one of his friends) about how I hadn't made the community do something, sign some petiton or something he wanted, I don't know. I don't control this community. I am one member of the community. It's not a cult. I couldn't issue marching orders here if I wanted to.
That faded and Ron decided we were friends again.
Then he went to work for Raw Story
. We don't like Raw Story. Why? We've kept that in the newsletters and off this site. I don't know that I ever even mentioned it to Ron in any e-mails.
At some point, Ron e-mailed me (2006?) to praise me for some piece on a war resister. He'd linked to it at Raw Story. My reply didn't thrill him.
I don't ask for links. I've never e-mailed Ron and asked for a link. He's e-mailed many times and he's had his friends e-mail asking for links. That includes the weirdo in Australia who got furious with me because I wouldn't link to his 'great work' on a New York Times
reporter. We'd called her out when she was factually wrong. I'd link to nutty's articles where he called her out for being factually wrong. Then nutty became convinced that this reporter was covering up the murder of a US judge. The nutso had no concept of what goes into reporting. By that I mean, the woman filed a report that was an early version. As she got more information, she added that. Some early information proved not to be accurate and she changed that. This is reporting in any newsroom on any given day. But nutso became convinced that this meant the reporter was covering up for the murder of a US judge and began making those charges. We weren't interested anymore.
My apologies here to Isaiah
who took an insult from Nutsy online because Nutsy didn't have the guts to go after me. I've never commented on that before and hadn't planned on it now. But since we're on this topic, my apologies to Isaiah.
My reply didn't thrill Ron. I don't know why it would. Was I supposed to gush, "Thank you!!!!" I have asked friends not to link to this site, not to mention this site. When we get a shout out on NPR, I know we're doing something wrong. That's not meant as an insult to anyone, it's just that any such mention means we need to be hitting a lot harder.
Also true, friends are often surprised by how hard I hit here. In real life, I'm far more comfortable listening than speaking. (And go back to the early days and you'll find various comments or acknowledgements by me that community members were complaining about my avoiding a topic or writing "in fairness . . .") Here we have to have an opinion. I have to take a position. And I do. But if you were a guest in my home, unless we were talking about the betrayal of the Iraqi people, you would see a much calmer person than you encounter here. I'm much more laid back.
I have repeatedly stated that this site is only as good as the community is. I can speak for the community when a member needs me to. If an Iraqi community member e-mails about something that has outraged him or her, I can grab the baton and I can run with that and will do so gladly. As I've noted a few times before, if I didn't do this website, I would've voted for Barack in 2008 and in 2012. I would've held my nose and just voted for him. (In 2008, I voted for a non-duopoly party candidate. In 2012, I did not vote in the presidential race.) But this community has an impact on all the members, including me.
So the point being, this isn't my autobiography. I don't need friends to link to it or mention it. It's an important site and I'd be a huge reader of it if I wasn't involved with it but it's not autobiography. And from day one, for example, I have hoped to write about water rights -- that's an issue that's going to grow in importance and one we are not ready for globally -- but businesses are ready for it. There's never been time. By 2007 or 2008, I gave up on ever being able to address the issue here. Again, this site is about the community.
So there's no "I was linked to!" joys here.
In addition, I worry about conflicts of interests. I have so many as it is. There is a wonderful reporter for the Los Angeles Times
and a wonderful one for the New York Times
that, if the site went dark tomorrow, I'd be making arrangements to have drinks with. They are both wonderful reporters and I praise them highly. (Ned Parker is praised repeatedly here. He does great work. But I'm not speaking of Ned Parker.) In both cases, I violated my own rule and replied to e-mails and justified it as they were leaving Iraq. And I feel tremendous guilt over that (I've written about it here before). I can't have private conversations with people whose work I'm critiquing. If I do, it's not fair.
And I came into thise with enough conflicts of interests via existing friendships.
So Ron is no longer the Ron of his own website but Raw Story
. What did he expect? A personal e-mail? Now there was a new conflict of interest.
And I didn't want to appear to be courting Raw Story for links.
Also, I didn't write anything.
I've written on war resisters repeatedly. In that case, I took a report (AP?) and linked to it. I wrote a sentence or two.
Because friends asked for it, we cover Congress. I'm not going to pretend that what we do on hearings isn't reporting. But I do that reluctantly. I think what appears here on that is good and of value -- but if newspapers were doing their jobs -- as they once did -- in covering hearings, even what I manage on a good day of reporting on a hearing, on a best day, would be of little value.
I have no inflated sense of self.
So I didn't give him the e-mail he wanted and that stopped the e-mail flow. Which was fine. I didn't have the time and I'm sure he didn't. I'd hear about him from time to time and think, "Good, I hope he's happy." And I meant that. And I used to still feel that way until this summer. We're getting there.
Ron got fired from Raw Story (or he left, don't e-mail me, Ron). He returned to his website. I got an e-mail on that (not from Ron, from someone making fun of him). So I wrote a little something in a Sunday or Thursday entry and linked to his site, welcoming him back. He was supposedly going to be offering some Iraq coverage. That really didn't happen.
I want to say that was 2010 but I don't know. I've tried to block this all out for what we're about to get to.
So for several months I kept getting e-mails asking me why I hated Ron?
I didn't reply, I didn't read most of them. Martha
would note, in their summaries of the e-mails coming in, that the topic had popped up again.
Then one day last spring or summer, there was an e-mail that quoted Ron. Attacking me.
My response should have been to explode. But he was unemployed and I felt sorry for him. He's also got problems that I had hoped Raw Story
would fix but clearly that did not happen. So I wrote him a sincere e-mail (I dictated it, I remember that). I asked him if I had done something to make him feel the need to attack me, what caused that?
He responded with something to the effect of he knew it was false when he Tweeted it but some nonsense that basically comes down to 'I had to feed Twitter.' I dictated a response to that along the lines of okay, then, so there's no problem?
But clearly there was because a string of abusive e-mails followed, one right after the other, I wasn't dictating replies to them, that continued for a bit. Several e-mails cursing me out and raging against me.
And at some point, I said to Martha, "You're not putting me on, are you? This isn't a prank?"
Because it made no sense.
She wasn't putting me on, these e-mails were arriving.
As one curse filled insult after another was read to me, I stopped caring about Ron's emotional health. As far I was concerned, he was a cheap liar. He knew I hadn't done anything to him but to try to get attention on Twitter, he attacked me.
That was months ago and I've never mentioned it here or in a newsletter. When people have heard of the e-mails from Martha or Shirley, I've said nothing.
That was my intention.
Thursday, Stan called out some ridiculous remarks
Ron had made on race and on films. Stan backed up his points and did so with stats. Of course, when you're insane, that just makes you rage more so Ron shows up to insult Stan in the comments. And, as Keesha
pointed out in her comments, Ron had to bring me into it. I hadn't done a damn thing. I had said nothing about him publicly.
Now there are two e-mails in the public inbox from Ron.
I'm not reading them.
You cannot cuss me out and write abusive e-mails to me months ago and then show up and act like we're pen pals.
Until right now, I hadn't said a word about any of this.
Now I am. I am not Ron's friend. We do not speak. We have never spoken. We did exchange e-mails -- superficial ones but I believe in giving credit so I've always credited him if I've written about any topic we'd mentioned in e-mails.
After his attack of me on Twitter and his admitting that he knew I didn't do anything to him, his 'defense' that Tweeting non-stop requires that you feed the machine?
That's not a friend.
Ron needs to stop writing me. Ron needs to get psychiatric help.
Writing that means Ron will write insulting e-mails about me. Fine, I won't read him. He'll take to Twitter and say nasty things about me. Fine, I won't read him.
But his name is up at this site in various entries. So I do need to clarify, Ron is not a friend of mine. He is not to be trusted. The two bloggers who e-mailed me years ago were exactly right. He will appeal to you for sympathy. You will feel sorry for him. You will let your guard down in some form and then the response will be he will attack you. That's what he does.
We're not friends. I'm not involved in what Stan posted but Ron thinks he can come running to me. I don't care what he has to say. He can leave comments (could, I believe Stan's currently deleting most of Ron's comments and closing the comments on that entry) at Stan's blog and Stan's got a public e-mail address. I haven't mentioned him. But right now I have a 25K e-mail and a 24K e-mail from Ron. I'm not reading either of them. I've already clicked on them to indicate they are spam, his future e-mails will go in the spam folder so no one has to read them.
Ron's pattern? The first one's a plea for me to talk Stan into deleting the post about Ron and explaining how hard things are right now for Ron. The second one's Ron screaming at me that the Stan hasn't deleted the post and how hard things are for him.
A long time ago, the DLC was e-mailing the public account to whine about what Rebecca
blogged about them -- about their bad hair cuts, actually. (And if you've ever seen a DLC-er, you know they've got bad hair cuts.) I don't police Rebecca. Here, I wrote at the time (and since), don't e-mail me about what someone else writes at another site. I am responsible for what I write.
Ron's familiar with that because he's been treated roughly by the community before. So there was never a reason for him to write me about what Stan posted.
Since he is dragging me into it (and will no doubt take to Twitter to rage some more), let me say what I always say, "I stand with the community." If you're an outsider and you think an e-mail's going to make me turn on Stan or whomever, you're an idiot. I stand with the community.
And that includes agreeing with Stan. White Ron may think it's funny when every Tarentino film uses the n-word, but White Ron isn't an African-American sitting in the theater hearing all the Whites laugh hilariously every time that word comes up. Stan is completely right that he has every right to criticize or call out someone using the n-word. That Ron's devotion to Quentin is so great that he can't grasp that an African-American could respond differently to what he finds hilarious goes to the limitations of Ron.
I hadn't planned to write on this topic. I'd have preferred to have stayed out of it. However, Ron's now trying to claim that he's been threatened.
Drama Queen Ron.
At Stan's site, Ron's left several comments -- one with his name, others without. I don't know if he was drinking or if he has sock puppets. But this one appears to be from him (Stan is deleting as I type this):
I'm going to end up dead?
You are sickos.
Yes, Ron, you are going to end up dead. You are mortal. I know that's a shock to you.
Ron's actually referring to a comment Wally
Oh, look, Little Ron the professional coward left a comment. Gee, Ronnie b**ch, maybe people would take you more seriously if you didn't lie about people and, when confronted on it, say "I'm fighting for my life." You're a f**king piece of trash liar who will end up dead and no one will miss you.
Wally's not threatening Ron. Wally's referring to all of Ron's legal and emotional problems. (I also think "I'm fighting for my life" was read to me by Martha from one of Ron's e-mails a few months back -- which would mean Wally's working from those as well. I don't know, I haven't spoken to him about it.) Wally's referring to Ron's crazy behavior. Like when he is lucky enough that a New York Times
reporter wants to work with him and Ron's 'thank you' is to then go and smear the woman over and over and over for months at his Twitter account.
Ron's considered nuts all over the place online -- left, right, what have you. If his name is known, he's considered nuts. And he will end up dead shortly or in a mental home. That's the reality. That's not me threatening him, that's me pointing out he's needs to get his life in order.
He's had problems with various district attorneys, he's apparently been the subject of many law suits, he's admitted to some form a criminal history that's been expunged -- What do you say?
Ron is a sexist. A lot of people don't know what that means. It means that you don't believe women are equal, you don't believe women are not all one stereotype. I bring that up because, like many sexists, Ron needs to scream "bitch" at the women he's raging against and needs to make the others into saints (before they disappoint him -- and they always disappoint him). It's the whole sexist Madonna/Whore. I bring that up because Ron doesn't get women and doesn't grasp where things stand with us.
"When you hang up that phone, you cease to exist" ("Welcome to the Room . . . Sara," written by Stevie Nicks
, first appears on Fleetwood Mac
's Tango in the Night
). I can and do walk away. I'm not Ron's nuturing mother or 'old lady' that's going to go down with the sinking ship. Like some other women (though not enough) I did master survival. That means I don't have the desire to rescue you, Ron. I don't have the need to fix your problems.
You're a grown up, you should have dealt with your own problems a long time ago. Your failure to do so put you in your current situation. You had everything you always said you wanted with Raw Story
but you screwed that up and left on such bad terms that it became an ongoing, online controversy. You then got lucky enough to partner with a reporter for the New York Times
. And you screwed that up. And you went on to attack her over and over and over on your useless Twitter feed. How many chances did you think you were going to get to be what you really wanted to be?
Parting advice, Ron, if you were an actress, you'd be Sean Young
You are a joke. Your Twitter feed doesn't help your image. It only makes you look even nuttier, even more explosive, even more unreliable and more unemployable. It's as though every day you're running around the set of Joan Rivers' daytime talk show dressed like Catwoman. Ron, Tim Burton
's not going to call you.
Stop the Twitter and try to write something that doesn't scream "conspiracy."
Or accept what you've become: A joke. But that's on you. I have a very full life and you have no place in it.