Missing Link Friday – Pork, protest, policy and paranoia

Put it up to eleven: "The entire media is shouting ALL the time because they’re worried that if they pull back on their Tube Screamers their highly compressed copy won’t be heard over all the other sources of distraction", says Mr Denmore.

We reject your demand for demands: The Occupy movement’s lack of demands is a strength, writes Tad Tietze. And at the Brookings Institution, Elisabeth Jacobs agrees: "Occupy Wall Street’s lack of explicit demands is smart movement politics for the time being, advantageous for the movement itself and for savvy politicians alike. For a month-old movement with solid popular support, OWS’s demand-free stance makes good sense."

Presidential hopeful Rick Perry has policies… but he can’t remember what they are.

The right-wing hive-mind? At Larvatus Prodeo, commenter Rob wonders about the flood of comments on issues like climate change and refugees. They "have a consistent right wing bias ie the commentators are consistently right wing through and through but yet seemingly they will only let their views be known on about 3 or 4 topics." Something "very planned is obviously going on", says Rob.

A vast right-wing conspiracy? "In the United States of America there is evidence that the right have to hire people to pretend to be right-wing commenters in order to keep up with the genuine enthusiasm and activism of the left in on-line media." Blue Milk (see also: Craigslist ad for right-wing commenters draws suspicion and a few giggles, National Post).

Immigration Restrictions as Affirmative Action: "Conservatives usually think that ‘oppressed minorities’ should spend a lot less time complaining about unfair treatment and a lot more time improving their skills and work ethic. Fair point, but the same holds for native-born Americans who complain that immigrants are taking their jobs." Bryan Caplan at Econlog.

McRib arbitrage: American econo-bloggers are fascinated by the comings and goings of McDonald’s McRib sandwich. It starts with this post by Willy Staley at the Awl. Matthew Yglesias and Alex Tabarrok join in.

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19 Responses to Missing Link Friday – Pork, protest, policy and paranoia

  1. KB Keynes says:

    Rick was obviously Perrified

  2. Sancho says:

    I wouldn’t go overboard on the idea that the commentary jungle is packed with paid right-wing posters, but there’s some truth to the hivemind, such as the conservative group that formed solely for the task of giving left-leaning Digg articles a bad rating so that they dropped off the front pages.

    The left has always been more politically engaged, which is especially threatening to a faction that claims perpetual minority victim status while also claiming to represent the silent majority. All that contrary opinion is terrifying.

    I think it’s more to do with the narrowing of right-wing intellectualism. Conservatives have lost so many battles of ideas – geocentrism, flat earth, evolution, slavery, child labour, feminism – that now they seize on a handful of ideas and defend them furiously, no matter how hollow. So much like a religion they band together to protect the sacred truths.

    Eventually climate change will go the way of heliocentrism, with the right accepting it was happening all along, and a new generation of conservatives will argue that it can’t possibly be held responsible for the anti-factual right-wing beliefs of the past, but will insist that it’s new obsession is the real thing and needs to be fought against socialists who are trying to undermine society.

  3. Dan says:

    Sancho: I note that David Cameron and Margaret Thatcher have no trouble accepting what the climate science is saying.

    Abbott himself is either confused or a hypocrite: if it’s “crap”, why outline a policy position that sets the same emissions target as the ETS? (With the unfortunate sidenote that it is ludicrously clunky and unworkable, like the policy equivalent of the death machines that Bond villains insist on putting 007 into. Perhaps designed to fail?)

  4. Sancho says:

    And hasn’t Cameron copped it for his support! And Thatcher, like Ronald Reagan, isn’t nearly fundamentalist enough to be elected by today’s right.

    Yes, the ETS is what the political process coughs up after all the committees and special interests have been satisfied, which is a largely uncredited reason for the Greens’ election to Parliement: enough of the electorate realised that the ETS was just a way of using tax money to pay polluters for polluting.

  5. Fyodor says:

    Nice one, Don. LP commenter sees lots of right-wing comments – not at LP, natch – and assumes it’s a conspiracy. Fucking priceless.

    I think it’s more to do with the narrowing of right-wing intellectualism. Conservatives have lost so many battles of ideas – geocentrism, flat earth, evolution, slavery, child labour, feminism – that now they seize on a handful of ideas and defend them furiously, no matter how hollow.

    Dude, you left out human sacrifice, haruspicy and fractional reserve banking.

    LIFT.

  6. Yobbo says:

    The right-wing hive-mind? At Larvatus Prodeo, commenter Rob wonders about the flood of comments on issues like climate change and refugees. They “have a consistent right wing bias ie the commentators are consistently right wing through and through but yet seemingly they will only let their views be known on about 3 or 4 topics.” Something “very planned is obviously going on”, says Rob.

    Awesome conspiracy theory from some left-wing moron.

    What likely happened is that the article in question got linked off a high-readership blog (like Blair or Bolt or Instapundit) and the commentors had their say on the article.

    Cue leftists head spinning at the unlikeliness of this event!

  7. Sally says:

    It’s called astroturfing, Yobbo. Try and keep up. It’s here, it’s clear and it’s proud. You’re the first person to deny it exists and based on what exactly? Ignorance? Atrophied intuition? The vibe as it impacts on your single brain? Combo, I’d say.

    Menzies House is an astroturf op, when it’s not being swamped by lefties. Bolt’s blog is for sure (whether he knows it or not) and Catallaxy is infested with it from time to time. It’s obvious which commenters are switching and using multiple names. Their obsessions, writing styles, sore points, typos, intellectual limitations, knowledge-base etc all give them away.

  8. Don Arthur says:

    Yes, astroturfing is real. I’ll have a post on it soon.

  9. Sally says:

    The ABC posts are a target, especially with particular topics, Israel and the Middle East being perhaps the number one incitement to astroturf response, seconded by anything to do with the Gillard government. No surprises there. Interesting that Crikey seems to have escaped the virus. Perhaps it is more heavily moderated.

  10. KB Keynes says:

    Yobbo,

    using pejoratives can come back and bite you on the bum if you do not understand of the topic

  11. Sancho says:

    Don’t forget sock-puppetry.

    I had a great time outing one mook at Crikey, who was posting under at least three different names.

    It raises an obvious question: if you’re sure your opinions and comments are defensible, why do you feel the need to back yourself up with fake identities?

  12. Fyodor says:

    It’s obvious which commenters are switching and using multiple names.

    Yes, it is, Sally/Phil/Posey/Wolfe/Jinmaro/JillS/JillianS.

    Their obsessions, writing styles, sore points, typos, intellectual limitations, knowledge-base etc all give them away.

    So true. Or, you know, not…

    Don’t forget sock-puppetry.

    I had a great time outing one mook at Crikey, who was posting under at least three different names.

    Of course! How could we forget sock-puppetry?!

    You know, like that time you outed JC, Birdy* and Moi as the same guy! Brilliant!

    Oh yeah, you’re a regular super-sleuth, Sputnik Sancho.

    *That one took the biscuit. I mean, for the love of big-titted blonde women, CTFO.

  13. Yobbo says:

    Yep, every single right-wing commentor in the blog world is doing it on behalf of the corporations that pay them. Nobody actually believes that stuff, that would be ridiculous.

  14. Sancho says:

    You know, like that time you outed JC, Birdy* and Moi as the same guy! Brilliant!

    Yeah, that surprised me too. Last night at Catallaxy there were posts by JC and Period next to each other, and it was impossible to tell the difference.

    Is there some short course you guys take where you learn to randomly thread together baseless assumptions mixed with Tourette’s style personal abuse, and get it to conform vaguely to English syntax?

  15. Pedro says:

    JC and “.” (mark) are long standing commenters and different guys. Name swapping happens on both sides as far as I can tell. I’ll bet astroturfing happens on both sides.

    Don, I don’t think you actually provided any evidence that right-wing commenters have to be hired. That idea would be pretty strange in the land of the tea party.

  16. Don Arthur says:

    Pedro – I haven’t seen any evidence of people being hired specifically to post comments in aid of right wing causes.

    But astroturfing does happen. The examples I’ve heard of have mostly been companies trying to protect their reputations.

  17. Fyodor says:

    Last night at Catallaxy there were posts by JC and Period next to each other, and it was impossible to tell the difference.

    Yeah, we know already. Right-wingers all look alike to you.

    But THEY have the problem, right? It’s a *whispers* C-O-N-S-P-I-R-A-C-Y!

    Is there some short course you guys take where you learn to randomly thread together baseless assumptions mixed with Tourette’s style personal abuse, and get it to conform vaguely to English syntax?

    Dunno, man. Maybe it’s the same place that taught you to split your infinitives, Syntax Sancho.

  18. Laura says:

    Split infinitives are so late 20th century.

  19. Anthony says:

    Oh God, Don, you’re an intelligent guy. Why do you bother posting on Club Troppo when this is the comment thread you engender?

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