The recent freak-out by the "HeadUsher" clan occasioned by the online poll in which Sen. Jacobs' opponent Paul Rumler attracted over 80% of the vote, and a comment I've received prompted me to set out a few things regarding the protection of people's anonymity here.
A few people (as in maybe two) are very freaked out by the fact that a lot of people were able to come to the rather inescapable opinion that many bizarre and ugly comments here and elsewhere (posted as "HeadUsher" "CountyDemo" "VoterGuide" and others, hereinafter referred to as "commenter X") were left by Sen. Mike Jacobs and that the suspicion has been stated.
Why they're getting upset now when this contention has been stated for months is anyone's guess. Could it have anything to do with the fact that the press has asked Sen. Jacobs if he's posted as "HeadUsher"?
I hasten to point out that no one has ever revealed or stated that they had absolute proof of this. I'll repeat that for the benefit of people who seem to want to ignore it. No one has ever revealed or stated that they had absolute proof of this. And this includes myself, and to my knowledge, John Beydler as well.
The fact of the matter is this. If you:
A. Constantly make comments which have nothing to do with the topic or issue addressed in the post for which you're commenting, essentially hi-jacking the post. (blog no-no #1)
A. Make comments which serve no purpose whatsoever other than attacking others or which are basically overblown campaign ads.
B. Actually think you can "own" someone else's blog and think you have a "right" to fill it with all manner of disgusting, vile, mean-spirited attacks and lies.
C. Engage in nearly exclusive use of personal smears, attacks, and threats.
D. Despite numerous polite suggestions, patient explanations, pleadings, and warnings, show zero sign of "getting it", cleaning up your act or being able to follow the few basic rules of blog etiquette.
E. Despite the repeated chances above, not only don't ratchet things back a few notches, but actually intensify your onslaught and increase the childish attacks and lies and false assertions about individuals.
F. Literally cover the blog with posts glorifying the supposed accomplishments and near mythic greatness of Mike Jacobs while engaging in the lowest, most dishonest, mean spirited, and juvenile attempts to spread false rumors, smear, threaten, harass, insult, or attack anyone perceived as a Jacobs' competitor. opponent, or anyone who says anything less than glowing about Mike Jacobs.
G. Do all of the above over a thousand times over the period of nearly a year, sometimes at a rate of one a minute.
E. Give your identity away in dozens of ways suggesting that you are Mike Jacobs himself or both he and someone extremely close to him.
F. Generally act like an idiot.
...then yes, I'm going to say who I have reason to believe you are. End of story.
Anyone reading even a fraction of the hundreds of manic comments by "HeadUsher" et. al. posted here and to a lesser degree at John Beydler's "The Passing Parade" would come to the conclusion that this commenter is either the senator himself or someone so close to him as to almost be his clone. Either way, it's embarrassing.
People like him are known on blogs as a "troll". Someone who contributes nothing and only serves to agitate and disrupt a place and in doing so, ruin things for all the others who want a rational place to argue or discuss issues. In other words, they're the loud, crude, obnoxious guest who crashes an otherwise decent party and won't leave anyone alone.
No one else has any cause to worry that I'd have more than a passing interest in who they are, much less speculate about it here. And the fact remains that I have no means to associate a comment or e-mail with a person's name, period.
This doesn't mean that I'm an absolute dunce and that after reading dozens of comments from someone, some idea of who it might be doesn't enter my mind. But I sure don't sit here wracking my brains trying to figure out who said what. Frankly, I don't care who they are (no offense) and trying to find out is not only a waste of my time, but impossible. I only enjoy their thoughts, insights, views, humor, and personalities. That's plenty enough, without wasting my time playing detective.
A commenter wrote recently and wanted me to make some sort of "pledge" that I'd never reveal any commenter's identity or even speculate on it.
Long time readers will note that with the exception of "Headusher" and his pseudonyms, I've never speculated on any commenter's identity, nor do I ever intend to. Because if there's a God, there's only one "Headusher", and I won't have the need or the desire to.
What does it say though, that "HeadUsher" is now enraged, saying it's wrong that Sen. Jacobs has been revealed as the author of so many disturbing comments? Well to me, it's almost a confirmation.
HeadUsher is not angry that something THEY supposedly wrote is being falsely attributed to Jacobs, no mention of that at all. Only that it's somehow wrong to "out" someone. Interesting.
Now suddenly Sen. Jacobs and "HeadUsher" et. al (whom we'll refer to as "commenter X") are huge supporters of the right to anonymity online. How refreshing, in light of the fact that he was railing like a madman for months that my identity should be revealed, and has in fact attempted to "name" me in many comments in which he named names of people which he (wrongly) felt ran this blog in attempts to smear them or cast aspersions. (which of course, I did not post) What a remarkable change of heart. Maybe they are educable after all?
Frankly, one reason I've allowed the suspicion of Jacobs to be said is in the strong hope (in vain) that perhaps this person would realize how their comments are revealing a very ugly and disturbing aspect to them and their way of thinking. Jacobs has stated in newspaper stories that he reads blogs "occasionally" (snort!) I don't think anyone believes he hasn't read this one regularly, so he surely is aware of the many people who assume he's "HeadUsher and the others. In the past, "HeadUsher" has stated that he speaks to Sen. Jacobs often. (guffaw)
Since Jacobs has been suspected of being the source of these deplorable comments for about a year now, wouldn't you think that if it was indeed Jacobs, he'd get a clue and stop? And if it wasn't Jacobs, wouldn't he take immediate action to stop whoever was posting them? And even if he couldn't nail down who it was (yeah, right) wouldn't he immediately post a comment here disavowing all the vile and disgusting comments left in his behalf and apologizing to their targets?
The rational answer to the above is clearly yes, he would. But the fact is that Jacobs has apparently done nothing to stop or chastise the person posting such disgusting things (even if it's him, I might add.) as they continue to pour in.
And Jacobs has not said a word to disavow or disassociate himself from them in any manner, shape, or form. Not a peep. The silence is deafening. And telling.
But I'm here to tell anyone who cares that commenting here or contacting me by e-mail has been, is still, and will remain, completely anonymous.
And unless you think you can match "HeadUsher"s output for both volume and obnoxiousness, there's no need to worry about your identity being speculated about.
OK? Have we got this straight? Good.
I'm sorry to have had to go into this, but there are a few, and very few, people who are jittery that their anonymity is not secure. This is for them, not the rest of you who know better and are not concerned.
If anyone wants to discuss this further, contact me by e-mail, but I'm not going to spend any more time on it in comments.