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September 22, 2003

Open thread 5
Posted by Teresa at 08:51 AM *

Because who wants to have to scroll that far down?

Comments on Open thread 5:
#2 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 09:18 AM:

My god, this is iniquitous. We can't do this. Somebody stop us.

#3 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 10:18 AM:

Speaking of iniquity, I just finished reading Wesley Clark's book.

Is it good or bad that he didn't use a ghostwriter? Is it good or bad that I can tell it wasn't ghosted? Am I simply vain to believe I can tell it wasn't ghosted?

And why didn't they hire a better proofreader?

#4 ::: CHuck Nolan ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 12:03 PM:

"except for the oil, gas, and mineral businesses".

What else do they have?

#5 ::: Yonmei ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 12:33 PM:

Assuming that's a serious request for information, Chuck, Index Mundi says the primary industries are petroleum, chemicals, textiles, construction materials, and food processing. Given that it was a booming country only 12 years ago, I imagine that all the other industries usually found in industralised countries are also to be found in Iraq. Telecommunications is a new big deal, because there was no mobile phone system in Iraq, but don't worry, the US already stepped in to make sure that Batelco wouldn't get the profits that clearly MCI-Worldcom deserve.

#6 ::: Chuck Nolan ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 12:52 PM:

It was serious. Thanks for the reply.

#7 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 02:41 PM:

Just to let people know, we survived the hurricane. I hope to be back online one of these days.

#8 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 02:54 PM:

"Operation It's Best to Avoid Our Diplomacy" sounds like the name of a Culture starship.

#9 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 02:54 PM:

ObSF Regarding the Particles entry on Operation Wild Badger:

Perhaps they're in need of a silver shovel?

#10 ::: Yonmei ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 03:26 PM:

Apologies for thinking it might not be, Chuck - it's sometimes hard to tell. :-)

#11 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 07:07 PM:

Oh, joy:

#12 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 10:45 PM:

Thanks, very much, for the link to James MacPherson's comments on Bush Revisionism.
I'm continuing to think about phone volunteer work for the Democratic party next year, and what to say to people who report themselves to be "on the fence."

It's clear to me (from reading the Mnstff Natter list, if nothing else), that there are going to be a number of intelligent people who peripherally acknowledge that Bush is incompetent and a liar. But these people may still announce their intention to vote for him in 2004 because "everyone in politics is a liar" (or the Democratic candidate crosses one of their special interests, or they just plain dislike the attitudes they read in some Democrats they know).

It's my hope/fantasy that a little more exposure to statements like this (from scholars committed to an even-handed search for truth) may have the power to sway some votes.

#13 ::: Elric ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2003, 08:48 AM:

Re: Operation Wild Badger. None of the names I've run across have been quite as succinct as my personal name for all the alarums and excursions in Iraq: Operation Testosterone Storm.

#14 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2003, 03:29 PM:

Possibly old, but still nice: Omniglot, a Guide to Writing Systems

#15 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2003, 05:20 PM:

CD, I had not seen it, at least. Very, very nice indeed.

The undeciphered scripts page, in particular, fascinates me.

#16 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2003, 11:59 PM:

Oh cool. Too much fun, and I have to go to bed. It'll still be there tomorrow...

#17 ::: Sylvia Li ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2003, 02:20 AM:

Via a comment from Joanna on Billmon's site: an odd thing. Teresa, it's late, so I won't try to check, but if memory serves, you've mentioned Baghdad Burning, the blog by the Iraqi woman calling herself riverbend. Now, it seems there's another site with an identical layout, using the name "riversbend".

Is it the same person? Well, here are the two URLs:

One letter difference. Or is it all the distance in the world?

It took only a few minutes reading to convince me that the two voices are utterly different. Never mind the viewpoint, which is also rather different... Anyway, I thought I'd come here and see if your reaction was the same as mine.

#18 ::: Yonmei ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2003, 07:36 AM:

"Riversbend" looks like a faked site to me - a website deliberately set up as a foil to the original Riverbend. I've read many pro-war rightwingers trashing Riverbend (she's a Communist, she's a Ba'athist, she hates Bush, she's a spoiled brat) and from comments on her blog, she gets hate mail on a daily basis.

The website used to have a faked "mirror site" that used as the domain name, but instead of statistics about casualties on both sides of the intifada, linked to polemical essays about the evil Palestinians.

#19 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2003, 02:33 PM:

I QA Video On Demand systems for All.

#20 ::: Dave Kuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2003, 09:36 PM:

Don't know if anyone posted this suggested site to you before, so I'll post it now. It's a bit silly, but that's part of what makes it work. The URL is and I posted this behind my name so you can link to it there.

#21 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2003, 10:20 AM:

The deck of cards of the 52 most dangerous U.S. leaders.

Osama as the Joker is maybe a bit on the tacky side, but...

#22 ::: Brian AtBendingTruth ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2003, 12:53 PM:

Hi, I'm not a regular here, and I hope you will all pardon the intrusion.

I noticed through a web search that there was some discussion on this site a few weeks ago about the Iraqi Riverbend blogger and the fake riverSbend propaganda site set up to dilute its message.

The Riverbend blog is written by a genuine Iraqi young woman. The riverSbend blog is written by a rather bitter American man who doesn't like what she's saying.

This is not to say that everything that appears on the riverSbend blog is untrue. Most of it is true, from a certain perspective. Just not the perspective of a young woman in Iraq.

If you want to check up on my proof that the riverSbend blogger is fake please check on my blog on I prove here that the archives not only can be faked, but that they have been faked.

There is an abundance of outright plagiarism on the riverSbend faker's site. From sources like the NYT and from a lot of military sources, as well as the US state dept.

I also noted a few people were wondering who the faker was and why they're doing this. Well I know. It wasn't too hard to actually find out the guy's name but I'm not going to reveal that. ULtimately if I did I'd have to take responsibility for anything that happened to him in the future as a result of that, and we all know that there are a lot of nuts out there, so I would be very cautious about publicly unmasking someone. After all I'm not on the Whitehouse staff.

What I will say is that he's, perhaps surprisingly, somewhere around 70 years old. He lives in a Southern state in the US. He's ex military, very pro-war and he really doesn't like the fact that riverbend is a little more conflicted about it than he is. I don't think one can always necessarily gauge someone's personality from the things they post on the net. However I will say that in the past the riverSbend faker has been accused of issuing violent threats online. Maybe that's another reason good reason for not revealing his name. It could be very embarrassing getting beat up by a septegenarian.

Now fair enough if a 70 year old grandad in the States wants to say things in Iraq are all nice and rosy. But why not be honest about this perspective? Because if a 70 year old grandad in the States wants to tell me that I'm probably not going to give it quite so much credence as when I'm told something different by someone who's actually there.

As I mention on my blog, yesterday by a little bit of cyber activism, myself and artist Mark Vallen at got the rabidly pro-War blogger to display a graphic that said "Bush is a liar. Stop the war now." Unfortunately when I checked today the riverSbend faker had taken it down. Again I'm going to stress my blog is not an anti-Bush, anti-war blog in its basic intent. It is a pro-Truth and pro-Riverbend blog. (Although she has had no direct input into what it says there)

Anyway I hope if there's any doubt in anyone's mind about the validity of the riverSbend counterfeit then I can remove all doubt at my Bending Truth blog ( Or you can email me at

Ultimately I'd like that any time anyone does an internet search on riverSbend they're going to find very close by a little note like this pointing out what a load of garbage it is. There's something about the notion of a beleaguered Iraqi woman having her freedom of expression corrupted by a misanthropic old coot with a keyboard, that gets my goat, which is why ultimately I have decided to do all this.

Anyway thanks for your time. And remember Accept No Substitutes :)


#23 ::: Hadagabe ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2003, 09:45 PM:

I wil try to mak it ok. I hav read bogs on iraq but not red true iraqie words yet. maybe some amerikan is with our people and try to tak for us. Gud I lik this we can say for us to. mite be the riverbend boger is liking the way we wer when som dirt man was toldng me evry ting to do. i lik to shot him now. Like bog say turn us control of Iraq to us peple we can el hamond control. som day iraq will be free from baayt peple. Salamit lakom sab.

#24 ::: James Chamblee ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2003, 12:34 AM:


Why are you wasting so much time on if it is a 70 year old man posting? What skullduggery is going on here?

I take it you disagree and are trying to discredit someone that has a different view than you.

I would suggest you contact him (or her) and settle your differences.

Hay, what can a 70 year old man do to you! :-)

#25 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2003, 01:28 AM:

Please be welcome to join the conversation, Mr. Chamblee, but I trust I can police my own weblog.

#26 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2003, 08:08 AM:


What did you do to caused Brian to desecrate your blog and call you a 70 year old man! You
are no man and look much younger.

#27 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2003, 08:48 AM:

Just lucky, I guess.

#28 ::: Brian AtBendingTruth ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2003, 11:25 AM:

Thanks Theresa. I'm very hesitant about responding to "Jim Chamblee" here, because I have a strong suspicion that this is not in fact this posters real name and he is being impersonated.

I have written an email to the address given above, just to have Jim Chamblee confirm that these are his sentiments.

If I get a response from the address given here and it confirms that these are really the sentiments of Mr Jim Chamblee I may address them further.

Alternatively Mr Chamblee, if he really does read this site, is invited to sent me an email to confirming that these are really his thoughts.

One way or another we should know soon enough what Mr Jim Chamblee really thinks about a 70 year old American man pretending to be a young Iraqi woman in order to discredit her. And if Mr Jim Chamblee really doesn't think this is indicative of any kind of "skullduggery"

#29 ::: Brian ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2003, 02:15 PM:

Hi Teresa (spelt your name right this time!)
Sorry to have turned part of your blog into another battlefield in the larger culture wars. It took a while but Mr Chamblee did get back to me to confirm these were not in fact his comments. The comments were in fact made by the same guy responsible for the fake riverSbend blog (which now thanks to a concerted campaign by many in the web community is basically defunct). I can't claim any psychic powers of deduction to figure out it was him. I knew Mr Chamblee and the culprit were adversaries of longstanding. And Mr Chamblee is no more likely to speak out in support of the fake blog, than Osama Bin Laden is to say Bush deserves more time to set things right in Iraq :)
Mr Chamblee wrote:

I read the piece attributed to me, and it's a fake. It completely baffles me
why some people have so little regard for themselves and so little personal
honor that they would impersonate someone else.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention, and I have exposed Troy to the
readers of soc.retirement in two posts a few minutes ago.


James A. Chamblee

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