Your An Idiot

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Going forward, I think “Your An Idiot” will be the running title for hate mail posts. It nicely captures the correlation between level of vitriol and concentration of spelling/grammatical errors you tend to find in hate mail/comments.

So to kick things off, my Huffington Post piece yesterday brought some fun hate mail from the right. Which is a refreshing change of pace from the Koch brothers-themed hate mail and nasty comments from the left over the last few months. Of course, nothing in the piece expressed any support for the ideology or the goals of the Occupy movement. It was just an article about how they’re using technology. But who cares! People like to be angry!

A sampling ([sics] all around):

 

Sir:

I am appalled by your lack of integrity. You quoted someone from the Cato Institute but didn’t reveal that you also worked for them. You also didn’t reveal that while they pretend to be conservatives, they are really George Soros peacenicks, homos, and potheads (your probably all three) who wear ties to disguise themselves.

Morale degenerate.

~

Sir;
I read your article with interest but I was waiting for the REASON the police had to act. You in the media have been trying your best to equate this rabble with the Tea Party so can you please name the times , dates and places were Tea Party “protesters” clashed with the police?
I no longer watch network TV nor read any newspapers and least of all this so-called “news” outlet. I read this one  to reassure myself that nothing has changed, you are all ideologues and left-leaning swine.

~

If you think cell phone snippets of “police brutality” accurately depict what is happening, you probably think Jurassic Park is a documentary of living dinosaurs on a real island, after all we actually saw dinosaurs killing people.

~

You’re kidding, right?

Will these rich kids, unionists, criminals and just-plain-nuts types show the footage of THEM-
- urinating on police cars
   Throwing glass and metal at police-
 defacating in people’s yards-
bullying, harrassing property[read taxpayers] owners?
These idiots scream against the rich-all the while shoving each other out of the way to stand next to fatass Michael Moore-
They rant against Wall St/business owners as being “too rich”.-Who do these idiots think supply jobs?
They whine about oil /petroleum companies-while they hold their plastic Starbucks cup-and text on their I phones/pads/blackberry’s.
This is the TYPICAL entitlement mentality of the Left.
And this is EXACTLY why you all will have a RUDE awakening Nov.12. Let me guess what YOU’RE doing right now………reading your article on your PETROLEUM- based unit-hoping you get noticed by the RICH Huff-HO herself.
You’re pathetic.

~

Then there is the phonys documented who stand there and yell and scream at the police like they are witnessing abuse that is not taking place so they can splice it into old tapes to make it LOOK like the police are mistreating them. All staged.

~

“Hey Mr. Soros, can you send more money and Twinkies? I love it down here man. By the way George, why aren’t we protesting on your front lawn. Oh, I get it! You’re one of the 99% like us.”
I particularly like the responses that address me as “Sir,” just before calling me swine or a “morale degenerate.” Also, I would just like to say that if Cato were to change its motto to Peaceniks, Homos, and Potheads Who Wear Ties, this alone would make it the greatest non-profit organization in the history of non-profit organizations.
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71 Responses to “Your An Idiot”

  1. #1 |  NCGuy | 

    Well, you have to admit your articles sometimes are downers, you morale degenerate.

    :-P

  2. #2 |  c andrew | 

    does “morale degenerate” equate to “daily nut punch?”

    And bye the bye, ONLY hemp fabric neckties will be allowed!

  3. #3 |  Aresen | 

    “Morale degenerate”

    Well if your morale is degenerating, I would suggest a vacation.

    Or some time to read some funny comments from idiots.

    And do “left leaning swine” make good bacon?

  4. #4 |  JP Uno | 

    “Unionists and Criminals” would be a good name for a Bon Jovi album.

  5. #5 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    What gets me is the constant assumption that if one side is in the wrong, the other must necessarily be in the right. Take the 1968 Democrat Convention riots; people always seem to pick a side. OK, the cops were brutal thugs. On the other hand, if you go to a city with a reputation for brutal policing, and either throw sh*t in baggies at the cops or associate with people who do, then you are obviously an imbecile who should be prevented from reproducing. And the most despicable of all are the protest organizers who either had a very good idea of what would happen, or had the intelligence one normally associates with a colony of cherrystone clams.

    We should certainly keep on the cops at every single “occupy” protest. We should also keep an eye on the protesters, and arrest those that commit vandalism, assault, or other non-trivial crimes. Both sides are (or appear to me, anyway) in the wrong.

  6. #6 |  James | 

    I once shat on a police cruiser during a Tea Party rally, true story. The Gasden tag was done with store bought spray-paint but the snake was all me.

  7. #7 |  Marty | 

    ‘Potheads Who Wear Ties’ I predict this will be the name of the next breakout jam band.

  8. #8 |  Thomas M. Hermann | 

    It would be refreshing if you posted legitimate criticisms of your material. It’s easy enough to indulge the fanboys and highlight the nutters.

  9. #9 |  Jeremiah | 

    The worst sins are that posting hate mail is a vanity and reading the mail is a bore.

  10. #10 |  Marty | 

    I thought it was a great article, by the way. It fascinates me how people project meanings onto what they read. You almost need to add a disclaimer at the beginning- ‘This is just a discussion about how technology is impacting protests- this is not an endorsement of the protesters’ or governments’ actions.’

    nevermind, they’ll accuse you of being a coward and not taking a stand if you do that…

  11. #11 |  Radley Balko | 

    It would be refreshing if you posted legitimate criticisms of your material. It’s easy enough to indulge the fanboys and highlight the nutters.

    I’d say that’s what happens in the comments section just about every day on this site. People tend to email when they have corrections, anger, or praise. It’s pretty rare to get a thoughtful critique via email. Which makes some sense. I’d imagine if you’re going to take the time to write out a well-supported criticism, you’re more likely to post it where people other than me can read it.

  12. #12 |  dsmallwood | 

    if Cato were to change its motto to Peaceniks, Homos, and Potheads Who Wear Ties, this alone would make it the greatest non-profit organization in the history of non-profit organizations

    yes
    you swine

  13. #13 |  mcmillan | 

    I was also amused by starting the letters with “Sir” followed by insults, though are we sure the first one isn’t signing the end of the letter with a description of himself rather than his name?

  14. #14 |  Radley Balko | 

    The worst sins are that posting hate mail is a vanity and reading the mail is a bore.

    How would you characterize someone who not only reads through a post he finds boring, but also takes time to post a comment about how boring it is?

  15. #15 |  Cornellian | 

    “A sampling ([sics] all around):”

    Let me suggest the legal citation term “passim” used when something appears throughout a legal brief such that it is too numerous to point out each individual instance. Thus, e.g., instead of the quote above, you could say “sic passim.” As someone whose job duties include reading legal briefs written by pro se litigants, I have a lot of opportunity to use that word.

  16. #16 |  BSK | 

    Chuck: I thought only pansies wore neckties.
    Ren: See that? I thought only assholes used the word “pansy”.

  17. #17 |  Richard Wisner | 

    “People like to be angry”. Couldn’t agree with you more, at least some people really do like to be really angry. I’ve never figured it out though and sometimes I wonder to myself if I’m not in that category too.

    Along those lines, isn’t it interesting how the jerks with big chips on their shoulders seem to find one another?

    Thanks for a great column.

    Goot Chop

  18. #18 |  BSK | 

    Regarding the article itself…

    “It’s getting increasingly difficult for governments to get away with suppressing dissent.”

    Obviously, the fact that it is more difficult doesn’t mean the government and its agents are not still trying (though I do think it is important to note the sometimes difference that exists between the “government” and its “agents”, such as states that have laws protecting citizen video taping and cops who ignore this). But, all in all, do you think that there is greater censorship nowadays or less? Obviously, the absolute total of events is probably higher, because there is more to censor. But if we look at it in terms of the percentage of material that is being put out there, I’d have to assume that there is a much lower percentage of material being censored than at any time in our history. The government can’t simply keep up. Back in the day, if you shut down a newspaper, you might put out 10% of the news going out. Shut down a guy’s Facebook feed and it is not even a drop in the bucket.

    None of this is intended to argue that we shouldn’t be concerned about censorship. Rather, I am trying to get a perspective on the current state of information flow.

    Thanks.

  19. #19 |  DoubleU | 

    “George Soros peacenicks, homos, and potheads” Damn, we have been infiltrated… I remember when it was just people who hated roads, now we have peacenicks, homos, and potheads. All that I wanted was to be left alone.

    The fan mail always reminds me of the fake letters to the BBC Monty Python would use during their show.

  20. #20 |  Mattocracy | 

    And now you’re a hack for Soros!

    Sorry, YOUR a hack for Soros!

  21. #21 |  Maggie McNeill | 

    Well, of course Radley’s a moral degenerate; he is a Friend of Whores, after all. ;-)

  22. #22 |  Tybalt | 

    Radley, I’d have echoed Jeremiah in #9. I *like* you, so I’d never deny you the opportunity to stroke your ego – it’s fun to be reviled by idiots – but ego-stroking is what it is. Not really a fun read for the rest of us.

    Your response in #14 is revealing an extraordinary oversensitivity. Toughen up, lad! But as always, keep up the good work.

  23. #23 |  ClubMedSux | 

    I think the number of comments to this post in less than two hours suggests that many indeed find these posts entertaining. If it’s not “a fun read” to some, that’s fine… I’m not going to tell you what you should enjoy reading. But please don’t speak for those of us who find these columns both hilarious AND illuminating (insofar as they show how ideologues see the world).

  24. #24 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    I’ve had it with you degenerating our morale, Radley.

  25. #25 |  (B)oscoH | 

    So what is the safe word if we want to try doing one of these ourselves but want you to know we’re just pulling your chain?

  26. #26 |  MikeL | 

    I have an alternate suggestion for your running title: “You’re an idiot”.

  27. #27 |  Joe | 

    Actually some of those attack emails are pretty funny. I am not sure if the “Sir” part is a play on Keith Olbermann, but I like that too.

  28. #28 |  Pau | 

    #25 (B)oscoH – I vote for “DEGENERATE”. That keeps it simple and easy to remember. This way, when it shows up for real in hate emails, Radley can pretend it’s one of us more thoughtful folks :-)

  29. #29 |  Jay | 

    So Radley, it’s time to come clean. Are you a Peacenik, Homo or a Pothead Who Wears a Tie? You’ve been hiding long enough. :p

    The attack emails are sad and frightening — people can be so blind to what is actually going on vs. what they perceive is going on based on x-commentator.

  30. #30 |  Aresen | 

    @ (B)oscoH

    The word you want is “snarking.”.

  31. #31 |  Dante | 

    Radley;

    I believe the new title should read “Yer an Idiot”.

    It captures the broad array of angry ignorance in one fell swoop.

  32. #32 |  Dante | 

    #7 Marty

    re:”Potheads who wear ties”

    Also the name for our last three Presidents.

  33. #33 |  Aresen | 

    I do have to say that the “Isolated Incidents” cause my morale to dengenerate.

    But I think the author of that comment was just towing the lion.

  34. #34 |  BSK | 

    Dante-

    Yer A Idiot. Obviously.

  35. #35 |  BSK | 

    Or, better yet, Ur a idiot.

  36. #36 |  Aresen | 

    Dante | October 30th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    re:”Potheads who wear ties”

    Also the name for our last three Presidents.

    Win!

    That deserves a standing ovulation. (sic) ;)

  37. #37 |  DoubleU | 

    #26, MikeL: I have an alternate suggestion for your running title: “You’re an idiot”.
    I was thinking that Radley, purposely used the wrong word… but I could be wrong.

  38. #38 |  Tim P | 

    I saw many a protester trying to provoke police. I think the police and fire unions are a disgrace. I love the work Mr. Balko has done exposing bad cops, and I think we should be able to film on duty police at will. BUT, I’ve watched a lot of OWS clips and in all honesty the police are using an incredible amount of restraint. The police are not going away, and it’s immature to think that we can get along and have a decent society without a police force.

  39. #39 |  Aresen | 

    Tim P | October 30th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    The police are not going away, and it’s immature to think that we can get along and have a decent society without a police force.

    The question is: “Can we have a decent society WITH a police force?” (At least, the way the police presently operate?)

  40. #40 |  Jesse | 

    Just goes to show that lack of critical thinking is endemic to left and right. They’re both scizophrenic hissy fits with an inability to focus criticism where it’s due as well as explain why.

  41. #41 |  Irving Washington | 

    Radley, that first one has to be a troll. If you assume any lack of sincerity when reading it, it suddenly becomes very funny.

  42. #42 |  BSK | 

    OT but WOW!!!

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/29/us/florida-cop-reckless-driving/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

  43. #43 |  Warren Bonesteel | 

    ‘Potheads Who Wear Ties’

    I lke it. You might want to patent it and buy all of the domain names for that one.

  44. #44 |  DoubleU | 

    BSK, Years ago a co-worker also worked as a helicopter traffic reporter in Miami. One day as his shift ended he and the pilot notice a police car with the light flashing traveling fast, going through traffic as if in an emergency. They decided to watch the patrol car to see if there was a news story. The car turned into a residential neighborhood, turned off its lights, turned down another street and into a driveway. The cop got out and went inside the house. They watched for a while but nothing happened. They figure he just had the lights on to get home quick.

  45. #45 |  BSK | 

    DU-

    I see that all the time. Cops will flick on the lights to get through a red light then flick them off and resume driving at normal speeds. I’ve heard they use lights and not sirens because sirens trigger the cam where lights don’t. Not sure if that is true. I appreciate the balls on the female cop who pulled him over, ignoring “professional courtesy” and doing what she knew was right. She probably thought it was stolen, but stuck to her guns (literally and figuratively) when she saw it was indeed a cop.

  46. #46 |  JOR | 

    “On the other hand, if you go to a city with a reputation for brutal policing, and either throw sh*t in baggies at the cops or associate with people who do, then you are obviously an imbecile who should be prevented from reproducing.”

    Even dumber ideas: obeying, trying to get along with, or otherwise enabling the cops. If you’re going to go into a city with a reputation for brutal policing to protest, you should be going in fully prepared to either fight fire with fire or with disciplined nonviolent resistance, not throwing harmless shit at them and then quailing in terror when they respond like the petulant, entitled thugs that they are. Though more often than not it’s agent provocateurs who do this kind of thing (when the pigs aren’t simply lying through their teeth about it happening), and there’s not anything protesters can do about that.

    “The police are not going away, and it’s immature to think that we can get along and have a decent society without a police force.”

    Maybe the organized professional bandits and thieves we call cops are never going away – organized bandits have been a plague on civilization for thousands of years after all. But we can at least stop pretending they’re our friends.

  47. #47 |  Les | 

    Tim P, in what way are the cops in the videos you’ve seen using an incredible amount of restraint? Sometimes people say cops are using restraint when they’re acting professionally and not using excessive force. But that’s not really using restraint. That’s just the bare minimum of what we should expect from cops in a free society.

    And I’m sure Radley’s never suggested we don’t need cops. Only a very few posters here have expressed that sentiment. What we need is an entirely new culture in law enforcement.

  48. #48 |  Bergman | 

    Is it still your an idiot if you disclaim all responsibility for it and disown it? Would it then become an unowned an idiot? Or just adhere to some random person and thus become their an idiot? =P

  49. #49 |  Aaron | 

    What a coincidence. “Morale Degenerate” was going to be the title of my next album.

  50. #50 |  NY Cynic | 

    There are those superior conservative debate skills that conservatives are always tells about. So superior than the left’s. Addressing you as Sir before the mindless insults, now THATS conservativism. Just one of the perks or lows (depending on how you look at it) when your a Libertarian.

  51. #51 |  Maria | 

    “Peaceniks, Homos, and Potheads Who Wear Ties” is the best name for a band.

  52. #52 |  Janet | 

    I really enjoy the guy (or gal?) who admits to sheltering himself from all opposing points of view and then calls you an ideologue.

  53. #53 |  andrewo | 

    Filed in this thread because I’m too lazy to look back and see if you’ve already noted it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gql-HsVDnhU

  54. #54 |  John C. Randolph | 

    Radley, I pride myself on being the hardest of hard-line Libertarians I know, and you’re alright in my book.

  55. #55 |  Troy | 

    peacenicks, homos, and potheads

    Those are bad things?

  56. #56 |  Maggie McNeill | 

    #38: You realize that human civilization largely did without standing police forces until about 400 years ago, don’t you? And until about 150 years ago they were limited to the largest, most densely populated cities.

    I’m not saying we can do entirely without them any longer; there are too many people on Earth now for that. But if their numbers were reduced considerably and their powers reduced dramatically, society would become more decent, not less. Police don’t make any society more “decent”; they just enforce the will of the potentates codified as “laws”, most of which have little if anything to do with “decency”.

  57. #57 |  kevin | 

    Maggie,

    I agree almost entirely with your second point, but the first is a bit more dubious. Human civilization did without a lot until about 400 years ago that we might now call essential – women’s suffrage and ipods come to mind. But that’s hardly an argument against them.

  58. #58 |  John C. Randolph | 

    I’ve watched a lot of OWS clips and in all honesty the police are using an incredible amount of restraint.

    They’ll generally do that when they know the press is all around them.

  59. #59 |  Difster | 

    Awesome hate mail. I hope to see more.

  60. #60 |  Highway | 

    Kevin, no, it’s not an argument against them. Maggie’s point is an argument against the argument that we *must* have them. It’s not like iPods and women’s suffrage cause people life and liberty to be reduced. But police forces do.

    I also have a problem with Tim P.’s assertion that the police should be praised since they are ‘showing a lot of restraint’. Hey, awesome. They’re showing restraint by not doing the things they’re not supposed to do at all. You don’t get praised for doing what you’re supposed to do anyway. Just because they do less of that when they’re ‘provoked’ now means that they’re still doing things they shouldn’t do.

  61. #61 |  GaryM | 

    Tonight I think I’ll wear a necktie for my Halloween disguise.

  62. #62 |  Surly Chef | 

    We were recently discussing, over at Reason, how you seemed to lack a sense of humor, likely due to the material you cover. I take that back, you just have a deadpan delivery, even via prose. While I can’t speak for my fellow commentators, I apologize for that assumption. We do miss the routine ball punches.

  63. #63 |  Some Articles to Begin the Week » ReasonAndJest.com | 

    [...] Balko shares some fan mail Posted by Scott Lazarowitz at 10:47 [...]

  64. #64 |  Maggie McNeill | 

    #60: Thank you, Highway, that’s precisely what I meant. :-)

  65. #65 |  kevin | 

    Highway,

    I was only pointing out that simply because we went without something until 400 years ago says nothing about its necessity here and now. Standing police forces may well be unnecessary in the present day, but the fact that we didn’t have them until Henry Fielding thought them up has nothing to do with it. Anyway, it’s not an important point. I just thought to point out that the comment, to my mind, didn’t really help her argument at all.

  66. #66 |  Tim P | 

    Do you think we need fewer police now as opposed to 1950? Are the police more corrupt now or in 1950? Are people more upstanding and honest now or were they in 1950? Ever hear stories about people leaving their doors unlocked 60 years ago? I have. Richard Pryor visited the state pen to make a movie and later said, “thank god for penitentiaries”. I’ve read that full coverage car insurance is much more expensive now because people are more dishonest than they use to be. Don’t know if that’s true or not. Any 75 year-olds out there willing to comment?

  67. #67 |  R.Dhar | 

    I like “Yours, An Idiot” best.

  68. #68 |  alkali | 

    @Radley: I would just like to say that if Cato were to change its motto to Peaceniks, Homos, and Potheads Who Wear Ties, this alone would make it the greatest non-profit organization in the history of non-profit organizations. Concur.

    @Maria: “Peaceniks, Homos, and Potheads Who Wear Ties” is the best name for a band. Yes, but Talking Heads is easier to fit on an album cover.

  69. #69 |  Robert Britt | 

    I thought it was amusing, although I know it’s totally random, that the adsense ad at the top of this page was for a school to earn a degree to have a career in the FBI.

    There are idiots in every group, so you have masturbaters, defecaters and all around haters to the left and right and all points in between. Once you have a public assembly there seem to be hangers-on who drift in to enhance the affair with shenanigans of all sorts (not to mention those who would sabotage any movement by posing as lefties or righties and sh*tting around.)

    Special thanks go out to all the trolls and people who don’t get “you’re” take.

  70. #70 |  RJ | 

    You really should have replied to the original “your an idiot” poster with: “Dear Morale, I’m sorry you feel this way…” Prolly his head woulda ‘sploded!

  71. #71 |  AnonymousCoward | 

    So do the peaceniks and homos wear ties too, or is it just the potheads?

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