…I just used the wrong word when I said ‘ombudsman’. I meant more like ‘in-house critic’ since, you know, I usually disagree with y’all. I corrected myself later in the thread when I realized my mistake.

Oh well. I expect nothing kinder from Anne at this point. For reasons I cannot comprehend, disagreement on political and economic issues manifests itself into disregard for one another on a much more personal level. I think it is a symptom of an overly political society, one in which ideology and tribal affiliation trumps many other more important concerns. And a symptom, also, of the internet and its seductive anonymity. I try not to say things in posts or comments I would not say to someone’s face. Many people, perhaps, speak the same in real life as they do in heated comboxes. Anything is possible.

In any case, I certainly don’t need to blog here if that’s what people would prefer. I was quite flattered by John’s invitation and have nothing but respect for him and other writers here. But I don’t want to end up this guy:

So. Your call. This is your chance to vote me off the island.

185 replies
  1. 1
    JWL says:

    Who are you?

  2. 2
    John Cole says:

    There’s only one vote on this island. I has it. And send your email you want on the masthead to

    Also, start coming into the comments and throw some elbows.

  3. 3
    Stella Barbone says:

    Oh good golly. Stay. Stay. Stay

  4. 4
    morzer says:

    Please stay, ED. I don’t always agree with you, but the world needs more bright young lads with pink and orange mohawks. Also too, we need more challenges to received wisdom in here. Echo chambers are not conducive to intelligent or constructive thinking.

  5. 5
    shortstop says:

    Don’t care if you stay
    Don’t care if you go
    Mostly stopped reading you
    long, long ago

    Then DougJ linked to you, and that all came to smash.

  6. 6
    Suffern ACE says:

    Oh for crying out loud. Stay. O.K.?

  7. 7
    morzer says:

    @John Cole:

    Tunch, put Mr Cole down, please. Gently now. You need him to open the nice tin with the good stuff in it.

  8. 8
    mrami says:

    At this point in my life, I’ll present an open mind to anyone who’s not a Palin supporter.

  9. 9
    shortstop says:

    @John Cole: Dictator! Tyrant! Barack Hugo Fidel Cole! If ballots don’t do it, bullets will! Now back to your creme de menthe!

  10. 10
    robertdsc-PowerBook & 27 titles says:

    @John Cole:
    Took the words right out of my head.

  11. 11
    THE John Owen says:

    Stay, f**ker. You’re wrong no more often than your cobloggers, and you’re funny sometimes!

  12. 12
    General Stuck says:

    I think it is a symptom of an overly political society, one in which ideology and tribal affiliation trumps many other more important concerns

    I do not vote you off the island, and as you may recall, that was from day one.

    However, I must take issue with the above quote, not that it is not absolutely correct about the tribal affiliations and ideology being paramount in our country currently, which it is most correct, but the only “more important concern” is that conservatism, and it’s libertarian allies, must be defeated with extreme prejudice. Then it must be ground into fine pulp and fed to the Alligators in our southern bayous, UNTIL, it. is. no. mo. This is my important concern, and everything else is a waste of time, at the present time.

    And you were saying……..?

  13. 13
    dopey-o says:

    don’t have the abortion!

  14. 14

    There are lots of blogs I can read to find universal agreement. I hope BJ will never be one of those blogs.

    I know it’s not a democracy, but I hope you stick around.

  15. 15
    freelancer says:

    I vote you stay. That said, the only fault I had with your comment at Balko’s was that there’s a difference between in-house critic and Ombudsman, but you have explicitly stated you regret your word choice. I respect that, and your civility a hell of a lot more than anonymous people being assholes on the web.

  16. 16
    Menzies says:

    We disagree on a ton of things. Sometimes I think your positions are boneheaded; other times I think the philosophy that drives you to them is ridiculously impractical or otherwise inapplicable to real-world situations.

    . . . and that’s exactly why I’m not going to like not being able to read more of what you have to say, here, where I can see the real-time conversation developing. I’m right now the resident liberal on my campus newspaper, and serve often in the same role, as long as my editor allows me to. I want to see points that don’t agree with me. I don’t want to become a human echo chamber, and I want to find points of commonality with people who approach the world from a different POV than mine.

    So even if Cole weren’t on your side (and thus could threaten to have Tunch sit on all of us), I’d tell you to stay.

  17. 17
    joeyess says:

    C’mon. No GBCW posts. Politics and policy issues make for heated debate and, yes, sometimes personal attacks. My most fervent wish is that a conservative can convince me with empirical evidence that the conservative/libertarian world-view isn’t merely as John Kenneth Galbraith claimed:

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

    I would welcome a coherent, accurate refutation of that quote.

  18. 18
    Anne Laurie says:

    I expect nothing kinder from Anne at this point…

    Anne LAURIE, dammit. Do I call you “Ed”, when treating your sillier stunts with the contempt they so richly deserve?

  19. 19
    ruemara says:

    don’t. really. care.

    post your screeds, if I’m interested, I’ll respond. Who cares what you fancy yourself as?

  20. 20
    Violet says:

    We just comment here. We don’t get a vote on who gets to post on the front page.

    That being said, although i think you are often wrong about things, I enjoy reading your posts and seeing a different point of view.

    John Cole is right though. Come into comments more often and toss a few elbows.

  21. 21
    DougJ says:

    Hey, I certainly didn’t mean anything mean by linking to it. I figured people would discuss it one way or another and thought I’d throw it in with some other links to get it out in the open in a light-hearted way. The word “ombudsman” was probably poorly chosen, but I think I know what you were getting at.

  22. 22
    morzer says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    You’ve done sterling service in the fields of poutitude tonight.

  23. 23
    John W. says:

    @John Cole:

    This, of course, proves you are a insufferable Obot who wants the country to fail. Real progressives would piss all over anyone who ever implied anything mildly aggravating in a comment thread.

    Don’t you get it?

  24. 24
    BombIranForChrist says:

    I honestly don’t care if you go, but please don’t be a pussy and blame this on our society’s political discourse. You went on a libertarian site and fluffed yourself at the expense of this site, and you got caught. So, not only do I disagree with your philosophy, but I also now think you are a dick. And yeah, I am quite sure I would say that to your face. Both of them. Grow a pair and own it.

  25. 25
    ProudCynic says:

    Fuck, no. Stay, Mr. Kain. I try to read everyone’s stuff, regardless of author name (though I admit I’ve been skipping over Anne Laurie’s since she mostly seems to post open threads, though I might not be paying enough attention). Your posts (almost said columns there) seem as well-thought out and careful, if not more so, than just about everyone else’s.

    Please stay, Mr. Kain. I hate to invoke the ‘silent majority’ but just because those of us that enjoy your posts (did it again) don’t post doesn’t mean everyone here loathes you on principle.

  26. 26
    General Stuck says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Why Anne Laurie, I think Ed is bringing out the flamer in you. Nice to see. You been way too nice and reserved imo.:)

  27. 27
    Will says:

    Stay on the island!

    Balloon Juice would be worse off. I think you were a positive addition to the Wonder Team.

  28. 28
    EvolutionaryDesign says:

    FWIW I like you around. I disagree with you most of the time, but I don’t think you’re an asshole. And I think most of the time you’re arguing in good faith. Cheers

  29. 29
    Johannes says:

    Nah. Stick around. Sometimes you give me a new perspective on things. Sometimes–well, I wrote on the other tread that you can be insightful, and genuinely engaged in thoughtful re-examination of your own certainties, which makes for some interesting posts; and sometimes full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse. But I think you add something to the stew, and I admire your civility under fire.

  30. 30

    E.D., I like your posts here. But, that remark elsewhere was just dumb. It looked like you were trying to curry favor over there. You could have said something like, “I believe in presenting my view to diverse audiences. There is value in dialogue.” Or something like that. Instead, you pretty much said, “Yeah, you’re right. I’m there to school them.” I like in-house critic better than ombudsman, but it still is condescending as if you are taking it to the unwashed masses. Which is fine if that’s what you think. We are plenty critical of the other front-pagers and of each other. Commenters on this site are going to rip anyone’s bullshit–not just yours. And, from what I’ve read here, people are roughly 50-50 about you–which is pretty much the same as the rest of the front-pagers.

    I really appreciate when you come out and play at night (I know it’s not so fun for you with the baby being awake). If possible, I would ask for more of that.

  31. 31
    scarshapedstar says:

    I think John is pretty clearly the ombudsman. You’re more like the Loyal Opposition.

  32. 32
    Roberto Mussenden says:

    In the fine tradition of Thanksgiving: Shut up, you’re family, come home. We will yell at you, but not disown you. You had an opinion, its not like you were dancing with the stars

  33. 33
    gnomedad says:

    I like the idea of John being in charge of who headlines here, and although I agree with at least some of the criticism that’s been leveled at you, you’ve done nothing to warrant expulsion by a mob. Stay. Those who don’t like you don’t have to read you.


  34. 34
    Rex says:

    I would say leave, ED. Nothing will change and jabbing elbows will only result in pissing away productive time. Like that old line, ‘arguing on the internet is like the Special Olympics…’ I really like your posts and have been reading Balloon Juice since 2005 during the Schiavo affair because John Cole felt like a kindred spirit. Incidentally, I have been reading Radley Balko since 2002 and these are the only two blogs that I read anymore but I find myself more and more frequently wondering why I come here. It bums me out that apparently these two blogs are on a collision course but, based on the quality of commenters on this site, it’s not wholly surprising.

    I have to take it on the merits though: Balko has risked himself by inserting himself in deep southern politics, helping to win trials for people on death row, assisted in getting pardons for terminal pain patients and highlighted countless episodes of corruption and malfeasance. Balloon-Juice has raised a bunch of money for politicians and pet rescues.

    Agitatortots don’t hardly know this place exists while the advocacy of free markets (which I don’t think the average poster here really understands) by Balko sends the front pagers and commentariat into a frothing rage because the Koch brothers happen to lend financial support to libertarian causes, Balko’s other accomplishments be damned. There really isn’t a question as to which site includes serious people.

  35. 35
    Suck It Up! says:

    There are a handful of people that visit this site that need to be banned. You are certainly not one of them.

  36. 36
    gbear says:

    Can we vote your parents off the island instead?

    (I just came over from the last thread)

  37. 37
    David Brooks (not that one) says:

    First: Stay! I enjoy your perspective, but maybe that’s just me. More importantly, we need a live one to argue with, not the convenient strawmen we construct (and, suprisingly, usualy beat into submission).

    Second: enough with the passive-aggressive self-pitying tone :-)

  38. 38

    @asiangrrlMN: Oh, and to add one thing, you don’t actually disagree with many of us on a lot of issues. I find myself agreeing with you more often than I disagree. I just think you (general you, but also specific you) tend to self-select and see only those who disagree with you vehemently.

  39. 39
    mbss says:

    anyone have any links to e.d. kain’s body of blogging work?

  40. 40
    wazmo says:

    Oh for cryin’ out loud…

    Look-you can’t become a prima donna until you develop some truly anti-social behaviors-like Caribou Barbie and her ilk.

    If its come to this then we’re truly fucked.

    If it has to come to a collapse-then let the collapse happen. Then we’ll come in to pick up the pieces and start again.


  41. 41
    JGabriel says:

    I vote for: Stay.

    I disagree with about 75% of what you write. I suspect we agree more on a lot of things that you don’t write about because other people here are already covering those topics, and I think you’re a basically decent person who will come around on a lot of issues when you learn more (he said condescendingly) — the important point being that you are willing to learn and admit you were wrong, unlike a lot of people coming from the right.


  42. 42
    Jules says:

    Oh the DRAHMA….

    (stay already)

  43. 43
    handy says:


    The word “ombudsman” was probably poorly chosen, but I think I know what you were getting at.

    You do? Because all I ever see him do is write some interesting things, sprinkled with the requisite contrarian nonsense I find at a lot of right-leaning-too-uncomfortable-to-call-themselves-Republican places, which people rightly call him out on in…

    to which he makes faint effort to respond, often disappearing instead for a time until he’s ready to post his next effort at playing “Balloon Juice Iconoclast.”

  44. 44
    shortstop says:

    E.D., I like your posts here. But, that remark elsewhere was just dumb. It looked like you were trying to curry favor over there.

    Well, he was. But it’s only because of our overly political society, one in which ideology and tribal affiliation trump many other more important concerns.

  45. 45
    wasabi gasp says:

    Howzabout letting John have a go at breaking your blog?

  46. 46
    Jim, Once says:

    She calls it here. But I’m still having trouble with going over to another blog and breathlessly telling them how bad it is over here. So fuck off.

  47. 47
    Trainrunner says:

    I vote Off. Why?

    1) Dick move to self-appoint elsewhere as “ombudsman.”

    2) Douchey nonpology upthread.

  48. 48
    Snaporaz says:

    I honestly don’t care if you go, but please don’t be a pussy and blame this on our society’s political discourse. You went on a libertarian site and fluffed yourself at the expense of this site, and you got caught. So, not only do I disagree with your philosophy, but I also now think you are a dick. And yeah, I am quite sure I would say that to your face. Both of them. Grow a pair and own it.


    Don’t talk about saying something to someone in person when you yourself are either too chickens&$* or intellectually bankrupt to even participate in the threads of your own posts.

  49. 49
    Keith G says:

    You time here has been pinata-esque, but that’s on you.

    I like the topics you bring up, though I sometimes find the basic construction and reasoning behind some of your work a bit lacking. in rigor. If you are willing to grow into a more complete advocate for your ideas, stay.

    If not, you are just wasting a whole lot of time.

  50. 50
    joeyess says:

    Reading the comments in this thread is like sitting on a stool in one of those water park bars and everybody is splashing chlorine-saliva-urine contaminated water into my goddamn martini.

    Please! I’m just trying to enjoy my cocktail.

    Jesus. H. Fucking. Christ on a popsicle stick!

  51. 51
    Oscarbob says:

    Please stay, you are an intelligent, articulate proponent of your positions. It is the rare blog that is willing to entertain and encourage a divergent point of view . Your analysis makes me think about your positions, rather than my normal reflexive nausea when I wander to a more conservative site. I have a 12+ strong golf group whose motto is ( or should be) ” Thin skins need not apply” Nothing is sacred, but nothing is taken too dear to heart. Opposing viewpoints ( usually in the comments, except for your posts) are what makes this my absolute favorite site. I look forward to your posts, as they usually make me look at an aspect of the debate that I might have ignored but for your input. If we can’t countenance opposing views set forth in a cogent, non polarizing manner, we have become what we have railed about for the last 10 years. +8

  52. 52
    JGabriel says:

    Johannes (via T.S. Eliot, er, or the other way around):

    … sometimes full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse.

    At times, indeed, almost ridiculous? Almost at times the fool?


  53. 53
    scarshapedstar says:

    Wanted to edit my comment but can’t.

    But anyway, this is a site where everybody trolls everybody. I mean, I read John Cole religiously, but I also love to troll him about his early support for the Bush administration, and then double-reverse-troll him whenever the Firebaggers are right about the Obama administration.

    Not because I’m a Firebagger, mind you, but because I can.

    In any event, keep posting, dude. We don’t care if you declare yourself Emperor or say that you invented the Internet; we just love picking on you. But we’ll pick on Anne, also, too.

  54. 54
    General Stuck says:


    Your comment sounds like an unrequited cry for someone to follow. Cole likes Balko, and I don’t know him, nor care to. Regardless of who funds who, and no one funds this blog, ceptin’ us, the reason I don’t read Reason is that libertarians view everything through their ideology, just like the conservatives, and too many liberals. I loathe that kind of thinking and with libertarianism, it takes only about 10 seconds to demonstrate many of it’s tenets would wrought disaster on our country and culture, in reality.

    Not to say that bad laws and bad regulations are not bad, or do not serve a useful purpose and should not be on the books. But that is a case by case analysis, that need only be described as useful in keeping the peace, or not. You can call it a libertarian position if you like, but it is more akin to simple common sense. But starting out pitching libertarianism as a default ideology for governance is just asinine, except for anarchists and nihilists. I don’t approve of those things either.

  55. 55
    mbss says:

    i dunno, e.d. kain

    looks like you had some good posts at true/slant.

  56. 56
    Elizabelle says:


    Do stay.

  57. 57
    Dennis G. says:

    While many of us did not have facebook and twitter as kids (like those poor bastard these days) we do have what we say and do now.

    And any turn of the phrase, sloppy prose or comment dashed off in haste and/or anger can lead folks to call you out on real or imagined slights. I’ll take the whole ‘ombudsman’ framing in the light of sloppy prose.

    It is good that we do not all agree and I like the challenges to my POV. I’ve been glag you’re here as I am old enough to remember a time when every conservative or Republican was not bat shit crazy and I like to think that some of these folks I remember from my youth still exist.

    So enough with this. Stay. Make your case. Throw elbows when it feels right and change your mind when it feels right. It is a sign of sanity to revise your thoughts on any given matter when confronted with an argument and evidence that convinces you to do so.

    Stay and make your arguments. Listen to the counter-arguments. If we are all paying attention we will all shift a bit in our thinking as we learn more. That is how things should work (IMHO).


  58. 58

    @Jim, Once: Ha! I thought you were telling me to fuck off, and then I was going to inform you that I was the Late-Night Doyenne of Balloon Juice (with a rusty pitchfork), so who were you to tell me to fuck off? Then, I calmed down and actually read your post correctly. Still funny.

  59. 59
    Roberto Mussenden says:

    @joeyess: I hope you have a salt rimmed glass at this bar

  60. 60
    Alan Fahnestock says:

    @Rex: Feel free not to burden yourself with hanging around, numbnutz. People who, uninvited, feel it incumbent upon themselves to criticize their hosts, are welcome to kiss all our asses. But only on their way out.

  61. 61
    freelancer says:


    This is really crap. Many people here (myself included) love Radley Balko, what he does, and the issues he brings up. Lately though, Balko has gone out of his way to take offense at any frontpage criticism given to unironic, simpleminded examples of stupid forms of libertarianism. Personally, you could say I am in lockstep with his views on government authoritarianism and the police state, and even gun rights (Though people that are obsessed with guns scare the crap out of me). That’s right, this liberal supports the Second Amendment. We’re complicated people, and we don’t all think as a bloc.

    The difference between me, and online libertarians, is I don’t lose my sense of humor when someone points out the stupidity of rioting over municipal garbage pickup. Not everything the government does unilaterally is a slippery-slope to the clock striking thirteen and being frog-marched to Room 101. Pretending otherwise just diminishes your arguments for when you are right, and elevates the absurdities of your arguments when you are wrong. Nuance, fellas, go with it.

    Libertarian philosophy shouldn’t, but it contains in it, the desire to make every molehill into a mountain that you have to be willing to die on.

    ED Kain should stay. He is, if anything else, sincere and intellectually honest.

  62. 62
    Bella Q says:

    I don’t get a vote about whether you stay on the island, because Balloon Juice is not a democracy. Nor even a republic. It’s a blog, and it’s Tunch’s John Cole’s blog, so it’s up to him. I respect that.

    I agree with DougJ that “ombudsman” was a rather poorly inspired word choice, and probably created some needless tension. But in the end, it’s a blog we’re on. And we are allegedly adults here, so we should be able to take these kinds of things in stride. I suggest it did sound a bit smug and condescending, but I’ve got more important things to worry about than a blogger talking down to me. No offense, of course.

    And it is generally good manners to address or refer to people the way they refer to themselves. I’m kind of a stickler about this: I’m Bella, not “Bel” and my mother was Jessie Marie, not “Jessie.” Just a tip to avoid annoying others.

  63. 63
    cs says:

    I know it’s probably just me, but I wish the personal attacks would just stop. I’m sick of flames and insults between posters, especially when the underlying issues can be interesting to discuss passionately and rationally. If someone here disagrees with you, even if they disagree strongly, there’s no reason to condemn them as an irredeemable poopyhead descended from a long line of hopeless poopyheads.

    I don’t mind vicious insults directed at politicians, pundits, Christianists, etc., but for those of you that are mostly on the same side, I don’t understand the need for a circular firing squad approach. I know that’s a fine Democratic tradition and rather popular on the net too, but there’s got to be a better way.

    And can we stop with the relentless Libertarian baiting. Yeah, I know a lot of their positions are ridiculous, but y’all have more in common with them than you do with the current version of the Republicans. They’re generally wrong on economic issues, but they share your fears about the overreach of government, the endless wars, and the long litany of abuses from the past 9 years. On top of that, they have about as much power as the DFH’s do, even if a few of their groups get a trickle of cash from the Kochs.

    At any rate, Mister Kain, I hope you’ll keep posting.

  64. 64
    suzanne says:


    Just own it if you’re wrong.

    And stop saying “anyways”.

  65. 65
    JGabriel says:

    E.D. Kain:

    This is your chance to vote me off the island.

    We don’t want you off the island. Stop being such an Emo-tarian(tm).


  66. 66
    sven says:

    @asiangrrlMN: What she said.

    Also, you seem to think some of the comments here are a bit unfair. Absolutely true. Give DougJ the chance to post at TLOG or Balko’s blog and we’ll see if anyone there gets over-heated. (I’m serious about this, let’s give it a try!)

  67. 67
    joeyess says:

    I think we can all agree that the most intrusive governments are at the state, county and municipal levels.

    I would welcome a libertarian to level their sites at those assholes.

    For example: In my city, years ago, there were neighborhood covenants that mandated shake roofing. When it proved to be bullshit and the roofs needed replacing every 10 years they dropped the mandate and everyone eventually went to composite roofing.

    However, the ban on fireworks on the 4th of July still stands. Why? Well, they’re a fire hazard because of all the wood roofs, of course!

    Seriously. You can’t shoot off fireworks on the 4th of July in fly-over country America because of some arcane, out of date regulation that was implemented 30 years ago.

    Now that’s bullshit.

  68. 68
    DougJ says:


    I think he meant that he likes to try to correct the other FPers when he thinks we’re wrong.

  69. 69
    morzer says:


    This isn’t fair. ED Kain does respond, and sometimes devotes a whole post to replying to criticisms. He may not spend much time stroking egos in the comment threads, but then, given how abusive some people have been to him from day one, it’s hard to blame him.

  70. 70
    morzer says:


    This isn’t fair. ED Kain does respond, and sometimes devotes a whole post to replying to criticisms. He may not spend much time stroking egos in the comment threads, but then, given how abusive some people have been to him from day one, it’s hard to blame him.

  71. 71
    Josh Mull says:

    Hi, I don’t ever comment, I’m just a reader. But I vote stay, I like the mix of points of view, and Erik is a great writer. That’s it, thanks!

  72. 72
    joeyess says:

    @Roberto Mussenden: Ha ha ha……. I do. Belvedere vodka, 3 olives and a little dirty. Not slutty, just dirty.

  73. 73
    Gin & Tonic says:

    When I was 20-something and full of myself, in a completely different milieu, having thought I’d contributed much, I referred to myself as wanting to be the “elder statesman” of the group. I was an insufferable moron. May you realize that about yourself (it’s not just word choice) 30 years from now.

  74. 74
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:


    Stop being such an Emo-tarian™.

    I was going to say “This!” but I realized something. I only read EDKain when he’s being emo after getting flamed for bad-mouthing BJ on another blog. So ED keep it up. No pun intended :-).

  75. 75
    geg6 says:

    I honestly couldn’t care less whether you stay or go. I mainly read your posts for laughs and won’t hesitate to say anything I say here right to your face. I’m well known for that IRL, as a matter of fact. Up until today, I mainly thought if you as a very young and obviously privileged man who really doesn’t know much about life or the real world (basically the same as most other young libertarian or libertarian leaning people I’ve met or read) but with some potential to learn. However, your little giggle with your buddies today just proved that you are a slow learner with no manners or respect for this community. John is a good man and no matter how cool he is about this, you disrespected him most of all. Stick around if you like, but I no longer will view your work as indulgently as I have in the past. No giggles from me any more. No quarter either. You’re an ass and I intend to point that out as often as you give me the opportunity, which I expect will be pretty much every post you throw up. Maybe we can improve your learning curve that way. By the way, a GBCW post on top of all your arrogance in refusing to engage here while discussing BJ elsewhere in the most patronizing way possible is not exactly showing much aptitude for learning.

  76. 76
    Jim, Once says:

    Your rusty pitchfork has received much use on other blogs. Especially the sideways aspect.

  77. 77
    sven says:

    @joeyess: Intrusive and corrupt. Local politicians have one bahjillionth the spotlight of national pols and act accordingly. Voters also have the strange illusion of control at the local level. Do we really need to elect the register of wills?

  78. 78
    Citizen Alan says:

    I don’t really care what happens to Kain (though the followup post by Cole indicates he’ll be staying). This is because I rarely do more than scan his posts now if I don’t skip them entirely. I think he’s, at best, the least interesting of the BJ front pagers and, at worst, a smarmy libertarian douchebag. Which is redundant because nearly every libertarian in the world is a smarmy douchebag.

    I just find it amusingly in character that Kain has no idea why people might be annoyed about his “ombudsman” post, even after the so-called correction. He may have meant to say “in-house critic” but his tone, especially against the backdrop of the thread he was posting to, sounded more like “anointed bodhisattva striving to bring enlightenment to the unwashed masses.” Which, again, is the sort of smarmy douchebaggery that is simply par for the course from libertarian “thinkers.”

  79. 79
    Bob Loblaw says:

    This blog should introduce a moratorium on the use of “hurt fee-fees” as an insult, because really now. This shit is just sad.

    I’m not sure whether to be amused by this goofy e-drama, perplexed at the complete lack of self-awareness, or simply disinterested.

    I somehow blame Rahm Emmanuel.

  80. 80
    MattR says:

    @morzer: Every ED post has to include the reminder that he has no ability to post comments during the day. Ideally he would wait until the evenings to post so he could engage us, but I can understand why he wants to get his 2 cents in during the day.

  81. 81
    Wiesman says:

    ED, I have always been, and will always be, someone who enjoys your posts and I hope you continue to post here for a long time.

    I just wish you weren’t so dramatic.

    No one likes a bitchy princess, princess.

  82. 82
    GG says:

    Jebus. Stick around, already.

  83. 83
    GG says:

    Jebus. Stick around, already.

  84. 84
    Jim, Once says:


    Exactly. This and this and this, again and again.

  85. 85
    handy says:


    Fair enough.


    Which FPer strokes egos in comments threads (I mean, besides Cole with Fuckhead, of course)? Besides, is that so bad? Everyone likes to be stroked, amirite?

  86. 86

    @Jim, Once: Cool! I’m glad the love for my rusty pitchfork is being spread.

  87. 87
    morzer says:


    Show us on the doll where DougJ touched you.

  88. 88
  89. 89
    Citizen Alan says:


    And can we stop with the relentless Libertarian baiting. Yeah, I know a lot of their positions are ridiculous, but y’all have more in common with them than you do with the current version of the Republicans. They’re generally wrong on economic issues, but they share your fears about the overreach of government, the endless wars, and the long litany of abuses from the past 9 years.

    At this point, I don’t think liberals and libertarians have much in common at all. I think liberals have a lot in common with what libertarians say they believe, but in practice, most libertarians I’ve encountered will throw all their concerns about “the overreach of government, the endless wars, la-di-da, la-di-da” right out the window in favor of tax cuts and ensuring that the moochers and the looters starve to death under a bridge. What percentage of self-described libertarians voted for Obama over McCain, anyway, despite the latter’s obvious fascist tendencies and economic illiteracy?

  90. 90
    TCG says:

    Stay on the Island

  91. 91
    joeyess says:

    @sven: I didn’t even get into my theory that some asshole on the city council probably had a roofing company when the initial policy was implemented.

    You just know someone got really rich on that little scheme.

  92. 92
    Jim, Once says:

    I laughed so loud at this I woke my husband up on the couch. Then I had to explain it to him. He’s asleep again now.

  93. 93
    morzer says:


    Wouldn’t surprise me to learn that someone got a nice new roof or extension to their house out of it. Palin rules, you know.

  94. 94
    roshan says:

    E.D should stay.

  95. 95
    JWL says:

    Kaine: The late, great Steve Gilliard was surprised how quickly he developed a thick skin once he began his blog.

    Just keep in mind the old chestnut, that “anyone who agrees with me all the time is a fucking idiot”.

    And I honestly haven’t a clue who you. I rarely note a by-line. If a post doesn’t grab me immediately, I bail.

  96. 96

    @John Cole:

    Also, start coming into the comments and throw some elbows.

    This. It’s Friday night, so the usual stuff about not being able to comment is out the door. The post has been up for more than an hour, we’re past 90 comments, and still no sign of the instigator past the original post. I come to this blog in large part because the front pagers aren’t afraid to get into the comments and defend their opinions. Come on and show us what you’ve got, ED.

  97. 97
    auntieeminaz says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Cosigned.

  98. 98
    Jim, Once says:

    You know what? After all this shit we’ve been throwing around, I’m going to change my mind and agree with you. Let him stay. I live with subtle assholery like this, and it’s been good for me. I realize it’s totally JC’s call, and am deferring to that.

  99. 99
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    I have only voted one person off the island in about six years, a commenter who said something ugly. If I had it to over again I would not have voted him off. Besides, even though he was banned, he was unbanned as always happened and he came back, and peace was made.

    No matter how much I may disagree with you, I subscribe to the Anything Pretty Much Goes here and all the Balloon-Juice Traditions, including the one where every topic is turned into sexually explicit porn. Or should be.

    No matter how much I blast your material, stick around and stay with it. There is nothing worse than an echo chamber. This place really works when people are at each others’ throats.

  100. 100
    jl says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I agree too.

    I think Kain’s ombudsman remark is a wonderful thing, because it gives some ammunition for general griping snarking razzing and cheapshots that commenters here (including me) require for dealing with the front page posters.

    However, this here blog needs an ombudsman, and if Kain is foolish enough to agree to really be an ombudsman, then I request a widget to contact him with complaints.

    I will throw in a few bucks for mental health benefits as well.

  101. 101

    I don’t care how many posts by E. D. Kain there are. I just would like to see fewer posts about E. D. Kain.

  102. 102
    BethanyAnne says:

    I was thinking of telling you about how roughly Michael D. was treated when he started front page posting. Suffice it to say, that the person invited after that was told “Good luck, and may God have mercy on your soul”. This won’t ever be a nice place. It’s less “Cheers” and more the bar from “Fight Club”. Nowhere you’d mistake for a good neighborhood, you’re gonna see some fights, and you’ll probably be a few of them. Still, it’s somehow the place I most want to hang out on the Interwebs. I think you should stay, but really, it depends on your tolerance for abuse, and willingness to engage. Do please remember, though, that only about 1% of the readers post.

  103. 103
    Sentient Puddle says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve always imagined that an ombudsman for BJ would say “Go fuck yourself” for every bit of community outreach.

  104. 104
    Bullsmith says:

    This is stupid. ED adds value to bj. Controversy and venting also.

  105. 105
    Capn America says:

    ED, stay, you get nice debates started here and I love seeing you and DougJ go at the tough questions.

    As for Anne Laurie, don’t be a Masshole. Not on the tubes.

    I really like the “stable” of bloggers you have here. We have DougJ with the snarky liberalism, ED with the well-intentioned libertarian arguments, ABL with the old-school liberal ass-kicking, Kay with the ground game details, Dengre/Dennis G. with the corruption insight, Tim F. with the more serious liberalism, Tom Levenson with the great historical posts, Anne Laurie with her humor, and Mistermix with outrage of the day posts. And last but not least, blogmaster and destroyer of worlds, John Cole. I’d take this group over the Atlantic’s any day.

  106. 106
    tkogrumpy says:

    I do not seek, and will not accept the power to vote you or anyone else off the island.

  107. 107
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    This place can be a blast furnace of opinions at times (that’s putting it mildly) and some people just don’t like it when people say nasty things (or things that are perceived to be nasty) about their opinions or thoughts. People who can write well enjoy the accolades or agreeing opinions of others. The problem for some writers is that everybody is not going to agree with everything they write. Some writers handle this by limiting or completely banning direct commentary, which allows them to continue operating in the environment they prefer. Other writers have surrounded themselves with enough supporters that the supporters hack away at the critic and save the day for the writer.

    As much as critics of BJ like to say that there is a “hive mind” mentality here, this place has a wide variety commentators and opinions. Any front pager here can post something and I am sure that there will be someone out there who is going to come in and disagree with it, no matter how mundane the topic. Any front pager here has to know that posting here means that they are opening themselves up for everything BJ has to offer, pro and con, and they have to be ready to respond to it. You can’t just toss something out there and come back if people like it. Sink or swim, your front page post is yours and you are responsible for handling good and bad responses to it.

    It’s a crucible of sorts, some front pagers will try and fly while others will crash and burn. I enjoyed Michael D. front-paging here, as did others, but it is clear that he couldn’t take the heat from the negative comments and he bailed. I believe E.D. putting this up to a vote is his way of dealing with the dissent he has found here. Rather than “… start coming into the comments and throw some elbows.”, he essentially wanted to run a popularity poll and have that be the deciding factor for his staying or going. This is lame. If you are a front pager here, you better be able to handle it and take the heat. People aren’t going to always agree with everything you write. Such is life here at BJ. If you want to write for a place that allows the public to engage you then you damned well better get to engaging them.

    It’s that or get out of the blast furnace.

  108. 108
    D-boy says:

    ED, I think you should stay

  109. 109
    DarrenG says:

    I’ll take E.D.’s honest mistakes and misstatements over the smug certainty and solipsism of 90% of the blogiverse (including some front-pagers here) any day.

  110. 110
    JoshA says:

    Yes, please stay ED. I disagree with most of what you write, it makes me think, and I can disagree with you without feeling like one of us must have come from another planet.

  111. 111
    fraught says:

    @TooManyJens: This. From day one It’s been “ED, do we love him or do we hate him, should he stay or should he go?” Then he posts about how much this hurts and then John gives us the finger and says “Deal, Bitches”
    Really, libertarians who have ED’s sort of logorrhea are a dime a dozen. They tend to think they’re smarter than Wittgenstein and just as self serious and humorless.
    Stay, go? I’d rather vote for Bristol Palin.

  112. 112
    Viva BrisVegas says:


    ED stay.

    You add value to BJ and I enjoy reading what you have to say.

    Don’t let the nattering nabobs of negativism get you down. If what you are saying is not getting up someone’s nose then you are obviously not saying anything of importance.

    Keep it up. If you can get enough people hating everything you say, you too may become President.

    Also, everybody who disagrees with me is obviously a Nazi.

  113. 113
    luc says:

    Anybody posting here does expect some bashing, or not? After all that is where this community is at its best.
    Perhaps I have missed something really important, but why would you want to leave? I would like to enjoy your posts here in the future.

  114. 114
    Jane2 says:

    Quit whining. You said something and Anne called you on it. She’s hardly the most polemical or edgy blogger here, so give her the same break you expect us to give you.

    I enjoy your posts for the most part, but I’m really getting tired of the hand-wringing because you’re the “different” one.

  115. 115
    Jane2 says:

    Quit whining. You said something and Anne called you on it. She’s hardly the most polemical or edgy blogger here, so give her the same break you expect us to give you.

    I enjoy your posts for the most part, but I’m really getting tired of the hand-wringing because you’re the “different” one.

  116. 116
    Lolis says:

    Go. I want Ezra Klein. Can we have him plz?

  117. 117
    E.D. Kain says:

    @John Cole: Thanks. I’ll send you the email in a bit. And I will try to post in such a way as to arrive at the comments before #285 has been posted.

  118. 118
    Jane2 says:

    @geg6: Amen, and you said everything I was thinking, only way more articulately. ED, grow up.

  119. 119
    E.D. Kain says:

    @morzer: @morzer: The mohawk is green now, with pink spots. (Actually, god’s honest truth, I did have a mohawk for a while back in the day. Didn’t work out.)

  120. 120
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Menzies: Thanks! (You owe me a post still, too, I believe.)

  121. 121
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Violet: I agree.

  122. 122
    E.D. Kain says:

    @DougJ: Not to worry.

  123. 123
    E.D. Kain says:

    @ProudCynic: Much obliged.

  124. 124
    Ailuridae says:

    I am not sure how this amounts to anything more than whining. My issue with Kain as a poster has less to do with anything he posts and more to do with his complete inability to admit he was, simply, dead wrong.

    When you wrote this:

    I just used the wrong word when I said ‘ombudsman’

    You should have written

    I just used the wrong word when I said ‘monopoly’

    I don’t make puns so I will say that your two posts on municipal trash collection were poorly thought out and even less well argued. He simply had no idea what you were talking about, you were repeatedly corrected and rather than just admit your ignorance you double down and have still not offered a retraction or an explanation.

    You use of monopoly in those posts was planly incorrect. Myself and many other posters told you this and several demonstrated it very clearly. Yet you chose to continue to use emotionally loaded language “monopoly” and “statism” repeatedly.

    And now, you are whining about harsh treatment.

    OT: I don’t particularly care if you post here. Libertarian commentary on policy might as well be written from a Mad Lib as near as I can tell. I’ve avoided your posts for months since the last bit of drama and it wasn’t until another commenter pointed me to the trash collection post that I even thought to read what you wrote. And just as with the last dust-up you choose to pout rather than admit you are out of your depth.

  125. 125
    mclaren says:

    You got my vote. Stick around. In fact, the amount by which you piss off the Balloon-Juice commentariat offers a solid index of your value.

  126. 126
    Silver says:

    I can’t believe Kain managed to type that with his hands nailed to the cross.

    It’s a fucking goddamn miracle, I tell ya. You betcha!

  127. 127
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Wiesman: I get the impression that responding at all to Anne LAURIE’s post means I’m engaging in hurt feelings and drama. So damned if you do – damned if you don’t I suppose. Or I could have just said “Fuck you” I guess.

  128. 128
    Church Lady says:

    @Anne Laurie: I feel so sorry for the poor bastard that married you. You are just evil.

  129. 129
    sven says:

    ED, you have been endorsed by mclaren. No matter how tempting it may sound, suicide is not the answer.

  130. 130
    Larry Bird says:

    What a drama queen.

  131. 131
    roshan says:

    @sven: Yeah, an endorsement and not an accusation of being a covert black ops agent working for the gov’t is kinda big deal coming from Mclaren. You should take what you get, E.D.

  132. 132
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    If you are a front pager here, you better be able to handle it and take the heat.

    This is pretty much it, right here. If you’re on the main page, then we are going to expect you to defend your arguments on this site and actually acknowledge and engage the criticism you receive.

    So by all means, stick around. Just actually pretend like you enjoy writing here for once.

  133. 133
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Church Lady: Funny coming from someone as universally loathed as you. I’d marry Anne Laurie if I wasn’t already in the throes of connubial bliss.

    As far as Drama Queen ED goes, who fucking cares? Haha.

  134. 134
    thalarctos says:

    @Citizen Alan: I was about to post something along those lines; then I saw you had said it better than I could have.

  135. 135
    taylormattd says:

    If you are going to decide to stay or go based on the vote of commenters here, let me add mine vote: don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

    And frankly, I doubt I would have said anything but for your passive-aggressive, sympathy-begging post designed to get people to beg you not to leave.

  136. 136
    matoko_chan says:

    Know what? ive know u longer than most, E.D. and have the epic honor of being banned by you from the League (FYI juicers, i accused him of base pandering).

    you totally belong here. youre samesame as the rest of these people,
    that is why morzer and the old biddies like you.

  137. 137
    West of the Cascades says:

    Stay. Please.

  138. 138
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Church Lady: Anne should take that as a compliment, coming from someone as loathsome as you.

  139. 139
    Comrade Kevin says:

    I don’t want to “vote you off the island”, ED. My only real big complaint about you is that you haven’t engaged people in the comments much, which you are doing quite a bit more of here.

  140. 140
    TEL says:

    Way late to the thread but… I think having you as one of the front pagers makes this a more interesting blog – the threads from your posts often have some of the best discussions on this blog BECAUSE you don’t have the same point of view as so many of the commenters. Hope you decide to stay.

  141. 141
    Tim O says:

    Uh, what the hell is going on here? I take one Tylenol PM and the kids run wild.

    I’m as lefty commie socialist as they come (capitalist as well, I own a business) I like ED’s commentary. I’m reading Hayek right now to see if I’m missing something and working my way back. I appreciate hearing view to the right of me especially lately.

    I feel like I’m losing some friendships because of my views and before that happens, I’d like to revisit my beliefs and either reaffirm or revise them and after that let the chips fall. I never had the full university experience. Did not take econ or Poli sci so I’m catching up on that reading and follow up with commentary like BJ to piece together practical views.

    Thank you John and company, including ED, for giving me an broader spectrum along GOS, the Firebaggers and others. It’s important and appreciated.

  142. 142
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:


    Yes, bullshit … what you said is complete bullshit.

    Fireworks restrictions are based on around 10k injuries per year (as of last year) which happen DESPITE the restrictions already in place. Something like half of these are injuries to children.

    Fireworks are incredibly stupid and dangerous. Only an ass would be running around advocating more fireworks and less restrictions in this country.

    The same kind of asses who would recommend that people ride motorcycles without helmets, or that they carry their kids in their laps while in the car.

  143. 143

    I support E.D. Kain, but I don’t support whiny posts… so this is a bit of a conundrum. Keep posting stuff I disagree with, but I expect some self esteem when you do so.

  144. 144
    wengler says:

    Do whatever you want.

    But please defend yourself when commenters start poking holes into your flawed logic.

    And don’t go on other sites to trash the commentariat on this one.

    It’s pretty simple common courtesy for the opportunity that Mr. Cole has offered you.

  145. 145
    AB says:

    Dear god man, stay, but it’s the wrong place for the self-pity post. If you think you did something wrong, apologize for it. If you’re standing by what you said, stand by it. Own it, and defend it. Don’t pretend like it’s just a poor word choice, because that’s not what it was in context. The way it read was:

    “BJers are assholes, except E.D. Kain”.

    you: “Thanks, I try to be the adult.”.

    That’s what people are reacting to. The use of “ombudsman” or “in-house critic” or whatever phrase you want is kind of irrelevant.

  146. 146
    bjacques says:

    Definitely stay.

    And if anyone wants fireworks, come to Amsterdam on New Year’s Eve. Yes, the sockalist nanny-state (for maybe not much longer) Dutch go nuts with fireworks on that day. You can already hear random popping off of illegal bangers at night, 1-1/2 months in advance.

    But then again, everything in Amsterdam burned down around 1600, and all the roofs are tile or composition shingle now.

  147. 147
    meh says:

    I thought I dropped out of high-school in the mid 90’s wtf…

  148. 148
    debit says:

    Why you’d want to stay at a place that you’re apparently ashamed to be associated with is beyond my understanding.

  149. 149

    fuck man, double down, don’t leave.

    i don’t agree with you, but if you are provoking people you are doing what you are supposed to do, they probably never will thank you for it, but if you make people think, even if its only to look for more ways to justify a position they won’t change, then you have done something.

    isn’t it the bomber pilots who say, if you aren’t catching flak then you aren’t anywhere near your target.

  150. 150
    c u n d gulag says:

    I don’t agree with you on a lot, but I like your writing, and your opinions are well thought out.

  151. 151
    henqiguai says:

    Gawd dammit ! Every time I take an evening away from this asylum, y’all go and have some entertaining blow out (what, is it me ??) !

    I just logged on this morning and I see that, once again, the more delicate soles (yeah, the spelling is intentional) are all pissy at ED. Two easy ways to deal with ED’s posts –
    1) Scroll on past
    2) Enjoy the ensuing back and forth that his posts stimulate (my preference; ED drops a post and I sit back to enjoy the battles between the likes of Stuck, Corner Stone, and many others; why else are we here ?)

    That notwithstanding, on this blog site, I’m surprised there’s not more appreciation of the possibility that, intentionally or not, ED is a perfect cat’s paw for some interesting and entertaining back and forth (even if you don’t think John Cole is that subtle, think of the Tunch entity). But then, I’m weird and find entertainment in the damnedest of things.

  152. 152
    jfxgillis says:


    I hereby designate John Cole as my proxy …

    Did I not tell you at HoD on the day John invited you to this front page that the commenters were assholes? Why on earth would you allow your destiny to be decided by assholes? (Of course, it looks like the USA’s destiny will be decided by assholes, so there’s that).

    Moreover, as I think I suggested on another, less directly related occasion, about why I remain at NV despite the sometimes overbearing meta, meta is everywhere, always, on the internets, whether you surrender to it or not. If it isn’t this dumbass bullshit controversy, it’ll be some other dumbass bullshit controversy.

    One last thing. All, and I mean, ALL the great magazines of history have included among their rosters contributors who broke the consensus of the journal itself. It’s because National Review stopped allowing that it destroyed itself.

  153. 153
    henqiguai says:

    @Dennis G. (#59):

    It is a sign of sanity to revise your thoughts on any given matter when confronted with an argument and evidence that convinces you to do so.

    Nah, that’s a sign of maturity. Which, upon examination, may be part of the problem with both the current conservative movement (especially American Republicanism) and libertarianism; the apparent inability to re-examine positions in light of real-world data and adapt appropriately.

  154. 154
    henqiguai says:

    @sven (#69):

    Give DougJ the chance to post at TLOG or Balko’s blog and we’ll see if anyone there gets over-heated. (I’m serious about this, let’s give it a try!)

    Okay, see, I don’t care if you have a newsletter or not. I’m sending a subscription request and check regardless !

  155. 155
    debit says:

    @jfxgillis: I know. We’re not worthy of our ombudsman.

  156. 156
    satanicpanic says:

    Kain should stay! He seems to have an open mind and it’s interesting reading him working out his beliefs here.

  157. 157
    AhabTRuler says:

    @bjacques: Ahh, Amsterdam for New Year’s. Far more important than emo blogospheric navel gazing!

    Also, too: Have we lost sight of the fact that this is really just the internet, and it is rare that any of this amounts to anything of import. Some of the electioneering, the women with cancer who was helped with donations, the animal rescue stuff are all good, but the rest of it is unimportant shit.

  158. 158
    E.D. Kain says:

    @matoko_chan: Thanks, matako.

  159. 159
    Blue Neponset says:

    I can’t believe I missed this.

    I really hate passive aggressive crap like GBCW diaries and when people ask me to make decisions for them.

    Be a man E.D. Tell us all to fuck off and stay or tell us all to fuck off and leave but make your own decisions.

  160. 160
    jfxgillis says:


    So glad we agree. See? Common ground IS possible!!!

  161. 161
  162. 162
    Poohsbunny says:


  163. 163
    Johannes says:

    @JGabriel: Hey, I wanted to be subtle. And I think, on balance EDK adds a good bit more than he subtracts. But yes.

  164. 164
  165. 165
    Lisa Loeb says:

    Hell, even I don’t care if this guy sticks around.

  166. 166
    Ben JB says:

    For reasons I cannot comprehend, disagreement on political and economic issues manifests itself into disregard for one another on a much more personal level.

    While there may be bad political blood btw you, ED, and Anne Laurie, let’s not hide behind some grand-sounding shield here–calling yourself the “ombudsman” or even “in-house critic” wasn’t part of a political argument–it was a social claim. A claim which Anne Laurie rejects, and seemingly for good reason: you don’t actually play much of a role here socially. I read, get bothered, and comment to your posts on the League–and you respond there to me, even though I argue against you! But you don’t really respond here when someone argues against your position (at least, not recently and not substantively).

    And that’s actually the bigger problem–if you’re going to see yourself as someone who challenges certain intellectual tendencies here, you have to make your case. For the last few posts, you’ve made a case, been forcefully refuted in the comments, and made no real attempt to engage in the arguments.

    I’m not saying that you have to convince everyone who posts “screw you, Kain.” But if you’re going to claim a social role here, you have to play it and not hide behind some shield, like claiming that all negative comments about you personally are really redirected political feuds or that an in-house critic would do what you do, which is post arguments and then let them founder.

  167. 167
    numbskull says:

    Should he stay or should he go? The indecision’s not killing me. Hell, I just checked in on this post to see if he’s gotten more interesting or honest. Seems the answer is “nope,” so one less thing to check upon and add to my collection.

  168. 168
    bookcat says:

    “I try not to say things in posts or comments I would not say to someone’s face. Many people, perhaps, speak the same in real life as they do in heated comboxes. Anything is possible.”

    I totally agree with this. It’s not so much about just being polite, or avoiding saying anything offensive. It’s that pausing before you tear into someone and basing your rebuttal on facts and not an emotional tirade makes you smarter and worth listening to. Knowing that someone will give me the opportunity to have a different opinion also frees me to speak my mind, even if I have to make my mind work harder and not rely on shortcuts like” oh yeah, well you suck”.

    Anyone who posts here should be free to disagree and that invites a difference of opinion. Simple as that.

  169. 169
    ken says:

    Free speech, differing views, blah blah blah. ED Kain, you’re an asshole, conservative thought is dead, so get it out of your mind that you will actually change minds. You are here to get that smarmy attitude bitch slapped out of you. So no, you shouldn’t go. We are not finished with you yet.

    silent observer

  170. 170
    Bob says:

    Oh, ED, why so whinny? You made an ignorant comment and quickly corrected it. But there are those that will push the stumbling rather than try to right them. So you took some knocking about. And, still, the sun shines another day.

    Vote you off the island, pleeez!

    Freddie walked, I don’t fault that, hope you stay.


  171. 171
    BGinCHI says:

    Anyone still around this post?

    Shit, I spend a Friday night unplugged and I miss all the fucking drama.

    ED, you should keep posting and mix it up in comments. Make arguments and be clear and we’ll show you when you are wrong completely free of charge.

    Now, that’s a deal.

  172. 172
    Corner Stone says:

    @Lisa Loeb: This was hilarious.
    But now I hate you for putting that earworm in my head.

  173. 173
    snarkypsice says:

    Anne was way out of order.

    You are a good guy, you write interesting stuff (that I mostly don’t agree with) and I hope you don’t quit because of bullies.

  174. 174
    mo says:

    Late to the party here, but I also vote “stay” and agree that the venom and spitefulness is out-of-line and shuts reasonable discourse more than it does anything. (And makes me discount the person spewing it rather than the target.) Part of my motivation behind being a liberal is believing in emphathy and treating people with kindness. Especially when they aren’t heartless a*holes, which you aren’t ED.

    And I also think the “lack of rigor”, or “glibertarian”, arguments are really unfair – most of your posts, even though I often disagree – are much more “rigorous” than the other posters here.

  175. 175
    bjacques says:

    Oooh, a matoko_chan-ED Kain axis. I may have to reconsider my vote to keep you on the island…

    I kid.

    I’d be suspicious of a bar that didn’t have an occasional brawl, a cloud radiating angry faces and fists, á là “Andy Cap.”

    Anne Laurie is lucid, ED Kain is…interesting. I love this place.

    And, seriously, if you love booze and fireworks (and they’re mostly harmless, except for carbide cannons down south), come to Amsterdam.

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    Wilson Heath says:

    As a general matter, I think there are too dang many front pagers, but I’m not for ousting anyone for the sake of my own aesthetic preferences.

  177. 177
    Richard Shindledecker says:

    nuff said – Ed belongs here bcuz JC says so – alot of us got his six on this and are happy about that.

  178. 178
    DPirate says:

    disagreement on political and economic issues manifests itself into disregard for one another on a much more personal level.

    I believe it a symptom of our culture, typified by capitalist value and lack of spirituality, with political issues being themselves mainly economic ones. Anne Laurie, et al, cannot allow for dissent on her piece of turf. Balloon Juice the Idea passes here for what is religion, and you, sir, are apostate.

  179. 179
    DPirate says:

    @Wilson Heath: er, is there a second page I’ve been missing?

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    DPirate says:

    @Citizen Alan: I agree, that seems very true to me also. Pity.

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    TKOEd says:

    For reasons I cannot comprehend, disagreement on political and economic issues manifests itself into disregard for one another on a much more personal level.

    I appreciate your contribution here E.D., but there is a very specific reason for the above. These issues are personal to many people. This stuff isn’t abstract. If I have any issue with you it’s that you seem to sometimes to approach some of these issues with a detached view that doesn’t give enough respect to the fact real people’s lives are in the balance on many of these issues. It’s the same problem I have with libertarian economic policies. People matter, and when it’s something where people see the issue personally their reaction, rightly or wrongly, will often be personal.

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    Calming Influence says:

    We straightened Cole out; if you stick around we can straighten you out too!

  183. 183
    daverave says:

    Not interested in a mere echo chamber… so hang in there.

  184. 184

    I couldn’t give a shit if you stay or go. Sometimes you write things well enough reasoned and factually based to bother reading, mostly you use talking points and factually challenged phrases to make stupid points based on things that don’t actually exist. You’re in love with concepts like free trade and free market that do not exist and have not ever existed.

    If you want to stick around John has said so. Not my affair. If you want to write drivel expect to get spat upon. If you can bolster your stuff with things that exist, then you ought to be addressed, in agreement or disagreement. The economic and political history of this country is a lot more complex and considerably different than your highschool texts – try some.

  185. 185
    mnpundit says:

    Ha, totally missed this. I’d be nice if you left because you are awful, but I stopped reading you long ago. Occasionally a title catches my eye and I stop and read it, and then remember why I ignore you.

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