Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests

New House Rule: No Sock Puppetry

My purpose here as always is to make sure that anyone with an idea or response to share will feel comfortable participating in any discussion sparked by this blog. Turmarion, a thoughtful reader and oftentimes critic of what I write, changed my mind on commenters using pseudonyms. I now think in a context like this, a discussion of ideas, that’s just fine. Criticism of my or anyone else’s ideas, even if harsh, is of course totally fine. Some things that aren’t fine in the comment threads are personal insults, vulgar insinuations and name-calling — but you knew that already — and sock puppetry.

A “sock puppet” refers to using a variety of false names to give the illusion that many different people hold your views.

There’s one commenter here who does this all the time and he’s now on the verge of being banned. No more warnings. 

He last commented as “edman” and typically, his comment stepped over the name-calling line, so I unpublished it. More egregiously, “edman” was just the latest of his pseudonyms. It’s poignant when one of his false identities gives a “high five” to another of his pseudonyms. When I’ve pointed this out to him in a thread, he denies it. Apparently, he doesn’t realize I can see his IP Address. Even without that, I could recognize him easily by his tone. I’m embarrassed for him because he writes as if he were a religious Jew, yet he’s full of shrillness and hate. Why, I don’t know.
Anyway, this is all by way of saying that if you prefer to use a pseudonym, please choose one for yourself and stick with it. This makes a civilized discussion possible. Anyone who can’t abide by these rules will be banned.
If you have a concern that you don’t want to share in the comment box, you can always contact me by email through the Discovery Institute website.
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posted July 21, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Grow up klinghoffer. Where is the supposed wisdom that this blog was supposed to feature? What about the Hebrew Bible? Every day it’s the same old ID snoozefest that has nothing at all to do with either wisdom or the Hebrew Bible. I think it’s about time that your sorry excuse for a blog was shut down. I will be sending a message to Steven Waldman.

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posted July 23, 2009 at 4:10 pm

But what if I want to have a dialog with myself? I’d have to use different names.
Eppur si muove,

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posted July 27, 2009 at 1:07 pm

“gary” wrote:

“David is unqualified to speak authoritatively about Judaism and is beside himself over the fact that there are a goodly number of truly knowledgeable Jews out there who can easily prove it.”
And amazingly enough, they all have the same IP address! Wow!
This is just silly. While you might occasionally get two people using computers from the same system (thus the same IP address), the likelihood of multiple comments on the same blog expressing the same opinion in the same conversation coming from such a system is rather low.
In any event, anyone running a blog with open comments has the responsibility to keep an eye out for such shenanigans, nor is it particularly difficult to do so.

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posted July 28, 2009 at 11:15 am

shmuely wrote:
“Here I am, typing away from the kollel library’s computer bank, which means it will contain David’s favorite IP address.
My chaverim and I take turns looking – and then commenting- at David’s blog, since it is such a wonderful source of daily hilarity.”
That must be a very interesting “kollel”. When I was in kollel, not so very long ago, we didn’t have time for such odd extra-curricular activities (and most kollelim don’t have computer banks). The idea of bunch of kolleleit all participating in some kind of strange obsession with David Klinghoffer’s blog – and all having exactly the same opinions and the same nasty tone to their writing – does far more than push the borders of plausibility. It is downright ridiculous.
Quite frankly, I think you are lying.
“…it does not matter who posts what, or what IP address is used, it is the argument which is being made which should be addressed…”
The issue here isn’t the validity of a given argument, the issue is participating in a conversation in a civilized manner.

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posted July 28, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Why do I bother?
“shmuely’s friend” wrote:

“as it happens, for stylistic reasons, our group’s entries are often proof-read (and, if need be, re-written) by the same colleague, so that might make them seem similar in tone.
These comments are proofread?! For “stylistic reasons”?! LOL
And so the implausibilities continue to mount.

“You once claimed that the majority of Orthodox Jews are anti-evolution. … those Orthodox Jews who do study science, have no problem with evolution, which is taught as part of the science curriculum in their day school. And the majority of Orthodox-affiliating Jews are Modern, not haredi/fringe.”
I didn’t say they are anti-evolution, I said they would be on David Klinghoffer’s side in this issue. From what I understand of his views,
David’s approach to intelligent design does not necessarily reject the mechanism of evolution, but insists that this mechanism is insufficient, in itself, to achieve the complexity that we observe in the natural world. The process would require guidance from a designer. He opposes the model of theistic evolution proposed by figures like Dr. Collins that insist that after the initial creation and fine-tuning of the universe, no intelligent intervention would be needed.
While I don’t claim to know what proportion of Orthodox Jews affiliate with Modern Orthodoxy, I am confident in asserting that even the bulk of the Modern Orthodox community would fall on David’s side in this debate. Even those in the Modern Orthodox community who fully accept evolution will generally still view this process as being Divinely guided. Very few would insist on the model of “theistic evolution” proposed by Dr. Collins.

“Plus … the first Orthodox Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel/Palestine was Rav Kook… had no problem with evolution. So who are you to claim to be superior to him in wisdom? Do you claim to be a greater baqi in Talmud than he was?”
I didn’t assert a personal opinion in this discussion. I merely stated what I believe the majority opinion of Orthodox Jewry is. How this constitutes a challenge to Rav Kook is beyond me. (I’m not saying that I would necessarily refrain from disagreeing with Rav Kook, he is hardly the final opinion in any matter of Jewish thought.) Moreover, given what I have said above, I suspect that Rav Kook would also be on David Klinghoffer’s side in this debate.

“…did anybody ever mention to you, LazarA, that your writing style – and views- are very similar to that of Avi Shafran?
He and you are the only two people I have read who try to defend Madoff (in your case, calling him a ‘victim,’ of all things).”

I see no reason to apologize for having a writing style similar to Avi Shafran – a man for whom I have a great deal of respect – and, am actually flattered at the comparison.
However, your reading comprehension in this case needs serious work. I did not defend Madoff in any way. I disagreed with the idea that his actions somehow constitute an Orthodox scandal because many of his victims were Orthodox.

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