Whither the blog?

Seems like this comment I put on this comment string is worth a separate post, since I’m looking for feedback:

Above we have 32 comments. Seventeen of them are by or about Lee
Muller (10 by him, including the first and the last; seven about him.)

That means the majority of comments are not about the subject at
hand. The subject at hand, of course, is my effort to elevate public
discourse above the level of polarization and pointless shouting.

I’d like to thank Harry, Karen, Phillip, Bart and, eventually bud
(once he decided not to "harp on the past") for engaging the topic
positively, and Randy and David for at least engaging the topic.

Anyone have any suggestions as to what do do with the fact that most
of the string was occupied with polarizing distractions? This is a
serious question, because now that the election is over I’m evaluating
how much energy to put into the blog, given that we are so short-handed
and I’m so harried these days.

When I started this blog, I had a staff of six full-time people
(including four associate editors) and one part-timer to write for,
edit and produce the editorial pages. And even then it was extremely
difficult to squeeze out the time from a 24-hour day to blog. Now I
have three full-timers (down to two associate editors) and one
part-timer in the editorial department. Finding time for the blog long
ago reached the point where most people would say "impossible."

My Sunday column spoke directly to why I do this blog. It’s about
carving out a place that is an alternative to most of the hyperpartisan
blogosphere, which reflects the style of nondiscourse framed by the
parties, the advocacy groups and the shouting-head television "news." A
place where people can interact constructively, and even listen to each

I deeply appreciate those of you who try to have a constructive
conversation in spite of all the shouters in the room. Unfortunately,
there are many, many people of good will who simply won’t try that hard.

Anyway, anybody have any constructive suggestions for going forward?

Of course, the very first comment I get it likely to be from Lee. But after that, I’d very much appreciate some relevant feedback from the rest of you.

58 thoughts on “Whither the blog?

  1. Lee Muller

    I intend to continue posting news and historical facts to counteract the mythology of socialistic narrow mindedness, to promote Americanism, free enterprise, and minimal government.
    Brad Warthen owns this blog.
    He can choose to censor those who try to discuss the facts, he can choose to censor those who attack us with posts consisting entirely of insults and smears, or he can sit idly by and complain about it.

  2. Karen McLeod

    Brad, the only reason I can continue reading and participating in this blog is because I make a point of skipping some peoples comments and skimming some others, stopping only if something off the usual pitch is coming thru. I enjoy reading different opinions, but I have no use for those who can’t discuss a matter without insulting others, or those who rebroadcast the same lies, over and over. I hope you can continue, but I’m sure that you haven’t the time to go back and edit out those who cannot maintain a civil discussion or who prefer purely partisan propaganda over substance and reason. At the same time I get very tired of listening to people just plain fuss about what someone else said (even when I agree with them 100%). I could almost wish for a way to vote people off the blog. And ya’ll, I said almost….

  3. p.m.

    Here’s my suggestion, since it’s all your eight paragraphs add up to: Just let anyone who blogs here know they are expected to become a part of your choir.
    Just say you want yes-men and -women who regurgitate your liberal ideas. You could limit posters to government workers, public school employees, those who work for The State and the “Jaywalkin'” city folk who actually believe, like you, that most South Carolina farmers grow peaches, or that taxing gasoline $2 would be a good idea.
    Me, I’m tired of playing devil’s advocate to the deaf ears here and being ignored. Your idea of elevating public discourse is hearing an echo, I don’t have one to offer, and I won’t.

  4. slugger

    So. You want a blog with everyone agreeing on everything? No fresh new ideas. No real facts? Just stick to subject and everyone play the same tune.
    Let me see and think about this before I decide to find another blog. I kinka think of some of these bloggers as family. Where do you find a family that agrees with each other all the time, or even some of the time?

  5. Lee Muller

    How about just creating permanent thread topics for the places certain people like to veer, including Brad:
    First, Brad’s themes:
    * Moderates are the Best People
    * The Legislature Just Needs More Money
    * I Hate Governor Sanford
    * I Hate Tobacco
    * I Hate Libertarians
    * If I Don’t Need That Freedom, Neither Do You
    * Someone Else Should Pay My Medical Bills
    * Time to Stir Up Hate with the Flag
    * Let’s Tax Gasoline and Cars I Don’t Like
    * Ideas for New Taxes
    * All Opponents of Taxation are Greedy
    * Private Schools are Evil
    * Public Education Just Needs More Money
    * The Bus System Just Needs More Money
    Then, for the delusional leftists:
    * Public Education is So Successful
    * Why Blacks Need White Liberals to Guide Them
    * Let’s Worship FDR
    * Pretend the New Deal didn’t fail
    * Social Security is Better Than a Secure Retirement
    * The Imaginary Successes of Bill Clinton
    * Bush is Evil
    * Al Qaeda is No Threat to America
    * Taxes We Need on Other People
    * Let’s Punish the Productive Class

  6. Spencer Gantt

    Why don’t you just go to ONE subject, one blog-post, from you per day, five or six days a week? It gives people greater ability to read, concentrate and post if you don’t put out 3 or 4 subjects 7 days each week.
    As far as editing is concerned, why not delete posts not related to the subject whenever you see them, without rushing. Or, just allow a certain number of responses to your posts, say 5 or 10. And, for people being “nasty” you can only refuse them access to the board or make your site “Members Only” as was suggested years ago. Real names, of course. No hiding anymore behind “pen pal names” or other pseudonyms.

  7. Brad Warthen

    Thank you, Spencer and Karen, for offering suggestions. As for p.m. and slugger… how are we supposed to have a dialogue when I say A and you claim I just said B? Y’all know better than that. Have I ever censored either of you for disagreeing with me? And as Lee says, I CAN do that. Of course, that’s time that could be spent on something else.
    p.m., you in particular have often engaged the subject at hand quite constructively, whether you agree or disagree. Yet you’ve often been here when shouting matches have caused us to get off track and go nowhere fast…
    Personally, I tend to take Karen’s zen approach — just skim right over the problematic parts and engage what I want to engage. I just worry that an awful lot of folks who might have something to add to our discussions won’t go to that sort of trouble. Of course, that’s what I’ve worried about from the first time I tried to engage the whole civility thing…

  8. bud

    Muller if you would just respond with a bit of reason rather than the never ending yamering about socialism I think you could actually add something. Take for instance your third bullet point: “I hate Governor Sanford”. Brad DOES go on about that, way too much. Heck I don’t much care for Sanford but Brad clearly violates his own code of ethics whenever he slanders the governor as he does so often. Instead of calling Brad a socialist why not simply express your opinion as to why Governor Sanford is doing a good job.
    Then there’s this: “I don’t need that freedom, neither do you”. Bullseye! That sums up Brad in a nutshell. The first time one of Brad’s movies gets banned by the government or if a half-way house for sex offenders gets built in Quayle Hollow we’ll get to see a different side of Brad. Why can’t you articulate that thought more often rather than calling everyone you disagree with a socialist?

  9. Doug Ross

    If you don’t want to enagage in debate with Lee, then don’t.
    I read 95% of what he writes even though I may not always agree with the tone or the perspective. More often than not, he brings more factual content than the majority of posters.
    Lee’s black/white posts recently should at least spur people to stop and think about whether we have seen progress in the black community as a result of the government entitlement programs that have been implemented to “help” them. Maybe a different model is needed… not more of the same. I guess it’s easier to attack the messenger than to be open to new ideas.

  10. Doug Ross

    And here’s a question for Brad – can you provide us with some feedback on how the blog has helped you? Have you changed the way you think about a particular topic based on the discussions in the blog? As a long time reader, I’m not sure I could identify a case where you said, “Hmmm.. maybe there is something to that argument?”

  11. Capital A

    Warthime, I understand your concern. Lord knows I have been guilty of sidetracking this blog in the name of “entertainment”, but as bud pointed out above, your hypocrisy precludes, or should preclude, your criticism of anyone being “uncivil.” If beating dead horses is a crime, your repeated anti-Sanford and anti-tobacco rants alone should afford you 25 to life. And this is coming from a person who despises the good Goobernor, though not just for his Clemson affiliation…
    On that note, your repeated objectification of women — especially very mediocre looking political “sirens”– should earn you the electric chair. Let’s examine our own personal behavior before we judge others, shall we? No Catholic am I, but I would be willing to bet a funny pope hat or two that they covered that lesson in Catholic school.
    Your pretense that you are “above” the very type of behavior about which you are complaining (and committing — often within the same blog posting!)is laughable at best. It is your blog to be sure, but I think we do a fairly decent job at policing ourselves. I mean, how hard is it to scroll past commenters like the old Dave (reborn in the form of p.m.s. Yes, I figured out your guise, you lumpkin!)and on to a substantive post of your preference? Let the people decide. How very American, how very simple and effective…
    He posts the most outrageous rants and Lee may be a p-o-s racist, but at least he’s fairly open about it. In a Bizzaro-ian way, I can respect that more than someone who lacks the self awareness to realize that the faults he so despises in others are highly evident in his own words and actions.
    What would doing away with aliases accomplish? How logical was that assertion? Would reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with Samuel Clemens emblazoned across the cover have been more enjoyable or meaningful that it was with Mark Twain written in that same spot? Try again, Spencer…if that is, indeed, your real name!

  12. Michelle

    1 blog post a day is ample if time is your greatest concern. If it’s the arguing you don’t like, then disable comments altogether. It’s a given that if people come at something from opposite ends of the political spectrum, there will be intense discussions. Personally what compels me to post is when I feel strongly on a subject or if I see a post that is 100% fiction (i.e., Obama is just like Hitler), then yes, I’m going to address that head-on and combat ignorance and hate with truth and cold, hard facts. If that annoys, then either ban those you disagree with, don’t like, etc. or disable comments altogether. But honestly–expecting everyone to gather around the blog and sing kumbaya is a little simplistic given that this is a political blog.

  13. Norm Ivey

    I don’t know if TypePad allows you to set up the blog so that readers can rate comments. YouTube does this with their Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down rating. Giving a Thumbs Down allows the reader to ignore a comment (removes it from the reader’s screen). The reader could choose to ignore particular commentators or posts by giving posts a Thumbs Down or Off Topic or Get a Life rating. That way the reader can censor what they read instead of the censorship coming from a newspaper editor–it would probably be difficult to explain such an action in light of the first amendment.
    Another suggestion–I know you have a set of guidelines for comments (including real names). Might there be some way to enforce those guidelines as rules? Or at least provide a convenient link that we can gently remind and refer one another to?
    Finally–and I know this is difficult to arrange and unlikely to happen–arrange for a face-to-face social event for frequent posters to the blog. It’s a lot more difficult to be rude and nasty to someone you’ve met in person than to a faceless name or pseudonym on your computer screen.
    Lately, I have been ignoring those posts that seem to be devolving into hateful and spiteful rhetoric or which stray far from the originally posted topic. Sometimes its just the tone of a post that turns me off. I sincerely hope you find a solution. I enjoy reading and posting here, and I have had several constructive conversations with those who disagree with me. I doubt that I have changed anyone’s mind, and others have not changed my mind about issues, but I have enjoyed the discourse.

  14. Michelle

    Okay I’m straight on the rules now. Bud filled me in on the other thread. I’m just supposed to ignore Lee. No problem there whatsoever!

  15. Harry Harris

    Brad, I believe you are stuck with the dilemma of relying on the good sense and judgement of your posters and readers to filter and ignore or being perceived as an oppressive blogger. I vote for the former, although one prolific poster here makes me almost regret that I even invented the keyboard. Although most of us throw out a broken record after we are sufficiently annoyed by its grating repetition, sometimes having it around keeps us aware that not everything technology has given us works in an ideal fashion. Bear with us. Most of us have a scroll wheel, and all learn to adapt to some degree.

  16. jfx

    I want to apologize. As one of the “new” people who washed in on the tide of election fervor…and an obvious liberal at that…I have done far too much Lee-Muller-baiting, and subsequent shouting. Sorry. It’s too easy, and a stupid waste of time. At the end of the day, a troll is just a troll. Damn! There I go again. OK. Sorry. Enough. It ends now.
    Brad, I think you should keep the thing like it is, post whenever you damn well please, and let the flow go where it goes. Let’s face it, politics is polarizing. It has been ever thus. Maybe try coloring up the blog a little more…less Warthen the Grizzled Politico…more Warthen, Citizen of Earth. It is YOUR blog, after all.
    Brad, in my short time on this blog, the slabs of text I have found most interesting are the relations of your own personal life experiences (for instance the South America slab a couple weeks back). I get the feeling you’ve got a deep reservoir of that colorful, personal, experiential stuff. Spill it.

  17. Rich

    As annoying as some of the extremist posts are (and mine are not extremist and do indeed reflect the thinking of people with my background), they sometimes stimulate some really good ripostes.
    As Robert Graves has Claudius put it: “Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out!”

  18. p.m.

    I’m willing to agree things here have become more partisan than when I arrived a year or two ago. But that is really only a symptom, I think, of an incredibly contentious election.
    Given time, I think things will calm down.

  19. BIll C.

    But, but, but… then how will we get our weekly slam of Governor Sanford??? Or how will we know whether or not Brad had breakfast with Sam “Visa” Tenenbaum that morning at that racist institution, the Capitol City Club??? It is true, put Obama in the White House and the world will come to an end.

  20. wtf

    Well Brad, to have a good garden you have to pull a few weeds. As opinionated as I have been (as is the point in responding to an editorial) I have at least backed my claims with credible news reports or verifiable facts.
    If you want a healthy discourse about the facts of a dilemia, you need to patrol the site and remove those posts that are pure factless rants that serve no useful purpose for discussion. (Yes, Lee this means you.)
    If you go back to the blog and read, most discourse starts out as you would like but then take a turn for the worse once you know who posts his first programmed rant. The rest is just people responding to that ilk and your best plans just went down the tubes.
    Set some standards for discourse. If a post fails to meet the objective standards…shift/delete…but alert the postee that they can always resubmit thier op-ed as long as they play by the rules. Why should an online op-ed be any different than a printed one?
    If you want a good garden, you gotta pull some weeds.

  21. Ozzie

    The fact that political discussion is polarizing is part of the reason for many on the blog to use pseudonyms, or only first names. Some of Brad’s favorite bloggers, mentioned above, belong to that category. Some folks will have already figured out who I am, and that’s fine (I am not assuming that they necessarily care)–that is not so much the problem as the search engines that keep one’s comments connected with the name for a long, long time.
    All of which is to say that I don’t think that use of the full name should be a requirement. Some of us are in situations where airing our political thoughts can damage relationships or even curtail our job.
    One thing I notice is that I often find good material or articles (at least I think they are good) on a subject that lies several posts back, and I’m sure that nobody is reading on those threads anymore–so I post it on a new thread–with the result that the comment is off topic. If that’s not wanted, then I repent in dust and ashes, and will henceforth cease such activity . . . .
    All that said, I applaud Brad’s efforts, and have often wished I could donate some funds and get him into the Toyota Prius that his heart so desires. (Actually, I wish his wife could drive it, because I bet she is the one that deserves it most.) Alas, that is not possible–not from me, anyway. But my own opinion is that we have an editorial crew here in Columbia with Brad, Cindy, and Warren (to disrespectfully use their first names) that is a cut above other papers of its size in most of the rest of the country.
    Hats off to you all, even when I don’t agree with all of your opinions. And if newspapers are shutting down all over the country, it may not necessarily be all their fault, but the fact that an increasingly polarized populace can read, but will not.

  22. Phillip

    I’d like to echo jfx’s comments. Lee is not the problem, the problem is that too many of us take the bait and respond to him, sending the thread off on a tangent. At one point I remember urging folks not to comment on Lee’s comments, but it’s hard sometimes to resist the temptation and I certainly have fallen into the trap on occasion.
    I think leave things as they are but perhaps all of us could try to keep our comments primarily focused on Brad’s original post, or if Brad adds a comment, then a response to his response.

  23. Ozzie

    One other comment: in my opinion, you should make plain what the purpose of the blog is again, and simply delete all comments that don’t conform to that purpose. People will learn to write in such a way that their comments can stay. Of course you can cut people some slack–no need to be absolutely rigid about it, but Brad, you are generous to a fault when it comes to comment posters.

  24. Randy E

    Brad, this thread reminds me of classroom management as a teacher. If a teacher has a problem with a student or two, then he should deal with them individually. When a large chunk of the class is causing trouble, then address the class as a whole. You devoted a whole thread to Lee and I’m sure he’s reveling in the attention.
    I almost never read his posts but when I see that he posts patently racist statements, I reply. New bloggers on this site don’t know to ignore Lee. Some likely see him as a reflection of the type of bloggers who participate or atleast are scared off by his nonsense.
    I find this blog interesting and challenging. Doug forces me to think through education issues, and I’ve had good recent exchanges with Rich. PM and I duke it out but it is mostly civil. The common denominator in the problems you address is Lee! Given all this, why not simply boot him and let us move on?

  25. Lee Muller

    I try to apply the proper noun for political beliefs which have already been tried and labeled by the originators. I have never called Brad a socialist, because I don’t think he knows enough about socialism to be one.
    Obama, being raised by communists and working with them his entire adult life, probably is some sort of socialist, a mongrel mix to be sure.
    Being very specific as to the type of socialism is reflect by a certain position on an issue quickly loses those who think fascism requires wearing a military uniform, and haven’t a clue about the nuances of Trotsky vs Mao or Hitler.
    If a politician, or a blog poster supporting him, is mouthing recycled slogans from Hitler, Lenin or Castro, then they need to be made aware of that fact, and that we know the putrid source of their thinking.

  26. Lee Muller

    Randy, Philip, bud and others with closed minds, please don’t respond to my posts if you cannot discuss the facts I submit as a foundation for my opinions. We have heard every one of your lame person insults dozens of times.
    And don’t flatter yourselves that anyone wants your attention, or would miss your frustrated personal invectives which fail to salve your intellectual impotence.

  27. Susan

    I enjoy reading the differing opinions on this blog, especially those concerning education. I am also distracted by the disturbing posts by Lee (sorry, Lee, but they seem manic), but I hope you won’t abandon the blog.

  28. Randy E

    Susan’s in for a surprise. Manic is close to the word many of us have in mind (you left out an “a”).
    Here’s a great example of my point about new bloggers. On the “Hoping” thread, Bart posts a long, detailed post in rebuttal to Lee. In short order, he will become exasperated by Lee and maybe quit making an effort to post.

  29. Bart

    No one has exasperated me to the point of stopping to post. In fact, I have one ready to go soon that I hope everyone will enjoy with the exception of two who post frequently. Lee is not one of them.
    I read what Lee has to say but with some reservations because I do not agree with all of his comments but that is not to say he is not right about some things. As the old saying goes, I try to separate the pepper from the fly poop.
    I think this blog is worth the effort and hope Brad keeps it going and as long as he does, I will stay around. I’m too independent to be unduly influenced.

  30. Ralph Hightower

    Slashdot, http://slashdot.org/ is a blog system that allows readers to rate postings. Slashdot is a website for people to post news of interest to computer professionals. When the news sites slowed to a crawl on 9/11/01, I got news from Slashdot.
    Lee and I disagree on everything, except for H-1B visas.

  31. Lee Muller

    The problem that many collectivist have when confronted with explanations of social problems from the perspective of free markets and individual liberty, is that these ideas are often new and startling to them.
    Here they are, biological adults, holding worthless diplomas from schools which left them unacquainted with basic civic and economic systems, and a mythology glorifying the State taught to them as history.
    Rather than take one disturbing new fact and explore it with the others, they recoil in fear and lash out with political name-calling.

  32. KP

    I’m one of the people of good will who read this blog regularly (like Karen, skimming responses when I already know what they’re going to say) but almost never bother to post. It’s not the shouting that bothers me so much, it’s the fact that everyone is pretty much talking to himself, not listening to anyone else. So you end up having to pick through a lot of clutter to find the few reasoned arguments that actually teach you something.
    The blog has definitely been hijacked. I dunno what you can do. Maybe host a discussion where the regular posters can say a little about themselves and what they do and why they think as they do. It might be worth a shot.

  33. fred

    Unfortunately, Lee can’t help himself. I think that if you are going to have the blog, he is going to divert. You can either make rules and delete improper posts — making you the gatekeeper — or accept the fact that Lee is by definition going to make the posts a little about him — and divert them from the topic. If you analyze your postings — he probably accounts for between 1/4 to 1/3 of all of your posts.

  34. Don H. Doyle

    I like the spirit you have tried to set for the blog, and I hope it is one that is going to prevail in Washington as well in the coming years. Too often people define their positions on policy in opposition to the other party instead of exploring the common ground on which we agree.
    Energy policy is one area begging for bipartisan solutions. Once we agree there IS a problem with climate change and that it has to do with pollution, we can discuss what to do about it.

  35. Susan

    I was trying to be as nice as possible. But now I’m wondering what Utopia educated Lee to the point that he knows the secrets to the universe.

  36. zzazzeefrazzee

    Doug, I’m surprised ot hear you say that, as I’ve caught Herr Müller making numerous claims without any shred of support. Some of my favorites from recent memory:
    Proof of WMD in Iraq: Nuclear missiles that belonged to Saddam Hussein are secretly stored up in Charlotte.
    Gas-guzzling SUV’s are more efficient than fuel efficient cars, because a head to head comparison is never valid.
    Obama is a terrorist-sympathizing Muslim as well as a communist socialist black militant yadee yadee yar yar. The oxymoronic nature of such assertions is obvious to everyone but himself.

  37. zzazzeefrazzee

    Brad, I think it’s fine if you scale back to one post a day. The one thing I will say is if you want to do one thing to improve this forum, then allow people to post hyperlinks. How many times could a link to factcheck, politifact, or snopes take care of the more outrageously egregious claims routinely posted in here? Of course, I’m certain that a certain obvious person will always reply that such sites are “Liberal Media” mouthpieces, but who cares? Most people will get it.

  38. Lee Muller

    zzzdumb, I posted citations to sources for the 650,000 tons of WMD captured in Iraq, the actual mileage figures of SUVs and their costs, and the quotes of Obama himself on his love of Islam.
    You are one of the anti-intellectuals who who avoids discussion of these documented FACTS.

  39. Rich

    Your dogmatic, unyielding approach to the issues is symptomatic of what’s wrong with the Republican Party today. S.C. risks longterm political irrelevance if it holds fast to positions such as yours.
    You seem impervious to reason. Even Bill O’Reilly makes more sense (and that takes some doing). I guess you think that if you just shout everybody down you will win your argument.
    But look at the recent election. McCain and Palin played to the low-information, gun-toting, fundamentalist, cracker base of the party–and lost, decisively!!

  40. Lee Muller

    I am not a Republican.
    What is wrong with the Republican Party is that McCain, Bush, Graham, Shays and others betrayed the trust of those who elected them by compromising with Democrats on unAmerican legislation, such as huge deficits, amnesty for 30,000,000 illegal aliens, gun control, tax hikes, etc.
    4,100,000 registered Republicans did not vote in the general election.
    The sad thing is that left-wing bigots think they are using reason when they “argue” without an argument, much less facts. Calling us who present educated stances “ow-information, gun-toting, fundamentalist, cracker base” merely reveals the snotty hatred of modern illiberals.

  41. Barenaked Ladies

    And that’s the problem, dear, with angry people, they
    Try to go it alone.
    Digging in and making cranky feeble pleas that
    Other angries disown.
    So angry people think the best solution is
    Getting others involved.
    So they surround themselves with happy people
    And watch their smiles dissolve.

  42. zzazzeefrazzee

    Herr Müller, you simply posted a few links, but those rarely ever succeeded in backing up your claims.
    For example:
    Nuclear warheads from Iraq stored in Charlotte? No link posted.
    A head to head comparison of SUV’s? You were never willing to concede that for the vast majority of commuters, the comparison is entirely valid.
    Obama’s love of Islam? That’s been d-bunked so many times, that it only exists your uniquely overactive imagination.
    BTW- do you have a job? Or could it be that the SC Dept. social services funds your penchant for posting here multiple times each day?

  43. Lee Muller

    I never said anything about “nuclear warheads from Iraq stored in Charlotte”.
    Are you that incapable of reading, or just a deliberate liar?
    I quoted Obama on his love of Islam from his own book. And I quoted his sister talking about him being a Muslim.
    See if you can find where Obama converted from Islam to anything else. Jeremiah Wright’s cult certainly is not Christian – more like Jonestown.

  44. Charles Broadway

    1. Lee Muller makes this blog worth reading. I only bother coming here to read his responses.
    2. The time it takes to write a blog post is about the same time it takes to brush your teeth and floss. What eats your time is the endless checking back and forth to see what Lee Muller wrote. (See #1 above.)
    3. Lee Muller should be given his own blog on the website here and a column in The State.

  45. zzazzeefrazzee

    OK, so it wasn;t “nuclear WMD’ stored in Charlotte, but you did in fact claim that WMDs, were being disposed of in Charlotte back in January:
    “Yes, the work for dismantling WMD won on bid, in response to Bid Requests posted daily in the Congressional Record. One of the companies doing some of the WMD disposal is in Charlotte, across the street from my office there.”
    The thing is, you never actually showed that said company processed any such WMD.
    You also claimed that “One item being dismantled and buried at the Savannah River Facility is an entire nuclear bomb plant, purchased by Iraq from Red China and not found by the UN inspectors, but captured by British troops.”
    It’s not at all hard to check the record of what’s been found in Iraq: A few pieces of centrifuge (not an intact one, and those had been buried), some old yellowcake (which is far from enriched for bomb making purposes), and little else. There was no “nuclear bomb plant” as you claimed- and never actually provided any proof for.
    Still don’t believe me? Look it up yourself.
    About Obama and Islam- your quote is about ROY, Obama’s brother, not Obama’s professed love for Islam. As far as what his HALF SISTER says- a woman whom he never actually grew up with- is an unreliable person to cite at best. As to whether Jeremiah Wright is “Christian” in your view, that is hardly anything to cite in support of your belief that Obama’s really a Muslim.

  46. Lee Muller

    In the fall of 2003 the US State Department along with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency undertook a mission to do cleanup at the Iraqi nuclear lab Al-Tuwaitha.
    This lab was subject to UN inspections however the UN teams were not able to fully inspect the site during the Saddam regime. This lab was one of the places from which Saddam’s men were video recorded by satellite moving WMD material to Syria.
    The slide show shows what Saddam’s men left behind in their haste to evacuate Al-Tuwaitha ahead of the coalition army forces and the subsequent looting by Iraqi citizens.
    In the GSA report to congress link GAO 05-672 http://www.gao.gov/htext/d05672.html Much was omitted about the true nature of what was found at Al-Tuwaitha. Omitted in the report was the finding of old chemical weapons, discarded fire extinguishers that were used as chemical weapons delivery mechanisms, and highly radioactive materials in boxes with German markings.
    Other interesting items omitted in the GAO report to congress is the fact that the Iraqi personnel burned out their offices before leaving. The finding of a machine shop with items that appear to be the shape of uranium bomb cores, and underground intact bunkers. The Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson associated (supposedly) non existent barrels of Nigerian yellowcake uranium were also located.
    Other items shown are 2 scud missiles found at the Baghdad airport and a used Iraqi chemical protective suit found in the tunnels under the Baghdad airport complex.
    The team shown in the photos was hired by the DTRA to do the hazmat cleanup process. The contractor was Raytheon Tech Services. This is the same contractor that was used by the USGOV to assist the Russians with nuclear hazmat cleanup after the end of the cold war.
    All nuclear material was sent to Barnwell, SC for reprocessing or burial.

  47. Reader

    Lee Muller should be given his own blog on the website here and a column in The State.
    Posted by: Charles Broadway | Nov 21, 2008 4:15:32 AM
    I agree. He is not a switch-hitter — nor is he thin-skinned. Give it a whirl, The State. At least we’d know we aren’t paying $50.05 to perpetuate the Anti-Sanford Personal Vendetta.

  48. Lee Muller

    I simply try to be consistantly right.
    You can’t worry about ‘the center’. They have no core beliefs. Those with a solid philosophy herd them about.

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