Sunday, December 28, 2003

WKS and the "Idiot Ordnance"

WKS you may note you are the first commentor here to have fallen foul of the guidelines I laid out in the Dec 16th entry "PLEASE NOTE - This comment was posted by an active member of the riverSbend smear team", thus you have in a sense been "quarantined" - having that warning placed below your comments, and assumed to be one of TeamTroy (I shall belatedly christen this the "Idiot Ordnance")

Here's the key quote:
There have been so many false nyms used by Troy's friends here... that any new poster who adopts the standard practice of defending Troy using really dumb or irrelevant arguments may be assumed to be in cahoots with him.

Also note:
It is open to anyone to contact me by email to complain or to offer evidence of an independent net existance if they feel they have been wrongly judged.

Note I don't just assume anyone who has a bad word to say about Riverbend is on TeamTroy. But WKS's insistence ("It is sad to see River's Bend leave") that we should mourn the loss of the smearblog as it fulfilled a valuble service is a little out of touch with reality to ring true.

WKS I'd like to know your thoughts on these key questions:
- don't you think there is something wrong in pretending to be someone else in order to pretend they have changed their views?
- don't you think a forum ought to allow opposing viewpoints to stand, instead of deleting them and banning posters just because their opinions don't fit?

If you WKS are not in TeamTroy you find yourself in a tiny minority if you disagree with those two points. That's why you fell foul of the Idiot Ordnance. But please feel free to prove me wrong - if you can provide details of a previous web history. Even if you can prove you have ever, in any context said something intelligent I will certainly reconsider your designation.

Note to others if I'm correct in assuming WKS is on TeamTroy this comment may be telling us something:

I hope someone takes Cherice's advice and takes it up again. What with all the negative comments about Baghdad Burning cluttering up comments in other blogs, a blog like river's Bend is a good idea.

TeamTroy(WKS) seems to be holding up Cherice(renowned anti-Riverbend, anti-BendingTruth Iraqiblog-commentor) as some kind of Christlike speaker of Gospel script. This I think is her comment with which he is so enamoured.

"you should do this the right way and not sink to her level of deceit (sic) as you are doing with this "clone" blog."

(Personally I remain slightly agnostic on the issue of Cherice's divinity having noted a certain flagrant ideological skew in some of her other utterances, but that is by-the-by)

Is it possible Troy and his buddies have decided they are taking too much flak for the blog as it is in its current location but that the time and market are ripe for another slightly different, perhaps more honest anti-Riverbend campaign. Just a hunch, but I wouldn't be surprised.

I'd also love to see what they could come up - to be honest the rank dishonesty of their other efforts was the only angle that was interesting about them at all.
When Salam Met Riverbend...

Ken posted something in the comments relating to Riverbend's relationship with Salam and how well they know each other:

"[Salam] posted this to his blog on the 3 August 2003:

"People, I have the most amazing surprise for you, well for those who have been reading the blog before the war. do you remember [Riverbend]? she's in Mosul now she is OK but she had to quit her job because some shia fundi took over wher she used to work and made life miserable. and she sent me something to put on the blog."

Now, I have not checked his pre-war postings, but from this I would be inclined to conclude that Riverbend is rather more than some bird who sent him an e-mail. It looks to me as if they actually know each other. "

The first mention of Riverbend in Salam's blog came way back in March (so when Salam said "Do you remember [Riverbend]?, it was this earlier mention he was referring to):

In one of the posts down there I wrote that I seem to have only one Iraqi reader, well i was wrong. I have two and a half (half Iraqi half Chinese). what is really exciting is that the second reader is a girl here in baghdad, she's 23 years old and is a computer geek (well, engineer), and she agreed to write something for the blog. she will go by the name "riverbend". pleae give her a warm welcome, i hope she decides to join the weblog and write as often as she can in the next couple of weeks, without further ado i give you "Riverbend"

[Snip Riverbend's entry]

the next time,if riverbend decides to join she will be part of this group blog (yes it was supposed to be a group blog but raed is such a lazy bastard). I'll be happy to forward ant mail to her until she makes up her mind whether to put her addy here or not.

Perhaps their relationship is not 100% clear from these couple of scraps, but I am sticking to my earlier interpretation that Salam only has an online relationship with Riverbend.

I'd like to be able to say that Salam has vouched for Riverbend based on a "real world" relationship, but I would not be being honest if I said I really believed that.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Christmas Eve Update

I didn't think I'd have time to do anything PC-related today. But Mrs AtBendingTruth is thoughtlessly putting a big damper on all my holiday plans by lying in bed late at the moment trying to sleep off a heavy dose of the flu. Women, eh! I don't know...

So anyway I cast a glance over the Asian Web Awards, Best Iraqi Blog and noticed that Riverbend is doing extremely well but that for some reason the smearblog no longer featured at all. Had my insidiously persuasive arguments about the fake site misleading voters finally swayed Phil? Well apparently not. I found this conversation in the comments section:

Niloo said on Wednesday December 24, 2003
There are two questionable situations in the Iranian and Iraqi blog contests.


"River's bend" is also a cheat blog immitating riverbendblog (baghdad burning) which is even been written by non Iraqis.

Phil said on Wednesday December 24, 2003 : url
Right - I will rephrase something again. Nationality is irrelevant - an Asia blog is permissible by nationality, geography or subject matter. Technically a blog about Iraq counts, however the "cheating" blog you mentioned has been removed as the site no longer appears to be work.

I find Phil's rational slightly questionable here - by any sane standard what comes up on my screen currently at the url is miles and miles better than, and equally "about Iraq" as what was there a few days ago, and it has a much greater claim to being the "best Iraqi blog", but I'm certainly not arguing with his decision to remove it.

And as Colleen points out in the comments section riverbendblogS appears to have been removed as well. Again I don't know why or if this is a permanent development but it is obviously one I cautiously welcome.

Just to clarify something Ken Bell said in the comments, I believe that Salam Pax received an email from Riverbend months ago and posted it on his blog. Certainly he believed her credentials and his have been established beyond doubt. As far as I know though Salam Pax has never claimed to have actually met or spoken with Riverbend in person.

And thanks for the Chrismas wishes - all the best to all my readers as well.

I am hesitant to tear a leaf from Karl Rove's script but, since it's been four days now, I will in the holiday spirit cautiously unfurl the following banner across this page over the holiday period:



Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Did Christmas Come Early?

I'm hesitant to leap to any judgements about the current non-activity at riverSbendblog. I'd been away from my PC all weekend until yesterday evening when I discovered emails in my mailbox starting from Sunday afternoon saying that the smearblog appeared to be down.

Now Blogger does have occasional glitches and Bending Truth itself has sometimes been inaccessible even to me once in a while. But it is now Tuesday morning so it seems that riverSbend's silence is approaching the two days mark.

Has the blog been yanked by Blogger? Have the old meanies at TeamTroy called it off? Maybe this is just a Christmas ceasefire? It is much too early to say. But certainly every minute that the smearblog is off-line is a good one for anyone who believes in truth, honesty and openness and despises cowardice, deceitfulness and lies.

If it is down for good this is certainly fortuitous timing. Not just because we're coming to Christmas but also because I am finding it difficult to maintain the high level of attention I have previously been devoting to Bending Truth.

I am currently working on another even more important (sorry Riverbend :)), but as yet confidential, project which I will reveal in more details in the New Year. Those individuals (usually from TeamTroy but occasionally from outside it) who have wondered that I have nothing better to do with my time, may soon find themselves conclusively confounded by the evidence that I very certainly *do*. I expect even those naysayers will be reluctantly impressed that I have managed to squeeze Bending Truth in around my other even more vital, currently surreptitious activities.

Anyway for as long as I can flog the hole in the ground where a dead horse used to be that is the riverSbend smearblog I will be maintaining this site; just perhaps not as avidly as I have done up til now.

If this is the last entry up til Christmas may all my readers have a Happy Christmas. Even Troy, Sordo, Jim and William - you pusillanimous old gits!

Friday, December 19, 2003

More Tenacity from the Cockroaches

There is currently a poll being run for best Iraqi blog at this location

Eagle-eyed viewers may note that Riverbend (Baghdad Burning) is doing pretty well, but also that River's Bend has a decent supply of votes. Call me crazy but is it really possible 60 people think River's Bend is the best Iraqi blog there is? God knows a lot of people dislike Riverbend. Some of these people may even think that she is worse that TeamTroy's smearblog But is it even conceivable that 60 of these people might actually think the smearblog is *better* that Zeyad's HealingIraq, and IraqAtAGlance, and IraqTheModel! It's a truly scary thought.

But one I think we need not harbour. What I think is much more likely is that TeamTroy's blog is getting votes from people who mistakenly think they're voting for Riverbend. Which would be a shame. And would effectively distort the poll rendering not meaningless but certainly less useful.

I posted in the comments a query as to what made an "Iraqi blog" since River's Bend isn't (a) Iraqi or (b) a blog but the siteowner Phil said since it was about Iraq (hmmm...) he hoped market forces would just dictate that if River's Bend wasn't an Iraqi blog then no one would vote for it.

I countered by saying that that didn't really address the fact of people being fooled. The Market does not allow for someone to produce a product deliberately intended to deceive customer's of another product into buying it - like producing "Cola-Coca" in a distinctive red and white tin. This is what the smearblog does. Anyway here is our discussion on the matter

I do appreciate Phil's position as I told him, and can understand how someone not fully informed about the situation would be very wary of appearing to take the wrong side in this issue.

Regardless I suggest that the best way of expressing an opinion on the matter would be for anyone who hasn't voted but who actually thinks Riverbend's blog is the best Iraqi blog out there should vote for her.

But I don't agree with some suggestions I've read elsewhere that whoever wins somehow vindicates a particular political view of the Iraqi occupation. I don't think anyone should vote for Riverbend if they happen to think it's a load of garbage only they don't want GW Bush to win the next election.

Best Blog should just mean "best blog". Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray is I think one of the "Best Books" ever - but its prevailing ideology is entirely abhorrent to me. I could say much the same of "Under My Thumb" by the Rolling Stones, or "He Hit Me and It Felt Like a Kiss" by the Crystals.


I note with some incredulity that TeamTroy has removed Robert's fake rumour story from the blog. Every so often it does appear public opinion has some impact on them. I do note however that Cherice's comments are still there even after she asked that they be removed. Oh well, baby steps...

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Team Troy Scores (Yet) Another Own Goal

In the most recent entry on the riverSbend smearblog, TeamTroy has reproduced another batch of comments from an Iraqi blog including a couple I initially found both intriguing and troubling:

I got an email earlier today saying that there is too much Riverbend bashing occuring on some blogs and that I should go and make trouble at them. Alaa's, Zeyad's and Omar's blogs were on the list with a bunch of other ones. It's a stupid idea and I don't know who is behind it or why they think it will accomplish something, but there it is.


Anonymous said - "All of these nutball comments are coming from Riverbend. They have the same grammer, same quotes, etc. as the nutball comments to yesterday's post, only the name seems to keep changing. I would suggest that everyone start forwarding them back to her via e-mail."

CR | 12.17.03 - 2:16 pm | #

The idea, as mentioned by Robert that someone supposedly acting on Riverbend's behalf (even without her knowledge) was purposely disrupting by trollery other blogs, disturbed and puzzled me. I wasn't surprised at all however that individuals using anonymous or unheard of nyms were quick to smear me as a possible culprit.

I immediately emailed Robert McClelland (cited about) on the matter, saying among other things
(a) I had nothing to do with such a campaign
(b) I found it unlikely from my experience of Riverbend's supporters that they would do such a thing
(c) I thought such a campaign might just be more (slightly more sophisticated) dirty tricks run by TeamTroy
(d) I'd love to get a look at the mail he got to see if I could source it.

The Truth
This was Robert's response, and if TeamTroy had the slightest shred of integrity this information would be featured prominently on the smearblog - so don't hold your breath:

"The fact is that I made the whole thing up and just as I thought, they are accepting it as fact. I've just now started to laugh at them because of it.

I did this in order to make a point that these clowns will accept anything as being true as long as it's what they want to hear.

Sorry if this caused you or Riverbend any trouble. I'll blog something about this later today."

You can get more on this on Robert's blog

While I appreciate that Robert was only amusing himself at the expense of what he sees as the knee-jerk willingness to believe the worst of Riverbend in some quarters, I did express some concern to him in a return email that because TeamTroy are shamelessly dishonest the false rumour will probably feature prominently on the riverSbend smearblog, while the truth will never make it there.

Thus any casual reader of the riverSbend smearblog might believe that there really was a Riverbend inspired campaign to underhandedly attack other Iraqi bloggers.

So just for the record. BendingTruth, and all Riverbend supporters in which it is in contact, deplore dirty tricks run against genuine Iraqi bloggers to disrupt their freedom of speech by disrupting their blogs. There has never been any evidence that any Riverbend supporters have involved themselves in such underhand activities.

Moreover, other Iraqi bloggers notably Zeyad and Sam while they may not always agree with Riverbend's opinions have taken steps to distance themselves from the dirty tricks run against Riverbend by TeamTroy at the riverSbend smearblog and elsewhere. No one on either side of the legitimate debate supports or encourages underhand disruption.

TeamTroy at riverSbendblog are the only lowlives with a consistent record of doing so and they have been condemned for it from all quarters. The fact that they continue their dirty tricks demonstrates just how far outside the mainstream they are and how low their standards are compared to those of everyone else with the courage to put their names to their deeds and opinions.

The only dirty tricks run on Iraqi blogs are instigated by TeamTroy at riverSbendblog. It's that simple.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Inside the Mind of a Serial Liar

Yesterday TeamTroy (daJudge) posted in the comments here the following shameful (and semi-literate) excuse for their behaviour:
"In fact all who does post on the Blogs and News Groups do so with a fictitious name, in addition they in some cases post under names previously used by other posters. The whole thing is a sham and hiding go seek game."

As frequently happens when dealing with TeamTroy, I'm left with the dilemma of whether to categorise this load of garbage as being primarily resultant on TeamTroy's (a) deceitfulness or (b) stupidity.

Assuming it's just deceitfulness I'll remind my readers that

a) in fact it is an outright lie to claim that everyone who posts on blogs uses an assumed name
b) blogging is not in fact a "sham and hide and go seek game" - except in the minds of TeamTroy's deceitful morons.

Most people reading this will recognise this for the shameless and illogical self-exculpatory garbage that it is.

If however TeamTroy, you really do believe what you have said and are in fact stupid enough to believe it, here's an ethics and morality 101:

a) It is quite a different thing to use a consistent identity (even if it does not give away your personal information) and to use a variety of fake names to give the impression that you are a number of independent entities. Sock puppety is as well-recognised and long-decried form of abuse on the net as public masturbation is in real life. The difference between using sock puppets and using a psuedonym should be plain to all but the most intellectually disadvantaged.

sock puppet n.

[Usenet: from the act of placing a sock over your hand and talking to it and pretending it's talking back] In Usenet parlance, a pseudo through which the puppeteer posts follow-ups to their own original message to give the appearance that a number of people support the views held in the original message.

b) It is quite true that there are some scumbags on the net who pose as other people. TeamTroy are indeed examples of such scumbags. In the real world just because some other people steal and kill and molest children does not make it excusable for me to steal and kill and molest children. In the same way just because some people lie and deceive on the net does not make it excusable for me or TeamTroy to lie and deceive.

Now TeamTroy if telling yourself that load of crap you just told me (that cowardly lying and deceiving is OK because some other people do it) is what helps you to sleep at night I'd like you to review what other people (all from a right-wing and/or pro-invasion and/or anti-Riverbend perspective) have had to say about what you've been doing.

"I thought it was deplorable that [the riverSbend blogger] would post under Riverbends name in an obvious attempt to undermine her message."

I think it is a crock of cowardly shit to "clone" her blog... you should ... not sink to her level of deceit as you are doing with this "clone" blog."

Leon Sparx
riversbend--the one that stole my picture--is a site put up by some guy in Texas to simulate the riverbend site. He replicated her web layout, has a very similar e-mail address, and carries on as if he is a woman in Baghdad. So basically, I fell for the whole thing, and let this riversbend jerk-off use one of my pictures.

Michael Totten
There is also a riversbend, which is kind of a dirty trick, I think, very different, not really Iraqi:

That toad who tried to hijack Riverbend's blog with one called "Riversbend" turns out to be a longtime internet shit-stirrer named "Troy", some sort of obnoxious dittohead active with the NRA. Now, I have no particular use for Riverbend, myself - I think she's a sniveling lightweight - but impersonating someone online is a vile and stupid act, and should be roundly denounced.

Psychotic Duo (Bloggers For Bush, no less)
If riversbend truly is someone who is not really in Iraq that would have to be the most pathetic blogger the internet has to offer. What would make someone pretend to be from somewhere that they are not and completely copy a site belonging to someone else. Including all of the links and even the freebie hit counter at the bottom of the page? Attention? Jealousy?


So the bottom line TeamTroy is this, if you really think there is moral justification for lying, and deceiving as you have done, don't try and persuade this lily-livered liberal of it. Go persuade Zeyad, Cherice, Leon, Michael Totten, Blogfonte or "Blogger for Bush" Psychotic Duo that you are not "the most pathetic blogger the internet has to offer".

And when you've done that and proved it is possible to persuade even someone on the right that you aren't a bunch of scumbags, then maybe the rest of us might have to give it some consideration. At the moment, since no one with any net cred whatever, has any time for you, you probably oughtn't to be letting your laughable excuses as offered here grant you that decent night's sleep.

Later, losers...
Update on Comment Warnings

I posted yesterday how I intended in the future, to give Troy and his cowardly contingent a helping hand towards being brave enough to put their own names to their comments by adding the message "PLEASE NOTE - This comment was posted by an active member of the riverSbend smear team" at the end of any comments they post on my site under their variety of psuedonyms.

I've decided to further clarify the matter as follows. When one of Troy's cowardly crew posts here dishonestly using for example the pseudonym "Pam", I'll clarify the matter by altering the name to read "TeamTroy (Pam)".

That will help the honest people who are brave enough to post here under a consistent identity to know when they are being attacked not by a logical, moral person but by a cowardly moral and intellectual midget like Troy, William, Jim or Sordo.

Using the naming convention TeamTroy in the future to apply to all these pathetic lowlives will save me the time of having to identifying particularly which one is doing what. TeamTroy will be used here to cover all these sorry individuals.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

PLEASE NOTE - This comment was posted by an active member of the riverSbend smear team

Obviously for a long time, there have been a number of apparently "independent" commenters appearing here to offer rather shallow and illogical arguments in defence of Troy's activities.

Today we have a couple of new ones Pam and dajudge. Unfortunately, due to extreme stupidity these people tend to leave big clues behind that they are not independent at all, and I've decided to stop allowing them to act as cowards as much as they'd like in the future so from now on you may be noting the above warning ([PLEASE NOTE - This comment was posted by an active member of the riverSbend smear team]) after some comments.

That is the only editing of comments you'll see here, I have no interest in altering the basic points people have to make (unlike Troy) and I'm not intending to delete comments (again unlike Troy).

But plenty of sites being assailed by deceitful obstructionists as this one is require a login or at least an active email address before comments are allowed.

I'm not going to go so far but be warned there have been so many false nyms used by Troy's friends here (Yenshui, Gordo, Sordo, David, Pam, dajudge, Bonzi, Ruth can all be linked together using easily accessible information) that any new poster who adopts the standard practice of defending Troy using really dumb or irrelevant arguments may be assumed to be in cahoots with him - especially when they leave obvious footprints like these "individuals". (I was going to here point out exactly how I can link Pam and dajudge to the team, but decided I ought not to give them any clues which may help them to lie and deceive more successfully in the future)

It is open to anyone to contact me by email to complain or to offer evidence of an independent net existance if they feel they have been wrongly judged. If for example "dajudge" had a live email address or I could find any record of him using that name before I might assume he was just ignorant in his defence of Troy as opposed to actively dishonest - that is if he hadn't dropped an obvious clanger linking him to Troy apologists past.

If you like "dajudge" come here and claim to see nothing wrong in using fake nyms the way Troy has done then you are either

a) a liar; or
b) a moron

I may not always take the time to draw a distinction between the two, so if you are just (b) "a moron" and I treat you as (a) "a liar" that is regrettable but I'm not going to be losing any sleep over it.

Neither morons nor liars have been notable for their prevalence on this site except those that take an active part in the riverSbend smear campaign so the balance of probability says that if you are either (a) or (b) you are, and will be designated as, "an active member of the riverSbend smear team".

Monday, December 15, 2003

More Honest Riverbend Foe Calls Troy "Coward"

A very regular poster to the comments section of a number of Iraqi blogs, Cherice Baye, could never be accused of having a pro-Riverbend bias. In fact Cherice has never made any secret of her dislike for the Iraqi girl blogger and, in fact, for Bending Truth as well.

However Cherice is one of those people intelligent and principled enough to know that just because you dislike a person's politics that does not justify your using any and all means to oppose them. Cherice was thus not at all impressed to note that her comments from IraqAtAGlance had been lifted by Troy and put on his site.

She had this to say to him:

"I think it is a crock of cowardly shit to "clone" her blog and I resent having my comments posted there without my permission because I would never post any comments on that fake blog for fear that someone might actually think I was endorsing this type of deceptive behavior. If I wanted to post there I would have posted there. I do NOT."


"you should do this the right way and not sink to her level of deceit (sic) as you are doing with this "clone" blog."

She actually asks Troy to remove her comments ("If you are reading this "Charles" please remove my comments you stole from Ays blog.") because like other pro-occupation voices (Centcom included) she thinks (quite rightly) regardless of certain politic agreements that Troy is so slimy any potential association with him is regrettable.

So hear that Troy and pals. Another individual who considers Riverbend a "liar" still thinks you are behaving at least as badly. Feel stupid yet?

You should do.

Friday, December 12, 2003

A Fuller Picture

As the riverSbend site becomes more and more open in its basic "We Hate Riverbend" message it has taken to collating negative comments about Riverbend from other locations. Troy and the boys of course remain entirely oblivious to the reality that it is perfectly legitimate to criticise someone with whom you don't agree; while it is completely illegitimate to pretend to be them to undermine them. Seriously can't you guys see the difference here?)

Anyway since the guys have been a little selective in the comments they reproduced from Iraq At A Glance in particular I thought I ought to fill in some gaps. :

Obligatory mention that the RiverSbend site is of course the only one so far set up as a FAKE

(unles u wish to join those who still place riverbend in san francisco or somewhere)

and clumsily converted after being exposed.

Sorry couldn't resist
Alex | Email | Homepage | 12.09.03 - 8:12 pm | #

Woody, I don't think anyone was claiming that Riverbend is fake. It's "Riversbend" (with an "s" in the middle), possibly later renamed something like "Riverbends", that is the "fake".

I believe Riverbend mentioned that an uncle was killed by a coalition bomb and her aunt went to pieces.

Having lived in a large German city that was virtually annihilated in a single night of "shock and awe" I can see that it is not always easy to appreciate ones liberators when their actions have had devastating effects on ones own family.
EuroBrit | Email | Homepage | 12.10.03 - 2:30 am | #

"Some people swear the Riverbend is genuine. Which is it? How do you know it's fake?"
only an Iraqi can and I am Iraqi and I can tell you for sure that riverbend is an Iraqi girl bloging from Baghdad
Sam | Email | Homepage | 12.10.03 - 2:34 am | #

And I thought everyone knew by now that the RiverSbend blog is a fake, created by a 70-year-old loser (male, of course) in the US.

I sort of respect the Iraqi bloggers who nowadays write so uncritically of the American occupiers: because they most assuredly are thus increasing their chances of being murdered (not just losing friends).
Rachel, a Brit in London | Email | Homepage | 12.09.03 - 10:47 pm | #

Actually one of the most amusing things to observe about US blogentators have been desperate attempts to claim Iraqi bloggers are posting from California whenever the message gets uncomfortable.
Good to see that's almost exhausted along with the arrogance about their written english.
What I can't understand is why people used to the massive difference in expereince and views between individuals in say Chicago find it so difficult to accpet from a few iraqi bloggers.
Alex | Email | Homepage | 12.12.03 - 4:18 pm | #

Sorry Troy and the boys - it's true a lot of people don't like Riverbend, but the disdain for you lot is a heck of a lot more unanimous. :)
Troy and the Boys Might Find This Interesting

Typosquatter pleads guilty to luring kids to porn sites

"A pervert who tried to lure kids to pornographic Web sites by registering misspellings of Net sites likely to be popular to kids faces a lengthy prison sentence. "


"Under a plea bargaining arrangement, Zuccarini has agreed to go to jail for between 30 to 37 months for his crimes. "


"he sought to boost [revenues] by registering common mistyping of domains"


My legal opinion - you probably needn't be measuring yourself up for prison clothes just yet guys. Just bear in mind that the law does not look 100% favourably on "Typosquatters" like yourselves who try to divert people from legitimate sites for their own nefarious purposes.

I'd need to study this case in a lot more depth before I'd be sure completely if there is a way you guys could be prosecuted under it.

Obviously you're using the same proscribed luring mechanism, the only question I see is - is what you are luring people to objectionable enough for a prosecution? Hmmm, I don't know - you do/did have a lot of stolen intellectual property on the site, you are still falsely using photographs of people without their consent. Maybe. Maybe.

Food for thought, my friends. Maybe if you know any lawyers you ought to give one a quick call... 30 months at your age is a long time...
Troy's Boss Confesses - "We were wrong"

They sure took their time about it. And it wasn't exactly announced with a fanfare, but here in the comments on the riverSbendblog Sordo (Troy's mentor) finally let a little piece of reality into his crazy, paranoid and very, very stupid world:

"I think I change my mind on the origin of the Riverbend blog. Considering the Subversive (sic) activity of the statements contained. Along with the US Decoration of War proposed on Terrorism. Such subversive activity during the time of war carries a much harsher penalty to some one caught within the territories of the United States. Therefore, considering the mature mentality of the blogger I do not think he/she is stupid enough to be posting from within the US. I have been misled by their resemblance to the negativeism that is normally displayed by the Liberals in the US."

Yes it seems that Sordo, Troy's inspirational (!) leader has finally owned up to the fact that Riverbend really *is* an Iraqi blogger, and not a Berkeley student as he previously believed. (He still seems a bit uncertain on her sex though for some reason) A welcome first step, no doubt. Certainly I'm glad Sordo has admitted to being wrong. But he doesn't seem to be issuing any kind of apology for his incompetent attempts to smear Riverbend. This small admission is no more than the equivalent of a rapist wearing a condom - you can appreciate the token gesture, but it doesn't really affect the gravity of the main act.

I encourage Troy, Sordo and the guys to drop all pretences at their sites. Run a "We Hate Riverbend" site sure - but don't just allow the comments you like and delete the ones you don't. And stop pretending to be Iraqi yourselves. It's insulting to genuine Iraqis. Are you guys - Troy, Sordo really such cowards you can't put your names to your opinions and have to hide behind other identities all the time? What about Jim and William, you really think it's noble and clever to lie all the time, to feign ignorance to excuse those two when you know exactly what the truth about the site is? Do you guys really have such little faith in the strength of your own values that you have to support a site that habitually lies and deletes comments that do not offer 100% support?


As for the guts of what Sordo has to say above... well it's a fine indicator of how a person can arrive at a correct conclusion by a laughably ludicrous and illogical path.

1) There was no "Decoration (sic) of War" issued on terrorism. The US has not issued a declaration of war in over 50 years.
2) There is nothing "subversive" about expressing your opinions on life under occupation.
3) Even if Riverbend *was* a Berkeley student there would be no "penalty" for writing the Riverbend blog.
4) This non existant penalty has not changed because of a "Decoration of War"

Seriously it looks like Sordo so yearns for a facist police state that he's managed to convince himself that he lives in one already. What a tragic, pathetic man. It would be a harsh, if arguably just outcome, if Sordo ever did find himself living in the kind of police state he fantasises about for the US, and he found himself one of its victims.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

The Real Reason This Blog Started

Anyone with a braincell who reads this thread will see my conversation on Usenet in October with "Diego Gastor" over the bridge was 100% cordial and non-judgemental up until the following comment was made by Troy/Diego "I think river, has found herself an American boyfriend because her attitude has taken a 180 deg. turn lately."

I didn't even notice at that stage that he'd put in the S in the link. Here are a few selected highlights from the following dialogue which I 100% encourage anyone following this to read in full whether they suspect I am misrepresenting it or not (if they have an interest in minutae I should qualify. Or insomnia issues. I actually had written in longer detail about this exchange before but in the end didn't post it deciding it took self-obsession to extreme lengths. And anyone who has been following the amount of self-obsession I actually do put in here will doubtless find that a rather frightening concept.)

Me: "Honestly I can't think what you're referring to... Can you provide some quotes to back up your assertion/slur?"

[Troy then posted an entry from the fake site on David Kay. He didn't even pick one which really *did* give a very different message from Riverbend's original even though if I'd followed his fake link I'd have seen plenty.]

Me: what you've cited in no way supports your snide, demeaning and possibly misogynistic claim... So *clearly* does it not support that claim that no honest person could make and stand by that claim. I thus deduce you are not an honest person and are incompetently attempting a dishonest partisan smear of a source you dislike.

[Round of applause please!!! I said this on Oct 10 - 2 full months ago. Man my instincts are psyched!! Woo hoo! Did I call it or what! Thanks for digging up this thread "Charles" you freakin moron!!!... OK sorry self-back-slapping frenzy over]

Troy/Diego: That is a judgement call on my part based on the earlier story about the New Diyala Bridge contract that can not, as yet, be varified as true and the current postings that take on a more trustworthy view. If you are offended, I'll retract it, but I still think she has softened her pro Saddam hardline views.

[NB I still hadn't noted he was was linking to the fake site. I just followed my own link to the original so I hadn't a clue what he was talking about]

[3 days later Troy gets very brazen. He actually points out that there are two separate sites. Only he claims the smear site is the real one. If my site can be credited at all for bringing down the first fake blog, then this was one of Troy's dumbest ever moves. If he hadn't tried to fool me here I wouldn't have got on his case as I did as will be shown... ]

Troy/Diego: I read in another group that there are two "Bagdad Burning" sites. The one talking about the bridge contract is a copycat "fake" spreading Saddam propaganda started Aug. 17, 2003.

[Here fact fans is Troy calling Riverbend's site a fake, and referring to the counterfeit archives. The latest revisionist bullshit theories about it being "all about the bridge" have yet to explain this little elephant in the living room]

Me: Man, my instincts are good! [OK looks like my calling an end to the back-slapping frenzy was premature :)] You have a lot of explaining to do. I think you know full well which of those two sites is a fake. There are two blogs: and (note no "S") Ill refer to them here as river and rivers to save space. River is written by a woman in Iraq and procides a realistic first person, non-US
cheerleading view of life in Iraq. It was first mooted by famed Iraqi blogger Salam Pax, back in March, and the author is a correspondent of his. Rivers on the other hand was set up as a spoiler by some giftless propagandist to smear that woman. It merely plagiarises US govt info and other news articles and passes it off as a woman's blog entry. I wonder is English your first language Diego? I simply cannot imagine anyone fluent in it who would think the Rivers blog was a more realistic account written by an Iraqi woman.

It is easy to fake blog archives.
[NB this was kind of a bluff. I'd heard someone else say this elsewhere but hadn't investigated for myself to find out just how easy it actually is] Did you really look at the content of the sites. In fact 98% at a guess of what is written at riversbendblog is plagiarised from other sources - giving a pro-US view. I wonder who is responsible for trying to smear the riverbend blogger with this crap. Any thoughts Diego?

This link shows that after taking a break from Usenet for about a year you returned to every thread in Usenet discussing the riverbendblog with links to the fake riversbendblog. That's 100%, 16 out of the 16 posts you posted this year have been on the subject of the river(s)bend bloggers. You seem to have no other interest. I would suggest Diego that since you have done so much to promote this flagrant fake, whether or not you are directly responsible for it, you should get busy on Usenet and go back to all those newsgroups pointing out what I have pointed out here. If you don't. Maybe I will.

Troy/Diego: I pointed out that the one with an (S) was posting first. If you do not like what it says that is your problem, live with it or make an ass of yourself.
[What is that smell?... Desperation :)]

Me:How can you continue to promote a blog as genuine that claims to be from a resident of Iraq but simply steals every entry from US govt sources or from foreign journalists? Answer: Because you're a dishonest promoter of pro-US propaganda. Are you the originator? Not sure. I'll be interested to see if you point out the source of those faked entries on all the other sites you've been promoting the propaganda blog on. I'll certainly be on hand to correct anyone you may attempt to persuade with this lie elsewhere on Usenet.

Troy/Diego: Explain how you conclude the one that started posting in July was not posting first. I would love to see how you make August be before July. [What a stench!]

Me: The archives are faked. Why are you not interested to discover that the blog you claimed to think was written by an Iraqi was in fact composed of entires written by the US govt and foreign journalists. Why does the discovery that that blog was entirely fraudulent not interest you "Diego"? Is it because you faked the blog yourself to put out vacuous pro-US propaganda?

Troy had no comeback to that. Interestingly though someone called William Boyd, appeared out of nowhere to suggest that Riverbend was "pro-Baath" and then disappeared again. Funny that.

The scariest thing about all this is that it took Troy and his buddies two months to figure out that the person called Brian with the email address who called Troy on his behaviour and threatened to "be on hand to correct anyone you may attempt to persuade with this lie elsewhere" might in some way be related to the Brian who set up a blog at to correct the lies he continued to spread.

Seriously guys. Just how dumb are you, people!

Shortly after this I emailed Riverbend to tell her who I suspected was behind the site. I was in the process of going through each entry and writing in a word document where each item had been stolen from. Then I thought I should check out if blog archives are actually easily faked. So I set up a blog to do just that. Then I thought: why not put that word document into blog entries where you could actually prove to anyone doubtful just how easy faking archives was. Suddenly I thought why not continue to document what the smearblog gets up to and it all spiralled from there...

So there you have it. I'm the kind of person (as Mrs AtBendingTruth is always telling me) who just loves to be right. And this blog is little more than a screaming great neon monument to the fact that 2 months ago when I called Troy "not an honest person... incompetently attempting a dishonest partisan smear of a source you dislike" and said the riverSbend blog was "a spoiler by some giftless propagandist to smear [Riverbend]"...

Mocking the Afflicted (again)

Anyone still following this sorry saga may have noted that in comments on the riverSbend smearsite, on Alex's blog and here there have been a couple of dubious Troy apologists Charles, Yenshui and Gordo who have first popped up pretending to be independent voices and then under the tiniest bit of pressure have suddenly switched to talking about what "they" (the people behind the riverSbend smearblog) think or what "they" will do in the future. Thus revealing that they are in fact in complete cahoots with the riverSbend smearblogs instigators.

For an early example of very similar behaviour check this link from soc.retirement where regular Troy cohort "Jim" first feigns confusion over Troy's involvement in the riverSbend blog (Oct 30, 1 in the afternoon):
Troy seems to have taken socret further then any other old gummers if he is getting this kind of attention! Assuming of course if he is the real culprit, which of course he is not.

[NB I don't know what "socret" or "gummers" means. Anyone?]

Before shortly making plain he knows exactly who is involved (Oct 30, 8 in the evening):
Glad to have been invited to post as rivers and regret passing up the opportunity now as I see it did score some points. ;)

It seems Jim's childish desire to display that he is part of the in crowd may have led him to be somewhat indiscreet about his knowledge of the perpetrators. Gives a whole new meaning to the term "second childhood"

A similar affliction has affected Gordo ("You don't seem to understand, I did not reveal all of the errors made in the Riverbend blog") Yenshui ("If you find the contract they will go away.") and Charles ("your adamant defense of riverbend's lie is the root cause for this blog's actual existence.")

[As a sidebar when I went to cut-and-paste Gordo's comment I noticed something very interesting. Another amusing incompetence. A couple of people took note of Gordo saying what "they" had done but if you notice while it appears that Gordo just repeated the same comment 3 times, in fact in the first instance he said "I" directly taking responsibility for the laughable anti-Riverbend dossier these clowns are compiling. Almost got away with that one "Gordo" but not quite :) See for yourself at the comments to this entry ]

Lying About the Past. Very Dumbly
But here's my favourite piece of badly stage-managed history from these clowns. This one really is a doozy. On the riverSbend smearblog Charles reproduces this link to a Usenet post from Sept 23 (I already mentioned this here) in which he claims that my "adamant defense of riverbend's lie (sic) [about the Diyala Bridge Contract] is the root cause for this blog's actual existence."

First of all of course the smearblog existed long before this even occurred (the solerito hitcounter started on Sept 11 - nice day to start an unAmerican anti-liberty site guys). Second of all here is verbatim my "adamant" defence of the the Diyala Bridge contract which apparently so enraged Troy that he went back in time and started up a blog that didn't even mention the bridge(seriously you guys are freakin morons!):

I ran a google search on the [Diyala Bridge] story and have noted it does seem to have gained some currency - and also to have sparked some debate as to its accuracy among the blogging community.

I expect sooner or later someone with the ability to verify one way or the other will weigh in to the debate.

For the moment I think people outside of Iraq are going to believe whatever they want to believe depending on their politics - no big deal. (Personally I find the crux of the story - that high-priced US contractors are being favoured over Iraqi ones to be wholly plausible, but I don't know about a 50M to 300K disparity) The more important questions relate to how widely stories like this are circulating around Iraq, and - true or not - whether they are being believed *there*.

[I then posted a few extracts of debate over the veracity of the bridge story]

That's a real U-turn from me, isn't it guys? Or rather its like two really fast consecutive U-turns equalling a 100% consistent direction. From the beginning I said I thought the size of the disparity sounded doubtful. But I found the basic message perfectly plausible.

Please stop embarrassing yourselves fellas. You're starting to make me feel like someone who picks on the mentally challenged.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Low Comedy

In the comments Gordo/Sordo writes:
"Why don't you just change your name to the Rambeler, as that is what your Blog Posting does. Speak your peace in fewer words, it might be easier to read."

Gordo, no offence but the borderline illiterate are going to have trouble reading practically anything.

If I were to cater my blog towards your idea of what is "easy to read" it would consist only of pictures.

How about a compromise just for today. I'll write a little piece dumbed down to near your level of comprehension.

Riverbendblog = :)
riverSbendblog = :(

(If you're still having difficulties ask a 3 year old to explain it to you)

Monday, December 08, 2003

More From the Comments

David asks (jokingly?) of Sordo's vile comments
"Extraordinary quotes! He speaks like a very learned scholar and I would love to read more, can you direct me to the quotes origin?"

Sordo posts regularly on soc.retirement. He does not archive his posts, as I mentioned earlier, so you basically need to catch them when they are hosted on a news server. Some time back I downloaded a bunch of posts from soc.retirement to examine what Troy and his buddies were saying around the time that the riverSbend smearblog was being exposed. Since Troy's abiding admiration for Sordo was so brazenly apparent I read over some of Sordo's posts to see what kind of person Troy would admire. These quotes provide us with the rather sorry answer to that question.

Alex asked:
does the photo of the young gentleman on the sbend site signify anything ??

Good question. Which I can only really answer by asking more generally "What does a photo posted prominently at the top a blog usually signify?" My feeling is that it would normally signify that this is a picture of the author. We know of course that it is not, so I suppose it signifies that Troy wants people to believe it is a picture of the author because he still wants to convince newcomers that his site is really written by an Iraqi.

Simon wrote:
Of course, when people are writing things straight from there head, influenced by emotions and the situation theyre in, they may well be inclined to exagerate, or considering its just a blog, relay gossip and myths which may be going around the local neighbourhood. Even if the $50 contract wasnt true, or was a complete lie, it proves nothing in terms of whether riverbend does or does not live in Iraq, just that she is human and doesnt get things right 100% of the time.

I don't have much to add to that. I think it sums up what most fair-minded people would feel about anyone whether they write a blog about Iraq or not. Are we to utterly discount the word and character of an individual simply because they do not 100% of the time get everything right?

If so I fear there may be a certain American president who might not live up to this high standard. But then really, who would?
Anonymous Revision

Lately we have been graced by a true iconoclast. Daringly naming themselves "anonymous" this individual, (both here and in similar comments on the riverSbend smearsite) is apparently of the opinion:

"You are wrong as to what the intent [of the riverSbend smearblog] was all about. I think it was always about the contract. Where is the $50 million dollar contract? "

Anonymous apparently believes that the whole intent behind the blog was to dispute the Diyala Bridge contract and even provides this link where "Diego Gastor" (Troy's alias) says he can find no mention of the bridge contract.

Well Anonymous you are a joke. You are the kind of historical revisionist that would make Stalin blush with shame.

Here's what Diego Gastor might said if he had set up his blog to dispute the veracity of the bridge contract. "Check out my blog it is set up to cast doubt on the veracity of the bridge contract"

In fact what he says "It' must be a misunderstanding on the part of "river"" and links to the blog which at the time mentioned not one single word about the bridge contract

Later on in the same thread Diego Gastor, on the case as ever posts these. The first one is a (presumably inadvertant) link to the original Riverbend site. The next is a link to the smear site saying
"I found this site to be very interesting: However, I find nothing to backup the story about the New Diyala Bridge"

Well that's a very spirited denunciation of the contract story!

And if anonymous would like to defend their ludicrous view that the whole point of the blog was *always* to dispute the bridge I'd like them to tackle this thread in detail.

Here a rather pompous self-righteous and tedious sort calling himself "Brian In Boston" tackles Mr Gastor about the Riverbend blog only to have Mr Gastor say things like "I think river, has found herself an American boyfriend because her attitude has taken a 180 deg. turn lately."

And referring to the archives (later riverSbend's were proven fake) of the two blogs:

I look at the archives of BOTH and can only conclude that started posting in July and the archives on started posting in

Explain how you conclude the one that started posting in July was not posting first. I would love to see how you make August be before July."

Actually there's a good question Anonymous, if the riverSbend blog was only ever intended to question that single bridge contract story then why did it fake its archives? I'll be very interested in hearing you explain away that one.

Finally on this subject I thought since Troy will probably delete this soon from his own site that I would reproduce this comment that I addressed to Anonymous at the smearblog:

If this site owner ("anonymous", Troy) really intends to reach out to a constituency that could believe all this site was ever intended for was to dispute the Diyala Bridge contract, then he should realise that goldfish, with their 6 second memory spans, do not tend to have internet access.

Us sentient humans recall the months when there was not one word on that contract here but just a really poor attempt to convince people that it was a blog written by an Iraqi "woman worker". And there are plenty of posts on Usenet by Troy's aliases where he asserts the same thing. Funny that "Anonymous" never found any of those on his google searches... :)

Friday, December 05, 2003

Words of Wisdom

Our recent visit from Sordo, Troy's idol, makes me think now would be a good time to provide a little peek into their cozy world. These are a few choice quotes from Sordo. He doesn't archive his posts, which suggests even he is not proud of them, and which might make me slightly uneasy about posting his thoughts here. On the other hand there is this from the man himself, posted just a few weeks back in October:

Sordo's Usenet Rule No.1: "By posting here you have
forfeited your right to remain silent and consequently
anything said by you can and will be used against you
at any future opportunity."

And I'm sure he knows best.

Recent Sordo quotes

Communist and Democrat are synonymous.

a hated Muslim country like France

[England is] a country over run with 3rd
world miscreants; that recognizes homosexuals as their
national bird;

To another poster:
There are pictures of you posted on the web of you sitting and drinking wine with Ward and George. That makes you a cock sucking wino

dispicable homosexual activities e.g. oral sex

Well if old Rush is a queer then all you liberals should suck up to him and protect him like you do the others.

“San Fagdisco”

In response to a report about a mentally ill man desecrating Muslim graves in Paris
Obscene gloating laughter re-inserted.

Dean Panders to the Towel Heads

I used to have a few Democrat friends but due to my experiences here in socialist.retirement, I've completely put them out of my life. I've come to learn that they can't be
trusted as they lie, most are anti-American and are the worst of hypocrites.

On French women: “they don't smell very good”

“So as not to disappoint my fans I offer the following quote:

"I yearn for the day when homosexuals are hearded together, tossed into a pot, boiled down into a black sticky residue & used to pave the streets." ---Cajun©”


Lovely. Who needs friends when one has enemies like Troy and Sordo?

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

For Your Information - Diyala Bridge Documents

Sorry - no $50 million dollar contracts here.

I have long been somewhat conflicted about commenting on this matter as I'm afraid that it could open the floodgates for me to be asked constantly to fact-verify every word on Riverbend's blog. I won't, can't and shouldn't even attempt to do that.

But anyone left following the whole riverSbend affair will know that the site has largely changed its intent from working to underhandedly undermine her message to more explicitly saying she single-handedly invented a false story about an American company getting a bridge contract.

Like I said I am not a fact-checking mechanism for Riverbend's blog, but the reason I have very tentatively dipping my foot into this matter is that Troy and his buddies are apparently working, with stunning ineptitude it must be said, on some kind of dossier of information which will prove once and for all that Riverbend is not who she says she is.

Since the Bending Truth campaign would be an even more staggering waste of time than it is already if it turned out I was wrong and Riverbend really is a student at Berkeley I have something of a stake in undermining Troy and his Keystone Netkops dossier.

We've already had a good laugh at the velocall = California revelation. And the power grid thing raised another couple of chuckles.

They certainly have yet to produce evidence to constitute a lighted matchstick, never mind a smoking gun. But they are trying to get all the traction they can out of the very circumstantial Diyala Bridge contract affair.

Anyway a reader called Alex has put together a blog which explains and examines some documents relating to Bechtel and the bridge. On the subject of smoking guns, this is certainly not a $50M one, but I thought it was interesting.

I say a bit more on the comments on Alex's blog on my opinion of what he's found and I don't want to get into a big "what does this mean?" debate here. But I think it is worth casting an eye over what may have been the seed or seedling from which the mighty oak of the $50M contract grew.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

A Legend Appears

From the comments, Gordo outs himself:
"Hope it is not getting to hot in the kitchen for you.You don't seem to understand, They did not reveal all of the errors made in the Riverbend blog that shows that it is fake. One of them is, Power Grid schedule / Blog post time. Compare them and you will see there were posting at a time when the power was off. There are more, They might let you know what they are later as if they choose."

Maybe I should have figured out earlier but I deduce that Gordo is in fact Sordo, Troy Palmore's mentor, from soc.retirement, perhaps the only habitual resident more offensive and obnoxious than Troy himself. I feel truly honoured!

Sordo was mentioned in John Gorenfeld's initial expose. It is true that some people had in the past suspected that Sordo and Troy were in fact one and the same. This was not an unreasonable impression given that about 90% of Troy's posts to soc.retirement involve him adding "me too" or "LOL! after one of Sordo's nasty screeds. But it is my belief they are indeed to separate, sorry individuals.

Glad to see my comments rattled your cage Sordo. If you and your buddies really have this proof then please don't continue to tantalise us all. Hurry it up.

If its as good as the velocall = california revelations I feel I should warn our older readers to tighten their trusses lest they develop hernias from laughing at you all.

I really love this bit though "They might let you know what they are later as if they choose."

Oooooh! I'm very scared. No honestly Sordo, I am.

I hope when Sordo wrote this he threw back his head and cackled manically like the evil genius he so wishes he was. But so very, very plainly is not.

Monday, December 01, 2003

The Worst Defence is a Really Pathetic Offence

We really shouldn't laugh but...

... one of Troy's buddies from his soc.retirement, a man called William Boyd (but also going under the nym Freddy Sharp) has uncovered this earthshattering revelation which will shake all Riverbend's fan's faith in her veracity to the core.

After months of painstaking research, harnessing sometimes the combined might of all seven of his braincells Mr Boyd unveiled the results of his research

Well it took a while but they made a mistake, their cover is blown RIVERBEND originates in the US just like I said from the beginning. Their e-mail address is See if any of you Sleuths can figure it out. Try is California Burning. To answer their question "Is Something Burning?" Yes They or she can't cook either.

I think my favourite bit of this is the "well it took a while" thing. As most of us will know Riverbend has been using that email address since her blog's inception so the only thing that "took a while" was that it apparently took Mr Boyd, vigorously attempting to undermine its veracity, over 4 months to notice an email address featured prominently on a page he was hellbent on proving a fake)

Another of Troy's best buddies Jim Stevens was soon on hand to further elucidate on the shocking truth.

United States
VeloCall Inc.
Address: 2006 W. Temple St. Los Angeles, CA 90026, USA
Phone: (213) 305-9721

Yes it appears that Riverbend's email domain belongs to a company with a California address. Thus propose Misters Boyd and Stevens Riverbend herself must be in California, and thus not in Iraq.

If any of my readers CANNOT spot the ludicrous flaw in this reasoning please do society a favour and just shoot yourselves now.

To Mr Stevens and Mr Boyd I ask, is your loyalty to Troy really worth making such fools of yourself over?

Please get in touch at my new email address which I just signed up for this morning. (Hint: I AM NOT IN CALIFORNIA :))

Now what these two keystone cops get up to, is I think interesting because I'd be very surprised if they aren't both in regular contact with Troy and 100% aware of the truth of his site - there is much circumstantial evidence to support that conclusion. However Mr Boyd has also attacked Bending Truth in soc.retirement, saying "the best defence is a strong offence" as he claims to believe the strength of the anti-Troy campaign only goes to indicate that Riverbend herself is fake. (Hence the title of this entry - since Mr Boyd has launched such a pitifully poor attack on Riverbend's veracity above, he only goes to underline her bona fides and undermine his buddy Troy's awful smear site. Nice own goal Mr Boyd!)

Oddly though Mr Boyd also says in this post:

I have my thoughts that [the Riverbend blog] is comming from

So is it California or Al Jazeera Mr Boyd? Please try and keep your nonsense straight so as not to insult the intelligence of those who possess one.
Late Breaking News: Glasnost Deferred

John Gorenfeld who may be remembered as one of the prime movers behind the campaign to tell the truth about the riverSbend smearblog, writes in the comments recently that he has been banned from commenting on the new comments section on the riverSbend blog.

I feel a little slighted as Troy has not barred me. On the other hand he hasn't barred any of the other comments attacking him on his own blog either. Obviously John must have really irked him.

At the moment there are several disparate critical voices featured on Troy's site, for which I applaud him. Now change the River's Bend name move to a new location and stop lying generally and maybe you'd get left alone a bit more.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

A New Era

I see Troy is now actually allowing comments at the riverSbend blog. He isn't even deleting those that are critical of him.

It's like Glasnost all over again.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Riverbend Gets New Domain
As Riverbend mentions on her blog she has now got the domain name Hopefully that will lessen the confusion between her blog and the fake one.

I also note riverSbendblog has plagiarised and printed an attack on Salaam Pax by a conservative writer. Troy's also posted at the top of his blog Where is that $50,000,000!! "NEW DIYALA BRIDGE" Contract? All facts are it's a "MYTH" created by an Iraqi Girl Blogger."

No complaints here. I think (however inadvertantly) the clearer riverSbendblog makes its opposition to genuine Iraqi voices the better.

Friday, November 21, 2003

On Cybersquatting
Also from yesterday's comments, AJ asks what does cybersquatting mean?
The practice of registering famous brand names as Internet domain names, e.g., ibm.firm or, in the hope of later selling them to the appropriate owner at a profit.

The classic offence of cybersquatting to my recollection originated in the eighties or nineties. It's not such a common phenonemon these days since public entities are a lot more web savvy. But back in the 80s if you were a computer nerd and, like Al Gore, had just invented the internet, you might have found yourself tempted to turn your rare knowledge into cash, by making use of someone else's hard-earned reputation.

Before the mainstream had heard of the Net and before they understood it, you might have had the foresight to realise that there would one day be a market for - let's say - the domain name - even if perhaps you had no closer affiliation to the pop legend than a bad karaoke rendition of Hound Dog at last year's Christmas party. So you register the domain name, among perhaps, many others, etc., etc. Then you sit back and wait.

Fast forward to some years later, in 1990 Elvis Presley's estate realises that there is money to be made in making use of the web and they feel that the domain name they want is the one you have registered. They make enquiries that lead them to your door. You demand an extortionate sum, maybe in the thousands maybe more, to turn over the rights to the name. You are cybersquatting.

Now perhaps in it's strictest sense, as laid out above, cybersquatting requires an intent to make money, and it suggests an acquirement of the disputed domain name in advance of the party with a legitimate claim to it. BendingTruth does not believe that is Troy's intent. And it certainly concedes that Troy did not register his site first (though he has attempted to pretend otherwise)

However this is from Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and their procedure on taking action against a cybersquatter from 1999.

An action can be brought by any person who complains (referred to by ICANN as the "complainant") that:
a) a domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights
b) the domain name owner has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name, and
c) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

All of these elements must be established in order for the complainant to prevail. If the complainant prevails, the domain name will be canceled or transferred to the complainant

a) Certainly the domain name is confusingly similar to Riverbend has attained rights to her domain name, just as BendingTruth has attained the rights to this domain.

b) Troy has no legitimate interest in the particular domain name he's using, as far as BendingTruth can see.

c) It is beyond reasonable doubt that Troy registered the riverSbend domain, motivated from personal animus to attack Riverbend by underhand means, by pretending to be her, and with the intend to confuse people into thinking she had altered her opinions. Bad faith in this case is a "slam-dunk"

Thus BendingTruth considers that Troy in the above definiton easily falls within the definition of "cybersquatter", and we will continue to attack him on those grounds.
From the Comments

A couple of points were raised by "Gordo", who has written to object to some of Riverbend's comments on the US Operation Iron Hammer. BendingTruth takes no editorial position on the contents of Riverbend's blog, that is simply not our ambit. We accept at face value that she is an Iraqi and thus has a right to speak and be heard as an Iraqi. We disavow that right in Troy at riverSbend since he isn't an Iraqi but seems to try to pretend that he is. Beyond that our scope is very limited.

And, while we do appreciate that some people get frustrated that Riverbend's blog does not allow for comments, BendingTruth will not address the substance of any remarks on her posts. We wouldn't venture to suggest whether the likelihood of Riverbend reading the comments here is notably higher than in any other public forum, though it is possible. But Riverbend certainly is likely to read any comments emailed to her.

As to Gordo's other remark - that since our comments appear to be "ranting and raving" this indicates that Troy at riverSbend is "winning" (whatever that means exactly) - we feel the need to indicate the obvious logical fallacy in that argument: we at BendingTruth have been ranting and raving in exactly this manner since before we even heard of Troy, or indeed the internet itself. And we will continue to rant and rave in this manner in the future, entirely independently of all Troy's future successes or failures.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

What Kind Of A Person...

I just said I'm not going to google on every single one of Troy's blog entries to discover the source, but here's one I just noted on riverSbend that I really think speaks volumes about Troy.

This is the entirety of Troy's Remembrance Day Entry (posted following Nov 11 it replaces a very big flag Troy had featured)
The American Flag Flew Here All Day in Remembrance of Veterans Day

I hope yours did too! Many young men and women have sacrificed virtually everything to defend a Great Nation. I would like to take this opportunity to send out a BIG thanks to all of them, both living and passed, whether they served in a time of calm or a time of war. The American Military has time and time again provided the very blanket of Freedom and stability that each one of us enjoys today. So here's to you, on YOUR DAY... we are thankful

And this is from 14 East's (A multimedia company) website from 2002
14 East Remembers Veterans Day!
And we hope you do to! Many young men and women have sacrificed virtually everything to defend our Great Nation. We would like to take this opportunity to send out a BIG thanks to all of them, both living and passed, whether they served in a time of calm or a time of war. The American Military has time and time again provided the very blanket of Freedom and stability that each and everyone of us enjoys today. So here's to you, on YOUR DAY... we are thankful

This is virtually verbatim (for some reason he reduced 14 East's phrase "each and everyone" to just "each" but that's the only difference past their introductory sentences. And Troy only slightly amended 14 East's intro so that it doesn't really make sense - does Troy really hope that all his readers flew flags on his website on Remembrance Day?!). So Troy's great heartfelt tribute to the heroes of the US military in which he used to serve is to steal a paragraph from someone else's website the year before and paste it on his website. What a way to show you care!

It's this kind of thing that made me chuckle inwardly when silly people claim that BendingTruth seeks to "crush the voice of others". Apart from all the other objections to that misguided statement I just want to ask "WHAT VOICE!!!??".

Troy appears incapable of stringing more than one sentence adjacent to the next. Anyone who's ever seen his Usenet posts will note that they in the vast majority consist of following up the words of someone else with the 1 or 2 word entries like "I agree" or "LOL".

Troy's blogs no more represent Troy's, or anyone's, voice than pushing a toddler round the Louvre and getting him to point at his favourite pieces represents a new artist at work.

I've said before I would like to hear Troy's voice a bit more on his blogs, because I suspect what (very) limited respect he now manages to garner would dissipate at once.

(NB I might feel a bit bad about saying this if it turns out Troy is genuinely borderline illiterate which is something, after this Remembrance Day thing I really can't rule out)
State of Play on riverbendblogS

Just a couple of words on the current situations on Troy's most recent blog at riverbendblogS. (To be perfectly clear I don't really believe he's responsible for Just Around the River Bend. It's much too well-written and mature sounding).

riverbendblogS now features on the right-hand margin a picture of a gaunt, dark-skinned man holding a somewhat come-hither expression I think it's fair to say. Whether this is supposed to be represent the face of the "blogger", whether Troy has just decided to decorate his page with some eye candy from his private collection, or whether this is the face of Troy's new love Justin of whom he written giddily in recent days is very difficult to say. (Could... not... resist...)

OK seriously it looks like Troy has just stolen another image, and Troy - you seriously seem to be suggesting this person has an affiliation with your site. Again I can't find the source because Troy has put the picture in his angelfire location. But is there really any reason to have that photo there other than to falsely suggest this is the blog's author? Not that I can think of...

Troy also has come out of the closet here as a Bush supporter - he is now hosting not one but two links to a site called BushBlog 2004. As one would expect this seems to be a collection of jointly themed blogs on the subject of hedgerows in the new millenium.

He also has a link to something called the Original Rriverbend (note the two 'r's) which is the original Riverbend in the same sense Jesus' mother is the original Madonna - sure those guys may have had the title first, but neither of them really managed to garner the widespread popular appeal of their more famous successors.

Troy also links to his other riverSbendblog but he does not, link to the original Iraqi Riverbend blogger. Plainly that "Original Riverbend" link is another intentional sideswipe at Riverbend.

Elsewhere the riverbendblogS site contains a lot of plagiarised and unattributed sources mostly military but some other news sources which, where they lean at all, tend to lean to the right. I'm going to detail those at the end.

(Written after google search) You know that was really, really boring. I doubt I could be bothered to repeat the experience. I'm not intending to provide exact links to all Troy's stories again because really what's the point? - we all know what they're about, and the kinds of places he gets them from. What I would quite look to discover is if he gets these directly from another portal where they are all collated. If that's the case then it further undermines the very slender claims his blog has to legitimacy.

At the moment the blog isn't really all that sinister. He shouldn't have the photo of that man there, unless of course he's got the man's permission, which I think it's fair to say is doubtful. He shouldn't really make that little "original" dig at Riverbend - it does help to demonstrate his hostile intent. And maybe he should be more open about where he's getting his material from and his personal background.

But the bottom line is, as it has always been, he set up this site here to attempt to confuse people about Riverbend, who he hates. He's cybersquatting on a domain chosen for that purpose. If he did most of this stuff at a different location with a clear name distinction where it's made plain he is not an Iraqi that would be fair enough. But as is the site is still meriting close attention and ridicule. And it still is not a "blog" under the common usage of the term.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003
Iraqi Court Convicts Former Governor
This is from the Associated Press

Thursday, November 06, 2003
Iraqis pledge safety in '04
This is from Paul Martin of the Washington Times

Sunday, November 09, 2003
Processing center brings in new Iraqi soldiers
This is from CJTF7 Media (A US Army Publication)

101st, new Iraqi security forces find caches, detain criminals
CJTF7 again (stands for Combined Joint Task Force 7)

This is from US Central Command

Thursday, November 13, 2003
1st Armored Division strikes back in Operation Iron Hammer
This is from US Central Command again

20 detained in a series of 101st raids
US Central Command again

Iraqis lead 101st soldiers to IEDs, weapons turned in
And again

82nd Airborne Division ("All-American") soldiers kill 6, wound 4; defend hospital
CTJF7 again

Friday, November 14, 2003
The Rat Will Surface Sooner or Later
This is one of Troy's most creative entries in a while. It cuts lines from Scott McClellan in with some from Reuters Incredibly it seems as if the entire 7 word headline was all Troy's own work. Except I suppose for the 5 word phrase "will surface sooner or later" which was spoken by Scott McClellan. Still that leaves a whole 2 words - and coming from Troy that's practically Middlemarch.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Agreement on Political Process

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Coalition Puts $10 Million Bounty on Former Regime Official
This is from Newsday

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Troy Finds True Love

Perhaps it's a little early to be sure, but it seems new romance has brought a little ray of sunshine into Troy's life. Hopefully the healing power of love may serve to lessen some of Troy's troubling inner rage.

Here he writes lyrically in what is presumably his latest fake Riverbend blog, Just Around the River Bend

Monday, November 17, 2003

This weekend was the best 48 hours of my life! I got to spend loads of time with Justin and I now know that I'm absolutely, completely, head over heals, forever and ever amen in love with him!!!!!!

We at BendingTruth would like to extend our very best wishes in the future to Troy as he seeks to make a life together with Justin. Make love Troy, not nasty smearing anti-free speech blogs.

(Could... not... resist...)
Myths That Aid Troy II: "Everybody knows..."
("Freedom of Speech for Grown-ups" can be considered Part I in this series)

Funnily enough this myth was first raised just a few days after the blog began. On Monday Oct 28th it was brought to my attention that BendingTruth had been discussed in the comments section of Zeyad's HealingIraq blog. In those days the blog was a little less clear in its template, and at least one person had at first glance assumed it was attacking Riverbend herself. I posted a follow-up comment on HealingIraq clarifying my position and giving a few details on Troy's activities.

A reader called Anne responded, with it must be said, a detectable froideur that "I think everyone knows the other RiversBend site is fake". Was she right? Well the next day on Wednesday October 30 Zeyad posted in his blog the controversial comment that riverSbend "looks like an Iraqi or someone from the CPA". From that one can infer, I think, that Anne had been perhaps a little premature in her judgement. After I followed up Zeyad's remark with a correction Anne was once again right into the fray.

Now one might have thought that Anne's first comment on the matter would have expressed some surprise at Zeyad's apparent confusion, since she had apparently believed at that stage that everybody knew the truth. One might even have expected a certain contrition that her comment of the previous day had been an attack based on error. But in fact Anne's next comment to Zeyad's blog was again attacking BendingTruth, this time for presuming that Zeyad was "responsible for defending the fake blog", which of course was a claim no one had made. This is just to show that Anne's attacks on BendingTruth have been consistent in their direction. But not their logic.

When on Friday November 14th Sam of Hammorabi was observed by myself and others with dismay to have placed a link to the riverSbend smearblog on his site, which he then removed having been informed of the nature and history of the site, this might seem to the impartial observer to conclude that - at the very least - before Friday November 14th not everybody knew . But in fact the Everybody Knows myth has proved persistent.

Indeed I would have to admit having arguably fallen prey to it myself. When Wendy McElroy of Fox News emailed me on Nov 4 to ask for my assistance in having her photograph removed from the riverSbend smearblog, I assured her that the detrimental effect of it being there would be negligible since anyone who would go there would know of the site's history and that the presence of her photograph signified nothing. She replied that unfortunately this was not the case. Enough readers and even professional contacts had been in touch with her inquiring about her association to make her afraid that her professional reputation may have been damaged by this represented affiliation with the smear blog. Established fact - Nov 4 everybody still did not know...

Yesterday, Tuesday 18th Oct, regular readers will have noted I posted follow-ups to Troy's riverSbend promotional comments in a couple of new Iraqi blogs, and that I anticipated some anti-BendingTruth comments. A poster called Mike again revived the old Everybody Knows saw: "it seems everyone, except for you, is perfectly capable of telling the difference between riversbend and riverbend. "

Funnily enough as I explained to Mike, a mere couple of hours before he posted his comment another poster on a different Iraqi blog had asked the question, 'Who is this "Riversbend" person?'

Of course, an illogical partisan could venture the suggestion that this individual was the very last person on the planet who did not know the truth and that once I had answered their question this acted to stamp out the last vestige of extant ignorance on the matter anywhere.

An honest observer though, would have to conclude that, even though certain people have been attacking the BendingTruth campaign on the grounds that "Everybody knows" since virtually its very inception, the continuing weight of evidence suggests this:

Every time the claim that "Everybody Knows The Truth about riverSbend" has been made it has been made in error.

So the next time anyone would think of making this claim I would suggest that the onus is very much on them to demonstrate that it is true. Otherwise they are merely perpetuating myths which may serve to the benefit of Troy's nefarious activities, and they ought to carefully consider the effect of giving such an individual their misdirected succour.

I do appreciate that some people who are regular contributors in the comments section of the welter of recent Iraqi blogs will have heard and will be familiar with the difference between the genuine Riverbend blog and the riverSbend smearblog. However I will insist that that does not give them the right to falsely - or rudely - act as if they can and do speak for all.

New Iraqi blogs are springing up all over, their exposure is increasing. It is not only false, but in fact nonsensical to suggest that everybody is familiar with the minutae of the comments written on blogs in previous weeks. My suggestion is that people tired of being reminded about the debased history of the riverSbend blog should, if they feel the need to speak up, address any negative comments about the situation's perpetuation to Troy when he promotes his smearblog, as opposed ot BendingTruth when it seeks to educate newcomers on the origins of the offensive smearblog.

I will insist that to continue to attack BendingTruth instead of the smearblog will ultimately serve to condone the low course that Troy has embarked upon. To do so will send out the message that if you lie and deceive for long enough, that's OK because people will have gotten bored of being reminded about it.

[Certain names have been changed in the above to dilute any suggestions it is intended primarily as an attack on individuals as opposed to their tenuous logic and claims]

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

More on Troy

Another Iraqi blogger hits the airwaves and like a bad smell Troy is there promoting his blog thusly


I join others here in welcoming you to blogging. I know you will enjoy your freedom of speach. Don't let anyone stop you or try to make you change. They will try, don't listen.

I guess it's no wonder Troy has such a difficulty understanding freedom of speech when he isn't even able to spell it.

Anyway I posted another of my head's up comments explaining the difference between Troy and Riverbend and I'll probably be assailed by some more people who will try their damndest to misunderstand what freedom of speech is about simply because they don't like Riverbend.

OK grumble over...


Oops! He did it again. I just noticed that Zeyad provided the urls to a host of Iraqi bloggers the other day so it's probably this that Troy used to get to Iraq At A Glance here
Your link to Mesopotamian doesn't work. I think it should be where you have

This time someone actually asked who this was, and indicated obviously that she didn't know. So my usual follow-up was simply an answer to a question.

Will that be enough to hold off the fringe-dwelling nay-sayers. We'll see...
Thank God for Polite Disagreement

I don't want to give the impression that I believe per se that anyone who has a word to say against the BendingTruth campaign is a nasty hypocrite or a moron. It is simply, quite honestly that most of them are, and are extremely willing to demonstrate it. And anyone who passes a disrespectful here comment like "ASSHOLE" can expect to be treated like one. Anyone who flippantly dispenses buzz-phrases like "freedom of speech" while displaying an absolute ignorance of the implications of raising such concepts will be dealt with in an equally flippant manner. Anyone who displays incredibly hypocrisy or sheer stupidity and can't keep a civil tongue in their head may find themselves mocked ruthlessly on this site, or they'll just be ignored. (The Golden Rule and all that)

On the other hand, if anyone can string together a few words of polite objection they are more than welcome to express them here. Which brings me to El Bonzi who wrote at length in the comments under the Freedom Of Speech For Grown Ups entry.

You can read everything he has to say in his entry so I'm just going to condense to address the points he raised:

a) "The way you seem to be displaying this big protective shield for the supposedly Iraqi girl would lead one into thinking there is something to hide."
First off I'll note how it's one of the wonderful vagueries of the English language how - as in this sentence - you can use "one" as a synonym for "me", to imply there exists a widespread or logical inference, where it may well be one utterly outre and entirely unique to the speaker. Do other readers think that the BendingTruth campaign in its scope undermines Riverbend's credibility? Bonzi seems to suggest as much but I'm going to just point out that it's an unproven, even dubious assertion.

And it represents a couple of logical fallacies. The more exposure Troy gets the less chance he has of making people stumble on one of his fake sites thinking it's run by the female Iraqi blogger, which is what he intended. Every time he pokes up somewhere promoting his smearblogs I tend to pop up explaining his history. This absolutely thwarts his intention and has nothing to do with anyone (other than Troy) having anything to hide.

For another thing I have no more evidence than anyone else that Riverbend is either an Iraqi in Iraq or that she is not. I'm not in some kind of inner circle where me Salaam Pax, Riverbend and Saddam sit around a flat in Greenwich Village laughing it up over cocktails about about all the trouble we're causing for the Republican Party. On the other hand I'm not bunkered down with her in a Mosul suburb. Riverbend and I have intermittent email contact only, but I do believe she's real. I don't stake my life on it but I believe it's true. I quoted from the Online Journalism Review last week where they suggested that the blogosphere has a kind of inbuild fact-checking facility, where if someone, like Troy, tries to fake a blog enough people will swarm it to find out the truth. Now there are certainly plenty of people who would like to demonstrate that Riverbend is a fake, and I tend to agree with OJR that if she were someone would be able to come up with the goods on her. Remember plenty of people thought Salaam Pax was a fake. And they were wrong. I take the position that since they pass my basic test of realism Riverbend, Salaam Pax, Zeyad, Hammorabi, Boots on the Ground are what they claim to be. If anyone has any good evidence that they aren't I'll look at it, but I'm not going to start trying to demean people as unreal simply because I may not agree with some of their opinions.

Everything Bonzi has said to support his scepticism about Riverbend is basically circumstantial. Her anonymity, the fact she hasn't approached the press, the fact she's not working as an interpreter. She has said she wants to remain anonymous for her personal safety. Bear in mind Salamm Pax still retains his psuedonym. Quite possibly when they feel safer, perhaps in time, they will be more public. But even for interpreters the streets of Iraq can be rather dangerous. Salaam Pax seems to believe Riverbend's real and I respect his judgement. But look the bottom line is I can't prove Riverbend is real. Nor am I going to try to. That's outside the ambit of the BendingTruth campaign - and as some have noted I spend enough time on this already!

I think it's fair to say that the balance of informed opinion seems to concur on the belief that Riverbend is real. I respect that some people may disagree with that, and I won't try to change their minds. But it has been proved that riverSbend was a faker in the US posing as an Iraqi. That is a fact not in dispute and BendingTruth merely exists to distinguish between the two and remove as much possibility of confusion as it can. I know by doing so I am destined to take a certain amount of flak from some on the right who would like to see dirty tricks perpetrated in their name swept under the carpet, instead of taking the more mature approach and just calling them for what they are, as many sharing their political inclinations have had the integrity to do.

b) Bonzi "It seems as though you are obsessed with this thing between You on Bending Truth, RiverSbend and the girl on Riverbend."
Well first of all it's difficult to forget someone when they're flooding your email address with 150K spam emails every hour, or signing you up to dubious "Personal" websites as does Troy, or his support. Secondly as I explain in my intro the notion of a bitter old coot in the US trying to distort the freedom of speech of a newly liberated Iraqi bugs me a lot. And it is an important matter.

I watched Bernard Goldberg on Fox the other day discussing liberal bias in the news and he made some sense. He suggests not that there is a huge conspiracy to give a left-wing bias to the news but that because many media people are liberals and spend their whole lives meeting only liberals that this intrinsically biases them toward seeing any wrong-doing by another liberal as "not that bad" while seeing any wrong-doing done by someone on the right as the gravest calumny. Now I am no fool, so I certainly am open to the accusation that that is exactly what is happening here, that if Troy was a liberal doing this to e.g. Zeyad I'd think it was no big deal. But you'd be wrong to do so. It's as simple as that. If a liberal did to Zeyad, what Troy has done to Riverbend I'd think it was despicable. And I'd say so. I'm not sure I'd have the time to devote to denouncing them that I spend on denouncing Troy but I'm pretty sure someone else would spring up who would and they'd get all my support in so doing.

And I can also say that Wendy McElroy of Fox News, the Centcom webmaster and a hell of a lot of people who are not rote liberals are able to see that pretending to be someone else, especially a newly liberated Iraqi citizen, with the intent of smearing them and misrepresenting their opinions is a pretty serious matter. It stinks. [Can I also, in support of my bona fides, say here that the last president of the US committed freaking perjury! We can bang on all night about Ken Starr smear campaigns, American puritanism and blah, blah, blah... But he committed perjury and that's my bottom line!]

And I'm going to have to suggest to Bonzi that Bernard Goldberg's observation works both ways. That it's possible that someone who is not a liberal may tend to be unrealistically diminish the gravity of Troy's offences simply because of the political climate in which they exist. And the weight of opinion I have seen would tend to judge that he [Bonzi] is being less objective in suggesting Troy's campaign is not worth getting worked up about, than I am in continuing to spotlight his nefarious activities.

But it's true a couple of people seem to be concerned about the amount of time I spend on this blog. And I'm very touched by that I have to say. I guess these people worry that devoting a couple of hours a day to Bending Truth may be causing me to neglect my social life, my work, my marriage. Well rest assured dear readers that my BendingTruth blogging has - despite her fervent hopes - not deflected my attentions one iota from Mrs AtBendingTruth, my friends still hate me, and my work life is not suffering.

And I have to say that, while the concern brings tears to my eyes, maybe these worried readers ought to spare a thought for people like Andrew Sullivan or Matt Drudge both of whom seem to devote a comparable amount of time to their online activities and are surely as deserving of such well-wishes as I am. But, I hear them cry, those guys are getting money from their websites, which is not the case with you. Well rest assured, dear readers, I am well taken care of in that manner. Let's just that not all that money Saddam managed to smuggle out of Iraq was directed straight to Syria...*

But you know what I think is really weird, and has really lowered my respect for so-called compassionate liberals? It's that, where a political inclination has been indicated, every single one of the people concerned that I'm spending too much time on this blog is from the right! Every single one! Isn't that so weird?! Every single person who worries I might be devoting too much time to tracking the right-wing smear campaign run against a left-leaning Iraqi woman is from the right themselves. Not one single liberal seems to care that I'm risking over-exertion the way the proWar crowd do. Compassionate liberals? Ha!


Anyway I guess my bottom line to Bonzi is thanks for taking the time to write a thoughtful post, and for holding off on the profanities and the disdain. And if you are correct that (a) Riverbend is fake; you would most assurely be right that (b) I spend too much time on this blog.

BUT if on the other hand you're wrong about (a) as I believe you to be. Then you're certainly wrong about (b) as well.

*That was a JOKE, by the way