Monday, July 23, 2012

Volleyboy Accuses JayinPhiladelphia of Threatening His Family (Update)

Mike L.

There is a tendency among political partisans to cast aspersions on the integrity of their political opponents. This tendency is as old as humanity.  It is also entirely inconsistent with the values of anything that we could consider to be either liberal or progressive or just decent from a human standpoint.

As the owner of this blog, I feel some responsibility for those who front-page here to the extent that their doing so may sometimes cause them personal grief or even threat. Without taking ourselves too seriously, it nonetheless remains the case that we are challenging prevailing orthodoxies on the progressive-left because all of us, or almost all of us, come out of the political left. We are, for the most part, progressive or liberal Jews who are concerned about the fact that the progressive movement is turning against the state of Israel and, thereby, turning against the well-being of the Jewish people.

This being the case, I take it seriously when someone like Volleyboy1 accuses JayinPhiladelphia, one of our front-pagers, with threatening him and his family.

In a recent comment, Volleyboy1 wrote this:

Hey Jay... Are you threatening me or my family? I just want to know right now. You seem to want to take personal information and publish that on the web in some sick outbreak of whatever psychosis you suffer from. You do realize that by doing so you would put others at risk including children.

You have a problem with me that is one thing but you will not threaten my family in any way, shape or form. Do I need to be clearer?

This is a very serious charge by Volleyboy1 against JayinPhiladelphia. It is serious enough that Volleyboy1 goes forward to say:

And Mike - you own this blog. Should something happen because this crazy a-hole is using your blog as "jump off point" then I hold you responsible.

Given the serious nature of Volleyboy1's charge against Jay, and given the fact that he tells me that he will hold me responsible for it... whatever that means, exactly... it is necessary to determine the truth of the charge.

The first question to ask is whether or not JayinPhiladelphia has threatened either Volleyboy1 or his family. A threat, of course, is "a statement of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action on someone in retribution for something done..."

Jay has done no such thing. Jay has not threatened Volleyboy1. Jay has not in anyway suggested that he intends to harm anyone, least of all Volleyboy's children and I defy Volleyboy1 to show us where Jay has done so on Israel Thrives.

He won't because he can't for the simple reason that it never happened.

One could argue, however, that Jay's "outing" of VB presents a potential danger to VB and his family and is, thus, threatening. Those of us who advocate for the Jewish state, as I do, as Jay does, and as VB does, always recognize that there is, at least, some measure of risk in doing so, given the hatred for Israel that exists in the world. Pro-Israel advocacy is very definitely not for the timid.

Therefore, if Jay gave away Volleyboy1's true name or his town of residency or posted a picture of the guy, this would constitute outing and thus could represent a potential danger for VB and his children. As someone who has chosen to out myself, I suspect that such a danger is small, but that is my choice only to make for me, not for anyone to make for someone else.

But the fact of the matter is that Jay, as Volleyboy1 himself implies, did not out him. Jay did not give away either VB's name or his town of residency, nor has he posted a picture of him. So, the fact of the matter is that Jay has neither threatened Volleyboy1, nor outed him.

The truth is, as Jay points out, the only one who has come anywhere near close to outing VB is Volleyboy1, himself.  On his Daily Kos profile Volleyboy1 shows us a picture of himself. He tells us which state in the United States that he lives in. He tells us what he does for a living and some of the hobbies he enjoys. He, in fact, tells us far, far more about himself than Jay did, yet it is Jay whose reputation gets dragged through the mud for "threatening" Volleyboy.

This, my friends, is entirely unjust and it raises the question of just why Volleyboy1 makes the accusations that he has. Why has Volleyboy1 gone to such lengths to hurt Jay's reputation with such an accusation and why has he threatened to hold me responsible for the consequences of this non-threat?

Those are good questions.

I have to say, though, that I have over the last few days struggled with the question of how to reply to VB's charge... or even if to bother. I mean, there I was, standing waist deep in the Sacramento River, fishing for striped bass in Rio Vista, when Laurie (who was lounging in an orange and black Giants lawn chair and noodling around on her cell) says to me, "Gee, you should see what is going on in your blog!"

{This, by the way, is me and my pelican friend that very day! That is a pelican, is it not? One bold bird for sure, I tell ya. I fed him some anchovies, just to be nice... or so that he would not attack!  Laurie snapped the shot.}

Anyway, upon returning home and looking at the site, I assumed that any rational and intelligent human being could look at VB's accusation of Jay, and his personal threat to me, and find both to be entirely irrational. But I cannot count on that, which is why I am bothering to lay out the case.

The fact is that Volleyboy1 uses defamation as a political club and this is just one example of it. The problem here, however, is not merely Volleyboy1. The real problem is blind partisanship and the tendency to look upon fellow Jews who support Israel, but with whom we politically disagree, as enemies to be demeaned and dehumanized and marginalized.

That's the problem and that is precisely what we have in this case.

Volleyboy1 is seeking to drag Jay's good name through the mud because Jay is one of my frontpagers and VB sees this blog as an ideological opponent and therefore an enemy. The reason for this is because I am opposed to the Obama administration's treatment of the Jewish state and VB is an Obama advocate.

That's the bottom line.

Volleyboy1 is kicking Jay in the teeth because Jay has chosen to post here despite the fact that VB has defamed Israel Thrives as a racist "hate site." Thus what Volleyboy1 deals in is not so much analysis as it is defamation. For example, we have a whole long list of things that are verboten for discussion on the progressive-left which makes the movement irrelevant, or worse, when it comes to the Arab-Israel conflict, yet instead of honestly addressing these concerns Volleyboy1 chooses to defame and dehumanize and delegitimize those who he decides are his political opponents.

Instead of pointing the trembling finger of accusation at Jay, or at me for that matter, Volleyboy1 could answer the question of just why it is, for example, that "progressive Zionists" refuse to place the Arab-Israel conflict into anything that even resembles an historical context through discussing the long history of Arab-Muslim imperialism in the Middle East along with the consequent dhimmitude of our ancestors there?

This, however, he will not do because one is shamed as a "racist" on the progressive-left for speaking honestly about Arab-Muslim majoritarian injustice toward the Jewish minority in the Middle East. So, instead, Volleyboy1 uses the charge of "racism" as a club. Instead of analyzing, he strikes at people's integrity in order to undermine them among others.  He seeks to ruin reputations.

There is nothing liberal or progressive about such a tactic. Quite the contrary.

It is purely defamation of character and nothing more.


Here is something that I would like to know.

How is it that Jay's friends in the Volleyboy camp ("the group") refuse to acknowledge in public that Volleyboy1 has defamed Jay?

You know as well as I that Jay has not threatened Volleyboy's children, yet I do not see you standing up to a bully who is dragging your friend's reputation through the mud.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.



  1. Fantastic post, I think you nailed it Mike.

    And this is not the first time he's done this. Frankly, I am disturbed by how often he brings his family into his (all too numerous) internet quarrels, himself. As far as "outing" goes, I never mentioned anything he hasn't talked about 100 times himself, in public, and in fact his (quite public) Daily Kos profile still contains personal information such as his location, his occupation and... his picture! As you mentioned.

    These are not the actions of a person who is honest about being (apparently, repeatedly) terrified that people are coming after, and threatening, his family.

    But I'm finished playing defense here. Which is the ultimate point (the side effect of garnering pity and sympathy from his few remaining friends is another, I suppose) of this exercise. "Have you stopped beating your wife, sir?" He may as well have just asked that. It's borderline comical, and infantile. No reasonable person can look at that comment thread and agree with his ludicrous allegation.

    I'd demand an apology, but I know volleyboy1 has zero integrity and that would just be a waste of my time. So the next best thing, I guess, is to expose his silly tactics, and make it clear what this bully is all about. The only person who made a threat in that thread was volleyboy1 himself.

    1. This whole thing is very sad, really.

      We are each of us Jewish people who care about the well-being of the Jewish state of Israel and I wish that we could disagree without it turning into a blood sport.

      Heck, all three of us even believe in a two-state solution. The only difference is that I blame the Palestinians for refusing any offer of statehood since 1937, while "progressive Zionists" mainly seem to blame their fellow Jews for the impasse.

      What a shame, because the truth of the matter is that the Jews of the Middle East remain the victims of the Arab-Muslim majority there.

      It's 1,400 hundred years and counting that those Jews have been persecuted. The differences are that, finally, we can protect ourselves and that the western left now chooses to portray Jewish self-defense as a form of aggression.

    2. Yeah. As far as I'm concerned, I just felt I had to defend myself from this disgusting smear. Now that this has been successfully accomplished, beyond any shadow of a doubt, I'm okay with moving on.

      Still, that apology would be nice. Or at the very least, some sort of vaguely-worded admission of error, or something along those lines. ;)

    3. In a strange kind of way, this represents a microcosm of the entire problem.

      Just as they are afraid of social smearing if they acknowledge certain obvious facts, such as that Barack Obama thinks that he has the right to tell Jewish people where we may, or may not, be allowed to live in Jerusalem, so they will not acknowledge the obvious fact that you have been smeared by Volleyboy1.

      I do not really know what to make of it. It's a sort-of social-political myopia that we often refer to as Jewish Stockholm Syndrome.

      It's represents a willful blinkering of one's view in order to stay with the in-group.

      I find it despicable.

  2. (I apologize in advance if I am overstepping my bounds in writing the following that I write, and I apologize in advance if the following that I write is not beneficial. However the following that I write I write with some equanimity, and with some compassion, and with the intent to make things better.)

    Point one: About the topic of this article: Molehills; And mountains being made out of molehills; And mountain ranges being made out of mountains.

    Point two: Re: "...[It] represents a willful blinkering of one's view in order to stay with the in-group....": It's a slave mentality. I mean this literally. The mentality of Jewish people, in general, is, literally, the mentality of slaves.

    Mindfulness is the key to unlocking the chains. That is: Being mindful is the way to unlock the chains.

    1. What is of essence:

      From the blog Point of no return - "Information and links about the Middle East's forgotten Jewish refugees":

      Moroccan-born [Israeli] Black Panther lurches rightwards (Posted March 15, 2009)

      "Whatever's happened to Charlie Biton? The Moroccan-born leader of the Israeli Black Panther movement has done a political about-turn. In the 1970s he became a Knesset member of the Arab-Jewish Communist party Hadash and met Yasser Arafat in 1987. Now, however, he would make a good Foreign Minister in the next right-wing government, according to Sarah Honig in the Jerusalem Post:

      "'In the spirit of Purim, I quipped a few days ago that if it were up to me, I'd appoint ex-Black Panther Charlie Biton our new foreign minister.

      "'It's actually not altogether preposterous. Tzipi Livni eminently proved that proficiency in the English idiom is no prerequisite for the job. Moreover, Charlie says it like it is, passionately, from the gut, without pedantic quibbling, pseudointellectual hairsplitting or any niceties to speak of. He doesn't try to be liked.

      "'Golda in her day remarked that he and his crowd weren't 'nice.' Menachem Begin used to refer to him tongue-in-cheek as 'Sir Charles.'

      "'But Sir Charles may be just the man of the hour. After all, the international community seems enamored of anyone who smacks of the Third World, and of any cause espoused with indignation and enunciated with aggressive conviction. Nobody can rise to that challenge better than Charlie. European dispensers of sanctimony, indeed, once adored him, hung on his every word and quoted him with undisguised relish.

      "That was during his 15-year Knesset stint (1977-1992) on the Hadash list, as protege of orthodox communist Meir Wilner. Charlie made Wilner's diatribes sound like decorous moderation. Biton remains outspoken, but his message is different.

      "Why aren't we aware of his political transformation? 'Who'll give me a hearing?' he rhetorically responded to Makor Rishon recently. 'Our media serves Israel's enemies... They love interviewing Hamas propagandists, but since I shifted my orientation, I've become taboo. If you're leftist, they'll grant you exposure. Once you switch rightward and try to tell the truth, you're blacklisted.'

      "Be that as it may, Biton admits he 'naively once believed that it's possible to arrive at a peaceful solution with the Palestinians - two states for two nations. I gradually got wiser.' ..."

    2. I see your point re: molehills, Daniel, but I'd note that all we have online is our reputation. And when I'm smeared as being the type of person to go about willy-nilly betraying the trust of others (and being accused of being a threat to children, for G-d's sake!), I take that quite seriously.

      It's setting the record straight, is all. Especially since I've almost kinda sorta outed myself already (anybody who cares to find out who I am can do so with little to no problem), and things like this can, potentially, in the future affect employment prospects, etc etc...

      Well again, that's why I take this seriously.

    3. Jay,

      I apologize for what I realize may have been my seeming to belittle what are important concerns to you and to others.

      I understand the concerns that you expressed.

      I just want for there to be awareness of the big picture. I just want for Jewish people to be mindful.

      I appreciate your standing up for yourself against slander, and I appreciate Mike's standing up for you against slander.

    4. Please, no worries Daniel. And no need to apologize for anything. :)

  3. Yeah, that's a pelican. At least I'm pretty sure, heh.

    A friend here recently asked me recently if I miss Portland, and I told her not at all. Nothing against the city or the PNW, but the past decade wasn't too kind to me. This Jersey Guy is very happy to be back home in the northeast again, where I belong, and this time in my favorite city in the world! ;)

    Anyway. I do miss some things out there, though. Like sea lions out the Oregon Coast, (real) mountains and just-caught Columbia River salmon sold off the back of the Native American fishermen's pickup trucks at Portland farmers' markets. I suppose I'll visit again one day...

    1. We'll hook up for a Chinese meal when you do.

    2. That reminds me of a movie (as reviewed over at

      Here for your delectation is the SPECTACULAR & RARE------THE PELICAN BRIEF by John Grisham.

      I wouldn't want to give away the terrific plot in this taut thriller----except to say it has something to do with a bird that refuses to wear boxer shorts----'nuff said. You'll have to read the book to get to the explosive ending----because one must remember---a pelican can eat more than his belly can! P.S.----This was also made into a blockbuster movie starring Julia Roberts as the pelican

  4. Suddenly there is an ad on the top of the page.

    I definitely did not put it there and I can see no way to get rid of it.

    Thanks, blogspot!