Tim Lambert has today added a new crime to my catalogue of transgressions at Deltoid: sock puppeteer
. This comes as no shock because I suckered him into it. Please allow me to explain.
First, some background. Lambert and I have a long history of disagreement. Other than the odd brief diversion this disagreement centres on DDT use against malaria. Suffice it to say I've tried to report factually on DDT while many of Lambert's DDT posts contain pro-United Nations and pro-environmentalist misrepresentations. Lambert desperately avoids engaging me on these issues: he continues to bounce my links to his old blog; he calls me an attention seeking troll; and he falsely accuses me of abusing fellow commenters as justification for moderating my comments to his site.
Sure I can be pretty snarky at times but I've been no more abusive than many other commenters or Lambert himself: I was briefly banned for calling his more sycophantic commenters toadies
; and I once entered the letters "Crtn" as a pre-disemvowelled version of Cretan (it's a Chris Sheil thing). Lambert uses this "abuse" as justification for moderating my comments. Amazingly, my comments tend to get held up in moderation for hours, finally to appear only when the discussion has moved on. Consequently, even though I still read his stuff, I generally don't bother commenting. This is as Lambert intended.
Anyway, as Lambert has continued posting his DDT half-truths but makes it difficult to comment at his site I thought I might as well have some fun with him. Over the past week or so my daughter and I assumed a couple of different identities and posted some moderately snarky but inconsequential comments that we figured Lambert would assume came from me. This was to let Lambert know "I" was posting under assumed identities.
Yesterday evening I wrote a pointed comment that I lodged under the name JFB, giving rightwingstooge at budweiser.com as the email. The comment was obviously mine. As expected, the comment disappeared into Lambert's moderation black hole. When the comment still had not been posted when I got up this morning I decided something had to be done. But there is no point emailing Lambert because he refuses to respond. Later, when I had some free time at work a colleague and I roughed out a follow-up comment. When the original comment had still not appeared by the time my colleague finished for the day he typed it up, submitting it under the name THX 1139.
When I got home from work I responded as THX 1139 to a couple of queries from fellow commenters - I was well aware that commenting from my home computer would make me instantly visible. Lambert very quickly swooped on the comment, "identifying" me as the sock puppeteer. The comment was deleted and I was banned.
My adult daughter then took up the cause posting this from her laptop connected to a different network:
This comment and the two THX 1139 comments above were neither written nor submitted by the same J F Beck you falsely accuse of abusing your commenters. You should really be truthful about this and admit to your readers that you can offer no proof – there can be no proof because the comments are collaborative efforts typed and submitted by different people, on different computers, on different networks. If you persist with these claims you will ultimately be proven wrong.
It would also be enlightening if you elaborated on your "abuse" claim. I assume you are referring to Beck describing the more deferential of your commenters as "toadies". A quick Google search - you should be able to fact-check this without my help - shows toady to be interchangeable with sycophant. The only other instance of alleged abuse from Beck is his use of the letters "crtn" in a comment. None of the above comes anywhere remotely close to abuse. You really are groping when you have to fall back on such flimsy justification for banning a commenter.
To what motive do you attribute your refusal to post a comment lodged by Beck almost 24 hours ago?
Blocking comments and banning a commenter based on lies; is this your idea of science?
The comment was removed within five minutes. No explanation was given. So, what's the big deal? I haven't established multiple identities that I've used to support a cause or mislead. Lambert's using the sock puppet thing as an excuse to ban me because he's not willing to debate the issues. His fears prompting him to make up rules as he goes along.
ScienceBlogs, Lambert's home, offers this self-description
ScienceBlogs is the web's largest conversation about science. It features blogs from a wide array of scientific disciplines, with new voices coming on board regularly. It is a global, digital science salon.
ScienceBlogs is powered by Seed Media Group — publishers of Seed Magazine — and is part of the Seed Digital Network, which also includes Seedmagazine.com and Phylotaxis.com. Seed provides technology, hosting and other enabling support for Scienceblogs.com as part of its mission to increase public understanding of science.
The content contained in these blogs is exclusively attributable to outside contributors and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of ScienceBlogs LLC.
Given Lambert's propensity for manipulation of information that disclaimer seems to have been written with him in mind. If the powers that be at ScienceBlogs are as smart as they should be, it won't take them long to work out Lambert's not an asset, he's a liability.
Finally, the comment Lambert refuses to post is reproduced here in full (very lightly edited for easier reading):
Mr Lambert,If Lambert wants to discuss the substance of the comment I'll be happy to oblige but I'm not going to hold my breath...
In your post DDT and the Tsunami (http://timlambert.org/2005/01/ddt/ 25 January 2005) you ridicule Michael Fumento for suggesting that DDT be used to control mosquitoes in Sri Lanka following the tsunami, noting that mosquitoes in Sri Lanka are DDT resistant. You then observe:
[The World Health Organization is] sending malathion, which will actually be able to kill the mosquitoes there.Malathion is, according to a number of sources, a poor choice for malaria vector control in Sri Lanka. From Malaria Journal:
Studies in Sri Lanka over the 1990s on An. culicifacies and a range of potential secondary vectors such as An. subpictus and An. vagus have shown high level of resistance to either organochlorines, organophosphates or to both groups of insecticides. DDT and Malathion are no longer recommended since An. culicifacies and An. subpictus has been found resistant.As your assumption that malathion is still effective for mosquito control in Sri Lanka is apparently based on a WHO document, it is certainly understandable that you got it wrong – I say apparently based because the link you provided does not go the source of the WHO quote. It is, however, difficult to understand why you did not correct your error when your very next post notes that malathion is no longer recommended for use in Sri Lanka.
In your post DDT madness (http://timlambert.org/2005/02/ddt2/ 11 February 2005) you use the Malaria Journal quote above to discredit a call from Africa Fighting Malaria's Roger Bate for DDT use in Sri Lanka:
DDT and Malathion are no longer recommended since An. culicifacies and An. subpictus has been found resistant.Your use of this quote confirms you are aware of the malathion resistance problem. Yet, you do not correct your previous post advocating malathion use in Sri Lanka. Further, you fail to note that the efficacy of the WHO's anti-malaria activities in Sri Lanka was highly suspect, if the WHO did indeed rely on malathion as a primary means of mosquito control.
You blame ignorance for Fumento's and Bate's presumably misguided call for DDT use in Sri Lanka. Your support for malathion use in Sri Lanka cannot be attributed to anything so benign as ignorance, however. Your misrepresentation – contradicted by a source you quote and link to – is designed to mislead, not to inform. What are you hoping to achieve through such misrepresentation?
Also, in your 11 February post you classify Africa Fighting Malaria as an as astroturf operation, substantiating your claim by linking to SourceWatch, which in turn links back to your post of 11 February as a reference. Such self-referencing is a bit iffy, is it not?