Chumley’s Commenters: Opening 2023 Open Thread!

Here’s the picture we used when Sarmiento became Mayor

The Liberal OC’s Dan Chmielewski likes to complain that I like to set forth various possibilities for what might be happening and discuss each of them — as if there’s something wrong about trying to think through various possibilities in public. (I’ll have an exact quote when the transcript from Lenore Albert’s “third strike” trial before the California State Bar Court — where a third strike is generally taken to mean likely disbarment — becomes available. Chumley was her final character witness, choosing to talk smack about me while cooing to her (while she smiled like the former mascot of “Cracked” magazine, putative janitor Sylvester P. Smythe) that the two of them were “a lot alike” — they fight hard, hate to lose, hate those who don’t follow the rules, etc. — a written transcript (but alas, no audio recording) will be available later this year. (Note that his phrasing made himself his own character witness as well, which is the Chumliest thing ever. But I digress.)

For now, it’s tit for tat: I want to complain about one of his favorite practices: publishing vicious comments about others in OC’s political circles from pseudonymous authors who thus have protection against retaliation — while claiming that it’s legally protected (which it is) and — here’s where he goes off the rails — perfectly appropriate.

You can’t do this on this site. We do allow anonymous commenters — as constitutional law recognizes, there is a need for anonymous speech — but we don’t allow them to make anonymous attacks against others unless (1) we know who they are, or (2) we agree to adopt their statements as our own. Chumley, as I like to call him (because I hate to misspell surnames, partly), claims not to know who these people are — gosh, he has no idea!and he claims immunity from libel suits because the words, so far as a reader can tell, do not come from his fingertips or at his solicitation. (We here are not convinced about either claim — but that’s not to the point right now.) And, he generally responds to these commenter by egging on their authors and promising never to release their IP addresses.

One such comment during the past week actually “made me look.” It starts with the a bunch of attacks on Vern that appear to be baseless, and then go back to Chumley’s favorite topic — a bad thing that Vern’s wife did out of jealousy years ago that Chumley claims provides us with real information (despite the denials of all with knowledge) of what Vern doesn’t do. (This may just be there to rouse Chumley to the point where he will publish anything that gratifies him.) It then turns to a swipe on Al Jabbar, then an attack on me, to which I feel I must reply. Here’s that latter portion, plus the lying last line of the attack on Vern:

‘Noelle Parra’ may be a real name, but if so she’s likely not the author.

As with Republican leaders like Trump and DeSantis, the meanness of pulling Al Jabbar and Julie Tait into this is part of the point: mess with the Lib OC-approved crowd and this sort of thing might happen to you and your friends. (For what it’s worth, I don’t think I’ve spoken to Julie Tait in years, and I have no reason to think that she hates me. If she ever did, that’s her right, even though I don’t know why it would be.)

But claiming that I said anything of this sort about Vicente Sarmiento is disgusting.

I’ve searched both our comments and our posts here for anything that could possibly contain such language — which I’d never write except possibly in jest or as a quote from someone else. But Chumley publishes it without complaint or concern because apparently it suits his purposes.

It’s disgusting. More people should say so. But — as with Trump — people just don’t want to get into the sights of his slime rifle.

Artist’s conception. Got the eyes totally right, though.

One nice thing is that in my search I did rediscover something I wrote about the firing of David Cavazos by the City Council, which I think stands up pretty well. In the comments, you’ll find a parody of “A New Argentina” from Evita that I really wish I’d thought to drag out for last year’s Santa Ana elections. (Maybe they’d have gone better.)

This is your Weekend Open Thread — except not Weekend anymore. Talk about the above or anything else you’d like within broad bounds of decency and discretion.

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)