Meta Archives

August 28, 2006

Back on the job

Back from my all-too-brief vacation; I'll get the site turning over again as soon as I've caught up on what's been happening.

August 30, 2006

Experiencing technical difficulties

Had some database trouble with our service provider, starting late last night. Should be fixed now. Apologies to any readers or commenters who got strange error messages.

Instant gratification now available

Prodded by JSP, who hates to wait for anything, I have cobbled together a system for making comments appear right away. In order to keep the spam level down, you will notice at the bottom of the comments form a request to type in the answer to an easy question. Presumably robots won't be able to do this, or so I hope.

Blaze away!

PS -- With some browsers you may have to "reload" the page in order to see your comment.

January 25, 2007

Personnel change

I announce with the greatest regret that my esteemed colleague JS Paine, due to the press of business at his day job, is relinquishing his duties here at Stop Me. We will all miss him greatly.

On the bright side, JS's younger (and according to JS himself, "much brighter") brother Owen Paine will be carrying on the proud Paine tradition in these pages.

A fond farewell, then, to good old JS, and a hearty welcome to young Owen.

February 6, 2007

Okay, you stalwarts, pony up

My day job is interfering with my blogging these days, so I expect all you faithful readers and commenters to step into the breach. (You know who you are.) I'll set up up with author IDs and at least until Kos slips some of his mind-control juju into your Merlot, you can -- und vill! -- do your duty and post here. I don't mean no stinkin' comments either, I mean learned, sprightly, insightful, original top-level posts. Or at least virulently abusive ones.

Volunteer by writing direct to me: mjs [attt]

September 3, 2007

I'm back, and so's the blog

Back from my island vacation, to discover that some sort of database glitch had made the blog unable to publish entries or comments. It's been fixed now, or so I hope, and SMBIVA is once more open for business.

April 24, 2008

Et in Arcadia ego

I've gotten as far from Pennsylvania as I could afford to go this week, so the site will be receiving somewhat intermittent attention at best.

June 13, 2008

Calling Father Karas

Something is amiss with the blog database -- comments are not posting. I've put in a call to The Exorcist.

Demons cast out

Tried a little Latin on 'em. Comments seem to be back now. Sorry, but any posted since late last night seem to have been eaten.

April 9, 2009

Roma locuta

I just finished a small-scale purge -- Stalin would have been ashamed -- of some comments.

Discourse has recently taken an entertaining turn here at SMBIVA, and I'm pleased, but I also worry that mere vituperation tends to take over. It's a lemma of Gresham's Law.

Feel free to be as disagreeable and impolite and unparliamentary as you like, but humor my humorlessness, and try to work something into a comment that relates to the subject matter.

Yo'-mama-ing is fun to watch, when you've got a real pro doing it (shown at left, the hilarious Don Rickles, patron saint of insult comedy).

But none of us has so far shown the true divine gift, and like a real Upper West Side merit baby, I despise mediocrity.

April 10, 2009

Software advice sought

On a less contentious note... I hope...

Blogging is going to be the death of me. It's probably ungrateful to be annoyed at Movable Type, which has sustained this 'umble blog all these years, but I'm getting tired of it. And I don't think it scales very well.

Anybody have other suggestions?

May 7, 2009

No purges, please

I love a grudge match. I love gaudy rhetoric and unscrupulous personal abuse. It reminds me of Smectymnus, and Martin Marprelate, and old Johnny Milton in his unbuttoned polemical mode.

We're seeing a bit of this now, here at dear old SMBIVA, and I couldn't be more pleased.

But I don't love a purge.

This is just a blog. It's not a vanguard party. It's not the sword or shield of anything. It's a place where people can exchange their thoughts, valuable or not as the case may be.

I've never tried to stop anybody participating here, and please God I won't ever have to. And I take a very dim view of suggestions that so-and-so ought to be banished into outer darkness. Old faithful stalwart comrades, in particular, enjoy a halo of immunity.

I've heard suggestions lately that this person or that person ought to go. X is making a pest of himself; Y is turning off potential readers.

There are sites that operate this way. Daily Kos, for example. Ugh.

Let's not go there, as Oprah says. I can't tell you how repellent I find this line of thinking.

Do me a favor, folks: criticize as much as you like, but please, please! Don't tell me to get rid of somebody who rubs you the wrong way.

July 9, 2009

Hello, sailor

I'm off for a few days on the water. Hope I don't miss Israel attacking Iran.

August 1, 2009

The skipper, brave and sure

I'm off tonight to sail to Maine. Wish me luck and pour a libation to Poseidon and Amphitrite.

Updates to this site, from me at least, will depend on where I drop the hook en route and whether there's a Starbucks or a public library near the shore. Owen and Al, I hope, will keep the home fires burning.

August 11, 2009

From The Desk Of: The Ancient Mariner

I've stopped off in Cap Cod en route to Maine. Still afloat, miraculously. Many thanks to Al and Owen for keeping the blog going in high style.

October 27, 2009

Nick and Nora, off to play

An indefatigable commenter here has recently constructed a very flattering image of me as a frivolous Manhattan playboy. One feels a certain obligation to live up to a compliment. So I hereby serve notice that Nora and I are heading off to warmer climes for an impulsive three-day holiday. (Asta will be staying here in New York, with Henry the butler -- Asta can't stand air travel these days. The noise! And the people!)

I have a serious backlog of un-edited posts piled up in the inbox. Profuse and sincere apologies to the stalwarts who have sent them. But now that the dear old boat is out of the water for the winter, I feel kinda lost without something really self-indulgent to do.

Henry just crept into the study here, coughed discreetly, and intimated, without quite saying it, that Nora is waiting in the billiard room with a pitcher of Martinis.

Now if I know Nora, she's wearing a slinky silk peignoir and she's already well into the Martinis. So if you will excuse me....

January 14, 2010

Quick Links

Owen suggested I might want to try a link post. I'm getting the feel of the thing and have a couple I think will do.

Splintered Sunrise will appeal to comrades who know or can guess what Norn Iron is without needing an explanation.

The Cedar Lounge Revolution has a bunch of sticks, and a whole lot more. An excellent place to visit for lefties too stubborn to quit.

January 25, 2010


Weee're baaack. Sorry that comments and posts were not do-able for a while there. No idea exactly what went wrong, but mySQL's "repair table" command works more often than not, fortunately.

Oh yeah: If you've been monitoring comments on some particular post and all of a sudden they've disappeared, let me know: stopmebeforeivoteagain (at-sign) I may be able to recover them.

March 3, 2010


Comments accidentally disabled on an earlier post of Owen's. Fixed now.

March 7, 2010

Links wanted

Okay, it's time I put together a links page on this site. I'm soliciting nominations. Leave suggestions in a comment or send email -- stopmebeforeivoteagain {at} I'd be especially interested in hearing about sites that link to us.

March 8, 2010

Gremlin strikes again

Comments were again inexplicably disabled on Owen's Trumka post. Fixed now.

April 10, 2010

Comment gremlin strikes again

Honest, this was the first image Google served up when I searched for "gremlin". I dunno what their ranking algorithm is, though having known a few computer programmers in my day, I have my suspicions.

Anyway. Comments were weirdly closed out again on a couple of posts -- including, for the first time, one of mine; it's not just you, Owen. Problem fixed now, and we can return to our regularly scheduled program of undermining and demoralization.

April 28, 2010

Slough of Despond

I'm finding it difficult to come up with anything interesting to write about. Is it just me?

Melissa Bletherskite-Bungstopper down at the Nation only deserves so much attention, and may have already gotten more than her share from us. Daily Kos is too tedious for words.

Somebody suggest a new topic to take a contrarian view on, or a new fool to make fun of. I'm dyin' up here.

June 25, 2010

A message from the laboratory

I'm tinkering a bit with the blog software. If you notice anything weird, let me know. Weird, I mean, in an unusual way. stopmebeforeivoteagain {AT}

March 8, 2011

Trains running normally now

Comments were inadvertently blocked for the post just below this one. Dunno why this happens sometimes. Should be OK now.

July 1, 2011

Sail, sail away

I'm off to Maine in the little boat, starting tomorrow or the next day. So it may be even slower than usual around here for a couple of weeks, depending on wind and tide. Perhaps Al and Owen will be willing to take up the slack.

As they have done for some time. I've been more or less MIA here recently.

It's a little difficult to keep this blog thing going -- one feels after a while that one has said everything one has to say, a hundred times over. Perhaps a few days or weeks at sea will recharge my batteries.

In any case: thanks for reading and commenting, all you stalwarts. That's always been the best part, for me.

July 13, 2011

Treading water

I submit the delightful little site known as SMBIVA has arrived at a decisive nodal moment. In fact it's prolly been treading water there for many months now.


The call for a disengagement from the two party bumper-pool gig that was its orginal mission statement has by steps both intended and unintended arrived at the cult of strategic disengagement not just from two-party ballot boxing but from politics in the grander sense.


SMBIVA has cast its lot with the stateless nihilists, the bottom-up spontaneous pure negationists.

Now this is far from a barren outcome. Indeed just saying "nyet" has its big moments in the long and winding human pageant. The dynamic of class history within state-centered societies, looked at consistently from one side, is nothing but a series of untimely timely negations.

And yet...

Change -- forward change, at least -- must take concrete form; and that requires something more then mere "nyets" and yes, a certain sense that human society is travelling somewhere we might want to go.

Nothing here recently seems calculated to produce even attempts at forward motion -- not even the prefiguring toy models of fantasy that might spark the needed new and terrible forms of society-wide struggle.

Forms? Yes; as in, effective vehicles of struggle. Is it really idiotic to strive for something beyond simple burps born of a cultivated bile?

I suggest we leave the burping and belching to lists like those of Dougwood Hen and the Lulu Lolly Project.

Perhaps the useful transferable value of this exercise was the one damn thing I despise most: a self-realization.

Operating here over the last several years, at least for this one participant, in the end has only brightened the light shining on one all too too obvious reality: I leave here with an even keener sense of personal limitations, extended quite accurately to protracted unsublated small-circle words-only activity.

That in itself is perhaps a gift of fortune important for any of us to receive.

If however we insist for ourselves there is forever only the choice between a small circle of unlikely minded co-chatterers... a bicker box of ceaseless babbling and strutting... an ever-more familiar vessel full of unmeasured unneighborly vitriol, and the morally bankrupt alternative: a cool cage of unhumble solitude... blissfully off line... where an atheistic anchorite can smolder away into final ashes...

That's a choice worthy of Hell itself. And if in fact this bus has brought its riders here, what a perfect opportunity to call "everybody off"!

I suppose SMBIVA could rededicate itself to its inceptual mission, particularly as we approach yet another major election cycle. One shudders in self-wounding glee at what might be mustering over the horizon.

But at any rate the present condition of inner-absorbed strategic nihilism that has siezed the high ground here calls out for change. SMBIVA! Either go back, or call it "over" -- even if, like Father Smiff's Antinous, IOZ, you're not yet "Soooo over this."

August 8, 2011

The home of lost causes

That's where I am this week -- long story -- with a full schedule, by my lazy standards, and intermittent Internet access. But feel free to use this occasion as an open thread.

About Meta

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Stop Me Before I Vote Again in the Meta category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Masters of Cliche is the previous category.

Midterm madness is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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