I was reading a new post at Progressive Pulse this morning, where I learned that one of the regular commenters there is being paid to blog by the Puppetmaster. His name is Max Borders (no, it's not a joke) and he is a self-avowed soldier in the so called freedom movement.
I've seen Max's name many times, but always assumed he was an honest broker, another run-of-the-mill free-market fundamentalist without a real job. When I discovered he's actually a shill for the Civitas Circus, I wrote this:
I appreciate the background on Max. Even though I’ve seen scores of comments from him here, I never realized he’s a paid shill for the Puppetmaster. Thanks for saving me the trouble of reading his future commentary.
Note to Civitas: If you’re going to spend a boatload of Art’s money upgrading to a fancy new website, why on earth would you plaster the incoherent ramblings of Jack Hawke on your welcoming video? Just sayin’.
To which he replied:
Funny, James. Why aren’t people like Rob and Adam who write on this site not “paid shills”? They receive remuneration from foundations to write about things they believe in. Is it because you agree with their views? At least Steve is engaging in meaningful debate here (whether or not he’s being paid). And while one might questions Steve’s willingness to drop the “C” bomb in the post (ooo look, he works for Civitas), he’s still challenging me at the level of intellect — which is more than anyone can ever say for you. You can bet that I sold my soul to the freedom movement long before I came to Civitas. So please spare us your conspiracy theories and kindly reserve your comments over at NCBlue (sic) where people spit poison, not ideas. Ever think that perhaps no one pays you to write anything because you’re a one-trick ad hominem pony who lowers the discourse for everyone?
To which I replied:
Ideas. That’s rich, Max. Tell you what. Why don’t you and the 14 other paid staffers at the Circus save the Puppetmaster a boatload of money and resign. You can replace yourselves with a billboard on Glenwood Avenue saying:
We hate planning and taxes. You should too.
Because after reading the drivel leaking out of the Circus for the past year, I can honestly say I haven’t seen anything more substantive than that ever written. Not one damn thing.
All of which got me to thinking about the merits of his comments:
First off, I freely confess to engaging in ad hominem attacks. I believe that is the appropriate response to the presence of evil and hypocrisy. But if Max had bothered to read my blog, he might have discovered a bit more method to my madness:
Thoughts on Bob Orr
A call to end reliance on mercenary armies
Efforts to build support for responsible political leadership
A call to get businesses out of providing employees with health care
Demands for more open government
Advocacy for small schools
The list goes on. I've written nearly 1200 posts in the 18 months, on issues ranging from stopping the OLF and stopping Elizabeth Dole to building community, encouraging candidates and more. So on this count, I grant that Max has a smidgen of insight, but is mostly just another pot calling a kettle black.
The grand irony, of course, is that neither Max nor most of his think-tank brethren have ever actually worked in a real business in the free-market they so revere. They create neither wealth nor value, but rather live off the largess of Puppetmaster Pope who funds their little sandbox year-in and year-out. They are the vilest sort of free-market hypocrites, having never gotten their hands dirty in the hard work of private enterprise.
Finally, I feel obliged to set one thing straight in response to this comment from the misinformed Puppet:
Ever think that perhaps no one pays you to write anything because you’re a one-trick ad hominem pony who lowers the discourse for everyone?
When I'm not blogging, I am an independent freelance writer. I am quite confident that I earn more money working part-time each week than Max Borders will ever earn in an entire month.