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Monday, January 30, 2012

Bye, bye, Hot Air.

Salem Communications' acquisition of the previously-excellent news aggregator/punditry site, Hot Air, is starting to show signs of being a disaster. Not because of the actual pundits at the site, but due to the studied lack of supervision of the commentariat. This has become a backbreaker for me. Here are exhibits A and B.

Exhibit A is found in response to this post about Isabella Santorum, the beautiful daughter of former Sen. Rick Santorum, who has the rare Trisomy-18 genetic condition.

Here’s where I disagree with Catholicism and agree with the Spartans — at least the Spartans as mythologized by Plutarch.

I hope she gets well and makes a full recovery. Failing that, I hope she dies in as much comfort as possible, and that this is not unnecessarily prolonged.

Random on January 29, 2012 at 1:02 PM

And then there's Exhibit B, offered in what should have been a celebration of a micropreemie's survival:

There is too much medical intervention in our society, both at the beginning and end of life. We are letting every weakling with a congenital disorder survive as [sic] reproduce, and striving to put death off unnecessarily generally. This is weakening our genome across the board. We ought to give natural selection a chance.

I hope this baby goes on to have a good life, but if it doesn’t, it will be largely our fault.

Random on January 23, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Eugenics--it's not just for Nazis and Spartans anymore. Coming soon to a death panel near you... And while we're at it, why don't we label some of the neighbors "Helots" and have at it?

Yeah, same anonymous jerk, what's the big deal? Well, here's the big deal: HA requires registration before commenting. Salem has opened the floodgates and a whole host of freakazoids of all stripes have wandered in. And they aren't supervised. The same clown appeared on the open-commenting Ace of Spades, was chewed to flinders by the "Morons" and then spat out by Ace himself, an open agnostic/atheist not afraid to wield a banhammer. Random is also fond of trying to hit you with some knowledge about racial issues, too, which won him a swat from Ace's electronic Mjolnir.

Sure, the dick jokes and foul language run rampant over at Ace, but it's a hell of a lot friendlier place to the sane than HA has become. Let alone the increasingly-virulent (and ever-more-unimaginative) anti-Catholicism permitted at Salem's blog toy. The latter is especially mystifying given the presence of two Catholic writers--Ed Morrisey and Tina Korbe.

It's increasingly obvious that HA has become more friendly to the economic conservatism/small-government-at-all costs wing, and less so to social conservatives. Sure, Korbe counterbalances this to some extent, but when you let the comments become a cesspit where eugenics is part of the conversation, that should be a heads up that there's a serious problem. The degeneration of the commentariat is a symptom, and HA's ownership better start heeding it. I'm not interested in a conservatism where eugenics is part of the discussion. Apparently, Salem's mileage varies.

Anyway, goodbye to all that. Have fun re-founding the agoge.


  1. As I said on your FB page, the sad thing is that Ace allows anyone to comment without registration, yet the sort of nastiness you see at HA is nipped in the bud so much quicker. You have to monitor your comments, or else this is what happens.

    The comments section at HA has been a free-for-all for a while, pro-eugenic comments aside. It makes Free Republic look like Firing Line.

  2. A bit late visiting here... Blame Donald for the large glob of text.

    It's increasingly obvious that HA has become more friendly to the economic conservatism/small-government-at-all costs wing, and less so to social conservatives.

    I've got a theory about this-- besides the observation that guys tend to be more common than women in blogs (as opposed to social networking) and that libertarianism is really appealing to those who might've supported anarchy, but like getting a pay check for their work.

    Libertarianism has a simple, clear foundation of at most a handful of principles that you build up from with reason, and it doesn't have a history you need to defend. Unified conservatism (economic, social, historical) is an organic viewpoint, so it's REALLY messy.
    The vast majority of straight-line libertarians* I've met are young guys without kids, so the issue the theory has with the whole children-and-marriage thing doesn't touch them much.

    * There are a lot fewer than one might think-- people are, of course, messy, and a lot of folks who will just say "I'm libertarian" are simplifying. Heck, even I have pretty strong libertarian sympathies, if only because I don't like the nanny angle on a lot of policy!