Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Trolling for Dullards?


It looks as though I might have a troll problem again.

The commenter formerly know as "Ahmed" grew increasingly annoyed with me in a series of comments on my blog entry about Obama's words in Cairo concerning 9/11, and after I reminded him that we both have an obligation to treat each other with courtesy, he decided to leave. But since he had requested statistics from me concerning support in the Muslim world for the 9/11 attacks, I posted another blog entry, in which I summarized the interaction between "Ahmed" and me, along with some statistics.

"Ahmed" then turned troll and posted the following comment under the pseudonym 'Judah':
You showed him right! I hate anyone with the name Ahmed. I hate Obama for wanting to make peace with Muslims.Why! lets bomb them all. Long live Israel, the Jewish State which God explicitly gave it to Jews and only Jews.
He added a link to the Jewish Task Force, an extremist Jewish organization, as though he were advocating their ideological views. I noted that the comment above was fake and then explained to "Ahmed" that he had done a very immature and foolish thing since every visitor to my blog leaves a record on my site meter, and a check had shown that the comment from 'Judah' had the same IP number as the many comments from "Ahmed."

I then received two unsigned retorts. First was this:
So now you bash him and call him immature because he asked you to be responsible with numbers and stop this hate towards his people ,hum, What a joke you are! Sounds like you are losing it; angry fella!.. take it easy, these are just political opinions, nothing should be personal much for the "so called" Ph.D.

P.s. What is with Jews Against America anyway? why are you downplaying them so much? Are they maybe Muslim Jews? Maybe ?
This was soon followed by the second one:
Jeff, One of your links mentioned Jews involved with Stalin in killing lot of people in old Russia. I did not know about this, it must be a lie then.
I deleted these two without commenting upon them, but I'm posting them here as a reminder to some readers that I expect commenters to maintain civility. Any ad hominem attacks will be deleted if I see fit to delete them, and I also reserve the right to delete comments that I consider trolling.

Meanwhile, don't feed the trolls.

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At 5:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would this quote be an instance of "Trolling for Dullards?"

"Uncle Cran, when will you be favoring us with another of your youthful remembrances?" ???


At 5:19 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Nah, that's an invitation to have fun.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't think there were trolls still dumb enough to use the same IP.

At 5:44 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

That's the case only with the dullard trolls.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:55 AM, Blogger David C. Innes said...

Dr Hodges, you have always been an example of civility for me that I consciously try to emulate.

This exchange is a sobering reminder that if you speak critically of Islam or of violent Muslim activists, you can expect at least this in response.

Christian readers should mark this, and remember to adorn their speech with the grace of the One who died for us when we were his declared enemies.

I think you've handled this well.

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Professor Innes, for the kind words. I'm hardly one to be emulated, but I do try to maintain a proper civility.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:30 AM, Blogger writtenwyrdd said...

Some people refuse to play nice and you have to wield the big delete button. (Or, as my word verification suggests, you phlog them.)

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Right, WW. Being a blog administrator has its perks. I think that most trolls will quickly grow tired of having their hard-typed words so easily deleted and will soon just go away to lurk under some other bridge.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prof Jeff?

I'm not taking issue with your subject (actually I didn't take the time to read the content) all I did was:

Google "images of me."


I got some images of guys on toilets, some guys in adavnced fighter jets, one image that I knew had to be your Uncle Cran doing "who knows what?" Anyway my point is (unusual I realize in my case) not ridiculous.

Regardless, my attorneys need your attorney's mailing address. Picturing me on a three-legged stool WHILE reading a book was totally uncalled for. For your sake, I'd suggest placing the word "Dictionary" on the cover.

This is not an admonishment, it's simply a warning that I hire the best and keep them retainered.

(Apparently there's some economic distress somewhere.)

Whatever. I DO NOT appreciate caricatures of myself reading on three-legged stools. Consider this at minimum (at your peril) "troll work." My attorneys assure me their team capable of working any legal system except for Pyoung - well however it's spelled.


Or not.


At 4:25 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, I'll happily wait for your attorneys to contact mine.

Until that time, you will continue to sit upon that rickety, four-legged stool.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:44 PM, Blogger Charles Montgomery said...


I'd suggest JK should retain an English instructor, except the whole post was obviously clever satire.

Jeffrey, you sock-puppeting again?


At 6:50 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Sock-puppeting? Not me, CM -- I'm not that proficient at satire.

And just to make sure, I checked the IP numbers. Mine and JK's are different, so we 'probably' aren't the same person.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh. Apologies Professor.

I guess I should've gotten my bi-focals out before I counted all the legs.


Whether I'm considered some kinda insect isn't worth quibbling over. Charles? Doesn't one who keeps a legal team on alert 24/7 have the folks' over at OED Headquarters permission to coin words at will?


At 3:28 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Looks as if you might have some legal problems coining words like "retainered," JK. I assume that this is that 'millionth' English word currently being disputed among linguists. Guess you'll need those lawyers of yours.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:56 AM, Blogger Jay Kactuz said...

I have always enjoyed your blog. You are a model of moderation and patience.

Now about the "Ahmeds" of the world...

I have some experience with Ahmeds and his brothers. Muslims, all Muslims, do not take criticism of their religion lightly. That is OK. The problem is they do not apply the standards they demand of others to themselves. They want you to respect them and their religion but they isempt themselves of this burden.

Another thing is that most Muslims have little experience with open debate and critical analysis. If it Islamic or in the Quran, all debate becomes a matter of minor points of procedure. Islam is perfect so end of discussion.

The sad truth is that most Muslims are very ignorant of the Quran and Islamic history. They can't quote 5 verses without getting 2 or 3 wrong (just like Obama). They want you to believe Islam is what they would like it to be, not what it is or what the Quran and ahadith say.

I could tell you stories of the foolish things I have heard from Muslims. When challenged, they pull out a list of excuses that is longer than your arm (out of context, bad translations, others did it, it was the jews, poverty, colonialism, the Crusaders, that was then, bad apples, Bush, cultural traditions, the hopelessness of the Palestinians, etc...) It is never really the fault of Muslims....

Because they cannot or will not debate, it then becomes a matter of how to silence voices that say things they don't want to hear.

Muslims don't need sweet words - the good Lord knows they get enough of those from the press and our leaders (and Obama). They need naked truth. They need to be told that their beliefs and actions are offensive and why. This may cause them to think. This is the only way to avoid even greater problems later. I am talking blood in the streets, not just heated debate and hurt feelings).

I won't hold my breath.


At 5:30 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Jay Kactuz, for your comment. There do seem to be a lot of Muslims easily angered by critical discussion of Islam and related issues.

I've encountered prickliness among some Christians, too, but not as much.

One difference, I suspect, is that whereas Christianity supports a guilt culture, Islam encourages a shame-and-honor culture. Thus, Muslims seem to feel that Islam's 'honor' must be defended against those who would 'shame' it by critical questions.

This attitude hardly leaves room for dispassionate analysis and often results in reliance upon insults from those who feel themselves 'shamed.'

I've found that the best method, on this blog anyway, is to not let myself feel insulted, for to do so would be to give the other power over me.

Most insults are so ridiculous, anyway, that no reasonable reader would take them seriously, so I hardly need to defend myself against them.

Courtesy remains the best policy.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


A direct quote from my nephew.

I am considering another true, compelling, and honest tale, so please keep your best policy ready.


At 7:50 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Uncle Cran, have I ever directed discourteous insults at you?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Heck, why didn't you just call him Barack Hussein Obama?

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Sonagi, you talking to Ahmed? I'm hoping that he will rest easy for a while.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I'm talking about Jay, who managed to weave Obama's name twice into his post about angry Muslims.

At 8:22 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Oh . . . well, I'll leave that up to Jay to clarify.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:03 PM, Blogger Charles Montgomery said...


there's no clarification needed.. in one case he explicitly compared Obama to the Muslims. In the other case he was just playing the FOX network card.

It's the fallback position of the failed neocon, "scared" white guy, or the self-loathing..

I'm guessing on the latter, since the former types normally have blogs.

The self-loathing are scared of what they might reveal.

At 9:31 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Ah, now I understand how some are reading Jay's comment. I think that he meant not that Obama is a Muslim but that he is a Dhimmi -- but also that in this respect, Obama is like so many other Western leaders.

I have a different opinion of Obama. I think that what he's trying to do is go over the heads of Muslim religious leaders to appeal to the average Muslim, who doesn't want to live in a shariah state but would prefer to live in a democratic society. He knows from experience with his own extended family that there exists an Islam beyond the texts, and he wants to reach those people.

We have to know the Islamic texts, of course, for there is an ideological dimension to this that we have to be well-versed in, but a religion is more than its texts -- and texts can be reinterpreted . . . or even ignored.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:19 AM, Blogger Jay Kactuz said...

Of course, Obama is not a Muslim. That I was referring to was that he has adopted the typical narrative found so often in the media today (Islam, good, a few so-called Muslims, bad). The fact is that just like the media and most Muslims, our president is sadly ignorant about Islamic texts and doctrines, not to mention history.

Take his quote on Islamic tolerance (“The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind”). Actually that is not what it says. I have seen this verse on Muslim websites hundreds of times and Muslims are no more capable of quoting it correctly then they are of flying with their arms. What the verse says is “We (Allah is plural) have ordained that for the children of Israel to kill one innocent… is to kill all…”. Muslims also forget the exception clause in the middle of the verse (except for….). Then there is the next verse, 5:33, in which Allah authorizes Muslims to brutally torture and kill those who oppose/fight Islam. And so on… Oh by the way, the 5:32 quote was lifted almost word for word from a 2nd century Babylonian Talmud.

Another example: Obama says “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition.” Well, except that by the time of the Inquisition Muslims had been expelled from Spain over a hundred years (since 1492). As to Islamic tolerance, I will quote the Rambam, the most famous Jew of the middle ages, who said in a letter to the Jews of Yemen (who were being persecuted by Muslims) that "this race (Muslims) has done more harm to us than all previous people". Note that Maimonides left Muslim Spain after the 1066 massacre of Jews in Corboba. The only true statement regarding Islamic tolerance in the middle ages is that at times, yes, Muslims were more tolerant that Christiandom - at times. Still non-Muslims were always second or third class citizens. You will notice that Muslims never what to talk about the conquest of India. Not only did Muslims murder tens of millions of Hindus but they exterminated all Buddhists west of the Ganges River. Obama, like so many others, believes that facts should not get in the way of cute words.

What I am saying is that we should be honest with Muslims. You cannot solve a problem by pretending there is no problem. Unfortunately today people of good will (I assume) are making things worse by ignoring reality. They are taking the rather dubious position that Islam really has nothing to do with its sacred texts or the actions of its adherents following the teachings in those texts. When Obama does address problematic issues, he only nips at the edges in the most generic terms with a disclaimer. He always adds that those same problems are found in other places and cultures (usually even more so). The whole speech is calculated to smooth Muslims sensibilities and appeal to all sides. To give him credit, he is a hell of a good speaker (I personally saw him give a speech last month) but that is not enough.

At 3:22 AM, Blogger Jay Kactuz said...


I am being very serious when I say that Muslims have no idea of how to debate an issue or deal with uncomfortable truths. Try and find a Muslim that will expound on the theology of Quran 9:111. Good luck. I once asked a Muslim just to type the words of a verse of a hadith in which Mohammed beats Aisha, his child-wife (I said “just tell me what the verse says”) and he wouldn’t do it (he then explained the verse by telling me the blow “caused pain but didn’t hurt”). How do you reason with people like this? I am at a loss to find words sometimes. Still I try to reason with Muslims. I ask the questions almost nobody else does. For every posting on a non-Muslim site (like this) I leave 9 on Islamic webpages (they are more interesting, really). I will be the first to admit that I have changed nothing, as far as I know. Oh well.

One last thing… For a good (well, fair) understanding of our current troubles, I refer to a farewell posting I made to Fjordman on his blog 4 years ago. I try to put the problem in proper context. Here is the link to the now inactive blog:

It is one of the six comments on “What are Islam’s weak points”. Here is the link:


PS: If I were a “scared” white guy I would have shut up the first time they threatened me and my family. To qualify me as scared, a neo-com, self-loathing, or racist, etc… means nothing to me. Frankly, like Scarlet, I don’t give a damn. I have been threatened, deleted and called every name under the sun (the latest at Harry’s Place, a great blog, to my surprise). Now, if you want to get my attention, just tell me where I am wrong, why, give me references and/or links, and I’ll consider the issue.

At 5:31 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Jay, for a very informative couple of comments, which seem to confirm my reading of your earlier remarks, and I agree that we have to ask some difficult questions of Islam, and this will sometimes require courage.

There seems to be a current lack of courage, however. Yesterday, a colleague who writes fiction told me of problems that he's having in getting novel finished. It's a story of how history might have turned out if Islam had colonized the New World and Christians had carried out 9/11 attacks. I've not read his manuscript, so I can't comment on its literary qualities, but the interesting part of the rejections that he's received is that the publishing companies say that they won't publish fiction about terrorism. Apparently, they're worried about Muslim reactions.

At the same time, there's a place for the broad, architectonic speech given by Obama. There might be some usefulness in appealing to an idealized Islam if that would encourage Muslims to move Islam toward greater tolerance . . . so long as we know that Islamic tolerance, historically, was not what we would call tolerance today.

Finally, and I should have said this earlier, let's all treat each other with respect and be careful of imputing motives to people who post comments here.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:18 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Hmmm . . . guess that I needed more coffee:

"Yesterday, a colleague who writes fiction told me of problems that he's having in getting novel finished."

That should have read "getting his novel published." Weird typo.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:28 PM, Blogger Jay Kactuz said...

Professor, you are right. Sometimes I am too mean. Sometimes I am not as respectful as I should be.

About the typos and such... just wait until you get older. I type things that are clear when they leave my brain (what is left of it), but the letters end up truncated or switched on the page. I do a quick proof-read and then hit "submit". Suddenly I see a bunch of silly mistakes (at least two above) in my spelling or meaning that werent there 10 seconds before. I swear this did not happen ten years ago.

Coffee will not solve this problem. I drink coffee all day and it doesn't help with my typos and such. (I picked up the coffee habit 45 years ago working in a French-Italian bank in Brazil from an old lady that smoked straw cigarettes).

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Jay, you've always been respectful on this blog, so I have no complaints.

I guess that as I get older, I'll simply have to triple check my writing.

And if coffee won't help, then maybe beer will.

Jeffery Hodges

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