a voice for men drama entitled babies lying liars MRA paul elam

Paul Elam blames me for his alleged ignorance of the blatant fraud on his own site [CORRECTED]

Thanks Obama! (And David Futrelle.) (For more, click image)

CORRECTION: New evidence suggests that the screenshot discussed in this post and elsewhere was not a forgery but the result of a glitch. I offer a correction, and an apology, and a discussion of the implications, here.

So the mighty Paul Elam has acknowledged — in the comments section of Girl Writes What’s blog, at least –that there might just be some sort of problem going on with regard to, you know, that whole fake screenshot thing. You know, the blatant fraud that A Voice for Men mangling — sorry, managing — editor Dean Esmay seems to have engaged in to cover up a mistake.

But, Paul being Paul, he somehow manages to turn his sort-of acknowledgement of the problem into an attack on me, bizarrely blaming me (the person who actually pointed out this fraud) for him not knowing about it before today:

As much as I hate to say it, Futrelle does have a valid point. I am looking in to it today, and unlike Futrelle, I will address the results of my inquiry in public no matter where they end up.

I don’t mind looking into problems, even when they are pointed out by such a bald faced liar. I would have actually been aware of this sooner if his blog were worth reading. I had to become aware of it in your comments to even know there was a problem.

Well, Paul, I would have happily brought my findings to the comments section of A Voice for Men, rather than the comments section of Girl Writes What’s blog, but you may recall I am banned there. And I wonder if anyone there would have had the courage to stand up and say that, gosh, this Futrelle guy has a point, given how quickly people are censored there for deviating from your site’s perverse “conventional wisdom.”

And gosh, Paul, how unfair it is to expect the publisher of a site to be aware of what’s, you know, published on it. Concerns about the story were brought up by your own commenters shortly after it first ran. Esmay referred in an article and an editorial note to my alleged “lies” about the story; it didn’t occur to you to even go look at what I had said? And even aside from the phony screenshot, or anything I’ve written, did you really think that Esmay’s bizarre explanations for the original mistake made any kind of sense?

In other words, are you incompetent, or are you lying about being unaware of the problem until now?

In any case, I await the results of your “investigation.” I am especially eager to see how you will manage to spin things so it becomes someone else’s fault. Will it be some evil conspiracy that “set you up?”

And when exactly have I lied, Paul? Could you offer a citation? When I point out the lies on your site, I fucking back up each claim.

[EDIT: Added some stuff in the “gosh, Paul” paragraph and made a few other changes.]

275 replies on “Paul Elam blames me for his alleged ignorance of the blatant fraud on his own site [CORRECTED]”

Falconer: I’m not so fond of the stuff with June Tabor as that without, but that’s me. She’s a fine singer, I don’t care for the way they blend.


Expecting them to actually read what they criticize is MISANDRY!!!!!eleventy!!!!

Oh yes, I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve long since stopped trying to count the number of times a woman on the Internet says something (anything at all, really) and the MRM shows up all OBBLY OBBLY OBBLY.

I often visit FreeThoughtBlogs, including PZ Myers’s Pharyngula. Always entertaining, often informative. I know and love several theists, and am one myself, and have never been offended or insulted by anything I’ve found there.
The Slymepit (as it is officially known) is, by contrast, a big hairy ball of do-not-want.

I’m an atheist. I’ve fallen out of the anti-theist around the same time I realized that being angry all the time and yelling about things online didn’t usually help anything and generally made me angrier, so like 16 or so. Now sarcasm and satire are my beat, and I, like emilygoddess, don’t give a fuck what others believe as long as they aren’t using it to justify harming others or trying to shove it onto me. And given that my family is pretty firmly Catholic, and my best friend is Born Again, I have a lot of leeway/patience when it comes to that last part. It doesn’t even register unless I’m being dragged to church on Sundays, something my family has finally stopped doing and I’ve started doing voluntarily for the “family time” aspect of it (we always go to brunch afterward), or I’m being lectured about how planning on being a single parent and having a not-bf is apparently going to damage me or something by my friend. Then it might get my back up but I’m usually pretty chill.

RE: katz and Kittehs

I always love hearing about little tin gods like that. I’m also rather fond of the Church of Ed Wood. I would quite like to be a monk, just as long as I don’t have to deal with any powerful gods! And I’m more than willing to pay homage to Ed Wood by watching as many of his films as possible.

RE: Falconer

If I didn’t already have my Superman “I AM A MAN!” punch icon covering all my ranty needs on LJ, I would be terribly tempted to make an icon out of that “OBBLY OBBLY OBBLY” image. It sums it up so well!

@Howard Bannister

@Falconer: I’ve sometimes been somewhat critical of the way PZ approaches Islam.

I think Anthony K (Brownian) (nope, it was Ing) had an excellent breakdown of why it was problematic…. I was thinking a few years, but it looks like a year back, in comments. Here.

Which is notable; PZ got pushback from his commentariet, and as near as I can tell, has been doing better about it since then.

I checked out the link and read the post and first 50 comments. I’m actually not seeing the Islamophobia. (There could be something obvious that I’m missing… I am a little low on sleep right now. No obligation to explain it to me unless you want to. But I’m pretty sure I’m not, because you cited Ing [and Brownian, who basically said, “What Ing said”].) Ing actually said (comment 38) that he was not critiquing PZ, he was addressing a common human instinct. The only mention PZ makes in the post of Islam specifically rather than religion in general is the title, and I don’t think it would be out of character for him to, say, use the title “Praise Jesus” for an example of Christian violence. (Disclaimer: I read PZ’s blog occasionally but don’t follow him closely, so I could be wrong. Disclaimer #2: A quick Google search says “Inshallah” means “Allah willing”/”If Allah wills”. If this is incorrect, I could be missing something important. Right now, I’m reading it as a reference to the mother’s statement that this was her daughter’s destiny.)

I guess you could argue that it’s really better to just focus on what’s wrong with one’s own culture and not other people’s, and I can respect that viewpoint, but I’m not convinced. (I think I would agree with the “weak” version of that sentiment, that we should focus more on our own culture and/or cultures directly affecting/oppressing us, but not the “strong” version that would say that it’s problematic to write a short blog post about it.)

Cassandra: Sure they can, if they are using Religion to explain it. If it’s just moral conclusion based on principle and reasoned philosophically, then no.

In short, the Immigration is arguing all morality comes from “god”.

But how is that even relevant? How does it come up?

(They don’t ask you that kind of thing when you apply for a green card.)

According to Pecunium’s post, it came up because they asked her if she would be willing to serve in the armed forces. Which is a valid question for a potential citizen (if you accept the need for armed forces at all).

I can’t find the original story (Pecunium, your source link is dead), but I’d be interested in whether they told her to go to a house of worship, or specifically a church, because there’s, um, a significant difference there.

Wow. I thought it was ridiculous that the Canadian citizenship oath involves swearing allegiance to Queen Elizabeth (as my mother did, in the 70’s, when she immigrated from England). But you have to swear to bear arms… and if you won’t, you need a letter from your church? *gobsmacked*

Given that women are not currently required to register for selective service I’m still confused. Probably unwise to expect immigration policy to make sense, though.


Cassandra — she’s also in her 60s and willing to do not combat service, which is all they’d ask a woman (or anyone else) her age to do. In practice it’s moot but noooo, gotta be religious. FTR, someone saw the anon tweet on it and immediately offered to give her the letter they want.

emilygoddess: Thanks, link is fixed.

This is the money quote:

“I am sure the law would never require a 64 year-old woman like myself to bear arms, but if I am required to answer this question, I cannot lie. I must be honest. The truth is that I would not be willing to bear arms. Since my youth I have had a firm, fixed and sincere objection to participation in war in any form or in the bearing of arms. I deeply and sincerely believe that it is not moral or ethical to take another person’s life, and my lifelong spiritual/religious beliefs impose on me a duty of conscience not to contribute to warfare by taking up arms…my beliefs are as strong and deeply held as those who possess traditional religious beliefs and who believe in God…I want to make clear, however, that I am willing to perform work of national importance under civilian direction or to perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States if and when required by the law to do so.”

So I think, for all practical purpose, she said yes.

Given that women are not currently required to register for selective service I’m still confused. Probably unwise to expect immigration policy to make sense, though.

I’m not up on Immigration policy, but given the ratio of applicants to open slots it wouldn’t surprise me if they tended to fixate on any little thing to rule you out.

Or maybe it’s just a shit test.

RE: Falconer

If I didn’t already have my Superman “I AM A MAN!” punch icon covering all my ranty needs on LJ, I would be terribly tempted to make an icon out of that “OBBLY OBBLY OBBLY” image. It sums it up so well!

Bad Machinery is a lovely little comic, I love it to pieces.

Also, maybe it’s just me, but I can just about hear the Doppler effect on those OBBLYs.

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