I haven’t been by here much the past few days, primarily because I’ve been immersed in the new job. Which, for the record, I am thoroughly loving. That duly noted, I’m not entirely unaware of what’s been going on blogosphere-wise the past few days in regard to the Ali Akbar et al vs. Paul Lemmen and friends dust-up. Dan Collins (twice), Peter Ingemi, Donald Douglas (twice), The Lonely Conservative (twice) and Ladd Ehlinger Jr. (three times) have all written thoughtful pieces on the matter. The Impolite Canadian has thundered on the subject as only he can here here here here here here here here here and here, and Lisa Graas has also twice contributed, so I won’t attempt to amplify already existing excellence by throwing in my two cents. However, I do have a few thoughts.
First, my personal interaction with the assorted players has been limited to light social media contact and the occasional email. I therefore make no claim to deep friendship or major private insight. All I know is what I’ve had said to me, mixed with a dash of that oft errant but nonetheless formidable phenomenon known as “trusting your gut.”
Me being me, I’m also inclined to bring in a dose of the Good Book. Namely, a comparison I’ve used more than a few times of King David’s life story as told in I and II Samuel compared to I Chronicles. I heard a Bible teacher once make an observation that the books of Samuel and Kings reflect ancient Israel’s history from man’s viewpoint whereas Chronicles tells the story from God’s point of view. Not surprisingly, He has a different opinion of what’s sufficiently important to warrant mention.
In the books of Samuel you get more dirt than a shopping cart full of tabloids, with every lurid, salacious and sordid incident discussed in gory detail. This is never more true than in Bathsheba’s case. The story in brief: David was out and about night when he spotted Bathsheba bathing on the roof of her house. Never mind that she was married to one of David’s most loyal military leaders; she was hawt and David had to have her. So, he sweettalked her into having an affair. However, as this was well before Planned Parenthood was here polluting society Bathsheba became preggers. Given that her husband was at the time on a battlefield somewhere, the logistics of covering up this little whoospie were daunting.
David concocted a plan. He called Bathsheba’s husband back from the battlefield and told him to take a little R&R, this including romping in the hay with the Mrs. Can’t do it, the soldier replied; not while my men are out there fighting and dying for my king. He wouldn’t be persuaded, so David sent him back to the front with Plan B: orders to isolate Bathsheba’s husband on the front lines so he’d certainly be killed. Which he was. At which point David swooped in to, um, “comfort the bereaved widow” by marrying her, all the while hoping people’s math was really bad.
Theirs may have been, but God’s was spot on. David paid for his sin. Dearly. The child died shortly after being born, and as the prophet Nathan stated would happen David’s family woes were far from over: by the time things settled down years later, he had a raped daughter and two dead sons on his hands.
Now, flip over to Chronicles. Sum total of the aforementioned being mentioned?
Zero. Zilch. Nada.
Why? Did God develop amnesia? Did Chronicles’ writer or writers choose sanitisation over historical accuracy? Pretend it never happened and this would somehow make it so?
The silence stems from this:
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die (2 Sam. 12:13).”
We sometimes forget sin has two elements: penalty and consequence. When we repent, the penalty of our sin is forgiven. The consequences don’t necessarily vanish into the ether. An alcoholic can be forgiven of the damage they have done to their life and the lives of others. That doesn’t mean God’s under any obligation to give them a new liver.
Taking all this into the present day, it has become apparent many have forgotten the old adage about how the enemy of my enemy is not my enemy. Specifics:
Shortly after the Brett Kimberlin story exploded, Paul Lemmen forcibly spoke up about the matter. What’s more, he used the skills acquired during his evil days as a con man for good by convincing Neal Rauhauser he had somehow become an ally.
Naturally, his reward was being publicly flayed.
In jumped one Ann Barnhardt, who “at the request of friends” published a philippic against Lemmen insisting that once a con man, always a con man and don’t believe a word he says. Never mind that Lemmen has made a clean breast of his criminal past; never mind the unimpeachable work he was now doing. Barnhardt and assorted sycophants insisted it was all a lie, never mind how one of her accusations about Lemmen comtemporarily claiming to be a bishop was easily dismissed by one simple newspaper archive search. Making matters even more surreal, when Lemmen’s friends Zilla of the Resistance, a wife and mother presently fighting Lyme’s disease, and The Impolite Canadian spoke up in Lemmen’s defense they were accused of being Lemmen himself. Apparently in addition to his external manipulative skills exercised during his criminal days, Lemmen has acquired the ability to live rent free in other people’s heads.
Now, for those of you new to all this, Ali Akbar (yes, that is his real name) is president of the National Bloggers Club, or NBC. I believe NBC was started around the time of this year’s CPAC in Washington DC. The stated idea behind it was giving bloggers seeking press credentials for different events gravitas by declaring them to be part of an organization. Fair enough, and a noble cause.
That said, ever since its inception NBC has been something of, to quote Winston Churchill, a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. It has no website save a Facebook page; there are no written instructions anywhere online on where or how to apply for membership; and its leadership composition is unknown except for Michelle Malkin being on its board of directors with no other members named. It was the organizer of Blog Bash at the aforementioned CPAC, and postings on the Blog Bash site indicate it will be doing more blogger events. Yet even with this, NBC is at best a murky organization, one unable and/or unwilling to detail even the most basic elements of its structure. I add that I am a NBC member; as I recall I asked Melissa Clouthier and/or Akbar about it around the time of CPAC and they responded by emailing me the info I needed to send to them for joining, which if I remember correctly was pretty basic stuff — name, address, name and URL of blog; stuff like that. I have read several reports that people have been asked for credit card information, but I have no memory of that happening in my case; I believe these are in reference to the donation site NBC has set up for bloggers harassed by Kimberlin.
Adding fuel to the fire of unknown origin was the revelation not through confession, but rather through investigative work by a website either run by or at the least deeply connected to Kimberlin and associates, that Akbar is a convicted felon. Akbar subsequently confirmed this; however, others including Lemmen have opined that 1) he has yet to make a total admittance; 2) it is hypocritical of others to insist that Lemmen recuse himself from the online investigation/exposure of Kimberlin because of his own criminal past while Akbar remains actively involved; 3) Akbar should leave his position at the NBC due to his not having been forthcoming from the start as to his past activities.
It’s worth noting that Akbar’s reaction to the above has been quite Nathan Thurm-ish:
It’s hopefully needless to say this hasn’t helped matters.
I really don’t have a dog in this fight, and it warrants mention that Akbar has been quite active in supporting bloggers such as Stacy McCain and Aaron Worthing whose lives Kimberlin has directly and adversely affected. That said, it is unfair to view the life of one person involved in this matter strictly through the books of Samuel and another strictly through the books of Chronicles. Either we credit all with the good they have done and let the rest… well, rest; or we demand everyone’s past be held against them as a measuring stick determining whether they are worthy to serve. My personal vote is for the former. Unfortunately, the constant sniping and sniveling is making it extremely difficult to be gracious and say the good that has been done negates the not so good that continues to be done.
In short: don’t mess with the rat bastards. We don’t seek a fight with who should be allies on the right, but if you insist on bringing one we will return the favor. And then some.
One more thing. Remember David and Bathsheba? After their first child died, they had another one. You might have heard of him.
Something to think about.