Thursday, December 28, 2006

More awards...

Continuing on the fun we had yesterday, let's keep this awards thing going, shall we? Remember, the emphasis here is on good-natured fun. We're not really keeping score, just having a good time. Like Cindy V said today over at Keelan's place, "At some point it would be smart to accept the election results and try to make the most of them — an ambitious democrat as CE and a Democrat in the Governors mansion —- HoCo should make hay while the sun shines."

Best Proto-Mainstream-Issue Coverage by a Blog: The Hatch Act on David Keelan's blog.

The “Nicest” Blog Post: Courtesy of nice guy, David Wissing.

Most Ambitious Proposal: Evan’s plan for bringing Metro to Columbia.

Most Misconstrued Post: My endorsement of Ken Ulman, which some seemed to think was motivated solely by the fact that he supports gay marriage and reproductive choice. Here's what David Wissing had to say about it:

In addition, Hayduke has endorsed Ken Ulman (surprise, surprise), but he claims the reason for doing so has something to do with Chris Merdon not answering some question about gay marriage and abortion, which is odd since these issues have nothing to do with being County Executive….
Again, my emphasis wasn't on how Ulman answered the questions, but the fact that he did when others would not.

Most Universally Loathed Shopping Center: Columbia Crossing, criticized by Evan, Wordbones, and me.

Least Accurate Pre-Election County Executive Poll: Not even close.

Best Cross-Partisan Secret Keeping: David Wissing, who knew my true identity long before I had even considered making it public. Thanks, Dave.
Noted recluse, Hayduke, promises he will eventually “identify” himself in the near future and attend a candidate’s forum, although unbeknownst to him (or maybe he knows, I don’t know), I already know who he is. (Remember, if you send an email from your home email address, your name comes along with it) But his secret identity is safe with me until he is ready to make himself public.
Newest Local Blog: Frequent commenter Freemarket joins the fold (thought you could hide from us, did you?).


David W. Keelan said...

The awards are a great idea. Except for one thing.

You are getting almost all of the awards.

FreeMarket said...

Thanks for the award. I’m glad I was able to nudge out the competition. It reminds me of a term I first came across on Keelan’s blog: red-headed Eskimo. ;-)

Dave Wissing said...

As stated above, great job with the awards.

What do us winners get????

Anonymous said...

Where does the link to "Least Accurate Pre-Election.." go? Can we have names, please?

David W. Keelan said...

The least accurate pre-election prediction goes to a poll I ran at based on a service provided by

On June 27th I said:

While not scientific the poll I have been running for the next County Executive (which closes on June 30th) currently has Chris Merdon leading.

Hayduke said...

I realized after the first post that a bunch of awards given solely to me is a little too...self-important? So, I tried to expand the scope with this post and hope to have more early next week (my grandmother's birthday and attendant celebration is gobbling up the weekend). It's hard, though, simply because of the sheer volume of what we all wrote over the last year. Without much effort, we could probably write a book about the 2006 election with our posts.

All winners receive a complimentary beverage of their choice at any one of my band's upcoming shows. Next one's on January 19th at the Ram's Head in Savage. If you think this is a cheap ploy to get more people to see me play, you'd be right.

Anonymous said...

Best Post Election Wish:

Rabbi Joshua Martin Siegel
Dec 4, 2006:

A Prayer at the Installation of Ken Ulman as County Executive of Howard County

With this ceremony, a new generation takes on leadership of Howard County.

May they respect those who have gone before and learn from them.

May they bring their own unique vision and create their own future for our county. In doing so:

* May they remember that prosperity should be leavened with justice

* That personal ambition needs to be connected to concern for the common good;

* and that kindness and respect should always overcome political and personal differences.

"Let justice well up like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." In following the teaching from Isaiah, those who take government responsibility tonight will deliver the community to their children better than they received it. Amen.

mary catherine

wordbones said...

I didn't realize that both you and Evan had prior posts about Columbia Crossing shopping center(and lets not forget Columbia Crossing II).

I guess that is what happens when you come late to the blogging party. All the good posts are already taken!


Anonymous said...

Geez, Freemarket, new land speed record for shutting down free speech, opting to quash anonymous posts. Certainly your prerogative.

Oh well, I enjoyed reading your blog for a couple days anyway, but if it's now just positing on free markets sans free speech, other static periodicals beckon.

numbersgirl said...

Given the number of Berkhouses and "To the person who didn't vote for Merdon" posts, I can hardly blame freemarket for his decision.

Besides, Anonymous means nothing in cyberspace. Just ask Mary Smith about her HoCoMd experience.

Anonymous said...

I would argue that Smith outed Keelan, exposing his "creepy" bent, rather than the other way 'round.

Keelan gets the award for most creepy blogger behavior per the anon comment in the first Hayduke awards post.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that comment about Keelan's behavior being creepy appeared on the hoco site (Evan's).

Anonymous said...

The anon issue will surely surface repeatedly, and rightly thoughout the coming year.

Time to move on, for now.

What are you doing for the new year? Any personal improvement plans (resolutions)?

I know someone who has a virtue they work on each year. 2006 was her year of compassion. This year is her year of discipline.

I've decided to follow this model, in a modified way. Here's a list of choices:

Year of:

Coping in a more healthy manner
Careful with words
Healthier mind, body, spirit
Relating to various cultures
Supporting a charity
Expressing thoughts more freely
Keeping thoughts to self
(see? there's something good for everyone...)

just a friend said...

I remember the Mary Smith incident. I thought David Keelan would offer an apology, but no he didnt. I sense he wanted to continue for many weeks, even recently to add salt to the wound.

David, when you read this, would you consider offering a short and honest apology to Mary Smith.

That small act of kindness would pay large dividends.

Thank you David.

David W. Keelan said...

I didn't out Mary Smith. I set up a sting and she bit. She outed herself. Do I regret setting the sting - no.

Call me what you want.

David W. Keelan said...

Tracking commenters? Let us be clear. No one can track who is making comments. Let me say that again. No one can track who is making comments.

The Mary Smith incident. Maybe it is time to tell you how that came about.

A lot of people felt her comments were getting crazier and crazier and really off the wall. Almost 1/2 a dozen people wanted me to knock her off the blog. I didn't want to so I compromised and moderated her comments instead. That pissed her off and guess what - she deluged me with email.

Then 3 seperate people emailed me saying I know who Mary Smith is and here is why I think I know. I was encouraged to out her.

What I could have done was put up a post that said "I KNOW WHO MARY SMITH IS" and written her name in big bold letters in the middle of the post. I didn't do that. What I did was test the waters and Mary bit and outed herself.

Since then Mary Smith started going around to the local blogs (the ones that existed at the time) saying I was encouraging people to post things on my blog using the "Mary Smith" handle.

This is what one blogger sent to me:

David is encouraging others to post, masquerading as Mary or being openly misinterpreted as Mary, and yet others believe this theft and are writing responses wherein she purportedly said things that the real Mary never said.

...and further, David knows this is not Mary's IP address, not her employer, he knows.

...Another reader of David's site has let me know that David also tracked his i/p address, found out who he was and now tracks his employer, actually letting him know about the employer link.

Good riddence Mary Smith I think you need help.

What is ironic about this is that 99% of the people who are complaining about this whole issue still don't know who Mary Smith is.

So, be warned (as written in my disclaimer) if you lie about people, make outrageous claims without any proof or backing you will be outed. If you don't like it I have nothing to regret. If you don't like me because of it - I can't do or say anything to change your mind. That is my blog policy.

These are the risks one takes writing a blog and one takes commenting on a blog. Life if tough.

David W. Keelan said...

By the way, you might find Mary's first name on my blog but you won't find her full name because I never published it.

Additionally, this should have read "...without proof or backing you "may" be outed." because as I said earlier - no blogger can track someone by their comments. The Mary Smith incident was only a wild ass guess.

Anonymous said...

If you didn't out her, how is it that you said her name on your blog? And you call others crazy.

Your duplicity calls into question everything you say.

Is it a coincidence that you received requests to out her from those she didn't agree with? That's the problem with your blog, Keelan. It's not just partisan, it's dishonest.

David W. Keelan said...

Dishonest and partisan. No. It is just my opinion and that is all I ever promised.

Her name? What is her name? You might know her first name but you don't know her last name do you? If you do it isn't because I published it because I never did.

You didn't have to deal with her did you?

David W. Keelan said...

BTW: How do you know who asked me to out her and that they didn't agree with her. Maybe they just thought she was disturbed? In fact that is what they thought.

Anonymous said...

You sound disturbed, actually. Quite disturbed. Too many things you say don't add up.

Why not just apologize and call it a day?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:50am: Good idea. An apology would work better than the litany of conflicting claims that serve to dig the hole deeper and deeper for him.

You are a real friend, but he doesn't seem to notice good advice.

Anonymous said...

I outed Mary Smith. She laid out a challenge early on that she would never be tricked or persuaded to reveal her identity- which made me curious- especially as she indicated she knew me personally. I noted little clues she left- a barn in the back yard... her likely location in District 5... some geographic info... the fact she was an excellent writer...etc etc etc. But one day- she posted comments nearly identical to comments made by a local activist in a local paper. And I knew that the local activist had a barn in her back yard...lived in district 5... etc etc etc.. so I email David and asked if Mary Smith was the activist- and I cited the View article that carried the identical quotes.

I looked at it as a mystery.. or a dare. She gave the challenge to figure her out and I accepted and I was delighted to solve it. (Delighted as in finally solving a riddle or a particularly challenging crossword puzzle).

I did not do it to be mean spirited. And I don't think anything but her first name was ever revealed by David. So I'm not sure she was really outed.

But I do apologize- sincerely- if it hurt her feelings. I have a lot of respect for Mary and her ideas- even the ones that were contrary to my own.

People who post to blogs as articulately and as confrontationally as Mary did will always arouse curiousity about their true identity. And daring readers to uncover the identity, being coy about coffee dates, etc- well it becomes a game- a good natured, challenge. Nothing more.

David W. Keelan said...

Anon 7:57 thank you for coming forward. It is appreciated.

You are correct in reminding everyone that Mary Smith did make a game out of challenging people to identifying her... I had forgotten.

I should add. You were not the only person who came forward.

David said...

I should also add that in the beginning I also had respect for Mary's opinions. Then things sort of degenerated into the Twilight Zone.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks that anything published anonymously or otherwise on the Net is somehow private or protected or due some special consideration is living in fantasyland. I tell my students- as soon as they begin using a computer- that every keystroke can come back to haunt them. I also tell them to never write anything they would be embarrassed to claim to their mothers.

The internet is an awesome tool, but it as about as private as a glass phonebooth in Times Square and anyone who frequents blogs should know that.

Writers visit and write in part for the audience. I'm hard pressed to be too sympathetic to anyone who believes they can throw daggers from the dark and yet be morally outraged when someone shines a little light on the subject.

or... turnabout is fair play... or you can't throw mud and not get dirty.... or.... what goes around comes around.... or .... well you get the picture.

Anonymous said...

I would rather have more discussion and dialogue on the content of Keelan's blog. The focus on the self absorbed and libelous Mary Smith is pathetic. She taunted readers to out her and she got what she asked for.

I find it equally pathetic that Keelan finds it necessary to defend his actions. Mary Smith got what she asked for Keelan. You don't have anything to apologize for or to defend. Move on and keep writing.

I will add that your post about retirement benefits is worthy of a great deal of commentary and indicitive of the great content on your blog. (This Mary Smith thing is not worth another moment of your attention. In comparision it is wart on a the arse of a toad).

Anyway, I forwarded thos post and discussed it with my brother in Pennsylvania - they are faced with the same problem. We agreed that after reading your post you have done a service for highlighting the issue. Damn the torpedos and keep up the good work.

Jane said...

If an apology is what is required, let me say, for Mary Smith, that she would like to apologize for what she really did do, while pointing out again, those who are making the claims about name-calling and lies are guilty of the very thing they cannot prove.

Mary would be very sorry for visiting the hococmd site and disagreeing, trying to stir people into talking so that the truth about important issues would be known.

She would be very sorry that all of this became about her, rather than issues.

She would be very sorry indeed.

Tom Berkhouse said...


Get a life. I make no apologies for how I comment on these blogs. If you, or Hayduke, or wordbones don't like my style, too bad. I don't like people like you who distort facts, demagogue republican beliefs, and speak and act in blatantly hypocritical ways.
You can say that my accusations are unfounded and I have no proof; however, you are wrong. I give plenty of examples to back up my claims, but of course I am limited in my ability to "persuade" you and others merely because I don't use my real name. I have indicated in the past, that I have a very real concern about retribution from people like Ken Ulman who have a history of putting the screws to people who cross their path (just ask David Rakes). In fact, if I did reveal my identity it would only serve to bloster my claims - but I have to live and work in this area, so I have to take other things into consideration. I actually regret not being more vocal about what I knew of Ulman et. al. - but I truly thought that the people of the County already knew enough about his shady dealings (COMP LITE) and that he would consequently lose the election. I gave the voters too much credit.
And, as long as there is freedom of speech in this world, I'll speak out and shout down lies and deception (regardless of party affiliation). If you don;t like that, then don't be a liar a hypocrite or a demogogue and everything will be just fine.

Anonymous said...

Is a demogogue a Democrat demagogue? Sorry, just had to ask.

We all are entitled to free speech, regardless of how enlightened or foolish it may make us appear. Staying on topic, giving the courtesy of direct responses to questions posed, and attacking issue positions rather than character would benefit us all going forward.

This has been quite a digression from my au revoir to anonymous posts on FreeMarket's blog, but his claimed impetus for doing so wasn't to impose civility or even quash dissenting opinion. His stated rationale, I believe, was just to make it easier to follow discussion threads.