Banning firstamend07

In the end, we’d just had it with his nonsense.

It took firstamend07 only a handful of hours to figure out he no longer had access to Blue Jersey. That is how used to his free access here he was. This morning, the predicted  outrage in an email to our contact@ address (from an anonymous email with the name none none):

“I guess free speech is not part of the “rules”

Can’t understand “why my moderate viewpoint was so despised on your site”

[I’ve] “bowed to the masses” banning him

The “liberal community” has a “problem with open discussion”

Somebody call the wahmbulance!

In Blue Jersey’s entire 9-year span, we’ve had to ban only a handful of users. We hate banning, and probably let this particular user go on for far too long. For that, I apologize to the rest of you. Some got a facefull of his personal insults disagreeing with him. Some scrolled past whatever he wrote – all in one-sentence paragraphs – because it was all the same. Apologies.

Let’s get a couple of things straight, as they seem to elude firstamend07:

TOS: FA07 was banned for (multiple) TOS violations (and multiple warnings), including repeated hijack of threads and insulting other users. The insults? “A-hole.” “Insane.” “Crazy.”  My favorite? “Armchair,” by which I think he meant armchair quarterback. Or something.

Free speech, censorship:  Let’s breeze past the absurdity of a person who’s had 7 years/thousands of published comments/hundreds of diaries at a site he contributes no resources or labor to complaining his free speech has been violated. In fact, he still leaves here with all the First Amendment rights accorded him as an American; perhaps a book on civics would be useful to explain the difference between free speech and no, you can’t insult people here.

Shill: We don’t know if firstamend07 is a paid shill of the Norcross machine. We only know he behaved here like he was. He always dropped back to a defensive posture at that suggestion, claiming he’s merely a “moderate” in a “big-tent party”. Clever, but dishonest. Firstamend07 never mentioned Steve Fulop until the papers declared him a viable candidate for Governor against Steve Sweeney – then lickety-split, the flood of diaries/comments/thread hijacks full of poorly-supported, overwrought accusations of corruption and failure of Fulop. Lather, rinse, repeat, when Phil Murphy’s name circulated. As we head toward the inevitable what’s-next, the convo here will be clearer without concern somebody’s been sent in to rile up the “lefty bloggers”.

Those armchairs.  

Comments (28)

  1. kfoster

    There wasn’t anything anyone could say about a Norcrat without him/her jumping all over it. If they weren’t being paid to shill then they should’ve been.  

    Was there even anything other than Norcrats that even mattered to FA07?  

    Reply
  2. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

    Firstamend07 started out trying to call us “armchair progressives” (meaning, I guess, all we do is sit and pontificate – hilarious because he has no idea the ways the Blue Jersey team is engaged in NJ politics individually). Then he seemed move to armchair quarterback (meaning, I guess, we just criticize what his friends in the South Jersey machine do, after the fact).

    Finally, he just segued into calling us armchairs. The absurdity of it … always struck me as a clumsy and ignorant attempt to be insulting.

    Armchairs: InsultFAIL.

    Reply
  3. brendanod

    He was a serial hijacker and his posts offered nothing but the same old predictability.  I suspect you kept him on for as long as you did because he would occasionally offer a non bias Norcross/Sweeney point of view on subjects that had no relevance to them. I thank you for the ban.  He was trying too hard to make people who were immune to his kool aid drink it. I had tired of of it and was less apt to read a diary or comment constructively if he was trying to ram his point of view.

    I’m not going to miss him.  

    Reply
  4. Dvd Avins

    Though I’d bet s/he is in some capacity paid (regularly or on occasion) by the Norcross machine for something, I would give long odds that s/he was not paid to shill here, or if that was in any way part of his duties, he was not overseen and merely humored in taking on the task.

    There are many things about the Norcross Machine worthy of contempt, but their general level of competence is not among them. I think it would have been apparent to any able apparatchik that firstamend07 did far more to discredit her/his employer than s/he did to make them look good.

    Reply
  5. keepitreal

    Firstamend was not interested in having honest discussions. He slipped up earlier this year and revealed part of his playbook, which was “attack, attack, attack and always win the news cycle”. And that is exactly what he tried to do to anyone who posed a potential threat to Norcross/Sweeney aspirations, or dared to criticize them or their organization. It is inconceivable that anyone would work that hard on behalf of the Norcross administration without getting paid to do so.  

    Reply
  6. Jersey Jazzman

    Go start a blog. You can write whatever you want as much as you want.

    Reply
  7. Marie Corfield

    It’s not a dialogue when the comments are so one-sided. What I love about this site is that many different opinions are tolerated. We get down into the weeds and, for the most part, it’s civil. firstamend07 didn’t converse; he vomited his opinions all over the rest of us.

    Reply
  8. robosz

    He made a self-assured prediction of the Christie resignation at 7:12 pm on January 15 …. (during the State of the State). I was awaiting the post on Jan. 16 when “all would be revealed” why it didn’t happen … oh well.  

    Reply
  9. sayitaintso

    as his communications director.  So somebody in the machine knows the value of having a smart, knowledgeable professional doing that job.

    FA07 was/is a shill, but had none of those qualities.  

    Rosi, you made a good call.  even name-calling has its place, but we come here to see people back up their positions with something more.

    Reply
  10. 12mileseastofTrenton

    His whole premise was wrong, and it carried to his handle.

    Clearly he had some connection to the Norcross-Sweeney machine.  He should have at least been honest enough to admit it.

    Reply
  11. Steven Goldstein

    I think the ban of FirstAmend07, with which I agree, brings up an interesting question. I raise it here not to redirect the thread to a tangent, but because I think it’s relevant and I promise you, not at all rhetorical.  I intend this for bigger discussion.

    To what extent are progressives who might be take the traditional progressive line on 90 or 95 percent of all issues welcome to express different viewpoints here on the remaining 5 to 10 percent – viewpoints that would differ from those of the majority of the Blue Jersey community – without fear of being flamed?  I’m not talking about fear of other views, but fear of being ganged up upon to the point of not wanting to express possible dissenting views again.

    For certain, FirstAmend07 was not the best messenger for this question.  First, this is a progressive website and he himself rejected having a progressive world view as his personal starting point rather than on particular issues, rather than an end point to which he arrived, in sincere, thoughtful give and take.  In short, he came here to fight progressives, not to add to the discussion or further particular debate.   Secondly, he turned everything into an attack on others for benefit of whomever he seemed to be working – violating the spirit of an independent blog where none of the rest of us, I think, post for any other reason than to speak about politics and public policy with no hidden agenda.  It’s what I love about Blue Jersey, even when I disagree here on there with some of the posts.  So I agree with your decision, Rosi, to ban him or her.

    But take me.  Let me let you all in on a secret.  I, for one, have been hesitant to post here – yeah, supposedly tough Steven, believe it or not, hesitant because I think I’d get flamed to death.  Perhaps you think folks like me and many others in politics are grownups who can take it, but we’re still real people, just like electeds are real people.  

    So suppose I, whose progressive activism in New Jersey you all know about, and who previously advanced progressive positions as a policy lawyer and communications staffer in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House on far more than on LGBT rights – including on a vast array of economic and social issues from income equality to supporting labor unions to civil rights for women and people of color – did not take the so-called progressive line on some issues.  For instance, I’m a foreign policy moderate.  I also believe that President Obama, one of the most successful presidents in history on economic and social issues – a President I love and support – has been somewhat of a foreign policy mess in his second term.  Would I be able to post here without being flamed?  I fear it.

    Not just on public policy – let’s take state politics.  I like Steve Sweeney, just as Loretta likes him.  I also like George Norcross, albeit with nuances in which I agree with many others concerned about the impact of political bossism and non-transparency.   But in George’s case, I think he, like Steve Sweeney, has done huge good on some progressive issues.  I’ve worked with both behind the scenes.   I could mention Tom Moran, too.  I don’t agree with Tom on everything – he was wrong in his initial opposition to the bill, now law, banning reparative therapy, in his early support of Governor Christie and in some of his editorials on education.  But he has been a progressive on other issues; indeed, I believe we would not have marriage equality today without his early and unrelenting-to-the-end editorials, just as we wouldn’t have marriage equality without Blue Jersey.  

    Is there room for discussion on such matters?  Is there room if I expressed any of these views without my being attacked generally as not so progressive – which I am, again, on almost everything?   I love Blue Jersey and I swear, I did not mean this as a troll.

    Thanks for listening – and I apologize for the length.

    Reply
  12. Steven Goldstein

    Per the fear about which I wrote, if I dared to stick a toe into one or two other views as I did in my post, I would get a response, which I did, basically calling me not a progressive at all.  On your specific points, I not only opposed pen-ben, I organized Garden State Equality to turnout our members at rallies and phone banks to oppose the pen-ben bill.  I thought it was important for us to stand for progressive causes not our own, just as straight progressives stood for LGBT equality.  Ask progressive labor leaders about it.  As for the Cuban embargo, before I founded Garden State Equality, I ran a consulting firm that worked to lift the embargo and to normalize relations with Cuba because I believed then, as I do now, that a free Cuba, a Cuba free of the Castros’ oppression, could best happen through normalized relations.  As a staffer, I wrote or cowrote or helped to steer to passage nine federal laws I promise you’d find progressive, that anyone would, to improve the lives of women, people of color and the economically disadvantaged.  Today I teach about income inequality.  I am a progressive.  I have more complex views, however, of some public figures whom most Blue Jerseyans, well, can’t stand; and as I said, my views on some foreign policy issues are absolutely moderate.  I fear that this has now sidetracked into a conversation about me rather than about the broader question in my post – if you want, feel free to contact me offline at StevenGoldstein.email@gmail.com  Thanks!

    Reply
  13. Joebluejersey11

    actually Blue Jersey to its credit is more of a draw not just for Progressives, but also for more, “alleged pure evil” machine Democrats, who actually support a Progressive taint, but sadly as FirstAmend007 sometimes pointed out that Progressives sometimes mandate of totally loyality and non-grey areas turns off voters and loses election.

    So rather then turn the blog into a Sweeney (Norcoss-Weinberg) bashing love fest, at least someone was there to defend someone like Sweeney who is in there everyday fighting the sometime good fight. Cause the fact is NJ aint even 50% Progressive and will not be electing a de Blasio type candidate soon.

    The banning of Firstamend007 plays right into hir/her/his  hands that Progressives aren’t the big tent they are all cracked up to be.

    I’d say put hir/him/her in time out for a while, at least until Ambassador Murphy announces and then let hir back in, when its a three or four way race then. By then Fulop bonofides as a Progressive will be clear and Chrisitie will have resigned by then.

    Reply
  14. kfoster
    Reply

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