Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Something Fishy in Minnesota

Last night, I submitted the following comment to Tom Nelson's blog, in reference to Amy Lester:

I'm just waiting for Lester's head to explode. She is the very definition of "conniption."

This comment was apparently rejected and did not appear on his comment page. However, just a few minutes later, the following comment did appear on the same thread (replying to a comment from someone else):

amy lester said...
"Actually, they didn't see any Blue Jays in the study areas, but they did see Ivory-billeds, so Ivory-billeds being the source of the sounds are more likely. Duh."

Oh yeah, I forgot.

(head explodes)

8:42 PM, September 26, 2006

Whoa there? It appears "Amy Lester" saw my unpublished comment, and "she" replied to it. Who is "Amy Lester?" Does she really exist? She had a presence online before appearing on Tom Nelson's blog, but this incident strongly suggests an extremely intimate connection between her and Nelson. She does not seems to be the independent voice she pretends to be. "Attack Dog" or "Hatchet Woman" seems closer to the truth.

This also begs the question of who ALL of these anonymous and pseudonymous regulars on his blog are. Few if any of them appear to be birders or ornithologists. Nelson is a birder it seems, although his non-IBWO online birding presence is generously described as "skimpy." But the large majority of his anonymous "posse" give little evidence of birding-ness; indeed they seem to look down with disdain and scorn on the fools who actually go in the field with boots and binoculars rather than simply reasoning out the obvious true facts in a nice climate-controlled office. There have been several loud rants about how actual knowledge of birds is totally irrelevent, nay, even a hindrance, to good critical analysis of bird reports.

If one looks at the anonymous comments, it is clear from the writing style and content that he majority of these come from only a very few sources. Everyone who knows the history of this sordid tale knows that one of these is Tom's brother. Another may well be Tom himself. One begins to wonder how many of these voices are really independent from Tom in any meaningful sense of the word. Then we have a couple of pseudonymous regulars. Again, little indication that most of these people actually have much real general knowledge of birds. Several appear to be disgruntled agency types who are pissed off that Cornell stole their thunder and their budget. Several claim a need for anonymity to protect their (highly placed, vitally important) jobs. Yeah sure. Questioning a bird sighting gets you fired from a government wildlife job. I bet.

Overall, I don't get the impression that Tom's anonymous "CLO-sux-big-green-weenies" lynch mob is either drawn from or representative of the community of birders and ornthologists at large. Indeed, they are rather more a gang of "one-thingers" with little if any connection to the larger bird community. They seem actually like an effort to prop up a false image of respectability by swamping the comments with syncophantic drivel. The swarms of "Tom, you da MAN!" postings are supposed to give the impression that Nelson has a large and diverse following. One might wonder... does this constitute fraud?

Oh, and by the way, no anonymous comments to this posting will be allowed.

*********EDIT********** 9/27/06

Tom (in his own comment section) said:

The "head exploding" thing is a complete coincidence as far as I know, unless "Bill" and "Amy" have an "intimate connection".

Oh my god.. the blackouts.. the lost weekends... the strange clothes in the closet... it's true...



At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may be on to something.

Quite a kangaroo court old Tom is running over there.

Enjoy your site, even though I'm not quick enough to figure out the body of water behind your picture.

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Bonsaibirder said...

Does this explain why Amy knows which anaonymous postings to Tom's blog are Cinclodes?

But come on - one man can't write so much poetry on his own surely?

By the way I responded to one of your comment sections and can't find it anywhere...

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Bonsaibirder said...

by the way ... I just found it (not that it was much cop)


At 12:54 PM, Blogger Bill Pulliam said...

I wonder if Tom will ever approve another comment of mine on his blog after this?

In case y'all missed it, there is a rather large satyrical component to this posting. The "fraud" line at the end is 'spose to be the final tip-off...

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Bill Pulliam said...

Ah well, though "Amy Lester" (imaginary though she may be) has a sense of humor, Tom Nelson (of whom there are a few reasonably clear photographs, so we will concede his existence) seems to have blacklisted me. Such is life in the blogosphere.

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Mike's Soap Box said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, come on Mike, the Carpinterio can tell that you are just having a moment ... why just a while ago, on your very own blog you rip into Julie Z for being too nice, and you laud Tom for:

"YES I even like reading Tom Nelson's blog "Ivory-billed skeptic" ... they will ignite a series of debate on the comment section and those comments can be funny and entertaining to read".

You do get it, there is the proof ... who cares if it is just one or two people imitating other people. It is at times funny. Sure lots of it is over the top, some stupid, some wrong, some clearly made up to piss people off and spread dis information (like these accusations that this was about the airport ... note the carpinterio does not endorse these views) ...

My advice to you and Soggy is this, if you don't want random, anonymous or fictitious characters reading and commenting on your stuff - write it in a journal and keep in on your desk.

Why just look at the servers I'm bouncing off to get to you. For all you know I might be in duluth too.

To tell you the truth,
I really like it in duluth.

And, take it easy on Julie Z ... she is a kind a gentle soul.

At 7:28 PM, Blogger Bill Pulliam said...

For better or for worse, Tom has promoted himself as a legitimate media outlet. With that comes responsibility. He takes this all deadly seriously, in spite of his own occasional forays into fluff. Hell, Carpintero (if that IS your real name), you saw his response to your obviously tongue-in-cheek post about "apologizing to Soggy." Not a hint that he got the irony (or was that sarcasm) in any of it. I submited five more comments today, two of them matter-of-fact continuations of the discussion about audio and the effects of distance and attentuation, and three increasingly absurdist and sarcastic notes about the mythological "Amy." Tom shit-canned all five. He's pissed. He is not the slightest bit amused. He entirely missed that my post was (among other things) a deliberate satire on all his "fraud" talk.

By the way, "Amy" can't be Tom. She DOES get the joke, and responds with suitably snarly wit. But ye gods she is a Fundie herself! No wonder she feels at home going at it with the creationists.

Maybe "Amy" has hacked my computer... if so, there's far juicier stuff than this boring old bird chatter she could have taken and run with!

At 8:39 PM, Blogger Mike's Soap Box said...


You know this is just another clear example of another character Tom created. It's hilarious and sort of sad that Tom has created his own audience or cheering section for his blog.

Ok Tom.

My blast on Julie Z was a blog entry that I wanted to get out of me for sometime. When you read Julies blog she comes off as the sweetest woman in the world but hey the public also thought the same thing about Martha Stewart.

Tom's blog is entertaining compared to Julie's blog but at least Julie's commentors are real people! Again its pretty damn lame when you have to create your own audience for your blog. " You da man Tom" lolololololol!

Duluth is a wonderful city! I was born and raised in this town! I tried living in Texas -- nah didn't work out, I tried living in Florida - -hated it but got a great laugh watching Bill Pranty walking around with thigh high socks and nut hugging shorts while working with him in Florida.

I love Duluth!

At 1:03 AM, Blogger Bonsaibirder said...

So you believe Tyler Hicks ... interesting ...

At 1:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of fluff, Nelson now apparently knows which areas "haven't held Ivory-bills for many decades". He's almost suggesting he also knows which areas have... Never mind, he'll edit the post in the next 3 minutes.

At 6:46 AM, Blogger Bill Pulliam said...

I do like the "coincidence" excuse for why "Amy" appears to have private access to his blog and/or his e-mail. The boy can hand-wave and explain away anything without batting an eye!

At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well soggy ... I made another attempt to appeal to Nelson ... and told him in so many words that as Soggy goes, so goes the Carpinterio.

I gave him a choice and Tom let me down. I can forgive him the spaz about how Iraq DID have WMD's ... but I can't forgive him how he treated you.

I admire Tom, he works hard on the Skeptic Blog and is a brave and independant thinker ... for this reason the choices that he makes are that much more meaningful to the Carpinterio.

The carpinterio feels that posting on a blog isn't a privilege as much as it is an exchange - a donation to someone's greater effort.

Soggy, you made Tom's blog a better blog. You might be a man of constant sorrow, but you were "OUR" man of constant sorrow. A fellow travler who had studied the Lunneau video till he could see it in his sleep ... you even sketched each frame and made your own flip book ... by god Soggy, that alone ought to earn you a "el giganta" award from the skepticos ... not even Sibley made a flip book.

Soggy the other thing I like about you is your un-dying optimism. You made us all better skeptics. You really did - and for that reason I want all the skeptics to hear what you have to say.

Anyway this is all by way of saying ... thanks. Thanks Soggy. Tom ain't the man ... YOU DA MAN ... if the skeptic blog ain't big enough for you ... well then It ain't big enough for The Carpinterio.

Yes the man who coined the term "Fitzcrow" ... is signing off. It was a fun ride ... but if Tom can't find a way to make his heart grow three sizes and make you feel like a valued member of the skeptic blog ... well then the Carpinterio is going to ride off into that long twilight of his namesake ...

People make mistakes Bill - and Tom though larger than life in my eyes, is human. All he has to do is the same thing we ask of CLO ... just say he made a mistake and he is sorry.

Via con Dios,

The Carpinterio Real

At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For cryin' out loud mike, the carpinterio ain't some invention of Tom Nelson ...

you've blow it with me buddy. Comparing Julie Zickeefoose to Martha Stewart ... have you no sense of decency.

I know that Julie Z would never do a thing to hurt you and for that you should be happy ... attacking Julie Z? Why don't you just go out and tell us what a ho you think Laura Ingalls Wilder is.

I mean what the hell is the point of your soap box if all you gonna do is hide in the suds and toss feces at kind hearted bird artists who love boston terriers? What kind of man are you?

But the real indication that you have issues is that you blog about how much you LOVE Tom's entertaining blog and then you savage him a few days later and accuse him of inventing ME ... and having no one but his brother following his work ... the man deserves your respect ... the carpinterio isn't happy with how he has treated soggy ... but good god man ... get a grip.

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Bill Pulliam said...

Well as for Tom and his blog...

I'm getting rather accustomed to catching flack. Tom's posse consider me a fool for even contemplating the possibility of validity to any evidence. Mr. Guppy and his supporters consider me the antichrist because I pull no punches when characterizing him as a delusional hoaxer with a bad decoy. Even Cyberthrush has gotten miffed at me from time to time. There's plenty of friction for everyone. And this is hardly the first time Tom has blocked me (or several other folks) out of his blog.

As for the Florida situation --

That debate was over an hour afer it started. Once everyone had looked at the papers, it was done. Each of our reactions to their results is 100% determined by the effects of the 18 months that have passed since the Arkansas announcement. Minds that were going to change, changed in that first hour, and aren't likely to shift from their new positions much until there is The Photo or another year without The Photo. If you thought anything but a photo is meaningless, you find the Fla results meaningless. If you think audio is valuable, you find the Fla audio valuable. If you thought the Ark audio was useless, you think the Fla audio is useless. And so on. The only place where there has been any shift is among those of us who put stronger credence in sight records. We are almost exclusively long-time serious birders (Dave Martin being a notable exception, and even he is a field biologist), and we see ourselves in the Fla team. We identify with them much more than with the Cornell Mega-Expedition. We find the Hicks Fla field notes to be more detailed and convincing than the Ark field notes; hence we are more convinced. And of course those who find all sightings suspect consider us deluded idiots. This isn't gonna change, ever.

And just about everyone agrees we need a photo.

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Mike's Soap Box said...

Why don't you just go out and tell us what a ho you think Laura Ingalls Wilder is.

LOLOL Didn't she date Rob Lowe?

you've blow it with me buddy.

I don't even know who you are so why should I care?

I mean what the hell is the point of your soap box if all you gonna do is hide in the suds and toss feces at kind hearted bird artists who love boston terriers? What kind of man are you?

My blog is not devoted to Julie Z. I made one blog entry about her. Don't worry my blog is so damn small, it sucks, everyone hates me, no one wants to bird with me, I have no friends, I am imploding, I shot my foot, my foot is in my mouth, Tom Nelson is much better birder than I, no one cares about my sightings in Duluth, no one hires me as a guide, no one calls me for bird sighting updates in the Duluth region and I am no longer considered one of Minnesota's top birders --- yep I am just a loser --lololol (-;

Other than that I am really a sweet guy - hell I made muffins for my childred today! LOL

Good birding Carp.

At 9:40 AM, Blogger Mike's Soap Box said...

I would like to apologize to Noel Wamer for my insensitive comments towards him. Yes I guided Noel Wamer around Duluth, Mn many years ago and I really enjoyed spending the day with Noel and his wife. We saw several owl species and other winter specialties that day. I also really enjoyed his wife who I found out today died back in 1991. So my comments just shows what a asshole I can be.

I am sincerely sorry for those comments.

Mike H.

At 7:30 AM, Blogger Bill Pulliam said...

Re: Mike's apology above, ref:


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