Happy Birthday, ATiM

Today ATiM celebrates its 3rd anniversary. Despite our much reduced daily content, and although I am more often than not disappointed to find nothing new, I must confess that ATiM remains the first website I check every morning, so on my own behalf I want to offer my sincere thanks to all of you who have stuck with it and continue to be daily contributors. I could easily provide a list, but this is supposed to be a happy occasion, so best not to make the depressingly short list too explicit.

One interesting thing worth noting: In my quest to make this anniversary post at least somewhat entertaining by taking a walk down memory lane, I was originally going to link to some of the better threads we’ve had over the last few years, but while searching I discovered that, despite the diminished number of contributors, we did manage to set a new record in 2014 for most comments on a single post. It was McWing’s President’s Day Post which was, ironically, itself devoid of literally any content whatsoever, but managed to produce an impressive 279 comments.

2014 also produced a 242 comment post by Mark, Gay Conservatives Denied ‘Official’ Spot at Texas GOP Convention, which placed in the top 5 of most comments in history.

To be fair, though, neither of these more recent posts can be said to even approach what was the longest thread in ATiM history. That distinction belongs to a memorable thread that was so epic it needed two separate posts by Mich, the first of which alone had the 3rd highest number of comments (252), and the second of which was nearly 70% as long as the first (176), combining for a total 428 comments. I believe that this thread represents the zenith of ATiM’s participation rate.

Anyway, congrats again to ATiM for surviving a 3rd tempestuous year. Here’s to one more.

(Shall we take bets on who is still commenting by September 13, 2015?)

27 Responses

  1. So funny that the first time I broke out my kindle while on vacation was to open up ATiM and find this anniversary thread. Thanks for the trip down memory lane Scott.

    I still find the experiment interesting and the journey memorable.

    Greetings from Golden CO!


    • This is an interesting experiment, Lulu. I wish we could keep more liberals engaged. The great chasm that has QB and Scott and many of the self professed liberals at PL thinking we need two nations just doesn’t seem like that much to me. I see demonizing of well intentioned people in place of exchanges of ideas, too often.

      OTOH, I am no longer at all trusting of the motivations of people in office. George asked why we are intervening in the Middle East again and I tried to respond rationally, but I am not sure at all that the answer to George’s question shouldn’t be – there is no good reason at all, just self interest of some of the players.

      Perhaps if I thought I were correct about every goddam thing I wouldn’t want to come here. But the areas of my certainty are confined, thank you.


      • Mark:

        The great chasm that has QB and Scott and many of the self professed liberals at PL thinking we need two nations…

        I don’t want to speak for jnc, but based on his past comments I think you should include him among those of us here who would advocate such a split. Perhaps nova, too.

        And, just to be clear, I would much prefer a proper federalist system, as envisioned by the framers and as set out in the actual words of the constitution, to a full on split into two nations. But that preference is simply not compatible with the politics of the modern left, which continues to relentlessly nationalize political issues, destroy state sovereignty, and empower the federal government.

        Edit: Finally found jnc’s comment that I was thinking about.

        Re: Dean – the liberal and conservative views of the Constitution are irreconcilable. Time to split the country in half and go our separate ways.



        • Scott, I have read lots of advocacy for the “split” and did not mean to single you out as a rare voice, nor to sound dismissive, if you read it that way.

          From my perspective, we have the structures for governing locally but by ignorance and inattention we Americans fail to do so. We prefer to argue globally and nationally in our media, which have elevated local crime stories to national attention because of the demands of a 24/7 cycle. We don’t turn out to vote for city council or county commissioners or school board. We ignore the government that governs us the most.

          From my perspective, getting folks to see their local issues as local is the hurdle; not convincing them of the virtues of federalism as a construct. The first is doable – other countries do it. The second is for the few of us who truly care about it to argue. Lulu, for example, knows that her schools are her local responsibility and she stays involved locally on many issues. But she admits no stake in the concept of federalism. She is a good citizen. She does not need to have a strong or legalistic concept of federalism because she knows that most of the issues that affect her and her business are local or state matters. I doubt that most Americans are good citizens like Lulu, and I have seen many instances where the excesses of city zoning/planning rules have been blamed on Washington, DC, by conservative minded persons who actually think all government emanates from the Potomac. This is the exact coin toss opposite of the many liberals who think of a pressing concern and then want DC to address it.

          I suggest that most of us here – probably all of us – think the federal government can only affect the economy marginally. We think in terms of marginally better and marginally worse federal policy. I suspect that most people – liberals and conservatives and moderates – overestimate the government’s role in the economy.

          Perhaps I am minimizing the reality of the chasm. Put it this way – a Martian could see the difference in our governing mode and N. Korea’s, but probably not see the difference in TX’s and CA’s.


        • Mark:

          From my perspective, getting folks to see their local issues as local is the hurdle; not convincing them of the virtues of federalism as a construct.

          I think the primary hurdle has little to do with ordinary folks. Ordinary folks are followers. Ordinary folks look to the federal government to solve their problems as a matter of course now because of decades of being told to do exactly that by political elites, starting with FDR (if not sooner). If political elites, who should and probably do have real views about the virtues of federalism, wanted true federalism to exist, it would. And, perhaps more importantly, if legal elites, in particular those in the federal judiciary, were committed to a true, constitutional federalism, it would also exist. They aren’t, so it doesn’t.

          Lulu, for example, knows that her schools are her local responsibility and she stays involved locally on many issues. But she admits no stake in the concept of federalism. She is a good citizen.

          I don’t want to personalize it by using specific individuals here as exemplars of anything. But we are all citizens of multiple governments, and being a good local citizen by being involved local issues doesn’t make one a good national citizen. Those who advocate for the federal judiciary to be dictating a national abortion or SSM policy, or those who agitate for a national minimum wage, or those who push for some kind of national health care system to be managed by a federal agency (to use just a few perennial topics here at ATiM), are all contributing to the destruction of both a proper federalist system and the kind of nation that you say you would like to see. And that fact doesn’t change regardless of how involved they are at the local level, or how good a local citizen they may be.

          I have seen many instances where the excesses of city zoning/planning rules have been blamed on Washington, DC, by conservative minded persons who actually think all government emanates from the Potomac

          The assumption, I guess, is that DC is not actually to blame. Whether or not that is true in a particular instance, the primary reason it is plausible to blame DC for such things is because of how powerful the federal government has become relative to the states, and how intrusive the fed really is. It’s not like the rise of federal power is a myth and that DC doesn’t actually impose itself on what would have in the past been local issues. If DC wasn’t in fact dictating to local governments on a whole host of issues, it would be a lot more difficult for anyone to believe that DC was to blame for things it isn’t to blame for.


  2. The Michi threads were of course also the beginning of the quick “end,” so to speak. Not exactly a high moment in political culture.


  3. okie:

    Could this possibly have anything to do with it

    Unlikely, I think. What you’ve quoted is actually a pretty tame observation. Besides, many of the old contributors continue to post to Plum Line, and what qb said doesn’t even remotely approach the kind of hostility and offensiveness that exists there, so obviously those people don’t really have a problem with either. To the extent that they excuse their absence from ATiM on such things, I suspect it is nothing more than that…an excuse.

    Hello to all, and hope you are all doing well.

    I’m doing well, thanks.


  4. Michi is Boycotting cause Me, QB and Scott are bigots, don’t forget. Ghey marriage I guess. QB and Scott cause they’re against governemnt recognition of the Ghey’s marriage and me cause I cannot fathom a state’s interest in marriage to begin with.

    So, nothing’s changed indeed.


  5. Yes, that is McWing.


  6. “okiegirl, on September 14, 2014 at 3:22 pm said:

    Heh, how sad that there are six, and only six, comments on the 3rd anniversary thread.”

    Quality over quantity. I’d argue that Plum Line has fallen further in the same time period.


  7. Oh.

    Thank you and be well.


  8. okie:

    I will decline to go there (responding to that question) since I’m no longer active here and it would serve no purpose.

    Raising the question of why, then, you brought it up in the first place. Another question that will no doubt have to remain an enduring mystery, even, I suspect, to you.


  9. BTW, this:

    But it’s sad that this site, which at one time showed so much promise, ultimately failed to offer an alternative.

    ATiM most definitely was and remains a distinct alternative to PL. In fact my own theory is that it is precisely because ATiM was so distinct from PL that most of the original PL liberals have left and returned to PL. PL provides an environment – one in which leftist values/first principles are assumed and form the starting point of discussion – that was quite different from the one here at ATiM in which those values/first principles are not simply assumed, and challenging them forms the basis of many if not most discussions.


  10. So, you agree with Scott’s theory? Or do you have a different one?


  11. How fitting that okie stops by for a hit and run illustrating yet again that it isn’t possible to say anything without its being “misunderstood.” My reference to the threads as “the Michi threads” wasn’t an expression a judgment about anyone; it was just a shorthand. Michi actually had little involvement in the conflagration.

    People undoubtedly left ATiM for different reasons. A number left because they never had any real commitment to the values of the place to start with. What happened there, starting with the imprudent invitation of rukidding and mcurtis, was an early and huge sign. The ground rules should have said from the start that conservatives should expect to be compared to Holocaust deniers and accept it with complacency.


  12. okie:

    Yes, there’s a perfect example of pat-yourself-on-the-back justification for what happened with this site.

    Not a justification, just a theory. You introduced the subject, so I figured I would offer up my thoughts. I suppose I could have announced that I have a theory about it while steadfastly refusing to divulge it, but that’s not my style. If I am going to entertain a subject, I figure I should be straightforward and open, not cryptic, with my thoughts about it. I’m not one for the passive-aggressive shtick.


  13. Allright Okie, be well.


  14. okie:

    Enough. I’m not here to get into a discussion.

    In all sincerity, why are you here? I don’t mean that in the way I am sure it sounds. It is not meant to be an invitation to leave. But if you are genuinely not interested in discussing your accusations/insinuations, what is the point in making them? I am truly curious.


  15. We (I think I speak for michi on this) were horrified at his comparisons to Holocaust deniers, so we were on your side on that deal.

    Well the links are above for anyone who has the morbid curiosity to revisit and check whose memory is right.


  16. okie:

    I just stopped in because it was the anniversary

    That explains why you would check out the site, but it doesn’t explain why you would introduce the subject of why people left. Again, if you are genuinely not interested in discussing it, why bring it up?

    And I did not make “accusations/insinuations,”

    I guess we have a different view of what things like “there’s a perfect example of pat-yourself-on-the-back justification” or “it’s probably just another bait-to-attack” or explicitly refusing to answer a question while saying “I suspect you know the answer” represent.


  17. For gawd’s sake, scott. If I can, I’ll delete all of my comments except this one. Happy?

    “In all sincerity, why are you here?” Mistake!!!


    • okie:


      Quite the opposite, actually. It makes the comments totally disjointed, as certain comments now lack the context to make sense of them. If you are not going to be a regular, responsible contributor here, then you shouldn’t fuck around with the content of the site.


  18. How perfect.


  19. Well the moral of the story is that social issues are toxic.


    • Brent:

      Well the moral of the story is that social issues are toxic.

      Seems to be the case. At least for certain high profile social issues. I wonder why that should be so, or at least any more so than other, non-social issues. I guess people tend to take them a lot more personally.


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