In Other Words, Soj, You're a Fraud

Friday, May 19, 2006

Originally published: Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Soj, you are a character! I mean that literally. It seems that your identity and the particulars of your life and career came under a bit of scrutiny on both the Daily Kos and Booman Tribune. As if that weren't bad enough, the findings of these discussions found their way into the hands of your nemeses the Super Patriots. Now I find that you have penned the most bizarre mea culpa it has ever been my displeasure to read. Unfortunately, that writing raises far more questions than it answers. Soj of March 2006 writes:

The truth is that I have not always been "me", that is to say "Soj". I use a pseudonymn and protect my own privacy for a number of reasons, but how I became "Soj" involves someone who was very close to me and the idiot Super Patriots have managed to re-open that wound.

The person they say I am is "SE Reames". Just about everyone who knew him called him "Eddy" however and he was a very good friend of mine, someone I've known for over 20 years. He's not here anymore, which is why it hurts, and these bozos got their laughs off of me like they wanted to.

I don't know how Eddy had been using the internet, but I know for a long time his nickname (or "handle" as they used to call it) was Sojosoniq. That was what he called his "DJ name" because he used to spin records when he lived in Des Moines, Iowa. He never made any professional records or anything, but he used to upload his mixes onto the internet and "Sojosoniq" was his DJ name.... At some point while at my house, he showed me this DailyKos website (which by the way is the first time I'd ever heard of the word "blog"), logging on as "Soj". Why it wasn't Sojosoniq, I don't know, maybe because it was a political website and he wanted a more "serious" name. I don't know and frankly I don't care.

Soj of June 2005 wrote:

I've never done this before but I think now is as good as time as any to explain the name "soj".

First, it is most definitely inspired by the feminist Sojourner Truth, who spoke with incredible courage at a time when she was a double non-entity - both black and a woman. Her speeches and statements are online and if you look at the date she spoke them, it just amazes me that anyone could speak "truth to power" at a time when the mentality was so different.. and so hostile to what she had to say. That's real courage and it inspires me daily to stand up for and to say what's right.

Secondly, I like the second part of her name, which is "truth". And that's something that inspires me every day, to speak the truth on the issues I feel are important.

Third, the word "sojourner" comes from an old Latin root, which means someone who "sojourns", or to be a "temporary traveler". Since I've traveled all my life and been a temporary resident everywhere I've lived, I am indeed a living sojourner. It's also a semi-synonymn with the word "pilgrim" and often feel like my entire life has been a pilgrimage.

Fourth, "The Sojourner" by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, is one of the most profound and moving books I've ever read in my life. I regret to say my copy of this book is in a box in the USA now, but I've read it dozens and dozens of times and the story is in my heart if not on my bookshelf.

So were you lying then or are you lying now?

Now when you say that your long lost friend Eddy introduced you to blogs when he showed you Daily Kos -- you know, the first time you'd heard the word "blog" -- was that before or after your pursuit of Tom Tomorrow led you to the same discovery.

Seven or eight years ago I used to read a free newspaper in a midwestern city, which had what I thought was a local comic strip of biting political satire. It turns out that comic was This Modern World, distributed nationally, written by a genius who calls himself Tom Tomorrow.

Approximately three years ago, in a late-night web surfing session, I re-discovered that comic strip online and there on his site was a "blog". One thing led to another and I was soon visiting others, including DailyKos, and joined up.

So Eddy let you borrow his password and post under his name. What a guy.

So perhaps a half dozen times in 2003, if you find some ancient old comment on there under "Soj", that was me. But the vast majority of them were him. It was a fairly small website at that time and neither he nor I had any idea of what would come in the future.

The first soj diary currently listed in the Daily Kos data base, a diary entitled "What's Going on in Russia" is dated 11/1/03. I count 73 diaries in 2003, mostly on foreign affairs, and strangely, including several of the World Updates that you do to this day, under the name PDB. Is that an idea you took from the late Eddy Reames -- God rest his soul -- along with his identity?

The first comment in the data base is dated 10/14/03. I count 438 comments in 2003 under the nickname soj. I've read a number of them. The writing style is awfully similar to yours. A lot of them are in the area you take such pride in, foreign affairs. And many of them are in the threads for World Updates by soj.

And while we're on the subject of World Updates, another important point suggests itself. Your first World Update appears on Daily Kos on 11/8/03. On 11/12/03 another World Update becomes the first post on a blog then called "Flogging the Simian" now called "An American in Romania." It is the blog of someone called soj, but it appears in November of 2003; a time when you claim to have only contributed a half a dozen posts under your friend's moniker. Someone started this blog. Was it the late, great Eddy Reames, or was it you?

In an entry dated 12/31/04 you say, "I started my blog in November of 2003, covering the revolution in the Republic of Georgia." You thank the many people who helped you with Flogging the Simian.

My humble and eternal gratitude goes to: PB, BC, HH, SS, BL, RC, PF, EF, SM, CT, GB, MB, SM, EB, KC, EA, JK-S, TH-J, JG, SH, DT, VR, RYP, JT, BS, DM and last but not least, Debra Bennett. I sure hope I haven't forgotten anyone :)

You've forgotten SER, Samuel Edward Reames, your dear departed friend, who gave you your entre into the blogosphere. That's quite an oversight.

And now, according to you, you've co-opted not only the ideas, but the identity of a dead man, so you could feel close to him. That's a little creepy.

So to answer your question, at some point after his death, I was on the internet and on the DailyKos site. And partly to honor his memory and feel like a piece of him was "still there", and partly just due to laziness, I continued to use his nickname.

I'm also a little confused about this.

Idema always claims to have contacts in military intelligence. Let me tell you what a damned lie that is, because the real military intelligence contacted me two years ago asking me (in confidence) if I was Eddy Reames, etc. I had a courteous discussion with that officer and she and I have had a productive relationship ever since, but then again she is a real officer and not a blowhard show-off like Idema and the "anti-sex trafficker" crew.

Two things: 1) What exactly is the "real" military intelligence? There are 4 branches of the US military: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Each has its own intelligence division. The Coast Guard has yet another. Who contacted you? Naval Intelligence? Coast Guard Intelligence? How does your contact with this one officer give you such insight into Idema's alleged contacts? Did this officer speak for every military intelligence agency? Did they tell you that Idema had no contact with any of those agencies? 2) Being an "anti sex trafficker" is a bad thing? Who on earth do you know who is "pro sex trafficking?"

You tell us that Eddy was a pretty simple guy, and never did the exciting things that you imply you have done.

He never had anything but civilian, unclassified jobs at ordinary places of employment like a hardware store.

The outrageous nature of your career claims have been well covered elsewhere. Are you now attempting to throw a little sand in our eyes and obscure your job record once again? Is this you or the late Eddy Reames describing menial work on 12/4/03?

As for being "distracted" by a menial job, I rather find that menial jobs pay me a little but don't ask me to think too much. I use that time to think and read and research and just generally learn things that otherwise I'd never have time to do. I might get paid only X dollars per hour, but in a sense, the City of Macon (and so many other jobs before it) are paying me to:

Read the news, learn Romanian, build complicated charts and datasets in Excel, read internal Homeland Security documents, learn how to file/write grants to federal agencies, meet criminals and the victims of crime and hang out with all kinds of lower-income people I'd never otherwise meet, etc, etc.

I only ask because it strikes me that, if it's Eddy, you two had a lot in common: an interest in Romania, working for the Macon PD and Homeland Security... Yet this post describes it as menial work. Whereas this more recent post makes it sound much more exciting and important.

A few years ago I was unemployed and through a moderately strange series of flukes, I ended up working in law enforcement. I should mention here I've been a lifelong pacifist. I was "promoted" straight to the Detective Bureau and worked murders, rapes, armed robberies and child molestations.

Eventually 9/11 happened and the creation of Homeland Security and because of my skills, I ended up working with the federales for a while. I got far enough inside the alphabet soups that I knew that this was not the right career path for me. In fact, I was strongly disillusioned by the sheer lack of understanding on the part of those who should be better informed and knowledgeable.

I quit all my positions in June 2004 after wrapping up a terrorist case and finalizing the preparations for the G-8 summit in Sea Island.

Then, of course there's this from the blog of... someone called soj, which again describes the job as pretty mundane. It's from 3/19/04, a few months before you claimed in the previous post to have been retiring from law enforcement. At what point did your illustrious law enforcement career really take off?

A lot of people already know this, so it's not like I'm giving away state secrets or anything, but in case you didn't already know, I work for the police.

Let me just clarify this issue right up front, because I know a lot of the people who visit this odd little corner of the universe come from countries with different kinds of police. Let me clarify this: I am talking about the police in my town only. I can't speak for all police. I am only going to speak about my police.

Also let me say before there's any confusion: I am not a police officer. I do not carry a gun. I have never arrested anyone. I have never put anyone in jail. I do not drive a police car. My job is to interview people....

For the record: I work in a "normal" office. I sit behind a desk. I have a computer and a printer. There are no bright lights. There are no "1-way" mirrors. There are no videocameras or recorders of any kind.

My job is essentially to be the invisible third person in the room besides the detective and the suspect/witness/victim. When they're talking, I type down everything they say. When I say "everything", I mean everything.

Where I come from, that's called stenography.

One more thing:

I'm an intensely private person and I've been keeping my personal life to myself since I was 13, when I tricked a person who lied to me when giving me an "assessment" test. I should tell you all about that sometime, about how a certain very prestigious university was trying to recruit pre-teens for a special program over the summer, but that's neither here nor there today.

Now you're just giving me a headache.

On Edit: I crossposted this on the Daily Kos, Booman Tribune, and Flogging the Simian. The response has only made me more disturbed at the trend of the "lefty blogosphere." Soj deleted it immediately. No shock there. I took a fair bit of abuse on Booman Tribune. But the most stunning display of cultish weirdness was on the Daily Kos. A handful of people made post after post demanding that I pull the diary and whipped themselves into a frenzy when I did not obey their commands. All but a couple demonstrated such poor reading comprehension skills that they repeatedly accused me of "outing" soj. I, of course, did not "out" soj. Soj did... or rather, he outed the original soj who has since gone to his reward. All I did was cut and paste his text.

The rabid Kossacks baited me to comment on the thread, knowing full well that they would have troll rated me into oblivian the minute I did so. Kos's new rating system is an experiment in mob rule so naked, so medieval, it should come with cyber torches and pitch forks. Gone is the sliding scale of ratings. It's now a binary system that invites troll-rating abuse. More and more Kossacks are banned, according to Armando, "by the community." Well I chose not to give them the opportunity, but the point is moot. Armando got the diary pulled and me banned from Daily Kos. I suppose it would be an awful punishment if I gave a damn about the Daily Kos. My disdain for that experiment in manufactured consent and glorified mediocrity is well documented.


Curmudgette said...

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Cao said...

Love, love, love, I think you're on a roll.

Curmudgette said...

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The Blogging Curmudgeon said...

Increasingly, my dear Curmudgette, I feel very much like the barnyard creatures at the end of George Orwell's "Animal Farm":

But they had not gone twenty yards when they stopped short. An uproar of voices was coming from the farmhouse. They rushed back and looked through the window again. Yes, a violent quarrel was in progress. There were shoutings, bangings on the table, sharp suspicious glances, furious denials. The source of the trouble appeared to be that Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington had each played an ace of spades simultaneously.

Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

In other words, what's the difference between TheFreeRepublic and DailyKos? One of them pretends to be liberal. Guess which one!

Curmudgette said...

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Librarian said...

hi! i saw your DKos diary when it went up, and i too was freaked out by the pile-on. those posters seemed to take a bizarre, *personal* sense of insult from your criticism of "soj" (i almost wondered if maybe a few of them WERE "soj" himself in yet another disguise!)

i'm sorry i did not defend your right to speak, but of course then they would simply have piled the troll-ratings on ME as well...although really i almost never post anything there anymore, i just skim some diaries and then move on. still, i owe you an apology!

i DID however post an alert regarding the fracas, over on The Welshman's international group blog, so if you'd like to see a small selection of *sane* and *rational* comments on the issue from folks around the world, you have my personal invitation to stop by, you may even decide to stay:

New International Times

as to *why* so many people persist in believing in the character of Soj...and why they respond so violently to being shown the facts, well, you know what they say about waking up sleepwalkers!



Curmudgette said...

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Curmudgette said...

Greetings Librarian,

I thank you for the note. You need not apologize for steering clear of the Daily Kos pile-on. You would surely have been metaphorically tarred and feathered. That site has been no place for rational discourse in quite some time.

Thank-you also for the link. Interesting reading. It's affirming to know that I'm not the only left-wing blogger who smells a rat. I was starting to feel a bit like I was surrounded by pod people.