TAH: My favorite 10 posts for the year

| December 31, 2012

This year has been so much fun, it’s hard for me to pick out my favorites – but that’s because I conflate fun with traffic and how many people I pissed off, but probably my favorite posts were TSO’s posts about Timothy Poe, because for once, I was seeing them like you do because I was off in limbo for the whole thing. And it led to a profile of us on NBC News.

Another one I had fun with was Jake Diliberto. We’ve been arch enemies for years and someone on Facebook approached me about him and that led Diliberto to the Stolen Valor throne this year.

And then there was Timothy Oliver, who we not only shut down as a phony, but we taught some of the media a lesson about Stolen Valor.

Leo Webb was another one with whom we taught the media about believing everything they hear. Even the Stars & Stripes was fooled, until we straightened them out about Larry Marquez.

Ken Aden dropped out of the Arkansas Congressional race because of us.

Of course, as I’m fond of telling reporters, Stolen Valor isn’t the only thing we do, and we’re not the only ones doing it. But this year has seen a rapid expansion of folks who hunt pretenders. We certainly weren’t the first to do it, but I think we can take credit for bringing it to the popular culture.

In fact our biggest traffic-generating post was the one we did about Lindsey Stone which had nothing to do with stolen valor. I did a lot of interviews over that one that never got published because The people who interviewed me were disappointed that I didn’t want her to lose her job and that removed her and her employers’ contact information from the blog. I guess they expected me to lead the pitchfork brigade and light every torch.

We also got dispatches from TSO when he was embedded in Afghanistan and Africa this year – just like a real milblog.

But I think the post that tickled me most had nothing to do with anything, really. It was during the breathless LA Times reportage about troops in Afghanistan posing with dead suicide bombers when I came across this picture on Facebook of our buddy Jim Hanson of Blackfive.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the invasion of a few weeks ago when the John Cole fanboys descended upon us thinking that they could convince any that their fearless leader had a valid point.

And, finally, I enjoyed putting together the Members’ Gallery and reading your stories and picking out which pictures I wanted to use was an absolute ball. I kept telling TSO that I couldn’t believe that more than 80 people wanted their faces associated with this blog.

So those are my favorite ten posts of this year. So which were your favorites? Or which brought you here in the first place? There’s about 6,000 of you who come by every day, so I want to hear from you lurkers, too. TSO and I are always wondering what brings you folks here, and I can’t figure this blogging thing out – so tell us.

Category: Pointless blather

Comments (38)

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  1. SJ says:

    My first year here. Came following a link on a SV story. I got hooked on that one and started surfing the groove yard of forgotten SV wads and could not believe what I was seeing. That led to other stories and very interesting commentary on a host of military subjects that helped this Old Soldier get a better understanding of what today’s troops go through (e.g., reflective belts) and how little some things have changed. And, the Members Gallery was icing on the cake to see pictures/bio’s of folks who regularly posted.

    I did make a discovery that others should also seek: buried waaay down on the bottom right of this site is a “Donate” button. I had never seen it. Time to hit it again, even if Jonn rigged the Ballduster vote count to eliminate the Gunny! Happy NY all. Thanks Jonn et al.

  2. Ex-PH2 says:

    My favorites were anything that made me laugh so hard I scared the cats.

    So many posts, so little time.

  3. RunPatRun says:

    SV is what first brought me here, Poe has to be one of the best due to the sheer unbelievable-ness of the story. The variety of the stories and different points of view brought our in comments keeps me coming back.

  4. Jonn Lilyea says:

    I forgot one that I really enjoyed despite the drama queens. Paul Rieckhoff.

  5. SGT E says:

    Stolen Valor brought me in, but the comments from regular posters is a big part of what brings me back.

  6. Those posts from that Ponsdorf guy keep me coming back.
    wise and witty in one furry package. Who could ask for anything more?

  7. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Your picks are your picks, Jonn, but I can’t forego a word or two about one that didn’t make your Top 10: “How to lose the gun control ‘conversation.’” That post was an absolute gem of masterful writing. In it, you managed to take disparate issues and join them seamlessly in a way that made the odd issues meld into a unified whole which made perfect sense. The post was a sterling example of your ability to craft a piece using the now-legendary Lilyea humor and crustiness to make a well reasoned and thought-provoking point. You’ve turned out some humdinger posts and one-liners over the past year but, in my book, that one had it all and is my numero uno for 2012.

  8. Hack Stone says:

    SGT E@6, the motto for this site should be “Come For The Poser; Stay For The Humor”.

  9. BamBam says:

    I saw you guys in the news some months back showing the posers online, ball duster mcsoulpatch being my favorite. Anyhow came here looking at all those tool bags and shared with the guys in the office and now I just check out what’s new every few hours.

  10. Stew says:

    Im a new “lurker” here, too. Really, you had me at “Ballduster McSoulpatch.” I also found the abundance of SV appalling, then discovered an active duty douchebag in my own organization and it got real. Now I read your blog because I enjoy the posts from people with whom I usually agree discussing things that just shouldn’t be happening. Hats off to you, and I’m glad I found this site!

  11. Ex-PH2 says:

    Posers. Humor. Diatribe. Disagreeable blatherskites.

    What more could one ask for?

  12. USMCE8Ret says:

    While I was in uniform earlier this year, we would periodically get e-mails sent about USMC poser’s who were caught abroad, so it peaked my interest in doing some research about these folks and somehow a link led me here.

    I’ve posted a similar comment before, and the reason I routinely visit is because other folks here have similar points of view, are like-minded in other things, and I have seen some very eloquent and thoughtful arguements and logic when those of you defend your positions – most of which are views I share. There seems to be a comeraderie here, which is what I miss being out of uniform, so I visit here often to see what my virtual partners are discussing.

    Of course, there are some lively debates – and I enjoy the exchanges and silliness of quite a bit of it, which is enjoyable to read. There are times that I laugh so hard it’s almost unbearable. The myriad of “social-subjects”, from Benghazi to the gun debate are worth discussing, and it seems the only folks honestly discussing these things are here.

    With that, I hope each of you and your families have peace, prosperity and happiness in the New Year. See you in 2013.

  13. Eggs says:

    Favorite posts – any outed phony, pics of those who are on here. Found you by way of Blackfive.

  14. DefendUSA says:

    My favorite posts are when Jonn calls us all dickweeds…and the Members Gallery…

    Seriously, I love this place and putting the asshats where they belong. I really talk like this in real life…
    Happy New Year, Farm Team!!

  15. PFDRbrendan says:

    I really enjoyed finding out about TAH this year. I don’t remember if it was a Stolen Valor post that brought me here, but I was hooked with the always entertaining comments section. I don’t post much or often but I pretty much read every post. Happy New Year from FOB Shank!

  16. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Here’s a link to the U of Delaware featuring a pic of Kupcake. You will not be surprised.


  17. Flagwaver says:

    Here’s to the new monitor guard I bought because of coffee spray during early morning reads of your humble (snicker) website!

    Happy New Year, everyone!

  18. NHSparky says:

    I stalked (whoops, FOUND) Jonn on this site after we both got banned from “the site which shall not be named” back about 2006. I’m glad it’s taken off and is as successful as it is.

    And to limit the posts here to a “top 10” is to do a disservice both to Jonn/TSO and the regular reader/posters as much as it is to those who just kind of lurk–yeah, this place does a lot of outing of phonies, but there’s a lot of issues discussed relevant to veterans of all branches, active or retired.

    Here’s to 2013 being that much bigger than 2012.

    And here’s to jamming it up the asses of the phonies and trolls (or both) that much harder.

  19. Nik says:

    Much as I like this site, I sure wish there was never a need for it. But there the need is, and here the site is, so here I sit never at a lack of useless commentary.

    Thanks for the work, time, and money it takes to build and maintain a site like this. Thanks for the unholy mixture of enjoyment and outrage. Thanks for all that, but I look forward to a day when such a place is no longer needed.

  20. Nik says:

    It occurs to me that part of @20 was a bit unclear. The useless commentary I was talking about was my useless commentary, not the rest of ya’ll.

  21. Ratt says:

    I follow your blog daily due to the simple fact that I am interested in your views. I am a retired veteran and I do like connecting with others from the military. I do appreciate your efforts to confront the posers and I do hope you continue this effort. Any assistance I can provide, I would definitely assist where I can. Thanks for your hard work and keep it up!

    A. Reed

  22. Curt says:

    I started lurking a couple years ago, linked over from BlackFive. First it was the humor, then Ballduster (makes me giggle every damn time!).
    I ETS’d from the Army in late ’91, right after Desert Storm (served in Germany at the time), and I miss the way military folks talk to each other. My son the Marine helps with that. More than anything, I keep coming back for the viewpoints of people more level headed and thoughtful than myself. Tonight I shall raise a glass in honor of those who post, as well as the regular commenters. Except for Joe. Fuck that guy.

  23. AverageNCO says:

    Of course I’ll toot my own horn for my two favorite posts.
    Jason Truitt goes all the way back to January. I came across his bogus article on a Saturday monring. Former SEAL, and not one, but two stints as a POW in Afghanistan. By lunch Larry Bailey had shot down the SEAL stories, and by dinner Mary Schantaag had found his records as a prisoner were from the California penal system, not the Taliban.
    Then on a Sunday morning in April I came across Dave Groves. This jerk showed the beauty of this site. Mary had already busted him a few years earlier, but he was still conning people. TAH gave him the publicity he truly deserved. And in what is perhaps my favorite reader post ever, Groves’ own son stopped by to confirm to everyone his dad was a dirtbag.
    Thanks Jonn & TSO for giving us a venue to bring these guys down.

  24. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    “Tonight I shall raise a glass in honor of those who post, as well as the regular commenters. Except for Joe. Fuck that guy.”

    As they say around here, that is some funny shit right there! I know UpNorth will appreciate it enormously.

  25. Common Sense says:

    I don’t really remember how I got here originally, I think I linked from Blackfive and linked there from a political blog.

    My interest in the military is far more personal now that two of my kids are in the Air National Guard. My son also turned me on to non-fiction accounts of action in Afghanistan and Iraq which has increased my understanding of what we’re doing there and the impact to our troops.

    I really enjoy this community and the kind of people it attracts. I also really appreciated Jonn’s help with our own little Stolen Valor scenario which got my daughter out of a potentially dangerous relationship.

    In other news, I just helped my son buy his first handgun (he won’t be 21 for another year). A two week wait for the background check which is usually just seconds. The Colorado Bureau of Investigations has a 12,000 backlog and has asked the Legislature for $500,000 more to process them more quickly. I’m sure the Tanner Gun Show this past weekend added at least a few thousand to the pile as well. we did get to bring the ammo home though, which cost almost double what it was around Thanksgiving. Sure wished we owned a gun shop!

  26. UpNorth says:

    Did someone mention my name? Yeah, I’ll drink to that, Curt.
    For the rest of youse guys(and gals), Happy New Year, and many more.

  27. BinhTuy66 says:

    I found your website through a link from pownetwork.org. I guess I’m a proud lurker too, though I have posted comments a couple times. I really enjoy the daily posts, comments, and most of all: the poser outings and pics. I hate posers! Since I became aware of the enormous numbers of phony’s out there I’m always paying close attention and asking questions.

    My time was Vietnam so it’s very interesting to read the views of the younger military generation(s).

    I never noticed the donation button, I’ll check for it.

    To my military brothers and sisters: “Happy New Years.” I’ll do a toast to all of you in a couple hours.

  28. OWB says:

    Well. Impossible to pick any faves because every one of them is informative, instructive, or entertaining on some level.

    Perhaps the most educational for me is hearing from the younger set so I really enjoy those posts and comments the most. Very nice to learn what is going on within our community, and to see that our newest vets are not dropping the ball at all. On anything. Thanks for that.

    Yep. It’s all good. But it sure would be great if the stolen valor side of the house became obsolete. Kinda doubt I’ll live long enough to see that happen.

    Happy New Year, all!

  29. Twist says:

    It is New Years Eve so forgive any spelling and grammar mistakes. I came over here from the stolen valor facebook page about six months ago. I came out of curiousity and stayed. My favorite posts have to be from the “inbox stuff” topic. We had a lot of fun hijacking that one. Happy New Year everyone.

  30. Twist says:

    As for you Vietnam vets, thank you for telling me that I’m one of the “young” vets. At 38 trying to keep up with 18 year olds makes me feel so old.

  31. streetsweeper says:

    I do believe my first time here was the 2006 time frame and I haven’t stop coming back. When we were gearing up for the DC counter-protests and Winter Crybabies 2 at the NLC is what really helped me to settle in at this here beer joint.

    Some day, I need to tell you guys about Lilyea walking right up to me at Crybabies and introducing himself…hehe. Congrat’s on 6 yrs of mil-blogging Jonn and TSO with many, many more to come down the trail.

  32. SJ says:

    #28: I never noticed the donation button, I’ll check for it.

    I’m a relatively newbie and never saw it either until I stumbled on it. Nice of Jonn to not beg (and to put it at the very bottom) but I’m guessing tossing him a few $ would be appreciated and it would be less than buying a drink at AL/VFW/etc to listen to us vets try to BS each other.

    Happy New Year guys and gals. Airborne!

  33. BooRadley says:


    Called “that season again”. May 21 2012. Jonn recounting sending his son to bootcamp and then Afghanistan. I missed it when it was new and was directed to it a day or two later. I put my head down on the desk and cried like a baby. I sent three kids this year. One more leaves June.
    I would say its close to the most emotionally bare thing I’ve read on here. ( the other obviously being your anniversary pieces)
    The “lose the gun conversation” was excellent writing, also. But not my fav

  34. NHSparky says:

    SJ and BinhTuy-don’t forget to click the ads, too.

    And yeah, been a while since I also kicked Jonn a few bucks. Not a bad idea when this OT I’m working shows up.

  35. Old Trooper says:

    Well, Jonn, you know why I’m here. You invited me over here, once things got interrupted at another site and you decided to start your own. Plus, the migration of COB6 over here, from his own blog and to find out that TSO was associated with some friends of mine in an outside venture (VFF). It has been interesting and educational and sometimes downright funny. I hope this year is a continuation of that.

  36. Tojo Jam says:

    Winter Soldier II brought me here. I had occasionally read TSO (and The Sniper) at his old site and followed the Google trail here when WSII rolled around.

    So many of those WSII stories sounded so over the top that I had to see for myself if there was more to it than the official coverage. If it weren’t for the reporting done by this site, it would still be difficult to credibly counter their crap.

    I also appreciate you guys exposing certain IVAW members and IVAW itself. TAH peeled back their veneer of respectability and provided clear evidence that challenged IVAW’s (and IAVA’s) media-appointed “voice of authority” on all things war-related and political.

    That and I enjoyed the Michael Yawn kerfuffle.

  37. AmyJ says:

    Don’t remember how I got here, but it’s been a few years now. As much as I enjoy the posts, the comments keep me in stitches. And oh, the new phrases I’ve learned! Keep up the good work, and Happy New Year!