Monday, January 11, 2010

A post I've dreaded doing... a small tribute to MIKE

Pris and I just found out that our dear buddy Mike, someone we commented with a lot at FrontPageMagazine for years (along with Jingoist and Fair Witness and FT and a few others here) has passed on.
We knew he'd been sick for almost exactly a year before he passed.
He and Mr. Z and I Skyped for about an hour one night about seven months ago. We didn't know my dear guy was sick at the time and who'd have thought my husband would pass before Mike who was already so sick? We adored Mike, as did Pris, and his loss is stunning. I never told Mike I lost Mr. Z because he didn't need more bad news.
His wife suddenly contacted us tonight and told us he passed away on November 2. Only today, I had emailed Pris saying he must be gone because I knew hospice had come to help months ago, and I knew he'd have told his family to let us know. Well, his wife mentioned that he had specifically asked that Z and Pris be contacted because he was so fond of us. What an honor. Mrs. Mike apologized for not letting us know sooner because she couldn't bring herself to go into his office. How well I know that feeling. And, obviously, she's as fine a person as he is.

Mike was one of the smartest, most dedicated Conservatives I ever knew. He was brighter than most people no matter what their politics, loved this country fiercely and, almost as fiercely, championed the Free Market. And, brother, could he back up his claims with facts and figures. And, oh, could he set a liberal straight!

Please keep his family in your prayers. You'd have adored Mike. And I think we'd all like Mrs. Mike, too, judging from her gracious email tonight. We'll miss you, Mike. You were one of the very very BEST. Love, Z


sue said...

Z and Pris - I'm sorry about your friend Mike.

Beverly said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Z.

namaste said...

i'm so sorry to hear about your friend, mike. i will say a prayer for his family and friends.

Z said...

Thanks so much, ladies. You'd have LOVED Mike. Matter of fact, I should go in to my FPM computer file and see if I'd copied any of his comments; he was a great guy. Not sure I have any, but I'll look.
I appreciate your condolences. Pris and I adored our Mike.
Do pray for his family...namaste, I appreciate that, honey.

Anonymous said...

Z- It's so fitting to pay this tribute to Mike. He was the best. I can't really add too much, you've described Mike so well.

Of course many here didn't know him. But, please bear with us. Mike had a way of using his wit to defuse any disagreement that might've gotten out of hand and he loved to spar with other commenters.

Of course neither Z, nor I ever met him, but we knew. He was a great guy. And now we say goodbye to a longtime friend, and we'll miss him. God love and bless his family.

Goodbye Mike, and God bless you.

Love Pris

Z said...

wonderful addition, Pris.
He thought the world of YOUR sparring abilities, you know that!

Opus #6 said...

Pris and Z, I am so sorry for your loss.

Mrs. Mike, if you read this, please accept my deepest condolences.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry, Z.

I'm glad you and Pris (and many others) had the joy and pleasure of knowing Mike and experiencing his wit and intellect.

MK said...

Sorry for your loss Z, hang in there ok, they're probably sharing a beer up there and catching up.

Anonymous said...

Oh my Z, thank you, but Mike was the king of sparring.


Brenda Jean said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, and can too understand her not being able to go into his office. I can't imagine how hard this has been for her, and for you losing Mr. Z. {{{HUGS}}}

JINGOIST said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Thanks for the news, despite it not being "good" news. Mike was one of those posters you read at FPM despite the thread topic because he was a wonderful and insightful commentator.

His wit and decency will be missed.

JINGOIST said...

Farmer, YOU are in Mike's league. Do you still post at fpm?

Linda said...

My thoughts go with you and Mike's family during this time.

Anonymous said...

No, Morgan, when Bubba and mr. ducky left, I left... and adopted a whole new philosophy towards posting. Burn the f.i.g.! ;-)

But thanks for the compliment!

Brooke said...

I'm sorry about this loss, Z!

Tom said...

My condolences on the passing of your friend. Please pass all our comments on to his family.

Z said...

What a terrible loss. I came to think of Mike as an ideological blood brother. I will NEVER forget his amazing intellect, rapier wit, and his pop quizzes which illuminated the darkest of issues while absolutely infuriating leftists.

RIP brother Mike. Your passing leaves a large hole.

cube said...

My condolences to you and Pris on the passing of your friend, Mike. He sounds like someone I would've enjoyed talking to.

Anonymous said...

Dear, Z,

This seems to be part of a pattern, doesn't it? The bad news just keeps coming and coming and coming.

Mike was the heartiest, hardiest, smartest, toughest most upbeat guy I ever met on the net. I admired him tremendously. More than most Mike always helped hearten and encourage us, when things seemed especially dark.

Mike and I had a lively off site correspondence for about three years, and a lot of fun bouncing off each other at the site. I've missed his razor sharp perceptions, unfailing ability to see the humor in even the dreariest and most daunting developments.

In that regard Mile was great deal like our beloved Mark Steyn. Mike was truly a Happy Warrior -- a Crusader who never lost sight of comic and absurd aspects of political life.

I did, however, notice a growing anger and even some despondency in Mike after the country made its decided turn to the left. I wonder if the evil direction American politics has taken -- we, as a country, have swallowed massive doses of ideological and spiritual poison, Z, -- wasn't a contributing factor to Mike's illness and death?

I had wondered why we heard practically nothing from Mike for such a long time? Now I know.

I guess almost everyone of the old crowd has given up on FPM by now, haven't they? I am pleased to say I haven't been near the place in over a year.

Thank you, Z, for giving us a nice clean, decent place in which to air our thoughts and grievances. If DH had taken a firm stand against trollishness and the vile, stupid, wantonly destructive sentiments that come with it the way you have done, FPM would have remained a great and useful conservative site, instead of becoming a Cesspit in Cyberspace, as it did.

We have to believe that God knows what He is doing, but I often wonder why it seems that always the WRONG people are taken from us, and the evil ones live on and on and on?

Thank you for posting this sad news, Z. If you haven't already done so, please offer my sincere condolences to Mrs. Mike. I can only imagine how terrible it must be for her -- and for you -- but I think I know.

Love to you, always,

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

cube, you'd have all loved our Mike,

FT, I know how you enjoyed him and am so glad you posted your comments...excellent.

I did send Mrs Mike the blog site address and hope she's reading all your comments.. I believe she's a successful career woman, Mike told me she was just wonderful, and is probably busy, but maybe she's seeing it soon.

Thanks, FT....great comment. What a guy he was. And thank YOU for contributing

Anonymous said...

I disagree a bit, FT. I think that DH did all of us former contributors to FPM a tremendous service in allowing the "trollishness and the vile, stupid, wantonly destructive sentiments that come with it" to over-run his website. His initial refusal to act at all, followed by his amateurish attempt at forum moderation taught us the truth in the fact that all it takes for evil to triumph in politics, is for the good men and women to do nothing, and for us to each come to the realization that WE, personally and collectively, needed to actively do more than wait for our so-called "leaders" to forge an order out of that chaos, as Z has so gracefully and competently performed here.

I only wish that others, like Mike, had made the jump from cyber commentor "impulse" to blog-owner "light" speed.

Anonymous said...

It's kinda like the difference between renting and owning. The responsibilities you learn about, anyways.

Anonymous said...

btw - No disrespect to Mike intended. The difference isn't readily apparent and many would consider it "unimportant," but I see it as a "fundemental" differnce.

Cyber gypsies treat the land differently than do cyber farmers.

DaBlade said...

Z, sorry I haven't been around recently. I give an explanation at my place today. Your recent loss, and this post, remind me not to feel sorry for myself. Many folks are dealing with much weightier issues than I am. My prayers go out to Mike and his family, and the rest of the good people suffering loss.

Anonymous said...

That's certainly another shot of bad news, Z. I wondered whatever happened to Mike. I always thought Mike was a breath of fresh air at FPM and he certainly had the knack of presenting an idea in a clear and witty manner. The whole FPM scene seemed to fall apart after the last election and a lot of posters left. I did return for awhile and posted on the blog but made my final exit about a month ago and to paraphrase the man: "I shall not return".

Oddly enough it was a show down on a thread by Steyn's protege, Shaidle, that led to my final exit that veered into religion.


Joe's New York said...

Didn't know Mike, but I'm sorry to here this.

Faith said...

I'm very sorry to hear of his loss, Z. I remember a Mike at FPM but I didn't get to know him. The FPM experience is way gone for me, and I usually didn't post on the front page at Front Page as most of you did, anyway.

Z said...

Waylon, of course you knew Mike too...I remember now. It's very hard news to hear, isn't it.

FJ and FT...I think you can look at FPM's bad management in two ways; FJ,I see your point about how that site's ruination was like a microcosm of society. There were a few leftists like Tricky who were smart and respectful, and net observer, too.......I'm sure there were more but I can't think of any.
But, other than that, the leftists who came belittled and bloviated and insulted (psi bond, Ducky, among others..both of whom comment here) and continue to do at least one of the 3 above things to this day.)
I can't tell you all how many times I had to comment "This is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG, what do you EXPECT?" It was ludicrous! LIke us going to Moveon and demanding to know why there are leftist opinions there...the left at FPM just couldn't ALLOW conservative thought and it was quite annoying but kind of funny after a while! Of course, Mike made mincemeat of did Priscilla and Farmer John, FT and Waylon and FairWitness,etc....that was fun to watch. .

But, what really closed down FPM's terrific fun of up till about 4 years ago was people who didn't remember that this is CYBERSPACE not REAL LIFE and took every comment to them as personal insults and then rounded up strangers to come and harass others, etc was a nightmare and most of us left. I believe (know) now that drunkeness and drugs applied in the case of at least two FPM posters who caused such havoc. We all remember Socrates who would have vanished if he'd just been LEFT ALONE, if nobody'd responded to him...and some of us kept requesting that people do that, but others couldn't resist.

BUT...when the moderator did ride rough shod on the terrors, people left, had the opposite effect of what people'd hoped. Mike often told me that he would leave FPM if it became a conservative haven with no other input (I found that good and that's why I haven't banned certain leftists here) but it DID become that after a while....and, because the great commenters had left anyway, it became boring and the comments which went into the high hundreds on some nights, was down to 50 on an article!! I haven't been in many many months even for a peek so I don't know if it's picked up. I hope so because they did get good articles there.
And, of course, Mike DID did Pris....I'd left already...

Well, it's a public forum and you get all kinds.

Then FPM started with the Muslim Dating Service ads on days when they'd have the most informative and frightening pieces on the truth of Islam terror, etc..!! Of course, I understand we can't always control the type of ads when we monetize our blogs, but for Horowitz not to have noticed those MANY ads was stupid and irresponsible. turned me off, believe me.

Years ago, there were people I was quite fond of for their heart and amazing intelligence, one called CITY GENT I'll never forgot..from FLA. There are many of him I still think of from time to time for their dignity, intelligence, honorable comments, love of our country, etc. GREAT AMERICANS ALL. went downhill because even civility couldn't be maintained..Maybe you're right, FJ. Maybe that IS a microcosm of society. :-(

JINGOIST said...

All taken care of Z. Thanks for the prodding. :-)

I had a LOT of fun at FPM, and made some good blogfriends. It's really nice to see that many of you came here to Z's. I've gone back once or twice and commented, but only recognized three or four regulars.
Mike was one of the best.

Anonymous said...

FT - what a great contribution to this tribute for Mike. It's so touching and true.

Yes those days at FPM, were, for a few years, very special. I feel fortunate to have been on there in those days, and to meet such terrific people.

And Z, being Z, was the first to welcome me when I began commenting there. Bless her for that. You and Mike followed close behind. It wasn't long before I felt right at home.

It was like a neighborhood, much like GEEEZ is, thanks to Z, and some pretty terrific people here as well. I know if Mike was still with us, he'd be here, a great neighbor as he always was.


heidianne jackson said...

you've spoken of him so often, z. i'm sorry for this loss for both you and pris.

Z said...

Thanks were so much fun at FPM! We did have great times, didn't we, you all? I am so so happy some of the FPMers are here now...actually, I never really realized how MANY were here.
I think Mike rarely came here because Ducky bored him and Mike REALLY didn't love just commiserating with others of the same ilk..he liked a FIGHT!!

Pris, I remember writing to you and saying something nice to you because I just plain loved your comments; your heart, your love for America, your INTELLIGENCE! You and Mike were a special pair! I loved those late-night comments flying back and forth. Remember how we'd talk later and say how we laughed till we cried when Mike would bludgeon a lefty?!

Heidianne, you'd have adored Mike! Go see Jingo's blog, he's got a great Mike COMMENT THERE for you all to see. I WISH I'd kept some of MIke's .

By the way, folks....for the last few years, Mike would send me music MP3's...he was SO up on rock and had really talented relatives who write and perform. I got GREAT stuff late on Saturday nights...Mr. Z would go to bed late and I'd sit here being regaled by great music by after the other; "so, you liked that? Wait till you hear this.." And another would come in...great stuff. He really knew music.

Anonymous said...

They sure didn't "shout us down" at FPM (and elsewhere) like they wanted to, that's for sure. Peace out.

Z said...

I just looked at FPM and the format is NOT conducive to the fabulous stuff we used to get going there...not at ALL. Boy, those were the days.

FairWitness said...

Isn't it awful news, Z? That exclusive club we widows belong to. Poor Mrs. Mike. Mike was absolutely brilliant and just about the most articulate poster at FPM. He was also fierce, strong and gutsy. How terrible for his family, as you well know. Please extend my condolences to Mrs. Mike, as I don't know how to contact her.

Guess this brings it all back to you, too, doesn't it? I am so sorry for you both.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Z. I remember. I was feeling a bit tentative as I was new at this. You said to me, "please stay at FPM, you'll be an asset here". After that I felt more at ease, and welcome. You were so kind, and friendly.

Those late nights were sheer fun. The laughs were many, and friendships were made.


Elmers Brother said...

sorry about your friend Z. He sounds like a wonderful person.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Z and Pris for your very kinds words.

I have to agree with Farmer John about the ultimate impact of the maniacal antics at FPM. There was great lesson to be learned from all of that.

It took me too long, to realize it, but "rising to the bait" put out by trolls -- or even honest-but-militant antagonists -- is tantamount to pouring gasoline on a fire.

No matter how "right" one thinks one may be, one should never respond in kind to rude, deliberately-provocative statements designed more to taunt than inform.

I let myself get all tangled up in the Socrates Debacle -- as did several others. That above all other influences poisoned FPM. It was never the same after that.

Z is so right that The Big S would have disappeared if no one had responded to him. The idea of "defending one's honor" -- or even coming to the rescue of someone who is being victimized -- just feeds the Beast. That whole sorry episode gave a new and clearer meaning to "Lead us not into Temptation."

Frankly, I think not responding to attacks in kind (i.e. GIVE UP the idea that "Justice" means an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, etc.) is the very essence of Christ's teachings.

Far better to ABSORB the evil than PASS IT ON -- even if it kills you.

Mike might disagree, for he loved a good argument as much as anyone I've ever known, but at the same time I don't think anyone ever despised the pointless rock throwing that drove Reason off the site more than Mike.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

Elbro, thanks.'re so right about Mike....and what a shame about FPM..I went to FPM for the first time in many, many months, maybe a year, last night and saw that the format is so different you can't really grasp who's commenting to whom anymore; that great familiarity is gone. It was SUCH a good format when we were all there, remember?...clicking on the names we saw, seeing who was responding exactly to whom...(am I getting that darned who/whom thing right?:-)

Well, all good things must come to an end, I guess, and that SURE was a good thing for a while.

And a lot of us met some awfully good people through it. You included!

Elmers Brother said...

not responding to trolls often works. I had a troll who created a parody blog to mine. I just ignored it and he went away. He doesn't even post on his blog anymore.

Z said...

Elbro, we begged and begged people not to respond to Socrates, etc.........they couldn't let it go.
They even thought he knew where they lived and believed everything he told them about who and what HE was.
It was a crazy time.
But, oh, the times in between were great ones.
Do you remember Mike?

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Z and other: I know what it's like to lose a loved one. From reading all the comments here, I wish I'd known him.


Anonymous said...

I agree with FJ that there is a huge difference between posting on a public website and visiting individual blogs — sort of like the difference between visiting the zoo and visiting an individual's home and minding your P's and Q's and watching the hamster spin the wheel, in some cases. Back in the good ol' days when men were men and women were glad of it, at FPM one could be in awe of the lions and tigers while standing around the monkey cage waiting for the next moron to make an idiot of himself, I guess.

I have to say I had my eyes opened to find myself being more to the right than many Americans who considered themselves to be to the political right. I had naively just assumed hat most Americans held the founding principles of their country as a value to be honored and defended. Unhappily I found out otherwise being attacked more vociferously by some on the right than those supposed enemies on the left.

If you ever wanted to find out the validity of your thinking and your ideas I found FPM to be a great place as there were plenty of people to pint out the errors of your way. My experience there lately has been that on the NewsReal Blog the blog administrator takes an active role and insist that you must behave as a guest, although sometimes guests may be treated with less than respect by him. I've noticed that good posters there have moved along, too.


Anonymous said...

Freethinker, weren't you the poster who kept a list of dozens of other posters that you claimed were all "Socrates"? Don''t see how that was a good thing in the overall intellectual atmosphere at FPM ... since it only led to a broader war on many different fronts.