Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Some truly awful news about Lee
by JimK

*UPDATE (4/15/09) I un-stickied this post...I don’t think Lee would want the site fixated on this for very long. As far as I can imagine, I think he’d want the thunderdome back in full swing ASAP.

Original post below:

This is JimK.  I am posting this just to let everyone know, the news that is flying around about Lee’s passing in China is probably - at this point - true.  I will try to gather as much information as I can and post it here.  If you hear anything or see any news reports or get confirmation from anyone reliable, please post it in the comments.

This is about the worst thing I can imagine ever having to post on this site.  Lee is...and will always be...100% unique, a force of nature and someone we are all better off knowing.

I’m also going to ask that we leave the politics at the door temporarily.

*UPDATE*

Well, as far as I know - and I will not pester his family for info, so everything I am getting is second and third hand - Lee passed in the night. I got email from him a couple of days ago, and he was online as well, so the timeframe seems to be overnight Monday, Beijing time.

I believe his mother and brother are going to China to bring him home.  Harley I know you have contact with Clayton, so please keep us updated. 

*UPDATE*

Although he shared a few photos in the last few years, Lee protected his identity mostly out of professional reasons.  I think that matters less now than us sharing some of his finer moments.  I thought you all might enjoy a couple ofpics I dug up.

First off, Lee in the US Navy:

Lee in the Navy

I have a real actual physical copy of this. Love that.

Secondly, Lee and I in 1996. I’m dressed as Reverend Reznor (loooong story but we were huge NIN fans) and Lee?  Lee is humping me.

Buck Satan and Reverend Reznor

God I am going to miss that son of a bitch.  More pics as I dig them up.

Posted by JimK on 04/07/09 at 07:27 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by on 04/07/09 at 07:34 PM from Germany

.....?????

Ah, crap....

Posted by HARLEY on 04/07/09 at 07:37 PM from United States

yeah, i have spoken with Lees’ sorta adoptive son. 
its.  damm............. the master is gone.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 04/07/09 at 07:37 PM from United States

Just...wow.

Thoughts and prayers to Lee’s family if true…

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 04/07/09 at 07:38 PM from United States

HARLEY:

I’m literally speechless…

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 07:48 PM from United States

I just spoke with his friend Nick who said he passed in his sleep. I just don’t know what to say...just heartbreaking. He was a wonderful man, with a colorful personality and vibrant spirit. I will miss him so, and smile broadly when I think of him.

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 07:50 PM from United States

Dammit.  I only know Lee from this blog but it, his creation, has been amazing.  To those that can, pass on best wishes to his family.  Even though I never met him in person, I will miss him.

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 07:57 PM from United States

OMG...what happened?  What horrible news.  God bless Lee, and condolences to his family and friends (particularly his mom).

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 07:58 PM from Japan

Lee once said “When I die, I want the announcement to be made by a guy named Jack Daniels.”

So be it. I’ll be raising a glass tonight. And then the bottle.

And then I am gonna stand on the roof…

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 08:00 PM from United States

RIP Lee. Here’s some Jack to you!

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/07/09 at 08:00 PM from United States

It’s weird to feel so sad about someone I never met.  This was the first blog I discovered (after Moorewatch).  Lee basically got me to post at Moorewatch based on an irate e-mail, then happily turned the keys to this place over.  He never looked over our shoulder.  As much as I enjoyed posting here, I was always hoping he would come back and take it off my hands.  I missed the days when I could bring up the site and fight half a dozen dollops of genius waiting for me.

He was 38.  To quote Mike Royko, I’ve known life was unfair.  I just didn’t expect it to cheat that much.

Posted by Aaron - Free Will on 04/07/09 at 08:00 PM from United States

Lee and I had our animated differences at times, but he was always a great guy and a lot of laughs, and I can tell from his Facebook profile that the people around him knew how much he was worth in their lives. “Force of nature” is the right term.

He just didn’t seem like the kind of guy who would die. Ever.

I was thinking the other day about the old guard of the conservative blogosphere, how few are left, how many have either given up or ended up acting like mainstream media muppets, then I get this news. Lee never took either road. He found a way to keep his creation alive from, literally, the far side of the world.

This is the first blog I ever became a regular participant on, prompting me to start my own. I was honored to be a guest blogger here, long ago. It entertains (and enrages) thousands. That’s a pretty awesome legacy.

I just always assumed he’d return to reassume the throne. I’m crushed that we won’t get him back.

Posted by Thrill on 04/07/09 at 08:01 PM from United States

Lee was a brilliant writer with a wonderful wit and the darkest, but most profound and funniest lines I’ve ever read on a blog.

I regret that so many of us who argued with him over the years will never have the chance to thank him for challenging our sacred views and making politics exciting again.

Maybe it isn’t what you would want, but I’ll use my “last word” to do this:

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him; may his soul and all souls, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Posted by Aaron - Free Will on 04/07/09 at 08:15 PM from United States

Truly, Lee’s soul soars forever upon His noodly appendages.

Posted by JimK on 04/07/09 at 08:19 PM from United States

Lee once said “When I die, I want the announcement to be made by a guy named Jack Daniels.”

Thanks for the reminder.  I’m going to do precisely what he would want me to do.  Get shitfaced and pour some on the ground for my homey.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/07/09 at 08:20 PM from United States

You know, 2008 was a pretty bad year.  2009 is shaping up even worse.

Posted by josparke on 04/07/09 at 08:28 PM from United States

He was a great fisker, and I even took some of my arguments from him. We’ve had differences in opinions, and our last exchange here was rather tense. But I did admire the guy for making this blog, and am truly sorry to hear of his passing :(

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 08:34 PM from United States

Lee, if your computer is working where ever you are, and you read this, I want to say that the last 5-6 years have been a pleasure, and your presence will be sorely missed.

Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there.  I do not sleep.  I am a thousand winds that blow.  I am a diamond glint on snow.  I am the sunlight on ripened grain.  I am the gentle autumn rain.  When you awake in the morning hush.  I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circling flight.  I am the soft starshine at night.  Do not stand at my grave and cry.  I am not there, I did not die.
Anonymous

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 08:36 PM from United States

Did a shot of Jack already (was lucky to have some in the house, as I prefer Scotch to Jack).  Will have to follow up with more.  Peace to you, brother Lee.

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 08:37 PM from United States

I have read this blog several times a day for the past 4-5 years now.  It’s really one of the few worth checking out.  This is a sad day and my condolences to his family and friends....

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/07/09 at 08:39 PM from United States

I don’t have any Jack around the house, but I had some vodka.  I hope he’ll be forgiving…

Posted by ? on 04/07/09 at 08:43 PM from United States

Very Grim news.  i will tap my vodka in the frig.

david

Posted by Santino on 04/07/09 at 08:58 PM from Canada

Wow, I’m dumbfounded.  Rest in peace Lee.  I truly hope you are in a better place.

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 08:59 PM from United States

I watched a movie called Sicko.

I found a website called MooreWatch.

I read an author named Lee.

I visted a blog called Right Thinking.

I lowered my jaw at the writing.

I posted comments upon it’s pages.

I made wonderful friends within it’s forum.

I expanded my knowledge of the current events.

I expanded my corral of political blogs.

I visited daily.

I read an unthinkable bit of new.

I followed up, to much sadness.

I pulled my bottle of Jack from the freezer.

I held up a shot to a unique man.

...

But this is not about me.  Lee, here’s to you.

jack_daniels.jpg

You turned complete strangers into a community.

Posted by JimK on 04/07/09 at 09:08 PM from United States

Well, I didn’t have any Jack, but I had some of one of his other favorites: Patron.

The fucked up thing is I think he brought this very bottle of Patron to a party like, 12 years ago and it’s sat in my liquor cabinet ever since.

Lee, you bastard, you know how I hate tequila, but that shot was for you, brother. I know you laughed at the face I made.

I’m going to get stinking fucking drunk tonight.

Posted by chrisbg99 on 04/07/09 at 09:12 PM from Germany

It is a sad, sad day.

R.I.P. Lee.

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 09:13 PM from Germany

This is a sad day, but also a day for remembrance.  I’ve read this blog consistently going back nearly to the beginning.  Lee was my gateway to the conservative blogosphere (most of the sites I read were through posts of his or his blogroll) and he had a way of putting things that I often wish I had the same gift for doing.  What’s amazing is that he did it on two different sites.

We all had our disagreements with him from time to time--he may be remembered as much for his internet “feuds” as for his prolific posting--but no one ever accused him of lacking the courage of his convictions.  He took a position and stuck to his guns, and I think that is why he maintained such a consistent readership over time.  You always knew where he was coming from, and you always knew where you stood with him.

I will cherish all my memories of my communications with him, both jovial and tense, and I wish his family and loved ones the best.  I hope they know how much we will miss him, too.

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 09:18 PM from United States

My only regret is that I didn’t argue with him more.  I feel, in some odd way, that I missed out on a bonding experience.

Posted by JimK on 04/07/09 at 09:24 PM from United States

kevin, I can tell you a lot of things about Lee, and one of them is he LOVED to argue. IT was like a game to him, and foreplay, and a challenge, and on top of that he always hoped and I think expected to learn some piece of information he didn’t already know.

Which wasn’t much...Lee was really fucking smart. And well-read.

I keep feeling like this isn’t real. I think Lee would recommend more beer. And maybe some Chinese hookers in a Russian bar.

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 09:25 PM from United States

Wasn’t it Mongolian hookers?

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 09:31 PM from United States

My thoughts and prayers are for his family and loved ones and to all here that, like myself, have considered him a friend. We are all better for knowing him.

A rare and exceptional human being.

To this man I raise drink, a clever and unique mixture of Jack and Coke.

Posted by JimK on 04/07/09 at 09:35 PM from United States

Wasn’t it Mongolian hookers?

I’m sure if there was a ethnic sample of hookers available, he tried them all. :)

Posted by HARLEY on 04/07/09 at 09:40 PM from United States

LEE, im really gonna miss ya.
Great fun
Lee,
was a man who ate life with shinning teeth......................
this world is just a bit darker with out him in it.
See you on the other side.

im of to bed night everyone.

Posted by HARLEY on 04/07/09 at 09:42 PM from United States

Posted by JimK on 04/07/09 at 09:35 PM from United States

Wasn’t it Mongolian hookers?

I’m sure if there was a ethnic sample of hookers available, he tried them all. :)

from what he told me about them, he would not fuck then with your dick Jim.....

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 09:44 PM from United States

kevin, I can tell you a lot of things about Lee, and one of them is he LOVED to argue.

I was always in awe at the way that he could work himself out of any corner that somebody backed him into.  It could be clear to the entire blog that Lee’s point was defeated on a given subject, but he would always come back with something that immediately put him back into contention of winning the debate, or at least ending it with both participants exhausted.

I don’t exaggerate when I say that it was his writing that got me into the world of blogs.  I came to this blog as a rather liberal fellow, but there was something about the way that he phrased his arguments that I simply couldn’t deny, even if I disagreed.  It forced me to digest his points and analyze my own thoughts on the subjects.  And isn’t that what a good writer should do?  Not just preach to his followers, but command the attention and ponderance of those that would disagree with him?

I would have liked to have met him in person to see if he was anything close to the image and personality that I have in my head.

Having not, I’m probably just as well off.  He is mythical, in a sense.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/07/09 at 09:47 PM from United States

I was hoping that the travel that comes with the new job would let me to go China one day and I would get to meet him.  Now that won’t happen.

If we, his little internet community, are feeling like this, I can’t imagine the pain his family and friends are in.

Posted by JimK on 04/07/09 at 09:49 PM from United States

I would have liked to have met him in person to see if he was anything close to the image and personality that I have in my head.

He really was. Only in person, he would laugh and smile at you while you argued, and you were in on the fact that it all amused him so much.  Some of that is lost online, the mirth and joy he took in debating and arguing.  He literally had a good time doing it.  I mean, not EVERY time, but most of the time he was having a blast.  In person you really got that.  HUGE smile on that guy, and he wasn’t shy with it.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 04/07/09 at 10:13 PM from United States

I think Lee said to stay away from the Chinese women because they were psychotic…

We really never do know when and where our time will come, but it does come to all of us.

He helped make the world a little better while he was in it. This blog is his memorial.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 04/07/09 at 10:14 PM from United States

JimK: From the pictures he posted he looked like an amiable, nerdy guy who could kick your ass and smile while doing it.

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 10:17 PM from United States

I still can’t believe the news. It’s going to take a while to process this. I’ve been reading Lee’s posts for years it must be and his was the only blog I ever read regularly. He’ll be dearly missed.

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 10:22 PM from United States

Wow....just....wow.  I’ve been a reader of Lee’s for a good 6 or so years and always enjoyed his commentary.  He will be missed.

I can’t help but wonder if his death as anything to do with his recently sporadic appearances.  Does anyone know the circumstances?

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 10:23 PM from United States

My condolences to the RTFLC family in the passing a truly great man.

Lee kept us all on our toes and entertained by his wit, his ability to turn a phrase, and his dedication to the blogging community. I think it would please him greatly to know how influential he was to so many people.

God bless Lee.

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 10:45 PM from Germany

OMG - I am truly heartbroken.  Lee was my friend.  I knew him outside this blog and for many years now - and counted him as one of my good friends.  My deepest sympathies to his family - I share your sense of loss.  These words I type seem so empty - I can’t express to you the shock and sorrow I’m feeling.

To all his (and my) friends here - my deepest sympathies to you all too.  This is very painful.  I hope to share some happy memories and thoughts later.  Right now, I’ll sign off - I need time to collect myself.

Rest in Peace my good friend - I will miss you greatly.

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 10:52 PM from United States

As a man who started reading this site as an 14 year old in 2003 and continued to this day. I can say i will truly miss Lee a great deal. I will miss his personality and lively political discourse a great deal.

Posted by Aaron - Free Will on 04/07/09 at 11:03 PM from United States

"Having not, I’m probably just as well off.  He is mythical, in a sense.”

Everyone who knew Lee in real life seems to think he was mythical there, too. That says something.

Posted by The Contrarian on 04/07/09 at 11:04 PM from Germany

People say all kinds of bullshit whenever someone dies.

It’s our own fear of death, our own bewilderment and social convention that prompts it. We gloss over everything we know to be true about the deceased, and we say all sorts of euphemisms and highfalutin rhetoric, like “oh, he was such a great guy,” or “the world needs more people like him.” It’s hard to be honest in such a time of grief.

But in Lee’s case, you can be honest. I can say without any bullshit, pretense, or falseness, that he really was unique. That society really would be better off if more people were like him. That he truly was a great guy.

When I consider all the time I’ve spent reading this blog, since I was a senior in high school, all the way through becoming an editor in Japan. For six years, this and maybe two other blogs have been daily reads for me. When I think about all that I have learned, how much my own beliefs have been shaped, strengthened, and challenged by Lee’s writing, I am overcome with a curious mixture of sorrow, anger, and appreciation. It is unjust that someone like him should leave so suddenly. It’s just not right.

My only regret is that we never got to have a drink together in Tokyo. To say he will be missed is an understatement. He will be remembered, and his writing will live on in the memories and ideals of his readership.

Thank you Lee. Thank you for everything.

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 11:11 PM from United States

I’m stunned, shocked, and saddened. 

I visit this blog almost everyday. Lee was always my favorite blogger. The guy was smart as he was funny.

I remember that we were going to have a get together some years back at the Reagan Library. That was before his huge fight with Drumwaster. I planned on going when the date was set. It never happened. I always wanted to meet Lee.

Thanks for the years of knowledge and entertainment here, at leeinchina.com, and at Moorewatch.

This shot of Jack is for you.

My sincere condolences to his family, his girlfriend, his friends, his “son”, and to you too, JimK.

Posted by CaptCBleu on 04/07/09 at 11:17 PM from United States

The only thought I have at the moment is simply...no words for the description of what I am feeling. The sense of loss for the words I have read will be no more from Lee. I will be thinking of Lee at the national tea party on the 15th.

Posted by on 04/07/09 at 11:32 PM from United States

Wow. I’m shocked.

I’ll miss him, even though we had profound differences in our outlook on religion, politics, you name it… it’s sad to think that none of us will ever get the chance to correspond with him again.

I’ll admit that now I kind of regret some of the nasty things I called him-- although I’ve a hunch he probably just laughed (or would have laughed) them off, which is fine.

Cathy Seipp two years ago, and now Lee. Geez.

Posted by bb on 04/07/09 at 11:48 PM from United States

Holy shit, when I saw the post I first hoped it was a late, macabre April Fool’s joke, then it sunk in and I am just stunned, physically and mentally.  What a huge loss for everyone, Lee was a straight shooting guy and hilariously irreverent, one of the few people who I paid attention to.  I know that he was hit hard when his father passed a few years ago and can only hope that Lee was wrong about the existence of a supreme being and is now having a drink with his father.  I’ll knock back a big glass of scotch in Lee’s memory tonight.  RIP, Lee.

Posted by Ed Kline on 04/08/09 at 12:13 AM from United States

Damnit!
I literally feel sick. Just sick.

Posted by syddelish on 04/08/09 at 12:48 AM from United States

Wow… just, wow. Count me among those that would have loved to meet Lee in real life. I’m just too stunned to say much more besides the man will be greatly missed.

And now I’m going to have to play catch up with the rest of you that already started drinking! I know he would be pissed if any of us aren’t nursing a hangover in the morning.

Posted by Miguelito on 04/08/09 at 01:07 AM from United States

Add me to the wow and shocked piles. 

This was one of the first blogs I ever started to follow with any regularity a few years back and is also one of the few that’s stayed on my list pretty continually the whole time.

Will definitely miss Lee’s posting, even though it’d become a lot more sparse lately.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 01:26 AM from United States

This is the only blog I read, and only because of Lee.

Posted by wetsprocket on 04/08/09 at 02:57 AM from United States

I didn’t agree with him on everything, but I’ve grown to respect Lee over the years I’ve been mostly lurking here.

He will be missed.

Posted by InsipiD on 04/08/09 at 03:40 AM from United States

Now that this is clearly a more sure thing, let me add how surprising and sad this is to me.  I’ve been around here since 2004, and I’ve loved every minute of it.  This is the only blog I’ve ever joined, and that alone speaks volumes about the level of discourse here.  For those willing to look past the humor, profanity, and racist jokes, RTFLC is some of the smartest online debate.  I had been looking forward to Lee’s triumphant return from China which now is sadly impossible.  My deepest sympathies to his family and close friends.  I’m sure that those of you who directly knew the man really enjoyed him.  Lee often spoke and joked about his own death, but reality is more cruel and unpredictable than our expectations.

I, too, will get my own sip of Jack Daniels in before work.  It won’t be the first time that’s happened, but close.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 05:20 AM from United States

We’ll miss you Jim.

Posted by Santino on 04/08/09 at 05:40 AM from Canada

Seeing his pictures really makes it sink in.  Although I’d love to see more.  It’s just so sad.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 06:38 AM from United States

jesus, i just saw this.  i can’t even remember how long i’ve been reading this blog; seems like shortly after 9/11.  i read a lot of blogs, but truly look forward to reading only two or three.  this is one.

i remember a few years ago when lee’s dad died, i was suprised at how it affected me, considering i’d never met either of them.  this is quite a lot like losing a friend.  when his father passed, lee posted this:

The Glad Shout

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, “There she goes!”

Gone where? Gone from my sight ... that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “There she goes!” there are other eyes watching her coming and their voices ready to take up the glad shouts “Here she comes!”

Henry Van Dyke
A Parable of Immortality

lee will indeed be sorely missed.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 06:47 AM from United States

I had always held out hope that Lee would return to blogging here full-time.  Obviously, that was not meant to be.  I am very sad at the news.

The tears are welling in my eyes again
I need twenty big buckets to catch them in
And twenty pretty girls to carry them down
And twenty deep holes to bury them in

Nick Cave

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 07:16 AM from United States

Sad news.  I think the last time I posted here was letting Lee know that Bane had passed away, and now this.

I have been reading this blog for 8-ish or so years and learned a lot. Often I learned that I didn’t agree with some of the things expressed, but it always challenged you to look deeper.  I stopped reading when Lee “left” and was really looking forward to an eventual return.

RIP, Lee and say hi to Bane for me.

Posted by thetommonster on 04/08/09 at 07:19 AM from United States

This is just heart-rending.

Lee was a wonderful combination of a relentless debater with a sharp wit and—not too far under the surface—a very kind heart.

RIP, Lee.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 07:47 AM from United States

What terrible news!

I give Lee and Jim (via Moorwatch) credit for getting me interested in blogs and thank Lee for his style and substance. 

This fundie will raise a glass in his honor tonight at dinner......

Dave D.

Posted by dwex on 04/08/09 at 08:15 AM from Germany

It is fair to say I own my current role (small though it is) in the blogosphere to Lee. I got turned on to this blog by a classmate in my MBA program in 2004, and lurked for a good long time. Lee’s response to the Terry Schiavo incident was what really made me start to spend time here, even though it was a couple of years before I signed up and started posting. I met my co-authors here, under less than ideal circumstances. I honed my debate chops here. Sometimes arguing with Lee, sometimes against him. I learned pretty quickly that pithy is fine, but if you aren’t prepared to back it up, either walk away or accept being squashed.

Whether my blogging style is derivative of Lee’s, or defensive response to it, I’m not sure. But it was formed here, in this melting pot.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 08:20 AM from United States

Like many here, I never got the chance to meet Lee in person, but after reading the blog for 5 years, I feel like he was a friend. I did get the chance to have a phone conversation with him just before he moved to China, but I always figured I get the chance to buy the man a drink.

You’ll be missed, Lee.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 08:30 AM from United States

I’ll miss you Lee. It’s like a punch in the gut. Last night I didn’t want to believe it was true.

I’ve been here for four or five years. I too came over from moorewatch and have truly enjoyed the debate. I would stay up till two or three in the morning during some of the more lively discussions.

I normally don’t drink, but tonight I’ll raise a jack and coke(or two or three) in your honor.

The latins have a saying that goes something like this.

Vaya con dios mi amigo.

I’ll miss you dude.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 08:33 AM from United States

My condolences to the family.

*raises a glass of Tennessee’s finest*

FSM bless you, Lee.  If there’s something out there after we shuffle off this mortal coil, maybe I’ll catch you on the flipside.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 09:03 AM from United States

What a horrible, Horrible day.

All the Best to Lee’s family and everyone here who knew him better than I did.

What a tragic loss.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 09:44 AM from United States

Just woke up and did my daily check of RTFTLC and...wow.  I am so shocked and saddened at this moment.  I too never met Lee, and only ever saw a picture of him today, but I felt I knew the man through his blog.  He was such a fighter, and a poet.  His rants and arguments always interested me and I will truly miss his wit and wisdom he shared with us.  My deepest sympathies go out to his family and close friends.  I have no Jack in the house, Lee, but you can bet your ass I will drain a beer for you tonight.  R.I.P. man.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 09:51 AM from United States

I never met Lee and I’m sad that I never will. I’ve never felt such a profound sense of loss about a person I’ve never met. You will be missed Lee....

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 10:06 AM from United States

I know for a fact that Lee is looking down and proud of me for having a hangover at work today in his honor. Thanks for making the beers taste extra good last night, man!

For those of you who never got to meet Lee, I can promise you that he was just as entertaining and out-there as you would imagine him to be. He just had one of those larger than life personalities. I’m going to miss him terribly.

At least I’ll always have the good memories - and they were all good…

Ordering WAY too much take-out Tai food, sitting in his apartment reading Right-Thinking and laughing at some of the shit people would say to him. Having sushi on the 3rd Street Promenade and making friends with some random guy at the bar (Lee was always able to make a friend anywhere and everywhere he went) who ended up creepily following us around the rest of the night. Going with Lee to the MTV Movie Awards and eating a hot dog to help soak up the booze we drank - only to end up with food poisoning from the hot dog and throwing up out of the door of Lee’s truck in the In N Out drive-thru. Lee laughed at me the entire time. Lee letting me briefly take over and post crap on the site after we went out on the town drinking (after going to a wrap party for a movie he worked on). “Nerding out” at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library - we were supposed to go back and see the Air Force One exhibit when it opened, but never got the chance.

I will mostly miss the fact that Lee loved me for exactly who I was. He never flinched at the things that would send other people running for the hills. And I’ll miss sitting and ranting about stupid people for hours on end.

I miss you already, buddy. I’ll see you when I get there. Save me a seat next to the keg!

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 04/08/09 at 10:33 AM from United States

Lee always seemd to take great joy in his work, whether it was his job in China or the blog...he lived life to the fullest. I can’t think of a better way to remember him than that.

Still can’t get over how young he was…

Manda: I remember those pictures he posted of you and he on a date...those were good times and the kind of memories he has left us.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 11:38 AM from United States

I don’t exaggerate when I say that it was his writing that got me into the world of blogs.  I came to this blog as a rather liberal fellow, but there was something about the way that he phrased his arguments that I simply couldn’t deny, even if I disagreed.  It forced me to digest his points and analyze my own thoughts on the subjects.  And isn’t that what a good writer should do?  Not just preach to his followers, but command the attention and ponderance of those that would disagree with him?

Kevinmkr, you say it better than I ever could.
I’m stunned, terribly sad, and feel a real, palpable sense of loss.  I took some real punches over the years from Lee, but I grew to respect him so much for his writing and debating skills.  It is comforting to hear the stories of those who actually knew him.

“And when he dies he says he’ll catch some blackbird’s wing
And he will fly away to heaven
Come some sweet blue bonnet spring “
Gulf Caost Highway/Nanci Griffith

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 11:47 AM from United States

To Lee’s family and friends:  At times like these we never feel more alone but it only takes one look at this post to realize how many people’s lives he has touched and to see how many people have you in their thought and prayers.

... Mark

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 12:32 PM from Germany

The last time I saw Lee in the flesh was about 4-5 years back, I rode my motorcycle down from SF to LA to visit friends.  Manda met up with us at Lee’s work and we went out for cocktails and hung for a while.  I don’t remember any specific details, but it was good to get my “hit” of Lee.  I love loud people.  Lee has a booming powerful voice, deep and rich, and needless to say he’s eloquent and QUICK – lots of funny insightful comments usually followed up by a powerful punchy “HA!” laugh.  (I told him repeatedly that he should start his own AM talk radio show, he’d have kicked ass!) Lee is one of those people I’ve met who I’ve derived great pleasure from just being around – like all my good and close friends - I sought him out not just because of our common interests, but because I loved being around the guy he is.

There was a point before he left for China where he was toying around with various options of what to do – where to go – for work.  I tried to entice him to come to NYC, where I was living at the time - that would have been fun!

Just off the top of my head… I always greatly admired Lee’s writing ability, as you all are keenly aware of how good it is.  Here’s the thing though – he can bang off a long well thought out – coherent, well written article in about the time it takes you to read it.  When I attempt that – look out, I’m gonna get flamed big time.  Just about any long reply post I’ve posted here has taken me ½ a day to compose, to make sure it said what I intended etc. and not to waste all of your time reading my drivel.  Lee had a gift in this regard – I haven’t met many people with his talent.

More as I think of it…

P.S. I drank a shot of single malt scotch to Lee last night and poured one into the ground for him.  Enjoy buddy.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 12:35 PM from United States

Can’t lurk anymore. It’s not going to be the same. What an awesome guy.

Best Lee post ever - Transformers review. I laughed so hard after reading that.

Thanks for the good times and the good reads. You will be missed.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 12:46 PM from United States

Damn.  You know, besides my grandparents, this is the first time anyone I’ve really cared about has died on me.  And I only knew Lee through his writing.  I’ve been coming here for probably 5+ years now.  Unbelievable.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 12:56 PM from Canada

This is terrible. Lee was a great writer and somebody who got me into blogs. His letter to the cable company was one of the funniest things I’ve read anywhere.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 01:03 PM from United States

Lee, you were the reason I came over here from Moorewatch.

Peace out, brutha.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 01:37 PM from United States

I read this blog almost since the beginning. Lee was a genius, pure and simple. Lee in China is still one of the coolest things on the internet. It’s a huge shame not being able to read a new piece by him again.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 02:45 PM from United Kingdom

Lee was an honourable chap who was willing to defend his core beliefs with a mix of conviction, humour and wit. While I may have disagreed with a few of his opinions I still felt an underlying respect for him and the persuasiveness that he consistently argued his points with.
We need more people like Lee and I think that the world is worse off for having lost him.

Lee didn’t believe in Heaven but from a previous post of his I know that rather than mourning his death he would have liked us to celebrate his life which is what I plan on doing.

RIP Lee, you won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 03:03 PM from United States

My thoughts to Lee’s family.

I have been reading this blog for about 4 or 5 years. I enjoyed the mix of serious and funny that Lee would post.

I will miss that mix.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 03:10 PM from United States

Thank you, Lee, for challenging our various world views and beliefs, thank you for being true to yourself during your entire tenure on this blog, and thank you for providing a forum for all of us to examine and challenge various points of view on numerous issues of our time.  Thunderdome is your legacy. You will be missed. You won’t be dismissed, or forgotten.

Posted by HARLEY on 04/08/09 at 03:14 PM from United States

I just got home and found a email from Clayton, he asked me to post this here.

Hey Harley,
could you do me a favor and post something up on right-thinking for me?
i’m not a member.

“Lee Croft -
I have never been more hurt to this day, as I was when I heard of his
passing on April 6, 2009. Growing up, I never knew how to describe my
relation to him. Usually it went something like, “Well long story,
he’s my mom’s ex-boyfriend from since I was 2. And he’s been there
ever since.” In retrospect, now that he’s gone, I know who he truly
was to me… He was my father. It’s still unreal to even type this
out.

He raised me, taught me how to pee in a goddamn toilet, literally
showed me the time of my life. Hell, he’s even the reason I tried
sushi the first time. At first I hated it, but that stubborn bastard
just wouldn’t let me stop trying it, til it became my favorite food.

He was the funniest man anyone had EVER met, and he was just as funny
as he was smart. He deserves a fucking metal for all the things he’s
accomplished in his lifetime. He died at the age of 38, name one 38
year old who has traveled the world doing visual effects during the
day, but partying their fucking dicks off at night, going to clubs,
drinking with friends, getting girls… God he is a legend in my eyes.

I will never meet a man like Lee again, and I think that’s perfect.
It’s people like him that make living worth it. When you were with
Lee, it was like you were on a talk show and you were the guest. He
had that social thing down like no other. He was also a very peaceful
man, he would overpower anybody who thought they could him, but never
through fighting. Through his reasoning skills and intelligence. (He
was a closet fan of debate).

It’s so hard to keep my head up through this, but I just know he would
want me to. All he ever wanted from me was happiness and success.

Lee Jay Croft,
I know our beliefs slightly block our abilities to ever see each other
again. But goddamnitt I refuse to believe that we’re going somewhere
separate when we die. Here’s to the best friend, son, brother, and
most importantly to me… Father.

I only regret not saying this sooner,
I Love You Dad.”

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 04:52 PM from United States

I’m so sorry, Clayton. My heart goes out to you.

That was very poignant and brought a tear to my eye.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 05:30 PM from United States

He was my best friend and the love of my life. He was my one. I am so proud to say I really knew him.  He wanted more than anything to matter in this world and i think this is proof he more than did.
Tonight, Jack and Coke for Lee!
Love you Honey

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 05:42 PM from United States

We’ll miss you Jim.

Holy shit, I’m so dumbstruck, I couldn’t even post right.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 05:59 PM from United States

Tonight, Jack and Coke for Lee!

Gonna have to make it a lemon martini, Chicken Fry, but I will join you ...

Posted by Sean Galbraith on 04/08/09 at 06:57 PM from Germany

My deepest condolences, Chickenfry and Clayton. He was a good man, and I’m glad to have said I knew him.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 07:17 PM from United States

If there is such a thing as a collective consciousness after death then Lee, your debates are gonna’ get a lot more interesting.

And I lift a glass of Neshoba County’s finest “shine” to you.

Posted by dakrat on 04/08/09 at 07:59 PM from Germany

I just don’t know what to say.  He’s the reason I got into reading blog politics.  His ideas and arguments always made me think.  He had one of the best minds on the internet as well as as a tongue sharp enough to cut diamonds.  I lurked for a long time and then joined during a Thunderdome post.  I’ve been hooked since. 

I’m at a loss for words.  This just makes me so sad.  I think Lee lived the idea of “Live hard, die young and leave a beautiful corpse.” I think he would love that idea.  However, it sucks for those left behind. 

I’ve taken many shots.  I hope y’all do too.  Lee will haunt you if you don’t…

Posted by HARLEY on 04/08/09 at 08:21 PM from United States

Manwhore asked me to post his condolences here.

To Lee,

You and I disagreed here and there, and we’ve gone through our tussles. One thing a friend does, is know that through those ups and downs that you’re always friends, and that’s what we are. Not many people know it on this blog, but Lee was a pretty inspirational character for me, given the fact that he and I both contributed to art. I’ve known about Lee’s occupation for five years, after an email exchange one night over 3d programs. After that we became friends.  Lee’s every bit is stubborn as you would imagine, but there was a big softy in there who would give you the shirt off his back if he could.His passing
was most unfortunate. People wind up and try to say many things when (god forbid something like this should happen. All I can say is “God damn it, Lee.” We could have used a few more years of you. I’ll miss you, you insane genius.

Lee, I never really got to heal our last rift. We are both stubborn sons of bitches, but I’m sorry. Take care up there, big guy. We all lost April 6, 2009.

Posted by TomSp on 04/08/09 at 08:22 PM from United States

I’m 21 now, and I’ve been reading Right-Thinking daily since I was 15—I started at Moorewatch and migrated here. Lee’s writing has had a profound impact on my political thinking—moreso than any other writer—particularly in regards to Michael Moore and torture during the Bush years. I will sorely miss his sense of humor and incisive reasoning.

-T

Posted by HARLEY on 04/08/09 at 08:22 PM from United States

I’ve taken many shots.  I hope y’all do too.  Lee will haunt you if you don’t…

Im gonna do that tomorrow night, i got me some shine lined up.

but i would not mind Lee haunting me, ..

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 08:24 PM from United States

I am shocked and deeply saddened to hear about Lee’s passing.  I’ve read this blog religiously for the past couple of years, and while I didn’t always agree with Lee’s point of view, I always appreciated his insightful analysis.  He really stood out in the blogosphere, and that’s saying something. 

Even though I never met him in person, in some way I felt like I knew him.  He was an honest, principled man.  My heart goes out to Lee’s family and to all of his friends here.  He will be missed…

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 08:34 PM from United States

I don’t post here.  Once, maybe twice but I always loved the jousting between members.  I love Lee (healthy man-love.) He didn’t know me, but I knew him.

There are men among us that matter.  History will judge the depth of the contributions of all men, but today is a day in which history stops to pay homage to a truely magnificent specimen. 

Lee, a man who destroyed the typical understanding of conservativism and lead all of us on a path of clarity by his arguments.  A man who convinced us-every other one of us-that we should never kow-tow to the status quo.  That it is our duty to counter argue the familiar and spit in its face. A man that contributed to the education of strangers.

Jim said it best, Lee was a “a force of nature” and his debating accumen was, in my mind, legendary.  My views of party before politics were irrevocably changed when he argued that it is not a conservative stance to let anger and hatred re-define what it means to be American.  That ethics and morality were not defined by faith.  That there is a singular truth… honesty to oneself.

I will miss you motherfucker.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 10:42 PM from United States

I’m unbelievably saddened by this news. I haven’t peeked at this site for months and for some reason I was compelled to do so today. I’m simply in shock over what I’ve found.

I abandoned this blog last year for reasons that aren’t appropriate to discuss right now. Suffice it to say, I let Lee down. He asked me, no, he honored me with a request to guest blog in 2007. I happily accepted on the condition that I keep posting in his absence. I didn’t live up to my end of the bargain. While he never hassled me over it, I always felt bad about letting him down. Now I feel terrible. I have no choice but to live with that.

Lee was an amazing character. His blog drew me in at a time of great uncertainty. He presented his arguments with authority and conviction. He knew exactly who he was. He knew how to make us all step back and take a second look at ourselves. He did all of this with a sick sense of humor that was impossible not to love.

I spoke with him on the phone a couple of times. He had a commanding voice. I was actually somewhat intimidated by it. I think his voice perfectly suits the person he represented online. It was the voice of a thinker and someone who had strong values. That voice will live on in my mind forever as well as the years of posts and comments on this site.

I hope this site stays up for years to come. I hope Lee In China does too. Regardless of what you actually believe, there is unquestionably an impact made by every person on this planet. Each person touches some other person in one way or another. Some people make a special impact, an impact that lives on in the lives of many. Lee was one of those people. For me, if there is a soul, this is it. I know that the energy that we knew as Lee now resides in the memory of everyone who ever read one of his blogs. That’s something special. That’s something we need to cling to now that our dear friend is gone.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 11:31 PM from United States

I may not have liked the direction this website has taken in recent years, but Lee had a way of articulating a position in such a way that I could at least respect his position.  I will miss him.

Posted by on 04/08/09 at 11:34 PM from Germany

I hope this is appropriate to post here, please forgive me if not, but…

Firehouse - LA – Tomorrow (Thursday) - 7PM.  I will ride down from SF to be there.  See some of you tomorrow?  Affectionately - James.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 04:59 AM from Australia

What a loss, and what a tribute to the bloke that all the people who participated in those blood-soaked vehement arguments with him are coming in to post a tribute (via proxy in cases where it ended in tears of banishment). Well, almost all (see comment #10).

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 04/09/09 at 05:36 AM from United States

I wish there was a way we could all get together in person and hold a wake...the fact that so many old friends are here now is a testament to the impact that Lee had on so many lives.

As Spider Robinson once noted, shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased. Let us always remember the joy that Lee brought for an all too brief time.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/09/09 at 07:10 AM from United States

Maybe we could have a wake online…

I keep loading the page, hoping there will be an update saying this all a big mistake; that there was some garbled translation from China and Lee is OK (this is called the denial phase).  With each passing moment, it becomes more real.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 07:43 AM from United States

Hal..what about sending this thread to his family?

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 07:45 AM from United States

I guess they have it already.  sorry, no coffee.
I came here first, hoping it was all a bad dream.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 07:58 AM from United States

Damn. Just......damn.

I don’t post here much either, but I’ve been regularly lurking and reading the lively debates, heated arguments, and general “shooting the shit” discussions for at least 5 or 6 years, and I was shocked to learn of Lee’s passing.

One of the best things that this site did for me was back when Lee’s dad passed away. I was touched by his recollections of fond memories of his dad, and the fact that he seemed to have a pretty strong relationship with him. I remember being moved by Lee’s tribute to go and give my dad a hug and tell him that I love him. Thankfully, my dad is still here and is now a loving grandfather to my beautiful little girl, who loves him deeply already even though she’s not quite yet 2 years old.

RIP, Lee. I raise my glass of Johnny Walker Red to you.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 09:54 AM from United States

What horrible news. I’ve been on this site for a few years now and always enjoyed the topics, posts, and the diversity in comments. Lee, always had thoughtful and sometimes funny posts. We have all missed that since he left for China.

I will do some shots for you tonight, Lee. RIP

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 10:01 AM from United States

Shit.  Thank you for all you did, Lee.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 01:07 PM from Australia

I’m not sure whether that caption on the Chairman Mao pic is quietly ironic or just depressing.

Posted by Ed Kline on 04/09/09 at 02:58 PM from United States

Clayton, I just read your response to Drumwasters incredibly irresponsible and cruel intimation that Lee might’ve killed himself. I was going to post this response there, but I am not a member, and I dont want to wait for their approval.
I am sad to say that you are wasting your time. I have no doubt that Lee would never kill himself intentionally, or even accidentally ( like Heath Ledger). Lee had very few people on the blog that thought more highly of him than I. However, I am also sure that Lees lifestyle may very well have contributed to his early demise. That is not an awful thing to say. The guy truly did party like a rockstar. Lee knew he wasnt gonna make it to 80 living as he did. Of course I dont think he thought 38 was the likely max either. I take comfort in the fact that he lived more in 38 than most do in 90.  ... I digress.

My point is that Drum is indeed the hateful pussy you think he is. he will blame Lee for his own death. Nothing a coroner can say short of ‘murder’ will change that. He will never focus on the years they were friends as opposed to the years they decidedly were not.
Drum, I am confident you will read this or at least it will get back to you.  I am one of those RTFLC lurkers who was there to see what you’d say. Not to see how cruel you could be ( like you pessimistically assumed), but rather hoping you’d surprise me with your kindness. I shouldve known better. Had you died, Lee would’ve been much kinder than you, and still honest enough to not be a hypocrite in the process. Thats the difference in talent and temperament between the two of you. Even in death he’s still a better man than you.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 03:14 PM from United States

What a loss, and what a tribute to the bloke that all the people who participated in those blood-soaked vehement arguments with him are coming in to post a tribute (via proxy in cases where it ended in tears of banishment). Well, almost all (see comment #10).

The guy is a great debater but in the end, he became very, very nasty during the blow out. The attacks became very personal in my opinion.

I privately emailed him the news through his website on Tuesday.

I don’t know if I was the first but for some reason, I felt he should know. For some reason, he was the first person I thought about.

I always knew that Drum could be a son of a bitch.  I just didn’t know to what degree.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/09/09 at 03:57 PM from United States

Re: Drum. Even if it turned out that Lee’s lifestyle contributed to this, that wouldn’t matter to me one fucking bit.  I’m still shocked and saddened.  And reading the touching notes from Clayton and others makes me wish I’d gone to more effort to to meet him in person.

In the end, you judge people by the effect they had on those around him.  I think the emotional tributes on this post tell you all you need to know.

For my part, he made me a better writer and changed the way I think about politics.  Anyone who can make you a better person just through scrawlings on the internet is a great person in my book.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 04:05 PM from United States

No offense to those involved, but can we start a new thread if we’re going to open volleys?

...it’s kinda disrespectful…

...in my opinion.

I wanted to add my two cents, but felt, no matter how mild-mannered, they felt wildly inappropriate here.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 04:23 PM from United States

Ok. I don’t post here much, and I refuse to go and read any more that Drum’s initial comment pointed out above. He’s a turd who is trolling his own comments section; how pathetic is that?

Clayton, Lee was an awesome guy --- you know this, I know this, and the commenters above this and those that are sure to follow are testaments to this. The ramblings of a bitter, sad egotistical fool don’t even merit the legitimacy that acknowledgment gives him. Just ignore him, he’s not worth your energy.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 04:47 PM from United States

I’m sorry, I just read Drum’s last response about being a hypocrite.

Seriously, dude...you are a sociopath. 
I’m not even being hyperbolic.

I’m done.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 04:53 PM from United States

My condolences to his family. To tell a man’s worth you must know the souls he has touched. And this man did touch many.

Thank God I was one.

Watchman

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 04:55 PM from United States

I need to give my condolences to Lee’s family and hope they’re reading this or do eventually. Lee was highly regarded even by those who vehemently disagreed with him. I hope that thought helps in some way.

Clayton, you are a testament to the positive impact Lee made on the world.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 05:34 PM from United States

All non-sense aside, I truly appreciate everything that was said about Lee.

It’s a beautiful beautiful fact to know that he touched all of you people’s lives. It’s been hard getting through this when hardly a soul around me knew who he truly was, but through this thread it’s completely obvious that

In the end, you judge people by the effect they had on those around him.  I think the emotional tributes on this post tell you all you need to know.

Hal, you hit it on the head. Thank you guys so much for the support, I will love that man ‘til the day I die…

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 05:36 PM from Germany

Even if it turned out that Lee’s lifestyle contributed to this, that wouldn’t matter to me one fucking bit.  I’m still shocked and saddened.  And reading the touching notes from Clayton and others makes me wish I’d gone to more effort to to meet him in person.

Exactly.  To the extent that any of us were wondering about causes, reading the sentiments left here would show that it was because we were all wanting to figure out, “It’s not right that Lee’s not here anymore, what could we have done?” It’s a natural part of dealing with the grief we are experiencing, because we miss him and are trying to come to terms with the fact that he’s gone.

Drum on the other hand, clearly doesn’t give a shit, and his self-righteous posturing is a great example of the kind of scum that he is.  He showed that Lee’s treatment of him was entirely justified.

Whatever.  This thread alone shows the kind of impact that Lee had on our lives personally, politically, and intellectually, and that is his true legacy, regardless of what anyone says.

Posted by JimK on 04/09/09 at 06:28 PM from United States

You knwo what people? If some folks want to wallow in their own misery on some other site, fucking let them.

Let’s get back to talking about that giant crazy bastard named Lee Croft.

Lemme tell you a Lee story: Once we were at this thing (a mini convention some of used to do). We were talking and hanging aout and being obnoxious and loud. Then he froze, looked at me for a split second in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, cocked an eyebrow at a third friend of ours who was walking up to the group and I knew INSTANTLY what we were gonna do.

See, Rich was the third friend, and Rich was ho-mo-fucking-phobic. He tried not to be, in fairness, or at least he seemed to try. And we always thought maybe he was compensating a little. Dude was a male stripper at one point.

ANYWAY...Lee was rollin at what, 4 hundy then?  BIG goatee, all six and a half feet of him.  I was a lot shorter, but I was packing a good 285-3 hunge decked out with long-ass hair, beard, and probably wearing some stupid outfit that was a cross between gay and goth and industrial. :) So we flank Rich, all without really saying to each other what we were gonna do.  Rich freezes, looks nervously from me to lee to me and back again.

We plant two GIANT-ass wet kisses on his face slap in the middle of the lobby.  Sloppy, extended shit that was, in fairness to Rich, pretty fucking gross. :)

Rich freaks out a little, and I think we laughed at him for the next four days straight.  Any time Rich’s ego threatened to get the smallest bit out of hand, Lee would threaten to make out with him and he’d go red and shut up.

Beautiful.

GOD-dammit I am going to miss that fucking guy.  How is it that I’m never going to hear that huge voice on my phone ever again?  How is that even possible?

Posted by JimK on 04/09/09 at 06:34 PM from United States

I hope this site stays up for years to come. I hope Lee In China does too.

After an appropriate time period has passed, I will try to contact his family and see if there are procedures to get the domain names transferred to my GoDaddy account.

I will keep them alive for as long as I have money to pay for a web server. Which will be forever, if I have my way.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 06:45 PM from United States

Can any of you imagine big, loud, crazy Lee...playing badminton? Sober? About 5 yrs ago Lee came with me to my office picnic, and it was one of the funniest damned things I have ever seen. Not only did the tiny racquet look ridiculous in his big hands, he was bright red from trying not to swear expletive after expletive in that booming voice with my bosses right there! He was a good and decent guy, and he went from holding in the swearing to completely winning over a couple of snooty “OC” kids (my bosses kids)by telling them about his career and what he worked on. They were so impressed by him that 5 yrs later one told me today he was so sorry he was gone and what a cool guy he mustve been. Such a strong impression he made on all of us-even those he knew/met for a short time.

Posted by GravyPan on 04/09/09 at 07:18 PM from Germany

All I can say is Damn.

Way back in 2002 when this whole blogging thing was starting to catch on like wildfire, this little outpost quickly became one of my favorite stops on the Internet. And it’s all because Lee was opinionated and unapologetic in his positions.

He was truly an independent thinker, a huge reason I got into political blogging, and from all the tributes in this thread, just a fucking awesome guy.

I’ll miss his political posts just about as much as I missed the posts about his dad. At least he’s reunited with the man he lost a few years ago.

I’m not a drinking man, but if I were, I’d raise one in his honor.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 07:22 PM from United States

I don’t visit this site nearly as often as I used to (mostly because Lee didn’t post as much anymore), so I was really hoping this was an April Fool’s joke.

I vaguely recall Lee favorably quoting Carlin’s views on death and people mourning, so keep it up, JimK and others.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 07:53 PM from Germany

What is the fate of this website?

This was Lee’s baby, and I felt he planned to come back to it full time at some point in the future.

Posted by JimK on 04/09/09 at 08:16 PM from United States

What is the fate of this website?

Well, I can’t make a decision arbitrarily, but if I have my way it stays up forever and we maybe get a couple more voices to post and we maybe start pointing to the Best of Lee on a regular basis.  Posts that folks found poignant or hilarious or whatever.

I’m just spitballin.  All I know is I don’t think he’d want it to go away at *all*.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/09/09 at 09:00 PM from United States

Jim, maybe we should talk about this in e-mail or something.  My initial feeling was that I didn’t want to continue the site without him—I was always just place-holding for his return. But I’m still just getting used to the idea of Lee being gone.  My emotions tend to move very slowly.  I’m refraining from posting for the next week or so—sort of sitting a virtual shiva, if you will.  After that, I don’t know…

One thing I was thinking about this afternoon was whether we should have a “virtual wake” for him on this site.  Basically, all log on say tomorrow night or some afternoon at a certain time and all hoist a drink in his memory.  One final brain-cell massacre to send him off to Valhalla.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 09:50 PM from United States

speechless at this point. Was hoping this was truly an April’s fool joke right on par with Lee’s macabre sense of humor.

Shit.

“Take it to the rim!” It was going to be my finest masterwork, an actual corporation registered in Hong Kong with the word “rimjob” in it.

Fucking hilarious. RIP dude.

Posted by on 04/09/09 at 10:44 PM from United States

I was always just place-holding for his return

If that’s the case, then your job is not done.

Hal, your writing is magnificent.  Lee could receive no better compliment than your continued efforts, and this community could receive no better “next of kin”, so to speak.

That said, I’m sure everyone would understand if you came to the conclusion that you were uncomfortable continuing on, or if it was never your intention to do this over the long haul at all.

Either way, this community needs to exist—it simply cannot be allowed to fall into dust.  Just look at this page, at the memorials, at the unique individuals who have assembled here.

Posted by HARLEY on 04/09/09 at 11:21 PM from United States

One thing I was thinking about this afternoon was whether we should have a “virtual wake” for him on this site.  Basically, all log on say tomorrow night or some afternoon at a certain time and all hoist a drink in his memory.  One final brain-cell massacre to send him off to Valhalla.

sounds good.
Posted by on 04/10/09 at 12:42 AM from United States

I completely agree with the idea of a virtual wake… Count me in…

Posted by on 04/10/09 at 02:02 AM from United States

Me too...i’ve had more Jack this week than in some time...I think he’d be disappointed if I stopped now-and I would HATE to disappoint him! :)

Posted by on 04/10/09 at 04:33 AM from Australia

I think a virtual wake is a great idea - booze and the internet, what better way to remember Lee. I have another idea though, which I’d like to run past Clayton - how would you feel about opening a private tribute book for Lee? As Hal said earlier, the measure of a man is the impact he had on the people around him. Although this thread is ample proof of the effect Lee had on all of us, I think it’d be nice if we could send a little private tribute that’s shared between us and the family.

This is kind of off the top of my head, so here’s a few points I thought of:

* Someone should receive and filter them, just in case - Jim’s probably the best candidate.
* You could print a bunch of them out and have them in a binder at the funeral. A friend of mine who died while I was at uni had this, it was very touching.
* It’s something more permanent and organised than a blog thread, and it’d make a great memorial for the future when you want a reminder of how awesome Lee was (not that you’d need it, but it’s nice to have anyway).

Just an idea, not sure how it fits in with your plans etc.

Posted by Ed Kline on 04/10/09 at 05:08 AM from United States

we maybe start pointing to the Best of Lee on a regular basis

I for one would love that…

As for a virtual wake, I havent drank an alcoholic beverage in nearly 18 years. ( just never liked the taste). But I’d down one in Lees honor all the same.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 04/10/09 at 08:36 AM from United States

I don’t drink either, but I could have a virtual cold one in Lee’s memory…

He definitely lived life to the fullest. That’s the way it should be.

I like the idea of a “Lee’s Greatest Hits”, too.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/10/09 at 10:10 AM from United States

Why don’t we tentatively plan to gather here tonight—let’s say at 7:00 PM PT, 10:00 PM ET for a quick virtual wake.  Late enough to be after work for the left coasters, early enough to still be up for the right coasters.

If this meets with approval, I’ll put it in a post.

Posted by on 04/10/09 at 11:01 AM from United States

I have a concert this evening and would very much like to attend.  If this could happen tomorrow, instead, I would be most gracious.  If not, I will join you all as soon as I can (but will be hoisting up drinks for good man Croft in the meantime!)

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/10/09 at 11:07 AM from United States

Saturday would also give people more notice, but we’re likely to lose more on the weekend (and lose more the further in time we get).  It’s also easter weekend, so people will be busy.  I’ll wait until i hear from more people.

Posted by on 04/10/09 at 12:06 PM from United States

I will be here tonight if that’s when it happens. However, perhaps a top post that this is being planned would help inform more people and possibly a date further out would allow people time to plan to be here.

Posted by NativeSon on 04/10/09 at 12:56 PM from United States

I would love to “attend” but I have a gig tonight. It just so happens that the bar that I am playing at tonight has Jack Daniels on special on Friday nights. $2 Jack all night. I will definitely hoist a few in honor of Lee.

If this happens tonight, I will be here in spirit. But I for one hope we can plan this for a later date so that more people could plan for it. Just my opinion.

Posted by dakrat on 04/10/09 at 04:21 PM from Germany

I have a concert this evening and would very much like to attend.  If this could happen tomorrow, instead, I would be most gracious.  If not, I will join you all as soon as I can (but will be hoisting up drinks for good man Croft in the meantime!)

Do you have a blackberry or iPhone that you could do a short post on during the concert?  I think Lee would love the idea of somebody posting to his virtual wake from a bad-ass rockin’ concert!

Posted by on 04/11/09 at 12:17 AM from Australia

One less fuck-knuckle on the right. Happy days.

Funny that Moore outlived him. God looks after the good.

Posted by on 04/11/09 at 12:20 AM from United States

One less fuck-knuckle on the right. Happy days.

Funny that Moore outlived him. God looks after the good.

Are you stupid, or is it just you?

Posted by The Contrarian on 04/11/09 at 12:30 AM from Japan

Let’s not encourage the bottom-feeders, please.

The trolls who think that shit is funny are typical attention whore scumbags.

The zombies that actually believe such a comment deserve to be canon fodder for demagogues like Moore. They’re lost causes not worth debating.

Posted by Sean M. on 04/11/09 at 05:20 AM from United States

I haven’t been around here at all in a very long time, but I’m very sorry to hear about Lee.  He was one of the first conservative bloggers I ever read.

Rest In Peace, Lee.

Posted by on 04/11/09 at 08:15 AM from United Kingdom

I have not been here in quite a long time, log in and find this. Really, really sad; I had a lot of fun over the years arguing with Lee - always a great guy and someone who challenged my beliefs on some many things - and certainly someone I will always remember. RIP.

Posted by on 04/11/09 at 05:35 PM from Canada

I think Lee would have been touched by the well wishing and amused by the dumbass troll. 

I always respected and enjoyed his writing.  He did provide a lot of insight and helped me to understand issues of the day.

It won’t be the same with out him.

Posted by on 04/11/09 at 09:03 PM from Germany

amused by the dumbass troll

No question about it.

Posted by on 04/12/09 at 12:53 AM from United States

Oh, wow.  Although I used to come to this site quite often since practically its onset, I haven’t been here much in the last couple.  I came tonight on a whim just to see what was going on. This is a really horrible shock. 

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Posted by on 04/12/09 at 10:33 AM from Germany

and amused by the dumbass troll.

Right before sending him to the land of diseased anus…

Posted by on 04/12/09 at 11:34 AM from United States

That’s actually one of my fondest memories of Lee. He had been simply blocking people but then had the idea to redirect them somewhere. At first he had a relatively obscene site and then I suggested he send them to a site with pictures of anal warts. Of course, he loved that. However, in true Lee fashion, the site I suggested was not quite as offensive as he imagined. He knew he could do better. So after about 15 minutes of searching, he found a truly disgusting site with pictures and pathology of all types of anal warts and their complications. It was right foul. I loved that guy.

Posted by iampoisonfree on 04/12/09 at 07:24 PM from United States

I meant to post this a few days ago.

I started reading this blog around 2003, back when I was a junior in high school. I developed many of my political ideologies from the material presented on this site. And, because of Lee’s job in China and his weekly blogs, I signed up for Chinese foreign policy to try and learn more about the region and it’s political history so that I can educate people like Lee educated me--I am currently taking it my last semester of college. And Lee, I really hate writing this paper right now, but I’ll do it for you, man. If not to bring up my grade, then at least to commemorate you for inspiring me to study international relations.

Some may say it’s silly that a blogger could inspire you as much as Lee inspired me, but I think that is the beauty of the internet and blogging--you meet people who you would’ve otherwise never met.

Posted by JimK on 04/12/09 at 10:42 PM from United States

Some may say it’s silly that a blogger could inspire you as much as Lee inspired me, but I think that is the beauty of the internet and blogging--you meet people who you would’ve otherwise never met.

I think it’s awesome and I am damn glad you posted this comment. He’d have LOVED to hear it.

One of our favorite things was hearing from that person who had their ideas challenged or - if we were lucky - changed because of something we wrote at Moorewatch and I know that went double for him here at his blog.

What you said? It’s a huge part of why he did this.

Posted by LandoGriffin on 04/14/09 at 09:27 PM from United States

Fuck. I am at a total loss right now. I used ot visit the site a lot in the past but as Lee moved I only came here every so often. Then today I come here and find this. Sitting here shedding tears for someone I never met in person but who shaped the person I am and still evolving into. He planted seeds in my brain and made me think. Made me laugh. I think thats what I may miss the most, he was one funny motherfucker. I know Lee would want us to celebrate and not mourn him but fuck this sucks and urts right now. ChickenFry, Clayton please accept my condolences and pass them to his family. He left his mark on the world and he will be greatly missed. thanks or everything Lee

Posted by on 04/15/09 at 06:50 AM from Europe

This was the first blog I ever read, starting maybe five or six years ago. The logic of Lee’s arguments had a huge effect on my thinking, and he really did help to shape the outlook of someone he never met.

I am enormously saddened to hear of his death, and pass my condolences to all those who knew him for real.

I will miss him.

Posted by on 04/16/09 at 04:52 PM from United States

Still affecting me every second of my life…

This is the closest I can get to talking to him, and it’s still unsatisfying.
Lee created a world that I’m just yearning to live in again.

Posted by on 04/16/09 at 08:22 PM from Germany

Another one of those “haven’t been here in a while” guys. Fuck, I really liked Lee.  My buddy (another Lee reader) went to China a few months back and we talked about getting in contact with Lee. He didn’t. I’d like to think that I would have.

I can only imagine how much fun he would have been to hang out with. There are so few people on this planet that can combine intellectual stimulation with balls-to-the-wall partying ability. I like to think of myself as one of those people but I’m sure I couldn’t hold a candle to Lee in either area.

This is the only site where I ever made a comment that was good enough to be posted on the front page blog itself. I don’t even remember what it was but I was quite proud of myself. Lee’s stamp of approval meant a lot to me.

Clayton, my heart goes out to you. But, as a dad (and I know he’s not your “DNA” Dad), I can honestly say that I think he would prefer it be him than you. Go on living your life. Make him proud. Honor his memory. Do something great. Be something great.

Posted by Tetzman on 04/19/09 at 06:54 PM from United States

OMG! Lee, how could you leave so suddenly & in such a sad state?

I’ve not been here in awhile, but have been following Lee’s adventures & insight since roughly 2004. RIP my friend. The loss of your intellect & presence is huge, and couldn’t come at a worse time…

Posted by Kilroy on 04/20/09 at 05:10 PM from United States

One of the few, that I wanted to have a drink with.

See you on the other side seamen, well have that drink then.

Posted by Brian at Tomfoolery on 05/18/09 at 12:41 AM from United States

Man, I am stunned to read this.  May God Bless Lee’s fine soul.

Posted by on 05/25/09 at 11:34 AM from Germany

Stunned.

Lee’s writing is 100% responsible for my initial departure from the dark side of leftist group-think.

He will be missed.

Posted by Para on 05/25/09 at 08:35 PM from Germany

I feel like I just got punched in the chest.

Lee, I am gonna miss you.

Posted by on 06/05/09 at 02:22 AM from United States

Tonight, finding this after being out of the loop due to family illnesses and some other stinky and sticky problems, I am sitting here stunned after 3:00 in the morning, my time.  The first contribution I made to a blogger was for Lee, because I believed a clear and sharp mind and a compelling voice and engaging spirit like his, were treasures. My next contribution to the blog will be in his memory.

A now-empty bottle sits here and I need to go to bed, but doubt that I will sleep well.  Something important is missing. I think we may need a million Lees to help us get our collective bearings, and we are down to approximately zero.  It hurts.

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