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Tickle-me-Jesus

05.10.2003

(Spam, Dating, Weblogs, Ethics)

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I hope you have a spiritual path. It doesn't matter what kind, as long as you have some relationship with a benevolent source of life and love beyond your little ego. Having said that, I also want to advocate the importance of not taking your spiritual path too damn seriously. Grave fanaticism in any form, even if devoted to a noble cause, is dangerous not only to your mental health, but also to that of the people around you. This week it will be especially important for you to be playfully mocking towards that which you hold most sacred. Examples? Put underwear on a Buddha statue, insert a dirty limerick into your prayers to the Goddess, enjoy some heavy petting in a synagogue, visualize yourself tickling Jesus.

- Rob Brezsny, entertaining astrologist (Doing the Gemini)

It's time for a favorite pastime of mine, the spam roast. Our featured spammer is David DeAngelo of datingadviceonline.com. You may have noticed that unlike most website owners these days, I not only put an email address on almost every page, I even wrap it in the address tag. If that's not a flashing neon sign for spambots, I don't know what is.

My POS hotmail (I've had it long before Microsoft snagged it up) account has all this mail forwarded to it and gets clogged when I can't check it for a certain period of time. But I love choking hotmail with spam as much as I love to uncover the unethical members of the commercial online community. Spam is the continuous background noise of the seedy element of society.

Our boy David does a classic case of cut & paste marketing mumbo jumbo and clichés. Let's play the annotated spam mail game!

You have received this notice by request [lie #1] or may have recently become a member of one of our network websites [lie #2 - unless you don't count memberships you don't sign up for as a form of fraud and lying] or simply signed up for this service [lie #3]. If you no longer wish to remain with this service, Please Click Here [verify your email address so we might stop sending you this particular spam and start sending something else].

The Ten Biggest Mistakes YOU [me?] Probably Make With Women Right Now—And What To Do About It...

Here Are The Top Ten Reasons Why Men [me again right?] Fail With Women - And How To Make Sure YOU [me still?] Avoid Every One Of These Deadly [Wait. John Bobbit lived, but that guy that got ran over and over didn't. Scary stuff!] Common Mistakes...

1) Being Too Much Of A "Nice" Guy [Wait one minute! He's selling episodes of the Man Show! I know it!]

Have you ever noticed that the really attractive women never seem to be attracted "nice" guys? [Not necessarily]

Of course you have. [You calling me a liar, punk?]

Just like me [Perish. Thought. Now!], I'm sure you've had attractive female friends that always seemed to date "jerks"[Wait one minute! He's selling old Bill Hicks albums! "Chicks dig jerks" is a part of the comedy, dude.]... but for some reason they were never romantically interested in YOU [Who me?].

What's going on here? [Where? I mean Bill's dead and I've been laid by attractive women. You're either grave robbing, calling me a jerk or both!]

It's actually very simple. [Is this supposed to be a surprise coming from you, Einstein?]

Women don't base their choices of men on how "nice" a guy is. They choose the men they do because they feel a powerful GUT LEVEL ATTRACTION [They go with their GUT? Genius! And it IS so simple too!] for them.

And guess what? [Do I have to? I mean this is an email and I just have to look down and you will tell me. You must tell me! MUST!!!!]

Being nice doesn't make a woman FEEL that powerful ATTRACTION [Um, didn't you just say this above?]. And being nice doesn't make a woman choose you [No, really. You did! Honest!].

I realize that this doesn't make a lot of logical sense [And by implication you mean women don't make logical sense. Are you sure your last name isn't Sim?], but get over it [Get over what, your misogyny?]. Until you accept this FACT [that you're Sim.] and begin to act on it [mock you even more], you'll NEVER have the success with women that you want [Is that a FACT too?].

2) Trying To "Convince" Her To Like You [As opposed to trying to convince her to HATE You..er me?]

What do most guys do when they meet a woman that they REALLY like [drool, whistle and drop their jaws to the floor as their tongues roll out like wet red carpets]... but she's just not interested? [A velvet heart that was floating above their heads cracks and then vanishes. Some fainting may ensue]

Right! [I knew it!] They try to "convince" the woman to feel differently. [Um, that's not what I said!]

Well, I have news for you...[Oh, do tell!] YOU WILL NEVER CHANGE HOW A WOMAN "FEELS" WHEN IT COMES TO ATTRACTION! [But I'm Sorry Miss Jackson!]

Never [Forever never?], ever, ever. [No! Not ever, ever! In any weather no matter how clever my penis they'll sever?]

You cannot convince a woman to feel differently about you with "logic and reasoning. [AH! 'cause they don't make logical sense! Right. You said this already. This could take a long time if you keep this up.]

Think about it. [IT! No! Never again! What was King thinking? Making a clown with sharp pointy teeth. Oh, the imaginative horror of it all!]

If a woman doesn't "feel it" for you, how in the world do you expect to change that by being "reasonable" with her? [This ground is looking really worn. Wait a minute! You're selling Prodigy albums! "Smack My Bitch Up!"]

But we all do it. [Is that how you justify violence? Um...Or do we all "do it like they do it on the Discovery Channel?"]

When a woman just isn't interested, we beg, plead, chase, and do our best to change her mind. {ROOOXANNE! You Dooooon't have to puut out the RED light!]

Bad idea. Another one that will never work. [You don't have to SELL your body to the night!]

3) Looking For Her Approval Or Permission [Wait a minute? Yeah, rape is fool proof! Sicko!]

In our desire to please women (which we mistakenly think will make them like us) [but you repeat yourself], us guys are always doing things to get a woman's "approval" or "permission". [Not like in the old days when you just grab em by the hair and find a cozy cave.]

Another HORRIBLE idea. [The horror!]

Women are never attracted to the types of men who kiss up to them... EVER. [When did getting permission turn into "kissing up?" EVER?]

Don't get me wrong here [Too late!]. You don't have to treat women BADLY for them to like you [Really?]. But if you think that treating a woman well means "always getting her approval and permission for things", think again. [Sorry, fucko only fucking rapists think like that and that's why they do what they do.]

You will never succeed by looking for approval.[Eat. Shit. Die.]

4) Trying To Buy Affection With Food And Gifts [Wait a minute! Women aren't all whores? Can't you even stick with the misogyny party line? You're Selling Beatles albums! Can't Buy Me LAAAOVE!]

How many times have you take [sic=snicker without the nker] a woman out to a nice dinner, bought her gifts and flowers, and had her REJECT you for someone who didn't treat her even HALF as well as you did? [Well, I've seen it happen on Blind Date a few times. Does that count?]

If you're like me[I probably don't need to listen to you?], then you've had it happen a lot. [LOL=Oh, you know.]

Well guess what? [Again?]

It's only natural when this happens...[It's rationalization time, baby!]

When you [Wait! Are you sure you don't mean YOU?] do these things, you send a clear message: "I don't think you'll like me for who I am, so I'm going to try to buy your attention and affection". [What about Anna Nicole Smith?]

Your [YOUR?] good intentions usually come across to women as over-compensation for insecurity, and weak attempts at manipulation. [YOU poor thing!]

5) Sharing How You "Feel" Too Early With Her [Wait until she doesn't close her eyes anymore when you kiss her lips...]

Another huge and unfortunate mistake that most men make with women is sharing how they "feel" too early on. [Like what the previous sentence said?]

Attractive women are rare. [Except on TV, the movies, pop music, commercials, and in every bar after so many beers]

They get a LOT of attention from men. [Put em in the centerfold and see em stand at attention]

Most men don't realize this, but attractive women are being approached in one way or another all the time by men. [Most men aren't aware of the amount of dogs in the pack? Oh, come on!]

An attractive woman is often approached several times a day by men who are interested. This translate into dozens of times per week, and often hundreds of times per month. [Aren't you the happy little statistician?]

And guess what? {Please! Make it stop!]

Attractive women have usually dated a lot of men. [Oh, my! You're using statistics again aren't you?]

That's right. [I knew it!] They have EXPERIENCE. [That too? We're doomed! Wait a minute! You're selling Hendrix albums? Are you experienced?]

They know what to expect. [From EXPERIENCE or that famous intuition?]

And one thing that turns an attractive women off and sends her running away faster than just about anything [YOU?] is a guy who starts saying "You know, I really, REALLY like you" [It's probably Sally Field in slacks. That's why, you silly!] after one or two dates [If she can't tell by then...].

This signals to the woman that you're just like all the other guys [Maybe you mean guys dressed up like Sally.] who fall for her too fast... and can't control themselves. Don't do it. [No?] Lean back. [Well, this chair does recline...] Relax. [Ahhhh...] There's a much better way...[*snore*]

6) Not "Getting" How Attraction Works For Her [I don't get it?]

Women are different from men. [This took you how long to find out?]

You [You?] need to accept this fact, and deal with it. [I'm pretty pleased with it actually. It's the WHOLE point of it ALL!]

When a man sees a beautiful, young, sexy woman, he INSTANTLY feels a sexual attraction. [A stiffy]

But does the same apply for women? [Maybe with an advanced strap-on.]

Do women feel sexual attraction to men based mostly on looks? [Sure] Or is something else going on? [Sure]

Well, after studying this topic for over five full years now [It shows. Some of us started around puberty and continue to "study."], I can tell you that women usually have their "attraction mechanisms" triggered by things OTHER than looks. [Then how the hell does Billy Ray Cyrus sell albums? -Thanks Mr. Hicks]

Have you ever noticed that you see a lot more average and unattractive men with beautiful women than the other way around? [Those guys that have the really nice cars, right? Or they are movie producers, right?]

Think about it. [More thinking jeesh!] Women are more attracted to certain qualities in men...[You're Certain?] and they're attracted to the way a man makes them feel [But I can Never change the way I make them feel, right?] than they are to looks alone.

If you know how to use your body language [No more pointing to them and then my crotch?] and communication correctly [Them, wallet, crotch?], you can make women feel the same kind of powerful [Them, vette, wallet, viagra, crotch?] sexual attraction to you [YOU?] that YOU [you?] feel when you see a hot, sexy young woman.

But it's not an accident. You have to LEARN how to do this. And ANY guy can learn how...[Even YOU?]

7) Thinking That It Takes Money And Looks [Wait a minute! #4? Hello?]

One of the most common mistakes that guys make [Repeating things over and over?] is giving up before they've even gotten started...[It's almost over!] because they think that attractive women are only interested in men who have looks and money...{and Over] or guys who are a certain height...[Coming up short?] or guys who are a certain age. [Anna Nicole Smith ring a bell? Maybe Catherine Zeta Jones?]

And sure, there are women who are only interested in these things.[Duh!]

But MOST women are far more interested in a man's personality [So that's your problem? What a surprise!] than his wallet or his looks. There are personality traits that attract women like a magnet...[Is this like that one episode of Amazing Stories?]

And if you learn what they are and how to use them, YOU can be one of these guys. [Neato! Magneto!]

8) Giving Away All Of Your Power To Women [Please don't feed the Succubus]

Earlier I mentioned that it's a mistake to look to a woman for approval or permission.[Finally admitting how much you repeat!]

Well, another similar tactic that a lot of guys use is GIVING AWAY THEIR POWER to women[Don't let them take away your spinach or cut up your long hair!]. Said differently [Repeated because I think you are all morons,], guys try to get women to like them by doing whatever the woman wants.[clinically known as pussy whipped.]

Another bad idea...{Wait! It's Devo! Whip it GOOD!]

Women are NEVER [Forever never?] attracted to men that they can walk all over. [But these boot were made for walking all over YOU!] Women aren't attracted to Wussies! [You're saying the Michael Jackson wedding was fake?]

9) Not Knowing What To Do In Each Type Of Situation [And you do?]

A woman always knows what you're thinking. [As long as her name in Jean Gray]

I know, it might be hard to believe.[X-men 2 is not a documentary?] But if you're out on a date with a woman, and you want to kiss her, she knows it. [Well, going on a date with her kind of hints at this doesn't it? It's just a kiss, right?]

And if you don't know HOW to kiss her [Practice with peaches?], and you just sit there looking at her and getting nervous, she won't help! [In that case, maybe SHE doesn't want to kiss YOU anyway.]

And this goes for ALL aspects of women and dating...[So they never, ever, forever never make the first move? How the lies do stack!]

Approaching a woman, getting her number, asking her out, kissing her, getting physical... everything. [Just in case you thought he meant something else when he said "ALL." Oh yes, everything. I get it now!]

If you don't know what to do in each situation, you [YOU?]will probably screw it up...[I keep seeing ellipses. In this case, I think he left out, "like I still do every time except when I use GHB" and LOSE EVERYTHING.[Because going to jail for rape has a way of doing that eh? Wait! Who does the Date Rape song?]

10) Not Getting Help [And only your help, right?]

This is the biggest mistake of all.[But of course! How else would you eat?]

This is the mistake that keeps most men from EVER having the kind of success with women that they truly want. [But not you? After FIVE years "study"?]

I know, guys don't like to make themselves look weak or helpless. We don't like to ask for help. [You wouldn't get mine if you did]

Hey, I've been there myself.[As you've made abundantly clear]

Let me tell you a little about me.[What if I say no? Will you say or will you go?] About five years ago [Really? 5 years. That rings a bell. Where have I heard that before?] I became fed up with the fact that I didn't know how to approach, meet, and get dates with women that I was attracted to. [So you got help?]

It frustrated the hell out of me.[OK, I guess not.]

One night I was out with a friend, and I saw a woman I wanted to ask out, but I just couldn't get up the nerve to do it. I can still remember that night...[Really? I mean, that's from five whole years ago!] I made the decision to do whatever it took [Icky!] to learn how to be successful with women and dating.

Well, after a lot of hard work and trying all kinds of crazy things [Do tell!] , I finally figured it all out [All?]. I can now approach just about [Wait! Why not all? What kind of 5-year veteran are you?] any woman and get her number almost instantly [Only the real ones matter]. I've dated models [Hand or foot?], I've dated actresses [What about model actresses?], and I've dated nice, normal, regular girls as well. [Boring! Dating bitchy, crazy, irregular girls is where the fun is. How can you help me with them?]

It has been a very rewarding experience. I no longer feel that sick, insecure feeling...[Ellipses again. He doesn't say what he's feeling now. Maybe it's a slick, coldly secure feeling.] like I don't know how to meet women...[No Really?] and I might wind up alone.[Dude, you're getting a RealDoll™!]

I know that anytime, anywhere, I can go out and meet attractive women. [It's after they meet him when things getting dicey.]

I've written a book on the topic [Here comes the things for you to buy!], and I've done seminars on both coasts of the United States...[Only they were about doing MLM schemes during the 80's] and taught tens of thousands of men all around the world. [Taught them what? The art of slipping substances into drinks?]

But the GREAT news is that I've put together what is arguably [You don't have to repeat that!] the most complete educational product on planet Earth [Put that in your hyperbole!] for DRAMATICALLY increasing your success with women.

This new recorded series contains over TWELVE full hours of [FILLER] me teaching all of the ideas, concepts, techniques, scripts, and secrets that it has taken me YEARS [I'm guessing 5] to learn.

Now you can get all the benefits of hearing me teach my best ideas, all from the comfort of your own home. [But wait there's more!]

In this day and age of "instant gratification", I realize that this might just sound like another late-night info- mercial promising to make you rich by next week. [Oh no, not at all. It's far worse!]

Well, that's not the case.[Exactly!]

I've spent a lot of time [5 hours is my guess], effort [lying this bad takes work!], and energy [Because saying "time and energy" didn't seem enough] making this program. I wanted to design and create [Both!] a program that ANY guy could easily understand and start using IMMEDIATELY [As opposed to meditating over the message for years?] to meet and date more women...[not that they would be successful dates or anything] without having to lie [what's your excuse then?], do dishonest things [I mean, really?], or be "manipulative". [sigh]

I now [Right here right now?] believe that ANY man can be more successful with women and dating [the wonders of a good shower], and I get emails every day [You mean you send spam every day?] with success stories from guys who are using this program to meet and date wonderful women. [Though you can't fake a single one up for us? Aren't these things supposed to have testimonials? What kind of spam whore are you?]

If you'd like to take your success with women and dating to the next level [Is that the one with the 3000hp Super-Boss?], and have the kind of success that you've always wanted, then go check out my Advanced [Wasn't it supposed to be simple?]Dating Techniques CD/DVD Program.

All the details [Devil sold separately] , and some great audio and video samples of the program are here:

http://www datingadviceonline com/s2/advancedseries

...and if you haven't had a chance to download your copy of my online eBook "Double Your Dating", then you need to do that IMMEDIATELY. [That'll happen] You can download it now and be reading it in just a few minutes. [Not with my bandwidth. Sigh]

It's here:

http://www datingadviceonline com/s2/ebook

And I'll talk [spam] to you again soon [tomorrow and forever ever].

Your Friend, [You wish]

David DeAngelo

But wait there's more!

Here's a VERY partial list of what you're going to learn inside this exciting series:

Before I forget, here's the disclaimer from the spam.

Disclaimer: This is a no-cost e-mail newsletter that teaches men how to be more successful with women and dating. We aim to comply with all proposed and current laws on commercial e-mail. This newsletter is an expression of opinions [what would you do with opinions other than bottle them up?] and not professional advice [Your name isn't Dr. Love?]. It is only to be used for personal entertainment purposes [I guess I'm safe there]. You [Mr. Dumbass] are solely responsible [for believing any of this] for any use of the ideas, concepts, and content [and then actually trying it out] and hold David DeAngelo Communications Inc. and all members and affiliates harmless in any event or claim [So don't sue me when she kicks you in the nuts even though I deserve it].

Is that horse dead yet?: A Special Eric/X vs. Sayad/Kare/Y Redux

Kare popped back up on the radar and like me can't help grinding the old axe.

It's not that I want to re-kindle the blogshares business, but it's just as likely as Kare getting back into "flamewar mode" by bringing it up. But a blog begs for all your 2¢, even when you got no sense for change. And this is not to rip on her, because I do the same thing. But, AhhHah! I establish my superiority via snarky self-awarness and cloak my pettiness with lowball humor I shun in others! WEEEEEE!

Answer 1
Apparently every blog is listed automatically...or something like that. I don't know and I don't really care.Anyone wants to use my blog's name for something - as long as it's not something offensive - who cares?

When I delisted I gave the reason as not wanting to take part in the popularity contest anymore. Once someone (I think it was Kate) called it that it started to bother me more and more. It's the same reason I bash the bloggies. Really, I thought everything concerning the Eric vs. Sayad biz was an ego driven, asinine cock-waving contest. Those things have limited shelf life outside of Viagra anyway. In the end, I had to ask myself whether Eric was a racist, asshole, or racist asshole. As far as Sayad was concerned, I was vacillating on variations of idiot and asshole, but when I actually decided to get delinked, it had little to do with either asshole. (I'm getting the love out today huh? But I say Asshole with love!)

Answer 2
This guy writes a post in which he tells all of his "friends" that they will either stop playing BlogShares and drop the link to it on their own blogs or he will delink them on his...Oh sure, most of them have rationalized it - blaming it on the trolls or the BlogShares owner himself - but it's rather obvious that what they really did is follow along with what this guy told them to do.

It makes me wonder about the human race. Or at least about bloggers. Is popularity SO important that you would stop doing something you enjoy just to be on someone's link list?

Going back to my earlier post in which I take a stab at Blood's blogger ethics. The reason I did it then is because a blogger is not a journalist and bashing bullshit on blogging is a favorite pastime of mine. But those ethical points pop up all over the place in this situation. Here's the quick reference quide:

1. Publish as fact only that which you believe to be true.
2. If material exists online, link to it when you reference it.
3. Publicly correct any misinformation.
4. Write each entry as if it could not be changed; add to, but do not rewrite or delete, any entry.
5. Disclose any conflict of interest.
6. Note questionable and biased sources.

So to follow #5 and answer her question, I did send a long email to Eric about that "You either delink him or I delink you" post and let him know what a bad I idea I thought it was. You can either believe he did that because people started attacking his friends for supporting him or believe that "this entire episode was a setup from the get-go, which should've been obvious to anyone who knows this guy." She continues with:

He deliberatly says something inflammatory, knowing it will get a reaction. When it does, he backtracks, justifies, makes shit up, changes the wording in past posts, deletes comments by anyone making a valid point against him, apologizes, takes it back, attacks, takes it back, pleads to his "friends" so they'll get in on it (and will subsequently link to him over and over in their own posts) and so on and so on - all the while racking up the hits. It's what it's DESIGNED to do and no one does it better than him and he'll happily tell you so, too. As a matter of fact, not a single person needed to stop playing/linking BlogShares. You all could've waited a couple days because there's always an "I take it all back" post. He just wanted to see how many of you would do it. Blind loyalty. Stupid.

Beyond the fact she might have done #5 too, she was right on most points, but because she decided not to backup her claims with links (you can always provide a URL without the anchor tag so drop this excuse already) she breaks #2. I'd like to see the proof of his deleting "comments by anyone making a valid point against him." Otherwise I'm forced to name her post a #6 source. Last is #3, which concerns "Blind loyalty. Stupid." Answer 1 addresses this, but even considering her as a #6 source doesn't hide the fact that Eric does get himself into these things more often than anyone I'm aware of. His policy of supporting friends shows that he's aware of his own faults and it's safe to assume we are not blind to them. The thing that concerns me is when it happens again. It will. Is it going to be worse? Will it drive more of his friends off the net due to harassment?

If it's another possibly racist thing, then it becomes a toss up between stupidity and actual racism. It will definitely be a delinking disaster for him. But it's a bit much to do a pre-emptive delink on that fear. Of course, most people that link him as well as most people in general are going to get into some sort of flamefest in the future. It's the nature of interaction, but I tire of some of the more avoidable flare-ups and that's what it was. At least, a lesson should have been learned about such remarks.

Answer 3
The whole thing could've and should've been kept private. It could've and should've been worked out between the two sides in private email and then all of the trolling and high-fiving could've been avoided. But that doesn't generate hits, does it? (And if that's not what it's all about then someone tell me what it is)...

Could've and should've, but would've it mattered? These things are initiated in public and tend to be resolved that way. When people start doing #4 it makes #2 impossible and #6 hard to pinpoint. I just want to do #1 you bastards! Hmmm, too much coffee...

It could be out of spite instead of out of a desire for hits or both for that matter. It might even be out of a desire to ask for guidance and for third parties to offer their judgement.

Reasons to not bring a conflict out in the open are if you don't wish to see things get ugly and have people take sides. After all, you might see things differently in time and there's no sense making things worse and possibly hurting mutual friends.

We all need to check our high horses at the door. I'll even cut down on my own bashing! Can we bury the hatchet somewhere other than behind someone's back?

Metaticulous

05.08.2003

(Weblogs, Love)

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Questions

Why is a hyperlink hyper? What link is it beyond? What if you decide to do more than browse on your browser? What if you want to do more than log the web on your weblog? What if you're content to not have your content managed? What if you don't need a validator to make what you've written feel validated? What if your desires are not standard compliant and you think the best thing about technology is the ability to make speedy screedy complaint? What if the porn site you have open results in a wanted pop up? What if memes could be reduced in size to become mini-memes? What if no blogger linked to an article on blogs? What kind of wine goes with RSS feed? What if you print a printer friendly page with an anti-social printer? What if you prefer to backtrack instead of trackback? What if you didn't study for that "what whatever am I" quiz? What if PETA really meant PETA? What if you couldn't ever manage to say "weblog industry" seriously? What if you forgave more than you've forsaken? What if everything wasn't small stuff and sweating was good? What if chicken soup didn't do jack shit for the soul? What book should you buy if you were a complete moron instead of an idiot or a dummy? What if you knew for a fact that everyone male or female was from Earth? What if the secret to success was to write a book about it and why would you call it a secret then? What if the chest cavity was where the heart was and not the home? Why not call the vagrants homeless "living structure challenged" and the overly wealthy "living beyond their needs"? When can you protest too much? Why is the opposite of "protest" not "contest"? Where do we go when we dye? Where do you go if you can't go home again?

I did like he did. In a little over ten days I get, "There have been 267 links and 6786 comments posted since your last visit." It's something that got Jon to create Mfdistilled as a way to help keep tabs on our longtime favorite hangout. It says there are only 17149 members. I came in at 551 when it was a cozy little commune dominated by web design types who took great care to share the few interesting links they found.

It's interesting to note that Jon got onboard a few months before I did. Even everybody's favorite fecund killblogger Steven Den Beste joined up about that time.

Eventually his ego became bruised after folks kept calling him on his increasing tendency to post trollish tracks. This post highlighted his chronic AWCA and there's this silly thread, which caused Steven to pout, "But I've been informed that I'm not permitted to express opinions about what I post; I'm just supposed to post." Only Zachsmind called, "Bullshit!" and his last post brought his sense of humor and lack of foresight into full view

Metafilter kept on trucking even though the threat of overposting started to seriously tilt towards Miguel. However, the inherent state of Metafilter's quasi-anarchy is really what turns away those that can't bear free-form discussion. "Moderation take me away!"

On Slashdot.org and K5 the moderation is software and algorithms. Here it's social. When they don't like what you do they talk about you, and if you listen things change. You might be called into metatalk for racism or sexism or terrorism, and because they don't know you their suspicions might be correct. The problem is when people aren't given the decency of being trusted as good; when it's acceptable to bring someone out for something they might have done, just in-case. Defending yourself takes time, and patience, and in the end it's easier to avoid having to by making timid pirate jokes or writing s. After all, it's safe to say because everyone knows you're not actually a pirate.

Every few months Mathowie says he'll close Metafilter and so people say their eulogies, say they love Matt's effort, and frantically run around trying to fix what they think is wrong. Treating timid ol' Metafilter as precious is their way out. But Metafilter is boring, and treating a boring thing as precious just makes it worse.

It's a tragic comedy.

-Hildago's parting shot at Metafilter

Metafilter is the wild west weblog of the internet frontier with one wise sheriff keeping the trolls at bay. Obviously, he can't catch everything and this really annoys some people to the point that they run for the safety of moderation or the ivory towers of isolation. They trust in these systems to filter for them so they don't have to scroll past writing they don't like. They abhor Gonads and strife.

While Metafilter suffers from constant bouts of too many news/political posts, the social moderation system usually kicks in in the shape of people ignoring those threads. One member set up a list of others that have made some remark and uses that to define them. This seems icky and jess picked up on his antics. Of course, I am certainly guilty of picking on people online too, but I can be ignored just as easily as I can ignore you.

For as long as I've been a member of Metafilter, I haven't contributed much according to this. My index is 0.68. But then it might all be fake anyway. Perhaps as fake as the karma people crave on sites built from the slashcode? Tamim's page logs his struggle for it under inconsistent moderators all the way to his rise to the "elite" group of 50+ karma folks. This desire to be "elite" is what I don't like about moderation. That and the judging of every comment make it far too authoritarian for my taste. I would like to be my own judge and it's why I don't visit sites like Slashdot anymore.

One of the real secrets to Metafilter's success is not just that everyone can create a new post, but that as long as they fit the modest guidelines it will stay up and everyone can comment in the resulting thread. This allows a lot more diversity in what gets posted. The drawback is that a lot of stuff gets posted and it's hard to keep up with it all. I made a list of all the posts that caught my interest while I was away and it's a lot of reading.

Anyhow, people can find many reasons to dislike Metafilter, but those that really trash it seem to have a general dislike of what weblogs represent. It's the unmoderated and unedited voice that people want corralled lest it offend. Then again, it could be impatience at sifting through inane, insulting, or inflammatory writing in order to get to something worthwhile.

Even though these things keep me from posting there regularly, I couldn't bring myself to turn away for good. This same faith will keep me checking sites I have dissed in the past, not to diss them again, but to see if they have changed. For instance, Eric Raymond's The Delusion of Expertise was something I found very interesting to read. Maybe it's just because I read Good Omens last week, but my point is that I try and not write anyone off permanently. I will rant and take a long break from reading, but I will be back eventually.

What I read and what ends up on the Linkworthy list obviously don't match exactly. The fact that I don't have a long list of weblogs is mostly due to the fact that I want to get the list down to the ones I'm able to read regularly, but often fail in doing. It's not some scheme to make each link more valuable like some people who explain it in excruciating detail. In some way I think a huge weblog section might ruin the aesthetic of the page, but at the same time I'm not real big on making this site pretty and I know this probably goes without saying. So without further rambling here's my run down on what weblogs I've linked and why.

Linkworthy Weblogs

I didn't cover everyone. I'm not good at handling praise or dishing it out. This is why this is the first time I've ever done anything like this. Partly it's because I feel guilty about all those that I have left out, that sit in my bookmarks and haven't found their way onto my page of links, even though many have found their way into my heart.

It might seem that having a website exposing so much about myself means that I'm an extrovert, but I tend to be a very shy person in public. It takes me a while to relax even in small groups. Once I do relax, I can be as entertaining as some of my writing sometimes exhibits.

If this all smacks of a desperate need for attention, you are right. OK, I'm not totally desperate, because I have always chose to live in a fiercely independent manner. This essentially means that I have avoided anything resembling a relationship so I could somewhat selfishly live free from commitment.

Having just witnessed another pair of single friends join that institution I have been suspicious of all my life while my final twenty-something days tick away this month has put me in a mood. I'm not sure if it's going to bring out the latent Lothario in me or somehow get me to flip from my polyamoric leanings to fully embrace the monogamous marriage mindset.

My problem lies with my inability to buy what I feel is the big lie. The lie is that you can honesty promise to love only one person for the rest of your life. Of course, marriage has rarely been only about love, but when love is lacking I see little value in marriage outside of somewhat greater financial security. The mutual ownership, the "be mine" mentality offends my overdeveloped sense of freedom. I also see it as the cause for domestic strife. Losing something (even though you could never possible own it) makes people do stupid things that run the gambit of suicide, murder, and total fucking drunkenness. The human heart can be a bit fragile when confronted with the fact it's no longer in an exclusive contract.

Love enlightens the soul, but it can't avoid creating shadows or creeping up unwanted. Marriage attempts to bottle it up, but the fact remains that many people are quite lovable and there's not a damn thing you can do about it! I'm not denying that people can live monogamously or that there's not a "true love" out there waiting for you. I'm saying that those things are about as frequent as mega-jackpot lottery winners and far more fantastic.

I don't think I could make The Promise honestly and it's not because I want an excuse to cheat. This might be why I don't enter many relationships, because I see that lie creeping up on me in the distance. The funny thing is that it might be all the Catholic guilt instilled in me through countless Sunday school sessions and Church masses that is my problem. But as pragmatic as I seem, I am a romantic deep down. I really want to believe. Who doesn't want to take a chance at true love? Isn't it worth taking a spin on The Wheel of Fortune? After all, it's just one life and you got to at least try and get your feet wet sometime.

Another possibility is that I think way, way, way too much.

Keys Decompression

05.06.2003

(Politics, leisure, Florida Keys)

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Leisure for men of business, and business for men of leisure, would cure many complaints.

- Esther L. S. Thrale (1741-1821)

Where do I begin? 10 days off the INTERNET. 10 days avoiding national/international news. 10 days screwing around on islands off the tip of the penisular portion of this contiguous union of states. And after 10 days I come back to an email box filled to capacity and a whole mess of web reading and news feeds to sync back into.

It's so nice to have stuff like this to remind us to support our troops, because war isn't going to derail their values systems concerning human rights. Does a "support your troops" sticker cover all the troops or just the ones not contributing to the al Qaeda recruitment campaign? It shouldn't come to a surprise to anyone familiar with the question from Full Metal Jacket on how you kill women and children, "You don't lead them as much." It may not even surprise you that some Israeli soldiers were marking Palestinians at a checkpoint. These acts should not diminish the acts of heroes, but put them into human perspective. Humans are gray, not black & white.

We are being lied to, badly. The neocon nutjobs have to be in serious denial these days when their beloved leaders start admitting to how it was about oil and not weapons of mass destruction. So what we see are the actions of the desperate that try to say that the capture of Abu Abbas in Iraq proves a connection to terrorism. Nevermind that this is one guy and we knew he was hiding there. I suppose this means we only need to a find a single weapon of mass of destruction to edify their other lie. No wonder Blix had trouble finding it. How hard is it to hide one weapon?

The beauty of war is that even though the list is long and growing the chinks in this administration's armor are not likely to matter due to major media maintaining a 'patriotic' stance. 'Patriotic' in the sense that they stand behind interests of the administration rather than the people whom they are supposed to represent.

Representation seems to be a dicey thing these days especially when you factor in how little the majority of folks seem to understand what's really going on. My brief stay on the islands allowed me to become acquainted with another Bush and Florida politics in general.

Overall, it was a great trip and probably the first real vacation I've had in years. Any pictures will have to wait a while since my poor HP315 digital camera got knocked good in the boat and caused the battery door to fall off into the Gulf waters. This was the camera I bought with the $300 I got from the Bush tax bribe a few years back. Hewlett Packard has turned into or always was the kind of company that doesn't feel it should support it's own products for even the duration of a single presidential term. A simple part, the battery door, has rendered the camera useless and the only thing they offer is an upgrade, but they don't even support Compactflash cards in their latest models so the 64meg card I bought is worthless if I stay a customer. They offered a rebate on a new camera that was less than the price of the Compactflash card. It might be possible to extract my images from a card reader somewhere, but not having a camera because of a simple part sucks. I doubt that crappy support like this is limited to HP. Anyway, some quick web searching found someone selling a broken camera that I hope to acquire for cannibalization purposes. The pictures stopped being taken on Thursday, but I might get some that others took.

This was my first time in the Keys and I spent most of the time near Marathon with my newly wedded friends. They have a cozy little place and the view of the stars was amazing. The other residents of the Keys seem very nice for the most part if not a little too laid back. For instance, during a brief stint of people watching in Key West I saw a fella wearing a T-shirt that read, "I'm a Key West Drunk." Considering the amount of bars in the area it didn't seem like something too hard to achieve. Maybe it's a joke or a local variation on the Scarlet Letter. I didn't want to ask him though. It was early in the morning and he seemed to be suffering from the affects of living up to his T-shirt as he made his way down Devon. He may also be a victim of a chronic case of "Keys Disease".

Time is generally not a concern for most islanders. It's a phenomenon called "Keys Disease" and it's real. Keys Disease has something to do with those who spend any amount of time on our islands having little sense of urgency. Limited, highly unscientific studies have shown that Keys Disease is highly contagious. But those infected may never show visible symptoms of the disease which at first include eschewing a watch and general laziness. In extreme cases, symptoms may include slovenly drunkeness, heavily calloused feet due to walking barefoot and otherwise poor personal hygiene.

- Florida Keys Life Blog

I was fairly susceptible to it during my stay. I have lost interest in the rat race a while ago and haven't worn a wristwatch in years. I was very close to staying, encouraged by my friends telling me how easy it would be for me to gain employment where showing up regularly for work was unusual. In fact, probably the only thing that pushed my desire to return to Illinois, aside from the fact that I didn't have anywhere near the amount of books to keep me straight, was an itchy rash that developed near the end of the trip. At first, it was believed to be a result of bug bites, but it got worse and worse. I don't think it is poison Ivy and I'm not sure what the difference would be for the other varieties. They started out as pink pimples at my ankles and spread heavily around my legs. A good amount made it to my arms and there's a few on my torso and neck.

I've had them since about Thursday and the first ones that appeared on my ankles and feet have turned dark red. I hope they will go away soon, because I can't afford a doctor and have to make do with over the counter cures. Speaking of cures, I am going to try a bath with baking soda right now.

Beyond Belief

04.25.2003

(Politics, Belief, Sexual Abuse, Religion)

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Remember that what you believe will depend very much upon what you are.

-Noah Porter (1811-92)

Maybe I'm just being silly in response to what I believe over what some would like us to believe.

Johnson refers to the CRSC members and their strategy as the Wedge, analogous to a wedge that splits a log -- meaning that intelligent design will liberate science from the grip of "atheistic naturalism." Ten years of Wedge history reveal its most salient features: Wedge scientists have no empirical research program and, consequently, have published no data in peer-reviewed journals (or elsewhere) to support their intelligent-design claims.

-Barbara Forrest

Just because not all scientists are intelligent enough to understand evolution does not make it any less true. Motivations mean everything. Christian creationists are working from a pre-conceived conclusion in search of evidence and won't let the fact that they have not found anything to support their belief save the Bible get in the way of destroying a perfectly fine theory of evolution.

People get really annoyed when this fact is pointed out to them. Creationist are even resorting to desperate tactics to be heard. Isn't it enough that they came in through the backdoor to infect our children with pseudo-science so kid's understanding of science will be just as crippled (Just read this comment rather than the whole thread for the punchline).

I don't care what anyone believes in. It's immoral to force your beliefs on others. It's a disgusting practice to attack science because it points out the ignorance in your understanding of your own religion. Jesus spoke in parables. The people in his stories never existed. Adam, Abraham, Moses, and the rest never existed either. They are part of the mythos of Christianity, but for some reason they got it in their head that they had to have concrete proof and that meant the Bible would have to be a literal account of history.

Once this idea started, they put themselves against science and reason. It was too dangerous to think and they took the warning, "Do not go beyond the things that are written" to heart. You can cut out the brain and still have the body live on, but what is left can hardly be called human. When you cut the thinking out of the Church it becomes a cold and cruel place that will do anything to maintain its unnatural existence.

In light of the fact that it's sexual assault awareness month, I want to shed some light on a major institution that has been able to hide its deep flaws while the Catholic Church couldn't. For some reason, despite numerous cases and articles written, there is a huge gap between the size of the problem of the Jehovah's Witness Church handling of sexual abuse within its membership and the level of its mainstream media coverage. What the hell is going on here?

Four women who claim they were sexually abused by a Jehovah's Witnesses church official in Nevada nearly 25 years ago filed a lawsuit Thursday against the church, the official and other entities.
...
'We are not here to browbeat the religion,' said William Bowen, founder of an organization known as Silentlambs, which seeks to change the way the denomination handles abuse complaints.
...
'If what has taken place is a crime, that goes to the authorities,' Brown said. 'We have a strong and aggressive policy for protecting the children in our organization.'
...
'Fitzwater continuously sexually molested his stepdaughter ... beginning in 1974 and continuing until at least 1983,' the lawsuit contends.
...
'It is a closed community where they have absolute control over their own members,' said Bowen, adding that traditionally church officials take it upon themselves to investigate sexual abuse allegations.
...
'They have a policy that endangers children,' Bowen said.
...
'There is no better place for mothers and fathers with their children than a protective or secure place like what we offer,' he said.

-Glenn Puit, "Lawsuit names Jehovah's Witnesses", from the Las Vegas Review-Journal dated January 10, 2003

HEATHER HISCOX (Reporter):...when Moss and his father told church elders what happened.

MIKE MOSS: The one called me and told me that I had to go in for a judgment on me because I was part of a homosexual act.

HEATHER HISCOX:No one called police or child welfare. And in Canada, the law is clear. If there are reasonable grounds to suspect child abuse, everyone, clergy included, must report it to Child Welfare. In 1988, the church ordered its elders to comply with the law. This man worked as a clerk at the church's Canadian headquarters in the early '90s. He says he answered calls from elders with allegations of sexual abuse. Several were told there was no basis for reporting them to Child Welfare or police and it never occurred to him on any occasion to do so himself.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It would be an act of rebellion, it would be an act of independent thought, all things which are discouraged by the Jehovah's Witnesses.

- "Investigating allegations of sexual abuse by Jehovah Witness" The National, a show from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation aired January 28, 2003

An Ottawa woman and two other former Jehovah's Witnesses have teamed up to demand that federal and provincial governments across Canada open up the church's files on child sexual abuse.
Kim Sheeler said she and Lee Marsh, of Winnipeg, and Grace Gough, of St. Jacob's, near Kitchener, Ont., sent out more than 1,000 letters to federal MPs, and all the members of provincial legislatures, asking them to watch last Wednesday's The Fifth Estate television documentary on abuse by Jehovah's Witnesses, and then pressure their governments to investigate past abuses.
In the documentary, CBC Television told the story of Mike Moss, who was repeatedly molested by his Jehovah's Witness Bible teacher as a 14-year-old in Sault Ste. Marie. His case is just one of more than 20,000 cases that a former church elder, Bill Bowen, of Kentucky, says are on file in the Witnesses' headquarters in New York. Most of those cases have never been reported to police, he said.
...
[Bill Bowen] said the church expects untrained elders to first interrogate the children who report the abuse then ask the accused if the allegations are true.

"If the parents then want to report it to police, the child is traumatized and the elders have already tainted the whole process of investigation."

-Bob Harvey, "Jehovah's Witnesses under fire for abuse: Ex-members urge politicians to force church to open files" from The Ottawa Citizen on February 1, 2003

They just keep coming as major media outlets continue to miss it again and again.

I said to them well what are you meant, meant to do then if he's doing something wrong and they said come to us and we'll deal with it and I said to them, well I've already spoken to you and you've told me I'm a liar.

-Alison Cousins

The Elders called Alison a liar even though three years prior to this Alison's Father confessed to them that he abused her sister. Suffer the Little Children, indeed.

Bill Bowden was a church Elder for twenty years until evidence that the Church was more interested in protecting itself than children caused him to leave and form an organization intent on getting the Church to change their ways.

They do not want people to know that they have this problem. And by covering it up they just hurt one person. By letting it out, then they hurt the image of the Church.

- Bill Bowden

The most damning thing about the Jehovah's Witness is the Elder's conspiracy to keep information from the public and police. They refused to open a database containing all their members suspected of abuse.

I was contacted by sources within the Church. I was given a figure of over 20,000. Two different sources came back to me and said that number is actually more specific and gave me a figure of 23,720. They told me that they had accessed the internal database and that figure was based on child molesters in the USA, Canada and Europe and that's the figure that they were given.

- Bill Bowden

The problem is that the "official" church policy is, "Leave it for Jehovah. He'll bring it out. But don't get yourself in a jam." Obviously, if you're a part of "God's Church", then he will look after his own and see to it that the proper procedures are followed in bringing these things to light. The means that the Elders require 2 witness's or a confession.

Well unfortunately most kids don't have several witnesses observing them get raped; it's an unfortunate part of it.

- Sergeant Jack Zeller

But can such a close-knit, orthodox organization change? What is its attitude about change?

BP: We're from the BBC Panorama programme.

BP: Tell me about the database. How do you justify keeping a list of paedophiles, men in some cases who have confessed to paedophilia but you have not reported them to an authority. What justification is there for you to keep that?

TJ: You know, you are from Britain. You have privacy law. A directive from the European Union. You observe that don't you?

BP: So if allegations are made of child abuse, it's alright to keep them private?

TJ: I think that question has been answered to your satisfaction.

BP: Could you just answer it now?

TJ: I'm not going to repeat, I'm just going to tell you, you can see it all in writing. You know the Bible says do not go beyond the things that are written. We do not go beyond the things that are written.

-Suffer the Little Children

Extreme belief has a habit of shutting out the things that challenge it. It need not be about religion. Our ability to express our beliefs is a cornerstone to our freedom as a nation, but when those beliefs conflict with the rights of others, then there is a problem. Clearly the Jehovah's Witness Elders have violated the law by keeping criminal information secret from those most able to handle the situation, the police. It's criminal negligence, immoral, and it casts a dark shadow over the entire religion until the day they finally come clean.

A person's beliefs should not define and straightjacket a person. A person's beliefs should reflect an open dialogue between oneself and the world. Once that conversation stops, so does a person's growth. Once we start to dictate who should and who shouldn't voice an opinion we corrupt all of them. Some people are disgusted at celebrities for exercising our common right to speech even though they engage in it daily. Certainly, a celebrity's opinion reaches more people, but it enables more people to freely express their opinions. When a celebrity's opinion is shut down through financial pressure it not only shows the low-minded value those people have towards free speech, it robs people that share that viewpoint the freedom to express that shared belief for fear it will be shutdown by the same ignorance.

There's a big difference between a boycott based on the fact someone's a fifthly pedophile, etc. and one based on political differences.

I begin to feel like I was in the last generation of Americans who took a civics class. I begin to feel like most Americans don't understand the First Amendment, don't understand the idea of freedom of speech, and don't understand that it's the responsibility of the citizen to speak out. If Hollywood stars speak out, so do all sorts of other people. Now Hollywood stars can get a better hearing. Oddly enough, the people who mostly seem to hear them are the right wing, so that Fox News can put on its ticker tape in Times Square a vile attack on Michael Moore, and Susan Sarandon is a punchline. These are people who are responsible and are saying what they believe. And there are people on the other side who also speak out, and it's the way our country works. You know, if you're good enough to be the best actor of your generation, which is probably what Sean Penn is, you're probably not dumb. And anyone who's ever heard Susan Sarandon speak for a while knows that she's pretty smart. I write op-ed columns for the Chicago Sun-Times, and people send me e-mails saying, "You're a movie critic. You don't know anything about politics." Well, you know what, I'm 60 years old, and I've been interested in politics since I was on my daddy's knee. During the 1948 election, we were praying for Truman. I know a lot about politics.

-Roger Ebert

The game is up about celebrity opinions. This is America and we support expression and those that don't are un-American. Therefore, to be against Bush is not just because he dumb and a bad actor.

Because I've been doing this since I was 5 years old, I know when a person is saying words that aren't their own - and it's apparent as it could possibly be to me that he's a mouthpiece, and not even a good mouthpiece. Reagan was a B-movie actor, but at least he had the ability to touch certain emotional notes. Bush is just utterly incapable of it. As an actor I know in my mind, watching him, what a low-quality mind he has.

-Edward Norton

It's because he lied when he vowed to defend the Constitution. He can't seem to recall the section on the separation between Church and State. Faith-based programs are a vile stain to go along with Ashcroft's Crusade against pornography and potsmokers. It has to be a Crusade when Bush is so much of a dunce to let that word slip at one point and then invite Franklin "Islam is an evil religion" Graham to preach at the Department of Defense on Good Friday.

We are slow to believe that which if believed would hurt our feelings.

-Ovid (43 B.C.-18 A.D.)

We must continuously engage our beliefs and the beliefs of others. We must never let those damn things rest and stagnate. If they are to be worth anything, they must be able to withstand the closest scrutiny and toughest question. The more we cut trim off the bad branches, the better we will be able to maintain a steady and upward growth. It's not a matter of being ashamed of those bad branches, but being aware that they are there and asking why.

The minute we begin turning a blind eye to what we don't like in each other's writing, the minute we begin to back away from our own inner norms, to accommodate ourselves to each other, cut deals with each other over poetics, we will in fact set ourselves against each other...until one day we will disappear in a general fog of mutual admiration.

-Vaclav Havel

Not Just When Ends Are Mean

04.22.2003

(Politics, Murder, Ego, Nationalism, Song)

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The following are the principal characteristics of nationalist thought:

OBSESSION. As nearly as possible, no nationalist ever thinks, talks, or writes about anything except the superiority of his own power unit...
INSTABILITY...What remains constant in the nationalist is his state of mind: the object of his feelings is changeable, and may be imaginary...
INDIFFERENCE TO REALITY. All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts...The nationalist not only doesn't disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable talent for not even hearing about them."

-George Orwell, Notes on Nationalism

...I can shake my skinny fist at the heavens and console myself with some soggy, quasi-mystical fantasy that "The Truth Will Out", then spend the rest of my life writing angry political cartoons telling the American people what ignorant assholes they are, then get puzzled why mainstream success eludes me...then I can plunge further and further down the poverty-bitterness spiral until I become that scowling old hippy you see in the back of every coffee shop, muttering to myself and penning the eighty-ninth draft of my "Everybody is Stupid (Except Me!)" manifesto.
-

Patrick Farley's Just you wait, part of e-sheep

Patrick's statement takes on an eerie echo of what happened to Bill Hicks. Many of his ideas and opinions were in direct opposition to the popular herd-think. He also would not let it go after seeing the footage of ATF agents driving the Bradly tank at the Waco massacre shooting flames into the building on the 19th of April in 1993. This is the event that convinced Timothy James McVeigh it was OK to murder even more people on the 19th of April in 1995. Was this military retaliation a natural result of military training?

If anything, it should serve as an example that a person in the military does not automatically deserve respect. Timothy was a Gulf War veteran whose decorations included the Bronze Star - a war hero. Yet he was susceptible to a very human fallibility as he descended into extreme nationalism.

An intelligent man may half-succumb to a belief which he knows to be absurd, and he may keep it out of his mind for long periods, only reverting to it in moments of anger or sentimentality, or when he is certain that no important issues are involved.

-George Orwell

Even as I have come out against war with Iraq I recognize the problems with the pacifists, "Those who 'abjure' violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf." It is of paramount importance to know your own bias into order to come to a more balanced opinion.

Dennis Miller's appearance on Real Time last Friday had his answer to a question from the audience as to why he made the switch to the Right. He said that he was in a bar in New York and after making a comment about how different the town looked, his friend said something to the effect of, "It's thanks to that Nazi Gulliani." I have to wonder if he's in jeopardy of swinging back to the left whenever he turns on the O'Reilly factor. A few hours of remote control pinball between Free Speech TV and Fox News would probably "tilt" his political position for good.

Too many people are strung out so tight that they end up snapping at things they should let pass. The one loon in the bar should not be the Rubicon that sends you over to the other side anymore more than letting one practical joke destroy your ability to trust people.

On Monday afternoon, thanks to some astute readers with a vivid recollection of elementary school vernacular, I realized I had been duped.

The realization that one has just goofed in front of more than 200,000 readers produces a uniquely sickening brand of nausea.
While it's certainly funny -- believe me, my wife won't quit hassling me about it -- the episode has taught me a lesson: Trust no one.

My confidence in people is now tarnished, and that may be the thing that bothers me the most. People complain that reporters are jaded. Well, now you know one reason why.

-James Scott

His ego wouldn't allow him to recognize that this didn't take so much an ability to remember "elementary school vernacular" as much as it did to simply check his writing. It made him physically sick and to alleviate his pain he choose not to take it in stride, but to blame it as the fault of 'others.' His confidence in others is reduced when it should be a lower confidence in his own work. His reaction embodies a lower level of maturity than the joke he got caught in. Notice that he can't even bear to print out the name that "refers to a sex act when sounded out" in this pathetic article. I guess spelling out "Heywood Jablowme" once is enough for this guy.

The world is looking more and more like a Simpsons episode. It's almost as if someone took Bill Maher's joke about the war being a way to depopulate the male population here in order to get Ari Fleischer a date to heart. Of course, Ari (42) is married to Rebecca (26) and not likely to be looking for a little on the side.

On the other hand, I have to wonder if this entry had anything to do with our current actions in Mosul. That post also wraps up Christopher's trip to Iraq.

While truth may be the first casualty in war, I hope I was able to save a small shard of it. But it's hard to say. Many times since I've been here, listening to the claims of Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Turkomen or Assyrians, I've thought that there is no such thing as Truth, only myths that people tell their children to get them through to the next generation.

His efforts cut through the kind of conspiracy theorizing going on with another site. It's nice to see what the independent voices bring to light. It's hard to determine who and what to believe.


I'm leaving for Florida for about ten days on the 25th. I got a friend's wedding to attend. The hope for lasting love springs eternal. I have to admit that I believe in that a lot more than "trickle down" economics. The Bush economic plan is essentially a repeat of that. It's another chance for the Rich to piss on the poor "for their own good." Of course, they promise it to be a green one, but it always ends up a golden shower. OH my gosh! I really do need a break! The politics are polluting my every thought process.

I haven't decided if I'm going to make any attempt to update over there. I didn't manage to stay away the last time. I think I owe it to myself to detach from the web for at least 10 days. I know I can do it! This doesn't mean I won't stop writing, but my teaming legions of fans will have to wait. And by 'teaming legions' you know I mean around 12, but I'm Captain Hyperbole! I also have a song. It's rough, but ready. Like me.

American Questions
Who is your friend
What does he do
What is his end
Would he kill for you

What is this land
Can it belong
Those that demand
Make a sovereign stand

Where history
Legally taught
Whose misery
Illegally wrought

It can't be me
American
We are all free
Americans
Say can you see
Americans
Live and let be
Americans
A great country
American

Some are squatters
Some arrested
Some are settlers
Still they protested

You can't steal land
You fence it in
You build on sand
Respect never win

A day dawning
With hope for change
Old ways waning
To your own land strange

It can't be me
American
We are all free
Americans
Say can you see
Americans
Live and let be
Americans
A great country
American

Sign yourself up
Fifty-first state
Quaff freedom's cup
Democratic fate

Democracy
By the people
Hypocrisy
Inside some people

But don't be shamed
By what has past
We can't be blamed
If now we act fast

The Manifest Destiny of American Genocide

04.21.2003

(Satire, Politics, Genocide, Colonization, Poetry)

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Hawaii is a unique state. It is a small state. It is a state that is by itself. It is different from the other 49 states. Well, all states are different, but it's got a particularly unique situation.

- Dan Quayle

Is it just me or did George and Dick do a reverse from George and Dan's dynamic?

Politicians are a strange bunch. We might be able to hold some sense of pride that we are at least ahead of the Japanese in getting wrestlers into public office. Reagan's 8-year POTUS pilot set the standard for Reality shows of today. After the success of the Machiavellian style show, Survivor, Dick Cheney knew it was time for him to pitch his idea of remaking The Prince with George in the staring role.

"I'm so happy I could spit."

The Democrats are off to a slow start in combating this new form of politics. A lack of confidence in their Hollywood research division, which has only recently shown signs of progress, forced them to release a buggy version of robo-candidate Al Gore. Set loose on the 2000 campaign trail with an untested "emotion chip" Gore shocked millions with his overt display of affection. It couldn't fool folks like Lance Morrow who wrote, "My deepest instinct tells me that if something is paraded in public, then it must be false -- a mere performance."

So the Democrats turned their backs on the technology stolen from DARPA, first demonstrated by mercenary director, James Cameron, to the Hollywood research division's most promising product, The West Wing. But when did this twisted tale of manufacturing candidates start?

Dole devouring another tie as part of an ancient freemasonry ritual.

That's right, it was Bionic Bob Dole. During WWII the government was desperate to counter the Nazi's Uber Soldat (super soldier) project with one of their own. Six Million dollars was set aside for construction of the first prototype that was to be hand-picked from the growing numbers of war wounded. The 'lucky' candidate was to be marked with a "M" (for the millions) as a covert marker. Construction on the Six Million Dollar Bob began soon after he arrived in a secret wing of a Hawaiian hospital that forever implanted the notion in Bob to return to his rebirthplace. Yes, we have the technology. Bionic Bob was stronger and faster. However, the interface with his implants caused some kind of interference that resulted in numerous side-effects including a tendency for Bob to refer to himself in the 3rd person and impotency.

Sensing a new breed of assassin had arrived, Bob was quickly inducted into the Freemasons and became their first 'Terminator'.


Back to the warm waters of reality. See I had to engage in humor to offset the plunge into the dark depths of our country's history. It's a history that has been hidden from many of us. It is a history of our colonization of Hawai'i.

The story of the native people of these islands is similar and yet totally different from the countless stories of the Native American tribes that were conquered, bought out, and pushed out by European immigrants during the formation of the USA.

The Kanaka Maoli people:

To fully understand the native Hawaiian discourse of tourism, it is necessary to know how it has developed. The suffering produced by the tourist industry began with the emergence of the "haole", or white settler. The first explorer to discover and colonize Hawai'i was Captain James Cook in 1778. With him he brought capitalism, modern political ideas, Christianity, and the most devastating of all, diseases. "The West" (Europe) imposed its "superior" ideology on the native Hawaiian, "primitive" culture. Hall explains that when "Europe brought its own cultural categories, languages, images, and ideas to the New World, it tried to fit the New World into existing frameworks, classifying it according to its (European) norms, and absorbing it into western traditions of representation." Hawai'i is only one example. In less than a century, native Hawaiians were stripped of their religion, government, cultural practices, land, and waters. In addition, diseases such as syphilis, tuberculosis, small pox, measles, leprosy, and typhoid fever reduced a population of approximately one million to less than 40,000 by 1890!

- Jennifer Anthony

Jennifer's essay sources much from Haunani-Kay Trask's book, From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai'i and her poetry, Light in the Crevice Never Seen. The plight of the native Hawaiian native is significant because unlike other Native Americans, their repression was intensified throughout our "enlightened" modern era.

Hawai'i got statehood in 1959, but native Hawaiians had little to do with this. But for them to fight the greedy white folks while living in "paradise" was a difficult thing. The very culture of the native Hawaiian; a culture based on love and generosity was no match for the competitive American.

The last true Hawaiians struggle even today for their land and identity. Their struggle paints a clearer picture of the same struggle of the Kurdish and Palestinian people as they come up against governments that push them out of their homelands. Is the USA any better because the Hawaiians don't respond to what we have done to them in a more violent manner?

Senator Dole: Look, I welcome the help of other countries, so long as they share our goals. Kofi Annan and his crowd; remember them? They did everything they could to stop the liberation of Iraq. And nobody has forgotten bin Laden, except maybe those in your administration who were supposed to keep an eye on him.

President Clinton: There's the old Bob Dole!

-From 60 Minutes

Free Gentleman

He hath more reason than he should
Its weight could lead one to cares
So about other's unfortunate affairs
Sympathetic airs would lead to no good

Yes, depart from the sympathetic - so pathetic - soon
Its indulgence heralds a fast track to doom
A man must burden many things, but to this no room
Be sure to thoroughly divest by June

You'll find it will make you clearer and freer in what you do
You can keep slaves, shutdown raves, there's even torture too
You can cheat on wives or kill them with knives or throttle blue
No, it's quite clear. Your course to steer with sympathy is through!


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