Category: comments

We The People

Congratulations to the Obama Administration for implementing an internet service to allow US citizens to present petitions to the White House. This is a first, and I hope people will use the system responsibility and keep the Government  UFO coverup and space alien stuff to a minimum. Yes, these people are still with us.

In my last blog post I excoriated the White House for running a blog and not turning on the comments for people to reply to the propaganda generated there. While on the White House site, I found the We The People section. To the defense of my last blog, the petitioning process is not exactly like being able to comment to a blog article.

Since the Anthrax scare, US Mail to the Government has been discouraged. I don’t believe sending an email gets the job done, either with the recipients sending automatic replies and answers formulated by staff assistants. There aren’t many ways to make your voice heard by the White House, but the petitioning process is a good start.

The petitioning system is limited by the number of subjects you can address, plus you have to register for an account on Whitehouse.gov. Some people will shy away from putting their name on a White House list.

This is the way the system works.

  1. Register for an account to either create a petition or sign a petition.
  2. Create your petition, or sign a petition.
  3. Collect 150 signatures in 30 days. Otherwise, your petition is dead.
  4. Collect 25,000 signatures in the next 30 days and your petition will be reviewed by White House staff, and forwarded to the appropriate federal bureau.

It’s easy, and all you have to do is give your name. Good luck on that.

Fighting On The World-Wide-Web

cartoon by xkcd - somebody on the internet is wrong
Cartoon by xkcd

When I surf across a political or scientific blog, I always read the latest articles and dive into the comments. It’s the comments where you find the really juicy stuff. This is where you can have some fun. I am not talking about a flame war. Simple arguing, preferably with someone dumber than you, can be very entertaining.

In the more popular blogs, not only will you find the everyday Joe-Sixpack type of commenter, but you will also find some real heavy weights of that particular blogging genre. You really need to be careful about who you are attacking.

You can mount an attack on what you think is a relatively uninformed person, and they can wind up having a PhD in that particular subject.

Having a PhD doesn’t mean a person is correct. It just means that they can throw around credentials and category relevant words. If you are smart, you can kick some academic ass, but don’t try it unless you are really sure. Be prepared to abandon your made-up name if the PhD gets the best of you. They are smart, and won’t forget your name. They enjoy a good fight, too.

Stay away from legal blogs because lawyers don’t have any sense, and will argue in their best law school Latin. It makes for an embarrassing spectacle to try logic on these guys. They don’t get it, and will  try to use courtroom tactics to befuddle their adversaries. You can have a really trying time Googling the language they use, just to discover they don’t have a clue.

Another pain in the blog is the internet philosopher. You can tell the internet philosopher by their language and by their name-dropping. Anybody that shoves words at you like, “postmodern”, or “epistemology” is an internet philosopher. They try to dazzle you with knowledge of different branches of philosophy,or their knowledge of various philosophers from Aristotle to Descartes, to Hayek and Popper.

I don’t know anything about philosophy, so I steer clear of that kind of argument. You might consider that if somebody is busy dropping names and philosophic categories, they probably never had an independent thought. That’s their Achilles’ Heel. Keep your arguments to the physical world, and let somebody sympathetic to your side intervene and tackle the philosophy stuff. You can still win.

Most of all, if you get into a pissing contest over somebody’s arithmetic, you have just fallen into a trap. NEVER attack your opponents numbers. Chances are he has spent the last week or month getting his arithmetic right. Always look for weakness in his assumptions. That way you don’t have to do any work at all. Just dismiss all his hard work because of his mistaken assumptions, and watch the fireworks in that comment section.

I once kept an argument going for two days because I confidently asserted that my opponents assumptions were wrong. When he blasted me to offer better work, I replied that just because he couldn’t do a decent job was no reason for me to educate him. He didn’t like that, and his language degenerated into all sorts of insults. Obviously, I won because he was the one to come unglued.

The last, and one of the most important rules about getting into an internet fight is to not argue with women if you can help it.

First of all, women are smarter than men. Secondly, women have no ethics when it comes to arguments. They go for the jugular and they never forget.

Have fun on the internet. It is all sorts of fun, and you can keep your brain cooking on all burners just by some fun arguing. Never take it seriously, though.

Live is too short for peace on the internet and cheap beer.

Taking Potshots At Environmental Pubs Is Fun

Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t spend a lot of time writing blogs for this site. I enjoy writing, but as a condition of surrender to my wife, I will no longer write long, accusatory, and inflammatory blogs about politics, no matter how bad or how wrong those other guys are. Blogging is supposed to be bad for my blood pressure.

There is a loophole.

As far as I am concerned, I am not prohibited to comment on blogs or other articles. This is important. You see, I can get online, read a bunch of blogs and articles, and comment to my heart’s content. I can say anything I want to without having to accept responsibility because I am pretty much anonymous in my commenting.

Let me give you an example. On a Saturday mornings, I might read and scan 20 to 25 blogs, and check out 50 or more articles in my Google Reader. With these articles, sometimes the newspaper or magazine will allow comments, and this is where I go bananas.  Articles in all sorts of publications accept comments, and I will close in on one or two articles that I deem really dumb, or totally out of the realm of reason. This is mostly true with environmental pubs, and I take a devilish pride in ridiculing the marshmallow intellects who believe the garbage they read there.

Mother Jones is a great pub with which to do a drive-by commenting attack. The people who hang out there are at the bottom of the intellectual food chain, and don’t have the capacity to reply in a coherent manner. Plus, the article is usually so old that nobody is reading it but me, anyway. I am assured of having the last word,

I can sometimes spend hours peppering the unsuspecting world of smaller brains with my wisdom and smart-ass comments. It is a lot of fun.

It is also a waste of time. But, I don’t get caught putting the same stuff on my own blog and violating my spouses rules to keep street language out of my writing. I suspect she knows what is going on, but as long as my words cannot be connected with her, my life is secure.

God bless the environmentalists. Without them, we would have to look long and hard to find the stupid people.