please try one of our hate-filled trolls

In the blog world, there are people known as trolls. These are people, either conservative or liberal, who like to visit the sites of their ideological opponents and do whatever they can to fuck things up. They leave comments insulting other posters. They take on multiple aliases, and try to start fights. They spew hate, and do their best to shout other people down. In short, they try to drown out meaningful discourse… Whereas others attempt to have real, substantive discussions on issues, they hurl shit… Apparently, it makes them feel better about themselves.

This site has trolls.

If you look through the comments on the past few posts, you’ll notice the ones left by trolls immediately. They stand out like enormous black turds on fields of silk. They’re the comments that make you feel a little sick to your stomach. They’re the ones dripping with bile.

It’s the trolls, for instance, what are assuming the identities of our regular visitors and saying things like, “my name is brett, and I’m a big dummy,” and “i’m steven. i’m so liberal, i just spilled my latte on my ivy league diploma. oh, how i hate america.” And it’s the trolls who are regurgitating things they’ve heard Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity say, like “Vote Democratic…it’s easier than getting a job.” Their intention is to stop the discourse dead in its tracks, and discourage people from returning to this site. The trolls want to make your time spent here so hellish that you will never return. They want to burry our good ideas under an avalanche of garbage so that no one else can find them.

On one level, I suppose I should be honored. After all, they wouldn’t be going to the effort if we weren’t talking about things that threatened them, right? Maybe our Jeff Gannon discussions got to them. Maybe we poked too many holes in their reality for them to cope. Maybe the things we were talking about scared them. I suppose I could find a way to be happy about this, if not for one little thing.

The one little thing, however… that one little thing that makes this more unpleasant than it would be under normal circumstances… is that I know these trolls. They’ve been following me for twenty years. You see, a majority of the hateful, disrespectful, and antagonistic posts left on this site over the course of the past 24 hours were left by two childhood friends of mine. Their names are Mike and Jerrod.

Here are photos of them. Mike is the one in the hat, with the USA sweatpants. Jerrod is the one drinking Bud with a girl on his lap.

I could go on and on about this, but there are much more important things for us to be discussing, like Social Security reform, the Bush administration’s manipulation of the media, privacy issues, national healthcare, the environment, alternative energy and the war in Iraq. These issues that we’re facing are far more important to me than the fact that two middle-aged bullies were forced into an intellectual corner and had no choice but to come back the one way they knew how to, with the on-line version of the wedgie.

So, let’s just do our best to ignore them. Or, as Linette would say, let’s just pretend that they’re inside a big glass box… So, that’s my advice to you. Just look at them as you would an exhibit in a museum, specimens taken from an ugly stage in our evolution. (I’m trying to use the word “evolution” at least once a day.)

On a much happier note, I just got back from the first meeting of our progressive book club and I’m happy to say that things went incredibly well. We had 14 people show up, the discussion was lively, and I think we made some real progress in defining possible ways in which to counter the Republican noise machine (as personified by my two old friends, Mike and Jerrod).

Here’s hoping your old friends don’t turn out to be like mine.

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  1. mime
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    I used to try to pretend that I was in a big glass box when I worked outside a coffee shop in SF. Then I found out that people really don’t like mime’s. For some reason they think we’re delusional losers and the guys who could actually do something like play an instrument or dance always got way more tip money. I tried going into being a rodeo clown but they actually wanted me to hustle.. Now I just “work” in a progressive bookstore where they are enlightened enough not to force me to do things I don’t want to.. My pay is equally progressive as its based on my needs, not what I accomplish. Society just isn’t fair though and our bank says they’re going to close us down soon because we never made a “profit” for this I blame society and hope that one day I can live in a country with a government which is enlightened enough that this capitalistic pursiut would be punished rather than rewarded.

  2. mark
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    I feel sorry for you.

    I mean that too. I’m not trying to be funny. I really do feel sorry for you. I’m sitting here and I want to be angry, but I can’t. I just feel this sadness.

  3. Ayn Rand
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Who’s John Gult?

  4. Brian
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Ayn Rand,where can I spot you in Cecil B. DeMille’s “The King Of Kings?”

  5. Posted February 11, 2005 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    BWAHHHAHAHAHA…. Lizardoids Attack!

  6. Ken
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    It’s funny that you show your trolls teenagers instead of the baldind beer-gut guys the probably are. It shows their comments for what they really are: a smashed mailbox and a bag of flaming shit on your porch.

  7. Posted February 11, 2005 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Mark, you should be honored that your trolls are as loyal as your actual readers.

  8. brett
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    mark-i don’t mean to split hairs, but technically, steven and i were actually impersonating eachother, in an act of self-reflexive satire. Everything else you said was right, though, and i loved seeing the historic images of a simpler time in america’s history.

  9. Posted February 11, 2005 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I concur. Now let’s get back to planning the commune.

  10. brett
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    i have the geodesic dome designs almost finished, comrade.

  11. Posted February 11, 2005 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I don’t believe in evolution, I believe in the Creation. I also believe in adjustment. I think all the things were created, and then something just adjusted to its own environment. I guess we will soon find out who’s right when we all die or at the Jesus’ Second Coming.

  12. Posted February 11, 2005 at 10:38 am | Permalink


    This is just like Strong Sad’s blog…

    No wonder there’s never any lady types here…

    I’d rather watch Dangerosiky 2.

  13. mike
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Mark, up until now, the only personal attacks are from you and a couple of other loyal posters. I would be honored to be thought of as a troll here but I must confess, I have posted only as myself each time. I thought they were actually good. I guess they were better than I thought. I doubt you would be one to back me into an intellectual corner. I won’t bother to bore your fans with our educational history. Let’s just say you don’t match up mentally or physically and it makes you sick to your stomach with envy (that’s the bile taste you keep talking about). I give you credit though, you have perfected the playing the victim card better than I would have imagined. Like they say, practice makes perfect. If your posters need a recent picture of me, you know I would be all too glad to give them one. I would love to send a picture of my whole family in fact. Then they can see my bald head and beer gut and how old I am. You could get someone to photoshop it too so you can make me look bad(hey, if you can’t do it for real, you might as well do it on the internet).
    As usual though you gloss over your unsubstantiated facts. Nowhere did I obstruct an intelligent discussion(until now..which really isn’t an intelligent conversation). I actually started one on social security and was immediately called a ‘money worshipping occultist’ by your loyal posters. There is a substantiated fact. Go look at the whole thread. I posted as Mike. Definitely no need to cover up my thoughts with an alias. It’s also funny that you assume that all the trolls are jerod and I. Why? I thought you got so much traffic here that it could be just about anyone from any country in the world. At least that’s what you tell everyone that rarely comes to this site. Isn’t that true? Now since you have so many progressive things that are so much more important than your 2 friends (by the way, his name is spelled ‘Jerod’) you better get us off your front page and get to talkin’ about some of W’s schemes. People may start to get the wrong impression. Meanwhile please ignore my posts as they will differ in opinion from yours…and we all see that your little meltdown last night could be detrimental to your health. Take your wife’s advice and steer clear of the big bad bullies. Let someone else take us on, hell, we have the mean green republican machine behind us and we are coming to blow your house down.

  14. Posted February 11, 2005 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I’ll bring the solar pannels.

  15. brett
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    mike, since i’m the one who called you a money-worshipping occultist, perhaps i should elaborate. Your posts regarding social security generally kept going back to the idea that it’s your money. ‘Who’s money is it?”, I believe you asked repeatedly, and even got some answers to that question, to which you didn’t reply. So, that fascination with money being yours is what made me make the ‘money-worshipping’ comment.

    as for occultist, well, that ties into the other part of the discussion where you clearly exhibit a nearly religious fervor for the concept of investing, which generally boils down to investing in the stock market, which is itself a synthetic system both easily manipulated for personal gain, as well as wildly uncontrollable as a whole, and generally reliant upon the faith of its adherents to function. I personally regard it pretty much in the same way i regard the Kabalah, numerology, and other forms of occultist divination. So, that explains the “Occult” part.

    I think you’ll find plenty of people here, myself included, that enjoy healthy debate and discussion. If the debate and discussion turns unhealthy and surreal, though, I can enjoy that too.

  16. brett
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    steven- don’t worry about the solar panels; they were just to heat the water for the shower, and i figured we wouldn’t need one since we’re dirty hippies, so i left that out of the plans.

  17. Posted February 11, 2005 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Excellent idea. I’ll bring some patchouli oil instead. Running water is just a tool of whitey anyway.

    After that we can forge plans on how we’re going to further the spread of the new world order, militiant veganism, and then disarm the michigan militia through propaganda.

    We have leftist work to do!

  18. not mike
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    So, Brett…. You called Mike, a “Money worshipper” for calling the money he earned as “his money”. Then I have a very simple question for you. Whose money is it then?

  19. David T
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I suspect it’s not coincidence that all the troll posts began when the ones under the name “Mike” stopped. And, having just read through the transcript of events, it does seem as though, contrary to what Mike’s saying, the people in this community were addressing his issues openly and with respect, at least at the beginning. As for Mark “playing the victim” I don’t think that’s what he’s doing at all. I think he’s just saying, “let’s ignore these people.” It was also not lost of me that Mike mentions his physical advantage over Mark. I could have predicted that one. As for Mark’s bias, and Mike’s claim that he only wants to hear his own thoughts parroted, I don’t get that sense either. If I’m not mistaken, he was just saying the other day that Social Security reform was needed and that it would require a meaningful debate. It seems to me that Mark is just asking for civility here, and I don’t think that’s really too much to ask.

  20. mike
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Okay, brett – you cannot be a real person. Are you American? Who won the 1964 world series? What country has done the greatest good for mankind? What is the best country to live in? What is the best form of government invented so far? If you cannot answer these questions then I expect you to be a troll. Confess please. Mark’s wife has told me to ignore you and pretend you are behind glass.

  21. JF
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 11:43 am | Permalink


    Thanks for the memories. Nice pictures. Just to add to Mike’s comments with regards to postings. I have only posted a couple of times (as myself) so before you decide to make accusations and derogatory remarks and reduce yourself to “our level” you should probably figure out who is actually sending this info.


    Your big, fat, beer belly old friend.

  22. mike
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    David t – if you knew mark (i have known him since his windbreaker days – you have no idea what I mean..unless you are really mark), then you would know that he cannot stand if someone more physically adept is also smarter than him. It was meant to press his buttons after posting a 20 year old picture of me and wrongly accusing me of trolling this hysterically leftist site. My emails usually stop during the work day. Except for today in which it was brought to my attention that mark devoted an entire night to me. He actually was so inflamed that he wasted a hours of his life trying to personally attack me. The ‘physical’ comment was a personal attack on him and I feel less dignified for saying it. But deep down it makes me feel good that it emotionally tears him apart every second he thinks about it. He loses on so many levels that it gets sad. Of course, that’s where you guys come in. When he sees your witty responses and people coming to his rescue, his life takes on meaning no matter how trite. It keeps him going. It gives him purpose. So in a way, I feel I am helping him, albeit indirectly. You people are just foils in his life, make no mistake. Deep down mark is my friend, you people are just imaginary, fake, and unimportant acquaintances(brett, you’re just a dope smokin’ moron – no offense of course). But hey, my only point is that my posts have not stopped. They will never stop. I will bring so much traffic here that this site will have me on the front page forever! It will have no choice but to make money through advertising, eventually turning a profit and making Mark a millionaire. Then when mark stays at home laying in his huge piles of money, forgetting to write in his blog, where will that leave you david? Blogless, that’s where. Blogless, my imaginary internet friend. Blogless.

  23. brett
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Q-Are you American?

    Q-Who won the 1964 world series?
    A-i could google the answer quickly, but i’ll be honest and say i have no idea, nor do i care.

    Q-What country has done the greatest good for mankind?
    A-Hmm. In what way? i suppose that many (or most) basic technologies were developed in ancient China, so i’ll go with that.

    Q-What is the best country to live in?
    A-I can’t really say, since I’ve only lived in this one.

    Q-What is the best form of government invented so far?

    (The comment about me not being a real person was not in the form of a question, so I won’t respond to it).

  24. mike
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Hey JK – what’s going on? I heard the family and the job are going great. You work hard, you deserve it. I respect how you balance family time with your job. Of course, you have always done your best in everything you set out to do, so I expect as much from you. I admire you. We should take the families on vacation together this year for a week or two. I have extra cash burning a hole in my pocket this year. Time to really do it up. Money is no object, pick a place and a time.

  25. Posted February 11, 2005 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Is this argument all coming down to the legality of taxation? It sounds to me through all the personal attacks it is what mike’s getting at.

    All of this assumes of course that Republicans are anti-tax and Democrats are pro-tax which is ridiculous.

  26. mike
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    What type of Utilitarianism Brett? You have to be more specific than that.

  27. Posted February 11, 2005 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    me too!

    Q-Are you American?

    Q-Who won the 1964 world series?
    A-The boston celtics.

    Q-What country has done the greatest good for mankind?
    A-Vatican City.

    Q-What is the best country to live in?
    A-Depends on your skin color and percieved “race”.

    Q-What is the best form of government invented so far?
    A-plutocracy, i think we can all agree.

  28. Posted February 11, 2005 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Did someone leave an AM radio set to “stupid”?

  29. Posted February 11, 2005 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and for the record, brett isn’t real. He’s a 62-line PERL script.

  30. mike
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I could make brett in less than 30 lines with python. Oh, and if wanted to troll, i could make my own little troll-bot in a day. It would require less work than manually posting under different aliases. But – I don’t troll. However, I am glad mark got an article out of it.

    And I am not making a case for the legality of taxes. A society needs them to operate it’s infrastructure and defend itself. It basically just comes down to where should the taxes go, how much is enough, how we cut down on waste, How we cut through the rhetoric of both sides and then debate the issue. There are fundamental differences between a liberal and a conservative ( I am obviously conservative). Debating without emotion is tough for both sides. But even when it gets heated, even when the debate seems to spiral into personal attacks, I think it is worth it to keep it going. I know both parties waste money, I know both sides do stupid things. I also know both sides do some good things. I happen to think the republicans have better ideas(IN GENERAL) than do the Democrats at this juncture. I almost never hear of the Democrats coming up with an alternative plan and explaining the virtues of that plan. I WANT IT TO HAPPEN. I hear the likes of Ted Kennedy and John Kerry and Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi talk about how bad the administration ideas are and how they are liars and cheats and morons and stupid. Then the Ney York Times and LA Times spouts the same stuff. Hey, how about a two party system where they both come up with brilliant ideas and then explain to us why their system is so brilliant. If the democrats do not do this, if they keep up with the bashing of someone else’s idea without countering with their own, we will become more of a one party system. The more it becomes apparent that we are moving to a one party system, the more my own party will become corrupt by nature. Most of the people hear are so eager to bush bash, so eager to make a sign and go out in a protest march, so eager to post pictures of trolls and accusing them of something you only suspect, so eager to look at people that happen to be christians or conversatives from behind a glass wall that they don’t realize they have made a cage for themselves. About 6% of America is as far left as most of you here. Right or wrong, why? Are they all so brainwashed, so dumb, so misguided that they just can’t see the light? Or, perhaps, could it be the other way around? Or a combination of both?

  31. stella
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    from my own experience : One really can make a beautiful, functional, lightweight, large and easily movable geodesic dome from vis-queen and inexpensive light, thin, woods. However the problem arises when high wind seasons encroach. Man, you can expect the pieces to cover about 200 acres. Tends to piss off the neighbors.

  32. Ken
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I would imagine each of those pieces would become a missile in itself. I would be the neighbors would really hate that.

  33. Posted February 11, 2005 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    “It basically just comes down to where should the taxes go, how much is enough, how we cut down on waste,”

    Agreed. Yet, I fail to see how personal/emotional attacks or appeals further any rational debate. But this isn’t a rational debate.

    “How we cut through the rhetoric of both sides and then debate the issue.”

    Maybe people could stop believing in the dogmatic pinciples of “conservative”, “liberal”, and “progressive” since they’re labels that are conviently re-defined by everyone that uses them. But that’s not going to happen. Happy trolling.

  34. Ken
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I was watching ZOOM with my daughter one time and they made a geodesic dome out of rolled up newspaper and packing tape. It was quite clever!

  35. mike
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh and brett, you called me an occultist after my first post at this site. It was also the very first response to one of my posts. So, when you give your excuses for personal attacks, please don’t refer to my ‘posts’ for your validation. Maybe mark should actually read the posts to better decide who are the productive contributers to a topic. Then we can apply his wifely advice to them. Of course, that would eliminate some of the echo-chamber members.

  36. Posted February 11, 2005 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    damn mike, you are an angry little man.

  37. W
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Steven has yet to realize the personal attacks are on page 1 printed by mark. He is not real. Quickly behind glass for you. You contribute nothing. Plus Brett said you were a pansy in that other post. I thought that was funny.

  38. Posted February 11, 2005 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I missed the page 1 personal attacks. Enlighten me.

  39. Posted February 11, 2005 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Funny… I was trying to have a conversation about social security, but Mike vanished when I’d made my point.

    I agree and we should look carefully at what we’re chosing to invest our taxes in. As I mentioned before, we pay twice what the country of Switzerland spends per capita on healthcare. That’s $2000 per capita we can put towards shoring up Social Security.

    We should also end drug prohibition because history has shown that morality can’t be legislated.

  40. Posted February 11, 2005 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    This is my first post so I’ll get right to the point. My brother (one of the accused)is a right wing nut case. I’ve known him longer than any of you unless mom and dad are posting here, which I doubt. I also have the pleasure of knowing Jerod and Mark from those glorious high-school and college days in the eighties. They all looked pretty funny back then, not just Mike and Jerod. As far as their thought patterens are concerned: I’ve always understood Mark to be a crazy leftist and the other two are just insane. In fact they all were nut cases back then, I can only confirm that my brother is still a nut-case.


    — hey guys

  41. Posted February 11, 2005 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Hillary, mike doesn’t want to talk about issues. I answered the “who’s money is it?” question and got dead air.

    He appears to be far more interested in Linette’s opinion on trolls which I find rather funny.

  42. brett
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    …just checked back in, um, i’m not actually a perl script, i’m actually just a 9-row abacus.

    As for steven being a pansy, i will have you know that he and i fought in a war together. on opposite sides. and we weren’t even born yet.

    it was the toledo war.

  43. mike
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Steven and hillary, sorry to not get back to your post about SS but – have you heard, I made the front page here! I have basically taken over the site single handedly. It’s a small pond so it was relatively easy.
    As I recall Hillary “read the first few paragraphs” of an article illustrating how privatization of SS would work and benefit everyone. If you are not going to make an effort Hillary, then you deserve no repsonse –although I gave you one( which you said I didn’t). You then went on about Healthcare being the problem. I haven’t responded to anyone about healthcare. I have responded to SS.
    Steven, I didn’t catch your response to Whose money is it? It’s a simple reponse I guess. Can you answer it here? Seems like everyone is here any way…including my little brother that has a unique perspective to things. Maybe we can both troll the site…forever.

  44. JF
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Your little brother? “Man look at that shark go” as someone said earlier with regards to this site.

    Mike keep in mind most people on this site will re-direct the topic if you hit a nerve or something that makes too much sense to respond to (re: Hilary Healthcare).

    But what do I know…I am just a beer guzzling, fat bellied, shit throwing, insanse person that drinks Buds with a girl on his lap.


  45. W
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Steven – if you can’t find page 1, I cannot help you.

  46. mike
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    JF – I was accused at posting “hateful, disrespectful, and antagonistic posts”, called a troll, called a money worshipping occultist after 1 post about SS, a turd thrower etc. Luckily, no personal attacks have come my way. The liberals here have treated me with respect so far and have even posted a picture of me to honor my participation. They also want to see my bald head and beer gut in a recent picture. Somehow, I don’t think Mark would want that to happen.

    Whose money is it, Steven? Hillary?

  47. Posted February 11, 2005 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    “Steven, I didn’t catch your response to Whose money is it?”

    go read the response. look, if you’re not going to make an effor then you don’t deserve a response.

  48. Posted February 11, 2005 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    “Whose money is it?”
    It’s our money; it belongs to our government. I think that is why they always give me grief when I print my own money (that’s what I call making money).

    You “own” a billion dollars. But you are the only human alive on the planet. What does that money represent? It is useless and represents nothing–other than some functional things that can be done with it (e.g., used as fuel for fire, stitched together as a nice money blanket, toilet paper in a pinch, etc.). Money means nothing without other people. Money = people (work they can do, power and control over their lives, etc.).

    On the issue of taxation, we, the people, can take as much money as we deem necessary because that money represents us.

  49. Posted February 11, 2005 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    JF: Republicans are using Social Security to redirect public discourse from Iraq, healthcare, and fiscal responsibility. Continue holding up the strawman if you like.

    Mike: You’ll have to point out which fake name you answered me with because I got the last word in that conversation.

    The Republican plan for Social Security is to eliminate it and turn back the New Deal. I am suggesting that we instead expand the New Deal and save money in the process. I assure you that the most pressing things for people on Social Security right now are continued benefits and healthcare. If you can’t grasp the concepts we’re discussing, I suggest you pick up a history book about the 1920’s so you can better participate in the discussion.

  50. Posted February 11, 2005 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    “Whose money is it, Steven? Hillary?”

    I already responded to the question.

    Hillary is trying to get back on topic but I guess the “troll” post ended that discussion.

    The question about why we can’t have a meaninful discussion is becoing self-evident.

  51. JF
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I too have been honored on this site with a picture. Seems that mine is above yours if I recall. I would gladly submit an updated picture of me with my family next to my boat by my pool with my SUV’s visible in the driveway if he would like. Just to prove his point.


    The fat, beer bellied, shit throwing, insane, balding, repug, neocon, monkey behind the glass at the zoo.

  52. JF
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 3:21 pm | Permalink


    Bottom line on this topic is you and I will never see it the same way and that is fine. You don’t see a problem with the current system and the funds in that system and I do. You see it as a smokescreen by the Republican party and I see it as a major problem for my children. Either way a healthy debate is fun but most likely we will never see it the same way.


  53. Posted February 11, 2005 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Raising the retirement age might help.

  54. JF
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    You know what else might help is somehow reducing the average life expectancy. Maybe stop the Pharmaceutical companies from researching cures to cancer or medicines that allow us to live longer. That should fix it as well.


  55. Posted February 11, 2005 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    “Maybe stop the Pharmaceutical companies from researching cures to cancer or medicines that allow us to live longer.”

    Life expectancy was much different when the 65 retirement age was dialed in. The eqation has changed, maybe we ought to discuss adjusting it.

  56. JF
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Valid point. Yes life expectancy has changed but so has responsibility of the wage earners in this country with regards to their responsibility for funding everyone elses welfare and SS.

    The ” evil rich” in this country (top 20% of income earners), pay 80% of all income taxes collected currently today. Why force them to work longer to pay for everyone elses SS? Why not allow them to at least invest a portion (2% I believe) of the THEIR OWN MONEY in private investments?

    I know several people believe that Government is what makes America great but it is actually the individual that makes this country great is it not? Allow the individual to take some accountability in their own future and not depend on the government to do it for them.

  57. mike
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Hillary – I only post as ‘mike’.
    Steven – I am neither little not angry – merely amused with the 6% that you represent.

    Hillary – I also agree that the SS debate is a smoke screen for the 8 million people that just voted in IRAQ. It has been a total failure and we should get out now. I mean why should we be paying for the chance of freedom for entire countries, when we should be worried about supporting the unfortunate with my paycheck and providing a National Healthcare system like Canada. The Iraqis will be ungrateful anyway because we didn’t find any WMDs.

    JF – I completely agree. I am looking out for my children in the case of SS. I don’t plan on needing my payout when I retire and I will look inot any plan that needs to reduce my benefit in order to save the benefits of my kids. I don’t want my taxes raised to fix it though because that is money I could use to send my kids to the best schools in the nation, whether private or pubilc. The better their education, the more likely they will not need their SS check either. Of course, their upbringing will have a lot to do with their financial and spiritual outlook as we can see from this site. Hopefully, we will not raise excuse makers.

  58. Posted February 11, 2005 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Check it out, Mark. I found an old copy of the Bush Social Security proposal:

  59. Posted February 11, 2005 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    “Hopefully, we will not raise excuse makers.”

    We? Coming from a conservative, that sounds a lot like “it takes a village”.

  60. mike
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    By ‘we’ I meant Jerod and his wife and me and my wife. No village needed.

  61. Posted February 11, 2005 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Good. You ought to be more specific next time 98-percenter.

  62. stella
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Doesn’t – me and my spouse and that one and their spouse and withal our various broods, constitute at least a small village?

  63. Posted February 11, 2005 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    If you’re Catholic or a Prarie Muffin it does.

  64. Posted February 11, 2005 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Mark and invisible friends,

    FYI: I looked at the logs and the following names origanted from the same IP address:

    mike/not mike/marx/W/Hate filled troll/Troll/Strongbad/Saud/tolerant larry/adolf

    at another ip address was JF/Longface

    still another was pud/falchion

    Steve Cherry

  65. Posted February 11, 2005 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Maybe they was framed.

  66. mike
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Or maybe they originated mostly from my workplace after I let them know the URL. I don’t count my co workers as ‘me’. I am sure Mark doesn’t need technical help looking into his own logs but whatever floats your boat. I can also hook up a webcam so all concerned can watch me post. Or Mark can post my address and phone number or any other personal info that he might like. You all seem so interested. Better yet, do this; filter out the posts originating from my work. Ban them. That will restore your utopia. Damn, that ashcroft and his evil ideas have spred. I cry invasion of privacy on this one Steven. Shame on you. Now get to censoring. I could also send you guys a list of conservative books that should be burnt if you want to try that next. Again, though, I maintain that I have posted only as myself. If any post by me warrants being banned let me know and then ban the ip. It’s easy. I could do it at my site immediately, but I don’t. I’d be interested in any post by me that initiated any name calling or hate speech(liberals excluded). Of course, before you do, I believe the likes of Ward Churchill have the right to say what he wants. I wouldn’t want him to be silenced in this country. What he says, to me, is completely insane, but I want him to be heard without censorship. Your opinion? Also, since I have already made page 1 here, can you step it up a little and protest me? Maybe a march? a sit-in? Fire bomb my cars? A flash mob at my place of work? I need to keep you guys busy. I would be honored once again.

  67. Posted February 11, 2005 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    It’s intersting that nearly all of your “co-workers” posted with the email address

  68. mike
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Now you have posted my email address. Some privacy steven. What is yours? Anyway, In my letter to my 6 or so conservative coworkerss, I gave them the URL told them to use whatever name they wanted if they didn’t want to use their real name and said that they have to enter an email in order to post. I provided one. I am glad to keep you busy though. Maybe page 1 tomorow too! However, it’s actually getting frightening that you are doing so much investigating. You are kind of creepy. If you want to meet for a beer, come down to Atlanta and I will buy you one. I can give you all kinds of personal info.
    On to the SS issue, I have read another artcle that seems interesting. Any debunks many of the myths strewn about this propagandist website Any comments on Ward and his free speech or are you busy reading mark’s log files?

  69. Posted February 11, 2005 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    It took you a little while to come up with that one. I see why Mark feels so sorry for you.

  70. L.
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I had to work and missed the book group meeting Mark mentioned as having gone well. But I’d be interested to know what some themes of the discussion were and what key points the participants took away from the discussion. Thanks Mark. –L.

  71. Ken
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Can’t we just appoint these two douch bags King and Queen of the back blog, if that is what they aspire to be, and just be done with it?

  72. Posted February 11, 2005 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    “In my letter to my 6 or so conservative coworkerss, I gave them the URL told them to use whatever name they wanted”
    Oh, you mean sorta like a flashmob?

  73. JF
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Now I am a balding, fat, beer bellied, shit throwing, hate spewing, repug, neocon, monkey behind the glass at a zoo, douch bag. And who are the negative ones? I am just trying to have a healthy debate and the name calling just keeps on going?

    Who are the ones filled with hate?

    I do feel sorry for you (and James Guckert). What class!! I have known Mark for 20+ years and I know these hateful comments dont come from him.


  74. the Fonz
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Mark, it seems as though your blog has “jumped the shark”.

  75. Evel Knievel
    Posted February 11, 2005 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Hey! I jumped the shark before the Fonz.

  76. brett
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    “I am just trying to have a healthy debate and the name calling just keeps on going?”

    what was that healthy debate again, exactly? I’ve lost track. Does it involve sharks? Please help me rejoin the discussion.

  77. Posted February 12, 2005 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    We’re talking about tuna-safe dolphin steaks.

  78. Posted February 12, 2005 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Tuna safe dolphin steak, you know that I love you, I can’t help myself, I love you and Nobody else….tuna safe dolphin steak.

  79. brett
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    okay. great. not exactly my forte, but since i’m here i’ll have a seat for a minute and maybe learn something new.

    so, are you talking about the dolphin harvesting methods, or the actual preparation of the meat?

  80. Posted February 12, 2005 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Seriously now, jogging pants were never cool, ever. The only guess I can hazard is that you were trying to impress a fellow wrestling team-mate. And what’s up with wrestling? Way to homo-erotic for my hetero-sensibilities I guess.

  81. Posted February 12, 2005 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    If I’m going to be eating dolphin, I like to know that no tuna were harmed when using dynamite to fish for those tasty ‘lil bastards.

  82. brett
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    hmm. i thought we were going to talk about dolphin steaks, and now the subject has changed. my bad, i guess.

    uh- jogging pants. i guess i – shit – you changed the subject again. “wrestling- way to homo-erotic”.

    gee, i guess it’s a way to homo-erotic, but i’m sure there are simpler and less painful methods.

  83. Posted February 12, 2005 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Watching TLC is simpler.

  84. brett
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    okay, back to the dolphin steaks. how can you be sure that the tuna aren’t harmed? I’m not familiar with the product, so indulge my curiousity.

  85. Posted February 12, 2005 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    You either drive the dolphins to beaching themselves, or you throw dynamite into a group of dolphins.

  86. brett
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    okay. i think i can probably figure out the basic mechanics involved with the dynamite method; How are they driven to beach themselves, though?

  87. Posted February 12, 2005 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    An oil spewing boat with people shooting guns at them.

  88. brett
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    subtle. i like it.
    so why go through all the trouble to make sure the tuna aren’t hurt?

  89. Posted February 12, 2005 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Because the tuna is a sacred fish to us Canucks, the dolphin is inherantly evil. In my free time I club baby seals and divert blog threads.

  90. brett
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    gosh! I didn’t even know french-canadians were animists. I’m sure it doesn’t leave you much free time, though.

  91. Posted February 12, 2005 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    My galfiend is french-canadian, when I’m not hating her because of that, I’m loving her because those euro-trash chicks are demons in the sack.

  92. brett
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    huh. well, i… guess she’s at least lucky she’s not a dolphin.

    say, i just noticed you almost have the same name as the guy who runs this website! Weird! Except with an ‘X’. Like Malcolm?

  93. Posted February 12, 2005 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    Yes,I am as important as Malcolm.

    Stumbled upon this site while googling my domain name to see if it popped up, I got to page 2 and lost all motivation, seems like too much work to click on page 3. Found this site as a result of my failed mission. In my free time I act as a smartass, and this thread presented a great opportunity…meathead.

    Wanna buy some bear gall bladder?

  94. brett
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    hey, nice site. glacial till. i like it.

    no, thanks, i don’t eat meat.

  95. Posted February 12, 2005 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    Thanks! I made the mistake of studying geology. Presented some great opportunities for photos however, I wish I had had a digi when I was working on the tundra.

  96. brett
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Granite, geology might be hard at times, but the photos do rock.

    well, i should call it a night. big day tomorrow!
    It’s been nice meeting you, maynardx. Good luck with your work, and please make sure you turn the light out when you leave.

    good night?

  97. brett
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 7:19 am | Permalink


  98. Ken
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 7:46 am | Permalink


  99. Ken
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 8:03 am | Permalink


  100. Ken
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    100! Great job guys! We set a record for comments! Everybody take the weekend off and we’ll see y’all back here Monday!

  101. Dave Morris
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    It is easy to say that my money is my own and that I have the right to do with it what I will. I am self employed and work pretty damn hard. However, the generation of my personal wealth is not just the result of my hard work. I take advantage of all the systems set up to grow, cut, extract, refine, cast, extrude, shear, route, generate and distribute power, transport, etc. Many of these primary systems ( water, power, roads, forests, mining, farming ) are subsidized by our government so that the rest of the economy doesn’t do a nose dive. I would not be able to even leave my driveway or type this email if the government had not poured a lot of initial capital into the development of roads, power distribution, the internet, etc. So we pay our taxes.

    As far as investing Social Security money in the stock market versus US Treasuries, I would think that the example of what happened just a few years ago would have underscored the argument against doing this. Many people at retirement age who had their money in mutual funds lost nearly everything and were forced to go back to work, mostly in low paying retail jobs. I will avoid pointing fingers on this. We all know who the suspects are. The treasuries, which are essentially used to maintain primary systems so that economic growth can continue, are much safer as far as I can tell – assuming that no one questions the “full faith and credit.”

    The individuals role in economic development is described by John Maynard Keynes as “ANIMAL SPIRITS”, that “the thought of ultimate loss which often overtakes pioneers, as experience undoubtedly tells us and them, is put aside as a healthy man puts aside the expectation of death”.

    So my question is this- What happens when we discover we are not invincible? Do we have to keep up the Pomp and Circumstance indefinitely? It seems very adolescent. The fate of any one of us could change in a split second. A head injury that leaves one unable to perform their work. A life threatening illness that wipes out a life time of savings. What the hell do you do then? All the talk of “my money” is meaningless at that point. All that is left is a ward of the state who may or may not be able to overcome the odds to make themselves “self reliant” again.

    Who the hell is going to protect the weak from the Animal Spirits?

  102. Brad
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Hey guys! Luckily Jerod directed me to this great site. I have a few comments and questions:

    JF-Is that Puff Puff on your lap in the picture? Bud in a can? I can see why Mark hates you. Are you really a beer guzzler, fat-bellied, and insane? Welcome to the club.

    Thom-How can you call your own brother a nut case? I thought people that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Do you even live in a house these days?

    Mike-Oh Mike, you misguided conservative cock bite. The only person that can annoy me as much as you is that left wing wacko that runs this site. Don’t try and deny you are a money-worshipper. I regulary worship at the Temple of Mammon. In my opinion, it beats the shit out of the catholic church. I doubt very highly though that you are an occultist. You are way too square for anything that cool. Lastly, lay off the comments about dope smoking. Why do conservatives always have to come back to that insult? There is nothing at all wrong with a few tokes of my old friend mary jane. Lay off the bitch, she gets enough crap from your drug czars and DEA douche bags. That picture is also a classic. i actually think that you look better these days than you did in high school. That has more to do with the fact that you have a decent hair cut these days and probably shy away from wearing maroon hats and Jordache jackets.

    Mark-I never liked you and I still don’t, but this site is way cool. I would like to learn more. I will be at home for an extended period of time and would like a suggested reading list.

    Your friend and old high school buddy,

  103. brett
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    dave morris- amen to that. I think the biggest problem right now is to find a way to frame the debate nationally, so that people could be comfortable with the self-awareness of their frailty. Let people feel slightly more comfortable with humility without it being humiliating.

    Everyone IS close to needing a social safety net at all times, which I think they recognize subconsciously, but that same recognition all too often translates into the feeling of invincibility you mention in the Keynes quote, and certainly causes a strong sense of denial for the need to rely on anyone beyond themselves, even as they move through an entire world that has been essentially constructed by others. It’s a dillemma, and the difficult thing is that the solution requires using the highest level of human thought and reason to counteract the lowest animal impulses of human psychology. We could just start in with the old “Think of the children!” approach, but I wish there was a more forthright and honest method without trying to actually somehow ‘frighten people into not being frightened’.

  104. mike
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    brad – nice talking to today. Take care and get better. Hope to see you soon. And by the way…it’s a member’s only jacket.

    dave and brett – Your premises are misguided. Nobody is saying that there will be no saftey net if we allow 2% of your money to OPTIONALLY be investd and under your own control (one point is if you die – it can go to your family -right now it can’t). I don’t see how you even arrive at your premise. SS has to be fixed or it won’t exist as a saftey net. That is the whole point. I posted a link to an article over in the SS thread here and it seems that you haven’t read it. I would like you to read it and tell me what is untrue about the article. It’s from my last post there. There is also a link earlier in the thread about the likes of Galveston Texas that opted out of SS pre 1983. Seems that the welware of the people have been taken care of. Chile is not mentioned in the article ( I don’t think) but that’s yet another example of how we can make our saftey net better. Unless you don’t want it to be better. Were you against it when Clinton wanted to reform SS? The only problem I see is i we stay the course and do nothing,we will end up not having a safety net at all. I also happen to believe that capitalism (the market) is the best way to ensure our citizens and economy are taken care of – it keeps the government out of the equation as much as possible.

  105. mike
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    oh Dave -people that near retirement age should be putting their reirement money into bonds ( my parents, my wife’s parents are two examples). That’s how you properly manage your retirement funds -higher risk when you are young, low to no risk when near retirement. Neither sets of parents mentioned had to work any longer than they had planned. They weren’t invested in any stocks. Now that is being smart, or an evil money worshipping occultist as brett would say. As the stock market crashed, they actually made more money as bond yields went up. Of course since most people are stupid (as brett and hillary have mentioned), the stupid ones should let the government handle their 401ks as well. I mean, it is society as a whole who allowed them to earn the money anyway so what right do they have to manage it. And since my 3 children would have had a much tougher time coming into this world without a publicly funded hospital, among other publicly funded entities, I guess they are not really my children. That would be very individualistic to think otherwise. In fact, since I owe eveything to society and little if nothing to my own hard work and decision making, I am going to give everything to society. In fact, we all should. We could put it into one big pot and divide it evenly. We could call it wealth distribution. Once everyone has the exact same assets, we can then get on to our daily lives, from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. I wish I could have thought it up myself. World peace will ensue! No more unfairness, no more risk, no more failure.

  106. Brad
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Dave and Brett – Is it your conclusion that Social Security is fine the way it is? Do you really beleive that it will be there for you when you are ready to retire? Do you think it will be there for your children? Haven’t you seen what is happeing to our health care situatuion in this country? Our grandparents, our parents, and the “boomer” generation are already putting immense pressure on the health care system. What do you think will happen when they are all ready to retire and start collecting their benefits?
    The history of the stock market shows that it can be a roller coaster ride, but show me one 15 yr. period where the overall market has tanked. I don’t kniow about you, but I work my ass off for my paycheck and make sure that my company makes money every day. Shouldn’t I, at the very least, have a say in where 2% of the money goes?
    The point is that our society does need a safety net in the event of tragedy or accident. In order to maintain that net, we need reform.

  107. Brad
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Mike-nice sarcasm. Sounds alike like communism, though. V.I. would be proud.

  108. brett
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    mike and brad,

    could you please try to limit each post to say, ten questions? It’s a little hard to respond otherwise. As for mike’s article he posted, i did read it. It seemed vague and deceptive. It was also categorized by the paper as an opinion piece. And as i already pointed out:

    Reverend Moon

  109. Teddy Glass
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    What Brett’s trying in a nice way to say, Mike, is that no one in their right mind, even among conservatives, would point to an article (let alone an opinion piece) in the Washington Times as evidence of anything. It’s a “real” paper the way Jeff Gannon’s Tallon News was a real news agency. I know it’s been suggested to you here before, but you really might want to spend a little less time listening to Rush, and a little more time studying the issues.

  110. mike
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Brett,sorry to confuse you with multiple questions. I will draw pictures next time. Here’s one: What’s your alternative plan for SS? No need to answer any of the other questions, it may be a bit too taxing.

  111. mike
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I do study the issues teddy – it’s an opinion piece the way all the comments here are? So what? If it’s untrue and vaugue then let me know where he has gone wrong. Should be simple because it’s from the Washington Times, right? So shoot holes in it. What’s your alternative plan for SS? Same as the rest of the alternative plans suggestd here?

  112. brett
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure it would be a lively debate if we were to discuss who controls ‘THE MEDIA’. Unfortunately, it’s a matter of public record that the person who controls “THE WASHINGTON TIMES’ is a very wealthy gentleman who happens to believe he’s Christ.

    As for a specific plan for social security, i believe multiple individuals, including myself, have expressed skepticism that any plan is needed. If there was a plan required, i sincerely hope that my government would find someone with better economic training than myself to develop it.

    As near as i can understand your points, it seems like the entire system is going to collapse; however, if your trademark “2%” gets invested in the stock market, savings bonds, what-have-you, this will somehow fix everything? Is that correct?

  113. Brad
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Brett- I would also like to apologize for asking multiple, yet simple, questions. Yes, I do believe the system is headed for collapse. I don’t beleive it is going to happen tomorrow, but if we are going to save it’s eventual demise (20-25 yrs. from now) we need to start acting now instead of burying our heads in the sand. The 2% idea is just that, an idea. Unfortunately, you can’t seem to come up with any. Oh, I forgot, your not an economist. Then again the people with “better economic training” than yourself are probably controlled by some other scary puppetmaster.

  114. mike
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Brett- I would like to mention that the New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post, ABC, NBC, CNN(so many examples but Eason Jordan comes to mind lately), CBS(hey remember Dan Rather), PBS, the AP, and Rueters all have the knack for leaning left( that is sometimes an understatement). I still discuss their content with my friends on the left and right. I don’t just dismiss them. Still, I would like to tell me what the article said that is untrue. I am not looking for you to solve a problem that you don’t think exists. Getting you to answer what is untrue or vague or anything regarding a piece that is written by a company in which the owner thinks he is Christ and slants so far right it’s beyond your belief should be as easy as apple pie. Why is it so hard for you to even bring up a specific point? On one hand you say you don’t have any idea how it could be fixed if we needed to fix it….but on the other hand you know it doesn’t have to be fixed. Hmm.

    And to answer your question, the 2% will help. It may not be the whole solution but at least it gives the people a choice that they don’t currently have and the chance for more funds when they retire. One specific part of the plan usually will not solve an issue this big. I am sure other parts of the plan will come to light and bring us new debate, until then, I see it as a step in the right direction. I would opt for the way Galveston did it. I am also going to start looking into why Chile privatized (they saw the bankruptcy coming and actually did something about it) and what upsides and downsides they have encountered.
    I gotta go. I have just been invited to a squirt gun fight with my eldest son.

  115. brett
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Are you an economist?
    does Dan Rather think he’s Jesus?

    Here’s a simple answer for you, and i’ll bet you’ll be glad i came out and said it.

    *IF* social security really is going to run out of money, then I think we obviously need to either increase taxes or else divert funds from other Government projects.

    there. now if you’ll excuse me, i have dinner to make, so i’ll have to check back later.

  116. mike
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    So you once again avoid telling me the untruths of one simple article. Your only answer is to increase taxes. How about a solution that doesn’t involve taking even more of my family’s money? You can’t even fathom any other options? Raising the retirement age? Having the option to put your money into a choice of funds? Spporting your statement about the article and it’s fallacies?

  117. mark
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m actually really glad that we’re having this discussion here. Now I’ll have something to point people toward when they ask me why I don’t attend high school reunions.

  118. I hate mark
    Posted February 12, 2005 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    mark, you stupid slut!

  119. paleo bucher
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I miss the trolls. They brought this place to life. Do you have the technology to create a trollbot, or would you have to capture a real troll and enslave it?

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