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Sunday: September 17, 2006

Announcement: Spam Filters

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:22 AM UTC

Please be advised that comments containing the following words and phrases will be deleted by my software without me ever seeing them:

  • ‘amateur’
  • ‘credit’
  • ‘debt’
  • ‘loan’
  • ‘consolidation’
  • ‘cash advance’
  • ‘mastercard’
  • ‘visa’
  • ‘american express’

Also names of prescription drugs, sexual practices, hotel chains, and games of chance, even when they are included in longer words that are otherwise unexceptionable. The latter category includes, but is not limited to, ‘ambient’, ‘analytic’, ‘somatic’, and ‘red hot poker’.

It may be a challenge to write comments on some topics without using any of these words, but I’m sure my readers are up to it. As soon as I figure out how, I will put this message into the comment templates.

Monday: September 4, 2006

What Was To Be Done?

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:31 PM UTC

There has been quite a kerfuffle in the Blogosphere about Centanni and Wiig’s conversion to Islam, with David Warren, Mark Steyn, and Kathy Shaidle leading the prosecution, and Capt. Ed doing his best for the defense. Of course, asking newsmen to die for whatever faith they may have is asking a lot. In their position, I might well have been weak enough to go through with the conversion ceremony, too, especially after a week or so of imprisonment, threats (implicit or explicit), and abuse (psychological, if not physical) designed to break my will. However, even if I did, I hope I would have had the decency, and the nerve, to do it with my fingers unobtrusively but visibly crossed (as a symbol of insincerity and Christianity), or a wink at the most significant moment, or a sudden fit of the giggles at the most solemn point.

And I certainly hope I would have had the guts to do what they should have done as soon as they got home. What would that be?

  1. Head straight from the airport to my local Red, Hot, and Blue, with Fox camera crew in tow.
  2. Order pitchers of beer for the house and brutally mock any crew-member or customer who declined to join in, and to be filmed joining in, without very good reason. (Good reasons: underage status, pregnancy, religious beliefs of long standing. Bad reasons: fear of terrorists or of giving offense, religious beliefs adopted in the previous 24 hours.)
  3. Order whatever combination of dishes would provide the most different kinds of pork in one meal, and eat some of each on-camera with relish (the metaphorical kind, of course). Again, mock any who declined to join in.
  4. Announce on-camera, with a half-gnawed rib-bone in one hand and a half-drunk beer in the other, that I am not now, never have been, and never will be a Muslim, and that anyone who says I am is obviously a liar or a fool, since forced conversions are utterly invalid in any society other than the most barbaric.
  5. Arrange for Fox to spend the next week asking every ‘moderate Muslim leader’ they can entice in front of a camera whether they think my forced conversion was valid or not. If they say yes, arrange for a ‘Liar or Fool’ internet or telephone poll, with results displayed on screen. If they waffle, insist on a clear yes or no.
  6. If they complain about the provocation, tell the ‘moderate Muslim leaders’ off-camera that I won’t publicly call their religion stupid or trashy or Mediaeval, or make the sign of the cross at them, or pour holy water on their mosques at midnight, or picket their services, or shake hands and then tell him the gloves you’re wearing are pigskin, or buy a Koran and drop-kick it into a dumpster, or do any of a dozen other things that are still perfectly legal in a free country, as long as they and their followers leave me alone. In short, try to convince them that ‘Live and let live’ is the only way to go.

Sure, I’d have to live like Salman Rushdie, surrounded by bodyguards, but it would be worth it to see the look on some people’s faces.

“Top of the World, Ma!”

Filed under: — site admin @ 6:59 PM UTC

PubliusPundit has the most interesting of several posts I’ve read about Adam Gadahn, the Orange County loser who finally managed to get his name in the papers by joining al Qaeda and making a videotape encouraging his fellow Americans to convert to Islam or die. Surely I’m not the only one who thinks that mockery is not enough, that we ought to be spreading rumors that he’s a deep-cover CIA agent, rumors specifically designed to get him killed by his new friends. A videotaped hanging (or worse) would be the best deterrent to future traitors.

These rumors would have to be subtle, but not too subtle, to achieve their intended effect. Perhaps various bloggers and commenters could claim to be high-school classmates and drop hints, along these lines:

  • “Let’s not rush to judgment. There’s more to this story than we can tell. Perhaps in ten years or so, the truth will come out.”
  • “He always seemed a sly one, and loved to impersonate people he despised. I’ve seen him go in a CD store and convince the employees he was the new regional manager and they were all going to be fired if they didn’t do everything he told them to do. He kept it up for a whole week.”
  • “He was always embarrassed to admit it, because it didn’t fit his heavy-metal image, but deep down inside he was really patriotic, and a devout Christian.”

Of course, these would have to be judiciously mingled with denunciations, and the ideal ratio would be difficult to estimate, even approximately.

I can only think of one reason not to spread rumors that would get Adam Gadahn killed by his new friends: there’s a one-in-a-thousand chance that he really is a deep-cover CIA agent.