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Watch What You Say on the Internet

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My Internet experience has always been one of throwing caution to the wind. I was always outspoken with no cares as to whether it would come back to haunt me. For the last few years, it has.

Twice I’ve been nearly sued or killed for opinions that I’ve given, and sometimes I wasn’t nearly as angry in the wordage I used. But it’s really not just me, it’s an epidemic of knee-jerk reactionary thinking that isn’t exclusive to the Internet. Rather, in this case, technology has allowed it be more anonymous.

Employment also is becoming another factor in being careful. Companies are starting to track the Internet history of potential employees. It may not be the many, but the few you don’t expect to check, do.

Pretend you are a glamour model.

You make a deal with a photographer to shoot a set of photos risqué in nature; these photos ultimately stay in the hands of the photographer you signed the release with. Let’s say now you actually go get a job at a rather conservative company, the photographer unknown to you is now parading those photos to various web sites which get indexed via the search engines. Now when the interviewer types your name, the photo in question comes up.

Did you get the job? You’ll never know if you don’t get picked, but that will always be in your mind.

The unwritten laws of the land and the Internet are that an individual can wreak havoc on you if you give them a reason to. Just play nice, or play hardball with some good lawyers handy in case you do get a person pissed. Another thing is, life is really too short to bitch and complain about someone else when you ultimately have no say so on another’s actions.

My thing is that I take care of dad as he is ill. My Internet time is meant to get away from that world of everyday stress that my mother and I go through. Sometimes I can’t help but speak out on certain issues, but I take the risk in ruining my life. You can call it cowardice, but nobody likes someone who is broke and unemployed regardless of the situation.

The Internet is the fastest way down that slope. But who knows, this is my opinion and that perception will change when I feel I’m capable of using my words better without my life being in danger.

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About Matthew Milam

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Truer words were never spoken. Looking back, I wish I’d picked a pseudonym that no one could have figured out.

    In Jamesons Idiocy

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I’m screwed!

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    It was a kidnapping threat against my daughter from religious fundamentalists, (on this site actually), that caused me to watch what I say. But I won’t hide ever again.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Damn Steve, I never knew about that…did it get taken care of?

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    I left the site Andy, most liberals did around that time too. The religious wingnuts and supremists threatened many people who disagreed with them, which is why the ‘personal attacks are not allowed’ thing appeared above where we comment.

  • goomba

    This article needs to be returned to the editor. Many errors.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Really sorry to here about that Steve. I was wondering where you went…Name calling’s one thing, threats are a whole different ballgame.

  • Nancy

    Why? I haven’t seen one comment on here by anybody that is illegal. Immoral or fattening, perhaps, or in very bad taste, but nothing that should get anybody on BushCo’s NSA Watch list. So some of us are ‘way to the right of John Birch, or rabid supporters of Hillary, so what? That’s what the US is supposed to be about.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Steve, you didn’t give a time frame for when this happened and if it’s still a problem…

  • Nancy

    My comment was referring to Andy’s exclamation “I’m screwed”; it was not making light of Steve’s situation, which is how it reads with the intervening comments coming as they do. Sorry for that. I thought Andy was saying that stuff he’d written hereon meant he’d lost chances at jobs, and I meant, regardless of what position most of us take here, we shouldn’t be penalized. Hope that’s clear.

    Steve – I hope that got cleared. Threats … that’s a whole ‘nother ballgames, as observed. No one should have to tolerate threats.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I was figuring that if Matthew was getting in trouble for what he said around here…well…you get the picture…

  • Nancy

    We all may get passionate about issues here, but we’re entitled to, as long as we aren’t going overboard threatening to ‘get’ someone’s kids for their opinions. That’s insane. And if anyone takes you to task for your taste in women’s clothes, well … just hit ‘em with your purse.

  • RogerMDillon

    Why were you nearly sued? I have no way of knowing if the other parties were in the right. You come off sounding like a victim. Toughen up.

    Wish I would have known who the gutless cowards were who made those types of threats.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    Jet, it was over a year ago, I left completely for a full 8 months and just pop in from time to time. I no longer post here, just comment.

    I don’t know if it’s a problem, because I don’t know if they are still here. Anthony Grande and practical joe posted my town here online, with info on the preschool and anthony promised to get a bunch of Christians to show up at the school. (for the record, I’m a non-active Christian)

    They all, and others, showed up during the minutemen threads, one of which was mine. My post showed an alliance between the minutemen and some racists, as well as the republican party’s open alliance with people like Terry Randall, the founder of Operation Rescue who advocates bombing abortion clinics. It was a very violatile time, a lot of hostile people showed up here, presumably from google searches. My post is probably still in the archives here under my name.

  • zingzing

    anthony did that? why is he still allowed on? that’s pretty fucked up…

  • RogerMDillon

    That is absolutely disgusting. Anthony was gone for a while, but is back posting as A.G. Don’t know about joe.

    Rather than make a big stink in this post, is there a place to address the editors of this site to verify this story and ask why he is allowed back on? It seems like a major transgression for which there should be no quarter.

    I will wait to hear, but I better not run across him on the site or the comments will get fugly.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    I’m not up to date on Antthony Grande’s status or the events around what happened to you SteveS, but I can guarantee that nothing like that will ever happen again as long as I’m the Comments Editor.

    It’s up to you as to whether you want to resume posting here but I for one would welcome it if you did. Your own site looks great by the way.

  • Dawn

    Steve S

    I can relate completely. This is one of the main reasons why a.)I no longer have a site and b.) I have no blog under my domain.

    When I first started blogging I was hounded viciously by a couple of trolls who made some extremely threatening remarks about my children and of course me. Very disturbing. I tried to track them down, but ISPs are notoriously greedy fucks who don’t get involved until someone is dead or raped.

    The problem with the internet is the Wild West style bullshit that goes on.

    I feel much safer here than I would on a site of my own.

    I hope those sick jerks stay away.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    I didn’t pursue it, back then, I just left the site. Which is most likely what they really wanted, to drive off the opposing viewpoint.

    Just let it go, it was an attack and has been edited so I wouldn’t know how to find it again. Not to put anybody on the spot, but I could say some names of people who would remember it, and verify it on my behalf, but don’t really want to turn the spotlight on them.

    I didn’t come back to dredge it up, I just saw this topic and pointed out my experience with the internet.

    Christopher, I can guarantee you that if I did come back, your editing would become a full time job. I tend to make right wingers froth at the mouth.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Hey, Goomba, what errors? I was the editor and just went back to check it. There might be some grammatical changes that could be made, but I try not to impose rigid grammatical rules unless it’s a really bad violation.

    More important, I can’t believe that about Anthony Grande. Do the uber-editors know that?

    In Jamesons Veritas

  • Dawn

    I considered using a nom de plume, but was told by so many people that my writing is so um, “unique” that I wouldn’t be fooling anyone.

    I am screwed too I guess.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    SteveS: I’m modelling my comment editing on that movie “The Cleaners”, you don’t have to worry ’bout no froth.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    comments 206, 207, 209, 210, 213, 223,

    commment 229 proves my family was getting dragged into it (although it’s mostly still in a lot of the comments above)

    comment 245 by Anthony, The Girl Needs Her Mommy, Grande…

    comment 249…and comment 327 from Anthony, the girl needs her Mommy, Grande…it’s actually still there, threatening to show up at the school to get my daughter.

    http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/09/07/184919.php

    If you think that’s just bogus rhetoric, you have to scan through the full 327 comments leading up to that, to see that it was hostile, threatening, involved hate speech from the Right, and was very intimidating.

    I’m surprised, it’s actually still there.

    For the record, if you go back and read a lot of the comments, Anthony and his supporters go on about how my family is an attempt by judges to set a political agenda by ‘awarding me’ my own daughter. But she is my flesh and blood.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    and of course comment 328 from me was incorrect information. I wasn’t going to really give them directions.

  • MCH

    Steve (Boom);

    Good to see your **chops/handle again. Was curious about where you went. I’ve missed the reasonable, common sense approach you utilize in debating the issues.

    Sorry to here about the threats you received from the so-called “Christian righteous.” You’ve already had to overcome more adversity than three lifetimes.

    Hope you’ll reconsider getting involved with the issues here again, BC needs your voice of reason.

    **old navy RM slang

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    I hate to say it, and I know it sucks, but I think considering all the nutjobs it is a little risky to post pictures of oneself or one’s family on the internet, and/or to give too much info about where one lives, etc. Was wondering if Anthony Grande got this info from Steve’s site or otherwise. In any case, it’s infuriating and I wish something could be done to prosecute those kinds of people–or at the very least ban them from the site. They are truly sick and evil–and all in the name of religion, no less.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    I’m much more out on my site now than back then, although I still have never revealed key things like type/color of car, actual school system, last name, names of dogs (so no one can command them), no visuals of where we live (from the outside)… etc.

    But I feel we are a family just like millions of other families and we shouldn’t have to hide any more than anybody else. Myspace has over 5 million members. On my blog roll, you can see other families, including straight non-judgemental ones where they document their lives within the same amount of reason.

    The internet is a public place, but so is the mall. We don’t hide our faces there, so as long as basics are hidden, I refuse to be intimidated into the closet. Besides, it’s much easier for people to demonize us when we are faceless.

    I’m now much more protected in the home and my daughter is going to be homeschooled now (although for different reasons).

  • Dave Nalle

    Nice to see you back on BC, Steve. I’d love to hear more about your reasons for homschooling your daughter. I know there are more reasons than just religion. Is there anything about it over on your home blog?

    Dave

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    not really an article, just thoughts here and there. Cost of private school and intolerance in public school mostly. No Child Left Behind has pretty much destroyed the educational system too.

  • Dave Nalle

    I found that bit about the cost of the Montessori school. I’ve heard they’re good, but I can’t see how they can justify costing as much as you say. As for No Child Left Behind, it’s what you get when politicians lack the spine to stand up to teachers unions and make real education reforms.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    All of this is very nice, but we still haven’t heard from the owners/main eds of this site: why is Grande still being allowed to post here? And if he has been banned, then please say so.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    yeah, that’s what it was that destroyed the education system…no child left behind…of course it has nothing to do with the NEA or teaching english as a second language in our schools…none of that…it’s all bush’s fault. Everything is bush’s fault. Public schools were in GREAT shape 6 years ago! The fact that the earth wobbles on it’s axis is fucking bush’s fault! What a bunch of CRAP! MEGA CRAP! You know, he ain’t my favorite president either, but he’s not responsible for every fuck-up on the planet.

    Just a thought.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Steve,
    Thanks so much for sharing your light and soul with us. I must say that now that I’ve dropped all my other “aliases” I don’t feel very safe, but it was so easy for Dave Nalle to find me out, that now as a new member of this club, and as strong as my opinions are, and my off-the-wall sense of humor, I’m wondering how safe I am here too.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the people here whether they agree with me or not, but now that I chose a “handle” with my nick-name and my city in it, and have “come out of the closet” in a lot of my comments, especially my strong support of Brokeback Mountain, a chill has run through me, and I’m considering fleeing myself.

    What really pisses me off, is that mostly the people that disagree with my point of view here, are the very same ones looking out for my grammer errors, and “slip of the facts”, and I’ve felt that I was safe here and welcome.

    I hope to God that this doesn’t cause a mass exedos

    I prayed for you last night
    I prayed for all of us.

    pax-sorry that’s the only latin I know
    Jet

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Yes, Christopher, editors, et. al.–as Nancy says, I think this is an important issue. I’m all for freedom of speech, but isn’t a line being crossed when a demented teenager succeeds in running decent folk off this site? Isn’t there some sort of law against making threats like this on the internet, and if he can “track down” Steve S, can’t he in turn be exposed for what/who is really is? This is akin to intellectual terrorism.

  • Nancy

    The ball’s in your court, Eric; let’s hear something from you about this. Why is someone still being allowed into this site who published someone else’s personal information?

  • http://insidebrain2005.blogspot.com Matthew Milam

    I think it’s safe to say that there’s a growing need in this country to know what and who you are and what you do on the net.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Balanced against what Steve has gone through?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Thanks so much for sharing your light and soul with us. I must say that now that I’ve dropped all my other “aliases” I don’t feel very safe, but it was so easy for Dave Nalle to find me out, that now as a new member of this club, and as strong as my opinions are, and my off-the-wall sense of humor, I’m wondering how safe I am here too.

    I only exposed the fact that you were posting under multiple aliases contrary to the BC rules. That’s a far cry from digging up your personal info and suggesting I’d use it to kidnap your kid, which is apparently what AG did. Not that I take anything he says terribly seriously.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the people here whether they agree with me or not, but now that I chose a “handle” with my nick-name and my city in it, and have “come out of the closet” in a lot of my comments, especially my strong support of Brokeback Mountain, a chill has run through me, and I’m considering fleeing myself.

    Don’t worry, Jet. The serious nuts of this world have bigger targets to go after. You’re going to be way, way down their list. First they have to go after the groups they hate. Then they have to make examples of famous people they hate. Going after small fry isn’t worth their time given their limited resources.

    Plus, for every one of them there are 3 rational people out here who’d be glad to defend you. Hell, we’ll put you up at the guest house in the fortified compound and invite AG to run towards us through the ‘killing field’ (aka orchard) in the front while we take target practice.

    What really pisses me off, is that mostly the people that disagree with my point of view here, are the very same ones looking out for my grammer errors, and “slip of the facts”, and I’ve felt that I was safe here and welcome.

    Yep, some people (Mo comes to mind) like to hide their personal prejudices behind the strategem of accusing others and picking nits to try to run down someone they disagree with while not exposing their own questionable beliefs.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Isn’t there some sort of law against making threats like this on the internet,

    There certainly is. It’s called a ‘terroristic threat’ and law enforcement currently takes it very, very seriously even when done on the internet.

    Dave

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    I don’t know about any laws, most of what transpired is still there for anybody that wants to pursue it.

    I really left, because of the whole climate on that thread, not just from one person. The whole climate on the site was hostile, as I pointed out because of some minutemen articles that attracted supremists and ideological extremists on the far right. If it was just one ‘kid’ making a threat, I would feel pretty confident he couldnt’ really round up Christians to do what he claimed. Because of his ‘supporters’ (who were creating an encouraging environment for him), I didn’t know what to assume could happen.

    I’ve never had law enforcement stand behind me my whole life, I’m not going to expect it now, I don’t know if it’s necessary. Maybe a reprimand, but if it wasn’t done then, it’s water under the bridge now. I just wanted to tell why I left the site, under the context of the topic of this article about watching what you say.

    I fear for my daughter’s/families future at the hands of people like Anthony societally and legislatively moreso than personally. That’s why I refuse to go in the closet. For generations gay people were demonized because we hid and people couldn’t see we hid from fear, so they believed all the garbage.

    If you are going to discriminate, you need to see the faces of us all, young and old, that you are pulling societal structural support systems out from under, so I put my life online, hopefully within reason.

    Jet, you can run or you can stand. I’m trying to stand, we’ve just got to be careful in doing so, that’s all. But we can’t expect a better world for us or for our kids to be given to us by the likes of them. We’ve got to stand for it, or it will never happen.

    Besides, the internet cannot give me anything worse than I’ve already been through off the web.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    Andy, re: comment 32. Of course the system was messed up before NCLB, however that accelerated a worse situation, it doesn’t make it better.

    The New York Times discusses how “thousands” of schools across the country are reducing class time in subjects other than reading and math, as a reaction to the reading and math testing requirements of the “No Child Left Behind” law. (Free registration required for NY Times site.) In some cases, schools have completely eliminated other subjects, particularly for low-proficiency students.

    Yes, reading and math are the core skills upon which most other education is built. Is the best way to develop these skills, however, to focus solely on these subjects? Anyone who knows anything about music, for example, knows it has fundamental links with math. An understanding of musical meter requires an understanding of fractions. Wouldn’t a well-taught music class be a good way to engage those students who struggle in math, yet plug in to their iPods as soon as they leave class? What about students who don’t read well, but find themselves motivated by a social studies class to read more about their heritage, or are spurred by a science class to read a biography of Marie Curie?

    “teaching to the test” is a short-sighted method, and may even limit children’s cognitive skills. Yes, tests are an important part of educational assessment, but they cannot be the sole metric. Even the No Child Left Behind Web site asserts that “Surely a quality education reaches far beyond the confines of any specific test.” Unfortunately, the reality seems to be that the No Child Left Behind testing requirements are limiting many children’s educations.

    I’ve never been a fan of education that “teaches to the test.” Now, a study from the UK supports the view that the relentless focus on preparing children for national exams has lessened their cognitive and conceptual development and ability to handle new ideas. In fact, they claim, 11- and 12-year-olds are “now on average between two and three years behind where they were 15 years ago,” in these regards.

    So clearly NCLB has made things worse than before. That’s why we went to private school, where she excelled. In preschool she was learning cubing and squaring, multiple languages, biology, the whole gamut. Now, in order to continue that, you either need the wealth of a rich conservative CEO or you need to homeschool. Bush has made sure the rest of America has no other way to get it.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    SteveS – all I can say is, I’m sorry your public schools are so screwed up. The ones here still offer all the courses you could want, including vocational training for those that aren’t destined for college. Schools in Va Beach have some of the longest school years in the country. I actually saw a short news story on CNN last year because Virginia Beach kids were in school when the rest of the country was off. Don’t your public schools offer gifted programs or Advanced Placement programs?

    You know the Justice Dept just shamed Va beach into doing away with the math portion of the police dept entrance exam. What I read said it was the equivilent of a 6th grade math test…I won’t go into why and who wasn’t able to pass the test…we’ll save that for another thread.

    I think if I homeschooled my kids they’d be worse off! But I’m an idiot…then again…so are some of my kids teachers…hmmmm

  • MCH

    “I must say that now that I’ve dropped all my other “aliases” I don’t feel very safe, but it was so easy for Dave Nalle to find me out, that now as a new member of this club, and as strong as my opinions are, and my off-the-wall sense of humor, I’m wondering how safe I am here too.”
    – Jet

    I’m curious, Jet…how did Nalle “find you out”? Did he cyber-stalk you?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    MCH, He traced back the IP address of all the various identities I was using to make a point, and showed they were all coming from the same computer. Something I assume is realatively easy for anyone to do.
    Another reason to worry about the text of this blog

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thank you Dave Nalle

    Wait till you see some more of my “insane ramblings” which I submitted about an hour ago on the subject of fundamentalist bigotry.

    Oy

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Jet, that’s so wrong. The editors can see the comments made sorted by time, article or IP address. It takes about 2 seconds and there’s no tracing involved.

    Any website, blog or not, knows that and a whole lot more about their visitors and their habits just through the server log entries.

    I just got accepted into the Google Analytics programme and one line of code pasted into my sites tells me more than I ever wanted to know about my visitors. Even down to what they are wearing and, ew, MAN! Put some clothes on! lol

    So chill out dude!

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    SteveS – all I can say is, I’m sorry your public schools are so screwed up.

    The articles/studies I linked to, are not just of MY public school system, but of systems across the country. We can then assume yours is the exception rather than the rule. We now have documented evidence that NCLB is harmful to our future generations. I would hope we can put ideological differences aside and do what is right for the children.

    Don’t your public schools offer gifted programs or Advanced Placement programs?

    I haven’t researched upper years of the school system. The articles/studies I linked to, show that these gifted programs are being shut down all across America. They are a shrinking reality, Andy, thanks to NCLB. You don’t even have to click on one of my links to read that, as I directly referenced it.

    I actually saw a short news story on CNN last year because Virginia Beach kids were in school when the rest of the country was off.

    Further evidence your system is the exception rather than the rule. I would hope you don’t advocate leaving a PROVEN faulty NCLB in place just because it doesn’t affect you in the here and now. Look outside of your comfort zone. Destroying the education of our future generations affect us all, pockets of safety are only temporary.

    When I was a member, IP addresses of each comment is provided to the creator of the thread. As it should be. Using multiple aliases gives the appearance of more support to an idea than there may really be, and should not be done.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    not just more support SteveS, it can also show more…what’s the word I’m looking for here…resistance?

    SteveS – I read the one from the UK paper, but sorry, I refuse to read the NYT and you’re not the boss of me! HA! Anyway, what I get from the first few lines of that article is that 11 year olds are getting dumber…sorry, I don’t place that on the school. I place that on the parents. My daughters knew the alphabet and how do do basic addition and subtraction before they ever got to kindergarten and they never went to preschool. They could even read a little.

    How the hell did that happen you ask? Daddy did it! Why? It’s my job.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    not just more support SteveS, it can also show more…what’s the word I’m looking for here…resistance?

    I refuse to read the NYT

    I’m not sure what this all means, beyond the assumption that you are willing to let a broken educational system remain in place because you don’t want to put the blame on Bush.

    Anyway, what I get from the first few lines of that article

    Wouldn’t that be like making an assumption on the Bible based on the first few phrases, or making an assumption on Shakespeare based on the first few lines? You do know what you are confessing to here, don’t you?

    sorry, I don’t place that on the school. I place that on the parents.

    And that is where some blame should go. It is statistically documented now that the educational system is sacrificing quality education in exchange for passing a few written tests. You are now on record as being okay with that. That’s all fine and good. The rest of us do care about the future of our school system and do hope to create an educational system that helps our children to compete in a global marketplace.

    You did fine and good before your kids went to kindergarten. By your logic, today’s parents will need to do the same AND teach 4th grade math AND teach 8th grade music AND teach 10th grade shop AND teach 12th grade home economics…….

  • http://gratefuldread.net NR Davis

    The Net is definitely unsafe. That’s why I insist on using my own name, as unpleasant and unewarding as doing so usually is. And in particularly unsafe and mainstream places such as BC, part of my mission is to give voice to ideas and truths alien to the mainstream, which always creates for me, at the very least, painful and unsettling circumstances. But one must do what one must do. If all of us with differing beliefs and lives stayed silent and anonymous, the mainstream would be even more assured that it’s all about them. It isn’t.

    I recall quite clearly SteveS’s go-round with Anthony Grande (and wonder why Mr. Grande is still here every time I see him comment – any human who posts that another human participating in the discussion should *lose his child* isn’t fit to be among other humans). Having been called an unfit parent solely because of my sexual orientation, I know how that feels. And it hurts that those who make those comments can do so, it appears, with impunity. But the goddess helps the independent: When certain pseuds and names appear, either avoid those topics or avoid those commenters or steel yourself for an unpleasant journey. With some, I even add them to my email killfile so their poison doesn’t reach me. (If you are among the few who have sent me email and not received a response, chances are that’s why.) But if you venture among the bc waters honestly and openly, you’re sure to encounter danger. Be forewarned. And take breaks.

    Like Steve did, I have to take periodic respites from BC just for the sake of self-protection. At the same time, one must consider one’s purpose for participating. Some do it for fun. Some do it for social reasons. Some do it to engage in semantic violence. To me, this is part of my activism and part of my work: I do it for no other purpose than to utilize my skills and experiences as human, writer and journalist to give voice as noted above. Not for friendship or anything even remotely resembling pleasure. So I go into everything here, even seemingly benign things like American Idol opinionfests, expecting to deal with adversaries, some of whom see me as less than human. So how can I be surprised when they behave accordingly?

    But that is only one of the dangers. Personal recountings can lead to embarrassment (to yourself and/or family and friends), the loss of potential job situations (too many to count; employers don’t like nonmainstreamers with points of view), possible stalkings or whatever by lunatics. I choose to not worry too much about protecting myself (save for killfiles and breaks, and I have a file with every threat – from print, broadcast, and Internet work – I’ve received since 1989), but I won’t post my children’s full names or my spouse’s. We, to this point, have not posted the kids’ photos and won’t. (Kid; one is grown and on her own, I have to keep remembering that.) My son wants his own site; we have said NO, and I have control of everything he sees and forward his email TO him (meaning, I inspect it first).

    The danger is real. One can censor oneself. One can hide behind a handle. Or one can go for it and lets the chips fall. Each has its pros and cons.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    You’re absolutely right SteveS. It’s all the governments fault.

    The first line you quoted of mine was in reference to your comment to Jet that multiple IP addresses show more support for an idea than it’s actually getting…it can also show more resistance…

    the second…I just refuse to do anything with the NYT other than clean my windows…that’s all some newspaper is good for…

    and what, because your state is fucked up you assume, because the NYT tells you so, that they’re all fucked up? Maybe, just maybe, if you didn’t live in a state overrun with illegals, there’d be more money for your kid and more time spent teaching her instead of teaching english as a second language to other kids.

    Maybe standardized testing isn’t the answer, or the whole answer, but something has to be done to see where the ball is being dropped. Check out the Milwaukee school system, one of the only ones in the country that supports and works well with vouchers…and saying it works well came from the Sup of the school system there.

    It’s statistically proven that SOME educational systems are sacrificing quality. Apparently, you’re local school system falls into that category and for that we should change the whole fucking world.

    By your logic the ENTIRE public school system is toast and we should just stop testing all together…let’s just raze ‘em all and start from scratch.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    For me it’s like when the terrorists hit the trade center. All AMericans had to decide if we go on with our lives or if we live in fear.

    I try to be protective in the information that I give out, while at the same time not living in fear. I will definitely leave a hostile situation. Like I mentioned before, we are a family at the mall, we are a family at school, we are a family in the grocery store and so we are a family on the web like millions of other families. Try bloggingbaby.com or other sites to see that people do share their lives to a large degree, with just enough information hopefully hidden for protection.

    If one goes through the web with the assumption that EVERYBODY is a molester or killer, then I wonder why they would be on the web in the first place. I’ve gotten to know great families, gay and straight, I’ve gotten to know great people like Mrs. Davis, Silas, gonzo, Dave, Margaret, chantal and others.

    We are all alike and I completely agree 100% with the thought that if those of us who aren’t in the middle of the mainstream don’t speak up, then the mainstream forgets about diversity and humans who fall through the cracks. That’s probably human nature, not something to throw blame on, but people can’t know you or your situation, if you don’t show them.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    You’re absolutely right SteveS. It’s all the governments fault.

    I said the problem existed before NCLB and has gotten worse, and I also said some blame goes on the parents. You are putting false words in my mouth.

    The first line you quoted of mine was in reference to your comment to Jet

    my bad, now I understand and agree.

    and what, because your state is fucked up you assume, because the NYT tells you so, that they’re all fucked up?

    there is evidence from multiple sources that there is a problem. We can present the evidence and let the parents of each state decide. Let’s ask Dave how the school system in Texas is. Let’s ask Mrs. Davis how the school system in her state is. I’m all for presenting the evidence and facts, Andy, because I will win in that scenario.

    Maybe, just maybe, if you didn’t live in a state overrun with illegals, there’d be more money for your kid

    It usually comes back to that for you. Illegals don’t go to the school system, which creates it’s own problems.

    It’s statistically proven that SOME educational systems are sacrificing quality.

    those that engage in optimizing for tests only, such as every system that utilizes NCLB. Point conceded.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Should I have said, the children of illegals? Would that have made it easier to comprehend? It usually comes back to that for me? Where the fuck did that come from? Are you saying that millions of illegal, non taxpaying, suck the state dry immigrants don’t have an affect on your school system?

  • http://gratefuldread.net NR Davis

    SteveS, I am no Mrs. (and the spouse is not a Davis). And indeed, you are among the few it has been a joy to meet. :)

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    I comprehended, Andy. My comment came from remembering our discussions of months back. I don’t forget very easily.

    Children of illegals do not enter the school system for the most part. SHould I have replied that way?

    Are you saying that millions of illegal, non taxpaying, suck the state dry immigrants don’t have an affect on your school system?

    of course it does. Studies that you choose to not read but are provided for others, show that NCLB is affecting the entire nation. You can focus on illegals in one state and the detriment they cause, and yes they do cause detriment. However that is sidestepping the issue.

    Republicans and conservatives are slowly and gradually backing away from NCLB, because it’s election year and the facts don’t look good for them. You are on record as choosing to go down with that ship, that’s fine.

    It does not take a doctorate to see that getting rid of many school activities, programs and classes in order to prepare for a few tests is harmful to children. I’ve said all I care to say on that, it’s off topic of this thread anyway.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    My apologies, Natalie.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    One thing I will say, you’re just as full of it as you ever were. The hiatus didn’t change that!

  • Nancy

    SteveS, the children of illegals certainly DO enter the school systems, by the hundreds of thousands, otherwise there wouldn’t have been a “need” for the courts to decide that the illegal kids of illegals were “entitled” to free schooling courtesy of US taxpayers, and at the expense of legal immigrant kids & citizens. My brother teaches in Raleigh, NC. He says in the past 2 years the schools have changed radically, and the schools are now crawling with the spawn of illegals, teaching has to be skewed towards them & their various deficiencies at the expense of native English-speaking kids, and the school systems have hugely increased their expenditures for food because all of them sign up for the freebie breakfasts, lunches, & whatever else they can carry, not to mention big budget additions to the school budgets for interpreters, dual-language teaching specialists, medical personnel to attend to their physical needs, social workers to handle their psychological & social problems, school security to handle the incessant fights & crime the illegals bring with them, etc. etc. ad nauseam.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Shame on you Nancy! It’s the testing dammit!

  • http://gratefuldread.net NR Davis

    That’s ok, Steve.

    Went back and re-read a comment from Dawn saying she gave up her own site because she feels safer here. I can respect that, but it’s interesting how mileage varies.

  • Nancy

    Yuh, that too. It is insane that any court should rule that anyone here illegally should be “entitled” to anything except a fast, unappealable one-way ride back to wherever they came from.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    okay Nancy, build up a wall on our borders and gear our kids towards taking a single test and watch our nation thrive in the global marketplace.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    I don’t question the citizenship of every student in America. That’s not my job.

    I see scientific proof, that some choose to deliberately ignore, that shows that gearing children towards specific tests makes them fall behind in cognitive skills and deductive reasoning, precisely the skills that help them grow and thrive. I choose to be concerned about that. There certainly can be other problems plaguing the school system. I am pointing out rotting apples. Someone wants to say ‘but the oranges are rotting too’ doesn’t make me want to overlook the rotting apples. It’s sidetracking from PROVEN data.

    (That’s a logic comparison, try to comprehend the coorelation now because your children may not have the ability someday.)

  • Nancy

    I leave testing alone, but we DO need to stop entitling people who are here illegally – and their kids – to all kinds of benefits that should be restricted entirely to the citizens who actually pay for them. If there were no benefits entitlements, they wouldn’t be here, either. We should do away with giving citizenship to the kids of illegals just because they happen to be born here: you’re born of an illegal, you’re illegal. That alone would put an end to a major incentive to sneak in here that is wildly abused. No benefits: no free education, no medical care, no housing, no food stamps, nothing. I don’t care for a wall, but if that’s what it takes to keep these scumbags out, then so be it. This goes for Chinese, Koreans, Hispanics, Middle Easterners, or the whitest, blondest Europeans on the face of this earth. We should NOT be having to support or tolerate incoming hordes of assholes who don’t even have the basic decency to respect our laws. I support criminalizing anyone who aids and/or comforts illegals thru either “charity” or hiring. The churches? Take away their tax exempt status. Employers? Make it so expensive & dangerous to themselves to hire an illegal they won’t dare even to think of it. But of course all this is for nothing, because those in charge – Bush, the businessmens whore – need these illegals, don’t give a flying duck for US law (or they’d be enforcing it already), and don’t give a shit about the legitimate US citizens & legal immigrants who have to pay extra taxes to support these two-legged trash. I’m a little surprised the working class American contingent hasn’t had a few tart things to say about illegals, since they impact them the worst of anybody, certainly more than they do middle or upper-class. Of course, the Media has been assiduously ignoring or avoiding THEM; I guess they’re neither influential nor important if they object to this influx.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    I leave testing alone, but we DO need to stop entitling people who are here illegally

    I acknowledge that there is an illegal immigration problem. I acknowledged it way back when I was run off the site by the supremists too, who tried to turn every topic around to illegal immigration.

    This thread is way off topic and apologies to the author. The question was asked by Dave, why I am homeschooling. I pointed out the scientific data proving that NCLB is a failure, is a concern as to why I am homeschooling.

    Illegal immigration is a problem, and it may be a problem for the school system, but that is not why I am homeschooling. I have no problem with the ethnicity of potential classmates for my daughter.

    Now finally that’s ALL I have to say on the topic and apologies to the author of this thread for it being so inappropriately hijacked.

  • http://newmedia3d.bravejournal.com/index.php Jennipher

    There isn’t such a thing as PRIVACY unless you want to live on an island. I’m not going to worry about what I say. It’s my opinion and I’m entitled to it.

  • zingzing

    until some 17-year-old psycho-christian wants to kidnap your children… ban that fucker. i always thought he was a fucked up kid… but now i think he’s a dangerously fucked up kid.

  • Dave Nalle

    Jet, that’s so wrong. The editors can see the comments made sorted by time, article or IP address. It takes about 2 seconds and there’s no tracing involved.

    Exactly, CR. And let me point out that I did this solely in my role as politics editor because it was a violation of the comments policy. As some of you may have noticed, Jet and I are on decent terms though we don’t necessarily agree politically. The only issue I had with him was the bizarre schizo conversations he was carrying on with himself. And BTW, he’s by no means the only person guilty of this. But unlike others he gets HUGE credit in my book for owning up to it and turning it all into a positive by taking a bigger role and joining as a BC contributor.

    Dave

  • Dawn

    I feel safer here because people can’t get away with ganging up on you here. On my own site, I was utterly and completely defenseless. Rarely did anyone come to my defense. In fact what I noticed was people who were regular commentors just went away and then the trolls just sort of infested my site like a swarm of fireants, nipping and biting at me until I finally closed it down and went away.

    I don’t think that kind of behavior would be allowed to go on here – especially now with there being so many editors and controls in place.

    That’s not to say a person can’t or won’t be attacked, but a sustained attack would not be allowed.

    However, the web is the unsafest place there is in my opinion.

  • Dave Nalle

    As for NCLB, I can give you some personal insight from here in Texas.

    Before instituting it on a nationwide basic Bush implemented a similar plan here in Texas. Both the positive and negative results of that plan were abdundantly clear here before he went on to try it in Washington as well. It did have the effect of improving graduation rates in Texas a little bit, but I think that overall it hurt the quality of education, but that’s hard to measure.

    The problem is that a student test based system like NCLB is one of the very few types of education reforms which the NEA will allow the government to institute, because it doesn’t deal with teachers directly and if anything reduces their workload.

    I’m sure that if he could pull it off Bush would love to replace NCLB with a real teacher accountability system, but the NEA will never let something like that happen.

    I also sometimes wonder if the real reason for NCLB was to drive the public schools down even lower so that vouchers would become a more and more attractive option.

    Dave

  • http://www.educateddoubt.com lori

    “I also sometimes wonder if the real reason for NCLB was to drive the public schools down even lower so that vouchers would become a more and more attractive option.”

    This is sort of what the lefties say about NCLB, Dave. That it’s a starve-the-beast plan to privatize k-12 education. All schools have to do is *fail to improve enough* each year (adequate yearly progress) to start feeling the pain of NCLB’s punishment plan. Those schools lose funding and have to pay additional money on top of that for extra tutoring and other services, and the next thing you know, it’s a downward spiral. Say hello to vouchers.

    And it’s all fine and well to talk about teacher accountability. But the reality is that we can hold teachers accountable for only so much, especially the ones who work in impoverished, troubled communities. Doing away with or severly changing the tenure system would be a more realistic way to handle the accountability factor, rather than some arbitrary “standard.” Let the local administrators figure out which teachers are good for their schools and which aren’t, not the federal government.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    This is sort of what the lefties say about NCLB, Dave. That it’s a starve-the-beast plan to privatize k-12 education. All schools have to do is *fail to improve enough* each year (adequate yearly progress) to start feeling the pain of NCLB’s punishment plan. Those schools lose funding and have to pay additional money on top of that for extra tutoring and other services, and the next thing you know, it’s a downward spiral. Say hello to vouchers.

    It’s an endearingly machiavellian idea, but I suspect the truth is more prosaic and that NCLB is just a poorly thought out program.

    And it’s all fine and well to talk about teacher accountability. But the reality is that we can hold teachers accountable for only so much,

    Or precisely nothing at all because of the pernicious influence of the NEA.

    Let the local administrators figure out which teachers are good for their schools and which aren’t, not the federal government.

    Actually, let’s start by getting rid of 2/3 of the administrators and then let’s start winnowing out the bad teachers.

    Dave

  • http://www.educateddoubt.com lori

    “Or precisely nothing at all because of the pernicious influence of the NEA.”

    Well, under NCLB, I think that teachers whose classes “underperform” for a certain number of years in a row can be reassigned. So that’s something, I guess. But again, this provision seems like it will hurt the teachers who are working under the most difficult circumstances. The teachers who work in districts where the kids can do well on standardized tests in spite of poor teaching probably won’t be affected nearly as much.

  • MCH

    “But unlike others he gets HUGE credit in my book for owning up to it and turning it all into a positive by taking a bigger role and joining as a BC contributor.”
    – Dave Nalle

    Maybe someday he’ll achieve perfection, like yourself. By the way, how’s that cure for cancer coming along?

  • http://www.markbellinghaus.com/ Mark Bellinghaus

    KUDOS TO YOU, MATTHEW!
    And, tell me about it!
    After I posted my first blog article, I saw myself faced with even dead threats! But I survived. A woman, who I was able to expose as a fake memorabilia seller on eBay, was given a chance to even write an entire “anti-blog” against me. She was also exposed writing her own comments and even has compared me to ADOLF HITLER on my own blog. Yet, the evidence I was able to bring up in my blog story was strong enough to make those criminals change their display and edit out a sequence of James van Praagh, in which he did his phony act with a hair roller set, that was produced 12 years after Marilyn Monroe died!
    So, the power of blogging is present. And yet some of my comments were deleted, naturally, as I was portrayed by that criminal, discribed earlier, as a MUD SLINGER!
    When corrupt newspaper fail to warn their readers of a 98.9% fake exhibition on Marilyn Monroe, I was feeling satisfied, when I received emails en masse, that people were warned by me and did not drive to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California–to be scammed of their admission fee of $22,95! Just saving one person from that experience, was worth all the scare I received.
    The truth always comes to light! That is what many people emailed me; I hope they are right, and that the world will be protected from this exhibit of junk–backed up by the powerful Estate of Marilyn Monroe! Shame on those criminals.
    We will continue to fight them, and the power of blog, was showing some of it’s muscles.
    Please continue to write your opinions, it is neccessary in a world of one sided journalissm, and reporters who seem to have cowards as their editors or are cowards themself!
    Good for you, Matthew, that you take care of your dad, when many people are simply to caught up with their own life and send their own parents to nursing homes etc.!
    God bless you for that!

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    MCH: Why don’t you put some literate flesh on these spikey comment bones of yours and get a fucking blog of your own! By the Stars man, so much comment energy you have, get up here on the wall and then we can take pot shots at you for a change.

    I’m sure you’re not any kind of “bloggenhawk” now are ye?

    ;-)

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks Chris…From “perfect” Jet, as I have a feeling that was directed at me.

  • MCH

    Jet;
    Mine was NOT directed at you.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks, sorry. I’ve been a little paranoid lately.

    I’ll get over it.

    I appreciate that you cared enough to point that out

    Jet

  • Dave Nalle

    Christopher, I can only imagine that a blog from MCH would be pretty damned boring with nothing but his list of people he hates irrationally and the same pathetic arguments repeated over and over. He’s not long on original thought as clearly demonstrated by his behavior here on BC.

    Dave

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    I’ve decided to resist the opportunity to make the obvious riposte to that Dave, but it wasn’t an easy decision!

    ;-)