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18 Responses to When hobbies collide

  1. avatar
    Sean November 28, 2011 at 12:35 am #

    Did anyone explain how gold is supposed to be used as legal tender?

  2. avatar
    Judge Mental November 28, 2011 at 4:28 am #

    Hi Doc, re Goldismoney…..that site name rang a bell and I have just remembered why. A couple of years ago, a new member appeared in the “non pool related” section of the discussion boards of a US based pool players website that I am a long term member of. He was an exceptionally abusive and irrational birther right from the get go and within a few days alienated even those on the board who might have had some underlying sympathy for anyone generally opposing Obama (quite a high proportion as the membership tends to be heavily weighted to the right). Needless to say his birther nonsense was very quickly and very objectively debunked for him, which only seemed to make him more angry and more convinced of the conspiracy.

    His behaviour had been so extraodinary (or so it seemed back then, not so much now) that for the hell of it I punched his (very individual) user name into google and Goldismoney immediately came up. Transpired he had also joined that forum about the same time but had already been banned within 3 days for abusive posts to anyone not instantly agreeing with his rabid birther nonsense.

    The user name also came up in posts on several other sites, all of them containing the same already debunked birther stuff, all of them highly abusive. He’d even managed to get banned from a “pipe smokers’ forum” for the same thing within his first week…..I kid you not…..now THAT takes a bit of doing. The membership appeared as placid as you’d imagine slippered pipe smokers to be, but he’d managed to make them bay for his blood in a few days flat! As squeaky might say….tee hee!

    What a strange phenomenon indeed this birther thing is.

  3. avatar
    Keith November 28, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    Judge Mental: The user name also came up in posts on several other sites, all of them containing the same already debunked birther stuff, all of them highly abusive.

    The person was clearly a shill. Probably a paid shill. You have uncovered direct evidence of a coordinated conspiracy to dredge every corner of the internet that could be found and infect it with the mojo juice.

    In other words, he(?) was trolling for susceptible minds. Like a spammer who is happy to send out a thousand emails in hope that one gullible person will respond, these guys are crawling through every rat hole and gin joint and gentleman’s club for that one elusive ‘attaboy’ from some weak thoughtless sycophant.

  4. avatar
    G November 28, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    I think you are onto something there.

    In the early days, we saw a ton of sock puppets and there did seem to be a pattern of the same M.O. birther talking points appearing all over unrelated forums.

    Not to say that the entire phenomenon is a “conspiracy”… but there were clearly a bunch of dedicated activists shilling and trolling for recruits.

    I have no idea whether they were paid operatives or just obsessed propagandists on a crusade… but the bottom line is that there seems to have been some level of a coordinated “repeat the lies enough…” strategy in play to stoke and grow their “movement”.

    I suspect that the entire thing was mostly an intentional smear campaign from the beginning…which has primarily only been able to retain hold on some very susceptible and mentally / emotionally unstable people.

    Keith: The person was clearly a shill. Probably a paid shill. You have uncovered direct evidence of a coordinated conspiracy to dredge every corner of the internet that could be found and infect it with the mojo juice.In other words, he(?) was trolling for susceptible minds. Like a spammer who is happy to send out a thousand emails in hope that one gullible person will respond, these guys are crawling through every rat hole and gin joint and gentleman’s club for that one elusive attaboy’ from some weak thoughtless sycophant.

  5. avatar
    bovril November 28, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    Doc,

    For radio related stuff of this nature eHAM is usually quite good for reviews etc.

    In this particular case a tad scanty but the members of the forums are usually quite good about answering questions in a helpful manner.

    http://www.eham.net/reviews/review/105535

  6. avatar
    misha November 28, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    Judge Mental: The membership appeared as placid as you’d imagine slippered pipe smokers to be

    I see you’re a fan of Spoon’s The Underdog.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 28, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    Yes, eHam has some good reviews, including the one I wrote that you linked to πŸ˜‰

    bovril: Doc,

    For radio related stuff of this nature eHAM is usually quite good for reviews etc.

    In this particular case a tad scanty but the members of the forums are usually quite good about answering questions in a helpful manner.

    http://www.eham.net/reviews/review/105535

  8. avatar
    US Citizen November 29, 2011 at 2:50 am #

    I’m curious how religious anti-birthers justify their beliefs.
    How does someone who believes in God rationalize or justify those beliefs while at the same time condemning birthers?
    It seems to be some sort of oxymoron or hypocrisy to have faith in spiritual beings while also being an anti-birther.
    I know this is a touchy subject, but is there anyone that can explain how they can be so sure there’s a God while at the same time dismissing what birthers consider evidence?
    That is, are birthers not allowed their faith in Obama being anything from a space alien to a 50 year old conspiracy when an anti-birther is also, say, a Christian?

    I truly have a problem wrapping my head around the fact that some people will defend a 2000 year old story with little evidence while at the same time denouncing birtherism.
    I understand it’s hard to prove a negative argument when facts abound, but isn’t just as hard to prove a positive when few, if any, facts exist?
    I’m not always very good with words and writing, so forgive me if I’m not doing a good job at this question, but I hope you get the gist of my question and respect my question as being honest and not as a troll.

  9. avatar
    Arthur November 29, 2011 at 4:07 am #

    US Citizen: I’m curious how religious anti-birthers justify their beliefs.How does someone who believes in God rationalize or justify those beliefs while at the same time condemning birthers?It seems to be some sort of oxymoron or hypocrisy to have faith in spiritual beings while also being an anti-birther.I know this is a touchy subject, but is there anyone that can explain how they can be so sure there’s a God while at the same time dismissing what birthers consider evidence?That is, are birthers not allowed their faith in Obama being anything from a space alien to a 50 year old conspiracy when an anti-birther is also, say, a Christian?I truly have a problem wrapping my head around the fact that some people will defend a 2000 year old story with little evidence while at the same time denouncing birtherism.I understand it’s hard to prove a negative argument when facts abound, but isn’t just as hard to prove a positive when few, if any, facts exist?

    I share many of your concerns. Here’s humorous take on the issue:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDp7pkEcJVQ&feature=player_embedded

  10. avatar
    The Magic M November 29, 2011 at 4:16 am #

    I think that’s an excellent question (then again, I’m not religious at all).

    I’m agnostic which pretty much compares to my stance about the Obama issue. I know that it’s not impossible (as in: impossible by the laws of physics) that birthers are right, just like it’s not impossible Christianity is right. Yet I refuse to “just believe” not only without evidence, but in the face of evidence to the contrary.

    And yes, I can have similar discussions as I have with birthers with devout Christians who claim evolution is wrong, Earth is 6,000 years old and Hell is a physical place. Both groups tend to rape logic, or resort to appeals to emotion (“how can you behold the beauty of nature without believing in God creating it?”), or even threats (“then you will go to hell”).

    I just think it’s less fun debating Christians – I only get concerned whenever there’s a threat that blind faith pushes aside clear science, like when ID is to be taught in schools.

    And as a final note: I’ve always said conspiracy theories *are* religions. They cannot work without faith in the face of contrary evidence.

  11. avatar
    The Magic M November 29, 2011 at 4:25 am #

    G: Not to say that the entire phenomenon is a “conspiracy”…

    My favourite fictional take on the whole birther issue:

    It was a “proof of concept” by an agency/company specializing in political (or commercial) propaganda.
    They said “let’s take an issue that’s so far out that every sane person would immediately dismiss it, give us 2 years and we’ll have a million followers, headlines on every major news outlet and the President himself addressing this several times in special press conferences”. The other guys said “yeah right, dream on” and the agency replied “just sit back and watch”.
    Then after April 27th, 2011, they said “quod erat demonstrandum” and are now waiting for the highest bidder who wants them to pimp a *real* issue.

    I should write a book. πŸ˜‰

    (As an aside, my favourite fictional take on 9/11 is that it was all a huge smoke-and-mirrors event to deflect attention from the actual target, a person aboard flight 93 which crashed (was crashed, in the fictional story line) in Shanksville. I just never had the time to make that into a movie script. πŸ˜‰

  12. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 29, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    It’s a fair question and not an easy one. I’m tempted to give a simple answer by saying that among rational people it’s pretty easy to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Obama was not born in Kenya, while it is not (to my knowledge) possible to prove that God does not exist.

    Of course there are all kinds of birthers and all kinds of theists. In another time and in another forum I’ve argued against certain religious crankery in the same way that I argue these days against birther claims. Young Earth creationists are very birtherlike in the way they handle evidence. I am very critical of works such as Josh McDowell’s classic bit of crank apologetics: Evidence that Demands a Verdict .

    Speaking just for myself, religious faith is not really a set of propositions that I am sure are true, but more of a way to order my life and a set of values. I don’t see much of an argument that says that I shouldn’t love God and my fellow man, and that approach seems to have worked out well for me. Both in conspiracy theories and in religious faith, I hold that one should not overstate the evidence and one should treat ones sources honestly,

    US Citizen: I know this is a touchy subject, but is there anyone that can explain how they can be so sure there’s a God while at the same time dismissing what birthers consider evidence?

  13. avatar
    James M November 29, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Sean:
    Did anyone explain how gold is supposed to be used as legal tender?

    It’s not supposed to be used as legal tender, it’s supposed to be a hedge against inflation. When a currency becomes devalued, it is devalued in all markets. Gold is at least negotiable in other markets when one market collapses.

    There are other commodities that can store “latency” of an economic system, but few have the simplicity and primal appeal of gold.

    It occurs to me that the people who insist you should be buying gold are happy to sell you some in exchange for weaker currency. If you had a lot of gold right now, and were selling it, you wouldn’t be wondering about such things πŸ™‚ If you have a lot of money right now and are *buying* gold, you might be a fool, but only time will tell that.

  14. avatar
    G November 29, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    ROTFLMAO!!!

    That was brilliant & hilarious!

    Arthur: I share many of your concerns. Here’s humorous take on the issue:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDp7pkEcJVQ&feature=player_embedded

  15. avatar
    G November 29, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    Wow… yeah there are definite strong correlations there!

    The Magic M: And as a final note: I’ve always said conspiracy theories *are* religions. They cannot work without faith in the face of contrary evidence.

  16. avatar
    G November 29, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    Wise words!

    Dr. Conspiracy: Both in conspiracy theories and in religious faith, I hold that one should not overstate the evidence and one should treat ones sources honestly,

  17. avatar
    US Citizen November 30, 2011 at 5:59 am #

    Thank you all for your respectful replies.
    I will also embark on a lifelong pursuit of Hank. πŸ˜‰

  18. avatar
    Majority Will November 30, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    US Citizen:
    Thank you all for your respectful replies.
    I will also embark on a lifelong pursuit of Hank.

    I have purged my home of mustard and ketchup (catsup for the truly confused).
    The shame was unbearable.